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Sunday, August 1, 1999

Talk is Cheap
Hillary Strikes Back

by Clinton Fein

By Hillary Rodham Clinton

Dearest Arianna Huffington (and any other pop-psychologists posing as journalists, pundits and columnists):

I recently gave an interview to Tina Brown's new magazine, Talk. I know a lot of you are offended by my decision to speak only to Talk about Monica Lewinsky - a subject you all obsessed over for the better part of 1998. Some of you even won Pulitzers because of your obsession, although thankfully not you, Arianna.

Well, let me clarify a few things that appeared in print that seem to be the focus of your obsession, once again, now that you've saturated everything there is to say about JFK, Jr.

Much has been made of my statement that Bill was abused as a child. To be specific, the exact wording of the piece has me saying, "He was so young, barely four, when he was scarred by abuse. There was terrible conflict between his mother and grandmother. A psychologist once told me that for a boy being in the middle of a conflict between two women is the worst possible situation. There is always a desire to please each one."

For those pathetic little pseudo-psychologists with no lives and no clue, allow me to enlighten you. The word abuse has more than just one definition. In fact, one definition is "to use wrongly; misuse" much like your very abuse of the statements I made and your intense and somewhat unnaturally disturbed focus on the word abuse. It's your own narrow little interpretations that necessitate our having to qualify every statement we make, and why Bill was forced to ask what was meant by "is" since you seem to have a very limited understanding that words do in fact have more than one definition.

Abuse is something that can vary in degrees. Yes, there is sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse, the latter being the least damaging on a superficial level, but potentially as damaging in the long run. And then there are those of you, like Andrea Mitchell from NBC who suggest that my pointing out that Bill was a product of abuse between his mother and grandmother denotes a disrespect for her memory. (I won't go into some of the rumors about Andrea and her husband, since I have a vested interest in my husband's legacy regarding the economy given the rather large shadow of Lewinsky, Clinton fatigue and my possible run for the Senate). Because I suggested that Bill was abused emotionally, doesn't mean that his mother or grandmother intended or meant to abuse him deliberately. The same way, Arianna, that your husband's coming out of the closet and your own broken marriage might not intentionally inflict emotional abuse upon your daughters but may have an unintended negative impact on them. Unless you are willing to admit that every decision you have made has been purely and solely about their well being and not your feelings and your needs. (Perhaps a few less media appearances and a little more time with them will prevent you from being accused of being an abusive mother one-day).

Many of you are stupid enough to think I was unstrategic enough to have made a mistake by speaking to Talk. Let me help you out. I'm abusing you now, and I know just how to do it. The same way you abused my daughter and me for the last year, by poking your dirty little noses into our bedroom and into the affairs of our marriage and family. When I said I'm no Tammy Wynette and don't "stand by my man" I did not mean that I gave up my right to remain with my husband if I so choose. What we allow in our marriage, what is and is not permissible, is really not your business. Were he ever to abuse Chelsea - yes abuse -whether sexually or physically, you can bet I would be out of there quicker than a vast right wing conspiracy could say Vince Foster. Or become the first First Lady to kick the President out of the White House. I don't need an impeachment hearing for that. In fact, the "conflict between two women" thing was his idea! But that his actions may have been emotionally abusive to her, I know his intentions and I know how much he loves me and loves my daughter. Which is more than you can say about Michael.


Hillary Rodham Clinton


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