Matthews watch: He's puzzled by all the Hillary-hatred!

FRIDAY, JULY 22, 2016

Admits he can't figure it out:
Convention coverage gives us a chance to watch the fraudsters at work.

We don't mean convention speakers, horrible though they may be. We refer to the corporate pundits who are paid gigantic sums to pretend that they're providing news, information, analysis.

During a modern convention week, they're forced to speak for hours each night. And uh-oh! They aren't reading staff-prepared text. They're forced to perform off the cuff!

This can produce remarkable moments. Consider what Chris Matthews did during the 1 A.M. hour, very late Wednesday night.

Matthews sat with two conservative guests and with corporate liberal Joan Walsh. Early in the hour, he asked conservative honcho Matt Schlapp to explain all the Hillary-hatred.

"The level of personal attack on Hillary Clinton, we've never seen it before," Walsh had said. Matthews took over from there.

Walsh probably meant that we've never seen such conduct at a major party convention. As she obviously knows, we've seen these levels of Hillary-hatred many times in the past—for example, during the first ten years of Matthews' own "cable news" program.

Whatever! After citing the cries of "Lock her up," Matthews turned to Schlapp and began expressing his puzzlement about all the Hilary-hatred. We'll give this segment a Wednesday dateline, although it was past the midnight hour when Matthews voiced his heartfelt incomprehension:
MATTHEWS (7/20/16): Why— Don't tell me email, that's a recent event. Why do these people—you said it's a raucous event. Why do they, and have they, for years, maybe twenty years, hated Hillary Clinton?...

They hated her during Whitewater. They hated her—they say Vince Foster.

WALSH: All these things that never panned out.
Matthews couldn't figure it out. Walsh seemed puzzled too.

Already, Matthews' question was strange. As we've painstakingly documented, Matthews was one of the most repellent, craziest Hillary-haters during the 1990s, the very era he referenced.

By the end of 1999, he was savaging Candidate Gore every night of the week. Presumably, this was warming the heart of Jack Welch, his corporate owner, the man who made him so rich.

But as we've recorded in detail, Matthews' trashing of Hillary Clinton, a Senate candidate, was quite lunatic at that time—and we do mean totally crazy. Convention cries of "Lock her up" have nothing on Matthews' past conduct.

We'll provide the same old links below. But late Wednesday night, in the 1 A.M. hour, Matthews just couldn't figure it out. He knew that Bill Clinton was a bad guy. But why did so many Republicans seem to hate Hillary so?
MATTHEWS: Let's get back to this, because— Look, I've been a critic of the Clintons. I didn't like the way they raised money in 96 at all, the Motel 6, bringing people in overnight. I didn't like— But that was Bill Clinton.

And Bill Clinton, of course—Hillary Clinton, she didn't go after him, but she stuck by him. Bill Clinton was the bad guy, lying about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky all those months. Why is Hillary the bad guy?
He didn't like the use of the Lincoln Bedroom. But that was Bill Clinton, the puzzled multimillionaire said.

(In 2005, of course, USA Today reported that President Bush had used the Lincoln Bedroom for fund-raising purposes just as much as Bill Clinton did. Neither Matthews, nor anyone else, said a word about that. For our real-time report, click here. Admit it, though! You've never heard of this!)

At any rate, Matthews was still completely puzzled by the GOP's Hillary-hatred. That said, the con man really jumped the shark when he went on to make these remarks about those weird Republican men:
MATTHEWS: I think there's something that a lot of men in the Republican Party don't like about Hillary Clinton...There's something about her personality that gets to them. I want them to tell me what it is...

I think there's something about her very rich education, incredibly high level of education, her intellectual ability. There's something in there culturally that you guys really don't like.
Schlapp said it's the fact that she lies so much; after all, Comey said! At any rate, when Matthews went to commercial break, he sadly offered this:

"We still haven't gotten to the bottom of the Hillary-hatred." Frankly, Matthews was stumped!

Matthews is a con man, of course, a consummate cable fraud. So is Walsh, his trusty companion, who has sat loyally by his side when he staged this same cons in the past.

Walsh refuses to mention the truth. Matthews is simply a fraudster.

Why are we calling so many names? Because Matthews was a lunatic Hillary-hater during the period in question! And because he expressed exactly the types of complaints about the horrible, know-it-all Clinton he now ascribed to Republicans. Briefly, let's review:

In December 1999, Clinton announced that she would run for the Senate. She would oppose Rudy Giuliani, one of Matthews' most manly of men.

As the race began to take shape, Matthews engaged in viral, unfettered, undisguised, lunatic Hillary-hatred. It took some of the very forms he now seems to wonder about.

We've recorded the facts many times. But due to the press corps' ironclad code of silence, it never creates a wider discussion about the way this decades-long con game has worked.

Kevin Drum won't discuss this matter; neither will Jonathan Chait. Rachel Maddow calls Chris her "dear friend." Walsh is a regular, active part of this rolling cover-up / Soviet-style disappearance.

Why do we call this a fraud? Because of all the Hillary-hatred Matthews kept exhibiting right through 2008! But since he mentioned the 1990s, and since he mentioned Clinton's educational status, let's revisit a bit of his own Hill-hatred during that horrible time frame.

Early in December 1999, Matthews was trashing Candidates Gore and Clinton pretty much every night. On December 6, he conducted a crazy interview with Gail Sheehy concerning her recent biography, Hillary's Choice.

Matthews' behavior was crazy this night. But in these excerpts, he seemed to reveal one possible source of his own Hillary-hatred:
MATTHEWS (12/6/99): Here's the weird thing about this dysfunctional relationship, and you've been sorting this out as an author for so many months. You have one partner on the team that thinks they're always right. They think they're better than us morally, politically, culturally, and intellectually and every other way. The other person believes they've never done anything wrong.
If you have one who's a born cover-up artist who can't even turn in an honest golf score, and the other one who thinks she's always right about everything, God help us!


MATTHEWS: Do you think she could have been elected president on her own?

SHEEHY: I think she thinks that she can be at some time in the future, but I don't think that means that she would be inattentive as a senator. I think she would be—I know she would be a workhorse.

MATTHEWS: No, but does she think that she came out behind in this deal? I get the feeling she's got this moral superiority that somehow he was lucky to have her, but she wasn't lucky to have him, like she could have gotten there with any guy—as that little story you tell in the book goes, any guy she could have dragged into the presidency—because she was the superior moral, intellectual and cultural and political force, and he was just some bumpkin she picked up and dragged along like a barnacle behind her rear end. I mean, I have to wonder. This woman seems to think that she should be president. It's an accident of history that he is and not her.
Furiously, Matthews explained what "this woman" seemed to think. For a lengthy treatment of his conduct that week, see THE DAILY HOWLER, 6/27/08.

According to Matthews, the Clintons thought "they're better than us morally, politically, culturally, and intellectually." In particular, Hillary Clinton "has this moral superiority" which has her thinking that she was "the superior moral, intellectual and cultural and political force" in her marriage, and that Bill Clinton "was just some bumpkin she picked up and dragged along."

Matthews seemed to spill with an obvious type of gender resentment this night. Meanwhile, how had this woman managed to screw up the Clinton health care proposal so badly? In words which dripped with resentment and anger, a red-faced crackpot explained, persistently stifling Sheehy:
SHEEHY: Well, I think she thought she knew what she was doing, and she thought Ira Magaziner would be—

MATTHEWS: The guy with the propeller on his head!

SHEEHY: Right.

MATTHEWS: I mean, why did she hang around with that clack? Those guys have never been elected to anything, they've never run for anything. Why does she trust those kinds of guys?

SHEEHY: Well, she—

MATTHEWS: They're all lefties and propeller heads! They're worse than she is!
It wasn't just Hillary Clinton! It was all those "propellor heads" (read: Ivy League grads) with whom she surrounded herself. (Magaziner was widely portrayed in the press as the ultimate Ivy League egghead.)

During this period, Matthews kept pimping the wondrous, regular-guy Giuliani. His overwrought trashing of Candidate Clinton was just this side of insane.

Matthews derided Clinton as "Evita" and "Nurse Ratched" right through 2008. It got so bad that Howard Kurtz even did a profile of Matthews' Hillary-hatred in the Washington Post. See THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/27/08.

(Kurtz: "In recent weeks, Matthews has...likened her to Evita Peron, 'the one who gives gifts to the little people, and then they come and bring me flowers and they worship at me because I am the great Evita.' " TV's little boy was still mad.)

Around that time, a change in corporate ownership led to a change in corporate policy at MSNBC, a ridiculous corporate "news org." After Obama won the nomination for president, Matthews reinvented himself as an unfettered Hillary fan.

Late Wednesday night, Matthews staged his latest scam, in which he feigned confusion about the type of Hillary-hatred he worked so hard to establish within the mainstream press. As she has done in the past, Walsh agreed to forget the history behind this relentless scam.

Rachel will never tell you this. Chris Hayes is "all in" on the suppression of this journalistic history. Joan Walsh frequently sits at the con man's side when he produces these gong shows in which, Soviet-style, his history disappears.

People like Matthews will do what it takes to keep their millions rolling in. People like Maddow, Hayes and Walsh will play along with the game.

Can we talk? Matthews' years of crazy misconduct helped establish the frameworks of understanding thanks to which Candidate Trump has a real chance to win this November. Few people worked harder to slander Candidate Gore. Few people worked harder to establish the press corps' standard narratives about Big Liar Hillary Clinton.

You will never see this matter discussed on The One True Liberal Channel. The corporate pundit corps' code of silence also helps explain why Candidate Trump may win.

Meanwhile, our lizard brains tell us to adore our Rachel, who loves her "dear friend" Matthews so much. Watching her clown on her nightly program, we can tell that the orange-shoed star is just very much on our side.

Candidate Trump may win this fall. If he does, it will be because of the world Chris Matthews made with the help of his corporate friends.

Chris was puzzled late Wednesday night. He just couldn't understand all the Hillary-hatred!

And now for a bit of comic relief!


Which Donald Trump did she marry:
Did anyone read Melania Trump's speech before it was delivered? We were struck by something she said as she started:
TRUMP (7/18/16): I'm so proud of your choice for president of the United States, my husband, Donald J. Trump.
Her husband, Donald J. Trump? Is she always this formal when she states his name?

Apparently, the answer is yes. This is the way she ended:
TRUMP: Ladies and gentlemen, Donald J. Trump is ready to serve and lead this country as the next president of the United States.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.
People, we're just saying.

Was controversy breaking out about which Donald Trump she had married? Was there concern that Donald R. Trump might try to mess up the proceedings?

It may be a European thing. Either that, or sabotage!

Melania watch: Costa finds the greatness in Trump!


Pimps campaign's latest theme:
Presumably, Robert Costa wants to maintain extremely good access to Candidate Donald J. Trump. And maybe to Donald Trump Junior!

In this morning's Washington Post, Costa pimps script from the Trump campaign in a remarkable way. Most remarkably, he uses the Melaniagate mess as a way to showcase Candidate Trump's manifest moral greatness.

Yesterday, the Trump campaign acknowledged an awkward fact. According to the Trump campaign, Melania Trump was the original source of the purloined passages from Michelle Obama's speech—the purloined passages which turned up in her own convention speech.

In today's editions, the Washington Post and the New York Times both downplay this awkward fact. But only Costa was able to turn this embarrassment into a sign of Trump's greatness.

In the hard-copy Post, the fact that Melania was the original source was buried deep in a "Day 3" grab-bag report by Karen Tumulty. By way of contrast, Costa provided this stand-alone report, in which he explains what we can learn from the awkward episode.

What can we learn from Melaniagate? We can learn about Trump's great sense of loyalty! We can also learn about the way he cultivates the proles, a theme that comes straight from Donald Trump Junior's ballyhooed speech Tuesday night.

On all three cable news channels, corporate pundits gushed and fawned on Tuesday night about Junior's wonderful speech. You couldn't distinguish the gushing of Brian and Rachel and Gene from the gushing which was heard on Fox and on CNN.

Junior's speech was actually full of silly statements and unfounded claims. But so what? At all three cable news channels, the bosses apparently told the "talent" to ignore such problems.

That said, Junior's speech included one theme designed to showcase his father's greatness. According to Donald Trump Junior, Candidate Trump is a regular guy who's in love with the regular people:
TRUMP JUNIOR (7/19/16): You want to know what kind of president [Trump] will be? Let me tell you how he ran his businesses, and I know because I was there with him by his side on job sites, in conference rooms from the time I could walk.

He didn't hide out behind some desk in an executive suite, he spent his career with regular Americans. He hung out with the guys on construction sites pouring sheetrock and hanging—pouring concrete and hanging sheetrock. He listened to them and he valued their opinions as much and often more than the guys from Harvard and Wharton locked away in offices away from the real work.

He's recognized the talent and the drive that all Americans have. He's promoted people based on their character, their street smarts and their work ethic, not simply paper or credentials. To this day, many of the top executives in our company are individuals that started out in positions that were blue collar, but he saw something in them and he pushed them to succeed.

His true gift as a leader is that he sees the potential in people that they don't even see in themselves. The potential that other executives would overlook because their resumes don't include the names of fancy colleges and degrees.
On and on the youngster went. God must love the little people, he has let Candidate Trump help so many out:
TRUMP JUNIOR (continuing directly): I know he values those workers and those qualities in people because those are the individuals he had my siblings and me work under when we started out. That he would trust his own children's formative years to these men and women says all you need to know about Donald Trump.

We didn't learn from MBAs. We learned from people who had doctorates in common sense. Guys like Vinnie Stellio, who taught us how to drive heavy equipment, operate tractors and chainsaws, who worked his way through the ranks to become a trusted adviser of my father. It's why we're the only children of billionaires as comfortable in a D10 Caterpillar as we are in our own cars.

My father knew that those were the guys and gals that would teach us the dignity of hard work from a very young age. He knows that at that heart of the American dream is the idea that whoever we are, wherever we're from, we can get ahead, where everyone can prosper together.
Candidate Trump loves the little people! You can tell because he has so many in his employ.

This was a major theme of Trump Junior's speech. By total coincidence, this is precisely what Costa seems to see as the takeaway lesson from the Melaniagate mess!

On-line, Costa's report appears beneath this headline: "Trump’s embrace of embattled speechwriter offers glimpse into loyal circle he has cultivated."

According to Costa, Trump's refusal to fire Meredith McIver shows the greatness of the trust and loyalty he has created down through the years. Costa ignores another obvious possibility:

Trump's refusal to fire McIver is part of a deal according to which she took the fall for Melania Trump.

Whatever! From there, Costa proceeds to the theme he seems to have borrowed from Trump Junior. Warning! Substantial bullroar ahead!

According to Costa, McIver is one of the many proles Candidate Trump has helped. So is spokeswoman Hope Hicks, or so a Post reader might think:
COSTA (7/21/16): This is not an all-Ivy League club or a coterie with Wall Street polish. What a majority share, besides their reverence for “Mr. Trump,” are backgrounds that often have links to blue-collar New York or to experiences outside elite circles—and an innate aversion to taking any attention away from a boss who covets it.

According to her biography on a speakers’ website, McIver, 65, is a native of San Jose, Calif., and graduated from the University of Utah. She trained at the School of American Ballet in New York before finding her way into Trump’s orbit, working with him on several books and becoming a ghostwriter for both Trump and his wife whenever they were readying public remarks.


Others around Trump have similar stories to McIver’s.

Michael Cohen, the company’s executive vice president and an attorney, grew up on Long Island and shares Trump’s outer-borough cadence. He has frequently described Trump as a father-like mentor. Jason Greenblatt, a top executive and a Jew, hails from Forest Hills, N.Y., and has been a fierce defender of Trump against charges of anti-Semitism, taking the criticism personally.

Keith Schiller, a terse and tall former detective who has for years been Trump’s ubiquitous bodyguard, and Rhona Graff, his executive assistant and gatekeeper, have been with him since the 1980s. Hope Hicks, now the campaign’s spokeswoman, joined the campaign after working for the company and growing friendly with the family.
As you can see, Costa took this "blue collar," "non-Ivy League" theme straight from Trump Junior's speech. McIver herself is one example. So, you might think, is Hope Hicks.

This theory doesn't quite work. Hicks grew up in tony Greenwich, Connecticut, then went to SMU. According to the leading authority, "her father, Paul B. Hicks III, was an executive vice-president of communications for the NFL."

Meanwhile, how lumpen was McIver? We aren't sure, but here's the way she's profiled today in the New York Times:
HOROWITZ (7/21/16): In her mid-30s and slowed by injuries, Meredith McIver, a classically trained ballerina who had danced under the limelight with Balanchine and the ensembles of Broadway musicals, decided to pursue her passion for writing.

She tried her hand at short stories and poems in the style of Dylan Thomas before finding work writing advertising copy. “She was always very, very interested in writing as an art form,” said an ex-boyfriend, Stephen Palitz.
Does that sound super-blue collar to you? Later, Horowitz tells us more:
HOROWITZ: The daughter of ballroom dancers, Ms. McIver, who did not respond to messages seeking comment, grew up in Northern California, before coming to New York at age 14 on a Ford Foundation scholarship for dance.

She studied at the School of American Ballet, the official school of the New York City Ballet,
from 1965 through 1970. She then went to dance out west, Mr. Palitz said, and enrolled at the University of Utah. An English major, she graduated magna cum laude in 1976.

She returned to New York and in 1981 danced in the company of the revival of “Can Can” at the Minskoff Theater in New York. It closed after five performances...

She settled on the Upper West Side, and her fashionable dress, dancer’s figure and green eyes turned heads at the grocery. She traveled to the Netherlands and France. In “How to Get Rich,” which she co-wrote with Mr. Trump, she thanked Alain Bernardin, the owner of a famed Paris striptease saloon, the Crazy Horse.

But dancing eventually took its toll, and after writing lyrics with Mr. Palitz, a classical guitarist, she joined her sister Karen, the art director at the advertising firm Lotas Minard Patton McIver. Around the time Karen left the firm more than a decade later, her sister entered Mr. Trump’s orbit.
McIver is so down-market that she came to New York at age 14 through the Ford Foundation. She studied at the official school of the New York City ballet. She danced with Balanchine and performed on Broadway; wrote lyrics with a classical guitarist; then went to work at a New York City ad agency where her equally downtrodden sister happened to be a partner.

(For a taste of the times at that firm, you can just click here.)

Other names on Costa's list of proles come from college, law school and graduate school backgrounds. It seems to us that Costa was working rather hard today to pimp one of the Trump campaign's current treasured themes.

Most striking, though, is Costa's ability to make a giant lemon meringue pie out of this week's lemon. Once again, let's state the obvious:

McIver may be taking a dive, helping Melania Trump escape blame and scorn for this relatively trivial matter.

In our view, the Post and the Times both worked today to fudge the facts which have emerged from this mess. But only Costa found a way to take a very sour lemon and use it to help us see the greatness of Candidate Trump, as filtered through Trump Junior's eyes.

By the way:

Trump Junior's speech Tuesday night was a bit of a mess. There was a lot to critique and criticize, as may be the case with many speeches next week.

Truthfully, Trump Junior's speech was sad. But as it was on the Fox News Channel, so it was on MSNBC:

Brian, Rachel and Gene all gushed about how fabulous Junior had been. For whatever reason, ownership wanted it handled that way. As always, the proles complied.

Melania watch: Cable star Matthews fingers "the culprit!"


Post and Times flee the scene of the crime:
Last evening, in the 1 A.M. hour, a certain red-faced cable talker presented "A Special Late Night Edition of Hardball."

Two nights earlier, the red-faced man in the big orange shoes had joined four other corporate clowns in a clownishly unprofessional discussion of Melaniagate.

As they spoke that night, the pundits had no way of knowing what had actually happened. But so what? The pundits swore that the prettiest lady simply couldn't have done it!

How silly did the pundits' discussion get that night? Instantly, our red-faced talker said the lifting of lines from Michelle Obama must have been an act of "sabotage"—sabotage conducted by someone inside the Trump campaign!

Needless to say, Lawrence O'Donnell quickly agreed. Things went downhill from there.

The lifting of lines had been an "assault on" Melania, the sillybills went on to say. The children kept this up for twenty minutes without commercial break. For more detail, click here.

Late last night, the red-faced talker completely flipped about Melaniagate. Two nights before, the prettiest lady had been the victim of an act of sabotage, an assault. Now, Melania was "the culprit," the red-faced talker declared.

The victim had become the culprit! Here's the background to the talker's flip:

Yesterday afternoon, a Trump employee, Meredith McIver, published a patchy "explanation" of the way the borrowing occurred. Noting some of the oddness in McIver's story, the red-faced talker said last night that McIver was "falling on the grenade" in service to the real evildoer.

The real evildoer was Melania Trump, the red-faced talker now said.

McIver's patchy explanation was "a nice way of letting off a civilian," the talker declared last night. A bit later in the 1 A.M. hour, the talker put it like this:
MATTHEWS (7/21/16): We know it was Melania's fault. She did it, but she's an amateur.
A bit later, after a break, the talker turned to Politico's Ken Vogel and said this:
MATTHEWS: Good work today at your org, by the way, getting all that stuff on Melania, the culprit.
We don't know to what specific work the excitable talker referred.

Was Melania Trump "the culprit" in this trivial, but utterly thrilling, pundit corps adventure? It all depends on what the meaning of culprit is!

If we can believe the basics of McIver's statement, it seems clear that Melania Trump must have known that she was reading lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 address.

According to McIver's statement, Trump was the one who introduced the purloined lines into the speechwriting process. When she gave her speech Monday night, she must have known she was reading lines from Michelle Obama's address.

Please note: It still isn't clear that McIver knew the source of the purloined material. In her patchy explanation, McIver said that Melania dictated the lines from Obama's speech during a phone conversation.

She didn't say that Melania told her where the lines came from. This may or may not have been a deliberate attempt at deception on McIver's part.

Matthews didn't seem to have noticed this problem with McIver's statement. But so what? Thunder being his game, he flipped from "sabotage" to "culprit" in the course of 48 hours.

In this morning's editions, the Washington Post and the New York Times are heavily fudging this story. They seem to be going out of their way today to avoid a basic fact:

If we accept the basics in McIver's account, Melania Trump was the original source of the purloined lines. She knew she was reading purloined lines when she delivered her speech.

This matter is utterly trivial, of course—but until Melania's role was revealed, the pundit world thought it was major fun. It's exactly the kind of silly, waste-of-time piddle our corporate pundits adore.

By way of contrast, the children were all too frightened last week to challenge the sayings of Comey the God—and yes, this includes the orange-shoed players named Matthews, Hayes, Maddow, O'Donnell.

Comey the God is a powerful god; he's feared all through the land. The children will stay away from his edicts, no matter how faux they may seem.

That said, the children adored Melaniagate, until it turned out that Melania herself seemed to be involved. Now, the Washington Post and the New York Times seem to running away from the tale. And good lord! At the Post, Robert Costa is kissing ascot today in a truly remarkable way.

This phony report about the affair represents ascot-kissing of the most ridiculous kind. But now that Melania looks like a "culprit," the Post and the Times seem to be running away from the amusing affair.

That said, the children have played many games this week. We'll bring you such games as we can today.

Coming next, an anagram:

Costa kisses ascot.

Concerning transcripts and video: As far as we know, MSNBC isn't providing much in the way of transcripts or video this week. We can't link you to any such sources on-line.

As a member of the Comcast family, we're able to watch video of MSNBC's horrible "coverage" through our On Demand feature. We're transcribing the pundits' orange-shoed comments from that invaluable source.

Fact-check watch: Clinton lied about her own name!


So rules the Washington Post:
In the past two days, our "news orgs" have been beating the bushes, desperately trying to solve the riddle of Melaniagate.

How do you solve a problem like Melania? It's just the kind of trivial matter our Potemnkin "press corps" loves.

It isn't that our glorious orgs shouldn't try to figure this out. It's just annoying when you see how many major matters have been thrown around in the past few days—major matters the nation's "news orgs" have never even tried to report or resolve.

These unresolved matters have often been used in fact-challenged attacks on Candidate Clinton. The children rush to analyze Melaniagate, but they've devoted years of their lives to avoiding these larger concerns:
What, them worry?
According to the intelligence community, what was the motive behind the Benghazi attack? Clinton is being attacked as a liar on this score. What's the actual state of the facts?

Did Donald Trump ever oppose the war in Iraq at all? On Sunday's 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl seemed to vouch, two separate times, for the bogus claim that he did. Where are the 25 reports he said he could show us? Like a range of big TV stars before her, Stahl forgot to ask!

Did Donald Trump ever send investigators to Hawaii to probe Obama's birth? When the Times pretended to report this matter, they too forgot to ask!
By the way, what do you think of Trump's formal budget proposal? We think it's the craziest budget proposal any candidate ever produced.

We also note that the nation's news orgs have thoroughly disappeared it. But then, as Press Corps Barbie and Ken have said:

Melaniagate is lots of fun. Budget proposals are hard!

An amazing array of attacks are being aimed at Clinton this week. This is being done in the context of group demands that we "lock her up!"

As these attacks are displayed each day, the press is chasing Melaniagate. When they do attempt a bit of "fact-checking," you end up wishing they hadn't.

In our view, Kessler and Lee do a very shaky job today fact-checking last night's convention for the Washington Post. We're especially saddened by their claim that Candidate Clinton "lied" about her own name!

(Kessler and Lee: "Some viewers of the Republican National Convention may have been confused about McConnell’s charge that Clinton lied about her name. But this is indeed the case." In our view, their "reasoning" is silly, dumb, dim-witted, sad.)

The ugliness of the GOP's conduct and claims ought to be a front-page topic all by itself. Instead, the children are chasing Cribbedpassagesgate around and around—and when they do attempt to do some fact-checking, you end up wishing they hadn't.

(In our view, Kessler and Lee do a terrible job today with several other topics.)

In truth, our press corps has very few skills. To a larger extent, they lack a cultural commitment to the importance of fairness, balance, accuracy, common sense, simple decency, elementary truth.

They lost their way a long time back. Bless their hearts, but their ongoing conduct is sad.

Correction watch: The New York Times corrects!


In theory, we all makes mistakes:
This morning, on the op-ed page, the New York Times corrected Monday morning's world-class groaner.

In theory, everyone makes mistakes. This is the text of today's correction, which is basically hidden in the Times on-line format:

A chart accompanying Charles Blow’s column on Monday, about Donald Trump’s prospects for rebranding his campaign, misidentified the respondents to questions about Mr. Trump’s honesty and trustworthiness and their level of excitement about his candidacy. The respondents were Republicans only, not voters in general.
The Times has also corrected Blow's graphic, which contained the howlers in question. For our initial report, click here.

In theory, everyone makes mistakes. That said, some mistakes are more mistaken than others.

It's hard to imagine how the original graphic got composed. It's surprising to think that an editor viewed it and didn't see anything wrong.

The Times is in a class by itself. We'd call it our silliest newspaper—silliest and most foppish.

FRYER'S FINDINGS: Professor's research!


Part 1—His most surprising result:
Increasingly, our journalistic gatekeepers are gone. This has created a problem.

Originally, the gatekeepers were replaced by Imus and Howard Stern, then by Rush and Sean. In the past decade, they've increasingly been replaced by corporate-owned actors in big orange shoes who hail from our own "liberal" camp.

For decades, tribal dumbness has been cultivated and encouraged. Last night, you saw this dumbness in horrible form as Chris Christie called for Candidate Clinton's head.

("Guilty," we the people kept shouting. "Lock her up!" For Michelle Goldberg's account, click here.)

The last two nights have been sad. That said, the dumbness has been coming from our side too, often with encouragement and modeling from our biggest news orgs.

How dumb can our own news orgs be? Consider two reactions to the giant enormous international scandal now known as Melaniagate.

Start with a collection of highly-paid chimps on The One True Liberal Channel. Late Monday night, as news of Copycatgate emerged, a team of MSNBC stars leaped to instant conclusions about what had plainly occurred.

(In fact, this nonsense occurred in the midnight hour. We'll treat this as Monday night.)

What a performance! The savants insisted, though they couldn't know, that Melania Trump couldn't have been the person who cribbed a couple of passages from Michelle Obama's speech.

One of the speechwriters did it, the savants unknowingly said. Their nonsense came straight from the can.

"Melania Trump could not possibly have known that this was plagiarism," Lawrence O'Donnell gallantly said, although he couldn't possibly know where the stray passages came from.

Just like that, Chris Matthews took things to the next level. He said Cutandpastegate must be an act of "sabotage," with someone inside the Trump campaign trying to undercut Trump.

"This is purposeful," the red-faced excitable talker said. "What was the purpose except to sabotage?"

Quickly, Lawrence agreed with this analysis. He then began to speculate about the "pathology" which is "always" found when speechwriter commit such an act.

You can forget the butler this time; everyone knew that the speechwriter did it! Before long, this gong-show exchange occurred:
SCHMIDT: There is zero chance—and I mean zero point zero—that Melania Trump lifted it.

O'DONNELL: Of course not! Of course not!
Lawrence hotly agreed with Steve Schmidt. They were full of chivalry as they swore their troth to the prettiest lady of all!

They couldn't possibly know what was true, but they agreed on one basic fact. Obviously, Melania Trump was "the victim" of this act.

Indeed, "everyone was victimized by this," the gallant Lawrence declared. "[Paul] Manafort was victimized. They all were, it's so crazy."

Once again, Matthews took the language up a notch. "This is an amazing assault on [Trump's] family," he excitedly, dumbly said.

This went on for twenty minutes without commercial break. At one point, Maddow said it was Manafort's head which she "expected" to see "on the guillotine."

(Like last night's conventioneers, Maddow is always eager to see her opponents killed or thrown in jail. As in banana republics, she constantly thinks that her opponents would look good in stripes.)

None of these people had any idea what had actually happened, but they lacked the disciple, the honesty and the skill to acknowledge this obvious fact. In fairness, bless their hearts! They're major players in the low-IQ entertainment form known as corporate cable news.

(Just consider the players! Brian Williams got canned a few years ago for being a serial fantasist. In her regular weeknight performances, Maddow wears the biggest orange shoes on the network, though she was wearing her serious face Monday night since she was cast as Brian's co-anchor. Matthews' past behavior would be legend, except for the fact that the rest of the guild has agreed that it can't be discussed. Lawrence's meltdowns and crazy predictions have been entertaining for years.)

This is the typical gang of savants who pretend to provide "cable news." They had no way to know what had happened. But in accord with cable culture, they quickly pretended they did.

Is it possible that Melania Trump introduced the purloined passages into the speechwriting mix? Of course it is! This leads us to the pitiful work of another big news org.

This morning, Haberman and Barbaro report this deeply troubling matter on the front page of the New York Times. In the process, we get another look at the way our discourse works with our serious gatekeepers gone.

It seems that attention is being focused on someone name McIver. Did the purloined passages come from her? Is she being set up as the fall guy? It's still true that nobody knows where the cribbed passages came from!

That said, we liberals can be just as foolish as last night's convention mob. When we are, the New York Times will frequently egg us on.

Below, you see part of today's report on Giantoutragegate. In the passage, Haberman and Barbaro report the way "average Americans" reacted:
HABERMAN AND BARBARO (7/20/16): The controversy set off by the stumble spread rapidly from the political class to average Americans: African-Americans were angry that Ms. Trump had chosen to swipe the words of the country’s first African-American first lady, especially given Mr. Trump’s hostility to President Obama. Scores of Twitter users, deploying the hashtag #famousMelaniaTrumpQuotes, began to re-attribute famous lines, like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream,” to Ms. Trump.

But the mischievous teasing at times turned serious, as blacks invoked a painful history of prominent white figures stealing the work of black artists and presenting it as their own.

“I’m not surprised Melanie plagiarized from Michelle,” wrote Yasmin Yonis. “White women have spent centuries stealing black women’s genius, labor, babies, bodies.”
"Average Americans" within our tribe can have tunnel vision too. But now, with serious gatekeepers gone, news orgs will often encourage our tunnel vision.

This will be often true at the New York Times, which operates on the editorial assumption that every incident must be viewed as inherently racial. With that in mind, Haberman and Barbaro scanned the globe, looking for an "average American" who had told the preferred tribal story which the newspaper likes.

We were told how "African Americans" saw Monday's outrageous event. "African Americans were angry!" Full stop!

Our modern news orgs are full of clowns. In fairness, though, bless their hearts! They're hired to play that role.

In our view, this largely started with players like Rush. By now, though, the culture has spread. There's gold in them thar tribal hills!

Alas! We "average Americans" will often turn out to have limited judgment. That fact was on full display at the convention last night. But it has been on wide display in recent years within our own liberal tents.

Into this maelstrom walked Professor Fryer, a well-known Harvard researcher. Last week, he reported "surprising" new findings.
In fact, he described one of his findings as "the most surprising result of my career."

In some major ways, Professor Fryer's recent research flies in the face of our tribe's favorite novel. As this series proceeds, we'll consider Fryer's findings, along with the limitations inherent to his research.

Tomorrow: How many people get shot?