WASHINGTON, DC—In a reversal of more than 15 years of Presidential Walkman policy, Bill Clinton announced Monday he is banning all personal portable stereo devices from meetings of the U.S. Congress, both House and Senate.
"I realize most members of Congress are using their Walkmans responsibly, listening to them only during lengthy filibusters or sub-committee meeting breaks," said Clinton, explaining the controversial decision. "But there are still a few legislators—and they know who they are—who have ignored my warnings and are still using them while Congress is in session."
"Unfortunately," added Clinton, "these distracting few have now ruined it for everyone else."
Under the new plan, all confiscated Walkmans will be placed in the top right drawer of the President's desk, where they will remain until the end of the legislative day.
The new policy has already been put into effect. U.S. Sen. Bob Michels (R-NM) had his Walkman taken away yesterday after being caught wearing it in the middle of a Democratic rebuttal of HR-309J, a recently proposed Republican-sponsored crime bill.
Michels strongly protested the Walkman seizure, explaining it was turned off.
"Yes, I was wearing it," Michels said. "But the power switch was clearly in the off position. In addition, many Democrats were wearing Walkmans at the time as well, with some even playing music at loud volumes, but the President did not say anything at all. This double standard is completely unfair."
"I don't care," Clinton responded, unmoved by Sen. Michels' strong protestation. "I don't want to see them at all."