Mayhill Fowler is a Huffington Post writer who traveled with Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign. From June 2007 through November 2008, she covered the 2008 presidential election for Off the Bus at The Huffington Post. Today she admitted that she knew about Bill Clinton’s affair during the 2008 campaign but chose not to write about it, via Free Republic.
Bill Clinton’s Mistress: The Story That Never Was
In February, 2008, while I was covering the Texas Democratic primary for HuffPost’s OffTheBus, I voluntarily passed on an opportunity to write about former president Bill Clinton’s longtime mistress. With considerable amusement, therefore, I anticipate reading Game Change, Mark Halperin’s and John Heilemann’s salacious new book about the 2008 presidential race, which will be released tomorrow, because they apparently rush in where I feared to tread. “After some discreet fact-finding, the [Hillary campaign staff] concluded that [the rumors] were true: that Bill was indeed having an affair,” H & H write. “For months, thereafter, the war room within a war room braced for the explosion, which her aides knew could come at any moment.” That moment could have occurred during the Texas primary.
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Here is an excerpt from my book Notes from a Clueless Journalist: Media, Bias and the Great Election of 2008, where I discuss my decision not to write the story. In part, Clueless is an account of the painful and arduous method of learning journalism by doing it. As a neophyte, I had presumed to think I could cover the presidential election with no bias or partisan agenda. But Texas taught me that any reporter, like the snail carrying her house, always brings to storytelling a certain amount of personal baggage. As an unpaid citizen journalist, on the other hand, I could make choices about which other reporters could only dream. In Texas, I discovered that this enormous power was a Faustian gift.
Sometimes I thought that years of travel had taught me only one thing: to distinguish between observation and conclusion. I know what I’m looking at, but what am I really seeing? Driving back to Houston from Victoria that evening, I knew I had witnessed something significant–but did not know what. Not until the week before the Pennsylvania primary, at a midnight rally with Bill Clinton in Puerto Rican Philadelphia, did I realize that what I had seen two months before in Texas had been the specific problem Bill posed, not Hillary’s campaign itself. Managing former President Clinton must have been like trying to herd a rogue elephant. Huma Abedin, Hillary’s long-suffering and loyal aide, looked frazzled as she walked through downtown Victoria. The day when Bill Clinton had been a stellar asset to his wife’s campaign had come and gone. The autumn book-and-fundraising tour might as well have been years and not just a season ago…
At the time I covered the rally in Victoria, I had decided not to follow up on another story about Bill Clinton that had come my way–one involving his longtime mistress. I mention the nature of the Clinton story with some specificity now only because months later, after the Democratic primaries, the National Enquirer wrote about the relationship. In Texas, staring this story in the face, immediately I turned aside. If I know all about this woman, then surely every national reporter does and is as wary of the story as I am. Nevertheless, I was careful never to mention anything to anybody at OffTheBus.
Once again we find out that it was The National Enquirer who did the heavy lifting during the 2008 election uncovering not only John Edwards’ affair but Bill Clinton’s affair too.
Did you ever think you’d see the day when The National Enquirer became became the paper of record.
If the 2008 election taught us one thing, it’s that the mainstream media is dead.