Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

We've had a number of looks recently at how The New York Times appears to be revisiting its 'whitewater' glory days with its increasingly parodic coverage of the "Clinton Foundation" - I'm adding scare quotes to match the dramatic effect, even though of course the Clinton Foundation is a named legal entity. Beyond the 'clouds' and 'shadows' TPM Reader AR flagged to our attention, as Paul Glastris explains here, the latest installment from the Times explains how Bill Clinton's request for diplomatic passports for aides accompanying him on a mission to secure the release of two US journalists held captive in North Korea constitutes the latest damning revelations about the corrupt ties between the Foundation and the Clinton State Department.

The Times uniquely, though only as a leading example for the rest of the national press, has a decades' long history of being lead around by rightwing opposition researchers into dead ends which amount to journalistic comedy - especially when it comes to the Clintons. But here, while all this is happening we have a real live specimen example of direct political and prosecutorial corruption, misuse of a 501c3 nonprofit and various efforts to conceal this corruption and the underlying corruption of Trump's 'Trump University' real estate seminar scam. It's all there - lightly reported here and there - but largely ignored.

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This is an important piece on the increasingly nonsensical coverage of the Clinton Foundation. It's starting to echo of all the worst nonsense of the 90s, particularly the latest 'scandal' that Bill Clinton sought diplomatic passports for aides who were accompanying him on a mission to North Korea to secure the release of two captive US journalists.

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Even now, after all that's happened, most political reporters find themselves either unwilling or unable to identify Donald Trump's tirades as hate speech. But they fit the textbook definition, inasmuch as it's even a useful concept. The New York Times is on the receiving end of a storm of criticism at the moment for their botched story on Trump's whirlwind Wednesday from Mexico City to Phoenix. And they deserve it. But the offense is mainly one of laziness and sloppiness - offenses which the Times' privileged position makes it again and again vulnerable to. You write the story about the arc of the day, file it to edit and production. But while the piece is on autopilot in those later stages of the journalistic process the reality of the day changes radically and you end up publishing a story that is night and day of the reality everybody has just seen. But this embarrassment is a pedestrian stumble. The far greater offense is the one almost every news organization committed with the Times. This isn't 'tough' or 'hard edged' speechifying. This is hate speech.

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You've likely seen news that Donald Trump has hired David Bossie as his Deputy Campaign Manager. The good news for Democrats on this front is that it's not clear to me that Bossie has any real experience running campaigns or winning elections, certainly not at the presidential level. What he is is a career 'investigator' of the Clintons who's been the promoter of most of the ugliest, most surreal and unhinged Clinton conspiracy theories. He also has a decent historical role as the head of the plaintiff organization in the Citizens United case. The actual group Citizens United is his group. That was his lawsuit.

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Like most bullies, Trump turns out to be a coward. After a year of cocky boasting about making Mexico pay for his Wall and like it, Trump went silent when he actually met face to face with the Mexican President. He seems even to have lied about the issue even coming up in their meeting. And when it did, if we credit the account of Mexico's President, he didn't respond. But as soon as we was back before a friendly crowd, he was back to the same swagger and boasting. "They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for it." It's almost a cliched version of the schoolyard bully who falls apart when he has to follow through on his boasts or breaks down in tears when threatened.

Just as cocky on Twitter (from this morning)

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We've now heard Trump's big immigration policy speech.

Let me start with a general comment on tone. This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I've seen from Trump. Even if you couldn't understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It's hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn't know what the words even meant.

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