Matt, Bill, and Monica

Matt, Bill, and Monica

E-mail debates of newsworthy topics.
Jan. 21 1998 3:30 AM

Matt, Bill, and Monica

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       Of course I'm glad Drudge printed that story. Even if it turns out to be wrong, it's not libelous. And it's libel that we are concerned with--which is why I'm curious to know your answers to those questions I posed to you.
       But this scoop of Drudge's, if indeed it is a scoop, is interesting in another way. Surely one reason for the meteoric success of Matt Drudge has been the refusal of the three big TV networks and CNN, the three major newsmagazines, and four of the five most influential daily newspapers to cover the Clinton scandals with anything like the zeal they would have brought to them had they implicated George Bush or Ronald Reagan.
       President Clinton is accused of carrying on an affair with a 24-year-old intern. It seems unlikely that this is the only such affair. It seems more probable, in fact, that there have been dozens--since 1992 alone. Do we believe that what Matt Drudge in Los Angeles could find out, the White House press corps could not? Do we believe that the most covered human being on Earth could be smuggling girls into and out of the White House without a peep of it reaching the ears of the major media? Of course we do not. This latest Drudge item raises huge new doubts, not (as you seem to be suggesting) about the value of the libel laws but about the willingness of a press corps to discover and report the complete truth about a man for whom 90 percent of them voted.

This dialogue was originally based on a lawsuit filed by White House aide Sidney Blumenthal against Matt Drudge, founder and gossip columnist of theDrudge Report. The focus of the exchange has now shifted to the Clinton sex scandal story.

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