Cokie Roberts starts up again!


The latest perfect example:
Cokie Roberts has started to bleat about Hillary Clinton's illness. Ed Kilgore discusses this at New York magazine:
KILGORE (9/12/16): Cokie Roberts, the longtime reporter thought to have impeccable insider Democratic contacts, is already reporting on NPR that influential donkeys are “very nervously beginning to whisper about her stepping aside and finding another candidate.” That is less than 24 hours after the story of Clinton’s illness first broke. The Clinton campaign is now saying it will have more information on the candidate’s condition “within a few days.” Is there any chance the woman might be left alone for “a few days” under any circumstances? I sure wouldn’t bet on it.
At this late day, "another candidate" would very likely lose. That said, Roberts is the perfect example of the type of high-ranking establishment star whose conduct the liberal elites have always tolerated.

We've done our most extensive work on the press coverage of Campaign 2000. Roberts was an embarrassing, upper-end mess all the way through that history-changing campaign.

In the fall of 1999, she and her husband, Steve Roberts, did the standard mandated column about the (ridiculous, invented) problems with Candidate Gore's deeply troubling clothes. Why in the world was he wearing those boots? Did he wear boots when he was a high school student at St. Albans? When he lived in the fancy hotel?

When Candidate Bush released his large tax-cut proposal, Cokie bungled badly. Four days later, she made a groaning mistake about the size of the plan on ABC's This Week. George Stephanopoulos skillfully covered for her mistake, but it was stunningly obvious that she didn't know the basics of the proposal.

Her most memorable role came near the end of the campaign. In the wake of the first two debates, some major Democrats finally began to complain about the crazy way Gore was being covered. At the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz turned to Cokie to explain how the press corps works.

After the first debate, Gore had been trashed for a few inconsequential factual mistakes. (He had surveyed a certain fire in Texas with the unknown deputy to the unknown James Lee Witt, not with the unknown Witt. Gore had toured other disaster sites with Witt himself.) Meanwhile, Bush had made a series of gigantic misstatements about his own prescription drug proposal. Very few newspapers even reported that Bush had made wrong, and Gore had been right, in the lengthy, acerbic discussion about the Bush proposal.

Why was the press corps behaving this way? To his credit, Howard Kurtz asked. Here's what Roberts told him:
KURTZ (10/15/00): The broadcast networks all played up Gore's mistakes after the first debate, as did major stories in the New York Times ("Tendency to Embellish Facts Snags Gore") and The Washington Post ("GOP Homes In on Gore's Credibility")...

"The story line is Bush isn't smart enough and Gore isn't straight enough," said ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts. "In Bush's case, you know he's just misstating as opposed to it playing into a story line about him being a serial exaggerator." If another politician had made [Gore’s] mistake [about attending the fire with Witt], "people wouldn't have paid any attention," Roberts said.
Just try to believe that she said it! Sadly enough, we can.

Assuming Roberts was quoted correctly, her answer was horrific. Our journalists had their "story lines," she memorably said. Journalists were simply sticking to their standard pre-approved narratives.

According to their "story line," Candidate Gore was "a serial exaggerator." Therefore, that's how they played his tiny errors, Cokie apparently said.

In fact, Cokie's statement made no sense, even on its own terms. Bush had made a gigantic set of mistakes about his own prescription drug proposal in that first debate. He had called Gore every name in the book, even as Gore described the prescription drug plan correctly.

If the press corps had a "story line" which held that Bush "wasn't smart enough," they'd still be discussing his string of howlers right to this very day. Instead, they buried his remarkable errors.

At any rate, Cokie had been the go-to guy to explain the press corps' conduct. In the wake of the final debate, she and Sam Donaldson clowned about the funny names Dingell and Norwood, in a way which should have gotten both the big cockatoos fired.

Gore had tried to pin Bush down about his stance on the Dingell-Norwood bill, which sought to establish a patient's bill of rights. But because Gore had said those funny names in the course of the debate, Cokie and Sam laughed and clowned, overriding Stephanopoulos' attempts to make them discuss the substance of what Gore had said.

See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/8/06. Click the link to the previous day's report, which gives you the relevant transcript from the debate. Just don't let your children see what Sam and Cokie did. And by the way:

People are dead all over the world because of what they did. Surely, everyone knows that.

Within the press corps, Roberts has always been the perfect representative of the sneering, snooty insider elitism which was rather quickly turned against Clinton, Clinton and Gore. But because she's always been a powerful, highly placed press corps insider, career liberals have always agreed to look the other way.

Now the horrible insider doyenne seems to be at it again. At long last, someone's complaining, even if only a tad. But the liberal world has enabled this mess for the past twenty years. Our team has been hopelessly weak, and of course we've been morally lost.

Sam and Cokie laughed and laughed; Candidate Bush ended up the White House. Sixteen years later, we liberals are getting nervous. For that reason, we in the liberal world have boldly begun pushing back!


  1. Bob thinks "At this late day, "another candidate" would very likely lose." Maybe so, but I think differently. Since both parties have focused so much on negative campaigning, a replacement for either candidate would do well, because there would be less time to demonize him or her. I lived in NJ when Bob Torricelli resigned as Senate candidate. The Democrats immediately went from big losers to big winners.

    1. "I lived in NJ when ...."

      Were also you an insufferable troll there?

    2. You're some actuary - basing such a broad conclusion on a sample size of 1.

  2. Cokie was simply reporting the news. Today Politico reported
    A former Democratic National Committee chairman says President Barack Obama and the party’s congressional leaders should immediately come up with a process to identify a potential successor candidate for Hillary Clinton for the off-chance a health emergency forces her out of the race.

    “Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party,” said Don Fowler, who helmed the DNC from 1995 to 1997, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and has backed Hillary Clinton since her 2008 presidential bid. “I think the plan should be developed by 6 o’clock this afternoon.”

    Fowler appears to have some doubt about Hillary's statement that the pneumonia is temporary, and she's basically fine.

    Read more:
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

    1. "Fowler appears to have some doubt about Hillary's statement that the pneumonia is temporary, and she's basically fine."

      Uh, no he doesn't.

      From the Politico article:

      "Fowler said he expects Clinton to fully recover from her bout with pneumonia, which forced her to leave a Sept. 11 memorial event early and cancel an early-week fundraising swing. But he said the Democratic Party would be mistaken to proceed without a contingency plan. The party's existing rules empower the DNC to name a replacement candidate but include few guidelines or parameters."

      In other words, Fowler wants a better replacement plan than the current one and that Hillary Clinton's current illness is a cautionary event.


    2. Soapy -- Fowler, in effect, said, "I'm positive Hillary will be healthy enough to run BUT we should have a contingency plan; in case she isn't healthy enough to run." I take that to mean that he is in some doubt. Nobody talked about the need for a contingency plan when Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were running.

    3. How can someone be in some doubt when they say "I'm positive..."?

      Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were not 68 when they ran. Trump is 70. But health has changed and life expectancy has increased. As an actuary, you should know that.

  3. My daughter and I both had walking pneumonia this year, that developed after a nasty cold. We took antibiotics for the prescribed number of days but were much better in days and well before the pills ran out. It is a minor ailment, much like flu and not as bad as bronchitis. We both coughed.

    Why is a minor illness being played up as something debilitating, permanent, and even disqualifying by the press?

    I suppose they want to pretend it is something very serious so they can pretend that she was covering it up and lying to everyone about it. Someone said on the radio today that "she didn't disclose it until she got caught." WTF!!! She got sick and had to leave an event -- she didn't do something illegal, immoral or corrupt. She didn't get caught. She left an event and her staff made an announcement.

    Next time Somerby gets a cold, we all expect full disclosure. I'll bet Obama has been sick several times during his presidency, without a press conference about it. You take a pill and soldier on, just like anyone with a job does, until you feel too bad to do that and take a few days off. On what planet does that require any discussion?

    Trump was sick a few months ago and went to his fancy golf resort in FL. There was no talk about him dropped out -- well, no more than usual.

  4. This is what people should be discussing, instead of Hillary';s illness (from HuffPo):

    "We will be one people, under one God, saluting one American flag,” he said Monday at a speech to the National Guard Association in Baltimore. Moments before, he claimed he’d be a “president for all Americans” in an effort to portray himself as more of a uniter than his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Trump’s “under one God” line may sound like boilerplate presidential campaign rhetoric, even if it is a bit, um, Hitlerian. (The Nazi Party slogan was “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer!” ― or, “One people, one empire, one leader!”)."

    1. 30% of Americans are not Christian

  5. It is interesting that in all this coverage no one has mentioned Donald Trump's germophobia. He doesn't like to shake hands and he wipes his hands after doing so. Certainly a debilitating condition in a politician.

    It also suggests OCD and a host of psychological diagnosis, since it is a symptom, not a normal way of interacting with people (witness Sheldon Cooper). Given Trump's oddly unemotional reaction to 9/11, perhaps he is somewhere on the autistic spectrum.

    See -- we need our own health conspiracy theories!

  6. That Nazi slogan doesn't mention God (Gott), but the United States Pledge of Allegiance does.

    1. The problem is that Trump has started talking about uniting people under "One God" with those words capitalized. One nation, under God, does not imply that everyone must worship the same God, but Trump's phrase "One God" does. When 30% of the USA is not Christian that poses a problem. Obviously, Trump is proposing that we should unite under his God (although I personally think he is not religious and is conning the Christians). Where is the religious freedom promised by the First Amendment to the Constitution if he is promising that as President he will unite everyone under a single God of his choosing?

      David, you are aware that Hitler tried to wipe out the Jews, aren't you? He favored a return to a form of pagan German religion that predated Catholicism. He too wanted to unite the German people under a single Germanic religion, free from the influence of the Pope and Jews.

      It is a mystery to me why the words "Under God" were inserted into the pledge in 1957, but they were and no one has had the guts to suggest removing them again. Maybe when people who describe their religion as "none" increase from 16-20% to a majority of the nation, that mistake can be reversed.

    2. People who focus on excluding "God" in the pledge and on currency are strange.

    3. 9:51 -- I remember when the words "Under God" were added. The point was to distinguish the USA from those Godless Communists. It was an outgrowth of McCarthyism. I don't particularly like that addition to the Pledge.

    4. There is no God and there never was.
      If we get rid of Political Correctness, we can all repeat this obvious truth in the public square.

    5. It's not a PC issue. Quit your whining.

  7. I didn't even know Cokie Roberts was still around. Last I heard of her was 2008 when she was deeply troubled over then candidate Obama revealing his elitist self by taking a vacation in supposedly overly exotic Hawaii (to visit his ailing grandmother) as opposed to a place more to Cokie's liking. She mentioned South Carolina of all places as more acceptable. She's a classic horse's ass.

    1. No offense to the horse.

    2. I generally see Cokie every 5 years at the Wellesley College reunion, since she and my wife were friends.(Hillary and Madeleine Albright attend the same reunions, since they were, respectively, 5 years behind and 5 years ahead of Cokie and my wife.) Cokie comes from a family of Democratic politicians. Her father Hale Boggs was in the Democratic Congressional leadership. Her mother and sister were both elected to public office as Democrats. Cookie tends to be less partisan than many pundits. But, there's no doubt that her sympathies lie with the Democrats.

    3. Cokie the buckracker...

    4. Yet another boring anecdote from the derp troll.

  8. "We've done our most extensive work on the press coverage of Campaign 2000."

    Understatement by a modest man.

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  10. Of interest to Bob and Howler readers?

    Public Disservice: The Media And Hillary Clinton

  11. Thanks for the link, hardindr. I don't buy his statement that Contrary to the general perception of a “liberal media,” Donald Trump was the runaway beneficiary of positive media coverage throughout 2015.

    I'll go with liberal pundit Bob Wright:

    The problem with anti-Trump bias [in the media] is that the media are so "ham-handed about it that it won't work."

    1. Isn't it nice that you can now have your own personal bubble world alternate reality version of the truth that you can pick and choose from.

      Whenever someone posts reality, DinC can run to his deplorable alt right source to get a version of reality he likes better.

    2. Wright's comment doesn't contradict Patterson's. In fact, Wright's comment indirectly supports Patterson's comment. Trump has repeatedly twitterbragged about his favorable coverage.

      You need to troll harder.

  12. "Contrary to the general perception of a “liberal media,” Donald Trump was the runaway beneficiary of positive media coverage throughout 2015." Not True.
    Delete one word.
    "Contrary to the general perception of a “liberal media,” Donald Trump was the runaway beneficiary of media coverage throughout 2015."
    True. Trump even bragged about all the free press he was getting.

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