This is gaffe culture on acid: It’s hard to get one’s arms around the dumbness of our post-journalistic culture.
For the latest example, we submit the latest thrilling case—the case of what Hillary Clinton said in 1986 about something she did in 1975.
Tapes of the 28-year-old conversation in question surfaced last month. For some reason, MSNBC has created a second round of conversations about this matter, first on yesterday’s Morning Joe, then on last night’s Hardball.
Can we go over the facts once again? We’re talking about what Clinton said 28 years ago about something she had done eleven years before that! This involves her role as court-appointed public defender for a man accused of rape.
On MSNBC, the judges have basically all agreed that Clinton shouldn’t have laughed, in any way, when she discussed this case in 1986, not even when she described the clownish way the prosecution managed to ruin or lose the apparent evidence.
On last evening’s Hardball, Chris Matthews and Michelle Bernard were especially histrionic and grand.
In Campaign 2008, Bernard was the absolute last of the anti-Clinton dead-enders. She insisted, right to the end, that Clinton would never be decent enough to endorse Obama.
The very next day, Clinton gave the most effusive endorsement any defeated candidate has ever given.
As for Matthews’ previous greatness, let’s revisit the report by Howard Kurtz during Campaign 2008. In this passage, Kurtz summarized the gruesome conduct the pitiful, hapless “liberal” world had accepted from Matthews for a great many years at that point:
KURTZ (2/14/08): [T]he Hardball host has been particularly hard on the former first lady... In 1999, amid speculation that Clinton might seek a Senate seat in New York, Matthews told viewers: “No man would say, ‘Make me a U.S. senator because my wife's been cheating on me.’ ”This barely began to touch the extent of this horrible person’s past misbehavior. And by the way, just for the record:
The following year, he said: “Hillary Clinton bugs a lot of guys, I mean, really bugs people—like maybe me on occasion. . . . She drives some of us absolutely nuts.”
In 2005, when Clinton criticized the administration on homeland security the day after terrorist bombings in London, Matthews said: “It's a fact: You look more witchy when you're doing it like this.”
In recent weeks, he has asked whether Clinton's criticism of Obama makes her “look like Nurse Ratched.” He has said that “Hillary's loyal lieutenants are ready to scratch the eyes out of the opposition” and likened her to Evita Peron, “the one who gives gifts to the little people, and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita.”
It was against that backdrop that Matthews sparked a furor last month when he said: “I'll be brutal: The reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner, is her husband messed around.”
In our system, why do we insist that every person accused of a crime must have a vigorous defense? Because otherwise, horrible people like Matthews and Bernard would have the whole country in prison.
In the course of the Elizabeth Smart case, Nancy Grace managed to get an innocent man thrown into prison, where he died from an untreated health condition. Left to their own devises, people like Matthews and Bernard would behave the same way.
On Morning Joe, everyone took turns saying how upset they were to think that Clinton could ever have laughed at the absurdities of this case. Remember one thing about these very bad people:
They will always serve their own interests. At present, they’re all making sure that they appear to be on the side of the angels.
In 1986, Clinton ruefully laughed about something that happened in 1975. Twenty-eight years later, our pundits are outraged by this bad offense.
This is gaffe culture on acid. This is “Romney strapped the dog to the roof of the car.” This is “Romney cut that kid’s hair in high school.”
Can we talk? Try this:
Two weeks ago, Clinton proposed a plan to help low-income kids achieve literacy. You will never see these horrible people say a word about that.
They don’t care about low-income kids! They like talking about Romney's dog. They enjoy telling low-IQ tales about the disturbing number of buttons on Al Gore’s suit jackets.
It’s hard for people to understand how truly bad these people are. They’re grasping, questing, devious people. Beyond that, their brains are essentially mush.
This week, a gang of very bad people are making sure that their keisters get covered concerning a 28-year-old remark. Matthews and Bernard, the worst of them all, were off on a jihad last night.
For Ruth Marcus’ column on this topic, click this.
This is Marcus’ opening sentence: “It should not be necessary to write this column.”
Visit our incomparable archives: It’s impossible to capture the full extent of Matthews’ past misconduct concerning Clinton. We won’t even try to show you the shit he pimped for two years about Candidate Gore, making himself very rich in the process.
(He got paid by Jack Welch.)
By now, Matthews has been reinvented, thereby keeping himself in line with his new corporate owners. Below, you can see a bit more of the way he used to compare Clinton to Evita.
Our excerpt is from a Hardball program in December 1999. Nine years later, as Kurtz reported, Matthews was still comparing Clinton to the crazy Peron.
For a fuller account of this crazed Hardball program, just click here. Matthews had been crazed about Gore all through the start of that week:
MATTHEWS (12/6/99): Hillary Clinton got the message wrong. The American people want to have health care for people who work for a living. Working families should get a good wage and they should get health care as part of a living income. She said, “I'm going to give you universal coverage. I want to give every man who gets into this country, legally or illegally, free health care, and they're going to have to thank me for it, and bring flowers to me like I'm Evita.” That's different than giving people workers' rights, or giving them what they go out and work for a living for, including health care.Matthews spoke with Gail Sheehy that night. Sheehy seemed appropriately flabbergasted.
She didn't want to sell it as a workers' benefit. She wanted to sell it as socialism, because then she could get credit for it. She and the government, like Eleanor Roosevelt, her hero.
Here's the weird thing about this dysfunctional relationship, and you've been sorting this out as an author for so many months. You have one partner on the team that thinks they're always right. They think they're better than us morally, politically, culturally, and intellectually and every other way. The other person believes they've never done anything wrong. If you have one who's a born cover-up artist who can't even turn in an honest golf score, and the other one who thinks she's always right about everything, God help us! As you say, Hillary's choice is the choice to be blind-sided or to be blind about the truth. What an amazing credential to be United States senator for New York!
Today, this deeply crazy man pretends to be a Clinton supporter. We liberals have accepted this open corruption for the past fifteen years.
Truly, we’re a helpless, colonized people. You simply can’t insult our intelligence. There is no corporate cable scam we aren’t prepared to accept.