Supplemental: What Bartiromo actually asked!


The charge the Times is floating:
How bad was last night's GOP debate? How bad was the work by the moderators? How bad were the various pols?

We haven't watched the whole thing yet. We haven't reviewed the whole transcript. But alas! In the first review we encountered this morning—Jack Mirkinson's piece at the new Salon—we were soon reading this account of one of last evening's questions:
MIRKINSON (1/15/16): The leading question theme continued throughout the night, giving the debate an edge that was hard-right even for Fox. Bartiromo asked John Kasich what it “said” about the Democratic Party that a man like Bernie Sanders was popular. Cavuto asked Chris Christie to affirm the widely-debunked notion of a “Ferguson effect” on policing. Bartiromo asked Ben Carson if Hillary Clinton should be blamed for Bill Clinton’s womanizing—a question seemingly ripped straight from Rush Limbaugh’s dreams.
Did Bartiromo really ask that question? We decided to take a look at the transcript, and we got a quick answer:

Essentially, no. That pretty much isn't what she asked.

Unfortunately, it may be worth parsing this out. We find that many liberals may not understand the road Candidate Trump, and the New York Times, may eventually take.

Here's the text of the actual question Bartiromo asked. Carson quickly changed the subject as he gave his answer:
BARTIROMO (1/14/16): Dr. Carson, one of the other candidates on this stage has brought up Bill Clinton's past indiscretions. Is that a legitimate topic in this election? And what do you think of the notion that Hillary Clinton is an enabler of sexual misconduct?
That's what Bartiromo said. We're not sure if she understands the accusation which may start making the rounds at some point—the accusation which was floated by the New York Times in last Friday's editorial.

We don't know if Bartiromo understands what's being whispered, suggested and said. Let's make sure that we do understand.

In last Friday's editorial, the Times was bruiting a slightly different accusation than the one Bartiromo and/or Mirkinson articulated.

The Times didn't accuse Hillary Clinton of "enabling sexual misconduct" in some vague, formless way. Through slippery logic and a slick selection of facts, the editors offered a fairly explicit insinuation:

Without offering any real examples, they suggested that Hillary Clinton has "for decades" been involved in ugly, false "attacks on the character" of Bill Clinton's accusers.

Note the slippery logic here. Did we mention that this is the Times?
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (1/8/16): For decades Mrs. Clinton has helped protect her husband’s political career, and hers, from the taint of his sexual misbehavior, as evidenced by the Clinton team’s attacks on the character of women linked to Mr. Clinton. When Mr. Clinton ran for president in 1992, Mrs. Clinton appeared on television beside him to assert that allegations involving Gennifer Flowers were false. In 1998, he admitted to that affair under oath. After the Monica Lewinsky affair emerged, some White House aides attempted to portray Ms. Lewinsky as the seducer.

Mrs. Clinton portrays her candidacy as a historic opportunity for Americans to elect a female president, and has repeatedly gone after Republican candidates, including Mr. Trump, Ben Carson and Marco Rubio, for their stances on women’s issues. In September at the University of Northern Iowa, she pledged to combat sexual assault on college campuses, saying: “I want to send a message to all of the survivors. Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard, the right to be believed, and we are with you as you go forward.”

Last month in New Hampshire, a young woman challenged Mrs. Clinton on that. Speaking at a town hall event, the woman referred to several women who have said they were sexually harassed by her husband. “You recently came out to say that all rape victims should be believed,” she said, asking if Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones should also be believed.

Mrs. Clinton’s response was odd, and unhelpful. “I would say that everybody should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence,” she said.

Mr. Trump, of course, is not drawing distinctions between Bill Clinton’s behavior and Hillary Clinton’s attacks on her husband’s accusers. His aim is to dredge up an ancient scandal and tar Mrs. Clinton with it in a clearly sexist fashion. There should be no place for that kind of politics in this country.
The logic of that editorial is weirdly hard to follow. But here's the suggestion the Times was floating—and yes, it started with Candidate Trump:

"For decades," Hillary Clinton has been involved in false "attacks on the character of women linked to Mr. Clinton." That's what the editors clearly suggested, albeit in the murkiest possible fashion.

Has Hillary Clinton been doing that? The one example the Times seemed to offer involved Gennifer Flowers, whose appalling history, and lack of credibility, we reviewed in yesterday's post.

In typically garbled fashion, the Times implied that Bill Clinton falsely denied Flowers' claims, and that Hillary Clinton knew his denial was false. The Times toyed with the facts in its presentation, but history says that the New York Times will be eager to do so again.

"For decades," Hillary Clinton has been involved in false "attacks on her husband's accusers!" Almost surely, that sort of claim will start to circulate at some point, especially if Trump is the Republican nominee.

Mirkinson perhaps included, many liberals seem a bit fuzzy on the nature of this accusation. Liberals and Dems need to be more clear on what is likely to come.

Gennifer Flowers was a clown, an utter public disgrace. The life forms who work at the New York Times will never let you know that.

That said, Kathleen Willey's ridiculous history may be even worse. Inevitably, Chris Matthews was up to his ears in the part of the story where a false accusation by Willey herself almost got a journalist killed. (The story gets worse after that.)

We'll review that history some day next week. For now, the resuscitation of this ugly, disgraceful mess is just a bit depressing.

Bartiromo didn't quite manage to articulate the claim the Times was floating last week. In turn, Mirkinson didn't quite articulate the question Bartiromo asked.

In this way, Clinton supporters will arrange to stay clueless about what is almost sure to come. For decades, we liberals have been at our happiest when we're barefoot and clueless.

Back in 2004, the Swift-boating of Candidate Kerry took our team by surprise. At present, we seem to be getting ourselves prepared to get blind-sided again.


  1. I think TDH has pretty clearly and consistently established the fact that many allegations of male sexual assaults are part of the liberal narrative or, when levellled against Clinton were not fought by liberals, just like allegations of the gender pay gap representing discrimination are a canard.

    1. That's almost coherent.

      And to the very limited extent that it is coherent, it's bollocks.

    2. Far too many men engage in sexual assaults. Far too many women make false allegations of sexual assault. Both actions are so serious they should not be politicized.

  2. What? My mistake! You could not have been more clear.

  3. "Should Hillary Clinton be blamed for Bill's womanizing" and "is Hillary Clinton an enabler of [Bill's] sexual misconduct" are kind of the same question, though.

    1. I'd have to agree with that.

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    3. And the answer to both questions is whose damned business is it anyway but theirs?

  4. The New York Times is a Hillary supporter. They endorsed her when she ran for Senate. They will endorse her when she runs for President in November. Kathleen Willey was a Democratic activist. If their accusations had been made by Rush Limbaugh, that would be one thing. But, accusations made by Hillary's allies carry more weight.

    1. You are an idiot!

    2. I endorse David for Actuary-in-Chief, but he often distorts facts to support political arguments.

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  6. "Back in 2004, the Swift-boating of Candidate Kerry took our team by surprise." B.S.

    In political team play, the guy who shows up in the stands and constantly criticizes "our team" deserves his Participation Trophy.

  7. My memory of the "swift-boating" is perhaps biased by my politics. Here's what I remember:

    Kerry's evidence of competence was the claim that he was a military hero. Throughout the campaign, he pointed to no other achievements. Many of the men who served with Kerry in Vietnam didn't remember him as having served heroically. They made a TV ad saying so. This ad was devastating, not because it painted Kerry as awful. It was devastating because Kerry's supposed military heroics were his only claimed achievement.

    1. Many who observe David's memory in action don't use "swift" in response.

    2. Here's my recollection, David.

      That race was between a decorated combat veteran and a guy whose daddy pulled strings to get him into the Air National Guard so he would never leave the United States.

      So Karl Rove dug up a surrogate who never served with Kerry to claim he didn't really deserve his medals while Rove's boy stayed clear of the fray. Classic Rove.

      It was perhaps the most shameless thing that happened in politics until Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

      But it sure worked on you.

    3. Anon 3:07 -- Bush didn't serve in the Air National Guard. He served in the Texas Air National Guard. There were openings for pilot training in TANG when he joined, so he didn't need any pulled strings.

    4. TANG?
      Is that the commitment that he never showed up for? Or am I thinking of a different time he went AWOL?

    5. Bush being AWOL is another unsupported myth.

    6. There's money on the table for anyone to prove Bush wasn't AWOL.
      DavidinCal's theory: Good luck finding an American who is interested in cash.

    7. Good try, Anon 5:03. However, you've got it backwards. Anyone claiming that Bush or anyone else did something bad is supposed to provide the proof. Otherwise, you could be judged guilty of having been AWOL, since you have provided no evidence that you weren't AWOL.

      Anyhow, Bush's Honorable Discharge from TANG is evidence that he hadn't been AWOL.

    8. Face it DavidinCal, it's the cash offer that has those who can prove Bush was there turned off. If you want them to prove Bush was there, offer Americans something they value, like empathy for Syrian refugees. LOL

    9. "Anyone claiming that Bush or anyone else did something bad is supposed to provide the proof."

      I believe his 8 years as President is ample proof Bush did many, many things bad.
      At least you stopped him from wasting $2+ trillion, by asking him to prove Saddam had WMDs. Thanks again for that.

  8. David 4:23 -- You say, "Bush didn't serve in the Air National Guard. He served in the Texas Air National Guard." That's poor, even by the low standards we apply to you. Go back to actuarial science.

    1. David in Cal reflexively lies for his party and politics. That says a lot about his character.

    2. Hail Caesar -- TANG and ANG are different organizations. One of several ways to deduce that the forged Bush document was a fraud was that its format didn't match the format used by TANG in several respects.