What if people had said it all along: Last night, Charlie Pierce appeared with Chris Hayes on All In.
Years back, in an undisclosed location in Washington, Charlie disagreed with our contention that disqualification on personal fouls is the worst rule in team sports. We cited the disqualification of Ernie DiGregorio on five charging fouls as our ultimate proof.
Charlie didn't agree about that. Last night, he finally said that we've been right all along:
PIERCE (9/12/16): This has been probably the worst month for elite political journalism certainly since the nonsense that surrounded Al Gore in 2000. And it's probably worse than that.Has this been "the worst month for elite political journalism since the nonsense that surrounded Al Gore in 2000?" Has the journalism of the past month been worse than that which surrounded Candidate Gore?
I mean, it's—our institutions seem to be completely incapable of confronting the fact that one of our major parties has nominated a guy whom you would move to the other end of the subway car rather than sit next to.
(Pet peeve: The journalism against Candidate Gore occurred for twenty straight months in 1999 and 2000. When we say "in 2000," we've started our discussion by cutting the offense in half.)
We don't think the past month has been worse than the war against Gore. We don't see how it has been as bad as the journalism of Campaign 2000.
That said, the analysts roared when Charlie made that allusion. In the seventeen years since that war began in March 1999, we've very rarely heard liberal pundits mention that twenty-month journalistic onslaught.
(Joe Scarborough mentioned it at one point. Almost no one else ever did.)
As we've often said, the liberal world has agreed to pretend that the attack never happened. Liberals agreed to pretend it never happened in real time, even as someone detailed it on a daily basis and sent out weekly mailers, spending money to do so. Liberals then agreed to pretend it never happened in the almost sixteen years since November 2000, even as someone did years of work detailing one episode after another.
(For six chapters worth, click here. After that, we just couldn't take the futility of continuing such laborious work in the face of the code of silence. Many other episodes are described in our various archives.)
For seventeen years, liberals agreed to pretend it never happened. With very occasional exceptions, mainstream journalists have engaged in the same mass denial. But last night, there was Charlie, referring to that journalistic disaster as if we've all been discussing it all along. Our question:
How many of Hayes' viewers have ever heard a single word about the journalism of Campaign 2000? They've certainly never heard a word about it from Hayes himself, in part for an ugly reason:
The journalism to which Charlie referred was largely conducted by Hayes' corporate colleagues. Chris Matthews was the most influential and aggressive cable player in that deeply destructive, history-changing, twenty-month journalistic war. With just a few weeks to go in that history-changing election, Lawrence O'Donnell was on The McLaughlin Group, reminding the country that Candidate Gore was a prodigious liar.
People are dead all over the world because of what they and the others did. For the past seventeen years, everyone has agreed to pretend that no one ever did it.
Last night, Charlie said that it did occur. Our question:
How would voters view the coverage of Candidate Clinton if they'd been informed about the coverage of Candidate Gore? To what extent could the coverage of Clinton have proceeded in the ways Charlie has challenged if that previous twenty-month war had been widely discussed?
The analysts cheered when they heard Charlie's glancing reference last night. Personally, we took it as an admission that we'd been right about Ernie DeGregorio all along.