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Daily Howler: No one de-Americanized Gore, Matthews said. No one, that is, except Matthews
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MR. FRUITCAKE GOES TO WASHINGTON! No one de-Americanized Gore, Matthews said. No one, that is, except Matthews: // link // print // previous // next //

INANITY ONLY SERVES POWER: We darkly chuckled as Jeanne Cummings framed the story of Palin’s new clothes. (And her makeup! Horrors!) But Cummings’ framework delivers a warning: Inanity only serves power. Please note the key word as she lies in your faces. The key word here is “voters:”

CUMMINGS (10/22/08): The business of primping and dressing on the campaign trail has become fraught with political risk in recent years as voters increasingly see an elite Washington out of touch with their values and lifestyles.

In 2000, Democrat Al Gore took heat for changing his clothing hues. And in 2006, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was ribbed for two hair styling sessions that cost about $3,000.

Then, there was Democrat John Edwards’ $400 hair cuts in 2007 and Republican McCain’s $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes this year.

A review of similar records for the campaign of Democrat Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee turned up no similar spending.

“As voters increasingly see an elite Washington?” The joy these people take in deception surely knows no limit!

In fact, it hasn’t been the voters who have focused on the kinds of trivia seized upon in Cummings’ piece. It wasn’t the voters who focused on Gore’s “clothing hues,” or on Edwards’ vile haircuts. It was the mainstream press corps—people like Cummings, who is lying here, right in your faces. It has been the mainstream press which has pushed this inanity. And in doing so, they have served power.

Please remember the basic rule, the rule we’ve discussed for so many years: It’s never the press corps which pushes these topics, if you let the press corps tell it. Inevitably, the press corps attributes its conduct to others—to “late-night comedians,” to “political rivals,” or, in this case, to the voters themselves. But people like Cummings are never truthful about where the inanity comes from. The inanity comes from people like Cummings. They pimp it, then lie about that fact, thus hiding their reasons for acting.

Whose interest does inanity serve? Let’s review the past dozen years. When it comes to candidates’ clothing, which party have these idiots flayed? Duh! Gore was savaged for his clothes—and Edwards for his haircuts. (John McCain’s shoes? Nice try!) And of course, Cummings is lying by omission when she so sweetly types this:

CUMMINGS: In 2000, Democrat Al Gore took heat for changing his clothing hues.

Actually, that took place in 1999, when Cummings’ cohort—helped by Cummings herself—was staging its twenty-month War Against Gore, the war which sent George Bush to the White House. About this war, Cummings lies by omission. She remembers the months-long attack on “clothing hues” (November 1999 was the cruelest month.) But she has somehow forgotten the other attacks on Gore’s deeply vile, troubling clothing:

  • She forgets the attacks on Gore’s three-button suits, which so many pundits flogged. (Arianna even pretended that there were four buttons. “You know, it's not just—it's just not the way most American males dress.”)
  • She forgets the attacks on Gore’s polo shirts, which Brian Williams groused about, night after night, with the help of butt-kissing Fineman. (The gorgeous anchor kept insisting that the troubling polo shirts were a “transparent” attempt to influence woman voters.) Good boy! Later, Welch gave him the job!
  • She forgets the attacks on Gore’s cowboy boots, which were too shiny, a plain affectation—although Gore had always worn such boots, as a mere glance at Nexis made clear. (Cokie was very upset.)
  • She forgets the important debate about how high Gore was hemming his pants. (To help showcase his shiny boots.)
  • She forgets the smutty slanders of Naomi Wolf, or the feigned outrage about Wolf’s salary, or the total silence when it turned out that McCain was paying his “race man” much more.

Cummings forgets to tell the whole truth, citing what you’re allowed to know. And of course, she forgets to mention the flip side of her cohort’s inanity: The way Bill Bradley’s old neckties and shabby shoes proved that he was authentic, unlike Gore. (Bradley said he hadn’t bought shoes in 25 years—and they pretended that they believed him!)

She forgets the war her own cohort waged. And of course, by Hard Pundit Law, she pretends it was done by “the voters!”

Let’s be frank. Inane complaints about clothing and grooming have killed your interests in the past dozen years—and now, they engage their inanity once again. At the Times, the inane Patrick Healy is on the front page; inside, Eric Wilson has a companion piece! (At the Post, they had the decency to restrict Givhan’s musings to page one of “Style.”) But make no mistake: Inanity exists to serve power. If progressives let inanity continue as part of press culture, it will be used to defeat them again.

Today, power has fled from Saint McCain; it’s time for a Dem to clean up the messes, as Clinton was allowed to do, long ago. (The attacks began as soon as he started.) That’s right! Things are so bad in DC today that power has fled the GOP! But don’t worry! Power will turn back against your tribe—and they will defeat you once again, through the uses of their inanity.

If we were smart, we’d try to stamp out this culture—the press corps’ culture of inanity. In the future, this culture will be used against you, as it has been used in the past. But your leaders on cable are being paid millions. To tell you the truth, they aren’t very smart—and they enjoy having fun.

We know, we know—you’re enjoying this too! That’s what the other side counts on.

Visit our incomparable archives: Cummings joined the herd in December 1999, pretending that Gore was the hard-hitting guy who vilely gave us Willie Horton (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/1/02). Check her language! As some among them carefully do, she found a way to join the herd while keeping things “technically accurate.”

MR. FRUITCAKE GOES TO WASHINGTON: And of course, there was Chris Matthews, playing the fool on Hardball last night, pretending to be deeply upset about Palin’s latest strange answer. Why is Chris currently kissing your keisters? Why is he so deeply upset with the deeply vile GOP? One likely part of the answer has been floating around for some time now (just click here). But yesterday, the story hit Gotham’s Times. TV guy Bill Carter tattled:

CARTER (10/22/08): It’s no secret that Chris Matthews, the high-voltage host of “Hardball” on MSNBC, has been considering a run in 2010 as a Democrat for the Senate seat held by Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania.

The subject came up at a dinner Mr. Matthews attended last week that was held by Senator Barack Obama’s biggest New York fund-raiser and attended by a phalanx of generous contributors to Democratic candidates.

“People have asked me about it,” Mr. Matthews said about the Pennsylvania race in a telephone interview. “I’ve never told anyone that I’m running.”

Given the history of the past fifteen years, the idea that Matthews could run as a Democrat ought to be deeply astounding. But in recent months, Matthews has been endlessly kissing Dem Keister, as he clownishly did last night. Given the endless bad faith of your “liberal leaders,” you will hear very little about that. Except, perhaps, right here.

Why is it astounding to think that Matthews could run as a Democrat? No one on cable devoted more effort to the wars against both Clintons and Gore—the wars which sent George Bush to the White House, the wars which produced the war in Iraq. (Your toilet-trained leaders won’t tell you this. But it’s plainly accurate.) In particular, his trashy assaults against Candidate Gore were nasty, baldly dishonest and endless. When Pew presented this astounding study of the way Gore’s character got trashed in early 2000, it singled out Hardball as the show where the attacks were most commonly heard—although no single study could possibly capture the extent of Matthews’ warring. But then, Matthews has rarely made any attempt to hide his contempt for Democrats in general. In January 2007, for instance, he made these remarks at a University of Georgia symposium, with President Carter in the front row (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/22/07). No, we didn’t invent this:

MATTHEWS (1/21/07): You know, I thought one of the smart things President Carter did as a candidate...was, every time President Carter won a primary, instead of standing on a platform with a bunch of sweaty, yelling people—you know, the scene with the Democratic Party usually, a bunch of crazy people yelling—and you had to have the full potpourri of Democrats present on that stage or someone would be ticked at you—you would meet in a hotel room and it was amazing. You’d sit down one-on-one, it was a unilateral, with some anchor or reporter, a serious reporter. And every time you saw a primary, you’d stay up till 11:30 to see who won, and you’d see the president, the candidate, sitting there very calmly talking about the future of the country.

Matthews has rarely made any attempt to hide his contempt for the “sweaty, crazy, yelling” people who constitute the Democratic Party. (Perhaps you can guess who those sweaty folk are.) Now, he may run for the Senate—as a Democrat! As he does, boot-licking members of your “liberal leadership” will know that they mustn’t say boo.

Meanwhile, Matthews has been a very good boy in recent months, playing his Dem viewers for fools. Suddenly, he’s deeply concerned about Republican misconduct, as he showed in a high-minded oration on the October 8 Hardball. Suddenly, Matthews is very upset at the troubling way the GOP “de-Americanizes” Big Dems. Why, they’ve done it to everyone, he sadly lamented. They’ve done it to everyone but Gore, this big fake tragi-comically said:

MATTHEWS (10/9/08): Pat [Buchanan], there’s a pattern here. Michael Dukakis was de-Americanized. He was the guy that hated the flag, the Pledge of Allegiance. Come on.

BUCHANAN: The Pledge of Allegiance!

MATTHEWS: Bill Clinton was a guy that visited—wanted to visit Russia when he was in school. That whole thing was—his passport—all this stuff by the Republicans to go after his passport and to prove he had visited Russia. That—John Kerry was some kind of a traitor in action. And all this stuff was done to de-Americanize the Democratic candidate, no matter who he is!

BUCHANAN: John Kerry came home and said the guys he fought with were committing atrocities left, right and center—

MATTHEWS: Well, he was there and you weren’t.

BUCHANAN: Yes. And the American people heard him say it and they believed that what he said was un-American and that’s—

MATTHEWS: You guys turned him into French. It’s the de- Americanization of these guys. It’s a consistent pattern.

BUCHANAN: Well, what did you do with Barry Goldwater?

MATTHEWS: Dukakis had to go back to Ellis Island when you guys were finished with him!

BUCHANAN: You ran a full-page—

MATTHEWS: You keep taking guys that—it’s like—you form—the Republican Party has begun to do what Ellis Island does in reverse. You come here, you assimilate, you become an American until the Republican bully boys get ahold of you, and they turn you back into a foreigner!

BUCHANAN: Let me tell you, I came into politics with Barry Goldwater. 1,200 psychiatrists signed a full-page ad—

MATTHEWS: Two wrongs don’t make a right.

BUCHANAN: —he was nuts! You guys started it with the “Daisy” ad, and you’re getting it back in spades, and you have been for the last 40 years.

MATTHEWS: Let’s go back to Michael [Smerconish]. He’s changing the subject. The de-Americanization of every Democratic candidate, with the exception of Al Gore, I guess, who was so home-grown from—I guess he was accused of being from St. Albans or somewhere. Michael, there is a pattern here of de-Americanizing every Democratic candidate, starting with Michael Dukakis.

Poor Chris! In recent weeks, he has been extremely upset about this pattern, in which Major Dems have been “de-Americanized”—with the exception of Gore. Gore wasn’t de-Americanized, Matthews said. According to Matthews, Gore “was so home-grown from—I guess he was accused of being from St. Albans or somewhere.”

On one count, Chris was basically right: The GOP didn’t “de-Americanize” Gore in the way he’s discussing here. They trashed him every other way, of course, mainly as a delusional liar—though they didn’t have to work very hard, the mainstream press corps was warring so hard.

Chris was right: The GOP didn’t “de-Americanize” Gore. As far as we know, only one major player ever did that. And that person, of course, was Chris Matthews.

Sorry. Matthews displayed his sick, disturbed soul on Imus, just after September 11 (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/2/01). This is what he said about Gore. Compare this with the high-minded pap he fed you October 8:

MATTHEWS (11/1/01): He doesn’t look like one of us. He doesn’t seem very American, even.

And yes. That’s what this sick, nasty fruitcake said about Gore, less than two months after 9/11.

Chris Matthews may run for the Senate—as a Democrat! Truly, you live inside a hall of mirrors when such a thing can be imagined. But we think you know how this sleight-of-hand works. For the past decade, “liberal leaders” have appeared on Hardball; they’ve allowed Matthews’ viral sickness to spread. They’ve dreamed of becoming more rich, more famous. Chris is a way to achieve it.

The dead of Iraq stare up in the faces—stared up into their faces last night. To their last days, they will keep their traps shut about what this big nutcase has done.

But then again, Chris is the world’s greatest man. Liberals know that, because Rachel said.

Matthews may run for the Senate—as a Democrat! Truly, you live in a hall of mirrors. Regarding Chris’ famous enablers, we hope their money is spending real good. They’ve kept their traps shut for a good many years. They’ve done a great deal to obtain it.

Question: Have you ever seen a real profile of Matthews, in any of your “liberal journals?” What could be holding the editors back? They’re all such committed progressives!