In a column seemingly defending The New York Times' publication of reporter Patrick Healy's article purporting to dissect the Clintons' marriage, public editor Byron Calame concluded: "Over all, I found the article a worthwhile piece of journalism that deserved to be published in The Times." But Calame's column included several qualifiers that, coupled with an acknowledgement by Healy that undermined a central premise of the article, seem to significantly weaken Calame's apparent defense
During an online chat on washingtonpost.com, Post columnist David Broder was asked by a reader "When can we expect an article from you on the marriages and divorces of the top Republican contenders for the presidential race of '08?" Apparently not recognizing the reader's reference to Broder's May 25 column, in which Broder speculated on the state of the Clintons' marriage, Broder answered: "Why would I write such an article? I know of no occasion for that."
Despite previously saying that he was "surprised" at The New York Times' news judgment and "stunned by the language" the newspaper used in its article on the state of the Clintons' marriage, Chris Matthews stated: "I wish I could send it [the article] to everybody," and, "We ought to have it linked here," apparently referring to MSNBC's website. Matthews has asked at least 90 questions about the Clintons' marriage on the two programs he hosts since the Times published the article.
On a Washington Post Radio program, Washington Post columnist David Broder defended his public speculation on the state of the marriage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton. Asked whether his May 25 column "generate[d] more positive email or more negative email," Broder replied, "I'm getting killed." He explained that "the reaction was highly negative" and that readers had told him Sen. Clinton's marriage "is ... nobody else's business." But he said he disagreed.
ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper ignored the positive results of a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll focused on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). Citing the poll, Tapper claimed that "a daunting 42 percent of all Americans say they will never vote for her," adding that "[s]ome think she's too liberal. Others think she's untrustworthy." But Tapper ignored the actual results of the poll that found that a majority of respondents said Clinton is, in fact, "honest and trustworthy" and that her views are "about right," while a minority thought she is "too liberal."
Patrick Healy, the author of a front-page May 23 New York Times article purporting to examine the married life of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton, acknowledged on CNN on May 31 that the time the Clintons spend together is "pretty similar" to other families that include a member of Congress.
Chris Matthews devoted the first 12 minutes of his 30-minute, NBC-syndicated The Chris Matthews Show to asking his panel 17 questions based on The New York Times article that examined the state of the marriage between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton. Matthews asserted that Bill Clinton "doesn't get special press scrutiny." Panelist and Time magazine assistant managing editor Michael Duffy also appeared to validate the Times' decision to publish the story, stating: "I think if [the Times] hadn't done the story, someone else would have." And in an appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders falsely claimed that the Times article only discussed the Clintons' "public social lives," adding that "The New York Times would be derelict if it didn't report on this" because "it's something people want to know about."
In reporting on a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll on the favorability of presumptive 2008 presidential nominees Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John McCain, the Post and ABC's Good Morning America focused almost entirely on numbers that indicate Clinton is "polarizing" and on the percentage of respondents who "would definitely not vote for" her in 2008. In its article, the Post also included an assertion about how people view Clinton that was contradicted by the poll results.
During the 5 p.m. ET hour of the May 25 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews asked at least 16 questions about the state of the marriage between Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton.
On MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Tim Russert predicted that if Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) runs for president, the state of her marriage to former President Bill Clinton "will become part of the coverage of her campaign." Russert was responding to a question from Chris Matthews about whether newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal will "commit resources to this story now that it's popped here."
On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Time columnist Joe Klein asserted that former President Bill Clinton will be "a tremendous millstone around [the] neck" of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) if she runs for president in 2008, adding, "Not because of tomcatting, but because of the fact that he's been president for eight years." Klein also stated, "I'm not entirely convinced that she's even going to run" and stated that the Republican consensus that Clinton will be the Democratic presidential nominee is "[b]aloney, baloney, salami." Joe Scarborough then observed that a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean "a Bush or Clinton as president or vice president from 1980 to -- I guess it would be 2016," to which Klein replied: "Gag me with a spoon."
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In Patrick Healy's recent front-page New York Times article on the state of the Clintons' marriage, Healy noted that a "tabloid photograph" of former President Bill Clinton "was enough to fuel coverage in the gossip pages." Media Matters does not endorse the decision by elite media figures to take their cues from tabloids, but if they do so, we expect them to be consistent. As it happens, the cover of the May 29 edition of the Globe magazine contains a headline about another high-profile political couple: "BUSH MARRIAGE BREAKUP! EXCLUSIVE! SEPARATE LIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE."
In a column titled "The Shadow of a Marriage," The Washington Post's David Broder discussed press interest in the personal lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton, asserting that, should she run for president, the Clintons' marriage will be a "hot topic" and stating that a recent New York Times article on the same topic was "anything but unsympathetic" to the Clintons. But Broder's interest in the intimate details of the Clintons' personal relationship is inconsistent with his own previous writing, in which he has argued that journalists focus too much on candidates' personal lives and that, as a result, the "public is choking on a surfeit of smut."
On Imus in the Morning, Don Imus referred to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as "Satan" 11 times, once calling her "that buck-tooth witch, Satan." He also called Al Gore "the phoniest bastard on the planet," adding that Gore is "a horrid human being."
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Following the publication of a New York Times article on the purported state of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton's marriage, numerous news outlets ran reports and aired discussions on the story. The 2,000-word article by Times reporter Patrick Healy was based on the accounts of "some 50 people," "many" of whom "were granted anonymity to discuss a relationship for which the Clintons have long sought a zone of privacy."