After Monica, a vacuum p.9

By: George Garneau How do you beat an X-rated soap opera about the intern
whose trysts lead to a president's impeachment? Stay tuned

You'd have to be a Martian not to have heard of Monica Lewinsky, the most famous White House intern in history. Her media saturation made her far and away 1998's biggest story for Americans.
Even though the mainstream media balked before reporting and choked in telling the salacious tale of the president and the intern having ""inappropriate sexual contact"" ? dare we say fellatio? ? in the White House, the story tumbled into the public domain in January and rarely left Page One, as detail after sordid detail oozed out all year long.
In December, the House voted to im-peach President Clinton ? the second impeachment in history ? for trying to cover up the affair. He faces a Senate trial when Congress reconvenes this month.
An Associated Press poll of newspaper and broadcast editors confirmed the obvious: the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was 1998's top story ? and that verdict was affirmed by in a similar poll on AP's Web site, the Wire. Visitors to the Newseum in Arlington, Va., agreed.
The story broke on Internet gossip columnist Matt Drudge's Drudge Report as it was being fine tuned by Newsweek's Michael Isikoff ? it was no-holds-barred ever since.
Readers weary of the sleazy tales from the White House, independent counsel Ken Starr and Congress took heart from another story. Two big-hearted sluggers went toe-to-toe in an inspirational quest for posterity: the single-season home run record.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire surpassed Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs. McGwire hit 70 to Sosa's 66 as both shattered the record set by the New York Yankees' Roger Maris in 1961.
Editors and wire users agreed the home-run race was the
No. 2 story of 1998. Newseumgoers voted for John Glenn's return to space.
Wire readers agreed with editors on nine of the top 10 stories, but differed on the order. Balloting began Nov. 24 ? before U.S. troops began bombarding Iraq.

AP/Chris O'Meara
AP's Top Sports Stories of 1998
(Ballot point totals in parenthesis. No. 1 vote worth 10 points, No. 2 worth 9, etc.)
1 Mark McGwire breaks Roger Maris's single season
home run record (1,433)
2 John Elway leads Denver Broncos to Super Bowl
championship (972)
3 Yankees win record 125 games in a season and
postseason (789)
4 NBA locks out players (688)
5 Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls win third straight
NBA title ? sixth in eight years (468)
6McGwire-Sosa home run race (404)
7 Nagano Olympics (386)
8 Jeff Gordon dominates NASCAR (316)
9 Florence Griffith-Joyner dies (276)
10 Casey Martin wins in court over PGA Tour (242)
Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, waves (top photo) Oct. 29 as he heads to Space Shuttle Discovery. Mark McGwire (above) faces press during race for home run title. Rescue workers (below) at bombed U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 7.
AP/Khalil Senosi
Top 10 Stories of 1998
by Readersby Editors by Newseum
(1,302)(299)Goers (765)
1 Clinton-Lewinsky scandal 1 1
2 McGwire-Sosa home run race24
3 Iraq showdown53
4U.S. Embassy bombings7?
5Hurricanes Georges, Mitch46
6Global economic turmoil35
7School shootings810
8Glenn returns to space92
9U.S. elections-GOP slide67
10India-Pakistan nuclear tests??
?Tobacco settlement108
Source: Associated Press
?(Editor & Publisher Web Site: http://www.mediainfo. com) [Caption]
?(copyright: Editor & Publisher January 2, 1999) [Caption]


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