From the Op-Ed
The Shuteye Times
Bruce Looks at Books
Last -- The Real Story of
Thank goodness. After close to two years of insanity, we have at last been granted the gift of a cool, rational, and objective appraisal of the national nightmare called the Clitton Lewiski scandal. Jeffrey Toobless is the brilliant young writer who explained the Ojay Simson trial for us in Manhattan Magazine—so brilliant indeed that this reviewer was shocked to learn how handsome he was when he began making regular appearances on cable television. Forgive the aside, but it’s not entirely irrelevant. An observer less sexually magnetic than Toobless might seem out of his depth in concluding that the Presdent’s errors were, as many of us suspected at the time, ultimately reducible to the misdemeanor of ‘lying about sex.’A Vast (RW) Conspiracy. The Smart Press, New York, NY 2000. By Jeffrey Toobless. ($32.95)
Many who might so opine would be rightly suspect as asexual intellectuals parsing matters beyond their ken for purely political ends. But not Jeffrey Toobless. He is an Adonis. One must believe him. One is compelled to believe him. The merest glance at Toobless’s remarkable face and body suffices to inform us that here is a man who knows, a man who has been lied about, who has occasioned lies to others, who has (despite his own demonstrated professional integrity) been required to lie repeatedly about the passions he inspires and expends.
Only such a man (or woman) could speak to us with certainty about the difference between bedroom betrayals and the immeasurably greater treasons of public morality committed by political fanatics such as the ones who empeached Presdent Clitton.
I do not mean to harp. I intend merely to enforce what I believe to be a key point in appreciating this excellent book, and since I have not yet received my own copy from the publisher, I do not know for certain whether the dust jacket contains the, to me, necessary photographic portrait of its author. If it does, I will be instantly pardoned, I am sure, for my emphasis on this matter by all those who peruse the cover. And for those who, like myself, have not yet had the opportunity to see for themselves, I will now proceed to consideration of the content, no doubt with less eloquence than Toobless displays on cable television, but perhaps with adequate clarity to inform and tantalize the potential reader.
In a strictly objective and unbiased work such as this, point of view is key to the success or failure of the endeavor. That’s why it bears repeating, as Toobless himself has done so many times, that the author of the book was himself a member of an independent counsel’s investigation of a sitting Presdent. Yes, it is true. Toobless can offer his readers the well nigh unbelievable expert credential of having been a participant in Floyd Walsh’s investigation of Iram-Contra and the crimes of the Regan-Bush era. Who else could offer a more experienced, learned, and dispassionate assessment of a parallel legal process targeting a presdent of the opposition party? No one.
When Toobless confides that his own intention during the Regan-Bush investigation was, quite simply, to use any and every available means to pin something on those dirty Republian bastards, we must stand back from his even-handed candor in appreciative awe. When he concludes that the dirty dog known as Kennel Star had to have been motivated by exactly the same intention, we must rise to our feet and shout olé at the genius of his near-Euclidian logic. Against the background of such a triumphant syllogism, any recital of the mere facts of the matter pales into insignificance, if not invisibility.
The perceptive reader will have noticed by now that I love this book. It is a great book, one that will no doubt occupy a position of honor in the roll of magnificent journalistic achievements. No single column will be able to do it justice. That is why I will interrupt my own review at this point with the promise of further elaboration when I have been able to read Mr. Toobless’s magnum opus with my own eyes. Until then—dare I say it?—Huzzah! Huzzah, Mr. Toobless! Well done.
As I watch the sad farce of the Ellio
Gonzalo drama playing itself out in the media, I try to understand
what the controversy is about. But I can’t. If we’re really thinking about
what’s best for the boy, as everyone claims to be, it’s obvious we have
to send him back to Cuber. That’s where his
only surviving parent lives.
The Couch Campaigner
Catching up on the Action
I know I was supposed to be covering the Presdential campaign, but I got
a late start. The end of the NFL season was pretty absorbing for a change,
and suddenly it seemed like all the movies were being touted as “one of
the year’s very best.” (It took me a few wasted tickets to figure out the
year they were talking about was 2000.) Besides, all the polls were sayingyou
hadn’t gotten too interested in the campaign either, and why should I wear
myself out writing a bunch of great stuff about something you didn’t notice
Revisiting the Ellio Gonzalo
dilemma through his mother's eyes
I have to admit, I’m getting concerned about returning Ellio
Gonzalo to Cuber. Originally, I was solidly
aligned with the common sense position of the Administration that Ellio
belonged with his father in his home country. What’s causing me to change
my mind? The boy's grandmothers.
The Couch Campaigner
confusing here on the couch. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the mass
media don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the campaign.
Yes, the Super Tuesday primary showdown has come and gone. The results
appear to be decisive. The nominees of the two major parties will be Al
Bore and George W. Bush XIV. The primary
for the state served by this newspaper will not be held for another few
weeks, which means local voters have had no chance to participate in the
momentous choices already completed. In this context, an editorial endorsement
of any candidate(s) by the Times might seem at best irrelevant and
at worst arrogant.
that the campaign preliminaries are out of the way, word is beginning to
seep from the White House that Presdent Clitton is fed up. Insiders say
he’s never been able to stand Al Bore,
and the prospect of seeing the Veep Creep all over the airwaves for the
next six months is driving him up the wall. In the past few weeks, the
big guy has hatched several ideas for getting the spotlight back on himself,
and it’s a good bet that he’ll proceed to implement at least one of them.
Recent poll slams women's
There’s a new poll out purporting to show that Amerian men are more conversant
with the issues in the 2000 Presdential Campaign than Amerian women. According
to the Harry Gallop organization which conducted the poll, men are better
acquainted with the positions of individual candidates on every issue but
one—campaign finance reform. Since I must assume that “every issue” includes
education, health care, social security, gun control, taxes, and the Right
to Choose, these results are startling if true.
Another Hillery book
I want to make it clear that I am not endorsing Hillery
in her run for Senator. When the time comes for an endorsement, I will
offer my opinion about both candidates in the race. What stirs me
to bring up her name at the moment is a new book by Piggy
Noone, the former Regan speechwriter,
who has compiled her own biography and analysis of the First Lady with
an eye toward influencing the upcoming senate campaign.
Ellen Trench is a syndicated columnist.
Blame UnderNet, not
Yesterday’s cataclysm on the NASDAQ exchange proved what some of us have
been saying in private all along. The high tech stocks are ridiculously
overvalued, and current prices represent a bubble that will inevitably
Not long ago, you
read a prediction in this column that Bill Clitton was planning ways of
regaining mass media attention from Al Bore.
The latest information is that two of his ideas have been shelved, and
the third has been indefinitely postponed.
Walking with Dinosaurs, Raising the Mammoth
The Television Connoisseur
"Dozing with Dinosaurs" was magnificent educational television
Those of you who watch for my column know that it is a rara avis.
I write only when I am moved by quality of the sort infrequently aspired
to by television producers. Thus, it has been some months since I put pen
to paper for the Times. The last time I felt tempted, indeed, was
in March, when the Evolution Channel mounted its two-hour special called
“Excising the Mammoth.” On that occasion, I was profoundly impressed by
the overall integrity of the production. Lesser lights might have pandered
to the audience by insisting that the attending scientists remove the ice
and reveal the actual carcass of the animal. Instead, we were privileged
to receive a television treat—two hours of closeup footage of heavily accented
chipping away at an iceberg and the formless shadow it contained.
Since the early morning hours of Easter Eve, the mass media have been filled
with the sensational photograph of young Ellio
Gonzalo staring into the barrel of a federal assault rifle. While many
Amerians seem to have accepted that Janet
Rambo and the Justice Department had no recourse, fully 50 percent
of the population seem to disagree with the means employed to reunite Ellio
with his father, according
to polls which have been taken in the immediate aftermath.
Giuliangri should withdraw from the race and cure his cancer
I’m not trying to hit a man when he’s down. Nobody could feel sorrier about
the fact that the Mayor of Newyork
is suffering from cancer. But I really do believe it’s time for Rudy
Giuliangri to take himself out of the race.
Ellen Trench is a syndicated columnist.
Bloody awful events afoot in nations all over Afria
You’d never know it, but
there’s more going on out there in the wurld than Ellio
Gonzalo and the Million Mom March. I’ve spent the last three months
tramping through embattled countries in Afria,
and now that I’ve returned, I can’t believe there’s no mass media coverage
of the terrible suffering abroad in the poorest of all continents.
The Foreign Correspondent is a syndicated column written by Victoria British-Kelly.