Our Stupid Media
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Could Ebola Teach US Americans Geography?
The late journalist Ambrose Bierce commented that “War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.” Yeah. As if Americans ever learn geography. Truth of the matter is, that picture to the left probably is where a disturbing number of Americans (well, nortemericanos, anyway) stand with respects to understanding our planet and how she is laid out. (More knucklehead geography is on view at Buzzfeed.)
Basically, even our most elite Americans are totally having Caitlin Upton moments—but particularly about the whole Africa and ebola thing.
For instance, at a school in New Burlington, New Jersey, two Rwandan students are staying at home due to other parents’ fear that they will infect other children with Ebola. Rwanda is as close to the Ebola outbreak as New York City is to Seattle.
In Hazlehurst, Mississippi, a school principal’s recent visit to Zambia has led to a lot of parents choosing to keep their kids at home. But Zambia is in Southern Africa, over 3,000 miles away from the Ebola outbreak — the same distance between New Hampshire and Los Angeles.
A school bus driver in Poplarville, Mississippi who recently visited Ghana is being prevented from returning to work. Meanwhile, in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, some parents kept their kids home when their school hosted two visitors from Uganda.
Seriously? People aren’t even Google-mapping where people are from? Can’t even do the most basic Wiki research into where folks are and how ebola works and then front that they are concerned? They have the maps—because they have the cell phones. Maps are even on cell phones, now. They have the gateway to non-stupid in their pockets.
So I am thinking the answer is “Nope.” Americans will learn geography when the stupid is pried from their cold, dead hands. Or possibly in the case of zombie apocalypse.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/21/14 at 11:19 PM
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Schadenfreude: Not Just For Winners Anymore
Heads are exploding all over the Conserva-sphere, today. Mostly because the owners of those heads don’t read very carefully.
CJ Chivers broke a story, in The New York Times, exposing a Bush administration and Pentagon coverup of the fact that US military troops were, with some frequency, stumbling upon, and in some cases being wounded by, chemical agents while deployed in Iraq.
Just the media source and a little bit of introductory information were enough to get the Right cackling with glee and spewing out delirious Bush Vindication blurbs. They were not all that troubled by the fact that some US soldiers have been damaged for life by their exposure to chemicals, or that those soldiers were sent into harm’s way without adequate training and protection against what the military knew was there. They were just so danged delighted to be able to say “See! Libtards, this is your own lamestream media spilling the story that our princeling was right all along. So bite me!”
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/16/14 at 07:04 AM
Thursday, October 09, 2014
ISIS Gonna Get You If You Don’t Watch Out
It’s apropos that Rep Duncan Hunter’s (R-Hell, Yeah!) official website banner features a California skyscape dotted with hot air balloons . . . just sayin’.
In case you’re not that familiar with Hunter he’s the son of Duncan L Hunter (R-CA), former US congressman (1981-2009) and Republican presidential hopeful, for about two straw polls, in 2008. Hunter, Sr., a former Army Ranger who served in Vietnam, rose to chairman of the House Armed Services Committee during the 108th and 109th Congress.
Hunter, Jr. slid right into Dad’s seat, in 2009—House Armed Services Committee assignment and all—and has taken up many of Dad’s causes, as well—things like fetal person-hood, walling in the southern border, voting down international trade agreements and keeping the Military-Industrial Complex humming.
Hunter, Jr. has only been in Congress for five years but recognizes the value of the sound byte and appears to be Fox News’ Megyn Kelly’s go-to-guy on things military or national security-ish. Hunter is equally comfortable, though, with others much further to the right like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Hunter has had quite a few chinwags with Perkins over issues homosexual like the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and marriage equality.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/09/14 at 04:55 PM
Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Judge Jeanine Is Tired Of Charades
Judge Jeanine Pirro is a very smart, well-educated lady who has recently lost her marbles. But, thanks to the safety net provided by wingnut welfare—Fox News and assorted other cable producers of “reality” fare—the lady has landed on her feet.
Pirro’s Fox soapbox, the ambitiously named Justice with Judge Jeanine, certainly got Bob Cesca‘s attention in June 2014:
Frankly, we hadn’t heard of her until this past weekend when she delivered a rant about President Obama and the fiasco in Iraq. Based on the reactions online and in social media, the segment has elevated her within the hierarchy of sociopathic rogues, screechers and former morning zoo deejays in the far-right media.
Pirro’s five-minute tirade had everything: finger-wagging, fear-mongering, misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, the phrase “cut and run” and, naturally, ball-shaming. It’s a cocktail of Obama Derangement Syndrome delivered with laser-like precision directly into the outrage cortexes of typical Fox News viewers, likely inducing octogenarian white-guy erections with tensile strengths not experienced since Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley and Hume Cronyn splashed around in that magical pool in Cocoon.
Clearly that was not an isolated incident. Ms Pirro’s got game in the unhinged rant department and is quickly becoming something of a rock-star in the anti-Obama and ShariaPanic genres.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/01/14 at 08:15 AM
Friday, September 26, 2014
Rarely Has A U.S. Veep Been So Wrong About So Much At The Expense Of So Many
I try to ignore the Cheneys—Dick and, now God help us, Mini-Me—as much as possible because, to me, they smell strongly of sociopathy and I try to avoid that sort of thing. I blame the dumbing down of the Republican party for its current abysmal lack of political talent which, in turn, means that we Americans are being subjected to extra innings of their Senior League—looking at you, Dick, Mitt, and is that really you? Tom Tancredo?
Clearly, no one in authority is ever going to prosecute Dick Cheney for the criminal damage he has done to mankind and, since the First Amendment sets no requirements for sanity, civility or integrity tempering one’s public utterances, Cheney is free to spout his neocon chickenhawk ravings for as long as his new heart holds out and Republicans and their proxies are stupid enough to give him airtime.
So. Where is it that washed-up, bitter old Republicans go to vent? Hannity, of course. Because Sean Hannity can be counted on to ask moronic questions like this:
. . . how could Obama have been so wrong on so many issues when it comes to ISIS?
Creating the perfect opening for Cheney to say something Cheney-esque like:
I think it’s deliberate. I think [Obama] has a world view, and increasingly what he’s found is that it isn’t consistent with reality.
Whereupon Mini-Me pipes up with:
The president has laid out a fantasy for the American people, and is trying to disguise it as a strategy, but it’s not going to keep us safe.
Which is the cue for people like me to say: But please, Cheney’s, what WILL make us safe? We are so afraid . . .
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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/26/14 at 07:08 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
National Review Online: Climate Activists Are Hysterical Losers
On Sunday some 400,000 Americans took to the streets of New York City and paraded their concern over global warming. As a result, National Review Online‘s John Fund took to his escritoire to pronounce them hysterical followers of raving Liberals like Al Gore and Mayor DiBlasio “and various Hollywood actors” which we know is conserva-speak for high-profile raving Liberals.
Fund would have us believe that he was “our man in the street” running alongside environmental activists, as they marched, gauging the mood and motivation that brought them there. Whatever . . . he claims to have spoken with “many” and, lo and behold, these are his surprising findings:
. . . they certainly didn’t act like a movement that was winning. There was a tone of fatalism in the comments of many with whom I spoke; they despair that the kind of radical change they advocate probably won’t result from the normal democratic process. It’s no surprise then that the rhetoric of climate-change activists has become increasingly hysterical.
He then goes on to tell us that he is in no way surprised by climate activists’ devolution into hysteria because they’re influenced by people like bestselling author Naomi Klein who recently released a book on climate change called This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. Fund trashes Klein’s work in a short paragraph of cherry-picked excerpts, devoid of context, more befitting a college newsletter than the pages of National Review.
Mr Fund goes on from there to cite the unsavory impact of Liberal arch-fiend Leonardo DiCaprio, who is releasing a new film [which is DiCaprio’s day job] that Fund just knows he’s going to hate because it contains a Godzilla-like “carbon monster.” Or something.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/23/14 at 06:37 AM
Friday, September 19, 2014
One Rather Expected More—Or Not
Josh Marshall says “You kind of have to see this video.” And he’s exactly right. James O’Keefe has, I am afraid to say, completely descended into farce. And there were such hopes for him, too, weren’t there? But anyhow:
You know, when young James took it upon himself to manufacture an essentially fallacious narrative about ACORN that ultimately resulted in the disbanding of the group, I thought he’d got his foot in the door for star treatment on the wingnut welfare circuit but would need to up his game to remain viable for long. His output since has been hit or miss, mostly miss. Probably because he makes things up. And then there are the occasional civil prices paid. He’s a damn liability to any credible journalism outfit, and even conservative media seems a little tired of him. That why I guess he’s on this topical tip—one could hope for his sake he’s trolling to fund some bigger project, but it looks mostly like performance art and bottom-feeding.
So what’s a boy to do?
It would be neat if he applied himself to knowing the details that make foreign ISIL fighters crossing our borders nearly irrelevant, like the way that ISIL uses propaganda to recruit people right here in the west—even the US. O’Keefe must know how dangerous propaganda can be by now, certainly? He could even bother looking into how threats that ISIL makes regarding potential attacks here are aspirational and reflect the mixed messages ISIL keeps trying to make to project strength. Or even ask what kind of wall would have protected Australia (get a map, if you like, Jimmy) from terror plans. Porous border much?
He’s a disappointment. One wants better targets of one’s loathing, don’t you think?
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 09/19/14 at 10:52 PM
Monday, September 01, 2014
ISIS: They’re Coming To Take You Away
Well, here we are on the Labor Day weekend with another 9/11 anniversary sneaking up on us, so it is no surprise to find the Wingnut-o-sphere lighting up with madly creative xenophobic expressions. This year’s program includes a particularly timely two-fer that bundles Islamaphobia with Crisis On The Border-itis into an apocalyptic package par excellence.
According to this year’s narrative, America’s new arch-enemy, IS or ISIL or ISIS as you prefer, have recently discovered the tactical value of our famously porous south-west border. They have most likely culled that information from online forums and hashtags frequented by Central American children urging their friends and neighbors to join them in America: Land of Opportunity. Apparently, though, this intel has inspired ISIS’ leaders to open yet another front in the battle for the Worldwide Caliphate by invading Texas via Juarez. Fortunately for America’s intelligence gatherers, ISIS is so new at World Conquest that they haven’t yet learned that “loose lips sink ships” and they are tweeting away 24/7 about their imminent plan to invade Texas.
Word of this troubling development comes to us compliments of Judicial Watch, Fox News and Breitbart.com, to name a few, which seem to be the only media outlets that “anonymous government sources” are willing to speak with, at the moment.
So far, Judicial Watch‘s Investigative Bulletin: Imminent Terrorist Attack Warning By Feds on US Border wins, hands down, in the Official-Sounding Fear Factor category but I have to give Fox News first place for Creative Sourcing.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 09/01/14 at 10:19 AM
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Doocy High Fives The Taliban
Update: edited this post to remove false equivalency relating Doocy’s words with treason. H/T to commenters @Funkula and @Stentor for helping me find my way back to a more rational position.
Fox and Friends achieved a record-setting industry low, recently, for overall execrable bad taste and gross politicization in the cable news category, with a totally awesome combined score of -500.
Steve Doocy, wearing his full-metal consternation look, ruled the death of Major General Harold Greene a “huge touchdown for the Taliban.”
I’m sure that the Taliban was very happy to receive that unsolicited endorsement on American national television.
See, what the Taliban doesn’t quite get about the Republican party and its minions is that this is a zero-sum game to them. If something, even something tragic, occurs that can conceivably be spun to reflect negatively on President Obama, all sense of propriety, civility or intellectual integrity fly out the window, and the tragic event is transformed into an occasion for glee. Think Roman Colosseum . . .
And that’s right where Fox and Friends took it:
Co-host Peter Johnson, Jr. connected the general’s death to an NBC poll that found 54 percent of Americans disapproved of the way Obama was doing his job.
Doocy added that the poll also found that 71 percent of Americans felt that the nation was on the wrong track.
“And does this terrible tragedy yesterday prove that?” co-host Anna Kooiman suggested.
So Taliban, do a little end-zone dance and thank Allah for treasonous Americans who are more than happy to advance your cause and give you a big American pat on the back for helping them hate on their president.
In closing, I’d just like to say to Steve Doocy, I happen to be one of the 71 percent of Americans who feel that the nation is on the wrong track. But that has nothing to do with Obama, you blockhead.
Posted by Bette Noir on 08/07/14 at 06:34 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2014
The Hack-tacular Dick Morris Makes A Prediction
Dick Morris, for those of you who are blissfully unaware of his existence, is a chronic scab on the scrofulous rump of the American body politic.
Morris got his start in politics, back in the ‘70s working for Bill Clinton’s Arkansas gubernatorial campaign. He continued to work with the Clintons, in various capacities—campaign consultant, political strategist—and, finally, as campaign manager during Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign.
That job came to an abrupt end in August, 1996 when the Washington Post reported that Morris was involved with a DC prostitute, Sherry Rowlands. Seriously?? So what? But tabloids went further, alleging that Morris was in the habit of impressing Ms Rowlands by allowing her to “listen in” on his conversations with the President. That news hit during the Democratic Convention and Dick Morris resigned forthwith delivering a grandiose resignation speech during which he credited himself with helping Clinton “come back from being buried in a landslide” and ended with Morris comparing himself to Robert Kennedy.
Almost simultaneously, Morris launched his revenge-fueled Clinton-bashing cottage industry. Aided by his publisher wife, Eileen McGann of Harper Collins, Morris has been churning out a steady stream of anti-Clinton yellow journalism for close to 20 years now. He supplements that enterprise by acting as a political consultant to aspiring leaders of banana republics and theatrically delivering political prognostications so absurdly off the mark that his name has become a punchline among the pundit class. Indeed, blogger Andrew Sullivan has named an annual award after Morris, given for “stunningly wrong political, social and cultural predictions.”
Here is just a sampling of his greatest hits:
Romney Will Win By A Very Large Margin—A Landslide If You Will.
Republicans Will Win 10 Seats In The Senate In 2012
It’s Very Possible That Obama Won’t Run For Re-Election Because His Numbers Are So Bad.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/20/14 at 11:10 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Ron Fournier Surveys Disenchanted Democrats
Ron Fournier knows more disenchanted Democrats than anyone I know. He trips over them in airports, and finds them in malls, ice cream shops and dumpsters, wherever he wanders. He’s like a sniffer dog for Democratic disenchantment. Not to mention that, uncanny as it seems, the ones that he finds? always happen to fluff-up Mr Fournier’s own arguments most eloquently.
His most recent sighting is, of course, no exception. Fournier happened to be vacationing in Michigan where he had the opportunity to observe the Disenchanted Democrat, in it’s natural habitat, just outside Detroit. Fournier came away from that encounter with the profound insight that President Obama is much too self-centered.
An insight that Mr Fournier has shared with the rest of us under the inspired title: Mr. ‘I, Me, My’: Obama Oughta Know He’s Not the Hero. Struggling Americans are the “real” heroes as we learn in the subtitle: A successful White House crafts its narrative around the struggles of Americans, not the president.
I’m not sure what Fournier considers the benchmark for successful White House narratives but, to hear him tell it, I have to assume that Mr Fournier, by his own secret gauge, does not feel that the White House measures up. He’s not alone in that assessment, of course, but I’m not convinced that semantics are at the heart of the matter.
Fournier seems to believe that Americans are pretty miserable in this fifth year of Obama and that they might feel a lot better if the White House sounded more “successful,” instead of:
What do these folks hear from the White House and the rest of Washington? Whining, mostly. Obama and his GOP rivals can’t seem to tell the story of America without casting themselves as the protagonists.
[Fournier is one of the media’s most obsessive and accomplished practitioners of “both sides do it,” usually dressed with a sly dollop of false equivalence. You’ll soon see what I mean . . .]
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/16/14 at 03:42 PM
Thursday, July 03, 2014
Scariest Animal Wears A Gold Cross
If you don’t already know something about Laura Ingraham, you’re on your own. I’m not going to do the dirty work of introducing you to her. The Google has more than enough material for you to familiarize yourself with Laura Ingraham’s overflowing fountain of hate.
Feel the hate . . .
Laura is a hater of such epic proportions that Bill O’Reilly was forced to describe her most recent flight of immigration policy fancy as—wait for it!—draconian. And if BillO thinks it’s draconian, I’d say that Laura’s skating dangerously close to Nazi-caliber social engineering.
But Laura’s hate is not reserved for uninvited guests from south of the border. Laura Ingraham is an equal opportunity hater—she hates gays-who-aren’t-her-brother, African-Americans, Muslims, “illegal aliens,” feminists, The Left, Hillary Clinton and, basically, anyone who isn’t a young, Aryan-American, Dartmouth-educated lawyer.
Besides, what would Laura Ingraham do for a living if she suddenly stopped hating everyone? How would she support her three adopted immigrant children? Oh, you didn’t know? Why yes, Laura adopted a Guatemalan girl, who, I’m assuming is far superior to the generic Guatemalan children streaming across our borders to flee extreme violence in their homeland,
Ingraham also adopted two Russian boys. I’m assuming that she will want all of her children to be classified as US citizens, however much she doesn’t want to allow any more birthright citizenship to take place. Which is an interesting perspective for someone whose maternal grandparents were newly-arrived Polish immigrants—and, later, naturalized Americans. Doing away with birthright citizenship would have left Laura’s mother and millions of other “American” offspring of immigrant parents in a bit of a pickle.
I’m also assuming that Ingraham was, for some reason, not interested in adopting American orphans despite the fact that she doesn’t hesitate to urge young American women to eschew abortion under any circumstance.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/03/14 at 02:25 PM
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
The Upstaging of Judge Gowdy
(h/t Democratic Underground)
I have to tell you, Roasters, that I am more than a little sad that Judge Gowdy’s Benghazi! BENGHAZI!! Select Committee is shaping up to be one of this season’s more spectacular entertainment duds.
Since early May, I have been looking forward to a summer of popcorn and microbrews by the pool and daily doses of Judge Gowdy on the YouTube; but now it looks like I’m going to be stuck with Speaker Boehner’s Impeachment Tort or reruns of the McCarthy Hearings.
So much has happened since those heady days in May—Speaker Boehner’s bold announcement that he was appointing a Select Committee to re-re-re-re-reinvestigate the tragedy at Benghazi; Nancy Pelosi’s tough decision to boycott the committee or not; the formation of the Benghazi Truth Pac . . .
That last item—The Benghazi Truth PAC—was just the kind of Republican sideshow that suckered me into believing that we were about to witness the Greatest Show on Earth with a ringside seat in Judge Gowdy’s Kangaroo Kourt.
The BT PAC was the brainchild of Buzz Jacobs, a Bush White House operative and 2008 McCain Campaign manager currently realizing the American Dream of small business ownership. Buzz’s biz, which is essentially raising-money-for-republicans, is something called Strategic Storytelling Company.
And Mr Jacobs has selflessly appointed himself to protect Judge Gowdy and his select committee colleagues from the inevitable smear campaigns that Liberals are bound to launch because . . . Libruls!
We are preparing to help defend them from unfair and untrue attacks.
There will be teams of people looking into their backgrounds and pulling things out of context and making major issues out of them and there needs to be some balance to that.
Jacobs said he fears Democrats loyal to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will try and “smear” the Republicans on the committee in order to protect Clinton.
He said he bases his concern on critical comments from Democrats after the special committee was created, and historically, how independent counsel Kenneth Starr was criticized during his investigation of former President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Jacobs fears that:
When we find out how disconnected the government was . . . it will not reflect well on Hillary Clinton. The left will try to distract from it and attack the messenger.
Gowdy, the object of Jacobs “strategic storytelling” said:
This investigation isn’t about my political career or anyone else’s. I do not approve of this PAC’s involvement nor do I desire to have their help in defending against attacks.
Oh DC! it isn’t really pretty what a town without pity can do. Nevertheless, Jacobs, unbowed by adversity and politically resilient said he respects Gowdy’s view on the super PAC.
If I was in his position, I would approach my job in the same way.
However, as a private citizen with White House-level national security experience, I am interested in doing what I can, within the law, to educate people about the truth and to defend those seeking the truth.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/02/14 at 11:53 AM
Monday, June 23, 2014
Happy Chemtrails To You
Sometimes it’s just so hard to decide whether or not science is a friend or foe of mankind. For example, when science tells us that we are damaging our planet because we are greedy capitalists squandering resources like spoiled children? Totally Foe. But if science or pseudoscience can be tortured into supporting our weakness for magical-thinking and political chicanery, well then! better living through chemistry, yo!
So it is that when certain denizens of Arizona tired of puzzling over the mysteries of the Sedona Vortex, or searching the Superstition Mountains for the treasure of the Lost Dutchman Mine, they cast their eyes to the skies to scan for UFOs . . . and Chemtrails!
We are all used to seeing the condensation trails or “contrails” exhausted from jet airplane engines. Then, one fine day, someone with a lot of imagination and not enough to do made the startling discovery that contrails don’t disappear as fast as they used to back in the day. I suspect that, somewhere on theplanet, some specimen of Homo sapiens has dedicated him/herself to timing the vanishing point of contrails because . . . intellectual curiosity?
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Posted by Bette Noir on 06/23/14 at 01:42 PM
Sunday, June 22, 2014
No Country For Grumpy Old Men
One of my favorite people, George Carlin, once said:
Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.
Which, I believe, aptly describes one of my least favorite people, George Will.
George Will and I are of the same generation so I have been around for every captivating moment of Will’s philosopher-newsman journalistic career and I’m afraid that I am in total agreement with Frank Moraes of Frankly Curious on the merits of George Will:
I have a visceral hatred for George Will, because he is so much just William Buckley: the Next Generation. Although just like with Star Trek, the next generation has none of the spark of the original.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 06/22/14 at 11:35 AM