Bruni already has: Frank Bruni wrote a column today which everyone's going to write.
They're going to write it because it's there. Also, because they're never happier than than they are when They All Say The Same Thing.
They love the chance to All Say The Same Thing. They'll all be saying it now.
Bruni's column repeats the instant script about Bill Clinton's interview with NBC's Craig Melvin. In the part of the sliced-and-diced interview which NBC actually aired, Melvin asked Clinton, roughly six times, if he has apologized, or thinks he should have apologized, to Monica Lewinsky.
Melvin asked again and again. He's a man of deep moral beliefs:
MELVIN (6/4/18): Did you ever apologize to her?Melvin is one of the world's leading theorists on the role of the apology in deeply failed relationships. He always knows what everyone else should have said to whoever.
MELVIN: I asked if you'd ever apologized, and you said you had.
MELVIN: You've apologized to her?
MELVIN: But you didn't apologize to her.
MELVIN: Do you feel that you owe her an apology?
MELVIN: And you don't think a private apology is owed?
That said, it didn't seem to occur to him to ask Clinton why he didn't send "conciliatory flowers." That leading example of sheer inanity was left for Don Lemon's show.
Bruni wrote his column today because everyone's going to write it. We'll call attention to the highlighted claim:
BRUNI (6/6/18): [Clinton] grows visibly annoyed when journalists are so petty as to bring up the past and the pesky fact that he’s one of only two American presidents ever impeached. He raged when Craig Melvin of NBC News breached this territory. And he promptly turned into Trump.Go ahead—take a look. Did Clinton "rage" during the interview? Everyone's going to say that he did, ratcheting language to top one another. But is that what you really see? Or is that just their usual bullshit?
Did Clinton "rage" when Melvin kept asking his questions? We'll suggest that you watch the sliced-and-diced interview to evaluate that for yourself.
Everyone is going to say that Clinton "raged" at Melvin. They're going to say it because they're children, and they've always said such things.
Back in the post-impeachment days, Bruni was the Times reporter who kissed the ascot of Candidate Bush, even as Katharine Seelye was punishing Candidate Gore for two years as payback for Clinton's affair. This is the way the children have acted over the past many years.
Seelye was worse than Bruni was. He crowded the line in one direction, she went way over the line in her endless assaults on Gore. But they leaned on the scales in opposite ways, helping send Bush to the White House.
Bruni has become a perfectly decent columnist. In today's piece, he reverts.
We may have further thoughts about the journalistic affair now called Melvingate. But for today, we'll leave you with something The Daily Beast's Matt Wilstein has said.
As we said just the other day, Wilstein is perhaps our favorite journalist. Late last night, he wrote about Clinton's appearance with Stephen Colbert.
Colbert asked Clinton about Melvingate. This early statement by Wilstein brought us right out of our chairs:
WILSTEIN (6/5/18): Clinton, who was seated next to James Patterson, the co-author of their new novel The President Is Missing, began by blaming the way his interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin was edited. “They had to distill it, and it looked like I was saying I didn’t apologize and had no intention to,” he said.Clinton didn't use the word "edited," but that seemed to be pretty much what he meant. And make no mistake—the editing of that interview remains a thing to behold.
We think the Today Show should release the tape of the full frogmarch so people can see how "TV news" sausage gets made. We also think you're out of your mind if you think such a thing will happen.
To our eye, that interview seemed amazingly sliced and diced. We'd love to see the full tape and transcript of what was actually said.
A few important questions remain. How should people evaluate Bill Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky, who was 22 to 24 years old at the time? Also this:
Does it really make sense to lump that relationship in with the conduct of Harvey Weinstein?
Bruni instantly did that today. But then, all the children will!
What actually happened: What actually happened between those two people?
Judge Starr was careful to write it all down! You can read her account here.