THURSDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2022
Monica Hesse explains: Today, we get the chance to speak well of Monica Hesse—though only up to a point.
In print editions of today's Washington Post, Hesse's new column is easy to find. It was right there in its usual spot, on the front page of Style.
In print, the column is easy to find—but if you read today's Post online, you might not know that the column even exists. We were only able to find it online by searching on Hesse's last name!
So it goes as the Bezos Post becomes more and more strange. That said, there's nothing strange about the accurate point with which Hesse starts her column today—a column which carries this headline:
What Dr. Oz really said about abortion during debate
That key word, "really," suggests a key fact—a statement by Oz at Tuesday's debate has been widely misrepresented. To her credit, before she possibly goes a bit wrong, Hesse starts out saying this:
HESSE (10/27/22): During Tuesday evening’s senatorial debate between Pennsylvania’s John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz, the latter candidate allegedly said something shocking and enraging about abortion access, which was then allegedly captured in a tweet that got a lot of attention:
“Oz says his abortion position: should be between ‘a woman, her doctor, and local political leaders,’ ” wrote a Democratic opposition researcher.
John Fetterman, who is recovering from a stroke, had been the candidate for whom viewers were on gaffe alert. But to read this tweet—which has been reposted thousands of times—it seemed that Oz, a smooth television personality, had instead won the headline for most alarming statement.
Only, he didn’t say it—not quite, not exactly. I went back and re-watched the clip.
We'd say that Oz didn't say it at all, but that is a matter of judgment. For now, consider the astonishing journalistic act Hesse describes in that passage:
Hesse is a major journalist. In this instance, she went back and checked the tape to see what Oz actually said!
As we've told you for several decades, such things simply aren't done!
Truth! It's very, very, very rare to see a mainstream journalist do what Hesse does at the start of her column. In the face of a pleasing narrative, Monica Hesse actually went back and checked the actual facts!
She then proceeded to so the unthinkable. She described the way other journalists played the fool in the wake of Tuesday's debate.
In Hesse's account, a Democratic opposition researcher quickly produced a bungled account of what Oz had said. But because the bungled account made Oz look especially stupid and bad, the rest of the kids stampeded off and repeated the bungled account.
According to Hesse, the oppo researcher's bungled account has been reposted thousands of times. As part of that foolishness, the bungled account has also been served to us rubes by multimillionaire "journalists."
Truth up! That's exactly the way our discourse was working back in 1998, when we launched this incomparable site. Twenty-four years later, that's the way the clowning worked in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday night's debate.
Truth up! An oppo researcher produced an account which made Oz sound amazingly stupid. So the horrible children who script our world all began to recite the pleasing account—Stephanie Ruhle and Nicolle Wallace and quite a few others oh my!
In the face of such familiar conduct, it's very rare to see a major journalist do what Hesse has done. Hesse has blown the whistle on the latest act of group stupidity engineered by the corporate multimillionaires who constitute "our favorite reporters and friends."
As she continues her column today, Hesse makes a second important point. She says that what Oz actually said about abortion is actually worse than what he is said to have said.
We don't completely agree with that, but we agree with Hesse's basic point. Her basic point is this:
For anyone who is pro-choice, what Oz actually said at Tuesday's debate should be seen as quite undesirable.
How stupid was the faux paraphrase our corporate hacks churned out? We've decided to wait another day to show you what Stephanie Ruhle said on her "cable news" program late Tuesday night.
Ruhle was simply working from script, reciting the latest inanity. Our blue tribe keeps accepting this crap from these overpaid hacks while wondering why we can't win.
Tomorrow, we'll take this to the next step. For today, gaze in wonder:
Hesse didn't think that was what Oz said. Breaking every rule in the book, she decided to go back and check!
In print, her column was highly visible. Online, it can't be found.