Our Stupid Media

Monday, October 20, 2008

A “‘gotcha’ sound bite” vs. a “real person’s question”

Sarah Palin talking about “Joe the Plumber” while campaigning Saturday:

“So when he left Joe’s neighborhood in Toledo, our opponent didn’t look real happy. Seems that the staged photo-op there got ruined by a real person’s question. So here’s a guy working—standing there in his neighborhood when a candidate for president shows up and he wanted more than just a handshake and a campaign button. He wanted some answers. He—Joe had asked our opponent a simple—a straightforward question, and he spoke for so many other Americans.”

I was away for the weekend so I wasn’t able to address this, but Michael Rovito sent me an email pointing out how ridiculous it is that when he asked Sarah Palin a totally non-partisan question at a “photo-op” in Philadelphia, John McCain referred to is as “a ‘gotcha’ sound bite,” but when Samuel “Joe the Not-A-Plumber” Wurzelbacher asked Barack Obama a totally partisan question near Toledo, it’s considered by Palin to be “a real person’s question.”

Fortunately, the hypocrisy of Palin’s comments this weekend wasn’t lost on some journalists and Rovito has a few links here (the CBS reporter linked at the top of this post also picked up on it). Still, a lot more members of Our Stupid Media should have called “bullshit” on McCain and Palin the minute those words dribbled out of her mouth this weekend.

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/20/08 at 09:21 AM
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Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Truth about Tom Brokaw

I’ve had one eye on Brokaw ever since 2003 when he cleverly smeared Wes Clark in the Democratic primary. Unlike most journalists who wear their bias on their sleeve, Brokaw is subtle in the way he lends currency to the outlandish. To see this point, and before watching the video below, consider how the existence of any measurable association between Barack Obama and William Ayers has been thoroughly debunked.

From Fight The Smears:

Smear groups and now a desperate McCain campaign are trying to connect Barack to William Ayers using age-old guilt by association techniques. Here’s the truth: the smear associating Barack to Ayers is “phony,” [Chicago Sun Times] “tenuous,” [Washington Post] – even “exaggerated at best if not outright false.” [Associated Press]

William Ayers is a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with whom Barack served on the board of an education-reform organization in the mid-1990’s. According to the Associated Press, they are not close: “No evidence shows they were “pals” or even close when they worked on community boards years ago …”

Smear groups and the McCain campaign are trying to connect Obama to acts Ayers committed 40 years ago – when Barack was just eight years old. Here’s what the New York Times reported on the connection:

“But the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called “somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.”

Now watch how today on Meet The Press, Brokaw allows any viewer to conclude there could be something to an Obama-Ayres association. He does this by not questioning why the McCain campaign would push a discredited story, but by simply asking if the McCain attack on Obama is working. In doing so, he allows the empty-headed WSJ writer Paul Gigot to tell us why associations are important, as in “they go to character and judgment.”


Brokaw is a fraud from Rumproast Clips on Vimeo.

Brokaw allowed Gigot’s comment to stand without any further probing or critical follow-up. Brokaw knows exactly what he is doing and he’s quite skilled at pushing stories for his favorites. He’s a journalistic fraud.

Posted by poputonian on 10/12/08 at 09:03 PM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsBarack ObamaElection '08St. McSameOur Stupid Media

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Jonathan Martin’s Big Fizzle

Late last night and into the wee hours of the morning the blogostupid was buzzing about Jonathan Martin’s Politico post:

McCain camp making news in the morning

On what, they won’t say. 

“We’ll have something to talk about,” is all a campaign aide would allow.

Check back again in this space or over on our front-page in the morning.

Speculation was running rampant everywhere.  Martin just did a follow-up and ... it’s a steaming pile o’ non-story:

That “news” in the morning

Sure enough, it’s Bill Ayers.

The McCain campaign is launching a web ad accusing Obama of trying to hide his ties to the 60s-era radical.

“Too risky for America,” the ad concludes.

The idea here is to keep Ayers in the mix without spending precious dollars to put real points behind it on TV.  Republicans know that cable TV stations will play the spot for free, regardless of it being a web ad.

Republicans also know that megaphonies like Martin will eagerly amplify their useless crap and not be remotely upset or embarrassed that they’ve, once again, been played for fools. A principled journalist would never run with a tip from that McCain camp source again.  If you know that journalist, please introduce him or her to Martin.

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/09/08 at 07:53 AM
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Monday, October 06, 2008

No Joe Six-Pack for You

I’ve heard of free speech zones, but I guess the McCain-Palin campaign is now setting up free listen zones:

Constantly under the watchful eyes of security, the media wasn’t permitted to wander around inside Coachman Park to talk to Sarah Palin supporters. When reporters tried to leave the designated press area and head toward the bleachers where the crowd was seated, an escort would dart out of nowhere and confront him or her and say, “Can I help you?’’ and turn the person around.

When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn’t allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written. The campaign wanted to avoid that possibility Monday.

I hope the press could have at least enjoyed this spectacle from their holding pen:

A few minutes before Palin arrived, a disembodied voice instructed the several thousand supporters to turn to the right and “direct your attention” to a bridge spanning the Intracoastal Waterway because Palin’s motorcade was approaching.

On cue, organizers cut loose with a soaring overture, pumping it through the speakers placed around Coachman Park in downtown Clearwater. True to Palin’s frontier persona, it had sort of an Aaron Copeland vibe to it. Very stirring. Very mavericky.

[First story via our pal Ripley]

IN ADDITION: They were expecting 20,000 to turn out to see Palin today. Oops. Only 4500 attended.

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/06/08 at 01:15 PM
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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Macho Ma’am: Is Sarah Palin a “Muscular Feminist,” or Simply a Dumb Jock?

Our pal Robert Lanham has a new piece up about Sarah Palin at Radar.  Go check it out:

Anyone who remembers the movie Bob Roberts will be familiar with Palin’s type; the pseudo populist who subverts a progressive movement and co-opts it to fit his/her own image. Yup, that’s Sarah. But the frustrating thing about the Bob Roberts and Sarah Palins of the world is this: they’re typically most successful when the institutions they’re co-opting are stagnating. And let’s face facts: feminism has been suffering an identity crisis for years, and it’s only gotten worse during the 2008 election cycle.

Also, Steve M. makes a very good point:

What I find most striking about Sarah Palin’s inability to name a Supreme Court decision other than Roe v. Wade that she disagrees with  is that this would be a ridiculously easy question for a wide range of righties—not just political pros but online wingnut amateurs.  Um, the banning of public-school prayer?  That still gets ordinary right-wingers’ juices flowing.  How about the recent eminent-domain case Kelo v. New London?  That one infuriated the Freepers.  Or what about the decisions that have tried to constrain the White House’s detention policies—Boumediene v. Bush, for instance? That one also had Freeper knickers in a twist. So Palin isn’t just less informed than the average VP candidate—she’s less informed than thousands of random message-board and blog devotees on the far right.

And Wonkette has rolled out a new pic of Sarah Palin as the Ice Princess that is just plain adorable.

p.s. We’ll be rolling out another one of our open threads at 8 PM ET for tonight’s VP debate, so make sure you come on by and join in the hilarity.

MORE: I’m going to yank up this Rumproast comment of the day from my buddy Iceberg Wedge:

My hope is that Sarah Palin fails so miserably and so completely that John McCain has to stand before the nation and declare “we are all ‘Joe Six Pack’ now.”

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/02/08 at 11:47 AM
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Film review: “Boogie Man”

Boogie Man

Boogie Man will tear at your American (and allegedly forgiving) soul in ways that no other documentary has done before. As much as the tragic end of scumbag Republican strategist Lee Atwater’s life is compelling in the most push-out-the-piss kinda way, as the credits roll you’re left with a horrific and crisp vision of just how despicable and rotten Washington gamers can really be. Boogie Man also very deftly (and sometimes quietly) lays bare how unjustifiably rewarded and adulated flagrantly reckless and mean-spirited spinheads like Atwater have been by the members of our complicit, junk-hungry media.

Atwater, as some of you may know, was Karl Rove’s mentor (you know what a smoldering pile of offal he is—no need to go there).  And Rove begat Steve Schmidt, the oddly-skewed baldheaded mule spawn who’s been recently seen burping up detritus in support of his paid-to-love-him guy John McCain. That’s why this doc is an important arrival now. As much as you may be relishing the recent apparent flaming destruction of the McCain-Palin campaign, after viewing this documentary, you should be concerned that Schmidt could still pull some wild, ill-conceived Atwater-style bottom-dwellerism outta his keester that will, inexplicably, click with a majority of voters and pull the gate down, once again, on what seemed like the Obvious Choice.

read the whole post »

Posted by Kevin K. on 10/02/08 at 11:20 AM
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Categories: MoviesMovie ReviewsPoliticsBushCoElection '08NuttersOur Stupid Media

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

On McCain’s “‘Gotcha’ Journalism” Charge: Philly Grad Student Having Nguyen of It

Michael Rovito, who we wrote about earlier, was on CNN this afternoon to defend John McCain’s charges against him that he had engaged in “‘gotcha’ journalism” when he asked Sarah Palin questions about Pakistan and Waziristan at a Philly cheesesteak joint Saturday.  After Betty Nguyen, CNN news anchor and member of Our Stupid Media, asked Rovito, who is a grad student at Temple University and most definitely not a journalist, twice if he had indulged in “‘gotcha’ journalism” during his encounter with Palin, he responded thusly:

“I don’t even know what that means, but of course not. I’m not a journalist. I’m just a tax-paying citizen. And if we cannot ask a question of our veep and presidential candidates and if we do we get scorned for being a ‘gotcha’ journalist—again, I don’t know what that means—but then it’s a sense of, I don’t know, it’s almost tyrannical in a way. Like I think that comment, just speaking objectively, was kind of a blow to the integrity of journalists and tax-paying citizens who have questions that we want our vice presidential and presidential candidates to answer. I mean, I don’t get this”

So you would think Nguyen would understand that he was a citizen asking Palin some legitimate, educated questions and would appreciate his defense of the integrity of her profession, getting that he was implying that good journalism, by nature, should have a “gotcha” component, right?  Think again…

NGUYEN: “Well, what he’s trying to say, I mean, with this gotcha moment, did you try to set her up and play stump the candidate?”

ROVITO: “Of course not. No.”

Jesus Drunken Christ on a bar crawl, “stump the candidate”? Where have I heard that before?  Hmmmm...

And to close things out, Nguyen, looking like she was ready for a pat on the head and a bone-shaped biscuit, proudly announced that Rovito had claimed that he’s not a “‘gotcha’ journalist.”  Quality reporting had been completed and we closed yet another chapter in the massive novel(ty) that is Our Stupid Media.

Full video here:

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/30/08 at 08:06 PM
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Jack Cafferty tells it like it is about Sarah Palin: “Pathetic”

I wish more members of Our Stupid Media would come right out and state the obvious like Cafferty does here [via TPM]:

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/26/08 at 04:35 PM
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The First Dude Abides

I can’t tell if Greta Van Suckass has the hot sexy love for The Snow Machine (vroom, vroom) or if she fell into a vat of Wasilla Thunder before the interview (or both), but this is one of the funniest splice jobs I’ve ever seen.  I can’t stop watching it. Halp.

[via Wonkette]

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/18/08 at 07:17 AM
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Monday, September 15, 2008

Tonight! The premiere of Radio Rumproast!

Robert Lanham
Robert Lanham’s enormous head

Make sure you tune in tonight for the premiere of Radio Rumproast from 11PM -12:30AM ET. It should be a great show. Our guest will be the always entertaining Robert Lanham, author of the The Hipster Handbook, Food Court Druids…, and The Sinner’s Guide to the Evangelical Right. We’ll talk about his books, evangelicalism in politics, the general election, ferrets (one of his favorite subjects, especially if they’re Wiccans) and something really unfortunate that happened to him yesterday when he was running in Brooklyn. We’ll also feature a roundtable of bloggers, including No More Mister Nice Blog‘s Steve M. and Rumproast’s poputonian, discussing the past week’s events and, of course, we’ll be taking your calls at (347) 826-7678. Radio Rumproast: We like it well-done.

read the whole post »

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/15/08 at 05:31 PM
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah don’t blink, and I know why

If you have the stomach for it, watch a disturbing video about Governor Palin’s wolf bounty program, a substitute for clubbing seals (should you become bored with that.)

Sarah don’t blink, and I know why.

John McCain asked Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Despite being a political novice, she said, without any hesitation whatsoever, yes.

Sarah don’t blink, and I know why.

The inevitability of a media interview finally caught up with her. Instead of acknowledging what every American already knew, which is that—coming from where she was—it would be impossible to be ready to be president, she, without any hesitation whatsoever, insisted she was ready.

Sarah don’t blink, and I know why.

When asked detailed political questions, instead of showing one iota of humility by admitting the incompleteness of her knowledge, she tried to hoodwink the American public with scripted narratives, and once again insisted she was ready to be president.

Sarah don’t blink, and I know why.

When asked about possibly violating the sovereignty of another nation, in this case Pakistan, she said, “we must not blink ... in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.”

“We must not blink” must be a euphemistic phrase for “we must not think.” A good leader has to be decisive above all else. George W. Bush was always decisive.

So Sarah don’t blink, and I know why.

read the whole post »

Posted by poputonian on 09/13/08 at 09:13 AM
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Saw this one coming from a mile away…

From The NY Times:

Sean Hannity, the conservative commentator, will interview Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin next week, the Fox News Channel announced Friday.

First question: “Governor Palin, how do you cope with the enormous burden of being the smartest person in the world?”

[via The Moderate Voice]

SOMEWHAT RELATED: Here’s something I guarantee Hannity won’t ask her about. [hat tip HumboldtBlue]

MORE: Come up with your own Hannity questions in the comments.  The more ridiculous, the better.

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/12/08 at 02:44 PM
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Sarah Palin’s book-banning quest hits the wires

Earlier this morning I saw CNN’s Carol Costello adamantly insist while interviewing ex-NYC mayor Ed Koch that her network had proved that the book banning rumors about Palin were demonstrably false. According to the Associated Press (and yours truly), Carol Costello is an idiot:

The McCain campaign is defending Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s much-criticized inquiry into banning books at her hometown library, saying her questions were only hypothetical.

Shortly after taking office in 1996 as mayor of Wasilla, a city of about 7,000 people, Palin asked the city’s head librarian about banning books. Later, the librarian was notified by Palin that she was being fired, although Palin backed off under pressure. [...]

Taylor Griffin, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said Thursday that Palin asked the head librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, on three occasions how she would react to attempts at banning books. He said the questions, in the fall of 1996, were hypothetical and entirely appropriate. He said a patron had asked the library to remove a title the year before and the mayor wanted to understand how such disputes were handled.

Palin, apparently, didn’t want to “understand” how Emmons could have provided her with the answer she wasn’t looking for…

read the whole post »

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/12/08 at 01:09 PM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsElection '08St. McSameNuttersSarah PalinOur Stupid MediaRelijun

Not-so-shorter Andrea Mitchell

This, in a nutshell, is what Andrea Mitchell (and several other members of Our Stupid Media) has been saying for the last few days:

Even if Sarah Palin stomps puppies to death with her bare feet on live TV, Obama, Biden, their surrogates, and the mainstream media would be wise to avoid criticizing her for it because every woman in America really identifies with Sarah and there would be a huge backlash.

The media, whose members were originally gorging on Palin’s perceived grit, isn’t treating her like the pit bull she claimed to be, they’re pampering this astoundingly unprepared pinhead like she’s a pedigree Pomeranian entered in the toy group at the Westminster Dog Show.

RELATED: Palin came off even worse in the far-less-edited Nightline version of the Charlie Gibson’s first interview with her. If anyone finds the whole thing (including her views on global warming and drilling in ANWR), please drop a link in the comments.

MORE: McCain supporter Don Imus on Palin: she “looked like she was drowning.”

Posted by Kevin K. on 09/12/08 at 08:03 AM
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