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Jewish World Review /Nov. 19, 1998/30 Mar-Cheshvan, 5759

Larry Elder

Larry Elder

Will the real hypocrite stand up!?

MONICA LEWINSKY, IN A FIT OF PIQUE because President Clinton failed to acknowledge their relationship, goes to the National Enquirer and sells her story for a million bucks.

The result? Monica Lewinsky becomes so thoroughly vilified that, by comparison, Linda Tripp looks like the queen of the 1998 Tournament of Roses, and Paula Jones the first runner-up.

The tramp who brought down the president! The vast right-wing conspiracy strikes again!

But consider the case of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the popular advice-giving, values-oriented radio talk-show host. A former mentor and lover, Bill Ballance, sold 20-year-old nude pictures of Dr. Laura to an Internet provider. Soon, hundreds of thousands of Americans saw pictures of Dr. Laura au naturel, and the high-fiving began.

Hypocrite! How dare she give advice on morality, probity and appropriate behavior! And she was still married (although estranged).

Dr. Laura
One smirking columnist admitted that she took delight in Dr. Laura's "unmasking." After all, doesn't Dr. Laura holds herself out as this beacon of common sense and moral justice?

The columnist said, "But instead of merely scolding her listeners, I wish she'd own up more readily to her own frailties and indiscretions. ... "

To her critics, Dr. Laura peddles the image of a straight-course life, no detours, turbulence or indiscretions. Gotcha! Why, she doesn't even speak to her own mother, yet harps about the importance of family cohesiveness. Fraud!

But don't we assume that Dr. Laura, like most of us, lived a life, made mistakes, from which she acquired wisdom? Did she pronounce herself the embodiment of perfection, sculpting a mistake-free life as the Virgin Mary of Talk Radio? If so, I missed that show.

Let's return to the president. Months after being "serviced" by Lewinsky, the president authorized $250 million for programs urging abstinence from sex before marriage and condemning extramarital sex. Can you say "hypocrisy"?

And, of course, according to the president and the first lady, everything is about the children, the children, the children.

Clinton defenders applaud him for lying under oath because, they say, he deceived only to protect the sensibilities of wife and daughter. But pundits condemn Dr. Laura for failing to broadcast her past. So, Dr. Laura, without prompting, and certainly not under oath, must come forward and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, over 20 years ago, I had some nude pictures taken."

Does this mean the president should have taken to the airwaves and said, "My fellow Americans, I am currently having an affair with a 22-year-old intern. Just wanted you to know. Thank you and good night"?

And what about the "mentor," Bill Ballance, who ratted Dr. Laura out? Apparently, his justification for exposing the pictures stems from Dr. Laura's failure to acknowledge him as an inspiration for her career. Ballance, according to one Dr. Laura critic, felt "marginalized." Put aside the argument, for which there is some merit, that Dr. Laura "brought this all on herself." What about some vermin who attempts to destroy her reputation and offend her fans by selling nude photos to an Internet provider? (Oh, I'm sure the money goes directly to some charity, probably the Make-A-Wish Foundation.) So, the guy's ticked that he didn't get more credit and seeks payback by turning Dr. Laura into a Hustler centerfold. Nice.

But suppose Monica Lewinsky had done the same thing to The Prez. After all, Lewinsky could far more readily justify going public than could Ballance. After having sex with the president, Lewinsky felt that he didn't even know her name. Clinton, according to Lewinsky, complained about a loveless marriage and said that he may divorce after leaving the White House. Thus, he signaled, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, that the future holds promise for the president and Lewinsky. Lewinsky later grew angry when newspapers published photos of the president and Hillary in loving embrace. The president then dumped her, later calling her a "stalker."

An old story, Dr. Laura's. Work hard, rise to the top, get rich, make enemies through jealousy and competitiveness.

Had Lewinsky sold out the president the way Ballance did Dr. Laura, Monica might have found happiness in the witness protection program. She could have sought relative anonymity in, gee, I don't know, maybe Borneo. But, then, they probably get CNN, too.

Imagine. Monica sits in the Hard Rock Cafe in Jakarta, and some drunk comes up to her. Slurring his words, he says, "Are you the tramp that brought down the president?"

As for me, I subscribe to the Pat Robertson dictum: "As for the sins of my youth, either the Lord has forgiven me, or the statute of limitations has run out."


11/13/98: The Clinton 400
10/23/98: My evening with Chris Rock
10/15/98: Slavery is not funny
10/02/98: Clinton --- friend of the working woman
9/28/98: George Washington vs. the Grand Jury
9/18/98: It's the perjury, stupid
9/14/98: The "Larry List" of the most fascinating women in politics
9/07/98: Why blacks shouldn't support Clinton
8/27/98:The Brown bomber strikes Justice Thomas
8/21/98:So very clintonesque
8/17/98: Gary Coleman, hate criminal?
8/07/98: How much mea culpa?
7/24/98: ATM Al?
7/24/98: Advising the advisors
7/17/98: Camille Cosby's carelessness
7/9/98: Moses mugged
7/2/98: Al Campanis -- forever a racist?
6/25/98: And you thought "coke" was worse than smokes
6/19/98: Is Jasper ‘America'?
6/12/98: Guess who's not coming to dinner
6/5/98: What now, NOW?
5/29/98:What's next, ‘burger busters'?
5/21/98: 'Stuff' happens
5/18/98: This just in
5/11/98: Stepping up
4/30/98: Who's faking whom?
4/16/98:To spank or not to spank

©1998, Laurence A. Elder