The Media Conspiracy to Make Hillary Clinton Look Competent

|

Exhibit A: The spin over Geffen-gate. Last week David Geffen, a former Clinton donor, bashed Clinton after hosting a fundraiser for Barack Obama. The Clinton campaign demanded Obama give back Geffen's money for saying terrible, hateful, untrue things like she's an "incredibly polarizing figure." Obama said "No, and what's with you getting support from a moron who thinks I'd doom the Democratic ticket because I'm half black?" Media conventional wisdom: Gosh, Hillary's advisors are smart! They snatched away Obama's halo; victory's now assured.

The first major poll since the Geffen dustup comes out: Hillary's traded a 24-point lead over Obama for a 12-point lead. That major coup in scoring dopey South Carolina state Sen. Robert Ford has resulted in… a 51-point flip in black support from Clinton to Obama. Black voters who backed Clinton 60 to 20 now back Obama 44 to 33.

Exhibit B: James Carville's obsession with Al Gore. For the umpteenth time, Carville says Gore will run for president. Pundits spin this analysis by a guy who has no connection to the Gore camp as… big news! Left ignored is what an incredibly telegraphed punch this is. The Clinton camp believes it's losing something when Obama is the hot topic in the NYT, Imus, the usual organs of east coast punditry. It wants Gore to at least be the focus of hype, at most enter the race and snuff out Obama's challenge. Important caveat: This does not make sense. Gore is included in voter polls about who they want to win the Democratic nomination, and he scores in the low teens, at most. As Howard Mortman points out, actual humans are not buzzing about Gore's Oscar. They're buzzing about Rudy on one side and Obama on the other.

These are two examples of a somewhat benign liberal media bias. Reporters 1) like the Clintons and 2) can buy vacation homes in Rehoboth with the revenue Clinton stories bring their publications. (This isn't really hyperbole, as Sussex county appraisers are really lazy)* While it's often silly to focus on polling so far out of an election, knowing this it'd be even sillier to focus on what the big political pundits are analyzing. (For better analysis see Kaus on Geffen, Geraghty on the black vote.)

*rewritten for clarity

NEXT: Royal With Cheese

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hold it just a second. For 15 years now, the right wing has been peddling the idea that Hillary Clinton is the shrewd, calculating leader of a conspiracy to take over the country and make us all (yadda yadda yadda). They’ve been saying that the Clintons control the Democratic Party, and lately have been saying that, because of this, she is guaranteed to win the Democratic nomination.

    And now, when you catch the mainstream media saying exactly the same things, it’s evidence of liberal bias?

  2. Hugo Chavez in a pants-suit.

  3. Also, on Gore – the man isn’t in the race. He hasn’t even made any coy little appearances on Press the Meet and This Weak to drop hints and raise his profile, a la Newt. Might the facts that people don’t think he’s running, and that he has not been brought up stories about the nomination, have something to do with the reason he isn’t winning the polls?

  4. Maybe a cold, calculated bitch is what we need after 8 years of shooting from the hip without any thought or foresight? Yeah, I know, she’s just Hugo with a hoohaa. Castro with a cooch. Brezhnev with boobs and also probably French.

  5. Dave, you’re Exhibit A is pretty much on the money.

    I watched the whole Hill-O-Bama thingy (admittedly I wasn’t paying that much attention) but I was surprised that so many media types proclaimed Hillary the ‘winner.’

    And they were proclaiming it as they noted that Hillary had bested Obama by dragging him into the pointless, mudslinging-gutter – turf she knows so much better than Obama.

    Kinda’ ironic, isn’t it? I mean since Obama’s appeal comes from his trying to get above that crap. Just what folks want to see, more partisan buzz-kill.

    For me, the more telling examples of media bias were how many articles and news reports talked about how Geffen had ‘savaged’ the Clintons without quoting his actual comments…which were pretty benign compared to stuff in recent past campaigns.

    Yesterday, I affirmed the observation of Bush Fatigue. I’m gonna go out on a limb and observe that if Hillary is determined to play cheap and nasty, Clinton fatigue may set in as well.

  6. Reporters 1) like the Clintons and

    Wow! Really, WOW! Did you sleep through the nineties?

    They printed every unsubstantiated innuendo fileld, gossipy, hit piece story about the Clintons without any regard for its factual accuracy, and you are gonna say the press loves them some Clintons? Talk about a bizarro-world comment.

    Now I’m personally not that big a fan of the Clintons, but to pretend that the press loves them just plain false.

  7. madpad,

    “For me, the more telling examples of media bias were how many articles and news reports talked about how Geffen had ‘savaged’ the Clintons without quoting his actual comments…which were pretty benign compared to stuff in recent past campaigns.”

    I think this is more akin to the Boston sports writers getting all breathless about how many batters Curt Shilling faced in batting practice. They can’t wait for the season to start, so they’re over-playing the small stuff.

  8. So this is what voter fatigue feels like. Not so bad. (yawn) Sleepy. (yawn) Sooo sleeeepy…

  9. Mickey Kaus couldn’t analyze his fingernails without falling off his chair and breaking his coccyx.

    HRC is obviously Pol Pot with a poonanny.

  10. OY! a year campaign to start a year campaign? I blame BiCRA. Look folks, I told you HRC will be the D nominee 100% guaranteed (void with felony conviction). Everything that happens between now and Super Tuesday is just so much fertilizer. Nothing to see here…

  11. Now I’m personally not that big a fan of the Clintons, but to pretend that the press loves them just plain false.

    They may love them in the sense that its good for business to write hit pieces about them. If the press spent a fraction of the time investigation Bush that they did Clinton we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. And I say that as a former registered Republican who never voted for Bill.

  12. I’m waiting to hear Hill on IMUS.

  13. Not a conspiracy again! You’re just egging the nutbars on, aren’t you?

  14. Oh man. It’s going to be Hillary v. Guiliani isn’t it? Other than some plumbing and hair differences they’re pretty much the same person.

    So, Canada? Australia? New Zealand? Costa Rica? (I still remember a bit of college spanish).

  15. “This isn’t really hyperbole, as Sussex county is really lazy about home appraisals.”

    So real estate prices are set, not by the market, but by government bureaucrats? What magazine are you writing for, dude?

  16. Gosh, I missed the part where the mainstream press did a lot of hard-hitting investigation on the Clintons. I do recall them trying to bury stories until Drudge posted them on-line.

    Anyone who seriously believes that the press was harder on the Clintons than on Bush needs to wake up and smell the coffee. I don’t recall any major news organization having such a boner to hang something on the Clintons that it broadcast obviously forged documents.

    As political skeptic and incurable snarker, I welcome Hillary! back onto the national stage. Getcher popcorn ready!

  17. Oh man. It’s going to be Hillary v. Guiliani isn’t it? Other than some plumbing and hair differences they’re pretty much the same person.

    I so wish that Rudy had run against her for Senate. He should have been able to beat her pretty handily, since Hillary’s base in NYC was in the habit of voting for Rudy, and she would now be a minor figure in American politics, on par with John Edwards.

  18. Gosh, I missed the part where the mainstream press did a lot of hard-hitting investigation on the Clintons. I do recall them trying to bury stories until Drudge posted them on-line.

    You are correct. There was no investigative reporting. They published every outlandish accusation without a hint of skepticism. That’s not investigation thats peddling gossip.

    There were about 10 different “-gate” scandals that were associated with the Clinton’s not one of which ever panned out.

    But please name all the scandals that have been associated with the Bush administration.

    You want to be partisan, be partisan. But don’t be a liar.

  19. HRC. She’s Trotsky with a twatsky.

    Actually, I could care less about this story. It just looked like fun to join in.

  20. Primarily the New York Times and the Washington Post.

    Partisans are quite good at not seeing inconvenient facts right in front of their eyes, ChicagoTom.

    R C probably genuinely believes that the media went easy on the Clintons.

  21. He should have been able to beat her pretty handily, since Hillary’s base in NYC was in the habit of voting for Rudy…

    I don’t know about that…a head-knocking, tough-on-crime moderate mayor is not the same as a liberal senator. Mayors deal with local unions, property taxes and contol the number of police on the street. Senators deal with issues like welfare, education funding, gay marriage and abortion.

    Rudy’s popularity as a mayor is not an automatic trounce to Hillary’s popularity as a senator.

    Might have been close. And maybe you’re right and Rudy would have won. But I don’t think he would have ‘beat her pretty handily’.

  22. RC Dean:

    Are you kidding about how the press treated the Clintons in the 1990’s? ChicagoTom said it all, so I won’t repeat it. If your response is, “well, the Clintons were corrupt” then you might be right about the Clintons’ corruption. You are absolutely off when you make out this chummy picture of the press during the Clinton Administration.

    My final entry: She’s Zedong without Zedong.

  23. There were about 10 different “-gate” scandals that were associated with the Clinton’s not one of which ever panned out.

    It kinda says something with all the Conservatives putting everything the Clinton’s did under a microscope – and a federal investigation – the best they could come up with was Web Hubbel, an urban legend about all the people they’d killed and some jiz on a dress.

  24. Admirable, lamar…but so far nothing has beat ‘Trotsky with a twatsky.’

  25. for saying terrible, hateful, untrue things like she’s an “incredibly polarizing figure.”

    HRC isn’t “polarizing?” Wow. That’s not spin, that’s a whirling dervish.

    They printed every unsubstantiated innuendo fileld, gossipy, hit piece story about the Clintons without any regard for its factual accuracy, and you are gonna say the press loves Clintons?

    Yes. The same way the tabloids print gossip about the glitterari. Note that the media regularly beat the drum on “Clinton’s Oral Office Activities are his personal affairs and why are the uptight Republicans making a big deal about the Stud in Chief’s awe-full escapades?”

  26. Remember when the Washington Times claimed that Bill Clinton had been recruited as a KGB agent during a high school trip to Moscow?

  27. Larry A,

    The New York Times, in the unsigned editorial at the top of their Op-Ed page, called for Bill Clinton to resign the office of the Presidency because of the dress stain.

  28. ChicagoTom,

    Daley? Again? Egad.

    As for the media, bias or not, sin and corruption sells. And they are in the business of making money before they are in the business of spreading ideology. The way I see it, the leftward bias you see in a number of reporters and editors is more of a hobby than an actual job 🙂

  29. And to think, Stalin used to call me “Clinton without a Clit”

  30. ProL,

    Whaddaya gonna do. 32% turnout — no one gives a fuck. I tried to convince my friends to vote against him and they all felt that 1. the corruption didn’t directly effect them so who cares and 2. He has done some good things for Chicago in his 5 terms so its all good….but in the end not one of them voted anyway.

    On the plus side 36 year incumbent Burt “The Nanny” Natarus got ousted. S sometimes democracy works 🙂

    As for the media, bias or not, sin and corruption sells. And they are in the business of making money before they are in the business of spreading ideology

    Maybe so, but there seems to be quite a bit of corruption in this administration, yet those same papers are eerily silent. Not to mention the fact that the public statements by many pundits of the day was that they were so mad at Clinton because he kept lying to them. As opposed to GWB who is as honest as they come.

    I would be more prone to believe that its a matter of corruption and sin sells if they covered it even-handedly — but I don’t see too much of that kind of coverage toward this admin

  31. Tito without ta-ta’s.

  32. Madpad,
    I would have kept going if that damn “Trotsky with a twatsky” didn’t so clearly win the gold medal. Second-raters like “Tito with a taco” just aren’t going to cut it.

  33. A Castro who’s been castrated.

  34. ChicagoTom,

    Nothing changes in Chicago, especially the mayor. I’ve got no business talking, since I used to work for Judge Elrod (yes, the former sheriff of Cook County) and am, therefore, part of Old Man Daley’s Machine 😉 As an outsider during my time there, I was appalled at how casually people accepted the corruption, but what do you expect from a sundrenched Floridian?

    I think 9/11 and the Iraq war have changed the focus of the media quite a bit. The Clinton years were mostly news free, with some highlights like the Oklahoma City bombing and Waco, but really nothing dramatic like a full-blown war was taking place. With a 9/11/96 attack, I doubt we ever would’ve heard about Miss Lewinsky.

  35. The blogosphere runs on antimatter.

  36. David Weigel,

    I usually enjoy your posts, but I respectfully request that before you write anything else about next year’s presidential elections that you take into consideration the fact that they’re 20 months away. If they were next week or maybe in three months I could see wasting all the electrons over them, but they’re not. PLEASE, for the love of God, write about other things. Ideally, at this early date the only things that would warrant talking about would be if Obama admitted to being a Grand Dragon of the KKK or if Hillary’s penis slipped out of her pantsuit on a campaign stop.

  37. Ghengis Kahn mixed with Chaka Khan?

  38. Pro Libertate, I know a thing or two about the housing/development industry in Florida, and I don’t think Floridians should be lecturing anyone about corruption.

  39. “…if Hillary’s penis slipped out of her pantsuit on a campaign stop.”

    Hillary’s much to smart to let that happen; she knows the hazard, and has been leaving Bill at home during her public appearances.

  40. Maggie Thacher without the snatcher.

    (I know it doesn’t make sense, but it rhymed dammit)

  41. joe,

    I didn’t mean to suggest that we are corruption free (though I’d say that Tampa is less corrupt than, say, Vice City), but the political corruption in Chicago is quite incredible. Still, however much “cleaner” my town may be than Chicago, the corruption within and without local government when it comes to real estate development is distressing. Just not Chicago distressing.

    All,

    If Hillary Clinton looked like Salma Hayek, would you vote for her?

  42. joe,

    “If Hillary Clinton looked like Salma Hayek, would you vote for her?”

    Huh? Um, no.

  43. “If Hillary Clinton looked like Salma Hayek, would you vote for her?”

    No, but she’d get made fun of approximately 36,549 times less than she does now.

  44. As an outsider during my time there, I was appalled at how casually people accepted the corruption,

    As a lifelong Chicagoan I am appalled at it myself. But I think a big part of it was that his challangers were rather weak. Daley scares away or buys off any real challangers. It was amazing to see how many politicians who were against Daley had suddenly sat down with him and decided that he is not the same daley they were ranting about just a couple of short years ago and that he is the best thing that ever happened to Chicago.

    I think 9/11 and the Iraq war have changed the focus of the media quite a bit.
    ProL,

    I agree with that. But I also don’t remember Bush I getting that kind of scrutiny either (although here someone older than I could correct me if I am wrong. — I could just be too young to remember) Maybe Clitons biggest failing is that he didn’t get involved a ground war??

  45. Anyway, I agree with RC on this one. I remember a lot of media puff about Monica and some dress and not nearly as much about Clinton’s foreign interventions.

  46. Rudy’s popularity as a mayor is not an automatic trounce to Hillary’s popularity as a senator.

    I mean back when she ran the first time, as a carpetbagger, and Rudy would have run as the mayor of NYC. Then he would have beat her.

    There was no investigative reporting. They published every outlandish accusation without a hint of skepticism. That’s not investigation thats peddling gossip.

    The mainstream media passes on gossip about everyone. In D.C., its part of the news.

    Seriously, though, what major media news organization ever carried through a major investigation of the Clintons (instead of just reporting on the various court cases and Congressional investigations)?

    They have investigated all kinds of things about Bush – the coke allegations, the drinking, the National Guard service, etc. – to the point of running obvious forgeries as “proof”. While its been awhile I don’t recall any similar digging into the Clintons by the “legitimate” media. Examples would be welcome.

    Partisans are quite good at not seeing inconvenient facts right in front of their eyes, ChicagoTom.

    joe – mote, beam, dude.

  47. Now, I’d definitely vote for a politician with the looks of Salma Hayek and the ideas of Friedrich Hayek.

    Sadly, most politicians have that backward.

  48. kohlrabi,

    Sure, you say that now, but I don’t know if America can resist the power of a true hottie running for office. Women will envy her; men will want her. And just imagine how well she’d do in foreign relations!

    Look for Ms. Hayek to agree to a brain transplant from Senator Clinton before the primaries.

  49. i am voting for salma hayek in 2008

  50. Whitewater, Whitehouse travel office, duh Lewinsky, “wag the dog” accusations after Clinton fired missiles at Al Qaeda.

    Oh yeah, that’s right, the media had nothing to do with those scandals. The public learned about them through smoke signals and ESP.

    I guess we’ll have to disagree on this one. I lived through a 1990’s where Clinton was the incarnation of the devil (1992-1994), then a corrupt perv launching missiles to cover his own jizz stain. You lived in a 1990’s where Clinton benefitted from disgustingly positive coverage of Clinton’s scandals and uproars.

  51. Whitewater, Whitehouse travel office, duh Lewinsky

    None of these were stories broken by the media. All were investigations being pursued by others that the media reported on. Try to read the words I type, Lamar, such as:

    instead of just reporting on the various court cases and Congressional investigations

    As for “wag the dog”, that wasn’t an investigation of any kind, it was just a really obvious editorial observation.

  52. The mainstream media passes on gossip about everyone. In D.C., its part of the news.

    Except of course when it’s concerning GWB. In that case the media won’t even pass on facts much less gossip.

    In the last 6 years what I have seen in the newsmedia is high paying stenography and a refusal to print or seek quotes/voices that dissent/differ from the official administration position.

    The press gets lied to and they won’t call it a lie/distortion/untruth. Funny though, during the nineties Clinton was branded a liar and was constantly being accused of being less than truthful.

    Like I said upthread, the Broders and the Matthewses were OUTRAGED that Clinton would lie to them, but GWB and his administration lie to them directly and they don’t bat an eyelash. I guess it’s only “part of the news” when a Dem is in the White House.


  53. None of these were stories broken by the media. All were investigations being pursued by others that the media reported on. Try to read the words I type, Lamar, such as:

    Stop it RC. The point isn’t that the stories were broken, it’s that they were covered in a dishonest way. They were pushed and hyped and they were covered in an excessive way and every innuendo was treated with the same regard as fact. They were treated not as the partisan witch hunts that they were, but as legitimate investigations of wrong doing.

    Try to keep up. There is nothing wrong with covering the investigations. There is something wrong with refusing to be skeptical or add any context and continuting to play up the significance of them when it becomes clear that they are baseless.

    And when all was said and done, and Ken starr had wasted millions of our taxpayer dollars to find out the Clinton cheated on his wife (does anyone remember what he originally started his investigation for??) the press ignored/downplayed the fact that he was exonerated of wrongdoing on the allegations and was being hounded by a partisan “independant counsel” and decided that a blowjob was the most significat event of the decade.

  54. As for “wag the dog”, that wasn’t an investigation of any kind, it was just a really obvious editorial observation.

    Exactly the point. It was the media repeating a GOP talking point ad-nausium and giving it legitimacy. It wasn’t true and wasn’t based on any facts. It was an attack on Clinton that has never happened to Bush I or II.

    No matter how much you repeat the lies won’t make it so.

  55. The media really LOVES the Clintons

    At this point, why are high profile media personalities still talking about Clinton Sex scandal?? A majority of America didn’t care then, and they really don’t care now.

    On a side note, Bill Clinton’s approval ratings are rather and per Gallup, most Americans see him as an asset to Hillary high yet somehow the media seems to be peddling the meme that Bill will be a liability to Hillary. Feel the love!!!

  56. RC Dean: Is there a fundamental difference between cashing in on reporting a scandal and doing your own investigation? Neither appears to be all that “friendly” to the Clintons.

    Besides, why would a newspaper fund an investigation when the righties just hire Swiftboaters and other dubious investigatory/accusatory bodies?

  57. Wow, I just love to watch all of the Democratic and Republican partisans on this blog get into such a lather over the Clintons. Especially stupid shit that happened TEN YEARS AGO.

    I wonder how many actual libertarians there are here?

  58. They Love Her & They Hate Her!

    Adweek Magazine did an online survey of Hill’s popularity and i’m totally confused because she’s actually been voted the most electable AND the least most electable. Needless to say, this will prove to be one of the craziest elections yet. Check it out;

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/2/28/141206.shtml?s=bl&promo_code=2E68-1

  59. Wow, I just love to watch all of the Democratic and Republican partisans on this blog get into such a lather over the Clintons. Especially stupid shit that happened TEN YEARS AGO.

    It really isn’t the Clinton’s but the conduct of the press and the direction of the discourse. It’s a lack of consistency and the existence of double standards. There are lots of valid criticisms of the Clintons and their tenure in the White House. Too bad the press decided they didn’t want to cover that.

    If the press wants to peddle in gossip and innuendo, then they should at the very least be consistent and do it to whoever happens to occupy the White House.

    Why does using deception to cover up a marital affair get so much more press than using deception to lead the country to war with a nation that never threatened us? Which one has a more significant impact on our country and the world?

    It isn’t partisan bickering, its demanding some kinds of standards from those who control the conversation and shape conventional wisdom.

  60. “Wow, I just love to watch all of the Democratic and Republican partisans on this blog get into such a lather over the Clintons. Especially stupid shit that happened TEN YEARS AGO.”

    Yeah, what could possibly the contemporary relevance of discussing how the media treats Hillary Clinton?

  61. “Why does using deception to cover up a marital affair get so much more press than using deception to lead the country to war with a nation that never threatened us?”

    Why does the staffing of the White House Travel Office get the same degree of coverage as the leaking of someone’s covert CIA identity?

  62. ChrisO:

    Partisans? I suspect if you made a list of 20 commentors here, you’d guess probably 3 or 4 party affilations.

  63. Chris O…I’m with Lamar.

    Lot’s of folks are obviously arguing less on partisanship grounds and more for facts over bullshit.

  64. No, I disagree. You’ve got the usual half-dozen suspects around here arguing passionately that the media treats their favorite shitty statist politician less fairly than the other team’s shitty statist politicians.

    As a former committed Republican, I used to argue vehemently that the press gave the Clintons a pass on a lot of their misbehavior. In retrospect, it was much ado over very little. And I also think that the media has done a poor job of getting to the bottom of the Bush foreign policy. They let Rumsfeld walk all over them, and their inability to extract information out of an unwilling White House is pathetic. Moreover, I see so many examples of journalists who base their reporting on assertions made by activist groups of all stripes, while rarely digging into the asserted facts or fully disclosing the source of their material

    The reality of it is that the modern U.S. political press is mostly a bunch of Ivy League twits who are extremely reluctant to engage in good journalism if it means being excluded from the best D.C. cocktail parties with their fellow Ivy League twits who became politicians and high-level bureaucrats.

    Compare our press to that of Britain sometime. British journalism is tabloidy to be sure, but I’m amazed at the zeal with which British journalists question every statement made by every authority figure. Nothing is off-limits, which is as it should be.

  65. Valuing facts over bullshit is a partisan stance these days.

  66. Valuing facts over bullshit is a partisan stance these days.

    Oh give it up, joe. Mindless partisans will value both facts and bullshit that favor their side.

    As to the topic at hand, I think Geffengate is prime example of the media pouncing a non-story when there simply is nothing substantive to talk about at such an early stage of the presidential race (indeed, really before the race has begun). The interesting aspect, if any exists, is how the Clinton and Obama camps attempted to create a story in their favor out of exactly nothing. Is it a story that Geffen switched horses? Yes. Are the noises that came out of his mouth a story? Not really.

  67. ChrisO:

    Excellent point. I found it amazing that the government-owned media in Britain really challenged the government on the war, yet the American “private” media acted as a shill for Bush’s war plans.

  68. You’ve got the usual half-dozen suspects around here arguing passionately that the media treats their favorite shitty statist politician less fairly than the other team’s shitty statist politicians.

    1. They are all shitty statist politicians, regardless of party affiliations.

    2. I am actually presenting examples and comparing and contrasting the difference between how Clinton was covered vs. how Bush has been covered. (And believe me, the Clintons are some of my least favorite politicians)

    You and others are implying that they are all treated the same, without providing any examples or any facts to back up your assertions.

    I agree that “the media has done a poor job of getting to the bottom of the Bush foreign policy…” but they did scrutinize Clinton in every way imaginable — including calling his foreign policy decisions as examples of wagging the dog. I wish they would scrutinize Bush in the same manner / level way but they haven’t.

    It isn’t partisan to point out the reality of what has happened. Is it partisan to want consistency? Is it partisan to ask that the press treat matters of war and peace more seriously than blowjobs and infidelity?

  69. The initial claim was that the media has gone easier on Bush that it did on the Clintons (see Gatchaman 12:16 p,m.). I regard such a claim as borderline crazy.

    To attempt to enlighten my borderline crazy confreres here at H & R, I pointed out that the media has been so hostile to GWB that it has pursued a number of investigations and even published obvious fabrications. I said I couldn’t recall any such investigations by the media of the Clintons, although of course the media reported on investigations by others.

    To date, no one has really refuted my observations that (i) the mainstream media didn’t really investigate the Clintons much on its own and (ii) this is a contrast to their treatment of GWB. Please, give counterexamples if you have them.

    I think ChrisO pretty well nailed it with his comment on Ivy League twits above. I think anyone who believes the press has been easier on Bush than it was on Clinton has a bad case of partisan blinders.

  70. I wish they would scrutinize Bush in the same manner / level way but they haven’t.

    Someone has certainly forgotten the Big Kerfuffle over the intelligence leading up to the war, the “thirteen words” or whatever they were, and all that.

  71. I pointed out that the media has been so hostile to GWB that it has pursued a number of investigations and even published obvious fabrications

    I think you are full of shit RC.

    You made an assertion without every providing one example. I asked and you have ignored it…so I ask again. What on earth has the media “ivestigated” about GWB? And which obvious fabrications have they publshed? I and others have provided quite a few examples of press misconduct towards Clinton, would you care to do the same? Or do you prefer to just repeat tripe without providing any evidence ?

  72. The press jumped on the sex angle to obfuscate all of the other real scandals, knowing the public would suffer scandal fatigue. The press didn’t give a shit about who hired Craig Livingstone, why the billing records eventually turned up, why reputations had to be falsly malaigned to fire the travel office, how much they got for the Rich pardon, whether Bill raped Broderick, and to this day, what they have on Berger to get him to pilfer archives for them.

  73. Someone has certainly forgotten the Big Kerfuffle over the intelligence leading up to the war, the “thirteen words” or whatever they were, and all that.

    I’m sorry..I don’t see what your point is?

    Are you implying that the press did a good job questioning the rationale and the WMD claims in the leadup to war? Are you implying that they scrutinized the Ofiice of Special Plans and the “slam dunk” case that was used to sucker our country into a war with Iraq?? Or do you mean the way they aired anti-war opinions in an honest and objective manner to counter all the pro-war voices? To this day Dick Cheney and Bush lie about things they said ON CAMERA back then and no one calls them on it and the press treats their statements as credible, whereas Clinton was branded a liar because he covered up an affair in his private life — and you are gonna try and tell me these guys get the same level of scrutiny?

    The “thriteen words” dustup happened after Richard Clarke publsihed and OP/ED calling out the President and the media couldn’t ignore it.
    It wasn’t a case of the “media investigating on its own” (whatever the hell distinction you seem to be trying to draw while ignoring the real issue: the tone and amount of coverage of baseless allegations and presenting innuendo and talking points as fact)

    And what was/is the objection about it? The claim that was inserted into the State of the Union was misleading at best. And if I recall correctly, even members of the CIA felt that the claim had been debunked and were rather surprised that it was even stated.

    Is that what you call scrutiny? Try again pal.

  74. Once again, this time with feeling:

    THE NEW YORK TIMES RAN A BANNER EDITORIAL CALLING FOR CLINTON TO RESIGN FROM OFFICE DURING MONICAGATE.

  75. Since there were massive numbers of Congressional investigations, a Special Prosecutor or three, and a substantial cottage industry in anti-Clinton “investigations” during the 1990s, the fact that the press’s Clinton-bashing was carried out by uncritically repeating their enemies’ accusations, rather than making up accusations of their own, is a bit less telling than R C Dean seems to think.

  76. “…obviously forged documents…”

    Oh, bullshit. You didn’t even know what kerning was, nevermind being able to tell the kerning of a typrewriter from that of Microsoft Word, until you read a series of professional typesetters engage in a back-and-forth debate. And now it’s proof of bias that a teevee producer didn’t throw out a realistic-looking forgery that contained information for which she had independent verification?

  77. Another thought here: We have to make a distinction between journalism and punditry. Journalists are not supposed to espouse ANY position and are supposed to question EVERYTHING. Their job is to supply the fullest possible account of who, what, where, when and why (or really, how), and let the readers/viewers make the value judgment.

    One of the biggest dangers I see in the U.S. media is an increasingly blurry line between the news and editorial sections, characterized by an increasing use of “analysis” pieces in the news sections, and by news accounts that are heavily laden with value judgments by the writers and editors. That’s true of all media, from the New York Times to the Washington Times.

    My dad once said something very interesting about reading the newspaper. If you want to read the actual “news” in the paper, remove every adjective and adverb and apply only the nouns and verbs. That’s the news; the rest is opinion.

  78. Another thought here: We have to make a distinction between journalism and punditry. Journalists are not supposed to espouse ANY position and are supposed to question EVERYTHING. Their job is to supply the fullest possible account of who, what, where, when and why (or really, how), and let the readers/viewers make the value judgment.

    I would agree with that. I don’t expect journalists to not have opinions, but I do expect them to present information that does in fact run counter to their opinion/beliefs when it is legitimate information.

    And I would also like to see better disclosure about the people whose opinions they are printing/broadcasting. For example, every time I see that jackass Carville on CNN nowadays spouting off about the Democratic primary it would be nice if CNN would tell their viewers that he is a member of the Clinton campaign as a strategist instead of calling him merely a “political strategist” or better yet, why not give pundits who have signed on with campaigns time off and book someone who isn’t being paid by a particular campaign?

  79. The press was on a mission to force Bob Packwood to resign for making passes at his staffers. When Clinton allowed his intern to service him, the zeal of the press for any consequence but censor disappeared except for the one Times editorial. And anyone who saw Drudge’s National Press Club address knows exactly how the press felt about the breach in their protective wall.

  80. Bob Packwood made of habit of forcing himself on people. Not picking them up, pushing them down on tables and such. He wasn’t “allowing” them to do anything. Some of think that’s rather significant.

    If I wanted to see the concept of consent wiped out of the moral equation, I’d read Dworkin.

  81. I’m not sure we have “the media” anymore. In the old days of two-newspaper towns and the Big Three on television, one could say “the media” with a mostly straight face. Now, we have a million cacophonous voices in the digital Babel.

    Now, if we are talking about the mainstream, big money corporate increasingly nonrelevant media elite… I think those folks generally look upon HRC more favorably than Joe Six Pack. It’s my impression (supported by polls) that a big swath of middle America just doesn’t like HRC. Perhaps the bias is unfair, but it feels real. I think some of HRC’s initial support came from the mass of folks who just hate the thought of another Republican president. My gut sense is that many Democrats are more concerned about backing a winner than picking a favorite. I think Obama’s number are supressed because a number of folks are hesistant about his ability to win in a general election. If he stays hot (a tenuous proposition), he could slingshot by HRC and everyone else on the Democratic side.

  82. And I would also like to see better disclosure about the people whose opinions they are printing/broadcasting. For example, every time I see that jackass Carville on CNN nowadays spouting off about the Democratic primary it would be nice if CNN would tell their viewers that he is a member of the Clinton campaign as a strategist instead of calling him merely a “political strategist” or better yet, why not give pundits who have signed on with campaigns time off and book someone who isn’t being paid by a particular campaign?

    That’s a general problem with the elite political media of both sides of the aisle, particularly the pundits. They jump back and forth between covering the news and being the news, so to speak. Any doubt that Tony Snow will go back to the media in some capacity after next year?

    Your point also brings up a pet peeve of mine–the overall craptitude of TV news. In my previous incarnation, I was an activist in the property rights movement, and in that capacity did several appearances on TV news shows (small stuff, not CNN). And even in 20-minute segments with supportive hosts, I was only able to get across two or three short bullet-points of information. The medium simply does not lend itself to accurate, in-depth news coverage.

    There is so little informative content on TV “news” shows, that they are a complete waste of the precious moments of your life. And the all-news channels now seem to be an endless string of pundits yelling at each other, “celebrity news,” and the disaster-of-the-day. Barf!

  83. sorry about the italics, but aren’t they purty?

  84. can’t we all agree that in a perfect world we’d be able to try both bill and dubya for war crimes?

  85. What I’d like to see is for every pontificating, pompous pundit to have to take a vow of silence for 5 years if he’s proven wrong. If he’s proven to have lied, a vow of silence for life.

  86. Cripes, grumpy, I’d settle to see a mere acknoledgement. Did you ever read Richard Cohen’s colum from during the Florida recount?

  87. Pol Pot with a poonanny

    You are so fired! I believe that, in the parlance of our times, the correct alliteration is “Hitler with a hymen”

  88. Hugo Chavez in a pants-suit.

    Is better looking and more reasonable.

    Pol Pot with a poonanny

    Bill might have preferred that. Heck, he preferred most anything that was just a little moist.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.