NPR vs Walker

Kevin Drum has a good rundown of sting activities in the last couple of years, and concludes:

ACORN, Climategate, Planned Parenthood, and NPR. Well-timed sting operations are now the go-to tactic for conservatives trying to discredit programs that they and their funders dislike. And as long as the press continues to eat this stuff up, we can expect it to keep coming. In the meantime, the best that liberals have is a prank call with the governor of Wisconsin—something that left barely a scratch on him. It’s time to pick up our game.

Both Walker and NPR’s Schiller were caught saying bad things but doing nothing wrong (though Walker arguably intimated that doing wrong was seriously contemplated). The difference is that NPR acted like they did something wrong, and Walker served the world a giant slice of fuck you marblecake. I think the prank call hurt Walker, but his damage control was pretty good, and he certainly didn’t do something stupid like firing the secretary who forwarded him the call. NPR’s Schillers, in contrast, folded like cheap suits over a few comments that were less incendiary than Walker’s.

NPR’s response guaranteed that James O’Keefe’s next few pranks are going to get lots of press attention, and I can’t blame the media, because someone who has the power to bring down the CEO of a major news organization is a newsmaker. NPR’s response should have been “we didn’t take a cent from those guys, send a letter to our ombudsman if you think our coverage is biased, and fuck you for wasting our fundraiser’s time”. Instead, the ease at which O’Keefe shook that organization’s timbers will probably launch another half dozen O’Keefe clones.

That said, the answer isn’t more liberal stings, it’s just a wee bit of backbone from the obvious targets.

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95 replies
  1. 1
    kd bart says:

    “That said, the answer isn’t more liberal stings, it’s just a wee bit of backbone from the obvious targets.”

    Amen to that. Schiller lived up to every stereotypical expectation.

  2. 2
    gnomedad says:

    It’s hard to believe anyone other than committed wingnuts take O’Keefe seriously, but I am probably over-optimistic.

  3. 3
    soonergrunt says:

    I don’t agree with you on much, Mistermix, but you are 100% right on this one.

  4. 4
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    That said, the answer isn’t more liberal stings, it’s just a wee bit of backbone from the obvious targets.

    Not just a wee bit, more like a hell of a lot more backbone. The ratfuckers like O’Keefe learned long ago that Democrats fold up like fancy lawn furniture at the touch of scandal while their guys dig in and stand their ground (Vitter, Ensign, Walker and so on).

    We already know what they expect so the best thing to do is to stop doing that, stand your ground and give them the big middle finger until the whole thing blows over.

    It will.

  5. 5
    gene108 says:

    You do realize there’s a no win situation for liberals.

    Right-wingers have billionaires funding their bullshit. If one of them totally flames out for telling America to go fuck itself, there’s a think-tank or other right-wing charity position waiting for them.

    Liberals on the other hand have to live or die by the effectiveness of their organization. There seems to be a dearth of liberal billionaires and the ones who are sympathetic to some liberal causes aren’t movement ideologues, who’ll do anything to push the liberal agenda.

    Basically, at their core, very few billionaires really embrace their inner dirty-fucking-hippie, since that’d have prevented them from becoming billionaires in the first place.

    Right-wingers have a lot more money and resources to fall back on, if their positions, statements, etc. piss of everyone outside of the 27% crazification factor. Liberals really don’t have the organization to push to back, if something upsets someone’s sensibilities.

    Also, too, even when liberals seem to have a common cause they usually delve into a level of self introspection that usually ends up having people disagree with each other.

    Also, too too, I think right-wingers tend to have a very black and white belief system. I’m right, you’re wrong. Makes it easier to tell people, who disagree with you to fuck off.

  6. 6
    Wag says:

    NPR is running scared after being hit by this clown. I don’t think the media takes what o’keefe stands for seriously, but they are scared shitless by him. He is a classic bully, and will be a right wing hero until somebody pushes back. Hard.

  7. 7
    SteveinSC says:

    a wee bit of backbone from the obvious targets

    As I have said before, (pacem, Doug Hill) it’s a broad-front, class war. Last night, Lawrence O’Donnell showed how to strike back. I’m definitely beginning to like self-avowed socialist O’Donnell better than Keith.

  8. 8
    cleek says:

    @Wag:
    NPR was running scared after the Juan Williams hoopla. and before that, by decades of being targeted for being insufficiently right-wing by generations of wingnuts.

  9. 9
    Napoleon says:

    NPR has no one to blame but themselves. You are correct that they should have had more backbone.

    As to Walker I would take issue with Drum. I think it actually did a world of damage to the guy, much more damage then anything the right has done with the possible exception of Acorn.

  10. 10
    Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude says:

    We don’t need O’Keefe. The Director of National Intelligence is quite capable of expressing himself thoughtlessly without anyone pranking him or screwing with the context.

    (In what may be a vain attempt to insulate myself from the catapults of BJ Commenter Invective(R), thoughtlessly means without thinking about the potential consequences of HOW he says what he says, even when it’s accurate.)

  11. 11
    Comrade Javamanphil says:

    NPR brought this on themselves by embracing, as Jay Rosen calls it, “the view from Nowhere.” Any perceived bias, real or imagined, therefore becomes a problem for NPR. That kind of impossible standard left them wide open to this sort of attack. And once the attack came, the response was predictable if disappointing. As Atrios said, hard to want to fight for an organization that won’t fight for itself.

  12. 12
    Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: While I agree that NPR management acts like the offspring of a chicken and a scared rabbit, I’d like to see some comments from the people who rail against NPR for giving a platform to Cokie Roberts and Mara Liasson, and interviewing right-wing politicians.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @gene108: I agree. The reason the right has “backbone” is because the right has unity. If you’re on the left, you have no confidence that your side will back you up.

  14. 14
    j_h_r says:

    to any left-wingers that care to read:

    come on kids, like the wise man said, these rats aint gonna fuck themselves you know…

  15. 15
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @gene108:

    As they say, good guys finish last. Democrats are the good guys who are getting their asses kicked by the bad guys in a ‘game’ where the bad guys can score points and still ‘win’.

    Time for no more Mr. Nice Guy. If you want to win against cheaters and liars, you need to stoop to their level. As much as I hate to say it, politics is not a game for good guys. You can’t be gentlemanly to people who aren’t gentlemen. You don’t bring bubble gum to a fight when your opponent is bringing a rocket launcher. As much as I disagreed with some of what Clinton did, the one thing he did not do was fold up and resign when he was caught with his hands in the nookie jar.

    He stood his ground and in the end, it paid off for him. Other Democrats could take a few lessons from Clinton and improve their lot (compared to where they are today).

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @Baud: Amen. The left will sell you out even when you’re correct just so they can pat themselves on the back for their independence. The right will look at a videotape that directly contradicts your story and and say that it’s proof that you’re right.

  17. 17
    sixers says:

    Unity behind collective insanity is not a strength in the long run. Let the O’keefe’s of the world slum those depths by themselves. You need to willfully disregard facts to be swayed by him. The left is better off without out people like that.

  18. 18
    mk3872 says:

    This is the completely wrong takeaway from these episodes.

    Take a look at the animosity toward Walker.

    He is showing a govt and a public official that is unresponsive and obstinate.

    NPR is showing a responsive and open organization where there is actual accountability.

    Are you saying that liberals should also show no accountability?

    How has that approach worked out for Charlie Rangel?

  19. 19
    someguy says:

    The entire mainstream liberal establishment is rotted. The article linked earlier in the Atlantic with Rosenberg saying that NPR is being punished for a few individuals saying dumbass things in private is a good example. They are being punished because they spoke the truth in private – the right is racist racist racist. Nodding in agreement when the “donors” said the media is controlled by zionists was also assenting to the truth – look at what happens to anybody who dares to criticize zionism or Israel.

    We’re going to need a bigger boat.

  20. 20
    Silver Owl says:

    The adults in high positions in this era of American history are a huge disappointment in the maturity department.

  21. 21
    SteveinSC says:

    @mk3872:

    This is the completely wrong…

    Right, and when we hear Glenn Beck make up some outrageous lie about progressives, Obama, etc., Ailes, in the name of accountability, quits?

  22. 22
    Ash Can says:

    In NPR’s case, given that, as (IIRC) Mnemosyne pointed out yesterday, the board is stacked by W Bush appointees, it seems more that O’Keefe and the NPR board could have been working together to force V. Schiller out. Yesterday I believed it was a matter of NPR being extra skittish in the face of a potential funding cut, but I now realize that may not have been the case.

    Otherwise, yes, I do believe the proper response would have been “Yes, it’s obvious that there are racist and wacked-out elements in the Tea Party; R. Schiller said nothing wrong; deal with it.”

  23. 23
    jwb says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Stooping to their level will just turn you into them. That’s the problem.

  24. 24
    liberal says:

    @Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude:
    Yes, because of those two despicable characters any many others like them, losing CPB/PBS/NPR/whatever wouldn’t mean much. I guess there was Bill Moyers, and sometimes Frontline is good, but otherwise…well, my twin toddlers like Sesame Street.

  25. 25
    WyldPirate says:

    The real problem is the American people.

    The media wouldn’t lap this kind of stupid shit up if they didn’t have an audience for it. Most Americans lap this sort of prurient shit up because they are dumb fucks that enjoy seeing other people suffer or they envy celebrity and envision themselves being one because their lives suck so bad.

    Don Henley got it right a long time ago with “Dirty Laundry”.

  26. 26
    liberal says:

    @Baud:
    Part of the problem is that “your side” doesn’t include the Democrats. Look at the MoveOn/Betrayus scandal. The Dems voted against them, mostly, IIRC, on that idiotic Congressional resolution. You can argue it’s because the Dems are scared. But I think a good argument is that the Dems are by and large a centrist party.

  27. 27
    Kryptik says:

    @mk3872:

    The problem is that the prank call overall didn’t do much else outside of confirm something already known: that Walker was rotten. And despite screams and protests to investigate the possibility of collusion that Walker himself insinuated at in the prank call, nothing’s come of that, and hell, Walker’s been pretty much allowed to do as he fucking pleases by the media because he’s still their fucking golden boy.

    O’Keefe meanwhile manages to invent issues out of fucking wholecloth and somehow manages to be embraced as the king and genius of all that’s right and true for ‘exposing’ the evils of all these liberal organizations, despite having proven to be a disingenuous, video editing fucking hack.

    We’re fucking losing because the world is more likely to embrace conservative lies rather than truths spoken by a liberal, because apparently Liberals are the WORST FUCKING THING IN THE HISTORY OF FUCKING EVER.

  28. 28
    liberal says:

    @mk3872:

    Are you saying that liberals should also show no accountability?

    Accountability is important, but what should the NPR fundraiser guy have been accountable for?

    People shouldn’t be held accountable for merely mouthing off, unless there’s a very good reason to.

    As for Juan Williams, for example, he didn’t merely say stupid things, but was also in gross violation of his employment contract.

  29. 29
    jwb says:

    @liberal: NPR is not likely to go away if they are defunded—though it might lose some of its smaller stations where there aren’t enough listeners and other sponsors to support the station. Unfortunately, the likely result won’t be to go for wider listener support, but rather for greater corporate whoring underwriting, which will undoubtedly only exacerbate its drift to the right.

  30. 30
    liberal says:

    @Kryptik:
    Agreed.

    One other thing to point out is that many if not all of the O’Keefe/etc targets are recipients of public money. It’s part of the “defund the left” campaign. There are lots of right-wing targets, but many of them don’t get public money, at least not in ways that make them vulnerable currently.

    Aside: One commenter at Talking Points Memo said something about perhaps this latest action violated O’Keefe’s terms of parole. Don’t know anything about that myself.

  31. 31
    pattonbt says:

    This may be overly simplistic (and why I am very left leaning), but in the end it always comes down to “the left cares” (about whatever) and the “right doesn’t”. So when lefties get caught being stupid, they actually care that they may have caused damage and try to actually, you know, do something to fix it, where righties could care less and basically go with “STFU that’s why!”. Sure it pisses me off a lot of the time, but it is what it is. The left are “the nice guy” and the right is “the bully”. Bullies couldn’t care less if they offend you.

    Gotcha on the right really only works with seriously egregious behaviour (or icky stuff like Tom Foley) or serious criminal behaviour. And even then it generally takes a considerable amount of time for any action to come to fruition.

  32. 32
    liberal says:

    @jwb:
    Yeah, but it’s not like NPR is a great instrument for reaching the masses anyway. What’s the big loss? I’d rather funding continue, but I’m much more concerned about Planned Parenthood than NPR.

    One angle to this story I don’t think anyone’s mentioned is, I wonder if there’s a long-term strategy of eliminating NPR/etc and selling the spectrum dirt-cheap to the telecom sector?

  33. 33
    SteveinSC says:

    @Kryptik:

    Walker… is still their fucking golden boy.

    Also Fat Walker, Chris Christie.

  34. 34
    liberal says:

    @pattonbt:
    It’s not merely that. The consequences for even minor infractions by “the left” are far greater than those for the right.

    Within journalists, look at George Will and DebateGate. Does anyone believe for a minute that if Will were liberal or left instead of a right-wing scumbag, that his career wouldn’t have been ruined?

  35. 35
    someguy says:

    @mk3872:

    Are you saying that liberals should also show no accountability?

    Only where there’s something to gain from it. We’re in a fight for the country. Last man standing wins.

  36. 36
    Kryptik says:

    @liberal:

    Part of the galling thing with NPR is the continued cowing and just how EASILY cowed media outlets can be soon as that dreaded fucking joke of ‘liberal bias’ rears its head, and all of a sudden they have to rush to pull out their stars and stripes top hats, American flag capes, and their ‘Liberal Hunting License’ coffee mugs to prove that they’re real, unbiased Americans, just like conservatives are and unlike those dirty fucking America hating tax and spend liberal lying assholes.

  37. 37
    liberal says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:
    Agreed. All’s fair in love and war.

  38. 38
    WyldPirate says:

    @mk3872:

    How has that approach worked out for Charlie Rangel?

    He’s still in office isn’t he?

    Powerful people usually don’t suffer for even egregious misdeeds. Weak underlings and the poor–sacrificial lambs.

    Look at who were made scapegoats at Abu Ghraib. The real fuckers that should have gone to jail were Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush, et al and the rest of the criminals. There ass should have been turned over to the Hague and they should have been made an example of.

    Obama strengthened the precedent for excusing criminality. He is doing it with the motherfucking bankers and Wall Street, too.

    To make matters even worse, he’s continuing to do some of the same reprehensible shit Bush did.

  39. 39
    liberal says:

    @Kryptik:
    Well, that gets us into the whole “media bias” thing, which I and everyone here could type tomes about, and I gotta start working on work soon…

    :-)

  40. 40
    liberal says:

    @Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude:
    IIRC, an article I read on that implied that while Clapper cited China and Russia as the biggest threats, the Senators insisted it was North Korea and Iran.

    Including Levin.

    While I understand your emphasis on appearances and tactics, no one who’s not insane would think that NK or Iran is a bigger potential threat than China. I was just thinking the other day that Levin doesn’t seem stupid; this exchange just make him look like a blithering idiot.

  41. 41
    jwb says:

    @liberal: The more likely result will be to spin off the NPR/PBS stations as non-profits. But I don’t see how they’ll be able to go after the stations directly without taking out all the religious stations.

  42. 42
    liberal says:

    @WyldPirate:
    Yeah, the banksters are the poster child for no accountability among the elites that own this place.

  43. 43
    liberal says:

    @jwb:

    …without taking out all the religious stations.

    Heh.

    Was just googling for a station with more traffic news than my classic rock FM station, and was reminded again about how many religious stations there are. Christ.

  44. 44
    Baud says:

    @liberal: I consider Democrats on my side, and vice versa, and I really don’t care about labels such as “centrist” and “liberal.” The Democratic party is a broad-based party (as it must be because there simply aren’t enough liberals in the country to make up a majority). That means that sometimes they have to do things to appease centrists and independents, or even that a good portion of Democratic elected leaders are centrists themselves and actually believe they are doing the right thing. But the general direction that Democrats take the country when they are in power is a good one, and one that I can and do support.

  45. 45
    Emperor of Ice Cream says:

    Re: Gene108 at #5
    You have hit the nail right on the head. It’s about money. The Repubs (aka the vast right wing) has money and plenty of it. They give it strategically, consistently, and broadly. They fund a whole industry of think tanks, organizations, and media operations. It is a very good gig, and as long as you are in their good graces, pretty much guaranteed. After all, these billionaires are funding for their own (perceived) self interest. The “liberal” billionaires on the other hand, are all very special people, each with their unique insight on the world and its problems and very few (if any, I can’t think of one) are explicitly ideological. Consequently, most liberal orgs and politicians spend all their time trying to raise money that is grudgingly given and only if it is used in the special way the billionaires support. Thus, the professional left has very little leeway to actually challenge the system, but can only tinker on the margins of the problems as defined by the very special billionaires. Going after the unions is brilliant strategy on the right’s part, because it is the ONLY source of large amounts of money that can be counted on by liberals. All the little internet fundraisers by all the bloggers on the left cannot replace it. I understand the problem, but have no solution. Thoughts?

  46. 46
    El Cid says:

    As far as I recall, every time the right goes on a particularly loud witch hunt against NPR or PBS, they fold.

    PBS aired a truly tepid history of Vietnam. It in no way portrayed the side of the Vietnamese or other Indochinese being slaughtered with anything but what was present in nearly any reporting on the issue outside World Anti-Communist League propaganda.

    And the right freaked. The right’s media attack dog at the time, Accuracy In Media (AIM), led by lying flack Reed Irvine, was a particular focus.

    So PBS allowed the right wing to air a countervailing brief and discussion.

    NPR, for its part, receives no direct government funding. It’s the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the original ‘parent’ institution, that launched public radio & TV which receives federal funds. [Still, it’s $422,000,000, and that’s a bunch of money to a lot of companies and rich families needing tax breaks or exclusive contracts.]

    Right wing attacks on gubmit fundin’ under Reagan led to those corporate endorsements you now see and hear. They now make up a quarter (26%) of NPR’s financing. That’s a big portion.

    Unlike the large portion of local station funding (40%), corporate endorsements are of course political and ideological in a broad sense.

    The CPB itself has a good portion of its outlay mandated by Congress. Television services for local ethnic and other groups such as Native Americans. Grants to stations of TV and radio. And programs, including such as Frontline and the science shows.

    Here in Georgia there’s a bunch going to keep public broadcasting going throughout the state. That means all sorts of areas not near the few bigger cities. Digital feeds to classrooms. The whole digital TV transition.

    The right knows what it’s doing. It wants to go after the whole enterprise, using as its public hammer the content of some NPR and PBS programs.

    And those will always respond. No matter how many right wing talk shows fill up the whole discussion space on PBS, it doesn’t matter. NPR isn’t dominated by it as much, so it’s the more open target. But the content does change on programming during and after such attacks.

    Since conservatives in general don’t give a shit about classroom information availability with all its damn ‘science’ and ‘culture’ and shit, and they don’t understand why you need it when you got the damn history and discovery channel (and shark week) on cable TV, it wouldn’t be missed by them at all.

  47. 47

    Planed Parenthood actually responded perfectly, and the video didn’t even have anything embarassing, but they’re still going to get defunded. There’s really no defense against this. They just have to dress up like borat, make a video showing something, and claim there’s a controversy and they automatically win.

  48. 48
    Kryptik says:

    The more we get into this, and all these other kinds of issues, the more I just want to turn it off and shut down. Everything I see simply continues to convince me that liberals and Democrats are simply fucking screwed no matter what, because everyone fucking hates Liberals too much to believe them, and Dems are utterly held hostage by Blue Dogs who continue to believe that the best method of Bipartisanship is believing GOP wholesale and kicking the rest of their party in the crotch a few times to prove how fucking Maverick they really fucking are.

  49. 49

    Yes, but as I noted last month, there is a difference.

    Conservatives trying to trap liberals into saying embarrassing things must resort to elaborate set-ups, costumes, hidden cameras, and in the aftermath issue doctored or edited tapes and leave out key information (like the fact that NPR refused the donation! Hello!).

    When liberals want to trip up conservatives all they have to do is get them to speak honestly.

    Funny, that.

  50. 50
    Xenos says:

    @Ash Can:

    In NPR’s case, given that, as (IIRC) Mnemosyne pointed out yesterday, the board is stacked by W Bush appointees, it seems more that O’Keefe and the NPR board could have been working together to force V. Schiller out.

    Maybe I am being infected by the Teapartisans’ conspiracy mindset, but that was my first thought as well. How did the first Schiller get set up for this interview, and how did the other Schiller get blamed for what happened? It feels like a pretty deft takeout, and one that took some inside connections to pull it off.

    And who fires anyone based on a first hearing of an O’Keefe tape? How could any person operating in good faith not want to check it out and do some forensic analysis first? The whole thing reeks of bad faith at the board level.

  51. 51
    Murphoney says:

    I’m left to wonder how many attempted OKeefe stings flopped?

    Not that they all blew up like CNN or got busted like Landrieu, but how many of his scummy little operations went off without a major hitch, but just didn’t produce anything he could even lie about?

    Another thought: OKeefe saw fit to put his face front-and-center during the Acorn farce, both on the doctored tapes and in the following coverage, I’d like to see some TMZ-type paparazzi hound him like a cross between Mel Gibson and Sarah Palin. Could blunt the effectiveness of his attempts at subterfuge.

  52. 52
    Murphoney says:

    I’m left to wonder how many attempted OKeefe stings flopped?

    Not that they all blew up like CNN or got busted like Landrieu, but how many of his scummy little operations went off without a major hitch and just didn’t produce anything he could even lie about?

    Another thought: OKeefe saw fit to put his face front-and-center during the Acorn farce, both on the doctored tapes and in the following coverage, I’d like to see some TMZ-type paparazzi hound him like a cross between Mel Gibson and Sarah Palin. Could blunt the effectiveness of his attempts at subterfuge.

  53. 53
    Cacti says:

    NPR can twist in the wind.

    There’s no point wasting time and resources defending an organization who won’t defend themselves or their employees.

    Apologizing for accidentally telling the truth privately about Teabagger racism? Pathetic.

    If their funding does survive, you can bet your life that you’ll see a determined push towards more false equivalency in the name of “balance” (aka not hurting conservative feelings).

  54. 54
    Suck It Up! says:

    I think its easier for right wingers to do this because they don’t have to answer to anyone. When they do have a boss, that person is also a right winger.

  55. 55
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Ash Can:

    Otherwise, yes, I do believe the proper response would have been “Yes, it’s obvious that there are racist and wacked-out elements in the Tea Party; R. Schiller said nothing wrong; deal with it.”

    Agreed. Truth hurts and he could have landed a good hit against the right with that line.

    @jwb:

    Only if that is your goal.

  56. 56
    singfoom says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: Yep, that’s exactly what should have happened. Sure, he was representing NPR in his role during the donor meeting, but obviously the views were his own.

    It’s sad when organizations don’t stand up for their people.

  57. 57
    Observer says:

    NPR’s response guaranteed that James O’Keefe’s next few pranks are going to get lots of press attention

    It’s a little late for you B-Juicers to be complaining about a lack of spine in so-called Democrats (or Dem party silent supporters) in Washington.

    But now that you’ve started it, let me edit your post for you:

    Obamas’s response guaranteed that the Republican’s next few bad faith policies are going to get lots of press attention

    Fixed.

    Your welcome.

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    As they say, good guys finish last. Democrats are the good guys who are getting their asses kicked by the bad guys in a ‘game’ where the bad guys can score points and still ‘win’.

    I think the perception that the Left is losing is part of the problem. There seems to be an institutional problem with self-introspection, which has developed into a perfectionism complex.

    Sure you got 90% of what you wanted, but you still beat yourself up over the 10% you didn’t get.

    That’s how the Left seems to deal with itself.

    On social issues, the Left has been mopping the floor with conservatives for a long, long time. Even conservatives, who’d vote for guys like Jesse Helms (I know, I grew up in North Carolina), don’t want to go back to the pre-Grisswold v. Connecticut days, when non-married heterosexual adults couldn’t get hotel room together. Plenty of them have been divorced, at one time or another, and know their adult dating life would take a hit, if they had to pretend to be married, if they and their girl/boyfriend went on a vacation together.

    The culmination of this perfectionist complex came full bore on display during the Health car Reform debate. Liberals wanted to crush insurance companies out of existence. The Obama Administration didn’t do this. They didn’t even kick the door open a bit for this to happen in the future, by not fighting tooth and nail for public option. Obama actually fortified the private insurance system, which employs thousands of Americans, who’d lose their jobs, if private insurance was wiped out. This was Obama’s “sin” on health care reform. I’ve read comments on Dailykos, which stated the job loss would be a short term problem, which might be the price we’d have to pay for the single-payer utopia liberals want.

    It’s not good enough people like me, with chronic conditions, may actually be able to get our own insurance on the private market in 2014 and can’t be denied coverage now or the fact this is almost achieving the other liberal goal of universal coverage for all.

    The perfect plan had to take a pound of flesh from private insurance companies.

    Also, too really hardcore liberals have a major disconnect with the rest of America, because I think there’s a bunch of them, who are closet communists. They hate the idea of people making profits and amassing wealth, which runs against the grain of what Americans fantasize about. Instead of couching things, in therms of “fairness” or “windfall profits”, it’d be better to state that by ‘x’ programs getting invested in, you, the average American becomes richer. By government doing this, this and this Americans become more prosperous.

    Anyway…I need to get back to real life… Rant Over…

  59. 59
    Josh says:

    But PPFA was gonna be defunded by this Congress regardless of whether they were O’Keefed. He and his protegée can’t take credit for that one. Unless they’re trying to convince stupid people of their effectiveness . . . oh, I see.

  60. 60
    Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude says:

    <a href="“>Good discussion of NPR, Schillergate, perceived broadcasting bias, and government funding on KCRW (NPR Los Angeles starting at 25:50. Columbia [School of] Journalism Review editor, NPR ombudsman, David Boaz (Cato Institute), Eric Alterman.

  61. 61
    Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude says:

    Let’s try that again.

    Good discussion of NPR, Schillergate, perceived broadcasting bias, and government funding on KCRW (NPR Los Angeles) starting at 25:50. Columbia [School of] Journalism Review editor, NPR ombudsman, David Boaz (Cato Institute), Eric Alterman.

  62. 62
    jwb says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: No, you act like an asshole, you become an asshole. The moment you start thinking the ends justify the means, you’ve slipped over to the dark side. None of this means that you just bend over and take it. Or that you bring bubble gum to a fight when your opponent has a rocket launcher. On that we can agree. But stooping to their level: that’s the kind of short cut that never ends well.

  63. 63
    gene108 says:

    @gene108: I just want to add in the “Democrats get their asses kicked” category: DADT repealed, PPACA passed, Lily Ledbetter Law, and probably a bunch of other stuff, I’m missing that the 111th Congress passed.

    Republicans are the polar opposite of perfectionists. They get 10% of what they want, they talk about how they kicked the shit out of you for getting that 10%.

    It’s March, so here goes the basketball analogy, you have a team that throws down some crazy-ass horse shots, thunderous dunks, and posterizes players on the other time, while the other team wins by 30 points. Sure the flashy stuff gets on Sports Center and gets talked about, maybe even more than the out come of the game, but in the end, in sports at least, the winner and losers are clearly defined.

    I think the relationship between modern Democrats/Liberals and Republicans/Conservatives is like this. Republicans/Conservatives make a lot of noise, but at the end of they day, they lose, especially on social issues. On economic issues, they occasionally push through a tax cut or deregulate something, for a little while*, but that’s about it.

    For whatever reason, Democrats/Liberals never point out that they are WINNING, instead they, like everyone else, focuses on the noise, bluster and flash of the Republicans/Conservatives.

    *Until the lack of regulation leads to a clusterfuck like the BP spill or 2008 financial meltdown, and more regulations get added.

  64. 64
    Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy says:

    gene 108: Really? “Closet communists”?

    Are you fucking high? Bcause you sound like a moron who doesn’t know the first goddamn thing about either communism or liberals except what you learned from Dragnet reruns, and that’s the ticket to a short trip to a bad end, buster!

  65. 65
    Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude says:

    Until the lack of regulation leads to a clusterfuck like the BP spill or 2008 financial meltdown, and more regulations get added

    and get unfunded and get too-long implementation times, and get impeded in every way the Republicans can think of, and that are too weak to do much good. Sorry, but I don’t share your optimism on this.

    ETA: Or were you being sarcastic?

  66. 66
    Baud says:

    @gene108: The one thing I would add to your list is the financial regulation law, which the industry HATES, but nonetheless is considered a failure by some because it supposedly didn’t go far enough.

  67. 67
    Paul in KY says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: I agree with you here in general. In Pres. Clinton’s case, I wish he’d either admitted it right away & brazened it out (ala Walker) or resigned & let Gore become Pres.

    The way he ended up doing it may have been good for Pres. Clinton personally, but it was bad for our chances of maintaining the Presidency.

    As for Keefe, surely someone on our side can sting him. Some of our Hollywood friends have the props, etc. Tell him you want him to star in his own reality show & then have him blowing coke off hookers (some kind of stereotyped producers meeting) and living it up in Sin City.

    Let’s fuck up HIS credibility.

  68. 68
    rickstersherpa says:

    Well, you have to believe in something. If you believe in something with fanatical intensity, then everything you do for the “cause” is okay. And O’Keefe’s cause is to make the whole U.S. “Galt Gulch” where Randian supermen like himself can rape women at their pleasure. http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpoi....._cnn_r.php

  69. 69
    cleek says:

    @Paul in KY:

    Let’s fuck up HIS credibility.

    there’s more than enough info out there to destroy his credibility, if the liberal media was at all interested in destroying it. they’re not. they like the scandals he generates. and, they don’t want to bad-mouth a popular conservative.

    defensive crouch. always.

  70. 70
    gene108 says:

    @Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy: I think there’s a group of very loud liberals, who think profit and wealth are bad. I’ve met folks, who’ve told me communism didn’t fail. It was never tried. A true communist state would be much better, than what we have now.

    @Baud: Yup. I’d expand it to include the fact many businesses hate Obama and the Democrats because of perceived slights and potential regulations coming down the pike. Liberals seem to think Democrats are corporate whores. I don’t know where the disconnect comes from.

    @Reader of the Most Depressing Blog Evah, Formerly known as Chad N Freude: I don’t disagree with you regarding Republicans screwing around as much as possible to keep regulations from being implemented, I just think there’s an ebb and flow to regulations. When things are good, regulations get lax. When something bad happens, they get tightened up (even if it is temporary).

  71. 71
    Paul in KY says:

    @cleek: I know what you are saying. He should be in jail for his Sen Landreau stunt, but he isn’t.

    If we could catch him doing what I said above, living some la vida loca or the sheena loca & some good quotes from him (you know he’d talk shit about the fundies, in that situation), then even Fox News would have to report it, etc. etc.

    Obviously, we have to work harder than your ARWA (Average Right Wing Asshole), but it can be done. Hell, the old Spy magazine used to punk people all the time with some convincing props, etc.

  72. 72
    MattR says:

    @Baud:

    The one thing I would add to your list is the financial regulation law, which the industry HATES, but nonetheless is considered a failure by some because it supposedly didn’t go far enough.

    I just don’t understand this logic. As a complete hypothetical, if the financial industry was screwing American consumers out of $100 billion a year and the gov’t passed a law that limited them to only screwing Americans out of $99 billion, the financial industry would HATE that law. But that hatred does not indicate that the law is effective at correcting the problems in our society.

    Note: I am not making a value judgement about the financial reform that was passed. Only commenting about the logic used to support it.

  73. 73
    brantl says:

    They need to nail O’Keefe. There was an incident where he tried to seduce a newscaster that a lot more should have been made of that. Why doesn’t someone bankroll Michael Moore (or someone else) to do an honest documentary on O’Keefe? Fight fire with water. Fight his lies with the truth, and a heaping helping of it.

  74. 74
    Paul in KY says:

    @gene108: Can you name some of these ‘very loud liberals’? Please don’t say Micheal Moore, as I can assure you he’s no Communist (seems to like Capitalism very well & has done very well by it).

  75. 75
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    In our handwringing over Schiller, have we buried the lede?

    IMHO the biggest impact of this may have little to do with NPR/PBS specifically: if you are a public official or in any way connected with taxpayer money (no matter how indirectly) it is now officially verboten to talk about Tea Party racism, even in private.

    The Tea Party now has what is effectively a gag order on almost all of the mainstream establishment. They can really get their freak on now, and nobody can talk about it. Not even in private. Instead we have to learn to pretend not to notice.

    This is Orwellian.

  76. 76
    liberal says:

    @MattR:

    I just don’t understand this logic. As a complete hypothetical, if the financial industry was screwing American consumers out of $100 billion a year and the gov’t passed a law that limited them to only screwing Americans out of $99 billion, the financial industry would HATE that law. But that hatred does not indicate that the law is effective at correcting the problems in our society.

    Ab-so-lute-ly.

    In arguments about finance reform a few months ago, some commenters (esp. “Nick”) pointed out that Wall St hates the reforms.

    My response was that Wall St is composed of a bunch of sociopaths who would be unhappy if they got 98% of what they wanted—they want 110%.

  77. 77
    liberal says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    Agreed. But it’s not just the tea party and racism; anything that the gov’t funds that’s remotely “left wing” (i.e., reality-based) is up for attack.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @MattR: I understand you’re point, but no one law is ever going to “effective in correcting the problems in our society.” Industry hatred (or the level of it to be more precise) is just a rough benchmark on estimating the impact of the law. For example, I’ve seen (and I’m sure you have too) many people argue that a law is bad because it gives the industry what they’ve lobbied for. That argument suffers from the same logical problem you identified.

  79. 79
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    “Accountability is important, but what should the NPR fundraiser guy have been accountable for?”

    Well, what he thought he was accountable for: bringing in donation $$$.

    Anyone who’s done sales or business development knows that you laugh at the jokes of the guy who’s got the money, heck you’d give them a date with your 16-old daughter if it closes the deal.

  80. 80
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @liberal:

    Well that clearly was going to happen. It was obvious to everyone that the #1 issue the GOP ran on in the 2010 midterms was where are the jobs to conduct a mass purge of everything pinko in American life.

    What is fascinating (in a horrible, train-wreck sort of way) about this NPR episode is that this is precisely the process whereby newspeak is internalized and converted into doublethink, by penalizing the private utterance of what everybody knows is true but you can’t say in public. Our elites are in a Skinner box and they don’t even know it.

  81. 81
    cleek says:

    about that video… would you believe Schiller’s most incendiary comments are presented out of context ? as in, beginnings of sentences were cut off. for example, when he says the teabaggers are xenophobic gun-clutchers, he was actually quoting two other people. both of them Republicans.

  82. 82
    justanotherjones says:

    @liberal: re: selling NPR stations to commercial right interests, that same thought has crossed my mind. It scares the crap out of me.

  83. 83
    liberal says:

    @gene108:

    On social issues, the Left has been mopping the floor with conservatives for a long, long time.

    This is entirely true, with the noted exception of laws regulating abortion.

    Liberals wanted to crush insurance companies out of existence.

    By “crush” you seem to imply (we) liberals have merely an emotional animosity against insurance companies. Actually, we’re reality-based: it simply cannot be debated that single payer would cover both more people and be far cheaper.

    Obama actually fortified the private insurance system, which employs thousands of Americans, who’d lose their jobs, if private insurance was wiped out. This was Obama’s “sin” on health care reform. I’ve read comments on Dailykos, which stated the job loss would be a short term problem, which might be the price we’d have to pay for the single-payer utopia liberals want.

    If hundreds of thousands of people are paid for digging holes one day and then filling them the next, I guess you think a policy of moving the economy towards using that labor more productively is a “job killer.”

    It’s not good enough people like me, with chronic conditions, may actually be able to get our own insurance on the private market in 2014 and can’t be denied coverage now or the fact this is almost achieving the other liberal goal of universal coverage for all.

    Operative word: “may”. Not to mention the entire system is absurdly complicated and will probably do little to cut costs.

    The perfect plan had to take a pound of flesh from private insurance companies.

    (yawn) Inability to counter the argument that single payer is both far cheaper and would offer better coverage to more noted.

    Instead of couching things, in therms of “fairness” or “windfall profits”, it’d be better to state that by ‘x’ programs getting invested in, you, the average American becomes richer. By government doing this, this and this Americans become more prosperous.

    Actually, to twist your words on you, hardcore centrists like yourself have a major disconnect with knowledge of the actually existing economy. “Windfall profits” are, in economic nomenclature, rent. Rent extraction makes no one wealthier; it’s merely parasitic, a transfer of wealth with no accompanying productive contribution.

    The problem is that almost no one understands or properly emphasizes the difference between profit and rent, in the economic sense of those terms. Not the right, not the left (whose intellectual ancestry goes back to Marx, who probably understood the difference but decidedly wanted to elide that difference), and certainly not wishy-washy braindead centrists like yourself.

  84. 84
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    It’s evident that there’s a different moral standard imposed on liberals and conservatives. Limbaugh busted for illegal perscription drugs? Keeps his gig. Newt on his third wife, having committed serial adultery? Still a potential GOP nominatee, and though nothing of impeaching Clinton for the same sin he himself was doing. How long before Gov. Sanford hiked the Applachian trial out of the Governor’s office? Sen. Larry Craig after his indictment hung around ’til the end of his term. Sen. Vitter gets caught in diapers with whores and still gets relected by the GOP faithful. The only exception to the GOP rule of “I got caught, so what”, is the Craigslist guy.

    But a liberal gets caught laughing at a joke made by a fraudster posing as a potential donor, and bam, fire that guy and his boss ASAP.

    [Actually, the Craigslist Representative deserves respect for resigning and not doing the whole press conference where he apologizes but insists he isn’t a sleazeball/closet case while his wife is humiliatingly having to do a “stand by your man” by the podium.]

  85. 85
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    It’s evident that there’s a different moral standard imposed on liberals and conservatives. Limbaugh busted for illegal perscription drugs? Keeps his gig. Newt on his third wife, having committed serial adultery? Still a potential GOP nominatee, and though nothing of impeaching Clinton for the same sin he himself was doing. How long before Gov. Sanford hiked the Applachian trial out of the Governor’s office? Sen. Larry Craig after his indictment hung around ’til the end of his term. Sen. Vitter gets caught in diapers with whores and still gets relected by the GOP faithful. The only exception to the GOP rule of “I got caught, so what”, is the Craigslist guy.

    But a liberal gets caught laughing at a joke made by a fraudster posing as a potential donor, and bam, fire that guy and his boss ASAP.

    [Actually, the Craigslist Representative deserves respect for resigning and not doing the whole press conference where he apologizes but insists he isn’t a sleazeball/closet case while his wife is humiliatingly having to do a “stand by your man” by the podium.]

  86. 86
    liberal says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    I think ultimately it’s not so much of a purge of everything pinko, but rather the one thing that unifies the right: taxes on the truly wealthy must fall to zero.

  87. 87
    Huckster says:

    @Cacti: Yes.

  88. 88
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @liberal:

    not the left (whose intellectual ancestry goes back to Marx…

    The term “Left” and “Right” arose from the seating arrangements in the French National Assembly during their revolution, so it predates Marx by at least that much. But I’d go further and say that the Left traces it intellectual ancestry all the way back to the Sermon on the Mount. The secular form of leftism we are more familiar with today arose during the European Enlightenment when devotional Christianity (which attracts patronage from the wealthy and powerful) and Christianity as a system of social ethics finally got a divorce after the longest running unhappy marriage in history.

  89. 89
    cmorenc says:

    Why does this James O’Keefe have ANY credibility whatsoever after his attempted sex-exploit setup of a reporter aboard a ship, and the demonstrable fraud of his notorious ACORN frame-up tape (i.e. that was clearly edited to fraudulently misrepresent what was actually said?).

    Also, just a night or two ago none other than Andrew Breitbart was being interviewed on Piers Morgan. Why is this demonstrably fraudulent clown still considered worthy of media time outside of Fox?

  90. 90
    gene108 says:

    @liberal:

    (yawn) Inability to counter the argument that single payer is both far cheaper and would offer better coverage to more noted.

    I actually think single payer would be better.

    There’s a downside to single payer, which is if health care providers are only getting Medicare rates, the money going to health care providers will drop and there maybe some unintended consequences from it. Hospitals, which rely on higher private insurance reimbursement rates, to meet operating expenses would be faced with choices to make, when revenue drops.

    I think in the long run, though, single-payer would be a win-win for everybody. There maybe some rougher growing pains than people realize.

    I just don’t see the point of sitting home and letting Republicans win in 2010, because single-payer wasn’t an option or the final bill didn’t have a public option.

    All the poo-pooing from the Left did was reinforce in the low-info voters mind that Obamacare is a bad bill, which needs to be repealed or at the very least to vote against the people, who passed the monstrosity.

    Anything that closes up the inequalities in the health care system = win for liberals.

    Liberals turned it into a PR loss.

    hardcore centrists like yourself

    I’m a liberal.

    I just realize not everyone shares my views and getting them to see thing as I do won’t be done by ignoring their concerns or dismissing them, as somehow being stupid, uniformed or generally inferior to my views.

    @Paul in KY:

    Can you name some of these ‘very loud liberals’?

    Seems to be the whole FDL crowd. Some DKS’ers. Probably more.

  91. 91
    gene108 says:

    @cleek: O’Keefe disingenuously edit a video, to make the subject look bad? How dare you slander Mr. O’Keefe’s good name. Have you no shame?

  92. 92
    Paul in KY says:

    @gene108: Thank you for answering. I was thinking more about those who get on TV (maybe Jane does & Markos, I don’t know).

    I don’t read FDL or Koz myself.

    As for pure communism, Jesus was a communist.

  93. 93
    Joel says:

    I agree, to some extent, that some more backbone would quell the damage (the NPR saying something like, “the truth hurts” would be a start). But it’s worth mentioning that conservatives eat this shit up and there really isn’t the same amount of liberal counterpart. It takes something truly epic, like Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner, to get people to pay attention.

  94. 94
    Floridian says:

    Again, Breitbart & O’Keefe’s released edited version does not jive with the raw footage.

    Credit to The Blaze, surprisingly.

  95. 95
    Bill Murray says:

    @Paul in KY: as the Housemartins put on their first album, Take Jesus, Take Marx, Take Hope.

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