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The Lewinsky-Straus Connection An Insider Talks Candidly About Family Ties
To the Clinton Scandal

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Heard in the hills
of Arkansas--
Beatin' ain't Cheatin'

The Lewinsky-Straus-Sulzberger Connection

An Insider Talks Candidly About Family Ties
To the Clinton Scandal
Dr. Susan Block

  September 8, 1998

My Dear Scandal-Weary Reader, 

As the Starr Report comes down (from the heavens? From a porn company in the Valley?) to Congress, I thought it would be interesting to look at a side of the story that journalists and the independent counsel have tiptoed through thus far, that is, the Lewinsky-Straus-Sulzberger connection.

In this interview, I am speaking with an anonymous member of the Lewinsky-Straus-Sulzberger family, whom I refer to as "Deep Throat Too" or DT2. As you may recall, "Deep Throat," a fine, classic pornography term, was the name of Gerard Damiano’s breakthrough X-rated film of the 1970s that is often credited with introducing hard-core pornography to general American audiences. The Starr Report is notable for bringing hard-core pornography into America’s mainstream major media, prime time television and radio, and onto the front pages of the nation’s most respected newspapers, for making a porn star of the President of the United States, as well as for making supporting porn actors out of the nation’s most prominent congresspeople and pundits.

"Deep Throat" was also the code name of the informant used by Woodward and Bernstein in their famous investigation of the Watergate Scandal for the Washington Post. My "informant," DT2, is a blood relative from deep within the Lewinsky-Straus-Sulzberger clan. 

As has been mentioned briefly in the media, Monica Lewinsky’s mother Marcia Lewis recently married R. Peter Straus of the famously wealthy Straus family that reigns over a department store (Macy’s) and broadcasting empire. R. Peter Straus is also the widower of Ellen Sulzberger Straus of the famously wealthy Sulzberger family that owns the New York Times and over two dozen other American publications and media outlets.

DT2 spoke with me on Sunday night, September 7, 1998, under conditions of the utmost secrecy, about that family’s mysterious but powerful role in the current White House Crisis, as well as DT2’s personal views of the situation. Following is our conversation, a tale of sex, power and lots of money. 

My words are italicized. DT2’s words are not. Enjoy………….DrSuzyB


What do you know about the Clinton/Lewinsky affair?

My basic postulate is this: Clinton got burned so many times from all his past girlfriends, everybody he came onto. He figured, if he didn’t touch them, there’s nothing they can say he did. So, basically the Monica Lewinsky affair was a no-touch affair. 

Is this just something you know from family sources or did you just come up with this on your own?

Oh, this is pure speculation. This is nothing I can prove. When he said "I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman," what did he mean? I think he meant that he never touched her, never entered her. 

Why do people say there was oral sex?

Because they’re not very imaginative. They can’t imagine any kind of sex except intercourse and oral. They can’t imagine the defensive screen that was built up by Clinton to try to protect himself, avoid perjury, and still have a good time. 

Or maybe he was trying to practice safe sex.

Maybe. Everyone’s talking about morality here. But basically, Clinton was trying to be moral, in his own way, trying to protect Monica, first by not touching her, and then by not saying anything. All of this is speculation, of course. I have no special inside information about this. 

Do you believe that Monica is now telling the truth about her sexual relationship with the President?

What has Monica said?

There are rumors about oral sex, masturbation with cigars as dildos. 

It’s all speculation. Can you prove any of it?

Me? No, of course not. Have you heard through family sources anything about what really went on in the Oval Office?

No. Only the two of them know what really went on. All I know is that the press is relentless in its attacks. 

And we’re here to talk about why.

The World Biggest Conference TableRight. Look at the profit and loss sheets of the New York Times, and all the other major media outlets. Before the scandal, they were having a real hard time getting customers, a hard time selling advertising. Instead of having a few newspapers, some mass media, some television, suddenly we have the Internet, we have the telephone, we have direct communication between almost anybody and anybody else. The major media was panicking, its revenue was falling. The only thing that they could sell was scandal. So what did they do? They looked for money. Who makes money? Star makes money. You can’t buy the New York Times in the supermarket, but you can buy Star.

You’re talking about Star Magazine or Ken Starr?

I’m talking about Star the tabloid.

It’s easy to get confused among the Starrs.

Right. Maybe it’s something you could tie in. Is there any family connection?

Between the Stars and the Starrs? 

Well, it’s something to speculate. If you want to generate gossip, you can run anything.

Nine to ten, R. Peter Straus wrote the Talking Points… It sounds exactly like something R. Peter Straus, like every other Straus I know,
would set up.


Speaking of gossip, let’s talk about Marcia Lewis’ marriage to R. Peter Straus. Why do you think they got married?

You know why they got married. Nine to ten, R. Peter Straus wrote the Talking Points. He did it to make Marcia happy. At the time, Marcia was still trying to take care of her daughter. It sounds exactly like something R. Peter Straus, like every other Straus I know, would set up. Sophisticated language, way beyond the girl’s ability. I don’t even think Marcia Lewis could do it. Marcia Lewis is stupid. Who could do it? Who would be motivated? It was on the computer in the Watergate apartment. Who would be calling there and why? It’s Marcia Lewis’ apartment, isn’t it? And who was staying there when she was an intern? 

So R. Peter Straus dictated the Talking Points to Monica over the phone?

You got it. Though there’s no proving this, of course.

Why do you think Ken Starr has not subpoenaed R. Peter Straus? 

Well, something between 75 and 100 million dollars and all the media connections you could ask for. Why do you think Vernon Jordan’s 30-year close friendship with R. Peter Straus and his deceased wife Ellen Sulzberger Straus was barely mentioned when he was helping Monica to job-hunt? Why do you think that Brill, publisher of Brill’s Content and owner of Court TV, who holds the opposite point of view, is never mentioned? 

He was covered quite a bit by the major media when Brill’s Content first came out and Starr admitted to leaking.

Brill was covered for two weeks. Then what happened? 

I don’t know.

Well, I do. It was suppressed. Another thing: R. Peter Straus has been a big Democrat. He was an ambassador under Johnson, did something with Carter. 

Are the other Strauses Democrat or Republican?

It’s about 50/50. Mostly Republican though. Most of the major Strauses, every Straus I’ve ever known was a Republican. But there are some Democrats, including R. Peter.

That might create some family feuding.
Big time.

Straus males, when they mingle money, they always say, "Oh yes, let me take care of your fortune for you, dear."


How do the family fights affect the Clinton Scandal, or at least the reporting of it?

Basically, the Sulzbergers who own the NY Times, Herald Tribune, Boston Globe, are in the middle of this. Ellen Sulzberger was married to R. Peter Straus for 45 years. Straus males, when they mingle money, they always say, "Oh yes, let me take care of your fortune for you, dear."

How gallant.

Very gallant. So now, Ellen’s one or two per cent of controlling interest in the New York Times belongs to R. Peter Straus. 

What about their kids?

Well, what they wanted to do about fifteen years ago, was to buy radio stations. Vernon Jordan was trying to help them with that. The Sulzberger family has been buying radio, television, newspapers, all kinds of media for the last 30 years. Now, think about the desperation that exists in all of that media. They don’t really understand how they can profit from this new, rapidly growing, free form of communication which is the Internet. You want inside gossip, the latest facts, you go to the Web. You don’t have to go to the drugstore, you don’t have to tune in at a certain time, it’s all there, at your convenience. What does this mean for communications? It means what we’ve been selling for 50 cents is free now. So what does this do to the major media? It runs them into a total desperate panic. They need scandal! Or they’re going to go bankrupt.

Are you saying that powerful media families sent Monica into the White House to create a scandal?

The inside hypothesis is this: Monica’s presence interfered with her Mommy’s playing with R. Peter Straus. It was sort of embarrassing, in the first place, to have this 49-year-old woman fawning all over this 75-year-old man, widower to Ellen Sulzberger Straus. With Monica around, what are they going to do? What can they do? What is R. Peter Straus going to do about having the kid around? So, how do we get rid of her. Why do you think the affair happened?

Clinton thought Monica came from such a good family that she couldn’t possibly…exploit him


I thought it was Monica’s idea, that she wanted to surpass Mommy and do the President.

But they paid for it. The father gave some huge amount of money, well over $100,000. And R. Peter’s friend gave a huge amount of money. Keep in mind that an internship cost between $200,000 and $400,000, if you’re into buying it. And they were. Of course, they didn’t know that Clinton would be such a fool. They couldn’t hope for it. It was too good to be true. Clinton thought Monica came from such a good family that she couldn’t possibly…

Exploit him?

Yeah. Clinton is a gentleman. That’s what his idea was, that nobody could put him down for protecting a lady he had a dalliance with. That doesn’t mean she sucked his cock And if anyone put a cigar up her cunt, she probably did it herself. The reason the semen got on her dress was she started masturbating in front of him, or seducing him, then he masturbated, and as he came, she rushed right in front of him, and caught the prize. The real issue is that after the dress got stained, why didn’t Mommy launder it?

Got to maintain the evidence.

What were they going to do, shake down the president?

It sure looks that way.

That’s the only reason to keep the dress is to shake down the president. Not for his money, of course. He doesn’t have any money.

But then there’s Starr.

Who’d been totally unsuccessful and frustrated.

The perfect puritan foil for their shake-down. But then why would Monica have told the Paula Jones lawyers that she didn’t have sexual relations with the President?

Because Monica was doing the "right thing." She was 24 years old.

But she’d saved the dress.

Otherwise, no one would believe that she was with the President when she finally told. In any case, in the Paula Jones deposition, she said they had no "sexual relations," and my supposition is that there were no sexual relations in the sense of touch contact. The closest she got to him was the sperm on her dress. That was all she got. Is that sex?

Well, yes and no. It’s sex in the sense that it’s sexual. Masturbating is sexual. But if they weren’t touching each other, then it’s not "sexual relations" according to the definition of the Paula Jones lawyers. Touching is very key to their definition. And there’s no proof that anyone was touching anyone else. I suppose they could have just been masturbating in front of each other. 

That’s what I think.

And Clinton does seem like an exhibitionist, both as a public figure and as a sexual man. What Paula Jones accused him of sounds like exhibitionism.

So he was masturbating in front of Monica. Which is fine with me. Everybody’s entitled to do that. 

I wouldn’t mind seeing him. Monica sure didn’t mind. Exhibitionists just want to be looked at. They tend to be pretty harmless. Although I don’t know if Ken Starr would agree. But at least, it could wiggle Clinton out of perjury charges. 

They don’t care if he lies or not. They just hate him, and they’re using him to shake up the country. 

So, as Monica shakes down the President, the Right-Wing shakes up the country.

You have to look at two things. The people who are in the business of shaking up the country are all rich, or financed by the rich. Rich people don’t have the same problems as poor people and middle class people. If the stock market goes way down and you’ve got your life savings of $100,000 in there, you lose it. You’re not sophisticated enough to know how to buy and sell, deal with options, so that whichever way the market moves, you make money. But rich people certainly are. So it doesn’t matter to them if the market goes down. If you’re of the very rich and your fortune is cut in half and everybody else’s is cut to one sixteenth, you’re relatively much richer, even though you lost half your money! So the people who are into mass manipulation don’t usually suffer from Depression, as long as there’s some warning. 

There’s plenty of warning now. 

And the rich are not going to suffer. They can take defensive positions which the ordinary person can’t. 

They all think he’s a hick. A shmuck…He likes blacks. He’s willing to help poorer people to get ahead.

How comforting. So how do the Sulzberger-Strauses regard Clinton?

They all think he’s a hick. A shmuck. 

Not to mention poor. Do they want him out?

I don’t know. I do know that his interests do not parallel theirs at all. He likes blacks. He’s willing to help poorer people to get ahead. He really has a populist point of view. He’s for the average American. He’s from the people, and he’s for the people. 

He’s a little like our seventh president, Andrew Jackson, a populist from the hick state of Tennessee that all of the Washington power elite hated. His marriage was looked on as immoral, since he lived with and then married his wife before she was divorced. Congress even censured him. But the people loved Jackson. And they love Clinton (so far). Because his interest in "the people" is sincere. Even if we call him Slick Willy, we have to admit he tries to represent the interests of the middle and lower classes. 

He really is oriented toward doing good. And the rich hate that about him. They call him Slick because he gets people to like him and vote for him.

The President is a natural exhibitionist.
He’s a natural exhibitionist, and channels most of his exhibitionist tendencies into being a master politician and a passionate spokesperson for the average American. Though sometimes, he channels his exhibitionist tendencies into his penis, and he wants to show it to someone who might appreciate it. It’s probably very silly and childish, and Hillary doesn’t want to be bothered with it. So he’s a sucker for eager playgirls like Monica. 

Probably. He’s an outsider. 

He yearns to be accepted. The people eat that up. But the insiders look down on it.

So, when he took over the White House, all these old insiders got cut out. Then, can you imagine the frustration of the Republicans when they reached a balanced budget that wasn’t built entirely on the backs of the poor people? The Republicans feel that the poor people should pay for everything. 

Hey, why not; after all, they’re already poor!

Yeah, to them, taking a dime from every poor person is better than taking $10,000 from every rich person. 

Going back to certain rich people that you’re related to, is there any relationship at all between the Sulzbergers and Strauses who are behind Monica and Richard Mellon Scaife who is behind Starr?

It’s a coincidence of interests. Richard Mellon Scaife has nothing to do with the Straus family, that I know of. But they’re all rich, self-interested scumbags. See, Clinton has been trying to live up to what he sees as the upper class standards. The upper class are exploiting assholes. Clinton didn’t come from that class. But he wanted to be part of it. He saw the public ideal of success and internalized it, without understanding the cop-outs which are continuous in the upper class culture. We treat our factory workers very well! Sure we do. We gave them a ten cents an hour raise last month! Understand this: Rich people don’t know anything about being poor. They’ve never experienced it in their lives. Poverty has no real meaning to him. All it means to them is that the people who are poor aren’t working hard enough or smart enough or both. They talk piously about it, they might serve on this or that charitable board, but there is no real empathy at all. The only thing they respect is money. So, you have Ellen Sulzberger who was rich enough to keep R. Peter Straus straight for 45 years. They brought up a family and were quite respectable. Blah blah blah. But the other Strauses didn’t talk to R. Peter. Of course, in the Straus family, hardly anyone talks to anyone. The brothers don’t talk to the sisters. It’s rare. There’s such an animosity, with the most caustic, ascerbic interactions you can imagine. Tough guys thumping on their own chests all the time, being mean to everybody. 

Then came the crash. Macy’s did fine. But the Straus family went from being the 12 or 14th richest family in the country to being the 900th richest family in the country…The suffering in the family, psychologically, was extraordinary.

Sounds like real family values.

Right. So, the Sulzberger-Straus children saw the family fortune which their mother carried into the marriage basically disappearing into R. Peter Straus’ hands. Both family fortunes—the Salzberger-Oates families who have owned the New York Times for 75 years, the Strauses who owned Macy’s for 75 and a half years—are breaking up. It’s been going on for years, of course. In 1926, the Strauses did something crazy, although it didn’t seem crazy at the time. They went public.with Macy’s. They diversified through ’27, ’28 and ’29. Then came the crash. Macy’s did fine. But the Straus family went from being the 12 or 14th richest family in the country to being the 900th richest family in the country. Still rich, but no longer in the top top shelf. The suffering in the family, psychologically, was extraordinary. Imagine! Stupid, you know, but these people were really suffering. 

Even though they were still extremely rich, they were relatively lower on the socio-economic totem pole. 

And oh, the bitterness. Read the book "Our Crowd." So now, in a frantic attempt to maintain their position, even as Sulzberger and Straus power is gradually being eroded, and rather than going into Internet commerce (which is very difficult to make money at, as you probably know), they are retreating back to the Stars and the tabloids.

So they don’t care if the President is impeached or not, they just want to milk his sex life for all its worth.

Yes, but of course, they’re the major media, so they like to take the high ground.

They love to talk about sex, to get ratings and sell papers, but they’re always sure to be very sanctimonious about it.

Yes, sanctimonious shit. I wouldn’t shit in that kind of dirty toilet.

Senator Lieberman--who must know a few Strauses and Sulzbergers, being from Connecticut-- was in a state of high sanctimony on the Senate floor, though he doesn’t seem to want to see Clinton impeached.

What Lieberman was doing was giving Clinton a clue that he’d better say I’m sorry. Clinton’s having a hard time saying he’s sorry. I can understand that. I think he feels that he protected this young lady’s reputation and honor at the cost of his own for almost a year. But what everyone is doing is saying that he lied rather than that he protected her honor. All these people are talking about morality. But I’m sure that there was a basic moral decision that Clinton made not to talk about it. 

What we have are these scumbags of senators who couldn’t get an interview if they paid for it, and now they’re regularly on television because they’re ready to denounce Clinton.

There were many good reasons not to talk about it. That’s why it’s always tough—and dangerous--to sit in moral judgment of people’s sex lives. 

So what we have are these scumbags of senators who couldn’t get an interview if they paid for it. And now they’re regularly on television because they’re ready to denounce Clinton. What about the whole political backdrop? The Republicans who were with Bush and Reagan ran the economy ragged, couldn’t make the thing fly straight. Their new motto is: Don’t talk about the economy. Certainly don’t talk about anything Clinton did for society. Don’t mention that we’re richer than we ever were before. Why are we? Because the distribution of money didn’t go strictly to the rich. It went to everybody, more or less. Unemployment is at an all-time low. 

Since the economy’s been good, we have the luxury to talk about scandals, and not worry about real problems, and the Republicans are taking advantage of that. But real problems exist, and will get worse if all we focus on is scandal.

How about the war in Bosnia? How about Pakistan and India? How about Russia collapsing? But we talk about scandal. Because it sells time. You can’t find a sponsor for the real issues, but you can find a sponsor for an interview of a senator putting Clinton down. 

A congressman condemning Clinton will get air time right away, while a congressman who wants to talk about Bosnia or Asia has to go to the end of the line.

And there are plenty of people who want to put Clinton down. There always were and there always will be. It’s a great cover. It’s Summer Madness, being carried into the Fall. The country is going to fall apart.

That’s some Fall.

And no one is worried about the country. 

If you’re super-rich, and if you lose half your money, and everybody else loses half of theirs and goes down to dire poverty, you are
relatively richer.


They’re all too busy condemning Clinton, going on TV and getting quoting in newspapers, increasing their recognition factors. But don’t the Sulzbergers, the Strauses and, for that matter, the Scaifes, care about the country possibly falling apart over this?

Not really. They’re diversified. Remember, if you’re super-rich, and if you lose half your money, and everybody else loses half of theirs and goes down to dire poverty, you are relatively richer. From the Right’s point of view, anything that discredits the Left is to their advantage. From a moralist’s point of view, destruction is far more interesting than reconstruction.

That’s why moralists are dangerous. The crowd enjoys a good execution.

Yes. But are we going to execute our President for the pleasure of the Republicans? 

No, please! Don’t execute the populist exhibitionist! But it could happen.

If we take Clinton out of the political system, we’re going to have rampant inflation. 

The Sulzbergers felt ripped off by the Straus family, since R. Peter Straus took over a piece of the Sulzberger empire through his wife…So when all this stuff with Monica came up, they thought, here we have a really juicy scandal and we can get him!


Which the rich won’t mind.

Not really. They’re worried about power. The Sulzbergers felt ripped off by the Straus family, since R. Peter Straus took over a piece of the Sulzberger empire through his wife. His children got bought out. He gave them each $10 or 15 million, or whatever it was, and said, go make your own. And, of course, R.. Peter Straus retained his voting block of Sulzberger stock in the New York Times and all the other media. So here you have the New York Times frothing at the mouth. So when all this stuff with Monica came up, they thought, here we have a really juicy scandal and we can get him! Remember, one of the few Democratic Strauses is R. Peter Straus. And the Sulzbergers are also Republicans.

And Starr’s sponsors are rich Republicans from a whole different wing, the Scaife wing. This is starting to sound like Hillary’s Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. 

Though they’re not all working together. But what you have is a combination of the rich, low-profile right-wingers and the self-righteous, high-profile right-wingers who are frustrated because Clinton stole their thunder. Clinton’s popular. But he’s BAD, they shout, he’s guilty, because he likes sex. It’s the worst sort of puritanical, pseudo-moralism. You know how the Puritans used to test you to see if you were a witch?

Yes. They’d throw you in the water. If you drowned, that meant were innocent. If you lived, that meant you were a witch, in which case, they’d drag you out of the water and hang you. Either way, once accused, you had to die.

The same thing is going on with Clinton. He can say mea culpa, mea culpa a million times. 

All these apologies are getting ridiculous.

They’re political.

Some people say he should apologize to Monica. 

Nobody’s really taking care of Monica. Monica’s mother and R. Peter Straus and Vernon Jordan dumped Monica on Clinton. Monica wanted to compete with her Mother. If Marcia could blow the most famous tenor in the world, Monica could blow the President. And even if the President wouldn’t touch her directly, she got evidence that he came around her somehow. 

She doesn’t say exactly what kind of sex they had in the transcripts that have been leaked from her conversations with Tripp.

That’s why, although I don’t know because I wasn’t there, I’d say that he was masturbating with her in the room. 

If that’s really the case, at this point, maybe he should just explain it in some public format. Maybe the American people need to be sex educated.

But he’s still in this old-fashioned morality that "I don’t attack the girl."

But for many people, mutual masturbation is even more perverted than sexual relations.


That’s not attacking the girl, to say, "We didn’t touch, we did masturbate. It was inappropriate behavior in the Oval Office, but it was not what I call sexual relations. Therefore, I didn’t lie, under oath or to the American people, when I said we didn’t have sexual relations." It might strike some people as a bit picky. But not that picky. And it will relieve a lot of people to know he really did not lie. He just withheld the full truth. 

But for many people, mutual masturbation is even more perverted than sexual relations. 


The problem is the concept of perversion. 

That’s why we need a little intensive sex education right now. We’re already getting Ken Starr’s Pornography Report. We need some crash sex education courses to deal with it. Actually, we need Dr. Joycelyn Elders. Clinton should never have fired her! I’m sure he was embarrassed when she said masturbation should be considered as a safe way to relieve sexual tension, but he, of all people, should have known she was right.

He was succumbing to social pressure. 

That’s no excuse. He shouldn’t have fired her.

Well, now the pressure’s on him. The media is dying for advertising dollars. And the only dollars available are really for this Scandal stuff. The lowest possible shit. News programs are now taking over the time that used to be programmed for soap operas.

Because the most gripping soap opera is going on in Washington, with an old-fashioned real opera twist.

It’s the same advertisers covering the same budget for the same time. But now it’s the so-called responsible media that are the Soap Opera House. The advertising is shrinking slightly, but the media outlets are expanding, so competition is becoming incredibly fierce. 

And the nation is suffering, because we’re not paying attention to important things.

Our health care system is suffering. And look at international relations. Bosnia was the source of World War I and II; no one is doing anything about Bosnia. Nobody is paying attention to the two largest atomic powers in the world standing face-off against each other across Kashmir. Nobody is paying attention to the one country who has as many atom bombs as we have and is now deteriorating because they can’t feed their people.

Nobody is doing anything about these major international money-and-power problems because we’re all so focused on our dicks.
Half of Clinton’s press conference in Russia was about the Scandal.

Sex is not the reason that Russia is going down. Sex is not the reason that the Pakistanis and the Indians are facing off. It’s money and power. Nobody is doing anything about these major international, money-and-power problems because we’re all so focused on our dicks. 

I think this is true decadence, as opposed to what the Right-Wing moralists call decadence which is just enjoying your dick, or pussy. This is true, self-destructive, solipsistic, end-of-the-empire style decadence, when you’re so busy focusing on your dick and what’s wrong with your neighbor’s dick, or the President’s dick, that you don’t notice that your house is on fire.

So the right-wing’s solution is just don’t enjoy your dick. No pleasure is allowed. That’s self-destruction. 

Help! We’ve got to get out of this place!

Yes, and one way to get out is to figure out how we got in. And the real story of why we’re in this place, the story of the Straus-Sulzberger part in this huge national scandal, has been totally suppressed. Nobody is talking about it. 

Well, a few people are. We are.