Just when you thought the Village couldn't get any creepier, Emily Yoffe at Slate delivers:
Isn't it time for Hillary Clinton to get a quickie divorce from Bill (it can be done; it took about 20 minutes for Madonna to dissolve her marriage) before her confirmation hearings start?...And just think, if she divorced him, it would be the first time that their relationship made sense.
Whether the fact that Yoffe's item appeared on XX Factor, where "Slate women blog about politics," makes the whole thing even more disturbing remains open for debate.
The NYT scribes does her best to scrounge up news from yesterday's Hillary Clinton announcement. But all Stanley does is highlight the press' pathological refusal to deal with reality when covering the Clintons.
Here's Stanley, writing about the remarks Clinton made after Obama introduced her as his SoS pick:
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech was no ordinary public-service pledge; for plenty of viewers, it was the moment when Mrs. Clinton finally conceded the election for real.
First off, my hunch is that most people assumed Clinton conceded the election "for real" when she, y'know, conceded the election in June. Or maybe when she endorsed Obama at the convention in August, or when she campaigned for him nationwide in October. But for The Village, it wasn't until December that Clinton conceded the election "for real."
Second, note the "plenty of viewers" language. We've noted this media trend before. Almost nobody in the real world shares the media's Clinton obsession, so in order to couch it as news, pundits simply pretend they're speaking for the masses, so Stanley goes with the "plenty of viewers."
Again it's just a hunch, but I think if you could find 100 people anywhere in the country who actually saw Clinton's SoS acceptance as her de facto election concession, then 95 of them probably work for elite media news orgs.
Remember how Drudge recently applied maximum spin to the news that his liberal counterpart, the Huffington Post, was getting a $15 million injection by suggesting the investment represented a "bailout" and that HuffPo was on "life support"?
Turns out, it's even worse for Drudge. The HuffPo, which doubled Drudge online traffic during the height of the campaign, actually is pocketing a $25 million investment, which will be used to further expand the online enterprise.
With the new funding can HuffPo triple Drudge's traffic? Let's watch and see.
Following Obama's unveiling of new administration players today:
Chris Matthews: "Clearly [the team] has the picture we're looking for. The many faces of Benetton or whatever you want to call it. But clearly representative of America more than previous administrations..."
Joe Scarborough: "We were talking on the set here and we decided they had to split up the white guys up there to make it look more like America."
That's the bullet point from Michael Wolff's new "star-struck" Murdoch bio, due in stores this week, and the "despises" claim is getting lots of media attention. But I couldn't help notice when reading the book passage in question, "despises" doesn't come from Murdoch, it comes from the author:
"It is not just Murdoch (and everybody else at News Corp.'s highest levels) who absolutely despises Bill O'Reilly, the bullying, mean-spirited, and hugely successful evening commentator," Wolff wrote, "but [Fox News chief executive] Roger Ailes himself who loathes him. Success, however, has cemented everyone to each other."
Murdoch absolutely despise O'Reilly? Ailes loathes the host? It seems if those kind of sensational chargers about a conservative media civil war are aired, than the words ought to come straight from the players involved, and not the writer who does it second-hand.
In another section of the book, Wolff tries to cement the deal about Murdoch's supposed hatred of O'Reilly [emphasis added]:
"The embarrassment can no longer be missed. [Murdoch] mumbles even more than usual when called on to justify it. He barely pretends to hide the way he feels about Bill O'Reilly."
This seems to border on biographer-as-mind-reader territory. Murdoch is asked about O'Reilly and because he "mumbles," the biographer concludes he's hiding is true feelings? I think if Murdoch really did such a bad job hiding his feelings than Wolf would have a direct quote from Murdoch about how much he dislikes Murdoch. But I haven't seen that yet. (It's possbile direct quotes from Murdoch re: O'Reilly are buried in the book. But none have been made public yet.)
Again, it's very possible that Murdoch doesn't like O'Reilly, and from a purely ideological point of view that would make me quite happy. But it's also very possible that Murdoch likes O'Reilly. The job of a journalist in this case is to confirm the facts, not speculate or fictionalize media relationships.
Is it just us, or are reporters just bending over backward trying to find some sort of conflict and tension as the new Obama administration is being put together.
The latest to try the trick is the LA Times, whose headline claims "Obama's picks challenge party." Sounds bad, right?
President-elect Barack Obama's speed in naming Cabinet nominees and top White House staffers has drawn praise from many within his party, but it also has left a series of likely vacancies that could endanger Democratic electoral prospects in the coming months and reduce diversity within party ranks.
But once again, there's hardly any there there. The only real evidence of the vacancy challenge is that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, who is set to become the head of Homeland Security, may be replaced by a Republican in Arizona. That hardly stands out as unusual in terms of transition teams.
As for diversity, the Chris Cillizza piece claims, "In picking New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as Commerce secretary, Obama has removed the country's lone Latino governor."
Of course, the other way of thinking of that is by picking New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as Commerce Secretary, Obama has elevated a Latino to one of the highest ranking positions in government.
Guess it's all in the way you spin it. And right now, the press seems anxious to spin dire scenarios for Democrats.
At the newspaper's blog, Sharon Otterman writes about Hillary Clinton's upcoming SoS confirmation hearings. The headline: "Clinton May Face Tough Confirmation Questioning."
Sounds intriguing, right? Like a real political showdown is brewing. Well, there might be, but the Times provides no evidence to suggest there is. Instead, the blog post quotes Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN.) who appeared on a Sunday talk show and who said he would vote to confirm Clinton for SoS, and that there would be "legitimate questions" asked about Bill Clinton's post-presidential activities. (Lugar never used the word "tough," or anything like it.)
Talk about anti-climatic. Instead of "tough" questions, Lugar thinks senators will simply ask "legitimate" ones, which means Clinton's SoS confirmation hearings, at least according to Lugar, will be pretty much be like every other cabinet confirmation hearing.
Good to know.
And is the stated purpose there to be as misleading as possible? Because it's become something of an epidemic.
Here's the latest: "Latinos unhappy with Obama picks."
Now, if you're a Politico novice, you might see that headline and think the article, written by Gebe Martinez, will detail how Obama's early key picks for his new administration have angered Latinos and that the article will include relevant quotes to back up the headline's crystal-clear claim.
But if you're a Politico veteran, you understand that headlines often have little to do with the article's content and that specifically in recent days/weeks headline that try way too hard to gin up conflict regarding the new Obama team usually fall flat.
Well, add this "Latinos unhappy with Obama picks" article to that pile because there is virtually nothing in the piece to justify the headline. Zero.
No joke, this is as close as the article comes to substantiating the "unhappy" headline [emphasis added]:
But at this early stage in the appointments process, there is a trickle of disappointment running through the Latino community.
We understand that in the click-through world headlines can make or break a story. But is maintaining some semblance of journalistic guidelines when hyping stories asking too much?