Sing a Song of Butthurt

The Rally to Restore Fear and/or Sanity is going to increase demand for Preparation H among our media elite:

  • Olberman is pissed and thinks Stewart “jumped the shark” because Stewart criticized MSNBC along with Fox.
  • Tweety gets a little huffy about it, too, wondering if Stewart was saying that the media should “write stories about how there was no accidents on the highway last night, everybody had a good night’s sleep.”
  • David Carr thinks that Stewart was “shifting the blame”:

    It was a beautiful day on the Mall, and who doesn’t like kicking the press around, but speaking of ants, media bias and hyperbole seem like pretty small targets when unemployment is near 10 percent, vast amounts of unregulated cash are being spent in the election’s closing days, and no American governing institution — not the Senate, not the House of Representatives, not even the Supreme Court — seems to be above petty partisan bickering. Mr. Stewart couldn’t really go there and instead suggested it was those guys over there in the press tent who had the blood of democracy on their hands.

Carr’s response is worth reading in full, because he trots out every weak argument that’s going to be used by the media to deflect attention from Stewart’s critique. He argues that not a lot of people watch cable TV without acknowledging that cable drives mainstream media coverage. He intimates that Stewart doesn’t have the balls to go after the truly powerful, when Stewart does it all the time and was taking the media to task for failing to do the same. And he talks about “media bias” which is what he wished Stewart had attacked. “Bias” is the media’s favorite strawman, because it lets them trumpet their view-from-nowhere objectivity. If Carr wants to find someone “shifting the blame”, he doesn’t need to watch a rally in Washington, he can just open a copy of his own paper, which is so “objective” and “un-biased” that they twist themselves in knots to avoid using the plain word “torture”.






128 replies
  1. 1

    I titled this photo differently, but Lady Smudge is tired of the concern-trolling by the media.

  2. 2
    Dennis SGMM says:

    …media bias and hyperbole seem like pretty small targets when unemployment is near 10 percent, vast amounts of unregulated cash are being spent in the election’s closing days, and no American governing institution — not the Senate, not the House of Representatives, not even the Supreme Court — seems to be above petty partisan bickering.

    “You should be chasing real crooks, officer – not handing out speeding tickets to good citizens.”

    Maybe some things are inevitable but, maybe we wouldn’t be dealing with some of the things enumerated by Carr if the media had done even half a job. I’m nearly positive that the war in Iraq wouldn’t haven’t if the media had exhibited even an ounce of skepticism at the time.

  3. 3
    Cat Lady says:

    The press has their narrative, the narrative is the narrative, there is only the narrative, forever and ever, amen.

  4. 4
    mem from somerville says:

    My favorite eyeball-roller was this from TomTomorrow:

    Like Digby says, right wing isn’t going to listen to any of this. So basically DFH’s just got told to STFU.

    Yes, DFHs are to STFU. That’s exactly what he said.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    The professional media’s spluttering reaction to Stewart and Colbert is just embarrassing. “Hey folks, there’s a story here! Are there any… um… journalists in the room?”

  6. 6
    jwb says:

    Well, let’s see if Stewart, Colbert and anyone else who wants to help can use this to press an advantage. If experience is any guide, we’ll find a way to fritter the opportunity away.

  7. 7
    beltane says:

    Instead of whining, David Carr and his fellow brothel workers would do well to meditate on Stewart’s critique of their profession. If not, the rallies of the future will be a lot less civil and cheery. After all, we don’t know what all those anonymous corporate donors look like but we can recognize the faces of the media folk as well as our own family.

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    The media has plausible deniability. They don’t even know what real journalism looks like.

    Mr WereBear is hot to bring back the Fairness Doctrine, but that horse is dead. I’d like to see some kind of penalty for lying…even if it’s just being called on it.

  9. 9
    Lee says:

    Does anyone else remember Stewart giving a speech and Q&A to a bunch of journalists awhile back?

    I remember reading an article IIRC there were a couple of quotes from that journalists wished they could do what he does (point out the lying).

  10. 10
    Guster says:

    @mem from somerville: Also from Digby, this tweet from Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC)
    10/30/10 3:21 PM

    The fact that Stewart is a progressive makes his comments about left wing rage all the more important. His words carry weight on the left.

  11. 11
  12. 12

    I enjoyed watching the rally a lot more than I thought I would, and I’m glad that Stewart/Colbert went after the biggest issue in the country right now, that being that most of us are amused to death and don’t have a clue.

    Also, R2D2.

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    @WereBear: I’d settle for just seeing them go out of business. If I want to hear the uninformed opinions of a bunch of narcissistic prima donnas I can go down to my local high school. Do they not realize that it’s bad form to criticize the jester for speaking the truth?

  14. 14
    beltane says:

    @Guster: Stewart wasn’t commenting on left-wing rage; he was commenting on the media’s shameless emotional exploitation at the expense of truth.

  15. 15
    R. Porrofatto says:

    they twist themselves in knots to avoid using the plain word “torture”.

    Correction: …only when writing about American techniques for really, really enhanced interrogation. The same methods applied by some other country or group are indeed torture — it must be in the Times’ style book.

  16. 16
    Bulworth says:

    media bias and hyperbole seem like pretty small targets when unemployment is near 10 percent

    This may be first time our media elite has noticed that unemployment is at 10%.

  17. 17
    Guster says:

    @beltane: So you’re saying that even the progressive Jon Stewart says that the left is consumed with partisan bickering?

  18. 18
    valdivia says:

    Gawd. Is the whining by the media ever going to end? Are their fee-fees hurt?

    Kind of OT: Kurtz at TPM is out raising the alarm about WA Sen race. Don’t they have mail-in voting? Haven’t I read somewhere that dems are doing really well with that? So what does a poll the day before election day with Rossi up by 1 point mean in a state that has mail-in voting?

  19. 19
    jwb says:

    @valdivia: You have to remember that this seems to be how TPM has decided to get its page hits. It’s why have basically stopped reading it.

  20. 20
    beltane says:

    @Guster: Partisan bickering is what you’re supposed to have in a system with more than one political party. It is called disagreement. The media is supposed to report the facts, not treat disagreement like professional wrestling match.

  21. 21

    Shorter media: Fuckin’ journalism: how do it work?

  22. 22
    valdivia says:

    @jwb:

    yeah I’ve stayed away mostly, specially pay no attention when Kurtz writes cause he trolls heavily all the time. should have stayed true and not gone back. it’s giving me a confused.

  23. 23
    cleek says:

    our media is utterly broken – and that was one of the major points of the rally. that the media would respond to the rally by completely missing the point is completely unsurprising – it’s so unsurprising that it was, in fact, predicted in Stewart’s opening remarks.

    it’s as if the media has decided to go meta-meta- on Stewart: you say we’re shallow controversy-mongers? OK, let’s create a controversy?

  24. 24
    Breezeblock says:

    Flip-flops (the footwear!) can kill you!

    In one sentence, our media at work. What a ridiculous country we are.

  25. 25
    Meanderthal says:

    The best possible way to ensure that every “journalist” misses the point: do something that doesn’t fit neatly into the narrative. Quelle surprise.

    Edit: And can I just say that I truly despise the phrase “jump the shark”? The use of that phrase should be punishable by a kick in the genitals and a small cash donation to the Humane Society.

  26. 26
    JAHILL10 says:

    The only punditizer on MSNBC who even seems to have a vague notion of what journalism is is Rachel Maddow and you don’t hear her crying foul. It’s like that old Southern saying, Throw a rock in a pack of dogs and the one who yelps is the one who got hit,” or something like that. I haven’t been in the South for a while…

  27. 27
    beltane says:

    @cleek: It’s not like they were going to say “We were humbled by the outpouring of criticism of our journalistic integrity. We have learned from this and will make every effort to strive to be better in the future because the trust and respect of the American people is something we hold dear to our hearts.”

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @cleek:

    our media is utterly broken – and that was one of the major points of the rally. that the media would respond by missing the point is completely unsurprising.

    Exactly. They can tweet and blog and talk for hours on cable “news” shows about the rally, but they just don’t get it.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    @cleek:

    So fucking true that all I can say is THIS.

    Fuck those clueless hacks. Every one of them.

  30. 30
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    It’s the same thing Stewart did in that Crossfire appearance. What he’s getting at is the pro wrestling nature of it. If you think that media and politics have become too much like the Jerry Springer Show, your criticism of it is not going to be “you should have people throw more chairs to the right instead of the left”. It’s going to be “just stop with the chairs, it’s childish and stupid”.

    Stewart definitely finds more totally absurd things to make fun of from the extreme right than the left, on a day-to-day basis, but that to me is just a sign that the right really is more batshit insane these days, which would be hard for anyone like Stewart to deny.

    The fact that everyone is acting childish and stupid doesn’t have to mean that everything is precisely equal on both sides. Watching that old Crossfire appearance the other day it was obvious that two things became clear, even to Stewart 1) Yes both “right” and “left” are to blame to some degree, and 2) wow, Tucker Carlson really is a dick.

  31. 31
    cleek says:

    @beltane:
    no, of course not.

    but it’s awesome that they’ve responded to Stewart’s criticism by doing exactly what Stewart criticizes them for doing: ignoring the actual problem (themselves) because something shiny and easy to attack grabbed their attention (Stewart).

  32. 32

    My response to the Rally was to talk about why I don’t blog about politics anymore. And the things I criticize pundits for in that post don’t pop up here very often, which is why I still love this place.

  33. 33
    Bullsmith says:

    Without a compliant, lying media there is no war in Iraq, there is no deregulation of the banking industry. WIthout a compliant media when mines collapse or world credit collapses due to negligence, greed and crime, there is a universal outcry for accountability and for real change. Without a compliant media when elected officials lie blatantly and take actions deliberately to harm their own country for partisan political gain, they become public pariahs. WIthout a compliant media no political party could see 10% unemployment, propose tax cuts for the rich and heaps of derision for everyone else and get treated not only with respect, but as the only honest brokers in the country.

    Fucking right the media are to blame. Dismantling the fairness doctrine and allowing a handful of companies to own all the major media outlets are the bedrock upon which the insanity and anger gripping America are built.

  34. 34
    Kryptik says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    But the problem ends up that the takeaway becomes ‘Oh why is the left getting such an easy ride when they’re just as stupid as the right? MORE RIGHT WING TILT!’ instead of ‘Act like grown ups and read things with fact and reason, not manufactured bullshit’. And thus nothing is resolved except the media gets more excuse to hippie punch.

    Nothing to fault Stewart and Colbert or anything, but…they’re not going to fix the media, when the media is irreparably broken and subservient.

  35. 35
    stuckinred says:

    Maybe KO and Tweety are frustrated because they can’t go after Mornin Joe!

  36. 36
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Kryptik: I know, in almost every other case I’m in complete agreement, but somehow this feels like a different message, I’m not sure why.

    This seems, oddly, like an echoing of Obama’s “not red states and blue states” speech, which people found so promising at the time. Now, I have to admit, since then sometimes I want to say to Obama “uhm, okay but you do realize that these Republicans really do just want you to fail, right? Every time you reach your hand out, they’re going to bite it off. “Bipartisan cooperation” to them means that you go down in flames, you know that, right?”

    So since that’s become so complicated because he’s now actually having to wrangle with all this in office, maybe hearing the same message from another place is good right now. Or needed.

    What the right wing media (which is almost all of it) “takes away” from it, yeah, bof. It’s sort of like the Republicans, they’re going to take away the same thing no matter what, so any attempt to manipulate or placate them often seems useless.

  37. 37
    Paris says:

    A lack of self awareness seems to be a requirement for journalists these days.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    Is anyone else really feeling down about the election tomorrow? I have an awful feeling I’m just going to want to go to bed and pull the covers up over my head and hope it’s all a terrible nightmare.

  39. 39
    stuckinred says:

    @Violet: Aw, don’t let it get ya down. Obama getting elected wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be and neither will this election.

  40. 40

    @Kryptik: I didn’t take the rally as an attempt to fix the media. I took it as a call for regular people to ignore the media and remember that their neighbors and co-workers aren’t the monsters the media likes to portray them as.

    Judging from a bunch of the signs at the rally, though, lots of the attendees didn’t get that point, which is as much of a problem as the media is.

  41. 41
    cleek says:

    @Violet:
    nope.

    elections come and go. win some, lose some. two steps forward, one step back.

  42. 42

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Good morning, Lady Smudge. [such a pretty picture!]

  43. 43
    ChrisZ says:

    @Violet:

    I’ve resigned myself to just hoping that we beat Nate Silver’s 53 seat average loss prediction. Now, even a loss of the House counts as a win!

    (Of course, we still may not beat 53 . . .)

  44. 44
    Kryptik says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Yeah, I meant more the takeaway in the media and general political discourse, not the broader, individual takeaway. Problem is that the lag between public perception and media/political perception means we’re still going to be subjected to more gratuitous hippie punching.

    @Violet:

    Seriously. I’m going out early tomorrow, voting…and then hiding myself under the sheets until at least Thursday morning.

  45. 45
    policomic says:

    @beltane: Excellent point.

  46. 46
    Nick says:

    @Violet:

    Is anyone else really feeling down about the election tomorrow?

    Yes, but I’ve been down on this election since Nov 5, 2008 because I knew that year was a fluke caused by Bush fatigue.

    That doesn’t mean you don’t keep fighting. Just watch a movie on Tues night and get up Wednesday preparing to fight harder.

    like Stewart said this weekend, sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway.

  47. 47
    Nick says:

    @cleek:

    elections come and go. win some, lose some. two steps forward, one step back.

    this might very well be like 14 steps back

  48. 48
    Maody says:

    @Violet: Yes. And pull the kitteh in with me and eat lots of ice cream after I work my precinct till closing.

  49. 49
    beltane says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I’ve almost come to loathe the “not red states and blue states” approach. It has become absolutely clear over the past two years that we are not a nation of shared values. Whatever values we do share are because we are members of the same species, but that is it. I have little more in common with a right-wing evangelical in Texas than I do with someone from Iran or Uruguay or Nepal. This would not trouble me but for the fact that the “red” portion of America has repeatedly indicated they want to annihilate the rest of us, which is something I do have a problem with.

  50. 50
    jrg says:

    “Bias” is the media’s favorite strawman, because it lets them trumpet their view-from-nowhere objectivity.

    I’m not sure if I believe this… What does Breitbart have to say about it?

  51. 51
    Montysano says:

    Well, to be fair, Jon didn’t say a word about The Tsunami, The Earthquake, yes the veritable Tectonic Collision that awaits the Dems tomorrow. David Gregory et al worked very hard to craft this narrative a few months back, they’ve run with it ever since, and to riff off of Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction”: “We’re not going to be ignored!”

    Fucking wankers….

  52. 52
    Nick says:

    @beltane: Then we need to start advocating for cutting up the country, because if we can’t have anything in common with someone from Texas, we can survive in the same nation.

    It’s the problem in the Middle East, nations forced to live under one government when they clearly have nothing to common.

  53. 53
    Lee Hartmann says:

    It occurs to me that maybe the overreaction to the Stewart/Colbert rally… is completely consistent with the media’s focus on trivial things? I mean, why should they worry… except that they are being criticized?

    And yes, I don’t like much the modest amount of false equivalence in Jon’s shtick. On the other hand, the rally did show that there is another, sizeable “non-party” of people who, by coming out with all their signs etc., were implicitly mocking and criticizing the Tea Party morans. Which I think was valuable in itself.

  54. 54
    Kryptik says:

    @beltane:

    This is what kinda terrifies me about the atmosphere right now. It feels exactly like 2004, where it feels like most of the country has decided the only thing Democrats and anyone left of center are good for are punching bags, strawmen, and target practice.

  55. 55
    beltane says:

    @Nick: Instead of hiding, I’m looking forward to a ‘What is to be done” approach on Wednesday morning.

  56. 56
    D-Chance. says:

    @stuckinred: No, it has more to do with the fact that they both know they couldn’t put 200,000+ asses in the Mall like Stewart could…

  57. 57
    gratefulcub says:

    **JOHN COLE ALERT**

    long time listener, first time caller

    But, I have read long enough to know that there is one thing JC loves, and another he just can’t really ‘get’. To that, I just wanted to share that….

    Last night in Atlantic City, PHISH donned a ‘musical costume’ for Halloween, and played “Waiting for Columbus.”

    A great time was had by all, especially the band. JC might not be able to enjoy the Phish, but atleast he has a love of the Feat in common with them.

  58. 58
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Judging from a bunch of the signs at the rally, though,

    You don’t want to do that. You have 2 entertainment shows, one so tightly written that many conservatives don’t know it’s satire. The signs at the rally will reflect that conversation, and you have no way of knowing which are “real” and which are for Colbert’s fear march. I was just confused on why the Reddit icon was everywhere though.

  59. 59
    beltane says:

    @Nick: People are going to hate me for this, but the South has always been this country’s diseased limb, spreading gangrene throughout the rest of the country. We would still have conservatives without them, but the tribal hatred would disappear.

  60. 60
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Kryptik: Yeah I see your point, I sort of jumped over it.

    Maybe let me try another way: If everyone did really heed the call and stopped acting so completely crazy, it’s mostly the Tea Baggers who would be affected since they’re the ones acting so insane. Far more than anyone on the left. And I think Stewart knows that. It’s implicitly aimed at the tea baggers.

    Was sort of the opposite in the 60s, by the way, take it from one who was there. I mean I still think we were right on all counts, but for sheer political theater, the clown shoe was on the other foot in those days.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @Violet:

    In a nutshell, yes. Even more difficult is going to be putting up with all the smug, preening conservatives in my life and resisting the urge to bitch-slap the “Hooray! At last we can start putting those smelly hajjis, Mexbreeds and poor people back in their place” smirk from their faces.

    And it’ll be made all the more difficult by the fact that unlike me and most of my liberal friends in 2008, none of the conservatives I know are capable of either winning or losing gracefully. Look forward to having your face rubbed in it at every twist and turn.

  62. 62
    Suffern ACE says:

    @beltane: I think it usually takes until the following Monday for most to get to that point, but anything you can do to move us along to that place as soon as possible will be greatly appreciated.

  63. 63
    flukebucket says:

    @JAHILL10:

    The hit dog hollers.

  64. 64
    Que Sera Sera says:

    When I was just a little girl…

  65. 65

    @beltane: So what do you recommend? If we’re gangrene–and I say we because I’m a southerner who’s lived all but 2 of his nearly 42 years in the deep south–then you want to cut us out?

  66. 66

    @Violet:

    Is anyone else really feeling down about the election tomorrow?

    I think that we might end up with something we can live with.

    I feel a strong anxiety, complete with physical pain in all the usual stress-plagued spots.

    Sleep was disturbed by pain and anxiety in the wee, dark hours this morning. But I did come to one conclusion: We fought a very good fight and raised a lot of hell. I did all that I could do and a whole lot of people did the same thing. I am proud of me and proud of all of us and proud of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that worked like sons of bitches.

    At least that conclusion on my part eased the physical pains.

    What now? I don’t know. The overall battle hasn’t been won. The Beast of Authoritarianism is still stalking the land. The press is largely useless. And democracy is on the auction block even as we speak.

  67. 67
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Kryptik:

    This year it seems to me that the conservatives’ slipping the surly bonds of reality has become both acceptable and expected. That is disturbing and the trend is accelerating unchecked.

    The only thing that the Red states and the Blue states have in common anymore is the Red state’s desire for the Blue states’ money. Moreover, the ongoing banking/mortgage crisis seems to be heading for The Son of Bailout and that suggests to me that, like the old Soviet Union, the nation’s size, complexity, and diversity of viewpoints are rendering effective central government untenable. We might be well served if we enacted a constitutional amendment that would enable those states who so desired to leave the Union. I would hope that my own state, California, would be among the first to do so.

  68. 68
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @beltane: I hear you. It’s basically amazing that a country that huge manages to hang together at all, as a current resident of the Failed States of the European Union can tell you.

    That may be the only bit of perspective I can offer, however we’ve managed to pull it off at least since the civil war, it’s really sort of miraculous. They’re still fighting it down there, to some degree, as many have pointed out. I try to explain to Europeans all the time, it’s just such a big country, you really have no idea.

  69. 69
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: Had down nights before, but I’ve gotten better with coping with them. No more “Fuck this, I’m moving to Canada” responses from me. My partner is finishing up the naturalization process tomorrow and I I’ll be happy for him and turn off the news. Grousing about how the country is going downhill fast is probably not what he wants to talk about the day that he joins as a full time member.

  70. 70
    AB says:

    dear god, is there a direct-to-olbermann megaphone through which I can yell “shut the fuck up?” He just had his fee-fees hurt because he was in the media-sucks montage. I hope stewart burns these people tonight.

  71. 71
    Bender says:

    You know that of all the people who showed up at that Jon Stewart rally, at least a thousand of them will be registered sex offenders. We just need to find those people…

    Love,
    Alaska CBS affiliate KTVA

  72. 72

    @beltane:

    Instead of hiding, I’m looking forward to a ‘What is to be done” approach on Wednesday morning.

    You are absolutely right, of course. I’m not there yet. Please share your thoughts along that line with us on Wednesday. I’ll try to keep up.

  73. 73

    @Suffern ACE:

    Congratulations to your partner!

    We in the US may be difficult to live with but we aren’t boring. Welcome to the fracas.

  74. 74
    Objective Observer says:

    Naderite doofus Tom Tomorrow didn’t like the rally? Well, then. Good job, Stewart/Colbert.

    (Of course, keep in mind that Tom Tomorrow used to whine all the time on his blog about wanting to go on Jon Stewart. Wotta tool.)

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    Speaking of STFU, one of the many, many good things that would come of some big surprises tomorrow would be the permanent discreditation of nouveau-asshole Nate Silver. Jussayinzall.

  76. 76
    beltane says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus): First of all, it’s nothing personal. The USA just happens to function like a loveless, abusive marriage that is kept together for the sake of the kids. A divorce would be the best thing for all parties concerned, and we’d probably get on much better as ex’s.

  77. 77
    chopper says:

    @geg6:

    exactly.

    stewart: the problem with the media is it’s all about distractions and non-sequiturs!

    media: oh yeah? pancakes, motherfucker!

  78. 78
    caune says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Yeah and you also didn’t see Rachels face anywhere in Stewarts video clips of the media stupidity. She’s not a screecher or a name caller. It’s a shame more people don’t watch her because you can learn a lot from smart people, LOL

  79. 79
    Kryptik says:

    @eemom:

    Jumping to NYT was the worst thing to happen as far as Nate goes. Loss of editorial freedom has essentially made him another parrot. You can track this through his ‘regulars’ that jumped over from his old site. The usual right wing trolls have all of a sudden decided he’s the keenest thing ever since all he gets to say nowadays is ‘DEMOCRATS ARE TEH DOOMED!’

  80. 80
    catclub says:

    This morning on NPR I did hear the correct question on McConnell saying his first priority is making a Obama a one term president: “He could have said we want to move the nation forward or get the economy working but he said his first priority is making Obama a one term preisdent. Do you agree with that?”

  81. 81
    Chris says:

    @beltane:

    This.

    Sorry if I also consider the “no red states and blue states” approach bullshit as well, because I don’t believe the red states will ever let it happen. Not in my lifetime at least.

    The problem as I see it is that the red state voter base sees America as their country and their birthright and no one else’s; the rest of us are just guests and unwanted ones at that. It’s what you see repeatedly in Palin’s “real Virginia” speeches; in their demands that we deport all Mexicans born to illegals and ban Islam even though both things are unconstitutional intrusions into the rights of American citizens; in the million rhetorical devices like questioning Obama’s birth certificate, questioning his religion, questioning the patriotism of everyone who doesn’t share their politics and doesn’t agree that every war they want to wage is necessary or proper. Even when they change their minds about some strangers (e.g. Catholics and Jews no longer being stigmatized “outsiders” after the sixties), they see it as themselves granting a privilege to outsiders rather than recognizing the Americanness of people who’ve always had it.

    That is the disconnect. We, the people who are not Tea Party conservatives, cannot come together and have a discussion about what we want for America, with people who don’t consider us American in the first place and therefore don’t believe we have a right to be discussing those things at all. That’s the problem in a nutshell, one that far overshadows arguments about the role of government or the war on terror. And since it’s their perceptions that fuel the disconnect, resolving the present deadlock is entirely up to them, not us.

  82. 82
    jwb says:

    @Violet: I doubt it can be worse than 2004 and look how quickly that turned around.

  83. 83
    catclub says:

    @eemom:
    “Speaking of STFU, one of the many, many good things that would come of some big surprises tomorrow would be the permanent discreditation of nouveau-asshole Nate Silver. Jussayinzall. ”

    Only time will tell.
    You can tell that Silver is new to the pundit class because he is still making predictions and writing them down so they can be checked – unlike Cokie Roberts who reflects conventional wisdom in a wishy washy fashion – nothing to pin down.

  84. 84
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Chris:

    The rhetoric insinuating that the presidencies of both Clinton and Obama are somehow illegitimate (And in Obama’s case, probably illegal) bears out your contention.

  85. 85
    catclub says:

    @Chris:
    Just tell em: “Veto isn’t just a four letter word any more.
    How much are they going to get overturned?”

  86. 86
    MBunge says:

    In the overall interests of restoring sanity, let me point out that while it was fairly reasonable for Stewart to include Olbermann and MSNBC in his criticism, it’s also fairly reasonable for Olbermann to object to their being lumped in with FOX as though they are all the same.

    Mike

  87. 87
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Dennis SGMM: But for 500 votes in Chicago…Kennedy’s presidency is seen as illegitimate as well by lots of the older ones. Add that to, Carter only won because of Watergate, and we haven’t had a Democratic President since, what, Truman?

  88. 88
    jwb says:

    @Nick: Actually, I think this election will prove to be an exercise in dialectics: if the Goopers in fact win they will find themselves checked by the very underlying economic forces that allowed them to win. And all the money in the world won’t help when that money is not put to economically productive use. That’s the problem with our corporate overlords: they do not recognize the extent to which the policies they favor harm the very economic foundations that keep those corporations profitable and so able to be influential.

  89. 89
    Violet says:

    @Chris:

    We, the people who are not Tea Party conservatives, cannot come together and have a discussion about what we want for America, with people who don’t consider us American in the first place and therefore don’t believe we have a right to be discussing those things at all.

    This is why at some level it’s a numbers game. When there are enough of “us,” then what “they” think won’t matter as much. It’s part of why I’m heartened by the Stewart/Colbert rally. The sheer numbers of people there, and how it vastly outnumbered Beck’s rally, is something that cannot be denied. Eventually that tidal wave will catch up to the teabaggers and there isn’t going to be a damned thing they can do about it.

    A good example would be gay/lesbian issues. Think back just a decade ago. The idea of gay marriage was almost unheard of and certainly “regular people” weren’t largely supportive of it. These days the majority of the country is supportive of it, wants DADT to be overturned, and, most tellingly, it’s no longer cool to be a homophobe. Even Republicans are moving away from talking about gay issues because they just don’t gain them anything.

    Things can change. But sometimes you have to wait for the population to get there before they do.

  90. 90

    @beltane: See, it is personal, and that’s the problem Stewart was driving at in the rally. The only way we make things better is if we rekindle the personal relationships between people and stop making these stupid generalizations. Southerners on the whole are not monsters, and they’re not racists and they’re not ignorant rednecks. There are a lot of those in the south, but they are not the south. And frankly, there are a lot of those in the northeast and in the southwest and in the plains and in every other region in the country. Perhaps they have less political power elsewhere, or perhaps there’s more of a social cost when they act out, but they’re still there. The south is not an entity–it’s a region. And until we stop looking at entities and start talking to people, we’re going to be trapped in this cycle of demonization and frustration that leads us to say things like “that section of the country is a gangrene and should be cut out.” Whether you mean it as a personal attack or not is irrelevant. I’m who you’re talking about.

  91. 91
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I’d argue Johnson had a mandate. Yes, he got a lot of sympathy for JFK’s death, but people were also scared shitless of Goldwater for wanting to dismantle the New Deal and possibly risking nuclear war with Russia. Wingnuts hadn’t learned to talk in code back then, or to exploit racial and cultural resentments. Toss in the fact that the only states Goldwater won were his own state and a few Deep South states that were protesting Johnson rather than endorsing Goldwater, and you’ve got a rejection of the right every bit as total as McGovern or Mondale’s.

  92. 92
    MBunge says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus): The only way we make things better is if we rekindle the personal relationships between people and stop making these stupid generalizations.

    The flipside is that those “personal relationships” are the major facilitating factor in allowing our public discourse to become so degraded. When the White House Correspondents Association voted to give Fox News a front row seat in the briefing room, I’d argue they were behaving in exactly the way Stewart is urging them to behave. The result, however, is the further legitimization of all of Fox’s crap.

    Mike

  93. 93
    ricky says:

    Yes, but I’ve been down on this election since Nov 5, 2008 because I knew that year was a fluke caused by Bush fatigue.

    I am not sure it was Bush fatigue. I lean toward 2006 through 2008 being the consequences of Bush incompetence. Unfortunately many on the left took it as a sign that it was a mandate for policy prescriptions even a majority of the Democratic party either never articulated or held.

    The Republicans are gaining in part because there has been no demonstration that competence has been restored by the Democratic Congress. That view seems to be shared across the political spectrum. And this is, after all, a Congressional election, not just a mid term Obama report card.

  94. 94

    @MBunge: Not talking about media organizations or national discourse, though, and neither was Stewart. I’m talking about one-on-one. I’m talking about asking your co-worker when he makes a crack about how the country is becoming socialist if he thinks you’re a socialist as well, and what he thinks ought to happen to you if you are. It’s easy for people to demonize the one-eyed, pumpkin-assed monster they hear about on tv–it’s hard to demonize the person you talk about sports with during break.

  95. 95
    Larry Bird says:

    Olberman is the Glenn Beck of the left. 10 times less shameful but his lectures and reading of James Thurber to his audience are very Becklike.

  96. 96

    Olberman’s comments were not very butthurt if you look at them. Just a few tweets that he was offended at being lumped in with Fox? Not exactly in need of Prep H. Maybe he needed just a little lube and tissue, but definitely no after-ache.

    Stewart’s montage was a bit “both sides do it, see?” but I agree with @Mike. Olberman, being a strong opinion personality on the cable teevee, does belong in the same group, even if he is sane, mostly because of his absolutely breathless special comments. I agree with him most of the time and his logic is grounded in fact, but it’s still the same type of circus show that Fox airs. Just with more facts.

    Still, the tweets were pretty tame, and Olberman does have a point: the tea psychos are far more dangerous than he is or will ever be.

  97. 97
    El Cid says:

    @ricky:

    I am not sure it was Bush fatigue. I lean toward 2006 through 2008 being the consequences of Bush incompetence

    Exactly. If it weren’t for the slapass response to Katrina and the explosion of violence in Iraq (before the successful conclusion of the Baghdad civil war, otherwise known as ‘the SURGE’), and the subsequent plunge in Bush Jr’s approval, Democrats wouldn’t have won in 2006. Maybe not 2008 either, whether or not the economy exploded at the same time or sooner.

  98. 98
    Nick says:

    @beltane:

    I’m looking forward to a ‘What is to be done” approach on Wednesday morning.

    Well, we’re all going to battle over that. The PUMAs and the firebaggers will say its all Obama’s fault, despite him being the most popular politician in Washington.

    I say, Wednesday morning starts are unyielding war against Fox and it’s brethren.

  99. 99
    Scott de B. says:

    I’ve almost come to loathe the “not red states and blue states” approach. It has become absolutely clear over the past two years that we are not a nation of shared values. Whatever values we do share are because we are members of the same species, but that is it. I have little more in common with a right-wing evangelical in Texas than I do with someone from Iran or Uruguay or Nepal.

    I am not sure what this means. The values we share as a species are 90% of our values. It’s true you have little more in common with an evangelical Texan than with someone in Iran, but that’s because you have everything in common with someone from Iran.

    If the values we share as members of the same species are enough to build a world government on, and I emphatically believe they are, then building a nation out of New Englanders and Southerners and Californians is a piece of cake.

    Unite, or die.

  100. 100
    Elizabelle says:

    @Bullsmith:

    re your comment 33: so true

    FTW

    For the win.

    Or f*ck the wankers. Your choice.

  101. 101
    blondie says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    To quote Tweety, “Ha!”

    In their efforts to stay watched/read/seen, our media has become increasingly and exceedingly tabloid-ish. We are not asking them to report that everyone slept well, and there were no car accidents or robberies overnight.

    What I would ask is for reasonably objective reporting of news. For example, I’d like to learn more about how the U.S. presence in Iraq and Afghanistan/Pakistan is progressing. Are we still at war?

    I’d like to learn how U.S. citizens are coping with unemployment, how business are coping with the healthcare reform act, what happened to allow the kind of robo-actions to illegitimately foreclose on so many people, the conditions of captivity in which many undocumented aliens are kept by the U.S. gov’t.

    What I don’t think is news, or at least deserving of so little note that more than a sentence or two is a waste of time/breath/life — pretty much anything Sarah Palin says or her family does; demonstrably false claims about legislation or proposed legislation, e.g., death panels; etc.

    The very fact that we have a term for it — “infotainment” — should shame the so-called journalists.

  102. 102
    Lurked says:

    @Linda Featheringill:
    I also feel moderately confident that we will outperform the polls. We’ll probably lose the House but by a smaller margin than predicted.

    I have felt for a long time that the likely-voter screens in the polls have been strict this year, possibly because of the “everybody hates Obama” media narrative (polls are influenced by that, I am sure). I do not know whether we have yet crossed the threshold at which cellphone-only households really affect the polls, but it seems clear that eventually we will and even this year they may shift things by a bit, assuming we can get them to turn out.

    I spent yesterday afternoon canvassing and had mostly positive interactions. I’ll be working tomorrow as well. So at least I can say I went (for me) all-in.

  103. 103
    ricky says:

    @Larry Bird:

    Olberman is the Glenn Beck of the left. 10 times less shameful but his lectures and reading of James Thurber to his audience are very Becklike.

    Yes, often after a Friday viewing of Countdown I have to catch myself from loading up the AK-47 and heading down
    I-5 to find a nest of Mongoose bullies picking on DFH’s.

  104. 104
    Nick says:

    @Scott de B.:

    If the values we share as members of the same species are enough to build a world government on, and I emphatically believe they are

    see, this is where I differ. I don’t believe that they are.

    government has not become about making people’s lives better, but rather an endless struggle for power. When struggling for power, one rejects their values.

    I do believe teabaggers want a better country, but I also believe they’re willing to put that ambition on hold in order to take power back and defeat the black guy who beat one of their own.

  105. 105
    ricky says:

    @Scott de B.:

    I am not sure what this means. The values we share as a species are 90% of our values. It’s true you have little more in common with an evangelical Texan than with someone in Iran, but that’s because you have everything in common with someone from Iran.

    Well, 96% of my DNA is the same as your average Uruguayan chimp, and I still didn’t vote for Bush even though we are both transplanted Texans. So I thoroughly challenge your 90% number. It has to have a margin of error IMHO.

  106. 106
    Maude says:

    @blondie:
    They love the daily drama. They don’t have to think, learn or heaven forbid, do any work to research a subject.

  107. 107
    MBunge says:

    @Brian S (formerly Incertus): “Not talking about media organizations or national discourse, though, and neither was Stewart. I’m talking about one-on-one.”

    And my point is, why can Major Garrett go on to have a career with the National Journal after being part and parcel of Fox News for so many years? That’s because in one-on-one relationships, he’s not being held accountable for being a cog in the Fox machine.

    There’s a real argument to be made that the problem isn’t the stuff Stewart decries on screen, it’s that there’s too much of the sort of comity he wants off screen. If right wing media and political figures were held more responsible in social and professional situations for the garbage they promote, enable or tolerate, they might think twice about what they’re actually doing.

    Mike

  108. 108
    Malron says:

    Exhibit A for progressive hypocrisy:

    If Glenn Beck had given a speech as incoherent and rambling as the one Stewart closed the rally with we’d be mocking him mercilessly for it; one of our so-called liberal icons does it and we’re falling all over ourselves claiming it was great.

    I’m still trying to figure out how you hold an event on the National Mall for 3 hours less than a week before the midterms and never bother mentioning there’s an election coming. I’m not too pleased with all the corporate sponsorship either.

  109. 109
    Tim O says:

    Stewart doesn’t go after the truly powerful? He called the President “dude”.

  110. 110
    MattR says:

    @Malron: Rambling? Incoherent? Was there another speech that I missed after the Comedy Central broadcast ended?

  111. 111
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, I have little to no sympathy for the likes of Matthews or Olbermann, who ought to be grownups and take as good as they give. On the other, though, Stewart’s critique misses the mark somewhat. Nobody sits and watches this cable stuff closely other than congressional staffers and Stewart’s intern. All the screaming surely doesn’t help, but the larger problem lies with people like frequent Daily Show guest Brian Williams; relentless vapidity. In the good old days of Walter Cronkite we didn’t have the shoutfests but we most assuredly did have 100% lockstep devotion to conventional wisdom and horserace reporting. And while I love the Daily Show it is a bit disingenuous to press all these buttons every day as part of your business model and then pretend that you are above it all.

  112. 112
    Tim says:

    Stewart is weak-ass spineless: His powder puff interview with Condosleeza Rice a few weeks ago is all the evidence needed. What ethical comedic journalist or whatever he is sits across from a lying, murdering sack of shit like her and tosses soft balls and soft murmurings? Disgusting.

    And his “both sides do it” schtick at the rally was a joke.

  113. 113

    When is “media bias and hyperbole” a pattern?

    Classic David Carr “media bias and hyperbole”: “The Obama administration, which would seem to have its hands full with a two-front war in Iraq and Afghanistan, opened up a third front last week, this time with Fox News.”

    To the New York Times right-wing toady David Carr, criticizing FOX Fascists is just like waging the deadly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

  114. 114
    elm says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Nobody sits and watches this cable stuff closely other than congressional staffers and Stewart’s intern.

    Allow me to introduce you to my Father-in-Law, whose primary activity in life is watching (and believing) Fox News.

    I agree that other parts of the establishment media share blame. They have the capacity (and obligation) to investigate and report on the truth — which they seldom do. And the rest of the mainstream media shares blame for legitimizing Fox News.

    However the right-wing noise machine — and the audience eager to hear its propaganda — is a real problem.

  115. 115
    Nick says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    Nobody sits and watches this cable stuff closely other than congressional staffers and Stewart’s intern

    and then there’s Fox News, which millions of people stare at like zombies all day.

  116. 116
    different church-lady says:

    Wow: attention whores tweaked about the fact that someone else got more attention than they did? There’s a shocker.

  117. 117
    MBunge says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.): “the larger problem lies with people like frequent Daily Show guest Brian Williams; relentless vapidity.”

    This.

    Mike

  118. 118
    Chris says:

    However the right-wing noise machine—and the audience eager to hear its propaganda—is a real problem.

    Especially the audience.

    There’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing here as to whether it’s the media or the audience’s fault that news coverage is screwed up and the public ignorant. Suppose the media had actually tried to cover the lead-up to the Iraq war in a professional way; post-9/11 bloodlust was still raging, so would it have made a difference or would people have simply dismissed it as another example of media bias and charge headfirst into the war anyway?

  119. 119
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @elm: @Nick:

    The small proportion of the population who do pay close attention to FOX News are already identifying with the conservative/Republican brand and are just confirming their biases. FOX certainly is a pox on our common weal but I don’t think the impact is as great as imagined. After all, the Reagan and 1994 revolutions occurred before it ever even existed.

  120. 120
    elm says:

    @Chris:

    There’s kind of a chicken-and-egg thing here as to whether it’s the media or the audience’s fault that news coverage is screwed up and the public ignorant.

    I agree. But regardless of fault, it’s clear that the media bears the responsibility for changing this dynamic. This can only change when the media is willing to put truth before profit and personal fondness for our blood-soaked, gore-guzzling, incompetent ruling class.

    Suppose the media had actually tried to cover the lead-up to the Iraq war in a professional way; post-9/11 bloodlust was still raging, so would it have made a difference or would people have simply dismissed it as another example of media bias and charge headfirst into the war anyway?

    If it looked like the war would have been a losing political issue, they wouldn’t have started that particular war. As with the media and audience, there’s a feedback loop between media and our blood-soaked overlords that, again, cannot be broken so long as the media is willing to conceal atrocities and repeat lies.

  121. 121
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @Parrotlover77:

    Olberman, being a strong opinion personality on the cable teevee, does belong in the same group, even if he is sane, mostly because of his absolutely breathless special comments. I agree with him most of the time and his logic is grounded in fact, but it’s still the same type of circus show that Fox airs. Just with more facts.

    I stopped watching his “special comments” a long time ago, when it got to the point that I thought I might have to wipe the spittle off my TeeVee screen. Eric Severeid he ain’t.

  122. 122
    Elizabelle says:

    The New York Times caucus blog. You can still post a comment there. It went up Saturday.

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.....icism-301/

    “The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear will be remembered, in part, as an expensive, engrossing act of media criticism.

    Jon Stewart, the comedian who hosted the Comedy Central rally alongside Stephen Colbert, spoke about the press as an “immune system” for the country — one that he evidently thinks is extremely sick. His words echoed up and down the National Mall on Saturday afternoon. National Journal wound up wondering if the event should have been called the Rally to Restore Journalism.”

  123. 123

    @Bender:

    Millar a liar, Murkowski on fire

    The Miller documents contain a damaging admission, made in a March 17, 2008, e-mail from Miller to his borough attorney Rene Broker:
    __
    “Over the lunch hour this past Wednesday, I got on three computers (not belonging to me) in the office. All of them were on and none of them were locked. I accessed my personal website, for political purposes (participating in a poll) and then cleared the cache on each computer.
    __
    “I did the same thing on my computer. Jill asked the office what happened. I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did.”

    Hmmm, sounds as if Joe Miller forgot all about the Code of Honor at West Point, or maybe he never learned about it. Now, Bender has never heard of the honor code because Bender never served and has no honor but it states that “A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.”.

    Now, why does West Point have an honor code? Well the webpage on the honor code states:

    West Point’s core mission is develop leaders of character for our Army. A leader of character knows what is right, and possesses the moral courage to act on that knowledge. The principles of truthfulness, fairness, respect for others, and a personal commitment to maintaining values constitute that fundamental ideal known as the Spirit of the Code. A leader of character will apply the Spirit of the Code when making decisions involving ethical dilemmas.”

    So the honor code is something that is supposed to follow a cadet throughout his entire life. It’s obvious though that Joe Miller doesn’t believe in the honor code because he did something incredibly stupid and sleazy and then lied about it. But none of this bothers Bender because Bender is a stupid, sleazy, dishonorable liar himself, as are most other conservatives.

    The latest fake revelations about KTVA being out to get Joe Miller are a desperate attempt by the Miller campaign to regain the ground they’ve lost over the last eight weeks or so. Little Joey’s a fuck-up. He took a solid lead and completely pissed it away, and coming out a week before the election and admitting that you lied and lied repeatedly and have been desperately trying to cover it up is just more of Miller’s stupidity.

    Little Joey’s trying to drum up some sympathy by hoping that the KTVA voice mails will convince voters that the breaking news about his lying, sleazy behavior is just part of a media conspiracy to get him. But outside of the teabaggers who’s dumb enough to believe that? We’ll find out tomorrow, but what was supposed to be a slam-dunk for little Joey after he defeated Lisa Murkowski hasn’t been as easy as he and the rest of his bagger buddies thought it would be.

    It’s going to be fun to see what happens in Alaska if lil’ Joey loses. If McAdams wins then the teabaggers will have managed to give what should have been a safe, Republican senate seat to a Democrat, good job. If Murkowski wins and the Democrats hold the Senate then don’t expect her to be as good of a Republican foot soldier as she used to be. The Republican party dropped her like a used condom and if she wins re-election she’ll have done so without the help of the RNSC and Miss Mitch McConnell and will be in a position to tell them to go fuck themselves. And what are they going to do if she does? Fund a primary challenger?

  124. 124
    Barney says:

    When you go after the media, and Fox in particular, you go after Rupert Murdoch. He’s probably the 4th most powerful man in the world; I think the leaders of the USA, Russia and China outrank him, but that’s it – he’s more powerful than any US Senator or Representative, and more powerful than the leaders of European countries, since his reach is so big (and the British and French leaders, although having nuclear weapons, can’t really use them without the say-so of the US).

  125. 125
    Nick says:

    @Chris:

    Suppose the media had actually tried to cover the lead-up to the Iraq war in a professional way; post-9/11 bloodlust was still raging, so would it have made a difference or would people have simply dismissed it as another example of media bias and charge headfirst into the war anyway?


    right wingers would have called it media bias, but the middle, who ultimately supported the war because it looked so damn easy and quick would have thought twice.

    When I caught the ear of some war supporters and told them about the possibility of a long, expensive war (the economy wasn’t wonderful in 2003 either), they thought twice about it, but most of all, they were convinced by Colin Powell and faulty intelligence that the media should have caught. If the media had questioned the legitimacy of the intelligence, combined with presenting the real possibility that the war would have gone…the way it ended up going, the public would NOT have supported the war.

  126. 126
    Nick says:

    @Bruce (formerly Steve S.):

    The small proportion of the population who do pay close attention to FOX News are already identifying with the conservative/Republican brand and are just confirming their biases. FOX certainly is a pox on our common weal but I don’t think the impact is as great as imagined.

    Fox news goes beyond the television. It’s right wing radio reinforced by Fox. It’s preachers and pastors and local doctors, lawyers and teachers.

    Fox News is the umbrella for all thats’ wrong. You don’t have to listen to Fox, you have to trust someone who does.

  127. 127
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    @Nick:

    Fox News is the umbrella for all thats’ wrong. You don’t have to listen to Fox, you have to trust someone who does.

    I don’t understand what this means.

  128. 128
    tkogrumpy says:

    @Tim: I don’t believe you know what Jon Stewart is about. He can’t hit his guests over the head with a sledge hammer every single week and continue to do what he does do so well. A matador doesn’t chop off the bulls head ten seconds after entering the ring either. He has lasted an incredibly long time on national television doing something no one else has been able to pull off. The fact that he doesn’t do it hard enough or often enough for you, just tells me you have no idea how hard it is to walk the walk he is on. You are, of course welcome to create and pitch your own harder hitting political satire show, and I will be one of your faithful listeners. Also,too I believe Ms. Rice should get the death penalty.

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