Republican Talking-Point Posts

I noticed that more than one of our Republican Pundits wrote virtually the exact same post, using the exact same words, which also used the exact same words used by Neil Cavuto and others on Fox News, which also used the exact same words as more than one Republican during the Petraeus hearings today. 

Fourth Estate Gets One Right

As regular readers of this blog and my columns will attest, I’m not one to heap praises on the media, particularly the Washington press corps. As I see it, they have totally allowed themselves to be steered by and pulled wherever the blogosphere will take them — all in the name of getting there first and scooping their rivals. Now, I’m all for competition, but true journalism thrives and maintains its respectability when it can corroborate details from a credible source. 

Summer of Scandal

Listening in to one of the cable outlets this morning I heard one of the anchors proclaim this is the “Summer of Scandal” for the Republican Party. Cue the music: Larry Craig? Bad. Ted Stevens? Bad. David Vitter? You get the idea.

What I found particularly irritating with this sensational coverage is the fact that two scandalous issues have unfolded TODAY and yet the media makes scant reference. Could this have anything to do with the fact that the focus of these two scandals involves Democrats?

DailyKos vs. the DLC

It always amazes me how ideologues of both the left and right can filter out unpleasant evidence to arrive at the conclusion they wanted to reach all along.

The latest evidence is the campaign by leftist bloggers, who have become quite a force within the Democratic Party, to read the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) out of the party.

The Foxification of America

Chalk up one more big step in the Foxification of America. Lured by the promise of big bucks, the Bancroft family has sold The Wall Street Journal to right-wing robber baron Rupert Murdoch. Which means there is one less place you can look for good, strong, objective reporting — and one less newspaper that publishes the truth.

Except for its Neanderthal editorial page, The Wall Street Journal is actually a damned good paper. One of the best. With top-notch reporters. Or was. But all that will change once Murdoch gets a hold on it. His goal is not just to make money — it’s to push his own right-wing political agenda. 

The Times Can't Believe There's Good News

Check out this story.

It's a piece by Janet Elder, a New York Times reporter, about the paper's polling. It says that the Times couldn't believe that its polling showed an increase in the number of people who felt it was a correct decision to invade Iraq in the first place, from 35 percent last month to 42 percent this month. Nor could they believe the finding that the proportion of voters who felt the war was going badly dropped by 10 points.

The newspaper article said the findings were "counterintuitive." In other words, The New York Times cannot believe good news! Typical.

The Debate Web

The great feature about the blogosphere is that everyone has an equal voice. Of course that’s the great problem too. Because, let’s face it: A whole lot of people who spout off online are cyberspace cadets. They have no Earthly idea what they’re talking about.

So now we come to the CNN-YouTube-debate debate: The Internet faithful are going bonkers. How dare CNN for insisting on deciding which questions to ask? That should be left up to a popular vote.

It’s hard to argue that the traditional media have often frittered away their credibility. They are frequently at the same time establishment elitists and panderers with their incessant coverage of trivialities like Paris Hilton.

My Challenge to GE: Time for Cable News That Respects the American People

As a long-term investor in General Electric, this morning I contacted the office of the corporate secretary to the board of directors and sent a letter to be forwarded to the full board. I called for General Electric to put MSNBC up for sale, in a public auction, and to consider offers that are significantly above the current market value of MSNBC.

In the future I might well invite other citizens who might own GE stock (check your own stock and retirement portfolios) to join in a formal shareholder action.

While countless Americans feel disenfranchised and often insulted by current cable news, all shareholders have the right to support formal resolutions that would require change, and to publicly address questions to management and the board of directors at annual meetings.

Making Talk Radio Fair and Balanced

There are two sides to every issue. Unless, of course, you’re a conservative.

For conservatives, there’s only one side to every issue — and only one point of view that should ever be heard on the airwaves.

Conservatives, in fact, are panicking over a talk radio study released by the Center for American Progress that shows that there are nine hours of right-wing talk radio for every one hour of progressive talk.

Nobody disputes the accuracy of the Center’s findings. But now that the cat’s out of the bag, conservatives are afraid the FCC might take action. So Indiana Republican Rep. Mike Pence has introduced in Congress what he calls the “Broadcaster Freedom Act” — which bans the FCC from reinstating the Fairness Doctrine — and he claims to be picking up lots of cosponsors among fellow Republicans.

Media Hustles

Am I wrong or do you agree that Paris Hilton would be a terrific TV anchorwoman? I mean, she has what it takes: She's blond. And she clearly has the intellect for it.

Yes, I know. That was a cheap shot. But cheap shots seem to be all around us. Take the New York Times and its series on Rupert Murdoch.

Far be it for me to defend his media. But the charges that they pander more than report are old news. And so are the accusations that Murdoch compromises them in the name of his business interests.

But here we have the New York Times fitting into print a series that regurgitates those charges just when Rupert Murdoch just HAPPENS to be involved in a bidding struggle to obtain one of the Times's main competitors. What an amazing coincidence. What an opening for Murdoch's people to claim that the reports were examples of precisely the same conduct they were alleging.