Need More Proof That Fox "News" Is Anything But "Fair & Balanced?"

Then behold 100% inaccurate. They can't even report on plain old news without their unadulterated bias. "Fair & Balanced," my ass.

From Jed over at DKos & DKTV:

Case-in-point: yesterday and today, Fox relentlessly pushed the sensational — and false — speculation that television pitchman Billy Mays had died from head trauma suffered during a rough landing. According to the medical examiner, there is no basis for that claim, and heart disease appears to be a more likely explanation.

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King David? Mark Sanford Consults the Old Testament (Video)

Jon Stewart has just a bit of fun with Mark Sanford's invoking King David as his reason for not resigning after his cries from Argentina.

From The Daily Show:

Mark Sanford dips into the Old Testament to justify his decision to stay as governor.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mark Sanford Consults the Old Testament
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

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Torture Memo Authors Should Be Disbarred Says A Coalition Of Advocacy Groups

If we're not going to be able to prosecute these war criminals, then disbarring them is the least we can do.

Via HuffPo:

WASHINGTON — A coalition of advocacy groups is asking the District of Columbia and New York bar associations to disbar three government attorneys for approving and enabling the CIA's harsh interrogation program.

The groups are asking the legal panels to revoke the district law licenses of acting CIA general counsel John Rizzo and former CIA Counterterrorism Center chief counsel Jonathan Fredman, and the New York license of former CIA General Counsel Scott W. Muller.


The groups allege that the three attorneys approved and advocated the Bush-era CIA interrogation program that included waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning that President Barack Obama has called torture.

"These lawyers have no business practicing law, especially under salary in the federal government, given their involvement in furthering the torture of detainees," said Kevin Zeese, a board member of Velvet Revolution, a coalition of more than 50 organizations and hundreds of individuals who oppose the CIA's interrogation program.


In May, Velvet Revolution requested the disbarment of 12 senior Bush administration officials. Among them were former Bush attorney generals John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzales and Michael Mukasey; former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff; and former Justice lawyers John Yoo, Jay Bybee and Stephen Bradbury, whose legal opinions provided legal justifications for harsh interrogations.

The earlier request is on hold at the Board on Professional Responsibility in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals pending a review by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, said Bruce Fein, a former Reagan administration associate deputy attorney general now working with Velvet Revolution.


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Chuck Todd on Ricci: "The majority actually, well, to put it bluntly, legislated from the bench"

Morning Doucheborough doesn't even bother to try and twist what Chuck Todd. He knows what Chuck says is not only true, but so simple as to not be open to his kind of political re-writing. Chuck refused to let the conservative spin sit out there without a reality check.

Oh, and Zbigniew must be so proud of Mika.

From Media Matters:

From the June 30 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

see more video from MM....
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Oklahoma Nutter Sally Kerns: Economic Crisis Fault of "Same-Sex Marriage" & "Abortion"

You'd think after hearing the likes of Michele Bachmann, Tom Tancredo & Dana Rohrabacher that the ignorance, paranoia & hate spewing from a rethug politician wouldn't surprise me, but then comes this from Think Progress:

Last year, Oklahoma state legislator Sally Kern (R) drew well-deserved criticism for an outlandish rant against the gay community, in which she compared homosexuality to “toe cancer” and said “it’s the biggest threat our nation has, even more so than terrorism or Islam.” “Studies show that no society that has totally embraced homosexuality has lasted more than, you know, a few decades. So it’s the death knell of this country,” said Kern....


Now, Kern is back, once again sparking controversy for her attacks on the LGBT community.

Kern is now pushing a “Oklahoma Citizen’s Proclamation for Morality” that blames America’s “economic woes” on “abortion, pornography, same sex marriage, sex trafficking, divorce, illegitimate births, child abuse ,and many other forms of debauchery”:


: Right Wing Watch has more in: Oklahoma Rep proposes resolution blaming bad economy on gays.

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"Meghan McCain is in WAY over her head re: Sanford"

DKos' Brainwrap has a great analysis about the silliness that is Meghan McCain - who has now seen fit to wade into the Mark Sanford affair with both guns blazing. Problem is, her guns are loaded with blanks:

...she's also hopelessly out of her depth in trying to be a Serious Political Pundit®. This was shown, painfully, on a recent episode of Bill Maher's show, where Paul Begala (who I'm not usually too keen on) schooled her swiftly and simply about not knowing her history.

Today, she's given another even more blatant example of her cluelessness.


...and then into the same lying, disingenuous stance that the rest of her party has taken in recent years:

when these same politicians fall from grace—especially in the South—we demand that they leave office immediately.

Really? "Especially in the South"? David Vitter, anyone?

(Unlike, say, Eliot Spitzer, Governor Sanford didn’t do anything illegal. If he were to be convicted of misusing state funds for traveling to Argentina, then, of course, it is a different matter entirely and he should step down. )

Meghan, Meghan, Meghan...do you really have to make it so easy?

  1. As others have pointed out already, adultery is still a crime in South Carolina. I'm sure it hasn't been enforced in decades, but if Sanford wanted to sing Hello, Buenos Aries, he should have seen to it that the law was overturned first.
  1. Sanford failed to inform anyone, including his own staff, Chief of Staff, head of security, or Lt. Governor, of his whereabouts, nor did he give them any means of contacting him. His original flight itinerary was supposed to be for a full 10 days, not the 5 that he was gone for. Furthermore, he failed to transfer power over to his Lt. Governor during his absence (over 10,000 miles away).
I'm disappointed. The writing level is that of a high school English student, her arguments are specious at best, and for someone who's supposed to represent the "sane, reasonable" side of the GOP, she comes off as something of a twit (without the "ter") here.

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Sunday Loon Watch: Climate change isn’t real, wanting health care status quo, and “defending” marriage

Climate change isn’t real, wanting health care status quo, and “defending” marriage. Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Haley Barbour, Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell, Tim Pawlenty with the help of stalwart stenographers such as David Gregory, do their best to debunk proven science, fear-monger for their health insurance bug donors and preach "moral values."

From DKTV:

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty Turns on Gov. Mark Sanford: "Troubling And Hypocritical"

Seems like Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty sees an opening in the his possible race for the White House in 2012. What? You think he suddenly truly upset that one of his own has strayed and is taking a moral stand?? As Senate GOP proved when it comes to one of their own, they accept their apoligies but not their resignations (see John Ensign & David Vitter)? In fact, they seem to high-five them.

From Sam Stein:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) offered one of the harshest rebukes from within the Republican Party of Mark Sanford, suggesting on Sunday that the South Carolina governor was hypocritical and had damaged the GOP at a time when the brand was already hurting.

"It's hard to quantify [the damage he has done]," said Pawlenty. "But clearly there has been damage. Any time you have leading figures who are engaged in behavior that's sad and troubling and hypocritical other people are going to look at that and say, 'Hmmm, they don't walk the walk. And so the words and the actions don't ring true."

Later in his segment on CNN's "State of the Union," Pawlenty would not push back against suggestions that Sanford had been directly derelict in his duties when he traveled to Argentina to conduct his affair. "Your staff has to be able to reach you and reach you quickly," Pawlenty said. "He should not have left the state and not allowed people to know how to contact him if something happened. That's obvious."



Always the apologist for his fellow rethugs, Lindsay Graham has taken the opposite tact with Sanford, declaring he can remain Governor ff he reconciles with his wife.

From DKTV:

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NBC's David Gregory Throws His Own Nico Pitney Hissy Fit on MTP

First watch this....NBC's David Gregory throws his own hissy fit on the White House's calling on HuffPo editor, Nico Pitney on this weeks meet the press, calling it "anti-democratic."

From the June 28 edition of NBC's Meet the Press:

Here's how Media Matters reviews the hysterical reactions from Washington's establishment "journalists" in, What must the Iranians think about Dana Milbank and David Gregory?:
OK, the whining from Village reporters about Nico Pitney's question at last week's White House press conference is well beyond ridiculous at this point. This morning, David Gregory used valuable airtime to grill David Axelrod about the question, as though there aren't more important things he could ask a top White House aide about.
Here's the thing: Nobody is actually claiming that Obama knew what question Pitney was going to ask. The allegations of "coordination" and "staging" are premised on the idea that the Obama folks knew what topic Pitney would ask about - Iran.

Well, it isn't all that unusual for a president to have a pretty good idea what topic a reporter is going to ask about. If you call on a reporter from Stars & Stripes or Army Times, you'll probably get a question relating to the military. Call on a Washington Post reporter, and you'll likely get a question about steroids in baseball or haircuts. Call on a New York Times reporter, and there's a pretty good chance he'll ask what enchants you about the White House. Call on a Huffington Post reporter, and they'll probably ask something a little more substantive.

But here's where the complaining gets really ridiculous. David Gregory hosts Meet the Press. Do you know what happens when Gregory and his staff book guests for Meet the Press? Much of the time, they tell guests what topics they want to discuss. That's right - they coordinate! The whole thing is staged! Quick, someone convene an ethics panel!


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WaPo's Dana Milbank to HuffPo's Nico Pitney: "You're such a dick"

If you haven't seen this Reliable Sources segment from over the weekend, it's a must see. In a press conference last week, President Obama called on HuffPo's Nico Pitney -- the White House had alerted Nico becuase of his incredible Iran blogging all week that he might be called on -- and WaPo's Dana Milbank threw a hissy fit.

Not only that, but he also lies in his version of what happened and was called out by Arianna Huffington. He came to this segment with Nico in full hissy fit mode and Nico went on the offensive from his opening comments. Evidently, Dana didn't like it. He called Nico a dick.

Of course, Howard Kurtz claims he didn't hear the nasty comment.

From Think Progress:

The discussion was evidently so heated that Milbank called him a “dick” at the end of the segment, as Pitney writes on Huffington Post:

The only thing that surprised me was when Dana turned to me after our initial sparring and called me a “dick” in a whispered tone (the specific phrase was, I believe, “You’re such a dick”). Howie Kurtz wrote on Twitter that he didn’t hear it, which is understandable — he was doing the lead-in for the next part of the segment on the ABC White House special. But it happened (I urge Howie to watch the video of the panel during the ABC intro) and it was frankly pretty odd.

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62% Think Sonia Sotomayor Should Be Confirmed to Supreme Court & 60% Want Roe v Wade Upheld

Not only do 62% of American think the Senate should confirm Judge Sonyi Sotomayor, but this ABC/Washington Post poll found that 60% want Sotomayor to uphold Roe v Wade.

From WaPo:

Senate hearings on Sotomayor, President Obama's pick to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter, begin in two weeks, and 62 percent of those polled support her elevation to the court. Sotomayor, 55, is currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York.


Partisan differences, however, abound. Nearly eight in 10 Democrats and about two-thirds of independents said they want the Senate to confirm Sotomayor, but that drops to 36 percent of Republicans. Overall, most Republicans deem the judge a "more liberal" nominee than they would have liked.


Overall, 55 percent of Americans said Sotomayor is about right on a liberal-to-conservative scale. About a quarter said she is a more liberal nominee than they would have liked, about the same proportion who called Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. too conservative when President George W. Bush nominated them.

[read more]

The majority of Americans who want the court to retain the landmark abortion decision Roe v. Wade has remained remarkably steady over the years, and currently six in 10 Americans would want the new justice to vote to uphold it.


On an interesting side note, the supreme court struck down a ruling of Sotomayor's in a 'reverse discrimination' case. It will be one of those day where rethugs tried to gain traction with this news as if this was some sort of reflection on the judge, but legal experts have already said that she was literally following the rule of law and the Supreme Court didn't just strike this down, they gave new instruction for future similar case - new rule as it were - that had they been available to the Judge at the time, her ruling would probably been very different.
From HuffPo:
The Supreme Court has ruled that white firefighters in New Haven, Conn., were unfairly denied promotions because of their race, reversing a decision that high court nominee Sonia Sotomayor endorsed as an appeals court judge.


The ruling could alter employment practices nationwide, potentially limiting the circumstances in which employers can be held liable for decisions when there is no evidence of intentional discrimination against minorities.

"Fear of litigation alone cannot justify an employer's reliance on race to the detriment of individuals who passed the examinations and qualified for promotions," Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion for the court. He was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said the white firefighters "understandably attract this court's sympathy. But they had no vested right to promotion. Nor have other persons received promotions in preference to them."


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Hypocrisy 101: Red States lead in Divorces, Teen Pregnancy and Porn

Seems Republican politicians aren't the only hypocrites when it comes to marriage (infidelity?), teen pregnancy (abstinence-only) and porn, it's 'red" states in general.

From Charles Blow:

Sanford voted to impeach Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky saga. According to The Post and Courier of Charleston, Sanford called Clinton’s behavior “reprehensible” and said, “I think it would be much better for the country and for him personally” to resign. “I come from the business side. ... If you had a chairman or president in the business world facing these allegations, he’d be gone.” Remember that Mr. Sanford?

And this kind of hypocrisy isn’t confined to the politicians. It permeates the electorate. While conservatives fight to “defend” marriage from gays, they can’t keep theirs together. According to the Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract, states that went Republican in November accounted for eight of the 10 states with the highest divorce rates in 2006.

Conservatives touted abstinence-only education, which was a flop, when real sex education was needed, most desperately in red states. According to 2006 data from the Guttmacher Institute, those red states accounted for eight of the 10 states with the highest teenage birthrates.

And, a study titled “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?” that was conducted by Benjamin Edelman, an assistant professor of business at Harvard Business School and published earlier this year in the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that subscriptions to online pornography sites were “more prevalent in states where surveys indicate conservative positions on religion, gender roles, and sexuality” and in states where “more people agree that ‘I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage.’ ”

read more....
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Democrats and Political Homophobia: The Enemies Within

AmericaBlog's Joe Sudbay has a point here. It's not the blatant homophobes that are standing in the way of gay rights, it's Democratic leadership and their overpaid consultants who don't see any political upside to following through on promises made during campaign after campaign after campaign - because they never have to deal with any real consequences. I think time are changing however and with people like Joe Sudbay and John Aravosis, we just might be able to hod oure "friends" accountable this time around.

From Joe:

We all know practitioners of homophobia -- mostly Republicans, right-wingers, Catholic leaders, etc.

There is, however, a version of homophobia that is much more insidious: Political Homophobia.

Political homophobes aren't gay-hating in the traditional sense. In fact, publicly, most are strong supporters of LGBT equality. But, behind closed doors, many Democratic leaders, consultants, Hill staffers and the rest will vociferously argue that there is no political benefit to actually supporting LGBT rights. Political homophobia is rampant among some Democrats. In some ways, it's worse than blatant homophobia, since we think most Democrats are on our side. And outwardly, they are.

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God Hates Signs?

How brilliant is this? From Scott Beale (h/t @WTF_Spotlight):

God Hates Signs Protest of The Westboro Baptist Church:

A brilliant God Hates Signs protest of The Westboro Baptist Church protest.

via monochrom

photo by Burstein


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Dear Andrew Sullivan:

Dear Andrew:

I just got a call from a friend of mine on the West Coast after he nearly fell of his porcelain thrown this a.m.

There seems to be some misunderstanding on the part of Ruben Navarette in his piece, Gays feel shut out in Obamaland. Not that he isn't correct in thinking I'm just as pissed off at Obama as the next gay blogger/activist, but in adding my name to his his list of two named prominent gay bloggers - the first being you - it seems I have dragged you down a few pegs on the social ladder...

My apologies,

The Joshua Blog

From Ruben Navarette's, Gays feel shut out in Obamaland:

So imagine the surprise, and even disgust, on the part of gay activists when the Obama Justice Department recently filed a motion in support of the Defense of Marriage Act. The administration opposed a lawsuit brought by a married gay couple in California seeking to have their union recognized in all 50 states. And in making their argument that not all marriages ought be recognized as lawful, Obama's lawyers cited as precedent cases involving, of all things, pedophilia and incest - the same sort of obscene comparisons that some religious conservatives have, in the past, drawn to argue against gay marriage.

All of this has incensed gay and lesbian pundits and activists. They include prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan and The Joshua Blog. The rift has prompted editorials in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, both of which were critical of Obama. In response, many of Obama's gay and lesbian supporters have recently pulled out of Democratic fund-raisers and some have already threatened to withhold political contributions to Obama's re-election campaign in 2012.

read more....
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This was always one of my favorite pictures of Farrah...

This was one of my favorite episodes of Charlies Angel's, Consenting Adults. I actually sat in front of the television and took pictures! I have the Polaroids shots of it somewhere. Hey, I was in 6th grade!

And of course, Angel's in Chains:

Here are some more favorite pictures....

I still have this poster...

Bye, Angel.

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Health-Care Activists Rightfully Target Traitor Democrats

Ceci Connolly, the WaPo staff writer tries her best to make this tactic from the base of the party out to be a bad thing - or the old "Democrats in disarray" meme - but, this is exactly what Democrats needed to do and should do more regularly.

This sell-outs are precisely why legislation gets watered to to an almost unrecognizable form - doing little or nothing of its original intent.

These fuckers aren't real democrats, they're corporatist democrats - conservadems - and the very reason republicans were able to remove almost all banking regulations and consumer protections over the last 20 years or so.

These fuckers are just as guilty of causing the economic meltdown. These are the fuckers who convinced Bill Clinton it was OK strip FDR's banking regulations down the bare bones.

These fuckers who allowed republicans go to war in Iraq, to install a domestic spying program, and are as guilty as any republican of whatever disaster resulted from those illegal acts.

From WaPo:

In the high-stakes battle over health care, a growing cadre of liberal activists is aiming its sharpest firepower against Democratic senators who they accuse of being insufficiently committed to the cause.


In recent days -- and during this week's congressional recess -- left-leaning bloggers and grass-roots organizations such as MoveOn.org, Health Care for America Now and the Service Employees International Union have singled out Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) for the criticism more often reserved for opposition party members. [snip]

"Democratic senators are taking millions of dollars from insurance and health-care interests and getting lobbied by those donors and coming out against a position that 76 percent of Americans agree on," said Adam Green, interim chief executive of Change Congress.


The Web-based MoveOn.org plans to run ads this week against Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) over the issue.

"The Democrats were voted into office to fix this problem," said MoveOn political advocacy director Ilyse Hogue. "It is absolutely our job to hold them accountable."

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Weekly Presidential Youtube-Radio Address: Opening the Door to a Clean Energy Economy

Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! It's all about the jobs, people.

From The White House website:

The President praises historic energy legislation passed by the House of Representatives. The legislation will help America create green jobs, ensure clean air for our children, move towards energy independence and combat climate change. July 27, 2009.

Opening the Door to a Clean Energy Economy:

Full transcript:
Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a historic piece of legislation that will open the door to a clean energy economy and a better future for America.

For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil. And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow. We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth: the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.

Now is the time for the United States of America to realize this too. Now is the time for us to lead.

The energy bill that passed the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation in our economy. It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy – everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings, like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs.

Make no mistake: this is a jobs bill. We’re already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we’re making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will create 1000 permanent jobs. In Michigan, investment in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over 2,600 jobs. In Florida, three new solar projects are expected to employ 1400 people.

The list goes on and on, but the point is this: this legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. That will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries. And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced. I have often talked about the need to build a new foundation for economic growth so that we do not return to the endless cycle of bubble and bust that led us to this recession. Clean energy and the jobs it creates will be absolutely critical to this new foundation.

This legislation has also been written carefully to address the concerns that many have expressed in the past. Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions. It provides assistance to businesses and families as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies. It gives rural communities and farmers the opportunity to participate in climate solutions and generate new income. And above all, it will protect consumers from the costs of this transition, so that in a decade, the price to the average American will be just about a postage stamp a day.

Because this legislation is so balanced and sensible, it has already attracted a remarkable coalition of consumer and environmental groups; labor and business leaders; Democrats and Republicans. And I want to thank every Member of Congress who put politics aside to support this bill on Friday.

Now my call to every Senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true.

We have been talking about energy for decades. But there is no longer a disagreement over whether our dependence on foreign oil is endangering our security. It is. There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It’s happening. And there is no longer a question about whether the jobs and industries of the 21st century will be centered around clean, renewable energy. The question is, which country will create these jobs and these industries? I want that answer to be the United States of America. And I believe that the American people and the men and women they sent to Congress share that view. So I want to congratulate the House for passing this bill, and I want to urge the Senate to take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations – to our constituents, to our children, to God’s creation, and to future generations.

Thanks for listening.
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Democrats Find Their Balls

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is about to unleash a barrage of July 4th ads going after certain house Republicans -- now get this -- for not supporting our troops! Sound familiar? It should. It's a tactic right out of the GOP's handbook for the last 30 years. It's about time Dems learned to fight fire with fire. Seems it was fine for house Rethugs to vote against the war supplemental last week, something they had mercilessly hammered Dems for doing when they did so for reasons that had nothing to do with our troops - which they knew of course. Well, fasten your seat belts you vulnerable rethugs, it's going to be a bumpy July 4th.

From Think Progress:

...the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) plans to run ads on the July 4 holiday criticizing several vulnerable Republican members for their votes against the supplemental last week. As Glenn Thrush reports, “A series of 60-second radio ads will run during drive time from July 1 through July 8, according to a script provided to POLITICO — and they have the support-our-troops ring of GOP spots.” Thrush provides the script:

Around here, we recognize Independence Day with parades … and picnics … maybe a few fireworks. But July Fourth is about more than that.

It’s about remembering those who fought for our freedoms. And those still fighting today. Congressman Lee Terry used to understand that.

When George Bush asked, Congressman Terry voted to fully fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, last year he said, quote, “We must give our military every resource it needs.”

Seems like Congressman Terry is playing politics now … Last month Congressman Terry voted AGAINST funding for those same troops. It’s true: vote No. 348 – you can look it up.

Versions of the ads are reportedly going to be run against seven Republican members: Reps. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Dan Lungren (R-CA), Mike McCaul (R-TX), Lee Terry (R-NE) and Joe Wilson (R-SC). The DCCC insists that it is simply pointing out that “[w]hen George Bush was president, Republicans were quick to criticize anyone who voted against the supplemental bills that fund the troops as against the troops. But now that Republicans are trying to score political points, they have flip flopped on troop funding.”

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Dan Froomkin's Farewell WaPo Piece: An Ode To Bloggers & A Lesson In Journalism

I can't do Dan Froomkin's last WaPo piece, White House Watched, the justice it deserves. So, I'll let it speak for itself. It's a shame Fred Hiatt doesnt' understand how med media works and why the WaPo has just taken giant leaps backwards.

When I look back on the Bush years, I think of the lies. There were so many. Lies about the war and lies to cover up the lies about the war. Lies about torture and surveillance. Lies about Valerie Plame. Vice President Dick Cheney's lies, criminally prosecutable but for his chief of staff Scooter Libby's lies. I also think about the extraordinary and fundamentally cancerous expansion of executive power that led to violations of our laws and our principles.

And while this wasn't as readily apparent until President Obama took office, it's now very clear that the Bush years were all about kicking the can down the road – either ignoring problems or, even worse, creating them and not solving them. This was true of a huge range of issues including the economy, energy, health care, global warming – and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.

How did the media cover it all? Not well. Reading pretty much everything that was written about Bush on a daily basis, as I did, one could certainly see the major themes emerging. But by and large, mainstream-media journalism missed the real Bush story for way too long. The handful of people who did exceptional investigative reporting during this era really deserve our gratitude: People such as Ron Suskind, Seymour Hersh, Jane Mayer, Murray Waas, Michael Massing, Mark Danner, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau (better late than never), Dana Priest, Walter Pincus, Charlie Savage and Philippe Sands; there was also some fine investigative blogging over at Talking Points Memo and by Marcy Wheeler. Notably not on this list: The likes of Bob Woodward and Tim Russert. Hopefully, the next time the nation faces a grave national security crisis, we will listen to the people who were right, not the people who were wrong, and heed those who reported the truth, not those who served as stenographers to liars.

It's also worth keeping in mind that there is so very much about the Bush era that we still don't know.

Now, a little over five months after Bush left office, Barack Obama's presidency is shaping up to be in large part about coming to terms with the Bush era, and fixing all the things that were broken. In most cases, Obama is approaching this task enthusiastically – although in some cases, he is doing so only under great pressure, and in a few cases, not at all . I think part of Obama's abiding popularity with the public stems from what a contrast he is from his predecessor -- and in particular his willingness to take on problems. But he certainly has a lot of balls in the air at one time. And I predict that his growing penchant for secrecy – especially but not only when it comes to the Bush legacy of torture and lawbreaking – will end up serving him poorly, unless he renounces it soon.

Obama is nowhere in Bush's league when it comes to issues of credibility, but his every action nevertheless needs to be carefully scrutinized by the media, and he must be held accountable. We should be holding him to the highest standards – and there are plenty of places where we should be pushing back. Just for starters, there are a lot of hugely important but unanswered questions about his Afghanistan policy, his financial rescue plans, and his turnaround on transparency.


DKos' mcjoan had this to say about Froomkin's departure:
Share this on Twitter - Froomkin's Last WaPo Stand

As Fred Hiatt retrenches ever deeper into his Village enclave, creating as Scott Horton says, "a Neocon remainder bin" on his opinion pages, Dan Froomkin bids farewell. And he demonstrates again why he's consistently been the main reason to visit WaPo's opinion page, and why it must have been so uncomfortable for Hiatt to keep him around...


Providing ample proof of why he couldn't coexist with the go-along ethos of High Broderism. He reads, and links to, bloggers! He's intellectually consistent, willing to criticize both Republicans and Democrats! That's perhaps the rarest commodity in a Village that seeks at all times a political equilibrium that won't endanger its cocktail circuit invite.

Any media outlet in the nation would increase its credibility tenfold by including Froomkin in its DC bureau, just as the WaPo lost the bulk of its credibility by firing him. Best of luck, Dan, in finding an outlet that appreciates you as much as your readership does.

Here is Dan Froomkin's original statement after he learned he was fired (h/t Glenn Greenwald):

I’m terribly disappointed. I was told that it had been determined that my White House Watch blog wasn’t "working" anymore. But from what I could tell, it was still working very well. I also thought White House Watch was a great fit with The Washington Post brand, and what its readers reasonably expect from the Post online.

As I’ve written elsewhere, I think that the future success of our business depends on journalists enthusiastically pursuing accountability and calling it like they see it. That’s what I tried to do every day. Now I guess I'll have to try to do it someplace else.

Andrew Sullivan's response to Dan's firing:

A simply astounding move by the paper - getting rid of the one blogger, Dan Froomkin, who kept it real and kept it interesting. Dan's work on torture may be one reason he is now gone. The way in which the WaPo has been coopted by the neocon right, especially in its editorial pages, is getting more and more disturbing. This purge will prompt a real revolt in the blogosphere. And it should.

Upon hearing the news of Froomkin's firing, Glenn Greenwald asked,The Washington Post fires its best columnist. Why?:

What makes this firing so bizarre and worthy of inquiry is that, as Gavin notes, Froomkin was easily one of the most linked-to and cited Post columnists. At a time when newspapers are relying more and more on online traffic, the Post just fired the person who, in 2007, wrote 3 out of the top 10 most-trafficked columns. In publishing that data, Media Bistro used this headline: "The Post's Most Popular Opinions (Read: Froomkin)." Isn't that an odd person to choose to get rid of?

Following the bottomless path of self-pity of the standard right-wing male -- as epitomized by Pete Hoekstra's comparison of House Republicans to Iranian protesters and yet another column by Pat Buchanan decrying the systematic victimization of the white male in America -- Charles Krauthammer last night said that Obama critics on Fox News are "a lot like [Hugo Chavez'] Caracas where all the media, except one, are state run." But right-wing polemicists like Krauthammer are all over the media.


Notably, Froomkin just recently had a somewhat acrimonious exchange with the oh-so-oppressed Krauthammer over torture, after Froomkin criticized Krauthammer's explicit endorsement of torture and Krauthammer responded by calling Froomkin's criticisms "stupid." And now -- weeks later -- Froomkin is fired by the Post while the persecuted Krauthammer, comparing himself to endangered journalists in Venezuela, remains at the Post, along with countless others there who think and write just like he does: i.e., standard neoconservative pablum. Froomkin was previously criticized for being "highly opinionated and liberal" by Post ombudsman Deborah Howell (even as she refused to criticize blatant right-wing journalists).


Side note:
In Glenn's, Persecution of the Right and the Washington Post Op-Ed page, he listed the recent right-wing editorials found on just one day in the Wapo:

This is what one finds -- just from today -- on the Op-Ed page of The Washington Post, which yesterday fired Dan Froomkin:

* Neocon Charles Krauthammer: attacking Obama for indifference to Freedom in Iran

* Neocon Paul Wolfowitz: attacking Obama for indifference to Freedom in Iran

* Establishment/CIA spokesman and war supporter David Ignatius: demanding that Obama do more to support Freedom in Iran and refuse to negotiate with the Iranian regime

* Bush CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden: warning that America will be in danger if CIA officials involved in torture continue to be criticized and questioned about what they did

Ah, that liberal media bias strikes again!
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Obama to Ahmadinejad: Go Fuck Yourself

Oh, snap.

Iran's "President" demanded President Obama apologize for criticizing Tehran's response to the protests against what everyone around the globes know was a stolen election. President Obama basically told to go fuck himself.

From HuffPo:

President Barack Obama's criticism of Iran escalated Friday into an unusually personal war of words. To Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's demand he apologize for meddling, Obama shot back that the regime should "think carefully" about answers owed to protesters it has arrested, bludgeoned and killed.


In Iran, the government proclaimed the incumbent hardline president, Ahmadinejad, the landslide winner of the June 12 voting over opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, prompting widespread protests followed by a brutal state-led crackdown.

Ahmadinejad told Obama Thursday to "show your repentance" for criticizing Tehran's response.

"I don't take Mr. Ahmadinejad's statements seriously about apologies, particularly given the fact that the United States has gone out of its way not to interfere with the election process in Iran," Obama responded sternly.

"I would suggest that Mr. Ahmadinejad think carefully about the obligations he owes to his own people," he added. "And he might want to consider looking at the families of those who've been beaten or shot or detained. And, you know, that's where I think Mr. Ahmadinejad and others need to answer their questions."


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Stephen Colbert lambastes Republicans for their "health care proposal"

From Stephen Colbert: Commonsense Health Care Reform Infomercial

Barack Obama promotes his health care plan on ABC, while Republicans propose their own health care reform with an infomercial.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Commonsense Health Care Reform Infomercial
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMark Sanford

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S.C. Republican calls for investigations into Sanford

Uh, oh:

(CNN) – State Senator Jake Knotts, a Republican and longtime critic of Mark Sanford, called for a "full-blown" investigation Friday into the South Carolina governor's actions.

In a press conference with reporters, Knotts said he is actually calling for two investigations — one by the state's law enforcement agency, and the other by the State Senate Judiciary Committee with "full subpoena power."

"Irrational behavior. Lies, lies, lies. It's time that the truth to come out," said Knotts. "Like Joe Brown said, you can lie, but you can't hide… Everybody has found out where he's been hiding. In Argentina."


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Surprise! Fox News omits Republican scandals in assessment of Sanford prospects

In typical Fox fashion, they first label Mark Sanford a Democrat:

..just like they did with Mark Foley:

Then, they leave out the recent Republican sex-scandals when talking about Sanford....

Like Sen. John Ensign who admitted his affair with an campaign employee just last week (via HuffPo):

LAS VEGAS — Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada, a leading conservative mentioned as a potential presidential candidate, admitted Tuesday he had an extramarital affair with a woman who was a member of his campaign staff. "Last year I had an affair. I violated the vows of my marriage," Ensign said at a brief news conference. "It is the worst thing I have ever done in my life. If there was ever anything in my life that I could take back, this would be it."

And Ensign, of course, had called on Clinton to resign (via HuffPo):

During the height of the scandal surrounding Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, the Nevada Republican denounced the president's conduct as "an embarrassing moment for the country."

'I think we have to feel very sad for the American people and Hillary and Chelsea,' he said.

Weeks later, Ensign would call on Clinton to resign. "I came to that conclusion recently, and frankly it's because of what he put his whole Cabinet through and what he has put the country through," he was quoted saying at the time. "He has no credibility left," he added.


Or, Sen. Larry Craig, who announced his intent to resign after getting caught in a gay sex scandal:

And like Ensign, Craig of course, laid into Bill Clinton too:

And let's not forget Sen. "Diaper David" Vitter (Via Time):

When Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana confessed to "a very serious sin" on Monday night, Debra Jean Palfrey was not about to forgive him. Sin is one thing; but Palfrey believes Vitter — a proponent of the "sanctity of marriage" — should fess up if that sin was a crime as well. [..]"Why am I the only person being prosecuted?" she told TIME over the phone. "Sen. Vitter should be prosecuted [if he broke the law]" Read more...

Here's that news account from NBC:
Who of course also called for Bill Clinton to resign (via Think Progress):

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) first got his start in Congress after replacing former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-LA), who “abruptly resigned after disclosures of numerous affairs” in 1998. At the time, Vitter argued that an extramarital affair was grounds for resignation:

“I think Livingston’s stepping down makes a very powerful argument that Clinton should resign as well and move beyond this mess,” he said. [Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 12/20/98]

What do all these "christian" conservatives have in common other than the fact that they are lying, hypocritical pigs? None of them ended up resigning and most got high-fives from the Senate colleagues:
Yet, Fox chose to highlight only Democratic scandals - as if they were somehow the same (which they are not since Democrats don't go around poking into everyone's bedrooms dictating what they can an can not do under their moral (hypocritical) code -- so their viewers would get a sens that everyone on both sides of the aisle - does it

Form Media Matters:
In segments airing between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET on June 25, Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen highlighted only past scandals involving Democrats during reports assessing the potential political impact of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's extramarital affair. Specifically, Rosen's first segment, during the noon ET hour of Fox News' Happening Now, featured pictures of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, former President Bill Clinton hugging then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and former Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry. Rosen's second segment, during the 1 p.m. ET hour of Fox News' The Live Desk, featured Clinton-Lewinsky, Barry, and former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey. Neither segment mentioned any of the numerous sex scandals over a similar time period that involved Republican politicians such as Sen. John Ensign (NV), Sen. David Vitter (LA), and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, among others. By contrast, during the 3 p.m. ET hour of Fox News' Studio B with Shepard Smith, Rosen's report about Sanford and prior political sex scandals featured both Democrats -- Clinton and Barry -- and Republicans -- Vitter and former Sen. Larry Craig (ID).

Leaving aside the fact that you can't compare apples & oranges -- Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, John Edwards & Jim McGreevy neither held themselves up as the pillars of society nor did they go out their way to legislate their "christian" belief system about sex, gay rights, abortion & morals in general -- onto others.

Fox" news" has a habit of trying to defend their leaders outright and despicable hypocrisy by trying to lump in Democrats in a 'they did it too" framing.

It's so transparent I often wonder what morons would fall for it. And then, I remember the 28% who still think George Bush was a fabulous president are their loyal viewership and it all makes sense to me.

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