Interlude—Disorder down through the years: Sally Quinn seems to believe that she and her mother have killed five people through the art of death-by-hex.
Meanwhile, the first five paragraphs of Mika Brzezinski's third (3rd) memoir exhibit a level of tone deafness which can only be called world-class.
On the one hand, Brzezinski's tone-deaf opening passage can be viewed as wondrously humorous. On the other hand, it stands as one of the hundred elements of Brzezinski's (3) memoirs which help raise a basic question at this point in time:
To what extent do various types of mental disorder swirl through our upper-end press and pundit corps?
In the days of Walter and David, Americans tended to view the iconic figures of TV news as models of rectitude and stability. Today, we're constantly struck by the strangeness of the behavior observed among the newscasters who appear on our "TV machine thingy," as one multimillionaire cable clown used to say.
On our own heroically liberal TV channel, Brian Williams is back with a nightly show, The 11th Hour. Not long ago, he was removed from his role as well-dressed anchor of NBC Nightly News because he'd invented a series of Mittyesque stories about his own moral and journalistic greatness.
Williams was taken off the air because of his disordered conduct! Now, like Freddy Krueger, he's back, sharing space in the evening "cable news" line-up with several other TV stars whose past behavior had been perhaps a tiny bit disordered.
The lineup includes the man who once adopted a Dorchester accent as he challenged Mitt Romney's son to a fistfight on the air. This same excitable fellow has been forced to apologize for his excited, inaccurate, insulting claims about the Mormon religion. In 2004, he was booted from NBC's cable air because of his crazed behavior as a cable news guest.
The evening lineup also includes the man who aimed misogynist insults at Hillary Clinton for perhaps ten years. This same fellow once offered these disordered remarks as part of twenty months of cable ranting in support of Candidate George W. Bush:
MATTHEWS (3/6/00): You know, I have to ask—Hsia, a minor Democratic fund-raiser, had been convicted, a few days earlier, of receiving illegal campaign contributions in 1996. In open court, the prosecutor had directly stated that Candidate Gore had not been involved in this misconduct.
This is just my point of view, but I want to ask you about the Buddhist temple embarrassment, where the vice president of the United States was out there, you know, dancing for money, and he was taking money from nuns. They were whipping off $5000 checks. It was ludicrous. It was obviously a pass-through of some kind. There was money laundering going on.
This woman, Maria Hsia, a longtime Bush [sic] associate, 25 years of felony charges against her, all convictions; five times five, five-year punish—
What in the world do the Republicans—why haven't they brought this issue up?
In fact, no money ever changed hands at the event which Gore had attended at the so-called "Buddhist temple." (The building, a large community center, had often been used, by both parties, for political events.)
There were no nuns "whipping off checks" at the event which Gore attended. Candidate Gore hadn't "danced for their money." No money changed hands, in any way, at the free event.
Alas! Hardball viewers were repeatedly told a different story by a highly disordered corporate TV star. (A few months earlier, they had been excitedly told that the three-button suits of this modern "man-woman" was some sort of nefarious signal to female voters.) They weren't allowed to hear what the prosecutor had said in court. Instead, a disordered fellow kept offering disordered remarks like these, ones he'd made four days earlier:
MATTHEWS (3/2/00): Let’s talk about the bonanza today, the incredible incursion of politics into religion. Why does Al Gore face the, what I look to be the favorite status in this race for president, given the fact that he was at the heart of a huge fund-raising effort to raise 100,000 bucks, and now the chief agent in that scam, Maria Hsia, has been convicted of five counts, felony counts?The prosecutor had explicitly said that Gore wasn't involved. But so what? On Hardball, an early purveyor of "fake news" kept excitedly saying the opposite.
She faces 25 years in jail, and he’s out there dancing around, doing the Gore dance as if he’s not even involved, when it was his fund-raising event, when those nuns were writing those, ripping off those checks for 5K apiece, and he was the beneficiary.
There he is. [VIDEO OF GORE] There he—there he is! There, you see it! And he’s not had a scratch on him today by your Republican Party. When are you guys going to start hitting hard?
These disordered claims went on for weeks as Matthews worked to send his corporate owner's favorite to the White House. He kept repeating inaccurate facts; kept refusing to report the actual facts. As a general matter, this is the way he covered that history-changing White House race from March 1999 on. These claims about dancing for the nuns was only one small part of a highly disordered, twenty-month insult campaign.
Matthews engaged in this disordered behavior over the course of twenty months. As he did, the liberal world sat there and took it. For a decade, the liberal world took the same stance with respect to this disordered man's misogynist insults, the ones he kept directing at "Evita Peron," at "Nurse Ratched."
Today, that highly disordered man is on the air every weekday night! He shares a lineup with the man who challenged Romney's son to a fight, and with the fellow with invented all the Mitty tales. (Also this: back in 1999 and 2000, no one flogged Gore's troubling wardrobe in quite the way the ludicrous Williams did.)
He shares the lineup with Rachel Maddow, whose bizarre, consultant-directed delivery style makes the analysts cry every night. In the five-hour run from 7 PM till midnight, only Chris Hayes, among these stars, seems to display no obvious disorder.
To what extent is our upper-end press corps infested by mental disorder? To what extent have wealth and fame attracted disordered people to this line of work? To what extent have wealth and fame injected disorder into the souls of people who may have started out clean?
One final question might be asked. To what extent is the liberal rank and file disordered, given the way we've tolerated this corporate bullshit from these highly disordered music men down through all through these years?
We ask these question in the wake of Quinn's confession of death-by-hex. Tomorrow, we'll take a look at Brzezinski's opening paragraphs—and at a horrible tape.
Tomorrow: Major pundit showers praise on her own phenomenal genes