Tinseltown: Don't Mess With Bill

Tinseltown: Don't Mess With Bill
by L. Brent Bozell III
February 5, 1998

As they started doing back in 1992, they came, in late January, to the defense of Bill Clinton. On one television show after another, they proclaimed, in the face of mounting, ever-more-convincing evidence, that the scandalous stories we'd heard were mostly bogus, simply irrelevant, and motivated by irrational hatred of this caring and dedicated public servant, who happens also to be charming and handsome.

"They" refers not to Clinton's political allies, like James Carville, Ann Lewis, and Hillary. It's the Hollywood Left, so quiet in recent years, that now has an issue it can get excited about. And given the lifestyle of so many in Beverly Hills, it's really not hard to understand why they're circling the wagons to publicly support the First Phallus.

The allegations of sexual misconduct are false is one line of defense. No, they can't deny the charge, nor would they want to try because not even they believe he didn't do it. So the next line of defense is that this behavior doesn't constitute "misconduct." (And, by Hollywood's standards, I'm sure it doesn't.) Mark Curry, star of the now-defunct sitcom "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper," declared, "I'm tired of young ladies [who say] 'Oh, he touched me,' and suddenly you ruined somebody's career... Show me the [video]tape... My man is innocent." Actor Warren Beatty mused that he has "no reason not to believe" Clinton, making this blanket judgment call just days after it was revealed that, regarding the Gennifer Flowers affair, Clinton had admitted lying to the nation, including, presumably, Warren Beatty.

Even if the allegations are true, who cares... is another beaut. Actress Susan Sarandon, who really does believe in vast right-wing conspiracies, speculated, "I guess they went after [sex] because they'd spent so much money on Whitewater and not gotten anywhere. I just think it's a waste of everybody's time." "Politically Incorrect" host Bill Maher said, "I definitely think [Clinton] had an affair," but added, "The bargain... we made with him [is], as long as the Dow Jones is OK, we don't really care what you do with Paula Jones.'" Rapper Coolio ("Gangsta's Paradise") had this piece of brilliance: "The whole concept of this country is free thinking, and I'd rather have a free-thinking man than a robot." And actor Ethan Hawke ("Gattaca") blurted, "If the guy wants to chase skirt, it's not my problem. I mean, Ronald Reagan never went under oath for the whole Iran-Contra scandal." Never mind that it isn't true, nor that it makes no sense: Excuses like this are coming in by the lard bucket.

A career in Hollywood has rendered me incapable of coherent thought, but you asked. Actor Scott Thompson ("The Larry Sanders Show") spewed that Linda Tripp "should be screwed first, and then paddled. Because she needs both." Actor Esai Morales ("La Bamba") remarked, "The fact of the matter is, boys will be boys [note: Clinton is 51], humans are humans, but we're making being human kind of illegal."

Gosh, isn't he cute? Hey, when all else fails, just drool shamelessly. Daytime chatter Rosie O'Donnell gushed that Clinton is "captivating... strikingly handsome... warm-hearted... He's a very good President and I would hate to have this tarnish his reputation or his place in history." Intellectual gadfly and media personality Camille Paglia argued, "A man of power is going to be a man of very high sexual energy... I want someone in the White House who would love to have sex with ten different people in three days." Pretty pathetic, don't you think?

Are any celebrities swimming against this fatuous pro-Clinton current? Yes. Actor Gene Hackman said, "I suppose the media is right to pursue it, because if it's true, then it needs to be exposed [and Clinton] would have to resign." But one man understands the reality of the situation far better than anyone else in showbiz. He knows that the public is not falling for Clinton's claptrap. And Jay Leno is having a nonstop field day. If there is a vast right-wing conspiracy out there, Leno must be its leader, because no one is doing more to remind the country what kind of man we have sitting in the Oval Office. A sampling of some Leno zingers:

-"Clinton says he wants to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The problem is, to Clinton those are three different things."

-"The Super Bowl... was so exciting [that] Clinton jumped right up and knocked the intern off his lap."

-"Do you realize, Roger Clinton is now the one going, 'What'd my idiot brother do now?'"

-"Remember when Clinton was telling young people they should wait to have sex? Now we know who he wanted them to wait for: him."

I just hope Mr. Leno's federal taxes are in order.