Tuesday, June 3, 2008

As Clinton Campaign Winds Down, a Spouse Remains Wound Up

In the final analysis, or, as of now, he was not worth enough to let loose. Hurt her more than helped her, he did.

Former President Bill Clinton took the microphone here on Monday and began with a lament that it might be his last day as a campaigner. If so, he went out venting the kind of anger that has punctuated his efforts to put his wife in the White House. He jumped energetically around South Dakota to what were likely to be the final small dots on the Clinton campaign’s 2008 electoral map — a campaign that at times seemed to be about Bill Clinton and the baggage he had brought to the race as much as it was about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her efforts to leave all that behind.

After a weekend in which his aides sought to discredit an article in Vanity Fair that, relying primarily on anonymous sources, raised questions about his judgment, the company he keeps and whether he was spending time with other women, Mr. Clinton unleashed a tirade against the article’s author, Todd S. Purdum, a former reporter for The New York Times. Mr. Purdum is married to Dee Dee Myers, a White House press secretary under Mr. Clinton.

See prior posts.

Here is an interesting look at how different media outlets report the same story. First, the NY Times story:

According to the Huffington Post Web site, Mr. Clinton, as he worked the rope line at an event here, called Mr. Purdum “sleazy,” “slimy” and “dishonest.” Speaking to a reporter for the Web site, Mr. Clinton said the article was part of a pattern of media bias against Mrs. Clinton and in favor of her rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Barack Obama. An audio recording of the encounter revealed that the reporter did not identify herself as a journalist and called the article a “hatchet job” before asking for Mr. Clinton’s reaction.

Terms used are “sleazy,” “slimy” and “dishonest”. Next, look at the story as reported in Newsday:

Huffington Post blogger Mayhill Fowler said in an interview yesterday in South Dakota, that Bill Clinton called Todd Purdum, a former New York Times reporter, "sleazy," "slimy" and a "scumbag."

The terms used are "sleazy," "slimy" and a "scumbag." Slightly different.

And a columnist in the Washington Post has this:

When a writer from the liberal Web site Huffington Post buttonholed Clinton after his speech in Milbank, the former president declared that Purdum was "sleazy," "dishonest," "slimy" and a "scumbag."

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