I think my theory that Comment Is Free is an attempt to get the Guardian owners to pay their editors more is getting more apposite by the day. We can skip lightly past Steve Rose's shock —shock I tell you— in finding out that if you try and discuss Israel in a public forum then, no matter now sensible your comments are, someone will misrepresent your argument and call you all sorts of horrible names. It's really to be expected of people who never experienced Usenet before coming to Blogging, the sort that believes that "grepping loon" is a probably a kind of rare bird rather than an all-too-common irritation.
No, today's "They Didn't Really Say That Did They" moment is provided by Catherine Bennett. Her article is entitled "No wonder Britain is so charmed by Bill Clinton - he's the perfect hero for a nation of cheats" and it just, essentially, goes over that from a couple of different angles. Uh huh, oh yeah! She's just accused all of Bill's fans of only liking him because they all secretly, or not so secretly, want to have their balls drooled on by an intern.
What Catherine can't get her head around is that Clinton, who was known, pre-Presidency, as a philanderer, was a philanderer when he was President and no-one in Britain seems to care much. And, really, why should they? Compared to other recent, dry-balled, Presidents he wasn't too bad at his job. And it also seems fairly obvious that he's an intelligent, articulate, charismatic speaker, so why wouldn't he be a big hit at the Hay Festival?
Perhaps if he'd been branded with a capital "A" and shunned by all right thinking people, then Ms. Bennett would be happy.