It’s not just Donald Trump who is generating stories about Bill Clinton and women.
A new biography of Bubba is hitting the shelves next January, the same month his wife hopes to be inaugurated U.S. President. Bill Clinton is being published by Times Books, a publishing imprint owned by The New York Times Company and licensed to Henry Holt & Company Publishers.
Michael Tomasky, a Special Correspondent for the Daily Beast and former Editor of Guardian America, has written the book seen by Heat Street. In the section on Clinton’s impeachment in 1998, stemming from him lying under oath and obstructing justice to cover up an Oval Office affair with a young intern, Tomasky calls out the New York Times‘s coverage as being insufficiently supportive of the President , in particular calling out the paper’s then-Editorial Page Director Howell Raines for not being liberal enough in a time of crisis.
Yes, a book published by the New York Times thunders against the Times.
Tomasky writes: “Leading the media charge [against Clinton] was not the Wall Street Journal or some other conservative newspaper, but the New York Times. The Times‘ s editorial page editor, Howell Raines, had been thundering away about Clinton’s depravity for months, although the editorial page of the nation’s leading liberal newspaper stopped short of demanding the president’s resignation.
“Raines worked himself into rages of such ferocity that he couldn’t even recognize the presence in his prose of a glaring misplaced modifier as he congratulated Starr on laying bare the president’s degeneracy: ‘Until it was measured by Kenneth Starr, no citizen indeed, perhaps no member of his own family could have grasped the completeness of President Clinton’s mendacity or the magnitude of his recklessness.'”
— New York Times OTD (@OnThisDayNYT) August 18, 2016
Tomasky then moves to other targets at the Times during the late 1990s: “William Safire’s feral columns, as well as those of Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich, who were counted as liberals in the taxonomy of A-level punditry but inveighed regularly against Clinton, completed a kind of anti-Clinton quadrifecta at the Times; only one columnist, Anthony Lewis, trained his fire chiefly on Starr.”
The book forms part of ‘The American Presidents’ series with previous entries including George McGovern on Abraham Lincoln and Garry Wills on James Madison. But Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and Sean Wilentz, the general editors of ‘The American Presidents’, have given Tomasky free rein to dump on The Gray Lady’s doorstep even though it’s inside their publishing house.
Tomasky has been here before (he criticized Raines in similar fashion in left-wing rag The Nation in December 1998 for not going easy on Clinton).
When Heat Street tracked down Raines- who as Editor of the New York Times ironically championed closer ties between the New York Times and Times Books before his resignation in 2003 following the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal- in Atlanta and read Tomasky’s tirade out to him, he refused to comment.
But it’s difficult to believe the biographical subject and his wife would disapprove of Tomasky reviving a two-decade old media-related grudge in his study of the 42nd U.S. President.