Bob McDonnell's wife-shaming defense gives a whole new meaning to 'standing by your man'!
Bob McDonnell's wife-shaming defense gives a whole new meaning to 'standing by your man'!
Media coverage of the Gov. Bob "Ultrasound" McDonnell corruption case could take a cue from the following excerpt from USA Today, and an even bigger one from The Rachel Maddow Show below:
RICHMOND, Va. — The key prosecution witness in the federal corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, took the stand Wednesday, saying there was no personal relationship between he and the couple.
Jonnie Williams, the wealthy businessman and former chief executive of Star Scientific, said he did not give the two initial checks to the McDonnell family because he thought he and the McDonnells were friends.
"This was a business relationship," he said about why he helped the McDonnell family. "I needed his help."
That's news. Unfortunately, however, that has not been the focus of the so-called "news" media when it comes to this story. Rachel Maddow zeroed right in on the How Do You Solve a Problem Like Media Coverage? issue in the following segment. We owe her our gratitude:
Maddow on "the salaciousness of the headlines":
The headlines are all like this... "Trial reveals governor's wife had 'crush' on CEO"...
The indictment-- the allegations from prosecutors-- those have been out there for months now. But now that we're having the trial... what has stolen the show about the defense is this designed-for-headlines assertion from the defense, that the McDonnell's marriage was broken, Maureen McDonnell had a "childlike crush" on this businessman who the McDonnells are accused of helping in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts...
But the defense strategy in the corruption trial of Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife is apparently going to be [about their marriage]... This is how they're going to try to keep the governor and his wife out of jail.
Bob McDonnell and Maureen McDonnell stand accused of accepting over $160,000 in gifts and cash from this wealthy CEO [Johnnie Williams] in exchange for providing official help from the state for the CEO's company. That's called corruption, right? "Give me something of personal value to me, and in exchange, I'll give you a little something from the government, the government in which I am an official." ...
So that strategy, the "she took everything" defense... is undercut by the fact that Bob McDonnell himself did things himself like ask this guy for a $70,000 loan for his real estate business... But that is their main defense strategy, the claim is basically that "she did it all, she's not a public official, so there's no public corruption. And, there couldn't be a... corrupt conspiracy between the two of them, because there was no "two of them."... It was just her "lovesick stupidity. He's actually kind of the victim here."... That's their legal strategy...
What does not make sense is the media helping them with it... It is being covered purely in a tabloid way... Purely through catty, sexist gossip [her shopping, her "crush"]... That framing is not only sexist and gross, it ignores the fact that Bob McDonnell himself was doing things like setting up meetings for this wealthy donor with top state health officials... They claim they have the evidence to prove it.
But if the Bob McDonnell defense is gonna be to blame it all on the "lovesick, emotionally erratic, Louis Vuitton-loving wife, they are so far doing a masterful job of injecting that storyline into the press and getting the press to mount their defense for them.
The press is bending over backwards to help the McDonnell legal defense... Attention news media! This is an overt strategy and you are helping one side of this legal case by advancing the strategic storyline for them, because you can't resist a tabloid soap opera tale.
You're being played! You're being played... by covering this as a tabloid story about a marriage, and not a crime blotter story about a corrupt governor.
Under the category "You have to be kidding us or it's scary" with this foolishness about females, this way the hell wrong about women, file this nugget of nonsense over at Fvx Nation this morning.
They are less reporters of any calibre and just fixers of blame on the president and everyone who might not thoroughly loathe him, and that applies to every situation … every time … no matter what.
Particularly over at Fvx and Friends. Barbara Comstock, apparently having gotten quite a verbal assault by Dem Op Paul Begala, was whining away to Hasselbeck about how liberals are the ones who actually limit women. [You know the hypocritical, regressive Palin Schtick.]
Newsflash, Palin and Pundettes: your candidates suck. They are ill prepared, insincere, and are clearly working against their own best-interest in virtually every aspect a woman could be dwelling on and they do not seem to even be aware of the clearly reversed flow of time.
Laffy has nailed it here in the past, there's a zombie,'zombette' Stepford-esque quality to an alarming number of conservative spokes-pundettes, political candidates all over this country and certainly amongst Fox Watchers that cannot be missed.
Part denial, part lockstep? It's the worrying combination of fear and distaste you get whenever Elizabeth Hasselbeck opens her mouth. Or worse, the Ultimate Blonde Pin-Up Pundette for the old and new GOP, Ann CocoLoco Coulter. She crossed from traditional support right to the Tea Party without missing a beat to say something offensive about how dumb liberals are.
Republican congressional nominee a victim of 'war on women'?
Jul. 25, 2014 - 4:14 - Barbara Comstock under attack from veteran Clinton operative
The following morning, Fox has it in the spin cycle. Go, Hasselbeck.
From Politico, a quote from Paul and another short excerpt, catch the entire story here, they really pump the old Clinton War Bellows over there.
If she wins, she will no doubt practice the same politics of personal destruction she and her ilk practiced in the Clinton days,” said Paul Begala, a former political adviser to Bill Clinton who has assumed the role of Comstock attack dog. The Republican, he said, has a “really almost sick, sort of stalker-like obsession with President Clinton.
That sounds about right. Comstock was twenty years younger then and overtly the Linda Tripp type, made no bones about being on archeological offensive digs for the best Clinton Dirt and must have been good at it - look at her opponents. She was also dying to be canary in the coal mine for Benghazi, we suspect she's still researching that. Politico continued:
Comstock — a 55-year-old, Georgetown-educated lawyer widely regarded as one of the premier opposition researchers of her generation, with a “wonderfully devious mind,” in the words of one reporter who witnessed her at the peak of her sleuthing — declined to speak for this story. But she is already hinting publicly that she’s itching to take on the Clintons again.
“We need to get to the bottom of the truth in Benghazi, and I will do that because I’ve done that before as a chief investigator in Congress,” she said at the Virginia state GOP convention recently, referring to the 2012 attacks that left four Americans dead and marred Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.
"Sleuthing" is hilarious, I don't know if she has a PR guy that good, or if it's a term Politico uses often and I just haven't seen. If this politics thing doesn't work she can pop right over the pond and give the fellows at Scotland Yard a paw.
Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with Eric Cantor's stunningly humiliating defeat. Or as Will calls it, "feeding the beast that ends up devouring you." Speaking of devouring, with his usual snark, Durst does just that to the paraphrased headlines "Cantor Eats Crow." And speaking of eating, welcome to another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own. Take it away, Will:
CROW MEDIUM RARE
A massive Earthquake rolled through the Republican Establishment after Eric Cantor became the 1st sitting House Majority Leader to lose in a primary since, well… ever. Going back to 1899, the 19th Century. Back when Mugwumps bought buggy whips and the Emperor of Russian lunched with the Viceroy of India.
In terms of wake up calls for GOP incumbents, this elbow to the ribs from the right is the equivalent of having your alarm clock replaced by a battalion of Taiko drummers. In the hold of a container ship. With Marshall amps pinning the red and the reverb switched to infinity sustain.
GOP insiders offered a number of theories for the upset. Bad polling. Disconnection with base. Low voter turnout. Democrats in an open primary. Ambition the size of Montana. Didn’t get as many votes as the other guy. Butterfly ballots. Michelle Obama. The World Cup. Approaching El Nino.
But mostly: back when he was midwifing their birth in 2009, Cantor was considered very very Tea Party. Now, not so much. Classic case of feeding the beast that ends up devouring you. Kind of a Siegfried and Roy sort of thing. “Eric Cantor the RINO.” You got to admit: that’s pretty humorous. Like saying… Dick Cheney the Peacenik or Colonel Sanders the vegan.
Let this be a lesson to all squishy moderates out there: the Tea Party has the same tolerance for tolerance that SWAT teams have for swatting. The Redneck Taliban. Though responsible for scuttling the Boehner/ Obama Grand Bargain and fanning the flames of the government shutdown, Cantor might have read the word “compromise” in a book once. And that is unacceptable.
Don’t you get it? That anti- colonial socialist Obama is ruining the country and if you don’t think so, you don’t love America enough and can go back to Europe and eat crescent rolls on your 6 week vacation.
The man who would be Speaker lost his 7th District Virginia Congressional seat by 11 points to Dave Brat, a doctor of economics who teaches at Randolph- Macon College in Ashland Virginia, a private Methodist liberal arts college 92 miles from the US Capitol. And who, in November’s general election, will be facing a Democrat named Jack Trammell, a doctor who teaches sociology at Randolph- Macon College in Ashland Virginia. Guess you could call their upcoming debates a partial Randolph- Macon College faculty retreat.
The New York Times calculated Cantor spent more money at steakhouses than Brat raised for his whole campaign. But that is simply not true. Cantor only spent $168,000 at various DC meat palaces while Brat raised close to $200,000. So, the Congressman only spent 17/20th on scorched cow flesh compared to what Brat raised. The irony is, now, all Eric Cantor gets to eat is crow.
Of course Brat only used $123,000 of that two hundred grand in his campaign, which gets us to the Times claim, but that’s nitpicking. Nitpicking, being a grand Washington hobby, which Cantor might want to pick up, seeing as he has some unexpected free time on his hands.
Who knows what the future holds for John Boehner’s former go- to- guy. Cantor could become a lobbyist or a consultant. He might even want to write a paper on climate change. After all, who else could provide such a first hand eyewitness account… of hell freezing over?
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” info about the documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including June 20 & 21 in Winters & San Rafael.
The Eric Cantor defeat by Dave Brat-- aka BratWorst-- was truly stunning, very welcome, and yet a little disconcerting. Waving bye-bye to Cantor is absolutely deelish, but contemplating the likely election of another tea party whackadoodle is disturbing, to say the least. So fasten your seatbelts, Dems, because this is who Democrat Jack Trammell must defeat (Keyword: Must.):
— GottaLaff (@GottaLaff) June 11, 2014
On the other hand, there are definite perks. If only they didn't come at the expense of so many people who deserve a break:
Here are a few post-Cantor defeat links for you to chew on:
Rep. Eric Cantor will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. at the Capitol. The Virginia Republican is expected to step down as House Majority Leader a day after he was defeated in a GOP primary. Watch live: politico.com/live
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