Also, Bruni wept: How ridiculous was the New York Times down the stretch of the White House campaign?
In its pseudo-reporting of politics, the Times is a rolling gong-show. Consider the recent, snarky front-page report about the dying candidate's final days.
The report was written by Haberman, Parker, Peters and Barbaro—a genuine Times rogues' gallery. The snarky quartet mistakenly thought Trump was on the way out.
Their profile topped Monday's front page. Hard-copy headline included, this is the way they began:
HABERMAN AND PARKER (11/7/16): The Storm Below the Calm: An Inside View of Trump's Last StandHa ha ha ha ha ha ha! These silly, ridiculous corporate children were having some fun this day.
Donald J. Trump is not sleeping much these days.
Aboard his gold-plated jumbo jet, the Republican nominee does not like to rest or be alone with his thoughts, insisting that aides stay up and keep didn't want "to be alone with his thoughts." He prefers the soothing, whispery voice of his son-in-law.
He requires constant assurance that his candidacy is on track. ''Look at that crowd!'' he exclaimed a few days ago as he flew across Florida, turning to his young press secretary as a TV tuned to Fox News showed images of what he claimed were thousands of people waiting for him on the ground below.
And he is struggling to suppress his bottomless need for attention. As he stood next to the breakfast buffet at his golf club in Doral, Fla., eyeing a tray of pork sausages, he sought to convey restraint when approached by a reporter for The New York Times.
(Full disclosure: Haberman is a legacy. Parker started as Maureen Dowd's "research assistant," whatever that could mean.)
The snark was general this day. In that headline, some editor cited Trump's "last stand." It was a reference to Custer. The children started having their fun right in that opening sentence:
"Donald J. Trump is not sleeping much these days."
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Things were going so badly for Trump that he couldn't be alone with his thoughts!
He required constant assurance. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Through their 2200 words, the children painted a familiar picture: Campaign in disarray. In fact, the candidate at whom they snarked was winning his campaign.
Meanwhile, how strange! At no point did they flesh out their opening line, an invitation to mockery:
"Donald J. Trump is not sleeping much these days."
He wasn't sleeping much these days? All through the campaign, profiles stressed the fact that Trump doesn't sleep much at all. Meanwhile, how often would he be on his plane during the overnight hours? We'd assume the answer would be not often. But the children never attempted to justify or explain that snarky opening line.
Alas! As the silly children were having their fun, the candidate was winning his race. The nation pays a major price when snarky flyweights of this type define the flyweight political work of the New York Times.
The silly children snarked a bit prematurely. This morning, we could only shake our heads as columnist Frank Bruni wept.
Bruni was full of high emotion. This is the way his column began in our hard-copy Times:
BRUNI (11/9/16): I was just a half-block from the Manhattan school where I had cast my vote on Tuesday morning when I pulled out my phone and called my sister. I hadn’t planned to talk with her just then. But suddenly I had to. The feeling was as overwhelming as it was surprising.As it turned out, yesterday wasn't as big a day for women as Bruni might have expected. Before his column was through, he'd dragged his sister in:
“Wow,” I said to her. “That was really something. I just voted for a woman for president.” I almost didn’t get the last words out. My voice caught and my eyes grew wet.
This is a big day for women. That’s the official declaration, worded pretty much that way. Although many will be devastated if Hillary Clinton loses, female voters in this country never before had the opportunity, when choosing on Election Day between the Democratic and Republican nominees, to pick a woman.
And if Clinton wins? Well, the world’s most powerful nation will for the first time have a female head of state. The fact and the symbolism of that are profound.
BRUNI: Something bubbled up in my sister, too.Maybe Bruni should stop his weeping long enough to explain the world to his nieces. To explain the endless gender-based assaults on Clinton from big stars in his own guild.
Adelle is 45, juggles a high-powered job with raising two teenagers, and frequently makes the point that if women are considered dexterous and smart enough to take principal charge of something as precious as the brood, why not the nation?
She trudged to the polls on Tuesday morning more in opposition to Trump than in support of Clinton, who is, in her eyes, “the epitome of a career politician” and too often “puts her own ambitions ahead of what’s right.”
But she discovered an unexpected thrill in casting that ballot, “a sense of sisterhood in putting the first woman in the presidency,” she told me. “It’s long overdue. It’s crazy how long overdue it is.”
It’s huge for all five of my nieces, who are inheriting, in some crucial regards, a fairer world. It’s huge for all four of my nephews, including Adelle’s son, and for their fathers as well as their mothers.
To tell his nieces about Maureen Dowd. To tell his nieces about Chris Matthews, circa 1998-2008.
To tell his nieces about the gruesome Olbermann. To tell them about the fiery liberal who criticized Olbermann's "misogyny," but only did so in private. (Their dishonesty was outed by a pre-Putin pre-WikiLeaks leak.)
To tell his nieces about the people who refused to speak up about the conduct of their colleagues. While he was weeping, Bruni might go ahead and mention his own name.
We're not gigantic fans of Candidate Clinton. She was a terrible candidate this time around. We don't know why she ran. Neither does anyone else.
But before Bruni sheds more tears, he might consider telling the world about the ugly history his own guild dumped on the head of this particular candidate, down through a great many years. Meanwhile, this is the way this silly boy wrote about George W. Bush, back when he was the New York Times' official campaign reporter:
BRUNI (9/14/99): When Gov. George W. Bush of Texas first hit the Presidential campaign trail in June, he wore monogrammed cowboy boots, the perfect accessory for his folksy affability and casual self-assurance.Yesterday, Bruni wept. Back then, he kissed serious ascot. The Times has been a low-IQ joke forever. Bruni ought to tell his nieces about this part of the world where they live.
But when he visited New Hampshire early last week, he was shod in a pair of conservative, shiny black loafers that seemed to reflect more than the pants cuffs above them. They suggested an impulse by Mr. Bush to put at least a bit of a damper on his brash irreverence, which has earned him affection but is a less certain invitation for respect.
As Mr. Bush presses forward with his almost preposterously charmed quest for the Republican Presidential nomination, he has plenty of confidence, evident in his easy swagger. He has more than enough money—about $50 million and counting, an unprecedented, calculator-boggling sum. And he has a wave of early support in polls that looks tidal.
BRUNI (11/27/99): As George W. Bush loped through the headquarters of the Timberland Company here, he might have been any candidate in the hunt for votes, any pol on the path toward the presidency. He tirelessly shook hands, dutifully took questions and let a multitude of promises bloom.
But there was something different about Governor Bush's approach, something jazzier and jauntier. It came out in the way he praised a 20-year-old man for his "articulate" remarks, then appended the high-minded compliment with a surprising term of endearment.
"Dude," Mr. Bush called his new acquaintance.
It emerged again when Mr. Bush crossed paths with an elderly employee, and she told him that he had her support.
"I'll seal it with a kiss!" Mr. Bush proposed and, wearing a vaguely naughty expression, swooped down on the captive seamstress.
Mr. Bush's arm curled tight around the shoulders of other voters; he arched his eyebrows and threw coquettish grins and conspiratorial glances their way. It was campaigning as facial calisthenics, and Mr. Bush was its Jack LaLanne.
To Bruni's sister, Hillary Clinton is “the epitome of a career politician” who too often “puts her own ambitions ahead of what’s right.” To Bruni's famous colleagues, she was "Evita Peron" and she was also "Nurse Ratched." She was the kind of person who makes a man think of his first wife.
Bruni ought to stop his weeping and try telling the truth today. He ought to tell the truth to his nieces and, very important, to his nephews as well.
As a practice round, he might tell the truth to the marks who read the New York Times. That said, dearest darlings! Use your heads!
It simply isn't done!