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Fidelity under fire 

As president, Bill Clinton wouldn't stand up for himself against vicious media, and he earned their further hatred because of his timidity. He will stand up for his wife, it turns out. They hate him still more for that.

Network television showed Clinton scolding members of the media rather heatedly — heatedly for Clinton, that is — over their disregard of substantive issues in the presidential campaign, their mindless hewing to predetermined judgments such as “Hillary is a shrew,” their sensationalizing of disagreement between Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama. (The disagreement concerns whether she or he would make a better president. She advances the proposition that voters should choose her; he takes the opposing side. The pundits profess horror at such tactics.)

“Shame on you,” Clinton told the reporters and analysts, and never was that reproof more deserved. His was the straightest talk of the campaign so far, or the straightest that got covered anyway. The media responded not by feeling shame — they're way past that — but by accusing Clinton of “gutter politics,” of lying when he refused to accept their unflattering characterizations of his wife, and of possessing racist inclinations. The Little Rock daily ran two editorial cartoons on the same day reviling Clinton for supporting his wife. So often accused of being the worst husband in America, Clinton is now reproached for being a good one.

The corporate media are no friends of Obama either, incidentally. It's just that at the moment, they're more afraid of the Clintons.

Born to lose

According to a late-breaking report, the Green Bay Packers have offered a settlement to the New York Giants, the team that defeated them in the National Football Conference championship game. Under the terms of the settlement, the Packers rather than the Giants would be declared NFC champions and would play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Giant management is said to be giving the offer serious consideration. “The Packers' lawyer is a swell guy,” a Giant spokesman explained.

The situation is oddly similar to that found in the Little Rock School District, where the school board has prevailed in two lawsuits and is now weighing settlements proposed by the losing parties, both of whom are represented by a lawyer friendly with school board members. The settlements would effectively turn the losers into winners, and the school district into a two-time loser, forced to pay the opposing attorney's legal fees, provide a fulltime job for one of his associates, and cede board authority to unelected out-of-towners. What's not to like?

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