Megan Twohey's slickness: Did Bill Clinton ever have an affair with Gennifer Flowers? Did they have a 12-year affair, the way Flowers so thrillingly said?
(Back in 1992, Flowers hauled in more than $500,000 for making the thrilling claim. By 1999, she was reduced to doing hour-long TV appearances, discussing the Clintons' many murders and telling the world that Hillary Clinton was the world's most gigantic lesbo. The gruesome Chris Matthews gushed and fawned about how super-hot she was. The mainstream press corps accepted this gruesome gong-show, which they'd enabled and peddled for years.)
Back to Bill and Gennifer! Did they ever have "sexual relations?" Did they ever "have sex?" Did Bill Clinton ever confess to such things? To having "an affair?"
If we're all still speaking English, we'd say the answer to all those questions is no. That said, it's easy enough to explain what we know about this ancient matter. Last week, it became fairly clear that the New York Times actually knows these basic facts:
Gennifer Flowers claimed that she and "her Bill" had a torrid, twelve-year affair. In 1999, under oath, Bill Clinton said they interacted sexually on one occasion. He was forced to testify under a sprawling technical definition of "sexual relations"—a definition which encompassed a lot of behavior which fell short of intercourse, or even of oral sex.
For the pitiful details, see last Friday's report.
After Clinton testified to that one interaction—sorry, to that one incident of "sexual relations" under Technical Definition One—a Clinton spokesperson said that he was talking about a single grope-and-grab session. That's the full extent of what Bill Clinton ever said.
Nothing else is known about whether these two people ever did or didn't engage in conduct that would normally be described as sexual relations. Flowers never backed away from her thrilling claim, but as we recalled last week, she is a truly horrible person. Unless we're just complete utter fools, there is zero reason to believe anything a nutcase like Flowers says.
Last week, the New York Times published several reports which indicated that they know and understand these facts. This morning, though, the Times has published a 2900-word, front-page report which wallows in the Flowers mess and grossly misdirects readers.
The reporter, Megan Twohey, works hard to disguise the known facts of this matter. It's the kind of piece which has often made us wonder if life forms like Twohey are human.
Twohey isn't some clueless kid typing in her pajamas. She's been a full-blown journalist for 18 years. In 2014, when she was still working for Reuters, she was even a finalist for a Pulitzer prize.
That said, her piece today seems baldly dishonest—and it's an example of the way the experienced "journalists" work.
Twohey is busily pimping the claim that Hillary Clinton did terrible things to the women who accused her husband of extramarital activity or of sexual misconduct. Gennifer Flowers is the clear focus of her endless piece.
As noted, Twohey's piece runs 2900 words. But very quickly, early on, we get handed this:
TWOHEY (10/3/16): Confronting a spouse's unfaithfulness is painful under any circumstance. For Mrs. Clinton, it happened repeatedly and in the most public of ways, unfolding at the dawn of the 24/7 news cycle, and later in impeachment proceedings that convulsed the nation.According to Twohey, Bill Clinton eventually "admitted to 'sexual relations' with Ms. Flowers." Her placement of quotation marks around the key term can only be called slippery, disingenuous—slick.
Outwardly, she remained stoic and defiant, defending her husband while a progression of women and well-funded conservative operatives accused Mr. Clinton of behavior unbecoming the leader of the free world.
But privately, she embraced the Clinton campaign's aggressive strategy of counterattack: Women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Mr. Clinton would become targets of digging and discrediting—tactics that women's rights advocates frequently denounce.
By the time Mr. Clinton finally admitted to ''sexual relations'' with Ms. Flowers, years later, Clinton aides had used stories collected by the private investigator to brand her as a ''bimbo'' and a ''pathological liar.''
In that passage, Twohey gives the impression that she is quoting a free expression made by Clinton himself. What she's actually quoting is the term used in an extremely broad definition under which Clinton was forced to testify about his interactions with Flowers.
You can tell that Twohey knows that; she just never explains it to her readers. She also knows that, contrary to Flowers' sweeping claim, Clinton testified to having "sexual relations" (as defined in Deposition Exhibit 1) on only one occasion. Just once, in all those twelve years!
Twohey understands that. But she doesn't tell her readers until paragraph 69, deep inside her highly selective report. And when she does drop this puzzling buzzkill, she just can't help it! She gets all slick again:
TWOHEY: Mr. Clinton later admitted, during a deposition in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case, that he had sex with Ms. Flowers once.Be sure to note Twohey's slickness there:
When he testified in that deposition, did Bill Clinton really say that he "had sex" with Flowers, even on one occasion? Not as the term is normally understood! On two occasions as he spoke, he stressed the fact that he was only talking about "sexual relations" as defined in the very broad definition he'd been given by the Ken Starr gang. His spokesperson later clarified the matter further, saying that he was talking about a brief grope-and-grab session.
Twohey could have explained all that, of course, but she chose not to do so. Either that, or she couldn't find a way to explain it in the 2900 words she had to work with.
How dishonest does Twohey seem to be? Try to believe the disgraceful construction shown below, from early in her report. In this passage, she is describing the first accusation of sexual misconduct which greeted Bill Clinton's announcement, in late 1991, that he was running for president.
The charge was made by a world-class nut. Twohey never quite cops to that fact:
TWOHEY: [T]heir first taste of trouble came in a Penthouse magazine story by a rock groupie named Connie Hamzy, who claimed Mr. Clinton had once propositioned her at a hotel in Little Rock, Ark.But Mrs. Clinton demanded action? Of course Mrs. Clinton demanded action!
Mr. Clinton brushed off the story, saying that Ms. Hamzy had made a sexual advance toward him, George Stephanopoulos, the communications director of the 1992 campaign, recalled in his book, ''All Too Human.''
But Mrs. Clinton demanded action.
''We have to destroy her story,'' she said, according to Mr. Stephanopoulos.
In what became a common tactic, affidavits were collected, from an aide and two others who stated that they were with Mr. Clinton at the hotel and that Ms. Hamzy's story was false. (Contacted recently, Ms. Hamzy said she stood by her account.)
When the work was done, both Clintons called Mr. Stephanopoulos, together, to offer their thanks.
"In what became a common tactic?" Pseudo-journalist, please!
In context, Twohey is plainly suggesting that this was part of the roughhouse conduct—the "aggressive strategy of counterattack"—in which Hillary Clinton engaged. Truly, there's nothing these life forms won't say and do to maintain the stories they love.
Let's give credit where due! Twohey is at least willing to describe Hamzy, somewhat unfortunately, as a "rock groupie." In fact, she may have been the most famous "rock groupie" in the country at that time. (A major group had written a song about her.) She was also an Arkansas-based clown whose crazy story no one believed, as Stephanopoulos' book seems to make clear.
According to Stephanopoulos, Hamzy had come up to Clinton at the hotel in question years before and she'd proceeded to flash him. In the affidavits to which Twohey refers, that's the incident to which the three witnesses were swearing.
According to Stephanopoulos, the Clinton camp was justifiably concerned about a (false) claim of this type at the start of Bill Clinton's campaign. In response, they did what anyone would have done; Stephanopoulos collected sworn statements concerning what actually happened.
Let's review! Hillary Clinton's husband had been falsely accused by a person who was widely known to be a nut. (As Stephanopoulos noted in his book, Hamzy was using the allegation to promote her upcoming appearance in Penthouse.)
In response, the Clinton campaign collected sworn statements as to what had really occurred. In the full context of this morning's report, Twohey makes this thoroughly sensible conduct sound like some sort of nefarious attack. Truly, these life forms will do and say anything to keep treasured stories alive.
Almost surely, Hillary Clinton knew that Hamzy's claim was false. Almost surely, she assumed the same about Flowers' grossly improbable claim of a 12-year affair.
(Uh-oh! In 1990, Flowers had sworn, in an affidavit, that she never had sexual relations with Bill Clinton. The claim had originally been made as an act of revenge by Larry Nichols, a crazy former state employee who had been fired by Governor Clinton for making 140 phone calls to the Nicaraguan contras on the state of Arkansas' dime. When Nichols made his charges—he named four other women who he said had had sex with Clinton—Flowers and the other women all swore that his claims were false. Twohey didn't find space to mention these facts in her 2900 words, though they're all in Stephanopoulos' book. If we might borrow from the late Richard Ben Cramer, life-forms like Twohey will do "what it takes" to foul our White House campaigns.)
Please understand—Hillary Clinton almost surely knew that her husband had had affairs. In his 2007 biography, A Woman in Charge, Carl Bernstein reported that Bill Clinton had had a long and serious affair with a Little Rock woman in the years leading up to his 1992 campaign. Bernstein describes the painful, pained negotiations which led to the Clintons' decision to maintain their marriage.
Unless Bernstein's reporting was crazily wrong, Hillary Clinton knew that her husband had had affairs. Presumably, though, she didn't believe the crazy stories of local clowns like Hamzy and Flowers.
Today, though, a bottom feeder at the Times is working hard to keep these treasured old chestnuts alive. She picked and chose her facts with care to keep her readers from understanding either one of these episodes.
In the case of Flowers, Twohey worked slickly to keep her readers from knowing what Bill Clinton actually testified. In the case of Hamzy, she made it sound like defending oneself against a false charge is some sort of "counterattack" against the person bearing false witness.
It's very hard to come to terms with the behavior of people like Twohey. Most people couldn't imagine doing such things. It simply doesn;t occur to us that others do.
For the record, Twohey grew up with all the advantages. She went to Evanston Township High, then Mother and Father sent her to Georgetown. She graduated in 1998. Eighteen years later, she's crawling on her belly through a barrel of misleading, slick old slime.
Amazingly, the New York Times has played these games forever. There is no chance they'll ever stop, or that career players will ever challenge their endless conduct. Even in the face of a possible President Trump, their slippery conduct goes on and on. As we've told you:
Trumpism started at the Times long before the world ever dreamed of a Candidate Trump.
Normal people don't understand that life-forms like this exist. Twohey has done a very slick thing, as she did last year with Michael Barbaro in a semi-sliming of Trump.
Who the heck is Twohey's editor? Is her editor human?