HOW MUCH IS REPEATEDLY! Mika and Joe play a sick game, embellishing the script about Blumenthal: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, MAY 20, 2010
Gullibles babbles: Over the course of the past several decades, the American discourse has been a sad joke. One reason? We the people are stunningly dumbincessantly gullible, endlessly willing to swallow such brew as we find at our most famous news orgs.
So we thought when we read this dumb, snide letter from todays New York Times:
Tell the truthcan you imagine a dumber letter? Do we have to explain what makes it so dumb? But then, cosmic dumbness has almost defined the Times letters page in the past several years. (Ann Coulter was ahead of her time in her description of whats found on this page!) Right below that letter, we got his crap from a novelist, lounging and musing near Harvard Square:
So youll know: Adam Wheeler concocted a complex series of deliberate frauds over the course of several years (just click here). Richard Blumenthal is said to have made oneor possibly twomisstatements about his military service (for more detail, see below).
Lounging grandly near Harvard Square, Bernays cant discern a possible difference between these situations. Bottom line: No one is dumb like our modern elites, who trail around collecting the droppings of their colleagues at elite news orgs.
Good God, we the people are gullible! Todays collection of letters starts with two submissions about draft deferments in the Vietnam era. In the first, a Seattle resident engages in silly psychiatric musings about Blumenthal, having accepted the shaky premise of the New York Times recent report. But the second letter, from New York City, deserves an explanation.
In yesterdays Times, Larry Pressler, a former Republican senator, complained about Vietnam-era draft avoiders who cloaked their desire to avoid Vietnam in bad-faith claims about their own noble motives (text below). The letter-writer knew young men who avoided Vietnam too. But she cant recall all the bad faith:
Why does Pressler recall so many who postured and preened? We dont know, but we do recommend the following chunk of his column. You see, Pressler was recalling the bad faith he encountered among the Cambridge swells of his dayhis careerist classmates at Harvard Law School. And among his fellow Rhodes scholars, of course:
Well assume that Pressler used the term best and brightest ironically. That said, why did Pressler encounter so many phonies and fakes, while the letter-writer cant recalls such bad faith? One possibility: The letter-writer recalls the ways of normal people. Pressler is writing about the Cambridge poseurs of his daythe careerist hustlers at Harvard Law School. As Christopher Edley recently helped us recall, these hustlers remain the self-proclaimed best and brightest, right to this very day. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 5/17/10.
It would be hard to find a dumber analysis than the one Bernays provides. But no one is dumber in modern society than our upscale pseudo-elitesthe fine, dumb bunnies who preen and posture from our most heralded zip codes. Over the course of the past several decades, these self-regarding stooges have endlessly failed to serve. Theyve endlessly swallowed the serial garbage served by our finest news orgs.
Bernays displays their brilliance today. Pressler claims to recall the preening bad faith displayed by their self-dealing forebears.
Our entire Supreme Court will soon come from this class. Edley is glad about that, since these people are better than you are.
HOW MUCH IS REPEATEDLY (permalink): The moral squalor of your upper-end press corps is really quite hard to top. So too with their inanity, their intellectual squalor.
This morning, first thing, the fatuous gang at Morning Joe started in on the Blumenthal story. Mika knows Blumenthal and generally defends himbut she made the first shaky statement about this latest big flap. In the course of her defense, she said that Blumenthal has repeatedly misstated his Vietnam service.
Repeatedly? In fact, what follows is the best the New York Times seemed willing to claim in yesterdays follow-up story. Michael Barbaros report appeared above the fold on the Times front page, like Raymond Hernandezs multiply-bungled original effort:
According to Barbaros accurate summary, the New York Times had reported one false statement by Blumenthala statement made in March 2008. In Tuesdays front-page report, Hernandez quoted another statement by Blumenthal which sounded a bit shaky. But the paper provided very little context, making the accuracy of this second statement hard to judge.
Two alleged misstatementsthat was it.
For the record, this second statement allegedly occurred at some point in 2003. This means that the mighty Times has turned up one false statement by Blumenthal, and one more statement that perhaps seems shaky, over at least the past seven years. But so what? On this mornings Morning Joe, this was turned into repeated misstatementsphrased that way by the one person who was defending the man.
Is there a worse fate than being defended by Mika? How about being pursued by Joe Scarborough? In response to Mikas hapless defenseshe has had two days to get her facts straightScarborough hotly complained about the way Blumenthal failed to correct the hundreds of articles which have described him as serving in Vietnam. In fact, the New York Times said it found eight such articles, dating back through 2003, including one which appeared in the widely-read Shelton Weekly.
So typical! Complaining about Blumenthals lack of truthfulness, Scarborough turned that meager harvesteightinto hundreds of articles. Instantly, Jon Meacham supplied the final indignity. Grandly, The Parson cleared his throat and offered a few psychiatric thoughts about Blumenthals failure to correct these hundreds of errors.
(Has Blumenthal perhaps convinced himself that the bogus story is true? This was the soul of The Parsons pensee. As is so typical with The Parson, he offered no thoughts about the cosmic misstatement that had just been made by his host.)
These people are broken, inane, unwell. Theyre a parody of a press corps. But so it has gone, for the past several decades, as the squalor of these celebrity journalists has made a long rolling joke of the American discourse. George W. Bush reached the White House because of journalists like theseand to this day, the leading lights of the liberal world refuse to discuss this problem. The New York Times is simply too greattoo essential to too many careersand so too with the pundit spots provided by programs like Morning Joe. Conservatives will attack the Timesbut your career liberal leaders suck thumbs in silence. Editors of your liberal journals will then parade on the air at MSNBC, even displaying such desperation as to praise a man like Chris Matthews.
Repeat: The New York Times alleges that it found eight articles (in the past seven years!) which somehow misstated Blumenthals record. Scarborough changes that to hundreds, then complains about Blumenthals lack of truthfulness.
This is precisely how you got to Iraq. And career liberals still wont confront it.
How often has Blumenthal misstated his record? Like the folks at the New York Times, we dont have the slightest idea. But the New York Times, after a mighty search, says it has found one or two examples. We thought you might want to compare that meager harvest to what was said on Tuesdays NewsHourand to what we found when we tried to locate that second statement by Blumenthal, the statement the brilliant New York Times tracked to 2003.
Stated on Tuesdays NewsHour
How often has Blumenthal misstated his record? Like Hernandez, we have no idea. But on Tuesday evenings NewsHour, Judy Woodruff interviewed a major Connecticut journalist who has covered Mr. Blumenthal's career for the past two decades. Christopher Keating is the Hartford bureau chief for The Hartford Courant, Connecticuts biggest newspaper. This is the first thing Keating said about Blumenthals past statements:
Of course, those veterans were mainly supporters of Blumenthal. (Keating went on to describe Blumenthals tireless work on behalf of vets.) So Woodruff asked Keating if he himself had ever heard Blumenthal misstate his record.
No, I havent, Keating said:
Somehow, the human sloths on todays Morning Joe had failed to capture these insightseven Mika, who was staging a typically hapless attempt to defend her friend. (Mika is totally hapless.) But then, the complete inability to gather information is the distinguishing characteristic of the modern celebrity journalist. Celebrity journalists work from scripts, not from information. It rarely occurs to these moral ciphers to present the range of information which might flesh out a damaging claim.
Keating, of course, is only one person. But he has been at many eventsand he said he has never heard Blumenthal misstate his record. Question: Have you seen this gentlemans statement repeated anywhere in the past two days?
With that in mind, consider what we found when we tried to locate that second statement the Times attributed to Blumenthalthe shaky-sounding statement he allegedly made in 2003.
Reported in 2003and in 2002
The New York Times is too great, too grand, to worry about minor things like dates. In its original, groaning front-page report, Hernandez only said this about Blumenthals second alleged misstatement:
For ourselves, wed like to see a wider context before we judged a short quotation like that. Since Hernandez hadnt worried his head with silly things like specific dates, we searched the Nexis records for all of 2003, trying to locate this event.
The Nexis records do not include that quotation by Blumenthal. (Which doesnt mean that he didnt make it.) It isnt obvious when this event occurred, though wed guess it happened in April. That said, we did come upon a detailed report in the Connecticut Post from May 21 of that year. Blumenthal had filed a lawsuit against a group which had allegedly misspent charity funds collected for veterans. In the course of his report, Michael Mayko offered this detailed, perfectly accurate account of Blumenthals military service:
Duh. All the way back in 2003, Mayko reported Blumenthals record with perfect accuracy, with Blumenthal describing his concern about the way Vietnam vets were treated in real time. But then, the Associated Press had somehow managed to do the same thing in a lengthy profile of Blumenthal in 2002. Like Mayko, Diane Scarponi had somehow managed to describe his record with perfect accuracy:
Scarponi generated a semantic pseudo-dispute over the term active duty. But here too, in a major profile, Blumenthals record was described accurately, with Blumenthal saying that he had enlisted to avoid being drafted.
Our point? Its clear that Blumenthals actual history was very much a matter of record. In later years, did a handful of journalists misstate the record, as the New York Times alleges? Did someone at The Shelton Weekly even make such an error? Its possible; indeed, some of the errors appear in the Nexis files. But until the Times can show that Blumenthal was responsible for those eight errors (over the course of as many years), the errors simply arent Blumenthals fault. And the Times has only alleged eight journalistic errorsin a seven-year time spannot the hundreds of errors Joe Scarborough dreamed up this morning.
Your celebrity press corps is a squalid place, populated by preening ninnies. Why wont Rachel Maddow says so? Where oh where is the fiery Joan Walsh? Why wont Ed Schultz challenge the Timesprovide the background Woodruff provided? Why does the fiery, highly moral Keith Olbermann keep his big fracking trap shut?
Why can we say, with perfect certainty, that no one will ever criticize Scarborough for his groaning misstatement?
You have been screwed by these people for years, but career liberals still refuse to confront this problem. As a matter of basic journalism, that report by Hernandez was a horrible joke.
What keeps liberals from speaking up? More on this matter tomorrow.