Friday, June 24, 2005

Conservatives dump on anti-Hillary book. Once again NYT misses headline. Hell shows signs of freezing.

Earlier I reported that The New York Times apparently found it newsworthy that some Conservatives were plugging a book which casts aspersions on Senator Hillary Clinton. As the Times headline read, "Conservatives Promoting Anti-Clinton Book." (The AP headline in USA Today ran, "Conservatives tout anti-Hillary book.")

What the Times does not seem to be reporting is that Conservatives are also panning the book.

The Times apparently finds it more newsworthy that some Conservatives promote a book that trashes Hillary than that some Conservatives trash a book that trashes Hillary.

By no means are all Conservatives are panning the book; but a significant number of high profile ones are. A few examples follow.
  • Here is John Podhoretz:
    This is one of the most sordid volumes I've ever waded through. Thirty pages into it, I wanted to take a shower. Sixty pages into it, I wanted to be decontaminated. And 200 pages into it, I wanted someone to drive stakes through my eyes so I wouldn't have to suffer through another word.
  • Here is Peggy Noonan:
    We need a serious book about Hillary Clinton. Ed Klein's isn't it.

    I have read the Hillary book by Ed Klein, which has been heavily dumped on by conservatives, and understandably.... The book is poorly written, poorly thought, poorly sourced and full of the kind of loaded language that is appropriate to a polemic but not an investigative work.
  • Here is a New York Sun editorial:
    Senator Clinton is a politician with whom we've had our differences, but we don't mind saying that she has done nothing to deserve the kind of treatment she's received in a new book called "The Truth About Hillary." ...[W]e've rarely read a book about a serious politician with more of an off-putting smarminess.... [W]here is the decency here?

    ...We don't want to sound prudish. We relish a good scandal as much as anyone. But the kind of attack that this book levels against Mrs. Clinton strikes us as something different - and something that is not good for America. It is detached from policy. It discourages capable people from entering public service, knowing that they will be subject to this sort of personal denigration. It debases politics and government....
  • Here is Jim Geraghty:
    Folks, there are plenty of arguments against Hillary Clinton, her policies, her views, her proposals, and her philosophies. This stuff ain't it. Nobody on the right, left, or center ought to stoop to this level.
  • Here is Dick Morris:
    I am no defender of Hillary Rodham ClintonÂ?s, to put it mildly. But the recent charges in Ed KleinÂ?s book... are as crazy as the list that was circulating around of the 20 or so people the Clintons allegedly had killed.

    These accusations do not belong in our public dialogue.
And in related news, on a bizarre note, excerpts from the Klein book convinced hard-core right winger John Derbyshire that, under the right circumstances, he could vote for Clinton:
[I]t suddenly flashed through my mind that there might, conceivably, be circumstances in which I would vote for Hillary...

Admit it, there's a case for cold-blooded ruthlessness in the White House. There are times you might want that -- really want it, more than you want strict-constructionist judges, more than you want federalism, more than you want to preserve marriage or restrain spending or keep women out of combat. Right after we lose our first city to a nuke, perhaps.

I still find it really, really hard to imagine myself voting for Hillary. Just not impossible.
And snow begins to fall in Hell...