|(Posted Friday, June 28; updated Monday, July 1)|
Former FBI agent Gary Aldrich's book about the Clinton White House was showcased in the partisan press Friday. The Wall Street Journal editorial page excerpted Aldrich's claims that youthful staffers and Machiavellian supervisors had turned the White House into Camp Runamok; the Washington Times went further and repeated Aldrich's story that Clinton sneaked out to the Marriott for sexual trysts. The press chased the story over the weekend, but the White House reversed the spin Sunday morning by dispatching George Stephanopoulos to face Aldrich down on This Week With David Brinkley. Stephanopoulos' performance helped reframe the "scandal" as a Republican smear, as he noted that the book's promoter, Craig Shirley, had worked as an adviser to Dole. Aldrich's credibility crumbled (Dateline and Larry King Live rescinded invitations to appear) as he conceded that the tryst allegation was only a "possibility."