Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The DOH Also Rises

From the Sardonicky Online Dictionary:


1. (noun) acronym for Defense Of Hillary, a loose coalition of liberal pundits joining forces to squelch any and all legitimate criticism of the embattled Democratic Party nominee.
a) Variation: Dohdohs. Centrist and liberal pundits on steroids who are doubling down on their efforts to smear any and all critics of Hillary Clinton as pathological haters, misogynists, secret Trump supporters, and unwitting tools of Vladimir Putin. If you are paying more attention to the content of leaked emails proving Democratic complicity to destroy Bernie Sanders than you are to the source, you are un-American for refusing to join the shoot-the-messenger firing squad.
You might be tempted to confuse Dohdohs with David Brooks's Bobos, the coalition of cool, rich, hip, credentialed Bourgeois Bohemians. The difference is that Dohdohs are all too real, while Bobos are the fever dreams of a right-wing pop sociologist who has since failed upwards to an op-ed perch at the New York Times. (more about that paper soon.) 

 Dohdohs are also not be confused with the Dodo, which went extinct largely because of its trusting stupidity and too much inbreeding on its remote island habitat. Although inbred themselves, Dohdohs are very much alive during these waning days of Neoliberal Death Match 2016.


2. Doh: (epithet, mild swear word). As immortalized by Homer Simpson, "Doh!" is an inchoate expression of deep chagrin, often accompanied by a slap to the forehead. It is alternately spelled  "D'Oh!" in order to distinguish it from the cheap plasticine glop (Play-Doh) recently distributed by Donald Trump to Baton Rouge flood victims as a cynical substitute for food, medicine, and building supplies.


For purposes of Hillary Clinton and this blog-post, I propose to combine the two meanings of DOH and make this into a true Clinton-style Third Way initiative:

3) DOH: a coalition of Clinton defenders who are Homerically challenged, chagrined, and sincerely confused that the majority of Americans simply do not trust the living antithesis to the reviled Donald Trump. Instead of violently slapping their foreheads in self-loathing, however, they merely scratch or massage their weary erudite pates as they Tweet and they blog and they editorialize their Defense of Hillary displeasure far and wide.

There Is Nothing Playful About True DOH

The most compulsive self-Tweeting (10,000 ReTweets and counting!) DOH operative this week has got to be habitual Clinton supporter Paul Krugman (pictured above), who brands himself the liberal conscience of the Times. As such, out of an abundance of moral rectitude, his new persona is the heroic scold of journalism. In his latest column, he excoriates the smears and innuendoes of the corporate media against his favored candidate. He is so brave, in fact, that he even "reluctantly" dared to criticize his very own newspaper - without, mind you, taking his daredevil act quite so far as to actually mention his employer and his colleagues by name. But you know who you are, Amy Chozick and Patrick Healy and Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin! Uncle Paul is not well pleased, and neither is his client.

I already covered Krugman's hypocritical DOH in my Monday post. 

But Glenn Greenwald adds some much-needed bulk and spice to the increasingly thin gruel of journalism in the public interest. He reports that the Paper of Record initially even refused to Tweet out Krugman's Number One trending smash hit of a staged morality play.

And, Greenwald drily notes:
Thankfully, it appears that Krugman — at least thus far — has suffered no governmental recriminations or legal threats, nor any career penalties, for his intrepid, highly risky defense of Hillary Clinton.
That’s because — in contrast to his actually brave, orthodoxy-defying work in 2002 as one of the few media voices opposed to the invasion of Iraq, for which he deserves eternal credit — Krugman here is doing little more than echoing conventional media wisdom. That prominent journalists are overwhelmingly opposed to Donald Trump is barely debatable; their collective contempt for him is essentially out in the open, which is where it should be. Contrary to Krugman’s purported expectation, countless Clinton-supporting journalists rushed to express praise for Krugman. Indeed, with very few exceptions, U.S. elites across the board — from both parties, spanning multiple ideologies — are aligned with unprecedented unity against Donald Trump. The last thing required to denounce him, or to defend Hillary Clinton, is bravery.
Not to be outdone in the DOH sweepstakes is Heather "Digby" Parton, who writes in Salon with all the DOH umbrage she can muster. First, she takes aim at the mildy acerbic liberal Chris Cilizza, who had the outrageous effrontery to read the polls and accurately observe:

This election is about voters choosing the least worst candidate. That's where we are in our politics.

Digby cannot abide with this particular dude, fuming: 
That jaded comment by a member of the media, however, illustrates something  important. Some members of the press are not just commenting on a reality; they are pushing the theme of two equally unpalatable candidates and it just isn’t true.
 (It's the dreaded dragon of false equivalence raising its ugly jade-green head!)

And then she falls into the convenient trap which holds that since no direct bribery has been proven regarding the Clinton Foundation, it follows that no corruption can possibly exist through the mere co-mingling of a billion-dollar private enterprise and a government agency. After all, everybody else in Washington swims in the incestuous muck, including members of DOH themselves. And if renegade journalists are seen as picking on Hillary and only on Hillary, it just logically follows that such massive buck-raking has been a normal, natural, aboveboard activity all along, making capitalism our democracy absolutely thrive. Or so DOH says. Or if it's dancing that you crave, just DOHsey DOH your public-private partner.

"I had to laugh," Digby wrote chucklingly, "at Sunday’s silly New York Times story about Hillary Clinton hobnobbing with wealthy donors as if that were a shocking display of arrogant elitism. Compare and contrast that with this story from 2012 about President Obama hobnobbing with wealthy donors portrayed as an unpleasant but necessary duty in a time of big money dominance. One cannot escape the fact that Clinton is being held to a different standard."

Oh yeah? Digby obviously didn't read the surfeit of both progressive and mainstream publications (such as here, here, and here) for ample evidence that Obama, too, has been quite harshly criticized for money-grubbing from the rich and famous. He raised an estimated billion dollars during his second campaign, spending unprecedented time and untold gallons of polluting jet fuel on Air Force One en route to Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Wall Street for a veritable orgy of odious hobnobbing and legalized bribery. There are plenty of observers who've noted the corruption in the Obama White House - including, most famously, Senator Elizabeth Warren. She aptly noted in 2014 that the current administration, the Bush administration, and the first Clinton administration have all been absolutely lousy with Citigroup executives.

Hillary Clinton is actually unfairly and overprotectively being singled out for immunity by the likes of Krugman, Digby and The Nation's Joan Walsh, to name just three of the teeming DOH brigade. Walsh's tired one-note refrain is that every criticism of Hillary has its deep ugly roots in sexism.

My own personal favorite DOH essay of all time was written by Clinton star surrogate America Ferrara, who currently plays an unbelievably happy and chipper Walmart employee on TV. She far surpasses Krugman, Digby and Walsh, for the sole reason that she doesn't limit herself to simply defending Hillary from the slings and arrows of outrageous journalism. She DOHtingly projects a positive, caring, strong Hillary persona. Because it is not enough to loathe Trump in order to propel Clinton to victory.

America Ferrara announces to all who will listen that "Hillary Thrills the Hell Out of Me!"

Me and Hillary, Netflix and chilling. Photo credit: Derek Garbryszak.
It's a shining example of the kind of positive and fair and acceptable Clintonian journalism that any member of DOH would be proud of, and should strive to emulate every day of their writing careers:
She’s the kind of woman I’d share a bottle of wine with. Maybe this is my vagina’s fault, but maybe I really heart Hillary because I was raised by a single mother who woke up everyday and did the unglamorous and grueling work of providing for her six children. Maybe that’s part of why I’ve come to recognize and admire Hillary for showing up, day in and day out, for the promise of unsexy, slow-going and hard-won progress.
I’d like to literally stream Netflix and chill with Hillary. Seriously, I’d be down to snuggle in onesies with a pint of mint chocolate chip and do a Gilmore Girls binge with Secretary Clinton.
Offense, Not Defense. You Go, Hillary Girl. USA! USA! USA!
Watch out for falling shiny shards from that shattered glass ceiling. And rejoice, ye of little faith. Live, love, laugh and be happy. Stay on the sunny side of life. May a smile be your umbrella protecting you from shards. Empower your brand. Lean In. Preferably toward your right.

Update: A second generation of Dohdohs appears to be rising. Let's call them the Dohdohdohs: pundits who are now making it their crusade to defend the Hillary Defenders. See, for example, this outraged screed bashing the critics bashing Paul Krugman for bashing the Hillary bashers.

Oh, and about that coughing fit adding even more fodder to the newer journalistic genre of Hillary health-bashing. It's not that she had a severe coughing fit that has me worried. It's that she tried to talk her way through it instead of sitting down to rest and maybe take a discreet puff or two of Albuterol to relax her airways. Trying to brazen your way through a medical crisis to show how tough you are is never a good idea. I know. I've been there, done that, much to my detriment.


Meredith NYC said...

I just happened to read Krugman's latest blog, after seeing the link on op ed page, and I wondered what now?'s called "Read Me On Twitter!" .... where PK seems to be reaching toward the apogee of trying for click bait, or something. I can't think of a better way of phrasing it right now.

He says, " It has come to my attention that some long-time blog followers aren’t aware that I am now Tweeting directly, and that this has to some extent displaced my blogging — especially when it comes to political commentary. If you don’t know about this, you should check it out. You don’t need to be on Twitter yourself, although if you are I’m @paulkrugman. As long as you are online, just go here — twitter dot com slash paulkrugman.
I haven’t, at least so far, done a drunk Tweet.
And, (re blog vs tweet) he continues, "Anyway, I may revisit the balance over time. (unless he means the balance of drunk vs sober tweeting!)
Meanwhile, my snark is mainly over there"

Thanks Paul---we'll check it out to find your daily snark.

Karen, any reaction? What is this effect on journalism, generally? You'd be the person to write on that, with your experience.

My comment:
Herr professor---We may not need long, wonkish blog posts either, but Twitter? Twitter is for teenieboppers in age and in mentality.

For someone who likes to make quick sarcastic snark hits against obvious huge targets like rw gop crazies---twitter fits fine. And 'no drunk tweets yet? How cute, Paul! Let us know if that changes.

Many find twitter a bit boring--it's good for people walking around looking at their iphones--idoesn't need much attention. or thought. It's good for our sound bite type superficial politics where we see a reduction of thought anyway. Twitter reinforces this trend. In fact, especially with Trumpf, we see the complete absence of thought from the campaign. This trend seeps into the news media.

Why did they pick the name twitter after all? Has anyone written anything on the meaning of twitter?
It's Tweets from the Twits.
Now a Nobel Memorial Prize winner has to be selling this to NYT readers? Lest he lose some of their attention? Well, if it fits, tweet it.

(and Twitter is good for immediate return of fire from the Clinton camp to any critics, then amplified on cable news, until the next skirmish---it's all a vicious cycle).

Karen Garcia said...

Great response to Krugman. I added a link to his self-promotion in the post above, under the "compulsive" descriptor. This guy just loves to congratulate himself at every opportunity, doesn't he? "I was right and everybody else was wrong, wrong, wrong" and "I said it first, nonny nonny boo boo!" would probably suffice. Twitter is actually a perfect medium for Krugman.

I signed up for Twitter when it first became available, then proceeded to never use it, not one single time. There is a great site called "Politwoops" where you can type in a name and uncover all the deleted Tweets of the powerful and self-important, which, as it turns out, can never be deleted. I believe that some politicians sued to have Politwoops taken down. They won the first round but lost the second. I haven't looked at the site lately, but I probably should. Tweeting seems to be a lot like heroin, it is an addictive drug for needy attention-seekers like Krugman. Turns out even Nobel laureates are prone to the dumbed-down disease.