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Anderson Cooper played the fool, with back-up from Lady Stoddard
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CHILDREN OF THE RICH AND FATUOUS AND THEIR PERUSALS OF DEEMING! Anderson Cooper played the fool, with back-up from Lady Stoddard: // link // print // previous // next //

History delayed is history denied: Despite that time-honored principle, we’ve pushed back the posting of Chapter 4 at our companion site, How he got there (click here). We’re now aiming for next Tuesday, though it’s possible that we might even extend to a week after that.

For those who are following, here’s our excuse, especially since this chapter has basically been in the can for years:

Chapter 4 sets the scene for the press coverage of the 2000 primary races. By early October of that year, Fred Barnes had noted that Candidates McCain and Bush were both press corps favorites. (What ever happened to liberal bias? According to Barnes, Bush and McCain had “gotten along famously with the press largely because reporters like them.” Barnes said that reporters have a “liking problem” when it came to such candidates—that they tend to get “fooled” by such favorites.) Meanwhile, everyone knew that Candidate Bradley was getting treated in the manner predicted by William Powers, who had written a whimsical but probing piece in the National Journal about the press corps’ decades-long love affair with this most-favored pol. (“Let’s not beat around the bush,” Powers wrote in December 1998, when Bradley announced his plan to run. “Bill Bradley slays us.”) That left one outlier among the four leading candidates. That outlier was Candidate Gore, at whom the press corps “jeered,” “hissed,” “groaned,” “howled” and “laughed” all through his first debate with Bradley, according to separate reports by three major journalists. (For the world’s second report of this astonishing conduct, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/3/99. We had gotten a phone call that night—from just outside the press room.)

(Note: Even after three journalists described this astonishing conduct, the “liberal” world never discussed it. In this manner, the “liberal” world rolled over and died—as would many more in Iraq.)

Eventually, the press corps’ universally acknowledged “swoon” for McCain surpassed its love affair with Bradley. But as the fall campaign began, three major candidates were getting “puffed” (to use Barnes’ term). And the fourth was getting jeered.

Where it led:

Four days after that first Gore-Bradley debate, the press corps seized on a “speculation” about Naomi Wolf, inventing a ludicrous, month-long “scandal” about Gore’s troubling wardrobe. (People! His suit jackets had three buttons! Four, Arianna once said.) At that point, they invented the Love Canal “scandal;” this hardened the claim that Gore was a LIAR, turning the claim into stone. (Oops! Completely accidentally, Ceci and “Kit” had accidentally misquoted something Gore said. Plainly, their unintentional error was a total accident.) To state the obvious, this is the way George Bush reached the White House, although the “liberal” world has always refused to tell you the truth about this history. (Good God, how they love to play you!) In its full sweep, it’s one of the most remarkable—and most consequential—episodes in American journalistic history.

And you’re not allowed to know about it! Too many of your “liberal” heroes are up to their ears in this mess.

Chapter 4 sets the stage for those 2000 primaries. In the end, we didn’t like the way we had told the story, although it had been in the can for years. At the moment, we’re revising our story-telling. History delayed is history denied. But when dealing with matters so many have disappeared, the story must be told well.

Children of the rich and fatuous and their perusals of deeming (permalink): Last evening, Gloria Vanderbilt’s best baby boy opened his program with health reform. More precisely, he opened his eponymous program (plus a number) with this fierce presentation:

COOPER (3/16/10): Tonight: Whatever you think of the health reform bill, are desperate Democrats abandoning transparency to pass it? Are they trying to avoid accountability? Republicans say yes. And to point—and they point to a possible maneuver the Democrats may use. We are "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.

It sounded important! And deeply principled! And so, after teasing the things he really loves (see below), Anderson Cooper introduced his segment about health reform. As always, Gloria Vanderbilt’s best baby boy was letting us know he was “Keeping Them Honest.” Unfortunately, though, this very best boy was also in a pickle!

You see, Nancy Pelosi had proposed something that was “anything but simple!” And let’s face it. If it isn’t gong-show simple, Gloria’s boy don’t get it:

COOPER: First up, though, “Keeping Them Honest”—tonight, the Democrats. Five more of them in the House today saying they plan to vote against the Senate health bill. Now, that means opponents are only 11 votes shy, just 11, from defeating in its entirety the defining item on the president's agenda.

For weeks now, President Obama has been saying, we need to know where congresspeople stand on health care, right? And he has been calling for a simple up-or-down vote. You either support it, or you don't.

But, today, we got word that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is considering a vote that is anything but simple. In fact, it's a way of voting for or against something without actually voting for or against it. So why would they do this?

Well, Ed Henry tonight is “Keeping Them Honest.”

What followed was a roughly seven-minute segment about Pelosi’s proposal. In Henry’s words, Pelosi may perhaps “use a maneuver known as ‘deeming,’ where the House passes a rule to approve fixes to the Senate health bill, and deems the underlying Senate bill has already become law, without House members actually having to vote on it.”

“Why would they do this?” Cooper had asked. In all candor, it isn’t all that hard to explain. Here’s a stab at the puzzling matter:

Explanation: Nobody in the House wants the Senate bill to pass, or become law, without a set of relatively minor changes. (This includes getting rid of the so-called “Cornhusker kickback,” to cite one high-profile example. Cooper has probably heard of it.) The House could pass the Senate bill, then pass a second bill which includes those changes to the bill. But in passing the bill in the manner proposed, the House is in effect passing the Senate bill with the changes. In effect, they are doing all this in one step, instead of doing it in two. They are passing the Senate bill after making a set of changes.

Repeat: They wouldn’t be passing the Senate bill. They would be passing the Senate bill after making some changes. But alas! To Gloria Vanderbilt’s dumbest boy, this is just too hard to explain. It’s “anything but simple,” he instantly groused. “So why would they do this?”

Did you doubt that you live in an idiocracy? If you ever doubted that notion, we hope you got a chance to watch Gloria’s fellow last night.

Gloria Vanderbilt’s best boy devoted roughly seven minutes to this (very important) topic, ending his segment at 10:08 Eastern. Ed Henry had stammered his way through an exposition, then David Gergen had come on to thunder his opinion about the proposed procedure. (He disapproves.) The transcript of the segment is here; you can read it, to see if viewers got anything like a clear explanation of what is involved in this proposed action. (Or to see if viewers were ever told what would happen after such a vote by the House.) And then, at last, at 10:08, Gloria Vanderbilt’s fatuous boy was free to go where he truly wanted.

Result? He discussed Tiger Woods and his sexy-time troubles from roughly 10:10 until 10:25, his furrowed brow plainly letting us know that this is something that really matters. And then, at 10:25, he looked dumbly into the camera and dumbly told us this:

COOPER: We're going to have more on Tiger— We're going to have more on Tiger Woods and his problems and how he's dealing with them, including a look at his religion, Buddhism. If you're interested, you can go for that to

Still ahead, though, tonight in this hour: New developments in the case of “the Dating Game killer.” This guy is so creepy...

At 25 minutes after the hour, Gloria’s boy was through with “Tiger Woods and his problems” (unless you went on-line). He was ready to move ahead to his next topic—to lurid tales of “the Dating Game killer.”

“This guy is so creepy,” he said. His viewers still didn’t have the first fracking idea what “deeming” is all about.

Since you asked: Where would Cooper go after discussing the creepy killer? Of course! At 10:25, this was his fuller tease:

COOPER: Still ahead, though, tonight in this hour: new developments in the case of “the Dating Game killer.” This guy is so creepy. He is the former game show contestant convicted of killing four women and a 12-year-old girl back in the 70s. The question is, is he responsible for more murders? Clues may be in more than 100 photos found in his storage facility. Police are looking at them. They want you to see the pictures. We will show them to you ahead.

And the pope under pressure—what did he know about sex abuse that happened when he was an archbishop in Germany? When did he know it, and why isn't he talking? “Crime & Punishment” and the Catholic—coming up.

Of course! Along with the Dating Game killer, it would be “the pope under pressure.” Just like Tiger and the killer, the pope has sex problems too!

Simple story: If you didn’t know you live in an idiocracy, Cooper was happy to show you last night, on his eponymous hour-long gong-show, which has gone massively tabloid. (Sorry, but that has been the framework even for the bulk of his Haiti coverage, which he continues even today, if he can bring on Sean Penn.) Meanwhile, on The O’Reilly Factor, the discussions of deeming may have been even dumber. Speaking in plummy pleasing tones, A. B. Stoddard condescended to offer this “explanation” of the procedure. Pathetically, this is the lady’s discussion of “deeming” (or “deem-and-pass”) right from the top:

O'REILLY (3/16/10): I don't believe [deeming] is going to happen, Carl. The outcry in this country would be so enormous. The anger, so intense, that would pretty much doom the Obama administration. A.B., do you agree with that?

STODDARD: I do think that you're beginning to get a sense with each passing critique of the kind of gimmicks the Democrats are depending on. First, it was reconciliation. Now it's deem-and-pass. With each one, they're losing more and more steam.

O'REILLY: Yeah, I mean—

STODDARD: And they're in some kind of political quicksand over this. I—

O'REILLY: Just put yourself in the shoes of the—

STODDARD: Even House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer today said, you know, the American people won't be— Real Americans will not be able to distinguish the difference between the two. What is deem-and-pass—

O'REILLY: Are you kidding me?

STODDARD: —versus what is supporting the Senate bill?

O'REILLY: Are you kidding me with cable news and talk radio? Are you kidding me? Look—

STODDARD: I don't think people—no, no, but—

O'REILLY: You can't. Put yourself in President Obama’s bill.

STODDARD: I think they're the same. I think, Bill, I think they're the same! I think you deem it, you're supporting the bill.

Is it possible to be dumber than that? Stoddard said “deem-and-pass” is the same as supporting the Senate bill. But alas! Throughout this moronic Factor segment, no one explained that the House would in fact be passing an amended Senate bill. (“Amended” means “changed, not the same.”) Stoddard failed to explain that utterly basic point. Neither did Mr. O or or his other guest, Carl Cameron, except in a fast, glancing manner. In fact, Mr. O did three segments on this topic last night. For our money, no one ever really explained that the House wouldn’t be passing the Senate bill—they’d be passing an amended version of same. This was so hard and so confusing, it even escaped “MONICA CROWLEY, PH.D.,” as the lady is clownishly chyroned in her weekly segment. (A cruel person could say that this is another way Fox News has been semi-aped by MSNBC. And no, we won’t explain.)

With her delectably plummy tones, Stoddard reflected her upper-class, napkin-ironing background (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/5/07). Plummy vocalizations aside, last night’s hapless presentations reflected a key point: More and more, you don’t have a “press corps” at all. In its place, you have a mahoganied club filled with the rich and fatuous—and their underperforming offspring. Addled legacies take to the air, with furrowed brows and plummy tones. Did you doubt that you live in an idiocracy? Gloria’s dearest—and Lady Stoddard—helped disabuse you last night.

Gloria’s legacy: Cooper has now done segments on “the Dating Game killer” in three of his last six programs (March 9, March 12, March 16). Just a question: “Shocking photos” to the side, is this a real national news story? As best we can tell from a Nexis search, the New York Times hasn’t mentioned this case in the past week. Neither has the Washington Post or the Washington Times. Even the Los Angeles Times, where the story is local, only mentioned the matter once, on March 10. Just click here.

Two points:

Cooper thinks the man is so creepy! And Cooper has excellent health care.

Still coming: Howell’s complaint