Published 21 May 1993 in the News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
President's remark was way out of line
On April 28, Attorney General Janet Reno testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the tragedy at Waco. Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, took the opportunity to do some political grandstanding and subjected Reno to rude and abusive treatment.
On April 29, commentator Rush Limbaugh covered this incident on both his radio and TV shows. He took exception to Conyers' use of the Waco tragedy to attempt to score political points. He also objected to Conyers' generally disrespectful attitude towards Reno on the (sexist?) grounds that a man should treat a woman with respect.
On May 1, at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, President Bill Clinton made some comments concerning Rush Limbaugh's coverage. In an apparent attempt at humor, the President said, "Did you like the way he took up for Janet Reno the other night on his program? He only did it because she was attacked by a black guy."
I am appalled that the President of the United States would imply that Limbaugh's defense of Reno against the insufferable treatment of Conyers was racially motivated.
I find it deplorable that the nation's chief executive would utter such outrageous and slanderous remarks. The President should be above such pettiness and mean-spiritedness.
James M. Wallace