December 20, 2007
Adulterous Candidates and the MediaBy Gary Mottola
Giuliani's affair with Judith Nathan is being treated differently than Hillary's husband's affair with Gennifer Flowers when he was running for president.
This double standard helped the Clintons back in 1992 and it has the potential to help them now, given that Giuliani has been seen (at least until recently) as the GOP's best hope to contest enough key states to prevail against Mrs. Clinton.
You had to know that the media would do its best to make sure that Giuliani's affair with Nathan would be seen as more than just a private matter, so it's no surprise that an attention-grabbing story has surfaced about the security costs that taxpayers incurred as a result of it. This from the same media that largely ignored the unjust use of government resources in Bill Clinton's affair with Gennifer Flowers, a story with an actual victim, a black woman, normally an ace in the deck of victim cards.
Mr. Clinton gave Ms. Flowers a state job that was originally supposed to go to an Arkansas state employee by the name of Charlette Perry. Perry filed a complaint with the state over this matter, and the state grievance committee sided with her, only to be overruled by Don Barnes (who gave the job to Flowers to begin with and who was appointed by Governor Bill Clinton).
Moreover, Flowers was heard on tape telling Clinton about Perry's case and about how she was asked to testify about Clinton 's role in giving her the job. Clinton then applauded her for lying under oath as she covered for him.
"All you got to do is deny it," he said.
The media readily accepted, with no curiosity about any details or credentials, the conclusion of a Clinton-hired "expert" that the tapes were "doctored." This apparent writ from on high was interpreted to mean that nothing on the tapes was credible, and they were due no futher consideration.
When the Lewinski scandal surfaced in 1998, a few brave mainstream media sources remembered Charlette Perry. Michael Daly, of the New York Daily News headlined
"Bill in '91: Perjury Looked OK"
Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote:
"If we had paid close enough attention to the Gennifer Flowers fiasco in 1992 we would have realized by now that these matters are not just about Mr. Clinton's sex life. They are about patterns of lying and abuses of governmental power that are at least as corrupt as accepting money in return for government favors."
Remember that 1992 was the "Year Of The Woman," according to the Democrats and their friends in the media. They were exploiting the anger from October 1991's Thomas-Hill hearings. Sexual harassment was a big deal then, and feminists like Feinstein, Boxer, Patty Murray and Carol Mosely Braun all got elected to the Senate because of it. Until Bill Clinton stood in peril, feminists told us that when a man rewards his mistress with job, this is Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment. That's what Clinton did, and at expense of a more qualified woman, too.
Do you remember that interview that the Clintons did in '92 with "60 Minutes"? The one where Bill acknowledged that he had caused "pain" in his marriage? What would have happened if CBS had taken a different approach to it?
What would have happened if, instead of Don Hewitt taking Clinton aside to give him some personal advice about handling the scandal, "60 Minutes" took a tougher approach and brought up not just the affair, but the Charlette Perry case as well?
How would the Clintons have looked if Bill had to answer questions on national television about a state job going to Flowers, and the legal case that happened as a result, with Bill also having to answer questions about having been caught on tape encouraging Flowers to lie under oath? It might have been a bit more difficult for Bill Clinton to put it all behind him.
That didn't happen. And now that Hillary's running this time, the guy once thought to be the biggest threat to her is getting a pounding over the money spent guarding him and his girlfriend.
Charlette Perry and Gennifer Flowers are two sides of the same story, and if Rudy Giuliani or any other Republican had gotten a city job for his mistress at the expense of a better-qualified black mother, the press would be far from reticent in pursuing it.
Hillary is running for president today in part because this earlier scandal was not treated seriously by the media.