Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bizarros still trashing Hillary

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Someone make the Bizarro World journalists and pundits stop! Bob Somerby:

For example, Sally Quinn’s current post about Hillary Clinton is almost dumb-founding in its inanity. A person would surely think that what follows was offered as some sort of parody. No. It’s comes to us straight from the soul of the Post—indeed, from the paper’s “On Faith” section:

QUINN (6/10/08): Now would be the perfect time for her to find herself, to decide what she really wants. Give up the roar of the crowds, the banners and the balloons, the marching bands, the begging for autographs. Give up the naked ambition, the lust for power. Is it possible that she wants those things because she thinks she should?

The only way for her to gather this kind of insight would be for her to go away for awhile. Be alone. Be silent. Be with yourself. There is a wonderful retreat called Bhavana Society in West Virginia that would be the perfect place. Its founder, Bhante Gunaratana, talks in his book “Mindfulness” about the power of concentration or tranquility when one’s mind is brought to rest and “a deep calm pervades the body”. “The meditator focuses his or her mind on a certain item, such as a prayer, a chant, a candle flame, or a religious image, and excludes all other thoughts and perceptions from his or her consciousness.” Self awareness is the goal. Hillary talks quite openly about her faith and how it comforts her. This would be a perfect time for her to explore her faith, to delve more deeply into it.

Self awareness is the goal! Having stated this lofty ambition, Quinn gives Clinton the advice her cohort has always given: Please “go away for awhile” [sic]!

We’ll only suggest that you read the whole post. Once again, we’ll state the obvious: If you didn’t know this post was real, you’d assume that it had to be parody—perhaps the script for Candy 2.

But then, the mental styles of the insider press corps are constantly put on unsettling display. Quinn has been at the soul of this clan for a very long time now. By was of contrast, Matt Yglesias is very young; he’s still on his way to their tables. But here he is, reacting to Todd Purdum’s piece in Vanity Fair. This isn’t parody either:

YGLESIAS (6/2/08): It's hard for me to tell how much of the sleazy behavior that Purdum hints at here is actually true. Based on the record, it wouldn't at all be unlike Clinton for some of it to be true.

Some of it could be true, the lad judged. Though it was hard for him to “tell how much” of what Purdum “hints at” is “actually true.” (Translation: None of it may be true. More on Purdum’s work next week.)

How much more do you need from Yglesias? A question sometimes comes to mind when we sift the work of lads like this: How do they get this way so early in life? Likely answer: They’ve worked very hard at the task. But there again, you see the mental styles of your “press elite” on display.

And yes, there’s always more. You already live on The Planet of Chimps, and chimps have always loved to put their skills on vivid display. During Campaign 2000, Michael Crowley was flummoxed by 2 plus 5 (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/9/00); at the start of Campaign 04, he ran to be the first to complain that John Kerry liked wind-surfing—and even played show tunes on his guitar! (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/10/02.) Sorry—no one ever gets that stupid without putting in a good deal of hard work. And sure enough! Yesterday, the baby-faced boy who put Bush where he is showcased his mental stylings again. His headline: “The Clintons’ Enemies List.” These were his thoughtful ruminations:

CROWLEY (6/11/08): The Clintons aren't exactly refuting charges of Nixonian tactics here [linked to Leibovich piece].

The threats of retribution against traitors is also the kind of thing you say when you've won and are amassing power. It's a bit odd to bluster this way when your influence is at a nadir.

The Clintons “weren't exactly refuting charges of Nixonian tactics there?” The Clintons weren’t quoted in the piece. In fact, here’s what Leibovich said about Hillary Clinton, based on things he says he was told by unnamed campaign officials: “Mrs. Clinton has a short list of people who disappointed her.” Wow! Her evil ways just never stop! But in the mind of a butt-kissing climber like Crowley, that sentence let him put “Enemies List” into a headline—a headline which said that Hillary Clinton had such a list—and it let him tut-tut-tut about what she “wasn’t exactly doing.” But then, many boot-licking boys like Crowley run to show that they will accept whatever narrative their clan may lay out for them. (Why on earth did Candidate Gore cite seven years as a journalist?) Yesterday, the term “Enemies List” had reached the top headline at The Huffington Post by noon. By the way: If you want to peruse the work of people who really can’t read a newspaper story, just scan the inaccurate, cosmically gullible statements by so many of Crowley’s commenters. Remember when we liberals used to claim that we were smarter than those dumb-*ss conservatives?

For our money, though, we may have been most struck by Nancy Giles, on last night’s Verdict with Dan Abrams. In fairness, Giles is barely a part of the pundit corps—and she clearly seemed to be sincere when she made the statement which follows. But should people of this type be on network TV? If your “press corps” weren’t so baldly dysfunctional, would this sort of thing seem acceptable? The exchange began with Abrams posing a hypothetical: Should Obama make Clinton his VP if it seems that she is needed to win the November election?

ABRAMS (6/11/08): Well, let me ask you this. Nancy, if the numbers show—if it’s close by the time he has to make the decision, and the numbers show in the polls that Hillary could make the difference, would that make the difference to you?


ABRAMS: You’d still say it’s worth losing over?

GILES: No, it’s not worth losing over because I don’t think he’ll lose...I think it would be a real liability. But his whole campaign is new—change, not old politics. And Hillary—look, if he gets Hillary as his VP, he’s got to hire somebody to be the official presidential taster because you don’t know what`s going to be in your food. You don’t know what could happen. I literally feel that way.

Of course, many pundits have joked the Standard Joke about Obama needing a food-taster. But Giles showed no sign of joking when she recited the tired old script. She said she “literally” felt that way, and she clearly seemed to mean it. We were thus returned to the remarkable days when pundits sat on network TV and talked about Hillary Clinton, murderer....

Our morally-challenged press elites pull out the reruns: Hillary is a murderer, Bill is a philanderer, and The Clintons are making a Nixonian "Enemies List." Oh, they are soooo evil.

Where do news orgs--I use the term loosely--get these people? Rejects from soap operas or TV dramas? Failed screenplay writers? Comic books? Fact-checking has been outsourced to Bizarro World. When people want facts, they deliver fiction. To summarize the silly state of media and our darthling Blog Boyz like Matt...

The Bizarro code: "Us do opposite of all earthly things! Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! Is big crime to make anything perfect on Bizarro World."

CREDITS: Image from The Comic Treadmill.