Supplemental: The New York Times defies belief!

MONDAY, JULY 6, 2015

Maureen Dowd goes there again:
Finally, it has happened! A Yale professor, David Bromwich, has criticized the New York Times for its fatuous treatment of a Democratic White House contender.

To read his piece, click here.

We’ve been asking the professors to do this for years! Tomorrow, we’ll review the issues at hand. We’ll also profile Sarah Lyall, the Philips Exeter/Yale graduate who wrote Saturday’s front-page profile of the young Bernie Sanders.

For today, we’re going to stick with the basics. Yesterday, the Times placed the pitiful Maureen Dowd on the front page of its Sunday Review once again.

Seventeen years later, inevitably, she started with You Know Who. Needless to say, her dateline was Paris, a famous place we'll always have along with Dowd’s derangement
DOWD (7/5/15): The turquoise tranquillity of the Côte d’Azur was rocked a couple of times during the Cannes Lions Festival, the advertising world’s rosé-soaked answer to the Cannes Film Festival.

Al Gore snubbed Monica Lewinsky. Lewinsky, who was giving a speech for Ogilvy & Mather about how she became “patient zero” in the cyberbullying epidemic, was slated to sit in a V.I.P. box with the former vice president, who got an award for being a good brand.

But her invite got yanked.

The contretemps was a reminder that Gore’s prissy attitude toward l’affaire Monica helped cost him the election,
because he was so angry at Bill Clinton that he leashed the Big Dog, curtailing the president’s campaigning, even in the South. If Al had been less eager to put baby in a corner, there would have been no phony action on Iraq and plenty of action on melting glaciers.

Monica’s main bullies were not of the cyber variety. The Internet was just getting up and running. Her chief bullies were flesh and blood, a raffish president and feminist first lady who are now vying to be a feminist president and raffish first lad. They’re the ones who tried to paint her as a “narcissistic looney toon,” as Hillary put it to her friend Diane Blair.

Sidney Blumenthal, Hillary’s Doberman and email correspondent, led the sliming of Monica as a fantasist and stalker. Hillary’s friends do not regard Monica as a victim, but a predator. They think she let herself in for trouble when she took up with a married president who was a magnet for right-wing bullies.

Yet, as Hillary’s advisers said, being the victim of the Monica mess gave Hillary the impetus, and public good will, to start her own political rise.

In her speech at Cannes, Monica did say it hurt to be called “That Woman.” But other than that reference to Bill Clinton, she sticks to anonymous cyberbullies, which may be prudent, with Hillary out on the trail. And even if it’s a dodge, it’s nice to see the 41-year-old move out of her self-imposed exile, looking lovely, acting gracious and speaking out for a good cause.
There they were! Another 358 hiss-spitting words about “that woman,” You Know Who. Also, another complaint about the “prissy” Gore.

Simply put, Dowd’s can’t stop herself. Neither can the New York Times, who paired Dowd’s latest with this sad, disordered piece by Tim Kreider, an allegedly drunken man who doesn’t seem to like lower-class whites, who are less grand than he is.

If you want to understand the Times, we’d say that attitude is a key part of the profile. Returning to Dowd, let’s offer a few quick notes:

Dowd gives the clear impression that Gore had You Know Who’s invitation yanked last week. There is no evidence of that in the reporting of this pointless event.

Meanwhile, Miss Lewinsky has been taken by some to have said that she chose not to sit in the VIP box with Gore. Under the circumstances, that would be a sign of good judgment on her part, poisonous commentary-wise.

(It would also show good sense for Gore to avoid the pairing.)

Ignoring the lack of factual clarity, Dowd simply told you the version of the story she liked. From there, she continued her decades-old practice of gender-trashing Democratic men, who are all secretly women.

In Gore’s case, he was once “so feminized he was practically lactating.” On the Sunday before the 2000 election, Dowd pictured him singing “I Feel Pretty” as he admired himself in the mirror.

Yesterday, he was said to be “prissy” concerning Bill Clinton’s affair. Dowd will never stop writing such things, and the Times will never stop printing them.

(For the record: No, that actually isn’t the way George Bush ended up in the White House. The electoral situation confronting Gore was much more complex than that. In comments, it’s painful to see how easy it is to script the public to believe such things.)

It’s stunning to think that the New York Times keeps putting these cries for help in print. Even more amazing is the way they let their deranged star columnist complain about the people who “bullied” Lewinsky, “sliming her as a fantasist and a stalker.”

Dowd was very much one of those people! Among her three million real-time columns about That Woman was the demented late August piece directly comparing Miss Lewinsky to the famous Glenn Close character.

Below, we offer excerpts. Headline—“Monica Gets Her Man:”
DOWD (8/23/98): After the President's prime-time confession, the news media were abuzz about whether Mr. Clinton could repair his damaged relationships with his wife and daughter.

Suddenly, That Woman stamped her feet. Like the Glenn Close character in ''Fatal Attraction,'' Monica Lewinsky issued a chilling ultimatum to the man who jilted her: I will not be ignored.

She let it be known that she was wounded that the President had failed to apologize to her and had dismissed their grand, 18-month romance, their shared passion for books and laughs, as trivial—a mere mechanism for relieving Oval Office tension.


While she is not a stalker, since Mr. Clinton encouraged her interest for quite some time, she is certainly aggressive. Otherwise, as a mere intern, she could not have barged through all the protective layers around the President. And she was, according to the Tripp tapes, desperate to continue the relationship after the President had slithered away. I will not be ignored.

Monica has at least one special talent: she is relentless. It was the quality that got her noticed by Bill Clinton, and it is the quality that will prevent him from ever escaping her.

There is a sort of rough romantic justice here. It may be de trop to punish this President with impeachment or resignation. In his case, the punishment is the crime. Monica will never let him go. She will be center stage for the rest of his Presidency, doing a star turn at Congressional hearings, granting celebrity interviews, signing book and movie deals.

It will not be in the way she envisioned, but she will get to ride off into the sunset with her man after all. Monica Lewinsky is Bill Clinton's legacy. They are linked together forever and ever.
There’s more—there always was, and always will be—but you get the idea.

“They are linked together forever and ever?” As it turns out, that was a promise on Dowd’s part more than a prediction.

It’s easy to see that Dowd is some version of empty, lost, sad. It’s more important to notice the fact that the New York Times can’t see this.

Even seventeen years later, the Times insists on publishing this relentless dreck, which it rewarded in this case with its highest platform. In this case, the Times paired Dowd’s piece with that sad effort by Kreider.

The pieces are peas in a pod. Because we live in Baltimore, we know how silly and empty Kreider’s essay actually is. But even if you don’t live here, you should be able to see that.

The New York Times seems to be full of empty, lost, confused striving souls. Given the newspaper’s famous faux brand, it’s hard for people to see that.

Tomorrow: Kreider, Bromwich, Lyall and the soul of the New York Times


  1. I side with Dowd on this one. Another weird column with weird readers.

    1. Me too. Almost makes me want to skip my disclaimer.

  2. My Gawd! MoDo did this and Bob Somerby started his week by trashing Digby?

    1. It's worse. Over at Talking Points Memo they compared the beloved Pledge of Allegiance to a Hitlerian ritual and Bob is seemingly going to obsess all week about a cartoonist putting down Baltimore instead.

    2. "musings on the mainstream "press corps" and the american discourse"

      When did TPM become the mainstream press corps?

    3. Since about the dawn of the 21st Century, numbnuts.

      I realize this will come as a shock to the sycophants of Somerby who longs for the days when Walter and David told us what was news.

      I do find it ironic that he uses the Internet to tell us this.

      Funny, isn't it how "mainstream" media has changed so much over the last 50 years, but some people pretending to be experts on it haven't.

    4. I enjoy the blog, the lesson is that for everything there is a price to pay. Are current trends in mainstream media- consolidation and corporatization all to the good? Is everyone with a personal blog the answer? Sometimes it's wise to realize what you've left behind.

    5. "The lesson is that for everything there is a price to pay."

      Absolutely brilliant! But I can't help but wonder what a sheltered life you lead if Somerby had to tell you that. Next thing he'll tell you is that the sun rises in the East and you'll think he's the most brilliant astrophysicist in the world.

      But what really gets me is how narrowly "media" is defined by those who moan and wail about how "corporatized" it is.

      Well, sonny, we are now in the Information Age and information has never been more democratized that it is right now. Any person with a smartphone can and has broken important stories.

      Then we get to the part where there are more voices being heard today through Web sites, blogs, and social media.

      But it's much easier to play "Ain't It Awful" and focus only on what is bad (which is usually defined as "what I disagree with") than to use a search engine and find those new voices that would have never been heard in a profit-driven media seeking only mass audiences with a handful of "gatekeepers" protecting us from what we really didn't need to know.

      Funny thing about both progress and nostalgia. We of advancing years always seem to long for a past that never really was as good or even existed as our minds remember it.

    6. Musings on Anonymous @ 7:11 pm

      "musings on the mainstream "press corps" and the american discourse"

      When did TPM become the mainstream press corps?"

      So writes a Howler commenter. I suppose the fact that TPM stated as a blog like TDH, and two years later disqualifies it. I suppose becoming a daily publication featuring wire service, breaking news, a staff of twenty plus and numerous columnists disqualifies it.

      More importantly, despite the fact they have had extensive coverage of things like TPP, which TDH may get around to covering via a review of past Krugman columns some day, Talking Points Memo just doesn't carry the kind of journalism Bob Somerby feels the need to analyze. For example:

      "Yesterday, we commented on the many sexy-time topic selections at the new reinvented Salon."

      "Loom and womb! The tale of the vaginal knitter: We don’t expect to keep writing about the new Salon."

      Traditional Home explained in this profile, which includes 28 photos of the now cat-ravaged home....Go ahead! Look at the 28 photos of that house published by Traditional Home. After taking that three-hour tour, briefly consider the bullroar found in Parade

  3. "Few people will deny that Monica behaved foolishly, especially by confiding in Lucianne Goldberg. Recall also that she was NOT an intern when she had her affair with Clinton and was not working on his staff."

    Anonymous 7/5/15

    1. Recall, Lewinski was indeed a Clinton staff intern when she began her creepy assignations with William Jefferson.

      June 1995: Monica Lewinsky, 21, comes to the White House as an unpaid intern in the office of Chief of Staff Leon Panetta.

      November 1995: Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton begin a sexual relationship, according to audiotapes secretly recorded later by Linda Tripp

      December 1995: Lewinsky moves into a paid position in the Office of Legislative Affairs, handling letters from members of Congress. She frequently ferries mail to the Oval Office.

    2. "A consensual affair between two adults cannot be evaluated as foolish or not except by the people involved. Lewinsky describes herself as the aggressor in her depositions. Lewinsky worked in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. She did not work for the President any more than any employee of the White House did -- nominally. He was not her supervisor and he didn't interact with her in the course of her doing her job."

      Anonymous 7/5/15

    3. @6:02

      When Lewinski and Willie had their first "not sexual relations" she was an intern working for Chief of Staff Panetta. He and his staff serves at the pleasure of the President. Lewinski had her own interpretation of that regulation of employment.

      That their "interaction" occurred in the Oval Office makes it public business. JFK had the good sense to use the White House pool to play slap & tickle with Fiddle & Faddle.

      Willie lost his law license for five years because he lied under oath. WIllie has still not sought reinstatement to the bar after his banishment from the legal profession.

    4. Didn't you guys lose that whole impeachment effort. Refighting it years later concerning a president no longer in office seems like a huge waste of time.

      Please do not call Bill Clinton "Willie." You are just doing it to irritate those who admire the man. You aren't going to convince anyone here that Clinton deserves contempt. Take that shit back to your conservative websites.


      By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a ‘gossip mode.’ In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in.

    6. @ 7:17

      Are you admonishing HRC for expressing contempt for her husband's assignations?

      "During the height of President Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky scandal, a White House maid entered the bedroom to clean and was shocked to find the president and first lady’s bed covered in blood.

      The blood belonged to the president, who said publicly that he “hurt himself running into the bathroom door in the middle of the night.”

      But the White House residence staff believed differently. As one worker told author Kate Anderson Brower, “We’re pretty sure [Hillary Clinton] clocked him with a book.”

      "During the height of the drama, Hillary routinely missed afternoon appointments. The details of running the executive mansion, understandably, took a backseat to saving her husband’s presidency and their marriage. For three or four months in 1998, the president slept on a sofa in a private study attached to their bedroom on the second floor. Most of the women on the residence staff thought he got what he deserved."

      “It was like a morgue when you’d go up to the second floor. Mrs. Clinton was nowhere to be found.”

      Kate Andersen Brower spent four years covering the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and is a former CBS News staffer and Fox News producer. This article has been adapted from her book, The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House (Harper Collins), which is out April 7, 2015.

    7. Take this garbage somewhere else.

    8. @ 8:50,
      Blame a union strike for the sanitation piling up on your curb.


      By implementing continual and non-related postings that distract and disrupt (trolling ) the forum readers they are more effectively stopped from anything of any real productivity. If the intensity of gradual dilution is intense enough, the readers will effectively stop researching and simply slip into a ‘gossip mode.’ In this state they can be more easily misdirected away from facts towards uninformed conjecture and opinion. The less informed they are the more effective and easy it becomes to control the entire group in the direction that you would desire the group to go in.

  4. Under "no slut shaming" rules progressives expect us to celebrate the likes of Monica Lewinsky without noticing she is relentless in the way any home wrecking stalker is.

    1. cicero's blowup dollJuly 6, 2015 at 7:52 PM

      You need to get back on your meds.

    2. The great thing about this blog is that the medical expertise in the comment box is almost identical to the political expertise in the comment box. Both of which seem driven by a need to prove the mediocre observations of the blogger accurate.

    3. Or neither, as the case may be. On balance, we really can't say for sure.

  5. The NYTimes?? The *real* problem is Somerby!!

    1. It doesn't take much to see that the problems caused by Somerby and the New York Times don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.

  6. "We’ve been asking the professors to do this for years!"

    And to think, Bob, Harvard '69 has been at this for almost two decades.

    So any time your feelin' bad
    'stead of feelin' sad
    Just remember that ram
    Oops there goes a billion kilowatt dam!

  7. Kreider's piece is one awful sentence strung to another worse one. Boring and empty dog excrement, yet terribly conceited.

    1. Professor Bromwich's piece struck me the same way. Te only difference was the clear feeling Kreider knew something about his topic.

  8. "Forever and ever"! I dunno, most people, even the right wingers I've talked to have kinda gotten over it. Dowd seems utterly fixated. Does she have some deep primal terror regarding oral?

    1. A whole lot of the nation's time got wasted because there was such a void in Bill Clinton's life he needed to fill it with such a seemingly vapid talentless person.

    2. Very few men will refuse a blow job under similar circumstances.

    3. I thought she looked hot in the Vanity Fair pictorial. In a vintage pinup way.

    4. @ 12:43 is your assessment based on social science research or professional experience?

  9. Bob, this is really smart and good. I write as one who (as you know, if you follow commenters) has swayed away, and I hardly ever come here ever more. But this is right on.

    1. I think the best part was his starting with a line about Dowd and then immediately shifting to a different topic: his victory in the long battle to get overpaid coddled condescending liberal professors to meet his demands. Then he switched back to Dowd with nary a hint of what the professor did other than a promise of things to come.

      This reminded me of some of Rachel Maddow's best work. Only she usually has the switch followed by a commercial.

    2. According to the most knowledgeable of Somerby's commenters, Bob doesn't follow commenters if they post on his own blog. But put your views in Salon or the NY Times and he might not just see it, he might reprint it here. According to observation.

  10. Monica Lewinsky was an perhaps still is an extortionist. To say that She never tried to "cash in" is like saying Babe Ruth never tired to hit a home

    She was much more glorified in her glory days than "shamed."

    What's sad/madding is that a lot of her, whatever the hell it is, comeback? is being encouraged by liberals.

    But more progressives really, who want it as a stick to smack Hillary with. Well, after all, Hillary did cheat on Monica with Monica's husband..wait.....

    Those of us who want to see Hillary win will have to put up with a lot more of this ugliness. It is sick, but it will be the price we pay. There is nothing left to say about how grotesque Mo Dowd is.

    1. ".....will have to put up with a lot more of this ugliness."

      You can say that again. Check out this article I spotted via Digby. At least the media isn't hiding anything this time.

      Confessions of a Clinton reporter: The media's 5 unspoken rules for covering Hillary

      1) Everything, no matter how ludicrous-sounding, is worthy of a full investigation by federal agencies, Congress, the "vast right-wing conspiracy," and mainstream media outlets

      2) Every allegation, no matter how ludicrous, is believable until it can be proven completely and utterly false. And even then, it keeps a life of its own in the conservative media world.

      3) The media assumes that Clinton is acting in bad faith until there's hard evidence otherwise.

      4) Everything is newsworthy because the Clintons are the equivalent of America's royal family

      5) Everything she does is fake and calculated for maximum political benefit

      There's a whole lot to it and he helpfully documents many examples that prove his point, but it comes down to this:

      The Clinton rules are driven by reporters' and editors' desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family's political empire. At least in that way, Republicans and the media have a common interest.


    2. Further explanation from mm's link to VOX:

      Point 1) " the Clintons have a bunker mentality when it comes to transparency. But their paranoia leads them to be secretive, and their secrecy leads Republicans and the press to suspect wrongdoing. That spurs further investigation, which only makes the Clintons more secretive.

      Point 3) "With the Clinton White House, the modus operandi was to stonewall as long as possible, lie if necessary — or just out of habit —So the press has plenty of precedent for believing that when the Clintons aren't forthcoming — And the Clintons, given the history of some-smoke-no-fire investigations launched against them, have plenty of precedent for being mistrustful of the press. The result is a brutally dysfunctional relationship on both sides."

      It also comes down to this: It is a two way street.

    3. Now all that anonymous reporter need do is explain why they are acting as HRC 's personal public relations flak, what hard question(s) they have ever posed to HRC and how crying for a Wambulance for HRC has anything to do with the following lies HRC crafted all by lonesome.

      1) "Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters last month that the memos about Libya she received while secretary of state from Sidney Blumenthal, a longtime adviser whom the Obama administration had barred her from hiring, had been “unsolicited.”

      But email records that Mrs. Clinton, according to officials briefed on the matter, apparently failed to turn over to the State Department last fall show that she repeatedly encouraged Mr. Blumenthal to “keep ’em coming,” as she said in an August 2012 reply to a memo from him, which she called “another keeper.”

      2) Chelsea Clinton was jogging around the World Trade Center on 9/11. HRC later admitted that Chelsea was actually safely in her Union Square apartment at the time of the attack.

      3) HRC landed under sniper fire in Bosnia.

      3. HRC was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two men to climb Mt. Everest. Sir Hillary didn’t actually climb Mt. Everest until Hillary Clinton was 6 years old.

      4) . HRC was emphatic that she had only one device while Secretary of State

      5) HRC claims to have been instrumental in the Northern Ireland peace process.

      "Hillary Clinton had no direct role in bringing peace to Northern Ireland and is a "wee bit silly" for exaggerating the part she played, according to Lord Trimble of Lisnagarvey, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former First Minister of the province."

      6) “All my grandparents, you know, came over here, and you know my grandfather went to work in a lace mill in Scranton, Pennsylvania.”

      Clinton has only one immigrant grandparent — her father’s father, Hugh Rodham Sr., who was born in the United Kingdom. The rest of Clinton’s grandparents were born in the United States.

      7) "After dabbling in both sugar and cattle futures for just over a year, she parlayed a mere $1000 investment into nearly $100,000. In explaining her success, she first claimed to have "educated herself" and "watched the market closely." As any cattle futures trader knows, it would take years to understand cattle farming and how and when cattle are brought to market in order to be that successful.

      Under media pressure, Hillary gave a highly unusual and live news conference where she admitted that the $1000-to-$100,000 success was a result of her being counseled by Tyson Foods contract-lawyer and friend, James Blair, who simply made the trades in his own accounts on her behalf."

    4. And don't forget the coverup about who Chelsea Clinton's real father was.

    5. "It is a two way street."

      No, no it's not. Political reporters are expected to act professionally. IT. IS. NOT. ABOUT. THEM.

    6. @mm,

      HRC's buddy George Stephanopoulos must be your idea of a "professional reporter."

      George Stephanopoulos discloses $75,000 contribution to "Clinton Foundation "

      "Stephanopoulos is the chief anchor and chief political correspondent for ABC News, as well as the co-anchor of ABC's "Good Morning America" and host of "This Week," its Sunday morning public affairs program. Prior to joining ABC News, he served as communications director and senior adviser for policy and strategy to President Clinton. He also served as communications director on Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign."

    7. "Political reporters are expected to act professionally. IT. IS. NOT. ABOUT. THEM."

      I am sorry to hear political reporters do not live up TO.EXPECTATIONS.YOU.HAVE.ABOUT. THEM. DERIVED. FROM. GOD.KNOWS. WHERE.

      Now, go back to calling people dickheads. That is expected of blog commenters WITH.BRAINS.LIKE.YOURS.

    8. wow, what a comeback

      I read TDH because he writes about the stupidity of our modern press. That's why I come here. Apparently you disagree.

      I posted an article written by a political reporter who quite candidly described a case of mass hysterical insanity afflicting reporters covering "the Clintons". There's no other way to describe it. It is impossible for anyone objectively observing the way Hillary is covered by these clowns to deny it.

      Many of the things described in that article are behaviors by the press which I have already observed and commented on here. I didn't really need Jonathan Allen to tell me how these idiots view their role in covering "the Clintons".

      I called DinC a dickhead because he continually posts bullshit. You'll notice he never responded to my actual substantive question about his latest bullshit.

    9. "I posted an article written by a political reporter who quite candidly described a case of mass hysterical insanity afflicting reporters covering "the Clintons".

      Interesting demonstration of reading comprehension from mm. The only term the author used to describe mental problems were in fact quoted in my comment. It was "paranoia." It was applied to the Clintons, not the press.

    10. Well, see, I made my judgment based on the objective behavior described by the writer, not on his medical expertise and his subjective opinion that the Clintons are paranoid. I don't see any paranoia, just good judgment by the Clintons based on being subjected to this insanity by the media for over 25 years. Like GW said, "fool me once, shame on you, but fool me twice............and I will turn into Pete Townshend."

    11. Here's another good one by Digby.

      Tuesday, Jul 7, 2015 02:49 PM EDT

      How Politico became a GOP stooge: Republicans want to destroy Hillary Clinton—and the media is helping them out

      The political press's obsession with taking down the Clintons has led them to regurgitate Republican untruths
      Heather Digby Parton

    12. Good try mm. But Digby doesn't have the guts to take on MoDo. Reprinting somebody else's work over at Young Mao Life will not get her back in the Big House with Bob.