How the New York Times Helped Hillary Hide the Hawk

Yves here. It was hard not to notice the awfully convenient timing of the publication of the New York Times story, Top Gun: How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk. If you have not read it, you need to, ASAP. It makes painfully clear how much Hillary believes that the US should continue to act as if it were the worlds’ sole superpower, when those days are past, is deeply enamored of aggressive military men, and is in synch with neocons. A sobering article.

By Russ Baker, editor of and author of “Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years.” Originally published at WhoWhatWhy

Following a rough night in five East coast primaries, Bernie Sanders’s path to the Democratic nomination is now more narrow and steep than it has ever been. But are these votes truly a referendum on who voters think the best candidate is — or are they merely a reflection of what the corporate media wants Democrats to think?

In our critique of the media, we tend to focus on The New York Times, because it purports to be the gold standard for journalism, and because others look to the paper for coverage guidance. But the same critique could be applied to The Washington Post, Politico, CNN, and most other leading outfits.

In prior articles, we noted how the Times helped Clinton walk away with most of the African-American vote — and therefore victory in many states — by essentially hiding Sanders’s comparably far more impressive record on civil rights.

We also noted how it seemed that every little thing the Clinton camp did right was billboarded, while significant victories against great odds by Sanders were minimized.

These are truly the kinds of decisions that determine the “conventional wisdom,” which in turn so often determines outcomes.

But there is more — and it is even more disturbing. Clinton’s principal reason to claim she is so qualified to be president — aside from being First Lady and senator — is her four years as Secretary of State.

What kind of a legacy did she leave? Perhaps her principal role was to push for military engagement — more soldiers in existing conflicts, and new wars altogether. WhoWhatWhy has written about these wars and their dubious basis.

Wars are good business for Wall Street, for corporations in general, and for others who have been friendly to her and her campaign.

Why was this never a bigger issue? Why was this not front and center with New York voters, a traditionally liberal group with a strong antipathy toward war and militarism? Certainly Sanders tried to bring up this issue, and doesn’t seem to have succeeded. But mostly, this was a failure of the media, whose job it is to shine a strong spotlight.

And why did The New York Times wait until two days  after the New York primary to publish its biggest piece on this, when it could no longer influence that key contest? (It appeared first on its website and later in its Sunday magazine.)

In fact, with the media declaring this probably now a Clinton-Trump race, highlighting her hawkishness turns it from a handicap to a strength. How Hillary Clinton Became a Hawk was the digital equivalent of a huge front-page story.

What the article makes clear — shockingly clear — is that Hillary Clinton is the most militaristic of any of the presidential candidates, even more  than Ted Cruz.

Was this delay in publication just a case of poor scheduling? Was it to ensure that the paper could not to be accused of influencing the primary outcome?

The Times’s editorials had already gotten behind her candidacy (without mentioning her refusal to release transcripts of her Goldman Sachs speeches, or her opposition to a paltry $15 an hour minimum wage). Would running Mark Landler’s critical piece when it mattered have  seemed like an implicit rebuke of the paper’s own editorial board or interfered with its influence?

How ironic it is that “liberal” Hillary Clinton has never met a war she did not like, and has never been held responsible for the chaos they caused and the policies she advocated — yet it is Bernie Sanders whose policies are being described as “unrealistic” by the same people who are shielding Clinton from criticism.

What is the purpose of journalism if not to introduce material when it is relevant — and can have an impact? And one that is good for humanity — as opposed to the arms industry.

The Times, Judith Miller et al, have certainly had an impact. Go here for one of WhoWhatWhy’s stories of some of the goriest details.

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  1. timbers

    Corrupt and “most” pro war – it’s a two-fer. (When do we get to put “most” in front of corrupt?). Yet I can visualize all my “enlightened” Boston “liberal” friends so fashionably and smugly rallying behind her w/o even one second thought of dissent because Republicans. Any criticism will be met with “delete” on FB friendship.

    1. RW Tucker

      With Trump using the word PEACE in his foreign policy speech, suddenly the world is upside down.

      1. RUKidding

        Yes, but at the end of the day, if you listen to Trump’s garbled “message,” he’s really just about as NeoCon as Hillary. At least, that’s what I’m getting from his very few “policy” speeches. He wants to “strengthen” our Military, which allegedly has been “weakened” by Obama. Of course, Trump conveniently ignores the fact the US Military budget is larger than ever, but what I take from that is that Trump wants to provide them with even more money.

        Trump talks about forcing our “allies” to pay us tributes to protect them, which will somehow enrich us back home. Good luck with that.

        Well I could go on, but Trump wants to blast ISIS into glass sand and all the rest of it. I don’t see him as any much less NeoCon that Hillary or anyone else in the GOP. It’s just that Trump dances around things

        Not a fan of Clinton. Never have been. Just saying re Trump…. not much different from what I can parse out.

        1. Ishmael

          I have no problem asking other countries to pay for our cost of defense. Yes it is tribute but if they do not pay then we do not assist. Secondly, Trump in his latest speech basically through the Wolfowitz Doctrine under the bus. I say more power to that. Trump has said get out of NATO, I have no problem with that. Lastly, Trump has indicated that he would stop sticking the US’s finger into Putin’s eye. I am all for that. What has Hitlary said with regard to any of this.

          Trump seems far more pragmatic and he has to show strong defense because that is one of the key issues of the GOP. On the other hand all of the above issues would be good for the US and might start taking apart the military-industrial complex.

          1. OIFVet

            Yes it is tribute but if they do not pay then we do not assist.

            And the hollowness of America’s protection “guarantees” gets exposed there and then rather than a bit further down the road of imperial decline. I rather like your idea…

            1. Ishmael

              I do not know where you get hollowness. Most of these countries are running a trade surplus with the US so why would we defend them for free. The US has never done this in the past (France and the UK were suppose to pay for their armaments and no one yelled that was hollow). I would rather we stayed out of the whole freaking thing but asking them to pay is a good start.

              1. OIFVet

                These security guarantees are hollow because there is no wayin hell the US can actually defend a Baltic pipsqueak if Russia is truly determined to spank it for any multitude of transgressions. That’s why these guarantees are hollow.

                Also too, the Euros are fast getting wise to the fact that US empire building is actually extracting high costs from them, your BS about the poor wittle used and abused US notwithstanding. When the US tries to actually extort cash as well the imperial jig will be well and truly up. Euro nationalism is on the rise, and in many places it does contain a fairly pronounced dislike for the trigger happy greedy vulgarians across the pond. And the migrant crisis is not helping US image at all.

                1. Ishmael

                  Vet – I believe under NATO the other NATO nations are also suppose to contribute to their defense and only 4 of the 28 countries are meeting their obligations. NATO was not set up for the US to do all of the heavy lifting.

                  Personally, I say if Europe wants to go their own way more power to it. As far as Europeans having a dislike for Americans, maybe. It is my experience having lived on four continents (and several places in Europe) that many people disliked us before because we did things they could not. Now we have given then other reasons to dislike us because of our neo-con socialist leanings.

                  But in total you miss my point which I find that Trump speaks a far more honest foreign affairs approach than Hitlary or any president since before Bill Clinton. If you disagree then make your point instead of just ranting.

                  Don’t get yourself all lathered up.

      2. Anarcissie

        I think it’s interesting to consider that Trump is ostensibly already to the left of Clinton on many issues. Typically, Democrats trying for presidential nomination have pandered to the party’s Left, and then run to the right for the general election. However, if Clinton wants to run to the right, she’ll be deep in Republican territory, while the proggies are certain to wander off her home-front plantation. Except maybe for abortion, it appears that she has no home turf. It’s a curious predicament for a Democrat to be in.

        1. divadab

          Well it makes sense if you just consider that her husband was the best Republican President the Democrats ever elected. She’s a DINO in all serious matters and a “liberal” in the kind of superficial stuff the MSM uses to differentiate and divide the people from themselves.

  2. ArkansasAngie

    No we don’t … or, at least, I don’t.

    I will vote for Trump before I vote for Clinton.

    This isn’t a question of lesser of two evils. It is a question of who do you hate less?

  3. hreik

    Several weeks ago, there was a very pro-Birdie piece on the NYTime’s front page. People saw it on line. Within several hours it was heavily edited and read more negative than positive. The part about John McCain praising Bernie was removed, ditto other parts.

    The paper has become something else altogether than it used to be. Like the DNC, TPTB would rather lose with Hillary than win w Bernie.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Huh? Judith Miller and the post election 2004 warrantless wiretapping story beg to differ. They sat on a story in fear of influencing the election. They had the plagarist from Falwell U. The NYT has been trash for as long as the Patriots have run the AFC East.

      1. John Wright

        One can remember that Edward Snowden decided not to approach the Times with his story BECAUSE the Times sat on the warrantless wiretapping story.

        I still pay my $15 every 4 weeks for the NTTimes digital, but justify that partially because I can do archive searches.

        The Times Mea Culpa, spearheaded by Bill Keller, after the Judith Miller Iraq war reporting, was particularly good. The TImes had their Iraq war cake and then got to apologize for eating it.

        The digital edition frequently has thoughtful readers comments that effectively counter the latest Friedman, Kristof, Krugman, Brooks, Dowd, and Douthat received wisdom.

        There must be more than few print readers who yell at their copy of the print NY Times, “Tom/Nick/David/Paul, you are so #&*$% wrong”.

        Sadly the print readers can’t access the readers’ comment section, AKA Times Editorial antidote, that accompanies the digital edition.

    2. Jim Haygood

      NY Times: the ‘sandwich coin’ standard of journalism!

      Its price has been delinked from value.

  4. Michael C

    I say it is time to leave the Democratic Party in droves. I know, I know. The Supreme Court nominees of a future president loom large. We have to force the hand. Rather than creep to fascism and the earth’s destruction, we have to realize the destination is the same as long as we keep our eggs in the basket of the Democratic Party. Time to cut and run, time to build something new, time to vote the Green Party, purge it of its new agey image and begin building it into a democratically functioning party that holds its candidates to its platform. Sure, it will take time. But putting money, time, and energy into the other half of a duopoly that supports empire and neoliberalism is all wasted on the fool’s game, which Sander’s inadvertently, I think, has exposed as the endgame. Progressives have to realize it will not and cannot be changed. It’s core supports those two branches of its world-view, and no matter how they manipulate its adherents by throwing table scraps to them in the form of “social” issues, it will never be something other than what it is. I know, I am done with it.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Doesn’t the Supreme Court argument go out the window when the potential President is a lunatic? Of course, Maryanne Trump was appointed by Bill Clinton.

      1. RUKidding

        Well to be fair, Maryanne Trump isn’t much like her brother. But yes, Clinton appointed her. Let the buyer beware.

      2. Strangely Enough

        Which lunatic?

        And, when the nominee proposed by a Democratic president turns out to be a Republican, something has definitely gone out the window.

        1. AnEducatedFool

          Clinton will not appoint a Supreme Court Justice that is beneficial to the planet. Her appointees will be pro-corporate whores that will play nice on identity issues.
          Trump will never get a judge through that will overturn Roe v Wade. The Republicans have shown that you can effectively limit the debate of a SCJ and have held appointments up while not in the majority.
          The abortion issue is a non issue. There is no way that justice would get on the court.
          The Republicans will use that issue to get an even more corporate judge onto the court. A similar deal is going on in NC today. The state will eventually cave and get ride of the bathroom provision but the anti-worker sections will remain.

  5. ltr

    The article by Mark Landler was brilliant and will keep me from voting for Clinton. I am tired of America being continually and fruitlessly at war.

  6. Montana

    I cancelled my subscription to the NYT because of its more than biased reporting of the Democratic primaries. I tried to make sure the editorial staff knew my reasons.

  7. Northeaster

    As a Veteran who deployed to The Middle East the first time, and with children entering their teens, while I won’t be able to control their decisions when they come of age, I have done everything I possibly can to dissuade them from joining the military.

    Sadly, I believe that whether it’s Clinton or Trump, they will have zero reservations of sending my children of to die in a war that will not end.

    1. RUKidding

      I agree. I don’t see much difference between Trump and Clinton in this regard. Both are itching to go to War. It’s slightly possible – slightly! – that Clinton would be somewhat more sane (insofar as one can be sane about war) than Trump. That’s about the best I can say in this YET AGAIN choice between the Evil of Two Lessers.

      1. OIFVet

        Arguing about the relative sanity of the insane is futile. Lybia and Hillminator’s cackle upon being informed of Khadafy’s being sodomized with a knife is proof positive that having her as prez is a recipe for even more of the same.

      2. AnEducatedFool

        Clinton is pushing for war with Iran, Russia and Hezbollah. How can anyone honestly discuss that Clinton is more sane (in foreign policy) than any person running for office?
        Trump does not want war with Russia. Clinton wants to go to war with Russia. There is no other way to read her desire for a no fly zone. The only way to implement that policy is through a war with Russia. Clinton is not naive. She knows that any attempt to create a no fly zone will result in a conflict with Russia.

    2. cyclist

      Yes, it is a topsy turvy system where the State Department, which one expects to be full of people seeking diplomatic solutions, is led by a warmonger, while many military leaders come off as more cautious. The later often have a better understanding of the futility of the situations they are thrown into and the true costs.

  8. ScottW

    The pro-Hillary Times’ piece provides compelling, irrefutable evidence of Hillary’s neocon credentials. The neocons adore her–Cheney commented Hillary was Obama’s best cabinet appointment. Add to that the chilling mutual admiration between Hillary and Kissinger and we have a tangibly scary candidate.

    Her supporters reaction? They either dismiss the idea she is loved by the neocons, or refuse to understand the facts. Similar to rationalizing that money in politics is not a corrupting influence.

    If Hillary is elected, she will have bipartisan support for a neocon foreign policy, as well as money playing a major role in politics and one’s personal life (speaking fees/foundation donations). Citizens United will become a quaint memory.

    It is getting impossible to argue the two parties are anything but the same side of the coin.

    1. John k

      Bill was first elected 24 years ago. Let’s say a quarter century… I think Bernie made his tweedle dum tweedle Dee comment about 20 years ago. The rest of us have been slower to notice.

  9. Bernard

    well, Clinton is a woman and a Democrat. the more perfect evil. just Obama, the Vichy Democrats do more evil than the Republicans, far more efficiently/effectively than any Republican could or has. Hearing David/Charles Koch recently say Hillary “could” be better than any of the Republican candidates, is proof. we are so Fkked!

    yet my siblings will vote for Hillary cause of the Supreme Court due to the fact Hillary has a D by her name. and i gather so many women will vote for Hillary cause she is a “woman.” lol Branding works. Stupidity, American style. if I vote, it will be for Trump, the lesser of two evils, lol.

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Yes, women will vote Hill.

      But that fails to count all the younger voters, saddled with debt and facing an economy where business rules always favor capital over labor, who will find alternatives to Hillary that fit with their moral sensibilities.

      Meanwhile, the DNC is committing organizational suicide by becoming enforcers for Hillary, restricting voting, and failing to sue states like Arizona for election fraud.

      The GOP won’t benefit from any of this.

      1. AnEducatedFool

        Older women will vote for Hillary. The divide between race and gender is primarily age. Older black women are voting for her at 80% clips in nearly every election. Bernie can not win the 40 and under vote in every election while winning 30 and under at 80% with out winning across those demographics.
        Clinton kills him with older voters and has done so through out the cycle. It is why the DNC’s efforts to suppress the vote have worked so well for Clinton.

  10. cr

    The NYT is simply a propaganda machine designed to fool people who can read at a slightly higher grade level. If the ‘newspaper of record’ is compromised, how many mainstream outlets have any real coverage of politics? After reading a large sampl;e,The number is close to zero. Occasionally, the masses are thrown a bone.

    Anyone who thinks there is a difference between the two nominal parties have to be kidding themselves. The two party system is a facade that lures you into believing you live in a democracy or republic. You are ruled. Your votes don’t matter. Any real threat to power in the US is either co-opted or neutralized.

    We had a pedophile for speaker of the house. TPTB had to know it and used that info to keep him under control. He was probably selected based on his past. Along with Hillary, Paul Ryan is clearly a fascist. Look at their actions and their policies.

  11. ng

    even the times piece was puffery. all the generals impressed by her wonkish hard work. and it left out the most damning fact. hillary was the deciding voice in what obama called the worst decision of his presidency, the invasion of libya and killing of quadaffi. nearly a decade after iraq, in a nearly equivilant situation, with all the information she claimed not to have the first time around, she chose the same stupid, destructive approach and sent another nation and region reeling in choas.

    1. divadab

      this. I had thought it was because as a gen 1 feminist, she feels she has to out-macho the boys, but it’s both deeper and more pernicious with her. Fucking neocons. Bombing while the world is burning.

  12. hal

    What about the big four?
    1 her emails anyone else would be gone for 99 years
    2. her speeches? Yea sure. She has the only copy in her (contract)
    3. her deals as SOState I’ll get you arms (Saudi’s) if you give me $1 million for foundation
    Plus many more of these.
    4. Her health passing out a few time, breaking an elbow, and others ailments.

    Not a word on any. As for the NYT. It is as bad a you can get.
    There is a great quote from Albert Camus a editor for “Combat” during the war.
    “We have a right to think that truth with a capital letter is relative. But facts are facts. And whoever says the sky is blue when it is grey is prostituting words and preparing the way for tyranny.

    I think about this every time I read the NYT.

    1. AnEducatedFool

      Nice comment.
      #5 is the discrepancies in the exit poll data. Only the Democrats are having trouble with exit polls this cycle. Each Republican election has been with in the exit polls but many of the Democratic primaries are falling outside of the margin of error for exit polls and always siding with Clinton.

  13. David Mills

    I pay $8 a month buying the weekend edition because I like the crossword (based in KL). The rest of the NYT is crap, been downhill for years. The IHT was okay until it was merged out of existence.

    Otherwise, people who can’t see Hillary’s vicious streak are blind or stupid. She is the candidate most likely to engage Russia. Lawrence Wilkerson had a great interview on her.

  14. Procopius

    “… this was a failure of the media, whose job it is to shine a strong spotlight.” When are Americans going to learn that this is not true. The job of the media is to sell advertising to the people who have the money to buy it. It’s easier to do that if they don’t tell people too much about what’s happening in the world. Tell them about the Kardashians or what people are saying about Beyonce’s latest video. Baseball games are OK. Good looking blonde announcers help. The movie “Front Page” was fiction. Also, there’s no Tooth Fairy.

  15. Emeritus Jr

    With unprecedented access to insiders and whisteblowers, the New York Times is set to publish a scathing indictment of the horse barn industry on the massive damage caused by closing the barn doors after the horses have left.

  16. Roy

    Have not seen any comment on Hillary’s logo. Anyone notice how the arrow is pointing to the right?

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