ALLEGEDLY LIBERAL PUNDITS REACT: Goldberg finds the one paragraph!

THURSDAY, MAY 7, 2015

Part 4—Blind squirrel locates the nut:
Do you believe in a journalistic phenomenon known as “the Clinton rules?”

Most voters don’t, but Michelle Goldberg says she does. At present, the question is extremely important, unless you look forward to eight great years under our President Walker.

When did Goldberg say she believes in the Clinton rules? She said this in two different forums on Thursday, April 23—on the Chris Hayes cable program that evening, and in an earlier essay for The Nation.

Yesterday, we showed you some of what Goldberg said on Hayes’ MSNBC program. Until she slithered away with her host, she made some remarkable statements:

Among other things, she said “there is this kind of long-standing journalistic vendetta against the Clintons.” She said this journalistic vendetta “kind of allows people to exaggerate and follow these sort of right-wing conspiracy theories down all sorts of rabbit holes and blind alleys.”

She also seemed to say this: “Journalists consistently kind of throw out normal evidentiary standards in going after the Clintons.”

Is the world in which we live even slightly rational? If so, those are all remarkable statements, especially with a person named Clinton now in the race for the White House.

As noted, this wasn’t the only time Goldberg described “the Clinton rules” that day. Earlier, she had described this same journalistic vendetta in her piece in The Nation.

The journalistic practice known as “the Clinton rules” is a “real phenomenon,” she said in that 1300-word piece. Her essay ran beneath this headline:

“The Clinton Scandal Rabbit Hole”

Plainly, Goldberg seems to believe in the journalistic vendetta described as the Clinton rules. “Journalists [have] regularly abandoned ordinary standards of evidence to breathlessly pursue Clinton pseudo-scandals, often cooked up by right-wing operatives,” she seemed to say as she started her piece in The Nation.

“The Clintons have been demonized and persecuted to a preposterous degree,” she said in the next paragraph, explicitly describing this as her own belief.

“There’s a lower standard where attacks on the Clintons are concerned,” Goldberg said a bit later. She said this “lower standard” might explain a peculiar factual error the New York Times seemed to have made in the new, sprawling report she was discussing that day.

Rather plainly, Goldberg says she believes in the journalistic phenomenon known as “the Clinton rules.” If our world is even mildly serious, she made a set of remarkable statements on the day in question.

But how strange! On that evening’s Chris Hayes program, Hayes brushed past those remarkable claims as if they weren’t even there. He kept discussing the things which “drive him nuts” about those horrible Clintons!

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what Hayes said and did as he disappeared Goldberg’s claims. For today, might we coin a new expression?

We’d almost say that Hayes was following “the New York Times rules” that night! But then, Goldberg was playing by the same rules by the end of her piece for The Nation.

Let’s be clear. On the surface, Goldberg was less than flattering about the Times’ sprawling report in her piece for The Nation.

“The origin of the piece is suspicious,” she wrote, referring to the Times report. She noted that the Times report was derived from a new book by a “right-wing hack” and “smear merchant” with whom the Times had signed an unusual “exclusive agreement.”

She noted that the piece implied wrongdoing on Hillary Clinton’s part, “but does not clearly allege” such a thing. The piece “appears pretty damning,” she said, but she also said “there are reasons to doubt that the Times account is entirely accurate.”

In the passage which follows, Goldberg described a peculiar apparent mistake. But uh-oh! In the process, we started to wonder if she was obeying “the New York Times rules:”
GOLDBERG (4/23/15): There are reasons to doubt that the Times account is entirely accurate. Take that 2005 trip to Kazakhstan by Clinton and Giustra. The Times first reported on it in 2008, but shortly after, Forbes writer Robert Lenzer found that the two men had not in fact traveled together, citing the flight manifest of Giustra’s plane to prove it. “Clinton arrived in Kazakhstan late in the afternoon Sept. 6, 2005, on billionaire Ron Burkle’s plane, four days after Giustra,” wrote Lenzer. “By then Giustra was well on the road to finalizing a memorandum of understanding to acquire a 30% interest in the Kharassan project for $75 million; the state owned the other 70%.”

From the Times story, there’s no way to tell whether the paper is simply repeating an old mistake, or whether Forbes’s debunking has itself been debunked. It’s hard to imagine that the Times could have been so sloppy about facts that have already been aired. But Clinton rules…mean there’s a lower standard where attacks on the Clintons are concerned.
Goldberg describes a strange apparent mistake in the Times’ reporting.

“It’s hard to imagine that the Times could have been so sloppy about facts that have already been aired,” she said, suggesting this may reflect the lower standard which comes with the Clinton rules.

Unfortunately, a lower standard also obtains under the protocol we would describe as “the New York Times rules.” According to this unpublished rule, criticism of the glorious Times can only be taken so far.

Journalists who want their careers to prosper will say that much, no more. It seems to us that Goldberg and Hayes both played by these rules in their discussions this day.

To her credit, Goldberg was stretching the limits of “the Times rules” as she discussed its new bombshell report. But in the passage we’ve shown you above, consider what she did.

Goldberg was writing for The Nation, a major publication. Presumably, she could have called the New York Times to inquire about the apparent mistake it had now apparently made for the second time.

She could have asked the New York Times if it had been that “sloppy.” Instead, she left this apparent peculiar error as a point of speculation.

(Two weeks later, we know of no one in the mainstream press who has attempted to resolve this apparent error. As we’ve constantly told you, the basic facts play almost no role in the work of our “mainstream press.” Also, everyone knows that they must obey the unwritten “New York Times rules.”)

Was Goldberg observing “the New York Times rules?” If so, this constituted a relatively minor point. Much more remarkable was the weird “moral equivalence” she constructed right at the start of her piece.

As we’ve noted, Goldberg believes in the journalistic phenomenon known as “the Clinton rules.” But as she started her report, she discussed a second meaning of that term—and she constructed something resembling a “moral equivalence.”

We’d have to call it a very strange type of equivalence. That said, it helped bring her work into line with the guild’s standard perspectives:
GOLDBERG: The phrase “Clinton rules” has two very distinct meanings. Bill and Hillary Clinton’s enemies use it to mean that the couple flout rules that apply to everyone else. (See, for example, the recent anti-Clinton Wall Street Journal editorial “The Clinton Rules.”) In the early years of the blogosphere, however, liberals used “Clinton rules” as shorthand for the way journalists regularly abandoned ordinary standards of evidence to breathlessly pursue Clinton pseudo-scandals, often cooked up by right-wing operatives. As the Daily Howler wrote in 2007, “Under ‘the Clinton rules of journalism,’ you can say any goddamn thing you want—as long as you say it about the Clintons.”

Both versions of ‘Clinton rules’ describe real phenomena, and with any given Clinton story, it can be extremely difficult to figure out which Clinton rules are at work. Things are easier if you start off with a strong stance on the couple, always assuming the worst of either the Clintons or of anyone who criticizes them. But if you believe, as I do, that the Clintons have been demonized and persecuted to a preposterous degree and that they have cut ethical corners, if you delight in the idea of a female president but dread the return of the Clinton circus, it’s not easy to sort out who the real wrongdoers are in each new Clinton investigation. You find yourself plunged into rabbit holes, arguing about minutia, wishing for some sort of ideological heuristic to make sense of it all.
In that passage, Goldberg seems to describe a strange apparent equivalence.

On the one hand, “the Clintons have been demonized and persecuted [by journalists] to a preposterous degree.” On the other hand, “they have cut ethical corners” in some unspecified ways.

Let us assume that both claims are accurate. The first claim is a description of sweeping journalistic misconduct. Absent amplification, the second claim means virtually nothing at all.

For what it’s worth, Goldberg repeated this strange equivalence on the Hayes program that night, as we’ll show you tomorrow. In terms of her piece in The Nation, the die was cast at the end of the piece, after she’d finished noting the problems with the Times report.

In fairness, Goldberg was playing with fire in her piece for The Nation. For at least twenty years, professional journalists have refused to discuss the journalistic vendetta she described in that piece.

For that reason, very few voters have ever heard any suggestion that any such phenomenon might exist. Unless you long for a President Walker, that’s a dangerous state of affairs.

Uh-oh! Goldberg had also criticized the New York Times more than a professional journalist normally would. But sure enough! As she ended her essay, she performed a miraculous service, one which essentially validated the Times’ new report.

Good lord! The newspaper’s sprawling report was 4400 words long. The vast bulk of the sprawling report created a nasty insinuation concerning Hillary Clinton's implied approval of a scary uranium deal.

As Goldberg noted, the Times only implied that Hillary Clinton had sold out the national interest in that scary uranium deal; it made no “clear allegations.” But beyond that, the Times report was an ungodly rolling mess on a journalistic basis.

Goldberg barely scratched the surface of the journalistic problems with the Times’ sprawling report. She even made a few factual errors herself, apparently having been misled by the Times’ slippery conduct!

The Times report was a giant mess—but as she closed her piece in The Nation, Goldberg came to the Grey Lady's rescue. She found one paragraph in the sprawling report which seemed to make a clear allegation.

This is what the report’s all about, the New York Times’ savior now said.

Good grief! In a sprawling, error-strewn Times report which spans some 75 paragraphs, Goldberg found the one paragraph which saved the New York Times’ bacon! As she closed her piece in The Nation, she was thus able to announce the latest Clinton “scandal:”
GOLDBERG: So if the Times is building on the work of a right-wing smear merchant, and is in fact wrong about Clinton traveling with Giustra, does that mean we can dismiss the piece? Well, not unless someone in the Clinton camp can explain away this paragraph:

“As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.”

Beneath all the allegations about influence-peddling, this is the single clearest charge in the whole Times story. There is, as of yet, no evidence that Bill Clinton intervened with Kazakhstan’s dictator on behalf of Giustra. And there is no evidence that Hillary Clinton did anything inappropriate as secretary of state to enable Russia to take over the company that Giustra helped build. But this failure of disclosure by the Clinton Foundation is itself a minor scandal, whether or not Hillary Clinton bears any direct responsibility for it. For now, the broader story remains murky, but here, at least, is one rule that seems to have clearly been broken.
As she closed, she took the Times off the hook. She had located one paragraph—out of 75!—which housed “a minor scandal.”

You may know what happened that evening. Hayes focused on this alleged “minor scandal” and on nothing else. He skillfully obeyed the rules which say that an upper-end journalist must never attack the glorious Times or discuss the larger ways of the guild.

He kept complaining about the Clintons and about nothing else. The New York Times' horrible conduct was all disappeared. So was that larger vendetta.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at what was said as Hayes and Goldberg pounded away at this troubling “minor scandal.” For now, let’s get clear on what had occurred by the end of Goldberg’s piece in The Nation:

Folklore describes the blind squirrel who’s able to find the one nut. In this case, Goldberg performed a somewhat similar function.

She managed to find the one paragraph in the endless report which seemed to contain “a minor scandal.” On his cable program that night, Hayes used her discovery to ignore everything else she had said.

Do you believe in “the Clinton rules?” Does the “journalistic vendetta” Goldberg described actually exist?

Have journalists “regularly abandoned ordinary standards of evidence to breathlessly pursue Clinton pseudo-scandals?” Do journalists “consistently kind of throw out normal evidentiary standards in going after the Clintons?”

In a world which wasn’t completely faux, a fellow like Hayes would want to find out. In our world, Hayes played by the Clinton rules that night—and by the Times rules as well.

Tomorrow: “This does seem a legitimate piece of journalism and I don’t think they got anything wrong”

46 comments:

  1. Yep., exactly. That is the key paragraph, it can be found about 6 paragraphs in. The remainder of the report details why that is an ethical issue. They accepted money they were supposed to report, and the person(s) donating the money had something that needed to be approved by State. The report then detailed who those person(s) were and what ties they had with the Clintons and State's involvement.

    For Bob (and the rest of you who are confused) HRC was a gov't employee at the time, which has strict rules about gifts (stricter than elected officials). Now granted the rules may have been unclear relating to the Clinton Foundation, which is why Obama had her agree to an MOU. She failed to meet the requirements of the MOU, i'd like to know why. She hasn't explained yet.

    I suggest people read the article, despite his whining about how big it is, it's far less ink than Bob has spilled on it. And it's contains far more elements than who took which billionaires jet plane.

    Hey, if you don't want to read it, maybe take a look at this. Unlike bob, this pice is clear, non-repetitive and succinct. http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/five-questions-about-the-clintons-and-a-uranium-company

    Lastly, despite the endless ranting by Bob, the entire story seems to have fallen to the wayside, meaning little has been made of the Jo Becker article since it appeared on 4.24 (outside of TDH). Not much of a left wing media conspiracy.

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    1. She has explained this. There is a lengthy explanation on her campaign webpage. Bill Clinton has also made a statement.

      The story that Somerby is ranting about is the exposure of the malfeasance by the NY Times and the unwillingness of any journalist to examine how the Clintons are treated by the media. You, too are ignoring that substance of this series of posts.

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    2. In my opinion, they can take that MOU and stick it where the sun don't shine. It was a brazen insult to even force her to degrade herself in order to get confirmed as Secretary of State. Just another example of the Clinton Rules. Would anyone have even dared suggest that Colin Powell should have to degrade himself in that manner? Why though for Hillary Clinton? Was she an ex-captain in the Gotti Family?

      Will Marco Rubio be forced to sign a pledge not to take money from the Koch brothers because there might be in the future an appearance of conflict of interest? What are the fucking rules now anyway? Apparently you can give mountains of cash directly to a candidate, no questions asked. "We now conclude that independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption."

      But give money to a Clinton Family worldwide Charitable Foundation and they want to strap her to a lie detector.

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    3. No, they want to read all her personal emails, past and future.

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    4. 2:22. I just went on her campaign's web page looking for it. Couldn't find the explanation. Could you post a link? Thanks much.

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    5. She should have just stayed in the Senate. No need for any messy MOU.

      Plus she could have pressed for and won a Public Option for
      the AHCA and she would be cruising as the author of Hillary Care instead of laboring under the weight of unpopular Obamacare.

      She was just too loyal to turn down Obama who needed to prop up his "Team of Rivals" myth.

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    6. mm, your opinion doesn't have legal standing.

      Here's the rules:

      Disqualification Required by Conflict of Interest Statute
      A criminal conflict of interest statute, 18 U.S.C. § 208, prohibits an employee from participating personally and substantially, in an official capacity, in any “particular matter” that would have a direct and predictable effect on the employee’s own financial interests or on the financial interests of:
      • the employee’s spouse or minor child;
      • a general partner of a partnership in which the employee is a limited or general partner;
      • an organization in which the employee serves as an officer, director, trustee, general partner, or employee; or
      • a person with whom the employee is negotiating for or has an arrangement concerning prospective employment.

      here's where they can be found.
      http://www.oge.gov/Topics/Financial-Conflicts-of-Interest-and-Impartiality/Current-Government-Employees/

      If anything Obama was generous in allowing her to be SoS while Bill was running around collecting donations for his foundation, including from people who could benefit from HRC's office. The MOU was a perfect compromise, it allowed Bill to continue his work, while HRC to be SoS without the appearance of conflict. All she had to do was follow it.

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    7. @3:26: That uppity Clinton woman should have stayed where she belonged -- in the kitchen with the other wimmen folks.

      @3:31: There has been no evidence presented that anything Clinton did as Secretary of State had any direct or predictable effect on the Clinton Foundation or any of her family members who might have held a position with the Foundation.

      The Donations did not personally or directly benefit any of the Clintons. They benefitted the recipients of charity around the world. You act as if Bill Clinton were working on commission, as if the Foundation were his livelihood instead of a charity. None of the provisions you cited above apply to the circumstances of the Clinton foundation or their family members.

      The MOU was a political compromise to move her confirmation forward. The conservatives are now trying to use it as a "gotcha" in a cooked-up suggestion that some conflict of interest existed for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Everyone has now acknowledged that.

      The point of any MOU was to avoid conflict of interest. Unless and until you can provide evidence that any such conflict of interest existed, the proper completion of paperwork by Foundation staff is moot. There is nothing at the heart of this so-called scandal because the Clintons are not corrupt people. You don't need MOUs or investigations or conflict of interest statutes where people are not corrupt. You DO need them where you wish to create an accusation of corruption out of nothing, pretending that people who have done nothing wrong have ulterior motives, hidden behaviors that are dirty and would compromise them, if only Hillary hadn't deleted her personal emails.

      This is all so bogus.


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    8. Following MOU rules is just like asking someone to carry two phones so you can follow the rules on e-mail preservation. It just isn't convenient.

      By the way, this comment should in no way imply not following the MOU rules or walking around the edges of government open records act rules means that the second set of Clinton Rules is of equivalent importance to the other Clinton Rules, which are part of the much more important invisible rules that should be concentrated on here at the Howler.

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    9. The idea that Clintons don't follow rules is silly when the responsibility for following various rules is not with the Clintons but with various staff. If the Republicans would forward the Clintons a list of what they are going to check up on later, I'm sure they would devote special attention to making sure all those rules were followed by the various staff of their many organizations and offices, convenience be damned. If you make something complicated enough, you can trip up anyone on a rule here and there. Who among us has not failed to return a library book on time?

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    10. 3:51: "Bill Clinton also accepted a five-hundred-thousand-dollar speaking fee for an event in Moscow, paid for by a Russian investment bank that had ties to the Kremlin. That was in June, 2010, the Times reports, 'the same month Rosatom struck its deal for a majority stake in Uranium One'—a deal that the Russian bank was promoting and thus could profit from."

      http://www.newyorker.com/news/amy-davidson/five-questions-about-the-clintons-and-a-uranium-company

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    11. 3:58, the MOU is pretty freakin' straight forward. Somehow a person we can trust to follow gov't regulations or internation treaties, i would think could also follow the MOU.

      If it seems to hard, just report every freakin' cent. Done.

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    12. 3:51: "The point of any MOU was to avoid conflict of interest." Wrong. Ask anyone who has worked at any level of the Federal Gov't, even the appearance of a conflict is a problem, the MOU was written to avoid that appearance.

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    13. @ 3:51 you mischaracterize my comment completely:

      "That uppity Clinton woman should have stayed where she belonged -- in the kitchen with the other wimmen folks."

      The United State Senate seat from New York is hardly the kitchen. In fact this was the Senate seat held by Robert F. Kennedy who LEFT a cabinet position to establish his independence from which he went on challenge the incumbent President he had served.


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    14. Hillary Clinton was the first woman to hold that or any other New York Senate seat. And the first Arkansan too. There was a New Yorker who became Governor of Arkansas first, however. But he was a man.

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    15. anonymous 4:11: Was that illegal? Is this particular ex-president not allowed to accept speaking fees? Clinton Rules?

      ◾The State Department only had one vote on the nine-member Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that approved the deal. Other agencies, including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Energy, Commerce, and Justice, also weighed in.
      ◾The chairman of the CFIUS is the Treasury secretary, not secretary of state.
      ◾Rosatom had to get approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is an independent agency outside of the secretary of state's influence.
      ◾Utah's local nuclear regulator also had to sign off on the deal, as it involved mills in the state.
      ◾Former assistant secretary of state Jose Fernandez, who was the State Department's principal representative on CFIUS, said, "Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter."


      The fun thing about Clinton scandals is never having to say you were wrong.

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    16. "She has explained this. There is a lengthy explanation on her campaign webpage. Bill Clinton has also made a statement."

      Clinton Rules mean that no simple innocent explanation is ever acceptable. All it means to those suffering Clinton Derangement Syndrome is that somehow those evil Clintons got away with another crime. Those Clintons are just too clever to ever get caught you know. Just watch Joe Scarborough some day - before his idiot show gets canceled - and you see a man on the edge of a nervous breakdown, so worried is he that she's going to get away with this - whatever "this" is - once again. There is no cure for this deranged behavior.

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    17. mm -- Suppose you were correct, and the MOU was a brazen insult to even force her to degrade herself in order to get confirmed as Secretary of State. So, what? She gave her word and violated her promise.

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    18. David in Cal: read the MOU before you open your piehole.

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    19. He also might want to read the transcript of her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to understand how important that MOU was to Senators from both parties, as well as the praise she and the foundation received for signing it.

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    20. The people who are trying to sidetrack this into a "no quid pro quo" defense of the Clintons are really missing the point.

      All the foundation had to do was follow the MOU which was designed to avoid the crap we're going through now.

      Yeah, the vast array of Clinton enemies would have grabbed on to something else. But why do the Clintons have to hand them the club to beat them with?

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    21. Because 1) they weren't running the day to day operations of the foundation that closely, 2) were busy with other things, 3) thought this was being done, 4) someone interpreted what did and didn't have to be disclosed differently than their critics, 5) someone on their staff goofed, 6) nobody's perfect and most people don't receive this level of scrutiny.

      If they were to resist being placed in this situation in the first place they would be attacked for being secretive so they are in a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. They were going to be slammed for the donations whether they disclosed them or not. Why do those sneaky Clintons have to run a charitable Foundation at all when they should have just stayed home and learned to paint?

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    22. "...well as the praise she and the foundation received for signing it."

      Jackass, Hillary Clinton didn't sign that infernal MoU.

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    23. Hey, mm! What was Bill Clinton doing in Kazakhstan?

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    24. hey anonymous asshole, none of your fucking business.

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  2. Warning to casual readers of this blog: this post embodies every element in which the blog author, active since what Goldberg describes as "the early days of the internet" demonstrates both what is wrong with the press and how he can duplicate those errors at the same time he is writing about them. It will take multiple comments to his unmoderated comment box, often interrupted by spammers or commenters the author generalizes as lazy, dumb and disliked performing a tribal dance the author also decries with regularity.

    "Watch this space", as the clown-shoed lady might pimp.

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  3. Warning to casual readers of this blog: These comments are unmoderated. They are infested by one or more trolls who routinely attack the blog author in a variety of ways, rarely substantive. Such attacks are not an indicator of the level of interest of other readers, the validity of the content posted nor of the esteem in which the blog author is held by others.

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  4. The rules are not reserved for Clintons. These rules apply to any candidate out of favor with the mainstream press during any given election.

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    1. No, they do not. Most candidates out of favor with the mainstream press don't have industries manufacturing campaigns against them, as the Clintons do. They don't have reams of previous garbage resurrected with every new attack. The problem is not just what the mainstream media does but the way it colludes with and makes possible the attacks coming from well-funded political opponents. You need to read "Foolfs for Scandal" for example to understand why what the Clintons experience is not the same as what any candidate gets who the mainstream press takes a disliking to.

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  5. Have the Clintons earned the additional scrutiny they're under, and the inclination toward arriving at the worst suspicions over a set of facts? Perhaps everyone at their level of power and wealth should automatically be under such suspicion. Their status doesn't automatically make them guilty of anything but extra attention is warranted if one believes power and wealth corrupt. Suspending the "usual evidentiary standards" isn't a bad thing when applied to ridiculously powerful people seeking even more power.

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    1. No. First there exist oversight mechanisms to protect from abuse of power. These are applied to everyone. Second, once an investigation finds no wrongdoing, there should be some future benefit of the doubt. That the Clintons have been repeatedly investigated without finding anything wrong should earn them more trust, not less. Third, the "usual evidentiary standards" are not a protection against investigation -- they are a protection against being railroaded or smeared by untrue or unfair claims. Evidentiary standards should never be lowered because of who is being investigated -- that is the essence of bias. People who want to attack anyone in office, powerful or not, should be expected to support their case with evidence. Your suggestion is like saying that rich people should forfeit the right to cross-examine witnesses in a trial or not be entitled to a lawyer to defend them, because they are so powerful already. That is not only ludicrous but goes against any sense of fairness or justice -- we pride ourselves that everyone is equal before the law in our country, and that has to include the powerful, not just those who are poor or perceived as underdogs.

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    2. No, I did not say any of this additional suspicion should apply in a court of law depending on the wealth or power of an individual.

      Politics is a different realm. It isn't a negative instinct to apply additional scrutiny and suspicion to the very wealthy and very powerful in that realm, under the idea that the wealthy and powerful are more likely to be more corrupt than others. Is that a valid idea? It would be hard to prove that one way or the other, but anyone with experience existing as a human being has some understanding of how those factors can cause the most saintly among us to believe in his own mind as well as in the minds of others he is exempted from certain standards of conduct or self-regulation.

      I didn't say wealthy and powerful people forfeit the right to run for office. Only that it is defensible if they fall under additional scrutiny attributable to their wealth and power.

      You used the legal system as an analogy but politicians' rights to expect a certain level of trust before an election are not the same as defendant's rights to expect a certain assumption of innocence or for a standard of proof to be cleared before conviction.

      The great thing is, every voter can determine for himself which standards of conduct, appearance of propriety, etc. he expects or accepts for any candidate. Voters are not ethically obligated to presume innocence or wait until a certain burden of proof is met before rejecting a politician.

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    3. Yes, this is how Tricky Dick was able to smear Helen Gehagen Douglas. Look where that led.

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  6. Somebody please start a website critiquing Bob's critique of Hayes' critique of Goldberg's critique of the New York Times' critique of the Clintons. This circle won't jerk itself.

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    1. But @ 2:53 look at how well Bob is doing all on his own:


      THE PSEUDOJOURNALISM RULES: Ways to win friends and influence voters!

      Supplemental: Krugman explains the Clinton rules!

      THE PSEUDOJOURNALISM RULES: Missing from the bombshell report!

      THE PSEUDOJOURNALISM RULES: Peter, Paul and Mary and Bill!

      THE PSEUDOJOURNALISM RULES: Another trip to Professor Dean’s class!

      ALLEGEDLY LIBERAL PUNDITS REACT: Hayes and Goldberg hear loud train comin'!

      ALLEGEDLY LIBERAL PUNDITS REACT: Conditions were ripe for a startling debate!

      ALLEGEDLY LIBERAL PUNDITS REACT: Uncle Boehlert against the world!

      ALLEGEDLY LIBERAL PUNDITS REACT: Goldberg finds the one paragraph!

      Bob has already changed hands!

      And gained a stroke!

      The money shot can't be far behind!

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    2. Ew, gross! This proves my contention that our trolls are 12 year olds who think mention of jerking off is clever and feel so grown-up and manly cause they do it too.

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    3. Hey. That is less than one post per minute of the valuable liberal air time Hayes wasted apologizing for the NY Times.

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    4. Since Somerby first criticized MSNBC princess Rachel Maddow, you have steadily kept delivering the con in contemptible. Give it up, she doesn't even know you exist.

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    5. Alas," Ew, gross!" isn't much beyond puberty itself in literary self expression.

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  7. "Good lord! The newspaper’s sprawling report was 4400 words long."

    Merciful overlord! Bob series on just the ten minutes Chris Hayes devoted to it is already half again longer at 6600 +, sprawls over four separate posts and is not over yet.

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    1. And yet you still don't get the point!

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    2. Well, since he still has one or more posts to go, Somerby seems to think he hasn't made his point yet. We just don't know!

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  8. "Just the facts, ma'am."

    Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet


    "About that fact, ma'am. Is that fact a mistake, an apparent mistake, or a peculiar apparent mistake? Or, in fact, is that fact just a fact which has simply been disappeared."

    Sgt. Joe Friday on the Twilight Zone.

    Sgt. Bob Somerby on his own blog:

    "a peculiar factual error the New York Times seemed to have made"

    "Goldberg described a peculiar apparent mistake."

    "Goldberg describes a strange apparent mistake in the Times’ reporting."

    "Presumably, she could have called the New York Times to inquire about the apparent mistake it had now apparently made for the second time.

    "Instead, she left this apparent peculiar error as a point of speculation."

    "Two weeks later, we know of no one in the mainstream press who has attempted to resolve this apparent error."


    Of course Bob Somerby apparently does not have a phone with which he could have resolved this point of speculation. Or perhaps for some peculiar reason he chose not to try and resolve this apparent error to determine if sloppy journalism resulting from Clinton rules produced what is a real mistake of fact.

    At that point readers could ask does this error prove the Clinton rules were at work, and, in the course of this 4,400 word sprawling narrative, does the mistake change anything about the essential story?

    Goldberg, it seems already resolved the second question in her own mind, saying that Clinton's arrival on a different plane doesn't seem to change things much. Somerby disappeared that apparent conclusion. And both Goldberg and Somerby disappear that,regardless of the circumstances of their arrival in Kazakhstan, both seem to have boarded the same "fairy tale" plane and left town together.

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    1. Yes, 11:41, but was the traffic jam caused by a billionaire's plane on the actual bridge, or was the plane really just on the entrance ramp to the bridge?





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    2. Losers, guess what? The location of the planes on the bridge has nothing to do with this story. Traffic across the bridge was not affected, only which billionaire's plane the ex-POTUS was on and whether it was landing or taking off from the bridge.

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