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THE CLINTON TESTIMONY

Many Overseas Viewers See Needless Humiliation

September 22, 1998| From Associated Press

LONDON — Watching President Clinton in the videotaped deposition on television Monday in a west London pub, Tony Charlesworth said he already knows more than he wants to know about Clinton's sex life.

"I don't need to be seeing this," said Charlesworth, a 31-year-old London businessman. "They should only show it to people who need to see it. They're just humiliating him."

From Johannesburg to Jordan and beyond, many people who watched Clinton's questioning seemed to share a similar opinion. Some viewers said they feel sorry for Clinton. Many agreed the tape never should have been made public.

But in Kuwait, former oil minister Ali al-Baghli called it a historic day.

"The head of the most important country is accounting for breaking the law, just like any ordinary person. I hope this will be a lesson to us in the Third World," al-Baghli said.

In London, Sky TV showed the entire videotape of Clinton's deposition. Charlesworth, watching in the Sir Christopher Hatton pub, said he thinks Clinton did as well as he could with the probing, embarrassing questions.

"He seems like an ordinary man trying to keep his wife and kid from hearing the facts," Charlesworth said.

In Italy, Clinton's testimony was broadcast on two channels with Italian voice-over.

"Everything they're doing is ridiculous," said Andrea Amedeo, 19, a student in Rome. "He's the leader of America and the world. . . . Leave him in peace to worry about the real problems."

In Hong Kong, where passers-by watched on a screen at a shopping mall, Lisa Wong said she "supposed most people would lie to keep such an affair secret."

Germany's rail system ordered televisions in waiting rooms tuned to a nature program rather than the Clinton videotape. Rail officials said they wanted to protect children, but many adult Germans are outraged by the whole affair.

"I find the whole business extremely upsetting," German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said. "I can only repeat, in my blunt way of saying it, that it makes me throw up."

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