The Breakfast Table

Scandal Fatigue Syndrome

Good morning, or should I say good afternoon? Here it is morning, and I find your missive filled with mind-addling allusions. I am not a stock trader and mornings aren’t my best time. But even at this early hour, as at any other time, I confess to SFS (scandal fatigue syndrome). I hesitate to say so, since I might be excommunicated by fellow feminists, but I cannot give the tiniest rat’s ass about Juanita Broaddrick’s broadsides. In fact, I’m glad this is an electronic medium so I can proudly claim that I have not spilled a drop of ink on this one. I have to acknowledge that I didn’t watch the apparently compelling interview (and no, I wasn’t watching the Grammys either, but I’m damned if I can remember what I was doing). But the press looks a bit ridiculous chasing this one. After days of breathless waiting on the poor alleged love-child-that-wasn’t, can we please move on? I don’t know whether Ms. Broaddrick was assaulted or not; I hope she wasn’t. But it’s moot, legally and politically. The statute of limitations is up in every sense. John Kasich couldn’t run away from this one fast enough on the Sam and Cokie Show, and for once, I’m with him.

The only cute thing about the Paula Jones story, to me, was that despite his boorish behavior, Bill seemed to take a rebuff pretty gamely. As for Ms. Monica, the thong-snapping thing kind of kills any argument of assault as far as I’m concerned. The bottom line is that Bill is a sex addict (speaking from the Left Coast, I’m sure Warren Beatty and Michael Douglas can feel his pain). He behaves very badly, he needs to start at Step 1 and keep going right to Step 12, but as far as I and many Jane and John Does are concerned, he can shtup the entire Radio City Music Hall chorus line as long as 1) he works hard and 2) none of them is an East German spy (or whatever). Harrumph. Meanwhile, as you know, Bill spent the weekend at the home of one Jeffrey Katzenberg in Utah, where I am sure he had a lovely time. The Los Angeles Times reports that political contributions are now being made in the name of children to evade whatever pitiful campaign-finance restrictions exist. So you find 10-year-olds with a burning desire to give a thousand dollars to Lamar Alexander. I was a very politically aware 10-year-old and if I had been the possessor of a thousand dollars, I’m sure I would have donated it to whomever and would never even have considered buying a pony, notwithstanding the fact that said pony could have lived very happily in our garage.

Anyway, the Left Coast is only borderline aware that there is legislation establishing an Office of Independent Counsel. They’ve heard of Ken Starr, and with the exception of Charlton Heston, they think he’s bad. (He was lampooned in a two-part Law & Order and Homicide episode, which was discussed at some length in the LA Times.) Out here, you can get away with any kind of vice, including murder, as long as you bring in the grosses. Which is kind of why I like it as a beat. The agenda is refreshingly simple. The back-ends justify the means. Of course, it’s important to show off White House connections, so there will be a Bradley vs. Gore fight. I’m assuming that since Katzenberg and Geffen have claimed Clinton and by association, Gore, then Michael Eisner will back Bradley. (Besides, he co-hosted a fund-raiser for him years ago.) Meanwhile, Tinseltown is far more interested in the re-emergence of Michael Ovitz, the fired Disney second-in-command, as a talent manager. That turns Hollywood politics on its ear.