Tag Archives: Media

Full blown ‘eating their own’ commences, picks up speed

Limbaugh Attacks Fox’s Brit Hume And “Fox News Leadership” Over Immigration Reform

AND

NRA’s Ted Nugent: Eric Cantor Practices Nazi-Style Politics

Headlines today at Media Matters.

Ornstein says ‘nihilists’ and he always knows what he’s talking about

Norm Ornstein chimed in this morning on the near future of the GOP. He views Cantor’s loss less as the beginning of a populist trend and more a preview of intracine battles yet to come in the party. It’s here.

He sets it up with pitch perfect – and delightful – disdain for our fickle media narrative:

The new dominant narrative, of course, is that the Tea Party rose up, struck back, showed its muscle and has the party establishment on its heels. That replaces the previous narrative, that the establishment rose up, struck back, and has the Tea Party on its heels.

And wraps with this:

American political parties always face a tension between their establishment and ideological wings. On the Republican side, going back more than a hundred years to the Teddy Roosevelt era, that was a struggle between moderate progressives and conservatives.

Now it is different. There are no moderates or progressives in today’s GOP; the fight is between hard-line conservatives who believe in smaller government and radical nihilists who want to blow up the whole thing, who have as much disdain for Republican traditional conservatives as they do for liberals.

Always worth a look is old Norm.

I agree with every word

Frank Bruni today in the New York Times writes of the vast distance between those in uniform and the celebrity pundits busily passing judgement on a soldier. Pundits, most of whom have never even tried on a uniform. Good column. He also says this:

This has been an emotional, messy and confusing week, which ends with as many questions as answers. One of mine concerns the Obama administration: Is there anyone there doing serious messaging strategy? Anyone stepping back to consider how a story like this one is likely to unfold and how the administration may get tripped up in it?

When Susan Rice (rightly or wrongly) carries around that Benghazi baggage, how do you send her of all emissaries onto TV to talk up the “honor and distinction” of Bergdahl’s military service? This characterization was sure to be disputed; there was countervailing evidence in circulation even as she spoke. How do you fail to realize that this is going to come back to bite you? Incredible.

Jam it in and keep ’em steaming mad!

This looks exactly right to me. It’s FOX after all. Plus I’m too lazy to go any deeper than reading this post at Andrew Sullivan’s (gay conservative Catholic now disowned by the right for something-or-other) blog, The Dish.

Obamacare

So why? Demonizing Obamacare is not working quite as well anymore as polls show more acceptance among Americans. But Benghazi? Oooooh, a shiny object that will – once again – do just fine for now to fuel the outrage machine until Monica/Hillary crowds it out.

Oh yeah, good times ahead.

Doocy knows that blame must be placed – on you-know-who

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaOf course they went there. The very next day.

From the couch of the stupid, Elizabeth Hasselback lamented that ““ you have our soldiers not being able to arm themselves . . . if they do have a weapon, they are to register it within five days of purchase. . .  then that must be stored away in these lockers so that it cannot be carried on their person, therefore leaving them vulnerable.”

Doocy then pointed to the current Democratic president by quoting a conservative blogger: “Gateway Pundit, which is a way right-leaning blog, what they write this morning is, ‘The Obama administration is responsible for this mass shooting. They witnessed this before, they didn’t learn a thing. Gun-free zones are death zones. It is time to stand up to the lunacy.’”

Agreed.

I have my issues with Obama like the stimulus was not bold enough, but really . . .

. . . for those who rail incessantly about ‘failed’ economic policies, get real (and stop pretending that stimulus was all spending . . .a big part was tax cuts).

dddddddddddddd

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.

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What if it was Bush? How would I feel?

ccccccccccccccccccThe 2014 World Press Freedom Index is out. Nasty news – again – for the old U-S-of-A where we’ve been sliding into the badlands ever since 9/11. And where my President and his Attorney General have some ‘splainin’ to do. Which will not happen with this President or any future President unless we get really really lucky.

Countries that pride themselves on being democracies and respecting the rule of law have not set an example . . . Freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices.

This has been the case in the United States (46th), which fell 13 places, one of the most significant declines, amid increased efforts to track down whistleblowers and the sources of leaks. The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest.

US journalists were stunned by the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records without warning in order to identify the source of a CIA leak. It served as a reminder of the urgent need for a “shield law” to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources at the federal level. The revival of the legislative process is little consolation for James Risen of The New York Times, who is subject to a court order to testify against a former CIA employee accused of leaking classified information. And less still for Barrett Brown, a young freelance journalist facing 105 years in prison in connection with the posting of information that hackers obtained from Statfor, a private intelligence company with close ties to the federal government.

The United Kingdom (33rd, -3) distinguished itself in the war on terror by the disgraceful pressure it put on The Guardian newspaper and by its detention of David Miranda, journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner and assistant, for nine hours. Both the US and UK authorities seem obsessed with hunting down whistleblowers instead of adopting legislation to rein in abusive surveillance practices that negate privacy, a democratic value cherished in both countries.

At least the UK was spared the shame of our double-digit decline in press freedom. USA!

Nice cartoon. Ha-ha.

From the Monday ‘Patriot Humor’ feature at The Patriot Post. And the joke is?

2014-02-07-bf47a0ed.jpg

UPDATE: jonolan points out that I read this one wrong. The joke is that the letters behind Carney spell ‘white washing…” and that, indeed, is funny. The site it came from features regular racist slurs and that influenced how I interpreted it at first.

Calling Bill O’Reilly and all Christian warriors

Some damn organization calling itself the National Republican Congressional Committee has joined the vile War on Christmas. Suit up Patriots! Let’s get ’em.
Yep, this was inevitable. Also, it's not a video. Stop clicking it.

Oh please, don’t wake me up . . .

Bet you didn’t know this. Neither did I, but it’s right there on Glenn Beck’s own site, The Blaze, the place for dystopian paranoia and apocalyptic terror – plus there are many wonderful things available for purchase!

Glenn Beck on Monday began what he said is “just the beginning” of his work to reveal the background and motivations of Grover Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Beck began by playing recent clips of Norquist calling out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his efforts to derail Obamacare, noting that while he used to joke about the left’s portrayal of Norquist as a “big power player,” he’s since revised his dismissive opinion in light of the warnings that you “don’t ever take this guy on unless you’re prepared.”

Beck’s show Monday primarily concentrated on Norquist’s alleged connections to Islamists. He invited Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, and Daniel Greenfield of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, to weigh in.

There’s a David Horowitz Freedom Center? Seriously?

Ah, Bill, that’s gotta hurt!

Townhall.com, an enormously influential righty website, has posted its list of the 25 most influential conservatives. AND 32 runners-up.  The runners-up are:

townhall

At number 41, not only doesn’t Bill O’Reilly make their top 25, but he ranks behind trickster James O’Keefe. Methinks this will rouse Papa Bear (as Steven Colbert calls him) to new heights of retribution – an O’Reilly staple. He is, like Rush Limbaugh,, remarkably thin-skinned for someone who’s been in the public eye for so long.

Liberal media provides cover for Obama

Just as the right wing noise machine always says, that liberal media will spin every which way to make their guy look good. Like with this screaming front page at Huff Post right now:

obamacare

 

Of course, I will allow as they aren’t calling for impeachment, so there’s that.

They didn’t hire themselves you know

Dear Stuart Varney: You are an idiot and that’s probably why you’re a star at the Fox Business channel (the one no one watches). Asked if Federal workers are deserving of back pay when this is over, Varney said:

That is a loaded question isn’t it? You want my opinion? . . .  No, I don’t think they should get their back pay, frankly, I really don’t. I’m sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector, then getting a furlough, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I’m not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that’s what I want to do.

(Why is he sorry to say that?) Stuart, the people you want to punish aren’t the ones who created the agencies, funded them, or made the rules. They are people, plain people who work in payroll or data processing. Maybe they’re engineers or safety inspectors or mathematicians or nurses. Perhaps they clean the offices. How about the folks who answer phones at IRS, CDC, Defense . . . they don’t carry weapons so they’re probably non-essential. I’m guessing that most departments have IT people – let’s hope nobody needs critical help on their computers or – Elvis forbid – servers.

As for those who are essential … they’re required to stay on the job (see Washington DC, Thursday, Capitol Police) but won’t see paychecks for the duration. And today is Friday – for most people, that’s payday.

And you want to punish them. Delightful.

 

So much for polls

Offered without comment:

Has anyone seen my old friend Paul?

paul ryan 2There was this guy, a Congressman – from Wisconsin I think – who ran for Vice President last year. Am I remembering that right? He was part of the House Leadership, a great young hope, brainy budget guy, all that. Plus cute.

Has anyone seen him in the last nine months? Ah! Paul Ryan, that’s his name! He still around?

When John McCain is good, he is very, very . . .

Now that the couch at Fox & Friends is getting a new lady to sit in the middle, it’s time for me to stop referring to Brian Kilmeade as the one whose name no one knows. After all, he is now the second most recognizable face of the couch dwellers. Watch that very face as John McCain ‘splains a little something:

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.

RIP to good old Jack Germond

The real Lou Grant – but with lots of booze, horses and cigars. I always liked this guy . . . lookee’ here: from The McLaughlin Group in 1994:

Good job . . . for a change

Just got to watch Obama’s press conference from this afternoon. I’ve watched a few of these and I think this was better than the others. With one exception, his answers were crisp and confident. I liked how he dealt with the gotcha type questions from the likes of Chuck Todd and Ed Henry; he didn’t take the bait. So pretty good.

Washington Post? Boston Globe? Jim asked for my opinion. . .

A beau from my way-back machine (still a friend) asked in an email:

What you think of the sales of the Boston Globe and Washington Post for peanuts on the dollar?  How in the hell is Bezos going to make money with the WP? Does he get the rights to the very good Sousa March of the same name?

I’m unqualified when it comes to the Sousa question (there’s a March?), but we all know that Moe do so luv to offer her opinion (I do it for free, so grateful am I for the ‘ask’.)

Here’s how I see it:

It’s a changed world. Big metro dailies need to be reinvented and as for Bezos and The Post, I think he’s the guy to do it. WaPo and the Globe have been shrinking for years like so many others. They’ve lost classified, real estate, and car ads to online. The one thing that isn’t going to happen again is growth – in size, in advertising and eventually in circulation – although the Post and the NYT and WSJ continue to reign supreme in readership because they all excel in an internet proof-product – excellent substantive reporting.

So I think at least with the Post, the goal is to find a revenue stream to support that core product and not fiddle with it. Everything else has to be reinvented. And who better to do it than Bezos who literally invented how to actually make big money online. Since he’s an individual owner – which was the tradition at the Post – I trust him more than a corp looking for quarterly earnings. He’ll support it for quite a while probably.. Just like Murdock has to support the NY Post and the Moonies have to support the Washington Times (daily circulation 83,000 vs WaPo 1.4million).

Metro dailies are today’s horse and buggies. Not surprisingly though, small weekly or bi-weekly local papers are doing very well. Very very well, which is probably why Buffet just bought a bunch of ‘em.  Their operating cost are low – no need for out of town bureaus for instance. Or financing investigative reporting. As long as they cover city hall, births, deaths and school pageants, they’ve got it covered. Plus advertising is pretty cheap.

I don’t know much about the Globe except that again, this is a single owner – one already invested in the community. And also, I think that sale is an example of how the NY Times by selling it is sharpening its focus on protecting its flagship paper. They’ve been selling ‘Times Group’ papers for a while.

So I think Bezos can find a way to keep up readership while developing that reliable revenue stream with paid online access. The Times and WSJ are already doing that very successfully.  And MOST importantly, he’ll usher the paper into the age of the mobile device because he also understands the future.

And that’s what I think.

Sean Hannity’s wet dream comes true

Oh boy, ‘s true. From ABC News, and now echoing with hallejulia’s from every single bit of righty internet real estate, where, all along, the between-the-lines-meme has been that George was really a hero.

George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue a family who was trapped in an overturned vehicle, police said today.

Zimmerman was one of two men who came to the aid of a family of four — two parents and two children — trapped inside a blue Ford Explorer SUV that had rolled over after traveling off the highway in Sanford, Fla. at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

This isn’t directed at Zimmerman who did a good thing here. It’s his media fans. They do piss me off.

 

The NBA draft is in full swing . . . do they know about this kid?

His name is Titus. He is two years old. And this is real. (He showed up on Fox & Friends and it was going great ’till Brian Kilmeade (the one whose name no one can remember) tried to get in the act and basically lobbed the ball into little Titus’ face. Show over. The little guy burst into loud tears and Dad carried him off the set trying to make things right by saying “Brian didn’t mean it”. What he should have said was “Brian is just a doofus.”

Taking the silly to new heights

A revealing moment in an exchange on Charlie Rose last night. His guests were the Editor and primary reporter from the Guardian there to talk about Snowden and the NSA leaks. At one point, Rose asked the reporter “so do you just call Snowden when you need to ask questions?”. She looked at him as though he were not wearing pants and replied “Um, we just text.” A telling moment.

Then this morning, I saw this:

The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday’s Herald, but Armywide.

Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke stories on data collection by the National Security Agency

Same thing.

No surprise here . . .

Granted there was major competing news over the last few days, but I’ll go out on a limb and say this chart would look exactly the same in a slow news week.

1172_472887582786122_21677922_n

Steve Coll hints at something . . .

free pressFrom one of our best investigative journalists, here’s Steve Coll, today in The New Yorker:

It seems likely that Holder or his deputies have authorized other press subpoenas and surveillance regimes that have not yet been disclosed. The Justice Department has acted belligerently even in cases where no grave harm to the public interest has been demonstrated, or where, as in the A.P. case, the leaks under suspicion have served to publicize the Administration’s successes. . .

He allows that the increase in investigations by Justice in recent years may relate to this:

 Obama inherited a bloated national-security state. It contains far too many official secrets and far too many secret-keepers—more than a million people now hold top-secret clearances. Under a thirty-year-old executive order issued by the White House, the intelligence agencies must inform the Justice Department whenever they believe that classified information has been disclosed illegally to the press. These referrals operate on a kind of automatic pilot, and the system is unbalanced.

But ultimately, Coll says:

. . . The media are not just watchdogs barking at the White House and the C.I.A. The First Amendment aspires to a fuller compact among citizens, including between journalists and confidential sources, that is premised on the self-evident truth that secrecy and concentrated power are inherently corrupting.

Yup.

Lifted – in its entirety – from Krugman’s blog

Transport Madness

Oh, boy — this is truly amazing. I guess I’m not surprised that the WSJ doesn’t like the idea of providing New York with a European-style system of rental bikes. But accusing Bloomberg and company of being “totalitarians” for the vicious crime of … making bright blue bikes available to tourists … seems like it has to be parody.

On the other hand, let’s not forget George Will’s explanation of why liberals like mass transit:

the real reason for progressives’ passion for trains is their goal of diminishing Americans’ individualism in order to make them more amenable to collectivism.

Something about transportation seems to bring out the crazy in these people.

(The post, comments and all, is here.)

IRS head colluded with the Kenyan, right there in the White House, just forevah! And that’s why we’re doomed.

The latest meme in Perpetual Outrage Land has former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman practically living in the Oval Office. It’s a scandal ya’ see – and a perfect example of how to gin up outrage over the thinnest bit of information.

Bill O’Reilly:  “You must explain under oath what you were doing at the White House on 157 separate occasions.”

The Daily Caller: “IRS’s Shulman had more public White House visits than any Cabinet member.”

Brit Hume tweeeted: “Sooner or later this

will have to be answered. What was the ex-IRS chief doing at the White House all those times?” (Ahem, answered by whom Brit? Does FOX News not have any reporters?)

Did. Not. Happen. An actual reporter went and actually reported the charge and it turned out that it Did. Not. Happen.

First, she explains how visitors logs work, what they mean and how they very often only mean that a name is ‘precleared’ for a meeting or event, even if the person never attended. And, she informs us, ‘White House’ usually means either the Eisenhower Executive Office Building or the New Executive Office Building (17 blocks away). And then, doing the ‘reporting’ thing, she look things up and gets into the weeds.

Here’s a taste. This is just 2010 (the other years are at the link); this is the year of the bi-weekly health reform deputies meetings, i.e. regularly scheduled working meetings.

2010

Eisenhower Executive Office Building, recorded as Old Executive Office Building

  • Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office for Health Reform
  • Sarah Fenn, staff assistant, working with DeParle
  • Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Robert Nabors, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget
  • Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget
  • Margaret Weiss, again
  • Ezekiel Emanuel, special  adviser to the director of the White House Office of Management and  Budget for health policy, detailed from his post at the National  Institutes of Health
  • Michael Hash, again
  • Ariel Levin, special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget. One of her recurring meetings gets the description “THIS IS FOR THE BI-WEEKLY HEALTH REFORM DEPUTIES MEETING.”
  • Alex  Hornbrook

New Executive Office Building

  • Terri Payne, Office of Management and Budget

(actual) White House (but not Oval Office)

  • Jason Furman, again
  • Chelsea Kammerer, White House special assistant to the director of intergovernmental affairs. Shulman signed in to attend a July 22 West Wing bill signing for the “Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act” in the State Room of the White House along with White House staff and at least 81 people from outside the building. You can watch Obama deliver remarks on it in this video; the law created “measures that hold government accountable for responsible use of taxpayer dollars and cut down on waste, fraud and abuse.”
  • Nancy-Ann DeParle, again

I’m not seeing much this morning – perhaps someone inside the right-wing noise machine (so named by Eric Alterman?) read her story and send out a memo to find a new narrative for this week.

Ahhh, the good old days of government propaganda

During the 20th Century’s two World Wars, the Federal government pumped out an impressive body of propaganda, much of it on film. For WWII, the Feds turned to the pros and a lot of the product came from Hollywood.  Besides video shorts, there were also  full length feature films (some pretty good actually). That propaganda was an essential part of keeping the country committed to the war effort and supportive of it. And it worked.

Then came the early days of the Cold War and the Feds thought if it had worked before, it would work again. It didn’t really; these films were too blatant and very clumsy.

I just came across this. Really?

And now a post in which I agree with George W. Bush’s White House

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

So who’s speaking out this time (except mistermix at Balloon Juice)? Atrios notes that the trip explains why McCain was mysteriously absent from all four Sunday morning shows.