Factoring Out Hillary's Sleaze Factor

Don't let those pom-poms fool you. Those media cheerleaders for Hillary Clinton's impending Senate run in New York are also carrying brass knuckles.

It all began with a Neil Lewis dispatch on the front page of the June 13 New York Times, where Starr aides said a final report could be "blistering." Liberal reporters and pundits started landing blows on Starr, saying he should not be allowed to create political damage. How inappopriate for a supposedly nonpartisan officer of the court!

For a reality check, please remember the utter lack of liberal outrage when Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh re-indicted Caspar Weinberger four days before the 1992 election, charging President Bush was "in the loop." Recall the scarcity of liberal criticism of independent counsel James McKay, who failed to indict Attorney General Edwin Meese, but then went on to proclaim publicly that Meese was guilty of breaking the laws anyway. In both cases, the liberal talking heads rained fire on the Republicans, not the prosecutors.

Hours after the Times story appeared, ABC reporter Tim O'Brien showered Starr with ridiculous rebuttals, none more ridiculous than Lawrence Walsh, who went on the attack. "All you're doing is prolonging a very expensive operation, torturing a person who served the country," Walsh suggested. "You have to decide...is it worth it?" Read that a couple times and marvel in the self-delusional chutzpah. This man ran his own expensive torture operation of Reagan and his staff for seven years, piling up an expense account with hundred-dollar breakfasts, and he's lecturing Starr? And O'Brien just shamelessly lets him?

O'Brien concluded with a healthy dollop of wishful thinking: "Sources report there is some debate in Starr's office over whether he should say anything about Hillary Clinton if a decision is made not to indict her. With his own investigation criticized by some for being overzealous, a badly-timed attack on the First Lady could be more damaging to Ken Starr's legacy than anyone else's."

With spinmeisters like this, why would Clinton need Carville on the payroll?

Also in the Sunday Times, columnist Maureen Dowd got a sneak peek at the Lewis story and was already churning it in her Cuisinart of pop-culture cliches, suggesting Clinton and Starr could be in an "Austin Powers" movie, with "Starr cast as the peevish, power-mad Dr. Evil scheming to destroy our puerile but lovable hero, the shagadelic playboy with the pelt on his chest, Bill Clinton. Oh, behave, baby! But Mr. Starr does not seem to realize he is a figure of ridicule. Even one of his own advisers suggested to The Times that if Mr. Starr can't bring charges, perhaps he should just 'shut up.'"

Please note that none of Starr's critics know what is in Starr's impending report. The facts contained therein might, indeed, be explosive - but who cares? Case closed. Starr is evil, period.

If Hillary wants to put herself on the line and declare her candidacy, the real question is: Why would anyone have to wait for a Starr report to explore the First Lady's sleaze factor? Lewis declared a Starr report "would raise unanswered questions about Mrs. Clinton's behavior." That's a mouthful. Allegations of corruption have swirled around Hillary for years, which could have been proven false if she'd produced definitive evidence of her innocence. Not only has she failed to deliver. A compliant press has simply refused to pressure her to do so. There's plenty we do know, and plenty more we ought to know if she's a candidate:

We know Hillary was involved with a $4 million sham land deal at Castle Grande. Common sense tells us that either she made the sham deal work for Webster's Hubbell's father-in-law, or Hubbell did all the legal work and she lied by billing the hours for herself. But where are the media?

We know evidence of her Whitewater lawyering was shredded by Rose Law Firm interns, and other documents ended up in Vince Foster's attic, and Webster Hubbell's basement. Common sense tells us she's hiding something, but where are the media?

We know she wanted the civil servants in White House Travel Office like Billy Dale fired, and not just fired, but smeared as crooks and run through a legal gauntlet costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the end, Dale was acquitted in two hours. Common sense tells us her denials of involvement were not truthful, but where are the media?

We know she made $100,000 in very questionable cattle trades made by Tyson-connected pal Jim Blair and lied repeatedly about how she made it. Common sense tells us there was illegality involved, but where are the media?

They're deep in the tank for their heroine Hillary. Instead of taking the tough questions, she's impressing reporters by talking up the New York Yankees and high school bands in Harlem.