Enter Stage Right hands out its monthly awards...
The September 1998 Earth is Flat Award
A celebration of the inane, insipid and asinine...
It shouldn't be too shocking that U.S. President Bill Clinton's recent "mea culpa" wins the Earth is Flat Award. The act of faux contrition was worthy of an Oscar, but the humble Earth is Flat will have to make do.
It was an amazing five-minute address. Even while confessing a relationship he could no longer deny, the president did not say the word "apologize." He did say "misleading," but not "lying." He told the American public his testimony in the Paula Jones suit was "legally accurate," meaning that he was hiding behind a definition of "sexual contact" that none of us would agree with, while at the same time maintaining that the details of his sexual contact were "private."
While pretending to take responsibility for his actions, he then blamed his problems on everyone else and Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in particular.
It was not an expression of contrition but an outburst of anger.
And one incredible gamble that will either go down in history as one of the most brilliant moves or one of the most stupidest.
Clinton had an escape courtesy of Sen. Orrin Hatch, who told the president that if he just apologized then all would largely be forgiven and the notion of impeachment would be forgotten. The president, however, decided that if he was going to go down, he would go down fighting and damn everyone. Damn those who believed in him and staked their credibility defending him, damn the American public who has been successfully spun into believing that this is just about sex with an intern, and damn his wife and child.
"...our bet is that instead what the nation heard Monday night [August 17] was the real Bill Clinton. He did not apologize or truly accept responsibility because he cannot; it is not in his genes. He does not admit to lying because he lies without remorse, without even recognizing it. He blames others because he deeply believes he is the wronged party. And despite the insistence of advisers he does not recognize his own peril," - Wall Street Journal
And while that approach may work with his friends, the public and his family, it will not work with Attorney General Janet Reno, FBI director Louis Freeh and Kenneth Starr. All three continue to burrow their way into the alleged misdeeds of the Clinton presidency...deeds yet to be investigated.
The final story of this chapter has yet to be written...and that is Bill Clinton's fault now.
The September 1998 Vinegar in Freedom Award
There is an old Serbian proverb that says vinegar in freedom tastes better than honey in slavery. This award is meant for events and people Enter Stage Right considers to be positive.
We hear so much bad news that we have to remember that the good guys do win some battles too.
Last May, search engine Lycos trumpeted an agreement it came to with EnviroLink, a database/portal of the on-line environmentalist movement. At the time, Lycos bragged about its new association with EnviroLink, telling the world that it was "another example of the commitment Lycos has made to promoting important issues like the environment."
End of story? Not likely.
In early August, the head of EnviroLink learned that Lycos had cut all ties with his web site, with all links and banners removed and access prohibited to EnviroLink staffers. Citing a lack of performance, Lycos told EnviroLink that they were history.
So what happened? What made Lycos dump their politically correct web chums?
It just may have been Off-Road.com, a web magazine devoted to motor sports. In early August, Off-road.com senior editor Norm Lenhart penned an editorial entitled "Enviro? Link: Does Lycos Realize What They Are Supporting?"
In that lengthy editorial, Lenhart revealed EnviroLink for what they were: radical environmentalists who provided links to groups which urged the worshipping of feces, the drinking of urine (called the "golden liquid" by The Church of Euthanasia), the use of violence and murder in fighting for environmentalist causes, and the use of suicide to help the Earth, among other family friendly ideas.
What got Lenhart mad was the apparent hypocrisy of Lycos. He wrote:
In a letter to Lycos, Lenhart wrote, "While your link 'Lycos saves the Planet' is great PR for you, following it to EnviroLink results in information that has little to do with "environmentalism", and a lot to do with anti-humanism, anti-capitalism, and a wealth of illegal activity."
Days later the EnviroLink contract was canceled.
Lycos says that the timing of Lenhart's letter and the cancellation of the EnviroLink alliance was purely "coincidental," and perhaps it was, but Lenhart and Off-road.com performed a valuable service. He got the word out and Lycos got embarrassed for likely not knowing what they were supporting. He defended capitalism and humanity against virulent human haters and he won.
"I feel that groups like ours and yours need to band together, firmly, and strongly. Together we can rid the fascism of today's so called 'environmental movement' from this once and future great country," Lenhart responded to an email of mine.
Damn right Norm. And nicely done.
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