Broder -- "getting killed" with negative email over column on Clintons' marriage -- claims to "wish" it were "nobody's else's business"

Video ››› ››› JOE BROWN

On a Washington Post Radio program, Washington Post columnist David Broder defended his public speculation on the state of the marriage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton. Asked whether his May 25 column "generate[d] more positive email or more negative email," Broder replied, "I'm getting killed." He explained that "the reaction was highly negative" and that readers had told him Sen. Clinton's marriage "is ... nobody else's business." But he said he disagreed.

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On the June 1 broadcast of Washington Post Radio's Post Politics On-Air, Washington Post columnist David Broder defended his public speculation -- in a May 25 column -- on the state of the marriage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton. Asked by Washington Post national political editor John F. Harris whether his May 25 column "generate[d] more positive email or more negative email," Broder replied, "I'm getting killed." He explained that "the reaction was highly negative" and that readers had told him Sen. Clinton's marriage "is her business and her husband's business, and it's nobody else's business."

But Broder disagreed with his readers' views. He stated: "I wish that were the case," but "because of the special role that he [former President Clinton] has played in her [Sen. Clinton's] life ... he is not a silent partner." He added that "obviously people thinking about the possibility of her [Sen. Clinton's] return to the White House are also contemplating what does it mean for his [former President Clinton's] return to the White House."

As Media Matters for America previously noted, Broder's recent interest in the Clintons' personal relationship seems to conflict with his own earlier writing about the newsworthiness of affairs involving former President Clinton, as well as those involving previous presidents and presidential candidates. In his May 25 column, Broder hinted that there is something unseemly about former President Clinton's relationship with Canadian politician Belinda Stronach by noting that a May 23 New York Times article on the Clintons' marriage was "anything but unsympathetic" because it "touched only lightly on the former president's friendship" with her.

But in the wake of then-candidate Bill Clinton's appearance on 60 Minutes with Hillary in 1992 to respond to tabloid accusations of a long-term affair, Broder wrote: "It's a whole lot more useful to voters to understand why Bill Clinton has won the trust and admiration of people in both parties over his 20 years in politics than to know the details of his private life." That was then. Now Broder appears to think that it's less useful to voters to understand why Hillary Clinton has won the trust and admiration of her constituents and many other Americans than to know the details of her husband's private life.

From the June 1 broadcast of Washington Post Radio's Post Politics On-Air:

HARRIS: David, you wrote a column a few days ago about a question that I often get, as somebody who has written about the Clintons, speculating about what the sort of political impact would be of her marriage. She's the most famous woman in the world, arguably, but also married to one of the most famous people in the world. That column, let me ask you -- did it generate more positive email or more negative email?

BRODER: I'm getting killed!

LITZINGER: Don't send him any more email!

BRODER: No, the reaction was highly negative, and basically said, "Why are you poking around in what ought to be a private part of her life? Her marriage is her business and her husband's business, and it's nobody else's business." I wish that were the case. But in reality, because of the special role that he has played in her life -- played again yesterday in making a nominating speech, in effect, for her at the Democratic convention up in Buffalo -- he is not a silent partner. And obviously people thinking about the possibility of her return to the White House are also contemplating what does it mean for his return to the White House.

Network/Outlet
The Washington Post
Person
David Broder
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Bill Clinton, Propaganda/Noise Machine, Hillary Clinton
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