Melissa Harris-Perry wrote a very thoughtful piece exploring the reasons why President Obama, with his many successes in the face of great opposition, is struggling in the polls with white liberals. It is something I’ve been frustrated with since before the President was sworn in — when people on the left began attacking him about his appointments to various cabinet positions.
At first, I didn’t want to believe that race was a large part of that equation and chalked a lot of it up to “bitterness” left over from the contentious primary fight with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and the others. But as his presidency progressed and more evidence continued to pile up, I, as a white liberal, began to see that the source of a lot of that disrespect and vitriol clearly was coming from an elitist and superior attitude, much of it rooted in race.
If you haven’t been following the story, I recommend you read Joy Reid’s piece at The Reid Report. She gives some background on the reaction to some on the left to Harris-Perry’s powerful post.
My first instinct whenever I come across something that is clearly over-the-top rhetoric is to attempt to find out the source of that vitriol. Strong opinions don’t usually materialize out of thin air, they come from somewhere and I like to find out where. Using the Google machine, I decided to go back and read some previous writing by Gene Lyons as it relates to race and particularly, President Obama. What I found was quite shocking, in my opinion. You decide for yourself.
On matters of race, I’ve learned as a white, 49 year old male to listen and defer to those who have a closer connection to the effects of racism. What the hell do I know about suffering from racism, other than what I can learn from those who have suffered through it. It’s impossible for me to completely understand what it is like without having experienced it. I’ve accepted that fact and when a person of color speaks about it, I listen and try to internalize it.
One person that I listen to very intently is Melissa Harris-Perry, a very wise and thoughtful person who always makes sense to me whenever I hear her speak or read her words.
West Virginia is a very conservative state and in the special election for governor that happened yesterday, the Republicans spent nearly twice as much as the Democrats on the race. The Republicans went out of their way to tie President Obama to the Democratic candidate, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and how did that work out for them?
Governor Tomblin won the election and thwarted the media’s plans to continue their anti-Obama narrative — the one that makes the President responsible for every election in every state. Individual candidates don’t matter anymore to the media, everything is a referendum on President Obama. I’m waiting for the media to blame the drain commissioner election in my township on President Obama, oh shit, maybe I shouldn’t have tipped them off.
There never seems to be any referendum on the Republican controlled House that hasn’t created one fucking job yet, hasn’t even tried to create one job and in fact, has been trying to do the opposite by playing games with the debt ceiling and anything else that is game-worthy.
Given the Republican strategy, some in the media seemed eager to seize on the race as an example of a president facing a political crisis. Mark Halperin conceded overnight, “If the GOPer had won, the national narrative would have been that Obama was the issue.” Coming on the heels of two Democratic defeats in congressional special elections, the “Dems in disarray” coverage was going to be intense.
Given that the Democrat won, even with the Republican’s outspending and trying to make it a referendum on President Obama, I’m sure the media will start a new narrative about how the President’s push for the jobs bill and his campaigning across the country is the reason for the Democratic win. I’m just sure of it.
Anyone who thinks that the cable media and much of the print media is liberal needs to have their head examined. The Democrats and the President have been enduring the right wing lies that ooze from Fox News on the half hour for years. But what is even more troubling is the anti-Obama slant that is coming from the supposed left leaning MSNBC and the new TeaNN (CNN), which has hitched it’s wagon to the Tea Party crowd.
I’ll leave you with an example that was probably missed by most people. This morning on CNN, they were talking about the Hank Williams Jr. story and his “apology” about his remarks on Fox News comparing President Obama and Speaker Boehner to Hitler and Netanyahu and then showing his great intellect by calling Obama and Biden the Three Stooges. Christine Romans, during some cross talk, said something like, maybe Hank should apologize to the Three Stooges. W.T.F.? No bias there, right?
Salon.com used to be one of my favorite websites. I would even promote it to my friends and family – back a few years ago. I was always a little annoyed by the ads I had to watch to get a day pass, but I tolerated it. I watched as the site gradually morphed from being anti-Bush to anti-Obama, in many ways they seem to have just replaced the names. I stopped reading them very soon after noticing this shift.
Well it has come full circle now and the main writers for the site are openly antagonizing Democrats and supporters of President Obama. Last night on Twitter, Joan Walsh and Glenn Greenwald both lobbed loaded tweets into the mix, apparently trying to goad some of us into a Twitter brawl. The funny thing is, the circle of folks I travel with on Twitter, for the most part, ignored them. We surmised that they were trying to increase attention and thus traffic for their failing site. Here is a tweet that clearly shows Ms. Walsh’s dislike for all of us who support our president…(emphasis mine)
@joanwalsh Funny to watch Obamalovers savage Frank Rich. He was one of his most ardent, earliest MSM defenders in 2008.
Personally, I think the “Obamalovers” word is a play on the “n” word version that I was called throughout my early life. My best friend and first “girlfriend” in grade school were black, I heard that slur many times in my young life. But others didn’t necessarily see her use of that word that way. Glenn Greenwald has also used “Obamalover” in referring to us Democrats who support the President.
The “defenders” comment leveled at Frank Rich, who has written a twisted piece of late on President Obama, is almost as bad. It contains that subtle implication that there is something that needs to be defended. A very presumptive framing that basically labels and dismisses the person in one fell swoop. I’m surprised it didn’t include “dear leader”, another favorite of the people on the left who suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome.
The following is a snippet from a great piece that I will probably revisit in future posts, it’s really good. It’s based on a post called “14 Propaganda Techniques that Fox ‘News’ Uses to Brainwash Americans”, except Marion at Addicting Info points the spotlight on the “professional critics” as I’ve been calling them lately. From Marion…(emphasis mine)
Meanwhile, we’ve seen Hamsher and her cronies on the FDL site refer to the President as “the Affirmative Action President,” “Bugaloo Bush,” and even “the house nigger.”
It’s not just the President for whom they’re aiming. Olbermann and Joan Walsh, inveterate Twitterers, regularly engage in punching down at followers from the Left who disagree with their opinions. Olbermann’s favourite tack is to address these people as “morons.” Joan tells people to “get help” or she opines that their lives must suck (to be so stupid as to dare disagree with someone so far elevated by appearances on television that they must know the subject about which they discourse).
In fact, quite recently, Joan reckoned that anyone who vigorously defended the President was actually a GOP troll, most likely paid by Andrew Breitbart, and that these people would do more damage to Barack Obama than anyone else.
The other day I Tweeted a snarky comment to Joan Walsh, more as an observation than anything, but I saw a title of a post that Joan Walsh had up at Salon about the death of Clarence Clemons. The title was “How big was the Big Man? ‘Too F-ing big to die.’ Bruce Springsteen remembers the great Clarence Clemons and their early interracial bromance”
Here is my Twitter exchange with the one and only Joan Walsh on the above title…
Me: So @joanwalsh just called Clarence Clemons and Springstein’s relationship an “interracial bromance”…WTF, why did she have to add race?
Joan Walsh: @ExtremeLiberal Because Springsteen (that’s 2 E’s) added race in his incredible eulogy, which you clearly haven’t read. Sad.
Me: @joanwalsh I see, so that makes it OK to call it an interracial bromance? He was talking about the racism that the Big Man suffered.
Me: @joanwalsh What is sad is your lack of self-awareness. At least you didn’t say you were punching down, I’ll give you that.
Me: @joanwalsh I just read your post, is there more? I could see using bromance, but why add the interracial part, isn’t that kind of obvious.
Joan Walsh: @ExtremeLiberal I see you still haven’t read the eulogy.
Me: @joanwalsh I just read the whole thing, still don’t see why you had to characterize their friendship that way? Why?
I really didn’t see it as that egregious, but was just pointing out that for some reason she had to portray it as an “interracial” bromance. I liken it to when people talk about someone and feel compelled to refer to them as black, whereas if they were talking about a white person, they wouldn’t feel the need to say they were white. It’s a subtle thing that annoys me and I make a concerted effort to never do it. Joan justified her use of it by implying that Bruce Springsteen had used it, when all he talked about in his eulogy was the racism “The Big Man” had suffered in the early days of the band. So apparently because Bruce talked about race, then Joan has permission to call it an “interracial bromance”.
I used to work for a video rental chain that I learned was quite racist. I was just out of college, working as an assistant manager and was asked to interview some part-time employees. A guy applied who was African American and I sent his resume and application to the home office in Illinois. They liked it and told me to interview him, which I did. I hired him. I never mentioned his race, why would I? Well I remember the first time my boss, the District Manager walked in and saw him. He was clearly irritated and asked me to walk outside with him. I didn’t play his game of innuendo and basically insulted him in a round about way.
It baffles me why these people at Salon, Firedoglake and others, who like to drape themselves with the “progressive” label, are fighting so hard against the most liberal president we’ve had since FDR. Joan Walsh’s out of the blue tweet disparaging us with “Obamalover” and “defenders” was clearly an attempt to goad us into a Twitter brawl or to create some controversy so that people will go to her website. Greenwald does the same thing with the titles of his posts, he’s trying to get traffic by insulting or riling up people who support President Obama. How pathetic is it that they have to rely on negative traffic to keep their advertisers happy.
Don’t give Salon.com or Firedoglake.com the clicks they so crave. Resist the urge to click when they try to lure you in to their lair. They are using you for your clicks and want you to link to their bullshit posts for even more clicks. Stop it!
Being the political junkie that I am, I have had the opportunity to see Mark Halperin offer his opinion and “political analysis” countless times. He certainly isn’t always wrong, in my opinion, but a lot of the time when I hear his take on things, I end up scratching my head and thinking, whaaa? Many times I’ll even do the *face palm* or the *head desk*. As far as his bias to the right, it has been obvious to me for years. After what happened on Thursday with Mr. Halperin, I decided to do a little research and was reminded of some previous “gaffes”, shall we say. There is a clear pattern with Halperin.
When President Obama was filling a Supreme Court vacancy, Mark Halperin actually went with this title for a story, which can’t be found now…
There is just so much wrong with that. First, of all the angles to take on the story of picking our next Supreme Court justice, his is the perceived “reverse discrimination” (a racists dream phrase) against poor white men. Because over the years, you know, white men have had such a hard time getting on the Supreme Court. I’m sure he thinks it is just innocent “pointing out the obvious”, but you know damn well that the audience for that statement was all the good ole boys who pit themselves against minorities as if everything is zero-sum. It is a not-so-subtle dog whistle to all the racists and classists in our country. It is a blatant appeal to the Fox News viewers, which have large numbers. There is more on the reason for that later on in this post.
Here is an example of Mark Halperin’s analyst skills and his unique perspective on things, to put it way too politely. This is Mark Halperin’s reaction to President Obama’s 2010 State of the Union address.
What is funny is that if you look at polls of people who watched the speech, it becomes apparent that Mark Halperin sees things differently than ordinary folks. From CBS New’s Political Hotsheet…
Of the randomly selected 522 speech viewers questioned by CBS, 83 percent said they approved of the proposals the President made. Just 17 percent disapproved…
Six in 10 of those asked said they thought Mr. Obama conveyed a clear plan for creating jobs, and seven in 10 said his plans for the economy will help ordinary Americans. Another seven in 10 said President Obama has the same priorities for the country as they have.
The same individuals were interviewed both before and after Wednesday’s State of the Union, and after the speech, 70 percent said Mr. Obama shares their priorities for the country, up from 57 percent before the speech.
Did you notice how he called him “this troubled president” as if that is the conventional wisdom of the day. It certainly was the wisdom that Halperin and other skewed journalists were trying to push, thank goodness Media Matters for America is around to sort out the truth for us.
Here is another list of the accomplishment of President Obama through November of 2009, not even a year into his presidency. Does that look like “a troubled president” to you?
I saw this next one live, back when I used to torture myself by watching Morning Joe. It was after the President invited Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, to a speech where the President laid out his budget and took on the draconian, now much abandoned Paul Ryan plan. After listening to Paul Ryan and other Republicans touting his plan, using everything in their arsenal to twist and spin the plan as bold, the President laid waste to it. Apparently Mark Halperin took it personally and proceeded to defend those poor Republicans who were called out on their assault on the poor and seniors. First, let’s take a look at what the President said that upset Halperin and Scarborough, from The Media Research Center…
BARACK OBAMA: This vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America . . . Ronald Reagan’s own budget director said there’s nothing serious or courageous about this plan . . . There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. And I don’t think there’s anything courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don’t have any clout on Capitol Hill . . . That’s not a vision of the America I know.
Here is what Halperin and Scarborough said on Morning Joe in response to that passage from the President’s speech…
MARK HALPERIN: I think if a Republican president called the Democratic proposals on something like this un-American, I think the press would be up in arms.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: They would savage him.
HALPERIN: They would be up in arms. I think that kind of rhetoric: for the president to say, that what Paul Ryan is doing is not consistent with his vision of America, I think that’s rhetoric that only added insult, injury to the insult of inviting him to sit in the front row.
SCARBOROUGH: Republicans have said a lot of really, really tough things about Barack Obama. Really tough things. So, it’s not even the words, it’s not the rhetoric. I think the president does believe that the Ryan plan is not the America that he grew up in or the America he wants. I’m just saying, for negotiating reasons, why invite him to sit in the front row and say that his budget is not serious and is un-American when Paul Ryan’s been fighting his entire life for this?
HALPERIN: I totally agree. It seems like a weird decision to make.
Now, maybe these two boneheads were sleeping during the 8 years of President (with us or against us) Bush, but I doubt it. They both clearly spend most of their time defending the Republican brand and trying to convince people of liberal media bias and false equivalencies. In this post, warning, it’s a Huffington Post article, he blames President Obama for Republican opposition to the stimulus. Amazing.
Mark Halperin believes that there is a liberal bias in the media and is doing his part to swing the pendulum back to the right. It is just one more example of how absurd his thinking is. That pendulum swung to the right immediately after the horrible events of 9/11 and it’s been stuck there ever since. The Bush cabal did a masterful job of using a national tragedy to cow the media into doing it’s bidding. Wrapping everything they did in patriotism and daring the press to go against them. I remember it clearly, but apparently Mark Halperin was sleeping through all that.
Does anyone else see a pattern – President Obama stands up to Republicans and the media narrative and Mark Halperin is offended and jumps to the defense of those poor, poor Republican’s who are so cordial and nice in their rhetoric. There are many more examples of Halperin’s misguided rhetoric, but who has the time to go through all of it. I just wonder if Time magazine is really willing to offend so many people who support President Obama by continuing to employ this man who has proven his bias and terrible analyst skills Time and Time again.
I’m so fucking sick of seeing the media use the “critics on the _____ say this” as a basis for a segment on a show or stupid blog post/column. In our over saturated media universe, you can’t throw a rock without hitting one of these stories. That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Every issue there is can be framed with the “critics say” structure and the “two sides to every story” cop-out. Finding a critic isn’t hard, especially when you have professional critics on speed dial at the cable networks. Since when did every issue have a valid argument on each side, some things are just as they are. When are journalists going to attempt to get at the truth and operate in the real world, instead of some projection of public opinion polls and conventional wisdom? I saw just this morning a poll about public opinions on the constitution, should it be interpreted strictly or not and other similar questions. Remember, the people answering these polls can’t even name our vice president or tell you what year the constitution was adopted, but you want to ask them how it should be implemented. What The Fuck. I don’t give a flying fuck what the ignorant asshole driving the monster truck and flying a confederate flag thinks about the constitution. I don’t even want that asshole thinking about it, to be honest.
A free press is one institution that was seen as important enough to be included in the constitution. I don’t think our founding fathers foresaw a “free” press being owned by huge mega corporations with the power of their money, ownership of the airwaves and even the power to effect economies. The “free” press is no more, with the exception of us non-paid bloggers and a few real journalists that still exist. Beyond that, turn on any one of the 3 major cable networks and watch the absolute slant towards anti-government and pro-business. And now with the “Citizen’s United” decision by the Supreme Court, they have even more direct control over our politicians. They now can destroy any candidate they want and smile while they’re doing it. It may be the reason why Republicans think they can get away with all the crap they are doing…because they can. Our cable media is completely fucked.
Joy Reid at The Reid Report sees a pattern in Andrew Breitbart’s victims.
And you may have heard the criticism from some in the gay community about this guy who was discharged under DADT during the process of changing the law. Well, it turns out he wanted to get out.
If you missed this great essay on Clarence Thomas and the original “Weinergate”, go check it out. I wonder who made that cool photo?
I came across this great article about our friend Cornel West and his insults towards our fabulous first lady, Michelle Obama.
For those people playing games with statistics and unemployment rates, trying to predict the 2012 election, they really shouldn’t underestimate President Barack Obama. Trying to bend statistics to do what you want may be fun, but you have to wonder if people believe that everything happens according to the way they’ve happened in the past. Are they trying to force a pattern on everything, thus, making it easier to understand? Dana Houle at Rooted Cosmopolitan breaks down the latest numbers game.
I usually try to ignore anything Sarah Palin, she is playing the country like a cheap violin. But her history lessons are getting pretty funny, I hope she keeps going, she may have enough to write a book, “American: Only In The Mind Of Sarah Palin”.
Enjoy your Saturday, I’m going to fire up my new push mower and work on the riding mower, it needs a good sharpening and greasing.
In a poll of New Jersey voters released on April 20, 2011, the people were asked for a word to describe their Governor, Chris Christie. Overwhelmingly the voters chose the word “Bully” to best describe him (140 people). Coming in a distant second was “Arrogant” (41 people), which was tied with “Good”. So 181 people referred to him as either a bully or arrogant. My first introduction to the Bully Governor was on Morning Joe on MSNBC, they love them some Gov. Christie on that show. My impression of him was that he was trying way too hard to be a blunt, straight talker, turning trite phrases and clever word plays and topping them off with a little smirk, because he is so proud of himself. I also noticed that it was ALL words, no substance to what he was saying, just platitudes and clever rhetoric. It wore thin on me within a few seconds, but I could see how those with little brain matter would fall for it.
Let’s travel back in time a bit and look at this man’s history of bullying, lying and going on the offensive whenever challenged on his “straight talk”. There is definitely a pattern with this man and god I hope he gets in the presidential race, because I would like nothing more than to see President Obama chew him up and spit him out with disgust. We might just as well start with a blatant example of his bullying, from The Ed Show…
The gentleman who was shouted down was Ed Buck, a retired multi-millionaire who simply wanted to ask Meg Whitman a question when the misogynistic Gov. Christie had to step in for the poor helpless woman (snark), even saying “You wanna yell, yell at me.” Because we wouldn’t want a mere woman running for governor of the largest state in the union to be subjected to someone “yelling”, which was really someone asking a tough question of a candidate who had been dodging them. The yelling part may have been due to him not having a microphone. Here is an exchange between Ed Schultz and Ed Buck, from Politicususa, that gets to the heart of Christie’s tactics…(emphasis mine)
ED SCHULTZ: Mr. Buck, what was your reaction when Mr. Christie, the governor of New Jersey, told you that you were the problem in this country? People that stand up and paraphrasing now, that’s pretty much what he said to you, isn’t it?
BUCK: Well, yeah you know, it’s very hypocritical of a man who wants to espouse this whole free speech, and that to say that we need to have a dialogue, but not have it with me. As soon as he doesn’t agree with my speech here, cuts me off. As long as I’m saying apple pie and waving the American flag, he’s okay with that. but if I begin to ask a critical question, Chris Christie becomes a school yard bully.
It isn’t just other men that he likes to bully either, in the above clip, he uses his “bully pulpit” to berate a teacher who merely made a statement about how she doesn’t know how she’s going to pay her bills after his draconian cuts to the school system. In many ways, Christie started the national assault on teachers that other “bully governors” like Scott Walker in WI, John Kasich in OH and Rick Snyder here in MI have taken and run with. It’s become chic for Republican governors to knock down and step on the people we entrust to teach our children. What a great fucking plan.
As a bully, Chris Christie likes to use the tools of the trade. ThinkProgress has this story about the New Jersey governor and couple of more incidents, including telling the media to take a bat to a 76 year old legislator, what a classy guy…
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who has virtually declared war on the state’s labor unions, is known for having an antagonizing style of politics, with some of his most infamous moments including telling a teacher to quit when she talked about how his politicking was hurting the reputation of educators in the state.
Christie’s latest foray into bullying rhetoric came yesterday, where he asked a group of reporters to “take the bat out” on a 76-year old female legislator Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D) because she has the temerity to collect a pension in addition to her part-time salary as a legislator:
Governor Christie told reporters Wednesday to “take the bat” to 76-year-old Sen. Loretta Weinberg for collecting a taxpayer-funded pension while making $49,000 a year as a legislator. [...]
“I mean, can you guys please take the bat out on her for once?” Christie said to a crowd of reporters at a State House news conference. “Here’s a woman who knows she did it, yet she comes to you and is pining … ‘Oh! My goodness! How awful this is! What a double standard!’ But she’s the queen of double standard.”
But it isn’t just bullying that this supposed “straight talker” employs, he likes to lie and exaggerate to sell his ideas. From the New York Times…(emphasis mine)
Mr. Christie, a Republican who took office in January 2010, would hardly be the first politician to indulge in hyperbole or gloss over facts. But his misstatements, exaggerations and carefully constructed claims belie the national image he has built as a blunt talker who gives straight answers to hard questions, especially about budgets and labor relations. Candor is central to Mr. Christie’s appeal, and a review of his public statements over the past year shows some of them do not hold up to scrutiny.
When New Jersey narrowly lost $400 million in the federal Education Department’s Race to the Top competition last summer because of missing data in its application, Mr. Christie held a news conference blaming “bureaucrats in Washington” and said state officials had tried to supply the missing numbers at a hearing. It did not take long for the Obama administration to release a recording showing that, in reality, federal officials had requested the information at the hearing, and the New Jersey team had not had it.
Mr. Christie fired Bret D. Schundler, his education commissioner at the time, accusing him of lying about the hearing. But Mr. Schundler said he had warned the governor before the news conference that what he was about to tell reporters was false.
And Brett D. Schundler nailed exactly how Chris Christie rolls…
“His entire point was he likes to be on offense rather than defense,” Mr. Schundler said days later. “He wanted to make this all about the Obama administration’s picayune rules rather than our error.”
He apparently has been pretty successful at telling lies, blaming other people and attacking those who challenge him and thus shifting the focus away from the many lies, errors and fabrications that he uses to spread his warped ideas. The awesome Steve Benen sums up Governor Christie’s MO better than anyone, go Steve…
That may be true, but it’s not exactly a defense. This only makes Christie an effective liar. There’s a name for those who get the public to believe lies — we tend to call them charlatans.
And in Christie’s case, the record is extremely unflattering. The governor doesn’t like unions, so he’s lied about their benefits. Christie doesn’t like to accept responsibility for his mistakes, so he’s lied about blaming others for his own administration’s errors. He doesn’t like some of his previous campaign promises, so he’s lied about his agenda.
Worse, some of this is an extension of a bullying personality. The NYT piece noted that “inaccuracies also crop up when he is challenged, and his instinct seems to be to turn it into an attack on someone else instead of giving an answer.”
It’s about using deception as a political weapon. Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the state Democratic chairman, said, “Everything is an assault, which makes it hard for adversaries to catch their breath and question the substance of what he’s saying before he moves on to the next thing.”
This post has focused on Governor Christie’s bullying tactics, but his arrogance seems to know no bounds as well. I’m sure I could do an entire post on that as well, but I will just leave you with one example of his recent arrogance. The other day, he used a state helicopter to swoop in and watch part of his sons baseball game, only to fly away again to meet with GOP donors who are trying to convince him to run for president in 2012. Under pressure from many in his state to reimburse the people for his extravagant use of state property, the arrogant governor refused, spitting in the face of the people who elected him. From NJ.com…
Facing broad criticism for flying by helicopter to watch his son’s high school baseball game in Bergen County, Gov. Chris Christie refused today to refund the state for Tuesday’s $2,500-an-hour flight. “The governor does not reimburse for security and travel,” a spokesman for the governor, Kevin Roberts, said in an e-mail message.
What a dangerous combination, arrogant and a bully. I’m not sure if the people of New Jersey are into that sort of thing, but for those of us in the rest of the country, it is pretty obvious that this man IS a charlatan. We can only hope that he will be a one term governor and for those people who think he should run for president, I have to wonder exactly what drugs they are on, thinking this man would be a good national leader.
Hat Tip to Osborneink on Twitter!
I started writing this post about a week ago, having no idea that the two subjects of the post, dumb and dumber, would meet up and chow on some pizza. If you added up their IQ’s, you still wouldn’t reach 100. I imagine there was a lot of grunting and pointing going on at this meeting of the stupids.
Cable news and even broadcast news have become vehicles for con artists, egomaniacs and narcissists to make lots of money. There are way too many examples of this in the last few years, but I will just pick a few to focus on. The most recent and blatant example is Donald Trump. He used the guise of “possibly” running for president to promote his NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice”. It was so over the top and obvious, that some in the media even said they knew he was just trying to get publicity and then they would “roll tape” or say “we’ll talk to the Donald right after the break.” So even after admitting that they were being used, they just kept doing it. There were a few days on MSNBC where he was camped out in their studio and they put him on every half hour to spew his bullshit, mostly unchallenged. And he always dropped in several mentions of his TV show, without fail. I watched as MSNBC anchors just sat there speechless as he vomited out his racist, elitist bullshit and in my opinion, did great harm to our society. They helped to perpetuate the underlying racism behind his birth certificate claims and towards the end of his media blitz, the President’s educational accomplishments. That all came to a halt with the complete shellacking of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. And then the next day, the killing of Osama bin Laden.
I called for a boycott of NBC until they fire him. I am still not watching that network until his ass is gone. It doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon, so NBC can count on one less viewer and one less consumer buying their advertisers products. I will not watch that network until he is off the air, period. I have also switched over to CNN as my daytime news network. Fuck MSNBC during the day, they simply take the latest meme from the “Morning Meme Generator with Joe” and repeat it on the half hour and then bring on Jane Hamsher or some other firebagger to beat up on the President and ignore his latest accomplishments. They usually have a Republican there to beat up on the president too, their idea of being bi-partisan. I do still watch Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow and sometimes Ed Schultz. What else is there for a liberal to watch these days, until I get my cable network off the ground. (Only half joking)
The other example of the cable networks being willing vehicles for con artists is Sarah Palin. She has a documentary coming out and is on a bus tour. She has a fire in her belly, you know. I take Prilosec for mine. But once again, she is teasing the media into thinking she is running for president, when almost everyone says they know she will not. But that isn’t any reason to not pretend like she is and give her all the oxygen in the room. Who gives a shit about Joplin MO, or the radiation in Japan that has dropped off the radar, or the other communities torn apart by tornadoes or flooding. Instead, they are pimping for Sarah Palin and putting money directly into her greedy little, crib-noted hands. They are completely unabashed in giving her all the time she wants. And I’m not just talking about Fox News, this is all the cable networks, broadcast networks and the freakin internet too. I personally have grown tired of laughing at her half-witted sayings and screeching voice.
Mark my words, the next few weeks will be the Sarah Palin chronicles on cable news, they will have well paid reporters following her around, clinging to every word and tweet she spews, speculating about her run for president, blah, blah, fucking blah. And there is no way in hell she is running for president, that’s way too much work. Shit, she couldn’t handle being the governor of Alaska and cashed in while the getting was good.
I’ve been calling this phenomenon the “Balloon Boy Syndrome”, in honor of Richard and Mayumi Heene, the reality show folks who missed the limelight of being reality stars and had to jump up and down to get people to pay attention to them. This syndrome is very contagious, as soon as one network goes with a story, the others follow right along. Long gone are the days of checking sources or confirming stories, that’s for wimps. Run with it, what the hell, they can always spend 20 seconds saying they were wrong, after having beat the dead horse into the ground or followed the empty balloon half way across the country. They wait for the next ding and head off like salivating dogs to the next media created 15 minute fame whore.
The effect of the “Balloon Boy Syndrome” is that it just encourages others to do the same. At one point, I referred to the Republican primary as simply auditions for Fox News. Just today, I saw that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas are both toying with the idea of throwing their hats in the ring. Who can blame them, all they have to do is say a few crazy things, watch the media descend upon them, they get built up, form a PAC, raise a bunch of money, write a book and collect the loot. And these cable outlets and news organizations just play right along with it, no shame, no apologies and no honor obviously. Is it any wonder the media ranks below child molesters in polls. (That may be a slight exaggeration, but who’s going to check on it?)
Here is a link to the second part of the above, damn thing was autoplaying, which I hate.
This is a must watch clip that speaks volumes about what our country has become in recent years. Hat tip to Osborne Ink.
For those of you not familiar with Twitter, the following is a Chirpstory. It is basically a series of “Tweets” strung together, usually an exchange between two or more people. This one is a bit different, I’ll let Allan Brauer explain his reasons for this rant. It is a must read for anyone who really gives a shit about our country. Here is a link to the original chirpstory. He promises more in the future. You can read Allan over at Angry Black Lady Chronicles, which really should be one of your bookmarks if it isn’t already. It may not look like other chirpstories you’ve seen, because I have yet to figure out how to put them in with the embedded code. Doh!
Preface: I went on a bit of a stream of consciousness jag, inspired by the decision of the Sunday morning talk shows to book 6 GOP-Bush apologists to one Democrat on the occasion of Obama carrying out the action that killed Osama bin Laden. We have no liberal media. It’s up to us to be the messenger for Obama and the Democrats.
Tomorrow morning, our corporate media will give platform to war criminals and serial failures in hopes of dragging down Obama’s approval.
Our corporate media is so concerned that the GOP will be unable to front a marketable candidate that they’re trying to drag Obama down.
It will be absolutely devastating for the 2012 news ratings if the GOP nominates a clunker and Obama wins in a cakewalk. Ads must be sold.
Remember that what the news media loved about the Obama/Clinton primary battle was Dems were fighting and a close race drew more eyeballs.
The GOP disappointed media in 2008 by quickly reconciling itself to McCain as their candidate. They have an interest in conflict.
With no primary challenger to Obama, the media hopes the GOP fight will be contentious and prolonged, and that Obama will be vulnerable.
The GOP’s preference for winner-take-all primaries minimizes the chance that they’ll approach their convention without a clear winner.
Therefore it will be necessary for the media to manufacture drama by insisting that Dems are divided, Obama’s support is waning.
Any poll that suggests Obama could lose a state to the GOP nominee will be flogged in 64 point headlines; those showing him winning, not.
Any self-appointed spokesperson who calls for progressives to withhold support from O will be given a platform on Fox News and MSNBC.
The hundreds of thousands of volunteers calling and knocking on doors to re-elect Obama will be disappeared like Iraq war protestors.
If you would like to be cross-posted at HuffPo, Daily Kos, FDL et al, write a post about why Obama doesn’t deserve your vote.
What can we do about the reality I have described? A few things. One, we can withhold our eyeballs and clicks from the media circus.
Two, we can use our own respective platforms, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., to amplify and spread the message of those who support Obama.
Three, we can network with each other across all social media and refer people to the work of others with which we agree.
Fourth, and most important, we can organize and mobilize in the real world and talk to persuadable ppl in the middle, not just our allies.
Our country splits roughly one-third left, one-third right, one-third in between. Elections are about getting to 50% + 1.
In 2008, our local Obama phonebanking team included decline-to-state voters, and even some registered Republicans. Those are the target.
Covey’s 7 Habits: each of us has a smaller circle of control and a larger circle of influence. The better you manage what’s in your control,
the larger your circle of influence grows. Go forth. Be calm, friendly, rational and polite. Speak positively of Obama & his results.
Point out how much more Obama can accomplish if given 4 more years to continue what he’s started. Contrast his vision with the GOP’s.
Acknowledge he and his administration have not been perfect. Point out that no politician has ever been perfect. Ask who do you trust more?
Who do you believe actually has your best interests and those of your family and community in mind when deciding a course of action?
All politicians receive money from corporate donors. But ask which ones still favor policies that might benefit the little guy anyway?
Both parties support the principles of a strong US military. But which one has fought to make the military a better and fairer workplace?
Both parties have failed at times to stand up for civil liberties and individual rights. But which has consistently worked to expand them?
Both parties have been insufficient in addressing our environmental degradation. But which one acknowledges we have a problem?
Both sides in the healthcare debate insist that they are looking out for patients. But which one has actually expanded access?
Both parties could do more to protect a woman’s right to choose. But which one unanimously votes to take that right away?
These are some of the choices that face voters when making their decisions in 2012. Make the contrasts clear even as the media blurs them.
The media pretends that they provide balance by presenting critics of Obama from both the left and the right. You provide the real balance.
Only you can explain to your friends, relatives and neighbors why they should support Obama and the Dems. No one else will do it for you.
I’ve posted many times about polls on this blog, having some schooling in the subject. Now the pollsters are polling about polls.
And if you missed our awesome President on 60 minutes, JM Ashby put it up here to watch. You really should watch it, much more reliable than the media filters.
All the discussion about Hillary in that Situation Room photo, well, how about we just remove her from the picture like this newspaper did.
I totally agree with this, why doesn’t Andrew Breitbart just get a job already.
Wow, is Bill Maher trying to get attention using a racial slur and stereotype?
Check out some more great photos from the parade and protest in Benton Harbor, Michigan on Saturday.
And last, but not least, what fun would a Monday be without calling out Glenn Greenwald on his bullshit?
I’m all for “messaging” when running a campaign for elected office. The idea of having surrogates and your supporters parroting the talking points consistently, with no room for wedges to be inserted and breaks to form in the message is a noble goal. That is kind of the game that is played between the press and a campaign, staying on message, pounding home your themes and not getting distracted from the “message” of the day, week or entire campaign. I’m totally down with that concept. When it comes to governing a country, I’m not such a huge fan of that process. Ronald Reagan and his puppet-masters had it down to a science and in my idealistic head, it was maddening. There was no transparency, there was no window into that administration, only what we and the media were spoon fed. Some in the media pushed back against it, pointing out to their readers and viewers that it was happening. But those were much different times in the media.
Candidate Clinton adopted a lot of that mentality even with all the distractions he had to fight back. They stuck to their “It’s the economy stupid” theme and just kept driving it home to a big win in 1992. The comeback kid confirmed that in elections, you have to stick to your message and pound it relentlessly. In thinking back to the Clinton presidency, it occurs to me that they, like Reagan and Bush 1, brought that into the Whitehouse with them.
The Obama campaign and candidate Obama showed great discipline with their messaging during the campaign, but promised an era of transparency in the Whitehouse. The two concepts don’t necessarily go hand in hand. The recent “messaging” problem that many in the press and blogosphere are accusing the Whitehouse of in the wake of the operation that killed Osama bin Laden on Sunday, to me is because of that transparency. I’m glad that the Whitehouse didn’t clamp down and make everyone come out like robots and repeat the same “message”. Instead, the Whitehouse released an intense and not necessarily flattering photo of the situation room during a very tense moment. We saw a room full of people who were all watching the same thing, but not necessarily all seeing the same thing or interpreting it the same way.
Each one of the people in that room and then their staffs have different perspectives and perceptions of what happened. With transparency in the Whitehouse and nothing to hide, these people were allowed to talk to the media. Why are the details so different depending on who said it? I equate it very much to someone whispering something at one end of a table and by the time it makes it to the other end, the story has changed wildly. That’s what happens when humans share information. It’s why outlets like Fox News purposely feed misinformation into the public to be spread around, they understand that idea and use it for their evil purposes.
So as I watch the details of the operation get revised and corrected, with one person contradicting someone else and no clear, repeated message coming from the Whitehouse, in many ways I’m glad. If we just look at one instance in the Bush administration that backfired on them monumentally, partly because of the “messaging” idea and partly because they were fucking propagandists trying to justify their stupid fucking wars and keep the cheerleaders for their venture on the sidelines with their pom poms. The instance was the killing of Pat Tillman. If you want to know the history of that one, go here. The Bush Administration picked their message, a manufactured cover story, and they ran with it. As anyone with a brain knows, lies beget lies. One lie usually leads to many other lies to cover the first one.
Now, with a situation that is developing, with details being revealed from many sources, would it be better for the Whitehouse to immediately concoct a “message” for the masses, even as the details are still emerging. Or how about clamping down on anyone saying anything until those details are clear, then the press would spend their time pounding on the door of the press room, writing conspiracy stories about why they aren’t telling us the details and thus tainting any “message” that eventually comes out. Transparency is a messy business, folks. Letting officials and staffers speak out with all their flaws in perceptions and interpretations will cause some contradictions, revisions and people walking back things when the actual details and evidence comes along. It may look haphazard and incompetent, but as someone who likes the idea of the Whitehouse allowing information to flow to the public, I’ll take that confusion in a heartbeat over the lock-step messaging that took a brave man like Pat Tillman and used him for a “message” that was consistent at first, but went on to hurt a man’s family and our country for years to come.
I’m glad that information is flowing about the operation to capture/kill Osama bin Laden, even if it isn’t so neat and tidy and wrapped up with a nice bow.