Listen now | But Her Emails, part II
Why can't your columns be on the front page of all these newspapers! Why can't reporters write the truth! They don't need to lie to write exciting news. Biden's progress is exhilarating in many avenues. He just doesn't lie about it in front of reporters every day! Why isn't that the top news!!
If only the media was this zealous when after 9/11 instead of helping Bush 43 beat the drums of war, they pointed out the foolhardiness of using conventional warfare to attack an ideology. There were many experts warning of the quagmire that would ensue. But time after time we saw the mainstream media backing the Right in an ill attempt to show that they are fair and balanced instead of doing their job of pointing out right vs. wrong. To Eric's point, the press again did it to Hilary and now doing their best to bring down Biden. This morning on Morning Joe, Scarborough had to backpedal a bit, realizing that the evacuation in Afghanistan is moving along well without one American casualty. Funny how the Biden administration has gone in seven months. The press pounds on a potential crises of his presidency only to turn the other cheek days later when the issue is resolved. That's what happens when adults have been put in charge instead of a psychopath whom the DC press never seemed to find too much fault with.
Pass on Peter Baker. Full stop.
By taking advantage of sun, sand, family, friends and bad WiFi, I managed to avoid NYT, WaPo, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NPR, etc. for 30 days. Feels great.
So when all these outlets were competing for attention (like toddlers on the beach) I checked it with The Nation, DailyKOs, and TRMS. And occasionally Jen Psaki on Twitter.
I am informed, and I didn’t watch any of the coverage of parents attacking school boards.
Press Run is required reading of course and the comments are incredibly insightful. Thanks Eric.
Times' headline about Biden "miscue by miscue" with 5 contributing reporters was a spate of preconditioning never employed against Trump's far worse failings.
Great, great piece.
A few points I can't stop making:
The mainstream press is becoming actually toxic, irresponsibly spewing disinformation. Can't get the efficacy of the vaccines right just for a super recent example. 40+ years of doing PR for the GOP; spoiler: everything fucked up about this country is liberally (pun) covered with Republicans' fingerprints.
Speaking of 40+, while the occupation of Afghanistan lasted ~20 years, our warring against Afghanistan, our slo-mo destructive acts, began over forty years ago, climaxing with installing and maintaining puppets (via what can be called voter fraud) that not only failed the nation's people but instead alienated them. Punchline: Between us and our good ally Pakistan, we got the Taliban back in power.
There's a shit ton of lessons to be learned from Afghanistan starting with the error of ignoring the lessons of Vietnam -- all of which will be ignored. But our military is first and foremost focused on enriching Pentagon special interests and on that score, Afghanistan was pretty successful.
And to circle back: The media's inept coverage over 40+ years served no one well other than what you can call the usual suspects. But they failed us. And contrary to their own self-promotion and a few success stories, they're actually failing substantively. Way more people get what they think is their news off of Facebook and other social media platforms. Evening news shows get ~15m viewers; cable, over the course of the day, I'd estimate at ~20m. This out of a population of 330m+ people. And, of course, print is dying.
The moral is to learn and choose your news sources carefully. Being informed is possible but that's not the mainstream's job.
Just wish the dinner table-full of people I sat with last night would read articles like this.
It's clear that people are actually empowered by false narratives.
The 5, 000 Covid-19 deaths & 500 gun deaths can't hold a candle to an outrage narrative with 0 shots fired.
Thank you for your work.
Maureen Dowd chimed in the other day, piling on. This comment was the top reader ranked response:
Madame, this will NOT stand. Every single sentient President since the creator of this tragedy KNEW this would be the outcome. That’s exactly why the ending was delayed, postponed, prayed away, ignored, and delayed some more. It was an inevitable as the eventual sunrise.
Biden is the ONLY leader with the courage to end this debacle, this fiasco, this national scarlet letter, and to know he would suffer ALL the blame.
Point your manicured finger at him with abandon. Join the chorus of scorn and glee. But, where, exactly, have YOU been for these last twenty years ? How often have you demanded a end to this travesty? Where was your outrage in the past?
Thank You, President Biden.
Tom Scocca on Twitter said:
"The TV news bosses giving hawks a place to screech from now are the same people who gave the war less than an hour of camera time a year.
"Find me a news director going wall to wall on Our Abandonment of Our Afghan Friends this week who devoted 30 seconds of airtime to the destruction of the visa system the Afghans need while it was happening over the past few years.”
Our Failed Political Press ™ is doing a CYA move, and it is more obvious by the day. And as for efficacy moving the needle, ask the average American about our failures in Cuba, Iran, Vietnam, South America, and they will tell you that they are glad we’re outta there.
I got rather annoyed over the weekend when Ryan Crocker, former Ambassador to Afghanistan (and Iraq) had a long opinion peace in The NY Times attacking Biden, whitewashing his own record, and making the suggestion that we should be prepared to keep a presence there indefinitely - "an affordable status quo that could have lasted indefinitely at a minimum cost in blood and treasure…."
I wrote up a long commentary on this at Daily Kos about the press narrative now in place: "It's Official: Everything now going wrong in Afghanistan is Joe Biden's fault - no one else."
Another one for you.
Former British PM Blair was quoted in criticism. But Tony Blair was PM, what, 20 years ago? Relevant today because?
And a question.
Do you have any information why Axios has gone off the deep end on Afghanistan?
You think a reporter would actually expose how Steven Miller and his pal John McEntee sabotaged the visa system for Afghans who assisted US troops.
Nope. Too busy pushing the GOP lies about Joe!
"While Biden has taken a hit over Afghanistan, his perceived handling of the COVID-19 pandemic – long one of his strongest marks – appears largely behind the dip. The poll found 53% of Americans approve of Biden's handling of the pandemic, a 16-point drop from April. It comes as the COVID-19 delta variant has spread rapidly, weeks after it appeared the pandemic was getting under control."
47% of Americans shouldn't be allowed to vote. It's they who voted for Trump. It's they whose minds (I use the term loosely), flip back and forth according to their Facebook friends' minds.
What kind of mind could fault Biden on Covid? He has done everything right. It's the right-wing puppets who think the vaccine is a government plot to control their minds (there's that word again!), who have caused the Delta surge.
This is what Winston Churchill said about democracy: ""The best argument against democracy, is a five- minute conversation with a voter."
Don’t forget Peter Baker earned his chops at NYT covering Whitewater.
Perhaps Engle is mad because he is losing a steady assignment, and the networks and CNN, without sufficient background for their viewers, trotted out ex-military who make their money off the Bush/Cheney endless war on terror to express their horror. None of them gives a flying fig about Afghanistan's women and girls...that's just a convenient cudgel, as is the laughable notion that withdrawing from a mistake negatively affects America's standing in the world. And most of this attack coverage is for the benefit of an audience the mainstream media doesn't have - rightwing cranks.
Every time I think my loathing and contempt for the Pundirattis (political "opinion" pixel pukers, not real journalists) can go no lower they never fail to demonstrate new depths of virulent nastiness, which to me was the underpinning of their collective tantrum. They were like rabid jackals foaming at the mouth, snarling and tearing Biden apart with their teeth. I hadn't witnessed such hatred towards a President in my 60+ years of following politics. What topped it off was the transcript that ABC published of an interview George StuffItUpHisA** had with Biden last week. The transcript not only included the um's and uh's, it actually printed his stuttering. I am still seething about that.
My hope is that discerning readers/viewers now fully realize how corrupt, decadent, and morally and ethically bankrupt these hacks are. To quote Shakespeare, they are "no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours."
Thank you for great columns, but this one in particular. The media have covered this like savage beasts trying to kill the truth. I’ve been appalled. It’s a relief to have them taken to task in so succinct and erudite a fashion.