RUSSERT KNOWS BEST! Angry villagers banded together, certain that Russert knew best: // link // print // previous // next //
MONDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2007
RICH BEYOND COMPARE: We can now make the statement official: Frank Rich is simply insane. Or hes just so insanely jealous of Gore that hes willing to say any damn thing about Campaign 2000. In yesterdays New York Times column, the High Manhattan Pseudo-Liberal blathered on—and on; and on—about Vile Clinton (this time, Hillary). But try to believe the first weird thing he typed up this fine day:
RICH (9/30/07): We are repeatedly told that with Barack Obama still trailing by double digits in most polls, the only way Mrs. Clinton could lose her tight hold on the nomination and, presumably, the White House would be if she were bruised in Iowa (where both John Edwards and Senator Obama remain competitive) or derailed by unforeseeable events like a scandal or a domestic terror attack.The can't-miss 2000 campaign of Al Gore? What cant-miss campaign can he possibly mean? Richs meaning wasnt clear in this passage, but its worth recalling that Gore trailed Bush by 15 to 20 points in the national polls in the first half of 1999, when he began his run for the White House. Bill Clintons impeachment trial had just ended, and vacuous blowhards—blowhards like Rich—were still all a-flutter about it; plainly, they were taking their fury out on Candidate Gore. (Some of them came out and said so.) When did it seem, to any sane person, that Gore had been handed a cant-miss campaign? Yesterday, we read a bit further, wondering if Rich would flesh out his meaning. And omigod! As he continued, his delusions deepened, as always seems to happen when Rich discusses the Clintons or Gore. As Rich continued, he offered a hall-of-mirrors account of the 2000 race—the one he helped hand to George Bush:
RICH (continuing directly): That Mr. Gore, some may recall, was not the firebrand who emerged from defeat, speaking up early against the Iraq war and leading the international charge on global warming. It was instead the cautious Gore whose public persona changed from debate to debate and whose answers were often long-winded and equivocal (even about the Kansas Board of Education's decision to ban the teaching of evolution). Incredibly, he minimized both his environmental passions and his own administration's achievements throughout the campaign.Never mind that slur about the teaching of evolution, a slur Rich will never stop advancing. Truly, that highlighted statement is astounding. The signs were nearly as good for Democrats [in Campaign 2000] as they are now? Once again, an utter fantasy—as is the ludicrous claim that Gore had initially been deemed...the potential recipient of a landslide. Lets state those unfortunate facts once again: Gore trailed Bush, by as much as 20 points, in the first half of 1999, when the two began their campaigning. (By contrast, in the latest Fox News poll, Clinton leads Giuliani by seven. For Dems, signs are a lot better.) And of course, the nations pundits were calling Gore every name in the book as he trailed Bush in 1999—and were inventing a series of lies he had supposedly uttered. Of all people, Rich should remember that history well; after all, he had invented the first of these lies, the Love Story nonsense, in December 1997. In March 1999, Richs colleagues dragged out his old counter-factual slander, and they hounded Gore with the ludicrous tale all through the 2000 campaign. They added invented the Internet and discovered Love Canal—and in the process, they invented Bushs route to the White House. And yes: This all began with Richs dissembling in 1997, a fact this pompous and stupid man has somehow forgotten. Again.
But then, has anyone ever dissembled as much on any subject as Rich dissembles on the subject of Gore? In the passage we quote above, Rich seems to applaud the firebrand who emerged from defeat, speaking up early against the Iraq war and leading the international charge on global warming. But this is all reinvention. What happened in the fall of 2002, when Gore spoke up against Iraq? Of course! As always, Rich trashed him as a fake and a phony! Rich essentially lied about what Gore had said on the Today show, and he insisted that Gore was just saying these things because he wanted to run for the White House again (links below). [O]f course he is still running for president, the pompous scribe all-knowingly wrote; he added this, with astounding condescension: [W]hat else does the guy, a political lifer, have to do with himself? But Gore didnt run for president again; instead, he found something else to do with himself, becoming the firebrand who helped change the worlds discourse on global warming. And what happened in the spring of 2006, when Gores firebrand film first appeared? Of course! As always, Rich trashed him as a fake and a phony! Rich mocked Gores film from stem to stern—and, as always, he brilliantly knew that Gore was just running for president again. Heres one small part of what this stupid man said about the film that helped change the worlds discourse—the film he agrees to praise today so he can trash another Dem that much harder:
RICH (5/28/06): If ''An Inconvenient Truth'' isn't actually a test drive for a presidential run, it's the biggest tease since Colin Powell encouraged speculation about his political aspirations during his 1995 book tour. Mr. Gore's nondenial denials about his ambitions (he has ''no plans'' to run) are Clintonesque. Told by John Heilemann of New York magazine that his movie sometimes feels like a campaign film, Mr. Gore gives a disingenuous answer that triggers an instant flashback to his equivocation about weightier matters during the 2000 debates: ''Audiences don't see the movie as political. Paramount did a number of focus-group screenings, and that was very clear.'' You want to scream: stop this man before he listens to a focus group again!As always, the Clintonesque and disingenuous Gore was just so fake, so ambitious, so phony! For the record, Richs trashing of Gores brilliant film got even dumber in other parts of his column—and he quickly ran to speak with Imus to help us see how fake Gore is! So youll remember, heres part of what this banal man told his pal about Gores film, the one hes now out there praising:
RICH (6/1/06): Well, its, its like at the high end of those good-for-you movies that you used to have to watch in high school. Its a compelling lecture about global warming with a lot of slides and power point stuff and intermingled with it, weirdly, are these sort of scenes from Gores personal life and scenes of him now sort of, you know, shlepping his own suitcase through security in airports and looking sort of like Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman.What a fool. Simply put, there are few ways on earth to get dumber than Rich. Today, as he praises firebrand Gore so that he can trash timid Clinton, we hope you can see a second key fact—theres no way on earth to get faker.
Yesterdays column by Rich is pure porn—but hes done this for the past ten years, any time Gores name is involved. And then, there was Dowd, Richs original partner in crime, this time slurring the hellish housewife and nag named Hillary Clinton. (Gender hatred much?) But then, Dowd and Rich have long been disturbed—sick, untruthful, unlovely, unwell. Theres much more to be said about these two columns, but lets make sure we understand this before we stop for today:
The notion that Gore was handed a cant-miss campaign—the notion that he had initially been deemed...the potential recipient of a landslide; the notion that the signs were nearly as good for Democrats then as they are now—well, again, its just complete fantasy. Its hard to see why these statements by Rich shouldnt be regarded as lies—the kind of lies in which hes long specialized. But over the years, it has been astounding to see the way this group has been willing to misstate the facts about Campaign 2000. Of course, if youd played Richs role in that history-changing campaign, you might find yourself inclined to lie about what happened too.
TOMORROW: Theyre baaaaack! More Rich and Dowd.
Also: More on Richs treasured claim about Gore and the teaching of evolution. Rich seems to recite this claim in his sleep—but then, he also said that An Inconvenient Truth was at the high end of those good-for-you movies that you used to have to watch in high school. This is a man who is deeply unwell. And in his pomposity, he seems prepared to work, very hard, to elect a Republican. Again.
VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: In late 1997, Rich and Dowd invented the Love Story nonsense. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/5/06.
In May 2006, Rich mocked Gores high school film. But then, all through Campaign 2000, Rich insisted there was no real difference between the two candidates, Bush and Gore. You had to be a fool to believe it; Rich proclaimed it to the skies. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/9/06, for all parts of our six-part series.
Special report: Russert happens!
BE SURE TO READ EACH THRILLING INSTALLMENT: When NBC News fronts a White House debate, its inevitable: Russert happens! Be sure to read each thrilling installment of our current series:
PART 1: A multimillionaire couldnt get over the cost of John Edwards vile haircuts. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/27/07.Today, in Part 3, The Dean of all pundits insists that a Raccoon knows best:
PART 3—RUSSERT KNOWS BEST: Theyre much more like a fraternal order than like something youd call a press corps. And they tend to get extremely upset when their imperial leaders gets dissed. In effect, NBCs Tim Russert is Head Raccoon to this simpering gang of Amos-and-Andies. And after Wednesdays Democratic debate, all the villagers voiced their concern with the thing that vile Clinton had done.
How inane is this simpering crew? Yesterday, The Dean, David Broder, toted the list of Clintons deeply troubling errors. And omigod! In his second paragraph, Broder revealed the way these fatuous folk really do see such events:
BRODER (9/30/07): On the flight from Washington to New Hampshire to cover Wednesday night's Democratic presidential debate, I was joined by a Hillary Clinton staffer who was headed to Hanover to prep her for the encounter with her seven rivals. "I expect fireworks," he said, anticipating that the challengers would try to shake up the race at one of the last confrontations before the January voting.Go ahead—just laugh out loud! Hillary Clinton frustrated Russert! Among the dim-wits we still call a press corps, it simply mustnt be done!
And so the Raccoons, with their latest Group Story, have set out to punish the frustrating hopeful. But how inanely does this group state a case? Just how dumb are they willing to be? Heres The Deans first example of Clintons misconduct—his first example of the way she adopted the classic front-runner pose at the debate Wednesday night:
BRODER (9/30/07): Her posture during the debate was the classic front-runner pose: Don't make waves. The question is whether she can go through the next three months saying little or nothing without jeopardizing her lead in the contest.How dumb are big Raccoons willing to be? To Broder, Clintons answer about Iraq represented the classic front-runner pose. After all, she was at 43 percent in that poll, so she could afford to adopt it! But of course, Obama—at 20—and Edwards—at 12—adopted exactly the same position! Slickly, Broder fails to mention that fact; he knows the other Raccoons will cheer, and recite his scripts, no matter how dumbly he supports them.
The Dean offered two more tortured examples before he got to the actual problem: Clinton had stonewalled the Head Raccoon on his most favoritest subject! How foolish are the hand-picked grandees who meet inside the Grand Raccoon Lodge? Amazingly, heres the way their tired old Dean described Clintons greatest evasiveness:
BRODER: Her greatest evasiveness occurred on the volatile issue of Social Security. Biden, the first to answer Russert's question about steps to save the system from bankruptcy, said he would lift the cap on payroll taxes and raise additional millions from people making more than $97,000 a year.Good God—to think that he actually typed it! Russert knew better and corrected her math! Nothing could better capture the imperial tone these tired old fixers adopt toward the world. Beyond that, it would, of course, be hard to overstate how foolish The Deans statement is.
Is Social Security a volatile issue? Were not sure what volatile means in this context, but it certainly isnt a serious issue—sorry, Raccoons, not this year. For years, Broder and the rest of the order tried to pretend that it was a vast problem—and that wed all be much better off if wed just set up those private accounts! (Russert and Klein called Gore every name in the book when he opposed the idea in May 2000.) But privatization went straight down the lodges clogged drains way back when, in 2005—and Alan Greenspan told Russert, just eight days ago, that Social Security is a fairly minor problem (text below). But the Raccoons get mad when they dont get their way, and they still prefer to recite the rants theyve already memorized. And Oh! Our! God! He actually said it! When Clinton failed to bow and scrape to the chubby-cheeked Head of the Order, Broder actually typed these words: Russert knew better and corrected her math! And oh yes, the real complaint about this vile woman. The real offense: But she was adamant!
Truly, its just the way it seems. These are the fattest and dumbest raccoons who have ever clattered their way through the garbage cans outside the lodge.
But then, the others all lined up to say the same thing—Healey and Collins, for instance. (We Irish! We always fall into line.) Healey, of course, is a useless child, typing his thoughts on the way Clinton laughs; it deeply troubles a lad like Patrick when a lady cuts loose with a Cackle. So lets ignore his flyweight statement about SS—about the way Clinton failed to address it. Instead, here is the utterly useless Gail Collins, allowed to type her worthless pap from the Ladies Auxiliary. We apologize for the length of the quote, but Collins really was feeling it:
COLLINS (9/29/07): [Clinton] thinks she's got it nailed as long as she doesn't make any mistakes, and that can be a trap. It is possible to be so careful that you drive everybody crazy, make them so itchy for adventure, for a noble mission instead of a winnable hand of poker, that they'll be willing to undo all your hard work just to juice things up.As opposed to all the other people who want to put it last! That jibe is so spectacularly dumb that we hope you wont make us unpack it.
As you can see, Collins was working very hard to Say The Same Thing That Dean Broder Would. Because, by the weekend, it was perfectly clear that this was what all good Racoons would be saying. (Matthews and Russert established the script in the first hour post-debate.) And none of the Raccoons would say what was true: That Russert had wasted everyones time with a useless, incoherent discussion. That its easy to fix any future shortfall in Social Security—a future shortfall which may never exist. That its Medicare where the real problem lies—but Russert was too dumb to go there. That Clinton declined to say such things—but was being polite to the Head Raccoon when she kept such thoughts to herself.
What would Clinton do to fix Social Security? Raccoons, stop rooting through the trash and listen to the answer for once: Nothing! She would likely do nothing to fix the program, because theres nothing much about it to fix! Your fat-faced, fatuous Head Raccoon wasted everyones time with this segment, as hes done for many years. But within this fraternal orders old lodge, youre supposed to bow to the Head Raccoon. And so Broder typed the funniest frameworks ever presented by these old hacks: Clinton had frustrated Head Raccoon Russert! Russert knew better and corrected her math! But omigod! Even after correction by the Raccoon, the troubling female was adamant.
And Oh. Our. God. Can you even believe where Russert went on Meet the Press?
TOMORROW—PART 4: We still cant believe that he said it. And of course, even Smiley semi-laughed.
WHAT GREENSPAN SAID: Good God! Russert knew better and corrected her math! And then, the key part: But she was adamant! Next to these utterly worthless old mossbacks, Alan Greenspan really is hip. And just so you can read it again, heres what Greenspan told Russert on Meet the Press, just three days before the Raccoon conducted last weeks great debate:
RUSSERT (9/23/07): Do you believe either political party has stepped up to the crisis we face with Social Security and Medicare in the coming years?Why did Clinton say what she did? We dont have the slightest idea; amazingly, other candidates said truly ridiculous things in the course of the SS discussion. But trust us as we offer you the most obvious statement on the face of the earth: Clinton understands this topic much, much better than Tim Russert does! Russert remains a chubby-cheeked Head Raccoon, frolicking out back, with all the spilled garbage. When will we liberals find a way to deliver this news to the public?