ONE WAY IN THE LOWER 48, ANOTHER WAY IN ALASKA! How weird! Palin spoke one way in Daytonand another way up in Fairbanks: // link // print // previous // next //
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2008
JUST TRY TO PUT LIPSTICK ON THESE LOSERS: Important note: This item involves the press corps competence, not its courage or political orientation.
The sheer ineptitude of the upper-end press corps remains a sight to see. In this mornings New York Times, an editorial tries to discuss Palins claims. But the hapless editors typed this:
Palins claims about the Bridge to Nowhere have been widely discussed for almost two weeks. But in that highlighted passage, the New York Times still has its basic chronology wrong. As all sentient beings must know by this time, the project became a symbol of legislative abuse shortly after it was proposed, in the fall of 2005. In response to that public firestorm, the Congress rescinded its Bridges to Nowhere earmark in November 2005. We explained this fact at the start of last week, linking to the detailed New York Times news report from November 2005 which explained these elementary facts. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/1/08.
Boys and girls, lets say it again: The bridge became a symbol of abuse in the fall of 2005. For better or worse, Palin didnt reverse field on the project until September 2007, almost two years later; the project was under debate in the state of Alaska until that time. But so what? Even now, the editors of the New York Times cant explain the simplest facts about this widely-discussed issue.
But then, its hard to find an upper-end journalist who can explain this bone-simple chronology. On Sunday, the super-foppish Michael Dobbs discussed this for the Washington Post, in his ironically-named Fact-Checker series. Uh-oh! Dobbs, who may be the worlds dumbest human, also got the basic facts wrong:
That can all be defended as technically accurate (but only barely). But Dobbs quite plainly gives the impression that Congress voted to remove the $223 million earmark at some point after Palin became governorit would seem, in 2007. That, of course, is baldly wrong. But then, this bungled chronology also drove that gruesome Wall Street Journal report by hapless Elizabeth Holmes:
Holmes statements are also technically accurate. But she too conveys the clear impression that the project became a national scandal after Palin took office. Again, this is flatly inaccurate. Boys and girls, can we say it again?
Its hard to imagine a simpler chronology. But in the mahoganied world of the upper-end press corps, the hockey moms tale has now gone for the hat trick. In just the past six days, the Post, the Journal and the Times have all managed to bungle these bone-simple facts. Almost surely, those are our three most important upper-end newspapers.
Go ahead! Just try to put lipstick on those pigs! As we said at the start of this item, this involves the competence of the upper-end press corpsnot courage, not political orientation. But when a nations press corps is so cosmically hapless, that nation cant succeed. For example, do you now understand why people this dumb couldnt untangle those claims about Candidate Gore?
Your upper-end press doesnt have much courage, and many members are deeply dishonest. But theres something else we all must know: These palace-dwellers are dumb to their core. It gets like that inside Versailles, where lipstick gets smeared on the darlings.
FROM THE LIPS OF THE PIGS TO YOUR EARS: Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo! On Tuesday, we shuddered as Sebastian Mallaby blubbered and wailed about Saint John McCain, claiming that the famous straight-talker was once a very great man (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/9/08). Yesterday, it was Josh Marshalls turn to insult your intelligence, sadly linking to Andrew Sullivan to help Sully stage a good cry. (For Joshs post, click here.) Poor Sully! Like Mallaby, he was having a good solid cry about a famous saints lost greatness. In this, the start of his blubbering post, he and Josh treat you like fools:
What a perfect pile of crap! It would take a gang of Texas wranglers to put some rouge on these pigs.
First, please spare us the scripted palaver about always thinking McCain was so decent and honest. When people report this about themselves, they are, in effect, admitting that theyre too goddamn dumb to do politics. Lets get real: In his initial run for the White House, McCain gained his reputation for probity by riding reporters around on his bus, telling them jokes about stripper ex-girl friendsand insisting to scribes that he thought they were smart. Plainly, the man was a liar! He constantly dissembled about his opponents; he rarely knew whereof he spoke when he was forced to talk about something other than Marie the Flame. Always knew he was decent and honest? Who was running his South Carolina campaign, at a salary of $20,000 per month? For brevitys sake, it was the man described by Bob Herbert in this New York Times column:
You believe that, dont you? asked Herbert. Well guess what? Marshall and Sullivan and Mallaby did! Lets state the obvious: Saint McCain had hired Quinn to appeal to the race bloc in Palmetto State GOP politics. In USA Today, Jim Drinkard reported more about this greatest saints Palmetto brain trust:
Duh. Almost surely, McCain was trying to buy influence within this particular bloc. Trust us: If Richard Quinn had run Bushs campaign, his name would still be famous today. But insider hacks were on Saint McCains side. In that interview with Russert, McCain put lipstick on the dude he was running with thenand press corps pigs let him do it.
(For the record: Quinn was profiled in much greater detail by the Times and, especially, by The New Republic. Everybody knew about thisand knew they should get out the rouge.)
Spare us when these rouged-up pundits blubber about how great this man was. And by the way, Sullivan plays you for fools (with Joshs endorsement) in that laughably dishonest passage about McCains vile endorsement of Bush. You knowthe endorsement where McCain chose evil? According to this lipsticked lizard, McCain lost any credibility that he can ever put country first when he endorsed his own partys nominee. But Sullivan, an independent, explained at the time that he himself was torn about who to endorse. Across the pond, in the Evening Standard, Sully offered this assessment of Bush on the day of the election:
Im switching, sadly, to Kerry, said Sullivans headline. In Time, meanwhile, the lying b*stard had offered this vexed assessment:
Sully failed to state a personal choiceand ditto when he took part in a Reason piece entitled, Whos getting your vote?
Today, this lying bastard pleases the rubes, asserting that McCaina Republicanchose evil when he supported Bush. He forgets to say that he himself refused to state a choice.
Its hard to find lipstick for pigs like thesefor Sullivan, endlessly playing us rubes; for Marshall, his endless enabler. In todays first items, we talked about competence. In this one, we speak of bad character.
ONE WAY IN THE LOWER 48, ANOTHER WAY UP IN ALASKA: Sarah Palin was really feeling it during last weeks convention address! Needless to say, she was deeply troubled by two-faced two-timers. And she was doing something elseworking in the requisite reference to a certain famous Gomorrah. Palin, of course, comes from a small town, which means shes more moral than you are:
Yeah, well guess what? Here at THE HOWLER, we logic dads tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about themselves one way in St. Paul and another way in Fairbanks! We refer, of course, to Palins speech when she arrived in Fairbanks last night.
The speech was broadcast on CNN. At one point, the pit bull in lipstick rattled her vast achievements. But omigod! Do you notice something the hockey mom absent-mindedly forgot to shout out?
Huh! The hockey mom mentioned that famous state jet, the way she always does down here. (Though she oddly forgot about eBay.) But how weird! Once she got back to Fairbanks, she omitted her heroics in telling Congress thanks but no thanks about that Bridge to Nowhere! When she speaks in St. Paul or Dayton, its the pit bulls greatest achievement. But when she finds herself in Fairbanks, she keeps her lip-sticked trap shut!
What follows is speculation, of course. But its fairly obvious why the Bridge to Nowhere heroics got disappeared. (Here at THE HOWLER, we stayed up to watch the hockey mom speak just to see how shed handle this topic.)
Why would the Lipsticked One forget to tell her most famous tale? Duh! In Alaska, they know how this thing went down; they understand the exaggerations involved in the hockey moms taleand some Alaskans didnt agree with her decision in the first place. Indeed, when Palin began to tell her tale to us stone rubes in the Lower 48, some Alaskans voiced surprise at the very language she was using. Two days after Palin debuted, Tom Kizzia described the problem in the Anchorage Daily News:
In fact, the Bridge to Nowhere was never as stupid as Lower 48 journalists made itnor did the bridge go to nowhere. In reality, the bridge would have gone from Ketchikan to Gravina Island, where only a handful of people liveand where the Ketchikan airport is found. (Scribes in the Lower 48 typically deep-sixed that latter fact; it made the story better. The island is also the only place where Ketchikan, a mountain-blocked town, will ever be able to expand.) For these reasons, use of the term bridge to nowhere was and is tricky within the state; before she came to the Lower 48, Palin would criticize such lingo. Last Sunday, the Daily News published a letter on the topic:
Theres no way that Palin could tell her tale in Fairbanks the same way she told it in Dayton. Thats why we stayed up to see what shed say. Her solution? Say nothing at all!
Weird, isnt it? Down in St. Paul, she made it clear; the lipsticked lady simply despises pols who say it two different ways in two different locations. Why, she even forced herself to deride San Francisco in the process! But when she got to Fairbanks last night, her bridge to nowhere bluster ended. How weird! She still told them about that state jet. But her most famous story was nowhere.
By the way: In the Lower 48, Palin always says she took on the good old boys. On Tuesday, she said it this way in Lebanon, Ohioand in Lancaster, PA. But in Fairbanks, where those boys still live and have friends, she said she took on the old politics as usual (see text above).
Since Palin comes from a small town, we know our impression is wrong. But how strange! It almost seems like the small town pit bull talks to us one way in PA and another way in Alaska.
HER FOUR PENS: Charlie Gibson seems like a nice guymuch more decent and unassuming than his peacock-style, multimillionaire peers. He plainly isnt a movement conservative, despite the impression some folk got from his embarrassing performances during this years Dem debates.
But like so many of his colleagues, Gibson just isnt that sharp. For the record, he graduated from Sidwell Friends (DC), then from Princeton; we assume his IQ is more than OK. But life in the multimillionaire lane leaves them all a bit dull, and so it seems with Gibson. Example: In Howard Kurtzs Reality Show, Gibson is quoted, at several points, marveling at Diane Sawyers brilliance. Heres Howie, inside Gibsons mind:
Good Godtheres truly no hope! (So youll remember, Sawyers greatest journalistic scoop came when she asked Marla Maples if sex with The Donald was the best shes ever had.) On page 218, Kurtz described the way the pair worked together at Good Morning America: Sawyer often looked to Gibson for guidance when she lost her place in the show and papers were being thrust at her from every direction. Gibson was dazzled by the quickness of her mind. He felt that they had forged a mutually dependent relationship. But Gibsons attitude was understandable. On that same page, Kurtz describes the first time ever Charlie looked on her face, back when Sawyer worked in the Nixon White House. Gibson could tell how brilliant she was because she was taking notes with four different colored pens. The woman, apparently, was well organized.
In fairness, Gibsons high character shines through in Kurtzs reporting, as does that of his lipsticked consort. Just consider the mature way these mastodons acted when ABC wanted to hook them up, back in 1999:
Not even a nickle more! What can we say about that kind of decency? Kurtz marvels here at a key fact: As late as 1999, Charlie Gibson was willing to work for as little as $3 million! Its almost like stealing to watch him!
This culture makes the best of them dumb; if you doubt that, just reread those Bridge to Nowhere chronologies in todays first item. Your press corps is profoundly incompetent; and, in fact, it get less competent the higher up the ladder you go. Or watch the questions Charlie asks when his interview with Palin starts airing tonight. Here at THE HOWLER, wed love to see the pit bull questioned about her self-glorying Bridge to Nowhere tale. When did you tell the Congress thanks but no thanks? wed like to see her asked. When did you tell the Congress that if our state wanted a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves? Rubes down here in the Lower 48 have been offering [cheers, applause] for that tale for almost two weeks. Wed love to see the lipsticked lady explain when she did these bold things. More specifically, we like to hear how this fits with her statement in September 2007, when she formally killed the project. The project was dead because Congress wouldnt give her more money, the hockey mom glumly said.
Its like she said one thing in Juneauand another thing here with us rubes.
Wed love to see her asked such questions, by a capable person. But Charlie was dazzled by Sawyers four pens. We hear hockey moms can use five.