The craziness coming out of the mouths of some people seems to have no limit. Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of GE was on Morning Joke this morning and when asked whether BP should be trusted he basically said yes the can, they are just inept. The really crazy thing that came out of his mouth, and I guess we should cut him some slack because he is getting pretty old, but he said the president should have gotten all the oil CEO’s in a room and locked them in it until they came up with a plan. He was very serious about not letting them leave, forcing them to stay in a room in the White House until they came up with a plan. That is a perfect example of the absolute craziness coming out of some people’s mouths. Let’s break this down, he thinks the president can force private individuals to come to a meeting and then lock them in a room, forcibly, and keep them locked up until they solve an unsolvable problem. Does that sound like we are living in America to you? Is that really what he wants the president to do? Or is it just the right wing hyperbole that appeals to the knuckle-draggers in the country. It President Obama were to have done that, just imagine what the idiots like Joe Scarborough would have screamed.
After Jack Welch made these crazy claims, Joe Scarborough, who loves to talk out of all 4 sides of his mouth, jumps on it and sees an opportunity to use it to his advantage. They had a good ole’ time speculating about this crazy idea and Mika attempted to throw some reality into the situation and of course was talked over and diminished. She also went after Rudy Giuliani for telling a whole bunch of lies last week when he was on several TV shows. This was of course brushed off as White House talking points, whether it was true or not didn’t seem to matter, they are talking points. Which brings me to this whole “golfing while president” talking point the Republicans are trotting out, including the Republican commentors on this site who keep claiming to not be Republicans but when the latest talking point comes off the press, they are right there spewing it.
I have to give Jack Welch credit for shooting down that talking point and saying that president’s need to have recreation and downtime, it makes them think more clearly and do their job better. It’s just one more example of how the right and the media seem obsessed with appearances and symbolism. Reality really has no place in most of their thinking, as was shown when Mika pointed out all the real things that the Obama administration did early on in the crisis and that was then dismissed because they didn’t “convey” that well enough. In their pea-sized brains apparently if you don’t convey it, it didn’t really happen. That’s the type of mentality of too many of the talking heads on TV, reality doesn’t really matter, it’s perceptions that matter. I’m sure there is plenty of room to criticize little details that were or weren’t done, but when people make the blanket, exaggerated claims like he didn’t consult with industry experts…..that’s complete horseshit, they assembled a team of people in Houston composed of experts from many oil companies, engineers, physicists etc.
I have to give Mika credit this morning, she did an excellent job pushing back against the bullshit spewing from Joe and his cronies mouths. Mark Halperin was also a voice of reason, although he never goes too far out on a limb for the president.
Thank you John Dickerson at Slate.com for giving some much-needed perspective on this crazy meme that the media and their Republican puppet masters have wrought on us cable news junkies. You know, the one that says the Barack Obama isn’t angry enough, not emotional enough. And then the leap they’ve been successfully making to date that it points to a lack of leadership. Personally, I think passing a health care bill, no matter how much it is flawed, showed tremendous leadership. People in the media who have never been elected or governed or led for that matter, seem to think they have a right to paint this president as lacking leadership, as if real leaders come out in front of the cameras and blow a fuse, go ballistic and show some emotion. When the reality is that American presidents have rarely, if ever, showed any real anger in public. John Dickerson at Slate.com weighs in on this…(emphasis mine)
While no one has yet discovered a way to plug the BP oil leak, each day does bring the discovery of yet another fundamental character defect that explains President Obama’s helplessness. He’s not emotional enough. He lacks crisis experience. He is insufficiently creative. With the leak likely to last into the summer, before long it will be blamed on Obama’s bad penmanship or his skinny legs.
The one question we’ll always be able to ask, fortunately, is whether the president is sufficiently angry. In the daily temperature reading that has become the White House press briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs once again addressed the president’s temper. “Our point is not to feign, through method acting, anger at what environmental and economic damage has been wrought by this disaster. That wasn’t going to fill a hole. That wasn’t going to put money in the bank account of a shrimper that’s not fishing. That’s not going to help a hotel worker or a hotel owner on a beach in Florida.”
Here’s the thing about presidential anger. It’s never seen in public—not just from our first smooth jazz president, but from any president. If presidents show anger in public, they risk looking out of control, which in moments of crisis is the exact opposite of what people want.
This perspective seems to have eluded ANY of the talking heads that appear on my TV. The idea that he isn’t angry enough about the spill started with one of the pinhead media people, a right-winger no doubt. It was then picked up and ran with by many others, usually couched in “some say the president isn’t angry enough” statements. Who these “some” are never makes an appearance. It soon morphs into “The American people don’t think he’s angry enough” and then that gets repeated ad nauseum, drumming that line into the masses heads. After they’ve done that long enough, they take a poll and ask a question like “Do you think the president is angry enough about the oil spill?” The media then pretends like they weren’t the ones pushing that meme, it’s the America people that believe this.
Now I bet if you did a poll, completely separate from any questions about the oil spill and asked people, “would you rather your president was calm and in control or angry and pounding his fist on the table?” What do you suppose would be the result? Of course it would be calm and in control. But of course if you couch that question between two questions about oil gushing from a pipe in the gulf, you will get vastly different results. I love the fact that my president doesn’t lose control and let his emotions get the better of him, that IS EXACTLY WHAT I DO NOT WANT HIM TO DO! We all know that if President Obama had come out from day one and yelled and screamed, taken control of BP, put all the responsibility on the federal government….well you know what the right-wing noise machine would have done with that. In the political environment we live in, there is no winning, there is no agreed upon reality, there is no truth – only differing points of view and it doesn’t really matter what the president does or doesn’t do, the right-wing and the firebaggers will find fault with it. And if they can’t find anything factual, they’ll just make shit up like he isn’t angry enough. To me that says they can’t find anything else to criticize him about.
Stay cool, President Obama, don’t believe the right-wing, they are trying to trap you into being the “angry black man.”
Go read this most excellent post by Al Giordano over at The Field. It’s great stuff. Here is a snippet…
What I have often smacked down from this corner as “the poutrage of the week” and the panicked Chicken Little behavior of those who follow the commercial media’s constant feedbag of crisis and attention-seeking, is really, all of it, a consequence of the harms that de Botton describes. Like domesticated oxen, the population is yanked from media stoked crisis to crisis, all of which carry a whiff of apocalypse: an oil gusher in the Gulf now comes with underwater 24-hour live stream cameras, all available online and to TV networks, as experts – real and invented – jump onto our screens to tell us their version of what is happening. “We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture,” says de Botton, “and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds.” A few weeks later comes Israel’s raid on an aid flotilla (the Middle East being, for many, a Pavlov signifier for “apocalypse” and thus an easy ruse for the media to get all sides drooling and barking according to an age-old script) and the cycle starts anew. And next week or the following week, when fatigue sets in on those obsessions, it will be something else altogether.
Morning Joe always seems to get my blood pumping in the morning. David Gregory and Savannah Guthrie trotted out the ole “the statue of limitations on blaming the Bush administration is over” talking point. Isn’t that a FOXism? Whenever anyone mentions the source of a problem or what caused a particular problem, the right wing and the media trot out that tired formulaic response. It’s so stupid on it’s face, there is some arbitrary time when a previous administration is no longer responsible for what they did? What is it, one year, 18 months, the first 100 days? Using the statute of limitations analogy is basically admitting that they are responsible, but we just can’t blame them anymore. In a criminal case, even if a person is guilty, if the statute of limitations is up….they go free.
It’s just one more example of how the media likes to simplify things, make it black or white, categorize it, compare it to something else so it’s easier to digest (the whole Katrina example). The media has been taken over by the village idiots, it seems. If you listen carefully to almost any newscaster, reporter or “expert” on the cable shows, you can hear so much opinion, supposition and blatant un-sourced information. Hell, a post on a blog or a tweet from an anonymous person is sometimes used as corroboration. How screwed up is that. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a pundit cherry pick a statement from an emailer or tweeter or whatever and use that as a basis for saying “the American people believe this or that”. It’s the “Foxification of America”.
Oh this is good, Rachel is doing excellent work these days. You HAVE to watch this if you haven’t already. It’s priceless.
The other morning on “Morning Assholes Who Talk Shit”, I heard the spin artist Joe Scarborough get his panties all in a bunch because the head of the EPA, Lisa Jackson cancelled her appearance at a democratic fundraiser just one day before it happened. I’ve also heard the media criticize President Obama for playing golf or going to Chicago for Memorial Day. How can they go on with anything in their lives while the oil is still leaking? I wonder if all these critics are stopping everything in their lives while this is going on. Should the whole world just stop until the oil leak is plugged up? Is this similar to John McCain suspending his campaign during the election?
I can just hear President Obama say…
“I am suspending my administration until the oil leak is stopped. I will give endless speeches trying to console the media who can’t seem to take their eyes off that little video feed at the bottom of their TV. I will pound my fist on the table for James Carville. I will swear at BP for Keith Olbermann and I will not try to figure out how this might have happened, that would be blaming Bush and we can’t have that now, can we? I will make appearances on every morning news show, except Morning Joe, I’m sorry but they are just idiots. I will be available for the local noon news and cry on queue, maybe Glenn Beck can give me some pointers. I will sit down with Oprah and talk about my feelings, maybe I’ll jump up and down on her couch, she seems to like that. I now admit that I don’t like getting calls at 3 am and I’ve asked Hillary to answer them from now on, it’s usually Vladimir Putin after a half gallon of vodka anyway. But most of all, I will not do a damn thing else for this country until that spill is stopped and every last drop of oil is cleaned up from the gulf, you go create some fucking jobs, you deal with the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, you go clean up the two fucking messes that Bush/Cheney propagated on me in the middle east but didn’t pay for and then stuck me with the bill. You try to pass a climate change bill or repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (and I’m talking to you Greenwald and Aravosis) and you try to roll back all the Bush/Cheney infringement on our basic human rights. I’m getting in a submarine and going down to fix that motherfucking leak.”
I don’t always agree with Bill Maher, but that’s a good thing in my mind. When people start thinking in “lock-step”, then we are in a dangerous place. I haven’t listened to the entire podcast of Bill’s show, which is how I get it…..no HBO for this poor sucker. Crooks and Liars has a clip of it and below you can find some of the transcript. I’d like to hang with Bill Maher, I like how he calls bullshit what it is. One of his “New Rules” from his last show is priceless.
New Rule: Al Gore Must Call His Sequel An Inconvenient Truth 2: What the Fuck Is Wrong With You People?
Bill has a column over at Huffington Post that you can read here. One of my favorite lines from it is below, he is responding to Global Warming deniers. (emphasis mine)
That’s the problem with our obsession with always seeing two sides of every issue equally — especially when one side has a lot of money. It means we have to pretend there are always two truths, and the side that doesn’t know anything has something to say. On this side of the debate: Every scientist in the world. On the other: Mr. Potato Head.
There is no debate here — just scientists vs. non-scientists, and since the topic is science, the non-scientists don’t get a vote. We shouldn’t decide everything by polling the masses. Just because most people believe something doesn’t make it true. This is the fallacy called argumentum ad numeram: the idea that something is true because great numbers believe it. As in: Eat shit, 20 trillion flies can’t be wrong.
You loyal readers know how I’ve been bitching about polling every damn thing that moves, the lazy journalism method, but it’s more than that. It’s crossing over into the realm of upending long established principles that this country was founded on. See Arizona and the “show us your papers” law if you need an example. The media is pushing the polls that show the “majority” of Americans agree with it, the constitution be damned. The media is trying to exert control over the agenda by commissioning polls with leading questions, poorly ordered questions and nonsense topics like the freakin bad call at the Detroit Tigers game last week.
I watched some of Morning Joke this morning and was treated to a constant drumming of the meme that the president hasn’t showed he cares enough about the oil spill, and Scarborough was trying his hardest to morph it into a leadership issue. Leadership is much different than stagecraft….photo ops….empathy….and fake outrage. I love the fact that my president is a serious, get things done president instead of someone standing in front of a “Mission Accomplished” banner. I want him working, not acting. I want him solving problems, not flying around the country to the latest natural or man-made disaster. I know if he were that type of president, the media would be pounding him for being all about symbolism and appearances.
Morning Joke clearly has an agenda to damage the president, why else would they devote their entire show for weeks to beating that drum? It’s not like there were a couple of terrorists captured this weekend or anything else that happened in the world. And Joe and Mika (President of Joe’s fan club and lap dog) keep exaggerating and mischaracterizing what people actually have said. This morning he painted a picture that said that every democrat that’s been on in the last couple of weeks thinks the president is doing a poor job at “managing” this crisis. Which is complete horseshit. I watch almost every morning and it isn’t true. Sure, people have said he should have been “more out front” on the issue or could have tweaked his public performance, but they have all said he is doing everything he can. This morning James Cameron said that exact thing, which Joe glossed over…he hears what he wants and talks over those who he doesn’t want to be heard. Anthony Weiner had that pulled on him this morning too.
I just read a story about unfortunate remarks by Helen Thomas, the White House reporter who has been covering the white house since the Eisenhower administration. They have gotten her in deep shit with the Jewish community. I’m not going to post the clip here, because I love Helen and don’t really want to “pile on” by spreading her screw up even further. I think she was expressing her anger towards a brutal Israeli government that continues to kill innocent men, women and CHILDREN. Ever heard of cluster bombs? She has issued an apology for her remarks which is here. I had the honor to meet Helen a few years back, the university I work at brought her in to speak. Her niece is a local news anchor. I’ve also exchanged emails with her since then and she is a very kind, generous woman who also isn’t afraid to speak her mind to power. She is the only reporter who held George W. Bush’s feet to the fire. The ONLY one.
Ari Fleischer is calling for her to be fired for her remarks, which of course is an overreaction. Considering Helen has been doing this since 1943, if this is the worst screw up she’s had, I think we can cut her some slack. What she said about Jews going home and occupying are akin to racists in America telling African Americans to go home, she screwed up. The history of that land and who owns it is a long one and it’s not so cut and dry. I’m often reminded of America’s own claims of ownership on this land, in my opinion Native Americans are the original owners of this land but we all know that they don’t exactly have control of it now, do they?
She’s apologized and it’s time to move on. Helen Thomas is an icon and a much needed voice in the white house briefing room, even if you don’t always agree with her. We need her to ask the questions no one else will ask, the ones that aren’t about some freakin’ poll but the issues that are important to the American people.
(Update: CNN is reporting that Helen Thomas is retiring. Thanks Helen for all you’ve done for America over the years, you will be missed)
(Updated Again: Crooks and Liars has a post about it with details on the hate from the right and the Jewish community)
So really, it’s photo ops that we really need, huh, idiot media. It’s crazy to me how so many in the media will come right out and admit that there isn’t much the White House can do that it isn’t already doing, but the President needs to show us he cares – give us a good photo-op, maybe some crocodile tears. It plays right into the media’s obsession with public opinion, moods, the finger-in-the-wind mentality. Joe Scarborough just said he wants to see theatrics, he came right out and proved my point that it’s all about the theatrics. Maureen Dowd and others wrote about the same subject this weekend. How is it that the media can make this about Obama when the real story is how we got to this point. What caused this bullshit? Bob Cesca pointed us to this post from Balloon Juice which summed up a lot of my feelings. (emphasis mine)
Look, I know that we face many difficult challenges. A lot of things have gone wrong and more will go wrong. This is to be expected because Republicans have been in charge for most of the last four decades.
Do you really think that you could have Anti-Government Republicans in charge for 30 plus years and actively working to destroy the infrastructure of government without causing system failures? If you do, then you are living in candy land (or a tea infused lotus dream).
The oil spill in the gulf is is just another result of snorting deregulation fairy dust with a Markets-Are-God hi-ball chaser night after night for decades. When you let industry capture regulators and dismantle effective governance, you guarantee a catastrophic failure. The spill is evidence of this, so was that mining disaster in West Virginia, same thing when it comes to that financial meltdown and the same thing will be true when the next system fails.
And when it does, like idiots, we will not blame the failed philosophy of the modern Conservative movement. Nope, we will blame President Obama, liberals and Democrats—because that is what we are used to doing. More than that, we will ignore facts and worry whether or not the optics of the response are right. We will all ask: is he yelling loud enough yet?
The idiot media just plays right along with it. I’ve certainly heard a few news reports about the deregulation and coziness with regulators that lead to this mess but for the most part the media has devolved into it’s process, political implication mode. I’m glad that President Obama isn’t about theatrics, even though I seem to remember his opponents (both dem and rep) trying to paint him as ONLY about theatrics, giving a good speech etc. That is campaign mode, when speeches…..well, that’s what you do when you are trying to get elected and President Obama did it very well. Governing is quite different. President Reagan ushered in the era of photo ops, stage craft, Hollywood, strategically place props such as military officers, babies, American flags, victims of whatever tragedy is current. Subsequent administrations including Clinton continued that tradition and took it to new levels. President Bush, of course, took it to its logical conclusion with his Mission Accomplished photo-op that will live on as an example of how stagecraft really is fake, Xanax for the masses. Now I know that if President Obama were down there everyday, screaming at the cameras, giving the press its photo-op, that they would accuse him of using the tragedy for a photo-op, for political purposes. I can just hear the outcry from the Republicans and Hamsher and the gang about how he is all symbolism, he should be back at the White House taking care of business. It doesn’t really matter what the president does, the media will find something to criticize the him for – always about process. Hell, they get all worked up about the man going to see his daughter play soccer without them, damn, they missed a fucking photo-op.
Some advice to President Obama from Extreme Liberal – fuck em, keep doing your job, stay focused on the important issues, don’t cave in to the idiot media. They don’t have your best interests at heart. It’s very similar to listening to Republicans giving campaign advice to Democrats, I don’t think they are really too concerned about you. That symbolism bullshit is for the simple-minded, mostly the media, getting shit done is for the rest of us. I always want to say to assholes like Ed Henry, Wolf Blitzer or Joe Scarborough….when you get elected president, you come talk to me….until then, piss off. These assholes pretend like they know more than everyone, they are the real authorities and the president must bow to their gathering of opinions with a 4.7% margin of error. They decide what is most important for the president to do, not the person who actually ran and was elected President of the United States of America. I’ve said it before, I would love it if the president didn’t run again, take the wind out of the sails of the “what political implications will this have for 2012″ crowd.
People are getting very frustrated with the oil spill that continues to gush into the gulf. It sickens me and its unbelievable to me that they ever let oil rigs off-shore – especially if they didn’t have a tested plan to fix a problem like this. Rachel Maddow had a great review of news footage from years past. This isn’t new, they have never had any good plans to fix this type of problem. It is posted below, watch it if you want some context to the situation. Of course the media never seems to give any context, they treat everything as a new phenomenon, they re-invent the wheel repeatedly.
I’ve heard both James Carville and Harry Shearer screaming and attacking the president, both Louisiana natives who are especially upset that this mess hasn’t been fixed yet. They have every right to feel that way. But I think they are both letting their emotions overwhelm them and have slipped into irrationality. Their anger is misdirected, very much like someone who is helpless and has to lash out at someone. I think they have chosen the wrong people, to even imagine that the President doesn’t take this seriously is just fucking stupid. Both Shearer and Carville are screaming for symbolism, they admitted it in their rants. They want style over substance, damn it. I want visuals, photo ops…maybe President Obama should move the Oval office to Louisiana until this problem is fixed….what, 20 fucking years from now? It’s not like there is anything else the president has to worry about, and I think Barack Obama got his undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering, right?
These cries for a superhuman response, they want Obama to swoop in and fix the problem like magic, are very irrational and like a said, very much a scream for help from someone who feels they have no control, no options. The response from Carville and Shearer and I would add Howard Fineman, is really kind of childish. This situation isn’t cut and dry, there isn’t a magic answer that just isn’t getting done. The experts in this area HAVE been assembled in Houston for many weeks, a combination of experts tapped by the administration, BP experts and experts from other oil companies too. They are weighing all the science, testing, experimenting and they are working with urgency, we may not have a live feed of their work, but it is happening.
Steve Benen over at the Washington Monthly has a great post about the idiotic tactics the Republicans have been using since President Obama took office. It’s good stuff, here is a couple of pieces of it. I highly recommend you go check it out.
Long-time readers may recall a discussion we had back in December, about the quality of the debate over health care reform. It was obvious at the time that the meaningful, interesting disputes weren’t between conservatives and liberals, but between liberals and other liberals.It’s not that the right remained silent; it’s that they offered arguments that no serious person could find credible. Consider, just off the top of your head, the most prominent concerns raised by opponents of the Affordable Care Act. What comes to mind? “Death panels.” “Socialism.” “Government takeover.”
It was the biggest domestic policy fight in a generation, but most of the policy debate was spent debunking transparent, child-like nonsense. The left approached the debate with vibrancy, energy, and seriousness. The right thought it was fascinating to talk about the number of pages in the legislation.
Making matters worse, the quality of the discourse on health care wasn’t especially unusual. We endured a mind-numbing debate over economic recovery efforts because Republicans weren’t prepared for a serious argument. We can’t discuss Wall Street reform because Republicans keep saying “bailout” for no reason. We can’t discuss a climate bill because Republicans reflexively reject the science.
I think it is very much a scorched earth tactic. Prove that politicians can’t do anything right so they sweep the bums out….which is really the only hope the party of “hell no” has. It could very well work with the media being such willing participants in the process. Steve Benen links to Marc Ambinder, who is excerpted below…
I want to find Republicans to take seriously, but it is hard. Not because they don’t exist — serious Republicans — but because, as Sanchez and others seem to recognize, they are marginalized, even self-marginalizing, and the base itself seems to have developed a notion that bromides are equivalent to policy-thinking, and that therapy is a substitute for thinking.
It is absolutely a condition of the age of the triumph of conservative personality politics, where entertainers shouting slogans are taken seriously as political actors, and where the incentive structures exist to stomp on dissent and nuance, causing experimental voices to retrench and allowing a lot of people to pretend that the world around them is not changing. The obsession with ACORN, Climategate, death panels, the militarization of rhetoric, Saul Alinsky, Chicago-style politics, that TAXPAYERS will fund the bailout of banks – these aren’t meaningful or interesting or even relevant things to focus on. (The banks will fund their own bailouts.)
Bob Cesca has a new column up that is awesome, as usual. Bob’s blog is really awesome, but this column is from Huffington Post. He proceeds to begin the process of exposing Glenn Beck for the dangerous person that he is. Bob nails it…(emphasis mine)
My theory is as follows. Glenn Beck is engaged in a carefully orchestrated performance that, if taken to its logical end, can only end up in tragedy — a tragedy, not in the name of some great political or social or religious cause, as too many of his viewers might believe, but rather in the name of pure careerism and greed. A tragedy in the name of Glenn Beck’s personal drive for fame and fortune, not to mention the similar motivations of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch.
Right. I get it. I should probably ignore him. Why should I waste time writing about Glenn Beck again? As hard as it is to believe, most days I intentionally ignore Glenn Beck posts and videos on the blogs. My reoccurring reaction is generally twofold. One: he’s exhausting to watch because just as I’m wrapping my head around one line of googly-eyed horseshit, he belts out another ridiculous, melodramatic or dangerous line, and before I know it, I’m faced with a log-jam of crazy, forcing me to scramble for either an oxygen mask or a stiff drink. And, two: why pay attention to the television equivalent of an escaped mental patient screaming gibberish on the median strip at a busy intersection?
I can’t watch Glenn Beck either, I prefer to read the transcript if someone else posts it, but I can’t watch him for the same reason Bob says, “before I know it, I’m faced with a log-jam of crazy…”. I don’t think it’s good for my blood pressure, it’s for health reasons in my case. More Bob…
What his regular viewers haven’t grasped yet is that he’s putting on a show. He’s playing a role. He’s tricking his audience. Unlike a left-leaning audience, Beck’s audience is mostly composed of white conservative Christians who pride themselves on taking certain things on faith, and who often act against their own financial interests for the sake of patriotic cheerleading. It’s an audience that embraces gun ownership and tends to be more reactionary and militaristic. (Incidentally, there’s no equivalent to this on the “other side” simply because it’s not in the nature of liberals to be, you know, conservative.)
These are the folks that believe in “truthiness” and are very susceptible to suggestions and crazy conspiracy theories. It’s dangerous business messing with people like that, especially when the person doing it is off his rocker, as most anyone with a brain can see. I heard Keith say last night that Glenn Beck doesn’t even know what he is saying most of the time, that’s why he contradicts himself so much, he doesn’t even remember what he said previously, because he just says whatever horseshit comes to his mind. His theatrics is what it’s all about with him, the details don’t really matter, certainly facts don’t matter. It’s the money…
Instead of asking for donations, by the way, Beck just markets all varieties of crap-on-a-stick to his people. Beck has released seven books since 2007. Seven books in three years! Add to the mix three DVD releases and 26 compact disc releases. There’s his subscription-only “Insider Extreme” website which charges $75 per year. There’s a print magazine called “Fusion” (20 issues for $66). There are the obligatory t-shirts, mugs and other forms of cheap swag. All of this is heaped on top of a multimillion dollar Fox News contract and a syndicated radio deal worth $50 million over five years. Capitalism is one thing, but Beck is manipulating his audience to hand over their cash in exchange for swag that can’t possibly be worth the price, considering the volume of his output (seven books in three years!). As the saying goes: how hard he prays depends on how much you pay.
Now that’s some scam he has going. It makes me want to take advantage of all those brain dead check writers and credit card chargers. Maybe start printing T-shirts with Glenn Beck quotes on it or other teabagger slogans and bullshit. Isn’t it appropriate that some of that stupid money goes to me? I think so. If they are going to piss it down a black hole, they might just as well give it to me, right? There is a cottage industry out there to separate idiots from their money. P.T. Barnum had it right. If only it weren’t so scary what might happen with this clown. Bob Cesca brings it home with this.
This week, Beck attacked the president’s deceased mother and grandparents as being Marxists. Which other innocent bystanders will turn up on your commie hit list, Glenn? Who will you attack next with McCarthy-style abandon in the name of bilking your audience, Glenn? And do you honestly expect that your audience will remain passive observers of all of this?
And so I intend to expose Beck as the dangerous grifter he really is. He’s committing a nationally televised fraud and, given the sorts of people who are the most susceptible to his trickery, it’s only a matter of time before Beck’s deception takes a tragic turn.
It used to be that lazy journalists only used polls during election season, now they have just extended the election season so they can be lazy year round. Anyone with a brain knows that numbers can be interpreted many different ways, polling methodologies are vastly different and the margin of error is an important little detail that hardly gets spoken of. Having studied communications research for my masters degree, it drives me nuts to see lazy journalists spouting off about polls when they really have no clue about it. The thing that really drives me nuts is when the margin of error is +/- 4.7% or something close to that. That is a 9.4% swing……uh, that leaves a lot of wiggle room in how people really feel. When the margin of error gets closer to +/- 3%, then you are getting closer to being accurate, but you still have a 6% swing and when journalists or politicians make a claim like “the American people want this….” and they are using figures like 53% for 47% against, well then it’s really a toss up, right?
So if 53% believe one thing or another, do the 47% not matter at all. “The American people want….”, as soon as they make that claim, the minority of 47% or 49% for that matter become invisible. It is much more nuanced than that and for journalists to use those figures to exclude people or marginalize them is just plain wrong. People aren’t numbers, they live and breathe and are affected by decisions, whether they are in the majority or minority. Sometimes the minority need representation too, if we are to claim to be a civilized society.
The whole idea of polling the American public constantly as if we govern by referendum is a bastardization of our political system. There are a lot of reasons why our founding fathers formed our system of government the way they did. I think the health care issue is a prime example of why we don’t rule by referendum. People who have health care and are happy with it, shouldn’t have the power to prevent those who don’t have it from getting it. In this case, the minority needs representation, needs advocates that can represent their interests.
I also have a problem with poll questions that ask the public to be political analysts. Questions like “Do you think the president will win re-election in 2012?”. To be honest, I don’t really give a shit what the mostly uninformed public think might happen in 2 and 1/2 years. Who fucking cares? What purpose does that question serve other than as a crutch for a lazy journalist to spin it the way they want just to get an easy story or soundbite? It’s bad enough having to listen to paid political analysts who spout bullshit and are never accountable for being wrong, now we have to listen to even less informed opinions from people who are watching the Kardashians and American Idle in their spare time.
I have to wonder why polling organizations don’t use bigger samples, the technology allows for it? If they were to get samples of even 2000 instead of the standard 700 – 900 people, they could give much more accurate numbers (I still argue that it doesn’t matter when not near an election). If they had a larger sample, when they break it down into sub groups, those numbers would be more accurate as well. Example, of the Republicans responding to this question, 45% believed this or that. Well, once you start breaking out these numbers, the accuracy drops considerably. But that doesn’t stop journalists from using those inaccurate numbers to bolster there slant on the subject. It gives cover to lazy journalists.
I guess it is futile for me to bitch about it, journalists aren’t going to change and in fact are probably only going to get worse. They’ve been getting away with it for years and have taken it to a whole new level. Hell, Morning Joe on MSNBC wouldn’t have anything to talk about if they didn’t have the latest poll results.
Wow, another Morning Joe that had a clear “propoganda agenda”… to equalize the hatred and rhetoric coming from the Republican leaders, trying to say that both sides are doing it. It just blows me away that there are so many defenders of violent extremists. Pat Buchanan did his part to justify it by reminding us all of the riots after the Rodney King verdict, hmmmm, why would he refer to that, which wasn’t a political issue, but rather a social justice issue. Why would he pit this primarily racial issue against what is going on today? What could be his reason, hmmmm?
Mika tried desperately to equate the death threat on Eric Cantor with all the violence and violent rhetoric coming from the right. She actually attempted to say it is worse, because she hasn’t heard the same type of threats from the right. WHAAAA? Did she miss the whole Stupak phone message story last week? Did she miss the fact that the nut who threatened Cantor also threatened Obama, Pelosi and Reid? Or did she conveniently forget those minor details in an effort to pretend like they all do it. I haven’t seen anything about that nut that says he is on the left, he appears to just be a nut.
Bob Cesca posted about this morning show too, here is a bit from it…
I can show you dozens of incidents on the right for every one incident on the left (I’m being generous). Find me an A-list politician on the left who is referring to Republicans using firearms lingo, as Sarah Palin has. Find me groups of protesters on the left who are waving racist banners, or carrying signs threatening gun violence. Find me someone on the left who has violently lashed out.
I heard a show on NPR, On Point, that took on this subject yesterday. The Republican defender of violence they had on was trying desperately to equate the rhetoric during the Bush years as similar to what’s going on today. He could only come up with a couple of instances, one being hanging Bush in effigy. Now how he equates a radical at a protest with an outrageous prop to the leaders of the Republican Party stoking violence, using weapons language, tyranny, armageddon, the end of freedom, reload, arm yourselves, rise up….this certainly is quite different than a protester carrying a crazy prop. The other example this guy had was the left calling Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld war criminals. If they shoe fits, wear it. The major difference here would be liberals were calling for investigations, you know, using the legal system to punish wrong doing. I don’t remember those crazy liberals calling for arming themselves or calling for insurrection. We mobilized voters and took over the congress in 2006 and the presidency in 2008. Of course the Republican response to that is to delegitimize his presidency, block every bill, use every procedure to stop anything from happening.
I have to believe that this tactic that the Republicans and their defenders are using is going to turn off a lot of moderates. It may play with the base who have bought the right wing bullshit from the talkers, but I doubt that all those moderate folks agree with them on this issue. Let’s hope they aren’t buying, anyway.
I saw this live the other morning and my love for Anthony Weiner grew even more, he is so good at ripping Republican talking points and batting down the bullshit. I’ve watched it several times, I love it so much. And I’m glad Howard Dean came to his senses and is now helping to promote the bill, even though it isn’t perfect, he understands the politics of it…..if if fails, the democrats lose any mandate that might be left and more than likely lose control of one or both of the houses of congress in November. ANY TRUE LIBERAL OR PROGRESSIVE MUST SUPPORT THIS BILL IF THEY CARE AT ALL ABOUT THE PROGRESSIVE AGENDA! Roll tape……(there is some commentary from whoever posted this, it’s good though).
In the longer version, it’s pretty funny that Peggy Noonan and Scarborough whine about Anthony yelling or raising his voice. Joe S. never does that, no, he never talks over people in a loud voice, he never cuts anyone off or changes topic when he’s losing…….
Bob Cesca posts about this exchange too, go see it here. Joe Scarborough is the most hypocritical person on television, he’s also very slippery in how he pretends to be moderate, concedes a few points to make himself look reasonable and then spews his propoganda. I can’t remember who it was the other morning, it might have been Anthony Weiner, but he brought him on and introduced him and then turned to his right (both literally and figuratively) and asked someone else a question about Obama’s ratings in the polls, the old change the subject routine.
Morning Joe is the worst kind of propoganda on television, it’s a platform for Joe and his Republican buddies and so called moderate buddies like Harold Ford Jr., Mort Zuckerman, Mike Barnicle, and those Politico guys who seem to show up every morning with the Obama smear of the day….the list can go on. But what is so bad about it is the amount of time that is given to just repeating the same meme over and over and over again and that type of technique basically brainwashes any viewers who aren’t tuned into the reality of the topic or just kind of listening with it in the background. Dangerous stuff in a democracy.