We are the people who built this disaster!


Will someone please tell Brother Atkins: At Hullabaloo, David Atkins complains about the way those people react. He refers to Gingrich’s much-loved reply to last night’s opening question:
ATKINS (1/20/12): Which just goes to show that when called out for bad behavior, a Republican knows that the right answer is shout at the liberal media and apologize for nothing. The base eats it right up.
That's very true, and very sad. And we are the people who built this.

How did we do this? Will someone please tell Brother Atkins:

All through the Clinton/Gore years, the mainstream press corps waged a long war—first against Clinton, then against Gore. Politely, we liberals sat there and took it. (Our “leaders” were up to their ears in this conduct.) Nor are we willing to tell the electorate, even today, that this conduct occurred.

Have you ever seen people like us? Our “intellectual leaders” disappeared Gene Lyons’ Fools for Scandal, even though it was backed for years by the venerable journal, Harper’s. Then we ignored Conason and Lyons’ subsequent book, The Hunting of the President. In the past dozen years, we have been adamantly refused to discuss the subsequent war against Gore.

We have presented ten tons of info regarding that war. You simply can't get the horses to drink. Our alpha-chimps just flat don’t care.

Have you ever seen people like us? Our tribe refuses to broadcast the truth. Then we complain that those stupid rubes think the press corps is against them!

We are truly horrible people. Our self-impressed tribe is lazy and dumb beyond all human compare.


  1. Dear Mr. Somerby,

    You are right, but you also sometimes sound like a scratched CD. Look, "our leaders"--the liberal crowd--aren't going to talk about what they did to trash Clinton and Gore, or fall all over George W. Bush in the lead up to the Iraq War, etc., because doing so would implicate them in such horrendous behavior.

    We're talking about wealthy, often very entitled people who absolutely do not ever want to take responsibility for the awful things they do, but will piggyback on any good thing in which they have a hand. They're often as dreadful as the right, which nevertheless still does more damage to the electorate (and the world) as a whole. You can't get a zebra to change its stripes; "our liberal leaders" aren't about to stop doing what they do.

    They get very far, and very rich, doing so, and thus feel really, really, really good about themselves, just like the right-wing leaders do.

  2. I agree that the media were harsh and unfair with Gore, but IMHO they were overly kind to Clinton.

    -- The Monica Lewinsky scandal was given to Newsweek, who spiked the story. Were it not for Drudge, that story might never have gotten out.

    -- The media didn't give sufficient blame to the Clinton camp for their unfair smearing of Lewinsky. Had it not been for the DNA, she would have gone down as a liar.

    -- It's a fact that Clinton committed perjury. He admitted it. He gave up his law licence as punishment. Yet, this admission was so poorly covered that many people today will argue that he didn't really commit perjury because of this tricky wording.

    -- Just before leaving office, Clinton pardoned Mark Rich, in exchange for large fees to Clinton's brother-in-law. Although Rich got a lot of coverage, Clinton also pardoned a bunch of bad people who had paid his brother in law, including drug dealer Dan Lassiter. Although some of these pardons may have been justifiable, many of them appeared to be quid pro quo's for money paid the Clinton's brother in law. Yet, the media covered only the Marc Rich pardon. They virtually ignored the others.

    IMHO Bob has it backwards. The media cannot easily attack Gingrich because they forgave Clinton for doing so much worse.

  3. DiC: Have you read Bob's site for the past 14 years? The media forgave Clinton? The mind reels...

  4. daveincal is but a sad, sad troll, preferring the vastly more pleasing fantasyland of republicans to reality, which isn't nearly so pleasing to his tender palate.

    truth be told dave, had i been in clinton's shoes, i'd have told congress to shove it, my personal sex life was none of their's, or ken starr's business. but then, clinton never ran, as mr. gingrich has, as a "family values" candidate. of course, what mr. gingrich, and all the other republican candidates, neglect to mention is that the "family" they are refering to is the "sopranos".

    in fairness to young mr. atkins, he would have been roughly 12 when clinton was first elected. i doubt many boys in his age group paid all that much attention to politics during that time frame. that said, a little due diligence would be in order, on his part, before writing his posts.

  5. My initial thought when I saw the video of Newt's response was that I wished something like this had happened in past democratic primary debates, which were also often moderated horribly. Newt Gingrich is a bad person, but the candidate's marriage issues have no place in a presidential debate. Yes, kudos to Newt.

  6. There seems to be a deep-seated reaction to political correctness appearing in public discourse.
    Maybe people resent having to watch what they say in public, and Newt is saying what's on their minds.

    Conservatives are convinced most media has a liberal bias. Often the "proof" is by sins of omission.
    A story of white college students hanging nooses on a campus tree gets national attention, but stories of black high school kids beating up white kids for their sneakers or iPhones get buried in local dailies. At least, that's the perception.

    Paul Krugman says he was warned not to use the "L" word when talking about politicians.
    Perhaps he has been warned about other subjects as well.
    After all, he doesn't own the NYT.

    As far as America's leading liberal TV channel, it seems that anyone who angers Joe Scarborough gets cast into the wilderness; KO, Markos, Cenk Uyger, the list goes on.
    Reporters may be free to write and say what they want, but the editors can DELE and the broadcasters can censor.

    1. "Conservatives are convinced most media has a liberal bias. Often the "proof" is by sins of omission.
      A story of white college students hanging nooses on a campus tree gets national attention, but stories of black high school kids beating up white kids for their sneakers or iPhones get buried in local dailies. At least, that's the perception."

      Do you see these as the same thing? Seriously? When one group is targeted based on centuries of racist and white supremacist domination, enslavement, murder, and subjugation, which enriched the dominant group (whites) in this country and across the globe (cf. Europe, the wealthiest cities of Latin America, etc.) and the other allegedly commits a small number of crimes based on (mis)perceptions that a group of people has more economic wealth (it is the reality, actually)?

      I'm not rationalizing that either is okay; both sets of crimes are wrong. But they are not commensurate because we don't live in a vacuum. You do grasp that, right? Right?

    2. You have illustrated my point precisely.
      It has nothing to do with what I believe.

      What it has to do with is how millions of conservatives are convinced that the media are committed to presenting the liberal viewpoint, even though they know most outlets are owed by corporations.

      We see white liberals call some nonviolent racist acts major hate crimes, (as you do), while conservatives call it a stupid sophomoric prank.

      What you consider to be petty larceny is seen by others as a breakdown of society and a complete collapse of law and order, and proof that law-abiding white people are no longer safe from roving Black gangs.

      You make it clear that you think an overt display of racial discrimination is a far more serious crime than stealing a few hundred dollars of easily replaced merchandise and what you perceive as schoolyard bullying, but are in fact savage beatings.

      Your argument proves the complainers are right: Well-to-do white kids are responsible for perpetuating slavery and murder, while a few poor, downtrodden Black kids can't be blamed for taking back what was stolen from them in the first place.

      To you the first case is a major news story about a hate crime and a lesson for all of us. The second, not so important. Not a racial incident at all, just a minor property crime. Many liberals agree with you.

      Conservatives see three verbally abusive New Black Panthers at the polls on election day as the vanguard of a violent revolution.
      Big city reporters see them as pathetic wannabes of a long defunct movement, not worthy of comment.

      That's why conservatives think liberals are clueless, and the media have a liberal bias, and that's why liberals think conservatives are intolerant, and gullible victims of Fox News and AM talk radio.
      Both sides have their own dog-whistles, and both sides see the motes in the other's eyes, but miss the beams in their own.

  7. For the first time in my life, I nodded in agreement while listening to Newt Gingrich. He had that ammo loaded and ready to fire, and CNN's John King handed Gingrich a perfect opportunity to steal the show from the beginning. The response and its timing were so perfect that I wondered if Gingrich had colluded with King prior to the debate. Gingrich will get a boost from this, but the nomination is still Romney's to lose.

  8. Gingrich is much smarter than Romney. Gingrich's ability to "sell" himself is better than Romney's. I enjoy watching how "well" Gingrich controls the "words/flow" with the media. Romney reminds me so much of Kerry when he ran. that "vacuous" empty look whenever the camera focused on Kerry.

    Men rich enough who want to be president, and nothing inside but Money, Friends and Power.

    a Deer in the Headlights.

    Gingrich comes out and games the conversation. works "it" to his advantage. Feeds the base their red meat in all the "right" ways. innuendos. lol very, very smart.

    absolutely untrustworthy or reliable, but a better Thief than those other guys.