Slow Burn: The Clinton Impeachment

Season 2: Episode 2

There There

The Clinton administration was mired in scandal from its very first days.

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About the Show

The saga of Bill Clinton’s impeachment is rich with forgotten characters, surprising subplots, and opportunities to reflect on just how much America has changed over the past 20 years. Whether you’re well-versed in the tale of Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, or you’re fuzzy on the details, this season of Slow Burn will take you further into the story than you’ve ever been.

From its origins in the Whitewater real estate controversy, the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, and the suicide of Vince Foster, Clinton’s near-removal from office was the culmination of a process that remains poorly understood—and continues to reverberate through our political system today.

While Season I of Slow Burn captured what it was like to live through Watergate, Season II offers a fresh reexamination of the choices, circumstances, and manipulations that nearly destroyed the 42nd president and forever changed the life of a former White House intern.

Read Leon Neyfakh’s introduction to Season 2.

Read the announcement on Season 3.

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Episode Notes

In 1993, Bill and Hillary Clinton moved into the White House on a swell of optimism. In less than a year, the new administration was mired in a sea of scandals: Travelgate, Nannygate, and, most consequentially, Whitewater. What went wrong?*

In the second episode of our series on the impeachment of Bill Clinton, Leon Neyfakh follows the Clintons and their friends and allies from the sleepy capital of Arkansas into the glare of Washington.

Read the Episode 2 transcript.

Slate Plus Member Content Bonus Episode

Ahead of Her Time

In conversation with former Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders.

Notes on Episode 2

In researching Episode 2 of Slow Burn, we made use of the following sources:

Books

Clinton, Bill. My Life, Vintage, 2004.
Conason, Joe and Lyons, Gene. The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton, Thomas Dunne Books, 2001.
Drew, Elizabeth. On the Edge, Touchstone, 1995.
Gormley, Ken. The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr, Crown/Archetype, 2010.
Hubbell, Webb. Friends In High PlacesBeaufort Books, 2015.
Maraniss, David. First In His Class, Simon & Schuster, 1995.
Riley, Russell. Inside the Clinton White House: An Oral History, Oxford University Press, 2016.
Sabato, Larry and Lichter, Robert. When Should the Watchdogs Bark? Center for Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC, 1994.
Schmidt, Susan and Weisskopf, Michael. Truth At Any Cost, Harper Collins, 2000.
Stephanopoulos, George. All Too Human, Little, Brown, 1999.
Stewart, James B. Blood Sport, Simon & Schuster, 1996.
Toobin, Jeffrey. A Vast Conspiracy, Random House, 1999.

Film and TV

American Experience: Clinton, PBS. Goodman, Barak and Durrance, Chris, 2012.
McCoy, Terri and Perez, Rosie. “Capital Hillbillies,” In Living Color, Ivory Way/20th Television, Jan. 17, 1993.

Articles

Boyer, Peter J. “Life After Vince,” The New Yorker, Sept. 11, 1995.
Boyer, Peter J. “Hope Against Hope,” The New Yorker, Jan. 8, 1996.
Canellos, Peter S. “Clinton denies liaison with singer,” The Boston Globe, Jan. 27, 1992.
FBI Records: Vincent Foster,” The Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Cooklis, Ray. “Fishing in Whitewater: The suicide,” The Cincinnati Enquirer, Feb. 20, 1994.
Hall, Jane. “ABC Airs Clinton Footage Shot by NBC,” The Los Angeles Times, Jan. 14, 1994.
Ifill, Gwen. “Clinton Admits Experiment with Marijuana in 1960’s,” The New York Times, Mar. 30, 1992.
Ifill, Gwen. “Clinton Defends His Privacy And Says The Press Intruded,” The New York Times, Jan. 27, 1992.
Isikoff, Michael and Schneider, Howard. “Clintons’ Former Real Estate Firm Probed,” The Washington Post, Nov. 2, 1993.
Maraniss, David. “Image Questions Bewilder Clinton, Longtime Friends,” The Washington Post, Apr. 12, 1992.
Remnick, David. “Is Sex Necessary?” The New Yorker, Feb. 2, 1998.
Rempel, William C. “Ex-Judge Hale Pleads Guilty Over Arkansas Loan Fraud Inquiry,” The Los Angeles Times, Mar. 23, 1994.
Seper, Jerry. “Clinton papers lifted after aide’s suicide,” The Washington Times, Dec. 20, 1993.
Sheehy, Gail. “The Road to Bimini,” Vanity Fair, Sept. 1987.
White House Follies: The Gang That Can’t Fire Straight,” The New York Times, May 22, 1993.
Who Is Vincent Foster?” The Wall Street Journal, Jun. 17, 1993

Season Two of Slow Burn was produced by Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons. Bonus episodes for the season were produced by Jeff Friedrich and Mary Wilson.