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Daily Howler: As MS continued its very bad pattern, a very good question emerged
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A VERY GOOD QUESTION! As MS continued its very bad pattern, a very good question emerged: // link // print // previous // next //

KRUGMAN SPEAKS: Needless to say, Paul Krugman’s new column is very important. Those “Clinton rules” have shaped American life over the course of the past sixteen years—and the endless use of the Clinton rules has helped the GOP maintain its hold on American power. In their single most important achievement, these rules sent George W. Bush to the White House. (Once there, he sent the U.S. to Iraq.) Krugman explains that here:

KRUGMAN (2/11/08): I call it Clinton rules, but it’s a pattern that goes well beyond the Clintons. For example, Al Gore was subjected to Clinton rules during the 2000 campaign: anything he said, and some things he didn’t say (no, he never claimed to have invented the Internet), was held up as proof of his alleged character flaws.

For Candidate Gore, as for the Clintons, Krugman’s earlier description is perfectly accurate: Under terms of those vile Clinton rules, the press corps will “treat any action or statement, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.”

We’ll disagree with one thing Krugman says; if Obama becomes the Dem nominee, we’ll be surprised if he’s subjected to the full Clinton/Gore rules. In 2004, for example, Candidate Kerry didn’t get the full treatment; his treatment by the press wasn’t good—at times, it was horrendous—but important press elements which trashed Gore the hardest plainly supported Kerry. (Chris Matthews and the whole Imus gang, for example.) But let’s put that to the side. The public would have been much better served if they’d read columns like Krugman’s long ago—if our “liberal intellectual leaders” had told them the truth in real time.

But alas! The truth about “the Clinton rules” has been disappeared for all these years, going back to the early 1990s; famous people have shut their mouths well, including many of your great liberal heroes. For that reason, many citizens were surprised when they read Evgenia Peretz’s superb report in Vanity Fair last fall. Once again, we’ll ask you to ponder: Why were obvious facts like the ones she discussed being discussed only now?

“Hate Springs Eternal,” Krug’s headline states. For the current work of one major hater, read the post below. This man has hated long and well. He has followed “the Clinton rules” lovingly.

FRANKLY, THAT’S UGLY STUFF: Frank Rich got a few things right in Sunday’s “please give us race war” column. (Headline: “Next Up for the Democrats: Civil War.”) To wit:

1) Hillary Clinton’s event on the Hallmark channel last week actually was rather dull.

2) She did have Carole Simpson, an African-American, serving as her moderator.

3) There weren’t any African-Americans among the people who asked questions. Yes, there were several Hispanics.

Frankly, Rich got those basic facts right as he begged the gods for that war. But then, things went straight downhill from there.

You see, Rich is a long-time Clinton/Gore-hater, a man who spent the entire year of 2000 telling you there was no difference between the twin phonies, Bush and Gore (links below). That “analysis” demonstrated an obvious fact—Rich’s hatred often makes him see things in a very strange way. When we read the following part of Sunday’s column, for instance, we recalled one of his stupid (and nasty) past trashings of fake/phony/Clintonesque Gore:

RICH (2/10/08): The [Clinton] campaign's other most potent form of currency remains its thick deck of race cards. This was all too apparent in the Hallmark show. In its carefully calibrated cross section of geographically and demographically diverse cast members—young, old, one gay man, one vet, two union members—African-Americans were reduced to also-rans. One black woman, the former TV correspondent Carole Simpson, was given the servile role of the meeting's nominal moderator, Ed McMahon to Mrs. Clinton's top banana. Scattered black faces could be seen in the audience. But in the entire televised hour, there was not a single African-American questioner, whether to toss a softball or ask about the Clintons' own recent misadventures in racial politics.

Frankly, that’s Rich! Only Rich could see the use of Simpson as one of the Clintons’ “thick deck of race cards.” (She was cast in the “servile” role!) And not only that: There were only “scattered black faces in the audience” when Clinton spoke that night! But uh-oh! We thought back to what Rich said after seeing Gore’s history-changing film, An Inconvenient Truth. You see, Rich is a long-time Clinton/Gore-hater. And haters only love one thing—hate:

RICH (5/28/06): Though many of the rave reviews don't mention it, there are also considerable chunks of ''An Inconvenient Truth'' that are more about hawking Mr. Gore's image than his cause. They also bring back unflattering memories of him as a politician. The movie contains no other voices that might upstage him, not even those of scientists supporting his argument. It is instead larded with sycophantic audiences, as meticulously multicultural as any Benetton ad, who dote on every word and laugh at every joke, like the studio audience at ''Live With Regis and Kelly.''

You see how the world can look when you hate? Clinton didn’t have enough black faces—but Gore apparently had too many! When Gore didn’t have an all-white crowd, that showed what a big fake he was!

And there you see the vile, purblind soul of a nasty old Clinton/Gore-hater. Talk about a man playing race cards! Frank Rich had no earthly idea how the audiences in Gore’s film were assembled. But so what? He drew from his own “thick deck of cards,” criticizing Gore because a few black faces could be seen in the crowd. If we were like Rich, we would have asked this: Is it hard for Rich to imagine that blacks would attend a lecture like Gore’s on their own? When Rich sees minorities in that crowd, why must he assume they were placed there? In fact, we discussed Rich’s loony column at great length—without asking such nasty, insinuative questions. But Rich plays such cards all through his new piece—as he begs the gods for that war.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at some of the cards Rich chose to play in his nasty new column. For now, let’s recall a few more ways this stupid old crone trashed fake, phony Gore—as he continued to trash the film which would change the world and win Gore the Nobel Peace Prize. Just remember what Krugman said about the way those “Clinton rules” work. Here’s what a Clinton/Gore-hater said about An Inconvenient Truth:

RICH (continuing directly): We are also treated to a heavy-handed, grainy glimpse of Katherine Harris, Michael Moore-style, and are reminded that Mr. Gore is not a rigid blue-state N.R.A. foe (he shows us where he shot his rifle as a farm kid in Tennessee). There's even an ingenious bit of fearmongering to go head to head with the Republicans' exploitation of 9/11: in a worst-case climactic scenario, we're told, the World Trade Center memorial ''would be under water.'' Given so blatant a political context, the film's big emotional digressions—Mr. Gore's tragic near-loss of his young son and the death of his revered older sister from lung cancer—are as discomforting as they were in his 1992 and 1996 convention speeches.

If ''An Inconvenient Truth'' isn't actually a test drive for a presidential run, it's the biggest tease since Colin Powell encouraged speculation about his political aspirations during his 1995 book tour. Mr. Gore's nondenial denials about his ambitions (he has ''no plans'' to run) are Clintonesque.

See? To Rich’s sharp eye, Gore’s warning that Manhattan could end up under water made him a “fearmonger,” just like George Bush! (Again!) Indeed, the film that would earn him the Nobel Prize was just Gore’s latest phony attempt to stage a run for the White House! (You know—the run that never occurred?) But then, this stupid old crone had said the very same thing back in the fall of 2002, when Gore rose to warn the nation against going to war in Iraq. He said it because he plans to run for the White House, this stupid old hate-lover said at the time. To quote Krugman: They will “treat any action or statement, no matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.”

Let’s review Rich’s brilliant insights: In 2002, Gore’s prescient warning about Iraq was a fake/phony ploy in his run for the White House. As it turned out, Gore didn’t run for the White House—but four years later, Rich said the same thing about Gore’s prescient film! And then, of course, the final blow in Rich’s column: When Gore said he had no plans to run in 2008, that showed that he was “Clintonesque!” For this stupid group of haters, that is always the crowning blow—the cherry they toss atop the pile, on their bonfire of nasty inanities.

So remember who this old crone is when he begs the gods for that war. For ourselves, we too would be (mildly) curious about the fact that no blacks asked questions at the Hallmark event; we wonder what the Clinton campaign would have said if Rich had bothered to ask them about it. (Who knows? Maybe he asked, and got an answer that didn’t help his column.) But Frankly, only Rich could see Simpson hosting that night and run right to a nasty old race card—to the old racial insult, “servile.” But then, Rich has a keen eye for racial bad faith. Remember: In Gore’s crowd, he saw too many blacks. In Clinton’s crowd, not quite enough.

But that’s the way these old crones work; it’s the way they’ve worked for the past sixteen years. It isn’t just crazy-kook Dowd, after all. Tomorrow: Frank Rich begs for war.

PLAYING THE “CLINTONESQUE” CARD: For these barely sane Clinton/Gore-haters, it has always been the last word: Rich said Gore was “Clintonesque” as he trashed his fake/phony film. He then rushed off to share his views with his favorite racial healer, Don Imus. Speaking to his deeply sensitive friend, Rich said An Inconvenient Truth is “like at the high end of those good-for-you movies that you used to have to watch in high school.” Good God! As it turned out, that “good-for-you high school movie” won director Davis Guggenheim an Oscar. Rich’s utterly brainless remark helps show us how hate dulls the senses.

But then, Rich hardly started this nonsense. Seven years earlier, Margaret Carlson called Gore Clintonesque when he dared to get off his stool to answer citizens’ questions! See THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/24/08, to get an idea of what Krugman meant when he said that these Clinton/Gore-haters “treat any action or matter how innocuous, as proof of evil intent.” (Or bad character.)

In closing, let’s make sure we understand what a crackpot Rich has been on these subjects. To Rich, Gore was a fake during Campaign 2000. Two years later, Gore was denounced as a fake when he warned about going to war with Iraq. Four years after that, Gore was denounced as a fake when his film came out—the film which changed the world and won that Oscar. Indeed, it was only when Gore won the Nobel Prize that this big crone came to see things anew. Now, Al Gore is the world’s greatest man—so declared by the world’s dumbest hater.

Rich has lived by those Clinton rules. Tomorrow, he begs for that war.

VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Rich has trashed Gore down through the years. For our six-part review of his endless bad judgment, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/9/06. Frank Rich has lived by the Clinton rules. The whole world has paid a large price.

Special report: Long-standing mess!

PART ONE—A VERY GOOD QUESTION: In the past year, MSNBC has begun assembling quite an impressive track record. Three high points stand out:

April 2007: Dim-witted morning man Don Imus is forced to apologize—and is later fired—for saying that an impressive group of young women look like a bunch of “nappy-headed hos.” (In this case, Imus plainly messed with the wrong person—Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer.)

January 2008: Hardball host Chris Matthews is forced to apologize for reams of gender-based insults aimed at Hillary Clinton. (A string of colleagues bellow and wail—about how badly Matthews has been treated.)

February 2008: Matthews apologist David Shuster is forced to apologize—then is suspended—for saying that Chelsea Clinton was “being pimped out in a weird way.” (Honoring his network’s overall credo, Shuster makes several inaccurate statements in his forced mea culpa.)

Gee. Does anyone see any possible patterns emerging from this conduct? Let’s see: The Rutgers women were “hos.” Hillary Clinton is an “uppity” “strip-teaser” who has a “shrill” voice and a laugh that’s a “cackle.” And of course, she’s been “pimping out” her daughter. Can anyone see any possible pattern in the conduct at this broken-souled channel?

Clearly, one of this network’s patterns involves kooky gender disorder. As has been clear for many years, this dumbest of all the cable networks (oh yes—even dumber than Fox) has been packed with knuckle-dragging, white male throw-backs—the sorts of fellows who are “reminded of strip-teasers” (Matthews) when a woman runs for the White House. Matthews has been a visible gender nut for a long time. Only now, after many years, libs and Dems have begun to fight back.

But another pattern is evident here—and this one involves party politics. More particularly, it involves the mainstream press corps’ sixteen-year war against both Clintons and Gore. This brings us around to a very good question posed by a Digby commenter.

On Friday, Digby offered this sensible post about this network’s long-standing gender disorder. One of her commenters—a sensible person named Ellie—offered this perfectly sensible question about a public crackpot, Chris Matthews:

DIGBY COMMENTER (2/8/08): How does this on-camera stalker continue to have a forum for his years and years of Clinton-hatred?

That’s a perfectly sensible, very good question, posed three days before Krugman’s column. What has enabled this man’s Clinton-hatred? Before we answer that very good question, we’ll look at a new profile of Matthews—and at a whole lot of comments.

TOMORROW—PART 2: Unheard of! A profile of Matthews!