Part 5—Where the hatred comes from: How did we get to the perilous place where Trump might reach the White House?
To raise a more specific question, why do so many voters seem to hate Hillary Clinton?
Last Sunday, Michelle Goldberg raised that important question. As is the norm within her guild, she explored every possible answer—every possible answer but one.
This morning, the New York Times editorial board played the same old game. James Bennet is now the head of the board. The very familiar evasion which follows ought to make him ashamed:
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (7/29/16): When Barack Obama was inaugurated as the nation’s first African-American president, historians wondered what combination of qualifications, experience and personality made him, of all black leaders, the one to break through that barrier. Such questions are, if anything, even sharper for Mrs. Clinton. Is she the nominee because she has more relevant experience than just about any candidate for the presidency, or because she is the wife of a former president? Skeptical voters have scrutinized her age, voice, tone, even clothing as qualifiers for the White House. Small wonder women make up less than one-fifth of Congress, and only six are governors.According to bennet, "skeptical voters" have scrutinized Clinton's age, voice and tone—even her clothing! Alas! The New York Times has endlessly played such games, and other games which are worse.
Bennet implies that those "skeptical voters" have played those games about Clinton's clothing due to their sexism. Back in the day, Candidate Gore was crazily examined with regard to every aspect of his clothing—and major figures at the Times were happily playing this game.
Bennet plays a familiar game in that formulation. As we've noted down through the years, figures like Bennet will constantly blame "Republicans" or "the voters" for the types of conduct in which the mainstream press corps itself has very widely engaged.
As with Goldberg, so with Bennet; the press corps' behavior must disappear. But with regard to the Clintons and Gore, the press corps has played this destructive game for at least twenty years. It's one of the ways we got to this dangerous place.
No, James. "Skeptical voters" didn't start the long, dishonest war which has brought us to this dangerous place. Mainstream journalists have played a much more significant role in the succession of pseudo-scandals and deceptions which sent Candidate Bush to the White House, and now threaten to perform the same service for the astonishing Candidate Trump.
In this week's reports, we've been examining one little episode in this long war, a war comprised of many such episodes. We've examined the claim that Hillary Clinton fiendishly lied about the Cubs and the Yankees.
Last Sunday, the Times' Gail Collins did it again! In the featured piece on the front page of the Sunday Review, she journeyed back a full seventeen years to revive this gruesome old groaner. She rolled her eyes as she plainly implied that Clinton lied about the Cubs and the Yanks.
Did Hillary Clinton really lie about the Cubs and the Yankees? The evidence says and suggests that the answer is no. For a brief summary by Kevin Drum, click here.
Even in 1999, the evidence said and suggested that Hillary Clinton really did root for the Cubs and the Yankees when she was a girl. But back in June 1999, the mainstream press corps was on a jihad, inventing lies by Candidate Gore.
Rather plainly, this was payback for the fact that President Clinton had survived his impeachment trial four months before. In their obvious pique, the boys and girls of the mainstream press were also eager to invent lies by Hillary Clinton.
Today, we'll give you an overview of the way the "skeptical voters" of the mainstream press reacted to Clinton's accurate statement. The punishment went on for years.
Even today, Goldberg and Bennet refuse to discuss the press corps' role in building the Hillary hatred. They hold you in complete contempt. In her astonishing dumbness, Collins may be even worse.
The evidence says and suggests that Clinton made an accurate statement, about a trivial topic. What follows is a brief overview of the way the "skeptical voters" of the mainstream press punished the vile first lady for making that accurate statement.
Real time—June 1999:
It started in the New York Times with a jibe by Katharine "Kit" Seelye.
Seelye would become one of the principal dissemblers about Candidate Gore. Six months later, she would accidentally misreport something Gore had said about Love Canal, doing so completely by accident in an honest and completely accidental honest mistake.
This obvious accidental mistake would trigger a deeply destructive firestorm. The GORE LIAR narrative locked into place; George Bush ended up in the White House.
Let's return to the Cubs and the Yankees:
Clinton had said that, as a girl, she rooted for both teams! By the rules of the post-impeachment jihad, this couldn't be allowed to stand. The pushback began with Seelye:
SEELYE (6/11/99): “The fact is, I've always been a Yankees fan,” the First Lady, who was born and bred in Chicago, asserted this morning to Katie Couric on NBC's "Today Show" in anticipation of the championship team's visit to the White House this evening. When the puzzled Ms. Couric said she thought Mrs. Clinton was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, the First Lady, in a classic Clintonian gesture, quickly claimed loyalty to the Cubs, too.It was a classic Clintonian gesture, the ace reporter said.
Two days later, on This Week, two other "skeptical voters" opined about what Clinton had said. Cokie Roberts laid a fat one over the plate. George Will hit it out of the park:
ROBERTS (6/13/99) We can't end this program without talking about the fact that Hillary Clinton seems to have changed teams. That the White House this past week, there was a celebration for the New York Yankees, the New York Yankees, the victory in last year's World Series. And Mrs. Clinton said, “Well, now the fact is, I've always been a Yankees fan.” We thought she was a Cubs fan, like you.Just like that, the Clintonian gesture had become a Clintonian lie!
WILL: Well, the Cubs will cheerfully trade her to the Yankees. The fact is, that's a wonderful statement because—and it is germane to this election, because it's not just a lie, it is a Clintonian lie, which is say, an optional lie and an embroidered lie. She did it because she was a Cub fan and she said she couldn't root for the White Sox because it's just not done, and therefore she rooted for the Yankees. What rubbish. This is what New Yorkers have to decide. Do they want to import into their state the mendacity that—
Sam Donaldson exhibited a bit of skepticism about the importance of the Clintonian lie. “Talk about building a mountain out of a molehill," he said, interrupting Will—though he himself plainly implied that what Clinton had said was a stretcher. Moments later, Roberts explained who she pitied most:
ROBERTS: I must say the part that made me sad was Joe Torre standing there [at the White House]. I'm a great admirer of Joe Torre and for him to be used in this way, it was a little—Unwilling to challenge what had been said, Stephanopoulos tried to change the subject. Will stated the heart and soul of the era's script:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I think you'll see her sitting at court side between Spike Lee and Matt Dillon in the Knicks playoffs coming up. But her much bigger problem is the news in the, the New York Times, this morning, whether or not Ken Starr is going to be issuing some sort of a scathing report. I think—
WILL: I'm sorry, that's part of the same thing. This is not a mountain out of a molehill. They can't tell the truth!
As with Candidate Gore, so too with potential candidate Clinton! "They can't tell the truth," Will said, railing about the first lady's accurate statement. Cokie closed the segment with a snide remark about Clinton's choice of husbands.
The gasbag gang was just getting started. The next morning, in the Washington Post, Jonathan Yardley said the Clintons had already won that year's Vulgarity Cup:
YARDLEY (6/14/99): The winners, you certainly will not be surprised to learn, are Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who are to vulgarity what the 1998 New York Yankees were to baseball or what Cole Porter was to the Broadway musical: the top. Indeed, speaking of the 1998 New York Yankees, a magnificent example of Clintonian vulgarity was on display last week when the players went to the White House to receive the requisite presidential blessing. They got that and more: La Rodham Clinton in their midst, a Yankee cap atop her head, proclaiming for all to hear, “I've always been a Yankees fan.” Never mind that she grew up in Chicago...Now it was Clintonian vulgarity. That same day, Fred Barnes sounded off on the CBS Morning Show:
BARNES (6/14/99): I mean, look—I mean, Hillary's already showing how Clintonian she is. She—I mean, what she said last week, “I've always been a Yankees fan.” Bob [Bechel], did you believe that? Since she was a little girl, she was a Yankees fan? Start the campaign with a whopper. That seems to be her idea.Now it was a Clintonian whopper. At this point, the program's host changed the subject. Beckel didn't disagree with Barnes.
The life forms all seemed to know what the vile first lady had done. The next night, Doris Kearns Goodwin was called in from the bullpen to play come Hardball.
In the future, try to pretend that you never encountered this swill:
GOODWIN (6/15/99): What's in their marriage? What really goes on? The only way I think she can really win in New York, much less win the presidency, is to establish a crusade where she gets people excited about her and her ambitions and her intellect. That's why I think she would have been so much better off waiting two years, doing it from Illinois, not having the carpetbagger, not having to suddenly come out and be for the New York Yankees. I mean, that was the craziest thing. I mean, I know what it's like to be a fan. You cannot love one team, and then when you're asked, “Who are you for, the Yankees or the Mets,” and you say you're a Yankee lifelong fan, and you say, “I'm for both of them.” I mean, as a fan who wakes up in the morning happy when the Red Sox win, sad when they lose, who used to confess in confession that I wished various New York Yankee players, you know, would get injuries so that we could win the World Series—Just for the record, be sure to note this ridiculous person's ridiculous political judgement. Clinton could never never win in New York! She should have moved back to Illinois!
GOODWIN: That is not a fan, and that shows a tin ear. So I worry that somehow she should have taken some time to think through her own career, and it's going to be strangle-holded by this relationship and by our interest in it.
Helping us see the real "interest" here, Goodwin started and ended with her nose in the Clintonian underwear drawer. Along the way, she explained how crazy that statement about the Cubs and the Yankees was.
Goodwin knew how crazy it was from her own past confessions! That statement just couldn't be right!
Don’t worry, there was more, although the fun would soon be interrupted by the need to trash Candidate Gore’s formal announcement on June 16. In the Washington Post, our old pal Tony Kornheiser devoted his widely-read Sunday column to the sheer absurdity of what Clinton had said.
Two weeks later, Richard Cohen was still upset:
COHEN (6/29/99): It's not known whether Hillary Clinton has polled as to where she should vacation or live. It is known, though, that she strains credulity in attempting to portray herself as, well, sort of a New Yorker. She always was a Yankee fan, she asserted recently. That's odd. She grew up in Chicago, once confessed to being a Cubs fan. Now she says that she always felt an obligation to root for an American League team as well. Sure.Cohen misstated what Clinton had said, then let us know that what she had said was wrong. In real time, the press corps' many "skeptical voters" landed on Clinton like a ton of bricks.
Years earlier, profiles in that same Washington Post had said and suggested that Clinton actually had rooted for both teams. None of these "skeptical voters" ever mentioned that fact. As we've told you for the past eighteen years, our press corps works solely from script.
One year later—June 2000:
Almost exactly one year later, some of the life forms started up again.
By now, the highly Clintonian Hillary Clinton was a Senate candidate from the state of New York. And uh-oh!
Candidate Clinton had recently done a humorous slide show at a dinner. In every picture, she was shown wearing a photoshopped Yankees cap.
To judge from the tape, it got a good laugh. But as usual, insider pundits knew much better.
Steve Roberts took the tag team slap from his wife, Cokie Roberts. On CNN's Late Edition, he explained to Wolf:
ROBERTS (6/11/00): Look, I agree that she's smart to be self-deprecating because she is not naturally a particularly warm person, I mean she comes across a pretty frosty character on the campaign trail, whereas Lazio's kind of this puppy dog lapping at everybody but she has had a problem with the carpetbagger issue. I'm a real Yankee fan, Wolf. I spent the last two days in Yankee Stadium with my Yankee hat, but I've been wearing one for 50 years. I think a lot of New Yorkers have resented the fact that she is coming in and tried to portray herself so she's probably smart to kid about it because it was a problem. She is not a New Yorker, she's a Chicago Cubs fan.She hadn't just misused Joe Torre. The first lady had dishonored people's real Yankees caps!
That same day, on This Week, our old pal Derek McGinty sounded off for Cokie and Sam:
McGINTY (6/11/00): That gets back to what we were just saying. I think that baseball cap thing was an effort to sort of poke fun at what was one of the dumbest political moves I've ever seen, and couldn't believe it when it happened, when she tried to say, you know, "I'm a lifetime New York Yankee fan." Nobody believed it, nobody even understood it. But it's interesting that she is trying to do this. She's been stuck at 44 percent since the beginning of this campaign. She hasn't budged a bit. And unfortunately, those who say she can't get to 50 percent may be right.We love Derek McGinty. Say it isn't so!
At this point, an emailer alerted us to the profiles in the Washington Post from 1993 and 1994. We did a pair of posts quoting what those profiles had said.
There may have been more of this silly piddle during the 2000 campaign. In interests of time, let's jump ahead to the Obama-Clinton fight for the 2008 Democratic nomination.
Revival time—September/October 2007:
As early as March 2007, major pundits were returning to the Cubs and the Yankees. On March 7, Juan Williams staged a revival of the old play on Hannity & Colmes. One day later, Ana Marie Cox tickled the same keys for Imus.
By the fall, the Cubs and the Yankees were back on the pundits' playlist. Needless to say, it was Tim Russert who staged the biggest production.
At a Democratic presidential debate, Russert asked Clinton who she would root for if the Cubs and the Yankees met in that year's World Series. Clinton gave a joking response. But that Sunday, a bunch of "skeptical voters" on Meet the Press took the whole thing in earnest.
Russert played the videotape from the debate, then invited the pundits to strike. Eight years later, the jackals were still eager to play the familiar old Cubs-Yankees card:
RUSSERT (10/1/07): I tried to get these candidates to take positions on Iraq, on Social Security, on the big issues. We talked about baseball, And I found this exchange particularly interesting. Let's watch:Russert had played the actual tape, so his pundits could see that Clinton was joking. (The term [LAUGHTER] after Clinton’s remark appears in the Nexis transcript.)
(Start of videotape)
RUSSERT: Senator Clinton, what about a World Series, Yankees and Cubs?
CLINTON: Well, you know, I've worried about that because I think, given the Cubs' record, which—of course I, I hope it happens, but it could very well be a sign of the coming apocalypse were that to ever occur. It would be so out of history that you'd have the Cubs vs. the Yankees. Then I'd be really in trouble. But I—
RUSSERT: But who would you be for?
CLINTON: Well, I would probably have to alternate sides.
(End of videotape)
RUSSERT: Well, the Cubs are in the playoffs, David.
DAVID GREGORY: Yeah.
RUSSERT: Cubs, Yankees. You going to seat—sit behind each dugout?
GREGORY: You can't have it all. In the sports world, you can't have it all. That reeks of calculation, which is a potential downside for her.
PAT BUCHANAN: The term "Nixonian" comes to mind on that response.
But so what? Gregory, playing it totally straight, said her answer “reeked of calculation." Eschewing tired "Clintonian" claims, Buchanan moved to “Nixonian.”
Moments later, Tavis Smiley played along, earning his spot in The Brotherhood. Clinton's response about the Cubs and the Yankees "sounded like Romney is what it sounded like," the skeptical voter said.
(At the time, liberals and Dems were trashing Romney for taking all sides on all issues. To Smiley, that's what Clinton had done with respect to the Cubs and the Yanks!)
Russert's pundits didn't get to Clinton's new gaffe first. By the time Meet the Press aired, major pundits had already sounded off about this latest Cubs-Yankees groaner.
In the New York Times, the ludicrous Collins went first. She didn't seem to realize that Clinton's statements at the debate had been joking in nature:
COLLINS (9/29/07): It's one thing to refuse to answer a hypothetical question about whether there is any circumstance under which you might ever use nuclear weapons against Iran. It's another to refuse to commit on who you'd root for if the Yankees played the Cubs in the World Series. No young person is going to fall in love with politics because of a candidate who says: ''I would probably have to alternate sides.”Presumably, Clinton's statement about taking alternate sides was a reference to the tradition in which the president would change sides at halftime of the Army-Navy game. In her typical clueless state, Collins seemed to think the whole exchange had been serious.
The next day, David Broder, the pundit dean, sounded off in the Post:
BRODER (9/30/07): It went on like that...until a final question about baseball fandom. Clinton identified herself as a Yankees fan, saying she knew it would not help her with the Red Sox Nation supporters in New Hampshire. But what if it is the Cubs vs. the Yankees, Russert asked. "I guess I would have to alternate," she said, triangulating once again.It was clear that Clinton was joking throughout her pointless exchange with Russert. But to Broder, she'd been “triangulating again!” It was a mark of her “dodginess,” the Hillary hater said.
This dodginess got her through the two hours. Whether it can get her through the next three months is a different question.
For what it's worth, another member of the Jack Welch team revived this topic before King Russert. On the September 23 Chris Matthews Show, Matthews played the original tape from 1999, then led the droogs take their turnsreciting:
MATTHEWS (9/23/07): When Hillary ran for the Senate, she tried hard to prove she was a New Yorker.Everyone knew what to say, or at least how to dodge.
[Start of videotape]
COURIC: Are you a Yankee fan, too?
CLINTON: Well, now, the fact is, I've always been a Yankee fan.
COURIC: I thought you were a Cubs fan.
CLINTON: I am. I am a Cubs fan, but I needed an American League team. Because when you're from Chicago, you cannot root for both the Cubs and the Sox. I mean, you know, that's–there's a dividing line that you can't cross there. So as a young girl, I became very interested and enamored of the Yankees.
[End of videotape]
NORAH O'DONNELL: Oh boy.
MATTHEWS: I just love the way Katie went at her there. “Come on, how many hats you wearing, babe?” I just think that was great.
KATHLEEN PARKER: Oh boy.
ANDREW SULLIVAN: She's a Midwesterner, she's a New Yorker, she's from Arkansas, she has California, she's anything she needs to be.
JOHN HEILEMANN: She can feed the multitudes.
We haven't tried to present a full history of this gruesome press corps behavior. We're just reproducing parts of earlier posts from this site.
Nor are we saying that this has been one of the most significant episodes in the press corps' long jihad against Candidate Clinton. We've reviewed this particular matter because Gail Coliins actually showcased this nonsense again in last Sunday's New York Times.
In fact, this is one just episode out of many in the press corps' long-standing jihad against this Clintonian/Nixonian childhood fan of two baseball teams. Many other episodes have been more egregious. In 1999 and 2000, these same "voters" were inventing one episode after another in their war against Candidate Gore.
Why do we bother with this at all? Thanks for asking!
Last Sunday, Michelle Goldberg asked a very good question. She wanted to know why Clinton is hated so much.
She considered every answer but one. As is the custom, she refused to consider the criminal conduct in which her own guild has engaged.
That press corps has been a long-standing disgrace. Like everyone else in the guild, Goldberg would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge before she would discuss that.
Rachel won't discuss it either. Neither will Steve or Chris or anyone else at MSNBC.
Chait and Drum and Josh and Ezra won't discuss this either. This never-ending code of silence has allowed this astonishing conduct to roll on and on and on.
In Campaign 2000, it gave us Bush. This fall, their twenty-four years of Hillary hatred may end up giving us Trump.
Here's the horrible part:
By now, the "skeptical voters" of the press don't want that frightening outcome! But they've been creating the nation's Hillary hatred for a very long time now. It's too late for these horrible people to call their angry dogs back.
That said, they will never discuss this matter. They will never be willing to say what their insider guild has done.
They receive their cash from the guild. Readers, their lips are sealed.