CALLING ALL AMERICAN HISTORY BUFFS—COLLECT AMERICAN HISTORY NOW

On April 25, 2002, The National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian added our 1998 cassingle, Intern Girl, to its permanent collection—the first original song in American history to center on the reasons for the impeachment and trial of an American president—William Jefferson Clinton. Issued in October 1998, this jazz song is in the tradition of composer Henry Clay Work, whose classic, "Who Shall Rule This American Nation?" (1866) was inspired by events that led up to President Andrew Johnson's impeachment and trial. (Work also wrote "Grandfather's Clock.") America's political music has a rich history, to which the Clinton impeachment added additional songs plus a musical.

American political music includes such influential songs as "God Save George Washington" (1780s), "Tippecanoe and Tyler too" (1840), and "We Shall Overcome" (1960s). When Andrew Johnson was tried for impeachment in 1868, three musical pieces preceded the event: "Who Shall Rule This American Nation?" noted above, "Andy Veto" (1866), and " "The Veto Galop!" (1867). None of these songs centered on the impeachment and trial's cause—Johnson's attempt to remove the Secretary of War. The three Johnson-inspired musical pieces arose out of conflicting views of reconstruction policy.

A spectacular 1992 CD features "Who Shall Rule This American Nation?" and "The Veto Galop!" in Tippiecanoe and Tyler Too, A Collection of American Political Marches, Songs and Dirges, by The Chestnut Brass Company and Friends (Newport Classics). Richard M. Nixon, who was impeached by the House Judiciary Committee (a technical impeachment because it did not proceed to trial), inspired the song "Watergate Blues" by Tom T. Hall and a comedy record The Nixorcist featuring an impersonation of Sam Ervin's take on Watergate.

Intern Girl was recorded at Robert Berry's Soundtek Studios in Campbell, California, and manufactured by Tiki Recording Studios-O'Neal Productions, in San Jose. It was overseen there by Ron Akin.

The song was written before the discovery of such tragedies as Clinton's encounters with Kathleen Willey and Juanita Broaddrick. Willey tells of sexual harrassment by Clinton in the wake of her attorney husband's suicide. The Broaddrick story was told 21 years after it occurred, to Lisa Myers, on Dateline NBC. Clinton was Arkansas's Attorney General at that time. Broaddrick stated to Myers that Clinton had raped her. Clinton did not deny the sex, but the assault.

Intern Girl is a sparkling song written in September 1998. Its spirit captured the dynamism of Monica Lewinsky and William J. Clinton which had unfolded before the writer's eye like a bright banner. The lyrics revealed the alliance's hopelessness and basic foolishness.

The original cassingle art, which McDowell ordered, took note of the sadness of the girl's situation. Falling in love with a star does not make one a star. The powerful older man and inexperienced-young-woman dynamic was obvious. Exploitation like this hurts. When it becomes a scandal that spreads over the world, it hurts far more.

Most important media people did not take Lewinsky's side. She was framed by them as a temptress luring a virtuous American president from the path of righteousness. This was a retelling of the Adam and Eve story as set down in Judeo-Christian tradition. These traditions have cast women in the role of scapegoats down the centuries. They have done women great harm here and this must change. The title of a British series, Eve Was Framed, is a protest and rightly so.

Why did feminists obligated to come to this Eve's defense not do so? Why did Jewish journalists fail to defend her in such an obvious case of exploitation plus covert anti-Semitism?

But a remarkable Gallup Poll finding, gathered on December 28-29, 1998, shows another side of this complicated story. Much empathy existed in American society for both Hillary Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. In this poll Americans were asked "What woman have you heard or read about living today in any part of the world, do you admire most?"

Monica Lewinsky was placed at number ten and Hillary Clinton at number one. People had a clear-eyed understanding of social hypocrisy and power disparity. They were compassionate. They identified. In America, the ideal is a single standard for both sexes in sexual matters. The actual practice is a double standard.

The American people knew powerful men prey on inexperienced women. They understood Lewinsky was a minnow, not a mighty temptress. They understood Hillary Clinton was totally committed to her long-term marriage. This Gallup Poll finding is not only unusual. It is a dramatic example of empathy and social intelligence. It is fortunate this Poll was taken at that time. It counters the impression that Lewinsky received widespread public condemnation. She did not.

The art work Dr. McDowell ordered for Intern Girl is interesting because it is prophetic. Artists, such as George Orwell, have revealed the future.

Occupied with research at the time of writing the song, Dr. McDowell knew only a few facts of the affair. At first she had assumed this was another Packwood-type case, i.e., that Clinton had charmed a reluctant Lewinsky. (In the Packwood cases the women were not charmed.) Clinton's charm was well known. Dr. McDowell did not know Lewinsky had pursued Clinton, like a rock-star fan, at the time of writing the song.

When Dr. McDowell saw photos of the two people, she concluded this was like the Louis the Fourteenth-Louise de la Vallière affair—a love match in which patriarchal institutions dictated the terms. The outcome would end badly for the woman.

We must build a new conscience towards women on issues like this since age and experience do matter. Whales must not swallow minnows, whoever they are. William Blake's observation, "One law for the lion and the ox is oppression," is apropos here. Women are an oppressed group in America as they are in most countries of the world. Women do not have the same options men do. Power disparities influence many, though not all.

Clinton is an enigmatic person. Like the hero of Oedipus Rex, he did much good. He also had glaring flaws that were his undoing. What unconscious factors dictated his conduct? Was he, like Oedipus, driven to do what he did by factors outside his awareness? These great questions will inspire many books and films.

Intern Girl was sung by Kirsten Clover, who now sings for Opera San Jose. Her back-up vocalist, Earl Lord, is a church music director. Their names are pen names. The song entered a world alive with covert anti-Semitism, misogyny, sexual Puritanism and gender discrimination. All these were pulled from the unenlightened past and put to use. Judgments will be rendered on these forces as time goes on. Lewinsky herself remarked that the American people did not elect a priest.

The ensuing media circus tested objectivity and moral character. Fair reporting was not the rule. But there were notable exceptions such as Oprah Winfrey and Dateline NBC. These blind spots in American talk shows, journalism, and feminism will become themes in works of high drama. They will occupy historians and scholars in many other fields such as women's studies, psychology, journalism and law, for years to come.

Bill Clinton, like Thomas Jefferson, will be one of the most written-about presidents in American history. The myth of the Mighty Woman Temptress will be dispensed with in evaluating the events because the Minnow Versus the Whale analogy is obvious. The December 1998 Gallup Poll cannot be overlooked.

Intern Girl is a cassingle in its original wrapping, and is a limited edition made in September 1998. The price is $199.00. California tax is 8.25%.

 

 

Intern Girl Poster

Poster size 11"x 17".

 

You've Read Monica's Story, Now Hear Monica's Song.

 

They've done it again! That's right, the teams of Rodgers & Hart, and Jagger & Richards are just gonna have to step aside for that duo of McDowell & Loventhal. Their latest collaboration, "Intern Girl," is a penetrating look at the "trial of the century." It is the first song in American history to examine the causes of the impeachment and trial of an American president. America has a long history of tuneful political commentary and "Intern Girl" fits right in. It tells the story from Monica's point of view. So if it's political satire with a beat that gets you up on the good foot, you'll want to own "Intern Girl." Lord knows we need all the smiles we can get. - Randall W. Anderson, Music Specialist, Stacks 'n Facts, San Jose State University Library.

 

"Funny stuff." - Mr. KABC.

 

"Very funny, well-produced, and fine for radio." - Jim Murphy, Music Director, KEZR and KLUE

 

"Very good, very funny, I want to feature it.' - Peter Jon Shuler, South Bay Bureau, Chief of KQED radio

 

"I like it!" - Kim Vestal, KARA

-back to top-

Three impeachments: President Andrew Johnson, President Richard M. Nixon and President William J. Clinton.


Kathleen Willey's story was on Sixty Minutes.


Juanita Broaddrick's story was on Dateline NBC.


Are housewives stars too?


Women were scapegoated in the Adam and Eve story, and Monica Lewinsky was cast in the role of temptress, just as Eve was.


Eve was framed!


The American people voted for Monica, the spunky intern, in a Gallup Poll taken on December 28-29, 1998.


The American people saw Lewinsky was a minnow, not a mighty temptress.


The art work for the 1998 Intern Girl was prophetic.


A comparison between Bill Clinton and Louis the Fourteenth.


Should rock stars take advantage of young fans?


Should whales swallow minnows?


Is Bill Clinton like Oedipus Rex?


How much covert anti-Semitism was hidden in the media circus the Bill-Monica scandal brought out?


Bill Clinton will be one of the most written-about presidents in American history.


The blind spots in American journalism on this scandal will be discussed for years to come.


Humanity has agreed to end racism, thanks to the valiant efforts of many. Now it must agree to end misogyny and anti-Semitism. These are some of today's biggest goals.

In SHE's musical revue section, Four Young Women of Valor, a black Muslim woman attorney defends Monica Lewinsky, Anita Hill, Patty Hearst and Joan of Arc against gender discrimination, as well as other forms of discrimination.



All forms of prejudice must fall.
To say WOMEN MATTER today is to help solve the painful problems Marjane Satrapi has set forth with such compassion in Persepolis. Satrapi's tragic book is a clear reminder that people in all conditions of life must be treated with respect, love and insight.

Without love, insight, and equality, humanity cannot survive.