October 24th, 2007

If All This News Is Fit to Print, Why Do We Feel Like Ralphing, Then Ralphing Again?

by Philip Baruth

Funny, but different sorts of sick-making stories have slightly or even dramatically different sorts of ways of making you sick. Take today’s absolutely crippling ABC News report on Giuliani’s connection to accused serial-molestor Monsignor Alan Placa.

the mayor, the wife, the accused
Giuliani, third wife Judith Nathan, and the man who sanctified the second marriage they busted up, right.

The charges themselves made VDB want to hurl: months after Placa was asked to cease priesting, and in the direct wake of the molestation charges, Giuliani found a cushy berth for the Monsignor over at his own consulting firm, Giuliani Partners.

Why in God’s name, you ask? Well, Placa was Giuliani’s best man at his first wedding, and he apparently presided at Giuliani’s second trip to the altar. You know how second weddings form bonds stronger than the wood around them.

And bad-boy Bernie Kerik, also one of the Giuliani Partners team, needed spiritual guidance, so it looked like a win-win to America’s Mayor, all things considered.

Look for this story to do the damage the actual Kerik story never seemed to do. We wrote a long piece last week, arguing that Giuliani was a lock for one of the two spots on the GOP ticket next year, and we stand by it.

But if ever a story had the potential to relegate a guy to the VP slot, this would appear to be it. Happy Birthday, Mitt.

But back to the infinite ways the news can make you ill. Now that Hillary Clinton has moved aggressively into general-election mode, we’re in for a spate of doe-eyed accounts of how romantic the Clinton marriage has always felt from the inside.

Hillary, dishing to Essence magazine:

“Oh he’s so romantic. He’s always bringing me back things from his trips. He brought me a giant wooden giraffe from Africa. Oh, he bought me this watch,” she said, holding out her left wrist to show off a Chanel watch, its bracelet made of white cubes shaped like elegant dentures, if you can picture it. “I had dental surgery, and he said it reminded him of teeth.”

A wooden giraffe. And a watch that looks like, well, teeth. This is not just romantic, but so romantic?


Sure, the mention of the giant wooden giraffe is no doubt supposed to remind Essence readers of Clinton’s much-ballyhooed trip to Africa, but it reminds us of something else as well: Clinton drumming late into the African night, quite literally, when the Paula Jones lawsuit was dismissed.

And correct VDB if VDB is wrong, but isn’t a wooden giraffe the sort of generic gift you buy now and assign a recipient when you get stateside?

The Teeth Watch, though — that seems specifically purchased with Hillary and only Hillary in mind.

And all of it, really, is just too much information for those of us who watched this faux romance peddled for eight years running during the ’90s.

Not enough to make us want to hurl massive chunks, Giuliani/predator-style, but just that least little bit, at several points during the afternoon, like accidentally running across pictures of a prematurely wizened Tommy Lee french-kissing a freshly botoxed Pamela Anderson.