Ultimately, this episode reveals less about the Clintons than about the decaying culture of Washington journalism. Like the Bourbons, the Washington press corps forgets nothing, forgives nothing and learns nothing. They remain utterly oblivious to their own mean-spirited hypocrisy.
Is there a reason why the enduring, 30-year bond of the Clintons merits more withering scrutiny than the multiple unhappy marriages of ambitious politicians such as Senator John McCain and Rudolph Giuliani? Is there a reason why the marital privacy of elected officials should be violated, while media moguls like Rupert Murdoch can discard their wives with impunity?
Meanwhile, it is reassuring to know that Mr. Healy, at least, is a high-minded professional searching for significance. As the Times reporter told the American Society of Newspaper Editors a few years ago: "The media's future depends on journalists exercising this responsibility in a way that earns them the public's trust and confidence …. The most meaningful part of being a journalist, and the reason I chose that path, is the reward of telling stories about real-life, high-stakes matters of consequence, stories that will have an impact on real people."
That says it all.