Aug 18, 1998 10:53 AM
by M K Ramadoss
In a front-page cartoon in the staid French daily Le Monde, a weeping
Clinton apologizes to the Statue of Liberty, his hand reassuringly gripping
"Take your hand off me!" Liberty snaps back. Italy's best-selling daily
Corriere della Sera carried a cartoon showing Clinton holding up his hand
but looking down his trousers as he said: "I swear on everything I hold most
Italy's center-left La Repubblica showed a naked Clinton clasping his
stars-and-stripes boxer shorts, captioned in English: "Starr and strip
Corriere said the real tragedy was the confrontation between Clinton and
his true self, between the President of the United States and the boy who
never knew his father.
Britain's Sun tabloid said in an editorial that Clinton had demeaned his
"Maybe it is unrealistic to expect politicians to act like angels. They are
human beings like the rest of us after all. One affair, maybe two, might be
excusable. But Bill Clinton is a serial philanderer," it said.
"A world that has no respect for the leader of America, has no fear of
America either," The Sun said.
The French provincial daily Midi Libre focused its anger on the American
media and its justice system.
"The obscenity of the media-judicial circus is far more disturbing than a
presidential womaniser's lack of sexual control," a Midi Libre editorial
"Clinton is certainly not virtuous, but in offering this 'official lie' he
has more tragically betrayed his own family than the American people," it
The Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet questioned whether the United States
could now "wash away the stain" of Monday's "absurd spectacle."
"(This is) a country where a dual morality, hypocrisy and nonsense have
been allowed to dominate politics and the mass media for years, and this
don't make it look so reliable as a world policeman," the tabloid said.
"Clinton's careful confession yesterday and his apology probably means he
will be able to remain president, but with reduced authority and this ridicule
hanging over him."
French Socialist deputy Jack Lang, reflecting France's strong distaste for
meddling in people's private lives, volunteered to organise free-thinking
artists, intellectuals and politicians into an international support
movement for Clinton.
Felings and desires are no one's business but one's own," Lang said in a
statement. "Oppressive regimes never hesitate to dive into one's private
But Italy's right-leaning Il Giornale, accusing the U.S. president of
twisting the truth, had some advice for his wife: "Dear Hillary, when the
stock markets are shut, you ought to pack your bags."
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