Supplemental: Clinton “not quite as bad” as Bush!

MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2015

So says northern journalist:
Why are we inclined to support those Charleston families over our northern journalists and professors? Especially when the brilliant moral and intellectual tradition in question formed the backbone of the civil rights movement?

Consider the relentless bad judgment of our current northern intellectual guilds. Let’s start with the front-page report about Candidate Bush in today’s Washington Post.

The report concerns Candidate Bush’s allegedly shaky business history. Written by O’Harrow and Hamburger, the piece appears beneath these hard-copy headlines:
As Bush built wealth, questions arose
Legal cases involving some of GOP hopeful’s associates put his reputation at risk
The piece runs 3832 words.

Personally, we find reports of this type a bit dull. We’d rather see insightful reports about policy matters, including issues of racial justice.

That said, this is the basic nugget concerning the way the GOP hopeful has put his reputation at risk:
O’HARROW AND HAMBURGER (6/29/15): Today, as he works toward his run at the White House, Bush touts his business experience as a strength that gives him the skills and savvy to serve as the nation's chief executive. He has said he “worked my tail off” to succeed. As an announced candidate, Bush soon will be making financial disclosures that will reveal recent business successes and show a substantial increase in his wealth since he left office as Florida governor in 2007, individuals close to the candidate told The Post.

But records, lawsuits, interviews and newspaper accounts stretching back more than three decades present a picture of a man who, before he was elected Florida governor in 1998, often benefited from his family connections and repeatedly put himself in situations that raised questions about his judgment and exposed him to reputational risk.


Five of his business associates have been convicted of crimes; one remains an international fugitive on fraud charges. In each case, Bush said he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing and said some of the people he met as a businessman in Florida took advantage of his naiveté.

Bush, now 62, has said that he has learned to be more careful about vetting his associates, telling the Miami Herald during his first, failed run for Florida governor in 1994 that getting “burned a couple of times” made him “better at deciphering people's motives.”
Let’s be fair! Nothing in that passage says that Bush himself ever did anything wrong. The passage also seems to say that the business troubles it describes all occurred before 1998, when Bush was elected governor of Florida.

The passage gives that plain impression, but that impression is wrong. Several thousand words into the piece, O’Harrow and Hamburger report that Bush fell in with one of his crooks in 2008, after leaving the State House, when he joined the board of a start-up firm called InnoVida.

The head of the firm “eventually was charged with taking $40 million from investors and $10 million from a federal loan program intended to finance construction of homes in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake,” the Post reports. “He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay $24 million in restitution.”

The firm’s chief financial officer got a four-year sentence, according to the Post.

We’ll admit it! As we fought our way through these matters, we wondered how the corps would handle such facts if Candidate Clinton had been involved with this array of crooks.

We can’t necessarily answer that question, but it came to mind. Then, we read Jaime Fuller’s synopsis of the Post’s report at the up-country New York magazine, a pillar of the northern journalistic establishment.

As she starts, Fuller runs through the basics of the Post report. She then cites an earlier report by Jennifer Senior, a New York magazine piece which covered similar ground and produced little discussion.

According to Fuller, Senior described the InnoVida matter as Bush’s “most eyebrow-raising venture.” That’s the venture which started in 2008.

We were puzzling over the way the New York Times has broken its back inventing scandalous conduct by Candidate Clinton while saying next to nothing about matters like this. At that point, Fuller broke our hearts, fecklessly typing this:
FULLER (6/29/15): However, as Senior points out, at least one other 2016 presidential candidate has failed to win the Florida political missteps version of “Where's Waldo”—although not quite as badly as Bush.
Fuller then posts a long excerpt from Senior’s piece in which Candidate Clinton once had her picture taken with an unsavory person at a public reception.

In Fuller’s account, this means that Clinton has screwed up too, “although not quite as badly as Bush.”

Fuller’s end her piece with that utterly silly excerpt. Our question: Where in the world—where on earth—do they find these people?

In Fuller’s case, they found her post-Middlebury. She graduated four years ago, in 2011.

Today, Fuller displays the strange lack of judgment which has characterized our political reporting for lo, these disastrous years. Our advice?

Remember who you’re running with when you let these puzzling people stage their latest jihad—in this case, their jihad against the brilliant moral and intellectual values which drove the principal strand of the civil rights movement.

We’ll be discussing that jihad all week. Meanwhile:

Candidate Bush was in business with a succession of crooks. Candidate Clinton once had her photo taken.

Her conduct “wasn’t quite as bad!” Where in the world do they find these people? What makes us listen to them?


  1. "Why are we inclined to support those Charleston families over our northern journalists and professors?"

    Because you are white and you mistook the religious expressions of Charleston families as absolution of your guilt for what your murderous racist white brother had done?

    Because you are white and angry black writers scare you?

    1. C'mon, 3:13, admit that Bob is right: it sure felt good and tingly to throw those R-bombs. Didn't it?

    2. Bob threw the J-bomb. Then the Y-bomb. Then Curriculum V-bomb?

      Why do white people like being bomb throwers?

    3. Many fling poo like chimps.

  2. The Times reports that "Five of [Bush's] business associates have been convicted of crimes," I don't know what counts as a "business associate" or how many "business associates" Bush had. However, will the Times remind its readers that in a business where Hillary had just 3 partners (not just "associates"), two of her partners committed crimes and the third partner later admitted to having committed perjury on an unrelated matter.

    1. We were puzzling over David in Cal's reference to "The Times reports..." when the blogger himself wrote:

      "We were puzzling over the way the New York Times has broken its back inventing scandalous conduct by Candidate Clinton while saying next to nothing about matters like this."

      Because, DinC, this post is about a piece in the paper waging "a jihad" against Clinton. The blogger is confused because the paper waging "a total war" against Clinton has not covered Bush in this way.

      You must learn, DinC to walk a mile in Bob's shoes. The Times is trying to give us President Walker, so he wonders why they too are not attacking Candidate Bush. Or so it might seem in IMHO.

      And if the shoe doesn't fit, read more carefully.

    2. From "Whitewater" viz. Wikipaedia:

      The length, expense, and results of the Whitewater investigations turned the public against the Office of the Independent Counsel; even Kenneth Starr was opposed. In particular, Democrats portrayed Whitewater as a political witch-hunt, much as Republicans had at the end of the 1980s Iran-Contra investigations. As such, the Independent Counsel law expired in 1999. Indeed, no one ended up happy with the Whitewater investigation; Democrats felt that the investigation was a political witch-hunt, Republicans were frustrated that both Clintons had escaped formal charges, and those without partisan involvement found press coverage of Whitewater, which spanned four decades, difficult to understand.

  3. Bob forgot to mention that the first person with whom the Cuban drug smuggler connected was not Hillary. It was VPOTUS Al Gore!

    Oh, and to be sure, the New York Times covered that. Hillary had him over to the White House, the location of the "public reception." That is where the Christmas tree photo was taken.

    1. Except he didn't "connect" with Hillary.

    2. No. He just scored an invite to a White House Christmas Party and the 2nd Inaugural. All Hillary did was pose with him for a picture. At the White House.

    3. To go to an inaugural, all you have to do is donate money. Public officials pose with many citizens without endorsing them or their causes. It is part of their job. You are making a lot out of nothing.

    4. How much drug money does a guy with two prior convictions through plea bargains on drug smuggling charges does one ex-felon have to donate to get pictures with Vice President Gore, First Lady Clinton in front of a White House Christmas tree AND an invite to the big swearing-in fiesta for the nation's Law Enforcement Commander in Chief?

      Pardon me for asking. I never would have noticed this incident if Bob Somerby, who wouldn't describe himself as a fan of Hillary Clinton, hadn't been the one to call my attention to it. He put it in the headline in this post.

  4. Puzzled in H-villeJune 29, 2015 at 10:54 PM

    Call me Puzzled in Howlerland

    I am puzzling over both David in Cal's comments and @4:51's response.

    David in Cal is clearly attributing a quote from the WaPo to the NYTimes.

    And @4:51 correctly quotes Somerby's lament that the New York Times is "saying next to nothing" about Sunshine Bush.

    What has me puzzled is what happens when you follow Somerby's link to the Washington Post article featured in this Post. It takes you not to the Post but to a New York Times article with his headline:

    Jeb Bush’s Rush to Make Money May Be Hurdle

    It is dated April 20, 2014. It covers not only Bush's role with InnoVida, but his questionable involvement with Swisher and Lehman Brothers and his service to Tenet Health Care. It mentions his millions made from speeches to corporate groups.

    I'm not sure on what day Bob Somerby will find that the New York Times Total War on Candidate Clinton began. I am sure this article he didn't mention when accusing the New York Times or hardly mentioning Bush was written by one Michael Barbaro and it appeared on the front page of the Times. Over a year ago.

    Bob Somerby once called Barbaro "the nation's most pitiful child. "Lately (June 17th to be exact) Somerby accused him of being involved in "transjournalism" and said he had become "the younger Frank Bruni" in a comparison of one gay journalist to another. Barbaro's sin was writing an article on Sunshine Bush that Bob found to be "fawning."

    I am puzzled because some people still take Somerby to be a legitimate critic of disingenuous journalists.

    Follow the funny first link from a flagrant phoney friends.

    1. Smoke and mirrors about Somerby to distract readers from Bush's history.

    2. How, by repeating Bob's own erroneous link to the article about Bush he never mentioned in the paper he claims said next to nothing?

    3. If you cannot find the piece using the authors names and date, there is something wrong with you. Pretending such a mistake was deliberate and not accidental shows your bad faith.

    4. Which mistake by Bob do you think was the accident?

      1) The link to the front page, year old New York Times article instead of the recent 3832 word Washington Post article?

      2) The claim that the New York Times says "next to nothing" about the Bush from the Sunshine State? or,

      3) Proving himself in "accident" 1) to be lying in "accident" 2) ?

    5. You aren't making any sense. The link was wrong. The article being discussed was in the Washington Post. The NY Times article is from 2014, before Bush was declared as a candidate. It is nothing like the continuous stream of negative reports that have appeared in the NY Times about Clinton.

      Attacking Somerby doesn't change the facts about Bush, nor does it change the obviously unbalanced coverage of Clinton.

      Attacks on Somerby here tend to generate sympathy for him. Nothing you say about Somerby is going to pull any votes away from Democratic candidates or entice anyone to vote Republican. You are wasting your time here.

    6. You aren't answering the question.

    7. I clearly stated that linking to the wrong article (the old NY Times piece instead of the current Washington Post piece) was a mistake. I don't think #2 was wrong. Bush has not been treated the same way as Clinton by the NY Times. The article Somerby linked to is from 2014, a year before the current announcements of candidacy. That these issues have not been raised since then shows he is being given a pass on them by the NY Times. It does not support your claim.

      I did answer the question.

    8. I made no claim. Somerby did. You believe a front page article in the Sunday New York Times is "next to nothing."

      Bob, on the other hand, thinks a throwaway paragraph at the end of an online summary is an major example of "the relentless bad judgment of our current northern intellectual guilds"

  5. "Jeb, of all the Bushes, probably had the fewest assets before entering public office, and when he left Tallahassee, he was worth $1.3 million, which for the Bushes isn’t very much."

    Fuller quoting Senior in "New York" magazine

    When Bush left office he was practically broke and in debt.

  6. "Personally, we find reports of this type a bit dull. We’d rather see insightful reports about policy matters, including issues of racial justice."

    Bob Somerby

    So despite his personal preference, Somerby chooses to do a post on two articles detailing Bush's business dealings in order to highlight yet another "Yankee" insult to the high character of the much maligned Hillary Clinton buried at the end of one article's review of the first article.

    Meanwhile, while falsely complaining that the New York Times doesn't run such dull articles which focus on Jeb Bush business dealings, he overlooks a New York Times article on the continuing saga of Mrs. Clinton's electronic correspondence with that noted journalist turned Foreign Intelligence Officer/Charitable Foundation Commemorative Event Planner Sid Blumenthal.

    Pardon me from using the terminology of Sid and Hil, but Bob has established himself in the historical record with this post. It is part of his successful strategy. Keep 'em coming. It's another keeper.

    1. Somerby must be striking close to the nerve for someone to waste this much energy in this kind of continuous attack on him.

    2. I must admit continuous defense of Bob would be the easier route. Perfect for lazy, dumb liberals of dubious morals.

    3. Explain why the article about Bush in the NY Times was in 2014 and such things are not being discussed now, when they are more relevant and important to voters.

      Bush is a crook. Clinton is not. You are a stupid troll.

    4. The New York Times wrote an article on Bush's shaky business dealings in 2014. It begins with the role he played in InnoVida.

      Yesterday Bob Somerby wrote that the Times said "next to nothing" about such matters, when in fact he had erroneously copied a link to that very 2014 front page article in preparing his post.

      And Bob Somerby's last most loyal defender wants an explanation of why the Times article was in 2014?

      In a post in which Bob Somerby's lead focus is on a weekend article on the front page Washington Post article detailing Bush's dealings this person asks why such things are not being discussed now?

      Perhaps the questioner should go back to April 21, 2014 and see what Bob Somerby chose to cover when the New York Times was questioning Bush's business deals on its Sunday front page.

    5. Bush was not a candidate in 2014. He is now. If the NY Times is going to dredge up innocent events in Clinton's past and present them as scandals, they have an obligation to dig up actual shady dealings by other candidates and give them the same front page treatment. They clearly have not done so.

      2014 is not 2015 and whatever they may have written in the past is surely relevant now that Bush is a candidate.

    6. You are suggesting a reprint? You are suggesting a follow-up on InnoVida's bankruptcy in 2011, a year after Bush resigned from their board? Perhaps a comparison of whom Bush spoke to for $ 50,000 a pop versus whom Clinton spoke to for $250,000?

      I suggest you wait until Bush releases his soon-to-be-required financial disclosure form before crying about the Times coverage. Bob of course, couldn't wait. He cried when they DID cover things after Marco Rubio filed his disclosure.