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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!!

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Dems getting no credit for being honest—none

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What I say ad nausea: Primary job is GOP PR, building up the GOP, so obviously Dem bashing is required.

Our loss.

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Dems will never learn to fight fire with fire. As has been said before, historically they bring a knife to a gun fight. They have got to get tougher, put Bitch McConnell in his shell then come out blazing and set thing right. Stick up for those who stand up for them (dems).

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founding

The CBS poll conducted last week shows that despite all the media outrage the public still supports the withdrawal with 63% approving and only 37% disapproving makes me think that maybe the American people are giving Biden credit for telling the truth.

One thing that is really driving me up the wall is the constant media narrative implying that all those Afghan people who helped us were just doing us a favor. Somehow I think they just might have been helping because they wanted to have a civilized country. We were trying to help them achieve that.

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That's not true. Both parties have to do better. Biden would still be in Afghanistan if not for Trump leak. Stop the democracy push.

We built the schools, hospitals and protected a bunch of heathens who'd rather rape women.

Could have just had real war. That would have been over in less than a yr. The kid gloves stuff was waste of blood and treasury.

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Nah, that would make too much sense.

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No surprise there.

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founding

At least the WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin is writing the same kind of criticism daily. Ditto for the Plum Line’s Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman. In today’s column Waldman criticizes the media for seeking opinions from the people who got us to this point:

“…we’re now hearing from the same people who two decades ago told us how great these wars would be, then spent years telling us victory was right around the corner, and are now explaining how somebody else is to blame for Afghanistan.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/08/20/why-debate-afghanistan-is-so-distorted/

I don’t remember seeing that level of criticism in the mainstream media of their peers’ reporting.

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Wow, that's productive.

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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.

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Nope. They were too busy lying about Al Gore in 2000.

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Joe, was another one who was reporting incorrect "news". He just couldn't make this withdrawal look like it was working.

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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.

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Times' headline about Biden "miscue by miscue" with 5 contributing reporters was a spate of preconditioning never employed against Trump's far worse failings.

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100%

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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.

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Well then what are they good for other than recipes and the latest reality clown act? I’m old enough to remember the night Walter Cronkite ended the Vietnam War on his newscast. News that made a difference.

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I grew up w/Cronkite too. 4 news stations. Oh for the good old days of hard reporting. I’m finding it’s the journalists who have been around the block a time or two, eg Charlie Pierce, EJ Dionne, Jennifer Rubin who bring humility, CONTEXT, depth and clarity to their pieces vs the youngns who don’t, tho Plum Line guys in Wapo are terrific too. (Btw, recipe writers in the Times seem to go out of their way to drop ingredients into their recipes that are unavailable/unknown to us common folk. Like M Dowd with her French bon mot sprinkled thruout her columns. Grrrrr.)

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What I said: genuine insight is at the edge of the mainstream or, like, adjacent to it.

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The Cronkite era passed with him. No mainstream reporter will call out the establishment like Cronkite did with Vietnam and, to a degree, Watergate.

Mainstream papers are all about soft news and features — recipes and celebrity gossip and stuff like that.

As I said, the reliable sources are let’s say adjacent to but outside the mainstream. The mainstream is literally poisonous.

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Dan Rather tried with Bush and his phony military service. The same network that loved what Cronkite did/said, canned Rather for bringing questions to light. That right there shows how the industry and truth had changed.

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Rather’s problem was going after W without a smoking gun. Which he couldn’t produce because there wasn’t one. It made for shitty reporting. (Full story had been reported outside the mainstream.) Now, great Q is why CBS ran the piece.

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I am 62, and I remember that night. I may not have understood the impact it would have, but I remember Uncle Walter's comments.

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Wow, I couldn’t agree with you more; I’ve quit watching/reading stories by msm as the phrase ‘the emperor wears no clothes’ now applies to them. I even wonder if all of them can locate Afghanistan on a map. How about celebrating the amazing feats the administration is performing and the lives WE/they are saving. Where are the stories from those Afghan citizens who have gotten out and are welcomed into our country. Oh no. That kind of reporting is upbeat, can’t have that. It’s too pro Biden. Can’t have that. It might help the country. Can’t have that either. Eric’s mantra is ‘context.’ The msm brings none; they replace it w/sanctimony and fail our country by spinning fantastical tales per Eric’s great piece.

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They don't want to be yelled at by the US citizens who are against any immigrants coming here. That is why Biden is getting so much heat. He is letting the brown people in, and media knows their readers/listeners do not want them here. This is why their underlying hate reporting is getting attention. Despite the fact these people spent 20 yrs helping our military, they are brown and they aren't wanted here.

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The mainstream, when it comes to big stuff, overwhelmingly fails to inform but actually gives the impression of informing when they’re doing the opposite.

What I said: find trustworthy sources. They’re out there, waiting to be found. And one such source is Eric here.

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The time we spend looking for reliable news is time well spent, if in fact the truth with real legit sources is what is desired.

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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.

#democracydying

Thank you for your work.

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It’s def frustrating I know….and yr welcome!

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Maureen Dowd chimed in the other day, piling on. This comment was the top reader ranked response:

Phyliss Dalmatian

Wichita, Kansas

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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/21/opinion/afghanistan-kabul-biden-blinken.html#permid=114181075

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Wow.

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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.

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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."

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/8/22/2047417/-It-s-Official-Everything-now-going-wrong-in-Afghanistan-is-Joe-Biden-s-fault-no-one-else

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Thank you for the link. I was really angry with Richard Engle the other night. I had to look up and make sure I was still listening to him speak about how bad Biden was doing. Report the facts not your opinion, Engle. I think his popularity is making his head grow to large. I hate to say it about him, but damn the other night was too much.

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Saw him and agree 100%. He’s too personally involved with the story. Time for him to step back, regroup, or go into advocacy.

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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?

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good pts! the press will eagerly quote any Iraq War booster who will criticize Biden

Axiois, I assume it’s for the clicks

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Forget where, but there was a factoid that nearly everyone quoted the last week or so were complicit in the debacle and/or had vested interests in promoting the occupation.

Nothing says honest journalism like quoting only hawks and other liars </sarcasm>

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Here's my guess: Axios suffered the fate of all "non-partisan" news sites that report on politics (The Hill, Politico, The Atlantic et. al) They refused to use strong editorial controls and let actual journalists write from their personal perspective. Having gained success with that kind of fair-minded publishing, it soon became obvious the facts had a "liberal bias" and the GOP fluffers lacked integrity, so the site gained a reputation of being part of "the left". Soon after that, those in charge got an angry visit from some reps for very very very rich Republicons who threatened to destroy them if they weren't more "fair and balanced", leading to a lot more fluffernutter and a lot less integrity. Though they don't refuse to publish things from "the left" (iow things that aren't hit pieces on Dems) most people never see them and they're not the ones we hear about, because in the gnoosphere, outrage spreads and boring dies.

So it ends up seeming like it is a craven "clickbait" strategy, but it's really just the result of 'natural selection', a reverse teleology. A similar semi-unintended bias towards bullshit effects social media, where algorithmic promotion always favors hate speech, because nobody designs a platform to promote dull content.

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Don’t get me started on Politico. What junk.

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Ah Phony Tony rises from the dead...

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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!

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"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."

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/08/22/bidens-approval-rating-drops-lowest-point-presidency/8234689002/

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."

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Don’t forget Peter Baker earned his chops at NYT covering Whitewater.

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He was also awful during But Her Emails

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Baker's But Her Emails coverage was infuriating. His smug, obnoxious TV appearances were - and still are - even more infuriating. Just watched an Afghanistan segment on The Eleventh Hour with Brian Williams. The guests/experts? Baker & the unbearable Andrea Mitchell - another long-time Hillary basher.

I didn't know (or remember) that Baker earned his chops covering Whitewater. Figures.

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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.

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Engle is following in the steps of other formerly great journalists (I'm thinking Nick Krystoff) who got high on their own supply, seeing themselves as heroic champions of the downtrodden and falling into a rut where their permanent take is always "what the US government is doing wrong". Doesn't matter what the US Gov't does, there's always plenty of ways it is imperfect, and since as long as we are internationally influential we can be denounced as Imperialist, it's a never-ending story.

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Good point

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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."

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Fabulous line....political “opinion “ pixel pukers. Made MY day.

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Oh, thank you!

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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.

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Maybe Trump is paying them on the side to tarnish any good works Biden does

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