Too paranoid or not paranoid enough?

November 5, 2008

tin_foil_hat

This past year has seen many strange and unususal events.  Recognizing that something is strange and unusual doesn’t make you paranoid, delusional or a whack-job.  As we progress from infancy to mature adulthood we learn to connect cause and effect, which allows us to both explain and predict events.

We know that what goes up must come down, water runs downhill, alcohol makes you drunk and babies come from having sex.  In fact, if we see the effect we don’t need to observe the cause to know that the cause exists.  A common law school explanation for “circumstantial evidence” is if when you go to bed it is clear and dry outside but when you wake up in the morning everything is covered with snow, you can be reasonably certain that it snowed during the night even though you didn’t see it happen.

But sometimes we see an effect that has no apparent cause, or we see a cause that doesn’t have the expected effect, and when that occurs it’s perfectly normal to consider it strange and unusual.  And when someone gives you an explanation that doesn’t make sense, you don’t have to know what the truth is to conclude that the person is lying to you.

Among the things that are strange and unusual about this election campaign is the way the media has been so completely in the tank for Barack Obama almost from the time he first emerged on the national stage back in 2004.  It wasn’t quite so evident during the primary campaign because the media has hated the Clintons for the better part of two decades, but when the primaries ended virtually the entire media moved in lockstep to support Obama, abandoning John McCain who had been their long-time favorite.

This is a strange and unusual occurrance because the media has been favoring GOP candidates and/or hating Democrats for years.  While there have been numerous stories in the blogosphere discussing the media’s enthusiastic support for Obama, most of them assume that the media is made up of individuals acting independently.

I find it difficult to believe that a large and diverse group of people working in the television and print media as well as prominent lefty bloggers would all join in unanimous agreement practically overnight.  I find it much more likely that a smaller and far less diverse group would do so.  That smaller and less diverse group is made up of the people who own and/or control most of our “free” press.

Rupert Murdoch, Jack Welch, Robert Iger, Ted Turner, Leslie Moonves, Craig Dubow, Bill McClatchy and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. control a big chunk of television, print and radio media.  These individuals, along with the other people who pay the salaries of the talking heads and writers with whom we are more familiar all have something in common: they are very wealthy.  And by “very wealthy” I ain’t talking about Joe the Plumber kinda money, I’m talking about “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless” stuff.

Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, Maureen Dowd and Bill Kristol are just a few of the bloviating gasbags who make lots of money being inane, puerile and obtuse to reality.  They can’t be ignorant because they are college educated and have far more access to information than most of the general public.  Why would anyone pay them so much money for being so egregiously incompetent unless they were doing exactly what they were hired to do?  It’s obviously not a bug, it’s a feature.

So why do all those wealthy individuals who own and/or control the media want Barack Obama as our President?

I’m guessing it ain’t for the same reason all those African Americans and nutroots progressives supported him.

UPDATE:  The public stoning of Sarah Palin continues:

Uncritically, Carl Cameron and Shep Smith are reporting that some anonymous McCain aides say that Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent; she thought, allegedly, it was a country.

It does not occur to either man to question these anonymous, and quite absurd, claims.

Or to wonder if perhaps these aides are of the Buckley/Parker sort, or if they perhaps have in mind a candidate they prefer in 2012…

Thus even Fox News begins the campaign to irradiate Palin to toxic levels for 2012.

[…]

Here’s a story these staffers tell: Sent to collect Palin from a hotel, she greeted them, straight from the shower (running late, I guess ) dressed (scandal!) only in a bathrobe (presumably a very thick hotel bathrobe).

These staffers called that “uncommon” — Cameron delighted in the word to give it the sound of “whorish, unprofessional.”

Rupert Murdoch owns FOX News.

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It’s McCain’s fault that Obama avoids the press!

October 27, 2008

Some news stories make you go “WTF?”  Jake Tapper wrote one yesterday:

On Oct. 24, 2007, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said that as president he would hold regular press conferences and “not just call on my four favorite reporters.”

But the Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t held a full press conference — submitting himself to more than a handful of questions from his whole press corps — in more than a month, since Sept. 24, 2008, in Clearwater, Fla.

The candidate often bemoans the media asking silly and superficial questions. The media isn’t focused on the important issues facing the nation, he complains.

On Saturday in Nevada, Obama sat for an exclusive interview with Mario Lopez, the actor who played “A.C. Slater” on “Saved by the Bell,” to air on the TV show “EXTRA!”

According to the promotional materials from “EXTRA!,” “Asked about the tragic news that (actress Jennifer) Hudson’s mother and brother were killed Friday in Chicago, Obama states, ‘Oh it was heartbreaking, in fact I’m still trying to get a phone number to call her at this tragic time. She is somebody who has campaigned for me, she also lives in my community. So, we’re really going to have to help her and pray for her and her family during this difficult time.'”

So far, so good.  This is the kind of reporting we need more of, exposing the hypocrisy and bullshit of politicians.  But while it’s unusual to see a story like this about Teleprompter Jesus, that’s not the Whiskey Tango Alpha part:

One of the problems his press corps has in gaining access to the frontrunner is the fact that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., whose life used to be a roving press availability, has cordoned himself off from the media except in drips and drabs.

Earlier this year, many in the media thought McCain’s reputation for access and openness would force Obama to follow suit; instead the opposite dynamic has played out as Obama’s campaign justifies Obama’s refusal to take questions by pointing to his far less accessible rival.

Gee Jake, remember when Teh Precious whined “Can’t I just eat my waffle?”  Who was he running against back then?  When has Uh-bama ever held an extended press conference?  He can’t handle more than eight questions without whining and running off.

Do you really think that McCain is responsible for what Obama does, or is it just a requirement that every story be biased against McCain?


How low can they go?

October 24, 2008

As noted in the previous post, the young woman in Pittsburgh lied to the police about being attacked.  That story is disgusting, but this is worse:

Earlier today, John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News, commented on his blog there that “this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election. If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

“If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”

(emphasis added)

Let’s see, 20 year-old female McCain volunteer tells police she was attacked because of the “McCain” sticker on her car.  Initial reports treated the story as true, the McCain campaign expressed sympathy, some people on both sides expressed skepticism.  Others who believed the young woman felt that the very real misogyny emanating from Obamanation was to blame, but no one I saw proclaimed that Obama’s “quest for the presidency was over.”

Today the young woman recants, and admits she lied.  Her motive for lying has not been reported, but she is obviously disturbed.

Media conclusion:  It’s all McCain’s fault.

Of course Teleprompter Jesus isn’t even responsible by the media for the things he himself does and says, let alone what one isolated supporter does.


She doesn’t eat puppies either

October 23, 2008

From the Associated Press:

Sarah Palin is blaming gender bias for the controversy over $150,000 worth of designer clothes, hairstyling and accessories the Republican Party provided for her, a newspaper reported Thursday.

“I think Hillary Clinton was held to a different standard in her primary race,” Palin said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune posted on the newspaper’s Web site Thursday night. “Do you remember the conversations that took place about her, say superficial things that they don’t talk about with men, her wardrobe and her hairstyles, all of that? That’s a bit of that double standard.”

Palin, who is John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, said the clothes were not worth $150,000 and were bought for the Republican National Convention.

Most of the clothes have never left the campaign plane, she told the newspaper.

“It’s kind of painful to be criticized for something when all the facts are not out there and are not reported,” Palin said.

“That whole thing is just, bad!” she said. “Oh, if people only knew how frugal we are.”

News of the purchases of designer clothes, largely from upscale Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, contrasts with the image Palin has crafted as a typical “hockey mom.”

McCain was asked several questions on Thursday about the shopping spree — and he answered each one more or less the same way: Palin needed clothes and they’ll be donated to charity.

“She needed clothes at the time. They’ll be donated at end of this campaign. They’ll be donated to charity,” McCain told reporters on his campaign bus between Florida rallies.

I waited eight years for this election, now I can’t wait for it to be over.


What if?

October 22, 2008

The incomparable Bob Somerby makes a very astute observation:

Why had Klein reinvented things so? We don’t have the slightest idea. But here’s a possible hint: In 2006, the presumptive Democratic nominee was a certain Hillary Rodham Clinton. And make no mistake: If Clinton had run against McCain this year, this campaign would have been covered quite differently by more than a few major “journalists.”

Oh you betcha!  Not that long ago John McCain not-so-jokingly referred to the media as his “base” and they universally portrayed him as a straight-talking maverick.  So when did they suddenly decide that McCain was old and evil?  It wasn’t until after they declared that Barack Uh-bama was the “presumptive” (presumptuous) nominee and Hillary was forced to suspend her campaign.  Then they turned on McCain like a bad dog. 

But what if somehow Hillary had managed to win the nomination?  After-all, she was the popular vote winner, and won all the big states except Illinois, as well as the critical swing-states.  The goofy DNC rules gave Obama a narrow lead in pledged delegates, primarily (pun intended) due to the way his campaign gamed (cheated) in the red state caucuses and the overwhelming (85-90%) support he received from African-American voters in southern (red state) primaries.  Neither Hillary nor Teh Precious won the nomination outright based on pledged delegates, it was decided by the superdelegates.  So what if the SD’s had voted for her instead of him?

One thing is for sure, the media would still be loving them some straight-talking St. Maverick.  He wouldn’t be old, evil, or racist.  Assuming he had still chosen Sarah Palin she would be considered a smart, reform-minded candidate who was uncorrupted by Washington D.C.  She would also be getting praised as something new and exciting, a conservative, christian feminist.

We would still be hearing a lot about racism though, because the media would be constantly talking about how African American voters would be staying home on election day to protest how Hillary had stolen the nomination with the help of racist superdelegates.  Even if Obama was her running mate, voting for McCain (or not voting) would be considered the only principled choice for progressive Democrats (not just AA voters) because the racism and corruption of the DNC could not be tolerated.

If Obama was not her running mate, he would not be out campaigning on Hillary’s behalf.  He would be praised for showing party loyalty by not launching a third-party campaign or (publically) criticizing Hillary, and would already be considered the Democratic front-runner for 2012.  Meanwhile he would continue to demonstrate his awesome post-partisan leadership skills in the Senate.

One other thing – the recent financial crisis would have been laid squarely at the feet of Bill Clinton, and it would be lamented that no one heeded the warnings given by both McCain and Senator Obama.

So, am I right or am I right?


CNN hack tries to ambush Governor Palin

October 21, 2008

This Tim Russert wannabe hit Sarah with a question asking her reaction to this partial quote:

“it’s sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — or, well, all of the above.”

But here was the FULL quote:

Watching press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it’s sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — or, well, all of the above. Palin, the governor of Alaska, has faced more criticism than any vice-presidential candidate since 1988, when Democrats and the press tore into Dan Quayle. In fact, Palin may have it even worse than Quayle, since she’s taking flak not only from Democrats and the press but from some conservative opinion leaders as well….

 Yes, there are legitimate concerns about Palin’s lack of experience. Who wouldn’t, at the very least, wish that she had more time in the governor’s office on her résumé? But a look at Palin’s 20 months in power, along with interviews with people who worked with her, shows her to be a serious executive, a governor who picked important things to do and got them done — and who didn’t just stumble into an 80 percent job-approval rating.

Slightly different meaning, no?  This sleazy tactic worked for Charlie Gibson, but Sarah’s a fast learner.

h/t Ace of Spades