Last Tuesday, June 22, a current events program entitled Panorama, distributed by the BBC, interviewed President Bill Clinton in the wake of his recently released book. I watched the interview but didn't have a tape recorder handy. Luckily, I, at long last, have tracked down the transcript of the interview. I have put into bold print certain quotes which I personally find quite risible.
In short, Clinton hasn't changed much.
He still blames "right-wing" reporters who do not get challenged by the media for simply reporting the public's right to know about a scandal in the White House. The claims of victimhood that Clinton invokes here are incredible:
Dimbleby (interviewer): [But] you can't have had any grounds for complaint when the Press did go at you when you became President ... Because you knew it was going to happen, you brought it on yourself in a sense by running for it.
Clinton: Yeah, but I don't like that because that exonerates everybody else of responsibility for the decisions that they make. The New Right that controlled the Republican party in Washington and the political press had the same interests. They thought it was all about power, I thought it was about how power was used ... Others kept score in a totally different way. You know, are we hurting the other side or not? Have we got a good story today that is about personal destruction?
Dimbleby: But if you knew you had enemies like that, you offered them a gift with the Monica Lewinsky affair, didn't you?
Clinton: Of course I did, and was it rational? No. So I do my very best to explain why I think it happened … But I hope that you and everyone else who asks me this question never has to know what it's like to have somebody that despises you be given unaccountable legal power to indict the innocent, because they will not lie and to exonerate the guilty because they will ... And you know, it’s hard to think straight when that’s going on ... I don't make any excuses for myself, you've already said I'm pretty tough on myself and I try to be ... But I frankly think Washington went a little haywire, you know just ever since Watergate, there was this idea that, you know, we treat all politicians as if they were basically crooks, and we just keep looking until we find something. And that's the way the press kept score, and that's the way the Republican right kept score ...
The former President maintains that the definition of sex presented to him while testifying to the Grand Jury was "bizarre," explaining that although however contorted the definition given him, he still can't answer one way or the other whether or not the sex that he had with Monica Lewinsky was oral. He is adamant that this kept him from concentration on his policies, his legacy, and what was best for the American people:
Dimbleby: You've explained ... how you felt this was really a private matter and was wrongly exposed publicly, but one thing people were puzzled by, which was when you said you hadn't had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. Did you seriously, when you said that, not consider oral sex to be a sexual relationship?