Category Archives: MSNBC

The Market Has Spoken

I do not for the life of me understand why cable news outfits (cough*cough*MSNBC*cough*cough) continue to bring Ken Pollack on to discuss Iraq. Do they not understand what fools this makes them?

Pollack, of course, famously wrote the 2002 book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq:

Examining all sides of the debate and bringing a keen eye to the military and geopolitical forces at work, Pollack ultimately comes to this controversial conclusion: through our own mistakes, the perfidy of others, and Saddam’s cunning, the United States is left with few good policy options regarding Iraq. Increasingly, the option that makes the most sense is for the United States to launch a full-scale invasion, eradicate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and rebuild Iraq as a prosperous and stable society—for the good of the United States, the Iraqi people, and the entire region.

Hmm, yes, that went well, didn’t it. BTW, you can buy the book on Amazon now for a whopping 0.01:

pollack2

The market has spoken.

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Filed under Iraq War, media, MSNBC

People, I Bring You The Term “Chucksplains”

MSNBC chucklehead Chuck Todd “Chucksplains” the media’s role in the age of truthiness: not to present factual information, nooo that is so old fashioned, you guys! That’s how they did it in the old days when journalists wore green eyeshades and papers were sold by street urchins in knee britches who shouted the headlines at you when you walked by.

No, see, nowadays what we have is a marketplace of ideas, all of them equally valid, I mean I dunno, maybe not, but does it really matter? And the media simply goes with whatever set of facts has been most successfully sold to them in said marketplace. Freedom! And ponies!

TPM has the ugly details:

During a segment on “Morning Joe,” former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) speculated that most opponents of the Affordable Care Act have been fed erroneous information about the law. Todd said that Republicans “have successfully messaged against it” but he disagrees with those who argue that the media should educate the public on the law. According to Todd, that’s President Barack Obama’s job.

“But more importantly, it would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it,” Todd told Rendell. “They don’t repeat the other stuff because they haven’t even heard the Democratic message. What I always love is people say, ‘Well, it’s you folks’ fault in the media.’ No, it’s the President of the United States’ fault for not selling it.”

Wonkette has the hilarious follow-up where Todd took to Twitter to claim he’d been misquoted. Silly, silly Chuck Todd! Doesn’t he know they’re just going with the version of the truth which had been most successfully sold to them? Chuck, honey, it’s just the free hand of the market deciding you’re an idiot and a really bad journalist.

Suck it up. Also, irony.

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Filed under Media, MSNBC

Your Liberal Media

Apparently the New York Times has forgotten what it means to be a “journalist” who “reports” the “news.” Because there’s no other excuse for this:

Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?
By ARTHUR S. BRISBANE

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.

This is not satire. This is the actual New York Times public editor musing on whether reporters should question the facts that they are presented.

And this just … well, it explains so much.

Brisbane continues:

This message was typical of mail from some readers who, fed up with the distortions and evasions that are common in public life, look to The Times to set the record straight. They worry less about reporters imposing their judgment on what is false and what is true.

Is that the prevailing view? And if so, how can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another? Are there other problems that The Times would face that I haven’t mentioned here?

Oh my fucking God. Are you kidding me? Seriously? On what planet does Arthur Brisbane live?

I’m sorry, I thought checking facts and verifying the statements made by politicians was sorta the point of a damn newspaper? No? You disagree? Why the hell are you people there, then?

Clearly when bloggers bemoaned the news media’s descent into stenography, we had no clue how bad things really were.

You know, I was going to write about this last week when Dan Savage wondered “When Do We Meet Elizabeth Santorum’s Imaginary Gay Friends?” He was addressing homophobic conservatives’ tactic of claiming they can’t possibly be bigots because they have “gay friends,” you know, the same way racists always have “black friends.” Elizabeth Santorum took it one step further, claiming she has gay friends who support her father’s candidacy.

Savage wrote:

Um… political reporters? Stop accepting homophobes’ claims of gay friendship at face value. Elizabeth Santorum says she has gay friends who support her dad based on his family platform? That is an astonishing assertion. Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum for president despite his having compared sex between consenting adults of the same sex to child rape and dog fucking? Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum for president despite his having asserted that gay relationships are a threat to “homeland security”? Who are these gay people who support Rick Santorum for president despite his opposition not just to gay marriage, but to any legal recognition of same-sex relationships at all (no civil unions, no domestic partnerships)?

Yes. And while we’re at it, let’s stop accepting Republican claims that they “know people” who have job openings but no applicants because unemployment benefits are too generous.

And a special shout out to MSNBC’s Chuck Todd. Buddy, when someone like Bob McEwen comes on your show and says “Bain Capital hasn’t destroyed as many jobs in its entire lifetime as this president does in a typical 24 hour period,” (paraphrased but that was the gist of it this morning) don’t just ignore that and let it slide by without comment. How about saying, “Really? You’re not being hyperbolic here? You got facts to back that up?” I mean, Jesus. Next time you want to decry the lack of civility in our public discourse, look in a mirror, buddy. You let people get away with saying the most outrageous things on your own show that are flat-out lies, but it’s us foul-mouthed bloggers who are always the problem.

Yes, just remember: it’s the internet that killed journalism. Keep repeating that line to yourselves, news folks. It’s not true, but it sure feels good to say it.

[UPDATE]:

Ha! I didn’t know there was a Republican drinking game about this. Thanks, Nashville Scene! Glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed politicians’ penchant for creating imaginary friends.

[UPDATE]: 2

The reaction to Brisbane’s column was swift and strong. Now he claims he wasn’t asking what we all think he was asking. But I’ve read his response and don’t think he does himself any favors:

What I was trying to ask was whether reporters should always rebut dubious facts in the body of the stories they are writing. I was hoping for diverse and even nuanced responses to what I think is a difficult question. To illustrate the difficulty, the first example I cited involved whether Clarence Thomas “misunderstood” the financial disclosure form when he failed to include his wife’s income. No doubt, many people doubt that he “misunderstood” but to rebut this as false would be difficult indeed, requiring knowledge of Mr. Thomas’s thinking.

Um, no it doesn’t. It requires your reporter to ask a fucking follow-up question. Hello?

Recently I heard an interview conducted by a reporter with the BBC World Service and some South African arms dealer guy. Can’t remember his name, and I came in the middle of the program. But man, the first thing that struck me was how this interviewer hammered this guy, just would not buy his bullshit. He challenged everything this guy said, was very aggressive with his questioning. And I thought, Wow. This is not the kind of reporting we get in the United States. We get, “here tell us your side. Okay, now tell us your side. Well, that’s all the time we have! We’ll have to leave it there.” The truth’s side is never told. This is what we’ve lost…. if we ever had it.

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Filed under Media, MSNBC, New York Times

Buh-Bye Pat Buchanan

Cripes but this took long enough:

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan has been suspended indefinitely from MSNBC, according to a statement from that network’s President Phil Griffin. An Associated Press article on CBSNews.com blames reaction to Buchanan’s latest book Suicide of a Superpower for his ouster from the cable network, as well as a campaign by the advocacy group, Color of Change.

Good riddance, you senile old crank. I’m sure once the 2012 election is over and Fox News stops pretending it’s a sober, serious news organization to appeal to normal people, it will find a place for Buchananas. Hey, Glenn Beck’s slot is open.

Apparently the last straw was Buchanan’s racist, Muslim-bashing new book, which I wrote about here.

Pat Buchanan is a serial offender, whose offensive statements against immigrants, black people, Muslims, gays and women have been so egregious and so numerous, we’ve long supposed he has evidence of NBC executives with rent boys and call girls, else he’d have been fired long ago. Guess he lost the negatives.

So, see ya Pat. In a fond farewell, I bring you a medley of Buchanan’s greatest hits, courtesy of Media Matters for America. It’s a cornucopia of shrill, a veritable festival of fearmongering about illegal immigrants outbreeding everyone else, hatred of gays and Hillary Clinton, and boosterism for war with Iran.

Looking at this list of offensive writings, commentary and comments, it’s a miracle Buchanan has been on the air spreading his hate and bigotry this long. Please, MSNBC: unplug this bigot’s mic for good.

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Filed under Media, MSNBC, Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan Is Also Still A Racist Old Crank

I have just one question after reading this from Pat Buchanan: now will MSNBC fire him?

If demography is destiny, the future would seem to belong to Islam.

Consider. The six most populous Muslim nations — Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Turkey — had a total population of 242 million in 1950. By 2050, that 242 million will have quintupled to 1.36 billion people.

Meanwhile, Europe’s fertility rate has been below zero population growth since the 1970s. Old Europe is dying, and its indigenous peoples are being replaced by Third World immigrants, millions of them Muslim.

Yet there is another side to the Islamic story.

In international test scores of high school students in reading, math and science, not one Muslim nation places in the top 30. Take away oil and gas, and from Algeria to Iran these nations would have little to offer the world. Iran would have to fall back on exports of carpets, caviar and pistachio nuts.

Not one Muslim nation is a member of the G-8 economic powers or the BRIC-four emerging powers — Brazil, Russia, India, China.

In the 20th century, the world saw the rise of the Asian “tigers” — South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong. Where are the Muslim tigers?

A few years back, the gross domestic product of the entire Arab world was only equal to Spain’s. Take away oil and gas, and its exports were equal to Finland’s.

Measured by manufacturing power, the Islamic world, though more populous, cannot hold a candle to China. And while Islam was a civilization superior in some ways to the West from the 7th to 17th century, somewhere that world began to stagnate and decline.

So the question arises: If Islamism is capturing Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, and will capture other Muslim nations as the Arab Spring advances, where is the historic evidence that these Islamic regimes can convert their states into manufacturing and military powers?

I guess Islam just somehow makes people intellectually inferior and less industrious, right Pat? That’s the ONLY reason to explain the global lack of “Muslim tigers” and manufacturing power and high school test scores? (If that’s the case, how do you explain American students’ poor test performance? We don’t rank in the top 30 in math, either. Oh wait, I know! I know! Let’s blame black people!) Yes, let’s ignore the fact that the Muslim world produces the juice that keeps the globe turning and once you excise that major economic factor, why sure, Muslims look like a bunch of nomads dragging camels through the sand. Riiiight.

Dear MSNBC, there has been a racist old bigot in your midst for years. As long as you employ that man you have zero credibility, no matter how many Rachel Maddows you add to the payroll.

Sorry, I realize this is not the typical touching and heartwarming Christmas post. But I’ve already done a couple of those this year. I didn’t see any attention paid to Buchanan’s latest bit of Muslim fearmongering, and I thought someone should speak up.

Merry Christmas. Sorry for the turd under the tree.

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Filed under MSNBC, Pat Buchanan, racism

MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan Problem

Warning: troll stench in the discussion queue is thanks to a link I got on a wingnut blog. Nice of everyone to come to the defense of Pat Buchanan and racists in general but I’m *this* close to cutting off comments on this thread.

—————————————–

It’s always a shock to remember that the “liberal” MSNBC has this guy on the payroll.

Seriously, I can’t respect any network or any of the talking heads who appear on it — and yes, Rachel Maddow and Rev. Al, I’m talking to you — as long as this racist bigot is given a platform every week.

Folks have long speculated that Pat Buchanan has photos of MSNBC honchos in compromising positions with hookers and blow. There can be no other excuse for his continued presence there when others have been fired for far lesser offenses. But really, this blatant racism needs to be answered by some people in authority.

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Filed under Media, MSNBC, Pat Buchanan, racism

Truth Telling

Cenk Uygur is out at MSNBC. Love him or hate him, what’s truly interesting is his explanation of why. Cenk reveals that he was told to “tone it down”: he was making people “in Washington” uncomfortable. Even though his ratings were strong, he was too hard on the guests, he was too much of an outsider. MSNBC views themselves as insiders. “We are the establishment,” they told him. Progressives like Cenk will never be insiders; frankly, with this being the prevailing culture over there, I have to wonder how much longer Rachel Maddow will be on the air.

This is the dirty little secret of the “liberal media” and “liberal” networks like MSNBC, which as Atrios often points out is so liberal, they air three hours of Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan every morning. It’s not whether they lean right, left or forward. Are they willing to challenge the status quo? Ask the hard questions? Make people uncomfortable getting after the truth? Will they book those guests who aren’t on every other show?

The answer is no.

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Filed under media, MSNBC

>Pat Buchanan Is A Racist Asshole

>As long as Buchanan is penning racist screeds like this current one at Townhall, I just have to ask that eternal, perpetual question: how much longer will NBC and MSNBC continue to shred their credibility as legitimate news organizations by using him as an expert?

What’s particularly galling about Buchanan’s current Townhall column is that he actually quotes Steve Sailer and Dr. Robert Weissberg, both contributors to the anti-immigrant VDARE.com (identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center). Both men promote in their writings the idea that Hispanics and African Americans are by virtue of their very DNA less intelligent than whites and Asians; Weissberg devoted an entire book (Bad Students, Not Bad Schools) to that idea. I don’t know about you, but where I come from that’s pretty blatantly racist.

Yet Buchanan quotes generously from both men, without bothering to mention the controversial and racist nature of their writings. Indeed, he quotes these racist assholes as legitimate scholars. For example:

“America’s educational woes reflect our demographic mix of students. Today’s schools are filled with millions of youngsters, many of whom are Hispanic immigrants struggling with English plus millions of others of mediocre intellectual ability disdaining academic achievement.”

In the public and parochial schools of the 1940s and 1950s, kids were pushed to the limits of their ability, then pushed harder. And when they stopped learning, they were pushed out the door.

Writes Weissberg: “To be grossly politically incorrect, most of America’s educational woes vanish if these indifferent, troublesome students left when they had absorbed as much as they were going to learn and were replaced by learning-hungry students from Korea, Japan, India, Russia, Africa and the Caribbean.”

”Politically incorrect?” That’s not politically incorrect. It’s racist, bigoted and wrong. It ignores economic disparities, disparities between urban inner city schools and white suburban schools, and institutional roadblocks which oppress the poor and economically disadvantaged. It ignores the achievement of tens of thousands of people of color who have reached the highest levels of American society, despite insurmountable odds — including, let me point out, the sitting president of the United States and some notable Supreme Court justices.

There’s this thing conservatives have about “political correctness” as if it’s some kind liberal plot designed to trip them up; conservatives just want to hew to some basic facts about the world, which we dirty libs are in deep denial about. The conservatives I know rail against “political correctness” with a missionary zeal. But this isn’t about political correctness, it’s about your facts just being wrong. Blacks and Hispanics are not less intelligent than whites, no matter how you may wish it were so. No, things weren’t so much awesomer in the 1940s and 1950s, when “those people” knew their place, no matter how much Pat Buchanan thinks it’s so. And no matter how many columns Pat Buchanan pens saying if only we kicked the brown people out of our schools America’s test scores would soar it won’t change the basic fact that test scores are the way they are because of institutional and systemic reasons, not biological or genetic. You know, those same institutional and systemic barriers which were firmly in place in the storied 1940s and 1950s which Buchanan and his ilk look back upon with such nostalgia.

I’m just really sick of this shit. I’m sick of conservatives kicking immigrants in the shins, over and over again. Just fucking stop it already. And I’m sick of powerful news networks like NBC and MSNBC promoting the racist assholes who are doing the kicking. Cut it out. Enough.

We’ve all known Pat Buchanan is a racist asshole. We’ve all wondered why NBC and MSNBC continue to promote him as some kind of “reasonable” conservative. This latest column is just another in a long stream of bigoted screeds from NBC’s go-to conservative voice. I get that. But honestly, how much longer are we going to be saddled with this crap? When are we going to stand up and say, America is better than this?

Buchanan is peddling racism and intolerance and he’s using crackpot junk science from known bigots to support his views. No legitimate news outfit would ever make Lyndon Larouche a regular pundit, yet Pat Buchanan spouts the same hateful views and he’s on both networks regularly. It’s just not cute anymore. We’re heading into 2011, folks — you’ve still got some old crank on your network spouting 18th century ideas? I’m just really fucking tired of it.

Hate is not okay. Bigotry is not okay. Racism is not okay. And as long as MSNBC and NBC pay Pat Buchanan to appear on their news shows, they are promoting this intolerance.

Really, it’s appalling. Time to say: no more.

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Filed under media, MSNBC, NBC Universal, Pat Buchanan, rants

>Pundit FAIL

>Andrea Mitchell on “Morning Joe” just now:

“President Obama never met one-on-one with Mitch McConnell.”

August 4, 2010:

This is the “liberal” MSNBC. Someone make this shit stop. Just ….. shut the fuck up if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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Filed under Andrea Mitchell, media, MSNBC

>Moving The Bar

>This morning on MSNBC I heard Tripp Baird, a “Republican strategist,” say that if there’s a “bipartisan” healthcare bill supported by Olympia Snowe, “it’s not really bipartisan.”

Jeebus.

So now, according to a “Republican strategist,” a healthcare bill with the support of a moderate Republican isn’t bipartisan. Well, Sen. Snowe, you might as well just leave the Republican Party right now because, apparently, they’ve just dumped you. Your vote doesn’t count in the “bipartisan” score-keeping.

Is anyone in the Democratic Party paying attention to this crap? In the quest for the Holy Grail of “bipartisanship,” that elusive pot of gold at the end of the political rainbow, the Republicans keep moving the bar. In other words, Democrats, you are tilting at windmills. It will never happen.

There will never be a “bipartisan” bill because the Republican Party does not want healthcare reform, period. They keep moving the bar. Now, for something to be “bipartisan” it has to have the support of the fringe wackos who will never, ever support Democratic Party policies because their entire raison d’etre is to oppose the Democratic Party. Are you following me here?

The fringe wackos think President Obama will put his voodoo laser-lock mind-magic on school children, turning them into Socialist zombies in a 20 minute speech. The fringe wackos think President Obama isn’t really a citizen and therefore is illegitimate. The fringe wackos believe a government-backed option competing alongside private health insurance is somehow government control over your healthcare.

You want “bipartisanship” with these folks? No, I don’t think so.

Monica Novotny asked Baird if there was any healthcare bill the Republicans would support. Baird basically said no. Insurance co-ops, he said, are basically “public option light.” Olympia Snowe’s support isn’t really bipartisan.

In other words, there simply will not be any Republican support for healthcare reform. They’ve been asked and their answer is “NO!”

I hope the Democrats are listening.

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Filed under bipartisanship, healthcare, MSNBC, Republican Party