Well, That’s Certainly a Lot of Fucking Help Now, CNN

Today, featured prominently on the CNN website:

The vote was yesterday at two. I guess their political editor was busy with other stuff.



This Is News Only to the Media

And yet they will ignore it:

Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.

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And yet, from almost the moment that Trump won the White House, many mainstream journalists have been in denial about the impact of Comey’s letter. The article that led The New York Times’s website the morning after the election did not mention Comey or “FBI” even once — a bizarre development considering the dramatic headlines that the Times had given to the letter while the campaign was underway. Books on the campaign have treated Comey’s letter as an incidental factor, meanwhile. And even though Clinton herself has repeatedly brought up the letter — including in comments she made at an event in New York on Tuesday — many pundits have preferred to change the conversation when the letter comes up, waving it away instead of debating the merits of the case.

The motivation for this seems fairly clear: If Comey’s letter altered the outcome of the election, the media may have some responsibility for the result. The story dominated news coverage for the better part of a week, drowning out other headlines, whether they were negative for Clinton (such as the news about impending Obamacare premium hikes) or problematic for Trump (such as his alleged ties to Russia). And yet, the story didn’t have a punchline: Two days before the election, Comey disclosed that the emails hadn’t turned up anything new.

Fuck you Chris Cillizza.



Love and Marriage

Bobo’s been busy:

Knot, tied: New York Times columnist David Brooks wed Anne Snyder, his former research assistant, on Sunday.

The couple’s relationship sort-of went public in an inauspicious way — Politico noted in a wink-wink 2015 piece that the conservative columnist had devoted an outsized amount of verbiage in the acknowledgements of his book “The Road to Character” to Snyder, who is 23 years his junior. But all’s well that ends with bells, and Atlantic Media owner David Bradley and his wife, Katherine Bradley, threw a rehearsal luncheon for the couple on Saturday, we’re told (that poolside tent saw a lot of activity this weekend), followed by a Sunday ceremony at the Arboretum.

It’s the first marriage for Snyder, 32, now a freelance writer and director of a Houston, Tex., non-profit initiative. Brooks, 55, acknowledged his split from first wife, Sarah Brooks, in early 2015. They have three children.

I can’t wait for Ross Douthat’s column about this.



Shush, Thrush, She’s With Us

If you are even a teensy bit skeptical about the extent of Clinton Derangement Syndrome or the mainstream media’s refusal to hold Hillary Clinton to a normal standard such as “when she speaks, commonly accepted word definitions aren’t suspended and replaced with more sinister meanings,” well, take a look at Twitter right now.

The occasion? Clinton spoke to Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women event today. Excerpts of CNN coverage:

Hillary Clinton delivered her most forceful critique of President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory on Tuesday, taking personal responsibility for her failed campaign but also pointed to the timing of a letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference as factors.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women event in New York.

“I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had,” Clinton said, before adding that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off.”

“The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days.”

The event marks the latest where Clinton, in a stinging rebuke to Trump, both blames herself for the 2016 loss but also casts the current President as someone aided by outside factors, including the Russian government.

After Clinton noted the 3 million more votes she won than Trump, Amanpour joked that the President would soon tweet about the comment.

“Fine. Better than the interfering in foreign affairs,” Clinton said. “If he wants to tweet about me than I am happy to be the diversion because we have lot of things to worry about. He should worry less about the election and my winning the popular vote than doing some other things that would be important for the country.”

Clinton, aides and friends say, has grown more at peace with her loss in recent months, but is still focused on the interference by the Russian government, especially the fact that WikiLeaks began releasing John Podesta’s hacked emails hours after the damaging “Access Hollywood” Trump tape was released.

Clinton, as she has done in the past, also hung part of her 2016 loss on misogyny.

“Yes, I do think it played a role. I think other things did as well,” Clinton said.

But repeatedly, Clinton came back to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s role in the 2016 election and how he was able to tilt the scale in favor of Trump and against her.

Clinton, aides say, sees her role during the Trump years as a political activist who speaks out when issue she cares about are threatened. And on Tuesday, it was clear Clinton was ready to settle into that role.

“I am now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance,” Clinton said…

That’s what she said. Here’s what Glenn Thrush of the NYT heard:

Fucking fuck. And when Thrush got pushback, such as direct quotes in which Clinton acknowledged screw-ups and took responsibility for the loss, the MSM Heathers scurried to Thrush’s defense because that’s not what Clinton reeeeeally meant.

See, this is how it works, guys: Everything is always Clinton’s fault — and her fault alone. It can’t be a combination of factors, including Clinton’s missteps.

And God knows, the media coverage had nothing to do with the election outcome. Nope, it’s all on Clinton.

Good gravy, what a bunch of arrogant fuck-sticks. I regret that I had but one NYT subscription to cancel for its abysmally shitty election coverage and persistent refusal to engage in introspection. The end.



WaPo forgets to follow the money…

There’s an excellent case to be made for bestowing the “paper of record” title on The Washington Post. The New York Times essentially resigned from that position with its godawful election coverage (failure to vet homeboy Trump in favor of hysterical focus on Clinton’s emails), its subsequent refusal to engage in post-election introspection and its inexplicable decision to add a climate change denier to its op-ed page.

As valued commenter Baud frequently reminds us, “The New York Times is garbage.” But the WaPo has its problems too, and one was illustrated vividly in a self-proclaimed “smart analysis” piece published today. The article explores Trump’s chummy relationship with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the recently extended invitation for Duterte to visit the White House, rightly questioning why a US president would warmly embrace an authoritarian who has presided over thousands of extrajudicial killings.

The article notes that Priebus played the North Korea card to justify inviting the bloodthirsty Duterte to Washington (North Korea is becoming something of a go-to boogeyman to excuse all ills for Team Trump). Other officials cited the need to balance China’s influence in the Philippines. The analysis also quoted experts who correctly observed that Trump has a worrying affinity for strongmen. This is all perfectly relevant, and Trump’s admiration for authoritarians is both undeniable and worrisome.

But the piece was marred by the complete absence of the corruption angle. As Bloomberg reported back in November, Trump’s business partner in the Philippines was appointed special envoy to the US shortly after the election:

Century Properties Group Inc. of Manila, the company behind the $150 million tower that’s set to open next year, paid as much as $5 million to use the Trump name, in a licensing agreement that’s common for the president-elect. Trump has at least 10 similar licensing deals around the world, each of which might complicate his administration’s international diplomacy, according to ethics specialists.

But in Manila, there’s an extra connection: Century Properties’ chief executive and controlling stakeholder, Jose E.B. Antonio, was appointed last month to serve as a special government envoy to the U.S. for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has vowed to expel American troops from his country and ranted against President Barack Obama. Antonio says he sees no conflict between his public role and private partnership.

What a coincidence — Trump also doesn’t see any conflicts between his public role and private business dealings. Neither does his special presidential adviser/daughter, whose visage is currently being was used to hawk Trump-branded luxury penthouses, jewelry collections, etc., in Manila (h/t: Kay):*

So yeah, let’s keep an eye on Trump’s affinity for authoritarians, speculate about how much the Trump-Duterte bromance might be connected to Duterte’s insulting behavior toward President Obama, etc. But let’s not forget to follow the money. The Washington Post, of all publications, shouldn’t need that reminder.

*Kay informs me in comments that’s a photo from 2012, so as far as we know, Trump’s Filipino business partner/the Philippines’ special envoy to the US isn’t using Trump’s daughter/special adviser to sell Trump-branded shit right now. But the business conflicts remain.



Open Thread: “Loyalty Day”


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“Actually… “



This better not be true…

Via New York Mag:

MSNBC is in talks with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt about creating a show for him on weekend evenings, four well-placed sources at the network tell Daily Intelligencer. Initially MSNBC was keen on having Hewitt host a program on weekend mornings, but that idea is off the table because Hewitt wants to be on in the evening, according to two sources. At one point, network management also floated moving Joy-Ann Reid’s popular weekend program AM Joy to the afternoon to serve as a lead-in for Hewitt and help jumpstart his ratings, but that plan has seemingly been dropped.

It’s bad enough that they already have that ambulatory cream cheese sculpture on board as an analyst — now they’re giving him his own show? Fuck that bullshit. I get that network execs are stuck on the idea that if they “balance” the points of view, they’ll attract a larger audience. It’s not true, but I get that they are wedded to this falsehood.

But Hugh Motherfucking Hewitt? That googley-eyed, mealy-mouthed, chickenshit non-entity? And this after giving Nicolle Wallace and Greta Van Susteren their own shows? If this Hewitt deal goes down, fuck MSNBC. I’ll catch Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow online.