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Eric Parker from central Idaho aims his weapon from a bridge as protesters gather by the Bureau of Land Management's base camp, where cattle that were seized from rancher Cliven Bundy are being held, near Bunkerville, Nevada April 12, 2014. The U.S. Burea
If anyone needs to hear another example of just how incredibly awful American journalism has become, look no further than this piece by Tal Kopan in Politico. I suppose this is what is thought to be "objective coverage" in modern journalism, in which the truth is irrelevant and the press is there only to act as a stenographer's megaphone rather than as an informer. The piece is about the "standoff" in Nevada, whatever that is, between a rancher and the Bureau of Land Management. It starts off badly, as one would expect from Politico, but then it just gets so awful one wonders if Ms. Kopan would have been better off just printing the opposing sides' press releases.
“I only want to talk to one person in each county across the United States, and here’s what I want to say: County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucracy. County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucrats,” Bundy said on Glenn Beck’s radio show on TheBlaze on Monday.

“I only want to talk to one person in each county across the United States, and here’s what I want to say: County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucracy. County sheriffs, disarm U.S. bureaucrats,” Bundy said on Glenn Beck’s radio show on TheBlaze on Monday.

Beck said he invited Bundy on his show after speaking with him Sunday to try to understand the man whose cattle have ignited a flashpoint between federal regulators and states’ rights advocates over federal land. On Saturday, the Bureau of Land Management released Bundy’s cattle back to him after rounding it up on federal land over what they say are unpaid grazing fees.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

Okay, stop. Set aside the fact that she has quoted Mr. Bundy by listening to Glenn Beck's radio show rather than interviewing him herself. A sad fact that basically makes her, like me, a crappy blogger. (Of course, for me writing is a hobby, not a profession.) But she could have at least achieved the status of a decent blogger by doing some research to inform us if the grazing fees are, in fact, unpaid. I found a Federal Court Order that proves the fees are due and aren't paid in about six seconds. The fees being owed or not is not a "some say" matter of dispute. It is either a truth or a falsehood, easily researched. Why couldn't Ms. Kopan simply let us know the facts, informing us of some news, and shedding light on the matter?

The "reporter" goes on to include key parts of Mr. Bundy's interview with Beck, dutifully transcribing Bundy's words and quoting him generously. It must be a tough beat to listen to the radio while Glenn Beck of all people has the access. We already know how much Washington reporters cherish access over real work. Then Ms. Kopan hits bottom:

Bundy did not go into specifics about how sheriffs or people should “disarm” federal regulators, but he said he disputes that the land in question is federal land. He claims the land belongs to the state of Nevada.
See, now this is just truly an embarrassing moment. It has to be. We can discover, pretty quickly in fact, if the land is actually federal land or if it isn't. I did in about six seconds. It is federal land. The above linked court order is unequivocal about this. I shouldn't have to do that because that is the job of a reporter: to publish the truth. Instead, all Ms. Kopan has done here is listen to the radio and write down what she heard. I mean ... is that all there is to it? Because I can do that from my mother's basement with a bag of Cheetos at the ready.

I don't expect Politico, of all places, to engage in real journalism. That would be naive. But I would think a young journalist starting out would want to do some work she could take pride in. Work that sheds light, clears up the haze, cuts to the chase, and most importantly presents the truth as something that can be found and told.

Originally posted to Triple-B in the Building on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:26 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  In today's US you often get paid--and paid well (18+ / 0-)

    for being good at appearing to be good at what you do, not by actually being good at what you do. If you dress, act and talk the part well enough, you're seen as actually doing it, and doing it well. E.g. Condi or Rummy, who had that whole Very Serious Person thing down cold, even though they were among the worst government officials in US history. We've all, I assume, known and worked with the type in our various jobs. One only wonders why, if they're so good at faking it, why they don't just DO it. They don't feel like it, I guess.

    Anyway, Politico was founded and is run and staffed by such types, being all about the glorification of the field that is perhaps the most ridden by phony incompetents of all these days, politics. Whores do need their fanzines.

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 05:56:45 AM PDT

    •  You Also Get Paid Well for Doing the Job you (9+ / 0-)

      were hired to do, and not the job people imagine you were hired to do.

      Staff of the media have been found by the Supreme Court to have a Constitutional right to lie to the public in service of their employers. That would make them legitimate employees.

      Whores would be reporters who sell out to the special interest of voters, by reporting honest news contrary to the interests of the media.

      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 Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:04:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ypochris, NancyWH

        There ARE such jobs and workplaces, but they're increasingly hard to find in a society that values comforting lies and short-term "results" over harsh truths and patience. Bullshit is a seller's AND buyer's market these days.

        Or else, why are people like Cuomo seen as the future of the party, and why do people still like Christie, for example? The Era of the Politico...

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:27:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ^^^^^ Yep. Just watched another annoying (12+ / 0-)

        example of this sad reality as juvenile replacement msnbc talking head Luke Russert allowed that the new FACTS from CBO about costs and benefits of the ACA might not gain traction with the public because they are "complicated" "hard" and money from the opposition can drown out the Democrats messages about them.


        He and ALL his brethern in the Press give themselves a complete pass on any responsibility to REPORT the facts in such a way as to INFORM the public of what is TRUE and what is NOT TRUE. And they do it with no apparent discomfort or comprehension. When the public is so misinformed, the NEWS MEDIA are fully to blame.

        Our press -- aka "the 4th Estate" -- no longer deserves any special protections under law because they are craven, venal and no longer serve the public interest.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:42:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A large part of this is obviously (4+ / 0-)

          intentional on the part of the people who own and run these media outlets, for self-serving reasons as I explained below. But part of it is also, I believe, a consequence of the increasing levels of functional idiocy one sees in each successive generation, itself a consequence of our increasingly less effective schools and increasingly idiotic superficial culture.

          Russert simply didn't have the sort of education and cultural exposure as Murrow. People are simply dumber these days than they used to be, at all socioeconomic levels. And that's reflected in today's journalism--and exploited by the people who own and run media outlets.

          "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

          by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:32:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Russert doesn't have the ... as RUSSERT, let (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            alone Murrow.

            Russert simply didn't have the sort of education and cultural exposure as Murrow.

            Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

            by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:46:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  IMO, Tim sold out to Bush (0+ / 0-)

              At the end of his career. He wasn't the same 'reporter' that he had been.
              But, the look at Gregory.
              MTP ratings are in the toilet where they should be. The only person who can save it is either Keith or Rachel.
              But would they be muzzled?  

              Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama did not just pick up that 3:00 am phone call, but, as has been noted, he mostly stayed on the phone making war and sending out drones for his entire terms in office.

              by snoopydawg on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 11:54:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Edward R. Murrow also lived through WWII (0+ / 0-)

            and reported on it.
            Russert has never experienced anything more extreme than fraternity hazing.

            That makes him perfectly suited for being a gop shill. Maybe he can be some goppers press secretary some day.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:34:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •   Luke the Lesser (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yippee ki yay

          Is both a tool and the worst possible example of nepotism.

          •  Tossup: (0+ / 0-)

            Who is the most tool and worst possible example of nepotism?
            1.  Jenna Bush Hager
            2.  Luke Russert

            "American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. " Paul Krugman

            by yippee ki yay on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 01:32:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Criticizing MSNBC for not reporting the truth (0+ / 0-)

          on ACA numbers?

          What Russert reported annoyed you, that is apparent.  But why are you annoyed with MSNBC for reporting that despite the good numbers they are reporting to, that good news might not translate into political gains for Democrats.

          That seems like killing the messenger for bringing you news that you didn't want to hear.

          Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

          by cks175 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:35:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Heh, in the interest of accuracy, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ahianne, marina, FrY10cK

        are you sure it was a Supreme Court case? Because the only one I know about is the infamous one by a Florida appeals court:

        Top 25 of 2005

        11. The Media Can Legally Lie
        April 29, 2010
        CMW REPORT, Spring 2003
        Title: “Court Ruled That Media Can Legally Lie”
        Author: Liane Casten

        Title: “Florida Appeals Court Orders Akre-Wilson Must Pay Trial Costs for $24.3 Billion Fox Television; Couple Warns Journalists of Danger to Free Speech, Whistle Blower Protection”
        Author: Al Krebs

        Faculty Evaluator: Liz Burch, Ph.D.
        Student Researcher: Sara Brunner

        In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States. [...]
        And the right established is that of the employer to force its employees to lie, upon pain of firing.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:14:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Public deception is a journalist's duty. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKinTN, unfangus, Shawn87

      It is the duty of every journalist to, yes, look good and speak eloquently in order to persuade the rubes public to have faith in the ruling elites heroes.

      Don't take my word for it. Listen to Peggy Noonan tell it herself: " is your responsibility to fake it because children are watching."

      It's just a matter of public moral. If we learned the truth, then we would get depressed. So, the gate keepers must promote the illusion of integrity.

      If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

      by Bryce in Seattle on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:11:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I get the sarcasm but of course disagree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kenwards, unfangus, Bryce in Seattle

        As I'm sure you do too. Every journalist's duty is to report the truth, as fully, accurately and relevantly as is possible. If they get anything wrong, it should be due to factors beyond their control or the occasional mistake, not laziness, cowardice or stupidity, or the desire to please powerful people and be popular.

        There are journalists who still do this, but they're increasingly on the margins of today's media, where most people don't get exposed to their work or even know about them, and those who manage to break through, are attacked and marginalized by being called "radical", "socialist" or "anti-American".

        It's not so much that dishonest and/or inferior journalism sells better than honest and quality journalism, although there is something to that as the former tends to be more easily absorbed by most people than the latter.

        But the real reason, I believe, that the former predominates these days is that the people who own and run most media outlets see it as being better for their bottom line, because it reinforces ideas and perceptions that suit them.

        Or, more accurately, they understand that it's easier to tell self-serving lies, spread self-serving distortions, and repress truths that could damage one's bottom line, with bad than with good journalism.

        Which makes what passes for most journalism these days not journalism so much as PR that pretends to be journalism.

        Oh what a tangled web...

        "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

        by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:27:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Epistemic closure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kovie, Shawn87

          Epistemic closure may well apply to the media (as well as politicians), blatant denying obvious evidence in favor of trivial talking points or sound bites. If so, then your argument will be ignored:

          Every journalist's duty is to report the truth, as fully, accurately and relevantly as is possible. If they get anything wrong, it should be due to factors beyond their control or the occasional mistake, not laziness, cowardice or stupidity, or the desire to please powerful people and be popular.
          One intent on defrauding the public can not admit to the deception. Satire becomes our only hope of piercing the layers of deception.

          If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

          by Bryce in Seattle on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:36:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bryce in Seattle

            Satire is certain one way to get the process started, but not the only way, and in any case needs to be followed up with more substantive approaches. It's too easy to say "Hah, what a bunch of losers. But I'm too smart to be fooled by them." and then move on and do nothing. Awareness is just the start.

            As for such other ways, "rudeness" is one. I.e. instead of letting someone get away with something clearly stupid and/or dishonest, to be "polite", throw it back in their face and embarrass them in front of others and ask them why they're lying, even at the cost of social or professional consequences.

            That's how the other side wins, by forcing individuals who do know better to choose between playing along to protect their lives and careers, or not playing along, with all the risks that entails. They divide the public in general along cultural and intellectual lines, but they also divide more culturally and intellectually more sophisticated people along self-interest lines.

            How many people do you or I know who clearly know better, but still play along because they care more about their careers, incomes and lifestyles than about the greater good? THAT is how the other side wins, by scaring those with the most to offer, smart people with good educations.

            And satire only tends to help them perpetuate their delusion that they're one of the good guys, because unlike all those sucker rubes, they "know" better. Well, maybe they do, but what do they DO about it?

            That's where ridicule and rudeness comes in:

            Put your money where your mouth is.

            "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

            by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:49:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Guerrilla rhetoric, asymmetric advertising... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shawn87, kovie

              and strategic satire.

              Citizens united will take a great deal of time and effort to overturn, and until that day progressives will need to make their case against a substantially better funded adversary.

              Put your money where your mouth is.
              Will that strategy work against an oligarchy? No, in a direct confrontation, the better funded advocate will emerge victorious.

              I would take a lesson from Asymmetric warfare: Use the weapons of your enemy against them.

              I respect your desire but question your methods.

              If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

              by Bryce in Seattle on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:53:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again, I disagree (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bryce in Seattle

                If money always triumphs, why did Liz Warren win? Why did so many Koch and other oligarch-funded Repubs lose in 2010-12? Why did de Blasio win in a landslide and why is Bernie Sanders a senator? Why did Jay Inslee win, why is there a socialist on the Seattle city council and why was the $15 minimum wage referendum passed in SeaTac (I lived in Seattle for 10 years so I know a bit about its politics)? Why is gay marriage legal?

                I think that money is certainly a formidable force in politics, but it's not always determinative. Nor do I believe that agitprop and stunts accomplish much in US politics, or else OWS would have succeeded. It did not. I think you have it exactly backwards. In the war of impressions money usually wins, but in the war of substance money meets its match. All of the above leftie pols won with substance, not satire or messaging.

                That said, there's certainly room for the methods you cite, done properly. They're just insufficient to the cause. Politics is ultimately retail, and pols who've mastered that aspect usually win.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:25:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Also (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Bryce in Seattle

                Why are there no mass protests against all of these recent GOP outrages:

                Making abortion effectively illegal in many states
                Backdoor voter suppression
                Backdoor Jim Crow (e.g. S&F, SYG)
                Rejection of Medicaid expansion
                Privatization of schools

                If Dems got their shit together and organized these, they'd win more often and force Repubs to back down. But they're too scared of or sold out to special interests, or afraid of being called too liberal, so they won't. None of this is about messaging or money. It's all about substance.

                "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

                by kovie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:29:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Despite this diary's excellent fact searching, ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... the news is this nut Bundy and that other nut Beck.

          Those names and what they have to say is what catches peoples' attention and interest. For this particular journalist, that is the story. For her, the next level of detail, even when it can be reliably determined and deftly delivered, loses her interest. She doesn't get that in no more than the same number of words, she can reliably set the record straight in terms as interesting and enlightening as the first part of her story.

          She's no journalist. She's a stenographer who writes well enough to please her editor. Who is clearly no journalist either!

          I don't think there's any corporate goal or conspiracy here. It's just a complete misunderstanding of what being a "reporter" means.

          2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:49:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Reading that piece got me to thinking (7+ / 0-)

    about all the chump ranchers who actually paid their grazing fees. I wonder what they are thinking?

    •  They are gone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay C, NancyWH, Shawn87

      almost all got put out of business at that time. That was the intent.

      Other ranchers in other areas are still in business but of the 53 in that area 50 got put out of business, that was the intent. It wasn't that the range couldn't support the cattle but that there were new allotments that cut most people by 90%, basically cutting out 90% of their business. Desert Tortoise and the ESA.

      Most ranchers knew the tortoise and cows had been coexisting for a hundred years but they just lost a court fight that's all. It happened all over the west. Most people are practical and just sold out to developers or whatever. Holding on to a ranch was dumb.

      When you lose grazing allotments from the feds you lose water rights from the state. No water and your land is worthless.

      It's too bad but it's just how things work. Lots of people get messed over, Bundy was just stupid, tilting at windmills.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:10:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is a severe shortage of water (9+ / 0-)

        that westerners haven't faced up to yet. Ranchers are pikers when it comes to water consumption but everyone in the west needs to find ways to reallocate and reduce water consumption.

        The desert tortoise isn't the only issue that affected policy towards ranchers. That said, court decisions can be blunt instruments.

        No water and we're all screwed.

        That's the key issue in climate change across America.

        “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

        by FishOutofWater on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:28:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, need that water in Vegas for prostitutes and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          gambling. We send ours to Los Angeles.

          Feeding people needs to take second place to swimming pools, and golf courses.

          The tortoise is when and why they changed the quota for AUMs. Ranchers lost that's all. Lots of people get messed over all the time. Thing to do is buck up and make the best of it. People get put off their land all the time, smart people sell out to a housing development while there's time or one of those gazillionaires looking for a place to ride horses in the winter.

          “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

          by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:37:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why dont they buy their own land? (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Yoshimi, TracieLynn, NancyWH, groupw, Shawn87

            I certainly dont give a shit about a turtle. Or tortoise or whatever. But I dont see why folks in the meat business feel they need public property to stay in business.

            •  Like the people in the logging and oil (6+ / 0-)

              industry using federal land. I have no problem if the people of the United States are compensated.

            •  They do have their own land, it's just not worth (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NancyWH, Shawn87

              much without the grazing rights that surround it.

              Most ranches clear about $40K a year in profit, that's average. We Americans made a decision that we'd allow those folks who were already ranching to continue to do so on the open range. Multiple use and all. We figured it was a benefit to us all. But open range sucks, people over graze because it belongs to all, so we switched to grazing rights and the BLM and AUMs to make better use of the land and stop over grazing.

              Still later we decided we'd rather just have dessert and take that water for cities. So we did. It's our land, multiple use and all. What's funny is a lot of that land is still locked up in grazing rights for gentlemen absent landowners. A small amount of cattle rented out so an absentee landowner who really just wants a warm 10,000 square foot house out there in the desert with 10.000 acres of surrounding grazing rights for fifty cattle and authentic looking cowboys. They can even sell the conservation easements to offset large profits in the stock market.

              Bundy was just a hold out. Crazy too.

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:54:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, elections have consequences. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                NancyWH, Bryce in Seattle, ban nock


                And I say this as a person who very much enjoys meat. Seems to me they have their cattle ranch in the wrong location if they cant graze em on their own land.

                •  From what I read from other folks in the area who (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  used to be ranchers they think about as you do. Courts have consequences, sometimes you lose other times you don't. When you lose it's best to just move on best you can, he could have done that twenty years ago, instead he makes a big stink. Ignoring the law isn't going to do him any good either. a month or two or ten from now they'll just take his stuff. Those other 50 ranchers figured it out, and the two besides him that still remain figured something out.

                  “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

                  by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 01:16:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Can't rec this idea (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NancyWH, i saw an old tree today
              dont give a shit about a turtle. Or tortoise or whatever
              as wildlife are sentinels for the health of the environment.

              But I do agree with this thought

              I dont see why folks in the meat business feel they need public property to stay in business.

              Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

              by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:10:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  This is exactly the part that I don't get... (0+ / 0-)
              He claims the land belongs to the state of Nevada.
              O.K. lets play "pretend the crazy person is right" for a sec.

              So what if it was Nevada land and not Federal land, that still doesn't make it "Bundy" land. When your cows are grazing on someone else's land there are usage fees that need to be paid.

              So ya why can't he keep his cows on his own land if he doesn't want to pay for grazing? f'ing TAKER.


              New Plan: Obamacare Old Plan: Nobodycares

              by groupw on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 11:08:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  We tried 'do whatever you want on your own land'. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dirtandiron, offgrid, missississy, matx

              The result was the Dust Bowl.

              Black blizzards over D.C.

              Overheard a Frenchman trying to explain Thomas Freidman to a Brit "He's got shit for brains -- but that's his asset. That's why he appeals to the US bourgeoisie."

              by JesseCW on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:56:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, but you should give a shit. (0+ / 0-)

              As Blue Tortoise explained here, desert tortoises are an "indicator species," representing, if you will, all the other plants and animals in the Mohave ecosystem. Protecting them protects everything else.
              But why should you care about a desert 3,000 miles away from you at all? (Or the boreal forest currently in the way of getting at the Alberta tar sands, or...) There are so many ways to answer that, that I don't know where to begin. To say that everything is connected to everything else probably sounds like sentimental pastoralism from the perspective of Brooklyn. Maybe I'll just appeal to the idea that my enemy's enemy is my friend. The ideology underlying anti-conservationism is that there is no value but money; and that ideology is as hostile to human life as it is to animal life.

              "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

              by dumpster on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:49:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's not an either or. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catwho, NancyWH

            Ranching and Vegas are not sustainable. Like you said, the ranchers have to deal with it - soon the casinos will too.

          •  They didn't get "put off their land", (3+ / 0-)

            they got put off of OUR land, for abusing it. They still have their own land, if they actually owned it.

            •  he he, ya, where's that title from 1850? No deed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and we can do as we want eh? That pile of cow poop looks abusive to me. Outah here goat roper! I love seeing whole towns moved for dams and rubber companies and stuff. Happens all over, who says that land is theirs? Peasants are peasants the world over.

              “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

              by ban nock on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 07:04:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I've heard this tune before (0+ / 0-)

            Honest hard-working rural people of the land with dirt on their boots versus corrupt decadent city-dwellers.

            Do a little digging and you'll find it at the center of every extremist ideology of the last century.

            If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

            by Major Kong on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:50:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well, cities waste a lot of water on bullshit. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          puakev, blueoasis, NancyWH

          Especially in the West where water is scarce. Who actually thinks its smart to grow a lawn in a fuckin desert?

        •  Trying to raise cattle in Nevada, for the most (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          part, is as unnatural as a golf course. Bison didn't roam the prairies of Nevada before the Europeans got here.

          You can't make this stuff up.

          by David54 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:39:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The tortise and cows were "co-existing" (6+ / 0-)

        so well that the tortoise is almost extinct.

        And I'm curious - how do you "sell out to developers" when you have lost, not the right to graze cattle on your own land, but rather a permit to abuse large tracts of publicly owned land for pennies an acre? It isn't like they can sell the public land they lost the use of.

        And why do you need water "rights" to provide water for the cattle on public lands that you are no longer allowed to have cattle on? It isn't like they lost any rights appurtenant to their own land. So how did their land become "worthless"?

        The problem has long been that these ranchers consider our public lands to belong to them, to use and abuse as they please. It appears you share this delusion.

      •  Sorry. Ranchers have been grazing THEIR cattle (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NancyWH, unfangus

        on OUR land for pennies on the dollar for too long. Having accepted this welfare from their fellow taxpayers all these years, they still have the nerve to cry and moan about wildlife, bison, wolves, etc.--that belong on OUR public lands far more than someone's for-profit cattle--and demand the right to slaughter them if they wander out of a park and on to still-PUBLIC OWNED land that they are using on the cheap!

        In addition, some of these ranchers also allow their stock to tresspass and rampage on neighboring PRIVATE owned land and threaten their land-owning neighbors if they dare to complain. (See Montana)

        What Americans need to understand is that corporations and ranchers who PROFIT from using our public lands are not paying their freight yet exercising outsized influence.

        These lands belong to ALL of us Americans, with appropriate apologies to native Americans. They did long before johnny-come-lately state lines were drawn around them as their residents ASKED to become STATES in this nation and citizens of the US. And btw, a new line drawn on a map did not convey ownership of all lands within to the new state! Duh.

        Our rights--the OWNERS of these lands--to decide HOW we want them managed and WHAT VALUES we want them to serve have been trampled. The public needs to wise up and support federal employees when they finally make some effort to enforce OUR land rights! For far too long federal agencies have kowtowed to these crybaby welfare queens.

        Okay, the Government says you MUST abort your child. NOW do you get it?

        by Catskill Julie on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:07:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People will have to quit eating meat (0+ / 0-)

          if you really want the cattle grazing on public lands to be stopped.

          •  No, they will just have to pay a higher monetary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            cost.  Paying a higher health cost (at least in so-called first world countries this has been a result of a "better" diet) and higher environmental costs (habitat destruction of native species like the desert tortoise) are already accepted.  Now it's time for the free market price of beef to kick in and go up as a possible consequence.

            •  There is not enough private land (0+ / 0-)

              to support all the cattle we presently have grazing. You would have to have CAFOs to feed them.

              Of course, an end to grazing would probably mean opening up a lot of public land to mining and drilling interests instead.

          •  Wise choice for so many reasons. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Won't happen, obviously.

            Tar sands, fracking and deep water drilling are expensive. Crude oil price exceeded $100/bbl in 2008 where it still hovers. NH₃ based fertilizer feeds an estimated ⅓ of the world with the Haber-Bosch process using natural gas as a feedstock.

            by FrY10cK on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 04:57:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Cattle are people too my friend. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brooklynbadboy, NancyWH, kenwards
  •  Politico articles have only one purpose (7+ / 0-)

    And that purpose is to drive traffic to politico. And the niche they've carved out for themselves is one where nothing is "true" and everything is someone's opinion.

    They are the TMZ of political news sites.

  •  It reminds me of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bryce in Seattle, milkbone

    a small problem here in Upstate NY.  We own land, and pay mortgage and taxes on it.  Neighbors own small plots w/ a modular [fancy name for trailer], or set one up in their parents' back yard.  As they do not have the costs of property we have, they buy expensive OTR vehicles, snowmobiles, and such.  Then they want to run them on our land, gratis, and do not care about cleaning up after themselves!  Our land is now posted, but it goes back so far up the hill behind our home, there's no catching the trespassers.      

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 08:39:23 AM PDT

  •  As expected (0+ / 0-)

    There is no integrity in journalism. I should say that those that emit the most blather are NOT journalists at all. They do not possess the qualifications to be called a journalist. They lack the education and the unbiased viewpoint a real journalist brings to the table. It wouldn't matter anyway. Americans are lazy and stupid. They would rather be fed a diet of bullshit than have to take the time to actually do any research. One would be better advised to listen to the BBC, or Aljezerra. Americans' would rather live in la la land. And that's just the way Republiclowns and their keepers want it.

  •  My mothers basement (0+ / 0-)

    with a bag of Cheetos. The toolset of the modern American journalist. Thanks for that hilarious image BBB.
    Unfortunately our journalists aren't funny. Enemies of modern democracy.

    Blue is blue and must be that but yellow is none the worse for it - Carlisle Wheeling

    by kenwards on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:07:10 AM PDT

  •  Well It is Politico aka Tiger Beat on the Potomac (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For Pete's sake

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:10:43 AM PDT

  •  Sorry to say but (0+ / 0-)

    The job of a reporter has never been to publish 'the truth' it's been to publish what sells.

    by DAISHI on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 09:25:17 AM PDT

  •  my office mate told me today that harry reid is (0+ / 0-)

    behind the whole deal because he and his buddies want that land!

    since i've successfully never talked about politics with my rightwing mormon office mate, i said nothing :)

  •  Bundy's Rent (0+ / 0-)

    The BLM should hire the state of Nevada to collect the rent. Since Bundy claims the only  authority he accepts is the State. I would bet that he will refuse to pay them as well. If the conservatives were real conservatives they would demand Bundy's arrest for fraud, theft, contempt of court. And they would seize all his assets and put him in Jail.
    The Governor of Arizona would not let him get away with this.
    The Police from Albuquerque New Mexico would have shot them all dead.
    The Governor of Texas would not let him get away with this. Bundy is stealing from every citizen of Nev and the Unites States of America.
    In the old west they would hang him from the nearest tree. Instead the wingnuts and Fox want him elected King.    

  •  Maybe we should (0+ / 0-)

    just start calling it "Potlikker Co.?"  That's about the kind of news we get from them . . .

  •  Hey! Can I come over and hang out (0+ / 0-)

    at your Mom's basement?  I like to be any place where's there's Cheetos at the ready!  :D

    God, she sounds like a piece of work.  And I thought I was lazy.  I ain't got nothin' on this chick!  DAMN!!

    My Dad was killed in Vietnam when I was 5. Don't talk to me about "Duty to my Country". I have NO duty to my Country, they took my Dad.

    by GirlSwimmingInASeaOfRed on Wed Apr 16, 2014 at 10:20:47 AM PDT

  •  i don't even think the rancher is a (0+ / 0-)

    millitia person

    all he needs is wader boots. he really looks like he is duck hunting. Not that he might be really dangerous. Its hard to tell.

    at least he isnt making his wife stand in front of him

    stuck in nazi land

    by Krush on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 06:54:16 PM PDT

  •  As a counterpoint (0+ / 0-)

    I've made the argument before that the press has always been about sells more than truth, dating back to the Spanish American War. Hell you could probably go back tot he American Revolution and see people that were making things up just to get more people to read their broadsides.

    In that sense, considering we've just linked to her piece, are discussing it and giving Politico web clicks, we've basically participated in the oldest tradition of journalism. Getting people to care enough to pay attention to what you wrote, even if they hate it.

    by DAISHI on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:03:46 PM PDT

  •  Ok, there's JOURNALISM in AMERICA? (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think so.

     And I don't believe the real journalists of decades past, including my father, would agree.

    Over-paid, partisan Talking Heads arose from the ashes of journalism.

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:11:13 PM PDT

  •  Who would quote Glenn Beck? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Her editors should have taken her out for a lashing just for doing that.  Beck is not exactly the font of facts.  And he's incredibly biased.  It's called lazy writing, a clip job -- not even journalism.  They could have at least come up with some angle that had not been pursued -- interview other ranchers in Nevada or other states where cattle is on federal land; interview someone in Nevada state government who has actually read the Nevada constitution so they can point out it acknowledges federal authority; talk to Bundy's neighbors; talk to Nevada legislators about how they justify support for Bundy in the law - what law they can point to.  I could go on.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:14:27 PM PDT

  •  I would fund those Cheetos for you, Triple-B (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

    by mumtaznepal on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:19:33 PM PDT

  •  Good job triple B (0+ / 0-)

    being a "real" reporter for a short bit!  It is sad when bloggers must report on reporters crappy work!

  •  What a malignant messenge to send (0+ / 0-)

    all of the ranchers who pay, and have paid, their grazing fees for their entire professional lives.

    Lazily report the blatantly easy to debunk mythology of the criminal who is doing wrong and is clearly doing wrong over the reality of what just happened, for that is how you get Matt Drudge/Ailes kudos.

    What is counterfeit currency worth?


    Currying favors with the Rove/Atwater Right and thinking you are building up an account you can draw on is like thinking saving plastic sculptures of food is preparing for a time of famine. It's not real.

    Even the biggest Villlage bootlick can go from good dog to America hating Socialist Secular Humanist Jihadi apologist with one instance of failing to be a good lickspittle.

    The most maddening thing about the useful idiot brigades in our Village media is that you get no cache or built up reserve of good will for doing this shit. None. It's a bad faith driven movement. It doesn't act in good faith. Ever.

    The second a Dylan Byers or Luke Russert or Ron Fournier writes something negative, or refuses to report the bullshit memes and frames, they are slagged as quickly as somebody who has been doing his or her job the entire time.

    I could understand why they do what they do if we lived in a world where doing what they do for the Right actually paid dividends that were real.  I would still despise them, but the grift part of it would explain why they do it. Because it pays. For the same reason I understand why people in positions of power take bribes even if I loathe them for the malignant role the play.

    They get no reward for this shit. It's all a mirage.

    If you are not a wingnut, you are nothing to them.

    Just a parasite, useful idiot, or enemy. Or all three.

    I have a morbid fascination with just how bad the Right would have to act before the idiots in our media finally get that they are useful idiots permanently. Stooges. Hated and held in contempt every step of the way. That is their lot in life with the Right.

    “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” — Auric Goldfinger

    by LeftHandedMan on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:01:48 PM PDT

  •  So, the feds should disarm, but citizen "patriots" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Kong

    should have concealed carry and stand your ground laws so that they can carry guns all the time and shoot anyone who they think is "threat."

    Hey, Rethuglicans, I thought you said "an armed society is a polite society."

    Why should the police be disarmed and random citizens allowed to carry private arsenals?

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:03:50 PM PDT

  •  Hilarious (0+ / 0-)

    The diary directly beneath this praises Politico. Evidently the value and validity of Politico is directly related how much they agree with one's current political views at any given second.

  •  Politico... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Kong

    Now with less facts that Glenn Beck or Red State!

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 08:34:23 PM PDT

  •  American 'journalism' passed away (0+ / 0-)

    quietly on September 12, 2001.

    There was no obituary, no graveside ceremony and the burial site remains unmarked.

  •  At least annually I remind kos readers: Politico (0+ / 0-)

    was established by and underwritten by a neocon.  Why would its staff provide any kind of balanced reporting?  I'm always surprised that POLITICO is considered responsible reporting.  I don't consider it as such.

  •  This Isn't Your Grandpa's "Fringe" Group Anymore (0+ / 0-)

    Take a look at reality TV (Duck Dynasty, the end of the world hoarders/nutjobs), the bumper stickers on the road ("NOpe" "NObama" "Don't Tread On Me" "NRA", etc)- watch NASCAR, visit Tea Party and Libertarian rallies, and you will quickly realize that what used to be a fringe group is now more mainstream.  Hell, you have Congressmen and Senators stoking the fire.  The Birthers, the Black Helicopter crowd, the Anti-United Nations factions, the Birchers- all are here, and my friends, they are growing in number.  I bet all or most of them are NRA members as well.  This is the real threat to America, not AlQaeda.

    "The more firearms a man owns, the smaller his member"-- Abraham Lincoln

    by truthronin on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:38:16 AM PDT

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