THE CALIBER OF OUR OWN PROFESSORS: Professor Greer pours it on!


Part 3—Our own Clinton-hater recites:
The novelists are out in force this morning.

The press corps’ many “theater critics” are also out in numbers. They’re typing their favorite novel of all, the Clinton character novel.

The memorized novel is being retyped all over today’s New York Times. Here’s how the horrible Maggie Haberman starts her “news analysis:”
HABERMAN (3/11/15): In a career that has been punctuated by uncomfortable, emotionally freighted spectacles, Hillary Rodham Clinton's news conference on Tuesday explaining her use of private email to do her job as secretary of state was far from the most gawk-worthy.

She began by opining on the diplomatic furor of the day, a reminder that in the four years she was typing out missives on her smartphone, she was also representing America's national interests around the globe. Her voice measured, she conceded at the outset that it probably would have been ''smarter'' not to work from a private email account. And she speculated that ordinary Americans would understand her concern for keeping private matters private, like her yoga poses or her mother's funeral.

But Mrs. Clinton's attempt to put a whirlwind of questions and critical news reports behind her—and to get back to mustering enthusiasm ahead of her expected announcement that she will make another run at the White House—devolved, over the course of 21 minutes, into an exchange of sharp-toned questions and increasingly defensive responses, both in what she said and in her demeanor in saying it.
Haberman was signed away from Politico after she’d proven that she was more than up to the task of typing that sort of thing.

The theater criticism was perfect. According to Haberman, Clinton’s voice was “measured” at the start of yesterday's event—but she grew “increasingly defensive, both in what she said and in her demeanor.”

That’s the theater criticism. The framework of Haberman’s novel was announced in her opening sentence, when readers were told that Clinton’s career “has been punctuated by uncomfortable, emotionally freighted spectacles.”

The press corps adores that long-running novel. Soon, Haberman was citing “a pink suit” which Clinton wore in 1994, and opining that Clinton “has seemed to have a phobia.”

As always, Haberman was horrible, the skill she developed and evinced at her previous post. In her front-page news report today, Amy Chozick may have been worse.

Each scribe toyed with Clinton’s “yoga” joke, moving it up in prominence for the obvious reason. These life forms have been doing this sort of thing for a very long time.

What is the Clinton novel like? Consider some of the theater criticism in Frank Bruni’s op-ed column:
BRUNI (3/11/15): [B]ehind her forced smile, which was practically cemented in place, she seemed put out by all the skepticism and all the questions. She shouldn’t be. This latest Clinton controversy is not the work or fault of Republican enemies or a ruthless, unappeasable press corps. It’s her doing.

She made a choice when she stepped into the secretary of state’s job that was bound to be second-guessed if it ever came to light, as everything eventually does. And when it did, she was silent about it for a week, letting suspicions fester.

She was on the spit Tuesday because she placed herself there.

But the real problem with the news conference wasn’t anything specific that she said or didn’t say, any particular tone of voice or set of her shoulders that she aced or bungled.

It was what kept coming to mind as she stood before the cameras once again,
under fire once again, aggrieved once again by Americans’ refusal to see and simply trust how well intentioned and virtuous and good for the country she is:


It was all so very yesterday.
According to Bruni, the problem with yesterday’s event wasn’t “any particular tone of voice or set of her shoulders.”

It wasn’t even Clinton’s “forced smile, which was practically cemented in place” as she stood behind the podium, “aggrieved once again by Americans’ refusal to see and simply trust how well intentioned and virtuous and good for the country she is.”

As a theater critic and mind-reader, Bruni could see that Clinton was “aggrieved,” and he was able to discern what she was aggrieved about. The problem with the event, he said, “was what kept coming to mind as she stood before the cameras.”

More precisely, the problem was what kept coming to Bruni’s mind. For ourselves, we didn’t react to this event in the way he described. Nor does Bruni actually know if “Americans” did, although he rushed to assume that his reactions were shared by everyone else.

Bruni has always been like this. Back in Campaign 2000, he relentlessly fawned to Candidate Bush, kissing the ascot of the great man as he praised the brilliance of his accessorization.

Bruni pandered, smooched, kissed aspic and fawned. At one point, the silliest child in the whole Times stable actually typed this cant:
BRUNI (9/14/99): When Gov. George W. Bush of Texas first hit the Presidential campaign trail in June, he wore monogrammed cowboy boots, the perfect accessory for his folksy affability and casual self-assurance.

But when he visited New Hampshire early last week, he was shod in a pair of conservative, shiny black loafers that seemed to reflect more than the pants cuffs above them.
They suggested an impulse by Mr. Bush to put at least a bit of a damper on his brash irreverence, which has earned him affection but is a less certain invitation for respect.
Only in the New York Times will life forms be this inane. Bruni offered this brainless succor to Bush all through the long campaign.

The “Big Love” extended to Candidate Bush was, of course, an offshoot of the press corps’ Clinton-hatred. This hatred transmogrified into the War Against Gore, the twenty-month war your TV heroes still refuse to discuss or acknowledge.

Personally, we aren’t real high on Clinton as a candidate. In the last few years, we’ve never quite been able to imagine her winning the White House, although of course she might.

Beyond that, we tend to think she was very dumb to handle her emails as she did. But nothing can match the size of The Dumb which comes to life when the press corps starts sequelizing its Clinton scandal novel and extending its Clinton hate.

The Dumb was very, very large on cable TV last night. We were struck by the ease with which Chris Matthews and Lawrence O’Donnell returned to their old ways.

Chris and Lawrence have always been two of the biggest Clinton/Gore-haters. Matthews virtually sent Bush to the White House all by himself, though Joan and David and Eugene will never tell you about that.

On national TV, Lawrence was inventing “lies” by Candidate Gore right through October 2000. Last night, these terrible hustlers were at it again. But so was Professor Greer.

In a slightly rational world, the occasional professor would have challenged the work of these horrible people. The occasional professor would have deconstructed the unmentionable War Against Gore

In even a slightly rational world, our own liberal professors would have performed these obvious functions. But we don’t live that kind of world. We live in a world where we liberals are handed professors like Greer, who staged a perfect recitation of novelized cant for angry old Lawrence last night.

How bad is this 30-something Fordham professor? Ignore her endless generalizations. She even threw Whitewater in!
PROFESSOR GREER (3/10/15): You know, this is kind of vintage Clinton in the sense that these two—and I’m putting her with her husband—are consistently in the news where there’s a set of rules for, for the people, and then there’s always a set of rules for the Clintons that they thought they understood and then they kind of go to the line, sometimes they overstep the line.

But there’s always an explanation with them. And I think that’s going to be the interesting piece with independent voters, those who remember the good old 90s or the bad old 90s, right? Those who remember the drama that associates the Clintons every single time they’re in the spotlight.

I think they thought they had more friends in 2008 than they actually do. I think that they need to really make a case in 2016. Because there are a lot of people who find the Clintons exhausting.

So it wasn’t just about Monica and Whitewater. Now we have—you know, and Benghazi, whether it’s legitimate or not. But now we have Emailgate. There’s always something. Sometimes it’s legitimate, sometimes it’s actually not fair, right? But there’s something about that last name in this country that comes with so much baggage.

O’DONNELL: All right, we’re going to take a quick break...
To watch this full segment, click here.

Professor Greer is an assistant professor at Fordham. She’s also a bit of a Clinton hater, as you can see from the absurd generalizations she offers all through that indictment.

Professor Greer is hopeless, except when it comes to recitation of script. There’s always a set of rules with the Clintons. There’s a drama that associates the Clintons every single time they’re in the spotlight.

There’s “always something” with the Clintons, our Clinton-hater says. “There’s something about that last name in this country that comes with so much baggage.” She even brings Whitewater back!

There’s always something with the Clintons, our Clinton-hater says. But she makes no attempt to figure out where that something might come from.

On this particular evening, part of that “something” was sitting across from her in the person of the gruesome O’Donnell. But as an obvious Clinton-hater, the professor wasn’t going to say that, though we’ll guess that she may not have known.

Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be our ideal candidate. But make no mistake:

Starting in March 1999, these Clinton-haters spent twenty months sending Candidate Bush to the White House. There is every reason to think that they could do it again.

Professor Greer recited every point in the Clinton novel. People find them “exhausting,” she said. “Drama” associates with them “every single time they’re in the spotlight.”

The generalizations are completely absurd. But you'll note that this well-scripted professor never stops to think that this constant drama may be a product of an animus of the part of the press corps.

In that sense, she's typing the same novel as Bruni. In this novel, the cause of the drama must lie with Them. It cannot lie with Us.

This way lies the next Republican president! Professor Greer, a hopeless if rather typical soul, seems eager to bring him to power.

This is what our own liberal professors are like! In Professor Greer's speech to Lawrence, we gaze on the caliber of our own professors again!

Later today: Professor Robin


  1. Who knew that Hillary shared her hubby's predilection for private servers?

    1. I give you permission to criticize Jeb Bush for doing the same thing.

    2. @ 1:41

      Not quite. Clinton was subject to a number of security and archival requirements that are not imposed on state-level politicians or even members of Congress.

    3. And she has complied with all of them.

    4. Negative. She deleted emails that she herself determined were "private." She needs to turn over her server to a non partisan party who both the Dems and Republicans can agree on.

      She also has absolutely no evidence that her server was never hacked.

    5. Lionel's conscienceMarch 11, 2015 at 7:36 PM

      More bullshit out of the wingnut IRS "scandal" playbook. You creeps are so fucking transparently phony.

    6. @ Lionel

      If only Hillary and the Obama Administration were transparent. Alas, they are just phony.

      BTW: There really is an IRS scandal whether you believe in no "smidgeon" of corruption or not.

      "IRS Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Thursday that it took investigators just two weeks to recover 424 backup tapes that IRS Commissioner John Koskinen previously said to be unretrievable.

      “To date, we have found 32,744 unique emails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s email box. We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Camus said

      In one of the new emails, Lerner apparently wrote, “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other.”

    7. "We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Camus said.

      And cicero's very next words:

      "In one of the new e-mails . . ."

      Cicero, next time, you might take the time and effort to read what you cut and paste, unless you really do want to look like an idiot.

    8. "... unless you really do want to look like an idiot."

      As long as he gets paid, he could care less.

    9. @ 4:17

      Congress wasn't waiting for Camus to figure it out. That Lois "slow" Lerner quote is a newly uncovered email. What was your point again?

      Did you tag candidate Obama as an idiot when he claimed there were 58 states in the United States? How about POTUS Obama claiming George Washington lived in The White House?

  2. Hmmmm, so Bob seeks "Clinton Derangement Syndrome" clearly. Bully for him!

    Now he might want to reconsider "Obama Derangement Syndrome" before dismissing it with, "Well, mean things have always been said about presidents."

    As a matter of fact, we have a classic case of "O.D.S" going on right now among 47 Republican members of the U.S. Senate.

    1. @ 12:45

      Teddy Kennedy must have had "R.D.S". as according to Soviet documents unearthed in the early 1990′s, Kennedy literally asked the Soviets to intervene on behalf of the Democratic party in the 1984 elections.

    2. Gee cicero, are you accusing Ted Kennedy of doing what Nixon did with the Paris Peace talks in 1968 and Reagan did with Iran in 1980? And just think, he wasn't even running in 1984 when it happened.

    3. Let's see. A memo from the KGB's top guy, citing unnamed sources, says Kennedy told Tunney to tell Andropov . . .

      And in exchange for whatever unspecificed things Andropov was asked to do, Kennedy would help him get some interviews on U.S. television, as if the leader of the Soviet Union couldn't do that himself.

      Yep, sounds as solid as it did when first reported in 1992. Amazing how this is being brought up now, isn't it?

      I'd also like to point out that Kennedy's presidential ambitions didn't seem to be very strong that spring, given the fact that he didn't even run.

      Perhaps Andropov told the KGB to tell the confidential sources to tell Tunney to tell Kennedy that he didn't have much of a chance.

    4. @1:47,

      Because Senator Teddy didn't run in 84 his overture to the Soviet Union behind POTUS Reagan's back is no big deal? If you don't like this example of liberal hypocrisy how about Pelosi meeting with Syria's Assad.

      "Special Importance
      Committee on State Security of the USSR
      14.05. 1983 No. 1029 Ch/OV

      Regarding Senator Kennedy’s request to the General Secretary of the Communist Party Comrade Y.V. Andropov

      Comrade Y.V. Andropov

      On 9-10 May of this year, Senator Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant J. Tunney was in Moscow. The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Center Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov. "

    5. Cicero, do you believe every memo the KGB writes? Or just the ones about Democrats?

      By the way, if you want to compare this incident to 47 Senators sending an "open letter" to the leaders of Iran telling them they are wasting their time negotiating an nuclear arms deal with the Obama administration, then you truly are a very sad, sick person who has as little understanding of both the Constitution and International law as the Senators in question.

      Which should truly be the story here -- how 47 U.S. senators are so utterly clueless.

    6. I do believe the information contained in the Venona intercepts regardless of the ideology of the subject.

      No problems with what Pelosi did? Ok. Sure seems an in person meeting on foreign soil trumps a letter for perfidy.

      But those accusations never gained enough steam (or perhaps legal standing) to turn into judicial inquiries. It's a familiar refrain, said Steve Vladeck, a constitutional law professor at American University.

      "Every time a member of Congress does something in the foreign policy sphere that's at odds with the president, someone trots out the Logan Act," Vladeck said.

      "...And he doesn't believe the Logan Act would hold up in court if, say, the Justice Department decided to indict Cotton -- a move everyone agrees is practically and politically completely untenable.

      The Justice Department on Tuesday declined to comment on the Logan Act, but a federal law enforcement official said there's no interest in pursuing anything along these lines. "

      So much for your claim of violating the Constitution or International Law.

    7. Problem for you is . . . Kennedy had already decided against another run for president on Thanksgiving weekend, 1982, when he discussed this with his family, and they were all opposed.

    8. Traitors do it. Both sides do it.
      Even spelling bees at poverty schools do it.
      Let's do it. Let's feed the troll.

    9. Cicero, the Logan Act is neither the Constitution or international law.

      Are you truly this stupid?

      I will, however, agree with Professor Vladeck -- assuming we in Howlerland are allowed to agree with a professor -- that the Logan Act is utterly useless, and probably would not hold up if it were ever used to prosecute anyone.

      So how long is your laundry list of Democrats who have spoken to foreign heads of state?

      I know you've been hearing this somewhere and feel duty bound to repeat it, but it is an utterly lame attempt to distract attention from a coordinated, partisan effort by 47 Republican senators to sabatoge delicate negotiations at such a critical on such a critical issue as Iran's attempts to develop and procure nuclear arms.

    10. @ 3:26

      Well, how about naming the Constitutional law the Senators violated? And name this International Law that was violated while you are at it/

      U.S. Code § 953 - Private correspondence with foreign governments is a federal law. Since a Constitutional law professor has shot it down, what else you got?

      Delicate negotiations? And you actually believe these Republican Senators want Iran to have a nuclear weapon? You haven't been paying attention.

    11. L. Trent Bozell IIIMarch 11, 2015 at 7:44 PM

      "I know you've been hearing this somewhere and feel duty bound to repeat it ...."

      To paraphrase Will Munny in Unforgiven, duty's got nothin' to do with it. Cheech is simply a wingnut paid to infest comboxes with his/her/its version of Club-for-Growth bullet points.

    12. @Bozelll III,

      Quoting a film directed by an Obama hater? You will lose your David Brock decoder ring for that.

  3. Warning: The troll loves MSDNC and the NYT, which Bob criticizes today. Expect incoherent attacks prompted by anger stemming from said criticism. The troll will only be calm if Bob slams Fox 24/7.

    1. cicero likes Forbes, not the NYT. A. Perez loves taters.

    2. Tater man has a busy lunch time route or he would have been back with his tots sooner.

    3. Dodger doesn't like to touch the hot potatoes.

    4. You have me confused. I hate the dodgers.
      I'm a Redskin tater man myself.

      And I'm not urban or even urbane. Like cicero I am a bit of a metroplexual.

    5. L. Brent Bozell IIIMarch 11, 2015 at 7:48 PM

      Outstanding. Today the combox is blessed with Cheech the paid ConTroll and Apres ZZZZZZZzzzzzz, the root expert.

    6. I didn't call you dodger lover. You Dodge hot potatoes because you can't handle them, but you hate having no alternative. You hate dodgers, including yourself. But you are a dodger nonetheless.

  4. FWIW. The "horrible" Maggie Haberman has never previously been labelled as such by B. Somerby according to the archives of his current format.

    That said, he may have done it in private e-mail with the many readers who hold him in unstated esteem.

    1. Anonymous at 150pm fails to address anything typed in the columns criticized in today's Howler. His post therefore is a FAIL.

    2. Anonymous at 347pm was late with today's disclaimer. The damage done to the esteem in which the blog author is held by casual readers due to infestations of unmoderated trolls is all 347pm's fault.

  5. I am glad the stand-up comics of the blogosphere are responding to the theater critics of the press crops.

    1. Anyone with an ounce of sense would have understood all along that Susan Rice was being trashed to produce this drop in Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

  6. Brian Williams makes up war stories, Bob couldn't stop writing about it. Bill Reilly makes up war stories. Well, that's not to be discussed. Hillary Clinton made up war stories, again no big deal.

    1. That is unfair. Bob covered more than war stories.

      He pooh-poohed the Papal prevaricating.

      He questioned the Death of the Dart in Kansas cornfields.

      He opened the Vienna sausage can of worms!!!

      It's Bob's blog and he will cover the yoga poses when he catches and masters his breath. If he wants to.

    2. You left out Brian Williams rushing in to echo and defend Rush Limbaugh and his dittoheads charge that opposing an invasion of Iraq was "un-American".

      I don't think Williams can be ridiculed enough.

    3. Perhaps Williams was just offering up some constructive criticism for the benefit of us liberals. True, we're great on a number of issues, but lets face it, when it comes to the issue of patriotism, as well as the issue of national security in the face of a grave threat, we get, to borrow a phrase from the Iron Lady herself, a bit "wobbly".

      This was just Brian's way of taking us by the hand and showing us the error of our ways. We should be eternally grateful, not critical like that brute Somerby.

    4. 7:21 PM - concern-troll snark #5,261.

    5. Leave Brian (and Chris and Lawrence and Rachel) alone!

  7. When will we hear about Clinton making up Bosnian war stories. Apparently, a month of it when Williams does it, but our presumed candidate does it, our liberal hero Bob will never mention it. Only someone with Clinton Derangement system cares when Hillary makes up the same sort of lies as Williams.

    four Pinocchios - i.e., she lied.

  8. "But nothing can match the size of The Dumb which comes to life when the press corps starts sequelizing its Clinton scandal novel and extending its Clinton hate." Bob Somerby

    I don't know. I'd say a very short paragraph later Somerby matched it when he turned the Clinton sequel into an Al Gore rerun.

  9. Bob is right to object to reporting that focuses on tone of voice and other subjective matters. OTOH I would object to reporting that fails to analyze the questions and answers, and which fails to point out that many of her answers were of questionable veracity. We all know that she chose to use a private e-mail to keep stuff secret. And it worked, During the todo over Benghazi, Clinton's e-mails did remain secret.

    I find it sad that this sort of thing is no longer objectionable. We citizens don't expect our public servants to tell us what they're doing (allegedly on our behalf.) And, we don't fault the public servants when they dissemble about it.

    1. Yes, every Secretary of State since Jefferson made their e-mails public immediately! How dare this woman!

    2. I'm said too.

      I long for a return to the good old days when LBJ invited the press over to listen to the FBI tapes of MLK while he took a crap and told them through the open door which pocket he had Ho Chi Minh's pecker in that day.

      I yearn for the times when Nixon patted Rosemary Woods on the shoulder and told her not to get all twisted that way when she answered phones and transcribed at the same time else she throw her back out.

      I miss the days when we could track those stingers sent to Iran on our phones with the White House Watch app.

      And who can't wax nostalgic over the mordant chuckles we got when we knew on 9/12 how bad Bush blew it when he told the briefer on Bin Laden to move along after "covering his ass." We always knew he was light, both in his loafers and his monogrammed Cowboy boots.

      We all know we miss this. And if we don't our cousins will remind us or somebody we meet at a reception will tell us.

      It's our own dirty little secret.

    3. How dare this women have only one communication device!

      What? She has a BlackBerry and an iPhone...Oh no.....

    4. Shorter Dinky: BENGHAZI!!! BENGHAZZI!!!

    5. Convenience! Convenience!

  10. Enough, Somerby, enough.

    Call in the spellcasters and bring on the next Professor, please.

    This one proved a complete dud.

  11. Don't take it personally, but...

    Personally, we....

    wouldn't “blame” Rhee for that

    blame this whole thing on Kevin Drum

    weren't present in Benghazi

    favor well-resourced, integrated schools too

    don't have a giant problem with references to “cultural” problems within some part of black America

    wouldn't have made the inevitable snide reference to Reverend Sharpton

    were less than thrilled when Rachel Maddow played with her dolls

    think opinion leaders should be very careful when they brandish such weapons.

    don't think of the NFL as a judicial body

    wouldn't say that “American students are doing quite well in comparison to those of other advanced nations.”

    would have been a bit harder on the right in the bulk of the column.

    wouldn't vote for Paul

    aren't real high on Clinton as a candidate

    approve of that kind of talk

    wouldn't say that

    think that practice starts to suggest a certain lack of respect for the truth.

    Next week, we'll examine three decades of silly stories about our White House campaigns—silly stories which, in some cases, have changed the history of the world. For today .... Personally, we don't care about that.

    1. And yet you are here.

    2. 2:28 PM - project much?

  12. It's going to be fascinating to see how right wing mogul Jack Welch's old boytoys Matthews and O'Donnell conduct themselves if and when Hillary Clinton makes another run for the Presidency. It's also going to be interesting watching the pseudos tie themselves in knots defending their corporate media "liberal" champions.

    1. It certainly won't be as interesting as watching an idiot write about "pseudo's" knotting themselves over two people nobody around here has defended.

      Inventing that there are such people, however, might make you a boytoy of Bob Somerby, master of the Pseudo-factual.

    2. Extraodinary prognostication, 5:37 PM.

  13. Like it or not they ARE your nightly corporate media spokesmen, so lets not dare criticize them.

    1. Oh, I get it. You're being sarcastic.

  14. Bruni doesn't like women.

    1. He and Somerby share something in common.

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