Enemy of the Week

Tough Love

If that's what it takes.

5.16.03

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We have a loser. Ms. Barbara Walters has been named to interview Sen. Hillary Clinton on the eve of the former co-president's memoir release. The news comes as another career setback for Ms. Wawa, as she is popularly known, who ostensibly for national security reasons last March had to delay release of her hot pre-Oscars interview with Ms. Julianne Moore and cancel two others in their entirety. The Moore segment eventually ran for one reason only. Under the category, Don't Ask, Do Tell, Ms. Moore and Mr. Wawa exchanged some sort of prolonged kiss during their encounter. "How do I smell?" Ms. Moore asked afterward. "Divine," Ms. Wawa weplied. Sen. Clinton has been duly warned. Something tell us she'll see any repeat as the handiwork of Dick Morris.

Happy are those -- Diane, Oprah, Connie, Katie -- who weren't chosen to ambush Sen. Clinton, though some will blame them for lacking Ms. Wawa's bona fides as former primary interviewer of Ms. Monica Lewinsky, the Fox entertainer. It's a tough business.

First Bill Bennett, now a former JKF intern falls victim to privacy looters. What did Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. know, and when did he know it? They called her Mimi, back when she was 19 as part of a White House jobs program that taught typing to recent graduates of New England private schools too penurious to prepare its young women for secretarial work. Mimi currently figures in Robert Dallek's new biography of John F. Kennedy, though who's to say its portrait is definitive? On the one hand we learn that JFK was the sickliest human being in America, carrying inside him more emasculating steroids and meds than the entire NFL; on the other, we're told he had a bigger appetite for women than the rampaging Red Army of 1945. He remains a paradox.

Speaking of which, France is on the warpath again, in case you haven't noticed and feel a need to express alarm. Please do, for it will ease tensions and flatter a far-away country about which we know nothing, other than that this time it really means business. The charge: The Bush White House is spreading lies about its humanitarian activities with regard to Iraq during the recent unpleasantness. French choler is outrageous and insulting. For isn't it an article of faith in Napoleon land that Americans, from the president on down, are such dolts that they wouldn't even know how to find France on a map, let alone spell it or even confess to knowing of its existence? In which case, how can we be so clever, devious, and low? So French, dare we say?

Or better yet, so Blumenthalian. To those in the dark, that's a reference to the leading expositor of Democratic-Leninism, or, if you prefer, Marxism-Clintonism or BillHill-Centralism. He's now published a memoir of the Clinton Glory that most liberal reviewers of sane or even insane disposition are finding an embarrassment of sycophantic and posturing riches. Its subtext: Sid loved Bill more than Monica ever could. He just wasn't as attractive.

A prettier former Clintonist, Mr. George Stephanopoulos, according to Drudge, last Sunday drew the lowest ratings ever for "This Week," the show he hosts. It's as if viewers were punishing him for moderating the desultory debate of Democratic Dimwits in Columbia, S.C. the previous week. Or maybe they just thought he should join the candidates' ranks as well. Wouldn't George S. be a more attractive presidential prospect than, say, Dick Gephardt or John Kerry or even Dennis Kucinich? And next debate let Al Sharpton moderate.

Now to solve the nation's most pressing problem. What is to be done with Howell Raines? We warned him not to marry into the former Polish nomenklatura, but he didn't listen. Now he has more diversity than anyone growing up in Alabama ever dreamed off, including a Polish daughter of a Polish friend of his new Polish wife who stands accused of providing incriminating photographs from the Times portfolio to inventive scribe Jayson Blair. This could make a Flannery O'Connor story.

At a recent closed open meeting with Times servitors and serfs at a burlesque house on Times Square, Raines begged for his job, now that he has this huge extended Polish family to support. Moved by his plight, publisher Punk Sulzberger declared he would not allow Raines to be pushed aside. So much for our hopes of seeing an interim triumvirate appointed to steer the Times toward calmer waters. Wouldn't Bob Herbert, Anthony Lewis, and Tom Wicker have been an ideal leadership crew? Or were you expecting Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, and R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.?

As long as Howell Raines won't entertain a job change, how about a name change? We recommend he now be called Harold Ramis, after the kind and gentle soul who's given us Ghostbusters (hint) and Groundhog Day (bigger hint). If our EOW wants to clean up his act and his nightmare to end, he'd better get with the program. Only then will he be able to live happily ever after with his lovely Polish wife.

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