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Daily Howler: Until we explain this tribe to the public, they'll live on--to slaughter again
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THREE EASY PIECES! Until we explain this tribe to the public, they’ll live on—to slaughter again: // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2007

MANY INSULTS, ZERO EXAMPLES: Bob Herbert’s column today is astounding. We may not be able to post tomorrow. But we’ll try to get to it.

STRAIGHT OUTTA THE BOYZ CLUB: What a sad post by Kevin Drum, concerning a possible race between Clinton and Giuliani. As we said, just sad—and saddening:
DRUM (2/26/07): That would be a hell of a campaign, wouldn't it? Two New Yorkers, playing out the unfinished grudge match of their 2000 Senate race. A mayor vs. a senator. The first major party female candidate in history. And just possibly the two toughest, most polarizing, most single-mindedly ambitious politicians on the national stage today. I hope we all survive.
“I hope we all survive,” Kevin cries. Sweet reason has already failed to.

Good God! Kevin!! Can anyone explain what it means to say that Giuliani and Clinton are “just possibly the two most single-mindedly ambitious politicians on the national stage today?” For example, what makes Giuliani more ambitious than Romney—or than McCain, who has turned himself into pretzels twice in his endless pursuit of the White House? And what makes Clinton more ambitious than Edwards? Or than Obama? Clinton? The person who spent the first thirty years of her adult life deferring to somebody else’s ambitions? This statement—by Kevin Drum, of all people—is so butt-stupid it hurts.

And then, the use of “polarizing!” You can certainly frame a narrow definition under which Kevin’s statement fits Clinton. (We have no idea why it fits Giuliani, who has disturbingly good numbers among Dem voters.) But some pols are “polarizing” because of things they have done; others are “polarizing” because of what’s been done to them. Our question: What did Clinton do in the past fifteen years to put herself into the former category? Say that she could have stayed home and baked cookies? Hillary Clinton is a “polarizing” figure in that a lot of dumb-asses irrationally hate her—just as they were later trained to hate Gore. But that’s because Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Pat Buchanan spent fifteen years talking trash about her. (And of course, because she’s a multiple murderer. Let’s not forget that blot on her record.) But so what? Today, Kevin puts that outcome on her. It’s pure Jim Nicholson spin—bred to a cave boy’s heart.

Final note from this profoundly sad post: “Two New Yorkers, playing out the unfinished grudge match of their 2000 Senate race?” In what way was Clinton involved in a “grudge match?” Yes, this dovetails with the dumbest stereotypes of “New Yorkers,” so it may feel good forty miles from L.A. But in what way was Clinton involved in a “grudge match?” In November 1999, she announced she was running for the Senate. A few months later, Giuliani—who had never announced he was running—said he’d decided not to run. Giuliani never even entered the race; technically, no such race ever existed! But so what? Today, we’re told that crazily ambitious Witch Clinton will get a chance to finish her “grudge match.” It’s a grudge match that never existed, except in the minds of the worried young lads who find her presence unsettling.

Let’s say it. Thanks to the tortured minds of the broken boys who persist in running the affairs of our world, women will never succeed at matters like these until they’re two or three times as good. Like the idiot Geffen before him, Kevin Drum can tell who’s ambitious. As it always turns out—it’s the girl!

[Edited for name-calling insults.]

HOW HILLARY GOT TO BE POLARIZING: How did Clinton become so “polarizing?” Here’s Pat Buchanan at the 1992 Republican convention in Houston. When you say that Hillary Clinton is “polarizing,” this is pretty much what you mean:
BUCHANAN (8/17/92): “Elect me, and you get two for the price of one,” Mr. Clinton says of his lawyer-spouse. And what—and what does Hillary believe? Well, Hillary believes that 12-year-olds should have the right to sue their parents, and Hillary has compared marriage and the family as institutions to slavery and life on an Indian reservation. Well, speak for yourself, Hillary! [laughter]

This—this, my friends, this is radical feminism, the agenda that Clinton and Clinton would impose on America: abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat units. That's change, all right, but that's not the kind of change America needs, it's not the kind of change America wants, and it's not the kind of change we can abide in a nation we still call God's country.
Congratulations, Kevin! That’s how Clinton became “polarizing.” Here’s a second bite of the fruit:
BUCHANAN: Friends, this election is about much more than who gets what. It is about who we are. It is about what we believe and what we stand for as Americans. There is a religious war going on in this country. It is a cultural war as critical to the kind of nation we shall be as the Cold War itself, for this war is for the soul of America. And in that struggle for the soul of America, Clinton and Clinton are on the other side, and George Bush is on our side. And so to the Buchanan brigades out there, we have to come home and stand beside George Bush.
Yep. That’s how Clinton became “polarizing.” And, of course, she became even more “polarizing” when Gennifer Flowers was invited on TV to say these things to Chris Matthews:
MATTHEWS (8/2/99): Now what do you think of Hillary's sort of role here in this role of offering herself up as the therapy nurse, and he's the JD—juvenile delinquent from the troubled background, and she's looking out for him all these years, and she ought to get rewarded for that with a Senate seat?

FLOWERS: Well, in the first place, I—you know, I hope that she does not succeed at becoming a United States senator from New York. I think that would be a travesty. We've had enough of these people, these criminals, these liars, these murderers. We need to get them out of political office, please.

MATTHEWS: Murderers?

FLOWERS: I—I—well, there is a Clinton death list if anyone would like to go to my Web site and, and take a look at it.
See, Kevin? Chris thought the bitch was too ambitious too! And so did the weak-minded boys at Fox, who enjoyed the following conversation as they showed a dated photo from the 70s. A few days earlier, Bill Clinton had described how he fell in love with his wife when they were students in law school. In response, Brit Hume posted the photo of a young Mrs. Clinton—a photo which he found unattractive. For the next several minutes, Hume’s panel broadcast their views straight outta the Fox News Boyz Club. Just try to believe that they did this:
HUME (8/23/99): The picture he paints of Mrs. Clinton is of a sort of a femme fatale. Now that’s about what she looked like then [group laughter]. And one—one can’t help but wonder about this [group laughter].

[snip]

JUAN WILLIAMS: The problem, Tod, is that nobody can believe, one, that she was this beautiful woman in college—anyone who’s seen the pictures—and, two, who can believe that she didn’t know that this guy was a skirt-chaser all along?

JEFFREY BIRNBAUM: Well, I should point out, about the love-in-college part, that love is blind [group laughter]. But that also—
HUME: Well, he never said she was beautiful. He said she was “compelling looking.” And that she may well have been [group laughter].
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Disgraceful, wasn’t it? For the record, Birnbaum will say any damn thing to be one of the boys, and Williams has been accused of sexual harassment during his career at the Post. (As of 1999, the episode hadn’t had much effect on his half-witted, crude sensibility.) For the record, Tod Lindberg refused to take part in this display of group “humor.” But no one complained about this in the press. E. J. Dionne was a good boy, as always. No female pundit said boo.

Yep! That was the atmosphere in cable “news” as Gore was attempting to run for the White House. But Clinton stuck it out—due to her witch-like ambition—and she won her “grudge match” with Giuliani.

How did Clinton get to be “polarizing?” At THE HOWLER, we can recall. We get the feeling that Kevin does not. (There are endless examples we could cite. We’ve skipped the pornographic Christmas ornaments she used on the tree in the White House.) But then, you know the ways of the world. These boyz have always been like that. Michelle Wie? OK, we’ll let her play. Clinton? No, not so much.

Special report: Oscar loves “Truth!”


THREE EASY PIECES: It must have been David Geffen’s idea—to have Jerry Seinfeld serve as “presenter” for last night’s Best Documentary Oscar. As Digby said in yesterday’s post, the film that would go on to win this award “may be the most important movie ever made.” So how did Hollywood handle the honors? Of course! They had Seinfeld go out and kill five minutes telling stale jokes about stale jujubes—and then, in his final word, he described the nominated films as “five incredibly depressing movies.” Almost anyone would have been a more appropriate presenter in this category—some Hollywood folk would have been superb—and, ironically, five minutes of Jerry’s silly stand-up would have been a gift from the gods almost anywhere else in this mind-numbing program. So it must have been Geffen who put Seinfeld into that spot, where he undercut the moment so badly. Could anyone other than David Geffen possibly be quite that dumb?

(Maybe Geffen was working with the Post’s Tom Shales, who couldn’t wait to tell the world that Gore seemed a little too fat. Where do these idiots come from?)

That said, we were thrilled last night to see Al Gore honored on such an important world stage. And let’s note this: We all owe a debt of gratitude to Laurie David and the other producers who worked to being this film into being. And to director Davis Guggenheim, who fashioned the beautiful moment at the end of the film which brought at least one Baltimore audience to a moment of absolute, perfect silence. We were deeply moved that night—by the film, and then by that audience.

We were also thrilled to see Melissa Etheridge win the Oscar for best song. The last time we saw An Inconvenient Truth, we were struck by how good that song is. We began rooting for Etheridge to win that night. We’re thrilled that the academy’s nominators and voters heard the same thing we did.

Now, let’s say a few more words about what happened on stage last night—and about what will happen, to a limited degree, in the mainstream press corps this week.

This week, you may see a few more exemplary reports like this front-page offering from yesterday’s Post. In it, William Booth noted the obvious—Gore is now a “global celebrity.” And he finally let a former Gore aide state things which are merely obvious:

BOOTH (2/25/07): Gore is escaping the fate of most former politicians, says Matt Bennett, a consultant for Democrats who worked closely with Gore during his vice presidency...

Bennett credits savvy handling by people around Gore, including the documentary-makers. And he says the world is catching up with Gore. "Look, this guy was a visionary. He was right about everything, even the stuff he was ridiculed for," Bennett says. "He was right about the Internet, he was right about the first Gulf War, he was sure as hell right about the Iraq war. And he was right about global warming."
“He was right about everything,” Bennett is quoted saying—in paragraph 27 of Booth’s 29-paragraph piece.

More below on the “ridicule” Bennett cited. But let’s say a few words about what happened last night—and about the things you’ll see in the mainstream press corps this week.

Why was Gore at the Oscars on Sunday, instead of sitting inside the White House? (Corollary: Why is the U. S Army in Iraq?) Once again, because it’s important: If you want to understand the answer, we suggest that you click back to Friday’s HOWLER and follow these three easy steps:

First step: Read the way the mainstream press described Earth in the Balance in 1992. In fact, everyone knew Gore was right even then, years before all that ridicule started. Bennett’s statement might make it sound like this realization is new. Reread those reviews. It isn’t.

Second step: Read the way the mainstream press corps (often grudgingly, with “nerd” and “geek” jokes) describes the science of An Inconvenient Truth. Their praise is often grudging—and it’s often withheld. But again this week, manhy people are saying it. Omigod! Gore was right from the start!

And then, the all-important third step: Go ahead! Go back and read what the New York Times put on its front page in November 1999, when it revisited Earth in the Balance as part of its “coverage” of Campaign 2000. Go ahead—reread what the Times told you then. By this time, the lunacy of the 90s was reaching its peak—and the mainstream press corps was eager to tell you that Al Gore was just a big f*cking nut. The “ridicule” of Gore started in March; by November, it had reached hurricane force. And so, in her disgraceful front-page report, Michiko Kakutani barely told readers what Gore’s brilliant book had said. She didn’t note that it had been a best-seller, and she certainly didn’t let readers know that its scholarship had been lavishly praised by the nation’s science writers. (Including environmental writer Gina Maranto, right in Kakutani’s own Times.) Sorry! Her cohort’s agenda was different now; in every paragraph she wrote about Earth, Kakutani insinuated that Gore might not be “all there.” She talked about his book’s “loony asides” and “strange images”—saying that the “loony asides” may help explain one of his “curious affinities.” (For Naomi Wolf, who she clownishly cited four times.) Kakutani said that Gore had suffered a “mid-life crisis” (making it sound like Gore had said this); she told you he’d gone into therapy after that. She told you he wrote “in impersonal terms” about the issues of dysfunctional families—and she implied that he had grown up in such a family, saying that Gore hadn’t received “unconditional love” from his parents. She quoted everything Gore ever said about his upbringing which that made it sound like there was some kind of problem. She forget to say that he’d praised his dad, just one year earlier, as “the greatest man I ever knew in my life.”
It would take a more skilled writing team than ours to describe the depth of Kakutani’s indecency. We can say this: In almost nine years at THE DAILY HOWLER, we have never seen anything as disingenuous—as corrupt—as the way she pulled a few sentences out of context (from page 213—with key words left out!), then pretended that the doctored passage showed us the “strange”-ness of Gore’s loony book. But again, it’s as we told you on Friday: When you follow the three easy steps we’ve suggested, you’ll start to see the size of the scam the “mainstream” “press corps” played on the public for twenty straight months during Campaign 2000. They knew he was right in 1992. They know he was right again today. But in Campaign 2000, they pretended to think something different—and they sent George Bush to the White House.

So yes; for better or worse, that’s why Gore was on stage last night and not in the White House. And that’s why your army is in Iraq, instead of helping Afghanistan. And by the way: To this very day, our liberal leaders refuse to tell voters about this truly remarkable story. For reasons we can’t begin to grasp, even the most famous libs on the web refuse to discuss this pivotal event—the event which changed the course of world history. (Some of them were actively misstating the facts of this matter as late as 2002.) And this endless silence has massive consequences. Our nominee will be a target next year because our “leaders” refuse to discuss the scam that was played against this nominee. We refuse to explain what happened back then—and so, it will happen again.

To his credit, Booth quotes many supporters and colleagues of Gore as they sing the praises of Gore’s work and character; though he throws in the silly jokes his tribe will never abandon, he does give Gore’s supporters and friends a full chance to discuss his success. But these colleagues pf Gore will not be the ones to tell the story the public should hear. Here, for example, is Guggenheim himself, explaining why Gore is now honored:
BOOTH: "People ask him all the time what does he attribute his recent success to and Gore tells them 'reality,' " says Larry Schweiger, a friend and president of the National Wildlife Federation, who is a leader of Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection, a foundation that seeks to bring evangelicals, hunters, farmers and entrepreneurs to the cause. "They used to ridicule him. They called him a tree-hugger. They don't do that anymore."

Guggenheim explains: "People say to me that Al Gore is so different now. Why wasn't he like this when he ran for president?" Meaning that Gore now appears relaxed, confident, happy, and not stiff, robotic, pinched. "They say Al has changed. But I don't think so. We've changed. The setting has changed. He's the same. When you're running for office, you're a target every moment you are in front of the camera. Now, he's in a different place and we see him in a different way."
Sadly, Larry Schweiger is wrong when he says that Gore is no longer “ridiculed;” just put on the simpering frat boys of MSNBC if you want to be see that notion shattered. On the other hand, Guggenheim is certainly right when he says that it’s “we” who have changed, not Gore—but he doesn’t go far enough to explain what those changes have been. In particular, he doesn’t explain who made Candidate Gore “a target every moment [he was] in front of the camera.” But readers, that isn’t Guggenheim’s job. That’s the job of us on the web.

Who subjected Candidate Gore to that “ridicule?” Who made Candidate Gore such a “target?” And who sent George W. Bush to the White House? Seven years later, our liberal elites still won’t tell! It’s great to see Gore getting praised on page one of the Washington Post. But the story of the Post’s prior conduct still is not getting told.

Why was Gore on stage last night? One more time, follow those three easy steps and you’ll see how Bush reached the White House. By the way, did we mention the fact that Kakutani is Maureen Dowd’s good-buddy friend?

IN THE SHOES OF THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE: Kakutani wanted readers to think that Gore had a hole in his soul. So she didn’t tell them the things Gore had said about his love and respect for his parents. Instead, she picked-and-chose, in an indecent way, then said: He didn’t get enough love! In almost nine years, we’ve never seen a piece that was more disingenuous—a piece that was so indecent.

Kakutani picked-and-chose, then said that Gore was a nut. So you’ll know, here’s part of what Gore had said at his father’s funeral, eleven months earlier. We’ve always thought that Al was exceptionally lucky because he could state this first sentence:

GORE (12/9/98): Of all the lessons he taught me as a father, perhaps the most powerful was the way he loved my mother. He respected her as an equal, if not more. He was proud of her. But it went way beyond that. When I was growing up, it never once occurred to me that the foundation upon which my security depended would ever shake. As I grew older, I learned from them the value of a true, loving partnership that lasts for life.
Al Gore got lucky when he picked out his parents. He also said this, a bit later on:
GORE: Don't ever doubt the impact that fathers have on their children. Children with strong fathers learn trust early on, that their needs will be met, that they're wanted, they have value, they can afford to be secure and confident, they will get the encouragement they need to keep on going through any rough spots they encounter in life.

I learned all those things from my father. He made all the difference.

Boys also learn from their fathers how to be fathers. I know I did.
That’s what Gore thought about his late father. And yes, as we’ve seen, Gore did learn to “keep on going through the rough spots.” Here’s what John Lesher, the distributor of Gore’s film, said in Sunday’s Post:
BOOTH: Lesher explains that, from a marketing and branding perspective, Gore was lugging some very heavy baggage. "Democrats felt disappointed in him, and Republicans didn't like him," he says. "But it worked." How come? What comes through in the film, Lesher says, "is here is this person who has gone through this incredible adversity"—Florida recount, Supreme Court decision, bye-bye White House—"and this is what he decides to do," the one-man slide show, "and so you see this massive integrity.”
In the film, Gore decides “to keep on going.” He had described the process in 1998. But eleven months later, Kakutani was picking-and-choosing from Earth’s “Introduction,” quoting only the parts which sounded unflattering—and saying that Gore was a borderline nutcase who didn’t get enough love from his parents. For better or worse, Kakutani’s indecent conduct—repeated thousands of times, all through the “press corps”—explains why Gore was on stage last night. It explains why he wasn’t in the White House.

But then, Gore was raised by decent people—by parents he always loved and admired. And yes, he stood in their shoes last night. This weekend, as we searched for the statements we’ve posted above, we reread Gore’s funeral oration for his father. If you want to know the long strain of decency which Kakutani held up to that “ridicule,” we strongly suggest that you read the whole thing. To do so, just click here.

Meanwhile, please don’t misunderstand the nature of this eight-year-old transaction. In the past fifteen years, the interests of decent American people have been endlessly slaughtered by an indecent cohort. They’re too rich, they’re too famous; they’re much too dumb. They’re a race of insipid, inane “Antoinettes.” But their tribe controls your national discourse. They slaughtered Gore in 1999, and they slaughtered your nation’s interests in the process. Until we explain this tribe to the public, they’ll live on—and they’ll slaughter again.