Campaign watch: Gene Lyons recalls how it all began!


This week's essential column:
Do you plan to vote for Candidate Sanders? If so, that's fine with us.

Do you plan to vote for Candidate Clinton? If so, that's OK too.

What follows isn't an attempt to assess Clinton v. Sanders. What follows is a chance for you to ponder the journalistic history of the past twenty-plus years.

We're recommending Gene Lyons' new column at The National Memo. If you read only one column this week, we'll suggest that you read his.

Lyons is author of the 1996 book, Fools For Scandal: How the Media Invented Whitewater. In 2000, he teamed with Joe Conason to write The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Those books are essential histories of the mainstream press corps' strange behavior toward the Clintons during the 1990s. In this morning's column, Lyons recalls a major incident in 1994 in which the press corps began inventing a punishing theme—the notion that Hillary Clinton is a fiendish liar.

Some of us simply won't believe that Lyons' account could be accurate. Until Frank Rich says it's OK to say it, we will simply refuse to believe that any such thing could have happened.

From our own perspective, we'll only say this:

In Lyons' column, he describes the way the press corps invented a lie by Hillary Clinton. Here at this site, we spent years chronicling the way those same people invented lies by Candidate Gore.

We learned one important fact in the utterly fruitless years we spent on that topic. We liberals are cowards and ditto-heads, the emptiest type of camp followers. Here's how it works in our world:

Frank Rich has never said that the press invented lies by Gore, so we the liberals aren't able to say it. We liberals only say the things our tribal elders give us permission to say, and our tribal elders are the very ones who invented the lies which sent George Bush to the White House.

Why did our elders behave that way? We have no idea, in large part because no one has ever asked them. Beyond that, no one ever will! Have you heard of the code of silence? We self-impressed liberals have accepted that code day after day after day.

The story-line which ran through Gore was being invented in 1994. Lyons describes one high-profile incident, but because he isn't Frank Rich, we'll never believe that it happened as he describes or ask ourselves what it might mean.

We love to trash the ditto-heads. But crackers, please! Just look around! The ditto-heads are us!


  1. "In 2016, Journalistic Fraud Still Looms Large"

    So very true. But like Bob Somerby, Gene Lyons has pointed to a mainstream liberal's misbehaviour.

    Ergo, nothing to worry about here.

    1. Would it not be more accurate to say that Somerby is following in Lyons' footsteps rather than the other way around. And of course Lyons has both the journalisitic experience to make his work credible and two finished books under his belt.

    2. I don't know or care if it would be more accurate the other way around, but I do wonder where 9:11 troll got the idea anyone said it was or wasn't and that he needed to correct it.

      Actually, of course, I DON'T wonder that at all; it's just rhetorical affect. Troll doesn't have ideas. Troll just throws shit. See below.

    3. Shorter mm nym:

      Ego, I care only about what I think even tho I dont. Poo head.

  2. I remember the filth in REAL TIME moving from Arkansas in 1993 to Maryland... As Lyons said, WORSE NOW. Everything is WORSE NOW. However, we have hit rock bottom...

  3. See, Nona Nym just PROVED we actually have been rock bottomed. LOL.

  4. "Greatly to his credit (and my surprise), Chris Hayes subsequently rebroadcast Clinton’s remarks in full. 'We shouldn’t have done that,' he admitted. No, they certainly should not."

    Mahala would approve Lyon's crediting Hayes' retraction. Somerby, not so much.

    1. Somerby, by trying to prove he has been right all along about Hayes despite the correction on "All In", had to find fault with Hayes. Just like Hayes had to prove he had "arguably" been right in his remarks about Clinton if not in the presentation of Clinton's remarks.

      Bob S.- Actions which mirror his critiques.

    2. Ya know, part of the problem with Bob and Gene is that they are stuck in 1999, and the whole world has moved on.

      One reason that Hayes caught such instant flack was because a lot of people already knew what Bill said before Hayes butchered the video. And that's because these days, there are so many different ways of hearing it.

      Kinda like the old "rodeo clown" incident when Bob wondered why a rodeo clown who made fun of George H.W. wasn't a big deal in 1992.

      Could it possibly be that nobody had a Smartphone, a Facebook account, and a blogger buddy who was a diarist at Daily Kos back in 1992?

      All we had were those wonderful "gatekeepers" who kept such "unpleasant" news from us.

    3. What motivated Hayes' dishonesty? Was he trying to damage Clinton by creating a rift between Clinton and black pro-Obama voters before the upcoming SC primary?

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  7. Please, do NOT mention Jonathan Capehart and his clumsy but venomous attempt at swiftboating Sanders on behalf of the Clintons. Hit 'em where they strong, like ol' Karl taught us all, eh?

    1. Ryan sounds like a young Bob Somerby. Especially when he starts off his piece with several paragraphs trying to establish he is not crazy.

    2. Shane Ryan at work.....

  8. Who the Sam Hill is Frank Rich?

    1. Rich was an outstanding theatre reviewer for the New York Times -- sensitive, perceptive, knowledgable. Then he became a policial pundit. In that role, he wrote very nasty attacks on Republicans. He became a liberal version of Rush Limbaugh. I doubly regretted the change, because I really liked his theatre reviews.

    2. Since I never heard of him why would I not believe anything until he said it?

    3. David is related to Frank somehow. He's just too modest/ashamed to mention it.

  9. As a progressive I could vote for a 1992 Clinton but not a regressive, censoring, divisive, grievance-mongering 2016 Black Lives Matter pandering Clinton.

    1. You're about as progressive as David Duke.

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