Make It Stop

by digby

Sweet Jesus, I hate this goddamned Halperin/Heileman tabloid atrocity. It's got the villagers so excited I fear they are going to literally orgasm on camera --- and that's something I just don't want to see. A book based on backstabbing gossip from disgruntled campaign aides and pissed off rivals is about as reliable a six year olds playing a game of telephone. When you combine these nasty little tidbits with the Villager sensibility and biases of the writers, you end up with a docu-drama rather than a work of non-fiction.

Here's just a sample of the fall-out from Independent Women Forum's Michelle Bernard on MSNBC:

It's almost like Bill Clinton thought Barack Obama should have walked up to him and said "yes massa, may ah get you some coffee?"

This after hours and hours of dishing on Elizabeth Edwards and Harry Reid and Sarah Palin about stale news and nasty gossip until I want to jam chopsticks in my ears.

Glenn is so right. They haven't gone anywhere. If anything they've gotten stronger.

BTW: There's good reason to mistrust that Bill Clinton ever uttered those words. Here's Greg Sargent:
The claim about Clinton’s explosive remarks came on page 218 of Game Change:

The day after Iowa, he phoned Kennedy and pressed for an endorsement, making the case for his wife. But Bill then went on, belittling Obama in a manner that deeply offended Kennedy. Recounting the conversation later to a friend, Teddy fumed that Clinton had said, A few years ago, this guy would have been getting us coffee.
The remark is not in quotes. And the authors’ note from Mark Halperin and John Heilemann states explicitly their rationale for choosing not to put dialog in quotes:

Where dialog is not in quotes, it is paraphrased, reflecting only a lack of certainly on the part of our sources about precise wording, not about the nature of the statements.

This is kind of amazing. By the authors’ own stated guidelines, this might not have been the “precise wording” Clinton used. Yet it has been the basis for a huge amount of media discussion all the same, with some suggesting racism on Clinton’s part.

I have no idea what Clinton actually said, obviously, but he isn't an idiot and I find it hard to believe that he would try to persuade Teddy Kennedy to endorse Hillary by waxing nostalgic about slavery and Jim Crow. He may very well have demeaned him in some fashion, but it was far more likely about his inexperience than his race. It doesn't make sense.

From the excerpts we are getting from the book so far, we must assume that except for Barack Obama, all parties involved in the 2008 race were nearly insane assholes in every possible way. I guess it's a really good thing that he's the one who won or it's hard to imagine the country would have survived.