Wednesday, 04 December 2013


Ken Berwitz

Martin Bashir has resigned from MSNBC, effective immediately.

Here is his statement:

"After making an on-air apology, I asked for permission to take some additional time out around the Thanksgiving holiday. 

"Upon further reflection, and after meeting with the president of MSNBC, I have tendered my resignation. It is my sincere hope that all of my colleagues, at this special network, will be allowed to focus on the issues that matter without the distraction of myself or my ill-judged comments. 

"I deeply regret what was said, will endeavor to work hard at making constructive contributions in the future and will always have a deep appreciation for our viewers -- who are the smartest, most compassionate and discerning of all television audiences."

So much for the "pre-planned vacation" lie.....

Bashir's resignation comes almost three weeks after he called Sarah Palin several insulting names (no problem at all for anyone at MSNBC - or, for that matter, almost anyone at any other media venue) and then suggested that, in keeping with a punishment formerly meted out to disobedient slaves, she was an "outstanding candidate" to have someone defecate in her mouth and urinate on her face.

If you believe that this was Bashir's decision and not MSNBC's, it means that MSNBC - specifically its President, phil griffin - found his comments perfectly acceptable....since griffin did not fire, or suspend or in any way publicly admonish Bashir for those words.

Put another way, it means MSNBC has sunk even lower than it already was...which I would have thought a near-impossibility.

What a proud moment for parent company NBC.......

free` What a proud moment for parent company NBC......----Yep you might even say "Proud as a Peacock" (12/05/13)


Ken Berwitz

I visited my parents in Queens today.  And I zipped right across the Staten Island Expressway, over the Verrazano Bridge, through Brooklyn then into Queens on the Belt, and up north on the Van Wyck before hitting any traffic (and even then, only because there was road work where the Van Wyck and Grand Central meet). 

Since this never ever happens, I assume today is also the day that pigs are flying.  So please be advised....

free` Ken, When I saw the blog title I thought for sure it was going to be this report. ---- BASHIR RESIGNS FROM MSNBC... ----- I saw it on Drudge - (12/04/13)

Zeke .... .... Yah, free` - - - Shitty-Martin is gone. They canned his ass. . . . . (12/04/13)


Ken Berwitz

So how is Barack Obama doing among so-called "millennials" (i.e. 18 to 29 year olds) these days?

According to a poll conducted last month, as people were becomming more and more acclimated to ObamaCare, the answer is not very well.  In fact, terribly.

Excerpted from Cameron Joseph's article at

Young voters are turning against President Obama and his signature healthcare law, according to a new poll from Harvard University's Institute of Politics.

Obama's approval rating has plunged to 41 percent with voters aged 18-29, down from 52 percent the last time Harvard polled the group. While 56 percent in the poll say they backed Obama last year, just 46 percent say they would do so again.

ObamaCare is also unpopular with the crucial voting bloc: 57 percent disapprove of the law, while 38 percent approve.

"You can see that there are very few aspects of the healthcare initiative that they approve of. They believe that quality will decrease and prices will increase," says Harvard Institute of Politics Polling Director John Della Volpe.

Remember, folks, this study was not conducted by some right wing think tank which has it in for Barack Obama,  it was conducted at Harvard University - Liberal Central, not to mention Mr. Obama's alma mater (which, along with the other schools he went to, we've never seen any transcripts or grades from; but that is another matter for a different blog).

So his approval rating has plummeted...and ObamaCare gets lousy ratings too.  Think there might be a cause-effect at work here?  Think this might affect how these folks, who usually are among the most signficant sources of Democrat votes, will see the 2014 midterm elections?

Well, DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz doesn't.  As recently as this week, she continues to assure us that Democrats will be running on ObamaCare rather than from it.

I wonder if Ms. Wasserman Schultz is interested in a nominal side wager....


Ken Berwitz

Have you ever heard of Mark Godburn?  I know I haven't. 

The New York Times, which printed his letter to the editor in today's edition, describes him as an "antiquarian bookseller" from North Canaan, CT.  (I assume "antiquarian" refers to the books Mr. Godburn sells rather than his age - for his sake I hope I'm right).

The reason I mention this letter is that it comes about as close as any I have ever seen in the Times to explaining the way our so-called "mainstream media" operate - more specifically, how they make, rather than report, the news.

Here is Mr. Godburn's letter in its entirety:

To the Editor:

An autobiography gives an intimate account of a life, but to get the larger picture, you also need the biography.

The same goes for news. Relying on one source, or even on several sources with the same bias, will leave you with only part of the story.

Thats why the much maligned right-wing media is just as important as the so-called mainstream press. Fox News and others on the right certainly have a deeply embedded conservative bias, but the liberal bias on the other side is just as pervasive. Taken together, they roughly fill each others omissions.

Fox, for example, spent a good part of the past year digging into the Benghazi attack and I.R.S. tax-exempt status stories and talking hopefully about smoking guns, while the mainstream press was determined to take the Obama administration's word for it that it did nothing wrong in either case.

More recently, when the president's pronouncement about keeping your health insurance proved false, it was reported as a lie by the right and as a simple misstatement by the left.

And when the Obamacare website failed so miserably that not even the mainstream press could cover for it, the networks were obliged to sound like Fox for a while, although noticeably lacking was the appetite for pursuit that characterizes their coverage of Republicans.

Fairness in journalism requires not that every story or point of view receive equal weight but that every valid position receive equal respect. Thus the pro-life position should be treated with the same validity as pro-choice; small-government conservatives with the same respect as tax-and-spend liberals; Republicans as more compassionate than they sound and Democrats as less omniscient than they think.

But since journalists and news organizations are partisan at heart, one must sift through the best reporting and punditry from each side of the journalistic divide and take all the biases and agendas into account to arrive at an informed understanding of any story.

Mr, Godburn could not bring himself to say it in so many words, but he clearly equates mainstream media with the left.  In that regard he is 100% correct.

Godburn also talks about Fox as the criterion media venue of the right - and he is correct about that as well, though, despite the sneering of many Fox detractors, it is far easier to find leftward - often hardline leftward - guests on Fox than it is to find even nominally rightward guests on, say MSNBC or even CNN (which is currently trying to pull free from its ratings "jaws of death" by changing the prime time programming what, I'm not entirely sure).

The fact that network news gets into this at all is a disgrace to network news.  Cable, most of us understand, is where you get the strong opinions.  Network news is where, at least supposedly, you get the straight news.  But - as Godburn makes clear (and I have blogged about countless times over the years) - network news leans heavily liberal/Democrat/left. 

My favorite part of Mr. Godburn's letter is where he points out that ObamaCare was such a disaster that even mainstream media had to indicate as much..."although noticeably lacking was the appetite for pursuit that characterizes their coverage of Republicans". 

This really does hit the nail on the head, because  there is a quantum difference between reporting something for a day or two, then out, versus reporting something day after day with teasers like "troubling new information has emerged...",  "to make matters worse...." - complete with individual commentaries, panel discussions, etc -- which builds the public's awareness, and colors their viewpoints.

Look at ObamaCare as an excellent example:  yes, mainstream media - though belatedly and grudgingly - covered how grotestquely terrible the rollout of its web site was.  But as soon as the administration told us that, as of the beginning of December, a lot more people were able to get on the site, media's reportage turned largely positive. 

The fact that there still are major glitches in the system, significant parts of the the back-end structure are not even built yet (like a payment mechanism for example), and IT guys, one after the other, are warning us that the site is not secure, thus a feast for hackers and identity thieves?  That's the second-tier stuff.  For mainstream media, positive news about the Obama administration, however tenuous and suspect, wins just about every time.

The Times has invited readers to respond to Mr. Godburn's letter by Thursday, with some of their responses to be published in Sunday's edition.  It will be very interesting to see what they decide to publish...which I, of course, will be blogging about on Monday.

Zeke ...... .......... "Glitch" ? . . . . I've been in IT since the days of punch cards - - This is the FIRST time I've ever heard that term applied to a system roll out. . . . . Missing critical components (payment, security, stability, complete transaction processing) - - - correcting or adding those parts could undermine the allegedly functioning pieces. . . . . Already, the insurance companies report they are getting "gibberish" from the ObamaCare front end. . . . . It truly is a train wreck. . . . (12/04/13)

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