Lewinsky’s loose lips lead. Everybody has their sources for her supposedly secret grand jury testimony and the general word from them is: sex with President Clinton in the White House. USA Today says the kiss-then-tell included descriptions of oral sex with him. The New York Times says Lewinsky said the sex happened in the small, private study down a short hallway from the Oval Office. The Los Angeles Times says Lewinsky said there were a dozen sexual encounters over eighteen months. The Washington Post reports that the Clinton camp has private investigators collecting information on Lewinsky that would undermine her credibility, to be used if her testimony proves damaging.
There is other news out of Washington. The WP’s off-lead is the House’s passage of campaign finance reform legislation that would stop the flow of unacounted-for soft money and crack down on special interest group attack ads. The paper says that the vote puts new pressure on hostile Senate Republicans to approve the bill. A Post editorial calls the House move impressive because it occurred over the opposition of the House Republican leadership, and challenges the “do-nothing” Senate to pass the bill. The Times editorial says and does pretty much the same. And the NYT, WP, and LAT fronts all report that the House committee investigating 1996 Clinton campaign finance practices voted yesterday to hold Janet Reno in contempt of Congress. Why? For refusing to honor a subpoena it issued for internal DOJ memos to her that called for the appointment of an independent counsel in the finance matter.
The NYT’s off-lead reports that the Clinton administration plan for stockpiling anti-germ-warfare vaccines at various strategic sites, developed in record time, is now in jeopardy. The problems include a dispute among experts concerning the merits of such vaccines compared to antibiotics. The stockpile plan was developed, says the paper, without consulting drug industry leaders about feasibility, and by a group including two men standing to gain financially from the set-up.
Both the Wall Street Journal and WP report that the FTC has opened up an investigation of alcohol advertising and has reached a settlement with Beck’s beer and Kahlua that forced ads off television. The big issue is how are booze companies handling marketing to young people.
The WSJ “Washington Wire” reveals that the CIA hires hair-care biggie John Paul DeJoria (of those John Paul Mitchell TV ads) to lecture employees–no, not on the best kind of hairdo to hide a camera or a gun in, but on time management and leadership.
The WP business section runs a story about how, with fears about newborn switching and snatching on the rise, high-tech infant monitoring systems are being put in place in hospitals nationwide. The market for these has increased two to threefold just in the past three years. In light of that scary story of undetected baby switching at the University of Virginia hospital, it’s interesting to note that, according to the paper, the devices really don’t do anything to prevent switching.
For those of you who are sticklers when it comes to showbiz bureaucracy, the NYT has just the correction for you: “Because of an editing error, an article on July 27 about the apartment of Jen Graffam-Wink and Chris Wink, a founder of the Blue Man Group, referred incorrectly to the group’s structure. There is no head Blue Man.”