The media's hate boner for Hillary Clinton has reached call-your-doctor-if-your-erection-lasts-longer-than-four-hours levels in the wake of an otherwise innocuous comment Mrs. Clinton made with regard to her family's finances when her husband's second term as President ended in January 2001. Somehow, mentioning that the family was millions of dollars in debt because of legal costs associated with defending President Clinton has morphed into a sleazy hit and run job by the Beltway media that thinks it has split the atom by discovering the Clintons are now very wealthy.
The headlines scream about the $100 million Bill Clinton has earned in speeches, the hundreds of thousands Hillary is paid to speak to evil corporate elites and the sweetheart deal young Chelsea was given by NBC for a very modest amount of work. Wrap it all up in the Brazilian rain forest number of trees that have been felled since 1991 sliming the Clintons as first, Arkansas rubes who would turn the White House into a Waffle House, then into striving Gatsbys who summered on Martha's Vineyard to hobnob with the rich and famous, then as shameless carpetbaggers relocated to the tony New York countryside to launch Hillary's Senate career while shaming Bill into locating his post-Presidential headquarters in Harlem, and then, in 2008, as race baiters who were trying to kneecap Barack Obama, and you begin to understand that no amount of good either Clinton has done in their 40 years in public service will ever satisfy reporters, many of whom could only wish to make a scintilla of positive change in the world the Clintons have.
Even more galling (and laughable) is the venom directed by cub reporters who were likely still in elementary school when Hillary was giving a groundbreaking speech about women's rights in Beijing in 1995 or declaring her support for "Palestine" (something for which she was ripped mercilessly) in 2000, not to mention all the work she did to improve access to health care as first lady of Arkansas when some of those now mocking her as a Wall Street sell-out were not even born. To pretend that the Clintons are the first two politicians to take money for speeches is also a joke, the irony being the person who made that action famous was none other than Ronald Reagan, who accepted millions in the months after his Presidency ended to speak to people overseas. George W. Bush made an offhand comment about the need to "refill the coffers" toward the end of his Presidency and no one batted an eyelash. Of course, unlike those Presidents, Bill Clinton formed the Clinton Global Initiative and has, over the last decade, funneled tens of millions of dollars, primarily into third world countries, to help eradicate diseases like AIDS, provide access to education, and support disaster relief, but that's of no matter, because he's rich. Seriously?
That Bill and Hillary Clinton, whose romance blossomed while they trekked around the country as staffers for George McGovern, are now being portrayed as insufficiently liberal would be idiotic on its face, but then I remember these same media types are putting every architect of the Iraq War on TV and, with a straight face, allowing them to rip Obama as having "lost" that war. In the end, Hillary only had it half-right. The "vast right wing conspiracy" was (and is) actively seeking to destroy her and her husband, but in some ways the more nefarious cabal is made up of so-called "mainstream" media types like Maureen Dowd whose nearly 200 columns about Hillary have been almost universally negative. Of course, this is all pseudo-intellectual masturbation for the Inside the Beltway crowd. Like so much of what they "report" on these days, the conversation is staged and directed at a fractional audience totally disconnected from the rest of the country. The opinion of ordinary Americans about the Clintons is much more positive. The President's approval hovers 70% as people appreciate more and more the litany of success that attended his years in the White House and Mrs. Clinton has been on the "most admired" list of women for the better part of 20 years. But then again, when have facts gotten in the way of a good media food fight?
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