MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2003
SEND IN THE CLOWN: The sad thing is, some of the topics Bernie Goldberg explores may well deserve exploration. How does the mainstream press treat issues of race? What goes on at Columbia School of Journalism? The mainstream press is often inept and inane, and its biases and errors deserve examination. The sad thing? We could gain from a real attempt to explore the issues Goldberg raises.
But Bernie Goldberg is up to old tricks in his clowning new pseudo-book, Arrogance. Two years ago, Goldberg clowned his way to the best-seller list with the ludicrous work he offered in Bias. And success hasnt changed Bernie Goldberg! Consider his rage at the press corps great bias in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Who is the corps biggest Hillary suck-up? In Arrogance, Goldberg devotes a chapter to the topic, and he makes an odd choice: Margaret Carlson. Here is the passage where he makes his award. By the way, note the rancid tone Goldberg brings to his booka book in which he weeps and moans about the lack of polite discourse by liberals:
GOLDBERG (page 148): Still, Nina Burleigh, Carole Simpson and even my ex-colleague Leslie Stahl all take a backseat when it comes to painting Hillarys toenails. They are all runners-up in the How May I Serve You, My Queen? Sweepstakes. Because none of themnot even Newsweek contributing editor Eleanor Rodham Cliftcan rival Margaret Carlson, who does commentary for TIME magazine (and is a regular on CNNs Capital Gang) for sheer devotion to Ms. Hillary. If they gave out Nobel Prizes for Hillary-gushing, Margaret Carlson would be on her way to Stockholm.Like many other Angry Male Pundits, Bernie Goldberg has a hard time being polite to liberal or mainstream female journalists. The name-calling is quite frequent, as are the lightly sexist remarks. But then, feminists are truly the source of all evil. It is no coincidence that the beginning of the collapse of the old [New York] Times standards coincided almost exactly with the rise of the liberation movements of the last sixties and early seventies, particularly feminism, Goldberg writes. So dont be surprised when he invents mocking names for Cliftand when he invents silly tales about Carlson.
At any rate, Goldberg says that Margaret Carlson is the Mother of All Hillary-Gushers. Here at THE HOWLER, we found this odd, because we had recently noted Carlsons exuberant bashing of Clinton. Carlsons autobiography, Anyone Can Grow Up, appeared in your bookstores just last spring. In it, Carlson trashes the Clintons up and down, and yes, that includes her Queen Hillary. In her book, Carlson makes it sound as if Hillarys friend, Vincent Foster, blamed the Clintons in his suicide note. And she offers mocking, foolish accounts of Hillary Clintons conduct and character (links below). Soon after we reviewed Carlsons book, we also noted the mocking comments aimed at the Clintons when Carlson appeared on Charlie Rose (link below). If you want to retain an ounce of respect for Rose, we suggest you avoid our report.
Yep! When Margaret Carlson wrote her life story, she filled it with mocking attacks on Hillary. But Goldberg tells readers that Carlson would win the Nobel Prize for Hillary-gushing! How did Goldberg reach such a judgment? Unsurprisingly, when we looked at his evidence, we found the same sort of insolent clowning that made his previous book such a sick joke.
On what basis does Goldberg award his prize? He clips three quotes from Carlsons writingquotes designed to show what a Hill Shill she is. But alas! Although Bernie is much too slick to tell you, two of the quotes come from profiles in early 1993profiles written at a time when controversies about Hillary Clinton had barely begun. Even there, Goldberg has to fake his second quote, eliminating materialwithout an ellipsisthat wasnt sufficiently positive. But how fake and phony is Bernie Goldberg? Here is the third quote he cites to show what a shill Carlson is:
GOLDBERG (page 148): And on the new Clinton home in Washington, Margaret Carlson offers this: Secluded and quietly elegant, it has a spectacular garden in the back, with a poll tucked in among hundred-year-old trees Hillary wanted an instant Washington salon, as grand as her health care plan, with as many rooms as her ambition. [Goldbergs ellipsis]Of course, if youve followed the Hillary critique, youll know that references to her health care plan and her massive ambition are rarely intended as flattery. In fact, this quote comes from a piece Carlson wrote in January 2001, just as the Clintons were leaving the White House. Needless to say, the piece was far from flattering. Heres one representative excerpt:
CARLSON: Although the Clintons cant take the butlers with them, they may well be taking the things that caused them so much trouble. Each Clinton has a character flaw that gets in the others way. His is a sloppy self-indulgence. Hers is a haughty grandiositythe tendency to think that because she is devoted to doing good, she is also entitled to do well. Biographer David Maraniss reports how she complained about not having a pool at the Governors house in Little Rock. There wasnt a lot of surprise in Arkansas over the disclosure of her shady cattle-futures investment or their Whitewater deal.Goldbergplaying his readers for foolsclips a quote from an unflattering piece about Hillarys haughty grandiosity. Incredibly, he tells readers that this very piece shows us that Carlson is Hillary Clintons biggest suck-up! According to Goldberg, this unflattering exit profile showed us Carlsons sheer devotion to Ms. Hillary.
Its hard to find polite English words to describe Goldbergs utter contempt for his readersor to describe his contempt for American democracy, which hes determined to shit on again. All this week, well showcase his clowning. But the question must be asked: This time around, will Goldbergs reviewers tell their readers just how badly theyre being misled? Will TV punditsChris Matthews, for exampledare to tell their trusting viewers that Bernie Goldberg is at it again?
VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Goldbergs clowning in Bias really did take the cake. Enter his name in our whirring search engines, and watch him play his readers for foolsfor marks, for pure rubes, for prime suckers.
Meanwhile, Carlson trashed Hill in her book, and on Rose. For more of her sheer devotion to Ms. Hillary, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/11/03, 6/12/03, and 6/23/03. And remember: According to Goldberg, this is the most egregious example of press bias favoring Hill!