Clinton Worship Ethics


Every now and then, when they aren’t indignantly denying it, mainstream media journalists let their guard down and hand the public smoking gun evidence of their unprofessional, unethical, partisan Democratic Party bias. There’s not much risk anyway: after all, the only ones likely to call them on it are card-carrying members of the conservative media, and they are biased, don’t you know. The hosannas and halleluiahs all over cable news and the web celebrating Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy, however, is pretty hard to spin. This is Clinton worship from the news media, and nothing less, part of the embarrassing effort by uncritical, star-struck liberal reporters and pundits, particularly feminine ones, to ram Hillary Clinton down America’s throat in 2016. There is no excuse or justification for it. There’s not much risk anyway: after all, the only ones likely to call them on it are card-carrying members of the conservative media, and they are biased, don’t you know.

Do you recall if Amy Carter had any children? How about the two Johnson girls? Does Caroline Kennedy have offspring? The Nixon girls? When Jenna Bush was pregnant, do you recall it being a headline? That’s because the pregnancies, if there were any, of these women were not newsworthy, beyond a “Lifestyle” section line in a gossip or “People and Places” newspaper column. Chelsea Clinton’s sole significance is the identify of  her parents, and nothing more. She has no independent significance to American life, welfare or history, and whether she is fecund or barren as a sack of flour makes no difference to the state of the union whatsoever. Her pregnancy is less interesting, objectively speaking, than the unfortunate daughter of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, as at least one  of her parents  is a genuine artist and the mother’s family’s inexplicable notoriety is a harbinger of the end of civilization as we know it. Chelsea? She’s a nice young woman, apparently. I met her once. She’s done nothing to justify an entry in Who’s Who, much less a headline. Yet yesterday, one would have thought that she was going to be mother of the presumptive King of the Colonies. Candy Crowley cheered! MSNBC was in rhapsody! CNN’s Headline News made it THE headline of the day!

How’s that Malaysian airplane doing?

The choice of what matters to report on and what not to report is the primary method of news and information manipulation, and every second of news broadcast time and print space devoted to Chelsea’s pregnancy keeps more important and useful information from the public. What information? Any information. There is literally no information that could be less newsworthy than the fact that a little Mezvinsky will soon make his or her debut. The only reason to treat this story as news at all is to assist the political aspirations of Chelsea’s mother. Don’t ask me why anyone in their right mind would want to do that, because I have no idea. But that’s what American journalism has become, tragically.

In a column today on the Washington Post site, Alyssa Rosenberg bravely attempts to rationalize the outlandish journalistic excitement over  Chelsea’s approaching stork, calling her tortured explanation “Why we root for Chelsea Clinton.” The threshold question  is “Who’s “we”?”  Her explanation: Chelsea is important because some mean comics and talk show hosts made fun of her when she was an awkward teen, so the fact that she is happy and making her way in the world now  is satisfying to all the other former awkward teens out there. Yeah, Alyssa, that must be it: news value based on sweet revenge. “Take that, Rush Limbaugh!” 

So, based on this theory, I guess the pregnancy of Sarah Palin’s youngest daughter, when it occurs, will be headline news in order to stick it to David Letterman, who famously and churlishly made the little girl the butt of his jibes and refused to apologize. That, of course, 1) will never happen, and 2) shouldn’t, because it would be dumb, unprofessional and juvenile news judgment. It didn’t happen this time, either, in Chelsea’s case. Her pregnancy is news because the mainstream media worships the Clintons, and wants to make Hillary President in any way it can. If  pretending that the pregnancy of a relative non-entity is a major news story is going to help achieve that objective, then that’s what it will be.

Smoking gun.

29 thoughts on “Clinton Worship Ethics

    • That’s what I was thinking too. I remember that both Jenna’s wedding and baby announcement was considered a big deal. And Bush was out of office by then, and Laura was not considering a run at the presidency.

      And Hillary is already getting blowback, with some saying that she will be too busy as a grandma to be able to handle the presidency. So there’s the other side too.

      • She was an NBC reporter at the time, so her announcement, in person on the Today show, was legitimate media news for a day. There were the de rigeur “W is looking forward to being a grandfather” features here and there after that. None of this “American royalty” stuff.

  1. Eh. So far they haven’t made any more of a frenzy over it than they have Jenna’s, and Bush was out the spotlight for longer. But given the current prominence of the “will she or won’t she” dance that Hillary is occupying, plus our familiarity with Chelsea, it was pretty much a guarantee that some people were going to consider it newsworthy. Like Hager’s kid, this newest kid-to-be will be born into a political family that is very famous.

    As far as Palin goes, I’m sure if any of her daughters get pregnant again, it will be news, if Palin herself is still even halfway famous. It was news when her ex-son-in-law-to-be knocked up another chick, so I’m guessing her daughters would be newsworthy as well. Humans tend to very interested in reproduction, especially the reproduction of famous people. I don’t think your comparison holds up in this case.

      • And the comparison is secondary anyway. Not newsworthy, outside of a footnote. Not unusual, important, useful, amusing or interesting. Anyone who thinks its newsworthy has an unhealthy and unobjective obsession with the Clintons.

        • Like I noted, humans have a natural interest in other human’s reproduction. I think the effect gets magnified when the person is famous Otherwise there wouldn’t be all those breathless covers of people who do or do not have a baby bump at any given point in time. Chelsea is famous, and both her mom and dad even more so, so it gets covered.

          Now, should we cover politicians, and by extension their progeny, like famous people is another subject, but I don’t think the inane coverage is limited to Chelsea, not by a long shot. But like anything else, the more high-profile the person, the more high profile the coverage. Chelsea is getting some reflected fame, no doubt, but that happens all the time. Otherwise, why would we know or care who Caroline Kennedy is? What has she ever done to be famous? Be born? But that’s the way things work.

  2. In all fairness, this is a somewhat unique set of circumstances given that when Jenna Bush was pregnant her father was out of office and, let’s not pull punches, in disgrace. Chelsea’s mom is still very much high-profile, in favor, and only taking a breather before aiming for the highest office in the land. Any mention of anything remotely associated with her is going to be considered big.

    • In all fairness, disgrace isn’t the right word. Bush didn’t disgrace his office: he had some unpopular policies, and the Democrats manged to shift all the blame for the housing meltdown onto him, when the economy was a bi-partisan fiasco. Bill Clinton is the one who was impeached and had to give up his law license; Hillary is the enabler who was the photo op Sec of State that ducked responsibility for Benghazi. That the Clintons are “in favor” reflects the power of media distortion (and warped public perception), and little more.

      • I should refine my terms – by disgrace I mean GWB had fallen out of the public’s good graces, for the very reasons you set forth above. Whether or not he disgraced the office, meaning conduct unbecoming the president, is a separate question, which I wasn’t trying to address. By in favor, I mean the Clintons are still popular with the media and some, but not all, of the public, despite the reasons you set forth above, not to mention Bill playing swallow-the-leader in the Oval Office. Like it or not, the media has the power to distort, they use it, and a good chunk of the public buys into it.

    • Faye, that Cheney slur is so clearly bullshit, it’s embarrassing. You might as well be claiming BigFoot was behind 9-11; it’s a Daily Kos/Move-On conspiracy theory. The ethics issue in the post is news choice and media bias. Sorry, but I will never allow anyone to suggest that another President disgraced the Presidency in any thread involving Bill Clinton. It’s just a rule with me. There’s some provocation I just will not take.

      Nice to have you back, though.

      • Please clarify what you think “that” is.

        I don’t think believing the utter nonsense about a vice-president wanting to start a war so that his previous employer will get a big contract and that will somehow benefit him—it wouldn’t and didn’t, and he hardly needs the money–is necessarily embarrassing, because if you are hostage to too many nut-job, Cheney Derangement Syndrome news and punditry sources you can have your brain cells rotted away. It is a jaw-droppingly offensive and stupid theory, and even worse as a bald assertion of fact, true. But having heard similar junk from people I like and respect, I am sympathetic and forgiving.

        • OH! No wonder I didn’t understand…you were quoting me. I’m sorry—the site just listed your comment to the original comment by Faye, so it read to me as an endorsement of her comment, which, as you can tell, ticked me off. It is hard to believe that the Cheney-Halliburton-Evil Super Villain theory is still out there, but it is. I view it as only a notch or two less offensive, but no less ridiculous, than the Truther conspiracy theories.

          • Not only is it still out there, Jack, hard as it may be to believe, but I think it is going to rear its head again, together with the truther stuff and all the other anti-Bush, anti-GOP stuff, as we get closer to the 2016 elections. In fact I’d put up a valuable prize… if I had one to put up… that some big revelation with regard to something associated with the War on Terror (using that as an overarching term for 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, and ancillary operations) will come to light in October of 2016. If you thought there was a sector-wide push (I think you used that term, if I got it wrong, sorry) in the media to elect Obama, wait till you see the push to elect Hilary.

  3. Considering that this blog is the only place I’ve yet seen any of this news, it seems that it may not yet be being made such a big deal after all (though that may merely reflect time zone differences, this being my first batch of looking around of the day). At any rate, this post’s kind of attention is rewarding the publicity seekers.

  4. I’m intrigued by the reactions in the media. Let’s see: The timing of the pregnancy is a campaign stunt. It’s all about pandering to the Clintons. Hillary’s imminent grandparent status will soften her image (good) and/or remind us that she’s not as young as she used to be (bad). Oh, and that last part demonstrates sexism. It makes it less likely that she’ll run. It makes it more likely she’ll invade Iceland. (OK, I made that last one up.)

    I know one thing. I hope the child will be healthy. Beyond that, there is a staggering number of f*cks I don’t give.

  5. I can only speak right now for the news online, but that seems to bear out Jack’s statement. Judging by that, I’d venture to speculate that the checkout line magazines will soon be dominated by headlines on Chelsea Clinton. Nor have I any doubt that the appropriate political committees will be stoking the fire at regular intervals with dispatches “from the front”… right along with the smiling faces of the prospective grandparents and personals on them as well. This will likely turn out to be a long running “human interest story” that may well push itself out (as a mama story) right through to the 2016 conventions. The Clintons and their cohorts generally know how to play the media.

    • “The Clintons and their cohorts generally know how to play the media.”
      So understatedly on-the-nose.
      I never view anything involving the Clintons in any other way. It’s as perfectly true as observing that “reality” TV is anything but real. A fact that, sadly, a lot of American’s still haven’t figured out.

    • This will likely turn out to be a long running “human interest story” that may well push itself out (as a mama story) right through to the 2016 conventions. The Clintons and their cohorts generally know how to play the media.
      On Thursday past, without even trying, I learned that not only is Chelsea expecting, but also what both Bill and Hillary thought about it.
      You know this baby is going to be all over the media to keep putting out Clinton news with a positive spin.
      You can’t talk about Benghazi when you are busy talking about how cute and smart the baby is.

  6. “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
    (“it” = murders at Benghazi = baby inside Chelsea Clinton)

    This latest “news” is just fair warning of yet another bunch of media noise that sober and diligent voters with all the best intentions will have to sort through. It doesn’t promise any improvement in the available candidates. If anything, it promises MOTSOS and further decline of the nation.

  7. “On Friday morning, ABC reporter Bianna Golodryga hyped, ‘Move over, Prince George, though. This morning, Americans have their own royal, or, rather, presidential baby, to look forward to.'”

    From Newsbusters:

    Oh, yes, that’s exactly how the media handled Jenna Bush’s pregnancy. Come on.

    I think the lame and desperate denials and spin by those unwilling to see, recognize and condemn the flagrant, democracy-rotting bias in the news media is every bit as infuriating as the bias itself. Is it that hard to be fair and honest, call something what it is?

    • Jack, the sad thing is, there is a vast majority of leftists that truly believe the media IS unbiased; that all the people on the Right (despite being something like 40% of the population are just exceptional outliers)

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