THE DANIEL DALE EXPERIENCE: Bruni remembers Candidate Gore!

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2018

Rogers frisks first lady Trump:
Daniel Dale is a full-time Trump fact-checker for the Toronto Star.

He strikes us as 100 percent sincere. So does Brian Stelter, host of CNN's Reliable Sources, with whom Dale spoke on Sunday, November 3.

Given the important role our press corps plays, sincerity isn't enough. That said, some in the mainstream press corps don't strike us as hugely sincere. Two items in today's New York Times lead us toward the history of this phenomenon.

One such item is Frank Bruni's column in belated praise of Candidate Gore. There's a lot to say about Bruni's piece. We'll set that aside for another day.

Let's focus instead on this front-page report, in which three reporters discuss Melania Trump's call for the dismissal of a John Bolton aide. The aide in question is Mira Ricardel, a deputy national security adviser under Bolton.

Let it be said that, under normal circumstances, the call for the head of a Bolton aide will likely have much to recommend it.
That said, it's unusual for a first lady to state such a public request.

Who the heck is Ricardel, and what the heck has she allegedly done? The Times report offers this overview, focusing on Melania Trump's visit to Africa last month:
HABERMAN, COOPER AND NIXON (11/14/18): Mrs. Trump’s problems with Ms. Ricardel seem to date to the first lady’s trip to Africa in October, according to people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Ms. Ricardel had announced the trip before it was fully planned, according to one of the people, and then threatened to pull resources for it after learning that she did not have a seat on Mrs. Trump’s plane. After the trip ended, Ms. Ricardel made accusations of inappropriate behavior by Mrs. Trump’s most trusted staff members, including Lindsay Reynolds, the first lady’s chief of staff—claims that a person close to the first lady said were false.

Mrs. Trump then complained to John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, about Ms. Ricardel, and Mr. Kelly raised the issue with Mr. Bolton, two White House officials said.
Could the Times have been more delicate in pimping those admittedly delicious "accusations of inappropriate behavior?" Did the Timesreally have to include that one particular name?

More on those questions below. In this morning's Washington Post, this portrait of Ricardel appears:
DAWSEY AND RUCKER (11/14/18): In her role as No. 2 to national security adviser John Bolton, Ricardel berated colleagues in meetings, yelled at military aides and White House professional staff, argued with Melania Trump regarding her recent trip to Africa and spread rumors about Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to three current and two former White House officials.

Kelly has sought for months to oust Ricardel, calling her a problematic hire in the West Wing, and Mattis has told advisers that he wants her out as well, the officials said.
Oof! Needless to say, the fact that these claims appear in the Post doesn't make them true. That said, Ricardel stands accused, among other offenses, of spreading rumors about Mattis and pimping false accusations about Melania's Trump's top staffers.

The current problem seems to center on the Africa trip. This brings us back to the New York Times' rather familiar treatment of that good-will excursion.

Long ago and far away, Katherine Boo warned the world about the "Creeping Dowdism" then taking shape at the New York Times. In the 26 years since Boo issued that prophetic warning, the ridiculous, Hamptons-based newspaper has doubled and tripled down on this noxious journalistic framework, with its focus on trivia and throwback gender values.

In many ways, Dowdism sought to recreate (and nuclearize) the unfortunate throwback values of the old mid-century "women's pages." The Times has long hired in that direction—think Amy Chozick, with her lengthy rumination about whether Candidate Obama was too skinny to be president—and those values were on display when Katie Rogers played the usual reindeer games concerning that Africa trip.

The first such report appeared on October 6. For the record, Rogers had found an assistant professor at Cal-Riverside to support the story she liked:
ROGERS (10/6/18): A half a world away from the spectacle of Washington, Melania Trump still managed to create one of her own during a Kenyan safari on Friday, riding out into the grassland wearing a crisp white pith helmet—a common symbol of European colonial rule.

It may not have been the most glaring faux pas the hyper-scrutinized Mrs. Trump has ever made. That title probably goes to the ''I really don't care. Do U?'' jacket she wore on the way to visit detained migrant children in Texas in June.

But to some—especially those who study African history—her fashion choice in Kenya was still a big error on the global stage: the sight of a first lady wearing something so closely associated with the exploitation of Africans.

Hours before Washington woke up, critics were pointing out how Mrs. Trump—who is here representing a husband widely reported to have disparaged African nations in vulgar terms—had fumbled this segment of her visit.
"To some"—to the always useful "some"—Melania Trump's fashion choice had been "a big error."

Had anyone in Africa felt that way about this outfit? Focusing on the tweets Over Here, Rogers failed to offer any such example.

She quoted one (assistant) professor; at the Times, that was good enough. As she continued, Rogers kept pouring it on:
ROGERS (continuing directly): The criticism was not universal. Several large Kenyan news sites focused not on the safari fashion but on Mrs. Trump's other attention-grabbing activity of the day: feeding baby elephants, and a fall broken by a Secret Service agent.

But on social media, the angry tweets and hashtags about the helmet rolled in:
#FLOTUSinAfricaBingo documented what some felt were Mrs. Trump's tone-deaf fashion choices.
Who cares what a bunch of Kenyan news sites might have said and thought about the day's grab for attention? Angry tweets had come rolling in Over Here. At the Times, that's where the action was.

Rogers went on and on about Melania's Trump's alleged large fashion gaffe. She then started up again in a longer report the next day. The snark and snide were general:
ROGERS (10/7/18): On one of the most consequential days of her husband's embattled presidency, as the Senate approved his controversial choice for the Supreme Court, Melania Trump traveled to the edge of this sand-colored city and posed before the Great Sphinx, one hand in the pocket of her men's-wear-inspired ensemble. Standing with her back against the enigmatic monument, the equally enigmatic first lady did something unusual: She spoke up for herself.

''I wish people would focus on what I do,'' an exasperated Mrs. Trump said in rare comments to reporters, ''not what I wear.''

Then came the fashion show.

Dressed in a tan blazer, a white shirt and black tie, and palazzo pants, Mrs. Trump stood in the wind against the desertscape. As dancers performed and music played, she adjusted her jacket (Ralph Lauren), pulled her hat (Chanel) down over her eyes, and ensured that every angle was captured as her tour through Ghana, Malawi, Kenya and Egypt came to a close on Saturday.

It was a striking moment for a first lady who, perhaps more than any other in modern times, has been happy to be a walking contradiction. It also felt like a message to old acquaintances who have boxed her out of her glamorous past life because of their opposition to her husband. Stormy Daniels may get an embrace from Anna Wintour, but Mrs. Trump still has the Great Pyramid of Giza.
With apologies for our throwback language, "Hiss! Hiss-spit! Meow!!"

It was classic Dowdism. Rogers reported Melania Trump's complaint about having her clothing frisked, then immediately launched the latest frisking—the latest frisking of her clothing and, of course, of the way she'd "posed."

Ralph Lauren, Chanel and Wintour got named. Rogers then proceeded to tell us how the whole thing "felt:"

It felt like a message to old acquaintances who have boxed her out of her glamorous past life because of their opposition to her husband. So Rogers was willing to tell us in this New York Times "news report."

For what it's worth, no other major American news org reported this trip this way. When the Washington Post reported the trip on October 6, it did so under this hard-copy headline:

"First lady's Africa trip steers clear of big stumbles"

These are matters of judgment, of course. But the Times had taken a trip into the wilds of its well-established Dowdism, as a consequence of which so many adults and children have died.

Can we talk? When we read that Melania Trump is angry with Ricardel about the Africa trip, we wondered if Ricardel had perhaps spread rumors to the Times about that allegedly appalling pith helmet. We have no way of knowing such things, but we do know this:

Bruni's recollection of Candidate Gore fits right into this framework. No candidate has ever had his wardrobe (and his sincerity) frisked in anything resembling the way Candidate Gore did.

His boots, his suits, his polo shirts? The height at which his pants were hemmed? The number of buttons on his suit jackets? The apparent age of his boots?

The fact that one of his suits was brown, or possibly olive? The undoruced claim that Naomi Wolf had told him to wear earth tones? The defectives of the mainstream press frisked all these factors to the death, generally in ways designed to reinforce the throwback gender insanity of the New York Times, in which all Democratic men were and are, in Dowd's eyes, actually women.

Gore was "today's man-woman," Chris Matthews said (in an array of other ways) as he frisked the candidate's clothing. Naomi Wolf was endlessly slimed; her presence meant that Gore "had hired a woman to teach him how to be a man."

This is the stupid, ugly throwback culture the New York Times built. Children are dead all over Iraq because the Times and its many imitators wouldn't stop playing these games.

The New York Times refuses to stop hiring toward these frameworks. Rogers has played these Dowd-fueled games before; Chozick was a master.

The addled guild which runs the Times is among our least discernibly human. We can't help wondering if Melania Trump's anger at the Bolton aide is tied, somehow, to the Dowd-fueled way this addled newspaper chose to play this trip.

How many children are going to die before we make the Dowdism stop? Daniel Dale is completely sincere. Out in the Hamptons and between some reporters' ears, some others quite possibly aren't.

Is it enough to be sincere? Before the week is done, we're going to tell you it's not.

Still coming: Dale spots an obvious "lie"

Please note: Your lizard will tell you the Times was right on. Your lizard is sometimes unhelpful.

32 comments:

  1. Jeez, Bob. Did you have to quote so much from that yellow rag? It's fucking nauseating...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies


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  2. ''I wish people would focus on what I do,'' an exasperated Mrs. Trump said.

    What _does_ she do??

    ReplyDelete
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    1. MY NAME IS VICKY AND I AM FROM SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA,I WANT TO SHARE A
      TESTIMONY OF A SPELL CASTER WHO REUNITE MY MARRIAGE WENT HIS POWERFUL SPELL
      CASTER.AND I ALSO WANT TO USE THIS OPPORTUNITIES TO WARN THOSE OUT THERE
      READING FAKE TESTIMONY ON SOCIAL NETWORK.BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED BY SO
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      YEARS WITH MY 7 YEARS OLD SON HARRY,I HAVE APPLIED TO 5 DIFFERENT SPELL
      CASTER HERE AND ALL TO NO AVAIL THEY ALL ASK FOR SAME THING SEND YOUR NAME
      YOUR EX NAME ADDRESS AND PICTURE PHONE NUMBER ETC WHICH I DID OVER AND OVER
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      AGAIN HE SAID ARE YOU THERE? I QUICKLY REPLY YES AND HE SAID CAN WE SEE
      TOMORROW I SAID YES AND HE WENT OFF-LINE I WAS CONFUSED I TRY TO CHAT WITH
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  4. Melania Trump's only expertise is in the fashion industry, where she is a former model. Of course the press is going to report on her clothing.

    The fashion industry is not the purview of women. It is a major industry dominated by men and of strong interest to NYC because it is centered there.

    Pretending that this report about the discord between the First Lady and Trump's staff is a cat fight is sexist, even if Somerby signals that he knows that. He should restrain urges to say sexist stuff, not signal them, as if he were being cute. Do you suppose this seems like a cat fight to anyone involved, including the woman who may lose her job?

    The First Lady is not supposed to get in spats with the President's staff over trivialities, so this is evidence that Melania is not doing her job well. It is also evidence of tension and miscommunication and lack of organization within Trump's White House.

    Melania apparently thinks she should be taken seriously for doing nothing. She is asserting her importance by insisting that people who disregard her be fired. Melania perhaps thought this was HER trip, that she was not incidental to other purposes. Finding out you are window dressing, despite being First Lady, must be distressing, but it doesn't change the fact that her only role is to stand around posing in clothing, since she is unqualified to do anything else in the government.

    Getting some woman fired in order to bolster her sense of importance is the kind of thing Trump would do. So I guess they are a pair made for each other.

    This is, and should be, news to the extent that Melania can get someone fired. She shouldn't be able to do that and if Trump lets her, that is newsworthy. No matter how snidely the NYT reports it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "This is, and should be, news to the extent that Melania can get someone fired."

      She can't fire that Bolton's aide, tedious dembot. But Mr Bolton can, and I expect that he will. And I don't see any problem with that whatsoever.

      So, you enjoy gossiping, aren't you? You know what exactly the First Lady is and isn't supposed to do, and you're happy to dish it out, eh? How cute.

      Delete
    2. John Bolton: the guy who never met a war he wouldn't want to send his doorman's kid to fight.

      Delete
  5. "Rogers frisks first lady Trump"

    To frisk means to run one's hands over someone, searching for contraband or weapons.

    Does Somerby get off on implying that Rogers is running his hands over the First Lady in an illicit way? Does it give Somerby a little thrill to talk about her that way?

    Does Somerby think that symbols of colonial dominance are trivial when exhibited by the wife of a President who is an avowed Nationalist who has expressed sympathy for white supremacy? Somerby ignores that this is a person who has sent messages via her clothing before, when visiting immigrant children detained at the border. Ignoring the meaning of her clothing choices is truly tone deaf. She could wear any kind of hat but she chose that one. If she doesn't know any better, she has staff to tell her. If she listens. If she doesn't listen, it is another demonstration that she is doing her job as First Lady poorly and she deserves to be ripped on twitter.

    Why would Kenya not say anything? Politeness perhaps. Bigger fish to fry. They were not the perpetrators of colonialism but the recipients. They didn't wear the pith helmets. Colonists did. They don't care what Melania does. Lots of good reasons not to make an issue of this.

    Expecting our First Lady to do a good job is not beyond the bounds of what the NYTimes should discuss. Ignoring her would be more sexist than talking about the ways in which she is having a hard time these days.

    Her clothing matters. Al Gore's clothing, not so much, unless he too had been a former fashion model and had used his apparel to send public messages on political topics previously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Does Somerby get off on implying that Rogers is running his hands over the First Lady in an illicit way? Does it give Somerby a little thrill to talk about her that way?" Are you stupid? He uses the term to describe Rogers, Chris Matthews and the press core's treatment of Gore. He is pointing out how they got off for years be covering titillating irrelevancies like wardrobe etc ? You can't read or what?

      Delete
    2. News flash: the press sometimes focus on trivialities. Next up: the sky is blue.

      Delete
    3. Okay fine. But that's what he was saying, that's what he writes about, he's not getting off but using that term as an idiot above suggested.

      Delete
    4. President's wives exhibit symbols of colonial dominance just like the sky is blue too. Faggot crybaby.

      Delete
    5. AnonymousNovember 14, 2018 at 4:53 PM

      Likely the commenter you reference was using rhetorical questions to make a point about Somerby. Ease up on tone maybe, eh? Sometimes bombastic accusations have a way of boomeranging back to the accuser.

      Delete
    6. The pith helmet is just a way for people who hate Trump to get off on that hate. To exercise some of that darkness, to put some shade on her. They are unbalanced. They have anger that is unresolved. They have to put it somewhere, on something, so they put it on Trump and stupid b******* like pith helmets. Just like conservatives have put their unbalanced anger on Clintons and Democrats for decades. It's a whole cottage industry. 'Let me help you put your unresolved anger here'. That should be the tagline for MSNBC. Hannity and Limbaugh made gazillions doing it and now the Washington Post and New York Times are on board for it. Carl Jung called it 80 years ago.

      Delete
    7. You don't need an Asst Professor to explain the significance of pith helmets. It is right there using Google and Wikipedia. One of the sources says the steampunkers are fighting over whether using a pith helmet in a costume is OK or not. This reporter didn't make this up, nor did the Democrats.

      Delete
    8. @5:23
      For someone complaining about unbalanced anger, you seem pretty angry. And you seem to be projecting your own anger onto others. A story about Melania’s clothes doesn’t imply the reporter is angry or full of hate, or even trying to be catty, as Somerby suggests.

      Delete
    9. Definitely! Faggot. the reporters are not full of anger they're purveying to those that are - like you and the idiot cunt who wrote the original post.

      Delete
    10. I'm not complaining about an unbalanced anger I'm just recognizing its existence. You really can't fucking read can you? Complaining. Haha .

      Delete
    11. 5:50,5:51:
      And you make your point with such civility.

      Delete
    12. Go fuck your mother.

      Delete
    13. Africans don't need Melania Trump's pith helmet to be reminded about or know about colonial power - they know full well all about it and that the US is glad to, and will, steal everything they can from them if given the chance. Or, like in the case of Bill Clinton, we will gladly kill tens of thousands of them if it is politically convenient The pith helmet is a diversion. Ice cream for the news consumers.

      Delete
    14. @5:23 "It's a whole cottage industry. 'Let me help you put your unresolved anger here'."

      It's not psychology, it's the basis of American 2-party system.

      Neither fake 'party' offers anything useful to the voters, and therefore their only way to drum up support is by hate-mongering against their opponents.

      That's what is known as "liberal democracy".

      Delete
    15. Ya . There's a lot of truth in that. Clinton Bush Obama Trump. Same endless wars. Same gouging of healthcare prices. Same corporate giveaways. Same deference to banks. Etc . Elections are bought. By corporations and powerful interests, the people at the top. The people at the bottom, they divide with diversionary side shows like the symbolism of hats.

      Delete
    16. "Does Somerby think that symbols of colonial dominance are trivial when exhibited by the wife of a President who is an avowed Nationalist who has expressed sympathy for white supremacy."

      Let's hope so because it is trivial in a world where we are responsible for endless illegal wars and vast manipulation of the masses.

      Delete
    17. Trivial? Meh. I'd say, lib-zombie death-cult issuing the signal to its zombie followers to hate this woman for wearing a wrong color hat -- that's just hilarious.

      More slapstick comedy, please.

      Delete
  6. Isn't it obvious that Melania is calling for Ricardel to be fired because she didn't tell her to take off that ridiculous pith helmet?

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    Replies
    1. Scuttlebutt around town is that Mira Ricardel is either having an affair with Trump or is the author of the NYT "resistance" op-ed, or both.

      Delete
    2. If they hadn't invented viagra, there wouldn't be a #metoo movement because these old lechers wouldn't be able to act on their impulses.

      Delete
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