As reported by virtually no one: In Sunday’s New York Times, public editor Margaret Sullivan discussed the newspaper’s campaign coverage. Washington bureau chief Carolyn Ryan was quoted saying this:
SULLIVAN (5/31/15): As for the articles focusing on the candidates’ personalities and quirks, she defended them unapologetically. (A few of these took the form of listicles—among them “5 Things You Might Not Know About Hillary Clinton”—that some readers told me they found beneath The Times’s standards.) “The vote for president is the most personal vote that Americans cast,” Ms. Ryan said. The Times, she said, uses many methods to help readers get to know the candidates as people.Does the New York Times want to help readers get to know the candidates? Does the American press as a whole?
A recent incident makes us wonder, at least with respect to the press corps’ current target, the widely loathed Candidate Clinton. The incident involved a conversation in a bakery shop with a South Carolina voter.
Last Thursday, CNN’s Dan Merica wrote a detailed column about the incident. As best we can tell, this incident had been discussed by no one else until Gene Lyons cited it in his new column at the National Memo.
We recommend the Lyons piece. At CNN, Merica started his account of the incident like this:
MERICA (5/28/15): Hillary Clinton is a lifelong Methodist, but you wouldn't know that by listening to most of her speeches. She rarely speaks—at least at any length—about her faith.Merica’s account of the incident continues from there. We’re struck by the fact that this incident went unmentioned pretty much everywhere else.
But the presidential candidate broke with that tradition on Wednesday when she reflected on her religious study and background, during an impromptu conversation with Rev. Frederick Donnie Hunt at Main Street Bakery.
Hunt came to the yellow-walled bakery to enjoy a sweet treat while he studied the Bible...His quiet reflection was abruptly turned upside down when around 20 press and campaign staff rolled into the bakery with Clinton.
"We are heading out of town and we were told to stop by and get some good stuff to take with us," Clinton said as she walked through the door, flanked by dozens of cupcakes and cakes.
After chatting with the bakery's staff and picking out some cupcakes for the road, the presidential candidate sidled up to Hunt and asked him what he was studying.
"Corinthians 13," Hunt said calmly, almost nonplussed by the candidate.
"Oh I know it well," Clinton said.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud," the passage says.
Folk like Ryan say they want to help us learn about the candidates. At the same time, they complain that the Clinton campaign gives them nothing to write about.
This incident was both surprising and revealing. But so what? CNN published Merica’s column, and that’s where the incident died.
We’re not religious ourselves, but a whole lot of voters are. Later in the piece, Hunt said he was “impressed and glad” to discover that side of Clinton.
A cynic would say that some of our journalists don’t want to give other voters a chance to react that way. Merica’s piece is a fascinating portrait of a person the press corps currently loathes. Someone should think about waking Ryan and letting her know what occurred.
We’ve had a similar reaction to recent portraits of Bill Clinton. In those portraits, newspapers like the New York Times are rather plainly trying to amp up public loathing of Clinton. We’ve seen these unimpressive people behave this way before.
What is Bill Clinton really like? What are his actual values? We were struck by a brief news report in Saturday’s Washington Post.
In the brief report, Tom Hamburger described Clinton’s attempts to “undermine criticism” of the Clinton Foundation. In the second part of the report, Hamburger described a recent speech by Clinton at the United Nations “about the role the Clinton Foundation and other nongovernmental organizations play in addressing global health challenges.”
The New York Times is working hard to make you loathe Bill Clinton. As these shallow people behaved in this familiar way, Clinton was speaking to the “donor community:”
HAMBURGER (5/30/15): In his U.N. speech, Clinton urged governments and nonprofit organizations to dedicate funds to building health systems across Africa.Is it possible that Clinton actually cares about the problems afflicting those people in those third world countries? We’ll guarantee one thing:
"My basic message is this: More than anything else, though these countries have terrible economic problems . . . they have to have health systems or we'll be back here four or five years from now dealing with the same sort of problem," he said.
He described a recent visit to Liberia, where the Clinton Foundation's Health Access Initiative is supported by European governments and other international partners. He said the severity of the recent Ebola outbreak wasn't surprising, given that Liberia had just one health worker for every 3,472 people.
"Let me say to the donor community, if you make these investments it'll save you a lot of money over the long run," Clinton said. "It'll save you the money that you're going to spend on future infectious disease outbreaks."
The “journalists” who are teaching us to hate Bill Clinton couldn’t care less about those problems! Again and again, their horrible conduct makes us think of Dylan’s “poor immigrant:”
I pity the poor immigrant“Who eats but is not satisfied, Who hears but does not see. Who falls in love with wealth itself, And turns his back on me.”
Who wishes he would’ve stayed home
Who uses all his power to do evil
But in the end is always left so alone
That man who with his fingers cheats,
Who lies with every breath
Who passionately hates his life
And likewise fears his death
These people hate the Petra Nemcovas. She’s too good-looking and she’s too rich. She’s done too many good things in the world. In the realm of the poor immigrant, it can't be permitted to stand.
They went after Naomi Wolf the same way. It’s the eternal reaction of our over-privileged, under-endowed “poor immigrant” journalist class.
What is Petra Nemcova like? We have no idea. We do know that what Clinton says below is true, and that it largely explains the ugliness and the loathing:
SONTAG (5/30/15): A video by the Happy Hearts Fund framed the moment she presented the award to Mr. Clinton like this: “Ten years ago, two people were deeply impacted by the 2004 tsunami. They met this year again to inspire ...”What Clinton said is correct. Nemcova didn’t have to build all those schools for all those children in the third world. She chose to build them anyway. That’s why the broken souls at the New York Times seem to loathe her so.
“Petra did not have to devote 10 years of her life to building these schools,” Mr. Clinton told the crowd. “But what she has done is a symbol of what I think we all have to do.”
They treated Candidate Gore this same way. They savaged Naomi Wolf. The liberal world let that occur.
How did that turn out?