Friday, October 9, 2009

Our Media: Nobel Stoopidity Edition

QOTD, Josh Marshall:  
And Obama has begun, if fitfully and very imperfectly to many of his supporters, to steer the ship of state in a different direction. If that seems like a meager accomplishment to many of the usual Washington types it's a profound reflection of their own enablement of the Bush era and how compromised they are by it, how much they perpetuated the belief that it was 'normal history' rather than dark aberration.
Atrios on Our Dumb Discourse 
I think people can legitimately think all kinds of things about Obama's peace prize, but of course the Villagers ran right for the stupid. 
Foser: I swear I am not making this up
You know what'll ruin your day like nothing else?
Winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
Time magazine explains, in two separate pieces:
Why Winning the Nobel Peace Prize Could Hurt Obama
Obama's Nobel: The Last Thing He Needs
This is so true.  Sure, some people may think finding out you have cancer is the last thing you need.  Or that your kid has cancer.  But not me.  I spend every day of my life grateful that I'm never going to win a Nobel Peace Prize.  'Cause that would really be terrible.  It's literally the last thing anyone needs.  You know, what with it being the most prestigious award in the entire world and all.  Nobody wants that.

DougJ: Good news for Republicans
If you didn’t know that Obama winning the Nobel prize was good news for Republicans, you haven’t been paying attention. Here’s Marc Ambinder:
At Slate, John Dickerson writes that the Nobel committee shouldn’t have awarded the prize to Obama, and Mickey Kaus urges Obama to turn it down. Kaus’s reasoning is politics: Obama’s narcissism problem—Kaus’s bolds—will be exacerbated.
This tracks with one argument I’m hearing and reading from Democrats and others who are skeptical of the prize: it will turn the volume and enthusiasm level all the way to the extreme end of the dial for conservatives—overmodulating at 110%; the resulting hyperpolarization will hurt Obama’s agenda. (Representative of this opinion: “I think it will feed not just conservative dislike but the growing concern of independents and elites, that he is a man of rhetoric, a work of imagination, but as of now an unaccomplished statesman. The smartest thing he could do is turn it down. It will backfire on him.’”)
His narcissism problem? Jesus fucking Christ, when did that become an official Villager meme?
Update. Yes, I know Kaus and Will have hitting the narcissism thing hard, but I didn’t know that it was an official Villager meme yet. Ambinder using the expression, without air quotes or anything like them, means that it’s now official.
Update. Great reader emails, like this one, are why I’m still a Sully addict, you haters be damned:
If I’m using Politico’s tortured logic, what the Nobel gang really did, basically, is give the prize to Polanski, right?
DougJ: The sad heart of Ruth 
The Ruth Marcus take on the Obama Nobel is an instant Village classic:
This turns the award into something like pee-wee soccer: everybody wins for trying.
If the Nobel Committee ran out of worthy candidates, it might have engaged in a bit of recycling. Nothing wrong with a second prize to Aung San Suu Kyi (1991). And I suspect it did not actually do the president any favors. Obama’s cheerleaders don’t need the encouragement—and his critics will only seize on the prize to further lampoon the Obama-as-Messiah storyline.
It’s got it all, a lame joke based on her experiences as an upper class suburban parent, the good news for Republicans stuff, and an extremely half-assed effort at suggesting an alternative candidate (Aung San Suu Kyi is great, but no one has ever gotten the Peace Nobel twice). If you’re going to go with the someone-else-should-have-gotten-it shtick (which I don’t even disagree with), at least google a little to come up with a list instead of just going with a previous winner you’re familiar with.
Anyway, it would have just been good news for the Myanmar military junta if Aung San Suu Kyi had gotten it again.
  •  The Lede: World Reaction to a Nobel Surprise 

    Mohamed Elbaradei, the director-general of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, who received the prize in 2005, said in a statement that he was “absolutely delighted.”
    “I cannot think of anyone today more deserving of this honor,” he said. “In less than a year in office, he has transformed the way we look at ourselves and the world we live in and rekindled hope for a world at peace with itself.”
    Along a similar vein, another laureate, President Shimon Peres of Israel, sent a letter to President Obama on Friday morning, saying: “Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.”

  •  Josh Marshall: Unexpected Developments 
    ...    But the unmistakable message of the award is one of the consequences of a period in which the most powerful country in the world, the 'hyper-power' as the French have it, became the focus of destabilization and in real if limited ways lawlessness. A harsh judgment, yes. But a dark period. And Obama has begun, if fitfully and very imperfectly to many of his supporters, to steer the ship of state in a different direction. If that seems like a meager accomplishment to many of the usual Washington types it's a profound reflection of their own enablement of the Bush era and how compromised they are by it, how much they perpetuated the belief that it was 'normal history' rather than dark aberration.
Benen: QUOTE OF THE DAY.... 
There have been some pretty extraordinary responses to President Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, some encouraging, some less so. And in general, the reactions from many of the White House's right-wing detractors have been disheartening.

It's tough to pick just one -- indeed, the day is far from over and there's plenty of nonsense yet to be aired. After all, Beck's and Hannity's cable shows won't start for hours.
Beck did, however, have a strong entry for Quote of the Day, telling his radio audience that the Nobel Peace Prize "should be give to the Tea Party goers and the 9-12 Project." As Beck sees it, progressives thought the right wouldn't contest the Democratic agenda -- they did? -- so the far-right protestors deserve credit for ... something. It wasn't entirely clear.
But barring any late entries, Rush Limbaugh's Quote of the Day will be tough to forget. "I think that everybody is laughing. Our president is a world-wide joke," the radio host said. "Folks, do you realize something has happened here that we all agree with the Taliban and Iran about and that is he doesn't deserve the award. Now that's hilarious, that I'm on the same side of something with the Taliban, and that we all are on the same side as the Taliban."
Well, Rush, not all of us.
It's been quite a strange year in this regard. In February, Rep. Pete Sessions (R) of Texas, chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee, said he'd like to see his party emulate the Taliban and possibly "become an insurgency."
And now Limbaugh thinks it's hilarious that he, the Taliban, and the Ahmadinejad regime are all criticizing the U.S. president in the same way.
  •  from the comments:

    "...we all are on the same side as the Taliban."
    Now there's a keeper clip to play in a DNC TV ad.

    Posted by: Speed on October 9, 2009 at 3:23 PM

C&L: Tony Blankley Excuses NRCC's Sexist Statement About Pelosi: If You're in the Minority, Nobody Pays Attention 
By Heather Friday Oct 09, 2009 1:00pm

From The Situation Room Oct. 8, 2009. Tony Blankley tries to rationalize the NRCC's sexist statement about Nancy Pelosi saying 'taxpayers can only hope McChrystal is able to put her in her place'. In Tony Blankley's world, the media doesn't pay any attention to Republicans unless they're behaving badly. Really Tony? You're joking right? Because I sure as hell don't see any shortage of Republicans getting face time in the media no matter how they're behaving. The media has had so many 'exclusive' interviews with John McCain since he lost the presidential election I'd almost swear they didn't realize who won. I can't get the man off of my television screen.
And I think Tony needs to take a look at this from the good folks over at Think Progress with a snapshot of the media coverage of Republicans from back in January-- REPORT: GOP Lawmakers Outnumber Democratic Lawmakers 2 To 1 In Stimulus Debate On Cable News
As Media Matters has documented, during the Bush administration, the media consistently allowed conservatives to dominate their shows, booking them as guests far more often than progressives. The rationale was that Republicans were “in power.”
It appears that old habits die hard. Even though President Obama and his team are in control of the executive branch and Democrats are in the majority in Congress, the cable networks are still turning more often to Republicans and allowing them to set the agenda on major issues, most recently on the debate over the economic recovery package.
On Sunday, conservatives began an all-out assault on President Obama’s economic recovery plan, with House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) both announcing that they would vote against the plan as it stood. Despite Obama’s efforts at good faith outreach, congressional conservatives have continued to attack the stimulus plan with a series of false and disingenuous arguments.
The media have been aiding their efforts. In a new analysis, ThinkProgress has found that the five cable news networks — CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and CNBC — have hosted more Republican lawmakers to discuss the plan than Democrats by a 2 to 1 ratio this week.
Boy Tony, how can the Republicans ever manage to get their message out without making sexist remarks about Nancy Pelosi when the media ignores them like that?
And David Gergen tries to rewrite history pretending that St. Ronnie would never have behaved so badly. Two words David. Southern Strategy.


  1. You're providing lots and lots of reasons to avoid the TV room.

  2. Thanks joyful. Your's is as well.