Friday, September 30, 2016


At the Federalist, Mollie Hemingway decries the media coverage of Sandra Fluke and Alicia Machado -- which, she says, is totally the fault of evil Democrats conniving with the LIE-beral media, because there'd be no possible reason to cover the two women otherwise:
Alicia Machado Is 2016’s Sandra Fluke, A Democratic Public Relations Scam

Democrats and the media work together seamlessly to push the idea that innocent, random young women are victimized by mean old Republican men.

In February 2012, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing about how an Obamacare mandate would harm religious liberty....

Democrats on the committee wanted to have a Georgetown Law student testify in favor of forcing religious groups that provide student health plans to violate their consciences if they don’t sponsor abortifacients and birth control. She wasn’t seated, and Democrats walked out in dramatic protest, later holding an event to hear her speak about how evil her Catholic university was for not violating Catholic teaching.

Sandra Fluke became the centerpiece of the Democrats’ “War on Women” messaging that they pounded throughout the year. The media completely ate it up, hook, line, and sinker....

A Lexis-Nexis search shows that the media ran too many stories in 2012 for the search to filter (more than 3,000) but a cursory search shows the Washington Post ran a whopping 139 stories on Sandra Fluke that year and CNN had 146 pieces dealing with Fluke. MSNBC (94), New York Times (63), Associated Press (49), NBC (23), Los Angeles Times (13), ABC (13), and CBS (11) also played their role in advancing this story.

The Fluke media blitz was managed by powerhouse public relations firm SKDKnickerbocker, and it continued throughout the year....
Yes, and why did the "Fluke media blitz" continue throughout the year? Hemingway would have you believe that its because Democrats are evil, sinister, baby-killing manipulators of the media, and journalists are all too willing to be manipulated.

But two words are missing from her piece, which runs more than 1700 words: "Rush" and "Limbaugh."

If you'd spent 2012 on a desert island and all you knew about the Sandra Fluke story was what Hemingway tells you in this article, you'd have absolutely no idea that the most popular voice in right-wing talk radio went on a three-day, all-out attack on Fluke, smearing her 53 times, most notoriously calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute." Let me repeat myself: Hemingway decries the large amount of media coverage Fluke received without ever mentioning this.

And so she moves on to Alicia Machado:
We’re in the middle of the exact same phenomenon with Alicia Machado, the former Miss Universe Donald Trump allegedly called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” ...

Hillary Clinton made Machado the centerpiece of a line of attack against Donald Trump during Monday night’s debate....

A check of Lexis-Nexis on Thursday morning, less than 72 hours after Clinton unveiled her campaign message, showed that CNN transcripts had 46 mentions of Machado, another 27, and CNN Wire with another 23. The New York Times has already run 11 stories around Machado, the Associated Press as many as 17, the Los Angeles Times with five, the Washington Post with five, and more in the Chicago Tribune, NPR’s “All Things Considered,” the San Francisco Chronicle, the Arizona Republic, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Boston Globe, CBS News, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and even smaller papers such as the Tulare Advance-Register.

It was immediate and it was everywhere. That’s not a coincidence. That’s coordination.
If you're guessing that something happened in those first 72 post-debate hours that somehow didn't make it into Hemingway's piece, congratulations, you're right: Trump woke up the morning after the debate, called in to Fox and Friends, and immediately returned to the subject of Machado:
"I know that person. That person was a Miss Universe person," Trump told the Fox News morning show. "And she was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst, she was impossible," he said. "She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem. Not only that, her attitude."
I'm sure Hemingway will be back later in the year with an updated count of Machado media stories -- and I'm sure she'll never mention Trump's decision to continue attacking Machado on Tuesday, or his decision to send surrogates out all week with anti-Machado talking points, or to launch a pre-dawn Twitter attack on Machado today. (Nor will she mention that Limbaugh attacked Machado too.)

To Hemingway, there can only be a sinister explanation for the fact that stories appear in the media alleging that "women are victimized by mean old Republican men." The actual "mean old Republican men" are utterly invisible to her.


Jim Snyder said...

Conservatives are always the victims, reality be damned.

Trump represents the triumph of "constitutional conservatism's" alternate reality over empirical reality.

Not coming up with a pithy encapsulation, but Sanchez' "epistemic close" and Altemeyer's authoritarianism seem relevant here.

Jim Snyder said...

That's "epistemic closure", sorry.

Jimbo said...

Fluke was the subject dozens of the most vicious stories by not only fat slob Rush but also Fox (many times), Breitbart, Daily Caller and utter wingnut propaganda outlets. In addition, the Machado story is not only backed up with evidence, Trump himself continues the slander and lies (e.g. the bob0existent sex tape).

Victor said...

I hope she got paid by t-RUMP before she wrote this, otherwise, she's screwed.

ESPECIALLY, since she's a female.

Anyone know how much she weighs?
It could be critical for her later, if she didn't get her cash up-front!

Feud Turgidson said...

Might be all here recognize the ref to "Altemeyer", but just in case not, here's Bob's "Authoritarians" book-length exposition in handy PDF form.
It's not pirated; Bob himself has put it about this way.

Altemeyer's work has proved so seminal (not just to books and essays by it's most prolific user, John Dean - yes, THAT John Dean), that it forms the core of one of our Top Two (arguably three) Theories about our cute little rascally right wing nuts in the form of the "NWA Scale".

The other Top Theory - tribalism-based resentment - I expect everyone here knows is most entertainingly supported by the infectiously readable Rick Perlstein (I can't resist returning again and again to but then finding myself torn in choosing between Nixonland and Before the Storm, the first like if EL Doctorow were less novelist and more historian, and the second really f**king depressing tho in its reach as seminal as Altemeyer's work) and otherwise is variously contrived and supported on the more doggedly academic scale by a veritable summer school of high-falutin' social engineering gurus which our gummint likes to consult. One of the more curmudgeonly yet tolerable if not actually lovable examples of the latter guru troupe is Roger Petersen of MIT, currently available to be seen as well as heard 'splainin' white eurotrash tribalism to Bloggingheads innkeeper Bob Wright here:

Last I heard, Altemeyer's still around, doing fine.

Last I heard from Perlstein you can hear yourself here:

Trump's certainly bringing out the top academic samurai.

rclz said...

does anyone know if there is a way to get email follow ups without posting a comment?

Jim Snyder said...

@rclz: my browser (chrome) shows a "follow-up" checkbox below "Choose an identity". If you don't see it, try an incognito / private window. If that doesn't expose the checkbox, try a different browser.

@feud: dunno Petersen, thanks for the link.

Jim Snyder said...

@Feud: to follow up on your Perlstein refs, this is my fave entry to Perlstein's writing:

Jim Snyder said...

@Feud: This morning Digby recommended another Perlstein article:

@rclz: I missed "without posting a comment". How about posting an empty comment? Or bookmark the comment section. You won't get an e-mail, but it'd be easy to check the bookmark periodically.

Unknown said...

Trump proves every day what a buffoon he is. He could have easily defused the Machado incident after the debate but his bruised ego wouldn't allow that.

rclz said...

The other thing Trump could have done was say, "You know that was 20yrs ago and I'm a different person now and I feel bad for what I said to her."

Hahahah Just kidding, that would require him to admit fault and maybe even apologize but heaven forbid that happens.

KenRight said...