Monday, August 25, 2003

"If it ain't true, it oughta be!"

The Spawn of Lucianne joins in the "Bush hate is worse than Clinton hate" brigade with a freshly laid column that regurgitates Byron York's factually false tripe with a fresh topping of his own phony facts:
It's odd since not long ago "Clinton-hatred" was a national epidemic. The New York Times, Washington Post, Time magazine and others devoted dozens, if not hundreds, of articles to "Clintonophobia" and other maladies stemming from "right-wing paranoia" and "irrational Clinton hatred."

Oh really? "Dozens if not hundreds" of these stories? Well, let's check.

A quick Google of "Clintonophobia" reveals exactly 72 hits for the word. Exactly one of these comes from a mainstream-media outlet, namely, the 1994 Time story that seems to still have their shorts in a bunch.

A search of the New York Times and Washington Post archives reveals exactly 0 hits for the word.

OoooooK, how about "right-wing paranoia"? A search of the New York Times archives reveals 0 hits. The Washington Post archive offers six hits -- nearly all of them about Russia civil war with Chechnya. None of them are on the topic of "Clinton hate."

A Google search of "right-wing paranoia" reveals 471 hits. None of them are from any of the three media outlets Goldberg mentions. In fact, none of them could be said to be from any kind of mainstream media. The most common appearance of the phrase was in NewsMax.

OK, how about "Irrational Clinton hatred"? New York Times: 0 hits. Washington Post: 0 hits. Google: Exactly 3 hits. One of them was Jonah's column.

OK, well let's just try plain old "Clinton hatred." New York Times, one hit: A Nov. 2001 story by Elizabeth Becker titled "A Nation Challenged: Hearts and Minds -- A special report.; In the War on Terrorism, A Battle to Shape Opinion". "Clinton hatred" is only mentioned in passing. Washington Post: Three hits, one of them a 2000 E.J. Dionne column discussing the degraded state of the national discourse; a 2000 profile of Hillary Clinton; and a 2003 profile of Sidney Blumenthal.

On Google, there were 307 hits. Again, none of them are for any of the three outlets Goldberg mentions. And again, none of them could be said to link to major mainstream media. Well, there is a Salon hit: Andrew Sullivan's attack on Clinton for 9/11 in which he whines about being labeled thus.

So, Jonah, dude ... About those counting skills.

Dozens? Hundreds?

Try exactly two. And one is a column, not a story.

But then, facts never did get in the way of a good story for good, dedicated true-to-their-school conservatives. It reminds me of a letter writer's response to my pointing out to him an anecdote about Clinton in a letter he sent us was false: "Well, hell, if it ain't true, it oughta be!"

[P.S. If anyone would care to Lexis/Nexis these phrases, please let me know and I'll be delighted to run the results.]

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