Sunday, August 21, 2016

Today In Both Sides Do It: Matt Taibbi


So here we go...

I admire Matt's writing very much.  However, in his new article in Rolling Stone , Mr. Taibbi tells his readers that while Fox News is definitely a black hole of runamok authoritarian goons and professional hysterics that has pulverized and swallowed the Right ...
Just look at the history of Fox and its satellite organizations.
Yes, the Murdoch empire has succeeded in accruing enormous power across the globe. In the United States, its impact on political affairs has been incalculable. It's led us into war, paralyzed Democratic presidencies, helped launch movements like the Tea Party and effectively spread so much disinformation that huge majorities ofRepublicans still doubt things like the birthplace of Barack Obama.
But Fox's coverage has been so overwhelmingly one-sided that it has lost forever the ability to convince non-conservatives of anything. Rupert Murdoch has turned into the Slime Who Cried Wolf. Even when Murdoch gets hold of a real story, he usually can't reach more than an inch outside his own dumbed-down audience.
Worse still, when you shill as constantly as his outlets have, even your most enthusiastic audience members very quickly learn to see through you... is also true that if you stand athwart the tsumani of raw right-wing sewage that has buried this country under a thick sludge of rage and dumb and shout "Stop", no matter how out-gunned and out-spent you may be, well then aren't you really just as bad?
In the same way that Fox used to (and probably still does) save on reporting and research costs by simply regurgitating talking points from the RNC, blue-leaning cable channels are running segments and online reports that are increasingly indistinguishable from Democratic Party messaging.
I know we're at the ass-end of bikini season, but apparently Mr. Taibbi is on that special diet, where you slim down to fighting trim by both having your cake...
It's not that stations were wrong to denounce Trump's comments. He deserves it all. 
...and eating it too.
But he's not the only stupid, lying, corrupt politician in the world, which is the impression one could easily get watching certain stations these days.
Yes, certain stations sure do suck at things these days.  Certain things.
Certainly that won't change if the "MSM" devolves completely into a McDonald's/Burger King situation where the major media splits into Trump Sucks or Hillary Sucks outlets. Forget about the fact that it's boring. From now on, how will we know if a real scandal hits?
Because a major political party degenerating to the point where they nominated an unhinged, racist con man isn't a "real scandal"?

Look, I know I'm just a 3rd rate nobody out here on the edge of nowhere, but when I go looking for "blue-leaning" anything these days, you know what I find?  I find a few hours week on MSNBC that Phil Griffin hasn't larded up with Republican Squint and his Meat Puppet --

-- or former RNC chair Michael Steele, or Republican mole Mark Halperin, or Mrs. Alan Greenspan, or Shuck Todd and Mini Shuck Todd machine-gunning meaningless poll numbers at me.  I find a handful of radio stations that carry a the same four or five Liberal programs, most of them constantly fundraising on the edge of oblivion.

Elsewhere it's wall-to-wall wingnuts on the radio from sea to shining sea, and teevee programming that mostly seems to feature dead-eyed Pro Trump Conservative zombies battling with rage-spittle-flecked Anti Trump Conservative zombies over who gets to carve this country into what sort of bite-sized portions to feed which constituency.

And until this immediate and mortal threat to my country's basic ability to govern itself is addressed, any article built on the predicate that "Well sure the Confederacy seceding and firing on Fort Sumter is bad, but on the other hand..."  loses me.

Because the problem is not Trump.  The problem is that one of our two major political parties -- representing around 40 percent of the voting public -- is so irredeemably fucked-in-the-head that it nominated Donald Trump, will vote in its millions for Donald Trump and, if Donald Trump is elected, would stand by him if he promised mass crucifixions along his inauguration parade route and a nuclear first strike on Mecca in the spring.

The problem not that biased, Both Siderist reporting on this story is swamping everything else.  The problem is that the state of the Fox News Republican Party itself is a planet-wide, First Order Disaster and our broken, biased media is doing everything in its considerable power to avoid speaking this terrifying truth out loud.


Andrew Johnston said...

It's not that stations were wrong to denounce Trump's comments. He deserves it all. But he's not the only stupid, lying, corrupt politician in the world, which is the impression one could easily get watching certain stations these days.

Yeah, why are all those reporters spending so much time talking about Trump? Why, if you set aside the fact that he's the Republican nominee for President, then he's no more relevant than anyone else, right?

Kath320 said...


Unknown said...

Of all you many posts about both siderism. This one, Matt "Vampire-Squid", is by far the saddest. And perhaps Driftglass' most concise-to-the point. Thankfully I ditched my TV 5 years ago.

Unknown said...

This just in-- GOP Nominee Eats Jew Baby on Prime Time TV and Orders Incineration of Gaza By Tactical Nukes. In other and equivalent news, Hillary! Emails! Cut to the commercial for Olive Garden! Congratulations, America! We have succeeded in entertaining ourselves right to death. (H/t Neil Postman) It's a dangerous-ass drug, m'boys, and we're on it until the OD kills us.

Barry Friedman said...

I swear to the living Christ--not that he was or is--if Hitler were alive today, Chuck Todd would give him the full hour and end with, "Der Führer, I'll give you the last word--and, please, send our best to Eva--but you know what people are saying about you, and I don't want to get into who's right, who's wrong, but what's your beef with the Jews? Many people contend you don't like them."

Pablo in the Gazebo said...

"Because the problem is not Trump. The problem is that one of our two major political parties -- representing around 40 percent of the voting public -- is so irredeemably fucked-in-the-head that it nominated Donald Trump..."
I would hope that on the night of the first presidential debate the moderator would introduce the candidates with a description like this, just to set the stage. How shallow are these fuckers that they can't see, or worse, won't admit, what a freak show the Republicans have produced. I find that the treatment of him as if he has any idea at all of what he is doing is insulting, and their reluctance to inform the willfully ignorant masses is criminal, as if they would listen.
The election will, if nothing else, give us an accurate headcount of how many of us are truly fucked in the head.
I'd guess 29%.

Mike Lumish said...

Speaking of hacks, fifteen years ago I enjoyed Thomas Frank and his books but with his recent "Listen, Liberal!" jag I have pretty much kicked him into the bin for the smug & self-satisfied. His point exists, unlike a lot of those good union jobs, but a big chunk of the white working class abandoned the Democratic Party over you know what - all which takes the oomph out of Frank's thesis.

So recently I blundered into a notoriously progressive chitterchat site and was astounded by the viciousness of the anti-union rhetoric bandied about. Call me old and complacent, but any Left not based on union solidarity - no matter what other issues we are pleased to address - is no Left that I would join. Perhaps that is why they identify as Progressives.

Bob Harrison said...

Lumish I agree with you 100% but I can't call myself a Progressive, reminds me too much of the old GOPer Liberal Republican dodge. Unions, though I've never been able to join one, are the core of both big d and little d democracy in the US and too many people do not see nor understand them. Some really hard-core social history ought to be drilled into student heads, if our lizard overlords would allow such things into the classroom. Oh, Matt. Disappointed. Disappointed.

Unknown said...

Matt Taibbi argues that cable news is in the tank for Clinton because they don't cover her ``negatives'' as much as they cover Trump's.

First of all: they do cover her negatives, every piece of bad news about her, Bengahzi and the emails and the speaking fees and the Foundation, the Foundation, the Foundation, endless repetition of the ``trustworthiness'' trope, the cost of her dress for crissake, every chance they get and with great enthusiasm.

Second, they've been doing so for more than 20 years.

Third, it's not their fault that Trump, literally on a daily basis, says something that should end his candidacy and forces their quite-obviously reluctant examination.

Fourth, on supposedly liberal MSNBC, after its resident right-wing host blames Trump's hot-mess campaign on his lack of pure conservative credentials rather than his being a perfect match for the Republican base, gives hours of time to conservatives anxious to give Trump either a) advice on how to normalize his campaign or b) cover for his latest face-plant. Only at night does MSNBC balance things up, but not in the way Taibbi would like.

Sorry, Matt. Blind hatred can put even a great journalist-advocate off his game.

Ben Boyce said...

Anywhere in the world where there is an actual governing socialist or social democratic government, there is an institutional backbone in a strong labor movement. The lack of a functional Union sector is why the Left is a marginal force in the U.S.

That explains the liberal/left obsessession with identity politics and culture wars issues rather than on the central challenge of taking state power.

bowtiejack said...

Good comments!

RUKidding said...

Et tu, Matt Taibbi?

Huge disappointment. Has he drunk the cooperate Kool Aid? Was he threatened? Bought off? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

Keep up the good work Driftglass.

trgahan said...

We passed the boundary where privileged, indulgent, college dorm room "The system is so fucked...mmmmaaaaannnnn! Don't even bother" is an acceptable contribution to the discourse in 2000. I get Matt's need to catch his editor's eye right before employee reviews, but still "Democrats Suck too and the media is ignoring it!" when I haven't heard a positive story about Clinton on prime time or above a fold since the convention isn't "contrarian intellectualism."

Many people suffer and die while a few people who's economic interests are detached from the day to day governance concern troll an imperfect system and have NO intention of doing anything about it.

Lit3Bolt said...

All media is hustle these days.

Matt's losing readership because Trump's hustle is better than Matt's "banks and anyone vaguely associated with them are pure, unadulterated evil" hustle.

I thank Matt for his contributions against corporatism run amok. I don't thank him for trying to equate someone who has accepted corporate money with someone who wants to engineer ethnic cleansing in America.

The are more liberal issues than the glib, white male brogressivism that yearns for pot to be legalized and for the forgotten, downtrodden underclass of white males to receive some economic handouts, as well. The women, the African-Americans, the children of single moms, the LBGTs, the legal and illegal immigrants...they can go hang in Matt Taibbi's world. "Bunch of fuckin' corporate sellouts," says the NEXT the "Hunter Thompson," Rolling Stone columnist and New York City dilettante Matt Taibbi, without a trace of ironic self-awareness.

Ron Skurat said...

"blue-leaning cable channels"??? I wasn't aware that there were any. There's no such thing as left-leaning mainstream media.

Dan Riley said...

For all his past good works, Taibii is currently just another disappointed Bernie Bro. If his man had won, you wouldn't have heard him utter a word about Dem lying and corruption. But all the Little Leaguers are upset that they have to let a girl play, and they'll be engaging in this backdoor sniping at her until she wins.

Robt said...

Tea Potters are grass roots?

Let me see, The chasm divide we see presently in the GOP with On the Trump Train vs Never ride Trump will walk instead. This is the origin.

Sure that Santelli creep ranted lies and blame on GOPTV.

EX House republican Dick Army gets funding from Koch Bros. to buy dog treats for lunatics joining his asylum. FOX coordinates coverage as RW radio.
This is grass roots?
Dangling the shiny bobble in from of the John Birchers (GOP base) and misleading them from GW Bush's fiscal splurging with his GOP Congress. All they actually did was plant a shade tree to hide from the sun light.
I too visited a couple of T-Potter rallies in my local area.

Their issues;
How Obama let 9/11 occur.
_How Obama spent so much money.
-Obama is the banksters puppet.
So angry inane angry mockery and so on.

Instead of rebranding the new improved GOP. They relabeled their ingredient label.
Changing Salt and vinegar to Acetone and Anthrax. With directions to rub into a wound for healing properties.
Again, The GOP has caught up to the can they kicked down the road.

Green Eagle said...

"But Fox's coverage has been so overwhelmingly one-sided that it has lost forever the ability to convince non-conservatives of anything."

Oh yeah? How many Bernie Bros and other "liberals" in this country have swallowed whole the line that Hillary is a corrupt liar? If it were not for Democrats having bought into this vicious smear campaign, Hillary would be coasting to a monumental landslide right now.

Robert said...

Relax. Hillary IS coasting to a monumental landslide right now.
The "corrupt liar" BS is just being repeated by know-nothing Conservatives, people too stupid to stop listening to Conservatives and the MSM (but, I repeat myself).
There are plenty of good reasons not to trust the Clintons*, but you'll never know what they are listening Conservatives.

The problem liberals have trusting HRC is that she's married to a guy who ran liberals out of the Democratic Party. She'll be our next President, for sure. She'll be fine if she governs from the Left. If she doesn't, the Left will one-term her.

*history with trade deals, war-hawkishness, Kissinger, etc.

Bernard Eckholdt said...

amazing to see the bias. no longer can this be seen as anything but a pro Clinton website. that most Rich powerful Republicans hate Trump, love Hillary will not be said here. Corrupt politicians are still corrupt politicians. Hillary is the Right wing's dream candidate. oh well. i'll come back when the war is over and the bias against Trump is the same as compared to the bias against Hillary. not that i think that will happen here anytime soon. nor do i support Trump. nor could i ever vote for Hillary. ms. Wall St.

it is a shame. Driftglass is such a wonderfully smart, and to the point writer, who can take on the best and the worst of America's Imperial overreach, and leave them stunned at his innate capacity to call a spade a spade. but not now. not with Hillary and Trump. the focus on destroying the Donald has turned Driftglass' impressive knowledge, shows an outright bias, like the Republicans this website constantly exposes. i do miss your "style" Driftglass. being so biased doesn't come across well from someone with such a tenacity and propensity for telling the unspoken and obvious truth about the Republican monster/Frankenstein party.

the corruption of the Elites has finally destroyed both Parties. wonder if there is any chance of seeing Hillary as the Female Corporate Plantation Overseer here, just like Obama was the Black Plantation Overseer.

none so blind as those who will not see. i've always been impressed by the reach and vast knowledge Driftglass has used to show just how scummy Republican have been in their War on Americans. the way their lies and propaganda have been so summarily exposed with the boundless wit and finesse i have come to expect on this website. to see such absence on the Clinton side of the ledge leaves me sad and hopeful one day the "Prince of Truth" will return to lambaste all those who are evil and willfully destroy our country and the people who cry out for honest and truth.

to equate Clinton with the Left is a horror for and to the Left. anyone as far right as Hillary, as shown by her "supporters from the Right, Kissinger, none the less! such examples speak louder than anything i can say with words. i'll come back after the election to see if the bribery, collusion, theft and other Clinton values have been hoisted on their own petard.

thanks for all these wonderful posts, anyway.i do miss your gifts.

the times are a changing.

Chan Kobun said...

That's a nice story, Bernard. Too bad it's fiction.

When you leave the dead-end and come back to sit with the adults, you'll be welcome again.

Chan Kobun said...

I see someone must have dropped an All Ponts Purity Bulletin. The self-righteous are here and they're mad that DG isn't pure enough. Again.

Robert said...

"Purity troll" is the pejorative du jour for someone who doesn't want politicians to sellout the citizenry for political expediency.

Chan Kobun said...


Your kind try this every time DG writes about the Both Siderist bullshit of people who throw red meat to politically-immature pseudo-progressives. You aren't clever. You aren't groundbreaking. You're just annoying. Now go back to your dorm room and take another bong rip while you lament how everyone just doesn't get it, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

Unknown said...

If you've read Taibbi from the way back to now, you'll note that his anti-corporatist views often sideswipe both-siderist neo-libertarianism. I think his heart and head are in the right place, but that for as well as he can explain and make an incredibly complex criminal scheme to kite profits from derivative swaps understandable to the average reader (say, ala Doc Maddow), he's often inversely not as good at explaining how the two parties are miles apart in their.....well, everything. When the big pile and the tiny pile next to it both stink, it can be hard to point out that the tiny pile isn't contributing that much. It just smells like the whole thing stinks.
Hey, look. Charlie Pierce steps in it every few weeks. So Taibbi does, too. We all do. We're 90% right 95% of the time? Pfffffttt...I'll take it.

- lifeat45rpm