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"Quid Pro Quo, Clarice"

Normally, I tend to mock people who engage in conspiracy theories. But every now and then I come across one (or, in this case, come up with one) that is just entertaining enough to make me want to kick it around.

A couple of weeks ago, MSNBC's David Shuster referred to Hillary Clinton's use of her daughter to help her failing presidential campaign as "pimping out Chelsea." The tirades of outrage were the stuff of legend, and Shuster was suspended indefinitely. Further, Keith Olbermann (the Dumbest Person In The World of the day, and most every other day) issued an on-air apology, saying they were "literally dreadfully sorry" for Shuster's using a term for Chelsea that should only be used in relation to Republicans and their appointees, i.e. George W. Bush and General David Petraeus.

I spent a bit of time wondering about just what Olbermann meant by "literally dreadfully sorry," and I think I figured it out.

"Literally dreadful" means "full of dread." They were sending a signal to the Clinton camp that they were so dreading the Clintons' response, they were prepared to do whatever it took to get back into their good graces. And now we know just what that was.

Over the past few weeks, Fox News' Sean Hannity has pulled a fun little gambit: he asks Barack Obama supporters to cite some of his legislative accomplishments. (This is nothing new; I and a lot of others have been playing the same theme in regards to Senator Obama, and in 2004 I issued a standing dare for anyone to cite three accomplishments of note by John Kerry since he was first elected to the Senate.) And in each case, the supporters were utterly mortified (not literally, though; none of them died of embarrassment) to not to be able to come up with one.

Well, Hillary Clinton can't be seen making nice with Fox News, so it fell upon MSNBC to pull the same stunt. Apparently Chris Matthews drew the short straw, so he sprung the same question on Texas State Senator Kirk Watson last night.

Now, this morning, Hillary Clinton is harping on the same theme, citing MSNBC.

Now, this could have been a quiet back-room deal between MSNBC and the Clinton campaign. "MSNBC, you get one of your people to pull the Hannity stunt, and we'll let the whole 'pimping Chelsea' slide." Or it could have been MSNBC hoping to appease the Clintons -- "we'll have Matthews steal Hannitys' schtick, then hand that to the Clintons and see if they take the gift."

Either way, Hillary's openly citing MSNBC works as a nice little wink that all is forgiven -- or, at least, forgiven enough for now. Because the Clintons have never been famous for "forgive and forget" type politics.

Or it could all be a coincidence.

But it all just seems a little too pat for me. My money's on the MSNBC folks seeing the opportunity to kiss some Clinton ass, to give her a much-needed boost right when she needs it most, and Hillary giving the wink back to say "OK, I'll lay off some of the heat, boys." An explicit quid pro quo agreement could backfire, but a subtle wind and nod would preserve that "plausible deniability" that is so valuable these days.

The best thing is, the only potential damage is to MSNBC's journalistic credibility and Hillary Clinton's moral outrage -- and those two assets are already so banged up as to be pretty much worthless already.


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Comments (7)

Maybe we'll see some tit fo... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:

Maybe we'll see some tit for that tat and have a pro-Obama news network ask Hillary supporters what her accomplishments are. She's a former first lady and that is where her claim to fame derives from. She wouldn't even be the Senator from New York if it wasn't from that status.

She hung out in the west wing during her "husband's" tenure, big frick'in deal. She hung out enough to really, really tick off Dick Morris.

I crack up when I see him seethe when talking about her.

So her other claim to fame besides first lady was being an "annoyance" but Bill would overlook that so she would overlook his shenanigans.

But I think Obama has Hillary beat.

He has "hope" and "change".

She just has "change".

One thing for certain, I'm gonna pull that lever for McCain in November. He looks more presidential every day.

Speaking of stuff along the... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Speaking of stuff along the same line here is Bill O from 2/19 referencing Michelle Obama

"That's wrong. And I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down."

Using the words "lynching party" when referencing an African-American is way beyond Imus.

Of course this refers to Bi... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Of course this refers to Bill O from FOX

nogo, how many times do I h... (Below threshold)

nogo, how many times do I have to remind you of your vow to leave and never come back? Do you need help in keeping that promise?

J.

Can anyone name John Mccain... (Below threshold)
tty:

Can anyone name John Mccain's accomplishments? I know McCain/Feingold, but what else has he gotten through?

Pretty soon "rope" will be ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Pretty soon "rope" will be a prohibitive work in liberal circles. Such idiotic children. ww

Yeah,TTY, you can try that.... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Yeah,TTY, you can try that. He has done some pretty crappy things, but he has at least DONE some things! He has a long record and not all of it has been to my liking. One thing I can say. He has not been afraid to do things without first testing the polls. He has done what he felt was right at the time. We will be watching him closer from now on.




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