Why Bill Clinton Says Vanity Fair Is Unfair

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Vanity Unfair?

Bill Clinton's office has angrily responded to a Vanity Fair article accusing the former president of questionable business associations and a jet-setting lifestyle involving a seemingly endless string of women to satisfy what it termed his "cavernous narcissism."

The 2,200 word rebuttal calls the piece "a tawdry, anonymous quote-filled attack piece" that "ignores much prior positive coverage, includes numerous errors, and ultimately breaks no new ground. It is, in short, journalism of personal destruction at its worst."

It criticizes author Todd Purdum for devoting only a single paragraph to what it calls Mr. Clinton's "enormous charitable accomplishments."

Purdum's article relies mostly on undisclosed sources and former aides who spoke anonymously to the former New York Times White House correspondent. He is married to one-time Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers who Purdum says was not a source for his article.

In the Beginning...

The original book proposal by former White House press secretary Scott McClellan promised to be "supportive of the president" and take a penetrating look at how the liberal media slants its coverage of him. The proposal is printed in The Politico newspaper.

McClellan writes that while many recent books have portrayed President Bush in a negative light, he would take a different approach: "I will directly address myths that have been associated with him, some deliberately perpetuated by activist liberals and some created by the media.

"I will look at what is behind the media hostility toward the president and his administration, and how much of it is rooted in a liberal bias."

Truth Test

Some recent surveys suggest a striking gap between liberals and conservatives on the issue of honesty. Polling by an organization called The World Values Survey posed the question, "Is it OK to cheat on your taxes?"

Fifty-seven percent of those who described themselves as "very liberal" said "yes", compared with only 20 percent of those calling themselves "very conservative." That same survey in the Washington Examiner found those on the left were more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that one knows are stolen.

Another questionnaire done by the Culture and Media Institute's National Cultural Values Survey posed a scenario in which an employer would be willing to pay someone in cash in order to avoid taxes and allow a worker to collect unemployment benefits. Forty-nine percent of self-described progressives said they would go along with the plan, while only 21 percent of conservatives said they would.

However, in fairness such data could suggest liberals might just be more honest about their dishonesty.

Up in Arms

Islamic hardliners in Indonesia rushed a town square, waved flags and attacked demonstrators with bamboo sticks Sunday, in Jakarta. 12 of the protesters were injured. The Islamic defenders front called for the deaths of the demonstrators and other members of their group.

So what was the original purpose of the demonstration that so enraged the hard-liners?

It was a rally to promote religious tolerance, staged by a group of about 200 Christians, moderate Muslims and members of a sect called Ahmadiyah — which is banned in some conservative Muslim countries but legal in Indonesia.

The gathering was intended to celebrate Indonesia's tradition of religious diversity.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.