“They should have approached it as a national security emergency requiring a bipartisan response, not a political response,” said Doug Schoen, a pollster who worked for President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. “He absolutely should have interrupted his vacation and absolutely should have gone back to Washington, and convened a high-level, bipartisan meeting.”
He forgot to mention that Schoen is a paid Fox contributor, perpetual concern-troll, and Republican placater. The rest of the article is filled with one “some might argue” and “others note that” after another.
I admit; I don’t know what a bipartisan meeting would have looked like but I’m pretty certain that it would not have accomplished anything besides rile the public up more than necessary. The fact that Obama’s evened response didn’t have any of these consequences indicates to me that it was the right move. Back to the concern trolling:
Explanations of Obama’s low-key reaction in the face of a terror attack include the characteristic caution of a president who resists jumping to conclusions and being pushed to action. They also include the White House’s belief – disproven repeatedly in 2009 – that it can evade the clichéd rules of politics, which include a suspicion of Democratic leadership on national security. Only Sunday night, when criticism of the system “worked” comment was not going away, did White House aides realize their approach was not working and that they needed to shift course.
It’s only a “rule” because outfits like Politico are more than happy to perpetuate these cliches by writing three page opinion essays with titles like “Democrats’ worst nightmare: Terrorism on their watch”.
Again, it’s unclear what a more hysterical reaction would have accomplished besides ease Beltway anxieties about Obama’s lack of symbolism/histrionics. But I guess when you’re too lazy to develop a systemic analysis or an original opinion on terrorism then what you’re stuck with is tedious water-cooler banter about Washington stereotypes.
Gardiner does a damn fine job of proving yet again that right-wingers do not understand art. And since propaganda is the closest variant that they can identify with they can’t help but see everything through that lens. Every work has to be reduced to either a vindication or an affront to their ideology and every artist is obligated to tell them what they want to hear.
Tintin at Sadly, No! zeroes in on a subject I was just combitching about to a hapless acquaintance; the tendency of right wing ideologues to start with a conclusion and then go looking for “proof” to support it. The issue was different but the piss-poor logic was similar. In the case of Red State conspiracy boffin Neil Stevens it’s the obvious liberal bias of The Google. The evidence provided is the lack of Climate Gate links in the drop-down suggestion feature when you type “climateg” into the search field. Granted when you type in “climate g” the second suggestion made is “climate gate scandal” BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT.
Rules of logic never self apply to ideologues so I don’t know why they even bother pretending. Especially when you consider that the people poring over articles about the hidden political agendas of meteorologists, meter maids and search engine programmers have already accepted the writer’s trad forgone conclusion; that they’re beset on all sides by treasonous liberals.
Having said that it’s supposed to reach 29 degrees tomorrow which is the average temperature for my area. That should prove CONCLUSIVELY that global warming is a hoax!
I normally could give a rat’s ass about jocks. The media always tries to put a sheen of importance on their insights that usually have the depth of a piss puddle and then when one of them behaves like a jock you have to endure all sorts of hand-wringing over them “losing their innocence”. You could say the same thing about Pitchfork Media except they usually don’t have distorted moral expectations from entertainers. Tiger’s right, though. To their detriment they left a vacuum in the wake of their “accident” and the media quickly filled it. With coverage about the lack of information to cover.
It just occurred to me that Matt Foley has all it takes to become a right wing media personality. He comes from a humble background and has a checkered past. He’s not much to look at but has a resonating baritone voice. And most importantly, he’s one of us! A simple man with a simple message. All he needs is to fine tune his inspirational speaking message to include scatter shot “conservative” commentary.
Definitely a highlight reel moment for him. Matthews’ bullshit detector has been getting better over the years. Then again, the GOP base is drunk on its own fumes, so outrageously detached from reality that people are forced out of their “six of one, half dozen of the other!” comfort zones.
I say this now: The health care reform movement needs to simply not give up in order to win. If “Death panels” hasn’t convinced you that Republicans are clean out of arguments, then nothing will. The rage is the impotence of Grandpa not being able to figure out the DVD player. The world asked their opinion, and then moved on.
But then one day we will have health care reform, and we’ll be able to quantify the improvements in health. And Republicans will be lining up for their health care benefits right next to Democrats. This noisome racket will be long forgotten.
TVNewser reports that “MSNBC producers were asked not to incorporate the Jim Cramer/Jon Stewart interview into their shows today.” By TVNewser’s count, Cramer’s Daily Show interview was only mentioned once on MSNBC today and that was during the White House press conference when a reporter asked for Obama’s reaction.
Today’s GOP has one policy when it comes to telling the truth: Don’t interfere with the agenda. McCain has clearly gone into “Say whatever it takes, anything, absolutely anything at all,” mode and does so because he still knows he has enough pull with the press to get away with most of it (and because lying is what his party expects of him). Sure, he’s eating up his “honorable man” credentials, but it seems as if the press reacts to politicians who go into this mode with fear. The press remains terrified of displeasing the right, but they should learn already: it doesn’t matter. You can fawn over McCain and dis Obama and they’ll still complain, because it’s not balance they seek. Fox News is what it takes to please them, nothing less and nothing more. Anybody who fashions themselves a journalist should know the choice is clear.
If Obama offers only eat-your-arugula chiding and chilly earnestness, he becomes an otherworldly type, not the regular guy he needs to be.
Heâ€™s already in danger of seeming too prissy about food…
Yes! Hey, maybe the price of your steak, bread, milk, eggs, butter, tomatoes, potatoes, etc. went up, but at least we don’t face the grave danger of a president who shops at Whole Foods!
Because if Obama gets elected and there is nothing funny about him, it wonâ€™t be the economy thatâ€™s depressed. It will be the rest of us.
Yes, because we were so lucky to have eight years of having Alfred E. Neuman for president. When I go throw $75 in my gas tank today, I can think, “At least my president is an idiot!” Or something.
While the Obama campaign should have had the good sense to realize that the New Yorker cover was actually mocking the idiots who see Barack and Michelle that way, is this really that important? Shouldn’t we, oh, I don’t know, reward comedians that can craft witty jokes instead of presidential candidates who are walking jokes?
Then again, is anything Maureen Dowd says important, except to drag our democracy down into a Homecoming King & Queen contest; to assassinate importance?
A. They knew FoxNews/NewsMax/Jeff Gannon was going to scoop ‘em on it, so they bit the bullet and sank one of their own
B. Spitzer’s public shaming will help/harm one of the two Dem frontrunners, ergo sinking one of the most charismatic and successful public Democrats in recent New York history was actually an act of Democratic partisanship
D. Hey guys maybe our whole collective whine about the Times is just sour grapes because nobody takes our partisan howling seriously
Give yourself 5 points for A. or B., 1,000,000 for C., and re-enroll in right-wing blogging 101 if you picked D. Thanks for playing!
Here’s a hard one to swallow for those who dismiss Chomsky:
During the taping of a talk show produced by AT&T, the control room shut down production moments after a guest criticized AT&T’s plans to filter Web content. Fortunately that guest, Joel Johnson of the blog Boing Boing, had a friend secretly videotape the segment from the audience. Here.
…AT&T keeps telling us that Net Neutrality isn’t needed, that we should just “trust them” not to censor the Internet. But they won’t even allow someone to raise the issue on their show.
We have arrived at a unique time in the history of media, where traditional gatekeepers to information are threatened by a revolution in communications. Big Media’s reaction is the same they have taken for decades: shut down discussion, dictate policies, increase profits, and maintain control.
Corporations simply cannot stand the open nature of the internet. They don’t want anything to be driven by the people unless it’s within a carefully structured maze of advertising, payment, and contractual obligations. All inefficiencies must be eliminated and, likewise, so must randomness. An income stream should be reliable and predictable. All information put into the system must be mapped and utilized, and no information must leave until it has been properly contoured.
This will no more change on its own than a lion would take up eating grass. You protect yourself from things by understanding their nature.
Earlier this month the FCC convened the final of six public hearings to air out concerns about this proposed rule change. I have watched, listened to or attended all of these hearings and one thing is clear. The public is single-mindedly opposed to more media consolidation.
Martin himself admitted recently that he remembers “only one” public witness calling for relaxation of media ownership rules at these hearings.
This public opposition is not just evident in the passion of the thousands of people who testified against consolidation at FCC hearings in Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville, Tampa, Harrisburg and Chicago. It’s a fact reflected in the public record.
The last time the FCC tried to change the rules in 2003, millions of people contacted Congress and the FCC to oppose the changes, which were ultimately thrown out by the courts. My organization, Free Press, checked the public comments of those who have written the FCC since June 2006 and found that more than 99 percent opposed changing the rules.
Despite the massive outcry, Martin has not wavered in his rush to let loose a new wave of consolidation by the end of the year.
This is what’s really been going on for the past 7 years under Bush. Corporations rest assured that whatever the public thinks, Bush will have a lackey in place that will allow them to essentially rewrite the rules for themselves. This never stops under Bush, it just keeps chipping away every day at the years of hard work spent defending the public good and keeping voices alive. And it flies under the corporate media radar for all the obvious reasons. All the more reason why the voting booth becomes our only chance to reverse such trends, and even then corporate Democrats (like, say, for example, Hillary Clinton) take that choice away. Value it while it still lasts.
Propaganda so bad that sometimes the mainstream media is forced to acknowledge the gig is up.
FEMA scheduled an early afternoon news briefing on only 15 minutes notice to reporters here Tuesday to talk about its handling of assistance to victims of wildfires that were ravaging much of Southern California.
But because there was so little advance notice for the event held by Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy FEMA administrator, the agency made available an 800 number so reporters could call in. And many did.
But at the news conference itself, some FEMA’s agency employees played the role of reporter, asking questions of Johnson, The Washington Post reported in Friday’s editions. Questions were described as soft and gratuitous.
â€œI’m very happy with FEMA’s response,â€ Johnson said in reply to one query from a person the Post said was an agency employee, not an independent journalist.
You know, FEMA, there are plenty of reporters out there willing to be perfect stooges for you. The extra effort, really…I mean, I don’t intend to suggest you actually devote time and resources to the emergency at hand, but in your job of trying to make Bush’s administration look effective, that was energy wasted.
Hillary Clinton voted yes on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment, which, if/when Bush attacks Iran like the psychotic idiot he is, would be seen as her second vote enabling Bush’s warmongering. That would be a fatal move if Bush did anything before the Democratic primaries, and at least devastating to her campaign if she sealed the nomination, cementing herself as a bumbling triangulator running the ball into the Democratic endzone trying to look “tough.”
Fortunately, Hillary is a pretty sharp knife and realized the error, signing onto Jim Webb’s measure zipping shut the Congressional purse for any attacks on Iran. It’s a little late, but this measure is binding whereas the Kyl-Lieberman one was not.
On the other hand, the Kyl-Lieberman one was a joke, and Lieberman’s name being on it was all she should have needed to see the stupidity in voting for it. Moves like this expose the fault lines in Hillary’s approach and her intellect, and underscore the difficulty many Democrats have trusting her in office. Yes, she’s going to be the most centrist President of the candidates, but will she do it with some degree of intelligence and underlying vision, or is she going to end up staying in Iraq just to show us tits don’t make you a softie?
Look back on your life, and the women you’ve encountered throughout it, whether they be mothers, relatives, teachers, employers, co-workers, etc.. Don’t you certainly have enough memories of iron-haired iron-hearted women who held no mercy in their hearts? Does anybody really believe that a woman is inherently some meek fuzzy-tailed doe? Has nobody ever fled to a man to escape the fiery wrath of a woman?
Somebody thought it would be a great idea to let Tim Russert pull his shtick on all the Democratic candidates at once. It’s been really amazing to me how frequently debate “moderators” have been injecting themselves into the debates. Which further illustrates the increasing misuse of the word “debate” as applied to these dog and pony shows. Anyway, Tim does what Tim does best, throw GOP talking points at Democrats. The Democrats get the famous “ticking time bomb…do we torture?” question, combined with a GOTCHA. All the Democrats disagree with the selective quote and the idea that torture should be legal, and then find out OMIGOD ITZ bIlL CLInT0n!!!
“Now, the thing that drivesâ€”that, that gives the presidentâ€™s position a little edge is that every one of us can imagine the following scenario: We get lucky, we get the number three guy in al-Qaeda, and we know thereâ€™s a big bomb going off in America in three days and we know this guy knows where it is. Donâ€™t we have the right and the responsibility to beat it out of him? But keep in mind, in 99 percent of the interrogations, you donâ€™t know those things.
Now, it happens like even in the military regulations, in a case like that, they do have the power to use extreme force because there is an imminent threat to the United States, and then to live with the consequences. The presidentâ€”they could set up a law where the president could make a finding or could guarantee a pardon or could guarantee the submission of that sort of thing ex post facto to the intelligence court, just like we do now with wire taps.
So I, I DON’T THINK THAT HARD CASE JUSTIFIES THE SWEEPING AUTHORITY FOR WATERBOARDING AND ALL THE OTHER STUFF that was sought in this legislation. And I think, you know, if that circumstance comes upâ€”we all know what weâ€™d do to keep our country from going through another 9/11 if we could. But toâ€”but to claim in advance the right to do this whenever someone takes a notion to engage in conduct that plainly violates the Geneva Convention, that, I think, is a mistake.”
President Clinton imagined the “ticking time bomb” scenario only to knock it down. It’s called the Socratic method. Russert took the quote out of context to make it look like President Clinton was endorsing torture when he was doing the opposite.
- – -
Russert is a hack.
As has been long documented. But I’d be willing to let him moderate a GOP debate to see how HAWD-HITTIN’ he is…or whether he might, *gasp*, throw softball questions with no follow-ups!
FCC Commissioner Michael Copps talks with Bill Moyers about media ownership and the end result of private ownership of a public resource.Â Are public airwaves being used to serve the interests of the public or are they being used to serve the interests of an increasingly narrow sector of the economy?Â Is democracy the freedom to choose between ideas and their outcomes or is democracy the freedom to choose between Big Macs or Whoppers?
My worst fears of the News Corp. takeover of the Wall Street Journal may yet be realized. Bearish analyst Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital, got shouted down for being anti-American when he appeared on FOX New’s Cavuto on Business and suggested that last weeks late stock rally after the Bernanke rate-cut life preserver didn’t mean that we’re out of the woods quite yet. Schiff got similar treatment when he (correctly) predicted last year that the fundamentals in the MBS markets were off kilter.
The Wall Street Journal is arguably one of the best news reporting organizations in the world. There is some flag-waving but it’s strictly confined to the editorial pages. You could make the identical observation of other noteworthy publications like the London Financial Times and The Economist. This stands in stark contrast to FOX News where the line between reporting and analysis is frequently blurred and rational decision making gives way to ideology and theology. If this trend ebbs into the business side of reporting there’s a great chance that their viewers will be as ill-informed of finance as they are the world around them. Cheerleading them on to ruin will be Neil Cavuto. As Adrian Ash writes in Whiskey and Gunpowder:
The one thing needful at the top of each bubble, the rabble also takes on the role of greatest sucker, too. Piling in as the smart money runs for the exits, the common or garden investor pays top price. He or she is then left holding the “asset” as its price collapses…and by that time, the Lear jets have long since cleared the tarmac…taking the money with them.
Think of it as the classic “life cycle” pitch from your financial adviser, only with a sidesplitting twist. There, you’ll find a retirement wannabe moving from “accumulation” to “distribution” and then “legacy.â€ In a market-wide bubble, by contrast, the smart money first accumulates an asset, before distributing it to the dumb money, which is then left holding a legacy of wipeout losses and debt.
FOX News gets a lot of scorn thrown their way for some obvious and infinitely discussed reasons but I think that some of the histrionics are a little undeserved when you sit back and consider the source of their frustration; a network built on cop chases, missing white-women and two-headed babies presented by a secular priesthood of sports jocks, their bimbo girlfriends and dirty old men. If you want to take financial advice from that motley crew then be my guest but here’s to hoping Murdoch will keep those same dullards out of the reporting offices of the WSJ.
Google has not always been taken seriously in Washington. When co-founder Sergey Brin visited Capitol Hill two years ago, he had trouble persuading members of Congress to meet with him. The company didn’t bother to open an office in the District until 2005, when it hired Alan B. Davidson, formerly of the Center for Democracy and Technology, to tackle Internet policy issues. A year later, Google hired Robert Boorstin, who held several positions in the Clinton administration.
When the debate over the ability of Internet service providers to favor certain Web content for a fee, a concept known as network neutrality, heated up last summer, Google was late to the scene. It initially depended on public interest groups to lobby on its behalf.
Since then, Google has expanded its Washington presence. Besides increasing its effort to sell its services to government agencies, Google has taken what it calls a “Googley” approach to politics by seeking the business of political campaign managers and starting a public policy blog. Last week, the online video site YouTube, which is owned by Google, sponsored a debate between the Democratic presidential candidates.
The company recently hired Johanna Shelton, formerly on the staff of Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), an influential member of the House telecommunications subcommittee. Google also frequently invites prominent politicians to tour its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. But its 2006 congressional lobbying budget of about $770,000, according to public disclosures, is dwarfed by the $21 million spent by AT&T and $14.4 million spent by Verizon the same year.
Unlike many campaigns that use well-connected lobbyists to persuade members of Congress, Google and its opponents have fought this battle on paper, using their lawyers to make their arguments in filings to the FCC.
It’s unfortunate that our political decisions are for sale, but it is a small consolation to see somebody with money who’s on the right side making a dent.
Google is on the right side with this issue just like they were on net neutrality. This is a logical extension of net neutrality that could offer the public things like wireless neutrality, forcing all the telecoms to play on the same field so the consumer can decide. Yes, it’s very free market, enough to please a slightly drunk Cato staffer.
The telecoms want to buy up every bit of bandwidth they can and lock out the competition; this is simply how they function. Corporations will naturally drift towards monopoly.
My problem is I’m a people person. Real people, not legal artificial persons like corporations. Everybody who’s reading a blog, rightwing Nazi or leftwing Commie, can certainly understand the importance of keeping communication infrastructures uniformly open to all.
Google is the underdog here, but grassroots power and the weight of the Internet in political debate are powerful allies. I foresee Google’s inevitable victory.
Moore and CNN continue the back and forth. Again, it’s interesting to note that CNN is the adversary here. They attempt to portray themselves as just doin’ some honest reporting, but they end up making more goofs than Moore.
CNN pulled out a statistic about elective procedures. Of the six countries surveyed in that study — United States, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Australia — only Canada had longer waiting times than America for sick adults waiting to schedule a doctor’s appointment for a medical problem. Eighty-one percent of patients in New Zealand got a same or next-day appointment for a non-routine visit, 71 percent in Britain, 69 percent in Germany, 66 percent in Australia, 47 percent in the U.S. and 36 percent in Canada (“The Doc’s In, but It’ll Be a While,” Catherine Arnst, Business Week, June 22, 2007).
“Gerard Anderson, a Johns Hopkins health policy professor who has spent his career examining the world’s health care, said there are delays, but not as many as conservatives state. In Canada, the United Kingdom and France, ’3 percent of hospital discharges had delays in treatment,’ Anderson told The Miami Herald. ‘That’s a relatively small number, and they’re all elective surgeries, such as hip and knee replacement.’ “…
…One way America is able to achieve decent waiting times is that it leaves 47 million people out of the health care system entirely, unlike any other Western country. When you remove 47 million people from the line, your wait should be shorter. So why is the U.S. second to last in wait times?
And there are even more Americans who keep themselves out of the system because of cost – in the United States, 24 percent of the population did not get medical care due to cost. That number is 5 percent in Canada and 3 percent in the UK…
We believe our example of so-called “elective” procedures such as hip replacement and cataract surgery is accurate and is helpful information.
Ah, they were just being helpful. That’s why they only chose to offer the waiting times for elective procedures, a stat that private health-care defenders immediately reach for.
A commenter says it all:
I wish CNN would put as much energy into fact checking White House press releases as they do Michael Moore’s movie.
Moore’s Sicko is a vitally important film for Americans to see for themselves. It’s not perfect or completely comprehensive, but the energy put into dismissing Moore’s movies and hammering him over minor quibbles in an equally sloppy manner is unsurprising.
Those who’ve read or seen Manufacturing Consent or some of Noam Chomsky’s other works know the answer: they are a corporate entity designed to sell advertising and protect corporate interests first, loosely draped in the form of a news organization.
Those who attempt to reform America and push for changes that threaten to weaken corporate power will run into a brick wall in the corporate media. This isn’t hard to understand; in fact, it would be rather hard to understand how it could happen any other way. If the corporate media wasn’t looking to protect their corporate health care friends, you’d have to ask yourself what went wrong.
Our health care system has turned into a corporate profit-care system, designed to look after the bottom line first and ensure healthy multi-million dollar megasalaries for the CEOs. Like the corporate media, the supposed function, health care, is simply a tool by which to reach that goal. If your kidney operation hurts Kaiser Permanente’s CEO’s plans to buy a new yacht, you’re just going to have to sacrifice.
Some may choose to disagree, but obviously single-payer systems around the world are working, providing all of their citizens care, and making enough people satisfied to stand up for that kind of system. Michael Moore has asked Americans to consider the issue. Others would love to disagree with him, but by what grounds does CNN believe a “fact-check” on Moore containing its own errors is all the issue deserves?
Perhaps this is an issue America needs to look at and debate, instead of being told by CNN, “There’s nothing to see here, go home!”
The National Security Archive has a declassified white paper detailing the Pentagon’s designs on a “free” Iraqi media.Â In 2003 it was recommended thatÂ a “Rapid Reaction Media Team”Â be created to control the public airwaves for propaganda purposes.Â
As Pentagon planners saw it, the themes of the “strategic information campaign” were to be crimes of the old regime, and a bright new day. They included “Mine awareness,” “Re-starting the Oil,” “Justice and rule of law topics,” “Humanitarian assistance . . . care and management of population and internal displaced persons,” “Political prisoners and atrocity interviews,” “WMD disarmament,” and “Saddam’s palaces and opulence.”
So basically they wanted to duplicate the propaganda already being broadcasted by stateside media outlets but unfortunately the “Iraqi FreeÂ Media” projectÂ couldn’t duplicate the same results.
Judged in terms of money funneled into the hands ofÂ private corporations, however,Â the program was a huge success.Â MissionÂ Accomplished!
In asking about Giuliani’s response to a question on Roe vs. Wade, Olbermann asked, “Do you think that’s consistent with _ let’s use the kind word _ an evolving position on abortion?”
Similarly, he noted that Giuliani early in the debate appeared to offer an olive branch to Democrats but slipped back into harsher language, including the argument that a Republican president would keep the country safer than a Democrat.
“Did Mr. Giuliani correct course in the middle of the debate?” he asked. “Did someone slip him a note under the door and say, `don’t be nice to Democrats under any circumstances?’”
Oh, somebody get me the smelling salts. How outrageous. Was Olbermann incorrect at all? I didn’t realize one had to fawn over the GOP in order to be objective. But this writer does:
Having Olbermann anchor _ as he will continue, with Matthews, for big political nights throughout the campaign _ is the MSNBC equivalent of Fox News Channel assigning the same duties to (Bill) O’Reilly.
No, more like Brit Hume, or whatever faceless reporter they slap up there reciting their calculated junk while questions are slapped on the screen like “Democrats in league with Al Queda?” The difference is that they can’t actually point out anything Olbermann said that was false. But Bauder is too busy flying through fantasy land:
Fox has never done that, perhaps mindful of the immediate controversy that would result. Fox has tried to differentiate between its news operation and its prime-time opinion shows, even as its critics believe strongly that’s bunk. In this case, MSNBC doesn’t try to separate news and opinion people, even as it tries to separate news and opinion.
Fox is entirely Republican propaganda from the top down. MSNBC is corporate junk, like all cable news, but they’ve got Olbermann, Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews, used to have Imus, canned Donahue for being liberal, canned Ashleigh Banfield for having a critical opinion of cable news off-camera, i.e. they have little discernible leaning or top down thinking beyond “Who’s getting ratings and isn’t rocking the boat more than our advertisers will accept?” Olbermann would have been canned quickly if he hadn’t provided MSNBC with a huge boost in ratings.
What’s AP doing pushing junk and complaining about MSNBC? Why is it so often that their editors let writers like Bauder or, oh, say, NEDRA PICKLER (I linked to just one example, but she’s been pulling stunts like that for years now) slip little daggers into their pieces? Is it that they often come in the final paragraphs? Do the editors not read that far? It’s hard to make a pronouncement, but I’ve read too many things in the AP to say there isn’t a case.
Here’s an idea: why doesn’t AP just continue trying to be the news and leave the commentary and asides to the rest of the folks? And if that’s too much to ask, how about trying to be factual?
By trying to again empower the government to regulate broadcasting, illiberals reveal their lack of confidence in their ability to compete in the marketplace of ideas, and their disdain for consumer sovereigntyâ€”and hence for the public.
Well, not really, but they sure as hell leave themselves wide open to the wrath of anybody with libertarian sympathies and endanger their gains in the wild West. Trying to dismantle the right wing radio machine through legislation really doesn’t stand a chance in hell and will likely explode in their face. It’s a squelching of speech that no liberal would appreciate in return, as the hammer can swing both ways:
Bill Ruder, a member of (John F.)Kennedy’s subcabinet, said: “Our massive strategy was to use the Fairness Doctrine to challenge and harass right-wing broadcasters in the hope that the challenges would be so costly to them that they would be inhibited and decide it was too expensive to continue.” The Nixon administration frequently threatened the three networks and individual stations with expensive license challenges under the Fairness Doctrine.
I’m liberal but more specifically I’m a libertarian socialist, and I almost always side with more speech rather than restricted speech. Air America dived into the talk radio market and has taken its shots but also evolved, and liberal talk show hosts like Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz are making waves on their own. Liberals don’t need half the airtime; as long as we don’t return to the dark days (still going on in a lot of the country) where there’s nothing on the dial but rightwing bullshitters, everything will be just fine.
The Fairness Doctrine undoubtedly did some good when it existed, but you simply cannot put the genie back in the bottle. Yes, the public airwaves do owe a debt to the public, and part of that debt is to let the consumer decide what they want to listen to. Fair time is owed, but only in the realm of free commercials for political candidacies, as part of a comprehensive public financing legislative plan that cleans up politics.
Only a few liberals have been talking about the Fairness Doctrine, but they need to get their heads on straight now: it ain’t happening. If they’ve got to do something, kick Air America a few subsidies, but even that isn’t necessary with Mark Green at the helm. More speech is always the solution.
The height of sophistication on the right when analyzing the media is to compile moments where something is reported that makes them look bad or doesn’t fit within their propaganda model. Generally the fact that major news organizations are staffed by educated urbanites who aren’t pursuing a Southern Confederate agenda irks them to no end. Yet when you look at right appraisals of the media, they fail to even remotely understand some very basic facts that influence how major outlets perform. They fail to understand them as corporate units designed to appeal to other corporate units in order to generate revenue, and to preserve the power structures of the elites in society. Since this is exactly what the Republican party wants the corporate media to do, they simply take it for granted. The government wants a war? The media excitedly joins the effort to persuade the public to support the war? What’s the problem?
WASHINGTON, May 1 — President Bush’s made-for-television address tonight on the carrier Abraham Lincoln was a powerful, Reaganesque finale to a six-week war. But beneath the golden images of a president steaming home with his troops toward the California coast lay the cold political and military realities that drove Mr. Bush’s advisers to create the moment.
The president declared an end to major combat operations, White House, Pentagon and State Department officials said, for three crucial reasons: to signify the shift of American soldiers from the role of conquerors to police, to open the way for aid from countries that refused to help militarily and — above all — to signal to voters that Mr. Bush is shifting his focus from Baghdad to concerns at homeâ€¦.
”This is the formalization that tells everybody we’re not engaged in combat anymore, we’re prepared for getting out,” a senior administration official saidâ€¦.
Triumph came pretty cheaply at the time, but it turned out to be a hugely expensive failure, didn’t it? Here’s the liberal Tom Friedman:
Thomas Friedman, column, May 4
President Bush may have declared the war in Iraq effectively over. But, judging from my own e-mail box — where conservative readers are bombing me for not applauding enough the liberation of Iraq, and liberals for selling out to George Bush — the war over the war still burns on here.
Conservatives now want to use the victory in Iraq to defeat all liberal ideas at home, and to make this war a model for America’s relations with the world, while liberals — fearing all that — are still quietly rooting for Mr. Bush to fail.
The Librul Media ™ bogeyman phenomenon is the perfect summation of the operating principles of right-wing mouth-breathers. Using the flimsiest of definitional standards you invent and propagandize an enemy that appeals to the basest, most jingoistic prejudices of your targeted demographic and then use it as a convenient excuse to justify any position (I’d say action but wingers are more about you doing the work), right or wrong. It’s also very convenient since the proof given as evidence of a liberal bias is also it’s definition. All an outlet has to do to be labeled as liberal is to not evangelize for the Republican Party. What’s baffling is that even after years of Bush administration cheer-leading the editors of every major media outlet are characterized as insidious liberal villains intent on roping Lady Liberty to the railroad tracks.
Here’s what the raving liberal socialists at Bloomberg have to say:
Moyers supplies extensive evidence to back up that view.
The Washington Post, for instance, did some 140 front-page pieces between August 2002 and March 2003 “making the administration’s case for war” and only a handful raised serious questions about the policy, says Post media critic Howard Kurtz.
The New York Times, USA Today, PBS, the New York Daily News and a vast number of regional publications sang variations on the same theme, as did a large chorus of conservative and liberal pundits.
Who wasn’t a cheerleader? Oh, three dudes who worked for Knight Ridder but that doesn’t matter! What matters most is that the people who were behind the administration weren’t behind them quite enough. (It’s why we’re losing the war, you know!)
It’s gotta be pretty easy being a conservative blogger. You get to carry on about all sorts of trumped up malfeasance being perpetrated by cartoony straw-men with legions of network talking heads perpetuating your non-issues ad-infinitum. Then on the other hand you get to piss and moan about the “liberal media” because they’re not doing enough to promote your agenda.Â Not a bad gig.Â As Roger AilesÂ once quipped, it’s a cherry business angle; you get to operate a media empire by claiming that you’re a victim that nobody respects or listens to.
It goes without saying that the administration has no credibility on…anything. But this entire discussion about “Has Iran assisted hostilities in Iraq?” begs the question of, “If so, so what?” The Bush administration has been very successful at framing the debate to make the answer to that implicit: If Iran is mucking around in Iraq, the White House reasoning stands, then George W. gets to go gallavanting with bombs and missiles into an even darker future he has utterly no ability to predict or control.
The debate itself is rather uninteresting. More relevant questions include: Why wouldn’t Iran be messing around in Iraq? Why shouldn’t they? They’re no different or worse than most of the parties in Iraq, Iran simply favors a Shiite-friendly outcome. Is that something we’re against? Are you sure? Does Iran have less national interest at stake in Iraq than we do? Do we have the right to tell Shiites in Iraq they can’t enlist the help of Shiites from other countries? Why aren’t we planning anything in response to Saudi Arabia’s known assistance of the Sunnis and vow to step it up if we leave? Did George W. Bush ever know what the fuck he was doing?
Whoops, no debate on that last question.
Before the Iraq War, I asked people why, even if Saddam had weapons (and he could have only had a meager amount), it was assumed that we had to go to war with him. One thing did not necessarily dictate the other. With nuclear secrets floating around the Middle East like traces of depleted uranium shells, very little pointed to Saddam being the most likely culprit to give weapons to terrorists, and much evidence ruled him out.
The real hard questions never got asked in the public debate on Iraq, and we have suffered mightily for it. The question is, has our mechanism for national internal dialogue been fixed, or does it still work the exact same way?
More importantly, even if our reasoning points against an attack on Iran, what can be done to stop “The Decider”? What good is it to decide somebody is too drunk to drive if you don’t take the keys away?
A disputed report on the Web site of a conservative magazine about Senator Barack Obamaâ€™s childhood schooling kicked off a pointed exchange this week between the rival cable news networks CNN and Fox News, when CNN seemed to make an overt effort both to debunk the report and to question the quality of Fox Newsâ€™s journalism.
Oh, it’s a “disputed” report? It’s a completely decimated slab of yellow journamalism. Here’s the dispute: Rupert Murdoch’s various lapdogs made something up, every rightwinger out there repeated it, then CNN did some reporting and found the actual truth. The only dispute is between the facts and those who feel like they should be able to lie without being called liars.
How come New York Times, with the flat-out hard evidence of CNN’s report on their hands, has a hard time pronouncing the obvious here? How come it’s written in “he said, she said,” form?
Net Neutrality doesn’t protect us from this, unfortunately:
An Internet service provider in San Francisco has shut down a website that posted recorded excerpts by right-wing talk-show hosts on ABC affiliate KSFO in which they endorsed torture of Iraqi prisoners, called for the hanging of New York Times editor Bill Keller and other journalists, and urged callers to mock Islam, according to MediaPost‘s online website, OnlineMediaDaily.com. The trade publication said that the ISP, 1&1 Internet, acted after receiving complaints from ABC Radio that the posted material violated the Walt Disney Company’s copyright. However, the operator of the site, who goes by the online name “Spocko,” insisted that the audio postings represented “fair use” and maintained that Disney had acted because KSFO advertisers whom he had contacted, including Netflix, MasterCard, Bank of America, and Visa, have already withdrawn advertising from the station. ABC and Disney declined to comment.
Good thing we can trust Disney to go to bat for fascists, yet big corporations wilt with fear over even tentatively endorsing liberal talk radio…
Update: Man, this thing has legs. Is there justice in the world? Sometimes, my friends and enemies, sometimes.
Via Crooks and Liars…because if you think I’ve got time to read all Daily Kos diaries myself, you’re insane.Â It seems KSFO, the radio station in question, has had to pay attention to this.Â Disney/ABC should be smart enough to figure out that they don’t want to be on the wrong side of the battle here.Â KSFO is, of course, an ant to be squashed by Disney if it so wished.Â Â That’s not necessary though.Â Â Spocko is just expecting the right to be able to report on rightwing ugliness.Â He has that, doesn’t he?
Naturally, they’d shriek in protest at the notion that the lot of them could be summed up as “Bush’s Butt Boys,” “Rubber-stamp Republicans,” “Rove’s Thugs,” “Cheney’s Chutzpah Brigade,” “Alberto’s Abu Ghraib Aficionados,” “Dubya’s Dittoheads”…
Care to contribute your own? More importantly, how can Democrats dumb ourselves down to the level of Republicans? How can we learn to mindlessly repeat, repeat, repeat ourselves without feeling like we’re digging a groove into our medullas? If there’s any reason I haven’t blogged a lot lately, it’s because I personally cannot stand repeating myself.
This election might be a referendum on whether the Republicans have finally and completely exploited the public’s ADD beyond Democrats’ ability to reclaim. If the election were held today, based on the record of the Republicans, they’d go out on their asses. Will two months of the stupidest things ever said in defiance of all reason and sanity make America suddenly forget what Republicans actually do in office?
Or have we finally figured out that they’re all talk? And that the media will tacitly approve until the public stops liking it?
I frequently dine at the Hy-Vee deli for lunch which is located a couple hundred yards from my place of employment. For some inexplicable reason the television is always tuned to Fox News. There have been a few occasions where I’ve sat down with my usual two piece chicken meal (with mashed potatoes and corn as side dishes, of course) and ESPN has been playing or the kitchen help has been watching Univision but it’s been rare. Most of my lunches are spent watching the stalwart Neil Cavuto shamelessly plug away for a failed administration which has become increasingly laughable with each passing day. What is most fascinating is the thinning crop of characters Cavuto brings on that will publicly support his daily theses. Today I watched as Don King was brought in to wax political and support Bush on this day that most rightly remember him as being a resounding failure. Next time you see a poll reflecting Bush’s popularity rankings ranging in the thirties you can count pillar of the community Don King as amongst those casting the yea vote.
I’m taking in the major Sunday talk shows this AM, and I have to say it is manifestly clear we are facing a real leadership crisis in this country. How the level of debate has become this dumbed-down, or hyperbolic, or clueless, well I’m not quite sure, but we very clearly have a real problem on our hands.
C’mon, Greg, you don’t exactly need a history book here.Â How did we get here?Â We all know damn well how we got here and who’s responsible.Â Where you see a conservative trying to put distance between himself and Bush, you get the most amazing bout of amnesia, rendering null your memories of January 2003:
Unfortunately, stereotypical perceptions are trumping rational analysis when it comes to European views of current U.S. foreign policy. Unaccustomed (since at least Ronald Reaganâ€™s â€œevil empireâ€) to provocative language like “axis of evil,” “with us or against us” or “evil-doers,” European elites are focusing on Administration verbiage and rhetorical pronouncements rather than the manner that U.S. foreign policy is actually being implemented.
Oh, those stupid Europeans, they were stereotyping George W. Bush, focusing on his rhetoric.Â Gregory then assumed that Bush actually had some deeper thoughts going on in his head, or that he had any policy beyond the rhetoric.Â Three years later and Bush is still over his head without any more insight into the region or the forces he has stirred up inside it.Â We have a faith-healer foreign policy, and those desperate to keep holding onto power have decided that the only remedy to the ills they’ve unleashed is to keep praying louder.
Gregory, you’re way too smart for this.Â You know very well how we got here, and if you look back you’ll remember deriding those who tried applying the brakes.Â Â More from Gregory’s recent post:
This is a country whose political class is rudderless just now–pretty much on both sides of the aisle–as events are overtaking people’s belief systems, modes of analysis, and general understanding of regional dynamics in the Middle East–and their impact on vital US interests. It’s a rather alarming spectacle, to be sure.
Of course, this Republican administration and Congress can’t be held responsible for a single thing without the Democrats being lumped in with them.Â But let’s get subtle here, shall we Gregory?
Democrats did not drive this war, nor did they press for haste.Â Even those who ended up handing the keys to Bush expressed doubts and reservations, and expectations that Bush would drive responsibly.Â What we have now is Bush getting a DUI and blaming the friend who let him borrow the car.Â To be accurate in the metaphor, Bush had already downed three beers.Â Many of us knew he was already drunk and were trying to warn the friend from giving him the keys.Â But the friend listened to Bush’s pleas, threats, and sweet nothings, and said, “It’s okay, I’m going to trust him.”
A giant thwack on the head to our Democratic representatives for that one.Â But who’s still to blame?Â The guy behind the wheel, inarguably.
The problem now is that there hasn’t been an accountability moment yet for anything that has transpired.Â Nobody has been fired.Â Nobody has been tossed out of office.Â The press is still in full-steam “the left is nuts” mode, while the right has upped the game to calling for the execution of journalists and cheering on WWIII.Â Apparently they excuse the drunk driver because he was under the influence, shame the friend for being so weak as to hand over the keys while sober, and dismiss those yelling “Don’t let him drive!” as party poopers.
We saw the future, and they can’t even see the past.Â Sorry, folks, but that’s when it’s time to hand the keys over.
Well, despite running an absolutely terrible campaign and disrespecting his own party at virtually every juncture where it would actually matter, apparently Joe Lieberman cannot be challenged.Â Do you like democracy?Â Do you like primaries?Â Do you feel like you should be able to throw out an incumbent once every couple of decades?
Sorry, you’re a ideological puritan!
The right now has their meme polished on the Lieberman affair, and it’s being spawned in the throats of millions of little dittoheads like Brian and the traditional media.Â Lieberman supports the war, so those who support Ned Lamont are just as bad as the GOP’s lock-step rubber-stampin’ top-down asses.
Lieberman has had dozens of chances here, and he’s still blowing them.Â It’s nobody’s fault but his that he’s cozied up to Bush, Cheney, Sean Hannity, and other rightwing nutwhackers like they were his brothers while slandering Democrats at every turn, even talking up Bush over Kerry in 2004. Â It’s nobody’s fault but his that he’s been contemptuous of democracy and the concept of primaries, as if he automatically deserves his seat no matter what.Â It’s nobody’s fault but his that he’s run a terrible Rovian campaign and lost the debate with Lamont while using Ronald Reagan’s favorite catchphrase.
All of this comes naturally to elites in the media and those on the right, because they have an ingrained contempt for bottom-up democracy, as well as a reflexive support of Bush’s policies.
It’s really simple:Â it’s a Democratic primary, and Lieberman has campaigned for the support of Republicans while expressing contempt towards his own party. Â What the holy hell do you expect?
The Democrats have dramatically widened their tent over the past several years.Â Joe Lieberman would still be welcome in it even if he were supporting staying in Iraq longer.Â He would just be expected to reasonably understand the positions of his party-mates and not go running to the kool(aid) kids on the right to lob shots at them every chance he gets.
But no, Joe’s been out there for himself at all times, not his Democrat constituents.
The contempt for democracy is hardly novel, however.Â We’ve got a long way to go yet…