The Last Word

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With Monica having gone home to 90210, and the President's poll numbers persistently in the stratosphere, the Lewinsky scandal's talking heads have swiveled over to the bad guy of the moment: Kenneth Starr. Not that there's anything wrong with that. "Who is Ken Starr?" Ted Koppel intoned in his "Nightline" lead-in. Koppel devoted half of the show to answering that question; the other half was an explainer piece on the only folks who are saying anything to the media these days: anonymous sources. The segue? A montage featuring more than a dozen different sound bites of Starr placidly saying "I can't comment."

At 10, "Brian Williams" and CNN cobbled together a kind of news variety show not seen in lo these many weeks of Monicagate. Featured was Iraq, the budget and contradictory groundhog and nonpartisan weather reports. "Brian" dutifully put former Clinton flack Dee Dee Meyers and Gabor-esque pundit Arianna Huffington side by side, but seemed well aware that there are only so many ways to read into (and in Huffington's case, disbelieve) the President's extra-high approval numbers. The Clinton allies are already preparing us for the thud that should follow the State of Union "bounce."

Last Laughs: Letterman, holding a picture of Clinton huddling with the pope: "Here he is, asking for exceptions on commandments 1-8."