Independence Day can mean many things!

MONDAY, JULY 7, 2014

The freedom from being challenged: We’ve been visiting friends in the Hudson Valley over the Independence Day weekend. Reading yesterday’s Washington Post, we were reminded that “independence” can take many forms.

For a case in point, consider Chris Cillizza’s weekly feature in the Sunday Outlook section, “Worst Week in Washington.”

Each Sunday, Cillizza names the Washington figure who had the worst week. Yesterday, he chose Hillary Clinton.

Below, you see his full presentation, headline included.
As we read Cillizza's piece, we thought a familiar old freedom was hiding right in plain sight:
CILLIZZA (7/6/14): Who had the worst week in Washington? Hillary Clinton

When “Hard Choices,” Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoir of her time at the State Department, came out in early June, the book—and subsequent book tour—were touted as the first steps in the inevitable 2016 presidential bid by the nation’s former top diplomat. If that’s what they are, Clinton may be in for some tough times.

The past few days tell the story. Even as Clinton was prepping for the European leg of her book tour, she was dogged by two recurring and not-so-good headlines.

The first involves the large speaking fees she has accepted from universities since she left the State Department. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Clinton had received hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past year from eight universities—four of which are public—for speeches. That includes a $225,000 address she will give at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas this fall. Leaders in the university’s student government have asked Clinton not to accept the money.

Then there is the question of just how well Clinton’s book is actually selling. According to Nielsen BookScan, sales of “Hard Choices” this past week dropped by 46 percent from the week prior, which was down 44 percent from the week before that. Seeking to squash the book-isn’t-selling story, Correct the Record, a pro-Clinton outside group, released a memo Wednesday night noting that the book was No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list for the third straight week and blaming the “right wing” for pushing out false information.

Actually, maybe the book tour is a perfect encapsulation of what a Clinton campaign might look like. And for that, Hillary Clinton, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something.
Forget the weekly drop in book sales. There was never any reason to think that people were going to break down the doors to read about foreign affairs. And true to the standards of his profession, Cillizza makes no attempt to place those numbers in the context of the normal drop in sales for a much touted book.

Clinton’s book is number 1 for the third straight week, Cillizza is forced to admit, as he explains why Clinton just had the worst week in Washington. The Washington “press corps” has reasoned this way for a very long time.

Forget about the book sales. Instead, focus on Cillizza’s remarks about those speaking fees. Focus especially on this statement:

“Actually, maybe the book tour is a perfect encapsulation of what a Clinton campaign might look like.”

Is that analysis, or is that a threat? This is why we ask:

We agree that Clinton has had a very bad run in the press corps in recent weeks. Cillizza’s own paper, the Washington Post, has been squarely at the heart of the sudden new jihad about Clinton’s disturbing wealth and speaking fees.

The paper has behaved very strangely. Rather baldly, this jihad is aimed at the possibility that Clinton might run for the White House several years from now.

In yesterday’s feature, Cillizza gives a highly selective account of the flap surrounding the speaking fees. Although he mentions the Post, he obscures the paper’s peculiar behavior over the past few weeks.

When he makes that closing statement, we’d have to say it sounds like a warning. If Clinton decides to run for the White House, her campaign might look like the few weeks?

A cynic could read those words this way: If Clinton decides to run for the White House, her campaign might generate endless jihads from newspapers like the Post.

Is Cillizza making a threat? We have no idea; we would assume his statement has been taken that way within the Clinton camp. This brings us to varying meanings of “independence.”

Over the past twenty years, mainstream newspapers have pursued their jihads against the Clintons and Candidate Gore secure in the knowledge that they were protected by a large Code of Silence. No matter how odd their conduct gets, they know their conduct will not be discussed by others in the press.

This “freedom from fear” is extended to those in no other sector. In other sectors, peculiar behavior gets widely discussed. In the past, this hasn’t happened when the press corps waged its wars against the Clintons and Gore.

The silence of the “career liberal” lambs has been an essential part of this corrupt arrangement. It would almost take an anthropologist to explain this repellent behavior, which has soiled the landscape for roughly twenty years.

Tomorrow, we’ll start to discuss that remarkable “liberal” silence. In 1999 and 2000, the silence sent George Bush to the White House. If you think it couldn’t happen that way again, you need stronger medicine than anything an anthropologist can provide.

We’ll start our discussion with this remarkable tape by MSNBC's Krystal Ball. It would take an anthropologist to explain such familiar conduct, which dates in this case to June 17.

The Cillizzas seem ready to do it again. Same as it ever was, the Balls seem ready to help.

111 comments:

  1. Poor Bob. Can't tell the difference between a "best-seller" for a few weeks and a "blockbuster."

    "There was never any reason to think that people were going to break down the doors to read about foreign affairs." Really? Is that why her publishers paid her an eight-figure advance?

    Sorry, Bob. But her publishers paid that for a blockbuster, like her first book. They didn't pay for a book that would be on best-seller lists for a few weeks, then be quickly forgotten. And send her on a tour.

    My thought is that the American people are somewhat smarter than you give them credit for. Forget the "dead broke and in debt" flub. They basically see this book and this tour as the opening of the 2016 presidential campaign -- two years before they really want it to start.

    Hence, the yawns.

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    1. I am one of the American people and your comment does not reflect how I feel at all. I see this book tour as a routine part of publishing these days. It is very silly to call a book forgotten when it has only been out for a few weeks and is still on the bestseller list.

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    2. Well, I guess if you don't feel that way, then nobody does. After all, the universe revolves around your feelings.

      Please note once again that there is a difference between 'bestseller" and "blockbuster". I guarantee you that Hillary's publisher is quite concerned about the precipitous drop in sales, even though it is still a "bestseller."

      But then again, what right do they have to be concerned since obviously you aren't, and your opinion is the only one that matters.

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    3. You are the one claiming to have spoken for the American people. I spoke only for myself. You also seem to be speaking for Clinton's publisher. I'm sure they are glad you are so worried about their interests.

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    4. What is the difference between blockbusters and best sellers? Where does one draw the line?

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    5. Did her publishers expect success on the level of Dan Brown and Hunger Games?

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    6. The goal here is to portray Clinton as a failure as a writer so that she will be diminished going into the election. That's all the meaning there is to calling her book a failed blockbuster rather than a foreign affairs autobiography doing better than usual.

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    7. Can I ask - where did the term "blockbuster" originate in the context of this comment thread? I don't see it mentioned in the WP piece or Bob's post.

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    8. Thank you, Kreskin, but the "goal here" is to point out other possibilities for the sharp drop in Clinton's book sales besides the "narrative" that Bob is peddling, part of which is that nobody really buys books about foreign affairs anyway.

      Isn't it even possible that people don't want Campaign 2016 to begin yet? Of course not. Doesn't fit Bob's script.

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    9. Bob's script isn't that 2016 should start now. His script is that those opposing Clinton have preemptively continued their attack on her in advance of any announcement of a campaign. She is NOT being treated like just another author of a foreign affairs memoir of her time in office.

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    10. His script is also that no one in the press will talk about the jihad certain members of the press have against the Clintons.

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    11. Yes, and few among Bob's commentariat will mention that very few in the press feel like it is their job to cover each other.

      I know American is demanding more coverage of those who provide coverage.

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    12. KZ, please go back to signing your comments so we won't waste time reading them.

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    13. His script is also why doesn't the writer include specifics about what the expectations were for Clinton's book sales. What are the metrics in deciding that these books sales are poor?

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    14. I don't know what his script was or was not, @ 4:10. I do know he told us twice "Forget the book sales." I obeyed.
      You did not.

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    15. To my knowledge, neither Clinton nor Somerby claimed the book was or would be a blockbuster. This is negative comment about Clinton from people who don't like her.

      Somerby doesn't need to cite stats for book sales because he isn't claiming the book was a blockbuster. He is saying people are less interested in a foreign affairs book than they were in her previous autobiographical books. Please remember that Hillary Clinton has been at the top of the lists of most admired women since she was first lady, remaining there unchallenged by Laura Bush or Michelle Obama. Women in particular are inspired by her and do read books about her life. That increased sales of her previous books in ways that would not be true of a book about her experiences as Secretary of State. Raising any sort of issue about her book sales is silly.

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    16. I'm with Bob on this one. Fuggedaboudit.

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    17. Here is Bob talking out of mulitple sides of his mouth.

      "Forget the weekly drop in book sales."

      Followed by:

      "Clinton's book is number 1 for the third straight week. . ."

      Followed by:

      "Forget about the book sales."

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    18. Mouths have sides for a very good reason.

      Delete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I hope Bob writes more holiday themed posts like this.

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  3. As the Arabs say, "It is written."
    The Hillary 2016 script is written, and the scribes and talking heads on both side of the aisle are following it slavishly.
    Hence, the yawns

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  4. I see a pattern as follows: Bill Clinton had a scandal, in which he embarrassed the country and committed perjury. The media minimized the scandal for him, but then punished his intended successor, Al Gore.

    Now, the media is minimizing Obama's scandals, particularly the IRS scandal. Will the media now punish his Obama's successor for his misdeeds?

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    1. David, the media did not minimize the scandal. It tried to emphasize it. The general electorate did not care much about the scandal at all, feeling that Bill Clinton's love life was his private business and being inclined to forgive him, but the media tried endlessly to whip up a sense of outrage that just wasn't there, at least among the majority of voters. His approval ratings were never higher than during the whole impeachment fiasco. The media punished Al Gore in exactly the same way as they attempted to torpedo Clinton. Gore did not run as Clinton's successor but tried to distance himself, claiming to have been betrayed by Clinton (after trusting him), selecting one of Clinton's strongest denouncers (Joe Lieberman) as running mate, never referring to Clinton's successes in office during his speeches, and so on. The press nevertheless attacked him relentlessly. Despite that, Gore won the election only to have it stolen from him by the Supreme Court which issued a partisan decision in favor of Bush over the vote count in Florida -- subsequent recounts and investigations showed Gore to have been the winner.

      The media is continuing to punish Hillary Clinton not because of her association with Obama, but because she is a Clinton. Obama has never been punished by the media for anything he has done or not done. He is the anointed one. The media has made it clear that they want "anyone but Hillary" in 2016. There will no doubt be a new anointed candidate for 2016, but it will not be Hillary Clinton. She, like Bill Clinton, is the people's choice, not the establishment choice.

      It is a sad thing for our democracy when the people do not choose their leader.

      Patterns are much easier to see when they do not have to fit any facts.

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    2. So, the TDH Ignoramus-in-Residence weighs in. This is such a regular occurrence that one might think it a paid position. Let's take things in order:

      1. Bill Clinton embarrassed himself and his family. If he embarrassed the country, what word would you use for any number of the WPE's actions, say, authorizing the torture of prisoners of war?

      2. In common parlance, Bill Clinton lied about his sex life when he gave a deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit when he was under oath. He lied about the same topic in public statements when he wasn't. He didn't commit perjury in either case.

      3. Scandalous things have occurred during Obama's Presidency, particularly the falsification of records at the VA. The IRS "scandal" deserves the scare quotes because nothing was ever at stake in the examination of teahadist political organizations' applications for 501(c)3 status.

      4. Obama doesn't have a successor and won't until 1/20/2017. Only an ignoramus thinks that HIllary Clinton is to Barack Obama as Al Gore was to Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton is to Barack Obama as Jim Guy Tucker was to Bill Clinton.

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    3. So, the TDH Ignoramus-in-Residence weighs in. This is such a regular occurrence that one might think it a paid position. Let's take things in order:

      1. Bill Clinton embarrassed himself and his family. If he embarrassed the country, what word would you use for any number of the WPE's actions, say, authorizing the torture of prisoners of war?

      2. In common parlance, Bill Clinton lied about his sex life when he gave a deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit when he was under oath. He lied about the same topic in public statements when he wasn't. He didn't commit perjury in either case.

      3. Scandalous things have occurred during Obama's Presidency, particularly the falsification of records at the VA. The IRS "scandal" deserves the scare quotes because nothing was ever at stake in the examination of teahadist political organizations' applications for 501(c)3 status.

      4. Obama doesn't have a successor and won't until 1/20/2017. Only an ignoramus thinks that HIllary Clinton is to Barack Obama as Al Gore was to Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton is to Barack Obama as Jim Guy Tucker was to Bill Clinton.

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    4. deadrat, Clinton formally admitted to having committed perjury. That was a part of the deal where he relinquished his law license, but wasn't prosecuted.

      AnonymousJuly 7, 2014 at 10:48 AM -- evidence that the media didn't emphasize the Clinton scandal is that someone as smart and knowledgeable as deadrat was unaware that Clinton formally acknowledged committing perjury.

      Delete
    5. Nothing quite as stimulating as a deadrat v. David in Cal comment exchange. This is the kind of thing the troll fighters have given up much of their comment time wailing for. It is a joy these two post on, undeterred.

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    6. You don't know what "perjury" means, David.

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    7. Bill Clinton has never admitted perjury.

      He didn't commit perjury. Plaintiff's counsel asked him if he had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, and he
      handed Clinton a list of sexual acts. What Monica did for Bill wasn't on that list, so he truthfully answered, "No."

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    8. 3:16 -- testifying falsely is perjury. CNN reported:

      "I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish this goal and am certain my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false," Clinton said in a written statement released Friday by the White House.

      http://edition.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/stories/01/19/clinton.lewinsky/

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    9. Forget about the perjury charges. And true to the standards of his profession, Clinton makes no attempt to place those blojobs in the context of the normal pants dropping in service of idolatrous eager to please former interns.

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    10. Lewinskyt has said in her testimony that she was the aggressor in that situation. That is a bit more than being eager to please. Clinton should have said "no" but few men would in his situation. I thought the polls taken around that time about whether a blowjob is actually "having sex" with someone were pretty interesting. About 60% of the people polled think of blowjobs as something you do to avoid having sex with someone, and they don't consider it infidelity. I don't agree, but I was very surprised at the range of opinion on that topic. I think younger people have different attitudes about blowjobs than older folks do.

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    11. "3:16 -- testifying falsely is perjury. "

      No, counselor, there is much more to it than that, as everybody else who was alive in 1998 certainly knows.

      Once again, your willful ignorance is on display.


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    12. per·ju·ry [pur-juh-ree] Show IPA
      noun, plural per·ju·ries. Law.

      the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.

      http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/perjury?s=t

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    13. And the TDH Ignoramus-in-Residence is back to take another beating, from which he would be senseless if he weren't already. But nice try with an argument by dictionary.

      Perjury is knowingly making a false statement under oath about a substantive matter of fact. It doesn't matter if a witness gives a misleading or nonresponsive answer. It has to be exactly a falsehood. Paula Jones' attorneys were so swept up in their own prurience that they crafted an extensive, three-part definition of "sexual relations," hoping to catch the slippery Clinton in a mesh so fine even he couldn't wriggle out. Clinton's attorney objected, the issue went to the judge, who threw out the first two parts of the definition as over-broad. Unfortunately for Jones, the third part didn't contain any language about mutuality, and Clinton could claim that while Lewinksy touched his genitals, he didn't touch hers. If Jones' lawyers had stuck with the definitions in federal or state statute, Clinton would have been stuck.

      But even if you think that Clinton lied, the judge later threw out the entire deposition as not germane to Jones' case. So no matter whether Clinton lied or not, nothing he said was about a substantive matter in the lawsuit. Therefore, no perjury.

      But I don't doubt you'll keep saying otherwise.

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    14. deadrat, I'm not a lawyer. Maybe you are. I can't debate the specific points you've raised. However, Bill Clinton pretty much refuted your points.

      1. You argue that because of poorly worded question, Clinton didn't actually say anything false. Yet, Clinton himself wrote, "I tried to walk a fine line between acting lawfully and testifying falsely, but I now recognize that I did not fully accomplish this goal and am certain my responses to questions about Ms. Lewinsky were false,"

      2. You argue that Clinton's statements didn't constitute perjury. Yet, Clinton gave up his law license in exchange for not being prosecuted for perjury. Clinton action suggests that he felt that his false testimony might constitute perjury.

      Delete
    15. I'm not a lawyer. I just know what I'm talking about.

      The question isn't whether in 2001 Bill Clinton decided (to get the Special Prosecutor off his back) that he had testified falsely. The question is whether in 1998 during the deposition Bill Clinton thought he was testifying falsely about a substantive matter. Nothing he was testifying about was substantive in the Paula Jones case because the judge ruled the whole Lewinsky matter inadmissible. To say this is not to deny that all of Clinton's conduct in this matter reflected badly on him.

      Clinton cut a deal. To end the inquisition, he gave up his law license, paid a fine, acknowledged unprofessional conduct, and agreed to pay his own legal fees. Notice that the deal did not require Clinton to plead guilty to perjury. It's highly unlikely he would have been convicted if he had been indicted. Because. Nothing. He. Testified. To. Was. Substantive. How can I make this any clearer?

      Susan Wright, the judge in the Paula Jones lawsuit, was none too pleased with Clinton either, citing him for civil contempt. Even if a deposition is later found to be inadmissible, deponents are not supposed to mislead the court.

      Delete
    16. Shorter DinC:

      Don't confuse me with the facts. I got my story and I'm sticking to it.

      Delete
    17. "Yet, Clinton gave up his law license in exchange for not being prosecuted for perjury."

      Wrong, David. Wright sanctioned Clinton for the fudgy, lawyerly answers he gave rather than answering the questions directly. He chose not to fight it for the same reason he settled the Jones case -- after it had been thrown out of court and was still on appeal. To wit, to get the whole thing over with.

      Yes, those sanctions -- which Clinton could have fought -- would have triggered possible grounds for disbarment in Arkansas. But since he had no intention of hanging out a shingle and practicing law again -- something he hadn't done in decades -- he merely got the whole thing over with.

      Remember, they were "dead broke and in debt".

      But perhaps you can supply the date, time and jurisdiction in which Clinton was formally charged with perjury, and they came up with this plea bargain deal.

      Until then, I will continue to cite this as another example of you believing what you want to believe, the facts be damned.

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    18. Please note again that Judge Wright very carefully cited Clinton with civil contempt of court, not the very specific criminal offense of perjury.

      And please also note that Wright clearly stated in her 32-page ruling that even if Clinton had been forthright and straightforward about his relationship with Lewinsky in his Jones deposition, it would not have affected her decision to defenestrate the Jones case.

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    19. deadrat et. al., you may be correct that Clinton would not have been convicted of perjury. He was never prosecuted, so we will never know for sure.

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    20. 1027: we know for sure he'll never be convicted of perjury.

      Just take your bitch slap like man and move on.

      Delete
  5. I read the free sample from iBooks. Based on the tone and content of the opening chapters, it's yet another self-serving political memoir. That lip-smacking trash like "Blook Feud" is just behind it at no. 2 on the NYT non-fiction hard-cover list is no less surprising.

    For a mature and scholarly understanding of the period covered by these masterpieces, we'd best wait on master historians like Doris Kearns Goodwin and Michael Beschloss. Or maybe the Stephen Spielberg movie scripted by Tony Kushner.

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    1. All autobiographies are self-serving. Why should they be anything else? People don't have the objectivity to analyze their own deficiencies, but when there are so many willing to take you apart, why should you be expected to dismember yourself?

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    2. The book is called Hard Choices. It concerns Clinton’s years as secretary of state, a topic which—let’s be frank—no one cares about.

      Sales have been slow for Clinton’s book.

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    3. Benghazi -- that's how much people don't carfe about Clinton's years as secretary of state.

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  6. Not entirely sure why Bob is getting so worked up about this. I don't think the public is biting on it, or even cares. Yes, yawns indeed. Didn't one of the targets of Bob's ire, Lawrence O'D, say as much? I don't see this resonating at all. As Bill's "scandals" never resonated much either --- hell, his approval rating peaked *during impeachment* --- 70%.

    I've been fortunate to have been the editor of a few bestsellers and a couple of blockbusters. There is absolutely a difference. A book that had a very good week or two can be a bestseller, but I agree --- S&S no doubt paid Hillary blockbuster money.

    I hope Hillary runs and suspect she will do very well.

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    1. Yes, Kerry ignored the swiftboat stuff initially too. Look where that got him.

      During the elections, the Clintons were effective in pushing back against this using their fast response approach. Ignoring nonsense is a bad idea because it allows the memes to take hold and gain steam. I think that is why Somerby is "worked up" about this.

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    2. Exactly what is there, in this latest run of coverage of Hillary Clinton, for Hillary to push back against? The accuracy of the sales figures for the book? Looks like they have done that.

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    3. 1. That her speaking fees are outrageously large. 2. That they were paid by universities out of student fees rather than alumni donations. 3. That she and Bill pocketed their fees instead of donating them to their charitable Foundation. 4. That the amount of wealth they have accumulated since leaving office is unusual for an ex-president or in some way fraudulent or a pay-off (in ways that are not true for either Bush, Reagan, or any other president). 5. That because of their recent earnings they cannot govern well because they are "out of touch" more than any of the other wealthy presidents have been.

      Have you really not been paying attention to the coverage on Fox, the editorials by Dowd and others, and the Wash Post coverage on this issue? Just follow the links Somerby has provided in his posts.

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    4. I haven't seen Bob refer to or link to any FOX coverage of Hillary other than the Kurtz program in which members of the press did what Bob says they never do.

      I haven't seen BOB refer to specific Dowd columns in this series.

      I hae seen Clinton attempt to push back on questions about her fees. I think it is the pushback, more than the questions, which created the problem and kept the story alive.

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    5. Try this link:

      http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2014/06/anthropology-lessons-as-gods-watch.html

      He links to Dowd's negative column about Hillary on Monday, June 23, 2014, as part of this Anthropology series. You haven't been paying attention.

      Saying that Clinton has created her own problem is blaming the victim. Her fees about $200-300,000 less than fees paid to male politicians at her level of accomplishment. They are paid to her family foundation and they come from donations, not student fees. These questions began with Sarah Palin, who got an equivalent amount (without being first lady or secretary of state) to speak at one of the CSU campuses, with the fees going into her own pocket and paid from student funds. THAT was a scandal. If you think these two situations are comparable, we have nothing more to talk about. When Clinton is accused of doing the same thing as Palin got in trouble for doing, she MUST respond. Criticizing a female politician for defending herself involves an ugly double standard, in my opinion.

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    6. So you are saying Hillary only earns 40-50 cents on the dollar for what men are paid for the same work? Tell that to Bob Somerby.

      I will give you the link to Dowd as the prequel to the series, Unfortunately Dowd touched on none of the issues you raise. How are the Clintons to push back against Hillary being a blonde? Get Bill to deny it? Do they need a rapid response to deny she was the model for a Disney cartoon Ice Queen?

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    7. "These questions began with Sarah Palin, who got an equivalent amount (without being first lady or secretary of state) to speak at one of the CSU campuses."

      Well I guess with bad math you could call the fees equivalent. If you divide by 3 you might even be accurate.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/sarah-palin-speaking-fees

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    8. "These questions began with Sarah Palin, who got an equivalent amount (without being first lady or secretary of state) to speak at one of the CSU campuses"

      Well, I guess if you ingore needing to divide by three you could call the fees equivalent.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/sarah-palin-speaking-fees

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    9. Her CSU fee was $300K

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    10. No, @ 12:41, it wasn't, It was $75,000. And contrary to what another commenter said, possibly also you as another Anonymous, it was not "paid from student funds."

      http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Cal-State-Stanislaus-releases-Palin-contract-3176433.php

      The amount was outrageous regardless of how Palin used it, as are the size of fees paid by public intitutions to Clinton and any other former "public servants" cashing in on celebrity status.

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    11. From your source:

      "State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who has been trying to change a state law that shields campus foundations from public scrutiny, claimed the college administration and foundation board were virtually the same and were therefore illegally hiding important information from the public. He said Thursday the entire college administration should be fired for hiding the information...Critics have long complained that university foundations have been used like secret checking accounts, allowing officials to spend lavishly and escape public scrutiny. That point was driven home, Yee said, by the fact that the Palin contract was signed by Susana Gajic-Bruyea, who is both the vice president for university advancement at Cal State Stanislaus and the executive officer of the CSU Stanislaus Foundation board."

      Student fees have been raised steadily in past years when Foundation fund-raising could have been used to defray the need for such increases. One way or another, students pay because the Foundation is NOT an independent or separate entity. It is an organizational fiction arising from the charter for higher education in California which prohibited the CSU campuses from receiving research grants. Administrators turned it into a slush fund and vehicle for all sorts of other fund-raising done in the name of benefitting students (while students do not necessarily see any impact).

      There is also this:

      http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/george-w-bush-racks-15-million-speaking-fees-192157129.html

      ALL recent former politicians, including Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan (more than $250,000 per speech in the 1980's), have earned large fees for giving speeches after leaving office. In Bush's case, his whole extended family gives speeches.

      Delete
    12. Good way to avoid admitting you were wrong.

      Everybody does it.

      Delete
  7. "Forget the weekly drop in book sales. There was never any reason to think that people were going to break down the doors to read about foreign affairs. And true to the standards of his profession, Cillizza makes no attempt to place those numbers in the context of the normal drop in sales for a much touted book."

    If the poster really wanted to drive home a point about "narratives" he could easily have done a Nexis search (one of his favorite devices) and determined if Cilliza had done any similar Nielsen BookScan reviews of the books by other public figures.

    I don't subscribe to Nexis but a simple Google search indicates this is not standard fare for Cillizza, a point which might add something new to Somerby's narrative about narratives.

    Then again, how old is Cilllizza? Where did he matriculate? What is his salary and dipstick reading. These are things we have come to expect to find out here about women in the press corps and an occaisional male. Why not Chris?


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    1. The point about the young reporters from Ivy League schools is that they are underprepared for the highly visible, high paying jobs they inhabit. Upper class kids who become journalists through their connections are more malleable and willing to do the bidding of those who gave them their cushy jobs, unlike a more cynical, experienced journalist who worked his or her way up to a position of visibility writing on political topics. This isn't about being young, female or well-paid as such, but about what being those things says about how effectively our press corps can act as a check on power in our political discourse.

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    2. "The point about the young reporters from Ivy League schools is that they are underprepared for the highly visible, high paying jobs they inhabit."

      Wow! Talk about your "narratives." Bob's sure sold you on that one.

      Yes, indeed. That applies to EVERY young reporter with a degree from an Ivy League school. None of them are to be trusted. Not a single one.

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    3. Didn't take much selling. I too had been wondering how these kids fresh out of Ivy League schools managed to land visible jobs at major papers without paying any workforce dues. Their job performance is in plain view and is insufficient to justify that kind of rapid promotion. So this isn't about talent, even if you assume the Ivy Leagues have a lock on that, which they don't.

      How do you explain it?

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    4. "these kids fresh out of Ivy league schools"

      Wow, some people are gullible. Who are you talking about? Names some names, and more than a few. If all these Ivy League kids are such a huge problem, there must be hundreds of them, fresh out of college, and running the nation's discourse.

      Look, the Ivy League-educated Somerby has been quite the under-achiever and really has a problem with any Ivy Leaguer who attains any degree of the success that has eluded.

      So every time some one younger than him gets a byline, he goes off on another "those damned Ivy League kids" rant.

      And you buy the notion that the are landing "visible jobs at major newspapers without paying any workforce dues" because Bob says so.

      No, I'm sure that Bob didn't have to work hard at all to sell that notion to you.



      Delete
    5. Wouldn't one hope for a little more self-worth and independent thinking from young people with all that education? Or have they spent so much energy on doing the things that will please teachers, admissions officers, professors and employers that they have no gumption left? It certainly looks like the latter in the case of someone like Philip Rucker. He knows perfectly well that what he is doing is not journalism, but he does it anyway to please his editors.

      Delete
    6. u.l. I am glad you know:

      1) What journalism is and is not.

      2) That Philip Rucker "knows perfectly well" his work is not journalism

      3) That he does whatever it is he know is not journalism to please his editors.

      Good think blog commentary requires independent thinking, modest mind reading, and the willingness to deride what others "literally" say.

      Delete
    7. Urban is no doubt giving Rucker the benefit of the doubt by assuming he is an intelligent young man when he assumes he knows what journalistic standards are (it is his own profession after all).

      Delete
    8. July 7 11:44 -- Dipstick reading? Huh?

      Delete
    9. I assume you measure how oleaginous a person is the same way you check the oil in anything else.

      Delete
    10. 5:05 thank for telling me there is no doubt when u.l. makes an assumption.

      I gave u.l. no credit for benefit granting in the doubt department. I had no doubts to begin with since u.l. stated he knows what rucker knows and that Rucker does too and he aims to please by not doing it.

      Delete
    11. That Rucker is such a cub. Only on the job at WaPo eight years. Why we have had a President who served longer than that!

      Delete
    12. How does someone from an Ivy League school get a job at the NY times or Washington Post right out of school when most journalists spend 8 years working their way up to such a job? The typical career path is to start as an intern in a small or medium size market, do some solid work and get a paying position, do some more solid work and apply at a larger paper. Who starts at the top?

      Delete
    13. The typical blog commenter spends years revealing pig ignorance and never acquires a bit of knowledge that shakes firmly held mistaken opinions.

      Delete
  8. 1:11 is very strong with taking literalism to its logical conclusion. Nuance he or she does not do. No substantive argument, either, only attack from the edges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We marvel at your substance of course. Safe here on the edges.

      Delete
  9. Krystal Ball's standardized diatribe sure looks like an audition for bigger things.

    They may be doing Hillary a favor, though, starting this early. Showing their stuff when it will not gain any traction. Hillary is getting what the market will bear and pouring most of it into a foundation that is doing good work throughout the world? O, the Humanity! Bring us the smelling salts.

    But it would be nice to see a few in the liberal literati -- especially the ones who have gained a mass-market TV gig -- show they will have her back on this kind of nonsense. That they won't tells me the screws being applied probably are a lot stronger than a tribal affiliation or even covering future employment possibilities can account for. More like, "Rachel/Chris (Hayes), if you don't keep silent about this you will be gone in a flash, and we will do everything we can, including lying about you, to ruin your career."

    In other words, what we need more than anthropology is good investigative journalism by someone who can get the results published.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those are some strong screws indeed u.l.

      Perhaps the investigative reporters can find out how who the "we" is who are applying them, just how strong they are, and if any are loose.

      Delete
    2. I would look on Wall Street.

      Delete
    3. You think the screws are coming from folks at Goldman who are unhappy with what Clinton told them for the big bucks they provided to her in speaking fees, or from a Goldman competitor sad they didn't get first call on her loyalty?

      Delete
    4. Obama got more money from Wall Street than Clinton did. What does that tell you?

      Delete
    5. That you believe everything is Obama's fault?

      Delete
    6. @ 7:04 what does it tell you in relation to the comment that Wall Street is behind the Hillary jihadists?

      Delete
    7. Clinton wanted to help consumers during the meltdown and investigate the bankers. The money for that would come from penalties. They don't want to see her with the power to do such things.

      Delete
    8. Is that right @ 10:34? Funny I never read much about that.

      Delete
    9. When Clinton's substantive comments made during an interview do not get the same coverage as remarks about being broke upon leaving the White House, is it any wonder no one knows what her positions on various issues are? Isn't that the point of this post?

      Delete
    10. @ 10:29 You don't read much about that because real issues are not interesting to the mainstream media. Hillary certainly talks the talk, but it is hard to actually confront Wall Street.

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/06/hillary-clintons-goldman-sachs-problem

      Delete
    11. Thanks for the link. I reread the article by Corn. I first read it from a Mother Jones link while reading the original piece on Clinton's speaking fees which gave rise to Diane Sawyer's "it has been reported" line. You know, the article Bob had to disappear to claim Sawyer invented the meme.

      Delete
  10. I think Hillary Clinton had one of her best weeks ever last week,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's been tested under fire.

      Delete
  11. How did Krystal Ball get her job without an Ivy League degree? And why is it no surprise she is supporting yet another white woman for President?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose you think you are being clever. What a waste of space you trolls are.

      Delete
    2. Some of us don't think it is funny that so few women have run for president and none have been elected.

      Could someone make this kind of joke about members of racial minorities running for office without being called on racism? Why is it OK to be sexist like this?

      Delete
    3. So @ 5:11, you think it is sexist to ask why it is not surprising that Krystal is again supporting a woman.

      You seem to think it would be racist if this question were asked if she was a minority supporting a member of hr minority group?

      Isn't it also racist to ask why it is not surprising that she is a white person supporting another white person for President again?

      And is it OK for you to be insensitive to this issue?

      Delete
    4. 5:08: I suppose you think you are contributing something to the comments. What a waste of space you troll-whiners are.

      Delete
    5. How did Krystal Ball nab that cushy media job with no Ivy degree or parental connection?

      Delete
    6. Does Krystal make more than Chelsea at MSNBC?

      Delete
    7. Did Krystal work on Wall Street? Has she done any charity work on global causes? What are her qualifications beyond journalism and being good looking? Why does she have a name like a stripper?

      Delete
    8. What caused Krystal Ball to throw Hillary under the bus for that Warren woman? She is as green behning the ears as Obama.

      Delete
    9. @ 7:34 Why is Krystal Ball named like a stripper?

      How else is a nimble conniving self serving gal going to climb the oleaginous pole of advancement?

      Delete
  12. Was Hillary Clinton even in Washington during the week in question?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While we are looking, can somebody tell me where the Inka went?

      Delete
  13. Here is an interesting article that asks what it takes for a NY Times journalist to be fired.

    http://fredrikdeboer.com/2014/07/03/whos-really-got-tenure/?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite interesting. Entertaining too.

      Delete


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