Glory watch: Michelle Obama's story-telling!

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2016

Reminiscent of glorious Homer:
Michelle Obama's convention address was widely praised last night.

For ourselves, we'd prefer to see first spouses, male or female, speak in non-partisan settings. That's especially true in the case of someone like Obama, who has such remarkable depth of vision to share.

That said, one part of Michelle Obama's speech is being widely quoted—and we're not sure that her presentation is being fully captured. We refer to the passage at the end of her speech when she described her thoughts as she watched her happy, beautiful daughters play on the White House lawn.

Obama started and ended her speech with the needs of her daughters, and of the rest of the nation's children. Our view? Politics should always be about the interests and needs of the babies born today. What kinds of lives do we want them to live?

Michelle Obama built her speech around the needs of the country's children. This is the way she started:
OBAMA (7/25/16): You know, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be president.

Remember how I told you about his character and convictions, his decency and his grace, the traits that we’ve seen every day that he’s served our country in the White House?

I also told you about our daughters, how they are the heart of our hearts, the center of our world. And during our time in the White House, we’ve had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women, a journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington.
As she continued, Obama described the feelings of a parent raising two kids in the White House. Along the way, she gave us a glimpse of two parents' reaction to the conduct of a deranged public man:
OBAMA: I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become, and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them. That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith.
When Donald Trump created himself as King of the Birthers, he was, among other things, taking aim at the children in the White House. The press corps has almost wholly disappeared his appalling conduct. Meanwhile, did you hear that Hillary lied about the Cubs and the Yankees?

The press corps should be ashamed of itself for the way it has avoided challenging Trump's past conduct as a birther. That said:

At the end of her speech, Obama returned to the lives of her daughters. She offered a beautiful two-part construction in which she describes her thoughts as she watches her daughters playing with their dog.

This construction is so lovely that it seems to come out of Homer. It seems to us that one part of this two-part construction is being widely lost:
OBAMA: That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.

And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.
Obama seemed to choke up as she recalled this moment. We can't say we blame her.

In that glorious statement, Obama compares the happy lives of her daughters to the lives of the glorious ancestors who built the house in which they now live. As she watches her daughters at play, she thinks of the lives those honored ancestors lived.

It's going to be a long, long time before you hear a deeper passage from a speech. We thought of glorious Homer as Obama watched her girls at play and found her thoughts turning to those who had come before. That's some of the greatest story-telling you'll ever meet in a speech.

From there, Obama went on to ask what we can do for all the other kids, for the babies being born today. What kinds of lives do we want them to lead? She was asking a very good question.

That was a very unusual moment. As a general matter, we'd prefer to see this invaluable person sharing her insights in a setting where everyone, from all the tribes, might be inclined to listen.

Also, glorious Sandburg: You'll rarely encounter better story-telling than Obama gave you last night. We thought of Sandburg's account of Lincoln's last act before leaving Springfield to become the nation's sixteenth president.

Late in Volume II of The Prairie Years, Sandburg describes Lincoln’s trip to visit the woman who had raised him—his stepmother, Sally Bush Lincoln. The trip occurred in January 1861—after Lincoln’s election, before his inauguration.

The president-elect journeyed in ways which are hard to imagine today. “Lincoln rode to Mattoon, missed connections with a passenger train, and took the caboose of a freight train to Charleston,” Sandburg wrote. “Friends met him and took him to the house, where he was to stay overnight; the next morning he would go out to say good-bye and have his last hours with his stepmother, Sally Bush Lincoln.”

After an evening of story-telling, Sandburg imagines this:
SANDBURG: The next day Lincoln drove eight miles out to the old farm along the road over which he had hauled wood with an ox team. He came to the old log house had cut logs for and helped smooth the chinks; from its little square windows he had seen late winter and early birds.

Sally Bush and he put their arms around each other and listened to each other’s heartbeats. They held hands and talked; they talked without holding hands. Each looked into eyes thrust back in deep sockets. She was all of a mother to him.

He was her boy more than any born to her. He gave her a photograph of her boy, a hungry picture of him standing and wanting, wanting. He stroked her face a last time, kissed good-by, and went away.

She knew his heart would go roaming back often, that even when he rode in an open carriage in New York or Washington with soldiers, flags or cheering thousands along the streets, he might just as like be thinking of her in the old log farmhouse out in Coles County, Illinois.

The sunshine of the prairie summer and fall months would come sifting down with healing and strength; between harvest and corn-plowing there would be rains beating and blizzards howling; and then there would be silence after snowstorms with white drifts piled against the fences, barns, and trees.
There too, another great portrait. Lincoln, looking on cheering thousands, would be thinking of the woman who had come before.

The girls played on the lawn with their dog. Lincoln lived in that same house.

Comic relief continued: Governor Kaine inaugural lore!

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2016

Virginia is for bunglers:
By the end of last Thursday's convention coverage, the analysts were shaken.

"We just can't take it," one youngster cried. "Don't make us watch her any more!"

The youngsters were reacting to Maddow's latest gaffe. She'd said that Trump was the oldest nominee in the history of either party.

That statement was true, of course. But only if you forget about McCain and Dole, and even Reagan before them! For a full report, click here.

At any rate, after Maddow's Thursday night bungle, the analysts were telling us that they'd finally suffered enough.

In recent weeks, the errors have come thick and fast on the Maddow Show. That said, by Friday evening, we'd "talked the analysts down."

We'd convinced them to give Maddow and her orange-shoed program one more maddening chance. And then, just like that, the cable star struck again!

Adopting her practiced tone of world-class political expert, the cable star played videotape from Governor Tim Kaine's inauguration in 2006. After that, she offered the highlighted groaner:
KAINE (videotape): This is a glorious day! The weather is to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.

MADDOW (7/22/16): When Tim Kaine got sworn in as Virginia's governor in 2006, the state capitol was under renovation. They had to swear him in in Richmond instead of Williamsburg. It was really cold, rainy and miserable.

And Tim Kaine laughed at that. And maybe that is a good sign in a running mate for a sign of what is to be an absolutely brutal presidential election.

Joining us is Jeff Schapiro. He's a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Schapiro acted like nothing had happened. The analysts were in tears.

To state the obvious, Richmond is the capital of Virginia. It's where the state's capitol building is found.

Frankly, we had no idea how Williamsburg got into the mix. But Maddow had bungled again, and the analysts were in tears.

While the youngsters rent their garments, we skillfully checked the facts. As it turned out, Maddow's error-prone staff had gotten their basics reversed:

In 2006, when Kaine was sworn in, the capitol building was under renovation in Richmond, right where it's usually found. For that reason, the ceremony was held in Williamburg, which had served as Virginia's capital until 1780.

Nothing turned on this mistake, of course. But do these errors ever stop?

Ever since MSNBC went all pseudo-politics all the time, Maddow has fashioned herself as a savant about political history and trivia. In the past few months, this has produced an escalating series of errors, punctuated by some comical self-corrections.

Maddow's staff seems preternaturally skilled at bungling their basics. The partisan porridge Maddow serves represents a bigger problem, of course, along with her ridiculous political analyses.

By the way, Maddow's obsession with Governor Ultrasound's gifts has already helped create a problem for VP nominee Kaine. We'll get to that by the end of the week. Fun with Ferraris ahead!

Tomorrow: Alas, poor Kornacki! Also, some humorous self-corrections

HOW WE GOT HERE: Why do people hate Clinton so much!

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2016

Part 2—Skipping one obvious answer:
In this morning's Washington Post, Richard Cohen asks a very good question:

Why do people hate Hillary Clinton so much? Cohen offers several possible answers, steering away from one.

Why do people hate Clinton so much? Over at Slate, Michelle Goldberg decided to ask the same question. Her piece appears beneath these headlines:
The Hillary Haters
Few figures in American political life have inspired such deep and decades-long contempt. But why?
Why do people hate Clinton so much? Goldberg decided to go Cohen one better. She went out and asked an undisclosed number people why they hate Clinton so much.

In the course of her undescribed search, Goldberg turned up some of the usual suspects. She spoke with a 49-year-old Iowan who supported McCain in 2008 but now is in love with Sanders. She spoke with a 22-year-old medical student who rattled a list of "suspicious deaths" around the fiendish Clinton, who he sees as a sociopath.

(The "febrile" young man cited 47 suspicious deaths. In future years, he may not be the medical figure you want on your death panel.)

Goldberg's undescribed search took her far and wide. She even turned up a 78-year old Los Angeles songwriter "[whose] work has been recorded by Julie London, Mama Cass, and Harry Belafonte, among others."

Goldberg describes this fascinating case in some detail:
GOLDBERG (7/24/16): Like many of the people I spoke to, Rosner’s antipathy doesn’t follow a precise ideological trajectory. Now 78, she says her negative feelings about Clinton first arose during Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. Rosner says she was especially irritated when, in response to criticism of her work at the Rose Law Firm, Hillary said, “You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was to fulfill my profession.”

“That bugged me,” says Rosner. “She was putting down regular women, people who stay home and take care of kids and bake cookies.” It’s not that Rosner was offended on behalf of housewives; she herself has always had a career. “I just thought it was a stupid comment,” she says. “I don’t think she’s as smart as most people think she is, or seem to think she is.”

Rosner also makes a fairly standard progressive case against Clinton. “I don’t like her support for the Iraq war,” she says. “She didn’t support same-sex marriage until it became a popular issue. Her email stuff—she is the only one that would not testify, and I think that’s bullshit. I don’t like her friendship with Netanyahu. I think they’ve destroyed the Middle East with Iraq. I don’t like that she takes money from big banks. She doesn’t support universal health care. For all those reasons. I think she’s more a Republican than a Democrat, and I refuse to vote for Republicans, ever.”

All the same, Rosner says she would happily vote for Joe Biden, who also voted for the Iraq war. In the Senate, Biden was known for his deep ties to the credit card industry, and as a presidential candidate, he didn’t support universal health insurance. “Yeah, Biden does not have all the positions I would like, but he has a certain kind of humanity that touches me,” she says.
Hillary-hatred can last a long time! This hater is still citing Clinton's "baking cookies" remark from March 1992. She still burns with tears of rage!

As Goldberg notes, Hillary hatred can also evade "precise ideological trajectory." When it comes to more literal politics, this particular Hillary hater cites Clinton's vote for the war resolution along with her original stance against same-sex marriage. At the same time, she'd be happy to vote for Vice President Biden, who also supported the war resolution and who also "didn’t support same-sex marriage until it became a popular issue."

Despite Biden's retrogade views, this hater likes his humanity! She hates Clinton, but likes the guy whose Senate voting record was actually somewhat less liberal.

Where does all this Hillary hatred come from? Obviously, Goldberg's search is highly anecdotal. There's no way to know how representative her Hillary haters are.

That said, Goldberg tries every theory of the case—every theory save one. Like Cohen in today's column, she is partial to the idea that sexism and misogyny are involved in the hate—and almost surely, they are.

Goldberg is also willing to entertain theories which revolve around Clinton's shortcomings. In this passage, Goldberg makes a very good point, though it doesn't really succeed as an explanation of hatred:
GOLDBERG: Most Americans, however, are not frothing partisans. For many of them, something in addition to sexism is at work in Clinton’s unpopularity—some mystery of mass media connection. There’s a reason actors do screen tests: Not everyone’s charm translates to film and video. For as long as Hillary Clinton has been in public life, people who’ve met in her person have marveled at how much more likable she is in the flesh than she is on television.
Goldberg asks an excellent question. Would Hillary Clinton have passed a "screen test" to be a major politician?

Actually, no, she probably wouldn't have passed. Her performance skills are quite limited, and she's a bit of gaffe machine. This dates back to the tone deaf "baking cookies" comment in March 1992, and to her tone deaf statement two months earlier, in which Clinton seemed to diss Tammy Wynette in her first appearance on the national stage.

We remember watching that 60 Minutes program and wondering how a Southern first lady could make such an obvious gaffe. Like many people before us, we'll suggest the obvious answer:

Bill Clinton was a highly skilled natural pol. His wife pretty much was not.

Hillary Clinton is a bit of "legacy" pol. Based on the evidence of her skills, there's no reason to think that she'd be where she is if she had been required to get there "on her own," without the initial giant boost from Bill Clinton's position.

To state the obvious, that doesn't make Hillary Clinton a bad person—and it doesn't explain the hate. So what explains the depth of the hatred? And why is she hated at all?

This is now a profoundly important question. In November, Clinton will be running against the craziest major party candidate in American history.

Her opponent is virtually allergic to truth, yet Clinton is seen as The World's Biggest Liar! For that reason, she may end up losing to this craziest candidate—for that reason, and because of all the hate.

Why is Clinton hated so much? Goldberg pretends to wonder. She considers every possible answer—every answer save one.

Tomorrow, we'll return to the obvious possible answer which Goldberg and Cohen both skipped. Why is Clinton hated so much? As it has long been decreed in the guild, Goldberg and Cohen both chose to skip one obvious part of the answer.

Tomorrow, we'll read through Goldberg's essay again, noting the possible answer she very deliberately skipped. When we do, you'll be able to see, once again, how guild members like Goldberg and Cohen may yet send Candidate Trump to the White House, helped along by the mandated silence of their many enablers and friends.

Tomorrow: The road not taken

Still coming: She lied about the Cubs and the Yanks! Also, she even lied about her own freaking name!

Payday watch: Tony Schwartz wrote The Art of the Deal!

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2016

Journalist went for the gold:
Long ago and far away, former journalist Tony Schwartz wrote The Art of the Deal.

On the cover of the book, Schwartz is cited as Donald J. Trump's co-author. Schwartz says he actually wrote the whole thing—that he even came up with the title, and thus with the book's basic framework.

We know of no reason to doubt those claims. Recently, Schwartz spoke with The New Yorker's Jane Mayer about his experiences writing the book.

Schwartz's conversations with Mayer has produced a fascinating profile of Trump, a man Schwartz regards as a sociopath. We strongly recommend Mayer's piece for its possible insights into Trump—but she has also produced a fascinating portrait of Schwartz, the journalist who agreed to reinvent Trump as a swashbuckling hero.

What does Schwartz think about Trump today? What did he think about Trump at the time? Mayer's essay is full of fascinating anecdotes from Schwartz, who recorded his actual thoughts about Trump even as he was writing Trump's famous book.

In her fascinating piece, Mayer quotes from Schwartz's real-time journal from the 1980s. This is the way the former journalist thinks of Trump today:
MAYER (7/18/16): Schwartz thought about publishing an article describing his reservations about Trump, but he hesitated, knowing that, since he’d cashed in on the flattering “Art of the Deal,” his credibility and his motives would be seen as suspect. Yet watching the campaign was excruciating. Schwartz decided that if he kept mum and Trump was elected he’d never forgive himself. In June, he agreed to break his silence and give his first candid interview about the Trump he got to know while acting as his Boswell.

“I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” He went on, “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

If he were writing “The Art of the Deal” today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, “The Sociopath.”
Schwartz thinks very bad things about Trump, and did so in real time. That said, what should we the people possibly think about Schwartz?

As you read the Mayer piece, you should think about Candidate Trump—but you might want to consider Schwartz's conduct as well. You see, he did the book for giant money against his own better judgment.

Quite explicitly, Schwartz says he did the book for the very large money. Below, you see Mayer's nugget passage about Schwartz's decision to put that lipstick on that particular pig:
MAYER: “If I were you,” Schwartz recalls telling him, “I’d write a book called ‘The Art of the Deal.’ That’s something people would be interested in.”

“You’re right,” Trump agreed. “Do you want to write it?”

Schwartz thought it over for several weeks. He knew that he would be making a Faustian bargain.
A lifelong liberal, he was hardly an admirer of Trump’s ruthless and single-minded pursuit of profit. “It was one of a number of times in my life when I was divided between the Devil and the higher side,” he told me. He had grown up in a bourgeois, intellectual family in Manhattan, and had attended √©lite private schools, but he was not as wealthy as some of his classmates—and, unlike many of them, he had no trust fund. “I grew up privileged,” he said. “But my parents made it clear: ‘You’re on your own.’ ” Around the time Trump made his offer, Schwartz’s wife, Deborah Pines, became pregnant with their second daughter, and he worried that the family wouldn’t fit into their Manhattan apartment, whose mortgage was already too high. “I was overly worried about money,” Schwartz said. “I thought money would keep me safe and secure—or that was my rationalization.” At the same time, he knew that if he took Trump’s money and adopted Trump’s voice his journalism career would be badly damaged. His heroes were such literary nonfiction writers as Tom Wolfe, John McPhee, and David Halberstam. Being a ghostwriter was hackwork. In the end, though, Schwartz had his price. He told Trump that if he would give him half the advance and half the book’s royalties he’d take the job.

Such terms are unusually generous for a ghostwriter. Trump, despite having a reputation as a tough negotiator, agreed on the spot. “It was a huge windfall,” Schwartz recalls. “But I knew I was selling out. Literally, the term was invented to describe what I did.” Soon Spy was calling him “former journalist Tony Schwartz.”
Schwartz had attended elite private schools, but unlike many of his classmates, he didn't have a trust fund! Beyond that, he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to afford the type of Manhattan apartment to which he'd become accustomed.

On that basis, he decided to take the deal. We'll suggest that many of your favorite journalists do and say the things they say and do as a result of similar considerations.

Especially in "TV news," tremendous amounts of money are sloshing, destined for a handful of lucky-ducky recipients. Very few people will walk away from such lucrative payouts.

In the late 1990s, conservative CEO Jack Welch made Chris Matthews very rich. Bizarre journalistic behavior followed, and George Bush went to the White House.

Today, cable stars may be confronted with similar types of deals.

A few years back, we showed you some of the fancy homes found in Journalist County. Before the week is done, we'll remind you of one of the ways Rachel Maddow has spent her mountains of corporate cash.

Today, she serves us low-IQ tribal porridge; she persistently fails to fight the power. Ignore the glare off her big orange shoes! Are you sure she hasn't succumbed to the art of the deal?

Comic relief: The (many) errors of Maddow County!

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2016

No country for old men:
Last Thursday night, Donald J. Trump had finally finished his deathless convention speech.

If balloon drop delayed is balloon drop denied, the hopeful was being denied. Eventually, Rachel Maddow stepped into the breach. This was her first remark:
MADDOW (7/21/16): This is a, this is a landmark thing. Nobody quite like this has ever been nominated as a major party candidate for president. He will be the oldest man ever nominated for president in this countrty by either party.
"There she goes again," the analysts cried. Several tore at their hair.

Does anybody bungle trivia the way this poser does? We've told the analysts to laugh it off. Increasingly, though, they can't do so, and we're not sure they should.

Sorry, Charley! Donald J. Trump is not the oldest man ever nominated for president in this country. If we go back far enough in our history, we can find older such men.

Donald J. Trump was 70 years old as he graced that balloon-free stage. All the way back in 2008, John McCain had been 72 when he was nominated. Long before that, in 1996, Bob Dole had been 73!

Moments later, Maddow tried again. Producers had whispered in her ear. She therefore proceeded to tell us rubes what she had meant to say:
MADDOW: Speaking of reporting, I should say, I said that Donald Trump is the oldest nominee. What I meant to say was that, if he is elected, he would be the oldest man ever elected president.
That wasn't exactly right either. In 1984, Ronald Reagan was 73 when he was elected for the second time. As the poser struggled on, she finally assembled a string of words which could perhaps be called technically accurate:
MADDOW (continuing directly): There have been other people his age or older who have been nominated. But if he gets all the way, he will be the oldest man ever to ascend to the White House.
A person could say that was accurate. It all depends on what the meaning of "ascend to" is!

As a general matter, this sort of thing doesn't exactly matter. On the whole, Rachel and Them were just killing time with trivia in the wake of Trump's speech.

Plus, this trivia was off the cuff. Presumably, she hadn't been working from prompter.

That said, Maddow's regular nightly program has become more and more trivia-driven as the months have passed. And as she wastes her viewers' time this way, Maddow has more and more adopted a pose as a political/election lore expert.

Maddow isn't a political/election lore expert. Beyond that, her hapless staff seems remarkably error-prone of late. In her regular weeknight outings, this has produced a string of comical errors Sometimes, Maddow has made these errors. Sometimes, these errors have been made by her poor abused substitute hosts.

Increasingly, Maddow's errors have provided bits of comic relief. We'll review a few in the next few days, after which we'll proceed to something more important:

Maddow's errors are comical, but her constant use of propagandistic trivia is making her viewers dumb and dumber. Beyond that lies her abject refusal to fight the powers that be.

Maddow is paid millions of dollars per year. Increasingly, it shows.

Tomorrow: The very next night!

HOW WE GOT HERE: Narrative without end, amen!

MONDAY, JULY 25, 2016

Part 1—Concerning the brain of Gail Collins:
The craziest statements we saw all weekend came from Jean Edward Smith.

Professor Smith's "mammoth new biography" of George W. Bush is largely praised in this review by the obedient Jason Zengerle. The review appeared in the Book Review section of yesterday's New York Times.

We haven't read the professor's whole book. Yesterday, we did read the two chapters in which the crazy, 84-year-old scholar attempts to discuss, or pretends to discuss, the events of Campaign 2000.

The craziest statements we saw all weekend came from Professor Smith's account of that campaign. We'll discuss the hapless professor's remarkable statements before the week is done.

That said, the professor's statements are one small part of a much larger journalistic narrative—a crazy, twenty-four year campaign which may yet send Donald J. Trump to the White House.

It's crazy to think that a person like Trump could actually get to the White House. For that reason, we should examine the crazy conduct which has made that possibility real.

In part, we can examine that conduct in Jane Mayer's New Yorker piece about Tony Schwartz, the "journalist" who went for the cash and wrote The Art of the Deal. To peruse Mayer's piece, click here.

Mayer's piece has largely been viewed as an expose of Trump's craziness—indeed, of his status as alleged sociopath. That said, it's also a striking portrait of journalistic misconduct of an egregious but rather common kind.

It helps explain how we got to this place. We'll review Mayer's portrait of Schwartz by the end of the week.

Schwartz helped bring us to this place through his journalistic misconduct. That said, let's return to Professor Smith's biography—and let's examine the brain of Gail Collins.

Among a range of remarkable statements, Smith repeats every crazy standard claim concerning The Many Big Lies of Candidate Gore. As with Melania, so with Smith! There is no part of that journalistic narrative he didn't copy-and-paste.

Yesterday, in the New York Times, Collins played the same destructive old game. Medical science should examine the brains of the people who have played this remarkable game for the past twenty-four years:
COLLINS (7/24/16): In 2000, when [Hillary Clinton] first ran for the Senate, the fact that New York had never sent a woman to the Senate was an afterthought, given all the other stuff there was to consider. “It was the first time I’d been a candidate and the first time I’d lived in New York,” she recalled in a phone interview. The very idea of that race was incredible—maybe outrageous. And it didn’t begin well. She had trouble with the carpetbagging issue. At one point, Clinton attempted to woo the locals by claiming that although she’d been brought up as a Chicago Cubs fan, she had always rooted for the Yankees because people need a team in each league. This was contradictory to every law of Midwestern fandom, which holds that no matter what else you do, hating the New York Yankees is a central principle of life.
Incredibly, that's the fourth paragraph of the featured, front-page essay in yesterday's Sunday Review. It extends a deeply familiar, deeply destructive twenty-four year theme.

How compulsive is this behavior? Amazingly, the highlighted passage was written by a "journalist" who will vote for Candidate Clinton! Medical science should study the brain of the person who wrote that passage—a passage which takes us back to the period when Candidate Gore was being invented, by "the press," as The World's Biggest Known Liar.

Just for starters, let's note the sheer stupidity of what Collins wrote—of what she wrote in her fourth paragraph from one of the Times' highest platforms.

Collins starts with an accurate statement. In June 2000, Hillary Clinton did in fact say that she rooted for the Yankees as well as the Cubs when she was a girl growing up near Chicago. So far, Collins' statement is accurate—though a person might wonder why a journalist would bother with such a trivial point more than sixteen years later.

That person wouldn't understand the compulsions of our upper-end press—or their sheer stupidity. Let's start with the stupidity which comes into play when Collins suggests that Clinton's statement that day was just comically false.

Gail Collins grew up in the Midwest too; she grew up in Cincinnati, from which, alas, she was later allowed to escape. Apparently, Collins' upbringing in that locale has led her to reason as follows:

Since she didn't root for a team in each league, no one else in the Midwest could have done such a thing! According to this puzzling life form, that isn't the way fans root in the Midwest! No ten-year-old boy, no ten-year-old girl, could have disrupted this pattern!

No, that doesn't make sense. But as we've shown you for eighteen years, this is the way these life forms reason, when they pretend to do so at all. On this basis alone, medical science should make it a point to study their brains.

That said, another question intrudes. Why would a journalist instantly mention this sixteen years later, writing from such a major platform?

The answer to that is obvious. In June 2000, Collins and the rest of her guild were busy creating a powerful narrative, one which prevails to this day. For the previous fifteen months, they'd been inventing Candidate Gore as The World's Biggest Known Liar, a status which made him resemble Bill Clinton. And they were now inventing Hillary Clinton as The World's Biggest Known Liar too!

The chimps were in thrall to this powerful theme; in June 2000, they seized upon the Cubs and the Yankees as proof of their deathless assessment. One chimp after another screeched and flung poo around his cage concerning Clinton's disturbing false statement, which displayed her character problem, the one which persists to this day.

They ignored the fact that profiles written years before had affirmed and supported Clinton's claim. We cited those profiles in real time, but nothing keeps these hustlers and chimps from the story-lines they adore.

Tomorrow, we'll review the profiles which, years before, had said that Hillary Clinton, as a girl, was a fan of both the Cubs and the Yankees. For today, let's consider one other part of this deeply destructive tale. Let's consider an abiding love story—the love these chimps feel for trivia.

Earlier profiles say and suggest that Clinton's statement was true. Beyond that, the claim was ginormously trivial—but so what? Sixteen years later, the High Lady Collins rushes to bring it up again.

Consider the context of that remarkable conduct:

Candidate Trump seems to have been repeatedly lying his ascot off about a wide range of significant matters. He seems to have been repeatedly lying about his alleged opposition to the war in Iraq. We'll guess that he has repeatedly lied about his alleged birther probe.

On Friday, he restated his crazy claim about the way Rafael Cruz was firing from the grassy knoll on the day President Kennedy died. In his convention speech, he once again said that the United States is the highest taxed nation in the world, a crazy claim which he and his writers certainly know to be crazily false.

In short, one of the candidates in this race actually is The World's Biggest Known Liar! But nothing derails the treasured themes the chimps have built through the years.

For that reason, Collins typed the material we highlight above. She placed it right in paragraph 4, right there on page one, where it would continue to drive that destructive narrative.

As we'll see, Smith's book is full of crazy statements taken from that same destructive campaign. For her part, Collins couldn't wait to return to the Cubs and the Yankees.

Collins and Smith are hardly alone. In yesterday's hard-copy Washington Post, Glenn Kessler returned to the troubling claim that Clinton once lied about her own name! Just last week, PolitiFact displayed its standard journalistic incompetence when it reviewed that same claim.

It's entirely possible that Candidate Trump will be in the White House next year. The narrative we're discussing today sent George W. Bush to the White House. It could do the same for Donald J. Trump.

All this week, we'll review the ways our "journalists" and professors are keeping this theme alive. They've been pimping this theme for twenty-four years, but our liberal heroes refuse to complain. This is one of the basic ways we've all managed to get here.

Tomorrow: Snopes the God!

Matthews watch: He's puzzled by all the Hillary-hatred!

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016

Admits he can't figure it out:
Convention coverage gives us a chance to watch the fraudsters at work.

We don't mean convention speakers, horrible though they may be. We refer to the corporate pundits who are paid gigantic sums to pretend that they're providing news, information, analysis.

During a modern convention week, they're forced to speak for hours each night. And uh-oh! They aren't reading staff-prepared text. They're forced to perform off the cuff!

This can produce remarkable moments. Consider what Chris Matthews did during the 1 A.M. hour, very late Wednesday night.

Matthews sat with two conservative guests and with corporate liberal Joan Walsh. Early in the hour, he asked conservative honcho Matt Schlapp to explain all the Hillary-hatred.

"The level of personal attack on Hillary Clinton, we've never seen it before," Walsh had said. Matthews took over from there.

Walsh probably meant that we've never seen such conduct at a major party convention. As she obviously knows, we've seen these levels of Hillary-hatred many times in the past—for example, during the first ten years of Matthews' own "cable news" program.

Whatever! After citing the cries of "Lock her up," Matthews turned to Schlapp and began expressing his puzzlement about all the Hilary-hatred. We'll give this segment a Wednesday dateline, although it was past the midnight hour when Matthews voiced his heartfelt incomprehension:
MATTHEWS (7/20/16): Why— Don't tell me email, that's a recent event. Why do these people—you said it's a raucous event. Why do they, and have they, for years, maybe twenty years, hated Hillary Clinton?...

They hated her during Whitewater. They hated her—they say Vince Foster.


WALSH: All these things that never panned out.
Matthews couldn't figure it out. Walsh seemed puzzled too.

Already, Matthews' question was strange. As we've painstakingly documented, Matthews was one of the most repellent, craziest Hillary-haters during the 1990s, the very era he referenced.

By the end of 1999, he was savaging Candidate Gore every night of the week. Presumably, this was warming the heart of Jack Welch, his corporate owner, the man who made him so rich.

But as we've recorded in detail, Matthews' trashing of Hillary Clinton, a Senate candidate, was quite lunatic at that time—and we do mean totally crazy. Convention cries of "Lock her up" have nothing on Matthews' past conduct.

We'll provide the same old links below. But late Wednesday night, in the 1 A.M. hour, Matthews just couldn't figure it out. He knew that Bill Clinton was a bad guy. But why did so many Republicans seem to hate Hillary so?
MATTHEWS: Let's get back to this, because— Look, I've been a critic of the Clintons. I didn't like the way they raised money in 96 at all, the Motel 6, bringing people in overnight. I didn't like— But that was Bill Clinton.

And Bill Clinton, of course—Hillary Clinton, she didn't go after him, but she stuck by him. Bill Clinton was the bad guy, lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky all those months. Why is Hillary the bad guy?
He didn't like the use of the Lincoln Bedroom. But that was Bill Clinton, the puzzled multimillionaire said.

(In 2005, of course, USA Today reported that President Bush had used the Lincoln Bedroom for fund-raising purposes just as much as Bill Clinton did. Neither Matthews, nor anyone else, said a word about that. For our real-time report, click here. Admit it, though! You've never heard of this!)

At any rate, Matthews was still completely puzzled by the GOP's Hillary-hatred. That said, the con man really jumped the shark when he went on to make these remarks about those weird Republican men:
MATTHEWS: I think there's something that a lot of men in the Republican Party don't like about Hillary Clinton...There's something about her personality that gets to them. I want them to tell me what it is...

I think there's something about her very rich education, incredibly high level of education, her intellectual ability. There's something in there culturally that you guys really don't like.
Schlapp said it's the fact that she lies so much; after all, Comey said! At any rate, when Matthews went to commercial break, he sadly offered this:

"We still haven't gotten to the bottom of the Hillary-hatred." Frankly, Matthews was stumped!

Matthews is a con man, of course, a consummate cable fraud. So is Walsh, his trusty companion, who has sat loyally by his side when he staged this same cons in the past.

Walsh refuses to mention the truth. Matthews is simply a fraudster.

Why are we calling so many names? Because Matthews was a lunatic Hillary-hater during the period in question! And because he expressed exactly the types of complaints about the horrible, know-it-all Clinton he now ascribed to Republicans. Briefly, let's review:

In December 1999, Clinton announced that she would run for the Senate. She would oppose Rudy Giuliani, one of Matthews' most manly of men.

As the race began to take shape, Matthews engaged in viral, unfettered, undisguised, lunatic Hillary-hatred. It took some of the very forms he now seems to wonder about.

We've recorded the facts many times. But due to the press corps' ironclad code of silence, it never creates a wider discussion about the way this decades-long con game has worked.

Kevin Drum won't discuss this matter; neither will Jonathan Chait. Rachel Maddow calls Chris her "dear friend." Walsh is a regular, active part of this rolling cover-up / Soviet-style disappearance.

Why do we call this a fraud? Because of all the Hillary-hatred Matthews kept exhibiting right through 2008! But since he mentioned the 1990s, and since he mentioned Clinton's educational status, let's revisit a bit of his own Hill-hatred during that horrible time frame.

Early in December 1999, Matthews was trashing Candidates Gore and Clinton pretty much every night. On December 6, he conducted a crazy interview with Gail Sheehy concerning her recent biography, Hillary's Choice.

Matthews' behavior was crazy this night. But in these excerpts, he seemed to reveal one possible source of his own Hillary-hatred:
MATTHEWS (12/6/99): Here's the weird thing about this dysfunctional relationship, and you've been sorting this out as an author for so many months. You have one partner on the team that thinks they're always right. They think they're better than us morally, politically, culturally, and intellectually and every other way. The other person believes they've never done anything wrong.
If you have one who's a born cover-up artist who can't even turn in an honest golf score, and the other one who thinks she's always right about everything, God help us!

[...]

MATTHEWS: Do you think she could have been elected president on her own?

SHEEHY: I think she thinks that she can be at some time in the future, but I don't think that means that she would be inattentive as a senator. I think she would be—I know she would be a workhorse.

MATTHEWS: No, but does she think that she came out behind in this deal? I get the feeling she's got this moral superiority that somehow he was lucky to have her, but she wasn't lucky to have him, like she could have gotten there with any guy—as that little story you tell in the book goes, any guy she could have dragged into the presidency—because she was the superior moral, intellectual and cultural and political force, and he was just some bumpkin she picked up and dragged along like a barnacle behind her rear end. I mean, I have to wonder. This woman seems to think that she should be president. It's an accident of history that he is and not her.
Furiously, Matthews explained what "this woman" seemed to think. For a lengthy treatment of his conduct that week, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/27/08.

According to Matthews, the Clintons thought "they're better than us morally, politically, culturally, and intellectually." In particular, Hillary Clinton "has this moral superiority" which has her thinking that she was "the superior moral, intellectual and cultural and political force" in her marriage, and that Bill Clinton "was just some bumpkin she picked up and dragged along."

Matthews seemed to spill with an obvious type of gender resentment this night. Meanwhile, how had this woman managed to screw up the Clinton health care proposal so badly? In words which dripped with resentment and anger, a red-faced crackpot explained, persistently stifling Sheehy:
SHEEHY: Well, I think she thought she knew what she was doing, and she thought Ira Magaziner would be—

MATTHEWS: The guy with the propeller on his head!

SHEEHY: Right.

MATTHEWS: I mean, why did she hang around with that clack? Those guys have never been elected to anything, they've never run for anything. Why does she trust those kinds of guys?

SHEEHY: Well, she—

MATTHEWS: They're all lefties and propeller heads! They're worse than she is!
It wasn't just Hillary Clinton! It was all those "propellor heads" (read: Ivy League grads) with whom she surrounded herself. (Magaziner was widely portrayed in the press as the ultimate Ivy League egghead.)

During this period, Matthews kept pimping the wondrous, regular-guy Giuliani. His overwrought trashing of Candidate Clinton was just this side of insane.

Matthews derided Clinton as "Evita" and "Nurse Ratched" right through 2008. It got so bad that Howard Kurtz even did a profile of Matthews' Hillary-hatred in the Washington Post. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/27/08.

(Kurtz: "In recent weeks, Matthews has...likened her to Evita Peron, 'the one who gives gifts to the little people, and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita.' " TV's little boy was still mad.)

Around that time, a change in corporate ownership led to a change in corporate policy at MSNBC, a ridiculous corporate "news org." After Obama won the nomination for president, Matthews reinvented himself as an unfettered Hillary fan.

Late Wednesday night, Matthews staged his latest scam, in which he feigned confusion about the type of Hillary-hatred he worked so hard to establish within the mainstream press. As she has done in the past, Walsh agreed to forget the history behind this relentless scam.

Rachel will never tell you this. Chris Hayes is "all in" on the suppression of this journalistic history. Joan Walsh frequently sits at the con man's side when he produces these gong shows in which, Soviet-style, his history disappears.

People like Matthews will do what it takes to keep their millions rolling in. People like Maddow, Hayes and Walsh will play along with the game.

Can we talk? Matthews' years of crazy misconduct helped establish the frameworks of understanding thanks to which Candidate Trump has a real chance to win this November. Few people worked harder to slander Candidate Gore. Few people worked harder to establish the press corps' standard narratives about Big Liar Hillary Clinton.

You will never see this matter discussed on The One True Liberal Channel. The corporate pundit corps' code of silence also helps explain why Candidate Trump may win.

Meanwhile, our lizard brains tell us to adore our Rachel, who loves her "dear friend" Matthews so much. Watching her clown on her nightly program, we can tell that the orange-shoed star is just very much on our side.

Candidate Trump may win this fall. If he does, it will be because of the world Chris Matthews made with the help of his corporate friends.

Chris was puzzled late Wednesday night. He just couldn't understand all the Hillary-hatred!