Archive for the ‘Blogs vs. MSM’ Category

Cut This Story!

Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

So one of the reasons that blogs are supplanting newspapers in the role of telling the public what’s going wrong, perhaps the strongest reason, is that they enjoy a certain freedom with format?

It’s an interesting thought.

ne reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long. On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news. Newspaper writers are not to blame. These conventions are traditional, even mandatory.

Take, for example, the lead story in The New York Times on Sunday, November 8, 2009, headlined “Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House.” There is nothing special about this article. November 8 is just the day I happened to need an example for this column. And there it was. The 1,456-word report begins:

Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday night, advancing legislation that Democrats said could stand as their defining social policy achievement.

Fewer than half the words in this opening sentence are devoted to saying what happened. If someone saw you reading the paper and asked, “So what’s going on?,” you would not likely begin by saying that President Obama had won a hard-fought victory. You would say, “The House passed health-care reform last night.” And maybe, “It was a close vote.” And just possibly, “There was a kerfuffle about abortion.” You would not likely refer to “a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system,” as if your friend was unaware that health-care reform was going on. Nor would you feel the need to inform your friend first thing that unnamed Democrats were bragging about what a big deal this is—an unsurprising development if ever there was one.

How to Cover Obama’s Double-Homicide

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

John Hawkins printed up a list of the Top 40 Quotes From 2009, and we got a trackback out of it because we came up with #11. For grins, we decided to skim through it top to bottom, and we realized we completely missed out on this eight-month-old Onion article.

Sadly, it remains just as relevant today as it was then.

Media Having Trouble Finding Right Angle On Obama’s Double-Homicide

More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.

“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”

Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”

Since the killings took place, reporters across the country have struggled to come up with an appropriate take on the ruthless crime, with some wondering whether it warrants front-page coverage, and others questioning its relevance in a fast-changing media landscape.

“What exactly is the news hook here?” asked Rick Kaplan, executive producer of the CBS Evening News. “Is this an upbeat human-interest story about a ‘day in the life’ of a bloodthirsty president who likes to kill people? Or is it more of an examination of how Obama’s unusual upbringing in Hawaii helped to shape the way he would one day viciously butcher two helpless citizens in their own home?”

“Or maybe the story is just that murder is cool now,” Kaplan continued. “I don’t know. There are a million different angles on this one.”

So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner.

Since this one was printed up, the Obama administration has specifically fingered Fox News as “not a real news organization.” The Onion piece reports — prophesies — why this might be. Some bit of fact emerges that is unflattering to the administration, and Fox News comes out and actually reports it. I mean, hey, what in the world is up with that? What responsible news organization would do such a thing?

Memo For File CVI

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

I am so glad I begin every day by clicking open American Digest, as opposed to plucking the paper “digest” off my front porch. Thomas Jefferson said “The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers” and I wish I knew how exactly our third President arrived at this — only because it must be a great story. I have no choice but to agree; so I’m going to do what I wish he did. I’m going to put down in writing exactly why I think what he came to think. Which means: I’m going to write down today, why I agree with Jefferson today.

Gerard has a couple of good ones this morning: Jennifer Rubin’s inventory of what exactly is in the health care bill as it’s being debated right now; and Zombie’s twenty-two reasons why the very concept should be repugnant and deeply offensive to all of us, and rejected in any form whatsoever.

Rubin:

Really, what’s left after they take out the public option and the Medicare buy-in? A GOP leadership aide put it this way: “$500 billion in Medicare cuts, $400 billion in tax increases, raises premiums, raises costs, onerous regulations, individual mandates, employer mandate, and expensive subsidies.” So what’s not to like? Well, just about everything. Perhaps, in a moment of clarity, everyone will go home, think this through clearly, and come back with a list of a few discrete reforms that will have bipartisan support. Then they can declare victory. Makes too much sense. Instead the Democratic leadership seems hell-bent on coming up with the umpteenth version of ObamaCare no matter how unpopular it may be with the public and making vulnerable members walk the plank. Seems crazy, huh? It is.

ZombieTime:

What I don’t like about the very concept of universal health care is that it compels me to become my brother’s keeper and insert myself into the moral decisions of his life. I’d rather grant each person maximum freedom. I’d prefer to let people make whatever choices they want, however stupid or dangerous I may deem those choices to be. Just so long as you take responsibility for your actions, and you reap the consequences and pay for them yourself — hey, be as foolish or hedonistic or selfish or thoughtless as you like. Not my business.

But if the bill for your foolishness shows up in the form of higher taxes on me, then I unwillingly start to care what you do. And, trust me on this, you don’t want me turning my heartless judgmental eye on your foolish lifestyle. Because I’d have no qualms criticizing half the stuff you do.

Do you want that? No. Do I want that? No. And that’s the point. Instituting a single-payer universal health-care system, or even a watered-down version as the government is now proposing, compels me to become a meddlesome busybody in your personal choices. [emphasis in original]

But the definitive, must-go-to piece on this turdpie of a bill, as of yesterday, is Byron York’s tattle-tale job that was on the innerwebs, and featured on the radios all day long — rightfully so. Maybe you got that out of your newspaper, but I didn’t get it out of mine…and you’ll see in some of the paragraphs below later on, I shouldn’t go looking for it there. You m-u-s-t read this, all the way through, and right now…

[T]he margin of opposition [to this turkey] seems to be growing, not diminishing. And yet Democrats seem determined to defy public opinion. Why?

I put the question to a Democratic strategist who asked to remain anonymous…

You have to look at the issue from three different Democratic perspectives: the House of Representatives, the White House and the Senate.

“In the House, the view of [California Rep. Henry] Waxman and [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi is that we’ve waited two generations to get health care passed, and the 20 or 40 members of Congress who are going to lose their seats as a result are transitional players at best,” he said. “This is something the party has wanted since Franklin Roosevelt.” In this view, losses are just the price of doing something great and historic.

“At the White House, the picture is slightly different,” he continued. “Their view is, ‘We’re all in on this, totally committed, and we don’t have to run for re-election next year. There will never be a better time to do it than now.’”

“And in the Senate, they look at the most vulnerable Democrats — like [Christopher] Dodd and [Majority Leader Harry] Reid — and say those vulnerabilities will probably not change whether health care reform passes or fails. So in that view, if they pass reform, Democrats will lose the same number of seats they were going to lose before.”
:
[H]e compared congressional Democrats with robbers who have passed the point of no return in deciding to hold up a bank. Whatever they do, they’re guilty of something. “They’re in the bank, they’ve got their guns out. They can run outside with no money, or they can stick it out, go through the gunfight, and get away with the money.”

Sacramento Bee, my local paper, has done some things right and some things wrong. Yesterday, they chose to revert to their common form as a hard-left hippy-dippy Pravda snotrag. Do it just like they taught ya in journalism school, class — lead with the tearjerker human interest story, and then round the bend from there into a festering stewpot of statistical bullshit just like we always do…

Insurance cost for small businesses could ride on Congress’ action

L.D. Schmidt is a working man who arrives, in sickness and in health, at his small midtown Sacramento electronics shop to repair audio equipment.

Schmidt lacks health insurance, and hopes that the health care overhaul being debated in Congress will get him affordable coverage without driving up his costs of doing business.

Schmidt’s shop is among the tens of thousands of mom-and-pop firms scattered across America, enterprises whose proprietors often can’t even afford health insurance for themselves, let alone their workers.

“I just have to keep coming back to work, unless I get so sick and just can’t get out of bed,” said Schmidt…His only employee, a 20-year-old who was kicked off his parents’ health plan last year, is paid minimum wage and can’t afford to buy his own health coverage.

About three in 10 of the state’s self-employed don’t have health insurance, and nearly 43 percent of those working in the state’s smallest firms – those that employ fewer than 10 people – are uninsured, according to the annual Health Care Almanac produced by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Nearly two in five of the state’s 7 million uninsured are either self-employed or work for some of California’s smallest companies, the foundation reported.

I don’t like bashing The Bee, and I don’t relish doing it this time. But this is so sad. Can’t get any sadder. Bee Editor Melanie Sill, predictable as a sunrise, is going to bitch some more about the financial problems of the print journalism industry as a whole and SacBee in particular…every…single…weekend. If only the funny-papers were kept in my Sunday edition with all the reliability of the Sill dirges.

And yet all these journalists have dedicated their entire lives to the mind-expanding task of keeping abreast with what’s going on, for a living. Which is supposed to mean all day every day, right? Well what the hell are they doing. Should I even ask what they’re doing. No, I should not. The pattern has been set, and long ago. It is the constant wailing of the left-wing caffeine-infused human-yip-dog stress-puppy. Obviously, for them it comes down to just the latest tome of “Oh dear, we’re waiting for Congress to ACT!! and we are so SCREWED!! if they don’t!!” Can’t you just see the little rat-tail lashing about, neurotically. Every edition that rolls off the press, further blurs the line between reporting and barking.

Go back to Rubin’s piece to see what exactly it is they’re writing about. Do they know? Do they care? I see the lights are on but is anybody home?

Congress’ clear and obvious failing as servants of this republic over which they seek to rule…it doesn’t even merit a mention. And L.D. Schmidt? In the print edition (downstairs, in the passenger seat of my car, as I write this) the story is emblazoned with a 32-point-type quote from the business owner, that thing about “I just have to keep coming back to work, unless I get so sick and just can’t get out of bed,” See, if you look at it through the glass of a news stand, you think he’s got Lymphoma, or Narcolepsy, or Dr. House’s leg cyst that might shoot up into his brain at any second…at least chronic depression? Something. But if you actually read the story you see the guy’s just a worry-wart. Wants absolute, complete security, in the form of free health insurance from the federal government. God only knows what the guy is doing running his own business. Maybe he doesn’t have any choice because Obama’s made hiring so impractical and expensive, he can’t get hold of an income any other way. One thing you can take to the bank: If I ever make it a project to do some profiles on local entrepreneurial spirit and what I admire about these folks, I probably will not spend much time interviewing L. D. Schmidt. I got my start with small businesses. I grew up in a small-business town. I know something about how they live their lives, how they see the world, what they want to do in it, and what they want to get out of the doing.

Complete security, all risk eliminated, safe & secure as if you’re bobbing in amniotic fluid in your momma’s tummy — that doesn’t really have much to do with it.

But the real story here is not Schmidt…who comes off as being much more concerned, moment to moment, with risk than with opportunities, and has a perfect right to go through life this way if that’s his choice…but rather, The Bee. They are a tragedy. They are almost a villain. What the public really needs to know about what is going on, is so spectacularly distant from what they chose to report. If you understand the big picture, you realize you need to be hoping for this disaster to be derailed. By something. By anything. And this has an effect on what kind of news you need to consume. What question is first and foremost on your mind as you begin every day. How are our supposed “representatives” doing in their latest effort to screw us over. Conversely, of course, if you’re ignorant and think it’s all about “how will they take care of us,” that has an effect on what kind of questions you’re asking, as well…

And that, Ms. Sill, is why people are flocking to the innerwebs rather than reading your paper. You can’t blame it all on technology. It’s got to do with mindsets and world views. Your reporters are just plain lazy and incurious, and this has a deleterious effect on the product you’re selling every day. The fact of the matter is, if you read only the newspapers you’re missing quite a lot. Jefferson was — and is — correct. Your job, ultimately, is to prevent that from being the case. Maybe your goal should be to improve on this, do better at it from here-on-out, than you have up until now. That would be my suggestion.

On this horrible legislation itself, and what Congress should do about it? Anchoress nailed it. “GO HOME. Drop what you are doing, right now, and go home. Put the 2000 page healthcare bill that you haven’t read into the trash can as you turn out the lights and head for the airport…give America a break from your freakish certainties, your falsities, frailties and your folly. Turn off your blackberries and stay off the television and try to find whatever scraps of humanity still remain buried beneath the crust of stinking, corrupt ambition you’ve allowed to grow on you.”

These are no longer our servants. They are usurpers. That’s the real story.

Hardball Bigotry

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

These people are nuts. And this stuff they’re peddling — it’s just plain sick. What in the hell is the matter with Chris Matthews? And who in the world is launching these fusillades against Fox News, and ignoring him?

Just have a look at some of this nonsense. And I’m using “nonsense” as a euphemism for something else.

NORAH O`DONNELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT: They have a connection with her, and I think it`s an emotional connection. A lot of the people I spoke with today were unable to articulate exactly why they supported Sarah Palin…But she`s about to arrive any minute, and there`s a stage out front where she`s going to take to that stage and make remarks, almost like a mini-campaign rally.

MATTHEWS: Well, they look like a white crowd to me. Let`s go back to Joan Walsh. Not that there`s anything wrong with it, but it is pretty monochromatic up there.

Joan, no surprise in terms of the ethnic nature of the people showing up. Nothing wrong with that. But it is a fact. Let me go to this intramural — the nastiness — and I want to get back to Norah on this, Norah covered the campaign and — the nastiness of this, the attacks on you might call them the “little people,” Steve Schmidt, Nicolle Wallace, in the campaign. Here`s somebody who was governor of a state taking whacks in a published book, her only book, trashing little people, and at the same time, she`s looking out for little…

Here`s her quote. By the way, here is McCain defending his people. “There`s been a lot of dust flying around in the last few days, and I just wanted to mention that I have the highest regard for Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace and the rest of the team, and I appreciate all the hard work and everything they did to help the campaign.”

So he`s pushing back, Joan.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Yes. You know, he was trying to stay out of it, Chris, for a few days. He was saying nice things about her. But when she insults his team like that — and you know, I — there are questions about who`s right, but they strenuously deny it, and other reporters who were around also deny her version of things. So, I think that there are a couple of whopping lies, as well as just a mean-spiritedness that doesn`t serve her well.

It`s why she will never be president. She is a very divisive, mean- spirited person. She is fighting down with her 19-year-old ex-future-son- in-law, who should really be ignored, if anything.

So, you know, I think you see a side of Sarah Palin — Norah is right. People who love her love her. But the general public doesn`t trust her and sees this kind of mean girl persona that she`s never grown out of.

Norah did great reporting, by the way. I was watching when she interviewed these people who were wrong about TARP and who just started babbling about she will defend the Constitution, as though Obama won’t.

MATTHEWS: Right.
:
MATTHEWS: … on “Sean Hannity” last night.

I think there is a tribal aspect to this thing, in other words, white vs. other people. I think she is very smart about this. Here she is on the issue of — of what happened down at Fort Hood, obviously, an ethnic issue, as many people see it.

WALSH: Right.

MATTHEWS: She sees it that way. Here she is going at him.

This mindset is plenty worthy of an expose all by itself. I can just see it now…”Coming up next: A political phenomenon grips the fears and passions of the nation. Guilty white liberals who see every issue in terms of white-versus-not-white. What drives them? What motivates them?”

I’d love to see health care reform presented in this way. Gather up a couple hundred communists who are chomping at the bit for government to take over health care, with all their sob stories, and gravely intone: “These people feel an emotional connection, they feel like they have been, in one way or another, beaten-up on…I was struck by the meanness of this, the nastiness of this…whopping lies, mean-spiritedness of this…”

What this is, is a liberal effort to take control of the “water cooler” conversation. People see this rot, and if they happen to like Sarah Palin — or even if they don’t, but they’re just part of the growing majority who think Obama needs to be stopped — the thought that comes into their heads is, “My God, the people I work with are going to see me the way they see the white racist knuckle-draggers in this video.” And they become chilled. They shut up.

It’s part of a deliberate strategy.

Meanwhile — none of the issues presented here are white-versus-not-white. Not a single one. Matthews, O’Donnell and Walsh are bringing that into it. If they are honest in their remarks, and I think they are, then that means they are sick and weak to the point of being incapable of making a logical decision about anything, because they get distracted and drift off into irrelevancies that determine the final outcome for them with regard to what they’re deciding. And then, like little kids, they seek validation for what they’ve decided, in the form of agreement toward/from others. “Oh you are so right, Chris, you are SO right.”

We’re looking at why blogs became popular in the first decade of this century. It’s not a matter of instant communication or high technology or even any kind of wonderful job the bloggers are doing. It’s a matter of trust. When you don’t trust anybody you want to get as many perspectives on what’s going on as you possibly can. The days of “Listen To Uncle Walter For An Hour And Consider Yourself Well-Informed” are long gone. And these guilty-white-liberal-racist-holier-than-thou airheads are what made it happen.

That Magazine Photo

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

One more Sarah Palin thing, because something has to be said about Newsweek.

I was going to blog about the Runner’s World spread, but that was the weekend that Palin resigned from the governorship of Alaska. Her fitness regimen ended up not making the cut. Anyway, Newsweek somehow selected one of the pictures for the November 23 cover. Probably for purely commercial reasons, not to reflect a party bias.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like SarahAlthough I do find it rather incredible to think they’d make a similar decision about a democrat.

Palin herself has a problem with it. Darn, there goes that fantasy of her attending her own inauguration ceremony in a Supergirl costume. From her Facebook page:

The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate. When it comes to Sarah Palin, this “news” magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness – a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention – even if out of context.

- Sarah Palin

I see the objection. It isn’t against her being shown as casual, or come-hither, or bookish or leggy. It has to do with what is appropriate in what setting.

It also has to do with relocating things. Newsweek, it seems, didn’t have permission to use this. Palin posed for the picture “among friends,” one might say. Kinda. Her comments for Runner’s World were entirely apolitical (hilariously, a couple of readers objected anyway since they didn’t subscribe for “that political stuff”). Newsweek placed the picture before a decidedly more hostile audience.

What’s the message here? That if Palin is President, she’ll spend all her time jogging and posing for pictures? I can certainly see more than a few Newsweek readers picking that up…the ones who are inclined to. Which is probably most of ‘em. Still and all, the thought makes me chuckle. The nightmare of having a President who spends all the President’s time posing for pictures. Oh heavens to Betsy. Perish the thought. What’s that like?

Dr. Melissa Clouthier adds:

After this post got fed to Twitter, I got into an argument with a leftist feminist there about this cover. She brought up Hillary Clinton. She believes that Sarah Palin did this to herself by posing for Runners World. What serious politician or man would pose for that sort of cover?

What serious newsweekly would put a degrading picture, say of Obama frolicking in the surf or Bil and Hill dancing in the sand for the camera, on the cover of a magazine? Only conservative politicians need worry about being portrayed as trivial and sexy (Sarah), mean and old (McCain), mean (Cheney), mean and stupid (GWB). A Democrat gets gravitas-portraying treatment.

Always.

And that’s why conservatives view the press as biased. They don’t even attempt, even feebly, to hide it anymore.

Well said.

Another Black Conservative has an interesting thought:

I am beginning to think that I was right when I said that the Oprah interview humanized Palin. It is going to be much harder to disrespect Palin like the left did before without pissing off new people. Perhaps this book tour and all the interviews on the lamesteam media will produce a Sarah Palin 2.0. It will be interesting to see Palin’s approval ratings after the book tour.

Neptunus Lex, perhaps committing an infraction of protocol, audibly notices the elephant in the room:

[O]ne only has to look here, where Newsweek greets Palin’s newly published memoir with a provocative photo from a running journal and asks “How do you solve a problem like Sarah,” a header that literally begs the question, while demonstrating both political and gender bias and undoubtedly souring the faces of envious, shrewish, muumu wearing, lemon-eating scolds across the country. [emphasis mine]

Yep, there it is. That was undeniably the effect of it; and I’m pretty sure there was a fair strength of effort in that direction as well.

There certainly is some resentment there. And looking really good in running shorts while being a 45-year-old mother of five, probably has a lot to do with it.

However, it must be said — lately, winning elections seems to have a lot to do with figuring out who you can write off, not who you should go chasing for their vote. Case in point, Barack Obama doesn’t seem to care one bit what He has to do to get my vote. He doesn’t and He shouldn’t. I, and millions like me, have been gutterballed. It seems to be working out very well for Him.

Sarah Palin should do the same. Women who dislike her because she’s good looking, aren’t ever, ever, ever gonna like her.

And hey. Let’s be completely frank about things. If you’re answering polls saying Hillary is qualified to be President, and Palin is not — whatever the bee is that is up your butt, I do not want you deciding anything. Let me repeat that: Anything. I do not want you taking my customer service calls, I do not want you making my coffee, I do not want you running a leaf blower on the sidewalk an hour before I go walking on it. You have just-plain-poor decision-making abilities. Stay home.

Regarding Sarah’s comment. She would have been ahead-of-the-game keeping her mouth shut. Just let everyone argue about the magazine cover; maybe make it privately known that she disapproves of it, to sort of nudge the national conversation off in the direction of the permission Newsweek gained to use the photo, or lack thereof.

Good-lookin’ women showing their legs when they run for President? Hey…if you don’t know whether I’m for-or-against, you must not have been reading this space very long. Not saying I don’t see where she’s coming from, because I do. Yes, it’s sexist. But sometimes a subtle critique can be much more effective.

Anyway: Why so much attention riveted on the photo? Check out those headlines:

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Sarah?

She’s Bad News for the GOP — And For Everybody Else, Too

Good grief. You see my point. The photo, inappropriate as it is, is nuthin’. Nuthin’. Melissa’s right. They aren’t even trying to hide it anymore.

Update 11/19/08: Ah hah…as I figured.

What on earth was Sarah Palin thinking when she posed in a pair of teeny-tiny gym shorts for a photograph that ended up on the cover of Newsweek — a cover she has called “sexist”? Perhaps she was thinking that her image would only appear in the magazine she was posing for, Runner’s World, and nowhere else, at least not for months and months. If so, she had good reason — since, as DailyFinance has learned, the photographer who shot the picture violated his contract by reselling them to Newsweek.

That photographer, Brian Adams, could not immediately be reached, and his agent, Kelly Price, declined to comment, saying, “I keep all of my clients’ business private.” But a spokeswoman for Runner’s World confirms that Adams’s contract contained a clause stipulating that his photos of Palin would be under embargo for a period of one year following publication — meaning until August 2010. “Runner’s World did not provide Newsweek with its cover image,” the spokeswoman said. “It was provided to Newsweek by the photographer’s stock agency, without Runner’s World’s knowledge or permission.” The spokeswoman declined to say whether Runner’s World intends to respond to Adams’s breach of contract with legal action.

Update: The resident conservative of NPR, which I guess would be like the tallest building in North Dakota, doesn’t like Palin. And he’s found some exceptionally silly reasons…that’s the only adjective that seems to apply after a fair amount of this…

The rap on Palin is that she’s too shallow and inexperienced for the presidency — a conclusion that early Palin supporters like me came to during the 2008 campaign. Alas, for conservatives in search of a champion, there’s nothing in Going Rogue to challenge that conclusion. It’s like this: Palin spends seven pages dishing about her appearance on Saturday Night Live, but just over one page discussing her national security views.
:
This is the Republican Party’s great populist hope?

Sarah Palin is selling a personality, not a platform. That’s not dumb. She’s doing the best she can with what she has to work with. She quotes her father’s line upon her resignation this summer as Alaska’s governor: “Sarah’s not retreating, she’s reloading.” On evidence of this book, Sarah Palin is charging toward 2012 shooting blanks.

Palin’s selling a personality and not a platform.

Consistently since 1992, people have been getting elected on personalities and not platforms. Most notably in the election just passed. But we should hang it all on Palin like she’s in the process of inventing it. She’s not to be taken seriously unless she’s the only contender running on platform. And not even then. Like I said: “Silly” is the only word that applies.

Doctor Zero has a different take:

Newsweek advertised its cover story on the release of Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue” by asking, “How do you solve a problem like Sarah?” This headline was informed by the same journalistic standards that led the Washington Post to publish a book review by someone who admits she didn’t read the book – and then prompted MSNBC to invite this person on the air as an expert on the book she didn’t read. Newsweek apparently couldn’t be bothered to watch “The Sound of Music” all the way through, because Maria is the hero of the piece. The nuns singing “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” are singing about suppressing the very spirit that will help Maria save her family from totalitarian oppression. Considering Palin’s indestructible good cheer, if she runs for office again, I wouldn’t be surprised if she used “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?” as a campaign song… and thanked Newsweek for the suggestion.
:
The careless, sloppy disdain of the Left’s reaction to “Going Rogue” is almost as strong an argument for Palin’s politics as anything contained within its pages. The absolute lack of care and competence from the government that ran up a $12 trillion national debt is astonishing. Months of dithering over Afghanistan strategy, with American troops under fire, ends with a painfully unqualified Commander-in-Chief wailing that he wants a new set of options…
:
The argument over whether Sarah Palin is “qualified” for the presidency is the opposite of the question conservatives should be asking. What we need to know is whether any other aspiring candidate has the essential qualifications Palin brings to the table. [emphasis mine]

“How do you solve a problem like Maria?” as a campaign song. I like it.

Sarah Palin is indeed a conundrum. A prevailing viewpoint is a powerful thing, and a durable thing too. It can survive its own internal contradictions, if it has some — for quite awhile. And our current prevailing viewpoint does have some.

It goes like this: Sarah Palin is to be summarily disqualified because she is a contender in a contest of personality, not quite so much of platform or position. BUT — right after she’s been so dismissed, and you address our current Commander in Chief, you shouldn’t be so bold as to ask Him any heady questions about platform-or-position, and most certainly not about how He came to a certain decision about a certain thing…instead, you should compliment Him on the gracious and dignified lilt to His voice. In sum: He gets to compete on appealing aspects to His personality, at the expense of any debate on substance. Palin is to be dropped from the running for any hint that she’s about to enjoy the same advantage, even if it isn’t at her instigation.

This is an unworkable contradiction, one that becomes less comfortable with repeated exposure, for all consciousnesses save for the most intellectually flaccid. If this is a vital underpinning for Palin’s still-considerable disapproval rating, and it is our impression that it is, don’t look for the disapproval rating to remain where it is for too long.

Update: Victor Davis Hanson has some interesting things to add:

[M]any conservative elites imagine that a Harvard Kennedy School degree is superior to multifaceted knowledge of .357 Magnums, chain-sawing, skinning game, and fishing, they will judge her only in terms of a traditional cursus honorum—spiced up with invective about creationism and Christian fundamentalism. (I have some experience with such snobbishness: when I used to speak before hostile university audiences, I was often introduced along these lines: “Mr. Hanson is a raisin farmer from Fresno State of Jerry Tarkanian fame.” [and therefore, presto, must be an idiot].)
:
If Sarah Palin thinks FDR was President in 1929, or that he could speak on non-existent TV, she is through; if Biden says that, it’s “just old Joe again.” If Obama does not know the first thing about our most prestigious medals, the language of Austria, or diplomatic protocol about presidential bowing, it’s because he is deliberately trying to be cool; if Palin did the same, she’s a buffoon hockey mom. That is the way it is, and her supporters should accept it, deal with, and overcome it.

Ridicule can be a powerful weapon. And how difficult would it be to deploy?

Liberal snobs and conservative snobs are wondering aloud about some kind of threat…some unstated threat…some avenue by which our nation will meet harm due to a President Palin’s cluelessness and lack of intellectual depth.

In the very same week in which the hysterics begin, Kalid Shiekh Mohammed is being brought to New York City to face trial and enjoy the same privileges and guarantees an American citizen would enjoy in civilian court. Because the “intellectually deep” folks in charge think that’s just a swell idea.

Priorities, snobs. Priorities. Maybe if some of you spent some time working for a living, you’d be organizing them better.

Nidal Hasan Headline Roundup

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Iowahawk.

With a grateful hat tip to Westsound Modern.

Newspaper Circulations, Last Two Decades

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Click thumbnail to view much larger, and read article.

Hat tip to FrankJ.

What’s an “Acorn”?

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Michael Savage occasionally is heard to make the charge that we aren’t nearly as free in this country as they are in Iraq. This one-minute clip, which has become truly an “Everyone else is blogging it, I might as well do it too” moment, is part of one larger issue that compels me to take that charge seriously.

Lots of snarky comments in reply to this; my favorite (from somewhere) was “That’s okay Grandpa, we’ll go get our news from somewhere else.”

Well, John Stewart has a thing or two to say about this, and his words may surprise you (hat tip to Rick)…


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Audacity of Hos
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Healthcare Protests

I’m just lovin’ that thing at the end. Of all the things Stewart’s lampooning, that “competitive spirit” between liberals and Fox and non-Fox news organizations, needs lampooning the most. “Ah HAH! It’s a seed, not a nut!”

Yeah, an acorn is a seed, and don’t worry about where your tax dollars are going. Traffic report next, followed by weather. Investigate Acorn…by all means…but once that’s done, in all seriousness, let us not forget about the bigger problem. As we’ve been told about it and forgotten about it oh so many times before.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” — Thomas Jefferson.

Update: AllahPundit comments on the investigation about to get underway. Hope you weren’t looking for any encouragement here:

I can’t do better than Karl’s summary so I’m going to steal it: “A Soros hack, an SEIU thug, someone who pleaded to lying to the FBI, and a Kennedy.” All that’s missing are a few pimps and prostitutes for “technical expertise.” Hardest-hitting internal investigation evah:

In a press release, ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis says, that as “a result of the indefensible action of a handful of our employees,” the group will immediately stop accepting anyone into ACORN office for service programs, will conduct in-service training of staff, and begin an audit “to review all of the systems and processes called into question by the videos,” to be conducted by the group’s Independent Advisory Council.

The Council includes many prominent Democrats, including the man who helped President Obama Transition Team, John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress; former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend; Andrew Stern, International President of the Service Employees International Union; and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros.

What an amazing coincidence! That’s exactly the list of names I had in mind, of the wise and principled public servants I was hoping would be leading this thing up! They’re my go-to guys, absolutely! I have them on speed-dial! Before Super Friends! “Help me, Podesta, Kennedy, SEIU and Cisneros!” I shout it out almost reflexively, anytime I see some kind of mess that needs to be cleaned up and disinfected.

Yeah, of course I’m being sarcastic. Rather sad that some folks need to be told that.

How’s that hope and change working out for you?

Media Malpractice

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Jeffrey Lord, writing in The American Spectator. And quoting Tom Brokaw:

[O]ne of the things I’ve been saying to audiences is this question comes up a lot, and a lot of people will repeat back to me and take it as face value something that they read on the Internet. And my line to them is you have to vet information. You have to test it the same way you do when you buy an automobile or when you go and buy a new flat-screen television. You read the Consumer Reports, you have an idea of what it’s worth and what the lasting value of it is. You have to do the same thing with information because there is so much disinformation out there that it’s frightening, frankly, in a free society that depends on information to make informed decisions.

From what I understand, this is after the Van Jones thing although it’s before the ACORN thing (the former is mentioned alongside the interview, the latter is not).

Lord then, pretending to write a letter to Brokaw, launches into a dizzying array of historic chunks of “disinformation” that turned out to be quite true — but we didn’t know it at the time because the old-guard media was busy protecting us from ourselves, tossing us bromides about Jackie Kennedy’s pink hat.

Lord closes his imaginary letter with:

The investigation of Mr. Jones — a government official no less — is but one example of the competition your colleagues now must face every minute of every day. The investigation into the corruption in ACORN is still one more. So too with the Bush National Guard story. Not to mention the real details of the President’s health care plans. The response to Mark Levin’s book — and the importance of that response, in spite of a virtual blackout from your peers — is, in its quite distinctive fashion, yet another.

In truth? Either you really don’t get all this — or you do, and simply can’t bring yourself to admit the fact. Much less do anything about it.

What do I think? I think you’re a really smart guy, and so are your colleagues.

Which is exactly what troubles.

Thanks for your time.

What the Van Jones and ACORN things have to do with each other, I notice, is not just a rogue underground media, but also video. In that setting, what exactly is it Mr. Brokaw means by “disinformation”? Does he mean the video tells us stories about Jones and ACORN that are accurate this time ’round, but we’re getting into a bad habit with starting to trust these guys standing around in back alleys selling us news from mysterious pockets in their overcoats?

Or does he mean the video was somehow taken out of context, telling us tall tales that are not true?

Wonder what Brokaw had to say about that spate of Michael Moore movies just a few years back.

I’m not much for conspiracy theories, but speaking for myself, if someone’s paying me a livelihood to do something I really don’t give a rat’s ass what their political leanings are when I get done telling them what I’ve been paid to tell them. The way these guys act, it’s like they have some job on the side; like they aren’t really being paid to bring us information. It’s like they’re being paid to keep it away from us.

“Hide the Ball”

Monday, September 14th, 2009

John Nolte, writing in Big Hollywood (hat tip to Rick):

In recent days and weeks three major news stories have broke here online, at Fox News or the Washington Times; everywhere but the mainstream media. Worse still, as the stories unfolded, the media willfully ignored them until, much to their embarrassment, they were forced to give grudging coverage only after official action — in the form of a resignation (Van Jones), reassignment (the NEA) or dismissal (ACORN) — occurred that could no longer be ignored.

Mainstream news outlets have been caught off guard before, but they used to play catch up. Today they play “hide the ball.”

It’s a problem decades in the making.

If you spend those decades bringing people information, there’s no problem. But the mainstream media hasn’t really been doing that; they’ve been instead spending those years stopping anyone from talking about this-or-that, by refusing to run the story. When an alternative form of media comes up that runs these stories you don’t want talked-about, then, what do you do? That’s the problem.

Deciding to run this, and not-run that, has been the one refuge of corrupt editorialist thought and action. It is all entirely subjective. We saw this with the Chandra Levy thing eight years ago, as Dan Rather came under scrutiny for his refusal to discuss the story — he started coming up with all kinds of reasons to avoid it, illustrating plainly that the talent he was showing was one honed from years and years of the same tortured argument. One cannot help but wonder about all the things we weren’t told in the twentieth century, pre-blogs and pre-innerwebs.

But it’s entirely a matter of personal discretion and taste. If you want democrats to win and Republicans to lose, you can green-light this and red-light that all day long all month long…and when people come to question you about it you can just toss up your silly arguments like Dan Rather did. Some may not like it, but the arguments will, in their own way, be legit.

So now it’s a different world. We’re watching a whole species of dinosaur grapple with a brand new climate, and lumber onward toward extinction. Some days the dinosaur does something smart that helps to postpone the inevitable. Some days the dinosaur does something unforgivably dumb.

What Nolte’s writing about, here, is the latter of those two.

Fascinating stuff. Everyone loves to watch a train wreck.

Go, Dumpy!

Monday, July 6th, 2009

Speaking of Boortz, he did an unwise thing this morning. I think Boortz is going to be eating crow over this one. You can tell he’s on the wrong side of this thing, because he doesn’t agree with me:

Certainly Sarah Palin didn’t resign her seat as Alaska’s governor to pursue a higher political office. Now she has the patina of a quitter and is no longer a viable candidate.

I’ll go along with the “patina” part. It’s a good word, and it’s used well here.

1 a: a usually green film formed naturally on copper and bronze by long exposure or artificially (as by acids) and often valued aesthetically for its color
b: a surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use
2: an appearance or aura that is derived from association, habit, or established character
3: a superficial covering or exterior

The “viable” part does not apply. There would have to be a permanence about the patina for that to work. Now, walk me through this. It’s early 2012 and Sarah Palin, after two and a half years in the shadows, pipes up and says she’s interested in unseating President Obama.

From sea to shining sea, we all shout “Oh Sarah Palin, the quitter??”

Can’t quite see it, sorry. Patinas evaporate. And if they don’t, and you’re Sarah Palin, the eleventh Governor of Alaska, doing nothing to substantially benefit your state, pissing away your salary four, six or eight times as fast as you’re earning it, doing nothing to help this hypothetical Presidential bid of yours, doing nothing to help conservatism in general…but you’re worried about your “patina” so you stay put and grow your moss…you’re a loser. Sarah Palin is not a loser. So there’s really only one direction for her to go. The question is what took her so long.

Neal, this morning you had rocks in your head. You’ve done better before, and I’m sure you’ll do better again.

Caps-impaired commenter DumpyTheRed provides an education to the Talkmaster, more clear, more concise, and more articulate than anything I could put together. Hope Neal read it and realized the error of his ways. There’s some good wisdom in the paragraph below…even if there aren’t many apostrophes or capital letters.

restore credibility?
anyone else tired of hearing this phrase? we heard it time and time again when obama came back from his apology tour, about how he had restored the US’s credibility. the MSM repeated it over and over to hammer home that obama is god, and now the world loves us again. but alas, everyone still hates us, and looks like they will for a while. now we have to hear this phrase for palin. the people who say that the only reason mccain got as many votes as he did was because of palin, are correct in my opinion. i agree with whoever says palin “energized” the party. that’s true. the only spark mccain got was when he announced her as running mate. true conservatives dont care about restoring credibility with the republican party, or anyone else for that matter, we just want a freakin conservative candidate, and that’s what we get with her. let’s quit worrying about our credit score and just vote for those who are true to their beliefs; as opposed to people who pander to everyone in an attempt to not piss anyone else off – that’s the liberal thing to do, not conservative.

Bulls-eye for Dumpy. You don’t need any credibility at all, “restored” or otherwise, to credibly make the case: If you want people to transact business at a more frenzied pace, quit taxing them up to and beyond the point of pain for doing it.

And nobody needs to restore credibility here. At all. Except maybe the press, for going through an entire election season last year not doing their jobs. They have something that could stand some restoration, I think.

Week Ending June 12, 2009

Saturday, June 13th, 2009

Do you realize what an incredible week this has been? I’m ready to go ahead and call it right now: In the months and years ahead, when Republicans and democrats try to figure out when the national scene all turned around, there will be bipartisan agreement that the fickle wheel of fortune did its spinning in the week ending June 12, 2009. That is when the Republicans really returned to power; when the democrats really fell out of it. When mainstream America figured out the Obama experiment was, in all the ways that mattered, a complete failure. Time to absorb the lessons of reality and let the tender bloated easily-bruised ego receive the punishment that had been coming.

There is, I confess, some wishful thinking involved in that. But that’s not really a bad thing. Every triumph against the odds, in human history, has started with that. And there certainly have been some. I’ll presume, for the thinking reader, no listmaking is necessary to bolster that point.

Let us instead fixate our list-making obsession on the week just departed. And in doing that, let us start with the big kahuna:

David Letterman’s sad, pathetic, stupid joke. Does Letterman have a Republican plant on his writing staff? The damage done here was incalculable. The joke delved down deep into what everybody knew, in their dark subconciousnesses, and brought it bubbling up into the light where it all had to be consciously acknowledged: How humor itself has been re-defined in the early part of the twenty-first century. Blue-blood super-liberal Manhattan comedian makes a conservative look like a buffoon, and the rest of us give a courtesy laugh. Even though it’s NOT FUNNY. This has been a seriously powerful weapon in the liberal arsenal, because if you respond to this the way a reasonable person does — roll your eyes — in our modern, twisted culture, you’re a die-hard lunatic extremist. In a more reasonable environment it is acknowledged that it takes a die-hard lunatic extremist to do the laughing.

The punchline simply didn’t pack any humor. Nobody’s waltzing into a bar and saying “Hey, didja hear the one about Alex Rodriguez and Sarah Palin’s daughter?”

What Letterman did, was wake up the “mainstream” Americans who don’t give a rip about conservatives or liberals — but who could’ve easily been suckered into voting liberal with some well-placed signals that Republicans are subhuman, beneath contempt, it’s okay to abuse ‘em so it certainly should be alright to vote against ‘em without bothering to study up on the issues. Well from here on out, maybe that will still work, but I think America will have a little bit better idea of what’s being done to it now. And that can’t be good for the plan.

Elsewhere on the Manhattan-lib fashion-plate front, Katie Couric’s ratings plummeted some more, and fellow fashion-plate blue-blood Manhattan-lib Jon Stewart actually had the balls to made fun of her about it.

Paul Krugman, seldom correct but never in doubt, tried to lead a charge against right-wing hate by fastening the identity of the Holocaust Memorial shooter to the conservative movement. And everly ambitious, he thought as long as he was at it he’d try to revive some credibility for that discredited Homeland Security report. He failed on both counts; as is usual for Mr. Krugman, his point failed when it was discovered the facts simply weren’t on his side. Hating George Bush, hating John McCain, being a registered Maryland democrat…these are not traits that typically apply to conservative-movement agitators. But they applied to this nutburger who’s supposed to be our new icon for conservative hate. Swing and a miss.

By now, there had arisen an urgent need to prove what was supposed to have already been proven seven months ago: that the democrats were innately nice folks, and there was something about human nature that made Republicans inherently mean. Typically, democrats like to pursue this with an objective of purity: Everything anybody does that is nice was inspired by a progressive movement somewhere, and every anecdote about man’s inhumanity to man has some conservatism in it somewhere. The Letterman joke all by itself was plenty enough to upset that applecart, so now the effort was to recover the sentiment through saturation. President Obama’s former Pastor and spiritual advisor Jeremiah Wright demonstrated his impeccable timing by choosing this as the week for his comments about talking to his former spiritual pupil: “Them Jews aren’t going to let me speak to him.” Good one! That guy we elected President to start our new Hopenchange good-time rock-n-roll chapter in history, who’d inspire us all to do better and love each other — he received spiritual counsel from this bigot for two solid decades. Republicans tried to warn ya. Ya didn’t listen. It was, and is, a reality. Yet another reminder.

And the week was still young.

Ah, but our country certainly knew what it was doing. We had a skeptical, energetic and free press filling us in on what was going on, and letting us come to our own decision about who would get our vote. Right? Well…hope you didn’t put too much faith in that. If you did, it might have come as a bit of a shock when Evan Thomas went on record to say President Obama “is sort of God.” Chris Matthews agreed. Yup. Real balanced and objective, there, gentlemen. I don’t understand why anyone ever doubted you. They must have been a bunch of unreasonable, lying, irrational, bitter angry conservatives.

Perhaps this is why — also this last week — a San Francisco Chronicle editor said “Obama and the fawning press need to get a room.”

After all that, the solid meat is still just ahead of us. Remember back in January when, if the world went to war and caught fire, you’d never have heard a single thing about it because the news was all filled up with stories about Michelle Obama’s gowns, Barack Obama’s ten balls (!), and hope was in the air? About how much the economy sucked but it was all going to get more better because we had our hopey changey iPresident now and He was going to fix everything? Nowadays the hardcore liberals, the mildly liberals, and the main-street guys who don’t care or say they don’t care — still defend that because hey, it’s only been five months since then. Give Him a chance! He’s trying His best! It’s too early, and He inherited all this! Well…sit down for this one…now, according to Rasmussen, by a six-point margin Republicans are more trusted than democrats on economic issues. Yup, that’s from this week too.

Now how’d that happen? I see a link between that story, and the one about the study from Ohio that found conservatives are more open to opposing arguments than liberals. Call me Pollyanna, but I think even the Main Street folks who don’t give a crap about any of this, intuitively understand that you can’t make good decisions in life if you already have your mind made up about something before you gather the facts. What I’m trying to say is that people want to follow a good leader, they know in their guts what a good leader looks like, and they don’t want to see someone locked into a mindset and with that mindset, a narrow field of options from which to choose for any given situation. Which, ironically, is what the democrats keep saying, citing reasons why conservatives can’t be trusted. But it turns out, in reality as well as in public opinion, liberals are the narrow-minded ones. This was aptly demonstrated when the study hit the innerwebs, and some cloistered communities of liberals aired their reactions to it. It typically looked something like this.

It’s not news to anyone who’s really been paying attention. But liberals are not open-minded, they’re not receptive to all points of view, they’re not willing to listen to new ideas, and they damn sure aren’t tolerant of anything called “diversity” unless, by diversity, you’re referring to monochrome concentrations of dark skin.

President Obama also thought He would demonstrate His impeccable political timing. Now that the country He was supposed to be leading was showing its reservations about investing in Him all this godlike power, He thought He’d appoint a czar to limit executive compensation at private firms. Now, He may have found it politically expedient to limit the effects of this to corporations accepting taxpayer funds in the form of bailout programs…and He may want to promote that…but you just can’t get around that it raises serious questions about the relationship between government and the private sector. And how long would such a policy remain limited to bailout firms? We’ll have to wait a few weeks for the polls to come out, I think. But my gut says most people are on my side on this thing, or at least, are similarly concerned. This is an alteration of the fundamental relationship between our government and the people it purports to govern. The party hacks get to decide if I’m making too much money, and cut me off at the knees if they think I’m getting as big as they are? What country is this again?

The point is, I thought it was Obama’s predecessor who was supposed to be making us ask that question.

Affirmative Action was in the news this week. You know what that is, right? That’s where, if your racial makeup is caucasian and you try to make something of yourself, you are artificially injured to help make up for the abuse that was heaped on persons of darker skin in times past. It’s a tit-for-tat thing. No wait…it isn’t…supposedly, it’s an effort to help the disenfranchised and underprivileged, and it’s entirely color-blind, any thoughts muttered to the contrary are purely hardcore right-wing agitprop. It’s long been my impression that a bare majority of the country does support Affirmative Action, but because and only because they believe that last summation. In other words, by a bare majority, we are on board with helping the underprivileged but we do not want special race-based privileges to apply. So it was further damaging when it came out that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayer ‘fessed up that she is an “Affirmative Action baby” in comments released by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Affirmative Action baby…as in…her test scores were not comparable to her classmates’ test scores. She leapfrogged ahead in line because of her racial background. Her statement that says that.

Is America on board with that kind of Affirmative Action program? An outcome-based one that confers the same prestigious position — Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in this case! — upon members of beneficiary-groups with mediocre achievements, as it would upon a boring-old-white-guy who can offer spectacular achievements? Don’t forget, across all racial classifications, mediocre people vastly outnumber spectacular people. So what are the ultimate consequences of this? More to the point, could the country possibly become worried about such consequences? Want to have your next brain surgery done by someone who’d never been called on to truly distinguish himself, except by his or her race? Does Main Street USA’s support for Affirmative Action extend that far? Maybe we’re about to find out.

Congressman Barney Frank…whom nobody thinks is a Republican…demonstrated that much-lauded progressive-liberal patience and tolerance for diverse points of view during a live television interview. Wonder if they factored this in to that above-mentioned study.

And then we had that progressive-liberal respect for the rule of law demonstrated by our Climate Queen — yeah, that’s another matter, our liberals-in-charge want to control our weather. Climate czar Carol Browner apparently violated the Presidential Records Act.

So the picture’s pretty complete — as it has been for awhile, but in this damaging, damaging week, it was pencilled in, painted in, tinted, shaded, and framed to perfection in such a way that the apathetic mainstream centrist voters can understand it. And understand it well. These people are in power, uncontested, out of control, as closed-minded as any Republican has ever been, hateful, intolerant, impetuous, as pissy and resentful as any loser of elections has ever been. They are as dim and incurious as George W. Bush has ever been. They cannot get along with anyone else, even their own. They cannot deal with important decisions because they cannot deal with facts. They just want to have power over everybody else, and that’s all. Well, that and accumulate magnitudes of personal wealth as lofty and imposing as what they would deny to others.

The only thing missing from this week…and this may have happened too, if I missed it…was the usual, regularly “scheduled” embarrassing gaffe from Vice President Joe Biden. Other than that one cherry on top, everything else was there this week.

Small wonder that Biden’s old contender for the #2 spot, apparently felt so justified in saying I told you so.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

Falling Newspaper Ad Sales

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Stunning.

Hat tip to Conservative Grapevine.

Roesgen

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

I realize the setting may not be conducive to conducting an interview, and perhaps the things that are distracting her aren’t all being captured on the audio.

Nevertheless — this is a jaw-droppingly bad piece of fieldwork. She doesn’t even do a decent job of propagandizing. Her theatrical sense of outrage gets in the way from start to finish.

Hat tip to Good Lieutenant at Jawa Report, who has taken the trouble of gathering more than a few tidbits of Compare-Bush-to-Hitler artwork goodness to help enlighten the bubble-headed anchor-lady.

Shepard Smith and Neil Cavuto can be heard to respond here.

Today’s Krugman P0wnage

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

That headline means — let us be clear — Paul Krugman of the New York Times is the one that got p0wned. He did not do the p0wning, although I’m sure he thought in that weasel-reptile brain of his that’s exactly what happened, as his scaly/furry clawed digits glided over the keys.

“P0wn,” or “pwn” means…

12. pwn

1. To completely dominate an opponent, usually in video games.

2. To beat beyond recognition.

3. To make someone your bitch.

Often used with the slang “Noob”

Well, that n00b Paul Krugman just got p0wned:

I’d rebut Krugman’s arguments, only he doesn’t make any. Does he ever? Krugman doesn’t argue, he just vents. This is what we used to call “mailing it in.” If Krugman spent more than 20 minutes writing this column, I’d be shocked.
:
[Krugman's writing is pulled out, pieced together, quoted, sliced up, put on a slide, studied under a microscope...or rather a microfiche reader]
:
[W]hat facts–what arguments–are presented in support of this invective? None. It’s just hyperventilating. I know it’s only the New York Times, but wasn’t there a time when even that paper expected its columnists to expend at least a little effort? Krugman might as well have written “I am a Democrat” over and over again until it added up to 750 words.

This wouldn’t be such extreme p0wnage if it was descriptive only of Krugman’s latest column and of nothing else. As it is, the two paragraphs I extracted could just as reasonably be festooned upon — with some exceptions — anything in the Krugman archives. At least, most of what has come to my attention. It is a generic p0wnage, and therefore, a devastating one.

But devastating p0wnage can result from specifics, as well. Crossing Wall Street lifts up a particularly incriminating chestnut for closer inspection. Krugman fans should skip this, for the sake of their own mental health…

Going back to those tea parties, Mr. DeLay, a fierce opponent of the theory of evolution — he famously suggested that the teaching of evolution led to the Columbine school massacre — also foreshadowed the denunciations of evolution that have emerged at some of the parties.

These are the kinds of the things Krugman writes that are so frustrating. He’s a brilliant economist but too often drives off the reservation into dishonesty.

After reading Krugman’s account, are you led to believe that Tom DeLay said in a clear declarative sentence that Columbine was the result of the teaching of evolution? That he repeatedly said it and would say it again today if asked?
:
Krugman has an unusual fixation with Delay and blaming Columbine on the teaching of evolution. He’s mentioned this several times.

Enough of Krugman’s take. Here’s the full story. One week after the Columbine massacre, Addison L. Dawson wrote a letter to the editor to the San Angelo Standard-Times which mocked the idea that guns were to blame:

For the life of me, I can’t understand what could have gone wrong in Littleton, Colorado. If the parents would have only kept their children away from the guns, we wouldn’t have had such a tragedy. Yeah, it must have been the guns.

It couldn’t have been because over half our children are being raised in broken homes.
:
It couldn’t have been because our school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes that have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud by teaching evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy.

It couldn’t have been because we teach our children that there are no laws of morality that transcend us, that everything is relative, and that actions don’t have consequences. What the heck, the President gets away with it

Nah, it must have been the guns.

The letter was later read by Paul Harvey on the radio and then by Tom Delay in Congress on June 16, 1999 during a debate on gun control. (You can see the in the Congressional Record on page H4366.) The words are often credited to DeLay and not Dawson, though DeLay’s reading of it certainly implies an endorsement.

After DeLay spoke, Barney Frank lambasted the letter by saying it was blaming the teaching of evolution for the shooting. That’s where Krugman got his line.

Which brings us back to one of the classical House of Eratosthenes philosophical questions, that ongoing events on the plane of reality compel us to ask. We’ve asked this one before and we’ll be asking it again:

Is it possible to make liberal ideas look good, without misrepresenting something?

Is This Why Newspapers Are in Trouble?

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

And Still I Persist points out that maybe, just maybe, we’re seeing the reason for the decline of newspapers, paraded right in front of our noses each and every single morning we bother to crack one open. On the online edition of The Denver Post, take note of the first headline which is in bigger and bolder type than all the rest:

It’s about a poopy, er, I mean, a puppy.

This caps off a week in which our new President seeks godlike power and our Secretary of State was caught on camera enjoying a good ol’ belly-laugh (or hens’-cackle,as the case may be) about hostage taking. We are once strong, now cowering, but our newspapers won’t even discuss it because that would put the Big Reveal on some kind of hard-right-wing bias. No…they’d rather talk about the baby-daddy of the grandson of Alaska’s eleventh Governor, and what he has to say.

Over a generation ago we used to wonder “Are our newspapers applying such scrutiny to (insert name here) because he happens to be a powerful nationwide-officeholder, or because he is a Republican?” What a wonderful learning experience. In 2009 there are no powerful nationwide-officeholders who are Republicans — and so all uncertainty regarding such questions, has been scientifically removed.

Prediction: It is not going to be all Palin, all the time. As soon as 1) another conservative rises up to frighten our liberals more than she does, or 2) it can be strategically calculated that silence would do more damage to her cause than talking about her, our newspapers will stop talking about Sarah Palin. But until then, the dead-tree industry is a Palin-tabloid industry, and the “news bureaus” in Anchorage remain open…and if we want to crack open a newspaper to read about the people who really do have all the power right now, well, you should expect to read about the fashion sense of our First Lady, vegetable gardens, good intentions and puppies. Newspapers are not, for the most part, businesses that are just out to make a buck. That’s a lie. Now that the rebels have grown up to become the power structure they once despised, our newspapers have fallen into an unfortunate habit of comforting the powerful and afflicting the afflicted.

Crowder on Biden

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

The current administration is being given special treatment?

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Yet Another Question

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Melanie Sill, Sacramento Bee Editor, has a column out this morning saying it is “Time to look at newspaper roles and woes.” I lightly skimmed over it, but it would appear there is no point in the column in which she attempts to blame the “newspaper woes” on the Bush Administration. I must say, the title really grabbed me. I could’ve sworn it was just last month we had an inauguration ceremony, and if it was time to do anything, it was time to celebrate the end of all problems and the dawn of a new age of sweetness & light. Here it is five weeks later, and it’s time to look at problems again. Wha’ happened?

Why newspapers are hurting, I’m going to leave unexamined. After all, she did. Also, it seems the entire management layer at The Bee, and at other newspapers, is leaving it to outsiders to declare what the newspapers should do in order to save themselves. That was the point of her column, to announce “The Conversation,” which can be found at www.sacbee.com/conversation.

The trend continues. No one, so far as I know, is blaming failing newspapers on the Bush Administration. No one, so far as I know, is saying Obama’s gonna fix ‘em. Not unless you want to count this Connecticut newspaper-bailout-guy.

So my question is this.

If George W. Bush caused just about all of our problems…but not quite…and Barack Obama can fix just about all of our problems, but not quite…

Can Obama fix problems that George Bush didn’t create?

Kind of a “If God is all-powerful, can He create a rock so big that even He cannot lift it?” sorta thing.

Update: Off-topic, somewhat, but I had to clip out that comment from folsomboy in the forum linked above. The subject is Should California lead the nation in the fight against global warming?:

Although I would give SOME credit to balanced reporting in the article, one line stood out when I read it: “… and the general public all in support …” This comment board is proof that this is not so. Very common in global warming articles, being told that we all support action, being told that all scientists agree, that there is a concensus, that the debate is over. All fabrications. Ed mentioned the global cooling hoax in his post. I’m in possession of several articles from that period, and they include the phrases “all scientists agree”, “an avalanche of evidence”, and other fictional remarks. I hope it’s not too late for our naive and impressionable society.

To revisit this other question, about why newspapers are in trouble: LOTS of reasons! But one that shouldn’t be discounted, I believe, is that they are poisoning their own food supply. Their fantasy-game that Iraq was a “quagmire,” well past the point where it clearly wasn’t one, is a testament to their “If It Bleeds, It Leads” mindset that will be embarrassingly preserved for generations in journalistic history.

They’re forced to do that because they cover up other news we want to know — by pretending we’re more unified than we really are.

If you’re a left-leaning libby, you think I’m a knuckle-dragging neanderthal posting garbage on his tighty-righty blog, about to destroy the planet by encouraging people to own guns, go to Hooters, believe in God and emit that terrible, terrible carbon. I, in turn, think you got your Replacement Jesus in the White House and far from being satisfied, you’ll never be happy no matter what.

Each of us is interested in what the other one is doing. We’re divided and will probably continue to be so for generations.

Newspapers could report on that. But instead, as folsomboy points out (by the way, take my word for it, I’m not him) — every popular idea, no matter how fanciful, no matter how extravagant and ramshackle, has to be presented as if “everyone” agrees on it.

If you believe in that…you’re forced to ask yourself, why should I buy a newspaper?

This is more than just lazy reporting. It’s bad business.

On Using Talking Points

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Media Matters was just bursting with pride yesterday. The liberal watchdog group had caught Fox News using “GOP talking points” as their own research.

I scanned the piece from top to bottom, looking for a report about inaccuracy in these GOP talking points. Failing to find that, I looked for an insinuation that any of the facts/figures were subject to discredit, controversy, challenge, contention, dispute…anything. Couldn’t find any of that, either.

Nevertheless, that is a little bit on the slimy side. I’m inclined to give MM the point. Although it would be a much better point, more in keeping with the grandstanding headline, if Fox News recycled Republican talking points as fact in the middle of some kind of argument between the two parties. That would be a clear-cut case of deciding-instead-of-reporting. Not the case here.

But what does that then say about the Sacramento Bee’s headlines tonight. The story underneath carries the byline of “Bee News Services” although it matches word-for-word the first paragraph of a Washington Post story, here. But look how this Sacramento Bee editor chose to present it to the world:

Two logjams broken
Leaders in House, Senate OK blueprint for recovery
MEASURE IS UNPRECEDENTED AND ITS IMPACT UNCERTAIN

Yup, they’re talking about the stimulus plan. The trillion-dollars-worth-of-condoms plan.

Okay, I exaggerate, it isn’t $1 trillion worth of condoms. It’s actually a little less than a trillion, and some of the money goes to things with more of a “stimulative” effect than condoms. There’s lots of good stuff…like…the National Endowment for the Arts…TV conversion…global warming…the Department of Education…

Let’s bottom-line it. You gotta be more than just a little bit left-leaning to think of this as a real “blueprint for recovery.” You gotta be out of yer gourd.

I anxiously await the power, profile and gravitas of Media Matters, showing up to join me in my call for the Sacramento Bee to reverse their cranial-rectal inversion process on this one. This is the front page to the major newspaper of a thriving industrial valley, capital city of one of the nation’s largest and most prosperous states. It’s not a children’s fairy-tale book.

And if it’s wrong to put Republican talking points on the airwaves even when they are not subject to dispute, it’s wrong to put democrat talking points on the front page of such a high-profile newspaper — that are.

Overcoming Atomization

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Good nutrition for thinking minds. Good writing to describe exactly what’s goin’ on.

I mean, the good things goin’ on. Not this Obama stuff, which we will, mark my words, survive just fine. The liberation of our culture from the monolith media –

In the age of mass media, the press was able to define the sphere of legitimate debate with relative ease because the people on the receiving end were atomized — connected “up” to Big Media but not across to each other. And now that authority is eroding…Take a sheet of paper and make a big circle in the middle. In the center of that circle draw a smaller one to create a doughnut shape. Label the doughnut hole “sphere of consensus.” Call the middle region “sphere of legitimate debate,” and the outer region “sphere of deviance.”…Now you have a way to understand why it’s so unproductive to argue with journalists about the deep politics of their work. They don’t know about this freakin’ diagram!

There’s a little bit of Yin-and-Yang stuff involved with this. When we’re all connected to a common intellectual hub but not to each other, like spokes on a bicycle wheel, it really doesn’t matter what the hub is or what the hub tells us to do. The communication arrangement strongly compels us to think with the OFC, the Orbito-Frontal Cortex, that part of the brain that is responsible for “rapping one’s own knuckles.” Think of it as your “don’t go outside the lines” cortex. There is no because when the OFC is at work. When you shout “No!” at a baby, you’re stimulating the baby’s OFC.

It’s a survival mechanism. If you touch a hot stove, and wait for pain to register then think about the prospect of removing your hand through conventional means, you will be much more badly burned. The OFC has its place; with that lobe telling you to remove your hand, you’ve got a decent shot at recoiling before you sustain any physical damage at all. That would not be possible otherwise. To preserve our ability to procreate and survive, we have to route some experiences through this special “because-free” zone.

Well, when people are communicating with a common nucleus but not with each other, they’re strongly motivated to think with the OFC. And when you introduce some limited means by which they can communicate with each other — just a few minutes over the fence that divides their lawns, or at the water cooler at work — they tend to persuade each other to do cognitive thinking with the OFC. No cause-and-effect, just don’t-do-that, like back in kindergarten. All protocol. No real weighing of costs vs. benefits of available options.

I found out about the article from Kate at Small Dead Animals, and Alice the Camel…they, in turn, make the point that this is probably why the press reacts so vituperatively to blogs. The blog is disorganized, and yet, strangely, at the same time organized. It provides a reliable and sustained means by which thinking consumers of news can talk to each other about what it is they have seen. It erodes the revenue base of advertising, to a certain extent, and that’s turning out to be damaging enough to the Old Guard. But it also erodes that spoke-hub atomization authority.

It gets people thinking with the cerebral cortex, the way the Good Lord intended when He built it. That part of the brain you use for cause-and-effect thinking, inferential thinking, process-of-elimination, all that good stuff. The traditional knuckle-rapping is demoted to just an occasional, meaningless staccato within a symphony of more honest deliberation.

Coulter and Lauer

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Not sure where Lauer’s sense of priorities is here, or where anyone else’s is either, I can only speak for myself.

But if I had my way, I’d see to it we were all freakin’ drowning in all kinds of “outrageous statements” if it meant more kids were raised by fathers and mothers. Lauer may spend as much time and energy as he wishes to spend keeping us clean of such things, but where I came from, if you’ve got free speech you’re going to hear some stuff that goes “over the line” from time to time. And if you value free speech in any genuine way you aren’t going to very much care about that.

Also, if you’re so sure your way is right, you’ll let the other person finish a sentence now and then. Especially when you’re supposed to be giving an interview. That’s the way things work on my planet.

Hat tip to Rick for the clip.

His Holy Coronation a More Important Story Than September 11 Attacks

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

What an amazing surprise.

A worldwide media survey released on Monday shows that coverage around Obama’s successful bid to become the next American president was written about twice as often as any other news event since the turn of the century.

“Obama was unprecedented. He has captivated the world,” said Paul Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, which conducted the survey.

Uh oh. Yet another world-surveyor, speaking on behalf of “the world.” I wonder if this one has some captivating tales to recount about running door-to-door on all seven continents to find out what everybody’s thinking?

Or, perhaps, it’s yet another example of re-defining the seemingly static concept of “everyone.”

His Holiness Who Walks On Water damn sure didn’t captivate me, I know that much. Last I checked, I was part of “the world.”

Obama had been written about roughly 250 million times, said Payack. Stories about all the other big news events this century have together generated about half that coverage, he added.

Just…wow. Words fail me. So I’ll rely on Darth Misha, who gets the hat tip for this story, to express the unexpressable…

Oh, and those 3000+ innocent people who died on Sept.11?

Puhleeeeze. Can’t we all just Move OnTM?

Isn’t it enough to know that he only has to raise his nicotine stained metrosexual hands, flex those glistening man boobs pecs, wave his Dumbo ears and the winds will die down, the waves will calm, the climate will cease to change, dogs and cats will be at peace with one another, and Oprah will finally shut the hell up?

Forget that once he’s out of his “President-Elect” bubble he’s going to be busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest trying to hide who and what he really is, which is to say…NUTHIN…He’s the Obamessiah!!

I can’t help but feel a tinge of fear for what is happening to another very basic concept. Authority. We spend all these giga-calories of energy, millions, billions of dollars to erect our corporate and government “Do As I Say Not As I Do” people. They tell us things that are categorically untrue, things that directly contradict even themselves — sentences that twist around in 180-degree hairpin turns before they even reach the dot at the end. “Equal opportunity employer, women and minorities encouraged to apply.” Stuff like that; same breath.

And then all the charlatans who insist on being right, even though they’re telling us untrue, self-contradictory things, are subordinated to the mega-charlatan. His Holiness The 44th President tells you it is a dry sunny day outside and there’s raindrops falling on your head, well, leave the umbrella behind, because you’ve just received The Word. And He talks kinda like Walter Cronkite so it must be true.

That’s what I find a little bit more unsettling than, I suspect, even the most rabid left-wing hippie ever found the P.A.T.R.I.O.T. act to be, rhetoric notwithstanding. This hierarchy of lying. The supremacy each face on the totem pole takes on in relation to the face beneath it, is so uncompromising, so non-negotiable. Just stop asking questions. It doesn’t matter what that face on the pole says, if the face above it, says something different.

And worst of all, Obama isn’t the one on the tippy-top. He was elected to “sit down and talk” with that I’m-A-Dinner-Jacket guy over in Iran, and His Holiness will tell I’m-A-Dinner-Jacket…what, exactly? “Oh, mkay…alright, if you say so.” Anything beyond that?

Go on, Obama fans. Tell me where I’m off-base here.

Thing I Know #274. Heath Ledger’s Joker had it exactly right. People will choose brutality, injustice, carnage, malfeasance, death or destruction every time as long as the alternative is true chaos. They want to know there is a plan. If they get the idea there is no plan, they go nuts. If there’s a plan, they’re somewhat satisfied, no matter what that plan actually is.

Opinion in the News Section

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Dave Kopel has an interesting analysis on how the economics of the newsroom push it there.

Seems nothing ever comes along to push it back where it belongs, again.

Our newspapers have crossed the first milestone on the pathway to complete insanity. How many milestones have to be passed on by before the whole thing is just a birdcage liner and nothing else?

Question About The Blog That Nobody Reads

Friday, December 19th, 2008

As has been noted many times, all the way back to the days when it was literally true…this blog, the blog you’re reading now, has a “virtual trademark” on the phrase “The Blog That Nobody Reads,” thanks to the civilized behavior of some of those nobodies who read it and have blogs of their own — and can, they claim, present statistics proving they are more deserving of brandishing this as a tagline.

Civilization will prevail, so the slogan is ours. Finders keepers losers weepers.

Here’s the question. Since we get to keep this, does that make us the electronic counterpart to the New York Times?

Embarrassment

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Jules Crittenden

Embarrassment

And the lack thereof. Michael Malone at ABC beautifully, if tragically, with shame, reports on the ”get-a-room” performance of the national media in this presidential election year and his own awakening:

The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game — with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.

The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.

But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun — for the first time in my adult life — to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer,” because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist.

Yeah, well here’s my advice on that point, Mike. Call yourself a reporter, an editor, a columnist, a commentator, whatever it is you actually do. “Journalist” is a bogus word for people who are trying to make it sound like this wretched business is something exalted, something professional, something that requires arcane, secret knowledge hard come by. All things it never was, as amply demonstrated on a regular basis by some of the best in the business working at some of the finest publications in the nation. Yes, there are some skills, knacks and tricks of the trade. It helps to be familiar with stuff like … your subject matter … the English language … telephones and computers. Bloggers, untrained, in a couple of years have shown that millions upon millions of dollars have been wasted in this country on journalism degrees.

Dadgummit, but I do love reading about people spending good money to get degrees in things, and then regretting it.

No, that’s not really true. I don’t like reading about that at all. I do like it when going through rituals, is a process thought to be equivalent to actually learning something, or achieving something, and then at the eleventh-hour one or several folks have light bulbs go off in their heads…duh…hey, maybe this wasn’t a good thing we did here. And if ever there was a ritual exalted inappropriately, placed on the same level as learning something or doing something, inappropriately — this stuff we nowadays call “journalism” is a wonderful candidate for such a problem.

We’re waking up.

Don’t know if it’ll be enough of us, or whether it will be in time. But we are waking up.

Unfortunately, I think it’s safe to say now that journalism is changed forever. Irredeemably. All because of Obamamania. Some eighty or ninety percent of this slow erosion — and that’s a conservative estimate — took place within the calendar years of 2007-08.

Sad.

Hat tip: Insty.

Best Sentence XLV

Saturday, October 25th, 2008

The Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award, this morning, goes to Tim Siggia. Blogger friend Virgil sends us a link to Siggia’s latest, in an off-line.

They delved into just about just about every aspect of [Joe] Wurzelbacher’s life, and, lo and behold, they found out Joe was an unlicensed plumber — this bit of information being gleefully provided by the plumbers’ union, whose bosses undoubtedly had their own reasons for wanting to get Joe. It wasn’t just that he had asked the wrong question of a Democratic candidate — an absolute no-no in union circles — but the union hadn’t gotten that slice of Joe’s income, in the form of union dues, to which the bosses consider themselves entitled. But Joe’s standing as a plumber is not the issue here. The issue is a candidate who, in an off-script moment, told both Joe The Plumber and the rest of America who he really is and what he really stands for.

That there above, all of it, is wind-up.

Smackdown follows…

The fact also that Joe The Plumber, a lifelong workingman, is now under persecution by the political party that continuously has portrayed itself as the workingman’s party, makes the hypocrisy of it all particularly odious.

Maybe nowadays it’s more like “lawyer party.”

D’JEver Notice? XII

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

It’s tough to remember right now with all this talk of bailouts and subprimes and economy this and jobs that…but killing terrorists is still the most important issue of this election. The more the better.

Now, they’re telling me, in that authoritative way “they” tell me things when there are no real faces or reputations or identities behind the “they”…that history’s verdict is in on Bush. We don’t like ‘im, and while a lot of folks didn’t like him from the get-go, the big hairpin turn by which “all” of us decided “we” don’t like him, was when he invaded Saddam Hussein’s turf.

“They” tell me “we” hate George Bush because he lied to us to make it happen.

Because he didn’t have “proof” Saddam Hussein was developing or storing WMDs.

Because he didn’t have a more legally sturdy delegation of authority from Congress with an actual declaration of war.

Because if we knew the facts, we wouldn’t have supported the invasion of Iraq.

Because the U.N. didn’t bless it.

Question: Are these, like, either-or things? It’s an important question. Our country’s going to have to know the answer to that next time this has to be handled.

If the next ne’er-do-well around the world is caught engaging in his skulduggery and hijinks, what’s President Obama or McCain or Palin supposed to do, exactly? Get the approval of the electorate? Of Congress? Prove the shenanigans beyond the shadow of any doubt? Get the approval of the United Nations Security Council?

All of those? One of those? Two of those?

This is the trouble with that nameless faceless “they.” “They” are great at stating an argument or a case, but not in such a way that it makes sense. Is our lesson for future events that you can’t invade a nation until you P-R-O-V-E that you have to…and then…get U.N. approval? Why? What if you prove it, irrefutably, and then one deliberative body approves it and another one doesn’t?

Shouldn’t someone be debating that somewhere? Preferrably, out in the open with some high profile and visibility? Like before November 4th? I mean…”they” tell me “everybody” is really concerned about this. Seems like the question should’ve come up before now.

Negative Advertising

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

I was just wondering when, exactly, it became known as “going negative” to rattle off one or several reasons why people should vote for you over the other guy. Along comes Thomas Sowell

When the truth about what he actually did as governor was brought out during the Presidential election campaign, the media were duly shocked — not by Dukakis’ record, but by the Republicans’ exposing his record.

John Kerry, with a very similar ultra-liberal record, topped off by inflammatory and unsubstantiated attacks on American military men in Vietnam, disdained the whole process of labeling as something unworthy. And the mainstream media closed ranks around him as well, deploring those who labeled Kerry a liberal.
:
…those in the media who deplore “negative advertising” regard it as unseemly to dig up ugly facts instead of sticking to the beautiful rhetoric of an election year. The oft-repeated mantra is that we should trick to the “real issues.”

What are called “the real issues” are election-year talking points, while the actual track record of the candidates is treated as a distraction — and somehow an unworthy distraction.

Yup. Invariably, when someone says “let’s get back to the real issues” the next two or three sentences that come after have something to do with “eight years of Bush.” These are people who credit themselves with looking boldly forward into the future. And so seldom do I get to see ‘em do it.

Nor is anyone accused of “going negative” when they spew their bile and venom about “Bush.” Somehow, that ‘un gets a pass.

Tapper

Monday, October 13th, 2008

I was looking up Jake Tapper’s column and in that very instant, Mr. Tapper pops up on channel 10 as a “political correspondent” or some such.

Maybe he’s balanced and centrist the rest of the time. He isn’t here.

I can’t do a better job of fisking his list of complaints than this fellow did.

Hey Jake, it’s not that simple of a matter. It started out pretty simple…but then Stephen Branchflower put out a report in which his factual conclusions went in one direction, and his opinionated conclusions went in the other direction. For whatever reason. And now we have a mess.

Great report, Mr. Branchflower. You started out with one question, now you’ve generated a whole fistful of ‘em.

Tapper did do something fair, though: He included Taylor Griffin’s comments at the end of his own column in an “update” (albeit, while misspelling Griffin’s last name). These comments of Griffin’s do a serviceable job of addressing both sides of the issue fairly, I find:

The investigation set out to determine whether Gov. Palin had acted properly in reassigning Walt Monegan, it concluded that she absolutely did. The Legislative Council’s investigation offers an opinion based on a very tortured reading of the Ethics Act, but, as Legislative Council Chairman Kim Elton pointed out yesterday, it has no force in law.

Unable to find wrongdoing under the original investigation, Mr. Branchflower tried to stretch the Ethics Act to fit facts that are well beyond the scope of the law. To say she is in violation because she did not stop Todd Palin from raising concerns with appropriate authorities about a rogue State Trooper who had threatened their family and abused the public trust really defies commonsense and has no basis in the law. Besides, as Todd pointed out in his interrogatory responses, she did ask him to “drop it.”

Also, the Council made clear that the vote to make the report public was not an endorsement of its findings. In fact, five members of the council spoke up to say they do not agree with the report’s findings. The lengths that were taken to stretch the scope of the investigation to find something damaging to say, when the facts bore out that the Governor acted appropriately, show that our concerns about the politicization of this investigation were entirely justified.

Trooper Wooten has a history of violent and intimidating behavior and threatened the life of Sarah Palin’s father. As anyone would, the Palins raised these serious concerns to the proper authorities. As Todd Palin said in his interrogatory responses, “I make no apologies for wanting to protect my family and wanting to publicize the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge and abusing the workers’ compensation system.”

Go on, moonbats. Tell me Taylor Griffin is owned by the Rothschilds and is spreading his lies in Karl Rove fashion…and how…and where he lied. Can’t wait to see it.

Luckily, You’re an Objective Journalist

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

What if I had to choose between K. Couric and S. Palin babysittting my kids overnight? Hmmmm…..