Thursday, June 25, 2009

The media we have . . .

Sully: Michael Jackson: Cardiac Arrest?
That's what TMZ is reporting. So cable coverage of Iran is now over.
Sully: The Confusion Of MSM Journalism

A reader nails it:

The NPR ombudsman's defense of editorial policy to not call it torture reflect a general confusion amongst the mainstream journalists about the difference between political action and truth telling. Political action is an attempt to change the world. Describing the world the way it is is not an attempt to change things and is not political action.

"... the role of a news organization is not to choose sides in this or any debate. People have different definitions of torture and different feelings about what constitutes torture. NPR's job is to give listeners all perspectives, and present the news as detailed as possible and put it in context."

Using clear language to describe the way the world is, though it may be contrary to the approved euphemisms, lies, or image crafting of public officials, is not siding with anyone. There is no real and meaningful debate about what is torture. Lying and promoting the now obvious lies and false imagery of public officials on the other hand,is an attempt to change the world. That serves various interests, and that is taking sides.

Among those directly responsible for the maintenance of the torture regime for so long are those MSM reporters who refused to call it what it is.

Atrios: Gannon
The strange thing about the Gannon affair was how "nothing to see here, move along" was the general attitude of those in the press.
  • Boehlert: UPDATED: Why the Village is so mad at Nico Pitney

    Within hours of online writer Nico Pitney asking a single question at a WH presser, the WashPost's Milbank swooped into action, loudly mocking Pitney's involvement as being terribly troubling and phony. But please note that in 2005 when it was revealed that right-wing partisan James Guckert had been waved into the WH press room nearly 200 times without proper credentials, wrote under an alias (Jeff Gannon), and asked Bush officials softball questions, Milbank remained mum. (He wasn't alone.)

    According to Nexis, Milbank never wrote about the Gannon story.

    But Pitney, the national editor for one of the most-read and widely respected online news outlets? His singular WH presence sent Milbank into an immediate tizzy.

Atrios: And They'll Hand Him A Large Megaphone
I have no doubt Ralph Reed will have no problem getting tons of free media. It's how things work in the Village.
  • Benen: RALPH REED?....
    Wait a second. Ralph Reed believes he can show his face in public again? He thinks he has the credibility to once again be a political player?

    Ralph Reed, the Republican operative who built the Christian Coalition into a potent political force in the 1990s by mobilizing evangelicals and other religious conservatives and who did similar work to help George W. Bush win two presidential elections, is quietly launching a group aimed at using the Web to mobilize a new generation of values voters. In addition to targeting the GOP's traditional faith-based allies -- white evangelicals and observant Catholics -- the group, called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, will reach out to Democratic-leaning constituencies, including Hispanics, blacks, young people, and women.

    "This is not your daddy's Christian Coalition," Reed said in an interview Monday.

    Now, as a substantive matter, the idea of yet another religious right group seems pretty silly. There are already plenty of organizations and ministries, doing the same work, on the same issues, chasing the same donors with the same culture-war message, with the same goal in mind. The problem isn't a dearth of groups; it's that the American mainstream has already rejected the movement's message.

    But putting that aside, Ralph Reed is trying to make a comeback? I know it's been a few years, but the Abramoff scandal left Reed a humiliated disgrace. It wasn't just some embarrassing misunderstanding; the scandal ruined him. Permanently.

    Remember this one, from June 2006?

    Yet another delightful characterization of Ralph Reed, courtesy of today's McCain report on the Abramoff scandal. This one comes courtesy of Jack Abramoff himself, via his discussion with Marc Schwartz, a public relations representative for the Tigua tribe in Texas.

    Let's pick up the report on page 148. Schwartz was evaluating whether the tribe should hire Abramoff as its lobbyist: To Schwartz, Abramoff appeared to have the right credentials. Abramoff claimed to be a close friend of Congressman Tom DeLay. He also discussed his friendship with Reed, recounting some of their history together at College Republicans. When Schwartz observed that Reed was an ideologue, Schwartz recalled that Abramoff laughingly replied "as far as the cash goes."

    Or, how about this one?

    Ralph Reed, email to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, 1998: "Hey, now that I'm done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I'm counting on you to help me with some contacts."

    Or this?

    E-mails and testimony before McCain's panel showed that Reed, who once branded gambling a "cancer" on society, reaped millions of dollars in tribal casino proceeds that Abramoff secretly routed to him through various non-profit front groups. Abramoff, a lobbyist for the tribes, paid Reed to whip up "grassroots" Christian opposition to prevent rival tribes from opening casinos.

    And now Reed wants to launch the "Faith and Freedom Coalition"? You've got to be kidding me.

C&L: Michael Savage Vows to Put Pictures and Info of Media Matters Employees on His Web Site

Ed Schultz Psycho Talk: Schultz hits Michael Savage in his Psycho Talk segment for this:

Savage vows to post "full pictures and other pertinent information about" Media Matters employees on his website:

He urges "all people in the media who have been harassed by this Stalinist group, Media Matters" to do the same.

John Amato:

Michael Savage continues with the behavior that David Neiwert has been reporting on repeatedly. How the right wing talk show hosts help promote violence in our society with their over the top rhetoric. What does Savage expect to happen to MM employees by posting their personal information on his website? There can only be one outcome. Violence against them.
Media Matters is not afraid and came back with this video. Good for them.

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