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Conservative Media Its Own Worst Enemy

conservative-talk-hannity-beck-limbaugh

In “Why Does the Media Go Easy on Barack Obama?Conor Friedersdorf says conservatives are wrong to attribute soft coverage to “liberal bias.” Indeed, he argues, the mainstream press is harder hitting that their conservative counterparts on the most important issues.

 

On various subjects that ought to trigger automatic scrutiny from any adversarial press outlet, like apparent violations of federal law, actions that directly contradict a campaign promise, aggressive retaliation against whistleblowers, and unprecedented assertions of secrecy, establishment outlets like The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and The Washington Post, along with avowedly liberal publications like SalonMother Jones, and The Guardian, did far more to uncover facts, raise awareness, and publish criticism of Obama than the conservative media.

[...]

But when it comes to holding President Obama accountable for those unusually consequential, unchecked acts, the conservative media is far inferior, partly because of the time it wastes on birtherism, Kenyan anti-colonialism, and a National Review contributor’s theory that Obama is allied with our Islamist enemy in a “grand jihad” against America; but mostly because much of the conservative movement behaves as if the War on Terrorism confers unlimited power to spy without warrants, to violate the War Powers Resolution, to extra-judicially kill American citizens, and to treat even the legal justification for executive branch actions as if they’re state secrets. On all those questions, they defer to the Obama Administration.

[...]

Many conservatives are ideologically committed to the proposition that the president should be almost totally unconstrained in the realm of foreign affairs. As a result, many of President Obama’s most questionable behavior is ignored by the conservative press — and it is also ignored by the subset of the “establishment media” that uses partisan conflict to determine what to investigate, rather than making independent judgments about what is important to cover.

[...]

Relatedly, the particular challenges to President Obama’s foreign policy that the right has attempted have often been ill-chosen. Never mind violating the War Powers Resolution, a secret kill list, and a war on whistleblowers. The conservative press wasted countless pixels on arguing that Obama doesn’t really believe in American exceptionalism, accusing him of hating Israel, and insisting that he belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood. Even incidents like Fast and Furious or the killing in Benghazi, which merited investigation, were oversold from the beginning as if they were scandals that would bring down the Obama Administration in due course. As someone who is ready to think the worst of Obama’s foreign policy and to expose every untoward aspect of it, I confess that I don’t know what the right is hoping to get out of Benghazi.

I noted much of this in the months leading up to the November election. On foreign policy, especially, Obama was most vulnerable to attack from the left or from the paleocon right. Mitt Romney couldn’t get any traction at all on extrajudicial killings, bypassing Congress on war powers, or interventionist zeal because he supported those policies; if anything, his criticism was that Obama wasn’t pursuing them with sufficient vigor.

But Friedersdorf is surely right, too, that the Republican attacks were mostly on bizarre issues that were either concocted out of whole cloth or had zero traction with voters outside the Fox News cocoon. The birth certificate nonsense didn’t dissuade people from voting for the relative unknown Barack Obama in 2008; why on earth did anyone think it would work against a popular sitting president? Fast and Furious was a genuine debacle, if one at best tangentially related to the Obama adminstration; but it was always presented in such absurdly conspiratorial tones as to undermine any damage. And, while there remain genuine questions about the Benghazi tragedy, the Republican response—including and perhaps especially that of nominee Mitt Romney—were so ham-handed and over-the-top as to be embarrassing.

The bottom line is that the conservative message machine is broken. Rather than putting the opposition on the defensive, it’s been damaging the Republican brand.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Mitt Romney couldn’t get any traction at all on extrajudicial killings, bypassing Congress on war powers, or interventionist zeal because he supported those policies; if anything, his criticism was that Obama wasn’t pursuing them with sufficient vigor.

    That’s’ a contortion. It’s almost as if you think Romeny, who wanted Obama times two, was in his heart a civil libertarian who “couldn’t get traction.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  2. neil hudelson says:

    Well said. Our resident right wing scholar, Jay Tea, even went so far as to state that F&F was the greatest scandal to ever hit a presidency, more so than watergate, xyz, teapot dome, lewinsky, iran contta, etc. The reason the right wing media harps on these issues is because the jay teas of the world pay good money to eat it up. The 27 percrnters represent a significant chunk of cash.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 49 Thumb down 0

  3. john personna says:

    On the rest, it’s the old story, that the conservative media has different goals than conservative philosophers.

    For their media goals (committed repeat listeners, viewers, visitors) their parade of trivia is perfect. Tune in for more.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  4. Mark Ivey says:

    Right wing “talking head” Grifters gotta grift..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  5. James Joyner says:

    @john personna: No, I’m arguing that Romney couldn’t exploit the problems with the policies because he championed said policies. To the extent he differed with Obama, it was in the wrong direction to make hay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

  6. legion says:

    The bottom line is that the conservative message machine is broken. Rather than putting the opposition on the defensive, it’s been damaging the Republican brand.

    You’re not wrong, James, but you’re missing the _reason_ the Republican “brand” is being damaged by the machine – it’s because an increasing number of Americans don’t actually identify with or support the core Republican tenets anymore. The “damage” is simply the expected result of showing the public just what that brand really means, and it can only end with the dissolution of the modern GOP as we know it.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 1

  7. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    I guess I can decode that, but it’s kind of like saying I can’t champion high speed rail because I “can’t get traction” on it.

    It would be a more straight up truth telling to just say that the mainstream Republican candidates had no interest in taking a civil liberties position in 2012. The Pauls might have mumbled a few words on it, as part of an alternative message, but that’s about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. Tsar Nicholas says:

    This post and the underlying article to which it cites somehow not only miss the giant neon screaming elephants in the room but they do so in manners that only best can be described as unintentional self-parody.

    There’s a gigantic difference between conservative commentators and what’s supposed to be a non-parisan national media, but which over four decades ago sailed away from that port and never returned.

    A few conservatives who announce themselves as conservatives and who opine overtly as stated conservatives cannot be compared to partisan liberal Democrat news media outlets which even to this day pretend that they’re not advancing the agenda of one side of the political spectrum. Especially when you factor in the obvious point that the former drone away to a few million people on AM radio stations during the daytime (when most voters actually work for their livings), or on Internet sites that nobody actually reads, whereas the latter include network news broadcasts which reach combined audiences of over 20 million people along with scores of newspapers with combined audiences also in the tens of millions. The comparison itself evidences the sort of cognitive dissonance that only exists in liberal media-academe circles.

    Nobody tunes in to Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity expecting to hear anything other than their conservative opinions. Tens of millions of people out there, however, including many belonging to an age demographic that still trusts the mass media, tune into ABC, CBS, NBC and the large-circulation papers presuming they’re getting actual news as opposed to a liberal slant on the news. That’s the issue. That’s the numbingly obvious point of which the left is and forever will remain insouciant.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 42

  9. matt bernius says:

    James Joyner wrote:

    The bottom line is that the conservative message machine is broken. Rather than putting the opposition on the defensive, it’s been damaging the Republican brand.

    But the thing is, the conservative message machine isn’t broken.

    Or rather, if one accepts that its primary purpose has always been to sell product to a traditionally under-served audience, it isn’t broken.

    The thing is that people have mistaken Limbaugh, et. al, to be seriously concerned about politics and governing. In part that’s because that’s what these personalities tell their audiences. But believing that their goal is political is akin to believing that they all sleep on the “Sleep Number Beds” that they are always praising.

    Their goal is to provide their audiences with what they are looking for — a confirmation of the belief that their side is always *right* and always the *oppressed victim* (even when the Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House).

    This has never been about what’s good for the country or even the conservative party. Assuming it’s anything but that is to make the same mistake their audience is making.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 2

  10. Ron Beasley says:

    Hannity, Beck and Limbaugh are snake oil salesmen. They don’t actually believe most of what they say but they know that is what their listeners believe and want to hear. It’s not about Republicans or Conservatives but all about making a lot of money.

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  11. john personna says:

    @James Joyner:

    I’m surprised you are getting upvotes. I see that as simple rationalization.

    You are emotionally attached to Romney/Republicans and so you say they “can’t” share your opinion rather than that they “don’t”

    Some kind of co-dependency or whatever.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  12. matt bernius says:

    BTW, in regards to the Conservative Media Complex, this is one area where I direct everyone to Superdestroyer’s usual refrain. Any move leftward (towards the center) is not in their interest, for their audience, like Superdestroyer, believes that the Republicans/Conservatives have already given up too much.

    Folks like Michael Savage have long stated that we are essentially already living in SD’s one-state country. Beck has all but said the same. And, if things keep going like they are, Limbaugh will be there soon as well.

    This, btw, is what makes the immigration debate so interesting. It’s the one point where we see the partisans (Hannity, Levin) starting to hew off of the populists (Limbaugh, etc). Where Fox News lands on this issue will say a lot about which side is seen as being the more profitable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  13. john personna says:

    @matt bernius:

    I’m sure in their hearts they are more moderate that, and that they only “can’t” take more reasonable positions.

    … if I thought they just had no interest in more reasonable positions, my framework might crumble.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  14. matt bernius says:

    @john personna:
    Whose hearts are we talking about? The audience or the hosts?

    I think it’s fair to say that part of this is a generational issue. The fact is that the audience of most of these shows (both talk radio and TV) are older and part of a generation that can remember a time when there *wasn’t* conservative media.

    IMHO, that’s key to understanding the broader issue. These were people who came to believe — either through personal experience or family indoctrination — that their conservative positions were not represented in the media. They’ve always felt under assault. And in many cases they’ve found themselves in a present future that’s very different than they one they were promised as baby boomers. Either they’ve suffered job loss and deteriorating wages or they see their children suffering from this (or other “modern” moral problems – out of wedlock kids, homosexuality, drugs, etc).

    For them, RWM is a primal scream and a chance to meet a nation of people (i.e. the on-air audience of the show) who are fellow sufferers. That’s part of the reason why these shows — if you start to listen to them and do a meta analysis of the tone of the program — have become increasingly pessimistic since GWHB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  15. Woody says:

    The conservative machine isn’t broken at all, but they’re running out of steam/outrage for the non-cocooners.

    Remember the WH Travelgate? Whitewater? Vince Foster? All of them garnered headlines everywhere from CNN to the NYT.

    Fast and Furious or Benghazi could have become just as big . . . but to the non-cocooners, been there done that. Everyone outside the conservative bubble knows the subject matter of every Fox program: Obama is bad. After a while, it’s old hat.

    This explains why Sarah Palin was ignominiously dropped from Fox News – once the “lamestream media” quit carrying whatever outrage she was peddling, her value to Roger Ailes vanished (it didn’t help that she could derive popularity outside of Fox, too).

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  16. matt bernius says:

    @john personna:

    … if I thought they just had no interest in more reasonable positions, my framework might crumble.

    The only position that Limbaugh has on this is the position that he thinks will bring in the most audience until he decides to retire. And he’s banking on a repeat of what happened with Kennedy/McCain.

    I honestly think that Hannity and Levin (Levin in particular) are open to a more progressive take.

    Of all the commentators Hannity has always chosen to be mouth piece of the National Republican party (which is also why he’s never be able to quite match Limbaugh’s audience) and where they go, he invariably follows.

    Levin, on the other hand, is a bit of a cypher. I think that of all of the major talkers, he’s by far the most conflicted. He’s the one who seems like he most wants to be viewed as an intellectual. And yet, he also seems to have the thinnest skin and is the one who sells out intellectualism and debate the fastest, engaging in some of the nastiest taunting and name calling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  17. mantis says:

    But Friedersdorf is surely right, too, that the Republican attacks were mostly on bizarre issues that were either concocted out of whole cloth or had zero traction with voters outside the Fox News cocoon.

    Everything is still the same inside the cocoon. They continue to believe all the crap concocted out of whole cloth and cling to issues regular people don’t care about. Not only that, they think they are sitting on excellent arguments that would really work if only the evil media paid attention to them. Have you noticed the latest issue is a conspiracy theory surrounding that stupid skeet shooting photo? The cocoon is nice and warm as always.

    The bottom line is that the conservative message machine is broken.

    No, James, the machine works fine. You have a problem with the message itself. Unfortunately for you, that message is now the heart of your party and the conservative movement. You think conservative media is hurting the conservative movement. You misunderstand. There is no difference between the two. Conservative media is the conservative movement.

    Oh, and by the way, James, all of this is partly your fault. You’ve stuck with this ridiculous party even though you’ve seen what they’ve been becoming for years, defending them and presumably holding out hope that they would snap out of it even though there is no real incentive to do so. You reap what you sow. You moderate Republicans have absolutely no one to blame but yourselves for letting lunatics take over. Now, like proliferating zombies, they dramatically outnumber you. Get to high ground or be consumed.

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  18. john personna says:

    @matt bernius:

    I think James is correct on most of his first level analysis. The second level question is why conservatives support this kind of thing. One fraction eats it up of course, but even people who recognize negatives are pretty tolerant of it.

    Fox news is not just the media of the old, it’s the media of the GOP salaryman.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  19. john personna says:

    @Woody:

    The conservative machine isn’t broken at all, but they’re running out of steam/outrage for the non-cocooners.

    That’s a good line, and I hope it’s true. I suspect though that conservatives protect their cocooners. After all, they are safe votes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. john personna says:

    @mantis:

    No, James, the machine works fine. You have a problem with the message itself. Unfortunately for you, that message is now the heart of your party and the conservative movement. You think conservative media is hurting the conservative movement. You misunderstand. There is no difference between the two. Conservative media is the conservative movement.

    I contrasted “conservative media” to “conservative philosophers” above because I too think t hat you can’t really contrast “media” and “movement.”

    At this point philosophers stand outside both media and movement.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  21. matt bernius says:

    @john personna:

    One fraction eats it up of course, but even people who recognize negatives are pretty tolerant of it.

    Correct. In part that’s because, on some level, people like it when the nasty class bully picks on the folks who “deserve it.” And its human nature to believe that your views are always under-represented (we register what we consider negative messaging far more than positive messaging). So on some level they like the idea that these folks are beating up on Obama, Dem’s, Lib’s, special interests, etc.

    Fox news is not just the media of the old, it’s the media of the GOP salaryman.

    I need to see more data before I can agree with that statement (I question, based on broader demographics and viewership trends, if any news is the media of any significant percentage of salarymen).

    It’s clear that Fox News, in the long term, wants to be the media of the GOP salarymen. Which is why I think that watching how they cover the immigration debate is going to suggest a lot about where RW Media will be heading in the future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. john personna says:

    @matt bernius:

    When I look at the chart here, I can draw two observations. First, “Fox News” has a pretty broad age demographic. Second, note that the table is youth-ranked. “Fox News” itself floats above mid-point.

    Maddow appeals to older viewers, and Hannity comforts the geriatric.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  23. Septimius says:

    @James Joyner:

    The asininity of this column is absolutely breathtaking. You cherry-pick a handful of issues in which the Obama administration position is to the right of Salon and Mother Jones, declare that they are the most important issues, and then bash conservative media for not using them to attack Obama. It’s called intellectual honesty. Most conservatives have always believed the War Powers Act to be unconstitutional. Most conservatives never believed that Guantanamo should be closed. Most conservatives don’t believe that enemy combatants are conferred due process rights.

    Had conservative media attacked Obama on these issues, the left would be howling “Hypocrisy!” And, you would be parroting them.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 21

  24. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    I must admit, James, you make some very good points. It was in the mainstream media that I learned so much about the Bob Menendez scandal(s), Fast & Furious, the green energy fiascos, and a host of other things. Plus the moral outrage of having our tax laws written by Charlie Rangel and enforced by Tim Geithner — that was truly enlightening.

    We must also not forget the wonderful “Bidenisms” regular features on our veep’s latest gaffes.

    Oh, and thanks for keeping us up to date on what Rush Limbaugh is saying of late. I find him a crashing bore, so your regular updates let me keep in touch with that element. It’s taking the place quite nicely of Doug’s relentless crush on Sarah Palin.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 31

  25. Spartacus says:

    @James Joyner:

    No, I’m arguing that Romney couldn’t exploit the problems with the policies because he championed said policies.

    This is largely true of Congressional GOPers as well. I think it was John McCain who claimed that the failure of the Obama Administration to immediately identify the correct cause of the Bengazhi attacks was worse than the Watergate scandal. Only a certified fool would believe that.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  26. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    It’s called intellectual honesty. Most conservatives have always believed the War Powers Act to be unconstitutional.[?] Most conservatives never believed that Guantanamo should be closed. Most conservatives don’t believe that enemy combatants are conferred due process rights.

    Had conservative media attacked Obama on these issues, the left would be howling “Hypocrisy!” And, you would be parroting them.

    First, I’m a little confused about the mention of the “War Powers Act” here unless “unconstitutional” was a typo. If Conservatives truly felt that the War Power’s act was unconstitutional, then it seems like an entirely intellectually consistent line of attack.

    This comment also reminds us how Conservative Media ignores all the positions that they apparently share with Obama. Of course Conservative Media has to do that, otherwise how can it continue to discuss him as a radical socialist/marxist/crypto-islamist/third-columnist/most-leftist-president-evah…

    And that ties into James’ penultimate paragraph — the problem is that in it’s quest to sensationalize — pursue birth certificates and F&F conspiracy theories — Conservative Media fails to engage on the substantive issues. Of course, what they are selling is — as they themselves remind us — entertainment versus serious commentary/wonkery.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  27. Spartacus says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Plus the moral outrage of having our tax laws written by Charlie Rangel . . .

    I’m not familiar with this one, but what could possibly be outrageous about having our tax laws written by a legislator?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  28. Tony W says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    tune into ABC, CBS, NBC and the large-circulation papers presuming they’re getting actual news as opposed to a liberal slant on the news.

    What you call a “liberal slant” I call “rigorous thought and a willingness to look objectively at facts even if they present evidence that weakens my old argument.”

    Conservatism used to allow for intellectual excellence and true leadership, but now it simply means groupthink.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  29. john personna says:

    @Spartacus:

    Exactly, and an illustration of the difference between “can’t” and “don’t want to.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. Septimius says:

    @matt bernius:

    First, I’m a little confused about the mention of the “War Powers Act” here unless “unconstitutional” was a typo. If Conservatives truly felt that the War Power’s act was unconstitutional, then it seems like an entirely intellectually consistent line of attack.

    The War Powers Act (or, Resolution as it is sometimes called) was enacted in 1973. It requires the President to obtain Congressional approval within 60 days of initiating any military conflict. Nixon actually vetoed the bill, but was overridden. Most conservatives have always questioned the constitutionality of the law. Obama violated it with his Libyan air war. Had the conservative media attacked him, they would have been intellectually inconsistent with traditional conservative opinion on the War Powers Act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  31. Drew says:

    The guys pictured are entertainers, in the case of Limbaugh certainly self professed. They run public/current issue slugfests/opinion duels. Much like so many blog sites.

    They are not AP, CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, WaPo etc, who profess to be even handed, and investigative, journalists.

    This is a completely bogus comparison.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  32. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    Obama violated it with his Libyan air war. Had the conservative media attacked him, they would have been intellectually inconsistent with traditional conservative opinion on the War Powers Act.

    Then they should have. And the fact that they didn’t seems to contradict your larger point that if they had they would have been branded as being hypocritical*.

    And, ultimately, this gets to a bigger issue with Conservative Media that James and Friedersdorf are pointing to — the failure to “make a big” deal out of a big issue like the abuse of the war powers act (which as you yourself note, would be entirely intellectually consistent), while simultaneously focusing on sensation issues that, at least in the way they are being pursued, have little to do with reality.

    * – Of course, part of the problem with Libya might have been that a number of the more neo-cons among them were saber rattling for intervention in Libya prior to the Air War.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  33. matt bernius says:

    @Drew:

    They are not AP, CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, WaPo etc, who profess to be even handed, and investigative, journalists. … This is a completely bogus comparison.

    Of course, this type of analysis fails to note how — at least in the case of newspapers like the WaPo and the Times — those conservative commentators tend to conflate the news gathering and reporting arms of newspapers with its editorial/opinion arms.

    I would also humbly suggest that the more mainstream professional news organizations — such as WaPo, Times, and the WSJ — do a far better job of creating that firewall between news and opinion than their conservative competitors (see for example the Washington Times).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  34. michael reynolds says:

    @john personna:

    I think to be fair in comparing demos on the specific programs you’d want to compare time slot to time slot. I believe Maddow and O’Reilly compete, and her numbers in “the demo” of 18-49 are better than his. (40 vs. 32.)

    But the overall Fox vs. MSNBC numbers are surprising. Of course this can be skewed by the fact that MSNBC goes to prison shows late at night. I’m pretty sure that’s only watched by coma patients.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  35. mantis says:

    @Drew:

    The guys pictured are entertainers, in the case of Limbaugh certainly self professed.

    Ahem.

    Rush Limbaugh in January 2012:

    “And that’s why I’m not gonna tell anybody for whom I voted. It would destroy my objectivity as a journalist. Somebody has to be a journalist in this situation!”

    Sean Hannity in October 2008:

    I’m a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion. Fox has all points of view.”

    Glenn Beck in June 2010:

    Asked to define what he does, he says, “I’m a little of everything.” That includes “concerned dad,” “faith-based guy,” “businessman,” “entertainer” and, after a long pause, “journalist.”

    So who is lying? Them or you?

    And if you think they are all lying, then please identify which people at FOX News are actual journalists, so we can maybe have a look at their work.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 27 Thumb down 0

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Spartacus: I apologize, but you make my point for me: Charlie Rangel is the biggest known tax cheat in Congress today. If the media were actually doing their jobs, Rangel’s tax issues would be the one thing everyone knew about him, if they knew nothing else.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 13

  37. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Are you actually arguing that Rangel would not have been re-elected if the media had covered his tax issues? Did you not read the article?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  38. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s rather stupid puppet Jenos Idanian #13:

    I apologize, but you make my point for me: Charlie Rangel is the biggest known tax cheat in Congress today. If the media were actually doing their jobs, Rangel’s tax issues would be the one thing everyone knew about him, if they knew nothing else.

    I see you link to Wikipedia, where one can find nearly all of the citations about Rangel’s ethics problems are from the very media you are complaining do not cover Rangel’s ethics problems. I like when your own link demonstrates how full of shit you are. It’s convenient. So thanks for that.

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  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Do you actually read your links, or do you just cut and paste from Media Matters? Here’s what you’d have found if you followed your own links:

    Limbaugh: A facetious rant about how he was being pressured to endorse one or another candidate in the 2012 Florida primary.

    Hannity: Media Matters directly, who have shown their untrustworthiness.

    Beck: He lists a bunch of things that cover what he does, and “journalist” comes last, after a very long pause.

    I realize that they don’t adhere to the very high standards of journalism exemplified by Dan Rather, NBC (just caught deceptively editing video AGAIN), Jayson Blair, Newsweek (“Koran in the toilet”), or some others, but none of the above actually consider themselves “journalists,” nor are they considered “journalists.”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 23

  40. C. Clavin says:

    You are missing the real problem.
    These guys are hucksters, grifters, actors…entertainers if we’re being generous.
    The real problem lies in a Republican party abdicating all independent thought to them.
    William F. Used to be the brains of the party. Today’s Republicans look to Glenn Beck instead.
    That’s not his fault. As the saying goes…grifters gonna grift. It’s Republicans choosing to listen to him that’s the problem.
    Read Jenoses or Tsar’s comments. People incapable of critical thought parroting hucksters. That’s today’s Republican Party.
    It’s bad for the Country…but I don’t know what to do about it. It seems the entire party is like Jenos and Tsar…just too stupid to realize they are stupid.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: Oh, Rangel is going to keep getting re-elected until he dies. But maybe — just maybe — if there was enough public heat, he wouldn’t be the Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.

    But please, make the case that his own actions regarding taxes should NOT disqualify him from writing the nation’s tax laws — which he was doing until the Republicans took the House in 2011.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  42. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Do you not understand how Wikipedia works?

    I don’t think anything so stupid has been posted here since Jan imploded after the election.

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  43. mantis says:

    @Jay Tea’s blind, deaf, and dumb puppet Jenos Idanian #13:

    A facetious rant about how he was being pressured to endorse one or another candidate in the 2012 Florida primary.

    Where he calls himself a journalist, which was my point.

    Media Matters directly, who have shown their untrustworthiness.

    There is FOX News video of Hannity calling himself a journalist right there on the page. Do you dispute the video? It’s pretty damned clear to anyone with an IQ above his waist size. You obviously don’t qualify.

    He lists a bunch of things that cover what he does, and “journalist” comes last, after a very long pause.

    So if it comes last that means he didn’t say it?

    I realize that they don’t adhere to the very high standards of journalism

    Well, you got that part right, but Drew said they were not journalists, and I provided examples of each one calling himself exactly that. You then respond with a “Do you actually read your links,” comment, as if those links didn’t prove that those men said exactly what I said they did.

    Nice attempt, you snot-nosed little twerp, but no amount of dimwitted handwaving on your part will dispute what I claimed, and no amount of ad hominem in place of intelligent argument will do anything to convince people you have a functioning brain.

    You really ought to go back to pretending you don’t see my comments so you stop embarrassing yourself so thoroughly.

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  44. Andre Kenji says:

    @Drew:

    They are not AP, CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, WaPo etc, who profess to be even handed, and investigative, journalists.

    That´s the problem. There is no market for real news aimed at conservatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  45. C. Clavin says:

    But please, make the case that his own actions regarding taxes should NOT disqualify him from writing the nation’s tax laws — which he was doing until the Republicans took the House in 2011.

    He was re-elected by voters in a district fully aware of his short-comings. It’s called Democracy. Clearly you don’t like how it works. Why do you hate America so much? And why do you stay here?

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  46. Spartacus says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    But maybe — just maybe — if there was enough public heat, he wouldn’t be the Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.

    I read the link and I agree with you. The guy should not be in that position.

    I assume that, generally, you have no problem with legislators making tax law.

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  47. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Spartacus: I greatly approve of legislators writing tax law. It’s their primary function. My objection is to Rangel, specifically.

    And I have to wonder about those who don’t have a problem with Rangel. I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that since he’s a Democrat (and black, but that might not be such a factor), he gets a hefty pass on obeying laws. Even laws he helped pass.

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  48. bk says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    they do so in manners that only best can be described as unintentional self-parody.

    So, then what YOU do is intentional? I’ve at times thought that you were trolling just for the sport of it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  49. grumpy realist says:

    Am too lazy to track it down, but there’s a very good essay floating around the web showing exactly how much the right-wing media has been created, not to provide news, but to gather together a (gullible) audience to which products will be sold.

    The audience doesn’t want actual “news”; they want a nice comfortable regurgitation of “olds” (as Lord Vetinari would say) that reconfirms them in their blissful 1950s cocoon where men were men, women were women, and blacks knew their place. This 1950s Potemkin village never existed outside a Norman Rockwell painting, but by gum dad they’re going to recreate it.

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  50. matt bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that since he’s a Democrat Politician (and black, but that might not be such a factor), he gets a hefty pass on obeying laws. Even laws he helped pass.

    And here’s where you once again demonstrate the hack you are. Rather than considering the long history of people from both parties getting “hefty passes” on obeying the law, you make this a democrat/republican issue. And then you play the “white man’s burden” card and immediately take it back. At least you could proudly wear your accusations of reverse racism.

    Stay classy, Jenos. Stay classy.

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  51. @Drew:

    “They are not AP, CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, WaPo etc, who profess to be even handed, and investigative, journalists.”

    Notice who’s missing there….Fox News. Is it because they employ Sean Hannity and at one time, also employed Glenn Beck? (I suspect they would love to give Limbaugh a show, too, but he’s doing well on his own and they probably can’t afford him.)

    As to the content of the post….

    The bottom line is that the conservative message machine is broken.

    I would have to agree, but only because the “conservative message machine” seems to have very little interest in promoting a “conservative message.”

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  52. C. Clavin says:

    Rangel was submitted to due process and was punished.
    Maybe his constituency puts more stock in his purple heart and bronze star.
    Why do you hate our war heros? Or is it just black war heros?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  53. Spartacus says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and speculate that since he’s a Democrat (and black, but that might not be such a factor), he gets a hefty pass on obeying laws.

    I have not observed anything about criminal justice system or rates of incarceration that suggest that black people are given a pass when it comes to breaking the law. Maybe you could tell us what it is that makes you think Rangel’s race is a factor here?

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  54. rudderpedals says:

    The media is the message

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  55. matt bernius says:

    @C. Clavin:
    Or it could just be the fact that Rangel’s from a very Democratic district that the Republicans gave up on years ago. And that the local Democratic party has never seriously tried to unseat him.

    The fact is that, regardless of party, no one should read too much into the reelection of any Congressperson. The fact is that the VAST majority of districts are now so safe that it’s going to take a scandal of EPIC proportions for their constituents to vote them out. And typically, in those cases, the Congress person usual resigns before standing for election (or in some cases, after successfully winning reelection).

    But, again this is where Jenos goes off the rails, this is not a problem that is unique to the Democratic party. It’s an artifact of a fundamentally broken electoral system.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  56. C. Clavin says:

    But, again this is where Jenos goes off the rails,

    Jenos went off the rails long before that…I doubt he/she was ever on the rails

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  57. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Oh, Rangel is going to keep getting re-elected until he dies. But maybe — just maybe — if there was enough public heat, he wouldn’t be the Ranking Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee.

    But please, make the case that his own actions regarding taxes should NOT disqualify him from writing the nation’s tax laws — which he was doing until the Republicans took the House in 2011.

    You’re an idiot. You couldn’t even be bothered to read the article you linked to that pointed out how Rangel is not the Ranking Democratic Member on the Ways and Means Committee, and he had stepped down before the GOP took over. So to sum up, you were wrong again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  58. Rob in CT says:

    Consie media isn’t it’s own worst enemy. It bilks its customer base. And the customers keep buying, so why stop?

    At some point, it’s possible that the bubble bursts and ratings really drop and the watch-my-show-then-buy-my-GOLD! model fails. Until then, however, conservative media looks to be doing just fine.

    They don’t care who wins the election (actually, many of us suspect they actually like Dem wins, because they can stoke the outrage even more).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  59. matt bernius says:

    Come on, @David M… it’s not like the press coverage of Rangel’s alleged ethics violations had anything to do with his stepping down.

    And of course, the librul press didn’t cover it when he left the position. Oh wait, it did. Extensively.

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  60. Septimius says:

    @matt bernius:

    You obviously have some kind of mental block. Ignoring the War Powers Act (As Obama did with Libya) is not a problem for conservatives. Most of us don’t believe it is constitutional. Ergo, criticizing Obama for ignoring the War Powers Act would not be an intellectually consistent position for conservative media to take. It is asinine to expect conservative media to criticize the President for policy decisions that are traditionally conservative. Friedersdorf cherry picked a couple of positions in which Obama has gone off the liberal reservation and declared that the liberal media has been much tougher on Obama than has the conservative media. Duh! Of course they have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  61. george says:

    @john personna:

    I think James is correct on most of his first level analysis. The second level question is why conservatives support this kind of thing. One fraction eats it up of course, but even people who recognize negatives are pretty tolerant of it.

    For me this is the more interesting question. I know quite a few well educated, intelligent conservatives (quite a few engineers are conservative – typically fiscal conservative, social liberals) who think Fox, Limbaugh etc are idiots, but don’t think its a big deal that they’ve become a large part of the voice of the Republican party. My suspicion is that that they don’t take Rush etc seriously, and find it hard to believe that anyone does, despite all the evidence to the contrary.

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  62. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Here’s another take on the War Powers Act: no president has ever acknowledged its authority, but no president has ever openly challenged it, either — they’ve all seen it as a tar baby that no one wants to get entangled with. That’s why every president who’s run up against it — from Ford to Bush 2 — all complied with its requirements, but included the phrase “consistent with the War Powers Resolution” instead of “in compliance with the War Powers Resolution” — they all said that they didn’t recognize its Constitutionality, but did what it said anyway because they’re such nice guys.

    And everyone was happy to keep kicking the can down the road.

    Until Obama. With Libya, Obama simply said it didn’t apply because he said so (kind of like how Congress was in recess when he wanted to make recess appointments, despite Congress itself disagreeing), then didn’t bother to act “consistent with” the Act.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 6

  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And folks are right, I misspoke — Rangel did step down as Chairman, and is not the Ranking Member on Ways and Means. However, this does raise teh followup question — why the hell is this infamous tax cheat still on that committee?

    Rangel could be expelled from the House for his conduct, but that ain’t gonna happen. And there’s no way he’s going to get out of office until he either dies or chooses to retire. But there’s no reason in hell to keep him on that committee.

    And no, it isn’t just black war heroes I dislike. I’m also not that fond of John Kerry, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, and a couple of others. On the other hand, I rather like Allen West…

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  64. pylon says:

    At least you admit Kerry is a war hero.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  65. Tyrell says:

    May I make an observation? These news channels are declining in numbers of viewers. One reason is the internet. Just look at the trend in newspaper closings for a preview of what is going to happen to the news channels, but this decline is going to be a lot quicker. The other problem is
    the lack of professional standards and objectivity. The trend for the last several years has been to hire attractive (Fox morning), flashy, and entertaining people to report the news. Any network that would put Al Sharpton and Maddow in front of their cameras has a serious judgement and credibility issue. I think one answer would be a strictly news format with no opinions. I think that people get tired of being told what they should think and feel (also called “brainwashing”).
    I watch only local news now. It has not been the same since Conkrite, Brinkley, and Sevareid.

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  66. jukeboxgrad says:

    drew:

    The guys pictured are entertainers, in the case of Limbaugh certainly self professed.

    Rush was described by Reagan himself as “the Number One voice for conservatism.” Link. Then again, Reagan was also an entertainer, so maybe that accounts for the mutual respect.

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  67. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @pylon: Kerry’s medals are as solid as Cunningham’s. It’s his conduct after his 1/3 tour of duty that I find so reprehensible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  68. @Tyrell:

    “It has not been the same since Conkrite, Brinkley, and Sevareid. “

    No doubt, those guys are giants of the medium, but, man….talk about old school. A lot of things have changed since they were in their prime, and not just in the news media.

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  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: How many tours did you do?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    and for the record, I did zero tours.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  71. matt bernius says:

    @Septimius:

    Ignoring the War Powers Act (As Obama did with Libya) is not a problem for conservatives. Most of us don’t believe it is constitutional. Ergo, criticizing Obama for ignoring the War Powers Act would not be an intellectually consistent position for conservative media to take. It is asinine to expect conservative media to criticize the President for policy decisions that are traditionally conservative.

    Got it. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out.

    Just out of curiosity, would you say the majority of conservatives object to it on Nixon’s grounds — that is an unconstitutional check on Executive power:

    [Nixon] argued that the legislative veto provision, permitting Congress to direct the withdrawal of troops by concurrent resolution, was unconstitutional. He also argued that the provision requiring withdrawal of troops after 60-90 days unless Congress passed legislation authorizing such use was unconstitutional because it checked Presidential powers without affirmative congressional action.

    And, if I understand this train of though correctly, conservatives would argue that — regardless of the legislation — the President has the power to authorize this sort of military action without having to inform Congress.

    Is that a fair representation of the position?

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  72. matt bernius says:

    @Tyrell:

    Any network that would put Al Sharpton and Maddow in front of their cameras has a serious judgement and credibility issue.

    No question on Sharpton. But what’s the issue with Maddow hosting an opinion show? I mean it’s not like she’s a Rhode’s Scholar with a PhD in Poli Sci… oh, wait…

    I think one answer would be a strictly news format with no opinions. I think that people get tired of being told what they should think and feel (also called “brainwashing”). I watch only local news now. It has not been the same since Conkrite, Brinkley, and Sevareid.

    First, the notion of Journalism you’re describing is an anachronistic take, based largely on a pretty specific period in Journalism — i.e. ~1930-1990. Journalistic “Ethics” and “Objectivity” are modern creations.

    Also, it’s important to understand that Cronkite, Brinkley, and Sevareid are all part of a pretty a historical media moment in which the “news” was heavily consolidated into three major sources. BTW, it’s specifically that era that Conservative Media was rebelling against.

    As far as only “watch local news” — that truely makes me sad to hear as local TV news is just about the worst journalism you can encounter due to the crappy economics of local broadcast news production. In just about any large township or city (one that’s large enough to have it’s own beat) the newspaper will do a far better job of representing your locality than the TV broadcast.

    And chances are — believe it or not — the newspaper will be around long after the TV news is cut (which will start happening in the next decade).

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  73. john personna says:

    @matt bernius:

    Also note that the conservatives wanted an end to the Fairness Doctrine. Kind of silly to argue that “the left does it too” when one side actually broke the old mold, in favor of this.

    Conservatives ended Fairness as a literal Doctrine, and then founded Fox as a mockery of the same.

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  74. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    The trend for the last several years has been to hire attractive (Fox morning), flashy, and entertaining people to report the news.

    The last several years? Try decades, friend. Hell, there’s a movie called Broadcast News in which this is the central theme. The movie was released in 1987. Even further back you can watch Network, a better movie and a better indictment of the media for chasing ratings with spectacle instead of practicing journalism. That was 1976.

    The idea of an objective and dispassionate press is rather novel, historically. Such things never really existed prior to the twentieth century. Newspapers and pamphlets before them were never meant to inform so much as persuade.

    Now, with technology enabling pretty much anyone to publish/broadcast their own messages, I do not see a bright future for the twentieth century American ideal of an independent and informative press. I think it will largely be supplanted in many ways by the ubiquity of documentary video and imagery. It won’t matter so much what people say happened, but what your lyin eyes tell ya.

    I think that people get tired of being told what they should think and feel (also called “brainwashing”).

    Being exposed to the opinions of others is not brainwashing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  75. matt bernius says:

    @mantis:

    The idea of an objective and dispassionate press is rather novel, historically. [..]

    Now, with technology enabling pretty much anyone to publish/broadcast their own messages, I do not see a bright future for the twentieth century American ideal of an independent and informative press.

    Before anyone lament’s the “death” of quality journalism, I think it’s fair to point out that attempts at an “objective and dispassionate” press have often led to some of the worst coverage of issues (in particular science issues) that we have seen. Part of the problem with coverage on climate change is a (misguided) understanding that to be objective you need to cover both sides of an argument versus attempt to make a judgement on which side is correct.

    Likewise this suggests that emergent forms of journalism cannot be independent or informative… and perhaps by extension, objective. I reject this as well. Personally I prefer a positioned press. For everything I don’t like about the Fox News/MSNBC model, the fact is that neither of them is claiming objectivity (ok… beyond “Fair and Balanced”). In some respects that’s a lot more honest and traditional journalism.

    The bigger victim in all of this is investigative journalism. And that’s the real problem. It’s expensive and time consuming — exactly what the modern news model doesn’t like. But, believe it or not, I have hope that it may also make a comeback, though in a very modified form (probably tied into hybrid non-profit/profit models of journalism). The question is to what degree it will exist on the local level (especially in midsized cities).

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  76. Rafer Janders says:

    @Tyrell:

    I watch only local news now.

    This explains why you think that Germany is still at risk of being invaded by Russian tanks.

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  77. grumpy realist says:

    @matt bernius: And how. My present business partner was a UPI radio reporter for 25 years, covering foreign news for international radio all over the world. Finally quit in disgust when all the news bureaus started trying to cut costs by getting rid of all of their boots on the ground, cut cut cut. Said a lot of his friends in the business were getting out as well.

    It isn’t just Fox. All the news bureaus discovered they could go to the talking heads format, swipe stories off the newsfeeds, and do as little actual research as possible. I also wonder how much of this is due to cutting costs by replacing their old China hands with wet-behind-the-ears gullible kids just out of journalism school. (If the one I ran into at UIUC is any indication, they know absolutely nothing about math or statistics or polling.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  78. Tyrell says:

    @matt bernius: Your comments and predictions are very interesting. One of my favorites was “Crossfire”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  79. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: My 87-year-old dementia-ridden mom explains the problem of liberal media bias in much the same terms that you do. Perhaps this is part of conservatism’s ultimate problem. Hmmmm….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  80. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Septimius:

    Most conservatives have always believed the War Powers Act to be unconstitutional. Most conservatives never believed that Guantanamo should be closed.

    Cognitive dissonance much?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  81. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @“Indiana was the dog’s name: How many tours (or parts thereof) did you serve in any branch of the military. For me, the answer is zero, so I give John Kerry more credit for service than I will either Dubya or Al “I didn’t want any of the boys in my town to go in my place [to work an editorial desk in Saigon]” Gore.

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  82. Andre Kenji says:

    The problem of the news business are two: it´s something that´s extremely expensive to produce and it´s boring. It´s pretty expensive to keep people all over the US and the world gathering information – you may have even to negotiate the release of some reporter with terrorists, sometimes you keep someone investigating about something that does not generate any news at all. And in the end there are not so many people interested about Domestic policy or Foreign Politics. A hard take on the news must be something that must people would consider boring, That´s unprofitable.

    Roger Ailes solved the problem by taking out the news from Fox News: there are very few bureaus and reporters and you have a lot of people(Including women barely dressed) arguing among themselves. Domestic and Foreign Policy are ignored. The rest of the so called “Conservative Media” is even worse.

    By the way, if someone hired Conservative Reporters to create a REAL cable news network with a conservative bent the only people that would be watching would be a bunch of East Coast Liberals. Conservatives wants entertainment, not news.

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  83. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: You really do live up to your name. I specifically said I had problems with Kerry’s behavior after his stint in Viet Nam.

    For the record, I served five tours in three different wars, I’m a triple amputee, and have five Medals of Honor from those tours. Or, maybe, never served. I forget which — which one do I have to have in order to criticize a veteran over matters that have nothing to do with their military service? And if a distinguished military record makes one immune to criticism, then why the hell did Duke Cunningham go to jail?

    But back to the topic at hand… I think that part of the problem is that conservative media actually tries to live by one of the tenets of conservatism — fiscal responsibility. The individual members of the Fox media empire are known to actually make a profit. The mainstream media seems totally unconcerned with such matters, which is why they are dying out — but refusing to consider just why people aren’t interested in giving them money. Newsweek is gone, the New York Times keeps laying people off, the broadcast networks are diminishing all the time, MSNBC is a money pit, CNN likewise…

    It’s almost like they are businesses that have other purposes than making a profit — or even making enough money to sustain themselves. They have some kind of higher purpose in mind that makes them totally ignore basic reality and survival.

    However, while it makes them disinterested in such things, it doesn’t make them immune to it…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  84. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Plus the moral outrage of having our tax laws written by Charlie Rangel and enforced by Tim Geithner — that was truly enlightening.

    Wow, I had no idea that our Tax Code was written by Charles Rangel. where in the hell did Charlie get the time to author 2 million pages of tax regulations?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  85. anjin-san says:

    Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    For the record, I served five tours in three different wars, I’m a triple amputee, and have five Medals of Honor from those tours. Or, maybe, never served.

    Let’s just say you are a bitchy little punk. That about covers it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  86. anjin-san says:

    Kerry’s medals are as solid as Cunningham’s. It’s his conduct after his 1/3 tour of duty that I find so reprehensible.

    Yes, He told the truth about ‘Nam. You woud find that reprehensible.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  87. anjin-san says:

    Maddow in front of their cameras has a serious judgement and credibility issue

    Perhaps you could go into detail about why Maddow is not credible in your view. Could it be because she is a smart woman being smart, as opposed to the smart women acting dumb on Fox? Or is it because she plays down her looks, instead of making them her stock in trade? Either one will get a woman shunned on the right.

    As for Sharpton, he is certainly open to a critique, but considering Fox has put forth Trump, Palin, and Beck…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  88. Pharoah Narim says:

    “Conservative” media does exactly what its funded to do by its corporatist overloads –stoke fury at a ubiquitous, invisible enemy within (the libruls). Meanwhile, while the left hand executes the puppet show, the right hand is reducing them to 2nd world status with an ever shrinking pie that the blacks, browns, and gays have the audacity to want a piece of as well. Its pretty much the same game as when a black and white team kid team up to shoplift. Black kid attracts all the attention from the store owners (because..of course black kids steal) while white kid loads his pants up with stuff and walks out unchallenged.

    As far as mindset goes, this is the same group of people that provided cannon fodder for the civil war. I mean really, how many of those poor men slaughtered for the rebel cause had anything to gain from a Southern victory besides their lives and a return to subsistence living. This is the same mindset that deluded the same group into perpetuating Jim Crow against their own economic interests. Keeping minorities out of the economy meant FEWER customers for their businesses with LESS money. This is nothing but history repeating itself with a slight twist. The sad part is, if we could co-opt this group to embrace reality–we actually COULD “take our country back” (really reclaim a larger share of our economy for ordinary Americans) from the Corporatists that fund the policy makers and their campaigns.

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  89. john personna says:

    @george:

    On that:

    As I’ve suggested in previous posts, the exodus of realists from the Republican Party has been happening for most of the last decade and will keep happening as long as more hard-line elements within the party treat them with so much disdain and loathing. The main things that seem to keep the exodus of realists from turning into a stampede are personal and/or sentimental attachments to the Republican Party and a lack of sympathy for most of the other party’s priorities.

    The media-movement connection is part and parcel of the “realist exodus” of which conservative philosophers speak.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  90. Fog says:

    Hail Pharoah. Well said.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  91. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Yes, He told the truth about ‘Nam. You woud find that reprehensible.

    Kerry lent his credibility to others’ stories that were later proven to be lies. He parroted lies in his testimony before Congress. And, while still a member of the US Armed Forces, met with representatives of the North Vietnamese government in Paris, in direct violation of the UCMJ.

    Kerry told some truths, told a lot more lies, and committed what should have been considered treason. In other words, your idea of an ideal Democrat.

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  92. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @David M:

    You’re an idiot.

    Well, he does watch Fox…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  93. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Kerry lent his credibility to others’ stories that were later proven to be lies. He parroted lies in his testimony before Congress.

    So you believed the greaseball accounts of the Swift Boat Veterans For “Truth” – the same maggots who met in a Houston hotel room to coordinate their stories (aka “lies”) about John Kerry, the same maggots who were not eyewitness to any of Kerry’s actions in Vietnam, the same maggots who had a doctor weigh in on Kerry’s wounds, a doctor who also was not there? Those pathetic lice ridden maggots? Oh .. okay.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  94. Barry says:

    @Septimius: “…declare that they are the most important issues,…”

    As opposed to the non-issues and flat-out lies which the right hypes?

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  95. Barry says:

    @Septimius: “Most conservatives have always questioned the constitutionality of the law. ”

    Because the Constitution reserves the power of declaring war to Congress?
    Or rather, despite that?

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  96. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Let me know when you’re done making up things, and feel like responding to what I actually say.

    And what I said was, Kerry lent his credibility to promote lies. I also said that Kerry met with representatives of the North Vietnamese government while still a member of the US Armed Services. Kerry enlisted in the Naval Reserve in 1968, met with the Vietnamese delegation in Paris in 1970, and was discharged in February 1978.

    I understand why you keep bringing up Kerry’s war record and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — it’s because you think you can win that fight. Too bad for you it’s not the one I’m talking about, and won’t. This is far enough off topic without you going that much farther.

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  97. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I understand why you keep bringing up Kerry’s war record and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — it’s because you think you can win that fight.

    Swift Boat Veterans Maggots for Truth Disinformation.

    There, you’re welcome.

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  98. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: So, let’s recap: 1) only liberal war heroes are exempt from criticism; 2) you have absolutely nothing to say in defense of Kerry’s conduct after he left Vietnam; and 3) you are totally and transparently desperate to not talk about things where you might be at a disadvantage, because you’re totally wrong.

    Thanks for the amusement.

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  99. george says:

    @john personna:

    Probably true. I also think one reason quite a few realists haven’t left the party completely is that they think Ior hope) the current insanity is just temporary – and as was said in the quote, they don’t find the Democrat’s message particularly attractive either, though most will admit its at least not bat sh*t crazy. A lot of them became disillusioned with the GOP under Bush (the Iraq war’s cost without raising taxes pissed off a lot of them as being fiscally very irresponsible), and the rise of the social conservatives might be enough to send them to the Democrats, depending on how the Democrats handle things. Most at this point just talk wistfully about restoring the GOP to sanity – Nixon without his warts so to speak (and they’re quite aware that Nixon would be a Rino or even a Democrat today).

    Its much like watching your favorite team make bad decision after bad decision, and hoping that the next season or coach will bring it around.

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  100. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    @al-Ameda: So, let’s recap: 1) only liberal war heroes are exempt from criticism; 2) you have absolutely nothing to say in defense of Kerry’s conduct after he left Vietnam; and 3) you are totally and transparently desperate to not talk about things where you might be at a disadvantage, because you’re totally wrong.

    .So let’s re-recap:
    (1) I never said John Kerry should be exempt from criticism, I did say that he was the subject of specious attacks by a political group of lying lice-ridden maggots – there is a difference. (2) I need to defend Kerry’s conduct upon returning from Vietnam? Why? He was ultimately right about the Vietnam War and he actually served, unlike say, Dick Cheney who had “other priorities” 5 times (3) Where am I wrong?

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  101. David M says:

    The subject of original post was conservatives and conservative media hurting their cause by embracing ridiculous attacks on Obama and Democrats. Jenos responds by blowing the Charlie Rangel issue way out of proportion and bringing up Kerry’s actions from the 70s.

    He’s not serious, he’s punking everyone. No one could possibly be dim-witted enough not to realize what they were doing in light of the original post topic.

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  102. al-Ameda says:

    @David M:

    He’s not serious, he’s punking everyone. No one could possibly be dim-witted enough not to realize what they were doing in light of the original post topic.

    So I may have been punked? All in good fun, right?
    He can dish it out, I can take it and I can dish it back.

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  103. Laurence Bachmann says:

    Being their own worst enemy presumes it is in conservative media’s interest to do what it takes to elect Republicans. That’s not necessarily so. To win general elections either party must moderate both tone agenda. Being allowed to do so would serve the interest of republican politicians, but dilute conservative media whose revenue and ratings is driven by the crazy crowd.

    In today’s splintered media markets the crazies have thrived, often and in some cases always winning the time slots. That’s where their power is. Firing up the base and cowing those who dare to deviate. 100 years ago the power in the Democrat party wasnt in the hands of senators or
    governors. It was held by party bosses who picked them. Conservative talk radio radio heroes are today’s party kingmakers.

    When a House Speaker can’t pass his own alternative tax plan when he has a plus thirty majority it is because their has been a fundamental shift in who controls reigns. The fact that they can still get 45% of the vote is amazing. Let’s hope they stay purists.

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