SHOCK: CNN Panel Tears into Bill Clinton for ‘Tone-Deaf’ Response to NBC

Former President Bill Clinton’s sex scandal with Monica Lewinsky was back in the news on Monday after he lashed out during an interview with NBC News’ Craig Melvin to promote the thriller novel he co-authored with James Patterson. And surprisingly, some members of the liberal media were critical of his attitude towards both Lewinsky and Melvin, as was the case during CNN Tonight where host Don Lemon and his panel took the Democrat to task.

With Lemon’s critical tone at the very start of the CNN segment, it was like a trip to the Twilight Zone. “Former President Bill Clinton speaking out about some pretty ill-considered comments earlier about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and whether he owes her an apology,” he said just before playing a clip of an indignant Clinton defending himself.

That indignation was something former federal prosecutor and CNN analyst Laura Coates zeroed-in on immediately. “[W]hat he fails to recognize, inherently, is that while he said that 20 years ago got ‘him’ in a great deal of trouble, the truth of the matter is he has thrived over last 20 years and Monica Lewinsky, by her own account, has had the life of a hermit. One who is shamed and forced to wear a red scarlet letter,” she said in a serious tone.

Coates then declared “[t]here is a reckoning to come” for Bill Clinton. “And 20 years later we still find ourselves wondering why he won't address the fact that there was some about the victimization of her based on his position,” she added.

Up next was Brain Karem, executive editor for Sentinel Newspapers, who first said he thought Clinton “still sounded a little tone deaf this evening,” before, of course, comparing him to President Trump.

 

 

“I mean, certainly his behavior and Trump's, you kind of hear a little of each other in there,” he suggested. “I mean, it's gotten progressively worse over the years. But, you have to wonder why they're tone deaf to this. And they're tone deaf to any criticism.”

And in another bizarre moment when he was prefacing a question to CNN reporter and editor Chris Cillizza, Lemon himself appeared called out “progressives” who wanted a double standard between Clinton and Trump:

This is what some progressives are saying, they're not saying it publicly: “Why are you not -- you know, why are you beating up Bill Clinton, this was 20 years ago, and we have someone in the White House now accused of similar things, and he’s not paying the price for it. Bill Clinton has paid the price.”

Cillizza seemed to get angry that there were people calling for such a thing as he denounced them. “If it is something that we don’t condone for Republicans it should be something we don't condone for Democrats,” he insisted. “I hear this all the time, ‘well, Donald Trump lies always. Therefore, we can say anything about him and it's justified.’ I always ask people, ‘is that what you'll tell your kids?’”

He then turned his attention to Clinton and lambasted him for being surprised that people would ask him such questions. “That is not Craig Melvin, the NBC reporter who ask the questions. It’s not his fault. He gets to ask the questions, Bill Clinton answers the questions.” “Bill Clinton needs to have a good answer for that.” Cillizza wrapped up the segment by calling for people to pay more attention to the work Lewinsky was doing on bullying. “Something I feel very strongly about,” he said.

It’s nice that CNN finally came down hard on the former President, but couldn’t hay have done this a lot sooner? Like in 1998 sooner? There’s a reason their nickname is ‘Clinton News Network.’

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read: 

 

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CNN Tonight
June 4, 2018
10:18:06 PM Eastern

DON LEMON: Former President Bill Clinton speaking out about some pretty ill-considered comments earlier about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and whether he owes her an apology. Back with me, Chris, Brian, and Laura. This is a lot to chew on as well. So, the former President, he addressed the controversy over his defensive answer on NBC News this morning, where he defended how he handled the Lewinski scandal. This-- here he's tonight. Watch this.

BILL CLINTON: The truth is the hubbub I got hot under the collar, because of the way the questions were asked. The suggestion was that I never apologized for what caused all the trouble for me 20 years ago. So, first point is, I did. I mean it then and I meant it now, I apologize for my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family, and to the American people. The second is that I support the #MeToo movement and I think it’s long overdue.

LEMON: So Laura, is that enough to clean up? I mean, his answer which certainly seemed tone-deaf earlier today.

LAURA COATES: Well, I think that it did something, maybe not move the needle completely because what he fails to recognize, inherently, is that while he said that 20 years ago got “him” in a great deal of trouble, the truth of the matter is he has thrived over last 20 years and Monica Lewinsky, by her own account, has had the life of a hermit. One who is shamed and forced to wear a red scarlet letter.

And for that reason, I think that it needs to be addressed that—And not just from him but perhaps the way society has also treated her. The way people have gone after her and her behavior and her accountability. And the way they questioned her in the way they have not done so with Bill Clinton, the former president of the United States. There is a reckoning to come.

Now, I would have been more satisfied had he addressed what I thought was the most obvious reason why, a married man would not have addressed a woman who was his mistress 20 years ago with a personal phone call or perhaps with some conciliatory flowers. That was obvious to me. In fact, that wasn’t apparently obvious to him in that statement. And 20 years later we still find ourselves wondering why he won't address the fact that there was some about the victimization of her based on his position. But she also has personal accountability to reckon with, I suspect she's done so in the life she's led now.

LEMON: You know, I told Chris exactly what you said, she’s basically led the life of a hermit. Now she's out and about now. I see her and she pretty much goes out. People still look at her, she walks down the street, she's still very famous and she has security and all of those things. I remember back when this, not long after happen, I'd see her here and her friends would be very protective of her. She'd try to hide with her hair or hat or whatever covering her face. I mean, it must have just been awful for her and still till this day. How could Bill Clinton –

BRIAN KAREM: I think he still sounded a little tone deaf this evening.

LEMON: My question: How could he have not been ready for that question? Brian go on.

KAREM: I mean, there's always a saying in Washington, the only thing worse than a Republican is a Democrat. I mean, certainly his behavior and Trumps, you kind of hear a little of each other in there. I mean it's gotten progressively worse over the years. But, you have to wonder why they're tone deaf to this. And they're tone deaf to any criticism.

Like Chris brought up earlier, it's not the crime, it's the cover-up. That was the case with Bill Clinton too. He famously got out there and said, “I did not have sexual relationships with that woman, Monica Lewinsky” and obviously he did. And it's always the cover-up and that lie that gets you in trouble. It seems like politics in D.C. just love to do it. The real problem is, and I’ll make this final point. The real problem is, with all the lying goes on, I heard something tonight that rings so true. It's that when you lie so often, it's not that people begin to believe the lies, it's that they don't know what the truth is and that makes them easier to lead.

LEMON: Chris, let me ask you this, because Brian said—What you said the only thing worse as a Republican is a Democrat? This is what some progressives are saying, they're not saying it publicly: “Why are you not -- you know, why are you beating up Bill Clinton, this was 20 years ago, and we have someone in the White House now accused of similar things, and he’s not paying the price for it. Bill Clinton has paid the price.” What do you say to that?

CHRIS CILLIZZA: Well, I say that Donald Trump's -- The allegations against Donald Trump as it relates to his behavior with women, do not allow every Democrat ever to get a free pass. If it is something that we don’t condone for Republicans it should be something we don't condone for Democrats. I hear this all the time, “well, Donald Trump lies always. Therefore we can say anything about him and it's justified.” I always ask people, “is that what you'll tell your kids?” Well, whatever you're doing you can do it worse because they did it to you.

LEMON: So, there's no truth in any of that?

CILLIZZA: I -- no -- look, Donald Trump -- excuse me Bill Clinton. Guy, you got me turned around. Bill Clinton is doing a book tour with James Patterson on a book that they wrote.

LEMON: He should be prepared for that.

KAREM: Right.

CILLIZZA: He agrees to sit down for an interview, rightly the reporter does not agree what questions are on limits and what questions are off limits. Bill Clinton needs to have a good answer for that.

LEMON: Yep.

KAREM: Absolutely.

CILLIZZA: That is not Craig Melvin, the NBC reporter who ask the questions. It’s not his fault. He gets to ask the questions, Bill Clinton answers the questions. And one thing I do want to note, we should focus more on what I believe to be the grace and dignity that Monica Lewinsky in the last decade or so has handled herself with it. She has reemerged as a voice against bullying. Something I feel very strongly about.

(…)

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