by Dr Leo Strauss •
That Mika exchange is Fascinating. Tweety’s misogyny, class envy, MSNBC hierarchical impulses versus Mika’s award winning network work (Zbig openly boasted of this (in a heart warming way as a proud father) to the Stiftung while she was still on the network).
Tweety always worships the swells and success. Tip, let’s face it, is one sentence in a footnote. The Gipper’s apotheosis paralyzed the Nation. Tweety above all takes note. Probably, like most slightly twinged sociopaths (and one must be such to enter and push for success in this city and that field), Tweety compartmentalizes his actual historical doings with his current, expedient and comfortable self-image.
It’s funny when McCain launched his purge of the Republican Institute for International Affairs years ago (a truly backwater, marginal and insignificant appendix to the slightly less marginal “National Endowment for Democracy”), his intellectually dim crew all craved the Churchill cult, the champagne followed by brandy, the cigars, all of it. This was years ago, long before the Warlord ascended to the throne.
No surprise of course that the Warlord relied on that hearty band to “bring democracy to Iraq as much in a way as AEI interns, etc. There is a new video game of modest technological innovation that posits an America that suffers from Churchill’s death before WW II — he is hit by a cab rather than in real life barely dodging it. Naturally, ala Newt’s and Turtledove’s counterfactual historical fantasies, without Churchill America is under Nazi occupation and the game’s protagonist is in the resistance, etc. Almost a parody of a 527 campaign . . .
Shuster indeed could have a promising career — part of Kurtz’s venom is that Shuster not only left Fox but did so in relatively clear rebellion of Ailes’ ideological mandates. So there is some payback, in addition to Kurtz’s sucking up while s******g down.
We see Kurtz covering this Shustergate perfumes the Matthews incident from the recent past. Howie can’t dump on Tweety, but he’ll throw Shuster overboad.
We think Shuster has great potential so it’s a shame he got caught up in this way of speaking.
He is light years ahead of Tweety in IQ points and he has a good ability to call people on BS on air while not vilifying the BSer (except for Chelsea) – A while back he had Jed Babbin on and he clearly but politely corrected Babbin on all points of fact while still being nice to Babbin as a (albeit confused and ideologically addled) human being.
His original point about Chelsea is now buried for a while – Chelsea can now lobby Super delegates and the press cannot question her about that. Score one for Wolfson
Last example of Tweety wrongness showing how he gets everything wrong – His dissonance is symbolic because it’s regarded as part of his success – Notice how he confuses “sub rosa” with “light of day”
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I want to know how Chris really feels about this [Conservatives wishing for HRC win so they can trash her and re-group].
MATTHEWS: Come on, Mika, that’s the weakest line. Come on, Mika, that is so weak and so below you, how I really feel. That is so yesterday.
BRZEZINSKI: It’s so yesterday?!
MATTHEWS: I mean how I really feel. You know how you tell how I really feel, Mika? Listen. [protracted silence]. But you and I agree on so many things sub rosa. I don’t know why we’re arguing.
BRZEZINSKI: We’re not arguing; go ahead Willie.
MATTHEWS: Some things, because in the brilliant light of day, I know we see things [similarly?]. But you’re just trying to encourage me, aren’t you? I know what you’re doing.
Russert knows that Tweety is in decline. Tweety is like Eden during the Suez war and Russert (ok this is dumb) is France. They see Hillary as Nasser and the want to have FOX act the role of Israel in ’56 cross into Suez.
How’s that for a bad Tweety analogy? Bank of China is Ike. None of it makes sense. LOL.
Tweety’s resume – A while ago, shortly after he was attacked by Media Matters in force, he read his really impressive *sounding* resume on air. But we think it hurt him because the resumes sounded so hefty but his visual presence looked weak – so there was this disconnect that was too glaring – Like a dotcom balance sheet circa Jan .2000 -
Btw – Tweety has said that he shares Tip O Neils “values” but not his “politics.” A case could be made it is the opposite depending how you weight certain attributes. We’d love to find out what Tweety said to Tip during debates re Central America and Boland amendment and what he told reporters at the time vesus the version he would tell now to his friends in the Churchill cult.
Speaking of speeches – Jez – we think Sir Winston can be overrated sometimes, but his magnificient words compared to Tweetys!
The Tweety speech is pretty laughable. He’d have the same barely restrained “advice” to the first female Catholic priest.
Shuster as you know is a neophyte on the non-bit player media stage (he did well covering specific events like the tedious Plame courthouse). His botched apology seemed like a flinch. He doesn’t yet have the instincts to either tough it out and go full bore or dial it back gracefully.
Tweety is a moral lesson about how naked ambition, limited ability and some early resume notches can launch just about anyone in this town. Russert must take some satisfaction that his job is now pretty secure and take secret pleasure in Olbermann’s rise contra his lead in show.
Shuster “Just one comment about Chris Matthews. I’ve worked with him for five and a half years. I’ve been alongside him, on camera, off, good times and bad. *Nobody* is more gracious and has a bigger heart, and has contributed more in a positive way to our political discourse than Chris Matthews.”
Blech! Note Shuster’s use of “nobody” there is a bit like his use of “all” in his ‘apology.’
Why do they have to do this – it’s so annoying. Matthews occcassionally has good points, but “political discourse” is not one of them – He is a net negative and his mother and grandmother would have to agree with that. His discourse consists of bad metaphors and inarticulate spittle and insults – He loves to pick on easy targets – He’s dishonest in claiming to be anti war when he is really just anti neocon (not that there’s anything wrong with that -LOL)
Some of Matthews least harmful gimmicks are just old – Yesterday he edited some video of Bill Clinton so Clinton’s answer normal to a question was made to seem weird out of context of the question – In other words, Clinton just answered a semi-moronic question. But if you edit out the question it gave a totally different impression of weirdness. Then Tweety starts speculating why Clinton raised this topic when he knows that his reporter is the one who raised it.
“The country’s in a rut” LOL – It’s the malaise speech sttipped of Jimmy’s Plains plaintive poetry – LOL- Bonus – Note the un-ironical “free advice” tag
Another thing that’s funny about that horrible speech is that it violates the rule that good speeches should be true – Yet nearly everything he suggests – with no ironic self awareness – is false. Tweety’s suggestion is like a husband couching his divorcing wife what to tell the court about their failing marriage. It’s all a transparent attempt – before he was finally confronted – to excuse his own bad behaivor.
His Barack speech was like a lecture from a bench player on the Generals basketball team telling Globetrotter Meadowlark Lemmon how to pass a basketball properly.
Sorensen writes emphatically about editing out the banal, the cliche, the sacharine, etc – Some of Kennedy’s stuff has become cliche after decades of copy cat and hero worship. Anyway – with that in mind, look at this terrible speech that Tweety wrote for Hillary (the one he wrote for Obama was worse it it’s easy to imagin Obama mocking it in private). Try to imagine Hillary reading this dreck – But what’s worse is that this kind of crap is sold to us viewers as the work of a sage – expert.
Meant to point out that Shuster’s use of the word “all” is part of a lamentable trend that Bush pushes a lot wherein people in public life seek to make us bystanders complicit in their mistake – Obviously we have nothing against Chelsea, but why should we, as viewers, be part of his insincere praise of her?
Bush does this type of thing all the time – diffusing accountability, confusing the issue. Limbaugh used to make gratuitious insults about her too – But that was Limbaugh.
Shuster is a bit like Russert too – Shuster could have said, “I admire her” or “most people I know” – Russert could have said during debates ” I am curious about religion” instead of couching it in the passive voice.
Sad to say, by Wolf Blitzer is a lion of media compared to them.
This was annoying from Shuster: “… all Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton, and I am particularly sorry that my language diminished the regard and respect she has earned from all of us and the respect her parents have earned in how they raised her.”
All? Most of us who do not work for Tweety would never dream of insulting her – especially in public. If we did, the insult would not go near Tweety-Dowd construct of gender reversal and putting HRC is degrades male roles or castrating godddess role, much less the rest.
Notice the Imus-drift – the use of the vernacular “pimping” was Shuster accidentally absorbing the compensatory prejudices re rap slang. He was slumming a bit like Imus, but unlike Imus, he did not have outrageousness that written into his contract. Murdoch is cleaning their clock by mastering the cosmetics of diversity, while still being officially conservative –
Once again to be a bore – we think this is compensatory frat-ish rightism that they all adopt in hopes that faux-macho poses will steal conservatives away from Laurie Dhue bliss and Brit spin. It will fail. Tweety is already on edge afraid to makes mistakes.
The Sam Mussabini analogy is one we do not believe in, but we thought of it because that’s the one we’d use if we went on Tweety’s show and wanted to say something stupid that he would like. He would really dig that. Maybe not as much as an Erin Burnett poster in a Betty Grable pose, but hey.
Btw, Kristol & Co. would probably be amused by the opening line of the ABC article:
“It’s no accident the Kennedy magic has infused itself into the campaign of Barack Obama.”
They would find countless ironies.
From what we know about Sorensen, he would object to the way that ABC article was written – As usual with the media, it was real lightweight stuff with the ‘reporter’ mind reading, editorializing, etc. Elsewhere Sorensen has been clear that he does not write the speeches and that’s obvious because Obama’s style is unique and different from Sorensen and/or Kennedy. Also – Sorensen would never tell her he wanted to resurrect Camelot and you can see how that article misleadingly implies he said that. The phrase that Obama uses from Kennedy is “never fear to negotiate,” but the reporter intentionally muddles that.
Sorensen is most likely not playing Sam Mussabini to Obama’s Harold Abrahams a la Chariots of Fire – helping Barack find an extra two yards (phrases), but we think he is there to convey gravitas, provide inspiration and tips and encouragement.
re Ted Sorensen’s book “Kennedy” is considered hagiography and that’s valid. But so were the memoirs from Farley and all the FDR people etc. But Sorensen’s book has some really great parts to it, especially when he writes about how they made speeches. The advice he gives is excellent and we cannot help but laugh when Tweety talks about his love for “Jack” and then we notice that all his recommended speeches for Dem candidates are the exact opposite of what Sorenesen suggests in his book. If you recall, Matthews scripted these horrible suggested speeches – each line loaded with implied sadness and limitation – and suggested Barack or HRC and others uses them.
It made us wonder if he worked on Carter’s malaise speech. But even that speech had it’s moments of authenticity and pathos.
The Sorensen advice sounds very simple – Like the way Tiger Woods makes golf look simple – But much of it is difficult because almost all the dreck in the mediasphere fills our minds – osmosis like Shooster slowly becoming what he once loathed in better days.
re MoDo – We predict she will wither on the vine i Barack wins because she will be pounced on for making snide remarks about Michelle etc and she will be robbed of her traditional narrative gimmicks. Imagine if she was told she was not allowed to call Bush 41 Poppie or preppie? She would not know how to cover him. That will happen when management is forced to tell her to lay off Michelle ( a women who does not share MoDo’s pop culture references and did not even know about her until she read about some lies she stuck in her op-ed) MoDo likes to tell people she uses Shakespeare. Maybe – sometimes, but often MoDo’s Shakespeare is based on Cliffs Notes Shakespeare or movie clips. In truth, her Shakespeare allusions are often wrong and unlike Adelman, they are wrong by accident.
We offering an apology for all those typos above – We have not used eyedrops yet so its not our fault.
re Shooster as primal victim of Tweety – Sounds pretty relativistic. Sid B. could probably really offer an erudite set piece about something like this if her were still freelancing. Anyway – it’s probably true in parts in the sense that someone who has drug problem is simultaneously a victim of his disease while still maintaining personal responsibility.
By the irony of Shooster’s victim status can be seen in his apology – We do not doubt that he is sorry – more sorry than he even lets on as he gradually realizes the total inanity and demented nature of the way he critices Chelsea. Clearly, he thinks, that its not how really thinks. What happened?
But his apology incorparted elements of the Tweety form – He added a ludicrous blanket statement about all Americans loving Chelsea – Something scripted by Kim Jong-il would be less adament. Then he coupled this with selective acknowledgements etc – Ultimately it was legalistic and ironically Clintonian.
Meanwhile – Tweety, following the drooling advice he gives himself in his moronic book ‘Life’s A Campaign,’ is now trying to use his faux-apology as a “attack from a defensive position” by clipping it for his promo ads.
re Shooster – We see in the NY post that Rupe and Co. are having a big laugh – We agree that Shooster being reduced by osmosis. Indeed we were gonna offer a variation on the broken window theory – The Broken Tweety theory. Tweety & Co. have tried to balance FNC’s conservative bias with lots of faux-macho/guy bluster. He does it all the time extoling “old skool” pols etc and reveling in days gone by etc. But he hits many false notes along the way so you know it’s not really authentic. Lots of refences to “authentic movie” heroes – a phrase he once used without irony.
Shooster is like a guy who arrives on bond trading desk and over time tries to accomidate himself to the strong language by tossing off comments from time to time. His original point was that Chelsea should be subject to normal criticism now that she is a highly educated adult working on a campaign – But that reasonable thesis became degraded because he had to couch it in the Dowdian-Tweety straitjackt that insists on putting HRC in the masculine role and all who serve her in a lower female role and then taking it further by reducing mother – daughter to you know what. It’s really demented, but you can see how something that was probably unthinkable to do for Shooster at one point in his life became inevitable when he started trading bonds with Tweety.
re Ted Sorensen’s efforts on behalf of the Crown Prince, all we can say is that when we sat down with Mr. Sorensen in his office, the conversation was delightful, witty, light (with far deeper currents) and segued into tennis as a metaphor for life. Yet we got to gifts of ghost prose.
Perhaps the Crown Prince was more clever and explained how PT 109 in fact began Change and Audacity. (In the latter, he may not be totally incorrect, but we doubt the Prince could pull off a 13 Days — not with the Ivos lurking around. He we predict would cave around Day 4).
re MoDo and the Crown Prince (now in capital letters because of his Big Mo (not MoDo)) — she will have a difficult time faxing in lazy, sophomoric “sociological” obervations because the Crown Prince cuts across so many tectonic societal fault lines. And now is not the time for a reprise of her Rolling Stone photo shoot in the New Era of Change. Whatever will she do?
re Shooster, in a way one has to feel sorry for him. He has spent countless hours off camera suffering Tweety in all his unmasked belligerence. Simply by osmosis it becomes absorbed. Add that poison to his ambition and rising on air presence and it was a match destined for a pool of spilled JP-5. Boom.
Saint Chelsea still remains hands off, even more than the quasi-respectful distance given Warlord’s offspring (colorful events notwithstanding).
re the alternating dynasties, who would be the Claudians? And recall (paraphrasing) Herod’s line about the Claudians that the fruit may not fall far from the tree but is often bitter. The Crown Prince may be in an interregnum (perhaps) but we still feel a campaign with a flawed and inexperienced candidate floating on a bubble of rhetoric and even a twinge of white guilt will be short lived and a Carter redux, YMMV.
I imagine 2024, after 8 year terms exchanged between Hil and Jeb/a.n.other Bush, Chelsea for President!
This must scare Tweety – depending on ratings.
Is it possible that Dowd is telling the truth and that Michelle Henery is a fabulist? Perhaps – From the accounts we read it seems she said v. she said. But if you ask who is testifying against self-interest it would seem the truth favors Henery.
But if you judge this trivial but symbolic incident (which signals a turning point in Dowdian fortunes, imo) they way Dowd judges things – Then Modo is lying according to Modo methodology. Maureen Down often retails lies from GOP oppo that she personally thinks unimportant or dishonest but play into one of her narrative themes. For years she got away with this on the basis or personal relationships, Timesean power, the Matthews-clique, shared boomer- anxities, and because she was considered good looking. Often her sources seem dubious and she relies on gossip, innuenedo, and insults –
What may save MoDo is that Henery described her as “journalistic hero.” Really? So she may have been playing MoDo herself and there’s the rub.
This is pretty funny – Ofcourse NRO is retrgrade and out of tune enough that they manage to puzzle over the wrong things instead of saying, “wtf is wrong with” Modo.
Interesting how MoDo went into narrative control overdrive and sought to deny a small story because it has the ring of truth and will soon for one of the granular details of her bio. Murdoch’s people will tell her to go take a hike. Anyway, MoDo needs HRC (she could have dealt with Mitt) because she is totally unable to grok younger people – Colleen Smiled indeed.
Judging by the photos – we think Dowd probably lied because she is lying about her level of familiarity with Barack’s campaign – She probably had stringers do more work for her or whatever , but you do not have to be an Obama fan to realize that MoDo’s early coverage of Obama was dishonest and rang false. Media Matters, if we recall, noted this at the time. But they just stated the obvious. MoDo has been trying and failing to “Breck girl” Obama and it will never stick and MoDo will regret attacking Michelle O, because Michelle fans won’t tolerate it and it won’t sell.
Dowd is probably lying about this incident – Both NRO and Digby have pounced – MoDo will get in endless trouble with Obama. She has lied about him in the recent past:
Just tuned on cpac and there’s some young movement types and generally they are an interesting and ecletic lot. There’s a guy who had gone to Yale named Flagg Youngblood speaking about ROTC. Cheney never made it thru Yale and he certainly didn ‘t care about having ROTC nearby, so this movement idealist with the peferct gop name is setting himself up for disappointment.
Despite what Pat says – Mitt’s speech was a dud – Most people inclined to agree with Mit’s dark words think he was mostly insincere – Dated crack about France? Followed by a qualification – Content aside, that was all very Kerry-esque in its clunky delivery. Btw, Mitt doesn’t hate France – he hung out there during the Viet Nam war. If Mitt really wants to make a comeback he has to do what all successfull candidates do – Figure out what really drives them and then learn to convey that. Despite Tweety, HRC has gone thru that growth experience.
HRC’s defilade positions in Ohio and Pennsylvania will by subjected to indirect fire and harassment until the days of the primary.