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.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.
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.
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.That correction is really an UPDATE! Go ahead—you’re allowed to laugh!
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...
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.Let them do less good in the world, the fiery progressive proposed! Let them save fewer lives!
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...”
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