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Earlier we checked in on Politico, learning from them that Fox chief Roger Ailes has, in their words, "aggressively, and shrewdly, toned things down post-election." The evidence:

Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly were among the first conservatives to call for a rethinking of the GOP’s opposition to comprehensive immigration reform.
Hmmmm. This raises the question of whether those guys got the memo that they were toning things down. Here's Steve Benen, catching Bill O'Reilly in some vintage O'Reilly nonsense.
"Remember the outcry about waterboarding? You know, everybody jumping up and down? Uh, NBC News, I thought they were going to, like, melt down over there. You heard anything on NBC about the drones? [...] They are protecting the President."
I'll let Benen take it from here.
Um, Bill? NBC News broke the drones story. I know this because NBC News' Michael Isikoff appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show, which has covered the drones story for quite a while, to put the newest developments on the national radar.

In fact, the reason the drones story has generated national attention this week is, in large part, because NBC and MSNBC put the story on the front burner.

There's your toned-down, moderated Bill O'Reilly, Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (29+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:45:50 AM PST

  •  His nick's not O'lielly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, S F Hippie, NapaJulie

    for nothing.

  •  One thing O'Rielly does have right: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej, 420 forever, Rube Goldberg

    the drone policy is worse than bad.

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 11:52:24 AM PST

  •  The more airtime (7+ / 0-)

    the drone story gets the better. Don't care much about any FNC NBC pissing match though.

    Innocent people getting killed trumps two pretend news stations fighting for ratings.

    •  At least we're not involed in a war. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't count the war on terror as a real war.  Turn the terrorist-chasing over to the CIA, MI6 and Interpol.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:45:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Marcy Wheeler has best coverage (0+ / 0-)

      Real reporting as usual at Emptywheel.  Others are mostly like deer in headlights and not very substantive.  Why are we wasting print on O'reilly here?

      •  Gaius Publius (0+ / 0-)

        "...We're known for killing them."

        And unless you think, with Maddow, that torture has been eliminated, Hersh begs to differ:

        But the stuff that goes on in the field, is still going on in the field — the secret prisons, absolutely, oh you bet they’re still running secret prisons. Most of them are in North Africa, the guys running them are mostly out of Djibouto [sic].

        But that’s a side point. The main one is this — Bush tortured; Obama kills.

        The trend here is obvious.  Focus on right wing idiocy as a shiny object to ignore the real concerns.  It is not a good trend.
  •  Does that mean Billo is now to the left of Dkos?nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    steep rain, grrr, shaharazade, Mike Taylor

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:08:24 PM PST

  •  Thats why Isikoff works at..... NBC? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:13:14 PM PST

  •  Perhaps it's not such a huge story b/c many Dems.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb the military's use of drones.

    They did when Bush was president.

    And they continue to do so now that Obama is president.

    And frankly, I believe that any Dem who wants to slash the defense budget should support drones, as they are MUCH MORE cost effective than manned fighter jets or special forces excursions.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:27:24 PM PST

    •  That is one of the least impressive arguments (5+ / 0-)

      I've seen for the use of drones. It is marginally better than some of the "so what, they're terrists" arguments I've seen from (alleged) democrats here.

      •  21st Century warfare (0+ / 0-)

        It's a hell-of-a-lot cheaper than invading countries.

        The liberal group think that drones are massively killing innocents ignores the stories that the terrorists are killing people and dumping them at drone sites to inflate the body count.

        The terrorists fervently hope that drone warfare is eliminated so that they can gather in secret to plot their nefarious schemes without worrying about what comes through the front door.

        The American moral issue that liberals will tie themselves in knots over is whether Americans abroad who are part of a terrorist operation can be assassinated without due process.  I'm OK with it personally.  As Gus said in Lonesome Dove when he had Jake strung up to the tree.  "You ride with an outlaw you die with an outlaw."

        •  what happens when they get drones too? /nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rube Goldberg
        •  Lessee, Khaddafi actually did this and the (0+ / 0-)

          journalists who were bused to the site immediately noticed that the damage to the walls of the buildings were from AK fire and then noted that the dead also appeared to have died from AK fire, some with a coup de grace shot behind the ear.

          However I cannot find this to be true in Pakistan and Afghanistan so maybe you have some sort of citation to support this allegation?

          (BTW Lonesome Dove was fiction as are most representations of the "Wild West" we see from Hollywood)

        •  We don't abandon our core principles (0+ / 0-)

          because the nature of warfare changes.

          Due process is the bedrock principle that separates societies that at least attempt to have some semblance of accountability and justice from those that many in this country like to point out are "less free" than us.

          This is a dangerous road to go down.  The terrorists won't win because they kill us.  They will win because they convince our leaders and the public that we should redefine not only our laws, but our core constitutional principles.  

          No executive official should be able to unilaterally decide that an American citizen can be executed without even minimal oversight from another branch of government.  Anyone who thinks otherwise has very little understanding of our constitution.

        •  And some Americans wonder why we're thought (0+ / 0-)

          of as a bit daft, thoughtless, careless and blood thirsty.

      •  more please! (0+ / 0-)

        let's get into a pissing match about who's the best Democrat.

    •  I shudder when people use war and cost effective (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BOHICA, lenzy1000

      in the same sentence.  It reminds me of any number of mistakes made during the VN war on the basis of cost effectiveness or Westmoreland's pet project of body counts so the beancounters could do their thing crunching how much it cost to kill a VC.

      Since when is a kill rate of 10 civilians for every bad guy zapped cost effective?

      •  Such thinking produced the term (0+ / 0-)

        "collateral damage" when what we mean is "dead people."

        If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. Thomas Paine

        by WestCider on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:37:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and also the conundrum of "sometimes to save (0+ / 0-)

          a village, you must destroy it".  Irony of My Lai was not that it shocked the American conscience but that there were other My Lais that never hit the front pages.  One Delta operation was characterized as "one My Lai a month"

      •  It's the most cost effective way (0+ / 0-)

        To get the whole world to band together to hate america and plot it's destruction, people who say ooohhh we're
        fighting terrorists are completely ignorant that many times
        we are targeting based on signature strikes in which we only know that there is an unknown group getting together, and random bridal parties and funerals are attacked. young men killed are presumed guilty just because they are young men.
        We must stop bombing countries we're not at war with before the war comes back to us.  Read more at an unbiased source:

    •  brave, but foolish (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I salute your bravery in making this point.

      The problem with your argument is that many here who want to slash the defense budget want to slash it to zero.  Drown the military in the bathtub, so to speak.

      Drones being safer, more effective, and far cheaper than other more conventional strikes is irrelevant.  There's not much call for a more efficient military here.

      •  if we are to argue efficiency, can we factor (0+ / 0-)

        in "collateral damage"?  The bin Laden operation proved we can still do things old school with far less collateral damage so now the argument becomes at what point is collateral damage counted in the expense column?

        •  not factoring in Afghanistan or Iraq? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the process of killing Bin Laden took a long time and the cost was mind boggling.

          the number of casualties in that effort is easily in the hundreds of thousands.

          •  actually Iraq and Afghanistan had little to do (0+ / 0-)

            with bin Laden.  He was never in Iraq and our incursion there used him as a fig leaf.  He left Afghanistan after Tora Bora and evidently remained in Pakistan until killed.  At the time he left Tora Bora for his hidey hole in Pakistan, the Afghan War was still a proxy fight with the opposition Afghan groups doing the heavy lifting.

            The US expansion of the war transformed it from a civil war to a client war where we are propping up a client government against an insurgency.  In other words we have changed the civil war into an invasion in many Afghan eyes and transformed our role from liberators to invaders.

            However if you can produce citation supporting your assertions that Iraq and Afghanistan was about bin Laden, please provide it.  ITMT, to quote GWB from 2002,

            " BUSH: "We haven't heard from him in a long time. ... Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. ... I just don't spend that much time on him... we haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I -- I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run."

    •  We could also just oppose wars of choice. -nt- (0+ / 0-)

      "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

      by The Rational Hatter on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:56:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good one! (0+ / 0-)

      I also believe any democrat that would like to slash law enforcement budget should be in favor of shooting suspects that are associated with people contemplating jaywalking on site, as the cost of prosecutions, and hiring traffic cops is too high.

      There is obviously no other way to keep are streets safe from those who would think about breaking our laws.  

  •  Not to mention...maybe the guy with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, shaharazade

    the highest rated show on cable could say a word or two if he is that concerned...

    he chooses not to...

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 12:34:26 PM PST

  •  You should change your title to... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, JustinBinFL

    Bill O'Reilly: NBC ignoring drone story (that NBC broke) to protect Obama

    'Guns don't kill people, video games do - paraphrased from Lamar Alexander (Sen-R-TN)'

    by RichM on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 02:08:38 PM PST

  •  I read this while watching Ed on MSNBC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, mickT

    discussing the drone story.

    ad astra per alia porci

    by harrije on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:11:06 PM PST

    •  And...still talking about it (0+ / 0-)

      I thought they were done and he was going to talk to Rep. Jackson-Lee about gun policy.

      But they quickly went back to the drone story, attacking it (though perhaps a bit more gently than I might prefer) from the civil libertarian left.

      ad astra per alia porci

      by harrije on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:14:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same here - was listening to TRMS replay earlier (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      today and it was all about the drone memo story and the CIA chief appointment and related issues.

      Fox News: "Keeping Whites in the Dark for almost 20 years!"

      Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank.
      Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

      by here4tehbeer on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:19:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Facts? FACTS??? We don't need (0+ / 0-)

    no stinkin' facts!

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:11:32 PM PST

  •  So tiresome. Trivializes an issue that should be (0+ / 0-)

    examined with an intention to shed some light on it.
    How the Republican party's propaganda outlet could even attempt to discuss this story without ever mentioning the aftermath of 911 and the never ending War on Terror is disgusting to me.  They screamed about a mosque that was going to be built in lower Manhattan two years ago and now their hearts are bleeding.  Right.

    "Democracy is a life; and involves continual struggle." ---'Fighting Bob' LaFollette

    by leftreborn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:11:49 PM PST

  •  Bill's problem with the drone story. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flatford39, Mathazar

    Bill’s audience probably likes drones, so him talking about Obama using drones only helps Obama’s favorables among republicans. Bill has to rely on someone else (i.e. NBC) to run with the drone story (and they’re not running it enough to suit him).

    •  I think BillO is getting out ahead of a coming (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Taylor

      story. Wingers already believe that Obama has 300 teams of ninja assassins he is waiting to release on various TP leaders.  This story has morphed with Obama's gun control issues so now the story is that Obama will first confiscate guns to make sure the TP cannot resist his rule and then send out his ninjas (I am not making this up and I have not smoked anything in decades) because he hates whites and wants the US to be a minority majority country.

      Right now the rallying cry in Wingtopia is "Confiscation then Extermination"  Look for this story to develop as it will change from ninjas to drones being used to take out.  The pity is that the real story is law enforcement is already using drones for surveillance and, given the administration's view of its right to take out citizens w/o due process, it is no longer only a paranoid's nightmare that drones may be used domestically to take out certain "hard targets" by law enforcement    

  •  What about DailyKos? (4+ / 0-)

    Where does DailyKos stand on this issue?  I'd say either indifferent, or downplaying the issue because of their support for Obama.

  •  However ire should be directed at (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NYT and WaPost (among others) for :

    Several news outlets witheld information about a secret American drone base in Saudi Arabia for "more than a year" at the request of the CIA
    And needless to say there outrage here has been ... crickets relatively speaking.
    •  Search DailyKos: drone (0+ / 0-)

      79 results found

      Search DailyKos: 2nd

      73 results found

      I think there is a pretty active discussion here.

      The outrage is seems somewhat proportional to the attributed number of deaths. It's certainly not being ignored.

      •  yes if you search the nether regions (0+ / 0-)

        where no on much reads. I said "relatively" and I'd wager the front pages had one? Briefly? 73 diaries? Who died from water boarding (5339) or wiretapping (1670)? I guess these are our American killing drones now.

    •  what's your argument? (0+ / 0-)

      one of the most liberal sites on the internet isn't totally hyperventilating over the Obama administration's drone policy.

      ever consider that it's not as big a deal as you wish it was?

      •  Ever consider the (0+ / 0-)

        extreme hypocrisy you (and I- to be fair) are invested in right this second? You/we/they were certainly hyperventilating about the bush admin's policies that were on par or worse. Impeach! Recall? Some (just a little) consistency would give some hope that DK isn't just the mirror of red state. But.... oh well.

        I'm arguing that this site has no real principles outside of political victory. A few individuals may, but the "community" shuns "reality" in favor of ideological orthodoxy.

        Enjoy the echo chamber.

  •  When your default position (0+ / 0-)

    is bare-assed lunatic liar, this may well be an aggressive scaling back.  He didn't mention BENGHAZI!!!!$@&7?$&!! once.  

    Good on you, Billy.

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:27:55 PM PST

  •  In a strange parallel Universe (0+ / 0-)

    Bill Maher and Micheal Moore today charged that the conservative media is ignoring President Rmoney's drone memo to protect him.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:28:32 PM PST

  •  BillO lost any credibility during Falklands War (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, dewtx

    when as a "combat reporter" he was found reporting the war from a suite in a downtown Buenos Aires luxury hotel.

    Then he and Bob Schieffer almost got in a fist fight when BillO accused him of stealing footage of Argentinian riots.  BillO, though larger, got the worse of the exchange as their boss decided BillO lacked credibility

  •  Dear Bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar."
    ~ Edward R. Murrow

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:37:06 PM PST

  •  Shame on you Joan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for reducing this important issue, the ridiculous and immoral war on terror, to flagrant partisan points scored on who and which media purveyors of propaganda score points. The FP has become increasingly a place where all democratic debate is lost in whose the worst the Turtle or Harry and all policy and agenda is rated by the increments of a by-partisan agenda that does not hold Democrat's responsible for the appalling damager being done to our country or rule of law.

    Bill O'Riley is a well known lying RW asshole who has been given equivalence by the media's total capture by money and corporate ownership but please give me a break with this bs that deflects the Democratic party's agenda that does not vary from the Bush regimes by more then semantics or empty rhetoric and tries to paint the dark light both domestically and internationally. There really is no significant difference when we the Democratic party appoint someone like John Brennan to head the CIA.                

  •  the only thing they're going to tone down is (0+ / 0-)

    the anti-Latino stuff and possibly the anti-women's rights stuff.

  •  Oh yeah... because Fox News was ALL OVER (0+ / 0-)

    the waterboarding story.  Man, I thought they were trying make Bush have a breakdown they were asking so many tough questions... /snark

    Seriously, though, the administration's drone policy is all kinds of wrong.  I don't like it that Obama's policies regarding the use of force sometimes remind me of Bond villians.

    "If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people." -Tony Benn (-6.38,-6.36)

    by The Rational Hatter on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 05:54:07 PM PST

  •  Asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickT, dewtx

    As my naval officer Dad used to say, "when you make war less risky and dangerous and costly you run the risk of making it easier and easier to wage for frivolous reasons."

    He was prescient.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:20:04 PM PST

  •  Bill doesn't wake up early enough on the weekends (0+ / 0-)

    to watch Chris Hayes.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 06:27:33 PM PST

  •  Thanks Rachel Maddow (0+ / 0-)

    I've had a rough time thinking about drones, but her explanation of the robitic nature of hellfire missiles clarified a lot for me this evening. Whether the hellfire comes from a manned helicopter or a drone, it's the same missile--totally robotic.

    Drones aren't the issue at all.

    Whom we target is the issue--and despite the fact that I trust this President we need a review system for all of these decisions.

  •  Does anybody (0+ / 0-)

    Even watch or listen to oreilly anymore.  He is about as powerful as president romney. ooops he lost, never mind.   And President Obama is so against the use of drones what would there be to protect??

  •  Like O'Reilly give a flying fuck about (0+ / 0-)

    drones killing brown Muslim people to begin with.

  •  Don't think Joe Blow GOP Basemember (0+ / 0-)

    Really cares that much about drones.

    Most Americans (including myself) seem to think that drone attacks should only be used for very very rare attacks, which sadly hasn't been happening.

    I have no problem with them killing super high profile targets, but using them against random Jihadists seems to hurt more then it helps.

    "The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian... America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance." The Real Ron Paul

    by 815Sox on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:56:01 PM PST

  •  O'Reilly said tonight... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That that's not what he said last night. I'll let that sink in.

    Apparently Fox viewers are unfamiliar with video tape.

    No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

    by newinfluence on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 08:15:52 PM PST

  •  Can accuse most hosts on MSNBC of protecting the (0+ / 0-)

    president sure ... but certainly not Rachel, and certainly not Chris Hayes.  And certainly not the news operation.  OF course I am splitting hairs on something BillO said, so clearly I should know better.

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