Writes Michael Hirsh:
For the last few days, the blogosphere has been ablaze with speculation about the kind of damage Hillary Clinton could do to the Obama presidency if she becomes secretary of state.
Of course, for the last few days there's been comparatively little speculation within the blogosphere about what kind of "damage" Hillary Clinton could to the Obama presidency. It's been the mainstream media that's played up the "damage" angle and been childishly obsessed with pushing the "soap opera" angle of the story.
For the most part, lib bloggers have been treating the story seriously, like adults. We're still waiting for the Beltway pundits to catch up.
You can be terribly wrong and stupid and remain a Times columnist indefinitely, but you must be terribly wrong and stupid in the service of the conventional wisdom. So Tom Friedman's Iraq columns get a pass, as does Maureen Dowd's constant stream of nonsense. But Kristol is no longer merely just a hack, he's a failed hack.
Because this is how they spend their collective time and energy. This is what they think represents an important contribution to the conservative movement.
There's been lots of chatter since Election Day, especially in the press, about how conservative bloggers are going to seize the opportunity that the Obama win has presented them by finally fashioning together a serious, Internet-based politcal movement.
As long as they waste their time with projects like this, I don't think the netroots has much to worry about.
In MoDo's world of celebrity, gossip politics, of course he does.
Here's what the New York Post reported in terms of Matthews trashing Clinton while recently riding the Amtrak Acela [emphasis added]:
"I don't understand it," Matthews bellowed. "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. He'll have even more drama with her. She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."
You'll note that Matthews exasperation ("I thought we were done with the Clintons'") was matched nearly word-for-word by Maureen Dowd, another celebrity Clinton hater, in her Sunday column. And you can see that same deep sense of anger here as Christopher Hitchens advertises Clinton Derangement Syndrome on national television.
We've said it before, but we fear we're going to have to make this point many more times in the coming weeks. It's now clear that a portion of the opinion press viewed the historic 2008 campaign through the extremely narrow lens of getting rid of the Clintons; of driving them off the national stage and humiliating the highest profile Democrats of the last 15 years. That's what the campaign was about for them. Not politics or policy or the future of the country. It was about them not liking the Clintons. The campaign represented some sort of deliverance from them.
But now that it's becoming clear that the new Obama team does not necessarily share that deep-seated disdain, and now that it's clear that the media's CDS is not being embraced by a new generation of Democratic Party leaders, some afflicted pundits are very, very angry. What was the point of that election, they demand.
On Hardball this week Matthews appeared visibly annoyed at the idea of Clinton becoming Secretary of State. More to the point he was confused about Obama's overture to her: "Why does he want drama"? Matthews demanded.
So far, according to news reports, Obama has made an overture to Clinton about being SOS. In a few days we will likely find out if she accepts. Where exactly is the drama?
Answer: The drama, has mostly been man-made, it's been manufactured, by the press which loves the "soap opera" storyline.
There was a great diary posted at Daily Kos recently, about the media's, and especially cable TV's, naked attempt to gin up the "drama" surrounding the Clinton story. Not because it's newsworthy and not because it's accurate. But because that's what the Beltway press wants to do. That will be worth keeping in mind in coming days and weeks.
UPDATE: We just found this quote that Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, gave during the pimary season [emphasis added]: "The press hates Hillary. There's a real glee over the prospect of being done with the Clintons."
The real grounds for firing Kristol are that he didn't take his column seriously. In his year on the Op-Ed page, not one memorable sentence, not one provocative thought, not one valuable piece of information appeared under his name. The prose was so limp ("Who, inquiring minds want to know, is going to spare us a first Obama term?") that you had the sense Kristol wrote his column during the commercial breaks of his gig on Fox News Sunday and gave it about the same amount of thought.
In other words, in hiring Kristol, the Times lowered its bar--its editorial standards--and Kristol crawled under the bar all year.
Gee, we're shocked.
Like clockwork (and as predicted) Chris Matthews chimes in with inane commentary about reports that Eric Holder will be the next Attorney General:
"This is what you do when you don't have elections: you simply promote the people ... who had the deputy jobs... you can do this in any bureaucratic state; you can do it in the old Soviet Union. ... you don't need to hold elections to promote deputies to the top jobs ... you don't need elections for this crap."
Someone should tell Matthews that Eric Holder worked in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration, not the Bush administration. If there wasn't an election, it's a pretty safe bet President Bush wouldn't name Holder AG.
We have a major, war-related scandal involving photos being digitally altered, please engage. Please engage!!
We'll wait for the LGF and the rest of the warblogging brigade to work itself into a frenzy, just like they did in 2006 when some Reuters photos from the Middle East were marginally altered to add more plumes of smoke rising from bombed-out Beirut . For the warbloggers, the photoshopping scandal was a huge deal; more proof that the liberal media was arrogantly trying to distort the news and mislead the public.
Well, now AP has uncovered another round of military photos being doctored. Except this time, they're being gussied up by the Pentagon, which is why LGF couldn't care less.
We hate it when double standards get in the way of a good bout of indignation.