Press Corps Salivates Over Hillary’s Marriage


At the risk of being redundant, it’s probably worth emphasizing something in Atrios’ post here. The other day—maybe it was Monday or Tuesday—the New York Times decided that the best use of its resources and space would be to send a reporter out to interview fifty people in order to find out if the Clintons were still having sex or not. And now David Broder, the so-called “Dean of the Washington Press Corps” has this to say:

But for all the delicacy of the treatment, the very fact that the Times had sent a reporter out to interview 50 people about the state of the Clintons’ marriage and placed the story on the top of Page One was a clear signal — if any was needed — that the drama of the Clintons’ personal life would be a hot topic if she runs for president.

Ah, so Broder can tut-tut the article and distance himself from it by simply pointing out that this sort of thing is “bound to” come up and “the drama of the Clinton’s personal life would be a hot topic if she runs for president.” Note the passive construction, as if to say it’s not his fault. Maybe it’s Clinton’s fault. But look, who’s going to make it a hot topic here? Why, Broder and his fellow Washington journalists. If Broder thought Hillary Clinton’s sex life was out of bounds or entirely irrelevant, he could just say so. But no. Instead he declares it inevitable. Nothing Broder can do. It’s a cute racket.

And speaking of cute, it’s simply adorable how Broder starts his piece by noting that when Hillary Clinton spoke at the National Press Club, he and his cohorts were more interested in salivating over “the state of her marriage” than listening to the boring details of her (quite decent, if a bit conservative) energy policy. Clinton actually had to apologize for making the speech too, as Broder calls it, “wonkish.” Yeah, heaven forbid she hurt their little heads with details about stuff that actually matters.

UPDATE: Garance Franke-Ruta’s take on this is very much worth reading.

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