Archive for the 'Why Fox news blows' Category

Nov 09 2016

Now it’s time to make some decisions

America fucked up last night. They had a choice to make-and they chose the selfish option. Now they deserve to suffer for it. And suffer we will.

For the short term, people will rejoice, however when people experience the effects of the legislation that he will propose-and the Supreme Court nominees he will name, all of us will suffer for it.

A lot of you will deny that reality, especially this guy  But I have been around the block enough to know what will happen. Welcome to 1932. 

One of the great things about my work in Israel, is that I have come to experience the reality of why Israel came to exist. And how the founding fathers of Israel came to the realization how they had to establish a Jewish State because the rest of the world would not accomodate them. Well, I see that happening now for those of us who believe in liberal democracy. Instead they made Aliyah.

So. Now it's time to make some decisions.

Unlike many of you, I recognize Trump as the dangerous thug that he is. And now I have to deal with that reality. I had thought the American people were smarter than this. Turns out they were not. They were stupid and selfish.

In the coming weeks, I will bring this blog to a close.. It never had a large following, so it won't be missed in the grand scheme of things. Except by me where it was my venue to express my feelings about things. But in the new Trump inspired universe, there will be no place for such musings. The thought police will come for me, of that I am sure. Trumps ultimate purpose in life is to crush dissent, and like the Germans in the 30's we will all experience consequences of it. So now I have to look out for myself.

I've enjoyed my interactions with my readers and I am very much appreciative of their readership. I wish all of you well in the painful years that are now to come. You will suffer during them-as will I. As they say in Japanese, Ganbare! Do you best! The coming years will try you- because rest assured, President Trump WILL fuck you. I have the perception to see that. Many of you do not. That's my curse and perhaps your blessing.

But this blog will serve as a testament that there were once more noble ideals. Until we are liberated, from this living hell we are about to enter into, I wish you well.

Thank you for your support. Good bye and good luck in the new era about to dawn.

It will be painful and for those of you who willingly chose, I hope you suffer what you deserve.

For the rest us, I wish us safe flight into exile.

God bless you all.

 

7 responses so far

Nov 05 2016

Standing at the abyss…………

That's where the land of my birth is today. Remember this scene from the end of the movie, Wall Street?

 

 

That's a great thought for 2016 especially as we have hordes of less than rational people screaming about e-mails again and again. All the while ignoring the really awful and totalitarian things of the man they profess to love.

Andrew Sullivan, a writer who,  I have to confess, have a love / hate relationship with his writing, has penned a fairly accurate description of where my mother country is, on 5 November 2016.  Titled , America and The Abyss it is a well written and detailed look at how America brought itself to the bring of descending into fascism and fear.  It is a frightening apparition of how low the United States has sunk to in terms of political and historical awareness.

This is what we now know. Donald Trump is the first candidate for president who seems to have little understanding of or reverence for constitutional democracy and presents himself as a future strongman. This begins with his character — if that word could possibly be ascribed to his disturbed, unstable, and uncontrollable psyche. He has revealed himself incapable of treating other people as anything but instruments to his will. He seems to have no close friends, because he can tolerate no equals. He never appears to laugh, because that would cede a recognition to another’s fleeting power over him. He treats his wives and his children as mere extensions of his power, and those who have resisted the patriarch have been exiled, humiliated, or bought off. 

A look at the details of Trumps life supports this assessment-especially when you consider the number of people he has alienated.

Anyone paying attention knew this before he conquered the Republican Party. Look at what has happened since then. He sees the judicial system as entirely subordinate to his political and personal interests, and impugned a federal judge for his ethnicity. He has accused the Justice Department and FBI of a criminal conspiracy to protect Hillary Clinton. He has refused to accept in advance the results of any election in which he loses. He has openly argued for government persecution of newspapers that oppose him — pledging to open up antitrust prosecution against the Washington Post, for example. He is the first candidate in American history to subject the press pool to mob hatred — “disgusting, disgusting people” — and anti-Semitic poison from his foulest supporters. He is the first candidate in American history to pledge to imprison his election opponent if he wins power. He has mused about using nuclear weapons in regional wars. He has celebrated police powers that openly deploy racial profiling. His favorite foreign leader is a man who murders journalists, commits war crimes, uses xenophobia and warfare to cement his political standing, and believes in the dismemberment of both NATO and the European Union. Nor has he rejected any of his most odious promises during the primary — from torturing prisoners “even if it doesn’t work” to murdering the innocent family members of terror suspects to rounding up several million noncitizens to declaring war on an entire religion, proposing to create a database to monitor its adherents and bar most from entering the country.

Interestingly enough, the man and his followers seem to take great offense when you call out this phenomenon by its proper name.

We are told we cannot use the term fascist to describe this. I’m at a loss to find a more accurate alternative.


 

Scott Adams, you fucking hypocrite, please make a note of this.  As noted previously,  any political credibility you may have possessed has long been thrown out the window.

Sullivan makes a cogent argument that the GOP, through its combination of cowardice and embrace of a cruel and selfish economic agenda has put the nation in danger. He's quite right about this as witnessed by Paul Ryan's cowardly , "I'll support him even though its distasteful, because it gives me the opportunity to screw Grandma out of Social Security and guy Medicare." That's not exactly a principled decision to make.

The Establishments of both right and left have had many opportunities to stop him and have failed by spectacular displays of cowardice, narrow self-interest, and bewilderment. The right has been spectacularly craven. Trump has no loyalty to the party apparatus that has elevated him to a possible victory next Tuesday — declaring war on the Speaker of the House, attacking the RNC whenever it fails to toady to him, denigrating every single rival Republican candidate, even treating his own vice-presidential nominee as someone he can openly and contemptuously contradict with impunity. And yet that party, like the conservative parties in Weimar Germany, has never seen fit to anathematize him, only seeking to exploit his followers in the vain and foolish delusion that they can control him in the future in ways they have not been able to in the past.

The Republican media complex have enabled and promoted his lies and conspiracy theories and, above all, his hysteria. From the poisonous propaganda of most of Fox News to the internet madness of the alt-right, they have all made a fortune this past decade by describing the world as a hellhole of chaos and disorder and crime for which the only possible solution is a third-world strongman. The Republicans in Washington complemented this picture of crisis by a policy of calculated obstruction to every single measure a Democratic president has attempted, rendering the Congress so gridlocked that it has been incapable of even passing a budget without constitutional crisis, filling a vacant Supreme Court seat, or reforming a health-care policy in pragmatic fashion. They have risked the nation’s very credit rating to vent their rage. They have helped reduce the public support of the central democratic institution in American government, the Congress, to a consistently basement level never seen before — another disturbing analogy to the discredited democratic parliaments of the 1930s. The Republicans have thereby become a force bent less on governing than on destroying the very institutions that make democracy and the rule of law possible. They have not been conservative in any sane meaning of that term for many, many years. They are nihilist revolutionaries of the far right in search of a galvanizing revolutionary leader. And they have now found their man.

Sullivan correctly does not spare the Democrats and he should go after them. The failure of the party to develop a broader "bench" and find a reasonable candidate without so much baggage is just really, really bad. Pelosi and Reid are long past their "sell by " dates, and the party has taken too many beatings in mid-term elections by the people who are quietly destroying Kansas, Texas and Wisconsin. ( Not to mention my adopted state of Alabama where people continue to elect psychopaths).

For their part, the feckless Democrats decided to nominate one of the most mediocre, compromised, and Establishment figures one can imagine in a deeply restless moment of anxiety and discontent. They knew full well that Hillary Clinton is incapable of inspiring, of providing reassurance, or of persuading anyone who isn’t already in her corner, and that her self-regard and privilege and money-grubbing have led her into the petty scandals that have been exploited by the tyrant’s massive lies. The staggering decision by FBI director James Comey to violate established protocol and throw the election into chaos to preserve his credibility with the far right has ripped open her greatest vulnerability — her caginess and deviousness — while also epitomizing the endgame of the chaos that the GOP has sought to exploit. Comey made the final days of the election about her. And if this election is a referendum on Clinton, she loses.

Yes, she has shrewdly deployed fear against fear — but she is running against the master of fear. The Democrats, with the exception of Obama, have long been unable to marshal emotion as a political weapon, advancing a bloodless rationalism that has never been a match for the tribal national passions of the right. Clinton’s rallies have been pale copies of the bloodthirsty mobs Trump has marshaled and whipped into ever-higher states of frenzy. In every debate, she won on points, but I fear she failed to offer a compelling, simple, and positive reason for her candidacy. 

I don't think Bernie could have marshaled enough middle of the road and black support-but at this point I kind of wish he had been given the chance to. Nonetheless here we are, with the survival of the country at stake.

Some — including many who will be voting for Trump — will argue that even if the unstable, sleepless, vindictive tyrant wins on Tuesday, he will be restrained by the system when he seizes power. Let’s game this out for a moment. Over the last year, which forces in the GOP have been able to stand up to him? Even his closest aides have been unable to get him to concentrate before a debate. He set up a policy advisory apparatus and then completely ignored it until it was disbanded. His foreign-policy advisers can scarcely be found. He says he knows more than any general, any diplomat, and anyone with actual experience in government. He has declared his chief adviser to be himself. Even the criminal Richard Nixon was eventually restrained and dispatched by a Republican Establishment that still knew how to run the country and had a loyalty to broader American institutions. Such an Establishment no longer exists. 

More to the point, if Trump wins, he will almost certainly bring with him the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court. A President Clinton will be checked and balanced. A President Trump will be pushing through wide-open doors. Who can temper or stop him then? A Speaker who reveals the slightest inclination to resist him will be swiftly dispatched — or subjected to a very credible threat of being primaried. If the military top brass resist his belief in unpredictable or unethical or unlawful warfare, they will surely be fired. As for the administration of justice, he has openly declared his intent to use the power of the government to put his political opponent in jail. As for a free society, he has threatened to do what he can to put his media opponents into receivership.

What is so striking is that this requires no interpretation, no reading of the tea leaves. Trump has told Americans all of this — again and again — in plain English. His own temperamental instability has been displayed daily and in gory detail. From time to time, you can see his poll ratings plummet as revelations that would permanently sink any other candidate have dented his appeal. And then he resiliently and unstoppably moves back up. His bond with his supporters is absolute, total, and personal. It was months ago that he boasted that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would still be with him. And he was right. This is not a mark of a democratic leader; it is a mark of an authoritarian cult. ?

Let me say it for the 157th time. Trump is dangerous, very dangerous and it won't save you when he goes full fascist that you may have voted for him or supported him.

I have long had faith that some version of fascism cannot come to power in America.?……………..a catastrophic war and a financial crisis has robbed the elites of their credibility. As always in history, you still needed the spark, the unique actor who could deploy demagogic talent to drag an advanced country into violence and barbarism. In Trump, America found one for the ages. ?

Never, in my adult life have I feared and worried about an election as much as this. It is the first time I have truly feared the opponent could really hurt the Republic. Even Bush, whose economic and foreign policy I still utterly despise, I never felt like he was capable of doing the things that would destroy the Republic. And when and if that day comes, as it was 80 years ago, the same truth will exist. You were warned and you failed to pay heed to that warning.

No responses yet

Jun 12 2016

It is not always black and white. Mostly its complex and gray.

Jeffrey Goldberg ( the good Goldberg in contrast to the evil Jonah) makes a point that needs to be remembered:

 

Just because the guy was of Afghan descent and may have been radicalized, does not give a segment of the population a "get out of jail free card" on other issues.

Issues like this:

36-Americans-killed-every-day-by-guns

And this:

STATS-2-05

 

The need to fix America's incredibly bad gun laws and the need to protect against violent extremists is not ( and never will be) mutually exclusive.

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS ARE CLOSED ON THIS POST. I am not in the mood for a discussion here.

No responses yet

Apr 28 2016

Running with the devil…….

If you have been following my sparse postings lately ( and judging by the hit counter, you haven't) you will know that I am no fan of the junior Senator from the less than great state of Texas, Ted Cruz. In my lifetime, I have seldom seem an individual more vile, self serving, selfish bastard in American politics-and that is saying a lot. Especially when consider the long history of vile, self serving bastards we have had in American politics over the last 240 years.

Ted Cruz

myopic self-righteous, power hungry asshole who won't listen to anyone or change his views no matter the circumstances.

That guy you're dating is a total Ted Cruz. Run for the hills before he defunds your abortion savings account.

by wonkette2016 October 01, 2013

If a bus ran him over on the road, I would really have to think hard about running over to help him, or giving the bus driver a 100 dollars for performing a public service. Even the father of the underworld is wondering about this guy:

25hhhg

My Canadian Counterpart, whose writing I dearly miss ( and I wish was commenting on this election) had him sized up pretty well back in 2013:

I've never met Ted Cruz, so I can't say as an absolute certainty that he's a psychopathic retard. But because he's a Republican and a Tea Partier, he can't honestly object to either characterization, since both are such a central part of his political base. 

Republicans and Teapers get awfully pissy when I say things like that, but I'm hardly the one that's been in the trenches finding new and ever more self-defeating ways to turn superstition and stupidity into conservative virtues. 

Even before the advent of the Tea Party, supposedly conservative politicians have equated self-promoting ignorance as folksiness, which explains the non-sexual appeal of Sarah Palin perfectly. Christ, when I try to explain to reasonable, intelligent people why I hold conservative positions, I have to bend over backwards to demonstrate that I'm not a fucking yahoo. And that's exhausting because people like Ted Cruz have made it their life's mission to make it exhausting. ………….

But people with normal cognitive functions – including most rational Republicans – have come to loathe Cruz with the power of a thousand suns.

I don't want to see Cruz turned into Robert Taft, the serious conservative that wasn't given a chance. He needs to be Alf Landon, the guy who got beaten within an inch of his fucking life.

 

 

And those are just the printable sentiments I have for him. Under the influence of Scotch I have a whole different view point.

So imagine my surprise when I read that even people who are supposed to be on his side, truly hate the guy. And he really may be spending his summers in the 7th circle of hell:

Much of the discussion – and laughs – focused on Boehner’s views on the current presidential candidates. Segueing into the topic, Kennedy asked Boehner to be frank given that the event was not being broadcasted, and the former Speaker responded in kind. When specifically asked his opinions on Ted Cruz, Boehner made a face, drawing laughter from the crowd.

“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

On which, Mr Boehner and I are in complete agreement. Wow. Vindication from an very unlikely source.

So given that Satan's image picked a running mate, just the day after he was mathematically eliminated from having a realistic shot at enough delegates to win the nomination, what does Mr. Boehner's pronouncement make Carly Fiorina?

'

No responses yet

Apr 02 2016

An unintentional April Fool’s Joke

A traveling man is a happy man. Or should be anyway. Normally I would be happy to be on the road again-even if the trip is back to the Whining States of America. But not this time. Thanks to the machinations of the little psychopath, the meetings I am heading to will be filled with unnecessary conflict. That I do not like. After all:

 

Ah, but such is life. After all those frequent flier miles are not going to earn themselves you know-and I am within 20K of making 1 million.

It was with considerable bemusement that I noted this post, which documented a welcome development-namely a desire to have Universities return to teaching history of Western Civilization ( a staple class for many majors at my beloved alma mater) back in the day. Now, that I will admit is a welcome development and as I have argued before should be a fundamental part of a proper education , regardless of your field of specialization.

In 1964, 15 of the 50 premier universities in America — including Stanford — required students to take a survey of Western civilization. All 50 offered the course, and nearly all of them (41) offered it as a way to satisfy some requirement.

But in the 1980s, minority students and faculty at Stanford asserted that requiring students to take the Western civ survey was implicitly racist. Jesse Jackson marched with an army of protesters chanting “Hey hey, ho ho, Western culture’s got to go.”

In 1988, away it went. Stanford then began requiring a course on a non-Western culture. By 2010, none of the 50 top universities required Western civilization, and 34 didn’t even offer the course.

Stanford students want it back. And they don’t simply want to dust off a shelved syllabus.

The Review writers, led by editor-in-chief Harry Elliott, seek a new way to study old ideas. Students want to know the good — the legacies of reason, freedom and innovation. But they also want to know the bad — the skeletons of wars, slavery and the Holocaust.

They also recognize that we seek equal rights and individual choice because we have inherited Western ideas about freedom and human dignity.

Why study Western civilization? As these students argue in their manifesto, by knowing the West we can understand how knowledge has grown over time; how dictatorships rise and fall; how ideas we now presuppose took many years and much struggle to gain traction; and why these ideas matter. Without such knowledge, students will take the heritage of their civilization for granted and be unable, or unwilling, to defend it.

 

For now we will set aside the fact that this article comes from the New York Post, not exactly a beacon of intellectual integrity, and focus on the conclusions drawn from the development.

Phib, like many conservative "scholars", takes an admirable development and twists it to his own devious purposes. A knowledge of Western Civilization is a good thing, but its is a worthless development if leads you to draw conclusions like this:

The war against what binds us together is trans-generational. The kids of the Progressive Era used the children of the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, as their foot soldiers. Gen X saw the fruits up close when they were in college in the 80s and 90s. Though advancing in some areas, the Diversity Industry has seen a few setbacks as the Boomers approach their dotage and Gen Y gets a footing – good news for all of us.

That last statement is as full of bias as anything the diversity bullies might have said, and in another news flash, most of them do not hate themselves, no matter how much you want them to. The Baby Boomers, of which I am proud to be one, are not to blame for your twisted interpretation of history. You might want to go back and check your bias at the door-there is another conclusion, you know.

The misdeeds of our current economic system are trans- generational. They screw millennials  and boomers alike. And as the parade of Western Civilization proves, when people are deprived of basic necessities and dignity, there is a only so far they will allow it to go. If your cherished vision of American political commonwealth is under attack, it is because the inherent selfishness that underpins your vision of economic justice and "structure to be bound by ideas and principals" is not sustainable in the long term. Government is not, as so many of today's "principled conservatives" believe, transactional in nature. The history of Western Civilization teaches us that.

Or it would teach us that if you had bothered to actually do the homework. At the end of the post, Phib seems to show us,  by his failure to comment on it, that he needs to go back to school.

No matter what field students enter, they are well-served throughout their lives if they know how we got here. They can understand Donald Trump more clearly if they’ve read Machiavelli. They can see why it matters that Bernie Sanders is an intellectual descendent of Karl Marx.

I am afraid you flunked the final exam sir, and will need to retake the course.

This is what happens when people read too much Victor Davis Hanson and Mark Steyn and therefore fancy themselves as "learned" on Western values. Bernie Sanders is nothing like Karl Marx, just as Trump is really not Machiavellian at all. That would be Ted Cruz. If Sanders does owe anything to Mr. Marx, it is his anger at the blatant unfairness that our pursuit of obscene wealth creates. I hate to break it to you, but plenty of other non-communist authors had equal disgust with that unfairness. The Enlightenment is built on it.

Sanders has more in common with Otto von Bismark and FDR than Karl Marx, and much of the ideas he champions had their start economically in the late 1700's and 1848. Sure, he believes in regulated and  taxed private enterprise, but he does not seem to want the state to own banks and make cars. He believes in social benefits for the same reason Bismark did-because they build a stable society. The Germans were also not the first to draw this conclusion. As for Trump, well you should be looking to Wendell Wilkie, not Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli for a historical example.

Stupid study starts tomorrow afternoon.

MjAxMS0yOWJkYWEwZjM2M2QxMWY5

 

No responses yet

Mar 14 2016

News you can’t use

Yes, I was going to do a post today about getting good news outlets to you. But just as I was ready to start showing you how to be an informed news consumer, over in the fact free world that is Wingnuttia, this happened:

Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro are resigning from the company over the site’s handling of Donald Trump’s campaign manager’s alleged assault on Fields, BuzzFeed News has learned.

Fields and Shapiro informed Breitbart News chair Steve Bannon of their decision Sunday night.

“Today I informed the management at Breitbart News of my immediate resignation,” Fields said in a statement sent to BuzzFeed News. “I do not believe Breitbart News has adequately stood by me during the events of the past week and because of that I believe it is now best for us to part ways.”

In his own statement, Shapiro said the episode was emblematic of how he believes the site’s management had sold out the legacy of its founder and namesake, the late Andrew Breitbart.

For Ben Shapiro to have a sudden out break of scruples is, as the girls at Wonkette put it,  "not such a surprise; Fields simply escaped before her literal-minded Brietbart bosses could obtain an actual bus to throw her under." This is the right wing blog equivalent of this:


 

 

And at that CAPT Renault had more ethics than Ben Shapiro does.

Now, long time readers here will recognize that even in life, Andrew Breitbart never found a warm welcome here at Skippy-san HQ.  Early on we recognized him as the vile slug that he was. You can refresh yourself on his lack of decency, journalistic integrity and overall allegiance to stupidity here and here. The man was truly vile and his "news" outlets reflected his complete lack of class and integrity.Never forget:

The guy was a hack, at best. More importantly, a steadily increasing number of conservative voices were willing to publicly say so over the last couple of years…………..When you get down to it, Andrew Breitbart was a guy who defamed a lady and trafficked in congressional cock shots. Those are the things that he was most famous for, and likely the things that he was proudest of.

 He was hardly a champion of conservatism, as evidenced by the fact that he almost never talked about its virtues. To be sure, he devoted the last years of his life to berating and humiliating liberals but that, in and of itself, is hardly championing anything, let alone a political philosophy. Having said that, Breitbart's well-documented fascination with Hebrew beef – and he did carry the only known picture of the fully exposed Weiner weiner on his phone to show off to disc jockeys – displayed an underlying support of Israel. So there is that, I guess. 

Indeed, his taking the likes of James O'Keefe to his bosom, engaging in highly selective editing to make some kind of a point, and calling entire popular movements rapists probably hurt conservatism far more than it helped.  As each of his stunts were ultimately discredited, he became harder and harder for serious people to defend. And because he identified himself so closely with the movement brand, the brand itself became identified with him when it refused to denounce those stunts. 
 

Poor old Ben Shapiro, he leaves because he thinks Breitbart's legacy was being betrayed. Too bad he forgot what Breitbart's legacy really was. 

Yep, that would be Andrew Breitbart, the guy who used deceptively-edited video to bring down that huge bully Shirley Sherrod from a minor position in the Department of Agriculture, thus defeating the racist NAACP forever. He also unleashed great investigative journalist and serial liar James O’Keefe upon the world, bringing an end to ACORN and its bullying of white America by registering black voters. Such a hero. Shapiro continues, explaining his disgust at the organization’s turn from good bullying to bad bullying. 

That would also be the same ethically challenged Breitbart that did this:

But I guess no homage is complete without a celebration of the whole man, and the whole man in this case was not just a guy who once said, “It’s all about a good laugh,” but also someone who liked to publish peoples’ personal information on the internet, hack into private web sitestell lies in an attempt to get his enemies fired, and incite readers to threats against his targets and their families, including death threats. I left all of that stuff out of my obit, but now, thanks to you readers, that’s all in there as well, leaving, for posterity, a much more complete picture of the man.

 

And as bad as Breitbart's "life's work" was, Shapiro actually made it worse. When Breitbart died I did not think that was possible. But I was wrong. Shapiro took that low bar and made it even lower after his mentor passed on to his reward. As senior editor-at-large he had a responsibility to set a journalistic tone, one at which he failed miserably. He is, if anything, even worse at providing fact based commentary then his mentor was.

There are many examples of Shapiro's shoddy brand of journalism. The most famous of which occurred here

Basically, what happened is that a Hill staffer repeated a reporter's question as fact to Shapiro and Shapiro published it as fact. 

Not only did Ben Shapiro not bother to get multiple sources, he didn't even Google "Friends of Hamas," which would have pretty conclusively proved that they don't exist. 

I get that there are honest disagreements about Hagel's views on foreign policy, and I'm not against an honest about them. But selective reporting – if Shapiro's "Friends of Hamas" story can even be called that – is something else altogether.

In a proper world, a guy like Shapiro would never find work on journalism's street again-even working to sweep it. But we both know that won't happen. He is already finding himself on Wingnut Welfare with the other hacks.

But the Breitbart "empire" is falling apart and that's a start. So to use one of his mentor's favorite words: "Good riddance, cocksucker.* Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.".

* From the Rolling Stone post: "See the following Breitbart quote: “I like to call someone a raving cunt every now and then, when it’s appropriate, for effect… ‘You cocksucker.’ I love that kind of language.”"
 

No responses yet

Mar 13 2016

A convenient dodge

The forces of He, Trump conspired to tear apart a piece of Chicago, last night. Never mind that Trump has spent months and months stoking up his crazed supporters to be just this violent-somehow in the minds of many Americans it is the media's fault. Which is how we get such brilliant tidbits of local wisdom like this:

yeah, it's Chicago. Thug City

Not that the Democrats would instigate anything. Chicago politics. A Rahm & BHO special.

If the MSM can inflame it they will.

The media gave rise to Donald Trump simply because he's interesting. The news media have been forced into a 24 hour news cycle that needs to entertain as much or more than provide information. It’s all about ratings and advertising… Nothing better than a cat fight no??

 

It's an interesting point of view and I am quite sure the writers of those phrases have gotten a lot of mileage out of trite little sentences like those. At a minimum, it makes them feel better and it gives them someone to blame. There is just one major problem.

That point of view is 100 percent wrong.

It's wrong for a bunch of reasons and when one gives voice to it, they are showing a real lack of understanding of how news works in the 21st Century. It also shows a complete disregard for the history of journalism and how we got here to where we are today. As I said, its really a convenient dodge to avoid having to admit the truth. Namely, that it was people just like themselves that gave rise to Trump and the sooner they accept responsibility for that societal failure, the better off the rest of us will be. To borrow a phrase from 2012-you built this.

There is no Main Stream Media. Let me repeat that for the learning impaired, THERE IS NO MAIN STREAM MEDIA and there has not been for about 20 years. The term main stream media is just plain flawed. Lets replace it with a more accurate terms. 1) News outlets, 2) crossover outlets and 3) opinion outlets.  The marketplace of news expanded and enabled by the internet, is an immensely diverse place.  Its more like a giant COSTCO. You can get anything in this market. Its up to you the shopper to make intelligent choices. Or not so intelligent choices. Each news product being sold or posted has its strengths and its weaknesses.  Some outlets have quality. Many do not.

Since the dawn of the television age there have been three developments that have forever destroyed the idea of a monolithic news media, liberally biased. The first major development was the tearing down of the "firewall" that existed between News directorates and the corporate end of the broadcasting business. Now in the 50's and 60's there were a limited number of channels and there was a clear division between news and entertainment. The three broadcast networks did news because they understood that as custodians of publicly granted airwaves they owed a public service. Also too-there was still a great number of news reporters who had cut their teeth in print and radio and were committed to a certain set of journalistic standards. Even then there were outliers such as Hearst Papers, but they were few and far between and public opinion combined with a lawsuit or two could usually put them in their place. The key element of journalism, on the whole,  in the period from the 50's to the end of the 70's was the recognition of the idea that producing quality reporting was end to itself-regardless of cost. The quality of the story was what mattered, not the company bottom line or the audience level which, it was assumed would come if you produced a quality product.

This viewpoint began dying in the late 70's and the sickness spread in the 80's due to a number of reasons. One was the deregulation fever that swept the country under Reagan. The number of broadcast outlets increased as cable came online. A key development was the beginning of 24 hour cable news, which meant that speed to the screen became one of the key benchmarks by which is news outlet was judged. It had been that way earlier in TV, however technology, prior to the 80's had kind of acted as an "editor" if you will. The time lag also allowed real editors to correct misinformation and get copy right. All that went out the window in the age of CNN.

The final nail in the journalistic coffin was the advent of the internet, smartphones and the world wide web.  The latter gave rise to blogs and to social media. Suddenly, anyone could be a reporter or an opinion maker. Special training in the skills of writing and editing were no longer required.Coupled with that development was the creation of a news network that was "news" in name only. Its real mission, as Jon Stewart later pointed out to his audience and anyone else who would listen,  was to be a 24 hour a day propaganda delivery system. Thus the "crossover" outlet was created. A network whose business model was to lure advertisers, and to espouse a particular point of view. After a shaky start in 1996, the network took off in the administration of George Bush and pretty much left the "news" part of the business behind.  Because Fox was successful from a money standpoint, other networks like MSNBC followed their business model.

One other point about technology. Smartphones and social media meant that people took in their news in smaller and smaller chunks. The goal for many outlets was click bait.  Reading for content became to many Americans, something they no longer had time for-or they were no longer smart enough to do. Another ugly development in the early 2000's was the advent of news fabricators like Andrew Breitbart. Now it was acceptable to make up the news if it did not meet the criteria of what one wished to report. 

By the end of 2010 the whole mess had become a sad shadow of the journalistic world Edward R. Murrow had created.

So what does all of this have to do with the advent of Trump?

I'm glad you asked. While it is true that the quality of journalism has declined due to technology and the rise of a certain category of fact free blogs, mostly on the conservative side-but also on the left, and it has created a less discerning electorate; it would be wrong to cite that as a reason for Trump's rise to demagogic heights. The role of certain media outlets is merely a symptom of a much bigger disease.

First of all, the "blame it on the media" crowd ignores the reality of the Trump phenomenon. Like it or not-the fact that Trump has been able to make the hideous statements that he has made-and pay no political price for it at the ballot box- is news. And this turn of events has long term implications for the American political system. The news outlets have an obligation to report it. Some outlets do it well and a lot of others do it poorly. Some fan like Fox  the flames.

But the news media is not the ones making Trump successful. They don't have that power. Only voters do and when they vote for Trump they are squandering that power in a manner the Republican party has been fostering for a very long time. A very specific subset of the American people created Trump and they have no one to blame but themselves. They laid the foundations of Trump's no nothing beliefs back during the Bush administration with the "dissent is treason" lines regarding opposition to the Iraq war. They amplified in 2008 when many of them behaved like thugs at Sarah Palin's rallies and not one person in a leadership position stood up to brand it as the criminality it was.

From that point in time, it just went careening over a cliff. As John Cole pointed out in a rebuke to a National Review  worthless piece of shit columnist Charles Cooke:

Either they are too stupid to recognize it, or they don’t want to take the blame, or some combination of both, but they built Trump. It was decades of these stupid mother fuckers shouting about Obama being a secret Muslim or Hillary murdered Vince Foster and Dan Burton shooting a fucking watermelon to prove it to another melon based theory about Mexicans having calves the size of cantaloupes and women wanting to abort babies for shits and giggles and sending rock salt to Olympia Snowe and claiming there is no global climate change because LOOK RIGHT FUCKING HERE I HAVE A SNOWBALL IN FEBRUARY or convincing America that welfare and food stamps only go to young bucks buying t-bone steaks or welfare queens with big screen tv’s or that public transportation is totalitarianism or that the main cost cutting technique of health care reform will be Death Panels or that prison makes you gay or that man and dinosaurs lived together in harmony or that women can magically abort pregnancies created by rape or that scientists are genetically creating human/mice superbrains or that agribusiness is using aborted fetuses in soda or that if gay people marry pretty soon people will be marrying dogs or that Presidents Lincoln and Washington used electronic surveillance and actually writing, promoting, and believing a fucking book that said liberalism is fascism and running this person as a Vice Presidential candidate to claiming with no scientific evidence that vaccines cause autism.

My bad. That last one is a Democrat. Fuck you, Robert Kennedy, you fucking stain on our party and your family name.

But that list is real. I didn’t make any of it up. And that’s just a list of things they BELIEVE IN, and not a comprehensive list of the stupid shit they’ve actually done or the vile things they have said. That’s just too depressing to actually tabulate.

 

That, despite its profanity ( which I actually think helps make the point), is a pretty good summary of the descent of the modern GOP into madness over the last 20 years. And again, these points would never have gotten as much traction as they did, had there not been fertile ground to plant the seed in. The seeds of anti-intellectualism found purchase because a great many people stopped learning.

I am always amazed, that for people who claim to love the free market so much, conservatives never understand this particular reality. If the stupidities put forth by outlets like Fox News, the reprehensible dregs of the Liars Club-assholes like the not so dearly departed Breitbart, John Hinderaker, William Jacobsonworthless whore Michelle Malkin and the rest were not well received by a large audience, they would stop publishing them. If one or two of them actually got nailed in a multi-million dollar lawsuit ( as the estate of Breitbart has) it might make them think twice. One has only to read the slime that passes for their comment sections to know that is not the case. The media, with the exception of Fox is biased towards sensationalism and scandal-but it is the consumer ( yes that is you) who makes that possible.  A large number of people have joined the anti-intellectual bandwagon that the GOP has used to propel itself to electoral victories in areas where stupid people tend to thrive.
 

Could the "media" be better as a whole? Sure it can-but it does not have to be now because it's doing perfectly fine in the garbage pit that is American electoral discourse. That doesn't mean there are not quality news outlets still out there-but one has to be diligent about finding them. And few Americans these days  seem to have the knowledge or abilities to do so.

What about MSNBC or Daily Kos? It happens on the left too!

When someone says that, I know they have no real curiosity whatsoever. The facts just don't support the statement. Only one party is jumping like lemmings over the side of a cliff:

Yes, both parties have become more polarized, but one more than the other. Republicans are more conservative than they have been in over 100 years, have fewer moderates than Democrats, and have changed more, political science research shows — and it’s only getting worse.

While 54 percent of Republicans told Pew last month that their party’s leaders in Washington should be more conservative, most Democrats — 57 percent — say their leaders should be more moderate. Just 35 percent of Democrats say the party should be more liberal.

“While the Democrats may have moved from their 40-yard line to their 25, the Republicans have gone from their 40 to somewhere behind their goal post,” Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution wrote in a Washington Post Op-Ed on congressional dysfunction titled “Let’s Just Say It: The Republicans Are the Problem.”

The current GOP is now well to the right of George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan and even Richard Nixon.

 

Blaming the "media" is not just cop out by the folks who do it, it is a failure of people to accept responsibilities for their own actions. We The People-we created Trump by not participating in our democracy and by not being more selective in our choice of elected officials. In the aggregate, The United States of America has a selfish and ill-informed electorate that makes bad choices. And the results are on display this year for all the world to see.

The media didn't do it.

We did.

As the news industry evolves toward a new era, we could do far worse than looking to Ed Murrow again for guidance. Murrow believed that "to be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful." The hard fact is that truth doesn't come tailor-made for any one ideology or political party. More examples of independence and character might be what it takes for the news industry to again be trusted as the honest brokers of American politics.

 

Tomorrow: How to be a better news consumer like me. laugh

2 responses so far

Feb 26 2016

Something everyone can use

After last night's Rethuglican slugfest. My takeaways:

Trump does not have as much game as he thinks he does, and needs to put Super Tuesday away quickly. Time is not on his side. That said, he is right about Rubio and Cruz, they have never led anyone or hired anyone. ( Besides hacks like them).

Both Cruz and Rubio are entitled, arrogant pricks. Rubio will make the GOP more inclusive?  I don't think so-especially when the consequences of his tax and economic policies come home to roost. And stop talking about Reagan you worthless piece of shit. You don't know the first thing about the real Ronald Reagan. Chupar una polla culo.

It is a shame Kasich's record is at odds with his rhetoric. He is the only one who looked sane on the stage.His answer on why business is business and vendors don't get to make value judgments on their customers is one I very much agreed with. But then you remember he just defunded planned parenthood. Since he is from Pittsburgh this makes him a:

Jagoff

Oh and by the way, one reason you know he was a bit right is that the real douchbags at National Review came after him immediately.

Or the response from this bag de la douche:

 

The bible has a word for men like these: Pharisee.

modern-pharisee

Evangelicals are constantly bellowing about America's moral decay. They could stand to take a look in the mirror

And then there is poor Dr. Carson. 

12744664_1061074613929464_3937367223960825493_n

Every time I think the GOP of 2016 has hit rock bottom, someone takes out a pick ax and digs a new sub-basement. Only one thing to do, and that is drink! Forget beer we need to move straight to the hard stuff:

13409907-glass-of-whiskey-and-ice-isolated-on-white-background-486x520

 

And after that? Well It's time to get laid!

Ling_Tampura_1

Right?

 

2 responses so far

Feb 24 2016

Pouring gasoline on an open fire

So, it would appear a portion of America really wants to prove to the rest of the world how ignorant they really are. Donald Trump won Nevada. Yet another shameful moment that is the United States election of 2016.

Now the media is all over Mr. Trump, calling him unstoppable. Which is interesting since he has not yet broken the threshold of 100 delegates. If I was not seeing the land of my birth self destruct before my eyes, I simply would not believe it.

And probably what is more shocking is that people are pretending to that they did not see this coming.

The truth is Trump has been a long time coming. The rise of the sense of victimhood among a certain percentage of Americans aided by a certain "news" network and a blogosphere that made it its life's mission to vilify both a democratically elected president and the processes that got him there, and here we are.

 

 

 

Now personally I don't think the Trump bandwagon is moving as fast as the Pundits say it is-especially since , in theory, Super Tuesday could change the balance. So too,  could a late entry in California by Rmoney, trying to force a brokered convention.

But if Trump does become the Republican nominee, the party will have no one to blame but itself. They created this monster, starting in 2008 when Caribou Barbie let her adoring fans get out of control, and no one in the Republican party had the decency to call them out as they thugs they were. Or again in 2009 when hordes of tea swilling freaks took over parks and other venues. Year after year it got worse. 

And now the party elders are trying to pretend they had nothing to do with creating the mess.

Well, over in Israel, they know better. Chemi Shalev wrote in Haaretz today:

In the seven and a half years since they lost the White House in 2008, Republican leaders have been wary of their voters’ rage and have thus tried to stoke it in their favor. With the assistance of the all-powerful broadcasters of right-wing media, they have savaged the evil administration, stirred resentment, incited against minorities and immigrants and portrayed an enfeebled America that has been brought to its knees. They poured more and more fuel on the fire, until Donald Trump came in to spread the flames, in their direction as well. Dumbstruck, they are now helpless as he burns down their house.
 

 

And now it would appear, like Doctor Frankenstein, they are upset that the monster escaped the laboratory:

But the voters’ wrath isn’t directed only at President Barack Obama and the Democrats, but at their own party leaders as well. They want fresh blood, someone new, an “outsider,” as the polls phrase it. Trump promises them to stick it to one and all, with no holds barred, and they, like the children of Hamelin, follow his tune in ever increasing numbers.


Trump handily broke the 35 percent ceiling that experts had imposed on him, based on his previous performances, and reached 45 percent instead. He beat Marco Rubio by a whopping twenty points, in the fourth consecutive state that the so-called savior Florida senator has now lost. Republican bigwigs who had been pressing Ohio Governor John Kasich to suspend his campaign in order to join forces with Rubio against Trump could have saved their breath: based on Tuesday’s results, it wouldn’t have made the slightest difference.


Cruz, who was once again losing his fight with Rubio over second place, was in an even greater bind in advance of next week’s Super Tuesday battle royale. Cruz, whose position as the GOP’s angry prophet has been usurped by Trump’s all-out tirades, had hoped to win at least a few of Southern Evangelical states that are participating in next week’s face-off. Now Trump’s momentum is threatening to erase Cruz’s lead in his home state of Texas as well. That’s a blow from which he would not recover.

I genuiely fear I watching the democracy of America self-destruct right in front of me.Six years ago I wrote a post based on an article in the New York Book Review that pointed out :

Americans have not caught up yet with the changes that are going on in the world. They are two slow witted, for the most part,  to recognize them. The 20% or so of us who do recognize it-are castigated for having the gall to point it out. As I have pointed out before-the Tea Bag revolution bears little resemblance to the American revolution and a lot of resemblance to the French one.

 

Welcome back Monsieur Robspierre, your table is waiting.

3 responses so far

Feb 13 2016

As if things were not screwed up enough.

God decided to play a cruel joke on American politics by holding a recall election of His own. The winner was Justice Antonin Scalia.

The loser will be the rest of the United States, that is left behind to watch the Constitutional farce that will be the nomination of his successor. More on that in a bit.

If you search the archives of this blog, you will find that there was a time when I actually defended Antonin Scalia. It was in this post here. For the record, I have not changed my mind, The Citadel should still be all male and Justice Scalia performed a service by eloquently pointing out why the arguments of the plaintiffs were flawed from both a legal and educational standpoint.

But the larger picture, as I have recognized some 8 years later, is that , by and large, the majority of the American people no longer care about the validity of mine and Justice Scalia's viewpoint. The court made that obvious in VMI, when only one justice voted no. Sadly, it did not recognize that in cases that were far more important to the national polity.

Consider his key role in Heller, Citizens United, and Bush vs Gore. Not to mention voting to gut the Voting Rights act. 

And then there is this:

This Court has never held that the Constitution forbids the execution of a convicted defendant who has had a full and fair trial but is later able to convince a habeas court that he is "actually" innocent. Quite to the contrary, we have repeatedly left that question unresolved, while expressing considerable doubt that any claim based on alleged "actual innocence" is constitutionally cognizable.

That, is among many of his dissents-a head slapper. How can anyone argue that way-even from a strictly legal standpoint?

Antonin Scalia was a brilliant legal mind and definitely worthy enough to be a Supreme Court Justice. Unfortunately, his brilliance was so often squandered on ideas that were just flat out bad. Charles Pierce sums it up well:

I believe the United States would be a better country if none of these remarks ever were made.

So now we will have the national mourning, and the lying-in-state, and the state funeral, all of which Antonin Scalia deserves. Giving 30 years of your life to public service at the highest level is something worthy of respect, even if it was largely in service of a political philosophy that derides public service at almost every other level of government. And his death on Saturday certainly is a seismic event in our politics. It raises the stakes in the upcoming election to almost unimaginable levels. How do we know this? Because Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the United States Senate, already has thrown the Constitution out the window for purely political purposes.

That a sitting Senator, much less the Majority Leader of the Senate, could make such a bold statement, in direct opposition to the requirements of the Constitution is really astounding. It is really a sad commentary of  the damage our tea sniffing fellow citizens, aided by the lazy 50% who can't even be bothered to exercise their civic rights to vote; the damage that having really lousy legislators causes.

McConnell and by extension the two children, Cruz and Rubio who echoed it, don't have a leg to stand on.

Of course, this is all my bollocks. In 2012, the "American people" decided that Barack Obama should appoint justices to the Supreme Court to fill any vacancies that occurred between January of 2013 and January of 2017. Period. Just because Mitch McConnell is a complete chickenshit in the face of his caucus doesn't obviate that fact. The 36 percent of eligible voters who showed up for the 2014 midterms, the lowest percentage in 72 years, don't get to cancel out the expressed wishes of the majority of the 57.5 percent of eligible voters who turned out to re-elect the president in 2012. And before this meme really picks up steam, 17 justices have been confirmed during election years, including Roger Taney, which sucks, in 1836, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist, who were appointed in 1972, and Anthony Kennedy, who was appointed in 1988.

(And it should not be necessary to point out that any argument made by this Congress on the basis of political tradition or legislative politesse inevitably will cause Irony to shoot itself in the head.)

 

If you weren't thinking about voting before, you have a really good reason to now. I know I will vote the hell out of this election and I will be supporting someone who does not endorse the legacy of cruelty and selfishness that the current GOP has wrapped its loving arms around.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

3 responses so far

Next »