It wasn’t exactly a notable witticism when David Brinkley remarked of President Clinton’s lengthy and rather flowery victory speech that: “We all look forward with great pleasure to four years of wonderful, inspiring speeches, full of wit, poetry, music, love and affection, plus more goddamn nonsense.” Nor was it one for the quotation dictionaries when he added that Clinton “has not a creative bone in his body. Therefore, he’s a bore, and will always be a bore.” Yet these unremarkable opinions were the talk of the country for days afterward. This was because people suddenly realized that for once, after months of tedious television coverage of a tedious election campaign, someone on television allowed to escape, in the language of men, a widely held opinion whose expression would ordinarily have been inhibited by journalistic “professionalism.” Here was an obvious social faux pas—which was...

 
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