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Sep 18, 2020Liked by Eric Boehlert

3a. Adopting the term "doubled-down" whenever Trump embellished his prior lies.

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The press had no problem calling Al Gore a liar, when it was just a misunderstanding, and they derailed his campaign over it. So any excuses they use to avoid calling Trump a liar are just that. Excuses. They don’t call Trump a liar because they just don’t want to. It has always been a conservative media bias.

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author

good point...press *loved* portraying Gore as liar

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founding

The media had no problem calling Gore a liar when they knew he hadn’t lied. They all knew it was Karl Rove and associates who falsely accused Gore of claiming to have invented the internet and to have discovered the terrible pollution at Love Canal. They were knowingly lying about Gore being a liar and having fun doing it. I actually heard Chris Matthews say that once.

It was clear the media did not want people to know that Gore did a lot to help get the public internet created. He saw the potential and pushed his colleagues in Congress to fund it. Gore had/has amazing foresight but unfortunately for him the media found Bush “more fun to have a beer with.”

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Of course Bush was “more fun to have a beer with” than Gore.

You have a drink when you want to forget about difficult things that need to be dealt with, most especially difficult things that urgently need to be dealt with.

Gore would remind you that, after all, the bar is on fire and maybe you should start thinking about where the exit is.

Bush would say it’s all OK, someone just forgot to stub out their cigarette butt and it set off a smoke alarm. Just ignore it.

“Bush more fun to have a beer with” was a dog whistle for “forget about climate change”.

The US media has been under full control of big money for many generations now.

Back around 1980 while oil companies were under investigation for massive price fixing, Mobil Oil put on “Masterpiece Theater” with “I, Cladius”.

The core point of the series was repeated both at the beginning AND end of every episode by Alistair Cook (mouthpiece for it all) lest anyone miss it:

He very explicitly stated, repeatedly, often and in many variations, that Claudius was very smart, because he was a “survivor” because he just IGNORED all of the rampant corruption and “let all the poisons boil out” (i.e: leave the problem alone to somehow magically solve itself). The one individual most responsible for keeping corruption in check just ignoring it despite that it was systematically destroying everything, and ultimately did!

And Mobil Oil was telling us that that was a very wise thing to do, because that way you did not get hurt and you became a “survivor”.

and this was on a PUBLIC television channel!

Only truly independent media (not dependent on advertising) actually serves, or at least attempts to serve, the public interest.

What’s very literally killing us, are not so much the things that are false and that we know are false, but the things that we believe to be true but that are not.

Primary among them being that the United States is a democracy. It NEVER at any point in its entire history actually has been. Even during reconstruction, when non white Americans (except, of course for the native ones!!) BRIEFLY had the vote, only MEN had it.

And as fast as public resistance began forcing voting rights to be extended to minorities, the ruling elite started manufacturing ways to block enough of them to allow it to continue to maintain control.

What we got was an improved ILLUSION of democracy with a better facade. But with things like “literacy” requirements for registering to vote - which any white could pass by signing his/her “X” but somehow even an African American with multiple Phd’s could not. Then they set up the Drug War, which John Ehrlichman explicitly admitted was set up to “have a tool to use selectively to attack hippies (i.e. liberals) and blacks” And it was used HIGHLY SELECTIVELY against minorities to give them felony convictions for even minor “user” offenses and laws passed to make it illegal for felons to vote. In Florida up to 10% of blacks were barred from voting by this means!

ONLY if you acknowledge the ugly reality can you have any hope of finding a way to CHANGE it!

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More likely, they found Bush more “newsworthy” because of his idiocy, and corporate media only backs right wing conservatives now. There is no “liberal media bias,” where capitalism reigns.

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founding

I don't think the kids of things I described above can be explained by corporate pressure. Chris Matthews was very influential back then and his opinions were clearly driven by his personal preferences, not by any objective criteria. I seriously doubt that corporate pressure was why the NY TImes’s Maureen Dowd accused Gore of being so “feminized “ that he was “practically lactating” in reference to his deep concern for the environment. Nor does it explain why the Times’s Frank Bruni became was so impressed by the fact that Bush gave him a silly nickname but harshly criticized Gore for being too focused on serious issues to pay attention to such little niceties.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2007/10/gore200710

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/general/news/2011/05/26/9654/think-again-the-times-frank-bruni-or-how-to-succeed-in-journalism-without-really-caring-about-issues/

No one stopped Bruni from later becoming a very harsh Bush critic. Bush was still serving corporate interests with his tax cuts, deregulations, directing the IRS to shift to focus of its audits from the wealthy to people with low incomes receiving the EITC. And Bush’s warmongering put billions in the pockets of corporations.

The Times had no problem with Bruni when he later became a harsh critic of Bush which was nothing something corporate types would favor. Bush gave them big tax cuts, deregulation, told the IRS to shift the focus of the audits from the wealthy to the poor, and started wars that put billions in the pockets of corporations. Bruni’s and Dowd’s treatment of Gore is better explained as the result of pundits and journalists viewing elections as popularity contests like the ones in high school.

I don’t deny that there are corporate pressures on much of the mainstream media but that doesn’t explain some of the most damaging things the media does. Adolescent attitudes do.

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It's Occum's Razor. The simplest explanation tends to be the one that is correct. In the case of the press, it's that they have leaned right for decades now since television networks mandated that news divisions make a profit. Newspapers followed suit to keep up. Media outlets are owned by a handful of billionaires who have so much more to lose, specifically in more taxes, if they were to support the Democrats. But fear not because there are alternatives. I can't tell you how many of my liberal friends are unaware of blogs like yours, Freespeech TV, and other progressive news outlets. There is good journalism out there. Freespeech.tv now reaches into 40 million homes via the Internet (Freespeech.org) and (I believe) Dish TV. There, the intelligent, fact finding, left hosts are not afraid to call Trump a liar.

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author

that is the good news—there is lots of good journalism out there if folks search.

and pls help spread word of Press Run;)

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Thanks Eric. As always.

Some time ago Mike Wallace, as far as I can remember, suggested that when the news corporations learned news could be profitable everything changed. And many Press Run readers have echoed that and posted about "worship of the almighty dollar" as the underlying problem.

James Fallows identifies some folks working in 2020 to counter the nonsense:

"Over the past few years, they’ve been the object of careful, continued analyses by the likes of Margaret Sullivan, now of The Washington Post and the last really effective public editor of The New York Times (before the paper mistakenly abolished that position); Dan Froomkin, formerly of the Post and now of Press Watch; Jay Rosen, of New York University and PressThink; Eric Boehlert, of Press Run Media; Greg Sargent of “The Plum Line” at The Washington Post; Brian Beutler of Crooked Media; Eric Alterman of CUNY Brooklyn College, author of the new book Lying in State; the linguist George Lakoff, who has promoted the concept of countering lies with a “truth sandwich”; and many others." (Shout out to Eric Boehlert.)

I would add some of the homeless republicans, so-called never-trumpers, blasting trump with exceptionally harsh ads and words. There are also some prime-time MSNBC hosts trying every night to expose this administration. None of this existed in 2016.

We all face the choice of looking harder for the truth sandwich. For me, learning more often leads to the possibility of being an opinion leader: with my partner, children, extended family, friends and colleagues.

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founding

Actually there were people on MSNBC like Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, Chris Hayes who were harsh critics of Trump. But too many media outlets, including the NY Times and Washington Post jumped on the right wing “Crooked HIllary” propaganda and helped promote their ginned up scandals about the Clinton Foundation and the email scandal. You knew they didn’t really believe she had done anything wrong when they didn’t react with outrage or even concern when it was revealed that Comey had been using his private email for official FBI bushings or when Powell openly admitted he had violated the FOIA laws by having all of his official Sec State emails erased.

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The press has always been a lapdog for the right wing.

Their abrogation of their core responsibility turned deadly serious when they accepted without question Ronald Reagan's absurd contention that government regulation is, PER SE, a bad thing.

No government can operate without regulation. The key question is whether regulation is appropriate and designed well to accomplish its INTENDED function (as opposed to so subversive minority's hidden agenda. It was precisely to AVOID that question that Reagan introduced the absurd and deeply pathological concept that government regulation is, PER SE, bad.

The precedent set by allowing such a deeply pathological idea to go unquestioned, when the most cursory examination would have destroyed it, is what has led to the complete destruction of our government, our society, our culture and our environment.

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Love that video. Needed that musical interlude right now😊

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