Matt Drudge is currently blaring this lead headline: "BILL WOULD GIVE OBAMA 'EMERGENCY' CONTROL OF INTERNET."
That links to this CNET article. Now, I'll admit I don't know much of anything about the issue. Maybe the article is spot-on. But I do know something about Declan McCullagh, the reporter whose byline appears on the article. He's the guy who started the "Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet" nonsense that helped elect George W. Bush.
So before you get too worried about Drudge's alarmist headline, maybe you should take a deep breath, consider the source -- and wait for a better one.
Nearly fifty companies have now reportedly said they will no longer run ads on Glenn Beck's Fox News show.
Media Matters for America has compiled a list of companies that did run ads on Glenn Beck this evening (August 28) in the order they appeared:
"Dollar-a-holler" is the old-time radio term used to describe ad rates on small-town AM radio stations. I'm reminded of the phrase after reading this key passage from the Los Angeles Times, and how Beck no longer has any A-list advertisers:
As a result, few major businesses remain as sponsors of Beck's eponymous 2 p.m. PDT program. On Wednesday, the only big companies with a presence during his show were Bank of America and the Wall Street Journal, whose parent company News Corp. also owns Fox News. The rest of the commercials included spots for gold seller Rosland Capital; Ashley Furniture Home Store; Empire Carpet; Liberty Medical, a diabetes medical supplier; Johnson Law Group, an asbestos litigation firm; "Shadow Government," a new book critical of Obama published by the National Republican Trust; and the anti-tax group TeaPartyExpress.org.
Turns out Bank of America isn't even a Beck sponsor. So as best I can tell, all the blue chip advertisers have abandoned Glenn Beck.
All. Of. Them.
Number of those words that quote a criticism of Brown or his organization: 0
Value to Brian Brown and his organization of a 2,000-word Washington Post profile that presents them as noble, "rational," "mainstream," "sane," people put upon by shrill opponents who irrationally demonize them: Priceless.
After Media Matters for America noted that Ashley Furniture HomeStore advertised on the August 26 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, we received the following statement:
"Ashley Furniture HomeStore pulled its advertising from "Glenn Beck" as of Aug. 27, said Kendra Maggert, a spokeswoman for the company."
Ashley Furniture HomeStore joins forty-six other companies who have reportedly said they will no longer run ads on Beck's Fox News show.
Author/gossiper Ed Klein, whose dreadful work in recent recent has been completely discredited, appeared on NPR on Wednesday and claimed that Sen. Ted Kennedy used to love telling Chappaquiddick jokes.
Right-wing bloggers have seized upon the comment (Ah-ha! Kennedy was evil!) and are pretending that because Ed Klein said something about a prominent Democrat it must be true.
Conservatives, led by an army of bloggers, announced months ago that the "Cash for Clunkers" program would be a disaster; that the government could never help spur car sales. Except that, of course, the brief program moved nearly 700,000 new cars off car lots during the traditionally slow summer months.
Rather than acknowledge they were wrong, or better yet, just keep quiet, right-wing bloggers are now in pretzel mode trying to explain how the stimulus program was actually, you know, a failure.
And I'm not sure anyone has made a lamer stab at it than Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:
Now, what happens to the companies that make parts for these cars? Under normal circumstances, people would replace parts as they fail while keeping the cars on the road. Suddenly, the after-market parts industry has 700,000 fewer cars for maintenance. And since Americans mainly traded American cars for foreign vehicles, that parts market will not bounce back for years.
Of course! it's all about the after-market parts business. (Stop laughing!) Morrissey claims "Cash for Clunkers" was a disaster because 700,000 car owners are no longer buying spar parts.
A) Did you get a load of those jalopies that were being hauled into dealers as part of the "Cash for Clunkers" program? Those were not the type of cars meticulously maintained by owners who spent lavishly each year on spar part. (Clue: they're clunkers.)
B) Does Morrissey think the new 700,000 care purchased this summer will magically never need spar parts? And if and when those 700,000 owners, even if they're foreign car owners, need spar parts, does Morrissey really think all those parts are foreign made?
C) Does Morrissey know anything about the automobile industry?
UPDATED: Notice that Morrissey conveniently ignores this "Cash for Clunkers" nugget from the WashPost:
One auto analyst called the program a success, if only because his research showed that it was responsible for saving 39,000 jobs that otherwise would have been eliminated.
UPDATED: Hot Air Pundit also does not have a clue about auto sales:
Just like the housing market...How long until alot of these people who were driving a "Clunker" and are now driving a brand vehicle, suddenly can't afford their new car and start defaulting on the payments? Anybody? Did the Federal Government care to think that far ahead?...
Does Hot Air Pundit really think the "Cash for Clunkers" program meant that twice-burned banks loaned money to people who didn't have proper credit? That as long as people arrived on the lots with a clunker, that car dealerships were able to magically come up with financing, even for buyers who didn't qualify, and that all people had to do was sign on the dotted line and they got to drive off the lot with a car they clearly could not afford?
Seriously, is that how Hot Air Pundit thinks the program worked?
UPDATED: Hot Air Pundit points to this quote, in USA Today, from Edmonds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl as proof that "Cash for Clunkers" was a failure:
"Cash for clunkers distorted the market in a way that benefited the industry for four weeks. Now, the payback begins."
But for a guy who runs a company that helps sells cars, Anwyl doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. Because four weeks ago when less than 250,000 "Cash for Clunker" cars had been sold, this is what Anwyl told CBS News:
"After that initial flurry, I think we'll see that those deals are done and then there won't be anything else to come in after that."
When less than 250,000 cars had been sold, Anwyl was telling reporters the program was a flop and that sales would immediately dry up. When three times that many cars were sold, Anwyl was still telling reporters the program was a flop.
Hmm, I smell an agenda.
No matter how many times they try to spin this story in Bush's favor (and right-wingers have been trying for five years now), the facts just don't budge. And the facts are this: After receiving $1 million worth of free government flight training as member of Texas Air National Guard, pilot George Bush walked away from his Guard duty in April 1972.
From 1972 and until he was discharged nearly two years later, Bush essentially disappeared. He went unsupervised. He refused to take a mandatory physical, he failed to show up for mandatory training sessions, and he tried to transfer to a unit in Alabama that had not airplanes.
Those are the facts.
But five years later, super-sleuth Bernard Goldberg claims he's got big news (and more proof of CBS's liberal media bias) because he went back and read a four-year-old report about Memogate, the "independent" report put together by CBS. (Yes, the same "independent report, that was overseen by a partisan GOP attorney and the same "independent' panel on which CBS considered including Matt Drudge and Rush Limbaugh.) In that report, it states that, according to some of Bush's old National Guard buddies, he at one point volunteered to go to Vietnam.
That's Goldberg's "startling" news. And my reaction is, so what?
First, this is very, very old news. Goldberg claims he couldn't find hardly any media mentions from 2004 about Bush allegedly volunteering to go to Vietnam. Funny, it took me four seconds to find this National Review column from Feb. 19, 2004:
In fact, he tried to volunteer for Vietnam.
Of the four pilots I spoke to who flew with Bush in the Texas days, Fred Bradley knew him best. They had met before going off to the year-long ordeal of pilot school, and entered the 111th at about the same time. Both were junior lieutenants without a lot of flying experience. But the inexperience didn't prevent Bush — along with Bradley — from going to their squadron leaders to see if they could get into a program called "Palace Alert." "There were four of us lieutenants at the time, and we were all fairly close. Two of them had more flight time than the president and me, said Bradley." All four volunteered for Vietnam.
Truth is, this GOP talking point was everywhere in 2004, but apparently Goldberg missed it.
But the reason nobody really cared that Bush allegedly volunteered for Vietnam while he was in pilot training was that it had nothing to do with the burning controversy of how Bush walked away from his Guard duty; how he abandoned his responsibilities during his last two years of service. Goldberg's scoop is completely irrelevant to that debate, and does nothing to change the facts, which remain quite damning for Bush and his followers.
Yet for some unknown reason Goldberg, as well as lots of right-wing bloggers, are now treating this old news rehash as the smoking gun. But the "revelation," which has been sitting in a public report since 2005, is utterly meaningless.
As I reported back in 2004, everybody agreed that while Bush was training to be a pilot (i.e. while he was allegedly volunteering for Vietnam) he received high marks, and he, y'know, showed up for duty. Nobody questioned his actions and performance from 1968 to 1972. The controversy surrounds the fact that Bush clearly made the decision in April, 1972, with 770 days left of required duty, that he was done fulfilling his military obligation. And how, despite the promise he made to his country when he entered the Guard's training program that he'd serve as a pilot until 1974, Bush just packed up and left.
He didn't show up for mandatory weekend training. He didn't show up for a mandatory physical and he became invisible for months at a time, completely unsupervised. (Try doing that in the military. It aint easy.)
Not surprisingly though, Goldberg never tries to answer these question. Instead he just plays dumb and pretends the National Guard story was about how Bush got into the Guard; how he avoided duty. But that was never the main thrust. The story was how Bush got out of the Guard. How he decided no rules applied to him and it was okay from him to abandon his service after the government trained him to fly.
That's the real story. Unfortunately, Goldberg has nothing insightful to say about that. But he did uncover a story that was widely reported five years ago. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
UPDATED: The New York Observer's Felix Gillette can't help making fun of Goldberg and his silly 'scoop.'
UPDATED: Gillette's report is especially embarrassing for Goldberg becuase in his report, aside from claiming nobody ever wrote about Bush (allegedly) volunteering for Vietnam, he stressed that CBS producer Mary Mapes sat on the information. That the liberal media wouldn't acknowledge Bush (allegedly) try to go to Vietnam
In her 2005 book Truth and Duty, Ms. Mapes writes explicitly about the "Bush volunteered," angle. Specifically, on page 65, she writes about a 1999 interview she conducted with Maurice Udell, who was George W. Bush's trainer in the 147th Fighter Group in Houston in the late 1960s.