Lawrence O’Donnell just can’t quit Bill Clinton!


Still dazzled by Gennifer Flowers: It’s one of the most remarkable press stories of the past twenty years.

We refer to the way the East Coast Irish Catholic Democratic-leaning press cabal led the charge against President Clinton, then against Candidate Gore.

Who were the top ten Clinton/Gore-haters? It’s hard to know who would make that list who isn’t East Coast Irish Catholic.

Lawrence O’Donnell was one of those people. He spread false claims about Candidate Gore all the way through October 2000. But as of today, it’s his jones against President Clinton that really won’t let his soul go.

Lawrence just can’t quit Bill Clinton. Last night, our biggest obsessive on this topic decided he ought to say this:
O’DONNELL (7/23/13): Ari Melber, I want to read to you some of the New York Times editorial which has just come out telling Anthony Weiner to get out of this thing.

It says, “At some point the full story of Anthony Weiner and his sexting relationship habits and sexual relationships will be told. In the meantime, the serially evasive Mr. Weiner should take his marital troubles and personal compulsions out of the public eye away from cameras, off the Web, and out of the race for mayor of New York City.”

It says, "Mr. Weiner says he’s staying in the race. To those who know his arrogance and have grown tired of the tawdry saga he has dragged the city into, this is not surprising."

I don’t think the Times said that about Bill Clinton when his problems erupted in New Hampshire. Bill Clinton, by the way, who suffered a New York City press conference by Gennifer Flowers in which she played audiotapes that absolutely proved their real sexual relations they had for years.
A sexual jones simply won’t let this tortured son of Olde Ireland go. That said, the highlighted claim is simply absurd, although we’re sure this genuine crackpot believes the things he has said.

No, Virginia! Gennifer Flowers’ (doctored) tapes didn’t prove that she and Wild Bill had sexual relations for years, or that they had sexual relations at all. Flowers turned out to be one of the least reliable, more repulsive figures in modern political history, as would be clear to anyone who ever reviewed her work.

Who else spent so much time explaining that Hillary Clinton was the world’s most gigantic lesbo. Who else spent more time listing the Clintons’ murders?

That said, the various Jones boys in the press could never abandon their love for Flowers. By August 1999, Chris Matthews, the number one Clinton/Gore-hater, seemed especially smitten.

“You're a very beautiful woman,” the long-term nutcase said at one point during Flowers’ half-hour embarrassment on his Hardball program. “And I have to tell you,” Matthews continued. “He knows that, you know that, and everybody watching knows that. Hillary Clinton knows that!”

“Gosh, you’re making me blush here,” Flowers modestly replied, putting her murder charges against the Clintons ever so briefly on hold. But Matthews came right back at his yellow-haired guest:

“It's an objective statement, Gennifer,” he defiantly said. “I'm not flirting. So let's go on.” He seemed especially preoccupied with the front of his pants at this time.

The lunacy of the East Coast Irish Catholic gang is one of the major journalistic stories of the past twenty years. Regarding Clinton, O’Donnell’s jones still won’t let his soul go.

His comment last night was simply insane. In real time, he was so upset with Clinton’s blow jobs that he worked and worked against Candidate Gore, then decided to work some more.

In the end, he and Matthews sent Bush to the White House. Today, we liberals all know that we must applaud their obvious brilliance.

What the New York Times said at that time: Weiner’s story is different from Clinton’s, unless your various sex obsessions come to you straight from the priests.

That said, here’s part of what the New York Times said in real time about What Flowers Was Saying:
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (1/28/92): For lack of satisfactory evidence, most journalists declined to publish stories about Mr. Clinton's personal life. Then Gennifer Flowers, a former state employee, paid by a supermarket tabloid, contended she had a longstanding affair with the Governor. She rehearsed the accusations yesterday on television.

In his response Sunday, Governor Clinton "acknowledged wrongdoing. I have acknowledged causing pain in my marriage." He won't provide detail and he need not, unless it develops that his private conduct arguably touches his public performance or fitness for office.

"Anybody who's listening gets the drift of it," he said, "and let's get on and get back to the real problems of this country." To which Hillary Clinton added sensibly, "If that's not enough for people, then heck, don't vote for him."

Mr. Clinton describes Gennifer Flowers as no more than a friendly acquaintance. Because the tape recordings she so far proffers don't appear to refute that characterization, there seems to be little basis for demanding further comment from the Clintons.
The Times was correct. O’Donnell’s desperate needs notwithstanding, the Flowers tapes proved nothing at all. And her story in that supermarket tabloid had been full of embarrassing factual errors.

O’Donnell has a desperate jones, a jones which won’t let his empty soul go. Back in the day, he transferred his loathing from Clinton to Gore, refused to give up, kept working hard and sent George Bush to the White House.

Bill Clinton had enjoyed ten jobs! Thanks to Matthews and O’Donnell, the dead of Iraq had to pay.

Who were the biggest Clinton/Gore haters: It’s hard to know who makes the list except for We Irish. Some names:

Matthews, Dowd, O’Donnell, Connolly, Seelye, Russert, Williams, Carlson.

Adding Hannity gets us to nine. Who else makes that list?

(Warning: O’Reilly was quite fair to Gore. Did someone suggest Peggy Noonan?)


  1. Replies
    1. Tim Russert was out of control in some of the debates.

  2. Gennifer Flowers is no bargain. However, given all the lies Mr. Clinton told about his sex life, I am not convinced by his denial of her claims.

    Apparently the telephone tapes did show numerous conversations between Clinton and Flowers. I have trouble buying the "friendly acquaintance" claim. Other than sex, why would this Rhodes Scholar have a relationship with this woman? I don't think Mr. Clinton was seeking her opinions on fine points of Constitutional law or the impact of Keynesian economics.

    1. Media Matters says:

      Among what [Larry] Kudlow wrote "turn[ed] up" in his Google search was: "Clinton continues to lie about his 12-year affair with Gennifer Flowers." In fact, while Clinton testified to having had "sexual relations" with Flowers on one occasion in 1977, evidence suggests that it was Flowers who lied about the extent of their relationship. As Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler noted on October 15, 2003, Flowers, a former Arkansas state employee, offered no solid evidence that she and Bill Clinton had conducted a 12-year affair, but there exists plenty of evidence to challenge the credibility of her allegations. Somerby wrote:

      [INDENT]>>>>>One week after her story appeared, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter noted some problems with Flowers' credibility. Among them: "Flowers claims she met Clinton at the Excelsior Hotel in 1979 or 1980. The hotel didn't open until late 1982." Another: "Flowers claims to have been Miss Teen Age America, 1967. She wasn't -- that year, or any other." In The Hunting of the President, Joe Conason and Gene Lyons went into more detail about this shaky messenger:

      [DOUBLE INDENT]*****CONASON/LYONS (page 25): Musicians and club owners who had worked with Flowers described her as manipulative and dishonest. Her resume falsely proclaimed her a graduate of a fashionable Dallas prep school she'd never attended. It also listed a University of Arkansas nursing degree she'd never earned and membership in a sorority that had never heard of her. Her agent told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that contrary to her claims, Flowers had never opened for comedian Rich Little. A brief gig on the Hee Haw television program had come to a bad end, the agent would later confirm, when Flowers simply vanished for a couple of weeks with a man she'd met in a Las Vegas casino -- and then concocted a tale about having been kidnapped. She had never been Miss Teenage America. Even her "twin sister Genevieve" turned out to be purely a figment of Flowers' imagination.*****[END DOUBLE INDENT]

      Not that there's anything wrong with it! Conason and Lyons also said this: "Flowers never produced a single paragraph, valentine, or birthday card as evidence of her twelve-year affair with Clinton; no witness ever came forward who had seen them together. Indeed, she would eventually write an entire book, Passion and Betrayal, without stating a specific time and place where she and her famous lover were together."<<<<<[END INDENT]

  3. This is interesting, because although I voted for Clinton twice and Gore once, I had small children and was ridiculously busy so was not following closely.
    I remember finding out that Whitewater was almost completely invented (much later) and I read the WSJ, so I knew that paper was insane on the Clintons.
    I didn't know which pundits were a part of it, though.

  4. O"Reilly far to Gore? He screamed for months that Reno should indite him for making a campaign related phone call in his office..... This was during the very time Bob is talking about....

    1. Bob's tight with loofahman from Bob's MC days.

  5. David in Ca, he banged her a few times. They did not a long standing relationship going on for years as She claimed.

    1. So you agree that Bill Clinton was lying when he described Gennifer Flowers as no more than a friendly acquaintance?

    2. Quaker in a BasementJuly 24, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      IIRC, Clinton did finally own up to one tryst with Flowers. That said, whether to call the relationship a friendly acquaintance or a longterm affair depends on who you're asking.

    3. "... no more than friendly acquaintance."

      Depends on what you mean by "friendly acquaintance."

    4. You can actually bang an unfriendly or indifferent acquaintance, it's really been known to happen. As the evidence suggested by his lady friends show, Bill was actually a pretty small time ladies man.

    5. "he banged her a few times"

      And we know this just exactly how? [link, please]

  6. I'm not sure about this Irish Catholic thing. What's the relevance? Is there a broader cultural analysis that can be made?

    These sorts of posts tend to create an "out-group" in peoples' minds. I know I never cared much about Irish Catholics unless I was reading news about Northern Ireland.

    Of course, when Chris Matthews goes on the Daily Show and they put up a picture of a potato, I get the joke now. So that's something.

    But as a West Coast guy, I feel like the East is a bit of a dimwitted ethnic cesspit, with WASPs, Jews, Italians, and the Irish (not to mention Blacks) engaging in stupid cliquish corruption.

    Singling out the Irish Mafia seems a bit unfair, in this sense. If there were a more dispassionate analysis of the factors that led to them ganging up on Clinton/Gore, the subject would be more palatable, since these posts would seem like less of an exercise in reactive bigotry (which they do, somewhat) and more of a rational discussion.

    1. jamdox,

      I think it's the Colbert Report. And I'm not sure you get the joke.

  7. The Democratic base needs to quit Bill Clinton. And Barack Obama. And every other neoliberal conman who is selling us out.

  8. Replies
    1. At least one major blogger outside Kevin Drum still reads Somerby. I guess that is some kind of comfort...

    2. Mr. Factchecker, Glenn Kessler, has responded a couple times as well. It must be that sprawling campus "they" work out of.

  9. a few discordant notes:

    Odonnell didn't have a show or a column until 2009 when he starting subbing on msnbc. according to his wiki page:

    "From 1999 to 2006, O’Donnell was associated with the television drama The West Wing. Over that time, he wrote 16 episodes. From 1999 to 2000 he was executive story editor for 12 episodes, in 2000 he was co-producer of 5 episodes, from 2000 to 2001 he was producer of 17 episodes, from 2003 to 2005..."

    but according to somerby, what o'd says this week somehow helped bush beat gore in 2000?

    Somerby says "By August 1999, Chris Matthews, the number one Clinton/Gore-hater..."

    According to his wiki page, matthews is half orange...which fits well with his obvious anglophilia and being an over-the top churchill "nut", self decribed .

    From his wiki page:

    "Matthews was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Mary Teresa (née Shields) and Herb Matthews, a court reporter.[1][2] His father was a Protestant of English and Northern Irish ancestry...
    tim russert was also of german extraction:

    1. The Howler June 5, 2005:

      ...But let’s enjoy some HOWLER HISTORY! To see a fiery “TV liberal” give away the store at a critical moment, let’s watch fiery Lawrence O’Donnell on the McLaughlin Group. The date: October 6, 2000. It was three days after Bush and Gore’s first debate—and one month before the narrow election that sent George W. Bush to the White House and transformed all of American politics. But so what?

      As millionaire “TV liberals” so often did, O’Donnell was out there fighting the fight—on behalf of Bush. “Issue Two—Gore’s tall tales,” intoned the program’s High Foppist Host. And you guessed it! O’Donnell, a well-known “TV liberal,” was so eager to add to the list of Gore’s alleged lies that, when he finally got his turn, he journeyed back a year in time to revisit a phony example:

      O’DONNELL (10/6/00): John, his most ridiculous and his most relevant untruths are his claims of legislative achievement. He told Time magazine last year that he enacted the Earned Income Tax Credit, which of course went into law before he was ever in Congress.

      Except Gore plainly didn’t tell Time “that he enacted the Earned Income Tax Credit.” As the transcript of the interview plainly shows, Gore referred to “the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit,” for which he had made a major proposal during his time in the Senate. Gore’s Q-and-A with Karen Tumulty was published in the magazine’s 11/1/99 edition; his words were there for all to see. But so what? By November 1999, the Washington press corps was making merry inventing a stream of “untruths” by Gore, and this non-lie had quickly been added to the burgeoning list.

      Eleven months later—four weeks before the narrow election that led us to our present state—“TV liberal” Lawrence O’Donnell recited this press corps invention again. But then, O’Donnell—the fiery “TV liberal”—offered a whole lot of smack on this day. For example, when the group spent time mocking Gore’s troubling make-up, the ever-fiery “TV liberal” joined in the fun, letting us know what Rush said:

      MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see his makeup?

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw his makeup.

      MCLAUGHLIN: I got a letter from someone who says he knows that Gore, who did not have his normal makeup artist, saying that we were going to use our staff, actually had some of his Hollywood friends provide him with a makeup artist, and that he was made up to look like Ronald Reagan.

      O'DONNELL: Well, this is what Rush Limbaugh—

      MCLAUGHLIN: Did you see that?

      O'DONNELL: Rush Limbaugh has been saying this all week—that the look they're going for in the hair and in the makeup is Ronald Reagan.

      MCLAUGHLIN: Well, there's rouge on the cheeks and like a man-tan the rest of it. [Laughter]

      MICHAEL BARONE: Well, I think maybe he's got Richard Nixon's makeup artist, John, from 40 years ago.

      Everyone enjoyed a good solid laugh, and O’Donnell—the fiery “TV liberal”—made sure that everyone got to hear what Rush had been saying all week. But then, this was just one more part O’Donnell’s relentless performance this day.


    2. ...continued

      Earlier, the fiery liberal had expounded at length about the problems with Gore’s troubling tax plan. As we pick up, O’Donnell has already implied that Gore’s complaints about Bush’s cuts for the top one percent were insincere—“a classic stand-up:”

      O'DONNELL: What's missing in the Gore plan is detail. What derives from it is an incredible level of complexity. For example, everybody out there thinks that college tuition will be tax deductible for everyone. It won't. It will be deductible only for filers in the $60,000 to $120,000 category; 100 percent deductible only $60,000 to $100,000 category. It is not deductible for anyone else below $60,000, because below $60,000 there's a tax credit available, which is a totally different provision. You can't—

      MCLAUGHLIN: Now, Lawrence—

      O'DONNELL: Go ahead.

      MCLAUGHLIN: You're a single person. Do you get anything out of Gore's plan?

      O'DONNELL: No. I don't qualify for anything because I'm over the income level that all these things are targeted for.

      MCLAUGHLIN: Do you have—do you know working married couples with no children? Do they get anything out of the Gore plan?

      O'DONNELL: It depends on their income level. If you're over $120,000, you won't get a single thing from the Gore plan.

      MCLAUGHLIN: I don't think they get anything out of it.

      Poor O’Donnell! Because he was “earning” more than 120K, he wouldn’t get a thing from Gore’s plan! And don’t worry! O’Donnell, a fiery “TV liberal,” was earning well more than that paltry sum, writing the fatuous Hollywood scripts that had turned him into a screaming fop—the classic “TV liberal.” Eventually, Eleanor Clift did jump in, complaining about the High Pundit Foppistry with which she found herself surrounded. But O’Donnell, a “TV liberal,” wouldn’t stop. He had one last bit of praise for Bush’s plan—the plan that would eventually earn him and his Millionaire Pundit Class beaucoup bucks:

      MCLAUGHLIN: Okay. Bush has said that if you comport to certain predesignated behavior patterns, then Gore's plan will work for you. But he, Bush, says, "I'm making this available for everybody's option. Not just those who've—

      BARONE: John, John—

      O'DONNELL: That's why rate cuts [are] so attractive. Rate cuts work for everyone.

      Translation: Rate cuts work for millionaires like me. But so it went as a “TV liberal” trashed Gore’s make-up and made-up lies. So it went as a “TV liberal” fought to put Bush in the White House....

    3. i've watched the mclaughlin group for decades and though i remember odonnell being on the show, my recollection is that it was very infrequently. and while odonnell strikes me as a hatchet man for the democratic party establishment, i would have to side with odonell over somerby as i *know* for a fact that somerby is an inveterate liar.

      second, just assuming somerby is right here, how many other guests on how many other shows were saying the same or worse things about gore -- who were not of irish catholic heritage?

      third, by citing limbaugh as the source for the makeup rumors, odonnell was actually protecting gore, given the very well known hyper-partisan and dishonest nature of rush limbaugh.

      fourth, how many other negative things were brought up about gore which odonnell spoke up for gore on? somerby the propagandist would not tell us about those possible instances as it wouldnt fit his narrative of *irish-bad*.

    4. as to the second mclaughlin group post on the tax cuts which odonnell wouldnt qualify for, what was odoneells motive? to sabotage gore? sounds to me rather like an emotional and greedy outburst. very unappealing on odonnels part, but it provides very weak support for somerbys assertion that odonnell waged a deliberate negative campaign against gore.

    5. himself writes:

      i would have to side with odonell over somerby as i *know* for a fact that somerby is an inveterate liar.

      and in a later comment himself writes:

      i dont know how much of this peculiar blog somerby actually believes and how much is paid public relations work.

      Hard then to figure out what you're doing here at all. I take that back, it's pretty easy to figure out now that I think about it.

    6. nitpicking.

      hows this? he regularly lies on his own time and *possibly* also for pay. but he also sprinkles in facts to better fool his readership. and to be fair, on occasion hes just honestly wrongheaded, but not lying.

      im commenting to expose a possible closet republican and an anti-americans-with-irish-heritage-bigot (albeit a patriotic bigot, given his particular bigotry).

    7. Wonder if Jack didn't slip Lawrence a bit of a sweetener in his pay envelope that week for a job well done? Back then O'Donnell played an arrogant disgruntled Democrat as opposed to the "fiery liberal" of today.

    8. welch was involved with nbc and msnbc as the head of parent company general electric up till 2001 but odonell didnt start to work for them untill 2009.

  10. i dont know how much of this peculiar blog somerby actually believes and how much is paid public relations work. what I have concluded though is that his main purpose is to shift blame away from some party or parties. (using americans-of irish-catholic-heritage as the patsy).

    who benefits from this? the media front people (non-self-employed journalists) and media bosses who fell down on the job in the last several decades, the vast majority of whom are actually not of irish catholic heritage. . . . also the new 'left' who displaced the irish catholic american northern big city bosses and who have become *effectively* like an arm of the right wing. perhaps others as well.

    "we irish". what a disgusting conman his lordship is.

    1. lowercaseguys casemanagerJuly 25, 2013 at 7:07 AM

      Be assured that we are desperately trying everything short of full-time involuntary commitment in order to get lowercaseguy to take his medicine.

      Please bear with us in the interim.

      Thank you for your patience, everyone.

    2. Methinks himself doth protest too much.