LOOKING FOR LIFE BEYOND CABLE NEWS AND FINDING THAT RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both.
- Louis Brandeis
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
- Chinese Proverb
Well, look who came to dinner!
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Tag Archives: CNN
Bit the first: Why do I turn on Fox News? Why?
Right now, they are covering:
- rallies at strip malls all around the country for Gun Appreciation Day and
- threats on the life of the prez of NRA which, as reported by Fox, are likely the fault of President Obama because he’s been mean and demonizing the NRA. (Well, that’s obvious!)
Kind of nice how Gun Appreciation Day falls on the MLK Holiday weekend, isn’t it.
Bit the second: in news from my old backyard, a cross-dressing Monsignor in Bridgeport CT has been arrested for dealing crystal meth. He had been pastor at the Catholic Cathedral there before he resigned last summer.
Since his resignation, he has been receiving a stipend from the Diocese and they had intended to keep paying it until:
. . . reading in the Connecticut Post that Wallin, 61, is accused by federal authorities of making so much money from selling the drug that he purchased an adult sex shop in North Haven named The Land of Oz to launder the money, Wallace said the diocese may stop the payments.
May stop paying him. May.
Sources with knowledge of the case told the Connecticut Post that while pastor, Wallin was observed dressing as a woman and was visited in his residence by men dressed as women who performed sex acts with him in the cathedral’s rectory. The sources said an assortment of sex toys was found in Wallin’s residence.
I guess Mother Church can be allowed a sigh of relief on that particular. It, at least, was consensual.
And bit the third: CNN has been covering the Inauguration since early this morning from a cold outdoor location facing the Capital. Because you can’t grab a seat too early. Or because they think it’s the Superbowl maybe?
That’s kind of comforting actually. Seeing CNN be CNN reminds me that some of the world’s silliness has survived the world’s madness.
. . . .a one-stop channel for key political moments from now through the upcoming U.S. election day on November 6. You can watch all of the live speeches from the floor of the upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions, see Google+ Hangouts with power brokers behind the scenes, and watch a live stream of the official Presidential and Vice Presidential debates. You won’t need to go anywhere else for the must-watch moments of this election cycle . . . videos from politicians and parties, plus a diverse range of news organizations—both established names in media and sought-after new voices—are sharing their coverage . . . from the conventions to the debates to election night.
They’ll offer live and on-demand stuff from ABC, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Univsion . . .
I enjoy Jack Cafferty’s rants on CNN, but see them only on youtube these days as one needs to pass through the Blitzer to get to Cafferty. Listen to what he said this week:
If you refuse to believe your car is leaking oil, the car will break. And the cost will be high.
They’re cheapening the process of choosing nominees for the office of President of the United States perhaps beyond redemption. It is now The Gladiator. Or perhaps The Running Man.
Nice job creeps.
UPDATE: Watching it now in spite of the irritating format . . . the fellows are very testy tonight and Michelle will build a big fence all the way around and she promises by golly to do it. They’re doing a great job of tearing each other down. The Republican establishment, if it still exists, is surely having the vapors by now.
UPDATE 2: This is so strange a debate that Newt and Ron Paul coming acrross as the most sane.
UPDATE 3: Strangest of all? Perry appears to have finally taken his meds and is finishing his sentences. I still expect his battery to run down before 10pm.
UPDATE 4: Ohhh, Perry’s tossing out a bold new idea! The UN!!! Bad!!!
UPDATE 5: Gingrich just explained that it didn’t matter that Reagan negotiated (arms) for hostages because the Gipper said later that he didn’t know he’d done it. So, okay.
UPDATE 6: How does Romney get away with saying “having spent my life in the private sector” over and over again? Wasn’t he a Governor? Didn’t he run for Senate? I must mis-remember.
UPDATE 7: Perry/Romney facing off. I am so scared.
UPDATE 8: Newt decided there was some benefit (?) in scholding Anderson for fomenting bickering. Huh?
And it’s over. Yet again.
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.
Atlantis just lifted off. For an old fan of the space program, this is bittersweet. I’ve loved watching the launches and humans mucking around outside the atmosphere. But the program was way past its use by date and is probably holding back some of the science we could be doing in less costly unmanned craft.
There’s a romance and a majesty there when we lift this craft off the earth, soemthing entirely lost on the television cables, who blather over the NASA announcers. The official NASA radio announcements are compelling; the brief silences add tremendously to the drama. But brief silences are anathema to a medium that thrills to its own voice.
Someday we’ll be reaching out further than the Space Station. For that, we must turn our money and brain power to making that happen – in my lifetime I hope.
Can I be in CNN’s next Presidential debate? I think it’s allowed because
Monica Michelle Bachman, an undeclared candidate who hadn’t filed any papers got a spot up there with her own podium and everything, so I’m thinking . . . .
Back to the quiet place.
UPDATE: This is a serious question. What are the rules here?
A post I wrote but didn’t publish after the State of the Union speech about the silliness that is CNN. Posting it now speaks to my laziness today, and something is better than nothing. And for me, any opportunity to trash CNN is timeless.
Eric Alterman gets it right. He pretty much always does ( I admit to a prejudice because he published my letters back in the days when Americans hadn’t yet forgotten that we were/are engaged in two [now three?] wars). Here, he eviscerates CNN for their crappy news judgement.
The network, with annoying regularity, exhibits a puffed up sense of self-importance. In his column, Alterman goes after them for their journalistic cluelessness after they broadcast the ‘response to the response to the State of the Union’, delivered by that towering American intellect and historian, Michelle Bachman.
CNN alone mistook it for real news. They were played. But I suppose a network that likes Wolf Blitzer as its wise old man (will he never retire?) has an expectation of poor judgement.
(By the way, they do have an international edition which I understand is pretty good – why oh why do we get only the crap?)
There are elections, revolutions, revelations, and retorts of all sorts. There are floods and tsunamis and earthquakes and blizzards. Crops are flourishing, crops are devastated. Children iz learning. Or they izn’t. Spring is coming! Winter will never end! Movies are better than ever; there is nothing on television and Charlie Sheehan is still crazy.
In pundit-land, America’s favorite grumpy old racist granddad, Pat Buchanan, just said of Wisconsin “Walker may have won in the short term, but in the long run . . . . ” I later heard the young ‘reporters’ on CNN struggle to ‘report’ on the pending tsunami in Hawaii. They look at the earthquake in Japan and tsunami in the Pacific Rim and wonder what is Obama doing. (Grandpa Pat, by the way, is right. Republicans are not going to enjoy the ‘look in the mirror moment’ Walker has unleashed. If we have a shred of decency left though, America will.)
On the “common sense is breaking out!” front, two columns stood out for me yesterday. George Will asked the essential questions about America’s unholy interest in Middle East wars and Gail Collins turned her eye (and I avert mine) to my own interesting State (we are producing Jon-Stewart-level comedy daily).
Will’s questions are for Republicans who would intervene – even at the ‘no fly zone’ level – in Libya. Among them (my partial summary):
- Is Libya a vital US interest? A month ago it wasn’t.
- Have we forgotten that the worse European atrocity since WWII (Bosnia) occurred under a non f ly zone.
- If Gaddafi hits a US aircraft or captures a US pilot, are we ready for that?
- If we decide to give war supplies to the rebels, how do we get them there? Oh, and who are they?
- Libya is tribal. What makes us think we understand or can deal with that (see Afghanistan, 2001 to 2011).
- Mission creep?
- If the UN says ‘no’, do we go ahead anyway? And then?
- Do we want military engagement in three Muslim countries?
“A state representative has introduced a bill that would impose fines of up to $5 million on any doctor who asks a patient whether he or she owns a gun. This is certainly a new and interesting concept, but I don’t think we can classify it as a response to Tucson. Jason Brodeur, the Republican who thought it up, says it’s a response to the health care reform act.”
We elect these people (see Scott, Rick, subject of largest fine for criminal fraud ever imposed by the United States. We elected him governor). Although the bill will go nowhere, I’m embarrassed.
In 1981, the recently-launched 24-hour CNN had the great good fortune to instantly become the ‘go-to’ source for events of January 20, when the release of the US hostages from Tehran occurred at the exact moment that Ronald Reagan was being sworn in as president. A huge drama watched by the whole world. And they watched it on CNN.
In 1991, MSNBC hit the air just in time for Operation Dessert Storm – CNN was on air too, but perhaps because of their new kid on the block fiestiness, the opening days of that war belonged to MSNBC.
Now, that moment has arrived for Al Jazeera. They have grown in influence over the last decade, becoming the primary news source in the Arab world. They lost reporters in Iraq. They were on the street in Iran a year ago. There is, however, nothing in that part of the world quite like Egypt. And the story of what’s happening there this week is the global break out story for Al Jazeera. They’re all over it
WASHINGTON — As street protests raged across Egypt on Friday, with the future of the Arab world seeming to hang in the balance, rapt viewers across the region — and the globe — watched it unfold on Al Jazeera, which kept up an almost continuous live feed despite the Egyptian government’s repeated efforts to block broadcasts.
” . . . there’s [was] an important detail to keep in mind. Politico noted that Bachmann’s “response will be streamed on the Tea Party Express’s web site, while Ryan’s will be carried by national networks.”
“[But] As it turns out, that’s no longer accurate. CNN announced late yesterday that it will broadcast all three speeches — President Obama’s national address, Ryan’s response, and Bachmann’s response — on the air, in their entirety.”
Tonight is Larry King’s last show and I think 25 years deserves respect, so I turned on CNN preparing to watch this last show in real time. I’ve seen relatively few over the years, but whenever I did, I appreciated how he stepped back and never made the show about himself.
And that is how I came to see some of the new 8pm show, Parker/Spitzer. These are two smart knowledgable people – and the show sucks. I don’t know if CNN has noticed but Parker communicates from every pore that she is bored and finds the guests just not worthy of her attention – almost Cokie Roberts level bored.
(At least it seemed so during the ten minutes I saw. On the other hand I’ve often enjoyed her columns, but the woman lacks an on-air personality.)
None of this matters of course. But what the heck, Christmas is coming no matter how hard Harry Reid tries to stop it and nobody is paying any attention. So I can say whatever I want.
Juan Williams wasn’t fired from NPR for saying what he said. He was fired from NPR for saying what he said while being a journalist.
He spent too much time at FOX and it caused him to forget that it’s not about him.
(Just like Rick Sanchez wasn’t fired from CNN for insulting Jon Stewart. He was fired from CNN for saying Jews control the media and CNN. This stuff shouldn’t be hard.)
I bet Rush’s blood pressure is through the roof!
(Full disclosure: I wouldn’t have fired Williams. I think it was overreaction. I would however have fired Sanchez. He broke all the rules.)
UPDATE: Apparently Williams was fired based on violating Section 5, Subsection 10 of the NPR Ethics Code. Here it is. Seems to me one could point to many NPR journos who’ve violated this thing.
10. In appearing on TV or other media including electronic Web-based forums, NPR journalists should not express views they would not air in their role as an NPR journalist. They should not participate in shows electronic forums, or blogs that encourage punditry and speculation rather than fact-based analysis.
On his show, Jon Stewart has been eviscerating CNN for years (Rick Sanchez was a favorite target, Wolf Blitzer too). Last night on Larry King, Stewart went after the nonsense of CNN’s version of election night coverage with their panel of a dozen people. Were the King show not live (it is, isn’t it?), I’m sure there would have been a bit of snippy-snippy by CNN management.
It’s also interesting that King kept prodding Stewart to say outrageous things about politics and the Tea Party and Stewart resisted – up to a point.
UPDATE: Brian in NYC tells me embedding is disabled for this video. So here’s the link – hope you can still see it at youtube.
Someone named Piers Morgan is scheduled to replace Larry King’s when he retires from CNN at the end of the year. I know because CNN told me so. But suddenly Bill Maher is all over the network. Gets me wondering if CNN is sponsoring Maher’s next Vegas show or maybe Piers Morgan is NOT going to replace Larry King.
I actually think Maher in that spot would be brilliant for him and for CNN. Maher would talk to interesting people about interesting things and feed my need for more snark. And CNN wouldn’t lose the loyal Larry King audience, who know Maher well as he was King’s favorite and frequent guest.
Guess we’ll see.
Just saw the trailer for ABC new series “THe Whole Truth”. Female lead is not ‘tarted up’ – short hair, hardly any makeup. ABC good.
Other than Fareed Zacharia, I cannot think of a single thing CNN does that I’d call ‘good’. Just now, reporting on the C.R.E.W. investigation of Christine O’Donnell the Blitzer said (paraphrased): “The campaign says CREW is a left wing organization that only goes after conservatives. CREW denies that.”
That was it. It would take a few minutes on teh google or at CREW’s web site to see who in fact they’ve gone after over the years. I’ve no idea myself, but then I’m not CNN. They are supposed to find out and then tell me. CNN bad..
(Hey! WordPress has color now.)
I left home at about 11:00 am today. Just before I went out the door, “Breaking News” from CNN informed me that Sen. Ted Stevens perished in an Alaska plane crash.
It is now six hours later and I just turned on the teevee. Wolff Blitzer breathlessly tells me the ‘Breaking News’: Sen. Ted Stevens perished in an Alaska plane crash.
These people get big big salaries.
CNN Sunday – Fareed Zacharia’s show GPS; 1pm to 2pm. Always a great show. Today – probably been this way all along, but I hadn’t paid such close attention before – it effectively was over at 1:47pm. From that point, in between the commercials (at least 20), CNN gave us a 30-second ‘top news’ segment: there’s oil in gulf and some bandit doesn’t wear shoes. At 1:54pm, they brought Zacharia back for 60-seconds to do the requisite podcast, twitter part. And now at 1:55 we are back to the commercials. I believe there will be one more 30-second segment coming in which Zacharia will recommend a book and tell us he hopes we have a great week and to come back next Sunday, on which day his show will no doubt end at 1:46pm.
News I Pay For. Not.
UPDATE: No book. 15 second segment only and it seems soccer is good. And now back to regualr CNN news: there’s oil in gulf and some bandit is barefoot.
In the post below part of my own language got caught up in formating so it looked like part of the quote.
The line “CNN fired her. Cowards.” is mine, not the reporter’s from Think Progress.
That is all.
The right wing press has taken to the fainting couch today ( mostly the neo-con ‘we’re gonna kill them all’ corner – or rather, the ‘we’ll be sending someone else’s sons and daughters to kill them all’ corner) over CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs Octavia Nasr. Upon the death of a Lebanese Grand Ayatollah, she dared to tweet that he was a loss. She said she had respect for him.
Legions of heroes immediately began clamoring for her head. She then tweeted a follow up:
“I’m sorry because it [the tweet] conveyed that I supported Fadlallah’s life’s work. That’s not the case at all . . .
Here’s what I should have conveyed more fully:
I used the words “respect” and “sad” because to me as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman’s rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of “honor killing.” He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam. […]
Sayyed Fadlallah. Revered across borders yet designated a terrorist. Not the kind of life to be commenting about in a brief tweet. It’s something I deeply regret.”
CNN fired her. Cowards.
Think Progress adds:
“The punchline here is that Sayyed Fadlallah was the religious guide, or marja’ al-taqlid, to numerous members of Iraq’s ruling Da’wa Party, including Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. This means that they looked to Fadlallah as a source of religious authority on matters relating to correct Islamic life and practice, and committed to following his edicts on those matters. So here’s the neocon logic: When a reporter acknowledges the passing of a revered, if controversial figure in a way that doesn’t sufficiently convey what a completely evil terrorist neocons think that figure was — that’s unacceptable. But when the United States spends nearly a trillion dollars, loses over 4,000 of its own troops and over 100,000 Iraqis to establish a new government largely dominated by that same “terrorist’s” avowed acolytes — that’s victory.”
There’s a stunning amount of misinformation surrounding the oil spill, the responses, the dangers, the facts on the ground, the consequences . . . because, as usual and with the exception of PBS and the BBC, almost no actual reporting can be found on TV broadcast or cable channels, which is where most people get their news.
CNN has been talking to a very angry head of a Louisiana parish for almost two months and almost every day. His way of life and that of his constituents is threatened and he is justifiably frightened and angry. But however authentic this guy is, he is not the story.
Even tonight there is CNN as usual, speculating about whether the Jones Act is preventing the use of foreign skimmer vessels in the Gulf. While Wolfe and Anderson grimly discuss this with people who have no idea and no data but do have opinions, McClatchy – one of the last remaining genuine journalistic enterprises we have – did the reporting.
There are dozens of stories at their site, including the one to which I just linked. From that story:
“It’s a little shocking to me that a president that has such a multinational orientation as this president didn’t immediately see the benefits of waiving the Jones Act and allowing all of these resources to come in,” former House Majority Leader Richard Armey, R-Texas, said in remarks to Newsmax.com, a conservative website.
Armey and the other Republican critics are wrong. Maritime law experts, government officials and independent researchers say that the claim is false. The Jones Act isn’t an impediment at all, they say, and it hasn’t blocked anything.
“Totally not true,” said Mark Ruge, counsel to the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, a coalition of U.S. shipbuilders, operators and labor unions. “It is simply an urban myth that the Jones Act is the problem.”
Kinda love that daring definitive language – you know, where they say things like “is” and “isn’t”. Bold stuff.
And they’re not even The-Most-Trusted-Name-In-News.
(But still, it’s too bad they couldn’t get Donna Brasile or Ann Coulter to chime in. I guess they’re not really ready for the big time.)
Apparently new video of the oil leak – high def video!! Wow! – has been turned over by BP under pressure from a congressional committee. I saw it on CNN an hour ago; it provides much more specific information to scientists about the actual volume of the leak.
The CNN anchor (sorta pretty, long sexy hair, lottsa makeup) asked the ‘reporter person’ (male, standing in front of CNN’s ridiculous and newest on-screen graphic gadget) why it took so long to get this type of video. The ‘reporter’ solemnly explained that BP told him it was different than the live feed, because it had to be downloaded to CD on the ship and then transported to somewhere else. Which takes a lot of time. And then they both nodded, just as solemnly.
CNN – the most trusted name in news
CNN – the best political team on television
That’s what they said.
78% of Americans are apparently un-American; or, only 22% of Americans are real Americans. Or something.
As Congress once again tips its timid toe into the DADT stew, it remains deaf to the reality. Even among active military, the majority support repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (probably the silliest and most blatantly hollow policy of all times). I don’t know who the damn congress critters are afraid of.
This one is a no brainer. The country is ready. The military is ready. Why isn’t Congress ready?
“A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, with one in five opposed.
“Support is widespread, even among Republicans. Nearly six in ten Republicans favor allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “There is a gender gap, with 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men favoring the change, but support remains high among both groups.”
Among my oldest friends in the world are a gay couple who’ve been together nearly 40 years. They both served honorably. One of them did his time in Vietnam. Anyone who opposes allowing gays to openly serve in the military may tell it to them.
Or go to Afghanistan and ask the gay men and women who are no doubt carrying weapons right now as they engage on this 229th day of the ninth year of the War there.
And there’s just a whiff of summer in the air. In Florida, a little sweat from gently wielding a broom is another signal. Now, my interest in completion of the pool project sharpens. Meanwhile, part of the lanai is without screens which means sliders on the back of the house must remain closed as the rain of the last 60 days left lots of standing water in culverts (and unfinished pools) so there are more mosquitoes than usual. And some wasps have taken up residence as well.
All that is of minor import when the Sunday gasbags are doing their weekly damage and attention must be paid. The biggest offender this week is CNN who own the shame that is “Reliable Sources“, a one hour show hosted by CNN’s media critic Howie Kurtz. Who also happens to be The Washington Post’s media critic. On neither platform does he ever find fault with either paymaster. Works out real well for the media giants and Howie gets to feel important.
Today, having noticed the move toward fact checking Sunday shows after the fact, Howie decided to give it a try. He calls it ‘truth squading’ (the man is a wordsmith). Do not, I repeat, do not try to find this segment online and if you do – do not, I repeat, do not watch it. This stuff is dangerous to your health.
Not quite as dangerous though as being in Afghanistan, where it is the 199th day of the ninth year of the War there.
Because his blame-the-victim theory of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church really contributes to the discussion. He is a stellar example of what’s wrong with the Catholic Church and it’s woman hating and it’s fear of the power of sex. Donohue goes off the rails at 7:15 in – near the end.
UPDATE: Can’t get the damn video to link. But it’s at CNN’s site – Larry King show.
UPDATE THE SECOND: Just heard Pat Buchanan on Hardball – he sounds much more sane than Donohue, but he is subtly making Donohue’s point. Wonder if any of the others on the panel hear what he’s actually just said.
Imagine this on CNN, hacked onto the network by such smart 14-year olds that even CNN’s top I.T. people couldn’t find a way to take it down. (h/t Andrew Sullivan) How sweet it would be.
(There’s a google ad first – about a 30 seconds.)
Big time blogger Atrios at Eschaton often charges his readers to ‘document the atrocities’ – which are what the Sunday morning news shows have become. And indeed there were atrocities aplenty this morning.
But none approached the sheer embarrassment of CNN’s Candy Crowley inviting the disgraced and indicted former GOP Minority Whip of the US House of Representatives, Tom Delay, whose recent turn on Dancing With the Stars was another national embarrassment, (isn’t he just the gift that keeps on giving?) to discuss the Tea Party movement.
Since there are only 535 serving members of Congress as yet unindicted, I can certainly understand why she had to turn to the ex-Rep with a felony indictment on his resume. I guess she couldn’t get Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham or Bob Ney. Oh yeah, they’re already in jail.
Candy Crowley wins this week’s atrocity award. And she’s probably a good candidate for many more wins going forward.
I hope to come back later today to heap praise on CBS Face the Nation. Bob Schieffer gets it. But there is a pressing need to go visit the unnaturally old person.
So until then, let’s all remember that today is the 149th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.
UPDATE: A comment (below) from actual former Congressman Bob Ney advises me he is no longer in jail and served his sentence. He was released in ’08 and now has a radio show. Had I read all the way through his Wikipedia entry, I would have known that. I apologize to Congressman Ney.
Well, mostly going to miss it. Watching now, but have to head out to a meeting. May I say – and I’ve never noticed this before – Nancy Pelosi is a terrible speaker. She is not clear and she misspeaks.
Obama didn’t name a single congressional Republican in his opening remarks. Alexander named a half dozen Dems. Pelosi – so far – has not named a single GOP congress critter. Just sayin’.
And, as usual, I wish they would all leave the sad, sad stories outside the door. Bleh! We have heard these before.
UPDATE: I missed a lot and when I got back, CSPAN had moved to the House and the Senate. The ‘summit’ is on CSPAN 3 which is a premium channel down my way. MSNBC has hockey. FOX is covering it maybe a little here and there. Which left me with the dreaded Wolf Blitzer and possibly the very worst panel in CNN history.
Donna Brasile. Candy Crowley. Mary Matelin. Gloria Borger. (David Gergen was there, but he’s pretty much turned into a place holder.) The only one missing was Bill Bennett.
They’re running very little live summit now – they have calculated, incorrectly, that they are far more interesting – especially when they guess about what’s being said because they can’t watch what’s being said when they are busy talking about what they think is being said. CNN has not figured out something that seems basic to me – the people who are watching the summit on CNN want to see the summit. Not Candy Crowley.