ENABLERS OF THE SCANDALOUS TIMES: Michael Tomasky rolls over and dies!

FRIDAY, MAY 15, 2015

Part 5—Let them save fewer lives:
How do “liberal” pundits react when the New York Times creates its deeply compromised “bombshell reports?”

More specifically, how do “liberal” pundits react when the bombshell reports in question are aimed at major figures from the more liberal party?

On Thursday morning, April 23, the New York Times filed its latest such report. That very night, it was described as a “bombshell report” by the fiery liberal Chris Hayes, who seemed deeply involved in seeing no evil at the glorious Times.

Please understand! The New York Times plays a major role in the lives of professional journalists, especially those of the “sensible center” or the mainstream left.

Journalistic careers run through the Times. So does the social standing of our fiery professional journalists.

Perhaps for those reasons, liberal pundits have been deeply involved, for the past several decades, in seeing no evil at the Times. And so it went when the clownish Jo Becker filed that “bombshell report.”

Pathetically, Hayes rushed onto the TV machine to praise the accuracy of the report. He even praised the apparent good faith the bombshell seemed to exhibit.

Predictably, Hayes listed the various things that “drive him crazy” or “drive him nuts” about Bill and Hillary Clinton. He mentioned nothing that “drives him nuts” about journalists like Becker.

Along with fellow liberal Michelle Goldberg, hayes ignored the bulk of the bombshell report. Instead, he focused on a minor section of the report which alleged a “disclosure problem” at the Clinton Foundation.

That’s the real problem, the two liberals cried, as they zeroed in on a six-paragraph section of a 75-paragraph report. But so it goes among career liberals when the Times plays its endless games, especially those involving the Clintons.

To date, the New York Times hasn’t accused the Clintons of deflating the Patriots’ footballs. If it ever advances that claim, you can count on this:

People like Hayes and Jonathan Chait will see no problem with such work. They’ll attack the Clintons in various ways—and they’ll persist in seeing no evil at the glorious Times.

The lack of pushback will be general among our top career liberals. Consider Michael Tomasky’s fiery reaction to the bombshell report.

Like Hayes and Chait, Tomasky is smart and well-informed. Standard excuses don’t apply here, as they do with so many upper-end journalists.

On April 28, Tomasky responded to the bombshell report in his regular column for The Daily Beast. By now, the Clinton Foundation had explained the alleged disclosure problem—the problem Hayes and Goldberg had managed to find so disturbing.

Tomasky started with that explanation. As he did, he made an instant mistake:
TOMASKY (4/28/15): And so you may have noticed that on Sunday, the acting CEO of the Clinton Foundation offered up an explanation as to why the famous $2.35 million from Frank Giustra was unreported: because the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership to which the money went was a Canadian entity, not an American one; and apparently, under Canadian law, such donors have a legal right to privacy. And finally, they set it up as Canadian so that other Canadians could contribute and receive the usual tax credit.

Okay, whatever. Sounds quasi-plausible, I guess. But to most of Washington and some unknown percentage of Americans, it’ll just sound complicated and fishy. And whether that skepticism is warranted or not, its existence is pretty obviously a fact that the Clintons will need to deal with, and they ought to deal with it sooner rather than later by announcing some clear, simple, new rules about what the foundation will and will not do if she becomes the president. They can make this issue, or “issue,” go away, if they want to.
Generously, Tomasky was willing to say that the foundation’s explanation “sounded semi-plausible”—or so he was willing to guess! It didn’t occur to him to ask how the Times had possibly gotten that wrong, along with everything else.

Next week, we’ll show you what happened later that week when Becker pretended to discuss the foundation’s explanation. For today, let’s consider the quality of Tomasky’s work as he considered this matter.

Uh-oh! Right in his opening sentence, Tomasky made a mistake.

According to Tomasky, the Clinton Foundation had explained “why the famous $2.35 million from Frank Giustra was unreported.”

That statement contained a mistake. However “famous” that donation was, it hadn’t come from Giustra!

This basic fact was perfectly clear in the New York Times bombshell report. Right in his opening sentence, Tomasky misreported this fact.

Everybody makes mistakes. In response to his, Tomasky posted a correction, though someone at The Daily Beast gave it a different name. And wouldn’t you know it? In his non-correction correction, Tomasky made yet another mistake!

Below, you see the way Tomasky’s piece appears at The Daily Beast today. Comically but pitifully, his correction is categorized as an UPDATE.

Pathetically, his UPDATE contain another blatant mistake:
TOMASKY: And so you may have noticed that on Sunday, the acting CEO of the Clinton Foundation offered up an explanation as to why the famous $2.35 million from Frank Giustra was unreported: because the Clinton-Giustra Enterprise Partnership to which the money went was a Canadian entity, not an American one; and apparently, under Canadian law, such donors have a legal right to privacy. And finally, they set it up as Canadian so that other Canadians could contribute and receive the usual tax credit.

UPDATE: The $2.35 million in question was not from Giustra. It came from Ian Telfer, a friend of Giustra's. Telfer also made other donations to the foundation of up to $5.6 million that according to The New York Times were reported

Okay, whatever. Sounds quasi-plausible, I guess. But to most of Washington and some unknown percentage of Americans, it’ll just sound complicated and fishy. And whether that skepticism is warranted or not, its existence is pretty obviously a fact that the Clintons will need to deal with...
That correction is really an UPDATE! Go ahead—you’re allowed to laugh!

As a courtesy, we’ll assume that someone other than Tomasky decided to call that correction an UPDATE. In line with something we noted above, the “journalist” who made that decision perhaps isn’t Chait-level smart.

Whatever! In the correction which posed as an UPDATE, Tomasky corrected his first mistake. As is perfectly clear in the bombshell report, the $2.35 million donation in question came from Telfer, not Giustra.

Everybody makes mistakes. This error wasn’t the end of the world—and as we’ve noted, Becker’s bombshell report wound on, at enormous length, in part to guarantee that no one would actually read it.

Still, we’d think a journalist would want to be careful in correcting such a mistake. For that reason, the analysts angrily threw their tablets down when they read Tomasky’s correction/UPDATE.

“Telfer also made other donations to the foundation of up to $5.6 million that according to The New York Times were reported,” Tomasky wrote. But that isn’t accurate either!

Below, you see the New York Times passage in question. The passage is easily found in a search of the bombshell report:
BECKER AND MCINTIRE (4/24/15): Mr. Telfer’s undisclosed donations came in addition to between $1.3 million and $5.6 million in contributions, which were reported, from a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia, the company that originally acquired Uranium One’s most valuable asset: the Kazakh mines. Without those assets, the Russians would have had no interest in the deal: “It wasn’t the goal to buy the Wyoming mines. The goal was to acquire the Kazakh assets, which are very good,” Mr. Novikov, the Rosatom spokesman, said in an interview.
Those other contributions, which were reported, didn’t come from Telfer. They came from “a constellation of people with ties to Uranium One or UrAsia.”

That mistake doesn’t matter much either. What does matter? The obvious lack of effort Tomasky devoted to this task—and his obvious, rather disgraceful, lack of fight or pushback.

Two weeks later, Tomasky showed up on the Fox News Channel. He guested on the new Howard Kurtz’s weekly program, MediaBuzz.

During a ten-minute discussion of this general topic, Tomasky voiced no complaints about the journalism of the New York Times. In fairness, he may not have been hugely familiar with that work, whether due to Manhattan’s social whirl or to some laziness issue.

More amazingly, Tomasky voiced no complaints about the work of Peter Schweizer, the hackish, journalistically compromised author of Clinton Cash. To watch the full segment, click here.

With her impeccable manners, Christina Bellantoni had joined the all new-and-reinvented Kurtz in signaling disgust with the fact that Bill Clinton had dared to challenge Schweizer’s glorious work. Mournfully, Tomasky lounged about for the full ten minutes, saying nothing about this.

That’s what we call seeing no evil! Seeing no evil at the Times, or even in the New York Times’ unusual business partners!

In such ways, our liberal pundits have long rolled over and showed the world that they’re secretly dead. By now, it’s a well-established part of career liberal culture.

It’s the way our compromised liberal pundits enable the culture of pseudo-scandal. They did this during the war against Gore. They continue to do it now.

How soft, how weak are our liberal pundits? Forget Tomasky’s laziness, errors and silence. Consider the solution he offered in the wake of the bombshell report.

The New York Times had pounded the Clintons for their latest very bad conduct. As cash flowed to their slimy foundation, they’d approved a scary uranium deal—a scary deal with the Russians! And not only that! Somewhere in Canada, someone’s donations to something or other hadn’t been disclosed, though Tomasky seemed to have no idea whose donations these were.

Whatever! We were stunned, perhaps disgusted, by the solution he quickly proposed. If this solution doesn’t bother you some, you too may be dead to the world:
TOMASKY (continuing from above): I’d like to see Bill and Hill, and I suppose even Chelsea since her name is on the thing too, stand up and give a press conference sometime in May or June where they say the following: Yes, first, let them remind everybody of the great work the foundation has done, the lives saved, the anti-HIV drugs dispensed, the water made potable, all that. All that stuff is real. Let them say they want the foundation to continue doing this important work.

But then let them say words to the effect: “However, we are aware of the appearances here involving some recent revelations. No one has found any smoking gun of a quid pro quo, and we’re confident no one will; but we agree the standard needs to be higher than that. The presidency can’t be compromised by appearances of conflict of interest. So here’s what we’re going to do, starting on X date”—while she’s still a candidate, way before she’s even president.

“We’re gonna downsize. We’re going to raise less, and we’re going to do less...”
Let them do less good in the world, the fiery progressive proposed! Let them save fewer lives!

Make less water potable! Let children shrivel and die! Let them say goodbye to “all that!”

Whatever happened to Michael Tomasky? Whatever it is, it seems to happen to all these folk in the end.

In the wake of the bombshell report, Tomasky couldn’t bring himself to criticize Becker’s gong-show “reporting.” Judging from appearances, he couldn’t even bring himself to read her endless report.

Appearing with the reinvented Kurtz, he couldn’t even bring himself to note the problems with Schweizer’s work! At that point, a liberal pundit has truly ceased to exist.

Here’s what he was able to do. Instantly, he was able to suggest that the Clintons help fewer poor people around the world! Instead of fighting back against power, he suggested that fewer lives should be saved, fewer drugs should be dispensed.

People are dead all over the world because of the way people like this ran and hid for two years during Campaign 2000. To Tomasky, that isn’t enough. From now on, fewer lives should be saved!

That error-riddled, UPDATED column struck us as borderline repellent the first time we read it. Last Sunday, we saw its author cower before the new, reinvented Kurtz.

Bellantoni’s manners were perfect that day. Tomasky rolled over and died.

This has gone on for the past twenty years; only your anger can stop it. President Walker is betting Koch money that this pathetic pseudo culture will persist for at least two more years.

Next week: The glorious Times pretends to discusses disclosure


  1. People are dead all over the world because of the war Hillary Clinton supported.

    People are broke all over the world because of the financial deregulation that Clinton and Gore supported.

    Millions of black people in America are in jail because of the omnibus crime bill Clinton and Gore supported.

    Millions of black kids --- black kids!! --- and white and brown kids too are malnourished and in deeper poverty because of the welfare "reform" Bill, Hillary and Al supported.

    Pardon me if I go hide in the woods. With "progressive interests" like these...

    1. Black kids are in poverty because of all the progress they are making which goes unreported. Don't you read? Idiot.


    2. Poverty rates for children were lower at the end of Clinton's terms than they are now, and were lower than at any time since the late 1970's. They declined substantially after Clinton left office until Bush reversed that trend. Rates increased substantially with the financial meltdown and recent recession but you cannot blame Bill Clinton for that.

      You can argue that clamping down on crime during a time period when violent crime was much more frequent was the wrong thing to do, but it seems like hindsight bias to me. Welfare reform isn't the reason kids are malnourished today. There have been severe cuts in social programs and you know it.

      You make it sound like because Hillary voted with most other Democrats to authorize the President to deal with Iraq (hopefully through negotiations and sanctions not war), she personally took a gun and shot a bunch of Iraqi's.

      I suppose you'll vote for Jeb instead. He didn't support his Brother's war. He said so, after saying he did, or he would have, or he might have but didn't at the time but does now, or wait, reverse that, turn it around, he doesn't want to have anything to do with the war, except he and his brother are both heroes. Yeah, that's your candidate. Or Bernie Sanders, who sat out the war in Vermont.

    3. Bush didn't produce the impoverished children, their unmarried drug addicted welfare-dependent baby mama and baby daddy did.

    4. I see VDARE had a snow day today.

    5. Despite those terrible Clintons, all social problems improved during their two terms in office. It is hard to argue with those statistics.

      Obama's record will be one of turning around the terrible numbers at the beginning of his term (Bush's legacy) to show improvement by the end, but even at the end of his term the numbers are much worse on everything except crime than Clinton's numbers were at the end of his terms.

      Comparisons across decades are specious because they ignore all of the current events and social factors that influence those numbers besides what the president does. Such comparisons are so suspect that I think they are a reliable way of recognizing propaganda and assessing the motives of whoever is advancing such an argument.

    6. @12:10 -- are you volunteering to marry a black woman or man in order to help his or her children (or future children) have a better life? If not, what do you suggest those unmarried women do? Do you imagine they do not wish to be married? Should they be lining up on visiting day outside the prisons to propose to the black men being released? Do you think it would help if they married an unemployed or underemployed black man and gave him the additional motivation of supporting a family? How exactly do you think this social problem will be fixed?

      Note that the marriage rate among white young people is also much higher than it has been in the past. Partly that is because they are still living with their parents because they cannot find jobs that will enable them to support themselves much less a family. You can suggest that they not have kids, but then you keep cutting family planning services and abortion clinics. So how exactly is their problem to be solved?

      Waiting to hear your constructive proposed solutions...

    7. Competence to do the job is totally unimportant to the elite press.

      Just compare FEMA under President Clinton to FEMA under the dumbest mothereffing president this country has ever had, GWB.

    8. 2:01, there is nothing that unmarried women could possibly do. Certainly they couldn't refuse to have sex with lowlife men. Certainly lowlife men couldn't refuse to produce multiple children they can't support. Certainly without abortion funding millions of young people will produce children out of wedlock. We can't talk about sexual or abortion morality because we wouldn't want teenagers not to be sexually free, especially daughters. We don't want them to feel ashamed of killing the children they produce. There is no solution to the problem because certainly sex outside of marriage and producing children outside of marriage must be fully destigmatized so that no one's feelings can be hurt for sexual behavior and killing unwanted humans. Those subjects are off limits for consideration as anti-social behaviors. Dooming millions of children to a lifetime of poverty and misery is a small price to pay to spare their parents and later them from the trauma of slut shaming and crime shaming. It feels better to throw the practically irrelevant "racism" around as the cause because that makes us feel like good SJW's unlike being 1950's judgy scolds about family values or the downside of killing human beings we produce without a thought to their fate.

    9. "Certainly they couldn't refuse to have sex with lowlife men."

      That explains your bitterness, getting turned down and all..

    10. 12:37: "You make it sound like because Hillary voted with most other Democrats to authorize the President...."

      Most democrats did NOT vote to authorize. That is a myth.

      carry on

    11. Majority of Democratic Senators voted yes. The house was maybe 40/60.

    12. 8:44, none of that is an argument against stigmatizing producing children out of wedlock that will end up either killed before birth or enduring a lifetime of neglect, abuse, addiction,endless baby daddy except their own, misery, as a criminal, government-dependent burden to the civilized society.

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  2. Did Fox reinvent Kutz like Al Gore reinvented government?

    Inventors. Always on the initiative. Creating. Inspiring.

  3. Warning to casual readers of this blog: These comments are unmoderated. They are infested by one or more trolls who routinely attack the blog author in a variety of ways, rarely substantive. Such attacks are not an indicator of the level of interest of other readers, the validity of the content posted nor of the esteem in which the blog author is held by others.

  4. Somerby calls Chris Hayes the Puppy. I don't know why he doesn't call Michael Tomasky "Dumbassky" like some real media critics do.


  5. Why is my anger going to be more effective than yours, Mr. Somerby?

    1. Individuals cannot do much alone. They need to work together to demand that our liberal media figures defend our candidates and support liberal issues. Are you going to work with Somerby or continue to carp?

    2. In other words, the answer to their tribalism is our tribalism.

    3. ".. the answer to their tribalism is our tribalism."

      Yeah, that's a very fair characterization of what TDH is saying. To push back against a clear orchestrated swift boat attack on our leading candidate means to be tribal. Got it. To fight back against a press/media that has literally openly stated that they are "primed to take her down" is being tribal. We mustn't be so unseemly. We must listen to the Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Schweizer attacks with an open mind.

      Hillary Clinton is a brilliant and accomplished woman and a loyal Democrat. She has been in the forefront on progressive issues her entire professional life. She has had to take shit for so long, now she has to take it from her own party. As first lady of Arkansas, she had to take her husbands last name because apparently the world wasn't ready for a woman in that role to keep her own last name. (Even though her constituents came to say, maybe they elected the wrong Clinton so powerful and dynamic she was as the First Lady of Arkansas.)

      This is a woman who stands head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of experience and qualifications to be President of the this country.

      I'm just sick and tired of members of her own party swallowing with gusto all the horseshit being spread by her political enemies. Enough.

  6. Quoting Tomasky above:

    "they ought to deal with it sooner rather than later by announcing some clear, simple, new rules about what the foundation will and will not do if she becomes the president. "

    Potential business related conflicts of interest are common for those elected president. The usual way to deal with it is not to create a bunch of disclosure rules. It is to sequester the business dealings so that the President has no knowledge or connection with the business while being President. That means placing the shares of stock into a blind trust, stepping off a board, assigning proxy for business interests to someone else. It doesn't mean creating special rules for that business or extra disclosure of whatever that business does. Bill Clinton did that by stepping off the Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State. Hillary of course had no connection with the Foundation. Conservatives want to argue that everything done before she held office and everything done afterward also creates a conflict of interest. That is a standard no former President has ever been held to. To escape attack, both Clintons would have to entirely abstain from not only their charity work but also any gainful employment (e.g., speaking engagements). Then they would still be attacked for something else. That strikes me as pretty unreasonable.

    1. That is a very concise explanation of Clinton Rules. Thank you.

      Except I think there is very little Hillary could do to escape attack short of divorcing President Clinton and I'm not even sure that would be enought. There is an entire industry dedicated to manufacturing these scandals. This isn't about anything real, it's about driving up her negatives in the polls.
      You will notice that in all the recent NBC polls the only potential candidate where they ask if the candidate is trustworthy is Hillary Clinton.

    2. Yes, that was outrageous, in my opinion.

  7. Dead people all over the world don't need potable water.

  8. It's important to take down the Clintons!

    Don't worry, The Nation magazine is on the case!

    The Nation has rented out its email list to the folks touting Peter Schweizer's "Clinton Cash" -- after all, it's "the ONE book progressives are buzzing about!"

    Yes, every "progressive" on The Nation's email database is being spammed about this "serious investigative journalism that demands serious answers."

    In related news, GOP Presidential candidates everywhere are saying "Thanks, The Nation."

    1. And "Thanks Maureen Dowd and Frank Bruni too!"

    2. MSNBC, the one true liberal channel, has been on a tear lately. Question: Who plays the liberal on Scarborough's show?
      a) Mika
      b) Barnicle
      c) Duetsch

      Answer: It was a trick question, they all play the liberal.

  9. Frank Holmes, the CEO and majority owner of U.S. Global Investors who donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2007, is changing his story. He now admits his company owned stock in Uranium One in 2011. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/05/15/clinton-foundation-donor-changes-story-admits-his-company-owned-uranium-one-stock-in-2011/

    I don't find it possible to reach conclusions. Too much information on all sides is vague or out-and-out false. I don't have the ability or the inclination to fully analyze all the charges in the book.

  10. Also perfect, in addition to Bellantoni's manners: her lipgloss. Compared to Kurtz and Tomasky and the other guy, her lipgloss was the glossiest.

  11. Again, for reasons that often seem linked to there own illusions of grandeur, progressives have never been able to divorce themselves from the general Clinton bashing performed by a corporate MSM they otherwise hold in equal contempt. Tomasky knows he is essentially wrong, and doesn't miss the irony in his own proclamation that the Clinton Foundation stop helping the needy, he just can't help himself.

    It is not an isolated phenomenon: the wronger you turn out to be; the harder it is to fess up.

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