A panel of pundits covers for Gregory!


The guild will take care of its own: As noted in our last post, Maureen Dowd took her cue for yesterday’s column from last week’s Meet the Press.

Bill Clinton’s ten acts of oral sex were discussed on last Sunday’s program. (Wikipedia says it was nine.) Dowd responded by telephoning Rand Paul to ask him to please tell her more.

She wrote a column of 1200 words about the exciting topic. (Normal length: 800 words.) The New York Times put the piece on the front page of Sunday Review, where thrilling work belongs.

Dowd was a bit more honest concerning one point than some others were. In this passage, she described the way the excitement began:
DOWD (2/2/14): David Gregory asked Paul about the comment of his wife, Kelley, in a Jason Horowitz profile of the senator in Vogue, that Bill Clinton should not be First Spouse, given his “predatory” behavior with Monica Lewinsky.

Paul backed up his wife, telling Gregory that there “is no excuse” for preying on a young intern and that it should affect history’s view of the ex-president. While he said it was “not Hillary’s fault,” he added that with the Clintons, “sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.”
Dowd at least included one basic fact. The current episode started when David Gregory asked Rand Paul about the topic.

The interview was almost over. Rand Paul didn’t bring it up.

Dowd skipped a second fact. That Vogue profile appeared back in mid-September, gaining almost no attention. Mrs. Paul’s comment hadn’t been discussed until Gregory brought it up, more than four months later.

For no apparent reason, David Gregory raised the topic of Clinton/Lewinsky. But you weren’t allowed to know that if you watched yesterday’s Meet the Press.

In our view, Gregory repeatedly misled viewers about that fact. Rather plainly, he made it sound like Paul had raised the topic.

As usual, a panel of sycophants played along with their host. He is a powerful figure within their sad, corrupt guild.

On yesterday's show, Gregory quoted Dowd’s column at length. Before he did, he seemed to say that Paul raised the topic of Clinton/Lewinsky the week before:
GREGORY (2/2/14): Hillary Clinton, still such a focus in 2016. Polling came out, big surprise here, from the Washington Post/ABC News, that Hillary Clinton is trouncing any opponent she might have in the party, Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren.

But very interesting last week here, with Rand Paul really amping up, kind of, the Republican response, and raising Bill Clinton, raising Monica Lewinsky.

Maureen Dowd writes in her column this morning in the Times that he had something of a point. Here's a portion of what Dowd wrote this morning.

It’s not so simple to cast Hillary Clinton as the victim...”
Gregory went on from there, quoting Dowd’s familiar pensees about how evil Hillary is. In our view, he rather plainly conveyed the impression that it was Paul who had raised the topic the week before.

The panel swapped a few quick jokes about David Wildsetin and high school. Gregory then threw to Gwen Ifill.

As he did, he advanced his misleading presentation:
GREGORY: Gwen, you go first. Is this deft on the part of Republicans to say that, “We're going to bring this up in the context of the war on women?” Or people are just going to say—

IFILL: Watching that last week, I really had the feeling, David, that he was riffing, that this was just something that occurred to him as he was defending his wife, who had raised this question. And the people who lived through this, for whom this was an important part of their political life and a formative issue, will be happy to write about it again. But as we spend all of our time obsessing about the Clintons, again, and about Hillary Clinton, again, I think there's a lot less attention being spent, aside from Chris Christie, on who the Republican nominee's going to be...
Is it just us? In this instance, Gregory rather clearly seemed to suggest that Republicans in general have been saying that they “are going to bring this up in the context of the war on women.”

As far as we know, that’s not true. It certainly isn’t what happened the week before.

Even as she went soft on Paul, Ifill didn’t mention the fact that Gregory raised the topic. It fell to Rich Lowrey, the panel’s lone conservative, to tell a small bit of the truth.

In a strangely muffled comment, Lowrey managed to say that Paul had been asked about his wife’s comment. He didn’t feel allowed to say who had done the asking.

Lowrey told a bit of the truth. Note the way Gregory reacted:
LOWRY: Well, I mean [Hillary Clinton] has been an overwhelming front-runner before. You know, and that didn't work out very well last time. Maybe it works out this time. But I think you're right, Rand Paul—that was just a riff. He was being asked about, you know, his wife's comments. And I get the sense the Republicans don't—

GREGORY: Guys, for a riff, that was pretty—I mean, that was pretty well planned.
“That was pretty well planned?”

In response, Lowrey said that Republicans “are not sitting around in back rooms figuring out how to bring up the 90s again.” But no one was willing to tell the truth about who had brought up the 90s the week before, or about what Gregory now seemed to be doing.

On three occasions, Gregory gave the clear impression that Paul, or Republicans in general, had been “raising” the topic of Clinton/Lewinsky. At best, this was grossly misleading.

Doris Kearns Goodwin didn’t speak up. Ifill simply played along. Lowrey dared to say one little thing, no more.

For his part, Gregory just kept giving his viewers a weirdly false impression.

These are very dishonest people. On the bright side, they all know the rules:

Pundits must cover for their own. They never, ever tell the truth about such internal matters.


  1. So, why did Gregory do this? Are Democrats trying to torpedo Hillary in favor of some other candidate? Is Gregory a Republican? Is this the advance swiftboating of Hillary over Lewinsky? Did Gregory do this simply to stir up interest in his show, to bump up his ratings? What is going on?

    1. Journalists like Gregory are ignorant, lazy, and addicted to scandal. He doesn't know enough about important topics to ask penetrating questions; he doesn't want to make the effort t find out; and there's nothing better than a sex scandal.

    2. Anon, I think you're looking too much into Gregory's motives. These guys return to scandals because they're easy and fun to talk about.

      Also, when dealing with a mixed political group, scandals are actually safe discussion topics -- because everyone can agree that the scandal was scandalous, and just discuss the political implications of the scandal, rather than arguing policy.

    3. Thank you, that makes sense.

    4. Maureen Dowd has an impossible disdain or hatred for Hillary Clinton which is evident in this column as so many others. Astonishing such meanness.


    5. Bob is still stuck at poor, poor Rand Paul. Again, he's an adult, there was nothing stopping him from brushing off the question if he wanted to.
      The implication from Bob, is that the mean old press will force those poor Republicans to play the Monica card against the better angels of their nature.
      Would any sane person expect the Republicans NOT to give the Monica card a play or two, or think we won't see it again? What else are they going to do, dis Hill for the massive bust of the Afghanistan campaign they fully supported? It's a nonstarter, Like the Daily Howler, American doesn't care about dead drone victims.
      They will try the Monica card. It won't work. It will make them look bad. But nobody else will blame this on David Gregory.

  2. BOB is mostly right. All praise to BOB for this excellent post. We only regret that he did not tie this back to the baboon theme of his earlier post.

    "These are very dishonest people. On the bright side, they all know the rules:

    Pundits must cover for their own. They never, ever tell the truth about such internal matters", writes BOB.

    Actually this is Baboon 101. They are not covering for their own.

    One of the baboons, an older graying male named GREGORY, threw some poo about the old baboon fable of BILL at a prominent wanna be troop leader, PAUL. Paul took the poo and flung it back, along with a pile of his own. The other baboons got very excited, because PAUL's poo was flung at HILLARY, the wanna be troop leader who was mate of BILL in the favorite baboon fable.

    BOB says the pundits erred in not pointing at GREGORY for flinging the first poo. But as scientists who follow baboons know, "When a confrontation occurs between different families or where a lower-ranking baboon takes the offensive, baboons show more interest in this exchange than those between members of the same family or when a higher-ranking baboon takes the offensive." They did not err. They simply reacted instinctively.

    If the pundit simians began blaming themselves it would have no outcome on who the troop leader is. Except to BOB, who thinks this poo is muy importante.

    Later we may discuss why BOB has left out how some other baboons over in FOX habitat reacted to the GREGORY poo flinging fracas.


    1. Not just "muy importante" but also "nolo stinquero."

    2. Zarkon must plead guilty. We know nothing (who does aroung here) of Latin. It was a dead language already when we arrived on your planet.

      Is that a BOB plea bargain?


    3. There is an important difference between humans and baboons. Humans are supposed to know how to think.

    4. Allow me to assist our visitor from another planet.

      "Nolo stinquero" = "thinks it's chocolate ice cream"

    5. "Nolo stinquero" = "I wish it were chocolate ice cream"

      "Cogito non stinquero" = "I think it's chocolate ice cream"

    6. So dammit, how do you say

      "It is possible it is ice cream. We might like ice cream if we ate some. If it is ice cream we cannot jounalistically prove it is not chocolate."

      Tell us how to say that. No sabemos.


    7. In the World of Somerby, it very much depends on who is saying it.

      Let us "speculate" that it is not chocolate, but chocolate chip.

      If Rachel Maddow calls it "chocolate" we would enjoy posts for the next several years explaining the fundamental differences between "chocolate" and "chocolate chip," and how only a perspiring clown, stuffing millions in her pockets, could get that wrong.

      If Chris Christie, in a two-hour press conference, were to call it "chocolate", we would be treated to years of posts explaining how he wasn't wrong because there were certainly important elements of chocolate in it.

    8. Anonymous @4:04A,

      TDH doesn't blog about whether Christie is right or wrong, lying or telling the truth.

      TDH blogs about how reporters cover Christie's reactions to the scandal.

      What's so hard about this?

    9. Yes indeed. Bob would wait for Rachel Maddow to call chocolate chip ice cream "chocolate chip" before weighing in about her vile, clownish speculation without regard with every other "possible" flavors it could be. Including tutti frutti.

  3. "Bill Clinton’s ten acts of oral sex were discussed on last Sunday’s program. (Wikipedia says it was nine.)"

    The exact number will never be known. Anything is possible. Such a fact of monumental importance is lost in the mists of time and meanwhile poor black kids are still starved for attention from poo-hurling baboons passing for librulz.

  4. I had to drop out during the Lewinsky scandal due to exhaustion and disgust so all of these various pundit recitations are new to me.

    Was David Gregory part of it at the time? Where did he come from, anyway? Why is he famous?

    1. Gregory starred in the film "Dances with Roves"

    2. You have come to the right place, Anoymous 2:07.

      The Daily Howler has come a long way. It started off as a contemporary blog critical of press coverage.

      It is now the premier blog on the history of turn of the century events.

    3. It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

  5. What horrid people Gregory and Dowd are.

  6. Stupid Bob is just jealous that he isn't one of the pundits. Not invited to their parties as he sits pathetically at home searching Lexisnexis for some trivial technicality to write 2,000 words about to a dwindling audience of dense sheep.

    1. This person is pretty horrid too.

    2. 327:

      Just leave.

    3. No, I think I'll just wait you out.

  7. How Maureen Dowd can continue to publish such smears is a mystery, but she does. What a person she shows herself to be.