July 6, 2008

Through the looking glass

If you ever doubted that the media in this country can and does utterly distort and literally make stuff up, this will prove it.

Bear in mind that these are the reactions, by supposedly unbiased reporters, not commentators, to this:

Bob Scheiffer reacted in a manner which clearly was meant to impugn Barack Obama in comparison to John McCain, saying,

"I just gotta say, Barack Obama has not had any of those experiences either, nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down, I mean...."

That was a swipe at Obama, inferring that because Obama hadn't done those things, he wasn't as qualified as McCain. So Clark responded...

"Well I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification for being president." before going on to clarify why he feels Obama has better judgement, etc.

This is clearly no outrage. It's clearly not any knock on McCain's service. (Clark SPECIFICALLY stated that he honors McCain's service and considers him a hero.)

It was simply a retort to someone suggesting that someone who flies a fighter and gets shot down is somehow more qualified to be president. They're not, necessarily, and Clark simply said so.

Josh Marshall at TPM put together a little montage to show the sheer insanity that erupted over this in the media. See if you can believe just how wrong they got it, distorting his simple statement beyond all recognition.

(Also note how, when a guy from a veterans organization tries to bring things back to reality, Laura Ingraham and her pal literally shout him down, like children plugging their ears and going "Nyaaaahhhaahhhh nyah nyah I can't hear you!" in order to avoid even having to hear the truth. They have their minds wide shut and they're damn sure not going to let anyone mess things up with the truth. Standard operating proceedure for many in the right wing media.)

Let's see, "Swiftboating" from some blockhead on CNN, "ridiculing McCain's military service", "petty and small like the man himself" from the mulitiple felon and all around twerp, Oliver North, "attacking the war record of an American Hero" from has-been congressman turned right wing b-list broadcaster what's his name, the ditz Kellyanne (who's married to one of the "elves" involved in promoting the Clinton impeachment) saying she's amazed that, "a four star general is saying that being shot at is not military service." (!) Inventing that our of thin air so that she can revert to the tedious tactic that wing-nuts go to again and again and again, and that is to try to drag "the troops" into it and cynically use them for their political purposes. "What does that say to the troops?? That their service is meaningless??" she whines.

Yeah, Kellyanne, that's what they think if they're stupid enough to swallow your twisted logic. (good lord!)

And perhaps the most truly outrageous of all, Karl "Smear Merchant" Rove, actually saying Clark's statement was "outrageous" and actually saying "shame on him.", as if Rove has EVER been capable of feeling shame. (yeah, right.) This from a guy who blew the cover of a covert CIA agent for political pay back, a guy who's fame is built on a career spent smearing people and spreading horrible lies about them with impunity. A liar's liar, pretending to be "outraged" at someone telling the truth. (Well, in Rove's world, maybe that IS an outrage.)

Just get a load of this gang, then reflect what they're doing to the Americans who hear and listen to them. Is it any wonder that right wingers seem to have only the slimmest grasp of reality?

These people aren't only liars and hypocrites and cynical manipulators of otherwise good and honest citizens, they're actively working to tear down and disinform the American people. They're professional liars, and by that I mean that they're far worse than the average garden variety political liar which has always been with us.

They actively make the American people DUMBER, and they have zero problem with knowingly lying to them as they rake in the millions for doing so.

As long as these types operate, and as long as the press is held in the hands of a few corporations, and the top media figures are in the same social circles as those in government, going to the same parties, living in the same exclusive neighborhoods, their children going to the same private schools, their careers and success depending on each other, with many moving between government and media and back again, even marrying each other, with all the decisions on whats news and what's not being in the hands of a few hundred millionaires on the east coast, then the public will never have straight information and will never know what's really going on, as this group will never turn on someone they regularly socialize with and depend on as sources.

The media is no longer a watchdog, it's a partner in power and propaganda. And that's not putting it too strongly. They'll churn out an endless river of trivial crap about celebrities or reality shows or the latest kidnapped blonde, but don't look for anything that looks too close to anything involving big money or powerful figures in government, or what's really going on while endless hours of air time are squandered on petty B.S. like this Clark flap, because it ain't gonna happen.

I say throw the bums out.


At 7/06/2008 9:11 AM, Blogger Saul said...

The display in that video was so disgusting I can't believe it. It's clear that these talking heads just live for this kind of thing--they're dying to jump on any "controversy", no matter how fake, that will give them something to bluster about during their few minutes of airtime. The easier the better--anything to save them from doing actual reporting or analysis. Looks like most of those fools didn't even bother to watch more than 10 seconds of the with Clark, if they even watched that much.

At 7/07/2008 6:38 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Dope, first I have to say that I don't think Gen. Clark knocked John McCain's service record or the fact that he spent five years as a POW. And, I also agree with the fact that McCain hasn't had "executive responsibility" - whatever the hell that is. Yes, McCain has never ordered a bombing or had to deal with war negotiations through diplomacy. However, neither has Obama, neither had Clinton, neither had FDR before WWII and its prelude. That doesn't qualify, nor disqualify anyone from being President.

The problem with this whole thing, as I see it, is that no one in the fourth estate really listened to what was said. Bob Scheiffer was fine until he added the "nor has he ridden in a fighter plane and got shot down." That's the line that everyone jumped on (as well as Clark's trying to explain what he meant). Hell, McCain has said on numerous occasions that it didn't take a whole lot of experience or expertise to get a plane shot out from under him. And I don't believe that McCain believes that makes him qualified to be President either.

Saul is right when he stated that the talking heads were disgusting. But what is more disgusting is that the right (and a few of the left) are jumping on that one line and NOT taking Clark to task for the inference that somehow Obama is more qualified than McCain, when NEITHER of the two men have had Clark's so-called "executive responsibility" in ordering bombings or negotitating over war.

As far as I'm concerned, Clark is as phony as they come, playing on HIS background to lend credence to a candidate who he didn't support to begin with, and using ridiculous reasoning to make his pitch.

That is almost as sad as the news media not listening to what was said. Swiftboating? Not by a long shot. Distortion by the media? Possibly. The media showing its ignorance? Definitely.

Yet another example of why I've become so cynical on all matters political.

At 7/07/2008 11:50 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Well put, B.H.

I think you're spot on. I was thinking just today about how, while you hope to avoid being cynical about government, it's impossible to NOT be, if you're paying attention at all.

For instance, McCain's statements regarding his economic policies. He says he'd balance the budget by the end of his first term.

But of course, Social Security and Medicare/aid aren't counted. In other words, like everyone else, it only amounts to accounting gimmicks, like the entire budget does.

How can you possibly take statements like that seriously?

McCain's phoney "gas tax holiday" is a ridiculous gimmick dismissed and derided by 99% of economists, and many of his other stated policy goals are pure B.S.

On Obama's side, he's at least been closer to real. While he's never said he would "end" the war in Iraq (just begin to draw down troops as it becomes possible.) The fact remains that we'll never been completely out of Iraq anytime in our lifetimes. (Thanks George.)

The prospect of a form of universal health care is not only appealing but desperately needed. But achieving it in the first term of an Obama presidency is doubtful in my opinion. (too many powerful economic interests opposed.)

So yes, it's nearly impossible to actually pay attention and not become cynical. But... maybe being cynical isn't always a bad thing.

It simply means that you no longer swallow all the fairy tale story book ideals, like the U.S. can do no wrong, that you must always support war, because we never fight for an unjust cause, and that politicians would never willfully lie to the country about grave matters like war and peace, and the rest.

It's sad, yes, but if more people would wake up and be a little more cynical, perhaps it would be a lot tougher for politicians and corporations (and their media mouthpieces) to pull the wool over their eyes?


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