24 Comments
Jun 24, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

Hillary had been vilified for two decades by the time election season rolled around in 2015. So many of my friends and family said to me "I just can't get myself to vote for Hillary". When asked why, their answer's were inevitably the media talking points, never anything about her actual record as First Lady, Senator, or Secretary of State. Sadly to say perhaps the two attributes working best for Biden is that he's white and a male. That's not to disparage Joe. Everyone likes him even on the other side. Just listen to the Lindsey Graham quotes from the Lincoln Project ad. He's a man of great heart, integrity, and empathy-the anti Trump. But what is it going to take for this country to see women, especially women of color on an equal footing with men? When it comes to equality, we as a nation have a long way to go. Hopefully the demonstrations that began because of the brutal murder of George Floyd is a sign that things are finally starting to change.

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I join all my friends in pointing out that both Clintons, Bill and Hillary, were the subjects of vicious RW attacks for the best part of 40 years. No charge was too absurd for the RW to create. No charge was too absurd for “the Media” to investigate.

It really goes too far to assert “women hating” as the main cause of such attacks. It’s just one arrow in the quiver of RW attacks on Democrats.

I’m particularly grateful that Theodora has joined with the concept that America’s problems didn’t start with Trump. The ramification is that removing Trump will not solve those problems. The problems run through the entire Republican Party. We can only hope the “Never Trumpers” have seen what the Republican policies create. Perhaps they’ve repented.

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I do believe that at least a small number have.

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This is the number one overarching reason. The second reason being that the press spent decades deriding Bill and Hillary Clinton with story after innuendo after hit-piece - that kind of stuff really adds up for the casual on-the-fence voter who said to themselves, "Gee, everyone has always said that Hillary is dirty. Maybe she is. I'll vote for Trump to show them all. Ha-ha."

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author

yes, many factors involved. but it's interesting, as you note, that Hillary derided for decades. yet Biden's been in public life longer. why not long campaign to demonize him?

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Because Biden wasn’t seen as dangerous to the Republicans and their financiers. The Clintons could, and did, break the Republican hold on the South.

Equally, we’ve seen Joe Biden for these 40 years and suddenly trying to redefine him as a dangerous leftist radical is more than “media” both RW & “legitimate” can accomplish.

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founding

And given how badly Biden’s first two campaigns to get the presidential nomination went the GOP didn’t seem him as a threat. In contrast they started targeting Bill Clinton when he was still governor. They knew he would be a very formidable opponent.

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founding
Jun 24, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

I have to say I agree that the press was out to get Bill Clinton. I have always believed that it was the fact that they couldn’t stand the fact that a hick from nowheresville Arkansas had risen above them. They repeatedly called him Bubba just like they repeatedly called former governor Jimmy Carter a peanut farmer. (I asked a woman I know where had worked for Chris Matthews in the 90s and she confirmed my suspicion. She said Matthews constantly carped about how a guy from Arkansas who was no better educated than Matthews was could be president.)

All of the myriad scandals that he was investigated for except for Monica were right wing invented smears that were shopped to the the august NY Times’s reporter Jeff Gerth who became their willing scribe. Because the Times was reporting these things the rest of the media followed them like sheep. At least the media didn’t join in with the accusation that the Clintons had murdered one of their closest friends but I don’t remember them expressing the appropriate outrage when millions of our tax dollars were spent on multiple investigations of that vicious, cruel smear. I urge everyone to read the book The Hunting of the President by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason if you want to understand how the right wing smear machine uses the mainstream media to do its bidding. As Steve Bannon has said, it is the mainstream media that does the real damage to Democrats.

But I believe there is another reason for the despicable treatment that Hillary got and that is the disdain that the mainstream media has for Democrats in general. Just look at the treatment they gave to both Al Gore and John Kerry and how they still won’t give up their “Democrats in disarray” narrative which portrays Democrats as if they are a bunch of silly kids who can’t make up their minds. In contrast Bush was more fun to have a beer with and did a good imitation of a manly man. They started going after Biden but I think that Trump has frightened the media so badly that they aren’t will to play along this time. That doesn’t mean that they won’t in the future, though.

As I am writing this my husband is watching Morning Joe. Jake Sherman is on and he just said that today’s Republican Party got started in 1994 when Joe was there. He even repeated the truth of Joe’s complicity at the end of his interview. The silence from the panel was deafening! It made my day! I am sick of all these Republicans and former Republicans pretending the problem started with Trump, ignoring the fact that they are all responsible for paving the way for Trump.

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Eric,

I agree with this, and as always your point is well stated and well supported. My wife and daughters will readily confirm the different standards for women. If you doubt the pervasiveness of the different treatment, and all the existing data doesn't convince you, have a woman in you life take a car in for repair. After you see the quote, ask a man to take that same car to the same mechanic.

But I also think trump moved the needle when he went from "shake things up" candidate to incompetent leader. If the "we need government experience" needle, now arguably pointed back towards please let there be competency, had been here in 2016 Hillary Clinton may have been viewed differently. In other words a disliked competent woman beats a cruel and self-serving man every time.

I see mention of RW media here, there and everywhere. RW attacks on the Clintons are just the tip of the iceberg. I don't know how we live with our 1st Amendment and fix the problems. But we must try.

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author

definitely. Trump had no record to run on so he was able to get press to turn election into referendum on the woman. As you note, w/ record now of 120k covid deaths and nearly 40M lost jobs that’s not as easy

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oh dude, I saw the headline and I was so scared that this was gonna be another crap thinkpiece (and I use think lightly) about "likability" and I am so happy it wasn't.

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author

ha. me too!

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The double standard is so evident in all the ways you mentioned. It also didn't help that the Clintons have been vilified for decades.

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About three weeks ago I asked the question, on facebook: In what way was Trump's win of the presidency different than any of the other 44? No one answered. He beat a woman. I saw this article and became a subscriber immediately. This insight is very important. Trump would never have stalked a man at the debates as he did her. I wish she had turned and slapped him. Then she would have won. In My Opinion. thanks for yours, too. Looking forward to more.

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There's one more thing I want to add regarding the Hillary versus Joe debate. People may not want to hear it, but Hillary Clinton had an issue connecting with a lot of people. She was exceptional when she did interviews or when she was speaking to small groups, but her rallies and her prepared remarks to large groups of people often came across as somewhat cringe-inducing. At least, that's the way they came across to me. On the other hand, Joe Biden is gifted with a folksy and easy manner. He's likable in the same way we take to actors Jimmy Stewart, Tom Hanks and since he played him, Fred Rogers. It's an intangible - a "je ne sais quoi". It's a quirk of human nature that we take to some things and not others.

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Beyond the comments quoted above, I'm reminded that The Times had Glenn Thrush covering her. Then he was accused of sexual harassment. Then he was reinstated but, we were assured, not to cover politics. Then he started writing political stories again.

It would be interesting to trace the "reporters," male and female, who covered Clinton, and just what they have said about Biden.

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founding

Chris Cillizza was a big offender especially on the email “scandal”. Maggie Haberman was another.

https://www.salon.com/2017/10/25/new-york-times-reporter-just-demonstrated-some-astonishing-false-equivalency/

Nate Silver called her out, too:

https://www.thewrap.com/nate-silver-and-maggie-haberman-duke-it-out-on-twitter/

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The New York Times is the greatest newspaper in America outside the beltway. Inside the beltway, it has some fine investigative and policy reporters. To call those who cover politics for it reporters insults the profession, especially Haberman. As for Cillizza, I'd add that he and Dana Milbank did a spoof one time referring to Clinton as endorsing a product called "Mad Bitch Beer," and they were "reprimanded." They should have been fired on the spot.

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THANK YOU!!

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author

yr welcome

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To bolster the misogyny argument: Trump stalked her at the debates, stage craft. He NEVER would have done that to another man. It wouldn't even have occurred to him to do. But being him, he took advantage, didn't he. No question mark, it's rhetorical.

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Agree with you as well as all the comments. And add the misogynistic attacks will be included once Biden announces choice of VP.

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Well, I agree with all but one comment! Something to do with the second Republican party. Sigh

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This is extremely misguided.

I could write a book detailing the reasons I hate Hillary, and I voted for her. Hillary was the most disliked politician in the country, but made herself the candidate any way. And 'made herself the candidate' exactly summarizes her position in the party she and Bill turned into a second Republican party. Let Biden advocate M4A and we'll see stuff stick.

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