Patterico's Pontifications

5/8/2013

L.A. Times Reporter Ken Dilanian and His Partisan Hackwork on Today’s Benghazi Hearings

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:22 pm

I feel like good old-fashioned rant against the Los Angeles Times coming on.

Today, there was explosive testimony from Greg Hicks regarding the Obama administration’s obstruction of a Congressional investigation into Benghazi. Hicks testified concerning how, after a career filled with awards and plaudits — and directly after Hillary Clinton and President Obama had praised his leadership during the terrorist attack in Libya — the State Department then criticized his “management style” just after he questioned why Susan Rice had gone on national TV portraying a terrorist attack as a protest. When he first raised the issue, he said, “the sense I got was that I needed to stop the line of questioning.”

More remarkably, he said, “I was instructed not to allow the RSO [Regional Security Officer], the acting deputy chief of mission and myself to be personally interviewed by Congressman Chaffetz.” He had never before been given such instructions with respect to a Congressional delegation.

A lawyer from State had tried to accompany him to his meeting with Chaffetz, and after the meeting he got a displeased phone call from Hillary confidante Cheryl Mills. After that, he said, he was “effectively demoted.”

Shocking stuff, bearing directly on the question of whether the Obama administration orchestrated a cover-up of the true nature of the terrorist attack — and giving an ironic meaning to Jay Carney’s absurd claim concerning the “remarkable level of cooperation that we’ve demonstrated with Congressional committees and investigators thus far.” Remarkable, indeed. I guess you could use that word to describe obstruction of justice.

So.

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that you were a complete partisan hack, totally in the tank for Obama, and you wanted to blunt the force of Hicks’s testimony regarding Benghazi. How would you go about whitewashing today’s hearings? I think you would follow this strategy:

  • You would report today’s hearings as if nothing particularly significant had happened.
  • You would prominently note that today’s hearings have been described by Democrats as partisan.
  • You would note that a “independent” accountability review board had found no misleading behavior on the part of the Obama administration — ignoring questions that have been raised about the lack of thoroughness of that review board’s investigation.
  • You would bury anything hurtful to the Obama administration deep down in the story, giving it virtually no prominence whatsoever — or perhaps just omit it entirely.

The editors at the Los Angeles Times, and their reporter Ken Dilanian, have followed this blueprint to a “T.”

In one of the most hackish pieces I’ve read in this paper in ages, the Los Angeles Times coverage of Hicks’s testimony bears this headline:

Envoy describes night of Benghazi attack

The totally unremarkable deck headline?

Greg Hicks, deputy chief of the diplomatic mission in Libya, tells Congress he was on the phone with J. Christopher Stevens just before the ambassador was killed.

Here’s how this dreck opens:

Minutes after Greg Hicks learned that the perimeter of the U.S. mission in Benghazi had been breached by men with guns, he punched a cellphone number to reach Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his immediate boss, who was at the scene.

“Greg, we’re under attack,” Stevens told Hicks, the deputy chief of the mission, Hicks testified to Congress on Wednesday.

Then the connection was lost. Hicks never spoke to his boss again. Stevens died soon afterward, as the Benghazi mission went up in flames around him.

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were universal in their praise of the gripping, soft-spoken, minute-by-minute account they heard Wednesday from Hicks, the first public testimony from a government official who was in Libya during the assault that killed four Americans in September.

What? That’s the story? What about the revelations that lawyers tried to keep him from talking to Congressman Chaffetz? What about the retaliation Hicks suffered for questioning Rice’s rewritten and absurd talking points?

Nope. We’ll have none of that. Instead, reporter Dilanian spews Obama talking points in the most blatantly partisan fashion imaginable:

Hicks and two other State Department witnesses shed little new light on the key questions at issue in the hearing: whether there was anything more the U.S. military could have done to thwart the attack and whether the Obama administration intentionally misled the American people when officials initially said the attacks stemmed from a protest.

An independent review board has concluded that neither charge is true, but the Republican-controlled House is pressing on with investigations, with particular interest in the role of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who may run for president in 2016.

Wait, what? A highly praised individual questions the official line that this was a protest, and is suddenly the victim of blatant retaliation and is told not to talk to Congress — and none of this sheds any light on whether the Obama administration misled the public?

As for the work of that “independent” review board — convened by Hillary Clinton — Hicks was interviewed by that board, but never had a chance to read their conclusions before they were issued. Somehow, oddly enough, the board didn’t tell us everything we heard about today. And that board has faced criticism for not interviewing other key players — not that you would know that from reading today’s L.A. Times article.

Three paragraphs from the end of the piece, this tidbit is neatly buried: “Hicks said he was disgusted when he heard U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice say on television Sept. 16 that the attacks stemmed from a protest over an anti-Islamic video. There was no protest, Hicks said.” So that revelation is about as far from prominent as you can get.

What about the pressure on Hicks to keep his mouth shut? And the retaliation he suffered when he did not?

Yup, you guessed it. As remarkable as it ought to seem given that this story was written by an ostensibly professional journalist working for a large metropolitan newspaper, there is not a single, solitary word in the article about any of that.

Disgusting partisan hackwork.

Period.

Let’s examine the faithfulness which with this story adheres to the blueprint outlined above. Pretend nothing remarkable happened? Check. Prominently note that today’s hearings have been described by Democrats as partisan? Check. Unquestionably report findings of “independent” accountability review board? Check. Bury or omit harmful facts? Check, checkity check check CHECK.

Mr. Dilanian, did you not watch today’s hearings, or are you just furiously spinning without any regard to a huge story that might not benefit the political party to which you obviously swear allegiance? Yes, sir, it is every bit that obvious — and my question is rhetorical. I know you watched the hearings, and I know that you are hiding the truth from your readers. It is an utterly shameful performance.

Mr. Dilanian: to you and your editors on this piece of misleading garbage, I say: I hope the Koch brothers buy your paper. I hold that hope so bad I can taste it. You are obviously one of the types who say they would leave if that happened. You are exactly the type of reporter who should leave. Your story is utterly dishonest and journalistically shoddy. You belong in D.C. as an Obama flack, not in Los Angeles as a purported journalist.

Leave. Take your spin to the political machine. Get out of my city and get off the pages of my city’s newspaper.

UPDATE: You want to know how terrible a job Dilanian did on this? He makes the New York Times coverage look responsible and fair.

48 Responses to “L.A. Times Reporter Ken Dilanian and His Partisan Hackwork on Today’s Benghazi Hearings”

  1. I haven’t vented like that about this newspaper in ages.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Thanks to the work of people like Mr. Dilanian the Koch brothers will be able to buy that rag for a dollar.

    And hopefully Dilanian will be one of the people threatening to quit if that happens who actually does so. I’d hate to be one of the Koch brothers and actually have to pay this Democratic party operative a severance package.

    Steve57 (da9e0e)

  3. Well he did go ‘Full Rainey’ or Tim Rutten, the fellow who thinks he got the interview with UBL,

    narciso (3fec35)

  4. This isn’t new at all.

    As far back as the Bork confirmation hearings, what the Times reported had little to do with what went on at the hearing, and much to do with what the left was alleging off-stage.

    Pure propaganda.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  5. Hacktastic.

    Kaisersoze (a1dc8b)

  6. Hicks is not a reporter. He is a creature of the administration.

    The problem all started when journalism ceased to be viewed as a craft and became a credentialed enterprise. The so called “best and brightest” have destroyed journalism.

    Rich (3ef32b)

  7. You mean Dilanian, I think, not Hicks.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  8. I hope the Koch brothers buy your paper. I hold that hope so bad I can taste it.

    Either that or it goes out of business.

    Regrettably, I think just about any of the leading newspapers — regardless of political slant — based in any of the major cities in the US will always have enough viability to somehow survive, no matter what. Sort of analogous to a pack of zombies.

    So I can only hope that the contemptibly biased newspapers becomes so emaciated — that they become so technically, financially and operationally marginalized — that they end up with all the impact and credibility of The Globe or Enquirer.

    I was perusing hard copies of the LA Times, Washington Post and New York Times a few days ago, and let’s just say I wasn’t exactly teary-eyed over how many of their pages in today’s era are pure text (or pure contents), devoid of much of the advertising that used to weigh down such papers in the past.

    If the left — including their mouthpieces known as the urban broadsheet — is going to take down America, they sure as hell deserve to go down with the rest of us.

    guardian.co.uk, Michael Wolff, April 29, 2013: [A] few weeks ago, I noticed, in a small announcement in the New York Times, the appointment of a new editor at the Book Review – once a major transfer of power in New York. Indeed, the editor of the Book Review, and his or her general literary disposition, is pretty much synonymous with the Book Review itself.

    [But the new editor, Pamela Paul] has, pretty much, no writerly or literary credentials… Her resume includes two years as a blogger at the Huffington Post, which, it doesn’t seem entirely churlish to point out, is not a job, and a stint writing a column for the Times’ Style section.

    …So why a major post in the world of literary journalism? There is an untested assumption among some long time New York Times readers and among writers…that the NYTBR is quite a vital and even necessary part of the Times – that the identity of the New York Times is integrally related to higher culture and that there are few more important reflections of that high culture than the Times Book Review. But this, of course, is nonsense.

    That day is gone. Only the awkwardness of admitting otherwise maintains the assumption of a necessary Book Review.

    It quite simply has no ads. The entire newspaper is challenged by falling advertising, but the Book Review is really at the end of this road. Practically speaking, it has no revenue.

    Mark (9ba6f2)

  9. what does nutless castrato Colin Powell think on this?

    he used to ponce around the State Department like he was in charge of the place

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  10. “what does nutless castrato Colin Powell think on this?”

    Mr. Feets – Does he still use that Wilkerson dude as his beard?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. Larry’s still all over him like a chicken on a cheeto

    mutt n jeff spic n span amos n andy punch n judy rachel and ross

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  12. You’re pretty good at these LA Times’ rants, Patterico.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  13. If the Koch brothers actually did buy the LA Times, they would do the same thing that any investors would do.

    They would install a business staff to maximize profits while reducing expenses.

    That staff would question why advertising and circulation is declining. After a whole lot of business meetings, the new owners would say: “Great and thanks for all the input, but what do we need to do to increase profits?”

    I seriously doubt that the political slant of the employees would come up in the conversation.

    I also doubt that any savvy businessmen would invest a lot of money in a dying business that depends on already dead trees when electrons tend to be free.

    So, the owners would say: “What do we produce that no one else can produce?”

    The correct answer would be: “Interesting and correct stories that affect my life on a local level.”

    However, that cannot be done, because most big paper journalists are not too concerned about people. They are concerned about being the next award-winner so that their peers will tell them how smart they are. Plus Obama.

    That’s part of what newspapers don’t get. When they do get hyper-local, they put their most inexperienced reporters into the field, who have no background in what they are covering. And all those inexperienced reporters just cover what some sources tell them is the truth.

    Meanwhile, the good reporters sit around trying to tell everyone why Bush was stupid. Plus Obama.

    Being a good, experienced writer doesn’t mean you can separate your world-view from reality. Hence, the modern MSM.

    Don’t get me started. Wait, I already did.

    Regardless, unless the Koch brothers really want to be the next Murdoch, I don’t see why they would see investing in the LA Times would be a good idea.

    Ag80 (19f299)

  14. i used to at least go to the website but that’s getting on a decade now

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  15. You’re pretty good at these LA Times’ rants, Patterico.

    Thank you. It helps to get angry. They haven’t made me genuinely angry for a while now.

    Until tonight.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  16. So I don’t look completely stupid, why would the Koch brothers invest in an advertising medium that no one reads?

    That’s important, too.

    Ag80 (19f299)

  17. 13.–it would be an act of mercy and humanity on their part. Like adopting a three legged dog who’s at death’s door from a shelter, or buying overpriced “World’s Greatest Chocolate” bars to support a local girls’ softball team. It costs you money but it makes makes you feel good to help and you know you can change some lives for the better. That’s why the Kochs should do it.

    elissa (320385)

  18. I think the Koch brothers are interested in the Tribune Corp because they want to influence America’s future and they realize the media is a big part of doing that.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  19. Yes, DRJ. In case I was being too cute in the comment above, that’s exactly what I meant by “changing lives for the better”.

    elissa (320385)

  20. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): And, as I listen to your testimony I could not help but think of something that I said very recently — two years ago now — in a eulogy for a relative. I said that death is a part of life, so often we have to find a way to make life a part of death.

    Neo (d1c681)

  21. Wait, the “independent review” being mentioned in the news is the ARB? The Accountability Review Board with 4 members of 5 members chosen by the Secretary of State, those members being state department employees, the ARB which reported directly to the Secretary if State, and was tasked with examination of the actions of Secretary of State (they found their boss was blameless. surprise, surprise), that ARB performed the independent review some news folks have been mentioning?

    Although unlikely, I am willing to accept that it is within the realm of possibility that a group like the ARB could perform a good quality review and cover the pertinent issues thoroughly and objectively. But Good Lord, how big do one’s stones have to be to call it “independent’?

    max (131bc0)

  22. And most of the writers and editors at the Tribune Corp–(especially those at the dog trainer) probably could not even articulate what the Koch Bros stand for, believe in, or how they run their successful businesses. They just read someplace in a paper like theirs or heard Dem campaign talking points that the brothers are terrible people and you’re supposed to hate the Kochs. So they do.

    elissa (320385)

  23. elissa,

    I’m not this clueless about teasing and sarcasm in my real life, but for some reason I miss them online. I need to see a face to read someone.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  24. Yes, the Times did pretty good, however the Boston Globe went totally Minitrue,

    narciso (3fec35)

  25. “If the Koch brothers actually did buy the LA Times, they would do the same thing that any investors would do.”

    Ag80 – Did Zell already strip out all the real estate after he bought it?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  26. they probably only use about a third of their building anymore – they try to lease out as much as they can

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  27. The democrats must be funding all these bird cage liners.
    I don’t even trust the box scores anymore.

    mg (31009b)

  28. Stevens died soon afterward

    Oh really? What did he die of, heart attack or something?

    LAT Reader (be0117)

  29. Oh really? What did he die of, heart attack or something?

    Protests and demonstrations. Excitement got to him.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  30. It did not begin with the Bork hearings. As a high school student, I was selected to watch the Army-McCarthy hearing and write a paper. I watched the entire hearings & saw how the media (newspapers, magazines, radio & TV mis-reported the hearings. Only because the NYTimes printed the complete daily transcript of the hearings (Journal of Record, you know) was I able to prove that my account of the hearings was accurate and that the media had mis-informed the public.

    Michael M. Keohane (b30d24)

  31. Gosnell’ing. What the Left is doing.

    They’re now putting in place “he narrative” complete with “incompentence” which, ultimately will be a “plus” for Hillary due to “experience”.

    The challenge for the GOP is to make it have “legs” amidst the usual vitriol, smear and ridicule. And Boehner is the current face they use. Simply inspiring.

    cedarhill (99e0c5)

  32. Actually that Washington job may be the goal. Won’t be the first “reporter” to do this either.

    glenn (647d76)

  33. How did this nation that once loved freedom become a nation that thirsts for tyranny?

    Amphipolis (d3e04f)

  34. In the “media and you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up-dept”
    (disclaimer, all of the following subject to crowd-source confirmation)

    I saw a blurb yesterday, but did not track it down, that Attkinson has been accused/reprimanded by CBS for her reporting on Benghazi “being too much like advocacy” or some such…
    and I heard this am via Beck…
    that the head of CBS news is the brother of someone high in the speechwriting of president Obama, who (from another source) may actually be the person who scrubbed the “talking points” on benghazi

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  35. The following is in today’s New York Times.

    Both hilarious and sickening to see people of the left accusing others of dogmatism. They remind me of all the nitwits who say the media isn’t dominated by liberalism (and liberals) because, well, it’s owned by corporate interests. The dishonesty of such people is breathtaking. They’re so disingenuous they can’t at least say they favor liberalism owning and running a newspaper because leftism makes them happy.

    And greed is on full display here, because the government-employee unions and their lackeys know which belief system affords them a comfy, happy, snug lifestyle.

    nytimes.com: An effort by two conservative billionaires to take over The Los Angeles Times and seven other newspapers is setting off a firestorm of opposition here. Public employee unions, the leaders of the State Legislature and liberal advocacy groups are moving to block the sale, denouncing it as a threat to public workers and Democratic Party issues.

    Ten public employee unions on Thursday sent a letter to the largest shareholder in the Tribune Company, which owns the newspapers, urging it not to sell to the billionaires, David H. Koch and Charles G. Koch. The Kochs have championed legislative efforts to cut public pension benefits and the power of public unions, notably in Wisconsin.

    The prospect that the Koch brothers, notorious in Democratic circles for their heavy financing of conservative candidates and causes, could run The Los Angeles Times has struck a nerve in this liberal corner of the country. The Times, if somewhat diminished by the cuts it has suffered over the years, remains a powerful influence in public life here and its existence is integral to the modern history of Los Angeles.

    The resistance is not only here. In Chicago on Wednesday, demonstrators protested outside the headquarters of The Chicago Tribune, which is also owned by the Tribune Company, about the possibility of a Koch takeover.

    The two Democratic leaders of the State Legislature — Darrell Steinberg, the president pro tem of the Senate, and John A. Pérez, the speaker of the Assembly — announced on Wednesday that they would oppose the sale. Both men control seats on the boards of California’s major pension funds.

    “Newspapers are public trusts, and I think it is wrong for The Los Angeles Times to end up in the hands of two people who have such a pronounced rigid ideology on a whole host of issues,” Mr. Steinberg said in an interview. Mr. Pérez, in a statement, said he was “deeply concerned about media outlets being purchased to further a political agenda.”

    A liberal advocacy group, the Courage Campaign, bought advertisements to run in The Los Angeles Times on Thursday urging readers to cancel their subscriptions if the Tribune Company agrees to sell the newspaper to “the right-wing Koch Brothers.” More than 1,000 people have pledged to cancel their subscriptions, said Rick Jacobs, the head of the campaign. while 110,000 have signed petitions opposing the sale.

    “The Koch brothers would use the newspaper in an extremist and ideological way,”
    said María Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, A.F.L.-C.I.O. “And I’m saying that even though I believe the current L.A. Times is not particularly labor friendly.”

    ^ Yep, Maria Durazo (et, al). As opposed to the non-extremist and non-ideological nature of you and your leftist buddies. I love your selflessness, humanity, compassion, tolerance and generosity. You’re one beautiful human being.

    Mark (9ba6f2)

  36. a threat to … Democratic Party issues

    Ah, a bit of truth after all.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  37. How did this nation that once loved freedom become a nation that thirsts for tyranny?

    I don’t think it is a thirst for tyranny, per se, but blindness. Few people say “I’m going to do evil today”, but rather what they want to do is simply more important to them than the evil they must do to accomplish their goal. For example, a politician does not set out to violate their morals or screw over their constituents, but they will do so because the desire to be liked, to enjoy the luxuries of being an elite, to belong become more important than fulfilling their constituents desires and remaining men and women of integrity.

    So to with this. The L.A. Times isn’t deliberately urging tyranny (remember, the left believes their side will magically stop any evil tactics they use today once they’ve won for good). No, they simply wish to protect their side more than to do what is morally right. Or more correctly, protecting their is what is morally right.

    I’ve increasingly noticed that the left has no real center, no real beliefs, nothing. The only thing they believe in is a petty tribalism. Us versus Them. Their tribe versus our tribe, and there may be crimes within their tribe, but the ultimate crime is to help the other tribe or hurt their own, and all other evil is subordinate to that. A Man(D) commits murder, but since hurting the tribe is a greater evil than even murder, anything and everything is justified to keep it out of the news up to and including attacking his victims and saying they deserved it.

    Really if you look at it through the lens of tribalism as the ultimate morality, everything the left does makes sense.

    So to be sure tyranny is evil, but again, hurting their side is the ultimate evil and so even tyranny is tolerable if it means they win. This isn’t a conscious decision of course. Few people would make sure a decision consciously, so they have to lie to themselves about it as surely as they do us (hence why they tell themselves “our side is virtuous and we would never be oppressive if we only had unlimited power, and if we ever were it would justified”)

    mja (51a6f2)

  38. The LA Times can’t fail fast enough for me, the a-holes.

    MikeHs (1a2353)

  39. Can’t wait for the Koch brothers to buy the paper. Hijinks ensue.

    BelindieG (a8dea4)

  40. Thank you so much, Pat, for this. I haven’t blogged about media bias in quite awhile because it’s so maddog tiring to accurately and properly express my outrage.

    This reminded me of the November 1997 wall-to-wall coverage on all three broadcast networks of the House Judiciary Committee testimony of Kenneth Starr, the special counsel appointed to preside over the sprawling investigations surrounding the Bill and Hillary Clinton’s failed Whitewater land deal in Arkansas. I remember it like it was just yesterday…(cue the “dream harp” sound effect)…

    The whole thing began with newly-elected President Clinton and the Democrats agreeing to the investigation, which he insisted would clear his and Hillary’s name; Jerry Brown, who ran in the Democrat pack to challenge George H. W. Bush in 1992, first made the accusation the Whitewater situation was evidence of not only Bill’s corruptness, but Hillary’s as well. The Whitewater Investigation eventually encompassed all accusations of misdeeds by the Clinton White House, including the sexual harassment suit by former Arkansas secretary Paula Jones, which led to the deposition in which President Clinton committed perjury about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

    (In the words of the Eagles in “Life In The Fast Lane”: Are you with me so far?)

    Lewinsky, whose juicy phone conversations about her fellatio follies in the Oval Office were recorded by colleague Linda Tripp, was exposed by Tripp’s literary agent, Lucianne Goldberg, a former operative in the Nixon Administration. Clinton operatives set about trashing the reputation of Lewinsky (and Tripp and Goldberg) in the same way they did Jones. When she flipped and testified to the Grand Jury about her o-fair with Slick Willie, it all came to a head (no pun intended, honest) when the House Judiciary held hearings before a final vote for or against impeachment. Ken Starr faced the panel alone from the early morning late into the night, and in the face of rude, dismissive scoldings by the likes of Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, John Conyers, and Clinton’s own personal counsel David Kendall. Far from being the wild-eyed puritanical zealot that the likes of Michael Moore suggested he was, Starr calmly, respectfully, and forcefully decimated all arguments that perjury isn’t a serious felony (and thus an impeachable offense) because “everybody lies about sex.”

    I emailed Goldberg, who was as delighted as I was with Starr’s performance. I wrote to her: “I hope he goes home to his wife, has a glass of wine or two with his favorite meal for dinner, and a love-filled night, because tomorrow morning, the media will pretend that he didn’t win.”

    Indeed they did. Clinton eventually WAS impeached (despite what you may have read on Wikipedia), but only, said the MSM, because Republicans were so hate-filled and sex-negative.

    L.N. Smithee (4b560c)

  41. Correction: November 1998.

    L.N. Smithee (4b560c)

  42. It is equal parts enjoyment and education to read your comments, L.N.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  43. How did this nation that once loved freedom become a nation that thirsts for tyranny?

    Comment by Amphipolis (d3e04f) — 5/9/2013 @ 7:19 am

    Because making decisions are hard.

    askeptic (932a68)

  44. Speaking of Ken Starr….
    How many Dems are thanking their lucky stars (sic) that the Independent Counsel Act expired, so that this White House will not have to face a Grand Jury over Benghazi?

    askeptic (932a68)

  45. 39. Great reminiscences, LN. Thanks for yet another example of how long we’ve all been under attack by the media as they go about the business of protecting Dems and trashing Rs at any opportunity. (Although I felt like I needed another shower after your vivid reminder of l’affaire Clinton.) I wonder how later presidents handle the inevitable requests from their guests and foreign leaders who want to to see the infamous anteroom off the oval office–the scene of the “crime”. :)

    elissa (621acb)

  46. Thank you, DRJ and elissa.

    As dismaying as it was to see the MSM run interference for Clinton, even I was flabbergasted what happened when Obama caught fire. The never-ending effusive praise for Obama was irritating enough when it seemed all he was doing was running for name recognition, perhaps thinking that Hillary might select him as her running mate and he’d run himself in 2016. But when he won the 2008 Iowa caucus, the very same reporters who were ready to “measure the drapes” for Senator Clinton threw her overboard, even going as far to accuse Bill Clinton — once accepted by Toni Morrison as “Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children’s lifetime” — of racism. That’s when I realized everyone right of center was in serious trouble. This was the new low watermark, and journalism as we once knew it was on life support.

    If there was any doubt that Sean Hannity is dead-on when he says “Journalism is dead,” Steve Kroft’s remark that perhaps the reason why Obama likes to be interviewed by him on 60 Minutes is “because I think he knows we’re not going to play ‘gotcha’ with him.”

    Think about that, if you remember the heyday of Mike Wallace. 60 Minutes used to be feared by Presidents like the grim reaper. Now, Obama calls up Kroft and says he wants a segment to just sit beside Hillary and talk about how great a job did as Secretary of State, and Kroft just plays along.

    L.N. Smithee (4b560c)

  47. This is probably not going to come out formatted too well.

    This is something I wrote in 1992. At that tiem i spelled Hillary name’s Hilary.

    Date: 04-03-92 (15:13) Number: 21004 of 22129
    To: ALL Refer#: NONE
    From: SAMMY FINKELMAN Read: (N/A)
    Subj: THE CLINTON « FIREWALL » Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE
    Conf: POLITICS (31) Read Type: MAIL FROM YOU (+)

    « After surviving, with luck and persistance, tabloid accounts of
    marital infidelity, while his campaign struggled back in New Hampshire,
    early in the year, Mr. Clinton and a cadre of aides now have a system in
    place that has so far managed to limit each new round of damaging
    reports to a 36-hour news cycle.

    “You try to figure out what they think they’ve got and marshal every
    possible resource” to combat it, said George Stephanopolous, the deputy
    campaign manager…..

    The best approach, campaign advisers have discovered, is to construct a
    series of “fire walls” to protect themselves against allowing bad news
    to spread. Campaign aides first take their side of the story to the news
    services, then to television networks and then to reporters for
    major competing newspapers.

    “from our point of view, stories are only damaging if they run like a
    wildfire through the media chain, ” Mr. Stephanopolous said. » -
    article by Gwen Ifill on page 16 of the Sunday March 29, 1992 New York
    Times.

    In other words, it’s not WHAT is known, but HOW MANY people know it.

    This may seem very clever, but actually this is based on the sort of
    thing Jimmy Carter did. If indeed Clinton is better, it is only because
    like Isaac Newton said, he is standing on the shoulder of giants.

    PCRelay:RUNNINGB -> #3RelayNet ™
    4.11 Running Board 2126541349/DS/2125191791/HST/

    Date: 04-03-92 (15:20) Number: 21005 of 22129
    To: ALL Refer#: NONE
    From: SAMMY FINKELMAN Read: (N/A)
    Subj: CLINTON AND NONINFORMATION Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE
    Conf: POLITICS (31) Read Type: MAIL FROM YOU (+)

    A little while ago someone posted something about media noninformation.
    Well, here’s a real thing – and this is not an April Fools joke.

    » There have been constant, though undocumented, reports of articles
    that were never published because the Clinton damage controllers went on
    full alert before final publication decisions were made.

    This works “more often than you think, ” Mr. Stephanopolous said »
    - another excerpt from that article entitled:

    Political Memo When
    Trouble’s Ahead, Clinton’s Staff is Ready

    By Gwen Ifill on page 16 of the Sunday, March 29, 1992 New York Times.

    Now you may be thinking, if this is so, why is Mr. Stephanopolous,
    Clinton’s deputy campaign manager, confirmiong this???

    This must be Clinton Bluff Rule numbrr 19:

    When something is known to a reporter, confirm it. The information then
    is far less likely to be headlined or emphasized. If they don’t the
    reporter will come on with the air of making a claim – the other way, it
    will be portaryed matter of factly, and not circulate that much.

    PCRelay:RUNNINGB -> #3RelayNet ™
    4.11 Running Board 2126541349/DS/2125191791/HST/

    Date: 04-03-92 (15:33) Number: 21006 of 22129
    To: ALL Refer#: NONE
    From: SAMMY FINKELMAN Read: (N/A)
    Subj: NY TIMES LIMITED HANG OUT Status: PUBLIC MESSAGE
    Conf: POLITICS (31) Read Type: MAIL FROM YOU (+)

    Actually, I have begun to see that the Clinton campaign has a special
    limited hangout strategy for the New York Times. Not everything gets
    told. but things get confirmed for them that don’t appear in other
    places.

    1) Clinton’s defeat for Governor was mentioned in a long profile of him.

    2) The correct date – 1979 – when Hilary Clinton became a member of the
    Rose Law Firm was mentioned in an article by Jeff Gerth about Clinton
    rewriting a law so as to exempt himself that appeared on Friday March
    27, rather than the apprently more usual 1980, which the Feb. 14, 1992
    Forward had.

    « There’s no question that young partners, who in the past would
    have gotten down on their knees and thanked the Supreme Being in the
    law firm if somebody said they could be a partner, are asking tougher
    questions. » Bradford H. Hildebrandt as quoted in an article in the
    New York Times about lawyers not being anxious to become partners
    anymore because of possible legal liabilities, on page D8 of the Wed.
    April 1, 1992 New York Times.

    The point here is how difficult it is to become a partner. Yet Hilary
    Clinton was hired in 1977, the year her husband became Arkansas Attorney
    General, and became a partner in 1979, the year her husband first
    became Governor. Ther’s a rebuttable presumption that something wrong
    is going on here – a presumption that has not been rebutted, because
    I’ve heard nothing about how she became a partner so fast. Hilary
    Clinton may have gone a bit overboard in defending herself , in talking
    about careers, but that’s not the point, She almost certainly got his
    because here husband was Governor.

    3) Hilary Clinton told the New York Times (earlier in the year) that she
    handled Stephens Inc business at the Rose Law Firm. She had repetedly
    denied that to local newspapers.

    4) The questionsand information in the article on page 16 of the Sunday
    March 29, 1992 New York Times, admitting that the Clinton campaign had
    suppressed critical news articles – and saying it had happened more
    often than the reporter writing that currently thought.

    When I read that, I said to myself – so THAT’S maybe what happened to
    the Village Voice article that was going to reveal that black members of
    the Arkansas state legislature hjad NOT wanted the state civil roghts
    bill not to go forward, and also noting that not one of them had
    endorsed Clinton.

    PCRelay:RUNNINGB -> #3RelayNet ™
    4.11 Running Board 2126541349/DS/2125191791/HST/

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  48. This is the article I refereTHE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Political Memo; When Trouble’s Ahead, Clinton’s Staff Is Ready By GWEN IFILL Published: March 29, 1992nced then:

    Coverups aren’t so secret.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2586 secs.