By Randy Cohen
The answer, from David Kendall, the president's lawyer, is: "This was to preserve personal privacy and institutional dignity."
What's the question?
by 5 p.m. ET Sunday to e-mail your answer (email@example.com).
Responses to Tuesday's question (No. 97)--"Attention!":
"I think you've really paid way too much attention to it. I pay very little attention to it. This is a media creation more than anything else." Who said this about what?
"President Clinton, on being accused of spending too much time running the country."--Beth Sherman
"Ken Starr, about the Bill of Rights."--Gary Frazier
"A Warner Bros. spokesperson, responding to rumors that last Friday the studio may have released a film titled The Avengers."--Tim Carvell
"My mom, after I failed the Cosmo Quiz 'Are You Fat and Ugly?' 'It's just to make people buy more products, hon,' she offered, along with a tissue."--Colleen Werthmann
"World War II. Some Swiss guys."--Chris Kelly
Click for more responses.
Randy's Musical Wrap-Up
Journalists, particularly TV journalists (if you'll forgive the expression), operate in a bipolar universe where there are two sides to every story: guilty or innocent, impeach or not, bomb Iraq now or bomb it later, pro or con, Coke or Pepsi, Clinton or Starr. When an issue is aired, representatives from one side (e.g., the vast majority of Americans, who are pro-choice) are "balanced" (I believe that's the word) by representatives for the other side (e.g., the tiny minority of anti-choice Americans). This creates a pleasing sense of symmetry, much lovelier than the cluttered understanding of novelists or psychiatrists, with their infinite number of layered and nuanced sides to every story. How exhausting. The former view is captured by that fine union song "Which Side Are You on, Boys?" But some situations demand another song, a plague-on-both-their-houses song. The perfect carol for this holiday season might be Wild Man Fisher's tuneful and observant "Monkey Versus Donkey" (produced by Frank Zappa for Straight Records). Hum it to yourself as you watch the news or read the answer below.
Forward March Answer
As David Rakoff and Doug Strauss know (click), Rudolph Giuliani was speaking about the Million Youth March planned for Harlem's Malcolm X Boulevard on Sept. 5. The mayor prefers that everyone pretend there is no march, or at least that the event be held at a later date and an inconvenient location because of concerns for public safety and because it is a "hate march." Khalid Abdul Muhammad, the main organizer, prefers that the march scare the hell out of Jews. He is willing to shift the event to Crown Heights as a "direct confrontation with the Jews of that area," who are "bloodsuckers." In a speech last year at San Francisco State University, he insisted that the Holocaust never happened and inquired, "Who's pimping the world? The hairy hands of the Zionist in the world."
What Do We Do Now? Extra
"Put this behind us."--Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
"Let's move on."--Secretary of Commerce William Daley
"We should get on with the work of this nation."--Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Andrew Cuomo
"People just want to get on with why they came here."--White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry
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