Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, January 3, 2014 6:12 pm

Your liberal media, part the infinity

David Gregory had unindicted murder Elliott Abrams on “Meet the Press” this past Sunday, and if you want to know what’s wrong with American news media, this is it in a nutshell: They continue to give respectful (and, by “respectful,” I mean “fellating”) hearings to people who have been so wrong on substance so many times that no sane society would ever give them another hearing. I’ll outsource this to Charlie Pierce:

[Abrams was] described as a “foreign policy advisor to Presidents Reagan and George W. Bush” when, in reality, he is a bloodthirsty chickenhawk who, during the term of office he’d served prior to working for C-Plus Augustus, was party to a sprawling international conspiracy that involved selling missiles to Iran, funding our out private terrorist army in Central America, and lying to Congress about the whole business, which nearly got him indicted, but he dove into a sweet plea deal and then was pardoned anyway by President George H.W. Bush, who was hip-deep in the same foul mire, and who pardoned everyone except Shoeless Joe Jackson on his way out the door. Prior to this, he had misled Congress about a massacre carried out by US-aligned military terrorists in a place called El Mozote in El Salvador. Part of his job there was to slander American reporters who tried to tell the country the truth about what its tax dollars were buying in Central America in those days. (By the way, the American people kept saying, over and over again, that they did not approve of what was being done in their name in places like El Salvador. But democratic norms meant nothing to Elliott Abrams and they mean nothing today.) He also repeatedly fudged the facts regarding the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero by a right-wing death squad in the middle of Mass.

Abrams’s undying cred with people like the folks who run Meet The Press is my problem, since we ostensibly share the same business. There are a hundred other conservative critics of the administration who MTP could have called to make the same case Abrams made yesterday — the administration is “withdrawing” from the Middle East, why are we not yet at war in Syria?, why are we not as yet bombing the hell out of Iran, Israel abandoned, etc, etc — who were not career disinformation specialists, and who did not lie to the country on the country’s own dime. Didn’t anyone there stop and think, geez, even on a holiday week, we can do better than to lend what’s left of our credibility and what’s left of the credibility of our show to a guy who has lied so extravagantly through his entire public career? Was there nobody on duty in upper echelons who remembers Iran-Contra? (It was in all the papers.) The only possible question for a moral journalist to pose to this guy is, “Why in the unshirted fk should we believe anything you say about anything ever?” and then move along to whatever banality Andrea Mitchell has teed up. …

The last time a president was as “bold” as Gregory wants this one to be, he lied us into a war that continues to wreak ruin to this day. Elliott Abrams was working for him at the time. The time before that, peasants got slaughtered and American nuns got raped and murdered, and archbishops got ventilated on the altar, and Elliott Abrams, to whom the Dancin’ Master directed his volley of bad history, cheered all of this on, lied about it as part of his official duties, and continues to believe that to have been the height of patriotism and public service. Ghosts of the dead should howl him awake every night. He should be spat upon by the surviving families of the dead every day on his way to teach his history class. History itself should vomit him out of its mouth. Journalism should revolt at the very sight of him. He should be whatever is one rung below a pariah. Instead, he gets a guest shot to tell the nation he has spent his career misleading into armed conflicts in which he never would have picked up a weapon or stood a post that its foreign policy is not blood-soaked enough for his taste. It was a living parable of the uselessness of dead memory.

I’m old enough to remember El Mozote. I’m old enough to remember Iran-Contra. And I’m still pissed about them. Therefore, you can begin, maybe, talking to me about a liberal media when blood-soaked clowns like Abrams cease getting respectful hearings from that media. Until then, just shut up.

 

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:30 am

American journalism on a soul-killing mission

Jason Linkins watches “Meet the Press” so we don’t have to. For the love of all that is holy, will no one put this man out of his misery? Because just reading this is agony; I cannot even conceive of what it must have cost him to sit through it and transcribe it:

And now, today’s Panel will perform a piece about CENTRISM, in a one-act play entitled “Will No One Shoot Me In the [Expletive] Face, Please? Because This Is A Living Nightmare, Watching This!”

“Will No One Shoot Me In the [Expletive] Face, Please? Because This Is A Living Nightmare, Watching This!”

A Play in One, short, sharp act (of rape (to the soul)).

STARRING:
DAVID GREGORY: ICE HIM, Bros!
THOMAS FRIEDMAN: Mustachioed myth-maker, funk-faker, mis-taker
PAUL GIGOT: of the “Djee-Gough” Gigots
ANDREA MITCHELL: Concubine of Alan Greenspan
BOB WOODWARD: the PICAYUNIEST
ME: will no one shoot me in the [expletive] face?

—————

GREGORY: OMGZ! THE RAND PAULZ? IS HE STRANGE OR WHAT?

FRIEDMAN: He sure seems weakened by his stance against Civil Rights. It shows somehow that everyone needs to be pressed on what government spending we should cut!

ME: HOW DID YOU GET THERE FROM RAND PAUL??

FRIEDMAN: We need to cut taxes and raise them! We need to cut programs and have new programs!

ME: I guess there’s no way you can be wrong, then.

GREGORY: OMGZ! YES! THAT IS EXACTLY THE LESSON RAND PAUL TEACHES US. IT IS A LARGER QUESTION ON THE TURRIBLE DEBTS AND HOW TO MAKE THEM GO AWAY.

GIGOT: I know! Rand Paul, though, is willing to be specific about what he’ll cut! He just made the mistake of bringing up the Civil Rights Act.

ME: I mean…ha…ha…it’s not at all about how a major party after years of associating themselves with the worst insticts of identity politics ends up nominating someone who critically forces them to look in the mirror about what they’ve become, at all!

GREGORY: OMGZ, DIDN’T RAND PAUL DO WHAT JOURNALISTS LIKE, THOUGH? AND SAID WHAT HE TRULY BELIEVES?

ME: Journalists should like prying the truth from people, not sitting back and letting inconsequential people implode on television. I mean, props to everyone going hard at Rand Paul, right? But it’s not a very high-stakes encounter!

MITCHELL: Why does Rand Paul presume to be able to pass laws in the Senate if he thinks that the government should not meddle in the affairs of private business.

ME: Uhm…Andrea, perhaps you should familiarize yourself with “libertarianism?”

WOODWARD: Ronald Reagan ran on an anti-government message. Then he didn’t cut government.

ME: …[expletive]

MITCHELL: I don’t agree.

WOODWARD: He refused to come on this show.

GREGORY: HAHAHAHAHAA. HERE’S SOME CARTOONS!

GIGOT: Obama has governed so far to the left.

ME: Have you read the health care bill? Have you seen what FinReg amounts to? Noticed the retention of any number of Bush-era executive policies? Seriously. Now is where I would seriously like that gunshot to the face, people.

WIFE: Do people honestly believe that?

ME: On this terrible show, yes.

GREGORY: LARF LARF LARF CARTOONZ! AND YET TARP IS A GOP IDEA!

GIGOT: Even the Democrats are turning on their moderates who won’t support the President.

ME: YES! SO LONG AS WE PRETEND MARK CRITZ DOESN’T EXIST.

WOODWARD: The oil spill in the Gulf, where is that going?

ME: WTF? Is this an Insane Clown Posse song, now?

GREGORY: I’ll get to the oil spill in a minute.

ME: Right! HORSERACE POLITICS FIRST, and then maybe, actual things that affect the lives of actual Americans.

GREGORY: WHO WILL SAVE THE HEROIC CENTRISTS?

FRIEDMAN: It’s been decimated! Through gerrymandering! And the internet and it’s “digital lynch mobs.”

ME: TERRIBLE, all these DIGITAL LYNCHINGS.

FRIEDMAN: What if we could just be China, for a day?

ME: A GUNSHOT. TO. MY. FACE.

MITCHELL: There is so much punishment for people who work across party lines.

ME: ON ONE SIDE, ANDREA! On one side! Blanche Lincoln is taking heat not because the Democratic base is upset with her propensity to “work across the aisle,” but because she TAKES MONEY FROM THE MOST CRAVEN FINANCIAL INTERESTS AND THEN WRITE LAWS THAT BENEFIT THEM AT OUR EXPENSE. That’s what she was doing, until she got primaried, and had to pretend she had principles for a brief period of time. But she wouldn’t even cast a vote for the very derivatives reform measure that she wrote for the sole purpose of appealing to the voters that were abandoning her because she’s a sell-out. Meanwhile, Bob Bennett is on the outs in Utah SOLELY BECAUSE HE WAS NOT AT ALL TIMES OPENLY HOSTILE TO HIS DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES. There’s no “both sides are doing it.”

FRIEDMAN: I WANT THE SYSTEM TO WORK!

WOODWARD: No one is going to enact your fantasies.

GIGOT: These things go in cycles.

ME: What, should be all just start mindlessly repeating platitudes? I actually prefer this. Can we just leave it here, David Gregory.

GREGORY: I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THE OIL SPILL, OMGZ?

ME: With Thomas Friedman and Bob Woodward? Why? Why on earth? This panel is barely hanging on with the topic they’re best suited for: pointless political minutiae.

GREGORY: THE OIL IS GUSHING. AND JAMES CARVILLE IS CRITICAL OF THE RESPONSE.

ME: Seriously, this has been happening for over a month, and you mean to tell me that now that James Carville has finally gotten around to giving a tinned [expletive] about it all, we’ve finally reached some critical milestone? OH MY GOD, THIS [EXPLETIVE] FINALLY GOT TO BE TOO MUCH FOR JAMES CARVILLE, SO LOOK OUT, GAME CHANGE.

FRIEDMAN: The Obama response is problematic because it’s “think small and carry a big stick.”

ME: As opposed to Friedman’s “Think Big And Fap Myself To My Image In A Mirror.”

WOODWARD: “It is potentially a giant disaster.”

ME: Potentially? WHAT THE [EXPLETIVE] BOB WOODWARD, DOES THE OIL SPILL HAVE TO MEET YOU IN A ROSSLYN PARKING GARAGE TO CONVINCE YOU THAT IT IS A SERIOUS THING?

WOODWARD: Disasters come and go. 9/11 for example. came and went.

ME: Oh, sure! It hasn’t had any everlasting policy implications at all! Here’s a true [expletive] story from my life this week. My sister had her wallet stolen. And she went to the DMV to get a new ID. She brought her passport, her social security card, her lease, her paystubs, her utility bills, academic transcripts from three institutions, and a FRAMED CERTIFICATE ATTESTING TO HER STATUS AS A NOTARY PUBLIC IN GOOD STANDING SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA, and the guy at the DMV was all: “I’m not sure this is sufficient proof of identity,” forcing my sister to have to make her very best WTF FACES at everyone there until they relented. So, ha ha! 9/11 didn’t “come and go,” if you are a normal person who knows normal people.

WOODWARD: Why don’t they call in Google?

ME: WHAT? TO FIX AN OIL SPILL? WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO? BOOLEAN SEARCH THAT HOLE CLOSED?

MITCHELL: Why haven’t the scientists fixed this?

ME: Because SUPER-SCIENCE IS NOT SOMETHING YOU FLICK ON AND OFF WITH A SWITCH? Because we do not live in the world of THE VENTURE BROTHERS?

GREGORY: WHAT DO WE DO?

WOODWARD: “The one thing we’ve learned about oil is — and it’s kind of answered the question of why the oil companies have been making so much money — is that you don’t have to go down there and pump it. It just comes to you once you pierce the shell of the bottom and all of this is coming…you know…no pumps.”

ME: Wow. Just wow. Just, for real, put a gun to my face, pull the trigger a million times. That was a sentence said in America. WOW THE OIL JUST COMES RIGHT UP, WHO KNEW? You know, everyone was really disappointed that Rand Paul’s cancellation was going to diminish the chances that someone would say something exceedingly stupid on MEET THE PRESS today, but man, Bob Woodward. He has really stepped up and delivered.

WOODWARD: This could come up the East Coast! This could come here and destroy your set.

ME: Oh, don’t make me say: “Go OIL!”

GREGORY: We have an oil spill that continues and a debt that continues to go up.

ME: We have a problem that impacts actual people and something that political elites obsess over!

GREGORY: We’re going to leave it there.

ME: Go jump in the Gulf of Mexico.

People. The man is in agony. You must help him.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 4:29 pm

Jason Linkins serves on the lonely outposts …

… of reality and sanity, defending us from Teh Stoopid with his mega-Patronus Charm of Barbed Humor & Mockery, as he liveblogs the Sunday morning talk shows (which you should never watch without a condom, latex gloves or both). Some of his jokes fall flat, but in the main this is a column full of WIN, including but not limited to a wonderful Mission of Burma video.

Some samples:

  • “[Chris] Wallace wants [Arlen] Specter to name another Congress that has cut Medicare by such a significant amount. He can’t! BURN!”
  • “Then [Wallace says]: ‘David Broder wrote a great column.’ Wrong. David Broder never writes great columns. A David Broder column about a Quinnipiac poll is the most awful piece of writing that anyone can imagine. David Broder is long past the day where he should have been shipped off to some lonely tundra to be eaten by ice wolves. Seriously, anyone who respects Broder needs to be trepanned.”
  • “Ann Kornblut is staring at Bill Kristol, thinking, “I can fix him!” YOU CAN’T, ANN! Hold out for someone who loves you for you.”
  • “[Brit] Hume says that we need to be a lot more unreasonable and bellicose so that we can threaten foreign powers into accepting a position of burden on our behalf for nothing in return.”
  • “Tom Coburn is on [This Week with George Stephanopoulos], today? The Senate is literally mounting a Sunday morning charisma offensive. This panel is Marsha Blackburn, Ben ‘Ralph Wiggum’ Nelson, Tom Coburn, and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. So, that makes ONE person who thinks all Americans should have health care. Great! Nelson leads things off: ‘FIRE IS BURNY AND IT MAKES ME SAD.’ GS asks about filibustering, and Nelson replies: ‘SOMETIMES KITTY IS BITEY!'”
  • “Marsha Blackburn is blonde and pretty and has a voice that sounds like sloe gin fizz as she lies and fearmongers.”
  • “Liz Cheney, of course, says that the stimulus package emboldened terrorists, and we will all soon die when KSM unleashes his hypnobeams upon New York City.”
  • “Fun fact! Last night, I led a discussion about what ‘pony play’ is, over drinks, and you really cannot convince me that it would not have garnered higher network ratings than this show [Meet the Press], which is now the only thing standing in the way between me having a Thanksgiving break from David Gregory.”
  • “Anyway, Dianne Feinstein is a big fan of the bill, and voting for the bill, and debating the bill, and reconciling the bill, and most of all getting re-elected.”
  • “This panel is filibustering my life! David Gregory thinks it is significant that Americans think it won’t cut costs than the fact that experts in the field say it will. Someone, somewhere, in the world is always gathering together to say something dumb or uninformed or half-assed … it isn’t always ‘an interesting point of view.’ SOMETIMES IT IS JUST STUPID.”
  • “If this panel died in a plane crash, Don McLean would write a seven minute song about how rock music was awesome again!”
  • “Did you know that somehow, more people are watching this show than any other Sunday Morning talk show? It’s true. And I am one of them, and for that, I am very sorry. The Nielsen people really should have a calculation for ‘conscientious objectors,’ like me, who have to watch the show, but wish the Vogons would come and destroy it to build an interstellar highway.”

OK, that’s about all the WIN I can handle. Seriously. I laughed out loud so much that I’ve started hacking and wheezing again, so I’m going back to bed. But y’all go read the whole thing.

 

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 11:37 pm

Why you should watch Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show”

Yeah, it’s entertaining as all hell. But even though Stewart insists he’s not a journalist and not trying to be a journalist, and even though this might even be true, the fact is that he and his show end up committing journalism — real, valuable journalism — from time to time.

The latest example has to do with journalist/author Jon Krakauer, who got a lot of publicity after saying Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, now commanding the U.S. military in Afghanistan, was involved in the cover-up of how NFL-star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire. Thing is, he said the same thing weeks ago on “The Daily Show.”

So, knowing how many journalists watch “The Daily Show,” how was this overlooked? And, also knowing how many journalists watch “The Daily Show,” does this mean people with something they think the American people ought to know are going to start trying to say it on Jon Stewart’s set?

Interesting times for journalism. Good thing I’m out of it.

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