THE THING FROM THE SWAMP! Future scientists will demand the right to dig up Richard Cohen: // link // print // previous // next //
TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2008
OTHERS WERE BOLLIXED: Our service provider was bollixed on Monday. Weve posted late, and then moved on. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/21/08. Or then again, you might just skip it.
SIXTY-MINUTE MAN: We mordantly chuckled as we read Bob Herberts column in todays Times. No one is talking about education, he laments as he starts:
Presumably, Herbert is criticizing the press and pundit corpsthe people who have spent their time discussing those gutter balls. But go ahead: Read this entire column. See if you find a single word about what is wrong with American schools. See if you find a single word about how they might be improved.
Essentially, Herbert lunched with Allan Golston, Bill and Melinda Gates point man for U. S. educational issues. He then rounded up the usual stats about how dumb our school kids are. But what is actually wrong with our schools? In what way could they be improved? Herbert doesnt say what Golston thinks. And he expresses no view of his own.
Uh-oh! Barring the time for that working lunch, this columns a classic 60-minute special. Anyone on earth could have written it. Its utterly worthless, except as a way to showcase high-minded intentions.
No one will talk about education? Unfortunately, when mainstream writers do choose to speak, heartfelt palaver of this type has long been quite routine. This sort of thing has been the norm for at least the past forty years.
This just in, by courier: This columns sub-headline: The schools arent teaching our kids what they need to know.
If that happens, then one thing is certain: In the future, scientists will demand the right to dig upand examineRichard Cohen. Theyll demand that right on the basis of columns like the one in this mornings Post.
It isnt hard to summarize: When Hillary Clinton misstates, she lies. Indeed, she just cant help herself. (You will note, if you examine this piece, that Cohen gives few examples.) But when a certain straight-talker misstates, he remains the worlds greatest known human:
When McCain fudges and swallows, its always done for understandable reasons. For unknown reasons, Cohen has to revert to the spring of 2000 to come up with an example.
In our time, liberal elites have persistently agreed to avert their gaze from columns like this. But in the future, scientists will notice the sheer absurdity of this sort of writing. They will doubt that flesh and blood of this earth could possibly have produced such work. They will demand the right to dig Cohen up, to see what this life-form was made of.
After all, this isnt the first time that Cohen has built a column around a tortured comparison between this saint and this sinner. In February 2000, these same two people were running for officeand Cohen was troubled to see that Clinton just wasnt having any fun on the trail. As his kind almost always is, he was annoyed because Candidate Clinton had discussed many policy issues. He started off in a highly snide way, as his kind always does:
No, you cant get dumber than thatand future scientists will surely notice. By the way, this was one of the columns where Cohen discussed the big fun on a certain saints bus:
In an earlier column, Cohen had explained what all that fun consisted in. No One Like McCain, the headline said. The fun consisted in this:
As you may know, Cohen spent part of his time in this era getting called on the carpet for talking dirty to an attractive young female employee as he puttered around the office, presumably in his slippers. In the remainder of this time, he rode around New Hampshire with a smelly old coot, laughing and laughing about fashion models, and about stripper ex-girl friends. And, of course, he liked to trash Naomi Wolf. Warning: The quotation which started this tragic column was bogus. It was a phantom:
It would be hard to convey the full stupidity of that tragic column. (It appeared on Day Two of the press corps month-long trashing of Wolf.) In paragraph 2, Cohen recited his cohorts latest credo: Al Gore doesnt know who he is! Six days earlier, they had hissed and jeered Gore for the full hour during his first debate with Bill Bradley. Who else is on the payroll, AlRichard Simmons? Cohen asked at a later point.
For the record: In mocking Wolf (and through her, Gore), Cohen was mocking a 37-year-old former Rhodes Scholars who had written three acclaimed best-sellers, two of them picked by the New York Times as notable books of the year. He was mocking someone who had been praised for her prescient analyses when she advised the Clinton campaign, just three years before. (Her husband was a Clinton speech-writer.) He was mocking someone who had long been regarded as an expert by his admittedly daft fraternitywho had been invited on Meet the Press in late 1997 to discuss gender issues, for example. (Tim Russert had booked a two-guest sessionWolf and William Bennett.) But for the record, that quotation which Cohen mocked didnt appear in Wolfs actual work (not that it would have mattered)though it did (mistakenly) appear in a 1994 Esquire piece, which some hit-squad had fed to Cohen (details below). However he got the Esquire piece, he ran with the quote, and, as always, he embellished freely. (Other Wolf excerpts in the piece were in fact perfectly repeatable. So was the vast majority of Wolfs work, which Cohen didnt seem to have read.) But at any rate, that exciting quote about rockets and whirlpools didnt appear in Fire with Fire. Cohen was too stupid to know this, of courseand too indifferent to the affairs of the world which afflict your own human kind.
Todays Cohen column is hardly new, although its dumb-foundingly stupid. Like so many in his cohort, he has spent the past decade mocking people like Clinton and Gore, and laughing and laughing with the great straight-talker who recalled ancient exploits in Rio. And by the way: This isnt the first time Cohen has recoiled at Clintons vastly disturbing lies. As we showed you just last week, he had done so in June 1999. Bungling grossly, of course:
By that time, Cohen had had an entire month to learn that his own newspaper had published two profiles, in 1993 and 1994, referring to Clintons youthful Yankee attachment. But so what? He loved the chance to tell his readers what a Big Liar this vile creature was. His colleagues had had their fun with this tale. On this day, he would have his. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/16/08.
In our age, fiery liberals write name-dropping columns name-dropping Cohen as their friend. This helps explain why his pitiful work has been accepted through all these Dem-trashing years. In the future, scientists wont worry about invitations to the best Cohen-era parties. Separated from that conflict, theyll demand the right to dig Cohen up, to find out what type of life-form he was. Come to think of it, they might consider digging up his liberal enablers while theyre at it. They tolerated the columns which drove this erathe columns which sent George W. Bush to the White House, which sent the U.S. to Iraq.
WHERE DID COHEN GET THAT ARTICLE: Esquires 1994 profile of young feminist writers wasnt available on-line, or at Nexis. Presumably, someone had fed it to Cohen. (Unless hes such a smelly old coot that he keeps mens magazines under his bed.) And yes, the swamp things were being fed as the press corps Month of Wolf got started. On the same day that Cohens column appeared, the Washington Times Andrew Cain reported one such feeding action:
Weve also been told, by someone who would know, that elements within the Gore campaign were sending around the dirty parts from Wolfs acclaimed books, trying to undermine her. In the current political era, Democrats have been endlessly harmed by self-dealing vultures of this type. (Bushs aides have been much more loyal.) For the latest record of this self-dealing conduct, see the latest cover piece by the plugged-in, if pointless, Michelle Cottle.
These people refused to be loyal to Gore; today, they play the same way with Clinton. Future scientists might want to dig them up toothough they strike us as all too human.
OBAMA IS TOLERABLE TOO: Cohen can tolerate Obama too. Here is his account:
Of course, you could make Obama a liar tooif you played by Cohens Clinton rules. But Cohen doesnt want to do it. Modern liberals avert their gaze from thisbut future scientists wont.