Matthew Yglesias Watches the New York Times Death Spiral
links for 2008-02-04

Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps? (New Republic Edition)

Ezra Klein writes:

EzraKlein Archive | The American Prospect: I think it's fascinating that Marty Peretz doesn't understand why people don't like him after his magazine lies about them. [Hilary Rodham Clinton] didn't snub you, Marty. She treated you with precisely the lack of respect you deserved after that shameful debacle.

Some context:

EzraKlein Archive | The American Prospect: The lies [of the Clintons] were not as bad as Bush's - WMDs and torture," writes Andrew Sullivan. "But the stakes were much lower. The arrogance and condescension of the healthcare debacle were revealing of a classically bad left-liberal mindset on Senator Clinton's part. She knows best; she always has; everyone else is part of the VRWC." Check that passivity! As if the "healthcare debacle" was simply a result of the Clintons' "arrogance and condescension," and had nothing to do with a broad, coordinated attempt to smear, misrepresent, and, in Sullivan's own words, "torpedo" their health care plan. I'm genuinely curious if this recitation of Clinton's personal failings is some sort of barely submerged explanation for why Sullivan published and championed a dishonest, fearmongering article meant to sink the Clinton health care plan -- and it was recognized as such even at the time. Thanks to The Atlantic's open archives, you can read the fairest man in journalism, James Fallows, take it apart in a feature article called "A Triumph of Misinformation." McCaughey's article, which Sullivan commissioned, published, and praised, was, Fallows said, "simply false." Yet Sullivan still touts it in his biography...


Marty Peretz: When Hillary Snubbed Me: Poor Hillary was snubbed by Barack Obama.  I suppose she thinks he should have snubbed Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri instead.  He was closer to McCaskill then he was to Hillary who was, in any case, already engaged in false pleasantries with Senator Kennedy.  What's more, Hillary is known to snub people all the time. In fact, she even snubbed me once at a reception at the White House.  I was talking to someone in the Rose Garden, and she came over to greet the someone with whom I was already chatting.  That someone, in turn, introduced me, saying, "Of course, you know Marty Peretz," which actually she did not.  I had never been in a room with Hillary that didn't also contain a thousand other people.  That didn't phase her at all.  And she responded, "Indeed, I do," and turned on her heel and left. I don't have an explanation.  Except that The New Republic was not especially enamored of her health plan which, in retrospect, has impeded health reform for a decade and a half.  As it happens, we had published a devastating analysis of the proposal by Elizabeth McCaughey; and somehow, in the mysteries of Washington, this became the vivid center of the debate.  The White House actually put out what I recall as a nine page rebuttal to the TNR critique, another tactical mistake in the genius presidency.  Anyway, it is to this article that her snub to me may be attributed. But it could be something even more petty.