July 7, 1998, and the third return of the notorious Linda Tripp to the Grand Jury to lay out some 20 hours of taped phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky. The scandal involving the White House intern was laced with enough innuendo and tawdry depictions to render any Summertime Bodice-ripper a moot collection of nouns, verbs and cleavage. And all this going on in the Oval Office, for reals.
At the helm was Ken Starr, crusader for morals and righteous indignation, while outside the Courtroom; reporters and every conceivable media outlet, straining for bits of titillation and prurience, while applying straight faces and feigning integrity.
And while that was going on, this otherwise dull Summer day on Capitol Hill, there was other news – other pressing issues guaranteed to take backseat that day.
Healthcare was one such issue. President Clinton put Healthcare companies covering Federal employees on notice to comply with the Kennedy-Kassebaum law which provided coverage for changes and those with pre-existing conditions. The Pentagon’s Inspector General said retired Army Major General David Hale engaged in a patter of inappropriate behavior with the wives of four subordinates, but said the evidence was that the sexual activity was consensual. Hale was under criminal investigation for abuse of power – Hale called the charges bizarre.
Jury deliberations continued in the Ennis Cosby murder case. The six man/six woman jury was weighing in on whether accused murderer Mikhail Markhasev had in face murdered Cosby. A conviction would mean Markhasev would potentially be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
And the fire danger in Florida was not over, but for many who had evacuated homes on the northeast coast, the anxiety had eased. And even though brushfires were still burning, and the possibility of a lightning strike triggering off another catastrophe could happen again, the sounds of normal life were returning. So to were the predictions of continued rain over the coming days.
Something to be optimistic about.
And that’s a small slice of what went on, this July 7, 1998 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.