FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2003
BECAUSE YOU OCCASIONALLY ASK: Because you occasionally ask, well note that our entire staff will be appearing with Lewis Black at the Baltimore Improv this weekend (through Sunday). Its our first joint appearance since that filling-rattling Funniest Celebrity spectacularthe one C-SPAN so daringly aired back in March. Yes, its too far for some to travel, but please dont say you never were told. In fact, we kicked things off at the Improv last night. Based on various emanations from the crowd, its fair to say that a very good time was had by a clear plurality.
SHEEHY SAID IT: Were the Clintons joking and laughing on their way to Marthas Vineyard? In her book, Hillarys Choice (December 1999), Gail Sheehy painted a quite different picture (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/11/03). But later, Sheehy reversed herself. Margaret Carlson sends along the transcript of Sheehys 8/23/00 interview with Paula Zahn on Zahns FNC program, The Edge. Here is the relevant passage:
ZAHN: Youre saying the night after the announcement where President Clinton admitted to being involved with Monica Lewinskyremember that somber image of Mrs. Clinton holding Chelseas handIn her new book, Anyone Can Grow Up, Carlson says that the Clintons were joking and laughing. This interview seems to have been her source. Once again, heres the passage from Carlsons book:
CARLSON (page 154): Hillary never touched her husband, even ducking under his arm at the entry to the Marine One helicopter Wearing sunglasses, she looked like an aggrieved widow, not a betrayed wife. It was a boffo performance.Clearly, part of Carlsons statement is accurate; Sheehy did report that the Clintons were joking and laughing. For the record, though, Carlson embellishes things just a tad. Sheehy says that that Clinton and Clinton laughed and joked on the ride to the plane (on the brief chopper ride to Air Force One). In Carlsons book, the story improves. In Carlsons book, Hillary laughed and joked all the way to Massachusetts.
At any rate, Sheehy did report this story. But Carlson simply accepts the report as accurate, saying that Mrs. Clintons somber walk to Marine One was a performance. It completes the portrait Carlson prefers, but even Zahn notes that Sheehys updated report was based on a single, unnamed, uncorroborated source. Sheehy accepted this sources report, but the scribe is notoriously weak on facts; her treatments of the Lewinsky episode were a fount of factual confusion, for example. In her book, Carlson also accepts the report as accurate. But is it accurate? We dont know. It does, however, extend a portrait which Clinton-haters treasure.
Part of Carlsons statement is accurate. But theres no word from Carlson about her books strangely bungled quote from Bill Clinton to Dick Morris, or about her inexcusable spinning of Vince Fosters death. Wed also be happy to let you hear her explanation of that laughable New Delhi anecdote. But then, Carlsons book is crammed with such anecdotes, designed to showcase the Clintons bad character. Wed be happy to let you know why the author found these pointless episodes so revealing. After all, the Clintons have been on the scene since 1991. If you have to turn to that New Delhi groaner to help us see Mrs. Clintons bad character, that would suggest a lack of real fodder supporting this much-cherished tale.
Carlsons book is crowded with clowning (more tomorrow). But yes, Gail Sheehy did make this report (the transcript is missing from the Nexis records). Tomorrow, well return to Margarets choice. Carlsons semi-all righttoday only.