Today's Papers

Let’s Go to the Videotape

The New York Times leads with a sneak preview of the videotaped testimony that Congress will make public on Monday morning. The Los Angeles Times’ lead national story says Kenneth Starr plans to continue his investigation and press for impeachment. The Washington Post leads with somewhat odd comments from the Japanese prime minister.

The NYT lead describes what America will see on Monday morning when President Clinton’s taped testimony is released. The article claims that Clinton “painted a picture of himself as a concerned and even tender friend to Monica Lewinsky.” While Clinton “expressed embarrassment and regret about the affair,” he also showed “flashes of fury” directed at Kenneth Starr and his prosecutors. Clinton refused to answer specific questions about sex acts, instead reading a prepared speech, the text of which the Times prints. In the speech, Clinton admits to having “inappropriate intimate contact” with Lewinsky and engaging in phone conversations that featured “inappropriate sexual banter.” (Will 900-lines now advertise “phone banter” at $4.99 per minute?) The source for these leaks? “Lawyers with detailed knowledge of the proceedings.” The NYT helpfully adds that the only lawyers at the proceedings were Clinton’s attorneys and Starr’s prosecutors. Hmmm…. A second front-page NYT story argues that the hateful rivalry between Clinton and Starr has led each to overstep and use poor judgment.

The WP runs a front-page story on Hillary Clinton’s lack of discernible reaction to the mess. Hillary has kept her schedule of appearances, and offered no statements and no sign of her inner feelings. A front-page LAT piece quotes several women complaining about Hillary’s inaction. One says, “I have no problem with Mr. Clinton. I have a problem with Hillary Clinton not taking a stand on it.” In a separate story, the LAT claims that Starr will continue his investigation in an effort to find further impeachable offenses. Starr hopes to find a pattern of cover-ups, stemming back to Whitewater, Filegate, and Travelgate.

The WP lead recounts comments from an interview with Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. Obuchi emphasized that Japan is doing all it can to end its recession: lowering interest rates, slashing taxes, and throwing government money into the economy. Obuchi then commented that the only real solution might be massive military spending, akin to what World War II did to pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression. Obuchi was careful to add that Japan’s constitution would not allow weapons exports and that he would “never consider” defense spending as a solution, but the WP notes that Obuchi raised the idea himself before pooh-poohing it. Doth Obuchi protest too much?

Two articles in the NYT’s Sunday Styles section offer snapshots of the go-go ‘90s. One story says hotel and wait staffs are now uniformed in designer clothes. Isaac Mizrahi, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan are designing uniforms for bellboys, waiters, and room maids. Mizrahi put doormen in “understated” four-button suits, bellboys in Nehru jackets, and receptionists in “baby-blue twin sets.” The second article describes a “reservationist to the stars” who acts as a travel agent for super-celebs. He can get you rooms in booked hotels and tables at ultrachic bistros, but you’ll have to pay a $10,000 nonrefundable fee just to talk to him (this fee is not applied to charges for actual services), and you may have to offer character references. “If potential clients balk at the fee…[the agent] decides right away not to take them on.”