MONDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2003
THE UNENDING ANNALS OF LIBERAL BIAS: Right at the top of this mornings front page, the New York Times authors its latest outrage. Heres the headline which sits atop a profile of Candidate Lieberman:
NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE (page 1): A Centrist, Lieberman Fights For Votes in an Extremist EraThe profile, written by Janny Scott, doesnt use the word extremist. (Heres the closest she comes: What becomes of a mild-mannered centrist in a crowded field when the surest route to the limelight is to blurt out something extreme?) But just in case you missed the point, inside the paper, on page 22, the headline ed cues you again:
NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE (page 22): A Centrist and a Conciliator, Lieberman Fights For Votes in an Extremist Political EraSomewhere today, Bernie Goldberg will tell a roomful of people who dont read the Times about the rags noxious liberal bias.
HE WAS LYING ABOUT STREISAND TOO: Does the Washington Post have an ounce of regard for its readers? Last Friday, Charles Krauthammer baldly deceived the Posts misused readers with his remarks about Dean-on-Hardball (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/5/03). But as it turns out, that blatant dissembling just wasnt enough. The dissembling Krauthammer deceived the Posts readers about Barbara Streisand as well!
For the record, Streisand isnt a Democratic official. Nor is she a politician. But so what! Half-wits like Krauthammer like to mock her, hoping to please those conservative rubes. And last Friday, the fake little man took an extra stephe simply lied about something she said! Heres what Krauthammer told Post readers about the deeply troubling chanteuse:
KRAUTHAMMER: Until now, Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) had generally struck people with previously compromised intellectual immune systems. Hence its prevalence in Hollywood. Barbra Streisand, for example, wrote her famous September 2002 memo to Dick Gephardt warning that the president was dragging us toward war to satisfy, among the usual corporate malefactors who clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq, the logging industrytimber being a major industry in a country that is two-thirds desert.What an idiot! the Post pundit seemed to say. Indeed, according to the clever fellow, Streisand had a compromised intellectual immune system! She had demonstrated this when she said, in her famous memo, that the timber industry ha[d] much to gain if we go to war against Iraq. Yepthat thoroughly stupid lumber remark showed what a fool Streisand is.
But wouldnt you know itshe said no such thing! Heres the text of the famous memoa memo which was actually written by Margarey Tabankin, a Streisand associate:
FAMOUS MEMO: While the Republicans are shouting about the Democrats' special interests, why are the Democrats not saying the same about the Republicans? How can we ignore the obvious influence on the Bush Administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies, the logging industry, the defense contractors, the mining industry, and the automobile industry, just to name a few? Many of these industries, run by big Republican donors and insiders, clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq.Weve highlighted the two key words in this text. Surely, no further comment is needed. No, Streisand didnt write the famous memoand no, the memo didnt say that the lumber biz had an interest in Iraq.
So why dont we write a famous memo, this time to the Posts Fred Hiatt. Fred, is there any standard you maintain on your page? You published nasty attacks against Streisand and Deannasty attacks built on blatant deceptions. Is there any standard you observe at the Post? Or are the Posts readers just flunkies and fools rubes, whom you play for amusement?
Stand up once, Fred! Go aheadbe a man! Just this once, be a big, brave fellow and tell us how you plan to address this. Or is it OK when Krauthammer makes a joke of our discourseand treats the Posts readers like fools?
INEXCUSABLY, THE DOCTOR WAS IN: Last Friday, we focused on Krauthammers bald-faced deception. But another aspect of his column deserves substantial comment. Once again, Krauthammer served his favorite meal. If you disagree with Krauthammera psychiatrist, he claimsthat means that youre crazy. Youre nuts.
Yes, its truein Fridays column, Krauthammers psychiatric diagnoses were offered in borderline tongue-in-cheek fashion. But as weve noted, Krauthammer frequently says, with perfect seriousness, that Big Dems are mentally ill. Last November, for example, Al Gore criticized the medias rightward drift. Soon thereafter, the doctor was IN, quacking loudly on Special Report:
KRAUTHAMMER (12/3/02): Im a psychiatrist. I dont usually practice on camera. But this is the edge of looniness, this idea that theres a vast conspiracy, it sits in a building, it emanates, it has these tentacles, is really at the edge. He could use a little help.How nice, that Krauthammer doesnt usually do this! But yes, the corrupted doctor is eager to serve, helping us see who is loony. (Needless to say, Krauthammer wildly misstated what Gore had said. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/3/02.) Meanwhile, other all-stars ape their shrink-rapping friend. Last month, for example, Gore gave a speech to Moveon.org. Brit Hume thumbed his roster of shrinks. And another quack turned up for duty:
MORTON KONDRACKE (Special Report, 11/10/03): I think there are some legitimate questions, as the Supreme Courts decision to take this Guantanamo case indicates, about, you know, military tribunals and secrecy on the part of the administration. But this Gore speech, as usual, went so far over the top, that its almostyou wonder about his psychological stability. I mean, he charged that this administration has exploited public fears for partisan, political gain and political dominance.To Kondracke, when Gore said that Busha politicianwas playing politics, that meant that Al Gore must be nuts.
But then, this is now a standard motif of the rube-running right. If you disagree with Bush, youre a hateror you have to be crazy. Last Friday, for example, Andrew Sullivan threw pleasing feed to the herd, referring to the unhinged Paul Krugman. Enlightenment values are thrown down the stairs, and the rubes get to read a comforting tale. Theres no such thing as principled disagreement. Those who dispute you are simply unbalanced. HereCharles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, even says it!
What a shame, that the Post puts such stupid, corrupt work into print. By the way, its been three days since Krauthammers blatant misstatements. Still not a peep from Fred Hiatt
THE LYING ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON CONTINUED: When youre peddling propaganda, repetition is everything. Therefore, the lying about Hillary Clintons trip continued last Thursday on Fox. Sean Hannity chatted with Geraldo Rivera, who had been in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. While there, Geraldo ran into Clinton. So Sean began lying again:
HANNITY: Its got to kill you to be there and see, you know, these young boys. You know.Of course, Clinton didnt say the outcome is not guaranteed when she met with the troops. She made the blindingly obvious statement in a telephone interview with the Buffalo News. But Hannity wanted the rubes to think different. So he played them for fools once again.
By the way, who sat by as Sean dissembled? Who elseenabler-in-chief Alan Colmes! The rules of engagement were clear last week; when Sean dissembles, lies and misleads, Alan agrees not to notice. We have generally defended Colmes in the past. But lets just state what is powerfully obvious: Alan Colmes is paid to stay in the tank. Making a joke of your basic interests, Alan Colmes earned his pay all last week.
A GENTLEMANS POWERFUL LOATHING: Speaking of totally empty suits, after a week of Hillary Slander, we thought it might be fun to look in on Slate master-pundit Mickey Kaus. Last Sunday, Kaus opined on Clintons trip to Iraq. I remember why I used to loathe her, he wrote, in an endlessly thoughtful rumination.
Loathed her! In his original presentation, Kaus linked to a New York Post report about Clintons trip. Incredibly, here is the entire report which helped reawaken his loathing:
November 30, 2003WASHINGTON: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ventured into Iraqs dangerous northern region yesterday, as she took another shot at President Bush for trying to move too fast to get troops out of that country.That was it! According to Kaus, he doesnt buy the hoary bit of etiquette that says a U.S. politician should never criticize a U.S. president on foreign soil. Why then would Clintons remarks induce loathing? Go aheadread the gentlemans tortured explanation. But only if youre on a desert island, and have nothing else left to live for.
Loathing! Is there any reason not to assume that Kaus is another Scaife-bought pseudo-pundit, paid to churn out anti-Dem cant under the guise of being a Dem? A somewhat less muscular Tammy Bruce, to cite one other such confection? On Fox, Bruce now plays a progressive Democrat, although shes clearly no such beast (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/2/03). Well offer more thoughts on Bruce in the weeks ahead. But when we read such ludicrous work by Kaus, is there any reason not to assume that the scribe is just first cousin to Bruce? That he was rolled off the same assembly line which now gives us Bruces prime clowning?
DUMBING AMERICA DOWN, WAY DOWN: Final point: How stupid are pseudo-con pundits willing to be? When the famous memo appeared last fall, pundits said it showed how stupid Streisand was because Tabankin had misspelled al Qaeda. No, we really arent making this up. Yes, this is the state of your discourse. Meanwhile, Kaus and Hiatt sit dumbly by. Theyre paid pleasing sums not to notice.
TOMORROW: Michael Kinsley on Bush in the Guard. Cal Thomas on Hillarys trip.