The double standard by which the media view presidential sex scandals is nothing less than stunning.
On this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the entire panel - which included two women, one being the supposedly conservative syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker - said the new revelations regarding former President John F. Kennedy having sex with a 19-year-old White House intern will have absolutely no impact on his legacy (video follows with transcript and commentary):
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: This week a new book by Mimi Alford, the 19-year-old intern who writes that Jack Kennedy seduced her in the White House. Which brings us to this week's big question: Does this story and others like it diminish Jack Kennedy's place in history? John.
JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: I think not at all. The notion of Jack Kennedy as a horn dog is pretty much priced into the stock I think historically on him.
I don't think it changes the picture at all.
MATTHEWS: Gloria as a woman?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN: I agree. Look, the story is awful, terrible, despicable, disgusting.
KATHLEEN PARKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: And delicious.
BORGER: But I think the question has been asked and answered about Kennedy.
MATTHEWS: Kathleen. You are yawning. Is that your answer?
Okay, thank you. That was the most. That won't show up in the transcript.
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: That was my reaction, too. No, this seems like a lot of deja vu once again as far as that aspect of Kennedy's character goes, but his image is still larger than all of that.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, I wrote a much more comprehensive book about Jack Kennedy. I got to tell you, it's all a part of the picture. You can't defend it. He's still a hero.
To sum up: we knew he was a "horn dog," his behavior was "awful, terrible, despicable, disgusting," but it's "a lot of deja" worthy of a yawn even from a supposedly conservative columnist.
Though "you can't defend it, "he's still a hero."
Bear in mind that one of Alford's accusations was that this "hero" forced her to perform oral sex on one of his special aides.
"But his image is still larger than all of that."
This from the very people who just a few months ago voraciously and savagely attacked former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain for unsubstantiated allegations concerning sexual harassment decades ago.
He wasn't worthy to be president due to such allegations, but a former president forcing a 19-year-old to perform oral sex on one of his friends doesn't diminish his place in history the slightest bit.
As for Kathleen Parker, her yawn here should forever eliminate the slightest pretense of her conservativism.
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