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HORIST: Media signs on as character assassins for the Democrats

HORIST: Media signs on as character assassins for the Democrats

Way back in the 1990s, then President Bill Clinton was chagrined by the rise of what he termed “the politics of personal destruction.”  He was talking about the growing tendency to mount ad hominin attacks to demonize and vilify political opponents.

Politics was becoming less a disagreement over policy and philosophy and more an exercise in destroying the personal reputations – ergo the credibility – of political opponents.  Opposition leaders were not judged to be simply wrong headed, but to be evil incarnate – motivated by the darkest of human traits.

Clinton called for an end of the politics of personal destruction but what ensued has been an increase in the ferocity of such personal attacks.  Today, it is virtually – maybe literally – destroying our political process.  The virus of character assassination has spread beyond specific leaders and officeholders to embrace supporters.  Anyone who supports anything about President Trump is – as Hillary Clinton described us – a “basket of deplorables” beyond redemption no less.

In this era of character assassination, it is the left-wing media that are the assassins.  Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was once one of the most revered men in public office – “America’s mayor.”  It was more than his handling of 9/11.  He was a notable crime fighter and was credited with making the Big Apple a much safer city.

Once he allied with the much-hated Donald Trump, the media began its campaign of character assassination.  The redefined Giuliani was a malevolent figure on one hand and an intellectual fool on the other.

Then there is the case of Justice Brett Kavanaugh.  You may recall that at the time of his nomination to the Supreme Court, he was among the most respected jurists in America – praised by judicial scholars across the board.  That was until strident and hateful Democrats put a contract out on Kavanaugh.  That is when the left-wing media undertook an incessant campaign of character assassination.  Virtually every east coast media outlet – anchors, reporters and panels of parroting pundits – unloaded on Kavanaugh. By their description, Kavanaugh was a sexual predator and a Neanderthal right-wing extremist who would destroy the comity of the high court.

At the time Trump nominated William Barr to be Attorney General, he was also a man with an impeccable reputation for his legal scholarship and dedication to the Constitution.  He had previously served as Attorney General with distinction and bipartisan praise under President George Bush.  The contract was out by Democrats when – despite his sterling qualification – they voted against confirmation.  From that point forward, the media has lost no opportunity to demean, demonize and malign the Attorney General.  The media assassins have declared him to be a toady of the President … a fixer … a hack.

There was a time that Senator Lindsey Graham was a favorite of Joe Scarborough and his “Morning Joe” and his mob of character assassins.  But let the South Carolina legislator say one positive thing about Trump, and out come the poison pens of the pseudo-journalists and pundits that populate MSNBC’s morning show.

And it is not a matter of targeting individuals.  The media assassins strafe virtually every Republican in Congress as weak, immoral and cowardly.  It is a virtual war on what the media so derogatorily refers to as Trump’s base.

Among the character assassins are a number of false flaggers, who are generally billed as Republican strategists.  They are paid by the anti-Trump media to give the ranks of the character assassins the appearance of balance and bipartisanship.

While it seems that the American people long for the days of greater political civility, it ain’t going to happen until the character assassins in the media sheath their venomous tongues and keyboards.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. carol

    Absolutely true. Demoncrats have no good qualities to convince people to vote for them so they try to demonize their opponents to get people to vote for the least of two evils. Pretty shabby.

  2. Kathy Long

    this started with Lee Atwater– Republican campaign strategist– who recanted and regretted the strategy of personal destruction when he was on his death bed.

    republicans have no problem attacking purple heart recipients who served this country bravely and continue to serve — in defense of a criminal President. Republicans have admitted that all those Benghazi investigations (8) were to make sure Hillary Clinton never became President — such a despicable way to subvert the will of the American voters.

    you should be ashamed — Republicans invented this, Fox News continues it and RWNJ’s create whole conspiracy theories to support it.

    Start working with reality, truth, and decency — something the Republicans in congress are lacking — for the past two decades…

    • Phil in TX

      Just another Democrat character assassin. Go find a mirror if you want to know what one looks like.

      Phil in TX

    • Ron Clark

      The trouble with Democrats is they can’t see the forest for the trees, their party is so bad they can’t even agree on the time of day, so, if must be the Republican’s fault.

  3. Maniel

    “Assisted suicide?”

  4. Jeanette Kelley

    Kathy Long,

    You wouldn’t see Truth, Decency Or Honesty if
    It slapped you in the face! What is going in this Country are People just like you in The DC swamp who are trying To Destroy Our Great President & the Decent Men & Women around him trying turn this country Back around! Do you really think Women like Lying Hillary Clinton and the creeps like her have America’s best interest at heart? I just wish people like you Would get educated & start really seeking the Truth For once in your life,

    God Save this Country from people like you.

  5. Joe S Bruder

    )ctober 30, 2019 – OK, Punchies, still keeping up with the news? Just in case you’re only watching FOX news (and even they are starting to get the message, here’s the news everyone else is listening to. Old Joe Gilbertson decided his listeners didn’t want to listen to my version of the news, so my highly anticipated daily update on the impeachment never made it to print.

    Everyone in Trump’s administration is testifying to his crimes, including yesterday a Lieutenant Colonel who was on Trump’s staff. He also testified that, based on his notes from the meeting, Trump’s “transcript” was sanitized (and even then, it was still enough to incriminate him enough to get impeachment started). A Federal judge ruled that the impeachment process is legitimate, and an assistant to John Bolton, Charles Kupperman filed another suit asking if he had to follow the White House orders or the Congressional subpoenas, and that will be decided on Thursday. Most likely, they will side with Congress, and that opens a whole slew of government employees to testify against Trump and Guiliani’s shadow government, including John Bolton. Democrats hate Bolton because he’s a warmonger, but at least he was smart enough to bolt(on) when he saw Trump committing crimes, and Republicans will take him seriously.

    Gordon Sondland, one of the trio that was running Trump’s shadow foreign policy, was caught lying to Congress, and will either go down with Trump or have to tell the Truth, implicate Trump, and pray to your god Trump that he gets let off easy. And Guiliani is so deep in the plot that he’s most likely next to get arrested (after his two Ukrainian mafia employers got arrested on the way to Vienna, where Guiliani was going to meet them).

    Matt Gaetz led a bunch of traitors who barged into a SCIF (a secure room for classified meetings) with cell phones, tweeting out their locations (and implicating themselves in crimes) and also ordering pizza (because they didn’t think about what to do when they got there). Expect some of them (if not all) to be charged with security violations. They tried to make it sound like it’s only Democrats in these meetings, or that there’s something nefarious because it’s in a basement room, but the hearings are bipartisan, and frankly, the basement is the best place to keep a secured room.

    Republicans have been complaining about the closed hearings, but it’s necessary to keep the co-conspirators from coordinating their stories. Be careful what you wish for – Pelosi will be holding the vote tomorrow for the entire House to make the impeachment a formal process. Now Republicans will have to declare that they’re with or against the criminal traitor in the White House. After Thursday, they’ll start going with public testimony, and then Trump’s numbers will dip.

    Republicans have tried to attack the message, but there’s just too much evidence and testimony about Trump’s blackmail of Ukraine. The’ve attacked the process, which is nowhere near as bad as the secret hearings about Clinton and Benghazi (and which exonerated Clinton, not once, but multiple times). So now. Republicans are shamefully attacking a purple-heart veteran, to defend a criminal who avoided service to his country.

    Right now, current polls are still running just over 50% to impeach and remove, but hard-core Trump supporters are still polling at about 40% saying he did nothing wrong. That’s not enough to keep Republicans in the Senate on board, and McConnell is (of course) playing both sides, condemning Trump and Democrats at the same time. Republicans are cutting and (not) running, knowing that they either have to vote for impeachment and lose the most rabid Trump base, or vote against impeachment and lose everyone else. They’re retiring from Congress and the Senate in record numbers, knowing they’re screwed either way.

    And let’s not forget the ENTIRE STADIUM at the World Series booing Trump and chanting “Lock him up!”. Reports say, it hit over 100 decibels, as much noise as cheering for a triple play… Such joy to my ears! Wait til the whole country is yelling that!

    • 2004done

      Joe S Bruder = slightly less verbose Vasu Murti ??

    • Larry Horist

      Joe S. Bruder … Starting with he last first. The ENTIRE STADIUM was not booing and saying “lock him up.” In fact, he was cheered before the booing started. Of course, you would not know that because you appear to get all you information — not news — from the propaganda press. I am sure you do not watch FOX News or you would know that they are much more balanced — offering up both sides of the issues in real debate. That is not a matter of opinion, but can be empirically proven by analyzing the coverage. CNN and MSNBC offer just one version so you cannot be a fully informed individual. I assume that because you merely parrot the one-sided talking points. There is another side to be revealed … but you are not likely to get it. Like too many … you prefer to defend your opinions rather than learn ALL the facts.

    • Larry Horist

      Joe s Bruder … BTW … your “highly anticipated” impeachment updates appear to be a rather stale regurgitation of yesterday’s MSNBC news.

    • Knock Knock

      Ok Joe, whoa – let’s stop the bus and breathe a minute and look around. Let’s look in the rearview mirror instead of the grand possibility of a socialist future. We voted Trump into office because we think he will help America – particularly middle America that wants to be free to earn a good wage and not pay Obama prices for healthcare that doesn’t actually do anything while he makes headway into exposing and rooting out the swamp, not necessarily a partisan matter. Your team likes to tear at him and on close inspection it mostly seems like lies and hot air, but ok – you’re free to have your opinion. But here’s what I’d like you to do… look down history lane and name 10 things, no 5, no just 2… ok just one thing that the Democratic Party has historically done that makes America a better place. Not a handout, not something free to some disenfranchised party, but something that allowed America to grow and prosper and become better. Restrictions on emissions don’t count, Obama Care is in the freebie zone if you even like it… you see what I mean – what have they done that let Freedom Ring, let an American go out and be better for it. Just one thing. Then tell me why your little group in the basement should undo the voice of the electorate.

  6. Joe S Bruder

    Keep in mind that “the electorate” favored Clinton by 3 million votes.

    • Knock Knock

      Not really – the map was red because as it represented the entire US, not just California and New York. Now if Cal and NY Dems get to decide everything for the US then hell, just take our money and line your pockets. Who needs elections. Sounds vaguely similar to DC Dems deciding everything for the US. Hmmm.