Howling Dog Graphic
Point. Click. Search.

Contents: Archives:

Search this weblog
Search WWW
Howler Graphic
by Bob Somerby
E-mail This Page
Socrates Reads Graphic
A companion site.

Site maintained by Allegro Web Communications, comments to Marc.

Howler Banner Graphic
Caveat lector

DAY OF THE TYPISTS! Where did Taranto get his key spin? Where else? From his White House minders:


ALL-AROUND-TOWN CAMPBELL BROWN: Here at THE HOWLER, we’re still in shock over that ludicrous Campbell Brown tax-cut performance (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/30/03). Imagine! Brown has to write 400 words in a week—and is there any part of her hapless report that made a lick of sense? What an outing! It’s almost impossible to be unfair to Bush when it comes to budget flimflam—but Brown is such a nonpareil that she may have even done that! Meanwhile, when she recites “the truth” about those Dem Party “myths”—well, it’s almost impossible to describe the dysfunction displayed by this addled, inept press corps.

The responsibility, of course, lies with Tom Brokaw. Brokaw should hang his head in shame to have introduced such a hapless report. But what do you expect from the pampered prince, lord of all he surveys? For example, let’s remember his stunning lack of discipline during Campaign 2000. Believe it or not, here are the first words Brokaw spoke after Bush and Gore’s first debate:

BROKAW (10/3/00): The conclusion of the first debate. The election is just five weeks from today. It ran about ninety-five minutes altogether. There were some very spirited exchanges. The two candidates stuck to their fundamental positions. You did have a feeling that if you’d asked Vice President Gore what he had for breakfast today he would have said, “Two eggs over-easy, coffee and a waiter who was complaining about the tax cut of the Texas governor.”
Incredible, isn’t it? And of course, you’ll think we’re making this up. But no—Brokaw simply couldn’t wait to start mocking the claims that Gore had made. But why should anyone have been surprised? Here were his first remarks after Gore’s convention speech. No, we didn’t make this up either:
BROKAW (8/17/00): Vice President Al Gore, with one mention of Bill Clinton, saying “I am my own man” here tonight. Separating himself in one small way, at least. He ran through the speech in about 45 minutes. Bill Clinton would have been going until about 11:15.
Incredible! On that occasion, Brokaw couldn’t wait to give his viewers their first shot at a Clinton joke. Translation: If Gore was trying to “separate himself,” Uncle Tom had no plan to help out.

It’s almost impossible to comprehend these pampered incompetents’ sense of entitlement. But on the bright side, Brown, at least, had some old-fashioned fun at the press corps’ Big Dinner this weekend. You know the drill. After they hand themselves piles of awards, pundits head off for an evening of fun. Lloyd Grove will handle the honors:

GROVE: [W]e did clearly see a not-quite-Cinderella encounter between Sir Richard Branson, the suave, cigarette-smoking CEO of Virgin Atlantic Airways, and NBC’s glam, cigarette-smoking White House correspondent, Campbell Brown…

[I]n the wee hours, Branson removed one of Brown’s sparkly high-heeled sandals and stowed it in an undisclosed location, requiring her to traipse through the throng unshod until he finally relented and restored the missing footgear. Was this the beginning of something beautiful?

“He’s very nice, but I’m not big on zillionaires,” Brown demurred. “I tend to fall for the nerdy intellectual types.”

Readers are free to emit mordant chuckles about that final remark. Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about Brown-on-the-town, just click ahead to this crucial report. It’s an important piece from the Post magazine: “Four prominent Washington-area residents explain why they love their living rooms.”

Readers, don’t overlook our incomparable point. Our public discourse lies in the hands of a hugely inept, hugely pampered elite. Have you ever noticed this crowd’s effect on America’s inept public discourse?

MOST TROUBLING NEWS FROM THAT LIVING-ROOM STUDY: Campbell Brown is pals with Frank Bruni! With that in mind, why not visit our incomparable archives? If you want to see how Bruni handled that Bush-Gore debate, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/18/02. Synopsis: Watching from the back of the room, Bruni thought Bush had performed so poorly that he had blown the election. But like Brokaw, Bruni decided to make fun of Gore! As Tucker Carlson would say the next day: “I think a lot of people…believe that, you know, maybe Bush didn’t do as good a job as he might have. And yet, the coverage does not reflect that at all. It’s interesting.” More than interesting, it was a virtual fraud on the public. But then, have you ever noticed this crowd’s effect on America’s deeply-hoaxed public discourse?

TYPIST TARANTO, TAKING HIS POINTS: In yesterday’s HOWLER, we took a look at the typist James Taranto, who had scored John Kerry for “looking French.” Many readers upbraided us for failing to name this scribe’s scripters. He takes his points from the White House, of course. This primal stupidity first appeared in the New York Times, reported by Adam Nagourney:

NAGOURNEY (4/22/03): In assessing Mr. Bush’s potential opponents, Mr. Bush’s advisers said Mr. Kerry could be presented as ideologically and culturally out of step, both because of his liberal positions on some issues as well as his Boston lineage and what some Bush advisers described as his haughty air.

Marc Racicot, the Republican national chairman, said recently that Mr. Kerry “is going to have a hard time translating out of New England.” Another Bush adviser said of Mr. Kerry, “He looks French.”

Kerry looks French! That was just deeply stupid! But since that day, good White House butt-boys have leaped into action, typing the simpering spin-point. Taranto hurdled tables and chairs on the way to his desk. He sat down, and began typing hard.

For the record, our favorite typist was the hapless Jay Nordlinger, over at National Review on-line. When Teresa Heinz Kerry replied to the ludicrous White House remark, Nordlinger knew that he had a real live one. “They probably don’t even speak French,” Heinz Kerry had sniffed. Nordlinger knew this gal’s kind:
NORDLINGER: [H]ere’s the kicker: Mrs. Heinz Kerry sniffed about the White House, “They probably don’t even speak French.”

Aside from the delicious hauteur of that comment: How much you wanna bet the lady’s French stinks? I’ve heard it before: rich (American) lady’s French. It’s not pretty.

I almost pity the Kerry campaign. They’re going to have to do something about this live wire.

Incredible, isn’t it? But that’s what happens when these butt-boy typists try to type points on their own. Heinz Kerry, of course, is only a rich American lady because she became a naturalized citizen. She grew up in Africa, child of a Portugese family, and we’d guess that her French is fairly good. In 1994, the Boston Globe’s Bob Hohler profiled Heinz Kerry when she said that she’d wed solon John:
HOHLER: The former Teresa Simoes Ferreira, Heinz was raised in Mozambique, the daughter of a Portuguese physician, and studied literature at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. She is fluent in five languages and has worked as a translator, interpreter and consultant to the United Nations.
But that’s what happens when typists attack! Of course, for consummate typists of Nordlinger’s ilk, the spin-points on this couple are obvious. Kerry himself looks like he’s French. And his wife? Worked at the UN!!!

Go ahead, boys—check it out with your government minders. Then, scramble to your desks. Boys! Type on!