By Tom Blumer ~
The press is going to extraordinary lengths to minimize the visibility of Hillary Clinton’s damaging and disparaging February remarks at a fundraiser about how Bernie Sanders’ supporters “are living in their parents’ basement,” and how half of them don’t know what (‘just like Scandinavia’) means” — stereotyping digs which don’t survive even the most rudimentary efforts at fact-checking.
The New York Times appears to have decided to completely ignore Mrs. Clinton’s remarks, because “news” relating to 20 year-old items — namely the likely illegally obtained Donald Trump tax return data and remarks that the Republican nominee could have made about a Miss Universe pageant winner’s weight, a condition for which he could have taken her crown away, and didn’t — are “obviously” far more important.
A 10 p.m. Sunday search at the Times on “Hillary basement Sanders” (not in quotes) returned only two items. One is a “The Latest” timeline from the Associated Press which has not made and will not make the Old Gray Lady’s print edition.
The AP’s 6:15 p.m. Saturday squib at the Times, which is no longer present at the wire service’s own national site, claims that “In the recording, Clinton says many young people who support Sanders are living in their parents’ basements, unsatisfied with their education and jobs,” and reports that the Trump campaign “thinks it can attract a significant number of Sanders’ Democratic supporters who are unhappy with Clinton as their nominee.”
The other item found at the Times is also from the Associated Press. Though carrying a 6:30 p.m. Saturday time stamp, it did not appear in Sunday’s or Monday’s print edition.
Over at the Politico, as Fox News has demonstrated, the left-leaning website, more aptly described as a left-koolaid-drinking website, watered down the originally accurate headline at its story about Mrs. Clinton’s remarks to the point where it communicated nothing of substance.
Politico’s original and revised headlines are as follows:
The fact that the story’s “Updated” time-stamp is only 41 minutes later than its original would seem to indicate that the headline was changed at the behest of someone other than Cristiano Lima, who reported the story, and that only the headline was changed.
The Associated Press’s contribution to minimizing the visibility of Mrs. Clinton’s remarks is in the Saturday evening timing of its story, its predictable “Republicans react” headline, its delay in quoting Mrs. Clinton’s “basement” statement, and the story’s deletion from its main national site.
Catherine Lucey’s story (“Clinton’s remarks on young voters fuel new Trump pitch”) remains at the wire service’s “Big Story” site, but it is no longer present at its main national site, even though her dispatch, which per the Times went up at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday (the “Big Story” time stamp is now Saturday at 11:12 p.m.) was barely 24 hours old at the time this post was started.
Lucey kept Mrs. Clinton’s “basement” reference out of her first paragraph, and, incredibly, flushed out the mockery, framing the story around her supposed “empathy”(!) for Sanders’ supporters:
In a leaked recording from a February fundraiser, Hillary Clinton expressed empathy for young voters who were siding with her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders, saying that for people who don’t see any economic opportunities, the idea that “you could be part of a political revolution is pretty appealing.”
Clinton called them “children of the Great Recession” and added: “And they are living in their parents’ basement. They feel that they got their education and the jobs that are available to them are not at all what they envisioned for themselves.”
Donald Trump sought to turn her words into a new pitch for Sanders supporters, although Sanders himself has endorsed Clinton and denounced Trump. The businessman contended at a Saturday night rally in Pennsylvania that the audio shows Clinton “demeaning and mocking Bernie Sanders and all of his supporters” and added: “To sum up, Hillary Clinton thinks Bernie Sanders supporters are hopeless and ignorant basement dwellers.”
… At another point in the February fundraiser, Clinton spoke about the extremes on both sides of the political aisle, noting a “populist, nationalist, xenophobic, discriminatory kind of approach” from many in the Republican field and then said that for many Democrats, there is a yearning for “free college, free healthcare,” and to “go as far as, you know, Scandinavia.”
The opening of the final bolded passage indicates that Team Clinton was ready to play the xenophobia and race cards on Republicans even if their nominee ended up not being Donald Trump.
As seen in the full statement made by Mrs. Clinton, the second portion of the final bolded passage conveniently leaves out her disparaging follow-up:
And on the other side, that we just need to, you know, go as far as, you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means, and half the people don’t know what that means, but it’s something that they deeply feel.
So for those who are keeping score, besides disparaging young adults “living in their parents basement” (more on why that is so insulting will be noted shortly), Mrs. Clinton has said that:
- Half of Donald Trump’s supporters belong in a “basket of deplorables … racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it.”
- Half of Bernie Sanders’ young supporters, as just seen, and perhaps even half of all Sanders supporters, are too stupid to understand what “go as far as Scandinavia” means.
- All Americans are “implicitly racist”
If Mrs. Clinton’s contemptuous statements were more widely known, one would think that there wouldn’t be a lot of people left who would actually want to vote for her. But that’s the problem. The press is clearly working to ensure that Mrs. Clinton’s insults, which now arguably apply to a far larger number of Americans than Donald Trump has ever supposedly insulted, and definitely apply to a miles-higher number than Mitt Romney’s saturation-reported 47 percent did — don’t gain wider currency.
Two other points need to be made.
First, according to Pew Research, 32.1 percent of young adults were “living in their parent(s) home” in 2014. That is close to an all-time high (the only unsurprising exception is several years ending with 1940, during the latter years of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal; it’s amazing how ultra-Keynesian history repeats itself, isn’t it?). But it’s still less than one-third.
More to Mrs. Clinton’s insulting point, quite a few young adults surely were and still are living in rooms other than the basement in those homes, and were and still are contributing to some extent towards household expenses. If she wanted to make a policy point without the snark, Mrs. Clinton would have referred to them as “still living with their parents.” But she didn’t, because she has barely concealed contempt for anyone who is in her way.
And also there’s this idea that she’s saying to her friends behind closed doors to donors, just like “basket of deplorables,” like she’s putting one face forward to Bernie Sanders supporters, saying, “Please some vote for me,” and then behind closed doors being like “Look at these kids.” So that two-faced appearance, also, that’s hurtful.
The other point is that Mrs. Clinton’s entire narrative is really a damning indictment of the Obama economy of the past eight years and of her own policy proposals, which for all practical purposes double down on and extend them. As contrarian blog Zero Hedge observed Friday evening:
One wonders whose fault it is that millions of young people are stuck in dead-end jobs, living in their parents’ basement, while both Obama and Hillary make TV appearances touting the strength of the economic recovery.
As the Zero Hedge writer’s sarcastic tone indicates, we don’t have to wonder at all.
Tom Blumer has written for several national online publications primarily on business, economics, politics and media bias. He has had his own blog, BizzyBlog.com, since 2005, and has been with NewsBusters since December 2005. Along the way, he’s had a decades-long career in accounting, finance, training and development.