The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age
    Ramona's picture

    How Hillary Can Appease the Press

    The press is rightfully annoyed. She's a presidential candidate, and she should have disclosed the pneumonia diagnosis as soon as she got it. Those aren't the rules for ordinary people, but they are the rules for presidential candidates, and once again Clinton is trying to slide by them.

    So why did Clinton's people try to hide her condition? That's pretty easy: After months of baseless health speculation by Donald Trump's rumor machine, she figured the press would go full National Enquirer over this. She didn't trust them to handle it in a normal, level-headed way.

    So that's that. There's a gulf of distrust between Clinton and the media that appears unbridgeable. Clinton doesn't trust the press to treat her fairly, so she adopts a hyper-guarded attitude toward everything she does. The press doesn't trust her to honestly disclose anything, so they adopt a hyper-skeptical attitude toward everything she says. Rinse and repeat.

    Kevin Drum, September 12, 2016

    I've been thinking for a long time about the ways Hillary Clinton might possibly appease the press and get them to look at her as a living, breathing whole person and not just Bad Hillary. I think I've finally got it.

    She needs to stop being who she is and be someone else.  She could change her name to--I don't know--Mother Teresa or Mother Jones or Jo Schmo from Kokomo.  It's clear she can't go on as Hillary Clinton.

    The Hillary she has lived with all her life (and possibly even likes) has to go. The private Hillary can no longer compete with the public Hillary, whose persona, crafted over more than 25 years by people who don't even know her, has now become a caricature. It's incredibly difficult to run for president as a caricature, even with an opponent as cartoonish as Donald Trump.

    (Here I could say a few thousand words about Donald The Deplorable and never take a breath, but enough about him. I mean. Seriously. Enough.)

    So here, for what it's worth, is my suggestion to members of our esteemed Fourth Estate: How about pretending the woman running for president isn't named Hillary Clinton?  How about taking a long, thorough look at that woman's record--whoever she is--to see if there is anything, any little thing, that might qualify her for the highest job in the land?

    It's on you to be honest about both the pros and cons of this woman who, for this exercise, is not named Hillary Clinton. This woman has been in public service nearly all of her adult life.  She was a lawyer first and then she married a man who became the governor of Arkansas and then became the President of the United States.

    She was a First Lady twice but nobody knew anything more about her than they knew about Laura Bush or Michelle Obama. She was a senator in the state of New York but nobody knew anything more about her than they knew about her colleague, Chuck Schumer. She ran for president against Barack Obama and lost, which brought her some attention but no more than any other losing candidate.  President Obama chose her for Secretary of State but nobody knew any more about her than they knew about Colin Powell or John Kerry.

    This woman who isn't named Hillary Clinton has indefatigable energy but doesn't brag about her accomplishments. She's not the best at public speaking but aces it one-on-one and in small groups. She laughs a lot, sometimes even at herself.  She's pretty damned popular both here and around the planet.

    There are people who hate her but the numbers are lower for her because her name doesn't carry the stigma created and maintained by a real, honest-to-goodness vast Right Wing conspiracy.  She makes mistakes, some of them true head-scratchers.  She says dumb things she often has to take back.  She has been known to consort with filthy rich people who probably want favors from her, and with celebrities who are known Liberals. But she's just one among hundreds of other politicians who don't have to answer for their every waking moment, so it'll be okay. Since she's not Hillary Clinton, she'll be able to concentrate on talking about her dreams, her wishes, her goals for the country.

    (She may even be able to struggle through a bout with pneumonia without several days of full-bore "breaking news", not so much about her prognosis but about her lack of due diligence when reporting it to the hovering, stalking press.)

    There is a real Hillary Clinton, almost identical to this woman, but if you, as members of our venerable press, want us to believe you've been looking for her, you're going to have to work harder at convincing us. Put away your magnifiers and look at the whole woman before you. Analyze controversies, don't create them. Report truthfully about what you observe. Include context. Let molehills be molehills.

    It's not on us, it's not on Hillary, it's on you. Now let's see who you are.


    (Cross-posted at Ramona's Voices)



    Analyze controversies, don't create them.

    Ya think?  Excellent, Ramona.  I would add that if they are going to modify every freaking thing she does with the word "scandal," they might also consider using that word with Deplorable Don's stuff:

    Accused of raping a 12 year-old girl (scandal)

    Trump University Scandal

    Judge-gate scandal (in which he accused the judge who will hear his Trump U Scandal case of not being objective because he is of Mexican descent 

    Bribery scandals in Florida and Texas - paying off officials so they would drop the Trump U suits.

    Multiple Chapter 11 scandals (in which he walked away from debts owed to ordinary working people)

    Tax Returns scandal

    Illegal rental policies towards minorities scandal(s)

    (Non) Donations to Veterans scandal --> remember even after he supposedly gave some $ after being called out by WAPO, the Town Hall that he did instead of debate, was supposed to have gotten donations from others to the tune of $10,000,000.  Where did all the rest go?

    Putin's lobbyist as a Trump Campaign Manager scandal (and the change to the GOP goals at the convention to be favorable  to Russia)

    His Ivanka scandal -- to gross to explain

    His Ivana scandal (when he raped her.  When he pulled her hair out by the roots)

    His multiple infidelities scandal

    His current wife's illegal entry into the country scandal

    His lie scandals --> the NFL calling him about the debates - NOT!..the Muslims dancing in the street after 911 - NOT!  The agents he sent (NOT) to Hawaii finding "all kinds of very interesting birther stuff about Obama (NOT), and on and on and on......

    He really has the Karl Rove playbook down pat:  Everything terrible about himself he accuses Hillary of.  Not having policies, being dishonest, running a hateful campaign.  It would be funny if the MSM weren't complicit in it. I saw a LOOOOOONG interview on MSNBC today with Maureen Dowd.  What a venomous woman.

    Bottom line:  You are right, but no one that I have seen is up to it except those who were always honest (precious few).  Oddly, I have noticed David Gregory speaking with more objectivity than I have ever heard lately.  I'm reserving my judgment because I have too many memories of his cluelessness.


    Thanks, Cville.  I actually heard Andrea Mitchell say something not so bad about Hillary today.  Of course, she couldn't end her program without mentioning Hillary's problem with trustworthiness, but still. . .baby steps.

    Edited to add:  Great list up there. It's stunning that even one of those things would be okay.  The press gave up trying to keep up.  Our loss.

    Republicans can do that stuff and their deplorable core base adores them for it. As Guiliani says, anything goes in war.

    The media bullies Hillary and Democrats for the same reason Trump bullies Gold Star parents, handicapped, Hispanics etc....because the Democrats won't attack the press back like Republicans do,  ban them, or call them dogs or pigs.

    All she has to do is shut down the Clinton Foundation, divorce Bill and turn herself in for whatever crimes she emailed to Benghazi and everything will be fine.

    You left out slitting her wrists and admitting that she really hates everyone she has been working for her whole political life; she needs to admit once and for all that she voted for Romney.  

    Which, of course, Trump will turn into an attack... on Romney.

    You guys crack me up!

    Obama has picked up this 'unfair treatment' by the press meme in his first Clinton campaign speech and i wonder what possible advantage can be gained by the Clintonites with this depiction of their candidate as weak, whining, lazy and low energy just as Trump depicts her.

    Politics at this level has always been a dirty nasty unfair business where only the strong survive so this response seems to show that Clinton is not up to the task or able to play the game at this level and is almost depected as the 'special needs candidate' who deserves special treatment.

    It is obvious to anyone who can comprehend what they read that most of the MSM is firmly in the Clintonite camp along with most of the pundit class but when they are forced to do their job and question the latest lies and cover-up from the Clintonites this is depicted as unfair coverage even when it is spun into apologia.

    Colin Powell just drove another nail into her and her 'minions' political coffin with his statements about their behavior and what happens to anything she touches.

    Colin Powell called your candidate a "national disgrace" and said that the orange bigot's birther movement was racist. Your panic from seeing Trump exposed is causing the sweat to fall from your brow like a gusher dampening your keyboard. Hopefully your computer won't short circuit.

    The Newsweek lead story is that the Trump Organization which directly pays Trump and his family would be a potential gold mine for the Trump family and major conflict of interest if Trump got elected. The press treated Trump with kid gloves. He is now actually getting vetted

    Newsweek story on the Trump Organization

    Study documenting that the media tore down Clinton and boosted Trump

    ​The idea that the media is in Hillary's pocket is a lie

    Perhaps you should switch to the Libertarian. He may be able to remember facts about Aleppo and Harriet Tubman eventually. Your continued efforts to support the White supremacist are foolish, poorly thought out, and embarrassing. Your rants are defenses for a racist.



    Peter, we all know that the candidate you and others support is a white supremacist. You have nothing positive to say about your choice for President, so you attack Hillary. Your diversion fails because we know the alternative Trump offers. David Duke loves Donald Trump and Mike Pence. That is the company Trump attracts. Cling as closely to Trump as you can. 

    So you let David Duke choose whom you vote for?  If he switched his allegiance to Hillary, would you then vote Trump?

    Interesting questions.
    If a celebrated white supremacist decided that supporting somebody who is opposed to everything he believes in would be the best thing for his cause, I would have to admit that would freak me out. The condition would not make me vote for Trump but it would require me to rethink why the people aligned with Trump see him as their best choice.
    Maybe Trump is not the best choice for white supremacists. Here is your chance to explain why.

    It's not just that Duke and other white supremacist support someone like Trump. It's that they make a rational case based on their standards explaining why they support him. They couldn't do that with Hillary.

    Lurker, your question is disappointing, but predictable. Trump supporters and I have nothing in common. I described Donald Trump as an entity that discriminated against housing people of color. He led the racist birther  movement. He never apologized for wanting the death penalty for the Central Park Five. He says that he has the support of 'the blacks". You observe all of this and still support a white supremacist. You ask me if I am allowing David Duke to decide my vote. David Duke did not decide my vote. Duke's support of Trump confirmed my impression of the Donald.

    Trump supporters see the world much differently than I see the world. At the RNC, Trump supporters applauded when they were told that a black man with was carried out of a Baltimore police van with a severed spine and the officers in charge of his care were not found guilty of any crime. I am repulsed by Donald Trump. I am repulsed by the RNC attendees. I see the GOP leadership unwilling to address the racist their party nominated for President. I see an ongoing attempt by Republicans to suppress the votes of black people. 

    David Duke did not make me vote against Trump. Donald Trump and his supporters accomplished that feat. You support a racist. Trump supporters place my family at risk.

    Edit to add:

    Trump attempted to use the black citizens of Flint as campaign props. He was shut down by a black female pastor. The orange-bigot is not welcome.

    In typical fashion, the orange-bigot attacked the black pastor from Flint.

    Trump's hypocritical " outreach to the blacks" guarantees that the majority of young black voters views the GOP as a party that stands for white supremacy. 

    As an added insult, he thought it was a good idea to joke about Flint water at one of his white people's rallys.


    I agree with Mona that there's a problem with the way the media reports on Hillary, but Peter actually raises an interesting point. When it comes down to it, MSM is absolutely in Clinton's camp. Outside Fox News and other conservative outlets, I cannot think of a single journalist who I believe will vote for Trump. I've personally talked to journalists from NYT and NBC who are just as dumbfounded and appalled by the Trump phenomenon as anyone here.

    So why is the press so hard on Hillary?

    So why is the press so hard on Hillary?

    1. She's a whale of a target.  Anybody who actually breaks a meaningful story about her will reap huge rewards, whether or not it has an effect on the election.

    2. The Clinton's have had an adversarial relationship with the press since forever.  You can't just rewrite that by letting pool reporters on the plane.

    3. Some reporters are harder on people they support, especially if they know people know they support them. Trump hatchet pieces look like hatchet pieces. Clinton hatchet pieces look, to some, like a stab at fairness.

    4. They are all Maureen Dowd.

      On 1), isn't Trump a whale too?

      On 2), Trump has the most adversarial relationship with the press since Andrew Jackson. You never hear Hillary or virtually any other national politician insulting and mocking journalists by name or blacklisting media outlets.

      On 3), I can see that, sort of. But do you think that's a sufficient explanation?

      On 4), show me one piece of evidence that all journalists are Maureen Dowd.

      Re #2, can you imagine Hillary saying she didn't want a particular moderator and the news corp obliges, without sending it out into scandal land? Trump bullies and gets his way. I don't think he suffers for it.

      #4, Maureen Dowd is not a "journalist" - she's a gossip columnist. She's halfway to Drudge, not sure if that's good or bad. Mostly corrosive vs. quite dangerous?

      Premise 1: All journalists are Maureen Dowd (The Michael Maiello Maxim)

      Premise 2: Maureen Dowd is a gossip columnist (The Peracles Please Principle)

      Conclusion: All journalists are gossip columnists

      PS Re re #2: Why does Trump succeed in getting his way?

      1) Trump is also a whale but less of one because he's not likely to win and everybody already knows he's evil (everybody in the mainstream media, anyway).

      2) Trump's not subtle.  Hillary is a more subtle adversary.  She doesn't trust the press. He mocks them. She doesn't trust.  It's different but more signifcant.

      3) Not by itself.

      4) They all are. Spend the night with one!

      Now I think you're onto something with 1). Journalists regard Hillary Clinton as the next POTUS. They regard Trump as a celebrity freak-show destined for history's dumpster. You win Pulitzers by exposing presidents, not celebrities.

      That's not quite true - last time Bill Clinton exposed himself, he didn't win a Pulitzer, just an impeachment trial.

      You know what's weird?  The press gets less angry at Trump outright insulting them than they do about things like this:

      How can the press be in Hillary's camp if she receives more negative reviews? Peter is saying that the press is biased in favor of Hillary when it comes to their reporting. The press is NOT in Hillary's camp. Trump has gotten away with not reporting his taxes, health records, and only recently have his financial conflicts been evaluated in detail..

      Edit to add:

      When the Clinton Foundation came up, some Progressives couldn't wait to see the Foundation shut down or somehow magically transfer what it does to other as yet nonexistent organizations. It is only very recently that people are questioning the Trump so-called charity and the Trump organization. Progressives have the same double standard as MSM.

      Trump bought a 6-foot picture of himself with $20K donated to the so-called Trump charity.

      You realize that WaPo broke this story, right? Or does the Post not count as MSM?

      This is a recent story. Hillary was always judged by a different standard. I gave a link above that document the negative stories she received compared to Trump.This happened despite her being more honest than Trump.

      ​MSM only recently became vigorous in challenging Trump. 

      Donald Trump gave Dr Oz a one-page summary of a physical exam. The media declares that Trump released his medical information. Pathetic. The press bends over for Trump again.

      Duhhhh, sorry but the press is hard on Hillary because they need stories, the MSM has a both sides playbook, and they know hitting on her is easier and safer as she won't bully them like Trump. And attacking the left and liberals has been a safe and prosperous career path in corporate media for decades, personal/private opinions don't detetmine what makes news.

      "personal/private opinions don't determine what makes news."

      What does determine what makes news?

      $. And the the big money, big personal/corporate money which runs the MSM and so many 'think tanks' is on the right, which is why the right backed citizens united and the left fought it.

      Do you really believe that big money backs Trump?

      Good question.  Why IS the press so hard on Hillary?  And why now, just weeks before the election, are certain responsible journalists writing pieces that bring their bias to our attention?  Possibly because they're worried Trump could actually win?  He could, even though Hillary is by far the best choice. 

      Still, Andrea Mitchell, et al, can't stop reminding anyone who will listen that Clinton's favorables are really low, that she should be grateful Trump's favorables are even lower, that she's untrustworthy, that she lies, that she needs to lighten up, that no matter what she says or how she says it she's not real. She's fake.

      So how should I take that?  The press is in her camp? They have the capacity to mold opinion and they do.  There have been studies recently showing the number of negative references to Hillary by the press compared to Trump, and it's startling.  They give him a pass and come down hard on her.  With friends like that she needs no more enemies.

      Yes, I think another way of putting the conclusions from Mike and my discussion up-thread is that the press still hasn't been taking Trump seriously as a presidential contender. And when Hillary had a big lead, they didn't think they had to.

      I tried to post this elsewhere (in the news), but it didn't work.  Richard North Patterson has a very comprehensive take on this issue:


      Well remember Ramona, Hitchens would not cotton to 'Mother Teresa'. hahahahaha

      Of course, depending upon brandies downed, Hitchens never liked anyone. hahahah

      And for The Donald, Just hit the Slate link.

      But Olberman's video is superb:

      Oh God I miss Keith!

      Oh, and 'they' just hate Hillary because she is 'left'. There is no reason of course. I think of Ailes and hundreds of other satans and I see no logic in any of their positions on the subject.

      Oh, and by the way, if 'we' were to lose the rich liberals, we are toast.

      Except the liberal rich were born with SOULS. hahahaha

      Hillary is right. 50% of the T-Rump supporters are despicable.

      Or Deplorable.

      Nice read Ramona, as always.

      I'm worried now, but I wont be worried long.

      Lol. I watched Olbermann's list yesterday and I swear I got my second wind!  The best part of his being on GQ online is nobody is likely to fire him for being politically incorrect or for donating to the Dems. Or even for being an asshole, which he is wont to do.  But he's OUR asshole so I'm fine with it.

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