A shameful episode indeed

I generally consider E. J. Dionne to be a gutless, Vichy liberal, but this is right on the money:

We have just gone through one of the most shameful episodes of the young Obama presidency — shameful because of the behavior of the right wing, shameful because the media played into an extremist agenda, shameful because we proved that our political system has become so dysfunctional that a president gets punished for doing the right thing.

[…..]

In a normal world, the media would have asked Greer for proof of such a wild charge and, since he didn’t have any, his press release would have gone into the circular file.

But, no, the media is so petrified of being criticized for being “liberal” that it chose to take a lunatic charge seriously and helped gin up this phony controversy.

And unlike some pundits who occasionally call out Republicans for tolerating lunacy, Dionne didn’t have to close with “and the Democrats do this too.”

103 replies
  1. 1

    I just linked to the video of Obama giving the talk to kids in the last thread. It’s pretty good.

    I would quibble with the part about him being “punished” for doing the right thing. Sure the rage was premature and uncalled for, but was he really punished? I think, now that the speech video is available, a lot of people will see it and in the long haul he will win this one too. But he’s spot on with the establishment media fear of being labeled as liberal.

  2. 2
    demkat620 says:

    Why is Pat Buchanan on my tv?

    There’s your answer.

  3. 3
    JK says:

    Kudos to EJ Dionne

    Meanwhile the Wankertarian Cato Institute defends wingnut reaction to Obama’s school speech

    “The furious reaction to the politicized lesson plan and Obama’s speech to schoolchildren cannot be understood without the context of the bailouts, the stimulus, the debt, GM, the attempt to take over health care. And now, our kids. And not just the speech and lesson plan, but federal expansion into preschool and early childhood initiatives and home visitations (however voluntary and innocuous-seeming in different times).

    They . . . the government, the meddlers, the nannies . . . they are coming for our money, our doctors, our guns and our kids. They won’t stop until they control everything.

    That’s how it looks to millions of Americans. Fair or not, people are now very sensitive to any actions by the Obama administration.

    Just as a lifetime of exposure to an allergen and modest immune reactions can reach some ill-defined tipping point and bloom into full-blown anaphylaxis, many Americans have developed an acute allergy to government intervention and Obama’s grand plans.

    In isolation, the reaction to this speech seems wild. Given the context, it’s completely understandable.”

    http://www.cato-at-liberty.org.....olchildren

  4. 4

    @The Grand Panjandrum: What I find even more galling is that MSNBC has a Hitler sympathizer on air and the Villagers won’t call them on that. Call them liberals and they are cowards and try to be “fair and balanced”.

  5. 5
    Quiddity says:

    One practice of good journalism is deciding what not to report. Greer’s nonsense is one instance of that, but as EJD noted, the press failed to act responsibly.

  6. 6

    @demkat620: I meant my last comment to reference.

    Help me! Help me! I have fallen and I cannot get up …

  7. 7
    gypsy howell says:

    The media aren’t “afraid” of being labelled liberal. They AREN’T liberal. They are right-wing corporate whores. They answer to the oligarchy(“oligarhy” for you Beck fans) of corporate overlords.

    When they spew out this right wing manufactured crap, it’s because that’s what they are being paid to do. If you are expecting something else from them, you are going to be disappointed.

  8. 8
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    But, no, the media is so petrified of being criticized for being “liberal” that it chose to take a lunatic charge seriously and helped gin up this phony controversy

    This is part of it. The other part is wingnuttery sells like a good slasher movie.

    And I like Dionne, not perfect, but better than most left insiders.

  9. 9
    JK says:

    Nick Gillespie soars to new heights of douchebaggery over Obama’s school speech

    “Should Obama invoke images of armed insurrection in a school setting? Isn’t that supposed to be reserved for town hall meetings and right-wing jerkoffs? In any case, Obama’s JKFesque invocation of national service bugs the hell out of me. I strongly suspect that none of the great movers and shakers at, say Facebook or the Twitter, or Apple or Microsoft, or whatever, ever seriously thought about what the president of the future was going to say about them…

    I realize that I’ve got, er, an ideology and all, but is it just me and my fellow libertarians that find this sort of vacuous public circus a totally, er, vacuous and circus-y like spectacle? Whether it’s the Dems or the Reps, I don’t need or want politicians to be my kids’ role models (goodnight wherever you are, Teddy Kennedy) any more than I want professional athletes to be. Thankfully, very few children grow up to be politicians or particularly influenced by them. Which is a good thing.”

    http://www.reason.com/blog/show/135926.html

  10. 10
    KG says:

    @gypsy howell: being a water carrier for the oligarchy is neither a right wing or left wing thing. It is only a sign of obedience to the crown, it is a sign of weakness.

  11. 11
    jwb says:

    So of my daughter’s class of 25, 24 of the parents opted to allow their kids to see the President and be indoctrinated with his message of socialism. This in a part of town that did not vote for Obama in the election and where at least two of my neighbors have “nobamacare” signs posted prominently in their yards. EPIC FAIL.

    Still, NPR has been insisting on giving the protesters a platform all day (the morning was especially irritating).

  12. 12
    JK says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: He’s teflon Pat.

  13. 13

    @JK: Doesn’t really surprise me. Gillespie and his crowd always bitch about paying for the road under their tires, but never for a second stop taking for granted that the road continues on out in front of them.

    His ideology hasn’t aged well on him.

  14. 14
    Xanthippas says:

    generally consider E. J. Dionne to be a gutless, Vichy liberal…

    Seriously?

  15. 15
    jwb says:

    I used the S word and am now in moderation purgatory. Gah.

  16. 16
    Pangloss says:

    Even smallish radio groups of 40-50 medium market, mostly AM stations are listed on the NYSE or NASDAQ these days. Cumulus Media, Salem Communications, Saga, Regent, Emmis, etc. There are dozens of them.

    So what happens when true conglomerates like GE with their $1-2 billion per year in defense contracts get in on the corporate action?

  17. 17
    Darius says:

    Sadly, some news outlets continue to pretend that Obama’s school speech was actually controversial. For example, CNN.

  18. 18
    jwb says:

    @General Winfield Stuck: Yes, and the beauty (from the standpoint of business) is that it sells to both sides.

  19. 19
    demkat620 says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Lol!

    Patty Buke-Buke has pissed me off. Honest to god he is the most ignorant POS on the planet.

  20. 20
    JK says:

    Hey Newt, he likes it

    “Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich defended President Barack Obama’s speech to school children Tuesday, urging “every child” to read the remarks.

    Some conservative critics have accused the president of trying to “indoctrinate” school children with a speech Tuesday welcoming students back to school, but Gingrich said during an interview on NBC’s “Today Show” that the attacks are without merit.

    ‘President Reagan did it, President George H.W. Bush did it,’ he said. ‘I read the speech yesterday when it was posted and I think the White House was smart to post it.’
    ‘It’s a good speech,’ Gingrich added. ‘I recommend it to everybody if you have any doubts. I would love to have every child in America read it, think about it, and learn that they should stay in school and they should study.’”

    h/t http://liberalvaluesblog.com/?p=10036

  21. 21
    freelancer says:

    In related news,

    Nicest Blogger in the World, generally apolitical Skeptic, JREF President, and Bad Astronomer Phil Plait has had enough.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine......g-of-evil/

    “Of course, there is a lunatic fringe in this country who will go ballistic about Obama no matter what he does; these are the ones saying the speech is indoctrinating children into accepting his socialist health care plan that will mutilate puppies and convert our elderly into Soylent Green. These people may be rabid racists, or simply mentally unbalanced, but we know for a rock solid fact that these people are utterly, completely wrong. Whatever you want to call them, it’s clear they are so far from the norm of the American people that they can’t even see the horizon from where they are. Simply reading the speech transcript shows that simply and clearly.
    […]
    If I sound angry, then, yeah, I am. I’m tired of ignorance held up as inspiration, where vicious anti-intellectualism is considered a positive trait, and where uninformed opinion is displayed as fact.

    It’s killing any real debate in this country, where the system of government depends utterly on a well-informed public. When rampant idiocy is presented as reasonable discourse without any rebuttal, then we all suffer.

    What we need are government officials not afraid to talk like Barney Frank did to such a voice of lunacy. To reiterate, crackpots have a right to air their diseased notions, just as we have the right to tear those ideas to shred when they do. More than that, the news media have a responsibility to do so.”

  22. 22
    gypsy howell says:

    @KG:

    Perhaps, but in this case, our oligarchy has a right wing political agenda. Transfer of wealth to the upper class, de-regulation of all corporate behavior, elimination of any tax burden on the upper class, elimination of any public spending that might benefit the dwindling middle and lower class, etc etc.

  23. 23
    jwb says:

    Rip myself out of moderation and reposting:

    So of my daughter’s class of 25, 24 of the parents opted to allow their kids to see the President and be indoctrinated with his message of socia!ism. This in a part of town that did not vote for Obama in the election and where at least two of my neighbors have “nobamacare” signs posted prominently in their yards. EPIC FAIL.

    Still, NPR has been insisting on giving the protesters a platform all day (the morning was especially irritating).

  24. 24
    freelancer says:

    Frak.

    I quoted Dr. Plait, and he used the dick pill word, and now I’m in mod hell.

  25. 25
    Joe Beese says:

    Dionne: “Here, to provide a personal example, is my own column of Oct. 12, 2001. Yes, what I wrote looks naive now, but I’m still glad I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt at that moment…”

    Beyond hope.

  26. 26
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @jwb:

    Yup

  27. 27
    LoveMonkey says:

    All the churn over this is true. Just one element is missing: The fact that outside of the lunatic fringe, almost nobody takes the criticism of the president’s address seriously.

    Again, the real joke here is that the blogomediaspherestupidsphere has missed the real point, which was, and is, that we have developed the habit of looking for the most absurd things we can find every day and then declaring that the world is absurd.

    Right now the blogs are about an inch away from being as relevant as the Star magazine sold at your grocery checkout counter. Faces of Jesus appearing in gravy, and livestock with multiple heads playing chess. Har de har.

    Let the idiots do their hyena barks. Who cares?

  28. 28
    GregB says:

    Jeebers. I just watched a Glenn Beck clip wherein George McGovern’s 1972 campagin pollster Pat Caddell jumps on the Beckian Bandwagon of Obama Inspired Frantic Insantity.

    Just depressing as hell.

    -G

  29. 29
    IndyLib says:

    @JK:

    They . . . the government, the meddlers, the nannies . . . they are coming for our money, our doctors, our guns and our kids. They won’t stop until they control everything.

    But warrantless wiretapping is not a government intrusion, just a necessary safe guard against terrorists?
    Douchbags!

  30. 30
    JK says:

    With his breathtaking 180 over Obama’s speech, Jim Greer has become the Emily Litella of the Republican Party.

  31. 31
    JK says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: @IndyLib:

    Nick Gillespie is giving Megan McArdle and Glenn Reynolds a serious run for their money in his bid to become the biggest douchebag libertarian pundit.

  32. 32
    kay says:

    Bravo. This was profound for me, and I’m not sure why. Mean-spirited? Stupid? Dishonest? Because they cynically used first graders?

    All of the above. I won’t forget it. This crossed some invisible line that I didn’t know existed. This is Schiavo-level offensive.

    The disabled, old people, and now first graders. They’re brave, brave men, on the Right.

  33. 33
    KG says:

    @gypsy howell: that’s just the nature of an oligarchy, to continue to concentrate power in the hands of the oligarchs. currently, it’s right wing, if we are on the verge of a liberal/progressive age, then they’ll find a way to be left wing that will result in them maintaining power.

  34. 34
    jeffreyw says:

    Was watching the local news just now, they’ve been pretty much republican friendly, but they just did a short clip on the trillion dollar cost of some of the proposed plans, and then balanced that with how much the status quo would cost. I was all “wow, about time” till the next clip on the “controversial” Bama school speech complete with the crying right wing momma. Fuckers

  35. 35
    jwb says:

    @LoveMonkey: Yes, I’ve been feeling lately like blogosphere mockery of wingnuttia has become a significant contributing factor to the spread of crazy’s message. I think the MSM now recognizes perfectly well that reporting on the crazy is an effective link attractor: it brings in not just the crazies but also those who mock the crazy.

  36. 36
    kay says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    Obama can’t defend on this. That’s one of the unique and wonderful things about being first. He can’t complain. That isn’t permitted. It’s against The Rules.

    It’s why decent people have to object on his behalf. Took them long enough.

  37. 37
    IndyLib says:

    @JK:
    I want to know where the fuck the Cato Institute was during the “unitary executive” crap. I watched Greenwald when he spoke at Cato after he came out with his book How Would a Patriot Act?.
    Their responding speaker was a neocon hack and the moderator had a distinct bias toward the “well if it’s national security, it’s ok to rip up the Constitution” attitude.

    The libertarians don’t seem to get that they would be taken a lot more seriously if they would ever hold a Republican administration as accountable as the do a Dem one. They might as well were around paper hats on their head that say IOKIYAR.

  38. 38
    LoveMonkey says:

    @jwb:

    Bingo.

    The Noise Machine is about noise. Right now, the blogosphere is mainly an amplifier. If you are in the noise business, the blogosphere is your friend.

  39. 39
    gocart mozart says:

    “I generally consider E. J. Dionne to be a gutless, Vichy liberal,”

    I don’t. E.J. is a smart reasonable guy who usually gives a good analysis of politics. He is a nice guy from the old school who believes one can disagree without being disagreeable. Maybe, hopefully he now realizes that they are all a bunch of fucking assholes. It would be grat if the POTUS also concurred.

  40. 40
    Leelee for Obama says:

    Cato and Reason are for pointing at and laughing. Simply put, they live here and bitch about how it is here instead of going somewhere else where they can live the way they think is right. Bullshit artists. Let them all GO Galt and write from their Libertarian paradise. Otherwise, they are wasting cyberspace and trees.

  41. 41
    JK says:

    Dick Polman parodies a wingnut deconstruction of Obama’s school speech

    Obama text: “Thank you. God bless you, and God bless America.”

    Surely the Founding Fathers did not intend for a president to bless this country without first producing a birth certificate.

    h/t http://www.philly.com/philly/b.....lisms.html

  42. 42
    gizmo says:

    Always, always follow the money. All we have to do is take a look at who owns the corporate media, and all is explained.

  43. 43
    Dreggas says:

    OH Rep Mean Jean Schmidt Birther

  44. 44
    Jim says:

    at least two of my neighbors have “nobamacare” signs posted prominently in their yards

    Good lord. I haven’t seen one of those. I guess my area isn’t quite as conservative as I thought. Then again, our local Republicans do tend to be of the gun rights/ old school Eisenhower to Goldwater types, rather than Limbaugh-Beck-Palin types.

    I don’t. E.J. is a smart reasonable guy who usually gives a good analysis of politics. He is a nice guy from the old school

    That’s my take too. He’s a solid guy, but his temperament is mild in the extreme. Clarence Page is the same way, I think.

  45. 45
    JK says:

    Leelee for Obama, IndyLib, The Grand Panjandrum

    I never cease to be amazed at the breathtaking hypocrisy of wankertarians like Nick Gillespie, Glenn Reynolds, and Megan McArdle. You correctly note that these 3 stooges were stone cold silent when George Bush was riding roughshod over civil liberties.

    I can only conclude that these 3 clowns either had laryngitis or fell into a catatonic stupor for the 8 yrs of George Bush’s presidency.

  46. 46
    ellaesther says:

    @Darius: Now, admittedly, I haven’t had the TV on since the speech ended, so I don’t know how it was being reported in the aftermath, but in the lead up to it, the CNN anchor and the White House correspondent (both of whose names have escaped me at the moment…!) were all but rolling their eyes — indeed, at one point, the correspondent DID roll her eyes — in talking about the “controversy” (and you could hear the air-quotes in their tone, as well). And the anchor kept saying “Can you imagine what it must be like for that young man, to introduce the President of the United States of America?”

    So, in my one exposure to CNN today, I was impressed that they were making a point of treating the “controversy” as it deserved to be treated.

  47. 47
    kay says:

    It’s an embarrassing episode, all right. I think we look like idiots. To schoolchildren, who live and die by their weird and rigid “fairness” code and probably weren’t fooled by the bullshit objections to the speech no one read.

    I personally think media owe them an explanation.

  48. 48
    ellaesther says:

    @jwb: It is possible (or, at least, it is in my mind — whether or not it’s possible outside of my mind is another matter) that in providing the platform, in just saying: Here they are, and here’s what they’re saying — NPR is actually doing us a favor (especially given NPR’s audience).

    Sometimes all we need to get radicalized is to watch Crazy going about its business. Indeed, the moderate right (such as it is) might be excused for condemning NPR for over-reporting a nonsense story.

  49. 49
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @kay: If I read the young people correctly, the apology will not be necessary. The kids will just make them extinct.

    THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!

  50. 50
    JMG says:

    Dear #45: Once Obama actually gave the speech, the “controversy” could no longer generate ratings for CNN, so their talking heads were free to dismiss it.
    Cable news is pro wrestling, but less well written than the WWE.

  51. 51
    Zifnab says:

    @IndyLib: President-whose-name-we-no-longer-mention-in-public was protecting us from the scary brown people from that Jack Bauer show. That’s totally different! Now the President IS the scary brown people from that Jack Bauer show!

    I’m not a racist! You’re a racist!

    /idiot

  52. 52
    kay says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    I talked to one here who liked “getting in trouble doesn’t mean you’re a troublemaker”, but, this one WOULD like that :)

    I didn’t hear the speech, but that’s what he heard.

    He’s actually a troublemaker. Despite what the President told him.

  53. 53
    gocart mozart says:

    THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT!

    The kids may have just learned an important lesson that all kids eventually learn but only sooner. Many adults are idiots.

  54. 54
    ellaesther says:

    @JMG: That’s just too pat for me, or too cynical. Or both. Maybe because I’m a former reporter, or because I still write for newspapers, and thus am a minor member of the MSM — I’ll admit a certain bias.

    But I don’t think someone actually made a decision to change the network’s tone because the speech was upon them and the ratings no longer demanded it. I think that the anchor and reporter were expressing what they knew to be true.

  55. 55
    Leelee for Obama says:

    On a personal note: My DD is 31, and she was anti-politics in a family of political junkies, poor Kid. She would greet family on holidays with, “First political word, and I’m outy.”

    She always voted Dem, but never really got into it, at all.

    This episode, plus all the town hall madness has finally made her understand her Mother.

    She sent a LTE to the local TV station, about her kids hearing their President, and it was a thing of beauty! I am so proud of her-

  56. 56
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @kay: Maybe he’ll take it to heart that not remaining a troublemaker could make him someone else. We can hope.

  57. 57
    Leelee for Obama says:

    @gocart mozart: They already knew, mostly, this is just reinforcement.

  58. 58
    freelancer says:

    @freelancer:

    Finally out of Mod Hell.

    Phil Plait is angry. First time in a while that this has happened, at least with a political bent.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    @Leelee for Obama:

    As I I told you I’m like a weepy mess on this. I hate that they barred him from their schools, and kids saw that. When I think about certain kids seeing that, I tear up. It’s mean.

  60. 60
    JK says:

    The Kids Are Most Definitely Alright
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmowtt9vhLY

  61. 61
    West of the Cascades says:

    What, no Elvis reference in the post title? Given your apparent disdain of much that Dionne writes, maybe “Accidents Will Happen”??

  62. 62
    kay says:

    @JK:

    The media bobbleheads are excusing themselves for their own stupidity and passivity.

    Falling all over themselves to blame someone else. It’s inspiring. A rush to the exits.

    They should apologize.

  63. 63
    linda says:

    now watching mike barnicle filling in for tweety — opining and wondering how the president so badly lost control of the conversation. and politico’s j-j-j–jmart perplexed how the reichwing took control of the healthcare debate.

    gosh, i wonder if it couldn’t be the cablers providing republican liars and propagandists endless hours of coverage with nary a fact checked for their lying claims.

    ugh.

  64. 64
    Zifnab says:

    @kay:

    Falling all over themselves to blame someone else. It’s inspiring. A rush to the exits.

    Rats fleeing the ship while commenting about how high in the water it is riding.

  65. 65
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    From a comment at Dionne’s column:

    if a Republican does it, it’s bad and evil…
    if a dem does it, it’s good and wonderfull…
    honestly…
    when is the first shot fired…
    we are long overdue…

    I bet this guy believes that if a Democrat does it then it is evil and if Republican does it then it is good. He bares his simple-mindedness in his short post. The difference between us is that while I disagree with him, that is all I do.

    He wants me dead. Now exactly who is evil here?

  66. 66
    Demo Woman says:

    MSM decided that their role is to spread gossip. Why apologize when they fulfilled their role? It was ABC’s town hall meeting and the pre-screened people and the pre-screened question hysteria, before the school speech and it will be something after.
    There is no shame, they will just move along and pretend the last two weeks didn’t happen.

  67. 67
    Napoleon says:

    I likw Dionne and would strongly disagree with DougJ’s take on him. As left writers at a MSM publication he is about as good as they get.

  68. 68
    steve s says:

    I tutor in the Deep South. Today, one of my tutorees said he had a sweet afternoon playing video games. His momma had taken him out of school so he wouldn’t see Obama. Politics around here is a mine field, so I said something like “I don’t know anything about that.” He, a sixth grader, said, “You don’t wanta know! He *changed the speech* after everybody found out what he was up to.”

    Ah, life in BFE North Florida.

  69. 69
    JK says:

    Is there a single goddamn republican or conservative with a shread of integrity and sanity left in this country or have they all joined the Glenn Beck brigade and the Rush Limbaugh brigade?

    Even the semi-rational, semi-lucid conservatives like David Brooks and George Will keep pushing this bullshit meme that Obama has supersaturated the various media channels and has become totally overexposed to the public.

    Jay Cost is the latest asshole to push this “Obama is overexposed” meme.

    Cost: “Another historic, monumental speech from the 44th President of the United States. He’s averaging about one of these every three weeks now, isn’t he?”
    http://www.realclearpolitics.c.....eecha.html

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    My local news had a few parents on after the speech. They all complained, with only one saying that the speech wasn’t political — but then adding that it was his job, not the president’s, to tell his kids about education.

    Then they had three kids on and asked them what they thought of the speech. One thought all the controversy was silly and that the speech was neither socialistic or communistic like the adults had said. Another said the speech was full of good advice, but it wasn’t anything she didn’t already know. The third said she thought it was a great speech.

    It was nice to see that the kids were smarter than the adults, and it gave me hope that I haven’t had in awhile that all this madness that has taken over our country will fade just as soon as the kids are old enough to take over.

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    Is there a single goddamn republican or conservative with a shread of integrity and sanity left in this country

    What does integrity and sanity get you?

  72. 72
    danimal says:

    The whole “how did Obama lose control of the narrative” line of inquiry drives me batty. As if the media folks themselves weren’t in charge of selecting the stories, hiring the commentators, inviting the guests and editing the footage. Did aliens take over the brains of our cable tv news executives rendering them incapable of independent thought? Don’t answer that.

  73. 73
    Comrade Luke says:

    A guy I went to college with posted this as his Facebook status this morning:

    73.3% of 789,365 poll respondents on Facebook stated they are against a government run healthcare system. Given the diverse demographics we are talking about, that’s a very clear message that the general public doesn’t like the proposed program. Why do our elected officials, who supposedly are our voice, choose not to hear this?

    There are a ton of things that came to mind here, not the least of which were:
    – Really? Seventy-three-point-three percent? Wow, that’s a lot
    – “respondents on Facebook”, followed by “the general public”. I see what you did there…
    – What proposed program are you talking about?
    – Do you really think that Barack Obama is going to get up and say “based on what I’ve seen on Facebook, we need to stop this health care reform stuff”

    But most importantly:
    – WHERE’S THIS FUCKING POLL YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT?

    But I didn’t say anything. One thing did kind of stick out though, which was “the diverse demographics we’re talking about”. So I spent many, many hours coming up with a complicated search query to try and find out about Facebook demographics.

    Lo and behold, as of January, 91.5% of all Facebook users are under the age of 35. Assuming this poll even exists, and that it’s a real poll, and the numbers are correct, and that the sun sets in the east, how in the h-e-double-toothpicks is this a diverse demographic? And don’t get me started on “people with internet access”, et al, already skewing the alleged numbers.

    I’m guessing 100% of the people who do their own research would come to the conclusion that he’s pulling this out of his ass.

    These people just throw shit out, and then other people have to waste time to refute it while they sit there all smug. It’s infuriating.

    And here’s the kicker. The guy was a completely loser in college. I thought he actually got kicked out, but it turns out that he graduated with a degree in journalism. I do know that his grades were so bad that he was threatened with expulsion on at least one occasion, but the school let him stay because his family were super-ultra-mega rich donors.

    He’s now on the school’s Board of Regents.

    Sorry…I had to vent…

  74. 74
    kay says:

    @Zifnab:

    They’re like addicts. This is the remorse period. They went on an epic bender of stupid, and now they’re a little sheepish. The anchors on CNN actually look hungover.

    Sarah Palin will say something stupid and hateful tomorrow and they’ll be following her like love-struck 16 year olds.

  75. 75
    Jim says:

    now watching mike barnicle filling in for tweety—

    the aptly named Barnacle makes Tweety look like a contributor to Federalist Papers.

  76. 76
    freelancer says:

    @steve s:

    Two quotes:

    I tutor in the Deep South. Today, one of my tutorees said he had a sweet afternoon playing video games. His momma had taken him out of school so he wouldn’t see Obama.

    I’ve talked about your parents’ responsibility for making sure you stay on track, and get your homework done, and don’t spend every waking hour in front of the TV or with that Xbox.

    That is HAIR ON FIRE FAIL.

    http://www.plognark.com/Art/Sk.....tburns.jpg

  77. 77
    Demo Woman says:

    @MikeJ: It certainly would not get you a seat on CNN, MSNBC or Fox.

    @Jim: Didn’t Barnicle plagiarize the Federalist Papers?

  78. 78
    linda says:

    hitler apologist pat buchanan demagoguing the healthcare debate with david corn; but barnicle is bored by the details so stops the argument.

    i’m guessing msnbc corporate figured people would forget about buchanan’s column over the weekend.

  79. 79
    JK says:

    @linda: @Jim:

    Barnicle was also forced to resign from the Boston Globe over plagarism charges. MSNBC has really lowered the bar -Nazi sympathizer Pat Buchanan and plagarist Mike Barnicle.
    Quality wise, MSNBC is still head and shoulders above Fox News Channel but they have no business putting Buchanan and Barnicle on the air.

  80. 80
    steve s says:

    @freelancer:

    Yeah. Wow. That is beyond Epic Fail. That’s…I don’t know….Saga Fail.

  81. 81
    JK says:

    @Jim:

    Chris Matthews should have been hired to replace Ben Mankiewicz or Ben Lyons for the newest incarnation of At the Movies. I found his constant references to the Godfather, Lawrence of Arabia, and other movies during the presidential campaign absolutely insufferable.

  82. 82
    steve s says:

    “It was nice to see that the kids were smarter than the adults, and it gave me hope that I haven’t had in awhile that all this madness that has taken over our country will fade just as soon as the kids are old enough to take over.”

    The kids are generally smarter than their parents, and have better values, these days.

  83. 83
    You Don't Say says:

    Faint praise, DougJ. I like EJ.

  84. 84
    steve s says:

    But that’s been the trend for a while. The kids today treat gays the same as anybody, which is better than their parents did, and those parents treat minorities tolerably well, which is better than throwing rocks at them, like their parents did. In general, we’re slowly getting smarter, less religious, and more humane.

  85. 85
    kay says:

    My friend Scott loves polls. He thinks media follow polls like politicians do. So, for example, he has sent me two polls that show little topline difference in people”s opinions on health care from June to August. It’s like 3 points.
    His theory is that if they see polling that shows they aren’t driving a story, they drop the chosen theme, because “popular” themes drive ratings.
    He thinks they are dropping the tea parties not out of journalistic integrity, but instead because their focus on the tea parties is not driving opinion, and therefore ratings.

  86. 86
    HyperIon says:

    @JK: pasted in stuff from Cato.

    Can you believe there was NO MENTION of useless war(s)?

  87. 87
    HyperIon says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: His ideology hasn’t aged well on him.

    yeah, and dressing like a 40 year old Fonz doesn’t help either.

  88. 88
    JK says:

    @HyperIon:

    The Cato Institute should change its name to the Wankertarian Institute.

  89. 89
    JK says:

    @HyperIon:

    When I see Nick Gillespie on tv dressed like he’s about to go out to the local bar or pool hall, I think what a fucking poseur. He’s just too damn cool to wear a jacket and tie.

  90. 90
    noncarborundum says:

    @freelancer:

    From now on we should all spell it “sodickpillm”.

  91. 91
    Calouste says:

    @JK:

    Nick Gillespie is giving Megan McArdle and Glenn Reynolds a serious run for their money in his bid to become the biggest douchebag libertarian pundit.

    That’s a photo finish by definition. Every libertardian pundit is a planet-sized douchebag.

  92. 92
    Terry C says:

    You nailed him on your preface, “Vichy liberal”. As to the media being petrified of being too liberal…what an excuse for being the whores that they all are. If the owners of the media were DFHs and paying the bills they (and they are usually liberals at heart) would be “petrified of being too conservative” to give their screeds some cred. Upton Sinclair had them nailed too,

    “It is hard to get a man to understand something that his livelihood depends on him not understanding.”

    Too bad they’ll all stay in business even with massive losses (see Times, Washington) the propaganda tool is too useful, not to mention profitable for the major corps. that own them.
    It helps to have your own personal legislator. Public financing for elections is our only hope…good luck with that, huh?

  93. 93
    steve s says:

    eptember 8th, 2009 at 6:05 pm Reply to this comment
    LoveMonkey
    All the churn over this is true. Just one element is missing: The fact that outside of the lunatic fringe, almost nobody takes the criticism of the president’s address seriously.
    Again, the real joke here is that the blogomediaspherestupidsphere has missed the real point, which was, and is, that we have developed the habit of looking for the most absurd things we can find every day and then declaring that the world is absurd.
    Right now the blogs are about an inch away from being as relevant as the Star magazine sold at your grocery checkout counter. Faces of Jesus appearing in gravy, and livestock with multiple heads playing chess. Har de har.
    Let the idiots do their hyena barks. Who cares?

    Both the conservatives and the liberals have helped make the wingnuts the focus of our attention. The conservatives hold it up for support, and the liberals hold it up for ridicule, and the result is everyone pays attention to it.

    Of course, urging people to stop paying attention to the wackos is no more effective than telling internet commenters to stop feeding the trolls. It takes structural changes to modify the discussion, and I don’t see anything in the current communication arrangements which could do this. Fox News is on top of the ratings, Glenn Beck gets big numbers, Instatard is one of the most linked sites in history, Rush Limbaugh has enough listeners to extract hundreds of millions from advertisers.

    If nothing changes those dynamics, the public discourse will stay right where it is. And I don’t see the dynamics changing.

  94. 94
    Elie says:

    I think that the craziness and jibberish is a price we are paying to learn how to have public discourse again..

    Mind you, I am not saying that we are anywere near there — just that after a period of real suppression and outwardly smooth and sleek media ascendancy, we are in a period of a lot of noise and friction. As uncomfortable as we are and as much as we hear just downright craziness, we have to get used to having our public points of view and opinions external and open to all. Will it stay crazy? Probably. We have a lot of scared and ignorant people and a lot change (even though its not change enough for some)

    In some ways, I am glad we can’t count on the media to do our information gathering and interpreting. Much, much better for democracy that we pull our own wagons and not trust too much, question everything.

    This noise is how its supposed to be — not the quiet of coercion or suppression. Not all of the voices are identifiable and therefore cannot be made accountable — but many are and we know them all.

    In Europe and many places in the world, people argue their oppostion with passion and openly. Politics are not polite. In the US we keep wanting to make them that way. Instead, I think we should celebrate the push and pull and only hope that we see our opposition plainly and can call it out.

    The MSM plays its own game, knowing that we will always correct their factual errors and largely propogate the sensational when we comment on what they put out there.
    To me the biggest danger is the quiet of groupthink and enforcement of suppression.

    We are just going to have to stay tough enough to keep our voices in there to shape the political process. That we exercise our judgements and thoughts regularly and appreciate the laws of science is going to help us in the end.

    I am learning to like the noise — so I say anyway,

  95. 95
    LoveMonkey says:

    @steve s:

    Of course, urging people to stop paying attention to the wackos …

    I don’t know who that is addressed to. I am not urging “people” to stop anything. I am urging DougJ to stop it.

    Doug is an internet junkie, info-obsessive and veteran spooftroller who has a lot of good ideas and original things to say. There is no reason I can think of to frame that material with the daily dose of righty lunacy. Everybody here already knows it’s lunacy. That’s why we are here.

    Nobody comes here to find out that pulling kids out of school today to prevent brainwashing by Obama is fucknuts crazy ridiculous. We already knew that.

    Dionne is a little late to this party too. We could have used the kind of stuff he is cited here for saying, about ten years ago. We should criticize him for being late precisely because he was smart and aware enough to be on time with the message when it could have counted for something.

  96. 96
    LoveMonkey says:

    @Elie:

    I sort of agree with your last remark. That’s the other side of this two-sided coin.

    If drawing attention to the idiots helps our side, then I am for it. To some extent.

    However, we don’t really build anything of value on our policy side. For example, is laughing over “death panels” helping to build a stronger health reform bill? Maybe (just as a rhetorical exercise) it would be more worthwhile to craft language for the bill that defends the best possible end of life practices.

    I don’t know. I’m cold sober and would prefer to be just short of spin-drunk at the moment. I’m just thinking out loud.

  97. 97
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Another comment from the Dionne comments (describing what largely remains of the Republican party):

    1. homophobic neanderthals
    2. tax-phobic cockroaches
    3. selfish cowards
    4. religious hypocrites
    5. mean spirited jackasses
    6. hateful mamma’s boys
    7. sexually repressed perverts
    8. anal retentive crybabies
    9. self-righteous simpletons
    10. misogynists
    11. rednecks
    12. anti-intellectuals
    13. paranoid schizophrenics
    13. callous slugs
    14. greedy hogs
    15. stupid, stupid, stupid

    Great start!

  98. 98
    HRA says:

    As I read the comments here, I realized why the kids next door were outside this am not dressed for school and playing with a ball on the street as I left for work.
    Nope, this is not FL or anywhere in the south. It’s so far north that I can get in Canada in 15-20 minutes from my house.

  99. 99
    Elie says:

    Love Monkey:

    Maybe we are just getting used to hearing the noise and they are too.

    I certainly have no answers. My comment is really more implied questions than answers.

    Venting anger and hate can sometimes only amplify it. Other times, the noise provides an escape valve for excessive passion…

    I dont want things just polite and in a clean tidy bow. That is never good and signals too much of the same thinking. I guess we all aspire to that in some way — to be among only our kind with the same thoughts.

    But if we advocate for diversity and the sharing of ideas — even if rough and without immediate policy impact — how can that be bad?

  100. 100
    Elie says:

    HRA

    You must be in State of WA…

    Not surprised if so…

  101. 101
    Will says:

    Sorry, but don’t talk that smack bout E.J. He’s a genuine progressive, and always has been.

  102. 102
    Mike G says:

    16. Bloodthirsty imperial-wet-dreaming chickenhawks

  103. 103
    ksmiami says:

    All I can say is that this non-troversy has crossed into Schiavolexicon stupid fail and has woken up a lot of non-political people who are appalled that the media and the Right could disrespect the American elected president in such an egregious manner. I mean I am talking about the people who work at Kinkos,schools, counter jobs. The Right threw a friggin tantrum, the media jumped in and everyone watched them crap their pants. Now they are standing around with crap in their pants, everyone can smell it and they are trying to come up with some lame excuse the for the fact that they crapped in their pants, but THERE IS NO EFFING EXCUSE for covering these pieces of sh__! They have nothing to add to make this country a better place, but endless pointless outrage because the president is a centrist liberal black man. GET OVER IT

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