"Those Magnificent Men in their Lying Machines" Edition
Until I woke up in a puddle of my own sick in the alley behind Wonkette's Discount Opium Emporium with this article stapled to my chest, I did not realize that the under-card of the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics and Herpetology event at which Kellyanne Conway went berserk and (it is rumored) garroted several undergrads...featured none other than CNN's own dancing souless teevee executive caricature --
-- Jeff Zucker.
Mr. Zucker is one of many the network executives who regularly sow dragon's teeth (h/t Stephen King) and then act baffled when dragons start popping up to eat us all up. Of course you almost you never see these greasy little fiends who are strip-mining our democracy for cash and prizes on camera because they and their cronies own the cameras and their HR department are papered with the resumes of the very people a healthy democracy would ordinarily rely on to afflict these weasels.
So it takes an event like this --
The event, a toney dinner of 200 or so campaign operatives, journalists and academics at the Charles Hotel, featured Zucker in conversation with Washington Post editor Marty Baron, AP editor Kathleen Carol and Elliot Schrage, vice president of communications and public policy at Facebook...-- to draw a critter like Jeff Zucker out into the open.
And out he came!
"I have to respectfully push back on the campaign managers who spoke here today, because frankly, respectfully, I think that’s bullshit. Donald Trump was on CNN a lot,” Zucker said, refusing to back down. “That’s because we asked him to do interviews and he agreed to do them. We continuously asked the other candidates to come on and do interviews."But almost immediately he saw his shadow --
The room grew increasingly restless and the strategists started piping up, interrupting Zucker and Issenberg.-- and scuttled right back into his burrow, guaranteeing four more years of shitty "news" coverage:
“I don’t remember getting invited to call in, though,” Sarah Isgur Flores, Carly Fiorina’s deputy campaign manager said, kicking off a parade of comments.
More irritated voices across the room quickly chimed in: “We didn’t get that call.” “We’d be invited for eight seconds.” “At 2 o’clock in the afternoon we’d be invited on,” another said sarcastically.
"It’s not the interviews,” Rubio senior advisor Todd Harris said as another audience member shouted, "You showed empty podiums!"Meanwhile, the poison fruits which rodents like Zucker helped to sow and fertilize were dropping from the trees like sacks of wet cement in which the last few shred of honest journalism had been entombed.
"You showed hours upon hours of unfiltered unscripted coverage of Trump, this was not about interviews,” he added.
Some members of the audience applauded, and the tension in the room built up as salads were left untouched and more wine was poured.
The table featuring top members of Hillary Clinton's campaign, meanwhile, remained stone-faced and quiet near the back of the room.
Zucker was also blasted by journalists when he tried to defend CNN's decision to hire Lewandowski while he was still receiving severance from the campaign.
Lewandowski seized the microphone from the questioner, who broached the topic, in a bid to defend himself, allowing the student to finish asking it, but insisting he was adding value to the CNN airwaves.
Zucker said Lewandowski was a “good investment and decision,” as Lewandowski clapped and the rest of the room remained silent.
Over on CBS, Reince Shortbus was gettin' the job done for his new owner:
While the Gingrich Rules remain in full effect:Citing no evidence, Priebus defends Trump's claim of millions of illegal voters https://t.co/8XvBdhONIu pic.twitter.com/08sYPMMohS— CBS News (@CBSNews) December 4, 2016
“I’m very comfortable if given the amount of time he’s put into this, if President-elect (Trump) says I want Romney, I’m for Romney,” Gingrich said in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “If he concludes that Romney could do the job best, then I’m for Romney.”On ABC, Mike Pence had little trouble defeating the clever traps George Stephanopoulis laid out for him, because all of those traps depend on Mike Pence spontaneously growing a conscience, which is about as likely as a crop of winter wheat suddenly sprouting on the surface of Phobos.
A trusted adviser on the Trump transition team, Gingrich has been a vocal critic of Romney since his name was floated for the nation’s top diplomatic slot. Just last week, the former House speaker mocked Romney for trying to “suck up” to Mr. Trump, who the one-time Republican presidential nominee had slammed during the 2016 campaign cycle.
Gingrich said he “got no blowback from anybody” for his inflammatory comments, and “until that decision is made, it’s a fair conversation” to have...
...Meanwhile, for some reason a slice of pure Republicans plutocracy named John Catsimatidis who has bought himself onto the radio felt it was vitally important to solicit the opinion of Holy Joe Lieberman, who one obscure internet crank has called the "lowest god bothering Elmer Gantry with the moral compass of a bus station pickpocket". And then, also for no explicable reason, The Hill decided you should hear about it. Would you care to take a wild guess what Holy Joe had to say about there here modern politics?
Vice President-elect Mike Pence defended President-elect Donald Trump's recent tweet claiming without evidence that "millions" of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election.
"It's his right to express his opinion as President-elect of the United States," Pence told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" on Sunday morning. "He’s going to say what he believes to be true, and I know he is always going to speak in that way as president."
When pressed about whether he believes the claim is accurate, Pence said, "I think one of the things that’s refreshing about our president-elect and one of the reasons why I think he had an incredible connection with people all across this country is because he tells you what's on his mind."
"But why is it refreshing to make false statements?" Stephanopoulos said.
"Look, I don't know that that is a false statement," Pence replied.
The vice president-elect also repeatedly cited a Pew Charitable Trusts study on voter registration records. "I think the President-elect wants to call to attention to the fact there has been evidence over many years," he said.
The 2012 Pew study in question focused on the need to update voter registration records...
"To me, both parties better watch out not to go back to the extremes — left and right — and not working with each other..."No fair! You peeked.
Early morning update:
Dr. Ben "I'm not qualified to work in gummint" Carson has indeed been tapped to lead the effort to divert as much HUD money as possible away from public housing and into the important work of building mighty pyramids in which we can store our nation's precious grain:
From the New York Times:
Trump Chooses Ben Carson to Lead HUD
So, there you go.