UPDATE: I couldn't help being noticing the deep irony surrounding the strident anti-Obama rallies that the right-wing media is so proud of, and comparing that to the right-wing media rhetoric this week about how tasteful and destructive the "mob rule" mentality was surrounding the AIG bonus scandal.
So, angry mobs gathering to denounce Obama as a communist is good. But angry mobs denouncing seven-figure bonuses for failed financial executives who work for bailed out institutions is bad.
Just so everyone is clear.
Over at Newsbusters, Erin Brown writes:
MSNBC's Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd trivialized the death of Terry Schiavo by suggesting the fight over Schiavo's life was the demise of the Republican party.
Conventional wisdom may contend that the Republican Party became too conservative for its own good, and that the fight over Schiavo's life was the quintessential example to prove that point. However, even if the fight over Schiavo's life was indeed the point at which people turned from the party that had become too conservative, at least the party went down fighting for something it believed in: the value of human life.
The death of 41 year-old Terry Schiavo was a controversy that gripped the nation for weeks because the battle between her family members to end her life peacefully, or keep her on life support was a difficult one to watch. For Todd to equate the continuing saga over bank bailouts with the life and painful death of a woman is certainly in poor taste.
So, the Republicans politicized the Schiavo situation and meddled in a private family matter, and it blew up in their faces, but pointing out that it blew up in their faces is "in poor taste"? Yeah, that makes sense...
Three weeks ago, Chris Mooney submitted an op-ed to the Washington Post, in response to George Will's controversial global warming column. Today, the Post runs Mooney's column. Mooney concludes:
Readers and commentators must learn to share some practices with scientists -- following up on sources, taking scientific knowledge seriously rather than cherry-picking misleading bits of information, and applying critical thinking to the weighing of evidence. That, in the end, is all that good science really is. It's also what good journalism and commentary alike must strive to be -- now more than ever.
Mooney graciously says he is "heartened" that the Post ran his column. The Post does deserve some credit for doing so, but I have to wonder what took so long. Three weeks is an eternity in the modern news cycle, and many people have probably forgotten all about the controversy surrounding Will's column. In the meantime, Will's false claims have had three weeks to solidify in Post readers' minds. The paper would have done better by the public -- and the truth -- had it published Mooney's column much sooner.
After posting one his of signature moronic items about black journalist celebrating Obama at a closed-door White House event, and after the item got picked up by Drudge and right-wing blogs, Malcolm's Times blog was rewarded with lots of reader comments.
According to the Times' policy, comments will be erased if they:
contains vulgar, profane, abusive, racist or hateful language or expressions, epithets or slurs, text, photographs or illustrations in poor taste, inflammatory attacks of a personal, racial or religious nature
You mean like these?
The fried chicken and watermelon lunch was enjoyed by all.
Posted by: Max | March 20, 2009 at 08:54 PM
WHO is he recieving his 'award' from? The Federation of 'BLACK' Community Newspapers? Is there a WHITE Federation of Newspapers? And if there was, do you think that this IDIOT would be ACCEPTING AN AWARD FROM THEM? For someone who 'CLAIMS' to be 'bi-racial', he sure goes to a lot of " 'BLACK' things. You say the 'PRESS' isn't going to be allowed. Are you sure that it isn't THE WHITE PRESS, that isn't invited. This IDIOT makes my stomach sick.
Posted by: Timothy L. Pennell | March 20, 2009 at 05:22 AM
So the racist black president allows only some racist black representative of the press to present the award.
Posted by: rollinson | March 20, 2009 at 06:07 AM
Posted by: Micah Lomas | March 20, 2009 at 08:18 AM
Stay classy LA Times.
The Times' proof? None, really. The Times just knows.
Just like on Tuesday, after the AIG bonus story broke, the Washington Post just knew that "the public" was furious with the White House (not at corporate greed), and that Obama's entire agenda was in danger of collapsing over the AIG story.
What proof did the Post offer to back up that sweeping claim? What independent experts confirmed the claim and what poll results bolstered it? None. In fact, I have not seen a single new poll that offers any insight into how much blame the White House gets for the AIG story or if Obama's approval rating have taken a hit.
But the press doesn't bother waiting. Even when announcing how "the public" is reacting to a news story, the press doesn't actually really care what "the public" thinks. The press decided immediately that the AIG story was a "cataclysmic" event for Obama and that "the public" was blaming him.
I suppose it's just a coincidence that the RNC thinks the exact same thing.
From the WashPost's Ben Pershing. It's just painful to read:
Is the White House doing its level best to distract people from the cratering economy and the AIG bonus controversy?
That's the premise, that there's a concerted White House effort to "distract people" from certain unavoidable news topics. And what, exactly, are those ingenious distractions? Pershing lists these as evidence:
1. Obama appeared on TV last night.
2. Obama made a joke on TV about bowling like a Special Olympian.
3. Obama mentioned his dog on TV.
4. Michelle Obama planted a vegetable garden at the White House.
5. Obama filled out his March Madness hoops bracket.
Are normal "people" distracted by those events? We can't imagine who would be. But for the Post, and many in the press, the trivial occurrences inexplicably demand attention.
From the AP's Richard Lardner:
Obama administration special envoy Richard Holbooke [sic] was on the American International Group Inc. board of directors in early 2008 when the insurance company locked in the bonuses now stoking national outrage.
If you've been following the AIG story closely you can immediately spot the hole in the soggy AP dispatch. Especially when you read in the following [emphasis]:
Holbrooke, a veteran diplomat who is now the administration's point man on Pakistan and Afghanistan, served on the board between 2001 and mid-2008.
The problem here is the time line. AP wants to suggest it's now a big deal that Holbrooke served on the board of AIG, and that Holbrooke was somehow connected to the current bonus story. That's why the AP shoehorned in the reference to "bonuses" in the lead. Because if it's just a story about Holbrooke once served on AIG's board, then there's really no story because AIG, until not that long ago, was a Wall Street darling and there'd be nothing even remotely newsworthy about Holbrooke sitting on the board.
But with the bonus angle, the AP pretends there's news. i.e. Holbrooke somehow knew about the post-bailout bonuses?!
No. Holbrooke left AIG in "mid-2008." AIG accepted its first government bailout in September, 2008. AIG handed out the scandalous, post-bailout bonuses last week.
Holbrooke has nothing to do with the bonus story. The AP obviously knew that, yet seemed to do its best to introduce a phony angle connecting the U.S. envoy to the story.
We are not making this up: Barack Obama was elected commander in chief promising to run the most transparent presidential administration in American history. This achievement and the overall promise of his historic administration caused the National Newspaper Publishers Assn. to name him "Newsmaker of the Year."
The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon. The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press.
Tip to Malcolm: don't do snark if you don't have a clue.
As Michael Scherer at time.com notes:
I am advised by the White House that exclusive access was granted to the NPPA [sic]...on terms similar to the access granted regularly to lots of media organizations for exclusive interviews. The organization or its members are expected to make a record of the event.
Press members from the NNPA have been granted exclusive access to Obama and will write about their time with him. But the NNPA does not want other journalists to be in the room when they meet with Obama because that would rob the NNPA of its exclusivity.
Andrew, let us know if you're having trouble following that simple premise.
UPDATE: Lots of conservative bloggers, like Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, can't quite grasp the facts. Not surprising.
Hume added of MRC: "I don't know what we would have done without them"
From the Media Research Center's 2009 Gala, "[f]eaturing the DisHonors Awards and the William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence":
HUME: I want to say a word, however, of thanks, to [Media Research Center president] Brent [Bozell] and to the team at the Media Research Center and all the contributors who make that work there possible. Not just for this wonderfully - this wonderfully fine award in the name of someone as I say I admire so much, but also for the tremendous amount of material that the Media Research Center provided me for so many years when I was anchoring Special Report. I don't know what we would have done without them. It was a daily, sort of a buffet of material to work from, and we - we -- we certainly made tremendous use of it.