Yes, yes, I know I have written about this several times already. I will keep doing so, too, until this ridiculous piece of Fake History inflicted on the public consciousness by partisan historian Doug Brinkley when he went on CNN election night and lied, I will keep writing it.
Today’s edition comes courtesy of the increasingly inexcusable fools on ABC’s “The View,” who were engaged this week in a Hillary defeat excuse and alibi orgy. Whoopie Goldberg kept darkly hinting of some conspiracy that allowed Trump to triumph (“We may never know why she lost…” Whoopie intoned), while Joy Behar kept saying that Hillary DID win, as if the elections rules don’t count. They were embarrassing, and they were inartuclate, and they made everyone of their viewers dumber by about 50 IQ points, but never mind: I’m going to focus on this blather, by Whoopie…
“You know, there have been very few eight years of one party and eight years of the same party. It doesn’t generally go back to back. The last time I think was Nixon and whoever came in after him was the last. Ford. And he pardoned. That was the last time we had a long stretch. When it wasn’t Democrat, Republican, Democrat Republican. So given all the crap that Obama had to eat from his own party, I don’t think Bernie was going to — I don’t think any Democrat was going to–people were going to vote –“
If you can translate that—Didn’t Whoopie once know how to speak?—, what is rattling around in her head is Brinkley’s false historical note that eight years of Presidents from one party are seldom followed by the election of another President from the same party. This is not just untrue, but spectacularly untrue. As I last wrote here,
…esteemed Presidential historian Doug Brinkley, for reasons known only to himself, went on the air live on CNN and concocted a new alibi for Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. using fake history to do it. He said that there were powerful historical patterns at work in Hillary’s defeat, and that it is always hard for any one party to hold the White House for three consecutive terms. Then, as exceptions to the rule and to show how rare the exceptions were, Brinkley cited Reagan successfully pushing George H.W. Bush on the nation as his “third term,” and then went all the way back to 1836 for his other exception, when popular Democrat President Andrew Jackson got his acolyte Martin Van Buren elected to succeed him.
For days after this, I kept hearing Brinkley’s observation cited by talking heads and my disappointed Democratic friends, yet what he had said was wildly, unforgivably untrue. On election night, I ticked off the instances where one party has held the Presidency for more than two terms on the spot, right after Brinkley’s fiction (much to the annoyance of my wife):
After Van Buren, there were a bunch of one term Whigs and Democrats, but Lincoln’s two terms (the last finished by Andrew Johnson) was followed by Grant for two more, Hayes for one, and Garfield/Arthur for four more years. That 6 straight Republican terms, Doug. Then, three terms later, McKinley was elected to two, Teddy Roosevelt for one on top of the McKinley term he finished out, and Teddy anointed Taft as his successor just as Jackson had with Van Buren. That’s four straight Republican terms, or as we call it around my house, “More than two.”
But wait! There’s more! After Wilson and Mrs, Wilson served out two Democratic terms, we got Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, another three Republicans in a row. Then the Democrats made up for those consecutive runs with five straight of their own, courtesy of FDR’s four and Truman beating Dewey. In short, Brinkley gave the nation fake history, which then became fake news.
When reality is just too much to bear, the foolish, untrustworthy, weak-minding and unethical just make stuff up, and hope it sticks. The pathetic Clinton apologists have been doing this now for ten months. I can’t shoot down all their myths, spin and disinformation, but I can shoot down this one.
I can’t count how many delusional Hillary bitter-enders, including Hillary herself, have cited this fake factoid since the election. Did it ever occur to them to, you know, google “the Presidents of the United States” and check? Brinkley’s completely false observation is like a bad rumor or a web hoax. What was he thinking? This has bothered me for months. Even if he ere correct on the facts, his theory makes no sense. It would be like a historian relying on the supposed curse that decreed that every President elected in a year ending with a zero since 1840 would die in office. (Reagan broke the string, but just barely.) Why would voters rarely elect 12 years of one party’s candidate in the White House? (Except they don’t, of course; but why would they, if they did?) Brinkley is supposed to be a scholar: why was he throwing out soothing coincidences, not to mention coincidences that never happened, to mislead CNN viewers on Election Night?
Because he’s an arrogant, untrustworthy hack, that’s why; one who thinks the public is so dumb that he can abuse his expertise and authority, and lazy, under-educated journalists, incompetent pundits, barely literate Facebook echo-chamber denizens and blathering celebrity heads like Whoopie won’t dare to challenge him.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the Brinkley Election Night lie—It is a lie, not a mistake, when a professional American History author and scholar deliberately misstates the basic facts of Presidential history—was the beginning of this horrendous period when so many professionals have allowed their biases to cause them to betray the interests of those professions—lawyers, education, scholars, scientists, historians, journalists, yes, and ethicists— are pledged to serve: the public.
I don’t blame Whoopie. She’s out of her depth, and doesn’t know it. Listen to her; she epitomizes the ignorant blow-hard who thinks she is intelligent because she’s been fawned over for so long and seldom challenged when she utters garbage. (Other examples of this thriving breed, including her “View”-mate Behar: Bill O’Reilly, Michael Moore, Stephen Colbert, Sean Hannity, Ben Carson, Lena Dunham, Howard Dean, too many actors to list, and, of course, our President). I blame ABC for assembling a group of loud-mouth ignoramuses and feeding their idiocy to viewers as if they know what they are talking about, but I don’t blame Whoopie. I DO blame Douglas Brinkley, who sold his integrity and the dignity of his profession for cheap celebrity on CNN. Naturally, CNN has never corrected Brinkley’s Hillary-serving fake Presidential history.
So there it is, the THIRD Ethics Alarms debunking of Brinkley’s convenient disinformation.
I wonder why Scopes never “fact-checked” it.
(No I don’t.)