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“Dear Media: This Elizabeth Lauten Nonsense Is Why Everybody Hates You,” Mollie Hemingway wrote yesterday at the Federalist in response to the latest scalp collected by the SJW-obsessed MSM:
Now, Lauten is in communications and her job presumably included an assumption that she wouldn’t embarrass her boss. Besides, in a city where you can keep your job even if you’re involved in serious scandals at the IRS, State Department, Veterans Affairs or the Department of Justice, an actual job loss is refreshing, in its own way. She even gave a full-throated apology — within hours of the initial post — for being mean, not one of these “I’m sorry if” constructions that politicians frequently use.
Still, what in the world was the media doing reporting on this non-story and firing up the mob? The Washington Free Beacon reported that “major media outlets are pouring resources into tracking her moves and digging into her past.” This included two network news vans camping outside of her parents’ home in North Carolina and a search of Lauten’s leaked juvenile records and college writings.
This is insanity and each and every person involved should be ashamed of himself or herself. If you were involved, you are a big part of what’s wrong with journalism and you need to check yourself.
Explain yourself, Washington Post
Which brings us to her tweet today:
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) December 4, 2014
Except that at least Lauten is no doubt well aware that’s she been absolutely crucified; the Post and the MSM in general lack the self-awareness to begin to understand the incalculable damage they’ve inflicted upon themselves over the years.
(Or actually, maybe it’s quite calculable. And pace Mollie’s tweet, I’m sure the Post is quite capable of beclowning itself even further in the weeks to come. Do not taunt happy fun SJWs.)
We’ve all seen journalists who while actively employed as reporters or TV newsreaders, swear up and down that they’re totally unbiased, and then once retired or transferred from covering a beat to writing opinion columns emerge as flamingly far left social justice warriors. (See also: Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, Helen Thomas, and zillions of other examples.)
It isn’t just elderly Democrats with bylines who suffer from this malady as outgoing Iowa Senator Tom Harkin makes clear. Or as Ed Morrissey writes, Harkin “told The Hill that the Affordable Care Act was a huge mistake — but not quite for the same reasons Schumer believes:”
While Schumer belatedly lamented the lost opportunity to boost the middle class rather than climb on the Democratic hobby horse of health-insurance overhauls, Harkin regrets not doing more to demolish the health-insurance industry:
He wonders in hindsight whether the law was made overly complicated to satisfy the political concerns of a few Democratic centrists who have since left Congress.
“We had the power to do it in a way that would have simplified healthcare, made it more efficient and made it less costly and we didn’t do it,” Harkin told The Hill. “So I look back and say we should have either done it the correct way or not done anything at all.
“What we did is we muddle through and we got a system that is complex, convoluted, needs probably some corrections and still rewards the insurance companies extensively,” he added. …
Harkin says in retrospect the Democratic-controlled Senate and House should have enacted a single-payer healthcare system or a public option to give the uninsured access to government-run health plans that compete with private insurance companies.
“We had the votes in ’09. We had a huge majority in the House, we had 60 votes in the Senate,” he said.
He believes Congress should have enacted “single-payer right from the get go or at least put a public option would have simplified a lot.”
Well, that’s certainly one point of view. Perhaps Harkin really believes that the backlash against ObamaCare comes from a general sense that government should control even more of the health choices of Americans than it arrogated in the unpopular bill.
Here’s Tom in 2007 lying about a country that went single payer quite a long time ago:
Of course, Harkin has previously lied about fighting in Vietnam as well. Good luck Joni Ernst — I’m sure you’ll do fine, but please do everything you can to rise above the reputation of your predecessor from Iowa.
And speaking of the above video, “Ho Chi Minh would be appalled if he could see Vietnam now,” PJM alumnist Michael Totten recently noted. Good! Faster please.
Related: Since Ed M. mentioned The Hill, the 20-year old DC newspaper and Website that specializes in covering Congress in his post, click on the two images imbedded in this Tweet for their own blatant example of “name that party” bias.
Be4 I sign off learned a new word in church today: Eschatology. Anyone?
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) December 1, 2014
#WOTD Eschatology, noun. A branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) May 23, 2011
Regarding #Ferguson and the MSM, “The left is very good at starting racial firestorms but, like irresponsible campers leaving behind an unquenched campfire, they are not so good at putting them out,” John Sexton writes in a post that really should be read in its entirety at Breitbart.com. As Sexton notes, “What we saw in their handling of the Brown case is a rerun of the Martin case. The facts don’t seem to fit with the left’s views and even after substantial evidence comes to light showing what did happen, they refuse to believe it:”
When the left’s racial narrative gradually falls apart, just as it did during the Martin case, they retreat to claims of an unfair process or they claim that someone is a liar based on their own faulty BS detector. The more obvious explanation is the one the left, with few exceptions, refuses to contemplate, i.e. this was never the test case they wanted it to be.
There are real world consequences to the behavior by the progressive media. Early, incomplete reporting leaves behind an understandable residue of anger. Irresponsible attacks on the process based on feelings, BS detectors and misreadings of evidence (or ignoring evidence altogether) further stoke that anger. The real fires we see burning in Ferguson aren’t that surprising given the story the progressive media has tried to tell about this case. Even after those fires go out the damage will remain.
Sexton’s article is titled “Progressive Media Failed Again in the Brown Case,” but that depends on your definition of “failure,” doesn’t it? And your definition of the MSM. If there’s anyone left who still thinks of the media as objective news gatherers, then of course, Ferguson was nearly as big a bonfire for their national reputations as the actual riots and arson were for the 21,000 inhabitants of the real Missouri town. But the pattern for the MSM doesn’t date back to Trayvon Martin, but to the election of Barack Obama when anyone, any group who opposed him — on either side of the aisle — was automatically deemed racist.
This was followed by the rise of the Tea Party — immediately dubbed racist bomb throwers by an increasingly paranoid elite chattering class. The following year, the blind media ran wild claims that “Maybe fifteen people about fifteen times” shouted the N-word on the steps of Congress in protest when then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her giant novelty gavel led the socialist brigade that passed Obamacare. That effort by the left to smear the right as racist was debunked by the late Andrew Breitbart and colleagues so thoroughly that even JournoList member Ben Smith, then of the Politico, declared, “I think you’ve pretty much won this one, no?”
2011 kicked off when an apolitical lunatic shot Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, a Bush #41-appointed judge, and a dozen other victims in Arizona, which the media tried to blame on the magic powers of Sarah Palin’s clip art, followed by the equally hypnotizing ability of icky — and racist! — words about guns and violence.
Rinse and repeat until Trayvon and Ferguson.
Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:
—Headline, NewsBusters, August 17th.
—Headline at NBC, today.
Curiously, hitting CTL-F and typing in “Natalie’s Cakes,” which has received over $230,000 in donated funds after her building was trashed by rioters on Monday doesn’t bring up a reference in the article. Wonder why?
(Quote on our mock ad for Al Sharpton’s MSNBC show atop this post from network president Phil Griffin.)
“Obama Awards Medal of Freedom to Supporter and Former NBC Anchor Tom Brokaw,” Curtis Houck writes at NewsBusters:
Throughout her report [on Brokaw receiving the award], [Andrea] Mitchell certainly didn’t note many of the instances in which Brokaw heaped mounds of praise on the President (that has appeared to pay off). As the Media Research Center’s Kyle Drennen noted back on November 12, Brokaw’s positive remarks toward the President are numerous and included him comparing Obama to Vaclev Havel, who led the “Velet Revolution” that brought down communism in the former Czechoslovakia.
It would be fun to ask Brokaw what his definition of “freedom” is, given that the veteran NBC newsreader begged the Chief Spokesman for the Office of the President Elect in December of 2008 to raise taxes during the trough of the Great Recession (consistent with his take on President Reagan cutting taxes), and his loathing of the Second Amendment, telling fellow NBC employees Al Sharpton and Joe Scarborough in January of 2013 that, as Nathaniel Botwinick paraphrased at NRO’s The Corner, “Silence on Gun Violence Like Not Speaking Out Against Segregation in 1960s South.” Or as Brokaw himself said:
All these component parts claim, it’s not their responsibility. The NRA says it’s not about the guns, it’s about violence and mental health. Mental health people can’t share information because we have privacy issues here. The video game industry says we have a right under the First Amendment. Reverend Al, it reminds me a lot of what happened in the South during the 1960s during the civil rights movement. Good people stayed in their houses and didn’t speak up when there was carnage in the streets and the total violation of the fundamental rights of African-Americans as they marched in Selma. And they let Bull Connor and the redneck elements of the South and the Klan take over their culture in effect and become a face of it.
The testimony of many blacks who relied upon the Second Amendment to defend themselves during that period against Brokaw’s fellow Democrat Bull Connor contradicts the NBC newsreader:
When Charles “Chuck” Hicks does the Martin Luther King Jr. Day peace and freedom walks Saturday, he’ll also be taking a step for what the National Rifle Association has dubbed “National Rifle Appreciation Day.” That’s because Hicks is the son of Robert Hicks, a prominent leader of the legendary Deacons for Defense and Justice — an organization of black men in Louisiana who used shotguns and rifles to repel attacks by white vigilantes during the 1960s.
“The Klan would drive through our neighborhood shooting at us, shooting into our homes,” recalled Hicks, 66, who grew up in Bogalusa, La., and has been a civil rights activist in the District for more than 35 years. “The black men in the community wouldn’t stand for it. You shoot at us, we shoot back at you. I’m convinced that without our guns, my family and many other black people would not be alive today.”
As the Glenn Reynolds adds, “Condi Rice tells a similar story, of course. More background here.”
Continuing with the Orwellian aspects of Tom’s award, when Dan Rather had cooked the books in September of 2004 launching his ultimately career-ending scandal known as Rathergate, his then-fellow over-the-air nightly news anchors Brokaw and the late Peter Jennings both circled the wagons the following month — with the presidential election still ongoing — to defend their fellow dino-journalist from those whom they perceived as rabble conservative upstarts.
Around that time four years later, Brokaw helpfully lied to PBS’s Charlie Rose, “We don’t know a lot about Barack Obama and the universe of his thinking about foreign policy…There’s a lot about him we don’t know.” Gee Tom and Charlie, if only you had entire armies of journalists you command at your two networks to answer those questions, not to mention an information retrieval device called the Internet.
“Darren Wilson has been meeting with network anchors: What the heck?”, asks the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple:
Credit CNN’s Brian Stelter with a very big scoop. On today’s “Reliable Sources” media-news program, Stelter reported that “high-profile news anchors” have spoken in “secret locations” with Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The sessions have been off-the-record and, the way Stelter tells it, they’ve been auditions for one of the biggest exclusives of this century — namely, the sit-down talk with the elusive officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9.
Some details exist. NBC News’s Matt Lauer, ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos, CBS News’s Scott Pelley and Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon of CNN have met with Wilson, according to Stelter.
I’m not at all sure why Wemple seems so surprised or outraged by this development, given that from the start, Ferguson has been a form of video kabuki, to the point where NBC sent Al Sharpton out to gin up the protestors, and then recorded awesome video of those protestors pelting Sharpton’s fellow MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes with rocks. (Mission accomplished, Al.)
In 1988, when he was promoting the Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe told PBS’s Bill Moyers, “a good bit of the book has to do with this curious phenomenon of how demonstrations, which are a great part of racial and ethnic politics, exist only for the media:”
Well, one of the things is what I would call “media ricochet”, which is the way real life and life as portrayed by television, by journalists like myself and others, begin ricocheting off of one another. That’s why to me, in Bonfire of the Vanities, it was so important to show exactly how this occurs when television and newspaper coverage become a factor in something like racial politics. And a good bit of the book has to do with this curious phenomenon of how demonstrations, which are a great part of racial and ethnic politics, exist only for the media. In the last days when I was working on The New York Herald-Tribune, I’ll never forget the number of demonstrations I went to and announced that to all the people with the placards, “I’m from The New York Herald-Tribune,” and the attitude was really a yawn, and then, “Get lost”. They were waiting for Channel 2 and Channel 4 and Channel 5, and suddenly the truck would appear and these people would become galvanized. On one occasion I even saw a group of demonstrators down in Union Square, marching across the Square, and Channel 2 arrived, a couple of vans, and the head of the demonstration walked up to what looked like the head man of the TV crew and said, “What do you want us to do?” He says, “Golly, I don’t know. What were you going to do?” He says, “It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. You tell us.”
NBC, in the form of network spokesman Al Sharpton (let those last four words percolate for a few moments) simply took that strategy to its logical conclusion. Why shouldn’t their fellow Democrat operatives with bylines get in on the other half of the equation as well by coordinating with Wilson as well?
It’s as if the networks, having been happy to beam back staged “Pallywood” productions from the Palestinian media propaganda assembly line for years, decided to get in on the fun of staging domestic riots from top to bottom themselves:
“EXCLUSIVE: Ex-NBC employee Frank Scotti claims Bill Cosby paid off women, invited young models to dressing room as he stood guard,” the New York Daily News reports:
Back when Bill Cosby was the king of network television, veteran NBC employee Frank Scotti served as the royal fixer.
When Cosby invited young models into his Brooklyn dressing room, the megastar’s pal stood watch outside the door. When the married Cosby sought a Queens apartment for another pretty face, Scotti arranged the deal.
And when the man behind Fat Albert needed cash disbursed to his flock of single female friends — hey, hey, hey — Scotti became the conduit for payments of up to $2,000 a month.
“He had everybody fooled,” said Scotti in an exclusive interview with the Daily News. “Nobody suspected.”
Scotti came forward last week with his insider’s look at Cosby’s womanizing ways during the magical 1984-92 run of “The Cosby Show.”
The 90-year-old Scotti said he decided to speak as the drumbeat of sexual abuse allegations against Cosby, 77, grew steadily louder. “I felt sorry for the women,” he told The News.
Along with the multiple women coming forward with allegations, is Scotti lying? Presumably the left-leaning Daily News wouldn’t run the story unless the paper and its lawyers believed him. But in any case, NBC certainly has ample prior examples of enabling their performers’ dysfunctional behavior to help keep a hit show humming along.
As Doug Hill and Jeff Weingrad wrote in their 1986 book, Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live, while the late John Belushi was the most legendary substance abuser of the original cast of SNL, the performer most affected by drug use according to the authors was Garrett Morris. And certainly, his onstage performances in his last season on the show often seemed near-catatonic, as he appeared to lean heavily on his cue cards to remember even the simplest of lines. According to Hill and Weingrad, “Garrett free-based cocaine, meaning he mixed it with ether and heated it to filter out the impurities, then smoked it in its purest, strongest form,” and insiders at NBC, including Morris’ own fixer at the network, were certainly aware of drug use of some sort by Morris:
As much cocaine as John Belushi used, within Saturday Night Garrett’s habits were seen as more dangerous, because Belushi seemed so much stronger than Garrett. “Belushi,” one of the writers said, “was howling against the elements. Garrett sort of just slipped away in his sleep.” In the end, of course, that judgment proved to be incorrect, but at the time most would have expected Garrett to succumb long before John.
What to do about Garrett occupied a good deal of conversation on the 17th floor. That he wasn’t taken off the show or forced to get some sort of treatment struck many as utterly irresponsible. The countervailing opinion was that taking him off the show would have only completed his collapse. No one could convince Garrett he needed help; he always insisted he was fine. But obviously he wasn’t fine, and many blamed Lorne for not dealing with it. “A lot of people felt Lorne ignored the problem,” one of the featured players said. “A lot of people thought, ‘Lorne’s got to do something about this.’ It seemed that week after week Garrett was in bad emotional shape. Nobody knew what to do.”
Garrett’s problems were also ignored by NBC, and not because no one in the network was aware of them. To the contrary, one NBC executive, a vice president, frequently gave Garrett the money to buy his cocaine. Garrett would come to this executive for advances on his salary. He always said he had some different project in the works that he needed it for, but the executive was well aware of what Garrett was doing with the money. The advances were usually $1,000, but once, when the show was ending for the season and Garrett needed enough to tide him over the summer, he was advanced $10,000. The executive says that Garrett thought of him as a sort of friendly banker, and that as a result he and Garrett always got along extremely well. Eventually the advances were stopped.
In more recent years, NBC has long ignored Alec Baldwin’s homophobic slurs and violent encounters with photographers, as long as they could build shows around him. (Unlike the heyday of the original SNL and Cosby Show, ratings be damned, curiously enough). And today, as the New York Times strongly implied last week, NBC looks the other way at Al Sharpton’s multiple tax abuses.
When the MSM, those Democrat operatives with bylines, as Glenn Reynolds memorably dubbed them, ignores corruption in the Obama administration, remember that they have a lengthy history of ignoring and in some cases enabling corruption and malfeasance in-house as well. Anything as long as the show goes on.
“30,000 missing emails from IRS’ Lerner recovered,” according to the Washington Examiner:
In all, investigators from the inspector general’s office combed through 744 disaster recovery tapes. They are not finished looking.
There are 250 million emails ion the tapes that will be reviewed. Officials said it is likely they will find missing emails from other IRS officials who worked under Lerner and who said they suffered computer crashes.
Investigators said the emails could include some overlapping information because it is not clear how many of them are duplicates or were already produced by Lerner to the congressional committees.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee he chairs will be one of the committees that will examine the emails.
“Though it is unclear whether TIGTA has found all of the missing Lois Lerner e-mails, there may be significant information in this discovery,” Issa told the Examiner. “The Oversight Committee will be looking for information about her mindset and who she was communicating with outside the IRS during a critical period of time when the IRS was targeting conservative groups. This discovery also underscores the lack of cooperation Congress has received from the IRS. The agency first failed to disclose the loss to Congress and then tried to declare Lerner’s e-mails gone and lost forever. Once again it appears the IRS hasn’t been straight with Congress and the American people.”
And…? Other than the (admittedly enjoyable) videos of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen appearing regularly on Capital Hill as Trey Gowdy’s punching bag, will there be any real consequences to the agency for its malfeasance?
Update: “That’s a lot of emails. But remember when the New York Times asked its readers to ‘crowdsource’ the review of 24,000 of Sarah Palin’s emails?”
Sarah Palin committed no crime other than being a conservative woman. Lois Lerner has been implicated in using the power of the IRS to stifle the First Amendment rights of thousands of Americans and conservative Tea Party groups.
Surely, the media will investigate these newly found Lois Lerner emails more aggressively than they looked into Palin’s emails. Right?
Of course they will.
Actually I think the whole racial angle on Cosby should be turned on its head: How come Roman Polanski’s film career wasn’t ended after a conviction for rape? Or Woody Allen’s career after the facts of his behavior emerged? And if we’re now going to end careers over old charges, can Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey now get their due against Bill Clinton, whose sexual assaults didn’t end his career. To the contrary, he is honored as if he were the Dr. Huxtable of politics. The double standard here is obvious: if you’re a powerful (liberal) white man, you can survive being a rapist. Maybe the liberals are ironically right for a change.
This story was first reported by the local press, and there have been vague references to sexual trouble for Bean and Lawson since June, but the national media has not picked it up. That oversight is politically convenient for President Obama as he tries to pull off one of his riskiest political moves ever with his amnesty executive order.
If one of President George W. Bush’s bundlers would have been charged with child rape, make no mistake about it, the media feeding frenzy would have been uncontrollable – which would be legitimate given the severity of the allegation. The silence surrounding Terrence Bean exposes the national media’s partisan double standard in obscene detail.
In 2003, after it was obvious that CNN had been in the tank for Saddam Hussein, Eason Jordon, the network’s then-president, wrote a mea culpa in the New York Times titled “The News We Kept To Ourselves.”
The MSM sure has been keep a lot of news to itself since 2008, haven’t they? Two guesses as to why.
“Jeff Fager has stepped down as chairman of CBS News, leaving full command of the news division to David Rhodes, two sources at the network told POLITICO on Thursday,” Dylan Byers reports:
Fager, who spent four years as chairman, will return to CBS’ “60 Minutes” full-time as executive producer, effective at the beginning of the new year. Rhodes, who Fager hired as president four years ago, will remain in that role and assume sole leadership of the division.
As the Daily Caller noted in May of 2013, “Top Obama official’s brother is president of CBS News, may drop reporter over Benghazi coverage.” That reporter was Sharyl Attkisson who has since left CBS:
“We still don’t know who changed talking points but have had at least 4 diff explanations so far,” Attkisson tweeted on November 27, 2012.
But on Friday, ABC News reported that the Benghazi talking points went through 12 revisions before they were used on the public. The White House was intimately involved in that process, ABC reported, and the talking points were scrubbed free of their original references to a terror attack.
That reporting revealed that President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes — brother of CBS News president David Rhodes — was instrumental in changing the talking points in September 2012.
ABC’s reporting revealed that Ben Rhodes, who has a masters in fiction from NYU, called a meeting to discuss the talking points at the White House on September 15, 2012.
Curiously, the relationship between the two Rhodes isn’t referenced in Byers’ story above, or in this article on Jeff Fager stepping down at the Huffington Post.
Related: “Bombshell: Email Proves that White House, DOJ Targeted Reporter Sharyl Attkisson,” from Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler. I’m sure CBS will want to blow the lid off this story…
— CJ Ciaramella (@cjciaramella) November 20, 2014
“Democrats across print, web, and cable media have been repeating the claim that Obama is doing nothing more than what Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 did first.” Not true, Gabriel Malor writes at the Federalist:
In 1986, faced with a large and growing population of illegal aliens, Congress created a new, time-limited form of immigration relief for certain aliens who, among other things, had to have come to the United States more than six years previously. This is the much ballyhooed Reagan amnesty. It was, unfortunately, riddled with fraud in its execution, the uncovering of which is still roiling the immigrant community. But even setting that aside it left President Reagan with a moral dilemma. Congress’ amnesty was large—just shy of 3 million people—and it had the unanticipated effect of splitting up freshly-legalized parents from their illegally-present minor children who did not qualify for relief.
So Reagan, seeing this family unity problem that Congress had not anticipated or addressed when it granted amnesty to millions of parents, issued an executive order to defer the removal of children of the people who had applied for immigration amnesty under Congress’ new law. He allowed those children to remain in the United States while their parents’ applications for amnesty were pending. A few years later, Bush 41 extended this bit of administrative grace to these same children plus certain spouses of the aliens who had actually been granted immigration amnesty under Congress’ new law.
Congress, though it had desired to grant amnesty, had not considered and not included the spouses and children. Importantly, nor had it excluded them. So Presidents Reagan and Bush 41 filled that statutory gap. “What do we do with spouses and children?” INS asked. “Well,” the executive branch leaders said, “defer their deportation. Decline to exercise your lawful authority for the particular cases that are related to those Congress has offered amnesty.”
These Reagan and Bush 41 executive actions were obviously different than what Obama is doing now.
Read the whole thing.
“So when I see journalists saying that Gruber’s revelations don’t matter because he’s just kind of awkwardly saying something that everyone knew, I get a little jittery,” former(?) Obama supporter Megan McArdle writes at the house organ for crony socialism, Bloomberg.com:
That politicians should try to exploit the accounting rules was inevitable; that is what people do with accounting rules. I’m not saying that’s what the rules are for, or that they do no good; I’m just saying that about eight seconds after your rules are made, some bright Johnny will start figuring out a way to game them.
What is not inevitable is that journalists should effectively sanction this by saying it’s no big deal. We don’t have to get elected, after all. And those politicians and policy makers aren’t our bosses; the reading public is.
In “Hartache,” Noemie Emery of the Weekly Standard compares and contrasts two infamous Democrat presidential candidates wildly overhyped by their party operatives in the MSM who later famously crashed and burned due to Icarus-level hubris:
[Gary] Hart and Obama each had an iron-clad faith in his own claim to genius, and many believed them, partly because they looked like the kind of people journalists thought should be intelligent, and partly because their sort of intelligence—glib, facile, and good at the right sort of patter—was the same sort that these journalists had. Thus presidential historian Michael Beschloss called Obama (before he took office) “the smartest man ever elected as president,” and Bai takes Hart at his own self-estimation, as a “brilliant and serious man, perhaps the most visionary political mind of his generation . . . the flat-out smartest politician I had ever met.” Hart’s gift, as Bai put it, “was to connect politics and culture and theology and technology seamlessly and all at once—to draw from all available data points . . . a larger picture of where everything was headed. . . . Hart himself would tell me, ‘I have only one talent. I can see farther ahead than most people. And I can put pieces together in constructive ways, both to avoid disaster and to capitalize on change.’ ”
Alas, as it happened, “avoiding disaster” was not one of Hart’s strong points, and the man many thought capable of saving the world and the country proved a genius at destroying himself. Hart worshipped John Kennedy and imitated him down to his gestures and weakness for women, seeming to think he was back in the ’50s and ’60s, when presidents’ affairs and those of their peers had gone unremarked on, or perhaps in the days of the 1940 election, when Wendell Willkie made campaign speeches from his girlfriend’s apartment and Franklin Roosevelt’s train would make stops in New Jersey so the president could see his old flame. Hart’s first mistake was to ignore the extent to which Chappaquiddick and Watergate had collapsed the old walls between public and private, increasing suspicion of public officials and making dissembling seem the worst of all sins. His second mistake was to lie, which turned his private life into a public and character issue, into which the press felt entitled to dig. In Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars, their book on the 1988 contest, Jack Germond and Jules Witcover give a detailed list of the people Hart lied to, including reporters, old friends, and campaign consultants who had agreed to work for him only after being assured by him or his allies that the rumors about his many adventures with women were either false or else a thing of the past.
Nonetheless, one woman refused to join the campaign, saying, “Everybody here knows that he’s fooling around with a woman in Florida, and that he came out of a bar a few nights ago with another guy and two other women. . . . I can’t work for him.” He assured aides that nothing was wrong even as he was arranging a weekend in Washington with the woman in Florida. Reporters from two different news organizations warned his campaign they were thinking of tailing him, which perhaps was in Hart’s mind when he dared E. J. Dionne to “follow me around. I don’t care. I’m serious . . . go ahead. They’ll be very bored.”
Flash-forward to today; “Obama Encouraged Us to ‘Pull Every Clip’ On Obamacare So We Did,” David Rutz writes at the Washington Free-Beacon. Speaking of ominous parallels* note the exceedingly Hart-like goading from the semi-retired former president at the start of the video:
* Yes, the homage to a book referencing an infinitely more sinister form of nationalized socialism was intentional.
Masterworks of notable architects: Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra, Jonathan Gruber pic.twitter.com/yurkzpvVjA
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 16, 2014
How badly did Gruber screw the pooch? So badly that even CBS’s dinosaur arch-liberal Bob Schieffer has noticed, Jack Coleman notes at NewsBusters, along with a minor fisking of some of Schieffer’s loopier statements:
SCHIEFFER: I’ll be honest — while I favor health insurance (a show of hands for all those opposed to health insurance, and auto insurance, and homeowners’ …?) I am not wild about the new plan and how it became law either. (Welcome to the club, Bob, mere half-decade late). But here is my question for Mr. Gruber — if all this was as bad as you say, why did you take the money you earned as an adviser? Nor is it too late to give it back. What we have here is another example of the sorry state of American politics where people take money for things in which they don’t believe and whether it’s good for the American people is not even a question. As for the president, he may want to consider that old politician’s prayer — Lord, I can take care of my enemies, just protect me from my friends.
Why would Gruber return his taxpayer-provided “consulting” fees? As Coleman adds, “Gruber was instrumental in getting this monstrosity enacted into law. Return money for a job well done? Yeah, right. His only fault, at least to liberals, is in the man’s apparently manic, post-legislative compulsion to spill all about ‘dirty secrets.’”
Gruber is certainly useful to the left right now as a scapegoat. He allows them to say, “look how badly we were duped!” during the early years of the Obama regime when they went all-in to push his programs, not the least of which, Obamacare.
CBS, along with the rest of the Democrat operatives with bylines might want to take advantage of that opportunity.
TIME caved to pressure. Has stopped poll on most cringe-inducing word because “feminist” was winning by a landslide. http://t.co/FkS18c6D8N
— Christina H. Sommers (@CHSommers) November 16, 2014
— The Chris Coon (@Coondawg68) October 28, 2014
Same byline, and just 4 months apart. Can you spot the difference? pic.twitter.com/XPt9KCh3tB
— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) November 16, 2014
Because really, why bother with unvarnished reality, when you can mold it, Lysenko-style, to match your politics — and then when that fails, simply toss it down the Memory Hole?
— Ed Carson (@IBD_ECarson) November 15, 2014
— Ed Carson (@IBD_ECarson) November 15, 2014
“Voxplaining In Action.”
The Post’s argument is a snipe hunt. If Fox News did exactly as the Post requested, history proves it would change nothing. The important investigative work Fox has already done on stories like Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, and even ObamaCare, are usually ignored, downplayed, or Media Matters’d by the likes of the Washington Post.
If six freakin’ videos aren’t enough to grab the media’s attention, nothing will. And even if Fox News did dig up a bigger bombshell a few weeks from now, the MSM would dismiss it as “old news.”
After six years of President Obama, how the media works its protection racket is not a secret.
Although the Post is one of the few mainstream media outlets to cover Gruber’s remarks, the Post has also been careful to spin the story as either a partisan issue (using headlines about how Republicans are outraged) or as an outright nothingburger (this is how the sausage is made).
[WaPo blogger Erik Wemple] seems to want to argue that a story — backed by six videos of a man frequently trotted out as an ObamaCare expert by high-ranking Democrats like Nancy Pelosi — isn’t quite buttoned up, or isn’t a story until the whole story can be told.