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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Charlie Pierce Asks a Rhetorical Question



I've made no secret of my dislike for the Grey Lady, particularly its treatment of the Clintons for the last 25 years.

So, I very much enjoyed Charlie Pierce's teardown of the Times's awful coverage of them:

These events were not only "remote and trivial." They were, by and large, complete bullshit, inflated by Republicans and a willing and timid elite political press into a Questions Remain culture of faux-scandal that persisted through the entirety of the 2016 campaign. And it began long before the Times ran seven stories about James Comey's release of his 11th hour letter to Congress on its front page.
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The Comey story broke on a day in late October while I was driving through New Hampshire between a Trump event in Manchester and another one way out in the boonies, and I can tell you that the story blotted out the sun. By the time he got to the small mill town, everybody in the gym at the little Christian school knew so much about the Comey letter that Trump only had to make a head-fake toward it to get the crowd to bringing the roof down.
That moment turned the campaign for good. There's no point in denying it. For more than 25 years now, it was the Times that wrote the Clinton Rules and brought them down the mountain as surely as Charlton Heston brought the tablets of the law down Mount Horeb. This is a great newspaper with people who do great work, but one that somehow leaves its greatness between the cushions of the sofa when it comes to dealing with one family in our politics. It's truly weird. 

The title of the post is, "Will The New York Times Ever Fix Its Clinton Problem?"

If it wants to do so, its first step needs to be to admit that it has a problem, and I just don't see it happening. Ever. And it should never cover a teardown of the Clintons ever again. I'd say that the fact that it's devoting a single column inch to reviewing Shattered, another bullshit book about the Clintons (I'm not linking to it) after being duped by Clinton Cash and every other negative thing ever published about the Clintons by hacks and right-wing ideologues means they haven't learned their lesson, but they learned their lesson years ago -- attacking the Clintons sells papers is all that matters.

“Clinton Cash” was funded by the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative nonprofit co-founded by Steve Bannon and was heavily promoted by Breitbart News, where Bannon was executive chairman before taking leave to become Donald Trump’s campaign CEO.
In the book, Schweizer alleges that foreign governments paid the Clinton Foundation large sums in exchange for favors from the State Department during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. He wrote that Bill Clinton also accepted speaking fees and donations from foreign entities while the State Department was weighing whether to award contracts to groups or people affiliated with those benefactors.
According to the Times and other outlets, the FBI in August launched an inquiry into the claims surfaced in Schweizer’s book and news reports. At the time, FBI and Justice Department officials agreed that going public with the investigation, which was then in its early stages, could unduly influence the presidential election.

Their review of the new book, which is entitled "'Shattered' Charts Hillary Clinton's Course Into the Iceberg," is a sign that this is not a mistake. It's shameless and deliberate malfeasance. There's no other explanation at this point. They're feeding Breitbart and its Neo-Nazi readership.

If there's a book to be written about the Clinton campaign's "course" into an "iceberg," it's about how the Sulzbergers sabotaged the ship's navigation system. Maybe Pierce should be the one to write it?