Category Archives: Other Stuff

MSNBC Caves Again to GOP

Well that ends that.

MSNBC has once again caved to pressure from the GOP that it’s becoming “too liberal,” and has yanked Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews from political anchor duties.

It seems that the right-wing has a bee in its collective bonnet about MSNBC’s inability to cover up the fact that at least one of its anchors might have a left-leaning view on things. I guess perhaps if Olbermann had called his show, “Countdown – Fair and Balanced,” no one could say anything, no matter how progressive its content.

Right-wingers on the radio have been spreading a lot of fear over the past year that supposedly Democrats want to resurrect the fairness doctrine. When they mention this, they talk incessantly about how the liberals in this country want to shut up the Sean ‘I Lie for a Living’ Hannitys and Rush ‘Oxycontin’ Limbaughs.

But just who is doing the shutting up?

Sean says the Democrats on the radio and television are upset because they cannot compete in the modern marketplace of ideas. Well, here’s MSNBC whose ratings are up substantially over the last convention, probably from folks like me who can’t stand to watch Blitzer or any of the uptight GOP suits over at CNN, and who wouldn’t dare think of turning over to “fair and balanced” FAUX News. And now they’re being threatened by the McCain campaign and they decide to “cut and run” at the slightest hint of controversy.

MSNBC has proven over the past year or so that having a slight progressive bias can work — it can generate ratings. I could watch PBS if I wanted true unbiased coverage, or I could just tune to CSPAN to watch the speeches. The point is, I watch guys like Olbermann and Matthews because they make me laugh, and I enjoy their guests and panelists. Their coverage was entertaining to watch, and I had the feeling that I was tuning in to like-minded people. I’ve read the commentary that says it’s getting dangerous that we all want our “own biased” coverage, but I don’t buy it. I know I’m open to listening to the other side, but I just get the feeling that they don’t want to hear a peep from progressives. So when I’m watching OUR convention or the debates, sure I want the anchors to be somewhat objective — if someone has a terrible speech or poor debating skills, I expect them to say so — but if they’re putting in a dig or two at the GOP in between, I’m just fine with that. And if there’s a little tension between the two anchors, all the better. It’s fun. It’s entertaining. It’s news. I’m watching.

After all, this is TV. I don’t expect hard news. For that, I’ll go to the internet and do some reading.

But it’s over. The Brokaws and Williamses have spoken. They’re embarrassed by their association with MSNBC. As far as I’m concerned, they have their own network (NBC). Why not leave that to the “unbiased” coverage, and let MSNBC take a more progressive tone?

So first CBS was the “liberal” enemy, and now I guess it’s NBC (as evidenced by the chants on the GOP convention floor). This is how they silence the progressives. As soon as someone dares say something bad or challenging about the GOP, the attack is on. “Silence them!”

Well, it has worked again. First Phil Donohue, now Keith and Chris.

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly can continue their far-right-of-center lies and babble over at the GOP-puppet FOX, and bring on scumbags like Dick Morris and Ann Coulter to just reinforce the lies they tell.

Where is the justice?

I stopped watching MSNBC just after Phil was fired. Now, with Keith and Chris being kept behind closed doors and brought out only for the occasional appearance like some kind of circus sideshow, I guess it’s back to PBS for the debates.

How depressing.

More Violence Against Democrats

A week or two ago I posted a story about a man who believed liberals and Democrats were ruining the country and how he went into a church known for its tolerance and started shooting. Two people died and seven others were injured.

Before that, it was people held hostage at Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire headquarters.

Now it’s happened again.This time the target was the chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney, who is lying in a hospital in critical condition who died in the hospital, four hours after being shot. The suspect was chased down by police, shot, and eventually died.

We all know how the right-wing hates when its words are used against it. They’d rather believe their lies and hate speech just goes out over the airwaves and disappears into the ether. Thanks to Media Matters, Crooks and Liars, and other outlets, that doesn’t happen anymore. The lying hatemongers can now be held accountable. I’m not about to argue that they shouldn’t be able to say what they want to say. What I do believe is that they should realize that there are real consequences and real-life ramifications from their daily assault on reason and truth.

It’s time to stop the hate speech about how Democrats want to destroy the country,

It’s time to stop the hate speech about how Democrats are unpatriotic.

It’s time to stop the “Stop Obama Express,” Mr. Hannity.

It’s time to stop all the bullshit and start talking about the real issues for a change. This partisan swiping is getting old, and it’s getting people killed.

Liebermann… Again…

Gee, you’d think I went up to a well-known Jew and said that “Hitler was partially Jewish, … that the anti-Christ will be a Jew, … that Jews believed that their spit contains magic healing powers and thus ran around rubbing it in the eyes of blind people in order to heal them,” that person wouldn’t want anything to do with me. But not Joe Liebermann. No, he’s a real cross-the-aisle kind of guy. So forgiving, so gracious is he, that he seems to have a pretty tight relationship with John Hagee, who has at one point or another said all of the things above. In fact, the senator from Connecticut is going to be a keynote speaker at Hagee’s upcoming convention in Washington

Glenn Greenwald lays it all out in his column today.

61% of Historians: “Bush is Worst Ever”

This is somewhat old news, but George W. Bush has finally succeeded in doing something right. He is finally the best at something. Unfortunately for him and his legacy, he has succeeded in becoming the worst president ever (so far). So say 61% of historians according to a History News Network poll. 98% of the group surveyed called the Bush (p)residency a “failure,” up from 81% four years ago. This just goes to show that given enough time and resources, Bush can make any bad situation even worse. We can’t get rid of this guy soon enough.

Exxon Analysts Meeting

Gee Exxon, don’t let consumer outrage bother you, OK? I mean, all those people swearing at your logo as they fill up their cars and trucks shouldn’t mean a thing, right? After all, there’s nothing consumers can do about it. You have the drugs, and we need the drugs. Still, it would be nice if you at least put a semblance of PR shine on your drug pusher status.

At a recent presentation in NY, Exxon displayed a chart showing production staying at current levels through 2012. When Deutsche Bank oil analyst Paul Sankey raised his hand and asked why not raise production (as most manufacturers do when their product is in demand), what was the Exxon Chairman’s response? Here’s the answer and interpretation from this article at MSN:

“We don’t start with a volume target and then work backwards,” Tillerson explained. Instead, he said, his team examines the available investment opportunities, figures out what prices they’ll likely get for that output down the road and places its bets accordingly. “It really goes back to what is an acceptable investment return for us,” Tillerson said. In other words, producing more barrels just to ease prices for consumers is not part of the company’s calculations.

Now, I don’t expect corporate America to care about the difficulties of individual Americans, but we don’t have to put up with this kind of dysfunctional relationship either. Oil companies are certainly aware of the gathering storm. On Air America I recently heard their latest PR offensive, meant to reassure us about how healthy it actually was that one company recently generated the largest annual profit known to man on the backs of an increasingly squeezed middle class. It began, “who owns the oil companies? YOU DO! If you have a pension, a 401K, or other investments, chances are you’re reaping the benefits of oil company profits!” So why don’t I feel so much richer right now?

Sect’s PR Offensive

A group of men from the Polygamist Ranch down in Texas where some fifty young girls were removed because they were being married off while underage have launched a PR offensive, trying to appeal to the general population of the United States in an attempt to get their children back. Now, I can understand being upset, angry, livid that your children were yanked out of your house by the cops. I really can. And I can understand that you’re going to do anything you can to get them back. What I can’t understand is why you’d claim you were ignorant of Texas state law (which prohibits marriage for women under 18, or 16 when parental consent is given, which it probably was in each of these cases) and why you’d let someone marry your minor child and get them pregnant? Of 53 girls ages 14-17 that were taken from the sect’s property, 31 have children or are pregnant. That’s almost two-thirds of the sect’s MINOR females that are either pregnant or who have ALREADY had children. Couple that with a story from a former sect member who was talking on PBS about how young boys are often sent out in the “real world” to fend for themselves as they become adolescents (lest they compete with the older men for these young girls’ affections), and you just have to say, “you know what? I don’t want to hear it.” Frankly, I’m surprised most of these fathers thought people would give a damn. You subject your children to abuse and then think the public is going to help you pressure the authorities to give them back to you? Wow. Talk about delusional thinking.