The book certainly promises to betray Blumenthal as a Jayson Blair of media analysis. About the Whitewater investigation, he writes: "It would be wrong to say that conjecture in the media swamped the basic facts because those facts were not reported. The facts would have upset the way they were telling the story, so there were no facts." No respectable media critic would claim that Whitewater story had "no facts."
But Blumenthal gets more ridiculous, comparing President Bush, the victor of Afghanistan and Iraq, to Benjamin Harrison and Rutherford B. Hayes. He then asserts that "just as the presidents of the late 20th century operated in the shadow of F.D.R., those of the first part of the 21st century will stand in the shadow of Clinton."
Blumenthal's Bubba-burnishing blather will get only a small fraction of the attention the junior senator from New York will receive when her memoir weighs down the shelves. But never mind the book; its publication will provide the perfect media opportunity to promote her. The Hillary myth will be replayed: The bold pioneer, transporting women from tea and cookies to masterminding socialized medicine; the sizzling superbrain who can testify for hours without notecards on the vagaries of managed competition and Medicare Part B. Despite that, she will remain the wronged spouse who somehow couldn't figure out the Monica Lewinsky affair was credible for half a year, that poor, poor dear.
Already, Newsweek has reported all the network TV divas' plans to swarm Hillary's baby shower for former flack Lisa Caputo in the hopes of sucking up enough to get that first interview (Barbara Walters won the Diva Bowl on this one). That interview better be great. Hillary's first printing is 1,000,000 hardcover copies, and it's not poolside reading -- unless a hurricane threatens to dislodge your lounger.
In the end, all this media spin may cause many to forget the most important characteristic of the Clinton political machine: its factual elasticity. After eight long years of half-truths and untruths, or misinformation and disinformation, these two aren't chroniclers of history. They're hucksters, spinning, conniving, calculated political hucksters.
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