Prediction: If they settle the writer’s strike, it could be bad for Hillary because Jay Leno will make Huma jokes! (Remember: Huma = comedy gold.) It certainly seems much more likely that the Huma innuendo would make it into the mainstream via late-night monologues than via investigative reporting. [Won’t it make it into the mainstream by bloggers discussing how it might make it into the mainstream?–ed Don’t think that trick will work. The blog/bloodstream barrier seems too robust. The late-night-joke/bloodstream barrier isn’t. And remember, that ate night rabbit-hole into voter consciousness is not a byproduct of blogging. As far as I can see, it’s a byproduct of the Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky scandals, which appear to have convinced Leno, Letterman, et. al. that if they didn’t joke about Clinton’s rumored sex life they’d look like fools and would miss out on some good material. (And if they did, it’s not like they’d be sued for libel.) This is one way Hillary is hoist on her husband’s petard, Huma-wise.
But there’s another petard. Let’s assume what is likely to be the case–that the Huma rumor is a) unprovable if true and b) un-disprovable if untrue. Under the old rules that means it would never be proved and would probably never surface. If it did surface –say because it was the subject of vicious campaign push-polling–a simple denial by both parties and it would be semi-officially "false." In the new Webby post-Lewinsky world it’s more likely to surface, which makes the subsequent denial all the more important. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not impossible to issue a denial so convincing that even gossip-addicted bloggers drop a juicy rumor. (Here’s an example.) The trouble for Hillary is that when it comes to sex rumors she and her husband (unlike, say, John Edwards and his wife) have no credibility. They threw that away when the philandering charges they righteously denounced in 1992 and 1998 turned out to be basically true.
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