Presswatch: Strange, Uneasy Times

Corry, John

"Presswatch: Strange, Uneasy Times" shamed Time-Warner into selling their stake in Interscope, who control Death Row. But, if you scan the fine print on the album, you'll see that 2Pac's songs were co-published by Warner-Tamerlane,...

...Morris behaved badly...
...It is, in the end, minstrelsy...
...Reason number five was "Dick Morris"-he moved Clinton from the left of politics to the center...
...Filmed a couple of months ago, it shows, by a remarkable coincidence, the vocal artiste dying in a drive-by shooting in a car not dissimilar from Suge's...
...The American Spectator . November 19 9 6 59...
...Harold Evans, the president of Random House, says readers want to know what Morris thinks about politics...
...The issue was barely on the newsstands, however, before the tabloid Star disclosed that besides Clinton's ear, Morris had Sherry Rowlands's toes...
...Black writers like Nelson George have described him as "self-aware" about the "ironies" of the gangsta life, but whatever selfawareness the dumb schmuck had, it wasn't enough...
...Cohen moved to the brink, and then he withdrew, reluctant to mention either resignation or impeachment...
...Cohen, though, is a Washington Post liberal, usually tolerant of White House malfeasances...
...All it lacks is a bullet-ridden zPac turning to Suge and gasping with his dying breath, "Et z, Brute...
...Quinn said she had interviewed twenty-five women for her story, and that they all used words like "outraged, shocked, horrified, grossed out, appalled, disgusted" to describe their reaction to Morris's infidelity, and none of them sympathized with his wife's decision to stand by and support him...
...Rowlands for some time, and had even let her listen in on at least one phone conversation with Bill Clinton...
...Something has gone wrong in American politics...
...he was a jerk who got rich peddling attitude to impressionable teenagers, and there's nothing un-American about that...
...Clinton replied again, "Isn't it obvious...
...Meanwhile, everyone now denies that Morris still advises Clinton, and Leon Panetta, the White House chief of staff, says he has told everyone in the White House not to communicate in any way with Morris...
...Clinton "probably doesn't have a friend in the world," Kinsley wrote, "who wouldn't concede, in private, his 44 Morris is the perfect sym bol of the Clinton era: faux politics, faux friend ship, and even faux sex...
...Everyone knows something bad is happening, although no one is quite sure what, but things are getting scary...
...Apple, however, said the problem was only that Dole was a rotten campaigner...
...Other journalists have had a bellyful, too, but mostly they write for the Washington Times, Wall Street Journal editorial page, or the few, very few, magazines like The American Spectator...
...Meanwhile, Ms...
...How far we've come...
...E. J. Dionne suggested in the Washington Post that the story in the Star was a Republican plot, and Nina Totenberg said on television that the picture with the story looked "doctored...
...Time magazine indicated this in a piece by Michael Kinsley in early September...
...they're the ones sending off for the hooded sweatshirts you can order from the merchandising pullouts in Pac's album...
...It put the story about Mrs...
...The inspector general's report, it said, was "serious...
...The president of the United States, while impugning Starr's integrity, looked and sounded like a petulant child...
...Morris, in fact, is the almost perfect symbol of the whole Clinton era: faux politics, faux friendship, and even faux sex...
...As chief Washington correspondent of the Times, he would not criticize the press in general or his own paper in particular, although it would have been nice if he did...
...Nobody really trusts Clinton, and it may even be that nobody really likes him...
...Right...
...The Washington Post said he should make it clear that, "if reelected, he will not subvert the judicial process through attacks on the special prosecutor or by abusing the president's pardon power...
...He liked to suck them while he dressed up like Rin Tin Tin...
...In an interview in the Post in late September, however, Morris said Clinton was talking too much about foreign policy, and that he should not respond to Dole's criticisms, but instead devote himself "to laying out a positive agenda...
...Ask legislators of either party, journalists who have covered him for many years, or other old Washington hands," Apple wrote...
...The performance was distasteful...
...I t is very eerie now in the press...
...The press unease shows up in different ways...
...The book will have to sell nearly 500,000 copies to make back the advance...
...At the same time, it was reported that Morris was angry because he thought the White House had leaked information about him to the press from its supposedly confidential personnel files...
...The biggest, most respected names in the music business are all on there, profiting in some small way from 2Pac's brief thug life...
...He said that was unjust...
...I marvel at the attempts of the respectable media to mythologize the bozo in the 'hood, to find in his half-baked hoodlum exhibitionism some bogus heroism that will endure through the ages...
...Clinton and Webb Hubbell had prepared a legal document that was used "to deceive Federal bank examiners...
...The headline said: "The Man Who Has Clinton's Ear...
...Richard Rodgers was once asked why pop songs were always about love...
...On the other hand, none of this may really matter...
...black pain, even unto death, served up for the amusement of white audiences...
...Clinton told Jim Lehrer that Morris was having a "personal crisis...
...Now, however, he was upset by the inspector general's report, as well as by Clinton's cheesy attacks on independent counsel Kenneth Starr, and his thinly veiled, and entirely inappropriate, suggestion that he would pardon Susan McDougal...
...Occasionally a columnist wonders whether he will curb runaway entitlements in his second term or do something otherwise useful, but expectations are low, and in general prospects look gloomy...
...They appeal only to men who cannot get it up the right way...
...Clinton's deception on page one, and then com 58 November 19 9 6 The American Spectator mented on it in an editorial...
...Thus life imitates art, or at least the video...
...Cohen wrote that he was reminded of 1972, when Richard Nixon beat George McGovern in a landslide, and later was forced from office...
...Perhaps he was feeling guilty...
...But the Washington Post did the right thing...
...With exquisite timing, Death Row Records, a few days after their star's murder, couriered zPac's last video over to MTV, with the disingenuous suggestion that they might like to rush it into high rotation...
...JOHN CORRY is The American Spectator's senior correspondent...
...Morris had been carrying on with Ms...
...Clinton has been inviting them...
...Fat chance...
...Sally Quinn wrote a long story in the Post about "Washington's shameless male culture," but measured against the traditional macho rules for performance, Morris's conduct suggests that that culture is now faux male, too...
...The Times has been excessively kind to Clinton, and much of its coverage of Dole -the multipart series on his life, for instance-has suggested that he is mean, vindictive and shifty...
...But Death Row has a product to push...
...The Times ran the story a day late, with careful qualifications, deep on an inside page...
...The same week that he wrote the news analysis, the Times buried the report by the inspector general of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that said Mrs...
...But, if you scan the fine print on the album, you'll see that 2Pac's songs were co-published by Warner-Tamerlane, Chappell, Polygram, EMI-Virgin, MCA, ASCAP, BMI...
...But then he added: "It would be both preposterous and irresponsible to say that history is repeating itself...
...Nonetheless, the words do hang in the air...
...The National Enquirer is opening a bureau in Washington, and Dick Morris will not go away, and the election has been conceded to Bill Clinton...
...The first was "cognitive dissonance" - one way or another, people have been bamboozled...
...P R E S S W A T C H by John Corry Strange, Uneasy Times Unable to cover politics honestly, the press grows restless...
...Kinsley offered seven possible reasons...
...And Clinton won't call him, and he won't call Clinton, and the two won't ever meet again, not even to hash over old times...
...Foot fetishism and dog acts, after all, are not the real thing...
...77 excessive appetites, his 'slickness,' his tooeasy willingness to abandon people and principles...
...Almost without exception, they will tell you that he is strong, decent, honest, a world-class legislative craftsman...
...Meanwhile, Kinsley tried to settle an important question: If Clinton is so widely distrusted, why is he favored to win the election...
...The man who had Clinton's ear is a creep, and his wife might just have preferred having him at the Jefferson Hotel rather than hanging around the house...
...You cannot believe a word any of these people ever say...
...Lehrer asked him again, "You obviously believe that, right...
...Well, yes, and nobody trusts Clinton, neither friend nor foe, and probably not Apple, or even Hillary...
...Apple did not write that, of course, but surely he was implying it...
...Both Clintons and Al Gore called to offer him comfort...
...Clinton has a big lead in the polls, and the polls do not lie -or at least not very much-and even a compliant press corps grows uneasy...
...The women, though, may have misunderstood...
...In the Clinton era, it is hard to know what, if anything, matters...
...He said he was puzzled that so many voters thought of Bob Dole as "mean or vindictive, shifty, too old, inept...
...Apparently Hillary answered, and then put Bill on...
...And those, mind you, were his friends...
...If the press is not uneasy, it should be...
...A moment later, he declined to rule out the pardon for Susan McDougal...
...I have no particular quarrel with the man himself...
...A stiff editorial in the blew York Times-the Times editorial page is sounder on these matters than the Times's news columns-subsequently criticized him for undercutting "a legal process that is going forward in an orderly way...
...None of that, though, was any good...
...the seventh was "luck"-Clinton just had the breaks...
...On the cover of that issue was a big mug shot of a grinning Clinton, with Morris looking over his shoulder...
...He wasn't an "authentic voice of the black urban poor": 75 percent of rap's sales are to white suburban youth...
...When he retired from Capitol Hill, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, described him as a man whose word could always be trusted, by friend or foe...
...Well," he said, "no one's ever had a hit song about hate...
...Apparently Morris writes very fast...
...Whatever the case, Morris signed a book contract for $2.5 million or so with the distinguished publisher Random House, and the book is supposed to be out right after the election...
...Jim Lehrer asked him if he thought Starr was out to get him, and he replied, "Isn't it obvious...
...More interestingly, Richard Cohen, the Post columnist, now seemed to have had a bellyful of the Clintons...
...Consider a page-one news analysis in the New York Times by R. W. Apple...

Vol. 29 • November 1996 • No. 11


 
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