Supplemental: Today, Gene Lyons tackles the Clinton rules!

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29, 2015

We were struck by two reader comments:
Yesterday, we showed you what Paul Krugman recently wrote about the so-called “Clinton rules”—about the destructive press culture which has long been directed against both Clintons and Gore.

For that rumination, click here.

Today, Gene Lyons discusses the same pseudo-scandal drenched topic. Back in 1996, Lyons wrote the original book on the subject—“Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater.”

In today’s column, Lyons discusses last Friday’s “bombshell report” in the New York Times, the same novelistic pseudo-report we’ve been trying to deconstruct.

He marvels at the way the Times has vouched for the work of Peter Schweizer, whose conservative-flavored journalism has had so many problems in the past. He closes with this observation:
LYONS (4/29/15): Look, there’s a reason articles like the Times’ big exposé are stultifyingly dull and require the skills of a contract lawyer to parse. Murky sentences and jumbled chronologies signify that the “Clinton rules” are back: all innuendo and guilt by association. All ominous rhetorical questions, but rarely straightforward answers.
As Krugman did last week, Lyons is warning readers to check their wallets when newspapers like the New York Times start discussing the Clintons. That’s why we were semi-dismayed by the last two reader comments we found when we just reread Lyons’ column.

As a general matter, the liberal world has never understood the nature of the long-running jihad Krugman and Lyons have challenged. In the first of the comments to which we refer, a reader says this:
COMMENT TO LYONS COLUMN: The Republicans are just putting more grass in front of the sheep and they will eat it up. The masses love a scandal, true or false, they love it. Don't let the facts get in the way. The truly sad part in all this is few will ever read the book. They will get the “facts” from places like Fox and the blogs. No one wants to read more than 120 words anymore. Sheep to be lead around by the goats.
Lyons wrote his column about the work of the New York Times. In a familiar manifestation, this reader seemed to think he had read a column about “the Republicans” and “places like Fox.”

Over here in our liberal world, that represents a very common disconnect. You’ll also note the contempt for average voters which tends to serve us poorly.

The second of the comments in questions errs in a complementary way. This commenter cites the New York Times, but doesn’t seem to comprehend the timetable which is involved here:
COMMENT TO LYONS COLUMN: Ahhhh NYT, how low you have fallen. You are no longer “The Gray Lady” that inspired respect and was considered to be the national newspaper of record. Now you are rolling in the same muck as any Murdoch publication.
Now the Times is in the muck? Fiery liberals, please!

As noted, Lyons’ original book bore the subtitle, “How the Media Invented Whitewater.” In the main, the media to which he referred were the Washington Post and the New York Times. He described their bungled reporting about Whitewater pseudo-scandal”—bungled reporting which originated on the front page of the New York Times in January 1992.

During the years of the Clintons and Gore, the liberal world has suffered from corrupt journalistic leadership. The “Clinton rules” to which Lyons refers have been in existence since 1992. Most destructively, the Clinton rules have been in existence at the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The Fox News Channel didn’t exist when the Clinton rules came into existence. Beyond that, Democratic candidates can survive Fox. The Post and the Times make their survival much harder.

Do you believe in the Clinton rules? If so, you believe in an artifact of the mainstream press corps, not primarily of Fox. But the liberal world’s journalistic leaders have long swum in a professional and social sea dominated by those major newspapers. Almost without exception, those journalists haven’t been willing to tell liberal readers the truth about the longstanding peculiar behavior of those major newspapers.

Those comments today struck us as highly familiar and troubling. As Krugman and Lyons have noted, the Clinton rules seems to be active again. In the current destructive manifestation, they’re active at the New York Times, not on the Fox News Channel.

Liberal journalistic leaders have long refused to tell us the truth about this remarkable long-running jihad. When we read comments by liberal voters, we often think it shows.

31 comments:

  1. Did Krugman mention Gore? Funny, but I missed that.

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  2. "Beyond that, Democratic candidates can survive Fox. The Post and the Times make their survival much harder."

    Your trolls get results as Howler insinuates Clintons may have won a race or two since the "Rules" went into unseen place.

    In fact, they won the Presidency twice, a US Senate seat twice, and a Cabinet post.

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    Replies
    1. Does that somehow excuse the treatment they've received?

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  3. Note to Bob. Don't forget commenter Jim from NJ who wrote in response to Krugman's column: "Smearing the opposition is part of the GOP's TOTAL WAR approach to politics. They did it hideously with Bill Clinton. The Swift boat campaign against Kerry was a national disgrace and unpatriotic."

    Please liberals, you cannot discuss all of this and leave out what happened in between to Gore.

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  4. Dave Niewert, February 2008:

    The Village poobahs not only picked up the conservatives' ball but ran with it. It wasn't just true of Fox News: it was true of every major media outlet, from the New York Times to the Washington Post to CNN and MSNBC. As Chris Matthews' spittle flecked the faces of guests whenver her name arose, and Bill O'Reilly and Tucker Carlson displayed their fear of emasculation whenever the chance presented itself in discussing her ... Hillary became, increasingly, not just a Bitch, but the Queen Bitch herself.
    Nurtured by people like Maureen Dowd and David Broder as well as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, this view has deeply imbedded itself, not just among the right, but among broad swaths of middle America, particularly in "red" states where the antipathy not only has been given free reign but the distance from any actual exposure to the Clintons personally tends to enhance the willingness of people to believe the ugly stereotypes about them.

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  5. The Clinton's have gotten away with things like few other politicians. Here are three:

    1. Whitewater -- There were 4 partners: Bill and Hillary and Jim and Susan McDougal. Both McDougals went to prison for Whitewater-related crimes. Either Bill and Hillary knew about the wrongdoing, or Bill are Hillary are too dumb and obtuse to hold national office.

    2. Malicious lies to cover up Bill's philandering. Both Clintons and their team participated in attacking women who told about Bill's extramarital adventures. They had already begun painting Monica as a fantasist. Only the semen stains prevented her from being effecively smeared.

    3. Hillary using her personal e-mail for Secretary of State business and then erasing her hard drive.

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    1. List of Clinton "scandals"

      1. Blow job.

      End of List

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    2. But the dissembling around the blow job created a mistrust even for people who wish the public never became aware of it. If Lewinsky exposed the blow job but didn't have the dress or any other evidence, the denials leading up to the ultimate admission after the dress was known about cause most to believe he would have attempted to discredit her as a fantasist. That created mistrust makes the public receptive to other suggestions.

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    3. "dissembling around the blow job"

      You can't make this shit up.

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    4. Let me tell you something. It is the media that has been "dissembling" about phony scandals. Just look at the dissection of the horrendous blatantly unfair article in the NY Times about the uranium sale that Somerby is writing about now. Who are ones that are actually creating "mistrust"? That 4400 word article by Becker and McIntire should be used as a textbook teaching example of bullshit journalism. Is it any wonder so many people have lost trust in the NY Times and elite media in general? The Times to this day has never apologized for their Whitewater bullshit coverage.

      Clinton Rules mean never having to say you're sorry.

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  6. 1. No wrongdoing in Whitewater was found despite extensive investigation.
    2. Bill Clinton's sex life was no ones business. Most people lie to protect personal privacy, especially about sex.
    3. Hillary did nothing different than others, including Colin Powell. She deleted personal emails and turned over official ones. She is entitled to decide what was personal, not you. All officials decide for themselves what is personal and what is not.

    Clintons are right to believe that anything they do, innocent or not, can and will be used against them.

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    Replies
    1. 10:23 -
      1. No wrongdoing? Then why did both McDougals go to prison?
      2. Infidelity doesn't affect Presidential candidates? Does Gary Hart agree?
      3. Colin Powell "might have occasionally used personal email addresses, as he did when emailing to family and friends." (wiki) Hillary used her personal account for all State Dept business.

      But, thank you, AnonymousApril 29, 2015 at 10:23 PM. Your comment illustrates how no matter what the Clintons did, many people would accept any old explanation and hold them harmless.

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    2. If you really don't know why the McDougal's went to prison why don't you read Lyons' book Fools for Scandal, also The Hunting of the President, co-authored with Joe Conason. Susan was wrongly imprisoned as a result of the abuse of power of the special prosecutor, not as a result of any wrongdoing related to Whitewater.
      But I'm sure that you, David, would prefer to stick to your own "reality," and not investigate. Confirmation bias is strong in you.

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    3. More than 50% of the public don't consider blow jobs to be sex. They consider it what you do to avoid having sex with someone. By her own admission, Monica was the agressor. Most men have trouble saying no to that kind of offer. It was no ones business and revealed the depravity of conservative CDS.

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    4. Horace, both McDougals went to prison. That's a fact. Was Susan M. was wrongly imprisoned? That's just Joe Conason's opinion. BTW do you assert that Jim M also was wrongly imprisoned?

      AnonymousApril 29, 2015 at 11:45 PM - your poll addresses the wrong question. The right question is how the public feels about the President of the US receiving oral sex while he's working in the Oval Office. Don't you think a majority of the public would find that conduct inappropriate? BTW what about the feminists' claim that sex with a subordinate is automatically sexual harassment?

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    5. Clinton's favorability ratings stayed high. The public didn't care. Neither Clinton did anything wrong in Whitewater. Feminists don't consider consensual sex harassment. Monica was a consenting adult NOT on Clinton's staff.

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    6. Yes, onlu at the Daily Howler can you find the most in-depth, thorough, intellectual discussion of issues beaten to death 20 years ago, with absolutely nothing new to add.

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    7. David in California is oh so polite as he strolls on in and drops a turd in the punch bowl.

      He has been reading the Daily Howler for years, Daily Howler became famous documenting the witch hunt that was Whitewater, yet he remains comfortably clueless.

      You can't make this shit up.

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    8. Jim McDougal went to prison for what he did, not anything Bill Clinton did. James McDougal broke the law. That does not mean the Clinton's did. Is this too complicated for you too understand?

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    9. "Feminists don't consider consensual sex harassment. Monica was a consenting adult NOT on Clinton's staff."

      Somerby commenter

      "Fiery liberals, please!"

      Bob Somerby

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  7. Give it up, Bob. Clinton is a sleazebucket and possibly a criminal. Whining about media behavior won't change any of that.

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    Replies
    1. Why would you post a comment like this at a liberal blog?

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    2. This is not a liberal blog. Liberals are lazy tribal followers and nobody likes them. Are you going to apply such terms to Bob Somerby?

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  8. While Gene Lyons was tackling the Clinton Rules. Becker and McIntire at the NYTimes were continuing to tackle the explanation for that Canadian cash going unreported to the Clinton Foundation.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/30/us/politics/canadian-partnership-shielded-identities-of-donors-to-clinton-foundation.html

    Say, has Somerby mentioned that some Clinton Rules are the ones of the Clinton's own device?

    I look forward to Bob's exposure of the Times error about how Bill Clinton got to Kazakhstan back in 2005. I hope his discussion will include how that was reported by the Times back in 2008.

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    1. This is irrelevant. It just says Bill Clinton helped create a Canadian charity that the Canadian company donated to. It demonstrates no quid pro quo and doesn't even demonstrate any donor secrecy. It shows that Bill Clinton continued to engage in charity fundraising. There's nothing there.

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  9. I was proud to call attention to TDH's work over at National Memo. I do note that with my comment and this one both Lyons and Somerby have attracted the same number of interested readers willing to discuss this critical topic.

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