June 23, 2014

"The Ed Klein book... I read it, and I'm not alleging it doesn't exist and isn't true, any of that, but some of the quotes strike me as odd in the sense that I don't know people who speak this way."

Said Rush Limbaugh on his show today, and that's what I said first thing this morning.

Rush continues:
"I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived." I don't know. Does this guy [Bill Clinton] talk that way? "I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived." Why would he tell people this? If they've got this public show going on of unity, you know, one of the things you never betray your true feelings about people...

And then it quotes Bill telling Hillary, "I am not going to enjoy this [playing golf with Obama]. I’ve had two successors since I left the White House -- Bush and Obama -- and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president -- none whatsoever."
That doesn't sound like what Bill would say to Hillary. That sounds like a bad movie script where the backstory is shoehorned into the dialogue. If you're going to reconstruct (or make up) quotes, write convincing dialogue!

"I'm not going to enjoy this," Bill told Hillary? Then why do it?

"I really can’t stand the way Obama always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me. Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side."
Again, it's bad-movie-script exposition. Hillary would have already known these things, and even if he did inanely inform her of things like a character in a stupid movie, how would we know? Did  Hillary or Bill speak to Ed Klein. 
He's explaining all this to Hillary. He's explaining why he's gonna go out and play golf with Obama, 'cause they need each other even though they hate each other....  'He told Obama, "Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016." He said Hillary would be "the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history."'"

Well, I guess I can see him taunting Obama. This sounds like, I don't know, grade school chatter back and forth.
And who would have told Ed Klein about this? Obviously, not Bill or Barack. Secret Service agents? Somebody who heard it from Bill/Barack second-hand? Are people accepting this quotes because whether they're real or not, they stand in for a story that we believe is real? That's "fake but accurate" territory. Don't go there!


Meade said...

Rush was born to copy you.

Forbes said...

Fake, but accurate...

Meade said...

One would think he'd at least have picked a different day on which to be born. Just to not be so, you know, obvious.

rhhardin said...

Everything is a narrative anyway, thanks to the remaining news audience.

Just think of the book as the evening news.

Anonymous said...

Rush has a team of researchers who check out the various popular new sites and politcal blogs including this one. It's certainly possible that he got the idea at least indirectly from you, then again he could just as easily come to the same conclusion on his own after reading it himself. Personally I'm always suspicious of these sorts of unsubstantiated quotes. Personally I also doubt that these quotes are authentic. Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that the Clintons genuinely dislike Obama. I'm just not convinced that they would be so unguarded or sloppy about making their feelings known in such plain terms. Who knows though?

St. George said...

We're living through a bad movie script.

Anonymous said...

-Slick William: 'I was once such a powerful man and now I'm just a regular Joe.'

*clenches fist*

-Hillary: 'And yet I hunger so much for the office you once held, Bill. The power still radiates from you, like an inner radioactive core.

I can feel its heat. I want that for me.'

-Slick William: 'Thanks, Mama. You'll get it. Well get it.'

-Hillary: I ain't no ways tired.'

*long pause*

Bill: Do you ever feel....an empty space inside where nothing ever goes? Like....burning for something but also kind of empty-like?

I mean, what's it all for?'

-Hillary: 'You're a Statesman, Bill. Dont ever forget that.'

*gazes out window*

'Do you remember Christmas '91 with all that snow outside? The fireplace, Chelsea...Socks...even Roger flew in and got drunk?

I'll always love you for giving us that.'

You've given us all so much.''

Bill: 'I do remember, Mama, I sure do.'

Hillary: 'I ain't no ways tired.'

Together: 'Let's get this bastard'

Hillary: 'Lets get all these bastards...'

End scene

Freeman Hunt said...

Ah, but an impudent, bad-mouthing genius might think to purposely sound like a bad movie script so that when people quoted him no one else would ever believe it!

donald said...

Sounds like a Bob Woodward/Carl Bernstein deal.

Give the man his Pulitzer.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

“It’s an impossible story,” Bill said. “I can’t believe the president is claiming it wasn’t terrorism. Then again, maybe I can. It looks like Obama isn’t going to allow anyone to say that terrorism has occurred on his watch.”

Nobody says "then again" in a conversation. You write it, you don't say it.

Whomever wrote this version no doubt watched The Big Lebowski and is channeling The Stranger, played by Sam Elliot. There's a nice folksy guitar playing in the background, with the lyrics "take me down little Suzy take me down, I know you think you're the queen of the underground..."

Kelly said...

How did Rush ever do his show before blogs? I read the quotes on Drudge and thought they seemed far fetched. I've often suspected Rush of reading my mind because I think things which he repeats on his show.

David-2 said...

"the notion that an actor in a fictional role understands what real life was like in the time and place depicted in the story is absurd."

Which is how you know that Congress is fundamentally unserious when they call actors to testify because of the role they played.

See, e.g., Ron Howard testifying on space exploration because he directed Apollo 13, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, and Jane Fonda testifying on the "farm crisis" because they played distressed farm wives, etc. etc.

The Godfather said...

Forbes is right. This stuff reeks of being made up, but it also reeks of truth about the relationship of the Clintons to Obama.

That said, the Clintons are pols. They won't attack Obama unless/until they conclude that it's in their interest to do so. The wild card is Obama, who is a terrible politician (yes, you can be elected president twice and be a terrible politician - like Nixon) and has an incredible ego. Given the right circumstances, BHO could launch an attack on Hillary, and then watch the fireworks! I don't think it will happen, but it might.

richard mcenroe said...

Ann, the tenture committee is expressing concern that you agree with Rush Limbaugh...

Skeptical Voter said...

Movie script? Maybe, but the the thought of these four evil critters slanging each other is so delicious that I'll buy the book anyway. You wanna read movie scripts, read some of the Mooch's and the Bamster's tales of their childhood along the lines of, "I had to walk two miles to school each day--uphill both ways" stuff, or Hillary telling the world that she's "not really well off" financially.

Frankly she's not really well off in the judgment or mental department--politically tone deaf is too kind a description to use, but that's okay.

So choose your fable book: "Dreams from My Father" or "Blood Feud". I suspect that Bllod Feud will be more entertaining.

Gene said...

Bad writers punch up their scenes by inventing dialogue. Really bad writers invent really bad dialogue.

From Inwood said...

I prefer guys who write a roman a clef.

Or like the Shaaras, father & son. Their books are fun, but the authors weren't there & didn't know anyone who knew anyone who was there.

Still, as noted, the quoted dialog here from Klein does sound stagey.

I always thought to myself that if I were a deep throat, I wouldn't be able to give Woodward a lengthy direct quote from anybody unless I had been taking notes, which few people do at these events unless requested to do so.

But some people want to believe this stuff.

And a lot of people pretended to think that Tina Fey's stuff had actually been said by Palin.

Interesting to see if Rush notes this, er, parallelism tomorrow.

H said...

I've listened to Limbaugh for a long time. He has always taken other people's ideas and writings and presented them as his own. He is usually pretty careful to add a reference to his source material, though sometimes in an oblique way. (His reference to Althouse as a person from Wisconsin was ass-covering of this sort.) BUt look this is not an academic setting and it's not plagiarism. Althouse won't get the credit she deserves for these thoughts, but that's the nature of modern media; the compensation is that ALthouse ideas are reaching a lot more people than the blog alone.