Washington Babylon — November 1, 2007, 11:32 am

The Press Squeezes Blood From a (Campaign) Stone

“After a rare night of fumbles by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination rushed to maximize the damage yesterday, even as her advisers argued that the ‘piling on’ engaged in by an all-male field of opponents will ultimately drive more female voters into her camp,” the Washington Post breathlessly reported today in an article titled “Clinton Regroups As Rivals Pounce.” “Clinton strategists grudgingly acknowledged that the performance in Tuesday’s debate in Philadelphia was not her finest and they sought to contain the fallout.”

I love when the press tries to build excitement about the campaign with this sort of juiced up story. You’d think the Post was writing about the latest wrestling matches on Raw, not the dreary Democratic race for the presidency. Given the bland realities, I can understand the impulse but if they’re going to do it right reporters should take lessons from the masters:

“The usually unflappable Shawn Michaels lost his cool after the Chairman questioned his motivation for seeking a title match with Randy Orton. “You want revenge,” Mr. McMahon yelled. “Admit it!” HBK’s rage exploded, and he admitted that, yes, he’s absolutely hungry to sideline Orton.”

Just substitute Barack Obama for Shawn Michaels, Hillary Clinton for Randy Orton, and Tim Russert for the Chairman—now you’ve got some lively campaign copy.

To help reporters out, I’m offering a few more samples from Raw that they can employ in upcoming stories. Try it yourself and see how easy it is to cover the campaign by simply changing a few names.

You can only poke a rattlesnake so long before he bites back. As Santino Marella continued his criticism of former WWE Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and his acting skills in front of the Wachovia Center crowd tonight on Raw, the familiar sound of glass breaking in The Texas Rattlesnake’s music poured from the arena speakers. The crowd went wild as “Stone Cold” appeared on the TitanTron–or so they thought. Cheers quickly turned to boos as they realized it was not Austin, but Marella in disguise–an early Halloween costume of his own.

Or this one:

Is WWE Champion Randy Orton in danger of joining his own Legends Killed list, courtesy of Shawn Michaels? If you noticed the look in HBK’s eyes Monday night on Raw when he demanded a rematch with Orton for the WWE Championship, the third-generation Superstar might want to reserve a bed alongside some of his other victims in the WWE MAS*H unit. There was something disturbingly sinister about The Showstopper when he burned a hole into Mr. McMahon and admitted he wanted more than Orton’s cherished title. Michaels unapologetically conceded he wanted to hurt the Legend Killer for trying to end his career several months ago.

Share
Single Page

More from Ken Silverstein:

Commentary November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm

Shaky Foundations

The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.

From the November 2013 issue

Dirty South

The foul legacy of Louisiana oil

Perspective October 23, 2013, 8:00 am

On Brining and Dining

How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2017

Blood and Soil

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Grim Fairy Tale

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Trump: A Resister’s Guide

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Little Things

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Patient War

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Remainers

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Discussed in this essay: Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages. $27. I am writing from Germany, the world’s last major stronghold of liberal democracy. The United Kingdom fell to Brexit in June; the United States fell, with the election of Donald Trump, in November. We can dispute whatever “the West” was for as much time as humanity has left, but that it collapsed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, seems to me beyond question. Perhaps Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is the heart still beating faintly within its brain-dead body, but …
Photograph (detail) by Philip Montgomery
Post
Illustration (detail) by Steve Brodner
Article
The Patient War·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Discussed in this essay: Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages. $27. I am writing from Germany, the world’s last major stronghold of liberal democracy. The United Kingdom fell to Brexit in June; the United States fell, with the election of Donald Trump, in November. We can dispute whatever “the West” was for as much time as humanity has left, but that it collapsed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, seems to me beyond question. Perhaps Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is the heart still beating faintly within its brain-dead body, but …
Photograph (detail) © Andrew Quilty/Oculi/Redux
Article
Little Things·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Discussed in this essay: Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages. $27. I am writing from Germany, the world’s last major stronghold of liberal democracy. The United Kingdom fell to Brexit in June; the United States fell, with the election of Donald Trump, in November. We can dispute whatever “the West” was for as much time as humanity has left, but that it collapsed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, seems to me beyond question. Perhaps Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is the heart still beating faintly within its brain-dead body, but …
Photograph (detail) of miniatures by Lori DeBacker by Thomas Allen
Article
Blood and Soil·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Discussed in this essay: Age of Anger: A History of the Present, by Pankaj Mishra. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages. $27. I am writing from Germany, the world’s last major stronghold of liberal democracy. The United Kingdom fell to Brexit in June; the United States fell, with the election of Donald Trump, in November. We can dispute whatever “the West” was for as much time as humanity has left, but that it collapsed on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, seems to me beyond question. Perhaps Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is the heart still beating faintly within its brain-dead body, but …
Illustration (detail) by Nate Kitch

Chances that a Soviet woman’s first pregnancy will end in abortion:

9 in 10

Peaceful fungus-farming ants are sometimes protected against nomadic raider ants by sedentary invader ants.

In San Antonio, a 150-pound pet tortoise knocked over a lamp, igniting a mattress fire that spread to a neighbor’s home.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Who Goes Nazi?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

Subscribe Today