U.S. Politics

Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton (Unless They Actually Know Her)

Republicans Hate Hillary Clinton (Unless They Actually Know Her)

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Dating back to Hillary Clinton’s earliest days as First Lady, the frame imposed on her by mainstream and conservative media both has been “unlikable” — a description that has mystified many people who know her.

What this framing has proved is that she is disliked by a lot of journalists and columnists, most of whom don’t know Clinton, at powerful outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the broadcast networks and cable shows.  (A clinical example is Maureen Dowd of the Times op-ed page, whose crazed animus seems based on no personal knowledge whatsoever.) To those who are familiar with Clinton, in fact, she has always seemed considerably more agreeable than the vain, bitter, superficial journalists who whine incessantly about her. But hammered in over and over again for decades, the framing stuck.

In the current electoral context, it is hard to imagine Clinton being less likable than the juvenile bigot and prevaricating braggart Donald Trump (who used to praise her quite generously, by the way, until he decided to run for president and realized that she’s the devil).

But what I’ve found truly striking about the “unlikable Hillary” narrative is how often and how bluntly it is contradicted not only by Democrats and independents, but by Republicans, too, who actually know and like the former Secretary of State despite their profound disagreement with her political outlook. These Republicans, including many of her former Senate colleagues, admit that they like — or even “love” — Hillary despite her liberal voting record and Democratic loyalties.

So I wrote a guest column for Monday’s Daily News that noted how routinely she has earned the affections of Republicans and conservatives who served and worked with her — as Weekly Standard online editor Daniel Halper learned, to his apparent dismay and frustration:

…Halper was astounded to hear Hillary Clinton praised by one Republican after another on Capitol Hill while working on Clinton, Inc., a scathingly negative book he published in 2014. When he interviewed “Clinton’s biggest opponents within the Republican Party during her time as First Lady,” Halper recalled, “no matter how much they were coaxed, not one of them would say a negative thing about Hillary Clinton as a person.” Unwilling to believe his ears, Halper assumed that she had merely flattered them into extolling her.

But the positive view presented by her erstwhile critics was remarkably consistent, Halper admitted. Among those who got to know her best was Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who “developed a very friendly relationship” with Clinton on the Armed Services Committee. McCain’s political consultant Mike Murphy explained, “They get along. He respects her. She’s funny. She’s smart.” Former Arkansas Sen. Asa Hutchinson, who ran the Drug Enforcement Administration during the Bush years, said working with her was “always a joy.” Other Republicans described her as “highly regarded,” “engaged,” even mischievous, with a keen sense of humor.

There is much more at the link, notably the revealing remarks of conservative commentators Dick Morris and Michael Medved (who has known Clinton since law school and, I’m reliably told, may soon endorse her over Trump, whom he despises). The point is simple: Be skeptical of journalists who constantly disparage the personality of a public figure whom they scarcely know at all.

U.S. Politics

Trump Tops Eastwood’s Rambling ‘Empty Chair’ Speech With Rambling ‘Empty Room’ Speech


The organizers of CPAC actually thought inviting Donald Trump was better than inviting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  Wow!  What were they thinking?

Addicting Info

In a display of “Huh?” worthy of Clint Eastwood and the Empty Chair, Donald Trump gave whatBusiness Insider is describing as “confusing and terrible:”

Trump said he was upset that President Barack Obama did not return his calls about a free ballroom he offered to build. He also made a strange statement about how he wants the U.S. to go back to Iraq to take some oil.

Conservative writer David Freddoso tweeted that the crowd stopped applauding before Trump had even left the stage. He also said:

“I feel dumber for having listened.” [Source]


Trump also claims to have been told by several high-ranking officials that we went to war with Iraq to get their oil and that we should go back and take it as payment for the hundreds of billions of dollars that we wasted there. It’s curious that Trump is so interested in the money to be had but has shown little to no concern for the thousands of American lives lost in Iraq, the tens of thousands maimed, to say nothing of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed in the crossfire. Sure, he wants to give the family of each dead soldier a million in oil money. How about not getting them killed for oil in the first place?

Oh yeah, the room was empty:

CPAC2013 – Donald Trump speech

This year’s CPAC has many scratching their heads in that right extremists like Trump, Palin, Allen West and Dick Morris are headlining but more moderate voices have been completely ignored. If the conservative movement is planning on swaying Latinos, independents and moderates to vote for them, they’re not doing a good job of recasting themselves as the party of serious adults.

Perhaps CPAC is putting all the loonies on display to really show the right-wing how NOT to act? We should only be so lucky.

Fox News · Fox News' Obama Derangement Syndrome

Obama’s Reelection is Literally Destroying Fox News


My mom used to say: Be careful what you wish for, it may come back to bite you in the [butt]


President Obama’s reelection has had a devastating impact on Fox News. Ratings are down, viewer trust is at an all time low, and now the network is caught in the middle of a Republican civil war.

Republicans and right wing media have become fond of claiming thatPresident Obama is out to destroy the Republican Party, but no other media organization has suffered greater damage from the president’s reelection than Fox News. But it wasn’t Obama that wounded Fox, it was a series of absurdly poor decisions that have left the network reeling.

As the Republican Party’s demographic base has shrunk, Fox News has followed. The recent news that FNC (Fox News Channel) registered their lowest ratings with the 25-54 demographic in 12 years is not a surprise. During Obama’s first term, Roger Ailes and company have geared their programming towards the newly radicalized base of the Republican Party. They ran wild with anti-Obama rhetoric and conspiracy theories. The daily Fox News message that the country really didn’t like Obama was one of the main reasons that the Republican Party went into the 2012 election thinking that they could nominate anybody and win. While Fox embraced the quest to make Obama a one term president with gusto, the rest of the country still liked Obama. Fox News alienated everyone who wasn’t a hard core conservative with their extremism. As a result, many moderate people stopped watching Fox.

However, the biggest problem for Fox News is that they were wrong. FNC was so blinded by their partisan mission that they got the 2012 election completely wrong. They were wrong about Obama’s vulnerability, wrong about Romney’s victory, wrong about who would show up to vote, wrong about Republicans retaking the Senate, and most importantly, they were completely wrong about the direction of the country. The success of Obama’s tax message, the popularity of ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and his action on immigration were a clear signal that the country was moving left. Instead of injecting a bit of reality into their coverage, Fox News kept trotting out people like Sarah Palin and Dick Morris to tout the inevitability of Romney’s victory. Viewers reacted to Fox’s propaganda over facts attitude by giving award the network their lowest trust ratings ever. Except for the political right, viewers don’t trust Fox.

The third wheel to fall off the Fox News juggernaut is the now out in theopen civil war between the Republican Party establishment, and the tea party. Fox News employs both Karl Rove, the leader of the establishment push back, and several tea party darlings, like Mike Huckabee. Fox News was a big factor in the promotion of the right wing billionaire backed AstroTurf movement known as the tea party in 2009 and 2010, but over the past year, they have been trying to distance themselves from the monster that they helped create. President Obama’s landslide reelection turned what was stealth conflict inside the Republican Party into full on public warfare. Fox News is going to be forced to alienate a portion of their audience by picking a side. So far, the network has tried to straddle the middle publicly, but the firing of Sarah Palin made it clear that Murdoch and Ailes are siding with the party establishment.

All of these problems at Fox News were caused by Obama’s reelection. If Romney beats Obama, Fox News was correct about the election. They have a Republican president to sell, and the warfare between the establishment and the tea party goes back underground.

Firing Sarah Palin and Dick Morris won’t be enough to fix what is wrong with Fox News. Like the Republican Party, Fox execs think that adopting a more moderate tone will bring the viewers back. It won’t. Having a conservative slant is not the same thing as partisan political activity. Cosmetic changes can’t hide the fact that viewers are rejecting both the ideology and the tone of the network.

Fox News will continue to lead in total viewership until either CNN gets their act together or MSNBC is available in more homes, but their viewership edge, which is built on monopoly of conservative news viewers, is camouflaging some much bigger issues.

The Fox News audience is static. Fewer younger people are watching, and fewer Americans trust the network. Fox News is an aging network, with aging leadership that is being left behind because, like the Republican Party, they are fighting losing battles against demographics and time.

In other words, the fallout from Obama’s election to a second term is causing the piecemeal destruction of what we used to know as Fox News.

Fox News

Dick Morris On Fox News Ouster: ‘I Was Wrong At The Top Of My Lungs’ (VIDEO)

Mr. Morris sticks to his talking points: “…at the top of [his] lungs.”

TPM LiveWire

Dick Morris opened up about his departure from Fox News in an interview with CNN Wednesday night, telling Piers Morgan, “I was wrong, and I was wrong at the top of my lungs.”

But a lot of people on Fox News called the election wrong, Morgan said, including Karl Rove, whose contract at the network was recently renewed.

“I think that I was wrong at the top of my lungs. Maybe I’m being made a poster child for that,” Morris said.

Morris said he doesn’t resent the decision. “Look, Fox has given me the opportunity of a lifetime. Fifteen years, 3,000 interviews, and at some point a great marriage has to come to an end.”

Watch the interview:



Fox News · Fox News Viewers

Fox Viewers: Fools or Marks?

Fox Bobblehead Idiots - Morris, O'Reilly, Hannity, Doocy   :   http://mariopiperni.com/

Mario Piperni

This take on the reason Fox let Dick Morris go is just about right.

Morris was so laughably wrong in almost everything he said that even many die-hard conservatives no doubt found him to be a buffoon. When he tells you over and over again that there’s no way your side can lose, and then they do, his credibility suffers even with people who want to believe him. But what really did him in, I think, was when it came out in December that he was, in all probability, running a scam on the Fox News viewers whom he implored to contribute to his super PAC to defeat Barack Obama. None of the money went to that cause, instead probably finding its way back into Morris’s pocket. It’s one thing to treat Fox viewers like fools—most of the network’s personalities do that every day. But it’s quite another to treat them like marks. If you do it as blatantly as Morris did, the entire brand is threatened.

In the end, it became too obvious that Dick Morris wasn’t working for the betterment of the conservative movement, or the Republican party, or Fox News. He was working for the betterment of Dick Morris. Once that became all too obvious, I’m sure Ailes had no qualms about showing him the door. After all, there’s plenty more where he came from.

Fox viewers – fools? Nah. Really?

Morris might have been more blatant in his ways than the many grifters who appear daily on Fox but there’s a fine line between Morris’ antics and those of say, a Bill O’Reilly. Truth and honesty would never take precedence over the $20 million O’Reilly pulls in each year in salary alone from Fox. Bill knows what his audience of low-information muppets wants to hear and he delivers without fail.


Right Wing Folly · Right Wing Scams

Rachel Maddow: Conservatism Riddled With Scams And Rackets (video)

Rachel Maddow reviews the many ways the conservative movement is rife with scammers who are more interested in making a buck off the fear and paranoia of conservative media audiences than they are in crafting a cogent political arguments.



GOP PAC Scams · Right Wing Internet Scams · Right-wing disinformation campaign

Rachel Maddow Rips Conservative Media For Scamming Donors

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow has no qualms about exposing the underbelly of the Right-Wing Super PAC scamming business and the Right-Wing media’s compliance.  This woman is awesome.  No wonder she’s beating brain dead Hannity in the ratings.

The Huffington Post

Rachel Maddow tore into members of the conservative media on her Monday MSNBC show for what she called “scamming” gullible members of their own party who donate to various Super PACs.

Maddow discussed how watchdog group Media Matters recently looked into conservative pundit Dick Morris’ Super PAC and found that some of his key expenditures included renting his own email list, which is operated by Newsmax Media.

“So your money … goes to Dick Morris, who apparently then pays it to Newsmax to send emails, and then Newsmax maybe just pays it back to Dick Morris to pay for the email addresses to which they just sent all of his emails,” Maddow said. “What these financial reports seems to indiciate is that donations to Dick Morris’ Super PAC substantially end up just going to Dick Morris.” She added that Morris’ Super PAC has been around for a couple of years “so maybe it doesn’t always look like a scam,” but that more and more “scammy-looking” arrangements have been coming to light — as in the case of the well funded Tea Party group Freedom Works.

Dick Armey, the man who helped build the conservative group, recently left and arranged an $8 million golden parachute for himself upon his departure, which raised some eyebrows. Then news broke that Freedom Works president Matt Kibbe allegedly used the group’s staff and funds to write part of his book. “So if you think about it, anyone donating to Freedom Works was effectively paying for the staff time and the resources to produce a project that just personally profited one of the people who works there,” Maddow said. “A scam.”

Maddow likened the situation to what she called Newt Gingrich’s “direct mail scam,” where he would give businesses fake awards, which gave them the opportunity to donate $5,000 to meet him. “Congratulations to you!” Maddow quipped. “Where is your check to me?”

She also compared the situation to what she called the “scammy campaign” where Mike Huckabee asked supporters to donate $2,500 to “help fund the battle” against Obamacare, which also went towards helping to keep Huckabee on TV to repeal Obamacare.

“Will having Mike Huckabee on TV repeal Obamacare? I’m checking with the constitution, but I don’t think so,” Maddow said. She later added, “If you are a person who has long been fascinated by how similar the conservative ‘be afraid’ direct mail that asks for money looks to the kind of direct mail that tries to scam your grandmother out of her savings … it is amazing to see, if you have been watching this over time … is how persistent this is.”

Fox News · Karl Rove

Rove returns to Fox after 27-day absence

That didn’t take long.  I had hoped his hiatus was more permanent,  but after all, he is Karl Rove…


He’s back — Karl Rove returned to Fox News on Monday night for his first appearance in 27 days.

The Fox News contributor, who was reportedly benched from the cable network, was back on the air Monday on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Rove, who appeared alongside Democratic consultant and fellow Fox News contributor Joe Trippi, discussed the implications of the looming fiscal cliff.

“Gentlemen, welcome back,” Baier said after introducing the pair.

“Good to be back,” Trippi replied.

Rove did not say anything to address his return.

Last week, New York’s Gabe Sherman reported that Fox News president Roger Ailes told staffers to keep the main faces associated with the election — namely, Rove and Dick Morris — off the air for a while. According to the report, producers were ordered to get permission before booking either pundit.

Rove was last on Fox News on Nov. 13, when he appeared on “Hannity” to discuss government regulations. The Nov. 13 “Hannity” show also marked fellow Fox News contributor Morris’s last appearance on the network. Trippi, meanwhile, was last on Fox News on the Nov. 30 edition of “Happening Now.”

During Monday night’s “Special Report,” Rove suggested several ideas to deal with the fiscal cliff and tax policy, including capping itemized deductions at $25,000 or at $50,000. He also said “it’s going to be very hard to get the Republican caucus to go for rates. They’ve offered revenues — they said, look, okay, fine, you won the election. We’ll give you the $800 billion, but let’s find it in a way that has less of an economic impact.”

As the eight minute segment wrapped, Baier told the pair, “Gentlemen, we will do it again. Thanks very much.”

Rove has no upcoming Fox News appearances listed on his website.

Fox News · Karl Rove

Fox News to Karl Rove And Dick Morris, ‘Bye Bye, Boys’

This is too delightful.  I can hardly compose myself.  Three back to back articles about right-wing hacks and they’re all just plain bad news for the GOP.  However, this one is my absolute favorite of the day:

Apparently lying all day long on Fox News is okay, but getting your election predictions wrong by huge margins, is strictly grounds for the boot on Faux News

Addicting Info

In the continuing, squirming readjustment of the Republican party since the gut punch known as Election 2012, and in a story that’s either completely stunning or pulled from the “why’d it take so long?” vaults, Fox News chief, Roger Ailes, has seen the light and given the boot to crow-eating duo Karl Rove and Dick Morris.

It’s no secret that both Rove and Morris took preposterous punditry to its height during the election – Rove with his infamous post-Ohio “it’s premature!” hissy fit and Morris’ smarmy, smiling, absolute assurances that “Romney will win in a landslide.” In the pre-election culture at Fox News it’s likely everyone would’ve looked away and neither would’ve been called on their crazy. But it’s a new day, the playbook has changed, and this one says both were wrong, both made the boss look bad, both are gone.

Stunning and “why’d it take so long?”

New York Magazine reports that given the new, somewhat chagrined post-election atmosphere at Fox News, it’s time for “freshening story lines – and in some cases, changing the characters”:

According to multiple Fox sources, Ailes has issued a new directive to his staff: He wants the faces associated with the election off the air — for now. For Karl Rove and Dick Morris — a pair of pundits perhaps most closely aligned with Fox’s anti-Obama campaign — Ailes’s orders mean new rules. Ailes’s deputy, Fox News programming chief Bill Shine, has sent out orders mandating that producers must get permission before booking Rove or Morris.

In other words, gentlemen, you are no longer needed.

Likely they’ll find other pulpits, other soapboxes; other carnivals at which to bark, probably sooner as opposed to later. But until then the airwaves will seem somehow clearer. Take a deep breath and enjoy. Ahhhhhh.


Fox News · Fox News Distortions · Sean Hannity

Hannity Pretends Christine O’Donnell Never Said She Dabbled In Witchcraft

Image via Wikipedia

Here is an excellent analysis by “Ellen” over at News Hounds, regarding Sean Hannity’s hypocrisy.  Hannity and his guests constantly bash Democrats for things that may have happened over 40 years ago.  Yet, he’s bitchin’ and moanin’ that the Dems are running a smear campaign on Christine O’Donnell…

News Hounds

Sean Hannity may have broken the record for most disingenuousness and hypocrisy in one Fox News segment last night (9/20/10). It started with Hannity whining about those meanie Democrats “orchestrating a smear campaign” against Christine O’Donnell. As if Hannity ever does anything but smear anyone he considers a political opponent. But then Hannity added dishonesty to disingenuousness by saying that Bill Maher “led the charge” for Democrats by “trying to suggest that she (O’Donnell) dabbled in witchcraft as a high schooler.” In fact, as Hannity must surely know, Maher did not suggest anything. O’Donnell said it herself, plain as day, that she had dabbled in witchcraft.

Hannity’s suggestion that Maher “led the charge” is also blatantly false. Maher is no Democratic operative. He describes himself as a libertarian who endorsed Bob Dole. Maher released the video – and promises more – because O’Donnell has refused to come on his show (video below).

O’Donnell did nothing to help herself over the weekend by canceling two appearances on Sunday talk shows with dubious excuses. In fact, I’d argue that it’s really not about the witchcraft but O’Donnell’s cowardly response to the revelations. But somehow, neither Hannity nor his guest, deadbeat Dick Morris, seemed to think of that.

Instead, Hannity “defended” O’Donnell by whining that nobody paid any attention to President Obama’s past. Right, nobody EVER discussed Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers (with whom Obama had at most a casual friendship long after Ayers had become an upstanding citizen) during the 2008 campaign.       Continue reading…