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The Starr Report - Democracy - Sexuality

September 15, 1998
By Timothy W. Shire

When the thirteen colonies of the Americas declared their independence from England in 1776 they did so in the most simply defined, yet legal manner. At the very basis of what is “American” is its legal system and if you look at the American culture you will discover that throughout the nation’s history it has emphasised legal proceedings, either as courtroom dramas, or constitutional issues. This one theme permeates the culture and when you consider the importance the constitution plays in the lives of an individual, it is somehow understandable.

The political and legal wrangle that revolves around Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr and his report and its recommendation to Congress that the President of the country be impeached and removed from office, is quite appropriate when you consider the American value place in law and the way law is interpreted. The unprecedented publication of the entire report on the internet of the report, the very day it was released, is remarkable, but the widespread access Americans are making of this huge document is equally remarkable.(By September 15, 5.9 million read the report since its release on Friday September 11, CNN) Since Thursday September 10, the news in the Western world has been almost exclusively, stories related to the Report. The broadcasting industry has gone to the limit of its capability to tell the story, analysis it, trivialise all aspects of it and genuinely try to understand what the issues is all about.