2006/05/25

The Hillary and Bill story

On May 23rd, the NY Times published a somewhat lengthy (14 kilobytes or 2000 words) story on the marriage of Hillary and Bill Clinton that ran for perhaps 100-150 words on the front page, above the fold and with a photograph. The story was continued in the Metro section.
Personally, I've never particularly liked Hillary due to her having been in charge of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform back during the very beginning of Bill Clinton's first term and making such a complete mess of it that there hasn't been serious talk of comprehensive health care reform since.
The NY Times article was not written because there was any sort of "peg" to hang the story on or in fact, any genuine news within the article itself. The story was written by Patrick Healey, a reporter who has handled several anti-Democratic and pro-Republican stories (The story includes several useful links for yelling at the Times with.

Atrios goes over one of the most serious problems with "The return of Monica Madness"

And, finally, it puts on display the utter vapidity of the press corps we're dealing with. If Dean Broder, who has been covering Washington since 1820, can't sit through a 45 minute speech on energy policy, and the press on Air Force One would rather watch King Kong than the Hayden hearings, while they devote their time and resources to a long 50-source article about how often the Clintons are getting busy, then we have a problem, and it's not something we're going to clear up at a blogger ethics panel.

Yes, that's correct, the article concentrated on how often Hillary and Bill "did it" and yes, the author really interviewed 50 sources, he even counts the number of times the Clintons spent the night together over 17 months. Has America's press corps really sunk this low?!?! I mean, with the American occupation of Iraq rapidly collapsing and the dollar on the verge of meltdown, is the sex life of the Clinton's really a page-one story!?!?!? As firedoglake points out, there are magazines eminently qualified to do such stories. It's also obviously meant to put Democrats on notice that they will be relentlessly trivialized during the run up to the 2008 election.

Except for one thing: who the hell cares? I mean really, who cares? Except for the inside, gossip queens of the Beltway, how exactly does this put gas in someone’s tank, keep their kid safe on the battlefield, stop their job from being downsized, or help them pay the balloon payment on their already-ballooning mortgage? What in the hell are these people doing calling this crap "reporting?"

The press corps has made it clear that the Democrats will be lampooned and laughed at and made to look deranged because they just can't stomach a return to wonk-style politics, where politician actually care about people and issues. We progressives, liberals and leftists need to make a really loud stink about this, and it needs to commence right away!

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