Opposite GQ's list of top D.C. insiders in newsstands this month is Esquire's cover with a certain Washington bigwig, Bill Clinton, who cracked wise that MSNBC was in fact created as liberals' ostensive answer to Fox News. As Matt Yglesias insta-reacted, the piece's flimsy premise that "there is now no figure of greater consensus in America" than Bill Clinton is undermined by Bill Clinton saying himself that it only seems that way because he's out of politics. (Maybe after cover-profiling Clinton in 2000, 2005, and 2010, the magazine needed a new angle.) But don't let that distract you from Clinton's shout-out to all his ex-staffers who seem to be showing up on MSNBC.
I also think that the diffusion of the media has complicated things. For example, I was just watching — I don't know if you heard what I said in the other room — I was just watching MSNBC, and they had a woman that used to work for me and a couple of other people on there, and they were talking about the Republican primary. And I was laughing. I said, "Boy, it really has become our version of Fox.
Tongue in cheek, obviously, but after going on to predict Obama's reelection, Clinton hints again at the lefty bias in media.
And I also think, based on what happened in 2008, that once he gets an opponent in the general election, I think except for Fox and the conservative outlets, the media will tilt back toward him. The coverage won't be as anodyne and evenhanded as it has been.
Clinton provided his own coverage of the GOP field too, suggesting that Newt Gingrich is "just like Romney." We're sure Clinton could have thought of something a lot worse to call Newt if he hadn't bitten his tongue.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.