THURSDAY, JULY 28, 2022
When did The Crazy appear?: American life has been wracked by assertion of The Crazy, and belief in The Crazy, over the past few years.
That said, it didn't start with Pizzagate! This phenomenon was already well underway when Gary Aldrich's book hit the best-seller lists in 1996.
Gary Aldrich wasn't a Secret Service agent. The leading authority on his life and times describes him as shown here:
Gary Aldrich was a special agent with the FBI for 26 years investigating white-collar crime. He spent the latter part of his career working in the White House as a background investigator providing clearances to White House staff during the George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.
Aldrich retired from the Bureau in 1994. He wrote the 1996 book Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House (published by Regnery Publishing), which was highly critical of the Clinton administration.
Aldrich wasn't a Secret Service agent. But it was the same rough idea.
In 1996, Aldrich hit it big with a major New York Times best-seller. In October 2016, when people were still assuming that Hillary Clinton was going to win the White House, Amanda Marcotte recalled one part of the lunacy in this report for Salon:
MARCOTTE (10/24/16): Decorating the Blue Room Christmas tree with penises and coke spoons might seem like an ill-advised move even for someone who is having crazy pagan sex orgies nightly in the Lincoln Bedroom. But many people on the outer fringes of the conservative movement apparently believe Hillary Clinton's freakiness was so overwhelming she simply couldn't help but desecrate a Christmas tree for the sheer hell of it.
While most urban legends about the Clintons start somewhat small and then grow in the telling, this one appears to have sprung fully formed from the deranged imagination of Gary Aldrich, a former FBI agent who worked on the security team for the Bush and Clinton White Houses. Aldrich had an unending contempt for the Clintons, who he clearly viewed as a couple of dirty hippies with their Fleetwood Mac records and daughter named after a Joni Mitchell song. After he left, he decided to cash in on that hatred with a 1996 book entitled "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House."
Unlike some Clinton haters of the era, Aldrich seems to have realized that accusations don't need to be plausible in order for them to be eagerly snatched up and believed by huge swaths of the conservative book-buying public. So he went hog-wild in his book, claiming that Hillary Clinton's Christmas decorating team decided to deck the tree with drug paraphernalia, condoms and cock rings.
Aldrich goes on at length about what is clearly an event that happened only in his head, but I've clipped some highlights from the book for your perusal.
You can click the link to Marcotte's report if you want to revisit this classic bit of lunacy from the "early onset" era.
In truth, this lunacy was already fairly well established by the time Aldrich's book appeared. The very reverend Jerry Falwell was already raking in bucks by selling his lurid film, The Clinton Chronicles—a film which chronicled the many murders committed by Clinton and Clinton or by members of their far-flung criminal gang.
The Internet barely existed yet, but partisan talk radio did. So did the lunatic supermarket tabloids which drove other conspiracy tales about Clinton and Clinton. Rush Limbaugh was already well established in syndication nationwide.
By the summer of 1999, Gennifer Flowers was running a subscription web site devoted to the Clintons' many murders. There were many fewer "cable news" programs at that point, as compared to the present day, but Hardball was one of them.
In August 1999, Chris Matthews gave Flowers a full half hour on the frequently disordered program. During that time, he gushed and fawned about what a super-babe Flowers was, especially as compared to the much less attractive Hillary Clinton.
As for Flowers, her performance on Hardball was so absurd that she was instantly given a full hour on Hannity & Colmes, a Fox News program. During that time, she informed the world about what a giant lesbian Mrs. Clinton was.
No, Virginia, Hillary Clinton didn't decorate the White House Christmas tree with "drug paraphernalia, condoms and cock rings," as Aldrich claimed in his best-selling book. She didn't even decorate the tree with "penises and coke spoons."
That said, as with Pizzagate and the Clinton Chronicles, so too here. Many people were already so tribalized, and had surrendered so much discernment, that Aldrich's claims apparently didn't strike them as transparently crazy, inane or nuts.
So too with Flowers and her unsupported, apparently unsupportable claim that she had enjoyed a torrid, twelve-year love affair with the man she called "my Bill." She was never able to support the sweeping claim from which she had earned giant sums. But by the time of the Clinton impeachment, mainstream pundits were absurdly claiming that they now knew that she had been telling the truth.
In the New York Times, Frank Rich's shaping of this standard though unsupportable script was especially comic.
The Crazy was already seeping through the nation's political culture. From that day to this, the mainstream press has betrayed little interest in exploring the mental mechanisms which lead some people to make such crazy claims, and lead many more people to believe them.
In other ways, it was the mainstream press itself which was inventing and selling The Crazy by the time of Campaign 2000. We recalled one such gong-show report from the front page of the New York Times as we watched two of the networks' "Sunday shows" just this past weekend.
More on that phenomenon to follow.
Gary Aldrich wasn't in the Secret Service. Nothing he said or did should, in any way, be attributed to that agency, or to anyone in it.
But, correctly or otherwise, certain embarrassing claims were widely attributed to Secret Service agents during the early Clinton years. We wondered what planet Claire McCaskill was reporting from when she gushed, last Thursday night, about the way the Secret Service has never been associated with partisan behavior, even as she took the lead in pimping new unfounded claims about the agency.
The Crazy has been active in our political discourse for at least three decades now. It has come from the right-wing machine and from the mainstream press. More on this topic tomorrow.
Number one nationwide: In the Summer of 96, Aldrich's crazy book was a major best-seller.
According to this weekly compilation, it stood at number one on the New York Times best-seller list on four separate weeks that summer. In mid-September, it was finally knocked from the top spot for good by The Dilbert Principle.
Oh dear. Poor Psycho-Witch; someone said mean things about her, on the talk radio.
...and that's why, probably, 20 years later she started publicly accusing everyone she hates of being a foreign agent.
...oh yes, dear Bob, society made her do it. She's really the victim in all this...
Now you're saying that Hillary wrote the Steele dossier? That IS crazy, Mao.Delete
The crainess doesn’t rest with the stories but with the people who believe them.ReplyDelete
You cannot equate news reports about coat buttons or claims about the internet by Al Gore with made up stories about dildos on the White House Xmas tree. No one accused Al Gore of murder, yet Somerby cares more about Gore than about Hillary, whose sabotage gave us Trump.
I blame Somerby for Hillary’s loss. He took his eye off the ball (or was paid to look away) at a critical moment in American politics. He and the Bernie Bros believed the crazy.
anon 4:58, TDH defended Hilary constantly over the years. An excellent example of craziness is you blaming him for her 2016 loss.Delete
You don’t have to not be a Secret Service agent to write crap that the conservative press will publish about Hillary. Al Gore was never targeted as aggressively as the Clintons because he was less of a threat to conservatives. Maybe that’s why Somerby loves him so much.ReplyDelete
Old enough to remember the disordered crazy lie of "Russia collusion."ReplyDelete
Total surrender of discernment by every lunatic media outlet.
That's nothing. People STILL think there's a benevolent God.Delete
But still young enough to be conned by morons like Tiabbi.Delete
Nobody cares whether you bothered to read and comprehend the report detailing the very thing you deny, primarily because nothing hinges on what you believe. What does matter is that Trump and Putin are currently getting their asses handed to them in large part as a reaction to the corruption revealed by the "Russia collusion."
I don't care if you defend fascists and their corruption, just don't interfere as the grownups clean up the mess, kid.
Here's my preemptive YAWN at whatever pathetic "but but but" you corruption-deniers tend to spew forth when called to the mat.
Bill was jacking off in an Oval Office sink with an intern and his cigars, but who would believe dildos were present!ReplyDelete
On a Christmas tree, asshole. No one said the Clintons were asexual. No one would know about Bill if Linda Tripp hadn’t illegally wiretapped, invading privacy. That’s why the public was sympathetic, not outraged (based on polls).ReplyDelete
Old enough to remember the big lie of “no Russia collusion.”ReplyDelete
Whoa, dildo and asshole on a Christmas tree?ReplyDelete
Juanita Broadrick is a dubious nutcase, now also banned from Twitter. A liar if you believe what She said about Bill Clinton or the much more extreme likelihood that it’s all BS. Yet the liberal Press used her to defeat Clinton. Creepy Bill Maher uses Clinton’s highly tenuous connection to Jeffery Epstein to insist Clinton rapes underage girls. This wasn’t in the nineties. Bill, like everybody else, gave up on this stuff long ago. Somewhat understandably, yet it really does show the craven side of the left.ReplyDelete
What this has to do with the case against TRUMP, most of which can be made with things he’s put into the public record I don’t know, though I fear we are going to find out. Regarding Clinton, many dishonorable things were done by The Post and the New York Times. That doesn’t mean the Right was behaving honorably.
Former President Bill Clinton took more flights aboard a jet belonging to a registered sex offender than previously thought.Delete
The logs showed Clinton took at least 26 flights, not 11 as first believed, aboard financier Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 jet between 2001 and 2003, the first two years he was out of office. The former president took at least five of those flights without his Secret Service detail.
And? So did Bill Gates. So did Donald Trump.Delete
Bill Clinton was establishing a global foundation to do charity worldwide. He was soliciting contributions from many different wealthy people. No one has ever accused Bill Clinton of the kind of wrongdoing that Epstein was convicted of. However, there are photos of Trump hanging out with Epstein while they ogle a bunch of teen girls. No photos like that of Clinton.
The Clintons are not running for any office. Isn't it time for the noise machine to find a new target? Or do you slime people out of residual hate?
Unclear who you are talking about when you say the left was attacking Clinton. The right did that and the Bernie Bros went after Hillary (with Russian funding), but who do you mean when you say the left was targeting Bill Clinton?Delete
AT 7:33. Who has these logs? Who is committed to seeing these reports are accurate? It's a bit like the Hunter Biden's laptop. At 7:44 The progressive left played dirty against Hillary Clinton all the time, and they did with Biden as well.Delete
What heinous heresy did Broadrick tweet in order to be banned?Delete
Actually, members of Clinton’s security team when he was governor of Arkansas, accused Clinton of using them to procure any chick he scouted out in crowds and wanted to meet.Delete
Said security members folded like chairs under oath. May explain why Trump’s pawns don’t want to testify. Broaddrick has been kick off more than once. Some of her stuff is pretty racist, but She was also making pre Jan 6 posts of the “it’s going to be wild!” variety.Delete
And they were paid very well to make those accusations, Cec.Delete
When we’re the troopers ever under oath?Delete
They were sleazy guys, but that’s the type who would be approached for such a job.
There were Secret Service agents who made the same claim.
All security/ police types are sleazeballs.Delete
That’s why we have the 2nd Amendment, to use guns to fight the tyranny of the government, they represent.
A truer formulation is that human beings are flawed.Delete
That is why we have checks and balances on power.
Only until the sexual predators Republicans put on the Supreme Court rule that checks and balances are unConstitutional based on Originalists.Delete
No matter the party of the president who appointed them, justices don’t always agree with each other. Justice Ginsberg questioned the privacy argument approach with Roe v Wade.Delete
Justices must be confirmed and that gets the attention of voters.
Not just the attention of voters, but of politicians, and media as seen in the pressure to get Justice Breyer to retire.
The voters don't count anymore, Cec. We're past that minor annoyance and have moved on to full court minority rule and gerrymandered state legislatures. Catch up.Delete
mm, should I ascertain that from the current party running the WH and houses of congress?Delete
I don’t mind you working from Memory but yours is not that good. Yes, Troopergate went to Court and their stories, at best, got a lot less colorful under oath.Delete
Biden won the popular vote by 8 million voters, yet the Senate is 50/50. Congress is virtually paralyzed from republican obstruction. The SC has 5 members put there by a republican who lost the popular vote. Right now Dems in the Senate represent 50 million more votes than the Reps,yet the Senate is 50/50. Yeah, that is a problem.Delete
NC congressional races, total Dem vs Rep voters are essentially equal, or Dems slightly higher yet R's get the majority of Congressional seats. Neat how that works,huh.
Anonymouse3:19pm, I suppose it’s not “neat”, but bad how that works, if you’re on the side that doesn’t benefit from it.Delete
Otherwise, it’s called a Republic and in the case of changing dynamics in states, it is described thusly:
“The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President.”
Anonymous 3:04pm, I didn’t follow the Clinton stuff contemporaneously.Delete
Perhaps, you can pull up something showing the particulars of how the troopers fell apart “under oath”.
Anonymices 3:45pm and 3:49pm are me.Delete
I don’t know why I got kicked out or why it took awhile to get back in.
“The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President.”Delete
Just to be clear, Cec, you think that was bad, right?
I don’t think such a thing is bad per se.Delete
When all the operatives are slanted in one direction, then I want to put my purse under my arm.
If you can keep your head when everybody round you is losing his, then it is very probably that you don't understand the situation.
No, it’s very probably because you aren’t an anonymouse.Delete
Cec, also it's very probable you aren't "dedicated ........ to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted" [elections]. or opposed to "an autocratically inclined President.”Delete
You're one of the ones who just love autocratically inclined.
1. You're confusing an erroneous good faith statement by Claire McCaskill with decades of FOX and right-wing puke-funnel BS? This is bothsidesing at its worst.ReplyDelete
2. MSNBC is not, repeat, not a "Democratic" tribal news network in the same way that FOX is a right-wing tribal cable news network. It's a left-wing tribal network that hates mainstream Democrats with a passion. During 2015 and 2016 its prime time hosts Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow were cheerleaders for Bernard Sanders and spreaders of the "rigged" lie against Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Hayes gave Sanders so much favorable airtime (including guest host slots) that people joked his show should be counted as an in-kind contribution to the Sanders campaign. In 2020 Hayes repeated without serious examination the constantly changing claims of known fabulist, con artist and ultimately Russian state media personality Tara Reade in order to attack Sanders campaign rival (and eventual Democratic presidential nomination winner) Joe Biden. To this day it seems that, from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski on the right to everyone else in the lineup (aside from Nicolle Wallace and Lawrence O'Donnell) on the left, the main qualification to be on MSNBC as either a host or guest is a willingness to bash mainstream Democrats.
Thank you! As I've said here now often, MSNBC's progressive leanings create justifiable paranoia in someone who wants to see the Democrats win.Delete
It's highly generous now to view Bob as a "both sider." HIs commitment to Trump has been pretty clear for a long time.
Quoting Hayes 'I don’t know if my bosses would love me saying this, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t think I would say, “Your best bet to consume news is to watch eight hours of cable news a day.” That would not be my prescription to someone about the best way to get the news. I think you should go to a bunch of different sources. 'Delete
I'm not sure his critics have tried to see it from his perspective.
Hey, I think we found the core of Mao's interest in politics and history.ReplyDelete
A good hoax is one people would like to believe.ReplyDelete
The crainess doesn’t rest with the stories but with the people who believe them.ReplyDelete
"It turns out the Secret Services’ Jan. 6 texts aren’t the only ones that’ve gone mysteriously missing, according to the Washington Post: Texts sent and received by Trump acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli related to Jan. 6 have been erased too."
The only lesson the republicans learned from Watergate was that Nixon should have burned the tapes.Delete