Trumpism was dominant long before Trump!


Betsy McCaughey's return:
Trumpism was dominant long before Candidate Trump came along. Today's youngish reporters may not always know this.

Each point is illustrated by this new report at TPM. The report appears beneath this headline:

"Meet The Anti-Obamacare Myth-Maker Trump Just Named To His Economic Team"

The report is about Betsy McCaughey, the "anti-Obamacare myth-maker" in question. That headline is rather striking, though, because McCaughey most consequentially made her stripes by taking down Hillarycare in 1993 and 1994, long before Obama or Obamacare came along.

TPM's Tierney Sneed explains that fact in her report. McCaughey was part of the culture of Trumpism long before anyone had dreamed of a Candidate Trump:
SNEED (8/12/16): McCaughey's biggest success was her role in the defeat of the health care reform initiative led by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, an achievement that makes her entry into this current electoral cycle all the more fitting. In what started as a Wall Street Journal op-ed, McCaughey pushed the inaccurate assertion that the Clinton legislation would ban health care consumers from paying doctors for services outside their government plans.

Her "no exit" claim landed her a cover story at The New Republic that won a National Magazine Award,
even though the bill itself clearly stated that "Nothing in this Act shall be construed as prohibiting the following: (1) An individual from purchasing any health care services" (an editor of the magazine would later recant that story). McCaughey's allegation nonetheless provided Republicans an easy talking point as the legislation stalled in Congress, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich called her writings the "the first decisive breakpoint.”
McCaughey's essay for the New Republic was (take your pick) grossly misleading or just plain wrong. Still, it was aggressively pushed by editor Andrew Sullivan at the supposedly liberal journal, and it joined the torrent of anti-Clintonism then emerging within the organs of the allegedly mainstream press.

Little pushback occurred in real time. TPM's headline remembers McCaughey's attacks on Obamacare. But long before that, McCaughey's incompetent piece in the New Republic was a very important part of the Trumpist culture then seizing the mainstream press.

Trumpism was the mainstream press corps' dominant culture long before Candidate Trump came along. Consider a pair of high-profile claims:
August 2016: "Barack Obama was the founder of ISIS."
March 1999 through November 2000: "Al Gore said he invented the Internet."
Neither statement was true. Each statement involved a dramatic false claim aimed at a public figure.

This week, the claim about Barack Obama met with a wave of pushback. In 1999 and 2000, the mainstream press kept repeating the claim about Candidate Gore until Candidate Bush had squeaked his way into the White House.

Did Al Gore say he invented the Internet? Well actually no, he did not. But timorous children like Josh Marshall all ran off and hid in the woods in the face of the long-running wars against both Clintons and Gore.

The claim was repeated again and again, for almost two years, by a Trumpist mainstream press corps. Almost no pushback occurred.

Trumpism was running rampant in the press long before Candidate Trump came along. We're talking about the mainstream press, including its biggest stars.

You'll never hear this history discussed on MSNBC. Several of its biggest stars played key roles in those long-running wars. Younger stars on the corporate channel know they mustn't tell.

Few things could be more obvious. Few codes of silence are stronger.


  1. "But timorous children like Josh Marshall all ran off and hid in the woods in the face of the long-running wars against both Clintons and Gore."

    The timorous child Josh Marshall, who was 31 in the year 2000, was once cited by Bob Somerby for speaking out against coverage of Gore in that year.

    He started his own blog that year, a few years after the appearance of the Howler, and has become successful. Bob has not. It is not because Marshall was a timorous child. It might be because his blog has something new to say daily.

    Bob has trouble even attracting spellcaster spam any more.

    1. Your comparison of the relative success of Bob and Josh is like comparing apples to oranges. It is not surprising that you employ this form of logic, given the shallowness of your overall missive.

    2. Bob is wrong about Josh not pushing back against false claims in the early 2000's and since because Marshall is successful?

    3. You hit the nail on the head. Bob it jealous of anyone that is more successful than he is. He attacks MSNBC relentlessly because they didn't hire him and give him a show. He has also become far more conservative in his old age which is why he ignores the lies FAUX News and fellow conservatives in the media. So what you have is an bitter, old, southern, conservative white guy driven by his own envy and lashing out at those he alone imagines have done him wrong.

    4. Southern conservative?

      South San Francisco maybe. He's from Northern California.

  2. The timorous youngster Josh Marshall, who used to be 31 in the yr 2000, watch online movies
    used to be as soon as noted by using Bob Somerby for talking out in opposition to protection of Gore in that 12 months.