Part 1—Who will tell the people: The front-page follies continued in yesterday’s Washington Post.
Eight days earlier, on May 30, the New York Times started the current run of follies with a puzzling front-page report alleging a “quid pro quo”—a quid pro quo involving You Know Who’s greedy husband.
Kevin Drum said he was puzzled by the front-page report. For reasons we discussed last week, we thought the report was vile.
The Post took over from there! On Thursday, June 4, a similar front-page report criticized You Know Who’s greedy husband for accepting a charitable donation from a Qatari businessman in 2010 because—
Well, that part of the Post’s complaint is rather hard to explain.
Last Saturday, June 6, the Post published a ludicrous, fawning, front-page report about the glorious Candidate Perry. It focused on the skillful way the candidate winks at voters. His skillful winking makes it almost impossible to dislike him!
Yesterday, the Post returned to the Clinton-bashing in its front-page follies.
In an utterly silly front-page report, it discussed the purchase of snow shovels by the Clinton campaign in December 2007.
David Fahrenthold’s ludicrous piece ran beneath the latest disparaging hard-copy front-page headline. The front-page follies were thus extended one more day:
“In Iowa, Clinton aims to avoid another ﬂurry of campaign gaffes”
Did Candidate Clinton commit a “flurry of campaign gaffes” during the 2008 Iowa caucuses? At present, is she somehow “aiming to avoid” another such flurry of gaffes?
There is no sign of either phenomenon in Fahrenthold’s absurd report, which quickly adopts the current framework: Exploiting her vast financial resources, the bloodless Candidate Clinton tried to buy success!
(“Last time around, Clinton tried to win over Iowans with bloodless logic, touting her résumé and her grinding work ethic. When that fell short, Clinton's well-funded campaign—unable to buy her love—started buying everything else.” On-line, this passage has been used to form the Post's headline.)
Fahrenthold teases 2100 words out of an utterly silly premise—Clinton wasted a boatload of money buying a bunch of shovels! Concerning this consummate nonsense, we’ll only say this: According to Nexis, no one treated this pointless matter that way in real time.
In theory, campaign volunteers were going to use the troubling shovels to get elderly supporters to the caucuses in the event of snow. In one report, a guy from New York named Bill de Blasio said he was ready to shovel!
For full text, see below.
Using Nexis, we find no sign that anyone mocked this purchase in real time, although the purchase of the shovels was widely noted in passing. One day before the statewide caucuses, an Iowa news service treated the matter like this:
WOODWARD (1/2/08): The campaigns will pull out all the stops to ensure their candidates' supporters show up Thursday night.The next day, that material appeared in the New York Post under Maggie Haberman’s byline. According to Nexis, the Washington Post mentioned the shovels just once:
Many likely attendees will receive reminder phone calls, while some campaigns will offer free transportation to and from precincts.
Should it snow, Hillary Clinton's campaign, for example, plans to shovel Iowans out of their homes.
These efforts, inevitably, help boost attendance, University of Iowa political science professor and caucus expert David Redlawsk said.
"Any kind of physical on-the-ground effort to get people out to vote is going to be at least partially successful, no matter what it is," Redlawsk said. "It's one thing to call people. It's another thing to go to their door and say, ‘Hey, it's time. Let's go.' "
SHEAR AND KORNBLUT (1/3/08): [T]he campaign will be decided on the ground.In real time, that was the only mention of this trivial matter in the Washington Post. Yesterday, the Post used this pointless, ancient event to pound You Know Who again, extending its recent run of front-page follies with a 2100-word report about her “flurry of gaffes.”
The Clinton campaign has distributed more than 600 snow shovels to prepare for a potential weather surprise Thursday night. It has delivered bushels of salt to its field offices in case of ice. And about 4,500 people are ready to drive others to caucus sites, said Iowa state director Teresa Vilmain.
Romney's campaign made 25,000 telephone calls from the state headquarters on Wednesday, hoping to blunt Huckabee's impassioned support with a superior organization designed to make sure his voters show up at their designated caucus.
And for those Iowans who did not leave the warmth of their homes because of the single-digit temperatures, the campaigns barraged them with recorded telephone messages so they didn't feel left out.
On a journalistic basis, yesterday’s front-page folly was pure propaganda. So was the ludicrous paean to Perry’s brilliant winking, which ran on the Post’s front page the day before.
That said, the propaganda has been general as the pseudo-campaign moves ahead. Consider the work of a undisguised Clinton-hater in yesterday’s New York Times.
The hater in question is Frank Bruni, who was once the ludicrous lover of Candidate Bush. We’ll recall some of Bruni’s apparently less honest past work before the week is done. Yesterday, he screeched and wailed about “Hillary the Tormentor,” at one point typing this:
BRUNI (6/7/15): [T]he Clintons facilitate a thrilling scenario only to pollute it. They come wrapped in shiny folds of promise and good intentions, then the packaging comes off, and what lies beneath are emails from Sidney Blumenthal, shakedowns of Petra Nemcova.Bruni’s indictment proceeds from there. But on a journalistic basis, that highlighted passage is simply astounding
You’ll note that Bruni feels no need to explain his accusations. What is supposed to be wrong with receiving an email from Blumenthal, a lifelong friend of Candidate Clinton?
Pseudo-journalists like Bruni feel no need to explain. That said, the unexplained statement about the “shakedowns of Petra Nemcova” is more remarkable still.
As you may recall, Nemcova was the subject of the front-page report which Kevin Drum found so puzzling. Nemcova runs the Happy Hearts Fund, a charitable organization. Last year, Bill Clinton headlined her annual fund-raising gala in return for a $500,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.
Nemcova got the world’s most famous person to headline her event. As part of the deal, the two orgs agreed they would spend the $500,000 on joint projects in Haiti.
Last Saturday, the Times kicked off the current front-page follies with a screeching “news report” which used the puzzling tern “quid pro quo” to describe this agreement. In the process, Deborah Sontag sexually slimed Nemcova pretty good in a type of Creeping Dowdism.
Drum said he was puzzled by the report. Even after “racking my brain,” he said he couldn’t see what was supposed to be wrong with this deal, a deal the Times had weirdly described as a “quid pro quo.”
Yesterday, Bruni went that term one better. He said Nemcova had been “shaken down,” offering no explanation for his use of the ugly term.
He even pluralized the term, referring to “the shakedowns of Nemcova!” This is your mind on hate!
There’s more to Bruni’s column; we expect to return to it as the week proceeds. But the same old question came to mind as we read that silly front-page report in yesterday’s Washington Post—as we read Bruni’s ugly shakedown charge:
Who will tell the liberal world about this ongoing conduct?
An obvious jihad is underway at the Post and the Times—a familiar old jihad which stretches back twenty-plus years.
During most of that time, the career liberal world sat silently by, saying nothing about the wars against both Clintons and Gore. Ever so slowly, with glacial speed, this conduct seems to be changing.
In the past few weeks, it’s suddenly OK to state an obvious fact—the press corps hates Candidate Clinton! Matt Yglesias said it straight out in this piece at Vox:
YGLESIAS (6/1/15): Journalists don't like Hillary ClintonIt’s hard to think those claims are wrong. In the past week, a number of people have said or suggested as much over at Salon. In an amazing departure, some have even named the names of some major press figures!
But the press hates to admit this. For Clinton, good news is never just good news. Instead it's an opportunity to remind the public about the media's negative narratives about Clinton and then to muse on the fact that her ratings somehow manage to hold up despite these narratives.
That said, the higher up the ladder you go, the less likely it is that you will see these obvious facts expressed. If you get high enough, it becomes extremely unlikely that you see actual names get named—that you will see your favorite liberals name a name like Bruni.
Darlings, it simply isn’t done! Careers hang in the balance! So does social standing!
Here’s a guarantee:
When you watch Rachel Maddow tonight, you won’t see her discussing the ongoing front-page follies. You won’t even see her mocking the Post for that clownish front-page profile of the marvelous Candidate Perry.
Instead, you’ll see her clowning about the way she can’t tell the difference between former governor Ehrlich (of Maryland) and former governor Gilmore (Virginia). You’ll see her serving tribal porridge as she pretends to discuss the campaign—as she insults the intelligence of her viewers through these endless wastes of time.
Who will tell the liberal world about the press corps’ ongoing conduct? Who will name the following names:
The New York Times and the Washington Post?
For decades, conservative voices have screamed and complained about the press corps “liberal bias.” People like Maddow keep hiding the truth from the liberal world—from the public in general.
Ever so slowly, this pattern has started to turn. Four cycles back, these endless follies gave us our second President Bush.
President Walker is waiting to follow. When will liberals stop accepting the silence of people like Maddow?
Tomorrow: Voices at Salon
A future mayor was ready to shovel: Using Nexis, we found no one mocking the purchase of those shovels in real time. Nor was it the kind of purchase that could break the bank.
Yesterday, the Washington Post used this consummate trivia to extend the current propaganda campaign. In real time, the New York Observer said this:
PAYBARAH (1/1/08): Bill de Blasio is prepared for anything on caucus day. "I am in our meeting room at the Clinton headquarters, on Fifth Avenue South, in Clinton County, with my hand on our group of six shovels," said the manager of Hillary Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, who is currently campaigning with her in Iowa.This was always a trivial matter. Yesterday, on its front page, the Washington Post put this consummate, eight-year-old trivia to a current use.
"The race is going to be close," he added, "and it's been snowy. And you can't afford to have your car get stuck.”