The Neocon Fainting Couch

I Need a Hero

When we last visited steely-eyed warrior Peter Wehner, he was leading the chairborne rangers in an epic battle against George Will, who Wehner decided had grown weak at heart over Afghanistan. That was but a few weeks ago, but since then our valiant warrior has left the fields of battle and taken to the fainting couch:

The term “sister organizations” is important because it shows solidarity with a news organization under fierce attack by the White House. This is the kind of question one would hope to see when a president and his top aides target a news organization and then, for good measure, try to dictate to other news organizations what they should do, how they should act, and which stories they should follow. But so far, stunningly, the media — including the White House press corps — have mostly been quiescent. One might have expected more in the face of these extraordinary efforts at media intimidation and media control. If the situation were reversed, and a Republican White House were targeting an entire network in a similar fashion, criticisms, condemnations, and thundering editorials would be pouring forth; terms like “abuse of power” and “chilling effect” would be on the lips of virtually every reporter in America.

A few quick things:

1.) Fox is not a news organization. Period.

2.) Fox news helped to organize and promote partisan political rallies, including situations in which their producers were caught rallying the crowds and their rabble was shouting down and ACTUALLY intimidating reporters from other networks.

3.) Fox is not a news organization. Period.

4.) Peter Wehner worked for the Bush administration. The Bush administration, in eight years, conducted more abuses to the field of journalism than anyone I can recall. A partial recollection of the Bush administration’s wrongdoings include:

    -Paying Armstrong Williams, Michael McManus, and Maggie Gallagher and others for favorable opinions about WH policies or to attack opponents of the WH.

    -Planting Jeff Gannon to lob softball questions.

    -Used reporters to out a CIA agent, then sat by and watched reporters go to jail to protect their sources.

    -Fed reporters misinformation about WMD in Iraq, then used those reporters stories as corroborating evidence of the existence of WMD in Iraq.

    -treated Helen Thomas like a leper.

    -waged a coordinated campaign against NBC.

    -kicked all the NY Times reporters off of their planes.

    -the Pentagon Pundit program, which sold the war by planting former military officers on networks. Uncovering this story earned a journalist the fucking Pulitzer.

    -Staged mock press conferences with FEMA employees pretending to be reporters.

    -allowed Ari Fleischer to tell everyone (but directed at journalists) they needed to “watch what they say and what they do.”

And that is simply off the top of my head, and god only knows what lies and abuses Peter Wehner was responsible for while working at the Bush era Office of Strategic Initiatives. By comparison, the Obama White House has merely stated the obvious, which is that the Fox news is not a news organization.

I’m thinking Peter Wehner can just stfu.

107 replies
  1. 1
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    Is that pronounced “wiener” or “whiner”?

  2. 2
    Comrade Jake says:

    But Cole, this type of attack is unprecedented. Unprecedented!

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    This Wehner dude looks like a Photoshopped version of Karl Rove. Why do these tough guys always look so soft?

    Plus, George Will would kick his butt in a tie contest.

  4. 4
    dmsilev says:

    And, of course, the rest of the Village *is* registering their displeasure at the sheer nerve of the Obama administration in daring to criticize Fox. I can’t wait for David Broder to chime in about how non-bipartisan this makes the administration.

    -dms

  5. 5

    That’s a face that’s just crying out for a rifle-butt.

  6. 6
  7. 7
    kay says:

    Jake Tapper is acting in his role as White House press corps “ombudsman”.

    Remember how upset he got when Obama called him that?

  8. 8
    beltane says:

    @The Bearded Blogger: More like “wanker” with a silent K.

  9. 9
    Anne Laurie says:

    … And what was that German word meaning “A face that cries out for a fist in it” ? Because that’s what Mr. Wehner is rockin’ in his headshot there.

  10. 10
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Yes, and I would add that Fox is not a new organization, Period!

    Plus.

    The Bushies using government money to make phony news reports by actors pimping the Medicare Scription Drug benefit.
    and not telling us it was fake. This. Also. Too,.

  11. 11
    bobbo says:

    beltane:

    This Wehner dude looks like a Photoshopped version of Karl Rove. Why do these tough guys always look so soft?

    It’s the closeted gay Republican look du jour.

  12. 12
    calipygian says:

    The White House Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) is a staff unit within the Executive Office of the President of the United States established during the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush immediately following the 2000 Presidential Election. Its members report to Mr. Bush’s Senior Advisor, presently Barry Steven Jackson, and formerly Karl Rove.

    The Office is located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The Office’s function is to focus on ideas and possible presidential actions to address issues which will contribute directly to the President’s political standing. Although given no official authority over other Executive functions, the OSI may review and make recommendations on classified national security issues, judicial nominations, and other subjects of potential political significance. The establishment of the Office created the position of “Director of Strategic Initiatives,” who also has the title of Deputy Assistant to the President. Peter Wehner has served in this position.

    Sounds suspiciously like a “Strategic Initiative Czar” to me….

  13. 13
    williamc says:

    No!

    Because backing off in the face in logic does not compute in the wingularity. This is to assimilate the “Enemies List” into the wingularity. Bush wasn’t a true conservative, he was compassionate! Since he wasn’t pure, everything he did was liberal! Kill Libbies! (But not Scooter, that was a good man hounded for no reason…).

    They are the Borg; able to make any ridiculous notion a part of the movement, and also utterly predictable in a robotic-idiotic sort of way.

  14. 14
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    And they screened every soul that came to their events. In a way, the most grievous media manipulation.

  15. 15
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Awwwww, a wittle whining Wehner, ain’t that cute! Maybe Boehner and Wehner can have a get together and have a happy ending?

  16. 16
    slag says:

    @kay: Anything Obama can do to upset Jake Tapper should get him a little something extra in his Christmas stocking.

  17. 17
    trollhattan says:

    I gots nuttin’ to add to JC’s fine rant. I will add, however, that would seem a few more Dems are getting that certain stirring in their loins inspiring them to go at our media stenographers head-on. May I introduce our once and future governor?

    http://www.sacbee.com/static/w.....26407.html

  18. 18
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @bobbo:

    It’s the closeted gay Republican look du jour.

    All he needs is the Wingnut Face Mullet.

  19. 19
    calipygian says:

    The Office’s function is to focus on ideas and possible presidential actions to address issues which will contribute directly to the President’s political standing.

    Whiner’s job was literally sycophant in chief.

    Mr. Smithers would be proud.

  20. 20
    hypusine says:

    Recent experience suggests you’re wrong. For instance. Just went to take a sip of coffee and bumped smack into “chilling.” Like, just sitting there, right there on my lips. If this keeps up who knows what else I’ll find? Chilling’s congenitally joined sibling, “effect?”

    OhWaitIKnow! “Republican operatives are completely fucking full of 100% ratings agency approved AAA+ bullshit.” Yep, that might be the one, right there.

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    While the GOP and Jake Tapper, people who are going to hate anything Obama does, may have a problem with this, I’ve not heard a single sane person complain.

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    @Evolved Deep Southerner: And look how much it helped them in the long run. That’s the real joke here. Dozens of staged events. Hundreds of human props and actors. Millions of dollars spent on “message” trying to convince people to privatize Social Security and stick around in Iraq for 100 years.

    And now we’re debating exactly how much socialized medicare to engage in.

    They drank too much of their own kool aid, and now they’re going to spend the next media cycle trying to convince the 78% of America that isn’t voting for Sarah Palin about how FOX News is the only unbiased news channel.

    Good luck with that.

    I’ll take this idiocy over gun-tooting tea baggers and 9/11 worshippers any day.

  23. 23
    valdivia says:

    The bigger thornier question is why the lazy shameless media are not calling Fox on acting as an arm of the republican party. the tea party thing the way they promoted it, agitated about it, set it up. Why is no one asking the media about that?

  24. 24
    gnomedad says:

    @The Bearded Blogger:
    It’s “Fraankensteen”.

  25. 25
    Chad N Freude says:

    @bobbo: Snark and pretensiousness wrapped up in a single pun-inviting package: “juiceboxers” and “jus ad bellum“.

    What does juiceboxers mean anyway? People with the mental capabilities of kiddies who drink from juice boxes? People who spill juice on their boxers? [Insert Beavis and Butthead snigger]

  26. 26
    kay says:

    @slag:

    I think reporters talk about themselves too much.
    Tapper is the worst.
    He simply brings himself in too much. “Ombudsman” made him mad because IT’S TRUE.
    I think they should stop talking constantly about themselves individually and their profession collectively.
    It’s fascinating to them, but that’s true of all professions.
    The listener or reader isn’t “on the team”.
    Their wants, their needs, their duties, enough already. Just do the job.

  27. 27
    freelancer says:

    Holy Crap,

    It’s middle aged gay Republican Jonah Hill!

  28. 28
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    …try to dictate to other news organizations what they should do, how they should act, and which stories they should follow…

    I knew this reminded me of something:

    Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary, denounced Mr. Maher, saying of news organizations, and all Americans, that in times like these “people have to watch what they say and watch what they do.”

  29. 29
    Calouste says:

    Rule 6: There’s no rule 6 news organization called Fox.

  30. 30
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @Zifnab: True that. They never could make it look real, because it never could be made to look real. Even the true believers didn’t believe that shit.

    Now Barney Frank taking down that crazy gal at his event, when he said he’d have more luck talking to his dining room table and asking what planet she was on? That shit was real. And obviously it’s stuck with me.

    And that shoe the Iraqi threw? That shit was real, too.

  31. 31
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    @bobbo: Gaydar is going up to 11. Catcher, not a pitcher, also…

  32. 32
    slag says:

    @kay: Unfortunately, they’re under the misguided impression that talking about themselves is doing the job. They’re a self-service p0rn industry. And they don’t seem to get why we don’t enjoy them as much as they do.

  33. 33
    gnomedad says:

    @Wile E. Quixote:

    That’s a face that’s just crying out for a rifle-butt.

    It’s just amazing. It’s the ur-Republican; the template for the winger Clone Army. Exactly what God was aiming for for 6,013 years.

  34. 34
    Chad N Freude says:

    What we need is Rosalind Russell in the WH Press Room.

    File under reporter, hard-hitting. (Check the link, rent the DVD. It’s a classic illustration of what the press used to be, or at least how we imagined it to be.)

  35. 35
    The Bearded Blogger says:

    @gnomedad: A wingnut composite: Ari Fleischer’s baldness, Krystol’s vacant/dreamy/moronic smile and eyes, Rove waddle, Delay air of confidence inspired by utter ignorance, Buchanan’s repressed homosexuality and a touch of Vitter-esque douchebaggery. If the glasses were more palinesque, he’d BE the wingularity.

  36. 36
    freelancer says:

    @The Bearded Blogger:

    You forgot Andrew McCarthy’s teeth.

  37. 37
    Midnight Marauder says:

    The Bush administration, in eight years, conducted more abuses to the field of journalism than anyone I can recall.

    Let’s not forget about the biggest one of all, which NO ONE in the traditional media dares to touch, or acknowledge, to this day: the Pentagon Pundit Program.

    A months-long review of documents and interviews with Pentagon personnel has revealed that the Bush Administration’s military analyst program — aimed at selling the Iraq war to the American people — operated through a secretive collaboration between the Defense Department’s press and community relations offices.

    Pentagon records show that the day after 14 marines died in Iraq on August 3, 2005, James T. Conway, then director of operations for the Joint Chiefs, instructed military analysts during a briefing to work to prevent the incident from weakening public support for the war. Conway reminded the military analysts assembled, “The strategic target remains our population.” [p. 102]

    I remember when this story broke last year, and then how not a single traditional media outlet came anywhere close to it. I wasn’t surprised to see it fade away so quickly; that’s what the Village is all about, after all. But it was disheartening in so many ways to see all the talk about Bush Administration propaganda be confirmed and then some.

    Man, I hate the fucking Village.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Mr. Wonderful says:

    Chad–

    “People who spill juice on their boxers? ”

    Sorry, those are “box-juicers.” Yes, yes, it’s obscene. That, too.

  40. 40
    raff says:

    Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary, denounced Mr. Maher, saying of news organizations, and all Americans, that in times like these “people have to watch what they say and watch what they do.”

    Dammit, Xecky beat me to it. At the time, I thought Fleisher’s statement (tacit threat?) was chilling in the extreme, but aside from a few progressive sites, I don’t recall an MSM cry to outrage.

  41. 41
    Jay B. says:

    @Zifnab:

    True straight up. They still think the Rove maxim “attack their strengths” (which wasn’t actually good political strategy in the first place) is the smart move. I’m thinking of how throughout the campaign they tried attacking Obama for being too popular — as if popularity isn’t a good thing for a political candidate — and they still are. When they’re not trying to talk about how his support is cratering (which it isn’t), or how he’s too popular in places like Europe. Because that’s bad. For some reason.

    And that’s why we see Lamar! trying to make the ridiculous Nixon connection — Obama made a smart political move to marginalize the information coming out of the Fox House and they’re trying to make it sound ominous.

    Of course all it does is remind people that the scumbag Nixon was a Republican too.

  42. 42
    samantha says:

    Don’t forget Cheney’s folks kicking all NYT reporters, columnists etc. off his press plane in the Bush administration first term. The NYT never got back on that plane either. They also never complained about it. Sad day when the NYT looks like a bunch of Rambos.

  43. 43

    After looking at that face I had to go out and make sure all my goats were penned up and safe for the night.

    Whew! Close call. You scared the shit out of me, Cole.

  44. 44
    Tsulagi says:

    1.) Fox is not a news organization. Period.

    Pretty much. Like all of Murdoch’s media properties in Australia, here, and everywhere else he operates it’s a tabloid. If he didn’t start it, when he buys one he converts it to that format. WSJ is well on its way. Loony bullshit to elicit emotional response sells. See Beck, Glenn.

    Fox News is essentially bathroom jerk-off material for our Purple Heart bandaid/Teabagger warrior class. It gets them all fired up telling them how victimized they’ve been and atrocities in the works being plotted by the evildoers in their midst. Death Panels! Marriage is still under attack! Obama to replace the real American greenback for a new red commiedollar! National Enquirer has nothing on Murdoch.

    That shit sells, but only to a finite segment. Big enough population of Brawndo drinkers to make some like Murdoch rich, but not the majority. May just be anecdotal, but in my environment the number of pod tards that erupted after 9/11 has declined. It’s just that those remaining have turned up the volume and looniness to 11 to make up for the loss.

  45. 45
    Steve says:

    I seem to recall an open-mike incident where troops in Iraq were fed questions and were practicing their “unscripted”answers for the President. That always struck the wrong chord with me as it seemed to me like shameless pr at the troops’ expense.

  46. 46
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Fox News is a news operation the way that the 700 Club is a news operation, i.e. not one.

    (Murdoch’s Sky News in the UK is a news operation, albeit a slightly tabloidy one at times, but that’s because you have to abide by a set of broadcasting standards to be one.)

  47. 47
    Zach says:

    The journalistic travesty in the Wilson/Plame affair wasn’t really Plame’s outing but rather Judy Miller being caught slinging unverifiable and ultimately false information from the WH in the Paper of Record and then having everyone in her profession go to bat for her journalistic integrity in protecting her sources when she was held in contempt, etc.

    Also, I guess it might not be related to the WH (yeah right), but DoD tv-expert generals on retainer definitely ranks above several of these examples. I don’t have cable anymore, but I bet McCaffery’s still on NBC every two seconds; no accountability anywhere. The problem’s not with the White House but with journalists who are too happy to let the White House play them like a fiddle.

    My theory is that this all stems from the impossibility of filling 24 hours of news a day with interesting content. If you’ve got content, it gets on TV. Note that Taylor Marsh, who was arm in arm with Larry Johnson and linked to his Whitey Tape remark, is now welcomed back as a “Democratic strategist” on cable despite, I’m sure, never having a job in that capacity and fabricating or paying for whatever qualifications she claims.

  48. 48
    Mike in NC says:

    That’s a face that’s just crying out for a rifle-butt.

    Where is the goddamn flag lapel pin? Did the GOP put out a memo that only Obama was required by law to wear it now?

  49. 49
    Makewi says:

    Are you saying that Helen Thomas is not a leper? Interesting.

  50. 50
    DonkeyKong says:

    He looks like Charles Bronson reincarnated as a marshmellow……….

  51. 51
    Woodrowfan says:

    Backpfeifengesicht!!!!! Why do they all look like such assholes?!!?!?

  52. 52
    Woodrowfan says:

    and before some concern troll clutches their pearls over “Backpfeifengesicht”, when I ran aGoogle search to look for the correct word I found it on Freakrepublik with such suggestions such as Helen Thomas as to who deserved such a fist-in-the-face

  53. 53
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @The Bearded Blogger: Needs just a touch of Ross Douchehat’s — that, you know, thing on his face — the scanty beard-like .ustache-like growth feebly encircling his mouth — not sure what it’s called. Anyhow, this guy needs that.

  54. 54
    Svensker says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum:

    After looking at that face I had to go out and make sure all my goats were penned up and safe for the night.

    Win.

  55. 55
    calipygian says:

    (Murdoch’s Sky News in the UK is a news operation, albeit a slightly tabloidy one at times, but that’s because you have to abide by a set of broadcasting standards to be one.)

    Best movie revue I ever saw on TV was on Murdoch’s Sky News. The reviewer started out the review by saying, “If you liked Guy Ritchie’s ‘Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrells’, you’ll LOVE ‘Snatch'”.

    Priceless.

  56. 56
    Paul L. says:

    Fox is not a news organization. Period.
    But for some reason they got the Duke Lacrosse story right and the saintly New York Times got it wrong.
    Speaking of getting it wrong.
    It’s Called Common Sense, McCormack
    Scozzfava Campaign Retracts Lie About Weekly Standard Reporter

  57. 57
    Aunt Moe says:

    Two things struck me in your list of stuff Bush did:
    1.) kicked NYT reporters off plane – that one is delicious given that he could never have gone to war without them, and
    2.) Jeff Gannon!!! I actually forgot Jeff Gannon. Can we start a blogsphere campaign to remind everyone of Jeff Gannon?

  58. 58
    Bhall35 says:

    @Paul L.: And the Times got the whole lead up to the Iraq war wrong. Your point? Oh, right, we worship the Times over here on the left, and we have no critical thinking skills except when it pertains to Fox News.

    And even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Try harder.

  59. 59
    Cat Lady says:

    Cole – I have to tell you that I heart your picture captions. “I Need a Hero”. You rock my little world.

  60. 60

    @Paul L.:

    No it didn’t. It was all over it like every other news organization was. Fox news didn’t derail the Duke Lacrosse Story, the truth did.

  61. 61
    Chad N Freude says:

    Murdoch’s Sky News in the UK is a news operation, albeit a slightly tabloidy one at times, but that’s because you have to abide by a set of broadcasting standards to be one.

    If I read this correctly, in the UK the government tells news operations what to do. [Clutches pearls!] I had no idea that the UK was a communist/sociAlicet/totalitarian/Nazi/fascist state. No wonder the British government gets such uncritical, laudatory reports. Thank goodness Orwell isn’t around to see this.

    This snark, of course, totally ignores the planting of surveillance cameras every six inches throughout London (and other places, I presume). Well, no democracy is perfect.

  62. 62
    Polish the Guillotines says:

    Planting Jeff Gannon to lob softball questions.

    That was just the cover story. He was there to plant other things other places.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  63. 63
    PaulB says:

    Funny how they didn’t protest when the Bush administration used much the same rhetoric and tactics against MSNBC. The pearls were not clutched, the Village mostly didn’t even notice, and somehow life went on.

  64. 64
    D-Chance. says:

    /applause

    Nice to see that Cole can still deliver, even if the rest of the site is watered down with mediocrity.

  65. 65
    Mike G says:

    If the situation were reversed, and a Republican White House were targeting an entire network in a similar fashion, criticisms, condemnations, and thundering editorials would be pouring forth; terms like “abuse of power” and “chilling effect” would be on the lips of virtually every reporter in America. the good little puppy press would be begging for forgiveness, gullibly regurgitating whatever they were told and continuing to worship at the feet of a White House that repeatedly kicked them in the teeth.

  66. 66
    PaulB says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:
    It’s even worse than that, of course, because that particular example is completely irrelevant to the issue about whether Fox News is a propaganda arm of the Republican Party. Paul just loves to spew irrelevant factoids as though they are supposed to tell us something. In this case, all they tell us is that Paul is a moron.

  67. 67
    Kyle says:

    … And what was that German word meaning “A face that cries out for a fist in it” ?

    Backpfeifengesicht.
    Or, if you prefer, ‘Hasselhoff’.

  68. 68
    chrome agnomen says:

    “…stunningly…the media has been quiescent…”

    this is so delicious, that a man could say that with a straight face.

  69. 69
    chrome agnomen says:

    i guess it’s time to admit, to concede, that the 1/2 hour comedy hour has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

    ‘let a new vein of wit be hereby proclaimed! one that has not a whit of humor to it.’

  70. 70
    matoko_chan says:

    Why is all the soi disant articulate talent on the right puffy white guys with 3 or 4 chins?
    Its just gross.

    I was blog-friends with AllahP and Jeff Goldstein once.
    Now they are crazier than shithouse rats.
    It has to be supressed racism.
    Look at my one-time mentor John Derbyshire.
    Fuckin’ senile dementia.

    The only thing I can think of is that Obama is some kind of environmental trigger for an RNA virus that shuts down all brain activity except for the primal lizard brainstem, the reptilian core that deals with autonomous nervous function and fear and loathing of intelligent articulate handsome black men.

  71. 71
    Sanka says:

    the Obama White House has merely stated the obvious

    Really glad the President has his priorities in order.

    Shorter Cole = George Bush did it, so can we…

    Damn, the echo-chamber keeps shrinking there on the left innit?

    Do Democrats have answers to anything that doesn’t include one or all of the following:

    a) Well, George Bush did it so we can do it too
    b) Higher taxes
    c) Higher spending
    d) Promising free shi.t

  72. 72
    Bhall35 says:

    @Sanka:

    Damn, the echo-chamber keeps shrinking there on the left innit?

    no more than Republican ID is shrinking:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200910210035

  73. 73
    Sanka says:

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200910210035

    I’d fact check that. MM doesn’t have the best track record in the truth.

  74. 74
    mclaren says:

    John Cole remarked:

    The Bush administration, in eight years, conducted more abuses to the field of journalism than anyone I can recall.

    Your memory must not go back very far. The Reagan maladministration abused the press at least as mercilessly as the loons in the White house from 2001 to early 2009.

    The Reaganauts started the process of creating a “story of the day” to dupe and delude the press — and of course the press fell for it like gullible children. Reagan-funded death squads murdered nuns in El Savador and the Reagan spin machine manufactured stories about enterpeneurs who got rich invented clip-on handles for beer cans…and the press bought it. The eagerly pounced on the Reagan-spun fake news stories and buried the murdered nuns on page Z, next to the Sidney Omarr astrology column.

    The Reaganauts raised lying and hypocrisy to a stunning art form. Ronald Reagan rammed through massive military spending and tax cuts for the rich, then he gave speeches denouncing the resulting deficits. The Reagan years were so hallucinogenic I thought I was on LSD when the news came on. In the morning Reagan would sign a bill he’d fought for relentlessly to do X, then in the evening he gave a speech in which he condemned X as horrible and wasteful and unacceptable and a sign of liberal degeneration. Reagan built up the nuclear arsenal, then gave speeches about how terrible it was that we lived under the threat of nuclear war and how we had to do something about it. Reagan tried to foment war in Central America, then went n prime time TV to complain of hw dangerous the world was. Reagan cut taxes for the rich and filled the streets with homeless people and then he made solemn pronouncement about how terrible it was that the American dream was degenerating. And the solution, of couse, was always…cut taxes for the rich some more.

    I used to hold my head during the Reagan years for fear it would explode from sheer cognitive dissonance.

    Reagan lectured foreign leaders on the End Days and the coming apocalypse in the middle east, then the Reaganaut talking heads would go on TV talk shows to lash out at reporters who claimed Reagan was out of it and demented.

    Laffer and the other nut jobs spouted gibberish disguised as economic policy, then when the economy predictable blew up with massive deficits they vengefully attacked the press for allegedly damaging the public’s confidence in the markets.

    It was insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane, insane. The Bush years looked like serious journalism compared to the dementia of the Reagan era. The country was collpsing into homelessness and econmic degeneration and the Reaganauts were running bright cheery re-election commericals assuring everyone it was “Morning In America!”

    The theme song of those years was Devo’s “Swelling Itching Brain.”

    got a nervous kind of feeling
    got a painful yellow headache
    (..) cold sweat on my collar
    dripping to my boots
    the waves of nauseous pain
    sets off the pressure pad alarms
    gotta get outta here
    gotta get outta here
    gotta get outta here
    gotta get outta here

    Honestly, it was at least as bad as the Bush years. The Reagan nightmare warped reality inside out and the news hacks played right along, twisted like pretzels by the Reagan spin machine. It was a nightmare, a nightmare, a nightmare…

  75. 75
    Brick Oven Bill says:

    Pete Wehner recognizes over-reaching when he sees it. At my Glenn Beck meet-up we discuss the Founders’ Principles and understand that our current situation represents a major threat to civil order.

    If Obama was his own man, he never would let “surrogates” unfairly attack a major news organization like this.

  76. 76
    matoko_chan says:

    Yes, Sanka, it IS the Torture Presidents fault.
    We spent a trillion dollars and 4678 (to date) young american soldier lives on the Grand Misadventure of the Manifest Destiny of Judeo-xian Democracy in Iraq.
    Not including young dead American Soldiers in the Graveyard of Empires.
    George Bush killed more Americans in Iraq alone than died in the Twin Towers….not to mention hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians.
    The cold eye of history is going look back on Bush’s Gog/Magog War and judge him cruelly.

  77. 77
    cokane says:

    Can someone link to the study, years ago, where news channel viewers were asked a series of questions such as: Were Iraqis responsible for 9/11 attacks?

    IIRC a study came out showing Fox news viewers were ignorant on many of the news facts of the day. I think the most ignorant of all the major networks.

  78. 78
    Gus says:

    @Paul L.:
    I call spoof. There’s no way that someone could still be that obsessed by the Duke lacrosse thing.

  79. 79
    fungus amungus says:

    Somebody before me’s probably said it, but don’t forget Dan Rather. Yeah, and thanks, CBS, you chickenshit douchebag dick-chewing cumbubbles.

  80. 80
  81. 81
    Redshift says:

    @cokane:
    Here’s an overview of the original Fox study:

    http://www.thecarpetbaggerrepo.....s/714.html

    And here’s a more recent similar study:

    http://www.americanchronicle.c.....iew/122813

  82. 82
    cokane says:

    This is good stuff. This stuff needs to be emailed to every reporter who goes out there trying to defend Fox News. A news organization should be judged by how informed its viewers are.

    If they’re not informed; it’s not a news organization.

  83. 83
    Anonymous visitor from Sadly, No! says:

    and before some concern troll clutches their pearls over “Backpfeifengesicht”, when I ran a Google search to look for the correct word

    Not a real word — or at least, not real in the sense of “Used by Germans”. As far as I can tell it was made up by one of those “They Have a Word for It” books as another example of ho-ho don’t these words from non-English cultures betray their cultural obsessions. Now it serves to betray the cultural obsessions of English speakers.

  84. 84
    drillfork says:

    Did everyone overlook “Karen Ryan” and the infoganda fake video scandal?

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/wa.....ontroversy

  85. 85
    drillfork says:

    Oh and on the subject of abuse of journalists, didn’t we just happen to bomb that Baghdad hotel where the reporters were staying?

  86. 86
    Bhall35 says:

    @Sanka: and the link you provided is supposed to support your case? My reading comprehension is obviously failing me.

  87. 87
  88. 88
    Jack says:

    Might it be fair to suggest that the NYT and the WP are not really news organizations, either?

    Not that they are propaganda organs for a specific political party, such as is FOX.

    But that they are agitprop for a particular caste and class – namely, the moneyed one.

  89. 89
    timb says:

    John, a little late to the thread and I doubt you’ll notice this: but, in addition to those press abuses, how many reporters overseas were actually killed by American airstrikes? How many Iraqi stringers were held without charges and released without trial? How many times did Al Jazeera broadcast the last few moments of one of their reporter’s life, helping us win the heart and minds of the Iraqis?

    The Bush administration hated the press from the first “he’s an asshole” to the last chants of NBC, NBC at reporters during the Republican National Convention. I’ll put it this way: Hannity, Limbaugh, and quite a few others (including White House flacks who “looked into charges”) were more than happy call for the arrest and trial of NY Times reporters who revealed details of “black sites” and illegal wiretapping. The second Olberman or Henry Waxman or some Asst AG start actually talking about sedition charges for Beck or Hannity or Ailes, then we’ll be as wrong as they were.

  90. 90
    bob says:

    Timb: “The second Olberman or Henry Waxman or some Asst AG start actually talking about sedition charges for Beck or Hannity or Ailes, then we’ll be as wrong as they were.”

    Why would that be wrong? I am serious. Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, etc. have a very specific agenda for rabble-rousing through mass media, and it’s not to help the country or the people in it. They are striking matches trying to light our nation and maybe the world on fire. Sedition is the word. Treason is another. Long time now.

    It’s in their heritage, and they know the ugly history they are trying to re-invoke. So why does naming their actions make “us” as “wrong as they were?”

    Can we NEVER solve this?

  91. 91
    SFAW says:

    Re: Bubblegum Tate @ 18

    The best thing in the link you provided was the story involving Pammy Geller/Oshry. Any day she has to explain that she wasn’t involved in alleged criminal activity is a good day.

    Fortunately for her, “being batshit insane” is probably not considered a crime in New York State.

    Also.

  92. 92
    SFAW says:

    So why does naming their actions make “us” as “wrong as they were?”

    “OK, you win. I’ll stop telling the truth about you, if you stop lying about me”

  93. 93
    timb says:

    @bob: Because Sedition is about over-throwing the government and it’s more than words. It’s a conspiracy against the Constitution. For all their poisoned rhetoric, their seeming desire to bring back Jim Crow, the sheer audacity of screaming “NO” at everything, they are just making bucks off the rubes. They no more believe what they’re saying than George W did when he spoke of Compassionate Conservatism.

    Words are rarely crimes, Bob, and you should try to remember that.

  94. 94
    An Outhouse says:

    “fierce attack ” ?????? What “fierce attack “?

    I fear that the opponents of President Obama are a bunch of pussies.

  95. 95
    Paul in KY says:

    Actually, he looks like Jim Boeheim’s younger, fatter brother.

    Jim is coach of Syracuse bball team (for our non-sports-following posters). Not a bad dude, married to a nice girl from Kentucky.

    Loved John’s comments.

  96. 96
    IM says:

    and before some concern troll clutches their pearls over “Backpfeifengesicht”, when I ran a Google search to look for the correct word

    Not a real word—or at least, not real in the sense of “Used by Germans”. As far as I can tell it was made up by one of those “They Have a Word for It” books as another example of ho-ho don’t these words from non-English cultures betray their cultural obsessions. Now it serves to betray the cultural obsessions of English speakers.

    Backpfeifengesicht is a genuine german expression, if a bit old fashioned. You would use Ohrfeigengesicht nowadays.

  97. 97
    Dinah says:

    The problem is that Tapper, Thomas and the rest of the pack think they are the ACLU, defending the rights of the Nazis in Skokie. Very high-minded, I’m sure, but it’s one thing to stand up for free speech and another to stand up for the content of the speech. The ACLU didn’t talk about a “sister organization,” that’s for sure. Fox can say what it wants, but the White House and everybody else has a right and obligation to call it BS.

  98. 98
    Americanitis says:

    To this post I’d like to add:

    Fox is not a news organization. Period.

    Thank you.

  99. 99
    AJB says:

    Here’s a Kos diary I wrote that further documents Bush’s attempts to manipulate the news media:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....news-media

  100. 100

    You guys are truly unremarkable. Pathetic, and predictable. Utterly predictable. That is all.

  101. 101
    Q says:

    The al Jazeera bureau in Kabul got bombed. Twice, if I’m not mistaken.

    They kicked that network out of Iraq during election time, too.

  102. 102
    Deborah says:

    It sounds to me like you are jealous that Fox would not hire you. Fox News gives the truth instead of assisiting the democratic news hounds in the Obama Brainwashing.

    Being an American means I have the right to watch Fox news or ABC and to make my own choices. By Obama trying to block fox news shows another one of the American rights he is trying to control/take away.

    You may like your rights as an American striped away one by one and the goverment in charge of your every decesion and life but those of us that are “True” Americans do not and have the right to stand up for those very rights we stand to lose.

  103. 103

    […] far as this being, “unprecedented,” Cole takes care of that meme. It didn’t start with Bush either, of course. Since Carter, the White House has […]

  104. 104
    SFAW says:

    Fox News gives the truth …

    As does Fred Phelps, no doubt.

    You may like your rights as an American striped away one by one and the goverment in charge of your every decesion and life but those of us that are “True” Americans do not and have the right to stand up for those very rights we stand to lose.

    I call parody troll. Almost had me for a second, though.

  105. 105
    Gary Williams says:

    @Zifnab: Your coment “They drank too much of their own kool aid” may be even more accurate as to why conservative/authoritarians will always self-destruct than even you realize. The problem of course comes with the march of technology an the fact that their own self-destruction can now mean the destruction of millions of others. What I mean by that is an observation taken from the work of noted social psychologist Dr. Robert Altemeyer (The Authoritarian Specter).

    Bob Altemeyer has devised a “game” he calls “The Global Change Game” which he uses to determine how his students will react to real-world events of a geopolitical nature. Of course he covertly guides the individual students onto the different teams based on their previously assessed conservative-through-liberal values stacking the deck as it were with all-conservative (Right-Wing Authoritarians) or non-conservative member/students. With great consistency the RWAs seem unable to work together to achieve any objective and always wind up launching a nuclear war. It seems the only variation in this outcome is whether it happens sooner or later than the last time the game was played.

    This and many other characteristics of the RWA personality lead us to conclude that whatever part this personality may have played in mankind’s evolution, the pace of technological innovation has far outstripped natures ability to evolve the species in a way that protects us from the behavior of the dysfunctional few.

    The only real question now is how does one go about raising such an issue in a way that can be understood then accepted by the population as a whole?

  106. 106
    SFAW says:

    The only real question now is how does one go about raising such an issue in a way that can be understood then accepted by the population as a whole?

    You’re kidding, right?

    Unless you restrict your definition of “population as a whole” to mean only those rationality far outstrips their wingnuttiness, it’ll never happen.

    In a country where a large percentage of the population denies various fundamental scientific facts, and believes in myths (religion-based or otherwise) over various realities, the likelihood of the “population as a whole” understanding and accepting Altemeyer’s conclusions is on a par with the likelihood of Harold Stassen winning the 2012 Presidential elcetion.

  107. 107
    lala says:

    Please send your opinions to this blowhard of the Heritage Foundation. He was on NPR’s Left Right Center boohooing about how terrible it is for the White House to exclude Fox who is the “only” news organization who is challenging Obama.

    Let him have it

    http://www.heritage.org/about/.....nzalez.cfm

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