Supplemental: Candidates Biden, Clinton, Gore/Bush!


The corps’ “authenticity” games:
Brendan Nyhan got his start in the old Spinsanity days.

Today, Nyhan is an assistant professor of government at Dartmouth. As a sign of total respect, we’ll omit his honorific in the remarks which follow.

In a recent post for the New York Times, Nyhan examines the concept of “authenticity” as it’s applied to White House candidates by the mainstream press corps. And good God, is that concept ever applied to candidates!

Today, we’re constantly told that Candidate Clinton isn’t “authentic,” but the highly subjective and nebulous concept has been around a long time.

The highly nebulous concept became journalistically de rigueur during Campaign 2000. In December 1999, USA Today’s Walter Shapiro even gave “authenticity” his Silver Wordy award for the year:
SHAPIRO (12/22/99): Comfortable with Himself and Authenticity: In a few short months, these have become everyone’s favorite buzzwords to describe the come-from-behind appeal of Bill Bradley and John McCain. Compared with the scripted George W. Bush and the synthetic Gore (see “Alpha Male”), these two different-drummer candidates seem spontaneous, original and, yes, comfortable with themselves.

The phrases are so cliché-ridden and inauthentic it’s difficult to figure out who first applied them to the dynamic duo of Bradley and McCain...
Just for the record, the first phrase was actually “comfortable in his own skin.” For the record, these laudatory descriptions were being applied to Candidate Bush in many quarters too.

(Earlier in the same column, Shapiro had awarded his “Bronze Wordy” for the year to the phrase “alpha male,” a term which was being used all the over the press to denigrate the inauthentic Candidate Gore.)

Concerning his Silver Wordy award, Shapiro was plainly right is several major respects. By the fall of 1999, those subjective assessments were everywhere as the mainstream press corps pretended to assess the four major candidates.

In our view, he was also right in his suggestion that the use of these subjective assessments related to a deep “inauthenticity” within the press corps itself. As they pretended to cover the race, the phoniest people on the face of the earth were telling us which candidates were “authentic!”

(General answer, widely expressed: Everyone but Gore!)

In his post for the New York Times, Nyhan picks up at this point. He notes that Candidate Clinton is the hopeful who’s currently being assailed for her lack of “authenticity.” He then suggests that pundits should stop assessing candidates by this highly subjective and nebulous metric.

He suggests that reporters can’t tell who is and isn’t “authentic.” He doesn’t note how phony it typically is when reporters pretend to make this assessment.

That said, we think Nyhan’s overall assessment falls a bit short of the mark. In the following passage, he makes a daring but worthwhile suggestion about non-Candidate Biden. He then offers a disappointing assessment of the authenticity narrative which prevailed in Campaign 2000:
NYHAN (10/1/15): [W]e shouldn’t assume that politicians who appear to be sincere are actually more genuine or revealing of their true selves. Like the stars you see telling scripted anecdotes on talk shows, they’re often just skilled at performing their public role. As the political scientist Richard Skinner has noted, the personas of popular presidents such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were artificial constructions.

Even Joe Biden, the outgoing and expressive vice president who is widely seen as a more “authentic” alternative to Mrs. Clinton, has publicly cited his family’s genuine grieving over his son’s death as a reason not to enter the Democratic race while privately continuing to lay the groundwork for a possible run.

Recent examples illustrate how inconsistently and arbitrarily the labels of authenticity and inauthenticity are applied to candidates. Scott Walker changed a number of positions after entering the G.O.P. presidential race but generally wasn’t covered as a phony, while Mr. Romney was. Jeb Bush has stuck to some unpopular stances, but isn’t covered as a “maverick” like John McCain. The difference may be their performance skills, not their positions.

Similarly, George W. Bush and Al Gore were both born into powerful political families, but were perceived very differently. Mr. Bush successfully reinvented himself as a down-home Texas ranch owner despite being the son of a president with elite New England roots, while Mr. Gore was widely mocked as a phony who grew up amid wealth and power in Washington, especially when he invoked his childhood work on his family’s Tennessee farm. Again, one simple explanation for the disparate treatment they received is that Mr. Bush was a better political performer.
Can Brendan Nyhan say that? In that second paragraph, he almost seems to semi-suggest that non-Candidate Biden is perhaps and possibly being almost a tiny bit phony in his current posture.

We’ll return to that suggestion below. First, let’s consider this explanation for the fact that Candidate Gore was widely assailed as a phony while Candidate Bush was not:

“One simple explanation for the disparate treatment they received is that Mr. Bush was a better political performer.”

You’ll note that Nyhan doesn’t claim that this explanation is complete or correct. He merely says that this explanation would be “simple.”

We’ll move from simple to “simple-minded.” We’ll also say that explanation is almost surely incorrect.

Was Candidate Gore perceived as a phony by the mainstream press corps? We don’t know, but he was plainly portrayed that way—and Candidate Bush, the plain-spoken Texan, rather plainly was not.

Did this obvious “disparate treatment” result from Bush’s performance skills? Crackers, please! Here’s the most obvious reason for the disparate treatment:

This was a prevailing press corps script which ran all through Campaign 2000! The assertion that Gore was “inauthentic” was a mandated narrative throughout that long campaign. Pundits clung to that narrative as drowning rats cling to floating bodies.

Everything that happened in Campaign 2000 was hammered into that mandated framework. Consider the candidates’ shoes.

Sometimes, Candidate Gore wore regular shoes. Sometimes he wore boots.

The same was true of Candidate Bush. Sometimes, he wore regular shoes. Sometimes he wore boots.

Here’s the difference:

When Candidate Gore wore boots, he was brutally assailed as a phony. For a punishing background report, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/4/03.

The Nexis record clearly shows that Gore had worn boots all through his public career. Incomparably, we've detailed this fact in the past.

Gore had worn boots all through his career; Washington journalists knew that. But everyone from the disgraceful Cokie Roberts on down now took turns insisting that he had just started wearing boots in an attempt to reinvent himself as a down-home man of the people.

Some news orgs even fought about a related issue—how high was the candidate hemming his pants in order to showcase his boots? The Los Angeles Times said he was hemming his pants three inches too high. Time magazine said it was "at least six."

That's what happened when one of the candidates wore both shoes and boots. What happened when the other candidate did the same thing?

In the New York Times, Bruni happened! As the campaign began taking shape, this was the start of a lengthy, fawning profile of the glorious candidate:
BRUNI (9/14/99): When Gov. George W. Bush of Texas first hit the Presidential campaign trail in June, he wore monogrammed cowboy boots, the perfect accessory for his folksy affability and casual self-assurance.

But when he visited New Hampshire early last week, he was shod in a pair of conservative, shiny black loafers that seemed to reflect more than the pants cuffs above them. They suggested an impulse by Mr. Bush to put at least a bit of a damper on his brash irreverence, which has earned him affection but is a less certain invitation for respect.

As Mr. Bush presses forward with his almost preposterously charmed quest for the Republican Presidential nomination, he has plenty of confidence, evident in his easy swagger...
No one suggested that Candidate Bush was revealing himself as a phony through his shifting footwear. Moronic assessments of that type were reserved for Candidate Gore.

This disparate treatment was not a result of performance skill. This was the outcome of script.

In the past week, Gore made a public appearance in which he discussed climate and sustainability issues. Below, we’ll link you to a photograph where you can observe his footwear, sixteen years after Cokie and them savaged him as a big phony.

First, let’s relate the use of the nebulous concept “authenticity” to the scripting of the current White House campaign.

In that scripting, non-Candidate Biden is now the world’s most authentic known person, while Candidate Clinton’s a phony. This places Biden in the fully favored position the press corps bestowed on McCain and Bradley, their most favored saints, in the fall of 1999.

In the passage we’ve posted above, Nyhan almost seems to semi-suggest that non-Candidate Biden is perhaps and possibly being almost a tiny bit phony in his current posture. Full disclosure:

As Biden continues exploiting the death of his son, that unflattering assessment has frequently crossed our minds too!

That said, the authenticity of non-Candidate Biden is now deeply embedded in the press corps’ controlling script. As it was with the sainted Candidate McCain, so now with the sainted non-Candidate Biden—everything he says and does just proves how authentic he is.

What does Deep Narrative look like? It appears atop page A4 in this morning’s hard-copy Washington Post.

In our hard-copy Post, page A4 is designated as the CAMPAIGN 2016 page. Beneath that heading, we see a rather large photo of non-Candidate Biden, apparently deep in prayer.

(As we type, a different photo appears on-line.)

The large photo of Biden in prayer spreads across four columns. It tells us how completely sincere he is.

So does the following standard account, part of the latest lengthy report about the fact that there’s nothing to report:
KANE AND BALZ (10/3/15): At times, Biden sounds far from ready. But then there are moments like Thursday night, when Biden sprinkled his remarks to a Manhattan crowd with comments that sounded like someone with a keen interest in running.

He made a reference to the many miles he has traveled as vice president—now clocking in at more than Clinton did as secretary of state. He also drew an ideological contrast with Sanders, who has generated enthusiasm on the left with his populist economic agenda.

"I'm not Bernie Sanders," Biden said at the Concordia Summit. "He's a great guy, he really is. But I'm not a populist; I'm a realist."

When Biden talks like that, it feeds speculation that he is getting ready to join the race, and there is plenty of activity around him to suggest that he is overseeing a campaign in the making.

And yet, there is a parallel universe of greater significance, the single factor that no one can overcome, which is that Biden’s family is still grieving the loss of Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer four months ago at age 46. The vice president has repeatedly said that no decision about running for president can be made until his family is ready to commit, even if it means that the moment passes.

"It's just not quite there yet, and it might not get there in time to make it feasible to run and succeed because there are certain windows that will close. If that's it, that's it. It's not like I can rush it," Biden said in an interview with America, a leading Jesuit news site, just before Pope Francis arrived in Washington last week.
(We never do this, but we'll do it today, so obvious is our conclusion. In that text, Biden is allowed to take a pot shot at Candidate Sanders. If Clinton did that, every pundit would know what to say: It's Just Like The Clintons to do that!)

By his own admission—made to the Jesuits, no less—Biden is fully authentic. He’s doing the fully selfless thing. It involves a universe of greater significance, the need of his family to grieve.

That may be an accurate portrait, of course. After all, Biden made this selfless admission just before meeting Pope Francis! It’s also possible that Biden has never intended to enter the race unless Candidate Clinton implodes behind the email mess, and that he keeps hiding behind the death of his son as he waits to see if that happens.

To his credit, Nyhan suggested some such possibility in the passage we posted; we’ve seen no one else break the embargo and do so. That said, he chose his words with so much care that his meaning is barely perceptible. Perhaps he’s been influenced by the wrong crowd down at the faculty club!

Has Biden been playing a game involving the death of his son? We don’t have any way of knowing, but the thought has often crossed our mind that he may be behaving badly.

Nyhan excepted, no such thought will ever appear anywhere in the press corps! They’re working from their latest official group script, and everyone is reciting.

In this year’s script, Biden is prayerful and authentic; Clinton is the phony. Sixteen years ago, the same “disparate treatment” was dumped on the head of Candidate Gore as the world’s biggest collection of phonies obsessively followed their scripts.

They did it because the corps had agreed on a mandated narrative, not because of Bush’s vast skills. They were able to do it because the cowering career liberal world sat back and let it happen, or even played an active part in the war.

One final note about the inauthentic Candidate Gore’s utterly phony choice of shoes, which showed Cokie and the rest of guild how inauthentic he was.

On Thursday, Gore was interviewed by James Fallows at the Washington Ideas Forum. A large color photograph can be seen here.

Go ahead! Look at the shoes!

Cokie and the rest of the children insisted that Candidate Gore was a phony. They could see how phony he was. Just look at those cowboy boots!

People are dead all over the world because of the endless ways their promulgated their script. Today, Cokie continues to chortle and simper on network TV as she tells us that Candidate Clinton is the big phony this time.

The liberal world accepted this conduct in Campaign 2000. Weak and gullible as we are, we are currently planning to lap it up again.

Cokie and Steve not-in-boots: In the fall of 1999, the nation’s pundits took turns assailing Candidate Gore for his insincere footwear selection.

The phoniest people on the planet were taking turns killing the pig. On October 15, Cokie and her husband, Steve Roberts, did so in their syndicated column, which went all over the nation:
ROBERTS AND ROBERTS (10/15/99): Look at Al Gore, after almost 23 years in public life, suddenly searching for his “authentic” self and then finding it in cowboy boots and open-necked shirts.

Is this the same Al Gore who grew up in a fancy hotel in Washington, went to Harvard and now lives in the vice president’s mansion, a short walk from the elite prep school he attended? Somehow, we doubt that cowboy boots and polo shirts were part of the dress code at St. Alban’s.
He shouldn’t be wearing those polo shirts either! They weren’t in his high school’s dress code!

People are dead all over the world because Cokie played this astonishing game—and because everyone else, from E. J. on down, politely stood by and watched. Can you believe that the person who wrote that column is still allowed on TV?

The same faux game is underway now. We’re going to buy it again.


  1. Will CNN debate moderator Anderson Cooper set the Democratic Party POTUS candidates against each other the way CNN's Jake Tapper did with the GOP? Or will Anderson ask HRC hard ball questions like whom she prefers Amy Poehler or Kate McKinnon playing her on SNL?

    1. Hopefully Cooper will make them all look like clowns through their lying and delusional oratories, thus showing how each and every one of them is unfit to be President. Like CNN's Jake Tapper did with the GOP.


    2. @Berto

      Tapper's intent was to demean all 11 GOP candidates. While he failed miserably at his task, he did unintentionally elevate Carly to the top four candidates. For that, HRC will take Jake off her Christmas list.

    3. cicero,
      You and I have something in common*. Neither of us has any idea what Tapper's intent was.
      What that debate showed anyone with at least half a braincell is the GOP is delusional, angry (but proudly ignorant of what's angered them), and has lost touch with difference between reality and the shit they pull out of their asses.

      *This is something you might want to hang your hat on. . Believe me, it puts you in a better light.


    4. Cicero, yes Fiorino, lying every time she let loose an utterance (not just little lies but whoppers) scores high right wing marks.

    5. @AC/MA

      HRC lies (not just little lies but whoppers) all the time and she still leads the Democratic Party field, slightly. I have itemized HRC's lies on this blog numerous times. Would you be so kind as to do the same with the lies you imagine Carly spoke during the 2nd debate?

    6. @Berto

      There were a panoply of positons from the 11 GOP candidates covering domestic and foreign policy. Considering some candidates echoed some of Obama's policies, by your own rubric, Obama must be delusional as well.

      As far as Tapper's intent for the GOP debate, that was never in doubt. Of course one can't always account for the political naivete of liberals like yourself to recognize the obvious.

      "Tapper was born in New York and raised in the Philadelphia area by what he has told reporters were a pair of hippy parents. That last part might be debatable; Tapper's mom was a psychiatric nurse, his father a pediatrician and professor. But this much is not: In the early 1990s, before Tapper graduated from his father's Ivy League alma mater, Dartmouth College, Tapper grew his hair long enough to regularly employ a ponytail.

      By 1992, Tapper was part of the campaign that helped put family friend and now-former representative Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky (D-Pa.) in office"

      "Tapper joined a D.C. public relations outfit for a few years, then put in a short stint at the gun-control organization that would later become the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence."

    7. Cicero, I've seen your oft repeated list of HRC's "lies." It's ridiculous. Fiorino presents herself as a secretary who arose to becoming a CEO of a major corporation. That she, as a woman, (or anyone for that matter) rose to such a position is to her credit. I've had many secretaries over the years. None of them had fathers who were deans of a presitgious law school or judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and none graduated from Stanford or MIT Sloan School. I worked summer jobs in factories and worked in a liquor store, and became a lawyer. So what. The way she paints her secretary to CEO path is dishonest. She boasted about how under watch Hewlitt Packard doubled its income - when this was the result of the merger with Compaq, and the combinining of the 2 companies' incomes. Who was lying about her success or lack of success at Hewlitt? Trump or $20,000,000 golden parachute Fiorino? And the coup de grace lie about seeing the baby with the heart beating in the film (and doubling down on it since then) - she doesn't give a shit in the least about the truth. There is a real difference between lying in a presidential debate and the stray remarks by HRC that you repeat from the right wing sites you inhabit.

    8. If Carly is elected President, dog forbid, she'll outlaw miscarriages. As she intimated, anyone who has seen the video of the miscarried fetus on a surgical table should be horrified and disgusted.
      Anyone who thinks about what a Republican President would do, should be way more horrified and disgusted.

    9. "There were a panoply of positons from the 11 GOP candidates ..."
      Yup. and each and every one of them contradicted their own prior position.
      They're against big government, wasteful government spending, while they support the 2nd Amendment to counter the tyranny of government.
      So, of course, they want the government to control women's reproductive rights, whole-heartedly supported the W's Great Iraq Clusterfuck (the single biggest waste of money by the government in their lifetimes), and are abject authoritarians who always support the police and military.
      The difference between the GOP candidates and GOP voters is that the candidates are morons and or liars, while the voters are just morons.

    10. @1:34

      There have been five GOP POTUS' since Roe V. Wade. Apparently precedent means nothing to you. Perhaps your parents should have given more thought to donating your tissues to science.

    11. @2:36

      In 2012 POTUS Obama contradicted his stated positon that marriage was between a man and a women.

      “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage." Candidate Obama 2008

      Could you link to the Howler posts you made criticizing Obama for his flip-flop?

      The government has controlled women's reproductive rights since 1973 when SCOTUS ruled abortions were legal in the USA.

      HRC and VP Biden voted for the "Iraq Clusterfuck." Trump and Dr. Carsen were on the record against invading Iraq.

      Conservatives are the counter culture today while liberals follow lock step with whatever POTUS Obama declares.

      It is Obama and his fellow libs who support Sgt. Bergdahl. Obama traded five terrorists to get him back.

      It is Obama who wants to prosecute Edward Snowden for leaking classified information from the NSA.

      Other than the 2nd Amendment, are there other Amendments you have a problem with? It appears you have a lot of issues.

    12. None of those previous Republican presidents talked about abortion rights the way this current crop has been doing. The candidates who did talk that way were never elected.

      Suggesting that another commenter here should have been aborted is borderline violent talk. It is uncivil beyond the boundaries of conversation in this blog. Please walk that back, if you expect anyone here to continue to play your little games with you.

    13. The government has controlled reproductive rights since America was founded. Contraception used to be illegal. Telling women how to prevent conception used to be illegal. A wife could not refuse to have intercourse with her husband, without giving him grounds for divorce. Rape of one's wife was not illegal. Children, of course, belonged to their fathers, legally speaking. A woman who was divorced did not get to take her children with her.

      When has the government NOT controlled women's reproductive rights? It still does, although there has been important progress.

      The rest of Cicero's tirade is just as ignorant.

    14. @AC/MA

      You do not dispute Carly held the job of secretary:

      "She worked as a receptionist at a hair salon to pay for college room and board. During summers off from Stanford, she says she worked secretarial jobs through the temp agency Kelly Services (then Kelly Girls). One of her temp jobs was typing bills of lading in the shipping department of Hewlett-Packard. …

      It is clear that Fiorina’s experience as receptionist and secretary at Marcus & Millichap was a defining moment. Fiorina’s spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores, said that job put Fiorina “on the path to becoming a CEO and, she hopes, made her a better one.” …

      She worked briefly as a secretary in between law school and business school, but she always intended to attend graduate school for her career."

      You just resent the fact that she graduated from prestigious schools and that her pop was successful in business. Ok.

      You must have hit the ceiling when HRC declared she and Willie left the White House "dead broke." Once you scrutinize that comment the way you do about Carly starting at a secretarial position you would have to declare HRC as "dishonest" as well.

      "There is a real difference between lying in a presidential debate and the stray remarks by HRC" AC/MA

      Remember your words after HRC's CNN debate appearance. However, HRC's random lies are sufficient for Americans who have concluded that HRC just isn't trustworthy.

      Ohio, 53% of voters find Clinton not trustworthy
      Pennsylvania, 54% of voters find Clinton not trustworthy
      Florida, 51% of voters find Clinton not trustworthy

    15. Cicero, the only one of my points that you try to refute is the secretary to CEO one. No resentment that her father was dean of Duke Law School and that she graduated from Stanford. (She was a secretary to pay her way thru college - her father woudn't or coudn;t foot the bill???) = sorry but the narrative is BS. She is not comparable to the typical woman (it's almost always women) who worked as a secretary. Again, the Clintons hit the jackpot with the way they get paid for giving speeches. Upon leaving the whitehouse they were in debt, and the gravy train hadn't started to roll in yet.Her 'dead broke' remark in an interview is an example of the absurd gaffe culture that we have to endure (GOP pols sometimes get caught up in this stupidity- e.g., Quayle misspelling the plural of the word 'potato'). there is no comparison from her off the cuff remark, that backfired on her, An Fiorino's calculated truth twisting in a national debate. You seem to lack any sense that what matters in the election is what will happen one way or the other in the event that one or the other of these pols gets elected. Instead you seem firmly ensconced in Breitbart fairy tale world.

    16. @ 5:07 PM - I didn't know detrius could type, even for a living.

    17. From a contemporaneous report:

      L. Brent Bozell III (founder and president of the conservative Media Research Center) repeated the lie that former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay stayed in the White House's Lincoln Bedroom during Bill Clinton's presidency.
      In a July 27 interview on CNN's Live From..., Bozell asserted, "Ken Lay spent 13 nights ... in Bill Clinton's Lincoln Bedroom." In fact, although Lay did not spend a single night in the Lincoln Bedroom while Clinton was president, he was an overnight guest in the White House of former President George H.W. Bush.
      This misinformation about Lay and Clinton has been widely propagated -- and also widely debunked. Lay's name does not appear on the Clinton White House's Lincoln Bedroom guest lists. The Daily Howler and The New York Observer's Joe Conason credited Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist Gene Lyons for first exposing the lie: "Sorry, but Lay's name does not appear on published lists of White House visitors. The former president's [Bill Clinton's] office told me the allegation is categorically false. ... Lay did attend a White House bunking party under President Bush's father."
      Spinsanity co-editor Brendan Nyhan, in a February 21, 2002, article, wrote that journalists and pundits spreading the "false claim that former Enron CEO Ken Lay stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House during the Clinton administration ... evidently failed to consult the original Clinton Lincoln Bedroom guest list from February 1997, the July 1999-August 2000 list or the White House Coffee and Sleep-over Database. Ken Lay's name appears on none of these lists."

    18. 2:23 AM,
      That would really be a blow to cicero, if cicero gave a shit about honesty. Despite his HRC schtick, honesty isn't a consideration for cicero in the slightest.
      Some may come here defending cicero and saying he's too stupid to notice his inconsistencies when discussing honesty, but really, could anyone be THAT stupid?

    19. How could anyone be stupid enough to respond to cicero?

    20. If garbage is not addressed it stands for others to read and some people are stupid enough to believe cicero, obviously, given the number of Republican voter registrations.

    21. Some may come here defending Somerby and saying its unfair to notice his inconsistencies when discussing his posts but really, could anyone be THAT unfair?

  2. Will nitwits like cicero get a clue, and will he pull his head out of his posterior?

    1. @2:20

      Spoken like one of the David Brock Correct The Record recruited "nerd virgins"*

      *Paul Begala term for Brock's Super PAC minions

    2. Former rat-fucking Republican operative is a much better description of David Brock.

    3. @2:23

      For the last 15+ years, Brock has been the "rat-fucking" Democratic Party operative. But now that he plays for your team, he is your kind of poltroon.

    4. Please point to one example of "rat-fucking" performed by Brock since leaving the Republican party.

      Running a page like Media Matters is not "rat-fucking." Wikipedia defines it as: "Ratfucking is an American slang term for political sabotage or dirty tricks."

    5. To a republican - ratfucking means telling the truth about them, which is all David Brock does now.

    6. @ 4:30 PM - I didn't know excrement could type, even for a living.

  3. People need to remember that Joe Biden was one of the primary reasons we have Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court. Other women besides Anita Hill were going to testify that Thomas had sexually harassed them too, but Biden cut short the hearing and would not permit them to testify. Once Thomas had accused the proceedings of being a "high-tech lynching," Biden wanted no part of the optics that would make him (and the other whiteys on the Committee) appear to be white men in power doing harm to a defenseless black man.

    You can already see Colbert defending Biden on his show, while making lots of fun of Clinton.

    1. Our guess? Such cluelessness from Clinton supporters may represent her “biggest problem.”

    2. Such cluelessness from commenters like 9:40 AM will be our election's biggest problem. Comedians like Colbert don't care who is elected as long as he/she is funny. Those of us who don't earn large salaries need to have other priorities. There are a bunch of other problems with Biden that won't be talked about unless he actually declares, because he is still grieving and you don't kick someone while he is down.

    3. Colbert is a strong Catholic and he loaded up his opening week with a bunch of Catholic favorites. Being secular myself, it shocked me to see religion play such a role in his debut. Biden is Catholic too, so he got pride of place on the guest roster.

  4. >>>As Biden continues exploiting the death of his son, that unflattering assessment has frequently crossed our minds too!

    That said, the authenticity of non-Candidate Biden is now deeply embedded in the press corps’ controlling script. As it was with the sainted Candidate McCain, so now with the sainted non-Candidate Biden—everything he says and does just proves how authentic he is.<<<<

    To put it bluntly, it is disgusting and offensive.

    But you can't turn the TV on anymore without someone bringing
    Biden up. Will he or won't he? Hamlet on the Potomac. The media wants him to get in, and as we all know, what's good for Joe Scarborough is good for America.

    1. It is truly sad that someone would exploit the death of their child to the point that a caring person like Bob Somerby would be forced to allow an unflattering thought to cross his mind about them.

      But obviously the meme is so strong, a decision must have been made somewhere and passed along the guild chain of command. And clearly Biden himself must have been consulted and told to keep up the act.

      With the worms munching away incessantly and cultural values about to collapse, all variables must be considered by Bob Somerby lest something like this leads to a repeat of what happened to Al Gore and the ritual smearing of his footwear back in late '99. And of course, if you don't get reminded of it, how can you recognize it when it happens.

    2. Clearly Biden himself has no control over the legend, the myth, the narrative, the lore. If only someone, any reporter, could get close to him to give him the chance to repudiate the new Book in the press Bible. But of course we know Biden is such a babe in the woods and has never played this unseemly game called politics. Only the Clintons play politics. That's one of the RULES.

    3. Couldn't agree with you more. It IS like religion with those press people. And so many are Catholic too. I know Bob Somerby once wrote a post about how that influenced unfair
      treatment of the southern Protestants Gore and Clinton.

    4. Somerby once wrote a post about how that influenced unfair treatment of the southern Protestants Gore and Clinton.

      Are you able support that claim, or do you just prefer to change the subject with misdirection and bullshit pulled out of your ass?

    5. "Over the past thirty years, the press has featured quite a few of these types, often drawn from among We Irish Catholics. One example: Quite plainly, Jimmy Breslin hated Al Gore because Gore came from Tennessee. But there has been a surprising amount of this—and yes, in the Clinton-Gore years, it helped change American history."

    6. "This throwback Irishism would simply be annoying if it weren’t so clear that Irishism played a key role in the way the East Coast Irish Catholic crowd went crazy about Bill Clinton’s blow jobs, then turned against Candidate Gore as an extension of their cultural frenzy."

    7. "It’s one of the most remarkable press stories of the past twenty years.

      We refer to the way the East Coast Irish Catholic Democratic-leaning press cabal led the charge against President Clinton, then against Candidate Gore."

    8. I'm voting for Biden.

    9. Come to think of it, maybe you're right. I thought Somerby was mainly aiming his thoughts at the East Coast Irish MSNBC cabal led by Jack Welch.

      The Book Of Joe:

      And so Joe went to the mountain and stayed there for 40 days and 40 nights to be tempted by the Washington Village Elders - except for the occasional political speech here and there and fundraiser here and there and meetings with major donors here and there.

      But when the Villagers came to him and tempted him by saying, "Joe, get in there, we want anybody but Hillary",
      Joe replied, "It is written, Joe Shall not live by politics alone".

      And the Villagers sighed, "How thou art so authentic"

    10. mm, your response seems to suggest you went with the change of subject and decided to play along with the misdirection pulled out of @ 11:49's ass.

    11. You have demonstrated that the Irish Catholic Cabal went after Gore and the Clintons, but not closed the loop to show that they went after those people because they were Protestants or not-Catholic instead of because they were from the South.

      New England is the heart of elitism based on social class. The upper crust there has made the Puritan punishment of shunning into an art form. It is entirely possible they went after the Clintons because they were low caste, not because of their religion, although their own snobbery is based on a shared Irish Catholic, upper class heritage that they are very proud of.

      People who have lived in the the NE (after living elsewhere) recognize this. It has been the heart of numerous novels and sociological analyses. It is not Somerby's invention. These people think Presidents should come from the ranks of the "best" people. That emphatically does not include those Clintons, no matter where they went to school.

      Simply by aspiring to positions of power that they are not meant to inhabit, the Clintons are being inauthentic. Their place is on the other side of the tracks, or at best, some suburban tract. Not hallowed ground like the White House. Look at the trash they let sleep in the Lincoln bedroom!

    12. Are you denying that Gore and Clinton were both Southern and Protestant?

    13. When someone has two traits, each of which could have been the basis for bias, you don't know which of them evoked the ire. It can be one, the other, or both, or something else entirely. That's why you have to close the loop and establish which it was.

    14. The terms Protestant and southern were adjectives describing the two men.

    15. If you have a point @3:33, please make it.

    16. If you have another IQ point you can rub them topgether and maybe there will be a spark.

    17. I agree with not mm. Since it has been the heart of sociological analyses and several novels, it is clear the Catholic's attack in the War on Gore (and Clinton) was an act of regional aggression by New England elites. It had nothing to do with religion.

    18. I agree with not mm also. It's kind of obvious since GW is most definitely not Catholic.

    19. And not really Southern.

    20. No, but I heard he's a great fella to have a bear with.

    21. Or to get your tows painted with.

  5. I just went and read Chapter 5. Wow. They were even writing about the color of Gore's suits and his boots back in 1988. Focusing on clothes and not policies. And I have been led to believe this was only done to women.

    1. You must have missed the posts where Somerby complained about Maureen Dowd's many columns where she portrays various Democratic male candidates as women. She called Edwards the Breck girl. Obama wears "mom" jeans and was called Obambi. She attacks male Democrats by describing them as too feminine. So, focusing on their clothes is another way of suggesting to readers that these men are women, with all the traits of femininity despised in women.

      Someday we'll make social progress and being female won't be considered a disqualifier, something you call a man to insult him or portray him as unfit for office.

      I realize you are trying to suggest there is an inconsistency (as a slam against Somerby), but you are mainly showing your ignorance about past smear campaigns. Keep reading -- maybe you'll learn more.

    2. Dowd said we need a woman Pope.

    3. I suspect that is because seeing a guy in a dress makes her nervous. She has no respect for women in general.

    4. An earlier report on Ms. Dowd, surprisingly not written by who you think.

      "With that said, let's take a look at some of the howlers, mistakes, curiosities, and falsehoods in Dowd's screed:

      The Angry, Lazy Bigotry of Maureen Dowd

      The New York Times columnist has passed caricature and is heading for complete farce"

  6. I would like to see Huckabee in a dress. Huckabee should spend the rest of the campaign in a dress.

    1. I would like to see cicero in a dress taking dictation and fetching coffee for Carly Fiorina.

  7. Kudos to Bob Somerby for not calling the former Spinsanity writer "Professor Nyhan." And for pointing it out so readers didn't miss it.

    Some people would rather jump off bridges than show any respect for college faculty. Not Bob.

  8. Today, over a photo of Hillary Clinton giving the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" gesture, the Huffington Post tries to torpedo the former Secretary with the moderate working class base which gave her key primary wins over Obama on her way to winning the most votes in 2008.

    "Hillary Clinton Goes Big On Gun Policy, Creates Contrast With Bernie Sanders"

    It looks like they are totally in bed with Biden now.

  9. I am glad Somerby linked us back to his 2003 post on the brutal assault the press conducted on Gore back in the fall of 1999 over the "boots" issue. Clearly Gore was damaged as he merely crushed Bradley instead of totally annihilating him a few months later.

    1. If you think this stuff didn't hurt Gore, imagine what would have happened if the election hadn't come down to the Florida ballot count.

    2. Clinton didn't even mention Gore when he told his "forbidden tale" that he has told about two dozen times.

  10. "Can you believe that the person who wrote that column is still allowed on TV?"

    Yes. There is a lot of nepotism in the media. Roberts career, like those of Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton, was probably helped by her parents being prominent in politics. And look at Luke Russert, not to mention the miserable Mika!

    Today at HuffPo they are promoting yet another Congressional "legacy" celebrity reporting about the brilliance of George W. Bush.

    Is it any wonder hard working public servants like Al Gore, Jr. and Hillary Clinton get savaged by these children of privilege?

  11. I'm glad Gore kept the boots on. He seems a lot more comfortable with himself now that he is a recovering politician.

  12. My Ex-Husband Broke My Heart. Here's How I Healed, My name is Michelle Robert from USA, i am testifying to the general public how my married was restored back by the great power's of Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack after heart broken, My husband and I are both directors and shareholders in our family business. We have been married for 20 years but my husband is now going for a divorce, i agreed in the first place but i later realized what happens to my family and what rights will I have in the business if my husband divorce me, and i have worked so hard for my family and this business, i was incomplete and wondered what to do because he already went to court. I was browsing on the internet when i saw a post on how a spell caster called Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack helped someone bring back her ex, so i wondered if he can help me, i gave him the try and contacted him at his email, he told me not to worry that everything would be alright, i gave him the chance to cast the spell, he told me that in 48 hours my husband will come back and beg me, i never believed it at first, surprisingly completing 48 hours he came back and started to beg me not be to be annoyed about what he did, and now we are happy again. Thank you Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack today my home is restored back if you are going through similar problem you can contact him at his private email {}.

  13. A broken heart can be one of the most painful things to heal from and can take a very long time to heal. During these times it can feel like the whole world could light up in flames and it still couldn't compare to the pain inside.

    Of course, admitting a broken heart can be a difficult thing to do and most of us try to continue on with life masking the pain in our heart. With this pain comes many emotions. I was also trying to masked my pain, until i found help, here is my story about how i save my marriage when my heart was broken.

    My wife and I separated 4 months ago and our children, Emily and Robert, live with her but see me every weekend. I was totally devastated and confused until a old friend of mine told me about a spell caster on the internet called Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack who help people with their relationship and marriage problem by the powers of love spells, at first I doubted if such thing ever exists but decided to give it a try, when I contacted him, he helped me cast a spell and within 48hours my wife came back to me and started apologizing, now she has stopped going out with men and she is with me for good and for real. you can Contact on { }. If you are passing through all this kind of love problem of getting back your husband, wife , or ex boyfriend and girlfriend. contact Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack, E-mail:{ } Thank you so much Sir Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack, i will always be testifying about your good work. Tom Brice, NY, United States.


  14. A broken marriage can be one of the most painful things to heal from and can take a very long time to heal. During these times it can feel like the whole world could light up in flames and it still couldn't compare to the pain inside. My name is Nicole Cottrell form UK, I have been in great bondage for almost 2 years suffering in the hands of a cheating husband, we were happy and leaving well until he meant his old time girl friend and he started dating her outside our marriage before you knew it he stopped caring and taking care of his own family to the extent that he was planning to get married to her and divorce me, i cried and reported him to his family but he never listened to any one but to cut my story short i came in search for a real spell caster who could destroy their relationship and make him come back to me and our 2 kids on my search i saw people making testimony on how their marriage where restored by Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack i pick his email and i narrated my story to him and he agreed to help me and after performing a spell on the second day both of them had a quarrel and he beat his girlfriend up and he came home begging for me and our little kids to forgive him that his eyes are clear now that he will never do any thing that will hurt his family again and promise to be a caring father and never cheat again. I am so happy that i did not loose him to the girl. all appreciation goes to Chief Nwaluta Mallam Zack for he is a Great spell caster and to whom this may concern if you have a cheating husband or wife or you need your ex lover back again. you can as well email him on { } and this man made me to understand that there are only 8 real spell caster in Africa.