ChrisWeigant.com

Please support ChrisWeigant.com this
holiday season!

Friday Talking Points [99] -- Misdirection

[ Posted Friday, October 23rd, 2009 – 18:08 PDT ]

When a stage magician makes a flourish, causing a puff of smoke and a flash of light to appear, there's a reason for it. It is called "misdirection." It is meant to dazzle the audience with a shiny object, so that they don't notice what is going on elsewhere on the stage, or perhaps even in the magician's other hand. It is an effective technique, so effective that it is the basis for most stage magic tricks. And there's a huge story that's sucking up a lot of oxygen from the inside-the-Beltway media scene right now that seems to be tailor-made misdirection which has been tossed into the media shark tank in order to stir up a feeding frenzy.

I speak, of course, of whether NBC's Chuck Todd will (or will not) shave off his goatee.

No, of course, I'm kidding. The real head-scratcher for serious media-watchers right now is what the "war" between the White House and Fox News was meant to distract us from this week. The "war" itself is laughable, for a number of reasons. The first is that all presidents do this to one extent or another. Press access is not a constitutional right or anything, meaning that the White House is free to invite anyone it wants into the press room, and exclude anyone it wants. Secondly, it's not "unprecedented" in any way, shape, or form. White Houses criticize the press all the time, and sometimes kick them off official planes, or completely deny them access in retaliation for stories they've run. It happens all the time, from both Republican and Democratic presidents. Anyone who thinks differently just doesn't have all that good a memory.

But the final reason why the whole thing is so ludicrous is calling Obama's White House "Nixonian" in its dealings with Fox News. This is laugh-out-loud funny, because Roger Ailes, the man who runs Fox News was Richard Nixon's media advisor during his first successful campaign for the White House, in 1968. So you've got the man who designed Nixon's press policies now being held up as the victim of (as conservative critics say) the same exact press policies being used against him. The irony's so thick the only way to escape it is with a big old belly laugh.

BWAH Hah hah hah!

There, feel better? It almost makes you nostalgic for the time (not so long ago) when Republicans used to sneer at liberals for "playing the victim." This constant sneering at such "victim card" tactics was actually so successful that the Left has mostly abandoned the tactic at this point. But the Republicans, being out of power, seem bent on resurrecting it in many ways. And, true to form, they have hit upon a new version of their tried-and-true tactic of accusing their opposition of doing what they do on a regular basis. Ailes and Lee Atwater were the authors of so many dirty-tricks campaigns for Republicans, it's hard to count them all up.

But even I'm getting distracted by this non-story. Which brings me back to the real point I'm trying to make here -- why did the White House choose this moment to pick a fight with Fox News? This wasn't a slip of the tongue by one person up there, it seems more like a concerted effort. So what are they trying to distract the media's attention from this particular week? Or, more ominously, why is the White House throwing such political red meat to their base at this particular time? Is it to distract progressives from something the White House is doing behind its back?

My guess (which could ultimately prove to be wrong, of course) is that this whole fake (but shiny... oh, so shiny!) distraction was waved in front of the media in order to give some elbow room to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as they are doing the toughest work yet on healthcare reform legislation. That has been the real story of the week, even though it is mostly duelling rumors and leaks (so far). Obama showed a masterful ability to distract Republicans earlier this year, by pushing so many issues simultaneously that the Republicans couldn't react to all of them with sufficiently indignant rage, because there were just too many things for them to focus on. Rage diluted is rage denied, in other words.

You could even call it a variation on Ailes' "orchestra pit theory." In Roger Ailes' own words:

If you have two guys on a stage and one guy says, "I have a solution to the Middle East problem," and the other guy falls in the orchestra pit, who do you think is going to be on the evening news?

Providing a center-ring tiger fight for everyone in the Washington media circus to focus on has taken the spotlight off the closed-door negotiations which will ultimately decide what the healthcare reform bills from the House and Senate will look like. This is serious, serious horse-trading, and the last thing Pelosi and Reid need right now is screaming Republicans with nothing better to talk about. Hence, the Fox News tempest in a teapot was served up instead.

As I said, I could be wrong about that, but it seems like the most logical answer at this point. We'll see... we'll see. Maybe it's all just Ailes contemplating a run for president, who knows?

For those following healthcare reform news closely, it has been a week of wading through rumors. I picked my favorite rumor and ran with it in yesterday's article, just because it seemed like a fun thing to do, so I'm no better than the rest.

The week has consisted of Pelosi and Reid actually cranking the handle on the congressional sausage grinder. They've been busy nailing down exactly what will appear in the bills they send to the floor of both the House and Senate for debate. There is no hard schedule as to when this will happen, but (it is rumored) next week may see a bill in the House. Or one in the Senate. Or both. Or neither.

Kidding aside, the process does appear to be moving forward. There are so many rumors at this point it's almost impossible to keep track of them, but if you're interested in catching up on a few, here's a story about House rumors and about Senate rumors for you to peruse.

The way things stand (it is rumored) is that Nancy Pelosi is very, very close to having enough House Democrats to pass what is being called a "robust" public option in the House. She may fall short of the 218 votes needed, or she may be able to corral them. The problem, for House Blue Dogs, is that the most "robust" public option saves more money than the more watered-down public options. So they don't have the convenient excuse of "fiscal responsibility," since the fiscally responsible thing to do is, obviously, to back the lowest-cost plan: the most-robust public option. There is also (it is rumored) a struggle going on over abortion among House Democrats, as well, to complicate things.

But even if Pelosi doesn't get the most robust public option, her "fallback" position is still a much stronger public option than the Senate is likely to produce. Meaning she is doing her job well -- using the House bill to stake out a bargaining position that is as progressive as possible, so she'll have a strong hand to play in the inevitable conference committee between the two houses (which will write the final text of healthcare reform legislation).

Harry Reid is also moving leftward (it is rumored) from the position Max Baucus staked out. This column is pleased to say that (it is rumored) Reid appears to have settled on Chuck Schumer's compromise idea of the "opt out" plan -- because this column came out for the idea almost immediately when Schumer brought it up two weeks ago. It really does seem, to us, like a brilliant political solution to an almost intractable squaring off between the two camps. Have a nationwide public option, but allow states to opt out if they want. Not only does this allow Democrats from both camps to claim "victory" for their position, it also punts the political decision back to the state level, and throws an enormous gauntlet down to Republicans everywhere -- "Put up or shut up. Don't like the public option? Opt out. See what your voters think about that."

Schumer's opt out plan isn't perfect, but what is in politics? It seems like the best way to get the strongest possible public option actually passed and put on President Obama's desk, and (it is rumored) it seems like Harry Reid is now pushing it as his most-favored option. This is because it appears to be acceptable to (it is rumored) all but two Senate Democrats at this point -- a higher vote count than I've heard for anything else proposed.

The problem may be (it is rumored) with the Obama White House. Depending on which rumor you believe, this is due to Rahm Emanuel pushing for Olympia Snowe's "trigger" option (he has publicly stated previously what a wonderful plan he thought the trigger was, so this is pretty believable); or it could be President Obama himself pushing for Snowe's trigger, and using his chief of staff to convey his position (also fairly believable). But the trigger doesn't seem to have many Democratic fans on Capitol Hill, so the trigger idea may get put on the back burner, at least until the all-important conference committee.

Like I said, it's all tea-leaf-reading and which particular rumor you give credit to, at this point. But enough rumor-mongering, let's get on to the awards!

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

I'm not sure they're all Democrats, so I can't honestly give them this week's Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award, but the musicians who have joined the "Close Gitmo Now" effort certainly deserve an Honorable Mention for their efforts. This group includes: Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, Michelle Branch, Jackson Browne, T-Bone Burnett, David Byrne, Rosanne Cash, Marc Cohn, Steve Earle, the Entrance Band, Joe Henry, Pearl Jam, Bonnie Raitt, R.E.M., Trent Reznor, Rise Against, and The Roots.

Tom Morello, from the band Rage Against The Machine, after learning that his music was used at Guantanamo Bay in such a fashion, had this to say:

Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured –- from water boarding, to stripping, hooding and forcing detainees into humiliating sexual acts -- playing music for 72 hours in a row at volumes just below that to shatter the eardrums. Guantanamo may be Dick Cheney's idea of America, but it's not mine. The fact that music I helped create was used in crimes against humanity sickens me -– we need to end torture and close Guantanamo now.

You can read the whole story, including statements from other musicians, on the CloseGitmoNow website.

But the real winner of the MIDOTW award this week was the 300,000-plus people who called up Congress to urge them to pass strong healthcare reform. This effort was driven by Barack Obama's old campaign organization, which has now been rebranded as Organizing For America.

They set a target of 100,000 calls to Congress in a single day, and they shattered this goal by a factor of three. So while the real MIDOTW award goes to the people who called in, we simply don't have the funds to strike up 300,000 statuettes, so we're sending the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week award to the organizers instead.

Getting 100,000 people to call Congress is impressive. Getting over a quarter million is astounding. Of course, just because the one-day drive is over, this doesn't mean that you can't still pick up the phone and call your representatives as well, just to remind everyone. Grassroots pressure works.

[Congratulate Organizing For America on their web page to let them know you appreciate their efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

The Obama White House, in a move sure to arouse some controversy (ahem) earned a (Dis-)Honorable Mention this week, for picking a fight with Fox News. Washington protocol in such situations is to ignore such detractors instead of giving them the limelight. Doing so, we are sorry to say, makes the White House look petty.

There's a reason for the old saying: "Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton." [Note: I couldn't find a believable source for who actually originated this quote, sorry. Please post one as a comment, if you've got one.] Whoever said it first, the idea is simple -- picking fights with the media does nothing, in the end, but diminish you and sell more papers for your opponent.

Unless, of course, this is a grand scheme to misdirect everyone, as I discussed earlier. If true, the effectiveness of such a tactic won't be able to be judged for a while to come. Which is why the White House didn't sink to the level of earning the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

But until the key question is answered -- is Fox News "playing" the White House, or "getting played" by the White House? -- I have to say that the Obama team is running a risk of having this tactic blow up in their face. Which is disappointing. Maybe -- we'll see... we'll see.

But the real winner of the MDDOTW is also not going to win us any friends among hardcore Democrats, because Representative Alan Grayson has become such a darling of the Left. We certainly applauded Grayson when he used strong language against Republicans on healthcare, but Grayson apparently has problems knowing where "the line" is in acceptable political debate. This week, on MSNBC, Grayson joined in the Fox fracas by saying (Huffington Post has the video): "Fox News and their Republican collaborators are the enemy of America."

Now, his other comments, such as the fact that Republicans are the enemy of anyone who wants "anything good for this country," or that 99 percent of Americans "have the good sense to ignore" Fox News should all be seen as fine and good.

But it wasn't that long ago that such language was being used by Republicans to question the patriotism of Democrats on a wide range of issues (supporting George Bush on Iraq, for instance). Remember? The Left howled with indignation over such scurrilous remarks, and rightly so. There are "lines" you are not supposed to cross in acceptable political discourse, and calling into question your opponents' patriotism is supposed to be one of them. But this must apply equally to all, or else it is nothing but hypocrisy for Democrats to complain when such language is used against them.

So calling a cable television news channel and your opposing party "the enemy of America" is no better, Representative Grayson, than Republicans saying Democrats "hate America" for not wearing the silly flag pins. We'd do well to remember this.

Which was why Grayson's remarks were so disappointing. So, while the decision will no doubt be unpopular among Democrats, we simply must award the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week to Alan Grayson.

[Contact Representative Alan Grayson at (202) 225-2176 (his House contact page seems to be for constituents only), to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 99 (10/23/09)

A story was floated this week that it would be a good idea to "rebrand" the Democrats' public plan option as "Medicare for everyone" or "Medicare for all." Thankfully, it sank quickly, and made barely a ripple on the media's pool of consciousness.

I say thankfully, because although the merits of the attempt at framing are pretty good on the face of it (this idea, incidentally, has been being kicked around the blogosphere for months now), it is simply too late in the game for such rebranding. This may have worked wonders back in March or April, when the subject was first being discussed, and the "public option" language was first being widely used. If Democrats had unanimously started talking about "Medicare for all" it may indeed have done wonders for the whole concept, and built some strong public support.

But at this stage, it's not going to work. I hate to say it, because the idea itself does have some merit. But timing is important, too, and I just think it's too close to the finish line to change your team's uniform (how's that for a mixed-up metaphor?).

Of course, others may disagree, and I fully admit it's a worthy subject for debate, but I'd rather put forth some other framing here instead. So without further ado, here is this week's list of talking points, for Democrats everywhere (but especially those interviewed on the news this weekend) to consider using.

 

1
   The hypocrisy of Medicare Republicans Against Medicare

Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner of New York put out a great press release this week, which pointed out the fact that 55 Republicans "currently receive government-funded; government-administered single-payer health care -- Medicare."

This tactic also would have been a lot more welcome a few months back, but it still has power in the whole debate, I feel, so it's worth pointing out here in the hopes that it can still do some good. In Weiner's own words:

"Even in a town known for hypocrisy, this list of 55 Members of Congress deserve some sort of prize. They apparently think the public option is OK for them, but not anyone else."

 

2
   Republicans just voted against supporting the troops

While this is dangerously similar to what we just awarded Grayson a MDDOTW award for, it's been used so often by Republicans that it might also do some good. A large number of Senate Republicans just voted against this year's Pentagon budget, because they didn't like the expansion of hate crimes which was stuck to it at the last minute. Put in the position of either voting for the Pentagon (but seeming to support gay rights) and voting against gay rights (but voting against the Pentagon), many Republicans chose the latter. Because this is such perennial fodder in election campaigns as a bludgeon against Democrats, we think that this one skates up to the line of acceptable political rhetoric without crossing over it.

So, even though we still have a few reservations about the tactic in general, here is what Harry Reid had to say after the vote:

"I'm disappointed that Senate Republicans have decided that defeating hate crimes legislation takes precedent over supporting our troops. It is outrageous and unacceptable that Senate Republicans would vote against pay raises for our troops, battlefield equipment upgrades and increased funding for veterans' health care as we continue to fight two wars. And they decided to do this all for the sake of stopping passage of landmark legislation that will bring justice to those who commit violent crimes based on bigotry and prejudice. What message does that send to our country and, more importantly, to our troops?"

 

3
   It's not a "war," folks

This one is just a personal pet peeve of mine. I do not like using "war" terminology for political debates (or for sports announcing, for that matter). I know -- it is so easy to do so, because literally everything in politics is presented these days in such "us against them" terminology by the mainstream media. Meaning that, at times, I'm just as guilty of this as others. But I do try to keep it to a minimum, and in this particular case it just seems way overblown.

"You know, I find it interesting that everyone is talking about Fox News and the White House being 'at war' with each other, or 'going to war' with each other, when nothing could be further from the truth. Fox News, and all other media outlets, would do well to remember the fact that America is currently fighting two very real wars right now. We have hundreds of thousands of troops in harm's way even as we speak. I think it does a grave disservice to members of our military in Iraq, Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world when we are in two wars, to call a minor dispute between a news organization and the president a 'war.' Has anyone died in this Fox/White House 'war'? No? Then please, let's stop using such language in respect for our troops who are bravely facing death each and every day."

 

4
   Trust-busting Democrats

This seems like the story everyone swept under the rug this week, but it could have an enormous effect on our entire healthcare system, no matter what the final bill looks like.

"Little attention has been paid this week to the Democrats' efforts in Congress to repeal a loophole in monopoly law which exempts health insurers. Repealing this loophole will allow the monopoly laws to be enforced against the industry for the first time since World War II. This seems like a very important piece of what Democrats are going to accomplish, but it hasn't gotten much attention. So I'd just like to applaud the trust-busting that Democrats are currently attempting in Congress."

 

5
   Cut Wall Street pay!

The announcement that the companies which taxpayers bailed out will have some limits on what they can pay their top executives really needs some attention as well. While the rules announced don't go nearly as far as legislation which died earlier this year would have, the rules are also a lot better than what many were expecting. So it should be seen as at least half a loaf. And since this idea is so wildly popular with the public, Democrats need to beat their own drum on it a little.

"I don't know how any executive at any company which, quite simply, would not exist today if it weren't for taxpayer money propping them up can complain about the limits to pay recently announced by the Obama administration. Quite simply, if you wreck your company, and by doing so, risk wrecking the entire American economy -- you do not deserve a bonus. It's that simple, really. Most Americans would agree with that sentiment, as well, I think."

 

6
   The victim card

See, I set out to ignore the whole Fox fracas, and yet I keep coming back to it again and again. Those "shiny, shiny" news stories are really too irresistible at times, I guess. Last word on the subject this week, I promise.

"You know, I find it highly amusing that Republicans -- from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin to Fox News -- seem to be rediscovering a political tactic which has been all but discarded by the Democrats, mostly because it proved to be so ineffective and generated so much backlash from those in the political center. I speak, of course, of 'playing the victim card.' Republicans used to sneer and denigrate Democrats for always whining about being a victim, for this reason or that. Now, it appears, it's about the only tool left in their political toolbox, other than saying 'no' to everything under the sun, of course. So, to Republican 'victims' everywhere, I have one thing to say -- politics ain't beanbag. Grow up, and stop crying in your beer."

 

7
   GOP's record: 1000 hours wasted so far!

This one comes from the creative shop over at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (the Democrats who are charged with electing more Democrats to the Senate next year). They put out a new web ad which is highly amusing. It parodies the "Mac v. PC" ads Apple has been running, with the stiff-necked Republican as someone who "just kind of wants to see [Democrats] fail," and goes on to say that Republicans have wasted "1,000 hours" in the Senate so far. This reinforces the whole "Party of No" image the Republicans have embraced, and is very effective in doing so.

From the ad, and a good way to wrap up a week of misdirection:

"Ideas are hard, blocking them is easy, especially in the Senate ... We won't get caught as long as [Americans are] confused by all the noise and misinformation we throw out there."

 

All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground

Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

-- Chris Weigant

 

34 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [99] -- Misdirection”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    White Houses criticize the press all the time, and sometimes kick them off official planes, or completely deny them access in retaliation for stories they've run. It happens all the time, from both Republican and Democratic presidents. Anyone who thinks differently just doesn't have all that good a memory.

    I disagree..

    Yes, there has been ONE instance where a specific reporter (not a network, but a reporter) has been kicked off a plane. Fortunately, it wasn't in mid-flight. :D And yes, there has been instances where a specific reporter has been retaliated against.

    But I challenge ANYONE (as I have done since this discussion started) to provide an instance where an Administration has systematically gone after an entire news network. Where an Administration has stated unequivocally that an entire news network "isn't really a news organization". And where an Administration has actually bullied and intimidated other news organizations in an attempt to ostracize a specific news organization.

    Ya'all can't because there isn't any.

    This IS a precedent in the ongoing Press/Administration conflict.

    This is laugh-out-loud funny, because Roger Ailes, the man who runs Fox News was Richard Nixon's media advisor during his first successful campaign for the White House, in 1968.

    Relevance?? All that shows is that, like Lamar Alexander, the man knows what Nixonian is all about.

    And the term is dead on balls accurate when describing the Obama Administration and it's attempts to silence Fox News. Not to mention many other actions of the Obama Administration.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704224004574489563238177126.html

    That article is a great read, if only for the ...ahem liberal sprinkling of apropos movie quotes. :D

    why did the White House choose this moment to pick a fight with Fox News? This wasn't a slip of the tongue by one person up there, it seems more like a concerted effort.

    Exactly my point. It's a concentrated effort. And never before, in the history of this country has there been such an ongoing, systematic and downright aggressive campaign to destroy an entire news organization.

    NEVER...

    Personally, I think it's a way for the Obama Administration to throw the Hysterical Left a bone. Obama's hope is that it will mute the outrage when he accedes to General McChrystal's request for 40,000+ troops in Afghanistan.

    However, just because there is an ulterior motive for the White House/Fox News war, doesn't mean that it is still not precedent-setting dangerous.

    When we have a Republican Administration in 2012, we'll see how ya'all feel if that GOP Administration does to NBC what the Obama Administration is doing to Fox News. :D The apoplectic crescendo from the Left will truly be entertaining. :D

    But it wasn't that long ago that such language was being used by Republicans to question the patriotism of Democrats on a wide range of issues (supporting George Bush on Iraq, for instance). Remember? The Left howled with indignation over such scurrilous remarks, and rightly so. There are "lines" you are not supposed to cross in acceptable political discourse, and calling into question your opponents' patriotism is supposed to be one of them. But this must apply equally to all, or else it is nothing but hypocrisy for Democrats to complain when such language is used against them.

    Here, Here!! :D Very well said. So much so, it deserves to be in BOLD as well as Italics. :D

    Play by the rules or don't play at all....

    I'll hit up your TPs later today. Gotta fled... :D

    As an aside to David.. I just saw you left an updated comment on the previous Media commentary. (0540 PST??? Yer up early! :D)

    I hope you won't mind, but I am going to drag that comment up here and respond to it in this commentary. :D

    Michale.....

  2. [2] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    ...Administration has systematically gone after an entire news network. Where an Administration has stated unequivocally that an entire news network "isn't really a news organization".

    That's not "going after" them, it's just publicly acknowledging a very common perception ("the truth," if you will) about what Fox actually is. Fox (the entire network, not just some of its reporters) has tried throughout its existence to systematically target and tear down democratic candidates and office-holders, including the president. that being the case, there is certainly cause for the administration to defend itself. However, I'm inclined to believe CW's postulate that choosing this particular time to do so probably had some alternate motivation.

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    nypoet22

    So, what you are saying is that Fox News is not really a news organization because they have "tried throughout its existence to systematically target and tear down democratic candidates and office-holders, including the president."

    So, using YOUR definition of the requirement for a news organization, MSNBC, NBC and CBS are not real news organizations either. Because they did the exact same thing to Bush that ya'all are accusing Fox News of doing to Obama.

    You see what a slippery slope ya'all create when you try to arbitrarily assign what is and is not a "real" news organization.

    there is certainly cause for the administration to defend itself.

    No one is arguing that Obama et al don't have the right to defend themselves. But they should do so by disputing the message and not vilifying the messenger.

    Much like why Ink is always losing arguments with me in here. I say yada yada yada yada and Ink responds with, "Well, yer an idiot!". Boom He loses and I win.. My argument is proven valid simply by virtue of the fact that he can't refute the message but rather has to attack the messenger...

    So it is with the Obama Administration.

    Fox News says that Obama is hiring perverts, radicals and communists as "Czars"... Obama responds with, "Yea, well everyone at Fox News is ugly and their mothers dress them funny!!"

    You see the utter childishness and immaturity of Obama's position??

    Even CW agrees that it is petty and will likely backfire on the Administration if they continue. Personally, I think it already has when they tried to get all the other news organizations on board and those organizations told Obama to stuff it..

    Ask yourself one question.

    If the White House thinks that FNC is not a real news organization, then why doesn't Obama pull Fox's news credentials? If Fox isn't really a news organization, then the White House is duty-bound to pull Fox's credentials...

    Don't you agree??

    Michale.....

  4. [4] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Michale,

    Conservatives have gone after more than an entire network. They've gone after the entire "liberal" media!

    And dude, again. Who's trying to "silence Fox News"? Where do you get these theories? ... Oh yeah ... Fox :D

    CW
    Some might argue that Rage Against the Machine's music is a crime against humanity .... :)

    Ok, that probably crossed a line.

    As to the picking a fight with the media. Jury I think is still out on this as a political move. It's seems like the past approach has been to simply stand back from the nutjobs (i.e.: Sarah Palin) and let them self destruct.

    Yet the nutjobs still get a lot of their message out and work to continually shift the goal posts. This seems to be the primary purpose of the nutjobs. For example, conservatives like H.W. Bush would seem out of place in today's conservatism. Eisenhower would be seen as a socialist.

    I like what Obama is doing because he is arguing for a view of what news is, and what it isn't. News has a basis in objectivity. News has a responsibility. News is not propaganda.

    And most people, I think, would agree with his position.

    This is the type of thing I'd like to see more of actually, what is the progressive view on economics, for example. That is why I like how he is starting to take on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Because for far too long they have worked to define and set the rules for a conservative vision of the economy. Basically, the same old failed trickle down, laissez-faire theory.

    I see signs that Obama and his White House are learning how to fight! And this is encouraging.

    - David

    p.s. Big round of applause for those who phoned in on health care! Steve Driehaus heard from me, or rather someone at his office did, along with an e-mail every couple weeks since this began. Each time I'm sure to mention that I donated to his campaign.

    Talk about learning how to fight ... 300,000- that's like 30 times what might happen for most issues.

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Conservatives have gone after more than an entire network. They've gone after the entire "liberal" media!

    So?? Liberals go after Conservatives and Conservatives go after Liberals.

    But the POTUS **SHOULD** be above that sort of thing. ESPECIALLY when Obama RAN on that very platform...

    And dude, again. Who's trying to "silence Fox News"? Where do you get these theories? … Oh yeah … Fox :D

    Actually it was a White House statement to Politico..

    White House aides openly told Politico that they're engaged in a deliberate campaign to marginalize and ostracize recalcitrants, from Fox to health insurers to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28532.html

    As to the picking a fight with the media. Jury I think is still out on this as a political move.

    Actually, jury is in. Even Democrats are slamming the White House for it's attacks on Fox News.

    I like what Obama is doing because he is arguing for a view of what news is, and what it isn't. News has a basis in objectivity. News has a responsibility. News is not propaganda.

    And yet Obama is ONLY arguing against Fox News when it's ALL news organizations that are not objective.

    By only slamming Fox News, Obama comes across as petty and childish. Add to that, it's not just News that get's attacked by the White House and a very disturbing pattern emerges..

    And most people, I think, would agree with his position.

    I would, IF he applied it equally. But he doesn't.

    Michale.....

  6. [6] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Michale,

    I'm not sure I understand why you're so angry, but it's good to hear that even the two of us, who often disagree, seem to have a very similar definition of the news.

    When you say apply "it" equally, are you saying that Obama should go after all the news organizations? What exactly do you want him to do?

    The platform that Obama ran on was one of outreach. We both agree on that. And he did, he reached out. Republicans said "screw you". He reached out again. Republicans said "screw you."

    Republicans have chosen over and over again to not work with him. He could give them exactly what they want, and you know what? They still wouldn't vote for it. Why? Because the party has defined itself as anti-Obama. This is their platform. So whatever Obama is for, they are against. Even if what Obama was for was exactly their own position. They would change to be anti-Obama.

    And I understand that. That's just the way they've decided to play politics.

    So what would you do in this situation, Michale? Continue to work w/ Republicans if they're going to beat you up no matter what you do? Really, I'm curious as to what you would do.

    You say Liberals go after Conservatives and Conservatives go after Liberals.

    But then you turn around and say, well ... except in this situation. Where Obama is just wrong. And ... he's wrong ... because ... well ... he ran on a platform of outreach ... and ... he should ... always reach out ... even if they bite his hand off every time. It was ok for Bush to play politics as President ... but that was different. Because ... well, it just was.

    So I'm not sure what you're arguing. You want Obama to apply rules equally. But you can't even apply them equally.

    You seem to want to hold Democrats to some kind of a crazy standard- where they're supposed to reach out to Republicans no matter how much Republicans bash them.

    If I understand you, you're saying conservatives can beat up on liberals all they want, but somehow liberals are always supposed to reach out.

    I know you're into applying rules equally, Michale. You said so in your last mesg. So how come you're trying to hold Democrats accountable to one set of political rules, and Republicans to another.

    I mean, you yourself admitted that "Liberals go after Conservatives and Conservatives go after Liberals."

    What's the big deal then? Why are you so mad?

    It really seems more like you're arguing with yourself, as I can't figure out what it is you'd like Obama to do.

    Can you tell us specifically what you think Obama should do? I want to see how Obama would act in a Michale world. Maybe this would help.

    -David

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    When you say apply "it" equally, are you saying that Obama should go after all the news organizations? What exactly do you want him to do?

    I want him to act the same towards ALL news organizations that have bias in their reporting..

    EVEN IF THAT BIAS IS IN HIS FAVOR.

    He can't slam Fox News for showing bias AGAINST him, then reward the other news organizations that show bias FOR him.

    Doing so is the epitome, the very definition of hypocrisy.

    Either Obama is against bias in the news or he is not.

    By being selective, Obama et al are simply showing how childish and petty they are.

    So what would you do in this situation, Michale? Continue to work w/ Republicans if they're going to beat you up no matter what you do? Really, I'm curious as to what you would do.

    Obama had said he would bring a change to DC..

    Has he?? Do you see any?? No, it's the same old partisan BS..

    And you want to put the blame solely at the feet of the GOP..

    Do you really believe that?? Do you HONESTLY believe that Democrats are COMPLETELY and UTTERLY blameless here???

    If I understand you, you're saying conservatives can beat up on liberals all they want, but somehow liberals are always supposed to reach out.

    Well, isn't that kind of the definition of Liberal??

    If ya'all don't want to act like liberals, then quit calling yourselves liberals..

    Can you tell us specifically what you think Obama should do? I want to see how Obama would act in a Michale world. Maybe this would help.

    The Obama that *I* voted for was a fair-minded person who would rise above political bigotry and judge each person on their own individual merits.

    What we got was an Obama who is a vindictive and hypocritical jackass who proves over and over again that he doesn't have the experience, the temperment or the ethical or moral center to be president.

    And, in anticipation of your response, yes.. Let's blame it all on Bush... :^/

    One wonders how long ya'all are going to be able to beat THAT deceased equine... :D

    It's really quite simple. So much so, that it's frustrating that ya'all can't see it.

    If Obama is against bias in the news, then he needs to "attack" ALL news organizations because they ALL show bias.

    The fact that Obama ONLY attacks the news organization that shows bias AGAINST him and praises those that show bias FOR him, that PROVES that Obama is not against bias in the news. Obama WELCOMES bias in the news. As long as the bias is in his favor.

    Hypocrisy, pure and simple..

    Michale.....

  8. [8] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    A few things -

    Don't have time to go into everything, just wanted to toss a few points into the fray.

    Not just Eisenhower, but even Nixon would be seen as a "socialist" today by conservatives. Actually, he was called even worse from the rabid righties back then, when he went to China. And he and Teddy Kennedy were very, very close to agreeing on something very close to "the public option" (even close to "single payer") on healthcare reform as well.

    But Michale, you really should read up on Nixon's actual enemies list. This wasn't some rhetoric, like Joe McCarthy's "list" -- this was an actual list. It started from a list the Secret Service had of people who were dangerous to the president (people who had made threats, etc) that was a few hundred people. Nixon expanded this by hundreds of reporters (and then, later, by TENS of THOUSANDS of people he didn't like, reporters included). These people were harassed by the IRS, they had their phones tapped by the FBI, and the Secret Service went along for the ride. Look into what they tried to do to the guy who got the Pentagon Papers scoop if you need more evidence.

    THAT is "attacking" your press enemies. Not making snarky comments about them, but actually suborning the levers of government to attack them. And, with the PATRIOT ACT today, Obama could probably get away with lots worse actually being "legal" today -- which I have heard exactly zero reports that he has done. If I do hear such reports, then maybe I'll reconsider my position.

    As for singling one media outlet with a slant out being a precedent, phooey! There are PLENTY of news outlets who do not currently have access to the White House, purely for their viewpoint. Take the newspaper put out by the Communist Party, USA. I bet they don't have a chair in the WH briefing room. And they didn't have a chair under a Republican either -- this sort of thing happens all the time. Their viewpoint is viewed as not valid, and they are excluded because presidents don't think it'll hurt them politically by doing so (not endorsing the commies, here, mind you, just using it as a blatant and egregious example). And as for presidents saying mean things about journalists, I would point to (oh you just know this is coming) George W. Bush's "major-league asshole" comment.

    But I have to say, after having seen the Pelosi daughter's documentary about W's first campaign, the Bush team handled this one pretty amusingly. They had "major-league-type" baseball jerseys printed up with the team name "Assholes" on it, and gave one out to everyone on the press bus.

    I don't stick up for Bush much, but I have to admit, that was the funniest scene in the movie! Total frat-boy stunt, but I got a laugh out of it, as did the reporters.

    But seriously, this is not some "new" or "precedent-setting" thing. As a matter of fact, in a different fashion, Obama's even done this already. He used Rush Limbaugh as a "foil" brilliantly in the late spring. He totally misdirected the media pack, and they spent like two weeks asking every Republican politician they could find "is Rush Limbaugh the leader of your party?"

    Which is why I'm not concentrating on the misdirection, and won't until Obama starts tapping Fox's phones (oh, wait, didn't Fox champion tapping everyone's phone last year... hmmm, guess I have to take that into consideration...) or telling the IRS to audit all their tax returns, every year.

    I'm just wondering two things: (1) how effective it is (so far, pretty effective, they've got EVERYONE in the media talking about it, even PBS); and (2) whether it's good politics for Obama. So far, the jury's out on that last one, and we'll just see how it all plays out. Earlier, the thing with Limbaugh did score him some political points, as now every Republican is TERRIFIED of crossing Rush. Meaning, exactly as the WH probably intended, Rush IS at least "a" (I wouldn't go as far as "the") leader of the GOP. Meaning the GOP is becoming more and more idetified with the least tolerant members of its party. This is some serious long-term damage for Republicans, which commenters on the Left and Right have been pointing out for months. Latest poll, "party identification" for Republicans is down to 20 percent. Oh, it's a committed and "pure" 20 percent, to be sure, but that's not the way you win national elections. So the WH may have seen how well the earlier misdirection with Rush went, and thought to go after a bigger fish -- Fox -- which may be smart politics and may backfire on him, we'll see.

    But the actual argument itself isn't the point, to me. So that's all I'll say on it for now.

    -CW

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me ask you something, CW. And anyone else that wants to address it.

    What would your reaction be if the White House pulled all of Fox News' Press Credentials??

    We ALL agree that all the media here in the US has a bias. Because they want to get ratings, ALL news organizations slant their news so it is entertaining.

    This is a given. ALL news organizations in the U.S. are biased and slant their reporting of the news.

    My beef is simple. If someone (say, President Obama) is AGAINST news organizations being biased and slanting their reporting, then why is he only going after ONE news organization??

    Answer: Because he ISN'T against bias and slant in news organizations. He is only against bias and slant that is NOT in his favor.

    And THAT is hypocrisy.

    And anyone here who feels it's perfectly OK for Fox News to be singled out, while applauding and cheering on the likes of NBC, MSNBC, CBS etc etc shares in that hypocrisy..

    Like nypoet22 said above.. "Fox (the entire network, not just some of its reporters) has tried throughout its existence to systematically target and tear down democratic candidates and office-holders, including the president."

    And MSNBC, NBC and CBS are ALSO guilty of that during the Bush years.

    So, why is it OK for news organizations to "systematically target and tear down" Republican politicians, but it's NOT ok for Democrat politicians to be systematically target and torn down??

    Therein lies the hypocrisy...

    We can argue whether this is precedent setting or not.. That's a matter of opinion.

    But what CANNOT be argued is the blatant hypocrisy being displayed by the Obama Administration specifically and Democrats in general...

    It's as plain as the nose on everyone's face.

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And MSNBC, NBC and CBS are ALSO guilty of that during the Bush years

    I take issue with you on the factuality of that statement. other networks may contain some individuals who have engaged in biased reporting, but the fact that other businesses want to make money is not equivalent to Fox's systemic, organizational bias in favor of one particular political party. "legitimate" news organizations like CBS, NBC or CNN do not engage in top-down control of news story selection unless it threatens the bottom line; Fox does and has. Legit stations don't fire people for refusing to include ideological bias in their reporting; Fox does and has.

    "The roots of Fox News Channel's day-to-day on-air bias are actual and direct. They come in the form of an executive memo distributed electronically each morning, addressing what stories will be covered and, often, suggesting how they should be covered. To the newsroom personnel responsible for the channel's daytime programming, The Memo is the Bible. If, on any given day, you notice that the Fox anchors seem to be trying to drive a particular point home, you can bet The Memo is behind it."

    it's not hypocrisy if there's a vital difference between the situations being compared, and there is.

  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    You guys are all missing the point.

    Here's the point:

    "...the key question... — is Fox News "playing" the White House, or "getting played" by the White House?"

    Michale, you make your own case against you:

    What would your reaction be if the White House pulled all of Fox News' Press Credentials??

    That's really the whole point, and the whole case of "Fox News distorts reality" -- the WH has not pulled their press credentials. Fox may currently be (over)reacting as if this had indeed happened, but it has not. Until they do, the talk of "war" or "the WH 'attacking' FN" is all overblown rhetoric, and oh, so shiny. If the WH really had declared "war" on FN, then they would have done so. Because they haven't, it's more evidence that they are offering up some classic misdirection. Fox's reaction was predictable, and was probably anticipated by the WH, right?

    Keep your eyes on what the magician's other hand is doing.

    And, seriously,

    Answer: Because he ISN'T against bias and slant in news organizations. He is only against bias and slant that is NOT in his favor.

    And THAT is hypocrisy.

    No, that is called "being a politician." Or maybe "being human." Who wouldn't be against newsfolk who slant everything against you? And for newsfolk who slant things in your favor?

    Seriously, it's all distraction. The most important question is (and I have to publicly give credit where credit is due: you introduced this idea to me, a week ago, in a comment where you said something like: "it's all red meat to the Dems so when Obama is forced to accept the Afghanistan troop increase, they won't mind," or something very similar to that... sorry, didn't go back and look it up, but I think that's pretty close to your language...)...

    Man, that was a long parenthetical statement. The original sentence began: "The most important question is..." and to me still is... what is Obama distracting us all from; is it working; and is it politically a smart thing to do?

    No matter what Fox, or any of the rest of the media are doing, saying, or slanting, I would like to hear your answer to that question, since you're the one who put it in my head originally.

    -CW

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    I agree that it is probably all misdirection.

    And I also agree with what you appear to be saying, that the WH pulling FOX's news credentials would be very very bad for the WH.

    But, as I mentioned before, regardless of whether or not it's a real attack on FNC or whether it's a ruse to keep the Hysterical Left distracted, it's still a very bad tactic for the White House to employ. Especially to escalate it with that Feinberg (Trek reference :D) interview where the WH tried to cajole the other news networks into shunning FNC. When has something like that ever happened?

    Whether it's real or it's feigned, the fact is the White House is setting a dangerous precedent.

    Feigned hypocrisy is still hypocrisy.

    Like I said above, when we have a GOP administration and Congress in 2012, what's to stop them from doing the same thing against NBC or CBS?? And oh how ya'all will howl, eh? :D

    nypoet22

    I take issue with you on the factuality of that statement. other networks may contain some individuals who have engaged in biased reporting, but the fact that other businesses want to make money is not equivalent to Fox's systemic, organizational bias in favor of one particular political party. "legitimate" news organizations like CBS, NBC or CNN do not engage in top-down control of news story selection unless it threatens the bottom line; Fox does and has. Legit stations don't fire people for refusing to include ideological bias in their reporting; Fox does and has.

    Where you around during the Bush years?? As organizations, NBC and CBS were airing anti-Bush tirades daily. Does the name Dan Rather mean anything to you?

    There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between FNC's style of news reporting in the here and now and NBC's and CBS' constant and blatant attacks on the Bush Administration. Actually, when you look at it, there is no difference between the styles of ALL news organizations in the here and now. They ALL show bias and slant in their reporting of the news. The only difference is the ideological slant of the bias. With FNC, the bias slant is to the Right. With all the other media, the bias slant is to the Left.

    And yet, ya'll STILL whine and complain.. WTF?? Ya'all have the media market cornered. Every news organizations in the US slants your way sans one. Be happy with what you have and don't worry that there is just one news organization that slants against ya'all.. :D

    The only difference is ya'all didn't mind the attacks because ya'all were also anti-Bush. But you DO mind the FNC attacks because ya'all are pro-Obama.

    Which, I have to say, is also part of the reason there is so much frustration.

    Ya'all yelled and screamed about Bush doing this and Bush not doing that. Yet, you give Obama a free pass on the very same things. Everything ya'all claimed to hold dear during the Bush years has been violated by Obama. And yet, ya'll (with exceptions) STILL give him a free pass..

    Transparency in government
    Closing Gitmo
    Getting out of Iraq
    Lack of honesty (IE lying)
    Healthcare
    Climate Change
    Afghanistan
    Repeal of DADT
    Repeal of DOMA

    Obama hasn't accomplished dick except to make stoopid statements and raise the level of partisan bigotry to unheard of heights.

    What has Obama done to earn ya'alls blind support?? It seems the only thing Obama has accomplished is getting a Democrat in the White House.

    Gods, ya'all are easy... :D

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Michale wrote:

    No, that is called "being a politician."

    Yea, but that's kinda my point. Obama ran on a PLATFORM of not being the same ol same ol politician. And his utter and complete lack of experience lent credence to the claim.

    I actually believed it. I actually believed that Obama was going to be different. Another Jack Ryan. But he just turned out to be another incompetent, lying politician with a Chicago style mobster bent that just rubs the cop in me the wrong way..

    I guess I am just pissed because he fooled me. I let my idealism override my common sense and voted for the guy. A guy who, in the last 10 months has made many MANY bad decisions. The good decisions he has made can be counted on one hand.

    Barring any 2012-style cataclysm, it's all but assured that Obama will be a 1-term president.

    Michale.....

  14. [14] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    As organizations, NBC and CBS were airing anti-Bush tirades daily. Does the name Dan Rather mean anything to you?

    untrue. rather is an individual who was fired for inaccurate reporting, NOT directed by cbs management to report unfavorably on bush. one biased reporter does not a conspiracy make.

    There is absolutely NO DIFFERENCE between FNC's style of news reporting in the here and now and NBC's and CBS' constant and blatant attacks on the Bush Administration.

    untrue again. i pointed out a few of the major differences above. legitimate news organizations' management allow their employees intellectual freedom to choose their stories and report in a way they think is accurate. fox does not. if the majority of the free individuals working at legitimate news organizations reported unfavorably on dubya's actions, perhaps it was his actions that were unfavorable, not just the bias of reporters.

    The only difference is ya'all didn't mind the attacks because ya'all were also anti-Bush. But you DO mind the FNC attacks because ya'all are pro-Obama.

    incorrect a third time. i googled all nine of the issues you mentioned, and all legitimate news organizations have aired stories questioning whether the president would live up to his campaign promises on those issues, since he hasn't yet.

    from most objective reporters at legitimate news organizations, bush got the benefit of the doubt too. that is, until the premises for the iraq war were proven false, warrantless wiretaps, waterboarding suspects, doubling of the national debt, political firings of US attorneys, refusing the kyoto treaty, nominating harriet meiers, bailing out AIG, protecting blackwater, no-bid contracts to halliburton, mishandling katrina relief, the plame CIA leak, failure to fund NCLB and all bush's other problems had been proven and documented. that's not bias, it's just what he and his administration did.

    that and shooting a friend in the face with birdshot. but as you say, so far obama hasn't done dick.

    I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell.
    -harry truman

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    fox does not.

    And your supporting evidence for this is...????

    incorrect a third time. i googled all nine of the issues you mentioned, and all legitimate news organizations have aired stories questioning whether the president would live up to his campaign promises on those issues, since he hasn't yet.

    Again, cite???

    Regardless, THAT particular point was that it is YA'ALL that is giving Obama a free pass on those issues... Not the Media..

    from most objective reporters at legitimate news organizations, bush got the benefit of the doubt too.

    Sheeya right.. And monkeys fly outta my butt.. :D

    that is, until the premises for the iraq war were proven false, warrantless wiretaps, waterboarding suspects, doubling of the national debt, political firings of US attorneys, refusing the kyoto treaty, nominating harriet meiers, bailing out AIG, protecting blackwater, no-bid contracts to halliburton, mishandling katrina relief, the plame CIA leak, failure to fund NCLB and all bush's other problems had been proven and documented. that's not bias, it's just what he and his administration did.

    And how many of those policies has Obama continued and expanded upon??

    Quite a few..

    I await your condemnation of Obama.. :D

    Michale.....

  16. [16] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Gott in Himmel! We all agree!

    It's misdirection. Politicians are politicians.

    Maybe now all the crying for Fox can stop.

    And yes, Michale, change takes time. Conservatives have been shifting the rules and goalposts for 30 years. But I do see signs of progress.

    Here's an interesting siteI found talking about his promises and the progress that's been made:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/

    If you want some of these things accomplished, why don't you call your Congressman? Why don't you work to convince people that change is needed?

    There are plenty of things you could do as a convincing writer.

    No one here is saying that Obama is perfect, but I do think he's working towards the agenda he set. I also think he found out just how hard this is with all of the special interests involved.

    But, as I said, I think he's learning how to fight. And to help motivate his base to help him fight.

    And if you want to help out instead of taking up the anti-Obama crusade, why not work to help? Change does not come easy and you can see all the old established players still working to block it.

    -David

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    And yes, Michale, change takes time. Conservatives have been shifting the rules and goalposts for 30 years.

    Oh puuuleeeesssee... NOW look who is playing the victim..

    In case you forgot, Clinton (A Democrat, if I recall) was a two term president.

    No one here is saying that Obama is perfect, but I do think he's working towards the agenda he set.

    And Bush worked hard to keep this country safe from terrorism.

    Did ya'all give him ANY credit for that? Hell no..

    And, the funny thing is.... BUSH SUCCEEDED!!!

    Obama has been one failure after another..

    I also think he found out just how hard this is with all of the special interests involved.

    But, as I said, I think he's learning how to fight. And to help motivate his base to help him fight.

    Yes, Obama is learning how to fight. The problem is, he is learning to fight FELLOW AMERICANS!!

    The REAL enemies, he can't kiss their arses fast enough...

    And if you want to help out instead of taking up the anti-Obama crusade, why not work to help? Change does not come easy and you can see all the old established players still working to block it.

    What a difference an election makes, eh? I was saying the same thing to ya'all during the Bush years. When the US was busy fighting REAL enemies and REAL threats..

    But, as I noted then (and which seems truer today than ever before) ya'all only seem interested in fighting fellow Americans who simply believe different things than ya'all do..

    When it comes to real threats like terrorists and the like, ya'all can't provide excuses and protections for them fast enough...

    Remember Valerie Plame?? Democrats went apoplectic when they thought that a GOP administration had sanctioned her "outing"...

    Now, under Obama, we have the ACLU taking CIA operative's photos and files and showing them to terrorists to see if they can be identified as interrogators..

    As I said.. What a difference an election makes, eh??

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry about the delay in addressing the TPs, CW.. Don't ask... :D

    One minor address to your MIDOTW award, however.

    Guantanamo is known around the world as one of the places where human beings have been tortured –-

    Wrong...

    Human beings weren't tortured. Just terrorist scumbags..

    Who cares?? Surely not I...

    And, simply to head off the standard response, yes.. It's a tragedy that there MAY have been some innocent people inconvenienced or made uncomfortable. If that had happened, then that is a shame. Just because mistakes are made does not justify scraping the whole program..

    Using ya'alls reasoning, we should scrap the entire criminal justice system because sometimes innocent people are inconvenienced..

    Moving on.....

    #1
    A Democrat going on about hypocrisy??? WOW... How hypocritical... :D

    #2
    If ALL politicians would quite putting in nonsensical and irrelevant amendments into legislation, this sort of thing wouldn't happen. Democrats use this whine at their own peril, as they are MORE guilty of whining about GOP amendments...

    #3
    I don't agree, but I can understand your perspective. I will try and be more considerate of your peeve on this. I mean this seriously, not facetiously. But what do we call the administrations constant hypocritical attacks on one specific news organizations for "crimes" that ALL news organizations commit?? I still say that there has NEVER been, in the HISTORY of this country, a US President that attempted to "de-certify" a bona-fide news organization. I asked before, but no one answered.. Would ya'all support the White House if it pulled FNC's news credentials??

    #4
    Little attention has been paid because they know it is just one more attempt by Democrats and the Obama administration to bully and intimidate critics.. I sure miss the days when debates where made based on the message and NOT on attacking the messenger..

    #5
    Can't argue with this one other than to point out that it was BUSH who was able to get this ball rolling.. Will Democrats give him any credit?? :D

    #6
    Awwwwww, po' widdle Democrats don't like it when their own tactics are used against them?? First Dems complain about town hall protesters taking a page from the DISRUPTION MANUAL used by Dems and Liberals and now they don't like it when the Right emphasis a LEGITIMATE grievance against the Obama Administration.
    All I can say is that, if ya'all don't like the heat, ya'all shouldn't have lit the pilot light... :D

    #7
    And how many hours of Democrats wasted?? Oh com'on.. Be honest... :D

    Once again, apologies for the delay in responding.. But, good things come to those who wait... :D

    Michale.....

  19. [19] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I actually think conservatives have done quite a good job at setting their agenda and building the Republican brand over the past 30 years.

    I don't agree with it, but they have had much greater success than Democrats and progressives. So much so that much of their ideology is almost what I would call common belief these days. A few examples:

    - "Personal responsibility"
    - "Smaller government"
    - "Economic choice"

    But no one is providing "excuses and protections" for terrorists or "fighting fellow Americans". Nice try though, Michale Glenn O'Reilly, to link liberals and terrorists.

    -David

    p.s. Are you sure you're an independent and voted for Obama? I only ever see you bringing up current Republican talking points - like this new ACLU allegation.

  20. [20] 
    akadjian wrote:

    p.s. It's really interesting how some of the pundits are going after Newt Gingrich as not conservative enough because he supports some Democratic issues and a Democratic candidate in NY.

    To me, this just sounds like bipartisanship and might actually make me lean more towards Newt.

    Will have to look into this more, but it's interesting that the only thing the far Right seems to care about is towing the company line.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    So much so that much of their ideology is almost what I would call common belief these days. A few examples:

    - "Personal responsibility"
    - "Smaller government"
    - "Economic choice"

    WOW... You call "personal responsibility" a GOP ideology??

    Personally, I call it "common sense"... But I guess that is just me... :D

    But no one is providing "excuses and protections" for terrorists or "fighting fellow Americans". Nice try though, Michale Glenn O'Reilly, to link liberals and terrorists.

    It's not ME linking them. Those that demand protections for terrorists are doing all the linking necessary..

    Tell me.. Why would ANYONE want to extend ANY kind of rights, conveniences, protections or courtesies to terrorists??

    Can you give me just ONE logical and/or rational reason to do so?

    Hell, terrorists at Gitmo have MORE rights than Americans in US prisons.

    Are you really on board with that??

    Will have to look into this more, but it's interesting that the only thing the far Right seems to care about is towing the company line

    Oh, and OF COURSE, Democrats do not have this foible, right??

    {{cough}} Obama's conflict with FNC, Humana, US COC, Blue Dog Dems, etc etc etc...{{cough}}

    Hell, we don't even have to go to the Obama Administration to find that. Just look here on the pages of CW.COM.. I seem to recall people advocating here that if Democrats don't "toe the company line" on Health Care, they will be gotten rid of...

    When it comes to toeing the Party Line, Democrats and Republicans are indistinguishable....

    Kinda my mantra around here, eh?? :D

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Ok, ya got me, Michale. Branding would probably be a better term for "Personal Responsibility" and the other terms.

    It's the conservative brand, instantly recognizable.

    And yes, I think conservatives have done a much better job branding themselves.

    Yunno, as for your other comments. Well, you always make me laugh! I will say that.

    -David

    I found this excerpt recently from a Conservative pundit school notebook ...

    How to argue conservatively
    ---------------------------

    1. No matter what the argument, say you agree with something everyone agrees with- like freedom or personal responsibility

    2. Say something outrageous to offend your opponent. Like he supports terrorism or is a Nazi or a socialist.

    3. The more he claims he's not a socialist, the more you should call him a socialist. Then say that he protests too much.

    4. Claim that your argument is a FACT (w/o citing any facts).

    5. Repeat your claim LOUDER- We're for FREEDOM, you're a bunch of COMMUNISTS!

    6. Accuse the media of having a liberal bias.

    7. Did we mention that the media has a liberal bias?

    8. Repeat your claim over and over (i.e. "liberal bias")

    9. Accuse the opponent of doing what you're doing (i.e. those liberals are playing the victim card. if only the liberal media didn't hate us so much.)

    10. Rinse, wash, repeat

  23. [23] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ok, ya got me, Michale. Branding would probably be a better term for "Personal Responsibility" and the other terms.

    It's the conservative brand, instantly recognizable.

    Maybe (even likely) I am reading too much into what you are saying, but it sounds like you are implying that "personal responsibility" is a BAD thing.

    ALL politicians (Democrats and Republicans and even OBAMA) could use a little of that "brand", wouldn't you agree??

    And yes, I think conservatives have done a much better job branding themselves.

    Oh most definitely.. It's because Democrats are simply incapable of speaking with one voice. Democrats (as a whole) do not do well in leadership positions. As I have often said (and it is confirmed time and time again) Democrat's biggest strength is also their biggest weakness.

    How to argue conservatively

    Hmmmm Interesting... It seems that the Hysterical (and not so hysterical) Left argues the same way.


    1. No matter what the argument, say you agree with something everyone agrees with- like compassion or freedom of choice

    2. Say something outrageous to offend your opponent. Like he supports Doctor Murderers or is a Nazi.

    3. The more he claims he's not a Nazi, the more you should call him a Nazi. Then say that he protests too much.

    4. Claim that your argument is a FACT (w/o citing any facts).

    5. Repeat your claim LOUDER- We're for Government Serving The People, you're a bunch of NAZIs!

    6. Accuse Fox News of having a conservative bias.

    7. Did we mention that Fox News has a conservative bias?

    8. Repeat your claim over and over (i.e. "Fox News" "conservative bias")

    9. Accuse the opponent of doing what you're doing (i.e. those conservatives are playing the terrorist card. if only Fox News didn't hate us so much.)

    10. Rinse, wash, repeat

    WOW!!

    It works both ways!

    I guess that means that, when it comes to being jackasses, there really isn't any difference between the hysterical Right and the hysterical Left.

    "I believe I have heard that before.. Yes, I'm sure I have read that someplace."
    -Jack Nicholson, A FEW GOOD MEN

    But one point needs to be made clear. With a few (very few) exceptions, it's already been established as fact that the media in general does have a liberal bias. Or, more accurately, an OBAMA bias.

    That is slowly changing, but by and large, it is still true..

    Michale.....

  24. [24] 
    akadjian wrote:

    No one disagrees with personal responsibility. But Republicans have claimed this as their brand and subsequently tried to argue that Democrats are not personally responsible.

    "But one point needs to be made clear. With a few (very few) exceptions, it's already been established as fact that the media in general does have a liberal bias. Or, more accurately, an OBAMA bias."

    Tactic #4 ... thank you for supporting my argument :)

    I'd be curious to know which "liberal" pundits you see saying these things. I can point you to lots of conservative ones who use these tactics.

    There may be some people who say these things about conservatives, but none of them are mainstream media figures like Rush, Sean, Glenn, Ann, Michelle Malkin, etc.

    So who is doing this from the left?

    -David

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    No one disagrees with personal responsibility. But Republicans have claimed this as their brand and subsequently tried to argue that Democrats are not personally responsible.

    There's a reason for that.. :D And also a reason why such arguments are so successful.. :D

    I'd be curious to know which "liberal" pundits you see saying these things. I can point you to lots of conservative ones who use these tactics.

    Chris Matthews and his "tingle"... CNN doing a "FACT CHECK" on an SNL skit that was anti-Obama. And the list goes on and on and on and on...

    There may be some people who say these things about conservatives, but none of them are mainstream media figures like Rush, Sean, Glenn, Ann, Michelle Malkin, etc.

    That's simply because Joe and Josephine Six-Pack don't like to hear the Left spew their rants. See Air America..

    Is it the the fault of Rush, Sean, Glenn, Ann and Michelle that THEY can touch with every day Americans, be they Republicans, Democrats and Independents and the Left cannot?? Of course not. If the LEFT had a message that resonated with average every day Americans, then they would have their Rushs, their Seans, their Glenns, their Anns and their Michelles. (Personally, I think Malkin is really really hot, but that is neither here nor there... :D)

    The fact that the Left can't connect with average Americans is their own faults. Not the Right's.

    If Rush, Sean, Glenn, Ann and Michelle were not popular, they would be off the air. It's a market driven business...

    The simple fact that the Left cannot produce anyone as popular does not detract from the FACT that there are still many many media personalities in the bag for Obama. Just as those same personalities we're as vehemently anti-Bush in the Bush years as ya'all claim Fox News is anti-Obama in the here and now..

    As we have established, ALL "news" organization have an ideological bias. Fox News has a Right bias. All other "news" organizations have a LEFT bias.

    Or is it your claim that Fox News has the RIGHT bias, but all other news organizations are completely fair and balanced??

    I surely hope that is not your claim..

    Michale.....

  26. [26] 
    akadjian wrote:

    As I've mentioned before, the idea of liberal news vs. conservative news is a conservative notion. Conservatives believe that their opinions are not being represented accurately in the news and therefore want a world where it is only conservatives vs. liberals.

    Many liberals, on the other hand, believe that there is traditional objective news and then there is Fox's new definition of the news (as a counterpoint to what they see as "liberal").

    What I would argue is that the other news organizations fit more into this traditional definition of "news". For example, they do not go out of their way to be particularly anti-Republican.

    Fox News, on the other hand, does go out of their way to be conservative.

    As for connecting with everyday Americans, you might be right that folks like Glenn, Rush, etc. do a better job. And here is where maybe we do get the pundits we deserve. The tactics they use seem to resonate with many people.

    But they also turn many people off. Guess that's just the risk they take.

    I guess when I think of people who I admire, they tend not to be media pundits. So I think they connect, it's just in different ways.

    Cheers
    David

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Many liberals, on the other hand, believe that there is traditional objective news and then there is Fox's new definition of the news (as a counterpoint to what they see as "liberal").

    Yes.. And many liberals believe in peace and any and all costs..

    Doesn't make such a belief right... Or safe...

    What I would argue is that the other news organizations fit more into this traditional definition of "news". For example, they do not go out of their way to be particularly anti-Republican.

    That is a biased assessment unsupported by any factual evidence whatsoever.

    On the other hand, I can point to many examples of the Left Wing agenda in many news organizations. Especially during the Bush years..

    This is amazing. Ya'all are acting like the Bush years never happened...

    How you can sit there and type that the media was "fair" to Bush and had no agenda or slant whatsoever simple boggles my mind.

    Fox News, on the other hand, does go out of their way to be conservative.

    You mean by regularly having liberal commentators on to show a balanced view of things??

    As for connecting with everyday Americans, you might be right that folks like Glenn, Rush, etc. do a better job. And here is where maybe we do get the pundits we deserve. The tactics they use seem to resonate with many people.

    Exactly.. Let me put it this way. If you have a person who says things that 10 Million people agree with but you don't agree with, wouldn't it be at least POSSIBLE that you are wrong and those 10 million people are right?? I mean, isn't it even SLIGHTLY possible??

    On the other hand, I have a dozen or so people in here telling me I am wrong, but I know for a fact that I am not, so I guess I kinda see yer point. :D

    I guess when I think of people who I admire, they tend not to be media pundits. So I think they connect, it's just in different ways.

    Oh to be sure. I wouldn't say I "admire" the likes of Beck or Oreilly or Hannity. As I have said, there are somethings that they say that makes a whole lotta sense and somethings that I vehemently disagree with. But that doesn't translate into "admiration"..

    I DO believe that they are correct a lot more times than the Hysterical Left gives them credit for.

    And, due to their high viewer numbers, I guess I am not alone in that belief...

    Meanwhile, I am enduring ANOTHER launch delay in the ARES launch.. :( 4th one this morning...

    http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html

    "This is INTOLERABLE!!!"
    -Sean Connery, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

    I can actually see the launch from my front porch. :D

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    Michale wrote:

    I can actually see the launch from my front porch. :D

    Well, I could if it was actually launched! :(

    Mission scrubbed for the day....

    Michale.....

  29. [29] 
    akadjian wrote:

    ARES launch? That's cool. My sister and her family got to see the space shuttle launch in July and they said it was really cool. I'm jealous :)

    As for the media being unfair to Bush, wasn't he trying to sell a war with no basis?

    If anything, they helped him sell this war by simply transcribing the White House view and not doing as much investigating as they could have.

    Remember Jessica Yellin's (CNN/MSNBC reporter) talking about the pressure she received from corporate executives to air positive stories about the President?

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/05/29/yellin/

    It wasn't a popular position to be anti-war. And the media, quite honestly, seemed scared to say much against the war.

    I'd rather base arguments on evidence. Not popularity. Remember the Elvis album, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong?

    Well ... yes, they can ;).

    - David

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    ARES launch? That's cool. My sister and her family got to see the space shuttle launch in July and they said it was really cool. I'm jealous :)

    Yea, it's nice when they actually DO launch.. We caught a night shuttle launch from the beach a bit ago. Even being 100 miles north, it still lit up the night sky as if it were day. When I was stationed at Vandenberg AFB during the MX missile protests, my wife and I caught more than a few night missile launches. It's absolutely phenomenal to watch those things from only a couple miles away. :D

    As for the media being unfair to Bush, wasn't he trying to sell a war with no basis?

    Depends on what one considers as "no basis"... Hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20, my friend..

    Getting rid of a scumbag like Saddam Hussein is ALWAYS a worthwhile endeavor, wouldn't you agree??

    If anything, they helped him sell this war by simply transcribing the White House view and not doing as much investigating as they could have.

    Good point..

    However, I am constrained to point out (As CW does with his polling commentaries) this has more to do with going up against Bush's post 9/11 popularity than it does with the media's desire to actually support the President. They (the media) stuck their fingers into the wind and determined (rightly so) that the public would crucify THEM (not Bush)...

    The entire post 9-11 situation was an aberration that would render it useless as objective evidence.

    Once Bush came down amongst mortals (:D) the Left Wing media wasted no time in showing it's true colors...

    Suffice it to say that there simply is NO news organization to be found in the US that is free from slant and bias..

    Which brings us back full circle to the original discussion. :D If one is against media bias then one must be against ALL media bias. Not just the bias that is against you.

    Anything less is hypocrisy.. :D

    Michale.....

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    There are degrees of bias. And the other news organizations at least try to remain objective and none of them echo one party or the other to the extent that Fox does.

    What you and Fox see as "liberal bias," many see as objective news simply not supporting conservative arguments. Much in the same way that science does not support creationism.

    So they needed their own network more than "liberals". A network that does little but support their arguments.

    Of course I don't think this is why the White House talked about Fox. They're politicians. They're using it as an opportunity. It would make no sense for them to go after all news organizations. That would be political suicide.

    Do I feel sorry for Fox? No. They do little but trump up stories about Obama. If any of the media organizations printed anything about Bush, they had to make sure they had solid evidence.

    Why? Because they were instantly targeted if they didn't. Take when the NY Times published the story about illegal wiretapping. They were instantly vilified by conservative organizations as unpatriotic terrorist supporters.

    This was actual news. Important news. A sitting President breaking the law. That is a non-partisan story. They'd print the same story about Obama or any other President. Yet conservatives see these types of things as liberal attacks.

    Trying to think of a single example where the "liberal" media unfairly went after Bush. Maybe you can help me out here.

    -David

  32. [32] 
    Michale wrote:
  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Trying to think of a single example where the "liberal" media unfairly went after Bush. Maybe you can help me out here.

    Every time the liberal media claimed Bush "lied" they were unfairly going after Bush.

    As I had proven time and time again, during the Bush years.

    If we were to apply the "Liberal" definition of lying in the here and now, then it's clear that Obama has lied over and over and over again.

    Ya'all want your cake and want to eat it to. You want liberal bias in the media to support your agendas, but you simply cannot STAND it when there is ONE STATION (only ONE) that has a conservative bias.

    Why is that??

    Michale....

  34. [34] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hahahah. I still don't see any examples where your "liberal" media was going after Bush. Show me an article or clip. Anything.

    Because I'm not buying this "liberal" media idea. There's conservative news and then there's news. Now it's true that reality has a well known liberal bias .... ;)

    Is that what you mean?

    - David

Comments for this article are closed.