Years ago, we did a radio show with young Continetti. At the time, we had no idea our influence was so strong!
The ballad of Senator Ensign: John Ensign has finally resigned from the Senate. At the top of the New York Times front page, Eric Lipton writes the news report, including the background information.
In our hard-copy Times, the following background account begins in paragraph 5. (On-line, some changes have occurred.) Well highlight a basic part of the story we liberals may not have heard:
LIPTON (4/22/11): The resignation marks the final chapter in the career of a politician who a few even thought might reach the White House, but who instead got caught up in a particularly salacious Washington scandal. Mr. Ensign, 53, a veterinarian and former casino executive, had cast himself as a religious conservative, and lived with other lawmakers in a Capitol Hill townhouse run by a religious group.
But in 2007 he began an affair with the wife of Doug Hampton, his best friend. The families had been close, vacationing together once. Their children were playmates, and the senator even encouraged Mr. Hampton to come to Washington, where Mr. Hampton became his most loyal aide. Mr. Hampton's wife, Cynthia, worked as treasurer of Mr. Ensign's campaign and political action committee.
After learning of the affair in 2008, Mr. Hampton confronted the senator. Soon after, he and his family were given $96,000 by the senator's parents, described by Mr. Ensign as a gift, and Mr. Hampton left the senator's staff.
Humiliated, and struggling to make a living, Mr. Hampton threatened to make the affair public. Senate ethics investigators have been examining whether Mr. Ensign then tried to buy his silence by using his office to help Mr. Hamptons fledgling lobbying career.
In paragraph 6, still on the front page, the Times included a basic part of this story: The Ensigns and the Hamptons were long-time best friends. We were struck by the high placement the Times gave this fact, because we had been struck by something else last evening:
Last night, we were struck by the way Rachel Maddow disappeared this fact, as she always does.
Does it matter that these couples were long-time best friends? Thats a matter of judgment, but its certainly part of the story. Unless youre watching liberal TV, in which case you never hear that fact, and a tawdrier tale will be served. This is part of the contemptuous, disrespectful way Maddow clucked out the tale last night. Disrespectful to women, that is:
MADDOW (4/21/11): But then, after all of that, in 2009, John Ensign got caught cheating on his wife. He was shtooping one of his own staffers who was married to another Ensign staffer, all the while he wasall of which was taking place as he was serving as the Republican Partys Senate campaign chairman. Incidentally, in that next election, the Republicans lost a ton of seats in the Senate.
When John Ensigns affair was outed, the senator cut both of the staffers in the situation loose. He cut loose the one he was shtooping and he cut loose the one that she was married to. Both of them had to leave John Ensigns employ.
But when they did, Senator Ensigns parents cut their family a check for $96,000. His mom and dad did it. They are very wealthy apparently. They own casinos.
If that $96,000 was a severance payment to the senators girlfriend and her husband, that could be construed as illegal. So, a lawyer for the Ensign family claimed at the time that this $96,000 was really just a gifta gift specifically structured as eight separate $12,000 payments to avoid paying the gift tax.
Quote, "His parents decided to make the gifts out of concern for the well-being of longtime friends during a difficult time."
Despite that nearly $100,000 payoff, the husband whose wife Senator Ensign was shtooping complained publicly about the senators behavior, and about the financial straits of his family, after both husband and wife lost their jobs with John Ensign.
Last month, that same husband was indicted on charges of lobbying illegally, specifically, lobbying Senator John Ensign illegallylobbying Senator John Ensign illegally from a job that Senator Ensign arranged from him after that whole I have to fire you and your wife because Im shtooping her thing. The husband was indicted. Senator Ensign was not indicted.
Maddow is a lovely smiling warm humane presencebut only within the tribe. Outside the tribe, her contempt is often quite plain and quite strong. Last night, Cindy Hampton was simply the one he was shtooping; Doug Hampton was the one she was married to. But then, tribal players have always referred to The Others as things.
(Doug Hampton was also just a staffer last night. Viewers werent told that he was Ensigns chief of staff. Covering keister, Maddow included the fact that the families were friendsbut only in someone elses voice, in a context where the fleeting claim seemed suspect.)
By our count, Maddow told us that Ensign had been shtooping Hampton six separate times last night. We paid a price for this conduct, of course. At the end of this, her opening segment, Maddow staged one of the nut-cake morality plays in which she pretends to be deeply embarrassed by a very naughty bad thing she has said. Ensigns resignation may give the Republican Party a leg up on holding onto that Senate seat in next years elections, she correctly noted. And then, the highly embarrassed lady profusely apologized for having used the very bad phrase, a leg up. As the segment ended, she put her head all the way down on her desk in utter sheer mortification.
But then, whatever her virtues may be, Maddow is a balls-out nut and a bit of a fake, as has been clear for some time. To watch the full segment, click here.
If you watch the Maddow show, you never hear that the Ensigns and the Hamptons were long-time friends. The Times saw this as a basic part of the story. On liberal cable, you get denied this knowledge
Clearly, that fact is part of the storybut does the fact make any difference?
Well yes, in some ways it does.
A minor difference: The fact that these families were long-time friends may have colored the conduct of Ensigns parents. Of course, the Justice Department dropped its criminal probe of Ensign in December; Maddow semi-disclosed that fact (see above), but only after pleasing us liberals with this pleasing tidbit: If that $96,000 was a severance payment to the senators girlfriend and her husband, that could be construed as illegal.
A larger difference involves simple humanity. Might we put in a good word here for Senator Ensigns conduct?
According to the Times, the solon got caught up in a particularly salacious Washington scandal. In some ways, wed have to differ. Presumably, it might be a better world if people never broke their vows and their marriage commitments. But people break their vows all the timeand Ensign did so with someone he actually knew, with a woman who was his own age. (Ensign is 53; Hampton is 48.) As salacious Washington scandals go, this is very unusual conduct. You might even call it human.
You might call such conduct human. But if youve watched the Maddow show in the last few years, you have been given a different impression. Basic facts have been withheld, presumably to improve the tale from the tribal perspective. Your hostess, so kind within the tribe, is quite unkind to those without. She has persistently kept you from knowing the human context of this affair.
And so, from the mind of this beautiful child has come a rather ugly judgment. Cindy Hampton, 48 years of age, was simply the one he was shtooping. To Maddow, Ensign was shtooping Hampton. Hampton, 45 years of age at the time, apparently played no role in this conduct.
In fairness, we were spared one indignity on last nights broadcast. For once in her tribal life, Maddow kept the children out of it! You see, the Hamptons have a son who is now 21 years old. A few years ago, Senator Ensign got him an internship at the Republican Senate Campaign Committee; the post even paid the grand sum of $1000 per month! There is nothing even vaguely unusual about such conduct, until a tribal hater gets hold of it. And sure enough! To Maddow, this vile and troubling conduct was plainly part of the cover-up! That damage control included putting his mistress teenage son on the Republican Senate Campaign Committees payroll, she excitedly told you last year (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/19/10). But then again, as weve already said, Maddows a bit of a nutand she likes the word mistress.
Were always amazed when they drag the children in to serve their tribal tastes. But the haters love to do it. (As a child, John Kerry went to school in Switzerland! When he was eight years old, Al Gore was a big tattletale!)
Lets review: We were spared the tale of the son last night, but we got a good dollop of shtooping. After that, we got to marvel at Rachels goodness when she put her head on her desk, embarrassed by something shed said. But then, whatever her various virtues may be, Maddow is a balls-out nutand a tribal hater.
In the long run, this is very bad politics for progressive interests.
Full disclosure! Were so old that we can remember when the haters and the balls-out nut-cakes were sticking their big long noses into the sexual life of a Big Major Democrat, making up and withholding facts to suit their tribal needs. Back then, we liberals sometimes pretended to hate that shit, even though some of our biggest leaders were deeply involved in the hunt. (CoughFrank Rich.) Today, we churn this garbage oursleves. We entertain ourselves with talk about the one he was shtooping.
Last Sunday, we liberals learned of our greatest shortcoming; it seems were just too tolerant! (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/18/11.) Last night, Colonel Sherburn came to us in a dream, snorting about this silly idea. To learn what the fiery colonel said, continue reading below.
Colonel Wilkerson briefly appeared in the dream, but Sherburn cuffed him aside.
HIDING BIG EDS SHOW (permalink): Last night, ODonnell was at it again, calling the roll of the nations millions of racists. Once again, he gave Trump a pass. Not so for those average people:
ODONNELL (4/21/11): [Donald Trump] choosesactively choosesto continue to fan the flames of hatred of Barack Obama.
He must realize by now that much of that hatred is based on the president`s policy positions. But probably even more of it, that raw ugly hatred, is based on simple old-fashioned racism.
According to the polls, millions of this countrys most virulent racists now feel they have someone they could vote for for president. Donald Trump is giving public voice to the most polite things that those people think about our first African-American president. The rest of what those racists think about Barack Obama and black people generally cannot be said in public, so they dont actually expect to hear it from Trump. But they hope deep downif there is anything deep down in Donald Trumpthat he is every bit as racist as they are.
When the racists see Michele Bachman back down in the face of the proof of President Obamas birth, and they see Donald Trump fight on, they have reason to hope that Trump shares their motivation, their strain of hatred of Barack Obama.
And Trump is careful to do nothing, to say nothing, to dissuade them from that belief.
Donald Trump may not be a racist, but he is now the racists greatest hero. He is their front man.
According to the polls? Which polls have told us how many of our most virulent racists are planning to vote for Trump? At any rate:
Once again, ODonnell gave Trump a pass, expressly saying that the great man may not be a racist. He even worked in a few qualifiers about the great unwashed masses. According to this public soothsayer, the hatred of Obama isnt all based on racism. According to ODonnell, much of that hatred is based on the presidents policy positions. But probably even more of it, that raw ugly hatred, is based on simple old-fashioned racism.
Helpfully, ODonnell went on to quantify the matter. According to ODonnell, millions of this countrys most virulent racists are backing Trump because of their hatred. Presumably, quite a few of our mid-level racists are backing Trump for the same reason, although ODonnell didnt have enough time to get into those numbers.
How many virulent racists are backing Trump? Like ODonnell, we have no idea. As we noted yesterday, a great many of these same people believed all kinds of crazy shit about a string of major white Democrats over the past twenty years. As anyone who did talk radio knows, the hatred of Candidate Gore was quite strong by the end of Campaign 2000; it seemed stronger to us than the earlier hatred of Clinton. On TV, the half-wit ODonnell was driving such sentiment along.
How many virulent racists are backing Trump? Like ODonnell, we have no idea. Racism has always been our greatest national scourgea scourge so vast we still dont have a language to discuss it. But so what? People like ODonnell play with race as children plays with their toys.
In the long run, this is very bad politics; its also dumb on the merits. Today, lets consider one additional element. Lets ever-so-briefly discuss the rank hypocrisy here.
For various reasons, we never play the hypocrisy card. Today, well make an exception.
MSNBC keeps feeding white liberals the joy of yelling race. We find that ironic, because this channels fiery white liberals dont seem to give a fat flying fig about raceexcept when it provides a chance to pander to us white liberals.
Consider the embarrassing program Ed Schultz recently hosted.
Weirdly, the two-hour program aired at 12 noon on Sunday, April 10. We say weirdly, because no one interested in news watches MSNBC at that hour. This channels weekend schedule is devoted to the lurid crime shows it calls documentaries, shows in which we get to learn about the lives of black men locked up in jail.
This coming Sunday, for example, MSNBC is airing Dead Men Talking: Trail of Evidence at noon. This will be followed by the thoughtful Dead Men Talking: Eternal Neighbors at 1 PM.
Sunday evening, we get to watch Body Snatchers of New York at 9 PM, followed by another documentary at 10: Vegas Undercover: Crime Never Sleeps.
Into this regularly-scheduled hellhole, MSNBC dropped a special two-hour broadcast on April 10: A Stronger America: The Black Agenda. The show was hosted by the worlds whitest known person, MSNBC anchor Ed Schultz. At the Tampa Bay Tribune, Eric Deggans puzzled over the puzzling project. This was one of his many questions:
DEGGANS (3/30/11): It's hard to know what troubles me more about an upcoming MSNBC special dubbed "A Stronger Nation: The Black Agenda," planned April 10 at a convention held by Al Sharpton's National Action Network.
Is it the fact that a similar event last year was hosted by a more diverse anchor panel, including African American anchor Tamron Hall?
Has MSNBC grown so diversity-challenged it can't find another anchor of color to join Ed Schultz, who is white, in leading a discussion about black leadership?
Many black commentators puzzled over Schultzs selection.
Deggans, who is always sensible, raised a list of questions. In one way, he was too kind.
What was most striking about this broadcast? The fact that it was dropped into a ghettoized hole at 12 noon on a Sunday! Can we talk? On The One True Liberal Channel, white liberals are allowed to talk about racebut only when no one is watching! Beyond that, if you go to the programs web site, you will note the second-class citizenship the Great Liberal Channel extended. Our great liberal channel couldnt be bothered to prepare a transcript of what transpired. Beyond that, videotape is provided of only a few of this two-hour programs segments.
How strange! When our Great White Hopes broadcast each weekday night, full transcripts are always provided! Full video is posted for all the words which spill from several hosts mouths.
Bottom line: We modern white liberals love to posture about our own vast racial greatness. But weve never seen a group of folk so blind to their actual conduct. You couldnt get MSNBC to discuss a racial issue with a shotgunexcept at noon on Sunday, at a time when no one is watching! Meanwhile, when do Maddow, Schultz, ODonnell or Matthews ever discuss any racial issue?
Surely, you know the answer.
Lets consider one important topic The Great White Hope raised on that special Sunday. In a segment which can be watched on tape, Schultz led a dispirited panel through a 14-minute discussion of public school issues. Schultz had virtually nothing to say, though he did ask at one point if a good education is a civil right.
In that one non-vacuous moment, he was of course echoing George W. Bush, the man liberals love to hate.
Quite literally, MSNBCs white hosts never discuss public schools, even though this has been a very large topic in the wider society. The topic doesnt exist on MSNBC; to cite one example, Michelle Rhees name has never been mentioned on the Maddow show, or on Schultzs own program. (It was never mentioned on Countdown.)
This channel is deeply involved in the rights and interests of gays and lesbians, as of course it should be. But black kids can just go hang on this channeland they can take their Hispanic friends along. Their needs and interests dont exist in the world of this gruesome channela channel whose millionaire hosts often pretend to be great racial heroes.
Last night, in a surprise appearance, Colonel Sherburn came to us in a dream, straight from the pages of Mark Twains most-assigned novel. (To read the words Twain once put in his mouth, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 4/18/11.) Much as he did in Twains famous novel, Sherburn mocked the affectations of a highly self-impressed group. His words were adapted from Twains text. Startled from our sleep, we jotted down the bulk of what he said.
Brandishing his rifle gain, Sherburn seemed to be addressing a group of modern white liberals. MSNBC seemed to be on in the background. Was that ODonnell we heard?
COLONEL SHERBURN (4/22/11): The idea of YOU chastising the nations racists! It's amusing. Because you're brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out tea-baggers, did that make you think you had grit enough to tackle real racial issues? Why, a RACISTS safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kindas long as it's daytime and you're not behind him.
Your cable shows and your blogs call you a tolerant people so much that you think you are more tolerant than any other peoplewhereas you're just AS tolerant, and no more so. Why don't your cable shows talk about black kids? In part, because they're afraid youd stop watching. And thats just what you WOULD do.
We were shocked by what he said too. Well just report his ridiculous words, letting you decide.
Epilog/None dare call Coulter a racist: Last night, ODonnell pimped the wisdom of Michele Bachmann, failing to note that she says different things depending on the channel. But none dare call Ann Coulter a racist! Below, you see some of the things she said on Hannity two weeks ago. She made many inaccurate statements. But she wants the birthkrieg to end:
COULTER (4/11/11): I don't know where [Trump] gets this $2 million Obama has spent to keep his birth certificate. He posted his birth certificate on his web page!
I am glad that Donald Trump is bringing it up so that people who haven't been paying attention and don't know that the American Spectator, Human Events, Fox News, you know, every conservative outlet has already shot down this rumor, which by the way, was started by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Now they will have a chance to find out this is Donald Trump's Pierre Salinger moment. You can't believe everything you read on the Internet. Obama has produced his birth certificate. There were announcements that ran in two contemporaneous Hawaiian newspapers at that time.
The head of the Hawaiian medical record has announced, I have seen the long form you all want. I don't know why the long form is considered more credible than the short form. They are both from the same office.
The State Department accepts the short form or as we call it, the birth certificate. Hawaii accepts the birth certificate short form. So I mean, it is a conspiracy theory that won't die on the Internet, but every responsible, conservative organization took a look at it and shot it down, which is why you hear it being talked about exclusively on the liberal cable stations.
I mean, I think the main thing is, no conservative who talks on TV or has a column or has a magazine has mentioned the birth certificate issue because we've looked at it and have discounted it.
You have people who want to get, you know, hits to their websites or want to get listeners to their radio show, who will keep ginning people up about this. But it is one of the rare conservativeI suppose it is more conservative than liberal only because it's anti-Obama.
But I don't even know that these are conservatives promoting it. As I say, this came out of the Hillary Clinton campaign. So Donald Trump is the only person who would be invited on a TV show who is pushing the birther thing. That's why it is getting attention and of course, liberals are delighted.
You'll notice who is asking him about it. It is the liberal media. They want to keep talking about it because it helps discredit all opposition to Obama.
There are a lot of reasons to think Obama is a very bad president doing bad things to this country. The idea that he was born in Kenya is not one of them, but it allows liberals, the mainstream media, the White House itself to keep saying, Opposition to me are these crazy birthers.
You haven't heard that on Fox News. You haven't heard it in Human Events, in National Review or American spectator, all of which have shot at that.
Much of that is bunk, of course. But no one can call Ann Coulter a racist! Shes on the not-racist side!