Category Archives: Robert Parry

A message to the left – We are Media Orphans

Robert Parry, who can put his finger on the pulse of the right so very succinctly and eloquently, does it in this Consortium writeup about the left and our shrinking options in the media with the departure of Keith Olbermann. That he calls us media orphans…well, it just friggin nails it. From his article:

The troubling message to progressives is that they remain essentially orphans when it comes to having their political interests addressed by any corporate news outlet. While the Right has built its own vast media infrastructure – reaching from newspapers, magazines and books to radio, TV and the Internet – the Left generally has treated media as a low priority.

Though some on the Left saw hope in the MSNBC evening line-up, the larger reality was that even inside the world of NBC News, the other content ranged from the pro-Establishment centrism of anchor Brian Williams to the center-right views of MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough to CNBC’s mix of free-market extremism and corporate boosterism.

While gratified to be given a few hours each night on MSNBC, the Left surely had nothing to compare with Murdoch’s News Corporation and its longstanding commitment to a right-wing perspective on Fox News and News Corp.’s many other print and electronic outlets.

As I wrote in an article last November, “Olbermann and the other liberal hosts are essentially on borrowed time, much the way Phil Donahue was before getting axed in the run-up to George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, when MSNBC wanted to position itself as a ‘patriotic’ war booster.

The man ain’t lying is he? Does it not all make sense now? We have a mere 14 hours a week whilst the right has tens of hours a week? If you count the scum in talk radio then it bounces the numbers even higher.

Yet, the president who was elected by the voters in 2008, not a panel of leftwing nutters, is father from the right than the left in a vast majority of issues. If you listen to the screaming nutters on the right on Faux, or Limbaugh, Palin,Savage etc he is no where near their beliefs. He wants to bring our nation to it’s knees they tell us daily. He wants to kill your granny! He wants to bankrupt Amerika!

But his ratings are higher than Reagan’s were at this stage in his presidency, more people trust him to fix things than trust the Republicans.

So why is it that you can not find more talking heads disseminating information with that “famous liberal bias” the right constantly screams about on tv? Why is it that MSNBC has not shown a scintilla of loyalty to the hosts on the left similar to what Faux shows to it’s stable of rightwing hosts? Again from Parry’s article:

“Unlike News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, who stands solidly behind the right-wing propaganda on Fox News, the corporate owners of MSNBC have no similar commitment to the work of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.

*snip*

The ongoing significance of America’s media imbalance is that it gives the Right enormous capabilities to control the national debate, not only during election campaigns but year-round. Republicans can deploy what intelligence operatives call “agit-propaganda,” stirring controversies that rile up the public and redound to the GOP’s advantage.

These techniques have proved so effective that not even gifted political speakers, whether the savvy Bill Clinton or the eloquent Barack Obama, have had any consistent success in countering the angry cacophony that the Right can orchestrate.

One week, the Right’s theme is “Obamacare’s death panels”; another week, it’s “the “Ground Zero Mosque.” The Democrats are left scrambling to respond – and their responses, in turn, become fodder for critical commentary, as too wimpy or too defensive or too something.

The mainstream media and progressives often join in this criticism, wondering why Obama let himself get blind-sided or why he wasn’t tougher or why he can’t control the message. For the Right and the Republicans, it’s a win-win-win, as the right-wing base is energized, more public doubts are raised about the President, and the Left is further demoralized.

All questions and no answers. It’s disheartening ain’t it? Don’t it piss you the hell off?

Well,  its a mute point now as the era of Comcast starts now….and we will see how that shit unfolds…but one thing is for certain, it will be about ratings..bet the farm on that kids..bet the farm.

So keep watching the few shows we still got on the telly. It’s all we got, along with Maher of course. And hopefully KO will return, eventually, on another channel stronger and more eloquently than ever, ripping the right with everything he has.

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Dana Milbank can kiss my brown ass..

I get Consortiumnews’ daily email. The one tonight really chapped my hide. Robert Parry has a piece up entitled: WPost Calls Out ‘Uppity’ Obama. Parry’s article addresses Dana Milbanks column today in WaPo.

First, let me say I am not a fan nor a supporter of Barack Obama. I feel, no I know, he is just another politician who will pretty much do or say whatever is needed in order to get our votes. I am not calling him a liar, a charlatan or a carpetbagger, I am just saying he will pander to whomever he thinks will possibly vote for him in the general election come November. Obama seems to be playing it straight, or at least straighter than the idiot the Republicans have running for the Office of President of the United States. He knew he would take heat for his FISA vote, his change of heart on NAFTA and his slightly different tune on when and how we will be getting our soldiers out of Iraq just to name a few things that have jerked some of our collective chains on the left lately.

Dana Milbank was someone that I would listen to when he appeared almost nightly on MSNBC’s Countdown. Notice the past tense “was” in the previous sentence. After reading the following bullshit and bravado in his column linked above I will not be wasting my time listening to him run his yap any longer. Seems Dana doesn’t have a problem taking hearsay and making a column out of it, as witnessed by the following excerpt:

The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls — just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door — just as they do for the actual president.

Inside, according to a witness, he told the House members, “This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for,” adding: “I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions.”(emphasis mine)

Now, Robert Parry’s article at Consortium News has the following regarding the ‘quote’ Milbank used today:

However, other people who attended the caucus complained that Milbank had yanked the words out of context to support his “presumptuous” thesis, not to reflect what Obama actually was saying.

Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina, said Obama’s comment was “in response to what one of the [House] members prefaced the question by,” a reference to the crowd of 200,000 that turned out to hear Obama speak last week in Berlin.

According to Clyburn, Obama “said, ‘I wish I could take credit for that, but I can’t. Because it’s not about me. It’s about America. It’s about the people of Germany and the people of Europe looking for a new hope, new relationships, as we go forward in the world.’ So, he expressly said that it’s not about me.”

A House Democratic aide sent an e-mail to Fox News saying, “Lots of people are reading the quote about Obama being a symbol and getting it wrong. His entire point of that riff was that the campaign IS NOT about him.

“The Post left out the important first half of the sentence, which was something along the lines of: ‘It has become increasingly clear in my travel, the campaign, that the crowds, the enthusiasm, 200,000 people in Berlin, is not about me at all. It’s about America. I have just become a symbol …’”

I realize that a ‘column’ is a far different animal than a ‘news story’. It is opinion mixed with facts that support the writers point of view..or at least it’s supposed to be. As Parry points out, and if you read Milbanks column it should be quite evident, that the purpose of Milbanks column was to knock Obama down a peg or two and paint him as an arrogant..or as one of his co-workers recently called Obama, an “uppity” black man. It should be noted that the writer who called Obama uppidity is also an African American and he said this on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” which is a ‘right of the center’ talk show hosted by a washed-up politician who shall remain nameless here.

Milbank comes off, in my opinion, as a whiny, petty, little man with a little bit of jealousy tossed in for good measure. His entire column is a nasty, negative ass-whipping of the Democrats presumptive nominee and the United States first African American Presidential Candidate that actually has a chance of winning in November. Dana seems to be doing his best WWF smackdown imitation with phrases like the following:

As he marches toward Inauguration Day (Election Day is but a milestone on that path), Obama’s biggest challenger may not be Republican John McCain but rather his own hubris.

Some say the supremely confident Obama — nearly 100 days from the election, he pronounces that “the odds of us winning are very good” — has become a president-in-waiting. But in truth, he doesn’t need to wait: He has already amassed the trappings of the office, without those pesky decisions.

With polls daily and in some cases going wildly back and forth between Obama being in the lead and McCain closing in fast and occasionally showing McCain leading in some key swing states..how exactly does ol Dana come to the conclusion that the election is ‘in the bag’ for Obama? If he has some inside info we don’t…it would be nice if the asshole would share it.

Robert Parry has a few choice words for Milbank and his co-workers at the Washington Post:

One has to wonder: Doesn’t Dana Milbank have any idea of the physical danger that surrounds the first African-American to have a serious chance to be elected President of the United States? Does Milbank really want to heighten the political pressure on Obama to take more chances with his personal safety than he already does?

Do Milbank and the Washington Post want to feed the irrational hatred that already swirls around Obama by portraying him as an “uppity” black man with the obvious subliminal message that might send to some angry white guy, like the fellow who went on a shooting rampage because he hated “liberals”?

Presumably, Milbank and the Post don’t want to add to the danger that Obama faces. It’s more likely that they simply couldn’t resist their reflexive disdain for people whom they consider challengers to the Washington Establishment.

In a nutshell, I think the last sentence tells us why Milbank has his panties in a wad: Obama challenges the Washington Establishment aka the Status Quo. This, to me, is a great thing to behold. Although I do consider Obama a politician at heart, he is far from being a Washington Establishment-kinda guy…at least not yet.

Parry also reminds us that Milbank has a knack for bitch-slapping any politician that is outside the “Washington Establishment” or left of the center. Milbanks column last Saturday was devoted to demonizing Dennis Kucinich and the House Judiciary Committee hearing on George W. Bush’s abuses of presidential power which have been obvious to anyone that pays attention. From Parry’s article:

To read the column, you would never know that there actually is a strong case for believing that President Bush violated a significant number of international and domestic laws, the U.S. Constitution, and honorable American traditions, like George Washington’s prohibition against torture.

Instead, it was time to laugh at the peaceniks. Milbank opened by agreeing with a put-down from Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, calling the session “an anger management class.” Milbank wrote: “House Democrats had called the session … to allow the left wing to vent its collective spleen.”

Milbank then insulted Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who has introduced impeachment resolutions against Bush, by calling the Ohio Democrat “diminutive” and noting that Kucinich’s wife is “much taller” than he is.

What Kucinich’s height had to do with an issue as serious as abuses of presidential power was never made clear. What Milbank did make clear, through his ridicule and insults, was that the Washington Establishment takes none of Bush’s crimes and abuses seriously.

Milbank is a mean-spirited insider that evidently thinks BushCo hasn’t really done anything wrong in the last seven plus years. As someone that listened to him and paid attention I am now of the mindset that this mutha fucka is part of the general problem in DC and the MSM in particular. He wants the status quo to continue and Obama, if nothing else, signals that the status quo will come to a screeching halt if he is elected.

And I hope to hell Milbank as a seat in the front row when it all tumbles down around him and his fellow ‘insiders’ come January 21, 2009. I hope Obama is sincere in his ‘populist’ message. I hope to hell he plans on making sweeping changes in how business is conducted in DC. That will surely give Milbank and his ilk a lot to write about..or rather, whine about over the next four years.

And I for one…can’t fucking wait to see how it all plays out.