Halperin goes all in

Steve Benen catches Mark Halerpin promoting Ryan’s plan:

Yesterday afternoon, the lead story on Mark Halperin’s “The Page” was the White House’s mild rebuke of Paul Ryan’s Republican budget plan.

Halperin’s headline: “Obama Pans Ryan — Without Alternative.”

[…]

This morning, Halperin’s lead story was a GOP endorsement of yesterday’s lead story. The headline: “Boehner Asks For Bam’s Budget ‘Alternative’.”

And here’s Halperin on the budget shut down:

Will the media continue to exhibit less liberal media bias than usual in covering the debate over the CR? (Halperin’s guess: yes—a bit.)

Why does Halperin continue the pretense of being non-partisan?

More generally, to engage in a little media-obsessive navel-gazing, I have never seen the gap between unabashedly Village portion of the media (Halperin, WaPo, Morning Joe) and the pseudo-journalistic portion (First Read, Politico) this large before. Politico is quoting Republican advisers saying of the Ryan plan:

“You have a couple dozen members who are going to pay a pretty serious price for this vote if they end up in a tough race…. It’s not just cuts to Medicare. It’s ‘Republicans are ending Medicare as we know it.’ That’s not demagoguery. That is the case. This budget ends Medicare as we know it.”






44 replies
  1. 1
    cleek says:

    I have never seen the gap between unabashedly Village portion of the media (Halperin, WaPo, Morning Joe) and the pseudo-journalistic portion (First Read, Politico) this large before.

    the journalists will come around, once they learn where the Serious people are standing.

  2. 2
    Warren Terra says:

    Say what you will about Hitler, at least he had a plan.

  3. 3
    Lolis says:

    Halperin is the hack of all hacks. My parents saw him speak in Austin about Game Change. My mom thought he was liberal based on his comments. When I told her he was a conservative tool she was genuinely shocked. I think Halperin just plays to whatever crowd of the moment.

    It is truly bizarre that no pundits are talking about how this law kicks the elderly off Medicare while at the same time repealing laws that protect consumers from insurance companies abuses. So basically most seniors won’t even be able to get covered — for any price.

  4. 4
    General Stuck says:

    I am glad you have the stamina and fortitude to report the unsurprising reaction from our fawning herds of punditry. I can’t stomach it, other than read it through a proper filter, like this post. thanks.

  5. 5
    freelancer says:

    Oh Hai Gun Barruuuugh.

    Also, dipshit bagger holding a sign saying “Shut ‘er down” doesn’t want a gubmint shutdown.

    As one TPM commenter so pricelessly put it, “Stupid is as ‘bagger does”.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    To be fair, I’m sure Halperin has been equally harsh with GOP efforts to oppose and repeal Obama’s health care plan without having an alternative plan to propose. I mean, no one could be that hypocritical, right?

  7. 7
    Zifnab says:

    I have never seen the gap between unabashedly Village portion of the media (Halperin, WaPo, Morning Joe) and the pseudo-journalistic portion (First Read, Politico) this large before.

    That’s probably because the GOP has never taken it quite this far before, and the Villagers only know how to keep shaking their pom-poms.

    Say what you will of the Politico crew. They’re not idiots. Winning ’10 on the platform of “Saving Medicare” and then turning around and smashing it with a hammer isn’t what you would call smart politics.

    The GOP has grabbed the third rail of Washington Politics with both hands. Anyone with brains is going to take a few steps back to see whether sparks start flying. It’s not like the journalists are going to pay a price for baulking. If fucking with Medicare turns out to be safe, they can always come crowding back around to cheer later on.

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    Politico is right, for a change. When Ma and Pa Kettle turn off the cable news and discovers somebody been snatching stuff off their kitchen table, they are gong to ask who? and there’s gonna be hell to pay, for someone.

  9. 9
    Superluminar says:

    More generally, to engage in a little media-obsessive navel-gazing

    oh, don’t be so hard on yourself comrade. You guys hardly ever do anything like that. I could swear this is the first post here today that does that.

  10. 10
    demkat620 says:

    I’m a Dem running for anything in 2012 every add tells the voters “My opponent wants to end Medicare.”

    Seriously, Pat Meehan, Mike Fitzpatrick, Jim Gerlach, Joe Pitts are not going to come with in five miles of this piece of crap. And they are all going to pay anyway.

    This is a gift to every PA and FL dem especially.

  11. 11
    Midnight Marauder says:

    More generally, to engage in a little media-obsessive navel-gazing, I have never seen the gap between unabashedly Village portion of the media (Halperin, WaPo, Morning Joe) and the pseudo-journalistic portion (First Read, Politico) this large before

    I would say that is because the pseudo-journalistic portion has to at least maintain some kind of pretense of “journalistic credibility,” and there is no way to do that in this situation without acknowledging that Republicans are setting themselves up to pay a very heavy price. Honestly, I have not been able to get enough of this quote since I first read it earlier:

    It’s not just cuts to Medicare. It’s ‘Republicans are ending Medicare as we know it.’ That’s not demagoguery. That is the case. This budget ends Medicare as we know it.”

    These clowns are starting to get very unnerved.

  12. 12
    demkat620 says:

    Oh look Tweety has Halperin on.

    “we need to have an adult conversation in the media”

    Fuck off Mark.

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    It’s funny how the Reichtwingnutz all loudly ask what President Obama’s budget response is to Ryan’s Dachau for the poor.

    Uhhh, righties? Obama released his ‘reply’ on February 15th:

    2012 Budget

  14. 14
    geg6 says:

    Mark Halperin? The guy at TIME magazine who declared John McCain the Winner of the Week the same week in 2008 that Wall Street melted down, McCain suspended his campaign and demanded a White House meeting to settle it, and who got his ass handed to him by Obama in such a massive way that he didn’t speak once in the entire meeting?

    That Mark Halperin?

    This is good news for John McCain!

  15. 15
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @demkat620: I’d like to have an adult conversation in the media about why drivel-spouting nepotistic douchebags like Mark Halperin get paid so much goddamn money. Shared sacrifice, Mark, isn’t that what you call it? You can’t tell me any random assortment of freshmen in Poli Sci 101 would produce anything less valid or valuable than the last flatulent dispatch Mark Halperin let rip into the political world.

  16. 16
    Triassic Sands says:

    @demkat620:

    I’m a Dem running for anything in 2012 every add tells the voters “My opponent wants to end Medicare.”

    I’m not sure how effective that will be unless the voters have an alternative. I’d expect the MSM to harp on the absence of an Obama/Democratic plan. Ryan’s plan, right now, is filling a vacuum and that isn’t good if you think, like I do, that Ryan is a lunatic whose plan will wreck this country.

  17. 17
    harokin says:

    I thought Obama proposed a budget a couple months ago. I also thought it was pretty clear that he wants the Bush cuts to expire ASAP with significant effect on the budget, that he expects IPAC to push Medicare costs down and that he sees no need to repeal Dodd-Frank. Did I make all that up?

  18. 18
    trollhattan says:

    @General Stuck:

    I hope so. But I’m afeared this gets sidetracked within a week by whatever’s next out of the sausage machine, and the Kettles go back to frettin’ about our mooslim in chief.

  19. 19
    Suffern ACE says:

    @harokin: Yeah. But where’s his constitutional amendment, huh? Or his demand that if Congress doesn’t pass him a budget by Friday, he’ll implement one himself…

  20. 20
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Ryan’s plan, right now, is filling a vacuum and that isn’t good if you think, like I do, that Ryan is a lunatic whose plan will wreck this country.

    I’m pretty sure that vacuum isn’t treating Paul Ryan all that kindly right now. The man, and his plan, are taking blows from all over the spectrum right now. Outside of the Village, people are not reacting all that favorably to the plan. Hell, this is one of the main stories of the day confronting Ryan right now:

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) touted the help of former Clinton adviser Alice Rivlin — “a great, proud Democrat” — in promoting a key Medicare provision in his budget proposal Tuesday.
    __
    The only problem? Rivlin said she told the Republican she doesn’t support the final version of the measure he wrote into his budget — a provision Ryan referred to generally as the “Ryan-Rivlin” plan when rolling out his sweeping economic blueprint.
    __
    “We talked fairly recently and I said, ‘You know, I can’t support the version that you have in the budget,” Rivlin said in an interview with POLITICO. “I don’t actually support the form in which he put it in the budget.”

    This should come as great news to “spoungeworthy.” They have been frequenting these parts to yap about the “Ryan-Rivlin plan,” a thing that has just been exposed as not existing in any capacity.

  21. 21
    Tom Hilton says:

    Well, to be fair, Obama really hasn’t proposed an alternative. I mean, it’s not as if he got the most significant deficit reduction measure since the 1990s enacted, or anything.
    [/disgustedsnark]

  22. 22
    hilts says:

    Why does Halperin continue the pretense of being non-partisan?

    Doug,

    Every Mark Halperin related post should contain this passage so that everyone knows exactly where he is coming from:

    Media bias was more intense in the 2008 election than in any other national campaign in recent history, Time magazine’s Mark Halperin said Friday at the Politico/USC conference on the 2008 election. “It’s the most disgusting failure of people in our business since the Iraq war,” Halperin said at a panel of media analysts. “It was extreme bias, extreme pro-Obama coverage.”

    h/t http://www.politico.com/news/s.....15885.html

  23. 23
    4jkb4ia says:

    More Trumpery: NBC/WSJ national poll has Romney 21%, Trump 17%, Huckabee 17%

  24. 24
    Nellcote says:

    Ryan’s plan cuts the VA but doesn’t touch DoD. Why isn’t the VA part of the DoD budget?

  25. 25
    sukabi says:

    Why does Halperin continue the pretense of being non-partisan?

    Hacks will be hacks… and propagandists have to cloak their message… Halperin scores on both counts…

  26. 26
    Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy says:

    Nellcote: So that its budget can be cut while “supporting our troops”.

  27. 27
    Josie says:

    Bam’s Budget

    Bam?!? Really? The palpable disrespect just infuriates me. I can hardly think what to say without using foul language, so I guess the little old granny lady will just have to call Halperin a total fuckwad.

  28. 28
    nepat says:

    Why does Halperin continue the pretense of being non-partisan?

    For the same reason Arianna Huffington continues the pretense of being progressive: it pays!

  29. 29
    General Stuck says:

    @trollhattan:

    The sausage machine is in mothballs until further notice. I was just reading the other day, that the senate was near like a funeral home, it has bogged down so with partisanship. The crazy ass bills coming from the House are all DOA , addressed to Harry Reid and senate dems and with cyanide pills to take after passing. Bills that would drop the democratic party like a rock to the bottom of the lake. Wingnuts could do some damage forcing compromises with from bills with plausibility for dems to bargain on. But not bills written by and for the tea party, that are non starters for democrats. It’s like dems passing legislation legalizing abortions in all cases and sending them to a GOP senate. Not going to happen.

  30. 30
    OzoneR says:

    @Baud:

    I’m sure Halperin has been equally harsh with GOP efforts to oppose and repeal Obama’s health care plan without having an alternative plan to propose. I mean, no one could be that hypocritical, right?

    Except Obama and the Democrats actually DO have a plan, it just isn’t being talked about because it doesn’t end Medicare.

  31. 31
    hilts says:

    A golden oldie from Mark Halperin

    HALPERIN [discussing John Edwards’ potential endorsement of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama]: I can tell you, he’s really skeptical of her ability to be the kind of president he wants. But, he kinda thinks Obama is…he thinks Obama is kind of a pussy…He has real questions about Obama’s toughness, his readiness for the office.

    h/t http://thephoenix.com/BLOGS/me.....obama.aspx

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @OzoneR:

    Except Obama and the Democrats actually DO have a plan, it just isn’t being talked about because it doesn’t end Medicare.

    The question going around the Village isn’t, “What does Obama plan to do about the budget?” The question is, “What’s his plan to end Medicare?” Unless his plan includes that, it doesn’t count.

  33. 33
    Zifnab says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    Ryan’s plan, right now, is filling a vacuum and that isn’t good if you think, like I do, that Ryan is a lunatic whose plan will wreck this country.

    I don’t see why. Republicans went into ’09 with the commitment to do absolutely nothing. Every vote was designed to hinder legislation and kill the Dem agenda.

    Why not flip the tables? Spend the next two years bickering over the federal budget and put us back to square one in time for ’12. Let the Republican governors wreck havoc in their own states and poison the well for the next election cycle. Then campaign like mad on the Failed Republican Agenda of ’10.

  34. 34
    MikeJ says:

    @Josie: I would urge you to write to Will Shortz, editor of the NYT crossword. He recently clued “prez” with “W or Bam”.

    I’ve not heard Obama insiders refer to him as “Bam” the way Bush insiders called him W. Using a diminutive form that the subject doesn’t use is purposefully demeaning.

  35. 35
    "Serious" Superluminar says:

    @MikeJ
    ok, putting aside the obviously offensive term, that was considered a crossword clue?! For what, the kid’s crossword?

  36. 36
    ChrisNYC says:

    Halperin was on Hardball today. Just unbelievable. He, the guy who wrote a political book called “Freak Show” and who stokes every nonsense issue out there (“Trump for Pres!”), intoning about how responsible the GOP is. Matthews did a good job of calling him out — saying, “You’re just giving me GOP talking points.”

    BUT Halperin also looked just furious. I like when he’s like that cause it means his side is losing.

  37. 37
    Upper West says:

    @Lolis:

    I think you’re right — he goes on Hugh Hewitt’s show and says “I agree with you.” He speaks to college kids and says “I agree with you.”

  38. 38
    JLM says:

    @Zinfab
    To an extent I agree with you but I’m stuck living in one of those states that Republicans are trying to flush down the drain. The failed Republican agenda of ’10 is hurting real people now and with the capriciousness of voters I don’t know that a wave of Democratic governors will have the time to fix everything the thugs are trying to break.

  39. 39
    Joel says:

    @MikeJ: Will Shortz edits the crossword, but that doesn’t mean he writes them. I happen to have met one of the writers and he’s as glibertarian as they come.

    That said, writing Shortz to note your disapproval would probably let him know (and surprise him!).

  40. 40
    Batocchio says:

    Halperin calls Obama “Bam”? It’s not the douchiest thing about Halperin – that would be his Fox News level analysis – but that’s pretty obnoxious.

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MikeJ:

    Honestly, I’ve never seen anyone refer to the president as “Bam” until just now. Ever. The fact that you can only shorten it that way by deliberately mispronouncing his name makes me more than a little suspicious that this is 2010’s “Barry Soetoro.”

  42. 42
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Zifnab:

    Republicans went into ‘09 with the commitment to do absolutely nothing.

    True, but IOKIYAR is very real. The rules are not the same for the two parties, which is why I want the Democrats offering “serious” plans that don’t earn their seriousness by virtue of screwing the middle class and devastating the poor. Ryan’s plan could look even worse if there is a responsible plan with which to compare it.

    I favor reforming the federal government — beginning with significant cuts in defense spending. Stop! Make that beginning with sizable tax increases on the rich. After we start raising a lot more revenue, then we can talk about what adjustments/reforms are needed. Medicare and Medicaid do need attention, but nothing even remotely like what Ryan has proposed. His plan isn’t designed to reform anything — it’s designed to kill Medicare and Medicaid (and in the process a lot of people). I agree with Obama that while we’re in the middle of an economic downturn it is crazy to begin austerity measures. On the other hand, the sooner the reforms are formulated (and I don’t know how there will ever be agreement with the Lunatic Fringe, aka the GOP) the more gradual the adjustments can be.

    We do need to find ways to save big money in Medicare and to a lesser extent Medicaid, which for millions of people is not a cushion, but all there is — cut it and poor people simply stop getting health care. If you take people who currently are dirt poor and pay no co-payments and nothing for prescriptions and tell them they will have to come up with co-pays, the practical result will be they stop seeing the doctor and no longer get their medications. I favor folding Medicaid into Medicare and changing the fee-for-service structure of Medicare. But until something big happens to change the direction of the Republicans, or voters give Democrats big majorities in both houses and the White House — neither of which seems likely given the current state of electorate stupidity and ignorance — it’s difficult to imagine how anything will get accomplished — unless the Democrats fold (always a possibility).

  43. 43
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    True, but IOKIYAR is very real. The rules are not the same for the two parties, which is why I want the Democrats offering “serious” plans that don’t earn their seriousness by virtue of screwing the middle class and devastating the poor. Ryan’s plan could look even worse if there is a responsible plan with which to compare it.

    But I think this completely ignores the strategy the Democratic Party is about to embark on, which is very reminiscent of the Pelosi-led campaign against Social Security privatization back in 2005. A large part of the coming Democratic Party plan of attack will be in NOT releasing a competing plan. Pelosi is pretty clear about why this is the case:

    Her approach will be similar to the House Democrat strategy in 2005, when President George W. Bush wanted to privatize Social Security. At the time, Democrats held town hall after town hall to criticize the president’s plan, but did not offer their own proposal — the lack of which Pelosi said was “the most important” part of the 2005 strategy’s success.
    __
    “We couldn’t have our own proposal on Social Security, because it would confuse the public [about] which one does this and which one does that, and once you put another proposal on the table you’re conceding that there must be some big problem,” Pelosi said. “And we’re saying that we have a proposal on the table. It’s called Social Security.”

    There is yet again another proposal on the table. It’s called “not abolishing Medicare.”

  44. 44
    Valdivia says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    Thank you this a million times!

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