They kill horses, don’t they?

World News Tonight tonight had Jake Tapper acting as if he had a big exclusive investigative report: Hillary Clinton is now rich! And she’s a liberal! Irony? He thinks so. Uh, what about Franklin Roosevelt? John F. Kennedy? John Edwards for that matter? Another nonstory. Another attack on Hillary for the sake of it. It was followed by a softball to Obama. Bias? No, no bias. What makes you say, that, Jeff?

  • Jeff,

    All the candidates are millionaires, so that puts them all in a different class from me and the vast majority of Americans. But this latest, reluctant disclosure by Clinton shows just how ultra-wealthy she is when compared with Obama’s readily disclosed income from the same time period.

    So who do I think has a better chance of being “in touch” with working class Americans? Not Clinton, although she’s doing a good job of selling that line on the campaign trail right now.

    Here’s what I think — “Clinton Playing the Class Card”:

    I’d love to know your thoughts.

  • Jake

    Jake Tapper here. I’m surprised, Jeff, this is a pretty unfair portrait of the story we did.

    Our look at how Sen. Clinton has re-packaged herself went way beyond her being a multimillionaire now talking about helping the middle class.

    We talked about the gas tax her husband raised that she rails against, the trade deals she worked to pass that now she rails against, her painting Obama as an elitist who doesn’t know the vakue of $20.

    We went into how Sen. Clinton has taken millions from Wall Street and was on the cover of Fortune with a headline “Business Loves Hillary” while on the trail she bashes Wall Street.

    How she has supported gun control and yet she’s attacking Obama for that very issue.

    And how she is now railing against “elite” opinion opposing her gas tax, by saying elite opinion always favors steps that hurt a majority of the American people.

    Your readers can watch it here >

  • jeff

    broadcast “news” is an oxymoron

    that said, some real journalist is investigating how the clintons made all that money. won’t be on abc or cnn = but it will be news.

    and…um…seriously, your level of objectiveness is approaching faux news

  • Jake,

    I’m a fan and I watched your piece again – this time not interrupted by my daughter asking me to explain why you were saying those things about Hillary Clinton – but I stand by what I said here: This was a nonstory with troubling timing. You project Hillary as if she were on the floor of Wall Street and say as if an accusation that she’s a multimillionaire who says she’s fighting for the working man. I repeat: What Democrat — what candidate from either party, for that matter — does not fit that exact biographical and rhetorical categorization especially while in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Michigan?

  • Jake

    You’re not addressing any of the myriad other aspects to the story — gun control, gas taxes, NAFTA, her railing against “elites”… I’m sorry if I upset your daughter. (Said sincerely.)

  • OK, Jake, a story on flip-flopping might have been a more legit angle but still, there’s little new there. Everything said about NAFTA has been said. The gas-tax angle deserves attention — but it has been noted that Clinton and McCain may share an idea but that Obama’s idea of a $1,000 tax cut for all is very much a Bushy idea. Gun control? Seen that story, too. Yes, there were other angles, but what was really new there?
    As for the “elites” meme, I will repeat: What Democrat has not railed against elites (even those in the party)?
    I can’t read into your process, but I can surmise that this is a problem inherent in the way we do campaign converage. Nothing new happened today, but of course, you can’t say that. Breaking off for in-depth looks? How many of those can we take? So there is the desperate search for the peg, the angle.
    I wonder whether commentary would not be a better vehicle for the insights and perspective. It may be less prone to stretched pegs.
    Don’t get me wrong: I’m still a fan, still watch, still read. But your lead last night made me sputter.
    (And full dislcosure for anyone new to this discussion: If it’s not already obvious, I’m a Clinton voter.)

  • Jeff, it’s obvious. :-)

  • Seem John Edwards was hit over and over on the issue of how the rich guy can claim to be helping the poor. The only bias here is that Hillary didn’t get hit with this elite stuff back then. She got a free ride because she waited until last month to release her tax info. But now that she brings up the subject by trying to stick that label on Obama, she’s fair game.

  • Jarvis — as the resident expert in the fine art of parsing network news stories, Tyndall sez that BuzzMachine’s skin seems a little too thin on this call.

    Tapper reports that in finetuning her campaign, Rodham Clinton has settled on the image of working class hero populist. Seems accurate to me. As for Tapper’s search for an angle, her ridicule of the idea of taking advice from policy experts as a form of elitism on Stephanopoulos on Sunday qualifies as a news hook.

    You are right that Terry Moran’s follow-up profile of Obama was lame, but as Tyndall Report has observed–see Obamania Down the Drain–Obama received such a drubbing Obama during April that the slack he was given by Moran was hardly par for the course

  • sorry, mangled link for Obamania Down the Drain.

  • BuzzMachine mangled the link for me. My apologies to everyone.

  • BA Benedict

    “Breaking off for in-depth looks? How many of those can we take?”

    How about one?

    And, no, I don’t mean the health care plan that “covers everyone” versus the one that “makes it affordable to everyone.” We’ve gotten that particular bit of subtlety, thanks. So how about some details on how each would like to renegotiate NAFTA or other trade agreements (I’ve heard no specifics from either candidate about how we can level the playing field yet benefit from more open markets), on what job-creation initiatives they are proposing (beyond the de riguer infrastructure investment), their positions on a weak/strong dollar, stances on net neutrality, on the bolstering of our funding for Social Security obligations (beyond, or instead of, raising the salary cap), how would they combat poverty, what about bankruptcy reform, how about a fulsome response to McCain’s judges speech (is the Republican really repudiating the Berger Court’s achievements wholesale?), electoral reform, enhancing civic responsibility, countering anti-democratic trends in Russia, supporting human rights in China, revitalizing poverty relief and hunger problems across the globe. I haven’t even gotten to global warming or homeland security (where are they on FISA? what’s their definition of torture–good to know since the president gets to decide under McCain’s watered down legislation).

    Or we could talk about religion, race, hypocrisy, and guilt by association some more. Whatever.

    Or we could talk

  • As a conservative, for the longest time I felt coverage of issues by many networks was much like the way you describe the ABC piece. I still feel that way, and it is fun to watch Fox News and realize how different the news can be – this includes the times when I disagree with Fox News.

    The discussion you’re having with Mr. Tapper about “angles” seems to me problematic. It looks like a journalist can pick any angle he wants, but has to stay consistent with it. The angles themselves, it is assumed, do not lead to bias. Fully worked through, the angles act like prompts, questions that can be asked potentially of any candidate or issue or whatever. But TV news can’t possibly fully work through an angle: hence, Mr. Tapper’s comment above looks like an indictment of Hillary and nothing more. That’s all the “news” we have time for.

    Roughly speaking, the way around angles is by providing tons of information, so much that even while the journalist is providing “here’s how I see the situation,” a careful thoughtful audience can construct their own arguments for why something is. But I might be thinking wishfully.

  • Rishi Gajria

    As Cartman would say MR. Jarvis,

    Na Na Na Na, Ha Ha Ha Ha :)

  • The problem I have especially with Bill Clinton is how he got wealthy … mainly from speaking fees and undefined payments from the mideast. A foreign national or government cannot contribute to the campaign of a US senator but they can Bill ridiculous fees for sitting on boards or speaking or for doing nothing. Hillary is tainted and I think she was a poor choice for Sec. of State. IMHO, it was a political move to bring her into the Obama tent and out of contention as a primary candidate in 2012.

  • Obama was not a millionaire until after he became a senator. And only then because of a book deal he signed. What really matters is how they made their money.