Monday, June 26, 2017

Sunday Morning Comin' Down



"There's No Time Like the Present" Edition.

In which Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times dines out on moldy pizza from the back of the fridge, so why shouldn't I?

Specifically. America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual took time out from his many side gigs gassing on about "Whither Conservatism?"* for PBS, NPR, TED Talks, the college lecture circuit and Meet the Press to appear on Fareed Zakaria's GPS this Sunday to gas on about "Whither Conservatism?"

And here's a fun fact: it was all leftovers.


From Sunday:
There was a book that was really useful to read -- a short book -- called the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn.
If this sounds mighty familiar, it should.  This was the crutch on which Mr. Brooks was leaning hard over a year ago ( NYT, March 25, 2016"The Post-Trump Era"):
According to Kuhn, intellectual progress is not steady and gradual. It’s marked by sudden paradigm shifts. There’s a period of normal science when everybody embraces a paradigm that seems to be working. Then there’s a period of model drift: As years go by, anomalies accumulate and the model begins to seem creaky and flawed. 
Then there’s a model crisis, when the whole thing collapses. Attempts to patch up the model fail. Everybody is in anguish, but nobody knows what to do.
This was back when Mr. Brooks was doing what Mr. Brooks always does when faced nose-to-nose with the ugly reality that his Republican Party is every bit as monstrous as those terrible Liberals always said it was: skipping right over the Grim and Inconvenient Present and moving on to giddy predictions about the Glorious Future!
This is a wonderful moment to be a conservative. For decades now the Republican Party has been groaning under the Reagan orthodoxy, which was right for the 1980s but has become increasingly obsolete. The Reagan worldview was based on the idea that a rising economic tide would lift all boats. But that’s clearly no longer true.
...

That’s where the G.O.P. is heading. So this is a moment of anticipation. The great question is not, Should I vote for Hillary or sit out this campaign? The great question is, How do I prepare now for the post-Trump era?

The first step clearly is mental purging: casting aside many existing mental categories and presuppositions, to shift your identity from one with a fixed mind-set to one in which you are a seeker and open to anything. The second step is probably embedding: going out and seeing America again with fresh eyes and listening to American voices with fresh ears, paying special attention to that nexus where the struggles of Trump supporters overlap with the struggles of immigrants and African-Americans.
...
Of course a year ago Mr. Brooks was 99.7% certain that Hillary Clinton would win, which meant that after the election he could slip off to the Aspen Institute to facilitate Exciting Round-tables on the Exciting Future of Conservatism with his fellow Serious Conservatives, while dashing off the occasional, disappointed "Why Won't President Hillary Unite Us?" column to meet his New York Times contractual obligations.

Because for Mr. Brooks, it is literally true in a perverse, Opposite World way that "There's No Time Like the Present".

But Hillary did not win. And for has last 157 days and counting, President Stupid and Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and +60 million Republican voters have proven over and over again  beyond any doubt whatsoever that the Left has been right about the Right all along.

Or, as I wrote on the occasion of Mr. Brooks first gavotte down this ridiculous goat path (David Brooks: The Great Project, Volume II -- The Panglossing):
You see, Mr. Brooks' relationship with the actual here-and-now here in America has always been a lot like Mr. Brooks' marriage:  a disaster Mr. Brooks which has been trying to get as far away from as humanly possible, because it is the graveyard of all his ridiculous postulating and pontificating about Man and God and Culture.  This is why Mr. Brooks has always reserved his biggest, gassiest lies for long paeans on the subject of Conservatism's amazing imaginary past -- which is always juuust out of sight in the Republican rear-view mirror -- and Conservatism's awesome imaginary future -- which is always juuust over the Republican horizon.

And he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling Republican voters...

...who showed all of the wealthy chumps who have underwritten Mr. Brooks' Great Project exactly what Conservatism's awesome future actually looks like:



But Mr. Brooks is a resourceful parasite who learned long ago that by using the right combination of lies he can keep a profitable scam going long after it is readily apparent to virtually everyone (except the chumps) that he is full of shit.  This is because, however freaked out the wealthy chumps who have underwritten his claptrap for all these years may be by the utter collapse of everything David Brooks has ever promised them about the Bright Conservative Future That Is Just Around The Corner --
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
--  David Brooks, November 5, 2014.
-- they are so completely hostage to the Sunk Cost Fallacy that they have no choice but to go right on buying what David Brooks is selling:



And what gallon-jugs of high-end wingnut rotgut is David Brooks peddling to his desperate, Whig-drunk clientele today?

What else but another gargantuan time-jump in which we fly-fly-fly right over the inconveniently incriminating here-and-now and into that Bright Conservative Future which David Brooks swears, by God and Emile Durkheim, is still Just Around The Corner...
Well, that was over a year ago, and now that our country is sliding into the Saarlac Pit of the Stupid Administration while virtually the entire Republican Party cheers it on as progress, Mr. Brooks' evergreen "The Coming Conservative Renaissance" knuckle-ball is no longer getting the job done.  Which is why he has to go to his most reliable backup junk:  the split-finger Both Siderist pitch.  

In this case, with a bit of ham-handed prestidigitation aided by the fawning Fareed Zakaria, Mr. Brooks magically turns the obvious, unhinged lunacy and scalding racism of his Republican Party...

...into an elite dismissal of "parties" plural.

According to Mr. Brooks (at the 4:13 mark of the video), "parties" are "not ideological anymore". which is going to come as a huge shock to the tens of millions Democrats who have squared off to fight -- however imperfectly -- for the principle of "Heath Care for All" (and public education as a civic necessity, and worker safety, and reproductive choice, and consumer protection, and mitigating climate change, and a living wage, and affordable college, and... and... and...) against the tens of millions Republicans who have sworn eternal fealty to the proposition that, if the Kenyan Usurper did it, it must be destroyed.

But Mr. Brooks sees none of this because Mr. Brooks lives in a sumptuously appointed, New York Times-funded Beltway cocoon from which he can can float high above the petty concerns of actual people in the real world, and make Laputan pronouncements like this:
What parties are these days are cultural signifiers.  Social identity markers.  And just (frown) teams. 
People think "What team has people like me on it? What fits my social identity?"
And yet strangely, the only evidence Mr. Brooks can bring to the table of people stumbling blindly into a political marriage that no amount of treachery, fraud, batshit lies, racism and treason by President Stupid can put asunder are white Republican women from the white Republican suburbs of Missouri who fell hard for a crazy white Republican lady from Alaska who got famous for calling a black guy a terrorist.  
A lot of suburban women in Missouri looked around and said, "Sarah Palin.  She's kinda like me."  And whether Sarah Palin believed in high tax rates or low tax rates or health insurance markets or, uh, some other health care policy. that's not what they were thinking about.  
Because, really, who in America is more dialed-in to the deepest, innermost thoughts of suburban women in Missouri than David Brooks, amirite?
They were thinking about "Who's white like me?" And for a lot of people in the Republican Party which is older, whiter and less educated at the core. Trump was like that.
No moral here. other than the usual:  The Sunday Shows are a wasteland of intellectually destitute relics of a bygone age who all know each other, are all bought into the same Beltway Both Siderist fairy tale about American culture and politics, and all keep their careers afloat by hanging onto each other like a roller rink full of flailing drunks trying to maintain their collective balance.  

*Thanks for the catch

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Matthew Dowd is a Fundamentally Ridiculous Person



Over in The Better Universe it would be a shocking and shameful thing to learn that ABC News' chief political analyst does not have the faintest idea how a bill is drafted and introduced in either the United States House or Senate.

Over in this universe, it's just par for the course.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Many Thanks To Noted Ridiculous Person Matthew Dowd For My New Blog Header


Couldn't have done it without you, Matty-boy!

Friday, June 23, 2017

In The Beginning...

"The junk [heroin] merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client."
-- William S. Burroughs, "Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness" with a big h/t to Neo Tuxedo for this quote.
For the record, I am perfectly aware that the roots of our long and tortured political history go back to Beringa, Eric the Red and Strom Thurmond quitting the Democratic Party in 1948 to form the segregationist States' Rights Democratic Party also known as the "Dixiecrats" (note:  The Dixiecrats were later dissolved and then gradually reconstituted into a much larger, more powerful and better-funded segregationist party called "The Republicans".)


But because this post will not be one billion words long, it will not cover anything like a territory that vast.  (I just told you that to trick you into reading this far! Insert Evil Laugh here!) So pedants and "whatabouters" take it elsewhere, preferably to Blogger or Wordpress where you can start your own blog and publish your own sweeping and comprehensive history of American politics.  Which I will gladly read and carp about :-)

Instead what you'll get for the price of admission is a simplified overview of  "How We Got Here" spanning roughly one human generation:
In population biology and demography, the generation time is the average time between two consecutive generations in the lineages of a population. In human populations, the generation time typically ranges from 22 to 32 years.
Let us begin.

Professional Left Podcast #394

"What monstrosities would walk the streets were some people's faces as unfinished as their minds."
-- Eric Hoffer


Links:
  • "‘That White Boy ’Bout to Lose’: The Inescapable Racial Politics of the Ga. 6th Special Election” by Jason Johnson
The Professional Left is "sponsored" by...





...and, of course, listeners like you!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

And I Looked, and Behold a Pale Whore...



And his name that sat on him was Derp.

And Hell followed with him.

In fulfillment of prophecy, Andy Lack has finally given America's most famous Cyborg Sent From The Future To Destroy America his own show.

Hugh Hewitt to Host Show on MSNBC

MSNBC is expanding weekend news with live programming until 9 p.m. ET Saturday and Sunday nights, TVNewser has learned.

As part of the expansion, conservative radio talk show host and MSNBC contributor Hugh Hewitt is getting a half hour show, airing Saturdays at 8 a.m. ET...

Hewitt’s first show, which will air live, is this Saturday morning. Expanding news programming has long been the goal of NBC News chairman Andy Lack, who created MSNBC 21 years ago...
America's most famous Cyborg Sent From The Future To Destroy America generates a lot of byproducts.

Most of them are toxic.

None of them are "news".

Let's go to the tape!  (h/t Crooks & Liars)


Never forget that your lives and your concerns mean absolutely nothing to the corporate hobgoblins who own and operate the American media.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

This Is Pretty Perfect

Matthew Dowd And The Bro-Mide Party




The Bro-Mide Party believes in good stuff and not bad stuff.

The Bro-Mide Party believes in Country over Party.

The Bro-Mide Party believes that the Murrican People stand with them in being in favor of positive things and against negative things.

The Bro-Mide Party believes in Civility n' shit.

The Bro-Mide Party believes the K'rupt Duopoly is behind all of our problems.

The Bro-Mide Party believes in compromise, except, of course, with the K'rupt Duopoly.

The Bro-Mide Party believes that since Both Sides Are Equally Awful, the Bro-Mide Party will inevitably sweep to power and enact lots of good stuff and no bad stuff (Bromide Party math:  Your K'rupt 65 million votes plus my 10,000 votes ... will give me 65,010,000 votes!)

The Bro-Mide Party believes that once they sweep to power they can swiftly and directly translate the sentiments found on vapid motivational posters fading away on the walls of middle management offices across America into concrete economic policy, climate change policy, foreign policy, health care regulatory policy, education policy, housing policy, public lands policy, energy policy, judicial policy, etc.

And lastly, the Bro-Mide Party proves P.T. Barnum was right: there's a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Don't You Dare Call It "Trumpism"



Or, as the lovely and talented Blue Gal wrote over at Crooks & Liars back in August of 2016:
Don't You Dare Call It 'Trump-ism'
I swear, imma marry that woman!

Lost in the long and ponderous shadows cast by the stupidest David Brooks column in a very long time was this little gem of stupid denialism in today's column by former George W. Bush chief speechwriter, senior Republican policy adviser and reliable Beltway Republican stalactite, Michael Gerson.
The GOP’s hard, messy options for destroying Trumpism
There is no such thing as "Trumpism", Mr. Gerson.  There is just "Republicanism" as all of us out here in the real world have experienced it for decades.
Trump has been ruled by compulsions, obsessions and vindictiveness...
Just like the base of the Republican Party.
He has demonstrated an egotism that borders on solipsism. 
Just like the base of the Republican Party.
His White House is divided, incompetent and chaotic...
Just like the minds of the base of the Republican Party.
He has told constant, childish, refuted, uncorrected lies...
Just like the base of the Republican Party.
[He has] ... demanded and habituated deception among his underlings. 
Just like the "Fair and Balanced" sewer from which the base of the Republican Party get their opinions.
He has promoted self-serving conspiracy theories
Christ on a chemtrail, Gerson, have you ever in whole your life actually met a member of the base of your Republican Party?  Or does your GOP come out of the same hokum hookah where David Brooks finds his?
He has displayed pathetic, even frightening, ignorance on policy matters foreign and domestic. 
Just like the base of the Republican Party.
He is dead to the poetry of language and to the nobility of the political enterprise, viewing politics as conquest rather than as service.
Just like the base of the Republican Party.  See also, "Any comment section of any Conservative website any time, day or night".
Trump has made consistent appeals to prejudice based on religion and ethnicity...
Just like the base of the Republican Party.
[He has] ... associated the Republican Party with bias. 
Honestly, I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this level of infantile self-deception from a grown-ass man.
He has stoked tribal hostilities. He has carelessly fractured our national unity. He has attempted to undermine respect for any institution that opposes or limits him — be it the responsible press, the courts or the intelligence community. 
You have just articulated the basic building blocks -- the Guanine and Adenine -- of the political DNA of the base of the Republican Party.
For many Republicans and conservatives, there is apparently no last straw, with offenses mounting bale by bale. 
And halfway through his column, Mr. Gerson's gives up on his own ridiculous thesis, because here is no such thing as "Trumpism".  There never has been, just as there never was a "Tea Party".  There is just raw, thuggish, nihilistic"Republicanism" as it has always existed behind the thin veneer of Beltway respectability that people like Michael Gerson were paid to applique onto the true face of the Party of Jefferson Davis.

And so Mr. Gerson asks the only question that is left for the Right to ask:
So what is the proper objective for Republicans and conservatives? It is the defeat of Trumpism, preferably without the destruction of the GOP itself. And how does that happen?
And his answer?  He has none.  He only has terrible alternatives, one of which is
Creating a conservative third party — as some have proposed — would have the effect of delivering national victories to a uniformly liberal and unreformed Democratic Party. A bad idea.
Fuck you and your fucking Both Siderism you knee-biter.  But in the spirit of unity, let us end on a note of agreement.
Whatever option is chosen, it will not be easy or pretty. And any comfort for Republicans will be cold because they brought this fate on themselves and the country.
They didn't bring this fate on themselves and the country. Mr, Gerson.

You did.  

You brought this fate on yourself and our country.

And we will never let you forget it.

David Brooks Breaks The Beltway Iron Rule Of David Brooks: Updated


It is mandatory to quote what David Brooks wrote this week.
It is forbidden to quote what David Brooks wrote last week.
--  Blue Gal

For reasons that he will never be compelled to reveal under oath, Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times has suddenly become so anxious to downplay the Trump/Russia investigation as a big 'ol nothingburger ("Let’s Not Get Carried Away") that everyone should ignore-- an investigation which is barely a month old and has not yet fully staffed up -- that he is willing to violate one of the Beltway's most sacred codes of conduct.

Willing to venture into the Forbidden Zone of his own past and break The Beltway Iron Rule Of David Brooks (emphasis added):
I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces “raising serious questions” (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas.

Now I confess I couldn’t follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep in the weeds. But I do remember the intense atmosphere that the scandal created...
Wow.

For you newer readers, here is an important bit of history.  Mr. Brooks never acknowledges his own previous writings, and his reaction when people bring his own words up to him in ways that are less than, say, a Meet the Press paean to his inerrant wisdom is distinctly vinegary --

David Brooks: Boo-Boos in Paradise

Wayne-bred David Brooks is the public intellectual of the moment. But our writer found out he doesn’t check his facts.

...
I called Brooks to see if I was misreading his work. I told him about my trip to Franklin County, and the ease with which I was able to spend $20 on a meal. He laughed. “I didn’t see it when I was there, but it’s true, you can get a nice meal at the Mercersburg Inn,” he said. I said it was just as easy at Red Lobster. “That was partially to make a point that if Red Lobster is your upper end … ” he replied, his voice trailing away. “That was partially tongue-in-cheek, but I did have several mini-dinners there, and I never topped $20.”

I went through some of the other instances where he made declarations that appeared insupportable. He accused me of being “too pedantic,” of “taking all of this too literally,” of “taking a joke and distorting it.” “That’s totally unethical,” he said.

...
I asked him about Blue America as a bastion of illegal immigrants. “This is dishonest research. You’re not approaching the piece in the spirit of an honest reporter,” he said. “Is this how you’re going to start your career? I mean, really, doing this sort of piece? I used to do ’em, I know ’em, how one starts, but it’s just something you’ll mature beyond.”...
Mr. Brooks also studiously avoids any venue where a stray member of the public might sneak in an dquote his own bullshit back to him because, well, this...



So, now that this rare celestial event has occurred and Mr. Brooks has opened the door (as we say in the prosecution business) to hauling his past into the present, let's see where that leads us.

First, because he really, really needs you to believe that the Trump/Russia investigation is a big 'ol nothingburger that everyone should ignore. David Brooks does the most David Brooks thing of all: brutally amputate huge, inconvenient swaths of the past so that it can be reverse-engineered into his topic sentence.  Thus the entire history of investigations into abuses of power by the executive branch is reduced to two and only two events:  Whitewater and Trump/Russia.
In retrospect Whitewater seems overblown. And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.
And all political scandals "at least since Watergate" are reduced to nothing but partisan witch-hunts which Both Sides deploy for no higher purpose than scoring political points.
In the politics of scandal, at least since Watergate, you don’t have to engage in persuasion or even talk about issues. Political victories are won when you destroy your political opponents by catching them in some wrongdoing. You get seduced by the delightful possibility that your opponent will be eliminated. Politics is simply about moral superiority and personal destruction.
So buh-by Iran/Contra!

So long, 9/11 Commission!

See ya later, Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi.

And with actual history either maimed beyond recognition or wiped completely away, Mr. Brooks can now safely ignore the Trump/Russia investigation as  a big 'ol nothingburger because all such investigations conducted by either party will always invariably breach the levees of civility and become a swamp of star chambers and political vendetta in which unspecified groups of "people" profit electorally and commercially from the mongering of made-up scandals.
The politics of scandal is delightful for cable news...

The politics is great for those forces responsible for the lawyerization of American life...

The politics of scandal drives a wedge through society. Political elites get swept up in the scandals. Most voters don’t really care...

The people who hype the politics of scandal don’t make American government purer. They deserve some of the blame for an administration and government too distracted to do its job, for a political culture that is both shallower and nastier, and for fostering a process that looks like an elite game of entrapment...
Mr. Brooks will not elaborate on which specific"scandals" (Benghaaazi, Emails, IRS "targeting" the Tea Party, Benghaaazi, Benghaaazi, Benghaaazi) or what "people" (the entire leadership of his Republican party) he could possibly be talking about, because;
  1. It is a violation of every dogma of his High and Holy Church of Both Siderism to ever specifically blame Republicans for crimes against democracy committed by Republican, and, 
  2. Mr. Brooks damn well know that if he ever labeled his asinine assertions clearly and correctly (journalism!) he would never make again make it to the Acela Corridor Quiet Car without children pointing and laughing at him in the street.
And so we get just one more nauseating example of Mr. Brooks concocting another wildly false equivalence in order to crank out another steaming log of fainting-couch piety denouncing the Culture of Washington.

But since Mr. Brooks' began his sweeping assertion that the Trump/Russia investigation is a big 'ol nothingburger that everyone should ignore by opening the paddock and taking his own past out for a walk, it would be irresponsible of me in the extreme if I did not remind you of some of the many, many times in The Past when Mr. Brooks has made other sweeping assertions about the salience or non-salience of some issue.  And to be 100% fair, I will be taking for my text today only those sweeping assertions which Mr. Brooks made years after his Wall Street Journal days when he allegedly learned his lesson about making sweeping assertions.

Back when...
...Those Pelosi Democrats were about to become "the stupid party" for believing that massive, unpaid-for tax cuts might somehow lead back to deficits. (November 2002)

...Mr. Brooks' used his brilliant command of post-causality economics (March 2001) to explain to stupid, parochial, panic-peddling Liberals that Yes, There Is a New Economy which makes Bush's massive tax cuts easily affordable!  "The real question about the Bush tax cuts, then, is not, Can we afford them? The real question is, Why are they so small?"

...the enlightened reforms of Great Men were on the verge of transforming the Republican Party into the Awesome Party!  (September 1999)

...this time the enlightened reforms of Great Men really were on the verge of transforming the Republican Party into the Awesome Party!  (August 2000)

... OK, jumped the gun a little, but seriously, very soon the enlightened reforms of Great Men will definitely transform the Republican Party into the Awesome Party!  (September 2001)

...You know what?  George W. Bush is not merely a Great Man (November 2002)  but a Great Man who is on his way to almost single-handedly purifying an Elite Institution so that it can get on with the business of restoring our National Greatness (February 2002)

...You know what sucks?  Both Sides suck!  Which is why I confidently predict we'll be seeing the rise of an Awesome Third Party -- a McCain/Lieberman Party -- real soon!  (August 2006)

...Let's all agree to forget about the many, many times over the last decade and a half that I've made this same, sweeping assertion, because this time it is definitely true that, thanks to the enlightened reforms of Great Men, the Republican Party is definitely on the verge of becoming into the Awesome Party!  (November 2014)

...and of course (April 2003) let us never forget about all the Hell those poor, stupid, Saddam-loving Liberal dupes and long-hair peaceniks are gonna pay "Now that the war in Iraq is over" and the unequivocal genius of George W. Bush is an established historical fact,
As you can see, Mr. Brooks has a long and storied history of being spectacularly wrong about everything except understanding exactly what kind of fairy tales his powerful and cosseted peer group wants to hear on any given day,  

And has been true since the beginning of time, flattering the powerful is the best dollar around.

Update:

We now go to Ace Crimes-Against-Journalism reporter, Brother Charlies Pierce, who is live at the scene of Mr. Brooks' massive, multiple-bullshit pileup
David Brooks Didn't Do the Reading. Look What Happened.

...
From The New York Times:

I was the op-ed editor at The Wall Street Journal at the peak of the Whitewater scandal. We ran a series of investigative pieces "raising serious questions" (as we say in the scandal business) about the nefarious things the Clintons were thought to have done back in Arkansas. Now I confess I couldn't follow all the actual allegations made in those essays. They were six jungles deep in the weeds. But I do remember the intense atmosphere that the scandal created. A series of bombshell revelations came out in the media, which seemed monumental at the time. A special prosecutor was appointed and indictments were expected. Speculation became the national sport. In retrospect Whitewater seems overblown. And yet it has to be confessed that, at least so far, the Whitewater scandal was far more substantive than the Russia-collusion scandal now gripping Washington.
This may be the most shameless passage of political journalism I have ever read. It contains more of the elements of passive-aggression, self-absolution, historical amnesia, and outright falsehood in the same place than any other single location this side of the author's own frontal lobes.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. Note the shabby, silly alibi that leads us off.
Now I confess I couldn't follow all the actual allegations made in those essays.
You were the editor, fool. It was your job to follow the actual allegations, because a lot of them were crazy tales from Arkansas con-men who looked at the national press and saw a battalion of easy marks.
They were six jungles deep in the weeds.
And hip-deep in pure bullshit, but do go on.
A series of bombshell revelations came out in the media, which seemed monumental at the time.
Some of those were contained in a series of "investigative essays" that helped drive Vince Foster to kill himself. We know this because the WSJ was specifically mentioned in his suicide note. I'm surprised a copy of it isn't hanging in the editorial department...
Go read it all here.


And here, the redoubtable Yastreblyansky lands one hay-maker after another.
There never was anything. The folks at the Wall Street Journal editorial page and their compatriots at the Times and the other rags devoted to the destruction of the Clinton presidency, "six jungles deep in the weeds", as Brooks says (don't ask me what that means), churned themselves into a frenzy over nothing, as should have been clear from that first incoherent Jeff Gerth article in the Times, March 8 1992. Gerth himself, Eric Boehlert notes,  
actually points his finger at Times editors who have steadfastly defended his work in the past and blames them for nearly ruining his Whitewater exposé. Gerth claims that editors, without his knowledge, rewrote his first and best-known Whitewater article and saddled it with factual errors. The unsettling revelation, buried in a Her Way endnote, raises even more questions about Gerth, the Times, and their Whitewater misadventure.

As they say, if it was a fight, somebody woulda stopped it.

And if it were "journalism",  somebody woulda stopped it 20 years ago.

Mr. Pierce subtitles his piece as follows:
And now he's rewriting the Whitewater history to absolve himself.
Which should come as a surprise to no one since virtually every single column David Brooks has ever squeezed out into the pages of The New York Times has been a wanton act of denial, deflection and radical historic revisionism all in the service of absolving David Brooks.

As your humble scrivener wrote long ago...
...it is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks. 
And odds are he'll get away with it too.