It seems like yesterday:
Web Posted: 01/17/98 23:32:47 PST — NEWSWEEK KILLS STORY ON WHITE HOUSE INTERN
BLOCKBUSTER REPORT: 23-YEAR OLD, FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN, SEX RELATIONSHIP WITH PRESIDENT
**Must Credit the DRUDGE REPORT**
At the last minute, at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, NEWSWEEK magazine killed a story that was destined to shake official Washington to its foundation: A White House intern carried on a sexual affair with the President of the United States!
The DRUDGE REPORT has learned that reporter Michael Isikoff developed the story of his career, only to have it spiked by top NEWSWEEK suits hours before publication. A young woman, 23, sexually involved with the love of her life, the President of the United States, since she was a 21-year-old intern at the White House. She was a frequent visitor to a small study just off the Oval Office where she claims to have indulged the president’s sexual preference. Reports of the relationship spread in White House quarters and she was moved to a job at the Pentagon, where she worked until last month.
The young intern wrote long love letters to President Clinton, which she delivered through a delivery service. She was a frequent visitor at the White House after midnight, where she checked in the WAVE logs as visiting a secretary named Betty Curry, 57.
The DRUDGE REPORT has learned that tapes of intimate phone conversations exist.
The relationship between the president and the young woman become strained when the president believed that the young woman was bragging about the affair to others.
NEWSWEEK and Isikoff were planning to name the woman. Word of the story’s impeding release caused blind chaos in media circles; TIME magazine spent Saturday scrambling for its own version of the story, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. The NEW YORK POST on Sunday was set to front the young intern’s affair, but was forced to fall back on the dated ABC NEWS Kathleen Willey break.
The story was set to break just hours after President Clinton testified in the Paula Jones sexual harassment case.
Ironically, several years ago, it was Isikoff that found himself in a shouting match with editors who were refusing to publish even a portion of his meticulously researched investigative report that was to break Paula Jones. Isikoff worked for the WASHINGTON POST at the time, and left shortly after the incident to build them for the paper’s sister magazine, NEWSWEEK.
Michael Isikoff was not available for comment late Saturday. NEWSWEEK was on voice mail.
The White House was busy checking the DRUDGE REPORT for details.
Thanks to Taranto for the link.
I was in Santiago, Chile when this story broke. The Chileans thought, in the way that only South Americans can, that this was the best story to emerge from America ever. Everywhere I went, people would spot me for a gringo (not very difficult) and say, “President Clinton!” and make gestures.
At the time, I thought it was more amusing than destructive. But gradually, my support for impeachment firmed up. What got me on the pro-impeachment side was, ironically, a diatribe by James Carville. He essentially said that Paula Jones was trailer park trash who didn’t deserve fair trial because Bill Clinton was God-damned President of the United States. And the more the libs rallied behind the “Clinton is above the law; Paula Jones is scum” line, the more my support waxed.
Paula Jones was trailer park trash. She still had a right to her day in court. In retrospect, the impeachment battle probably wasn’t worth it.
But God, was it fun.
One last thought. Bill Clinton loves to rant and rave about the “politics of personal destruction”. But until it was discovered that Monica had a stained dress, the Clintonista line was that Monica was a lying psycho stalker. As she said about his biography.
He could have made it right with the book, but he hasn’t. He is a revisionist of history. He has lied. (…) I really didn’t expect him to go into detail about our relationship (…) But if he had and he’d done it honestly, I wouldn’t have minded…. I did, though, at least expect him to correct the false statements he made when he was trying to protect the Presidency. Instead, he talked about it as though I had laid it all out there for the taking. I was the buffet and he just couldn’t resist the dessert. (…) That’s not how it was. This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels, right from the way it started and all the way through. … I don’t accept that he had to completely desecrate my character.
Neither do I, Mon.