Hillary Clinton hammers the press!


Big stars disappear her remarks:
In this morning's New York Times, Paul Krugman hammers away at the latest Trump tax plan. Here's the way he starts:
KRUGMAN (10/3/17): Last week the Trump administration and its congressional allies working on tax reform achieved something remarkable. They released a tax plan—or, actually, a vague sketch of a plan—that manages both to add trillions to the deficit and to raise taxes on a large fraction of the population. That takes talent.

But like the G.O.P.’s terrible, no good, very bad health plans, this tax debacle was years in the making. On taxes, as with health, leading Republicans have been lying for years. And now the fraud has caught up with the fraudsters.
The plan will raise taxes on many people—and it will "add trillions to the deficit," Krugman says. In this news report in this morning's Times, Jim Tankersley cites an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, "which found that the plan could cost $2.4 trillion over the next decade."

According to the Tax Policy Center, Trump's plan will add an additional $2.4 trillion to projected deficits over the next ten years. Even as Krugman complained about that, our thoughts drifted back to Candidate Trump's original tax proposal.

Almost surely, it was the craziest tax proposal anyone ever advanced. The candidate presented the plan in September 2015—and uh-oh! According to the Tax Foundation, it would have increased projected deficits by more than $10 trillion over that same ten years! That first proposal would have increased federal deficits/debt more than four times as much as this latest semi-plan.

Amazing, isn't it? Perfectly sensibly, Krugman is railing about a projected debt/deficit hike of $2.4 trillion. But when Candidate Trump released his first tax plan, it would have increased deficits/debt by more than $10 trillion!

It was the craziest such proposal in history. And it was widely ignored by the mainstream press; it was barely discussed or reported.

(By way of contrast, Candidate Bush's famous tax proposal in Campaign 2000 increased projected deficits by $1.3 trillion, about one-eighth as much as Trump's initial proposal. Despite its much smaller size, the Bush plan was widely analyzed and widely discussed during that campaign.)

So it went during our last White House race. In an excellent part of her new book, Hillary Clinton discusses this aspect of the press corps' performance during that campaign.

She discusses this matter in her tenth chapter, Sweating the Details. It's very rare to see a major Democrat like Clinton discuss the work of the press corps in the way she does.

Good God! Clinton starts the chapter with Matt Lauer's appalling performance at the Commander in Chief Forum on September 7, 2016. Lauer asked Clinton about her emails again and again that night, then again and again.

Nothing else on the planet mattered. From page 217 through page 222, Clinton pounds Lauer's performance.

It's very, very, very unusual to see a Democratic politician discuss a major figure of the mainstream press corps this way. From there, Clinton moves to this summary of the way the press corps handled matters of substance during the Trump-Clinton race:
CLINTON (page 223): [I]n my view, the Commander in Chief Forum was representative of how many in the press covered the campaign as a whole. Again according to Harvard's Shorenstein Center, discussion of public policy accounted for just 10 percent of all campaign coverage in the general election. Nearly all the rest was taken up by obsessive coverage of controversies such as email. Health care, taxes, trade, immigration, national security—all of it crammed into just 10 percent of the press coverage...

The decline of serious reporting on policy has been going on for a while, but it got much worse in 2016. In 2008, the major networks' nightly newscasts spent a total of 220 minutes on policy. In 2012, it was 114 minutes. In 2016, it was just 32 minutes. (That stat is from two weeks before the election, but it didn't change much in the final stretch.) By contrast, 100 minutes were spent on covering my emails. In other words, the political press was telling voters that my emails were three times more important than all the other issues combined.
Later in the book, Clinton hammers the New York Times for its obsession with the email controversy. It's very, very, very unusual to see a major Democrat discussing the press corps this way.

Republicans bash the mainstream press corps all day long and into the night. Over the past fifty years, this has been a basic part of orthodox GOP practice.

It's very, very, very unusual to see a major Democrats denigrate Lauer and the New York Times and the mainstream press corps in general. That said, what happened when Clinton was interviewed, at great length, by Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow last month?

What did you think was going to happen? Lauer's name was never mentioned by either one of these tools. There were zero questions about the conduct of the New York Times, or about the mainstream press corps in general.

Maddow and Cooper are tools of the guild. They don't color outside the guild's approved lines.

Today, the Times is reporting on Trump's latest attempt at a tax plan. His original plan was utterly crazy, but much as Clinton says in her book, nobody said a word.

Dearest darlings, use your heads! Discussions like that are bad for ratings! Who would pay the salaries of TV stars if such discussions prevailed?


  1. This should be obvious but Clinton was writing a book and thus had plenty of space to discuss the details of media coverage. When she was interviewed, time was limited and it could be assumed that the audience might be bored by a detailed analysis of the sins of Matt Lauer at one of the debates, when there is so much to talk about with someone like Clinton. It could be that they were avoiding criticizing their own, or it could be that made a reasonable choice to focus on something more familiar to their audience and of greater interest to viewers. It would be inside pool to discuss Lauer. Inappropriate. But Somerby may assume that his obsession is everyone's.

    1. Methinks you should pull your head out of the sand and look around some more, and try to shed your anti-Somerby bias.

  2. "By way of contrast, Candidate Bush's famous tax proposal in Campaign 2000 increased projected deficits by $1.3 trillion, about one-eighth as much as Trump's initial proposal."

    And during the O administration the national debt grew by 9 trillions. But I'm sure Mr Krugman finds it perfectly acceptable.

    It doesn't feel like any of it matters anyway. They throw trillions right and left, at their wars, bailouts of their banks, propping up their healthcare pirates -- it doesn't seem to make a modicum of difference. So shut up about the debt already.

    As for Mrs Clinton's emails, she chose to hide her official communications on a private server. She did it for a reason: she had something to hide - there is no other logical explanation. And she succeeded in hiding it (so far).

    And now she is complaining about journos asking questions? Some fucking nerve...

    1. And when Bush came into office he inherited budget surpluses from....Bill Clinton.

    2. "As for Mrs Clinton's emails, she chose to hide her official communications on a private server. She did it for a reason: she had something to hide - there is no other logical explanation. And she succeeded in hiding it (so far)."

      My, my, isn't Hillary Clinton quite the "anti-Establishment" politician.


    3. "by having to bail the Country"

      Is Wall Street a separate country now? And 'the Country', no less?

      And, y'know, you might want to avoid getting so excited. You sound like you're about to have a stroke. Or to poop your pants. Take a prozac.

    4. I disagree with you that it is "a separate country now" The purpose of this site is to "muse on the mainstream press corps." If you would care to remove your blinders and reread the post, Obama is saying that the "country" is trillions in debt, to say the least. Preferred narratives are advanced rather than to attempt to find out the facts. Tribal propaganda does not advance our interests.
      Also, Mao, I will spit in your face tonight!

    5. Sure, sure. Spit and take a prozac, please. And no more nose candy today.

    6. @Alan Snipes. There hasn't been a surplus for decades:



    7. Mao - I've been eating peacock meat.

    8. mao, then I suppose you agree that our current POTUS has something to hide by not disclosing his tax returns.after coming up with his incredible BS story that he would show them once the alleged audits were completed. I will acknowledge you can snark pretty good, and also dodge anything that shows you are wrong about anything.

    9. Mao,
      Trump supporters weren't yelling, Lock her up!" They were obviously yelling, "Nominate her for your cabinet," since using a private server is a prerequisite to getting a job there.

    10. Uh oh. The deficit and the debt are two different things altogether. Comparing one to the other to make a point is a no no. It is also sophistry.

    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

    12. What I said was that during the Obama administration the national debt INCREASED by $9 trillion.

      Increased - comprende? The debt increase is equal to accumulated deficits.

    13. ...accumulated deficits...

      Are those good or bad in your view, Chairman Mao?

      When a Democratic President reduces the deficit or actually flips it to yearly budget surpluses, a repuglicant always comes along to fuck the whole thing up again.
      This weekend, Mulvaney, now director of the Office of Management and Budget, went on Fox News Sunday to defend President Donald Trump's framework for tax reform. Host Chris Wallace pointed out that many analysts believe Trump's plan would blow a bigger hole in the national debt. "Now, back when you were in Congress, you were a deficit hawk," the anchor said. "What happened, sir?"

      Get a load of his answer, Chairman Mao.

      "I've been very candid about this. We need to have new deficits because of that."

    14. No one gives a shit what talking heads and government bureaucrats say on tv. No one is watching these shows, and your bullshit righteous indignation doesn't impress anyone.

    15. Let me recap:

      I was talking about Obama administration increasing the national debt by $9 trillion.

      And you replied, ranting and raving about some talking heads and bureaucrats on tv, and your opinion of me, and some 'pussygrabber flimflam' nonsense. In other words: anything, any nonsense to bullshit the actual topic.

    16. Mao
      You compared a Bush projected deficit to the entire national debt. You didn't get away with it. Back off your narcissist defensiveness.
      As the real Mao might say, you have been unmasked.
      Goodbye troll, gravymeister OUT!

    17. Well, I can repeat: Under the Obama administration the national debt INCREASED BY $9 trillion.

      I'm totally confident that eventually you'll be able to comprehend what 'INCREASED BY' means, my dear.

      And always remember: you're very, very special. Don't let anyone convince you otherwise...

    18. Mao,

      Your diversions and deflection tactics are completely transparent.

      I can understand why you wouldn't want people talking about the monumental jackass your party nominated and voted for (#moron)

      This article by TDH is about how the press completely fucked up their election coverage of pussygrabber.

      But when Candidate Trump released his first tax plan, it would have increased deficits/debt by more than $10 trillion!

      It was the craziest such proposal in history. And it was widely ignored by the mainstream press; it was barely discussed or reported.

      Suddenly, the comments are diverted to a discussion of how the debt increased under Obama. Classic troll, Mao.

    19. "But when Candidate Trump released his first tax plan, it would have increased deficits/debt by more than $10 trillion!"

      My point exactly: "his first tax plan, it would have increased" vs Obama administration - in actual fact -
      increasing the national debt by $9 trillion

      Which, of course, in the minds of hateful liberal morons (Krugman et al) is nowhere near 'the craziest' performance in history, but perfectly fine, and, no doubt, even laudable. Not to mention: 'widely ignored by the mainstream press' and hardly ever 'discussed or reported'.

      'nuff said.

    20. From the start Bush "hid" the Afgan/Iraq war expenses as a one off expense in his budgets, and was good enough to allow Obama to inherit it. You folks also start counting the Obama debt under Bushes disastrous 2008 and 2009 budgets, not Obama's first 2010 budget; when the bleeding was significantly slowed.

      Assume you agree since we are in our fifteenth year of fighting foreign wars, and with the devastation in Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico, and American Virgin Islands; it is well past time to increase taxes back to Eisenhower levels, especially on the top 1% and corporations.

  3. The broken clock Bot from Russia is correct abut the deficit. There is no such thing. The United States is the richest country in the history of mankind. We "can't afford" 100% healthcare for everyone due to lack of political will (and racism), not because we don't have the money.

  4. "Republicans bash the mainstream press corps all day long and into the night. Over the past fifty years, this has been a basic part of orthodox GOP practice."
    But guess who they never bash? Fox, right-wing talk radio, etc, etc, etc. And their criticism of the msm is quite often disingenuous or false.
    They criticize to win points with their base, not out of a love for truth. And they bully their opponents. And they have billions to spend. It's not really a fair fight, trying to fight deliberate lies and propaganda with sweetness and light...and low-paid cable personalities (if Bob had his way).
    It doesn't matter if the story is true or false; the bullying right wing media reacts the same way-by attacking the messenger...and lying.

    1. Our multi-million dollar cable personalities don't seem to be doing a very good job of challenging their corporate media cohorts when required. No way they'll be effective standing up to the right wing noise machine.

  5. Want to read an interesting interview?


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