Archive for news? what news?

Maddow blasts conservative media for "bullpucky" headLIES, hypocrisy

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maddow show hooker line and sinker

Last night Rachel Maddow rightfully blasted the conservative "news" media for creating false headlines, spreading "bullpucky," inventing their own news, and indulging in the worst kind of self-serving hypocrisy and propaganda. Here is the entire segment, well worth a watch. Further down is a much shorter clip in which Maddow skillfully and effectively gets to the heart of the matter.

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Maddow bullet pointed several scandals, including this one:

Hooker scandals are about as rare in politics as hot days in July. We have a lot of them. But just because we have them all the time... it doesn't mean that they're ever anything but awkward. But here, perhaps, is the mother of them all.

vitter pillVitter madame phone list

And then she documented the blatant hypocrisy of the right wing commentator who founded the conservative media outlet The Daily Caller, Tucker Carlson.

They [the conservative media] decided that Sen. David Vitter's history with hookers just wasn't a big deal. Nothing that we should 'bother' the Senator about. Tucker Carlson [said], "That's barely illegal."

Tuck compared that felony to "double parking." Yes. He said that. Just watch the video above, it's at about 16:20. He tossed that out just before he blurted out that "one out of three women" patronizing New Orleans restaurants was "for sale." And then he claimed he'd defend any Democrat as zealously as he defended Vitter. An equal opportunity defender of hooking up with hookers. What a guy.

Maddow's Moment of Mockitude followed:

Who among us has not paid a hooker for sex while serving in the United States Senate? Can't these people solicit hookers in peace without us bothering them?

But oops! Carlson's own Daily Caller called out Democratic Senator Bob Menendez for... guess what?

daily caller gop fail hypocrisy hooker scandal

Of course, the Daily Caller pushed the story hard, and before you know it, that paragon of accurate reporting, Fox, ran with it. And ran with it. And ran with it. Right before the 2012 election. Of course, the story turned out to be bogus, but hey, that never stops the liberal right wing media, now does it? Oh, and Menendez won the election.

As it turns out, the only time the GOP defends paying for sex is when their fellow Republicans engage. But the minute a Democrat gets caught with his pants down, fugetaboutit. All bets are off. Peddle that story. Sell it hard. Make it sound legit. Smear the opponent. Condemn the Dem.

Here is how Rachel Maddow ended the segment. It's a concise history of right wing "news" headlies. That's no typo, it isn't meant to read "headlines." It's headlies. Because that's what they sell, and that's what eager and/or willfully ignorant and/or gullible audiences buy.

The most pointed part of the Rachel Rant came at the end. Here's the clip:

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Maddow:

...Bullpucky that has been invented by and for the conservative media who are happy to tell each other for years that this is news and not just stuff they made up. While the real media, and frankly the politicians who have to swim in that sewer, have to worry about this parallel track of paranoid, fake information, that traffics as news on the American political right, but that is disproven everywhere else outside their echo chamber...

It is one thing for us to be domestically inventing this stuff for ourselves. It's another thing for this weird, fake channel in our supposed news media to allegedly, at least, to become a conveyor belt to foreign countries' disinformation about U.S. government officials...

[This] has to do with our own intelligence as a nation and what the consequences are for all of us, of a conservative movement that has now spent a full generation telling people, telling Americans, "Do not trust the actual news," and to instead invent their own conservative version of it. And they did that. And this is where it got us.

And apparently, at least, Cuba, maybe, appears to be delighted with the results.

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We must climb out of the black hole of American injustice and apathy

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scales of injusticefirst amendment flag

As regular readers know, I do a weekly radio spot with Nicole Sandler, and today we tried to climb out of the black hole of American injustice and apathy as we discussed some of the stories you won't hear or see in the corporate media.

Every week, Nicole has someone on from Talk Radio News Service who fills her in on the morning's breaking news. Chief White House correspondent and global analyst Victoria Jones was her TRNS guest this week, and this is the disturbing report that she brought us. Ready? Emphasis mine:

Intel Chief Issues Press Limits:

The Obama administration has barred officials at 17 agencies from speaking to journalists about unclassified intelligence-related topics without permission. The directive, issued by DNI James Clapper, also requires agencies' employees to report any unplanned contact with journalists (NYT, Hill, me) [Laffy Note: If you recall, Clapper wasn't exactly forthcoming with Congress about NSA surveillance.]

• Officials who violate the directive may be disciplined or fired. The directive was issued in March. Clapper also issued rules to protect whistle-blowers who report info about waste, fraud or abuse via approved govt channels, although not to the news media

• Those rules, carrying out a presidential order, don't apply to intel contractors, only agency employees, a gap that's attracted scrutiny amid the debate over leaks by former contractor Edward Snowden - who pointed out he wasn't covered

The directive was reported by Steven Aftergood, head of the Project on Govt Secrecy. He wrote: "So under most circumstances, an intel community employee is at liberty to discuss unclassified "intelligence-related information" with his or her next-door neighbor,"

• "But if the neighbor happened to be a member of the media, then the contact would be prohibited altogether without prior authorization." (well, when you put it like that...)

You can read more details here, at the New York Times. This is not easy news to process, let alone accept.

Needless to say, Nicole and I lamented about the state of our dwindling rights, the decrease in feasible ways to organize and fight back, our abysmal lack of real news, and the mounting difficulty in disseminating accurate information, the soon-to-be extinct liberal radio outlets (did I mention Randi Rhodes is going off the air on May 16th?), among other things. The Political Carnival will post the podcast covering all of this later today.

The account above followed news of the terrible Supreme Court ruling that upheld Michigan’s affirmative action ban.

Jacob Dean of Filter Free Radio posted this quote in the chat room during the show:

"We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”

Chris Hedges

We clearly have our work cut out for us.

Voting is only part of the answer. Growing a movement, using social media, forcing our elected officials to hear us, supporting Progressive candidates for local offices on up, and refusing to accept the status quo matter. Pay attention, Progressives, organize, speak out loudly, and never ever give in or give up.

Between these reports, the (sometimes violent) extremists on the right, their lies, fear tactics, and propaganda, the growing polarization of this country, the threats of climate change and assault on civil rights, and the (often willful) ignorance of voters, it's time to wake up and act before it's too late.

We can do this. But we have to start right now.

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SNL spoofs CNN: Pregnancy test sends out countless irrelevant bulletins

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cnn most trusted

Whether we watch CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or the Big Three TV networks, we are often subjected to a constant stream of non-news, redundant reporting, irrelevant stories, inane bulletins, anchors and commentators with nothing new to say, repetitive clips, video packages, you name it.

I rarely watch CNN any more, but I do keep an eye out for interesting tweets on the Twitter Machine. And guess what? The tweets from people and organizations I follow were filled with mockery and snark about CNN's incessant coverage of the horrific Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearance.

Coverage of a major news story is one thing, red herrings and extraneous filler are quite another. It was hard to avoid the multitude of tweets noting how CNN devoted twenty-four hours a day (or so it seemed) to one story, even when there was nothing to report.

Ocean footage is not news.

CNN was clearly aware of the social media reaction. Well, Jake Tapper was, anyway. When I retweeted Jacki Schechner (@JackiSchechner), about it, he popped into our thread to inform us that CNN, as we speak, was airing a report about something else. Hey, if you have to interject that your network has taken a hiatus from their fixation on one story, then maybe the criticism is valid.

jake tapper tweet jacki schechner CNN Malaysia

That's an order! One that I didn't obey.

If only news networks would become, you know, news networks, instead of commercialized, ratings-centric infotainment feeds.

And with that, here is Saturday Night Live's "commercial" spoofing news media coverage generally and CNN specifically. They nailed it:

BREAKING: CNN more confident than ever that it will soon know if you’re pregnant,” read one alert from the test, in between updates about Oscar Pistorius removing his legs in court and Kesha. Ultimately, we learned nothing from the pregnancy test...

H/t: Mediaite

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How to practice honest journalism, in 26 seconds: VIDEO

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journalism

there is no news missing plane tweet media coverage

 Link

Journalism, are you out there? Hello? There is no news any more. It's become commercialized, packaged, and infotained. It's all about ratings, not facts or investigative reporting.

So when someone comes along and makes a refreshingly honest statement about an ongoing news story, one that's been over-saturating the airwaves the way the GOP over-saturates its speeches with religious references, it's time to pause, blink, and applaud:

applause gif

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On Friday, Rachel Maddow did something we rarely see these days. She practiced honest journalism. Oh wait, she does that a lot. But this time she was so honest, so clearly and succinctly honest, that for those few seconds, I felt pure relief.

Relief from the constant bombardment of shoddy, desperate journalism by networks in search of an audience.

Relief from relentless speculation and painful reports after which the headlines are reversed within hours.

Relief from recap after recap of grasping at straws, straws that are breaking the spirits of loved ones who hang on every word.

So thank you, Rachel, for being responsible and sensitive:

"There is no news on the missing plane...

"There are NO developments to report...

"We will not try to turn the lack of news in this very sad story into something that sounds like news when it isn't."

"We will not try to turn the lack of news in this very sad story into something that sounds like news when it isn't."

Thank you.

Now back to our regularly scheduled 24/7 coverage of nothing already in progress.

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Payback time: You want speculation, news media? Fine. Let's speculate about you for a change.

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payback time

Day in and day out, I watch, read, listen, and write about news. And because I do so much watching, reading, and listening. I tend to notice recurring themes. A major recurring theme is how much time the so-called "news" [sic] media spends on speculation.

breaking speculation

Most of that speculation centers on the 2016 presidential election, focusing specifically on Hillary Clinton vs (currently) Chris Christie. Newsflash, "journalists": It's only 2013, and you started this endless loop of What Ifs the day after Election 2012. This is ludicrous. This is not news, this is meaningless filler and a shameless ploy used to pull in viewers.

And hey viewers, how about you stop enabling?

Then again, there is very little "real" news reporting any more, not since news departments became commercialized all those years ago. Not since it became all about profit, which news stories sell, which headlines attract ratings, and as a result, attract sponsors and their buckets of money.

And don't get me started on media bias. The CBS "60 Minutes" Benghazi story scandal is only the latest, and if you're a regular reader, you know that the Sunday morning talk shows have an obvious rightward slant.

But back to that nasty speculation habit. When you watch the "news" shows, you see them produce hours upon hours of What If about future elections, about the *gasp!* doomed fate of the Affordable Care Act, about which freedoms we might lose if we don't do something about some catastrophe that might or might not happen, about which new scandal *could* result from Darrell Issa's umpteenth witch hunt about absolutely everything/nothing.

You can actually see concrete examples of all this speculation in their  TV chyrons, like, Low Obamacare enrollment numbers: Sign of problems to come?"; "A third 'Bush' in office?"; "Will the world end in 2012? Many people believe so." We get a ton of cowardly headlines in the form of a question, Alex, so that nobody has to commit to actual, you know, reporting.

Facts schmacts.

Well now it's our turn. News outlets want to speculate? Fine. Let's turn the tables and speculate about them for a change:

  • Will Fox finally become defunct when Americans wake up and realize they're a bunch of propagandists and liars? You decide.
  • Will MSNBChristie require financial assistance when viewers revolt after O.D.ing on their constant fawning over the ::cough!:: "moderate" New Jersey photo op glutton? Who knows?
  • Will ABC's ratings take a fatal plunge the next time syrupy panel regular Peggy Noonan condescends ad nauseam on "This Week"? We'll find out.
  • Will CNN change its name to Comedy Central 2 when they become self aware enough to realize what a parody they've become? It's anybody's guess.
  • "Some say" cable news has crossed a line by being bought and paid for by right wing corporate cash monsters who find themselves more than a little obsessed with Christie, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Marsha Blackburn, Reince Priebus, Marco Rubio, John Boehner, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham. Could this spell trouble for attracting future investors? We'll have to wait and see.
  • "Anonymous sources" tell The Political Carnival that the glut of Big Pharma ads-- especially for Cialis-- that saturate cable news channels could lead to a revolt among increasingly hypochondriacal viewers, specifically bathtub owners. True? We can't say for sure.
  • We're hearing that air time spent on trivia-- like how many shoppers are lining up to buy the new iPhone, instead of on hard news stories-- could possibly-- we're speculating here-- cause riots among viewers with functioning brains. More on that as details emerge.
  • Rumors abound about the habit and practice of cable show hosts inviting other cable show hosts to provide commentary that they just gave on their own shows. Incestuous? Tweet us with your answers.
  • We're learning-- well, we've heard-- well, okay, we overheard-- that cable news viewers are about to retaliate en masse over all the in-house backslapping, "my friend" references, "be safe" cautions, and insufferable book plugs. True or false? At this point, we can only make an educated guess.

speculation what do I know

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This is what Meet the Press has come to

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waste of time

Seriously, NBC? When so many life-changing (and life-ending) events are taking place all over the world, this is what Meet the Press spends its time investigating?

Taegan:

According to a survey conducted by Meet the Press, 58% of the House of Representatives uses an iPhone, compared to 23% who use a Blackberry.

meet the press iphone poll

That was one of three-- count 'em, three-- polls they took on the subject of who uses which smart phone.

earth shattering

Remember when Meet the Press was must-see appointment television? Remember when news was news?

If you don't, if you're too young to recall the "good old days"-- when objective, fair, and honest investigative reporting was valued instead of commercialized "newsotainment" and staged, "balanced"overtalk by the usual cast of characters, augmented by time-wasting trivia-- then you've truly missed out.

Instead, what was once the gold standard of Sunday talk has devolved into polls on congressional cell phone preferences.

Perspective is a good thing. We seem to have lost ours.

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ENTIRE VIDEO: Pres. Clinton explains Obamacare. Plus major new study: "Lower than expected" premiums

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debunking myths smaller

Yesterday I got very angry at MSNBC and posted this: Dear TV "news": If you hype Bill Clinton's "important" speech on Obamacare, then air it. CNN didn't carry the event at all, and MSNBC talked it up for days only to cut away after about two minutes. Don't even get me started on Fox.

Since TV "news" shows failed to follow through on all their countdowny, breathless promotion of the speech, allow TPC to provide the entire video:

Bill Clinton:

“I have agreed to give this talk today because I am still amazed at how much misunderstanding there is about the current system of health care, how it works, how it compares with what other people in other countries pay for health care.”

Let the debunking continue. Per the Hill, the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation put together data from the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces in the 17 states where it is fully available. Guess what?

A leading health policy research organization reported "lower than expected" premiums for ObamaCare's new insurance exchanges in a major study released Thursday.

Well damn, now Republicans are going to have to concoct all new talking points. Quel drag.

And per Think Progress:

Many Americans will pay even less than the top-line rates after factoring in government subsidies for their health coverage, with some paying nothing at all for crucial medical coverage.

But facts like those likely won't stop the GOP obstructionists and their do-nothing House majority from trying to repeal the plan for the 41st time.

Follow the links for all the details.

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