Supplemental: The truth about our big media stars!


Christie, Cosby, Clinton:
Frank Bruni is upset today with what Chris Christie said.

More specifically, he’s upset with the failure of Republican candidates to denounce Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Mexican immigrants.

According to Bruni, “Republicans can’t summon the courage to take on the dark heroes of the party’s lunatic fringe.” Eventually, he describes Christie’s failure to challenge what Trump said:
BRUNI (7/8/15): Trump’s rant about immigrants, which he has since amplified, was another squandered moment.

Chris Christie could have made good on his boasts about always telling it like it is and being unconstrained by politesse. Instead he made clear that he liked Trump and considered him a friend. That soft crunching sound you heard was the supposedly hard-charging New Jersey governor walking on eggshells.
That was Bruni’s full account of what Christie said.

Strange! As of this morning, we’d seen tape of Christie’s statements concerning Trump about a million times. For that reason, we were surprised, but not surprised, by Bruni’s peculiar account.

What sorts of things has Christie said about Candidate Trump’s remarks? He made the following statement last Thursday, in a New Hampshire town hall. The videotape was played that evening on the Sharpton program:
CHRISTIE (7/2/15): The comments were inappropriate and they have no place in the race. I think it has been well documented over time that there have been certain elements of our party that have been unfriendly to elements of our population, including the Latino community, and we need to change that. Because we need to broaden our party to create a coalition that’s going to be able to win national elections.
Since that time, Christie has been quoted, in other forums, saying the remarks by Trump were “wholly inappropriate” and “highly inappropriate.” For that reason, we were surprised, though not surprised, by what Bruni wrote.

In truth, our “journalists”—especially our high-ranking stars—are relentlessly banal. Defiantly, relentlessly, they hand you the stories they like.

Their slippery dishonesty is perhaps their defining characteristic. That and their genuine lack of intellectual skill.

Bruni’s account of what Christie said is very much par for the course. Our journalists aren’t especially honest. Beyond that, they simply aren’t very sharp.

Our journalists have a very hard time performing the most basic tasks of their profession. Consider the problems they have had discerning what Bill Cosby said.

As you may have noticed, our reporters have had a hard time in the past two days figuring out what Cosby did, and didn’t, testify to back in 2005. Even as of this morning, the New York Times had its thumb on the scale a fair bit in its front-page report in the Business Day section.

On page B1, the Times describes “Mr. Cosby’s admission in a newly released court document that he had obtained quaaludes to give young women with whom he wanted to have sex.” The Times links that statement to other statements, by alleged victims, that they feel vindicated by the new court documents.

(Headline: “Bill Cosby Admission About Quaaludes Offers Accusers Vindication.”)

For ourselves, we don’t doubt that Cosby’s accusers are making accurate claims. But the Times is a journalistic organization, and this report was a news report, not an opinion column.

You had to read much further in this morning’s report to reach this amplification on page B6: “In the records, Mr. Cosby did not admit drugging witting women” (our emphasis).

That’s a very basic distinction. But given their weak intellectual skills, it has taken our press corps the past two days to sort this matter out, to the extent that they have.

Let’s be frank and refreshing! For many members of our press corps, that distinction is simply too hard to follow. That’s especially true in a matter like this, where people have largely decided what the truth surely is.

(By the way: Is that distinction too hard for you to follow? Please ask yourself that basic question before you start offering comments.)

That said:

If it’s true banality you seek, we recommend today’s Morning Joe segment concerning Candidate Clinton’s interview with CNN. To watch the discussion, click here.

We’ll discuss the segment in all its haplessness tomorrow. But we think it shows the abiding banality of the press corps’ high-profile performers.

Bless their hearts! On the videotape, the pundits take turns explaining how Candidate Clinton “looked” and “seemed” during her session with Brianna Keilar.

This is the world’s most subjective possible construct. There is no sign that this simple-minded thought ever enters their simple heads.

For the record, it isn’t just Barnacle and Capehart who play the assignment that way. After a bit of a pause, Katty Kay takes her inevitable turn, “bringing the eternal note of sadness in.”

These are defiantly banal people. If it weren’t for skills involving career, would they have any skills at all?


  1. Let's hear it for indiscriminate progressive immigration and multiculturalism.

    For Ghozlan, July 2014 was the tipping point, after years of escalating anti-Semitic violence: “There was no debate in our family. We all knew—it is time to go. Leaving is better than running away,” Ghozlan later told me. He would ultimately come to think of the summer riots as the predictors of the catastrophes that would play out six months later in the terror attacks at the offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, three quarters of a mile from the Place de la République, on January 7, 2015, and then, two days later, at Hyper Cacher, a kosher grocery store in the Porte de Vincennes neighborhood of eastern Paris.

    1. Then, again, let's not and say we did.

  2. "It was an acknowledgment, the first to become public, that Mr. Cosby viewed powerful, sedating drugs as part of his sexual encounters with women."

    Trigger warning. So do many women who drink alcohol and view it as part of their sexual encounters with men, possibly including those who had encounters with Cosby. He hasn't admitted drugging unwitting women.

    1. If the best Bill Cosby can get out of whoever is left trying to be fair to him, yikes. Bob Somerby wrote:

      [QUOTE] You had to read much further in this morning’s report to reach this amplification on page B6: “In the records, Mr. Cosby did not admit drugging witting women” (our emphasis). [END QUOTE]

      That's why you should always forego transcribing when possible and opt to copy and paste, instead. As 4:06 PM suggests, the word used at that point in the Times article had a missing prefix (my emphasis):

      [PASTE] In the records, Mr. Cosby, now 77, did not admit drugging unwitting women. When asked if the women had known they were taking the quaaludes, Mr. Cosby’s lawyer abruptly cut off the questioning. And Mr. Cosby suggested in his answers that the pill taking and sex had been consensual. [END PASTE]

    2. deadrat's 1998 tax returnJuly 8, 2015 at 11:33 PM

      "If the best Bill Cosby can get out of whoever is left trying to be fair to him, yikes."

      Your syntax is amazing.

    3. tax return,

      That's another reason why I'm a big advocate of just copy and pasting.

    4. If I was using my white male imagination it wouldn't be shrinking.

  3. I am so over this blog.

    1. I consider you a good friend, but your comment is inappropriate and has no place in this comment box. That said I do not find it offensive.

      Now, many of our blogging stars are banal and repetitive. Their slippery dishonesty calls for them to leave things out while accusing others of doing the same. Chris Christie didn't walk on eggshells when he labelled that kind of thing "hypocrisy" on Fox when talking about Ted Cruz. But he found what Ted Cruz said about criticizing Republicans needed a stronger response than what Donald Trump said about all Mexican immigrants.

      Say, how about that Bob Somerby? He seems to have his blogging game back. He's shooting par with this post.

    2. I didn't post that about upping the game or whatever.

    3. You so didn't.


    Let's go to FOX News as the ultimate arbiter of this dispute between the twin liberal leaders Frank Bruni and Bob Somerby over what exactly Chris Christie said. After all:

    1) FOX is hosting the first Republican Presidential Debate

    2) FOX had Chris Christie himself on the air in their studio, so we don't have Bruni and Somerby cherry picking from afar to make a point.

    3) FOX "At this point, we’d have to say... provides a much wider spectrum of views tha(n) The One True Channel does" and Somerby only picked a quote from "the Rev Show" at MSNBC.

    Christie appeared on "America's Newsroom." He was shown tape of Ted Cruz refusing to attack Trump for what he said and was asked himself to respond to Trump's remarks.

    Here is the FOX headline:

    Christie: Trump's Remarks 'Inappropriate,' Cruz's Criticism Was 'Hypocritical'

    Here is the FOX lede:

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) took aim at Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in an interview this morning on "America's Newsroom."

    Christie said he is not offended by Trump's recent statements on Mexican immigrants, but called the statements "inappropriate."

    "I think what he said was wrong. It was inappropriate and I don't think it has any place in the campaign," said Christie, calling Trump a "good friend" who tries to provoke a reaction with his opinions.

    Based on these facts, we would have to say, while both candidates Bruni and Somerby said things that were true, their offerings are only half true because of things they left out.

    However, because Somerby twice said he was "surprised but not surprised by what Bruni said, we'd have to say Christie's characterization of Cruz as "hypocritical" applies also to Somerby. Either that or he is fuzzy and repetitious. Both are colossal wastes of time. "Uuuuge" wastes of time, as Bernie S. might say.

  5. "Let's be frank and refreshing!"

    Let's be frank and refreshing?

    Let's be frank and refreshing!!!!!

    In a post where Bob Somerby damns the media for both recent Christie and Cosby coverage on the same day he attacks another media personality for "lunacy", he wants us to find him FRANK. REFRESHING.

    I'm terribly sorry but this post is too funny for words.

    I don't know exactly what Bill Cosby did either, Mr. Somerby, but I would be willing to suspect reading your work today that he might have give you some Quaaludes.

    You seem to have erased all memory of your posts starting on June 19, 2015 attacking Ms. Lunacy, Rachel Maddow over the very issue of Donald Trump's remarks in order to attack Frank Bruni today.

    1. I hate how Maddow apes Jon Stewart, yet so poorly and with none of the wit or humility.

    2. I hate Maddow.


  6. After Hurricane Sandy, Christie hugged POTUS Obama, who nearly broke a rib, and Christie took a ribbing.

    1. "After Hurricane ...." ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzz.

    2. @ 8:21

      Do you have Parkinson's?

    3. "Do you have ...?" ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    4. brainless conservative twitJuly 8, 2015 at 11:37 PM

      I think what Anon @ 8:21 & Bobero are trying to tell you is that your pathetic comedic timing is Somerbyesque.

    5. If he had displayed that a decade and a half ago he'd have his own blog by now.

    6. @ btc,

      You are attempting to sugarcoat the diagnosis. Bolero & 8:21 affliction cannot be cured with your benighted commentary

  7. The thing that really gets me about Bruni is how he is not discussing issues at all, just rhetoric. In this line of thinking, racism is something impolite. It's like forgetting to carry the 2 in a math problem.

    Bruni could have looked at Jeb Bush to criticize racism too, existing in the real world with real world implications. Here's a quote from the Daily Dot who caught the racist overtones he was improvising on:

    "Kids in this country are aimlessly wandering around in their lives because they’ve never been told they were capable of learning. They’ve never been challenged to achieve far better. They’ve never really had the kind of mentoring and nurturing that gives them the sense their lives could be better. You see what happens in Baltimore and Ferguson. You see the tragedies play out. You see people becoming so despondent they take actions that are horrific.

    It’s quite the clever sleight of tongue. Without ever using the terms “urban,” “black,” or “African-American,” Bush found another way to conjure up these identifiers, using the mental shortcut of naming two distinct areas that have been the site of black struggle and resistance—namely, Ferguson and Baltimore."

    1. The thing that gets me about Bruni is that idiots who read Somerby add to the blogger's absolute nonsense by being critical of him for not writing about something that has no relation whatsoever to the topic.

    2. I would expect Bruni to run interference for Bush. Christie and Jeb! are both angling for the same "moderate" GOP vote. Exchanging sweet nothings with Dubya in the heat of the campaign trail, the Bush's know damn well they've got that boy's cock in their pocket.

    3. The truth about our loyal Somerby fans. They don't read the articles which he misrepresents in his posts. They just wave the stars and bars from his War on Gore.

    4. anon 8:58 contends that anyone who read the articles discussed in Bob's posts would disagree with Bob (like he/she does). Not a very convincing arguement.

  8. I find this post refreshing.

    1. A normal reaction for one so seemingly liberal.


    BRUNI, TIMES, AND MSNBC; Bob Somerby is still upset today with what Frank Bruni said in 2000.

    More specifically, he claims he's upset with "big media" in general, but his focus is on Bruni, his employer the New York Times, and MSNBC, three favorite stars in his constellation of constant complaints.

    The slippery Somerby tosses aside whatever criticisms Bruni may have had for other Republican candidates in response to Donald Trump's "Mexicans..they're rapists" declaration in his announcement speech. He hones in on Bruni's critique of Chris Christie, known for blunt responses, and Bruni's focus on stating his friendship for Trump and his like for Trump. He chides Bruni for not stating that Christie had called the remarks "inappropriate" and later modified that horrific "inappropriate" label with "wholly" and "highly."

    For this "Strange!" sin of omission against the Governor of New Jersey, in whose defense Somerby has bridged blistering posts on more than one occasion in the past, Somerby seems to call Bruni "slippery" and "banal." True to his object of defense, Somerby adds modifiers: "dishonesty," "relentlessly" "defiantly."

    How dare the not very sharp and intellectually unskilled Bruni mention only Christie's statement of friendship and like for Trump while overlooking his scathing denunciation of a whole nationality of immigrants as rapists (not to mention the almost totally overlooked outrageous accusation by a U.S. Presidential candidate that these drug and crime bearing rapists are being sent to us by the government of Mexico).

    In fact. Somerby has used stronger terms to denounce what Bruni wrote than Christie used to denounce what Trump said about our most populous neighbor and the 10 million plus people of its ancestry living here among us.

    That is mild criticism from Somerby, however. Here is how he characterized someone else:

    "Deeply ridiculous"...."deranged, disgraceful, sub-human" "ugly, disgraceful."

    Of course Somerby was referring to Donald Trump. And the remarks that offended him were not his "Mexican/rapist" xenophobic, nationalist racist cant. It was his role in calling for Obama to release his birth certificate. In that post he put on his big-boy Bruni pants and criticized the New York Times for not being critical enough of Trump back in that previous episode.

    Somerby, of course went on to further demonstrate what a completely unbalanced hypocritical jackass he is in that post on Emancipation Day, 2015. by totally twisting the words of another non heterosexual "media star." I won't mention that episode at this time. And it is not because I like Somerby. We will note, however, that if the unreliable Somerby covered our last sentence like he covered that media star, he would quote that I said "I like Somerby." He proved he is that dishonest with these two posts.

    1. I dislike you too.

    2. It is ok to dislike both Somerby and his troll detractors. Belief there can only be two sides is how polarization begets otherization.