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On the Trump CV+ dx: can we focus more attention on "arrived too late to be tested" before the debate? Because if ever there were an official excuse with the unmistakeable stink of Trumpian prevarication all over it, that one is right up there with Bone Spurs. Consider: the couldn't POSSIBLY cancel out the first debate under the headline "Trump fails CV test!" And they couldn't possibly drop the plan of having his entourage drop their masks (symbolism worthy of Poe) during the debate because mocking Biden for masking was an essential part of Trump's schtick. You want schadenfreude, just imagine the panic in the inner court. Check the expression on Melania's face on the debate stage for a taste. This is the real torpedo-below-the-waterline, and they aimed it at themselves. They knew, I guarantee it.

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Bothsiderism is in the kernel code of beltway journos. It's almost fun watching them flounder with it as it becomes more and more out of phase with reality. Kinda like they're stuck with Windows 98 and there's just no patch that will keep it running anymore, but all their systems depend on it.

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Ha! Great description.

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“It's a lazy narrative that lets the press avoid telling ugly truths about today's GOP.”

Actually, the DC press corps has Bering doing that since Reagan, maybe a little longer. Only exception that comes to mind is the repulsion over Sarah Palin as McCain’s running mate. No substantive push back against any GOP initiative, act or whatever comes to mind. It’s not just Fox; the entire corporate DC press corp is all in for the GOP. Pretty obvious that this has not served the nation well, to say the least.

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founding

You are right. Money plays a role but the groupthink of the DC political media, the “Villagers”, “Kool Kids at Beltway High” as they have been called. That really is a thing. Powerful people in the media socializing together and — at least in the past — with top people in politics from both sides. If you were one of the insiders they would give you the benefit of the doubt. That is why Sally Quinn, wife of Ben Bradlee of Watergate fame, and the “opinion leader” back in the day, assured people that Ken Starr was OK just because he was one of them. If you got on Sally’s bad side, on the other hand, the Villagers would turn on you. Just ask Hillary Clinton:

https://arktimes.com/columns/gene-lyons/2014/07/02/lyons-media-hating-on-hillary-clinton

Note that the article makes reference to Ms. Quinn’s own history as a successful Monica Lewinsky. She snagged Bradlee, her married boss, when she was a twenty-something inexperienced reporter using similar seductive tactics as Monica later did. The DC insider crown all knew this because Bradlee had wrote about it in his memoir but they all were shocked and appalled that Clinton had committed the same offense. Not to mention a lot of these media insider - were are still are - worshippers of the ground the much more reckless and promiscuous JFK walked on. Clearly their standards for judging people are very, very flexible.

And as Eric B. has mentioned, attacks from the right have really intimidated many in the media. See my post above describing the tactics right winger Reed Irvine used to intimidate and co-opt the publisher of the Times back in the 80s. I was struck recently to hear Andrew Weissmann describe how right wing media attacks intimidated the Mueller investigators, making them pull their punches. It isn’t just the mainstream media that is affected by those kinds of attacks.

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founding

Given everything that has come out in recent years about people like Matt Lauer and Mark Halperin, not to mention the fact that Mika and Joe have tried to rehabilitate the odious Halperin by trying to get NBC to allow him to do a radio show with them, I would bet your are right that nothing much has changed.

On the other hand the fact that Fox News had to pay a female aide of Kimberly Guilfoyle to settle that aide’s description of the sexual harassment she suffered at the hand of Guilfoyle is a different. This article by the excellent investigative reporter Jane Mayer detailing the horrific details of those accusations is well worth the read:

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-secret-history-of-kimberly-guilfoyles-departure-from-fox

No wonder Guilfoyle fits in so well with the Trumps!

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Does anyone here remember Media Whores Online? I so miss that web site.

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founding

Yes!! I used to love media matters but now it is far too focused on just Fox and other right wing media. As Steve Bannon told us right wing media keeps the base energized but it is the mainstream media that does the real damage to Democrats. I think the importance of having sites like this one which critique the mainstream media is that they help people who are not right wingers become aware of how much our the mainstream “liberal” media can mislead us and manipulate opinions about candidates and issues.

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I noticed in the 90's how the media started mainstreaming Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. That's when I started dubbing them "Mainslime Media".

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Always one of my favorites.

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Hey Eric how bout the White House Press Corps grow a spine and tell the White House no masks no press conference? Instead they enable the WH's reckless if not criminal behavior e.g. a just tested positive Kayleigh McEnany speaking to them maskless.

They enable as well as suffer for it (three reporters infected.)

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author

yeah....and NYT ran this on page one!

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For years I have wanted an explanation for the NY Times repeatedly allowing right wing bias to influence their reporting. I recently found an example of who this came to be in Rick Perlstein’s book “Reaganland”. Pearlstein writes that in the 1980s Reed Irvine, the president of the far-right Accuracy in Media (!) bought shares in the Times so he could harass the Times execs at shareholder meetings. To appease him the publisher,Arthur Sulzberger, started inviting Irvine to meetings at the Times’s corporate suite which he did not do for other shareholders, wrote him friendly letters, started “riding herd” on the Times’s Paris bureau regarding one of Irvine’s complaints. Executive editor Max Frankel was so furious he told Sulzberger “I would be ashamed if we ever did pass muster with such nitwits”. (pg 858 Reaganland, Kindle edition).

This is a clear example of the media caving in to pressure from right wingers with money.

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You should’ve gone one step further: the GOP is no longer a conventional political party but a radical faction hostile to the rule of law and democratic norms and traditions. The Mueller report and the Senate Intelligence report definitively that the GOP is a conduit for Russian disinformation, and it’s attempts to slow the mail, question the legitimacy of mail-in ballots, threatening local election boards to dismiss those ballots, eliminating polling places and drop boxes in Democratic counties, and deploying poll watchers to intimidate voters is the stuff of a fascist regime. Republicans are not only guilty of malfeasance fee, they’re domestic enemies.

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You are 100% correct.

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founding

Yesterday I was trying to get info on Trump’s drive by. My google search showed cheery headlines about Trump taking around the hospital so he could wave to supporters from outlets like NPR, USA Today an other major news outlets. The one exception was this headline:

“ ‘This is insanity’: Walter Reed physician among critics of Donald Trump drive-by visit“. It was from The Guardian, a British publication. The Guardian then published tweets from that same physician, James Phillips, doctor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, who is an attending physician at Walter Reed:

“Every single person in the vehicle during that completely unnecessary Presidential ‘drive-by’ just now has to be quarantined for 14 days. They might get sick. They may die,” he wrote in a tweet.

“For political theater. Commanded by Trump to put their lives at risk for theater. This is insanity.”

and this tweet from Phillips:

“That Presidential SUV is not only bulletproof, but hermetically sealed against chemical attack. The risk of COVID19 transmission inside is as high as it gets outside of medical procedures. The irresponsibility is astounding. My thoughts are with the Secret Service forced to play.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/04/trump-walter-reed-drive-by-visit-criticism

(Ironically Dr. Phillips is on my TeeVee as I am writing this reaffirming how reckless Trump’s drive-by was.)

There were a lot of tweets from respected people like Norman Ornstein and medical experts who were all making it clear just how much risk Trump was exposing his protective staff to. In contrast much of the print media just swallowed the Trump PR whole just like they did when Reagan’s people hid the fact that he nearly died after he was shot.

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I always end up going to The Guardian when looking for good, and truthful, writing that doesn't pander. They obviously see us in a less biased light.

The Guardian has, for years, been self-funded by a trust of some sort...and that protects them from being beholden to anyone wishing to steer their ship.

We need some guardians of truth in the US, very badly.

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Here in Kansas, the GOP sued to overturn the Democrat Governor's mandates to help curb the virus. This is contributing to the continued issues with the virus in this state!

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author

exactly! GOP has not been shy abt making everything worse

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Kentucky GOP has also sued the Democrat Besehar, and even in Ohio some nutcase is trying to impeach DeWine for imposing restrictions.

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What good is objectivity on its own if the public isn’t being told the truth about who is causing our political problems?

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This is perfect.

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I only read Politico Playbook because another newsletter I subscribe to makes fun of it all the time. Especially the vital news on birthdays and weddings.

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I would love to get that newsletter! I know that Esquire’s Charles Pierce has repeatedly mocked Politico, particularly Playbook, calling it “Tiger Beat on the Potomac. After a teen fan magazine but he is the rare exception. Most of the media seems to accept Politico’s Spin.

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I think some of our favorite NYT political "reporters" came from Politico. Haberman, Thrush, Martin (I think). What a legacy.

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I did not know that but if I had I woudln’t have been so surprised they were so bad. You are right about Martin, too.

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Yes, Haberman’s brilliant career started at the New York Post, then she went to the New York Daily News, and then she got a job at Politico. I guess her father felt after all that great preparation, it was time to call in a favor at the Times.

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Politico’s go-to headline is *always* the “Dems in disarray” trope.

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If you get a chance, see Dawes live. They are amazing.

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Eric, I would love to hear your perspective on why, finally, the media seems to have turned the corner on Trump. Sort of. They continued to cater to him while he bullied them, put them in pens, incited violence towards them during his rallies, savaged their peers, withheld information from them, etc etc etc. Why are they speaking up now? And of course I'd love to hear from anyone else who wants to chime in. Thanks.

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Been wondering that myself. The only reason I can think of is that when Biden proved to be popular enough to pass muster with the general public (and steadily gained in polls), they saw the writing on the wall. Then when Joe finally announced a Veep choice, who was also embraced wholeheartedly, that sealed the deal. They'd like to back a winner, but still keep Drumpf in the news because.....WHO THE HELL KNOWS!?!?!

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They can't wait to start slagging Democrats again.

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author

Politico is so frustrating bc they have so many resources and occasionally do some good work...

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