Supplemental: Top pundits can’t hear a certain complaint!


Pundits suffer MHL—Mandated Hearing Loss:
Yesterday morning, Mark Halperin made a striking statement about the press coverage of Candidate Clinton.

Halperin was appearing on ABC’s This Week. He made a striking remark about the press corps’ attitudes.

Halperin spoke out, but how strange! Guest host Martha Raddatz didn’t seem to hear what he said:
HALPERIN (10/11/15): [Clinton] comes into this with some positives, some momentum. Her Saturday Night Live appearance was very good. And Kevin McCarthy did more to help her presidential campaign than James Carville or Paul Begala combined.

But she’s under extraordinary pressure. David Brooks represents the view of the media at large, which is one mistake by Hillary Clinton in this debate will be the only story. She knows that.

RADDATZ: OK, let’s go beyond the debate, maybe way off—way beyond the debate [to] Joe Biden possibly jumping in, possibly making a decision this week, clearly not in time for the debate...
Say what? According to Halperin, if Clinton makes a single mistake in tomorrow’s debate, that single mistake will become the press corps’ “only story.”

What could Halperin mean by that? What a shame—we never found out! Apparently, Raddatz didn't hear that part of what he said! She moved right to the next topic!

Actually, Shirley, we jest! Pundits routinely suffer hearing loss when certain statements are made about their guild's behavior. We saw it happen again this morning, during the Morning Joe propaganda hour.

Here’s the background:

Last evening, Barack Obama appeared on 60 Minutes. At one point, he discussed the focus on Candidate Clinton’s emails:
OBAMA (10/11/15): I don't think it posed a national security problem. I think that it was a mistake that she has acknowledged and—you know, as a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data.

And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it. I do think that the way it's been ginned up is in part because of, in part because of politics.

And I think she'd be the first to acknowledge that maybe she could have handled the original decision better and the disclosures more quickly. But this is one of those issues that I think is legitimate. But the fact that for the last three months this is all that's been spoken about is an indication that we're in presidential political season.
Basically, we agree with Obama. We think the “issue” is legitimate, if less than deeply compelling. What’s striking about the topic is the obsessive focus it has occasioned—the way it has been ginned up.

How obsessive has the focus been? How much gin has been consumed? With respect to that question, Obama, please!

“The fact that, for the last three months, this is all that’s been spoken about?”

Obama, please! We’re now in the seventh month of this endless fandango. On Morning Joe, they still obsess about the topic virtually every day!

This morning was no exception. In the opening segment, Joe played tape of what Obama had said. At that point, the program's Big 3 took turns reciting their lines.

We thought Willie Haskell-Geist Jr. was especially unctuous today. He unctuously told us what Obama would say if he were speaking in private!

(That said, no one recites his master’s lines quite the way Haskell-Geist does. In the historical context, we put him right up there beside the faithful dog Argus!)

Mika, Joe and Eddie Will took turns reciting their lines. Regular viewers of the show have heard them a thousand times.

But how odd! Even though they played the tape of Obama’s comment about “the last three months,” nobody seemed to hear it! No one said a word about his complaint concerning the way nothing else gets discussed.

Was Obama perhaps discussing them when he made that remark? We’ll never learn what the pundits thought! To appearances, none of them had been able to hear that part of Obama's comment!

Pundit, hear no evil! When press corps behavior is called into question, it’s the Mandated Pundit Reaction. A few weeks ago, Bill Clinton offered a more direct complaint about the press corps’ treatment of the emails. In that instance, it was CNN’s Fareed Zakaria who suffered hearing loss:
CLINTON (9/27/15): It was always going to happen. The other party doesn't want to run against her. And if they do, they'd like her as mangled up as possible. And they know that if they leak things, say things, that that is catnip to the people who get bored talking about what's your position on student loan relief or dealing with shortage of mental health care or what to do with the epidemic of prescription drugs and heroin out in America even in small towns in rural America, or how are you going to get jobs in the cold country given how much they've lost in the last 20 years.

So that just happens. It always happens. And we're seeing history repeat itself. And I actually am amazed that she's born up under it as well as she has. But I have never seen so much expended on so little.


What happened? The presidential campaign happened. And the nature of the coverage shifted from issue based to political. And it happened. You can't complain.

This is not—this is a contact sport. They're not giving the job away. And people who want a race wanted her to drop some. And the people in the other party desperately wanted it because she's already put out more positions on more issues and said how she would pay for them, I think, than all the others combined based on the two—the Republican, the two debates I saw.

ZAKARIA: You think it’s a Republican plot, really?
Sadly enough, we’ve seen more expended on less. That said:

Rather plainly, Clinton was discussing the GOP—and the mainstream press corps! The mainstream press corps, which finds it boring to write about issues and very much wants a race.

Zakaria only heard the part about the GOP! Suffering standard hearing loss, he only heard one part of what his famous guest said.

Tomorrow, Candidates Clinton and Sanders debate, with three other figures on stage to kill time. We’ll have a few remarks about coverage of the pair.


  1. They tell you what they're doing, the DC pundits, and then they deny it. Halperin says they're out to get Hillary. So does Brooks. But let somebody defending her say the same thing, and it's outrageous nonsense.

    Maybe the most amazing part is that so many out there in TV Land don't see it.

    1. As someody out there in TV Land what I don't see is where David Brooks made the statment Halperin attributed to him. Didn't see it in print land either. Did Somerby miss it when Brooks said it?

  2. "Obama, please! We’re now in the seventh month of this endless fandango. On Morning Joe, they still obsess about the topic virtually every day!"
    Obama said three months instead of seven months. Maybe as President he gets a pass and does not have to watch "Morning Joe."

  3. I can't believe Bob Somerby just applauded the sliming of Clinton.

    1. Where is the slime?

    2. The slime is that Hillary covered up something regarding the e-mails. The slime is that she did anything wrong and this is a legitimate issue.

    3. How cabinet heads handle their email was an overlooked issue before this political attack on Clinton. The government should address it as a matter of policy. That doesn't mean Clinton did anything wrong -- since there was no preexisting policy directing her actions. This has all come after the fact. That means it can be both a legitimate issue and something on which Clinton has been a focus of attention without doing anything wrong.

      She no doubt considers it ill-advised in retrospect because it made her vulnerable to conservative attack. She has apologized as a matter of political necessity and because women tend to apologize to resolve conflict, whether they have done anything wrong or not.

    4. @3:56

      The FBI is the one who confiscated four Secretary of State servers. The FBI is the one who is going through HRC's private server and her two back up servers and thumb drives. The FBI is the aganecy that confimred HRC had classified information on her sever. The FBI confirmed HRC did not turn over all her work emails to state as she held back emails to and from Sydney Blumenthal regarding Libya.

    5. Tater Tot Perez doesn't think agreeing with Obama's sliming of Clinton constitutes applause.

    6. The President was given two chance to agree with the Clintons on the issue, that it is no big deal. He chose not to do so. Bob knows this yet chose to misrepresent his position and in fact distort it.

      "Basically, we agree with Obama. We think the “issue” is legitimate, if less than deeply compelling."

      Not quite Bob:

      "Steve Kroft: Do you agree with what President Clinton has said and Secretary Clinton has said, that this is not-- not that big a deal. Do you agree with that?

      President Barack Obama: Well, I'm not going to comment on--

      Steve Kroft: You think it's not that big a deal--

      President Barack Obama: What I think is that it is important for her to answer these questions to the satisfaction of the American public. And they can make their own judgment."

      That is sort of applauding Obama while distorting what he said.

    7. Obama doesn't want to be perceived as supporting Clinton over Biden.

  4. And Bernie supporters have the nerve to complain that the media doesn't like HIM.

    1. @A Perez,

      They complained he has old man smell. That's just outrageous!

    2. "The trolls complain that Bozell doesn't pay them enough when he shouldn't pay them at all. That's just outrageous!"

      FTFY - back to mama's basement & NO DESSERT for you!

  5. HALPERIN (10/11/15): But she’s under extraordinary pressure. David Brooks represents the view of the media at large, which is one mistake by Hillary Clinton in this debate will be the only story. She knows that.

    Thank you, Mark Halperin, for a very clear dynamic display of CLINTON RULES in action. I wonder, was he twirling his waxed handlebar mustache when he spoke these words?

    I wonder also how he knows that "She knows that". Did he and the rest of his colleagues in the high school Mean Girls Club send her an anonymous warning on Facebook? These people have nothing but contempt for the American people, this isn't an election about who will be better for the people, this is a blood sport for Halperin and his buddies.

    1. I don't know if he has contempt for the American people. It is clear he has contempt for Clinton. And they share the sentiment.

      They are not unlike Nixon in this regard.

    2. @ 10:27 PM - Amazing. Not prescient enough to know Halperin's beliefs but prescient enough to know the beliefs of the American people and a dead POS. Bravo!

    3. I was referring to the Clintons reciprocating contempt for Halperin and the press. My apology for the failure to make the name plural.

    4. Everyone is familiar with Godwin's Law concerning internet discussions. The person who makes a comparison to the Nazi's and Hitler loses.

      I propose a similar rule for internet discussions. The first idiot who injects Dick Nixon comparisons into the discussion loses.

      @10:27, You lose.

      Let's call it "mm's" Rule.

    5. @mm

      How about holding Democratic Party POTUS candidates to the same rule? Unfortunately, HRC failed Godwin's Law class at Yale.

      "Hillary Clinton Says Republicans Will Put Illegal Immigrants in "Boxcars"

  6. I am not so sure Marth Raddatz moving to the Biden aspect of the story was her ignoring or not hearing Halperin but instead acknowledging reality. For the media, this year as in 2007, the story was Hillary Clinton, because she was the front runner, just as the Republican story was Bush until Trump blew him off the map.

    If ABC News was ignoring the point, why is headline for this segment's clip from "This Week", Mark Halperin: If Hillary Clinton Makes Mistake in Debate, It'll be the 'Only Story'?

    If Bob can accuse Raddatz of professional hearing loss can he be accused of blogging illiteracy?

    1. "....instead acknowledging reality."

      The time for Raddatz to respond to Halperin was in the moment the creep said it. This is what journalists are supposed to do. The matter-of-fact statement by Halperin was extraordinary and required a true journalist to probe and demand an explanation. Sadly, we don't have journalists, we have incompetent, lazy story tellers.


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  8. AP Exclusive: Clinton server's software had hacking risk

    1. Exclusive: Ex-Benghazi investigator alleges Rep. Gowdy violated federal law

    2. I want all of Gowdy's and Boehner's emails immediately.

    3. "New Hillary Clinton Emails Show Violation of Freedom of Information Law"

      "One of the many emails that should have been provided under FOI in 2012, but was not, is to Clinton from Huma Abedin on Sept. 14, 2012. Others include Clinton communications on Benghazi with her chief aide Cheryl Mills."

    4. cicero - So, in your opinion receiving an email from Huma Abedin and sending an email to her chief aide Cheryl Mills as Secretary of State demonstrates some major breach in the appropriate governing of the United States of America and disqualifies HRC as a candidate for POTUS. How terribly shallow you are.