In Through The Out Door

Speaking of persecution complexes, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson has decided to leave her gig and write a book before inevitably becoming the next Fox News personality:

CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations, sources familiar with her departure told POLITICO on Monday.

Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.

Bonus fact- she’s also a Jenny McCarthy acolyte and anti-vacc buffoon.

165 replies
  1. 1
    Roger Moore says:

    She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

    Gee, I wonder why that might have been. Perhaps it’s because her employers got massive bad publicity from her most recent effort on 60 Minutes. For some reason, the boss doesn’t like it when you shit all over the company’s reputation.

  2. 2
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias

    CBS yesterday asked Dick Cheney for his opinion on Obama’s foreign policy, and Condi Rice is a paid contributor. Cheney was balanced out by James A Baker, III ( reputedly one of the few people Barbara Bush considers a peer, and not The Help). Then Paul Ryan was invited for discussion of domestic affairs.

  3. 3

    Bonus fact- she’s also a Jenny McCarthy acolyte and anti-vacc buffoon.

    Ubermenschen don’t need no vaccines.

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:
    CBS’s liberal bias is showing in those selections; they’re letting members of the unperson’s administration on air instead of pretending 2001-2008 never existed. If they were truly unbiased, they’d just give Darrell Issa all the airtime he wants to explain about Benghazi.

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist

    Guessing Kissinger didn’t hear his phone ring.

  6. 6
    srv says:

    > two decades

    Hmm, I haven’t had a TV for 8 years, but I have no memory of this woman. Obviously, CBS has kept her muzzled.

  7. 7
    PsiFighter37 says:

    It’s all Dan Rather’s fault

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson has reached an agreement to resign from CBS News ahead of contract, bringing an end to months of hard-fought negotiations,

    Right. So her principles weren’t so strong that she was willing to walk away without appropriate compensation. Show her the money so she can tell you all about her principles.

  9. 9
    jl says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I was almost exposed to the Cheney and Baker interviews where they gave their sage and sound judgments on Obama foreign policy. I ran across the room to turn it off.

    But later I heard some clips of Baker’s performance, which sounded like Grandpa Simpson yelling at clouds, except crankier and more dismayed: These dang kids tiddee, if they’d a jess bombed tha’ damn Syr-eye-A, heck all this dang nonsense wouldn’ a happened.

    That goof Charlie Rose was running that circus. How the heck did he get a gig trying to do real journalism?

  10. 10

    Bonus fact- she’s also a Jenny McCarthy acolyte and anti-vacc buffoon.

    Predictable arcs. Like grinding cast iron with a rotary, the sparks all look the same.


    Show her the money so she can tell you all about her principles.

    Behold the modern conservative. See “predictable arcs” above.

  11. 11
    maya says:

    Is this what’s meant as jumping the Sharyl?

  12. 12
    Roger Moore says:


    So her principles weren’t so strong that she was willing to walk away without appropriate compensation.

    I’m a firm believer that we show our true principles by our actions not our words, and this case is no exception.

  13. 13
    JPL says:

    Obviously, she will make more money at FOX because she’s a blonde but maybe she’s not Stonewalled. There is nothing there. It’s gotta be hard to dig and dig and dig and dig and not find gold.

  14. 14
    RaflW says:

    I don’t want to be guilt of epistemic closure, but as soon as I see a reporter claim that a network has a liberal bias, I know s/he is full of shit.

    The networks are so far up the Village’s ass, it doesn’t even matter if the staffs are “liberal” in their personal lives, they’re in service to a narrative machine that deeply accepts Republican frames for everything.

    Take the whole deficits thing. Non-stop concern-trolling on deficits, even now that they’re a fraction of what they were. Fix the Debt? MSM wet dream, even if it is entirely a pretext to get the GOP’s goal of entitlement slashing.

    Good bye, Ms. Attkisson. Never really knew who you were. I plan to keep it that way.

  15. 15
    hildebrand says:

    @Violet: Bingo. It must be awful not to be able to shake down the real business people for the kind of numbers you know you can get from the Right Wing Wurlitzer – especially because it so much easier to play the martyr from inside the mainstream media. That and the fact that your credibility definitely takes a hit when you share airtime with Caribou Barbi and Hannity.

  16. 16
    Marc says:

    “Sharyl Attkisson.” Why is it that the wingers (or their parents, at least) never know how to spell?

    Never mind–that one answers itself.

  17. 17
    Poopyman says:

    Will the book be published by Regnery?

  18. 18
    WereBear says:

    While I’m no Goldwater fan, he was very firm about keeping the loonies out of the Party.

    And look what’s happened. Used to be Birchers and the like were the guy in the back of the office no one wanted to have lunch with, or the housewife who was handing out flyers at the grocery store… they were not influential and sought Bircherism as a way of having friends.

    Now, you never know where a lunatic will pop up.

  19. 19
    Lee says:

    I would pay handsomely to someone who asks one of the anti-vaccers “You are so completely wrong when it comes to vaccines, why should we believe anything you say?”

  20. 20
    RaflW says:


    That goof Charlie Rose was running that circus. How the heck did he get a gig trying to do real journalism?

    I was part of the Charlie Rose bandwagon until I started to realize that his political analysis guests were all Village cocktail weenie idiots.

    Oh, and according to a 2009 CNN article, Rose has had the Moustache of Understanding at the sacred oaken table 65 times. I’m sure he’s been back several time since then.


  21. 21
    The Dude says:

    Can’t wait to not read her book.

  22. 22
    Fuzzy says:

    Damn, the only eye candy CBS has used for years but hey we all get old.

  23. 23
    raven says:

    Attkisson was born in Florida.[2] Her step-father is an orthopedic surgeon and her brother is an emergency room physician. Attkisson graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1982.[3]

    This speaks volumes!!!!!

  24. 24
    ulee says:

    George Will is now a Fox tool. I shouldn’t be surprised but my father (air force veteran, liberal) who does not suffer fools gladly, always said that Will was a thoughtful conservative. Those days have passed.

  25. 25
    Ash Can says:

    @JPL: I dunno; her hair is a little too dark to be Fox-blonde. Her Fox contract will probably make her bleach her hair and get a boob job.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    Too bad Sharyl Attkisson didn’t join the new Newsmax TV instead. She could have gotten in on the ground floor of the next big thing.

  27. 27
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    It’s Alive!

  28. 28
    ulee says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader: Are you talking about your dick? Sometimes sharing is too much.

  29. 29
    Tommy says:

    I swear I am not making this up …

    As a kid I was flown around the nation. Told I was “off.” Sugested given drugs. My grandfather a rural doctor would hear none of it. I might have been eight. I was told to pound a few cups of coffee before school. No drugs. I recall being asked/forced to do this ….

    Later my brother. He was 11. Had the bone structure of a 5 year old.

    You can not compute the amount of drugs we gave him. HGH. Early 80s. Trial time. Our fridge had an entire shelf of that drug. Two injections a day. Every day. Just a given. I think they stopped at 16. A test case.

    This where my parents didn’t listen to my grandfather (a medical doctor). They listened for him. Not my brother. Things went well for my brother. Just saying.

    Till this day he is my size. Well larger and taller. Things went well but funny, how we are “tested” on.

  30. 30
    Chris says:


    I don’t want to be guilt of epistemic closure, but as soon as I see a reporter claim that a network has a liberal bias, I know s/he is full of shit.


    But “liberal media” is up there with Young Earth Creationism in terms of being a fallacy that a terrifying number of the American people accept unquestioningly.

  31. 31
    Ash Can says:

    “Liberal media” is just right-wing-douchespeak for “doesn’t tell me what I want to hear/won’t let me present my opinions as facts.”

  32. 32
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    She wore a raspberry beret
    The kind you find at a second hand store
    Raspberry beret
    And if it was warm she didn’t wear much more

  33. 33
    GxB says:

    …an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting…

    …and she’s going to FOX?! – talk about out of the frying pan…

    Oh these poor, poor conservatives. So persecuted, so down-trodden… how they pull themselves out from under the huge sacks of money and bear such a cross to the filthy trough of lucre, day in and day out? It is something historians must never let future generations forget.

    In short, don’t let the door hit ya – you box of rocks.

    ETA: Ah, just a book in the works, the Fox stuff is still speculative, I don’t think anyone here will bet against that possibility. As someone says above, boob job and jug of peroxide STAT – either that or get some hipster dark rim glasses and try to sell her as a more “mature” Sippy Cupp.

  34. 34

    I loved the bit about how CBS is not only too liberal, but also too beholden to their corporate sponsors. Yeah, since big conglomerates are widely known to be run by marxists, right? And the people who run them all sleep with Mao’s little red book under their pillows, right? These people don’t bother to try for even a little consistency or logic.

  35. 35
    Anoniminous says:

    Thought working at Fox was a boob’s job.

  36. 36
    Ash Can says:

    Maybe CBS decided it needed to be a little more careful about what kind of crap its newsies spewed on air after seeing its 60 Minutes brand get trashed by that bogus Benghazi report.

  37. 37

    OT: Husband kitteh is vacuuming and Yogi Kitteh is hiding in the cupboard with all my sweaters, he had figured out how to open the door and go in, Now my sweaters are going to be furred.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Anoniminous: It’s a man’s life in the British Dental Association!

  39. 39
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Charlotte decided around 5 am that she needed to wrestle her favorite toy into submission on the bed.

    And we can’t close the door because Keaton knows how to open doors.

  40. 40
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Roger Moore: You forgot about the IRS.

  41. 41
    ulee says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Kittys will rule the world and so must interject puppies to equal the equation.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @efgoldman: Isn’t that Megyn Kelly?

  43. 43

    @Mnemosyne: Boss cat is under the bed now and his tail is sticking out, and my ginger cat is on the bed trying to bat it, unsuccessfully.

  44. 44
    David Koch says:

    Vaccinations have a well known liberal bias.

  45. 45
    Sailor says:

    Who the fuck still thinks Politico has even a modicum of truth?

  46. 46

    She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.

    Of course she is. Let’s see:

    – Evil Liberal conspiracies? Check.
    – Liberal mainstream media making sure everyone goes soft on Obambi? Check.
    – A healthy dose of butthurt and a martyr complex that would make St. Paul say, “Seriously, what is wrong with you?” Check

    She’ll do quite well on the wingnut welfare circuit before settling down into a gig on Fox “News”.

  47. 47
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The kitties took up residence on the shelf in my bedroom closet that holds all the extra soft blankies. I put a nice, soft towel on top of the blankies – problem solved! Everybody’s happy.

  48. 48
    ulee says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: You know who else was under the bed with his tail stick out? Hitler. Watch yourself.

  49. 49
    GxB says:

    @efgoldman: I would argue at best it was dishwater blonde – but I won’t. Especially with someone that pulls off as bad-ass a link as you got there. Seriously, did you have to sacrifice a goat or something to keep WP from barfing on that?

  50. 50
    NotMax says:


    “Eva! Vant to play The Chambermaid and the Bootblack? You can be ze chambermaid zis time!”

  51. 51

    @ulee: Bosscat does have dictatorial tendencies and whiskers and he rules us all with an iron paw.

  52. 52
    dww44 says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The dominant local station in my small city is a CBS affiliate. So, by default, we tended to watch their evening news more than the rest. However, in the last year, they’ve moved noticeably right in terms of what stories they feature and how they place them. I’ve switched and compared to NBC the next channel up and there is a remarkable difference. I decided it may have lots to do with the newshead being a former Fox guy. He probably still is, a Fox guy at heart, i mean.. So, Sharyl Attkinsson is full of it.Just like all those folks still claiming NPR is liberal.

  53. 53
    Mike in NC says:

    @Violet: Separated at birth?

  54. 54
    GxB says:

    @dww44: Starting to see David Koch (Foundation) an awful lot on PBS these days too. Face it, we’re boned.

  55. 55
    Danack says:

    fyi the blog is unreadable on an iphone due to ad shenanigans.

    Clicking on any article leads to being taken to the app store to a page that shows “game of war” which has a homepage of

  56. 56
    ulee says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’m sure he is a pussycat, and that’s what he wants you to believe. Stephen King novel to follow.

  57. 57
    WereBear says:

    @GxB: Face it, we’re boned.

    We would be, if the Internet hadn’t opened a ton of alternatives.

    The conservatives have taken the hill… and we’ve built a mountain behind them.

  58. 58
    🍀 Martin says:


    Obviously, CBS has kept her muzzled.

    Too bad we couldn’t convince the networks to exile all of these idiots to head the Benghazi foreign desk.

  59. 59
    Pogonip says:

    Was anyone able to help Baby Doll, the Plott hound?

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sailor: The same people who think that Tiger Beat is giving you something other than publicist’s copy.

  61. 61
    piratedan says:

    I don’t know if she’s heading for Faux, maybe she has her heart set on that network that Newsmax is setting up? Still, I’m glad that she will finally be able to tell us about this scandal ridden administration that is in power and muzzling all that speak against it……

    While I’m a big Obamabot, have been pleased that from what we’ve been able to see, at least if there is corruption, they’ve been smart enough to keep it on the downlow….

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tommy: Could you please learn how to use a comma?

  63. 63
    Violet says:

    @Corner Stone: If you’re interested, I addressed your Sarah Palin attire question in that thread.

  64. 64
    raven says:

    @Corner Stone: Now, now, there, there.

  65. 65
    ulee says:

    @Corner Stone: He is fine. He’s telling a story. Grammar police, find a cause.

  66. 66
    🍀 Martin says:


    I decided it may have lots to do with the newshead being a former Fox guy.

    Probably not. Probably has more to do with the reality of TV.:

    In the last 20 years, the median age of Americans has increased from 34 to 37. The median age of broadcast TV viewers has increased from 41 to 54. Not a three-year jump, but a 13-year jump.

    And therein lies the existential challenge for CBS, NBC, FOX, and ABC: How do you persuade advertisers to spend more on an audience that’s so obviously graying faster than an already-graying country? You sell them on the purchasing power of senior citizens, I guess. In the 1993-94 broadcast season, Home Improvement was the most-watched show, with a median viewer of 34, Commercial Appeal reports. Today, it’s NCIS, with a median viewer who is 61.

    So, if your average viewer is now AARP eligible, and your average news viewer is likely drawing Social Security, are you going to put on Rachel Maddow or Bill O’Reilly in order to draw share and ad dollars?

    Everyone needs to face it: TV is for olds now. Period. End of story. And Benghazi and conspiracies about the IRS and the brown menace sell to olds. The average white American is 41, and as you go up in age, whites take an increasing share of the population. The average latino age is 27. So not only is TV for olds, it’s increasingly for whites by extension. TV viewers are not representative of the population as a whole.

    Fox is just appealing to the audience. So are the local channels.

  67. 67
    Corner Stone says:

    @efgoldman: I’d suggest caution, if I were you. Omnes is quite particular about conservation of commas.

  68. 68
    eemom says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Rain sounds so cool when it hits the barn roof, and the horses wonder who you are.

    I do lovez me some Prince lyrics.

  69. 69
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    Naah, it’s, more, fun, to, piss, you, off.

    Works, for, me.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven: I think your reply would make better use of periods.
    Where’s Steeplejack when we need him?!

  71. 71
    gnomedad says:

    To paraphrase Rushbo, the purpose of conservatism is to give fact-challenged people access to the mainstream.

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @🍀 Martin: The average white American is 41

    I’m above average! At last!

    @eemom: I had a friend in high school who sincerely believed Purple Rain was a cinematic masterpiece. I vaguely wonder whatever happened to him.

  73. 73
    ulee says:

    @Corner Stone: Hold on Yoko, Yoko hold on, it’s gonna be alright.

  74. 74
    Baud says:

    L,ea,ve C,,o,r,n,or,,, S,,,ton,e, Al,,,,one.

  75. 75
    Corner Stone says:

    @Violet: A reasonable critique, I guess. Thanks

  76. 76
    raven says:

    @Baud: The Wanderers!

  77. 77
    Cassidy says:

    @Baud: At least Tommy knows how to use paragraphs. He could of just made each one a new comment.

  78. 78
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: He is now a nurse in Marin County with a year old kid. Wait, that is a guy I was friends with in high school. (Note: we had graduated from high school before Purple Rain came out.)

    ETA: I had to use parentheses because you fuckers used up all the commas. Except Tommy.

  79. 79
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Republican Learns Obamacare Won’t Kill Her After All, Refuses To Believe It
    ….When advised of the details of her Blues’ plan, Boonstra said the idea that it would be cheaper “can’t be true.”
    “I personally do not believe that,” Boonstra said.

    She’ll save a thousand dollars a year, and she’s the public face of the Michigan GOP senate candidate to replace Carl Levin

  80. 80
    Amir Khalid says:

    From Wolverhampton, or from Bolton?

  81. 81
    mk3872 says:

    Does anyone remember the good times that were had when she claimed Obama was spying on her via her laptop? Can’t wait to read he book about how oppressed she was by the Obama admin!

  82. 82
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    @The Dude:

    Can’t wait to not read her book.

    Just be patient. You’ll be able to not buy it for $2.99 in the cutout bins about two weeks after release.

  83. 83
    Amir Khalid says:


    could of

    Oh dear.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Amir Khalid: Don’t let’s start.

  86. 86
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s what I thought when the dude dissed your law school. You let him off easy.

  87. 87
    Cassidy says:

    @Amir Khalid: I don’t pretend to be a grammar nazi. :)

  88. 88
    raven says:

    Richard Engel knows his shit!

  89. 89
    kindness says:

    She isn’t going to Fox….yet. No one has signed this Special Person.

    Any here ever read Jesus’ General? His Amazon reviews (posted at amazon) are exactly what mz sharyl’s new book needs when it comes out. We should get a sign up sheet going.

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Saturday night’s alright for fighting. Today being Monday, I didn’t feel the urge.

  91. 91
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din.

  92. 92
    Cassidy says:

    @raven: I don’t think nice ever “dissed” anyone’s law school.

  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @raven: Eh, I am going to go watch the Sea Hawk and then get some sleep.

  94. 94
    Cassidy says:

    @Cassidy: think I’ve ever….

  95. 95
    Baud says:


    He’s no Sharyl Attkisson.

  96. 96
    Violet says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I love that everyone is getting in on the debunking of the claims by these folks the wingnuts haul out to say how terrible Obamacare is. Good job, Detroit News!

    It’s like a game. An ad goes up, or someone whines in the newspaper and pretty soon everyone’s all over it. Who’s this person? What’s their story? Oh, look, here’s this plan and that plan and this other plan that are all cheaper and provide better coverage! Check back with the person in question, who then says they “don’t believe it” or they “refuse to use that Obamacare” or something equally as idiotic. And the average person gets to follow along.

    It’s chipping away at the claim that “Obamacare” is terrible and doesn’t provide coverage. Time and time again the claims are proven false and little by little people wonder if maybe they can save a bit of money and get better coverage. Suck it, wingnuts.

  97. 97
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Cassidy: @Cassidy: Wasn’t you. It was something in a different, earlier thread.

  98. 98
    raven says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Straight to the rack here.

  99. 99
  100. 100
    ulee says:

    It’s not commas that I hate. It’s colons and semi-colons; I am so angry about the whole situation. Breathe in and breathe out, the bastards.

  101. 101
    Violet says:

    @efgoldman: He’s still on Twitter:

    I just got some sort of virus warning when I reloaded the page. From a google ad or something.

  102. 102
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    A reasonable critique, I guess. Thanks

    Holy shit, guess I have been gone a long time….appears I missed an entire personality transplant.

  103. 103
    ulee says:

    “you’re gonna need a bigger boat.” AMC Jaws.

  104. 104
    burnspbesq says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Could you please learn how to use a comma?

    What’s up with the punctuation fetish? we’re not programming in COBOL here.

  105. 105
    Violet says:

    @efgoldman: You can just follow along on Twitter without having to join. Just leave it open in a tab if you want. Or, get an account and just follow those you’re interested in. No need to tweet anything yourself.

  106. 106

    @burnspbesq: Do people still program in COBOL?

  107. 107
    ulee says:

    cornerstone will have on his tombsone–complained about commas (comma) loves commas.

  108. 108
    mclaren says:

    Guess the stonewalling on Obama’s FEMA concentration camps just got too much for her. It’s a liberal kristallnacht, folks, but those deluded media execs just can’t seem to see it.

    Fortunately she’s got the inside scoop on Obama’s education at the Soviet Patrice Lumumba University ready to go as soon as she moves to Faux News…

  109. 109
    🍀 Martin says:

    @efgoldman: My employer just hired a COBOL programmer to continue our remarkably inept migration efforts. There’s still work out there.

  110. 110
    mclaren says:


    Get a clue. 90% of the world’s financial software is STILL written in trillions of lines of COBOL legacy code. There’s so much of the stuff and it’s so mission-critical it’ll never be replaced.


  111. 111
    gnomedad says:

    When will the Tea Party demand COBOL education? Those were the days.

  112. 112
    mclaren says:


    This from the shit-for-brains tax avoidance lawyer who can’t figure out how to use the English language.

    Burnsie’s classic “from whence does it come…” blunder still produces laughter.

    Fume about how we all misunderestimate you, burnspbesq. You’re to the legal profession what Dan Quayle was to the vice presidency.

  113. 113

    @🍀 Martin: Using punch cards, no doubt, or is it tape?

  114. 114
    mclaren says:


    You, on the other hand, remain just as vicious and thuggish as we all remember.

    If a rattlesnake bit you, eemom, there’d be a big funeral, and after people said some mournful words over the snake’s grave, life would go on.

  115. 115
    🍀 Martin says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Sad to say, but the last OMR punch card reader was just retired about 5 years ago, but not for code.

    The hardware is all (relatively) modern. It’s a lot of legacy systems that we’ve struggled to replace. COBOL is definitely holding us back, and the efforts to go with vendors has been a disaster. There’s an aversion to doing it in-house that is more political than anything else.

  116. 116
    ulee says:

    @mclaren: There are no concentration camps, moron. Why are you so purposely stupid?

  117. 117
    🍀 Martin says:


    with the object being eventually eliminating direct mainframe use altogether.

    That has been a vastly more elusive goal than many people realize. The truth it that system virtualization has gotten good and cheap enough to make the need to rewrite a lot less compelling.

    For our stuff, the backend business processing is a lot of COBOL, but the frontend stuff is all pretty modern web. The two systems really don’t interact very much, but backend processing is your policy, and if you want to change your policy, you need to change that code, and that’s been the real cost. In terms of policy, we’re stuck in the 90s.

  118. 118
    danielx says:


    COBOL was for lib wussies. Real men took FORTRAN (and wanted to go to Tehran, too).

  119. 119
    mclaren says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Neither. The back end of almost all business accounting systems is so deeply embedded in legacy COBOL code there’s no way to rewrite it without breaking the whole financial system.

    People tend not to realize that writing new code doesn’t fix the bugs — it just creates new ones no one knows anything about. The old bugs may prove troublesome, but at least they’ve been documented and sort-of dealt with by kludges and workarounds.

    That spiffy new pop-up clickable PayPal API that can hook into your bank account and transfer money twixt your bank account and your PayPal account?

    Yeah, it ultimately leads to some legacy COBOL code deep in the guts of the bank’s accounting software that some guy wrote in the 1960s.

    Half of all efforts to upgrade large software systems get abandoned. Rewriting legacy code just isn’t practical beyond a certain scale.

    Take a look at the IEEE article “Why software fails” if you want an education.

    Beyond a certain large enough scale, all systems become incomprehensible and unpredictable and consequently unfixable. Kirkpatrick Sale’s classic book “Human Scale” deals with this. The ultimate example was a minor software change to one switch in 2003 that wound up propagating into a nationwide power blackout.

    The blackout’s primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at a control room of the FirstEnergy Corporation in the American state of Ohio. Operators were unaware of the need to re-distribute power after overloaded transmission lines hit unpruned foliage. What would have been a manageable local blackout cascaded into widespread distress on the electric grid.

    Source: Wikipedia article on “Northeast Blackout of 2003”

  120. 120
    mclaren says:


    Sarcasm-challenged, are we?

    My oh my oh my oh my…

  121. 121
    Cassidy says:

    @mclaren: @mclaren: @mclaren: You either need to find someone and play with the genitals of your choice or smoke a fucking bowl. Possibly both.

  122. 122
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    If a rattlesnake bit you, eemom, there’d be a big funeral, and after people said some mournful words over the snake’s grave, life would go on.

    Gotta say, I’m a little jealous.

  123. 123
    mclaren says:


    Heavens no. REAL men cut their teeth on machine code.

    Linked directly to the hardware, naturally.

    I once encountered a machine coder who had worked on a Sperry Rand computer that used the old magnetic drum memory. No one could figure out how he got databases to read out from the magnetic drum so fast. Turned out he had figured out how fast the drum rotated and hard-coded it into his machine code (not assembler code, machine code, written in octal) so that each record length was accessed after a delay precisely equal to one drum memory rotation.

    That’s the kind of code-fu people used to have. Nowadays, your typical web coder can’t even figure out how to get a webpage to display properly without A SCRIPT ON THIS PAGE HAS STOPPED RESPONDING errors.

  124. 124
    ulee says:

    @mclaren: You call to mind Adam Lanza. Lots of words and no sense. I hope you don’t own a gun.

  125. 125
    mclaren says:


    Sleep it off, kiddo. You’ll be coherent in the morning.

  126. 126
    🍀 Martin says:


    there’s no way to rewrite it without breaking the whole financial system.

    That’s complete bullshit. The code isn’t being rewritten because there’s no economic case for doing so. It’s running, the dependence on hardware is now severed, and hiring COBOL programmers to keep it running is cheap compared to rewriting it.

    I have a close relative consulting on a large COBOL migration (not on the COBOL side) because the code proved to difficult to implement a new major business initiative, so they finally decided to rewrite. They just didn’t have a reason until now.

  127. 127
    ulee says:

    @mclaren: Yeah, right. You are lost in words and lacking in empathy. You are a scary person.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @ulee: Nothing good ever came from a fight with mclaren.

  129. 129
    drkrick says:

    OT, but when I enter the BJ site on my Android phone, I get a pop up inviting me to clean my phone with “Clean Master.” The pop up looks more than a system message than an ad and I only see it here. If someone isn’t paying to serve it up here you ought to check into it.

  130. 130
    ulee says:

    Watergirl, you’re right. I just dislike these wannabes.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    @ulee: Bad energy, none of us need it.

  132. 132
    Corner Stone says:

    @🍀 Martin: You’re like the vampire squid of commenters. Nothing is beyond your reach.

  133. 133
    Sandra says:

    Yeah, I remember when all those reporters were getting hassled for “agenda reporting” when they kept going after Bush. Oh wait…

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:


    Bad energy, none of us need it.

    You shouldn’t be so harsh on ulee.

  135. 135
    🍀 Martin says:

    @Corner Stone: If you know anything at all about programming then her claim is obviously absurd. If you can’t rewrite the code without armageddon, then you can’t change it either. You can’t expand it, you can’t adapt it to new policies and procedures or new technology, you can’t do anything with it.

    Obviously that cannot be true. Now, it might be hard or expensive or unnecessary, but it cannot be impossible.

    Do I need to fax you my programming credenza?

  136. 136
    Corner Stone says:

    @🍀 Martin: Send it to Cole. He lives for those faxed credenzas.
    Well, those and bearded men from a troubled past who appreciate being waited on.

  137. 137
    ulee says:

    This is why I like Cole. He doesn’t ban ugly characters like McAdamLanza. He lets them ramble and strangle by their own design.

  138. 138
    Botsplainer says:


    Sleep it off, kiddo. You’ll be coherent in the morning.

    And you can be fresh as a daisy, yet still a babbling idiot.

  139. 139
    ulee says:

    @Corner Stone: you tell it babe.

  140. 140
    Corner Stone says:

    @🍀 Martin: Change and expansion do not equal a rewrite.

  141. 141
    Corner Stone says:

    @ulee: I’m sorry WaterGirl was so insensitive. She probably did not mean to harsh your roll, but you do seem a singularly unappreciated character.

  142. 142
    Violet says:

    @drkrick: I got the same thing when I accidentally hit the “switch to Desktop version” link on the mobile site. That was a few days ago. Today I accidentally hit that link again and got the same message. Don’t get it on the Mobile version.

    As I said above, I did get a virus message from my antivirus program when I reloaded the page here. It seemed to be a google link and I figured it was a problem with one of the ads.

  143. 143
    ulee says:

    @Corner Stone: try again. I feel like I’m debating Paul Ryan. You can do better.

  144. 144
    chopper says:

    Real men program in Brainfuck.

  145. 145
    chopper says:


    No, actually, he can’t.

  146. 146
    Corner Stone says:

    @ulee: If you need to take your pain out on someone, I can understand that. Obviously, you’re a very troubled soul.
    Good luck to you, and good speed.

  147. 147
    dww44 says:

    @🍀 Martin: I guess then that the SO and I are among those oldies, although it drives the SO crazy that all the ads on the evening news are for Viagra or some other drug typically used by seniors. Amazing how many of them are sex-related, though.

    I still believe that the broadcast networks have gotten more conservative and not more liberal and not just because their viewers are so much older. but also because the conservative world has perfected the art of “screaming louder” with more far reaching results. This is a scenario also playing out on the editorial pages of my local newspaper. Screaming loudly and nonsensically seems to work for them. Trying to counter their memes with factual thought doesn’t seem to have any pay-off..

  148. 148
    joel hanes says:


    [ alludes to the Amazon reviews written by Gen. JC Christian, patriot ]

    Like this one ?

    And that one ?

    Yes. Masterpieces of the form.

  149. 149
    ulee says:

    @Corner Stone: Thanks for your message of good speed. Now go home and get your shinebox.

  150. 150
  151. 151
    Ian says:

    Except copious quantities of pie.

  152. 152
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @chopper: Yowza. Long time since I’ve thought about that.

  153. 153
    eemom says:


    Now go home and get your shinebox.


    Awesome, sir. Most awesome indeed.

  154. 154
    ulee says:

    @eemom: yes, Goodfellas.
    And a line could not be delivered to a more deserved character.

  155. 155
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Assembly language, pilgrim.

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    @ulee: What is interesting is you apparently have no idea what really, in real life, happened to the tough guy persona you’re trying to portray.
    Good luck to you, and God bless your poor heart.

  157. 157
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    This is the worst part. Could believe for all the world that you are my precious little girl, but-

    Somebody had to. I’m disappointed it was me.

  158. 158
    sm*t cl*de says:

    No one could figure out how he got databases to read out from the magnetic drum so fast.

    Cool story, bro, taken from Appendix A of the Hackers Handbook.

  159. 159
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @mclaren: Assembly code is machine code is assembly code. There is no distinction. Assemblers do very little beyond replace mnemonics with opcodes and compute branch offsets. If your guy wrote this directly in octal he was either showing off, or he didn’t have access to an assembler.

  160. 160
    WaterGirl says:

    @Corner Stone: Not sure if that was humor or not. Just in case it wasn’t – my bad energy comment was in reference to mclaren, not ulee.

  161. 161
    WaterGirl says:

    @ulee: I’m pretty sure you know my bad energy comment was directed toward mclaren, right?

    I think Corner Stone is just messing with me, but I wanted to clarify just in case.

  162. 162
    Joey Giraud says:


    You’re describing
    The Story of Mel, a Real Programmer

    ( like @sm*t cl*de: said :) )

  163. 163
    BrianM says:

    @Joey Giraud: To be fair, Mel (who was apparently a real person) was far from the only one to take advantage of rotational latency. People did crazy things in those days. Last year at Strange Loop, Guy Steele (pbuh) described what he did to squeeze a boot loader onto a single punched card. And I once had occasion to look at the PDP-1 assembly language source of Peter Deutsch’s 1959 Lisp interpreter. Crazy stuff.

    Me, I prefer today.

  164. 164
    Joey Giraud says:


    Yeah, heroic feats of one-off cleverness don’t make for long-term sanity, eh?

    I wish a half-dozen self-considered geniuses I know could absorb that lesson.

    Still, I should be forgiven for suspecting that an online blowhard’s boast of coding/hacking a drum memory is just a Palin-style plagerization of the Story of Mel.

  165. 165
    Cervantes says:


    Mel (who was apparently a real person)

    Mel Kaye.

    He used to work for Librascope (which is now part of Lockheed Martin).

Comments are closed.