Listen now | Train wreck
When are these fools going to wake up to the role they have played in creating the monster that is our anti-democracy Republican Party? Dean Baquet and the Post’s neocon editorial page editor Fred Hiatt both need to go. NOW!. In recent weeks Hiatt has been promoting Republican talking points on the danger of too much spending and yesterday’s editorial was “ Biden offered Putin the benefit of the doubt. He should know better.” Typical Hiatt, always wanting more aggression against our adversaries. He was also a big cheerleader for the Iraq War.
I am glad to see the pushback on this but I really wish that we had more coverage of the mainstream media’s role in weakening in our democracy with their bothesiderism and their willingness to hype right wing fake scandals and smears such as Hillary’s emails, the “corruption” of the Clinton Foundation, Al Gore claiming to have invented the internet, Kerry’s huge making a huge faux pas by windsurfing, and pretty much any scandal from the Clinton adminstration.
Outlets like Media Matters should go back to focusing on the games the mainstream media plays instead of always obsessing about Fox News and other right wing outlets. As Steve Bannon has openly said, it is the mainstream media that does the damage to Democrats. Bannon used his wing outlets to keep the base energized but Bannon always worked to get the mainstream media to buy some of his smears like the false accusations against the Clinton Foundation and the Biden Ukraine lies. (Both pseudo-scandals were started by books written by Bannon’s henchman Peter Schweitzer. )
Back in the day Media Matters and Salon were my go-to source for coverage of the media’s misrepresentation and lies about Clinton, Gore and Kerry. Salon also used to be a great source for that coverage but does much less of it today. That was where I first read Eric’s columns. That was back when Joan Walsh was the editor.
Yesterday, I saw the danger in real time of what the NYT is doing. I had lunch with a friend of mine I had not seen since before the pandemic. He's on the right (but not completely looney) and obviously I'm on the left. While most of our conversation centered around family, friends, baseball, and music, we slightly touched on politics. While he bashed Fox News, he also excoriated MSNBC. His point being politics as usual, it's all confirmation bias, all politicians suck. So the "both sides do it" stories like the Times and others publish only help to hide the fact that Republicans have completely turned their back on democracy while the Democrats, holding power by a thread are attempting to save it. What the Times is doing is aiding and abetting an enemy that largely sides with Vladimir Putin over President Biden. Their motivation is strictly money and ultimately it is greed that will sink our democracy for good.
You nailed it once again, Eric. I remember screaming when I saw this Times piece. And as many analysts are now pointing out, what the Right Wing is doing is no longer just “voter suppression” it’s voter NULLIFICATION. In fact, I’m planning on changing the name of my Facebook Group on voting rights issues to reflect just that.
If you want to get another example of how out of touch with reality things are at The NY Times, read Frank Bruni's farewell piece titled "Ted Cruz, I'm Sorry". (He qualifies it by then saying it's really readers who are owed an apology.)
And what does Mr. Bruni regret?
"I worried, and continue to worry, about the degree to which I and other journalists — opinion writers, especially — have contributed to the dynamics we decry: the toxic tenor of American discourse, the furious pitch of American politics, the volume and vitriol of it all."
"Take the overlapping issues of cancel culture and free speech. Much of what I read is absolutist: Agonized laments about cancel culture are a cynically overblown right-wing diversion from grave injustice. Or woke zealots are conducting a quasi-religious purge.
I think either can be true — depending on the circumstances and the details, which vary from case to case and prevent any summary judgment. So I haven’t written about cancel culture, not much. Yes, that’s cowardice. But to cut myself a bit of slack, it’s also a reasoned response to a marketplace that isn’t big on reason."
This calls to mind the semi-hypothetical headline "Opinions differ over shape of the earth. Round? Flat? Here's what both sides have to say."
Mr. Bruni goes on to lament how it becomes a reflex to repeat the same schtick over and over.
"What we have, too often, are ideological lanes in which we’re accustomed to driving and a set of political guardrails that grows narrower over the course of our careers. We notice that we’re received best for certain perspectives; maybe television bookers put us on camera expecting particular bromides and broadsides; possibly we get paid for speaking engagements that are premised, at least tacitly, on our delivery of the same fare we’ve served before. So we keep serving it, until we’ve stopped reinvestigating and confirming the merit of it. It’s a profitable brand. But it’s also a trap."
A trap you say Mr. Bruni?
Ask Mann and Ornstein what happened to their bookings after they published "It's Even Worse Than It Looks", which warned that the Republican Party had become an extremist organization - in 2012. They quickly became unpersons, expelled from the stable of talking heads who appear on the Sunday shows. (They updated the book in 2016 to "It's Even Worse Than It Was".)
The thing about Bruni's farewell piece that is truly ironic is that after apologizing for the way he used his editorial space at The NY Times, he's going into academia - to teach about journalism. And so the next generation of mainstream media wannabe's will be carefully miseducated with Hamlet-like indecision and the inability to distinguish up from down.
"Who can really be sure that trashing the filibuster is the gateway to governmental bliss? Who can be sure it isn’t? I wish someone would write a great analysis of the filibuster that focused on two undeniable truths: We have no idea what the ultimate impact of such a consequential change would be, and there are powerful arguments for and against it. On this issue and others, Option A versus Option B amounts to a coin flip. How many pundits say that?"
Well, one thing you could do Mr. Bruni is look past the words to the actions of those making the opposing arguments if you really want to know what they hope to accomplish and what the consequences might be. There's also no mystery about one thing. The consequences of keeping the filibuster intact are on full display every day.
To quote Yeats, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." I would not place Mr. Bruni among the best, but his lack of conviction is on full display.
Read the whole thing: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/17/opinion/frank-bruni-final-times-column.html
"The Absurd Whitewashing of trump's Record Reaches Dangerous Level". This morning's CNN top story. The Times and the Post should take note. There is no doubt that the repubs, aided and abetted by Fox entertainment company and the rest of the right wing mouths are lying and spinning, while the Dems are doing their best to govern. There are no longer two political parties in the USA; there is one, and a former one that has become something unrecognizable by any reasonable measure as a part of any political process for the public good. The media owes the public the truth, every day, all day.
Sometimes arrogance clouds seeing who you really are. That's the NYT in a nutshell. Would love to hear Baquet try to defend this embarrassing coverage.
I have just gone into my PayPal account and cancelled automatic payments for my digital NYT subscription. I will not provide even nominal support for a news organization complicit in the erosion of American democracy. I am done with them.
Would the Times lose half its circulation if it sided with the truth?
Shorter NYT: "If only the Democrats Had Asked Republicans How Their Day Went The Republicans Wouldn't Have Had To Throw The Dinner Plate At Them."
Bob Somerby noted a long time ago that it wasn't Fox News that hurt Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, but the NY Times and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the MSM. Howell Raines hated the Clintons almost as much as Maureen Dowd does. It was Jeff Gerth at the NYT who failed (refused?) to hear the White Water prosecutor tell the jury that Bill and Hillary were victims of Jim McDougal, and then with Raines' blessing, continued to flog that "scandal." Dean Baquet hasn't been any better than Raines.
Pretty much all of the NYTimes headlines could be augmented with the subhead, “Opinions Differ."
That's why I quit my subscription to the NYT shortly after Trump was elected.
You have forgotten the LATEST Brewing "Scandal"... to whit, "the MSM absolute NEED for negativity and the story now repeated as front page headlines(NYT and WaPo) about the Catholic Church and whether to refuse to give Biden, a visible and constant Mass attender, communion......my thought was first; oh right Matt Viser (WaPo) is writing this and second, the Catholic Church is losing more and more parishioners...no need to ask why." Let's see how long this can be front page news.
Off topic but need to share this. 67 vs 70%, horror of horrors. Another non story story to promote.