There is nothing more mystifying in the annals of mainstream media political coverage than its over-heated, biased coverage of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Like the neo-cons that concocted the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the MSM has been wrong about everything involving the Clintons. They were wrong when they attributed a false sense of entitlement to the Hillary campaign when it began. They were wrong when they called Bill Clinton racist for pointing out the obvious press bias against him and his wife during the campaign. They were wrong about both sulking since the end of the primary season. They were wrong about either Clinton being hesitant to support Barack Obama once the contest was over.
The "what are they really thinking" coverage of the Clintons has a National Enquirer quality to it. No one "close to the Clintons" has ever been quoted by name saying anything that the reporters and commentators have used to drive their anti-Clinton story-lines. The MSM dreams up Clinton devious machinations in their heads, willing to accept "confirmation" by any lower-rung flunky who wants to ingratiate themselves with the MSM by giving them what they want to keep the mirage of psycho-drama alive to justify their past pronouncements and future perpetration of the myth of the Clintons as selfish egomaniacs who will do anything to advance – well, what is it now? Hillary in 2012?
Hillary’s tremendous speech last night at the DNC convention and her unequivocal support of Obama’s candidacy should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has listened to what she and Bill have been saying since the primaries were over. Yet, we were subjected to weeks of speculation about whether she would really get behind him or just mail it in at this convention. No doubt, there was a large minority of former Hillary supporters gathered in Denver who were still bitter about the campaign, disappointed in the dramatic near-miss by the first legitimate woman candidate for president, etc. But Hillary was never one of them. Always knowing what’s right for the nation first and the party second, Hillary had long ago resolved her understandable disappointment and offered to do anything to help Obama get elected.
Hillary’s stemwinder of a speech was expertly crafted and dynamically delivered. She had a strong message to those who still clung to candidacy as an excuse to sit out this election or, god help them, vote McCain. In the most direct challenge I’ve ever heard a politician put to her most ardent supporters, she asked "were you in this campaign just for me?" What a beautiful rejection of the politics of personality that the MSM has been accusing her of for all these years. Not only does she think it is not all about her – she told her supporters, not so gently and in no uncertain terms, to knock it off and get real: After all that hard work on these important issues, you are going to sit back and give this thing to John McCain? Are you crazy??!!
The most dramatic moment was at the close of the speech when she called up the spirit of super-patriot Harriett Tubman. As read strongly by Clinton, Tubman’s words read like angry, life-affirming poetry on the Underground Railroad:
If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.
The more clever of the network analysts, always watching out for the Devious Ways of Clinton, might dismiss this as a cynical way to counteract allegations of racism in the Clinton campaign by calling up an African-American icon. But Hillary Clinton has always known her history. And now she has made her own, by her historic campaign and, now, by her strong plea to her supporters to get to work for Obama.
The cable talkers had almost universal praise for Hillary’s speech – "did what she had to do" was the consensus, without giving her the benefit of considering it was also what she wanted to do. Over on Fox Noise, of course, it was a different story. Juan Williams, the only reasonable voice on the channel (and that’s only occasionally – he is often very wrong), who was almost in tears in praise of Michelle Obama’s home-run on Monday, was mysteriously absent as GOP flunkies like Bill Kristol and Brit Hume chewed over whether she said enough nice things about Obama in the speech.
But, after less than an hour of giving Hillary her due on the real news channels, they all slid into the same anti-Clinton story-line in anticipation of Bills’ address tonight. Will he get behind the ticket, will it be begrudging, is he still bitter and blah de blah blah. After Bill Clinton delivers his rousing affirmation of all things Obama tonight – then what? Having been proved wrong about the Clintons yet again, do you think they could get off of it?...