Get PJ Media on your Apple

Ed Driscoll

The Making of the President

Hillary Clinton Praises George W. Bush

July 27th, 2014 - 3:55 pm

You go, Hill!

“George W. Bush is very popular in Sub-Saharan Africa. Why? Because of the president emergency program for AIDS relief whether you agree or disagree with a lot of what else he did — and I disagree with a lot of it — I am proud to be an American when I go to Sub-Saharan Africa and people say, ‘I want to thank President Bush and the United States for helping us fight HIV/AIDS.’ We spend a lot of money and a lot of time and effort trying to be influential around the world when I think we would be able to succeed more effectively if we were clearer about who we are and what we stand for and the values that we hold.”

Actually, I’d be really curious to hear which of GWB’s policies that Hillary disagrees with, as Bush #43 was, in many ways, an extension of the Clinton administration* — which made the left’s permanent seething all the more ironic to watch.

* Which Hillary is effectively running against, even as she attempts to conjure up nostalgic memories of that period.

It’s Deja Socialism All Over Again

July 21st, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“Elizabeth Warren Would Be the Most Liberal Democratic Nominee Since 1972.”

– Headline, FiveThirtyEight, today.

“Study: Obama most liberal senator last year — A new study suggests Obama had the most liberal voting record in 2007.”

– Headline and lede at CNN, January 31st, 2008.

In both cases, the headline writers spelled Leftist wrong — and in both cases, the far left senators had nightmarish theme songs to kick off what seemed at the time like longshot presidential bids. And in both cases — well, if I was Hillary’s campaign advisor, I’d be more than a little worried right now.

Minor language and sanity warnings apply:

Audio Interview: Ed Klein on Blood Feud

July 20th, 2014 - 11:26 pm


Much to the chagrin of the Washington Post, Ed Klein’s Blood Feud is outselling Hillary Clinton’s new memoirs.  Naturally, Klein is elated. “It is a terrific thrill to knock Hillary off the top of the [best-seller] list, I have to tell you. She helped me a lot, because she put out a committee-written book that has absolutely nothing new in it.”

In contrast, Klein’s Blood Feud is loaded with juicy details, and dramatic scenes of five of the most powerful people on the planet scheming against each other.

Five? In addition to his portraits of the Clintons and the Obamas, Klein’s Blood Feud sheds new light on one of the most mysterious members of Barack and Michelle’s inner circle, Valerie Jarrett. As Klein describes Jarrett, she’s the distaff equivalent of Tom Hagen, the dangerous consigliere pulling the strings behind the scenes of The Godfather.

During our 18-minute long interview, Klein will discuss:

● What roles did Jarrett and Hillary play in the Benghazi debacle starting on September 11, 2012?

● What was the key promise that the Obamas made to Bill and Hillary, that the president would later renege on?

● Obama’s political skills versus his performance on the job he’s landed with them.

● How will Hillary perform on the campaign trail in 2015 and 2016 and, if she wins, as president?

● What are the health issues plaguing Bill and Hillary, and how serious a threat are they?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(18 minutes, 50 seconds long; 17.2 MB file size. Want to download instead of streaming? Right click here to download this interview to your hard drive. Or right click here to download the 5.38 MB lo-fi edition.)

If the above Flash audio player is not be compatible with your browser, click on the video player below, or click here to be taken directly to YouTube, for an audio-only YouTube clip. Between one of those versions, you should find a format that plays on your system.

Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 | 8 Comments bullet bullet

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

What explains Obama’s robust showing with white liberals?

Some elements of the answer are obvious: his high-toned oratory, his promises of reconciliation in a divisive time, a background in community organizing that suggests both idealism and a talent for problem-solving. But another clue may lie in the presidential bid of a figure Obama’s devotees love to invoke: John F. Kennedy.

When answering the charge that the Illinois senator lacks the record of achievement befitting a White House aspirant, Obama’s backers often stack him next to JFK. Obama is 44, they note, older than JFK was when he ran. Skeptics derided JFK, as they now do Obama, as callow and ill-versed in substantive issues. And yet Obama, similar to JFK, manages to inspire people with sex appeal, cerebral cool, and a message of generational change.

—”Playing the Tolerance Card: How Obama is like JFK,” Slate, then owned by the Washington Post, April 20, 2007.

Six months after becoming president, JFK had his calamitous meeting with Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna — a meeting The New York Times described as “one of the more self-destructive American actions of the Cold War, and one that contributed to the most dangerous crisis of the nuclear age.” (The Times admitted that a half-century later. At the time, the Newspaper of Record lied about the meeting.)

For two days, Khrushchev batted Kennedy around, leaving the president’s own advisers white-faced and shaken. Kennedy’s Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze called the meeting “just a disaster.”

Khrushchev was delighted to discover that the U.S. president was so “weak.” A Russian aide said the American president seemed “very inexperienced, even immature.”

Seeing he was dealing with a naif, Khrushchev promptly sent missiles to Cuba. The Kennedy Myth Machine has somehow turned JFK’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis into a brilliant foreign policy coup. The truth is: (1) Russia would never have dared move missiles to Cuba had Khrushchev not realized that JFK was a nincompoop; and (2) it wasn’t a victory.

In exchange for Russia’s laughably empty threats about Cuba, JFK removed our missiles from Turkey — a major retreat. As Khrushchev put it in his memoirs: “It would have been ridiculous for us to go to war over Cuba — for a country 12,000 miles away. For us, war was unthinkable. We ended up getting exactly what we’d wanted all along, security for Fidel Castro’s regime and American missiles removed from Turkey.”

* * * * * * * * * *

So now, another Russian leader is playing cat-and-mouse with an American president — and guess who’s the mouse? Putin has taunted Obama in Iran, in Syria and with Edward Snowden. By now, Obama has become such an object for Putin’s amusement that the fastest way to get the Russians out of Crimea would be for Obama to call on Putin to invade Ukraine.

—”Column: From JFK to Obama, Democratic Presidents Have Shown Weakness in Face of Aggression,” Ann Coulter, NewsBusters, March 5th, 2014.

Moscow has since shown a new interest in Latin America and its Cold War ally Cuba and relations with the West have deteriorated amid the Ukraine crisis.

The base was set up in 1964 after the Cuban missile crisis to spy on the United States.

Just 155 miles from the U.S. coast, it was the Soviet Union’s largest covert military outpost abroad with up to 3,000 staff.

It was used to listen in to radio signals including those from submarines and ships and satellite communications.

‘All I can say is – finally!’ one Russian source told Kommersant of the reported reopening.

—”Russia ‘to reopen Cold War Cuban listening post used to spy on America,’” the London Daily Mail, today.

Heh. Or as Allahpundit writes:

First “don’t ask, don’t tell,” then DOMA, now RFRA: Precisely how many statutes signed by Bill Clinton are the Clintons currently horrified by?

It’ll be fun during President Hillary’s administration to try to identify the various laws that Senator Chelsea will be forced to repudiate circa 2036.

* * * * * * * *

By the way, since Hillary and, presumably, Bill are so mortified to find that closely held corporations count as “persons” for purposes of RFRA, I’m curious: Did either of them demand any clarification of who’d be covered by the statute before Bill signed it in 1993? You would think the Smartest Woman In The World, who hates corporations every bit as much as Elizabeth Warren when she’s not busy hitting them up for contributions, would have flagged that potential wrinkle before Bill made it the law of the land. Huh.

Beyond feminist identity politics, Hillary’s appeal derives from nostalgia of her husband’s two terms and the good feelings they engender to moderates and the left. (The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? is the title of an upcoming miniseries on the National Geographic cable TV channel. Coincidental timing? I would tend to doubt it.) But economically, those good times relied entirely on Bill’s eventual rejection of the far left corporatism (read: liberal fascism) that Hillary, Al Gore, Obama and Elizabeth Warren all wallow in. Not to mention the arrival of a Republican Congress that allowed Bill to govern as the moderate he ran as in 1992, after his own Obama-esque collectivist floundering in his first two years in office culminating in the Hillarycare flameout.

What’s the sense of supporting Clinton when she’s rejected everything her husband’s administration stood for? Other than pure identity politics. And if identity politics is all that you’re left with, why not go with someone who practices that dark art much more skillfully than Hillary? (And like Obama in 2007 and 2008, has far left historical baggage dragging her down.)

Pages: 1 2 | 16 Comments bullet bullet

Quote of the Day

June 29th, 2014 - 2:04 pm

Calling it early today with this one, from the Blogfather. (Don’t miss the comments there, as well):

THAT’S RACISM, STRAIGHT UP: Hillary “Disrespects” Obama. To people clucking that the First Black President deserves more respect, may I suggest that you should have done a better job of picking the First Black President? I mean, Jackie Robinson was a really good ballplayer. If he’d instead, well . . . thrown a baseball like Barack Obama, it would have been different.

Oh, and just a reminder that “disrespect” is not a verb.

That’s the question that would-be Obama advisor and cut and paste specialist Fareed Zakaria is debating in the Washington Post

Some of the candidates had an easier time distancing themselves from unpopular presidents. McCain was clearly a rival and opponent of George W. Bush. Stevenson was very different from Harry Truman, but he was, in effect, asking for not a third term for the Democrats but a sixth term — after 20 years of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Truman. Shortly before the 1952 election, Stevenson wrote to the Oregon Journal that “the thesis ‘time for a change’ is the principal obstacle ahead” for his campaign. After all, if the country wants change, it will probably vote for the other party. “It’s time for a change” was Dwight Eisenhower’s official campaign slogan in 1952.

The most awkward circumstance has been for vice presidents trying to distance themselves from their bosses. Humphrey tried mightily to explain that he was different from Lyndon Johnson without criticizing the latter. “One does not repudiate his family in order to establish his own identity,” he would say. Gore faced the same problem in 2000, though many believe that he should not have tried to distance himself so much from a popular president who had presided over good times. As Michael Kinsley noted, Gore’s often fiery and populist campaign seemed to have as its slogan: “You’ve never had it so good, and I’m mad as hell about it.”

The latter is a slogan that Fareed would be happy to plagiarize.

But what exactly would Hillary do differently than Obama? She oversaw his foreign policy during four disastrous years culminating in Benghazi and Putin’s power grab of Ukraine, and Obamacare is simply Hillarycare that escaped from its laboratory.

Of course, the media are seeking real continuity with Obama and his toxic, but MSM-approved combination of punitive corporatism and identity politics, which may just leave the “inevitable” Hillary in the dust once again.

In “Our Ruling Class,” Richard Fernandez explores how wealth and power have warped the worldviews of grandees such as John Kerry and his spot-on Thurston Howell impersonation, and now Chelsea Clinton. Regarding the latter figure, Richard writes:

…I read about Chelsea Clinton, who recently told Fast Company in an interview how she gritted her teeth and took on lucrative gigs before deciding to join her family’s philanthropic foundation because, “I was curious if I could care about (money) on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t.”  She decided making money bored her after all and decided to pursue her true Clinton calling, which was telling people what to do.

In Chelsea the Clintons had finally become true aristocrats, finally left their Little Rock roots. Chelsea had joined that elite group which has had money for so long it bores them. She, as the British well knew of the upper classes, finally accepted her duty to rule, shouldered the burden and paid the sad price for a life cursed with luxury and privilege.

To real aristocrats, position is simply the way things have always been. In the movie The Aviator, the Howard Hughes character sits down to dinner with Old Money, and his hosts don’t even know where their money came from.

Ludlow: Then how did you make all that money?

Mrs. Hepburn: We don’t care about money here, Mr. Hughes.

Howard: That’s because you have it.

Mrs. Hepburn: Would you repeat that?

Howard: You don’t care about money because you have it. And you’ve always had it. My father was dirt poor when I was born…. I care about money, because I know what it takes out of a man to make it.

It is always rude to inquire where money comes from. Among real royalty it should simply be there. The recompense for the burden of aristocracy is privilege. Aristocrats must do their duty from grace; now could we please get out of the way?

That style worked for Franklin and Eleanor, and John and Jacqueline, but after Kennedy’s death, the Boomers, ironically aping his assassin’s Marxist worldview, began their all-out assault on wealth and privilege, even as they acquired mammoth amounts of wealth and privilege of their own. (See also: Al Gore and the Drawbridge Effect.) Thus Hillary is forced to speak from a sort of double-track position, tut-tutting the same wealth that’s necessary for a presidential bid. And Chelsea’s recent remarks, quoted above by Richard, haven’t helped these early days of her mother’s second go-around for the White House.

Nor does Hillary have much to show for her tenure at State, as Russia advances into Crimea, ISIS into Iraq, and the world actually looks far more unstable now than it did at at the end of 2008. (Fancy that.) And  regrets? Well, at least according to Ed Klein and the London Daily Mail, Hillary has more than a few regarding that period of her life:

Klein describes Clinton’s Obama-bashing session as having taken place last May – two months after she vacated her position on Obama’s cabinet – at French restaurant Le Jardin du Roi, near the Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, New York.

‘ “Obama has turned into a joke,” she said sharply,’ according to Klein.

‘ “The IRS targeting the Tea Party, the Justice Department’s seizure of AP phone records and James Rosen’s emails — all these scandals. Obama’s allowed his hatred for his enemies to screw him the way Nixon did,” ‘ Clinton reportedly told her pals.

‘She went on to explain that Bill was a natural leader and great executive, unlike Obama, who was in her words “incompetent and feckless,” ‘ Klein writes.

At another point in the conversation Hillary is quoted as having said of Obama, ‘you can’t trust the motherf***er.

” ‘Obama has treated Bill and me incredibly shabbily. And we’re angry,’ ” Clinton continued.

Clinton allegedly told her friends that she and Bill promised Obama they would help him him get reelected in 2012 if he helped Hillary get elected in 2016.

‘He agreed to the arrangement but then he reneged on the deal. His word isn’t worth sh*t,’ Hillary said.

‘The bad blood between us is just too much to overcome.’

But that bad blood was awfully transparent during the slugfest between the two candidates in 2007 and 2008, particularly in the Obama campaign and its surrogates in the media accusing Bill and Hillary of racism. So why accept a job offer to serve in the Obama administration?

What if Hillary hadn’t chosen to become secretary of State under Obama, and used that period to speak out on the excesses of his administration?(What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?) She had to know that however zany the Beatlemania-level of Peak Hopenchange, it wasn’t sustainable, and that his administration would ultimately follow the arc of the vast majority of presidential terms in office: a sweet honeymoon followed by a long and bitter hangover. She could have been speaking out on his mistakes and errors, and reminding voters that a more experienced person was waiting in the wings in 2012 or 2016. (I know, I know, but after all, this is how she presented herself in 2008.)

Pages: 1 2 | 49 Comments bullet bullet

The Palace Guard MSM Drops the Mask

June 25th, 2014 - 3:54 pm


Since its birth in the 1920s with the first national radio networks, the modern MSM has always had a cozy relationship with power, and until the creation of Fox News, one channel on your TV dial or satellite guide, that power has almost exclusively meant their fellow Democrats. The media have long voted overwhelmingly Democrat in presidential elections; as Walter Cronkite once said at a Radio & TV Correspondents Dinner in the mid-1990s, in-between feting the Clintons on his yacht in Martha’s Vineyard,  “Everybody knows that there’s a liberal, that there’s a heavy liberal persuasion among correspondents.” But in the past, those correspondents at least paid lip service to being out for the little guy, and holding politicians’ feet to the fire. Al Roker of NBC has had enough of that pretention – and as we’ll see, he’s far from the only one. But first up, here’s Roker this morning, trashing a fellow NBC “journalist”:

At the top of the 9 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday’s NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker suggested in jest that his colleague David Gregory deserved to be punched in the face by former President Bill Clinton after the Meet the Press moderator asked Clinton in a recent interview about wife Hillary being “out of touch.” Roker joked: “You know, I’d give anything if after David finished the question, Bill just kind of hauled off and popped him. Just see what happens.” [Audio and video at NewsBusters – Ed]

What a fascinating development – of course, the fact that millions of potential viewers would also like to (hopefully only in the metaphoric sense) “haul off and pop” David Gregory helps to explain why Gregory’s ratings at Meet the Press are much more anemic compared to Tim Russert, his late predecessor, to the point where NBC has tried to stage an intervention to save Gregory from himself. But remember when journalists at least posed at asking tough questions to politicians? Here’s an NBC newsreader insulting another NBC newsreader for one of his very few questions asked to a fellow Democrat that caused him just a jot of discomfort, and yet Roker is mad at the interviewer for asking it.

And then there’s the IRS scandal.

“The IRS tea-party audit story isn’t Watergate; it’s worse than Watergate,” Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal perceptively noted earlier this month. “The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable”:

Here’s a partial list of the American place names where the “tea party” groups audited by the IRS were organized: Franklin, Tenn.; Livonia, Mich.; Lucas, Texas; Middletown, Del.; Fishersville, Va.; Jackson, N.J.; Redding, Calif.; Chandler, Ariz.; Laurens, S.C.; Woodstown, N.J.; Wetumpka, Ala.; Kahului, Hawaii; Sidney, Ohio; Newalla, Okla.

He’s right, these people do live most of their lives in the shadow of daily American life, out of the public eye. Still, they considered themselves to be very much inside “our democracy.” Then the IRS asked them for the names of their donors, what they talked about, political affiliations.

The IRS tea-party audit story isn’t Watergate; it’s worse than Watergate.

The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable.

They didn’t need to do this. The Obama campaign machine was a wonder, perfecting the uses of social media in 2008 and 2012. But the Democrats were so crazed in 2010 by Citizens United, so convinced that anyone’s new political money might bust their hold on power, that they sicced the most feared agency in government on people who disagreed with them.

It’s so crazed that Chuck Todd, former political operative to fellow Democrat Tom Harkin turned “NBC political director,” today lived up to both current and former titles when he asked regarding the IRS scandal, “Are there any actual real victims?”

So while the IRS is certainly not a good guy here they have been terrible about being forthcoming. Are there any actual real victims? Folks, this scandal is not black and white since frankly two wrongs don’t make a right. We know what really is working here for Republicans. Beating up the IRS, good for the base. Good politics there makes for great fundraising e-mails. But let’s remember what the controversy itself is about.

Also today, when it was announced that the EPA “unexpectedly” had a hard drive failure of its own (no word yet if a Roberto Clemente baseball bat was the proximate cause) when they were subpoenaed by a Congressional oversight committee, Sam Stein of the Huffington Post astonishingly tweeted:


Somewhere, H.L. Mencken, who in the 1920s wrote, “It is the prime function of a really first-rate newspaper to serve as a sort of permanent opposition in politics,” is roaring with cynical laughter at the pitiful 21st century state of his profession.

Meanwhile back in reality — as opposed to the media fiction created by the Democrats and their operatives with bylines — the news gets worse regarding IRS malfeasance, as we’ll explore right after the page break.

Pages: 1 2 | 51 Comments bullet bullet

Ed Regrets the Error

June 23rd, 2014 - 12:15 pm

In a post last month titled, “Why Democrats Call Americans Racist,” we posited:

As in the 2010 midterms, expect the madness from the left to ramp up exponentially between now and November. They’re just getting started.

(And then presumably some time between mid-November and the start of the new year, the left will begin declaring half of America sexist. Unexpectedly.)

We apologize for getting the timing wrong; DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile opened up that particular assault on Americans, yesterday:


Click to enlarge.

As Ed Morrissey responds, “Ahem:”

Brazile and her fellow Democrats spent all summer in 2012 attacking Mitt Romney’s wealth and the business he created, even while Barack Obama kept a former Bain exec as an advisor. Harry Reid accused Romney of tax evasion for a decade, allegations which proved utterly false, in an attempt to pressure Romney into releasing his income tax records for Democrats to attack — which they did, incessantly. Romney, who never pretended to be a middle-class guy “struggling” to pay his bills, got repeatedly painted as a prep-school elitist who couldn’t possibly understand the experience of middle America on the basis and origin of his wealth.

Now, suddenly, focusing on wealth is not just improper but sexist. In Clintonworld, what’s good for the gander is decidedly not good for the goose, so it’s time to smear critics to pre-empt the attacks. Outside Democrats aren’t the only ones panicking over Hillary’s gaffe-a-thon, apparently.

And thus, the next two and a half years or more of reactionary leftwing punditry write itself. In 2007 and 2008, America was a hotbed of the very worst sorts of racism, which could only find redemption from original sin by electing a leftwing black president. And then in 2010, when Americans turned on that president — as they tend to do during the midterms of most presidents, no matter what their ideological worldviews, America returned to being the epicenter of the very worst sorts of racism in the eyes of the Democrat operatives with bylines*.

Similarly, for the next two and a half years, America will be a focal point of the most rank sorts of sexism, and will only be able to redeem itself by electing the first leftwing woman president. And then if it actually does, will return to its medieval ways when it turns on her in the midterms of her administration.

Plus ça change.

Exit quote, which applies equally well to debates regarding would-be presidential candidates as well:

* H/T: IP.

Hildebeest with a Heart Condition

June 22nd, 2014 - 6:50 pm

Well, this is interesting. In Blood Feud, his latest book, veteran journalist Edward Klein claims that Hillary has a problem with her ticker:

When the author attempted to contact the Clintons’ cardiologist, Dr. Allan Schwartz, he refused to comment, which made it impossible to determine the exact nature of Hillary’s medical status or its long-term significance. However, sources who discussed Hillary’s medical condition with her were told that Hillary’s doctors considered performing valve-replacement surgery. They ultimately decided against it. Still, before they released Hillary from the hospital, they warned Bill Clinton: “She has to be carefully monitored for the rest of her life.”

That last sentence is usually a wise precaution when dealing with any Machiavellian socialist career lifer politician. Elsewhere in his book, excerpted in the New York Post, Klein has delicious details of the mammoth egos vying for power and dueling for alpha-Dem status inside the Beltway:

Outwardly, they put on a show of unity — but privately, the Obamas and Clintons, the two power couples of the Democrat Party, loathe each other.

“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign. [If not a racist, certainly a racialist -- Ed.]

The feeling is mutual. Obama made ­excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about Hillary.

On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.

Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.

Read the whole thing. Regarding the chasm between Barry and Bubba, at Power Line, John Hinderaker writes:

This is revealing. Bill Clinton was a mostly-successful president. Sure, you can say he was just along for the ride: he benefited from the era of explosive innovation that began with the internet. While he gave speeches advocating school uniforms, and a Republican Congress blocked him from raising taxes and implementing Hillarycare or anything similar, the economy boomed.

Still, in any sane world, an unsuccessful president–Barack Obama–would seek counsel from a successful one. As Clinton said, George Bush was glad to get his advice, and rightfully so. One of Obama’s many problems is that he is uncomfortable around first-rate people. He is a second- or third-rate intellect–no shame in that–but he is too defensive to get help from those who know more than he does, like Bill Clinton or George Bush. Among many others. So we have mediocrities like Joe Biden, John Kerry, Valerie Jarrett and Chuck Hagel making policy.

Linking to a Politico piece titled, “Barack Obama: The Man Who Broke The Middle East,” Glenn Reynolds insta-quips, “Hey, he’s a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, a better policy analyst than his policy analysts, and a better Muslim than the Muslims. It’s not his failure. It’s the world of Islam that let him down. Poor Barack. The world just isn’t up to his standards.”

This is CNN

June 22nd, 2014 - 8:09 am

CNN gooses the crowd at a Hillary interview. “To add ‘energy’ to its show (attended by the Erik Wemple Blog), CNN deployed an enthusiastic stage director who coached the audience to applaud at various points throughout the broadcast:”

Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, has studied the role of applause in such civic engagements. Though CNN wasn’t hosting a debate, Brown says that a cheering audience “at some point…becomes an editorial statement, it’s a part of what is broadcast. It becomes a part of the program and that’s why we have tried to do exactly the opposite.” At the official presidential debates, the audience gets no encouragement to applaud, and it may do so only at the beginning and end of the sessions.

Whatever the optics, here’s the deal: If you’re a possible Democratic candidate, with or without a book to promote, and you want an experience that will elevate you, push for a CNN town hall in Washington. It’s hospitable turf.

As Glenn Reynolds quips, “When the Washington Post thinks you’re too much in-the-tank for Hillary. . . .”

But nobody should be surprised by this — CNN was the network who flew in plants for the GOP debate it covered in 2007, including:

The tallest plant was a retired gay vet, one “Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr,” who questioned – or rather, lectured – the candidates on video and in person about the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that bans open gays from the military.

Funny. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was exactly the policy CNN adopted in not telling viewers that Kerr is a member of Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual- Transgender Americans for Hillary.

Sen. Clinton’s campaign Web site features a press release announcing Kerr and other members of the committee in June. And a basic Web search turns up Kerr’s past support as a member of a veterans’ steering committee for the John Kerry for President campaign – and his prior appearance on CNN in December ’03.

CNN’s moderator, Anderson Cooper, singled out Kerr (who’d been flown in for the event) in the vast audience, giving him a chance for his own filibustering moment. Marvel at it: Not one CNN journalist uncovered the connection or thought it pertinent to disclose that Kerr’s heart belonged to Hillary.

When righty commentator Bill Bennett pointed out the facts to Cooper after the debate, a red-faced Cooper feebly blubbered: “That was something certainly unknown to us, and had we known that, would have been disclosed by us. It turns out we have just looked at it.”

And the network whose 2012 presidential debate moderator was one of the “winners” of the latest Duranty Awards for Journalistic Mendacity. As Claudia Rosett told the audience in New York last month:

The selection committee of the Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity is pleased to bestow the award of first runner-up on CNN’s chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, for her extraordinary performance during the 2012 presidential race as moderator of the second debate between the Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama, and the Republican contender, Governor Mitt Romney.

The moment of truth — or, more precisely, untruth — arose out of a question about Benghazi, Libya, and the Sept. 11 terrorist attack which had taken place there just over a month earlier. Questions were swirling around the administration’s attempts that September to blame what was clearly a terrorist attack on a spontaneous mob enraged by a “hateful video.”

In the debate, Mr. Obama claimed that in his remarks the morning after the attack he had called it “an act of terror” (which he had not). Mr. Romney, catching the president in a lie, challenged this revision of history.

And at that fraught moment, Ms. Crowley inserted herself directly into the debate, putting her thumb on the scale for Mr. Obama. The result was to throw the exchange in favor of the incumbent, and to sweep Benghazi, as an issue, out of the race.

What effect this had at the polls that November, we will never know. We do, however, wonder.

And the network whose then-president admitted in the New York Times in 2003 was in the tank for Saddam Hussein, all for the sake of being able to say “Live from Baghdad.”

Not to mention the network that brought you The Wright-Free Zone in 2008, a week after praising Rev. Wright’s racialist NAACP speech to the hilt:

This latest stunt by “objective” CNN takes the cake — perhaps the network can have one made by the same baker who made the cake the network presented on air to celebrate the one year anniversary of Barack Obama’s “Stimulus:”


Update: Perhaps Hillary’s less-than-solid book sales explain why CNN felt it needed to rev up the lackadaisical Hillary crowd. As Ed Morrissey adds:

This wasn’t a daytime talk show on a broadcast network — like The View on ABC, for instance, which is entertainment and not news programming. This was on a cable news network and featured one of the network’s most high-profile reporters and news analysts. Instead of having an audience respond naturally and honestly, this news network instead chose to actively influence the audience into more positive and affirming responses for a politician on the cusp of a presidential campaign. Would they have coached an audience for a townhall interview with Mitt Romney, or Ted Cruz? Let’s just say it’s highly doubtful.

CNN’s credibility as anything approaching a trusted media source disappeared down a black hole ages ago. And speaking of which

The Hillary Implosion

June 18th, 2014 - 11:33 am

“Last week was a very, very bad week for Hillary Clinton,” Jonathan Last deadpans at the Weekly Standard:

The only part of Obama’s legacy that will stick to Clinton is his foreign policy.

For four years, that seemed like a great arrangement. But suddenly, over the last year, it’s begun to look quite perilous. Obama_perhaps you’ve heard this?_got bin Laden. But other than that, his foreign policy record is disastrous: Libya, Egypt, Syria, the South China Sea, Crimea, Iraq, Afghanistan. It is difficult to find a spot on the globe that is better off today than when Obama took office. And yet Obama’s foreign policy is the only entry of substance on Hillary Clinton’s resume right now. Which means it will carry double the weight.

For Obama, Putin and Crimea are a mid-size political problem, ranked somewhere above the Keystone pipeline. For Clinton it’s an existential problem because foreign affairs are the only measures for her basic professional competence.

Think about it from the perspective of a Democratic voter: Hillary Clinton was wrong on Monica Lewinsky during the (Bill) Clinton years, wrong on gay marriage and Iraq during the Bush years, and now wrong on Putin and Syria and Egypt and the whole of American foreign policy during the Obama years. What has she ever been right on? And if you’re a Democratic voter, at some point you start to wonder, Can’t we do better?

I suspect that if Democrats are given a serious alternative, they may well decide that they can.

And that’s before they get a look at some of the really ugly stuff, too.

Which is why at least one socialist newsreader at MSNBC is uttering the R-Word regarding Hillary, making this the second time the distaff presidential candidate risks being left in the dust by Comcast’s far left network.

Roger Simon Censored By Editor!

June 17th, 2014 - 11:41 am

No, not our Roger Simon, our beneficent Maximum Pajamahadeen Emeritus, his eponymous doppelganger at the Politico. As Daniel Halper notes at the Weekly Standard, inside “the print edition of Politico, columnist Roger Simon asks, ‘Will the Real Hillary Clinton Please Stop Talking?’”

It’s a provocative title for a piece on someone who might be the first female president of the United States. So provocative, in fact, that Politico changed the title for the online edition of the column. “Can Hillary Clinton be herself and still win?” the title now reads.

Yes, the original headline was changed because it might have too much of an impact. Which is what another Politico journalist complained was the excuse when his Hillary-related work was buried in 2008, albeit when he was still with Newsday, another left-leaning publication. (Its publisher, Mort Zuckerman, would go on to claim he helped write a speech for the other liberal in the 2008 race. OK, the other, other liberal, Barack Obama.) Glenn Thrush, since revealed to be a fairly dedicated O-Bot based on his lackadaisical coverage of the Obamacare rollout debacle and his more angered take on pushback to his global warming scare stories, witnessed his 2008 flashback to Hillary defending a child rapist in 1975 buried by an editor, “Because ‘It Might Have an Impact,’” as Tony Lee writes at Big Journalism:

On Sunday evening, mainstream media reporter Glenn Thrush revealed that a former editor of his at Newsday in 2008 delayed and buried his story on Hillary Clinton’s defense of a child rapist because “it might have an impact.”

When Thrush wrote the story on February 24, 2008, Clinton was battling Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

This past Sunday, Thrush tweeted “the only link I can find to my original 2008 Newsday story on Hillary’s 1975 defense of child rapist,” which was archived by the conservative Sweetness & Light blog, a location that the perilously liberal Thrush presumably views with mixed blessings.

As the Washington Free Beacon noted:

A lengthy yet largely overlooked 2008 Newsday story focused on Clinton’s legal strategy of attacking the credibility of the 12-year-old victim.

The girl had joined Taylor and two male acquaintances, including one 15-year-old boy she had a crush on, on a late-night trip to the bowling alley, according to Newsday.

Taylor drove the group around in his truck, pouring the girl whisky and coke on the way.

The group later drove to a “weedy ravine” near the highway where Taylor raped the 12-year-old.

Around 4 a.m., the girl and her mother went to the hospital, where she was given medical tests and reported that she had been assaulted.

Taylor was arrested on May 13, 1975. The court initially appointed public defender John Barry Baker to serve as his attorney. But Taylor insisted he wanted a female lawyer.

The lawyer he would end up with: Hillary Rodham.

By the way, the MSM is not happy to be covering this story — because it might have an impact, to coin a phrase. As some have noted on Twitter, coverage of Mitt Romney’s dog in 1980s, fine. Coverage of Hillary’s career as a lawyer. Verboten! And the leftwing MSM is particularly unhappy about the ideology of its source. Ladies and gentlemen, the Washington Free Beetlejuice. Say its name

….You’re goddamn right.

The MSM, largely Democrat operatives with bylines, have always been terrified of any story that might have an impact against its fellow leftists in office. But ever since Matt Drudge circumvented Newsweek’s spiking of the original Monica Lewinsky story, readers have been able to detour around their roundblocks. No wonder the media bias-related themes at Kate McMillan’s popular Small Dead Animals blog are “Not Waiting for the Asteroid”

…and “Deep Impact.”

“Hillary Complains U.S. Politics Most ‘Brutal’ In The World.” No, really:

“Who is the viable woman of either party who could win a primary nomination in 2016, if who not you?” CBS Sunday host Jane Pauley asked Clinton in yet another interview the former First Lady has given during the week of the release of her latest memoir, “Hard Choices.”

“Politics is so unpredictable,” Clinton responded. “Whoever runs has to recognize that the American political system is probably the most difficult, even brutal, in the world.”

As the America Rising PAC pointed out, the Washington Post’s congressional reporter Ed O’Keefe identified at least two other female politicians who have suffered under seemingly more brutal political systems.

As Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller writes, paraphrasing O’Keefe’s tweet, “Benazir Bhutto, who served twice as prime minister of Pakistan, was assassinated in 2007 following a political rally. Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 while serving as prime minister of India.”

To be fair though, the American political system can be rather brutal on its ambassadors serving abroad — and anyone, past or present, who dares question the president.

Oh, and speaking of truly brutal political systems

Hillary Clinton Declares War!

June 13th, 2014 - 1:23 pm

Well on the media, at least. Earlier today, we mentioned Hillary’s surrogates at Media Matters attacking their fellow lefties at NPR(!) after Hillary botched Terry Gross’s gay marriage questions, but as Charlie Spiering notes at Big Journalism, Hillary’s also angry with Matt Drudge as well:

In an interview on National Public Radio, host Terry Gross brought up Drudge’s question about whether Hillary was leaning on a walker on her People magazine cover. She also referred to Rove’s questions about her health.

“They are trying constantly to, you know, raise false canards, you know, plant, you know, false information, and that’s what they do,” Clinton replied, accusing both Rove and Drudge for not wanting to debate the “real issues.”

“They want people to get diverted and totally off subject, and that is their modus operandi,” she said, pointing out that the American people could see through their gamesmanship.

“[T]here’s a difference between fair game and playing games,” she added.

Because the woman who brought you “The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy,” and “What difference does it make” married to the liberal Democrat who attacked George H.W. Bush from the right for taking his party’s advice and raising taxes is all about playing fair and totally above playing games:

In 2008, several conservative pundits noted that the leftwing media was essentially treating Hillary like a Republican in order to force her out of the Democrat primary race against Obama. Because of her own stumbles this week, Hillary is reduced to acting like a Republican presidential candidate and attacking the media on both sides of the aisle.

That’s twice now that Hillary entered the presidential with the self-assurance that the job was her’s for the taking only to crash and burn on the ground before achieving takeoff. As Ed Morrissey wrote yesterday at Hot Air, “It’s difficult to recall just when a candidate with this many advantages managed to blow them all and torpedo his or her own strategy. Oh, wait, I do — it was Hillary Clinton in 2007-8.”


Hillary Commits Own Goal

June 9th, 2014 - 11:25 am

By feigning Dickensian poverty after her years of public service as First Lady, Hillary is causing her critics to remind voters how well she was and Bill were bankrolled by establishment liberalism upon leaving office:

“We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt.”According to Clinton, she and her husband, who has made over $100 million since leaving the White House, “struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education, you know, it was not easy.

Or as Drew M. quips at Ace of Spades, “Hillary Clinton: I Know What It’s Like To Scrimp And Save When You’re Down To Your Last 20 Million Dollars:”

Let’s look back to how the Clintons left the White House.

Hillary Clinton Book Advance, $8 Million, Is Near Record By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK Published: December 16, 2000

Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed last night to sell Simon & Schuster a memoir of her years as first lady, for the near-record advance of about $8 million.

December 16, 2000 seems to be a bit earlier than January 20th, 2001 which was the date that the Clinton’s “left the White House”.

She was also making $186,600 as a US Senator.

Bill was pulling down $200K in pension as an ex-President (that’s just cash and doesn’t include office staff, protection, etc).

Of course that was just to hold him over until August of 2001 when he signed his book deal which was worth….$10 million.

And then are the seven figure speaking fees and she and Bill have pocketed. According to Noah Rothman in his first post at Hot Air, “Together with her husband, the Clintons made $109 million in the past 7 years.”

In 2007, Hillary stumbled out of the gate by assuming that the Democrat presidential candidacy was hers for the asking, thus creating a huge opening on her left for a young virtually unknown candidate named Barack Obama who, as a self-described “blank screen” could craft himself as a holographic version of the media’s perfect presidential candidate. But it helped enormously that the media had spent the last six years destroying the Bush administration, with their relentless attacks on Bush himself surging to a peak during Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath in 2005. That they were demonstrably false doesn’t matter — as Donna Brazile wrote in CNN last year, “Bush came through on Katrina” — the the DNC-MSM’s relentless attacks did their job. They paved the way for first a Democrat Congress in 2006, and then made it much easier for any Democrat candidate to position him or herself as being “Not Bush” — and Not Bush was enough to win in 2008.

But as Ross Douthat wrote yesterday in the otherwise Hillary house organ New York Times, with Obama having entered Katrina territory himself through his own series of own goals — Obamacare, Benghazi, Bergdahl, the IRS scandal, and the V.A. “There Is No Alternative” to a Hillary candidacy:

Like the penultimate Hapsburg emperor with his motley empire, then, she has the potential to embody a political coalition — its identities and self-conceptions, its nostalgias and aspirations — in ways that might just keep the whole thing hanging together.

But without her, the deluge.

Interesting comparison of Hillary to an aging European monarch on his last legs, since all of the above complaints on Hillary’s One Percent-level net worth don’t include her potential health issues — and her rabid media defenders who are deeply in on the conspiracy

This is CNN

May 25th, 2014 - 10:14 am

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

After CNN’s talking heads did everything they could to clear the way for Barack Obama in 2008, including praising Rev. Wright and then tossing him down the Orwellian Wright-Free Zone one week later very likely based on orders from the Obama campaign itself, an astonishing article appeared on their Website on November 27th of that year. CNN backbencher  Jonathan Mann wrote a column with a remarkable ending:

Obama hasn’t taken office as president, only glimpsed the Oval Office as a visitor and won’t take over until January 20.

But already, he’s being compared to the most remarkable leaders the United States has ever had.

The way some Americans talk, [such as your colleagues elsewhere at Time-Warner-CNN-HBO -- Ed] they’re getting five presidents in one.

After comparing Obama to first JFK, FDR, Lincoln and Bill Clinton, Mann concluded, “The Americans who are comparing him to those remarkable predecessors are putting a lot of faith in a man they barely know.”

No kidding, champ. And now, let’s flash-forward to today. As Daniel Halper writes at the Weekly Standard, “CNN’s John King reports that Democrats are privately calling President Obama ‘detached,’ ‘flat footed,’ and ‘incompetent:’”

“Forget for a moment that Republican outrage,” said King on his CNN show this morning. “More and more Democrats in key 2014 races are calling for the president to get a spine, they say, and fire his Veterans Affairs secretary. And what more and more Democrats are saying privately is scathing, calling the president and his team detached, flat footed, even incompetent.

Why, it’s almost as if taking someone with no previous executive experience, and no real world experience outside of the academic-political-community organizing bubble and handing him the keys to one of the most demanding jobs on the planet after serving less than a full term in the Senate based solely on his ability to deliver nuanced teleprompter readings into a Shure SM-58 microphone might have been a mistake. Who knew?

Update: By the end of 2008, novelty action figures could be purchased, depicting Obama as a sort of badass James Bond superhero (never mind, as Mark Steyn pointed out at the time, that John McCain actually did all sorts of James Bond stuff in real-life). Today, Andrew Malcolm spots a far more accurate polypropylene representation of Barack Obama.

Oh, That Leftwing Projection

May 15th, 2014 - 7:32 pm

Tom Johnson of NewsBusters spots an American Prospect contributor wondering if the GOP can refrain from “Fantasies about torturing and killing her?”

The louder and more desperate those charges get, the more they reflect poorly on the ones making them. As I wrote earlier today over at the Washington Post, the single greatest challenge for Republicans in 2016 could be whether they can control their infinite loathing for Hillary Clinton. Because there will be outbursts, and ones much more shocking than this. Some Tea Party congressman is going to indulge his fantasies about torturing and killing her. Some right-wing radio host is going to go off on a rant so misogynistic and vulgar that even Republicans are going to have to distance themselves from it. Some surrogate for the GOP nominee is going to whip up a crowd into a frenzy of snarling faces and shouts of hate. There will be a drumbeat of sexism and violent rhetoric and appalling signs waved at rallies. The question is how far it all goes, and how good a job the wiser Republicans do at containing it.

Funny, the only example I can remember from 2008 of those wishing death upon Hillary was Keith Olbermann, then still with MSNBC, who suggested, “somebody who can take her in a room and only he comes out,” in order to force Hillary out of Democratic primary race with Barack Obama, only a few months after David Shuster was suspended from that same network for suggesting that “doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?”

It was also around that time that leftwing talk radio host Randi Rhodes referred to Hillary as a “big f***ing whore” and Hillary surrogate (and liberal icon) Geraldine Ferraro as “David Duke in drag” (both within the same rant).  And the late author, screenwriter and director Nora Ephron wrote in the Huffington Post that the Pennsylvania Democratic primary (which Hillary would go on to win) “is an election about whether the [Democrats] of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women.” It was also in 2008 that the left happily flung the R-word at Hillary, accusing the wife of the man whom the New Yorker had previously dubbed in the mid-1990s “America’s first black president,” of racism. Not to mention this savage anti-Hillary rant from Rev. Wright acolyte, Michael Pfleger, a Chicago-based priest:

As in 2007 and 2008, if a viable opponent to Hillary emerges on the left between now and the spring of 2016, expect similar rhetoric to emerge from the left — and if Hillary goes on to win the nomination later that year, expect it all to be tossed down the memory hole, including the vicious anti-Hillary remarks from the left from 2008.

2016: A Juxtaposition Odyssey

April 23rd, 2014 - 11:08 am


In 2008, much of the far left mocked John McCain’s age to further contrast the veteran senator against his youthful and inexperienced competitor in the presidential race. Those same pundits have already declared Hillary’s age — she’ll be only a year younger in 2016 than McCain was in 2008 — off limits. Their tut-tutting is already producing some fun juxtapositions, illustrated by the example above, as spotted by Twitchy, which also has a nice juxtaposition from Slate juiceboxer Matt Yglesias. Is he lying then, or is he lying now? Well, let’s ask him:


So let’s review: In 2004, the cry was that we must have an experienced veteran Navy man, who by the way, served in Vietnam in the White House, which is why we must vote for John Kerry over George W. Bush. In 2008, John McCain was too old, and who knows what his time in Vietnam did to his cerebellum — ex-military guys are bonkers, you know. Plus he’s old, really old. So old, he can’t send an email, as an Obama attack ad in the fall of 2008 pointed out: