The Smoking Cigar

Black marking pens are undoubtedly going dry around the House Judiciary Committee this week as congressional blue noses work overtime to delete the most heavy-breathing sexual passages from the final round of documents from Kenneth Starr’s forays through the keyhole. With roughly 90 percent of the remaining 50,000 pages of documents to be censored, free-thinking readers must already be wondering what they’re likely to be missing. A clue to the kind of material that inspires a bipartisan coverup can be gleaned from one of answers that was redacted from the transcript of Madcap Monica’s final session with Starr’s assistants. The demure Ms. Lewinsky was asked, “What did you do with the cigar afterwards?” Frustratingly enough for free-speech fans, Monica’s answer was completely blacked out. Somehow Chatterbox doesn’t think that the missing cigar was sent over to be kept for posterity at the Smithsonian.

Walter Shapiro