This Is Why I Quit Watching Cable Networks

Your meritocracy at work.






68 replies
  1. 1
    Barry says:

    It always amazes me to hear comments like this, come on man have some morals!

  2. 2
    Samara Morgan says:

    No.
    Meritocracy is what got Obama elected.
    Meritocracy is what keeps Palin or Bachman from being elected.
    America is a republic that elects an approximation of a populist philosopher king through representative government.
    What you linked is the failure of free market economics.
    the news meadia are simply fight promotors pimping lucrative ideological battles.

  3. 3
    Jewish Steel says:

    If this were a meritocracy, your link wouldn’t even get into community college trucker clown school.

  4. 4
    MeDrewNotYou says:

    Link doesn’t work for me. Summary or working link?
    ETA: Never mind. Just a fleeting database error at their end.

  5. 5
    Shinobi says:

    I think we broke it.

  6. 6
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    And yet they drove Cenk Uygur out because he was too strident despite not being so ostentatiously vapid and actually having some kind of working, non-stenographic mind.

    Gotta love it. No wait, no I don’t. I despite it. :/

  7. 7
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Summary: ‘Lil Luke Russert gets asked questions by Dylan Ratigan that aren’t on the Village-approved script. His response is to smirk and giggle.

  8. 8

    First it was the reply button, now all of you will be harping about a broken link.

    When does it end?!

  9. 9
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Link worked before. It’s the site as a whole that borked, not just the page linked.

  10. 10
    Ben Cisco says:

    As commentor allan said over there: Meritocracy for us, nepotacracy for the chosen ones.

  11. 11

    I always find it baffling that so many people speak approvingly of “meritocracy” when the person who invented term, Michael Young, did so in an essay warning against its potential dangers. A “meritocratic” society is one in which the only people allowed into elite society are those who have sufficient merit … as determined by those who are already in elite society. It’s the philosophy that dictates that one person is smarter than another based solely on IQ scores with complete disregard for personal and societal factors that might have prevented the second person from doing as well on a test. It’s also the philosophy that presently compels young people to assume crushing student loan debt when there are not enough jobs for everyone with a bachelor’s degree, simply because elite consensus says everyone needs a college degree or else you’re a loser. If America were more “meritocratic” we’d have gotten Jeb as President instead of Shrub. Would that have been better (a more competent U.S. President)? Or worse (a more competent Republican President)?

  12. 12
    Alex S. says:

    It must annoy some of these experienced, educated journalists that someone like Luke Russert can just get in there because of his name. Bill Kristol was lucky that his dad was still alive at the beginning of his ‘career’. Luke doesn’t have Big Daddy around to protect him.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    moonbat says:

    Lil Luke is one of their lesser problems. How about how Chuck Todd went from fairly accurate poll number cruncher to full blown Villager in about two months flat. What Washington does to the average brain is frightening. Lil Luke’s pea sized cerebellum never had a chance.

  15. 15
    jl says:

    @4: Link is to Luke Russert being clueless in interview about Korean and Columbian trade agreements with Rattigan.

    The press has been particularly bad on some aspects of the recent US preference for bilateral trade agreements since NAFTA. These agreements have included as much about radical intellectual property rights doctrine (for corporations and not anyone else) and corporate international investment insurance, than they have about free trade. The proportion of the agreements that are actually devoted to free trade in the sense economists think of that term, has fallen steadily.

    And speaking of economists, they have not been helpful. Promoting something called a ‘free trade’ policy is an item of religious devotion among a certain kind of consensus CW free market economist. And they think promoting that cause is so important, that it is perfectly OK to fudge the facts or analysis to get something called a ‘free trade’ agreement passed and signed into law. This attitude is widespread among Washington consensus CW economists, and I think it is both pathetically naive and weak minded, and intellectually corrupt.

    To be very slightly fair to the reporters (more fair than I should be), they would have to do a little digging, do some homework, and exercise some independent judgment in order to obtain and accurately report the issues involved. Honest and conscientious analysis from academia and business is hard to come by.

  16. 16
    cleek says:

    OT: FYI – i just fixed a problem with yesterday’s Pie Filter; it broke the comment markup toolbar buttons.

  17. 17
    Violet says:

    @moonbat:

    How about how Chuck Todd went from fairly accurate poll number cruncher to full blown Villager in about two months flat.

    Chuck Todd is now so unctuous and oily he makes makes me feel slimy. I turn off the TV when he comes on.

  18. 18
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Violet: Topical applications of cash. It’s in the Merck Manual.

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    I admit I’d never seen Luke Russert before. Whoever decided to hire him just based on his parentage should be shot. Send him to a UHF station in Oklahoma, he is in way over his head.

  20. 20
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Violet: He does kind of remind me the guy whose been asked by a wrestling promoter to develop a clowny heal character so the audience will enjoy it when the chair comes crashing down on his head.

  21. 21
    MazeDancer says:

    Had to ignore John Cole’s link and paste in http://www.emptywheel.net/ many times and then wait a while for site to connect.

    Then scroll down to Buffalo post.

    Well worth the effort.

    Fortunately, there is an excellent transcript there so one does not have to watch vid. Transcipt includes a good description from Dylan Rattigan – who generally cannot watch, because he enjoys yelling, and his go-to expert panel isn’t appealling – of the 3 trade deals.

  22. 22
    Judas Escargot says:

    What’s funny here is that Dylan Ratigan is by no stretch of the imagination a “Liberal”: he’s basically an old-school, reality-based business reporter. But that stubborn insistence he has on aligning his opinions with reality is now sufficient to make him an Outsider. Welcome, Mr. Ratigan.

    Fave quote by (Russert; Luke):

    You threw me off my game there a little bit.

    Um, yeah. This isn’t about people’s lives and livelihoods on the line or anything, it’s more like that BC/Holy Cross hockey game back in ’07, and Dylan slipped that puck by you for that one lucky shot. Asshole.

    I think we should all chip in and have a box of Bow Ties delivered to (Russert; Luke)’s office. Doubt he’d get the joke, though.

  23. 23
    Chyron HR says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Meritocracy is what keeps Palin or Bachman from being elected.

    Apart from all those elections they won.

  24. 24
    Mike Goetz says:

    We need a better popular media landscape, certainly. We also need better politicians, and, to be perfectly frank, a better polity.

    These things will be extremely difficult to acquire. No country in history has ever figured out how to do it. So yeah, our work is cut out.

  25. 25
    PeakVT says:

    Emptywheel has been Slashdotted Balloon Juiced.

  26. 26
    kdaug says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    A “meritocratic” society is one in which the only people allowed into elite society are those who have sufficient merit … as determined by those who are already in elite society. It’s the philosophy that dictates that one person is smarter than another based solely on IQ scores with complete disregard for personal and societal factors that might have prevented the second person from doing as well on a test.

    See: Military, U.S.

  27. 27
    pamelabrown says:

    @fasteddie9318: L’il Luke Russert’s mistake was going on that faux populist Ratigan’s show.

  28. 28
    Mike Goetz says:

    Hoo, Russert was drowning on dry land there. Mercy.

  29. 29
    danimal says:

    You know, I’ve never knowingly watched Luke Russert. Doesn’t sound like today is a good day to start watching him, either.

    Isn’t there any kind of market for intelligent, straight news reporting. I don’t need a liberal Fox News, I just need a straight reporting of the news, in depth, with intelligence, and without a lot of filters. You know, someone to fill the void left by CNN before it went to hell.

  30. 30
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Chyron HR: they will never be preznit.
    do you deny that?

    membah, we are still living in Distributed Jesusland™ until the demographic timer goes off.
    Palina and Bachman can only win in Distributed Jesusland™….and not in the general.
    that is why COD lost. she wasn’t running in DJ, where Team Reaver can optimize localized mob rule.

  31. 31
    pamelabrown says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: Speaking of “borked”, I’m certain I recently read that Mittens included Bork in his new advisory team. Just an example of who will have the ear of the next president should President Obama lose.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    @Chyron HR:

    but palin is ‘undefeated’. right?

  33. 33
    Samara Morgan says:

    @danimal:

    Isn’t there any kind of market for intelligent, straight news reporting.

    no.
    we only have market-based reporting in Murrica. Half the country will not pay for intelligent straight news reporting– Team Reaver will only pay for lies and spin.

  34. 34
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’ve read this transcript twice I don’t see how LR comes off badly. Sure he’s a legacy and symbol of what’s wrong with Washington, but he reports what is Dylan is also reporting, that Congress considers the trade bills job creating. No, at the Capitol they don’t call it the “hey let’s give North Korea a nuke plan” that’s part of the point Ratigan is making. Russert is Ratigan’s straight man here. Maybe they’re bad deals, but that’s nothing to do with Luke Russert.

    And Ratigan is smiling the whole time too.

  35. 35
    kdaug says:

    @danimal:

    Isn’t there any kind of market for intelligent, straight news reporting

    Ever seen the ratings for PBS Newshour? Short answer – no market.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    Here is a link to a good plain English analysis of globalization and recent US (and high income developed world) trade policies and agreements. You can read or listen.

    Edit: by Joseph Stiglitz

    Cole should read it. But looks like he is in one his public minded outrage days, and probably has already closeted himself in complete despair about everything and get smashed to sample a few drops of fine single malt kerosene whiskey.

    February 18, 2007

    MBA Podcast: Making Globalisation Work
    Joseph Stiglitz, the Columbia University professor and Nobel Prize-winning economist, talks about globalisation’s role in growing inequalities

    http://business.timesonline.co.....038;page=1

  37. 37
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @chopper:
    Palin is undefeaterated.

  38. 38
    Samara Morgan says:

    Team Reaver will only pay for lies and spin….that conform to their white (NHC) consrvative christian nativist world view…a la FOXnews.

  39. 39
    normal liberal says:

    @Culture of Truth: Ratigan is smiling because he has Lil’ Luke squirming live on air, and is having fun with it.

    I often punish myself with “Morning Joe,” and when Ratigan pops up there he pulls the same routine. He’s part of the machine, but exhibits glimpses of self-awareness.

  40. 40
    jl says:

    Link to Stiglitz’ to articles and op eds section of his home page, with links to articles on globalization, free trade, and US trade policy.

    Look for articles under ‘Globalization’ and also look for relevant items in the headings further down on the page. Very useful to read before you expose yourself to usual CW US press and media coverage.

    Articles and Op-Eds by Prof. Stiglitz

    http://www2.gsb.columbia.edu/f.....ticles.cfm

  41. 41
    Cat Lady says:

    @danimal:

    There’s absolutely nothing on TV, but the difference between McClatchy’s DC bureau’s ledes and the Fishwrap’s on the same subjects is shocking.

  42. 42
    Mark S. says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I agree. I can’t believe I’m defending Luke Russert, but he was laughing in surprise to Ratigan’s loaded questions; he wasn’t laughing at North Korean slaves or whatever.

    Edited a bit for clarity.

  43. 43
    Culture of Truth says:

    @normal liberal: So LR squirming, or laughing? Is he wrong for putting on a serious face, or wrong for his peevish face? Except for the Columbia remark nothing he actually said is objectionable. And if people are enslaved and dying why does Ratigan think it’s funny? Can anyone watch that and conclude LR is “Laughing at the idea of slaves and dead workers?”

  44. 44
    Samara Morgan says:

    @kdaug: its the invisible hand in action.

  45. 45
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @pamelabrown:

    L’il Luke Russert’s mistake was going on that faux populist Ratigan’s show.

    …Luke somehow overcomes those kinds of mistakes every other week when his grotesquely oversized paycheck gets deposited in his bank account. I’m assuming he lacks the self-awareness to get what was truly worth laughing about in that clip.

  46. 46
    normal liberal says:

    @Culture of Truth: I don’t see a “serious” face on Russert – I see an unprepared, ignorant, entitlement-soaked little putz laughing inappropriately because he lacks the sense and the professionalism to control his own face when he’s getting schooled in public. If he’d controlled himself for ninety seconds, he could have turned this childish little encounter against Ratigan, but he simply doesn’t know how to do that.

    As soon as that segment ended, Russert started looking for a old fraternity brother who could find Ratigan’s car and shove a potato up the tailpipe.

  47. 47
    Martin says:

    These trade deals have the potential to be job creating if Congress would fix the fucking corporate tax structure. The trade deals are helping to drive revenues and profits, but those profits aren’t coming back home. That’s what needs to be fixed.

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @danimal:

    Isn’t there any kind of market for intelligent, straight news reporting. I don’t need a liberal Fox News, I just need a straight reporting of the news, in depth, with intelligence, and without a lot of filters. You know, someone to fill the void left by CNN before it went to hell.

    Al-Jazeera is now on cable in NYC. I thought I read their ratings were good, but can’t find anything on that with a cursory google search.

  49. 49
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @danimal:

    Isn’t there any kind of market for intelligent, straight news reporting. I don’t need a liberal Fox News, I just need a straight reporting of the news, in depth, with intelligence, and without a lot of filters. You know, someone to fill the void left by CNN before it went to hell.

    I don’t get why CNN doesn’t fill the void left by CNN before it went to hell. I guess half-assing your way to third place beats trying something different. Now we’ve got the right-wing propaganda network, the attempting-to-get-off-the-ground left-wing network, the conservative-in-the-morning-and-liberal-in-the-evening-and-puking-on-ourselves-all-day network, and the Village of the Damned. Why doesn’t the Village try going back to being a news network?

  50. 50
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    So LR squirming, or laughing? Is he wrong for putting on a serious face, or wrong for his peevish face? Except for the Columbia remark nothing he actually said is objectionable. And if people are enslaved and dying why does Ratigan think it’s funny? Can anyone watch that and conclude LR is “Laughing at the idea of slaves and dead workers?”

    The whole thing is objectionable on both sides, and frankly both of them are laughing at the slaves and dead workers bit. Ratigan wants you to think he Really Cares about the plight of American manufacturing and those poor North Korean slaves and Colombian union organizers, but here he uses the whole thing to play “Who’s on First?” with the network’s Big Russ Memorial Vanity Project. Fuck them both.

  51. 51
    JenJen says:

    @Violet: True story: a few days after the Inauguration, a dentist friend of mine noticed some anecdotal evidence that Chuck Todd was about to go full-on Villager: He was suddenly wearing Invisaligns. ;-)

  52. 52
    Violet says:

    @JenJen:
    Ha! Hilarious. He must be using R0gaine or doing some hair plug stuff too. He’s got more and thicker hair now than he did during the 2008 election season.

  53. 53
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Southern Beale: For an off-topic comment, this is weirdly on-topic.

  54. 54
    Kane says:

    The place for politics.

    Lean forward~

  55. 55
    Paul in KY says:

    @Samara Morgan: I think he was being sarcastic ;-)

  56. 56
    b-psycho says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    if people are enslaved and dying why does Ratigan think it’s funny?

    I think he was more laughing at the absurdity of policy leading to that kind of shit a) being uncritically referred to as “free trade” and b) drawing a blank from someone whose job is supposed to be reporting about policy discussions.

    Think “I laugh so I don’t cry”.

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan:
    @Samara Morgan:

    You don’t process snark or sarcasm or satire, do you?

  58. 58
    TuiMel says:

    @Alex S.:

    Luke doesn’t have Big Daddy around to protect him.

    Oh, contraire. The Ghost of Tim Russert hovers all that goes on in at NBC and MSNBC when it comes to political reporting. They invoke his name continuously. Luke is a mascot to them. He will always have some sort of place. Ratigan will probably sit alone in the cafeteria from here on out. That’s the best he can hope for. He embarrassed the mascot son of the exulted Tim Russert.

  59. 59
    Paul in KY says:

    @Southern Beale: Thanks for sharing that!

  60. 60
    Lydgate says:

    @Citizen Alan: Interesting. Thanks for the lesson. I did not know the origins of the word, but everything you say makes sense.
    I had not heard anything about these trade agreements although they seem like just the sort of thing to have bipartisan consensus.
    Profound dickishness from lil russert.

  61. 61
    danimal says:

    @fasteddie9318: I don’t know either, but it is a shame. Village of the Damned, indeed.

    CNN’s problems are all self-inflicted. For example, after Larry King retired, they could have gone a number of ways. Instead, they replaced King with the excrable Piers Morgan, doing the same tired old celebrity fluffing that was out of date a decade ago. Arrrrrgggghhhh. And don’t get me started on the mob of overpriced, under-qualified political ‘experts’- half of whom came straight from the Bush admin. Damn them to hell.

  62. 62
    Lydgate says:

    @Citizen Alan: Oh yes, and Lost in the Meritocracy is a fine book. Now that I think about it, it illustrates your point quite well.

  63. 63
    Culture of Truth says:

    @b-psycho: I think that’s right. I looks to me like both are mocking the idea of Congerss actually giving a trade deal a more accurate name. My that’s inappropriate, but it’s not like you’re going to get better from any other establishment journalist in Washington.

    My ‘serious’ face comment was referencing emptywheel here:

    That’s basically what that Panama deal is.
    [Luke finally manages to look serious
    ]

    later

    [finally adopting his serious pundit face]

  64. 64
    Zach says:

    For folks who do watch cable news, has anyone pointed out that in the last 8 days the total stock market index has dropped over 10%? That’s over $1.5 trillion in American equities and $5 trillion in equities across the globe… i.e. a lot more money than we’re trying to save over 10 years.

  65. 65
    JenJen says:

    @Zach: Wheeeeeeeee!! You know what would fix all of this? Some tax cuts. Heh.

  66. 66
    Zach says:

    @JenJen: Actually, yes. Obama should, tomorrow, propose a tax cut that’s at least $500 billion that’s structured like the Making Work Pay cut (so, a couple grand for everyone). It’s the only stimulus that can pass Congress other than, maybe, continuing to extend unemployment benefits. The GOP thinks that tax cuts raise revenue, so proposing them as stimulus will force their hand as they can’t claim deficit worries. Obama’s been pushing Congress behind the scenes to include a larger temporary cut in various deals, but he should go over Congress’s head and make a big deal out of this.

  67. 67
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    I don’t get why CNN doesn’t fill the void left by CNN before it went to hell.

    CNN International does, more or less. It’s got its fair share of global-elite shit about the best airport lounges, golf courses and “Big Fucking Yachts In Association With Something In Dubai” , but the actual news reporting isn’t bad, because if you’re sitting in a hotel lobby or airport lounge in Foreign, you actually want CNN to report the news. If you have a 100+-channel cable/sat package, watch it some time.

    The dumbfuckery of domestic CNN is a very deliberate choice.

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    The dumbfuckery of domestic CNN is a very deliberate choice.

    I’ve wondered who they think their audience is. Fox, very clearly, thinks its audience is crotchety retired men, and it’s evident from not only their news coverage but everything from their advertising to their obvious decision to hire women who can be styled like beauty pageant contestants and “weather girls” from a generation ago. Who is CNN’s daytime audience?

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