Archive for the 'Journamalism' Category

Media that matters.

Mar 09, 2009 in Barack Obama, Journamalism, Politics

Politico says the Obama White House is engaging in constructive dialogues with op-ed and editorial writers, thus moving discussion forward and allowing for the possibility of persuasion.

Andrew Rosenthal, The Times’ editorial page editor, says the Obama White House has been more “proactive” than the Bush White House was, offering up policy thinkers to more fully explain the administration’s positions — both before and after columns and editorials run.

“I’ve had more unsolicited offers for participation from the Obama people in 45 days than in the last eight years from Bush,” said Rosenthal.

How dare they forget this?

For the second year in a row, President Bush called some of his closest radio friends to the White House for an off-the-record briefing and discussion.

Mark Levin and Sean Hannity of WABC (770 AM) were among the 10 conservative talk-radio hosts who met with Bush in the West Wing yesterday, according to Talkers magazine.

The others were Glenn Beck, Neal Boortz, Hugh Hewitt, Scott Hennen, Bill Bennett, Michael Medved, Lars Larsen and Janet Parshall.

Bush met with five hosts last fall, including Boortz, Hannity and Medved, Talkers noted, “to discuss issues and gauge the conservative talk-radio audience’s feelings about issues and policies.”

Of course, let us not forget how the Bush administration dealt with the mainstream media:

Republican political consultants have found that in an era of plunging stocks and corporate scandal the word ”privatization” has taken on negative connotations. The answer? Deny that personal accounts constitute privatization, and bully the press into going along. A Republican National Campaign Committee memo lays out the new strategy: ”It is very important that we not allow reporters to shill for Democrat demagoguery by inaccurately characterizing ‘personal accounts’ and ‘privatization’ as one and the same.”

…The R.N.C.C. doesn’t really think it can convince people that privatization isn’t privatization. But that’s not the goal. The memo doesn’t talk about how to communicate with the public; it’s a list of demands to place on journalists. As Joshua Marshall put it at talkingpointsmemo.com, the goal is to ”mau-mau reporters out of using the word ‘privatization’ in this context.”

And the intimidation will probably succeed. Indeed, it’s already working. As Mr. Marshall notes, in a recent interview of the House minority leader, Richard Gephardt, Judy Woodruff of CNN duly echoed the R.N.C.C.’s memo.

Unfortunately, this isn’t just a question of Social Security policy. Once an administration believes that it can get away with insisting that black is white and up is down — and everything in this administration’s history suggests that it believes just that — it’s hard to see where the process stops. A habit of ignoring inconvenient reality, and presuming that the docile media will go along, soon infects all aspects of policy. And yes, that includes matters of war and peace.

Paul Krugman in 2002. Amazing, isn’t it?

The habit he refers to didn’t stop until Bush left office. Maybe being treated like adults by the Obama administration will persuade journalists to behave accordingly.

-jb

BTW, SMACKDOWN!

Mar 09, 2009 in Barack Obama, Journamalism, Politics

A model for other Democrats:

Perhaps the most interesting bit of today’s Times interview with the president: At 2:30 p.m., President Obama called…The New York Times, saying he wanted to clarify a point from the interview. Here is a transcript of that brief call:

President Obama: Just one thing I was thinking about as I was getting on the copter. It was hard for me to believe that you were entirely serious about that socialist question. I did think it might be useful to point out that it wasn’t under me that we started buying a bunch of shares of banks. It wasn’t on my watch. And it wasn’t on my watch that we passed a massive new entitlement – the prescription drug plan without a source of funding. And so I think it’s important just to note when you start hearing folks through these words around that we’ve actually been operating in a way that has been entirely consistent with free-market principles and that some of the same folks who are throwing the word socialist around can’t say the same.

One thing I’ve long sensed and admired about Obama is his acuity in spotting the Republican-entrenched memes in the mainstream media. He understands how they work, and out-maneuvers them.

I mean, this shouldn’t exactly be a grand feat. McCain and Palin started throwing around the “socialism” thing in the election, and it was an obvious fraud then. As governor of Alaska, Palin carried out some of the most socialist redistributionist policies witnessed within our borders, directly siphoning money from the oil companies into the pockets of Alaskans.

Republicans have long bemoaned “tax and spend” Democrats, but what they showed us during Bush’s term is that they absolutely adore spending, as long as it’s Republican spending. Even worse, instead of taxing, they simply borrow and pray magic ponies will deliver bags of money, herded to earth by the soul of Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat.

As we’ve learned, such ways are simply unsustainable. They are not a model of good governance, or even functional governance. Republicans were not content merely to break the country, but clamored for the right to smash the remains into little pieces.

President Obama simply noticed what anybody could have spotted: The Republicans just kept repeating something until it became drilled into the mainstream media’s skulls. Anybody conscious the past couple decades could see the feces from Rush Limbaugh’s ass hurled at Democrats days or even hours later.

I reproduce for you the meme in a media person’s skull: (We are teh socialists now? ZOMG socialism is bad, rite?!)

These are serious times, and Obama is right to poke the NYT back and tell them to get serious. We face a range of problems, and they’re the kind that demand government action. Masturbating over whether or not we’re conforming to cartoon Republican ideology is the luxury of dodos, squawking in the face of extinction.

-jb

GOP still outnumbering Democrats 2:1 on cable news.

Feb 06, 2009 in Journamalism, Politics

I’ll get clean this time, Mama!

Fortunately, the imbalance on the networks is not going unnoticed. A House Democratic leadership aide told Politico’s Michael Calderone yesterday that “what happened with cable last week is that Republican House members were the only show in town.” A “very senior” Democratic aide told The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that the leadership is “aware of the problem and are taking steps to fix it.” The aide noted that “there is also an onus on producers to remedy this issue.”

There’s been an onus on them since they shut up dissent on the Iraq War. What is this new onus, and what does it mean?

-jb

The nominations for worst of the Beltway continue.

Jan 22, 2009 in Beltway-itis, Journamalism

David Ignatius is one of the great archetypal Beltway fools, occasionally able to impart some knowledge but consistently subscribing to some lazy paradigms in order to carve a quick path to “balance.” The Beltway Handbook features this interesting excerpt:

Clause 325.b: Rush Limbaugh may be bad, but any loud liberal is his equivalent. This axiom shall never require substantiation.

Kos fires back with a sniper shot to the dome, focusing on the issues where he has been right while Limbaugh was carrying Bush’s water. Every word is worth reading, but here’s a sweet sample:

This is why I have come, in these recent years, to despise these people. There is no abomination on this earth worth an emotional outburst, in their minds — no conflict worth a raised voice. There is only the mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly. They all stink like fish, they have been praising the status quo for so long and so colorlessly — and yet they fancy themselves intellectuals for it, and even presume themselves courageous for it.

The Beltway worships power. The Bush administration was a unity between political and corporate power, which made breaking away and speaking out so dangerous in the minds of Ignatius and the rest of the press as Bush spent several years getting away with whatever he wanted while the dirty hippies were sneered at.

Unfortunately, Obama and the Democrats only possess as much corporate pull as the economic crash gives them. As noted earlier, the Beltway is still against reforming health care in any way that impacts the bottom line of HMOs. He will not receive the same deference that the press gave Bush’s chance to privatize Social Security.

What Ignatius has to excise is that Kos, unlike Rush Limbaugh, is capable of coherent logical thought, and susceptible to facts and reason. While these consensus monkeys are cautiously nodding that Bush was a bad president, careful to warn us that Obama may end up justifying Bush and Cheney, or that anybody who manages to fix Iraq will be serving only Bush’s legacy, it is only because people like Kos and the grassroots had to do the heavy lifting of shouting out what needed to be said until people like Ignatius could hear it in their corporate towers.

Obama, seismic victory and all, will not receive the same deference that Bush received. The crowds of two days ago only marginally moved the hearts of Washington reporters. Kos and his supporters will have to keep fighting to get past these obstinate guardians of cowardice. No matter the reasonableness of their claims, or their popularity, they will continue to be dismissed and dumped in the same pig trough as Limbaugh.

For twenty years, Rush Limbaugh was one of the most powerful people in the country, a cult leader who engaged in no dialogues and brooked no dissent. Kos is merely a moderator, a man whose opinions are often drowned out by the people his site empowers to speak up for themselves. Ignatius knows this, as it is the diaries on DailyKos that give people like him the ammunition to employ the false equivalence.

To compare Limbaugh’s bellering to Kos’ argumentation is intellectually dishonest. To compare Limbaugh with his dittoheads to Kos with his empowered grassroots is a disgusting insult steeped in contempt for democracy.

History has rarely presented us with societies where competing forces are always two sides of the same coin. The Beltway hack working to make deadline employs cost-cutting thinking that transposes us into an imaginary world.

Wake up, Ignatius, you lazy bastard.

-jb

The dutiful corporate media.

Jan 20, 2009 in Beltway-itis, Economy, Journamalism

DougJ at Balloon Juice punctures Andrea Mitchell and other gilded Beltway types who are dutifully informing us that “sacrifice” means some people are going to have to keep going on without healthcare while the wealthy continue to see how high one can stack cash.

I recommend clicking on the link to see the numbers and give Balloon Juice the love. But in your bones you know the scoop: the wealthy have had their taxes slashed and their income exploded beyond all proportion to their work, while the rest of the country, middle class and all, has barely nudged ahead. Our cheap gizmos are cooler now than they were, but we’re struggling to own homes, send our children to college, take them to a doctor, or get them braces.

But to Andrea Mitchell, “sacrifice” means making sure we don’t threaten the insane profits of HMOs and pharmaceutical companies or the golden parachutes of CEOs who steer their companies into default.

Surely she is one of the worst people on television, and an eyesore to boot. All of her skill seems devoted to being the most Beltway-iest Corporatist schmournalist on the non-Fox airwaves.

-jb

And our media isn’t fit for the times either.

Dec 12, 2008 in Barack Obama, Economy, Journamalism

Because they need to hear ten different times that Obama had nothing to do with Blah-son-of-a-bitch’s corruption (and remain unsatisfied), real problems don’t warrant air time.

Here is some food for thought. I lost my job last Tuesday. I don’t give a whit about what’s happening in Illinois. I have a chronically ill husband, I care for my elderly ailing mother, and I have an 11-year-old son. In less than two months my severance pay will run out and so will my health insurance, which my husband depends on for his care. So, you can probably understand why as important as this issue is to the media, it is not at the top of my list.

I don’t regularly watch television, but [Thursday] when I tuned in to President-elect Barack Obama’s press conference, I wanted to hear what he had to say about health care, how it would impact me. As noted above, in two months, my severance pay runs out, and so will my health care. I can’t afford Cobra. So, you can see why I hoped reporters would ask questions that mattered to me and I am sure thousands of others.

No doubt, it was inevitable there were going to be questions about the Blago guy in Illinois. But after three questions, thank God for the Reuters reporter, we got to health care. I happened to be watching ABC, and guess what, Charlie Gibson cut away. That question was not juicy enough for him– not enough to give us the viewers a chance to hear how Obama plans to pay for the health care he is promising.

Instead, a glib Gibson gets on to explain about how the [president-elect] dodged questions. I know in Gibson’s world this doesn’t matter one iota… But why disrespect us. Why does he think that this Blago issue matters to me today, when I am worried where the next meal is going to come from for my family?

Hey, buddy…Charlie Gibson knows where his next meal is coming from, so buck up and grab dem bootstraps!

-jb

Just a friendly reminder…

Oct 29, 2008 in Journamalism, Old Man McCain

John McCain wouldn’t even have had the opportunity to lose the election (KEEPIN’ MAHH FINGAZ CRAWSST) if the press hadn’t been his base for the past decade. The origin of the tire swing for McCain metaphor was something I actually hadn’t heard before today, I just thought it was colorful. And let’s not forget McCain knew this himself

-jb

Democrats have to be perfect on foreign policy.

Sep 07, 2008 in Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Journamalism, Politics, War on Terra

Bill O’Reilly desperately tries to trip up Barack Obama. Bill accepts that Obama knows his facts better than either McCain or Palin like a child drinking castor oil.

The point is that when a Republican talks foreign policy, they are allowed to be wrong. They’re allowed to mix up Shia and Sunni, tie Al Queda to Saddam Hussein, shift rationales for war, shift metrics for success…even co-opt Democratic Party ideas that were “surrender” just months or weeks before. They can do that because they’re Republicans, and everybody knows Republicans Are Strong Against Our Enemies.â„¢

Barack Obama is not only thoroughly knowledgeable about foreign policy, he is also ahead of the curve. Compared to the hilariously wrong record of every pro-Iraq Republican, he could be accused of possessing a crystal ball. Yet all the Republicans can think to do is keep harping on, “But you were wrong about the surge, weren’t ya weren’t ya!?!?” Barack has to point out that the surge wasn’t just about the violence, but about the political settlement, and it’s too soon to count the chickens yet. Are the Republicans really prepared to explain themselves if violence breaks out again and/or the government crumbles? Probably not, because they’ll be held no more accountable for their words than they’ve ever been.

But the Democrat has to be right 100% of the time, because we know Democrats Are Weak On Terror.â„¢

To their credit, the public has begun to see through this facade. When will our media?

-jb

The media is frustrated that it hasn’t had the chance to fawn over Sarah Palin.

Sep 07, 2008 in Glenn Greenwald, Journamalism, Politics, Sarah Palin

The indomitable Glenn Greenwald points out that if Sarah Palin will gladly expose herself to the press soon because she knows they have no intention of practicing journalism with her. She’ll hold out a couple weeks until she’s briefed and ready with her soundbites, and then they’ll joyously scoop up the breadcrumbs she throws them and declare her ready to lead the free world should John McCain succumb to the inevitability of Death. At the suggestion that her current moratorium will provoke spiteful acts of journalism by the press, Greenwald scoffs:

Several people in comments suggest/hope that Palin’s refusal to submit to press questioning will alienate journalists and make them more intent on investigating her and subjecting her claims to scrutiny. A healthy journalistic instinct would indeed produce that reaction. But is that what we have?

It isn’t just that the Bush administration has been the most secretive in modern history (though it has been), but Dick Cheney seemed to take sadistic pleasure in purposely concealing from reporters even the most innocuous information, just to show he could. He even refused to say how many people worked in his office, or who worked there, or even where he was and what he was doing on any given day. Did that propel journalists to investigate him more aggressively or subject his claims to greater investigative scrutiny? Yes, that is a rhetorical question. A properly functioning press corps would become more adversarial and aggressive when treated with such contempt by the GOP. Ours becomes more browbeaten, more passive, more eager to please.

Our dysfunctional media simply wants to give Sarah Palin the chance to swat away the serious questions regarding her fitness for office with a smile and a snappy remark. They want to be charmed by her, and they’re absolutely furious that they haven’t been able to dote on her in person.

In less than two months, we’re supposed to consider Sarah Palin ready to assume the presidency at a moment’s notice, and half that time nobody’s allowed to ask her things like, “Why are you proud of your mayoral term when you left that tiny town $22 million in debt?” Indeed, it is likely that the media will huff and puff a bit in order to get access to her, but don’t get your hopes up. Don’t expect follow-up questions, don’t expect rigor, don’t expect much more than obsequious deference. The Republicans are now comfortable to have a know-nothing “charmer” who they can surround with neoconservatives and steer towards their designs, and they know how to steamroll the media through years of practice. Against all available evidence, the base will worship Sarah Palin the harder so-called journalists attempt to probe her, and after, at best, a week of questions, the MSM will give her the pass needed, lest they be “biased” (consult Fox News to see the thorough absence of journalism practiced against Republicans it takes to appease the right).

-jb

Death of a narrative: Deployed Soldiers give 6:1 to Obama over McCain

Aug 27, 2008 in Barack Obama, Journamalism

What “everybody knows” is not true:

According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain’s haul.

Despite McCain’s status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall — whether stationed overseas or at home — are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.

File this under, “To be ignored by the media.” Interestingly, rightwingers are actually unable to maintain eye function long enough to complete reading the headline.

-jb

The depraved media.

Aug 27, 2008 in Beltway-itis, Chomsky, Journamalism, Politics

Brad at Sadly No! sums up our elite media’s attitude towards this election:

What’s been generally amazing to me about this convention is how much the talking heads focused on personality-based elements: “Have Barack and Hillary made up yet? Is Michelle Obama a scary, angry black woman, or is she a phony pretending not to be a scary, angry black woman? What do the Democrats have to do to prove that they don’t hate America?”

Absolutely nothing about policy, absolutely nothing about the disaster that the past eight years of right-wing rule have wrought upon the country and the world. It’s all one big soap opera for these assholes, and as long as they’re entertained, Rome can burn.

Funnily enough, like addicts, some in the media can even talk about their own depravity, even though they’re powerless to stop it:

Stephanopoulos stated bluntly, “it’s just not true that these issues are not being discussed.” He’s right, of course. They are being discussed, but in many cases, far from sight. Take the recent news out of Iraq, where withdrawal timetables are suddenly, plainly, a part of negotiations between the Bush and al Maliki governments. This development had its origins in a congressional hearing back in June, where Iraqi Parliamentarians began the steady push for U.S. withdrawal. To get that news, one had to turn to the Washington Independent. So far as I can recall, this story was not given much play in network or cable news. It was certainly never discussed on Sunday! But these hearings presciently bespoke the Iraq turning point we have arrived at today.

Can you imagine if Maliki had endorsed John McCain’s plan for endless occupation of Iraq? Bush moved to Obama’s position on Iraq qualitatively, with not much variance quantitatively (thoughts go out to the troops who will die that extra year, hopes that Obama will expedite the process). That should be an earthquake for journalists. It should be topic NUMERO F’ING UNO, the hot buzz, the big story about the ultimate vindication of what Barack Obama and the Democrats have been saying about Iraq for a long time, and…we’ve gotten pure gossip. We aren’t even treated to some blathering about how Bush taking Obama’s position and contradicting everything McCain has said about Iraq is really good for McCain. It happened, and it just failed to register. Not news. Iraq is so OVER! Let me show you some real news:

“Did you hear McCain talk smack about Obama? It was totally f’ed up! Is Obama gonna let him punk him like that?”

The media is completely uninterested in the election as a debate about policy and how to run the country. If they do care, they pretend they’re trapped in the system. They like to call themselves the fourth branch of government, but they don’t care. They’re selling advertising. A reminder of what we’re dealing with here:

(CHOMSKY:) So what we have in the first place is major corporations which are parts of even bigger conglomerates. Now, like any other corporation, they have a product which they sell to a market. The market is advertisers — that is, other businesses. What keeps the media functioning is not the audience. They make money from their advertisers. And remember, we’re talking about the elite media. So they’re trying to sell a good product, a product which raises advertising rates. And ask your friends in the advertising industry. That means that they want to adjust their audience to the more elite and affluent audience. That raises advertising rates. So what you have is institutions, corporations, big corporations, that are selling relatively privileged audiences to other businesses.

Well, what point of view would you expect to come out of this? I mean without any further assumptions, what you’d predict is that what comes out is a picture of the world, a perception of the world, that satisfies the needs and the interests and the perceptions of the sellers, the buyers and the product.

Now there are many other factors that press in the same direction. If people try to enter the system who don’t have that point of view they’re likely to be excluded somewhere along the way. After all, no institution is going to happily design a mechanism to self-destruct. It’s not the way institutions function. So they’ll work to exclude or marginalize or eliminate dissenting voices or alternative perspectives and so on because they’re dysfunctional, they’re dysfunctional to the institution itself.

Now there are other media too whose basic social role is quite different: it’s diversion. There’s the real mass media-the kinds that are aimed at, you know, Joe Six Pack — that kind. The purpose of those media is just to dull people’s brains.

The Republicans have found this system exceptionally advantageous to their needs, bitching about the “Librul media” aside. They do not have the public on their side when it comes to the issues, and so they need this distraction, these diversions from the issues. When the media gossips, Republicans do better because they’ve engineered their campaigns around avoiding the issues. The entire structure of their discourse is built around making sure no substantial conversation actually happens. Thirty second soundbites are good for advertisers, and the Republicans know their market, playing them like any amoral salesman would.

Have you ever worked in sales? People who have know it’s about figuring out how to game people, how to say exactly the right thing at the right time that will manipulate them to give the desired response. You may end up saying things that aren’t true, but it’s not your fault because you have bills to pay and you need that commission. And if you game them into signing what you want them to sign, you tell yourself, “I’m giving them what they want. I’m not culpable.” Our media behaves the same way, acting like journalists to the extent that it will drive headlines, ratings, revenue, and correspondingly their own star. They go through the motions of doing their job, but in their minds they always carry the lessons they’ve learned. They remember what got other journalists ahead, and what got them promoted. The barking from editors…about readers, editions sold, ad revenue. They don’t want to say their readers are stupid, but they will write stupid pieces and mutter to themselves, “This is what interests people.” The art of sales is to know people are able to be fooled, yet never admit you are fooling them, unless you have figured out a way to fool them still.

By understanding how our media works, we can better neutralize the damage they do and game them in return to give us what we want: for them to do their goddamned jobs. I have a simple wish for the election: that it be about substance and policy at least as much as it is about personal gossip and playing favorites. Is it so much to ask for the media to acknowledge that the Democrats are giving the people the policies they want? Or are they so threatened because, unlike them, we give with genuine intent?

-jb

P.S. Forgot to tell this tale of Beltway media incest! Did you help George W. Bush screw up America? You get a job, Sir!

The stupidity of McCain complaining about his adoring press.

Jul 30, 2008 in Journamalism, Media, Old Man McCain, Politics

A study was done recently, and what did they find? The press, while covering Obama more because he’s the only one generating any actual news, talks way more shit about Obama than McCain. They defend McCain reflexively. McCain has to be 100% wrong before they defend Obama, although McCain’s been 100% wrong quite a lot lately…

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.

-jb

Self-extinguishing gaffes?

Jun 19, 2008 in Journamalism, Old Man McCain, Politics

What happens when a politician slips up and does something so foul and odious that the media is actually afraid to cover it?

THIS IS NOT EVEN REMOTELY SAFE FOR WORK!!!

Ah, I’m just kidding. If Barack Obama had called Michelle that name publicly, or if it were even rumored to have happened privately, it’d be outrage 24/7. And every rightwinger on the internets would be talking about how liberals are disrespectful of their wives and conservative men come home with flowers every day, and it’s all the fault of the dirty fucking hippies and women who use the pill. And, of course, it would be certifiable “proof that Barack Obama is unfit for the presidency!” Just close your eyes, and you can hear Sean Hannity yelling and crying about it, and see a hundred talking heads ganging up on sucker liberals trying to defend it. But the only thing you’ll really hear is silence.

-jb

What will the White House say!?!?!

May 28, 2008 in Journamalism

There’s no telling how they’ll react to Scott McClellan’s unsurprising addition to the tell-all canon! Will they fess up and admit they done wrong? Will George W. tearfully apologize? Will Karl Rove nod his head and say, “Scotty nailed us!” Will Dick Cheney tell us, “Scott didn’t fail us, we failed Scott!”

Oh, wait…I guess they’ll say the same shit they’ve said every other time somebody gets out and tries telling the world what was going on in that madhouse. I’d ask why don’t they try something new, like “Yeah it’s all true, what the fuck are you pussies gonna do about it!” (the honest approach), but the media dutifully laps it up and reports it with the same enthusiasm every time, so why bother?

“I fell far short of living up to the kind of public servant I wanted to be,” McClellan writes. He also blames the media whose questions he fielded, calling them “complicit enablers” in the White House campaign to manipulate public opinion toward the need for war.

Dana Perino may fake-mourn that this isn’t the Scotty they knew, but it’s the same old media, for sure, because they didn’t fall down laughing at the tired knowing bullshit flowing out of her mouth, the same way they always lapped up Scotty’s blatantly pathetic mutterings.

Oh, and Scotty? Yes, you were a piece of shit for going along with it then.

-jb

Beltway gangrene of the face, neck, head and chest area…

Apr 10, 2008 in Journamalism, Uncategorized

What’s wrong with journalists in Washington?

-jb

The relentless stupidity of cable news.

Mar 11, 2008 in Journamalism, Uncategorized

Kos watching the “Communist News Network”

Flipping through channels last night, I stopped at CNN where the idiot anchor (Rick Sanchez?), talking about Obama’s strong internet presence, asked (paraphrased) “Is Obama cheating” because of his online organizing? His guests stared at him incredulously for a seconds while I scrambled for the remote to change the channel.

It’s no wonder that the wider public is becoming more and more comfortable making decisions on their own.

Kos notes that despite the burning stupid all over the press, Obama’s national numbers are rising above Hillary’s.

BTW, if it was Rick Sanchez, it wouldn’t surprise me.

-jb

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!

Feb 23, 2008 in Journamalism

That’s the sound of Nedra Pickler of AP news getting another chance to smear a Democrat through her “reporting,” which consists of asking people like Roger Stone of C.U.N.T., a rightwing anti-Hillary Clinton group, or Fox & Friends haircut Steve Doocy for their opinion on Barack Obama’s patriotism. Some lip service is given to refutations of the charges, but was this really a news issue, rightwinger mouth-breathing?

Can somebody at AP give this biatch another assignment besides covering Democrats running for president?

-jb

Bonk-didda-bonk-didda-bonk

Feb 23, 2008 in Journamalism

That’s the sound of this bouncing off the heads of the rightwing noise squads.

-jb

Holy shit, the pomposity of the NYT.

Jan 13, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism

Fer fuck’s sake…if this is the kind of shit you have to drudge up to defend hiring fiction-writer William Kristol as a columnist in the nation’s most respected editorial page, Clark Hoyt, then maybe you should quit before you embarrass yourself.

Of the nearly 700 messages I have received since Kristol’s selection was announced — more than half of them before he ever wrote a word for The Times — exactly one praised the choice.

Rosenthal’s mail has been particularly rough. “That rotten, traiterous [sic] piece of filth should be hung by the ankles from a lamp post and beaten by the mob rather than gaining a pulpit at ANY self-respecting news organization,” said one message. “You should be ashamed. Apparently you are only out for money and therefore an equally traiterous [sic] whore deserving the same treatment.”

Kristol would not have been my choice to join David Brooks as a second conservative voice in the mix of Times columnists, but the reaction is beyond reason. Hiring Kristol the worst idea ever? I can think of many worse. Hanging someone from a lamppost to be beaten by a mob because of his ideas? And that is from a liberal, defined by Webster as “one who is open-minded.” What have we come to?

700 e-mails, and Mr. Hoyt gives us that gem. The rationale for hiring a completely disgraced hack like Kristol? “Eh, we could have done worse.” Wow, no wonder you guys stay ahead of the pack.

The truth is, this is the kind of leeway conservatives have to be given. You have to grade them on the curve, compared only to other deranged rightwingers instead of objective standards of accuracy and insight.

Mr. Hoyt bothers noting that all this protest came, “before he ever wrote a word for The Times.” Quite true, Mr. Hoyt, quite true…but at what relevance? Kristol has a long history in print. Did we need to wait in suspense to see that he hasn’t changed his stripes? Should a person’s precedence not weigh in on the decision to give them such a platform?

I’m not the most street-smart person, but over the years I’ve learned to tell the difference between somebody explaining their honest beliefs versus just trying to hide the smell of their shit. It’s simply impossible that Mr. Hoyt is giving us the best, most honest explanation. He’s stuck in a corner, caught selling snake-oil. Honesty apparently wasn’t the instinctive choice.

-jb

How could anybody not know Scott McClellen was a paid liar?

Nov 20, 2007 in Journamalism, Politics

That’s the job description if you want to work for Team Bush. Stand up in front of the press and deliver material without any regard for its truth or falsity. With McClellan, he always acted like a terrible liar, somebody shifty and sweaty and stammering as he kept trying to paint a rosy picture of Bush II’s record like he was trying to hammer a nail with play dough. He knew he didn’t have the right tools or the right material, but he kept plodding on, a dutiful servant til the end, when he was put out of his bovine misery.

And, big surprise, now Scotty wants confess his sins.

The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

There was one problem. It was not true.

I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice President, the President’s chief of staff, and the president himself.

Well, Scotty, I’d say a compliant media sure helped you out, didn’t they? Those priviliged enough to enter the White House briefing room preened and fawned in front of Bush’s four press secretaries (or cower in front of Ari Fleischer when he told them to “watch what they say.”), no matter how blatantly they fibbed and told tall tales. McClellan would lie to them every day, then step down from the podium and shake hands and pat backs.

The U.S. people deserved better from the press, and of course they deserved better from McClellan rather than keeping shut until he got a book deal. We deserved McClellan ripping off his tie and delivering this speech:

-jb

I say, good man, that was certainly not too esoteric for the befuddled masses!

Nov 12, 2007 in Journamalism

Peter Beinart hands cartoonish rightwingers a welfare check:

His portrait of the rising conservative movement is a little cartoonish. There’s no question that corporate money and racial division played powerful roles, but to describe the early years of William F. Buckley’s National Review only by mentioning its support for segregation and admiration for Franco, with no mention of fusionism, isn’t worthy of someone of Mr. Krugman’s intellectual sophistication.

Yes, yes, he didn’t mention fusionism. How unsophisticated. Everybody’s got fusionism on their lips at the cocktail parties nowadays.

Looking up “fusionism” on Wikipedia produces this:

Fusionism is an American political term for the combination or “fusion” of libertarians and traditional conservatives in the American conservative movement.

Certainly relevant. But what could possibly lead one to believe Krugman doesn’t remember that there was an alliance between libertarians and anti-libertarian conservatives?

-jb

Ja, das stimmt.

Nov 11, 2007 in Economy, Housing Bubble, Journamalism

Well, I sure wish I knew what it would take for our country to develop some foresight. Our current version of “looking forward” has gotten us in Iraq, allowed profiteering to drive health care costs beyond our means, and passed massive credit reforms friendly to loan shark credit card companies while respectable members of the elite bellyache about the cost of fighting global warming. That is, of course, an incomplete list. If there’s anything we have planned well for, I’m not sure of it.

The housing meltdown is getting the attention, but there’s so much more. Bankruptcies and homelessness are on the rise. The job market has been weak for years. The auto industry is in trouble. The cost of food, gasoline and home heating oil are soaring at a time when millions of Americans are managing to make it from one month to another solely by the grace of their credit cards.

The country has been in denial for years about the economic reality facing American families. That grim reality has been masked by the flimflammery of official statistics (job growth good, inflation low) and the muscular magic of the American way of debt: mortgages on top of mortgages, pyramiding student loans and an opiatelike addiction to credit cards at rates that used to get people locked up for loan-sharking.

One of the joys of living in America is that we have a nearly useless punditry that works hard to create the experience of being on top of everything while offering next to nothing People like Bob Herbert who are out there digging up the bad news are both rare and ignored. While our news media does manage to record a number of facts available for searches and discerning readers, it has become so enmeshed with foul punditry one must struggle to unsnarl them. Mainstream media outlets have begun to grow dimly aware of encroaching challenges to America’s economy that neoliberal economic policies have engendered. Given the corporate structure of such entities, such a simple pronouncement becomes impossible for them to make, so they must pretend they have no idea what’s causing all this alarm.

There is really no excuse for The New York Times and the rest of the mainstream news media to not understand what is going on out there. The pervasive cluelessness is a symptom of another complex system out of whack — the system that informs us what’s going on. Meanwhile, the danger mounts. The heating season is underway and the furnaces are clanking. Many Americans will have to start choosing whether to pay their mortgage, fill the tank of the Chevy Suburban, buy that brick of Velveeta, or pay the heating oil guy. It looks like China will be spending more of its accumulated dollars bidding up the price of oil (or making favorable contracts with foreign suppliers) instead of buying Freddie Mac bonds. The USA could not find itself in a less favorable position among all these forces roiling the scene. It certainly can’t afford to continue its pathetic pose of cluelessness.

James Howard Kunstler inevitably sounds like a crank, yammering away at how the world is going to turn to shit, writing the book of Revelations for the suburbs via his books and blogging. He makes us feel grumpy and sad. Unfortunately, he is a crank only because fate proves him right every day. Kunstler has looked at the unique nature of oil and its fundamental importance to every facet of modern life, and extrapolated the logical consequences of it running out. They’re not easy to digest, definitely earning a rating of two Tums up.

I prefer Rolaids, but the pun called…

There are some who maintain that the country will simply be unable to react to a true energy shortage until it faces it, and then we’ll fucking grab ourselves by our invincible bootstraps and leap right over the problem. They’re half right.

-jb

Hillary did what?

Nov 02, 2007 in Clintonitis, Journamalism, Politics

I’m aware, as is about every organism on the planet, that it’s time for the wingers and the press to cuddle up and brew up more quasi-ethereal scandals against Hillary Clinton, but I honestly can’t figure out what the hell this article is about. It begins with a report of the Justice Department sniffing around donors, asking a Chinese woman if she was coerced to donate. Coerced? The woman said, “No,” and that was it.

Follow that up with several paragraphs about how Hillary Clinton has been playing it careful with donors, screening them and returning money to some citing “an abundance of caution.” Uh, okay.

In other words, there’s nothing new going on with Hillary whatsoever, but the Justice Department is bugging her donors asking them if they were coerced? Isn’t the thought that Bush’s “Justice” (slash Political Enforcement) Department is running around randomly investigating Clinton donors worth a “What the hell?” Wouldn’t a crack journalist trail that story further, instead of digging up anecdotes of people who weren’t citizens and didn’t get their checks returned and then titling the story, “Clinton’s Fundraiser Raises Questions”? We’re supposed to believe that IBP can’t keep track of who’s a citizen among their own workers, but Hillary Clinton is supposed to know from a check with a name on it?

Adam Goldman reported from New York and Jim Kuhnhenn reported from Washington.

Holy smokes, it took two monkeys to pull off this mess. They couldn’t have assigned a third one to cover the actual story here?

-jb

Tim Russert is incurable.

Oct 28, 2007 in Journamalism, Politics

He’s clearly forsaken reason to be a GOP goon. His history during the Bush years has been one of complete subservience, something like a staff employee. Tim Russert’s job is to let Dick Cheney come on and disseminate propaganda, and then invite on Democrats to throw every rightwing talking point against them. Chris Dodd is a respectable non-President who should remain so, but Tim Russert considers it “evidence” that Dodd has a website which is raising money for his campaign!!! OMZMIGAWD! Chris Dodd is using his words and actions as a Senator to justify his campaign for President. Good Lord…what will they think of next?

-jb

UPDATE: Oh, wait, that’s how all campaigns are run. Does Tim Russert not understand the strange magical beast that is internet fundraising?

What George W. Bush brings to government.

Oct 26, 2007 in Journamalism, Media

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.

“I’m very happy with FEMA’s response,” 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.

-jb

Your librul media.

Oct 15, 2007 in Journamalism

Since NPR stopped reporting on it, I just assumed that Myanmar became a model of freedom and democracy.   I guess not.  But I don’t care cuz I got Nobel fever!

-mg

Glenn Greenwald, AKA Beltway Bruiser

Oct 08, 2007 in Journamalism, Politics

Two nights ago I watched Ultimate Fighting Championship 70 (I’ve seen every single one), where Michael Bisping (Go England!) spent most of an entire round turning Elvis Sinosic’s face into hamburger.

Glenn Greenwald’s turn on Davids Broder and Ignatius, WaPo’s Worst-of-the-Beltway columnists, was slightly more brutal, and infinitely more elegant.

Both columns do nothing, literally, beyond mindlessly repeating what Bush loyalists have told them — in Broder’s case, the whole column simply recites what was told to him by RCCC Chair Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, and in Ignatius’s case, he does nothing but uncritically repeat what unnamed “senior administration officials” whispered into his grateful, flattered ear. There is not a critical thought expressed about any of it. Like the obedient puppets that they are, they simply adopt what they are told as their own opinions and then write it all down.

And therein lies the most important point: while the vast bulk of the country has reached the conclusion that the Bush-following Republicans are inept, dishonest and untrustworthy, the Beltway elite — joined only by the 30% Bush-following dead-enders — continues to view them as the truly Serious and Trustworthy adults, the ones whose knowledge deserves the highest respect and whose honesty, insight and good intentions merit blind faith. The Beltway conventional wisdom script continues to be written by the same Bush insiders who have been pulling their strings for the last six years.

One has to wonder how many members of the press in Washington can truly be that vapidly unconscious and pathetic. One thing is sure though, to be so is to guarantee continuing work. As Paul Krugman and many others including myself have noted, there has been no accountability for those who were wrong on Iraq, and in fact inside Washington you can still not be considered “serious” unless you were wrong. Those who were right have merited no wonderment or praise for their insight. The belief, amazingly, is that today’s revelations about Iraq are only due to facts that emerged since the beginning of the invasion, and in fact much of what was wrong with Iraq was its execution, not the original idea. The original idea was very good, very “serious,” and nothing that happened since can be pinned on those who supported it. Amazingly, after the nation has decided that the Iraq War wasn’t such a hot idea in the first place, those most prescient are still considered wrong.

I’m aware that ego is as much of a driving force behind most intellectual espousing as logic or incentives. But this has entered the realm of farce. How Broder and Ignatius can wake up each morning and not feel their folly smothering their thought processes is mysterious, and yet so common. Elites they certainly are not, but rather fleshy old fools, who will not stop until stopped.

-jb

The mob mentality of the press.

Oct 01, 2007 in Journamalism

Eric Boehlert:

The simple, yet apparently elusive, truth is that CBS’ report on Bush and the National Guard could have (and should have) been broadcast without the controversial memos. And if it had been, the results would have been exactly the same. Meaning, the documents were irrelevant because they provided texture (the supposed frustration of Bush’s commander), not new facts about Bush’s service. Yet journalists pretend the memos are the National Guard story and that without them, questions about Bush’s military dodge disappear. Why do they think that?

Some weird fear of the rightwing-o-sphere, the soundbite culture, the threat of a bad seat at the White House press briefing…who knows? Stories full of holes about John Kerry ruled the airwaves, and yet one questionable supplementary text made the issue of Bush’s delinquent military service moot. It would be understandable within the addled mind of a rightwinger, but unfortunately the press has long had double standards for veracity depending on their assessment of the power playing field.

-jb

Nedra Pickler must never write about Democrats again.

Aug 10, 2007 in Journamalism, Politics

I have NO goddamn clue why Nedra Pickler (I mentioned her before here) keeps her Associated Press job, but why she gets to keep writing hit-piece articles on Democrats year after year demands rectification! It’s about time to hire the A-team to go after whatever editor keeps assigning her to write articles about Democratic candidates.

Her latest target: John Edwards. Now I don’t really give a rat’s ass about Edwards’ campaign. As far as I’m concerned, he couldn’t beat Kerry in 2004, he couldn’t bring in his home state, he looked like a scared puppy at a loss for words going up against an easy target like Dick Cheney, and he freakin’ resigned his Senator job after one term…in other words, he’s over. Running in ’08 is just ridiculous, when absolutely nothing happened since ’04, except that he barely stopped campaigning.

All that aside, that’s still no reason to endorse another classic pile of junk from Nedra Pickler, pretending to be some objective analyst. This about made me go find some food to spit out:

Anger can be a tricky emotion for a politician. In 2004, Howard Dean was known as the angry candidate and it proved to be part of his downfall.

Well, I was going to fire off some rounds at Nedra, but I’ll be damned if every single article of hers I looked up from 2003/2004 on Dean is in oblivion. Go ahead, try to find one. ABC, WaPo, Yahoo…and you’d think AP articles would be sprinkled all over…and every time I got, “Article not found.” Did the AP do some scrubbing? Beats me, though if I were a rightwing blogger I’d declare it fact.

Anyway, Nedra’s already had her little shot at Obama, and now Salon demonstrates that Nedra’s up to the same tricks with Edwards.

Could the AP please be bothered to stop letting Nedra Pickler cover Democrats? The Associated Press supposed to be transparent, authors are supposed to be invisible and merely convey the news, but Nedra Pickler keeps trying to make the news (earning the wrath of Atrios…scan the whole page). Time for the woman to get “human interest stories” duty covering church restorations and new ideas in gardening, and for the AP to quit impersonating the Fox Opinion Channel.

-jb

Oof…

Aug 09, 2007 in Journamalism

Stephen Bainbridge fails to understand that the press is indeed the fourth estate, with a duty to perform that no democracy can survive without.

Fallows’ claim that it’s “obvious” that journalism isn’t a regular business is precisely the sort of hubris that leads journalists to think of themselves as some sort of fourth branch of government, with a mandate to act as an ombudsman for society. It would be silly, if it were not so pernicious.

Gee, where did people get that silly idea?

The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.

-Thomas Jefferson

Or…

Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all. It is not a figure of speech, or witty saying; it is a literal fact, — very momentous to us in these times…Printing, which comes necessarily out of Writing, I say often, is equivalent to Democracy: invent Writing, Democracy is inevitable. Writing brings Printing; brings universal everyday extempore Printing, as we see at present. Whoever can speak, speaking now to the whole nation, becomes a power, a branch of government, with inalienable weight in law-making, in all acts of authority. It matters not what rank he has, what revenues or garnitures. The requisite thing is, that he have a tongue which others will listen to; this and nothing more is requisite. The nation is governed by all that has tongue in the nation: Democracy is virtually there.

-Thomas Carlyle (1841)

To the extent that our journalists are pressured and shaped to basically sell advertising, our democracy is perverted. That Bainbridge finds this “silly” reflects a true lack of seriousness and execrable corporate worship.

-jb

Give me a break.

Jul 04, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism

Karen DeYoung of The Washington Post writes: 

The next terrorist assault on the United States is likely to come through relatively unsophisticated, near-simultaneous attacks — similar to those attempted in Britain over the weekend — designed more to provoke widespread fear and panic than to cause major losses of life, U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials believe.

Who is more responsible for the knock-kneed, pearl clutching than cable news?  Maybe if Scotland Yard found fifty pounds of Semtex in an old beat-up Mercedes we’d have cause for concern but CNN and the like are treating these amateurs like criminal masterminds.  The Brits can handle these situations with some dignity.  Why can’t we?

-mg 

Owy Stingey.

Jul 03, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism, Uncategorized

I hurt my back in a boating incident. I’ll be back soon.

-mg

PS>  A note to the simpering Republican bloggers and the trembling media; a full can of gasoline is not a bomb.

Fair enough.

Jun 24, 2007 in Journamalism, Politics

Did you know most reporters vote Democrat? That’s why there’s liberal bias, right? Ever since corporate boards mangling news into infotainment were banned by law, all rightward influence has been eradicated.

Unfortunately, many reporters give money to candidates, which certainly seems to me like it can cost more than it accompishes. Wouldn’t any reporter, whether giving to Democrat or Republican, take that money back to avoid a story like this?

Whether you sample your news feed from ABC or CBS (or, yes, even NBC and MSNBC), whether you prefer Fox News Channel or National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal or The New Yorker, some of the journalists feeding you are also feeding cash to politicians, parties or political action committees.

MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.

Of course, what Republicans can’t seem to grok is that when it comes to worshipfulness of power, the media elite who vote Democrat compromise. They like gays, don’t see criminalizing abortion as a solution, leave corporate/public issues alone, got hornswaggled by Iraq, and more or less understand that now (feet held to the fire by bloggers), if still covering their asses whenever possible. But they’ll gladly do it all again if “our Commander in Chief” requires us to “support the troops” so that he can get a new war, and they’ll ever be the corporate media.

I really don’t know why CNN doesn’t experiment with ditching the personality gab-fests and doing straight-up pure journalism with style. Think 60 Minutes, 24 hours a day. Make people fucking CARE about the shit that’s on page 15 of the papers. Don’t repeat 4 minutes of material 15 times an hour, get 22 and 44 minute up blocks up there.

Somehow, I imagine the world contains enough stories to cover.

And it is fair to expect journalists who write about politics and editors to avoid political contributions. I just hope they can pull off voluntary bans without barring Will Shortz (editor of the NYT crossword puzzle) from making political donations.

-jb

“Radical” al-Sadr calls for peace, tolerance.

May 26, 2007 in Iraq, Journamalism, Religion

Anytime you read a mention of Muqtada al-Sadr like bacon and eggs the word radical is going to be tagging along with it. There are a lot of ways to interpret the word radical but I’m assuming that when it’s used in conjunction with a Muslim it’s being used primarily in a pejorative sense since I seriously doubt that they’re referring to his “radical” skateboarding skillz. Here’s a list of some of his “radical” teaching from his last sermon in Kufa:

“Pay attention: This is an important point,” he said. “As far as I know, the occupation is behind this, creating an excuse for it to stay in our beloved Iraq. So don’t give it a reason, please.”

Calling the message a fatwa, al-Sadr said that “any fighting between the brothers is not allowed and [is] forbidden as long as they follow the good and reject the wrong. I advise the dear brothers in the Mehdi Army to resort to peaceful choices if they are attacked by the weak souls.” …

He said he is ready to cooperate with Sunnis and welcomes them. …

He also urged protection of minorities in Iraq, namely Christians. …

Al-Sadr has been supportive of al-Maliki’s government and helped him become prime minister last year.

It’s obvious from the above that the Mad Mullah al-Sadr has done lost his mind!!!

So what’s so radical about the above? He’s merely echoing the same concerns shared by a vast majority of Iraqis.

-mg

We’re going to attack Iran.

May 24, 2007 in Foreign Policy, Iran, Journamalism, Uncategorized

Or so The Blotter would have us believe according to their latest expose of the super-secret leak that may or may not have been given to them by a very knowledgeable source!!! These “leaks” are intentional overtures along the same lines as Darth Cheney slumping over a lectern on the deck of an aircraft carrier. The covert “black” operation in question is supposedly a move aimed at destabilizing the Iranian government. Ironically, feeding media “leaks” like this is a way in which the CIA plans on destabilization by way of keeping Iranians scared shitless of an imminent foreign threat. If you can find anything in the feature that is anything beyond the obvious then please, let us know. (My God, if the CIA wasn’t trying to track down the clandestine weapons finance channels of it’s enemies then we’d have a problem!)

The best part of feature is by far the comments section! Check it:

If it was a secret, it isn’t any longer. I will turn off ABC News and never watch again.

I consider ABC News Traders to the United States

Posted by: David Reid | May 22, 2007 6:36:30 PM

Isn’t this type of reporting TREASON!!!! * Where’s the responsibility for the good of the country? This is disgusting! What are you thinking????

Posted by: Robert Lipps | May 22, 2007 6:40:50 PM

Hey if you love Iran and hate the United States leave!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: stephen | May 22, 2007 7:34:09 PM

-mg

UPDATE: Same goes for the parade the Navy put on today through the Strait of Hormuz.  Why are they betraying our positions!??!?!

UPDATE II: Guess who didn’t waste any time in getting indignant over a phony “classified” story! These self-absorbed conservatives can’t resist an opportunity to wrap themselves up in the flag.

Editors note: Robert Lipps uses all caps because when he writes treason he really means it!

Mitt Romney

May 10, 2007 in Journamalism

Very unpopular.  But try telling that to the news crews.  They think he walks on water.  Their devotion is understandable when you take into consideration that he’s got pots of money.  Gold is shiny and that’s one of the only things that the talking heads can wrap their brains around.

-mg

Think your job sucks?

Apr 28, 2007 in Journamalism, Librulz

You could be Mark Knoller. It was his job to come up with a hastily cobbled together “rebuttal” to last nights special with Bill Moyers regarding the well documented (liberal) media capitulation to the White House Iraq war marketing campaign. Knoller and his comb-over mail in a few examples of “tough” questions asked at the featured March 6th, 2003 press conference. Of course if you saw the documentary you would know that regardless of the questions asked the press conference was admittedly and openly scripted. George even makes one of his typically ham-fisted jokes about it. Taken out of context these questions may seem as if they had some traction but to characterize them as hard-hitting is completely disingenuous and kinda funny, really. When a question is asked to elicit an expected response the tenor and substance lose all relevancy.

Those in the press who still remember what journalistic standards are know full well they failed their duties. Unfortunately the disciples of Broder still run free.

-mg

How to be a hack.

Apr 24, 2007 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism, Librulz, Media, Uncategorized

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.

Bill Moyers, a man I greatly respect, could make fifty television programs like this and it wouldn’t matter. Rush Limbaugh would open page 15C from the Bucketsville Examiner in Longmont, Arkabama and point to a community college blurb about sensible lawn fertilizer use and proclaim to millions how it is proof that Marxists have taken over the country.

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!)

-mg

AP Finds Documents On U.S. Atrocities in Korea in 1950

Apr 15, 2007 in Journamalism

The Liberal Media ™ is in an uproar over the uncovering of military documentation of war crimes violations during the Korean war.

Well, not really.  I mean, yes, the allegations are true.  U.S. soldiers regularly and repeatedly massacred refugees at the behest of top brass but that part about the media being in an uproar I made up.  Two outlets have picked up the story so far; CBS (it’s somewhere on their website, couldn’t find it from the front page, found it on Google) and Editor and Publisher.

Those familiar with Korean War history wont find the above too surprising since  MacArthur and McNaughton were always staunch supporters of the bombings of dikes and dams to induce widespread starvation and disease, a crime punishable by hanging at Nuremberg.  And by that I mean both the lack of media attention to and the breath-taking brutality of the No Gun Ri incident linked to above.

-mg

What kind of lazy stenographer bastards-

Jan 27, 2007 in Journamalism, Media

What’s this bullshit, man?

A disputed report on the Web site of a conservative magazine about Senator Barack Obama’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 News’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?

-jb

UPDATE:  The NYT finally realizes it’s okay to call a debunked report a debunked report.  And they actually bring up the Rev. Sun Myung Moon!  Here’s a peek at how Insight knows when it has a verified story:

“The reporter has to give his or her word that, ‘It is solid, Jeff,’ ” Mr. Kuhner said.

I swears on da Precious!

This is not news.

Oct 01, 2006 in Journamalism

From the “No shit” department:

As depicted by Mr. Woodward, this is an administration in which virtually no one will speak truth to power, an administration in which the traditional policy-making process involving methodical analysis and debate is routinely subverted. He notes that experts — who recommended higher troop levels in Iraq, warned about the consequences of disbanding the Iraqi Army or worried about the lack of postwar planning— were continually ignored by the White House and Pentagon leadership, or themselves failed, out of cowardice or blind loyalty, to press insistently their case for an altered course in the war.

Wow, thanks for the bulletin, Woodward.  Who would have ever thought?  But I guess it amounts to one more “serious” person finally figuring out what leprous liberals have known for four years and expecting a pat on the head for it.  How close are we to having all the “right” people on board?

-jb

p.s. Woodward does get a pat on the head for revealing a meeting the 9/11 commission wasn’t told about.  Turns out Bush had a chance to nail bin Laden before the attacks and didn’t!

The Wall Street Journal editorial board are a bunch of pansies.

Jul 09, 2006 in Clueless Conservatives, Journamalism, Uncategorized

As JB has pointed out before, it’s essential for conservatives to keep making noise regardless of how embarrasingly wrong they might be. Such is the case concerning the story related to the Bush administration’s bank activity tracing schemes that was run concurrently by several news outlets including the Wall Street Journal who, after running their own version of the story on the same day as the Times, later went on the offensive claiming on their Op-Ed page that the NYT doesn’t take the “war on terror” seriously.

Frank Rich of the NYT has written a scathing rebuttal of the WSJ* editorial suggesting that this latest maneuver by the White House is a flacid attempt to roll back the clock to the good old days when Ari Fleischer could openly intimidate journalists who stepped out of line:

Rich observed that “The Journal’s journalists were doing their job with their usual professionalism. But by twisting this history, the Journal editorial page was sending an unsubtle shot across the bow, warning those in the newsroom (and every other newsroom) that their patriotism would be impugned, as The Times’s had been, if they investigated administration conduct in wartime in ways that displeased the White House.

“Any fan of The Journal’s news operation expects it to stand up to this bullying. But the nastiness of the Journal editorial is a preview of what we can expect from the administration and all of its surrogates this year.

“The trouble is we have plenty to worry about. For all the airy talk about the First Amendment, civil liberties and Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Swift story and the National Security Agency surveillance story before it, there’s an urgent practical matter at stake, too. Now more than ever, after years of false reports of missions accomplished, the voters need to do what Congress has failed to do and hold those who mismanage America’s ever-expanding war accountable for their performance in real time….

“We can believe that reporters, rather than terrorists, are the villains. We can debate whether traitorous editors should be sent to gas chambers or merely tarred and feathered.

“Or we can hope that the press will rise to the occasion and bring Americans more news we can use, not less, at a perilous time when every piece of information counts.”

The issue can’t possibly be about revealing state secrets since the Wall Street Journal and other outlets published the same information and only the New York Times has been chastised. The real issue here is whether or not the government can dictate what newspapers print. Furthermore, is this administration really as concerned about the public’s well-being as their posturing suggests or are they only interested in message-control? This latest stunt they’ve pulled regarding the Swift story suggests the later. The NYT was targeted because the “New York Times are Librul Commies!” meme has been a long accepted orthodox of the mouth-breathing right and putting the mark on them would only serve to reinforce and agitate the faithful. This is especially critical because you want people to be immediately concerned about the barbarians at the gate and not about whether or not those in charge are doing a good enough job of preventing them from attacking in the first place.

-mg
*quoted article from Editor and Publisher cuz I don’t have one of them fancy NYT ‘scrips.