YEAR(S) IN REVIEW: Most Consequential Narrative of the Year(s)!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2016

Part 3—From Whitewater through to the emails:
On August 3, 2004, the New York Times' Paul Krugman was right on target, as he routinely has been.

He was explored a striking new concept, a striking new concept called "script." Headline included:
KRUGMAN (8/3/04): Reading the Script

A message to my fellow journalists: check out media watch sites like campaigndesk.org, mediamatters.org and dailyhowler.com. It's good to see ourselves as others see us. I've been finding The Daily Howler's concept of a media ''script,'' a story line that shapes coverage, often in the teeth of the evidence, particularly helpful in understanding cable news.

For example, last summer, when growth briefly broke into a gallop, cable news decided that the economy was booming. The gallop soon slowed to a trot, and then to a walk. But judging from the mail I recently got after writing about the slowing economy, the script never changed; many readers angrily insisted that my numbers disagreed with everything they had seen on TV.

If you really want to see cable news scripts in action, look at the coverage of the Democratic convention...
Krugman continued from there. All in all, the liberal world has ignored the good sound advice he offered that day.

"Script," of course, is a specialized offshoot of "narrative." The mainstream press corps may adopt specialized scripts in service to some ongoing "narrative"—in service to some story line to which they will cling in the face of the facts, or even in the face of onrushing cultural death.

One such narrative dominated the coverage of the year's presidential campaign. Our judges have named it the most consequential narrative of the year(s).

We pluralize the word "year(s)" for an obvious reason. In the beginning was the end!

The potent media narrative to which we refer was hatched in 1992. From that day to this, the mainstream press corps has run with this poisonous story line, while pseudo-liberal corporate quislings have agreed to avert their gaze from this narrative and the many scripts it has spawned.

Almost surely, this combination of behaviors has now sent Donald J. Trump to the White House. This outcome has made "Candidate Clinton is corrupt" the most consequential narrative of the year(s).

"Candidate Clinton is corrupt!" Our judges have named it the most consequential narrative of the year(s). In the course of their exposition, our judges have linked this award to several others:

Their annual "Narrative Which Didn't Bark" prize goes to the absence of a controlling narrative about Candidate Donald J. Trump.

Also, the judges' annual award for "Most Favored Player Status" goes to FBI Director James B. Comey, the latest Republican figure extolled, all through the press, for his obvious moral rectitude.

Let's walk through the interplay of these narratives, including that absence-of-narrative.

The narrative about Clinton's corruption was hatched on the front page of the New York Times in 1992. Through a set of bungled news reports, the Times invented the Whitewater pseudo-scandal—the pseudo-scandal which gave its name to an entire era.

In 1995, Gene Lyons and the editors of Harper's magazine published Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater.

Harper's was one of the nation's oldest and most respected journals. That said, the notion that "the media" had done something wrong made Lyons' book unsuitable for serious review or even for discussion.

Lyons' book, and its claims, were quickly disappeared. Almost all career liberals understood that such notions could not be discussed.

Practices spiraled from there. Starting in March 1999, the mainstream press corps began extending its narrative about corruption to President Clinton's chosen successor, Candidate Gore. Gore was defined by his many lies and by his troubling clothes.

From Week One, one award-winning web site discussed this unfolding narrative and the many scripts it spawned. From that day to this, almost all career liberals knew they mustn't ever discuss what occurred in those next two years.

The narrative about Clinton corruption thus lived to fight another day. In the past two years, it was principally tied to a series of scripts about Candidate Clinton's past email practices. Corporate liberals like Rachel Maddow understood that they must never examine the claims and the deceptions involved in this new set of scripts.

(In the fall of 2012, Maddow had averted her gaze as Susan Rice was thrown under the bus in the wake of the Benghazi attacks. In these ways, the two stories which most undermined Candidate Clinton were invented partly thanks to Maddow's relentless silence. On the brighter side, Maddow continued receiving millions of dollars per year from her corporate owners. Soon, she was splashing about in an Epsom salt enhanced pool as she enjoyed her favorite TV shows. To admire the layout, click here.)

Starting in March of 2015, the mainstream press corps wailed away concerning the Clinton emails. Almost without exception, corporate liberals made no attempt to analyze, explain, critique or challenge the varied assertions and claims.

On July 5 of this year, James B. Comey took advantage of his Most Favored Player Status, making his first intrusion on the White House campaign. The very next day, Slate's Fred Kaplan issued a challenge to Comey's assertions and claims.

As with Rice in 2012, Kaplan went unmentioned on MSNBC all through the rest of the year. The children continued to gambol and play, serving us nightly tribal porridge, with "the great Steve Kornacki" assuring us that the polls looked extremely good.

In these ways, a 25-year-old narrative exacted tremendous damage. Meanwhile, Candidate Trump was helped along by The Narrative(s) Which Didn't Bark.

In the face of a blizzard of weird behavior, the mainstream press corps never created a controlling narrative about the former non-reality star. Concerning this overall absence of narrative, a few key points must be stated:

It isn't clear that a sprawling entity like the mainstream press corps should create a controlling narrative for a White House contender. The larger problem here was the existence of a controlling narrative concerning Clinton, not the absence of same in the case of Trump.

That said, even as they pounded Candidate Clinton, the mainstream press showed an amazing ability to avoid challenges to Candidate Trump's most gruesome behaviors. Their refusal to question his birtherism was perhaps the most glaring and repulsive example, but other behaviors stood out.

On several occasions, Anderson Cooper played pool boy to Trump concerning his relentless bogus claims about his alleged opposition to the war in Iraq. Starting in June 2015, Maddow stood out for her weird, presumably self-dealing deference to the Birther King.

In these brief remarks, we've tracked the confluence of narrative, and absence of same, which decided this year's election. To see how slavishly these imperatives will be followed by the press, consider a news report from this morning's New York Times.

The news report is suitably buried inside the paper, on page A19. All too suitably, it shares space on the page with three other obituaries. The four headlines in question are these:
New York Times headlines, page A19:
Esther Wilkins, Dental Hygiene Pioneer, Dies at 100
Fran Jeffries, 79, Singer, Dancer and Film Actress
Garrett Gomey, 44, Leading Jockey Who Battled Addiction

Filing Reveals Reasoning of F.B.I. in Clinton Case
Photographs accompany the reports about Wilkins, Jeffries and Garrett, with Jeffries looking remarkably "hot." (Boxed sub-headline: "A career celebrated for a sexy samba in The Pink Panther.")

No photograph accompanies the fourth report. Decorously, editors kept the name of Comey the God out of their remarkably anodyne headline.

Does anyone know why that fourth news report was buried next to Jeffries? The report concerns the conduct of Comey the God late in the White House campaign.

If you read to paragraph 7, you'll be exposed to a startling charge. Well-known mandates of mainstream scripting decreed that this had to be buried:
WEISER AND GOLDMAN (12/21/16): David E. Kendall, Mrs. Clinton’s lawyer, said in a statement Tuesday that the unsealed affidavit “highlights the extraordinary impropriety of Director Comey’s Oct. 28 letter, publicized two days before the affidavit, which produced devastating but predictable damage politically and which was both legally unauthorized and factually unnecessary.”

He added that what is “unassailably clear” is that “as the sole basis for this warrant, the F.B.I. put forward the same evidence the bureau concluded in July was not sufficient to bring a case—the affidavit offered no additional evidence to support any different conclusion.”
Say what? The high-profile lawyer for Candidate Clinton said that Director James B. Comey engaged in "extraordinary impropriety?"

Is David E. Kendall allowed to say that? Apparently not, based on the placement this news report received in this morning's Times.

To understand the world in which you live, you have to understand the interplay of narratives, from which scripts emerge. In the case of that underplayed news report, you must understand these points:

James B. Comey had long been defined as a figure of unquestioned rectitude. Hillary Clinton had long been defined as a figure who was corrupt.

Donald J. Trump was never defined by a controlling press narrative. To the extent that cable news "defined" him in a uniform way, he was defined as the amusing former reality star at whose ridiculous statements our pundit stars never stopped chuckling.

Liberals must understand one last point about this destructive interplay. Throughout this campaign, their favorite corporate TV stars made little attempt to fight these mandated narratives.

Rachel Maddow is often called The Nun; her friend Chris Hayes is sometimes called The Puppy. Together, they're often described as "the children."

Along with Maddow's consultant-invented, incessant weird grin, these nicknames have helped establish these stars as trusted liberal figures—as the liberal viewer's imaginary cable friends. This makes it hard for liberals to see what these corporate stars haven't done for them lately, all through the past brutal year(s).

Starting in early July, Comey the God got a pass from these stars. Back in 2012, they'd agreed to throw Susan Rice under the bus as an array of scripts about Benghazi were being invented. These silences enabled the invention of the powerful scripts which sent Donald Trump to the White House.

This year, the stars agreed to ignore what Comey the God had done; they never breathed a serious word about the existence of that 25-year-old Clinton narrative. By the time Maddow appeared with "the great Tom Brokaw" on November 1 of this year, our analysts were actually posing a question to us:

Is it possible that Maddow supported her beloved "Poppy Bush" in 1992? We didn't know how to answer their question, but Maddow's weird remarks, through the years, about both Clintons and about "Poppy Bush" had finally made this a sadly reasonable question.

Alas! In this recent post, Kevin Drum showed the front page of the New York Times in late October, the morning after Comey the God struck again.

Drum scorned the New York Times in his post. On cable, our corporate liberals would jump off a bridge before they'd engage in such conduct.

Their silence, and that of their peers through the year(s), helped create this year's interplay of narratives. Those narratives have now sent you-know-who you-know-where.

On the brighter side, these cable stars spoon-feed us our porridge each night. We learn how foolish Rick Lazio was! We go to bed happy and warmed.

Tomorrow: An array of awards

Friday: Reality need not appear

19 comments:

  1. There's so much evidence of Hillary's corruption that we tend to forget the minor infractions. E.g., consider her action when Donna Brazile, a CNN employee, provided her a Presidential debate question in advance. An honest person would have denounced Brazile's cheating and asked CNN not to use that question. But, Hillary took advantage of her extra knowledge.

    Brazile evidently aassumed that Hillary would take advantage of her cheating, or she wouldn't have done it.

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    Replies
    1. Is that event statistically significant?

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    2. As I recall, there was no evidence Hillary even saw Brazile's email or realized she was being given inside info about the debate questions. Or that she needed such info, given her thorough debate prep team.

      All the so-called evidence of Hillary's so-called corruption is as empty as this accusation.

      If this were evidence of any corruption, it would be Brazile's but she still holds her DNC position. Sounds like a big nothing to me.

      How on earth is Hillary responsible for what Brazile assumes about her? How is that any kind of proof of anything about Hillary?

      I assume you are a cheating weasel so I mail you insider info about a stock, believing you will use that info. Does that make you a cheating weasel just because I think you are one? Doesn't it matter whether you actually buy the stock or not? Is it true that I wouldn't send you the tip if I didn't already know you were a weasel? Not on this planet.

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    3. The evidence is so clear that the Republicans, after umpty-ump investigations at tax-payer expense, charged her with what exactly?

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  2. Maddow's grin is wry and knowing. If you aren't grinning with her and enjoying her precious antics, you're not brilliant like we are.

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  3. No controlling narrative for Trump? Are you joking? Trump was cast as the bigot (variously described more precisely as sexist, racist xenophobic, misogynist). Every thing he did or said was pounded into the round bigotry hole, regardless of how square the comment or act may have been.

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    Replies
    1. How people perceived him is not the same as how he was being actively portrayed by the media. In the blogs and liberal websites, he was certainly seen as a bigoted, sexist xenophobe. In the mainstream media, he was treated much more indulgently. No one called him a bigot. No one even called him a liar until very late in the game.

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  4. I'm amused you had to go back all the way back to 2004 to get a sensible Krugman instead of the sad loon he has become.

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    1. Nothing happening today over at conservative tree house?

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    2. Won't deny conservative tree house is just as loony as Krugman's twitter feed. I wonder how much longer until Somerby figures out Krugman is a lost cause and Kevin Drum is much better.

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  5. That Krugman reference in Aug.2004 is what first steered me to the Daily Howler. That these media games continue to be played in the same manner is tragic.

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  6. Bob sure called this cluster#*ck. Long ago and in precise detail. Where is KZ now?

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  7. Hello, I am Theresa Williams After being in relationship with Anderson for years, he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to my friend and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. email: drogunduspellcaster@gmail.com you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or any other Case.

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  8. How to get your Ex Boyfriend back after a breakup, I’m extremely happy that me and my ex-boyfriend are living together again.
    I' m Mary from England, My boyfriend of a 4yr just broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant.I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help solve marital problems, restore broken relationships and so on. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity. If you have any problem contact Dr.Unity now and i guarantee you that he will help you. Here’s his contact. Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,His website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .

    ReplyDelete
  9. My ex-boyfriend is back after a breakup, I’m extremely happy that we are living together again. I' m Mary from England, My boyfriend of 4yr broke up with me and am 30 weeks pregnant. I have cried my self to sleep most of the nights and don’t seem to concentrate during lectures sometimes I stay awake almost all night thinking about him and start to cry all over again.Because of this I end up not having energy for my next day’s classes ,my attendance has dropped and am always in uni and on time. Generally he is a very nice guy ,he ended it because he said we were arguing a lot and not getting along.He is right we’ve been arguing during the pregnancy a lot .After the break up I kept ringing him and telling him I will change.I am in love with this guy and he is the best guy I have ever been with.I’m still hurt and in disbelief when he said he didn’t have any romantic feelings towards me anymore that hurt me faster than a lethal syringe.He texts me now and then mainly to check up on how am doing with the pregnancy,he is supportive with it but it’s not fair on me, him texting me as I just want to grieve the pain and not have any stress due to the pregnancy.i was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a spell for me. 28 hours later, my bf came to me and apologized for the wrongs he did and promise never to do it again. Ever since then, everything has returned back to normal. I and my bf are living together happily again.. All thanks to Dr Unity. If you have any problem contact Dr.Unity now and i guarantee you that he will help you. Here’s his contact. Email him at: Unityspelltemple@gmail.com ,you can also call him or add him on Whats-app: +2348071622464 ,His website: http://unityspelltemple.yolasite.com .

    ReplyDelete
  10. After being in relationship with Wilson for seven years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that don't believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I meant a spell caster called Dr Zuma zuk and I email him, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the spell caster, his email: spiritualherbalisthealing@gmail.com or call him +2349055637784 you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything. CONTACT HIM NOW FOR SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS'

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  11. My ex and I were together for 5 years. We lived together and were engaged. We went on a trip with friends and his family and had a nasty fight and broke up. We both moved out of our home and with our parents. We decided to go no contact for a month and 2 weeks in he started dating a girl and took her on a trip to California ( where we’ve gone the last 2 years on my bday) on my birthday weekend! After battling it out thru emails and a few meetings we finally came to see each other all of last week, i love him so much and i was so desperate to have him back coz i new that girl was not the right person for him so i have to save my relationship and reunite with me ex again so i try all i could to bring him back but all to avail i have be in contact with so many spell caster who only too my money and still nothing good work out of it, i ws so confuse and devastated one day trying to search on facebook, i come across a wonderful testimony of a lady on how a spell caster who she contacted also for love spell help her and bring her husband back to her with-in less day 2 days after the spell i was so fill with joy coz this lady meant my day and i regain my hope back so i directly and desperately email http://happyspelltemple.webs.com/ coz i love my ex so much and i want him back all to my self so with-in 5 min,Dr happy email me back with hope and told me that i have found solution in him that i should worried no more so i did all he ask of me and he gave me assured and guarantee that my ex will come back so i believed and was so gifted all to my surprise after the spell my ex call, come to my working beg and apology for his mistake,and he said sorry for the nasty break up that he was inconsiderate of my feelings nt in tend to hurt me. i can testify with the power love spell of Dr happy me and my ex are happily married now thank you Dr i will for ever be grateful to you and keep sharing your testimony if you need help or love spell fine it difficult to get back with your ex, email happylovespell2@gmail.com or call his mobile number on +2348133873774

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi everyone!
    I'm so excited share this testimony here about how i got my ex husband back after a break up. I'm divorce. 28 yr old from USA, Am a woman who love and cherish my husband more than any other thing you can imagine on earth continent. My husband was so lovely and caring after 3 years of marriage he was seriously ill and the doctor confirm and said he has a kidney infection that he needed a kidney donor, that was how I start searching for who can help, doctor has given me a periodic hour that he will live just 24 hours left, that was how I ask the doctor if I can be of help to my husband that was how he carried out the text, the confirming was successful, I was now having this taught that since 3 years now we got married I have not be able to get pregnant can I be able to get bring again? That was the question I ask the doctor, he never answer his response was did you want to lost your husband? I immediately reply no I can't afford to lose him. After the operation my husband came back to live and was healthy I was also OK with the instruction given to me by the doctor, after 3 months my husband came home with another lady telling me, that is our new wife that will give us kids and take care of us, that was how I was confused and started crying all day, that was how my husband ran away with his new wife cleanable. Since then I was confuse don't know what to do that was how I went back to the doctor and tell him everything, he told me that, this is not just an ordinary it must be a spiritual problem that was how he gave me this Email: Ahmedutimate@gmail.com that I should tell he all my problem that he can help that was how i contacted he and I do as instructed. After 22 hours and I have done what he ask me to do, my husband start searching for me and went back to the doctor, that was how we well settle he also told me not to worry that I will get pregnant, this month making it the fifth Month I contacted he am now 3 months pregnant. These great spell cater is a great man,
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    ReplyDelete
  13. How i got my Husband back Thanks to Lord Alika for bringing back my Husband ,and brought great joy to my family??? My name is Kathryn Louise, My Ex-Husband dumped me two weeks ago after I accused him of seeing someone else and insulting him. I want him back in my life but he refuse to have any contact with me. I was so confuse and don't know what to do, so I reach to the internet for help and I saw a testimony of how a spell caster help people to get their ex back so I contact the spell caster and explain my problem to him and he cast a spell for me and assure me of 48hours that my ex will return to me and to my greatest surprise the third day my ex came knocking on my door and beg for forgiveness. I am so happy that my love is back again and not only that, we are about to get married. Once again thank you Lord Alika , You are truly talented and gifted. Web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.Wix.Com/http is the only answer. He can be of great help and I will not stop publishing him because he is a wonderful man.Email: lordalikaspelltemple@yahoo.Co.Uk or +19287694882. Web:http://lordalikaspelltemp8.Wix.Com/http

    ReplyDelete