I will not be inclined to find any of this funny should Mrs. Clinton become President, as that is the day that laughter dies. But until then, and because I don’t think it possible for a vapid cipher of nothingness to con Americans into making her Queen, The Hillary Clinton Experience is an uproarious one.

The Washington Post saw fit to run a countdown clock on its website to mark the time since Hillary last took questions from the press (40,150 minutes between Q&A’s for those keeping score). Kate McKinnon has committed her considerable talent to what could perhaps become the best Saturday Night Live political caricature ever. But what makes this all such a riot is how the media is coping with it all, which is to say they don’t know how to deal with it. Should they cover her more aggressively and demand that she get involved in the daily give-and-take, if only to better prepare her for the general? Or should they adopt a satisfied detachment and remark on how savvy Clinton is to go this route considering her 100% name I.D. Right now they fall somewhere in the middle, with the more professional journalists angry at the situation and hungry to do their jobs versus the sycophants and hacks of cable news who will offer the same critique no matter what she does: “Bravo.”

It wouldn’t be this way if the Democratic Party were not so bereft of political talent and not married to a single candidate whose only virtues are her last name and gender. If Hillary had real competition the liberal press would be hounding her and demanding that she speak with the implicit message that there are other options and “we’ll spurn you in a second if you can’t convince us you’re the genuine article. We’ve done it before.”

Hubris and arrogance are not typically mined for their comedy, but man alive is Hillary funny in her entitlement. When Alex Seitz-Wald refers to your entourage as a “palace guard” on MSNBC, you might want to reexamine your methods. If I was a handler for a candidate whose sense of entitlement dwarfed her actual accomplishments, I would probably caution against her acting arrogant and above it all, especially when scandal threatens to follow you throughout. And of all the transparently self-serving no-no’s, the one that would sit at the top of my list would be Citizens United. I would say, “don’t talk about Citizens United.” All progressives loathe Citizens United v FEC but you know who really truly despises it? Hillary Clinton. That’s because the whole case was about her. Citizens United wanted to produce and air a critical documentary on Hillary Clinton in 2008, a fairly standard practice (Michael Moore, anyone?) and well within the law and of course protected under the First Amendment. But that is not how the left views speech these days. They wish to control the flow of money to campaigns by granting the FEC the power to regulate which political speech is kosher and which is not. Calling this a slippery slope is like calling the Grand Canyon a hole in the ground. They screech in terror about billionaires and disclosure and “dark money” when in reality they are saying that bureaucrats at the FEC should set the landscape for political giving. If a federal agency has the power to declare movies and books critical of politicians invalid then it is game over for the First Amendment. And I get that progressives move closer everyday to making repeal part of the DNC platform, but Hillary? Citizens United went to the Supreme Court because Hillary Clinton was unhappy about a movie made about Hillary Clinton. The Supreme Court said the First Amendment still stands and therefore it is well within the freedom of a corporation to make whatever damn political movie it pleases. Naturally, this does not sit well with Hillary and the left, but if anyone should be recused from criticizing Citizens United it is Hillary Clinton. That she went right ahead decrying big money in politics anyway (she who made $30 million in 2014 by giving speeches) shows the level of hubris and entitlement at play. Matt Welch looks at this and sees a “wonderfully clarifying campaign slogan for you: Elect me, and I’ll try to put my critics in jail!”

On CNN Jeff Zeleny offered that “this criticism was threatening to overtake her message” as he reported on the earth-shattering news that Hillary did in fact take questions from the press on Tuesday (five questions). The pros who want to do their jobs are beginning to chafe at Her Highness’ indifference to them. Jonah Goldberg suspects it may be time for the press to start punishing her.

Normally, when a politician tries to break the media’s food bowl, the media defends itself. Instead, I keep watching broadcasts that treat her gingerly. Sure, they mention how she isn’t taking questions. But they also say things like “Clinton took questions from voters” and “Clinton met with small businessmen to talk about the economy” and then they let her get her soundbites in. I can see the case, as a matter of journalistic ethics, for letting her get her message out. Though such ethics are often selectively applied to Republicans the press hates.

But why peddle the fiction that she is having authentic conversations with Iowans? When President Bush was selective about who he took questions from, the press ate him alive for it.

And Bush was far more open to the press than Hillary’s being (and he was the president). And Hillary is running unopposed which makes the press’s role much more important. Why not err on the side of the truth, particularly when the truth hurts? Every meeting with pre-selected human props should be described that way. Every “event” should be reported in hostile — and more accurate! — terms. “Mrs. Clinton held another scripted and staged event today where volunteers asked pre-arranged safe questions the scandal-plagued candidate was prepared to answer . . .”

I understand the press is liberal, but they also have a very high opinion of themselves. The Clinton campaign is making fools of them. It’s time for some payback.

One can dream.

On Mark Steyn and Free Speech

Michael Mann is a special kind of douchebag. No, not the awesome director of movies like Heat and Last of the Mohicans, but the climate scientist famous for his controversial and thoroughly discredited “hockey stick” graph, which purports to show a calamitous rise in global warming since 1900. Mann is the type of progressive who views the cause of “anthropogenic global warming” (AGW) through the kind of militant, silence-all-opposition lens of intolerance that is familiar to most on the eco-fascist left. He is simply not a proponent of free speech. After James Delingpole exposed the fraud of “climategate” in 2009 and the IPCC officially scrapped his hockey stick from their climate assessments in 2013, further scientific “consensus” stubbornly persisted in eluding Mann and his work. The man’s professional reputation had been greatly diminished, but it would be an affront to his tender sensibilities that re-animated Mann in the form of a defamation lawsuit.

Mark Steyn castigated the climate change fear-mongerer by suggesting he was not unlike Jerry Sandusky in his zeal to “torture and manipulate data.” While this may be untoward and unsophisticated, in no universe should it qualify as defamation. But in our world of perpetual grievance where any offensive speech is seen as grounds for retribution, and where any blithe reference to word “fraud” is taken as a coordinated attempt to remove one from his profression, it is no surprise that Mann is suing Steyn, National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute on defamation grounds, on the presumed basis that Mann’s reputation as an esteemed man of science is so fragile and threatened by words that his career is must be at stake, or something.

This is all a bunch of nonsense of course, however, so far the courts have seen fit to deny multiple motions to dismiss, and so the suit proceeds apace. As Steyn has often mentioned, the point of these lawsuits is never about the result but about the heavy burden placed on defendants and their financial resources. Mann and his cohort are rabidly intolerant of any dissent and their aim here is twofold: first, potentially put the leading conservative opinion journal in the country out of business and second, broadcast an unmistakable warning to anyone who would consider challenging climate change orthodoxy going forward. If you think I am kidding or engaging in hyperbole, I invite you to scan the comments of this ThinkProgress article and answer me why it is leftists are so enthusiastic about silencing, censoring, or otherwise intimidating speech they think is offensive, dangerous, or just plain wrong? And they do not seek to use persuasion or societal shaming, but only force (i.e. government) to shut up the dissenters. And they have the audacity to call us fascists?

I have no doubt that Mark Steyn and his co-defendant organizations will ultimately prevail in court, but the fact that they must bear the financial cost to do so because of nothing more than a journalist’s criticism of a professional’s (discredited) work is outrageous. Free speech should be absolute, and thankfully we have such fearless and committed free speech absolutists as Mark Steyn.