An "affair" to misremember: On paper, Alyssa Rosenberg had all the advantages.
Rosenberg writes for the Washington Post. Not long ago, she graduated from Yale, Class of 2006.
(Dad is editor of Harvard Magazine. Mom is executive director of the Lexington Historical Society, a nonprofit organization in Lexington that works to preserve buildings from the Revolutionary War.)
Earlier this week, Rosenberg was explaining what was up, back in the day, between Bill Clinton and Gennifer Flowers. She was reacting to blustery threats from Donald J. Trump. But even after all these years, this is the best they can do:
ROSENBERG (9/26/16): Gennifer Flowers is probably not coming to the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump tonight, but that's not really the point. When Clinton invited Mark Cuban, a businessman and sharp critic of Trump, to the debate, Trump responded (whatever his campaign says now) not by inviting someone who questions Clinton's credentials to be president, like Patricia Smith, whose son died in Benghazi, to join him. Instead, he suggested that he might bring along a woman who had an affair with Clinton's husband. The point wasn't to debate Clinton but to reduce her, yet again, to being nothing more than Bill Clinton's wife.According to Rosenberg, Gennifer Flowers is "a woman who had an affair with [Hillary] Clinton's husband."
Does Rosenberg know if her statement is true? If we're all still speaking the English language, we'd have to suggest that she doesn't.
Other scribes at the Washington Post have been saying such things about Flowers. Mary Jordan is a Pulitzer winner. On Monday, she began a report in the Post by saying this:
JORDAN (9/26/16): Donald Trump's threat to seat Gennifer Flowers, who had an extramarital affair with Bill Clinton, in the front row at Monday night's presidential debate focuses new attention on Trump's own history of infidelity and could further weaken his support among female voters.You're right! It's the same thing Rosenberg said!
Other writers at the Post have sliced the baloney with slightly more care. Yesterday, Aaron Blake described Flowers as someone "with whom Bill Clinton in 1998 acknowledged having extramarital relations in the past." On September 25, he had described Flowers as someone "who revealed a sexual relationship with Bill Clinton in the 1990s."
On the front page of this morning's Post, Shawn Boburg's writing almost seemed to be slightly "Clintonesque." He described the matter as follows:
BOBURG (9/29/16): Hillary Clinton's support for her husband [in 1992] was crucial, and she sat by his side during a crucial "60 Minutes" interview, saying she was not like the victim in Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man." Campaign pollster Stan Greenberg said at the time that the public would disregard the allegations if they believed he had been truthful to his wife.According to Boburg, Bill Clinton "acknowledged a sexual encounter with Flowers." He seemed to be picking his words with great care. We'll guess that he may know the facts, such as they actually are.
Six years later, Bill Clinton acknowledged a sexual encounter with Flowers.
Last week, Donald J. Trump threatened to bring the eternal Flowers to the first presidential debate. As a result, our "journalists" began making feeble attempts to explain who Flowers is.
Words like "affair" and "mistress" were thrown around. Our question: How many of these flyweights knew what they were talking about?
In our view, there is no evidence—none at all—that Clinton and Flowers ever had an "affair." There is no evidence that Flowers was Clinton's "mistress." (These statements are based on the presumption that we're all speaking English.)
That said, our "journalists" have always loved the juicier story. And when our journalists love a tale, that tale will never expire.
It seems to us that Boburg was choosing his words with great care. We thereby get the impression that he may even know what he's talking about, even if he isn't trying real hard to let Post readers know.
It seems to us that Rosenberg and quite a few others were basically spouting this week. Tomorrow, we'll quote a few other accounts of this matter, and we'll post the source of what's actually known about this famous "affair."