EVERYBODY LOVES A CHARADE: Howard Dean says what the New York Times does!

FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 2015

Part 5—Everyday people push back:
Paul Krugman’s portrait is sad but true in today’s New York Times.

At the end of his latest column, Krugman looks into the future. As he does, he employs a key word:

“Pundits will try to pretend that we’re having a serious policy debate, but, as far as issues go, 2016 is already set up to be the election of the living dead.”

The key word there is “pretend.” We’ve been using that word all week. Here’s why:

In an astounding amount of our public discourse, our “journalists” seem to be pretending. Sometimes, they pretend that they’re discussing real issues. On other occasions, they pretend that they’re telling us what they think.

In our view, a lot of pretending seems to exist in Jo Becker’s front-page report in today’s New York Times. The exciting piece, which was instantly famous, is 4400 words long.

In it, Becker pretends to examine past conduct by Candidate Clinton.

The last two mornings, we’ve watched the gang on Morning Joe pretend to discuss this front-page report. Yesterday morning, they all acknowledged that they hadn’t yet read the exciting report which they were pretending to discuss.

In our view, Becker does a lot of pretending in her long “news report.” So did Willie Haskell-Geist as he ridiculed the absurd idea that the New York Times, of all publications, could possibly have an anti-Clinton animus.

Mika and Joe also pretended to find that idea absurd. These are the wages of twenty-three years of silence by our top corporate pseudo-liberals.

Alas! All next week, we expect to discuss Becker’s front-page pseudo-report. We also expect to review the palaver churned on Morning Joe, where Howard Dean’s unusual comments went to the remainders bin.

Uh-oh! Yesterday morning, Dean made some unusual comments about the glorious Times! He didn’t seem to know the rules—comments like his are not allowed when high-ranking pundits pretend to discuss the news.

Dean said the things you mustn’t say about the New York Times! As a result, he fought off complaints from Times reporter Jeremy Peters, who pretended to be offended by Dean’s offensive remarks.

In the part of the segment shown below, Scarborough pretends to be offended by Dean’s remarks. To watch the fuller exchange, click here:
DEAN (4/23/15): First of all, I haven’t seen the story and neither have you, right?...I will say, there is an epidemic of really sloppy reporting that goes from the top to the bottom...I’d like to see what all the facts are here, because so far we haven’t really seen—

SCARBOROUGH: Why don’t you read the story before accusing the New York Times of being sloppy?

DEAN: Because in general, the New York Times has been sloppy, particularly their political writers. I use the New York Times as an example in journalism classes, because by the fifth paragraph in any political story—we can probably find one right here, whatever the political story on the front page is. By the fifth paragraph, they’re substituting their judgment for news.

SCARBOROUGH: Howard, I just got to say. I consider you a good friend of mine. I think it is unbecoming for you to come on this show and, and to just reflexively attack everybody who tries to bring up any information that goes against what you want people to hear about Hillary Clinton.

DEAN: They did it to George W. Bush! That’s what they do.
To state the obvious, that is what the New York Times does! In 2008, we spent a week on the topic when they somehow got it into their heads that Candidate McCain was having a steamy sex affair.

To read those reports, click here. But that is what the New York Times does. They do it all the time!

Let's review:

The rest of the gang was pretending to discuss a report they hadn’t yet read. Spoiling the fun, Howard Dean made some accurate statements.

He didn’t seem to understand—within the business, you aren’t supposed to make accurate statements about the New York Times. Rachel, Chris and Joan won’t do it. Yesterday, Howard Dean did!

Next week, we expect to review that front-page “news report.” We’ll also take a fuller look at the pseudo-conversations which occurred when Mika, Willie and Joe pretended to voice their heartfelt concerns about the deeply troubling things they hadn’t yet actually read.

For now, we’ll only say this:

Over the course of the past several decades, everyone within the guild has obeyed the rules Dean broke. They’ve agreed to withhold the basic truth about the ridiculous work of the Times, especially about its long, peculiar war against both Clintons and Gore.

Rachel won’t discuss it with you; she's too busy clowning. Hayes won’t tell you. Joan Walsh spends most of her time folding Matthews’ ascots.

None of those people are going to teach you how to push back against the terrible, ludicrous people who type for the New York Times.

On Sunday, Bruni and Dowd wrote ridiculous columns about Candidate Clinton. As they did, they kicked off the new charade, in which the press will pretend to discuss our election for the next nineteen months.

Bruni pretended that he was “confused” by the least confusing term on earth. Dowd continued the visibly crazy gender-lunacy she has directed at Democrats for the past twenty years.

Your favorite “liberals” have never pushed back against any of this. Within the business, such pushback isn’t allowed.

Grasping stars like Rachel Maddow will not defend your interests. More specifically, they won’t criticize the ludicrous work done by this empty “newspaper.”

Climbers like Maddow have always played you. Last Sunday, some others pushed back.

In comments, an assortment of “everyday Americans” pushed back against the clowning of Bruni and Dowd. There certainly weren’t enough of these people. Too many people simply can’t see that these famous columnists are typing away with no clothes.

That said, some everyday people have heard enough, even if Rachel hasn’t. From New York City, a reader of Bruni’s drivel said this:
COMMENT FROM NEW YORK CITY: The meaning of “everyday Americans?” This, in the Sunday edition of the most important op-ed page in the world? With so much at stake? I don't get it.
Others thought that important newspaper wanted to be something else:
COMMENT FROM NEW MEXICO: If you want to criticize her, pick something substantive. Her credentials deserve better than nitpicking over her eating at Chipotle and driving in a “Scooby van.” Does the NYT really need to be the People Magazine of politics?

COMMENT FROM FLORIDA: When I saw the security camera footage of Sen. Clinton in a Chipotle, I knew the media had lost its collective mind...How can we take the news media's stewardship of our election process seriously if they can't stop acting like they are TMZ?
Quite a few commenters made a foolish request. Foolishly, they asked Bruni to focus on matters of substance:
COMMENT FROM NORTH CAROLINA: How many daze (pun intended) left until the presidential election and how many pundits’ columns do with have to endure outlining their personality traits? Who cares?

COMMENT FROM CALIFORNIA: Let's assume that everything Bruni says about the potential nominees is true. What then do we learn about them? Precious little. Reading Bruni won't help you to understand anything about their politics, their plans and agendas, their understanding of the many serious problems that Americans, of the everyday kind and all others, must deal with...If you want to know what's wrong with the way journalists write about American politics, read columns like this one.

COMMENT FROM ARIZONA: This is just another tedious look at a viable candidate who happens to be a very qualified woman, but is taken apart by various NYTimes columnists for superficial issues like her gender, her age, and the goofy name of her bus. Where are the substantive discussions about the real problems that plague us in 2015?

COMMENT FROM WISCONSIN: Frank, you and your colleagues are not helping matters by focusing on the theater of the campaign and not on the issues. It is a long campaign, and I am sorry that we have this sort of system for electing a president. But it is made more exasperating by columns like this one and others.

COMMENT FROM NEW YORK: As John Lennon sang: “Just give me some truth.” Please no more personality driven columns. We need a discussion of the issues first and foremost.
Commenters, please. Fat chance! Upper-end slackers like Bruni and Dowd don't care about matters of substance!

Many readers tore their hair at the thought of reading such columns for nineteen more months. Others lobbed the nastiest insult of all. They said Bruni’s column made them think they were reading a column by Dowd:
COMMENT FROM MASSACHUSETTS: Frank, I thought I was reading a continuation of Maureen’s column until you finally got to comparing presidential candidate debut weeks across both parties...But what your column, as well as Ms. Dowd's, has done for me is this: get already good and fed up with campaign coverage.

COMMENT FROM VIRGINIA: Bruni, why don't you talk about the issues instead? You're just as bad as Maureen Dowd in your focus on trivial campaign stuff.

COMMENT FROM VIRGINIA: Good grief, now Mr. Bruni proclaims that he doesn't know what Hillary meant by saying she would work for “everyday Americans!”...Next up, must reading for me: Maureen Dowd's Granny Get Your Gun. I am quite sure that her guns are loaded with acid galore, with an added coating of poison.
Beneath Dowd’s column, many readers complained about her reference to Obama as “a feminized man.” Others complained about the relentless repetition of her Hillary-hatred.

One reader tried to be clever. Given the craziness of the target, this will never work:
COMMENT FROM CALIFORNIA: Surely this must be a prank by the editors. It is inconceivable that Ms. Dowd could actually write yet another column bashing Hillary Clinton. It just cannot be that Ms. Dowd has no one and nothing else to blow curare darts at except Mrs. Clinton. The "Bash Hillary" column by Dowd has become a never-ending Mobius strip that we all have ridden in circles for years now. This must be a belated April Fools' Day prank by Dowd.
Actually, it’s a long-running rat-fuck by the peculiar life-forms who run the New York Times. They’re terrible people, if they’re actually people at all. But they do have a great deal of power.

They’ve been running their assorted rat-fucks for decades now. For twenty-three years, they’ve had an unexplored, unchallenged animus against the Clintons and Gore.

Everyone knows that this is the case. But Willie, Joe and Mika also know that they must pretend. They must pretend it's utterly silly to suggest such a thing!

It’s very, very, very rare to see someone like Dean speak up. Your darling Rachel won’t tell you the truth. Walsh and Hayes know they must be quiet.

Four cycles back, this gave us George Bush. The growing self-parody that is Dear Rachel is willing to do it again.

Tomorrow: What Gladstone thinks she’s been hearing


  1. Somerby has spoken. The NYTimes article is not to be taken seriously. It's just Jo Becker pretending to examine past conduct by HRC.

    It's also 4,400 words!! Not sure why that's relevant, but no doubt all will made clear soon by one of Somerby's tightly written, lucid and concise pieces.

    1. Let help you out there dummy. It's 4400 words of pure unadulterated bullshit. That's a lot of ink spent to defame and smear with innuendo a very worrisome candidate. The fact that it took 4400 words to prove nothing but your own hard on for Hillary is very relevant.

    2. mm. Thanks for clarifying it. Pure, unadulterated bullshit. And you know that because....?

    3. He once did actuarial tables for a company which held mining rights to 25% of our undadulterated Bullshit deposits.

      Or was that David InCal?

    4. “In our view, a lot of pretending seems to exist in Jo Becker’s front-page report in today’s New York Times.”

      “In it, Becker pretends to examine past conduct by Candidate Clinton.”

      “In our view, Becker does a lot of pretending in her long ‘news report.’”

      “Alas! All next week, we expect to discuss Becker’s front-page pseudo-report.”

      Now that is some grade A quality bullshit.

      Bob's gotta hang it up already.

    5. @ 2:23 cut the pretense and say what you seem to think.

    6. "A book that has not yet been published has caused the New York Times to publish a wildly speculative, innuendo-laced article about the Clinton Foundation and my role in contributing money to it. There is not one shred of evidence to back up the Times' conclusions. This is not about me, but rather an attempt to tear down Secretary Clinton and her presidential campaign. If this is what passes for investigative journalism in the United States, it is very sad. The facts do not comport with the story in the New York Times. The reporter, Jo Becker, wrote a similar piece in 2008, which was eventually debunked by Forbes." Frank Giustra

      And here is the Forbes article which debunked Becker's story in 2008!


    7. Becker's story doesn't end in 2008.

  2. Today:

    "Actually, it’s a long-running rat-fuck by the imported alien life-forms who run the New York Times. They’re terrible people, if they’re people at all. But they do have a great deal of power.

    They’ve been running their assorted rat-fucks for decades now. For twenty-three years, they’ve had an unexplored, unchallenged animus against the Clintons and Gore.

    Everyone knows that this is the case."


    "The American public has never been told about the press corps’ astounding behavior in that history-changing campaign."

    We the people may be dumb. But, like everyone, we know! Overnight. We didn't even have to be told!

    1. Americans never heard the story about the press corps, but ever since Roswell they have known how to spot alien life forms when they see them.

      I will probably support Hillary while holding my nose. Despite the fact she will continue the free trade agreements which have allowed the importation of these alien life forms for too long.

    2. The blogger may be a little to deep for your level of reading comprehension. Why not try Dick and Jane and take it from there.

    3. It is interesting. It seems the text of the post has been changed. Wonder why that happened.

      Original Somerby:

      "Actually, it’s a long-running rat-fuck by the imported alien life-forms who run the New York Times."

      New, less confrontational Somerby:

      "Actually, it’s a long-running rat-fuck by the peculiar life-forms who run the New York Times."

      I wonder if the Conglomerates importing the aliens sent their coyotes over to Somerby's campus and threatened the analysts to get the terrible truth about where the Timesmen come from removed.

    4. Too deep indeed, mm.

      Deep Space Nine.

  3. I really would have separated this into two posts. One about the comments and one about the rat fucking. But that is just a small suggestion from a casual reader.

  4. "Joan Walsh spends most of her time folding Matthews’ ascots."


    1. Howard Dean has never mentioned the test score gains of black children. But he is from Vermont. And his wife dresses herself funny.

  5. Morning Joe was so horrendous the last couple of days, there's just too much despicable conduct to capture in one post.

    This morning, Donny Deutsch (Deutsch Inc.,a full service ad agency (creative, digital, media buying and planning, SEM, CRM, account planning, design, PR, production) in NYC & LA.) explained that even if the story was complete bullshit, which it was, it doesn't matter because "people are just too EXHAUSTED with these matters". So, in other words, it is her fault that she keeps getting attacked and smeared unfairly. My advise to Donny Deutsch (Deutsch Inc.,a full service ad agency (creative, digital, media buying and planning, SEM, CRM, account planning, design, PR, production) in NYC & LA.) is if he is so EXHAUSTED, he needs to go take a nap on the couch and stay away from punditry on Morning Joe, poor exhausted fella.

  6. "Quite a few commenters made a foolish request. Foolishly, they asked Bruni to focus on matters of substance"

    That is foolish. Everyone knows Bruni doesn't read his comments.

  7. We’ve never exactly understood Cornel West.

    We’ve never read his books. We’ve never heard anyone try to explain what it says in those books.

    Let's review:

    The rest of the gang was pretending to discuss a report they hadn’t yet read.

    1. anon 4:13, how many of these stupid snarky comments that appear in response to this post, and day after day, are from you? Could there be that many obnoxious nitwits out there?

    2. You answered your own question, AC.

    3. AC/MA is right. These stupid snarky comments get in the way of important posts noting that Maureen Dowd has written gender crazy stuff revealing she is nuts for twenty something years and people are too stupid to notice. Finally Somerby has pointed out Rachel. Joan, and Hayes say nothing about it and the people on Morning Joe are not smart.

      More of this and less of that I say.

    4. We know Somerby likes to point out things pseudo-liberals miss on FOX, like Cornwell West's important conversation with Hannity, which showed how stupid liberals can be but had some important things in it too.

      In that spirit, here is something that was on FOX Howler readers shouldn't miss. Good news for Hillary FOX viewers really needed to hear!


    5. anon 7:19, yeah, oneo f the many unfortunate things about life is tat there are all too many bnoxious nitwits out there. My less rhetorical questrion, though, wan't answered: how many f these repetitive snarks come specifically from anon 4:13? is it a daily occurrence? multiple times per day? and if so, what is it that he wants?

    6. I hope Anonymous @ 4:13 does not fall for the fake AC/MA. He/she should adopt the Somerby policy with regard to the other one. And perhaps already has.

    7. anon 11:24, not fake. Also, I am unable to fathom what you are saying.

  8. As a lifelong woman, I accept that women are not well suited for high office. Hillary Clinton is probably a wonderful grandmother, and she has performed admirably despite her many physical problems. But, in 2008, we saw that when she tries to be serious, she is readily disliked. When she tries to act like a normal person, she seems comical. There does not seem to be a middle ground, at least not for her. Dislikeable, or comical. Which type of candidate would make a good President? Neither, of course.

    1. Is it OK for Dowd to comment on other articles in the NYT?

    2. Ms. Dowd did not touch upon an important issue: Mrs. Clinton "standing by her man" during all of the times he has strayed. As a Baby Boomer and a woman, I would not want my daughter to have handled it the way Mrs. Clinton has. She needs to be a good role model for women in all ways, and in this regard she has let herself - and other women - down.

    3. I think she takes "for better or worse" very seriously.

    4. I took her at her word she wouldn't be no Tammy Wynette.

    5. Has Secretary Clinton ever distanced herself from President Clinton's conduct the way Al Gore had to back in 1999?

    6. You seem to have forgotten Clinton's high favorability ratings at the height of the so-called scandal. It was a mistake for Gore to have distanced himself. There was nothing for Hillary to run from.

    7. There is no doubt Gore faced a moment like those described in JFK's Profiles in Courage. He could have done the popular thing and jumped on the bandwagon of Clinton's high favorability ratings. He chose to take the courageous stand and put Joe Lieberman on the ticket.


    Let Hillary be Hillary and if that is a bit too much like royalty for some, that's their problem. We need someone that can get the job done. I don't care how arrogant, or non-average she is.

    Life has taught me that no one likes a high achiever. Hillary is a super high achiever. Personally, I don't have to like her. But I do have to respect her and trust her. I want Mr. Bruni and others to show me that I can do both, or not. She can wear her crown all she wants.

  10. Everyday CommenterApril 25, 2015 at 9:11 AM

    I'm really sorry to read all the Maureen bashing in these comments. It seems a lot of Democrats have already caved to a one-candidate coronation, whether they actually like Hillary or not. It's the effect of a party echo chamber, a failure to look at the bigger picture, the general election, all the independent voters out there who may not be as inclined to cut HC some slack. Maureen is just giving you a preview, a head's up, on why Hillary is perhaps not as likable as you, a loyal Democrat, want to believe. This assessment doesn't even include the Clinton penchant for stepping in it. Think about it. The election a year and a half away. Is it wise to put all your eggs in one basket, particularly a Clinton basket?

    I care a lot about the issues, which is why I'm not comfortable with a singular front-runner, and especially this front-runner. I'm still holding out hope for an alternative Democrat candidate, and thank you, Maureen, for reminding us why we should.

    1. All Clinton did was give us 8 years of peace and prosperity. Who would want more of that?

    2. I guess you got the memo: it's time to resurrect Bill Clinton after her failed 2008 adventure. No matter. Ms. Clinton will fail in her quest because of the the most sexist of reasons: She is not Bill. People liked him; they don't like her.

    3. Plenty of us like her. She got a larger popular vote than Obama.

      Trolls are revealing their true nature. They are Republican operatives trying to undermine Somerby's credibility, which suggests he has been saying things making it worth targeting him.

    4. Those damn trolls. Failing to realize Hillary must first be acknowledged as having conquered Obama (especially when you count Michigan and Florida where her nomination was stolen!) before she can go on to become the first woman President to succeed her husband in her own right.

    5. "They are Republican operatives trying to undermine Somerby's credibility . . ."


      Hell, if I were a "Republican operative," I'd fund this blog.

    6. Everyday Commenter,
      I don't think you need to be a Democrat to cave to a one-candidate coronation. Would I love to have a less corporate-owned nominee for President? Sure, but this is the USA, we don't get that choice.
      Also, at the end of the day Clinton should win the Presidency fairly easily. The alternative is a Republican, and no sentient human who cares about their future is dumb enough to pull that lever.
      I won't be voting for her, just as I didn't vote for Obama (because I don't vote for people who will sell me down the river for political expediency), but she's still better than any viable alternative in the current system.

    7. Sometimes when you put comments in reverse order you can see the sentiency flowing really clearly.

      "I won't be voting for her, just as I didn't vote for Obama... but she's still better than any viable alternative in the current system.

      The alternative is a Republican, and no sentient human who cares about their future is dumb enough to pull that lever."

      But a sentient human can elect not to vote? Or did you vote for Ralph Nader, by chance, in any election?

  11. A dictator is trying to buy yellow cake. This time from Dick Cheney's own back yard! Wonder why Saddam was too stupid to have Bill over for a lecture series.

    1. Don't you have a nice conservative site where you can type this crap?

    2. This isn't a nice conservative site?

    3. This site has never pretended to be nice.

  12. Many commenters here apparently do not like HRC very much. But I failed to notice that any of them specifically pointed out which of her policy stances actually offended them. These are the types of voters who would vote for a candidate (say, like W), who appears to be the kind of guy you would have over for a beer. In return, you get 9-11 and a pointless war in Iraq. Please vote for the candidate with the best *policies*, whether you "like" them personally or not. Thank you.