FRAMING THE SAINTS! Imus and Barnicle praised the saints. No Democrats need apply: // link // print // previous // next //
FRIDAY, JANUARY 5, 2007
WATCHING SPIN GROW: David Brooks says it—and we start reciting! This letter, from a Pelosi-defender, appears in todays New York Times:
To the Editor:Was Pelosi chauffeured to school as a child? We dont know—and almost surely, the letter writer doesnt know either. But the American over-class earns its bread portraying major Dems as spoiled rich kids (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/4/07). And, like lambs marched off to the slaughter, we liberals reflexively help them along! Even as we challenge Brooks logic, we pass along the image he peddled. But then, we often did similar dumb-ass thing as they waged their long war against Gore. Are you happy with how that turned out?
No, Pelosi didnt grow up in wealth, the misleading image this letter extends. Heres part of Wolfgang Saxons obituary of her father, in the New York Times:
SAXON (8/24/97): Thomas D'Alesandro Jr., Mayor of Baltimore from 1947 to 1959 and an influence in Maryland and national Democratic politics for many years before that, died yesterday in his city's Mercy Hospital after a heart attack. He was 84 years old.In 1999, they wanted the public to think that Gore had grown up in a fancy hotel. (Their primal idiot, Maureen Dowd, started the trend of calling Gore Eloise—a bit of spin many others adopted.) Today, they want the public to think that young Pelosi was chauffeured to some fancy school. (Those modest row houses must be disappeared.) And we liberals cant wait to help them out—to pass their spin-driven portraits along! But then, our leaders endlessly failed to discuss the endless tricks they used against Gore. This, of course, makes it much more likely that such tricks will work again.
Our over-class will work quite hard to build fake tales around our next nominee. Because our leaders have been so quiet so long, our letter-writers are easy marks. We seem to revel in our dumbness—in our cheerful march to the slaughter.
HES A SOLE MAN: Quite sensibly, Ezra Klein was struck by Patrick Healys latest piffle concerning Hillary Clinton. In the passage which caught Kleins eye, Healey some meetings Clinton has held about her possible White House campaign:
HEALY (1/4/07): Mrs. Clinton has gone to great lengths to try to keep these meetings private. She and her aides have strongly asked Democrats not to report what has taken place there, from what she says to what she eats, and where (she had the lamb at Ruths Chris Steak House in Washington, the Dover sole at the Four Seasons in New York).Quite sensibly, Ezra was struck by Healys interest in what Clinton eats (and where). The message is about as subtle as George Allen placing a deer head in the NAACP's mailbox, he wrote. So far as The New York Times is concerned, Hillary will have no secrets. Not about entree preferences, not about anything.
For ourselves, we wouldnt swear that Healy wanted to send the message Klein describes. Klein may be too sane to grasp this (wed hardly blame him), but as weve noted again and again, this press corps is simply in love with trivia, as dimwit elites always are. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar—and ditto an order of Dover sole. It may be that Healy was simply doing what his cohort does best—flailing about, looking for ways to kill time and avoid talking substance.
But the revelation of entree preferences sometimes serves actual purposes. During Campaign 2000, the New York Times repeatedly published the menus from Gores fund-raising dinners. (Link below. Bushs menus were not published.) Heres the grisly Katharine Kit Seelye, dishing the menu from one such event:
SEELYE (3/22/00): About 30 people ("solicitors" in campaign finance jargon) brought $5,000 each and lunched on sesame-seared salmon and pistachio mousse with the vice president at small tables set up in the Wallachs' living room.Three days later, Richard Oppel followed suit, reporting the latest in upscale edibles:
OPPEL (3/25/00): At a later dinner...33 people expected to donate $15,000 each were to dine on crabmeat parfait, quail stuffed with squash, and pecan pie.Lets say it again. Corresponding menus didnt get published from Bushs many fund-raising sinners. Sane people might be inclined to think that this was just a coincidence. But if you followed Seelye (and her editors) during Campaign 2000, you might have different instincts.
Yep! Fancy menus can be a great way to spread an idea about a Big Pol. Pistachio mousse? And crabmeat parfait? Such fancy-pants details let readers know that the pol isnt an average person, like you and your favorite uncle may be. Meanwhile, Seelye never stopped with her clownish attempts to let readers know that Gore luvved Big Money. For example, heres one of the ludicrous news reports she filed from Gores fund-raisers:
SEELYE (4/17/00): The sweet scent of jasmine wafted up the leafy hillsides, the lights of Los Angeles twinkled below, and the cash register ca-CHINGed until it was stuffed with $2.8 million.Yes, the idiot Seelye actually wrote it—and the idiots who ran her put it in print. (For a fuller treatment of ca-CHINGS and menus from Campaign 2K, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/15/06.)
The Times dined out on Gores seared salmon. Seven years later, why is Healey sniffing around, keeping track of Clintons entrees? Who knows? It may be that hes simply frustrated, lacking new ways to sniff Clintons sheets (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/25/06). But make no mistake. These fatuous people actually are David Brooks dimwit over-class. And their past behavior toward the Clintons and Gore has been as clear as a bell.
Did Klein read Healeys message right? We dont have the slightest idea. But almost surely, theres more to come from the Times Sole Man. This time, were glad Ezras watching.
FRAMING THE SAINTS: If Clinton is the Dem nominee, how will our pundit over-class act? Wednesday morning, Mike Barnicle and Don Imus discussed their cohorts greatest saints—the manly saints, Saints John and Rudy:
IMUS (1/3/07): [Giuliani] is leading in all the polls, isnt he? But how long is that going to last?We noticed several things about this discussion—the kind of discussion which helps shape thinking about Campaign 08.
First, Giuliani isnt leading in all the polls. Hillary Clinton beats him in several recent polls—and she leads McCain in some major polls too. (By seven points in the last Newsweek poll.) These polls arent hugely useful at this point. But the boys misstatement of this info struck us as perfectly typical.
Second, Clintons name never came up in the course of this discussion. (Obama and Edwards werent mentioned either.) Lets get specific: Would Hillary Clinton be better than this guy [Bush] and the guys around him? The gentlemen never quite managed to say. They talked about their cohorts saints. No other names need apply.
Lets sketch in a bit of the background here. Barnicle is part of the pundit corps sprawling Irish mafia—an influential, numerous group (especially within NBC, where they rule). As a group, they led the attacks against Clinton and Gore, then supported Kerry in 04. But uh-oh! They dont like the kind of very nasal woman they see in the person of Hillary Clinton (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/3/07). And yes, as self-described northeastern urban ethnics, they tend to identify with Saint Rudy. Saint John seems quite manly too.
Result? Rudy is Americas Mayor. And Rudy is leading in all the polls. One is a slogan, the other is false. But theyll say such things till the cows come home—unless we find ways to stop them.
Doing so would be easier, of course, if liberal leaders hadnt spent the past ten years working hard to avoid discussing this cohorts conduct toward Clinton and Gore. Weve worked quite hard to make ourselves marks—to keep voters barefoot and clueless.