Tag Archives: Cable News

And this is why Florida’s (!) Marco Rubio gets away with saying such stupid stuff

Truth be told though, I think his latest and very vigorous climate change denial (‘climate changes all the time”) is going to come back and bite him in his soft ass.

From the venerable Union of Concerned Scientists:


Oh honestly Roger . . .

You’re not even pretending anymore or you’ve run out of graphic magic tricks.

Fox graphics intern was told there'd be no math.

Everything is Newt Gingrich’s fault

And I mean everything. Whatever veneer of civility existed in the US Congress was very deliberately extinguished in 1994 by Newt Gingrich when he instructed his caucus that their Democratic colleagues were no longer ‘the opposition’. They were ‘the enemy’.

After that, and after being tossed out by his own party just a few years later, and after a few more wives, and after a near bankruptcy or two, and after a vanity campaign for president, and after being hired by CNN – proving their irrelevance once again – to resurrect the reviled show Crossfire (perfect casting, I must say), comes now his call for John Kerry to resign as Secretary of State. Because climate change you know.

There’s no getting rid of this guy.



I hope, at least, that Andrea Mitchell is embarassed

Meant to note: heeeeere’s Al Jazeera – aiming to be what CNN should have been

Launched today and we should all wish them luck. It’ll be nice to have a real news channel on cable. We’ll see. Should be okay as long as they keep it Wolf Blitzer free.

FOX News – where embarrasment is foreign, and a star is born

As this story says (video at the link) this is the single most cringe-worthy interview ever.

The author here, Reza Aslan, has been interviewed extensively on C-Span’s Booknotes, PBS’ News Hour, the BBC and dozens of other outlets. So why not FOX? This is why – and lesson learned. Don’t bother next time Reza, unless you’re game for providing the rest of us with something to fill in the time while Jon Stewart is away.

 Fox News anchor Lauren Green* had religious scholar Reza Aslan on her FoxNews.com show Friday to talk about Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, his book that has been stirring up some online controversy recently. And right off the bat, Green gets to what is important: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” Aslan seemed a little flabbergasted: “Well, to be clear, I am a scholar of religions with four degrees, including one in the New Testament, and fluency in biblical Greek, who has been studying the origins of Christianity for two decades, who also just happens to be a Muslim.”*

But Green just wouldn’t let it go: “It still begs the question though, why would you be interested in the founder of Christianity?” Aslan then starts talking to Green slowly, as if she were a child: “Because it’s my job as an academic. I am a professor of religion, including the New Testament. That’s what I do for a living, actually.” But Green insisted, accusing him of failing to “disclose” that he’s a Muslim and at one point asking him about a stupefying claim on whether a Muslim writing a book on Jesus isn’t sort of like a Democrat writing a book on former president Ronald Reagan.

Dear god (by which I mean the one of the Hebrews, Christians and Muslims. That one.)

*And she’s not even blonde!

Giggle . . .

I’m going with sexy in a boy/girl kind of way

Over at Buzzfeed, responding to the urgent yet eternal need to fill space with any and all arcana the little webloggers can think up . . . they’ve morphed everyone’s favorite cable talking heads so we have an O’Reilly/Maddow, an S.E. Cupp/Toure (one of the better ones) and on . . . missing from the fun are Matthews, Hannity, a few others. Here’s my favorite – it really works!


Who is authoring this new character, “Joe Scarborough”

In the last recent months, credible media have begun treating Joe Scarborough as a serious thinker with something to say. He’s penning op-eds in The New York Times and The Washington Post and appearing on Sunday news (not a high standard, but he’s there).

joe scarMost recently he engaged in an infamous exchange with Paul Krugman on the Charlie Rose show where, as if hosting the Tim Matthews Memorial Wanna-Be Gottcha’ Competition, he went after Krugman in an unusual and nearly hostile exchange. (Rose usually keeps that sort of argument from developing because his audience isn’t into it. But he didn’t that night.)

I watch Morning Joe if I watch morning TV (hey, it’s a step up from Honey Boo Boo, so give me credit for that). What I’ve seen, regularly, is the Scarborough routine wherein he instantly adopts as his own whatever his guest has just said. He does this almost every day. And heads around the table nod. Irksome.

And now this escalation, so I ask: what outside entity is creating this new persona. Who is crafting – maybe for network TV, maybe for politics yet again – the 2013 edition of Joe Scarborough? Because I don’t think he’s steering that ship.

Let us entertain you

This exchange is from a chat below with Jim Wheeler on the state of the media. I’m sharing it here because my reply to Jim pretty much summarizes my  own evaluation of the current state of TV “news”.  (Also because copy/paste is this lazy woman’s way of posting some thoughts even from my current land of Unbloggistan.) I agree with everything Jim said.

JIM: Faux News is solidly in the grip of conservative politicians, and those politicians are solidly in the grip of corporations. That includes not only the Military Industrial Complex and the Medical Industrial Complex, but also Big Energy, a,k.a. Big Oil and Big Coal. Thus we are seeing the ramifications of the Citizens United SCOTUS decision made real in what we used to think of as television journalism but which has now become a form of corporate oligarchy. Profit trumps environment and the future is never more than one fiscal quarter away.

MOE: The traditional network news shows are just shells, filling their 21 minutes a night with a few headlines, some syndicated video and a few press releases from the likes of Big Pharma or the military about cool new things. CNN is useless; they simply do an awful job (and until they remove Wolf Blitzer from the air, I cannot watch). FOX, as you say, is indeed in a class by itself, happily acting as transmitter of whatever meme suits that oligarchy. And of course, changing the narrative as instructed and  doing it with absolute aplomb. MSNBC started out well, but seem now to be doing the ‘outrage of the day’, all day. Even so, they still have some good shows, Chris Hayes weekend show being the very best because it’s’ not the same old people, and is always about things that aren’t talked about elsewhere.

That said, my secret vice is still Chris Matthews. I cannot quit him. He’s frequently fact-challenged or ignorant of the current state of a story, but the guy is passionate, loves politics, loves the minutia of government and knows his political history unlike anyone else on air. I forgive him a great deal because of that.

Ultimately, we agree that since the majority of people get their information from TV, it’s not looking to good for the future – an ignorant citizenry, no sense of civics . . . it’s all Monday Niight Football.

Need some entertainment? FOX News has it for you now!

They never disappoint. I’m told the Dow Jones started tanking minutes after Roberts announced the Cout’s decision.

I misseed Napolitano but he’ll be back. Can’t wait.

Zacharia scrapes bottom of pundit barrel on Memorial Day weekend

Why was Peggy Noonan making sense this morning? That doesn’t make sense.

Maybe she just looked good, sharing, as she did, the pundit table with this sorry collection:

  • Ross Douthat, The NY Times’ least deserving op-ed hire of all time
  • Bill Keller, former Exec Editor of the The NY Times (big morning for the Old Grey Lady!) and legend-in-his-own-mind and probably the guy who hired Douthat
  • Chrystia Freeland of Reuters online, a teenager through and through – not surprising I guess from a woman saddled with such a precious name. Also shrill.


Lou Dobbs channels Glenn Beck

Joy returns to TV! It is no longer the terrible, lonely wasteland it became after Glenn Beck left us. Because now, Lou Dobbs has taken up the chalk and returned to  the FOX blackboard. Really.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

People like Howard Kurtz still take these guys seriously.

For some reason, I remembered this old post today and feel compelled to repost.  Memories . . .

. . . whenever (which is often) FOX News is accused of faking their journalism, they get all weak with the vapors. At which point ‘media critics’, the ones still allowed on television anyway (I’m looking at you Howard Kurtz, the most ethically challenged of them all), remind their viewers and readers that MSNBC and CNN and some other elvis-forsaken entity do it too! After all. To be fair. You know.

Ever seen CNN do this?

“During a segment in which Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe ”attack dogs,” Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered . . .”

Here’s a screenshot from Fox & Friends –  what Fox used is on the right; the original actual photos on the left.

It’s too easy. Really.


You just know this is exactly how it would go

Just picked this up at Under The Mountain Bunker, a new favorite stop on the regular blogtour.

In defense of Pat Buchanan

For a long time, old Uncle Pat Buchanan has been my favorite misogynistic anti-Semite. And credit where it’s due: he is definitely America’s most polite racist. Pat lives happily in Leave-It-To-Beaver-land, where the men are strong, the women know it and the children say thank you. They’re all nice and white, go to Church together on Sunday and then, for a treat,  have breakfast at Howard Johnson’s.

Ole’ Pat, second left, back in ‘the day’

For years, he’s been a regular panelist on MSNBC shows but now they want Pat to go away and stay in his own yard,  because his new book has offensive chapter titles.

They can make a case for their actions. I know that. Even though there’s nothing new here. He’s been called ‘racist’ and ‘homophobic’ and ‘anti semitic’ on air many times – because he is. But he was not brought on air to speak for their brand or their network (were that the case, it would have been an entirely different thing);  he was put on air to provide political commentary. And in that, he is one of the best.

So I’m pissed off this time: warts and all, Buchanan is one of the few in cable-TV land who isn’t entirely enthralled with himself and who is not vapid. He is also one of the sharpest political observers in cable land. He has keen insights and his institutional memory of American history – political and otherwise – is sharp and always at hand. He is classically educated, a rarity in teevee land, and that informs his commentary as well.

I don’t need MSNBC to insulate me from Buchanan. I can separate the baby from the bath water just fine. And I’ll wager so can other viewers.

UPDATE: Buchanan has an explanatory column up at The American Conservative. Quite a few commenters, many of htem liberals, agree with me. This one is pretty representative:

Paulo, on February 17th, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

As a good Progressive, gay man I happen to disagree with Mr. Buchanan almost constantly. I do however buy his books and on the rare occasions when I wander into the cesspit of cable news I listen to his opinions. He makes me think rather and in this soundbite driven would that is a true gift.

When I walk away from a Buchanan argument I feel called to do my homework, to iron out and resolve my moral and political stances in response to his critiques. I have seen enough value in this that I use his book on WWII as critical reading for a small history class I teach. As I tell my students “Disagree, I do! Now go out and tell me why.”

I am deeply saddened that he has fallen victim to a PC witch hunt on the left in the ongoing tit for tat. I expect another left wing thinker will soon fall in retaliation.  Exceptionally sad and I plan on telling my local HRC coordinators exactly that.

Halloweengate: here we go again

There’s really nothing that doesn’t outrage certain elements of the right wing noise machine. Here’s a screen grab from memorandum today. If you’re not familiar with this particular website, it provides a running aggregation of political news. Note the media sites that listed (“Discussion”) who’ve seized on this newest manufactured scandal:

Apparently the presence of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton is the reason for angst. Politico provides context:

“This was an event for local school children from the Washington DC area and for hundreds of military families. If we wanted this event to be a secret, we probably wouldn’t have invited the press corps to cover it, release photos of it to Flickr, or post a video from it on the White House website,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. “Even Johnny Depp’s fans knew about it and posted on their website. . . .

The official White House social media releases and the reporter pool dispatches from the party do not mention either Burton or Depp, but the Depp fan site JohnnyDeppNews.com reported that the actor was in attendance with Burton. And the Nashville Tennessean also reported that both Depp and Burton were at the White House for the party. Then-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the event in his briefing, but did not go into any detail.

Expect FOX News to devote several segments to this tonight.

Because someone has to

Oh, the things I subject myself to . . . Greta Vam Sustren interviewed Mr. Limbaugh of Palm Beach last night. I’m listening now: in the first half, the Greta asked a single question and Limbaugh talked for 27 uninterrupted minutes (who else, besides a President, gets half an hour without commercials)?

Another ten minutes in, and Greta has managed to ask two entire questions — an easy interview for her, no prep necessary. Aha! Now, at last we have our first commercial.

I won’t bother with the final minutes – I think I’ve got the take-away down:

Flash! the Democrat Party (not Democratic, their actual name, because an insult is intended) and the mainstream media are the cause of every ill this nation has suffered since WWII, as well as the reason marriage rates are down despite his own valiant effort to prop the numbers up.

I knew that.

How will we know when FOX jumps the shark?

FOX News has a long glorious history of making ‘errors’ in their cryons and headlines – a remarkable number for a network so respected for the ferocity of their fact checkers.

Although this one comes late in the year, I’ll call it the clear winner for their 2011 Dirty Rotten Lie award. Look at the March 8.8% data point. See how it’s much lower than the November 8.6% datapoint? And how that one is on the same axis as October’s 9%?

Anyone who has ever made charts knows you use software which don’t allow for these types of errors. You enterz the numbers and your software friend puts it in the right place – unless you override it. Which they had to have done.

(They could use a new graphic designer too – that’s one sorry looking chart. )

How did I miss this? But of course!



In his Batmobile!

(h/t Dependable Renegade)

Speaking of Glenn Beck

. . . which I was, if you count saying (two posts below) that he doesn’t matter anymore. Anyway, speaking of Glenn . . .

// Goldline, a company that used endorsements from Glenn Beck and other conservative icons to sell hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers, has been charged with theft and fraud in a 19-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday by local officials in California.

. . . marks the latest in a series of allegations leveled against the gold dealer, which pioneered the practice of weaving its sales pitches into broadcasts by popular conservative political personalities — including two former presidential candidates — to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of gold every year.

The complaint alleges that Goldline “runs a bait and switch operation in which customers, seeking to invest in gold bullion, are switched to highly overpriced coins by using false and misleading claims,” according to a statement released by the consumer affairs division of the Santa Monica City Attorney’s office.

I grabbed this little something from Goldline’s website; I’m sure Beck’s lawyers are screeching their outrage even now, insisting it be taken down – even though I thought I once heard Glenn say that Jesus wanted us to buy from Goldline.

American television news is so over, we have to go to Al-Jazeera and El Arabia for news of our own wars

American broadcast and cable news operations don’t even bother anymore, not even in the traditional 6:30 pm network news slot, once the ‘big boy’. The final word. The program elevated by Walter Cronkite (CBS) and Chet Huntley and David Brinkley (ABC NBC – thanks Don) and someone on ABC (who was it before Birnkley moved over?).

Those shows now run perhaps 19 or 22 minutes, of which they devote a precious few to reminding us who they are and how great they are and thank each other for doing such a great job while letting us know, breathlessly, that every interview is ‘exclusive’. I even heard Brian Williams recently refer to their reporter in Libya as ‘the only network broadcast reporter in the square right now”. which meant that maybe ABC and CBS were taking a bathroom break. But no matter, heady stuff anyway – for them.

After all the chest thumping, they spend perhaps 6 or 7 minutes on the ‘news’ of the day (which this week includes updates on the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor.) And finally, there is a ‘report’ on some new weapon or medical breakthrough or cute animal – most of these appear to be video press releases.

The cables do a little real news, but mostly they opt for that cheap-to-produce stuff featuring poorly informed – but insistent – gasbags, opining on the political matters of the day.

Today, that is what passes for the news on American television. (There are exceptions of course – PBS News Hour,  Fareed Zacharia on CNN and – only occasionally anymore – 60 Minutes. I’ll add my own local news – they often do a very decent job.)

And then there’s the BBC. The venerable British Broadcasting Company is serious about reporting and committed to informing their viewers, listeners and readers. Look at this from their website. Now that’s committment – one click brings the world to the world.

As it was, is, and always will be

Now that Chris Christie has broken their hearts and screwed with their programming plans, our celebrity blabberer class have moved on to Herman Cain, who himself is presently strutting around believing his own press.

Cain will go down. Perry will go down. The rest will go down, except Mitt Romney, who will win. That is all.

Wolf Blitzer – still making my teeth hurt

I spare myself the agony of actually watching this guy, but today Bartcop brings us some choice Blitzkreigs from last night.

“Let’s go now to the former Reagan Presidential Library.”

“When we come back, we’ll talk with a former Vietnam Veteran.”

The most annoying man in news.

And so does MSNBC

I am (or rather, I was) listening to Ron Reagan and an ‘expert’ talk about the observed behavior of the animals at the Washington Zoo yesterday. They are talking about how the animals ‘react’ and are ‘reacting’ and about their ‘reactions’. (Poor cable nets – they’re reaching because they were disappointed the earthquake wasn’t severe enough to warrant a week’s coverage.)

The news is not that the animals reacted to the earthquake. The news they were trying so hard to cover (and failing) was that the animals ‘anticipated’, with ‘anticipation’. Animals, vertebrate and other, can sense impending events like earthquakes and tsunamis. Most of us already know that.

Teh stupid, it still hurts!! I guess the quiet place is still there if I need it.

Wolf Blitzer is a fool

The man makes my teeth hurt. As here, where his obsequious acceptance of Trump treating him like lower staff, makes CNN look as foolish as this ‘anchor’  who appears to be on air 8 days a week.

FOX News screenshot – just like the New York Post

They all got the memo.

Follow the red arrow to find the News Corp hacking story.


Pet peeve: protestations of equivalency

People / things I love to kick when they’re down.

  • Sarah Palin
  • Fox News
  • other Palins

Anyway,  on with it: whenever (which is often) FOX News is accused of faking their journalism, they get all weak with the vapors. At which point ‘media critics’, the ones still allowed on television anyway (I’m looking at you Howard Kurtz), remind their viewers and readers that MSNBC and CNN and some other elvis-forsaken entity do it too! After all. To be fair. You know.

It’s nonsense of course. Here’s an oldie but goodie. Ever seen CNN do this? Such good times:

During a segment in which Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade labeled New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe “attack dogs,” Fox News featured photos of Steinberg and Reddicliffe that appeared to have been digitally altered . . ..

Here’s a screenshot of photo Fox & Friends used for Steinberg, with the actual photo on the left.






And here’s Reddcliffe.