Talking Points Memo is one of the best sources for US political news. I’m not aware of anything that even comes close (but then again there are rafts of things I’m unaware of).
They generally do a fine job of avoiding bias … and yet when it come to Hillary Clinton there’s an undertow, all the more noticeable for its absence otherwise.
Commenting on how the news media couldn’t stop criticizing her laugh, and then began criticizing the lack of it:
Yes, we’ve apparently reached a point in the media’s coverage of the campaign in which news outlets find it noteworthy when they don’t notice anything unusual about Sen. Clinton’s laugh.
As Greg Sargent put it, “We’ve come full circle: Damned if you do cackle; damned if you don’t.”
Indeed. That’s the normal operating procedure for discrimination: you’re never good enough, you’re too fat, too thin, too dumb, too smart, too soft, too bitchy, etc. etc. etc. It’s refreshing that they recognize it and expose it to daylight.
And then they make fun of how ridiculous the media focus is:
In related news, Rudy Giuliani delivered a speech yesterday in which he didn’t answer his cell phone; Mitt Romney answered questions without abandoning a position he held five minutes prior; John McCain hosted a town-hall forum in which he did not refer to anyone as a “little jerk”; and Fred Thompson went the whole day without responding to a reporter’s question with, “I don’t know anything about that.”
They’re right that the media are making drooling fools of themselves. However, note the examples. Clinton’s laugh is being compared to evidence of manipulative boorishness, pandering, lack of impulse control, and stupidity. But a laugh is like a person’s gait or breathing. It can be consciously controlled, but it doesn’t say anything about one’s morals, maturity, or intelligence.
What’s going on with Clinton is even worse than what TPM realizes. The real parallels would be to say, “In other news, Rudy Giuliani delivered a speech yesterday during which he was still bald; Mitt Romney answered questions without wrinkling his forehead; John McCain hosted a town-hall forum in which he gestured sometimes; and Fred Thompson went the whole day with bags under his eyes.”
That’s so bad, it’s not funny. That’s what Clinton is putting up with.