They just can't give her up: Some of the pundits still can't quit their favorite object of desire.
We refer to the "21-year-old intern," the much loved object of desire who in fact never existed.
Just last Friday, we told you that the nation's pundits had given half of her up. They had quit her age, we foolishly said, while retaining her designation.
Just like that, at the Washington Post, Kathleen Parker has broken our heart. Her column appeared over the weekend, though not in the hard-copy Post:
PARKER (11/4/17): Bill Clinton wasn't the first president to misbehave in the White House, as we are frequently reminded. But he was part of the first "two-fer" presidency, as he put it, with a first lady who championed women's rights. Presumably, these rights would have included not being objectified or treated as human litter. And Clinton was the first, as far as we know, to have a sexual relationship with an intern.As a general matter, we agree with Parker's assessment of Clinton's poor judgment in this matter. Then too, the miseries called down upon Lewinsky were in large measure the result of the heavy-breathing compulsive behavior of many in Parker's own guild.
It doesn't matter if Lewinsky, then 21, pursued the president and "knew" what she was doing. Obviously, given the long-term effects of this episode on her life, she didn't. In any case, it was Clinton's job as her superior not to abuse his power by taking advantage of her.
That said, Lewinsky wasn't 21; she was almost 22 and a half when she first encountered Clinton. Almost twenty years later, Parker still doesn't seem to heard that. Nor has she heard that Lewinsky was actually a federal employee during the vast bulk of the ill-conceived, sporadic affair.
She also doesn't seem to have heard that President Kennedy's intern, who he seems to have flatly assaulted, was only 19 years old at the time. "As far as we know," Parker said. News travels slowly up here in the mountains, much as Dylan asserted.
Parker isn't one of the crazies! But she does, in fact, belong to a crazy guild, one which engages in crazy behaviors. We humans, the story-telling animals, seem to be very much like that!
Visit our incomparable archives: We posted endlessly on this topic way way back in real time.
At the bottom of this post from February 1999, you can link to six earlier posts about the non-existent 21-year-old intern, the figure our upper-end "press corps" invented, then couldn't seem to quit.
We ran those posts under the award-winning heading, "Forever young." Eighteen years later, eternal youth has prevailed again, its shining light paying no worship to garish constellations of fact.