Supplemental: Extreme crank delivers the Bern to the Times!

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2015

As Gabriel blows horn again:
On Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders told the press corps to drop the incessant scandal crap and talk about substance for once.

The focus on emails is too damn high, the candidate more or less said.

The audience applauded. It was an instant iconic moment.

Alas! In her new column, Gail Collins has a strange take on the incident:
COLLINS (10/15/15): [Candidate Clinton] had a great debate Tuesday night. Her main opponent, Bernie Sanders, said America was sick and tired of the damned email thing! This is actually classic Sanders, who combines persistent truth-telling with extreme crankiness. But convenient as all get-out for Clinton, who did an excellent job herself on most of the questions. In a perfect world she wouldn’t have said “I represented Wall Street,” but all in all, a home run.
To Collins, Sanders’ statement seems to have been a manifestation of “extreme crankiness.” Later, she said that Clinton had been “surrounded by four crabby-looking men.”

This is the way they approach these things; nothing will ever change that. For a note on an “unlikeable” White House candidate, see below.

Meanwhile, reporter Trip Gabriel was at it in Iowa once again, pretending to evaluate voter response to this latest debate.

We last looked in on Gabriel after the second Republican debate. As we noted in this post, he had exhausted himself gathering voter reactions:
GABRIEL (9/19/15): A sampling of a dozen Iowans on Thursday who watched the second Republican debate—all of them close followers of the presidential race who are uncommitted—did not vary from the emerging national consensus about Mrs. Fiorina’s performance.
At the time, we suggested that a dozen Iowans may not be much of a sampling—that the sampling may be too damn small. It became clear this morning that the sensitive Times reporter took our critique to heart.

The headline above his new report says this: “Hillary Clinton Wins Iowa Fans With Debate Performance.” How big was his sample size this time?

This time around, nothing was left to chance:
GABRIEL (10/15/15): In Iowa, where Bernie Sanders’s call for “political revolution” has lit a prairie fire, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s insistence at Tuesday night’s debate that she, too, is a progressive but one who “likes to get things done,” brought her new respect and support.

Mrs. Clinton’s self-assurance, command of issues and ease in parrying Mr. Sanders at the forum in Las Vegas drew praise from Iowa Democrats, who will cast the first nominating votes on Feb. 1.

[...]

A third candidate, Martin O’Malley, a former Maryland governor, was also cited as impressive in interviews with more than a dozen debate-watchers who had not previously committed to a candidate.
This time, Gabriel was careful about sample size. This time, he spoke to more than a dozen voters. We’ll guess that means thirteen.

We’re puzzled by work of this type. No one could fail to understand the problem with speaking to so few people, then drawing large conclusions about the way “Iowa Democrats” reacted to this event.

That said, the Times keeps publishing work of this type. It strikes us as an imitation of journalism. It seems to be based on the assumption that New York Times readers won’t notice.

To how many “Iowa Democrats” did Gabriel actually speak? He names ten people in his report. In theory, that means at least three missed the cut.

How representative was this small sample? According to Gabriel’s report, he spoke to a farmer, a mayor, a social worker and a waiter.

This suggests that he had perhaps been involved in a “Reimagine the Village People” drinking game, according to one of the analysts.

Fair enough, we thoughtfully said. The analyst's theory was reinforced by this:
GABRIEL: Sarah and Bryan Vanderpool, professional folk singers who recently moved from Los Angeles, began the debate as Sanders supporters. Mr. Vanderpool was still one afterward. “He really spoke to the issues and I’m really excited about him,” he said.

But Ms. Vanderpool found herself unexpectedly drawn to the gravitational field of Mrs. Clinton. “I came in really, really supporting Bernie, and now I like them both,” she said. “She really handled herself well: she has a history of working on the stuff she’s going to be dealing with if she’s president.”
Should a representative sample that small involve two folk singers? Let alone two professional singers who have just moved away from Los Angeles?

Gabriel’s sample was very small. At the Times, it was close enough for journalistic work.

That said, a reporter can’t really learn squat or squadoosh from speaking to thirteen Iowa Democrats.

“Please tell us that the Times knows that,” one of the analysts sighed.

Unlikable, the columnist said: Collins’ reference to the cranky crabby candidate made us think of something we recently read about the late Mary McGrory, the long-time columnist at the Washington Post.

John Norris has written a biography of McGrory. In Sunday’s Outlook section, Carlos Lozada broke the hearts of the world with a bygone quote:
LOZADA (10/11/15): Norris captures a bygone era of Washington journalism, yet reveals McGrory as a precursor to its current forms. Clickbait and harsh comments would not have been alien to her. Nor would conflicts between reporting and opinion, between personal and professional loyalties. “If I wanted to be fair and objective,” she explained, “I wouldn't be writing.”

That writing could eviscerate in single lines. Of Sen. Joseph McCarthy, she observed: “I had seen his likes all my life, at wakes, at weddings, at the junior prom. He was an Irish bully boy.” Robert F. Kennedy: “His tragedy was not only that he had not achieved his full potential, but that uncertainties and pressures had prevented him from seeing what it was.” Nixon: “A sense of grievance is not a good paramount quality in a president.” Carter vs. Reagan: “a choice between a Democrat who can't govern and a Republican who won't.” Gore vs. Bush: “a battle between the unlikable and the unprepared.” She would've been great on Twitter.
“The unlikable and the unprepared?” After reading Collins today, we remembered to look up the quote.

The quote appeared in the Washington Post five days before the 2000 election. It came with a reference to Gore’s “bad manners” at the first Bush-Gore debate.

We don’t recommend looking it up. As for the crabby Sanders, he crafted an important, iconic moment—an iconic debate moment for the ages.

The endless distractions are too damn high, the hopeful incomparably said.

34 comments:

  1. Maddow, Collins. Can Maureen Dowd be far behind?

    Boxcar Bob's Greatest Hits.

    So tell me, Bob Tribe. Has Bob convinced you yet of the horribleness of Gail Collins yet?

    You're about the only ones left he's preaching to, other than those of us who get guilty pleasure watching an old man rant about a life that passed him by.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The public deserves better coverage of these debates than it has been receiving. Somerby is right to be critical.

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    2. Yes. And that excellent recent defender of the intellectual certainly picked a representative sample of the mainstream media to criticize. One columnist and one reporter who appears to have been exiled from the Style section to months of covering obscure campaign activities in Iowa.

      Bob grew so bored covering Gabriel he slipped an covered a dead journalist and nasty things said about Al Gore in the 2000 debates.

      Wait. Come to think of it,the only time Bob covered Gabriel before this year he did the same thing. Dead journalist says nasty things about Gore.

      http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2011/12/foreign-affairs-trip-gabriel-bored-out.html

      The public deserves better. Only our boy Bob delivers.

      Delete
    3. Another Douchebag TrollOctober 16, 2015 at 6:50 AM

      Troll is right. There's been some terrible debate coverage, yes. But the bigger problem? Somerby and those who read him.

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    4. Side effects of cleansing include irritation of those exposed to Somerby who still believe him.

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  2. HRC claimed during the debate she remembers struggling to take care of baby Chelsea when her duties as a lawyer demanded she be in court. Of course this utter fantasy as HRC had the staff of the Governor's mansion and nanny Becky Brown to see to Chelsea's every need.

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    Replies
    1. Clearly you know nothing whatsoever about taking care of any baby.

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    2. @6:46

      Clearly you know zero about who took care of Chelsea when she lived in the Arkansas Governor's Mansion.

      Delete
    3. "Clearly you earn little for trolling your Chelsea fetish as you live in your mother's basement."

      FTFY - wanker

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    4. @11:14

      Don't be petulant just because your parents intended to donate your fetal tissue.

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    5. Ugly, as always. Why would anyone want to join the Republicans if this is the way their minds work?

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    6. @12:24

      Typical liberal intolerance. Stick with the Democratic Party where your choices for POTUS consists of elderly angry white reincarnations of Giuseppe Zangara.

      Delete
    7. 12:24,
      You have to be a liar or idiot to support Republicans.
      Seriously.
      Ask them about their support for the Iraq War two seconds after they say they're against big government and wasteful spending.
      Liars or idiots or both.

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    8. @ 1:38

      HRC & Biden voted for Iraq War, but of course they are enchanted with the prospect of spending any and all taxpayer funds on "free" stuff.

      Dr. Carsen, Trump, & Paul were against the Iraq War.

      Spending on the military, the federal government's chief responsibility being the security of the USA, has never been at odds with conservative ideology.

      What else you got?

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    9. Looks like cicero is in for both.
      Anybody else?

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    10. Wasteful government spending has never been at odds with conservative ideology.
      Only a liar or idiot would deny that obvious truth.

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    11. "Dr. Carsen, Trump, & Paul were against the Iraq War."

      I wonder how Carsen (sic), Trump, & Paul took the news that they loved Saddam Hussein.

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    12. Libs are for wasteful government wholesale spending, but not responsible allocation of funds on the military. Only a progressive would deny that obvious truth.

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    13. Says the guy who's party stiffs veterans.

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    14. @2:39

      Bernie, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, is in the Dem Party.

      "Paul Rieckhoff, founder and CEO of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, said Sanders largely ignored the appeals of organizations like his during a time when media and government reports exposed how veterans were waiting months for appointments and VA officials were covering up the delays.

      "For far too long he was apologizing for the VA. He was refusing to acknowledge the severity. He was positioning it as a smaller issue than it was while veterans were dying waiting for care," Rieckhoff told CNN. "

      "During the time the House VA committee held 42 separate hearings related to oversight of the VA, the Senate VA committee -- chaired by Sanders -- held about seven hearings on these issues.

      At the boiling point of the VA scandal in 2014, after CNN reported about secret wait lists at the Phoenix VA, the Senate committee held a hearing in which Sanders supported an independent investigation of the VA, yet he also praised the VA for serving 200,000 veterans a day and cautioned about rushing to judgment. "

      Delete
  3. Bernie Sanders told the press corps to drop the incessant scandal crap and talk about substance for once.

    Yes he did indeed. It is noteworthy that "the press corps" doesn't reflect on the implication of what Sanders said. Not surprising, but noteworthy. The press has been trying to get Sanders to attack Clinton over this for quite a while now and he has bitterly and stubbornly disappointed them. Hence, the press corps obsessive focus on getting Biden in the race. He's more likely to play the game they want.

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    Replies
    1. Does the press corps exhibit "unit cohesion"?

      It is no wonder Sanders has been bitter and stubborn in his resistance against this obsessive group which focuses on what it collectively "wants."

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    2. @mm

      You can quit shedding tears over the bogus David Brock propaganda screed that the media hates HRC. Like good liberal sheep, the media returned to the HRC fold. Thy collectively cheered in the press room when Bernie cleaned HRC's windshield.


      Hunter Walker
      ✔ ‎@hunterw
      Audible clapping and laughter in the press filing room after Bernie Sanders' "enough of the emails moment."


      Dave Rubin
      ✔ ‎@RubinReport
      The entire press room just exploded when Bernie said that about Hillary's emails. #DemDebate

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    3. You sure picked a funny place to mock the notion that there is a herd mentality with the political press corps in this country.

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    4. Sounds like the reporters like Bernie, as do I.

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    5. @mm

      HRC corralled the media sheep behind moving rope lines. Now they want to embrace HRC with a woolen comforter. You only complain about the media when they actually do their job.

      Why is the media declaring HRC the winner of the debate when social media says it was Bernie? Odd way for the liberal media to behave if they are biased against her as you claim.

      The MSM’s Hillary verdict was nearly unanimous:

      The New York Times says she was “crisp” and “sure-footed,” as well as “commanding.”

      The Washington Post said she “dominated the debate” with “experience” and “self-assurance,” and, in Dana Milbank’s phrase, “a man among boys.”

      Politico’s headline: “Clinton Crushes It.”

      Slate called her “spectacular.”

      “Smart, personable and assured,” declared the New Yorker.

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    6. It's hard to deny, she was spectacular.

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    7. @mm

      You mean the "HRC hating media" was seduced again?
      Good to see you are now back in the fold of the NYT.

      Imagine if any of the other candidates actually wanted to win the nomination instead of vying for ambassador positons in a possible HRC administration.

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    8. Let's see, if I follow mm and cicero correctly, then the media still can't hear Mak Halperin?

      And speaking of Halperin, did anyone ever figure out if David Brooks said anything remotely close to what Halperin attributed to him?

      Delete

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