Yes, lets offer three big cheers for Quindlens direct, cutting language! After years of free-floating propaganda, she writes, [p]eople are finally seeing past the...fabrications about Senator Clinton. The fabrications have come from something Quindlen correctly describes as a smear machine—a smear machined that suckered voters as it demonized the former first lady. Fabrications? Smears? And propaganda? Over the past decade, mainstream journalists have been reluctant to speak so frankly about this smear machine—perhaps because so much of its effort has come from within their own ranks.
So lets hope that this scribe will continue to fight, even against her own cohort. In her column, Quindlen singles out a conservative, Gary Bauer, for making phony attacks against Clinton. But over the course of the past dozen years, mainstream and liberal scribes have played a huge role in this free-floating propaganda campaign against Clinton. Which brings us to the latest disgraceful outing by Chris Matthews and his liberal colleague, Margaret Carlson.
On Tuesday evenings edition of Hardball, Matthews and Carlson discussed the ongoing trial of former Clinton fund-raiser David Rosen. Is Rosen guilty of wrong-doing? To state the obvious, we dont know; his trial began just this week, and the gentleman has pleaded not guilty. But Rosens prosecutors have stressed, in court, that Clinton wasnt involved in the misconduct they allege against Rosen (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/12/05). Lets say it again—Rosens prosecutors openly say that Clinton wasnt aware of his conduct. They allege that Rosen screwed up the planning of a Hollywood event, then kept the news of the bungling from Clinton to maintain his spot in her campaign.
But so what? As they have done for the past dozen years, Carlson and Matthews rubbed their thighs Tuesday night, slipping the leg irons on the senator. (Conservative Tony Blankley was on the scene too, panting just like his two liberal colleagues.) Lets not waste time with tiny details. Here is the culmination of their latest repulsive performance:
MATTHEWS (5/10/05): I`m sorry, lady and gentleman. This involves a guy being wire by the FBI, having a conversation in which he elicited information from a guy that is apparently damaging enough to be used in court. It seems to me like we`re on the trail of a serious story here. This isn`t just some FEC violation. This is a criminal matter, right?If if if if if if if! If David Rosen has to go to the can. If David Rosen gets fifteen years! If David Rosen flips on Clinton! And of course, Blankley offered the mandatory comparison to Webster Hubbell, as is required by the laws of his cohort! Hubbell was guilty of stealing from the Clintons, but so what? We think you know the rules of this game; by Pundit Law, he is still spun as a stool pigeon for the Clintons in these inane conversations.
BLANKLEY: Oh, it is a serious matter. And whoever gets implicated in it is going to be in big trouble.
MATTHEWS: I mean, if David Rosen has to go to the can for a couple years, I think he might have an attitude about this.
CARLSON: If David Rosen flips—
BLANKLEY: He`s been cooperating with the Clinton lawyers, I`ve been told.
BLANKLEY: He`s been cooperating with them. He said—he called himself a guinea pig, letting the Clinton lawyers make his pleading as any way. So, the chance of him not rolling over for the Clintons, like Webster Hubbell and all the rest, to me, is de minimus.
MATTHEWS: So, he`s going down for them?
CARLSON: Well, if he gets 15 years, I think he flips.
MATTHEWS: It`s squeeze time. Anyway, coming up, more on the Republican effort to end the filibuster.
As usual, though, Margaret Carlson took the cake in Tuesday nights discussion. If Rosen gets 15 years, she gushed, I think he flips on Senator Clinton. The next day, of course, the prosecutors stood up in court and said that Clinton had no knowledge of Rosens alleged misconduct. But so what? On Hardball, Quindlens colleagues from the mainstream media were slipping the irons around Clintons ankles. No, this wasnt Gary Bauer—an easy target for a liberal. This was a pair of vaunted regulars from the finest, most inane party circuit.
During the course of that dozen years, liberal scribes have kept their mouths shut about the conduct of their colleagues. They havent discussed the way their colleagues drove this smear machine against Clinton. And all of them knew they mustnt discuss their cohorts two-year War Against Gore. And yes, the brave little boys at your liberal publications knew they mustnt tattle or tell about the work of their big, famous colleagues—about the big publications and networks that will some day give them their big, fancy jobs. Talk about Matthews? Tattle on Carlson? Darlings! As weve told you—it just isnt done! This week, Anna Quindlen got it right—and she was willing to name Gary Bauer. But will she be willing to get it right when the names involved in the fabrications and smears are just a splash more swell?
AGAIN, YOU HAD TO WATCH OREILLY: For the record, yes—the shape of this case was already known when Carlson and Matthews conducted their witch-hunt. But you had to watch The OReilly Factor to know that—and you had to listen to a reporter from the conservative New York Sun. On Mondays Factor, Mr. O asked the Suns Josh Gerstein about the case. Heres what Gerstein said:
OREILLY (5/9/05): Tomorrow, the trial starts. David Rosen, one of the top fund-raisers for Hillary Clinton when she was running for the Senate, may go to jail for what?Already, Gerstein knew the shape of the allegation; Rosen thought he would get in trouble with the Clinton campaign if he told them about his bungling. So he hid the costs and caused false reports to be filed by the campaign. But so what? The next night, Carlson and Matthews were up to old tricks, rubbing their thighs and imagining wildly about Rosen flipping and taking down Clinton. But then, theyve done this for the past dozen years—and theres no sign they plan to stop now.
GERSTEIN: Well, the allegation is he oversaw a fund-raiser in August of 2000 right around the time of the Democratic Convention. It was a star-studded gala. And it went way over budget. They wanted to spend a few hundred thousand dollars to put this concert on with people like Cher. Instead, it ended up costing at least $1 million, probably close to $2 million. And after that, I think the allegation is that Mr. Rosen was worried he was going to get in trouble if he reported the actual cost of this event. And the government says he hid some of the costs and caused false reports to be filed with the Federal Election Committee.
During all that time, the brave little boys at your liberal publications have known that they should stare into air. This week, Beinart and Quindlen began getting it right. But will they tackle the likes of Matthews and Carlson if their gong-show conduct continues? Recent history says they wont. Were hoping to be surprised as the peerless pair continue to get it right.
MORE TO COME: More on this in the weeks ahead. But if you want to avoid or mitigate a War Against Clinton, every bit of our recent history says that youd better start now.