Hillary with GeneralsI had just read the New York Times‘ Public Editor, Clark Hoyt, explain that every Times article “is read by at least five people after the reporter finishes it.” So I guess that means that when an article on the front page of the Times’ owned Boston Globe repeats a thoroughly discredited Republican talking point, the expressed bias must pervade every level of the paper’s editorial staff.

Writing about all the steps Hillary Clinton has taken to establish that she is “tough enough” to be Commander in Chief, Globe reporter Marcella Bombardieri begins her article with the following explanation:

Because she is a Democrat and the first serious female contender for the presidency in a time of war, convincing voters that she can be trusted with the nation’s security is one of her biggest hurdles.

This unqualified statement is then followed by quotes from “experts” expressing suprise that a Democrat and a woman could actually gain credibility on national security issues, or noting that Clinton has done so by “making tough comments that sound a lot like the president.” Oh, please.

With apologies to regular FDL readers who already saw the earlier post, this repeat is for my hometown paper and the five or so editors who likely read what its reporters write for the Globe’s front page:

We’ve had six and half years of phony “tough men” in the Bush/Cheney regime, people who actually believe that the best way for America to gain it’s supposedly lost manhood was to beat the crap out of some hapless Middle East dictator just to prove we could — so they did. But these insecure juvenile morons have run the country into the ground while destroying the almost universal goodwill towards America that existed immediately after 9/11. Their reckless belligerence and indifference to human suffering have destroyed Iraq and created refugee conditions that usually accompany genocide. Being “tough” means they sponsored the CIA’s “black sites,” winked at Abu Ghraib and left us with Guantanamo. These same “tough” guys watched with indifference as New Orleans drowned, and they now want to impose a “misery strategy” against highly vulnerable undocumented immigrants.
. . .
Someone needs to stand up and say that being “tough” and “manly” the way the media and this regime define those terms has been a catastrophic failure and a human calamity. It has made us less safe and led to tens of thousands of deaths; it’s dragging the country’s reputation through the mud and made us hated as bullies and torturers. We’ve had enough of cruelty masquerading as policy and service-evading presidents in flight suits pretending to be warriors. We’re in desperate need of genuine adults who possess wisdom, understanding, respect for law, and courage based on humane principles.

Our next President will need a more mature grasp of adulthood than displayed by our adolescent President and his war-fear-mongering Vice President, a man so insane he can’t wait to start the next war. But our media need to stop asking whether these candidates are “tough” or “manly” enough; surely adult men possess more humane qualities than what the media obsesses over, and we could benefit greatly from more “feminine” and/or motherly sensibilities in the mix.

Is it too much to ask the Boston Globe to stop repeating the mindless, now demonstrably false nonsense that only “tough” Republican men — or those who sound like them — can be trusted with America’s national security? Repeating that wholly discredited myth is hurting the country and perpetuating conditions that elect those who support the Bush Administration’s horrors, getting thousands more people killed and America bogged down in hopeless foreign quagmires. For god’s sake, stop.

Photo: SERGEANT CURT CASHOUR/US ARMY VIA Associated press, from the Globe.