I've got some earth-shattering news to report from The New York Times: Hillary Clinton is thinking of running for president.
Okay, take a breath, because that's not all. Apparently, according to the super-secret sources of Serious Political Reporter Patrick Healy, she's even been having meetings with other Democrats to discuss her run.
Yes, that is pretty much the entirety of the news found in this 1,327 word Times/Clinton '08 press release/news story.
If newspapers cease to exist, it will be because of articles like this.
Each graph is more ridiculous and redundant than the last, and, as I read it, I found myself having the same thoughts as when I hear a Bush press conference: Is this for real? Does he really think we're that stupid? Is there no adult supervision?
Yes, we all know Hillary has been "seriously considering a presidential run." Did Healy really think she amassed a nearly $50 million campaign war chest because she was afraid of former Yonkers mayor John Spencer?
Then Healy breathlessly "reveals" that "Senator Clinton's outreach was disclosed and confirmed yesterday by three New York Democratic officials, all on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the Clinton camp to release the information. One of the officials said he was contacted by Senator Clinton directly about her plans. The two others said they were informed by senior Clinton advisers that she was entering a new phase of contacting officials to line up support for a possible presidential bid..."
Does he truly expect us to believe that these officials were speaking without the consent of the Hillary camp?
Fine, she's having meetings with Democrats in her state. The question is: why does The New York Times feel the need to sully its credibility by engaging in this absurd piece of kabuki theater?
Had Healy reported the real story instead of accepting the conditions of anonymity imposed by the Clinton camp, he would have written the following: Hillary is so cautious and so calculating that she feels the need to send out tepid little pre-announcements like this. But here is what Healy writes:
"While Senator Clinton, in her private conversations with Democrats, is not declaring her candidacy, her outreach is significant because so little had been known until now about her true intentions..."
What planet has Patrick Healy been living on?
And in case you were wondering whether Hillary could actually win, not to worry:
"Her advisers appear confident that Senator Clinton could build the sort of broad support among Democrats, independents and women that she had this fall in her landslide re-election victory in New York..."
Oh, thank God. Of course, had the campaign just issued that as a press release, it wouldn't have the same impact as it does being laundered by a New York Times reporter like Patrick Healy.
And check out the meaningless language in this graph:
"These Democrats emphasized that she was not declaring her candidacy for the presidency, but they also said that she was expected to become more definitive in her comments about her intentions by the start of the new year..."
Expected to become more definitive about her intentions? Oh boy, I can hardly wait.
My prediction? The public can be expected to become more definitive about how unacceptable is faux-reporting masquerading as political journalism.
The days when tripe like this is willingly gulped down are over.