Media

Michael Moore's hypocrisy

Michael Moore says the top 400 richest Americans' wealth now exceeds the cumulative affluence of the bottom 50 percent of the American population, 155 million people.

For all of Michael Moore's faults, this statement is true. However, the message he attempts to make is impotent due to his own hypocrisy and his shallow understanding of why the wealthy are prosperous.

What strikes about Michael Moore is that he is a man who rails against capitalism and recently said rich people’s money "is not theirs, that's a national resource, that's ours. We all have this — we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it."

For those who don’t know, Michael Moore is worth over $50 million. He made that fortune in our capitalist system by being a capitalist himself. I don’t see him rushing to give away his millions to the bottom 50 percent of income earners, nor have I heard that he voluntarily donated millions to the federal government.

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David Broder, gentleman and giant

Somehow, it seemed appropriate that news of the death of David Broder broke halfway into Wednesday’s White House briefing by press secretary Jay Carney.

One by one, you could see veteran reporters stare at their BlackBerrys in disbelief, then turn to share the news with their neighbor. We sat through the rest of the briefing stunned, like members of a team who just lost their leader — which, of course, we had.

David was not only the dean of the Washington Press Corps, he was, right up until his death at the age of 81, the best and hardest-working reporter in Washington. In fact, I last saw him at the White House, just outside the Briefing Room, a couple of weeks ago, on his way in to interview President Obama.

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Fox News should remove Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin

Now Mike Huckabee advances his presidential candidacy with a ridiculous attack on Natalie Portman. Funny how Huckabee rose to the defense of Bristol Palin but attacked Natalie Portman under similar circumstances. Make no mistake: I would never criticize Bristol Palin, and Huckabee should stop pandering by attacking Portman.

Fox should remove Huckabee and Palin unless they unequivocally state they will not run for president. A credible news network should not be a welfare program for partisan candidates or a source of unregulated campaign donations for them by paying them for airtime. And Fox should replace Glenn Beck, who crosses lines that credible news organizations should not cross, even in "opinion" hours, let alone family hours.

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I survived my month without Dana Milbank

Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank has been hoping for a month without Sarah Palin: “I admit there were doubts in those early days about whether I could make it through all of February without invoking her name. The tremors and sweats were manageable.” (Irony!)

The others had backed down; the "Saturday Night Live" late-night comics (they still have that?) and Katie Couric, that incredible disappearing woman; New York Times columnist Frank Rich has quit, Letterman in a world of hurt, internally eviscerated by Vengeance Demons. Kathleen Parker, the first to call Palin “out of her league,” won a Pulitzer Prize for defending the old temple, then got “revised” out of her big new gig with Eliot Spitzer. And Keith Olbermann has been sent to the neverwhere with Al Gore.

Those who shrieked in pain and apoplexy into my phone on the day Palin was nominated for VP have not been heard from again. Hopefully they have gotten back on their meds.

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Courting birther nuts, Huckabee plays the Kenyan Mau Mau card against Obama

Where do Republicans find these guys? Now former Arkansas governor current Fox News host and possible aspirant to be America's president Mike Huckabee dramatizes again why a majority of voters reject the Republican far right and why the Republican field of presidential candidates is so weak.

In the endless need to consider cranks, weirdos and haters a core part of the Republican coalition, speaking on the radio, Huckabee said (falsely) that the president grew up in Kenya, and said (incredibly) that the president has a different view from most Americans of the Mau Mau revolution in Kenya.

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C-SPAN: The new reality show

On June 11, 2002, when "American Idol" premiered on the Fox Network, it introduced the American people to their first taste of crushing reality. Thousands of people auditioned in front of three judges, hoping upon hope that they would grab the brass ring, that their singing talents were so immense that they would be a big star.

Simon Cowell, who had the guts and the fortitude to tell the would-be singers that they sucked, mostly crushed the hopes of the overwhelming majority of contestants. Cowell wasn’t nice about it. He was brutal. And it was just about what America needed to hear. We can’t all be stars. Some people have voices that are best left in the shower.

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Matt Drudge defines the debate

The blunt truth is, Matt Drudge has probably had more influence deciding the political narrative in Washington than any individual in America, except President Obama in 2008 with his "hope and change" agenda that has largely disappeared.

When I refer to the power of Drudge, I refer to the power to determine and define the political story line that dominates our national debate. It is more than Drudge. Just as the Obama campaign dominated the story line in 2008, the Tea Party movement dominated the story line in 2010 and (for better or worse) the Tea Party story line still rules our debate today.

Drudge has what liberals and Democrats lack: a coherent and consistent narrarative about American politics, the ability to drive that narrative through multiple media and the staying power to drive the narrative year after year, relentlessly and successfully.

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Fox News should fire Glenn Beck; Speaker Boehner should denounce the birthers

Fox News should fire Glenn Beck because there are some "opinions" that should not be given prominence on a network that purports to be a serious news station. Beck has the right to express his opinions, but a publicly traded company that presumes to be a credible news network should not be aiding and abetting the spreading of hate using its shareholders' money on the public airwaves.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) should denounce the birthers clearly, unequivocally, immediately and unconditionally and should state, without qualification, that President Obama is a Christian and an American. A leader of one of our two great parties, and the leader of the whole House of Representatives, which is the true role of the Speaker, should not give one ounce of credence to the politics of lies and hate, or leave one inch of doubt that he condemns the politics of lies and hate.

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Keith Olbermann joins Al Gore: The professional left strikes back!

When Keith Olbermann joins forces with Al Gore and Current TV, it will be a bonanza day for progressives that will generate an excitement and enthusiasm that will benefit Current TV, MSNBC, the progressive movement and progressive media as a whole.

The most underrepresented audience group on television today is the large progressive movement in America. MSNBC has tapped into this movement, which is why MSNBC has surpassed CNN in the ratings.

If Keith Olbermann joins forces with Al Gore it will be powerful and good for Current TV, for the progressive movement, and in my view for MSNBC as well.

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MSNBC will thrive, Keith Olbermann will return (somewhere else)

After I ended my time working for Democratic leaders in Congress and went into (real) business, my most significant client was Frank Sinatra through his agency. Great talent often comes with great tumult. Keith Olbermann was and remains a giant talent, and what happened last week was regrettable but not surprising.

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