Jewish World Review March 3, 2000 /26 Adar I, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- I THOUGHT everybody wanted to "move on." I moved on from the Lewinsky scandal a long time ago. In fact, I had so moved on that by the time liberal activist Jeffrey Toobin got around to writing a book about it last year, I ignored his annoyingly persistent requests for an interview. He knew nothing about the scandal, other reporters knew everything, and I didn't see any point in wasting my time bringing some newcomer up to speed. The Lewinsky scandal was over.
Still, after running into Toobin at a party last February, I charitably agreed to pick up the phone when he called the next day. Then I went home that night and read in the New York Observer that the working title of Toobin's book was something along the lines of "How a Vicious and Mean-Spirited Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Brought Down America's Greatest President." I decided not to pick up, after all. Good thing, too. Everyone who did talk to him seems to be suing him for libel about now.
Anyway, it turns out that all that blather about how the country wanted to "move on" was really just an urgent request for Clinton's detractors to move on. Those who see Clinton as "the good guy in this struggle" -- as Toobin concludes in his fictional book -- simply wanted to praise this living American hero without dissent. Only the Clinton-lovers continue to vomit out all those scandal books -- books Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and Linda Tripp were browbeaten out of writing.
The Clinton-lovers almost got a free shot from me. Soon after Toobin's book came out, a publisher sent me a free copy (saying he knew I "wouldn't want to pay for it, certainly"). I looked up the four mentions of my name, noted that all four sentences -- the only four I read -- were false, and I put it away.
But I've always wanted to write a book review that would make it painfully obvious that I've only read a few selected passages of the book in question. So here it is. For purposes of this review, I randomly looked up a single reference to an event I know something about, assuming that Toobin would invent facts about everyone and everything else, too. And indeed, every passage I read was false, in whole or in part. But there's only time for one page in today's column. (Since I probably read up to four -- maybe even five -- pages, this won't be the last review.)
On Page 126, Toobin states: "Over three years (1994-1997) Paula (Jones) had never before asked for an apology from Clinton." In addition to being grammatically incorrect, this is factually wrong. In case you didn't see a newspaper or turn on a television from 1994 on, Jones had consistently and unequivocally demanded an apology from Clinton, beginning with her very first press conference on Feb. 11, 1994. Indeed, Jones and her lawyer explained that she was bringing suit only because Clinton had rebuffed her request for an apology.
As ABC News anchor Peter Jennings described Jones' opening gambit in February 1994: "In Washington today, a former Arkansas state employee accused Mr. Clinton of sexually harassing her while he was governor. Paula Jones ... wants the president to confirm that she rejected his advances and apologize." (Jennings went on to note that the White House called her allegations "pathetic.")
Yet Toobin praises Jones lawyer Joseph Cammarata's demand that Jones settle without the one thing she had requested all along -- an apology. Toobin refers to Cammarata's insane claim that Jones had never before sought an apology as a "canny observation."
If only every author were so disposed to invent facts, I bet I could produce 20
or 30 book reviews a week. Four more pages of fabrications, and four more book
reviews to go. Maybe
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.
03/02/00: Hillary's sartorial lies