The Last Word

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Special ReportIf the Monica Lewinsky scandal isn't dying, it's at least breathing hard. After granting the "Christmas visit" story its 10 minutes of fame, both the 10 o'clock news on CNN and CNBC's "Brian Williams" had begun to sound a dirge for Kenneth Starr's case against the President. But by 10:25 p.m., the Lewinsky saga was gone completely. Mere minutes later, Sexgate-dependable CNBC was showing -- oh, the sweet innocence of days past! -- the Keebler Elf waving from the New York Stock Exchange podium to kick off a public offering. Has the world gone mad?

Still, we had some late-night-bombshell bombshells. Charles Grodin trotted out the head of Judicial Watch -- presumably to have him decry Starr's long leash. And the guy dropped a big one: The Secret Service "has not denied" having a White House video surveillance system, he claimed, that might just have caught Bill Clinton on film tampering with Monica. Now there's a video to trump Pamela and Tommy Lee's ...

But even Leno's monologue captured the nightgeist: "Let's move on." He then closed with three nice, clean, bland, always-good-for-a-laff jokes about Twinkies. Remember those? Letterman was playing catch-up with Air Force One jokes about the "right-wing conspiracy." It was sad. Really.

Last laughs: Okay, there was one Leno line on-point: "Bill Clinton vows to bring Saddam Hussein to his knees with a military strike. And when it comes to bringing people to their knees..." Plus, among Letterman's "Monica's Top 10 Nicknames for the President": "Commander in Briefs."

Pray for the proffer.