Tuesday Reads: I’m So Sick of the Tired Media Narrative about HillaryPosted: May 31, 2016
I’m having one of those mornings when I feel completely unsettled and discombobulated about current events. All my life I’ve felt like an “outsider,” because I didn’t see the world in the same ways so many other people did.
As I have gotten older, I’ve realized that I’m far from unique; I know many people have this feeling. But when national and world events get as crazy as they are now, that feeling comes back to me. Why are so many people seemingly brainwashed by cultural memes?
We constantly hear and read that Hillary Clinton is a horrible, terribly flawed person who is constantly “struggling” to overcome her opponents because of her awful “speaking style,” her “inauthentic” personality, her “secrecy”–and that’s just from people who are not over-the-top Clinton haters.
From the Bernie bros and the GOP, we hear that she is practically the Devil incarnate–“cozy” with Wall Street and Walmart, a “criminal,” an “enabler,” and on and on. And yet, Hillary has millions more popular votes in the primaries than either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.
Why is it that millions of people have no difficulty seeing Hillary’s “humanity,” her kindness, her love for children, her intelligence, her competence, her basic decency when so many in the media can’t? It seems that once people are part of the media in-crowd, they feel they must adopt certain Clinton stereotypes. Why is it that even wholehearted Clinton supporters like Joan Walsh feel compelled to write in every article that she is a “flawed candidate?” What candidate does not have flaws?
What got me started on this train of thought–for the umpteenth time–is a long piece by Rebecca Traister in New York Magazine: Hillary Clinton vs.Herself. There’s nothing simple about this candidacy—or candidate. I’ll be honest: I couldn’t even finish reading the article. This whole approach to Hillary–that somehow she is her own worst enemy–has just gotten so tired. I can’t take it anymore. Here’s Traister describing the “problem” with Hillary:
All the epic allusions contribute to the difficulty Clinton has long had in coming across as, simply, a human being. She is uneasy with the press and ungainly on the stump. Catching a glimpse of the “real” her often entails spying something out of the corner of your eye, in a moment when she’s not trying to be, or to sell, “Hillary Clinton.” And in the midst of a presidential campaign, those moments are rare. You could see her, briefly,letting out a bawdy laugh in response to a silly question in the 11th hour of the Benghazi hearings, and there she was, revealed as regular in her damned emails, where she made drinking plans with retiring Maryland senator and deranged emailer Barbara Mikulski. Her inner circle claims to see her — to really see her, and really like her — every day. They say she is so different one-on-one, funny and warm and devastatingly smart. It’s hard for people who know her to comprehend why the rest of America can’t see what they do.
“The rest of America?” Isn’t this really a media problem? About 12 million people have voted for Hillary in the Democratic primaries. Around 18 million voted for her in the 2008 primaries. She was elected twice to the Senate from New York. She is well known and admired around the world. Personally, I have no problem seeing Hillary as likable, even when she gives speeches. She has a beautiful smile and to me her personality comes through in debates, interviews, and speeches. But reporters and writers insist on denying my view of reality.
Far from feeling like I was with an awkward campaigner, I watched her do the work of retail politics — the handshaking and small-talking and remembering of names and details of local sites and issues — like an Olympic athlete. Far from seeing a remote or robotic figure, I observed a woman who had direct, thoughtful, often moving exchanges: with the Wheelers, with home health-care workers and union representatives and young parents. I caught her eyes flash with brief irritation at an MSNBC chyron reading “Bernie Sanders can win” and with maternal annoyance as she chided press aide Nick Merrill for not throwing out his empty water bottle. I saw her break into spontaneous dance with a 2-year-old who had been named after her, Big Hillary stamping her kitten heels and clapping her hands and making “Oooh-ooh-ooh” noises. I heard her proclaim, with unself-conscious joy, from the pulpits of two black churches in Philadelphia, that “this is the day that the Lord has made!” and watched the young campaign staff at her Brooklyn headquarters bounce up and down with the anticipation of getting to shake her hand.
Why these observations, the crowd reactions, and the fact that Hillary is winning do not convince Traister that the problem is somewhere else than with her, I cannot explain. And that’s why I couldn’t finish the article. Perhaps I’ll go back and read the rest later on.
A good antidote to the fixed media “narrative” about Hillary can be found at Cannonfire these days. Joseph Cannon has been on a mission to expose Bernie and his bros as well as the media memes about “the Clintons.” Today he exposes one of those wacky Bernie bros who have been writing for Huffington Post and Salon throughout the campaign: Meet Crazy Frank Huguenard, a CLASSIC BernieBro. Huguenard is in the news because he posted a piece at HuffPo that was deleted. In it he claimed that Hillary was about to be indicted.
“Huffpo has yet to respond to my request for an explanation,” Huguenard tweeted at this Breitbart News reporter Monday morning. “I’ve got my sources, they never asked.”
Huguenard later told Breitbart News, “I want to do another story but my HuffPo account has been temporarily disabled. Not sure what’s happening with them.”
I think I know why the thing was deleted: Huguenard is a liar. He falsely claimed that Hillary is being indicted because an official investigation revealed the Clinton Foundation to be a criminal enterprise.
Here is the actual wording:
James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.
The truth: There is NO GODDAMNED INVESTIGATION OF THE CLINTON FOUNDATION and thus NO INDICTMENT.
Huguenard has no secret sources. If the DOJ were looking into the Clinton Foundation, would a little-known New Age whackadoodle find out before the New York Times or the AP or the Washington Post? If Huguenard has a source, why didn’t he name that source in his HuffPo piece? Why didn’t he offer a name to Breitbart?
Read the rest at Cannonfire, and while you’re there, check out some of Cannon’s other recent posts. He’s on a roll!
California Governor Jerry Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton in an open letter to California Democratic primary voters. An excerpt:
On Tuesday, June 7, I have decided to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton because I believe this is the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump….
Hillary Clinton has convincingly made the case that she knows how to get things done and has the tenacity and skill to advance the Democratic agenda. Voters have responded by giving her approximately 3 million more votes – and hundreds more delegates – than Sanders. If Clinton were to win only 10 percent of the remaining delegates – wildly improbable – she would still exceed the number needed for the nomination. In other words, Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee….
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our country faces an existential threat from climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. A new cold war is on the horizon. This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun. Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.
Now, a couple of Trump stories:
I love this headline at The Telegraph: Donald Trump is a ‘vulgar, demented, pig demon’ says Hillary Clinton’s ex adviser.
Alec Ross, who was senior aide to Clinton during her term as Secretary of State, was speaking at The Hay Festival in Wales about the industries of the future.
Ross, said that the most open countries would have the greatest success in the coming decades because the biggest emerging markets were big data and genomics. But he warned that America could become a more closed society if Donald Trump was elected president.
“We’re having this struggle very publicly in the United States right now where a vulgar, demented, pig demon named Donald Trump is trying to make the United States a more closed society.
“We’ll be saying, no more brown people, no more Muslims, let’s get women back in the kitchen. Let’s make America great again.
“What he’s talking about is taking emasculated men in their forties, fifties and sixties who are not living the life they hoped for in their teens and twenties and saying, ‘you know what? there are people to blame for this. And we’re going to build a wall and we’re going make America great again.
“At the core of that is the struggle between being an open society and a closed society. And so if you want to know where the trillions of dollars of wealth creation that are going to come with the commercialisation of genomics, and the creation of big data companies, and the AI machine learning companies and all of the industries of the future my overarching line here is it’s going to be the most open societies.
Please go read the rest. It’s great.
This is a right wing source, but it answers a question that has puzzled me: Byron York: Why Trump attacked Martinez.
Many observers were mystified when Donald Trump attacked New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. But the story was really very simple: Martinez hit Trump, so Trump hit back. Especially now that Trump is the GOP’s presumptive nominee, he attempted to make an example of a Republican who won’t get with the program. It might work, or it might not, but from Trump’s perspective it’s the tactic he used to beat 15 rivals for the GOP nomination.
The Trump-Martinez bewilderment focused on four factors: Martinez is Hispanic, she’s a woman, she’s a Republican (head of the Republican Governors Association), and she’s popular. “I think it sent all the wrong signals,” said Newt Gingrich, who has generally been pro-Trump. “You particularly don’t want to see your candidate who needs to…get stronger with Latinos, and stronger with women, attack a Latina woman Republican governor.” ….
“[Martinez] continues to attack him publicly and privately,” one person in TrumpWorld told me recently. Trump has made a principle of hitting back harder than he is hit. And he has been so effective that many Republicans, elected and not, have decided the smart thing is to refrain from taking on Trump, even if they oppose him.
My guess is the fact that Martinez is a woman who dared to stand up to him had something to do with Trump’s angry response.
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?