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Secrecy and the Press: which came first?

Hillary’s emails at State might remain secret and away from prying eyes. Media freaks out accordingly.

Let’s see if I have this right. The media, such as the undead Andrea Mitchell, make a big stinking deal about everything Hillary Clinton does for 30 years, insisting it has the right, nay, the duty, to go through her underwear drawers looking for evidence of, of, well, nevermind that, when we find it, we’ll construct a narrative around it.

The undeads, prematurely decomposing before our very eyes, drag their target through many trials and tribulations, including scandals about billing records, scandals about friends who commit suicide, scandals about non-existent scandals about real estate investments that didn’t produce a generous ROI. The target has secrets that the undead is mindlessly driven to uncover. Secrets. “SSSEEEEEECCCCRRETS“, they sussurate as they stagger through the decades. Even as she outruns them, they manage to catch up, pounding on her door demanding SSEEEEEEEECRRRRRETTTS.

In the process, the target, being a live, sentient being, with the ability to learn and adapt to her environment, begins to understand that every interaction with the world can now be considered sustenance for the undead. So, she takes defensive measures and hides anything she doesn’t want taken out of context and twisted into some hideously misshapen, unrecognizable thing.

And now, the undead scream “Aha! We told you she was secretive!”

At this point, it shouldn’t be surprising if our protagonist rolls her eyes and ignores them.

***************************************************************************

Following up on what Peter Daou is exposing as the words that the right and the media use to describe Hillary (jeez, it sounds like something Newt Gingrich might have written in his infamous “Language: a Key Mechanism of Control” pamphlet. Wait. How do we know he didn’t write them?), I have assembled a similar list of words that the left uses.

The left will deny this (because it thinks rather highly of itself) but it is as prone to trigger words and propaganda techniques as the right. In the case of Hillary Clinton, there may be a certain segment of left purists who will not be satisfied with anything less than a knit-your-own-sandals, pacifistic, raw vegan, self-sacrificing type who grows her own GMO free biodegradable fuel source. Never mind that that kind of politician, if she even deigns to dip her little toe into such a filthy pursuit as politics, is completely unelectable. Hillary will never be able to meet the standards of these people.

But there is a vast segment in between them and, well, us, who are very vulnerable to anti-Clinton messaging. The former blogger Anglachel tentatively identified them as the “male grad student” demographic. These are the kiss ass sycophants who hope to make it up the career ladder by styling themselves as “creative class” and glomming on to disgruntled former Clinton administration officials or rivals. Many of them were too young to actually remember with accuracy what went on during the Clinton years when the GOP started flexing its muscle and went where few parties had gone before. Remember, it was Newt who shut down government back in 1995-96. Oh, you don’t remember? {{rolling eyes}}

Anyway, here are a list of words that this segment falls prey to with respect to the Clintons. For all I know, there are elements of the right invading comments sections of popular blogs and online newspapers, dropping these little rosebuds and then getting their colleagues to recommend the comments. That’s how they reach the top of the recommended comments list and convince other human herd animals that they have validity and should be emulated. This was a technique used to great success on DailyKos in 2008.

Here are the words:

inevitable, dynasty, entitled, war hawk, hawkishness, DLC, corporatist, insider, Wall Street candidate

urrrgghghhh! don’t those words just grate on your nerves??

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Wall Street trigger word is particularly funny because back in 2008 when Wall Street decided to back a candidate to save itself from the looming disaster it already saw coming, it didn’t pick Hillary. (Watch the creative classer’s head start to vibrate.) But never mind, Wall Street has always loved her (or so we are told) and now that it has let Obama go first (this is the most ridiculous rationalization I have ever heard), it will let Hillary go next. From what I can see, Wall Street, and its media minions, is not yet convinced it wants Hillary. We shall see.

Meanwhile, the undead remind me a lot of the courtiers of some medieval king, striving for status and hoping to not find their placecards below the salt.

The gritty truth in Mark Halperin’s pulp fiction

Brook's art project, 8th grade

I haven’t read the book but I did read a lengthy 10 page excerpt on the collapse of the Edwards’ marriage and campaign.  I don’t know if Elizabeth was a saint or Edwards a monster as they were written but it became clear over the course of the past several years that Elizabeth was living her ambitions through her husband. After I saw him in Chicago at YK2, I was convinced that Edwards was a one trick pony and PT Barnum his favorite philosopher.  Whether Elizabeth really ripped open her blouse in an airport parking lot or said the things she said is a bit of a mystery.  People with potentially fatal illnesses and dunces for husbands are liable to do all kinds of strange things.  But we weren’t there and there’s a good chance that some of this stuff was taken out of context for dramatic effect, with Halperin being the uber drama queen.

But following up on what Peter Daou said about Hillary’s campaign, this much I can confirm: her campaign never took the low road with us.  We were never official bloggers for Hillary.  We were a pro-Hillary blog almost exclusively after Obama made the “likeable enough” remark, Michelle Obama chastised Hillary about her tone and said she might never vote for her and the Obama campaign surrogates accused both Clintons of racism.  At some point in the campaign, Peter Daou contacted us and told us that he was at our service.  We could call him with questions and he invited us to the press briefing conference calls that I sat in on.  By the way, if you thought Andrea Mitchell was loathsome before the campaign of 2008, try listening to her oh so bored and this is so tedious and dismissively cynical questioning during a conference call with Howard Wolfson.

Never once did Daou ask us to do anything improper.  We weren’t encouraged to engage in character assassination.  We weren’t part of some big plan to subvert other blogs from within.  Instead, we found that posts that were upbeat and optimistic were sometimes linked to Hillary’s blog.  She and Daou seemed committed to winning the war of the blogs with positivity.  I didn’t feel dirty about my posts.

Daou certainly did sleep with his Blackberry under his pillow.  I emailed him at about 2:30am one morning a couple of days after the RBC hearing.  I was so angry and frustrated.  He emailed me back almost immediately and asked if he could call me the next day.  He did.  At about 7:30am. You can’t get that kind of responsiveness and customer service anymore.  He didn’t let Hillary down with us.  I always appreciated his professionalism and access.  I only wish we could have helped her more in return.  I also wish we didn’t have to go our separate ways from Hillary after she suspended her campaign.  But it wasn’t about Hillary anymore after the RBC hearing stripped our votes of any meaning.  It was about the voters’ war with the party.

But I did notice a common theme to all of the excerpts I read of Halperin’s book.  It seems that everyone was out to take Hillary down.  Edwards, Schumer, Reid, Kennedy.  In fact, her enemies came from within her own party.  And even if what Edwards’ supposedly said about taking Hillary out wasn’t an actual quote from a reliable source, one doesn’t have to look very far to find evidence that the sentiment was true.  The whole history of the primaries was of Obama and Edwards tag teaming to make Hillary look bad from that first extremely nasty debate in Philly to Edwards’ eventual endorsement of Obama.  I don’t think Edwards even knew why he had to bring her down.  I have often found this to be the case in the real working world as well.  Men do this to women and they don’t even have a reason.  Over and over again, I have seen a women achieve some managerial power through hard work and then watched as the men who worked with her or under her snipe and criticize and undermine her authority to bring her down.  She only got to be where she was because of a quota or she’s sleeping with someone or she’s not really that smart.  On and on it goes.  I don’t think they do it consciously.  It’s like some bizarre reflex.

Here’s the truth in Halperin’s book that he probably didn’t even know he was writing: men do not mentor women.  There are some exceptions but that’s the cold brutal truth.  When men say that a woman is polarizing or that she won’t be effective, they are really saying they won’t follow her themselves and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  If the powers that be do not stand behind their protege and back her up, she won’t be effective.  If her proposals are not treated seriously, they won’t be taken seriously.  If there is no accountability for the dismissive way that others treat her, all her work will be for nothing.  And that will come to haunt the powers that be because training women is expensive.  You might as well not hire them in the first place if you aren’t going to take advantage of their talents.  Why teach them to read?

Being a woman in the real working world is not a ceremonial position or it shouldn’t be.  The Democratic party did a really stupid thing in 2008.  It dumped one of its brightest stars.  Yes, Hillary’s campaign staff let her down and there will always be a certain class of women who fall for the biting criticism of men and decide to join in.  They deserve what they get and no amount of karma is bad enough for them.  But it is the men of the Democratic party who let us down in 2008.  And until they are gone, no woman should trust the Democratic party ever again.

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Thursday: Mitchellism, part “Duh!”

What is it about free speech and free will that Andrea doesn’t get?  Taylor Marsh’s latest podcast has an extended clip of Andrea and Howard Wolfson going at it again.  I’m not sure what is more annoying, the fact that Andrea finds the thought of thousands of protesters are the RBC meeting gauche or that she repeatedly asked Wolfson what number of delegates he’s be willing to settle for.  To be fair, she wasn’t the only one asking this question.  James Carville got a similar set of mind numbing questions from Diane Sawyer at Good Morning America yesterday.  It’s almost as if they need to be reassured over and over again that Obama is going to be the nominee and they need to hear it from the Clinton people directly.  We are not allowed to have any hope.

Well, Andrea, if you know something or if you are so certain that the fix is in, we have a little message we wish to convey to Howard Dean and Donna Brazile and the rest of you: “The Whole World is Watching”  Yes, if this RBC meeting is nothing but Kabuki, don’t expect the Clinton supporters and the Floridians and Wolverines to just suck it up and go about their lives afterwards, loyalties instantly transferred to the precious.  I’m fairly certain we’ll be more PO’d about it afterwards, especially because there seems to be no reason to penalize these two states in the first place.   No, we will not be very happy.  We will not get over it.  We will not change our minds before November.

Just think what kind of message it sends to the independents and swing voters who the DNC wants to attract in November.  What kind of party disses 2,3 Million voters and why should a non-party member accept that?

“Mitchellism”

I am coining a new term today.
Mitchellism: The tendency of the media to see American politics through its own eyes and to over value its impact on the voting public.

This tendency has been noted before by other bloggers who have referred to the Washington DC press corps and pundits as The Villagers, that self-selected authority of knowledge of what the voters will or will not tolerate. High-Brodersim is another variation and is the belief that the root of the problem in American politics is too much partisanship and if the Democrats would just sell out all of their beliefs and try to meet Republicans half way, there wouldn’t be any more fights and there would be unity and much rejoicing and we could all buy the world a Coke. Barack Obama is a disciple of High Broderism.

But Andrea Mitchell is the high priestess of cluelessly arrogant Mitchellism. This was brought home to me this morning when she snippily and half mockingly told Howard Wolfson that the gas tax idea was DOA in Congress, it would never get passed and anyway, the NYTimes had already weighed in on this issue and concluded that Hillary was insincere for even proposing it.

Wolfson deftly put her in her place by saying something like, (paraphrasing heavily) “A politician makes a proposal, it goes in front of the public, their representatives hash it out, public opinion gets shaped one way or another and things get voted on. It’s called Democracy, Andrea. You should look it up sometime.”

Ohh, SNAP! He told her. You should have heard it. It was a thing of beauty. Of course, it doesn’t fit with Andrea’s worldview where the responsibility of the media is to tell people what to think and how to vote. But I have noticed a curious thing happening this primary season. I don’t think the voters trust the media much these days. Just think about what happened in PA. Nearly every paper in the state endorsed Obama. And Hillary won by 10. Oh and then there was Massachusetts. Same thing. Obama, Obama, Obama! Voters said, “ehhhhh, not so much”. In fact, the media has relentlessly fluffed Obama. He literally can do nothing wrong. His campaign is crack, his family is beautiful, his every pronouncement stirring and inspirational. Yet, the voters stupidly go for Clinton over and over again.

Remember back in November and December of 2000? The media went all Chicken Little on us and told us the country would fall apart if Gore didn’t concede? And remember how the Weapons of Mass Destruction would rain down upon us in 45 minutes if we didn’t go into Iraq right now, RIGHT NOW, I SAY, and disarm Hussein? And how did both of those scenarios go? So, now, the media is starting to rev up the noise about how Clinton threatens the party and the country if she challenges the DNC at the convention (or before) on the resolution of the FL and MI delegations. I think Lincoln wisely remarked on fooling all of the people all of the time. There is a limit to how much of this stuff you can get away with and it has been reached. One of the most beneficial things that can come out of this protracted primary season is that we may finally be able to retire people like Andrea Mitchell, David Broder, Cokie Roberts and the other Villagers. Nobody’s listening to them anymore anyway.

Jamie Rubin Flogs Andrea Mitchell

MABlue helpfully provides us with this link of Jamie Rubin getting his point across and lazy@$$ “journalist”, Andrea Mitchell having to sit there and take it.  Rubin is frickin’ brilliant.  He had all of his notes prepared in advance and called her on all of the distracting, discrediting points she was prepared to make.  The point he kept driving home again and again is that the race will not be decided by pundits or the clique of Washington DC press (ie, The Villagers).  Hillary’s  not getting out of the race just because they demand it and there are millions of voters out there who havent’ been heard from and THEY will decide.  Not YOU, Andrea.

So, there.  :-p