As noted by Foser, the “usual suspects” (Mark Halperin, Roger Simon, Tim Russert of course and too many others to mention here) have pronounced her performance during the recent Philadelphia Democratic debate as “disastrous” (including Mickey Kaus of Slate, whose track record in these matters is so bad that I can’t imagine why he would be hired by a celebrity supermarket tabloid, let alone a online magazine with Slate’s visibility and otherwise occasionally interesting content).
Foser documents how the “conventional wisdom” tracked from “well, she held her own and made a misstep or two” to “God, look at how she imploded” within a matter of a few hours. And I’ll admit that I fed into that in my small way by putting up the “Politics of Parsing” video by the Edwards campaign; though I think the video is a totally fair shot, it begins with the end of a question by Russert that Bill Clinton said was “breathtakingly misleading” about Social Security, and I agree with him.
All of this has seemed to kick-start a new round of attacking Hillary over some truly brainless minutiae, including the supposed controversy over whether or not she left a tip at an Iowa restaurant. In response, waitress Anita Esterday (the server in question at the restaurant) proved herself to be one of the smartest people in America, as Foser notes…
(Esterday) understands what America's media elite do not: Stories like this are a colossal waste of time and distract from things that are actually important. As Esterday told one reporter, "You people are really nuts. ... There's kids dying in the war, the price of oil right now -- there's better things in this world to be thinking about than who served Hillary Clinton at Maid-Rite and who got a tip and who didn't get a tip."And fresh from the “stories” about “the laugh,” we are now fed dreck such as something foisted by Chris Matthews about Hillary’s hand-clapping, and even more inane is the latest dustup over whether or not she planted a question at a public appearance.
Update 11/13/07: On the other hand, I'm down with Bowers on this (h/t Atrios); the way he describes it, HRC definitely has a problem now.
I’m taking time to mention this stuff because, as Foser points out, this marks the beginning of a whole new round of “narrative reinforcement” by our corporate media that disturbingly echoes the treatment of Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004. And we all know how those elections turned out.
And this doesn’t mean I’m converting to support Hillary, by the way. I will support the Democratic nominee, but until results prove otherwise, that person right now is still John Edwards is far as I’m concerned.
But as a gesture of respect to Clinton and an acknowledgement that this game is supposed to be played the right way, I want to see Edwards beat her fair and square on the issues, not childish corporate media nonsense.