Tuesday, 21 October 2008
THE SUBPRIME LOAN MESS: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
I know I've blogged about this before. But a chatroom pal who uses the name
"free" put me on to the following article, and I think he is right in his
belief that it's worth posting. So here it is:
the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?
By Orson Scott Card
Editor's note: Orson Scott
Card is a Democrat and a newspaper columnist, and in this opinion piece he takes
on both while lamenting the current state of journalism.
An open letter to the local daily paper almost
every local daily paper in America:
I remember reading All the President's Men
and thinking: That's journalism. You do what it takes to get the
truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.
This housing crisis didn't come out of
nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.
It was a direct result of the political decision,
back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would
be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were
authorized to approve risky loans.
What is a risky loan? It's a loan that the
recipient is likely not to be able to repay.
The goal of this rule change was to help the poor
which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it
help these people to give them a loan that they can't repay? They get into
a house, yes, but when they can't make the payments, they lose the house along
with their credit rating.
They end up worse off than before.
This was completely foreseeable and in fact many
people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in
the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other
party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.
Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were
making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing
them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were
allowed to do so baffles me. It's as if the Pentagon were allowed to
contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing
Isn't there a story here? Doesn't journalism
require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us
to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700
billion bailout? Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which
politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage
I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to
the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be
treating it as a vast scandal. "Housing-gate," no doubt. Or
Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and
Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any
problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency
to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these
agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to
the minute they failed.
As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com
essay entitled "Do Facts Matter?" ( http://snipurl.com/457townhall_com]
): "Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the
Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of
These are facts. This financial crisis was
completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it
was ... the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was ...
the Republican Party.
Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush
administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the
press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized
Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!
What? It's not the liar, but the victims
of the lie who are to blame?
Now let's follow the money ... right to the
presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions
from Fannie Mae.
And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae
who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his
incompetence, one presidential candidate's campaign actually consulted him for
advice on housing.
If that presidential candidate had been John
McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories
in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.
But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and
so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines
an "adviser" to the Obama campaign because that campaign had sought
his advice you actually let Obama's people get away with accusing McCain of
lying, merely because Raines wasn't listed as an official adviser to
the Obama campaign.
You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking
from a Republican.
If you who produce our local daily paper actually
had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of
all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically
selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.
If you who produce our local daily paper had any
personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe
that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.
There are precedents. Even though President
Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to
9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension so
you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way,
you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said
that there was a connection.)
If you had any principles, then surely right now,
when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a
crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack
Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as
hard to correct that false impression.
Your job, as journalists, is to tell the
truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy
or subscribe to your paper.
But right now, you are consenting to or actively
promoting a big fat lie that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on
Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to
blame everything bad even bad weather on Bush, and they are responding as
you have taught them to.
If you had any personal honor, each reporter and
editor would be insisting on telling the truth even if it hurts the election
chances of your favorite candidate.
Because that's what honorable people do.
Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable
consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust
Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a
very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time
and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.
Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of
Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried
daughter while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery
for many months.
So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at
all? Do you even know what honesty means?
Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so
important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to
You might want to remember the way the National
Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill
Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless
women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing;
they have no principles.
That's where you are right now.
It's not too late. You know that if the
situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you
would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.
If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow
hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who
had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with
its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending
Then you will print them, even though every one of
those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic
Party, which put our nation's prosperity at risk so they could feel good about
helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama's door.
You will also tell the truth about John McCain:
that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis.
You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more
than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.
This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning
during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the
crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.
If you at our local daily newspaper continue to
let Americans believe and vote as if President Bush and the Republicans
caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.
If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats
including Barack Obama and do so with the same energy you would use if the
miscreants were Republicans then you are not journalists by any standard.
You're just the public relations machine of
the Democratic Party, and it's time you were all fired and real
journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a news paper
in our city. .
The reputations of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are entirely a concoction
of mainstream media. Because if mainstream media covered them the way they would cover
any two Republicans who performed this way, neither would have a reputation
And this isn't the first time media have protected these two.
Chris Dodd's involvement in the enron scandal and Barney Frank's behavior with
his live-in boyfriend's male prostitution activity would have torpedoed
them if there were an R instead of a D after their names. You can bet the
house on it.
Come to think of it, with these two a lot of people DID bet the house on
it. And lost.
MORE ON JOE BIDEN'S STUPID COMMENT
Here is today's New York Post editorial on Joe Biden's comment about how
Barack Obama will be tested shortly after becoming President. It doesn't
need any help from me, so I'll just put it out for you to read with no further
October 21, 2008 --
Joe Biden wonders whether Barack
Obama is qualified to be
"Mark my words," Biden warned Sunday at a
Democratic fund-raiser. "It will not be six months [after the inauguration]
before the world tests Barack
Obama like they did John Kennedy."
Then he added, "Watch. We're going to have an
international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
Now, here's where it gets scary.
Obama's "gonna need your help to use your
influence within the community to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be
apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."
He's going to need help?
What's particularly disturbing is Biden's Kennedy
For those who don't recall, it was a scant five
months after JFK became president that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev took his
Kennedy had just bungled the 1961 Bay of Pigs
invasion in Cuba, then went off to a summit in Vienna - where Khruschev
determined that the rookie chief executive could be had.
Two months later, construction began on the Berlin
Wall, precipitating a crisis that nearly led to a US-Soviet shooting war in
And 14 months after that came the Cuban
Missile Crisis - when nuclear Armageddon was only barely averted.
Is Biden saying that America's current enemies -
sorely aware of Obama's inexperience - plan to test a President Obama with
similar crises, to see what he's made of?
Sure seems like it.
But what if Obama is still on the wrong side of
the learning curve when this major international crisis hits?
More important: What if he makes the wrong
decision - as even Joe Biden suggests he might?
After all, Obama was wrong about the troop surge
And he was wrong in his initial response to
Russia's invasion of Georgia - when he urged the victimized nation to
And he was wrong when he said he would gladly sit
down unconditionally with people like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - the
very people his own running-mate now says are planning to "test" him.
As John McCain said yesterday, "We don't want a
president who invites testing from the world . . . The next president won't have
Little wonder, then, that Biden later admitted
that he "probably shouldn't have said all this."
But why not, Joe?
It's doubtless all true.
And it's much better to get it all out
now - rather than wait until it's too late to do anything about it.
BOB HERBERT'S VIEW OF REPUBLICANS, AND ACORN
Bob Herbert was a pretty good sportswriter*** for the Daily News.
Now he is a godawful social/political columnist for the New York Times.
Here is Mr. Herbert's latest offering. Let's see
how many things we can find wrong with
it. (In the interests of making it as easy to follow as possible, I will go paragraph by paragraph rather than in order
of importance. Mr. Herbert is in red, I'm in blue):
The Real Scandal
It never ends. The Republican Party never gets
tired of spraying its poison across the American political landscape.
-Mr. Herbert stereotypes the entire Republican party
as poisonous. I assume he would be offended if someone stereotyped every
Democrat, or for that matter every Black or every Jew or every...well, you get
So there was a Republican congresswoman from
Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, telling Chris Matthews on MSNBC that the press
should start investigating members of the House and Senate to determine which
ones are pro-America or anti-America.
-Chris Matthews introduced the term "anti-American", not
Ms. Bachmann. And what she actually said was that media should scrutinize
ALL members of the house and senate, not just Democrats.
Can a rancid Congressional committee be far
behind? Leave it to a right-wing Republican to long for those sunny, bygone days
of political witch-hunting.
-Ms. Bachmann is a right wing Republican.
Congratulations to Mr. Herbert for this instance of accuracy. It is truly
an oasis in his column.
Ms. Bachmanns demented desire (I would love to
see an expos like that) is of a piece with the G.O.P.s unrelenting effort to
demonize its opponents, to characterize them as beyond the pale, different from
ordinary patriotic Americans and not just different, but dangerous, and even
-How can such scrutiny demonize only Republican
opponents, when Ms. Bachmann said everyone (i.e. both parties) should be
scrutinized? Is Mr. Herbert saying that anti-Americanism is exclusive to
But the party is not content to stop there. Even
better than demonizing opponents is the more powerful and direct act of taking
the vote away from their opponents supporters. The Republican Party has made
strenuous efforts in recent years to prevent Democrats from voting, and to
prevent their votes from being properly counted once theyve been
-What efforts have Republicans made to prevent LEGAL
voters from voting? No explanation from Mr. Herbert.
Which brings me to the phony Acorn
-With investigations now ongoing in 13 different states,
including states run by Democrats as well as Republicans, there is nothing phony
about the ACORN scandal.
John McCain, who placed his principles in a blind
trust once the presidential race heated up, warned the country during the
presidential debate last week that Acorn, which has been registering people to
vote by the hundreds of thousands, was on the verge of maybe perpetrating one
of the greatest frauds in voter history.
It turns out that a tiny percentage of these new
registrations are bogus, with some of them carrying ludicrous names like Mickey
Mouse. Republicans have tried to turn this into a mighty oak of a scandal, with
Mr. McCain thundering at the debate that it may be destroying the fabric of
findings of these investigations, Mr. Herbert has no idea
how much fraud is being perpetrated by ACORN.
Please. The Times put the matter in perspective
when it said in an editorial that Acorn needs to be more careful with some
aspects of its voter-registration process. It needs to do a better job selecting
canvassers, among other things.
But, the editorial added, for all of the McCain
campaigns manufactured fury about vote theft (and similar claims from the
Republican Party over the years) there is virtually no evidence anywhere in
the country, going back many elections of people showing up at the polls and
voting when they are not entitled to.
-Nice of The Times to suggest that ACORN should be more careful
in the future. Has it occurred to The Times or Mr. Herbert that voter
fraud may be a result of the organization's careful
Two important points need to be made here. First,
the reckless attempt by Senator McCain, Sarah Palin and others to fan this into
a major scandal has made Acorn the target of vandals and a wave of hate calls
and e-mail. Acorn staff members have been threatened and sickening, murderous
comments have been made about supporters of Barack Obama. (Senator Obama had
nothing to do with Acorns voter-registration drives.)
-Republicans have every right to bring up interstate
voting fraud. They are not responsible for some people becoming angry
enough to do stupid things because of it.
And with Mr. Obama making sure that over $800,000 was
sent into ACORN'S coffers, he had plenty to do with their voter-registration
Second, when it comes to voting, the real threat
to democracy is the nonstop campaign by the G.O.P. and its supporters to
disenfranchise American citizens who have every right to cast a ballot. We saw
this in 2000. We saw it in 2004. And were seeing it again now.
-Again Mr. Herbert rails against Republicans for
disenfranchising legal voters with no evidence of any kind, or even a
link to evidence of any kind.
In Montana, the Republican Party challenged the
registrations of thousands of legitimate voters based on change-of-address
information available from the Post Office. These specious challenges were made
surprise, surprise in Democratic districts. Answering the challenges would
have been a wholly unnecessary hardship for the voters, many of whom were
students or members of the armed forces.
-Of course Republicans challenged votes in
Democratic districts rather than Republican districts. It is a partisan
entity. Do Democrats ever challenge votes in Democratic rather than
Republican districts? Of course not. Plus, if we're still talking
ACORN, since the organization only attempts to register voters in
vastly Democratic districts, that is inherently where such challenges would take
In the face of widespread public criticism (even
the Republican lieutenant governor weighed in), the party backed off.
That sort of thing is widespread. In one
politically crucial state after another in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, you name
it the G.O.P. has unleashed foot soldiers whose insidious mission is to make
the voting process as difficult as possible or, better yet, impossible for
citizens who are believed to favor Democrats.
-This is the third time that Mr. Herbert
rails against Republican efforts to make voting harder or impossible for
Democrats......without one iota of evidence to back it up.
For Senator McCain to flip reality on its head and
point to an overwhelmingly legitimate voter-registration effort as a threat to
the fabric of democracy is a breathtaking exercise in absurdity.
Miles Rapoport, a former Connecticut secretary of
state who is now president of Demos, a public policy group, remarked on the
irony of elected Republican officials deliberately attempting to thwart voting.
Some years ago, he said, he and all the other secretaries of state would
bemoan the lack of interest in voting, especially among the young and the
Now, he said, with the explosion of voter
registration and the heightened interest in the presidential campaign, youd
think officials would welcome that, and encourage it, and even celebrate it.
Instead, he said, in so many cases, G.O.P. officials are trying to pare down
the lists. .
-The final two
paragraphs invoke the name Miles Rapoport. It would have been nice
if Mr. Herbert mentioned he is a Democrat and his organization, Demos, is a
social activist group. But Mr. Herbert declined to do
Other than that, Mr. Herbert was right on target.
*** I remember Mr. Herbert as a sportswriter. But I
find that, in googling his name, there are almost no references to his years
writing sports. Either I have an extremely faulty memory or his biography
has been scrubbed of the sports part.
OBAMA'S TAX PLAN
Here's a good, realistic, fact-filled explanation of the Obama tax plan and
what it really does, from William McGurn, writing for www.wsj.com.
I bet that if you read it you'll know a lot more about this issue than
mainstream media have been hand-feeding you:
Obama Talks Nonsense on Tax Cuts
Revenues will inevitably be
diverted from Social Security.
By WILLIAM MCGURN
Now we know: 95% of Americans will get a "tax cut"
under Barack Obama after all. Those on the receiving end of a check will include
the estimated 44% of Americans who will owe no federal income taxes under his
Just two little questions: If people are going to
get a tax refund based on what they pay into Social Security, then we're not
really talking about income tax relief, are we? And if what we're really talking
about is payroll tax relief, doesn't that mean billions of dollars in
lost revenue for a Social Security trust fund that is already badly
Austan Goolsbee, the University of Chicago
economic professor who serves as one of Sen. Obama's top advisers, discussed
these issues during a recent appearance on Fox News. There he stated that the
answer to the first question is that these Americans are getting an income tax
rebate. And the answer to the second is that the money would not actually come
out of Social Security.
"You can't just cut the payroll tax because that's
what funds Social Security," Mr. Goolsbee told Fox's Shepard Smith. "So if you
tried to do that, you would undermine the Social Security Trust
Now, if you have been following this so far, you
have learned that people who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund.
You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll
taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check
won't actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social
You have to admire the audacity. With one touch of
the Obama magic, what otherwise would be described as taking money from Peter to
pay Paul is now transformed into Paul's tax relief. Where a tax cut for payroll
taxes paid will not in fact come from payroll taxes. And where all these plans
come together under the rhetorical umbrella of "Making Work Pay."
Not everyone is persuaded. Andrew Biggs is a
scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Social Security
Administration official who has written a great deal about Mr. Obama's plans on
his blog (AndrewBiggs.blogspot.com). He notes
that to understand the unintended consequences, it helps to remember that while
people at the bottom pay a higher percentage of their income in payroll taxes,
they are accruing benefits in excess of what they pay in.
"It's interesting that Mr. Obama calls his plan
'Making Work Pay,'" says Mr. Biggs, "because the incentives are just the
opposite. By expanding benefits for people whose benefits exceed their taxes,
you're increasing their disincentive for work. And you're doing the same at the
top of the income scale, where you are raising their taxes so you can distribute
the revenue to others."
Even more interesting is what Mr. Obama's "tax
cuts" do to Social Security financing. As Mr. Biggs notes, had Mr. Obama
proposed to pay for payroll tax relief out of, well, payroll taxes, his plan
would never have a chance in Congress. Most members would look at a plan that
defunded a trust fund that seniors are counting on for their retirement as
And that leads us to the heart of this problem. If
the government is going to give tax cuts to 44% of American based on their
Social Security taxes -- without actually refunding to them the money they are
paying into Social Security -- Mr. Obama will have to get the funds elsewhere.
And this is where "general revenues" turns out to be a more agreeable way of
saying "Other People's Money."
When asked about his priorities during the second
presidential debate, Mr. Obama said that reform of programs like Social Security
would have to go on the back burner for two years or so. "We're not going to
solve Social Security and Medicare unless we understand the rest of our tax
policies," he said.
The senator is right. But you have to read the
fine print of his tax cuts to know why..
There's a healthy dose of reality for you. Enough of a dose so that you
can now judge Mr. Obama by what he is actually proposing rather than what he is
telling you he is proposing.
Don't expect to see much of it from the pro-Obama media,
KERRY JOINS KEITH
I congratulate john kerry. It isn't every day a man descends so
low that he is in keith olbermann territory.
Months ago, olbermann made a disgustingly offensive comment about John
McCain, suggesting that he wears Depends (an adult diaper used for
Well here, courtesy of www.politickerma.com, is what john
kerry said yesterday:
Kerrys answer to the boxers or
briefs question: He goes commando and McCain would say Depends
By Jeremy P. Jacobs
CAMBRIDGE - U.S. Sen. John Kerry, the 2004
Democratic presidential nominee, had some choice words for the political press
corps and, in particular, cable news Monday.
Kerry, addressing a business summit on energy
issues, kicked off his remarks with some light-hearted banter.
"These are the exciting last two week moments of
the presidential campaign," the Boston Democrat said. "So it's a very special
time. I can't wait for it to be over. I am so tired of the press' silly
questions that they ask along the way. And cable television which reduces
everything to stupidity - the lowest common denominator of conflict."
Kerry tried to relay to the audience what it is
like to face the press corps' inquiries.
"I don't know if any of you know what it's like. I
do, obviously," he said. "I've been asked all of those brilliant questions that
were repeated this year."
"Barack got asked the famous boxers or briefs
question," Kerry went on. "I was tempted to say commando."
The senator said Obama successfully parried that
question but that John McCain, the GOP nominee, had some problems.
"Then they asked McCain and McCain said,
Depends,'" Kerry said to lots of laughter from the
Apparently, that is a laugh riot to john kerry and his Massachusetts
pals. But I wonder how funny it is to people at or near John McCain's
age, some of whom do need Depends? I wonder how hard they're
And since kerry thinks its so funny to stereotype older people, I
wonder how he'd react if a Republican senator returned the favor for the candidate
kerry supports, and suggested that Barack Obama's favorite meal is necks,
collards and watermelon. Do you think he'd be laughing then?
Offensive stereotypes are not funny. They are not funny about Black
people and they are not funny about older people. john kerry may have
wowed 'em at this business summit, but to most people - I would hope - all
he did was resolidify his status as a terminal jerk.
MARK FOLEY: OBAMA GUY (BUT READ THE UPDATE)
Remember Mark Foley?
He was the Republican house member from Florida's 16th District until
he resigned in disgrace two years ago, after Democrats made sure we all
knew about his penchant for e-mailing and text-messaging young male pages.
Well, guess what: He is now supporting Barack Obama for
President. Here, I'll show you via this article from Variety Magazine's
blog site, www.wilshireandwashington.com:
There have been so many scandals since October,
2006, the month that I launched this blog, that I just about forgot who Mark
I got an excited phone call yesterday from two
friends, TV producer Richard Ayoub and talent manager Dolores Cantu, who were
having lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Sitting the next table over was Foley,
who resigned just before the midterms after the revelation that he sent
inappropriate e-mail messages to a congressional page.
Ayounb and Cantu didn't know immediately recognize
him until he told them he had once been in Congress. The jist of the
conversation then went like this, according to both:
Cantu: "You didn't have an affair, did you?"
Foley: "Well, I was..."
Realizing who was in their midst, Ayoub, who has a
penchant for devilish humor, offered a deadpanned admonishment, "You should not
flirt with congressional pages." Foley went on to say that nothing happened, he
didn't realize that the page was only 18, and that he perhaps was a bit tipsy
when he sent the e-mails.
What they both said was how great Foley looked,
and he was particularly excited about Colin Powell's endorsement that morning of
Obama. Foley said he also favors Obama.
And Foley also expressed some pleasure in watching
the latest developments from his old Florida district: His successor, Democrat
Tim Mahoney, is now in trouble for a series of extramarital
Tell me, do you expect that Demcorats are going to attack and condemn Mr.
Foley now, as they did in 2006? I didn't think so.
By the way, I love that reference at the end to Tim Mahoney, whose wife stood
silently next to him when he did the now-standard "wife-at-your-side apology"
routine.....and then filed for divorce less than a week later. The one
poll I am aware of, taken after his admission, was done by a Republican firm, so
it is dubious even by normal polling standards. However, it shows Mahoney
behind by 26% - which would not surprise me at all.
Hey, I wonder if Tom Rooney, the guy who probably will replace Mahoney, is
e-mailing and/or boffing anyone too. I admit that I have no reason
to accuse him other than the fact that the last two guys' escapades, but until
they at least check what's in the 16th district's water supply I feel I
have to remain suspicious.....
UPDATE: Mr. Foley has denied voting for Obama. Here is his
"An online article posted today on Variety's
website innaccurately reported that I was supporting Barack Obama. The story
on Variety's website, based on a second or third-hand account of my private
conversation, is incorrect. I have already voted by absentee ballot in
Florida. Although I didn't vote for Senator Obama, I intend to keep my choice
Make of it what you will.
BIDEN'S BIG, STUPID MOUTH: CHAPTER # 43,756 (est.)
We're talking big stupid mouth here. So, not surprisingly at all, we're
talking Joe Biden, who has one of the biggest, stupidest mouths in congress (and
that, folks, is no small accomplishment).
Here is the latest chapter of Mr. Biden's unending series of stupid
comments. On the internet (as opposed to mainstream media) there
are countless sites which feature it. I've selected Mark Finkelstein's
post from www.newsbusters.org because
it quotes, of all people, Dan Rather. Rather talks about how little
coverage the story is being given compared to what would have happened if Sarah
Palin said it:
Guess Who Sees MSM
Double-Standard on Biden's Latest Gaffe?
Guess who said the following this morning about
Joe Biden's latest gaffehis statement
that America would be faced with a major international crisis within the first
six months of an Obama administration as foreign forces seek to test the young
new president: "certainly if Sarah Palin had said this, it would be above the
fold in most newspapers today."
1. Brent Bozell
2. Rush Limbaugh
adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer
4. Dan Rather
If you guessed 1, 2 or 3, you'd be a rational
NewsBusters reader . . . but wrong. Yes, the answer is 4, Dan
Rather. In true man-bites-MSM mode, Rather made the remark on today's
View video here.
The show led with a discussion of
Biden's vainglorious gaffe.
WILLIE GEIST: Let's listen to Joe Biden in his
own words, and then we can discuss it.
Cut to audio clip of Biden in Seattle, Washington
JOE BIDEN: The whole world is waiting, folks.
The whole world is waiting. I know almost every one of those major
leaders by their first name, not because I'm important, because they were
young parliamentarians when I was coming up and we've been hanging around a
long time. I'll tell you what, mark my words, within the next, first
six months of this administration if we win, you're gonna face a major
international challenge, because they are going to want to test him just like
they did young John Kennedy. They're going to want to test him, and they
are going to find out this guy has got steel in his
After Joe Scarborough reported that the Obama
campaign is furious with Biden, Mika Brzezinski noted that there was only spotty
coverage of Biden's remarks in the morning's papers.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Well you know it's
interesting, because I'm going through the papers. I figure there's got to be,
just as you analyzed, Joe, political ramifications to that comment, gaffe,
however you want to make ittwo in a row, thoughbut I'm seeing spotty
media coverage. I feel like half the media covered this. I'm
just going through the papers and seeing if it plays highly, and I'm not
finding it in the [Washington] Post so far.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Well, let us just say it's
surprising, and I would just throw it back to you-all and tell you what the
McCain campaign is saying this morning, and what a lot of Republicans, they're
asking really a question: what if Sarah Palin had said electing John McCain
would create an international crisis because of his age. Would that be above
the fold on the front page of the New York Times, the Washington Post?
Would that be a lead story? We've got somebody who's an expert in the media
who I think, Mika, knows a lot better than we do, Dan Rather. Dan, talk
about the double standard. Are there times that you would cover this
story differently if Sarah Palin said it rather than Joe Biden? Not you, but
DAN RATHER: Well I think the point is well
taken, Joe, that certainly if Sarah Palin had said this it would be above
the fold in most newspapers today.
Rather expanded on his comment, and while he was
putting it in the mouths of "what happens on the internet," he clearly seemed to
be adopting it as his own opinion.
RATHER: But let me point out that what
happens on the internet may be as important or more important than what's
happening in the newspapers. And I'll be surprised, and you know,
Joe, I'm frequently surprised, but I'll be surprised if this doesn't have a
run on the internet, with among the points two that you raised. Number
one, if Sarah Palin had said this, the newspapers would have jumped all
over it and so would have the major television outlets. And number two,
they can't be happy inside the Obama campaign about this, and let me emphasize
I've not spoken with them this morning.
SCARBOROUGH [who clearly had been in touch with
the Obama campaign]: They are not.
You live long enough, you see everything.
Let me write words I never imagined I would: I'll let Dan Rather's statement
speak for me.
Note: I just heard from the McCain
campaign that Biden is off the campaign trail, with no scheduled events
today. Now why would that be?
Aside: If only Dan would have spiced
up his commentary with some of his classic down-home shtick, perhaps something
along the lines: "gosh knows if I were still at the Evening News desk, I'd
of buried this story deeper than a large-mouthed bass on a Ju-ly
When Dan Rather is complaining that media are suppressing a story to
benefit the Democratic ticket, you know it's bad. That's like ahmedinejad
complaining that the Arab world is too hard on Israel.
But there it is. And, finally at last, Rather is correct.
You have a 6 term senator who is running for the Vice Presidency (a job
with responsibilities that he has no idea of, as we found out in the
debate) either predicting international events out of thin air - or, worse
still, using our intelligence information to make his predictions. But look at how much of
our wonderful "neutral" mainstream media yawn, pretend it never happened, and go
back to ferreting out new angles to attack Sarah Palin for (legally) firing her
public safety commissioner.
These charlatans are destroying their own journalistic credibility - what
little of it is left - and don't seem to care. If they can elect
Saint Barack and acolyte Joe? Everything will be just
Oh, one other thing: Biden's comments are not in
today's New York Times. So the elevated, erudite elites who think
reading the Times gives them the news......don't have a clue this even
I hope they enjoy the Arts section, though.