Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

July 7, 2014

LYONS: The national media vs. Hillary Clinton

Exactly why the Washington press clique has always had it in for Hillary Clinton has never been entirely clear. Only that their collective sneer has been the single constant in her political career ever since she and Bill Clinton descended upon the capital from darkest Arkansas more than 20 years ago.

That and her own dislike and mistrust of the press, which she makes only a perfunctory effort to hide. And boy, has she earned it.

Legend has it that Mrs. Clinton's problems began after the arriviste first lady turned down an invitation from Sally Quinn — wife of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and czarina of the city's cocktail party circuit.

Maybe so, maybe not. Then after Hillary's husband got caught with his pants down, the Post published Quinn's condemnation of his lowdown ways — an article so smugly righteous as to make one almost sympathize with the big dope.

"He came in here and he trashed the place, and it's not his place," sniffed the late David Broder, expressing "Establishment Washington's" outrage.

Everybody pretended to forget the author's own history as a successful Monica Lewinsky. Bradlee's disarmingly frank autobiography tells how his and Sally Quinn's office romance ended his previous marriage.

All hick towns work that way. Everybody knows what nobody says.

Possibly you also recall the great Whitewater "scandal," a manufactured hoax from the get-go. The shoddy reporting was a product not of Fox News, which didn't yet exist, but of the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC News, NBC News, Time magazine, etc.

I've never asked, but I doubt Clinton's forgotten the December 1995 episode when ABC's "Nightline" all but accused her of perjury on the basis of a shamelessly doctored video clip. She'd actually said almost the opposite of what the clip implied. Even so, damn near every big-time Washington pundit cited the phony quote repeatedly — some to predict her forthcoming indictment.

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