Supplemental: Krugman explains the Clinton rules!

TUESDAY, APRIL 28, 2015

Kristof insults the world:
We remain amazed by Nicholas Kristof’s latest attack on decency. As a portrait of the world of the “press corps,” we think his latest conduct deserves another brief look.

For background, see yesterday’s post.

Kristof did two remarkable things at the start of Sunday’s column. First, he performed the greatest cherry-pick a person could imagine. He then used his grossly misleading “examples” to pimp this remarkable slander:

“We know Johnny can’t read; it appears that Johnny is even worse at counting.”

That’s an astonishing thing to say. It’s also amazingly ugly. Let us add a basic point, one we chose to skip yesterday:

When people are told that Johnny can’t read, they’ll often think this mainly means that our black kids can’t read. These are the kinds of images a “journalist” like Kristof has chosen to peddle when he insists on playing these ugly, deceptive games.

For years, we’ve begged the Kristofs of the world to tell the public about the large gains in math and reading scores achieved by our black and Hispanic kids.

They not only refuse to tell the truth; they insist on pimping disinformation. Presumably, this makes them popular in the land of wealthy men.

As it turned out, yesterday was quite a day for this familiar deception to reach an ugly low point. People like Kristof refuse to share the encouraging truth with the public. In the absence of that information, days like yesterday will give many people a set of extremely negative understandings, ideas and impressions.

We really think the New York Times needs to explain why Kristof did what he did in Sunday’s column. They’ve been misleading the public for years about the dumbness of Johnny and the haplessness of his unionized teachers. Yesterday, Kristof took that propaganda campaign to the level of unfettered insult.

Moving right along:

What Kristof did is astoundingly strange—but so is the 23-year jihad waged against both Clintons and Gore. Many “liberals” are still unable to see that. This brings us to a mistaken impression Paul Krugman revealed in a recent post.

For starters, good for Krugman! In response to his newspaper’s latest “bombshell report,” he offered this sensible warning about “the Clinton rules:”
KRUGMAN (4/24/15): So there’s a lot of buzz about alleged scandals involving the Clinton Foundation. Maybe there’s something to it. But you have to wonder: is this just the return of “Clinton rules”?

If you are old enough to remember the 1990s, you remember the endless parade of alleged scandals, Whitewater above all—all of them fomented by right-wing operatives, all eagerly hyped by mainstream news outlets, none of which actually turned out to involve wrongdoing. The usual rules didn’t seem to apply; instead it was Clinton rules, under which innuendo and guilt by association were considered perfectly OK, in which the initial suggestion of lawbreaking received front-page headlines and the subsequent discovery that there was nothing there was buried in the back pages if it was reported at all.

Some of the same phenomenon resurfaced during the 2008 primary.

So, is this time different? First indications are not encouraging; it’s already apparent that the author of the anti-Clinton book that’s driving the latest stuff is a real piece of work.

Again, maybe there’s something there. But given the history here, we’d all be well advised to follow our own Clinton rules, and be highly suspicious of any reports of supposed scandals unless there’s hard proof rather than mere innuendo.
Quite correctly, Krugman warns readers about the decades of disinformation enabled by “the Clinton rules.” He also warns about Peter Schweizer, who he calls “a real piece of work.”

How about this: Are the authors of the Times’ new report about the Clintons also “real pieces of work?” For obvious reasons, Krugman couldn’t ask that question. So we’ll ask it for him.

(Is Nicholas Kristof a “real piece of work?” Increasingly, it seems clear that the answer is yes.)

As Krugman ended his post, we think he may have erred in his judgment. He suggests that our emerging progressive world will finally push back, after all these years, against the Clinton rules:
KRUGMAN (continuing directly): Oh, and the news media should probably be aware that this isn’t 1994: there’s a much more effective progressive infrastructure now, much more scrutiny of reporting, and the kinds of malpractice that went unsanctioned 20 years ago can land you in big trouble now.
We think Krugman is too sanguine here. No one is easier to con that the kind of self-impressed liberal/progressive who wrote the first letter in Saturday’s Times about its bombshell report.

That fellow swallowed the new story whole. For the text of his letter, click here.

No one is easier to con than us self-impressed liberals! We’re filled with a sense of our vast moral greatness. And for us to be morally great, long lists of The Others must be highly impure.

For many years, we’ve been told that the Clintons belong on this list. As with Gore, so too today—we tend to be happy to buy the tales “the news media” are selling.

We’re dumb and self-righteous and nobody likes us! We’re willing to swallow what Kristof sells. The chances are good that we’ll buy this latest tale too.

Alas! Last Thursday night, Chris Hayes embraced the new “bombshell report.” We’ll show you what he said by the end of our series this week.

38 comments:

  1. "When people are told that Johnny can’t read, they’ll often think this mainly means that our black kids can’t read."

    You just dropped an R bomb on Kristof. I say that based on the kind of images you have peddled about liberals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I learned that is what people think several months ago when Bob Somerby presented the scores broken down by race and proved out white kids are actually outscoring Europeans and clearly showed it is the scores of our black and brown kids which are holding us back.

      So to report test scores right you have to note the drag minority kids (some at least) place on our overall scores then report how much better our minority kids are doing compared to where they were decades ago. Otherwise you get the wrong impression.

      He never counts the Asians here or abroad so I don't either.

      Delete
    2. Since this post starts off appearing to be about black kids and test scores, Bob's readers are looking for bridges to jump off of instead of commenting on how bad Hillary is mistreated,

      Delete
    3. Hillary =Democratic presidency. If liberals don't defend her they lose the next election. It is that simple.

      Delete
    4. I agree with AnonymousApril 28, 2015 at 3:33 PM. I don't know what anyone else thinks when they see the phrase "Why Johnny Can't Read." I personally think about the classic book of that name, which was an argument for teaching reading via phonics rather than the whole word method.

      Delete
    5. To be fair to Nick, he didn't just denigrate black kids, he denigrated U.S. kids in general.

      Delete
    6. Excellent commentary from both DinC and 3:04.

      Delete
    7. Phonics has been a right wing cause for decades but there isn't any substance to their complaints. Children read using BOTH approaches, whole word and phonics combined. The left hemisphere processes phonetically and the right hemisphere of the brain processes using word shapes (whole word) and we read semantically both bottom up (phonetic) and from knowledge of the context in which a word appears, top down (whole word). Kids need to learn to use both methods, and good reading programs combine them, not favor one over the other.

      Conservatives don't know much about how kids learn to read. They just know how to criticize schools, much as DinC knows how to repeat tired old conservative slogans.

      Delete
    8. Substanceless attacks on other commenters which ignore their point and generalizations about people of a particular philosophy are a sign of serious brain malady, tribalism, or both.

      Delete
  2. "No one is easier to con than us self-impressed liberals! We’re filled with a sense of our vast moral greatness. And for us to be morally great, long lists of The Others must be highly impure.

    For many years, we’ve been told that the Clintons belong on this list. As with Gore, so too today—we tend to be happy to buy the tales “the news media” are selling.

    We’re dumb and self-righteous and nobody likes us!"

    Bob Somerby describing himself.

    As for me I am a liberal, but not the one Bob must be including in his first person plural denunciation of liberals. I voted for both Clintons and Gore.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You know, i read Krugman's piece the same day i read Bob's first post on this issue. Quite a juxtaposition. Krugman suggests some caution especially when it comes to reporting on the Clintons. Reasonable, fully agree.

    Bob throws caution to the wind and accuses the reporter of writing a pseudo-report, where she “...pretends to examine past conduct by Candidate Clinton.” Not even sure what that is supposed to mean.

    Bob promises to explain why it's a pseudo report this week. I'm cautiously hopeful he has something to say, rather than just repeating the same accusations, over and over again.

    Examples from his last Friday posting:
    “In our view, a lot of pretending seems to exist in Jo Becker’s front-page report in today’s New York Times.”

    “In it, Becker pretends to examine past conduct by Candidate Clinton.”

    “In our view, Becker does a lot of pretending in her long ‘news report.’”

    “Alas! All next week, we expect to discuss Becker’s front-page pseudo-report.”


    Alas indeed......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Troll disappears the valuable analysis yesterday of Chris Hayes using the word "bombshell" and several letters to the editor which were thoroughly dissected for what they "seemed" to be saying.

      Delete
  4. The disclaimer about trolls fails to mention that several are right wing operatives whose goal seems to be to undermine and discredit Somerby by any means, sort of like the attack on Clinton. There is no substance to their complaints but superficially there seems to be something there -- to the sort of person who mistakes smoke for fire.

    I am getting troll fatigue but I'm sure that's part of their game plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agai, if the "trolls" were right-wing "operatives," they wouldn't be discrediting Bob. They'd be funding him.

      Delete
    2. If that is what you truly believe, I wonder whether, rather than gray matter, your cranium is filled with fecal matter.

      Delete
    3. The one attacking liberals most consistently around here is Somerby. But maybe he is right.

      The ones who like him who eat up his every word without even following his links seem lazy.

      Those who apologize when he uses the same tactics he professes to deplore in others appear dumb.

      But maybe they are likeable.

      Delete
    4. When I follow Somerby's links, I find they lead exactly where he says they do and say pretty much what he claims. When I follow troll links, I find nothing there that supports their criticisms. It is a huge waste of time.

      Delete
    5. Horace: if that is what you wonder, then you must truly believe that the piddle running down your leg is only flopsweat.

      Delete
    6. Horace and @ 1:20 are doing their best to elevate human bodily fluids to the discourse level of farkwad chimps flinging poo so eloquently offered by Mssr. Somerby in a recent posting.

      Your Howler gets results!

      Delete
  5. Salon.com is praising violent tactics in Baltimore as effective and logical. They must have loved the Charlie Hebdo murders.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go away, off-topic troll!

      Delete
    2. Isn't Salon.com always "on topic" in Somerbyland? Or is that "a target"?

      Delete
  6. Krugman uses one exoneration to excuse multiple Clintion corruptions. The one who can't read is is surely Paul Krugman.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which corruption was the worst one in your opinion, Mr. H?

      The one where Hillary or her forces blew Vince Foster's head open like a ripe watermelon, or the one where Monica blew Bill's head off the Oval office?

      Delete
    2. Most troubling to me was shooting Ron Brown in the back of the head, dragging him onboard a plane full of dignitaries as if nothing had happened, then intentionally crashing the plane into a mountain

      Delete
    3. Well, at least they found some new e-mails from Lerner.

      Delete
  7. "What Kristof did is astoundingly strange—but so is the 23-year jihad waged against both Clintons and Gore. Many “liberals” are still unable to see that."

    I don't think it strange that many "liberals" or anyone else for that matter cannot see the 23 year old "jihad" against Gore. No offense to rommie Somerby, but the bad press Gore got for two years is nowhere near the attacks leveled against the Clintons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That the coverage of Gore wasn't as relentlessly negative for as long a time as that directed against the Clintons is true, but it was still very, very bad and very, very false.

      Delete
  8. "Quite correctly, Krugman warns readers about the decades of disinformation enabled by “the Clinton rules.” He also warns about Peter Schweizer, who he calls “a real piece of work.”"

    Quite incorrectly, Bob Somerby fails to note the "Clinton Rules" never stopped either Clinton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some of us would say that the Clinton rules stopped Hillary when she ran against Obama. Why do you think so many Obama supporters hate Hillary? Their complaints echoed the criticisms arising out of the previous attacks on her by the right. So, yes, these attacks have made it harder for Hillary Clinton to achieve her goals, legitimate goals given her experience and contributions to the nation.

      But, of course, your attack is on Somerby, and is basically unrelated to the substance of discussion here.

      Delete
    2. Some of you keep wanting to refight the 2008 nomination process. I thought Hillary got the most votes. At least according to some of "you."

      Delete
    3. @ 12:06 pardon me for jumping in on your enlightening conversation. You write, "But, of course, your attack is on Somerby, and is basically unrelated to the substance of discussion here."

      How is a direct quote from Somerby and a refutation of his point not relevant to the discussion here?

      Delete
    4. "Their complaints echoed the criticisms arising out of the previous attacks on her by the right."

      Sadly, you are exactly right.

      Sadly, they're doing it again. Here we have a potential candidate that stands head and shoulders above any other potential Democratic nominee both in intelligence and experience and light years ahead of any of the clowns competing on the republican side. Not only that but it would be the first Women President in our history. Something to get excited about. She inaugurates her campaign by busting her ass going on the rode to meet with citizens on a listening tour, and the reaction from many supposed democrats is to repeat the right wing and elite media meme that she feels entitled to an uncontested coronation. Listen folks, no one is stopping other Dems from throwing their hat in the ring.

      Delete
  9. As Riverdaughter said, "Where were the special investigations of the Obama years...there were none."

    There was just Benghazi, aimed at Hillary Clinton. No investigations of Obama -- a few aimed at his appointees (Veterans Administration, IRS) but nothing aimed at him personally the way the Clintons were hounded. These attacks on Clinton over her email accounts and foundation financing are a preemptive strike on her run for the presidency.

    As liberals we need to make it clear that she hasn't done anything that isn't also being done by ALL male politicians of both parties, including the personal email and including the activities of her family foundation. This is trumped up garbage. We need to be saying so loudly -- not pretending to give any of it credence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ALL male politicians do it!

      Obama got off easy!

      Bob Somerby says one of Hillary's biggest problems may be her supporters!

      Bob Somerby is ALL male.

      Delete
    2. As riverdaughter also recently said "Ok, there’s one other thing I want to talk about. It’s about the PUMAs. I see no reason to run away from the fact that we were PUMAs in 2008. That just stood for Party Unity My Ass and it was our way of protesting how the DNC took the money from Obama’s donors, rewrote the primary campaign rules, disenfranchised 18000000 of us and then told us to get behind the ruthlessly ambitious, inexperienced shmoozer who became the party’s nominee."

      Ruthless. Ambitious. And so inexperienced he had been in elective office how many years longer than the mercifully fulfilled veteran he defeated?

      Delete
    3. Unfortunately for you, Hillary can't run against him in 2016. Get over it.

      Delete