DEATH AND TAXES AND NOVELS: Chairman Weisberg defends the regime!


Epilogue—In four debates, nobody asked: For perhaps the last forty years, your “press corps” has kept you entertained with its piss-pitiful novels.

They tell you tales about dogs on the roof—and about dogs’ arthritis pills. They entertain you with pseudo-quotations. How inane will they be?

Consider the pseudo-journalist turned corporate suit, the sadly inane Jacob Weisberg.

Weisberg had all the advantages. According to Wikipedia, he comes from a prominent Chicago family. Mother was a social activist and a “connector;” to show you the depth of her greatness, she was even “celebrated in Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point.”

Dad was a prominent lawyer, later a judge. Back in the day, Mom and Dad were introduced by Ralph Ellison, the name-dropping profile tells us.

Given a family background like that, how much could have gone wrong with Weisberg? He graduated from Yale in 1986, then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. But good God! Before too many years had passed, he was devoting himself to his book, Bushisms, then to its sequel (Palinisms). During Campaign 2004, he complained in detail about Wesley Clark’s sweaters. Today, he’s chairman of the Slate Group, a division of the Washington Post Company.

What the fuck is the Slate Group? To depress yourself, just click here.

As a corporate spokesman for the “press corps,” Weisberg devotes his wasted life to advancing its novelized nonsense. The press corps’ silly novelized tales have driven the discourse for perhaps forty years. Pool boys like Weisberg keep getting hauled out to defend the regime even now.

Two days ago, Weisberg filed this sad report in Slate. His headline explained that “Romney Is Kerry. Or Maybe Gore.”

What follows will show where Rhodes Scholarship leads, given the drift of our upper-class culture. With apologies, we’ll post four paragraphs of Weisberg’s piece, a virtual highlight reel of the guild’s novelized nonsense. This comes from the realm of the dog on the roof—from the realm of the “press corps” novel:
WEISBERG (2/1/12): Romney strongly resembles two similarly unloved Democratic nominees from the recent past, Al Gore and John Kerry. Gore and Kerry both suffered from the same characterizations that get applied to Romney—too wooden in person while too flexible in their views. Their supporters often argued that qualifications were what mattered. But ominously for Romney, both Gore and Kerry lost winnable races because of their flawed personalities. George W. Bush, on the other hand, got elected and re-elected, despite his enormous, substantive shortcomings, because ordinary people found it easy to relate to him at a personal level. They felt he wasn’t trying to be someone different from who he was.

Romney, Kerry, and Gore are all, in a way, versions of the same political type. Statuesque, handsome, from privileged backgrounds and impeccably credentialed, they have no log-cabin stories to humanize and ground them. Unlike a Lyndon Johnson, a Richard Nixon, a Ronald Reagan, a Bill Clinton, or a Barack Obama, they didn’t overcome humble origins or broken families. Romney’s background is alien to most Americans not because he descends from polygamists but because his father was a governor of Michigan, an automobile company CEO, and a presidential candidate.

In his attempt to overcome his privileged origins, the unloved candidate struggles to establish his plain-folks ordinariness in ways that inevitably backfire. He touts his plebian tastes—pick-up trucks, country music, trashy food—and inevitably overdoes it or gets the background music wrong. Al Gore’s attempt to look less like a Washington politician yielded the “earth tones” fiasco. John Kerry asked for his Philly cheesesteak with Swiss cheese, and was photographed nibbling at this alien object rather than tucking in, as one does.

The public usually picks up on this authenticity gap—the space between who the candidate really is and how he wants to be seen. In each case, the problem manifests itself in a slight different way [sic]. A technocrat by nature, Gore disliked the performative side of politics. He wildly overcompensated for this by angrily shouting his speeches at rallies and demonstrating ardor for his now ex-wife with a soul kiss at the Democratic convention. His hyperbolic passion on the campaign trail made it a simple matter for Republicans to brand Gore as a compulsive exaggerator who claimed to have invented the Internet.
Weisberg was once considered promising, perhaps even smart. Today, he writes from inside the walls of corporate “press” culture. And good God! He even discusses John Kerry’s cheesesteak mistake, without the slightest sign of embarrassment.

This is what our children will do to make themselves wealthy “connectors.”

In his truly pitiful piece, Weisberg pretends that his guild's silly novels make sense. The pretending is seen all around. In 1988, Candidate Bush aggressively “touted his plebian tastes” in “pick-up trucks, country music, trashy food”—and he won election by a wide margin. (What was his log-cabin story?) In 2000, Candidate Gore won the popular vote over Candidate Bush. Despite this rather well-known fact, Weisberg explains that Bush succeeded because the voters saw through Gore and thought Bush was authentic.

Simple story! When corporate hirelings defend corporate power, their claims don’t have to sense. Briefly, let’s fact-check the novels Weisberg still chooses to type about Gore, aggressively deceiving the public about the way our society actually works.

According to the Slate Group's chairman, Gore (like Kerry) lost a winnable race because of his flawed personality. Ordinary people felt he was trying to be someone different from who he was.

Weisberg gives two examples:

Gore’s attempt to look less like a Washington politician yielded the “earth tones” fiasco. Can we talk? To this day, we still have no clear idea what the “earth tones fiasco” was. We have researched Campaign 2000 for the past dozen years. We still haven’t found a single reporter or pundit who described Gore’s alleged misconduct in a coherent manner.

Yes, there was an olive/brown suit which Gore wore to some events in the fall of 1999. A long list of pundits screeched about this troubling suit, which quite clearly had three buttons; they tried to top each other in their expressions of horror. (Arianna topped all the rest, claiming the suit had four buttons.) And yes, the pundit corps screeched and yelled as it alleged that Gore was wearing the suit because Naomi Wolf said. No evidence supporting this claim emerged; no one ever really explained why this would have mattered if true. But so what? Everyone yelled the latest group tale, for a good solid month; for a full account of this group mental illness, see Chapter 5 of How He Got Here. The lunacy of this behavior is clear—yet Weisberg affirms it to this very day, even as he continues lamenting Kerry’s choice in cheese topping.

In a rational world, a figure like Weisberg would be chased through the streets for advancing this disinformation so many years later. Jealous citizens would get him locked up as an enemy of the people. But we don’t live in that rational world; we live in a world controlled by these novels.

Mother Weisberg was a connector! But good lord, how this project went wrong!

He wildly overcompensated for this by angrily shouting his speeches at rallies and demonstrating ardor for his now ex-wife with a soul kiss at the Democratic convention. His hyperbolic passion on the campaign trail made it a simple matter for Republicans to brand Gore as a compulsive exaggerator who claimed to have invented the Internet. Weisberg can’t even be bothered inventing claims which make chronological sense. In fact, Gore was “branded as a compulsive exaggerator who claimed to have invented the Internet” in March 1999. This resulted from a slightly clumsy remark in his very first interview as a candidate. Quite literally, Gore had made no speeches on the trail at the time, hyperbolically passionate or otherwise. In the realm of actual fact, why was it a simple matter for Republicans to brand Gore as a compulsive exaggerator on this ridiculous basis? Because “journalists” like Weisberg began repeating their claims, on a word for word basis, as soon as the RNC made them.

The evidence of this is quite clear. The pool boys will continue to lie, but these are the actual facts. And by the way:

In the real world, how did the public really react to Gore’s angry shouting and hyperbolic passion? Weisberg carefully fails to claim that the public reacted this way to Gore’s convention address, his most-watched campaign speech by far. But first, a brush with greatness:

We lunched with Weisberg at that Democratic Convention, in a foursome which included Jonathan Alter and Walter Shapiro. It may have been the very day of Gore’s speech. But did Gore’s hyperbolic passion and his wet, sloppy kiss show the public he was inauthentic? Sorry. When Gore delivered that speech, when he kissed his wife on the lips, his polling numbers shot through the roof and stayed in place for weeks; to all appearances, the public had loved his angry shouting and perhaps his ardor as well. On MSNBC, Frank Luntz instantly declared the speech “a home run;” a few weeks later, Gore’s numbers seemed to have placed the election out of Bush's reach. At this point, various members of Weisberg’s guild invented two new LIES by Gore, dragging him back to earth in the process. Howard Fineman told Brian Williams that the “press corps” had no intention of letting Gore walk to an easy win—and yes, this is what occurred.

(What were the new invented lies? At USA Today, Shapiro invented the claim that Gore had lied about a lullaby he was sung as a child. Two days later, at the Boston Globe, Walter Robinson invented the claim that Gore had lied about the arthritis pills prescribed for his pet dog. The “press crops” screeched and flung their poo all around, with disastrous results for the nation.)

In fact, Gore’s hyperbolic kiss-and-speak had shot him far ahead in the polls. It was these inventions, four weeks later, which brought him back to earth, making the highly authentic Bush competitive once again.

In those days, Weisberg’s class invented a novelized tale about Gore’s pet dog; this had a disastrous consequence. Today, it’s Romney’s Irish setter who is put to this use. And we the people believe these novels; just read the comments to Weisberg’s piece to see how gullible we the rubes are, including we the liberal rubes.

But as our enemies hand us their novels, they refuse to talk about taxes.

The press corps likes to talk about dogs. They are bored by talk about taxes. Consider the recent debates involving Romney, who famously put his dog on the roof of his speeding car.

Candidate Romney has advanced a set of ludicrous budget proposals. After a bout of pseudo-quotation, Paul Krugman reviews those proposals in today’s New York Times. Just this past Monday, this is the way the Washington Post described this candidate’s genuine, unvarnished lunacy, without ever citing the dog:
WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL (1/31/12): The case for continuing the George W. Bush tax cuts, at a cost of $3.7 trillion over 10 years (including interest), is shaky enough...But the GOP candidates want to continue all those cuts—and add many more, the vast bulk of which would again go to the wealthiest taxpayers.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney proposes additional cuts that would drain $180 billion from the treasury in 2015 alone, according to calculations by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center. The nonpartisan center has not calculated the 10-year cost of the plan. But merely multiplying by 10 illustrates that Romney is talking trillions.

And Mr. Romney’s is the most modest of the GOP proposals. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich’s plan would cost an astonishing $850 billion in 2015 on top of the Bush tax cuts. Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum’s would cost $900 billion in 2015 alone.
Given the way the Republican candidates screech and wail about federal deficits, these proposals are simply insane. Unless you watched the corporate hosts of the last four Republican debates.

Unless you read Gail Collins.

Collins keeps writing about Romney’s dog. Meanwhile, she and her colleagues, including Krugman, treat you to silly pseudo-quotations of Romney’s offhand remarks. But if you read the New York Times, good luck understanding Romney’s bizarre tax proposals! This morning, Krugman tells you that Romney’s tax plan would “increase[e] the deficit by $180 billion a year.” But on January 19, in a sprawling news report, Times readers were given a much larger figure—$600 billion per year! Whatever! If Krugman had skipped the pseudo-quotation, he could have explained this matter today. But the “press corps” likes to talk about dogs—and it loves a good semi-quote.

In the process, Romney’s absurd proposals just keep getting glossed, and your nation gets dumber and dumber. In South Carolina, then in Florida, the GOP titans debated four times, for eight total hours. The best and the brightest conducted these sessions: Brian Williams even deigned to host one debate.

On January 23, this was the great man’s first questions. He is paid $12 million per year:
WILLIAMS (1/23/12): Speaker Gingrich, on electability to begin with: Your rival, your opponent on this stage, Governor Romney, was out today calling you erratic, a failed leader, and warning that your nomination for this party could perhaps result in what he called an "October surprise a day." So given the fact that he went after you today on this topic of electability, your response tonight, Mr. Speaker?
On and on the muddlemush went. Before the evening was done, Williams even pretended to ask about a couple of actual topics. But no one asked these ridiculous candidates to explain their tax proposals, which are simply insane.

Just look what these crackpots have proposed. No one bothered to ask!

Can we talk? In four debates in these two states, Romney and Gingrich were never asked to explain their insultingly crazy proposals. Crazy’s now part of the culture! They were asked about their tax returns, and about that contract with Freddie Mac. John King asked Gingrich about his three wives. But no one ever asked these stooges about their tax proposals.

Romney’s proposals are bat-shit insane; your “press corps” prefers to talk about dogs. And they do enjoy a good pseudo-quotation.

As Weisberg helped us remember this week, they’ve been building this culture for a very long time. They played a game with Gore’s dog too.

Weisberg won’t stop advancing this culture; he won't stop reaffirming those novels. His claims don't even make chronological sense.

Are you happy with the world this culture has provided?


  1. Bob -- Point of personal privilege. I did not "invent" a claim that "Gore had lied about a lullaby he was sung as a child." Addressing Jimmy Hoffa Jr.'s Teamsters in Las Vegas (not a comfortable situation for a candidate with integrity), Gore said that he was sung "Look for the Union Label" as a child. The song was written in the 1970s. He later claimed to be joking. I didn't think so since I was standing in the 10th row at the event. But joking or not -- I didn't "invent" anything. All the best. Walter Shapiro

    1. Whether he was joking or not, it is so trivial a matter, that the press would make such a big deal about it, as part of the press's disgraceful advancement of the Gore being a liar script, while largely ignoring substantive issues, is an example of the ineptitude of the press. Can you explain why questions about the Republican aspirants' tax policies are not made by the moderators at any of these debates?

    2. Mr. Shapiro:

      It has been claimed by Mr. Somerby that Al Gore laughed along with the Teamsters in the audience when he delivered the line about the "Union Label" song. Is this your recollection? If it is true, then it strongly supports his claim that Gore clearly meant the remark as a joke. I have tried to find a clip of the speech on youtube or c-span but have been unsuccessful.

      What Bob's said about the "Union Label" song story:

      Mr. Shapiro's original article:


      "HOWLER HISTORY—NO JOKING MATTER: Was Wes Clark joking when he said that Karl Rove wouldn’t return his phone calls? That’s what Clark says, but certain spinners don’t seem to want you to know it. Yesterday Andrew Sullivan kept readers in the dark on this point. Today, he says that he shouldn’t have done it.

      Was Wes Clark joking? We don’t have a clue. Neither, of course, does Sullivan. But make no mistake: The Washington press corps will lie about jokes. On Monday, Media Whores linked to a DAILY HOWLER from October 2000; it concerned Candidate Gore’s fateful joke about the “union lullaby.” It was perfectly clear at the time that Gore had told a joke to his union audience. But Walter Shapiro got his shorts in a wad, and soon the press made it Gore’s Latest Lie. They hooked it up to Walter Robinson’s groaner about the cost of doggy-pills, and soon the election turned around once again. More on that point at the end.

      Everyone pretended that Gore’s statement was serious. But just how plainly had Gore been joking? We didn’t have Nexis in October 2000, so we couldn’t perform the full research. Of course, every Washington journalist did—and the press corps chose to lie in your face about what Gore had said.

      Quick review: On September 18, 2000, Gore told the Teamsters convention that he had been sung “Look for the Union Label” as a lullaby in his youth. Brilliant historians like Shapiro discerned that the song wasn’t written until 1976; they loudly complained that the troubling comment was surely Al Gore’s Latest Lie. Gore explained that he’d only been joking. (“That was a joke,” he told a press conference. “You know? Nobody sings a lullaby to a little baby about union labels?”) He also said that he often told the joke to union audiences. Indeed, on the tape of the Gore speech, you could see Teamsters laugh at his comment. But the press was determined to make Gore a liar, and so they feigned a deep concern about his latest troubling comment (just as they do now with Clark). Indeed, the New York Times never even reported Gore’s explanation; incredibly, they never even told their readers that Gore had said he’d been joking. See Richard Berke’s astonishing voice-mail in which he defended his utter fakery. (Question: As citizens, why do we tolerate “journalists” like Berke, even for the shortest New York minute?)

      But just how plainly had Gore been joking? Earlier this year, we entered “Gore AND union label” in the Nexis archives. And guess what? Just six weeks before this fake, ginned-up flap, Joel Siegel of the New York Daily News had interviewed Evy Dubrow of Greenwich Village, who thought that “her thirteenth time as a Democratic National Convention delegate may be the best of all.” Dubrow—88 years old, and a former union lobbyist—had known Gore since his childhood. Indeed, when she worked in Washington in the 1950s, Dubrow occasionally baby-sat Gore. “Al jokes that when he was a little boy, I used to sing him the ‘Union Label’ song,” Dubrow said, right there in the Daily News. And let’s make sure we understand that time-line: Dubrow said this to the Daily News on August 14, 2000—six weeks before the “union lullaby” flap. But so what? Six weeks later, your deeply destructive Washington press corps did the thing they always did best. They took Gore’s meaningless joke to the teamsters and turned it into Gore’s Latest Lie. For the record, Gore had begun to pull away in the polls at the time of the flap. The press corps’ newest GORE LIAR flap began to pull Bush back to even. (See Fineman’s comment below.)

      Every scribe had access to Nexis. A search would have turned up Dubrow’s comment within minutes. But all of them knew to suppress what Dubrow had said—and Siegel kept his mouth shut, too. Your Washington press corps is worse than inept—your Washington press corps is deeply corrupt. It’s a cancer growing on our democracy. The obvious question comes to mind: How do we plan to destroy it."

    4. Looking more carefully, I have found Bob Somerby on C-SPAN making the claim, but not the speech itself:

      29 minute mark is where Somerby makes the claim.

    5. A few quick points: 1). I wanted to find online a copy of my original column rather than commentaries about it. The point is that I believe that the column provided context. But I don't believe USA Today maintains an archive that far back; 2). My theory at the time was that the awkwardness of the moment related to Gore having to receive the Teamsters endorsement in person; 3). My recollection is that I did not have easy access to NEXIS on my laptop in 2000. Which is why I had to enlist my wife, a journalist, in tracking down the origins of "Look for the Union Label." 4). And, finally, I did not "invent" anything. I wrote tens of thousands of words on the 2000 campaign -- and 99.9 percent did not involve Gore's misstatements. So let me stress that I was not flogging this theme through the 2000 campaign.

    6. Mr. Shapiro:

      I believe your original column is linked above in one of my previous comments. I'm not sure if you "flogged" the theme, but other people used your (probably) inaccurate column to do so.

    7. These two paragraphs of Mr. Shapiro's article are interesting:

      "It has been 65 days since Gore held a news conference. George W. Bush, in news conferences and informal encounters, is much more available to reporters. While Gore does make himself available for television and print interviews, this no-news-conference policy allows the campaign to pick and choose among reporters and permits Gore to duck awkward questions.

      So if the Gore campaign is serving up a news diet as thin as the soup in a 19th century orphanage, then reporters should not be unduly faulted for seizing every morsel of nourishment they can find."

    8. Gawd - Gore makes a good point in his new conference about it:

      "You know? Nobody sings a lullaby to a little baby about union labels?”

      Haha. Duh.

    9. Please note how "cleverly" Shapiro drops "Jimmy Hoffa" into his post, then uses it to attack Gore's integrity.

      In other words, 12 years later, and Shapiro is still fighting the War on Gore.

    10. your very right and in truth - jimmy hoffa jr has been a damn fine union leader and a very progressive force in our body politic.

      and believe me thats a surprise to me because i opposed him twice when he ran for union president.

    11. Sounds like you were looking for a nice fat GOTCHA point and decided to say it wasn't clearly a joke to enable you to promote your sleuthy find.

    12. My, my. Here is a so-called journalist, who also somehow has performed stand-up (I'd say, quit both "jobs"), coming in here whining that he couldn't recognize a joke that is laughable on its face...and to top it off he admits he came up with a scheme to "prove" the joke couldn't be factually true, and sends his long-suffering wife off to do his "research" for him. This is rich material, for those of us who have to laugh to keep from cr----chasing down these weasels on the street. I've long advocated that these corporate mouthpieces ought to be the first in line for the coming guillotine. The idea that he was oblivious to the "Al Gore is a liar" meme rampant throughout the entire media back then is the most laughable of all. Nice try, Mr. Shapiro, but sniveling on top of lying fools no one, regardless of Mrs. Shapiro's dutiful reassurances and playing along.

  2. Not only does Romney have these tax cutting proposals, but he opposes proposed cuts, or limits on increases, in the defense budget propsed by Obama, with the result that Romney will increase the deficit even more. Has any moderator asked him about that at any of the debates? All these Republican candidates want to cut taxes, balance the budget (by a constitutional amendment!) and increase military spending. This would involve enormous decreases in government spending and the loss of a huge amount of jobs. I would think this issue would be central to the coverage by the press and in the debates. Yet, as far as I can tell, the topic has been totally ignored in the debates.

  3. Oh shit...

    it's getting real now.

    *As an aside - it makes little sense for the press to discuss the "budget deficit" for it would draw Obama and his proposals into the discussion. And he ain't no better!

    Secondly, during a recession, the government's role IS to deficit spend. But let's just go one step at a time.

  4. I think Walter Shapiro is a "good guy" and got caught up in the press corps "fun" but...hes also a pretty darn good stand up comic and if anybody should have know that this was a joke (and a pretty damn good one) it shoulda been Shapiro.

    Walter is it so hard to simply say now - all these years later - that you were WRONG for making this charge and that you are SORRY for writing this damaging false charge back then?

    (I remember watching the tape of Gore's speech at the time and just being shocked cause it was obvious that the crowd was laughing with Gore - not at him)

    Be a mensch, Walter, do the right thing....lots and lots of people died and have suffered because of the DC press corps funnin in 2000...its literally - the LEAST you could do.

    1. Correct. Man up dude.

    2. The right thing to do would be to hand out Depends to these elite corporate handmaidens while they wait in line at the guillotine.

  5. At least Weisberg has memorized the script even if his chronology is flawed.

    Have we forgotten how Michelle Obama (and by association, the President ) was trashed for her comments about watching the olympics, sitting on her father's knee, watching Carl Lewis, etc?
    It was obvious she was talking about memories, plural, not a single event.
    She was called a liar and worse, and reporters and pundits alike implied her father was much worse than a liar.

    And no, we will never stop the script writing, and no, we won't be able to undo the scripts once they are firmly implanted in tribal psyches.

    The only chance those that want Obama to have a second term is to see to it that registered Democrats vote this November.
    You can be sure Republicans will vote, even if they don't like the candidate.

    1. gravymeister, you must have missed the entire last Democratic primary if you think the lapdog press was tough on the Obamas. Best case scenario, they are in the business of creating "horse races" and so work overtime to ensure the outcome remains close enough to endlessly quote polls day after day. Worst case scenario, they tell the entire election "story" from the POV of one candidate they deem the front-runner or anointed one.

  6. Could someone please explain to me why Shapiro would go to all that trouble to find out when "Look for the Union Label" was written?

    Talk about trivia!

    Hey Walt. Here's a much better way to have spent your time. Why not do a bit of research on the Bush tax cut plan and tell us where it would lead us in, oh, I don't know, two, five, 10 or 12 years down the road.

    Nah. That would be boring. And not nearly as much fun as calling a candidate a liar who won't give you doughnuts on his tour bus.

    1. its simple - he wanted to get in the fun of the lets call gore a liar game and he must have been veryyyy excited when he thought he found that GOTCHA at the teamsters meeting that day.

      sad that he cant even now admit his idiocy in doing this.

    2. Since I am now being blamed for every death in Iraq and every sin of the press corps since the Lindbergh kidnapping, I just want to end this discussion with the following passage from the 2000 column that has subjected me to unwarranted abuse:

      "In fact, Gore may get a certain benefit of doubt, because everyone knows that he's well-versed on the issues. Talking about HMO reform Monday at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Gore momentarily forgot the name of a common cancer examination for women. Turning around to face Nevada health-care experts sitting behind him, Gore asked plaintively, "What am I looking for?" The answer came shouted back: "mammograms."

      No one treated this as anything other than an understandable inability to summon up the right word. But if the verbally erratic Bush had made a similar error, the TV news clip would have been aired constantly, and the Gore campaign might even have charged that it shows "how out of touch Gov. Bush is on women's health issues."

      For all the criticism of the press pack's habit of overreacting to isolated campaign gaffes, the real problem is the media's tendency to reduce the candidates to caricatures. It is too simplistic to portray Gore as totally deficient in his respect for truth and Bush as completely lacking in his grasp of facts.

    3. Yeah, that's the balance:

      Gore's not a *total* liar, and Bush isn't a *complete* idiot.

      Thanks Walter.

    4. ::snort!!:: Now, that's funny....good one, Swan! I still think the funniest bit is how Walty (now sniveling about being blamed for "every sin" since the Lindbergh kidnapping, boo hoo) not only can't admit that he dug up that info in order to foist a joke off as a "lie" to fit in with his crowd's hatchet job on Gore, but also is so determined to "redeem" himself that he dragged his wife into the picture. As if having the little woman do his dirty work for him proves that she, another ...journalist (as they style themselves) also saw merit in the absurd smear.

  7. Well lets at least give Mr. Shapiro credit for stepping into the ring. It's a beating that's been due for years. At least one man has stepped into the ring knowing (hopefully) that nothing but his pillorying would occur. Hyperbole about the Wars aside, maybe the unwashed masses would like nothing more then an apology? An acknowledgement that the press lied, lied and lied and someone, somewhere was sorry for their pitiful conduct and that of their cohorts in the press corps.

    Just a thought.

  8. You thought Gore wasn't joking? It doesn't get more clueless than that.

  9. You know, after reading Walter Shapiro defending his unprofessional conduct to this day, I have to agree with Bob, this history must be preserved for future generations.

    VP Gore, campaigning for the Presidency of the United States, makes a harmless cute joke about having the Union Label song sung to him as a lullaby when he was a child. And Walter Shapiro's first instinct is to research the date the song was written. It is truly stunning. Bob is too kind when he writes that our national discourse is being guided by fools.

    1. Anonymous, I remember that horrific campaign. I was calling up the corporate news offices in NYC every day and screaming at them. One of the worst eaxmples was when Gore was promoting a school program that was working to improve kids' involvement and success in the classroom, and he mis-stated some irrelevant detail, something along the lines of how many years the program had been in place. PRESTO! More "evidence" of Gore's "lying!" Instead of substance we got the corporate media LYING that Gore was a "liar." Yes, the public at large should not be so stupid and gullible as to accept such discourse. Alas. But those committing the fraud should be the ones held accountable...we have to hope that their day of accountability comes when we can still witness it and that their belated apologies will be futile.