Wednesday, 20 February 2008
CHRIS MATTHEWS GETS ONE RIGHT
As anyone who reads this blog knows, I am no fan of Chris Matthews, who I
often call Chis Mouthews because of his nonstop mouth.
But credit where credit is due. And all credit to Matthews for showing
a Texas state legislator named Kirk Watson up as a blithering
How did he do it? By asking a simple
question: What are Barack Obama's accomplishments. Matthews asked
the question and refused let this blithering idiot dodge it. Matthews made
Watson out to be a complete fool, while simultaneously demonstrating to his
audience what a nonentity Obama is (If you have trouble with the video below,
See for yourself:
Thanks again Chris. This time you did yourself proud. Long may
you continue in this vein.
MSNBC: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
Yesterday I blogged about how personally insulting and vicious keith
olbermann was toward Republicans Karl Rove and President Bush.
I pointed out that david shuster was suspended for far less, and that it
seemed clear there was a double standard in which MSNBC allows it to be open
season on Republicans, but will apologize for even small indiscretions or
mistakes if they could possibly hurt a Democrat.
With this in mind, please read the following Associated Press report.
The bold print is mine:
|NBC reprimands employee for using
picture of bin Laden behind Obama story
NEW YORK - NBC News said Tuesday it has reprimanded the employee responsible for
mistakenly flashing a picture of Osama bin Laden on MSNBC as Chris Matthews talked about Barack Obama.
07:25 PM US/Eastern
Bauder, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
"This mistake was inexcusable," MSNBC
spokesman Jeremy Gaines said.
It happened during the opening of "Hardball"
Monday evening. Matthews was previewing a story on the controversy over Obama's
use of another politician's words, and a picture of bin Laden briefly flashed on
the screen beside him with the headline "Words About Words."
The Obama campaign immediately called NBC to
complain, and Matthews apologized on the air a few minutes later. When
"Hardball" was rerun later that night, a picture of Obama replaced the picture
of the terrorist leader.
The mistake was made by someone in the network's
graphics department whom MSNBC would not identify. The network did not explain
exactly how the mistake was made nor detail the punishment for the employee.
Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor noted the apology and
said the campaign had no other comment.
It's hardly the first time the presidential candidate and terrorist leader have been confused in the media. CNN apologized
last year for promoting a story on the search for bin Laden with the headline,
One other time, CNN's Alina Cho reported that
"Barack Obama's campaign has been dogged by false rumours, among them that Osama
is a Muslim, Obama rather."
Even former Republican presidential candidate Mitt
Romney misspoke on the campaign trail last October when talking about terrorism.
"Actually, just look at what Osam, uh, Barack Obama said just yesterday ..."
As long as it's a slip of the tongue, people
should just get over it, said Barbara Wallraff, who writes a syndicated column on
"Don't we have other things to complain about?"
Wallraff noted how changing one letter can also
transform "Bush" to "bust" or "lush." She said the spell-check on one of her
computer programs always suggests "Osama" as a substitute when she types
It's far different if something like this is done
intentionally, she said.
This has been a rough month of apologies
at MSNBC. Reporter David Shuster was suspended for two weeks for saying that
Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign had "pimped out" daughter Chelsea by having
her make political phone calls. And Matthews apologized last month after
suggesting that Clinton's political prominence was due to her husband's
Yesterday olbermann indicated that President Bush's actions in Iraq are
giving aid and comfort to al-qaeda. Specifically he said that years from
now al qaeda will thank President Bush for what he is doing.
No apology necessary.
olbermann has indulged his pathological hatred of Bill O'Reilly for years,
calling Mr. O'Reilly things like "a sorry excuse for a human being" and many,
many more that are as bad and worse.
No apology necessary.
But a backroom guy accidentally puts up a picture of osama bin laden during a
spiel about Obama, which is clearly out of context and 100% a mistake?
MSNBC immediately falls all over itself to apologize, and even edits it out
of the video for subsequent airings.
Is MSNBC a sorry excuse for a cable news network? What do
VICTORY AND DEFEAT
This is from www.drudgereport.com. It needs no
explanation at all:
THRILL OF VICTORY, AGONY OF DEFEAT
COCK AND BULL FROM RUSH AND MALLOY
Why is it that the haters think they can lie at will and nobody will
The latest example (now there's an ephemeral status when it comes to
media dishonesty) is from the New York Daily News team of (George) Rush and
Here, from their Monday column, is the hit piece they wrote on Bill
O'Reilly. Please note the sarcastic spelling of Fox News:
Bill O'Reilly is causing yet another stink,
but this time it's in the gym. The Faux-news man has relied on one of his
minions to wipe the sweat off exercise equipment after he's done. "It was
really disgusting," said a nauseated onlooker. "The poor kid followed him
around, just sopping up O'Reilly's body fluids.".
I suspect that your first reaction would be something along the order of
"eeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwww". I don't blame you.
But before you go off on what a pig Mr. O'Reilly is, you might want
to read this commentary from www.mediabistro.com in their TV Newser
One small problem with the item
O'Reilly's no Anderson Cooper when it comes to working out. O'Reilly says he "does not belong to a
gym," nor "own gym equipment." An FNC spokesperson confirms that he doesn't go
to the company gym, either.
On his show Monday night O'Reilly called out the
misreporting of Rush & Malloy. Click continued to see the
I would think that Rush and Malloy - who, if you clicked on the video,
you heard O'Reilly refer to as "the most dishonest people working in the
American press today" - had better come up with some serious documentation for
their claim. And fast.
If they can't, then it would be fair to say that this is the quality of
"reporting" that we should expect from someone who does do what
they talked about in the gym.
And they're calling Fox "faux-news"? That's like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar calling
someone else a tall, Black ex-NBA star.
WISCONSIN POLL DATA: WRONG AGAIN, AS USUAL
Before you jump all over me for that title, yes I know Barack Obama was ahead
in the polls and that he won.
I don't judge political polling simply on whether it predicts who the winner
is. I look to see if the polls are accurate in the
percentages they give each candidate.
The three polls compiled by www.realclearpolitics.com ,
which I posted here yesterday, all showed Barack Obama winning per se.
But they said he would win in a close vote, by 4%-5%. And if that had happened,
you would have seen a far different, far more positive-sounding Hillary Clinton
at the end of the night.
But it didn't happen. Instead, Mr. Obama steamrollered Ms. Clinton by 58% to 41%; a
difference of 17%, which is way outside every poll's statistical margin of
error. And since the issue is accuracy, the fact that these polls were
wrong on the side of the winner is immaterial to me.
Here's why: If those same polls were wrong by as much in the
opposite direction, Ms. Clinton not
only would not have lost, but she'd have won with room to spare (by about
That would have happened
with exactly the same difference between reality and what the polls concluded. And
therefore, it was just as likely to have happened as the inaccuracy
that favored Mr. Obama.
Now for the big question: Will this level of inaccuracy - which I have
chronicled over and over again throughout the primary season, not just
today - have any effect on how completely media rely on political polls for
the rest of the campaign?
The answer, most assuredly, is no. Why give up such an easy way to
create "news"? Just because it's inaccurate? What are you, nuts?
The chance of media downplaying political polls is slightly less than
the chance that nancy pelosi will change parties, become a member of the
NRA and open a pro-life clinic.
FOR THE POLL LOVERS IN THE HOUSE....
Here, courtesy of Reuters, is a poll that media will just love to quote from
The bold print is mine:
Americans feel better about future: Reuters poll
MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Growing confidence
in the future and slightly warmer views of President
George W. Bush and Congress put Americans in a better mood this month,
according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.
The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of
the country, rose sharply to 99.3 in February from last month's 94.2, putting it
at the highest level since August.
Approval ratings for Bush climbed to 34
percent from 31 percent last month, and positive ratings for Congress inched up
from 14 percent to a still-low 17 percent.
Concerns about personal finances, job security,
safety and the direction of the country all eased at least slightly in the last
month, brightening the outlook for Americans who had slipped into a funk around
There were some dark clouds. For the first time, a
majority of Americans, 54 percent, expect a recession in the next year, up from
last month's 48 percent, as a housing downturn and credit crunch take their
Despite worries about a recession, the number of
Americans who think the country is on the wrong track shrank to a still-high 62
percent, down from 68 percent.
"People are adjusting their expectations. They see
a recession coming but they still feel better about their future," pollster John
The mood swing followed a month in which Bush and
Congress worked together to approve a package of measures designed to give a
short-term boost to the economy, while U.S. deaths from the war in Iraq
continued to fade from the headlines.
The intense interest in the U.S. presidential race
as voting began across the United States, with compelling races in both
political parties capturing public attention, turned the debate from the
present, Zogby said.
FOCUS ON FUTURE
"The focus now is on the future. There is going to
be a new president and a new Congress and people feel good about that," he
Eight of the 10 measures of public opinion
used in the Index rose, with one dropping slightly and one staying the
The number of Americans who feel very
secure in their jobs jumped 7 points in a month, to 50 percent from 43 percent,
and the number who gave positive marks to their personal financial situations
climbed to 56 percent from 52 percent.
Positive marks for the Bush
administration's foreign policy climbed 5 points to 28 percent from 23 percent,
but approval ratings for economic policy stayed exactly the same at a low 22
More Americans feel very safe from foreign
threats and more are fairly or very proud of the United States, but the number
of Americans confident their children will have a better life fell slightly to
The Index combines responses to 10 questions on
Americans' views about their leaders, the direction of the country and their
future. Index polling began in July, and that month's results provide the
benchmark score of 100.
A score above 100 indicates the public mood has
improved since July. A score below 100, like the one this month, shows the mood
has soured since July.
The RZI is released on the third Wednesday of each
The telephone poll of 1,105 likely voters, taken
Wednesday through Saturday, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage
Hmmmmm, I wonder how this is going to go over on the Today show. I'm counting
on a feature story tomorrow morning.
After all, President Bush's ratings are up. They are double
those of congress. For a President whose low approval ratings have been
relentlessly covered to rise this way must be pretty significant, right?
You would certainly expect stories galore on what a poor job Harry Reid
and Nancy Pelosi are doing and speculation about why the electorate considers
them so deficient, wouldn't you?
I mean, that's what they do when President Bush's numbers are down the tubes,
And we certainly know that media are fiercely neutral and treat the
Democratic congress no differently than the Republican President, don't we?
Excuse me for a second.....(snort, snort, snort).
TODAY'S NEW YORK TIMES IDIOTORIAL
Today's lead idiotorial in the New York Times is in two
sections. It equates Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan and fidel castro of
Cuba as dictators.
If you want to read the complete idiotorial (and have the stomach for it) you
here. I am going to comment only on the first part of
Twilight of the Dictators: A Chance for Pakistan and the
After years of American enabling and billions in
American aid, Pakistans Pervez Musharraf, was to put it delicately
trounced in Mondays parliamentary elections. The results are much better than
the United States could hope for, and more than President Bush deserved after
overinvesting in the former general and his anti-democratic
First of all, let's put the lie to Pervez Musharraf as a dicator. He
may be hardline, he may be personally corrupt and he may have overstepped
his legal powers, both politically and otherwise. But the reason his party
lost was that he allowed FREE, MULTI-PARTY ELECTIONS. That doesn't
happen in a dictatorship.
This would never have happened under fidel castro. Not once
has castro's Cuba allowed free, multi-party elections. There is only one
legal party and that is the communist party. Voters have a choice of a
communist or no one.
Therefore, to compare Cuba and Pakistan in this way is
to display either ignorance and/or malevolence and/or idiocy. Your
Now let's talk about what the US hopes for. We hope for a Pakistani
government that will be our ally in the war against terrorism and which will do
whatever it can to help us find, and get rid of, terrorists wherever they
are - very much including within Pakistan itself.
Before Musharraf became the head of state Pakistan was a
terrorist-supporting country, perfectly comfortable with the taliban in
And now? Pakistan is STILL terrorist loving and taliban
Under Musharraf, the country has done a considerable amount (far less than
I would have liked, but a considerable amount notwithstanding) to rein
in terrorism. Importantly, doing anything at all was a
massive improvement over what was happening before he became the head of
Is Musharraf an ideal ally? No, not even remotely close. But you
are not going to get anything remotely close. There are
no good guys in this neighborhood. And most will be far worse than
Musharraf. The reality of the world is that when there are no good
alternatives, you take what you can get.
In Pakistan (as in much of this region) any President is going to be faced
with a succession of Hobson's choices that stink to high heaven. It
is the same situation we have with the despicable Saudi government - the
one Bill Clinton had to deal with just as George Bush does today. You do
what you have to do.
The reason there have been repeated attempts on Musharraf's life throughout
his tenure is because of how much he cooperates with the USA, not
how little. A change of government is almost certain to lower rather than
raise the cooperation level.
Finally, what the hell does this have to do with what President Bush
"deserves"? Does the Times think this is some personal deal between Bush
and Musharraf? Are they so completely overtaken
by hatred that they think of the possible turmoil in
Pakistan primarily as "getting back" at George W. Bush? This is the
payoff? Have they gone completely out of their minds on W. 43rd
Okay. Now we move on to the other part of the idiotorial, which talks
about fidel castro and Cuba:
Twilight of the Dictators: And a
Chance for Cuba and the U.S.
It was age and illness, not the free voice
of the Cuban people, that finally led Fidel Castro to announce Tuesday that he
is stepping down as Cubas president after a mere 49 years of absolute
power. Mr. Castros immediate successor is likely to be his 76-year-old
younger brother Ral. Still, the post-Fidel era is clearly at hand, and the
Bush administration has done almost nothing to prepare for it.
Cuba is a closed, repressive society. But
the administration has gone out of its way to ensure that it has no chance of
influencing events there. In the name of tightening the failed embargo, it has
made it much harder for academics, artists and religious people to travel to
Cuba and spread the good word about democracy, and much harder for Cubans to
visit here. Rather than probing the ongoing political transition, the White
House has dismissed it in advance as insignificant.
A policy that made little sense in the cold
war makes still less in todays age of globalization when America does not
hesitate to trade with and invest in other repressive countries (China, for
example), recognizing that commerce is more likely than isolation to nurture
positive political change.
The embargo provided Mr. Castro with a
built-in excuse for his own failed economic policies and ruthless political
repression. It made it easier for him to wall ordinary Cubans off from
American friendships, political ideas and affluent lifestyles. It handed him a
propaganda tool to discredit courageous Cubans who openly campaigned for
greater democracy. Continuing this policy of isolation will only make it
easier for whoever succeeds Mr. Castro to continue the same repressive
Let's start by noting that the first attack here is not on fidel castro
for running his "closed and repressive" government over 49 years and allowing no
freedoms to his people. It is on.....President Bush, for (in the Times'
view) not preparing for castro's exit. That should already tell you where
this is heading.
Moving along: Nice of the Times to call Cuba "closed and
repressive". How about communist.
That's what it is, isn't it? A communist dictatorship. But this is
the New York Times, and we all know that to call a communist dictatorship a
communist dictatorship is to be a wild-eyed right wing nutcake. So that
isn't going to happen. Not among the idiotorial board over in Timesland.
Then let's wonder what "exit" the Times is talking about. Raul Castro,
fidel's brother who was hand-picked by him, is going to be the new Prime
Minister. And fidel will remain as first secretary of the communist party
(Cuba's only legal party), which arguably is the single most important
position in the country anyway. So the Times' entire premise is
based on absolutely nothing.
Next, what does the Times feel would be adequate preparation for fidel
castro's resignation as Prime Minister? The answer is easing or
eliminating the embargo -- an embargo that was started under John F.
Kennedy and which every succeeding President, Democrat and Republican alike, has
Eleven Presidents have done the same thing. But only one is
singled out for the Times' opprobrium. George W. Bush..
Personally, I can argue both sides of lifting the embargo. There are
legitimate reasons to do so and not to do so. But what is unarguable is
the sick bile that permeates The New York Times -- bile that apparently
makes it impossible for its editorial board to think rationally.
That is why I call today's BS-fest an idiotorial. If you
disagree, I'd love to know why.