Don Imus was the speaker at the 1996 Correspondent’s dinner and his talk insulted President Clinton along the lines of the ongoing “conservative movement” narrative. Whitewater, Susan McDougal getting payoffs, Clintons getting indicted, missing billing records… The press had a field day — coverage everywhere. NY Times, TV Notes;Imus in the Spotlight,
Perhaps the only person more delighted than Don Imus about the flash flood of publicity following his spicy speech at a Washington dinner last week was Mike Wallace of CBS.
This is no big deal, except when compared with this week’s press response to Stephen Colbert’s appearance Saturday. The only way to describe the press response is: intentional blackout. The New York Times, for example, wrote an article about the dinner and did not mention Colbert in the article at all. A scan of Google News (at the time this post is written) finds almost no coverage outside of the blogs.
Why is there such an obvious difference in the coverage given Bush in general, compared to the coverage given Clinton? The press coverage of President Clinton led to his impeachment, even when all of the Republican-initiated investigations found he had done nothing wrong. In contrast the press continues its blackout of coverage or even discussion of possible crimes committed by President Bush.