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WATCHING THEIR NOVEL GROW! Nancy Giles invented more sh*t on another inexcusable Hardball: // link // print // previous // next //
TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 2008

A STANDARD ASSERTION: Richard Cohen gets some things right and some things wrong in today’s column about Reverend Wright. But let’s ignore his views of the current matter. When journalists advance this Standard Laughable Claim, we try to swing into action:

COHEN (3/18/08): But a presidential candidate is not a mere church member, and he operates in a different context. We examine everything about him for the slightest clue about character.

When it comes to presidential candidates, “We examine everything about him for the slightest clue about character.” They make that Standard Claim all the time. Who knows? They may even believe it!

What does the “press corps” actually do? As E. R. Shipp noted in March 2000, they invent different “roles” for the “characters” in their “drama,” then proceed disgracefully from there. For example, does anyone think that the press corps has “examined everything about John McCain for the slightest clue about character?” Does anyone remember the way they “examined everything about Candidate Bush for the slightest clue about character?” Bush’s DUI emerged at the end of Campaign 2000 because, for all their early growling, the press corps hadn’t bothered to check his record in Kennebunkport. Meanwhile, why was CBS still exploring (and bungling) the Air National Guard story during Campaign 04? Because, with very few exceptions, the nation’s big news orgs took a total pass on the story during Campaign 2000.

Instead, they spent their valuable time inventing bogus tales about Gore.

We examine everything about them for the slightest clue about character? In fact, here’s what they actually do: They invent “demon tales” about those they dislike, and recite “hero tales” about those they prefer. Despite this, Cohen’s claim is perfectly standard. They get to keep making this ludicrous claim because career liberals—our side’s house-broken “lovable losers”—keep accepting the things they do.

MISTER DRUDGE SI, NEWSMAX NO: Bill Kristol made a major misstatement in yesterday’s column about Obama. Just like that, Josh Marshal swung into action, snarkily saying that Kristol “forg[ot] that fact-checking is important, even in a hit piece.” In this subsequent post, even the superlative Greg Sargent had some fun, rolling his eyes at the idea that Kristol’s misstatement was “based on reporting by NewsMax, of all things.” (By the way, what ever happened to Horse’s Mouth? We could guess—but we hate such vile conduct.)

For ourselves, we got a bit snarky too—when we read these posts. After all, it was just a few weeks ago that many liberal “lovable losers” were happily citing Matt Drudge as a way to trash Hillary Clinton. Just to establish the historical record, we’ve been meaning to post this exchange from the Charlie Rose show, which we mentioned in real time. Let’s see if we have the current rules straight. Citing NewsMax is abhorrent. Citing Mister Drudge is OK:

ROSE (3/3/08): What did you think when they released the photo to Drudge of Obama in tribal clothing?

DASCHLE: What it said to me was that they still haven’t learned, you know. We thought that after the South Carolina experience, where race was raised, that they had been burned adequately. That led them to believe that this isn’t going to work, and that we shouldn’t be exploiting that kind of tactic again. But nonetheless, it happened. It was a desperate move on the part of some—somebody in the campaign. Hillary of course denies it.

ROSE: Are you convinced that it came from the Clinton campaign to Drudge?

DASCHLE: I’m not convinced of it. Drudge said that it had. Hillary has denied it. Barack has accepted her denial. I’m satisfied with that myself. But if it did come from the Clinton campaign—and again, as I said, that is what Mr. Drudge has insisted—I think it’s a desperate move.

Here at THE HOWLER, we’ve always liked Daschle. But in that exchange, you see a major Democrat utterly disgracing himself. To state the obvious, Daschle had no earthly idea if that photo “came from the Clinton campaign.” (By the way, that isn’t what “Mister Drudge” had said.) But he was perfectly happy to say that it had (before later admitting his ignorance). All based on what “Mister Drudge has insisted,” of course.

Has insisted! Simply astounding.

At any rate, please remember the rules—at least the rules that obtain this week. It’s outrageous to take your facts from NewsMax. From Mister Drudge? Please! A-OK!

WATCHING THEIR NOVEL GROW: We love to watch their novels grow. Yesterday morning, Bill Clinton told ABC’s Robin Roberts that he got a raw deal when he was slammed for comparing Obama’s win in South Carolina to Jesse Jackson’s two victories in the state. To watch the tape, just click here.

Ten hours later, the propaganda—sorry, the novelizing—started up quickly on Hardball. Chris Matthews engaged in standard clowning about Clinton’s troubling body language with Roberts (not included below). But it was “social commentator” Nancy Giles who extended a colorful novel:

MATTHEWS (3/17/08): I was amazed to see Bill Clinton—I always say that somewhat sarcastically; I don’t mean to be sarcastic—I saw Bill Clinton on Good Morning America this morning said that he had nothing to apologize for when he compared Barack Obama’s victory in South Carolina with that of Jesse Jackson. He wasn’t marginalizing the minority candidate. He was doing nothing wrong. Whereas Hillary said, if I did something wrong or my husband did something wrong, please forgive him. Different points of view, obviously, here on the campaign trail by Bill and Hill.

GILES: Absolutely. And the funny thing to me is, if you watch and you remember the moment when sort of standing there saying, “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina, Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson;” he never said anything about him winning with a biracial coalition like he claimed this morning. He just kept repeating “Jesse Jackson” in this kind of wild-eyed crazy way like, remember, “Jesse, Jesse.” It’s totally disingenuous for him to say that today, I think.

Absolutely, Giles enthused. And then, she started inventing.

In fairness, Giles’ remarks created a colorful new chapter in the press corps’ favorite novel. Unfortunately, her remarks just weren’t—what’s the word? Oh yeah—her remarks weren’t “true.” At this link, you see the full transcript of the press exchange in which the now-famous Jackson comment was made. Clinton mentioned Jackson’s name once (after saying several times that he wouldn’t “take the bait”). If it’s the truth you expect from people like Giles, Clinton didn’t “sort of stand there saying, ‘Jesse Jackson won South Carolina, Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson.’” He didn’t “keep repeating ‘Jesse Jackson’ in this kind of wild-eyed crazy way.” He didn’t say “Jesse, Jesse.” Nancy Giles simply made that sh*t up. But making sh*t up about disfavored Dems has long been standard press practice.

Readers, enjoy the irony! In his interview with Roberts, Clinton complained that his remark about Jackson had been falsely turned into a racial matter. As if to reinforce his larger point, Matthews and his gang of clowns got busy adding bogus chapters to their favorite novel. First, Matthews made clownish remarks about Clinton’s troubling body language. Then, Giles engaged in conduct normally described as “lying”—except in the “mainstream” “press corps,” of course, where making sh*t up (inventing novels) is a part of the standard culture.

By normal standards, Giles should be gone. (She should have been gone a long time ago. Matthews should have been gone by 1999.) Tomorrow, we’ll show you how an early chapter in this press corps novel was composed. Thursday, we’ll spend some time examining Matthews’ high-minded recent thoughts about race. Our question, which we’ll post to you as well: Which part of “Jesse Jackson” makes this creep think of a “ghetto?”