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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 June 2004, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
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Your comments on the Clinton interview.

Due to the high number of e-mails we get we cannot guarantee to publish every single message we receive. We may also edit some e-mails for legal reasons and for purposes of clarity and length.

The views expressed on these pages are not necessarily the views of the BBC. The e-mails published will be reflective of the balance of opinion received.


Overall a good iterview - but I agree with Clinton that spending 20 mins on the Lew affair was absurd - Panorama is meant to be a serious current affairs programme not a sleazy tabloid - as Clinton said: "Look, just - you made a decision to allocate your time in a certain way. You should take responsibility for that."
Liz Cregan, Birmingham, UK

I am very disappointed with David Dimbleby who allocated too much time on the "small" Lewinsky affair that he hadn't dig deeper into Clinton's mind about how he sees Mr Bush and his right policies. Most importantly how he sees John Kerry could turn things around for a better world. The interview should have been more forward looking. Shame to BBC.
Lisa, Chorley, UK

I am outraged by the BBC and David Dimbleby's tabloid approach to this interview and the excessive coverage given to Clinton's private life. I do not turn to the BBC for more tedious cover of the Lewinsky affair. This was an opportunity for serious discussion of issues which are so pressing right now - Iraq, US foreign policy, the US election and for reflection on the achievements (and failures) of his presidency - and these were not given adequate coverage. Get your act together BBC.
Ms Jo Wackrill, London, UK

It was a great interview, although i was disappointed that too much time was wasted questioning Lewinsky affair. Clinton was great, an truely remarkable and knowledgable man. It was interesting to see his opinion on current affair. It made me realise how important the job Tony Blair is doing. Clinton definately is one of the grestest American presidents, and only wish he was still in the office.
Charlie Cao, Leeds, UK

I was really pleased that Bill Clinton took Dimbleby to task for his focus on the Lewinsky affair. Clinton was right. The media all too often focus on tantalizing details of politicians lives that have no relevance to their leadership, all to sell a newspaper or boost ratings. These distractions do not make us better informed citizens nor do they contribute to larger public debates, no, these distractions tend to shape public opinion in ways that are simplistic, and keep us uninformed on the real issues affecting our lives. Dimbleby lost an opportunity to explore with Clinton in much more depth his decisions in and impact on national and international political policies.
Mary Ebeling, London, UK

David Dimbelby conducted the interview professionally. It was simply a 1st class interview. The best ever given by the president. Well done BBC.
Lydia Mount, New York, USA

We'll trade you Rather for Dimbleby.
Kelley Garvin, US (Arizona)

Lying under oath by their president to the American people is the real issue and cause of the irrevocable stain on Clinton's term of office and his legacy.
Phil Coates, Palo Alto CA, USA

God, I miss him. And I regret like hell every negative thing I thought about him when he was in office. You don't know what you've got until it's gone.
Sean Smith, Fresno, CA (USA)

I contrast this with the sycophantic interviews conducted in the US media
Betsy, Jacksonville, FL
I really enjoyed this and wanted to hear him more. For once there was a genuine sense of the man. Bill Clinton seems to really reach out on the personal level and although he may spin certain aspects on his presidency, he does present himself well as someone who tried to make a difference. It is positively affirming in how he approaches problems with a 'you can still fix things' attitude. Although David Dimbleby gets hung up trying to get BC to admit yes/no to something, his questioning generally did bring out a lot of interesting responses.

In reply to the focus of David Dimbleby on Monica, I think it is important to know that side of Bill Clinton and it is the limitations of the timeslot that means certain questions have to be given fuller precedence. Had she not been dwelt upon, and at least for some time, the interview would seem as if there were issues censored. There basically needs to be more interview time, perhaps on the website where people could choose what aspects he talks on and also give him the opportunity to talk further in depth.
Andreus, London, England

An interview with any celebrity would be interesting; the one with Clinton was the best, because of who Clinton has been and continues to be. I think that Clinton makes a great interviewee, and Dimbleby should feel honoured to have had the opportunity of sitting face-to-face and knee-to-knee with a man of Clinton's calibre.

However, he spilled a lot of my precious viewing time harping over the Lewinsky affair, at times prosecutorial, while I had hoped that he would have covered the current affairs and Clinton's perspective on them. That was disappointing. Dimbleby. Next time please consult or poll your audience as to what appeals to their interests.
J.K.A. Singh-Rathore, Brussels, Belgium

Clinton was hugely impressive, often making the questions seem more interesting than they actually were. I agree with him utterly on Dimbleby's time and timing of Monica, but also he did not bring up Northern Ireland (though Clinton did), despite the fact that that was the greatest contribution to the UK, which the BBC apparently serves. It reminds us once again, thank God Clinton at least cared,
Claire Higgins, Northern Ireland

Your journalist did a spectacular job interviewing the impeached Clinton. I contrast this with the sycophantic interviews conducted in the US media by the likes of Oprah and Dan Rather. I hope you Brits consider Dimbleby a national treasure.
Betsy, Jacksonville, FL

Bill Clinton was great - a wonderful, frank interview - a real forward thinking President, who truly recognised the threat from al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, and even brought the Israelis and the Palestinians together. If only he was President now our world would be a much safer place to live in. Never mind what he did for Northern Ireland. Thanks Bill.
Brian Polly, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland

I've just watched the interview along with my 18-year-old son. He asked me why George Bush can't speak as well as Clinton. For my part I can't understand why people voted for a man who can hardly string together two sentences. I thought the interview focussed too much on 'the affair', but the rest of it reinforced my opinion that Clinton has been one of the best presidents of recent times. Its just a pity he couldn't do the job for another term. The world needs a better American president than the one currently in office.
J McCune, Bangor, N.Ireland

Absolutely brilliant interview...Dimbleby was good but Clinton was out of this world
Virginia Filbin, England
A great piece of television, but David Dimbleby was guilty as charged by President Clinton - spending too much time delving into the detail and personal aspects of the Lewinsky affair. Clinton is a remarkable man, and tonight's Panorama led me back to re-read the vision that he shared in the Richard Dimbleby lecture (http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/news_comment/dimbleby/clinton.shtml) just months after 9/11. He presents a compelling vision for how we should be building the world for the future - perhaps politicians in Europe, US and (considering the our recent election results) especially in the UK should read and take note.
Simon, Northampton, UK

Needless to say Panorama has given us another insightful interview. Yes as a Clinton supporter I'm biased, but Dimbleby while he could have prodded a bit more, he did a good job. As for Clinton he was a good deal more intelligent and more importantly more candid that I expected.
Ian, Dublin, Ireland

If you yearn for the glory days of BBC current affairs then don't bother to watch. If you taped it, then fast forward through 25 minutes of the interviewer obsessing about Monica. Any cub interviewer that cared to listen to their subject rather than reading from their notes would have (eventually) picked up on Clinton's rather fine answer to this prurience and moved on to something of substance. In the 3rd quarter there are some insights but towards the end Dimbleby runs out of steam and starts asking the easy ones. I'm sure the producers are congratulating themselves with getting the facility (and the publicity) but if they don't care about the product why should we?
Paul, London

Absolutely brilliant interview. These two guys were eyeballing each other in order to gain credibility. Dimbleby was good but Clinton was out of this world.
Virginia Filbin, England

Bill Clinton used the candid 'speak' unavailable to him in his presidency. As at the time, I still cannot believe that a sexual 'slip' ( which I am told 90% of the male population succumb to and personally care not a lot about!) could almost bring to close a presidency that has done so much good both to his nation and those abroad.

Perhaps this might be a lesson to all in power in both the political and journalistic fields - private lives should be dealt with at home - it might be a little more difficult to fight an opponent on pure ideology and mechanics of a way forward but the 'ordinary' people want 'straight' talk which, from tonight's interview, is becoming clear, will only be revealed in history.
Brenda Bower, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

As usual the BBC, and David Dimbleby have given a programme that was bound to capture, even for pure titillation. And, unfortunately there was a bit too much of this. He is a man who did something, no matter what stress or pressure he was under at the time, that he will regret till the day he dies. But there comes a point when a situation in a person's life has got to get less attention for the sensationalist factor. The interviews that are being given to promote Clinton's book are there for a cause, and, after watching the programme, I think I will go out and buy his book. All hail to promotional tours. A very good interview, but slightly too much on the "Hello" type journalism. A pity. Not enough politics.
Nigel Kippax, United Kingdom

I thought Dimbleby did an excellent job of interviewing Bill Clinton. The time he spent on Monica Lewinsky was appropriate, not only for historical reasons, but also because Clinton devoted much of his book to that episode in his life. The interview confirmed Clinton as being utterly self-absorbed, to the point of risking making enormous errors at a time of crisis. He seems to be saying that in order to counter Republican attacks on his policies he was justified in having an affair with Monica. Clinton's attacks on the media were shameless and out of place.

He is the man who put his Presidency at risk. Further, nothing he said backs up his claims to have done everything he could against terrorism during his administration. Finally, I think he will have a hard time living down his faint praise of Senator Kerry potentially being "quite" a good President. I, for one, am glad the Clinton years are over. His mismanagement of American foreign policy left us all with a much worse problem with militant Islamic terrorism.
Robert, Arlington, Virginia, USA

Bill Clinton's remark that US/European intervention in Kosovo did much to rapidly diminish the slaughter is blatantly untrue. In fact, following US intervention, the killing escalated to unprecedented levels, as had been predicted by UN observers. The intervention of foreign forces effectively cleared the way for such atrocities to take place. His comments regarding Rwanda and the North African situation were also patently untrue. If the Clinton administration was so concerned with the situation in North Africa, why then was the bombing of a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant sanctioned by him? This strike effectively wiped out over 50% of Sudanese medicine production, forcing the country to rely on expensive imported drugs, contributing significantly to the current humanitarian crisis within the country.
Alex Mckechan, Scotland

I am disappointed that David Dimbleby spent so much time on the Lewinsky affair
Patricia McKenna, New Malden
I am disappointed that David Dimbleby spent so much time on the Lewinsky affair, so much so that he had no time left to explore Clinton's achievements in the economy etc. Also he seemed unaware that in America the word 'quite' equates with 'very' in this country. Where we use 'quite' Americans say 'somewhat'. I thought that someone with his experience should know this, instead he challenged Clinton when he said that Kerry would make quite a good president. Clinton was as impressive as ever.
Patricia McKenna, New Malden, UK

I think David should have asked more about Clinton's opinions on the current management of the White House on a grander scale than terrorism - 9/11 (although I recognise this is an important issue). It appears to be the case that the world's most powerful man is simply incompetent with his poorly given speeches and his assortment of joker nonsense.
Jonathan, Northampton, Northamptonshire

In 50 or 100 years time, I truly believe that Clinton will be remembered as one of America's best ever presidents
Paul, Barking
I wish that the Americans had never had that amendment that stops their elected officials from running for more than two terms of office. For all his so called sexual faults (which have been blown up out of all proportion), Bill Clinton is still the best man to be President of the United States of America.

The man went a great way to paying off their huge national debts and being responsible to the rest of us on the planet on things like the green issues. This is aside of his tireless, genuine work for peace in places like Palestine and Northern Ireland - and calling for true equality amongst men of all creeds, races and religions.

In 50 or 100 years time, I truly believe that Clinton will be remembered as one of America's best ever presidents: The man is awesome and inspiring.
Paul, Barking, England

I am so glad to see 'The Come Back Kid" be able to say his side of story, with people taking it seriously. To me, in my lifetime he has been the best President the US has ever had. I am now forty something so I've seen a few.

Clinton tops Reagan by so many good ways. I'd rather see his shining blue eyes on my money than the dark Reagan's eyes. It's Clinton who pulled us out of Reagan's greedy deficient. Clinton is way more deserving.
Desiree Hoover, Pacifica, U.S.A

The interview with Bill Clinton tonight on Panorama in my opinion can only be classed as perfect journalism. Bill Clinton is and always will be a great man and wonderful to listen to, he is such a great voice in the world.

The way in which Bill Clinton was interviewed was excellent, no punches pulled. I'm sat here watching this great event of interviewing techniques, allowing him to cover what topics he wishes to talk about but also being drawn into very emotional and private areas of his life.

One moment in the whole interview showed me what a solid and powerful individual he is, such passion and feeling showed in his eyes when speaking of his legal matters concerning Monica Lewinski and how Starr was involved in this. A beautiful moment indeed to see this from such a great man.

I can only praise the BBC and the team involved in this nights Panorama program. Praise also to Bill Clinton for his work for world peace.
Stephen P Cunningham, Sunderland, England

That's just like Slick Willie, placing the blame on everyone except squarely where it lies, on him
Rick Porter, Charleston SC, USA
That's just like Slick Willie, placing the blame on everyone except squarely where it lies, on him. He's gotten a free ride from the media for so long when someone does start playing hardball he's get his panties in a wad.
Rick Porter, Charleston S.C., U.S.A.

This is the real Bill Clinton. He is a bold, two- faced liar (among other things) that never got brought to light because our media was too enamoured with him. Ruth Warren
Ruth Warren, Canal Fulton, Ohio, USA

It will not have escaped anyone's notice that President Clinton finally turned on Dimbleby. Dimbleby's purported wide ranging examination of the Clinton Years decided that stains on a dress worn by a White House aide was the most important event of the eight year Mr Clinton resided in the White House. His comment back to this interviewer needs to be widely applauded as it exposed, yet again the shallowness of supposed experienced interviewer who plays to the lowest of standards.

The BBC needs to raise standards of interviewing. If the viewer is going to get information then might we be given it through meaningful relevant pertinent questioning and not be obsessed with the type of questioning Dimbleby seems to think appropriate.
M Don Frampton, Newton Abbot

In my opinion I think that Bill Clinton is an absolute gentleman and one of the best, if not the best US president I have witnessed in my lifetime. He did more to capture al-Qaeda than any US president has done thus far and the fact that he has admitted to an affair should make us aware that he is an honest and outspoken individual who has the good of the people at heart.

Yes, he hurt his wife and family and he is aware of that but in my mind he is far more in command than George Bush because he has a heart. This fact makes him like Reagan, who also had a human touch. Most politicians are liars but with Bill Clinton we have a man who speaks his mind even though his actions are only human. No one is perfect but on a political scale I would put my life savings on Bill to do what is right for the people no matter what colour or creed...I dislike what America has done to the UK army, the UK people and the UK's reputation in general since Iraq... thank God for Bill Clinton for he is the only emblem keeping America great in my eyes. He made a mistake regarding his personal life as did David Beckham but he is still, as is David a leader of the people who believe in the goodness of living.
Virginia Filbin, Blackburn, England

I find it utterly disgraceful and extremely trashy... to dwell and dwell on the Monica Lewinsky incident
Alina, London
I find it utterly disgraceful and extremely trashy of the Panorama's interviewer to so very heavily dwell and dwell and dwell on the Monica Lewinsky incident.

I applaud Bill Clinton for turning the interview finally around by taking the driver's seat (he is the world leader after all and doesn't let to be pushed around, and directing it the right way; it was cool of him to be so direct in pointing out this exact situation to his "torturer".

It is embarrassing that the interviewer displayed a bad taste in choice of his questions, I do not believe that people who watch this interview enjoyed or appreciated the interrogation and exacting questions about the sex definitions, etc., the issue could be lightly joked upon at best in passing in my view; after all it is a very minor yesterday's news and mind you, it is personal.

Big request to BBC to keep things in perspective and to try to maintain some good standards: after all Clinton was the U.S president for two terms. For me this was another sad evidence of declining quality of the British TV, which is trying to appeal, give way to "Big Brother"' audiences, trading what used to be high standards for pseudo-popular appeal. Pleased that the interview was successfully turned around from a very, very bad start.
Alina, London



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The Clinton interview
11 Jul 04 |  Panorama


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