MANN (page 98): Because the royal mummies were not considered dead, their successors obviously could not inherit their wealth. Each Inkas panaqa [royal lineage] retained all of his possessions forever, including his palaces, residences and shrines...The mummies spoke through female mediums who represented the panaqas surviving courtiers or their descendants.Female mediums, speaking for mummies? Could anyone not think of our own Maureen Dowd? (Are you sure that similar parts of the brain may not be involved in these common practices?) At any rate, the Inka loved to dote on their mummies. Mann again: Soon after arriving in Qosqo, Pizarros companion Miguel de Estete saw a parade of defunct emperors. They were brought out on litters, seated on their thrones and surrounded by women with flywhisks in their hands, who ministered to them with as much respect as if they had been alive.
GRUNWALD (12/16/06): Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) appeals to male voters with a guest spot on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Expect Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to appear soon on Oxygen or Lifetime, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) to show up on the SciFi Channel. Kucinich proclaims himself a serious candidate for the Democratic nomination, but refuses to explain why his campaign slogan remains "Just Here for the Bud Light."Get it? Kucinich was right on the days biggest issue. So at the Post, they picture him on the SciFi Channel! After all, as Cynthia Tucker had explained a week earlier, youre only considered a serious Democrat if you were actually wrong on Iraq! (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 12/07/06, to refresh yourself on this strange moré.)
PRESS (12/13/06): Let me tell you something, Dennis Kucinich is not looking so crazy anymore.We all made fun of him four years ago, Bill said. So Tucker made fun of him again!
PRESS: We all made fun of him four years ago.
CARLSON: What, the veganism or the war position?
NEWSWEEK POLLS—LOST, STOLEN AND STRAYED: Were thrilled to see Hillary smoking McCain—although she wouldnt be our first-choice, perfect White House candidate. (Nor are we opposed to her.) This Newsweek poll may be inaccurate, of course, and it is a bit of an outlier. But remember: Two years out in Campaign 2000, Gore trailed Bush by 15-20 points—and after running his lousy campaign, he ended up winning the popular vote. In our view, McCain is most likely still riding some buzz from all the Love Boatin hes received through the years—and yet, Big Dems already beat him in several polls! In a campaign, there could be plenty of room to bring him down from his press-inflated position. The fact that these polls are already so close seems like a very good sign.
Meanwhile, pundits have noted an annoying fact; Newsweek simply ignored its own Dem-friendly poll when it wrote its current cover story—the one about Clinton and Obama. Most specifically, it didnt tell readers that its new poll showed Hillary smokin McCain. But then, this isnt the first time this Post-owned mag lost a poll which showed a Dems progress. Back in the fall of 1999, Newsweek and its tribune, Howard Fineman, did much the same thing to Al Gore.
In that case, the poll concerned the New Hampshire primary race between Gore and fellow Dem Bill Bradley. The press corps had sanctified Bradley, of course, and was busily trashing Gore for his wardrobe—for his boots, his polo shirts, his three-button suits, his brown suits and his troubling earth tones. (And for the fact that he hemmed his pants too high. Three major news orgs complained about that.) So uh-oh! When a Newsweek poll showed that Gore had gone back ahead of Saint Bradley (by ten), the pundit gods surely roared with displeasure. Result? Fineman went prancing all over cable, insisting that Bradley was just on a tear. Gores ten-point lead in Newsweeks poll found its way down the memory hole. Soon, three separate polls showed Gore back ahead—but good pundits still knew not to tattle (links below).
Brian Williams played a key role in pimping this bullshit on cable. But then, Williams Gore-trashing conduct in the fall of 1999 was really a sight to behold. At this distance, well at last take a guess—MSNBCs boy-toys were working hard to make Jack Welch happy. (There are reasons why weve finally been drawn to such musings—but this remains speculation.) But whatever the explanation might be, Williams persistently turned day-into-night in his presentations on Gore. He baldly misstated poll results and offered absurd accounts of pundits published opinions. Well offer you the links below. Unless Williams is the worlds dumbest man, he was simply lying in the faces of MSNBCs viewers.
At any rate, this isnt the first time Newsweek lost a poll—when it had good news for a disfavored Dem. To appearances, the magazine is developing a nasty habit—a habit of disappearing good news for Big Dems. Want to see Jon Meacham explain it all away? Just click here for his mumbling explanations (great work by Greg Sargent). Were very glad that Clintons campaign has already told them: This bullshit must stop. Our age of insanity may be nearing its end. Dems have to help it along.
VISIT OUR INCOMPARABLE ARCHIVES: Gore was ahead by ten in Newsweeks new poll—and Fineman disappeared it. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/16/99.
Gore was now ahead in three polls—and pundits still knew not to tell you. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 11/19/99.
In October, Brian Williams turned night-into-day concerning Zogbys poll numbers. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/5/99. Scroll down to Anchors away.
A string of observers praised Gore in the Times—but Williams told viewers that they had trashed him. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/12/99. Scroll down to Life of Brian.
Bonus: Williams was deeply troubled by Gores polo shirts. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 10/11/99.
Bonus: Like Williams, Ceci Connolly turned night-into-day, discussing a new poll in the New York state race. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 9/3/99.
Summary: Are Connolly and Williams the worlds dumbest people? If not, both were deliberately misleading voters. Both of them should have been fired.
JONES SPEAKS: Chris Matthews has a jones about Hillary Clinton that just wont let his soul go. But on last nights Hardball, he set a new world land speed record in the expression of same. Just look how quickly he got around to describing Clinton in an inappropriate sexual way! What follows was the talkers first comment in his segment on Clintons presidential chances. After playing tape of Clintons recent interview with Meredith Vieira, he turned to the Times Bob Herbert:
MATTHEWS (12/19/06): Bob, I know you`re a liberal, but when is a politician like Hillary Clinton or anybody else going to admit they have the "A" word—ambition—and stop with this coy thing about [fluttering eyelids], Im so flattered by so much interest? Its like a stripteaser saying shes flattered by the attention. Hillary is running for president. She wants to be president. What`s wrong with saying it?Wonderful speed! It took the talker exactly 13 seconds to compare the senator to a stripper. Even by his own tawdry standards, that was lightning-quick work.
MATTHEWS (12/7/99): Well, let me ask you this: Is Hillary Clinton ambitious?If it will make you happy, I'll agree, Wolfson said. But no, it didnt make Matthews happy. His hostile questioning switched to other subjects—and seven years later, he was at it again, with his weird comments about Clintons ambition, to which she still wont admit.
WOLFSON: Well, I think anyone who is running for office has an ambition. She has an ambition to do the right thing. She's ambitious to make positive change in the United States Senate.
MATTHEWS: Why are you hesitant to say she's ambitious?
WOLFSON: Well, I'm—I—
MATTHEWS: She wants to be the senator from New York, and you don't—you don't seem to be comfortable in saying that she's ambitious.
WOLFSON: Well, I'm saying—
MATTHEWS: That's a political ambition.
WOLFSON: Well, I'm saying that she's motivated by issues. She's—
MATTHEWS: She's not motivated by personal ambition?
WOLFSON: That may be what you would, would characterize.
MATTHEWS: I'm just asking.
WOLFSON: No, I—she—
MATTHEWS: I'm just asking. Does she have personal ambitions to rise into her chosen field of politics?
WOLFSON: She believes in public service, wants to be a public servant, wants to represent the people of New York to the, to the best of her abilities in the United States Senate.
MATTHEWS: It just seems like she want its both ways. She wants the position, but she doesn't want to admit to the ambition. That is a real conflict here, because she wants to be a politician and have all the benefits of political power and all the perks that go with it, but she doesn't even want to admit that she's a politician or someone with ambition. Neither—these are obvious and you can't admit them.
WOLFSON: Well, I don't think it's necessarily relevant. I think what matters is that she's running for office because she believes in better health care for—for folks, better schools for our children, the future of Social Security and Medicare. Those are the issues that she cares about. Those are the issues she spent a lifetime working on, and those are the issues that New Yorkers care the most about. What else—
MATTHEWS: What do you—
WOLFSON: What else, what else do you need to know?
MATTHEWS: I'd like to know what her ambitions are.
WOLFSON: Well, her ambitions are to go to the Senate and help every family get quality affordable health care.
MATTHEWS: But all those arguments that you give me would be an—would be justifications for a further run for the White House at the time when she also denies having any ambitions. I mean, at what point is she going to admit that shes going where shes headed, which is to get political power? People who seek political power are ambitious by definition. Do you agree?
WOLFSON: Well, if you—if you—if you say so. If it will make you happy, I'll agree.
MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, Kate, just looking at this—I know you`re a conservative, but this coyness, which I pointed to here, about ambition, not that she hasnt announced, but she says—she acts as if her ambition isn`t relevant here. Jack Kennedy, to his credit, said, I want to run for president because that`s where the action is. He probably meant it a number of different ways, but theres not—why don`t they just say, you know, Id really like to run this country, it would make me feel great to be president of the United States, to be on that short list.In the face of her hosts incoherent assault, even OBeirne was sympathetic to Clinton. Soon, though, Chris was letting us know why women should resent Clinton:
OBEIRNE: Chris, Im sympathetic here with Senator Clinton. We`re going to hear from her early in the year. This is like the last level of control she may have, I mean, once she jumps into that field. She knows; she`s been there. So she`s got to control her announcement. I don`t fault her for that. She`s running.
MATTHEWS: Is she a convincing mom?Yep! For mixed-up boys like the thigh-rubbing talker, it always gets back to the sex! By the way, note the peculiar reasoning here. It was amusing when Kennedy went after the action. But when Hillary Clinton has to deal with a similar problem, its her conduct which wont let Matthews rest! And dont worry—the talker can pretty much speak for all women! Try to believe that he actually engaged in the following exchange:
OBEIRNE: Shes certainly trying to be. I think she appreciates that a whole lot of women who arent all that liberal and maybe dont—are not necessarily on board because of her role model aspect of this—are distrustful of Hillary Clinton. I think they might—
MATTHEWS: Well, should they be?
OBEIRNE: I think—
MATTHEWS: She lets he husband get away with what hes gotten away with? Dont women resent that?
MATTHEWS: OK. Let`s talk about image, iconic image. A suburban mother, a swing voter, putting her kids in the back seat of the car with the safety seat, buckling them in, doing things that are really hard and complicated and require a lot of focus in your life. You gotta be really—Shes got to admit, Matthews said, perhaps revealing the ancient script which lies beneath all his conduct. Remarkably, Matthews had a palpable tone of grievance as he made that last absurd statement. Then: Well be right back with Bob Herbert and Kate OBeirne, he said. Ive got to be careful here.
OBEIRNE: What does Hillary Clinton know about what Im doing?
MATTHEWS: Is Hillary Clinton looking up to me or looking down at me?
MATTHEWS: And you answer?
OBEIRNE: I think she runs the risk of having been seen as looking down. And I think she`s going to be awfully careful—and we saw that in talking with Meredith Vieira—to try to—
MATTHEWS: Yes, I think shes got to admit that giving speeches at lunches is no better and probably a lot less important than raising kids.