A Return to Zapruder in the Live-Stream World

Last fall, Jay Rosen wrote a post and I wrote a follow-up, both of which elicited much discussion. Jay quoted a member of the White House press corps explaining why the press corps continues to attend the White House press events even though they’re staged spin, rather than news. Here’s the exchange between Jay and the anonymous reporter.

Well, there are two phrases that I’d like to pass along to your readers. They mean more or less the same thing. “Body watch” means covering an event that will produce zero news on its own because you need to make sure the president doesn’t collapse. The other is SSRO — “suddenly shots rang out” — which is basically equivalent, just a bit more dramatic.

[snip]

When I emailed this to my friend, he asked whether we were responsible for the president’s safety, so I assume that others will have the same question. What we are responsible for is making sure that, if he collapses, or is shot at, we are in a position to get that information to our viewers/listeners/readers.

From what I know, a correct and concise statement of what the body watch is.

Think about how much JFK, RFK, MLK, Wallace, Squeaky, and Hinckley have shaped the logistical reality of White House coverage. The history of journalism is littered with stories of reporters who called it a day a bit too early, like the guy from the New York Times (if memory serves) who decided to head back to NYC hours before Wallace was shot. [my emphasis]

Basically, the press corps continues to attend all of Bush’s–or Presidential candidates’–events out of fear that something newsworthy might happen and they wouldn’t be present.

When I read this account of how the reporters covering the Hillary campaign learned of her RFK assassination comment–not to mention the fact that John McCain had a squamous cell carcinoma removed in February, in the middle of a Presidential campaign, without anyone reporting it–it made me want to further challenge the notion that the press corps has to follow the President–and Presidential candidates around–to make sure they, and not some random citizen with a video camera–reports on serious things that happen to the President.

Here’s how the NYT "covered" Hillary’s RFK comment (h/t Scarecrow).

In the morning the campaign, with its traveling press corps of about two-dozen reporters, photographers and camera operators, flew from Washington to Sioux Falls, S.D., to campaign in advance of the June 3 primary.

Mrs. Clinton had three events. First was a meeting with the editorial board of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, which was live-streaming the interview, something a few newspapers just started doing in this election cycle.

The press corps, meanwhile, was on a bus from the airport to Brandon, a few miles away, to set up for her second event at a supermarket. (The media are sometimes in a different place from the candidate, usually when the event is private or small.)

Her interview began while we were on the bus, but Internet access was so poor, we could only pick up bits of her comments intermittently. We did hear her bat back reports that her campaign had made overtures to Senator Barack Obama’s campaign about some kind of deal for her to exit the race.

At the supermarket, we were ensconced in a café off the deli counter, where many reporters were writing about her denying the overtures while also trying to follow the live stream. Here, too, Internet access was spotty and the stream came over in choppy bursts.

Mrs. Clinton arrived from the newspaper in the midst of this, and began addressing a couple of hundred people who were seated adjacent to us, in the fresh produce section. Then our cell phones and Blackberries went off.

On the other end were editors who had seen a Drudge Report link to a New York Post item online. The Post was not with the traveling press _ and apparently had a decent Internet connection.

The initial N.Y. Post item read this way: “She is still in the presidential race, she said today, because historically, it makes no sense to quit, and added that, ‘Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June,’ making an odd comparison between the dead candidate and Barack Obama.”

So: the NY Post to Drudge to the editors to the reporters actually "traveling" with Hillary.

By way of comparison of how the blogosphere jumped on the story, here’s a John Aravosis post that describes his efforts to confirm this story–and, as a loud Hillary opponent, frankly turn it into news.

UPDATE: I just called the newspaper’s news room to inform them that they kind of have a huge scoop here if they can confirm. Their response: You can watch the video yourself it’s on our Web site. Uh, yeah, but is it true – did she say it? They don’t know. Nice. The Argus Leader didn’t sound very interested in finding out if they had a huge story on their hands, so who knows.

You can read the NY Post article and decide for yourself. I’m trying to listen to the interview now to find out what exactly she said and why.

The article just updated. Holy shit.

Hillary Clinton today brought up the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy while defending her decision to stay in the race against Barack Obama.

"My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it," she said, dismissing calls to drop out.

Clinton made her comments at a meeting with the Sioux Falls Argus-Leader’s editorial board while campaigning in South Dakota, where she complained that, "People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa."

Aravosis continued to update that post for two hours. One of the first recommended DKos diaries on the comment seems to rely on Aravosis and was posted sixteen minutes later. I don’t know whether Aravosis found the Post story himself or via Drudge.

Whether or not it was Aravosis or Drudge who decided this comment had to be a story (nice company, Aravosis), it was, at last according to both Aravosis’ account, some random guy reading the news who did so–he told them they might have a big scoop. And, ultimately, it was a newspaper reporter watching the live feed of an interview from someplace comfortable who first reported the comments–it was neither the press corp reporters who were traveling "with" Hillary nor editors of the Argus-Leader with whom Hillary was meeting.

Now I don’t mean to suggest that a comment about an assassination is as important an event as actual physical events undergone by the President or candidate–though that’s why I brought up the McCain carcinoma, which also went unnoted and, because of McCain’s success at managing the release of his own medical records, underplayed when discovered. But it is an event that–for better or worse, and I’ve got mixed feelings about that–has been deemed a very important campaign event. (I actually trust Rachel Maddow’s read on this the most–"this is a gaffe and a big mistake from a remarkably disciplined candidate"– since she has repeatedly defended Hillary against unfair attacks, but since she also has superb political judgment.)

There are some events that will be news independent of the editorial decisions surrounding them. But the coverage of the RFK comment affirms, I think, that news is rarely made in the presence of the press corps. It is "made" in the editorial decisions and by the blogger/Drudge publicity and the talking heads. That’s in no way an entirely good thing. But it does mean that one’s presence in the press corps largely means a reporter will only have privileged access to a media handler’s spin on a particular event, and not necessarily a better vantage on the event itself.

Update: Athenae addresses related issues: 

Which goes back to what we talk about here a lot, laziness and stupidity in addition to bias, as a media problem. The utter arbitrariness, in that what one person says passes without comment other than on the back pages of the Beaver County Tidbit (much to the chagrin of the Tidbit) and what someone else says gets blown up into a 24-hour Pig Fuck of a "firestorm," which incidentally if I never hear that word again … A bunch of things contribute to this: charged environment, relative stupidity of statement, availability of critics and ease of analysis with which to quickly put together a Sunday show, the latter being so much more crucial than people think. If you can’t get anyone on the phone to say "that was outrageous!" you can’t write a story about outrage.

I’m not defending her at all, at best it was a fucking dumbass thing to say and very uncool, at best. But the total lack of rules to this thing, the lack of dare I say it, standards to which journalists are always declaring they adhere, makes fighting back against it very difficult, and that’s a lesson that all Democrats should have learned four years ago, hell, eight years ago. It’s a lesson they’re going to need to learn damn quick in the coming months.

Though I would add that–as I think I’ve shown here–the arbitrariness is by no means limited to the journalists. The blogosphere is at least as much at fault here. 

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83 replies
  1. JohnForde says:

    How else can we explain that Mr Bush admitted to perpetrating water torture, a crime for which the U.S. has EXECUTED perpetrators, held a press conference ten days later and NO MEMBER OF THE PRESS ASKED HIM ABOUT IT.

    I don’t recognize my country anymore.

    • MarieRoget says:

      The press corps is afraid to ask such questions. Fear (& the subsequent complicity in WH spin) rule the questioning done by our current WH press elite. Most reporters from foreign countries suffer from no such BushCo awe; the occasional questioning that sneaks through from them can be refreshing. Harder to swat them down, too, so they many times receive a non-answer & no follow ups.

      Might as well name it- the US reporters who attend WH pressers are by & large cowards, w/rare exception (thank you, Helen Thomas)- so afraid to be recipients of GWB’s adolescent-style scorn, sarcasm, personal attack, or OMG, possible future access denial. Access denial to what exactly, one might ask- yet another ride in the spin cycle w/the Schoolyard Bully-in-Chief or No-Nothing Perino?

  2. JohnForde says:

    How else do can we explain that Mr Bush admitted to perpetrating water torture, a crime for which this country has EXECUTED people, then held a press conference ten days after his admission and NO MEMBER OF THE PRESS ASKED HIM ABOUT IT?

    I don’t recognize my country anymore.

  3. SaltinWound says:

    It seems like the press sticks around hoping to pick up off the record comments from insiders, which, for some reason, they think have more value than on the record comments.

    • JoFish says:

      The comfortable “off the record” world inhabited by the Russerts, Mitchells and other overpaid pundits has sadly become what passes for news.

      When Richard Engle went and asked Preznit Horse Fluffer some actual questions the other day, the media wasn’t all “jeez, what great journalismism wish that had been me” they were attacking NBC on cue from the White House Fax Machine and Ed Gillespie. I don’t know how Engle managed to survive that interview… seems to me that Beloved Glorious Clueless Leader was telling him (Engle) how things were on the ground in Iraq. Engle, who I think has spent more time “on the ground” there than most other “reporters” can even conceive of. Hmmm… a reporter who has spent literally years in-country or a Preznit who shows up for “givemeTurkee photo ops” and splits under cover of Nacht und Nebel. Who has the cred? He who owns the Blast Fax owns the Media.

      Simply amazing. Perhaps there ought to be a new category of Pulitzer: “Best Line of Bullshit made into story via Off-the-Record Sources”.

  4. PJEvans says:

    The RFK bit was in remarkably bad taste.
    What bothers me more is the line

    “People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa.”

    That’s the complaint of someone who thought they would have no opposition, and expected – well, not a coronation, I don’t think, but maybe nomination by acclamation – everyone falling into line behind her.
    For someone who’s been through two presidential campaigns already, that’s stupid.

    I also think that she should have taken a week off from campaigning at some point, just sit on a beach somewhere and take a breather.

    • emptywheel says:

      For the moment, I’m trying to consider two different questions.

      1) Is this news? Yes, it was a gaffe and badly stated at best. But was it news and if it was, then why wasn’t it news on the multiple occasions when she has said something similar?

      2) Is the way it became news good or bad for our democracy?

      • MarieRoget says:

        Perhaps the HRC gaffe is news now as part of a search for some final Macaca moment that will bring her campaign more quickly to a close, final straw, etc. Does the press think the electorate is at last longing for such a moment, so this makes big news now rather than earlier?
        Still mulling yr. 2nd question…

        • emptywheel says:

          Or alternately, would the press have reported on it the way they did before they declared her campaign lost?

          I’m rather interested in whether they just treated it as news because Drudge and/or Aravosis forced them too. Drudge has been setting the news agenda for a long time, blogs can sometimes do so.

          I do find it striking, though, that the Argus-Leader is far and away the most sanguine about the comment.

          I’ll be curious who they endorse?

          • MarieRoget says:

            Scanning through the Argus-Leader, they do seem curiously non-committal & somewhat surprised @ the brouhaha over Hill’s remarks:

            “Sen. Hillary Clinton met with the Argus Leader editorial board on Friday.
            Her use of the timing of Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968 during a
            discussion of whether she should stay in the race for the Democratic
            nomination for president caused a national uproar.
            The interview was broadcast live on the Argus Leader Web site and the
            comments were picked up by New York media and quickly spread to the national
            stage.”

            Can’t find anything like a glimpse of a possible endorsement from them as of yet.

            • emptywheel says:

              The reason I raised an endorsement it that, if the editors were mulling it and thinking they really liked what she had to say, only to discover that the meeting had caused a big stink while they were thinking about it, then they might be genuinely mystified by the response.

      • PJEvans says:

        You’ve got me.
        I do think that the media covering campaigns is really part of the campaign any more – they travel with the candidate, party with them (well, sometimes) and somehow still believe that they’re independent reporters.
        I might actually prefer coverage by locals, even if it’s not good, because they might be less ‘part of the family’.
        The other thing might be that the media travelling with the campaigns might see these as one-off incidents, and miss the patterns that others outside might be seeing.

        Or, as one of my friends (peripherally involved in one of Clinton’s scheduled appearances) says, you can judge the kind of administration a candidate will have by the way the campaign is run: the people who are hired, the way events are scheduled and run, all of that. And that stuff doesn’t get reported unless it’s really obviously mishandled.
        (No, it wouldn’t be interesting to most people, but my friend works at science fiction conventions, where people will run the same part of operations for several years, and people know who’s good in what slots. Media relations, hotel liaisons (speakers-to-hotel-managers), green rooms, registration, food-and-drink supply, art shows, dealers’ rooms and security – and thousands of attendees. They’re volunteers, too.)

        • ACitizen says:

          The fiction fo the intrepid reporter determined to ‘get the scoop’ is just that. Most of these folks are third rate writers doing a dull boring job for a paycheck and health benefits when they can get them. They are wage-slaves and as such really don’t have much to say.

          And that is no accident. As you know the ‘news industry’ is used by corporatist America to keep the citizens fat, dumb and happy. It’s only after 40 years of stupidity by the ‘conservatives’ in their policy making with the streets crumbling, water and sewer costs along with food and energy prices going thru the roof never to return to current levels and endless war in progress and the edifying primary with a guy who can’t get his foot out of his mouth and woman who’s chief qualification was being married to the only Dem President in 25 years that the fat, dumbed down citizenry is turning away from the likes of CNN and KO and ABC and Fox to the ’sphere trying to find someone somewhere who can give them a line on….

          What’s likely to be true and what’s not.

          And all this happens just in time for Kos to lead his idiotic children’s crusade for Obama, clearly the least qualified candidate for office since….oh, well George Bush.

          It’s getting tough to separate the Clowns from the Ring Masters here in the ’sphere, the Clowns took over in the MSM long ago, but be of good heart there are many sites springing up like mushrooms in the fetid heat and stews of the swamp much of the ’sphere has become in the wake of dKos becoming CheetoLand followed by OpenLeft, Talking Points Memo, and Talk Left.

          Left Blogistan Ver 2.0, The Radiation, is replacing Ver 1.0, the era of the ‘Big Man’. and we’ll be the better for it. The corporatist media is a dead elephant walking. In ten years no one will be listening to what they will be sending to an empty room.

      • sunny says:

        Conversely, how is it a gaffe if she’s said it multiple times before?

        One of the resons, I believe, that so many people were willing to jump on this comment and take the least charitable interpretation is that the least charitable interpretation is actually the most realistic.

        Whether she intended to or not, Senator Clinton has given everyone a reminder that her only real path to the nomination is that something catastrophic happen to Senator Obama.

        This is something that has been discussed before. The whole raison d’etre of her campaign for at least the last several weeks has been that something “catastrophic” event may take Obama out of the running. To tie this into her comment and view what she actually said in the context in which she said it (as one of the reasons why she’s still running) is NOT something to be ignored. “Bittergate” anyone? Reverend Wright anyone?

        This is news, we are not overreacting, this is the last straw, and she needs to get out NOW.

  5. Rayne says:

    The media has two fundamental problems that it needs to address –

    – how does it embrace a new role in a world where it simply does not have the eyeballs to see and gather news, but must rely on citizens as the front line? What exactly is that new role? Facilitator? Distribution system? Analysis? Aggregator?

    – the new role has been forced upon it by the limitations that corporate media has too willingly accepted; at what point will it wake up to those limitations and shake them off?

    The latter we noticed during live coverage of an Obama campaign event; we had only one person on the ground, assuming that the event in Michigan was to be a “normal” campaign pep rally and not the endorsement by Edwards. (We had no advance notice prior to arrival at the event that there was anything unusual about to happen, and by the time we got word that something was up, it was too late to shift resources.) The single person on the ground covered the protests outside the venue — which the corporate media ignored, in order to set up for the event inside. The media also permitted itself to be corralled into a media pen; unfortunately, our person on the ground was also penned in because of their use of a laptop. This meant we were cut off from crowd reaction except in the aggregate.

    At the end of the event, the corporate media broke set and left, before the motorcade had even pulled away from the venue. They didn’t cover the protesters AFTER the event, which we believe may have been indirectly funded by McCain’s campaign, nor did the corporate media notice that both Obama and Edwards pulled away in the same vehicle (where were they headed? were they having a private conversation en route, or were they headed to a fundraiser, or…?)

    If media misses news, it’s in part because they’ve allowed themselves to be lulled into the complacency, allowed themselves to think that news only happens when official news reporters are there to anoint the event as news.

    • emptywheel says:

      Glad you included that, Rayne (me, I was sitting at home kicking myself I hadn’t–as I planned–hauled ass over to GR for the event).

      I also think the way the media is covering the MI clusterfuck suffers from this as well. They’re reporting what Hillary says is the reason MI voters are cranky, but AFAIK, no one has done any extensive interviews of what MI voters really think.

      Maybe you guys should do that this week–leading up to the RBC meeting–and have it published as well in the Independent? How do Dem activists really feel?

      • Rayne says:

        Damn — next time we should coordinate. I could have used an extra set of hands, and I’ve finally gotten some budgetary wiggle room to pay for a freelancer. We’ve agreed that for large campaign events going forward that we need somebody “in the pen” and somebody outside of it. Our man “in the pen” fought hard to get out, bitching at the Obama campaign for keeping him in it; in hindsight I think they were worried about losing the element of surprise, and they have been extremely disciplined in this respect.

        On the other hand, if he hadn’t fought with the campaign over “penning”, he’d not have had the chance to corner the campaign and get the first confirmation from the campaign that Edwards was endorsing. (The rest of the media in the pen was speculating about it, buzzing, but noone had actually cornered the campaign and gotten confirmation.)

        We did make a point of getting feedback from attendees at the Macomb County event; our junior fellow did a great job. But the penning in of the more senior person in GR kept us from getting the same kind of feedback.

        What kind of voter feedback do you think we should seek? Personally, I’ve had it with hearing from the same people in the party; their positions haven’t changed in 5-6 months. I’m wondering how we identify people to quiz at this point — do we ask people who voted in the clusterfuck, or do we ask a broader range of voters? Do we ask each of the fellows on the team to quiz a random sampling of five people? Do we ask them to corner their friends and family? What’s meaningful, and what’s not? That’s the part we struggle with, and I can see the corporate media struggling with it too, choosing to anoint something as “NEWS!” when it can’t determine the answer readily.

        • emptywheel says:

          Well, I’d ask a random selection of party functionaries–maybe call Vice Chairs in several parts of the state. And then go to events with a chunk of Dems (you know–like the A2 Farmers Market) and ask random selection of 5 people, maybe.

            • 4jkb4ia says:

              Una cosa rara also got written up in Arts & Leisure.

              The Emily Magazine portion of that article is a little like what Maryscott O’Connor got from blogging in the days of her greatest fame and what John Cole may get from blogging. It was getting mixed up with 24/7 gossip that really sank her and separated her from what the pixel-stained political blogging crew aspires to do.

          • Leen says:

            One of my favorite ass whoopings during this whole Iraqi fiasco was when George Galloway smacked Senator Coleman upside the head with the truth. Every one of our Reps, hell every American should watch and listen to George Galloway tell the truth about Iraq every day.

            If you did not see this it will make your day

            http://www.democraticundergrou…..15;3672646

            • watercarrier4diogenes says:

              thanks for trying to link it. I even tried to reconstruct the URL and eventually just went to Dem Under and searched for George Galloway. WOW!! Ass-whuppin’ indeed. I’m surprised Coleman still shows up in public after that one. Hopefully, the clip will be readily available on a few MN websites in the next 4 or 5 months. I also went to the YouTube link and ‘favorite’d the full C-Span vid of his testimony.

              Again, many thanks for posting it.

  6. mamayaga says:

    To expand the scope of this observation, it’s not just in following presidents and presidential candidates around that represents a foolish allocation of resources by corporate media. We have entered an era of distributed research and reporting, as evidenced by what Josh Marshall accomplished with thousands of local eyes and ears on the US Attorney scandal and the attempt to gut Social Security, by what you and FDL did in the Plame matter, by what numerous blogs now do every time there’s a Friday document dump. Corporate media spends a lot of money on celebrity reporters and their travel expenses when they need instead to invest in multitudes of lower-paid researchers with good internet skills. To the extent they don’t do it they will continue to be scooped, pushed around by Drudge, or in some cases steal information from blogs without attribution.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Since the White House delivers only spin, and denies any facts or interpretations not consistent with it, the press corpse’s hanging round the press room, even the President, can’t be about reporting news. There isn’t any in the normal sense, except that the WH provides only spin, which they refuse to report.

    Hanging round is about paying fealty at court. What did Louis XIV do to those who refused to pay homage at court? He didn’t just officially ignore them. He refused to grant them favors and severely punished others, took their estates, refused honors and titles to their heirs.

    Karl Rove famously does the same to editors and news organizations whose reporters’ work he dislikes. In contrast, Fox’s owner, Rupert Murdoch, gets US agency approval for anything he desires. I think that’s why reporters hang around at court. It’s all about protecting shareholders’ interests, which in this case, are diametrically opposed to that of their readers.

  8. Leen says:

    And the campaign has dominated the news for the past year 99% of the time, This morning on Meet The Press, Chris Matthews, This Week it was all election election election…Christ All Mighty Uncle all ready. How many ways can you have the campaign and upcoming election served? How many times can we hear the talking heads dissect when will Hillary drop out, who will Obama select as VP, who will McCain select as VP? How many ways can you slice and dice the American public and this election? Enough all ready.

    If I was or had served in Iraq I would either be depressed or outraged, it’s as if that war has been forgotten let alone holding anyone responsible for the false intelligence ACCOUNTABLE. Tomorrow is Memorial Day and there was not one interview with a Vet on any of these shows and barely a mention of their service or their perspectives on this war or wars of the past. I am sick of hearing about this election. This year should be a “slam dunk” for the Democrats and with the way this is dragging on it is not.

    George Stephanpoulous did nail Rove (who was on for at least 20 minutes) on the subpoena. I have never heard Rove say “uh uh uh” so many times in a row. Although he seemed fairly confident that he was riding above the law along with the rest of the Bush administration.

    • MarieRoget says:

      Tomorrow is Memorial Day and there was not one interview with a Vet on any of these shows and barely a mention of their service or their perspectives on this war or wars of the past. I am sick of hearing about this election.

      I’d bet they’re pretty sick of hearing about it, too. Those that can still hear anything.

      The muffled drum’s sad roll has beat
      The soldier’s last tattoo;
      No more on life’s parade shall meet
      That brave and fallen few.
      On Fame’s eternal camping-ground
      Their silent tents are spread,
      And Glory guards, with solemn round,
      The bivouac of the dead.

      No rumor of the foe’s advance
      Now swells upon the wind;
      Nor troubled thought at midnight haunts
      Of loved ones left behind;
      No vision of the morrow’s strife
      The warrior’s dream alarms;
      No braying horn nor screaming fife
      At dawn shall call to arms…

      1st & 2nd verses from Bivouac of the Dead
      Theodore O’Hara

      http://www.bartleby.com/102/147.html

    • FrankProbst says:

      George Stephanpoulous did nail Rove (who was on for at least 20 minutes) on the subpoena. I have never heard Rove say “uh uh uh” so many times in a row. Although he seemed fairly confident that he was riding above the law along with the rest of the Bush administration.

      I really hope John Conyers TiVoed that exchange, because it’s going to be his Exhibit A when the whole thing finally ends up in a courtroom. My favorite part was when he let it slip that the White House hasn’t actually asserted Executive Privilege on the Conyers subpoena, but Rove is already refusing to testify, because he expects the White House to do so.

      • Rayne says:

        That tack is exactly the same one taken by that moron Stephen Johnson of the EPA; he pointedly didn’t claim privilege, nor did he say the that the President had, but he clearly thinks there’s no reason to believe that he should have to answer to Congress because the President should and likely will claim privilege.

        In some ways, it’s another form of pixie dust — the undeclared privilege.

  9. FrankProbst says:

    I posted a little on this over at firedoglake yesterday. I think there’s a BIG age gap in people’s reactions to this, for obvious reasons: If you’re old enough to remember the RFK assassination (and Hillary definitely falls into this category, as do most of the senior editors in the media), I think that you’re more likely to see Hillary’s comments as simply beyond the pale. If you’re too young to remember RFK, then this simply seems like a boneheaded thing to say, but not really any worse than, say, her “white Americans” line.

    My personal perspective (as someone in category 2) was that it was a dumb thing to say, but what was truly inexcusable were the subsequent “apologies”. First, she apologized for any pain that she caused…to the Kennedys. (And that, frankly, was the end of her Vice-Presidential aspirations. If you imply, even accidentally, that your opponent might get his brains blown out, you really need to apologize both to your opponent and–more importantly–to their spouse. From now on, when Hillary’s name comes up in Veep talks, Michelle Obama’s first comment is going to be, “Not just ‘no’, but ‘HELL NO!’”) And today, she seems to have gone on the attack by claiming that her comments were “taken out of context”.

    I’m not in politics, and I realize that “taken out of context” is a standard political ploy, but from a practical standpoint, I think that you should only use this tactic if (a) your words really WERE taken out of context, and/or (b) repeated video clips of you yourself saying your own words IN CONTEXT aren’t going to make you look even worse. In this case, she’s almost demanding that the media play this clip over and over and over again, which means more and more people are going to see it. And regardless of your feeling about what she actually said (and again, I didn’t see it as that big of a deal when she said it), it’s quite clear that her words weren’t taken out of context. The blogs (americablog and talkingpointsmemo) both posted the video clips almost immediately. And now pretty much everyone else is going to post them, too. VERY poor spin from Team Hillary here.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think one of the most telling things about the NYT piece is her demeanour for the rest of teh day. She was clearly deflated, probably realizing she had sunk any miniscule chance she had–for Pres, but also (as you point out) especially for VP. She gave Obama all the excuse he needs to refuse her the VP spot.

      Given that she realizes how bad she fucked up, you’d think her response would have been smarter.

  10. Leen says:

    On the spin

    I don’t know why I have felt surprised, shocked, alarmed etc during the last four years every time I have heard (and I can get specific) Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, George Stephanapoulous, Diane Rehm, Neil Conan, andothers allow unsubstantiated claims about Iran to be repeated over and over again. I have not heard one of the above mentioned folks challenge these claims during the last four years. Not once.

    On NPR’s Talk of the Nation a while back Neil Conan let John Bolton rant on and on about Iran, never challenging him. Not once.

    Is it just too much to ask these media folks to do their jobs and ask more challenging questions especially when it comes to the possibility of the Bush administration attacking another country based on unsubstantiated claims . What have they learned after their endless blunders in the run up to Iraq.

    The new strategy seems to be to keep the American public bogged down in the endless election hash and rehash.

    • MarieRoget says:

      Thank you for yr. posting, masaccio. The old stuff holds up well, doesn’t it? Deal a lot w/those old recordings myself, & very familiar w/this one from the LoC.

      Well, we’re going up to central Cali now to put flowers/flag on my Dad’s grave. We’ll take the doggies & have a good run on Jalama Beach while we’re @ it, & think about the gear-up for the fight against BushCo in the next few mos. Dad would have liked that, wouldn’t he, my bros…

      Read you all later.

      • masaccio says:

        I have an album of war and anti-war songs by Eli Radish, with songs from the Civil War (an anti-war version of “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again”) to WWII (”There’ll be Blue Skies over the White Cliffs of Dover”), the old songs do hold up well.

    • yonodeler says:

      The time or two that I heard it, I was moved by Michelle Shocked’s a cappella version of Steve Goodman’s “The Ballad of Penny Evans”.

  11. ffein says:

    I’m an ordinary michigan citizen. I voted in the primary. I would have voted for obama if he had been on the ballot. We weren’t allowed to write in anybody. So I voted for kucinich…I liked how he kept the topics of interest to me in the discussion (the war, the economy, for example). It infuriates me when clinton says she won the michigan primary. She was for the most part the only one on the ballot. That’s not an election.

  12. bonjonno says:

    For a long time I was into whoever the ultimate Dem pick would be. Wasn’t sure who I liked the most but it probably wasn’t BO or HRC. But when it finally came down to those two, Obama seems to have made a lot of good decisions and remain somewhat calm and cool under fire and Clinton (and her campaign especially)- one gaffe after another. For months now it seems like. And then they dig themselves in deeper and deeper. It really is beginning to look like the world has moved on and left that old political m.o. in the dust. It ain’t workin’ anymore.

  13. Rayne says:

    ffein (30) — if you’d like to participate in the feedback, you can email me at rayne_today (at) yahoo and I’ll be sure to include you.

    watercarrier4diogenes (31) — MinMon is a sister site with which I’m affiliated; I notice that the NYT article doesn’t mention them. The challenge in Minnesota is the preponderance of right-wing blogs with large followings, coupled with corporate media in great upheaval. MinMon is trying to address the gap that the corporate media vacuum leaves, while the liberal blogs attempt to take on the winger blogs. There’s a nice point of overlap, though, in the MN Campaign Report, as it is published by one of the MinMon team.

  14. eyesonthestreet says:

    More on that decription of the press cited in post above by NYT:

    The travelling press corp sat at the back of the plane even after learning about her RFK comment, her produce apology, and continued to be good obedient companions as they played dice in the back of the plane on their trip back to NY. They are so weak and afraid of being tossed off the plane(like one of Hillary’s more charming campaign ads) that they would not dare to breach the short walk down the aisle from their seats at the back of the plane to the front of the plane to ask a question of her or her staff.

  15. eyesonthestreet says:

    And one more thing:

    I do not see how someone who has experienced assassination first hand can support someone who would say such a thing, ie, DiFi.

  16. perris says:

    it’s an interesting excuse but it fails

    the fact that these press events are staged and spun means nothing can possibly happen and these reporters can be the story by boycotting the events until they become real press hearings

    until they are real press hearings these reporters need to beycott the event, and if they do not they ARE tools of the administration’s propaganda

    from now on and until they start acting like journalists we should refer to them as “the propaganda corp”

    • Leen says:

      When Helen Thomas gets one through it’s as if God’s light enters the room.

      “if anybody in the White House press room these days deserves a raise it’s Helen Thomas, who continues to be the only journalist in the room to consistently uphold the duties of the Fourth Estate. Thank you Helen for keeping it real ever since landing a job at UPI all the way back in 1943.”

      http://www.crooksandliars.com/…..s-a-raise/

  17. Mnemosyne says:

    I might actually prefer coverage by locals, even if it’s not good, because they might be less ‘part of the family’.

    I know that local reporters are frequently as good as or better than the ones from major metro, but the problem is access. When a presidential candidate comes to your town/city, the Secret Service keeps far away and out of reach any locals who haven’t previously been investigated, researched, photographed, fingerprinted and god knows what else–even if said local reporter has been covering the candidate in his/her local function for years and is on a first-name basis.

  18. moondancer says:

    Years ago I was managing an event at the DC convention center. It was Sunday evening and the show was struck and loading out which meant a lot of Trucks lined up and a lot driving out. All of the sudden a Secret Service guy tells me to get everyone out of the trucks and stop the operation. A short time later a high speed convoy flies by. One limo had the King of Jordan, a few later had Reagan and Nancy. Right behind them was a hatchtop Surburban with a guy holding a news camera aimed at Reagans car. I asked the SS guy what was he filming and he simply said “the body watch”. A pool guy always had the prez on film.

  19. Kitt says:

    I’ve been a bit bewildered about this whole story and how it has traveled and developed. I’ve had no doubt that it was clunker of a comment by Clinton. I’ve had no doubt that it was a disingenuous comment by Clinton in regards to making a point and comparison to Kennedy in June and this campaign in June. There really is no comparison in that regard. The variables are too obvious for her to believe what she said was relevant the case she was attempting to make. But when I saw Olberman’s Special Comment I found myself wondering how this ‘gaff’ could possibly be the thing that Clinton deserved such venom and ire over in comparison to so many other things she has done and said in the past.

    In essence, I just don’t like to see relatively small news become the BIGGEST GAWDDAMNED NEWS of the day, week, month or campaign. I think this sort of “outrage” dwarfs the impact of times and situations that deserve real and true outrage.

    • NorskeFlamethrower says:

      1,853 DAYZ AND THE KILLIN’ GOEZ ON AND ON AND…

      Citizen Kitt:

      If you see the statement that “she who should forever remain nameless” made as a simple “gaff” and not a revealing statement of her politics, political values and her absolute lack of grace, class and character, then you will never understand Olberman’s outrage or the outrage that this candidate can still generate supporters among those who profess a loyalty to democracy.

      This was NOT a simple “gaff” or misstatement, taken in context with her equivocating attempts to explain away the remarks and her inability to find the character to apologize to Obama for them, her statement and actions clearly illuminate the reason she is not equipped or qualified to represent a rock garden in our democracy.

      KEEP THE FAITH AND PASS THE AMMUNITION, THIS ONE CAN’T BE EXPLAINED AWAY!!

      • Kitt says:

        I didn’t say it was a “gaff”. Notice that I put the word gaff in parenthesis. Meaning that others have tried to call it that, not me. I also made it clear that I thought her words, whatever else one might think about them, were dishonest. But all of that has been said again and again on this very board. So I saw no reason to repeat it all. You’re jumping on me as an ego builder for yourself. I think I was clear enough in my statements to not warrant the complete trivializations and misrepresentations you have made of them in your reply to me.

        My point was clear: Hillary Clinton has totally killed the goose several times prior to this last goose killing. Therefore, I didn’t see the point in trying to paint this as the worst damned thing she has ever done or said or that it is some sort of last straw. I’ve been fed up with her campaign for months.

  20. NorskeFlamethrower says:

    1,853 DAYZ AND THE KILLIN’ GOEZ ON AND ON AND…

    Citizen emptywheel and the Firepup Freedom Fighters:

    Bless your heart Citizen emptywheel, but let’s keep our eyes on the prize here with regard to “she who should forever remain nameless” and the statements she made and then equivocated about tryin’ ta justify her continued presence in the race and her proclaimin’ her continued victimization by those who are concerned about beating the fascist candidate for President. Except as an exercise in process, the question of how the story of the remarks got to the public at large is NOT the story…in this case the medium (or the media) is not the message. What the candidate said, the greater context of what she said, and why she said it is the message we should be lookin’ for.

    Our corrupt corporate media structure and the new people-powered alternative is not the issue here and lookin’ at the process that the message got out does nuthin’ to justify or even qualify the horribly revealing meaning of what she said.

    KEEP THE FAITH AND PASS THE AMMUNITION, THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND ANYMORE!!

  21. ezdidit says:

    It’s actually called a “death watch” assignment. “DW (name of person)” goes on your schedule.

  22. WilliamOckham says:

    There’s one aspect to this kerfluffle that everyone is treating as peripheral that I think is actually central. The underlying point that Clinton was making was total bs. Bill Clinton had his nomination wrapped up long before the California primary in June 1992. Bobby Kennedy was on a quixotic quest driven by very real, very serious policy differences within the Democratic party. The facts of those two examples undermine, rather than prove her point. Given that the text of the comment is bs, people will inevitably try to uncover a subtext. Folks who are unfavorably disposed to Hillary Clinton are likely to react the way Keith Olbermann did because we’re all familiar with politicians using this technique to inject “beyond the pale” ideas into public discussion. Clinton partisans will understandably see that reaction as unjustified. In the long run, situations like this are corrosive to a free society because they disrupt the shared understanding of public reality necessary for reasonable discourse.

    The root of this problem is the inability of the press to deal with bs (in the technical Harry Frankfurt sense). Because they don’t have an effective rational way to expose bs, they rely on reporting “criticism” to counter it. That’s why Clinton got a pass on a whole host of bs statements in the last three months.

  23. punaise says:

    …John McCain had a squamous cell carcinoma removed in February, in the middle of a Presidential campaign, without anyone reporting it…

    based on name proximity alone, it’s Kwame’s to report

    (Kwame Holman, News Hour reporter)

  24. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    Hillary’s comment was ‘reported’ and paraded about by people who are trivializing the risks to personal safety of being involved in politics today.

    On more than one occasion, I’ve been involved in public decisions that prompted threats of violence, and required the presence of armed, uniformed law enforcement officers.
    Experiences like that change you.
    Threats change you, despite making you angry and incredibly indignant.
    When you find yourself driving home late at night, and you’re wondering whether your house may be a target of arson, or whether some unstable, angry person has focused all their grievances, resentments, and anger on you, it is damn scary.

    I know several elected officials in my region who have literally had people show up in the dark of night, threatening them with guns. The elected officials never imagined that doing their ‘civic duty’ would risk their personal safety.
    So it’s not surprising that Hillary Clinton (and Obama, and McCain) live with some anxiety of violence. And I interpreted Hillary’s comments as an expression of the fact that she constantly must have to deal with that threat.

    The news item should have been: Why do our political candidates even have to worry about, or remember, being the targets of violence??
    But that’s a scary topic. It was so much easier to blame Hillary for raising the scary subject, than it was for the press to ask how incivility and lazy reporting have poisoned our political conversation and reduced our ability to solve problems.

    Color me unsurprised that the press blamed Hillary for it’s own failures.

  25. MrsK8 says:

    The question was raised as to why Hillary’s assassination comment was suddenly NOW such big news, when she’s made similar references before. Here are my thoughts on that.

    1) It was on video, and that makes a huge difference. Think of Tuzla, and how no one paid much attention until ”reality-based” video was available for everyone to ”see” the lunacy of the ”sniper” claims for themselves. In this instance, the casual and offhanded delivery of the assassination reference added to the impact on the viewer, too.

    2) Teddy Kennedy had just received a devastating diagnosis a couple of days earlier. The crassness and lack of sensitivity was therefore greatly heightened.

    3) The 40th anniversary of Bobby’s murder is right around the corner, in fact, right after this next set of primary contests. Again, crassness and the appearance of being cravenly desperate to cling to slender straws in order to grab the nomination can seem more shocking in this context. reflecting the very opposite of grace and thoughtfulness under pressure. This achieves the very opposite of the sense that Clinton would be a thoughtful President who could remain cool and considerate of others in the face of difficult challenges.

    4) The fears that African-Americans (and many, many others, especially progressives of all backgrounds) have that Obama could have the nomination ”snatched” or ”stolen” from him (with the very thought of violence reflecting the deepest and darkest of fears) becomes much, much more magnified now that his lead in the race has been cemented by every sort of ”metric” (gawd, I so hate seeing this adjective turned into a stupid, sloppy noun). These fears are highly intensified the more it seems that Clinton might be coldly, calculatedly hoping that some sort of ”disaster” disables Obama — even though one might well assume that she never, ever hoped for violence of any sort.

    JMO. Do these items make sense?

    • spork_incident says:

      The question was raised as to why Hillary’s assassination comment was suddenly NOW such big news, when she’s made similar references before. Here are my thoughts on that.

      [shrug] I don’t think the comment was all that. Mostly I thought “Huh?” Over-tired and loopy she was.

      .

    • ACitizen says:

      You left out the single most important factor on how anything Hillary says will be reported.

      How it can improve Obama’s chances in the Primary.

      That which dare not name itself is simply this: The corporatist press in conjunction with the current oligarchy which rules this nation through it’s meatpuppets the so called ‘Republican Party’ and the ‘Democrat’ Party hav decide that Obama will be the Dem nominee so as to allow McSame to win in November.

      What you or I think is unimportant.

      Trivial.

      Irrelevant.

      The decision has been made.

  26. sunny says:

    Color me unsurprised that the press blamed Hillary for it’s own failures.

    Color me unsurprised that Hillary and her supporters are blaming everybody but her for the disgusting words that came out of her own mouth.

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Please re-read my earlier comment.

      EW asks, ‘was Hillary’s comment news’?
      In a world in which:
      – climate change is an urgent problem
      – many nations (India, Pakistan, Russia, China, France, Japan, UK, US) have nuclear weapons
      – our food supply is potentially endangered…
      in this context of serious problems, how is Hillary Clinton’s comment ‘news’?

      Reread EW’s post. She raises important questions: shouldn’t the WH press corps be more than ‘a body watch’? What does the fact that Hillary’s comment has become ‘news’ tell us about the times we live in, or the problems that need to be addressed?

      I don’t think Hillary’s comment is news.
      Having been a target of (potential) political violence, I can understand why she would mention this topic.
      What does it tell us that her words have struck such a hysterical response?

      What does it tell us that one of the best pieces of reporting in recent months — David Engle’s interview at NBC with GWBush — became the target of WH insults? What does it say that Engle, who evidently has a better understanding of Iraq than anyone on the President’s staff, was treated so contemptibly by the WH? And how is it that David Engle’s fine reporting is being lost in a hullaballoo about a remark by Hillary Clinton that has nothing to do with how to end the Iraq War, or a hundred other key topics?

      Your comments would be more productive, IMHO, if you sought to examine these issues, rather than insult my remarks.

      Best of luck to you.

      • Rayne says:

        HRC’s comments became news, aside from blogger hype.

        They were in bad taste before, but if they reflect the reason she continues to drag out the primary, they are clearly news now. We cannot move on to the general because of something — what is that thing? Is it that which is reflected in her words, her deeds?

        It also became news because the media rolled over the first times these kinds of comments were made. (Why did HRC bring this up earlier, when she should be inured to the threats after all these years?)

        It has been news, for as long as the media resists looking at the real threat to a candidate (and they pointedly do ignore the threats, believe me — have you seen neo-nazis protesting candidates and intimidating event attendees, for example? which candidates?).

        These are not just components of the horse race that our nomination process has become, but they go to the heart of the media’s purpose as well as the ethics and morals of the candidates at hand.

        • PetePierce says:

          This primary and the general in the future are and will be showcasing the broad robust infrastructure of racism in the United States and I don’t expect this country to improve from the current level of ignorance and racism any time soon. I don’t especially when one large state now can point with pride to 80% of their eighth graders who took state mandated tests for math and social sicences and flunked them to the tune of 80% and 60% respectively.

          They purportedly needed to pass to go on to high school, but it turns out the state is so stupid that they don’t keep track of what the local school boards do, who pass them on anyway no matter what scores they made raising the question about the value of the testing.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          It has been news, for as long as the media resists looking at the real threat to a candidate (and they pointedly do ignore the threats, believe me — have you seen neo-nazis protesting candidates and intimidating event attendees, for example? which candidates?).

          I don’t think that fears of violence are the overriding reason that Hillary persists, but I think your point here is important.

          I didn’t see “Recount” last night (a friend TiVo’d; I’ll see it later in the week), but the Florida vote in Nov 00 is only one instance in which young thugs have been sent in to create chaos. And chaos is dangerous; that’s how thugs take power away from civil society (even if they’re clean cut, white, college educated thugs).

          The press really needs to start including any instances of intimidation or ‘out of bounds’ behavior that occurs related to ANY campaign event — whether it’s for Obama, or McCain, or Hillary. This bullshit needs to stop.

      • Leen says:

        News! Flag pins, what Pastors have to say, etc etc. While 4 million Iraqi refugees struggle, Sudan, Burma, the aftermath of the quake in China.

        The MSM has their priorities and the American people seem to follow in mass.

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Although I’m a little confused about what part of bread and circuses you find objectionable, you seem like a great person

  27. JohnJ says:

    Geeze… simple explanation to her comment; If she drops out and something happens to OB, they would have to start the whole primary process over again. That DOES NOT means she is hoping for something violent, but what about a car crash or a heart attack?

    She has fallen victim to a problem I have sometimes; I leave off the end of a comment, assuming the listener is smart enough to get the idea without stating what should be obvious.

    Every singe black friend I have has said “they” will kill OB if he gets close (the invisible they, not the person speaking). History is on their side.

  28. oldgold says:

    In Time Magazine March 2008:

    TIME: Can you envision a point at which–if the race stays this close–Democratic Party elders would step in and say, “This is now hurting the party and whoever will be the nominee in the fall”?

    CLINTON: No, I really can’t. I think people have short memories. Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn’t wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual.

    The reaction to this was – crickets. Why? It wasn’t news. The virtually identical comment in South Dakota several weeks later wasn’t news either. That is, until it was manufactured into news.

    Whether you support Obama or not, the ability of the media to do this sort of thing ought to scare the hell out of you.

    • sunny says:

      Yes, it scares me that they didn’t report it sooner. But Aravosis pushed this out there as Marcy made clear in her post. ARAVOSIS, not the media. Otherwise, the comments WOULD HAVE BEEN IGNORED BY THE CORPORATE MEDIA.

      Imagine…

      It’s mid October and Hillary has somehow managed to obtain the nomination. She’s ahead of McInsane 55-45. McInsane vows to fight on, no matter the odds. “After all” he says “Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during her campaign”

      • oldgold says:

        Something appears in Time and you think it wasn’t reported?
        Time has a circulation of 4 million.

        The people who hyped this did not view this as an outrage. Rather, they saw it as an opportunity.

        In my opinion it is a dangerous business.

        • sunny says:

          I said they didn’t “report it” you said “it wasn’t news”.

          Why? It wasn’t news

          A distinction without a difference. Yes, it was hyped-by Aravosis. There was video this time, and that WAS different. Are you saying bloggers shouldn’t try to bring attention to issues? If not, then why the hell do they even exist?

  29. bmaz says:

    Valiant effort rOTL; sadly, the same complete lack of results to show for it as I routinely get when I, despite knowing better, wade into the primary maelstrom with the general FDL commentariat. As Rodney Dangerfield was wont to say, “It’s a tough crowd in that room I tell you, tough crowd…”.

  30. 4jkb4ia says:

    I defended this site against Turkana writing about the “Great Convergence” between bloggers and the media, having the same standards about the election. The aforementioned gossipmongering mentality has been shared by bloggers and the media. Once someone decides that it must be news because it is on Drudge, that is an extreme of gossipmongering. Professional journalists should be around because of their ability to evaluate a source and know what professional politicians are likely to do.

  31. PetePierce says:

    I wanted very badly to understand Marcy’s last two paragraphs but I’m afraid the only concept I understood was pig fuck.

    I thought she was intimating that since the media may not be present for the actual event, then we the yoyos on the street are at the mercy of how it’s spun and how much pig fucking the talking head punditocracy does afterward.

    But I think Hillary’s coment was an accurate psychological biopsy of Billiary’s mindset.

    At any rate there’s one thing I’m certain of. Today is Memorial Day and we’re all sad at a clusterfuck (now there’s an acceptable and respectable word and it doesn’t conjure up something that only pigs might get pleasantly excited about) that is wrecking 5 percent of families at best while the other 95% bitches about how expensive it is to buy their Manolo Blahniks and fill up their gas hog SUVs made more gas hoggy thanks to Michigan’s finest Karl Levin, Debbie Dingell and John Dingell and many of their lobbyists on K Street and the firms of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull the Sequel to K Street which reminds me of the movie to see tonight. Sex with Blahniks on can wait until it hits the TV.

    There’s another thing I’m certain of. In my country it’s Monday 5/26/08. That means that it’s June 4 in 8 (eight) more days. And Super Delegates have told me on or about June 4 and some on the night of June 3, there is going to be two rushes. There’s going to be 1) The mad rush and 2) The bum’s rush. I’m sure you can figure out what those mean. And that will make things easier on my eyes when I turn on the TV which these blogs spell the tee vee (one more cultural nuance I was never apprised on growing up ’cause TV works fine for me–maybe it gets mistaken by others as an incomplete TVA or something.

    I ran accross this and even a real FDL puppie favorite MODO plugged it on Timmuhhhhhhh.

    What Went Wrong by Michelle Cottle The New Republic

    Of course for me, the title of that piece is “What Went Right.”

  32. PetePierce says:

    I also ran across this.

    HIllary Clinton’s Colossal Blunder Is Simply the Last Straw

    John McCain has squamous cell carcinoma Marcy says. I remember enough from microanatomy and staring down a few thousand microscopes to know that the squamous cell layer is the most superficial layer of the skin. Those tumors are far more common than the considerably worse prognosis malignant melanoma or the basal cell carcinomas because they are considerably more deep to begin with and in the layers where lymph nodes and capillaries live, hence closer to the freight trains that help them become mets much earlier.

    I noticed Dr. Kirk Morgan had a post jumping up and down over at the lake demanding access to McCain’s path reports, and that perhaps we should have more opinions than McCain’s $100-200 million sugar mommie and his uber slick health plan as a Senator could buy. AFIP is a fine institution but hardly the paragon or creme de la creme of dermatopathology excellence that it once was, and Cindy’s money can buy far better as to clinical correlation if he had a recurrence of melanoma or a basal cell which requires more planning and can require more skill than a squamous cell Ca.

    One thing media wise since this was a post on the media that is regrettable is that in that junket out to Arizona–a little place somewhere near Scotssdale I guess, there were real doctors on that trip who are members of the media like Larry Altman, M.D. of the NY Times who is an internist who did a year in epidemiology at the C.D.C. after his residency, and we should get better from him than to agree to just summarize vaguely which is exactly what Larry did.

    Dr. Murphy Kirk wanted the biopsy material submitted to experts, and there are much better clinical dermatopathologists that do this every day than AFIP, and talked of tissue sections and hinted at the criteria that are used to give prognostic indications on malignant melanoma cases. There are a number of other criteria like SEER data,

    thickness, ulceration, location of tumors (head and neck have a worse prognosis), regional node involvement, how many mets hit nodes, age of diagnosis (older is worse, the status of sentinal node biopsy, the actual histological type of melanoma, and spread pattern (nodular and acral lentiginous spreading indicates a poorer prognosis than lentigo maligna and superficial spreading), interval between melanoma diagnosis, and that the more years for an individual who has had one melanoma, the higher the probability they will have a second, etc.

    To imply that we have this kind of data that is reliable for neuropsychological and cognitive testing is simply wrong of Dr. Murphy. It doesn’t exist yet; and no medical literature reflects this.

    He does not accurately portray the level of reliability sophistication, and clinical accuracy that the neuropsychological tests like brain mapping, or cognitive tests, (and there are many that neuropsychologists who often consult for psychiatrists, neurologists and other physicans deploy) have or the reputation that they enjoy with other physicians or in the medical literature that reviews them including neurology literature, internal medicine literature and the psychiatry literature.

    Anyone who has read it and keeps up with it knows that there is a ton of disagreement as to the reliability of each and every neuropsychological test among experts in the field, and it is reflected in that literature. While there may be a lot of speculation in any traditional medical area, like say the cutting edge interplay of Diabetes and brain hormones and bone hormones.

    In Diabetes, a Complex of Causes

    I also don’t know where Kirk gets his information and states as fact that McCain has ever had alcoholism, or has ever “been violent” at work. Dr. Murphy doesn’t qualify that, and if McCain weren’t such a public figure, stating that about an individual, particularly when you are a psychiatrist could make Kirk the easy target of a libel suit.

    I have never voted Republican, and while I respect McCain’s militaryservice record, and know we all do, especially on a day like today, his comments about Obama have already been ludicrous.

    • PetePierce says:

      In Diabetes A Complex of Causes

      This should have been the link about work being done at places like Joslin Clinic @ Harvard offering a major and rather surprising pathway for diabetic treatment in the not too distant future that no one had talked about until recently.

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