Tag Archives: media

No, Bernie wasn’t trying to save Billary

Bernie Sanders Does Not Care About 'Your Damn Emails,' Hillary Clinton

The sleazy Billary Clinton was only too happy to believe (mistakenly) that Bernie Sanders was dismissing her e-mail scandal altogether — he wasn’t; he was only trying to put it into universal perspective — and Sanders, immersed in the shallow, rapid-fire, infotaining, sound-bite-frenzied environment, apparently was unable to prevent his intent from immediately being twisted into something that it never was. It was, however, his first live-televised debate on the national stage, and she’s a veteran slime-weasel.

The American people’s attention deficit disorder is worse than I’d thought. The buzz after last night’s Democratic Party presidential debate is that Bernie Sanders was defending Billary Clinton in E-mailgate. He wasn’t. Clearly.

It’s that CNN and the rest of the establishment weasels are so quick to bow down before Queen Billary that Sanders’ rather obvious actual point got lost. Immediately. This is the transcript of the exchange (from the Washington Post’s full transcript of the debate):

CLINTON: … But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

COOPER: Senator Sanders?

SANDERS: Let me say this.

(APPLAUSE)

Let me say — let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Thank you. Me, too. Me, too.

SANDERS: You know? The middle class — Anderson, and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

(APPLAUSE) …

Why were Sanders’ words interpreted as a save for Billary Clinton? For a few reasons. One, given her prematurely enthusiastic response, obviously she welcomed such a “save”; when Billary immediately but incorrectly interpreted Bernie’s words as a more or less full pardon for E-mailgate from her strongest rival, she was downright giddy.

Pretty much every time that a fair criticism of her was brought up in the debate, Billary uttered some attempted deflection like, “But tonight, I want to talk not about my e-mails, but about what the American people want from the next president of the United States.” (Something that this American person wants in the next POTUS is that he or she does not run a home-brewed e-mail server from his or her home basement. Um, yeah.)

Other such deflections by Billary from one of her other top flaws — that she voted for the unelected Bush regime’s Vietraq War in 2002 — were that she’d already covered this topic in the 2008 primary debates and that Barack Obama had chosen her as his secretary of state, so how poor could her judgment be? (Um, she was chosen as SOS primarily for political reasons, I’m confident. I mean, I’ve had a problem with Obama’s past apparent comparisons of himself to Abraham Lincoln, but Lincoln did apparently believe in keeping his enemies/frenemies close.)

So Billary needed and wanted a save from E-mailgate, and when Bernie prefaced his point with “let me say something that may not be great politics,” the desperate Billary, as did pretty much the entire punditry and the rest of the nation, took it as Bernie throwing her a life preserver.

Bernie then said, turning to Billary, “I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails.”

I’m pretty sure that Billary orgasmed at that moment, and that moment immediately was interpreted, quite incorrectly, as Bernie having dismissed E-mailgate altogether. But that fairly obviously not only was not what he actually said, but was not his point, because he then immediately followed that with:

You know? The middle class — Anderson [Cooper, the moderator], and let me say something about the media, as well. I go around the country, [I] talk to a whole lot of people. [The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.

But Americans don’t want to talk about the real issues. The real issues are boring. They require research. And thought. And once we’re fully aware of a big problem, we then have the moral obligation to try to solve it. And that’s work. And work is hard. And usually not fun.

Bernie wasn’t saying that E-mailgate is not a problem whatsoever. He was putting it into perspective: “[The] middle class in this country is collapsing. We have 27 million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. Enough of the e-mails. Let’s talk about the real issues facing America.”

After the debate, Bernie was interviewed live by CNN at the locale of the debate and he stated that his one (or largest, anyway) regret about the debate is that the topic of income inequality didn’t get enough play.

Bernie apparently is just sick and tired that relatively minor issues like Billary’s e-mail habits are discussed instead of much bigger problems, such as climate change and the income inequality that has only grown since the Reagan years.

However, because Americans, including, of course, the punditry class (who personally benefit from continued income inequality), don’t want to talk about these huge problems, the narrative became that Bernie saved Billary from her e-mail scandal. Even my fellow leftist Ted Rall, with whom I usually agree, wrote of last night’s debate:

… It’s fun to watch rivals making nice. Party unity is swell. Who knows, maybe Bernie really does think Emailgate is no big deal. But I think it was a mistake.

First and foremost, the investigation has just begun. It isn’t wise to defend someone before all the facts are in, especially when that person’s resume is punctuated by multiple scandals.

Also, I take offense at the argument that, because the American people don’t care about an issue, that it ought not to be discussed (assuming that it is true that voters are tiring of the coverage, which may or may not be the case). Americans don’t care much about drones, the NSA, or turning Libya into a failed state (which Hillary helped do), or Guantánamo. Should we ignore those issues? Leadership is in large part about pointing to a problem and convincing people why they should care and what we should do to fix it.

For me, and I suspect many other non-Republicans, Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls. She knew, in 2009 when she began as secretary of state, that she would soon run for president. Given that the GOP always targets her, it’s crazy that she didn’t play everything by the book. Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency and, as such, should not have prompted a full-throated defense from her chief rival.

Again, Bernie never stated that “E-mailgate is no big deal.” He only tried to put it into perspective — a bit inartfully. He had started to talk about the media, and had he fleshed that thought out, he’d have pointed out that the media love to report on juicy scandals, such as home-brewed e-mail servers, especially when they involve someone like perpetual scandal magnet Queen Billary Clinton, and that reportage on this partisan bickering (such as with E-mailgate and “Benghazigate”) eclipses our much larger problems, such as climate change and income inequality, both of which continue to worsen even as I type this sentence.

I agree wholeheartedly with Rall that “Emailgate points to a problem with Hillary Clinton’s ability to make judgment calls” and that “Examined along with her vote in favor of invading Iraq — another bad political decision since it was obvious to everyone intelligent that the war would go badly for the U.S. — it raises serious questions about Clinton’s fitness for the presidency.”

But for Rall to characterize Sanders’ words as “a full-throated defense” of Billary’s e-mail habits contradicts the words that Bernie actually spoke.

It’s that at a forum that was very deferential to Queen Billary (as Jim Webb complained, she was allowed to speak far more than was anyone else), a forum sponsored by the Clinton-friendly CNN before a largely Clinton-friendly live audience, and in a fast-moving, fairly shallow discussion meant much more to evoke more sound bites for an insatiably starving, zombified corporately owned and controlled mass media than to evoke anything remotely resembling actual thought, Bernie’s intent immediately got lost in the shuffle and then conveniently was corporately repackaged into something that it apparently never was intended to be: “a full-throated defense” of Billary against E-mailgate.

Rall notes that Sanders “clearly was off balance,” and it’s true that Sanders didn’t bring up everything that he could and should have in the debate, as Rall notes in his thoughtful-as-usual commentary. If I had helped Bernie prep for the debate, for instance, in response to Billary’s predictable criticism of him not being good enough on gun control, I’d have encouraged him to point out that his home state of Vermont, which he has represented in Congress since the early 1990s, has fewer gun murders per capita than does any other state except New Hampshire. (Vermont has 1.1 gun murders per 100,000 residents. New Hampshire has 1 per 100,000 residents.)

So when Bernie asserted during the debate last night that gun control is more of an issue for urban areas than for largely rural areas like Vermont, he was correct. Billary was, in her criticism of him, quite wrong, as she so often is on topics that matter.

I’d say that Bernie was a little off balance last night. He made no huge, Prick-Perry-level debate blunder, but he did make a few minor stumbles. But, um, it was his very first nationally televised debate. Billary Clinton is a highly polished liar. She’s been lying, minimizing, deflecting, flip-flopping, triangulating (like her hubby), blaming others, playing the feminism card, playing the victim card, etc., etc., on the national stage at least since the early 1990s. She’s a mega-ultra-slimebag/weasel, whereas Bernie Sanders is a bit of a wonky nerd.*

And Bernie can try to save us from ourselves, but in the end, we have to want to save ourselves.

That Bernie’s admonishment that we pay so much attention to things such as E-mailgate at the expense of larger issues such as “massive wealth and income inequality” and “whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United” fell flat because we’d much rather talk about how “Bernie saved Billary last night at the debate” isn’t Bernie’s fault. It’s ours.**

P.S. In the end, although Bernie prefaced his remarks by saying that they “may not be great politics,” I don’t think that it hurt Bernie, politically, to demonstrate that he wasn’t going to pile upon Billary, which is what I believe he meant to say that so many believe is “great politics.”

Not only could Bernie use a chunk of Billary’s supporters to switch to his team — which he won’t accomplish by alienating them too much — but Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee (and, to a lesser extent, Jim Webb) did plenty of piling upon Billary, which was wholly deserved, but which also made them look desperate because they’re losing (because they are — look at their polling) and which made them look like typical — not visionary — politicians.

I have questioned Bernie’s tactic of remaining above typically dirty politics, but it has gotten him this far, and he never was supposed to have gotten this far.

*I agree with Sanders wholeheartedly that the United States can match the level of socioeconomic success that some European nations have, and that it’s only a capitalism that has eaten itself that has prevented the U.S. from matching those nations’ success, but Team Bernie perhaps does need to think about how it comes off for him to so often rattle off such phrases as “countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway,” as he did last night.

Both moderator Anderson Cooper and Billary Clinton (like snarky junior-high-school students) quickly criticized Sanders’ mention of Denmark — as Stephen Colbert did during a chat with Sanders not long ago (Colbert was much funnier when he did it, but I still found his joke to be a bit disappointing, coming from him) — and while Sanders is correct on this issue, in politics (if you want to win elections) you sometimes have to bow to political realities, such as that Americans are xenophobic and jingoistic and anti-intellectual, and so they don’t want to hear about Denmark…

If Sanders insists on continuing to bring up Denmark — and I suspect that he does and that he will — that won’t sway me away from him one iota, but again, for the most part he’s not dealing with his intellectual equals, and that’s the political reality that he needs to work with.

**We can blame the media only so much. After all, not only do we allow the corporately owned and controlled media weasels to do as they please, but we don’t even fight the problem of corporately owned and controlled media having a monopoly on so-called “free” speech.

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Ding, dong, the wingnut’s gone (or, Newt’s great day)

Republican presidential candidate and businessman Herman Cain announces that he is "suspending" his presidential campaign in Atlanta

Reuters photo

Herman Cain today in his exit speech in Atlanta blamed everyone but himself for the implosion of his Repugnican Tea Party presidential bid. Indeed, though, Cain dreamed the impossible dream: to dream that one could become president of the United States of America with not just a few skeletons, but an entire mausoleum of skeletons, in his closet.

Jesus fuck, did Sarah Palin’s people write Herman Cain’s exit speech?

I watched most of Cain’s pathetic exit speech live, and mostly it consisted of Cain blaming the media (and the “political elites”) for his own downfall and claiming that protecting his family is so fucking important to him.

If Cain’s family were so vital to him, he would have kept his paws to himself all of these past many, many years, and Cain’s real problem with the media isn’t that the media have been so unfair to him, but that the media have dared not to perform as a public relations firm for him — the way the media are “supposed” to, according to the uber-egocentric Palinesque worldview.

Ironically, despite his arrogant claims that the evil media have taken away The People’s Clear Choice for President (Herman Cain, of course), that Cain refuses to take substantial personal responsibility for anything — but prefers to blame the media and others instead — demonstrates (aside from his serial sexual harassment of women, of course) that he is utterly unfit for high political office.

It was interesting to listen to Cain spin his collapse, however. Later today I might find the transcript of his exit speech and write more, but one of the top things that he said that sticks out in my mind is his ludicrous claim that he is bailing out while he still was within the top four choices for the 2012 presidency: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

While that technically might be true, it’s technically true only because President Hopey-Changey has no actually progressive primary opponent within his own party, unfortunately, and in recent nationwide polls of Repugnican Tea Party dipshits, Cain indeed has been at No. 3 behind Gingrich and Romney, but he has been averaging only around 15 percent.

Having the support of only around 15 percent of the members of your own party isn’t exactly a position of strength, even if it does technically put you in the “top four.”

Cain sure knows his audience of dumbfucks, though, the fucktards who actually buy utterly unqualified candidates’ claims of persecution by the media and who love to hear unqualified right-wing candidates whine about their supposed persecution at the hands of the “political elite.”

Would you want your surgeon not to have gone to medical school along with all of those other “medical elites”? Would you want your surgeon’s intellectual capacity to be no greater than your own? No? You want your surgeon to be an experienced expert? What are you, an elitist?

Why is it that in every other area of life, we expect people to know their shit, to be experts, to have earned their positions, but so many of us are perfectly OK with abject dumbfucks holding the highest political office in the land?

You sure want your surgeon to know what he or she is doing, but you’ll hand The Button to anyone?

In his speech today, Cain tried to spin his utter political inexperience as a strength. No, it has been one of his biggest weaknesses that he doesn’t know how the system works (such as that China has had nukes since the 1960s and that the U.S. Supreme Court indeed has the final word on every matter of U.S. Constitutional law) yet still feels qualified to hold the most powerful political post in the nation (indeed, probably in the world, for now, anyway).

Hopefully, the trend of blaming the media (and others) for one’s own utter unsuitability for office has crashed and burned along with the derailed “Cain train.” It was risibly pathetic when Palin tried it, but now it’s just pathetically pathetic. And hopefully the trend of rabid, suicidal anti-intellectualism that we have seen within the Repugnican Tea Party — starting perhaps most notably with Gee Dumbya Bush — is on its way out, although I’m not holding my breath on that.

Despite the fact that he already is a political corpse, Herman Cain defiantly announced today that  he “will not be silenced” — you know, the way he apparently had thought that the multiple victims of his sexual harassment were silenced by fear — and that he is “not going away.”

That might technically be true, too.

No one will forcefully silence Cain or make him go away.

Rather, he’ll just fade back into the relative obscurity from which he came. He might still be talking, but very few people still will be listening.

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‘Liberal’ media bias — RIGHT…

The lion’s share of the mainstream news/“news” coverage that I have seen of yesterday’s Wisconsin recall election results have painted the results as a victory for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors (well, “traitors” is my word, of course, not the word of the “fair and balanced” “news” media).

Let’s get this straight: Yesterday, the Democrats in Wisconsin successfully recalled two Repugnican Tea Party state senators. The Repugnican Tea Party’s majority in the state’s Senate is now by only one senator. Thus far, not a single Democrat has lost his or her seat in the Wisconsin state legislature in a recall election.

Of course it would have been great had the Wisconsin Dems successfully recalled just one more Repugnican Tea Party state senator and flipped the control of the state’s Senate from red to blue, more seriously thwarting the anti-working-class, pro-plutocratic Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker.

However, it was a Herculean task from the get-go, winning three seats in Repugnican-Tea-Party-dominated state senate districts. In this case, winning one out of three actually wasn’t bad.

Despite a supposed “liberal media bias,” only the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, very apparently, can “win” even when they’ve lost. Perhaps this started with George W. Bush, who lost the popular vote in 2000 but still “won” the White House.

Why is it that even when they win, the Dems are widely reported by the mainstream media to have lost?

There are several reasons, but let’s look at a few of them:

(1) The mainstream media are corporately owned and controlled. “Free speech” — riiiiight! If you just happen to have millions or billions of dollars, then you can get your message out to the masses. And how friendly is a corporately owned and controlled mass media operation going to be to a message that isn’t pro-corporate? To a message that is blatantly anti-corporate? Still think there really is any such thing as “free speech”?

Corporate ownership of the mass media automatically means that the media no longer are democratic — that is, of the people. The overwhelming majority of the mass media in the United States are of the corporations.

Thus, even The Associated Press essentially reported Wisconsin’s recall election results as a loss for the Dems and a victory for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, when the best that you can say for the latter is that they saw very mixed results — sure, they now barely maintain their majority in the state’s Senate, but they still lost two state Senate seats, and November 2012 isn’t so far away.

(2) Democrats are pussies. Dems are talked about like they’re losers because they act like losers — even when they’ve won or even when they hold the upper hand. President Hopey-Changey, the capitulator in chief, is a huge part of this problem (when the Dems held the White House and both houses of Congress in 2009 and in 2010, did they exploit this rare political alignment for the progressive good? Of course not!), but it’s a problem that he inherited and is perpetuating, not one that he invented. (Indeed, President Hopey-Changey his whole life has coasted on others’ accomplishments. He’s a fraud, a fake, a sham of a man.)

(3) The muggles are brainwashed from Day One to be obedient to the Man, to The System, to the Great Capitalist Machine — so much so that the oppressed muggles who suffer under the Man actually defend the Man, their oppressors, just like the chickens defending Colonel Sanders. And these brainwashed turncoats also do much of the Man’s work of oppressing the masses for him by turning on their fellow chickens (think Repugnican Tea Party traitors, whose founding father is Benedict Arnold).

Back to point No. 1: I’m also seeing the mainstream “news” media (including the AP) mention the money from the labor movement that went into the recall battle in Wisconsin, but including little to no mention at all of the shitloads of corporate money that was sunk into the battle. No pro-corporate, anti-union bias there!

And let’s not act like corporate money and labor-union money are equal. Corporate money comes from the anti-democratic (anti-rule-by-the-people) plutocrats. Corporate money comes from the few. Union money comes from the many, from the people. That’s a helluva lot more democratic than the rich few running the show (which is the definition of a plutocracy).

I’m not so naive as to think that these dysfunctional dynamics are going to go away any day soon. Most of those who already are infected with this self-defeating dysfunction will take this dysfunction with them to their graves (although they apparently are hell-bent on taking those of us who are sane right along with them to hell).

It’s probably up to our young people to break the chains. And as capitalism is fucking them up the ass using ground glass as lube, I think it’s safe to say that a good number of them aren’t wild about capitalism, which hasn’t been so very very good for them.

In the meantime, there is no reason to stop the war against the treasonous plutocrats and their turncoat supporters in Wisconsin.

Next up after the Wisconsin state Senate recall elections have passed: The recall of Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker.

I’m in.

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NPR is a national treasure — so of course the wingnuts want to destroy it

Twenty-six-year-old virgin wingnut “warrior” James O’Keefe is at it again.

O’Keefe, who is on probation for a criminal conviction (his federal felony charges unfortunately were reduced to a misdemeanor), now has tried to embarrass National Public Radio.

O’Keefe had two people impersonate donors representing a fictitious Muslim educational organization (hey, why not bash Muslims while you’re at it bashing NPR?) and videorecord former NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller, um, telling the truth.

I mean, all of Schiller’s “controversial” statements are true, such as:

  • members of the “tea party” overwhelmingly are “Islamophobic” and “xenophobic”
  • members of the “tea party” overwhelmingly are “racist”
  • members of the “tea party”overwhelmingly are “white” and largely “gun-toting”
  • the mainstream media have a pro-Israel bias
  • Muslims don’t have much of a voice in mainstream America
  • “liberals today might be more educated [and more] fair and balanced than [are] conservatives”

“Might be”? That’s the only statement above that I disagree with.

If something is the truth, it’s just the fucking truth. It doesn’t matter whether stating that truth is popular or not or whether it offends anyone or not.

I am not Christian, Muslim or Jewish, but it’s crystal clear to me that in the United States of America, of those three “gangs for God,” as I think of them, since they historically have slaughtered each other, Muslims get the shittiest end of the stick, and to a very large degree, the Israelis can do no wrong, even though they treat the Palestinians the way that the Nazis treated the Jews: like dirty, subhuman animals whom/that it’s perfectly OK to eradicate.

O’Keefe’s having had two people impersonate Muslim donors only proves Schiller’s assertion that O’Keefe and his fellow wingnuts (whose adoration O’Keefe is seeking) are Islamophobes, so what, exactly, has O’Keefe exposed or accomplished here, other than making himself look even more like the self-aggrandizing asshole that he is?

NPR refused to accept the $5 million that the “Muslim donors” offered. So all that we have here is that Schiller expressed his personal views with which millions and millions of us Americans agree.

Yahoo! News reports that in the dishonestly obtained video footage, “Schiller doesn’t appear to interject when the two men make outlandish comments about Jews controlling the media and laughs when they jokingly refer to NPR as ‘National Palestinian Radio,'” but silence doesn’t equal agreement, perhaps especially if your role is that of a fundraiser or salesperson who doesn’t want to lose the sale (literally or figuratively), and let’s not tar and feather Schiller with statements that not he but two impostors with the agenda of discrediting him made.

Further, let’s follow this through: The assertion that “Jews control the media” either can or cannot be proved by the facts. Once we define what it means to “control the media,” we then can ascertain whether or not Jews either do or don’t control the media, as we have defined that. If we define what it means to “control the media” and if we find that Jews do indeed control the media by that definition, is that an inherently “anti-Semitic” statement or is that just a statement of fact?

I had thought that the wingnuts abhor political correctness. So why the double standard where Jews and Israel are concerned? Why do the wingnuts oppose political correctness for gays and blacks and Muslims (to name just three minority groups) but not for Jews? 

Speaking of the double standard that benefits the Israelis and of “National Palestinian Radio,” I don’t listen to NPR, but I have in the past, and yes, NPR is much more likely to be actually fair and balanced to the Palestinians than are the corporately owned and controlled American radio and television “news” networks. That’s just a fact. And that’s how an actual radio or television news network should be.

It’s too bad that NPR is responding to O’Keefe’s smear campaign by apologizing. Neither NPR nor Schiller has anything to apologize for; the truth isn’t something that any of us has to apologize for.

We hesitate to call out the “tea party” fascists at our own peril. We need to call them what they are: traitors, liars, fascists, racists, xenophobes, misogynists, homophobes, etc.

And NPR is a national treasure. I listened to NPR every day when the unelected, treasonous Bush regime was making its “case” for launching its illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust war on Iraq in early 2003. While the corporately owned and controlled “news” media were treating the impending Vietraq War like a fucking sports and entertainment event like the fucking Super Bowl, NPR was one of the few large news organizations that actually were practicing journalism instead of cheerleading.

We need NPR.

We don’t need cocky bottom-feeders like O’Keefe, who should donate his internal organs now so that others can make better use of them.

P.S. The Repugnican Tea Party’s call to defund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (of which NPR and the Public Broadcasting System are part) has much more to do with the right-wing censorship of ideas (NPR and PBS do things differently than does Faux “News,” you see) than it has to do with the fucking federal budget deficit.

The CPB gets only $430 million a year in federal dollars, yet Washington hands over hundreds of billions of our tax dollars to the war profiteers in the bloated military-industrial complex, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton thieves.

Go to npr.org to donate to your local NPR station. I have.

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MSNBC caves in and throws Olbermann under the bus

I learned early on in my days of journalism that there’s no such fucking thing as free speech when you are the property of some corporation.

Oh, sure, you can say or write whatever you want when you are employed by a corporation — subject to termination or other adverse action, of course.

This is why I’d much rather be an unpaid blogger than a paid corporate whore: I can say whatever the fuck I want to say without having to worry about being fired or otherwise shit and pissed upon by my corporate overlords who care only about looking out for their own best plutocratic interests.

Is supporting a political campaign a form of free speech? At least for the corporations it is — the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court more or less ruled so this year; not only are corporations people, but they have free-speech rights, according to the right wing and their friends on the “high” court.

Yet MSNBC host Keith Olbermann, who apparently has no rights because he is an actual person and not a corporate “person,” has been suspended indefinitely from his job without pay for having donated to three different Democratic candidates.

Journalistic ethics, you see.

(Because I am not employed by a corporation) I say: Fuck. That. Shit.

If everyone were playing fairly, I might tend to agree that maybe Olbermann has compromised his “journalistic ethics,” but (1) Faux “News” not long ago gave $1 million to the Repugnican Party (to give just one example of how the right-wing media handle “ethics”) and (2) Olbermann makes his political leanings quite well known, so it’s dubious that we can call him a “journalist.” He’s much more of a commentator — that is, a man with an opinion who vocalizes his opinion — than he is a journalist.

Further, the rules have changed. Unbiased journalism is a thing of the past. In the mass media it’s left-vs.-right now, with most of what is called “news” being pro-right-wing. And mass-media journalism never was unbiased anyway. It’s always had a pro-corporate slant because it always has been the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who have owned and controlled the mass media, from William Randolph Hearst to Rupert Murdoch.

In my journalism days I never agreed with the “ethics” rule that a journalist covering politics never should give money to a political candidate or to a political cause. You don’t lose your citizenship and your civil rights because you’re a journalist. Journalists all have their own opinions anyway, so they should be able to participate fully as citizens in the sham that we call a “democracy.”

And it is foolish and dangerous for us serfs to continue to surrender our right to participate politically because some wingnut might cry “foul” while the corporations shamelessly claim “personhood” and participate fully in the political process, throwing millions and billions of dollars behind their right-wing, pro-plutocratic causes.

More rights for the corporations and fewer rights for us serfs — we serfs have to revolt against this kind of bullshit now.

And for the left to disarm unilaterally while the right continues its gross abuses of power will only propel the United States of Amnesia even more quickly into the fascism into which is already has been descending for some time now.

MSNBC is unbiased?

Good!

The nation needs a counterweight to the shameless right-wing excesses of Faux “News” — and to the general pro-corporate slant of the mass media in general.

You can sign the petition to MSNBC to show your disapproval of its suspension of Keith Olbermann by clicking here.

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‘Conservative media’ is bullshit

I hope to make this my last word on the Shirley Sherrod debacle for a while. (But I’m not holding my breath.)

Before I retire to bed I just want to note that the headline “Sherrod Case Shows Power of Conservative Media” for this Associated Press piece really fucking rankles me.

Whether the AP supplied that headline or Yahoo! News did, it’s woefully inaccurate.

First, there is the word “conservative.” No, these are lying lunatics we’re talking about, not just “conservatives.” Conservatives suck ass, yes, indeed, but those screaming “black racists! black racists! black racists!” aren’t just your old Goldwater-variety “conservatives.”

They are, as Ted Rall calls them, “protofascists.”*

They are dangerous. They don’t just hold an opinion. They’re talking about the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government. When their stupid white guy is made president even though he lost the vote, they call it “democracy,” and they call their detractors “Sore Losermen,” but when the black guy beats their white guy by seven percentage points, they call it “tyranny” and they actually liken it to the actual tyranny that led up to the Revolutionary War.  

One of these wingnuts, Byron Williams of California, whom I wrote about yesterday, very apparently got it into his head to shoot up an obscure progressive organization in San Francisco because he’d heard Grand Dragon Glenn Beck repeatedly denounce the organization on Faux “News.” (Luckily, the California Highway Patrol got to Williams first and he ended up getting shot up himself but killing no one.)

So to call these people — and I agree wholeheartedly with Rall’s term for them, “protofascists” — “conservatives” is to give them a legitimacy that they don’t fucking have. And worse, the word “conservative” makes them sound a lot more harmless than they actually are.

Then, there is the word “media.”

The word “media” gives an air of legitimacy to such illegitimate purveyors of truth as wingnutty blogs and Faux “News.”

I have a bachelor of science in journalism, so I know how “fair and balanced” mainstream journalists are trained to be. So far do they bend over backwards to be “fair and balanced” that they treat even the most insane right-wing bullshit and the most extremist right-wing enterprises as legitimate, lest they be accused of — gasp! — “liberal bias”!

But, as Sen. Al Franken says (and I believe he is quoting the late Sen. Patrick Moynihan), you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

Since the wingnutty “media” blatantly lie, routinely, to call them “media” is to suggest that they are legitimate purveyors of truth, just like the newspapers and television news broadcasts of yore.

A right-wing racist blogger blatantly recutting a video of a black woman’s speech to “prove” that the black woman (whose speech actually was about racial reconciliation) is “racist” — and then this video lie just parroted on Faux “News” and other wingnutty outlets because they so very badly want to show the “video” of the “racist” black woman: that is legitimate media?

“Sherrod Case Shows Power of Conservative Media.”

The word “power” too suggests legitimacy that just doesn’t fucking exist here.

The only words of that headline that are accurate are “Sherrod Case Shows.”

The correct headline should be: “Sharrod Case Shows That When the President of the United States of America Actually Takes Action Based Upon Bold-Faced Lies Bouncing Around the Wingnut Echo Chamber, This Nation Is Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition! Head for Canada!” 

“[People] being afraid of the machine that the right has put out there – that’s what’s driving this,” Shirley Sherrod said of her lynching.

Yup.

Shirley Sherrod is courageous and she’s wise.

She should be president.

*Rall writes, in part:

Is the Tea Party racist? Democrats who play liberals on TV say it isn’t. Vice President Joe Biden says the Tea Party “is not a racist organization” per se, but allows that “at least elements that were involved in some of the Tea Party folks expressed racist views.”

Right-wing Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has received permission to form an official Tea Party Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. It’s official. The Tea Party matters.

So: is it racist? Certainly a sizeable minority of Tea Partiers’ “take America back” rhetoric is motivated by thinly disguised resentment that a black guy is president. As for the remainder, their tacit tolerance of the intolerant speaks for itself. “Take America back” from whom? You know whom. It ain’t white CEOs.

Yes. The Tea Party is racist. Obviously.

But racism is only one facet of a far more sinister political strain. It’s more accurate to categorize the Tea Party as something the United States has never seen before, certainly not in such large numbers or as widespread.

The Tea Party is a protofascist movement.

Robert O. Paxton defined fascism as “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Typical Tea Party rants fit the classic fascist mold in several respects. America, Tea Partiers complain, is falling behind. Like Hitler, they blame leftists and liberals for a “stab in the back,” treason on the homefront. The trappings of hypernationalism — flags, bunting, etc. —are notably pervasive at Tea Party rallies, even by American standards. We see “collaboration with traditional elites” — Rush Limbaugh, Congressmen, Republican Party bigwigs (including the most recent vice presidential nominee) — to an extent that is unprecedented in recent history….

[Umberto] Eco [in his 1995 essay “Eternal Fascism”] also discusses fascism’s “appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.” Guard the borders! Deport the immigrants! Mexicans are stealing our jobs!

So much anger. It’s too bad that the (justifiable) rage of the white male middle-class is directed against their fellow victims. It’s worse that they’re playing into the blood-soaked hands of their own oppressors. 

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The harpies are still harping

Alaska Governor and former Republican vice-presidential candidate ...

AFP photo

Someone please inform these two peas in a pod that the Democrats now control Washington because the American voters have rejected the Repugnican Party.

Talk about timing.

Repugnican Sarah Palin-Quayle — um, didn’t she just lose an election? Doesn’t that mean that she goes the fuck away now? — is whining again that she’s a victim of the media. Reports The Associated Press today:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going on the offensive against news organizations and bloggers she says are perpetuating malicious gossip about her and her children. But political observers say the former Republican vice presidential candidate can’t have it both ways: trotting out the children to showcase her family values, then trying to shield them from scrutiny.

Palin’s criticism also raises questions about her motivations because she has said she is open to a presidential run in 2012.

“I think she’s positioning herself. She’s attacking the media as a way to generate support among a base she hopes will support her,” said Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of communications at American University in Washington and an expert on the presidency.

Palin shied away from interviews during the campaign, although her children often accompanied her on her travels, including her oldest daughter, Bristol, who was pregnant at the time.

But in recent weeks, she has personally reached out to media outlets such as People magazine and The Associated Press to complain about information she claimed is wrong.

She slammed reports that 18-year-old Bristol Palin and the teen’s fiance are high school dropouts. The governor insists the two are not dropouts because they enrolled in correspondence courses.

The couple last month had a son — the governor’s first grandchild.

The governor said she is speaking out to set the record straight, not because of any political aspirations.

“It’s all about the family,” she said. “I’m wired in a way that I can take the criticism. I can take the shots. But any mother would want to protect their children from lies and scandalous reporting.” …

[Palin’s] decision to strike back at news organizations seems to contradict the governor’s earlier statements on how politicians should respond to media coverage.

Months before she was named John McCain‘s running mate, Palin attended a leadership forum in Los Angeles and was asked her opinion on then-Sen. Hillary Clinton‘s allegations that she was being unfairly treated by the media during the primaries.

Palin said Clinton did herself a disservice to even mention it. The governor said it bothered her to hear Clinton “bring that attention to herself on that level.” …

Gee, what a fucking shock that Palin-Quayle essentially called Billary Clinton a whiner but then whines about supposed mistreatment by the media herself.

I personally could give a fuck about Palin-Quayle’s family, and I haven’t heard all of these alleged rumors about her family members because I don’t think that the vast majority of my fellow Americans really give a fuck about Palin-Quayle’s family any more than I do(n’t).

My problem with Palin-Quayle is that she is a dumbfuck wingnut and that should John Fossil Fool McCainosaurus have keeled over while president, she would have been president.

It’s pretty clear that Palin-Quayle is trying to position herself for another run for high political office.

She’s trying to divert the attention from her own staggering incompetence to supposed attacks on her family.

And she’s trying to get support by first getting dumbfucks, most of them in the red states, to identify with her, to make them believe that she’s one of them, and then, by extension, make her dumbfuck supporters believe that supposed attacks upon her and/or her family members are actually attacks upon them.

Actual attacks are great, but, a la 1984, attacks will be fabricated in order to try to stir up the base if there have been no actual attacks. 

Palin-Quayle is, in two words, playing victim.

So now we also have wingnut Ann Cunter out with a new book (its cover is shown above) whose central thesis, apparently, is the claim that liberals always claim to be the victims.

This is the wingnuts’ surreal new tactic (although I guess it really isn’t new for them): to claim that they are the true victims while claiming that their opponents falsely claim to be victims.*

And claiming victimhood is bad, you see — except when the wingnuts do it.

Of course, when you think about it, it’s rather heartening to see that the Repugnican Party has been reduced to having Ann Cunter and Sarah Palin-Quayle as its spokescunts.

*The proponents of the Proposition 8, which stripped same-sex California couples of their equal civil and human rights that the California Supreme Court had ruled belong to same-sex couples, have claimed victimhood because we gay men and lesbians have fought back. We were supposed to just take it, you see, like “good” little faggots and dykes “should.”

The pro-Prop 8 fascists struck first at us gay men and lesbians, who only want to enjoy the same life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that are the unalienable rights of all Americans, yet, they maintain, they aren’t the victimizers; we gay men and lesbians are the “victimizers” simply because we are fighting back to protect our equal human and civil rights.

Orwellian. 

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