Cover Story

O.J. Clinton

Issue: "Year in Review 1999," Jan. 8, 2000

A year that began with Bill Clinton on trial in the Senate for high crimes and misdemeanors ended with one of the key witnesses against him, Linda Tripp, on trial in Maryland for tape-recording phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky. The president was acquitted; Ms. Tripp lost an early motion in December and faces trial. Miss Lewinsky appeared on television with ABC's Barbara Walters and described in shocking detail her sexual encounters with President Clinton. More shocking, Juanita Broaddrick appeared on NBC's Dateline in February with credible allegations that 20 years ago, then-Arkansas attorney general Bill Clinton raped her. NBC executives had the story in hand even as the impeachment drama played itself out-prompting some to accuse the network of playing politics, sitting on a story that might have affected the outcome of the Senate trial. "But I can close that chapter. I can work with the president."
-Influential Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia on why he voted to acquit President Clinton of impeachment articles, despite his conclusion that the president was clearly guilty. Said Sen. Byrd: "The question is, does this rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors? I say yes. No doubt about it, in my mind. But the issue is, should the president be removed? ... And the Constitution requires that if he is convicted.... There's no second chance. So it comes down to the question, to remove or not to remove? "... What he did was deplorable, inexcusable, a bad example. It undermined the system of justice when he gave false testimony under oath. He lied under oath. But I can close that chapter. I can work with the president." "Is that what you want to do in this case-just to save this man? To ignore the facts? To have a different legal standard? To make excuses that are bleeding this country dry? The effect of this case is hurting us more than we will ever, ever know. Don't dismiss this case. Find out who our president is. Come to the conclusion not that it was just bad behavior. It was illegal behavior."
-Rep. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), one of the House managers who argued the House's case against President Clinton in the Senate, arguing against attempts to short-circuit the impeachment trial. In the end, the case did not turn on the law, but on politics. After presenting the legal evidence, lead prosecutor Rep. Henry Hyde appealed to the more noble side of senators' political judgment: "Equal justice under the law is what moves me and animates me and consumes me. And I'm willing to lose my seat any day in the week rather than sell out on those issues. Despite all the polls and the hostile editorials, America is hungry for people who believe in something. You may disagree with us, but we believe in something." A high-flying economy
While prophets of doom warned of a coming Y2K economic collapse, the profits of Wall Street grew: first D10K, then D11K. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed the 10,000 and 11,000 marks as the economy surged. Dour-faced Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan worried about the party getting out of hand, so he turned the music down with multiple but modest interest-rate hikes. And while many upstart Internet companies netted gains for investors (see p. 34), they operated at a loss. High-flying athletes come in for a landing
Hockey (Wayne Gretzky), basketball (Michael Jordan), football (John Elway), and tennis (Steffi Graf) bid farewell to giants of their sport. Baseball lost Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, even as his Yankees won the World Series for the 25th time this century. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were to basketball what Bill Gates and Microsoft are to industry. Mr. Jordan's Bulls dominated the NBA and his retirement broke up the Bulls into pieces smaller than the monopoly-busters at the Justice Department could ever hope to inflict upon Microsoft. Gone are coach Phil Jackson, power forward Scottie Pippen, and gadfly Dennis Rodman, who bombed in a short stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. Sportswriters repeatedly used the phrase "the Michael Jordan of hockey" when referring to the retirement of the NHL's legendary Wayne Gretzky. It could just as well have been the other way around. The Great Gretzky holds 61 different National Hockey League scoring records, including most goals (career, single season, and playoff) and most assists (career, single season, and playoff). He singlehandedly changed the sport and helped popularize it south of the border. In his retirement year, ice hockey's prized Stanley Cup was awarded in sweltering Dallas, Texas. After winning his second straight Super Bowl title, Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway hung up his cleats. Mr. Elway was football's comeback kid: Famous for improbable late-game comebacks, he rallied the Broncos with 47 game-saving drives in his career, more than any quarterback ever. Danger in the workplace
Summertime madness propelled into the headlines the frenetic world of "day-trading," in which steel-nerved investors buy and sell stocks rapidly and hope to make quick profits off the daily undulation of the markets. Mark Barton lost his nerve and thousands of dollars. Then he murdered his wife and beat to death his two children with a hammer. After that, he shot up two Atlanta day-trading offices and killed another nine. Barton finally shot himself in the head while stopped in the parking lot of a BP gas station. "Pray for our city," Mayor Bill Campbell implored on TV as police closed in. In November, police in Hawaii said 40-year-old Byran Uyesugi, a Xerox technician, methodically shot to death seven co-workers, fled in a company vehicle, and held off police for five hours before being captured. The next day in Seattle, a camouflage-clad gunman wearing a dark overcoat, baseball cap, and sunglasses calmly entered the offices of a boat-repair company and opened fire, killing two and wounding two.

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