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Let me look back for a moment to the Precambrian ancientness of last, er, Friday, when David Obey took a moment to respond to yet another vapid Fred Hiatt editorial:

Let me submit to you the problem we have today is not that we didn't listen enough to people like The Washington Post. It's that we listened too much. They endorsed going to war in the first place. They helped drive the drumbeat that drove almost two-thirds of the people in this chamber to vote for that misbegotten, stupid, ill-advised war that has destroyed our influence over a third of the world. So I make no apology if the moral sensibilities of some people on this floor, or the editorial writers of The Washington Post, are offended because they don't like the specific language contained in our benchmarks or in our timelines.

Exactly right, and it provides me a jumping-off point on the same topic.

Everyone gets to be wrong sometimes. But you don't get to be wrong all the time, much less arrogantly, divisively, sneeringly wrong, and if you are, then you can hardly be surprised if people grow damn tired of listening to you. No, not even if you write a fuzzy mea culpa, several years too late, that ends with little actual mea culpa-ing and a "no use crying over spilt milk" shrug that suggests that the whole thing would likely be done the same way again, the next time, for fear of doing anything different.

Both the Post and the New York Times proved to be devastatingly incompetent during a period in which the United States very much needed the voices of a strong free press -- and worse, they were apparently willingly incompetent, as administration dodge after dodge, no matter how cagey the intelligence or dishonest the framing, could find safe haven in their pages. It wasn't a question of not asking the right questions in the war, it was a question of willfully cheerleading against those that asked those questions, as if playing military Calvinball was clearly the most logical and positively sensible thing that anyone could do, and perfectly appropriate way to manage the national debate in the discoursive dead zone that spread out from 9/11.

I have never (and I do mean, never) gotten the impression that anyone among the upper echelons of the press understands just how badly their long-term credibility has been damaged by their uncritical kowtowing to administration propaganda when it comes to the Iraq War. I've never gotten the impression that they comprehend just how much their brand credibility was torn to ribbons, and how to this day there are large segments of the population -- the segments of the population that tend to pay the most attention to issues and news events, not coincidentally -- who remember quite well all the things the editorialists of the press were wrong about, and continue to be wrong about, and manage to make themselves quite insufferably wrong about, and that there simply is no patience, or marketplace, for these same voices again. Just as events in Iraq have impacted our military for the next two decades, so too will future editorializing about future national security debates be impacted by the abandonment of principles evinced by media behavior in the Iraq War.


That Iraq War failure, in itself, is nothing more than an extension of the ever more asinine failures of the national press for the last dozen-plus years, as political coverage in general slid gradually into lazy and lazier promotion of dubious or misleading stories pushed by partisan operatives, e.g. Vince Foster, Whitewater, etc., (2) grumpy politics-as-celebrity-gossip (Al Gore and "earth tones", for God's sake), and (3) unchallenged he-said, she-said stenography that simply repeats what figures on either side say, as opposed to doing a wee bit of research in order to figure out which side is right, and which side might be, for that particular issue, a lying sack of crap (global warming, and pretty much every White House statement uttered by any official in any capacity for the last six years.)

It is endemic, apparently, but there's a catch, and one that I think will become more and more obvious in the next few years. The major media outlets, by weakening their own apparent capacity for genuine analysis of the news they themselves produce, have made more and more of what they do expendable. Fred Hiatt has an opinion about something? Well, honestly, so the hell what? I've got an opinion too, and I apparently pay more attention to the actual on-the-ground reporting in his paper than he does. Judith Miller wants to tell us all about a new Iraqi defector that just coincidentally repeats whatever talking point the administration is most interested in pushing that particular week. Well, if it's false information from a demonstrably non-credible source, than how is that different from peddling raw propaganda, and how is that reporting? Tom Friedman met a cab driver somewhere in Asia that uncannily has all the same opinions as Tom Friedman himself does, expressed in almost the exact same way? Well, Jeebus, who the hell cares? I've got an old box-style cheese grater that agrees with everything I've ever said, too, but I don't write friggin' columns about it. And I could, too, because it's got a compelling life story -- its job was outsourced to the KitchenAid on the counter, and the damn thing has been rusting in a drawer ever since.

Cynicism on the part of much of the intelligent public, and apparently very justifiable cynicism at that -- that's the problem. The reporting of fact remains vital, but  the editorial pages, the punditry -- the lifeblood of cable news, as it turns out -- those things are made of weaker stuff. They don't carry much weight, because they are by definition not designed to be very weighty. More to the point, those things are reproducible by others -- the only thing the pundit press has going for it is credibility. If the credibility is gone, by, say, being pompously, arrogantly, and window-rattlingly wrong on the major issues of the day for an extended period of years on end, then the rest of it is as good as gone too.

We don't trust the editorialists of the press anymore, as an institution, and that has implications for the entire American political debate. The Republicans have spent the last two decades attempting to dumb down political discourse into simple "you are with us, or against us" frames. They may succeed in getting there, simply because all parties have apparently now agreed to it as a legitimate mode of debate -- something to be taken seriously. We can no longer trust large swaths of the national media to provide any checks or balances whatsoever: they have proven they can be bought, for the simple price of access to the halls of power. The editorialists of the press are so tightly woven with the political community itself that they no longer represent a window into that world, but only a mirror. We can't see in, and they can't see out.


None of this is meant to be a "the press is obsolete" speech. It isn't obsolete, and it won't be, and nobody wants it to be. Reporting is the immune system of a functioning democracy: it is not optional. The country needs it to survive. And there are a lot of good, hardnosed reporters out there demonstrating how it's done, every day.

But punditry ain't press. Punditry ain't reporting, it shouldn't be treated as such, and it is, as a "class", deeply and profoundly broken. I'm not sure that it could ever not be broken, if it is designed as a mere outcropping of the political landscape itself, a place for political figures to winter over between government or partisan jobs. The notion of a pundit class, separate from the people but attached at the hip to the very class of power brokers that they cover -- it is unsettling. It is corruptive from the get-go. I simply don't see that as something even slightly worthy of the respect that we should give bona fide reporting, of the sort that has been getting rarer and rarer as the networks and newspapers seek to fill the holes of daily history with the cheapest possible fare: Mouth vs. Mouth, now in the editorial pages of your paper of choice and appearing on a dozen television channels, six times an hour on each.

Ugh.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:30 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How true (29+ / 0-)

    and we who pointed out this total accountibility from the press are slammed as extreme.

    Demand the Truth in America

    by EasyRider on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:32:38 PM PDT

  •  Hunter, in a long career of writing here (30+ / 0-)
    this may be the greatest thing you have ever written. Thanks.

    "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, but already it was impossible to say which was which."

    by Lefty the playwright on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:37:02 PM PDT

  •  It's a new order (13+ / 0-)

    Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse. ~ Lily Tomlin

    by vigilant meerkat on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:37:08 PM PDT

  •  you're not including Tony Blankley (13+ / 0-)

    in this indictment, are you?  You're shaking me to the core, man.

    We don't have time for short-term thinking.

    by Compound F on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:38:32 PM PDT

    •  Couldn't be Tony (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Trix, JuliaAnn, ek hornbeck, greenearth

      he suffers from a severe case of pundit envy, and we don't make fun of the disabled.

      Shut it down is so yesterday. Now it's time to FIRE IT UP!

      by high uintas on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:43:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ever notice how the folds under Tony... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hairspray

      ... Blankley's chin recede every time the neocons lose power and credibility?

      He slimmed down midway through Clinton's term. And at the end of Big Dog's presidency, (Monica-gate) Blankley looked like a Thanksgiving Day gobbler with 4 chins.

      In the same respect, with Bush under perennial fire the last couple years, Blankley's back down to his svelte fightin' <snark> weight -- with only one chin!

      Coincidence? Perhaps not.

      (and, yes I too just realized I need to get out more. omg)

      •  Democratic power as a GOP weight loss program? (0+ / 0-)

        Seems to have worked for Ann Coulter, though I'm surprised nobody's gotten around to reminding her that she starved to death months ago and her next public event really should be a funeral followed by a decent burial.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:01:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great rant, too broad a brush (12+ / 0-)

    Generalizing from the Wapo and NYT insults all the good folks working at the many, many much smaller and often more reliable local papers.

    I agree wholeheartedly about Hiat and the highly paid pundit class as a whole.

    News is a commodity, most folks don't read and many don't want to.

    I've spent more time with graduate students than I usually do and a truly astonishing number can't seem to write either.

    Smaller newspapers need all the support we can give them and we do them a profound dis-service by failing to draw a clear distinction between them and the failures at the top.

    •  Bullshit (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrHinkyDink, Tulip, jxg, MT Spaces, greenearth

      Smaller newspapers need all the support we can give them.

      Let me tell you about those smaller newspapers. Most of them have such a severe case of bigger paper envy they commit even worse sins.

      We don't need our lies to come printed on dead trees. The more we try to resuscitate a dying technology and an entire class of liars and shills, the better off we will be.

      "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

      by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:53:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The more we try to .... the better off we'll be? (7+ / 0-)

        You seem to be grinding two axes and neither very well.

        Many communities within communities print their own newspapers and the information and editorials are often very good.

        Your suggestion that folks employing media other than paper-based products, are engaged in anything other than punditry, often poorly informed, or self-promotion is ludicrous.

        Folks read newspapers and reading is a good thing.

        You're welcome to disagree. But as a parent, I'd much rather have my kids reading paper-based products including newspapers (they do, btw) than sitting in front of a computer.

        And many teachers like me agree.

        You'll want to consider your reply a little more carefully, cause if you go off half-cocked like you just did, I'll reply a bit more forcefully.

        •  Very good points (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greenearth, kidneystones

          It is so easy to get hooked up into the passion of the moment, and over look reason.

          Thanks for pointing this out. Your stones are weighted towards reason, mr. kidney.

          Overthrow the Government ~Vote~

          by missliberties on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:09:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have found lately... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mcfly, greenearth, kidneystones

          ...that the people who cry "bullshit" are usually the ones spreading it themselves.

          I don't know why but just lately it's seems to be everywhere.

          "I call bullshit" "that is bullshit" It's just away for them to dismiss something that never occured to them in the first place.

          It's getting really deep lately.

        •  Half cocked? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hornito, DaleA, MT Spaces, adrianrf

          No, fully loaded.

          Folks read newspapers and reading is a good thing.

          Not if what they are reading is crap. That's all I'm saying. I read everything. I read magazines, newspapers, journals, the back of fucking cereal boxes. The newspapers my kids are exposed to here repeat AP lies, feature pro-GOP positions, and are full of letters to the editor written by people who think that if we only read our Bible more often, the world would be better off.

          A lot of teachers here voted for Bush. Twice.

          I am the #1 teacher of my children. They read like crazy. I gave them Glen Greenwald, and Fast Food Nation, and dKos. I am not at all half cocked here, kiddo, I am loaded for bear.

          Be as forceful as you like.

          "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

          by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:13:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're a proud parent politicizing your kids (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MT Spaces, I

            and I wouldn't dream of counseling you to do anything but what you think is right.

            peace.

            •  Now you're being mean (7+ / 0-)

              but that's ok.

              That was just a sampling. The point being that what's in Fast Food Nation, for example, is pretty truthful. And what was in the local paper regarding Iraq, for instance, was bull crap. That's not politicizing, it's making judgments about material and making a concerted effort to go toward the light.

              Maybe you have a great local paper that you justifiably like. I envy you.

              It is not politicizing to teach kids how to evaluate what they read and what people tell them. Same thing applies to advertising they're bombarded with constantly. My daughter and I watched that Nature show tonight and she asked me about those coal commercials. Was I not supposed to tell her what I know? You're damn right, it's political. Also, scientific, and environmental, and lots more.

              I don't want to fight with you. But I do feel strongly about this issue. Maybe I've worked for newspapers for too long, but I see the dirty underbelly of that business every day and it's not a pretty sight. Most of what we call "mistakes of judgment" or "punditry excess" are premeditated decisions to commit either lies of commission or -- even more frequently -- lies of omission (they just don't "get into it.".) My kids are all healthy and fine, and not headed for Iraq for a third tour. I find it hard not to be upset on behalf of those for whom press malfeasance wasn't just inappropriate -- it meant meaningless death.

              I'm talking too much. I apologize for that. Peace back at ya.

              "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

              by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:35:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I worked in media myself. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JuliaAnn

                I'm against politicizing children, as you can tell. And I'm quite serious that I believe that to be your right.

                I very much appreciate your position and meant what I said about just thinking your argument through. You're far clearer in this post and there's a lot here I agree with.

                Part of the challenge of parenting is teaching kids to think for themselves and letting them form their own views.

                It's hard and I respect all your efforts to give your kids both sides of the story.

                Thanks.

              •  Thank you both for showing me what true, rational (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JuliaAnn

                discourse is all about.
                Peace ;)>

                "We're right in the middle of a fucking reptile zoo! And someone's giving booze to these goddamn things"-Hunter S. Thompson

                by rogerdaddy on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:55:17 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Anecdotal evidence to the contrary... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaleA, JuliaAnn, techno, adrianrf

          ...the Daily Interlake in Kalispell, Montana has an editorial page that echoes Limpbaugh, Flipped-His Liddy, O'Liely etc. plus their smug attitudes.
          Like the old Soviet Union, they repeat talking points from "on high," and promote bullying and intimidation in their own pages as "free speech."

          I'm afraid even local punditry may be scrambling for whatever pennies and dimes fall out of the pockets of FAUX.

          Why do people insist on following that damn chicken across that bloody road?

          by MT Spaces on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:22:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Get serious! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaleA, JuliaAnn, jfadden, gatorcog

          I have lived in small towns most of my life.  There is NOTHING intrinsically virtuous about them or their papers.  They are, if such a thing is possible, even more narrow-minded and parochial than WaPo or NYT.

          I am delighted that these lying and foolish creatures in the papers are finally being called on their BS.  Thank goodness for the Internet!

          But here's the fact.  I am 57 and the newspapers have been this absurd since I started to read them at 11.  You think the lies are plentiful now?  You should have seen them during Vietnam.

          Folks read newspapers and reading is a good thing.

          Reading is SOMETIMES a good thing.  For example, I have read over 1500 big fat history books in life.  No more than 50 of them were worth the time or the paper they were printed on.  As for newspapers, I cannot recall 10 articles I have read in the past 20 years that I would re-read if given the choice.  Now if you read to fall asleep, then this waste of time makes sense.  If you read to become informed, then the vast majority of reading you do is, in fact, not good at all.

          Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool

          by techno on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:45:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's quite a tale. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            I

            First, I'm not sure why I'd re-read any newspaper article.

            Second, newspapers inform us by what's said, what's spun and what's left unsaid. If I don't read them, I deny myself any sense of what's being served up.

            Third, I can't imagine persisting with any activity that had such a low rate of return. 10 out 1500? I learn something from just about everything I read.

            I don't accept anything I hear or read anywhere as gospel amd don't expect to.

            Perhaps that's where we differ.

      •  so who's going to cover the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Neighbor2, xanthippe2

        school board and city council meetings and the hundreds of other routine events which may be boring as hell, but are utterly necessary to make it possible for us to find out what our local governments are spending our money on this time if newspapers don't?

        Getting blogger coverage of a school board meeting where the school board is going to mandate replacement of biology with creationism in the schools and an angry mob is going to show up to deal with them is easy.

        But if that school board is just going to award a megabuck contract to a contractor to do earthquake reinforcement at a high school gym who's the brother-in-law of a school board member and also known to be someone you wouldn't trust building a pig pen to, who's going to be there other than the contractor and the school board>

        That's one fundamental weakness in the blogger news model. The other one is that at least 90% of the content posted on blogs is quotes and links to a MSM news article.

        So who's going to pay people to cover routine government activities if newspapers don't?

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:08:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good question (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          alizard

          Local board meetings can be entertaining, but reporting on them remains a chore.  Stenographers get paid to make transcripts, why shouldn't reporters be paid for reporting?  

          And BTW, can you trust unpaid reporters who are much more likely to have an axe to grind than paid ones?

          Draft Al Gore for President in 2008 at DraftGore.com

          by Neighbor2 on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 05:52:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's a question I've also wondered about (0+ / 0-)

            though while a paid reporter might not have an axe to grind, his editor probably does.

            But the only people likely to put energy into regular blog posting of a school board meeting are going to be advocates of some agenda or political faction.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 02:04:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  smaller papers? (8+ / 0-)

      you mean the corporate-owned subsidiaries that cut and paste AP, reuters, WaPo and NYT coverage, with syndicated wingnuts in the op ed page and a smattering of local sports news and letters to the editor?

      are there even more than a handful of independent small local papers anymore?

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:09:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, I don't, but I'd rather have my kids reading (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces

        them than using the internet.

        I was thinking, actually, about university newspapers, trade publications, news-letters and community papers that are produced by people, often in their spare time, or for very low salaries that really help build a sense of community.

        •  ah (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xanthippe2, kidneystones

          for a minute there, i wasn't sure if we were reading the same small papers. i go into shock every christmas, when i'm cut off from internet and have to read the bellingham herald for news.

          small independent stuff is definitely worth reading, but increasingly harder to find.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:39:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's vitally important you read the crap, too. (0+ / 0-)

            And write in. One of the most effective communicators I know (big-shot copywriter and speech writer) works hardest in his own community taking on the local bigots in the letters to the editor.

            Let them know what you think, although I suspect you may have already.

        •  you would rather have your kids read (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DaleA, bablhous, xanthippe2, adrianrf

          bad newspapers than read online?

          Your kids will probably grow up to hate you the way I hated that my parents insisted I actually BELIEVE the story of Noah's Ark.

          And now that you have retreated to the safe turf of community papers and trade publications, perhaps you can tell us how we use them to stop a war, change society so we don't destroy the biosphere, or change the economic assumptions so we can finance a transformation.

          The reason the journalism profession deserves so much contempt is that we NEED them to do their jobs.  The problem is they think their job is to gossip, cheerlead the warmongers, and chase fire trucks.

          Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool

          by techno on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 10:01:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  This ties into my belief (15+ / 0-)

    that one of the biggest problems of the Iraq War isn't necessarily the war itself (if it had been, in fact, justified, then we would have been justified in going in, even given the mess now) but the utter destruction of credibility of the government to get public support for a war even if that war is justified

    I mean, one of the reasons why I think the public went with the administration before the Iraq war was the acknowledgment that the public isn't and really can't be given access to all the information about why we may need to go to war, even if that war is justified.

    The lack of media questions and, as you point out, straight out cheerleading and beating down of those who did ask questions hurts the media credibility just as Bush has hurt the US government's ability to gain support for a war, even one that is justified.

    I think that has possibly caused more harm than even the war itself.

    [/stop politics] Go to my Anime Blog! now powered by WordPress! [restart politics]

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:39:07 PM PDT

    •  It's a win/win situation for the neocons.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ctsteve, MT Spaces, greenearth, adrianrf

      ....they get the war they want and if it doesn't work out, well then they get more distrust and disillusionment with representative democracy.

      "See, this is what we've been saying all along, you can't trust government".

      Politics occasionally comes up on the miami dolphins newsgroup. Some of the regulars are real anti-government neocons.  When Katrina hit and the Bush Administration let the American people down, one of the newsgroup regulars said that was what you get from government: any government.  They then pointed out that the Clinton Administration didn't do any better when Andrew hit in 1992.

      When the poster blamed the Clinton Administration for the Andrew response, I almost had a stroke.  

      -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

      by xynz on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:07:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And they're still doing it! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bablhous, jfadden, xanthippe2, adrianrf

      In his piece on the Libby Trial and Journalistic privilege in Today's Times, Max Frenkel makes the following high-sounding but totally wrong point:

      "On the path to war in Iraq, high officials of the Bush administration leaked classified but far from reliable information about W.M.D.’s, then pointed to its publication as "evidence" of its truth. When no W.M.D.’s were found, they used the same flawed secrets to justify their misrepresentations. But reporters could not expose this skullduggery until they obtained contradictory leaks from disheartened intelligence officials."

      Indeed? Funny thing, that... the war happened in March of 2003, and those leaks WERE happening in the previous fall. From wikipedia:

      On September 20, 2002, The United Press International reported that the there were:

         ... doubts about the quality of some of the evidence that the United States is using to make its case that Iraq is trying to build a nuclear bomb emerged Thursday. While National Security Adviser Condi Rice stated on September 8 that imported aluminum tubes 'are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs' a growing number of experts say that the administration has not presented convincing evidence that the tubes were intended for use in uranium enrichment rather than for artillery rocket tubes or other uses. Former U.N. weapons inspector David Albright said he found significant disagreement among scientists within the Department of Energy and other agencies about the certainty of the evidence.

      But of course, the NYT shilled Judy's crap story on page one, while shunting the "other viewpoint" stories off to page 23, when it published them at all.
      The Times was no dupe, but an active participant.

  •  I watch Cable News... (6+ / 0-)

    for amusement.  Just like TDS/TCR, it's uncanny.

    I get all my news from the net.

  •  Breaking News: Hammer to any body part BAD! (6+ / 0-)

    Now let's hear from Tom Friedman for the other side of this argument, after this short commercial for GE...

  •  What I don't understand : (9+ / 0-)

    Is what are these clowns' qualifications?  They know "important" people?  They went to an ivy league school? I just don't get it.

     

  •  Geez (15+ / 0-)

    just look at the Boards of Directors of Big Media, and see who they interlock with. It's practically all weapons, financing, pharma/chem/foods...it's a roster of the Corporate Elite.

    And their object in media is to effectively exclude the ordinary people from any meaningful participation in their own governance. The corporations, and their rent-reps in government, should decide it all.

    We don't get anywhere until we force the end of the corporate monopoly on content. Until ordinary voices are routine in the "public square" as it were.

    ...and then he said, "So you Dewey Decimal System the web, and you don't need no google, you just use the on-line librarian."

    by Jim P on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:43:17 PM PDT

    •  This is exactly why (9+ / 0-)

      I appreciate Josh Marshall and TPM Muckraker so much.  He's actually using his blog's ad revenue to hire (as in PAY - real money!) investigators and investigative reporters.

      I really love newspapers, but it's so horribly expensive to print and distribute them that only huge corporations can afford to publish them anymore - so of course they end up being mouthpieces for the political leanings of the owners, invariably ranging from economically conservative to rabid warmongering.

      If it were just the editorial writers and op-ed pundits, these papers' biases could just be ignored.  But the poison seeps into the reporters, particularly the "stars" (sometimes in their own minds) who hang out in the corridors of power and desperately want to ingratiate themselves to the decision-makers.  Even hard working reporters who want to honestly report on graft, corruption, pollution, fraud and skullduggery on a local level are called off their stories and told to go cover the opening of a new big box store.

      It's very depressing.  I'm going to miss the newspapers when they're nothing but sports scores and classified ads, but they'll have only themselves to blame.

      (-5.25, -7.95) "The only real questions are "Who's getting screwed" and "Who's doing the screwing?" - Molly Ivins (1944-2007)

      by SueDe on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:18:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  where are you from? (0+ / 0-)

        In a lot of the country, craigslist is hammering the daily newspapers into the ground on classifieds.

        They can't beat craigslist ads which are free, provide exposure to the entire geographic region, and allow color pictures of merchandise to be posted, also for free.

        In the SF Bay Area, newspapers run employment ads on craigslist.

        And that situation is kicking newspapers hard in the balls in their bank accounts.

        Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

        by alizard on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:16:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obey plays a mean harmonica... (8+ / 0-)

    Had the pleasure of hearing him play at the Big Top Chautaqua in Bayfield.  

    And his evisceration of Hiatt's editorial was even better.

    Thanks Dave.

    ...a proud Wisconsinite.

  •  Good for David Obey! (8+ / 0-)

    Hunter, you hit the nail on the head with this one. More of our elected representatives should remind  pundits like Hiatt (and the newspapers for which  they write) of how near-perfectly WRONG they got it before the war. Why the hell should any of us put any great stock in any of their opinions now? Many everyday citizens have been far more prescient.

    •  Fred Hiatt: Neocon asshole (0+ / 0-)

      Hiatt is too busy doing AIPAC's bidding to do anything but spend America's "blood and treasure" for the unquestioning support of Israel.  Between Bush's oil buddies and the uber-Zionists, how else could America have started the stupid Iraq war?

      For people of deep faith like George W. Bush, beliefs are intoxicating, and facts are sobering. Sober up, America!

      by slip kid no more on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 10:31:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  another great piece of writing Hunter, but... (11+ / 0-)

    in the future, please don't use the words "punditry" and "class" in the same sentence.

    I threw up a little bit in my mouth after reading that.

    :-p

  •  I Don't Get This. Mideast War Is Their Policy (7+ / 0-)

    Most of the MSM are quite strongly in favor of it, consistently.

    I think if we take away coverage of mideast issues relating to war and a few other closely related topics, they are much more like a press.

    I don't think there's any remedy for this.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:44:52 PM PDT

  •  Dead on (34+ / 0-)

    My dad just retired from a career in the news business, so we tend to have a fair amount of discussions about the sorry state of "journalism" today.

    What I find interesting is that the print publications can see their readership shrinking. They can see blog readership growing. But they cannot accept the fact that part of what is feeding the growth of the Internet as a news source is how completely print "news" has become a wrapper for ads, as power was taken from editors and given to publishers, that the "content" has become completely meaningless. And because they cannot accept that none of them are real writers, editors, journalists, like the people that were displaced starting in the 80s because they were troublesome and not terribly profitable, they can't get to the root of the matter. So they hire bloggers, or start their own blog or both. They introduce more opinionated voices (including perpetually incorrect right-wing propagandists). They change the shape of their publications, or the look.

    Message to news organizations, if your editorial standards were not junk, many people like myself would be relieved of the necessity of becoming our own personal editor on sites like this. I mean, I have to wade through a lot of chaff to get to real information here, but at least it is here. Your so-called news is almost completely devoid of anything I would consider information worth sifting for.

    If you could do your jobs, I would come back to you. But you can't, because you're owned, and everyone who wasn't has been canned or sidelined.

    I don't read you, because you are frauds.

    This space intentionally left blank.

    by MattK D1 on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:45:22 PM PDT

  •  NYT (6+ / 0-)

    "Both the Post and the New York Times proved to be devastatingly incompetent"

    NYT editorial page opposed the war. They also had several op-ed columnists who opposed the war.

    Give them credit.

    WP news and editorial page cheered on the war and demonized its opponents. They still do.

    •  Not really (6+ / 0-)

      NYT editorial page opposed the war

      It was mostly he said she said with very little in the way of leadership based on fact-finding and questioning. The New York Times has admitted its pre-war coverage sucked (ok, they said slanted and wanting).

      It sucked.

      "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

      by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:58:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's the news/editorial distinction (4+ / 0-)

        The Times editorials did come down against the war, while at the same time the reporters were deceptive cheerleaders.  Same with the elections -- the editorials strongly endorsed Gore and Kerry while idiots like Frank Bruni, Kate Seeley and Adam Nagourney were trashing the Dems on trivial crap.

        The Democratic Message: Security, Privacy, Justice

        by Upper West on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:10:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FYI (7+ / 0-)

          The New York Times yesterday admitted that its coverage in the run-up to the Iraq war was "not as rigorous as it should have been" and failed to adequately question the credibility of Iraqi defectors or challenge their tales of terror camps and the presence of weapons of mass destruction.
          In a 1,200-word article signed From the Editors, one of America's most prestigious newspapers wrote: "Looking back, we wish we had been more aggres sive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged - or failed to emerge."

          The paper is particularly critical of its dependence on Iraqi informants, defectors and exiles "bent on regime change in Iraq - people whose credibility has come under increasing public debate in recent weeks". Chief among them, the editors concede, was Ahmad Chalabi, the former Pentagon favourite, whose offices in Iraq were raided last week after he fell out of favour.

          "Administration officials now acknowledge that they sometimes fell for misinformation from these exile sources. So did many news organisations - in particular, this one," the editors write.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

          ReclaimDemocracy.org editor's notes: The admission by NY Times editors of the paper's substandard reporting on the Bush Administration's campaign to sell the public on invading Iraq is welcome, but grossly understated. The admissions of guilt sugar-coat their violating the most basic rules of journalism, such as not printing hearsay from obviously biased sources.
          The editors also fail to address their favoring of Bush Administration sources, who already had proven their willingness to bend the truth 180 degrees, over critics of the Administration's arguments for invasion. The Times' shoddy reporting was called to their attention by critics every step of the way, yet the editors ignored it until public opinion already had turned against the invasion--not exactly a mark of integrity and courage.

          http://reclaimdemocracy.org/...

          The NYT considered its paltry mea culpa sufficient. I agree with Reclaim Democracy.

          "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

          by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:24:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree that the post-war (0+ / 0-)

            mea culpa was insufficient.  But I was referring to the editorials just before the war.  E.g., below is an excerpt from the editorial on March 17, 2003.  

            This page remains persuaded of the vital need to disarm Iraq. But it is a process that should go through the United Nations. That is in the best interest both of the United States and of the U.N. With so few of the 14 other members of the Security Council convinced that war is the best immediate option, Washington would be wise to drop the talk of imminent hostilities and come up with a resolution that leads to disarmament and consensus. The current path is reckless.
            .  .  .

            Mr. Bush is right to insist that the choice between war and peace has been in the hands of Saddam Hussein. But it makes no sense to assert, as Vice President Dick Cheney did in television interviews yesterday, that there is really nothing Saddam Hussein can do short of resigning that would stave off attack. This is the kind of talk that has made so many so skeptical of this administration.

            The Democratic Message: Security, Privacy, Justice

            by Upper West on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 02:56:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Judith Miller (9+ / 0-)

      Probably did more damage than all the pundits combined. She was allowed to run amuck.

      This space intentionally left blank.

      by MattK D1 on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:01:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  George Will Revives Unhinged Bush Haters BS (16+ / 0-)

    Will goes on about how people with empty lives hate Bush blah blah blah.

    I think a lot of the people here are past hating Bush, and are looking ahead to fixing this country.

    George is tragically out of touch on 2 points:

    1. It's not about hating Bush, and that's a problem for Will because our issues with the GOP are NOT going away in 2008 just because W packs his bags.
    1. A lot of the angriest people of the moment aren't Democrats, they are newly pissed off Republicans
    •  Hey! Very good observation! (7+ / 0-)

      It's classic projection. Will assumes that the Democratic Party works the same way as the Republican Party: mobilization through personal animus*.  For the Republicans, hatred of Bill Clinton was their rallying point.  

      So, Will assumes that for the Democrats, Bush is the anti-Bill.  He doesn't get it: that we see Bush as a symptom, a mere puppet.  We won't be dredging up and  blaming him for years to come, we'll be blaming his Administration and his party.

      *this is yet another reason why I don't want Hillary to be the nominee.  She, more than anyone, will unite and energize Republican opposition.  Before anyone asks: I also don't think she would be a very good President.  If I had to, I'd hold my nose and vote for her.  But we can do so much better than this creature of the Dem and DLC Establishment.

      -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

      by xynz on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:17:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  George Will- (0+ / 0-)

      Obsfucation and verbosity posing as intellectualism.  The Henry Kissinger of punditry.

      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

      by gatorcog on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 10:21:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If these larger papers had actually made an (7+ / 0-)

    effort to report appropriately, maybe they wouldn't be hemmoraging subscribers. While I realize that the internet has made obvious inroads, if these major dailys and their best writers had been truly investigating and holding the administration's feet to the fire, more people would be interested in reading their content.

    I doubt they have the investigative capability of applying the scalpel to themselves anyway.

    We are easy to manage, a gregarious people/Full of sentiment, clever at machines, and we love our luxuries. - Robinson Jeffers; poet, "Ave Caesar"

    by Uwaine on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:47:14 PM PDT

  •  Typical Hunter Bulls Eye (6+ / 0-)

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:47:49 PM PDT

  •  Can I marry this diary? (11+ / 0-)

    Seriously, I have fallen deeply in love with it.

    Spot on, amazing, astute as can be.  Thank you, Hunter.

    Fred Hiatt's opinions are worth less than my dog's.  My dog actually responds to facts.  Hiatt just makes shit up again and again, and expect people to take him seriously.

    Hint to Fred, Bobo, the Fried Man, Joke Line, etc.:  when you keep lying and getting shit 100% wrong, your brand as an opinion-guy suffers.  Badly.

    Eventually people are gonna stop paying you for it.  Think about that, you wankers.

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." -- Abraham Lincoln

    by chumley on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:49:01 PM PDT

  •  a good read as always Hunter, but what we really (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, bablhous, xanthippe2, greenearth

    want to know - is what's in store for the cheese grater? I mean come on - don't just leave us hanging...

  •  Amen (13+ / 0-)

    I have been so anxious to read something - anything - you might have to say right now. Amen, brother.

    I wrote a diary not too long ago in which I tried to excoriate the press, too. You gave them a small window to climb out of, you say there are still some reporters left doing their jobs. I would give a mouse hole, maybe.

    The dirtier secret than that the pundit class is as full of shit as a Christmas turkey is that the rest of the damn staff has been made aware of where their paychecks come from. Not me. Not you. Just advertisers.

    There is no market any longer for paying attention to truth or to readers. Truth gets you into trouble with your advertisers. Readers are simply consumers, not thinkers. Circulation is down anyway, and all the money that countered the big boys -- like classified, for instance -- absconded for the internet (and rightly so).

    The newspaper in my town is owned by a huge chain. It runs the same shit features in every paper it owns -- whether in Indiana, Rhode Island, or Montana. The local stories are feel-good tributes to hometown gasbags. The investigative staff loves a good shaken baby story, but have their noses so far up the asses of the Republican advertisers that anything our Republican governor might do is overlooked until such time as a lawsuit is already filed. Then they do the he said-she said shit to which you refer.

    When I wrote my diary, I didn't even get all tribute-y about Dana Priest. Frankly, when the newspaper you work for beats the drums for war and created a huge number of dead folks and injured folks and you wait to pick the easy Pulitzer plum of a Walter Reed "expose" -- well, fuck that. And the more we accept that kind of bait and switch the more daed bodies there will be. I'll bet after when the air isn't fit to breathe thanks to Dow and GE and General Motors, we'll be expected to get additionally breathless over some reporter's revealing look at the lack of local health care.

    I said it before, and I believe it still: the internet is our new free press. My detractors say "we still get our links from the legitimate press." The sooner we realize the faulty word in that sentence is legitimate, the sooner we will get more of our own people in the field asking the right questions and writing the truth.

    Amen, Hunter. Amen.

    "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

    by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:50:12 PM PDT

    •  who said anything about legitimate? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JuliaAnn

      I've been saying that nobody's been able to come up with regular coverage of boring, routine governmental (local, state, Federal, etc.) meetings without getting some entity to pay somebody to show up at these things regularly. And that's where a very large part of the news we link to comes from, stuff that was put on page 20F of a newspaper that some blogger unearthed.

      As soon as someone comes up with a working business model to solve this problem, the MSM can be collectively be put to the torch. (metaphorically, of course, remember global warming)

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:25:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A "process" voice here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, maryru

    To take nothing away from what Hunter or any other FP poster has said tonight or yesterday or tomorrow - I have the fluke tonight of showing up when there's just a comment or two -- I simply can't read it. I don't have the time. It's become like magazine length and I'm only able to be here in quick hits any more. I simply don't have time to read this and reflect as I know it should properly deserve. And it will be by all of you who have no other obligations tonight. Y'all can just go on, and you will, but one of the things I miss about this place is just a simple entry by Kos or somebody that elicited discussion. Brief, pointed.

    I have so little time to be here any more. I fear that so much content-heavy postings are changing our ability to hone in on what's important. I see just paragraph after paragraph of stuff I can't read. Don't forget those of us who aren't looking for insightful dialogue and just want to know what the f**k happened today because we can't be here or contribute or opine. Now I'll end this, what for me, is an exceedingly long post. Thanks.  

    "It's the Supreme Court, Stupid!"

    by Kestrel on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:50:14 PM PDT

  •  "Devastatingly incompetent" (5+ / 0-)

    Perfect.  

    I'll borrow that phrase, if you don't mind, the next time someone asks me what I think of WaPo or NYT.

    So this is how liberty dies -- with thunderous applause.

    by MJB on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:50:30 PM PDT

  •  Say it, Hunter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JuliaAnn, greenearth, adrianrf

    Of course, the problem with your posts is there's never anything substantial to add to their Zen-like wholism.

    [T]here simply is no patience, or marketplace, for these same voices again.

    The Times hasn't had a quarter from me since 2004, when it became clear there would be no real apology from them. I didn't ever expect one from WaPo, and the limp excuse this week doesn't even register on my internal meter for that. As you note, both papers still qualify as purveyors of facts — reportage, yes. Purveyors of wisdom? Nope. The decreasing population that actually reads and thinks seriously has turned their trust elsewhere, and the "papers of record" won't get them back (not in this generation, at any rate).

  •  accountability is needed (7+ / 0-)

    not only in government, but in the media as well.

    There needs to be a return to the higher standards of 'above reproach' and 'above appearance of impropriety'  to make people believe in the fairness of the press today.

    There are so many examples of extreme distortion in the media, print, radio, TV, cable that it is beyond any doubt this is the end result of a campaign. This started in the era of Reagan, this destruction of the reputation of the media. I think it was deliberate, partially as payback for what happened to Nixon, and to enable a wider vision of corporate control of people through technology.

    We have got to get the truth back.
    Without it, we will never get our country back.  

    We're all on the road to perfection. Some are further along on the trip, some headed in the wrong direction.

    by shpilk on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:53:25 PM PDT

  •  Quote (7+ / 0-)

    I have never (and I do mean, never) gotten the impression that anyone among the upper echelons of the press understands just how badly their long-term credibility has been damaged by their uncritical cowtowing to administration propaganda when it comes to the Iraq War.

    Well it seems that they, like the Neocon, really do not mind denying. When you confront one of these people with their errors they bald faced tell you they are right and you are wrong. I didn't believe that this propaganda technique actaully existed-I thought it was a lefty creation-but I'll be god damned if it ain't real.

    These people will show you white and tell you black. And they will do it while looking at you like you are crazy. It's stunning and shocking. It is the DUTY of the media to check governments, even one they like, so it it so disgustingly offensive these pieces of shit call themselves news.

    Jimmy Carter is right.

    by LandSurveyor on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:54:51 PM PDT

    •  when the advertisers figure it out (0+ / 0-)

      and why ad exposure on newspaper sites is dropping, they'll either push newspapers to report real news or find Net based entities that do and buy ads there.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:31:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Exhibit A -- Today's Chris Matthews (11+ / 0-)

    As usual, Glenn Greenwald today cuts through the fog, bullshit and nonsense about "oversight."  But he appends a YouTube 3 minute segment from Today's Chris Matthews "pundit roundtable" about the USA issue that could not be a better, more sickening, more infuriating example of this post by Hunter.  As Greenwald ends:

    WARNING: This is difficult to stomach, so proceed with caution and avoid this if you suffer from high blood pressure or intermediate to advanced cardiac disease

    This exchange makes Fred Hiatt look like Lippman and Menckent combined.  They are giggling schoolgirls, nothing more, and not one fucking word about whether what Gonzalez, Rove et al. were doing might be criminal or morally wrong.

    New to this coven was Patrick (Clinton pants sniffer) Healy, who, of course, saw the whole thing as payback for Cheney cursing out Leahy in the Senate.

    Gross and disgusting and dispiriting.

    The Democratic Message: Security, Privacy, Justice

    by Upper West on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:54:55 PM PDT

  •  What exactly is the job description "pundit"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elise, deha, rogerdaddy

    We accuse them of doing their jobs badly . . . but don't we have to know what their job is before was can say that?

    Here's a sort of defintion of "pundit" at Wiki:

    In the strict use of the term, a "pundit" has recognized expertise in a particular field. The term, however, increasingly refers to popular media personalities who express opinions without necessarily holding recognized expertise in the area on which they opine. In recent years in the US, with the increased popularity of prose, television and radio personalities such as Ann Coulter, Al Franken, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, pundits are increasingly seen not as experts, but as ideological partisans who tend to do more ranting than measured commentary.

    So, strictly, "pundit" implies "expertise".  But, how seriously is that meant?  Is Novak even thought to be an "expert" in anything at all?  Is George Will?  Alan Colmes?

    So leave that aside, and attend to the rest of the Wiki paragraph.  I don't see how we can say that pundits are doing something wrong when they get facts "wrong" or when they spin, mislead, cajole, berate, belittle, massage, cheerlead.

    This isn't new, by the way.  Unless we think the editorial pages of NYT were pro-Nicaragua in the 1980's or somethings; and so on.

    What are pundits "doing badly" is my question.  They themselves (sort of) say they did a bad job  on the Iraq War.  But . . . a bad job of what?  Rallying support?  No.  They did that very well.  Forming "correct opinions" of Bush foriegn policy?  Presumably they did the best they could.  Assessing the facts?  That's not a pundit's job.  That's a reporter's job; often.

    I dunno.  The whole premise that pundits did their "jobs" badly has me a little confused.  Do they have "jobs"?  Did they do those jobs, whatever they are, "badly"?

    "Space. It seems to go on and on forever. But then you get to the end and a gorilla starts throwing barrels at you." -- Fry, Futurama

    by LithiumCola on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 08:57:46 PM PDT

    •  Pundit? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Elise, greenearth, rogerdaddy

      In the strict use of the term, a "pundit" has recognized expertise in a particular field.

      Like my grandfather used to say:
      "You know what an expert is? He's a fool away from home."

      "There are four boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order." Ed Howdershelt

      by JuliaAnn on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:02:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  pundits are overpaid bloggers [nt] (0+ / 0-)

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:16:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One post on the blogger-pundit relationship (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Elise, LithiumCola

        that's stuck with me was by Atrios, when it came out that Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher had been getting money from the administration.  

        Ah, found it:

        The larger point, of course, is that even the 3rd and 4th string pundits on the Right manage to get a little extra scratch. As a self-described 2nd string pundit (face it, there aren't many of us) for the Left, I'm still waiting for my scratch...

        •  And that's the root of the problem.... (0+ / 0-)

          ...if someone offered you money to bloviate, and the more your effluvium corresponded to what they wanted you to say, the more they'd pay you, and the more you made the more influence you'd have, so you'd be offered more "insider" scoops... human beings just are greedy, that's all, they crave money and power. The elevation of greed as the highest power of all is the heart of the problem - it's a little too early to assert that bloggers have qualitatively higher moral standards than "normal" reporters, isn't it? Once a few dozen "top hit" bloggers turn down a few dozen multi-million dollar media contracts, speechwriting gigs and cabinet positions, we'll be better able to say that bloggers are indeed immune to the buyout.

          "It's better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period." - some Chinese guy

          by David Mason on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 04:45:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  a pundit is someone who (0+ / 0-)

        has the ability to bullshit with a straight face.

        "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

        by MadMs on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:31:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  pundits are supposed to provide (0+ / 0-)

      rational perspective and reasoned analysis. One doesn't necessarily have to be a subject matter expert, but one has to know where to find them and have sense enough to listen to them.

      Pundits are NOT supposed to provide propaganda and foaming at the mouth in place of reason.

      The only place one can find real pundits by that definition is on the blogs, if one happens to know which ones and whom.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 12:36:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I couldn't have said it better myself... (5+ / 0-)

    ...hell, I probably couldn't have said it even half as well as you just did, Hunter.

    This is one of the things I love about dKos. Sometimes, someone has taken all of the outrage that I've been feeiling and they put it all together into a coherent narrative that focuses on the crucial core issue.

    Thanks again, Hunter!  

    -5.75 -4.72 3.14159 2.71828

    by xynz on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:00:55 PM PDT

  •  Take away the pundits cash flow (6+ / 0-)

    that's my suggestion. We started with the easy ones like Coulter. And get the god damn democrats off FOX and other fake press.

    GET THE DEMOCRATS OFF THE PROPAGANDA SHOWS NOW!!!

    Jimmy Carter is right.

    by LandSurveyor on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:01:12 PM PDT

  •  Clap Clap Clap (7+ / 0-)

    I really am quite angry about the press's culpability in the lead up to the war.

    I have never (and I do mean, never) gotten the impression that anyone among the upper echelons of the press understands just how badly their long-term credibility has been damaged by their uncritical cowtowing to administration propaganda when it comes to the Iraq War.

    It was too infuriating to  watch them gleefully trash Richard Clark, swift boat John Kerry, and all the rest. Now equally pukish is David Broder, the Mr Roberts
    of the press. Can't we all just get along while I tell you that to not look too hard for the truth.

    Isn't this why we blog? I know it was how I got started. I felt like I was going insane watching actual propaganda being passed of as journalism or news coverage.

    I always enjoy your writing btw. especially when you get all sweaty and full of passion like this.

    Overthrow the Government ~Vote~

    by missliberties on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:05:20 PM PDT

  •  Millionaire Pundit Values (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, greenearth

    ..to quote Bob Somerby, who is the expert on the War Against Gore (1998-2000) and regularly takes down the vapid prose coming from this bizarre class of people.

    Read his work at the Daily Howler.

    Universal Health Care - it's coming, but not soon enough!

    by DrFood on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:05:38 PM PDT

  •  Precambrian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth

    At dk, the other day an article from '04 was heralded until the date was revealed.

    I myself fell another time for a two=year old rerun.

    For real--old is new until redress.  If they tell you it is old news say fuck you, redress or burn in a bad place.

    Remember important news was squelched by the  domestic bureaus (i.e., Downing Street, etc.)

    Postcambrian Greetings,
    Hal C.

  •  Can anyone think of a single (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, jfadden, greenearth, Autarkh, adrianrf

    Iraq War cheerleading pundit who has since admitted: "I was horribly, horribly wrong to my ever-lasting shame",or even a modified version of that? I'm not aware of any. Some may criticize the execution (Friedman e.g.) but none the very premise.

  •  perhaps some good has come of all of this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, alizard, greenearth, adrianrf

    if it has disabused us of the fallacy that simply because a media company has near-monopoly control of information and the mannerisms of objectivity, that t is anything more than one perspective among many, and governed by the perspectives of its wealthy and powerful owners more often than not.

    a free press was never meant to be six companies, or a handful of major newspapers and TV stations; it was intended to be a riotous, multivocal, contested space, fr4ee to both richa nd poor interests alike.

    the blogs have done one small part of returnign the press to its rightful chaos. while a substantive press would be nice, the idea that any one paper or TV station could ever give us The Truth is an idea corrosive to the very functioning of democracy, and we're better off if we lose it and make our own news.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:08:01 PM PDT

  •  Well done Hunter.... It should be noted that the (7+ / 0-)

    blame for all of this cannot all be laid at the feet of craven corpratists, nor right-wing Republicans.

    It is obvious to me, and should be to anyone else who cares to look at the "bylines" of all the "shit" written by the major media over the last six+ years, that there has been an covert and overt conspiracy to shape the news. It has been carried out primarily by ideologically driven neocons, who in many cases, have allegiances that are not in the best interests of THIS nation.

    Perhaps their greatest crime though, is what they've done to subvert the workings of our democracy. An active an honest Fourth Estate is necessary for a fully functioning democracy. Without it, well, we've seen what can happen.

    As far as I am concerned, all those who have participated in this conspiracy, are guilty of treason, and the nation should be demanding justice by the imprisonment of those involved, and the dismantling of their media operations.

    NO MORE DYNASTIES! No more triangulation! No more lies! No more war! No more corporatists! ELECT PROGRESSIVES NOW!

    by Hornito on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:08:25 PM PDT

  •  You are spot-on in your analysis & language (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, madgranny

    It's almost a relief to read your prose.

    "So go forth in love and peace -- be kind to dogs -- and vote Democratic." --Thomas Eagleton

    by St Louis Woman on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:10:03 PM PDT

  •  If I could rec you, I'd rec you for this: (4+ / 0-)

    Reporting is the immune system of a functioning democracy: it is not optional.

    "A triviality is a statement whose opposite is false; a great truth is one whose opposite is another great truth." -- Niels Bohr

    by Autarkh on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:12:11 PM PDT

  •  Reporting is the immune system ... (4+ / 0-)

    of a functional democracy. Thanks, Hunter. I agree -- the mainstream press has disgraced itself on the war and so much else, but then, I've been watching that happen for 25 years as a local political reporter with an alternative paper.

    The point, as I tried to make here, is that there will always have to be reporters. But in the future, they will be different -- in part because they will be a lot more accountable.

  •  punditry and ethics (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    albaum, adrianrf

    the rise of pundits was, in a very minimal way, echoed by the rise of ethicists, all over the place: particularly in research and in hospitals and medical schools, but also that dude at the NYTimes, e.g..  there was an impression that things had gotten so complicated that we needed people with some special kind of training/education/chutzpah to tell us what we ought to do or think: to explain what otherwise appeared unknowable.  The one wonderful thing about the takeover by the republicans and bush et al is that we really don't need anyone to explain it.  it's so amazingly obvious.  but it is a problem for the pundit: if everyone understands what's going on, what in the world are you to say with all that air time to fill???

  •  We can't see in, and they can't see out. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alyosha, DaleA, Heyroot, adrianrf

    "We can no longer trust large swaths of the national media to provide any checks or balances whatsoever: they have proven they can be bought, for the simple price of access to the halls of power. The editorialists of the press are so tightly woven with the political community itself that they no longer represent a window into that world, but only a mirror. We can't see in, and they can't see out."

    I love that part.  Last week I had to travel and had no Internet access. Just from my reading on the Internet before I left town I realized I was much more informed than the talking heads on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, or MSNBC, who were still uttering statements like, "Well, this isn't new.  Clinton fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys."

    Of course they missed the distinguishing nature of the firing, being at the beginning of Clinton's term, and the fact that he did not interfere with any of the functions of the U.S. Attorneys after that.

    The "USA Today" newspaper that was delivered to my hotel door each morning was just as bleak.  They had little coverage except stating that Bush was solidly behind Alberto Gonzales.

    I realized then that the cable and network news, as well as the print media, though not dead, is at best on life-support.

    •  Yeah, don't it feel grand.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      adrianrf

      ... last week I was listening to a Southern California radio station interview Jimmy Carter, and he was saying the same thing, "Well, the scandal isn't the firing; of course the President has a right to fire..."

      And I screamed at the Radio "Not when it involves obstruction of justice, you idiot!"

      The average Kossak is better informed than Jimmy Carter. And that's pretty sad.

  •  Time to euthanize the NYT and Washington Post (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alyosha, DaleA, The Wizard, adrianrf

    Boycott them out of existence.  Send a message that their actions before and during this war are so unacceptable, and so beyond the pale that the only appropriate remedy is the destruction and dismantling of these two once-proud newspapers.

    WHY are more people here not boycotting these two willful propaganda outlets?  I will never understand why so many people here continue to defend these Bushco stooges and support them financially.  Why not just mail a check to Karl Rove instead?

    I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

    by asskicking annie on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:16:43 PM PDT

    •  Long time reader of the NYT, no more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      asskicking annie

      My first subscription to the NYT was in sixth grade, this was in the 1950s. The NYT was on the highest pedestal of news journalism. I cancelled my subscription soon after the start of the Iraq war. The NYT front page on politics is yellow hack journalism, trying to pass as objective. Their loyalist readers were intellectuals and they have stabbed them in the back to kiss ass to Neocon power.

      Time to pass on or restore:

      1)Review the work of all of your reporters. Fire those who are biased or sloppy (about 60%).

      2)Replace them with journalist who have proven themselves to have the highest reporting standards.

      3)Make a firm public commitment to restore the newspaper to it's former high standards.

      4)As penance, commit to a daily series to review every action and statement from the Bush administration from the day he took office.

      5)Have a weekly series which deconstructs past political articles of your worst reporters, e.g. Bumiller.

    •  No...I need Bob Herbert, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich (0+ / 0-)

      There are some great writers at the NY Times, and I willingly pay for them. They say, so eloquently, what I am thinking many, many times. I think Hunter is painting with too broad a brush here.

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 06:49:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Those guys are great... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but your subscription dollars enable Arthur Sulzberger and Bill Keller to continue to have a platform for Republican propaganda.

        There is no columnist I want to read so badly that I would financially support an institution 100% committed to the neocon agenda.

        I support THEY WORK FOR US. :::::::: I BOYCOTT the NY Times and the Washington Post.

        by asskicking annie on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 09:26:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Pundits and Used Carsalesmen (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alyosha, MadMs, adrianrf

    And any more I consider most the pundits lower than used car salesmen. That's pretty low in my book, I sold used cars for a month until I couldn't do it any more.

    Pundits and the Right have both shot what credibility over the last ten years. What I don't understand is some of these folks are intelligent but blind, a oxymoron in ways.

    To this day , sometimes I can only shake my head when I hear the crap rolling off their tongues. Hannity is so full of Hate he had to have had a miserable childhood, or was dropped on his head as a baby.

    -8.63 -7.28 Molly Ivin : "..We want to find solutions other than killing people. Not in our name, not with our money, not with our children's blood."

    by OneCrankyDom on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:17:05 PM PDT

  •  Amen. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caldonia

    War is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:19:28 PM PDT

  •  Great Post Hunter...and I jus want to say... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adrianrf
    ...I am really, really, really looking forward to YearlyKos 2007.

    I figure every one of us 'rude, uncivil, bloggers...' will have his/her own little gaggle of paparazzi from the corporatist media to screw with.

    'What paper did you say you were with sir? Oh...them, well I stopped reading you in 2005 so...what was your question? Oh, Bill Clinton...Hillary? Well...

    I tell you what. Get back with me when you or someone at your paper....

    GITS A FUKIN' CLUE HOMER!'

    Naturally, I have no intention of actually raising my voice but those who know me can attest I don't really need to to cut someone off at the knees.

    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

    It's gonna be fun.

    'I'm writing as Nestor since scoop in it's awesome wisdom won't let me use my real screen name: A.Citizen'

    by Nestor Makhnow on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:26:09 PM PDT

  •  This is so right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madgranny

    The corporate-owned MSM should have stuck to its 1/2 spin original recipe.  Now a significant portion of their audience have switched to different brands.

    And for the record, I am so proud of David Obey, representative for Wisconsin!

    "If I could have one wish, I would have people accept the importance of our common humanity." --Pres. Bill Clinton, The Today Show, 09/21/06

    by desordre remplir on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:30:06 PM PDT

  •  ABC. Sunday morning, I watched (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard

    George Stephanopoulos (but in general, I very rarely watch any of the Sunday news programming because I end up yelling at the television; I was doing it today as well). His guests were George Will, Cokie Roberts, and Sam Donaldson.

    My question to you is this: Who is ABC kidding? (Themselves, I think.) I am 53 and obsessed with politics, and I am not interested in the opinions of these people. Only people who are obsessed with politics watch this friggin' show (and I do so less and less). Do they really think that they are going to draw in some other demographic when they repeatedly allow these  conventional, complacent, smug and self-satisfied characters to sit around and opine in an incredibly banal and shallow manner about the momentous events of the week?

    And this week just seemed particularly packed with the disasters of this totally horrible administration. Just wait till they bomb Iran. You ain't seen nuthin' yet.

    Republicans cheat at elections; it is the only way they can win.

    by lecsmith on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:33:28 PM PDT

    •  I stopped yelling at TV (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lecsmith, bablhous

      now I have a kids dart gun, and when someone annoys me, I just shoot a dart at their head, watch it stick to the TV screen. In fact, I've reduced my news watching significantly. MSM just sucks. Keith Olbermann is my main news source.

      Hunter, great write up. I really loved the Calvinball reference. Having raised 3 sons on Calvin and Hobbes, it made me laugh. I'll have to pull out the old Calvin books and re-read them.

      "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

      by MadMs on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:43:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Couldnt help laughing at the TFriedman remark :) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, blueman1

    He talked to a cabbie....blah blah blah I remember reading that article .....hahaha

    Anyway you have touched on a very important subject since the so called MSM can creat smokescreen beyond which the news consumers cant see through as well illustrted during the run up to the Iraqi war.

    A good example of your statement "punditry ain't press. Punditry ain't reporting" was very well illlustrated on the C.Mathews show on MSNBC tonight. There was Nora O'Donell, which her garish kabuki make up giving us, the viewers, a scoop. Lo and behold, the Iraq war supplemental bill  bill just passed 218-212 is full of suprise...... pork!.

    She and katie are in the same league, dense as rocks.

    Now thats supposed to be a scoop, something we dont know?

  •  I must respectfully disagree.... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alizard, bablhous, gatorcog, ezdidit, adrianrf

    I was with you right to the end, when you said

    The editorialists of the press are so tightly woven with the political community itself that they no longer represent a window into that world, but only a mirror. We can't see in, and they can't see out.

    Have you completely forgotten the Clinton years? From 1992 to 1994, the Democrats held the reigns of power... and the press was perfectly happy to assist the Rethugs in trashing them.

    In 2000, the press made an unprecedented incursion into electoral politics, single-handedly deciding to completely trash the candidate of the party in power while giving a free ride to the "Good ol' boy outsider" who of course was nothing of the kind.

    The press is NOT totally interwoven with the political community.

    It's interwoven with a power community that is over, above, and outside of the political community. Clinton was never a part of it, and they treated him like a userper for the eight years he was President of this country.

    This may seem like a nuance, but I think it is in fact the essential point.

    •  Absolutely (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alizard, bablhous, ezdidit

      A good book about the malfeasance of these two oracles is the one by Gene Lyons and Joe Conason "The Hunting of the President".  It is brutal in their review of the pseudo-journalism of these two papers.  The authors carefully documented just how bad these editors were in "shaping" their  story.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

      by hairspray on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 10:13:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WaPo has a circulation of about (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DaleA, madgranny

    700,000 readers.  I don't know how long they have held on to that number, but I don't think they care about readers outside of the beltway.  I get the feeling it is a club of relatively like minded class conscious, political power brokers.  They may be spewing around what they all believe to be true or what they are in denial about.

    Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities-Voltaire

    by hairspray on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 09:55:09 PM PDT

  •  Trust, but Google! (0+ / 0-)

    As Reagan WOULD have said... in regards to taking any one at their word, if he were internet savvy:

    Trust, but Google!

    Pay attention, they're lying!: http://www.antiwar.com/orig/porter.php?articleid=10400

    by Fireshadow on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 10:00:56 PM PDT

  •  Letter to the Editor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hairspray

    It seems as evident today as it was four years ago that sanctions on Saddam Hussein's regime were eroding and that the U.N. Security Council had no appetite to prolong "containment" in any meaningful form.

    I just had to stop and comment on this part of the WSJ editorial.  According to Scott Ritter, it wasn't the case at all that the sanctions weren't working.  How is this editor sure of this point?

    Perhaps it seems more evident today than four years ago, Mr. WSJ Editor, if one is counting on the poor memory of their readership.

    This is what pisses me off:  it was, since day One, clear as a bell to me that this was a fabrication.  I don't get it; why did almost everyone else I met fall for the lines led out by Cheney and Rice and Powell?  I only wavered for a day and a half on the wisdom or folly of going to war, and that was during the height of the buzz leading right up to the day those four years ago.  And I also made the mistake of reading "The Haj", by Leon Uris (!).  That unhappy day and a half was accompanied by an understanding that this might lead to a Nationally firm resolve to wipe Wahabbism off the planet as a scourge (it became Al Qaeda, that I remember).

    You, sir, attempt to re-write history with your recollection, and though you have a brass nameplate, your reputation as a journalist is right up there with Katie Couric, in my estimation.  You sully your profession.

    And now, my wife and I would like to return to the WSJ article so we can get back to the Sunday Hunter.

  •  Power Ball (0+ / 0-)

    You had me at...

    military Calvinball

    Seriously, though, nice to have a beer with you.  I think we need to and we have the power to - No, not do what Gore insists we do - Change the MSM in the same manner that we are bending and influencing our political reps, except for Hillary.  Influence them by exposing them for who they are, with the disinfecting sunshine.  Influence them by showing them by example what good, solid, courageous, innovative, and truthful reporting is.  Influence them by gathering power to make them move over, 'fess up, shut up, stand up, or step down when needed.

    Once again, the power is shifting to the People; amazing but true.  This time, if this site is to be any gage, however, we don't want the world nor do we want it now.  We want the CIA, the FBI, our elected officials, judges, the president and his men, and everyone in the public trust to be just like we are going to make the journalists examples of:  someone we can be proud to call fellow American.

    It's hard to do with Fred Hiatt right now.  He can do better.

  •  Bravo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bablhous

    I'll put aside all references to the content of your piece, other than to say I approve.

    What i came here to say, and what I appreciate more than a great "gotcha" post is the beauty of your prose.

    Internet message boards are often full of unintelligible gibberish posted by partisans more full of piss and vinegar than coherent thoughts.

    This post was an oasis in the desert - a true pleasure to read.  Well done, Hunter.  Many more wished.  

  •  Right On, Hunter !! Thank you...double n/t !! (0+ / 0-)

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -E.Burke Women, Get It Now: HPV Test

    by ezdidit on Sun Mar 25, 2007 at 10:28:43 PM PDT

  •  Hunter, pushing your argument further... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueInARedState

    If we zoom out even further, I really don't understand why civilization even needs "public relations" departments anymore -- or Communications Officers -- or Spokespersons.

    Why were these roles ever embraced by an advanced society anyway?

    If Michael Moore wants to pose a question to Roger and GM, what value at all is there to receive some prepared text from a PR department whose job, by design, is to deflect, reframe and deny?

    Why do we have a Press Secretary? What value is added, ever, from a "Daily Whitehouse Press Briefing" that causes 100 media companies to pay expensive salaries each year to a Senior Whitehouse Correspondent whose job is to show up in a room, listen to deflection, reframing and denying for x minutes, followed by asking questions that never get answered truthfully or usefully, only to then go write up stories and report them or broadcast them, to an American Public?

    If you asked a child to observe a week's worth of Whitehouse Press Briefings, and the resulting stuff that gets printed and broadcast, and asked "what did you learn from that?", I think most children without brain damage would easily conclude "nothing".

    This whole societal system of Press Secretaries to X Important Persons seems completely akin to Circular Employment & Revenue Generation Complex that comes from Agitating for a War, Going to War, Building bases, ordering supplies, designing weapons, Blowing shit up, then contracts to Rebuilding Specialists who rebuild the shit we blew up.

    I realize my questions will, by default, be considered rhetorical, just as the question "Why do we even allow TV ads for elections? Why not replace them with 30 weeks of Debates,  required to be carried live by all mediacasters who generate revenue by using the airwave assets we the people own?" ... Answered the same way: "Well you're right of course. But this is the way it is, so you can't NOT participate in the game, or you'll lose revenue and mindshare to those who do participate."

    In this age of the Internets, I see no purpose at all for Press Secretaries and PR Agencies and White House Reporters. Have a question? Call the person who has the jurisdiction for the answer, leave a message, and then, just make it a Bill maher "New Rule": Starting today, from now on, only report the answers to the questions that are replied to by the person who has jurisdiction over that subject matter or decision-making power.

    Disintermediate and cut out the entire fact-less chain of Underlings Asking Questions, Underlings Relaying Questions to Deciders, Deciders and Strategists formulating deflection Answers, Underlings mouthing media-managed Answers, and Underlings who Asked the Questions recording the answers, Wasting time writing up and disseminating the Answers that add no value to the people who pay the salaries of the Deciders.

    If the Free Market System sent in a re-engineering consultant to analyze the value-add for this whole mediated exercise and construct, surely they would recommend cost-saving measures of slashing those line items out of the budget, removing the entire subroutine out of the workflow process, and re-hooking up the pipeline so that questions flow to Deciders, and Answers flow to the paying consumers of the Information needed (or wanted).

    Oh well -- i've just wanted to make this argument for a while. This is as good a time as any. An alien species would certainly find it all a massive waste of resources and a Brain Drain on those who are just trying to produce things of value and usefulness.

  •  Bravo! (0+ / 0-)
    A most excellent and concise rant. A pleasure to read. Pundits are only as useful as their credibility and gravitas. With that gone, they are pointless.
  •  I'm changing my handle to "cheesegrater" (0+ / 0-)

    Just to be up to date.

    Thanks Hunter.  Fantastic.

    Jorge's a renegade; there's blood on his hands, oil in his arteries and cyanide inside his glands...

    by nailbender on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 01:24:19 AM PDT

  •  Bloggers can, and have, been bought too (0+ / 0-)

    We can no longer trust large swaths of the national media to provide any checks or balances whatsoever: they have proven they can be bought, for the simple price of access to the halls of power. The editorialists of the press are so tightly woven with the political community itself...

    It's pretty clear from the number of bloggers who are apparently eager to sign on to political campaigns as "media advisors", or to go on TV at the drop of a pin, that many people are willing to toss their smug "outsider" status aside in an instant, if someone will just invite them inside.

    I agree completely with the premise, when the last administration's national security advisors and retired generals are "commenting" on this administration's war, for pay, the absurdities are endless; when a reporter/author can legitimately hope to land a speechwriter's job in the next admistration, does that even possibly color their reporting? We all start with morals....

    Addiction to power is a inbred human trait, I'm just not sure that anyone can hold a "blog" writer to be immune from this when the evidence is that they're just as susceptable to barking for treats - just how many $200 dinners, "secret" leaks, Italian silk suits and TV appearances does it take to ruin a blogger, as opposed to ruining a "normal" reporter?

    "It's better to be a dog in a peaceful time than be a man in a chaotic period." - some Chinese guy

    by David Mason on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 04:30:50 AM PDT

  •  MFing Right On, Hunter! (0+ / 0-)

    Really well freaking said. Perhaps it's time the Post put Broder out to pasture and replaced him with you.

    Digby can take Friedman's spot at the NY Times and I'll be able to drink my coffee every morning without spitting a little bit of it up on my keyboard - which is starting not to work very well any more!

    "[Insert GOP presidential candidate here] is a racist, homophobic, child molester." Sufficiently Coulteresque? No, no, I need a veiled threat of violence. Damn!

    by Whigsboy on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 05:19:34 AM PDT

  •  Hunter, (0+ / 0-)

    this is one of the best summaries of what's gone astray.  

    I think it should be sent to every journalism student.

  •  Excellent ... as is so often the case ... (0+ / 0-)

    This would, with a few changes, be excellent in one of the journalism magazines -- challenge them on 'their turf', so to speak.  For example, CJR.  

    Please take the time to do this ... perhaps that might speak to a few of the 'professional' media when they will simply blow this off, here, as a voice from the "lunatic blogosphere" ...

    Blogging regularly at Ecotality Blog for a Sustainable Future.

    by A Siegel on Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 07:28:50 AM PDT

  •  Perfect synopsis, Hunter (0+ / 0-)

    And you have liberated me from yelling at my TV as I see a rehash of lies rebutted by soggy, mealy-mouthed half-truths.  
    I feel better already.  I think I'll skip the "news" this evening.

  •  What Hunter Said.... (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone gets to be wrong sometimes. But you don't get to be wrong all the time, much less arrogantly, divisively, sneeringly wrong, and if you are, then you can hardly be surprised if people grow damn tired of listening to you.

    This is the call to defund (i.e. cancel subscriptions to [and letters of explanation make such a nice touch!]) these [fill in the blankety-blanks] and start donating that money instead to Kos, TruthOut, my buddy Bart, or whomever you like in the alternative media we must create.

  •  I so wish I could communicate... (0+ / 0-)

    ...to the higher ups at the Times and WAPO the conversation that I had in 2005 with a Paris-based journalist who told me that, post-Watergate and for a long time thereafter, they (meaning the European press) used to read the Times and WAPO to find out the truth of what was happening in America, and in the last few years, they now read it to find out whsat the US Government is thinking.

    Sort of like they used to read pravdas to divine the Kremlin's mood.

    This wasn't told to me with indignation or surprise or a sense of righteousness or superiority, just as a fact, tinged with a bit of sadness.

    I only wish the WAPO and the Times actually and truly understood how much they've been damaged. Possibly never to recover.

    OVER HERE: AN AMERICAN EXPAT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, is now available on Amazon US

    by Lupin on Tue Mar 27, 2007 at 01:21:14 AM PDT

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