Eric Boehlert’s great book Lapdogs has an entire chapter dedicated to ABC’s The Note. Before reading this book I did not know how influential The Note is. From the book,
It is impossible to overstate the behind-the-scenes influence of The Note. Whereas ten or even five years ago a serious examination of the Beltway press might put the work of New York Times’s D.C. bureau under a microscope and dissect it for clues to media trends and emphasis, today it’s The Note the most succinctly speaks for the political press elite, and whose body of work deserves close attention.
Boehlert goes on with examples of The Note’s influence. And then he goes on to show how The Note has a Republican/conservative “conventional wisdom” anti-Democrat bias. The other day I wrote about how The Note was carrying on Republican smears, writing,
Democrats have to root root root for bad news. And no bad news source is better for the Democrats’ election prospects than the bad news from Iraq.
But The Note today tops itself, and comes out blatantly in support of Republicans over Democrats. From The Note today:
A majority of the minority will be in their hearts for higher taxes, universal health care, a heightened emphasis on civiil liberties, and a dramatic and swift reduction of troops from Iraq. They know it, the RNC, NRCC, NRSC, and The Note all know it — the Democrats just have to hope that the American people don’t find out until February.
The Republicans are trying to “deregulate” the Internet. They’re about to allow the big telecommunications companies to decide which websites their customers (YOU) can and can’t see. This is what “Net Neutrality” is about. If you are against letting big companies decide what websites you can see, that means you are in favor of Net Neutrality.
MAKE NO MISTAKE about what this will mean. In the 1980s the Republicans “deregulated” radio and television by getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine and allowing a few big companies to buy up all the stations, and now you can’t turn on the radio without hearing that conservatives are good and liberals are bad. And you will not ever see a representative of organized labor on your television telling you about the benefits of joining a union. In the South the ONLY viewpoint you ever hear is the Republican Party viewpoint. MAKE NO MISTAKE about what “deregulating” the Internet will mean. It means they will ban BuzzFlash, and DailyKos, and Digby and any other voice that speaks out against the corporate takeover of your country.
Here is what you can do today. Matt Stoller has a post up at MyDD with a list of members of Congress to call TODAY. Matt says
Urge them to support the bipartisan Sensenbrenner-Conyers Net Neutrality bill (HR 5417) in the Judiciary Committee on Thursday — and to support it without amendment. Saying without amendment is key.
Remember the storm back when MSNBC’s Chris Matthews compared Americans who are concerned about the war in Iraq to Osama bin Laden?
The narrative continues. ABC News: The Note today writes,
As is always the case with the out-of-power party, Democrats have to root root root for bad news. And no bad news source is better for the Democrats’ election prospects than the bad news from Iraq.
That’s right, they’re repeating the narrative that Democrats are traitors who want America to lose the “war on terror.”
Eric Boehlert’s GREAT new book, Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush has an entire chapter dedicated to ABC’s The Note, detailing not just its overwhelming use of Republicans narrative, but also it’s enormous influence over the rest of the media.
At The Grit, Pater Daou writes,
The Note pushes it over the edge with what should be a completely unacceptable comment about Dems and Iraq. And why does it matter what some insider political site says? Because this is emblematic of the ease with which the media establishment slanders Democrats. This kind of dirt infects political coverage and filters to the general public.
Iraqi government documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times reveal the breadth of corruption, including epic schemes involving hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts, as well as smaller-scale cases such as the purchase of better grades by university students and the distribution of U.S.-issue pistols as party favors by a former Justice Ministry official.
“We are seeing corruption everywhere in Iraq — in every ministry, in every governorate,” said Judge Radhi Radhi, head of the Commission on Public Integrity, Iraq’s anti-corruption agency.
But what kind of system would we EXPECT Bush and the Republican Culture of Corruption to set up – an honest one? HA!
If you are an American soldier, you can thank the Republican Culture of Corruption for this:
Corruption helps fuel the insurgency too, Radhi said. “The terrorists help the criminals, and the criminals help the terrorists,” he said. “Without corruption, we would have been able to defeat the terrorists by now.”
A little while ago I posted about an Iraq withdrawal announcement, timed for the coming elections. Now this – indictments of top Democratic donors, timed for the election. The story seems designed for a Republican Party press release,
The firm and individuals there made $2.78 million in campaign donations to Democrats since 1999 compared to about $22,000 to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in politics.
… Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said Republicans would likely use the donations as ammunition in the November congressional elections and to blunt criticism about recent corruption scandals involving Republicans.
They will target “every individual Democrat in a competitive race in 2006 to begin with,” Sabato said.
They also will mount “a P.R. offensive to make certain that this helps to balance the Democrats’ charges of a culture of corruption that affects only Republicans,” he said.
Gosh, why would the Bush administration indict a law firm?
By its own account, Milberg Weiss has won more than $45 billion in its suits against corporations.
In fact, the whole case seems so well crafted to support Republican ideology going into the campaign:
Yesterday’s indictment of class action plaintiffs’ law firm Milberg Weiss in connection with a fraud case promises to shine a bright spotlight on the need for tort reform.
The process has already been carefully choreographed in an attempt to bolster the popularity of both Bush and Blair who have suffered domestically for their handling of the war.
The scope of the phased withdrawal, which will see the 133,000 US force levels cut to around 100,000 by the end of the year and British numbers almost halved, has already been agreed, one senior defence source said.
… It will be described as a “transition” to Iraqi security forces taking control of the country rather than a withdrawal to avoid it looking as though the allies are being forced out by rising levels of attacks on their forces.
The Americans have already lost more than 120 servicemen in the past six weeks, making it one of the worst periods for casualties since last autumn.
Just in time to make it appear that Iraq should not be an election issue.
How bad are the problems? Experts are calling them the most serious voting-machine flaws ever documented. Basically the trouble stems from the ease with which the machine’s software can be altered. It requires only a few minutes of pre-election access to a Diebold machine to open the machine and insert a PC card that, if it contained malicious code, could reprogram the machine to give control to the violator. The machine could go dead on Election Day or throw votes to the wrong candidate. Worse, it’s even possible for such ballot-tampering software to trick authorized technicians into thinking that everything is working fine, an illusion you couldn’t pull off with pre-electronic systems. “If Diebold had set out to build a system as insecure as they possibly could, this would be it,” says Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins University computer-science professor and elections-security expert.
… The Diebold security gap is only the most vivid example of the reality that no electronic voting system can be 100 percent safe or reliable. That’s the reason behind an initiative to augment these systems, adding a paper receipt that voters can check to make sure it conforms with their choices. The receipt is retained at the polling place so a physical count can be conducted. “When you’re using a paperless voting system, there is no security,” says David Dill, a Stanford professor who founded the election-reform organization Verified Voting.
… In other words, it’s unlikely that every voter using an electronic voting device in 2006 will know for sure that his or her vote will be reflected in the actual totals. Six years after the 2000 electoral debacle, how can this be? [emphasis added]
This is an issue everyone should be making noise about.