People it’s bad

I now know that some Nigerian guy trying and failing to set off a bomb in his pants is the equivalent of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. It might be worse.

I hate to keep saying the same thing over and over, but it’s hard to see how a medio-politico system as out of whack as this one won’t end in disaster.

I’m not going to link, but this bit of lunacy from Post Partisan is telling:

By staying in Hawaii, the president has sent the message that the situation really isn’t all that serious, that things can proceed just fine until he’s back. And isn’t it that kind of reasoning that emboldens our never-vacationing enemies into thinking Christmas Day is the perfect time for them to strike?

Where do you even start? By mentioning that teh terrorists aren’t likely to be deterred by a presidential press conference? I don’t know anymore.

Let’s be frank: at this point, there is no real difference between Michelle Malkin and the Washington Post editorial page, none between Marc Ambinder and Matt Drudge, none between the Republican Congressional delegation and RedState.

We have Jim DeMint holding up the confirmation of the head of the TSA while simultaneously acting as the point man for Republican criticism of the TSA…and he’s getting a lot of traction in the very liberal media.

Maybe there is no value in saying this over and over again, but our public dialog really, really sucks.






80 replies
  1. 1
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Let’s be frank: at this point, there is no real difference between Michelle Malkin and the Washington Post editorial page,

    Except who’s writing their respective paychecks and even then, there’s probably only 2 degrees of seperation between them.

    I grew up reading the Post, from the 60s onward. I hope it dies, fucking dies.

  2. 2
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    teh terrorists

    our public dialog really, really sucks

    Sigh.

  3. 3
    Eric U. says:

    Washington didn’t need any press conferences to realize that Christmas was a good time to attack New Jersey. I guess that explains why comedians have been following his lead for the last 200 years.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    Sigh.

    I’m not allowed to use “teh” anymore?

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    I just think I came close to throwing things on twitter.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    Washington didn’t need any press conferences to realize that Christmas was a good time to attack New Jersey.

    If King George had taken a break from wassailing to address the attacks, we’d still be speaking British, my friend.

  7. 7
    eastriver says:

    @John Cole:

    What’s got your goat, JC?

    (sorry, I don’t follow twittlings)

  8. 8
    Derelict says:

    Yes, it does suck. And that’s why perhaps 80% of the population completely tunes it out. To Joe Average, it’s completely incomprehensible.

    And yet, newspaper publishers are shocked that their circulation plummets as they collectively swing farther and farther to the right (and end up publishing articles that may as well be in code). And TV news producers cannot fathom why viewership declines while both liberals and conservatives send them hate mail.

    Any wonder why more people voted for American Idol finalists than voted in the presidential election in 2004?

  9. 9
    bayville says:

    What is the moral of this big national freakout over the failed Undibomber? That we should hire someone to start our cars in the morning?

    Nevermind, Springsteen is on TV. Everything is okay for 15 minutes.

  10. 10
    beltane says:

    The Republicans own the airwaves and most of the print media, and is now allied with a faction of left blogistan. How will sane, non-assholes ever be heard in this environment?

  11. 11
    mcc says:

    Is there a big national freakout about underwear bomb guy? I guess it’s hard to tell when one doesn’t get one’s news via television…

  12. 12
    pillsy says:

    By staying in Hawaii, the president has sent the message that the situation really isn’t all that serious, that things can proceed just fine until he’s back. And isn’t it that kind of reasoning that emboldens our never-vacationing enemies into thinking Christmas Day is the perfect time for them to strike set their penises on fire?

    Fixed. And yes, we’re in dire goddamned straits when that fix is necessary.

  13. 13
    Eric U. says:

    If I were running a newspaper or other news outlet, I’d try producing a product that represents the truth as well as humanly possible. There isn’t any competition in that market so it might just work. And I wouldn’t have an opinion page. The blogosphere does opinion much more quickly and in the aggregate is much better at it.

    And I guess the lesson that the Wapo learned from the Washington Times fiasco is that there was no longer anything keeping them from being the only pure republican propaganda sheet in town. What could go wrong?

    I think things have actually been worse. Think of the run-up to the Iraq invasion. You had the entire media industry cheering Bush on, and the only Democrats you saw on TV were saying anyone against the invasion were traitors. Those were desperate times for me

  14. 14
    trollhattan says:

    If the preznit doesn’t cease cuttin’ brush, march his Muslim (pbuh) arse down to the Ala Moana Center mall and tell Amurka to get ourselves shoppin’ teh terrorists done wun.

  15. 15
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    I grew up reading the Post, from the 60s onward. I hope it dies, fucking dies.

    And takes CNN down with it. Doug J, wasn’t it you who remarked “Well, we had a good run”?

    My increased optomism in our future after electing BHO is taking a long, slow dive. Can’t wait for the Homeland Security committee meetings, presided over by La Lieberman.

  16. 16
    eastriver says:

    I like the fact that there are many national dialogs. A few years ago (pre-cable/internet) there were just a handful. Nightly news, the major papers, and that’s it. Now there are some many people trying to move the dial(s), spin the weather vanes, that it’s become so much white noise.

  17. 17
    Joseph Nobles says:

    It was a great Twitter rant, John, and well deserved. The Napolitano witchhunt is wearing on my last nerve.

    And the OP here: “the most serious threat to the nation’s safety since 9/11” – hello? Anthrax, anyone? Total disruption of Washington and the postal service?

    And God knows if Obama had come screeching back to D.C. because of the crotch bomber, Post Partisan could have rolled their eyes at his McCain-shutting-down-his-campaign impersonation.

  18. 18
    DougJ says:

    Doug J, wasn’t it you who remarked “Well, we had a good run”?

    Yes, and I believe it.

  19. 19
    gizmo says:

    That Nigerian underwear bomber can accurately be called a “nut job.”

  20. 20
    Max says:

    @John Cole: Nice rant.

    Aravosis is an asshole and has become a parody of himself at this point. If he’s a “progressive”. Count me out.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    Let’s be frank: at this point, there is no real difference between Michelle Malkin and the Washington Post editorial page, none between Marc Ambinder and Matt Drudge, none between the Republican Congressional delegation and RedState.

    I’m enjoying the hell out of the Countdown “2009 Whackjob Jamboree” on MSNBC right now, but to really do it justice it should have been a three hour special.

  22. 22
    SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta says:

    @gizmo: Har har har!

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @mcc: I get my news from Wonkette. They are hardly freaking out about the pantie bomber.

    I can’t stand TV news people. All their makeup and plastic surgery results in more dead brain cells than a decade of LSD use.

  24. 24
    eastriver says:

    @gizmo:

    It was Christmas Day. I dub him Bomb Crotchit.

  25. 25
    gizmo says:

    Interesting to watch the wingnuts get riled up over Obama’s reaction to the Nigerian bomb scare. I don’t recall them being indignant when their man GW Bush sat fixed in a chair reading “My Pet Goat” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

  26. 26
    Derelict says:

    Just stare in wonder as the national dialog turns to the question of when do we invade Yemen.

    It’s coming, just as surely as the dawn. In order to prove to disaffected Nigerians that we’re serious about stopping them from lighting their testicles on fire, we must invade Yemen. Doing so will also prove to the Iranians that we’re serious about the Pakistanis.

    Or something.

  27. 27
    gizmo says:

    NY Post headline:

    “Great Balls of Fire.”

  28. 28
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Here, have a kitteh pic to calm your nerves, y’all.

  29. 29
    Citizen_X says:

    I don’t know about the questions you raise, Doug. All I know is “Bomb In My Pants” is going to require a hard-assed muthafuckin bass line, and if somebody don’t deliver one soonest I’m going to be asking for my money back.

  30. 30
    GregB says:

    I threw up in my mouth today when Teri Gross quoted Jonah Goldberg’s opinion on NPR.

    -G

  31. 31
  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    By staying in Hawaii, the president has sent the message that the situation really isn’t all that serious

    It isn’t.

  33. 33
    MikeJ says:

    @GregB: At least it was you who threw up in your mouth. Can’t really dust for vomit.

  34. 34
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    So…what are everybody’s plans for when we become an official state of China?

  35. 35
    jwb says:

    Do you think people in general are paying much attention to the latest media freakout? Because, uncharacteristically, the local paper has mostly been ignoring the freakout.

  36. 36
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    @DougJ:

    The intentional mangling of English for no particular reason makes my eyes hurt, and the cognitive dissonance of bemoaning a stupid national conversation while intentionally mangling English for no particular reason makes them bleed as well, but go right ahead.

    And it’s not just you DougJ. Anyone who wants to fight stupidity by glorifying ignorance is more than welcome to do so.

  37. 37

    Can someone tell me what JC’s twitter rant was? I really am trying to avoid signing up. But I do so love a good rant.

  38. 38
    West of the Cascades says:

    Who says our enemies are “never-vacationing?” They just don’t take vacations the same time the vast majority of people in the US do. Has anyone heard of a boxer-based-chemical assault during Ramadan? Maybe for that one month a year we can all carry 6 oz. tubes of toothpaste on airplanes.

    Also: Democratic agenda for 2010:

    1) pass HCR reconciliation;
    2) strip Joe Lieberman of his homeland security committee chairmanship;
    3) expunge the term “homeland” from our public dialog.

  39. 39
    mk3872 says:

    Spot-on Doug.

    Do you, like me, believe that a big part of the problem that you outlined in this posting, is that our natl media is directly in the middle of a sea-change transition from editor-controlled, proof-checked newspapers and newsrooms and a fully anything-goes, ad-revenue-by-click based Internet model?

    It is hard to tell for average Americans getting occassional bits of news from various sources, who is right and who is supporting or pushing an agenda.

  40. 40
    eastriver says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    My daughter is learning Mandarin in the first grade. She’s preparing.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Jenn says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Thanks for the smile — she’s getting big!

  43. 43
    West of the Cascades says:

    @Notorious P.A.T.: you can has all internet traditions?

  44. 44
    John Cole says:

    @Max: @El Cid: No. The situation is serious. Any time you have people strapping explosives to their junk just to kill people, the situation is serious.

    The question should be:

    a.) Is our response serious and effective and not counterproductive?

    b.) to what extent can we do anything?

    c.) to what extent does our response do more damage than the attacks themselves?

  45. 45
    beltane says:

    @Bubblegum Tate: I plan to study Taoism and expand my repertoire of tofu recipes.

  46. 46
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta:
    Here’s the stream. I’m not even going to try to blockquote this: (it’s in reverse chronological order)

    And with that, I am walking the dog. 23 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    Who, as flawed as they are, are still the rational actors. 23 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    Adopting right-wing frames and painting Obama as a weak black Jimmy Carter just brings down the one party… 23 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    Same with cap and trade. But in a two party system, moving the overton window to the left requires smart criticism. 24 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    And I should say one thing- I understand progressive anger. The current HCR bill would be a Republican initiative 30 years ago. 25 minutes ago from TweetDeck

    @JonHenke I’d rather have me and John Aravosis swinging at each other than EVER vote for the current GOP. 30 minutes ago from TweetDeck in reply to JonHenke

    @JonHenke And I actually left the right because they became completely insane, not because of misplaced friendly fire. 32 minutes ago from TweetDeck in reply to JonHenke

    @JonHenke Only if you intentionally misread her quote, did she say something stupid. 34 minutes ago from TweetDeck in reply to JonHenke

    @JonHenke I’m telling them to stop criticizing from the right. Claiming Napolitano said somethign stupid is adopting a RW frame. 35 minutes ago from TweetDeck in reply to JonHenke

    I remember when progressives understood nuance. We’re all Joe the Plumber now.

  47. 47
    eastriver says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    That’s it? I agree with the Joe the Plumber comment.

  48. 48

    @arguingwithsignposts: Thank you sir. I may have to sign up after all. It’s like a series of great exit lines.

  49. 49

    our public dialog really, really sucks.

    As dialogue, it certainly does. But it isn’t. It’s just the thrashing of media whores trying to sell papers or get eyeballs in front of a tv or clicks to a website.

    That isn’t dialogue or dialog. It’s just whoritude.

    Pretending that it is public dialog is where we get into trouble.

    I know, why don’t we start a new public dialog? Since, you know, we don’t have one now.

  50. 50
    DougJ says:

    Do you, like me, believe that a big part of the problem that you outlined in this posting, is that our natl media is directly in the middle of a sea-change transition from editor-controlled, proof-checked newspapers and newsrooms and a fully anything-goes, ad-revenue-by-click based Internet model?

    Yes, I think that is some of it for sure, maybe a lot of it. Exactly how much of it, I don’t know.

  51. 51
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    That Nigerian underwear bomber can accurately be called a “nut job.”

    I’m going to put on my hat so I can tip it to you.

    So…what are everybody’s plans for when we become an official state of China?

    I’ll be looking for a deep discount on a mail order bride.

  52. 52
    Max says:

    @John Cole: I don’t think I said that situation wasn’t serious.

    My point is that Aravosis, Hamster, etal aren’t serious people. Their criticisms aren’t based in reality and truthfully, nobody listens to them.

    You get that the blogosphere is not reflective of society as a whole, but they don’t. Of my wide spectrum of friends, I am the only one who participates on blogs. The rest of them are living their lives, raising their kids, etc. and guess what, they love Obama. Do they agree with him on everything? No, but they understand how hard he is working.

    ETA – Many of them are republicans.

  53. 53
    DougJ says:

    The intentional mangling of English for no particular reason makes my eyes hurt, and the cognitive dissonance of bemoaning a stupid national conversation while intentionally mangling English for no particular reason makes them bleed as well, but go right ahead.

    The discussion of terrorism is so insane I don’t think you can portray it accurately without mangling language. I don’t say that about everything.

  54. 54
    The Ghost of Richard Jaeckel says:

    Do you think people in general are paying much attention to the latest media freakout?

    I base my own parochial view on the hard-right local fishwrapper’s web comment boards, where the conservitard id really gets off its chain. Underpants-en-fuego has, to my surprise, hardly moved the outrage meter, since everything is already Comrade Fuhrer Obama’s fault anyway.

  55. 55
    DougJ says:

    Do you think people in general are paying much attention to the latest media freakout?

    This is a good question. My guess is probably not.

  56. 56
    Citizen_X says:

    @John Cole: But is it a “situation” and do we have “people,” or is it just one lonely nutjob with a grudge and a (bad) plan for vengeance? I.e. an event that should be prevented and prepared for to the greatest extent practical, but that, ultimately, we cannot completely be insured against?

    Isn’t that part of the dialogue(/log) that’s missing?

  57. 57
    beltane says:

    @Max: I do see Hamsher as a problem to the extent that her attempted hijacking of dailykos has been disruptive and demoralizing to the more mainstream Democratic (not self-styled progressive) activists. The incessant right-wing framing of almost every issue will become corrosive unless it is nipped in the bud.

  58. 58
    Ash says:

    @mcc:

    Is there a big national freakout about underwear bomb guy?

    No. Too often around these parts we conflate the “public” with “public discourse.” Not on purpose usually, it just sorta happens.

    In the media you have stuff about how this was almost the CHRISTMAS DAY MASSACRE ZOMFG!!!

    Whereas with the actual public at large, you mostly have one of two types of people:
    1) those who are snickering because he blew his balls off, and
    2) those who don’t even know WTF is going on because they were all too drunk on eggnog and wine to care

  59. 59
    You Don't Say says:

    @SIA aka ScreaminginAtlanta: You don’t need to sign up. Just go to http://www.twitter.com/johngcole

  60. 60
    El Cid says:

    @John Cole: To clarify, no, the incident right now is not serious because it didn’t go off. That terrorists were attempting to attack airliners is the status quo. Is it now more serious that a 2nd attempted ignition of PETN has failed than before? Is the situation now more serious than status quo ante? Is there anything now preventing terrorists from using ordinary explosives to attack banks, malls, post offices, schools? Is it serious in such a way that we need Daddy Preznit to run home and assure us He’s Keeping Us Safe?

    Maybe. That would be an empirical question — i.e., is there evidence that more such attacks are being planned, perhaps in ways which might be successful?

    Tell me. I want to know. I want to know why PETN Attempt #2 makes the terrorist attack situation more serious than it was before, which to my mind included dozens of real, successful attacks against U.S. and other civilian targets killing thousands of people, and in presumed relation to these attackers, tens or hundreds of thousands of Muslim country civilians have been killed by U.S. forces and their allies?

    I’ll give you my perspective. No. Nigerian crotch bomber has not made me more nervous about air travel. He has not directly made me feel that the terrorist threat against U.S. civilians is now greater than it was before. No.

  61. 61
    danimal says:

    Remember, many of us aren’t newsgeeks and don’t follow this stuff much at all. And the newsgeek population is limited even further due to holiday vacation. This will all blow over like a fart in the wind.

  62. 62
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Miami Correctional Institute University makes it a game in the last 4 minutes.

  63. 63

    So, I am a little confused by the right’s approach to this whole thing.

    We are supposed to be cowering in fear of terrorists, and in fear of people who are so brainless that they would calculate that they have a safer opportunity to strike when the president is not in the White House. In other words, when the president goes on vacation, the whole country just stops paying attention to anything.

    These are the morans we are supposed to fear. And then, according to the blog world, on the political front, we are supposed to fear the Republican morans who come up with this nutty shit.

    My whole fear mojo is just not keeping up with the times. I find that I just don’t have the mainstream fears going.

  64. 64
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    You know, I’ve seen a lot of Peter King the last few days, but I have not seen a hair of Bennie Thompson — you know, the actual CHAIRMAN of the House Homeland Security Committee. Now maybe he was invited to go on teevee and declined, or maybe he’s on vacation and unreachable, but in that case wouldn’t the teevee show say “we triedto reach Mr. Thompson but he is not available” or something. It just seems odd. Not surprising, though.

  65. 65
    El Cid says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Duh. Democrats don’t know anything about “national security”. Only Republicans are experts on that, and you bring Democrats on to face 5 screaming panelists demanding they answer Republicans’ weird charges.

  66. 66
    Mike in NC says:

    Interesting to watch the wingnuts get riled up over Obama’s reaction to the Nigerian bomb scare. I don’t recall them being indignant when their man GW Bush sat fixed in a chair reading “My Pet Goat” in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    Because it really was a good goddamn book.

  67. 67
    Mac says:

    Aravosis — former Republican.
    Kos — former Republican.
    Greenwald — former nothing leaning toward Libertarian (look who helped him with his book — Mona Holland)
    Cole — former Republican.
    Hamsher — former (?) racist

    Where or where are the great numbers of real Democrats and Progressives?

    I know DougJ is one, and Tim F., too.

    It seems that everyone is out for fame and/or money.

  68. 68
    Comrade Luke says:

    It’s really too bad Jon Stewart’s on vacation this week. He’d be having a field day with this.

  69. 69
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    The ESPN360.com producers should really cut the mikes of the announcing team after they’re done. I just heard one of them say he was “stealing some cookies” and call John Clay “The Johnnymon”

  70. 70

    @Mike in NC:

    Just to be prickly, there is no such book. It’s actually a story in a book of stories.

    “The Pet Goat” (sometimes erroneously referred to as “My Pet Goat”) is a children’s story contained in the book Reading Mastery II: Storybook 1 by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner.

    wiki.

  71. 71

    @Citizen_X:

    is it just one lonely nutjob with a grudge and a (bad) plan for vengeance?

    And there’s the rub for me. If we’re gonna quiver and take away your iPod on the Cleveland-to-Chicago flight because You Might Be A Terra-ist, we’re right back to 2002 and more batshit crazy. Napolitano was probably correct in saying “the system worked” in that all hands were on deck to prevent another 9/11. Fortunately, that’s not what this was – you had one loon with a plan and shitty execution. You want to bring down a fucking airplane? AhabTRuler had an excellent precis on how to do it right the first time, every time, *if* you’re smart. Key point: smart people don’t blow shit up if they have to go down with it. See Lockerbie, Scotland.

    So go ahead and agitate to bomb fucking Yemen, Senator Lieberman, because this is exactly what the future looks like. Why? Because when you bomb my shit, I’ll bomb your shit. See also Palestine, Israel.

    The more complex the works, the easier it is to fuck them up. And we got some complex works here in teh civilization. You want to make a fortune? Skip the Gaia-damned fish and start breeding German Shepherds. By jumping up and down and filling our collective Pampers, it sends the message that every day is Christmas Day, while the Senate blocks putting people in fucking charge of the shit designed to prevent this stuff.

    Gaia slay me, we put the fucking target right on our own foreheads and then wonder why we get kicked in the face.

    Here’s an answer to b) above – let Obama come back from Hawaii and put that two bit fucking sonofabitch who blocked the TSA appointment in motherfucking Guantanamo. And then recess appoint the Gaia-damned TSA exec. The Red State Wolverines will eat it up, and the Villagers can get a woody over the New War President, Same as The Old War President.

    And the rest of us can read a fucking book on the Gaia-damned airplane. Last I checked, those are still legal in the Lower 48.

    (wipes spittle off monitor)

  72. 72
    Corner Stone says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    He’d be having a field day with this.

    Errm, I think you mean “He’d be having a ball with this.”

  73. 73
    Jon says:

    Ugh. I went over there (instantly regretted), but I giggled to myself when a decent amount of commenters referred to her as “this Armao dude”, etc. Petty, I know. But still.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Jim DeMint is aiding and abetting global Islamic extremism in its plans to attack the United States.

    I sure wish some Democrat with a national media profile had the balls to say so.

  76. 76

    I’m about tired of the whining mewling pissants, I’m a hell of a lot more likely to get killed at work than if I flew every damn day. Maybe if their life posed more risk than a goddam paper cut…

  77. 77
    bob h says:

    “our public dialog really, really sucks.”

    Expect soon some big DC pundit to speculate that Detroit means the end of healthcare reform.

  78. 78
    Toast says:

    at this point, there is no real difference between Michelle Malkin and the Washington Post editorial page, none between Marc Ambinder and Matt Drudge, none between the Republican Congressional delegation and RedState

    One of these is a real stretch. I’ll let you guess which one.

  79. 79
    EIGRP says:

    @Corner Stone: We need more pubic discourse on this.

  80. 80
    SteveOH says:

    Christmas Day is the perfect time for them to strike?

    Sounds like the annual Doctor Who special.

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