On ABC Monday, Good Morning America positioned itself as the only major network morning show to refuse coverage of Monica Lewinsky's latest accusation against former Democratic president Bill Clinton. Lewinsky, writing for Vanity Fair in a February 25th article, charged America's first black president with a "gross abuse of power" constituted by his affair with the then-22-year-old White House intern.
Today covered Lewinsky's remark the most fully, with NBC correspondent Kate Snow telling viewers:
“In a lengthy, almost academic piece, Monica Lewinsky reinterprets all she’s been through...She says she now associates her affair with President Clinton with the gross abuses of power making headlines today.”
Snow presented the victim of Clinton's abuse remarkably objectively, recognizing Lewinsky's charge against the Democrats of being reluctant to acknowledge one of their own as a vile predator:
"Lewinsky is hopeful some in the country will now view what happened to her through a different lens, acknowledging, 'Some people feel my White House experiences don’t have a place in this movement, as what transpired between Bill Clinton and myself was not sexual assault, although we now recognize that it constituted a gross abuse of power.'”
CBS This Morning did spotlight the former White House staffer's allegation against Clinton, albeit briefly. The result was a sympathetic portrait of Lewinsky:
"Lewinsky says their relationship was a, quote, 'gross abuse of power.' She writes about her experience, saying, 'By and large, I had been alone, so very alone. Abandoned most of all by the key figure in the crisis, who actually knew me well and intimately. I don’t believe I would have felt so isolated had it all happened today.' Lewinsky praised the brave women speaking up about sexual inequality in light of the Me Too movement."
But Good Morning America paid Lewinsky no attention and, therefore -- some might say -- no respect. At a time when sexual harassment is front and center of the media's ever-changing stage, one would think the most egregious and well-documented action of that crime by the nation's most powerful man -- America's Commander-in-Chief -- would be eminently worthy of address. Alas, not so -- according to Good Morning America -- when it involves that Democratic paragon of the lack of virtue, William Jefferson "Slick Willy" Clinton.