Companion site:


Google search...


Daily Howler: Quindlen got it right--about Gary Bauer! But will she dare take on the swells?
Daily Howler logo
QUINDLEN GETS IT RIGHT! Quindlen got it right—about Gary Bauer! But will she dare take on the swells? // link // print // previous // next //
SATURDAY, MAY 14, 2005

QUINDLEN GETS IT RIGHT: Joining Peter Beinart’s effort (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/9/05), Anna Quindlen gets it right in her current column in Newsweek. She discusses the way Hillary Clinton has been trashed-and-spun for the past dozen years. And for once, a major mainstream pundit discusses this process in the way it deserves. And so: Three cheers for Quindlen, for speaking directly about what has occurred!

Yes, let’s offer three big cheers for Quindlen’s direct, cutting language! “After years of free-floating propaganda,” she writes, “[p]eople are finally seeing past the...fabrications” about Senator Clinton. The fabrications have come from something Quindlen correctly describes as a “smear machine”—a smear machined that “suckered” voters as it “demonized” the former first lady. Fabrications? Smears? And propaganda? Over the past decade, mainstream journalists have been reluctant to speak so frankly about this smear machine—perhaps because so much of its effort has come from within their own ranks.

So let’s hope that this scribe will continue to fight, even against her own cohort. In her column, Quindlen singles out a conservative, Gary Bauer, for making phony attacks against Clinton. But over the course of the past dozen years, mainstream and “liberal” scribes have played a huge role in this free-floating propaganda campaign against Clinton. Which brings us to the latest disgraceful outing by Chris Matthews and his “liberal” colleague, Margaret Carlson.

On Tuesday evening’s edition of Hardball, Matthews and Carlson discussed the ongoing trial of former Clinton fund-raiser David Rosen. Is Rosen guilty of wrong-doing? To state the obvious, we don’t know; his trial began just this week, and the gentleman has pleaded not guilty. But Rosen’s prosecutors have stressed, in court, that Clinton wasn’t involved in the misconduct they allege against Rosen (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/12/05). Let’s say it again—Rosen’s prosecutors openly say that Clinton wasn’t aware of his conduct. They allege that Rosen screwed up the planning of a Hollywood event, then kept the news of the bungling from Clinton to maintain his spot in her campaign.

But so what? As they have done for the past dozen years, Carlson and Matthews rubbed their thighs Tuesday night, slipping the leg irons on the senator. (Conservative Tony Blankley was on the scene too, panting just like his two “liberal” colleagues.) Let’s not waste time with tiny details. Here is the culmination of their latest repulsive performance:

MATTHEWS (5/10/05): I`m sorry, lady and gentleman. This involves a guy being wire by the FBI, having a conversation in which he elicited information from a guy that is apparently damaging enough to be used in court. It seems to me like we`re on the trail of a serious story here. This isn`t just some FEC violation. This is a criminal matter, right?

BLANKLEY: Oh, it is a serious matter. And whoever gets implicated in it is going to be in big trouble.

MATTHEWS: I mean, if David Rosen has to go to the can for a couple years, I think he might have an attitude about this.

CARLSON: If David Rosen flips—

BLANKLEY: He`s been cooperating with the Clinton lawyers, I`ve been told.


BLANKLEY: He`s been cooperating with them. He said—he called himself a guinea pig, letting the Clinton lawyers make his pleading as any way. So, the chance of him not rolling over for the Clintons, like Webster Hubbell and all the rest, to me, is de minimus.

MATTHEWS: So, he`s going down for them?


CARLSON: Well, if he gets 15 years, I think he flips.

MATTHEWS: It`s squeeze time. Anyway, coming up, more on the Republican effort to end the filibuster.

If if if if if if if! If David Rosen “has to go to the can.” If David Rosen gets fifteen years! If David Rosen “flips” on Clinton! And of course, Blankley offered the mandatory comparison to Webster Hubbell, as is required by the laws of his cohort! Hubbell was guilty of stealing from the Clintons, but so what? We think you know the rules of this game; by Pundit Law, he is still spun as a stool pigeon for the Clintons in these inane conversations.

As usual, though, Margaret Carlson took the cake in Tuesday night’s discussion. “If Rosen gets 15 years,” she gushed, “I think he flips” on Senator Clinton. The next day, of course, the prosecutors stood up in court and said that Clinton had no knowledge of Rosen’s alleged misconduct. But so what? On Hardball, Quindlen’s colleagues from the mainstream media were slipping the irons around Clinton’s ankles. No, this wasn’t Gary Bauer—an easy target for a liberal. This was a pair of vaunted regulars from the finest, most inane party circuit.

During the course of that dozen years, “liberal” scribes have kept their mouths shut about the conduct of their colleagues. They haven’t discussed the way their colleagues drove this “smear machine” against Clinton. And all of them knew they mustn’t discuss their cohort’s two-year War Against Gore. And yes, the brave little boys at your “liberal” publications knew they mustn’t tattle or tell about the work of their big, famous colleagues—about the big publications and networks that will some day give them their big, fancy jobs. Talk about Matthews? Tattle on Carlson? Darlings! As we’ve told you—it just isn’t done! This week, Anna Quindlen got it right—and she was willing to name Gary Bauer. But will she be willing to get it right when the names involved in the fabrications and smears are just a splash more swell?

AGAIN, YOU HAD TO WATCH O’REILLY: For the record, yes—the shape of this case was already known when Carlson and Matthews conducted their witch-hunt. But you had to watch The O’Reilly Factor to know that—and you had to listen to a reporter from the conservative New York Sun. On Monday’s Factor, Mr. O asked the Sun’s Josh Gerstein about the case. Here’s what Gerstein said:

O’REILLY (5/9/05): Tomorrow, the trial starts. David Rosen, one of the top fund-raisers for Hillary Clinton when she was running for the Senate, may go to jail for what?

GERSTEIN: Well, the allegation is he oversaw a fund-raiser in August of 2000 right around the time of the Democratic Convention. It was a star-studded gala. And it went way over budget. They wanted to spend a few hundred thousand dollars to put this concert on with people like Cher. Instead, it ended up costing at least $1 million, probably close to $2 million. And after that, I think the allegation is that Mr. Rosen was worried he was going to get in trouble if he reported the actual cost of this event. And the government says he hid some of the costs and caused false reports to be filed with the Federal Election Committee.

Already, Gerstein knew the shape of the allegation; Rosen thought he would “get in trouble” with the Clinton campaign if he told them about his bungling. So he hid the costs and “caused” false reports to be filed by the campaign. But so what? The next night, Carlson and Matthews were up to old tricks, rubbing their thighs and imagining wildly about Rosen flipping and taking down Clinton. But then, they’ve done this for the past dozen years—and there’s no sign they plan to stop now.

During all that time, the brave little boys at your “liberal” publications have known that they should stare into air. This week, Beinart and Quindlen began getting it right. But will they tackle the likes of Matthews and Carlson if their gong-show conduct continues? Recent history says they won’t. We’re hoping to be surprised as the peerless pair continue to get it right.

MORE TO COME: More on this in the weeks ahead. But if you want to avoid or mitigate a War Against Clinton, every bit of our recent history says that you’d better start now.