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Seems, Madam!

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Rick Klein, the crazy Neocon promoter who also writes ABCNews.com's The Note, insists this morning that John McCain "has the most at stake in how he handles the bailout bill nobody loves but everybody seems to realize you cannot in good faith hate."

First, let's note the use of the weasel word "seems," which, in journalism, is another way of saying, "I am making this up." ("Seems, madam! Nay, it is; I know not 'seems.' ")

Second, let's not overlook the use of the word "everybody." If you don't agree, you are, ipso facto, "nobody."

And third, if you happen to be a "somebody," it might be possible to "hate" the bailout, but only if you are acting in bad faith.

So where does that leave, say, Paul Krugman? He sure does hate the bailout. Is he a "nobody?" Let' see, The New York Times op-ed columnist "received his B.A. from Yale University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from MIT in 1977. He has taught at Yale, MIT and Stanford. At MIT he became the Ford International Professor of Economics. Mr. Krugman is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 papers in professional journals and edited volumes. His professional reputation rests largely on work in international trade and finance; he is one of the founders of the 'new trade theory,' a major rethinking of the theory of international trade. In recognition of that work, in 1991 the American Economic Association awarded him its John Bates Clark medal, a prize given every two years to 'that economist under forty who is adjudged to have made a significant contribution to economic knowledge.' "

What about Bill Greider? He hates, and I mean really hates the bailout. Is he a nobody? "For 17 years, Greider was the National Affairs Editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where his investigation of the defense establishment began. He is a former assistant managing editor at the Washington Post, where he worked for fifteen years as a national correspondent, editor and columnist. ... He is the author of the national bestsellers One World, Ready or Not, Secrets of the Temple and Who Will Tell The People. In the award-winning Secrets of the Temple, he offered a critique of the Federal Reserve system. Greider has also served as a correspondent for six Frontline documentaries on PBS, including "Return to Beirut," which won an Emmy in 1985."

So Rick Klein of ABC News, who is best known to us for taking seriously and transmitting, without editorial interference, the crazy Cheney-like views of The New York Sun editorial page and no less crazy or Cheney-like views of Commentary's bloggers, certainly can't be saying that these two enormously accomplished and much-decorated authors and scholars are nobodies. So he must insist that they are writing and speaking in bad faith. So go ahead and ignore 'em...

That really is how it works, folks.

And then there's this, also in today's Note: "Careful -- who's the elitist now? 'The McCain campaign wants to cast Sen. Barack Obama as an arugula-munching, Hawaii-vacationing, Ivy League-educated limousine liberal who's eager to raise your taxes and outlaw your guns in cahoots with his effete intellectual friends,' per ABC News. 'But such a message -- similar to ones that have been driven by GOP campaigns for decades -- is getting lost, perhaps somewhere in Sen. John McCain's seven homes and 13 cars. In a reversal from recent presidential campaigns, this year's race features a Democrat who is portraying the Republican as an elitist who can't relate to the concerns of ordinary Americans.' "

Now, personally, I admit that it's kinda funny that McCain doesn't know how many houses he owns and that he has more cars than many people have socks, but really, isn't the point whether either man's policies will likely benefit the nation's "elite" rather than whether they like arugula? And isn't it kinda funny that a guy going to visit his grandma in his home state of Hawaii is termed "elitist" for that? Could anyone alive defend such logic? Or is logic this nakedly and this openly deemed to be beside the point?


To read the rest of today's Altercation, please click here.