THE GRAHAM RULES! Lindsey Graham was judged by one set of rules. Richard Blumenthal must play by another: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, MAY 19, 2010
Are we all ditto-heads now: Yesterday, we reviewed Ed Schultzs groaning conduct concerning Mary Landrieu (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/18/10). To help us see our liberal world becoming a mirror image of Fox, lets review a second presentation, this time from Mondays Countdown.
Is KOs staff really this dumbor are they simply dishonest? Whichever it is, they get more like Fox every night. In the process, theyre treating us like ditto-heads.
At issue is Olbermanns choice of Newt Gingrich as worst person in the world. Gingrich won the prize on the basis of his groaning appearance on last weekends Fox News Sunday. What follows is the actual transcript of the part of the interview which won Newt the prize. In this, the actual transcript, Chris Wallace challenges a ludicrous claim from Newts new bookand Newt lays out some gripes:
The discussion proceeded from there, with massive dumbness from Gingrich.
In our view, Gingrichs ludicrous claim is wildly over the top. Its profoundly dumb, and deeply unfortunate. But Gingrich and Wallace had at least discussed an actual issuethe policy by which (in Wallaces words) the administration sets salary standards for companies that the government has put billions of dollars in. For ourselves, we have no problem with that policy. Since the policy gets criticized a fair amount, we think liberals should learn how to defend and discuss it.
But that aint the way Olbermann plays the game his shows standards continues to sink. Rather than present the discussion as it really occurred, Olbermanns team of fools doctored the discussion until it was barely recognizable. For obvious reasons, Olbermann didnt play the actual tape of what Gingrich said. He merely read the transcript in the way which follows, making it sound like Gingrich (and Wallace) said nothing which made any sense at all.
Sub-text to this clowning performance: Hey, you dumb fucking rubes!
Thats the way Olbermann presented the exchange. You can review the dueling transcripts yourself to see the way KO doctored the original. Or you can watch KOs performance (click here) to see how dumb this program now gets.
Weve seen a lot of doctored transcripts. The only one we can recall which was as clownishly doctored would be a transcript Cal Thomas doctored and ran in a columneleven years ago.
Can we tell you what happened here? Olbermann wanted to make Gingrich look like an over-heated carnival clown. Youd think a mildly intelligent person could accomplish that task without much effort. But rather than deal with what Gingrich actually said, Dr. Olbermann fixed the transcript in such a way that Gingrichs statement (and Wallaces rejoinder) simply made no sense at all.
The disrespect for you, the viewer, just drips from this doctored presentation. Question: Does KOs staff spend more than ten minutes preparing this program each night? (Its fairly clear that KO himself rolls in at 7:45.)
At some point, liberals have to make a decision. Its a moral decisionbut its an intellectual decision too. Are we willing to be this dumb, this dishonest? Do we really want to get handed data which are off by a factor of seventy? Do we really want to get handed transcripts which have been chopped up like that?
Trust us: When it comes to dumb and dishonest, KO will take you as far as youll go. That said, heres the question which pops in our heads:
Are we all ditto-heads now?
THE GRAHAM RULES (permalink): Paul Sullivan isnt real sharp, which may explain why the New York Times published his letter this morning. The Times is on one of its low-IQ jihadsthe kind they ran against Clinton, then Gore. The kind they launched in 2008 with that inexcusable front-page report about John McCains hot love affair.
Today, their jihad is aimed at Richard Blumenthal. This is the one lonely letter they published in todays paper:
Sullivan is very angryand he isnt especially bright. How exactly does Sullivan know that Blumenthal liedmisspoke deliberately? Public figures misspeak all the time, after all, and we dont simply assume that theyre lying. (In most cases, they arent.) Meanwhile, the New York Times current case against Blumenthal is remarkably thin. (Its how the Times tends to roll in such matters.) After performing oodles of researchthey even researched the Shelton Weekly!these are the three examples of misstatements by Blumenthal the Times was able to harvest. Raymond Hernandez, who misstated facts all through his report, did the honors:
Three statements, from a long public careerand one of the statements, the one made in Shelton, is just flat-out accurate. (More on that below.) By way of contrast, Blumenthals March 2008 statement is plainly inaccurate, if taken at face value; Blumenthal didnt serve in Vietnam. The statement from 2003? Sorry, but here we go again: You really need a larger chunk of the statement to judge what Blumenthal said that day. That said, the Times had to go all the way back to 2003 just to harvest this second shaky example of Blumenthals dastardly lies.
Lets review the record:
Three statements from a long public careerand one of the three is accurate! On the basis of this remarkably meager record, the Times is willing to print an outraged letter about Blumenthals lies and lack of integrity (along with all the other crap they print on this matter today). Meanwhile, your liberal leaders are doing what they always do at moments like this. Some of the children are on TV, loudly calling for Blumenthals head. Some are merely showing how weak and inane they are when it comes to fighting these jihads.
Is something at stake in this small, stupid matter? Last night, A. B. Stoddard, fingering mommys pearls, explained the stakes for Bill OReilly, appearing on the cable channel she has increasingly come to accept as her own:
Maybe not every single time! This is the way a hack like Stoddard says once or twice, in his whole career.
At any rate, the plummy-toned darling explained the stakes: This may allow the GOP to regain control of the Senate! Those are the actual stakesnot that any such problem is likely to rouse todays career liberal to fight. In 1999 and 2000, this sort of thing was done for two solid years, to flip control of the White House itself. But you couldnt get liberal leaders to speak up then. And since that time, theyve all agreed that we simply mustnt discuss that unpleasant era, which leaves us open to the new gang-bang our leaders enabled last night.
Last night, as always, the weak little hacks rolled over and died on TV. Chris Matthews, the most objectionable man of the age, loudly brayed for Blumenthals scalp. Lawrence ODonnell, a skilled self-promoter, meekly refused to fight. On The Ed Show, Bill Press surrendered outright (while Ed himself weakly stared), saying that Blumenthal must be replaced.
On line, Josh and Steves treatments of this matter were so weak and so unhelpful, they really ought to ask A. B.s mommy if shes prepared to adopt.
Of course, this is the way your leaders behaved in 1999 and 2000. Since then, we have all agreed that we mustnt discuss what happened then, or in the earlier years when the jihads at the Times were run against Clinton himself. (Jeff Gerth, come on down!) In the process, the liberal world has failed to build an historical memory. We have failed to develop the most basic frameworks of understanding, the most basic skills of rebuttal.
This explains why no one was talking about Lindsey Graham last night.
What happened in 1998 when Graham, then a Republican congressman, was caught up in a much more extensive version of this mess? Graham had endlessly told the world that he was a Gulf War veteran, although his service during that period hadnt taken him off the east coast. (The east coast of the U.S.) By the way: In Grahams case, we werent discussing a single misstatement from a single, two-year-old speech; Graham had endlessly presented himself as a Gulf War veteran. And do you recall the advice he receivedthe way he was told he should clean up his mess? Of course you dont! This happened in 1998! Half your liberal leaders were at Little League games. The rest were asleep in the woods.
For ourselves, we dont have a major problem with what Graham did. But Graham was allowed to play by one set of rules. Blumenthal has been handed another as liberal leaders refuse to complain.
The Graham rules
The flap about Graham began in February 1998, as the high-minded congressman was getting ready to lead the House in the impeachment of President Clinton. We cant find active links to any reports from the period. But here are some basic chunks from the initial AP report:
Go aheadenjoy a good laugh as you see the advice Graham got. Graham should refer to himself as a ''Gulf War era veteran, we were toldand thats pretty much the basis on which this flame was allowed to blow out. The flap about Graham blew over quickly, helped along by this sage advice. The fiery young fellow was allowed to proceed with the important business of impeaching the president.
And today, some twelve years later? Of course! On page one, the New York Times indicts a major Democrat, complaining that he once said, completely correctly, that he served during the Vietnam era. The use of era solved Grahams problem. Twelve years later, the same construction is used, by the Times, to define Richard Blumenthals lies.
At the hapless Gotham paper, this construction turns Blumenthal into a liar. Somehow, Blumenthals accurate statement completes the rule of three!
Can we talk? The New York Times has been deranged when it comes to such matters for a very long time now. The paper is an intellectual/moral black hole; it features the work of some of the dumbest, most dishonest, people of the age. But then, the Times is enabled by the fiery liberals who played along with its jihad last night. Matthews, ODonnell, Press and the rest? Their moral and intellectual squalor defines a moronic age.
Fingering her mommys pearls, Stoddard explained the stakes last night. Behaving as they did in the past, your big liberal leaders rolled over.
Pepperidge Farm remembered: In 2002, Joe Conason recalled the Graham flap. You know what to dojust click here.