THURSDAY: One Hundred Years of Solicitude

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WASHINGTON: One hundred hours of tape on the wall, one hundred hours of tape ...

The White House videos have been released. Supplementary audio tapes will soon join them. But just this round of barely audible, amateurishly filmed coffees, speeches, and star-studded dinners alone would require four days of uninterrupted viewing. So who's watching?

Print journalists, such as TIME's Karen Tumulty, are treated to screenings in an auditorium at the Old Executive Office Building. "It's very much like a movie theater, right down to the plush folding seats, and the tapes are showing pretty much continuously. At certain times, though, (White House aide) Lanny Davis has put together highlight films, and we can shout 'go back' or whatever."

So the highlights themselves are chosen by the White House?

"I think Davis has actually been pretty genuine about showing the reporters what they came to see," says Tumulty. "Anything with a Huang, a Chung, or a Trie."

But what if one of those hours should happen to tell all? Is anybody watching every minute?

"No one person, or even news organization, could possibly check it all," says AllPolitics correspondent Tom Moore. "But the Justice Department has the tapes. The congressional committees have the tapes. And one of the great things about this country is that as a journalist, there's always an enemy willing to do your leg-work for you."

Thursday’s nuggets: Clinton pregnant warning to donors at a May 1996 White House dinner, "This (election) could get away from us in a hurry." And his blatant admission at a Michigan fund-raiser: That a Democratic Party TV ad campaign financed by "soft-money" donations was "central to the position I now enjoy in the polls."

Republicans are crying foul; Democrats are likely to point out that being observant is not a crime. And it's not likely to get juicier than that.

The review so far, from Tumulty: the tapes are damning, but not in the way Lanny Davis — or Republicans — are thinking.

"There's no smoking gun as far as the law goes," she says. "But you watch hour after hour of this, and it becomes apparent that this is really disgusting. It's just disheartening to watch."

Ah, democracy.