When Bill Clinton’s world blew up over Monica Lewinsky, the Clintonistas quickly found the sweet spot the legacy media could get behind: “It’s only sex, everyone lies about sex.” The media got on board, overwhelming the reality of Clinton’s lying under oath. “What the meaning of is, is” may be the single most compelling bit of political and rhetorical dissembling in modern political history. That dissembling, along with blatant attempts at personal destruction and intimidation of the accusers, allowed Clinton to survive and ultimately thrive.
The conservative media attempted to point out the longstanding patterns of womanizing and the politics of personal destruction. They were drowned out by the “it’s only sex, everyone lies about sex” theme. But, to this day, the pattern prevails, as “Saturday Night Bill” appears to be keeping up the pace.
Come we now to Hillary. It appears that there are significant issues regarding…wait for it…money and influence. It’s been a tough few months for Hillary: money, favors, emails, Benghazi, the book tour, a questionable campaign roll out, shredding parties in the basement of the State Department, and potential influence-peddling on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and its many tentacles.
Early indications are that the next “sweet spot” for the media, if there is to be one, will be: “But look at all the good they’ve done with the money.” Or: “It doesn’t matter where the money came from, only where it went.” No matter the potential for influence-peddling, no matter that the deal with the Obama administration not to accept foreign money was ignored. The pattern remains the same; the repentant Sunday morning Bill is always preceded by wild and crazy Saturday Night Bill.
The Clinton foundation is well known as a major temporary employment agency for the politically dispossessed waiting for the next government, foundation, or think tank job. The network is massive and the Clintons sit at the middle of the web.
It may be a bit different for the Clintons this time. The New York Times has delivered the message to the remainder of the legacy media that it’s okay to report on this one. The Times goes so far as to offer Hillary the advice that “straightforward” answers are required. “Full and complete disclosure.”
The acceptance of the Clinton formula – deny, attack the accusers, discredit the facts on their face, blame it on politics, call it a distraction and point to the vast right wing conspiracy – may not play this time around. We’ve seen the formula too many times before. We may also be coming to the perception that we’ve allowed it to work too many times before.
It remains to be seen if the current sets of perceptions regarding Clintonian corruptions are borne out by facts and evidence. What is clear is that we’ve seen this movie before; we’ve seen the symptoms before; the moving parts are repetitive as is the confidence that our limited attention span will serve as the ultimate buffer against accountability. As Yogi would say, “Déjà vu all over again.”