Why won't Mark Halperin and John Heilemann tell us who Bill Clinton was sleeping with? This may sound like a plea from a shameless scandal-merchant for more grist, but it is actually an honest question: what makes that information privileged?
The authors assert that Bill Clinton was having an affair. They assert that Hillary and her campaign knew of the affair.
"The stories about one woman were more concrete, and after some discreet fact-finding, the group concluded that they were true: that BIll was indeed having an affair — and not a frivolous one-night stand but a sustained romantic relationship."
But they don't name the woman.
Her identity is certainly as newsworthy as the story of Elizabeth Edwards "exposing herself" in public while screaming at her husband, right? Or the story of Harry Reid saying the word "Negro," right? Or John McCain cursing at his wife (also in public)?
The entire Edwards affair is apparently fair game. As is staffers calling Elizabeth an abusive "crazywoman." This is because a less reputable news organization forced John to admit to some of it? Or are we really missing something totally obvious that separates that tawdry tale from Bill's illicit romance? No love-child?
If this is the path you're going down (and, honestly, our hatred for Mark Halperin aside we have no problem with this path!), why stop at naming Bill Clinton's girlfriend? Because she's not a "public figure"? She's fucking a former president! Why the sudden reticence? What possible code of journalistic ethics declares that you should leave that detail out for propriety's sake while including literally every other thing in this book?
Halperin and Heilemann supposedly conducted all their interviews on "deep background," Woodward-style. That is supposed to mean that nothing can be traced back to the speaker, at all. Until the speaker is directly quoted, apparently, as happened to Reid. (Er, unless the Reid quotes were from someone else, on deep background!) So: if they're willing to burn Harry, why not out Bill's girlfriend? It is just curious, that's all!
(Oh, and John Weaver "suspected" Cindy McCain had a boyfriend back home in Arizona, where she lives more or less alone, but that is merely listed as one man's suspicion, and not an established truth.)