Friday, June 28, 2013

Professional Left Podcast #186

"Never think you've seen the last of anything."

-- Eudora Welty

Da' money goes here:


Anonymous said...

Snowden is not a 29 year old hacker. He was an employee of the massive, outsourced surveillance state. Our government thought it wise to sub-contract the spying on American citizens to Booze-Allen. Booze-Allen thought it wise to sign a contract with Snowden to do the actual monitoring of all our communications.

Whatever Snowden is, he is most definitely not a hacker.

Anonymous said...

Woot! My letter!

As to your comments on Star Trek, in the video game "Star Control 3", there is a great line, when an alien muses on why so many alien species are bi-laterally symmetrical and roughly humanoid, "... and there are even sectors of the galaxy filled with alien species differentiated only by a myriad of forehead appliques!"


Compound F said...

Geez, I remember when people flung "advocate" at Greenwald as a pejorative. I believe it began years ago with DHinMI (Dana Houle, a person with a most unpleasant nature who disliked people) over at Dailykos. I heard it not six days ago in the comments section of this blog, quite unsurprisingly. So, I guess when Obama decides to dial it back on Snowden, so does driftglass.

I'll ask once more: what are your conflicts of interest in the Greenwald/Snowden issue (Snowald, as you call it), if any? E.g., remuneration, White House talking points, etc.. If you have none, say so.

booman, e.g., disclosed (freely, unprovoked, and to his credit) that he received weekly WH talking points. So, at least now we know that when we read him.

Tom Huck said...

I wish you would give up the obsession with Greenwald's tone Really.

I came up with 1960s journalists
the likes of Michael Herr, "Dispatches"; Hunter Thompson "Hell's Angels"; Normal Mailer "Armies of the Night"; Tom Wolfe "Electric Kool Aid Acid Test"; and John Hersey "Algiers Motel Incident".

These are guys who were in the thick of it and didn't play sweet and paddycakes in order to make their message palatable to the nutless center or whoever needs to be influenced or properly entertained. The chips fell where they did and for a few years many things in this country were much the better.

And in the aftermath, as I recall, all the nice bourgeois establishment types lost their lunches over all these breaches of decorum, protocol and etiquette.

Some people might agree that given the last 40 years of history and the current state of the world and most specifically the state of US journalism, that the earth therein could do with a massive unrepentant dose of scorching - even to the most trite and ineffectually appealing, bubble of privilege, feigned innocent, just-doin'-my-American-job establishmentarians.

Maybe your buddy Rick ~is~ part of the problem in ways, after all, that you never conceived or allowed yourself to see. If you have personal relationships that influence your judgement then that is not Greenwald's, or Perlstein's or mine, or anybody else's problem. If that is even close to the case then maybe, perhaps, Mr. G could be, gasp, shudder, quake, correct.

And Taibbi? C'mon. Taibbi is a feckless, bland, institutional writer who doesn't have the gills or the mitts to bloody the floor which is way past needing a new coat of red. Rolling Stone is a hack sellout rag that has to sell ads, or did you miss that? Mr. T is not Mr. Thompson and his stories are obvious after-the-facts that most anybody who is awake knows by rote anyway. The vampire squid story almost put me into a coma. The only effect sweet Matty would have is probably to wet his nice Abercrombie britches and put out the fire.

Some would just as soon see Greenwald, in as shrill and vituperative and dismissive and belligerent and grating and annoying and bellicose and combative manner as humanly possible, cremate the corpse masquerading as American media, whether it be twitter, print, TV or podcasting. Place your bets now.

"Don't an angry person with grudges who uses his stories to beat people up you don't like."

Anonymous said...

Compound F:

You may feel this is a bit meta, Compound, but I'm not objecting that Glenn is an advocate for his story or his long-standing issues. What I'm objecting to is the idea that one cannot critique Glenn without being an apologist for Obama, which is the bunker that Glenn's defenders retreat to in the face of any skepticism.

Even if I won't trust Glenn enough to believe him without scrutinizing his claims, I do give him heavy credit for being honest about his biases. I don't wonder what Driftglass' biases are for exactly the same reasons.

- Nonny Mouse

Anonymous said...

Honestly this was a HUGE week. Even if you had devoted every moment to current happenings there would have been hardly time to cover everything. As it was you spent 30 minutes saying the same thing about GG that you have said for a month. I was disappointed.

Anonymous said...

ProLeft is just about my favorite podcast, but I'm getting really depressed that you're spending so much time perpetuating this Liberal Civil War--with Bob Cesca, Bob Scheer and Perlstein (along with the media establishment) throwing bombs at Digby, Sam Seder, Matthew F, and the Young Turks all over the character of Glenn F'n Greenwald. It's like when I turn on the AM radio and hear Michael Savage spending twenty minutes calling Chris Christie a filthy commie. This isn't helping anyone but the actual enemies, though I suppoise it makes you guys all feel really manly.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Geez, I remember when people flung "advocate" at Greenwald as a pejorative

Do you have a citation where someone actually did that, or are you just being hyperbole-and-a-half again?

Anonymous said...


So, since another podcast is mentioned, I want to mention "The DMZ", with progressive Bill Scher (who has been on MSNBC), and conservative Matt K. Lewis. I want to bring this up because in a past podcast, DG & BG were asked if there are any respectable conservatives, and I think DG's first answer was Matt Lewis.

So, the linky:

Or on Liberal Oasis: (the June 28 DMZ)

So. This is relevant for two reasons. The first is their discussion of the same revival of Crossfire. Scher calls Newt Gingrich "a whirling Dervish of insanity", and Lewis just keeps talking. What struck me is how Lewis was talking up S. E. Cupp, and how this is her rising star. Now... Cupp is photogenic, I will give her that. There are actually some very good pictures of her online. (Not just that she's pretty, but she posed well and the pictures were well composed.) However, while Lewis was talking about how Cupp will be leaving MSNBC where she's surrounded by liberals, he was a bit evasive on Scher bringing up that Cupp works for The Blaze. I must say that, while I am no fan of Cupp, I have yet to hear her say anything that I find particularly intelligent, and sometimes it's a wait for her to say something correct. Let's not forget she has cited articles from Town Hall on "The Cycle". While Lewis often laments the loss of Burkean Conservatism, he is fawning over a woman who's background is largely focused around working for Glen Beck. Lewis also called Tucker Carlson a journalist (yes, Lewis put those words together like they belong together), and tries to insist that John Stewart's indictment of Crossfire was actually against journalism and "both sides".

Then... Bill Scher prompts Matt Lewis to discus a "revelation" he had about movement conservatives. I won't give it away, but I will say that it really sounded as if they wrote a script based on listening to a dozen or so randomly picked Professional Left Podcasts. Also, I am posting this on both blogs, because I have a request for Goodwife Blue Gal.I would like to request that around 11 minutes, you turn on a recording device near Driftglass. I would not only like both your comments on what Matt Lewis says, but I would cherish a recording of Driftglass' reaction and commentary, unfiltered. And, do not answer the phone if the children call. Trust me. They do not need to hear dad using profanity that melts the fabric of space and time.

May you and yours be happy, peaceful, and well.


Anonymous said...


"Geez, I remember when people flung "advocate" at Greenwald as a pejorative

Do you have a citation where someone actually did that, or are you just being hyperbole-and-a-half again?"

I actually miss the blog Hyperbole and a Half....

Anyway, "advocate" started to become a bit of a slur in the 80's when it became associated with minorities and the poor. If you've ever seen the Dave Chappelle skit about "minorities and special interests"... yeah, that.


Compound F said...

Here ya go, Zombie, one of many times that Houle (in comments in this case, notably in a diary titled "the fundamental dishonesty of Glenn Greenwald," disparaged GG as a mere "advocate," and an irresponsible one at that:

* * *

Greenwald Acts as an Advocate (39+ / 0-)

That's fine. As an advocate, he's not responsible for hedges, explanations, analysis of why the other side may be doing what they're doing, mitigating arguments, etc. He acts as an attorney, providing zealous representation for his client.

The problem is most people who invoke him as some kind of shibboleth of infallibility treat him as an analyst. He's not, he's an advocate. And as such, his arguments almost always happen in a space devoid of politics or other policy concerns. That in itself doesn't make him bad or unreliable or dishonest. It just means that if you're making political or policy judgments, he's only providing a small part of the material with which one should be making a judgment.

He doesn't write like he's a journalist or analyst. He writes like he's a lawyer arguing a brief.

"Dignified people, without a whimsical streak, almost never offer fresh insights, in economics or anywhere else." Paul Krugman

by Dana Houle on Sat Apr 11, 2009 at 02:50:50 PM PDT

* * *

That was hardly the first time he said it. He was one of the prime movers of that meme.

So, to answer your question, no hyperbole.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

I don't see where that is being disparaging.

" That in itself doesn't make him bad or unreliable or dishonest."

Hardly a damnation. I stand by my call of hyperbole.

steeve said...

Those who are wrong deserve all the incivility, derision, and hostility that Greenwald or driftglass or anyone else can muster. And there are so, so many definitively wrong people to go around.

But when you start behaving that way to those who might not be wrong, you run the risk of being, well, wrong.

Compound F said...

ugh, zombie. establishing the "advocate" meme is the chink for all prybars to follow, including DG's.

But I guess politics is the art of exhausting productive conversation, so you fucking unbelievably win this round by being the concrete abutment.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

so you fucking unbelievably win this round by being the concrete abutment.

Thanks so much!

wow. I guess I had the temerity to not agree with your purist bullshit rage over a use of the word 'advocate that you suspected indicated something it didn't.

Only in your Manichean commentary is any of this about 'winning'.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, unsurprisingly I agree with Zombie Mcdonald here. What Dana Houle is saying in that post is not an attack on Glenn or his credibility, just an observation about his motives coupled with a mild caveat emptor.

If only skepticism and tactical disagreements were not a hanging offense in Greenwaldite circles I could have saved a lot of time I spent trolling hecklers on this blog. Oh well.

- Nonny Mouse