Supplemental: Scrutinization of Clinton’s loud voice!


Where have we heard that before:
In the past few weeks, we’ve linked to three different journalists warning the world about “the Clinton rules.”

Last week, we linked to Paul Krugman, then to Gene Lyons. This week, we’ve linked to Michelle Goldberg.

All three alleged a long-standing practice in which mainstream journalists have invented pseudo-scandals involving the Clintons. Our question:

Has this “longstanding journalistic vendetta” (Goldberg’s term) actually taken place?

You’ll never see that question discussed within the national press corps. You’ll never see it discussed on cable. Simply put, that naughty discussion simply isn’t allowed.

In 1996, Lyons published Fools for Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater. The book was disappeared by the press corps, even though it was published and promoted by Harper’s magazine, an honored American literary institution.

That discussion wasn’t allowed.

At this site, we spent years documenting the twenty-month war against Candidate Gore, an obvious offshoot of the failed attempts against President Clinton.

That discussion has never been allowed. Conversations of that type simply aren’t allowed in our mainstream press. You aren’t allowed to hear the truth about the press corps’ behavior.

Krugman can post as much as he likes. His comments will produce no discussion; those discussions are not allowed. Joan Walsh won’t follow his lead, to cite one fiery liberal example. Her cable colleagues were up to their necks in the disgraceful wars which sent George W. Bush to the White House. No one at MSNBC will ever discuss what occurred at the channel back then—or in 2007 and 2008, for that matter, when Matthews and Olbermann kept themselves busy spreading the misogyny all around.

Simply put, we aren’t allowed to hear about the way our press corps actually works. Instead, we get the type of discussion which popped up at The New Republic last week.

Elspeth Reeve’s article carried this headline: “Why Do So Many People Hate the Sound of Hillary Clinton's Voice?”

Reeve scrutinized the speaking voices of a string of White House hopefuls. She then discussed the problem faced by Candidate Clinton.

Clinton’s voice is over-scrutinized, Reeve said. She offered a recent example:
REEVE (5/1/15): That brings us to the over-scrutinized voice of Hillary Clinton. To pull one recent example, here's a New York Times reporter analyzing Clinton's presidential campaign announcement video last week: "It allows her to use her quieter-but-confident speaking voice, instead of the VOICE she uses at news conference and at rallies, when she sometimes SPEAKS SO LOUDLY in hopes of conveying ENERGY and FORCEFULNESS (rather than simply projecting her voice better)." Bloomberg Politics has broken down Clinton’s accent as it has changed since 1983, as she moved from Arkansas to Washington and spoke before different audiences. The reporter felt moved to assert three times that Clinton’s changing accent was not a sign of inauthenticity.

First, it’s important to note that women’s voices generally get more scrutiny...
Will Candidate Clinton be attacked for her speaking voice this time? We’ll guess that she probably won’t.

That said, this is the kind of discussion we are allowed to hear. Reeve’s approach is especially welcome, in that it challenges an unfair focus on the voices of women.

Reeve was too polite to name the New York Times journalist who composed that mocking scrutinization of Clinton’s voice. (It was Patrick Healy, of Kerry campaign fame.)

She was too disconnected from the real world to be reminded of an earlier mocking scrutinization of Candidate Gore’s loud voice.

Way back when, the column was written by the always awful Gail Collins. As you can see, our vaunted scribblers at the Times only know so many plays:
COLLINS (6/21/99): Al Gore Turns the Volume Way, Way Up

Al Gore has been trying to be more exciting on the stump—trying so hard that if he keeps it up, he'll rupture his vocal cords before the New Hampshire primary.
The new Al Gore yells quite a lot. Caught between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, two natural campaigners, the Vice President is trying to make up in decibels what he lacks in spontaneity. "I am not satisfied! INDEED I AM RESTLESS!" he cried in New York, announcing his candidacy for President with a list of promises about what he would do to move the country TOWARD AMERICA'S NEW HORIZONS, a goal that will involve eliminating EVERY LAST DIME OF WASTE, fighting GLOBAL WARMING and making our public schools THE FINEST AND BEST IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

This is our fault. We have been carping about how boring Al Gore is, and the poor man is all but howling at the moon in an effort to sound more compelling...
Collins played this card back then. Healy played it last month.

This is the way these people function. Beyond that, they exercise a tight control on all discussion of their wider conduct, “Clinton rules” and possible vendettas very much included.

You aren’t allowed to hear those discussions. Tune in tomorrow to see Chris Hayes react to Goldberg by spreading the silence around.

Everybody knows the rules. Such discussions are not allowed.


  1. 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.

    1. Warning to overheated salamanders: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is a common description of insanity.

    2. Apparently Somerby's readers are getting even less eager to express their esteem for Hillary Clinton than they are for him.

    3. No need to preach to the choir.

  2. According to IRS filings, Fox News Shawn said, the Clinton Foundation's charitable spending is around 80 percent, and "the experts for charity say that's very good."

  3. As a military brat, I can tell you it is perfectly normal for people to adapt their accents to local surroundings.
    Henry Kissinger moved to the US at age 11, and you would never know he was German. His accent was authentic!

  4. Al Gore predicted a lot of disasters due to global warming. None of them occurred. Gore was unfairly attacked over his supposed claim of inventing the internet. OTOH he got away with a whole bunch of statements about global warming that didn't happen. He was dead wrong.

    OTOH Al Gore reportedly made $100 million out of his global warming campaign. His efforts may not have done anything for the planet, but they did him a lot of good. See
    Al Gore sells Current TV to Al-Jazeera, nets reported $100 million

    1. Al Gore never strapped his dog to the top of the car but he did strap himself to a mule and plow the back 40. Clinton Rules allowed the latter to be the subject of lies stating this plowing experience was made up.

      OTOH Al Gore is not named Butch Otter.

    2. But that doesn't stop Bob from baiting DinC by bringing Gore back up. After all, Gore was just an innocent victim of the Clinton rules and the only person on whom they worked to deprive him of winning an election in the Supreme Court.

    3. Now Somerby is responsible for David in Ca's stupidity? Are you trolls running out of ways to attack Somerby? The troll attacks here are an illustration in microcosm of what the Clintons have to put up with.

    4. 9:47, I suspect 9:14 was being at least somewhat sarcastic while making his point that virtually every time Gore's name comes up, David feels compelled to put his stupidity on the issue of climate change on full view again.

    5. Poor Bob. He is just like the poor besieged multi-millionaire ex POTUS/FLOTUS and future POTUS. Sort of. In microcosm.

    6. There may be bigger morons in this rapidly endangered world than the Dinkster, but for this combox, he takes the cake. Then, along comes 1:12 PM.

  5. Commenters at this site are puerile, pathetic & piss poor. Alliterative. Yes!
    Also true.
    See above.

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