Earlier today, Media Matters' Eric Schroeck noted RedState blogger Dave Poff's defense of his boss, RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson, recently hired by CNN as a political commentator. Poff, as Schroeck explained, seems to be unaware of one of Erickson's more notable comments -- his reference to David Souter as a "goat fucking child molester."
Poff's bizarre rant also included this charming description of the news media:
From Non-Conservatives, to Academics and Liberal Elitists, to self-soiling and unprincipled Professional Politicians and firmly-entrenched good ole boys inside the M(ostly) S(cumbags) M(edia), each of these clowns has a tale of doom about the hell we're headed for compliments of CNN's hand basket. Problem is, as with every OTHER decent human being out there trying to do what he thinks is right for himself, his family, and his country, Erickson has pissed off people that disagree with his principles and can't fathom that his success story grows and is in no small part sustained by his having stood unflinchingly by them. [All emphasis in original]
This raises a some questions: Does Erick Erickson agree his new CNN colleagues are "mostly scumbags"? Which CNN reporters, specifically, does RedState's Poff think are "scumbags"?
Politico's Michael Calderone reports:
Megan Whittemore, who was recently the research producer for "Fox News Sunday," has been named deputy press secretary to Republican whip Eric Cantor.
She had previously covered Capitol Hill for Fox News and FoxNews.com, according to the release, and worked on the network's 2008 election coverage.
The New York Post (part of the News Corp family) reports:
TheStreet.com, the financial Web site founded by loudmouth stock picker and TV personality Jim Cramer, is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The publicly traded company attracted the attention of regulators because of accounting woes at a former subsidiary called Promotions.com, TheStreet.com said yesterday.
TheStreet.com revealed the news in an SEC filing explaining why it will be late reporting its annual financial results.
Last summer, TheStreet.com announced there were "issues" related to how it had been recording revenue at Promotions.com, the marketing company it acquired in 2007. An internal probe ensued and resulted in several quarters of delayed earnings results for the parent company, frustrating investors.
TheStreet.com "is cooperating fully with the investigation," CEO Daryl Otte told The Post.
Cramer, the host of "Mad Money" and a former hedge-fund manager, co-founded TheStreet.com in 1996. He remains a commentator on the site as well as chairman of the company's board.
For the past few days, our political media has been waiting with bated breath for the latest CBO score of the health care bill (or, as Glenn Beck calls it, "a bloodstream disease" that "will be incurable.")
Well, the numbers finally came in this morning, and the news is good for Democrats and those who support health care reform. Here's Ezra Klein reporting the estimate:
According to a Democratic source, CBO has finished its work and will release the official preliminary score later today. But here are the basic numbers: The bill will cost $940 billion over the first 10 years and reduce the deficit by $130 billion during that period. In the second 10 years -- so, 2020 to 2029 -- it will reduce the deficit by $1.2 trillion. The legislation will cover 32 million Americans, or 95 percent of the legal population.
To put this in context, that's more deficit reduction than either the House or Senate bill, and more coverage than the Senate bill.
Uh-oh -- that's not going to go over well with Fox News. So, how did they cover it?
In breaking the news of the score, Bill Hemmer (and the Fox chyron) stressed the $940 billion "cost" of the bill over the first ten years. He vaguely mentioned the deficit reductions by saying that the CBO "talks about reducing the deficit over a period of ten years, and compares that to reducing the deficit over a period of twenty years."
Hemmer was careful not to mention specific numbers, likely due to fear of giving Fox viewers accurate information that might derail a lot of the Fox fearmongering about reform. Unfortunately for Hemmer, his guest Juan Williams then read the numbers on air. Hemmer's reaction? Asking Williams if he "believe[s]" that. No, really:
The damage control continued later in the hour, when Hemmer discussed Democrats' reaction to the bill. He introduced a statement by Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), who described the Democrats as "giddy" over the estimated deficit reductions. Hemmer's reaction to this uncomfortable reality belongs in the Fox News Hall of Fame:
So, Rep. Clyburn discusses how the Democrats are giddy over the deficit reductions in the bill, which Hemmer ignores to assert they are happy about the $940 billion "price tag." That's not what he was referencing, Bill!
As an aside, it should be noted how blatantly dishonest Fox's focus on the "cost" of the bill is. The bill could "cost" $5 billion dollars or "cost" $5 trillion dollars - the net impact on the deficit is a more accurate assessment.
How many ways can Fox obscure the deficit reductions in the bill in order to stress the $940 billion "cost"? This should be fun to watch over the course of the day...
Amid criticism of CNN for its recent decision to hire RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson as a political commentator, RedState blogger Dave Poff offered up a defense of his boss, noting that one of the reasons CNN would want to hire Erickson is the fact that he "isn't an F-bomb flinging chimp for the party line":
Tell me again how it is that Erickson is evil for starting in this business as an unpaid member, doing well enough at it to get hired on to RUN the place, and is now being asked to add his 2 cents worth on a freaking political News program? Oh, yeah, I forgot-it's because he's articulate, intelligent, experienced...isn't an F-bomb flinging chimp for the party line. [emphasis in original]
I guess Poff didn't read Erickson's response last year to Justice David Souter's decision to retire from the Supreme Court:
Of course, this isn't the first time a RedState blogger apparently overlooked some of Erickson's comments. As Media Matters' Ben Dimiero noted, RedState blogger Hogan wrote that media figures who called Sen. Jim Bunning's recent block on legislation a "filibuster" were "freaking idiots." Unfortunately for Hogan, Erickson had at least twice previously called Bunning's action a "filibuster."
The Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol reacts to the self-executing rule:
A memo from a top aide to Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen late last week counseled other Democratic staffers to tell their bosses not to worry, that "things like reconciliation and what the rules committee does is INSIDE BASEBALL." Yesterday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters, "I don't think any American...is going to make the distinction" between the Slaughter procedure and a straightforward vote on the legislation. "Process is interesting, particularly to all of us around this room. But in the final analysis, what is interesting to the American public is what does this bill do for them and their families."
In other words: the American public doesn't care about how our representatives govern us--which is to say, about how we govern ourselves. Whether Congress follows its rules, whether there is democratic accountability, whether there is constitutional probity--none of this matters according to Hoyer. Rather, the self-centered and self-concerned American people only care about the (alleged) results of the legislation.
That second paragraph is about as dishonest as you can get. There's no reason to believe Congress won't "follow its rules" or maintain "constitutional probity" -- reconciliation and self-executing rules have been used in the past by Republicans. Kristol offers no explanation for why either procedure is undemocratic, inconsistent with Congressional rules, or unconstitutional -- he just pretends that's a given.
Kristol may as well have written "In other words: the American people doesn't care about whether our representatives beat puppies to death with hammers." Yes, it's true: If Democrats said anything like that, they'd be crazy! But they didn't.
I'll be making my first appearance in Second Life tonight at 9pm ET on Virtually Speaking which describes itself as "live, in-depth, conversations with writer, publishers, scientists, educators, pundits and public officials before a lively, well informed and chatty virtual studio audience."
CLICK HERE to join in the conversation at 9pm ET.
Fox News is the "scene of the crime" on health care "falsehoods and myths" an unnamed White House official told Politico's Mike Allen in the lead up to President Obama's sit-down interview with the conservative network last night:
A White House official: "Many of the falsehoods and myths about health reform gained traction with Glenn Beck and others on FOX, so the President is returning to the scene of the crime to make the final sale. As we have said, we will work with Fox where it serves our communications interests, and this does."
Remember last month when Glenn Reynolds wrote an op-ed in the WSJ and fabricated the claim that "millions" of Tea Party activists had taken to the streets in the last year to protest Obama? And remember how Reynolds never fessed up to the fabrication?
Maybe Reynolds was just being a good misinformation soldier, because the phony idea that "millions" have protested has since been endorsed by Glenn Beck himself, which means this fake fact is now certified for all right-wing use. (`Wingers have been lying about crowd sizes for months now, in en effort to boost the cause.)
Anyway, I was recalling the comical "millions" claim while reading about the embarrassingly small turnout for the "kill-the-bill" health care rally in Washington, D.C. this week. Best estimate? A "few hundred" people showed up.
But just wait a few weeks. In the hands of Reynolds and Beck we'll soon be told that tens of thousands stormed the D.C. streets in mid-March to protest health care reform, right?
UPDATED: More "millions" action from the heartland. Actually, this report came from Lebanon, PA., where Tea Party folks were supposed to rally outside their local Congressman's office and protest Obama's health care push.
Ready for the turnout total? Two. As in, one and then two people showed up. They were promptly dwarfed by a pro-health care crowd.
But pay not attention. It's millions, I tell you, millions.
UPDATED: Today on his radio show Beck is hyping a "huge" anti-health care rally for Saturday in the nation's capitol. I wonder if it will top the "two million" who marched last September?
Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh are not going to be happy about this WSJ news article. Why? Because both have been at the forefront of an hysterical, fanatical right-wing campaign to paint the negotiations over the pending health care vote as being borderline criminal as a supposed corrupt and out of control Obama adopts "Chicago-style politics" and bribes his way to passage.
The whole thing is "obscene and vulgar," Malkin whined on Fox News this morning.
But oops, according to today's WSJ (owned by Murdoch!), none of that is true. In fact, Obama's vote-getting style is rather laid back.
Headline [emphasis added]:
Obama Lobbying Style: All Ears; In Effort to Win Lawmaker Health Votes, President Listens Rather than Arm-Twists
From the article:
It was a moment typical of Mr. Obama's lobbying style—hard-core listening more than Lyndon Johnson-style arm-twisting.
Lawmakers say the president knows their positions in detail and they leave with their egos stroked. But, for better or worse, he doesn't strike fear into their hearts about the consequences of opposing him.
Curse that liberal WSJ.