Monday, March 28, 2016

Sunday Morning Comin' Down

"What is Dead May Never Die"  Edition.

This Sunday (and Monday and Saturday and Friday) the media made itself the story.


Sunday CNN's Reliable Sources did pretty much the entire hour on "The Disconnect" asking a variety of people who are not me a variation of the "OMFG, how could everyone have missed this Trump story so completely?  Isn't is just teddible how everyone failed and everyone got it wrong."

It seems that The Media is, uh, kinda inbred and simply refuses to listen to anyone who does not inhabit the same Acela Corridor Bell Jar and re-breathes the same, stale, David Broder beer farts as they do.  And when anyone steps out of line and violates their Both Siderist meta-narrative -- even when they are otherwise completely respectable and backed up by a mountain of data and never, ever say "fuck" in polite company -- they are cast out, bag and baggage:

And when that mountain of data (about the Bush Administration, or Iraq, or Reaganomics, or climate change, or Trump, or whatever) becomes a landslide which threatens to bury the Beltway Media, over and over again we get the same hand-wringing panic and promises that they will really, really, really do better next time.

And then I crack open my New York Times this evening just in time to read...
CNN Hires David Gregory as Political Analyst as 2016 Campaign Heats Up
No, they will not do better next time. because as it is configured now -- as a piston in a corporate engine -- the media is incapable of reform.  Because actual reform would mean violating their own, most sacred beliefs and holy scriptures:

And while some of the high priests and cardinals of the media may falter,  and failure may collapse this cathedral or that,  after each catastrophic interaction with reality, after the smoke clears, it turns out it will always be the people who were at least trying to take the side of the angels who will be sent packing:
Melissa Harris-Perry tears into MSNBC’s “culture of fear” on Twitter
Days after her MSNBC show's cancellation, Melissa Harris-Perry ripped the network in a string of critical tweets
And those who are 100% soulless monster through and through who will be protected from on high by the Prince of Darkness:
Jonathan Greenberger, executive producer of "This Week," said in a statement Kristol is "an original thinker" that will make their team stronger: 
“Bill makes our outstanding team of contributors and analysts even stronger. He’s an original thinker with a unique perspective on the political and cultural landscape, and we look forward to hearing his voice on the 'This Week' roundtable on a regular basis."
Since both Digby --
This has been going on for almost 50 years. It’s been the backbone of conservative resentment and the Republican Party has exploited it every step of the way. The press has been covering it for that long as well, over and over again putting these same people at the center of our elections as if they are the most important voters in the country, who have suffered a tremendous indignity by having to put up with the likes of immigrants and African Americans and women getting any attention at all. That’s certainly how these so-called Real Americans feel about it. But there’s no reason for the press to keep buying into it.
Anyone who watched the conservative movement, the only animating force the Republican party has, drive the party further and deeper into madness, they are the ones who share the blame. He, Trump merely has taken the bark off ideas that were treated as legitimate for far too long by far too many people, most of whom don't really give a damn about the plight of the vanishing middle class except for its use as fuel for rage-based, self-destructive politics.
-- have each pistol-whipped the daylights out of Nick Kristof 's ludicrous New York Times' media mea culpa from different directions, I will simply commend them to your attention.

But honestly, I think the reason the Beltway Media doesn't take to the streets to talk to people is not out of fear of talking to the wingnut base of the Republican party. In fact, to all appearances, they love making up stories to tell around their Cleveland Park campfires about their interactions with the Real Cowboys and Indians from their box seats at Buffalo Bill O'Reilly's Wild West Show ... as long as they can find a way to fit those Tall Tales within the sacred text of Beltway Both Siderism.

Remember how happy they were to go along with the okey doke about the sudden and inexplicable rise of  "tea partiers" who were definitely not Republicans running like hell from all the shit they had said and done during the previous eight years but instead just patriotic and completely apolitical "independents" who were suddenly and inexplicably concerned with deficits and taking back their country from the Kenyan Usurper ten minutes after Barack Obama was inaugurated?  I mean, how long did David Brooks dine out on jogging past a bunch of Teabaggers that one time and divining from that single, glancing interaction that they're the goddamn salt of the goddamn Earth.  The best kind of people.  And not at all racist!

At the time, E.J. Dionne actually tried to bring a few facts to the table:
Dionne: Look, there is a concerted conservative campaign on part of the movement, a minority of the movement…to use race to split people. Glenn Beck says Obama has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." J. Christian Adams, a Republican activist pushing this new Black Panthers story, says the Obama Justice Department is motivated by a "lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law." Now, there are people playing with this racial politics out there. I am not saying, the NAACP certainly isn't saying that this is the whole conservative movement…or most of the conservative movement or most of the tea party. But it's a part of this strategy, and people should condemn it.
But David Fucking Brooks was having none of it and swung his brought down the Both Siderist Hammer hard:
Brooks: There are liberals who call conservatives racist as a matter of tactics, too
Really? Who? Name some. Quote some. Six years ago I wrote that...
...David Brooks -- the most ubiquitous "Reasonable" Conservative spokesman in America -- absolutely will not touch that question with a 10-foot Gallup Poll. Instead, Bobo airily asserts that, somehow, Glenn Beck and J. Christian Adams don’t methodically play on the fear, racism and paranoid of millions of Pig People for personal and partisan gain...because Bobo saw some people getting along on the Mall in D.C. once.

Just as Chicago does not have a homicide problem, because I went for a walk on the beach the other day and no one was murdered at my feet.

Of course, when the going got too tough for Bobo to handle by himself, host Dancin’ David Gregory leaped in to help his pal and underscore -- also without a single supporting fact or quote -- that Liberals are always just as kooky and angry and unhinged and Conservatives...
Dancin’ David Gregory.  Who just signed on with CNN.  Yeah.

See, these people -- who have collectively paved the way for the Rise of Trump -- have never shown the slightest trepidation at the thought of letting wingnuts get away with murder on their dime, so let me advance the controversial theory that the real reason Mr. Kristof and Mr.  Brooks and the rest of their ilk stay inside the perimeter of their genteel, climate-controlled world is not out of fear of winguts but because of the kinds of questions Liberals would have for them out here in the wild.

In support of that theory I would offer the video I shot of that one time when Mr. Brooks left his Acela Corridor Command Module to go among the upscale Niebuhr devotees of northern Illinois and -- suddenly! -- there was a Liberal in the audience asking impertinent questions.

I heard it took a week for them to get the smell of panic poo squirts and flop sweat out of the sanctuary.  Because these people aren't afraid of a batshit mob holding up birth certificates at town hall meetings and screeching about Barry OCommie making their country into Russia! 

But they are deathly afraid of me.  And you.  And Charlie Pierce.  And Digby.  And that nice Liberal lady at Elmhurst College's Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, one brisk evening in October of 2010. And every other well-informed Liberal loaded for bear, packing a cell-phone camera and waiting for them out here in the tall grass.

And that makes us mighty.


dinthebeast said...

Yeah, I've about had it with the whole "who is to blame for Trump" shtick. Like someone baked him up and he just leapt up off of the cooling tray brand new and started running amuck. No. He didn't. He's been around for almost seventy years and all of those media fuckwits you listed, ALL OF THEM have one kind of relationship with him or another, and a relationship with his money, as there's not all that much else of him to have a relationship with. He arranges their golf games with famous and/or powerful people at his golf courses. Of course they defer to him by default, how else are they going to spend an afternoon with Samuel L. Jackson or Bill Clinton without having the personal media juice to warrant it? There's a club, etc. "Journalists" who write inconvenient stuff that messes up all of that gravy, I mean access? What good are they? What kind of ratings are they pulling down? I only hope that one of the scurvy bastards has had the foresight to invest in Bactine stock so they can gouge all of the rest of them when the whole stupid beast starts dining upon their asses.

-Doug in Oakland

Walt Mistler said...

'Original Thinker'. That's some nice soft language, I'm surprised it hasn't been co-opted to describe bipolar.

RUKidding said...

They're all just mad because Trump is horning in on their grift - that's the long grift by the Oligarchs who utilize the US govt as their personal ATMs. Ripping off the rubes for shits 'n grins. Now Trump wants in on some of that action, and the other Oligarchs - the Kochs especially, who created the Tea Party, the Scaiffes, Shelly Adelson, etc - are ticked off at arriviste Trump attempting a coup from the sort of center. So those other Oligarchs have gotten their courtier fop journos to publically wring their hands from their fainting couches, clutching their pearls and exclaiming like Blanche DuBois: "Why I never!"

Kudos to you, DG, for the most excellent video at the DFB's "speechifying" at that University in Illinois. I especially enjoyed your choice of music! Gad, what lying, disingenuous, skeevy, shitty knob he is.

Yes, you're entirely correct that these shit stains are most afraid of what remains of the "left" in the USA because we're sane and rational and still living in reality. And we see what scum sucking bottom dwellers like DFB have done in service to those who are solely interested in their greedy personal gains to the detriment of our once great nation and to the detriment of most citizens.

No, they never ever ever want to have to truly answer to any of us, and if they're caught - as frickin DFB was at that "lecture" - they'll writhe and wriggle away and simply not answer. Because there is NO acceptable answer that they can give for the perfidy, greed and disgusting ability to sell themselves and our country out for a few desiccated cocktail weenies.

That's also why these courtiers and the bellowing monsters on Hate Radio, Fake Noise, "Christiany" networks, etc, all constantly direct their brainwashed rubes to believe and say that it's the "left" who are the real racists, who hate America, and all the usual brickbats that they hurl at us... while we simply tell the truth. A truth about our present reality that none of them want to really see... because it would mean realizing and accepting that they've been had by a bunch of circus clowns and carney barkers intent only in ripping them off.

Redhand said...

No, they will not do better next time. because as it is configured now -- as a piston in a corporate engine -- the media is incapable of reform.

I think this is, literally, the "money quote." There was a time when the 3 networks were independent corporate entities. Now they are just part of essentially "conservative" corporate mega-structures that had/have no interest in rocking the boat. The "both-sider" posture suits the corporate agenda perfectly, politically and as a matter of "business as usual."

It doesn't explain the cravenness of the NYT, but that's another story of family dynastic dysfunctionality. The bottom line, though, is that the Establishment 4th estate has ceased to function. And yes, it's nauseating and very depressing to watch.

Donald Walsh said...

The news media ownership class have in their mind's eye an vision for the TV and print news in America, as a sort of Pro-Wall Street Pravda, with nary a bad thing to say to spoil the sacred quarterly earnings reports. Public interest journalism is dead, and we who still shout at the Sunday shows are the equivalent of the 4th Century Romans wailing over the toppled stones of the Forum while Alaric rides by grinning, drenched in blood. It's gone, friends, now let us get these rocks out of here and get on with living, whatever that will look like?

The Kraken said...

Maybe I have not followed closely enough, but it feels like Kristof does not bear the same level of culpability as DFB or the other usual suspects. He mainly writes about people outside the USA and not domestic politics so despite the mea culpa he did not spend nearly as much time fluffing he, trump, as others. Maybe I am wrong.

Jimbo said...

A couple of comments: Cleveland Park as home of the villains is misplaced; it is a pretty liberal home to government bureaucrats and some private sector/NGO types, usually. The MSM bad boys and GOP operatives are much more likely to live in Fairfax Co., VA or Potomac MD or, yes, the Watergate Apts. in DC. (I'm a local.) Also, when we dump on the media, let's make sure we target the Op/Ed pages of the papers and the entire radio/TV media (with the occasional exception of public broadcasting) As well as the festering cesspool of the right-wing Internet. Point is that the ordinary journos who do real reporting and investigative journalism (and I have two brothers who do both) are not generally part of the Conservative fellating community.

driftglass said...


Jimbo said...

Kraken, you are correct. Not sure why Kristof waded way into a field (the GOP cesspool) that he literally never writes about, He mostly focuses on outrages in Sudan (female genital muttilation, Darfur), Southeast Asia (sexploitation, refugees) and similar. Good, worthy stuff. So it was weird seeing him going to Trumpism and failing big. But Kristof is not your media bad boy on the NYT (see DFB and Ross Cardinal Douthat not t mention useless Dowd, the Friedman Unit and others).

Batocchio said...

Bravo. A fine summing up.