Monday, January 29, 2018

Both Sides Don't

Jeffrey Toobin confirms what Dirty Hippies have been saying all along. 

From the WaPo:

CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin: ‘I regret my role’ in Hillary Clinton false equivalence

No question about the attack on Clinton, responded Toobin, citing “all that bogus stuff about the Clinton Foundation” — perhaps a reference to the Uranium One story or even to the pre-election reporting of Bret Baier — later withdrawn — that there would be an indictment relating to the foundation.

“And I hold myself somewhat responsible for that,” continued Toobin, a steady presence on CNN since 2002. “I think there was a lot of false equivalence in the 2016 campaign. That every time we said something, pointed out something about Donald Trump — whether it was his business interests, or grab ’em by the p–––y, we felt like, ‘Oh, we gotta, like, talk about — we gotta say something bad about Hillary.’ And I think it led to a sense of false equivalence that was misleading, and I regret my role in doing that.”

A study by Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that in the campaign’s final months, the media’s aggregate coverage performed pretty much as Toobin described to Wilmore. “When journalists can’t, or won’t, distinguish between allegations directed at the Trump Foundation and those directed at the Clinton Foundation, there’s something seriously amiss. And false equivalencies are developing on a grand scale as a result of relentlessly negative news. If everything and everyone is portrayed negatively, there’s a leveling effect that opens the door to charlatans,” wrote Thomas Patterson in the Shorenstein study...
This pathology has been omnipresent in the media on for decades.

The Left has been talking and writing about it for decades.

I mean, I appreciate Mr. Toobin confirming what we on the Left have always known because confirmation is always nice, but the real question for us has never been, "Is there a massive and ongoing media conspiracy of false equivalence that favors Republicans?"

The real question has always been, "Why is there a massive and ongoing media conspiracy of false equivalence that favors Republicans?"

What are the institutional structures -- what is the professional reward system -- which made Mr. Toobin "feel" that he had to make up lies about Hillary Clinton every time Donald Trump shit the bed in public?  Who, specifically, are the enforcers of that system and how exactly are the norms of that system made known to the employees who are subject to it?  Is everyone required by HR to attend false equivalence workshops?  To sign a pledge?  Is it a performance evaluation line item?  Is there an incentive program?  Are bonuses based on who can work the phrase "Both Sides" into the most news stories each week?

Because it sure as hell seems like it.  *

*Thanks to the sexy lady who caught my typos

Behold, a Tip Jar!


dinthebeast said...

Nice job of not letting him weasel out of it.

-Doug in Oakland

Countervail said...

Because having an interview with informed, rational, non-partisan guests don't make ratings. Watch PBS news as the example.

bluicebank said...

As I recall, both siderism grew out of a legitimate journalist practice of never painting an investigate target in completely black terms.

Also known as, "Hitler petted his dog."

The political equivalent was to offer two opposing sides their say in an article.

This good rule somehow transformed into a faux intellectualism, wherein a writer or commentator appeared to be wise as Solomon by threatening to cut the baby in half, to seek the glorious middle. Of course, that's not the morale of the Solomon tale (he deduced the truth by seeing which mother declined the offer).

And so, both siderism is an attempt by intellectually bankrupt persons seeking to wear what all the cool kids wear.

Habitat Vic said...

I'm only guessing, but I suspect its as simple as top management and/or ownership and/or deep pocketed sponsors making it known that that is what they wanted. Unofficially of course, not in writing, but effective nonetheless. Back in the 80s my Silicon Valley employer decided after a falling out with a Japanese frenemy that all salesmen & FAEs would get rid of any Japanese cars. Pronto. This was coming down from one of the founders and a senior VP. Never showed up in written documents, emails, company handbooks, etc, but everyone knew about it, and we all complied. Within weeks.

Back in the 90's Gingrich put pressure on all the lobbying/law firms to get rid of anyone who was a Democrat - even the receptionists, internal office staff. That purge was pretty effective.

I can imagine a similar, years-in-the-making effort upon Big Media, likely in the 90s onward. Things said on the golf course, at cocktail parties, eventually in the boardroom, percolated down through upper management. Slight advantages: better assignments, more air time, - leading to clear preferences: pay raise, promotions, maybe even not getting laid off, to those that played the Both-Sides Game, and leaned Conservative. For every Donohue, Olberman, or Harris-Perry that got forced out in the Public Eye, I suspect there were many more people in the last 20 years in media that felt the gradual pressure. They slowly left and/or changed.

Conservatives play the Long Game. They have patience, money and positions of power/ownership. And in the case of Big Media, they have clearly won.

jim said...

The exact same brave admission was made in the wake of Bush versus Kerry ... & hell, probably Bush versus Gore too for all I know.

Call them & rag on them if you like - but it's much more productive to call their sponsors & ask why they're paying top dollar for such garbage, then let them know that continuing to do so bans them from your shopping list, permanently.

Robt said...

Atheist Bible Bastardo says; As it is written. so it shall be repeated

----------------- Judas Iscariot had regrets too -------------------------

Judas is known for the kiss and betrayal of Jesus to the Sanhedrin for 30 silver coins. His name is often used synonymously with betrayal or treason.
Though accounts of his death are varied, the traditional version sees him as having hanged himself following the betrayal, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew. His place among the Twelve Apostles was later filled by Matthias.

Despite his notorious role in the Gospel narratives, Judas remains a controversial figure in Christian history. For instance, Judas' betrayal is seen as setting in motion the events that led to Jesus' crucifixion and Resurrection.

maybe Toobin saw he could reinvigorate his career and the cold coins didn't hurt either.
While the rest of us get the Crucified part.

There are to many similar letters in their names to be a coincidence.

Iscariiot And Toobin

Notice how they both have the same letters. I, T and O ????

No, can't be a coincidence

Paul Coppock said...

It's 90% self-censorship. "I have to say something bad about Hilary or this will come back to bite me," basically. But they dress it up as "objectivity." There doesn't have to be much of a top-down dictation of the party line. Careerists can be counted on to notice what success looks like.

...andlovingit. said...

"Hitler petted his dog". LOL.

...andlovingit. said...

"cold coins"...true, Robt.

Aurora Silvermane said...

I would think it would have something to do with the Both Siderist-style being more conducive to harnessing viewers’ attention that can then be sold to advertisers. Not only does it allow the public to cheer for its chosen side (Blue money spends just as well as Red), but it provides plausible deniability for the pundits to save face when they are inevitably caught with their pants down. The Republicans caught onto this and have expertly manipulated it to their advantage. The Media hasn’t stopped because people can’t look away from a train wreck, and they can’t bring themselves to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

lex said...

Do you know WHY he feels obligated to "it led to a sense of false equivalence"?
Because Fox and the Right Wing propaganda machine relentlessly ATTACKS, THREATEN, BADGER AND BULLY everything and everyone who opposes them. Victims subconsciously fear the retaliation...the prosecution ... the pain. It really works as his comments are proof.
I call it the Badgered Wife Syndrome, anytime you speak your mind you get beaten.

Qahir Makhani said...

That's not even the most egregious aspect of the Bush elections. Why do they never acknowledge that he didn't beat Gore (recount was stopped thanks in part to Supreme Court Judges appointed by daddy) or John Kerry (remember how the vote totals in Ohio literally flipped?).
Time is a great healer for cancervatives. It's high time that we progressives quit playing nice and just tell the truth - to those who say it's not pleasant - the truth takes no sides. An example:
Most Brexit voters are bigoted and/or corrupt. This is a conclusion reached by looking at demographic data such as age, income and ethnicity. The media would love to have you believe that most Brexit/Republican voters are merely the "forgotten" or "disenchanted/downtrodden" when in reality they represent the minority of those who voted in that manner .

Qahir Makhani said...

Neutrality =/= Objectivity. Toobin was neutral, Keith Olbetmann is objective. I was living in America when Rachel Maddow first appeared on MSNBC as Keith's understudy and she was a lot more unapologetically liberal back then. The reason Keith got booted was Joe Scarborough- Scar practically admitted as much. Why? Because Keith told the truth and didn't back down from it