Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

National Perspective

Washington Insight

October 21, 1998|From The Times Washington Bureau

TAPING TERROR: While the Nobel committee was busy last week rewarding meritorious advances in science, literature, peacemaking and other life-giving enterprises, the fine folks at the ABC News Web site demonstrated that much-appreciated journalistic penchant for accentuating the negative. "If there were an Ig-Nobel Prize," ABC asked in a cyber-poll, "who do you think would win it?" Web surfers were given four choices: Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic; Osama bin Laden, suspected mastermind of the African embassy bombings; Iraqi President Saddam Hussein--and that mad taper, Linda Tripp. The winner, with almost a third of the vote, was Tripp. It could not be determined how many times Monica S. Lewinsky might have voted.

*

STARR FISH: The prosecution never rests. Independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr will be back in court today seeking to revive a multi-count tax indictment against President Clinton's former golf partner Webster L. Hubbell, his wife and two Little Rock, Ark., friends. In July, a federal judge tossed out the entire indictment on the grounds it was a "fishing expedition" on Starr's part. The independent counsel had no authority to investigate Hubbell's taxes, the judge ruled. But the relentless prosecutor remains convinced the ex-Clinton confidant has secrets to reveal, if only enough pressure is applied. Pressure was applied once before, when Starr sent Hubbell to prison for bilking his law firm partners. However, Hubbell failed to tell incriminating tales about the president and his wife, so the prosecutor is back to try again.

*

SCANDAL SHY: More and more people here are clawing their way onto television. But sometimes cooler heads choose modesty and decorum. Buried deep inside the 724 pages of documents released Monday in the Paula Corbin Jones lawsuit against President Clinton were transcripts of two closed-door hearings run by U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright. In the first, held in November 1997, Wright said she did not want former Clinton paramour Gennifer Flowers to commercialize a videotape made of her deposition. Flowers already had made a lot of money from selling her story--and much of her body--to the media, including certain male skin mags. In the second hearing, held last January, the discussion centered on the upcoming videotaped deposition of Clinton. Wright, who would officiate, ordered that the attention be focused solely on the president and the lawyers, adding that "the court does not want to be on camera."

*

PUBLIC SERVICE: Onetime presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who has devoted most of his career to taking dangerous products out of the marketplace, now wants to rid the political scene of the Clinton-Lewinsky matter. In a letter to Clinton and congressional leaders of both parties, Nader calls for a national referendum to save the nation from a prolonged impeachment process, saying it "will divide, deplete and demoralize the nation no matter which way it turns out." Nader wants all Nov. 3 ballots to include this yes/no question: "Should President William Jefferson Clinton remain in office?" Such direct democracy will have to wait for another day, however; Congress took no action on the matter.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|