Saturday, June 20, 2009

Liberal Media

So the Washington Post fired Dan Froomkin. Apparently, according to Froomkin, his column "wasn't working" according to his bosses. One of the hardest things he did was his job, while keeping his job. That is because, as a political critic, many times he found his columns repudiating the war cheerleaders on the editorial page.

He was branded with the scarlet letter of being a liberal.

Somehow, I missed the part where avoiding foreign entanglements, opposing torture, opposing illegal wiretaps and expecting elected officials to follow the law as liberal positions.

Asking tough questions has become out of vogue for our stenographic press. Press The Meat fellator David Gregory explains the media failure in the run-up to the Iraq war:


"I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up [in the run-up to the war] and say 'this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this,' that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role"

As an example to Froomkin, David Gregory shows how to question the President prior to going to war:

Q Mr. President, good evening. If you order war, can any military operation be considered a success if the United States does not capture Saddam Hussein, as you once said, dead or alive?

Q Sir, I’m sorry, is success contingent upon capturing or killing Saddam Hussein, in your mind?


In sales, this is called a choice close. "Do you want the red car or the blue one." One assumes the sale and gives the choice of options as opposed to whether the sale should take place at all, or in the field of journalism, calling bullshit:
Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do.

What is it about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert that makes them so refreshing and attractive to a wide variety of viewers (including those so-important younger ones)? I would argue that, more than anything else, it is that they enthusiastically call bullshit.

Calling bullshit, of course, used to be central to journalism as well as to comedy. And we happen to be in a period in our history in which the substance in question is running particularly deep. The relentless spinning is enough to make anyone dizzy, and some of our most important political battles are about competing views of reality more than they are about policy choices. Calling bullshit has never been more vital to our democracy.

[...] Dan Froomkin, recently fired bullshit detector.

Froomkin served an odd function in that he practiced the art of journalism at the Washington Post, and it "wasn't working." He turned into the guest actor of an old Star Tek episode, the one with the different colored suit.

Spock, Bones, Scotty and...Froomkin, beam down to the surface...
Hell, you knew Froomkin wasn't coming back. It was his perverted view that journalists should be skeptical and adversarial to claims made by political figures, and was labeled liberal for pointing out their false claims and radical policies. Reporters are simply supposed to type down what both sides say and run it through a spell check program. Calling bullshit, as David Grogory has told us, "It's not our role."

To get an idea of what Dan Froomkin felt the role of the press was, read this, this and this. Simply put, he didn't believe journalists should be stenographers, much less cheerleaders for politicians. And he was fired.

But the persecuted and largely silenced voice of conservatives, like neocon Charles Krauthammer, neocon Bill Kristol, Kathleen Parker, Glenn Beck, neocon and serial comb licker Paul Wolfowitz (who told congress prior to the Iraq invasion that Iraqi's would be able to finance their own rebuilding. He went on to head the World Bank, where presumably, math was involved. He got fired shortly thereafter) still get published in The Washington Post.

Keep chasing that thirty percent WaPo and see where that gets you.

4 comments:

Red S Tater said...

And just what is the "tough question" anyone in the media has ever asked Obama?

You said -"Somehow, I missed the part where avoiding foreign entanglements, opposing torture, opposing illegal wiretaps and expecting elected officials to follow the law as liberal positions."

Ahhh let me clear this up for you.
Here is what youare actually missing.
The liberal position is to make up phony straw-man opposition positions in order to make their falsely based points.
Such as...
1- "Foreign entanglements"... like Obama's Afghanistan quagmire or like the one in Iraq that has been declared a Victory?
2- Torture.
The enhanced interrogation methods liberals describe as "torture" are not torture according to Obama's own AG and military advisors. So Americans supporting torture is a false argument.

3- "Illegal wire taps"... again the wire taps on foreign calls to America were determined to be legal and this is a false argument.

4- "Obey the law"... lol you must be kidding, politicians obey the law? Just where do you think Obama was groomed for politics... Disneyland?

So, the premise of your argument is flawed from the get-go due to influence by leftwing extremists to whom you subscribe and in whom you trust.

That's all you missed.
-red

Oilfieldguy said...

1. Victory? Today in Iraq:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A suicide truck bombing near a Shiite mosque killed at least 67 people and wounded at least 200 Saturday in a city close to Kirkuk, Iraq, an official with Kirkuk police said.

2. Eric Holder declared waterboarding as torture during his confirmation hearings and The Man Called Petraeus has always condemned the practice as outside the Geneva Conventions and contrary to the very values he and his men fight to protect.

3. Please cite the case or judge where such a determination was made. Indeed, both the Bush and Obama administrations have been fighting tooth and nail to prevent any court from ever deciding on the case by claiming "states secrets." If no laws were broken why did the Bush administration and telecommunication companies lobby so fiercely and successfully to gain retro-active immunity for the repeated criminal warrantless wiretapping of Americans?

If politicians choose to break the law, then they should be prosecuted. However, anyone calling for prosecutions of former Bush officials are deemed radical fringe score-settlers over "policy disputes."

And you being an apologist for this stuff is not helping. Now Rahm Emanuel, Obama's Chief of Staff, every bit as heinous as Rove, but just more of a lightweight, now has access to the RNC email accounts and phone records with the shiny new FISA law.

Of course any such snooping, if caught, will be dismissed as purely accidentally. Anyone demanding prosecutions will be deemed a fringe score-settler trying to prosecute over "policy differences."

Red S Tater said...

Ohhh so a single suicide bomber means Al Qaeda won in Iraq?

Obviously you are news challenged.
Iraq is self governing, has had several free elections (without protesting and riots in the streets like Iran) in spite of all-out attempts by outside insurgent forces (AQI) to thwart those elections.

The surge worked, Bush was right and moveon.org was wrong. Funny you would suddenly now decide to quote Gen Petreaus... as truthful though.

US troops are withdrawing from Iraq... NOT on Obama's campaign promise time-table but on Bush's time-table as predicted by Bush... "as the Iraqis stand up the US will withdraw". That is what is happening now.

The Iraqi Prime Minister declared in a news conference last week that this signaled a "VICTORY" over the insurgent forces that had been working to create civil war and prevent Iraq from becoming the stable democracy and friend to the US and ally in the war on terror... again, just as Bush laid out time after time on the goal of the Iraq war.

What you have just witnessed my friend is the success of Bush establishing a democracy in the heart of Islam. I'm sorry you are not happy about that... and it's too bad your partisan politics prevents you from celebrating this huge achievement by your country and by Iraqis brave enough to see it through.

Oh well.
-red

Oilfieldguy said...

Red, you teh funny. Perhaps we should apply the Bush Doctrine to Iran and liberate them by showering them with freedom bombs. In the search of compromise and comity, when you admit that invading Iraq was a huge fucking mistake based on lies and cherry-picked intelligence to satisfy a neocon chicken hawk wet dream, I will admit "the surge" only killed those who would not have died had we not invaded in the first place.

You go first.

As an aside, I am impressed with your unrelenting defense of Dubya. Most conservatives, who blindly and viciously defended everything he ever did or said, save the Harriet Miers episode, flipped when Bush became unpopular for the very policies they defended. They said he wasn't "conservative enough" or Reagany enough or something.

I am torn whether you are bunkered down in a mile thick concrete diamond hard layer of stupid or merely a Golem (look it up) that someone forgot to switch off.