Supplemental: Drum does “they love to cover her hard!”


We wait for The One Liberal Channel: Exactly as we predicted, Kevin Drum has gone on the record concerning the Clinton coverage.

In yesterday’s post, he quotes an interesting observation by Slate’s Dave Weigel, whose overall work on this subject strikes us as being quite poor.

We’ll discuss that observation tomorrow. For today, this is Drum’s conclusion about Mark Halperin’s recent statement that Clinton is “destined to get horrible coverage if she runs for president”—that “the press loves to cover her hard:”
DRUM (7/29/14): The media's preoccupation with the Clintons' wealth won't last forever. Even for the Washington press corps, it's too transparently silly to pretend that it's somehow surprising that a presidential candidate is wealthy. But Somerby and Halperin are right: it's a sign of things to come. The press has never liked Hillary, and she's never liked them, and that's that. If she decides to run for president, this is going to be one of her biggest problems—or maybe her biggest, period. She's just never going to catch a break.
Will Clinton ever catch a break if she runs for president? We wouldn’t make a hard-and-fast prediction, although the Washington Post’s recent jihad has been remarkable and sobering.

We also wouldn’t be sure that “the media's preoccupation with the Clintons’ wealth won't last forever.” In the past, they have shown that they will maintain lunatic claims for years at a time, unless and until they are somehow made to stop.

We don’t know what the press will do if Clinton enters the race. We do know this—the indolence of the liberal world concerning the press corps’ recent behavior is a major sign of our essential fecklessness.

We simply aren’t bright or serious people. Good God, but we’re easy to play!

How many times does this sort of thing have to happen before we liberals start to resist? Before we start demanding that our fiery leaders resist?

If a Republican front-runner was being beaten up this way, the screaming would have been heard from coast to coast by now. But on the One True Liberal Channel, the millionaire children have all been silent. At Salon, not a word has been said.

The silence is deafening, just as it was in March 1999, when the mainstream press corps started its twenty-month war against Candidate Gore.

We’ve explained the economics of this ridiculous “liberal” silence many times. MSNBC is loaded with people whose incomes depend on their silence about the recent past.

Liberal careers run through the major mainstream organs, like the Washington Post and the New York Times. Conservative careers do not.

Meanwhile, two of MSNBC’s prime-time hosts have been involved in the endless wars against the Clintons and Gore. So were several of the channel’s major “contributors.” No one did more to send Bush to the White House than the flagrantly lunatic Chris Matthews, who has now reinvented himself to suit the new corporate line.

For these reason, the people you love have never told you about what happened in Campaign 2000. They will never discuss the ridiculous coverage of Candidate Clinton in the 2008 Democratic nomination campaign, which was won by Candidate Obama.

They will never challenge the lunacy of Maureen Dowd, who remains quite influential. If you want to advance through the New York Times, you do not challenge Dowd.

In this major respect, the people you see on The One True Channel are taking you for a ride. For these reasons, regular liberals have never been exposed to the actual journalistic history of the past twenty-plus years. In comments to Drum’s post, we were struck, as we often are, by the various liberal commenters who are reciting MSM narratives about campaigns of the past. We liberals are easy to script because our leaders keep playing us.

How crazy is the emerging world of the corporate liberal press? On Monday night, we saw Chris Matthews fawning in favor of Hillary Clinton again.

If you've been alive for the past twenty years, this sort of thing is astounding:
MATTHEWS (7/28/14): Remember last week, when we told you Darth Vader had a higher approval rating than all of the current potential 2016 presidential candidates? Well, Hillary Clinton showed her savvy, I think, on why she lost to the villain.

FAREED ZAKARIA: One final question, and then we’re done. What do you make of the fact that Darth Vader is polling ahead of every potential presidential candidate? What’s the deeper meaning of this?

CLINTON: Oh, I think the deeper meaning is that people love fantasies. (LAUGHTER)

And sometimes, when we are so frustrated with the gridlock in Washington, we would like some deus ex machina figure. Darth wouldn’t be my choice, but somebody of perhaps a slightly more positive attitude in his presentation to come in and just fix it.

MATTHEWS: If you don’t like that Hillary, go find yourself another candidate! That’s Hillary at her best. She is great! And that’s what she’s really like.
Really? So she isn't really like Nurse Rathched or Evita Peron? They were the comparisons of choice when Matthews was serving Jack Welch.

Matthews’ silly fawning in favor of Clinton is truly a sight to behold. From the late 1990s right through 2008, Matthews relentlessly savaged Clinton in openly misogynistic ways.

It’s stunning to see him playing the fool in the other direction. It’s stunning to see the liberal world letting him clown in such transparent ways.

That said, Joan Walsh and them suckle at Matthews’ large teat; they will never discuss his decades of ugliness and outright deception. They will never tell you what happened in earlier White House campaigns. For that reason, the liberal world is susceptible to having it happen again.

We’re glad to see Drum, our favorite blogger, discuss what Halperin said. But the silence is deafening everywhere else. We liberals are often deeply clueless. Thanks to the silence of our leaders, we are quite easily conned.

Like earth girls, we liberals are very easy. The conservative world would never tolerate what the Washington Post has been doing. The conservative world would never accept the lunacy of a hustler like Matthews, the craziness of Dowd.


  1. What matters right now for 2016 is to get Hillary elected with huge coattails that take back Congress and drive as many Republicans as possible out of office. If Matthews contributes to that objective by his transformation, then he's fine, no matter how terrible he was before (and, yes, he was). Anything that might deter him from the path he is on, possibly including relentlessly excoriating him for his terrible past, could be a negative. You don't have to love or admire the people who can help you achieve your objective.

    The need is for a small army to attack the media outlets (and people) that try out various anti-Clinton narratives. It would be more useful than the diatribes to suggest targets for the army to attack and identify how best to attack them. So you start small. You have to start somewhere.

    1. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

      What you suggest here is the same kind of thinking that drove progressives to savage Clinton in ugly ways while using any means possible to elect Obama, because he was deemed the one true candidate.

      The left is divided. There are those who want to adopt the means of the other party in order to be more successful at winning elections. There are others who feel that doing so will make us into the people we oppose, that we will become the very thing we are working against.

      You have to stand up for principles, not just win elections. If you don't, it doesn't matter who wins -- you have lost.

    2. Let's throw around another quote. "The perfect is often the enemy of the good."

      If you are going to wait for the "perfect" candidate, the one that lines up flawlessly with YOUR principles, you're going to wait a long time, particularly in a democracy as large and as diverse as ours.

      As you continue to mature, you will discover that life is full of imperfect choices.

      Personally, while I still have my issues with Obama in both substance and style, I'm pretty glad he won over McCain. And I am extremely happy that he beat Romney.

      As far as "adopt(ing) the means of the other party" well, appealing to an extreme base to gin up the angry white vote might work for a while, especially in localized, off-year House races.

      But you will find smart GOP strategist who will tell you that they would hold the Senate today if they hadn't nominated such loons as Aiken, Murdock, Angle, McMahon and O'Donnell.'

      And they might even tell you that they might even have won the White House had their 2012 primary season wasn't such a race to the bottom of the basest instincts of the most extreme wing of the party.

    3. This isn't about candidates -- it is about the tactics of those who support them. If you think deliberately adopting the tactics of corruption falls under "nobody's perfect," you may have lost your moral compass.

  2. It doesn't have to be Clinton. Keep helping to elect Repubs if perfection eludes us once again. However, if she and her campaign were so bloody awful, how did she manage to amass more votes, that is, votes certified by a state as opposed to caucus votes, thanObama? He was great at flooding the zone and voter iintimidation but had real problems getting actual legal votes.

  3. Voter intimidation? Didn't get "actual legal" votes...oh brother. The actual story was she won the popular vote (that's what she claimed), which was only true if you included Michigan. Not sure that's fair as Obama didn't appear on the Michigan ballot.

    Is it now "well if we exclude the caucuses, she would have won!!" god is there no shame?

    Anyway, I'm not looking for perfection, but do have some standards, albeit low. i did vote for Bubba in '92 and Obama in '08 for example.

  4. If a Republican front-runner was being beaten up this way, the screaming would have been heard from coast to coast by now.

    I disagree, I think Republicans are routinely "beaten up" worse than this. In order to produce screaming, you need something of the magnitude of CBS TV reporting that George Bush was AWOL from the reserves based on obviously forged documents.

    1. Name one example that doesn't have a legitimate basis. OK, I can, actually. The "47%" comment was perfectly legitimate, as was the vulture fund critique, but the "dog-tied-to-the-roof" wasn't. In fact, Somerby criticized Collins every time she trotted that one out.

    2. David, the documents weren't obviously forged. They were copies, but not the originals.

      Producing copies and not the originals is bad enough, David. By why, oh why, do you wingnuts always have to overplay your hand at the expense of the truth?

    3. And David. Ask yourself this. How long would YOU, personally, be screaming about it if Al Gore's daddy got him in the Guard and he ducked out of his final years of service?

    4. "I disagree, I think Republicans are routinely 'beaten up' worse than this."

      As well they should be.

    5. You are forgetting who is supposed to be doing the screaming. Clinton is not being defended by people on her own side. No one expects conservatives to be defended by liberals. But when a conservative is attacked, the entire noise machine closes the circle to defend the person being criticized. When a liberal like Clinton is attacked, the other liberals join in instead of closing ranks around her. That's why no one is asking these media pundits why they are picking on her, as they would be if it were a conservative candidate being targeted.

      What good is having a liberal station like MSNBC if it doesn't serve liberal purposes by supporting our presumptive candidate? Maddow and Hayes should be leading the charge, not remaining silent on this. They should be asking why the Washington Post has a vendetta against Clinton over speaking fees, not Somerby. Instead we hear crickets.

    6. AnonymousJuly 30, 2014 at 6:16 PM -- The documents were obviously forged because:

      1. No original was available.
      2. No source of the documents came forward to explain how he or she acquired them.
      3. They failed to follow Texas Air National Guard format.
      4. They were written in the default font for Microsoft Word -- a font that didn't exist when the document were supposedly written.
      5. The document's handling of superscripts was almost unknown at the time the documents were allegedly written. As far as I know, no TANG documents were ever produced that handled superscripts as these forgeries did.

    7. urban legend -- the story that Bush was dumb and incompetent had no basis. While family connections undoubtedly helped Bush, he did
      -- score reasonably well on his SAT exams
      -- successfully graduate from Yale,
      -- earn a Harvard MBA,
      -- make a fortune for himself and his partners as Managing Partner of the Texas Rangers,
      -- defeat Ann Richards, a capable, strong candidate, for Governor of Texas.
      -- reform Texas education in a way that substantially improved it.

    8. Sorry David in Cal.

      We won't delve in the schoolboy Bush....but

      He didn't make fortune for the Texas Rangers. He was a figurehead.

      Ann Richards was a strong capable candidate, but her inital election was a fluke predicated by a gaffe ridden Republican.

      The reforms put into place that improved education in Texas came under Richards but were largely the work of the chairs of the Texas House and Senate education chairs, one a Democrat the other a Republican. The "reform" initiated under Bush, an end to "social promotion" through testing was a loophole filled joke the Republican Legislature is gutting every other year.

    9. David, everything you wrote about the documents is absolutely true, except for points 1,2,3,4 and 5.

      The only thing that was "obvious" is that Bush skipped out on his final years of service to the Air National Guard, in which he bravely defended the skies over Texas while other guys his age without daddies with clout were dying in Vietnam.

      But you wingnuts can't handle that truth, so you go off on your "forged documents" and believe everything you are fed.

      Such as -- it was written on Microsoft Word. Nope, it was a copy of a document typed on an IBM Selectric, with interchangeable fonts and superscript.

      But you want to say that this would have only happened to Bush? Gee, at the same time the press was giving all sorts attention to a couple of crackpots with a long history of wingnuttiness who wrote a crackpot book about how John Kerry didn't really deserve the medals he earned in combat in Vietnam.

      And the GOP pounced on that, passing out Purple Heart "Band-Aids" at its convention, which should have outraged any veteran who ever served in combat.

      We now have a term to describe this form of gutter politics by proxy -- a longstanding Rove tactic to attack an opponent at his strongest points. It's called "Swiftboating."

  5. And it is simple arithmetic. If you write in Nader, you will be helping the Republican win, period. Maybe not in spirit, but in fact.

    Don't you realize that your disillusionment is the second best objective of the right wing? First best is a vote for Republicans. You won't do that, of course, but what the right wing understands is that low turnout and third party votes from people to the left of the Democratic Party helps Republicans. And if you think a Democratic President with Democratic majorities in Congress would do the same things as Republicans would, or what we will continue to get with divided government, you are truly nuts.

    The prize now is to get Republicans out of office. What we need is the candidate most likely to do that. If we do do that, the progressive grass roots Democratic base will be the ones responsible. That means more inluence for progressive causes. You have to play the long game here. Picking up your marbles and going home is not it.

  6. Urban i'm in NYS, which hasn't gone GOP since the Gipper.

  7. Clinton has not been anointed by the Mainstream media. They are pretending she is the frontrunner so that they can knock her down in advance of the primaries and so that someone less likely to win can be nominated. Remember, they said the same thing about her in 2008 -- that she was the obvious nominee, the presumptive candidate. Then they used that supposed arrogance to boost Obama, the fresh new guy with ideas who would fix corrupt old Washington -- never mind 8 years of peace and prosperity under the other Clinton.

  8. Kevin Drum is off Bob Somerby's shitlist. That's good news.

    But Heather Digby Parton, after joining Salon, has not criticized Maureen Dowd.

    1. Some sockpuppet named "bobsomerby" wrote some good stuff over at Drum's combox. urban legend too.

    2. "bobsomerby" basically rehashed all his "War on Gore" talking points in Drum's combox. If there is any reader of this blog who wants to read them for the 843,295th time, by all means do so.

      But it's nice to know that "bobsomerby" reads other people's comboxes, and even comes off his high horse to respond to the "rubes" there.

      Uusually, however, he steers clear because he seems to get his clock cleaned by people who seem to think he's an obsessed old coot who hasn't said anything original in 15 years. Where would they get such an idea?

    3. Cue the Bobfans:

      "Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Oh yeah? Well if he's so awful what are YOU doing here? Gotcha, didn't I?

      "I want my mommy! I want my blankie! Waaah, Waaah!"(sniffles and wipes nose with back of hand).

    4. I am not a Bob fan @ 10:24. Your first fictional response was a fairly accurate rendition of the work of those in that category who are not particularly bright. The second, however, indicates you want to join them.

      Please, Somerby does enough real denigration of people younger than he is. Commenters do not need to add to it
      by pretending the reason people write things they disagree with is because of actual or imagined immaturity.

    5. Just be patient. One day soon, Digby will criticize Dowd. At Hullabaloo and at Salon!

    6. 10:24, I make no denigration of the younger than me. Somerby has also long proven that even aging baby boomers can throw 15-year temper tantrums when the world and everybody in it doesn't line up exactly the way he wants it to.

      That is indeed an indication of a very immature mind, with out regard to the age of the body in which it is housed.

    7. Excuse me. The above was directed at 10:40

  9. OMB (All Praise the Incredible Wisdom of the OTB)

    "Like earth girls, we liberals are very easy. The conservative world would never tolerate what the Washington Post has been doing. The conservative world would never accept the lunacy of a hustler like Matthews, the craziness of Dowd."

    Of course it is generally only the conservative world, along with BOB, that considers Matthews and Dowd to be liberal. The liberal earth girls
    (and boys, too) have been calling them buffoons while BOB still calls them influential.

    BTW, a reminder we feel it necessary to make from time to time, we do not perform abductions of humans from your planet. Neither do we
    call all of you dumb or any of you easy.


    1. You aren't welcome here. Go away.

    2. Tell me what you mean by here, 12:42. Is "here" the place where Somerby says liberals should be like conservatives, as KZ quotes him here? Or is it where he says liberal culture is crumbling because they act too much like conservatives.

    3. KZ is of course correct. The labels "liberal" and "conservative" often tell us more about the person doing the labeling than the person labeled.

      I consider Dowd to be a gossip columnist with absolutely no discernible core priniples, "liberal" or "conservative", whatsoever.

      I consider Matthews to be somewhat right-of-center pundit whose principles seem to bend easily in whatever direction he perceives the wind to be blowing.

      And both descriptions tell you something about where I stand on the political spectrum, don't they?

    4. KZ is a schizophrenic person with an unreasoning dislike of Somerby and an obsession with proving him a hypocrite. He is not right about anything. Saying that he is correct and otherwise paying him fawning compliments is a sign that you are KZ because no one else here feels that way about him. Go away, you piece of crap.

    5. "Somerby is a schizophrenic person with an unreasoning dislike of Rachel Maddow and an obsession with proving her a hyporcite. He is not right about anything. Saying he is correct and otherwise paying him fawning compliments is a sign that you are Somerby because no one else here feels that way about him, Go away, you piece of crap."

      Gee, that seems to work, too!

    6. KZ, everyone here knows you hate Somerby. Just go away and let the adults carry on their conversations. No one wants you to be here. Go away.

    7. " ... and let the adults carry on their conversations."

      What's that got to do with you 1:28?

  10. I'm so bored with H. Clinton. Seriously, she's once again anointed by the very press that is supposed to loathe her. And i'm told, either support her or the fascists win.

    I won't vote for her. Her support of the death penalty AND the Iraq war make it clear i cannot vote for her.

    Right now no one is running, it's all hypothetical. Seems Bob wants Hillary. I don't. I want Russ Fiengold

    1. Well, nobody has officially declared their candidacy yet. But the ones with presidential aspirations are certainly running, raising money and booking trips to Iowa and New Hampshire.

      Rand Paul was in Iowa just this week, wasn't he? You think he went there to enjoy the fabulous July weather and those great Iowa golf courses?

  11. You know, urban, I'm going to agree with 6:44, the New Yorker, to this extend. If you are living in a deep blue or deep red state, go ahead and cast your vanity vote.

    But in another state? Put some thought into it at least. For example, if you a member of the Green Party, wouldn't you want to vote for a super-strong evironmentalist rather than a guy who wasn't even a registered member of your own party who really never even said much about the environment in his life, let alone did anything?

    As for "Nader cost Gore Florida" well yes, but so did 999,999 other things. This is the oversimplistic reasoning Somerby employs when he blames ONLY the "War on Gore" and "liberal pundits" and their "code of silence" for not rushing to Gore's defense.

    This is why no serious publisher has ever touched Somerby's "book" which still sits on this very blog unfinished.

    That, and the fact that the book is horribly written.

  12. Whatever happened to the Green Party anyway? They were soooo 1990s.

    I kept hearing back then how they were building their movement at the grassroots, and even winning city council seats here and there. Then they nominated the famous Nader -- twice -- instead of some person nobody ever heard of in hopes of doing a Ross Perot and reaching the 5 percent vote threshhold necessary to trigger federal campaign funds.

    Well, they failed to do that. And now the party is hard to find.

  13. Yes, Drum has gone on the record. But for the record, can anyone give a link, title, or date of a TDH post in which this lead boast can be verified?

    "Exactly as we predicted, Kevin Drum has gone on the record concerning the Clinton coverage."

    1. Excessive literalism is a symptom of mental illness or brain injury.

    2. "No" would have taken less effort than projection.