Democratic Party strategist Peter Daou is among the sorest of all the sore losers having a hard time handling Hillary Clinton’s November electoral loss to Donald Trump. He has been ranting for weeks on Twitter about how sexism hurt Mrs. Clinton, how “THE PLAYING FIELD … (was) TILTED AGAINST HER” (yes, the original was in all caps), and even that the media “helped Trump win.” Friday, he took his act to Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show, where, as would be expected, Carlson made valid points, while Daou had nothing but tired excuses and spin.
The one good thing about Daou’s appearance is that he didn’t bring the unhinged element of his Twitter routine during the past several weeks to the airwaves.
How unhinged has Daou’s Twitter act been? Just three of many examples follow.
Reacting to the revelation in the recently released book Shattered (as if we didn’t know this already), that Clinton campaign planners considered using “Because it’s her turn” as a campaign rallying cry, Daou angrily tweeted:
There’s only one problem (actually, more than one, but this proves the point): “In 2015, head of the Hillary supporting super-PAC Priorities USA and former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina literally said ‘it’s her turn.’” Beyond that, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and her media and Hollywood acolytes constantly pushed the “deeply sexist” idea that it was, in essence, her turn because it was finally time for a woman to become President of the United States.
During the evening of the White House Correspondents Dinner, which Carlson earlier in the week correctly characterized as “basically an extended middle finger” to Trump, Daou wanted an apology — to Mrs. Clinton:
Finally, there’s Daou’s buy-in to the laughable claim that the establishment press’s alleged obsession with reporting on Hillary Clinton’s home-brew private server and serial and illegal sending and receipt of emails containing classified information brought her down:
Daou complained about 100 minutes of email story coverage by the Big Three broadcast networks in 10-1/2 months — barely 3 minutes per network per month. Beyond that, several NewsBusters entries throughout 2016, including key posts by Curtis Houck in January and Geoffrey Dickens in mid-October, documented how the networks deliberately and inexcusably ignored critically damning story developments in real-time.
A parallel leftist complaint is that those 100 minutes represented “three times more airtime … (to) Hillary Clinton’s emails than they did to all (of her) policy issues.” The nets’ near refusal to cover policy at all was less than admirable across the partisan board, but it’s also fair to ask whether Mrs. Clinton ever proposed or embraced any genuinely newsworthy policies. I can’t recall one.
Carlson took the challenge Friday evening, and successfully delivered a strong rebuttal.
The first addresses Daou’s email excuse:
Transcript (bolds are mine):
TUCKER CARLSON: But the press was four-square for Hillary Clinton from the moment Donald Trump got the nomination. They didn’t hide it at all. And the emails that were leaked from John Podesta’s Gmail account proved they were collaborating with the Hillary campaign. So, there’s really not much of an argument to make, do you think, that the press was on Trump’s side?
PETER DAOU: Look, a conservative is going to say that the mainstream media was against Donald Trump, President Trump, and the liberals, progressive Democrats are going to say that they were against Hillary Clinton.
The fact is there have been independent studies that were done, Harvard’s Shorenstein Center did one. And look, both candidates got very bad press. You know, candidate Trump got terrible press, and Hillary Clinton got very bad press.
One thing that was profoundly different though, on the email story specifically, we counted 600 days at a research team, 600 consecutive days of coverage that far, far outweighed any coverage of any other Trump story. So—
CARLSON: Where was that, where was that coverage? Was that in “The New York Times,” “Washington Post”? — oh, no it wasn’t.
DAOU: Major papers.
CARLSON: No it wasn’t. I ran one of those news organizations at the time.
DAOU: Major papers.
CARLSON: Nope, that’s not true. The New York Times did not run 600 days of email stories.
DAOU: Well, Gallup actually, Tucker, Gallup had an analysis that said the only thing that the voters heard was they heard Hillary Clinton’s name was “email.”
CARLSON: Well, we’re stuck with them.
DAOU: The word “email” was larger than every single other word in the word cloud through the email story dominated coverage from the very beginning. She made a mistake, and she apologized for it.
CARLSON: On the right it did, but not in the New York Times, not in the Washington Post.
And, I should add, not in the Associated Press, the reference point for national broadcast priorities and the underlying, virtually unquestioned national and international news source at most local TV stations. At AP, the party line, whenever the email situation was brought up, was that Mrs. Clinton did nothing illegal and would not be sanctioned for what she did — even though others in less-connected circumstances have done prison time for far less serious violations of laws relating to government information security.
The fact that “email” was the number one word-association voters made with Mrs. Clinton was almost entirely due to work done by Fox News and more center-right outlets and blogs than one can hope to mention here. The sad truth Daou won’t recognize is that the issue was (and remains) serious, and deserved to be her Achilles heel.
Daou’s reference to “600 consecutive days” is false, and a blog post he wrote in October 2016 about the work that his own research team was doing proves it. Note that he also thought that email fatigue would work to his candidate’s advantage:
We found that the emails have been mentioned in the major news media virtually every single day since then, 600 in total.
… Polls show that the majority of Americans are tired of hearing about this issue, one that doesn’t directly affect their daily lives.
“Virtually every single day” is not “every day.” One might be tempted to give Daou a pass here, but he specifically told Carlson it was “600 consecutive days,” clearly intending to tell viewers that there was absolutely no break.
The second video segment adds an exclamation point to Daou’s state of denial, while Carlson noted that excuse-making and blame-shifting is something the Clintons have engaged in since their time in Arkansas over a quarter-century ago:
Transcript (bolds are mine):
CARLSON: It just grates to hear the press described as anything but what they were, which was much more in favor of Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.
They are horrified by Trump. He doesn’t like them either, by the way. He attacks them directly, and they take it personally. They really wanted her to win. They might not like her personally, I don’t think a lot of them did, they wanted her to win. That’s just true.
DAOU: Look, it’s what you are stating. I see it the exact opposite. As I say, that 6-to-1 study of emails over issues. (Point refuted earlier in this post, though Daou turned “3-to-1″ into “6-to-1.” — Ed.) I mean, the playing field was tilted against her unfairly. And again, this is not about relitigating, this is about telling the truth. Hillary Clinton did not face a fair playing field, Tucker. That’s just a fact.
CARLSON: It’s so interesting. Obviously, I was at a newspaper in Arkansas 25 years ago. So I’ve watched the Clintons carefully for a long time. Have you noticed a continuity of story line here? Like they always make the case, her husband does the same: “We’re being treated unfairly. We’re the victims of some kind of bias.”
Or, that she’s the victim of sexism, misogyny, the Russians, Jim Comey, WikiLeaks, blah-blah-blah. All of it is as credible as Daou’s primary claim that media bias brought her down.
We might as well get used to the idea that, for some people, apparently including Peter Daou, who to his credit at least acknowledged that Trump is “the president based on our Constitution” and graciously tweeted his gratitude Saturday morning for having been given the opportunity to appear, this blame-shifting nonsense will never end.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.