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Daily Howler: Parents should show their children the Post--and tell them they mustn't be like that
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THE WORST GENERATION! Parents should show their children the Post—and tell them they mustn’t be like that: // link // print // previous // next //

HIS HOMETOWN: In yesterday’s Nobel acceptance speech, Al Gore mentioned a striking fact about Carthage, Tennessee, his hometown:

GORE (12/10/07): In the last year of that war [World War II], you gave the Peace Prize to a man from my hometown of 2000 people, Carthage, Tennessee. Cordell Hull was described by Franklin Roosevelt as the "Father of the United Nations." He was an inspiration and hero to my own father, who followed Hull in the Congress and the U.S. Senate and in his commitment to world peace and global cooperation.

My parents spoke often of Hull, always in tones of reverence and admiration. Eight weeks ago, when you announced this prize, the deepest emotion I felt was when I saw the headline in my hometown paper that simply noted I had won
the same prize that Cordell Hull had won. In that moment, I knew what my father and mother would have felt were they alive.

Tiny Carthage, Tennessee has now produced two Nobel peace prize winners. (That hometown paper is the Carthage Courier. You know what to do: Just click here.) But we chucked ruefully when we saw Gore refer to Carthage as his hometown. We remembered the way the nation’s great papers tried to keep that designation out of print in June 1999, when Candidate Gore made his formal announcement speech in the Carthage, Tennessee town square.

Yes, the sane ones were willing to call it his hometown. (For example, Gore was living there in 1975 when the local congressman retired. He then represented Carthage in the House for four terms, before moving on to the Senate.) “Gore officially kicked off his run for the White House in his hometown of Carthage, Tenn.,” the AP’s Mike Glover wrote on June 17, the day after Gore announced. But inside The Village, the fixers were determined to undermine Gore in every way, no matter how small—or small-minded. They had already defined Gore as a “creature of Washington” who had shown the world that he was “delusional” when he described the part of his childhood that he’d spent on the family farm. Gore had been elected to represent Carthage four times—but Village People didn’t want to call the place his hometown. It’s sadly amusing to see how hard they worked to avoid that locution.

Yes, Ceci and “Kit” went to some lengths to avoid saying “hometown” this day. (The word did make the Post’s photo caption.) But no one worked harder than gruesome Anne Kornblut, then peddling her wares as a petty fixer for the Boston Globe. Here’s how her report started:

KORNBLUT (6/17/99): Cradled by his family and the rural town he claims as home, Vice President Al Gore officially announced his candidacy for president yesterday in a speech that seemed to say less about who he is than who he is not: Bill Clinton.

Carthage was the town Gore claimed as home! It was like he had picked it out of a hat—and there was no further explanation for Gore’s appearance in Carthage this day. Instead, Kornblut leaped ahead to the piece of deception she’d been handed, three days earlier, by the RNC. Here you saw the same of the script Village fixers wanted you hearing:

KORNBLUT: Here in Carthage, there were no traces of the criticism Gore has faced for his elite roots and longtime residence in Washington, where he was raised during his father's time as a senator from Tennessee—and where the Republican National Committee chairman, Jim Nicholson, yesterday staged an event at a onetime Gore residence, the former Ritz Carlton hotel, which Nicholson dubbed the "real Gore homestead."

So clever! In fact, Kornblut’s presentation about Nicholson’s event was technically accurate. The building where Nicholson staged his event was, in fact, “a onetime Gore residence.” (Gore had lived there, with his parents, when he was ten.) And the building was, in fact, “the former Ritz Carlton.” But it wasn’t the Ritz Carlton when the Gores had lived there, a fact which Kornblut must have known. But so what? On June 14, Nicholson had sent out a clowning press release, begging scribes to say these words: Candidate Gore was raised at the Ritz. As it turned out, only the dumbest—or most compliant—were willing to stoop to that level. (For a fuller account of this clownish event, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 8/8/02. For more background on what this “homestead” was like when the Gores lived there, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/26/06. Then marvel at the way fixers like Kornblut turned the place into the Ritz.)

Yes, the fixers at the Post, Times and Globe struggled to avoid saying “hometown” that day. But the Washington Times clowned most heroically. “Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, bask in support yesterday in his adopted hometown,” the caption on the paper’s photo said. Serious, large-scale assaults on Gore’s character were being invented all over the press. But even down to this small level, the Village’s fixers were working hard to get their ideas in your heads. Below, you’ll see them doing the very same thing with John Edwards—in this morning’s Post.

STRAIGHT OUTTA CARTHAGE: On the Carthage Courier’s “About Us” page, the hopeless bumpkins who publish the paper refer to Gore as a “hometown son.” (Hull is described as a “Favorite Son.”) You know what to do—just click here. Our question: When will the people of Carthage adopt their rulers’ preferred narratives?

THE WORST GENERATION: Parents should sit down with their children this week—and read to them from the Washington Post. They should tell their children, in no uncertain terms: You must never, ever embarrass your family by ending up like the folks at the Post.

Which part of the Post should they show to their children? They should show them the embarrassing series, called “The Front-Runners,” which the Post is currently running. Today, the victim is Candidate Edwards. As with Clinton, as with Romney, the Post’s profile contains four parts:

  1. An insipid attempt at psycho-biography, written by one of the world’s dumbest people.
  2. A piece called “How He’s Running.” (According to Kornblut, who writes today’s piece, “Edwards is running as ‘the son of a millworker.’”)
  3. A piece called “How He Looks” (Robin Givhan).
  4. A piece called “How He Talks” (Dana Milbank).

That’s right! In this morning’s Post, there’s a full report about John Edwards’ clothes—but no report about his proposals! Nowhere in these “front-runner” profiles does the Post explain what the candidates have proposed in the course of their White House campaigns.

By itself, that would be strange enough. But in its most open insult to the public, the Post has Givhan writing a report about each hopeful’s clothing. And the Post has Milbank telling the world how each candidate “talks.”

Is Robin Givhan the world’s dumbest human? Here’s the start of her blather today. Yes, she gets paid to do this:

GIVHAN (12/11/07): He pairs his faded jeans with sport jackets in that baby-boomer way, rather than a metrosexual way, in which case the jacket would be Prada Sport and the jeans would be overpriced.

Let us repeat: There is no report in today’s four-part package about Edwards’ proposals—but we get this predictable horsesh*t from Givhan. And as if her inclusion isn’t insult enough, we also get this predictable horsesh*t from the loathsome Milbank:

MILBANK (12/11/07): For all his wordiness, Edwards is mostly silent when it comes to policy details. The stump speech offers few specifics about what he would do, even as he told his DNC audience that he would build "one America"—eight times.

That’s a bit strange, since the Post itself offers no specifics about what Edwards “would do.” But what makes Milbank’s complaint especially stupid? On Sunday, Milbank complained that Candidate Clinton gives too many policy details! Here’s how he started his (cosmically stupid) profile of “How She Talks:”

MILBANK (12/9/07): Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, opted to skip the applause lines after she accepted an endorsement last week from a New Hampshire, teachers' union. Instead, she plunged deep into the weeds.

"We have one form of learning, which is pretty much an auditory form of learning supplemented by some visual aids," she announced. "We are leaving out . . . kinesthetic and esthetic learners.”

Further, she reported that "60 percent of our in-age cohort will not graduate from college" and that "a child drops out of school in America every 29 seconds."
She blamed Bush education policy, which "homogenizes the classes," and pledged to help "individual districts and states achieve a level of facility and teacher preparedness and adequacy."

Let's hear it for facility preparedness and adequacy! Put your hands together for kinesthetic learning and the de-homogenization of the classroom! Save the in-age cohort!

“For a quarter-century now, Democrats have had a habit of selecting brainy, establishment presidential nominees who are frequently pedantic,” this pathetic fixer complained. But two days later, he complains that Edwards doesn’t give enough policy details.

But so it goes—so it has gone for years—as the Post makes a joke of your lives.

How stupid was Milbank’s piece on Clinton? It has long been a practice at the Post to ridicule Major Dems for offering long, boring policy speeches. (David Broder said he almost fell asleep at Gore’s convention speech—the one with “all those swell ideas.”) But Milbank’s stupidity here is surpassing. He watches a candidate speak to an education group. And he finds himself offended when she “plunges deep into the weeds”— about education ideas! You have to be a real fool to write that. You have to be someone like Milbank.

But then, we’ve told you this for a very long time: If these people didn’t exist, you simply couldn’t invent them. Givhan is clearly the world’s dumbest human, and Milbank may well be the most dishonest. But career liberals still refuse to come to terms with all this—refuse to say what is clear: This is plainly the worst generation—the most corrupt, dumbest, least honest.

This “worst generation” lives inside a Versailles. At the top sit multimillionaire anchors who pretend they’re nothing but average Joes—average Joes like their store manager dads, the ones they insult by their phony comparisons. A bit lower down are the simpering Dowds, wondering about Ronmney’s underwear and lashing out at Wife of Obama. (Simply put: If you’re a woman and you’re married to a Big Dem, Maureen Dowd hates your innards.) But only this group would ever conceive of a series like the one the Post is now running. The series includes a profile of each candidate’s clothes—but no profile of what they’re proposing.

Are they human? Eventually, science will settle that question. But before research scientists dig them up and test them for their planet of origin, parents have a job this week. They must sit with their children and show them the Post. They should say, You must never be like that!

THREE OUT OF FOUR IS QUITE BAD: By some miracle, the giants of this vapor-locked breed all possess the same deathless insights. In today’s four profiles of Candidate Edwards, three of them mention his troubling haircuts—the haircuts which cost way too much:

MILBANK (12/11/07): "What America needs right now is America needs a fighter," says the candidate, who was a trial lawyer and a Democratic senator from North Carolina...

Sounds like a bit of class warfare—coming from a man with a 28,000-square-foot house, $30 million in assets and a $400 haircut.

KORNBLUT (12/11/07): He has fared well in Democratic debates, outperforming Obama even after the senator from Illinois forecast an aggressive match in Philadelphia on Oct. 30. Still, Edwards has faced challenges of his own, namely "the three H's"—his expensive haircut, his hedge fund work after the 2004 election, and his sprawling homestead in North Carolina, all seemingly at odds with his regular-guy persona and progressive agenda.

MONTES (12/11/07): Always describing himself as "the son of a millworker," he tells stories of family hardships...and says he identifies with "the little guy." But he does so with such glibness, and frequency, and it contrasts so greatly with who he is today—a polished former trial lawyer worth millions—that the truth of his biography is sometimes lost. These days, Edwards's $400 haircuts and $6 million house garner the lion's share of attention, and he is testimony to the fact that youthful good looks aren't necessarily a political asset.

Only Givhan restrained herself—and she of course pitched in with this:

GIVHAN (12/11/07): [O]ften there is the sense that Edwards is so aware of the camera's gaze that he can't stop posing and simply be. He looks like a man in costume—as though he has popped his face into a cardboard cutout of "American Gothic." He is a millionaire tourist in his own narrative.

“There is the sense,” this imbecile wrote—and then, she sold you her cohort’s key narrative. By the way, what exactly has Edwards proposed? No one was asked to discuss that!

These are exceptionally stupid people—and they’ve taken over your discourse. In effect, they’re a small, stupid mafia, holding a death-lock on a vital societal function. But so what? Our career liberal cohort still soft-soaps this problem, as we’ll note a bit later this week. Meanwhile, we’re left in the hands of this simpering crew—a gang of android imports.

Question: Since these life-forms are clearly from outer space, where do they get their shopworn “ideas?” Where do they get the handful of narratives all of them want to repeat for the public? Who is really inventing the tales these people all want to throw at you? Yes, they all know they must say the same things. From what deeply material source have these slick, stupid narratives sprung?