Documentary - The Hunting of the President

The Hunting of the President

The amazing facts behind the decade long attempt by some to take down President Bill Clinton as he rose to prominence. Steve Taylor-Bryant locks out the interns and investigates…

Let’s start with a fact – This is very much a partisan documentary film. It is made by a Democrat supporter of the Clintons and narrated by President Clinton’s friend Morgan Freeman. However facts are facts, the film doesn’t hide Clinton’s faults or actions and presents a case that maybe, just maybe, the attacks on the Clinton’s were as Hillary Rodham Clinton once said, "a vast right wing conspiracy".

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill Clinton is a film made by the reputable journalists Harry Thomason and Nickolas Perry, from the book by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason, and doesn’t just cover the time in administration of Bill Clinton but delves back into his time in Arkansas. We are introduced to ARIA (Alliance for the Rebirth of an Independent America) who seem as dodgy as they sound and, at times, the stories of plots to take down the then governor seem more like the work of an Aaron Sorkin political drama than a possible reality but there they are as large as life boasting on screen about their involvement. The Stage management of Gennifer Flowers by Larry Case and Larry Nichols is just what no one needs let alone a prospective President and shows a complete disregard for truth and fact by a gossip hungry tabloid media and the lengths some people, in this case State Troopers given the honour of being on the governors protection detail, will go to to lie and manipulate their own futures within the White House. But when sexual scandal has always hung over Bill Clinton like a storm cloud and seems to be an easy way to get your fifteen minutes of fame, what Ken Starr did was an illegal abuse of power.

Ken Starr was a lawyer appointed to Government by President Ronald Reagan and served under the first Bush President, George H W. Why such a staunch Republican (he switched allegiance in 1975 just like Reagan before him,) who donated to his party, was put in charge of an independent case looking into the suicide of Vince Foster and the Clinton's Whitewater property deal is pretty much still up for debate. Foster's death was ruled a suicide but Starr wasn't happy with that and dragged up as much muck as he could and, when looking into any corruption by the Clintons in the property venture, he could find none. He badgered those involved and his thirst for Clinton blood knew no barriers. When a Whitewater member, Susan McDougall, refused to make up facts to fit Ken Starr's vision, she eventually refused to cooperate entirely leading Starr to have her jailed.

After not being able to get Bill Clinton on any crime or fraud, Starr expanded his remit to take in marriage infidelity and eventually the truth about Clinton's affair with Pentagon intern Monica Lewinski came out. Starr led the first impeachment of a sitting President, leading to Clinton being embarrassed and banned from being lawyer for five years but not much else, or so we thought. What Starr had actually done was change the law which meant future administrations could pretty much do what they wanted.

Now don't get me wrong. I am not a Democrat, I am not even American and have no clue which party I would follow if I was, but the constant muck raking and hounding during that decade was beyond belief and makes George W Bush look like he got off lightly. The documentary itself is a little longer than needed, as the film makers edited in far too much newsreel in my opinion, but the content is well worth a watch.

Image - IMDb.