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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2007
IN THE BEDROOM: Let's face it. If theres anything dumber than Maureen Dowd, its Maureen Dowd writing from Beverly Hills. (Is Santa Monica close enough? Click here for a simpering 1997 example.) But lets add one more nominee: Hollywood mogul David Geffen, who Dowd uses to vent her endless spleen in this mornings Vile Clinton, the Sequel.
Simply put, Maureen Dowd despises the Clintons. In case her readers were too dumb to catch it, she arranges to cite the Lincoln Bedroom three separate times in this mornings column, while forgetting to tell us how badly her tribe twisted that tale back in 1998. (Link below.) And this morning, Dowd has found a live one in her dumb pal, Brother Geffen. How dumb is Geffen when it comes to politics? Here he is, showing the world how to let the hate machine win:
DOWD (2/21/07): Hillary is not David Geffen's dreamgirl.Good God, what a loser! As these boys have done since the dawn of time, Geffen knows to slime the woman for daring to be so ambitious. And what does it mean when Geffen says that Clinton is incredibly polarizing? It means this: Right-wing nut jobs invented a string of ugly tales about Clinton —and Geffen is tired of fighting the fight. In fact, Hillary Clinton is incredibly polarizing because Maureen Dowd sat and stared while high-profile crackpots accused her and her husband of (for example) a long string of murders. Today, Geffen isnt angry at the haters and crackpots for this sorry history. Not him! Hes angry at Clinton instead!
Crackpots invented wild stories about her.
And David Geffen is now blaming her.
DOWD: Barack Obama has made an entrance in Hollywood unmatched since Scarlett O'Hara swept into the Twelve Oaks barbecue. Instead of the Tarleton twins, the Illinois senator is flirting with the DreamWorks trio: Mr. Geffen, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, who gave him a party last night that raised $1.3 million and Hillary's hackles.In her last column, Obama was legally blonde (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/16/07). In todays piece, hes Scarlett OHara. And if you think these sneering references are some sort of odd coincidence, you havent watched this tortured nutcase working her magic down through the years. For years, Dowd imagined conversations with Gores bald spot (more below); by the time he began his race for the White House, Dowd wrote that Gore was so feminized that he was practically lactating. But then, inside the tortured mind of Dowd, all Dem males are big girlie-men. And yes, though Geffen hasnt noticed it yet, shes a nut when it comes to race also.
Dowd has been a nutcase for years. Today, she finds a match—David Geffen.
Eek! To Maureen Dowd, the Clintons are liars. And Bill Clinton is a very, very bad, naughty boy. But she doesnt want to say these things herself, so she latches onto Geffen, and lets him do it. And good lord, is he ready to vent! Twice, she quotes him saying or suggesting that Bill Clinton is still engaging in extramarital sex. And here is the moguls take on the Clintons honesty, quoted this morning by Dowd:
Everybody in politics lies, but they do it with such ease, it's troubling.What evidence are we given for this? Read the column: Geffen wanted Bill Clinton to pardon Leonard Peltier, were told, and Clinton didnt do it. Thats when the pair fell out, Dowd says. And this is the one example Geffen (through Dowd) gives in support of that sweeping statement about two peoples honesty.
Is it possible to get any dumber than Geffen? Amazing, isnt it? In a world of Bush and Cheney—and Romney—Dowd and Geffen still believe that the Clintons are the reigning stars of dishonesty! But then, nothing is dumber than Maureen Dowd—unless its Dowd writing from Hollywood.
IN THE LINCOLN BEDROOM: Weve been wanting to congratulate tristero for his soul—for retaining the ability to be shocked by the way they lied about the Lincoln Bedroom. (Click here, scroll down to 2/9/07.) One example: They added in Chelsea Clintons 72 slumber-party friends to swell the number of White House overnight guests in their bogus headlines (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/8/07). There is nothing these people wont say and do to make you believe their favorite stories. Today, Dowd mentions the Lincoln Bedroom three separate times. You cant get more dishonest.
NOT A MISTAKE: Perhaps you begin to see we were right. It wasnt a coincidence when Maureen Dowd called Obama legally blonde, and it isnt a coincidence when she calls him Scarlett OHara today. Dowd is a walking nightmare on matters of gender, and shes not much better on race. Dont worry—shes going to sneer at Obama endlessly, just as she did with the lactating Gore. Her insider cohort is barely sane—and they direct our sad discourse.
Make no mistake: This will continue until liberals get smart—until we say that this must stop, until we go after these tortured souls whenever they slander any one of our candidates. First, shes coming for Hillary Clinton. If we sit around and stare, shell be coming for Obama next.
AGAIN, THE NECESSARY CONTEXT: Lets say it again: We were raised Irish Catholic ourselves, back in the era of Tailgunner Joe. But most of us who were raised Irish Catholic found ways to grow up and move on from the eras less pleasing aspects. Dowds particular cohort didnt; the underside of an otherwise wonderful culture still plays tricks with their damaged heads. When Dowd calls Dem males girlie-men, you need to understand where it comes from, and you need to understand that it isnt some kind of odd, random event. Dowd is one of the emotional losers from the unfortunate side of an earlier culture. For years, though, her tortured impulses and ideas have been driving our political discourse.
SPOT OFF: How big a fool is Maureen Dowd? Heres the start of her very first column on Gores bald spot, early in 1997:
DOWD (1/30/97): Is the Spot getting bigger? Tipper says it isn't, but I know it is. At this rate, by the year 2000 I'll look like Joe Biden, wandering around with okra plugs in my head. It's making me a little crazy. Actually, everything these days is making me a little crazy. I've been so loyal for four years, staying in the shadow of President Smarmy and just praying I don't get splattered.Ah yes—the birth of Gore as a little crazy. Over the next several years, Dowd continued her bad spot series; she wrote columns in which Crazy Gore conversed with the Spot in September 1997, December 1997 and June 1998. After a tantalizing hiatus, she brought her brilliant format back in August 2000, right after the Democratic convention. And then, triumph of the will! There it was again, driving Dowds column on the Sunday before the 2000 election. Omigod! Gore was addressing his bald spot again! Her headline? No, readers, were really not joking. I Feel Pretty, her inane headline said:
DOWD (11/5/00): I feel stunningThats how Dowd started her widely-read column two days before the crucial election which eventually sent the U. S. to Iraq. She mocked Gore—and lets mention that headline again. Once again, in the voice-of-Gore: I Feel Pretty, she said.
Lets say it—these people are barely sane. And yes, Dowd will do this to Obama too; as weve seen (though you cant quite accept it), she has already started. Libs and Dems cant pick-and-choose their outrage over this sort of clowning. We have to react to it every time. We have to defend all our candidates.
Meanwhile, the Times should finally do the right thing. Maureen Dowd is barely sane. There are nice rehab centers near Beverly Hills. The Times should escort her to one.
BARELY SANE: On todays op-ed page, sharing space with Dowd: Peter Funt (of Candid Camera!) writes a completely inane analysis of Clintons web site. And dont miss his penultimate paragraph, in which he dumbly warns us again about Obamas middle name.
Andrew Rosenthal—second generation, to the Times manor born—selected this inane discussion. Lets repeat it, until we get it straight. These hapless people are barely sane. And yet, they direct our discussions.
BACK TO THE FUTURE: Give him credit for one small favor. On Monday evening, Chris Matthews gave liberals, progressives and Democrats a clear look at what will be coming. How will Clinton be covered this year? Here—let an idiot tell you:
MATTHEWS (2/19/07): I dont believe early polls. However, I have spent weeks now listening to women—pretty educated women, in fact, very educated women, East Coast types, very professional—one after another after another says, I don`t like Hillary Clinton. They really don`t like her.For some reason, Matthews believes that his lady friends are part of the cognoscenti—and he knows that these friends simply hate Lady Clinton. And if you saw the way Matthews cohort covered Gore in 1999 and 2000, you can expect the same treatment for Clinton. If libs and Dems have an ounce of sense, well start objecting. Right now.
But some of us wont start reacting yet, due to something else Matthews said. Speaking with Obama aide David Axelrod, he provided a further look at what will be coming this year:
MATTHEWS (2/19/07): Let me ask you, David Axelrod—let me just try to make a proposition to you. On behalf of our producers here and everybody that works at MSNBC, we would like a lot to have your candidate, Barack Obama, to sit—the junior senator from Illinois—be our guest, our special guest on a town meeting with college students at some college, perhaps, of his choice. Certainly a good college. And we would to love him in the round with the students for an hour, like we did with John McCain and we have done with other candidates, including Hillary Clinton in the past, and Rudy Giuliani and the others. We have tried to get everybody. We would really like to get Barack Obama. You dont have to answer today.Yes, Matthews has had other pols on his tour; but no, he has never beg-invited a guest in this manner. As he continued, the shape of the future was clear in his grovel:
MATTHEWS (continuing directly): Well, we will pay for it, and it is very expensive, but it will be a well-lighted room and he get a chance to answer questions for a full hour in front of students, and they will get involved with him. And I think it is a great platform for a guy who, clearly, according to my kids, and maybe me too—the kid in me—appeals to the youth of America and the young at heart. There is no doubt what you say is true. He does draw on something deeply good about this country.Kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss kiss! Matthews friends (theyre part of the cognoscenti) just cant stand the thought of Vile Clinton. But his kids—and yes, the kid within—think that Obama does draw on something deeply good about this country.
If you dont understand what that pandering means, you didnt see Matthews hour-long coverage of Obamas announcement, when he and Fineman and Lynn Sweet might as well have been wearing their cheerleader sweaters. And you didnt see his coverage of Campaign 2000, when he pandered and fawned to Dem challenger Bill Bradley—and trashed Gore for two solid years.
Indeed, what makes this clownish, erratic man think hes tied to the cognoscenti? Perhaps he reviewed the high-toned constructs he himself used during Campaign 2000! It might be the program from July 29, 1999, when he delivered his standard derisions as his guests watched tape of Gore:
MATTHEWS (7/29/99): Is Al Gore just incapable of putting, like, one foot in front of the other in this campaign? Hes a professional politician—Ever the high-brow intellectual, Matthews compared Gore to a sci-fi monster. And, as always, more was coming. Mary Boyle, former Dem Senate candidate from Ohio, said that Gore had appeared in Cleveland that day. Matthews continued his onslaught:
MATTHEWS: What mode was he in? Was he in, was he in the quiet mode, or that sort of Clutch Cargo craziness he gets into, or was heNo wonder Matthews glances about and believes hes part of the cognoscenti! In the two segments of this program which dealt with Gore, Matthews said that Gore had the shakes; called him Bill Clintons bathtub ring; and said that he was a square and loser. He said that Gore was a little too clock-like. He said that Gore was pandering to women because he supported the right to choose. He said that Gore was into robotics. (He landed hard on Boyle, and on Norah ODonnell, when they tried to challenge his ridicule.) At one point, he ridiculed Boyle for her defense of Gore, saying that, in explaining his point, he would be talking like Al Gore, very slowly, like Mr. Rogers. He said that Gore is acting like hes made out of metal—not just wood, metal. In time, he returned to his Clutch Cargo theme. Why was Bush polling well among women? After showing more tape of Gore, Matthews thought he might have the answer:
MATTHEWS: Well, could it be that—that George W. Bush seems like a spontaneous human male, rather than a windup robot, like that performance we just saw? That wasnt a human performance He doesnt behave now like—he behaves like a windup Clutch Cargo cartoon character. I wouldnt think that would appeal to the other gender. Just guessing.Gore went on to win 54 percent of the womens vote, compared to Bushs 43. But so what? This sort of thing went on for two years as this utterly stupid man earned his way into the hearts (and wallets) of Jack Welchs cognoscenti. This Sunday, Gore will likely share an Academy Award for a film about his brilliant work on warming. But back when it mattered, Matthews compared Gore to the star of a horror film—and to Clutch Cargo, a cartoon.
With Bradley, of course, it was different. If you want to know how this years primary will be treated, lets recall the way Matthews covered Bill Bradley, the Obama of Campaign 2000. Bradley wasnt part of the Clinton team—and so, on Hardball, he was endlessly flattered. Almost surely, this is how Matthews—and others in the cognoscenti—will be covering Obamas primary run, since (through absolutely no fault of his own) Obama is this years anti-Clinton.
How absurd could Hardball be in its treatment of Bradley? On September 7, 1999, Howard Fineman appeared on the show to discuss a Newsweek profile of the former senator. Fineman found his host in typical form; after playing tape of Gore, Matthews compared Gore to a Chinese poster and a man-like object—a phrase he applied to Gore three separate times in that month alone. In response, Fineman praised Bradley as a Boy Scout and a sports hero straight out of central casting—and as a man who had spent more time with African-Americans in a work environment, albeit the NBA, than anybody else whos ever run. I think thats a big appeal, Matthews dumbly answered.
But then, invidious comparisons, served up straight, were par for the course now on Hardball. When Fineman returned on September 21, Matthews introduced a segment by comparing Gore, whos part of the bathtub ring, to this clean-as-a-whistle NBA star, Bill Bradley. Repeatedly, Gore was called a man-like object and a bathtub ring, and, of course, robotic (and, mockingly, Mr. Wizard). Here was Matthews a few weeks later, reviewing tape of another Gore speech:
MATTHEWS (10/12/99): That strikes me as virtual reality. Theres a man—Ben Jones, you were a congressman—where he, hes reading every word from his script! And then it must say in his script, Now walk out from behind the lectern and start slashing on—your arms, talking about slashing. And he did it almost like an automaton, like thats what Churchill once said of Molotov, you know, the, the closest thing to a human robot.To his credit, Jones didnt seem to know how to react to such an utterly bizarre presentation. But Hardballs host was inventive in trashing Gore—and in fleshing out Bradleys high character. On that September 7 show, for example, Matthews had surely set a new record for ludicrous fawning. By now, the host—a member of the cognoscenti, youll recall— was puffing Bill Bradley quite hard:
FINEMAN (9/7/99): [Bradleys] straight out of central casting in the old-fashioned sense: well-credentialedDid you follow that? According to Matthews, Bradleys hairline and five oclock shadow showed him to be a real guy. And, for the deeply scholarly Matthews, Bradleys hairline was no passing fancy. It came up again when Fineman returned to Hardball two weeks later:
MATTHEWS (9/21/99; playing tape of Bradley): I think hes doing—hes gonna do much better [than Gore] among men. And I think that receding hairline of his is gonna be a lot more popular than Clintons Maginot Line hairline, because a lot of guys say they cant figure out Clinton because he never seems to lose any hair. And look at this guy, Bradley. He looks like a regular guy youd bump into.Again, Bradleys hairline made him a regular guy. Two nights later, Matthews spoke with Peter Maas—and he raised the subject again:
MATTHEWS (9/23/99): Well, what do you make of the guy up there in New York, where youre at—what do you make of guys like Dollar Bill Bradley, the gritty NBA star that goes out on the court with guys like Russell and Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson? And heres a gritty, real guy with a receding hairline. He looks like a real guy. He looks like Bruce Willis, not Pierce Brosnan or Mel Gibson. Do you think were gonna go back to that era of looking for guys that are real guys?Luckily, Maas understood what Matthews wanted, so he was able to pander in turn. Were looking for the genuine article, is what were looking for, he dumbly replied. But then, inane conversation about Bradleys authenticity were sweeping through the press at this time. Even those outside the cohort, like crime writer Maas, understood the themes of this brainless new drama. Or maybe its just that Maas is part of Matthews east coast cognoscenti too.
Lets be clear. Plainly, it wasnt Bradleys fault that Matthews was willing to engage in such nonsense. Nor will it be Obamas fault or doing when Matthews stages this clown-show again (but only during the primaries). But make no mistake, this clown-show is coming—staged by one of the stupidest men in the history of American journalism. Democrats and liberals must decide—now—how we plan to respond.
Obama supporters may quietly chortle, hoping to be helped, as Bradley was, by Matthews consummate clowning. We would suggest that this is unwise. In 1999, Matthews endlessly played the fool as he tried to help Bradley take the nomination. But uh-oh! Gore won the nomination, as Clinton may do—and hed been badly damaged in the process. And of course, Matthews continued to savage Gore all through the rest of Campaign 2000. This two-year pounding paved the way for Bushs trip to the White House.
Dems and liberals need to decide if theyre willing to let this happen again. Make no mistake—you wont hear a word about what is coming from the well-mannered boys of your liberal elites. Nor will they mention it as it occurs. E. J. Dionne wont say a word, any more than he did during Campaign 2000; Josh Marshall most likely wont stand and fight either. We have high hopes for Kevin Drum, but lets face it—even Kevin has to be rated a toss-up. Jamison Foser will stand up and fight, but one or two people just isnt enough. Dems and libs need to ask themselves now if theyre ready to let Giuliani (or McCain) be elected. Many liberals sat aside while Gore was being savaged in 1999. Result? George W. Bush squirmed his ways to the White House—and the U.S. Army is now in Iraq.
So heres a question, to all those members of the liberal cognoscenti who voted for Nader or just clammed up while the fools attacked Gore for two years: How does your lassitude look to you now? And this: Are you willing to let this happen again? Are you prepared to let Saint John McCain be the author of your next crackpot war?
TO SUMMARIZE: Dowd was obsessed with Gores bald spot, Matthews with Bradleys five oclock shadow. (Ah, we Irish!) Have we said that these people are barely sane? That these crackpots are driving your discourse?
TOMORROW—TO THE COGNOSCENTI BORN: Who on earth is Susan Glasser? A look at your press corps elite.
FRIDAY AND MONDAY—HOW GORE GOT SLIMED: This Sunday, we hope well see Al Gore on stage as David Guggenheim receives an Oscar. On Friday and Monday, well help you remember why this man never sat in the White House.
On Friday, well show you how Glasser played you for fools in 1999, as Gore staged his run for the White House. (In the business world, people get sent to jail for similar conduct.) On Monday, well show you how the New York Times mocked Gores work on global warming in that same year, when it massively mattered. How did Bush ever get to the White House? On page one of the New York Times, one of Dowds friends was working quite hard to make you think Gore was a nut.
Yep! She was troubled by Gores loony asides—as he discussed his mid-life crisis, of course. We hope that Gore will be warmly honored this Sunday. But there isnt a circle in hell warm enough for the loathsome pair of scribes well revisit.
A TOP SCHOLARS DARING: No doubt about it—Matthews played the role of the scholar in his discussions of Campaign 2000. He called Gore a bathtub ring over forty times in 1999 alone; in the next year, he ratcheted up his imagery, saying that Gore would lick the bathroom floor if he had to in order to be president (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/10/07). Occasionally, Matthews complimented himself for his daring. Im sure he loves that one, he said on May 14, 1999, after calling Gore the bathtub ring. Ive been very risqué at times, he said a week later, in his infantile way, of this same crude formulation. On March 8, 1999, he called Gore the bathtub ring as I keep saying to the discomfort of many others. In July of that year, we got a peek into the soul of the artist as one guest balked at his language:
MATTHEWS (7/21/99): Is he the bathtub ring of the Clinton administration?Indeed, Gore was taking a hit for Clinton—on Hardball, every damn night.
For the record, Matthews never quite found a better one. He called Gore the bathtub ring all year, then added the image of licking the floor. Its no wonder that a man of his caliber finds himself swarmed by the cognoscenti. All around him, he hears their lofty theories. And surprise! They all hate Clinton!