Julie Pace earns her stripes!


Part 4—Young scribe showered with praise: When pundits are forced to discuss their own conduct, they rarely try to say what they actually know or believe.

Instead, they throw the gorilla dust, attempting to obscure the behavior of their colleagues and friends. This helps explain what happened last week on two different Morning Joe programs.

Breaking the rules of pundit decorum, Mark Halperin offered a stinging portrait of the way the press covers Hillary Clinton.

You aren’t supposed to do such things. Halperin did it twice!

“She has a lot of positive attributes that are currently just being overwhelmed by all this negative coverage,” Halperin said on Tuesday, July 22. “And it’s going to keep going...The press loves to cover her hard.”

Three days later, Halperin extended his indictment. According to Halperin, Clinton “is destined to get horrible coverage if she runs for president.”

Pundits aren’t supposed to say such things about the work of the press! And so, on Tuesday morning’s program, other scribes swung into action.

No one really disputed the claim that Clinton gets negative coverage. Indeed, Mike Barnacle and Mika Brzezinski rather explicitly seemed to agree with this unpleasant assessment (for text, see below).

That’s when the gorilla dust started to fly! Morning Joe pundits feigned incomprehension as to why they include “a negative twist” in all their coverage of Hillary Clinton. The pundits seemed baffled by their own conduct!

Early on, though, Mika Brzezinski took a different tack.

How faux will the pseudo-discussions be when pundits pretend to assess their own conduct? As we noted yesterday, Brzezinski made an absurd suggestion as to how Clinton could have overcome the negative treatment of her speaking fees.

Brzezinski made an absurd suggestion. Let’s recall what she said:
BRZEZINSKI (7/22/14): Eugene and Julie—Eugene first.

I’m just wondering, because in retrospect there was one thing I thought about that actually made me feel really good about the amount of her speaking fees that she was raking in. I’m just wondering if she could have deflected positively, Eugene, and said something like, “Well, aren’t you, aren’t you happy for me as a woman? Aren’t you glad that a woman can command such unbelievable speaking fees? And what men can do that, by the way? We are in a new era and I am at the front of that line.”

What would be wrong with talking about the role of women in society, equal pay, and also women doing as well as men and sometimes outrageously well?
According to Mika, that’s what Clinton should have said about the monstrous fees she has been “raking in.”

Can we talk? Clinton has a slight tin ear when it comes to such discussions. But even Clinton would never make a statement as absurd as the one Mika suggested.

To state the obvious, the pundit corps would massacre Clinton if she made such a statement. No sane person would be so dumb as to say what Mika suggested.

Mika’s idea was completely absurd. Rather than say so, Gene Robinson chose to obey the rules of upper-end pundit culture.

Indeed, Robinson went for the hat trick this day. Let's preview his steps:

First, he agreed with Mika’s absurd suggestion. Then, he introduced a “negative twist” of his own about Clinton.

He ended by feigning incomprehension about the press corps’ view of the Clintons. Robinson is thoroughly bright. This passage is thoroughly faux:
ROBINSON (continuing directly): I think that certainly would have been a better line than the one she’s taken, which is just to kind of be buffeted around by it and pretend that she’s not making all that money, which she is. You know, it is kind of ironic, the scrutiny of the Clintons’ personal finances. You know, they—she was born to not great wealth, but she was comfortable growing up, but not fantastically wealthy or anything. The Clintons have worked very hard and have made a lot of money and that’s supposed to be something I thought that people respected and admired. It’s the American way. Yet, they’re the Clintons. And you know, if you look up the phrase “lightning rod” in the dictionary, I suspect you see pictures of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
What should Hillary Clinton have said about her speaking fees? In the way Barnacle later described, Robinson added a “negative note” in his response to Mika.

First, he pretended that Mika’s suggestion made good sense. But then, he added a bogus claim about what Clinton was saying.

As of July 22, it was absurd to say that Clinton was “pretend[ing] that she’s not making all that money, while she is.” But so what? Robinson added that “negative twist” as he deferred to Mika.

He then feigned incomprehension about the reasons for the Clintons’ negative coverage. They’re lightning rods, the pundit said, forgetting to say why he and his colleagues react to the Clintons that way.

Robinson had gone for the hat trick. It’s important that we grasp an essential point:

Robinson wasn’t being sincere when he offered that statement. He wasn’t saying the actual things he thinks, knows and believes.

He was keeping viewers in the dark about the conduct of his guild—and this was deliberate conduct. This is how pundits always behave on the rare occasions when they’re forced to pretend to discuss their own conduct.

These same discussions occurred in 1999, when Howard Kurtz asked two panels of pundits to explain the “harsh coverage and punditry” being dumped on Candidate Gore.

Then as now, no one disputed the claim that the “harsh coverage” was occurring. But the pundits were completely unable to explain the behavior of their colleagues and friends!

These pseudo-discussions are utterly faux. Consider what happened on Morning Joe when one of the insider pundits put Julie Pace on the spot.

Mike Barnacle is 70 years old. He has been a major insider since the dawn of time.

Julie Pace (Northwestern 2004) is maybe 31. She’s a youngish reporter for the AP. To judge from her many cable appearances, including on Fox, she’s very much on the way up.

After Robinson’s presentation, Barnacle put Pace on the spot. He agreed that he and his colleagues do in fact add a “negative note” whenever they discuss Clinton.

Surely, Barnacle must have some idea as to why this misconduct occurs. But instead of stating his view on the matter, he asked the much younger AP reporter to explain his own misbehavior.

Sure enough! When Barnacle put Pace on the spot, the young scribe knew what to do. In this passage, a young reporter who’s on the way up can be seen earning her stripes:
BARNACLE (continuing directly): Julie, I don’t want to put you on the spot. You know, you’re a reporter. And I don’t want to really put you on the spot...

But I’m wondering if you have any sense of why, or how, everything about Hillary Clinton, in terms of media coverage—that’s us! that’s you and me, it’s Mark, it’s Willie, it’s Mika—seems to have like a negative note contained in it.

BRZEZINSKI: Twist, yeah!

PACE: Well, I would say one thing first. When she was secretary of state, she actually did get quite favorable coverage. And her team has talked about this, how they enjoyed working with the State Department press corps, they felt like they were a serious group of reporters, they focused on policy.

You know, she is shifting from diplomatic press to political press, and those are different stories. They’re different reporters, and they’re just different story lines.

And I think that, in terms of the coverage of her wealth in particular, we have to remember that a lot of this goes back to the way that she responded to the questions. We all knew that the Clintons had a lot of money—that they were raking in big speaking fees. But it was the way that she approached the topic, the way that she tried to explain it to people, that started to draw a lot of the criticism.

Also, you know, this is politics. This is how politicians are covered. At this point on the Democratic side, she is the clear front-runner. On the Republican side, it’s a wider field. So as that field starts to narrow, I think you’re going to see similarly intense coverage of those candidates.
Barnacle completely agreed with Halperin’s stinging indictment. Then he threw to the much younger Pace and she explained it away!

Pace began by saying that Clinton got favorable coverage when she was secretary of state. That may or may not be true, but the question concerns the way she’s being treated as a presumptive candidate.

Pace had an answer for that. The political press has “different stories. They’re different reporters, and they’re just different story lines.”

It’s not entirely clear what that means. But Barnacle had just finished saying that the political press, himself included, adds “a negative note” to all its coverage of Clinton.

Pace didn’t respond to that statement. But in regard to the treatment of Clinton’s wealth, Pace knew how to explain that away: Clinton had made them do it!

“A lot of this goes back to the way that she responded to the questions,” Pace said. “It was the way that she approached the topic, the way that she tried to explain it to people, that started to draw a lot of the criticism.”

Pace repeated Mika’s language about the way the Clintons are “raking in” big fees. She didn’t explain why questions about personal wealth were being asked in interviews concerning a book about the State Department.

Why were questions being asked about Clinton's wealth at all? Why have press reactions to Clinton’s one statement been so widespread and so extreme?

Clinton made us do it, Pace said. But Pace had one more thing to say about the way Clinton is being covered:

“This is politics,” she said. “This is how politicians are covered.”

In fact, we know of no politician who has ever been covered this way, especially when she wasn’t an actual candidate and no campaign was occurring. Consider a recent example:

In 2007, Rudy Giuliani was a declared presidential candidate. The campaign was fully underway. Giuliani was the runway front-runner in the Republican polls.

But how odd! The press corps paid almost no attention to Giuliani’s very large speaking fees, or to the plainly inaccurate things he had said about them. Plainly, this isn’t the way politicians were covered in that recent instance. (For links, see below.)

Julie Pace had given the press corps a clean bill of health! In effect, she disagreed with everything Mike and Mika had just finished saying.

Mike and Mika, two major insiders, had seemed to say that they and their kind add “a negative twist” whenever they discuss Clinton. Moments before, the baffled Robinson had seemed to provide an example.

Julie Pace washed their sins away! And if you review the videotape, you’ll hear the ironic applause from Mike and Mika as her statement ended.

You can hear their tone on the videotape. As Pace completed her whitewash, they offered ironic praise:
BRZEZINSKI (continuing directly): Well handled, Julie! All right, still ahead on Morning Joe—

BARNACLE: Good job! Yeah!
Their irony wasn’t cloaked or disguised. If you listen to the tape, you can hear the irony from the old pros as the youngster who’s on the way up earned her stripes this day.

Mika is paid $2 million per year to stage these phony discussions. Needless to say, she is concerned about the large fees Hillary Clinton is raking!

In the case of Giuliani: Is this “how politicians are covered?” Pace’s whitewash to the side, we’d pretty much have to say no.

In 2007, this isn’t the way Candidate Giuliani was covered. He too had gained a lot of wealth from very large speaking fees. In his case, he had made overt misstatements about his speaking fees.

Unlike Clinton, he was a declared candidate in a race which was fully underway. He was way ahead in the GOP polls—and the press corps barely batted an eye about his speaking fees.

We covered this topic on July 17. To read that report, click here.

On July 22, Eric Boehlert went into a bit more detail at Media Matters. Our analysts love their Uncle Eric. To read his report, click this.

A few hours earlier, Pace had said that all politicians get covered this way. We’d say her statement was rather shaky—although, on the brighter side, she did earn her stripes that day.


  1. "In fact, we know of no politician who has ever been covered this way, especially when she wasn’t an actual candidate and no campaign was occurring."

    Then he cites one, and notice how he pretends there was "little or no coverage" of Guiliani's speaking fees, several days after several links to such non-coverage were already given to him.

    Rudy was considered the GOP front-runner before he announced, and that was backed up by the polls. Then he tumbled like a rock for very reasons. And not the least of which was the fortune he amassed speaking about 9/11.

    Was it Joe Biden who lampooned a Rudy sentence as "a noun, a verb, and 9/11"?

    1. I don't believe Somerby said there was no criticism of Guiliani, but rather that the level of coverage was not the same. Unless you are arguing that Guiliani's speaking fees were a big deal on the morning shoes and preempted any discussion of his campaign itself, I don't see this as equivalent coverage.

      Accusing Guiliani of making hay off 9/11 is not the same as criticizing the amount of money he was making by charging large fees. Clinton is not being attacked for what she says in her speeches, but for the fact of being paid to give them.

    2. "I don't believe Somerby said there was no criticism of Guiliani, but rather that the level of coverage was not the same."

      Then it is up to Somerby to support his assumption with objective evidence, rather than merely state it because it fits his narrative so well.

      A simple google search of "guiliani speaking fees" shows there was quite extensively covered of it, including fees he was charging to college, including a major brouhaha from a fellow Republican who demanded he refund one of the fees charged to a college in his state.

      As for "making hay off 9/11" yes, that was covered quite extensively, too, and it pretty well lines up with Hillary making hay off her celebrity as well, though to my knowledge, she has never been accused of exploiting a national tragedy for personal gain as Rudy was.

      And on the broader topic, a candidate's wealth and how he obtained it has long been a topic for discussion, and that includes Edwards, Kerry, McCain and Romney very recently.

      I guess we could continue to debate how each "rose to the level" of others, or how early it began. But we can't flatly state, as Somerby does, that it was "little to no coverage" and pretend it didn't happen.

      That just simply isn't honest.

    3. "The press corps paid almost no attention to Giuliani’s very large speaking fees, or to the plainly inaccurate things he had said about them."

      Utterly, completely, and baldly wrong!

    4. You may know, and Somerby surely should, that the person who tried to make the most out of Giuliani's speaking fees was Steve Benen, as a blogger and freelancer. He is now a producer of the Rachel Maddow Show and author of the Maddow Blog over at MSNBC.

      Should Maddow rise up with the defense Bob suggested she should make for Clinton, some would note the hypocrisy in her midst.

      Somerby suggests the media is either being hypocritical because they did not do more with Rudy's fees in 2007 or because, having done so little with Rudy in 2007 they have not let Hillary's fees pass with little comment now.

      Using that standard, given Benen's role in 2007 with Giuliani, the Rachel Maddow show is beign hypocritical not for not coming to Clinton's defense, but for not joining in raising quesstions, particularly when it comes to her speeches before plutocrat corporate clients.

    5. Benen frequently attacked Clinton and heavily supported Obama in 2008. Drum was more even-handed. Benen took over Drum's blog when Drum moved to Mother Jones. At that point, Benen banned people from comments who were critical of Obama. So, Benen doesn't like Hillary Clinton and is not going to encourage Maddow to defend her. You don't need a convoluted argument about hypocrisy and Giuliani to explain that.

  2. I don't think Halperin is actually criticizing the press. I think he is establishing a negative about Clinton, that she is inept and cannot handle the press the way a major candidate should. That message has appeared here in these comments, expressed by people ostensibly supportive of Clinton, which I think shows (1) that the message sent was received, and (2) that it is insidious because it appears plausible even to those who like Clinton.

    Is it true? That depends on whether there is any better way the press could be handled in these situations. Could Clinton do anything to stop the right from yelling about Benghazi? In your dreams! Can Clinton now do anything to stop the relentlessly negative coverage coming from the media in advance of any campaign announcement. I don't know what she could do.

    Failure to see that this is an orchestrated campaign against Clinton and not just reaction to a misstatement on her part will prevent liberals from advancing her candidacy, especially if they buy into the negative statements about her themselves.

    It must feel ever so fair and balanced to admit foibles on the part of a very popular potential candidate -- like you are being objective and non-partisan, but when the criticism is part of a very partisan attack on the candidate to weaken her eventual standing or perhaps even deter her from running, then this stuff is a great deal more sinister.

    So lets stop snickering at Hillary and help her out. She is our best shot in 2016. Warren is not going to run. Bernie Sanders hasn't got a chance. No one else has the same stature. We need to be supporting her not joining with the right and plutocrats to tear her down.

    1. "Bernie Sanders hasn't got a chance."

      I'm for Mayor...check that, Secretary Castro.

      We've never had an Hispanic President,,,nor a Castro.

    2. "No one else has the same stature."

      And there you have stumbled across the reason that Hillary Clinton is drawing so much media attention, so early.

      But don't tell Bob. It will ruin his conspiracy theory.

    3. But it isn't the role of the press to knock down the front runner of one of the main parties, especially not using manufactured lies. The press is supposed to report and analyze the positions of the candidates, not make up stuff about their clothes. It is not a sufficient explanation of press misbehavior to note that the target is leading a race.

    4. It is the role of the press to ask tough questions of everyone, and especially those with a good chance of becoming the next President of the United States.

      You can go ahead and pretend that the media never covers policy positions of the candidates and only focuses on trivialities such as clothes.

      But that only shows how lazy you are in this Information Age, and how gullible you are for anything Somerby is feeding you.

      Journalism is like any other profession. There are good ones, and bad ones. And in a country that prizes a free press, that requires you to separate the good from the bad.

      But then again, that's a lot more work than pretending it's all bad and wringing your hands about how helpless candidates are in the face of it.

  3. Let's go back. Way back. Before the interview with Diane Sawyer.

    Who brought up the issue of Clinton speaking fees? Mother Jones.
    Hardly a mainstream plutocrat publication.

    Why was Hillary doing an interview with ABC's lead anchor? Because she was announcing for President? Or trying to make money?

    Who arranged the interview? Is it Sawyer's job to fluff book sales or try and generate news?

    When Sawyer began recounting the reporting on her income, whose article was it obvious she was using? Time? Washington Post? Or Mother Jones?

    Who blurted out the we were broke line before she was asked a question?

    Who is the only undeclared candidate out there sucking up the oxygen of all the reporters who are dying for the next Presidential race to start? Who, after saying something "inartful", put herself on the broadcast interview circuit to keep getting asked a question about the most recent thing she had done to get in the news?

    Don't blame the victim? OK.

    Blame the politician for being unprepared and the press for being, well, the press. It is fine to compare the latter to a pack of poop sniffing canines. But somebody laid a pile out there for the dogs to sniff.

    Poor Hillary? She is still the leading contender for President. Can she be beaten? Yeah. Obama did it already and the contest was among people already predisposed to at least not hate Hillary Clinton. Most kind of liked her and still do.

    1. This is the point. The left shouldn't be doing the dirty work of the right.

  4. "Pundits aren’t supposed to say such things about the work of the press!"

    This is the biggest line of BS Somerby is selling. They do it all the time. They just generally avoid savaging themselves or their colleagues twice a day like Somerby does and would like them to do.

    They are no less resistant to admitting mistakes than Somerby himself.

    1. This is idiotic. There is a rule at most networks that pundits do not criticize the people on their same network, for example. That's why Maddow says such extravagantly positive things about Chris Matthews, her colleague, despite whatever her personal feelings about the man might be. It is plausible that this would extend to a hands-off attitude toward the major players across the profession. An occasional exception changes nothing about this. In law or medicine it is called professional courtesy and there is a similar reticence about ever criticizing the work of a colleague to a consumer.

      Somerby is explicitly a media critic. That means it is his role to criticize, unlike the various journalists who are his focus of attention. Your comment is akin to blaming a drama critic for not writing enough plays.

    2. You got your analogy bassackwards. Somerby's line, to continue your analogy, is that there are not enough playwrights condemning the bad work of other playwrights.

      Somerby may pretend to be a "media critic" and it is a handy line when he gets caught quite frequently with his pants around his ankle.

      But he is a very poor one, limiting his '"criticism" to a handful of preferred targets on one network and a couple of newspapers.

    3. The owner of a blog gets to write about whatever he wants. Nowhere does Somerby promise to cover the waterfront.

      My analogy doesn't work because playrights aren't supposed to be critical of each other as part of their job content, but journalists do define their purview as reporting on how campaigns are covered by fellow journalists. They write articles about it and books, going back to "The Making of a President" by Theodore White, about JFK. Somerby is criticizing their effectiveness at doing this part of their legitimate role.

      I really do not understand your insistence that if Somerby can be shown to be imperfect in any respect, that automatically invalidates everything he has ever said on any topic. Who thinks like that?

  5. You object to a literary device but do you disagree that Hillary is now being treated as Gore was? This is more press misbehavior and it isn't as important whether the press calls itself out, as that many others notice and loudly object so that Hillary is not swiftboated. rguing about who said what about Giuliani is irrelevant and distracts from awareness of the tactics being used, which may be the goal of these commenters.

    1. Don't even begin to think you can compare the coverage Hillary has received to the swiftboating of John Kerry.

      That was your classic Karl Rove tactic -- attack your opponent at his strongest point by proxies while your boy claims innocence as the mud flies.

    2. Hillary Clinton's strength has been her self-sacrificing efforts on behalf of women and children globally, working with non-profits. So this attack on her speaking and donations of fees to their foundation is a kind of swiftboating because it tries to turn that strength into a liability. How can someone who has worked so hard on charity issues be portrayed as grasping and acquisitive? It is every bit as outrageous as the attacks on Kerry's courage in war.

  6. Somebody please explain to me how mentioning Julie Pace's age and where and when she got her degree, and mentioning Mika's annual salary in any way supports Bob's preposterous presumption that the media is being much harder on Hillary today than they were on Rudy seven years ago.

    But then again Bob has long had a hangup about the age, gender, education and success of others.

  7. "....explain to me how mentioning Julie Pace's age and where and when she got her degree, and mentioning Mika's annual salary in any way supports Bob's preposterous presumption that the media is being much harder on Hillary today than they were on Rudy seven years ago."

    Who said it does. Show me an example where major media pundits point blank and quite candidly said that they intend to cover Rudy hard just because they feel like it. This post by Bob is about these major media players being totally incoherent trying to explain why they do it. Mika is paid a lot of money to be the fluff girl for the show's true STUD, Joe Scarborough. She says "wow" a lot in response to other guests comments. She reads other peoples editorials from major newspapers as well as any 7th grader I've known.

    1. Mentioning Julie Pace's age and when she got her degree further his theme that the new generation of journalists is continuing in the footsteps of the older generation, pursuing the same vedetta as the press who attacked Bill Clinton two decades ago (when these newer reporters were not even in college).

      Anon @8:58 asks how mentioning Pace's age furthers the argument that Clinton today is being treated differently than Giuliani was. I don't think Somerby offered Pace's age as evidence of that fact. This is Anon's construction.

      Somerby says: "In 2007, Rudy Giuliani was a declared presidential candidate. The campaign was fully underway. Giuliani was the runway front-runner in the Republican polls.

      But how odd! The press corps paid almost no attention to Giuliani’s very large speaking fees, or to the plainly inaccurate things he had said about them. Plainly, this isn’t the way politicians were covered in that recent instance. (For links, see below.)"

      Somerby critics say that Giuliani was criticized for his speaking fees (I think it was because he gave so many speeches calling attention to his 9/11 involvement). That makes no sense if Giuliani was (1) already a declared candidate, and (2) his speeches were part of his announced campaign. Candidates don't get large speaking fees -- they get campaign donations. They aren't engaging in work to generate personal income. They are running for office. The distinction between being a declared versus an undeclared candidate has legal implications for reporting on finances.

      That Giuliani was a declared candidate means you are comparing apples and oranges when comparing him to Clinton, who is undeclared and not campaigning. Somerby says people were less critical of his fees than hers DESPITE his being a declared candidate (which should have justified greater attention by Pace's logic). Commenters have offered a series of critical articles, but they largely focus on his use of 9/11, not his large fees -- a criticism that makes no sense in a campaign context where candidates are expected to raise as much money as possible and cannot divert funds for personal use without breaking laws.

      Somerby's point about Pace's age is that she wasn't around when attacking the Clintons became a tradition in the press. She is not the right person to be asked questions about why it is happening, especially when the people doing the asking should be answering it themselves. Pace's answer is ludicrous yet these more experienced pundits praise her for it. It is kabuki.

    2. "Who said it does."

      Well, Somerby apparently thinks that Pace's age and degree is somehow relevant to the way the media covered or didn't cover (to his liking) Guiliani seven years ago. Why even bring it up?

      By the way, I don't blame Bobfans for trying to deflect attention from Bob's core statement -- that Guiliani somehow got a pass from the media in 2007 that Hillary isn't getting now.

      Absolutely not true. The media went after Rudy on many fronts, including his speaking fees, and from frontrunner to also ran in nanoseconds.

      Pace's point that once the field is identified and narrowed, the media begins to turn the spotlight on frontrunners is spot on. It happened to Rudy. It also happened to Herman Cain during his brief time as the flavor of the month.

      They all get covered hard and frontrunners get covered especially hard. I would have it no other way, recognizing of course there are those who prefer tough coverage only of candidates they don't like, while their preferred candidates should be treated with kid gloves.

    3. "Mentioning Julie Pace's age and when she got her degree further his theme that the new generation of journalists is continuing in the footsteps of the older generation, pursuing the same vedetta as the press who attacked Bill Clinton two decades ago (when these newer reporters were not even in college)."

      If that's Somerby's point (and thank you once again for explaining what Somerby really, really means other than what he wrote), he's got to come up with more evidence to support Pace's alleged inherited vendetta against the Clintons besides her age and college degree.

      And I see nothing in Pace's answer as quoted by Bob to indicate she holds any animus whatsoever to the Clintons.

      But then again, Bob is a master at conjuring up what other people "seem" to say, suggest, or imply, no matter how far he's got to stretch and reach.

    4. Anon @10:33

      There is a difference between covering someone hard and making stuff up, focusing on trivialities while ignoring substance, promoting unsubstantiated garbage and even debunked lies long after they have been debunked, and so on. This is just unethical journalism.

    5. If it were true that the only media coverage out there is as you describe, then you'd have a point.

      But it's not true. It's just the line Somerby feeds his rubes.

      True, there is a lot of bad reporting. But there is also a lot of good reporting.

      If you and Somerby can't find the good reporting, well, that says a lot about you and Somerby.

  8. Rather than reach back seven years, we've got a pretty good recent example of a Republican whose coverage we can compare to Hillary's.

    Not so long ago, Chris Christie was considered to be an extremely strong candidate, even a strong frontrunner if you put any faith in very early polling, for his party's nomination in 2016, long before he declared his candidacy as well.

    What kind of pass has he gotten from the media?

    1. Good question. You can ask the same thing about Sarah Palin.

    2. Another good example.

      Palin was unheard of until McCain picked her to get the PUMA vote while appeasing the GOP right wing.

      At first there was there was "Palinmania" as they gushed over her convention speech. Then the media began taking a harder look, beginning with another rather comely and wealthy female network anchor who asked her such tricky, gotcha questions as "What newspapers do you read?"

      Then they started looking at that conventions speech and discovered that little of it was true, particularly the "Bridge to Nowhere" thing.

      And then so many dumb things kept rolling out of her mouth, reported by the media, that by mid-October she became a millstone around the ticket's neck.

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