Tag Archives: media

The GOP’s stupid chain: From GOP staffer, to Breitbart, to Rand Paul

Screenshot of Breitbart story on Hagel’s supposed ties to fictional Hamas group.

No words…

Daily Kos

Posted 2-20-2003

As we found out earlier today, the GOP belief that Chuck Hagel had been on the payroll of an organization called “Friends of Hamas” crashed and burned when it turned out to be a bad joke that conservative morons took seriously.

Like their unshakable belief in “skewed polls”, Republicans consistently cling to any craziness that validates their world view. And like their unskewed election results shocker, they don’t appear ready to learn from their mistakes. They would much rather whine instead.

Opponents of Secretary of Defense nominee Chuck Hagel are fuming in the aftermath of sloppy work by their allies that has backfired and risks turning their cause into a joke.The bumble: A thinly sourced claim that Hagel had taken money from a heretofore unheard of group called “Friends of Hamas,” floated by the conservative website Breitbart.com, and sourced to Capitol Hill.

“This sort of thing drives me crazy because it undermines legitimate concerns about Sen. Hagel, his views and financial associations,” said a Senate Republican aide involved with the anti-Hagel efforts. “In this business we deal in facts or the pursuit of facts and making up groups like the Friends of Hamas distracts us from legitimate questions as to what private foreign foundations and wealthy foreign individuals are contributing to the Atlantic Council or investing in Sen. Hagel’s firms.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! This Republican staffer thinks Republicans “deal in facts”, when they gave up that ghost decades ago. Their entire campaign against Hagel has been nothing but one round of bullshit after another. Or put another way, there hasn’t been a single “legitimate concern” floated against Hagel. The fact that one of their most fantastic conspiracy theories was exposed as (literally) a big joke only underscores how little they have against Hagel.

I mean, think about this: Some random GOPer staffer hears some random thing about “Friends of Hamas”, and rather than research it (and discover that no such organization actually exists), he runs to Breitbart, which then runs it uncritically, again refusing to do any research.

Now, conservatives should know better than to trust anything Breitbart says, because, you know, they’re Breitbart. They don’t research or check facts (an actual fact). But no, the rest of conservative media then uncritically runs that ridiculous story. And not just their fringy outlets, but their supposedly respectable ones like the National Review and Lou Dobbs at Fox Business.

But the chain of stupid doesn’t end with their bubble-creating media, as a U.S. SENATOR (Rand Paul!) then runs with the story, because like the rest of the conservative movement, he also lacks a single person able to check a fact.

Can’t blame them, though. Facts do have a well-known liberal bias. If Republicans actually got around to checking theirs, they would be left with nothing else to work with. Which is why Breitbart continues to cling to its story.

“Our Senate source denies that Friedman is the source of this information,” [Breitbart writer Ben] Shapiro wrote in a post that also referred to Friedman as a “hack.” “‘I have received this information from three separate sources, none of whom was Friedman,’ the source said.”

 

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Jobs Report Covered Through 2012 Election Lens, Media Not Focused On Impact To American People

Jobs ReportIn my opinion, the media needs to report the real news and not just what’s happening in Washington or who gave the most millions to the latest super-pac.

So yes, I completely agree with the HuffPo’s Michael Calderone‘s article…

The Huffington Post

Romney’s up. Obama’s down.

That’s the takeaway from much of Friday’s media coverage of another disappointing monthly jobs report and unchanged unemployment number of 8.2 percent. Like clockwork, political reporters quickly sized up whether the addition of 80,000 jobs in June would help or hurt President Barack Obama’s chances of keeping his own job, rather than the broader impact on millions of unemployed Americans.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Cillizza tweeted that June’s number presents a “major political problem for Obama.” He later suggested in a blog post that any hope the president “will be able to run for reelection bolstered by an improving financial picture is rapidly disappearing.”

Kicking off MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” host Chuck Todd said that “another disappointing jobs report puts more pressure on the president with just four months until election day.” On Twitter, Politico’s Ben White said the report is “not good news for Obama.”

In covering the campaign horse race, reporters often make snap judgements following statements, reports, or “gaffes” that are mostly forgotten days later amid the stream of non-stop election coverage.

Earlier this week, the consensus among reporters was that Team Romney was down, following adviser Eric Fehrnstrom’s comment that the individual health care mandate is a “penalty” rather than a “tax.” Similar to health care — where the media focused more on the politics of the bill rather than its contents — the jobs numbers could be reduced to a win or loss in a long election season.

But as the summer holiday week came to a close, Team Obama was on the defensive, as Friday’s news was ruled a tough blow for the president — at least according to the news media.

“The U.S. unemployment rate remained flat in June, which is bad news for President Obama,” began an ABC News piece.

Continue reading here…

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Current TV Files a Blistering Countersuit Against Fired Anchor Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann Poor Keith Olbermann, he even admitted that he “screwed up” just taking the job over at Current TV.  The saga continues…

The Daily Beast

The network excoriates its fired anchor by painting him as an arrogant and uncooperative slacker. Howard Kurtz on the latest round in the legal war.

Moving a day after Olbermann sued the network for up to $70 million, the suit says that he “completely shut himself off from the rest of the network”—and backed it up with a series of intemperate-sounding emails from its former star.

For instance, after a problem with an unspecified employee during an appearance by Michael Moore on his show, Olbermann wrote Joel Hyatt, Al Gore’s cofounder at Current: “Give me a name so I know which of them to kill with my bare hands.”

After learning that a photo of the Countdown set had been given to the press, Olbermann wrote Hyatt about the leaker: “Can you assassinate him please?”

Even allowing for comedic overstatement, Olbermann’s tone is often harsh. When Current president David Bohrman asked about the unauthorized purchase of a $5,300 desk for the program, Olbermann responded: “When you are prepared to act like an adult you are welcome to contact us again.”

In response, Olbermann said in a statement: “The Mets put Andres Torres on the DL today. That seems to have as much relevance to my lawsuit as the Current counterclaim I just read.”

Continue reading here…

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Right-wing press demands liberal media repeat “Occupy shooter” smear

Right -Wing Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of wackos and nuts…

Salon

How a disturbed would-be presidential assassin became another bizarre conservative meme

Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez tried to kill President Barack Obama, by firing a gun at the White House, and one would think that that combination of “hating Obama” and “using a gun” would make using him to smear liberals a bit of a stretch, even for Fox and the rest of the right-wing press. You’d think that they’d shy away from even mentioning the guy, as they generally do in prominent cases of decidedly right-wing politically motivated violence. You’d be wrong, though, because they’ve all decided that Ortega-Hernandez is the Occupy Wall Street shooter.

Ortega-Hernandez will soon be a minor historical footnote, like the guy who tried to crash a plane into Nixon’s White House, Squeaky Fromme and Sara Jane Moore, the weird guy who may have been a part of a secret plot to kill or scare Jimmy Carter, John Hinkley, the guy who tried to crash an airplane into Bill Clinton’s White House, the guy who fired bullets at Bill Clinton’s White House and the guy who fired bullets at George W. Bush’s White House. What did all of these people have in common? Their motives were … slightly difficult for rational people to comprehend. They tended to be paranoid and disturbed and their stated reasons for wishing the president dead were usually fairly incoherent.

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee Questions Whether Race is a factor in the debt ceiling talks…does she have a point?

Discussing race in this country is such a divisive topic that most people would rather deny its existence or at least sweep it under the rug and discuss it at a later date.  In my years online, I have learned to stay away from the topic in general discussion forums.  People will attack you as being a “militant”, “prejudice”, “racist” and “anti-white” or one is “playing the race card”.  Mostly because they don’t want to talk about it.

I suspect Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee will get the same response…(See related articles, below.)

Ebony Mom Politics

We have never seen the debt ceiling issue play out like this before. We have never seen or heard talk of the United States of America defaulting on its loans, but we also have never had a black president before. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee raised this issue on the floor of Congress. I have heard several people that I know ask this same question this week. So tell me what you think is  race a factor?

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Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal becomes U.S. political issue

It appears to me that we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in the News International/News Corp scandal.  With the Obama administration’s FBI and Department of Justice poised to investigate the American side of any possible breaking of the law by Murdoch’s publications here, one can only imagine the blow-back from Fox News’ conservative commentators during this protracted election season.  Or, will they hold back on the usual vitriol tossed at Obama and his administration?  I certain it will be the former.

Politico

The spiraling crisis at News Corp.’s London tabloids, which on Friday claimed its first American scalp, is threatening increasingly to spill over into American politics.

The scandal has handed talking points to Democrats and a political cudgel to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, which is bracing for what’s become the usual battle with Fox News, whose evening lineup features some of the most powerful voices of conservative opposition, but whose corporate cousin is now being investigated by the Obama administration.

For News Corp., Friday seemed to mark a watershed moment in its position as a dominant – and often intimidating – media conglomerate.

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed the “ongoing investigation” into allegations that reporters for its defunct News of the World hacked into the telephone of September 11 victims in the United States. And a day after chairman Rupert Murdoch downplayed the scandal in an interview with his own newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, two of his top lieutenants, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton – the paper’s publisher and a naturalized American citizen — were forced to resign, as the company pivoted from defiance to contrition.

Mainstream American politicians of both parties have generally avoided open combat with Murdoch, with Bill and then Hillary Clinton famously seeking to court him and reach an accommodation. Even Obama, who has warred openly with Fox at times, has more recently pulled back, even after seven-figure contributions to groups tied to the Republican Party were reported last year.

But Murdoch, wounded, suddenly appears mortal, and his enemies are emboldened.

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes “is going to be hamstrung,” said Murdoch biographer and AdWeek editor Michael Wolff. Ailes “operates independently, but in this context he will not be able to operate independently: This is going to be in the hands of lawyers and higher PR officials, and it will not be about what’s good for Fox, it’ll be what’s good for News Corp. and for an ultimate settlement.”

A Fox spokesperson dismissed Wolff as a “gadfly” and didn’t respond to a question about the News Corp.’s scandal’s impact on the network. A New York Post spokesman referred questions to a News Corp. spokeswoman, who didn’t respond to an inquiry on the topic.

Read more here… 

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Filed under Fox GOP Pac, Fox News, News Corp, Rupert Murdock

Glenn Beck to Charge for Online Show

Does Glenn Beck really think he will be successful with his new online network venture by charging viewers a monthly subscription?  I think someone gave Beck some bad advice…

The Daily Beast

Glenn Beck is about to find out just how loyal his followers are. When he moves from Fox News to his own Internet network, Beck will start charging a
monthly subscription fee to view his show. “I think we might be a bit early,” Beck said Monday about his plan. “But I’d rather be ahead of the pack than part
of it.”

Beck’s new venture is risky, as it is the first of its kind and will be based on his own personal brand. Beck’s show will simply be titled “Glenn Beck”
and will run for two hours on weekdays, although Beck said he hopes to eventually have a mix of scripted and non-scripted shows alongside his daily
show.

His network, GBTV, will be accessible starting Tuesday and the new show will begin on Sept. 12.

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Is There An FBI Informant At ABC News?

The Mole at ABC News

The Daily Beast

Update: The Daily Beast had reached out to Chris Isham, an ABC News veteran who fit the description of the source who cooperated with the FBI, but he declined to return calls for comment. In the hours since this article was published, Gawker has identified Isham, now CBS’s Washington bureau chief, as the FBI mole in question. Isham issued the following statement Tuesday evening:

“The suggestion that I was an informant for the FBI is outrageous and untrue. Like every investigative reporter, my job for 25 years has been to check out information and tips from sources. In the heat of the Oklahoma City bombing, it would not be unusual for me or any journalist to run information by a source within the FBI for confirmation or to notify authorities about a pending terrorist attack. This is consistent with the policies at every news organization. But at no time did I compromise a confidential source with the FBI or anyone else. Mr. Cannistraro was not a confidential source, but rather a colleague—a paid consultant to ABC News who had already spoken to the FBI about information he had received.”

In a separate statement, a CBS spokesperson said:
“CBS News has strict standards regarding the handling of source material and we are discussing the facts of the allegations with Chris. The events in question are a matter between the FBI and ABC News.”

The FBI treated a reporter who provided information about bombing as an informant. The Center for Public Integrity looks at whether the journalist acted unethically.

Some journalists develop a delicate relationship with law-enforcement officials as they try to obtain sensitive information without getting too close to the government.

But a once-classified FBI memo reveals that the bureau treated a senior ABC News journalist as a potential confidential informant in the 1990s, pumping the reporter to ascertain the source of a sensational but uncorroborated tip that the network had obtained during its early coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing.              Continue reading…

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Is Santorum right on slavery comparison?

Below are some great comments from Politco’s The Arena section about Santorum’s comments…

Politico   (Backstory)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who’s contemplating a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, is questioning how President Barack Obama – as an African-American – can support abortion rights.

In an interview with CNS News, Santorum argued that a fetus is a person and said he considers it “almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people.’”

Nancy KeenanPresident, NARAL Pro-Choice America :

Mr. Santorum’s comments are offensive and outrageous. Sadly, they echo the themes we see a growing number of anti-choice lawmakers and groups using to advance their agenda on a number of fronts. In Colorado, voters have twice rejected ballot measures that would have established legal status for fertilized eggs from the moment of conception. In Georgia and other states, anti-choice groups are using civil rights language, even equating abortion with our country’s painful history of slavery, in a cynical attempt to support additional restrictions on a woman’s right to choose.

 

Sherrilyn Ifill Professor of Law, U. Md. :

I hardly think that Sen. Rick Santorum – the man who suggested that penalties should be imposed on residents who didn’t leave New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck – can surprise anyone with an addition to his by now mile-long parade of insulting and offensive statements. This one is just the latest.

Of course he won’t be elected president, but he will see an increase in support from some factions within the far right of the Republican Party. And this is the problem: any offensive statement directed at President Obama seems to boost standing with the GOP base. This may explain why our civility project is doomed to failure.

 

Richard M. Skinner Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Rollins College :

Santorum’s comments actually help his presidential campaign. They fit nicely with the belief of many anti-abortion activists that their cause is the modern equivalent of abolitionism. I’m sure many African-Americans will find them offensive, but few vote in Republican primaries. By capturing media attention through engendering controversy, Santorum has reminded voters that he actually exists.

This will be irrelevant should either Sarah Palin or Mike Huckabee choose to run, since they would attract the bulk of socially conservative voters. But if neither seek the presidency, Santorum could become a contender for this bloc of support, if not a realistic prospect for the nomination.

 

Curt A. Levey Executive Dir., Committee for Justice :

The most remarkable thing about Rick Santorum’s comparison of abortion and slavery is the mainstream media’s initial reaction treating it as a gaffe. That reaction reflects the intellectual smugness that has made “mainstream media” a bad word in much of America.

The analogy between the slavery debate in the 19th century and the abortion debate in modern times is a solid one, given that both centered on 1) who to include in the definition of “human” and 2) whether the ultimate moral decision should be legislated or left to individuals. Despite the similarities, well-meaning people are free to reject the abortion-slavery analogy given that there is no longer any disagreement that slavery was a moral outrage.

However, to refuse to see the similarities and, instead, view the analogy as ignorant is to contemptuously dismiss the half of America that considers abortion to be the taking of a human life and a moral outrage. You don’t have to share the moral judgment of pro-life Americans, but to dismiss their values as unworthy of serious consideration is the very definition of smugness.

 

Christine Pelosi Attorney, author and Democratic activist :

As a woman, I find it almost remarkable that Rick Santorum can publicly intrude on a woman’s private decision to exercise reproductive freedom.

As an American, I find it offensive that Santorum engaged in racial profiling and believe he should apologize. As I just posted in explaining the double digit generation gap favoring Democrats, young people are tired of being divided along race, immigration and sexual orientation and will consider Santorum’s racial profiling unbecoming of a national figure.

Voters who believe there are many ways to support your values without telling others what they should think based upon their race will reject Santorum’s effort to invoke slaveholders in order to oppose reproductive freedom.

More…

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Daily Show: Sarah Palin – America’s Tweetheart

Like a teenage boy with a crush on the stuck-up girl who hates him, the media is fascinated by everything Sarah Palin tweets.

How accurate is that statement?  To me, it’s spot on!  Jon Stewart is at it again…

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-december-2-2010/america-s-tweetheart?xrs=share_copy

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