Loving Big Brother

When did friends of the Clintons come to identify with big-media “gotcha” journalism?

As a loyal Bill Clinton supporter through the 1990s I was outraged at the pettiness of the mass media and the focus of reporters on personal scandals (some real, mostly invented or exaggerated) at the expense of actual public issues. That was the view of most Clintonites. But I seem to have missed another memo.

Reviewing the comment threads on last night’s ABC travesty, I note that almost all of the pro-Clinton commenters now fully identify with the media’s “gotcha” game, and sound exactly like the Clinton-haters of the 1990s. Is this Stockholm Syndrome, or the final scene of Nineteen Eighty-Four?

It’s also notable that almost all of the comments from (apparent) Obama supporters were some mix of pro-Obama and anti-ABC, while almost all of the comments from (apparent) Clinton supporters were anti-Obama. If Hillary Rodham Clinton said or did anything praiseworthy last night, none of her friends seemed to want to mention it. Instead, they just wanted to rag on her Democratic opponent.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com