Newsflash: In his Barbara Walters interviews, featured in the upcoming "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008," the conservative talker who failed in stopping John McCain's GOP nomination and who failed in stopping Barack Obama's presidency (that's quite a year Rush), delivers this incredibly fascinating insight.
It's re: Hillary as SoS:
"You know the old phrase 'You keep your friends close and your enemies closer?'" Limbaugh asked. "He puts her over at secretary of state, how can she run for president in 2012? ... Then she's got to run against the incumbent? And be critical of him, the one who made her secretary of state?"
I mean, Rush is what, probably the 30th or 40th pundit to make that exact same point. Fascinating, indeed Babs.
Here's a recent swipe as the topic:
The war has claimed more than 4,200 American lives and killed a far greater, untold number of Iraqis, consumed huge reserves of money and resources and eroded the global stature of the United States, even among its closest allies.
The Media Bloundhound is not impressed:
How's that for a statistically rigorous accounting? With the exactitude of a third-grader's book report cribbed from a novel's dust jacket copy, the AP -- America's #1 wire news service -- blankets US news outlets with a quantification of Iraqi casualties that would've made Stalin proud. Seriously, it's 2008.
The Media Bloundhound isn't shocked though. The press has been absolutely allergic to the critical question of Iraqi deaths ever since the war began. And by the way, if the AP were actually interested, the floor to that Iraqi number probably begins around 250,000. Placed alongside the 4,200 figure, it sure raises lots of uncomfortable questions, doesn't it?
Writes Greg Sargent and TPM, and he's right.
He's referring to Bush's recent, semi-exit interview where he claimed the biggest regret of his presidency was the failure of the intel prior to the Iraq war. That bout of "candor" is what's made the headlines. But as Sargent points out, Bush's version of events is a whitewash of what actually happened, but the press isn't calling him out on his so-called candor:
Not a single one of their reports on the interview that we can find bothered to tell readers that there was plenty of good intel -- ignored by the Bush administration -- saying that Saddam wasn't the threat Bush was claiming he was. Nor did any of them bother mentioning that the weapons inspectors in Iraq were saying the same thing -- something that also went ignored.
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.