How The Media Kills Democracy

Hat tip to Matt Stoller at MyDD for his Around The Blogs post. Of special interest to STF readers a brilliant analysis by Steve Clemons of an L.A. Times editorial,

The Media’s “Political Correctness” Problem in Covering War and Conflict
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On a related note, Bob Geiger at the Yellow Dog Blog explains how DLC Democrats destroy democracy and why he took down and ad for BillandHillary:

I live in New York and have had a sidebar banner promoting the reelection of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on my blog since sometime last summer. I removed it yesterday.

Red Sky At Morning

This is linked at Eschaton:

The television commercials are attention-grabbing: Newly found Iraqi documents show that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and mustard gas, and had “extensive ties” to al Qaeda. The discoveries are being covered up by those “willing to undermine support for the war on terrorism to selfishly advance their shameless political ambitions.”
The hard-hitting spots are part of a recent public-relations barrage aimed at reversing a decline in public support for President Bush’s handling of Iraq. But these advertisements aren’t paid for by the Republican National Committee or other established White House allies. Instead, they are sponsored by Move America Forward, a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest — and most controversial — voices in the Iraq debate.

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Serenity, Serenity, Serenity and Serenity

I have to modify my responses to the List Of Fours meme. If you’ve ever been concerned about STF readers, check out these responses, and all of your darkest fears will be confirmed.
I rented Serenity from blockbusters last night. My movie choices are Serenity, Serenity, Serenity and Serenity. (This site takes a while to load, but has over 20 minutes of deleted scene, out takes and downloads that are worth the wait)

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Bush greatly alarming conservative civil libertarians

Check out this article Victims of the darkness: Government surveillance and intimidation on Pravda.Ru (of all places) by John W. Whitehead, founder and president of The Rutherford Institute (the folks who brought you the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, and generally categorizeable as “conservative” in orientation). Here’s the lead:

Not since the notorious McCarthy era of the 1950s, when American freedoms faced extinction, has there been such an attack against the Bill of Rights.

Pretty hardcore, heh?

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Meme of Four

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: Video game designer, think tank Fellow, company president, VP Marketing
Four movies you could watch over and over: Repo Man, Apocalypse Now, Babe, 2001
Four places you’ve lived: Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Santa Cruz, Redwood City
Four TV shows you love to watch: Carnivale, Rome, Law and Order, South Park
Four places you’ve been on vacation: Cabo, Banff, Iowa, London
Four websites you visit daily: DailyKos, BopNews, TPM, STF
Four of your favorite foods: Indian, Thai, Japanese, Santa Cruzan
Four places you’d rather be: Santa Cruz, England, Paris, Iowa
I pass it on to Bob Geiger, Mary, eRiposte, Bob Brigham

Bush’s Spying Scandal: the Spin

m4s0n501

Digby got there before me, so I can make this short.
Monitoring mosques and Muslim areas for radioactivity, whether illegally or not, is a kind of spying which most Americans will approve of. Besides everything else, radiation monitoring is less intrusive than clandestine burglaries, electronic eavesdropping, or monitoring phone conversions.
Digby believes that the “leak” of information about this particular activity was engineered by Karl Rove, and I think he’s right. Of all the forms of illegal surveillance that there are, this is the least offensive, and the Rove team wants to make it the public face of the illegal NSA program .
Reasonable conservatives know that the real issues are quite different, but reasonable conservatives are not a significant voting bloc. The Bush-Rove team plans to win the battle for public opinion on this issue, and the Democratic Party’s historical failure or refusal to capitalize on Republican outrages tells us that it is entirely possible that once the dust has settled, Bush will not have been hurt at all.
UPDATE:
Media Matters has posted a 5,000-word piece on the Republican spin machine’s work on this issue: Top 12 media myths and falsehoods on the Bush administration’s spying scandal. This piece is a MUST READ.
It’s amazing how much disinformation they’ve succeeded in disseminating in a few days. These people are not going to give up, no matter what. Long ago Bush went beyond what any “honest conservative” could possibly support, but we’re not fighting against honest conservatives. We’re fighting against fanatics and paid operatives.
Players so far (listed at MM) include the LA Times, Brit Hume, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Bay Buchanan, Matt Drudge, Kelly O’Donnell of NBC, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, Brian Todd of CNN, Byron York and Rich Lowry of the National Review, Charles Krauthammer, Victoria Toensing on CNN, Newsmax, G. Gordon Liddy, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, and William Kristol. Some of these people may be honestly mistaken, or hapless dupes, but the great majority of them are ideologues and operatives.

Happy Chanukah

“Okay…
This is a song that uhh..
There’s a lot of Christmas songs out there and uhh..
not too many Chanukah songs.
So uhh..
I wrote a song for all those nice little Jewish kids who don’t
get to
hear any Chanukah songs.
Here we go…”
Put on your yarmulke
Here comes Chanukah
So much funukah
To celebrate Chanukah
Chanukah is the festival of lights
Instead of one day of presents, we have eight crazy nights

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Dave’s Not Here

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: pear picker, ESL teacher, phlebotomist, lab assistant.
Four movies you could watch over and over: Fargo, Repo Man…..
Four places you’ve lived: Osakis MN, Portland OR, Taipei, Seattle.
Four TV shows you love to watch: Really and truly, not a single one. As my son explains, that’s why I don’t understand the American people.
Four places you’ve been on vacation: Rowan — Iowa, Taroko Gorge — Taiwan, Winnipeg, Pacific Crest Trail.
Four websites you visit daily: Unfogged, Language Hat, Bartcop, Pharyngula.
Four of your favorite foods: black bean soup with smoked pork, sausage and sauerkraut, tangy toasted cheese sandwiches with linguica slices, chicken cabbage soup.
Four places you’d rather be: Oregon, Paris, Berlin, Taiwan.
(Sent by Matt Stoller to Dave Johnson. I’m not Dave. Dave’s not here.)

Showdown At The Tarrytown Music Hall

Bob Geiger covers what amounts to yet another exercise in public self immolation by Christopher Hitchens. A Night With Scott Ritter – And Some Other Guy. If the M$M ever decides to let the American people in on the truth about Bush’s Iraq war, all they have to do is give Scott Ritter a forum:

This is a war that’s not worth the life of one American because it’s a war based on a lie. And no amount of revisionism will make those lies true,” he said. “And if you support this ridiculous notion that the ends justifies the means, then come up here, throw your passport on the stage and get the hell out of my country because that’s un-American.