Warren Says NOPE to Fox News Town Hall

Good for her:

I get why Democratic presidential primary candidates appear on Fox: It burnishes their bipartisan bona fides and can generate a lot of positive press from a Beltway media that is determined to uphold Fox News’ legitimacy as a “sister organization,” as Jake Tapper once called it.

But while preening hacks like Tapper may coo over the alleged bravery of Dems who appear on the TrumpCo propaganda outlet, in my book, Warren’s is the more courageous approach. She’s standing up for something more important than a momentary bump in the polls or both-sidesy hack approval; she’s standing up for the truth, which is that Fox News is a white grievance/racism distribution network that has done incalculable damage to America. Warren, quoted in HuffPo:

“A Democratic town hall gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors it’s safe to buy ads on Fox ― no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: it’s not),” she said. “I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates ― especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers.”

So far, Sanders and Klobuchar have done a Fox News town hall, and Gillibrand and Buttigieg have scheduled one. Castro is said to be “in the process of scheduling one,” and Booker, O’Rourke and Harris are considering it.

Again, it might work out for those individual candidates as a campaign strategy, but appearing on Fox News undermines the larger and ongoing project of documenting the network’s relentless bias and discrediting it as a legitimate news source outside wingnut circles. People like Jane Mayer have done great work to that end, and when Democratic presidential candidates appear on Fox News, they undermine that work. That’s not brave. It’s selfish.








Late Night Culinary Horrorshow Open Thread: Nope, Not A Taco


 
Apparently some half-bright assignment editor at the NYTimes is looking to replicate the 2015 ‘put peas in your guacamole’ wars — hey, clicks are clicks!

I believe potatoes are the true staff of life, and that broccoli is a cruelly misunderstood vegetable. But you can’t wrap them in a tortilla and pass the result off as a “taco”, because there are limits, people. I mean, I can remember the 1970s, when the college cafeteria tried to pass off a cheese-free version of ‘Johnny Marzetti‘ as ‘an Italian favorite’ — we’re supposed to have made culinary progress since then!

(P.S. Yes, a version of that casserole was a staple of my Bronx childhood, but we knew it was related to ‘Italian food’ only in the sense that I am related to Serena Williams. Also, we grade-school coastal elitists knew it by the name ‘Highway Fatality Cleanup’, which gave it at least some rhetorical spice… )








Thursday Evening Open Thread: ‘Dumb’ vs. ‘Willfully Ignorant’

I first read Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi when I was 9 or 10 (my English-teacher mother gave me a copy when I told her Tom Sawyer was a terrible book, and I was having doubts about Twain’s literary stature). That book made explicit one of the great ‘secrets’ of American life: There’s a considerable percentage of our fellow citizens who genuinely admire con artists, thugs, and those who ‘know how to get what they want, whatever it takes.’

The number of such secret fellow-felons has certainly grown no less, here in our second Gilded Age. It’s not necessarily that all Trump voters are stupid (although many of them *are* plenty stupid; look at the Fox talking heads!), but they choose to insist on being ignorant enough to believe the crap Fox / Trump / the entire GOP ladles into their gaping maws…

As another great American artist once said, You can’t cheat an honest man…


Read more








Late Night Creepshow Open Thread: Nobody “Needs” Mark Halperin

… except for a handful of his fellow Media Village Idiots, and the Pale Male Oligarchs who enjoy his very special attentions.

But they have money! So — bygones?

NO.



Creeping Authoritarianism Watch

Authoritarian kleptocracies typically maintain a democratic facade, but the strongman and his cronies ensure that institutions ostensibly created to represent the people serve the regime instead. I’ve always thought Trump, a Dollar Store-brand Putin wannabe, is too dumb and incompetent to completely subvert our democracy to the extent more capable autocrats have achieved. But recent developments leave me less confident about the saving grace of stupidity and ineptitude.

Barr’s disgraceful handling of the Mueller report and assertions during his audition for the AG gig that the president is above the law are one example of creeping authoritarianism. But Barr’s willingness to abuse his office to eliminate Trump’s enemies is equally alarming because it’s not about covering up past misdeeds; it’s about eliminating political opposition in the future. Read more