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Bloggingheads
03-07-2008, 07:43 AM

brucds
03-07-2008, 08:58 AM
Rachel Sklar obviously has no sense of irony, given the title of her piece. She was about as substantive here as she's been at HuffPo. Corn made her look like the ill-informed amateur she has proven to be time and time again in her shallow columnizing. We've got one candidate who's tried to get a reporter fired for a tasteless ill-considered remark - and suceeded in getting him suspended - and who relies on Saturday Night Live skits as evidence of bias and another who gets subjected to crap like Tim Russert's over-the-top ramblings about Farrakhan. But Hillary's a victim of "media bias." What was Hillary's response when Russert did his interminable thing ? She attempted to pile on with one of the dumbest, most opportunistic moments of the entire campaign. Now I watch her running on McCain talking points - which she also happens to lose if it's her against McCain. At least he's the real thing.

I went into this campaign season believing that the Democrats had three good candidates. It's winding down, more or less, with me believing that the GOP has been pretty much right about Hillary's lack of any core principles other than her ambition and that she'll make a terrible President. Her campaign team and strategy - and their remarkable weakness - are evidence of this. Mark Penn reminds me of no one so much as Dick Morris, who has become a public figure of sorts thanks to...the Clintons who hired him on back in '94. Given the sleaze that Bill's been engaged in with Giustra/Kazahkistan, his dealings with Dubai and the list of nasty foriegn governments contributing to his library and Rachel Sklar's whining about Obama not being vetted on Rezko is totally absurd. Clinton isn't being substantively vetted - she's been subjected to some cheap gender shots and she's hiding behind that to avoid real scrutiny on her record, her personal finances and the major issues.

The Clinton's were a disaster for the Democratic party, starting with Hillary's helping get an opposition congress elected in '94. Their personal indiscretions - business and otherwise - turned good Democrats into the equivalent of enablers and humiliated "wives" defending them for years. Hillary is still intimately engaged with the corporate Democratic Leadership Council, who exist primarily to turn the party into GOP-lite. Hillary's war vote alone should be a disqualifier for any Democrat who wants our leadership to move the party forward, rather than "return to the nineties" when Bill Clinton governed in Reagan's shadow, "xeroxing" the Gippers lines on "big government", welfare, "tough on crime". Now Hillary's true colors - McCain-lite - are coming out in her ads and public comments. She's actually putting McCain before Obama as best qualified to "answer the phone at 3am." This is indecent for a Democrat. Maybe it makes sense, because when Hillary got that call back in November of 2002, she might as well have been John McCain for all the good she did the country and her party. Screw the Clintons. I'm sick of them and the whole tired crowd they represent. (I'm Bill's age almost exactly, FWIW.) And to see someone of Rachel's genertion defending their bullshit is sad. She's either not very bright or is extremely cynical. Or both.

bjkeefe
03-07-2008, 09:12 AM
brucds:

Great rant.

On your remarks specific to this diavlog, I agree that Rachel didn't come off as well as she did in the last one. I am just guessing here, mostly informed by my memory of the last diavlog, but I think her problem is less infatuation with the Clintons than it is her strong desire to see a woman elected president. Or at least, a hypersensitivity to any hint that the woman candidate is being treated unfairly.

I thought David's opening statement was quite good, but the rest of the diavlog kind of made me dread the length of time between Mississippi and Pennsylvania. If I were king, I'd direct a three-week vacation for everybody in the middle of that period. I disagree with Rachel that it's good for the Dems to be "dealing with these questions from the media now." It's one thing to ask, say, for Obama to make himself more available to reporters; it's another to realize what the media turns into when there really isn't anything to write about. That news hole between 3/11 and 4/22 is going to be gigantic, and I fear that the endless rehashing of unfounded accusations and navel-gazing about how the media is covering the campaign is going to hurt the Dems for the general.

brucds
03-07-2008, 09:17 AM
bjkeefe: "her strong desire to see a woman elected president"

Evidence from recent exit polls is that both among those who held gender as an important issue and those who held race as an important issue, Hillary did much better than Obama. Quite the coalition Hillary's cobbling together there - NY NOW meets The Bell Curve crowd. At least nobody can accuse her of not being a unifying force.

threep
03-07-2008, 09:44 AM
Rachel Sklar: unnecessarily confrontational. "It's all about you." Heh.

zookarama
03-07-2008, 10:09 AM
I'm taking a pause in watching this one because the incessant talking over each other is just freakin' annoying. I miss Pinkerton more with each new bhtv partner for David that appears.
OK, back to the diavlog...

Namazu
03-07-2008, 11:19 AM
The Democratic Party needs a divorce from the mainstream media, not because they are "unfair" to Hillary or to Obama, but because they help delude the influential nominating class into thinking that 51% or more of the country shares their brain farts. If Mark Penn has done only one good thing in his life, it's coining (or perhaps popularizing) the phrase "impressionable elites." Why must it matter whether Chris Matthews' is taking his meds or whether Adam Nagourney goes heavy on the sweet-and-low on any given morning? This is looking for love in all the wrong places. Why not just treat them like amoral pack animals, the way the Republicans do? The fact that the MSM is 90% Democratic (or whatever) is no excuse to expect them to act like responsible citizens--their behavior speaks for itself--but a reason to get out of this abusive relationship.

Eastwest
03-07-2008, 01:36 PM
I like both of these participants, not least because, for members of their profession, they are uncharacteristically rational and objective (relatively, anyway). Still there's a couple problems:

1) Partly because his mic is turned up higher, but also partly because he gets so excited he doesn't offer the basic courtesy of letting Rachel complete more than one or two sentences in the whole first half of the DV, David essentially ruins much of the DV. I would hope that, for a more useful viewer experience, he would take a look in the future at some corrective action like, say, having only a single espresso rather than a double, balancing his mic, etc.

2) DC might also recognize that RS is not Bill O'Reilly, and so it really doesn't actually hurt to listen to what she's saying. Sure, he thinks he's already read her mind and can just precipitously cut her off. But what about us? Any chance we could get a chance to hear a whole sentence out of her? Maybe even under some rare circumstances, a full paragraph?

Thanks to both. Please come back and do more.

EW

David Edenden
03-07-2008, 02:34 PM
David, now is the time to investigate Obama's policy towards the Greek - Macedonia dispute.(yeah, you heard me right the first time!). Get Laura Rozen to do the leg work.

Barack Obama support get racism against ethnic Macedonians ... news at 11:00

Its a great headline and will make a big splash in the main stream media and will get you a gig for a few weeks in REAL TV, not just Blogginheads.tv.

Rachel, ask Huffington if there are any ethnic Macedonians living in Greece and whether they have any minority rights. And ask the question are Greece's human rights values, Nato values?

Anyway here is my post with the evidence:

It's Samantha Power, Obama's Advisor, Who is the Monster, Not Hillary Clinton (http://the-macedonian-tendency.blogspot.com/2008/03/its-samantha-power-obamas-advisor-who.html)
.
.

brucds
03-07-2008, 02:55 PM
Albeit not as pressing as either Obama's racism toward Macedonians or The Victimization of Hillary According to Saturday Night Live, this thing of varying volumes on speakers mics is very annoying and is a technical problem BH should pay more attention to. It can, as another commenter noted, substantively hurt the "diavlogic" nature of these things if one person's audio is notably higher than the other's.

Wonderment
03-07-2008, 03:41 PM
I'm pausing too. I love David Corn, but I must say that among right-wing BHeads Pinkerton is my favorite -- the guy I'd most like to have a cup of tea with. He's the only right-wing pundit I've seen who isn't ashamed to giggle in public.

Sgt Schultz
03-07-2008, 04:30 PM
How did these two geniuses fail to mention this http://tinyurl.com/2u2ptv

seyoyo
03-07-2008, 04:49 PM
Rachel Sklar is so annoying. She very much is one of those superprickly women who consider themselves strong women and not just obnoxious women as we all see them.

uncle ebeneezer
03-07-2008, 07:02 PM
Did anyone else notice that for all of Rachel's gripes about Obama's avoidance of questions, she herself got a bit testy with David's questioning of her? I know she's not running for....I'm just saying.

Bring back Pinkerton, please.

pod2
03-07-2008, 10:23 PM
sgt s.:

What is in there that they would mention? That Obama is responsible for leaking the McCain ties to Paxson? Is there something I'm missing? Is Obama one of the unnamed sources cited in the NYT article? I thought the sources were inside the '00 McCain campaign. Is this what Obama was doing "in the neighborhood"?

Or am I totally missing the sarcasm?

Eastwest
03-07-2008, 10:42 PM
Correction for Seyoyo: No, RS does not possess any inherent quality known as "annoying." What you really mean to say is: "I get annoyed when I listen to RS because she does not clone my own peculiar views. How dare she think and speak for herself!"

Correction for Uncle Ebenezer: Corn, friendly and interesting as he may be, was playing a mild version of that goofy little wise-guy "corner and quiz with canned questions" game. Sklar was justified in hopping out of his box by announcing, no, not interested in playing your foil for a half hour by "jumping through the hoop" like a trained puppy.

Frankly, she should have whacked him about 5 minutes into the DV to make him sit back and abide by the minimal courtesy of allowing sentence completion.

EW

Clarification: I like Corn, but still, like any of these brain-proud smart-alecks (and that's actually a mild compliment), you have to smack 'em around a little sometimes to make 'em remember their manners.

Allan
03-07-2008, 11:27 PM
Rachel Sklar thinks
'sunlight is the best disinfectant'
'it would just be so wise of them to just come out like..like with everything'.

Sound advice.

(Unless 'coming out with everything' would put Obama in the slammer
a la Duke Cunningham.)

uncle ebeneezer
03-07-2008, 11:47 PM
EW, in the spirit of Hillary and FL/MI: I will not accept your correction.

Though I agree that Corn was being somewhat smarmy(?) in his attitude toward Rachel, every question he asked was fair and a logical extension/counterpoint to what she had said, and not-all-that-surprising, seeing as I have heard most of those points raised by other journalists over the past few days. In addition to them being fair, I think they also deserved consideration and I was genuinely curious to hear a relatively die-hard Hillary supporter answer them. But instead of a measured answer to admittedly complex questions, she responded more with indignation at the fact that he had asked them. Pulling a topic out of nowhere would have certainly been "gotcha" journalism, but all of Corn's questions seemed completely in line with the flow of conversation.

Corn sounded like the probing (slightly wise-ass) journalist that he always is (whether that's a good thing or not) in this one, whereas Rachel reminded me of the annoyed PR/campaign rep who is about to start complaining about the questions she's being asked, and the treatment she's getting from her interviewer, which is especially ironic considering the way she felt about it when Obama did the same thing. Anyways that's just how I perceived it, but to each his own.

Still enjoyed the diavlog.

Jeff Morgan
03-08-2008, 12:05 AM
We are the media, or the All Media, and I think we have been for at least a few years now. I think the public's taste is what really determines which questions are important, etc. I'm not sold on a particularly willful force of the media; political coverage is just tabloids in a different context, giving us what we like to see in tabloids. Youtube and all that is just doing that job more efficiently.

While watching this I was wishing I could tell them right there to look in the mirror, because they are the media, and quit talking about the media in third person heh. Everyone in the media seems to consider 'the media' as everyone else in the media except themselves.

Eastwest
03-08-2008, 12:55 AM
Uncle Ebenezer:

Actually, I don't think you listened very carefully. They were mostly in reasonably good natured banter mode with Corn being mildly over-amped. You're channeling something off the back shelves of your own mind, not unlike Seyoyo. I think it probably just bugs you that she doesn't think like you do. Get used to it. This is the way the world works.

EW

pod2
03-08-2008, 01:05 AM
THis is definitely the most fascinating conundrum about this whole Corn/Sklar sequence. Is it just good-natured ribbing, or is there some real hostility boiling just under (and sometimes over) the surface? If the latter, I'm disturbed and disappointed. They definitely don't seem to be listening to each other. Sklar, because she seems to refuse to address Corn's points, and Corn because he seems overly interruptive and generally yelly. (copyrights pending) If the former, I think we have to celebrate the subtleties of this interaction. It would be great to have one more in the next few weeks before final judgment. Not that my judgment counts for sh!$#.

basman
03-08-2008, 01:38 PM
What a tepid yawn this thing was, where the only interesting question is wherefore the bizarre inter action between Corn and Sklar.

Rachel Sklar
03-08-2008, 09:06 PM
Hi there, Rachel Sklar posting my first BH comment so hope I'm doing it right. Thanks for the comments and, er, constructive criticism - will try to get the tech stuff right ans sorry for my part in low production values. Def want to make clear that there is NO hostility between me and David - I'm a huge fan, actually - of Pinkerton too (yes, yes, we all miss his giggle) - and will watch the talking-over. As for the rest, well...noted!

pod2
03-08-2008, 09:32 PM
I actually think that there are some interesting issues in how this race has been framed. We have seen Obama consistently close 20 point gaps in weeks, even in contests where he has lost. In Wisconsin, Virginia, SC, Washington state, he closed 10 points in a few months and then opened up 20-30 point victories.

We saw Obama basically tie Clinton on superduper Tues. (particularly now that we're learning about a 8 point swing as votes are counted in CA districts). After the Feb super Tuesday, Obama won 11 contests in a row by huge deficits-- racking up more delegates in EACH of the 12 contests than Clinton won on March 4 all together-- Obama won three or four times as many delegates in Washington state than Clinton netted on her big victory night. Winning more delegates in EACH of 12 contests than she won on March 4-- and that's proof that he's floundering? The media is an issue, and casting her as coming back, or even still in the race outside of a longshot-- that's bias.
I might be missing something, and I'm sure I am. I just think that Sklar's accusations of MSM+ anti-Hillary bias need to be scrutinized a bit more. I think that Corn hints at the problems with her analysis, but I was a little bit hungry for more.

pod2
03-08-2008, 09:42 PM
Rachel

Thanks for the clarification. I heard most of it in the car, so I didn't get a chance to see some of the rapport that may have been more evident in the video.

I think that the interaction between these two diavloggers has a tension that, if truly amicable, is epic. The conversation seems to be right along the cliff's edge-- it reminds me of the scene in Rebel Without a Cause when Jimmy plays drag race/chicken along literally THE EDGE OF A CLIFF! There is no fear in these competitors, though it seems that outright screaming rudeness is a hair's breadth away for most of the diavlog. And yet, it's just an elaborate game, a jousting match between two respectful, amicable colleagues? Epic, and very impressive. Bring more, if you please.

bjkeefe
03-08-2008, 10:24 PM
Rachel:

Thanks for checking in. I'm glad you weren't completely put off by the reaction you seem to have provoked.

For the record, I love your ETP writing, and I am more than happy to see you come back onto BH.tv.

One last bit of criticism intended as constructive: Don't try to win every last little point. This isn't cable TV. You have a whole hour here, and the audience on this site is far more inclined to respect a considered response than an interrupting comeback. 'Course, your diavlog partner David has yet to realize this, either.

basman
03-09-2008, 11:15 AM
Respectfully: I did not know what ETP referred to. Then I did; and for the first time ever I looked at it. It's ok, kind of fun to note, like watching "Showbiz Tonite". It is, though, essentially, like "Showbiz Tonite", dumb down trivia. The trick is, I think, for here, to move from mindlessness to saying something serious about something serious.

bjkeefe
03-09-2008, 01:27 PM
basman:

In all honesty, I have not read ETP as much lately as I used to, what with everything else out there that I have been trying to keep up on. But my memory of it was the the writing was consistently witty and incisive, and if some of the topics covered were trivial, that wasn't always the case.

Maybe we have different measures of triviality, though. I happen to be a junkie for media criticism, so what strikes me as something worth pulling apart may make you ask, "What's the big deal?"

basman
03-09-2008, 02:28 PM
Taste and preference are relative to be sure, but here is a sampling of what I saw today on Eat The Press:

1. WOW: Today Tucker Carlson welcomed (er, "welcomed") British journalist Gerri Peev;

2. Via Gawker, we learn that the decline of Britney Spears is the subject of the highbrow academic treatment in the latest Atlantic magazine, after Rolling Stone's blockbuster piece last month about the fallen pop princess;

3. Katie Couric's YouTube channel has an interesting exclusive: A "Behind The Scenes" video taking a look at the making of the CBS News Super Tuesday coverage;

4. White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was on "Fox & Friends" this morning and host Brian Kilmeade asked her when the last time was that she'd been asked about Iraq in the White House press briefing. Perino said, "I don't...

5. I am not sure exactly what the significance of Nick Denton's latest epic blog post about former editor Emily Gould is except to prove that he's maybe sorta a little invested in her private life (insofar that that's not an...

And so on and on! Only the first item (and maybe by a stretch the fourth) to me had any smattering of substance. And so I maintain that for this forum the seriousness quotient has to be stepped up some.

I like gossip and inside stuff and celebrity fawning in the guise of news as much or more than the next chap or chapess. I'm just saying.

Uhm, I underlined one word to emphasize a small point. I hope that's ok.

bjkeefe
03-09-2008, 03:23 PM
basman:

Uhm, I underlined one word to emphasize a small point. I hope that's ok.

Heh. Fine by me. The only absolute rule is that there are no absolute rules. To really pick a nit, though, underlining for purposes of emphasis is not the best choice according to Web conventions, since it suggests a hyperlink.

Your sampling of today's ETP does seem mighty thin gruel as you recount it. In fairness to Rachel, though, the mention of Bowtie Boy and Gerri Peev seems substantive, given ETP's beat -- media criticism. This is the woman who reported the Powers monster (http://hillaryclinton.com/) quote, and the issue of an interviewee being on or off the record is an important one.

I'd also say that a look behind the scenes at Katie Couric's election night coverage and a note that the White House press secretary says no one is asking her about Iraq both fall within what I'd expect from ETP.

I guess it does boil down to taste. I find such matters more worthwhile than pure celeb gossip.

basman
03-09-2008, 04:27 PM
Thanks: good place to leave it.

laurelnyc
03-15-2008, 05:23 AM
Ahh, I <3 Rachel!!

I like when she winks at David when trying to explain to him how the # of Chris Matthews viewers is no longer the way to judge the effectiveness of media :D

I get all the news online and until MSNBC & CNN start posting their shows online, I'll never get to watch them. But I do hear the internet chatter.

laurelnyc
03-15-2008, 06:05 AM
Hmm, having read the comments now, I sense a lot of hostility towards Rachel. Why? I realize that one may not agree with her views, but that shouldn't disqualify her. I happen to enjoy watching DC + RS because they have a light-hearted approach to debate. I don't agree with DC, but I still enjoy listening/watching to him.

As for Rachel, I really like her a lot. Perhaps it's a generational thing, but I consider her hip and smart (in fact, a breath of fresh air in political coverage) -- I'm shocked that some are so annoyed by her. Compared to all the angry political matches that go on elsewhere, it's fun to watch two people appear to have fun debating one another. I have a hard time appreciating an opposing view when the delivery is so cut-throat.

Rachel Sklar
03-21-2008, 01:07 AM
Since my worthiness for this forum is being impugned, I have to speak up here, even though it is two weeks later. First of all, that list of the blog posts from that day is not only incomplete - you left out my assessment of the Barack Obama press strategy - but also, you're going to make a sweeping assessment of my intellect based on output on a blog on one day? There is a ton of content on ETP, only a few posts earlier was a long and thorough commentary on the NYT's report on media bias in the campaign plus a 4,000+ word interview with George Carlin - both done on the weekend, I might add. I write widely and with great care, and make a point of, well, making a point. It's not my fault if you don't know who Gerri Peev is, frankly, and if you didn't think the commentary regarding the CBS News internet strategy was relevant, well, you're probably not all that interested in how old media is adapting to new platforms. The Atlantic going tabloid was also the subject of NPR's "On The Media" subsequently and if you don't think it's interesting that Perino says she's no longer asked about Iraq leading up to the 5th anniversary, well then, again, our news priorities are different. But don't pass a glance over the first sentence of posts from one day and think that's sufficient to judge my body of work. You are entitled to your opinion, but at least make it an informed one.