Chapter 6: History is never quite done!


A deeply destructive episode: Stop the presses! We have posted Chapter 6 at our companion site, How He Got There.

It describes a deeply destructive journalistic episode from the recent past. To peruse Chapter 6, just click here.

How He Got There describes the press coverage of Campaign 2000. Chapter 6 describes events from that campaign’s pivotal month—December 1999.

What happened in December 1999? In that month, a punishing narrative locked into place, defining Candidate Gore as a LIAR.

The mainstream press corps drove several major narratives during its twenty-month war against Gore. But the GORE LIAR theme was the most destructive. In that month, it locked into place, never to be dislodged.

Over the next few days, we’ll provide some background about the events described in that chapter. We’ll also continue to work on some parts of this chapter. This story is quite hard to tell.

For today, we’ll only say this:

The misquotations of Gore were endless that month. For that reason, the chapter is long.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this, Bob Somerby! Please consider turning it into an e-book. You could earn a little money for the site, and it would also be available for journalists, who most need to read it, and everyone else to peruse it all in one continuous document!

  2. Read some of your posts for the first time - some interesting and insightful comments. Of course, I believe exactly the same thing, so I guess thats why I think your thinking is so critically good! I am adding you to my favs!

  3. A few years ago, I was a tyro acquisitions editor at a university press and told the director I wanted to offer Mr. Somerby a contract for this book. But once I'd summarized the argument for her, she wouldn't consider it. She thought the idea that the mainstream media had ganged up on and lied about Gore was total fantasy. Oh, well. It probably wouldn't have made Mr. Somerby any money, but I think it would have been -- still would be -- an important book.

  4. A great chapter of a great book. I just hope it doesn't take as long as Robert Caro's has been between volumes on his LBJ Biography to publish the succeeding chapters in this important story.

  5. Gary, you should forward a copy of this chapter alone to that acquisitions editor.