Part 4—Sweater boys and the failure to serve:
At one time, the warnings flowed from the precincts of Journalist County.

When he was still a college student, Jacob Weisberg issued a prescient warning in the pages of The New Republic.

For all previous posts in this series, click here.

That warning appeared in 1986. Two years later, Richard M. Cohen issued a warning from just outside CBS County.

In 1996, James Fallows echoed Weisberg’s earlier warning about print journalists and their buffoonist behavior on TV shows. Like Weisberg and Cohen, Fallows followed the money.

According to Fallows and Weisberg before him, columnists were chasing the money which comes with the fame conferred by pundit shows. Way back in 1986, Weisberg had neatly described how that game is played. He discussed the syndicated program, The McLaughlin Group:

“McLaughlin’s program gives the best kind of exposure to journalists, since it not only shows their faces, but presents them as lively characters...the pace of [the program] and its air of personal enmity give viewers the sense that they are watching genuine insider banter.”

In those days, Weisberg was good! Columnists were going on TV and presenting themselves as “characters,” he sagaciously wrote. Viewers were given the (false) impression that they were watching something genuine.

Those warnings were issued in 1986, 1988 and 1996. Then, if we might borrow from Woolf, “Time Passe[d].”

(That’s Virginia Woolf, not Michael, who misspells his own name.)

In August 2000, in Los Angeles, at the Democratic Convention, we lunched one day with Weisberg, who we’d never previously met. Also present were two other major journalists and good decent people, Walter Shapiro and Jonathan Alter.

The event was conducted al fresco.

Years later, reading this profile, we came to see that we had been in the presence of greatness that day. In 1996, the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Galloway had profiled Weisberg and a crew of luminaries:
GALLOWAY (7/26/96): At age 31, Weisberg is one of the youngest members of a particularly influential group of talented magazine writers who are widely regarded as the heirs of Tom Wolfe, Gay Talese, David Halberstam and other vaunted practitioners of what was known in the 1960s and '70s as the New Journalism—and yet who are very different from them.

Indeed, while expressing admiration for these icons of yesterday, most of whom are in their 60s and no longer contribute to magazines, today's younger cohorts are moving in a different direction.


"We are much more straightforward and less preoccupied with style," Weisberg says. "We write out of a skeptical liberalism and a political orientation, putting an emphasis on empiricism in our reporting. We are tough-minded, and even though our writing may be caustic at times, it's often softened by humor and always built on idealism. Our ultimate goal is to figure out how to make government work better."

The New Journalists were chiefly showcased in Esquire, Harper's and New York. Most of their putative progeny can be found at The New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly and the three main newsmagazines.

Today's most frequently cited magazine all-stars include David Remnick, Michael Kelly, Robert Wright, James Fallows, Michael Kinsley, Nicholas Lemann, Chicago's Jonathan Alter, Mickey Kaus, Walter Shapiro, Gregg Easterbrook, Susannah Lessard and Weisberg.
Looking at that list of names, we’re forced to cringe in some cases. At any rate, as Galloway continued, he let Daniel Okrent report the negative spin:
GALLOWAY: Many, if not most, Weisberg among them, have gone directly from their Ivy League universities to the aforementioned mags.

Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief and owner of The New Republic, recruits almost exclusively from Harvard, where he lectures, while Charles Peters, founder and editor-in-chief of The Washington Monthly, will occasionally reach out to Yale, Weisberg's alma mater.

"The negative spin about these writers is they'll always be seen as the editors of the Harvard Crimson or the Yale Daily News, brilliant boys who come down to Washington because of Charlie Peters and Marty Peretz," says Okrent.

"They're given these platforms and become very influential when they are very, very young—but again, they're known more for their ideas and thinking than for reporting."
Galloway’s piece appeared in 1996. Ten years had passed since Weisberg issued that sagacious, prescient warning. Fallows had reissued the warning in January of that year.

Four years later, we lunched al fresco with three members of that particularly influential group of talented magazine writers who were widely regarded as the heirs of vaunted practitioners of what was known in the 1960s and '70s as the New Journalism.

(Needless to say, Arianna was paying our hotel bill. We were in L.A. to appear at a comedy event in connection with her so-called Shadow Convention.)

It wasn’t their fault that Galloway had written about them that way. As a courtesy, we’ll assume Weisberg was misquoted when he was alleged to have said, “We are tough-minded and even though our writing may be caustic at times, it's often softened by humor and always built on idealism."

It was August 2000. Ten months earlier, Weisberg had played an unfortunate role in the War Against Gore, although it wasn’t entirely his fault. See Chapter 4 of our companion site.

One month later, Shapiro, who is a good decent person, would help create a disaster for his nation and several others, imagining that Candidate Gore had told his latest lie, this time about the union lullaby he had been sung as a child.

The statement by Gore was an obvious joke, a joke he had told in the past, but Walter heard and reported it straight. Two days later, the Boston Globe’s Walter Robinson created another disturbing lie by Gore, the lie about the doggy arthritis pills. (No, we’re not making this up.)

The brilliant boys of the national press built their latest firestorm from these latest lies. Gore’s large lead in the national polls disappeared.

What had happened to Gore and his ten-point lead? On MSNBC, Howard Fineman explained the facts of life to Brian Williams, who deserves credit for asking:
FINEMAN (9/21/00): Bush has really had probably the best week he's had since his convention speech. And Gore has had his worst.

WILLIAMS: Howard, I don't know of any kind of conspiratorial Trilateral Commission-like council meetings in the news media. But you bring up an interesting point. And boy, it does seem true over the years that the news media almost reserve the right to build up and tear down and change their minds and like an underdog. What's that about?

FINEMAN: Well, what it's about is the relentless search for news and the relentless search for friction in the story. I don't think the media was going to allow just by its nature the next seven weeks and the last seven or eight weeks of the campaign to be all about Al Gore's relentless triumphant march to the presidency.

We want a race, I suppose. If we have a bias of any kind, it's that we like to see a contest, and we like to see it down the end if we can. And I think that's partly the psychology at play here.
Fineman wasn't exactly telling the truth. This was part of a familiar pattern where pundits cop to inexcusable conduct as a way to hide their actual motives, which are even more heinous. But so it went as one of Galloway’s brilliant writers dreamed the notion that Candidate Gore had lied again, this time about that troubling lullaby.

Did we mention the fact that Walter Shapiro is a good decent person? In our view, we’re speaking here about a culture—a culture Weisberg warned us about when he was still at Yale.

It seems to us that this horrible culture ate those “brilliant boys” alive. Consider some of the brilliance Weisberg produced during the next campaign.

By now, Weisberg was editor of Slate. He took the reins from Michael Kinsley in 2002, when Slate still belonged to Microsoft.

In 2003, Weisberg had even co-written Robert Rubin’s memoir, just to give you a tiny hint of where our story is going.

(Yesterday, we mistyped. Although Bill Gates and Microsoft founded Slate, Microsoft sold the mag to The Washington Post Group in 2005. Here's Kinsley’s brief history of the project.)

Now it was 2004. The Democrats were in New Hampshire, trying to pick a candidate who could unseat George Bush. Needless to say, Maureen Dowd was churning bullshit like that shown below, when she wasn’t trashing Howard Dean’s wife for her frumpy clothing and hair. Hard-copy headline included:
DOWD (1/11/04): The Argyle General

Can we trust a man who muffs his mufti?

Trying to soften his military image and lure more female voters in New Hampshire, Gen. Wesley Clark switched from navy suits to argyle sweaters. It's an odd strategy. The best way to beat a doctor is not to look like a pharmacist.

General Clark's new pal Madonna, who knows something about pointy fashion statements, should have told him that those are not the kind of diamonds that make girls swoon.

Is there anything more annoying than argyle? Maybe Lamar Alexander's red plaid shirt. Maybe celebrities sporting red Kabbalah strings.

After General Clark's ill-fitting suits in his first few debates—his collars seemed to be standing away from his body in a different part of the room—a sudden infusion of dandified sweaters and duck boots just intensifies the impression that he's having a hard time adjusting to civilian life.

It's also a little alarming that he thinks the way to ensorcell women is to swaddle himself in woolly geometric shapes that conjure up images of Bing Crosby on the links or Fred MacMurray at the kitchen table.
You can click that link for yourself. We didn’t make that up.

Meanwhile, please understand:

In the previous White House campaign, Dowd and her ilk had spent months trashing Candidate Gore for every possible aspect of his deeply disturbing wardrobe—for his boots, his suits, his polo shirts, the number of buttons on his suits. For the height at which he hemmed his pants. For the color of that one suit, which was olive or possibly brown.

For the idea that Naomi Wolf had told him to wear the brown suit, which she would describe as earth tones. For the idea that he had “hired a woman to teach him how to be a man.” For the notion that he was wearing three-button suits as a sexual signal to women, echoing the way sailors have buttons instead of a fly.

On the basis of these journalistic obscenities, Candidate Bush was now in the White House. In a related piece of news, the United States was at war in Iraq.

Despite their “tough-minded” instincts, the brilliant boys of Galloway’s dream had never said boo about any of this. Nor was Dowd the only person who had returned to the subhuman practice of campaign coverage by clothes.

Jacob Weisberg was doing it too! As editor of Slate, he was “skiing New Hampshire” that year, doing a daily report which combined news of his day on the cross-country trails with news of the Democratic campaign.

Weisberg’s five-day series was unbelievably foppish. When we discussed it in real time, we said we thought, at first glance, that it must be a parody of some sort. Glancing back through it today, it continues to read like a parody, although quite plainly it’s not.

Shortly after Dowd dropped her latest obscenity about those impossibly “dandified” Democrats, Weisberg—he had once issued a brilliant warning!—was typing his own disgraceful piddle, possibly from a hot tub which Microsoft had Sherpas bring in for the week.

At the time, David Plotz was a reporter for Slate. Later, he replaced Weisberg in the editor’s chair:
WEISBERG (1/20/04): The others still standing after Iowa—Clark, Edwards, Kerry, and Lieberman—all make plausible claims that they can capture the crucial votes in the middle. Clark’s argument is his military background. Having seen the general up here a few times, David confirms my impression of yesterday that Clark’s performances have improved to an amazing degree. But David sees Naomi Wolf-type issues. He thinks Clark is too pretty and feminine-looking to win. Herringboning up a very tall and cold hill, I told David he was crazy to think Clark couldn’t beat Bush because his eyelashes are too long. But I must admit, it’s a novel complaint.

Edwards' appeal to swingers is his appealing personality and his Southern accent. He's a bright and likable fellow, and like a few others at Slate, David appears to be rooting for him, if not quite openly…

Like Clark, Lieberman wears a green sweater. But where Wes’ evergreen model strikes a flinty New England note, Joe’s is a pastel cashmere number that shouts, “I have been neutered!”
Incredibly, that day’s report bore this headline on the “View All Entries” page: “Clark’s Eyelashes and Lieberman’s Neutering Sweater.”

The caption on one of the photos says this: “Joe Lieberman in red, white and key lime.”

How did one of our brilliant boys end up like this? We’ll offer one supposition tomorrow. But just for the record, Weisberg’s team of intrepid reporters displayed a similar sensibility in New Hampshire that year. Before Dowd pondered the meaning of Clark’s ill-fitting suits and collars, Chris Suellentrop beat her to the general’s duffel. In his own initial post, Weisberg linked to Suellentrop’s piece about Clark’s hunter green sweater.

How had Galloway’s brilliant boy managed to fall so far? Tomorrow, we’ll speculate! But let’s understand the state of play in 2014 concerning those brilliant young writers who got profiled in 1996.

A few of those writers have crashed and burned in truly spectacular ways. The worst of all is the late Michael Kelly, whose Clinton/Gore-hating was prodigious in the years before he managed to get himself killed.

As editor of the Atlantic, he helped drag Fallows into the mess in August 2000. Our series started here.

Aside from Kelly, riddle us this: Can you think of a single thing you know today because of those brilliant young writers who were so tough-minded?

You live in a society which basically has no journalism at all. Your society is incapable of conducting a discussion on any topic, no matter how serious, except perhaps for the ones whose parameters Bill Gates has defined. For that reason, anyone with a journalistic platform is in a position to provide invaluable service, whether writing about our public schools or about the astonishing cost of our health care.

Is there anything you know today because of Galloway’s writers? Given our broken journalistic culture, we can think of very few journalists from whom we’ve learned something important, sweater-wear to the side.

We’ve learned several important things because Paul Krugman became a journalist. From Kevin Drum, we’ve learned about the possible past effects of lead in the air.

Because Gene Lyons wrote Fools for Scandal, we know a lot of things about the coverage of Candidate and President Bill Clinton. (Sub-title: How the media invented Whitewater.)

Lyons’ book appeared in 1996. In effect, it turned out to be a warning about what the press corps was going to do in the two years of Campaign 2000.

During that campaign, we lunched al fresco with three major scribes, all of whom refused to challenge or confront that debacle. Check that! One month later, Walter Shapiro thought he heard Gore’s latest lie.

Four years later, Weisberg was helping reinvent the culture of coverage based on sweaters and long eyelashes. Does a larger, enveloping press corps culture help explain what he did?

Without any question, our journalists work within a deeply fatuous culture. In December, to cite one example, Weisberg’s wife will co-host The New York Times International Luxury Conference.

Actual name! Click here.

We have no doubt that Deborah Needleman is a good, decent person. But a fatuous culture surrounds “Needleberg,” as the pair have sometimes been called. It’s a culture which seems to emerge from The Houses of Journalist County.

Many “journalists” live in those houses. Weisberg, so bright when he was 20, is one in a very long line.

They say that light can’t escape a black hole. Can journalism itself escape The Houses of Journalist County?

Tomorrow: The houses and the movie stars of Journalist County


  1. Arianna Huffington has a hit piece on Hillary Clinton today -- blaming her for spreading fracking to the 3rd world. The last one blamed her for founding Al Qaeda. My question is -- who is out to get Clinton from the left?

    1. Her problem isn't so much with "the left," but with Washington insiders, who have hated all things Clinton for 20+ years, and show no sign of stopping now. I thought with her current popularity and the fact that many of the people from the bad old days have faded away and many others have literally died, that the hatred would go away, but it doesn't seem likely now. Somehow, anyone who becomes a Washington insider gets covered with Clinton hatred, just as a carrot passing through a cow's digestional tract gets covered with shit. Once people like Huffington and Dowd start in, climbers get on board as well, while there are always a group of semi-informed, the kind of person who reads Time or Huffpo, who are, themselves, sort of "left" in orientation, and thinks that makes them knowledgeable, who adopt the attitude. This is the sort of thing Bob would have been on a decade ago or so, but Maddow has eaten his brain, and he has become largely useless. Maddow herself? Well, we'll have to see to what extent she's been covered with Washington shit. In a lot of ways, what's coming up is a test of just how corrupted by money and prominence she is.

    2. I agree, but she just twiddled her thumbs in 2008. I don't expect much in 2016.

    3. HuffPo has also published many articles and columns in praise of Hillary Clinton.

      But let's ignore all that and pretend that Ariana is working out of some personal, long-standing animus toward both Clintons and has ordered everybody at HuffPo to follow suit.

      Is Ariana even calling the shots there any more?

    4. You are naive if you think Huffington depends on Huffpo alone for her influence. She is rich, and knows a LOT of influential people. It gives her clout way beyond her "mere" (current) status as editor of Huffpo. Some people would spew a whole lot of piffle or piddle or whatever Bob calls it to get, or remain, on her good side. Personally, I look at people like her as weather vanes, as indicators of what the rich and powerful (her herd) think. And they seem to think that Hillary sucks.

    5. Huffpo has not published "many articles and columns in praise of Hillary Clinton." They also never show an attractive picture of her.

  2. As commenters have noted previously, Naomi Wolf was hired at the modest sum of $15 K a month to advise Al Gore on, among other things, the Gender Pay Gap. That is why Gore-Liebermann deplored the fact that women made 72 cents on the dollar compared to men.

    Bob Somerby did not explore or denounce this in real time. He has not acknowledged it to this day.

    1. Wow. "Gotcha!"

    2. Why should he? It has nothing to do with media coverage of anything.

      You think this makes him a hypocrite? In your rush to smear Somerby, you demonstrate that you don't understand his criticism at all. You are missing that the problem with the 72 cents on the dollar statement is not that women make less than men, but the additional phrase "for equal work." Note that the phrase "for equal work" is missing from your description of what Gore said. Somerby has never denied that women make less on average. He objects to the additional phrase "for equal work" because it makes the figure incorrect. When work is equated, the figure is not 72 cents any more.

      Note that Naomi Wolf was not hired to consult on Gore's wardrobe (or to teach him how to be a man) as falsely claimed by Dowd and others. That is the main issue -- not the quibble about use of stats.

    3. Wow, indeed! I didn't realize that. I guess we can ignore what he has to say about the state of journalism in this country.

      Good thing, too. It was gonna be just too much work thinking about his claims.

      Thank you.

    4. Wow. Gotcha! back at 12:48. Don't you have a video game to play or an Apple phone line to stand in?

  3. Now this is more like it. Great post, newly informative even to those of us who have been following these issues here for years.

    Want to take on Maddow? Fine, but do it with substance, not reverting to something like the same anti-journalistic behavior identified in this post with purely subjective comments about "clowning" and "snarking" and so forth. The Howler may intensely dislike Maddow's approach personally, but I do not know a single liberal Democrat who shares that dislike. His inability to avoid approaching her performance from that angle only detracts from any substantive message But there's plenty in her service to corporate masters that Maddow avoids covering despite her liberalism. Those gaps, and they go beyond the performance of black kids in public schools, are the legitimate subject for criticism.

    1. I share that dislike and I am a liberal Democrat from a Socialist family tradition. You do not personally know me but please do not doubt that people like me exist. And I disliked Maddow before visiting this site, from when she was on Air America.

    2. Great! You are entitled to your own opinion concerning Maddow or anybody else on the planet.

      Am I entitlled to mine?

    3. My point, of course, is not that there is nobody liberal who doesn't dislike her, or that anyone doesn't have the right to dislike her, but that many (and probably the great majority of Democrats) do like her -- apparently more than any other liberal in the media given her No. 1 status in ratings at MSNBC. I find her intelligent and entertaining, due in part to the snark you find so offensive, and with plenty of "gruel" in the topics she covers.

      However, I think her status and pay may have created blind spots, especially on economic inequality issues. You can't ask her to be "Frontline," as deadrat seems to want in her coverage of Governor McDonnell, because that's simply not what her show is, but you can identify those missing topics. Her buddy-buddy relationship with private-equity-friendly "centrist" Cory Booker may be instructive on where to look for those blind spots. Endless parsing of whether she correctly phrases the "72%" gender pay inequity -- she does say it accurately, and Bob's complaint rests on his belief that her perfectly correct phrasing does not sufficiently call out to incautious viewers the fact obvious to anyone thinking 1.5 seconds about it that the 72% is an overall average -- simply doesn't cut it as meaningful media criticism.

    4. I'm not asking Darlin' Rachel to be Frontline. The negation of "nothing" is not "all."

    5. There is a higher standard for people who can do better but choose not to.

    6. And you see, 7:12, that is my issue here. The only allowable opinion about Maddow is that she somehow chooses not to do better in her chase for the big bucks.

      Rachel Maddow has a one-hour show to fill five nights per week. And given the nature of cable news, it has to be topical -- on the hot issues of the day.

      She has, however, also done some "long form" journalism that required a lot of research and advance planning. Her hour-long report on nuclear proliferation in the wake of Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" initiative was brilliant.

      And so is her continuing work on voter suppression, gender pay inequality, marriage equality, race relations -- all issues of "progressive interests" that Bob only mocks and insults her about in the vilest language he can conjure.

      Again, if you don't like her or her style, fine. But please, don't regurgitate the Somerby line and claim that you came to your own opinion that everything she does is crap, done solely for money and she is utterly without any other guiding principle.

    7. Urban, I for one dislike Maddow's performance very much. Always have. Also, remember Jhn Stewart who is something of a liberal Democrat also dislikes her performances.

    8. 8:28 your last paragraph uses the strawman fallacy.

    9. 9:02, will you ever come up with another line besides "Jon Stewart doesn't like her either." Which is blatantly false.

      Or does Stewart also do your thinking for you in addition to Somerby?

    10. Strawman fallacy?

      It's the Somerby way.

      That's how Maureen Dowd became the most influential journalist of the last 30 years, Fawn Brodie wrote the most influential book of the last 30 years, Meredith Vieira's house shows the corruption of the entire news media, Walter and David were such brilliant, no-nonsense "gatekeepers" and world history changed when reporters wrote mean things about Al, who was certain to win in a landslide otherwise.

      Strawmen are easier to build up and tear down than facing the truth.

    11. Urban , your point about all your liberal friends liking Maddow speaks to Bob's point he talks about her being pleasing to liberals. Giving liberals what they'd like to hear. Do they like her, not dislike her, because what she says feels good, panders to their lower instincts? Isn't this what Bob's point is? Are these pleasing feelings that you and your friends have good for progresses in the long run, or are they just pleasing in the short run? In the same way that a big Mac is pleasing and gives pleasure and is easy to like when you eat it but in the long run really messes you up? Just a thought, not a value judgment or an attempt on my part to put you down.

    12. 9:13. If you watch Maddow's hour-long interview with Stuart he is trying to tell her something. He does not seem to like her performance. Have you watched it? I will stop posting that though just for you my friend. He's trying to tell her something though. He dislikes her performance, it's very, very clear.

    13. 9:17 your response employs the tu Quoque Fallacy of logic. Have a good weekend.

    14. It's like some of the posters here feel like logic doesn't apply to them. It's okay to disagree, to feel pain about what is said here, to suffer, that's cool I understand but logic still applies.

    15. Glenn Greenwald does not like MS NBC or Rachel Maddow.

    16. I think Somerby nailed it when he referred to Maddow as "a wasted draft pick". Sports fans will understand. The description of her program as "a progressive sponge bath" was also classic. I love it when he gets the Maddow fans all riled up.

    17. Conversely, I love it when Bob gets riled and jumps on his soap box to proclaim the end of civilization as we know it because of the existence of one show on a lightly watched network.

      Kinda like its sorta fun watching the old coot down the street scream about those damned kids who keep walking across his lawn.

    18. "If you watch Maddow's hour-long interview with Stuart he is trying to tell her something. He does not seem to like her performance. Have you watched it?"

      You mean this one?

      I urge you to re-watch it because it bears no resemblance to what you remember it to be.

      They have a very good conversation about news vs. comedy, about what each are trying to do. And Stewart ends the interview by heaping praise on her.

    19. That is the one I am referring to. Where they disagree about the role she plays in presenting the news.

    20. In the interview, he accuses her of "bending the rules of journalism". "improperly elevating partisan distinctions between us". "Amplifying the divisions" between us", reporting news that are "conversation stoppers", "delegitimizing" her "political adversaries", "fighting fire with fire", he says on cable news, "left versus right is or seems to be only what matters and that that is a fun house mirror into what actually matters."

      A few of the times he is speaking directly about her and other times he is speaking about cable news in general but make no mistake, those criticisms are aimed at her show, her writers, her performance. He is not excluding her show from any of his criticisms. He saying a lot of the same things Bob says. She disagrees which is fair. And I know you do too which is also fair. But if you look at that as simply a nice conversation and can't see his criticism, you need to research it further and really think about it a little harder.

      Have a good one,

    21. "Bears no resemblance" lol.

    22. She also bragged about her tendency to over prepare. Too bad she didn't bring that tendency to bear on her disastrous meet the press performance.

  4. More like it? More like it???? Exactly like it!!!!!!

    Let's see what we get in this tasty pile of post oldies from Bobarino.

    1) A link to Somerby does Meredith Viera multiple times.

    2) References to articles written in 1986, 1988, and 1996, all the previous subject of multiple posts.

    3) A couple of more servings of the 1986 dish, refried.

    4) A name dropping lunch date from 2000.

    5) Quotes from a 1996 newpaper article also previously discussed.

    6) More about that Y2K lunch.

    7) Yet another rehash from the War on Gore (Fall of 2000 Theater)

    8) A brief history of Slate, 2002-2005 plus correction.

    9) Leftover MoDo from 2004, thawed from storage in the archive icebox and mircrowaved.

    10) Back to the 2000 assault on Gore's manliness.

    11) Rechilled Weisberg lettuce from 2004.

    12) Unlike Chris Matthews, Michael Kelly did get somebody killed, himself, the Clinton/Gore hater!

    13) Retaste of Gene Lyons 1996 book, fresh as new.

    14) Totally new thoughts on how there is no journalism.

    15) MENTION OF A CONFERENCE WHICH WILL BE HELD LATER THIS VERY YEAR THAT IS AIMED AT ADVERTISERS OF THE PAPER IN SECTIONS BOB NEVER COVERS! Alas, it too has already been covered in a post. But at least it is less than a decade old. Heck, it's futuristic.

    It's informative alright. For those with short term memory loss or those who enjoy histories like those written by Fawn Brodie...selective in presentation of shopworn old facts.

    1. Tell me when Bob gets to 2008 and I'll consider it.

    2. By the way, years ago on Bob's recommendation, I bought "Fools for Scandal." I also rushed out to by the book he co-authoried with Conason, "The Hunting of the President."

      Gene Lyons writes a pretty good column. But as a book author? He's terrible! Which is said, because he (and Conason) had some very important things to say that they buried in the most boring prose imaginable just to stretch them out to book length.

      Well, check that. Both books are Shakespeare compared to still-incomplete "How He Got There."

    3. And for the "substance over style" argument that Bob fans are sure to raise in defense of the practically unreadable Lyons, please go first to the incomparable archives and search for "Hawking."

    4. Please, 8:15. You seem like you might be a nice person.

      May we converse? In order to avoid being asked to "go away" or be called a troll or, even worse, a douchebag troll, please do not remind the faithful Bob Somerby never completed has timely book on the 2000 election which he began posting in 2010.

      Allow us to rewrite for you:

      "Well, check that. Both books are Shakespeare compared to ever-incomparable "How He Got There."

    5. If he had completed his book, what would you be saying about it now? Do you need the rest of the book to know what happened to Gore?

    6. No. I knew the first time I saw him speak to a modest sized dinner of Democrats when he ran for President in 1988 what happened to him and would continue to happen to him.

      He was raised by overachieving parents to be Oliver Barrett IV, but he had too much woodeness in his delivery to be likeable to a mass electorate and avoid dislike and parody by close observers. He therefore lacked what it took to be a sympatheric lead character for a novel or film, so he had to be supplemented by a more down home type, like Tommy Lee Jones.

      I was able to imagine in the future whoever was chosen to supplement would supplant. Unfortunately it was the wrong prep school educated boy from Texas. Tommy Lee would never have invaded Iraq.

    7. Should presidents be elected based on their personality or their skill set and knowledge? You seem to be suggesting that if someone is a major introvert they have no business in politics.

    8. I would say that a "major introvert" would have trouble getting elected dog catcher, let alone president. But I would also not call Al Gore a "major introvert."

    9. If that repetition bothers you, I would try to find a way to make peace with it because Bob will not stop repeating that and those facts and all the other ones he repeats until the media changes or he dies.

  5. For the "Maddow is a money-grubbing clown and can do nothing well" crowd, have you heard her take on what we are getting into with ISIS and how Congress needs to "earn their salaries" and bring the whole issue up for debate?

    You might also check out a copy of "Drift" while you are at it. Maddow went into great length to tell why one of the founding principles of this nation was placing warmaking powers in the legislative branch, and how since World War II (the last declared war) the legislative branch has been ceding those powers to the executive -- the very thing the Founding Fathers didn't want to do.

    1. Founding fathers. Great phrase. Sounds like Freedom.

    2. Why start with "since WWII"? There is convincing evidence that FDR began conducting WWII long before Pearl Harbor. But that would undermine the "drift" argument. Lots of undeclared wars before WWII too.

    3. Why get hung up about "since WW2"? And how does that undermine the argument of a book you obviously haven't read?

      My use of the phrase "since WW2" was because we haven't fought a declared war since, but we sure seem to have fought a lot of wars.

      You would understand that if you read the book. But why would any Bobfan do such a thing? After all isn't see a piddly, perspiring, creaming, money-grubbing clown who lies about her skills on the shooting range and how she bought her first TV?

      You know. The critical issues that Bob has devoted the autumn of his years to exposing.

    4. Someone who thinks we haven't been fighting undeclared and declared military actions since we were a colony knows nothing about history. You haven't supplied a reason why anyone should read this book.


  6. please stop here and read up my story,thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again"

    Hello to every one out here, am here to share the unexpected miracle that happened to me three days ago, My name is Jeffrey Dowling,i live in TEXAS,USA.and I`m happily married to a lovely and caring wife,with two kids A very big problem occurred in my family seven months ago,between me and my wife so terrible that she took the case to court for a divorce she said that she never wanted to stay with me again,and that she did not love me anymore So she packed out of my house and made me and my children passed through severe pain. I tried all my possible means to get her back,after much begging,but all to no avail and she confirmed it that she has made her decision,and she never wanted to see me again. So on one evening,as i was coming back from work,i met an old friend of mine who asked of my wife So i explained every thing to her,so she told me that the only way i can get my wife back,is to visit a spell caster,because it has really worked for her too So i never believed in spell,but i had no other choice,than to follow her advice. Then she gave me the email address of the spell caster whom she visited.(}, So the next morning,i sent a mail to the address she gave to me,and the spell caster assured me that i will get my wife back the next day what an amazing statement!! I never believed,so he spoke with me,and told me everything that i need to do. Then the next morning, So surprisingly, my wife who did not call me for the past seven {7}months,gave me a call to inform me that she was coming back So Amazing!! So that was how she came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and she apologized for her mistake,and for the pain she caused me and my children. Then from that day,our relationship was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, was now stronger than how it were before,by the help of a spell caster . So, i will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{} , Thanks.

    Are you passing through any of these problems












    I will advice you out there to kindly visit the same website,if you are in any condition like this,or you have any problem related to “bringing your ex back. So thanks to Dr Brave for bringing back my wife,and brought great joy to my family once again.{} , Thanks.