Oct
18
2011

Inevitable Presidential Nominees, Then and Now

With all the chatter about the inevitability of Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination, it might be useful to recall the last time the media were sending the same message about an early favorite, at least according to the national polls: Democratic Nomination Preferences Oct. 4-7, 2007 Gallup Poll Candidate % Support Hillary Clinton 47 Barack Obama 26 John Edwards 11 Bill Richardson 4 Joe Biden 2 Dennis Kucinich 1 Chris Dodd 1 Mike Gravel * Other 1 No opinion 5

Jun
13
2011

June 2007 Flashback: The Clinton/Giuliani Election

I noticed a few stories in today's USA Today (6/13/11) about supposed Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. There will be plenty more of this to come–horserace commentary based on polling that's being done in order to give journalists a reason to talk about one candidate more than another, which candidate has "momentum" and so on. It's worth remembering that the polling at this stage of the race is useless. Actually, it's probably worse than that, since the political press corps obsesses over this trivia at the expense of doing any actually useful reporting about the candidates. I wanted to find a […]

Nov
02
2010

Hillary in Cambodia

It's probably better for American political leadersthat we forgetthe U.S. bombing of Cambodia. "A massive bombing campaign in Cambodia. Anything that flies on anything that moves," was how Secretary of State Henry Kissinger put it in 1970 (NY Times, 5/27/04), reflecting Richard Nixon's concern that the large-scale aerial bombing wasn't doing enough damage. In 2000, President Bill Clinton released Air Force records on the U.S. bombing of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. As Taylor Owen and Ben Kiernan wrote (Walrus, 10/06): The still-incomplete database (it has several "dark" periods) reveals that from October 4, 1965, to August 15, 1973, the United […]

Aug
28
2009

WSJ 'Scumbag' Columnist Gets Predictably Slimy

Noticing that Democratic strategist Mark Penn "is the Wall Street Journal's 'Microtrend'-spotting columnist" and "also CEO of PR giant Burson-Marsteller," Gawker blogger Hamilton Nolan (8/26/09) posits that "only a scumbag would abuse the former to drum up business for the latter." Alas, "Scumbag spotted!" is Nolan's cry when writing that Penn's latest (old, and none too insightful) "Microtrend" column is about "glamping"–glamorous camping. It ran last weekend. By Monday, according to an internal email obtained by Gawker, Burson was already trying to recruit companies from the industry featured in the column as clients. Nolan goes on to remind us that […]

Aug
13
2009

Hillary Clinton and 'Celebrity Coverage'

The dominant story from Hillary Clinton's trip to Africa was not her comments about combating rape and sexual violence in Congo. No, the top story was Clinton's testy response to a question about what her husband thought of Chinese business interests in Kenya Congo. That exchange prompted a whole story in today's New York Times by Jeffrey Gettleman ("Clinton's Flash of Pique in Congo"). While that's already kind of sad, it turns out that the questioner misspoke; he actually meant to ask what Barack Obama thought of these deals. But either way, apparently, you get to psychoanalyze Hillary Clinton: After […]

Aug
09
2009

WaPo 'Screw-You' Video Follows 'Mad Bitch' Offense

Guest Women In Media & News blogger Adele M. Stan (8/5/09) has some more to say about the WashingtonPost.com's "now-infamous 'Mad Bitch' video": Last Friday, Talking Points Memo's Brian Beutler shone a light on a video produced by the Washington Post that featured one of the two columnists hosting the piece suggesting that, at a future White House beer summit, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton be given a brew called "Mad Bitch." Then all hell broke loose. The Post apparently thought it could fix the problem by simply pulling the video. A note was posted above the hole where the […]

Aug
07
2009

Snarky WaPo-er 'Surprised by the Ferocity out There'

Howard Kurtz recently offered fellow Washington Post reporters Dana Milbank and Chris Cillizza a chance to apologize for having, in an online Post feature, "implied Hillary Clinton was a 'bitch.'" But American Prospect's Tapped blogger Adam Serwer (8/5/09) has a question regarding Milbank's aside that "it's a brutal world out there in the blogosphere…. I'm often surprised by the ferocity out there, but I probably shouldn't be": What's the sound of a million hands facepalming? No one who goes around using obscenities to describe other reporters and administration officials should be complaining about the "ferocity" of blogs–if Milbank is bothered […]

Mar
13
2009

DNI Contradicts Obama Iran Claims: Where Is the Press?

Corporate media outlets treat U.S. intelligence agencies with solemn reverence when those agencies are reinforcing official views about American enemies and friends. This is true even when the same media outlets are duped by intelligence agencies time and again. But stray from the nationalist straight and narrow, and these otherwise respected sources risk becoming invisible, perhaps even suspicious. That's what happened in the run up to the Iraq War. CIA director George Tenet was prominently quoted as he affirmed the White House's most dire fabrications, but when intelligence officials at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the State Department, the Department of […]

Dec
01
2008

USA Today Sees Obama Cabinet Diversity

The headline (and subhead) in today's print edition: National Security Team Would Be Diverse Mix Obama Picks Span Eras; Some Espouse More Centrist Views And what, exactly, makes for a "diverse mix?" Holding "moderate" views against a troop withdrawal from Iraq, apparently: Obama's latest picks would give him a foreign policy team with a moderate cast. Both Clinton and Vice President-elect Joe Biden have taken a more cautious approach to withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq than Obama, who wanted it done within 16 months of taking office. Jones, who last year chaired an independent commission appointed by Congress to assess […]

Nov
18
2008

Hawks and 'Naive' Doves

On Fox News Sunday (11/16/08), NPR reporter Mara Liasson offered her take (which was essentially the same as neo-con co-panelist Bill Kristol) on why picking Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State would be good for Barack Obama: In terms of Obama, I think he wants–it would send a lot of important signals. Number one, she is hawkish, as Bill pointed out. He has to kind of put to rest this notion that he was naive, which, of course, came from her during the campaign. Sheâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s hawkish, which will balance out his naiveté. If this is supposed to be a reference […]