This Sunday on ABC’s This Week, host Martha Raddatz, filling in for George Stephanopoulos, had a panel discussion about the recent reemergence of Monica Lewinsky. Raddatz brought up Lewinsky’s article in Vanity Fair, where she rehashed her experience during her affair with former President Bill Clinton and the ensuing scandal. One of the members of the panel was Bill Kristol, writer and editor for The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine. Raddatz turned to Kristol first, as his magazine floated a conspiracy theory about Lewinsky’s recent appearance in the spotlight. Basically, they said that shadowy allies of Hillary Clinton are managing Lewinsky in order to help out Clinton’s 2016 White House run.
The great thing about this moment was that Raddatz pressed Kristol to explain how this conspiracy would work. Kristol seemed befuddled, so he did what any good conservative would do — flip the script to Benghazi. Basically, because he was called out by Raddatz on his outrageously inept and silly conspiracy theory, Kristol was left with nothing else but to bring up Benghazi and the Republicans’ latest issue to attack Hillary with, Boko Haram.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
RADDATZ: The “Roundtable” now: Bill Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard; Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; Illinois Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger; and talk radio host Michael Smerconish, author of the new novel “Talk.”
And, Bill Kristol, I want to start with you. Your magazine said, quote: “We’re guessing that Lewinsky’s reemergence now, months before Hillary is likely to declare her candidacy, is probably being stage-managed by some division or other of the vast pro-Hillary conspiracy, whether Lewinsky knows she’s a pawn or not.”
RADDATZ: Do you stand with that statement?
BILL KRISTOL, EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: I stand with that guess.
RADDATZ: You stand with that guess?
KRISTOL: It’s a little ironic. We’re being — having a little light-heartedness about Monica Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton.
RADDATZ: OK. How would that work that — this conspiracy? Do you sit down with the Vanity Fair editors?
KRISTOL: Yes, well, you could. I think — I believe Hillary Clinton knows the editors and the publishers of Vanity Fair. But that’s not the issue. And I don’t think Monica Lewinsky ultimately will be an issue one way or the other.
Benghazi is a serious issue. Boko Haram is a serious issue. And Monica Lewinsky isn’t.
Video via This Week:
I don’t understand why Kristol is invited on talk shows and treated like a man with actual knowledge. Over the years, the one thing he has shown is an ability to be demonstrably wrong about nearly everything he discusses or writes about. Whether it is predicting elections, talking about foreign policy, discussing social issues or talking about the possible outcome of wars, Kristol almost always comes out on the wrong side of history. He might be wrong more often than Dick Morris. Two months ago, Rachel Maddow ferociously lit into Kristol’s record of being spectacularly wrong all the time.
It is sad, and morbidly funny, to watch a pundit respond to one outrageous conspiracy theory with another conspiracy theory. For Kristol, it’s just another day.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).