Eighty advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Here are his November 4 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Talk about inventing your own parallel universe. Journal editorial writers were so anxious to toast Tuesday's night results and present them as sweeping Republican successes, that they completely forgot to mention (even once) that, oh yeah, an upstate N.Y. district that had been red for 150 years switched to Democratic last night. For some reason that just completely slipped the minds of the Journal editors.
It's weird, because just last week the Journal's James Taranto announced that in the upstate race, the conservative Doug Hoffman stood "a very good chance" of pulling "off a victory." Yet in its day-after editorial about the campaigns, the Journal didn't even acknowledge there was a N.Y.-23 contest, let alone announce the winner.
I realize that because the Congressional race was close, the winner may have been announced after the Journal's deadline. But again, it's strange that the piece made no mention whatsoever that the previously hyped N.Y.-23 race took place. And of course, this is the age of the Internet, and if Journal editors wanted to update their piece and address the Hoffman loss, they could do so online.
My hunch is they don't have much to say about Hoffman today.
Here's Chris Matthews, badgering White House press secretary Robert Gibbs moments ago, about whether Barack Obama has gone Washington:
You don't see any problem with the imagery of hanging around with all the fund-raisers, doing all the stuff that seems like a typical Clinton Democrat, just typical of the way things were before he got in? ... He even went to Martha's Vineyard this summer [on vacation].
And here's Chris Matthews, outside his multimillion dollar Nantucket vacation home.
I'm sure there's probably some sort of Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket rivalry I don't know about, but it looks pretty silly for Chris Matthews, who "jaunt[s]" to his "new digs on the dunes as often as possible," to pursue this particular line of questioning.
Oh what the heck. Here's another:
Previously: Chris Matthews, sunglasses-wearing elite?
Here's what I think happened.
Maybe about a week or so ago, someone at the Media Research Center heard the news that Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava had dropped out of the NY-23 congressional race, and started thinking. "What if super-conservative, teabagger-approved candidate Doug Hoffman wins?" this staffer mused (in paraphrase) as he or she saw media figures claim that Republicans were committing political suicide by purging their ranks of moderates. Then that person came up with a great idea - catalogue instances of media figures saying NY-23 will be a disaster for the GOP, and if Hoffman wins, republish those quotes in order to embarrass those silly members of the liberal media.
Truth be told, it's not a bad idea. But here's the hitch - it would only work if Hoffman won. And, of course, Hoffman lost the traditionally Republican district to the Democrat, Bill Owens.
Well, the MRC apparently wasn't ready to give up on the idea and refused to let Hoffman's defeat get in their way. As such, they announced today "The 'Dewey Defeats Truman Awards' for the Most Incompetent Political Reporting of This Year's Election." Highlighting quotes from Mike Allen, Katie Couric, the New York Times, and Ron Brownstein that criticized the GOP for expelling moderates like Scozzafava in favor of orthodox conservatives like Hoffman, the MRC offered the following explanation as to why these media types were wrong:
Last night's election results were an unequivocal testament to the strength of the conservative movement. In New York's 23rd, the GOP lost because it committed political suicide by drafting a candidate to the left even of the Democrat, and a complete political unknown came within a whisker of winning on the Conservative Party line. In New Jersey, a moderate Republican barely defeated a liberal incumbent Democrat with an approval rating under 40%. But in Virginia, a state captured by the Democrats last year, and where an unabashed, uncompromising, conservative GOP ticket ran this year, it won a massive landslide.
So here's the situation as it stands: Allen, Couric, Brownstein, and the Times counseled the GOP that ditching moderates in favor of hard-line conservatives won't work; the hard-line conservative who supplanted the moderate Republican in NY-23 lost the race; and even though that proved Allen, Couric, Brownstein, and the Times to be exactly right in their analyses, the MRC nonetheless lambasted them for "incompetent political reporting."
A quick tip for my friends at the MRC - sometimes even the best ideas end up on the cutting room floor.
Because right now, the smear effort, launched by Big Hollywood, doesn't seem to be going anywhere. And the hysterical claims being made about children being brainwashed because they sing songs in school honoring the president of the United States (how dare they?) certainly doesn't mirror the manufactured controversy the GOP Noise Machine was able to kick up in back September.
It's true that the Drudge Report has hyped the latest Big Hollywood report, which touts how the site "uncovered" videos of students singing Obama songs. Where, exactly, did the Big Hollywood sleuths "uncover" the clips? On that super-secret site, YouTube, of course.
But I think the only way this thing generates even respectable attention is if Fox News goes all in. So far though, even FNC seems reluctant to tout the idiocy. Gee, wonder why.
From Big Hollywood:
Young captive minds, easily influenced, eager for direction, enlisted into a cult of personality focused on an individual who, other than being the first black president, has yet to accomplish anything of significance.
Question for Big Hollywood: Why do you hate American school children?
UPDATED: Here's a sample of the "creepy" and "troubling" song lyrics being mocked by conservatives today:
Barack Obama is our new President
Barack Obama is the leader of our land
On November 4, 2008
All the Americans voted
In each and every state
Barack Obama is our new President
Barack Obama is the leader of our land
UPDATED: Big Hollywood claims the 11 clips it found of school kids represents an "epidemic" of...patriotism? I'm still not actually sure what crime is being committed here is, but Big Hollywood claims it's everywhere.
Anyone want to take a guess in terms of how many public schools there are in America, in order to put those 11 clips in context? Anyone, Bueller?
So much for the epidemic.
I have frequently noted that, in addition to the three hours a day in which MSNBC is hosted by a former Republican congressman, the cable channel's daytime news reporters often adopt conservative framing. Here's an example, from anchor Contessa Brewer's introduction of a segment about Maine's repeal of a law allowing same-sex marriage:
Contessa Brewer: "And today you can add Maine to a long line of states, about 30 so far, where voters have chosen to define marriage traditionally: The union between one man and one woman."
"Define marriage traditionally" is straight out of the anti-gay movement's talking points. They work the phrase (and variations of it) into everything they say about the subject.
And it isn't accurate or neutral language.
It is telling that the construction "Define marriage traditionally" is a relatively new one. If you go back a decade, you'll be hard-pressed to find many uses of it (or variations of it) in the media. A Nexis search for "marriage w/5 tradition! w/5 defin!" returns only 317 hits from prior to the past 10 years.
No, the phrase is new -- cooked-up by anti-gay activists, because they know "deny gay couples the right to marry" doesn't poll as well. So why is an MSNBC anchor adopting it?
It's not like it's accurate. It wasn't too long ago, after all, when laws in America defined marriage as the union of one white man and one white woman, or of one black man and one black woman. That was the "traditional" definition of marriage in America, until people saw the light. Now they want you to believe marriage has always been defined the same way, so they can claim tradition is on their side. It isn't true -- but MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer parrots their rhetoric
If Brewer had introduced the segment by saying that Maine voted to "discriminate against gays," you can be sure the Right would be apoplectic -- and other reporters would point to it as evidence that MSNBC is a left-wing channel.
But that isn't what happened. What actually happened was that Brewer adopted anti-gay talking points as though they were neutral descriptions.
And Howard Kurtz, Campbell Brown, Ruth Marcus, David Zurawick and the rest of the "MSNBC-is-the-liberal-Fox" crowd won't say a word about it.
Here's MSNBC's Chris Matthews last night, talking about the claims that New Jersey governor John Corzine's campaign emphasized the weight of his Republican opponent:
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me ask you, you're out there campaigning like mad for Chris Christie. What do you make of the fat charge?
CHRISTIE TODD WHITMAN, FORMER NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR: Oh, it's ridiculous. And it's a -- it's a diversionary tactic to try to get people not to look at Corzine's record. And I think it's pretty clear, pretty apparent.
MATTHEWS: Well, let's take a look at it, because I have never seen anything this lowbrow, but here it is. I enjoy these, because it shows how stinky-poo politics can get.
And here are several examples of Matthews talking about Al Gore over the years:
MATTHEWS: Yes. Let me go to John for an always interesting analysis by John Heilemann. John, Al Gore, he appears to us so irregularly. We notice how he gains weight, loses weight, has a beard. He ought to stick around more frequently so people don't notice these things. He's a big guy. He's back. And he's not really a politician, I wouldn't say. Is he a plus? [6/17/08]
MATTHEWS: Express your -- Mike Allen, express your thoughts more clearly. Three questions. Will he jump in this fall? Will she -- will he be ready to jump if in if there's something going wrong with the Clintons by next November? Or will he hold his fire, lose some weight and go back in 2012? [10/12/07]
MATTHEWS: I hear he's made a commitment to a friend for a crash course to lose 40 pounds right away. [4/8/07]
MATTHEWS: And Patrick, before, when we were in the green room a while ago and you were saying that you think he's lost some weight. I know this is so cosmetic, but people are watching the weight here. [3/25/07]
MATTHEWS: Welcome back to HARDBALL. We're joined now by Eugene Robinson of "The Washington Post" and Michael Feldman, a former adviser to Al Gore. By the way, is Al Gore sharpening up his political blade now? He's up there on the Hill. Is he going to lose some weight and make his move, or...
MICHAEL FELDMAN, FORMER GORE ADVISER: You're obsessed with his weight, Chris!
MATTHEWS: Because he weighs -- he's Raymond Burr! [3/22/07]
MATTHEWS: Well, you haven't gotten fat like a lot of ex-politicians. I'll give you that. I saw Gore the other night. I couldn't believe it. I thought I was seeing the Hindenburg coming by. And there you are; you're looking great. [11/7/06]
HOWARD FINEMAN: Al Gore is so invisible that a large foot is not required to obscure him. OK? I mean, I was just told today that he's having Camp Al down in Tennessee in a couple of weeks.
Mr. FINEMAN: Twenty-five young activists are going to come down to lectured in political activism by Al Gore and...
MATTHEWS: I mean, do you know what this reminds me of? In the back of The New York Times magazine when they have camp for the fat kids. Please send your fat kid to this camp.
Mr. FINEMAN: And instructions in Palm Pilot use. No, but...
MATTHEWS: You know, Chester will come back 20 pounds lighter in the Happy Camp. [8/1/01]
MATTHEWS: When is he allowed to show some cuff, or when is he--first of all, he has to lose about 40 pounds. That'll be the first sign he's running. We all agree on that, right? The minute he loses weight, somebody will say, 'Have you seen the trim, new Al Gore?' That'll be the first sign. You'll probably do that, Julia. You'll--Lawrence, he loses weight. How soon can he lose weight and run? [6/25/01]
And a bonus: Chris Matthews interviewing Al Sharpton:
MATTHEWS: Reverend Sharpton, sir, thanks for joining us. First of all, a human interest question: How many pounds did you lose? [9/6/01]
The AP on Tuesday:
To be sure, it's easy to overanalyze the results of such a small number of elections in a few places. The results will only offer hints about the national political landscape and clues to the public's attitudes. And the races certainly won't predict what will happen in the.
The AP on Wednesday:
To be sure, each race was as much about local issues as about firing warning shots at the politically powerful. But taken together, the results of the 2009 off-year elections could imperil Obama's ambitious legislative agenda and point to a challenging environment in midterm elections next year.