History has to be told more than once!


Expanding what Ezra Klein said: Everybody has said it—once.

Back in 2006, Ezra Klein sketched the remarkable history of the 2000 campaign for the White House. On its face, his sketch was simply astounding—although it was slightly soft:
KLEIN (4/06): [Gore’s] address was the keynote for the We Media conference, held at the Associated Press headquarters in New York last October [2005] and attended by an audience that included both old media luminaries and new media innovators. In attendance were Tom Curley, president of the AP, Andrew Heyward, president of CBS News, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, all leading lights of a media establishment that, five years earlier, had deputized itself judge, jury, and executioner for Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, spinning each day’s events to portray the stolid, capable vice president as a wild exaggerator, ideological chameleon, and total, unforgivable bore.
Say what? According to Klein, the media establishment “deputized itself judge, jury, and executioner for Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.” According to Klein, organizations like the New York Times and CBS News “spun each day’s events to portray the stolid, capable vice president as a wild exaggerator, ideological chameleon, and total, unforgivable bore.”

In essence, Klein was describing a press corps coup. Even so, his description is a bit soft. (In truth, the nature of the press corps’ misconduct went well beyond the level of “spin.”) In essence, Klein was describing an open assault on the workings of our democracy. But as far as we know, that was the last time he ever mentioned this topic. From this point on, he made himself busy getting hired by the news orgs whose disgraceful misconduct he no longer discusses.

At our companion site, How He Got There, we are recording the full story of the conduct Klein described. People like Ezra said it once—but no more.

You have to tell history more than once before the public will grasp it.

We hope you’ll read our newly-posted Chapter 6, in which that media establishment nailed down its portrait of Candidate Gore as a LIAR. It took a lot of outright misquotation for them to be able to do it. But this does explain how Bush reached the White House—how we all got to Iraq.

After that, we hope you’ll consider supporting our ongoing project. The American public should know what occurred.

To voice your ten cents worth, go ahead: Just click here.


  1. Ezra doesn't bite the hand that feeds him now. What a phony "liberal."

  2. Just wondering if the Politico/Slack "union" flag post will get up and run? Especially after JS @ Huffpo started the boost/assist...

  3. According to Klein, the media establishment “deputized itself judge, jury, and executioner for Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.”

    >>> the main stream media is a pr tool of the moneyed interests. the howler is permanently apoplectic about 2000 but this was business as usual except that it was much more openly done. apparently the moneyed interests feared gore and or loved bush jr. but they couldnt find enough real dirt on gore so they had to have their media machine manufacture it and spread it around.

    the howler does a service in pointing out what happened but a disservice to the extent he leaves the impression that it was anomalous.

    1. the way i put that could be taken as possibly implying a charge that the howler did not also cover 2008 etc as to press malfeasance. i didnt intend to do that. i meant that imo theres a danger that people might hear 2000 2000 2000 2000 and think that since hes stressing what went on twelve years ago, the present must be relatively ok in this regard.

      after thinking about it further though, i think that 2000 should very much be stressed because although the same rigged system exists now, circumstances are much less likely to recur any time soon which would allow such a clear window into the corrupt nature of the establishment media. . . . and secondly theres the eventual damages from the media manipulations in 2000 to consider -- such as the unnecessary wars under bush while cutting taxes... which have generated the current economic mess.

  4. "...but a disservice to the extent he leaves the impression that it was anomalous."

    Agreed. Along with every other "reality-based" progressive who noticed this in 2000 but was completely on board with the anointment of Obama in the 2008 primary, complete with the drumbeat of WWTSBQ? ("why won't the stupid bitch quit"....maybe because she got more votes, huh?)

    1. He leaves the impression it was anomalous?

      >>>>>Matthews said on the January 8 Hardball, “everybody thought Hillary was going to win this nomination. The international betting odds have been clear for years now.” As part of his array of cracked pottery, Matthews loves to cite betting odds.

      But in this case, Matthews was simply ignoring what an endless array of insider guests had said on his own programs during the spring of 2007 Obama announced his campaign in Springfield, Illinois on February 10, 2007; Matthews spent several clownish hours on the air, trying to decide if Obama reminded him more of Jack, or Bobby, or Martin. (Or was he more like Abraham Lincoln?) Three weeks later, still pimping hard, to asked a panel of housebroken guests (on The Chris Matthews Show) a question about the Dem race. This is what people were saying on The Chris Matthews Show in March of 2007:

      MATTHEWS (3/4/07): OK, let me go around the room. Will he, meaning Obama, catch Hillary by Memorial Day in the polls?

      KATHLEEN PARKER: I think so. He's going to move fast.

      MATTHEWS: David [Gregory], Democratic primaries—Democratic vote. Will he catch her in that poll, the next poll we take on Memorial Day?

      GREGORY: Yeah.

      ELISABETH BUMILLER: I think so.

      CLARENCE PAGE: So many variables, but they—within shouting distance.

      Only Page expressed any doubt; Obama would be even with Clinton in the polls by late May 2007. But then, several guests had said the same thing on Matthews’ February 11 program—on the weekend Obama announced. On March 25, Matthews was still excitedly asking his question, and resident genius Patrick Healy offered the consensus view: “Both campaigns think will be a dead heat by Memorial Day.”

      Obama would catch up to Clinton by May; it’s what all the pundits were saying. But this is exactly what Myers was saying last month when a certain loudmouth rudely—and stupidly—decided to shout her down. Here’s the actual chat between Myers and Matthews on Hardball—the part Kurtz slightly clipped:

      MATTHEWS (1/8/08): Everybody has been betting that Hillary would be the nominee. When they put money on it, people bet on Hillary being the nominee. This has been going on for years now. Why do you say she wasn’t the front-runner, where did that come from?

      MYERS: I think a year ago, in the spring of last year, that wasn’t the story-line at all.

      MATTHEWS: Who was the front-runner if it wasn’t her?

      MYERS: I don’t think there was a front-runner. I think a year out—

      MATTHEWS: This is revisionism, Dee Dee.

      MYERS: Chris, you ask me a question, if you would let me answer it, it would be helpful—

      MATTHEWS: You are answering it and you’re wrong. It`s revisionism to say Hillary Clinton—no one believed that Hillary Clinton was not the front- runner.

      Classic Matthews! Myers was basically right on the facts. In the spring of 07, “the story-line” was widely pimped: Obama was going to catch Clinton fast. Clinton might be ahead in the polls, pundits said—but she wasn’t going to be there for long. But that wasn’t the story-line Matthews was seeking. Even worse, Myers was a woman—and she wasn’t a Republican woman!

      And so, we got the standard reaction, the reaction we’ve seen on this program for more than a decade; Matthews began to interrupt and name-call, berating Myers for making a statement which was basically accurate.<<<<<

    2. He leaves the impression it was anomalous?

      >>>>>A FAKE THEORY DISSOLVES: At the October 30 Democratic debate, Russert and Williams fell on Clinton like a pair of starved Nantucket badgers. They threw oppo research-style questions at her for the bulk of two hours. (Several of Russert’s questions were built around factual errors.) In their questions to Obama and Edwards, they largely cued Clinton’s two opponents to engage in attacks on their rival. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/1/07 and 11/2/07, for a detailed review of their questions.

      In fact, no moderators have ever behaved this way in previous presidential debates. But in the aftermath of the session, Howard Kurtz joined a cast of thousands in explaining the “Lost Boys’” odd behavior. This Q-and-A occurred in a Post on-line chat. Kurtz gave a Standard Response to a very good question:

      QUESTION (11/5/07): Do you think Russert and Williams were a little out of line at the last Democratic debate in going after one candidate? Can you think of a precedent where the moderator went after one candidate like that? I'm thinking the last clear frontrunner in the challenging party was Bush in '99, and I don't recall him ever getting it like that from a moderator.

      KURTZ: Moderators (as well as rival candidates) often gang up on the front-runner, and that's what Hillary Clinton is. I'd certainly expect her to get more questions than Dennis Kucinich. And the Russert question about whether she supported Eliot Spitzer's policy on driver's licenses for illegal immigrants was entirely fair; it was only her meandering, contradictory answer that made it big news.

      Thanks for the chat, folks.

      We wonder if the questioner took his cue from our own incomparable work on that 2000 primary (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/02/07). But Kurtz voiced a form of the press corps’ Standard Reaction: We always treat front-runners that way! The claim is patently false, of course. But so what? It was widely expressed.

      Front-runners always get treated that way! Three months later, on February 26, we finally got a chance to test this widely-voiced theory. Once again, Russert and Williams were hosting a Dem debate—and this time, the Dems had a new front-runner. This raised an obvious question: Would Russert and Williams gang up on Obama as with Clinton, back in the fall?

      Did Jack Welch’s hires “gang up” on Obama? For the sake of establishing the historical record: No, they plainly did not. Instead, they spent the first half hour of a 90-minute debate battering Clinton, who wasn’t the front-runner. It was almost exactly what they had done at the October debate.

      For the record, what follows has nothing to do with Obama or Clinton. It’s a comment on the conduct of Russert and Williams. In fact, Russert and Williams didn’t “gang up on the front-runner” in last week’s debate. They didn’t do anything like it.

      What did happen at last week’s debate? Let’s run through the actual questions. Last see how the “gang-up” occurred.

      Williams opened with the following question for Clinton. (We’ll number the queries as best we can.) In the process, he played tape of a moment on the trail for which she had been widely mocked:


    3. ...continued

      QUESTION 1, WILLIAMS (2/26/08) Thanks to our candidates for being here on a snowy night in the great city of Cleveland, Ohio. A lot has been said since we last gathered in this forum, certainly in the few days since you two last debated. Senator Clinton, in your comments especially, the difference has been striking. And let’s begin by taking a look.

      CLINTON (videotape): You know, no matter what happens in this contest—and I am honored, I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored and—

      CLINTON (videotape): So shame on you, Barack Obama! It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public! That’s what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio. Let’s have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.

      WILLIAMS: Senator Clinton, we’re here in Ohio. Senator Obama is here. This is the debate. You would agree the difference in tone over just those 48 hours was striking?

      On MSNBC, Clinton had been widely mocked for this “difference in tone”—and that’s where Williams chose to begin. But then, his second question was also for Clinton—and it wasn’t friendly either:

      QUESTION 2, WILLIAMS: On the topic of accurate information and to that end, one of the things that has happened over the past 36 hours, a photo went out on the Website, the “Drudge Report,” showing Senator Obama in the native garb of a nation he was visiting, as you have done in a host country on a trip overseas. Matt Drudge, on his Website, said it came from a source inside the Clinton campaign. Can you say unequivocally here tonight it did not?

      Again, Williams threw a question at Clinton—not at the front-runner. He (mis)quoted his darling, the loathsome Matt Drudge—then asked Clinton to respond.

      There you see the first two questions of last week’s Dem debate. Each was a challenging question—and each was posed to Clinton. But don’t worry—Williams was waiting to question the front-runner too! Here is the handsome anchor’s third question—the question where he finally began to “gang up on the front-runner:”

      QUESTION 3, WILLIAMS: Senator Obama, your response.

      Yeah right, over the years Bob Somerby has left the impression that press misconduct has been limited to the 2000 election cycle. But that leaves me wondering what was he blogging about back in 1998, anyone know?

  5. Bob
    The one angle that no one seems to have recognized, one that also sabotaged the 2000 election is now back in the news:Pat Buchanon. Pat connived to get himself the nomination of Ross Perot's Reform Party (which had had a powerful influence in the 2 prior elections), and then essentially shut it down...He literally disappeared from view and removed that competition for Bush/Cheney votes. I saw him asked once why he had made no effort to compete, and he spit out "I got sick" and changed the subject.