The sad heart of Ruth, again

In defending her and Jake Tapper’s freak-out over the Obama administration’s decision to begin describing Fox News accurately, Ruth Marcus lets something very telling slip:

One of my sentences provoked particular derision from the left. “Imagine the outcry if the Bush administration had pulled a similar hissy fit with MSNBC,” I wrote. I confess to having forgotten about the Bush administration’s public tangle last year with MSNBC. White House counselor Ed Gillespie wrote to NBC News president Steve Capus complaining about a “deceptively edited” quote from President Bush, but he used the opportunity to complain about other allegedly slanted coverage and “the increasing blurring of those lines” between the “news” as reported on NBC and the “opinion” as reported on MSNBC.

Hissy fit? Well, Dan Froomkin, then a liberal blogger for The Post, cited “the White House’s unprecedented attack on NBC News,” noting what he termed “the White House’s outsized reaction,” and he hypothesized that an infuriated Bush had ordered the attack: “So is it a stretch to suspect that Bush told his counselor to get a little revenge?”

So let’s get this straight, she asks us to imagine an outcry if the Bush administration had attacked MSNBC. Then she admits that Bush did this but she forgot. It must have been quite an outcry! And then she cannot find a single member of the mainstream media that complained about it. Not one! (I’m not sure Froomkin is really a “liberal blogger” but he’s not really part of the regular media, either.)

It would be hard to make my point better than Marcus already made it.

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99 replies
  1. 1
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    fsm, the wapo is in such a sad state with their op-ed crap. And I do mean crap.

  2. 2
    eemom says:

    Forgive her, DougJ. She knoweth not her ass from a hole in the ground.

    Yea, nor can she findeth her ass, though the Lord hast provided two hands, a flashlight, and a GPS unit.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    Brachiator says:

    The sad thing is just as there are business reporters who defend Jim Cramer and others for blatantly slanted reporting and commentary, there will be a sad parade of so-called journalists who will defend Fox News, not because they disagree with the characterization of what they do as propaganda, but because they arrogantly resent anyone , who dares challenge the high priests of the Fourth Estate.

  5. 5

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Then there’s this

    Absolutely, along with the fall of BushCo came the abrupt end of Faux access to power. It is important to remember that Faux could not exist minus the Republican upending of FCC rules to allow Rupe to build it. This cannot be stressed enough – their corporate existance is due to the Party they sponsor and promote and that party has been kicked entirely out of power (no. actually – despite appearances).

    They are now a third rate, third country network without their sponsors in power and Rupe has to know that the media/political world will eventually move on without them if they do not return their godfathers to power. Their ability to tap into the movers and shakers is already diminished – see original reporting by that organization. It will become more and more evident to the veiwing public as time passes. Bad mojo. Especially since they are clueless of how to do actual journalism.

  6. 6
    Enceladus says:

    Does anyone actually enjoy reading this woman?

    She strikes me as a churlish female Richard Cohen, without the brilliance and wit (and if you can’t tell, I’m being sah-castic).

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    Is it true that Bush never gave an interview the the NYT? I know Cheney and Libby lurved Miller, but did they ever give the imprateur of the president for an interview?

  8. 8
    mvr says:

    And it was NBC. Whatever you think of them, the charge that they would be a wholy owned subsidiary of the Democratic party would be incredible on its face. The counterpart charge about FOX is not. So one could consistently take exception to the Bush administration action without thereby committing oneself to condemning Obama for calling FOX what it is.

    Even if they were both criticizing the press, it isn’t like the criticism in the one case is on a par with the criticism in the other. It helps to have the facts on your side.

  9. 9
    Mike G says:

    The ‘Assholes, Media’ tag is really becoming redundant.

  10. 10
    Enceladus says:

    I also like the way Marcus so dismissively links to the “liberal bloggers” Steve Benen and Eric Boehlert, not even deigning to refer to them by name.

    I think it was DougJ who summed this tendency up perfectly yesterday:

    1. Commoner issues perfectly legitimate criticism to super-awesome journalist.

    2. Super-awesome journalist replies, “Fuck you, peasant!”

    Has Mike Malloy mentioned tonight how much I hate these people?

  11. 11
    Max says:

    I wonder if “journalists” like Ruth Buzzy and Tapper and the whole Politico crew read thru the comments after their articles and feel sad about what their lives have become and the caliber of individual they attract.

  12. 12
    Brian J says:

    Does MSNBC have a reputation on the right for promoting falsehoods and outright lies, or do people simply not like the politics of some personalities? That’s what seems to be lost in this discussion. I don’t see anybody objecting to the idea of Fox as a conservative news station, but rather taking offense to the fact that the station and its employees spread inaccurate information. I for one couldn’t give less of a shit if Sean Hannity wants to spend an hour each night to talk about how he might have philosophical objections to more government involvement in health care, but I’m repulsed by the fact that he has that lying sack of shit Betsy McCaughey time to promote her fantasies.

    Maybe it’s because I just don’t care, since I don’t want much cable news, or maybe it’s because I don’t trust anyone on the other side enough to do a fair job, but I have yet to see anything from the right that compares to a typical Media Matters take down of Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, or Bill O’Reilly.

  13. 13
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Brian J:

    Does MSNBC have a reputation on the right for promoting falsehoods and outright lies, or do people simply not like the politics of some personalities? That’s what seems to be lost in this discussion

    It just seems to me more of the RW tripe of false equivilence. Or, if Keith Olbermann factually points out that Bush was wrong about this or that, then it is equal that Glenn Beck can call the dem presnit a commie racist from the cheap seats of his Doom Room. It’s the decades long liberal bias meme that they now think is money in the wankers bank to be withdrawn any time they need an excuse for being nasty little shits.

  14. 14
    ds says:

    The fact that FOX has a conservative bias is almost besides the point. The main issue is FOX News is literally run by Republican operatives. Roger Ailes!

    Its coverage is not even so much conservative as it is Republican. They tried their hardest to promote Bush’s immigration bill and Harriet Miers, although neither were all that popular with conservatives.

    MSNBC has some liberal pundits, but the station certainly isn’t coordinating their coverage with the national Democratic party.

    With FOX, it’s a documented fact that they were coordinating with Republicans on what stories they would run and what slant they would give. That’s very different from just being a conservative station. That makes them a party organ.

  15. 15
    wilfred says:

    The best news in all this is that it indicates, to me at least, that Obama is not planning to widen the war in Afghanistan, bomb Iran or otherwise undertake further insane aggressions in the Muslim world.

    Fox news promotes the necessary ideology for all that. Sure, if Obama does decide against widening the war they may well go full on against him, but since he has already called them on their nonsense he won’t need to do it again. OTOH, if he does widen the war, bombs Iran, etc., he and they will be on the same side – he would need Fox to sell the war – and not even Obama can withstand the charges of manipulation and hypocrisy that would accompany THAT scenario.

    Oh, btw, in the increasingly unlikely event of Obama widening the war in Af let me be the first to say that I will not support the mission and/or the troops.

  16. 16
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    I don’t see what the issue is with Fox not wanting to be seen as a ‘conservative’ (such as it is) ‘news’ (again, such as it is) outlet. Just about everyone knows that they are the mouthpiece for the Republican party so it is kind of like the emperor who wore no clothes story. The White House is pointing out the fact that Fox is naked, we’re going “Duh!” and Fox, their viewers and much of the MSM are busy describing the beauty and detail of the rich garments the emperor is wearing as if nobody is paying attention.

    There is no argument about conservative radio, it exists therefore there is no reason there can’t be conservative cable. I know Fox is invested in trying to continue the charade that they actually report news impartially (“fair and balanced”) but only a fool will swallow that bullshit. Murdoch saved his ass in a lawsuit by claiming that Fox does whatever it wants to because it is ‘entertainment’. I can’t argue with that logic because comedy, even the shittiest comedy in the universe, is protected speech. As they say; if the foo shits, wear it. The foo has shat.

    Marcus may have admitted the truth but notice she is still right? Eh?Eh?! People like Ruth have a lot of space between brain cells, that’s how they survive without their heads exploding.

  17. 17
    Balconesfault says:

    @mvr:

    And it was NBC.

    Exactly. MSNBC is clearly an opinion outlet. It is separate from NBC – and you need more than some hand-waving to declare that MSNBC’s opinions slant NBC’s news coverage, just as you’d need some long term correlation data to declare that the WSJ’s news reporting is influenced by the WSJ’s hard right OpEd page.

    The thing is that for Fox News – we have the long term data to show that their news coverage is directly linked to their editorial stance. There’s not even any attempt to cover it up, except for slapping “Fair and Balanced” on the charade with the same class as slapping some cheap mahogany-grain wood-like product on your gameroom walls.

  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    Ruth Marcus lets something very telling slip

    Who said you could stop sucking conservative dick in order to speak, Ms. Marcus?

    /sarcasm

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:

    Forgive her, DougJ. She knoweth not her ass from a hole in the ground.

    Untrue!

    One of them costs Rush money to stick his dick in.

  20. 20
    jayackroyd says:

    There was also the hissy fit over Froomkin not saying nice things about the president.

  21. 21
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Unclutch your pearls, Ruth, honey, and get up off the fucking fainting couch. For god’s sake, grow a pair of ovaries and act like a grown woman! What a WATB you are.

  22. 22
    Balconesfault says:

    One issue that Media Matters accidentally touches on, however:

    The same elite pundits who are telling the White House is chill out over Fox News are the same elite pundits who for weeks have refused to acknowledge the hateful Jennings witch hunt.

    I think that reporters aren’t jumping out there to defend someone like Jennings – or to at least point out how misplaced and idiotic the attacks against him are – is because they don’t want to end up “stranded”.

    Stranded? Yep – until the Obama Administration demonstrates that they’re willing to tell Fox et al to “go f themselves” … instead of nudging the next Van Jones out the door when the heat gets too hot … you’re not going to see anyone in the Village sticking out their necks. Because they don’t want to be saddled with the label “more communist/pro-euthanasia/pedophilia-philic/etc even than the Obama Administration”.

    The buck stops with Obama. You defend your people, or you make it impractical for anyone else to help defend your people. Especially when those pundits are working for billionaires who would just as soon see your agenda stymied.

  23. 23
    Skullduggery says:

    @Balconesfault:

    No, MSNBC is not “clearly an opinion outlet.” MSNBC has both news and opinion programming. It has those on the left (Keith, Rachel, Ed), the right (Joe), and on other plants (Tweetie, Pat) AND it has general news coverage.

  24. 24
    r€nato says:

    @Brachiator:

    they arrogantly resent anyone , who dares challenge the high priests of the Fourth Estate.

    actually, I remember getting somewhat indoctrinated with ‘defend the faith at all costs’ in journalism school…

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    I likey.
    It’s both succinct and cogent. A double in anyone’s book.

  26. 26
    r€nato says:

    that’s some weak shit Ruth Marcus is trying to sell there.

  27. 27
    JenJen says:

    Are you sure that wasn’t a spoof? That almost read like something from the Sadly, Nos!

    As a fun aside, Jake Tapper responded to a tweet of mine by saying that our gracious host (I had sent him a link to John’s terrific “The Neocon Fainting Couch” post) has “strong opinions.” :-)

    And, to close the free association circle… speaking of Twitter, the Connecticut Republican Party is officially a nine-year-old child:

    Twitter shuts down 33 fake accounts created by state Republicans in an attempt to lambast Dems

  28. 28
    Mark S. says:

    Is there some unwritten rule that a President shouldn’t bitch about slanted coverage? I wasn’t alive at the time, but it seems like Richard Nixon made a career of doing just that. Or is it that he shouldn’t call one outlet to task on it?

    I don’t see what all the fuss is about since these gasbags generally love being part of the story.

  29. 29
    mb says:

    The real question is not did liberals flip out over bush but rather did all these moderate/conservative concern trolls criticize bush for actions they criticize obama for? Of course, the answer is, no.

  30. 30
    Fluffy the Obese Persian Cat says:

    @r€nato:
    Yes. It was a stunning tour de farce of weak and incoherent.

  31. 31
    Napoleon says:

    @MikeJ:

    My understanding is that Bush did not accept any invitations for an interview with the NY Times for a 9 year period (I assume the extra year was in advance of the 2000 election).

  32. 32
    bob h says:

    BushCo had an extended hissy fit with the NYT, she forgets.

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Max0#11 / 1:15 am

    Ruth “confesses” in her first paragraph. That she doesn’t read “all” the comments.

    Interesting formulation, BTW. She “confesses” to two things in two consecutive paragraphs. Does she believe that she is entitled to a tiny penance and absolution?

  34. 34

    One of my sentences provoked particular derision from the left.

    Help, help! I’m bein’ oppressed by the left!

    These WATBs need to set up a Fat Signal so they can summon Rush Limbaugh.

  35. 35
    Ash Can says:

    @eemom: This made me LOL.

  36. 36
    kay says:

    I think we should be grateful she corrected the huge, glaring error although the error makes the original column ridiculous. They really churn this stuff out in twenty minutes. Does anyone but her read it before it’s printed?

    Dishonest as the apology is, any correction is unusual at the Washington Post.

    I didn’t know Bush’s White House counsel wrote a letter to the president of NBC complaining about coverage.

    The outcry from the press must have been deafening. I missed it somehow.

  37. 37
    kay says:

    I think Ruth Marcus and Jake Tapper have to explain.

    She admits here that FOX goes “over the line more often” (between editorial and news, I assume) than MSNBC.

    Okay. We’ve established that. Fox is “over the line” more often than MSNBC.

    She goes on to say that “that doesn’t mean FOX is not a news organization”.

    So, what would mean FOX isn’t a news organization?

    Marcus and Tapper are the self-appointed national press ombudsmen, apparently.

    So what’s too far “over the line” for “news”?

  38. 38
    Brucie says:

    What would have been fun is if Ruth Marcus had quoted herself and Jake Tapper complaining about the Bush Administration’s treatment of their “sister” organization. Ruth, why so protective of Fox and not of MSNBC? You think you’ll be working for Murdoch someday?

  39. 39
    El Cid says:

    Look on the bright side: at least where ever Ruth Marcus is taking up space in the Washington Post, this is not space being used to celebrate some right wing Latin American coup or screaming that Hugo Chavez will killusall.

  40. 40
    Person of Choler says:

    People are noticing that the arrival of the pink unicorns is inexplicably delayed:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/123.....oints.aspx

    “In fact, the 9-point drop in the most recent quarter is the largest Gallup has ever measured for an elected president between the second and third quarters of his term, dating back to 1953. One president who was not elected to his first term — Harry Truman — had a 13-point drop between his second and third quarters in office in 1945 and 1946.”

    The Obama administration has bigger problems than Fox News.

  41. 41
    gil mann says:

    I wonder if “journalists” like Ruth Buzzy and Tapper and the whole Politico crew read thru the comments after their articles and feel sad about what their lives have become and the caliber of individual they attract.

    In Tapper’s case, no. He’s got an intern or something whose sole job it is to weed out non-fawning comments on his blog. Seriously, try to get a critical comment through–even if it’s so gentle it would count as a “right on, dude” compared with the stuff that Richard Cohen and Joe Klein get (and let stand, for all their faults), if it ain’t fluffery, it ain’t staying up for more than a minute or so.

    That’s why a Tapper thread is just an endless series of variations on “gosh, you’re keen.” Of course, right-wingers get their less-than-adulatory comments scrubbed too, so at least he’s an equal-opportunity preening dipshit.

  42. 42
    Jack says:

    I will answer this question, both for Tapper and the conservatives who think the Obama administration is politicizing news coverage, via another childhood staple:

    One of these [Presidents of network news divisions] is not like the others. One of these [lives] is just not the same.

    Jonathan Klein (CNN), worked for WLNE in Providence, R.I. before becoming a broadcast producer for CBS News.

    Steve Capus (NBC), worked for WCAU and KYW in Philadelphia before becoming an executive producer for NBC News.

    Sean McManus (CBS), worked for ABC News before managing sports broadcasting for CBS.

    David Westin (ABC), clerked for Nixon appointee and dogged moderate Lewis Powell before working as in-house counsel for ABC.

    Roger Ailes (FOX), served as a political consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Rudolph Giuliani.

    I’m sure Tapper and company will continue to claim the administration playing politics by excluding the network chaired by a Republican operative, but honestly, I’m not sure why anyone thinks a Democrat should talk to representatives of a network whose president has devoted his life to championing Republican causes. I suppose the Democrats should also let Republicans strategists produce their campaign ads, as that would eliminate some of the dishonest viciousness of elections—after all, there’s no need to Willie Horton a Democrat whose campaign you already drove off a cliff.

    http://lefarkins.blogspot.com/.....-same.html

  43. 43
    Jack says:

    argh with the block quote fail again…all belongs to LGM

  44. 44
    Napoleon says:

    @Person of Choler:

    That poll result is an absolute outlier. Get back to us if it gets repeated in some other poll.

  45. 45
    Jack says:

    @Napoleon:

    Explaining outliers to conservatarians is often a waste of time. By the time you’ve finally seen the flicker of recognition in their eyes, they’re back to believing that scientific sampling is another Ruse of Satan.

  46. 46
    kay says:

    What put me over the line on Fox were the ads for the tea parties.

    There’s no other word for what Fox ran on the tea parties.

    They ran Fox-created 30 second ads between news segments, and the ads promoted the tea parties.

    It’s worse than blurring the line between news and opinion. They actually created and ran a free ad campaign.

  47. 47
    Napoleon says:

    @Jack:

    I know.

    By the way, not only is that result an outlier but I just checked and its also counter the trend of the last 3 months. At about the same time the teabagers came out of the woodwork his favorable slide reversed. I guess having opponents that are raving lunatics make people give you the benefit of the doubt.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @Jack:

    It’s not an outlier. It’s an average of all Gallup polls in a period, one quarter to the next.
    They couldn’t come up with a steep decline, it’s been steady or up for weeks, so they added all the numbers and compared one quarter to the next.
    It’s one way to look at the numbers, and I don’t think Gallup has any dog in this fight, it’s just one more way to sell their numbers.
    There are nearly endless combinations.
    57% is a strong number, in my opinion, for Obama, and that’s where he is.
    It’s almost identical to the sainted Ronald Reagan’s number at this point, for example.

  49. 49
    Cat Lady says:

    @kay:

    Obama can never be like Ronald Reagan. I thought we were clear on that. :D

  50. 50
    Jack says:

    @kay:

    I don’t have a dog in the Obama race. I’m one of those intransigent liberals who thinks ground-up is better than top-down.

    My comment, though, was about conservatarians. At the point when you’ve finally explained what an outlier is, and you see that glimmer of insight, they go back to the comfortable position that “polls are useless.”

    I’m as critical of my liberal brethren as I am of glibertarians, thumpers, conservatives and other opponents of civil society, but I can generally count on a liberal understanding how polling works, and living with even those polls which show a public moving away from liberal positions.

    Conservatives, not so much.

    They go looking for affirmation: most conservative movies, most conservative books, most conservative women, most conservative rock songs, most conservative polls.

    Anything else: rejected.

  51. 51
    Ajay says:

    Ruth also forgot that Fox promoted the then WH fight with NBC. Fox was happy that this was happening.

  52. 52
    kay says:

    @Jack:
    Thanks. I see your larger point.
    I fall into the same trap with polls as any other partisan, because they’re so easy to spin. I like looking at them, but I’ve gotten better at it. It’s more of a game than anything else, IMO.
    Gallup sells numbers. The more combos they come up with, the more “value” they add.
    My husband loves number. He looked at a comparison chart, and he pointed out that Bush’s high approval rating post-September 11 was skewing the comparison. It was almost 90%.
    Funny, huh?

  53. 53
    Comrade Jake says:

    This is all pretty well easily explained if you simply accept the notion that people like Marcus and Tapper aren’t particularly smart.

  54. 54
    kay says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Paul Begala made the Obama-Reagan poll comparison the other day with a little smirk. He was hoping for the howls of denial, I bet.

    Just messing with them.

    You and I know no one will ever equal the Most Popular President Ever, despite what any “numbers” may indicate.

  55. 55
    Napoleon says:

    Regardless, Obama’s numbers are still pretty impressive, especially since he was handed the White House with a bunch of bags of burning shit on the front porch as part of the transition.

  56. 56
    Sly says:

    You have to remember, the words and actions of one blogger outweighs the combined efforts of professional television, print, and radio “journalists”. So if Froomkin complained about the Bush Administration going after MSNBC, that’s actually far more effective than members of the fucking White House Press Corps and several print columnists rushing to the defense of Fox News.

    Plus bloggers use filthy words. Won’t someone think of the children?

  57. 57
    Ash Can says:

    @Napoleon:

    especially since he was handed the White House with a bunch of bags of burning shit on the front porch

    And a sinkhole in the back yard. And a tire fire in the alley. And the garage roof caved in, and the pickup truck up on cinder blocks with the wheels off and the engine gone.

    And termites.

  58. 58

    Actually, I don’t give a shit about these poll numbers, outlier or not.

    Obama has a NUMBER of difficult jobs to do, more or less all at once, all of which are important in different ways.

    If Joe The Plumber was so great at knowing all these things that should be done, HE would be just as good a president. But he would not… basically, public opinion polling is bugging a lot of people who don’t really know what is happening or what to think, and rather than asking them to think, asking them to FEEL.

    Consider this: if more than half the population are stupid or misinformed about something, and the President is informed and smart, he will make decisions that a clear majority of the population won’t agree with and they will STILL BE WRONG.

    I would think that after Iraq we should have a concept of ‘wrong’. I would think that after 9/11 we would have a concept of consequences for our government doing things that we don’t bother to be informed about… well, right now I see our President forming the intention and making some efforts towards understanding the right thing to do, rather than the poll thing to do.

    I don’t blame him because I think we’re pretty well fucked if we carry on making major policy decisions based on what Joe The Plumber feels about the world- or worse, what we have induced him to feel about the world.

    Fuck the numbers, let’s see actual information and reality. And since I am too busy trying not to starve to keep UP with the reality on everything, I literally voted for Barack Obama because I figured I could most likely trust him to keep track of that for me.

    If I find that his take on reality differs too much from what I think it should be (for instance, him not jailing all the bankers or whatever) I’ll try to learn more in case he’s failing to tell me something I should have known.

  59. 59
    Napoleon says:

    @Ash Can:

    I guess we should also mention the neighbors who keep flinging their garbage over the backyard fence and refuse to keep their dogs on a leash.

  60. 60
    Chad N Freude says:

    @JenJen: The Twitter article in the Hartford Advocate is very — make that VERY — disturbing. A political entity sets up accounts and websites “impersonating” opponents, and this is viewed by a few [contemptuous quote in article] “college professors from liberal colleges” as “very deceptive” and “Personally, I don’t think it’s ethical” [implying reasonable people could differ]. Apparently it’s not illegal, so we can expect to see it proliferate. Can anyone explain to me why this is not a form if identity theft? Fraud? The opposition can bring up the Yes Men, but “personally, I think” what the CT Republicans are doing goes way beyond theatrical pranks.

  61. 61
    gil mann says:

    @JenJen:

    Oh dear God.

    John has strong opinions

    Yeah, you know who else has those? Everyone on earth who isn’t doing your stupid Superobjective Man schtick.

    I knew they had contempt for their readers but I didn’t realize it was born of a distaste for the human condition itself.

  62. 62
    Chad N Freude says:

    And another thing … A lot of the comments on the Marcus opinion piece are hysterical, foul-mouthed insults to Obama personally, the administration in general, and non-Fox news outlets. They are not funny or entertaining in any way, they don’t make a point of any kind, and they interfere with any attempts at real discussion.

    Sadly, I think the last sentence all too often applies here at BJ, too. I am not talking about jokes, satire, and snark, but [quotes self] hysterical, foul-mouthed insults. [Ducks and covers.]

  63. 63
    Napoleon says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    Especially since the Yes mens whole stick is to get caught and make the news.

  64. 64
    Napoleon says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    F___ you!

  65. 65
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Napoleon: Dude, I can’t tell whether you’re satirically agreeing or exemplifying.

  66. 66
    Person of Choler says:

    Outlier, perhaps, or leading indicator. We’ll see in due course.

  67. 67
    Spazzman Spliff says:

    @Jack:

    s/conservatarians/conservetards/g

  68. 68

    @Person of Choler: Doesn’t matter if it’s an outlier or not. These are measures of the same value as the quarterly results from a Fortune 500 Co…which is to say almost none.

    Bush II had one of the largest jumps between q. 2 and q. 3 in the tabulation…entirely the result of the 9/11 bump, which launched him into the courses of action that led to the most complete failure of an administration in memory.

    Clinton had a steep drop to a lower level than Obama did, and recovered to have a solid if not great two term presidency. This is, as my man Belichek is wont to point out, a marathon, not a sprint, and any one dumb or duplicitous enough to point to evanscent poll results as a measure of a Presidency deserves the leadership he/she gets…but the problem is, I don’t want those leaders.

  69. 69
    kay says:

    @Person of Choler:

    A leading indicator would lead. The whole point of the poll is it’s an average. The lower numbers averaged in to get the total are actually a lagging indicator, in this case.
    It’s a quarter over quarter averaged comparison, although that’s not really a useful metric for a Presidency, because Obama doesn’t operate on quarters.
    But it does repackage the previous Gallup numbers in a way that makes them “new”.
    This might be useful for something like revenue.

  70. 70
    IndieTarheel says:

    @Napoleon: Also, too, the unreconstructed Confederates whut is pissed off about the n*ggers moving into the neighborhood and so forth.

  71. 71
    slag says:

    It would be hard to make my point better than Marcus already made it.

    Probably the most frustrating aspect here is that Marcus hasn’t figured that part out. When she thought she was defending her point, she was actually condemning it. And even after the fact, she probably still thinks she was right. Again…not very bright. Or at least not very objective.

  72. 72
    Koz says:

    This whole Fox thing is what Sen Moynihan used to call “boob bait for bubbas.” The D’s need money (and votes), and the natives are restless over Afghanistan, Gitmo, health care, etc.

    Because the Administration does not intend to implement the wishes of the liberal base (or is going to try and then get beat), they need to do something. Fox News is widely unpopular with almost the entire Left, so they’re a fat target.

  73. 73
    Person of Choler says:

    Perhaps Fox News caused this also:

    http://www.republicans.waysand.....tID=150826

    No reason to be disappointed in Obama here, is there?

    I know that you don’t like the link, but the evildoers do point to the original government numbers, so you can analyze the numbers to your heart’s content and tell me how good things really are.

  74. 74
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Never ascribe to dumbassitude what you can account for by sheer clannish defensiveness: Marcus is offended by people who think Faux News isn’t a news organization mainly because she has friends who work there.

    If she wants to be considered a part of the same industry as Faux, then no problem, but we won’t call it the news business.

  75. 75
    liberal says:

    @Person of Choler:
    Yes and no.

    You have to take into account the fact that we’re currently in the biggest post-war recession.

  76. 76
    liberal says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    I don’t blame him …

    Well, come on, you don’t blame him for appointing Geithner to continue giving away trillions of dollars to the financial sector?

  77. 77
    liberal says:

    @thomas Levenson:

    Bush II had one of the largest jumps between q. 2 and q. 3 in the tabulation…entirely the result of the 9/11 bump…

    Yeah, if you look at 43’s polling, he’s basically a big long linear decline, interrupted by the 9/11 bump and the illegal invasion of Iraq bump.

  78. 78
    Person of Choler says:

    Kay (#69) I meant “leading indicator” as “portent of things to come” and not in the econometric / statistical sense of the term.

  79. 79
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Person of Choler: There’s plenty of reason to be disappointed in Obama there. Much of the stimulus money was given to lending institutions with no requirement that it actually be lent to businesses that needed it. Institutions that were too big to fail were allowed — in the case of BofA apparently coerced — into becoming bigger. The whole program was put together in haste by the Old Boys Financial Network(tm) that Obama assembled. Some of us who voted for Obama and still hope that he will succeed are not giving him a pass on this.

    What Fox News propagandizing has to do with this eludes me. If Fox actually just reported what happens instead of trying to undercut the administration with every word spoken by whoever is on at the moment there would be no complaint.

  80. 80
    tomvox1 says:

    When Ruth Marcus fills in for Marks Shields on the NewsHour Friday “debate,” she invariably agrees with every point David Brooks makes and there is, in fact, no debate of any kind. What does that tell you? She is absolutely dreadful.

  81. 81
    Person of Choler says:

    Chad N Freude:
    “If Fox actually just reported what happens instead of trying to undercut the administration with every word spoken by whoever is on at the moment there would be no complaint.”

    One could say that Fox News does report things that happen and, if these things make the Obama administration look bad, so be it.

  82. 82
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Person of Choler: One could also say that Fox never reports anything positive or affirmative about the administration or about Obama personally.

  83. 83
    Person of Choler says:

    Chad N Freude, one could further say that the other networks have cornered the market on reporting positive and affirmative things about Obama and his administration, leaving Fox the niche market of doing otherwise.

  84. 84
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Person of Choler: One could, but one would be wrong. I’m sorry Per (may I call you Per? I feel I know you so well now) but I have to leave the playground now and go work with grown-ups.

  85. 85
    JenJen says:

    @Chad N Freude: Right. And one of the nutter toadies actually complains that Twitter is “violating our rights to free speech.” I was not aware that a) the Constitution addresses Twitter or b) free speech rights include your right to steal someone’s identity.

    WTF?

    @gil mann: Classic, isn’t it? Tapper was quite defensive and more loquacious than wise on Twitter yesterday, but responding to a really good, and concise, piece of writing by our own John Cole by merely saying “John has strong opinions” won the internets for me. :-)

  86. 86
    Person of Choler says:

    Chad N Freude

    You could call me Per if you like, but whatever Per is, I have nothing to do with it.

    Of course, on the internet, nobody knows that you’re Norwegian so I could be Per. But I’m not.

  87. 87
    Svensker says:

    @Person of Choler:

    One could say that Fox News does report things that happen and, if these things make the Obama administration look bad, so be it.

    One could say there are dead goats lying around PofC’s house and if these things make PofC look bad, so be it.

  88. 88
    liberal says:

    @Person of Choler:

    One could say that Fox News does report things that happen and, if these things make the Obama administration look bad, so be it.

    LOL!

    FOX is an agitprop outlet. They don’t report anything, good or bad.

  89. 89
    liberal says:

    @Person of Choler:

    …one could further say that the other networks have cornered the market on reporting positive and affirmative things about Obama and his administration…

    Yes, one could say that. But one would be lying.

  90. 90
    mclaren says:

    “Whoops! I forgot!”

    My new favorite meme. We should be grateful, I guess, that they dimly recall any of what happened during the previous eight years. I another 3 or 4 years, none of the journos will even recall there was a Bush administration.

    By 2015, it’ll be, “Obama’s second term is terrible, but just imagine what would’ve happened if George W. Bush had been elected president in 2000!”

    Or: “The war in Afghanistan isn’t going well, that’s true. Just think how badly America’s image would have been hurt if we’d invaded Iraq in 2003.”

    At a certain point you just hold your head and moan.

  91. 91
    Bullsmith says:

    I like PoC’s logic that fox is simply filling the void left by the ubiquitous Obama worship in all other media. That would explain why they and only they still criticize Saint John McCain, who gets such a rough ride from all the other media.

    The problem with the spin defending Fox, is that anyone who turns on Fox for five minutes can see it’s propaganda. If they accidentally pass on some news, well, you know avoiding reality entirely is difficult. Can’t fault them for lack of effort.

  92. 92
    Chad N Freude says:

    @Bullsmith:

    anyone who turns on Fox for five minutes can see it’s propaganda

    I beg to differ. Far too many citizens drink that particular flavor of Kool-Aid. The results are well-covered by the fear and bullanced media.

  93. 93
    Chad N Freude says:

    @mclaren: I hadn’t thought about this, but now that you mention it, at the rate the historical revisionism is proceeding I wouldn’t be surprised to see something about how awful things would have been if Sparta hadn’t conquered Rome.

  94. 94
    Brachiator says:

    @Chad N Freude:

    There’s plenty of reason to be disappointed in Obama there. Much of the stimulus money was given to lending institutions with no requirement that it actually be lent to businesses that needed it. Institutions that were too big to fail were allowed—in the case of BofA apparently coerced—into becoming bigger. The whole program was put together in haste by the Old Boys Financial Network™ that Obama assembled. Some of us who voted for Obama and still hope that he will succeed are not giving him a pass on this.

    Actually much of this was a done deal before Obama took office.

    And the dirty little secret not acknowledged by most liberals is that the financial guys actually outsmarted both the old administration and the new one. I have not read a single so-called progressive opinion piece, anywhere, that would have prevented the taxpayers from getting snookered by the professional con men in Wall Street and the City of London.

    And this crap is still going on (remember that this is supposedly a global financial meltdown). Credit is still supposedly tight, but a group just put together $2.5 billion to buy London’s Gatwick Airport. I wonder, where did they get all this money to make the deal?

    And then we have these little tidbits:

    Wells Fargo said Wednesday its third-quarter earnings rose to a record 3.2 billion dollars, as the banking giant managed to profit from mortgages and consumer credit despite a weak economy. The profit was up 98 percent from a year ago and amounted to 56 cents a share, far ahead of analyst expectations for earnings of 37 cents per share.

    Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, said Wednesday that its third quarter profits had more than tripled, adding to good news from peers as they recover from the Lehman Brothers debacle.

    Deutsche Bank was heavily invested in US subprime loans.

    It’s back to business as usual for the banks, and neither Obama nor the Democrats in Congress have a practical idea concerning regulation, while progressives continue to make a fetish over limiting executive compensation (and the Republicans gave up thinking a long time ago, and are waiting for divine revelation either from the Baby Jebus or Caribou Barbie Sarah Palin).

    I hadn’t thought about this, but now that you mention it, at the rate the historical revisionism is proceeding I wouldn’t be surprised to see something about how awful things would have been if Sparta hadn’t conquered Rome.

    FTW

  95. 95
    liberal says:

    @Brachiator:

    And the dirty little secret not acknowledged by most liberals is that the financial guys actually outsmarted both the old administration and the new one.

    Oh, bullshit. They owned the previous administration, and they own this one.

  96. 96
    liberal says:

    @Brachiator:

    …while progressives continue to make a fetish over limiting executive compensation…

    That’s a valid point. We need to completely emasculate the sector by heavy regulation, so their share of GDP returns to pre-1980 levels. Then we won’t have to worry about outsized compensation.

  97. 97
    liberal says:

    @Brachiator:

    It’s back to business as usual for the banks, and neither Obama nor the Democrats in Congress have a practical idea concerning regulation…

    LOL! It’s not lack of practical ideas. It’s lack of not-being-owned-by-the financial-sector.

  98. 98
    Tom says:

    You gotta remember that when you are wearing blinder and have your head so far up the anus of Fred Hiatt, it is pretty hard to see clearly!

  99. 99
    El Cid says:

    There was no President between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. George Bush Jr. was brought in for several months as our National Security Hero to help us fight against the terrists who Bill Clinton let attack us, but Bush Jr’s role was minor and unnoticed for the most part, and shortly later ACORN put Barack Obama in office to destroy the Constitution and prompt Glenn Beck to save us all. The End.

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