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x$: Pe American Income Life Insurance Company BERNARD RAPOPORT Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer ent, restraint, and professionalism. teworthy that David 13roder of the Wash/n , to graciously refer to the allegatio wom f Le swore under oath in t no sexual relations wi The press also had art-time Starr, who is the all-purpose investiga working actively as a senior partner WI Kirkland & Ellis on behalf of major com from yes the Clinton Administrat Lewinsky tapes and leaks to reporters, o So what the newspapers, magazines and television-radio have been conveying to the public are rumors, speculation, hearsay, and gossip based on the excited utterances of Ms. Lewinsky in a private conversation with what she thought was a friend. The media validly could report an investigation under way, but who has made any allegations that would lead to the riotous, almost breathless behavior by the press corps in Washington, D.C.? For example, how many times have you heard, “If the allegations are true, this is the end of the Clinton Presidency,” or “He’ll have to resign in days,” or “He’ll be impeached by Congress.’ From George Will to Sam Donaldson to Tim Russert to George Stephanopoulos to Cokie Roberts to the McLaughlin crew to E.J. Dionne to James Glossman to the experienced reporters at the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street until then, can them e with such oblique or clottitful person th at do not rise to the level of reportable all In dtl, the feverish media are sprawling from unid zy , non-existent allegations to repeated hypothetical questr as “If these allegations are true, it’s all over for Clinton,” t i polls based on these hypothethicals which are then repo back to the people to further hype the reporting. From Newsweek’s Evan Thomas \(“explosion with the allegaThe New York TiMeS’ Frances Clines \(“a verifitie uniless sludge merchant, Matt Drudge, to his Meet the Press Table with columnist William Safire, Newsweek’s Mike lsikoff and legal columnist Stuart Taylor, the bottom fell out of establishment journalism last month. The collapse of journalistic standards of fairness, accuracy and proportionality has precedents, to be sure. One could easily see it coming in recent years. But this media meltdown will be partially shielded from depthless shame, only if the facts catch up to the rioters and spare them. Otherwise, lots of prominent but precipitous reporters and editors will have damaged themselves, and that precious asset known as public confidence. 01′ THE TEXAS OBSERVER 13 MARCH 13, 1998