Supplemental: Whoop, there it is!


Whitewater excitement revived:
Right on schedule, a new storyline has perhaps begun to emerge.

We refer to this Whitewater revival by Michael Isikoff, one-time Newsweek sleuth. Joe Conason’s rebuttal can be found at The National Memo.

Storylines arrive, then spread. This is a dangerous ball game.

We’ll suggest that you start by reading Conason’s piece. Let’s explain where he fits into this story:

In 1996, Gene Lyons published Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater. The book grew out of an earlier report by Lyons in Harpers.

(The venerable magazine also published Lyons’ book.)

Fools for Scandal described the way the New York Times and the Washington Post invented the Whitewater pseudo-scandal. In the year 2000, Lyons and Conason teamed to write The Hunting of the President, a more detailed study of the way the Republican establishment conned the mainstream press corps into pimping a decade of Clinton “scandals.”

As noted, Fools for Scandal appeared in 1996. Despite active promotion by Harpers, the career liberal world ran away from the naughty book, screaming and holding their keisters.

By then, everyone who was anyone had signed on to the various Clinton tales.

Until they got lucky in the matter of Miss Lewinsky, the long string of trumpeted scandals all turned out to be pseudo-scandals. But so what? From Howell Raines on through to Frank Rich, everyone purchased the poppycock.

Then, the real disaster:

Two weeks after impeachment failed, in March 1999, they turned their guns on Candidate Gore. Our geniuses spent the next twenty months inventing claims against him.

People are dead all over the world because this terrible conduct occurred. As this terrible conduct unfolded, people like Rich, Dionne and Alter all sat and watched, when they weren't joining in.

To this day, these upstanding citizens have never discussed the astonishing era in question—the era in which the many Clinton “scandals” gave way to the many Gore “lies.” To this day, the career liberal world has agreed that the public can’t be told about this astonishing era.

Darlings, it simply can’t be done! Too many big hitters were up to their ears in this embarrassing insider mess.

No one disgraced himself any more than Chris Matthews. Today, he’s Rachel Maddow’s “beloved colleague and pal,” a star of the corporate “liberal” world!

At any rate, Isikoff is back with his Whitewater tales; so is Brother Conason. History suggests that this won’t take us to a desirable place.

History suggests that this may result in new, improved “storylines.” History suggests that the “liberal world” will just sit there and take it.

Final point:

We can already hear them! We refer to those progressives who will have this reaction:

Good! This may knock Clinton out of the race! We’ll get a good strong progressive instead!

No one can save us from ourselves! The plutocrats have always relied on us for such reactions.

Clinton may not be your cup of tea; that is totally fine with us. But this sort of thing can’t be permitted.

How hard is it to understand that? Just amazingly hard...

Lawrence also helped the cause: In October 2000, Lawrence O’Donnell went on The McLaughlin Group to complain about Gore’s lies. His chosen example was utterly bogus, as had been clear for a year.

Lawrence remains an overt Clinton-hater. Clownishly, Matthews has flipped.

(In fairness, Lawrence says he was raised by marmots. That may provide an excuse.)


  1. Anyone who can't make Hillary more of a cup of tea than Rubio, Christie, Paul Ryan, Jeb Bush or whoever gets dredged up by the GOP in 2016 is just plain stupid. Support Bernie or Elizabeth, fine, and I am all for pushing her to the left, but they don't stand a chance under any circumstances of actually beating Hillary in primaries if she runs. We should learn Reagan's Rule for elections: Do not speak ill of another Democrat. Your candidate is better. That's OK, but not your candidate sucks.

    1. Digby has invited someone new to her blog to do her Hillary bashing for her. The storyline seems to be that Hillary is owned by Wall Street while Warren (who has done no major fundraising) is pure.

    2. @ 11:07 I appreciate the tip. This post focuses on the stellar work of the PCCC, whose leadership claims to have been the major force behind all those phone calls which elected Warren. I last recall them claiming to be the major force behind electing Obama
      until they turned on him months after his election. I believe they were the major force whose last claimed victory before that was the primary which sent Ned Lamont to the U.S. Senate.

      They are a force to be self reckoned with.

    3. Do you really think that internet liberals, who, next to the "MSM" and (maybe) blacks were Obama's most key supporters in '08, were anti-Hillary because she wasn't liberal enough? I don't. I think in Obama they found someone whom they could passionately support, while pretty much guaranteeing they would not get what they claimed they wanted: a fundamental change to the status quo. He was the perfect conventional candidate (he wouldn't rock the boat) wrapped in black skin (his very existence as the nominee gave the appearance that something radical and profound was afoot, even though it pretty clearly wasn't, when one examined what Obama said and the policies he advocated and attacked). He was a free ride for the kind of liberal with the time, education, and money to sit around on internet forums donating to his campaign and attacking his doubters. There is no free ride like that this time around. Warren is a boatrocker, a threat to the status quo. And it's hard to get excited about someone who might raise your taxes, someone genuinely committed to shaking up a system that has been pretty good to you, when all is said and done. Warren is too liberal for internet liberals. In fact, just about everyone named as a potential challenger is, except Biden, and Biden, as a white male, offers none of the thrills associated with groundbreaking that is required to excite the minds of the internet liberals, to convince them, once again, that they are (safe behind their keyboards) fighting some kind of heroic battle against ... well, something. Their own privilege and status, maybe? Hillary, this time around, is the only game in town who can offer a commitment to the system as-is, along with at least the appearance of radicalism. Unless a pro-choice gay midget with center-right economic policy positions (it would help if this mythical being were a woman, maybe a Hispanic, as long as she was the right kind of Hispanic) comes along to titillate the fancies of a certain kind of liberal, we won't see another 2007-2008. That's not to say Hillary is a mortal lock for the nomination, just that the kind of irrational zeal, the willful blindness that was the hallmark of Obama's 2008 base isn't going to be duplicated. Free rides don't come along often.

    4. Hillary offers competence. That means a lot given the challenges arising these days.

  2. Nice to see Somerby manage to shoehorn old Lawrence and the Marmots into this piece.

    I'll dredge up an oldie too. This is part of a comment we made at the previous post.

    Somerby first urges you to read a Conanson piece before perusing an Isikoff piece about former Whitewater prosecutor Robert Fiske's book. Conanson's first complaint:

    "Let’s begin with the headline, which struck me as misleading, perhaps intentionally. “First Whitewater Prosecutor Says ‘Serious Crimes’ Were Uncovered In Probe” is a statement carefully crafted to suggest that the investigation revealed felonies committed by either Bill or Hillary Clinton or both.

    If they wanted to suggest it, Mssrs. Somerby and Conanson, the headline writer could have deleted the word "First" and inserted the word "Clinton's." The entire paragraph stuck me as an example of Bob & friends doing exactly that which they profess to deplore.

    Tell me again. How much worse is it to invent quotation marks than to simply say someone implies, suggests, or seems to say something a Somerby, a Drum, of a Conanson wanted a journalist to say but they did not?

    1. Al Gore invented the quotation mark.

    2. Silly. Al didn't invent the quotation mark. The guy who invented it told a reporter who knew Al that he modeled the quotation mark on Al and a Harvard roomate of his. To be nice he also told the reporter
      that Tipper inspired the exclamation point. Al just passed these facts on in a casual conversation while picking fruit off another reporter's plate. A quarter of a century later.

    3. Which shows that we each have a different creative process.

    4. As long as you recognize the inherent evil of processed foods, some differences can be tolerated.

  3. Under any interpretation, this event reflects badly for Bill and Hillary Clinton. There were only four partners in Whitewater: Bill, Hillary, and Jim and Susan Mcdougal. Jim and Susan both served prison time for their crimes. Even if Bill and Hillary committed no crimes themselves, they either knew about what their partners were doing and allowed it to continue, or they were remarkably obtuse. I don't know which is worse.

    1. You just make this stuff up, don't you? You "know" that Bill and Hillary knew about the crimes? Did you know about the crimes as well? Why didn't you speak up?

  4. Being willfully ignorant is worse. Take that to heart.

    1. "Take that to heart."

      Assuming facts not in evidence.

    2. What does any of this have to do with the price of eggs? Or cattle futures?

    3. Bob was right about the plutocrats game. Look at 11:38 dredging up that old beef against Hillary in an effort to weaken her with the Vegan-American community.


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