Remember back when journalists were skeptical of independent investigations into presidents? In the days when Ken Starr was looking into Bill Clinton, journalists weren’t so supportive. On November 25, 1998, 20/20's Diane Sawyer grilled Starr, saying of the Starr Report: “This has been called demented pornography, pornography for puritans.”
Twenty years after he recommended to Congress that President Clinton be impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice, Kenneth Starr has written a book about it. Surely, with the passage of time and many other books exploring the Lewinsky affair and the other Clinton scandals, Starr can be treated with dignity and respect. Back then, he faced ABC’s Diane Sawyer calling his Starr Report “demented pornography, pornography for Puritans.” Twenty years later, nothing has changed.
The journalists on CBS This Morning, Monday, eagerly grilled Ken Starr about his investigation of Bill Clinton in the ‘90s. Co-host Norah O’Donnell also pressed the former special counsel about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanuagh’s role in looking into the Clintons.
By far, the biggest news story of the Trump presidency has been the Russia investigation. As of August 15, the three broadcast network evening newscasts have devoted a combined 1,854 minutes to the probe, or nearly one-fifth (19.6%) of all of their Trump news. Yet virtually none of that airtime (just 62 minutes, or 3.3%) has been spent scrutinizing Robert Mueller’s investigation — a big shift from twenty years ago, when the networks made Ken Starr’s conduct the focus of much of their coverage.
New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Adam Liptak’s review of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his involvement in Ken Starr’s independent counsel investigation of President Bill Clinton, made the front page of Sunday’s edition. It conveniently served as a defense of the Clintons against the “puritanical” “hatred” of Republicans: “Court Pick, Soldier in the Battle to Impeach Clinton, Has Regrets.” The reporters's opening and closing quotes are from former Clinton adviser current Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, surely a nonpartisan source of objective wisdom on the matter at hand.
On Tuesday's New Day on CNN, during discussions of President Donald Trump selecting Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court, CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin again fretted over the possibility that the Court will overturn Roe v. Wade and allow discrimination against homosexuals.
Today’s journalists routinely assert that it is “extreme,” “dangerous,” and possibly even criminal for the White House – or anyone else, for that matter – to criticize an investigation into the President. But twenty years ago, Independent Counsel Ken Starr was savaged by the same liberal media during his investigation of then-President Bill Clinton. At that time, Starr was harangued as a “partisan” and “inept prosecutor,” and a “peeping Tom.”
Late Wednesday’s CNN Tonight served as another case of the liberal media worshipping fake news anchor Dan Rather as he was subjected to praise from host Don Lemon as “a legendary journalist” with insight pummeling President Trump over the Russia probe and Stormy Daniels.
The liberal media’s message to Donald Trump is clear. Don’t even dare think about removing Robert Mueller from his position as Special Prosecutor. Such a decision would be considered a “radical” and “dangerous” move against a man “even Republicans” have a deep respect for. However, this was hardly the stance the liberal media took when Ken Starr was first appointed to look into Bill Clinton’s Whitewater scandal in the nineties. Back then, Starr was accused of “McCarthyism” and conducting a “Salem witch trial” into a “parody of a political scandal.”
New York Times intelligence reporter Peter Baker did all he could to minimize the scandal that resulted in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, and maximize the danger President Trump is now in, in Sunday’s “Trump Turns to Familiar Playbook: Clintons’.” Baker attacked Clinton special prosecutor Ken Starr and cited Democratic attack-dog James Carville as an authority to defend the integrity of Trump special counsel Robert Mueller.
One of the more shameless defenders of the Clinton and Obama families in author David Maraniss appeared on MSNBC late Wednesday night with The 11th Hour host Brian Williams to lament that he’s “suffering a bit from PTSD” from Donald Trump bringing up Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades but not worried because their opponents always “overplay their hand” against “Bill Clinton's defense attorney” Hillary Clinton.
New York Times Hillary-beat reporter Amy Chozick matter-of-factly compared Whitewater special prosecutor Ken Starr to Inspector Javert, the fanatical pursuer of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, while blaming him for bringing “a new intensity to partisan warfare” in his prosecution of Bill Clinton, in Wednesday’s “Starr, Who Tried to Bury Clinton, Now Praises Him.” Chozick even suggested Starr's investigation was responsible for the Clinton administration being distracted from the threat of Osama bin Laden.