Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Would you like some Whine with that cheese?

Okay, here's the thing, I'm an Edwards guy with a dash of Kucinich. As far as I'm concerned, nobody even comes close in either party to talking about the things that truly need to be addressed in this country. I can live with Obama, although his consumption of the Social Security Kool-Aid is seriously pissing me off. I'm really not a Hillary person. I think she's a very competent, sharp, and politically savvy canddiate. My big problem with her is she has not clearly and decisively rejected the fundamental assumptions that have driven us into this NeoCon ditch in Iraq and around the world. Not to mention that she's far too centrist and moderate for my taste. She's probably my least favorite of the Dem frontrunners, although her worst, most PNAC-esque day is light-years better than any of the GOP torture-loving douchebags. I say this to provide some context for the following statement:

I sincerely wish the American press corp would stop acting like a gang of wretched fnorkweasels when it comes to Hillary Clinton. You people are convincing more every day I have to vote for her just to protest your HORRRRRIBle behavior.

Case and Point: This piece of excrement. What a shock it's coming from the Marty Peretz's Beltway Bro's at TNR. Rather than pull quotes out and comment, I suggest you read this piece and join me again for my overall take on this. Go ahead, I'll wait...
(insert Jeopardy music here)

Back? Okay..here we go..

You should have noticed a few warning flags about Crowley's piece. First, the reliance on NYT reporter Jeff Gerth previous...uh..work about Hillary Clinton. Remember that Gerth was the one who "broke", read dutifully acted as stenographer, for the Whitewater story. Most of his reporting on that story has been demolished, the work of serial liars and Clinton political enemies in Arkanasas and Washington. He is also the author of nasty book about Hillary. Which is not say his work should be ignored, but his history with the Clintons is relevent to the reader regarding his potential bias. Throw in a little Howie Kurtz for..umm..balance and you've got the recipe for a whiney hit piece.

What kind of balance or context should be provided in this piece and others like it when trying to understand why a campaign would act like this? If, of course, you are not content to accept the D.C. Press officially approved narrative that Hillary is a ballcrushing Bitch. I think one way to contextulize here is recall this event from 2000 Dem Primary. From Bob Somerby:

How had the press corps acted during the debate? “The media groaned, howled and laughed almost every time Al Gore said something,” Mortman reported. “What happened with Bradley?” a panelist asked. “Stone silence. Really,” Mortman said. And Mortman—a staffer in the original Bush White House—was not alone in his report. Eric Pooley described a similar scene in the November 8 Time:
POOLEY: [Gore’s attempt to connect with the audience] was unmistakable—and even touching—but the 300 media types watching in the press room at Dartmouth were, to use the appropriate technical term, totally grossed out by it. Whenever Gore came on too strong, the room erupted in a collective jeer, like a gang of 15-year-old Heathers cutting down some hapless nerd.
Seven weeks after the Dartmouth debate, Salon’s Jake Tapper described the same conduct. Appearing on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, he replied to a question about “liberal bias:”
TAPPER: Well, I can tell you that the only media bias I have detected in terms of a group media bias was, at the first debate between Bill Bradley and Al Gore, there was hissing for Gore in the media room up at Dartmouth College. The reporters were hissing Gore, and that’s the only time I’ve ever heard the press room boo or hiss any candidate of any party at any event.

That's the tip of the iceberg. We can get into the manufactured stories of Gore lying, the Naoimi Klein story about earth tones conjured up by Republican politial operatives and repeated as gospel by reporters even to this day, or the farcical coverage of the Bush/Gore debates. You get the point.

The obvious reason the linton people treat the press like the enemy is because they ARE the enemy. I don't blame them. In fact, stories like his make me feel a bit less frustrated. Finaly, someone gets it.

Crowley mentions the resemblance to the Bush attitude to the press. In truth, I don't blame the Clinton people that they modeled their press machine after the Bushies. Their model worked, to perfection. For Christ's sake, it worked to the point that journalists, highly paid, experienced jouranlists eagerly particpated in the outing of a covert CIA operative, a blatant political hitjob that rolled up the Agencies worldwide WMD counter-proliferation ops. The failure of the press to hold the adminisration accountable in that story is truly Fucktacular. They cannot even bring themselves to label a Bush lie as a lie. It's a deception, a misstatement, or a mistake. Better to call him a dufus than risk the ire of the White House when you call a liar a liar.

You only have to watch the performance of Little Tim Russert at the last debate to understand the Clinton campaigns strategy, and the wisdom of it. Stunts like that only reinforce this attitude at Camp Clinton. One only has to remember the lies of the Swiftboats, Al Gores internet speech, even this waitress debacle to want to blow a gasket when you read this sort of whiney dogshit from Crowley.

Look, this isn't a good thing. It's in fact a terrible development and bad for democracy. Candidates like Hillary and Bush who manage to conceal their strengths and weaknesses as possible Presidents weaken the ability of the public to make a good decision. My point is that it's not wholly a creation of the politicians and their operatives. The nature of the political coverage, driven by the business model of their employers, the nature of journalist as celebrity, and the anti-liberal bias of corporate press that has helped, if not driven the creation of this model. And yes, I said anti-liberal bias in the corporate press. Because if it's one thing The Timmy Russerts hate more than Dems, it's the HIPPIES.

And Timmy, your Bills suck ass.

P.S. Just revel in this statement for a moment:
Almost as important--in the Democratic primaries, at least--it is determined to show that it won't let that happen again. "They've cultivated this attack-machine image because they think that Democrats want that," says one political reporter. "They're pandering to the bloggers

Uhh..okay. You see S9, Hillary is pandering to YOU!

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