October 11, 2007

Scarborough gets whiplash and we find that the Republicans are still the majoirty in the senate

Josh Micah Marshall has added a new service of his excellent Talking Points Memo and is now offering interesting video clips highlighting the very best of the worst of what passes for politics and the media these days.

Here's one that, while not particularly interesting on the face of it, is just amazing.

Take a gander and then offer your opinion of what just happened to poor Joe. Did he get owned or what? (I have my own theory, but I'll hold my tongue for now.)

And then this news bunny, Kitty Pilgrim (wonder if she's Billy's sister?) makes a rather telling slip of the tongue. I guess she can't be blamed for still thinking the Republicans are in control of the congress. (with their assistance, maddeningly enough.)

But let's pray for Domenici, they sure don't need anything to "make it harder" for the Republican party to hold onto control the Senate. (ahem)


At 10/11/2007 7:41 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope, I watched the clip of Joe S. several times and I've come to the conclusion that the edits are telling the story that Marshall wants told.

At first, Joe seems to be sounding off about Iraqi criticism of Blackwater in general, and if they (the Iraqis) don't like the way Blackwater operates (or perhaps the way the US is using them), then maybe the Iraqis should take Blackwater's place.

When Webb comes on the line, Joe seems to be in agreement with Webb on the way Blackwater operates. The edits don't show how much time elapsed between Joe's first comments and when Sen. Webb came on the line, or what transpired between Joe and Micah in between.

Now, I'll bet you think the MSNBC higher-ups told Joe to tone things down. And that might truly be the case. But there are so many edits in the full clip that it's hard to decipher what Joe's REAL thoughts were.

It's interesting that Sen. Webb noted that Blackwater was taking part in combat operations. I did not know that (or if I heard that before, I forgot). I thought they were mainly for guard/escort duty.

But, be that as it may, the clip has way too many edits in it and it would have been good to hear the complete exchange so as not to create misinformation, as the media, bloggers, the White House, etc. is noted for doing from time to time.

At 10/12/2007 6:49 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

My view of it, (and I'll try to keep it short) is that Scarborough initially was going into "red meat mode", trying to be macho and superficial and giving the right wingers what they want by adopting this rather crude, "How dare the Iraqi's tell us what to do." thing.

You know, belligerant, bellicose, the bread and butter of right wing commentary.

But then he spoke with someone serious (Webb), who brought things back to reality, and he simply had to revert back to ...well.... reality.

Scarborough is not the worst right wing case out there. As a matter of fact, I almost respect him for having tried to stick to reality and not followed the pressure to become increasingly dumb and belligerant in the face of that seeming to be the formula for sucess. He's never gone completely into trying to pander to the most extreme and nutty elements of the right wing.

So I think he simply took a stab at it, did the "open mouth, vent frustration without any thought" thats been so prized by cable in the last decade, and then was yanked back to reality only moments later.

Also, I'm not sure how edits could possibly mitigate or change this situation. Even if there were 15 minutes in between the segments (which I doubt), it's still a stunning turn-around.

At 10/12/2007 11:16 AM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Pretty much agree with you, Dope. I liked the way you put it when you said that Webb probably brought things back to reality and Joe then had to, too.

I would have liked to hear the complete exchange between Webb and Scarborough. It was probably very interesting and it "sounded" like it would have been a good, calm, well-thought out exchange.

I'll agree it was a stunning turnaround. However, cherry-picking scenes/comments can certainly change the tenor of a clip, as the producers at 60 Minutes have so aptly learned over the years. It's the "context" thing. But then, the spinmeisters would be out of a job if those types of things didn't happen.

At 10/12/2007 11:30 AM, Anonymous Saul said...

What a pathetic display Scarborough made. Trying to take a stab at being the next knee-jerk right-wing blow-hard. "The last thing we need is some I-rakee LOSERS complaining about us killing in the streets them for no reason. They can do something about it the next time they win a war."

Did he even know what he was saying? Was he aware that he's talking about a group of hired guns that has been enjoying the ability to kill with impunity--subject to no law--for years in someone else's country? Macho Soldier of Fortune types that can't resist the opportunity to walk armed to the teeth, lording it over the inferior brown-skinned "foreigners" that surround them. And the obscene amounts of money that the US government is paying them to do this doesn't hurt either.

And what a frickin' fool--trying to say "if the I-rakees don't like it, then they can step up to the plate and we can just go home! How would they like that?!" It's as if he thinks we're there as a favor to the Iraqis. Wake up and smell the coffee, Joe, the Iraqis don't want us there in the first place! It's the US government that wants our soldiers and mercenaries there, and they're going to stay there until the US government tells them to leave. Scarborough would have been more honest and intelligent if he'd said, "We don't care what the Iraqis think about what we're doing in their country, and we are going to stay as long as WE want. Iraqi opinions of what we do in and with their country are completely irrelevant. So they just need to shut up, or better yet, leave."

Fortunately Scarborough had the sense to crawl down from his high horse when he was confronted by someone who actually knows something.

Did you read the Chicago Tribune article the other day about the South African mercenaries working in Iraq? Great--thugs who worked for a white racist government and who were trained to hunt, torture and kill Africans in Africa. Sounds like a fine bunch of boys! Real upstanding types who we can help implement our mission to bring democracy to the A-rabs! Let's hire'em on!

At 10/13/2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your assessment of the situation. Joe was right on target. Webb is a loser!

At 10/13/2007 8:25 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

JOE doesn't even agree with Joe's assessment. And you call Webb the loser?

Just weird.


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