Monday, September 28, 2009

Our Media: Sniffing Glue Edition

Atrios: Memories
I do remember when the New York Times appointed a reporter to pay more attention to the concerns of The Nation Magazine and Air America Radio.

Though that memory is from my glue huffing days, so it may be a bit faulty.
Josh Marshall: Curious Reasoning
You may have seen that there's a new meme afoot in the news world which has it that the mainstream media either ignores or is insufficiently 'in touch' with the right wing noise machine of Fox, Drudge, Glenn Beck, etc. What's notable however is that the idea seems to be emanating from the folks at Politico whose founders' theory of the media is that its narratives are largely defined by Matt Drudge and who used Drudge as the key vector to build their national audience. I'm not sure how these two facts compute.
Tbogg (FDL): I was the X-Files Editor for the New York Times
Clark Hoyt of the New York Times announces to the world that you can slap him around, call him a bitch, and he'll still go make you a sandwich and then blow you while you eat it:
Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief, said, “We did not ignore the Acorn story, so I don’t think it’s fair for people to say we blew it off.” The paper’s follow-up coverage has included a profile of O’Keefe, a report on a House vote to deny funds to Acorn, and an article on the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to drop Acorn from its volunteer tax assistance program. Baquet said people need to keep Acorn in perspective with other Washington stories: health care, two wars and the deep recession.
Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, agreed with me that the paper was “slow off the mark,” and blamed “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.” She and Bill Keller, the executive editor, said last week that they would now assign an editor to monitor opinion media and brief them frequently on bubbling controversies. Keller declined to identify the editor, saying he wanted to spare that person “a bombardment of e-mails and excoriation in the blogosphere.”
Because there was no story more important than a couple of kids getting some staffers at Acorn to chat with them about their plans to open a whorehouse. And it was awesome when the plucky little citizen journalists filmed the Acorn people writing them a check for one billion taxpayers dollars to fulfill David Vitter's dream. Except that that last part didn't happen.
In light of this, the Times has now conceded that they are going to assign an editor to make sure that important breaking stories such as Rachel Ray selling Jihadonuts, or poor people blowing their welfare checks on granite countertops, or 9/11 memorial architectural criticism gets the coverage they so richly deserve.
And what kind of thanks can the Times expect? This kind:
Even when the Fishwrap of Record is admitting how out of touch it is, its editors still can’t get the story right.
Hapless ombudsman Clark Hoyt writes in his Sunday column that his paper was guilty of unnecessarily politicizing a legitimate breaking story and suffering “slow reflexes:”
So, get this: The Times has now assigned an anonymous editor to “monitor opinion media” so the effete journalists don’t get caught flat-footed again. But they won’t identify the editor because they don’t him or her getting e-mails from the public (heaven forfend) and they don’t want him or her getting feedback, criticism, or tips from the blogosphere (the MSM must be shielded from the angry mob). Snort:
Who could have anticipated that Michelle Malkin would not graciously accept an offer to listen to her bugfuck ravings?
Not me.
Memo to Hoyt & Bill Keller & Abramson: They hate you. I mean they really fucking hate you a lot. They will always hate you. You work for the Times and are therefore tainted. They only read your paper looking for things to bitch about. So assigning an editor to spelunk the dank caverns of their conspiracy theories and the twisted logic of their misfiring synapses is not going to gain you any credibility or additional readers.

C&L: Washington Post Columnist: 'There Was Never A Constituency For Health Care. Let's Remember That.'
By Susie Madrak Sunday Sep 27, 2009 1:00pm

(h/t Heather) So Tweety, all worked up about next year's mid-term elections, asks his panelon this week's "Chris Matthews Show" how many House seats will the Dems lose in the upcoming election and quotes some of Charlie Cook's predictions.
He blames high unemployment and healthcare reform for impending losses, and then notes how many seats Reagan lost and how many Clinton lost. What it's going to be like "after next November when the Democrats have to pay the piper for high unemployment, for questions - in fact, anger that you've all expressed in the last section about the healthcare bill and all those kinds of problems?"
TIME editor Richard Stengel praises Rahm Emanuel, saying how brilliant it was that Rahm put Democratic conservatives in conservative districts. (Buttering up the chief of staff for access, Richard?)
Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker says House Democrats are concerned because they "walked the plank for Nancy Pelosi on cap-and-trade and now they've got to go with health care, the people are raising Cain about it at home, and so they're in a terrible bind and yes, they want to be team players so I think you're going to see a lot of fallout come this term."
Matthews says any House Democrat who puts their "yea" on health care reform "has got to be thinking 'I'm a target'".
CNBC's Trish Regan says that's because health care reform is an unpopular program (well, Trish, I'm guessing it is among your constituency, but there's a lot more of us than there are of them) and claims that voters are "more worried about spending and the deficit" and says there's a feeling their politicians are not doing what they want.
She says President Obama needs to make this health care program more popular, and Matthews agrees.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, the Wall Street beat reporter for the New York Times, says "People are voting with their wallets next time. That's what this is. This is all about 'am I richer, am I poorer' and you know, everybody remembers how rich they were - ah, I don't know how rich they were, but only a year or two ago and unless Obama can get Democrats and get us back to that place next summer, I think it's going to be a tough road."
Matthews says, So the Republicans are promising to get it back for you?
Sorkin: Absolutely.
Then Parker add this final dollop of smug Villager "wisdom."
"There was never a constituency for health care. Let's remember that. When you have eighty five percent of Americans who are pretty satisfied with their policies, their insurance coverage and their health care, where was this constituency that we have to overhaul the system? It never was there."
Whoa, Nellie! Are you kidding me? Hey Kath, did you happen to notice that health care was the main issue in last year's election? Have you been reading all those health-care sob stories on the front page of your own paper? Can't wait until your ass-kissing paper closes and you're out on the street, hustling freelance work to cover your bills. Imagine, life where you can't afford a pedicure!
Matthews agrees. "Right. And I see trouble for the Democrats."
I'm going to make a different prediction. If the Democrats pass healthcare reform with a real public option, Democratic popularity will grow and we'll do well in the next election, with minimal losses.
C&L: Coulter: Liberals behind Obama-as-Hitler posters
By David Sunday Sep 27, 2009 3:00pm

President Barack Obama explained to the Congressional Black Caucus that some people were confused about why health care reform opponents were comparing him to Hitler. Ann Coulter told Fox News' Geraldo Rivera that she suspects posters showing Obama with a Hitler mustache were created by "liberal agitators."

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