Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, February 20, 2015 7:12 pm

Odds and ends for Feb. 20

Yeah, we’re in a post-racial society now.

Having decided that hacking cell phones on a case-by-case basis wasn’t efficient enough, the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, hacked a sim-card manufacturer, gaining access to billions of cell phones. (We learn of this via a leak from Edward Snowden to The Intercept, but go on, keep telling me how Snowden is nothing but a criminal.)

Some conservative PACs are fleecing their contributors, big-time: to the tune of a combined $50 million or more.

Brian Williams of NBC isn’t the only anchor with a lying-about-being-in-combat problem. Bill O’Reilly at Fox News is another one. David Corn calls him out at Salon. O’Reilly’s response, which was entirely unpredictable, was to call Corn a liar and a “despicable guttersnipe.”

Apparently North Carolina has defeated poverty, because there’s not one other damn reason why the UNC Board of Governors would close the Poverty Center. Except because they’re sociopaths, and thin-skinned ones at that.

Once again, a pesky Constitution gets in the way. This time, it’s the Wisconsin constitution, which,  a state appeals court has ruled, prevents Gov. Scott Walker from overruling administrative orders issued by the state’s elected superintendent of public instruction.

If you like what the Kochs have been trying to do in Wisconsin and here in North Carolina, you’ll love what they’re trying to do in Illinois, where the governor apparently has declared war on everyone who’s not already a millionaire.

Here’s a short, ugly lesson about the ethics of rich people. (Yeah, I know, not all rich people. Still.)

One could be forgiven for thinking that N.C. State Sen. Trudy Wade is just remarkably hard of hearing. In point of fact, the likelier explanation for her behavior is that she’s doing the bidding of a couple of wealthy, silent types who have promised her some sort of recompense even in the unlikely event she loses her Senate seat over her misbegotten, antidemocratic reorganization/redistricting plan for the Greensboro City Council. I find it unlikely to be coincidental that this plan matches up nicely with the Koch playbook for trying to get more Republicans elected even in largely to overwhelmingly Democratic cities. (Yes, the city council is nonpartisan under current law. Like that matters to the Kochs.)

If there ever will be any hope of Tar Heels and Blue Devils getting along, perhaps it will be over beer. We’ll find out early in March.





  1. Bill O’Rilley is not a news anchor . He is the host of an opinon cable TV talk show.

    Here’s what Frank Sesno, former CNN correspondent, now professor at GWU, had to say about the O’Rilley kerffule

    ” : Well, I think it’s very interesting. The first thing, though, I would say is, it’s not a Brian Williams problem. I don’t think it’s anywhere near on that scale. While Brian is quite right – O’Reilly is the biggest guy in cable television – he’s not the Brian Williams of NBC. Brian Williams does a news show; O’Reilly does an all-O’Reilly opinion show. These are a series of issues that are 35 years old now – or thirty-plus years old, certainly. Brian Williams, where it – was – got in trouble over issues that are current and immediate, and on the air with him ”

    During the riots in Buenos Aires following Argentina’s surrender ( in the Falklands ) O’Rilley’s coverage lead the CBS Evening news with Dan Rather that night and he has an attaboy telegarm from the network’s HQS .. Your gotcha just got busted

    If it’s in Mother Jones you are out there with it while you ignore it when a big shot reporter at the NY Times commits malicious journalism .

    Taking Aim at Scott Walker, Gail Collins, Panicking, Strikes, Misses

    “…. the task of keeping Scott Walker “real” has fallen to the New York Times’s Gail Collins, one can only imagine that Walker will have a relatively easy run toward the White House. In her panic-stricken weekend piece, Collins made a number of elementary mistakes — of the sort, frankly, that could presumably have been avoided by the judicious use of Google. Walker, Collins charges, was responsible for education “layoffs” that “happened because Walker cut state aid to education.” This, she suggests, is indicative of the sort of “intellectual hiccup” to which Walker is worryingly prone. In fact, as The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack noted immediately, the layoffs occurred a year before Walker was elected. Where once there stood a sneering piece, now there is an acidic correction, eating, lethally, at its foundations:”

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Friday, February 20, 2015 8:29 pm @ 8:29 pm

  2. Oh, please, Fred, this is silly even for you. Yeah, he was in the riots. HE SAID HE WAS IN COMBAT, WHEN THE ACTUAL COMBAT WAS MORE THAN 1000 MILES AWAY. Which is exactly what the Mother Jones article said. He faked his resume, which is a firing offense in or out of television news, and the fact that you’re going out of your way to defend it just shows how entrenched you are in a fact-oblivious world view. And the fact that Gail Collins can’t write her way out of a paper bag does not change the fact that Scott Walker tried to bypass voters and got his ass handed to him by the appeals court this week.

    Comment by Lex — Friday, February 20, 2015 8:33 pm @ 8:33 pm

  3. Corn is a far left hack who Fox cut loose. Now he is playing a pathetic pay back game, so he thinks, despite the clear and convincing facts

    O’Reilly says :” Read the piece and you’ll see what he’s doing — trying to parse words, trying to convince readers that I said I was, but I never said I was in the Falkland islands. No American reporter was. I’ve said that. No one was there and I have clearly stated that I covered it from Uruguay, which I did. The field reports which went out on the air, everything that was reported, happened. That’s it.”

    Let iy go, Lex.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Saturday, February 21, 2015 1:15 pm @ 1:15 pm

  4. Fred, NUMEROUS instances have been found in which O’Reilly said or implied that he had seen combat in the Falklands. In a way I am letting it go because I know there’s no way in hell Fox will have the integrity to discipline their cash cow, but facts are facts and the facts are that O’Reilly has fabricated his resume as badly as, or worse than, Brian Williams did his.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, February 22, 2015 8:59 am @ 8:59 am

  5. Looky here, Fred: Other CBS staffers then in Argentina agree that O’Reilly is lying.

    Comment by Lex — Sunday, February 22, 2015 6:02 pm @ 6:02 pm

  6. Lex tlet go of this obsession. You are better than to get in bed with Corn and MJ

    Busted! Mother Jones Caught Lying – Airport Spitting Incident Was a Hoax …UPDATED

    Oh and Lex looky

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Sunday, February 22, 2015 8:15 pm @ 8:15 pm

  7. Sorry, Fred, the evidence is there and it is damning and it is not just from Mother Jones. Media critic and former editor Steve Buttry analyzes it here, even as he acknowledges that no one much cares because liberals all don’t think Fox is real news and conservatives don’t care about facts and think Fox News IS real news (even though O’Reilly is a bloviator there and not an anchor or reporter).

    Comment by Lex — Monday, February 23, 2015 11:18 am @ 11:18 am

  8. David Corn is angry, insecure, combative and defensive about his Mother Jones story on Bill O’Reilly ( I listened to the whole thing ) which doesn’t stand scrutiny.

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, February 24, 2015 1:47 am @ 1:47 am

  9. As previously noted, it ain’t just David Corn and Mother Jones anymore, Fred, it’s also O’Reilly’s then-co-workers from CBS.

    Now, I understand that Fox isn’t going to discipline O’Reilly. I knew that from the start; it would go against the network’s mission. But just because Fox can lie by omission doesn’t mean the record shouldn’t be set straight.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:20 am @ 8:20 am

  10. As I said before this is irrelevant sematical jujutsu. Corn is excitedly defensive about people questioning his story . Moreover he is curiously shaky and reluctant to address inquiry into events that happened more than 30 yeras ago in his own life. On the other hand O’Reilly stoutly put up a calm and credible answer ( Unlike Brian Williams who uttered a flawed apology and then went into hiding ). Comparing the two is gutter journalism.

    There appears to be something else going on here. Could it be the left’s Fox obsession;

    See what Jeffrey Toobin , no right winger, has to say

    Forget O’Reilly, Fox Is Still the Real Target

    “When you host the most-watched cable news show and do it on the Fox News Channel, you’ve got to expect your share of brickbats from the left. So it was not terribly surprising that in the wake of the Brian Williams scandal, some on the left would seek to take down someone on the right, especially one of the stars of the dominant cable news channel that liberals love to hate. But as much as the commentary about this non-scandal that is being hyped as one has understandably revolved around Bill O’Reilly and his incendiary personality, it has little to do with him and everything to do with the antagonism that the left feels toward his network.

    Despite the attention being lavished on this story by Fox rival CNN, there’s not all that much here to unwrap. The story published by Mother Jones magazine has an inflammatory headline comparing O’Reilly to Brian Williams, but even if you take the piece at face value—which is unjustified by its clear bias and use of innuendo—the comparison is pure hyperbole. There’s no dispute about O’Reilly being on the scene in Buenos Aires as riots convulsed Argentina as the Falklands War came to a disastrous end for that country. Nor is there are real dispute that those riots were violent and that people were shot there. The only possible point on which O’Reilly can be called out is whether reporting from Argentina can be termed “war reporting” or “combat” since he was not in the Falklands but rather on the Argentina home front.

    It is, at best, a semantic point. Especially since there was no frontline war reporting going on as there were no journalists with the combatants. Perhaps it does count as an exaggeration of some sort. But surely O’Reilly is right when he says that he was sent to Buenos Aires to cover the war, not to do a travel feature. This was not frontline reportage but suffice it to say that when someone is shooting in your vicinity, it is entirely understandable if you think that feels like combat. Though reporting on the mayhem in that city as the country unraveled may not make him another Ernie Pyle or the moral equivalent of the late Michael Kelly or the other intrepid journalists who were embedded with U.S. troops during the invasion of Iraq, neither does it merit any comparisons with Williams or anyone else who embroidered stories out of whole cloth.

    As for the claims that he exaggerated his experiences during the riots, there’s not much to this either. No one denies he was there in the thick of it during the riots. As O’Reilly said on Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources show yesterday on Fox, the prime witness against him there is former CBS colleague Eric Engberg, a longtime antagonist whom O’Reilly has already publicly accused of “bigfooting”—a practice by which big names parachute into a story that was reported by another journalist and take all the credit. As O’Reilly says, there’s no proof that Engberg was on the scene of the action which he now says was no big deal even though CBS ran O’Reilly’s footage. Taken in perspective, it’s obvious the sources of the attack on O’Reilly are more interested in settling scores with the abrasive host than in maintaining any sort of standard of journalism.”

    Please RTWT

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, February 24, 2015 7:42 pm @ 7:42 pm

  11. I hear what Toobin is saying. What I don’t hear him saying is that this is a problem, let alone why. Fox News has committed one of the great commercial frauds of the era, pretending to be news when it is actually a very sophisticated propaganda outfit that preys primarily on elderly (median viewer age = 65) rubes. Why WOULDN’T thinking people go after a societal shitstain like that?

    Moreover, Toobin engages in quite a serious bit of whitewashing when he says O’Reilly “exaggerated his experiences.” No, that’s not the issue. The issue is that he lied, straightforwardly and repeatedly, about being in a combat zone when he was not. Toobin is welcome to his opinion that O’Reilly’s behavior, and Fox’s support of him, don’t matter, but that’s all it is: an opinion, and not a particularly well-informed one.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, February 24, 2015 8:54 pm @ 8:54 pm

  12. Ex-NBC Bureau Chief Backs Up O’Reilly’s Account of Falklands War Riot

    “Two former CBS reporters have strongly disputed Bill O’Reilly‘s accounts of what happened one night when they covered a riot in Buenos Aires, but on The Factor tonight, O’Reilly brought on a former NBC News bureau chief who backed up his story.

    Don Browne was the NBC News Miami bureau chief at the time, and he oversaw the network’s Falklands coverage. And Browne told O’Reilly his account was accurate. As opposed to some of the other accounts, which have to some extent downplayed the danger, Browne said the situation “got progressively more intense” and there were demonstrations in Buenos Aires every day.

    Both O’Reilly and Browne recalled a “very intense situation where people got hurt” and how “this was an extremely violent and volatile situation” where reporters were in danger.

    O’Reilly also spoke with Mediaite’s own Joe Concha, who wrote a column this week questioning the motivations of O’Reilly’s attackers. Concha told O’Reilly that Mother Jones is in the business of throwing red meat to progressives, and beyond that, the story isn’t making much headway anyway”.

    Well informed facts

    GAME , SET , MATCH !

    Comment by Fred Gregory — Tuesday, February 24, 2015 9:36 pm @ 9:36 pm

  13. Uh, no, the umpire is waving that call off. Why? Because this ain’t about the riots. This is about O’Reilly lying about having been in a combat zone in the Falklands, 1,400 miles from where he was. Once again, and, God knows, not for the first time, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, February 24, 2015 10:17 pm @ 10:17 pm

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