Belatedly realizing that by doing this, Andrew Sullivan saves himself from liveblogging the Clinton Restoration.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 28, 2015
Oh, yeah, back in the day… PandoDaily let Mark Ames reprint his 2013 Hall of Shame coverage on Sullivan, so let’s step in the wayback machine for a pertinent excerpt:
…[I]t was in 1994 that Andrew Sullivan’s recklessness and media fraud went berserk. First, he published a devastating three-part series destroying President Clinton’s universal health care legislation, articles that are generally considered the reason why “Hillarycare” failed to pass. The author, a Republican operative from the rightwing Manhattan Institute named Betsy McCaughey, had secretly prepared her articles in cooperation with Philip Morris (much of Hillarycare coverage was to be funded by hiking tobacco taxes). McCaughey’s article, “No Exit,” won for The New Republic that year’s National Magazine Award. However, her articles were complete frauds; not journalism, but the very opposite of journalism: Tobacco industry propaganda designed to kill off health care for Americans in order to protect big tobacco profits.
A secret 1994 memo from a Philip Morris executive outlining the tobacco giant’s role in crafting McCaughey’s articles reveals just how grotesquely corrupt journalism under Andrew Sullivan’s editorship had become…
The articles were so full of obvious lies and embarrassing flaws that in 2006, The New Republic publicly recanted. But as with the October Surprise smear, the damage was done — health care reform was dead for another 15 years. When you consider that a recent study estimated 45,000 Americans die every year from lack of health care coverage, and you multiply that by the nearly two decades since Andrew Sullivan helped kill Clinton’s health care reform, you start to understand who the real terrorist is.
But that’s no sweat off Sully’s whiskers: The pattern, set early, proves that no matter how hard he fails, no matter how disastrous the consequences for journalism or his adopted country, Sullivan’s career advancement is guaranteed to keep rising. Journalism, schmournalism: He’s a proven reliable waterboy for the tobacco lobby and the Republican Right, what value can journalism have that can possibly compete with that?…
Even after his own magazine recanted the article, in 2007, Sullivan, while admitting “I was aware of the piece’s flaws but nonetheless was comfortable running it as a provocation,” defended his failure, and the catastrophic consequences to millions of Americans, with all the aggressive conviction of a sociopath:
I think the magazine’s refusal to be mau-maued by the Clintons at the time – and Hillary was threatening blue murder against anyone who so much as dared to criticize her – is a feather in the magazine’s cap. We weren’t “out to get the Clintons.” Some of us – well, two of us – were merely worried that America’s excellent private healthcare system would be hobbled by too much government regulation. I am glad we helped head off the Clinton-Magaziner behemoth. Proud, actually.
That was in pre-internet, pre-social-media days, when publicly rebutting outright liars and exposing shills like Betsy McCaughey was a process requiring months, not hours. Sullivan’s been a well-paid whore for the worst elements of the American moneyed right since the day he took Marty Perez’s gig, so when you read encomiums to his vast dedication and tributes to his tireless intellectual curiosity, remember the evils to which he’s put those gifts. If he’s getting out of blogging now, it’s because there’s no longer a thick scrim of “professionalism” to protect his tender sensitivities from the vulgar assaults of truth.