.@CNN's @BrianStelter — whom I greatly admire for his steady (if a bit uneven) growth as one of the few TV journalists to even marginally criticize our cratering media megaplex—alerted me to the tweet storm below by Matthew Chapman. Matt and I have followed each other for quite some time. He's a programmer, contributor to Blue Nation Review, and generally a very wise and insightful young man with a helluva lot to say.

Below is a tweet collection I've curated of a recent rant, wherein Matt says some of those things with a rare clarity that I just had to capture for posterity.  Things that every American needs to hear in order to even begin to understand how our media and journalism are failing us every day with a constant Gish-Galloping cavalcade of ridiculous conservative propagandists with their equally ridiculous agendas, ideas, memes, contrived tropes, and cynical lies.  Not merely during this hideous 2016 election, but virtually all the time.  We have been  awash in media tripe for almost a generation now, and our country and culture are drowning in it.

Accurate, dramatic, eloquent, and on-point, eh? 

There just isn't that much to say. But there sure is a lot to talk about.

Naturally, and despite his best efforts, Brian Stelter is a made-man in the ecosystem of horrendous ethical fails that is @CNN, a network which Chapman is indirectly lambasting in his rant, so he felt compelled to tack on the "I disagree with some of it…" With apologies to him, who I really do like and admire, that was today's Twitter-sensitive journalist code-speak to set up the obligatory "of course, both sides share some of the blame…" 

No, Brian, no they do not. And you know they don't. See Chapman's many sidebar tweets (within his storm) with the always manipulative and disingenuous propagandist, @ABC's @MatthewJDowd, one of the worst purveyors of "the big lie" that "both sides do it."


Please Brian Stelter…

…read Matt's storm again below, and discuss which exact remarks you disagree with on @reliablesources this coming Sunday.  Be very specific, because it's hard for any regular observer or our media malaise to disagree with much of what he's said, or the examples he's given. 

Then do a really unique thing: have some of the people who regularly address our ubiquitous media malpractice to discuss all of this. And not with the same old #bothsides bullshit artists from the @CNN bullpen. Use people who actually understand how the media (and right-wing propaganda) work. Get to the heart of the matter of why your colleagues in the media (and your complicit boss, Jeff Zucker) continually practice this ruinous ritual of propagating endless hours of vapid, calorie-free coverage of ginned-up, right-wing counter-factual nonsense. It's a toxic stew of preventable malfeasance that is steadily and efficiently eroding our nation's ability to address a manufactured and cynically nurtured state of affairs where polarization, rancor, and institutionalized dysfunction are almost all our media can discuss, while simultaneously generating more of it . 

We are not addressing issues. We are not holding people accountable. We are not governing. We are not telling the truth.  Not to anyone in America, nor the entire world. And media is, if not entirely to blame, certainly to be blamed for making it all worse and impeding any efforts to make anything better.

And rather than do this with one more banal round of the Hollywood Squares-type panel discussion, why not host a @CNN town-hall on "What's Wrong With The Media," and invite people like (off the top of my head), Matt Chapman himself (@fawfulfan), but also: @ericboehlert, @mr_electrico and @bluegal, @sarahkendzior, @jeffcot, @owillis, @docrocktex26, @rickperlstein, @mattgertz, @joestrupp, @gabrielSherman, @crampell, @peterdaou, @kimlacapria, @tommyxtopher, @normorenstein, @bobcesca_go, @chezPazienza, @queenofspain, @johnfugelsang, @frankSesno, @katrinaNation, @karoli, @greenfield64, @cshirky, @goAngelo, @davidbrockCNN, @electablog, @tvhilton, @tomwatson, @zeynep, @fmkaplan, @juddlegum, and of course, the leading media critics from @snopes, @pewresearch and @politifact.

I'd include some conservative media critcs, but there are no serious ones. There never have been. And since those people posited as being such always say precisely the same thing, what would be the point? And besides, the execrable fringers and bomb throwing fanatics like @newtGingrich, @HughHewitt, @RealJeffreyLord, @SECupp and @ScottieNhughes are on @CNN every day suggesting that their willful lying and conservative propaganda are "exactly the same" as what liberals are complaining about when they illustrate how the media has abdicated any interesting in real journalism or truth telling.  It's what they are paid to do, as you know, and what all of you in the media have been complicit in enabling.

Please stop it, American media. Stop it before you've demolished whatever is still left of this once-proud country and its values and achievements that have led the world for so much of the past century.  You have children. And they will have children. You own it to all of them, and to all of us, to just stop this feeding frenzy of ratings-driven political media fail. 

You can still make money. You'll just sleep better. We all will.


UniteBlue is a now just Twitter account—but not much else.

Upsetting absolutely no one who ever knew how scammy, spammy, and often nasty a group it was, the follow-back scheme known as "#UniteBlue" was shut down by Twitter in June of 2015. Twitter revoked its API (programmatic) access for numerous policy violations, and its founder, Zach Green, decided he wanted to go back to college, while his father (and partner), Adam Green moved on to new adventures in programming.

But because many of UniteBlue's logos are still displayed over thousands of people's avatars (most of whom don't know how to remove them);  because the Uniteblue hashtag is still frequently used; and because someone continue to tweet from the old @Uniteblue Twitter account, many progressives on Twitter believe the organization still exists, and that it and its logos still have some tangible significance. But they don't.

Unfortunately, consistent with the way that some people in the project had treated many progressives from the start, neither the founders, nor whatever staff-ish remnants of the effort remained behind ever bothered to publicly explain that the endeavor was essentially defunct, nor did they help anyone to remove all those "twibbon" emblems that it had so rudely plastered all over the Twitter avatars of thousands of former UniteBlue members.

Below  is one such twibbon, plucked at random from my Twitter stream (the particular user shown has absolutely no relevance to this discussion). Without a website, project or narrative to be tied to, the logo just lingers around Twitter as a ghost of its former self, which was never anything all that useful to begin with.

It's no secret that I always disliked the whole UniteBlue concept, for reasons I've discussed in my timeline ad nauseam. I'd like to recap a few of them here, mostly because I am tired of telling the story to those who ask privately. I'm equally tired of seeing that clunky #UniteBlue logo plastered all all over the nice faces of my friends and followers. It meant little once, and it means less than nothing now. Or at least, it means nothing very good. It's just time for it to go.

That doesn't mean that all friends, chat rooms, or other projects and collaborations associated with it need to go. Just the logo-adorned Twibbon that so many users still have on their avatars. It just instills suspicion in some (like me), while almost always misleading new users into thinking it represents some meaningful service that they should know more about.

The Brief Back Story On #Uniteblue

While many (self-serving actors) have revised its history over time, to many of us who were paying attention, UniteBlue was always a thinly-veiled Twitter follow-back scheme with pretensions of grandeur. It got its start when a sly character named Simon had somehow finessed (duped?) a well known Twitter progressive, @EileenLeft out of control of her famous @ConnectTheLeft account, changing its name to @UniteBlue, then promoted the rebranded identity to her many loyal followers (which were now @UniteBlue's followers). Eileen remains furious to  this very day about this abuse of her name, her idea, her followers, and her many efforts on behalf of Twitter progressives.

The all new @Uniteblue's initial pitch to Eileen's followers, and anyone else noticing, was a very deceptive core premise; that it would protect them from right wing "spam block hit squads, itself a fraudulent premise concocted by a paranoid right wing operative named @toddjkincannon.

Todd first developed the idea to protect right wing trolls on Twitter from liberals who were allegedly out to get their accounts suspended. He called this sham the #TGDN, which stood for the Twitter Gulag Defense Network. Seriously. Legendary media and Twitter troll, @MichelleMalkin, picked his dumb idea and quickly made it a BFD on her new "Twitchy.com" site, a service designed to monetize the spreading of conservative propaganda, and the daily irritation of liberals.

Enter Zack Green (@140Elect) and his father, Adam Green, who had been developing a website that "Simon's" efforts were ultimately meant to benefit.  They  seized on Kincannon's "fear factor" strategy as a way to market their still vague and poorly formed UniteBlue idea to progressives on Twitter. But it always seemed to be little more than a stealthy way to harvest Liberal account names that may have been sold, or used by Republican organizations for political counter-intelligence purposes, while simultaneously providing an impressive-looking Twitter platform that the senior Green could boast about to prospective clients of his programming and social media marketing consultancy. The progressive blogger Kevin Knauss writes:

While the protection racket got it initial notice (especially when they glommed onto my #StopRush.net colleagues who really WERE being attacked), Green and his father—fresh off their other social media projects working for Republicans—tried to reform it as a nonprofit; one that wasn't very well documented… or funded.  A wide array of suspicions, accusations, and assorted dramas then plagued the operation until things really went south; it was discovered that one of its board members, Bill Talley (aka@political_bill), was a (soon-to-be) convicted child-sex offender.

Despite all this insanity, people still bought into the idea that UniteBlue's daily DM spamming for liberal causes, and its very dubious fund raising campaigns (that never raised any money), were somehow making a valuable contribution to a progressivism on Twitter. They weren't. They were at best, like a tacky fraternity with questionable rituals, and at worst, a scam with a stealthy commercial motive that never really panned out.

Most serious liberals I knew either ignored it, or were openly hostile to it.  Despite the occasional innocent who didn't know better (who was often a friend or family member of a Uniteblue booster), most serious politicians and operatives avoided it like the proverbial bad penny.  None of this was known to the mostly clueless rank and file #Uniteblue member, who only cared that, almost by magic, were automatically (via the Twitter API) getting up to 2000 followers for every little effort, but who had to also follow that many back to get them. Often, many of these followers were spam or bot, accounts, but many others were right wing operatives who could infiltrate the organization simply by tweeting a coded phrase like "Join @UniteBlue."  These trolls would spam the #uniteblue tag so much that it quickly became all but worthless as a useful hashtag, utterly overwhelmed by noise, insults, corny memes, and rampant misinformation.

But for the average unsuspecting progressive on Twitter, none of these negatives were plainly in evidence, and the free followers were an ego boost for themselves and their new associates. And as with many clubs (and cults), even very bad ones, friendships and alliances were made that became more important than whatever the founder's intentions were at the outset.

While users may not have been phased, the skeptical (like me), were often viciously attacked on nearly a daily basis for openly expressing our doubts, and for sharing things we'd learned about the seemingly dubious #Uniteblue enterprise. Twitter and the web are still littered with carnage from the many battles that ensued with certain hard core #UniteBlue "supporters," many of whom exhibited behaviors that often seemed pathological, and which bordered on criminal harassment. A Twitter search using "#UniteBlue"—and any "epithet or insult" you can think of—between 2013 and 2015 will probably illustrate this point.

By Mid-2013, UniteBlue did indeed unite a few thousand people by introducing them to each other. It also popularized a #uniteblue hashtag that was used a lot because both UniteBlue members and bots were tweeting it 24/7.  But for the larger progressive Twitterverse. it was like a fragmentation grenade dropped into its epicenter. Thousands of other friendships—many years in the making—were obliterated in a matter of months, and much of the acrimony and divisiveness that it caused still lingers to this very day. Naturally, to both its hard core users (and bullies), and its mostly innocent members who weren't part of the drama, it was just a fun club of feisty liberals trying to make some change. Many of them still maintain this posture. They probably always will.

But it wasn't particularly useful, and it sure wasn't fun for its many victims.  And even taken at face value, "identifying" as #UniteBlue was always a bad idea anyway.  Whenever political tribes "fly their colors," it just invites infiltrators and ratfuckers to easily spot the tribe members, game them, and generally cast doubts upon anything they try to do. And that #UniteBlue logo on their "twibbon" just made it easy to identify outspoken Liberals who could then be duped into arguing with right wing operatives, just so their propaganda "discussions" would be retweeted to thousands of their followers.  (A search for #uniteblue and browsing the results will prove that point quickly.)  It was common to see trolls from BreitbartNews and other right wing organs either spamming the #uniteblue tag, or arguing intensely with anyone using it.  The noise level was often deafening at times. And then there were the #StandwithRand Paul Libertarians, and later, the aggressive Bernie Sanders supporters (the  "Berniebros") who used the residual popularity of the tag to this very day.

So all in all, it was no loss to progressivism when this terrible idea, which was implemented poorly, had gone south.  Now if only more people would know that it did, the remnants of it might finally vanish from Twitter forever.  To this day, I still will not RT most people using the Uniteblue twibbon as their avatar, nor will many progressives I know. We just don't trust it or anyone using it. So if you're one of those, and were wondering why some of us rarely retweet you, now you know. It wasn't personal.

So if you don't have any special attachment to that moribund twibbon, it, I'd suggest you lose it. As early as right now.

Note: it should be said that whoever is now using the @Uniteblue Twitter account is not doing any visible harm that I can see, and neither do they seem to be perpetuating the organization anymore. But they don't do anything to suggest that the operation is mostly defunct, either. I have no grudge or complaint against whoever runs the account. They just seems to be a legacy of the old project that enjoys a high follower count, and which is, at least ostensibly, progressive by nature.

Just Say No!

It is entirely possible that "Simon," Zack, and Adam always had the best of intentions. I personally have my own reasons to doubt that, but I'm willing to admit the possibility exists, or at least, as with many things, the truth is somewhere in the middle of two extremes. Regardless of intent, they had some success in organizing thousands of users, and props for that, but it was all with very little ultimate impact. 

My point in writing all this was not to stir up old battles but to make it clear that the legacy of Uniteblue isn't something much worth preserving, given that without its website, directory, and follow-back ladder technology, its very existence just confuses people as to its reason for being at all. It's now basically a #hashtag. Just not a particularly good one, as it really doesn't say anything to anyone about anything. Few people actually search for it—or ever follow it. It's just 10 characters taking up precious tweet space, more by force of habit than anything else. I am often asked "what is it for and why do I need it?"  I always reply, "nothing, and you don't. No one does." If you really feel your Tweets need a generic tag, use the more established #p2, #topprog, #dem, #femm, #lgbt, #liberal, or some other shorter signifier that says "this is of interest to some or all progressives."

Despite any value it may have brought to a few, Uniteblue didn't really unite anything. Nor was it every likely to. There are no good shortcuts or magical solutions to liberal organizing. Good projects aren't made solely with a hashtag and a twibbon.  They need thoughtful missions, dedicated people, and transparent policies and procedures.

And uniting "blue" was never a great idea anyway. Twitter is an international service. And "blue" represents conservatism, not liberalism, in many countries outside the United States. And as for uniting Democrats? Just take a look at how divisive the #Uniteblue tag is today, overrun by supporters of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton throwing a never ending stream of insults and epithets at one another—much to the delight of conservatives everywhere.

If you're still using that Uniteblue avatar, I hope I've given you enough background and reasons for dropping it. If so, my work is done here. I really don't care if anyone follows the @uniteblue account, or uses the #uniteblue tag. And I certainly don't mean to impugn friendships, or imply that anyone who chats using #Uniteblue (or related tags) should stop.  Finally, I realize the #tag has taken on a new—and much more literal—meaning following a very contentious Democratic primary battle. (I still find it trite, but it's a trite that works a bit better now.)

I mostly wanted to explain the history, and encourage people from using that now pointless twibbon. It prevents me (and others) from trusting the user of it. They are almost universally unaware of the baggage it carries, and that the entire UniteBlue service has been dead for a year. It gains them absolutely nothing, but potentially costs them a lot in terms of credibility and/or trust.

Thanks for the interest, and your time.


There have been many articles and posts written about UniteBlue. I've lost my old file of them, but I will gradually re-find them and post them here. If you know some, please post them as comments to this post and I will place them in the list below:









I can't begin to tell you how many times I have started this post, only to  abort it, thinking "WTF is the point, Matt, no one cares about facts anymore. You'll just be barking at the moon… again."

But today, I was called out by an old Twitter acquaintance for supposedly being an apologist for Hillary Clinton's use of the racially charged code word: "superpredator." I had just admonished Senator Bernie Sanders on Twitter for telling a CNN debate audience that the term was "racist."  Our disinterested media let him get away with this because everyone had basically already accepted the oft-repeated assertion that the term was always a "racist code word." But it wasn't. Not when Hillary Clinton said it.. And not even for months—even years—after that. And I will prove it.

I'm not going to bother giving you the entire history of this issue of the 1994 Crime bill, and the national mood that surrounded it at the time. Plenty of others have already done that.  The short form is that back in early February, a Bernie Sanders supporter ostensibly present as a Black Lives Matter activist (but more likely as a Sanders's operative) interrupted her at a private function, unfurled a banner reading "We have to bring them to heel," then challenging her to explain why she once used racist code words like "superpredator" in a speech she gave 21 years ago at Keene College.

It is now well known that Hillary Clinton has since said to Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart, that she "should not have used those words."  But she never actually specified the exact words she was referring to. The phrase "Bring them to heel" has been around for centuries, and while it's been said that it's "common knowledge" that slave masters were known to have used it (which I've yet to confirm), it's more typical meaning is to bring dogs or prisoners into a heel, i.e., insist that they obey a direct order. After 20 minutes of Googling (prior to the date of incident), I still can't find any usage in that context. Not saying those examples don't exist (I may have just missed glaring examples that someone will soon point me to), I'm just saying that if they do, they are not widely used enough to be easily found. Still, angry Sander's supporters have basically implied that no African American should be allowed to hear these awful words without getting a sternly worded trigger warning beforehand. 

I've assumed that meaning of these words does exist somewhere, just as do the many far more common, innocuous and non-racist interpretations of them.  But despite their relative obscurity when you try to find such meaning, our national television and radio airwaves have been awash in a tidal surge of Sanders's surrogates insisting that this was a famously common expression of those disgusting slavers, about 150 years before they were born, and any other possible meaning should be jettisoned in favor of the worst possible interpretation. (In addition to my Googling for it, I was also trusting my fairly good memory. I do a lot of reading, and can't recall ever seeing these words used in any context other than animal training, and some metallurgist explaining that his experiments had brought some "rogue molecules to heel.")

But no matter the reality (I've been saying that a lot this year), Mrs. Clinton's words were evidently close enough to that vile slaver connotation, that even if she didn't know of the particular phrase origin at the time, enough people explained it to her since, and persuasively, that because it was coupled with "super-predator," which has come to have clearly racist connotations over the past 20 years, it would be best to simply cut her PR losses and admit that:

Looking back, I shouldn’t have used those words, and I wouldn’t use them today.

Fine. She apologized for what was being portrayed as racist language, because at least some of it is seen as racist language today. Good on her. Nip it in the bud and move on. To paraphrase GEICO Insurance ads, "If you're a politician, it's what you do." But is that really a true account of what she felt, and was it really fair to her in this context? I don't think so. And that she apologized—for something—that had blown up that big in a campaign for President of the United States means slightly less than nothing to me.

It's not news to any political professional that once a politician decides to apologize for something, advisers always tell them to never make what could be seen as a half-hearted or so-called left-handed effort. Just apologize and move on, leaving the nuances for others to discuss after the fact. So even if she wanted to, it was simply unwise to even think about breaking her apology down into its basic parts to explain that unlike the (presumably) offensive "bring them to heel" phrase (which sounds ugly when used about human beings for any reason), the word "super-predator," while clearly a code word today, wasn't one at the time Clinton used it. I can say this with a confidence, which I will document later, mainly for these two reasons:

  • the term had only been coined two months earlier, which by any definition, isn't enough time for any term to take on the onus of a bona fide racial stereotype, let alone a vicious code word. (Almost by definition, they must be widely known to have any value as code words.)
  • national magazines like Time and Newsweek were still generating "buzz" about the term only a few days before she had used it, and national publications aren't in the habit of splashing racist code words all over their pages without at least putting them in quotes or masking them (like the "n-word").

The fact is, the term "super-predator" (or "superpredator") was coined just 2 months earlier in an November issue of Bill Kristol's brand new conservative rag, "The Weekly Standard," in a now-infamous article by Princeton Prof. John Dilulio entitled "The Coming of the Super-Predators." 

In it, Dilulio cites statistics about youth violence, and does suggest that a high percentage of black boys are engaged in gang activity, but by and large, the piece was mostly about his theories about these new young super criminals. You have to really work to find any obviously racist canards or tropes therein—although they would become that much later.

Naturally, that doesn't stop modern-day liberals (mostly Sanders supporters) from suggesting it was right there, and so obviously racist, that Hillary Clinton must have just leapt out of her chair and run to her speech writers, insisting they use this hot new racist trope wherever they could—immediately <sarcastic eye-roll here>.

In the real world (that many Liberals don't seem to live in anymore), most reasonable people know that new words and ideas, especially incendiary ones, catch fire with the media, and politicians (or their speech writers and PR flacks) are experts at seizing on them when they want to sound informed and current about breaking cultural news, events, or political matters.

And that's all Hillary Clinton was doing at Keene College when she used "superpredator;"  she was talking about the context of her husband's Crime Bill and inserted the hip new term on everyone's lips that was all the rage in the media that very same week.  It was not until our anti-hero, Prof. Dilulio followed up that more general article with a much more racist-sounding screed titled "My Black Crime Problem—And Ours"  that things started to get uglier. In it, we find the more obvious chestnuts that clearly reeked of the implicit racism which his entire theory would come be associated with over the many years to come:

The second reason to keep the champagne corked is that not only is the number of young black criminals likely to surge, but also the black crime rate, both black-on-black and black-on-white, is increasing, so that as many as half of these juvenile super-predators could be young black males. But just when we need to think most earnestly about black crime, the space for honest discourse about race and crime is shrinking. The evidence of that shrinkage is everywhere: in the lickety-split O.J. verdict and its racially polarized aftermath, in the utter certitude of many blacks that the justice system is rigged against them, in the belief of many whites that violent crime is synonymous with black crime and the fear they feel of every young black male passerby not wearing a tie or handcuffs.

[Bold emphasis mine]

Despite the hopelessly dishonest Fair.org account that I linked to above, it took years before Dilulio's bogus theories became a standard topic of conversation whenever wretched racist stereotypes and propaganda about African Americans came up.  To his credit, Dilulio aggressively recanted his theories years later, citing very bad research by himself and others.  But all of this took a long time to evolve, and long after his second article appeared.  Hillary Clinton could not have steered away from a code word that hadn't even become one yet.

How can I be so positive of this? That Dilulio first coined the term just two months before Clinton used it?  Because a) I was alive at the time, and was quite politically engaged and remember conversations about superpredators like they were yesterday, and b), all you have to do is a simple Google Search for "superpredator OR super-predator" prior to Nov. 27th, 1995, the date Dilulio's article was published.



See? Nothing there. Zip. Nada. Prior to the date of Dilulio's article, "superpredator" was being used for discussing mean kitty-cats, biological imperatives, and a mathematical model of a tritrophic food chain. 

Nowhere, not even once before that date was the term being used to discuss extreme violence in human children in any form,  let alone as it might apply to African American children. But once introduced, the term exploded onto the national and international stage, appearing almost everywhere at once.  It was all over the nightly news, the late night talk shows, and everywhere in between.  Just FIVE DAYS before her ill-fated Keene college speech, another Google search reveals that the shiny new—and oh so scary—term was on the cover of Newsweek.


For Bernie Sanders, or anyone else in this campaign or the media to suggest that Mrs Clinton was using a known racist code word or associated trope, when that word only came into existence a few weeks earlier, is intellectually dishonest at best, and scurrilously slimy at worst.

Does anyone seriously believe that there would be any rational reason for a First Lady, hugely popular with African Americans, to willfully seize on a known racist trope or narrative and toss it into a totally unimportant speech in New Hampshire? What would be the point? Where's the gain? There isn't any. And it's just political opportunism to suggest otherwise without some other corroborating evidence or patterns of her using such dog whistles before that. She hadn't used before then, and she certainly hasn't used any since then.

Clinton was simply trying to show American families that along with parents everywhere, their government was also alarmed by this extreme new form of violence that was being reported. Again, no one knew how bogus the theory would be for several more years.  And did it cause any shrieks of racism from the public at the time? Nope. I haven't even been able to find the speech mentioned in any relevant way in the days, months and years since.

Had it not been for Buzzfeed, no one would ever know the Keene speech even existed. Revisionists for Sanders will probably say Dilulio was so obviously racist, "she should have known,"  but there is not a single person or piece of data from the period that confirms such a reading—by anyone.

But that doesn't mean many other liberals weren't fretting over this terrifying new criminal class of children that was reportedly emerging all over our precious heartland, and using the same language.  Here's the very liberal journalist  Alex Kotlowitz, using "super-predator" in a New York Times op-ed just two weeks after Clinton's speech. 

If "superpredator" was anything like a code word, dog whistle or other racist construction, you can be damn sure there would have been plenty of outrage over it at the time.  Good luck finding any. Yes, there were some people on the left critiquing and rejecting Dilulio's thesis almost immediately.  But they weren't aiming their fire at Clinton, nor condemning the First Lady for using racist language in any form, or in any public record, anywhere. Full stop.

So there it is. The full early history of this term "super-predator," and nowhere in it can you find any hint that it was remotely controversial at the time. 

But as we've learned over the past year, the Bernie Sanders campaign has taught millions to hate Hillary Clinton by any means necessary, and once trained, these vicious haters don't much care about alternative, rational, or accurate explanations for anything. If they can ascribe bad intent, faith, or motive to anything Hillary or Bill Clinton do, they will. 

Senator Sanders's staff knew of the original incident and the easy accusation of racism that was out there to be repeated, and desperate for any edge they could get in a NY primary race where he trailed by double digits in, they went for it. Boom. A dishonest smear from February gets repeated as an even more dishonest debate smear in April.

Once again, as I usually do, I mostly blame our criminally lazy media for these kinds of distorted and dishonest narratives. The Google searches above took me all of 5 minutes of work. Good luck finding anyone else who tried doing that among the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Times, and countless other outlets who covered this story sensationally (twice), using only the popular narrative that she apologized for using inappropriate words that she wouldn't use today.

No one has ever asked her if she even knew superpredator had any racial overtones at the time. And since her very blanket apology, it's all moot anyway.

I personally believe that she did not know or even suspect that ANY of those words had any racist baggage, and superpredator certainly did not.  There simply hadn't been enough elapsed time since the word was coined for a reasonable analysis to conclude that it was a well-established racist trope.  Which is why only last week, knowing this issue would come up again and again, I tweeted this to her campaign team:

And that's also the reason I finally gave in and decided to write this post. We have many months left in this miserable 2016 election, and even if Sanders's or his acolytes don't bring this up again, the Republicans surely will.  I wanted these facts to be out there so I don't have to keep relitigating them on Twitter.

You're welcome.

May I go enjoy some Friday night pizza now? Thank you.