THE PAROCHIALS: The topics NBC likes to cover!


Epilogue—Craziest candidate ever:
Was Roy Moore the craziest candidate ever? Or at least since Judge Roy Bean?

Possibly not! That said, he was almost surely the craziest Senate candidate in the modern era. He made, and makes, Sharron Angle seem excessively sane.

Moore had been a major public figure since 1992. He had routinely engaged in crazy behavior as a public official—behavior that was crazy even by Alabama conservative standards.

He'd made endless crazy statements, a practice he maintained this month to the very end.

Yesterday, Moore was likely the only voter in Alabama who arrived at the polls on a horse. Aside from his wife, that is, who's a much better rider than Judge Moore is—or so said Mika Brzezinski this morning, in one of her angry rants.

Judge Roy Moore may have been the craziest candidate ever! That's why we were struck by what Vaughn Hillyard said on today's Morning Joe.

Hillyard may turn out to be a great TV journalist. At present, he's the very young NBC News reporter who was dispatched to Alabama to cover the Senate race.

What do we mean by very young? Hillyard is four years out of Arizona State (class of 2013). He's inexperienced, but telegenic. This brings us to his statement today, as seen on Morning Joe.

We were struck by what Hillyard said. In our view, it helps explain a horrible headline which appears on the front page of today's Washington Post:
HILLYARD (12/13/17): You guys, I'm not a man from the Deep South here. I haven't spent much time in Alabama until this last month, when I came out here the day the Washington Post broke the story, on November 9.
Hillyard went on to make some fairly silly but on-script remarks about the things he's learned, "over these last five weeks," about Alabama.

Forget those fairly silly remarks. We were struck by Hillyard's statement, which we've heard him make before, about when he arrived in Bama.

Uh-oh! According to Hillyard, he was dispatched to Alabama on November 9. According to Hillyard, that was "the day the Washington Post broke the story."

There was no need for Hillyard to say what "the story" was. He was referring to the original Washington Post report about an alleged sexual assault by Moore, and about the famous jurist's dating habits circa 1979.

Full disclosure: According to Nexis, Hillyward was in Alabama on Tuesday, September 26, covering Election Night in the Senate primary. After that, NBC News pulled him back—until "the story" broke.

Here's the way we read that fact. We'll speculate a bit:

NBC News probably wasn't hugely concerned about the fact that Judge Roy Moore was the craziest candidate ever. Along with all the other big orgs, the network probably wouldn't have paid a lot of attention to the crazy statements and behaviors which have marked Moore's life in and around public office in the past twenty-five years.

By the standards of corporate news, that sort of thing is boring. But when the Post launched a good sex story, young Hillyard was on the next plane.

Over the next five weeks, he provided a youthful, telegenic presence in the deep red state. Early this morning, he closed his run with some fairly silly remarks.

We're commenting here about NBC News, not about Vaughn Hillyard. Sadly, we're inclined to link the network's love for "the story" to this front-page headline in today's hard-copy Washington Post:
"GOP nears deal to cut top tax rate for wealthy"
Over the past five weeks, the boys and girls of the upper-end press have been in love with "the story." Again and again, especially on cable, they seemed to focus on Moore's dating habits from forty years ago.

The children love to talk about topics like this. More substantial topics bore them. The suits consider substantial topics to be deadly. This has been the norm in corporate news for at least the past thirty years.

They love to talk about sex—and, at one time, about drugs. They hate to talk about matters of substance. As they talk about sex and drugs and the like, they love to embellish, invent and disappear facts. This proclivity has now been extended to their new love, their love for virtue-signalling stances regarding gender and "race."

As they've entertained themselves in these ways, they've enabled a deadly war which changed the course of world history. They've enabled the massive looting which still characterizes our nation's health care "system."

And uh-oh! In their childish horseplay, they've also enabled the GOP tax proposal which may pass in the next week or so. Doug Jones won't be sworn in yet. He won't have a vote.

As that ludicrous tax proposal has been making its way through the Congress, the children have been talking about Judge Moore's long-ago dating habits, not excluding the scandalous fact that his wife was only 24 when the pair got married. But then, the children have been behaving this way for at least the past thirty years. At the upper end of the guild, they're quite well paid for their service.

As you know, it's all anthropology now! Through miracles of telepathy, future anthropologists keep sending us statements from the years which follow the nuclear conflagration they refer to as Mister Trump's War.

Our species simply wasn't up to the task, these gloomy savants keep saying. As we listened today to NBC's fresh-faced reporter, we couldn't say that these gloomy sprites necessarily have it wrong.

More to come: Clown college! Pathetically, Willie Geist-Haskell tries to discuss turnout rates.

Also, Kathleen Parker has heard enough from someone on Morning Joe.


  1. The only time Somerby discusses the tax bill is to complain that no one is talking about it.

    1. Maybe because this blog isn't devoted to policy discussions, rather, according to its masthead, it offers "musings on the mainstream press corps and the american discourse."

  2. Net neutrality -- that's what we should be talking about today.

  3. Why are the things Mika discusses called rants? It is sexist to characterize a woman's statements as an emotionally out of control discourse when men's remarks don't get similar treatment.

    There is something really wrong with men's inability to listen to what women are saying due to their tone of voice or shrillness or rantiness. But Somerby will never talk about that. He is part of the problem, not someone with any social awareness of obstacles that make it hard for someone like Mika to gain any traction on TV. I'm sure Somerby wishes she would just stay home and leave the stage to the guys.

    1. Bob spends a lot of time commenting on male rants. Some people might think too much.

      Gimmee a break.

      Where do you people come from? Mika btw is pretty awful. Is it out of line to say such things because ... she's a woman?

  4. The great joke about all of this is that Moore engaged in what were some pretty chaste relationships for the time. They were hardly even "dating" stories.

    Did the guy ever get laid back then? Not according to the women.

    And yet, the scolds STILL went crazy. I have to especially laugh about their utter horror at him trying to "date" 22 year olds. Or pouring a glass of wine for an 18-year-old "minor."

    I'm wondering what's next. Premarital sex as assault on women? Might as well.

    There's also a women-as-mere-vessel-to-men aspect to these stories that I find unfortunate. Do women have no agency of their own? Or are they just subject to the whims and violence of their fellow sex?

    Whenever I hear the term "sexual predator" being used now I also have to laugh. Does that mean just men?

    Apparently so. What would happen though if someone on TV suggested that the opposite experience might often be true?

    How nuts would they respond?

  5. "As that ludicrous tax proposal has been making its way through the Congress"

    Ludicrous? Glorious Donald ran on cutting the corporate tax rate, Glorious Donald won, Glorious Donald is doing it. Nothing ludicrous about it; quite the opposite.

    Compare to the Story of O: back in 2008, Beautiful O ran on renegotiating NAFTA, won, didn't do it. Now, that was ludicrous. And it explains (in part) the psycho-witch's defeat in 2016.

    1. I remember this too. Trump ran on screwing over the working class, in favor of corporations, as well as putting Goldman Sachs as the head of the Treasury.
      Many feel his campaign slogan of "Establishment Uber Alles", and not his bigotry and misogyny, is what won him the election.

    2. It was the Russian bots, not Trump, who made believe he was "anti-establishment".

  6. I've read and seen copious amounts of discussion about the tax bill, even on *gasp!* MSNBC. They've spent quite a lot of time on it, actually. But Somerby chose to keep his head up Roy Moore's ass and extol the virtues of teen dating by middle-aged men, post after post, and looked only at that coverage. Why, he even did extra-credit research on celebrities of old and their May-December romances, accessed (and misrepresented) Census data, and even shared personal anecdotes. Then he complains (or pretends) that he couldn't find coverage of the tax bill inside Roy Moore's ass. I invite Somerby to review the coverage of the tax bill and open his eyes. There were endless discussions, and no amount of Somerby's false claims to the contrary can change the facts of what I witnessed with my own two eyes.
    It's similar to the attempted ACA repeal in September. Somerby talking about some damn fool topic while real, concerned Americans fought valiantly to kill those bills. Jimmy Kimmel was a more important voice then than Somerby could even dream of being.

    1. How in the world can anyone say that Bob's been defending Roy Moore?

      Apparently when the topic becomes sex -- or even now just "dating" -- almost everyone now goes crazy. Why is that? It's like they lose both their vision and hearing.

      Europeans have long noticed this about us Americans. It's not healthy, either.

    2. You can stop posting here now. Moore lost.

  7. "Europeans have long noticed this about us Americans. It's not healthy, either."

    You run election campaigns with the voting public you have, not the voting public you wish you had.

  8. Mao, the primary goal of the GOP, including Trump, is to cut taxes for the rich and then "starve the beast", cut social security, medicare etc., whether Trump is the candidate or one of the others. They all promised this, and with a majority in the House and Senate, there is nothing to stop them. The issue isn't whether Trump promised this, but whether doing it will be a net positive for the U.S or not - certainly a net positive for the banksters and globalist elitists. Whether the blue collar masses will be helped or hurt - that's a side issue for those pushing into reality their long time wet dream.

    1. We're all well aware of liberal talking points for idiots. No need to keep repeating the mantra, especially since the empirical evidence leaves no doubt as to who the banksters and globalist elites bankroll, both now and during the election campaign last year.

      The way things work (or should work anyway) is that candidates announce their platforms, one gets elected, and then his platform gets implemented. Cutting corporate tax rate was part of Trump's platform, he got elected, and now he's implementing it.

      And that's all there's to it.

    2. Trump tax plan would break six of Trump’s campaign promises

      1. Trump asserted in September 2015 that he would cut taxes for the middle class, “but for the hedge fund guys, they’re going to be paying up.” This is less in reference to income tax rates than capital gains tax loopholes. Trump promised several times to eliminate this loophole, which allows financial managers to pay taxes on their income at the capital gains tax rate, which is lower, instead of the income tax rate. He said in Iowa in 2015 that he’d take out the loophole, “and let people making hundreds of millions of dollars pay some tax, because right now they are paying very little tax.”

      The plan does not even mention the capital gains tax loophole.

      5. 5. Closing loopholes

      Trump promised to close “many” business tax loopholes.

      The plan says it will “deliver fiscally responsible tax reform by broadening the tax base, closing loopholes and growing the economy.” But it fails to identify any loopholes to close. In fact, the plan appears to create a loophole that would benefit people like Donald Trump.

      The flimflam man in action. Bait and switch, baby, bait and switch.

    3. Oh I guess I'm an idiot, so I am free point out that you respond robotically, without ever deviating from the Breitbart propaganda line, with baseless, conclusory Sophistry. In doing so you, per usual avoid addressing my point - that while lowering the tax rate for corporations, which includes banksters, and increases the stock market for the benefit of banksters (and others, including me), he is fulfilling his campaign promise, and is doing zilch to help the blue collar class, which "Trump has never given a shit about. One can argue, from the left, that the dems establishment is pro-globalist elitist, but the GOP, Bannon, and his minion, Trump, with this tax plan, is giving the banksters, globalists and elitists just what they want. I agreed that he is fulfilling his campaign 'promise' but the issue I raised is that by doing so, he is helping the people you seem to hate. And what is this empirical evidence? - Susan Sarandon?

    4. Exporting jobs to Bangladesh (and such) is what helps banksters and globalists.

      On the contrary, the declared purpose of lowering corporate tax is to bring factory jobs back to the US. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but that's the argument.

      But of course lib-zombies are not interested in arguments; they have their idiotic talking points, good for every occasion.

    5. Bullshit. You're not bringing back factory jobs that have left until you get Americans to accept 3rd world wages. How's $1 a day sound, vodka breath?

      Here is your working class hero, dumbshit.

      Trump Paid Over $1 Million in Labor Settlement, Documents Reveal

      In 1980, under pressure to begin construction on what would become his signature project, Donald J. Trump employed a crew of 200 undocumented Polish workers who worked in 12-hour shifts, without gloves, hard hats or masks, to demolish the Bonwit Teller building on Fifth Avenue, where the 58-story, golden-hued Trump Tower now stands.

      The workers were paid as little as $4 an hour for their dangerous labor, less than half the union wage, if they got paid at all.

      Their treatment led to years of litigation over Mr. Trump’s labor practices, and in 1998, despite frequent claims that he never settles lawsuits, Mr. Trump quietly reached an agreement to end a class-action suit over the Bonwit Teller demolition in which he was a defendant.

      For almost 20 years, the terms of that settlement have remained a secret. But last week, the settlement documents were unsealed by Loretta A. Preska, a United States District Court judge for the Southern District, in response to a 2016 motion filed by Time Inc. and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Judge Preska found that the public’s right to know of court proceedings in a class-action case was strengthened by the involvement of the “now-president of the United States.”

    6. I can't speak for all lib-zombies, but all I care about is arguments. I am very skeptical about the argument that this tax plan will bring jobs back from Bangladesh, or that it will help workers more than banksters. We shall see, like you say. I'm pretty sure abolishing the estate tax only helps the 1%. Trump was quite promiscuous with his promises - lots of them were crazy, and have been dropped down the toilet.

    7. The only globalists 'Mao' cares for are his Russian paymasters

    8. "...but that's the argument."
      You can find folks making that arguement, but you can find anyone who believes it.

      It's OK. First mention of the "deficit" or "debt" by a Conservative, and the corporate tax rate triples.
      Many believe it was Trump's campaign motto of "Establishment Uber Alles", and not his bigotry and misogyny, which one him the election.

    9. Crooked, crooked Donald!

    10. Trump promised to screw over the working class, and now he's delivered on that promise. What's the problem?

    11. Say whatever else you want about Trump, but he sure does love himself the Establishment.

    12. Conservatives shooting themselves in the head en masse will bring back manufacturing jobs to the U.S. Whether it works or not, remains to be seen, but THAT'S the argument.
      Trump and his fellow close-minded Republicans would rather sit with their thumbs up their butts, than even try to bring manufacturing jobs back. Sad.

    13. Nah, you don't care about arguments. All I can detect is witless tribalist resentment, just like the rest of your ilk.

      As for the estate tax, it's minor shit, and it really doesn't matter: what are they going to do with the taxes they collect anyway? If the estate tax was 100%, how would it help the working stiff? We know the answer.

      What the country needs now is to bring back its industrial base.

      I know how other countries do it: they make deals for zero taxes in the first 10 years, plus free land, free electrical power and what-not - anything you want, just build your factories here. This is how it's done these days. Cutting the corporate tax to 20% is a minor incentive, but it might play a role if combined with other incentives. So far so good; we'll see.

    14. Screw the argument. If that's "the argument", put in the bill. What is the enforcement mechanism that they must bring back the jobs in exchange for the corporate tax break? What's the penalty for not doing so? (Hint: it's also NOT in the bill).
      Wishes of ponies and unicorns will NOT bring the jobs back. A bill spelling out the exchange parameters (how many jobs for how big a tax cut, etc) instead of promises made by people who can't be trusted would have been the way to do this IF they believed the tax cut would bring jobs back. I want to know what Trump and Republicans believe, not what the inveterate liars say they believe.

      I'm sure the plutocrats appreciate your argument, Mao, but he rest of us are calling bullshit. Again.

    15. Estate tax is such minor shit, Republicans will lose their funding if they don't vote for it.
      Do you get paid by the word, the post, or the lie?

    16. "I know how other countries do it:"
      Please. You don't know your ass from a hole in the ground.

    17. Say whatever else you want about Trump and Mao, but you can't argue their love for the Establishment.

    18. Mao, thanks for letting me know I don't care about arguments. You just made 2 arguments, that the estate tax doesn't matter, and that other countries (which ones?) offer no taxes for 10 years, free electricity, and free land. No one is advocating that in the US - you claim that the 20% corporate tax is a small step in the right direction that possibly might increase manufacturing jobs. We shall see how much good it does, like you say, and how much it simply puts more in the pockets of plutocrats and banksters, a prospect you apparently think is irrelevant. I ain't a economist. Someone once characterized economics as the "dismal science" - which I agree with, except the part about it being a science. As for the meaningless estate tax - the abolition has been the dream of the super rich for ages now - per you, let them have more and more concentration of wealth, who cares? Good for them. You are way to glib and snarky and dogmatic to be credible.

    19. Sure, inheriting the farm is a horrible travesty, while producing sneakers for $20/pair abroad to sell them for $200/pair domestically is just normal business activity.

      Yeah, let's be credible and focus on the farm.

    20. No, the estate tax isn't killing family farms

      Republicans calling for the repeal of the federal estate tax often claim it makes it hard for American farmers and ranchers to pass on the family business to the next generation.

      But most U.S. family farms are unaffected by the federal estate tax.

      Donald Trump's Pants on Fire claim about the estate tax, small businesses and farms

    21. Family Farm?
      Mao, try updating your lies every few decades. That one has a sell buy date of 1995.

  9. Bob neglects to mention that Moore, for all his crazy views, won several statewide elections. What ultimately brought him down by a narrow margin was the pedophilia storyline.

    Bob bitches about lack of coverage of the tax bill. In fact, the WaPost, the NYT and other publications had several articles on the tax bill. The WaPo in particular had a detailed article explaining how it fell short of Trump's claims. Bob ignores this.

    And even if the liberal press had covered the tax bill 24/7, how would this have stopped the Rs, who have majorities in the House and Senate. Answer -- it would not have. The only thing that might create problems for the bill is (wait for it) the election of Jones which shrinks Rs narrow majority in the Senate.

    My personal opinion is that Bob went crazy back in 2000 or so because he thinks the liberal press attacked Gore. His way to compensate for that is to nitpick, ignore good stories, and use falsehoods as blatant as any conservative. In short, Bob is acting like a true Trumptard. A 'useful idiot' for Trump and the Rs except that he lacks the influence to be truly useful to them.