HOW'S IT PLAYING?
September 18, 1998
Since the story first broke in January, the Monica Lewinsky investigation has dominated the American media. But how has the world's media reacted? Following a background report, Terence Smith talks with four foreign journalists about how its playing around the globe.
JIM LEHRER: Media correspondent Terence Smith has the international reaction story.
A RealAudio version of this segment is available.
NEWSHOUR LINKS: MEDIA
September 17, 1998:
Four foreign journalists discuss reaction to the scandal.
September 14, 1998:
A discussion on the media's coverage of the Starr report.
September 8, 1998:
Is Dan Burton's private life fair game?
September 3, 1998:
The Monica Lewinsky story follows the president to Russia.
September 1, 1998:
Financial news gains more and more coverage.
August 28, 1998:
A look at media coverage of Princess Diana, a year after her death.
NEWSHOUR LINKS: THE STARR REPORT
September 11, 1998:
The Starr report and White House rebuttal.
September 11, 1998:
Mark Shields and Paul Gigot debate the potential impact of Kenneth Starr's referral to Congress.
September 11, 1998:
Two former federal prosecutors examine the legal issues presented in the Starr report.
September 10, 1998:
What is the constitutional basis for impeaching a president?
September 9, 1998:
Kenneth Starr drops off his case to the House.
September 3, 1998:
Four former senators discuss whether the president should step down.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of media issues and Congress.
The White House
The House Judiciary Committee.
Yahoo!'s collection of links regarding the Starr Report.
ANNOUNCER: CTV News with Lloyd Robertson.
LLOYD ROBERTSON: Good evening. Embattled U.S. President Bill Clinton vowed today he's going to do the right thing and stay on the job.
The lead story around the world.
TERENCE SMITH: The Clinton scandal has been fodder for journalists around the world for months, from Argentina to Australia. The story has been top of the fold around the globe. In France, the editorial in the left of center Le Monde reads in English: "The hell is America," and its editor called the scandal "a new McCarthyism, which has replaced the fear of Communism with a fear of sexuality." The French, whose former president, Francois Mitterrand, had a mistress and an illegitimate child, have been startled at the invasion of President Clinton's privacy.
JEAN LOUP DEMIGNEUX, French Television: He can have the private life he wants, provided he is in good shape when he enters his office in the morning and he's able to deal with the problems of the country. Who cares whether he does have sex with his wife, or with somebody else, provided no one was hurt?
Other world reaction: from harsh to bizzare.
TERENCE SMITH: Across the channel in London, the Financial Times showed a wounded, bandaged President Clinton. The headline, "Patching up the President," and The Times said, "Even in godless, amoral Britain, the prime minister would have been obliged to resign for doing what Mr. Clinton did." And this week's cover of The Economist, a British weekly, showed an unwanted poster for "Slick Willy Clinton." For the British tabloids, Monica rivals even Diana.
DAVID SMITH, ITN correspondent: The reality is the White House must like the way some of the public debate has gone in the past 24 hours.
TERENCE SMITH: Correspondent David Smith of Britain's Independent Television News has done nearly 70 stories on the Monica matter since January.
DAVID SMITH: It's both a great story – this is a remarkable story. It's got everything. Forgive me – power, sex, lying, cover-up – it's got fictional elements that have so dramatically become fact in the past few months, and of course, it's happening around the most important, powerful man in the world.
TERENCE SMITH: Italy's left-leaning La Repubblica blamed the American president for global economic turmoil, headlining, "Sexgate Sinks the Stock Markets." The centrist Corriere Della Sera reported nine out of ten Italian women absolved Clinton, the libertine.
Some of the foreign coverage verges on the surreal, while China's government-controlled newspaper skipped the sex, one Beijing magazine, Guadong Writer, quotes a retired KGB official, who said Lewinsky was a Russian intelligence agent, as a spy assigned by the former Soviet Union, her mission was to drag a U.S. president through the mud.
The real issue for foreign journalists.
But for many foreign reporters the serious questions aren't about lying or immorality. Instead, as a Czech reporter did at the presidential press conference yesterday, they ask what impact the domestic upheaval here will have on their nation.
OLGA KRUPAUEROVA, Czech Radio: I would like to know how do you think that an eventual resignation or impeachment of President Clinton would influence the American foreign policy and the Czech-American relations.
PRESIDENT HAVEL: (speaking through interpreter) I believe that this is a matter for the United States and for the American people, who will be their President. When I have made a friendship with someone, I remain that person's friend, no matter which office he or she holds.
TERENCE SMITH: And for those foreign clients who simply can't get enough of the Lewinsky scandal, many news organizations abroad carried either the full text or excerpts of the Starr Report on their Web sites.
ANCHOR: Another potential time bomb looking for President Clinton is the possible release on video of his testimony before the grand jury.
TERENCE SMITH: Like their American counterparts, many international media plan to air some or all of the president's videotaped testimony if and when it's released.