GREETINGS FROM BABEL: The demonization that never ends!


Twin servants to President Trump:
Charles Blow's recent column is so journalistically awful, in so many ways, that it ought to be taken to the Smithsonian, or perhaps to some underground site.

Blow's column could be preserved at that underground site for the edification of the survivors. It would be part of an exhibit which was mounted beneath this title:

How bad "journalistic" performance became during the age before the deluge, during the age when the public discourse collapsed

Blow's column was bad in so many ways it would take a month to explore them all. Unless you're reading the works of Josh Marshall, in which case it was "a very good piece" by Blow, of whom Marshall is "a huge fan."

Is Marshall really a huge fan of Blow? Did he really think Blow's column was "a very good piece?"

We don't know how to answer those questions. In our view, Marshall became a businessman during the last decade. It seems to us that, in that role, he is now inclined to say the various things that work, including various things he may not exactly believe.

As a piece of journalism, Blow's column was horrifically bad. One example:

Why did Ashley Williams, age 23, seem to think that Hillary Clinton called her a super-predator in 1996?

The question is blindingly obvious. But so what? When he interviewed the "young graduate student," the journalist didn't ask!

It would take a million analysts at a million typewriters to discuss Blow's column in full. For today, though, we want to restate one very basic point:

We want to stress the way the column continues two decades of demonization. As we do, we want to note the way the column is a virtual in-kind contribution future President Trump.

The demonized party is Hillary Clinton, a person you may or may not be planning to vote for.

(We plan to vote for Candidate Clinton or Candidate Sanders in November's general election. We can't say with certainty who we'll vote for in next month's Maryland primary.)

The demonized party in Blow's column was, of course, Hillary Clinton. The column continues a culture of demonization which started, on the national stage, in January 1992.

In many ways, that culture of demonization got started on the front page of Blow's current newspaper.

It continued through the vehicle of Pat Buchanan's convention speech about "Clinton and Clinton." It produced an era of pseudo-scandals during Bill Clinton's two terms in office.

That era was passively accepted by our hapless liberal world, except to the rather large extent that our tribe's "intellectual leaders" were actually running at the front of the mob.

Starting in March 1999, the demonization was seamlessly transferred to Candidate Gore. Twenty months later, this seamless transfer of demonization produced a disastrous result.

Once again, the New York Times played a major role in the invention of the new demon, who "had a problem with the truth" and "didn't know who he was." (At the Washington Post, Colbert King kept trashing the new official demon right to the bitter end.)

Once again, the liberal world just sat and accepted this demonization, even as our own tribe's "journalists" played leading roles in the new hunt.

By 2007, people were dead all over the world because of the silence in which we the brilliant liberals engaged during that earlier campaign. Now, Hillary Clinton began her first run for the White House.

The demonization started again. In February 2008, the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz toted up some of the misogyny which our team was perfectly happy to take, in this case from the previous era's number-one slimer of Candidate Gore:
KURTZ (2/14/08): [T]he "Hardball" host has been particularly hard on the former first lady...And there is a history here. In 1999, amid speculation that Clinton might seek a Senate seat in New York, Matthews told viewers: "No man would say, 'Make me a U.S. senator because my wife's been cheating on me.' "

The following year, he said: "Hillary Clinton bugs a lot of guys, I mean, really bugs people—like maybe me on occasion...She drives some of us absolutely nuts."

In 2005, when Clinton criticized the administration on homeland security the day after terrorist bombings in London, Matthews said: "It's a fact: You look more witchy when you're doing it like this."

In recent weeks, he has asked whether Clinton's criticism of Obama makes her "look like Nurse Ratched." He has said that "Hillary's loyal lieutenants are ready to scratch the eyes out of the opposition" and likened her to Evita Peron,
"the one who gives gifts to the little people, and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita."

It was against that backdrop that Matthews sparked a furor last month when he said: "I'll be brutal: The reason she's a U.S. senator, the reason she's a candidate for president, the reason she may be a front-runner, is her husband messed around." The counterattack was fierce.
"The counterattack was fierce?"

Ever so briefly, we the liberals got off our ascots to complain about Matthews' relentless behavior. Matthews and his corporate bosses decided to offer Matthews' sidekick, David Shuster, as a sacrifice to the gods.

That said, Matthews had begun trashing Clinton as "Evita Peron" all the way back in 1999, to complete and total silence from our own pitiful tribe. Indeed, Kurtz hadn't been able to include all of Matthews' gender-trashing in this one profile.

Regarding that endless gender-trashing, Kurtz noted that Matthews had called Clinton “witchy”—but not that he had compared her to a “strip-teaser.”

He reported that Matthews had said that Clinton “bugs” him—but we were left unaware of his earlier statement: “I hate her. I hate her. I hate everything she stands for.”

Also unmentioned was Matthews' astonishing statement about Gore: "He doesn’t look like one of us. He doesn’t seem very American, even."

Matthews said that to the idiot Imus shortly after 9/11. We liberals have meekly accepted this relentless behavior for the past twenty-four years.

Today, we tolerate people like Marshall and Blow, who extend this demonization, perhaps for career advancement and/or profit. That said, whatever the motives may be, the demonization speaks for itself:

We refer to the point we made yesterday. We refer to the fact that Blow named exactly one name in that appalling column.

In what way did that column by Blow produce a "demonization?"

Thank you for asking! Here's how he engaged in a demonization. This is very important:

Blow's column concerned the 1994 crime bill and "mass incarceration in general." As he pandered and fawned to a "young graduate student" who may or may not have known what the freak she was talking about, Blow named exactly one person who supported that bill.

He named the demon, Hillary Clinton. He named no one else!

Anyone who reads Blow's column will of course understand that Clinton is being demonized as a race-baiter. That's why it counts as demonization when Blow forgets to mention the fact we've mentioned before—the fact that two-thirds of the Congressional Black Caucus voted for that same bill.

How do you discuss that bill in the context of race without mentioning that fact? You do it if you're engaged in demonization—if you're extending a pattern of demonization which began in 1992.

Whose names did Blow forget to cite? Among others, he forgot to name Kweisi Mfume, an extremely impressive person who was our own congressman at that time.

Mfume voted for the 1994 crime bill, then became head of the NAACP. How do you omit that name while trashing Clinton for supporting that bill?

The answer to that ugly question extends back 24 years. Meanwhile, people are dead all over the world because of the decades of demonizing engaged in by life forms like Blow.

Blow's column is a classic example of demonization. Life forms select the latest pig, then engage in the killing.

They did this in 1999 and 2000; in the end, this sent George Bush to the White House. Today, life forms like Blow are demonizing in a way which is destined to serve the interests of our future president, the disastrous President Trump.

"A very good column," Josh Marshall said in response to the demonization. We're so old that we can remember the days before he became a mogul devoted to dumbing the liberal world down.

Again, a few basic statistics: Once again, we thought you ought to consider a few basic numbers which didn't appear in Blow's column. Below, you see the number of murders in New York City in the years when Bill Clinton ran for president, as opposed to the number of murders last year:
Number of murders in New York City
1991: 2154
1992: 1995


2015: 345
We can't say why the number has dropped, and last year's number is still very large. That said, compare it to the gigantic numbers which helped create the 1994 bill.

Those gigantic numbers help explain why black and Hispanic congressmen from New York City voted for the 1994 crime bill. As they stage their latest demonization, life forms like Blow refuse to say their names.

In the years after the deluge, survivors will understand that this demonizing column by Blow was a gift to America's final president, the disastrous short-termer, President Trump.

The people who favored Candidate Sanders will be able to see that. So will those who favored Candidate Clinton. Among the scattered bands of survivors, even liberals, at long last, will know.


  1. People like Bob Somerby are why Al Gore lost in 2000.

    1. People like you are why Gore lost in 2000.

    2. Choosing Joe Lieberman as his VP is why Gore lost in 2000.

    3. Gore didn't lose. Bush's brother rigged the vote in Florida giving the Supreme Court the excuse to hand the election to Bush.

      No one liked Lieberman much but he wasn't the reason anyone cast a vote for or against the ticket. Gore put Lieberman on the ticket because Lieberman was vocally criticizing Bill Clinton for his infidelities. Gore saw adding him as a way to distance himself from Clinton -- that was a huge mistake, in my opinion. But remember, this is the guy who married Tipper, the woman waging war on Frank Zappa and rock and roll lyrics.

    4. I remember Tipper and her War on Zappa. I cannot for the life of me wonder why anyone would think she was the model for Jenny Cavilleri.

      Al is better off without her.


    1. How can crime, police, and bringing juveniles to heel in the home of the blogger be off topic?

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

      Also not related in any way to today's post.

    3. True. Blogger science fiction about the future end of American Democracy because a couple of black people, one of whom is a journalist, dissed a white politican over an issue of concern to them is on topic.

      Caring about real black kids in real schools facing real police is more akin to jumping off a bridge than to discourse.

    4. Marshall isn't black. Blow is. Williams is, but she is neither a journalist nor a politician.

      Do you really think it doesn't matter who gets elected, when it comes to issues affecting black kids in real schools?

    5. Nobody said Marshall was black.

    6. Nobody said Williams was a journalist or a politician.

    7. Nobody said Clinton called Williams anything.

    8. Why does Bob Somerby, age 68(?) seem to think and thus repeatedly say "Ashley Williams, age 23, seem(s) to think that Hillary Clinton called her a super-predator in 1996?"

    9. On the video Williams is seen saying to Clinton:

      "Williams: “I’m not a super predator, Hillary Clinton.”"

      Earlier Blow describes their efforts to decide which words to confront Clinton with from her previous speech.

    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. Myself: I am not lazy, dumb, and dishonest, Bob Somerby.

  3. This attack exemplifies the conservative tactic of attacking the liberal candidate in his or her strength. Kerry was thus attacked on his war record. Clinton is being attacked on her civil rights record. Her strength is among African American voters, so attack her there -- imply that she thinks black people, even children, even young grad students, are all super-predators. Blame her for the higher rates of incarceration.

    Somerby is right that the left is aiding and abetting this attack. Why? If I were cynical, I would say that it is to help Sanders by diminishing Clinton's support. Somerby is also right that this continues a long legacy of scapegoating.

    Sanders is opportunistically running on the belief that Clinton will never become president because the powers that be won't let her -- despite her overwhelming popular support. Sanders represents the anyone-but-Clinton faction. Because he cannot win the nomination even with the attacks on Clinton, his supporters will become Trump voters.

    Women who come close to the glass ceiling understand that the opposition becomes stronger and more determined to keep you from your goals, the closer you get. Hillary is symbolic of social change that cannot be tolerated -- giving women true power alongside men in our government.

    There is a reason why Bernie's supporters are largely young white males. There is a reason why they are blind to what their candidate represents. Any pretense of being in favor of civil rights for women goes out the window when a viable candidate like Hillary materializes. Bernie is not the candidate of purity. He is the candidate of backlash.

    1. Kerry's strength was his war record?

    2. A demonstration by a young black lesbian activist aimed at Hillary Clinton generates this rant about young white males?

    3. He was considered a hero before he was swiftboated.

    4. His record as an anti-war activist who had served in Vietnam got him elected in Massachusetts.

      The guy from Massachusetts who was considered a war hero was John F. Kennedy.

    5. Clinton's strength is her unbridled support for Wall Street and the rigged game, not her civil rights record.

    6. Clinton's strength is her longstanding involvement in women's issues and strengthening families and helping children. He second strength is her involvement in foreign relations, first as First Lady and afterward as Secretary of State. Her support for Wall Street occurred when she helped recover from the aftermath of 9/11 (which hit Wall Street). She was out of office during the crash and bail-out. How then did she show any support for Wall Street and the so-called rigged game when she was not a senator and in office voted for the same things as Bernie did? Further, she received less money from Wall Street than Obama and had advisors who were much less "friendly" to Wall Street during her campaign in 2008 -- one of the reasons I voted for her.

      This knee-jerk recitation of Bernie's slogans makes you sound like a puppet, not someone who has actually looked at current events over the past two decades. Or perhaps you are a conservative here mouthing their slogans -- hard to tell them apart from the Bernie supporters.

    7. Kerry went to war and won a silver star and purple heart for bravery under fire. That was disputed by conservatives. His giving back of his medals as a war protest gained him support among Demcratic voters in MA. It didn't make him any less of a hero for his actions during the war.

    8. "strengthening families and helping children" through bank bailouts with no accountability for those who broke the law and crashed the world's economy--which economically weakened families and hurt children.

      "her involvement in foreign relations", which led to her support for the worst foreign-policy mistake of my 50+ year lifetime.

      Put down the shovel, 12:28 PM. You're not helping your candidate.

    9. @11:18,

      What you say about Sanders -- who he represents, why he's running, whether he can be nominated, who his supporters will ultimately vote for in November -- it's all just your own speculation and animus talking.

      If Clinton's popular support was truly "overwhelming," she wouldn't have blown an apparently huge lead and lost lost the vote in the state of Michigan to Sanders, just yesterday.

      You don't have any idea whom Sanders supporters will vote for in the general election. Your speculation that Sanders supporters are merely anti-Clinton is offensive and self-serving -- and therefore quite suspect. I am a Sanders supporter. I will vote for either Sanders or Clinton come November.

      As to whether Sanders can win the nomination, what you know about it isn't worth a tinker's damn.

    10. She wasn't in office in 2008-2009 and didn't vote for any bank bailout. She has stated repeatedly that there needs to be accountability and she has advocated stronger measures than Sanders to control banking (and shadow banking).

      The worst foreign-policy mistake is Iraq. Clinton was not responsible for that. Bush was. Clinton voted similarly to many Democrats and was NOT an advocate of the war -- go back and read her statement at the time. She made that very clear.

      "put down the shovel" -- way to have an open mind!

    11. If you were any indication -- and you're not; you're just another random jerkoff on the internet -- it's not that Sander's voters detest Clinton that's a problem, it's that Clinton supporters like you detest and won't vote for Sanders.

      Of course , you're welcome to your opinion.

      It's only your pretense that it represents some type of enlightenment and your determination to view your preferred candidate through rose colored blinders that is quite galling.

      Clinton then: "Now this much is undisputed."

      Clinton later: "I got it wrong."

      Clinton supporter on the internet today: Hillary's "not responsible," only Bush.


    12. "...speculation that Sanders supporters are merely anti-Clinton..."

      It is not speculation. There have been a number of polls reporting up to 20% or more of Bernie supporters will switch to Trump if Bernie doesn't get the nomination.

      And Bernie can't have it both ways. He has explicitly identified with and actively Trump voters.

    13. Exactly how did HRC's support for deregulation of the financial markets "strengthen families and help children"?

    14. Trade pacts like NAFTA "strengthen families and help children". Who knew?

    15. She didn't support deregulation of the financial markets. If you are talking about Glass-Steagall, Bill Clinton was in office at the time and he was not in favor of it but signed it because it passed by a veto-proof majority. Recall that he had a Republican controlled congress, just as Obama does. Clinton has stated that she is in favor of regulation of the financial markets. Her proposals are stronger than Bernie's according to economists like Krugman.

    16. Clinton has made several very specific statements about the need to correct problems with NAFTA. She wasn't in office when NAFTA was enacted.

      Are you aware of any of the bills she enacted while a Senator that actually did strengthen families and help children? Do you know what she did to that end while First Lady and also while Secretary of State? It doesn't sound like it.

    17. “It is true that the Glass-Steagall law is no longer appropriate to the economy in which we lived. It worked pretty well for the industrial economy, which was highly organized, much more centralized and much more nationalized than the one in which we operate today. But the world is very different.”

      Bill Clinton, at Financial Modernization bill signing.

    18. These defenses of HRC, where she can't even sway her husband, really fly in the face of "she's the one who can work with a GOP-controlled Congress".

    19. Bill Clinton more recently (last two years) has said that he was opposed to repeal of Glass-Steagall at the time. Hillary has continued to say that reinstating Glass-Steagall isn't the solution because it doesn't address shadow banking, so I think his statement that the world is different is essentially correct and better regulation is needed, not a return to past forms of regulation.

      Hillary Clinton has a large amount of experience in her own right that can be used to determine her positions on issues. Plus she has issued many, very specific statements about policy. This is the legitimate source of information about what she has done and what she proposes to do as president.

      It is unusual that she was First Lady before running for office herself, but that is little different than when a VP runs for the presidency. You don't hold that VP responsible for the actions of the president and you don't argue that he must not have been persuasive if he couldn't sway the president to adopt his preferred policy position.

    20. "his supporters will become Trump voters"

      Or, 20% of them will, polls tell us.

      Polls also told you Sanders will do better against Trump than Clinton will.

      So how do you choose which polls you like?

      Wait, wait. Don't tell me.

    21. No, sorry. it was: "up to 20% or more."

      You should sell stuff for a living...

      Up to 20%!

      Or more!!!!

    22. Sorry for my imprecise memory. I didn't make it up. And Bernie has most definitely been trying to win Trump voters.

    23. I certainly hope Hillary never tries to win over any of those Trump voters. The minute she does I am voting for Nader or simply staying home.

  4. Dave the Guitar PlayerMarch 9, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    I am sure that a lot of people support Donald Drumpf in order to punish the America for electing a black President and I'm sure that a lot of people support Bernie because they don't want a woman president. However, that does not make Donald a racist or Bernie anti-women. You should be looking at the policies they support and their commitment to those policies to decide what sort of leadership you want. There is plenty there to debate without stooping to guilt by association.

    1. "Bernie's nonverbal behavior...makes him a sexist."

      Your words demonstrate why a great feminist blogger once wrote:

      "Such cluelessness from Clinton supporters may represent her “biggest problem."

    2. OK, what do you think Bernie's accomplishments are with respect to women's issues? Compare and contrast to Clinton.

    3. @ 12:11, it looks like @ 12:02 ignored you. Is that sexist nonverbal behavior?

  5. Clime declined in New York City because leaded gasoline was banned nationally in the 1970s and the city aggressively removed lead paint from old buildings.

    1. That an the get-tough-on crime policies exemplified by the 1994 Crime bill and "bring superpredators to heel" rhetoric led to the long term incarceration of many would be murderers.

      That is my take on Somerby's point.

    2. Gang violence is drug violence. The widespread use of crack and cocaine, the expansion of gangs from large urban areas to the entire country, the battles between competing factions for market share, and the inability of government to stop organized crime were responsible for the huge increases in murders.

      The lead thesis would be plausible if the murders were domestic violence or other citizen crime. The biggest cause of murder was gang-related. That's why pretending the term "superpredator" was about black people and not hard core gang members is misleading.

      You might argue that lead poisoning caused gang involvement or made gang violence more brutal, but I don't see it as being solely responsible for the increased murder rates. I think they exacerbated a preexisting problem and had an impact on overall violence, but that there were specific causes for the kind of superpredator violence and the get-tough policing and sentencing aimed at the gangs and those supporting them through drug use.

    3. The CIA drug-running, which flooded urban areas of the USA with cocaine, was also responsible for the huge increases in violent crime.

    4. Just look at what is happening in Mexico to see what the US might have been like with less law enforcement -- at least that was the fear at the time.

    5. And don't get me started about the fear of the Consitutional Amendment banning gay marriage.

      That is why the Bill and Hill team strategically played three dimenisnal chess and got us the weaker Defense of Marriage Act instead.

      Of course some refuse to discuss who else voted for the Defense of Marriage Act.
      We aren't afraid to name names. Even if it keeps us from really nice things we do with the little analysts, like read those damn Einstein for Moron books.

    6. Lead is not solely responsible for crime, but increased lead gives increased crime twenty years later. That's true for all races and all countries.

  6. If we don’t want to see such intemperate posts, we have to stop talking about spending our time in ways we find appealing when our analysts are around. Poor analysts! They’ve spent more than nine years on earth tones and haircuts—on the most inane pseudo-issues the human mind knows how to create. And no—they haven’t spent their time on these topics because they find them interesting or appealing. Omigod! Each night last week, the youngsters snuck off for an hour to a Barnes and Noble; with the AC cranked, they worked with David Bodanis’ Einstein-made-easy book, a tome they revisit every few years. In some ways, it’s the clearest of the Einstein-made-easies—but then again, that’s not saying much. We’re fascinated by the fact that these writers can’t explain this science—and we’re even more fascinated by the fact that they don’t seem to know it.

    1. This reminds me of Conan's segment "Boomers with too much time on their hands"

    2. Yup, Blow's column and Marshall's paean to it are awful, and for the reasons described by Somerby.

      Still, rather than note this fact and discuss its fulsome implications, we'd prefer to debate Hillbots and pretend we are clever parodists of Somerby's style.

    3. Yup, Blow's column was awful and Marshall's pimping it disgusting. We'd like to salute endless attacks repeated on them by Somerby.

      Still, rather than note this fact in our defense of our favorite blogger, we'd rather deny we were reading his own words and not some bad parody.


    "The broader point of this narrative is that Sanders voters are somehow illegitimate. They are not loyal Democrats. They don't matter."

  8. In what way did that column produce a "demonization?"

    Thank you for asking! Here's how he engaged in disloyalty. This is very important:

    The column concerned the 1944 Strawberry theft and mass officer insubordination in general. As it pandered and fawned to a young Ensign who may or may not have known what the freak he was talking about, it named exactly one person who tried to solve that crime.

    It named the demon, Lt. Commander Somerqueeg. It named no one else!

    Anyone who reads that column will of course understand that Somerqueeg is being demonized as a coward. That's why it counts as demonization when they forget to mention the fact we've mentioned two thirds of the officers were disloyal.

    The crew wanted to walk around with their shirt tails hanging out, that's all right, let them. Take the tow line, defective equipment, no more, no less. But they encouraged the crew to go around scoffing at me, and spreading wild rumors about steaming in circles, and then old yellow-strain. I was to blame for Lt. Maryk's incompetence and poor seamanship. Lt. Maryk was the perfect officer, but not Captain Somerquug.

    Ah, but the strawberries, that's, that's where I had them, they laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, with geometric logic, that a duplicate key to the ward room icebox did exist, and I've had produced that key if they hadn't pulled the Howler out of action.

    1. You saw a movie once -- so what? This wasn't funny the last time you posted it either.

    2. Thanks @ 1:50. Attacking Bob this way at a time like this makes me think of noble Nestor addressing the Argives near the walls of Ilium: “ Tonight's the night that rips our ranks to shreds or pulls us through.”

  9. I wish Somerby would lay off these posts which foster division among Democrats in his comment box.

    If he ever bothered to read it he would know what he is doing to bring us our last American President, Donald J. Trump.


    1. That water in Flint looks pretty drinkable to a blogger from California as well.

  11. If there was ever a better example of white missionarly liberal imperialism than Josh Marshall and Bob Somerby's equally erroneous reaction to Blow, I have not seen it.

    Of course the comment boxes following the many times Somerby has posted about (and totally missed the point of) Blow's column are pretty blatant examples of cultural shorthsightedness among his largely white readers as well.

    1. How on earth would you know what color Somerby's readers are?

    2. Somerby told me.

      "Sorry, Charlie! For all the many faults in [my comment, I] didn't say that [his readers] are mainly [white]. [I] said those [readers] are largely [white} a claim which is so wonderfully imprecise that it's almost certainly true."

  12. Progressive elitists keep their children in neighborhoods and schools tucked away safely from super-predators while patting themselves on the back for criticizing others for using the apt phrase. A conservative is a progressive who has been mugged by a super-predator.

    1. A conservative is a person who got theirs, and has no empathy for those who haven't.

    2. No empathy for those who won't and would rather wear victimhood to excuse them from work and social responsibility. FIFY

    3. Ah yes, the war on Christmas.

  13. I got a job offer from another state after 4 months of our marriage, the job offer was too great that I can’t turn down, even though it’s 5 hours’ drive from our house. I asked my husband for his opinion, it was welcoming, he understood and accepted my decision. Despite all the odds, I still drive back home every weekend because I don’t want distanced marriage.
    It was October 2015 that my husband started acting strange, he will never let me read his email or text, I keep wondering if he has an affair outside our marriage, I keep investigating for evidence until one morning I did laundry and found used condom, I was broken and asked him, he admitted and promised to change. But he can’t leave her even though I have already quit my job to resolve my crashing marriage. We keep fighting and he keep falling deep to her.
    I was hurt because all my effort to be a good wife was in vein. I almost lost hope until I found Dr. Wakina via ( The spiritual father showed me compassion after doing some reading with the info I provided. Story short; Dr. Wakina cast the love spell and changed my husband, he made him a better man and distanced all his secret lovers. Dr. Wakina also cast a spell that gave me job in my area, I was paid double compared to the previous job. I am happy to have a united family, it couldn’t be possible without the effort of Dr. Wakina.