The Brock-Dowd Gambit

The Master:  Oh!  Now I can say I was provoked.

Doctor Who: Utopia 2007

Sam Houston: In 1815, Napoleon escaped from Elba. He moved swiftly to consolidate before the Grand Alliance could move against him. Wellington, with fewer men, retreated ahead of Napoleon, forcing Napoleon to chase him through Belgium. Wellington had a vision of a battlefield, he did not know where it was, but he knew he would know it when he saw it. He continued moving waiting for that ground and for Napoleon to make a mistake. Gentlemen, I do not consider myself to be Wellington; Santa Ana, however, considers himself to be Napoleon – the Napoleon of the West. I will continue to retreat gentlemen, until I find the ground in my vision and, when Santa Ana makes his mistake, I will attack.

The Alamo 2004

Yesterday I was behind in my day because of an evening learning and playing Lords of Waterdeep (a simple and enjoyable board game btw) so I got home late, crashed on the couch, woke up late and spent the entire day catching up

While in the middle of trying to get things moving I saw a tweet that caught my eye:

Interesting. I remember when Reince first announced he would not be allowing CNN & MSNBC to do the debates over the Clinton movie I was a little surprised to see Mika Brizenski say he had a point.


That didn’t raise alarm bells, over the years I’ve noticed a difference between when Mika is shilling and when Mika is thinking and I didn’t see the Shilling language in place but when I saw this became the opinion of David Brock’s Media Matters Crowd

In his own letters to Zucker and Greenblatt, Brock said, “Given that this project could coincide with a potential Clinton campaign, the timing raises too many questions about fairness and conflicts of interest ahead of the 2016 election.”

He asks Greenblatt, “Will you allow NBC News’ name to be tarnished by NBC Entertainment’s pursuit of ratings?” adding, “NBC has a reputation for objectivity and fairness. Yet NBC Entertainment acknowledged that it will be evaluating the content not by journalistic standards, but rather purely by entertainment value. A fictionalized caricature of Clinton may make for more dramatic appeal, but diversions from reality are likely to blow back on NBC News.”

and Maureen Dowd:

Films can dramatically alter the way famous people are viewed, making them cooler, more glamorous, more sympathetic — and the reverse. Clever filmmakers can offer up delicious soufflés of propaganda and storytelling, putting a new imprint on the historical record.

THAT, got my alarm bells running loudly.

First of all there is the Sarah Palin film Game Change.

The HBO films production was designed, timed and scheduled to hurt Palin when everyone and I mean EVERYONE thought she was running. When it came out it received massive attention from the MSM than things Palin actually was saying at the time

So the president attacks Sarah Palin and Palin answers, offering to debate the president on these issues any time any place and how does MSM react? How does Morning Joe answer?


Why would that be? Haven’t we heard for a week how Sarah Palin was over her head, an object of pity?

Nope not a word. Even today Richard Cohen attacks not the real Sarah Palin but the Sarah Palin of the movie

The production raised a lot of eyebrows from conservatives but didn’t produce the same soul-searching that the Hillary film is suddenly creating among liberals.


Now my first thought here in the middle of Weinermania is the Dowds and Brocks are concerned about reminding the voters of Bill back in the White House and Hillary’s decision to stick with him but voters didn’t remember Barack Obama’s record when it was staring them right in the paycheck.

My second thought was perhaps they were afraid of handling her tenure of Secretary of State, the last thing the left needs is a reminder during an election year of who was actually the lead foreign policy person during the current debacles:

for a couple of weeks the left and MSNBC while touting Hillary Clinton as the inevitable Democrat nominee are not only doing their best to ignore her time as Secretary of State but they, when challenged are unable to name a single accomplishment she achieved in that office.

The lack of any such success would normally, under the Peter Principle disqualify her from any kind of office beyond Secretary of State, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

John Nolte comes closest to figuring out what is going on

if past is prologue, CNN and NBC hosting GOP primary debates is a much more effective way to put Clinton in the White House than a Hillary miniseries and documentary.

The left understand that CNN and NBC are at their most effective at winning elections for Democrats when they hide behind a phony shield of objectivity. For good reason, the left is concerned these Hillary projects might weaken that shield.

Very VERY close but not quite right. Their worry is not that it hurts the “shield of objectivity”, it’s that this move gives Renice an excuse to do something that conservatives have wanted done for a very long time.

One of the problems with the liberal networks moderating debates is who the people in the networks actually are. This Week for example is hosted by a former Clinton Hack George Stephanopoulos and yet everyone is amazed that in the ABC debate during the GOP primary the question of contraception which was on nobody’s screen at the time is asked just before the Sandra Fluke.

The problem becomes if you pull out of these debates or keep these people from moderating them then the MSM storyline becomes: “GOP candidates duck real journalists.” and that would be the meme on every single network and their excuse to duck out of coverage.

However the Hillary Movies solve this problem admirably. It provides an excuse, a justification, well of COURSE we can’t have our debates with the people from CNN or NBC. as Renice put it:

The question is, if the party is going to spend time and money and resources in organizing an intelligent and reasonable debate calendar, should we have networks and moderators that are promoting Hillary Clinton depose our candidates and I say: No Way!

It’s a good argument to make against CNN & NBC but the truth is that description fits ABC, CBS & PBS too regardless of the lack of Movies or documentary on the subject.

As long as the MSM is able to frame the questions they are able to frame the debate, if they are cut out of debate questioning then they are left to report what the candidates actually say in post-debate coverage and while the media are experts at taking GOP candidates out of context it’s a lot harder to do it when people have just seen them IN context a few moments before.

While Prebius’ decision only eliminates 2/5 of this problem for the GOP it has potential to expand beyond that. Dowd & Brock understand that a few more days of press on the subject could lead to a statement sounding something like:

You know this the best way to solve this problem long-term is to just have our debates independent of the MSM. We can use local media or new media to moderate or operate Lincoln Douglas style and just provide the networks with the feed to broadcast if they wish and make live streams available on the net & via smart phones.

For the Dowds & Brocks That would be the worst of all possible worlds. Not only would such a decision be hugely popular with the GOP base that the MSM wants to pry from the party, not only would it establish a narrative that would not directly aid Democrats in general and liberalism in particular but it elevates the new media that the MSM has been hemorrhaging their viewer & reader base to for years.

Can you imagine the networks having to play clips of a debate featuring all those bloggers & radio talk hosts that they continue to ignore and belittle? And what happens when viewers find these people can ask questions just as relevant as “professional” journalists, if not better?

That’s the disaster Brock, Dowd and the rest see before them and want to stop at all costs. The only question is will the GOP leadership be smart enough to see opportunity when it is knocking right in front of them?

Update: Newsbusters remembers with two quotes one from a debate:

STEPHANOPOULOS: But I do want to get that core question. Governor Romney, do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?

MITT ROMNEY: George, this is an unusual topic that you’re raising. States have a right to ban contraception? I can’t imagine a state banning contraception. I can’t imagine the circumstances where a state would want to do so, and if I were governor of a state-

and one from Hannity

HANNITY: You think he was doing this under direct orders?

MORRIS: Under orders. And I think, and now he comes out with this thing on contraception. They want to create the idea, and it’s no coincidence, that he came out with it after Minnesota and Colorado which was Santorum’s victories. They want to create the impression that the Republicans will ban contraception, which is totally insane, but they’re floating it out and they’re bringing it out there. And this move on Obama’s part was part of injecting that issue.

and Rand Paul from this week:

PAUL: I’m saying that there, it makes you wonder, and he’s also said publicly that he has frequent correspondence with his friends who are still involved with the White House. So the question is, are you going to get a fair shake, and I think it’s a reasonable question for Republicans to ask, should we be scheduling debates and allowing people who used to and still do have active contact with the active Democrat Party, should we be subjecting ourselves to that, or should we try to have more neutral or objective type of moderators?


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