A new PBS documentary on the life of former President Bill Clinton airs Monday and Tuesday. The documentary begins with the Rose Garden confession about the Monica Lewinsky affair. Is this really the "start" of Bill Clinton's legacy?
The film was written and produced by Barak Goodman. Goodman is the co-founder of Ark Media. His company has been nominated for an Academy Award and won many filmmaking awards including the Peabody. He decided to create the 4-hour "Clinton" film because he wanted to document the similarities (and differences) between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
The documentary begins with the Lewinsky story and several staff members and associates are interviewed, some speaking for the first time about the affair. Yet, Monica Lewinsky, herself, does not appear in the film. The reasonÂ—to prevent the documentary from being "sensationalized."
Lewinsky has kept a low profile over the years and moved to London in 2005 to avoid the spotlight. This film will likely throw her right back into the fray. Why is it that when someone mentions Bill Clinton's name today, his political career is not talked about, only his brief interlude with Lewinsky is mentioned?
Programs about JFK do not begin with his affairs with Marilyn Monroe, Angie Dickenson or Kim Novak. Nor do programs about Eisenhower, Johnson, Harding, Roosevelt or Jefferson begin by discussing their extra-marital activities.
Lewinsky is not involved in this documentary, she is not trying to sell anything, she gets no money from this project, and she is trying to go on with her life. It is unfair to begin a serious documentary about a great President's legacy with something so unimportant. Leave the girl alone!
And if Newt Gingrich is mentioned in the film, since he was the main pit bull in the attack on Clinton, his affair, happening at the same time, is probably not mentioned or explored in great detail. Hopefully the film explains the near impeachment as the witch-hunt that it was.