Don’t look now, but there may be a Paul Ryan scandal, or at least a scandalette, and in this context New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait is both Woodward and Bernstein. In a Monday post, Chait related that Ryan, in the newsmagazine The Week, had named his “six favorite books about economics and democracy,” and that the “huge omission” from the list was Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which Ryan has so often praised to the skies.
Chait remarked that Ryan appears to be backing away from his politically problematic Randian makers/takers rhetoric and readopting a previous persona: “The new Ryan looks like the Bush-era version, with lots of giving to the rich without all the taking from the poor.”
Breaking news: next year’s CPAC will be sponsored exclusively by Ivory soap, Purell, Lysol, Pine-Sol, and Mr. Clean.
OK, not really, but the joke is based on New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait’s assertion in a Thursday post that the “hygenic impulse” -- or, as the post’s headline puts it, the “cleanliness fetish” -- of conservatives “helps explain the primal character of the right’s Obamacare hate — its obsession with ‘full repeal,’ a way of conceiving the issue that transcends any specific analysis of policy and instead calls to mind the expunging of a toxin.”
“ABC Family” is a network that isn’t for the safe, “family-friendly” shows. On the contrary, they love edgy shows like any other network. They created “The Fosters” to show a positive image of a lesbian couple – one black, one white – and now the lesbians have had an abortion – but only to save the life of the mother.
Margaret Lyons of New York magazine’s Vulture blog was impressed in a post headlined "How 'The Fosters' Tackled TV's Biggest Taboo":
New York magazine political writer Jonathan Chait isn’t a big fan of reform conservatives, but he did comment in a Sunday post that their “worldview,” unlike that of the Republican base, isn’t expressed as “a series of furious scrawlings on mental chalkboards.” (Presumably, Chait figures that the reformicons favor a crisp PowerPoint presentation.)
Chait lauds the reformers for implicitly rejecting the “apocalypticism” of movement conservatives, which holds, in his words, “that Barack Obama’s agenda poses a dire threat to the fabric of American life, that a reversal must be sweeping in its scope and undertaken immediately.”
On Friday's Morning Joe program, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough complained about the absence of media attention to the fact that IRS commissioner John Koskinen, in charge of an organization currently embroiled in an investigation into whether it has unfairly targeted conservative groups during the Obama administration, is himself a "big Democratic donor" who has donated to President Barack Obama twice and, over the years, almost $100,000 to various Democrats.
Regular panel members Mark Halperin of Time magazine and John Heilemann of New York magazine joined in as Scarborough called out the New York Times in particular and imagined how the Times would have reacted if the roles had been reversed during the George W. Bush administration. Scarborough asked:
Hillary Clinton is touring to promote her State Department memoir “Hard Choices,” but most of the news she’s made along the way relates to her personal finances, not her tenure in Foggy Bottom. On Tuesday, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait examined Hillary’s “dead broke” comment and other recent remarks and revelations about the Clintons’ money with an eye toward whether or not they’ll hamper her presumed presidential campaign.
Chait opined that while some of the Clintons’ “buckraking” constitutes “both a problem of perception and a problem of substance,”Hillary nonetheless has two big economic things going for her heading into 2016: voters’ memories of the strong economy during Bill’s presidency, and the near-certainty that if she becomes the nominee, her opponent will represent “a Republican Party still wedded to the upward redistribution of income as its central policy goal.”
So-called reform conservatives such as David Frum, Michael Gerson, and Ramesh Ponnuru often get relatively favorable attention from liberal journalists -- relative, that is, to Tea Party types, which in turn reinforces the Tea Party's belief that the reformers aren't really conservatives.
Two lefty pundits recently examined the state of reform conservatism. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne penned an article for the spring issue of the quarterly Democracy in which he analyzed the work of certain reformers and discussed how they might pull the Republican party toward the center. He also denounced the GOP's current message discipline in the service of its supposedly extremist agenda -- or, as Dionne put it, "the right’s version of political correctness."
Frank Rich, the cultural leftist that used to write Broadway reviews and then opinion columns for The New York Times, writes for New York magazine now. He’s just launched a new 4,000-word opus on the question “Can Conservatives Be Funny?” His cheeky verdict? The free market says no.
Spurred into this task by Rush Limbaugh’s attack on rising CBS late-night star Stephen Colbert, Rich had to admit it’s a desert out there. “Conservative comedy is hard to find on television once you get past the most often cited specimen, Dennis Miller.” Indeed, some Americans haven’t figured out that Colbert’s satirizing a conservative moron.
Memorial Day should be observed by honoring the men and women in the military who have fallen for America. New York Magazine has found another way of observing the Memorial Day Weekend while at the same time pushing a certain political agenda. They have invaded the privacy of World War II servicemen and their families by publishing nude photographs of them: 10 Intimate Photographs of World War II Soldiers in the Buff.
Writer Christopher Bonanos can barely contain his excitement over the photos as he practically drools over himself while eagerly pushing a socio/political agenda at a time when those who have fallen should be honored:
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a long attack piece on Fox News for New York magazine theorizing that the Left pays too much attention to “waning” Fox News and gives them too much cachet by opposing them fiercely. It's called "Stop Beating a Dead Fox."
Fox never succeeds on its own. Liberals have the power to make it succeed:
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell refreshingly departed from their usual softball treatment of liberal guests, and pursued New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman about his new biography of Fox News's Roger Ailes. O'Donnell spotlighted how "critics...[are] saying...you're a younger, liberal-leaning journalist."
Both anchors also hounded Sherman for a political accusation in the very title of the bio – The Loudest Voice in the Room: How The Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided A Country: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]
A consistent talking point from Democrats and their media minions is that the 2012 election was about ObamaCare and that as a result of the President's win, the American people gave the program a mandate to be fully implemented.
Surprisingly breaking with this trend Sunday was New York magazine's John Heilemann who said on ABC's This Week that because Mitt Romney was the Republican challenger, given his ties to Massachusetts' healthcare program, he couldn't make that the central theme of his campaign, and as such, ObamaCare was not litigated as the President and his allies claim (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Appearing as a guest on Tuesday's The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, New York magazine's John Heilemann described Virginia GOP gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli as a "horrible candidate" as he cautioned Democrats that Cuccinelli still might have triumphed over Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe if the Virginia Republican had had more money and if the government shutdown had not occurred. Heilemann began his analysis:
Promoting his new book about the 2012 election, Double Down, with co-author Mark Halperin on Monday's NBC Today, New York Magazine national affairs editor John Heilemann offered Obama campaign spin to excuse the President's disastrous performance in the first debate against Mitt Romney: "...[Obama's] disdain for Romney, his contempt for Romney, he couldn't figure out how to deal with that. He would say, 'What am I supposed to do when he starts spewing his BS?'" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Heilemann laughably added that Obama also had "contempt for the theatricality of politics," which, "all got mixed up together and he gave this horrible practice session performance that left them totally stymied about how they were going to fix it" before the second debate with Romney.
Several media outlets have eagerly picked up the political gossip coming out of a New York magazine story on Hillary Clinton and her possible 2016 run. The article itself is a fawning profile of the former of Secretary of State and her husband. According to writer Joe Hagan, Bill and Hillary are "the most celebrated political marriage in American history." (Apparently, couples like John and Abigail Adams don't qualify.)
Although it wasn't until paragraph 40 of the nearly 6000 word article that Hagan seriously discussed the terrorist attack in Benghazi, he heaped cotton candy-style praise on the 42nd president: "Bill Clinton is also a legendary politician, a brilliant tactician who won two presidential elections and reigned over the most prosperous years in America in recent memory." The journalist seriously suggested that "some" think " he single-handedly won Obama reelection with his extraordinary takedown of Mitt Romney at the Democratic National Convention last year."
Isaac Chotiner at The New Republic exposed New York magazine writer Mark Jacobson as a Huma Abedin shoe-polisher. “Abedin always gets good press, but this piece takes it to a new level. As a public service, I have chosen the four silliest/creepiest tidbits.”
1. “She approached in a knit white top and navy-blue business skirt, her dark, almost black hair down to her shoulders. She wore bright-red lipstick, which gave her lips a 3-D look, her brown eyes were pools of empathy evolved through a thousand generations of what was good and decent in the history of the human race.”
On PBS's Charlie Rose show on Monday, as the group discussed the night's presidential debate, New York magazine's John Heilemann described Mitt Romney's past statements on foreign policy as "relatively harsh and relatively bellicose," as he argued that Romney had faced political "dangers" in his foreign policy positions "because he's been surrounded by some number of neo-conservative foreign policy advisors."
Given the shellacking Barack Obama took at last week's presidential debate with Mitt Romney, one would have thought NBC's Saturday Night Live would have had no difficulty finding material to spoof the event.
Not so according to New York magazine which published a piece Monday entitled "Unlike the Rest of the World, SNL Had a Hard Time Joking About the Debate":
With the first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in just three days, the media have been doing their darnedest to lower expectations for the President's performance.
Doing his part Sunday was New York magazine's John Heilemann who said on the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, "Barack Obama's not a very good debater. He lost almost every debate that he debated with Hillary Clinton" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"No one's ever going to nominate Joe Biden to be the chairman of MENSA -- he's not Albert Einstein," MSNBC political analyst John Heilemann told Chris Matthews on the Tuesday edition of Hardball. "But what he's always been a master of is applied intelligence," he added, remarking on the vice president's preparation for the October 11 debate with policy-wonky Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Heilemann enthused about Biden's role in 1987 in scuttling President Reagan's nomination of Judge Robert Bork, "supposedly one of the smartest guys in all of the history of conservatism, of conservative legal theory."
"There's not many debates Joe Biden lost in his career," the New York magazine writer added of the Delaware Democrat who "goes to school" by preparing heavily, whether its to take on Sarah Palin or Robert Bork. Completely omitted by Heilemann, of course, was the revelation during the 1988 presidential campaign of Biden's having plagiarized a speech by then-British Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, which, of course sank his run for the presidency. [video embed follows page break]
Chris Matthews must be really getting concerned that the man that gives him a thrill up his leg is in serious jeopardy of losing in November.
On this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show, the host asked his panel of perilously liberal journalists, "Can the president make Mitt Romney scary?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
It sure seems New York magazine's national affairs editor John Heilemann is shamelessly becoming a part of President Obama's reelection team.
After penning a much-discussed cover story Monday outlining the current White House's plans to attack its Republican opponent as the devil incarnate, Heilemann on this weekend's syndicated Chris Matthews Show said, "Mitt Romney is never going to be likable" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In 2008, Barack Obama with obedient media members such as New York magazine's John Heilemann convinced America that if they put their hope behind a junior senator from Illinois, their lives would instantly change for the better.
Now that things didn't turn out as rosy as these folks claimed they would, the White House needs to scare the public into thinking things would be far worse if Mitt Romney is elected, and Heilemann obediently published a piece Sunday explaining how the team he favors plans to do it (serious vulgarity warning):
With the Supreme Court about to decide the fate of ObamaCare, Americans are destined to hear all kinds of accusations about the so-called partisan nature of the conservatives on the bench.
New York magazine's John Heilemann did his part on this weekend's Chris Matthews Show claiming the Court's ruling in 2000's Bush v. Gore case "was pure politics and purely corrupt" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On HBO's Real Time Friday, New York magazine's John Heilemann trotted out the same old tired and completely false cliches about the GOP that Americans are going to hear ad nauseum for the next eight months.
"The Republican Party is becoming just truly is becoming a whiter, more blue collar, more populist, less well-educated party" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York magazine's Frank Rich on Monday stereotyped folks who back ballet as defacto supporters of gay rights.
This came during a lengthy segment on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show wherein the host absurdly told viewers that it's wrong for wealthy people who appear to be socially liberal to fund conservative candidates that don't completely support same sex marriage (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Something extraordinarily rare happened on MSNBC Thursday.
One of the network's admittedly liberal anchors, Hardball's Chris Matthews, scolded a liberal guest, New York magazine's John Heilemann, for echoing Obama administration talking points (video follows with transcript and commentary):