“Bay-bee, I’m sorry you made me hurt you.”
Mika, get OUT while you can!
“Bay-bee, I’m sorry you made me hurt you.”
Mika, get OUT while you can!
Famous GOP etymologist Frank Luntz tells us that the GOP has serious ideas, but doesn’t know how to communicate them well. Here’s the tell:
“Republicans on Capitol Hill have great thinkers and communicators with serious ideas and specific answers, from Reps. Paul Ryan and Dave Camp to Sens. Marco Rubio and Pat Toomey. The party should unleash them — now. But they need a new language to communicate their ideas effectively; it starts with abandoning ugly phrases such as “a hostage you might take a chance at shooting” to describe budget negotiations. And Republicans need to stop expressing a willingness to shut down the government if they don’t get their way on the debt ceiling. Americans don’t want a government shutdown — for any reason.”
Note that he is not saying don’t do it. Also, too: killer material, Frank. You are ready for open mic night.
“Another way for congressional Republicans to gain an advantage is to reframe the questions being asked, because whoever controls the question determines the answer. Since his first election, Obama has been asking America, “Should the rich pay more?” Thanks to public disdain for lobbyists and tax loopholes available only to the wealthy, election exit polls put support for this notion at 60 percent. But change the question to “Should Washington take more?,” and the answer is a resounding no.”
Or, if you don’t like the answer, change the question to one you do like. And here’s more suggestions from Luntz:
“The unforced GOP language errors are many. Here’s a start:
- Instead of smaller government, they should talk about more efficient and effective government. The former is ideological language of the 1980s; the latter is practical language of today.
- Instead of tax reform, talk about making the IRS code simpler, flatter and fairer. Speak to what people really hate about the code: its complexity.
- In addition to cutting spending, they must talk about controlling — not capping — it. What angers Americans more than how much politicians spend today is how much more they know Washington will waste tomorrow. A “cap” can be lifted, but “controls” are constant.
- Instead of entitlement reform or controlling the growth of Medicare and Social Security, talk about how to save and strengthen these programs so they are there when voters need them. After all, they paid for them.
- Better than discussing economic opportunity and growth, Republicans should talk about creating a healthier and more secure economy. Everyone benefits when economic health is restored. And while economic opportunity would be nice, security is a necessity.”
The problem with these talking points is that the policy behind them is exactly what no one wants. When the GOP talks about holding the government hostage and being prepared to kill it, that is exactly what they mean. It is ugly, Frank. They mean it to be ugly.
Keep polishing that turd, Frank. Sooner or later it will look really pretty.
Check out the infographic for the so-called platinum coin option.
(Petunia and Pals)
This is your free and unfettered press, hard at work, America. Cherish these moments.
…fill a nurse with stuffed animals and fluffy blankets?
At less than a day old, little Bodhi Nang is already a media star. His proud parents got to tell the story of how he was born in 33 hectic minutes. And they received not just one, but two ribbon-decked gift baskets from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the nurses, filled with stuffed animals and fluffy blankets.
The best part? That’s the Lede graf. Even better: it’s been updated throughout the day, but no one edited that.
…good thing she already had the whiskey to make Irish coffee:
Why is this person on my electronic teevee machine?
Honestly, Nooners, both sides are not at fault here. And remember this entire situation was engineered by the GOP. And if you want to get technical, so was the debt that they are now fainting about.
If only Dancin’ David Gregory did this more often… but it leaves one with the impression that mowing down little children of white, affluent Manhattan-office workers is the bridge too far for Gregory. The families, in other words, were his people. Still, I’ll take what I can get. It’s a rare day I actually say something… nice about Gregory. Note this on your calendars.
Now compare and contrast Dancin’ Dave’s interview with Ross Douthat’s lede graf:
“Bloomberg, LaPierre and the Void FOR a week after the Newtown shooting, the conversation was dominated by the self-righteous certainties of the American center-left…”
Actually, Ross, it was shock and mourning. Remember? Now is not the time to talk about gun control legislation? Anyway, the rest of the column was another love note to Both Sides Do It, on one side gun nuts and on the other gun-restriction nuts. It’s a remarkable piece of tin-eared dissembling, and false equivalencies.
So once again I leave you with the reminder that this is our constitutionally-protected free and unfettered press, fellow citizens. Cherish it.
Newsweek’s own Libertarian, Megan McArdle, brilliant strategist that she is, has the WWI tactical solution for when you find yourself in a gun battle:
“I’d also like us to encourage people to gang rush shooters, rather than following their instincts to hide; if we drilled it into young people that the correct thing to do is for everyone to instantly run at the guy with the gun, these sorts of mass shootings would be less deadly, because even a guy with a very powerful weapon can be brought down by 8-12 unarmed bodies piling on him at once. Would it work? Would people do it? I have no idea; all I can say is that both these things would be more effective than banning rifles with pistol grips.”
Ever see the movie Galipoli, Megan?
Jeebus, some people.
One of my favorite writers–now at the HuffPo–Dan Froomkin has a post up that really speaks to the heart of the matter: How the Mainstream Press Bungled the Single Biggest Story of the 2012 Campaign. We’ve long been saying it, as have other bloggers whom I greatly admire, that both sides Don’t do it, and in essence that’s Froomkin’s thesis.
We’ve spitballed Cokie Roberts a lot over the years, as she is almost always the first person to leap to False Equivalencyville on any of the Sunday Talkies. No matter what the subject of the GOP’s latest transgression, Roberts will immediately and reflexively jump in with, “…but the Democrats…” and name something unrelated. I think for a while we even called it the Cokie Roberts Rule when the blog first started, but it had become such a reflex in the punditry now that it is no longer funny.
Driftglass tells a joke where Dick Cheney is filmed on the front Lawn at the White House gutting live kitties and throwing the poor twitching things on a barbecue, and Cokie Roberts immediately says, “But the Democrats…”
Back to Froomkin. The issue, says Froomkin, is that the media is too timid and too afraid of being viewed as biased, and so that they go out of their way to always have a counterpoint, no matter how much of a false equivalency it might be. The problem is that as the GOP lurched off the charts into absolutely delusional, fact-free, poo-in-their-hair, shrieking, that the media could not report it as such. So they treated the squawking of lunatics as a legitimate point of view.
Even the latest craziness that the UN is going to force home-schooled kids to have wheel chair access to their houses drove the wingnuts to vote down the ratification of a non-binding treaty that asks all other nations in the world to live up to the much esteemed Americans With Disabilities Act. Read the Media’s coverage of it. It’s amazing.
While many others say that there is too much money in politics–which is true–and that we will never have a real democracy (and we never will: we have a democratic republic) until we can purge money from the system, I continue to say that the biggest obstacle we face is the Media. And let me be more specific, it is really about media ownership. The Progressive, some years back, had a wonderful chart that showed who-owned-which media companies (similar to this chart from Corporate Media Exposed). There were about six companies that owned it all (globally) back then. Globally. It has since then grown to be a smaller list.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that if you rock the boat, you will never work in the Village again. The timidity of journalists is not necessarily enforced by the head office, but they don’t have to enforce it. It is generally understood where the boss stands, and so you don’t have to even be told to hold back on something. Case in point: during the Thee Mile Island meltdown, NBC (at various times owned by GE and Westinghouse, both of whom made nuclear power plants) never had it as their top story, and quickly dropped it.
The point here is: if you can never get your message out, you don’t stand a chance of winning. Until the media monopoly is broken up, and journalists find themselves unshackled, nothing will change.
One of my other favorite journalists, Bill Moyers, has said of journalism, that the facts lead you to a conclusion. There is no bias in factual reporting. Our free and unfettered press should try it sometime.
The NYTimes is trying to cut costs, and so of course they are hitting the newsroom. You know, the people who create the content (“Product”) that their customers actually pay to read:
“Aiming to cut costs in an increasingly troubled advertising environment, The New York Times announced on Monday morning that it would offer buyout packages to newsroom employees. While the primary goal of the buyout program is to trim managers and other nonunion employees from its books, the company is offering employees represented by the Newspaper Guild the chance to volunteer for buyout packages as well.”
I can only respond with three little words: Brooks, Friedman, Douthat.
John Heilemann “accidentally” calls Senatorette Miss Lindsey Graham a woman on Morning Joe. Hilarity ensues.
(Hat tip: Scissorhead and unindicted co-conspirator Axel Grease)
There are big changes at the AP! They’ve decided that Homophobia and Ethnic-Cleansing are words to not use:
“Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don’t feel that’s quite accurate,” said AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn… “Homophobia especially — it’s just off the mark. It’s ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don’t have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case.”
Got that? So the noun (phobia) and the suffix (-phobia) are interchangeable in their minds.
Here’s a quick lesson to help them sharpen their skills:
The anti-gay boss fires the gay guy, the homophobe kills him.
We hope that clears up any ambiguity, Mr. AP.
Anyway, the new AP Style Book comes out in 2013.
Petunia and Pals weekend B-Team covers the Kenyan Usurper’s visit to Thailand and only reports on the attractiveness of the Prime Minister.
I generally try to stay away from Jen, I find her brand of pit bull attacks to be lazy, cheap, and sleazy, but today she starts trying to rehab herself following the spectacular implosion of The Willard Mechanism, for whom she carried water lo these many months:
Until October [Willard's campaign] was the Perils of Pauline campaign. It moved in fits and starts on foreign policy. The message was rarely consistent from day to day. Gobs of ads were aired to no apparent effect. The convention speech was a huge missed opportunity. Romney made a lunge now and then in the direction of immigration reform and an alternative health-care plan without giving those topics the attention they deserved. The communications team was the worst of any presidential campaign I have ever seen — slow and plodding, never able to capitalize on openings. It was hostile, indifferent and unhelpful to media, conservative and mainstream alike.
Matters did improve once Ed Gillespie moved forward to take charge of the message. A message at least became discernible. The ads certainly were simpler, more direct and more attuned to making a case for Romney’s agenda. But if not for a stunning series of performances in the debates and unexpected eloquence on the stump in the last month, Romney almost surely would have done worse than he did. A presidential race needs more than a good month to be successful.
Now, of course, all of this flies in the face of what she has previously written, and Media Matters breaks it down for us:
Rubin now: “The convention speech was a huge missed opportunity.”
Rubin then: “Mitt Romney accepted the nomination of his party for president with a speech that showed he can rise to an occasion, and let us see a side of him that was compelling and heartbreaking.” [Right Turn, 8/30]
Rubin now: “Romney made a lunge now and then in the direction of immigration reform and an alternative health-care plan without giving those topics the attention they deserved.”
Rubin then: “The media are doing their best to disguise the unpleasant fact that Mitt Romney has been more forthcoming on immigration than the president has in more than three years in office.” [Right Turn, 6/24] “This isn’t that hard: Romney will repeal Obamacare. He has always favored protection for people with preexisting conditions who move from one employer-provided plan to another or from an individual-purchased to an employer-provided plan.” [Right Turn, 9/10]
Rubin now: “The communications team was the worst of any presidential campaign I have ever seen — slow and plodding, never able to capitalize on openings.”
Rubin then: “The Romney team, to a greater degree than most campaigns, has been criticized and lampooned. Too timid. Too unfocused. Too slow. Too inept. But this week demonstrated that the campaign officials are more skilled than they have been depicted, and their errors and stumbles have in large part been obliterated in the lingering glow of the convention. There is some personal vindication for them as well.” [Right Turn, 8/31]
Rubin now: “But if not for a stunning series of performances in the debates and unexpected eloquence on the stump in the last month, Romney almost surely would have done worse than he did. A presidential race needs more than a good month to be successful.”
Rubin then: “We’ve made the case that not only the first presidential debate but the debates as a whole recast the race and vaulted Mitt Romney into a position to win the race. Pollster Charlie Cook is the latest election guru to agree.” [Right Turn, 10/31]
OK, so we know that she is a lying sack of elephant poo, nothing to see here, move along… but the point of the matter is that she draws a paycheck, she gets a certain amount of credibility by being a WaPo columnist/blogger. There should be a moment of accountability for all of the so-called Public Intellectuals.
In my career, anyone who was that spectacularly, demonstrably wrong–documented every day, in fact–would be walked to the door. If His Willardness was a product launch and the Marketing Team (Rubin in this metaphor) had gotten it so completely wrong that the product imploded on launch, she would be in the unemployment line before lunch.
But here’s the thing: Rubin will be feted and rewarded. Her gig and the WaPo will continue and come 2016 her performance will continue to be a series of easily discernable and embarrassing lies and contempt completely unhinged and spewed, fire-hose style across the pages (real and digital) of one of the major newspapers of this country.
There is a Village, and we are not part of it, Scissorheads.
I think we all know by now that Willard goes out of his way to not answer questions. So here is Willard not answering a Baba Wawa-style softball question:
Reader’s Digest: Every leader, executive, every person wakes up some days and just has a bad day. Just can’t be happy or get pumped up. Do you have a trick or a strategy that you use to get your energy up? Do you have a theme song?
Romney: If I have a bad hair day, I just think, Well, it will be an OK hair day tomorrow. Just put your head down and go. Life is a bit like being on a roller coaster, which is, You get on and there’s no stopping along the way. There are some days when you feel like this is pretty tough, and there are the days that are exhilarating, but you just keep on going.
Because when you are His Willardness and sitting on a pile of ill-gotten gains greater than a king’s, the only kind of bad day you can have is a bad hair day.
What an assrocket.
(Reader’s Digest via the tip line)
In this, our semi-regular weekly feature, we look up hidden stories, fun facts, unusual associations of the guests on the Sunday Talkies that might give viewers pause if they knew these things about the so-called experts. You can use this information to help you judge if you are being lied to. (The answer is almost always yes.)
The pontificating poltroons and pundits who make me crazy continue to return to the teevee machines week after week dissembling for our entertainment, even though they are categorically wrong about everything. Still, the Villagers gotta eat, so on to build careers as pundits the go!
This week sees the return of our favorite Belle of the Balled, Senatorette Miss Lindsay Graham, however her sisters Traitor Joe and Grandpa Walnuts are taking a break.
This week also shows us the return to the airwaves for yet another round of rehab, staff-banging serial-adulterer Newticles, who fundamentally is a bomb-thrower, basically. How he gets invited back on the teevee machine week after week is beyond my comprehension, but I think it has to do with the new set of knee pads his wife Callista has had surgically implanted.
As always, the editorial comments and snark is in italics. I gave up my will to live around the eponymous Melissa Harris-Perry show and stopped annotating.
This is our free and unfettered press, fellow citizens. Cherish these moments.
I’ll give Shep Smith credit for apologizing for showing a live suicide on television, following a thrilling car chase. What I won’t give Shep or any other News reader in our media a pass, is why did they devote live camera resources to a car chase to begin with? Who made that decision?
I understand ratings, and I get the classic “If it bleeds, it leads” mentality. But there comes a point where the vicarious thrill of watching a crime in progress is just another pointless peepshow, voyeurism at best except this time it was snuff film. Was this really that important of a story? Really?
So Shep, what story did you not cover so you could fill time with this? Was it worth it? Was it worth it to apologize to the alleged millions of viewers? You are better than this. Your Journalism School must be so proud of you.
The satirical news site, The Onion wrote a great piece saying that the majority of rural whites in America would “rather go to a baseball game with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Barack Obama.” — OK funny stuff, and probably not that far from the truth.
But what elevates it to grand farce is that the Iranian News Agency, Fars, fell for it, republished it to bolster Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s farewell tour back home.
I think that the last time The Onion duped a politician, it was a Rep. John Fleming (R- Jeebusland) who believed that Planned Parenthood was developing a facility called an Abortionplex–”includes more than 2,000 rooms dedicated to the procedure, as well as “coffee shops, bars, dozens of restaurants and retail outlets, a three-story nightclub, and a 10-screen multiplex theater — features intended not only to help clients relax, but to foster a sense of community and make abortion more of a social event.”
The Death of the Media continues as this week’s collection of liars, prevaricators, apologists, and, well assweasles is stellar. Besides the return of Grandpa Walnuts and Senatorette Miss Lindsey Graham, we also have our favorite bar fly and Mai Tai enthusiast Peggy Noonan, and someone decided that now is a fine time to release David Gergen from from the crypt where he lavishly ball-licks the rotting memory of David Broder, and as a bonus feature, Ann Coulter will walk on the set using her hind legs. It’s an astonishing line-up.
As always our insertion of minutia we learn about guests on these shows is treated as editorial content and is in italics, so you can see the difference. Oh, I lost the will to live (and my laptop battery needs charging desperately) after Melissa Harris-Perry, and so I quit there.
I’m not a betting man, but just for sheer audacity, I would make destination teevee of Bloomberg’s Capitalism Gains. One of their guests is the One-Degree of Separation with all of Satan’s favorite demons.
The lazy media, is of course focusing on the foot-in-mouth syndrome, but so far has not responded to the the meat of the matter and disputed Willard’s comments. I just watched an NBC segment that went through the chronology of the tape and how it got released, but no one is disputing his bold-faced lie that half the country pays no taxes.
This is a place where the blogs excel. Think Progress (as almost always) goes on a deep dive and gives us charts and information that shows us what a naked lie Willard told.
If you want to see it broken-down, I suggest you go there. The long and short of it is that there are a lot of people who do not pay income taxes because their incomes are too low but they do have withholdings from paychecks even on low minimum wage earners.
Of course there are seniors living on Social Security; there are Military Personnel. But the big lie here is that people do not pay taxes: There are all sorts of other taxes: sales taxes, state and local taxes, library taxes. Everyone pays a tax in some form, including the GOP’s favorite punching bag, “illegal” immigrants.
So… in your travels today, if a Wingnuttian engages you on the 47% here is your information. Use it, but use it in a narrative sense. Ask if they paid sales tax on the coffee that they are enjoying. It might make them think.
I think that this is another dog whistle that the 1% blow for everyone that they consider beneath them.
…The Kenyan Usurper Hawaiian Devil Baby has abandoned our imaginary allies in Czechoslovakia (which has not existed since 1992.
See Walesa, Lech):
Because there is no lie too small nor apparently too big for Liz Cheney (THE MOST IMPORTANT DEPUTY ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NEAR EASTERN AFFAIRS In Our Nation’s History, Maybe Ever) to tell.
Nepotism Exhibit A Liz Cheney is being treated as an expert and doesn’t know that there is no Czechoslovakia, so she goes on at great length about the Obama Apology Tour (which every single fact checker has given pants on fire ratings to), and appeasing our enemies like Iran (really, she said that), and of course the cold warrior boogeyman Russia.
Why is she being given a public soapbox which she so clearly does not deserve and is absolutely unprepared for?
This week marks the return of Grandpa Walnuts (phew! we were beginning to worry that he might not show up) and the unusual occurrence of one guest being on all of the major shows: Susan Rice, our Ambassador to the United Nations.
Sadly, our favorite barfly Peggington Noonington was on a 4-day bender and could not be woken-up in time to film. Perhaps she will return next week?
Fair Warning: I lost my will to live around the Chris Matthews Show and stopped annotating then. Also/Too the unfortunately named Up! With Chris Hayes returns to the list as they once again listed their guests on their web site; Melissa Harris-Perry did not, so that program is not listed today. Sorry, Mel: you snooze you lose! (Bet she’s heart-broken…)
As always we look up the guests in Wikipedia to see what details the people who book the shows leave out when writing up the bios. We include this info and other editorial content in Italics to keep it clear that this is Bonus Material. Objects in Mirror May Be Closer Than You Think.
Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of “Moneyball” and “The Big Short,” was granted extraordinary access to President Obama for his latest article in Vanity Fair.
But with that access came one major condition.
Like other journalists who write about Washington and presidential politics, Mr. Lewis said that he had to submit to the widespread but rarely disclosed practice of quote approval.
During a discussion at Lincoln Center on Monday night with Graydon Carter, the editor of Vanity Fair, Mr. Lewis volunteered to the audience that as a condition of cooperating with his story, the White House insisted on signing off on the quotes that would appear.
Look it, the much vaunted “access” that drives so much of Villager punditry isn’t worth very much if the access gives you meaningless quotes and pre-digested information. I don’t blame Michael Lewis for this–he’s not alone–but he could have told them to go to Hell, and he probably should have.
I find it very alarming that anyone,let alone mainstream journalists would allow themselves to be tethered to giving final approval of quotes back to their subjects. That is not journalism, that is stenography.
The Sunday Talkies on Saturday began as a simple exercise to see what is in the background of the guests that the booking agents don’t tell us about: the conflicts, the sad and strange backgrounds, and sometimes the out-right criminality of the guests make for much more interesting viewing–when you know the whole story. It is a multi-hour labor of love to produce.
As always, the added material (all from Wiki-pedia) is in italics so you will not be confused.
This week marks the second week in a row that our noted birthday gal Peggy Noonan is allowed back onto the teevee machine after her notorious drunken blackout. We hope she remembers to bring her First Aid Kit with her as it leads to a much more interesting interview. Also note: in her WSJ blog she was very impressed with the DNC Convention, but her official WSJ column she panned it. I doubt of course that anyone will challenge Nooner to make a decision.
This week, there is a complete absence of the three horses’ asses of the Apocalypse: No Grandpa Walnuts, no Traitor Joe, and no Senatorette Miss Lindsey Graham. We’re sure it is an oversight and they will return soon.
I couldn’t find listings for the remarkably good and unfortunately named Up! with Chris Hayes or eponymous Melissa Harris-Perry. But given the usual quality of both these MSNBC programs, if I were a betting man (like Bob Bennett), I would watch those shows.
This is your free- and unfettered-press, fellow citizens. Treasure these moments.
Teh Stuuupid, it buuuuuuuurns:
“The first lady not hitting a home run, but probably a Grand Slam.”
Notable GOP talking point aggregator and belcher of conventional Villager wisdom Chuck Todd gives us an object lesson in how Swiftboating works: take a strength of your opponent and declare it as a weakness. But this is just painful.
The GOP is as multicultural as the Antique White paint chips swatch at Sherwin Williams.