HOW WE GOT HERE, CONTINUED: Fighting some truly heinous lies!


Part 3—Praising, ignoring some others:
We're so old that we can remember one of her most heinous lies.

The speaker was the first lady, Hillary Clinton. On June 10, 1999, she heinously made the remarks shown below while appearing on one of our national treasures, NBC's Today Show:
COURIC (6/10/99): Speaking of sports, how about those Knicks?

CLINTON: How about those Knicks?

COURIC: Did you watch last night?

CLINTON: I watched some last night. I got back from Binghamton, dropped by a party, and saw most of the third quarter out of the corner of my eye. And then had to go on to something else.

COURIC: Are you a big Knicks fan? Are you rooting for them to—

CLINTON: I'm becoming a big Knicks fan.

COURIC: More and more every day, huh?

CLINTON: Well, I've always been a Patrick Ewing fan. Because, you know, he went to Georgetown, and he's somebody that we have followed in our household. And I've just always admired his just determination and his, you know, absolute commitment. And this may be the year.

COURIC: Meanwhile, I know the New York Yankees are heading to the White House today to be honored for winning the World Series. Are you a Yankees fan, too?

CLINTON: Well, now, the fact is, I've always been a Yankees fan.

COURIC: I thought you were a Cubs fan.

CLINTON: I am. I am a Cubs fan. But I needed an American League team. Because when you're from Chicago, you cannot root for both the Cubs and the Sox. I mean, that's—you know, there's a dividing line that you can't cross there. So as a young girl I became very interested and enamored of the Yankees. So I'm excited about this afternoon. We're going to have them all there at the White House.
Just for the record, no one was really "speaking of sports" when Couric turned the discussion to the Knicks and the Yankees. Couric, who is a national treasure, may have been on a bit of an expedition, of a familiar type.

That said, Katie Couric, a national treasure, soon caught a very big fish. Instantly, the first lady started lying about childhood allegiances:

She impossibly claimed that she, as a child, had loved both the Cubs and the Yanks! Because she was running for office in New York, this was quickly declared to be a ridiculous, obvious lie.

This became one of Hillary Clinton's most famous and troubling lies. In the next few days, the pundit corps landed, as a group, on the first lady's back.

To watch a few of the chimps in action, you can just click this. Eight years later, these high-status chimps were still flogging this troubling lie!

It isn't clear why the conduct you'll see doesn't confer some type of "enemy" status, "of the people"-wise, on this poo-flinging barrel of chimps. But that pitiful piece of videotape does show us the culture they'd chosen.

We say that because, despite what the poo-flinging chimps all screeched, it doesn't seem that Hillary Clinton really was lying that day. She had discussed this pointless matter years before, as had several of her childhood friends. The evidence seems to establish the fact that she actually did follow the Cubs and the Yankees! Knew all about M and M!

Back in 1999, the chimps all branded her claim a lie because it fit a powerful narrative to which they'd all committed. Seventeen years later, that narrative sent Donald J. Trump to the White House, with very few regrets expressed from the planet of the scripted.

Is Hillary Clinton a liar? By June 1999, the chimps were already deeply committed to pushing that story-line about both Clintons and about Candidate Gore. Six days after the first lady told her lie, this headline appeared above an editorial in the New York Post:


By now, the press corps was busy inventing "lies" by Candidate Gore. To the chimps, these invented lies proved that Gore was a liar.

AL GORE, LIAR! This narrative was seamlessly transferred from President Clinton to Candidate Gore, his chosen successor, and to Clinton's wife. The New York Post was a conservative paper, but the theme was being pushed very hard by the biggest stars of the mainstream press corps.

(Gore was done in by mainstream news orgs, not by conservative noise.)

Four years after Hillary Clinton's lie, another famous Washington figure made a set of statements. The speaker was General Colin Powell. He spoke at the United Nations on February 5, 2003.

On that famous occasion, Powell unloaded a giant pile of highly amorphous crap. In a subsequent book, as famous a figure as Bob Woodward even suggested, rather strongly, that the general's underwhelming claims had been—what's the word?—made up!

That said, Powell's presentation ended any last lingering doubts that we were on our way to Iraq. Because the speaker was General Powell, the chimps all knew he was truthful.

The people who stampeded to denounce Clinton's lie rushed to affirm the plain correctness of what the general had said. "I'm persuaded," said Mary McGrory. But so did everyone else.

Consider a third example. On June 16, 2015, Donald J. Trump announced that he was running for president. By now, he'd spent four years delivering the absurd, perhaps ugly misstatements which had established him as king of the nation's birthers.

Given their manifest love of the truth, did the chimps all land on Donald Trump's back? Actually no, they didn't.

In fairness, he was actually asked about his birther claims in a handful of early interviews. He said he no longer discussed that subject, and the chimps all wandered away.

A different set of frameworks obtained with respect to Trump's groaning misstatements. Indeed, the night before the hopeful announced, star corporate liberal Rachel A. Maddow even offered these remarks:
MADDOW (6/15/15): And here, we get to the limits of my abilities as a person who has a job like this, because it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that his supporters have. It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.
It wasn't at all that she disliked Trump. It was nothing like that, the corporate star said. It wasn't qualitative at all!

Tomorrow, we'll mention another famous possible lie which swirled around Hillary Clinton. This famous possible lie was told by one of her Democratic opponents during Campaign 2008.

This famous possible lie may help us see the role we liberals have played in the election of Donald J. Trump. It may help us consider the way we liberals—but especially our hideous gruesome elites—helped send Trump to the White House.

For today, we'll only suggest that you remember the role of the mainstream press and pundit corps in this collection of low-IQ scams, which have now led to a dangerous end. We'll suggest that you consider the role of liberals within that guild. The role played by career corporate liberals in the way we got here.

In recent weeks, it's been common to see non-aligned voters saying they voted for Candidate Trump because they hated Candidate Clinton's lies. Just last week, we posted published remarks from two such voters, each of whom now regrets the vote she cast.

This phenomenon says something bad about Us. Let's run through the logic again:

In theory, it ought to be hard to lose an election to Candidate Trump because voters thought your candidate was somehow perceived as the big honking liar.

It ought to be extremely hard to accomplish that task. But we liberals have managed to do it.

More on our brilliance to come.

Tomorrow: Decades of silence, now this


  1. "Tomorrow, we'll mention another famous possible lie which swirled around Hillary Clinton. This famous possible lie was told by one of her Democratic opponents during Campaign 2008.
    This famous possible lie may help us see the role we liberals have played in the election of Donald J. Trump."

    She would have won in 2008 without the rigged primary, governed moderately and less antagonistically than Obama, and Obama would have been elected in 2016.

    1. "...governed moderately and less antagonistically than Obama,..."

      "antagonistically" is a funny way to say "black".

    2. I'm old enough to remember when that was effective, and not for electing Republicans.

    3. Do you read what Somerby posts? Or do you just head straight to the comments to share your fantasies about what should have happened in the last 9 years?

      I'm guessing the latter.

      Good heavens, whining about "Bernie bros" derailing Clinton -- albeit inaccurate and pointless -- is at least somewhat topical. To still be upset that Obama won the primary over 8 years ago is bordering on obsessive. It's certainly not constructive.

    4. Historical analysis necessarily involves going back into the past to see what happened. Doesn't seem right to call that obsessive.

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  2. If both Republicans and Democrats evaluated truth in the same manner and cared about it in the same way, it would be difficult for Clinton to be called a liar while Trump was not. However, Republicans don't care whether Trump lies or not. They ignore his untruths because they think he is telling it like it is on another level, maybe an emotional one. They resonate to his anger and bigotry and frustration with things that apparently bug them too. Hillary doesn't do that. She talks like a wonk about things they don't care about and her complex remarks add up to nothing they consider important. She comes across as cold and manipulative because she doesn't try to reach them emotionally and they cannot appreciate her on an intellectual level themselves. They don't fundamentally care about her so-called lies. They cannot forgive her for not resonating to their bigotry and anger at the way our society is changing, the weay it is leaving them behind.

    Hillary refused to be a demagogue. She thought better of voters and expected better of them and in so doing, she overestimated them. It is an admirable flaw, in my opinion.

    1. That's well and good, I guess. However, Bob's focus is not on the voter, but rather on the "chimps" who are placed in prominent positions and are able to propagandize the "followers." So it is irrelevant what "Republicans and Democrats" evaluate "truth in the same manner.
      What has happened to reading comprehension?

    2. Well, here's the problem. The media was perfectly willing to examine whether Hillary was a liar but wouldn't apply that word to anything Trump said.

    3. "Examine" is hardly the word!

      But regardless, Somerby's goal is to establish a basis -- in the history of how these pols have been covered -- for understanding how it came to be that HRC was regarded as not merely a liar, but a bigger liar.

      Does he do it? Does he show the basis in the history of media coverage? Yeah, he pretty much does.

      Comment history here likewise shows that that are several ways that people who sympathize with the desire to not be governed by the GOP deal with this unfortunate media landscape.

      One way of dealing with that as we see here, to ignore it: the real basis supposedly can be found in shopworn stereotypes of the voters and the candidates. This is fun, I guess, but purely introspective and speculative. You're telling us how *you* feel about the candidates, and what you think other people see and feel.

  3. I agree that the media made unfair criticisms of Gore. For the sake of argument, I'll assume they made unfair criticisms of Hillary. But, that level of unfairness was much less than what President Trump faces.

    1. Trump thinks it is unfair when people say things about him that are true.

    2. Due to media treatment, there are still people who think Paul Ryan isn't an asshole.

    3. Dave the Guitar PlayerFebruary 23, 2017 at 12:54 PM

      DinC - If the level of "unfairness" was so large for Trump, I assume you can provide some great examples of *mainstream* media unfairness against Trump. A lot of people don't like the President, but I'm not aware of lots of made-up stories being spread around in the MSM itself.

    4. I'm not quite sure how fair one should be to a maniac who spent his first month as leader of the free world attacking the press and labeling them the "enemy of the American people", while not idling away his time playing golf in Florida.

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  5. "a giant pile of highly amorphous crap"

    The perfect description of "Russia hacked muh election"

    1. Trump didn't win because Russia hacked the election.
      Trump won because America has a strong history of white supremacy, and Trump's bigotry on the campaign got out the vote.
      I can admit this, because I'm not paid by the corporate-owned mainstream media to make believe it isn't true.

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