On to the long hard slog of our forthcoming Chapter 7: Our third non-annual fund-raising drive has come to an end as predicted!
For everyone who participated, Oprah has agreed to give you a car! We’ll be letting you know how to pick up your prize. An extremely small additional fee will be required, of course.
Our thanks to those who took part! We’ll again suggest you read Chapter 6 at our companion site, in which the press corps established a punishing theme: Al Gore is a delusional LIAR!
In Chapter 7, we’ll be describing the way they established a second major narrative: Al Gore is a ruthless and brutal campaigner, willing to do and say anything!
Even as the GORE LIAR theme hardened, then turned to stone in New Hampshire, the “ruthless campaigner” theme was also taking form. Incredibly, this was Judy Woodruff’s opening “question” at the final Democratic debate of the 2000 New Hampshire primary:
WOODRUFF (1/26/00): The first question goes to Mr. Gore. Most people believe that you are an honorable man, but when it comes to electoral politics your critics, including some Democrats, say that you will do almost anything to win, including reinventing yourself, using consultants no matter what their reputation, and running not just a tough, but a mean-spirited campaign. Newspaper editorials here in New Hampshire and around the country accuse you of distorting Mr. Bradley’s record. Is this really necessary to win your party’s nomination?Gore stood accused of a long list of crimes. By the rules of the evening’s debate, he had sixty seconds to respond!
Al Gore would do almost anything to win! By now, it was abundantly clear that this was an established narrative all through the mainstream press corps. In his February 3 Wall Street Journal column, Al Hunt would offer a startling assessment of the press corps’ attitude toward Gore. (Gore had won New Hampshire two days earlier, defeating Bradley by five points.)
How did the press corps view Candidate Gore by the end of the New Hampshire primary? Hunt described an historic level of negativity; there was “a cynicism toward Mr. Gore in the national press that may be more intense than at any time since Richard Nixon,” he quite remarkably wrote. Quite plainly, Hunt blamed Gore for this state of affairs. Like Woodruff, he accused Gore of having waged “a relentlessly negative campaign, engaging in distortions and misrepresentations.”
Had Gore really waged such a campaign? If anything, the ways the press corps advanced this claim were even more fraudulent than the long string of misquotations with which they established their GORE LIAR narrative. But there’s no real doubt about the view which now prevailed within the press corps.
Late in January 2000, Mickey Kaus had arrived on the scene in New Hampshire, and he’d been speaking with his colleagues. On January 31, Kaus explained why his colleagues in the press were trying to help Bill Bradley:
KAUS (1/31/00): What I underestimated–what, indeed, has startled me, is the extent to which reporters aren’t simply boosting Bradley for their own sake (or Bradley’s). It’s also something else: They hate Gore. They really do think he’s a liar. And a phony. They dislike the controlled, canned nature of his campaign events, and hate covering them.“They hate Gore,” Kaus memorably wrote. He put the statement in italics, stressing it as his main point. Kaus said he was “startled” by extent of the animus—and as he continued, he further described the way Gore was viewed by his colleagues. They saw him as a “bully,” he wrote, as “an attack machine.”
Al Gore was a brutal and ruthless campaigner, willing to do almost anything!
The notion that Gore was a ruthless campaigner would shape press coverage from this point forward. (As with the LIAR theme, this nicely linked to the way these hopeless baboons had novelized President Clinton.) In Chapter 7, we’ll be describing the ways the press corps “established” this punishing claim during the New Hampshire primary. In a repellent bit of group misconduct, they took turns pretending that Gore had been involved in the Willie Horton racial war of Campaign 1988—and that this unseemly conduct showed how “ruthless” and “brutal” he was. Beyond that, they insisted that Gore had ruthlessly attacked Candidate Bradley about his health care plan—although, by the end of the New Hampshire campaign, the press corps had widely acknowledged that Gore’s critiques of the Bradley health plan had in fact been accurate.
Accuracy no longer mattered. A brutal range war was on.
In Chapter 7, we’ll describe the press corps’ conduct in detail. Simply put, they lied and they lied, then they lied some more, conducting an open assault on democracy. In the end, this remarkable mental/ intellectual/ moral breakdown sent George Bush to the White House.
Our non-annual fund-raising drive is done. Only the history remains!
Who else is going to tell it?