October 21, 2003


THE TIMES' SECRET CLINTON LINK (Page Six, 10/21/03, NY Post)

THE New York Times had a big conflict of interest on Sunday.

The Gray Lady's review trashing "Bill Clinton: An American Journey. Great Expectations" was written by Todd S. Purdum, the husband of Clinton's first White House press secretary, Dee Dee Myers - though Times readers weren't informed of his connction to Clinton.

"It is the equivalent of allowing the wife of Ari Fleischer to review an anti-Bush book," said one observer. [...]

Purdum wrote that the Clinton book "offers only the faintest pretense of originality. It is almost completely a reheated buffet of previously published material from the already groaning steam table of Clinton scholarship, scandal-mongering and supposition."

But Purdum found a quote from Betsey Wright, Clinton's former chief of staff, worth repeating.

Wright, who coined the term "bimbo eruptions," said Clinton's womanizing had "nothing to do with sex" and everything to do with "this inferiority complex . . . I think he's spent his entire life being scared that he was white trash."

The Times had no comment.

Maybe they'll let Mike Deaver review the CBS miniseries on the Reagans?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 21, 2003 10:08 PM

I had an editor once who was also a lawyer and a feminist.

His take on spouses was that there could be no conflict of interests as between spouses.

He was the best editor I ever did have, and although we disagreed about almost everything else, he was right about that.

I don't know anything about this guy's credentials to be writing a review of that book (although the bar for that trade is very low), but whatever they are, Myers is not part of them.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at October 22, 2003 6:38 PM

I agree with Harry. Its not like the Times would have given the book a fair shake if it had used another reviewer.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 23, 2003 9:14 AM

White trash....a good line. But there will be a tremendous conflict of interest between Bill and Hillary if she ever runs for the White House. Every appearance he makes will drag her down. Every mike he hogs will hurt her. Every woman he ever even stared at will be thrown in her face. Her best bet to get elected is to publicly divorce him, and whip him in the process. That might even mute some of the VRWC against her.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 23, 2003 4:57 PM