July 19, 2001

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if Washington politicians finally figured out this intern thing just is not working out? Just years after Monica Lewinsky made the term intern into a punch line for 101 political jokes, now we have the Chandra Levy story. Granted this latest intern scandal to grab the headlines is a bit more serious, it still makes you wonder what these politicians are thinking.

Don't they realize that the national media (I'll try to keep myself out of this classification) is hovering around like a bunch of vultures waiting for some silly political figure to mess up and give them an easy subject? Let's face it folks, readers, listeners and viewers simply can't get enough of intrigue and cover up. Nothing makes it easier for the press to provide the viewers top choice of programming than a political sex scandal. The media loves it for a number of reasons but most importantly because they are typically long and drawn out. That's right, we can almost count on the politician who has been caught in the act, extending the story line by weeks or months with the typical line of denial, then partial admission and finally the whole story. That helps the writers and broadcasters have an easy front page story for weeks on end as bits and pieces of the story break daily. It does make me wonder why some of these big city police departments don't put a few of these reporters on the payroll as they seem to be having better luck finding clues in the case of the missing intern than the police do.

I've learned something from all of this though. If I ever have a loved one turn up missing, the best way to insure the greatest cooperation of law enforcement and the largest public awareness campaign possible is to allege they were having an affair with a political figure. So next time old Lake runs away and I'm having trouble finding him, I think I'll make a press release suggesting my black Labrador Retriever had been seen in the company of the president's dog in some shady establishments. Old Lake's picture would be plastered all over the news and it would make it much easier to find the silly dog.

I don't mean to sound heartless, as I am sure the Levy family is struggling through a very difficult time right now during the search for their daughter. Our prayers go out to them and hope they have a happy ending to this story. I'm just saying that they should take comfort in the fact that because of this political love scandal, they are getting the best possible investigation and publicity to aid the search. There are thousands of missing people across the nation whose names are not household words.

Well I've traveled far away from my original road of complaining. What I really wanted to gripe about was this whole intern thing. I guess it just gives me a way to take one last stab at old "Slick Willy" and his trials and tribulations with Monica. Apparently Representative Gary Condit of California slept through the two years of media coverage of the presidential intern scandal. Either that or he like the thousands of other public figures that think they are above the law or are too good to be caught. Even if he had nothing to do with the disappearance of the 24-year old intern that he admits to having an affair with, his name will forever be associated with the scandal. Unlike President Clinton, Condit can't fall back on his get out of jail free card. Bill had a thriving national economy to fall back on and to make the public look past his adultery and lies. All Condit has is the fact that our nation let a president get away with it so why shouldn't a Representative get the same consideration.

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