Whenever the media tells me to jump, my shoes become glue.
I didn't really want to be on Team Hillary in 2007-8. I took that position because the Clinton Derangement Syndrome of our pundits became so repellent that I felt compelled to do the opposite of whatever they said.
Over the course of the past quarter-century, our allegedly "liberal" press has excused anything and anyone named Bush while screeching like a barrel of banshees about anything and anyone named Clinton.
Think back: How often have you heard the Clintons referred to as
"secretive"? Quite often. Now ask yourself: How often has our press used
that word to describe the Bushes? Not
often -- even though Poppy
Bush was the head of the See-Freakin'-Eye-A, and was accurately
described by a notable operative as "one covert motherfucker." Such is the damnable double standard controlling our political discourse.
Emailgate -- or Eghazi, as some wits are calling it -- perfectly illustrates the point: Hillary is being condemned for doing the sort of thing that Dubya and his minions considered routine.
Worse, our pseudojournalists have rigged the game so that no possible response from Hillary will ever be good enough. If you read articles about
her press conference, you'll hear about a Hillary Clinton who was as devious and doublefaced as Robin Lord Taylor's Penguin in Gotham
. She practically waddled and twirled an umbrella.
But if you read the transcript of what she actually said, her words seem very reasonable and forthcoming.
She can't win. No matter how reasonable and forthcoming she is, the pundits will write: "Isn't it just like those sneaky Clintons to seem reasonable and forthcoming? How DARE they seem reasonable and forthcoming? Reasonableness and forthcomingness are obviously part of their scheme..."
Paul Waldman's piece in The Week
offers an excellent history of the media's predilection for CDS. This passage captures the situation very well:
When this email story broke, how many journalists said it was important because it "plays into a narrative" of Hillary Clinton as scandal-tainted? I must have heard it a dozen times just in the past week.
Here's a tip for my fellow scribes and opinionators: If you find yourself justifying blanket coverage of an issue because it "plays into a narrative," stop right there. That's a way of saying that you can't come up with an actual, substantive reason this is important or newsworthy, just that it bears some superficial but probably meaningless similarity to something that happened at some point in the past.
"Narratives," furthermore, aren't delivered from Mt. Sinai on stone tablets. They're created and maintained by journalists making decisions about what's important and how different issues should be understood.
Here's a shorter way to put it: These shits are writing propaganda
, in the Dreaded Kos (no, all is not forgiven), offers similar observations:
Meanwhile, over at the Meet the Press website, the crack team of Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Carrie Dann began by citing another reporter's view that "What we learned yesterday is that Hillary Clinton hasn't changed a thing." What does that mean? "Folks, this is the Clinton Way. Secretive. Lawyerly. Dismissive of the press."
Dare I suspect that maybe the "dismissive of the press" part is what they really care about? Ben Smith also touched on that, writing that "she soldiered through Tuesday, looking at the press pack with undisguised dislike."
Serious question, guys: Watching this media circle jerk, who the fuck could blame her? I'm not some giant Clinton fan, but the spectacle of hundreds of reporters wetting themselves over this nothing-burger of a story inspires visceral disgust.
No, Beltway political reporters are infinitely energized by a Clinton personality story. They will never be worn out with that red meat to feed on. But stories that matter ... those they all too frequently get all jaded about, and let slide without serious investigation.
Precisely. These propagandists never gave a crap about anything Hillary actually did
as SOS. They wrote more stories about that silly, much-reproduced photo of Hillary in dark glasses than they wrote about, say, her approach to Afghanistan or Syria.
I am not saying that Hillary should be considered above criticism. Quite the opposite. If a writer can a mount a critique based on something real and significant and difficult to convey in a two-second sound bite -- bravo
. Alas, our journalists have forgotten how to practice journalism.
On this occasion, Big Tent Democrat
has it partially
There's a lot to question about Hillary Clinton's policy positions, especially, in my view, on foreign policy. But those questions will never get asked by the Media on its own.
The Media doesn't actually care about policy. Partly because it's hard to report on policy. Partly because they don't really care about policy. The only way they do is if a political opponent raises the issue.
Want to hear about Hillary Clinton's foreign policy views? Want her hawkish ideas challenged? Don't count on the Media for that. It will take a primary challenger.
I happen to think that a primary challenge is a good idea, but not for this reason. It is foolish to ask a challenger to come forward in order to force journalists to do their jobs. Journalists will shirk actual work no matter what.
If there are primary debates, nobody will write about the candidates' positions. The media will cover those debates entirely in terms of personality, mode of dress, tone of voice, facial expressions, wordplay, gaffes and gotcha moments. You know: Bullshit
Nevertheless, I would like to see a challenger step forward -- as long as we are given the right kind
of challenger. We don't need any more Janus-faced phonies like Obama. I don't want to see journalists puff up another artificial messiah whose sole qualification for messiah-hood is that he is the Not-Clinton.
there another potential Obama out there? Offhand, I can't name anyone who might fulfill the pseudomessiah function. Elizabeth Warren and Jim Webb are not ersatz enough to get much love from the press corps.