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Bill Clinton Angrier At Media Than At Republicans

Reported by Ellen - June 19, 2005

Bill Clinton visited The Alan Colmes Show Friday night (6/17/05) for a brief interview. He and Alan discussed several topics - Clinton's health, his work with the U.N., AIDS, his autobiography and Hillary ("I want her to concentrate on getting re-elected cause one of my rules of politics is, if you look past the next election, you may not get past the next election... I don't want her to think about anything else until that's done. But then, I'll do whatever I'm asked to do.").

But the most interesting part to me was when he made it clear that he holds more of a grudge against the media than the Republicans. It was a point that both Colmes and his radio audience left unremarked.

The interview started off with Colmes asking about Clinton's health. Clinton said he's still a bit weak but on the mend.

Next, he discussed his efforts with tsunami relief and fighting AIDS around the world. I had my problems with Clinton's presidency but I have to say that it was so refreshing to hear an American leader speak so intelligently, so animatedly and so enthusiastically about world issues, policy, politics and solutions. When was the last time George Bush ever sounded so smart, so interested, so involved? Never.

Then Colmes asked what Clinton left out of his autobiography. Clinton said, "I confess I rewrote a lot of the parts of the presidency because I didn't want to be mean-spirited about it. I didn't want to, you know, say what I really thought about some of the way some of these issues were handled and covered and the obsession with things that were called scandals that turned out to be totally phony at the exclusion of other things.

Colmes asked, "Are you angry at the people who went after you?"

BC: Not much any more. I really have worked hard on letting it go. ..."Every once in a while, I still get mad but I was more disappointed in some ways in the way the whole, a lot of those things were covered over eight years than what my adversaries were trying to do to me. I mean, the Republicans were in business to beat me and they never really thought, I think they figured that they had a formula that would always beat the Democrats. They never thought we'd have a Democratic president again. They believed President Carter only won because of Watergate and from the time I got elected, the right-wingers thought I was illegitimate and they decided to treat me like that. And it was amazing how much they could depend upon a certain sort of coverage to kind of reinforce that.

Gee, I wonder if he had any particular network in mind when he thought of that "certain sort of coverage" that reinforced the right-wingers' treatment?

After the interview, the rest of the show was devoted to open phones. Neither Colmes nor anyone in the audience mentioned the media coverage angle of Clinton's remarks.

Memo to Bill Clinton: If you ever get tired of all that globe-trotting, may I suggest you consider becoming a News Hound and provide a creative outlet for that old anger? Think about it: As an ex-president, you would have a unique opportunity to really get out the word about what is wrong with our media. I'm sure Deborah would share her Hannity & Colmes slot with you!

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