Whitewater Prosecutor Ken Starr, "As Distant a Figure As Nero"
Paul Schneider, a contributor to the Times' Friday Travel section, visits the quaint Southern town of Flippin, Ark., the center of the first of many Clinton administration scandals, in "Remember Whitewater? The Place Is Still There."
Though his story is mostly concerned with hiking, fishing and caving, Schneider opened with liberal conventional wisdom: "It's hard now to remember those shiny days before 9/11 when Congress seemed to believe that the greatest threat to the republic lay in an obscure land deal in northwestern Arkansas called Whitewater. Given all that has passed under the bridge, there's something quaint and nostalgic about so much froth and fury over something that in the end went nowhere, like a slightly gonzo Norman Rockwell cover showing democracy in action.
Schneider next made an interesting choice of historical figures: "These days, Ken Starr seems as distant a figure as Nero, but with springtime returning to the ancient Ozarks, it's the perfect time to visit Flippin, Ark., to see the appealing mountain landscape where Whitewater was born. And after Flippin, right down the road there is Yellville, Dogpatch, Gassville, Eros, Stumptoe, Fifty-Six, Big Flat - it has to be fun."
Of course, Roman emperor Nero has a historical reputation as a capricious and possibly insane tyrant.