THURSDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2003
LET THEM EAT TURKEY: If your Washington press corps didnt exist, its values would be hard to imagine. This morning, the Washington Post finally discusses a serious matter which has been a matter of record for months. The Post finally notes that many U.S. soldiers in Iraq do not have the kevlar vests which are necessary for their protection.
Lets say it again: This subject has been on the record for months, as you can see in todays article. But the Post ignored the matter until today, and the New York Times still hasnt touched it. Meanwhile, note the way todays report tippy-toes around the potential scandal involved here. The Post leads with the storys feel-good aspect; Body Armor Saves Lives in Iraq, says its headline. Only then does it manage to note that many soldiers have not been equipped. And clearly, the paper has made little effort to learn why this troubling situation exists.
Note then the values of your millionaire press corps. When a United States senator goes to Iraq and answers a soldiers bone-simple question, she is reviled on national TV, and slithering men like Sean Hannity and Dick Morris are sent out to lie about her conduct. On cable, its an instant scandal when a soldiers simple question gets answered! But what happens when those very same soldiers are sent into war without basic protection? Your national press corps hides its eyes, ducking behind its mahogany desks. And no one hides his eyes any more than Fox News Channels repulsive Sean Hannity.
Hannity, of course, has lied all week about Hillary Clintons trip to Iraq. According to his own high-blown statements, the Fox news honcho is deeply concerned about the morale of the troops. But what about the lives of the troops? Simply put, he couldnt care less. (Theres no sign that Alan Colmes gives a shit either.) Just this morning, we entered kevlar AND Hannity in the Nexis search engine. And were pretty sure you know what we got in reply: No documents were found for your search.
Why has Hannity skipped this topic? Duh! Because it might make his precious commander look shaky! Hannity is paid to mislead the rubes, and if he has to lie about Clintonand if soldiers must diehes more than willing to go there. Let them eat turkey, the slithering man says. And as he does so, he helps you see the astonishing soul of your press corps.
As we said: If this press corps didnt exist, there would be no way to imagine its values. Read this mornings report, in which the Post still tippy-toes around the months-old kevlar story. And remember: Given the corps Millionaire Pundit Values, this is actually a hard-hitting piece.
WHAT DOES THE WASHINGTON PRESS CARE ABOUT? They care about John Kerrys wife! Read this bit of political porn, penned by Slates inane Tim Noah, and gaze on the empty, vacuous soul of the group we still describe as a press corps. If this odd group didnt write such reports, could any sane person could possibly know what these folks really have on their minds?
By the way, Noah raised an excellent question in a Monday piece. And guess what? Given the pseudo-values of Slate and the press, it will never be mentioned again! (Meanwhile, dont miss Slates cover story today. Youll love it. Its about Martha Stewart!)
LETS GAZE ON THE SOUL OF CHRIS MATTHEWS: Last night, Hannity stopped lying about Clintons tripand Chris Matthews eagerly took up the cross. All day, MSNBC pimped the topic in promotions for Hardball. And how did Matthews handle the matter? Just gaze on the soul of the Washington press corps as Matthews panel enjoys a good laugh at the expense of a certain New York female senator. What follows comes straight from the MSNBC transcript; the [LAUGHTER] notations are theirs, not ours. Matthews is speaking with the Weekly Standards Stephen Hayes, who has already noted that the Hillary flap is a big crock of hot steaming bullshit (see below):
HAYES: I think that one of the differences, if you look at the video of Hillary Clinton over thereand I said I didnt necessarily have any major problems with the things she said, or most of themshe clearly doesnt have the rapport with the troops that the president does I mean, they love the guy. And you could see from the reactions on their faces when he walked in, it wasClinton doesnt get wolf whistles from the troops, Matthews said, as he leeringly stroked his pink thighs, and as Noonan enjoyed a good laugh.
Earlier, Matthews had struggled valiantly, pretending there was actual substance to this absurd pseudo-scandal. (At one point, for example, he pretended that things Clinton said in a telephone interview had somehow been said to the troops.) And Matthews panel performed quite predictably. Pat Caddell seemed to lack Clue One about the facts of this case; meanwhile, Noonan was deeply, ostentatiously troubled by Clintons appalling bad judgment. Only Hayes broke out of the script. Unlike millionaires Noonan and Matthews, Hayes has actually been to Iraq. Remember, Hayes writes for the Weekly Standard. Heres what he had to say about this inane pseudo-incident:
HAYES: I guess I disagree with Peggy a little bit in that I dont think this is quite such a serious offense. First of all, in this 24-hour news cycle, the troops have the TV on over there. They know what the debate is. Theyre following it. Theyre following it closely. So I dont think this is necessarily news.Duh! But readers, Stephen Hayes has to get with the program! He fails to grasp his cohorts core values. Its OK to let troops get shot in the chest. Its only disturbing to answer their questions! Matthews and Noonan? They want the troops feeling good before theyre asked to march off to slaughter. And of course, they want to tell their thigh-rubbing jokes about a female solon named Clinton. Its very good for cable ratings, so its puts extra dough in their jeans.
Final note: Matthews AND kevlar? Surely you jest. No documents were found for your search.
VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Do cops and firemen relate to Bush as a masculine American man? Thats how Matthews relates to him, too! Back in May, Matthews teamed with Gordon Liddy to praise Bush for his bulging shorts. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/13/03, to revisit one of the greatest panders in modern pundit corps history.
The kicker? Matthews hurried to praise Bushs crotch when the Lincoln landing ranked high in the polls. But times have changed, and so has Matthews. Last night, he dismissed the Lincoln landing. That was a stunt, the phony man said, expressing instead his new admiration for Bushs trip to Iraq, which wasnt. Note: MSNBCs transcript shows Matthews saying, That was a stunt? as a question. Sorry. We just played our tape again. On our tape, Matthews makes a clear statement.
TIM RUSSERTS FIGHT AGAINST PREJUDICE: Here at THE HOWLER, were still buzzing about Tim Russerts pandering interview with Bernie Goldberg for Goldbergs new book, Arrogance (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/1/03). Among other bits of ludicrous clowning, Russert pretended that he faces prejudice within the press because hes a practicing Catholic.
What a complete, total phony! The press corps swims with practicing Catholics, as Russert of course knows full well. Just consider the ranks of Big TV Pundits. Here are a few of the practicing Catholics who have somehow managed to outflank the prejudice which had Russert boo-hooing with Bernie:
Why would Russert make so absurdand so uglya statement, a statement which makes his press corps colleagues sound like a band of hooded bigots? Simple! He was pandering to Goldbergs conservative readers, telling them that he is oppressed by the godless media elite, just like they are. This is totally bogus, of course. How much prejudice does Russert really confront? Yesterday, we emitted low chuckles as we read a profile by USA Todays Peter Johnson:
JOHNSON (11/1/00): Russert, a Roman Catholic, refers to his religion on Meet the Press and speaks reverentially about moderating. If theres such a thing as a non-religious vocation, this is it. Colleagues say he shares a Catholic bond with NBC president Bob Wright and General Electric chairman Jack Welch.Wow! The poor guy really does have it tough!
Is there bias in the press against practicing Catholics? The notion is simply absurd on its face. But then, theres also no bias against hopeless phonies. That tolerance helps Tim Russert too.
LET THEM EAT TURKEY: Russert AND kevlar? Surely you jest. No documents were found for your search.