Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Too far is too far

I'll join with the other conservatives denouncing the new tell-all book about Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Drudge reports that she's outraged, and I don't blame her. The lie that Bill raped Hillary is stupid on the face of it and brutal toward Chelsea. If it were true, it would be a matter for Hillary to complain about, not what some "friend" looking for a book contract says.

Just for the record, I think Bill Clinton's was a failed presidency and Hillary's would be an effort to undo what's worth building about America. But these are public policy issues.

Drudge quotes a Hillary source saying "This is the right wing attack machine on crack." But the author, Edward Klein, a former foreign editor of Newsweek and former editor in chief of the New York Times Magazine, is no card-carrying member of the vast right-wing conspiracy. Rather, he's the author of several books about the Kennedys. Now that the Kennedys are off the public radar (more than a few at least partly destroyed by the toxic effect of "journalists" like Mr. Klein), he seems to have moved his sights to another famous family. Must have had a balloon payment due on his yacht.

UPDATE: Klein explains his point to Kathryn Jean Lopez. I won't say anything more about the book until I've read it, and I have a long reading list.

UPDATE: Conservative pundit John Podhoretz hates it.

UPDATE: Peggy Noonan: "What is needed is a big and serious book by respected reporters who can dig, think and type, and whose sourcing standards are high and unimpeachable. Will that happen? It would be big if it did. This book is not that book.>

UPDATE: The New York Times is shocked, the publisher is dismayed, and the author is miffed that conservatives have not been more welcoming. Quote of note: "Mr. Klein said that some of his reporting of events and comments about Mrs. Clinton has been taken out of context." Come on, Mr. Klein -- those details ripe for taking out of context were just what you expected (and still expect) to sell the book.

UPDATE: Kathleen Parker says Klein got a "Baghdad welcome" from the conservative natives, but her observation about Hillary has an intuitive feel of truth: "The real Hillary Clinton is one ticked-off mother, in other words, and she wants to be the most powerful person in the world."

UPDATE: Tim Rutten writes in the LA Times: "The problem with an enterprise conceived to pick conservative pockets rather than address conservative consciences is that it tends to miss some of the movement's finer points — such as self-restraint and civility." Thanks, aside from "I love you, Mom," it's the nicest thing anybody's said to me all day.

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