Well, at least conservatives are consistent in their open disdain for American achievement under Obama.
Reminiscent of the Friday Freakout that followed the glorious news that Chicago, and the United States, had been denied the honor of hosing the Summer Olympic Games (Hallelujah!), the same Obama-hating voices in the right-wing media are outraged that the President of the United States has won the Nobel Prize.
In other words, Obama/America loses = good. Obama/America wins = bad.
And no, unhinged critics aren't simply wondering if it's too early in Obama's first term to win such a prestigious award. They're letting loose the divisive hate rhetoric (you'd expect anything less?), and demeaning the international achievement.
In the right-wing blogosphere, Obama's global honor is unfolding like a nightmare.
Question: Why does the conservative media hate America?
From RedState.com managing editor Erick Erickson's October 9 post, headlined, "Common Decency Suggests We Should Not Have to Deal With This, But We Must Now Confront A White House Supportive of NAMBLA" [emphasis added]:
Sadly, NAMBLA is very real and today steps right out of the darkest pits of immoral human behavior and straight into the White House. Sean Hannity has been all over this story and we are just now coming to terms with how sick and demented the thinkings and associations of White House Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings are.
To be sure, the left wing Media Matters, which is run by former conservative turned homosexual activist and left-wing icon David Brock, is screaming from the rooftops that Sean Hannity is lying.
Hannity is not lying. Kevin Jennings is a profoundly sick and immoral human being - a proponent of statutory rape, an opponent of the Boy Scouts of America, and a zealous advocate of NAMBLA.
He is Barack Obama's Safe Schools Czar.
He is a supporter of men who openly and vocally support pedophilia.
Media Matters threw out a few talking points to defend Van Jones. But Media Matters is giving a full throated, aggressive defense of Kevin Jennings. Why? Well, to paraphrase Wonkette, gay is the new black.
Van Jones was just a black guy. With a black President, resources did not need to be brought to bear to defend him. Kevin Jennings, however, is not just a gay man, but a man who believes in the full gay rights agenda, where men and boys can have sexual relationships free of prudish moral people frowning.
Jennings has championed NAMBLA's causes and lauded a pedophilia advocate.
He even wrote the forward to a book called "Queering Elementary Education." That's right, Jennings wrote the forward to a book that, in its own description advocates the aggressive homosexual agenda among elementary school students. From the book: "queering education happens when we look at schooling upside down and view childhood from the inside out." No irony is intended apparently in that description.
Americans of moral decency should be stunned to know the President of the United States would put in charge of "safe schools," a man who encourages predatory relationships between young boys and grown men.
Barack Obama has done exactly that. Has he no shame?
Conservative media backtrack, alter thoroughly debunked claim that Jennings failed to report "statutory rape"
In vicious new smear, Rove falsely claims Jennings advocated for NAMBLA
Hannity escalates anti-gay bigotry, asks "Does Kevin Jennings support the group NAMBLA?"
Conservative media unleash anti-gay rhetoric in attacks on Jennings
Because a (Democratic) White House isn't supposed to call out lies or push back against rampant misinformation, smear campaigns and character assassination. The White House, apparently, is just supposed to take it. At least that's the odd conclusion of a couple online essays in the wake of the Time piece that details how the Obama administration (gasp!) isn't going sit idly by while Fox News spreads misinformation 24/7. (The White House is pushing back against the mainstream press, as well.)
It's funny, because traditionally when the GOP plays hardball with journalists and denounces them as unfair, the Beltway press is deeply impressed and often in awe, as it was with the Bush White House for many of its eight years. But when Obama's team decides to, y'know, fact-check Fox News, the press doesn't think that's such a good idea. It's a "loser's strategy," writes Jeff Bercovici.
Apparently fact-checking--setting the record straight--is beneath the White House. (Bercovici doesn't like the "public barbs.") Glynnis MacNicol at Mediaite.com also thinks the fact-checking route is a total loser and would prefer if the White House didn't respond to any of Fox News' false charges:
Is it really a good thing? Doesn't deciding to respond to Glenn Beck et al. in kind merely elevate much of the nonsense Beck spews and simultaneously lower the White House a few rungs down the credibility ladder? Wouldn't the more prudent approach be to figure out how Glenn Beck has out-Obama'd Obama, pinpoint what it is exactly that is so appealing about Beck and than address that fear instead (preferably with a chalk board!)? One more voice in the politico online din, even if it's the White House's, is going to end up being just that: one more voice.
Beside, all Fox News is doing is "needling" the administration, right? I mean what's so bad about that? At least that's the overly polite conclusion Bercovici draws. "Needling"? Well, if by "needling" Bercovici means that Fox News is now in the midst of an hysterical and homophobic, two-week-long smear campaign as it falsely paints an openly gay member of the Obama administration as a statutory rape-loving "pervert," than yeah, I guess some people would call that "needling." Most however, would label it something else.
I find the blame-the-victim press analysis to be revealing. Obama, his advisers, and his policies have been relentlessly slimed on television by Fox News the way no other administration has in American history, as the cable channel has clearly morphed itself into the Opposition Party in America. Fox News many months ago left the realm of journalism and became a purely political entity, with a broadcast day that's devoted to attacking, usually falsely, the Obama administration.
What does the press during this unprecedented transformation in American journalism and politics? The press plays dumbs and pretends Fox is still in the news business. And then when the White House advisers have the audacity to fact-check Fox News, they're tagged as the bad guys; as the bullies. It's not Fox News that's acting out of the ordinary, it's the White House.
UPDATED: This makes our head hurt, courtesy Mediaite:
How does the White House manage to become a player? Looks like they may have finally got their own Glenn Beck (sans the chalk board) in the form of a veteran campaign strategist Anita Dunn who is a "devoted consumer of conservative-media reports and a fierce critic of Fox News, leading the Administration's effort to block officials, including Obama, from appearing on the network."
Anita Dunn is a senior communications official at the White House who's leading a push to fact-check Fox News.
By contrast, Glenn Beck thinks Obama is a racist who hates white people. Beck claims tyranny is looming and that Obama "will slowly but surely take away your gun." Beck fears a Reischstag moment, death camps, flu vaccines, and the U.S. becoming a member of the Axis Power.
So yeah, Dunn and Beck are exactly alike.
UPDATED: BTW, we saw this same hand-wringing press reaction during the Clinton years whenever the White House publicly fact-checked some of the most egregious Whitewater-era reporting. The Village always responded with horror and demanded to know who gave Democrats the right to criticize the press?!
From Erickson's October 9 RedState.com blog post:
Friday, October 9th at 8:22AM EDT
I did not realize the Nobel Peace Prize had an affirmative action quota for, but that is the only thing I can think of for this news.
The deadline for nominations was two weeks after he was sworn in as President.
So in less than two weeks of entering office, Obama did something to qualify. What was it? Not closing Gitmo? Continuing the Bush administration's policies in the War on Terror but no longer using the name? Or pronouncing a policy of abject American capitulation to our enemies?
The Peace Prize reaffirms it s a joke. But now a sad joke.
Somewhere Bill Clinton's head just exploded.
So far, 80 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 October 8 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
On October 8, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren posted on her blog:
The Miss America Organization (MAO) announced today that Rush Limbaugh has been named as one of the national judges for the 2010 Miss America Pageant, which will be held at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 30 and broadcast live on TLC. Limbaugh will be one of a panel of seven distinguished judges that will help decide which of the 53 contestants will capture the Miss America 2010 title and serve as the Goodwill Ambassador for the Children's Miracle Network, as well as introduce the first Go Green platform for MAO.
The mainstream press is liberal.
The refusal of mainstream media executives to acknowledge the ideological leanings of their staffs has produced a dangerous form of media guilt in which the press leans over so far backward to avoid the charge of left bias that it ends up either neutered or leaning to the right. This happened at The Washington Post and was reflected in weak and sometimes fawning coverage, first of the opening years of the Reagan administration, and even more so during George W. Bush's first term-when not only the lead-up to the Iraq invasion but key domestic initiatives went largely unexamined, with disastrous consequences.
Here's my question for Edsall: If I call myself a vegetarian and believe with all my heart that eating meat is both immoral and unhealthy, but I enjoy a nice steak dinner twice a week, does it make sense to refer to me as a vegetarian?
In case my point isn't clear: If the press "ends up either neutered or leaning to the right," why on earth does it make sense to call it "liberal"?
Sen. Al Franken scored a victory on Tuesday for those calling for more oversight of private military contractors. Not that the Star Tribune bothered to report on it.
Minnesota readers instead had to turn to MinnPost.com -- a Minneapolis nonprofit that continues to school its for-profit competitors -- for news of Franken's amendment:
In one of the most public tests of his political skills since taking office in July, Franken pushed through an amendment Tuesday that would withhold defense contracts from companies like Halliburton if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.
MinnPost had 1,200 words up on Franken's amendment the same night it passed.
The Pioneer Press's blog The Political Animal also blogged the story that night: "Minnesota's junior senator opened up a bit of a floor fight this afternoon in Washington, D.C."
A floor fight? Who doesn't love a good floor fight?
Yet Minnesota's largest newspaper was nowhere to be found.
To be fair, the Strib (as the Star Tribune is known locally) did provide its readers with a blog post on Thursday morning mentioning the passage of the amendment -- a blog post attacking Franken for his questioning of a witness during a Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.
In Thursday's blog post -- "Franken gets testy over statistics" -- Eric Roper focused on Franken's demeanor during the hearing. Here is the lede:
Al Franken used to write books slamming his foes for allegedly manipulating statistics. And as one witness before the Judiciary Committee learned on Wednesday, old habits die hard.
Franken's target was Mark de Bernardo, executive director of the Council for Employment Law Equity, who clashed with the senator on his top issue this week: arbitration. It is a technique to keep legal disputes out of court and the topic of Franken's recent amendment, which passed the Senate on Tuesday night. His bill bars funding from defense contractors who prevent employees from suing over sexual assault and other charges.
Despite the major legislative victory, an unusually terse and irritated Franken emerged on Wednesday as he questioned de Bernardo, who was singing the praises of arbitration before the committee.
Let's chalk up Roper's suggestion that Franken shouldn't be criticizing someone for "manipulating statistics" to his employment of a hackneyed cliche. What's more important is, why is Franken's demeanor the subject of the only reporting (in a blog post) by the Strib on the very important -- and underreported -- issue of oversight of military contractors, as well as on Franken's first legislative victory?
(If his demeanor was so newsworthy, why did Roper completely ignore Franken's praising of Jamie Leigh Jones, the victim of gang rape that inspired Franken's amendment, and the genuinely funny and light-hearted moment between the two that preceded Franken's question of de Bernardo.)
While far too many media outlets are focused on allegations against ACORN, the crimes being committed by and occurring under the watch of military contractors are going virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media. Without Franken's amendment, a woman gang raped while working for a military contractor could be forced to take her case to an arbitrator rather than to a jury. Now, such a victim can receive real justice. Sounds like a victory for everyone, including the people of Minnesota.
Franken's amendment even had Republican support, except for some stalwarts like Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), who put up a fight -- a storyline the Strib also missed.
The Strib certainly did not have to portray this as a victory for Franken, even though Roper acknowledged it was in an aside two days later, but it is certainly obligated to cover the legislative actions of Minnesota's junior senator. Apparently, the Strib's awful treatment of Franken during the campaign and recount continues ...
As The Huffington Post's Sam Stein wrote: "After operating largely under the radar during his first few months in office, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is slowly beginning to make political ripples."
Let's hope, for the sake of Minnesotans, that the Star Tribune doesn't continue to bury the lede.
Remember when Glenn Beck put his art critic's beret on over his tin foil hat and told us all how the artwork in Rockefeller Center connected President Obama to Mussolini through the indoctrination of our children? Of course you do -- who can forget? It was lots of fun, and we all laughed at Beck. A lot.
But I'm starting to think Beck was on to something. There's a conspiracy afoot that seeks to undermine the very foundations of our country by glorifying socialist malcontents through artwork, and it's more widespread and cancerous than you thought it was before you finished reading this sentence in which I first told you about it.
You see, the statues collection in the U.S. Capitol contains two statues from each state, which the states are allowed to substitute at any time. According to The New York Times, Alabama has replaced one of its two statues -- that of Confederate Army officer and ardent secessionist Jabez Curry -- with a bronze likeness of Helen Keller, who overcame blindness and deafness to become a world-renowned speaker and author.
Do you know what else Keller was?
As Steven Benen observed, "[O]ne of the most conservative states in the union has unveiled a statue in the Capitol honoring one of the most famous American socialists in history."
Don't you understand what's going on here? Rockefeller Center was just the beginning. They've taken over Alabama. They've infiltrated the Capitol. What's next? A bust of Eugene Debs in the Smithsonian? Bernie Sanders in the National Portrait Gallery? A National Archives exhibit of the collected works of Upton Sinclair?
We're through the looking glass here, people ...
The thin-skinned attack man on the right didn't like it when the Daily Beast's Conor Friedersdorf pointed out some obvious, gaping holes in the type of attack 'journalism' Breitbart preaches and practices [emphasis added]:
Mr. Breitbart's media empire, and the outlets with which he most closely associates himself, are thoroughly ideological enterprises, publish few if any ideologically heterodox pieces, seldom if ever correct factual mistakes, and ignore liberal insights entirely.
These are outlets that scoff at claims that the Times attempts objective journalism, but that never question the "fair and balanced" claim made by Fox News, or acknowledge that they deliberately ignore certain stories. Its critics cite columns written by the Times' "public editor" as evidence that the newspaper is unaccountable to the American people—yet they'd never dream of allowing semi-autonomous ombudsmen to operate on their own sites.
In his response posted at Andrew Sullivan's site, Breitbart remained completely silent about the fact that while attacking the mainstream media as being unfair and unprofessional, his sites regularly features falsehoods and almost never posts corrections when those falsehoods are detailed for all to see. And that was the Daily Beast's point: if Breitbart wants to be taken seriously, than he needs to start behaving seriously.
Right now, the junkyard of false accusations and pure fiction that litter his sites make it impossible to treat legitimately the right-wing critique of the press. i.e. Why should we listen to people who have no regard to fair play when they lecture the press about fair play?
And on yeah, Andrew, any luck further deciphering the audio from last week's big community-organizers-pray-to-Obama scoop? Keep us posted, okay?