A liberal reclaiming the truth: Paul Glastris is editor in chief of the Washington Monthly. In a fleeting brush with greatness, we met him once long ago.
As he watched Wednesday night’s debate, Glastris saw some of the same things we did. In this passage, he refers to his comments about the debate for the BBC:
GLASTRIS (10/4/12): I also said that it was simply difficult to argue with an opponent who is engaging in the level of factual mendacity we saw out of Romney, and that last night reminded me of the first debate between Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000. As you may recall, in that debate Gore pointed out time and time again that Bush was misstating his proposed budget—that his tax cuts would go disproportionately to the wealthy and that those tax cuts would dwarf what he was claiming he would spend on education, health care, and defense. In response, Bush shamelessly dissembled and said it was Gore who was peddling “fuzzy math.” There was no way for the audience to judge who was right, and they got no help from the moderator, who was—surprise surprise—Jim Lehrer, the same person who moderated last night.In that passage, Glastris accurately describes one of the turning points in modern political history. Liberals have refused to confront these events for the past dozen years.
Of course subsequent events proved that Gore was right on the facts. But he was widely judged the loser of that debate.
Glastris is right about that first debate between Bush and Gore. (Below, we’ll offer one amplification.) In one long, remarkable segment that night, Gore kept correcting misstatements Bush was making about his own prescription drug plan.
(There were also disputes about Bush’s very large tax proposal, with Bush falsely claiming that Gore was using “phony numbers.” But the most dramatic, extended exchange concerned the prescription drug plan.)
Over and over, Gore corrected Bush during that ten-minute segment—and Gore was right on the facts! Eventually, Bush went with a scripted zinger.
This is what Bush said:
BUSH (10/3/00): Look, this is a man, he's got great numbers. He talks about numbers. I'm beginning to think not only did he invent the Internet, but he invented the calculator. It's fuzzy math! It's the scaring, trying to scare people in the voting booth.At this point, Bush changed the subject. He delivered a filibuster about his tax proposal, which wasn’t the subject under discussion. When he was done, Gore returned to the subject at hand—and delivered a comical knock-out:
GORE (10/3/00): I mean, it's just— It's just clear. You can go to the [Bush] web site and look. If you make more than $25,000 a year, you don't get a penny of help under the Bush prescription drug proposal for at least four or five years.You can just "go to the web site," Gore said, gesturing toward Bush. And as it turned out, Gore was right about the substance of this long, dramatic dispute.
Incredible! Bush had spent a solid ten minutes misstating his own drug plan! But when Gore made accurate statements about Bush’s proposal, Bush pulled out the ultimate zinger: Al Gore said he invented the Internet!
By that time, “journalists" had been repeating that zinger for nineteen months. Now, Bush employed it too, as an escape from the facts.
Gore was right—and Bush was wrong! Indeed, Candidate Bush had been comically wrong—and Gore had offered a comical note of rebuttal, saying you can simply see what it says on Bush’s own web site!
But very few voters ever learned any of that. As he continued in Thursday's post, Paul Glastris began reclaiming our modern political history.
This is how Bush reached the White House. Glastris is telling the truth:
GLASTRIS (continuing cirectly from above): One thing, however, has changed since 2000. Back then, virtually no one in the mainstream media—save Paul Krugman—called Bush out on his dishonest numbers. But today, fact-checking sites that didn’t exist in 2000 have been picking apart the veracity of both Obama’s and Romey’s debate performances, and so far giving the latter nearly all the Pinocchios. As Ed, Jonathan Bernstein and others have pointing out, the real question is whether, over the next few days, the story in the press remains Romney’s “superior” performance, or the mendacity behind that performance.In that highlighted statement, Galstris describes one of the great journalistic frauds of this or any age.
Gore was right—and Bush was wrong. Somewhat comically, Gore said you can simply look at Bush’s web site to see that Bush was wrong.
But so what? In subsequent days, the press corps worked extremely hard to avoid telling voters that Bush had been wrong. As Glastris correctly says, "virtually no one in the mainstream media...called Bush out on his dishonest numbers."
That's a remarkable, accurate statement: The press corps buried the truth.
In real time, we were churning the information, here and at the now defunct Speakout.com web site. But the mainstream press corps, “liberals” included, worked hard to keep voters from knowing the truth about that dramatic exchange.
Glastris is right about what happened back then. Beyond that, he is right about what’s happening today.
As Glastris says, what happened to Gore in October 2000 isn’t happening to Obama. Today, many news orgs are actively discussing Romney’s several misstatements.
That’s what journalists are supposed to do, of course. But in October 2000, the fix was in. The press had been at war with Bill Clinton about his deeply disturbing blow jobs.
When Clinton escaped removal from office, they went to war with Al Gore.
It was a genuine press corps scandal—a scam, a hoax, a fraud. And from that day right up to this, the liberal world has agreed that you can't be told what happened.
Joan won’t tell you. Neither will David. They are now kissing the keister of Chris, and Chris lies right at the heart of this twenty-month press corps scam.
(Chris worked for Jack Welch at the time—and Welch was making Chris very wealthy. You’re not allowed to know these things, though David and Joan of course do.)
We’re going to tell you to do it again: Go to C-Span and watch the ten minutes to which we refer. Starting at minute ten of this tape, watch Candidate Gore correct Candidate Bush again and again and again. (The exchange goes on for ten minutes.)
Gore was right and Bush was wrong. But it’s exactly as Glastris says: “Virtually no one in the mainstream media...called Bush out on his” erroneous claims. Twelve years ago this very week, you simply weren’t allowed to know that Gore’s “fuzzy math” and “phony numbers” had actually been correct.
You weren't allowed to know that Bush was wrong when he essentially called Gore a liar.
Instead, you were encouraged to laugh about Bush’s comical insults, including his zinger about inventing the Internet. And then, the press corps assembled a tape to make you think that Gore had loudly sighed all through this pivotal evening. (They also invented several lies Gore had supposedly told. That part has been disappeared now.)
Go ahead—watch that tape! As you observe Gore’s perfect deportment, please understand: This is the debate at which you’re still being told that Gore behaved so disrespectfully! In other words, this cosmic journalistic scam is still underway—and the liberal world still accepts it.
Go ahead—watch that tape! As you do, understand what Glastris says: Candidate Gore was right on the facts in that dramatic, ten-minute exchange! But “virtually no one in the mainstream media...called Bush out on his” bogus statements! Instead, they attacked Gore for alleged sighs and alleged lies. And sure enough:
In the week which followed that first debate, Gore sank like a stone in the polls. He regained ground in subsequent weeks. But Bush ended up in the White House.
In Thursday's post, Glastris reclaimed a pivotal bit of modern political history. That said, the rest of the liberal world continues to let this dog lie.
You see, many leading figures in the “liberal world” were deeply engaged in the war against Gore. You mustn’t be told what these people did! Darlings, it just isn’t done!
We honor Journalist Glastris today for stating what happened twelve years ago. One last question:
In October 2000, Glastris was a speech-writer for President Clinton. He wasn’t a journalist then.
But what was said by the Washington Monthly when this scam was unloosed on the world? What did the Washington Monthly say about this in real time?
Glastris says only Krugman spoke up. Given what Glastris is saying today, why did the Washington Monthly keep its pretty trap shut?
We compliment Glastris for what he has said. But truly, we need a truth commission to unpack this historic scam.
Just for the record: You won’t see major liberals expound on what Glastris has written.
Sorry, rubes! The scam is still on! Gore's sighs get louder with each passing year—and "liberals" aren't going to tell you the truth about what happened that night.
Dearest darlings! Careers are at stake! Truth-telling just isn't done!
Paul Glastris told the truth in that post. None of your heroes will.