The Washington Post (7/20/07) published a 700 word column focused on Senator Hillary Clinton’s cleavage: “There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.” Senator Clinton’s cleavage was described as “startling”, “unnerving”, and was likened to “catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!”
You would think that 700 words was enough coverage of Senator Clinton’s cleavage, but the American “news” media was just getting started.
On July 29, the subject of Senator Clinton’s cleavage came up on NBC’s Meet the Press. CNBC correspondent John Harwood suggested that Clinton’s cleavage was a calculated move and there must be an ulterior motive: “When you look at the calculation that goes into everything that Hillary Clinton does…” Hmmm?
The next day, MSNBC devoted 23 minutes and 42 seconds discussing Senator Clinton’s cleavage with various reports during their 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., and 3 p.m. programs. Was Senator Clinton “trying to cash in on her cleavage”? Or was she just trying to show that she is “comfortable in her own skin”? Was it on purpose? What does it all mean???
To its credit, CNN devoted only about four minutes to the Clinton cleavage that day, and Fox got it just right, by ignoring it completely--though I’m sure that if it had been Rudy Giuliani’s cleavage, they would have spent the whole day raving about it.
I have carefully examined pictures of the alleged cleavage, and what I saw was a tired woman, who looked like she had been up all night listening to a Republican filibuster against bringing our troops home. As far as the cleavage goes, it seems to be a clear case of the media making a mountain out of a molehill.
If you’ve been wondering why the Senate Judicial Committee keeps calling U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales back to clarify past statements, consider this exchange between Gonzales and Sen. Chuck Shumer (D-NY) during a hearing on July 25, 2007:
SCHUMER: What did you say to the reporter?
GONZALES: I did not speak directly to the reporter.
SCHUMER: Oh, wait a second -- you did not. (LAUGHTER) OK. What did your spokesperson say to the reporter?
GONZALES: I don’t know. But I told the spokesperson to go back and clarify my statement...
SCHUMER: …I’ll give you another chance: You’re hanging your hat on the fact that you clarified the statement two days later. You’re now telling us that is was a spokesperson who did it. What did that spokesperson say? Tell me now, how do you clarify this?
GONZALES: I don’t know, but I’ll find out and get back to you.