But first, what Lozada did: Last night—actually, early this morning—we watched Chris Hayes as he pretended to interview Amy Chozick.
To watch the segment, click here.
The New York Times made Chozick its "Hillary Clinton reporter" in July 2013 [sic]. It was more than three years until the presidential election in question. But in its stupid, inexcusable way, the Times was going to hound this pre-candidate every step of the way.
In our view, Chozick did a terrible job as the Times' Clinton reporter. Now she's written a book about the experience, hoping to pocket some cash.
(She's married to a Goldman Sachs VP. As far as we know, that's legal.)
Last night, Hayes pretended to interview her about it. Assuming minimal intelligence on their parts, it struck as a thoroughly disingenuous performance by both participants. We don't think it's ever seemed so clear that Hayes has been lost to the world thanks to his job with corporate cable, or perhaps thanks to his general ambition as a "career liberal" journalist in an age when such folk must play nice with the Times.
(How much does Hayes get paid for this? You aren't allowed to know that!)
We expect to spend next week reviewing the Chozick tour in terms of her performance on the three-year campaign trail. For today, though, let's consider something Carlos Lozada did.
This Sunday, Lozada reviewed Chozick's book on page one of the Washington Post's Outlook section. Basically, he fingered Chozick as a self-absorbed lightweight, which of course explains why the New York Times liked her so much.
Lozada didn't much like the book. That said, we think it's worth noting the way he starts his review:
LOZADA (4/22/18): Amy Chozick, the lead New York Times reporter on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, believes that the news media’s focus on Clinton’s private e-mail server—a story the Times broke and that Chozick would write about extensively—was excessive. She even grew to resent it. Chozick also thinks that reporting on campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails turned journalists into “puppets” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and she struggles to explain why they did it anyway. She contends that sexism played a big role in Clinton’s defeat but also encounters it first-hand among Clinton’s campaign staff. And while she hammers the candidate for having no clear vision for why she sought the presidency, Chozick allows that competence, experience and policy were hardly selling points in 2016, when it “turned out a lot of people just wanted to blow s— up.”Lozada didn't much like the book. That said, our analysts howled at the way he began his review.
These are some of the revelations and contradictions permeating Chozick’s “Chasing Hillary,” a memoir by turns poignant, insightful and exasperating. It’s a buffet-style book—media criticism here, trail reminscences there, political analysis and assorted recollections from Chozick’s past tossed throughout—and while the portions are tasty, none fully satisfies...
Their point was extremely basic. As he starts his review, Lozada tells us what Chozick believes about the media's focus on Clinton's emails. (She "believes it was excessive.")
He tells us how she came to feel, apparently in real time, about this focus. (She "grew to resent" it.)
He tells us what she thinks about the coverage of the Podesta emails. (She "thinks that reporting on campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails turned journalists into 'puppets' of Putin.")
Lozada refers to these as "revelations." Here's the problem:
Lozada can't possibly know if Chozick really believes, and really felt, such things. He knows that this is what she's saying. He can't know if what she's saying is actually true.
For ourselves, we wouldn't trust Chozick as far as we could throw her. Lozada seems skeptical too.
For that reason, it's endlessly disappointing when journalists like Lozada write this way—when they turn something a hustler has said into something the hustler believes. Good journalists shoudn't do that.
For the record, Lozada knows how to write with greater precision. He does so in this very passage:
"[Chozick] contends that sexism played a big role in Clinton’s defeat..."
In that sentence, Lozada reports what Chozick has said. He doesn't say, in his own voice, that it's what she believes. This distinction is major and basic. The analysts wept and moaned when Lozada blew right past it as he began his review.
(For what it's worth: we thought Chozick and Hayes were at their disingenuous worst when they kept returning to sexism as the cause of Clinton's defeat. Among other things, this is the mainstream press corps' slithery way of ignoring their own decades of attacks on Clinton. More on this next week.)
Does Amy Chozick really believe that the media's focus on the emails was excessive? Does she really believe that this focus turned her guild into puppets of Putin?
She seems to be saying that she regret the coverage the media provided. But does she really regret the coverage, or is she just saying she does, as a means of personal rehabilitation?
We're disinclined to believe anything Chozick says. Beyond that, we've never seen Hayes as phony, faux and disingenuous as he seemed to be last night. On the side of illumination, last night's disingenuous outing largely defines an age, an age in which the mainstream press corps refuses to tell you the truth about its own attitudes, values, behavior.
Doers anyone escape corporate cable intact? By the way, how much does Hayes get paid to con us liberals like that?
Coming next week: What happens in the mainstream press corps stays in the mainstream press corps...