OK, I’m sick of this bullshit accusation that Jon Stewart was equating MSNBC as the opposite of FOX at his ralley. He was not. He was focusing on the larger issue of how politics is discussed in this country. And MSNBC is a part of that discussion whether you like it or not.
I think Jon’s politics are fairly clear. He has far fewer right wing guests than those from the left, and is constantly calling out FOX. But to isolate FOX and say it’s all their fault would just emphasize the us versus them mentality that poisons this society today.
While those on MSNBC are far more transparent and reliable when it comes to factual-ness, by responding to every outlandish freakout from the right they are doing nothing but contributing to the screaming match.
That is all.
Glenn Beck did his weekly appearance on The O’Reilly Factor last night, and was waxing philosophic about the virtues of astroturfed teabaggers showing up to disrupt town hall meetings on health care. It’s all good as far as Glenn’s concerned, so long as folks are bashing President Obama.
This is because, as far as Beck is concerned, the nation under Obama is in dire straits. He keeps calling it “the most dangerous time that I have personally witnessed in my country’s history.”
Bill O’Reilly then tried to dig into this animus:
O’Reilly: Now, Clinton — moderate Democrat? Liberal Democrat?
Beck: Yeah, I think he is, because he’s a survivalist. So the country is centered –
O’Reilly: So in your opinion, he didn’t post a threat to America.
Beck: No, I think — I think he made some mistakes that were –
O’Reilly: But everybody makes those.
Beck: But everybody makes mistakes.
O’Reilly: But he didn’t post a threat, but Obama does pose a threat, in your opinion.
O’Reilly: You just said that this was the worst time in the Republic. So he must pose a threat.
Beck: Yeah. I do think that.
But you know what, I can’t blame all of that on Barack Obama. I do pin some of that on George W. Bush and the Republicans. When I had a real — my first time ever, when somebody tells me they’re going to protect our country, and they care about security, and then they don’t do anything about our southern border, I say, ‘Wait wait wait. What is that?’
O’Reilly: Yeah, it was a wakeup call.
Beck: ‘You’re in bed with corporate cronies. You’re doing something.’
O’Reilly: That was bad, no doubt.
Beck: So that caused problems, that was the beginning of it. Bush did the bailouts. He started the TARP fund.
O’Reilly: Yeah, but he had to.
Beck: He starts with the TARP. Now Obama is just taking us light speed. So I don’t see this as just Obama. I see this as a political culture that is toxic to the Republic.
I think we’re all starting to see just whose political culture is the toxic one, folks. And it isn’t Obama’s.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Papers filed by political humorists in Federal Court accuse The Republican Party, its elected officials, conservative bloggers, Fox News, and CNBC of “crossing the line in self parody” and “creating a situation that is difficult to satire” by acting “so effing weird”. The comics, some of them funny, are seeking damages in the hundreds of dollars to make up for lost revenue.
A visibly legendary Mort Sahl addressed reporters in a threadbare sweater, his hands flopping nervously in the breeze since the newspaper he planned to carry had gone bankrupt. “This is a career for many of us,” said Sahl shyly. “Politicians and talk show hosts holding up tea bags day after day has taken it’s toll and jokes are becoming increasingly difficult to write. For example, the KKK protested at Republican headquarters and burned erm uh ah a giant tea bag on the front lawn. See? No place to go. I give up.”
A noticeably muscular Carrot Top whispered to Sahl that the Klan had, in fact, burned a giant bag on the lawn of the Republican party. Sahl’s head exploded. Shocked reported recoiled in horror than high fived because was sort of cool looking, really. .
In a separate suit, Richard and Sal from the Howard Stern show claimed that Republicans had ruined the humorous value of tea bagging.
Lawyers for the class action suit showed tapes of recent episodes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and the House Republican caucus. After the crowd stopped laughing they pointed out that these were actual video tapes, not way out parodies. That seemed to confuse people. Lawyers played the tapes again and then people got very quiet and sad and most of them walked away from the TV and didn’t say anything for a very long time but they told themselves that they would never vote for a Republican again, ever. Later they forgot all about the scary tapes but wondered why they didn’t see Republicans any more like they used to in the old days.
Bill Maher defiantly lit a cigarette that appeared to be marijuana, inhaled and then coughed just as he was about to speak. This was not related to the lawsuit in any way and happened in the bedroom at Maher’s home, thousands of miles away in California.
Ready to shut down Bill O’Reilly’s Harassment Machine? Think Progress has responded to O’Reilly’s ambush of blogger Amanda Terkel by launching a campaign demanding accountability from O’Reilly’s corporate advertisers. This certainly wasn’t O’Reilly’s first journalistic ambush; in fact, Think Progress counts 40 instances in which O’Reilly has used his henchmen producers to go after everyone from Barack Obama to Bill Moyers to our own Robert Greenwald.
Going after O’Reilly through his corporate sponsors seems like a fitting punitive measure, considering O’Reilly’s manic obsession with his imaginary enemy NBC and their parent company GE. O’Reilly even managed to use the Terkel ambush to continue his assault on his network nemesis, which was particularly strange since Terkel has nothing to do with NBC whatsoever. (In fact, as Terkel told Keith Olbermann, she derived her initial report from a News Hounds post on O’Reilly’s despicable comments regarding the rape of Jennifer Moore.) It was even odder when O’Reilly tried desperately to make the connection between Terkel, NBC, GE, and Iran in less than one minute!
The bottom line is O’Reilly’s thuggish brand of gotcha journalism has got to end, and you can hold O’Reilly to a higher standard by dropping his corporate sponsors a quick note telling them to shut down the O’Reilly Harassment Machine.
Ryan Powers over at Think Progress took note Tuesday of the latest pathetic example:
|O’Reilly noted that Obama had a prepared list of reporters from whom he planned to take questions. Fleischer explained that former President Bush used a similar method to avoid taking questions from “dot coms and other oddballs.” In response, O’Reilly suggested that Obama’s “oddball” screening was perhaps not as effective as Bush’s because the President called on the Huffington Post:|
O’REILLY: George Bush came in with a list of guys he was going to call on?
FLEISCHER: Yes, I used to prepare it for him. I would give him a grid, show him where every reporter is seated. And there are some reporters, you know, in that briefing room, you can imagine, Bill, you get a lot of dot coms and other oddballs who come in there. They’re screened.
O’REILLY: Like the Huffington Post. Now it gets called on.
FLEISCHER: And I used to seat them all in one section. I would call it “Siberia.” And I told the President, “Don’t call on Siberia.”
It would have been inconvenient of O’Reilly to publicly remember at that moment that it was the dot coms which Fleischer chose to snicker at who brought down Jeff Guckert, the partisan hack with no journalism background and belonging to no legitimate news organization and writing under an alias, Jeff Gannon. Although he had absolutely no credentials that should have helped him obtain a press pass at the White House or even a dog show, Guckert/Gannon was someone whom Fleischer had not kept out in the cold. He was instead called upon at press conferences by Fleischer and later lobbed softball questions at Mister Bush himself. He was exposed, in more ways than one, by John Aravosis’s Americablog, Media Matters and a collaborative team at Daily Kos before the traditional media got around to busting him, too.
Guckert/Gannon turned out to be just another cog in the administration’s various efforts to insert its propaganda into newspapers and other media, no different than, say, syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams, who took a pretty chunk of cash for his shillery. Guckert had …uh … other sources of income.
But Fleischer and O’Reilly were the amnesia twins when it came to Guckert the faker. They found it laughable when a real reporter, Sam Stein, who has broken a number of stories from his perch at the Huffington Post, was called upon at a presidential press conference. Well, they didn’t really find it funny. It was part of the same old game they play for the right-wing powers-that-be: seeking to discredit anybody they can’t control.