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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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August 28, 2016


I have always thought it was a shame that there was not some sort of unregulated profession that devoted itself to answering, in the public interest, questions about politicians. We have, of course, a surfeit of people who call themselves journalists who daily and nightly tell us that questions about politicians exist. But somehow they seem unable to articulate in anything but the vaguest way what those questions might be and are completely unable to answer them. Apparently the ethics of journalism prevent them from actually answering the questions that they insist exist. Questions remain we are told. And, by golly, as long as they don't explicitly cite what those questions might be and don't answer them by, say, investigating the facts they'll always have something to say to the cameras. Which is that questions remain.

How strange is this election cycle? I am watching Leon Wolfe of Redstate being interviewed on Joy Reid's MSNBC show. And not seem insane.

Thank you, Peter. I was about to say something very similar, but as usual, you articulated my thought so much better than I could. Many of us, especially me, have ridiculed the Notorious GOP for twenty-five years of vague allegations that cannot even be articulated, let alone prosecuted. But reading P.M.'s commentary this morning was a wake-up call for me. And yes, I literally read this right after I woke up, because this is the first site I like to visit every day. Today he wrote something that was right in front of us the whole time, but I, for one, failed to recognize it. That would be the fact that if either Clinton has ever done anything truly criminal, the crimes have never been properly laid out by the media. I don't know if they keep it vague on purpose, or I'm personally not bright enough to figure out what the transgression is, but either way, if there was truly any wrongdoing, the media should have been able to draw a clearer picture of what the wrongdoing was. Their record of successful Clinton prosecution in the court of public opinion is almost as dismal as the right's record of prosecution in a court of law. Which of course none of their allegations have ever even made it to a court of law. Just dog an pony show "hearings". I will admit that there has been some measure of success on the public opinion front, but how much of that is placing doubt in the minds of people who may be undecided (whoever that would be) or just a validation of peoples' visceral hatred of the Clintons in general, and Hillary in particular. Even on that front, she still continues to lead in the polls. Whatever the right and the media hope to gain out of their endless litany of petty bitchiness and cattiness over the Clintons, their effectiveness in running them out of town on a rail is nominal at best from what I can tell.

If you feel you aren't bright enough to figure out what the transgression is take comfort in good company. Most of us can't either. Alas we have a lot of bad company as well for most people who call themselves journalists don't know and don't care. I wonder if a certain premier graduate school of journalism would consider changing their name to the Columbia School of Remains to Seen.

"the more Hillary submits to chronically unsatisfied journalistic questioning"

And when, exactly, did she submit to an open press conference, and how many have there been?

Jest askin'!

Ask Google. Search Hillary Clinton press conferences on e-mail. Then you can read the transcripts of Hillary Clinton's press conferences on this issue. Try the Time magazine transcript.

Why do you people always insist on picking your own scabs over and over again? Would you honestly believe a word she said, if she were to "submit" to an open press conference? I think we both know the answer to that question. You're going to have to come up with a much wider selection of petty complaints against her if you want more of the public to "submit" to your way of "thinking". Quite frankly, right now the best you all can do is sound like a bunch of fourteen year old mean girls or gossiping office biddies. You make yourselves look a lot worse than you try to make her look.

Picking scabs you think Anne? I've always envisaged the Duffer as a digital nasal cavity spelunker. Your larger point, and the truly accurate one, is that flogging the dead ponies they hoped to ride to victory is not terribly wise. I concur. Let them beat on. It gives them something to do while waiting for Hillary to get elected.

I think I like your analogy better. But your point about "beating on" dead ponies, made me envision the online Hillary hate squad doing something else, and activity usually reserved for people who visit porn sites. And really, what is Clinton Derangement Syndrome anyway besides a much more perverted form of pornography? At the risk of revisiting our gracious host's "Godfather" analogy from a few weeks ago, I have lately been having visions of Hillary in the Michael Corleone role, on Inauguration Day settling all family business as she's taking the oath of office, just like Al Pacino's character did while renouncing Satan at the baptism. My vision isn't quite so violent, as I would simply enjoy the mental picture of every republican jack hole who ever made up a phony scandal about her and marched her into Kongressional Kangaroo Kourt being handed a subpoena to appear before congress to answer for their treasonous behavior. I doubt she could actually do that, but a girl can engage in harmless fantasy, right?

That last one was in response to Peter G., I must have forgotten to hit the "reply" button.

Thank you PM for addressing Ms Dowd's latest example of her obsessive Clinton hatred. I wanted to comment on the NYT but it was hard to know where to start. She writes so well that sentences ring like high principle and sophisticated political insight but are not only uncalibrated as you have articulated so well here, but often defy logic. E.g. [HRC]'s building up a giant bubble of hostility that will follow her into the White House ..." Seriously? -a present tense expanding verb for Hillary's bubble of hostility. The Hillary hostility bubble is a fully developed industry that has been in three times as long as Facebook, maybe longer than Amazon. With some portions of the public it will likely shrink from exhaustion.

So here is the moral dilemma that has confronted HRC for years. Whatever she does will be criticized as if it's murder and everything she ever writes or does will be the subject of a Judicial Watch lawsuit (9 or is it 14 so far). She might as do whatever she wants as long as it's not illegal because she'll have the same fight anyway - much of the media punditry classes like Ms Dowd will be never let go or deem any answer final. Better to accumulate money to pay lawyers than try to calibrate her every action to satisfy people who will only be satisfied if she is driven from politics and humiliated in the process. Might as well give those speeches at Goldman Sachs Client Conferences and take the money beacause if it's not that fight it will be another one.

BTW those speeches were for "client conferences" and you can assume that she did not tell them one thing that Goldman Saches analysts did not already know (Goldman's tentacles are sucking up information from everywhere), but if you are an A list client of Top Tier bank you get invited to hear the very biggest name speakers because you are a VIP. The revenue Goldman gets from that pool of clients makes $225k less than a rounding error. Those of us who are D list clients of second tier banks get a presentation by a bank employee not important enough to be interviewed on CNBC and the lunch isn't as good either. And what did HRC say that has to be hidden from view - she was nice to them, complimentary of their abilities and whatever public service things they might have done that suited her speech themes and avoided analogies to giant evil squids - like every speaker everywhere. Nobody else has to release their speeches so why would she agree to respond to the separate Hillary standard she hates but must never talk about. . See moral dilemma above. She doesn't always handle thing as well as she could I suppose but her unrelenting nature has to carry with it some stubbornness as well.

The missing word from the third line from the bottom of the first paragraph is 'business' - in business specifically.


Hillary Clinton and her campaign aides keep getting asked when she will hold a news conference. The most recent one happened last December. In their defense, the Clinton campaign points to how many interviews Clinton has given - they say more than 300 this year. NPR's David Folkenflik obtained a full database of all of Clinton's interviews since January 1, and he breaks down her strategy by looking at a single month.

DAVID FOLKENFLIK, BYLINE: By April, Hillary Clinton had not yet sealed the deal among Democratic voters. Eight primaries took place that month. Clinton spoke to The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial board for 50 minutes in advance of its endorsements. She said she was calling for criminal justice reform.


HILLARY CLINTON: Calling to end the era of mass incarceration. And, of course, I am calling for common sense gun safety measures to protect people.

FOLKENFLIK: Philadelphia, at the eastern edge of the state - a city where gun violence is a daily presence. On the western end, Clinton expressed more concern about the rights of gun owners.


JON DELANO: You've been passionate about the need for gun control.


DELANO: Is there a balance here?

FOLKENFLIK: This is John Delano of KDKA, CBS's Pittsburgh station.

DELANO: Do you want to infringe in any way on our right to have a gun, on our right to hunt?

CLINTON: Absolutely not. And I think that is propaganda from the gun lobby. There is absolutely no disconnect between common sense gun safety measures and protecting the Second Amendment rights of gun owners.

FOLKENFLIK: In Philly, Clinton sure didn't invoke the Second Amendment. The quick interview with Delano was more representative of how Clinton operated in April than the lengthy one with The Philadelphia Inquirer. In April, Clinton granted interviews to 33 local TV and radio stations, nine to national TV news outlets and exactly zero to reporters from big national newspapers. She did, however, give an hour-long interview to Glenn Thrush's podcast for Politico.

Any other question, old bean?

No, DA, read my lips, ooops, sorry, I mean my words. When I write "press conferences" I mean open forums with dozens of journos from all over. I do not mean "interviews" with carefully vetted lickspittles!

We understand you David. You mean free for alls with demented conspiracy theorists and overt racist and misogynistic dirtbags like Breitbarts or Alex Jones and such. Now why you think any sane person would do that is a matter of conjecture. Why would she when she can pull a Reagan and talk right past them directly to the electorate? After the election she will also have the luxury of keeping pet journalists whose access and status will be dependent on these gets. That's how the game is played. Don't like the rules? Tough titty.

There is really nothing to add to an extremely well written article, PM.

Except, this image came to me: Remember Charlie Brown always trying to kick the football and Lucy always pulling it away? Well, picture this role reversal. Hillary Clinton is Charlie Brown, and the press is Lucy, just dying for the chance to pull the "football" away with absurdly irrelevant questions motivated by the Republican echo chamber.

33 local tv and radio stations are hardly lickspittles, old boy, but then you would have to be, what's the word I'm looking for...


So the answer to my question is that she has not dared to face a full and open press conference for months.

So my second question is - why?

Yes, David, we remember all the press conferences McCain, Obama, and Romney gave during their campaigns and what a difference each one made in 2008 and 2012.

Thanks for reminding us, old chap.

Asked and answered Duff. She doesn't need to do that. Even though that wasn't your question. You might want to reread what you wrote. That you imagine that there is some moral obligation for Clinton to do what you like is not really Clinton's problem. The Clinton's have never had a cordial relationship with the press have they? Fortunately they don't really have to worry about that anymore. For the Donald in his infinite lack of wisdom has made attacking the press a main feature of his stump speeches and rallies. That man is the gift that keeps on giving.

Thanks PMC for reading Dowd as I refuse to (along with Tom Friedman). Why is it with those two, more than most, after I read them I feel like "Those are 5 minutes I will never get back"? They're both a disgrace to a page which once boasted Russell Baker, Tom Wicker, Tony Lewis and others of that caliber.

While Clinton is doing better with Trump than maybe another GOP nominee - who is to say? She would be behind any other - Cruz? Seriously? Rubio? Thanks for the laugh? Low energy Jeb? Naaa. And yes, Kaisch as well.

Yes, but the people you just mentioned are all men so the Duffster gives them a free pass.

More beating and picking from Duff. These people just can't let go of their pettiness.

The saddest part of the republican primary this year was the fact that any time one of the other clowns was in the spotlight and given some attention, it turned out that they were even worse than Donald the Trump. And yes that includes Kasich. His attempt to completely defund Planned Parenthood in Ohio doesn't exactly sit well with women, or even the men who love them.

I'd much rather know the contents of Trump's income tax returns. Why will he not release them. Why, why, why?

Tony, I don't why but perhaps the reason is similar to the reason why 'HillBilly' refuses to release her medical records.

Jest sayin'!

Maybe because she's already done so, old bean?

"Mrs. Clinton is a healthy female with hypothyroidism and seasonal allergies, on long-term anticoagulation. She participates in a healthy lifestyle and has had a full medical evaluation, which reveals no evidence of additional medical issues or cardiovascular disease. Her cancer screening evaluations are all negative. She is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as President of the United States," Bardack wrote.

Clinton's current medications, according to the letter, include Armour Thyroid, antihistamines, Vitamin B-12 and Coumadin, an anticoagulant. Her latest physical exam was March 21, it said.

Sometimes you make it so easy, Corporal Robin.

And Kasich thinks gay people should be second class citizens. No thank you. He'd go down too.

They had to nominate Trump in order to see their generations-long dysfunction to its logical conclusion. (That's why we rejected Peter Beinart's recommendation for Democrats to cross over where allowed and vote for another. No thank you.)

And don't think I'm not deeply grateful, DA, despite the fact that it's over a year old and that the HuffPo (yes, the HuffPo!) printed a story with the following headline:

"Hillary's Health is Superb (Aside From Seizures, Leasions, Adrenaline Pens)"

Needless to say, this bastion of the free press rapidly scrubbed the story within hours and now it reads:

"Editor's Note: This post is no longer available on the Huffington Post."

And no doubt the original reporter isn't available either! Anyway,nothing to see here, move along!

Well, Corporal Robin, you sure know how to pick 'em!

By the time Dr. Drew Pinsky’s show was cancelled by CNN after he engaged in unfounded speculation about Hillary Clinton’s health, no one was shocked.
For years, the Loveline host had been seen as more of a “television doctor,” as Newt Gingrich recently referred to him, than as a doctor who also appears on TV. Most memorably, Pinsky presided over VH1’s Celebrity Rehab from 2008 to 2012, with five cast members dying while the show was still on the air. A sixth, the WWE star Chyna, died of a drug overdose this April, drawing renewed attention to the questionable ethics of the reality show.

But if you buy into the Dr. Drew mythos, CNN’s cancellation of the HLN show Dr. Drew on Call was the last chapter in the gradual unraveling of his career, which started with a beloved radio show and ended in headline-grabbing ignominy. Looking back, however, scandal and controversy have plagued Pinsky for decades.

The story of Dr. Drew was only ever going to end this way.

In 2012, The Daily Beast reported details of a $3 billion settlement between the Justice Department and pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), including a federal complaint which alleged that a PR firm for GSK had hired Pinsky to talk about the antidepressant Wellbutrin as a libido booster “in settings where it did not appear that Dr. Pinsky was speaking for [Wellbutrin].” Court documents included invoices for Pinsky totaling $275,000.
The date on those invoices? 1999, when the TV version of Pinsky’s Loveline had only been on MTV for three years.
Pinsky was not charged with any criminal wrongdoing, as The Daily Beast noted at the time, and the doctor released a statement saying that his comments on Wellbutrin were “consistent with [his] clinical experience.” But the damage to his credibility stuck.

Dr. Ford Vox, writing for The Atlantic, observed that Pinsky’s “minor empire” had been “built on audiences who’ve grown to trust his medical opinion.” He added that the GSK settlement “ought to end his career with CNN.” Others were even less charitable. The health blog Blisstree called him a “hack—even during the Loveline years.”
“Even our happy memories of the celebrity psychologist can now be tainted with the information that Dr. Drew was dishonest from the beginning,” the Blisstree writer mourned.
CNN could have dropped Pinsky back in 2012 when the GSK settlement became public. They didn’t. Instead, an HLN spokesperson told The Daily Beast in July of 2012 that the network was not interested in his activity before his 2010 hiring.

But there were plenty of scandals after Dr. Drew was hired by HLN, too. Later in July of 2012, for example, journalist and NYU professor Charles Seife resurfaced his allegations that Pinsky had taken $115,000 from Janssen Pharmaceuticals in 2010 and 2011. Seife reported for Slate that an HLN spokesperson said: “Dr. Drew would provide an on-air disclaimer if he were to do a story involving Janssen Pharmaceuticals.”
In 2011, too, the FDA warned the Pinsky-endorsed company 1-800-GET-THIN not to downplay the risks of lap-band surgery. Pinsky didn’t respond to the Los Angeles Times report on the FDA warning, citing a confidentiality clause in his agreement.
But Pinsky’s TV career only flourished, as did his nasty “habit” of “diagnosing at a distance,” which would eventually land him in hot water in the 2016 election. As Jezebel reported in 2011, Pinsky defended this habit during the very first episode of his HLN show, which aired in April of that year.

“For those of you who say that I can’t diagnose at a distance, I’ve been practicing medicine for 30 years,” Pinsky said at the top of the show. “I have experienced and have studied hundreds, let’s say, thousands of cases. It’s what I do.”
In that sense, when Pinsky raised eyebrows for saying in a radio interview that he was “gravely concerned” about Hillary Clinton’s health and for claiming that she was suffering from a “brain injury,” HLN was getting exactly what the celebrity physician had promised to do when they hired him. The only difference this time around was that he was distance-diagnosing the potential next President of the United States instead of a D-list celebrity.
Now, many of the major chapters in Dr. Drew’s career are coming to a close. In 2013, he left Celebrity Rehab, telling a radio show that he was “tired of taking all the heat” for the untimely deaths of the show’s cast members. Loveline went on the air for the last time this April. And the final episode of HLN’s Dr. Drew on Call is slated for September 22nd.
Longtime fans of Loveline still remember a time in the 90s when Pinsky came across as an honest, sex-positive radio host who openly discussed HIV and other STDs during an otherwise stigmatizing time. But the longer Pinsky has careened off course—and the more details have emerged about his earlier years—the shorter that period seems.
And if it’s true that it’s not how you start that matters, but how you finish, then Pinsky’s lucrative downhill slide will be his legacy. He may have started as a disarmingly honest radio show host but he finished as a...well, his most recent credit on IMDB says it all: Pinsky last played a pastor in Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens.
If there’s anything that Dr. Drew should be “gravely concerned about,” it’s his career.

Here's my own diagnosis of your problem, old bean:

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