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POST PATTERN! Krauthammer lied about Streisand too. When will Fred Hiatt take action?


THE UNENDING ANNALS OF LIBERAL BIAS: Right at the top of this morning’s front page, the New York Times authors its latest outrage. Here’s the headline which sits atop a profile of Candidate Lieberman:

NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE (page 1): A Centrist, Lieberman Fights For Votes in an Extremist Era
The profile, written by Janny Scott, doesn’t use the word “extremist.” (Here’s the closest she comes: “What becomes of a…mild-mannered centrist in a crowded field when the surest route to the limelight is to blurt out something extreme?”) But just in case you missed the point, inside the paper, on page 22, the headline ed cues you again:
NEW YORK TIMES HEADLINE (page 22): A Centrist and a Conciliator, Lieberman Fights For Votes in an Extremist Political Era
Somewhere today, Bernie Goldberg will tell a roomful of people who don’t read the Times about the rag’s noxious liberal bias.

HE WAS LYING ABOUT STREISAND TOO: Does the Washington Post have an ounce of regard for its readers? Last Friday, Charles Krauthammer baldly deceived the Post’s misused readers with his remarks about Dean-on-Hardball (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/5/03). But as it turns out, that blatant dissembling just wasn’t enough. The dissembling Krauthammer deceived the Post’s readers about Barbara Streisand as well!

For the record, Streisand isn’t a Democratic official. Nor is she a politician. But so what! Half-wits like Krauthammer like to mock her, hoping to please those conservative rubes. And last Friday, the fake little man took an extra step—he simply lied about something she said! Here’s what Krauthammer told Post readers about the deeply troubling chanteuse:

KRAUTHAMMER: Until now, Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) had generally struck people with previously compromised intellectual immune systems. Hence its prevalence in Hollywood. Barbra Streisand, for example, wrote her famous September 2002 memo to Dick Gephardt warning that the president was dragging us toward war to satisfy, among the usual corporate malefactors who “clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq,” the logging industry—timber being a major industry in a country that is two-thirds desert.
What an idiot! the Post pundit seemed to say. Indeed, according to the clever fellow, Streisand had a “compromised intellectual immune system!” She had demonstrated this when she said, in “her famous memo,” that the timber industry “ha[d] much to gain if we go to war against Iraq.” Yep—that thoroughly stupid lumber remark showed what a fool Streisand is.

But wouldn’t you know it—she said no such thing! Here’s the text of the “famous memo”—a memo which was actually written by Margarey Tabankin, a Streisand associate:

FAMOUS MEMO: While the Republicans are shouting about the Democrats' special interests, why are the Democrats not saying the same about the Republicans? How can we ignore the obvious influence on the Bush Administration of such special interests as the oil industry, the chemical companies, the logging industry, the defense contractors, the mining industry, and the automobile industry, just to name a few? Many of these industries, run by big Republican donors and insiders, clearly have much to gain if we go to war against Iraq.
We’ve highlighted the two key words in this text. Surely, no further comment is needed. No, Streisand didn’t write the famous memo—and no, the memo didn’t say that the lumber biz had an interest in Iraq.

So why don’t we write a famous memo, this time to the Post’s Fred Hiatt. Fred, is there any standard you maintain on your page? You published nasty attacks against Streisand and Dean—nasty attacks built on blatant deceptions. Is there any standard you observe at the Post? Or are the Post’s readers just flunkies and fools— rubes, whom you play for amusement?

Stand up once, Fred! Go ahead—be a man! Just this once, be a big, brave fellow and tell us how you plan to address this. Or is it OK when Krauthammer makes a joke of our discourse—and treats the Post’s readers like fools?

INEXCUSABLY, THE DOCTOR WAS IN: Last Friday, we focused on Krauthammer’s bald-faced deception. But another aspect of his column deserves substantial comment. Once again, Krauthammer served his favorite meal. If you disagree with Krauthammer—a psychiatrist, he claims—that means that you’re crazy. You’re nuts.

Yes, it’s true—in Friday’s column, Krauthammer’s psychiatric diagnoses were offered in borderline tongue-in-cheek fashion. But as we’ve noted, Krauthammer frequently says, with perfect seriousness, that Big Dems are mentally ill. Last November, for example, Al Gore criticized the media’s rightward drift. Soon thereafter, the doctor was IN, quacking loudly on Special Report:

KRAUTHAMMER (12/3/02): I’m a psychiatrist. I don’t usually practice on camera. But this is the edge of looniness, this idea that there’s a vast conspiracy, it sits in a building, it emanates, it has these tentacles, is really at the edge. He could use a little help.
How nice, that Krauthammer doesn’t usually do this! But yes, the corrupted doctor is eager to serve, helping us see who is “loony.” (Needless to say, Krauthammer wildly misstated what Gore had said. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/3/02.) Meanwhile, other “all-stars” ape their shrink-rapping friend. Last month, for example, Gore gave a speech to Brit Hume thumbed his roster of shrinks. And another quack turned up for duty:
MORTON KONDRACKE (Special Report, 11/10/03): I think there are some legitimate questions, as the Supreme Court’s decision to take this Guantanamo case indicates, about, you know, military tribunals and secrecy on the part of the administration. But this Gore speech, as usual, went so far over the top, that it’s almost—you wonder about his psychological stability. I mean, he charged that this administration has “exploited public fears for partisan, political gain and political dominance.”
To Kondracke, when Gore said that Bush—a politician—was playing politics, that meant that Al Gore must be nuts.

But then, this is now a standard motif of the rube-running right. If you disagree with Bush, you’re a hater—or you have to be crazy. Last Friday, for example, Andrew Sullivan threw pleasing feed to the herd, referring to “the unhinged” Paul Krugman. Enlightenment values are thrown down the stairs, and the rubes get to read a comforting tale. There’s no such thing as principled disagreement. Those who dispute you are simply unbalanced. Here—Charles Krauthammer, a psychiatrist, even says it!

What a shame, that the Post puts such stupid, corrupt work into print. By the way, it’s been three days since Krauthammer’s blatant misstatements. Still not a peep from Fred Hiatt

THE LYING ABOUT HILLARY CLINTON CONTINUED: When you’re peddling propaganda, repetition is everything. Therefore, the lying about Hillary Clinton’s trip continued last Thursday on Fox. Sean Hannity chatted with Geraldo Rivera, who had been in Baghdad over Thanksgiving. While there, Geraldo ran into Clinton. So Sean began lying again:

HANNITY: It’s got to kill you to be there and see, you know, these young boys. You know.

RIVERA: And it’s horrifying. And you know, at Thanksgiving time, they were so needy. That’s the thing. Anyone who wants to write to a G.I., anyone who wants to adopt a company or a platoon, they are so appreciative. They’re 21, 22 years old. Just to see a familiar face, they are so warm, so giving. And they are sacrificing so much.

HANNITY: And then you ran into Hillary.

RIVERA: I did. I did. The former first lady was there. And again, I think that you have to divorce politics from these visits. Not the president’s visit—

HANNITY: She said the outcome is not guaranteed.

RIVERA: The outcome is—Hey, a lot of people believe that, but let’s put the politics aside. The fact of the matter is they were happy to see her, they were happy—they were ecstatic to see the president, and that’s the way it has to be.

Of course, Clinton didn’t say “the outcome is not guaranteed” when she met with the troops. She made the blindingly obvious statement in a telephone interview with the Buffalo News. But Hannity wanted the rubes to think different. So he played them for fools once again.

By the way, who sat by as Sean dissembled? Who else—enabler-in-chief Alan Colmes! The rules of engagement were clear last week; when Sean dissembles, lies and misleads, Alan agrees not to notice. We have generally defended Colmes in the past. But let’s just state what is powerfully obvious: Alan Colmes is paid to stay in the tank. Making a joke of your basic interests, Alan Colmes earned his pay all last week.

A GENTLEMAN’S POWERFUL LOATHING: Speaking of totally empty suits, after a week of Hillary Slander, we thought it might be fun to look in on Slate master-pundit Mickey Kaus. Last Sunday, Kaus opined on Clinton’s trip to Iraq. “I remember why I used to loathe her,” he wrote, in an endlessly thoughtful rumination.

Loathed her! In his original presentation, Kaus linked to a New York Post report about Clinton’s trip. Incredibly, here is the entire report which helped reawaken his “loathing:”

November 30, 2003—WASHINGTON: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ventured into Iraq’s dangerous northern region yesterday, as she took another shot at President Bush for trying to move too fast to get troops out of that country.

As she has on each leg of her three-day trip, Clinton questioned the White House battle plan for restoring order and stability to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It’s going to take more time than has been allotted for the process to take hold,” said Clinton, referring to the July deadline by which Bush aims to transfer power back to the struggling Iraqis.

“I don’t think we should be setting artificial timelines as this is a very challenging undertaking and we need to work with our Iraqi counterparts and make sure that the steps that are being taken are going to work,” added Clinton, who is due back in Washington today.

Clinton completed her tour of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq with a tense trip into Kirkuk, an oil-rich part of the country dominated by the Kurdish people who were oppressed under the regime of Saddam Hussein.

That was it! According to Kaus, he doesn’t buy “the hoary bit of etiquette that says a U.S. politician should never criticize a U.S. president on foreign soil.” Why then would Clinton’s remarks induce “loathing?” Go ahead—read the gentleman’s tortured explanation. But only if you’re on a desert island, and have nothing else left to live for.

Loathing! Is there any reason not to assume that Kaus is another Scaife-bought pseudo-pundit, paid to churn out anti-Dem cant under the guise of being a Dem? A somewhat less muscular Tammy Bruce, to cite one other such confection? On Fox, Bruce now plays a “progressive” “Democrat,” although she’s clearly no such beast (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/2/03). We’ll offer more thoughts on Bruce in the weeks ahead. But when we read such ludicrous work by Kaus, is there any reason not to assume that the scribe is just first cousin to Bruce? That he was rolled off the same assembly line which now gives us Bruce’s prime clowning?

DUMBING AMERICA DOWN, WAY DOWN: Final point: How stupid are pseudo-con pundits willing to be? When the “famous memo” appeared last fall, pundits said it showed how stupid Streisand was because Tabankin had misspelled “al Qaeda.” No, we really aren’t making this up. Yes, this is the state of your discourse. Meanwhile, Kaus and Hiatt sit dumbly by. They’re paid pleasing sums not to notice.

TOMORROW: Michael Kinsley on Bush in the Guard. Cal Thomas on Hillary’s trip.