January 3, 2010

"[T]he Republicans, who predictably seized on the plot for political advantage by absurdly accusing Mr. Obama of being weak on national security."

I'm just noticing this NYT editorial from New Year's Day. It's not bad generally, but I just don't get the "absurdly." What's absurd about accusing Obama of being weak on national security?

I used to subscribe to the NYT and read it for at least an hour a day, paging through the whole thing. Now, I'm spending more and more time looking for opinion about American politics in the British papers. For example, the UK Telegraph has "Barack Obama is vulnerable on terror – and he knows it."

So, weakness on national security: too absurd to mention or something Obama knows all too well?

Now, that seems like a striking contradiction, but it can be said that the NYT and the UK Telegraph are talking about 2 different things that can both be true: 1. President Obama is actually very strong on national security, and 2. President Obama can be attacked on the issue of national security. 2 newspapers are taking 2 angles on Obama's problems with national security. The Telegraph is illustrating Obama's awareness of how he is being attacked as shown by the defensive remarks he has made. The NYT would like readers to jump to the opinion that only the bad people are questioning Obama on this issue.

147 comments:

Jason (the commenter) said...

The British papers do seems to be covering America better than American papers do. Maybe it's because they only pick stories that would interest foreigners (no fluff pieces) or they don't have to worry about offending anyone. None of their readers voted for Obama, plus Obama-bashing fits into the mold of America-bashing over there, so left-wing types wont be offended by it.

edutcher said...

I think the Limey papers are reflecting the realization that a weak US is very dangerous for Europe - they might actually have to cut some social programs to provide for their own defense.

That, and the fact that Gordon Brown and New Labor will be singing, "Shut up and deal", in the same bar as the Demos in Congress by this time next year.

WV "zoottome" A book about radical men's fashion during the 40s.

rhhardin said...

Obama isn't so much weak as idiotic on foreign policy and everthing else.

TheCrankyProfessor said...

I don't particularly mind the NYT thinking of me as a bad person.

Florida said...

"The British papers do seems to be covering America better than American papers do."

That's because they don't have Barack Obama's cock in their mouths.

Look, Barack Obama is a weak president. That's plain for all to see.

He's inexperienced. Our enemies find him easy to out-maneuver. He's constantly bowing to every tinhorn he can find.

He doesn't really find anything special about his own coutnry. He's kind of lazy. Frankly, he'd rather be playing golf than playing President.

And he's half black. So, he NY Times feels like it has to prop him up. A black president, they believe, can't succeed without the NY Times propping him up.

So the result is that you see ridiculous editorial commentary like this "absurd" line. I mean, after all, it's Barack Obama's policy not to revoke the visas of suspected terrorists on the TIDE watch list. It's Barack Obama's policy to allow people on the TIDE watch list of suspected terrorists to fly on us airlines.

So, yea, he's weak on terror.

Liberals know this and feel like they need to make that sort of observation seem "absurd." Thus, this pusillanimous editorial.

It's the soft bigotry of liberal expectations they reserve for black people.

Elise asd2mom.spaces.live.com said...

I canceled my subscription to the NYT after their hatchet job on John McCain showed them to have become a shill for the Obama campaign. Why are you surprised that they are the last vestiges of those who drank the koolaid? They are too invested in their mistake and hatred of anything republican. I too read the foreign press more than the American one. There you get an idea of how the world really feels about the US. It is one of embarrassment and an incredulaty that even though surrounded by longtime politicos Obama could be such a dismal failure.

wwwww said...

obama's justice department lawyers represented the yemeni jihadists in their private practice.Do they represent their clients or the american people.they are sending the terrorist home to yemeni while we close our embassy.The nyt is absurd.

Opus One Media said...

What is this? Red meat Weekend?

And always it is the bottom feeding lot on this blog, the Floriduhhh pottymouth for instance, that rises to the bait.

Can you idiots point specifically to something that is a direct cause and effect between Obama and the bomb-in-the-pants guy? Something that Obama started or did that caused this?

Not just conjecture. Not just slogans and Rush (il)logic but something concret....something that doesn't start with "if" or is three persons removed as in "if Obama were stronger on terrorism then this guy's dad would have searched his undies before he he left the house type of thing".

Opus One Media said...

wwwww said...
obama's justice department lawyers ...they are sending the terrorist home to yemeni while we close our embassy."

You idiot. this is just what I mean. It was Bush who freed the guys who wound up in Yemen.

traditionalguy said...

Obama's foreign policy has become a rerun of a sick joke that since crime has been down we can now fire the police force and spend that money on political earmarks all over the world. That's a dangerous illusion. The criminals around the world are hiring and re-arming as fast as they can to get the chaos and confusion they thrive in restarted all over the globe while Obama only pretends he cares. The system is working according to Obama and his marxist brothers. As long as the NYT and the networks continue to parrott Obama's illusion of strength by rapid withdrawal, then only the English and the Australian foreign policy analysts are objective. The saddest part is that the USA has had to lose a war to cause our rapid demise...we have only had to elect an enemy fifth columnist government just like the Venezuelans who elected a mythical hero named Hugo Chavez.

MrBuddwing said...

It was Bush who freed the guys who wound up in Yemen.

President Bush didn't crack down hard enough on terrorists? And President Obama will???

I hope I don't come across as one of those predictable right-wingers who scoff at news articles about Republicans making political hay out of the failed jetliner bombing. But when was the last time Democrats were accused of making political hay out of a crisis? (Unless, of course, Democrats simply don't do that. Do they?)

Roger J. said...

I see the CIA has already started their hatchet job on the President--just as they did with Mr. Bush

The quicker the CIA is abolished the safer this country will be--Mr Obama had the audacity to say the CIA failed--and they did most spectacularly--the daily bried the president got just before xmas was at the same level of generality Mr
Bush got before 9-11--absolutely NO actionable intelligence.

If Mr Obama can be faulted, it is only because he failed to understand the CIA are a bunch of snakes and they care only about their survivability.

Florida said...

"Can you idiots point specifically to something that is a direct cause and effect between Obama and the bomb-in-the-pants guy?"

Yes.

The British revoked his visa, preventing him flying on British Airways or visiting England.

The Obama Administration chose not to do that. By policy, the Obama Administration does not restrict suspected terrorists from flying on US Airlines.

By policy, the Obama Administration chose not to revoke a suspected terrorists visa to visit the United States.

Democrats are weak on terror. They don't think suspected terrorists should be prevented from flying on US airlines unless they're proven guilty (where, how? who knows?) to be terrorists.

That's a stupid policy decision that led directly to this person being allowed on a US airline and into the United States.

And it's a policy they still have not changed.

Today ... right now ... some suspected terrorists have visas to visit the United States. Those visas are valid, and they haven't been revoked.

Florida said...

"I see the CIA has already started their hatchet job on the President--just as they did with Mr. Bush."

That's exactly right dude. And from my seat, they look like they're the strong horse.

And there 'aint much Obama can do about it. So, maybe he better back off. You don't threaten to prosecute CIA agents for doing their job and have them lay down for that shit.

Obama may know about the Chicago Way from watching a movie ... but he ain't no mobster. He's a metro-sexual momma's boy.

The CIA plays for keeps, buddy. And they're kicking your boy's ass.

And as for snakes, here's what your president had to say about CIA agents yesterday:

Barack Obama: "The United States would not be able to maintain the freedom and security that we cherish without decades of service from the dedicated men and women of the CIA. You have helped us understand the world as it is, and taken great risks to protect our country. You have served in the shadows, and your sacrifices have sometimes been unknown to your fellow citizens, your friends, and even your families.

Change. The tunes, they are a 'changin.

RobertL said...

Now that David Brooks is an apologist for the Obama administration, maybe it's time to dump the Times? I read it incredulously.....

Roger J. said...

Florida (a miami native here)--
I assure you the Mr Obama is most definitely not my choice for president. And his performance in office to date has continued to affirm my choice in not voting for him. For the record.

Opus One Media said...

Florida...who keeps putting the "duhhh" back in Floriduhhh said:
"And it's a policy they still have not changed.

Today ... right now ... some suspected terrorists have visas to visit the United States. Those visas are valid, and they haven't been revoked."

Given an opening, Florida will put his head on the chopping block every time.

There are laws that govern no fly lists buddy boy. It isn't "policy" but laws enacted under the Bush administration. Here is an example of a report put out by DHS in 2006:

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/privacy/privacy_rpt_nofly.pdf

You are an idiot.

Florida said...

There are laws that govern no fly lists buddy boy.

No, there aren't - and you can't point to one.

President Obama has it within his authority, through his Secretary of State, to revoke any visa issued by the State Department of the United States.

By policy, however, the Obama Adminstration does not automatically revoke the visa of persons placed on the TIDE watch list of suspected terrorists. If they did, this terrorist would not have been allowed to fly on US airliners.

That's just epic-ly stupid policy.

You asked for a direct cause-and-effect. And then I gave you one. And now you're arguing that the President is powerless to ask Congress to pass laws or that he's powerless to issue Executive Orders or have his Secretary of State revoke a visa.

You clearly are unversed in security issues.

AllenS said...

The CIA and the State Department have a majority of people working for them that are politically, Liberal. Just because they went after Bush, doesn't mean they'll go after Obama. The ones that try, will be run out of the organization. Liberals now comprise the majority of government workers.

WV: paywar

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"According to a MORI survey conducted in 2005, 64% of Telegraph readers intended to support the Conservative Party in the coming elections."

So, if you can't get your conservative talking points reinforced in the NYT, it looks like you can get the script confirmed in those select foreign publications privy to advance publication of what's hot off the FOX Noise machine's presses. Brilliant solution!

Opus One Media said...

Florida said...
"You asked for a direct cause-and-effect. And then I gave you one."


Ahhh no you didn't. You made a reference to Obama and Visas and you made an inferrence that there were scads of terrorists walking around with US Visas but you have no course for that other than it is probably true but unknowable..

Part right isn't all right. Your "arguments" are strawdogs at best. Is this the best cheese you got?

AllenS said...

What does strawdog mean?

Pogo said...

" The system is working according to Obama and his marxist brothers."

Obama is either Zeppo, or, given his Chicago connections, he's Harpo.

Either way, this nation is now in a remake of the movie Duck Soup:

Mrs. Teasdale: The future of Freedonia rests on you. Promise me you'll follow in the footsteps of my husband.

Firefly: How do you like that? I haven't been on the job five minutes, and already she's making advances to me...Not that I care, but where is your husband?

Mrs. Teasdale: Why...He's dead.

Firefly: I'll bet he's just using that as an excuse.

Mrs. Teasdale: I was with him till the very end.

Firefly: Hmm! No wonder he passed away.

Mrs. Teasdale: I held him in my arms...And kissed him.

Firefly: Oh, I see, then it was murder! Will you marry me? Did he leave you any money? Answer the second question first.

Mrs. Teasdale: He left me his entire fortune!

Firefly: Is that so? Can't you see what I'm telling you? I love you.

Mrs. Teasdale: Oh, Your Excellency.

Firefly: You're not so bad yourself.

Jason (the commenter) said...

rhhardin: Obama isn't so much weak as idiotic on foreign policy and everthing else.

He knew how to get elected President that one time, he has that! You are right though, and it's almost shocking how bad he is at things sometimes. We might be better off if he just took random responses. And to think we were promised brilliance, instead we got someone who never rose above the ability to "string words together into coherent sentences" as his supporters used to like pointing out. Little did they know it was all he could do!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Since British periodicals have more traditionally maintained outright political affiliations, I find it interesting that on the wiki page it has listed, in the box at the right, this:

"Political alignment Right of Centre Conservative"

BTW, in case you didn't know it, Britain's got a third party that's pretty strong by American standards, so the 64% support is even more skewed. It's nearly twice the support the Conservatives could get in general polls through 2007, and behind Labour in most cases.

Do you ever look into the things you post? This blog is as close to a source of fiction as are most comic books. Even political cartoons are more accurate.

AllenS said...

Do you ever look into the things you comment on?

Pogo said...

Attacking the messenger is pretty weak, Ritmo.

downtownlad said...

You rely more and more on British papers? I call Bullshit.

You rely more and more on right-wing British newspapers, the equivalent of Fox "News", i.e. ones with a partisan agenda.

That includes The Telegraph and the Times, and I assume the piece of crap trash known as The Daily Mail.

Have you ever read the Independent, the centrist newspaper in Britian? I doubt it. And there's no way you would even go near the Guardian, which is left-wing.

That's nice that you put blinders on and refuse to let yourself see opposing viewpoints. But it really makes you come across as intellectually shallow, if your opinions are so fragile, that you can't even consider an opposing viewpoint.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Yeah. I looked into a post that sought to portray Obama as "weak" on national security and it did so by seeking refuge in publications that have a clear, political agenda. The specific issue couldn't be less relevant.

"only the bad people are questioning Obama on this issue..." As in, the opposition. I find this inability to differentiate between the axes that parties and politicians have to grind and the mood of the general electorate to be a huge flaw and certainly one worth commenting on.

Pogo said...

Attacking the messenger is pretty weak, dtl.

C'mon, guys, up your game!

Pogo said...

" the mood of the general electorate"

Because clearly the general electorate is just thrilled Obama permits Yemen radicals to fly on US visas.

I mean, surely that must be the mood of the general electorate, right?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

If the messenger has an axe to grind, then it's not weak to call that out. Conflict of interest and all.

If the recipient wants to rely on information that is not only biased, but somewhat propagandistic, that's fine. But I think that should be pointed out. If nobody cares, then nobody (here) cares. But I think that says something. Either you care to take Obama down through legitimate, democratic means, or want to just believe you can do so by posting talking points as if they were reflective of thinking "outside the great media conspiracy", when they are anything but.

I can't tell people what to believe, and neither can The Daily Telegraph. Unless, well... you get the point.

Roger J. said...

I do take RB's point: all messengers have an axe to grind--And your axe RB is precisely what?

AllenS said...

No, I don't get the point.

Pogo said...

"Either you care to take Obama down through legitimate, democratic means..."

Oh, you mean like using the freedom of the press?

Then what's your beef?

EDH said...

Opus One Media,

Before the Christmas incident, exactly who was downplaying the number of former Gitmo detainees who had returned to battle, and accused the media of allowing those numbers to be used to oppose Obama's executive order to close Gitmo in a year?

In fact, the figure, which comes from the Pentagon, includes 43 former prisoners who are suspected of, but have not been confirmed as, having "return[ed] to the fight."

Anybody know whether the Botch Crotch Bomber's two Yemeni handlers were among Media Matters' "suspected" 43 or the presumably confirmed 18?

It was Bush who freed the guys who wound up in Yemen.

At most I think you can say that Bush set up the military review process that, contrary to his critics' protestations, did review each detainee's cases and did recommend release according to a threat hierarchy.

Assuming that those releases started with the lowest threat detainees, what does it say about the plan to send six more back to Yemen days before Christmas 2009.

Unless you make the argument that the military review panels were grossly incompetent and started recommending for release detainees with the highest threat profile, then one would have to assume that the latest six detainees would have even higher risk profiles, wouldn't you?

So, both administrations were willing to take risks to release detainees, but logic would say Obama was willing to take greater risks in furtherance of to a politically self-imposed imperative to close Gitmo, not simply in an effort to properly adjudicate each detainee's case.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Not all messengers have an axe to grind. But those which declare outright a political affiliation are considered as such.

Myself, I have never registered with a political party - except once in 2000 in order to vote in a primary election (it was required). I am currently not favorably disposed to the GOP, and support Obama as the first politician in my lifetime who doesn't seem willing to insult my intelligence and is interested in being as forthcoming with factual observations/information and willing to confront criticism as possible. So, I support Obama. But the fact that I am interested in engaging criticism of him says something about me that I think can't be said about his critics and the people they support.

Take that for what you will.

ricpic said...

Why those Republicans are nothing but but... WRECKERS!

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, you mean like using the freedom of the press?

Then what's your beef?


Britain is, for all intents and purposes, a liberal democracy and their laws regarding political speech would probably be pretty familiar to most Americans. The history of their media and how it intersects with their politics, however, is different. The Telegraph is free to make any criticism of Obama, or of any non-right politician here or in Britain that it wants. But if American commentators are willing to confuse that criticism and jump to political conclusions with it (Obama "weak" is an inherently political conclusion), then I think they are allowing themselves to be duped. That's all. Either that, or they would like to mislead (or don't care whether they're misleading) their readers.

All this is free to do. It just might not be a good idea. I leave it up to the reader. It's ultimately their decision.

Pogo said...

"Myself, I have never registered with a political party"

The CPUSA usually advises against registering as such.


...I am currently not favorably disposed to the GOP"

I am shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you.

Roger J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger J. said...

RB--I am certainly glad you have no political axes to grind; thus, I can take your comments as those representing a truly informed and exemplary citizenry. We are indeed fortunate to have your contributions on this blog.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

"The CPUSA usually advises against registering as such."

And how have your fellow members of the John Birch Society been advising you regarding registration, lately?

Come on, stop being silly. We can both play that game.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Thanks Roger. I actually have grown up with good influences from both political traditions and would like to think that I don't have any inherent ill-will toward either (although there are tendencies within either stream that can be excessive, damaging and should be checked). So any politician who has been immersed in a background that requires taking honest, well-informed critics seriously is one who will resonate with me.

Pogo said...

John Birch. For shame, Ritmo; I'm a Buckley fan (he delegitmized the Birchers).

If you're not CPUSA, then a fellow traveler.

I recommend reading First Thing's Pete Seeger is a Communist for a refresher course.

Jason (the commenter) said...

downtownlad: That's nice that you put blinders on and refuse to let yourself see opposing viewpoints.

Dude, she's also reading the New York Times.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

A commenter yesterday lamented the loss of educational curricula focused on history and geography. My response was probably somewhat different than what I'll say here, because I do happen to believe that instruction in the classical (Greek, Roman) understanding of citizenship is helpful to any participant in American democracy. Studying the period of the late Roman republic also greatly helps put some of these right-left squabbles into much greater perspective. As far as being informed, the founders had it right. That's the sort of education that makes the greatest impact.

Pogo said...

" I actually have grown up with good influences from both political traditions"

Yes, socialist and liberal.


Oh, we got both kinds of music. We got country and western.

former law student said...

The absurdity lies in a combination of two facts: the crotch bomber's attempt was identical to the shoe bomber's attempt of Christmas 2001, when no Republican accused Mr. GW Bush of being weak on national security.

As I've said before, Republicans are much better at fixing blame (when they're out of office) than fixing problems when they're in charge.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

You seem to be obsessed with communism/communists, Pogo. Myself, I don't get it. I don't understand why you're so exercised by defining people in a way that has nothing to do with anything they said. Moreover, it's a weak debate tactic - ad hominem, I doubt it's a coincidence that you jumped to this line of attack (even if in jest) when completely pantsed about accusations that I was being disingenuous or just interested in shooting messengers or whatever.

You'd do well to study some history, you know. Avail yourself of some greater perspective. The big scary "left" didn't just start in the 20th century, you know. The Bolsheviks didn't predate the French Revolution, or the party of Andrew Jackson. I mean, it might be convenient to you to demonize on a partisan basis any political stream that Buckley didn't like, or that is inconvenient to anti-Obama rhetoric. But at some point you're just fighting a war with history, with the complexities of its currents and the political conversation that needs to maintained in order for governments to not plunge the people into mad, bloody anarchy and tyrannical oppression, revolution and counter-revolution.

Or, you can just happily bask in your fantasy and pretend that anyone who challenges your thinking on any matter, no matter how remotely, vaguely political, is a potential, mortal enemy poised to plunge everything you stand for into an infinite abyss at a moment's notice.

I can't imagine living that way. Do you find something comforting or valuable in it that I don't?

AllenS said...

So, if you can't get your conservative talking points reinforced in the NYT, it looks like you can get the script confirmed in those select foreign publications privy to advance publication of what's hot off the FOX Noise machine's presses.

I can't imagine living that way.

WV:ingat

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

A far more accurate headline:

"The NYT predictably seized on legitimate criticism of national security policies by absurdly accusing Republicans of being mean to Mr. Obama."

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

There's a difference between having a subtle, partisan preference and making politics and outright political machinations a living obsession, Allen S.

Also, FOX is a relatively new operation, in the grand scheme of things. For them to have used false footage from months earlier in order to manipulate their reporting on the Tea Parties makes them incredibly suspect.

I have nothing against an outright conservative media operation. Never have. But if you think FOX's journalistic quality or reputation approaches that of the Times over the short period of their existence - no matter how many scandals the Times has had, they have the benefit of a much longer and better legacy - then you're simply not being realistic.

AllenS said...

Bullshit.

Fen said...

But if you think FOX's journalistic quality or reputation approaches that of the Times over the short period of their existence - no matter how many scandals the Times has had, they have the benefit of a much longer and better legacy - then you're simply not being realistic.

*snicker*

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

LOL!

I have no further questions, your honor.

hahahhahaaaa..

(Seriously. That's a really funny response.)

Fen said...

WHy do I get the sense that Ritmo only reads the NYTs to balance out the leftism of CNN. Ha.

Pogo said...

"I have nothing against an outright conservative media operation"

Oh, bullshit. You bitched about both FOX and the Telegraph.


"You seem to be obsessed with communism/communists, Pogo. Myself, I don't get it."
Exactly; you don't. Me, I am leery of our country adopting socialism, whose tenets were directly responsible for killing 200 million people in the 20th century.

I'm not obsessed with communists, I am horrified by them, and their fellow travelers.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Then show me where NYT reported on something from months earlier as if it were happening in real time, in order to gain political advantage, FEN. Show me where they whipped up a crowd of protesters and presented it as a spontaneous gathering. Show me where they did this at any point in their > 150-year history, as opposed to the neophyte FOX operation doing it at the beginning of the first period of time in which their favored candidates fell out of favor.

I find a lot of the Times' pages to be annoying too. But I can recognize a less willingly, unapologetically fraudulent operation when I see it. At the least, the Times is much more diverse in what it reports on, has interesting sections that go beyond the news of the day. If FOX wants to be taken seriously in that regard, though, it will have to mature a bit. In the meantime, there have been too many damn instances where are not taking themselves seriously. At a point way too soon in their existence as an organization.

FOX has not proven that it wants to be taken seriously, that it even cares to be taken seriously. There's no demonstrable evidence to say that they care.

ricpic said...

Yeah, the Times gave us Walter Duranty; Fox will have to go a long way to find a liar in his league.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh, bullshit. You bitched about both FOX and the Telegraph.

How does that mean I have something against either of them for political affiliation? I bitched about taking the Telegraph's political reporting as serious, unbiased reflection of non-conservative politics. I didn't denigrate its quality as a journalistic enterprise. I wouldn't have much basis or knowledge to do so and I didn't do that. And you know it.

FOX I bitched about, and gave concrete examples and reasoning for why. You are confusing things to lump in what I can say about FOX with what I supposedly feel about any right-wing media organization.

Finn Kristiansen said...

The problem here is that there are a lot of comments about Obama's incompetence on terrorism, without actual detail that would show that he is any more (or less) competent than previous administrations.

After all let's begin with the remembrance that 911 was the result of lax policies (and actions) to begin with from Clinton and Bush, and until Obama matches that body count, there are some (Cheney) who should be a bit more reflective.

(In some ways it's like the person who cheats on his wife, gets religion, and preaches hardcore to others about the dangers of cheating, while at the same time accusing them of cheating, evidence unseen).

It was the Bush administration that felt the brunt of 911. It was the Bush administration that had our first major plane bombing attempt (shoe bomber). It was the Bush administration that had Bin Laden pinned down, only to see Tommy Franks provide an ass backward ground strategy, and hampered by lack of troops.

Meanwhile, it is Obama who followed through on his belief that Afghanistan was the primary source of our grief. He upped the troops. It is Obama who took military and covert action in Yemen before and after this current bombing attempt. It is Obama who has continued the Bush policy of using drones in Pakistan.

So how is he weak when he is in effect replicating previous administration policy of taking the fight to the enemy? And again, he has yet to compile a civilian body count comparable to the previous administration who were caught unawares, then got religion.

This reminds me of the general delusion of some of the commentators here during 2008, who were so utterly confident that McCain would win the election, ignoring certain facts on the ground that should at least lead to nuance of opinion.

If you are going to critique Obama, or anyone, then go beyond the name calling or snide remarks and really lay out, factually, what makes him worse, or different from the previous administration.

Nobody, Bush, or Obama, is perfect and we end up learning nothing when we get slander or untruths dressed up as analysis.

Theo Boehm said...
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Theo Boehm said...
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shana said...

RB, FOX News has never had to fire anyone for out-and-out making up a story. The New York Times has, though. And so has CBS News. Maybe they should have taken their responsibilities more seriously.

You shouldn't indict an entire network based on two mistakes. By that standard, no network or newspaper "wants to be taken seriously."

Oh, and by the way, you're just wrong about FOX never having to deal with its favored candidates "falling out of favor." It began airing in 1996, when Bill Clinton was POTUS. Last I checked, he's a Democrat.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Theo's right. Wall Street Journal is as close an example as you'll come to in the American (print) media which can opine intelligently on a matter without letting its politics completely blind the reader to any objective coverage or analysis.

Perhaps televised media such as FOX has a harder row to hoe, given the ease with which visuals and moving images give themselves to sensationalism. We spoke about this on the other thread last night, as well.

Just look at Middle East media, the way they had no qualms about showing graphic pictures of American casualties.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It began airing in 1996, when Bill Clinton was POTUS. Last I checked, he's a Democrat.

Exactly right. It didn't bother them when an unfavored candidate's party fell out of favor and lost the White House to George W. Bush. So, wrong analogy.

Once FOX news has been around for as long as CBS or NYT have been, then I'll accept that a scandal as big as the false Tea Party coverage is just an aberration and not indicative of an overwhelming political drive on the part of its leadership.

AllenS said...

Also, le Monde smudges your fingers. I don't know where they get that ink.

They probably don't have dryers on their web offset presses.

Fen said...

Then show me where NYT reported on something from months earlier as if it were happening in real time, in order to gain political advantage, FEN

I'd prefer you tell me what you learned about the ACORN and CRU scandals from the NYTs.

find a lot of the Times' pages to be annoying too. But I can recognize a less willingly, unapologetically fraudulent operation when I see it.

Bullshit. The NYTs is a propaganda machine. Dowd exemplifies the paper's model - distortions, whitewashing, mimimizing, out of context. Its the Pravda of America.

Yet you claim you know fraud when you see it... Damn man, you've been swimming in it. But you're too "sophisticated" to realize you've been conned.

shana said...
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shana said...

Once FOX news has been around for as long as CBS or NYT have been, then I'll accept that a scandal as big as the false Tea Party coverage is just an aberration and not indicative of an overwhelming political drive on the part of its leadership.

How old does a news organization have to be to not be subject to a "overwhelming political drive"? What's the bright line? How many years does a news organization have to exist for to get a free pass for lying in your book? Does CNN count? Just curious.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh Dear Lord, Fen. You take Maureen Dowd as an example of NYT's efforts at serious journalism? Well, the next time she's on the front pages reporting on a two-month old Tea Party as if it were happening on the day of publication (because, you know, it was a much more festive and rowdy tea party), then I'll take seriously your efforts to denigrate the NYT as being on a level of quality that approaches what I can say about FOX.

And BTW, do you not realize the level of deflection? Why are you not defending FOX? I thought that was the whole point. If you are just picking examples of what the NYT and saying "they do it too", you are actually NOT defending FOX. Either you decide on a working definition of what makes for credible journalism (in your own mind), or you are just playing another tit-for-tat, political game. Reality doesn't matter to you so much as does a fair political competition with the times. Journalism for its own sake doesn't even matter to you!!!

What is wrong with the right wing that makes it define itself according to what its enemies do? Doesn't it have any remnant of that whole internal, "moral" compass they keep extolling? Where's their sense of character and integrity? "I'm better than you are" is a pretty unimpressive attempt at a cri du coeur for how one defines his own integrity.

This is why you're not trusted with governing the nation.

shana said...

No, Ritmo, we're pointing out the utter absurdity of your standards for FOX. You've just said that since Fox News is just over a decade old, when they lie it's bad. When the NY Times lies, it's totally okay, because they're 152 years old!

Sorry, but you have to admit that's incredibly dumb.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Yeah, CNN counts. They actually innovated the 24-hour news cycle. So that counts for something. At least, that counts for something more than being innovative in merely a political sense.

If conservatives went to the moon I wouldn't consider that innovative either. Just because conservatives come up with their own cable news network, that does not make them credible or prove that they are somehow interested in anything other than politics.

Of course, CNN is not infallible, I don't watch it, and I'm sure it has committed many instances of falling up short as far as a journalistic enterprise goes. But at least I have reason to believe that they are motivated by something other than political considerations alone.

shana said...

So according to you, CNN can lie, make factual errors, screw up, and generally shirk their journalistic responsibilities, and you are absolutely fine with it and won't complain because they innovated the 24 hour news cycle.

Just so we're clear.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I didn't say it's ok for an organization to lie. I just said that a legacy of caring about something more than just politics and propaganda, and a legacy of very good reporting in many instances, makes me less willing to roast them over the coals and assume they have nothing valuable to offer as a news organization.

See the difference?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

So shana, are you saying that not caring for anything other than politics doesn't make a news organization more credible? That it can lie and make up stuff as long as it supports the conservative line, and that a mere interest in objective journalism or standards doesn't even matter? So long as it's conservative?

Just so we're clear.

shana said...

Here's what you said: Once FOX news has been around for as long as CBS or NYT have been, then I'll accept that a scandal as big as the false Tea Party coverage is just an aberration and not indicative of an overwhelming political drive on the part of its leadership.

Let me unpick your unnecessarily rococo verbiage. You're annoyed because you believe Fox falsified its Tea Party coverage (which actually probably comes down to one stupid producers). And when others have pointed out that by your own standards , other news organizations have done equally dodgy things, you've done a song and dance about political motivation and shirking journalistic responsibility and whatnot.

You're angry because you think that Fox falsified its television coverage of the Tea Parties. I get that. A lot of people are angry about that. And you think it's because it's a new network with a conservative perspective. I get that too.

But now that you think the errors and lies and general stupidity on the part of every other network ISN'T due to political motivation because why? They've been around longer? Clearly you don't know your journalistic history--political motivation and bias in the media is as American as apple pie and bourbon. Do the names Pulitzer or Hearst ring a bell with you? Your argument is ridiculous and false on its face.

By the way, I've worked at a number of media organizations. Some journalists actually do lie for political motivations. But most are human and just screw up.

shana said...

I'm saying that every news source should be held to the same standards for accuracy. If they aren't, they should be called on it. Nobody gets a pass.

Clearly you don't feel the same. That's cool. A lot of Obama supporters don't.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I think you meant to say "unpack".

I'm not angry, and I don't much care about FOX's scandals. I just think that if they want to appeal to me, a voter and citizen who isn't very much enamored with the right (especially now), they might want to come across as not only less propagandistic, but less enthusiastically propagandistic. Less willing to have to wait for fucking JOHN STEWART, the "anchorman" of a false, satirical newscast, to call them out on their bullshit. And yes, they are the new kids on the block. They should show that they have something to offer, something useful to report on, some journalistic breakthrough before a scandal overshadows that. The Times, whether you like it or not, are a journalistic institution. I have a sneaking suspicion that they have offered more of a service to American consumers of news over the course of their history than the disservice of whatever misdeeds you can catalog.

I am not sure of what FOX has done in its extremely short, 12-year history to overshadow its misdeeds in an era of a terrorism scare and government over-reach. What good has it done in the perception of a non right-wing voter to outweigh its propaganda and misdeeds? Once you point that out to me, then maybe I'll accept the possibility that it's only as political and just as much of a benefit to journalism as the NYT, no more no less.

But we are living in the age of the internet and I cancelled my worthless, overpriced cable subscription 2 & 1/2 years ago. So you're running out of time. Perhaps that's a theme FOX itself should ponder having fulfilled.

former law student said...

the ACORN and CRU scandals from the NYTs.

I'm kinda glad the NYT did not take the Young Republicans' Candid Camera prank seriously. (I am unfamiliar with CRU, by the way.)Just like I'm glad that, back in 2000, they didn't print the Rovian rumor that McCain had sired a pickaninny.

shana said...

I did mean unpick, actually, I was detangling necklaces today and reading your comments reminded me of that process.

Any example of service that Fox has performed for the news consumer would be discounted by you immediately, so pointing them out would be pretty pointless. I'm not going to get into that fight with you. But when even the TV critic at the NY Times can't write an obituary of Walter Cronkite without making seven errors, the service it provides for readers is dubious at best.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The problem with FOX - declining standards of NYT and every other mainstream provider of news (and information - which is more of what I use it for) notwithstanding - is that their prominence has been overshadowed by an "age" of terror, the theme of which has been played like a fiddle by the party and politicians they supported over the last eight years. They come across as a one-act show and don't have anything to diversify their obsession with the idea of America being consistently under this foreign threat or that.

So, in my view, their problems as an organization stem from the fact that news sprang up over the last few hundred years with the explicit mission of an anti-establishment, anti-conservative approach, of disseminating information to the common person with the goal of attacking any political figure not favorably disposed to the needs of the common person.

FOX News probably understands this, and hence, their self-congratulatory attempts at self-identification with such confused frauds as "Joe the Plumber" and perhaps even Palin herself. But the problem is that they fell flat. The electorate felt that the fear of the last administration became a self-fulfilling prophecy, a constantly ringing, even droning theme, and an end in itself to overshadow every traditional responsibility of government. The distinction between politics and government was lost by the right, but not by the electorate, and FOX was a casualty in that struggle.

So, if you want my own narrative for how FOX has failed not only me but anyone else who isn't interested in supporting their line (and by extension, their perceived mission) there you have it.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But the fact that I cancelled my cable subscription (for other reasons) is probably more salient. ;-)

I still occasionally watch clips of some cable broadcasts over the web, though.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ritmo Brasileiro said...

The other problem with your comparison is that NYT has a history of hiring intellectually competent, conservative commentators to grace its pages. William Safire. Ross Douthat. Even MSNBC's Chris Matthews takes a hard line at politicians of whatever stripe. The best equivalent FOX ever came up with was with this silly little wet blanket of Alan Colmes. Come on. That besmirches their credibility as an organization interested in understanding a range of views and makes them too ideologically constrained for people to look past their scandals as aberrations that can be overcome, but rather predictable mishaps that are a lot less cosmetic in the damage they cause than FOX would like to believe.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And don't even get me started on Glenn Beck.

As horrible as Lou Dobbs is, even he's not that bad.

shana said...

Aw, bless your little heart. I bet you didn't even know that political parties (aka the political establishment) used to sponsor newspapers. This whole notion "impartiality" is a quite recent development in the history of American news.

AllenS said...

Theo, I remember those days.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I don't know... where did you want to start? With the newsreaders for ancient governments, including kings and the like?

The problem with American conservatism is that it has to look to the revolution as its starting point, and doesn't understand how much further to look - or not look. Countries that are based in ethnicities rather than creeds have the advantage of a mysterious provenance, often from before recorded history - the kind conservatives like to identify with. But the American revolution was either liberal/progressive or non-partisan. It was anti-establishment. It was a radical thing to do. It wasn't interested much in authority of any kind. How do people who call themselves "conservatives" and align with the "authority" of organic, unspoken currents in a nation's society, find away to identify with something so radical?

That's for conservatives to figure out. There's a reason that the founders were originally non-partisan, ill-disposed to partisanism and ultimately founded parties with a much more visibly personal than ideological motivation. There's a reason that the organization of the modern political spectrum dates back to the subsequent French revolution and not to the American revolution that inspired it.

Again, if you'd like to clarify the relationship that does exist, or (in your mind) should exist, between politics and the news media, you might want to brush up on your history as well. And you'll have to start a lot earlier and come up with a lot more clarifications than American conservatives are interested in coming up with.

Beth said...


Nobody, Bush, or Obama, is perfect and we end up learning nothing when we get slander or untruths dressed up as analysis.


Finn, that's just crazy talk. Obama's tired, and seditious, and he hates America. The whole Middle East was peaceful, as a result of a free and democratic Iraq, then Obambi came along and fucked the whole thing up by bowing to dictators.

Damn, get over to WorldNetDaily and get your mind right!

shana said...

The founders of the United States were "ill-disposed" to partisanism! Oh my. Perhaps the names Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton are familiar to you? You do know that Adams and Hamilton belonged to the Federalist Party, and Jefferson to the Democratic-Republican Party?

Here's an article about political disunity in early American history.
http://teachingamericanhistory.org/zvesper/chapter4.html

Enjoy the last word--I've got to go fix dinner!

Gary Rosen said...

"Even MSNBC's Chris Matthews takes a hard line at politicians of whatever stripe."

When he got that "thrill up his leg" he was hard, all right, but not in the sense you mean.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Insofar as the Federalist party did not formally exist until the end of President Washington's first term, I'll presume that it wasn't the "founders" who were partisans but the politicians that some of those founders subsequently turned into. And I'll accept that Washington's admonition of these behaviors carried some of the weight that history accords it, and that partisan splintering wasn't necessarily a given development.

Hope you enjoyed my last word! Would FOX approve of it?

But I do like my previous word better, seeing as how it more comprehensively addresses the dilemma that American conservatives face in defining media as a possibly, or even preferably anti-progressive enterprise. Writers of long tracts on political theory were not the equivalent of the news media that they might be portrayed as.

ic said...

No one can blame Obama for the alleged actions of the alleged panty-bomber. But one can blame Bush for 911.

Big Mike said...

C'mon, Beth. The opposition party has always pointed out when a President screws up. Your Mr. Obama handled the Christmas Day attempted bombing very poorly, and in a way that depicts weakness to unbiased observers as well as to observers who have no love for him.

That the NYT and WaPo are biased is scarcely news to anyone rational. I even got the late Deborah Howell, when she was the WaPo's ombudsman, to own up to considerable liberal bias in the Post's newsroom. I don't get the Times-Picayune, but I gather that it leans pretty far left itself.

Whether any of those three papers, and whether any of the other major dailies or cables news channels accepts it or not, we Republicans have the same right to be critical of the Obama administration that you Democrats had when Bush was President.

bagoh20 said...

Our enemies are the ones who will tell us if Obama is weak or not on security, and that's the only opinion that counts in the end. The NYT like most liberals have always had a blind spot for the real dangers in the world even after getting hit in the face with it.

The ever-present troll's retort that it's Bush's fault is real helpful though. That will keep them terrorists at bay.

Don't they know we elected the anti-Bush? Dude, we're good now, right?

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Actually, I have one more word.

I find it interesting how short the memories of Americans who sympathize with the modern conservative "movement" really are.

For instance, if you listen to Pogo long enough, it becomes clear that he thinks history began in the early 1910s, with the Bolshevik revolution. Give me one instance of where he notes any other point of history as relevant? The left, to him, began with the communists and the Cold War is still on. Nothing else matters in American politics, or might as well exist.

Similarly, the other conservatives here might know something about the history of their country after the revolution, but not before. To their minds, it would seem, the history of America speaks to a necessarily universal, human theme, but that these themes were absent in the minds and hearts of men prior to 1776. Before the history of the revolution, the only salient point is the (six-day long?) creation of the universe, and perhaps the birth of Jesus. But no other events can detail human developments and political struggles in order to provide lessons or perspective on modern events.

I thought elephants had long memories.

MayBee said...

I remember the people after 9.11 who spoke against Bush's disappearance for several hours, who turned Cheney's "undisclosed location" into a joke, who went about saying things like we can't go to war because we need to address root causes, who thought this should be an international police action rather than a military one, who tried to shame people for flying the American flag.

Does everybody remember the very special Oprah episode with the likes of Marianne Williamson discussing what our proper response should be?
Or the excoriations of Condi Rice for not acting like a woman (women never go to war!)?

And it certainly wasn't long before Hillary Clinton stood on the Senate floor and demanded to know what Bush knew, and when he knew it.

There was unity after 9.11, but I think the degree of has become a bit of a mythology.

jr565 said...

It's not just that Obama is weak because this guy almost got through, despite being on so many watch lists. It's that after he did Obama popped up on the tv and said that he "allegedly" tried to set off a bomb. In other words he's relying on the asinine terrorism as law enforcement paradigm which the libs like to trot out which is inherently weak on national security.
The guy mentioned that there are more attacks in the pipeline. Oh really? Hmm, sounds like he knows something.
You think that with that information in hand it might be a good idea to actually gather it so as to prevent those other attacks in the pipeline, or prove that no further attacks are in the pipeline. And that would mean interrogating this guy, potentially harshly. Yet, under a law enforcement paradigm as soon as he is arrested he can be lawyered up and not have to say anything to incriminate himself it would be wrong to do so. Further, even though we all know this guy DID in fact try to blow up a plane he now has a presumption of innocence so we should, if we are adhering to the idea that he needs to be tried before a court of law, refer to him as allegedly commiting crimes.
Yet how long will a trial take. Does Obama have to wait before he goes after the others who have not yet revealed themselves until this guy is indicted or found guilty or innocent? Will the trial take longer to commence than it will for any future attacks to materialize? We wont know. Thanks to the weakness of Obama and the libs and democrats.
He's weak because he, in trying to score points against Bush for taking COMMON SENSE approaches to dealing with preventing attacks (interrogate the higher ups who know stuff so you get information that you then use to potentially stop future attacks) he's handicapped his own ability to prevent attacks.
If an attack does get through and it turns out this guy we have now had information that were we able to get it would have alerted us to this future attack, and we didn't get it because Obama is a namby pamby fairy who dind't want to rufffle the guys feathers, how will that play out? Will he be viewed as strong on defense or weak on defense?
I

bagoh20 said...

Ritmo, yes your right, conservatives do believe that 1776 was a watershed point in history that changed everything.

I'm likewise disappointed at how fond the left is of the kind of royalty rule that proceeded it. A kind of childish desire to be led by a benevolent ruler with absolute power to make all things fair. Of course such rulers don't exist, which require that they be made up from hope and change, and held together with bumper stickers.

We are very different in our vision, our memory, and our mythology. That is the battle. I get my philosophy confirmed with world events every passing year. I really can't figure people with your view not wising up, but there is still time, grasshopper.

Fen said...

Ritmo Brasileiro: Actually, I have one more word. blah blah bunch of assumptions about Conservatives blah blah lets pretend no one studied Athens or Rome blah blah I'm too cultured to understand what Conservative acutally means blah blah and American Exceptionalism is a myth blah.

/Fixed, Sophist.

bagoh20 said...

Unfortunately or not, wisdom and spelling are not always acquired together.

Beth said...

Big Mike, how did he handle it so poorly? That's the right wing meme, but so far, I don't see much substance to it, just a bunch of partisan posturing.

If you don't read the TP, how do you gather it leans far left? Give some examples, please.

Beth said...

Finn offered a short but useful and specific analysis of our foreign policy over the decade, but no one here responds to that. That's telling.

Beth said...

It's also typical, Mike, that your response defaults to "we have a right to be critical" instead of any defense of the actual criticism.

Of course you have that right! I love that we all have the right to mock our government, ourselves, each other. I cherish it. But it doesn't make any particular criticism meaningful in itself, or immune to counter critique.

George said...

--they didn't print the Rovian rumor that McCain had sired a pickaninny.

I'd like to see a real citation for this, otherwise it looks like slimy race mongering.

ic said...

RBrasil...: I thought elephants had long memories.

Longer than the asses who couldn't remember any previous presidents being criticized, satirized, or Hitlerized by oppositions.

George said...

----But the American revolution was either liberal/progressive or non-partisan. It was anti-establishment. It was a radical thing to do. It wasn't interested much in authority of any kind. ----

This is so ill-informed as to have had to come from a libera. As Ronald Reagan said: "Its not that the Liberals know nothing; its that so much of what they know is Wrong".

The American Revolution was conservative. It harkened back to the freedoms from the Magna Carta. It explicitly addressed the rights of the individual - and restraint on government. It was explicitly religious.

The American Revolution founded the first modern state based on republicanism and the liberal ideas of John Locke. Conservatives embrace these founding principles—there are no spokesmen for royalty, hereditary aristocracy, or established church. Russell Kirk, in The Conservative Mind, wrote that the American Revolution was "a conservative reaction, in the English political tradition, against royal innovation"


The French Revolution was liberal. It was radical ("lets have a new language - lets eliminate religion"). It was bloody. Just like Lenin's, Mao's Pol Pot's, Idi Amin's, Mumamba's, Castro's...

George said...

----I'm kinda glad the NYT did not take the Young Republicans' Candid Camera prank seriously.----

Yes, absolutely. What kind of liberal would get worked up about white slavery and exploitation of innocent third world adolescents?

Officials with the controversial community organizing group ACORN were secretly videotaped offering to assist two individuals posing as a pimp and a prostitute, encouraging them to lie to the Internal Revenue Service and providing guidance on how to claim underage girls from South America as dependents.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,548827,00.html

I think I can vaguely remember when liberals cared about this kind of exploitation. But I was just a kid then.

George said...

----I didn't say it's ok for an organization to lie. I just said that a legacy of caring about something more than just politics and propaganda ----

CNN IS GUILTY. They care more about their business only, they admitted they were willing to cover for a MONSTER.

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

http://essaysfromexodus.scripting.com/stories/storyReader$1991

Paco Wové said...

...and in that moment, Fen became enlightened.

Paco Wové said...

Finn sez:

"It is Obama who has continued the Bush policy of using drones in Pakistan."

Umm, true, but it was Bush who started the policy, right? Seems mighty odd to give Obama credit for continuing a policy, but give Bush none for starting it.

MayBee said...


If you are going to critique Obama, or anyone, then go beyond the name calling or snide remarks and really lay out, factually, what makes him worse, or different from the previous administration.


The thing he is getting criticized for the most:his messaging.
We don't know, actually, if it's bad messaging or if they believe what they are saying.

Althouse linked the Toby Harnden article with its list of three Yemen-connected attacks on American soil (or airspace) during Obama's tenure.

The first got a mention from the administration to the local Arkansas press.
The second resulted in an admonition to the public to not become vigilantes. The idea that Hasan acted as he did because he had caught PTSD was allowed to flourish in the media.
The third, we were told at first, was an isolated incident and the system had worked.

If this administration has been knowingly obscuring from the public the fact that it is on top of this stuff, that would be the *good* news.

Otherwise, it appears the dot-connecting has not been a priority.

wellington said...

Opus One Media:

Besides expressing your strong feelings about the IQ of other commenters, do you actually have anything to say about the subject Althouse brought up, i.e. the remarkable difference of the NYT Obama coverage as compared to British papers? Just wondering.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Oh yes, the American Revolution was soooo religious! It led directly to that whole First Amendment. And no hereditary aristocracy is embraced by conservatives - thus, long live the end of the estate tax!

Good to know you love the idea of learning history as much as modern conservatives love to be ignorant of it.

But after all, modern American conservatism has become a "movement". And they are postmodernists now, haven't you heard?

The only thing that unites self-identified conservatives nowadays is the degree to which they are obsessed with (in love with?) the machiavellian machinations of Stalin, Pol Pot, Alinsky, etc., etc., etc. They define themselves through their enemies.

As I said, politics is more important to them than principle. It's about winning, not conserving a damn thing. Modern liberals are more conservative and principled than the right-wing noisemakers.

wellington said...

“Myself, I have never registered with a political party …”

Ritmo, you don’t have to. The outpour in this thread is more than sufficient. I know the Party. I been there before.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

It explicitly addressed the rights of the individual - and restraint on government.

As did Locke, the founder of liberalism.

Consequently, I'm not surprised that you mention both him and liberalism in a good light and in the same breath. Just too bad you don't recognize the individual liberties and restraint on government that he cannonized as liberal. That's precisely what they are. You can claim Magna Carta as part of our heritage all you want. Pity that it wasn't seen as part of a broader movement at the time, though, as the ideas of Locke were.

Your problem is that conservatives require a basis for nationalism that American right-wingers lack. Yes, they keep latching on to the standard xenophobic claptrap and the supposedly essentialist foundations of "Judeo-Christian" culture all they want. But their problem, as I said, is that their country has a creedal basis and not an ethnic one. And the consequences of that fact drive them crazy as they hope against hope to convince the rest of us that they've successfully united a nationalistic American Exceptionalism with any humanistic universalism.

Maybe they think they have, in their own minds. But their provincialism and parochialism remind us (and the rest of the world) what a long row they have to hoe in convincing everyone else around the world of this.

Keep trying.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Keep fighting those omnipresent communists, wellington. We know they're alive and well in this 1950s version of America that you wish still existed. As is the Soviet Union, a hostile China, a Cuban missile threat, etc., etc., ad infinitum ad nauseum.

But, oh wait! The MUSLIMS are the NEW COMMUNISTS! The DEMOCRATS are now COMMUNISTS! Problem solved. For a simpleton.

Darthmeister said...

Ritmo, you're an educated fool-tool blinded by your own arrogance. Because you say "you see" you actually prove to the rest of us that you're pathetically blind to the puppetmasters who pose real long-term threats to our lives and liberties.

Your mode of rant is little different than the typical tripe I hear from hard-core leftists which (sorry, bud) defines you as being so blithely ignorant of how far left you've drifted that anyone you see to the right of you looks like a right-wing extremist! You've gone on one extended bitch after another about FOX News on this site that you seem to have little time to condemn the contemptible lack of objectivity displayed by the ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/MSNBC/NYT/NPR/WaPo cabal the last thirty or so years.

Now turn your argument around, since ABC/CBS/NBC et al have been around far longer than FOX, shouldn't their news professionalism not only be more experienced and impecable than FOX's yet FOX is often the one breaking important stories that the lamestream media refuses to do because they are little more than mouthpieces for the Demoncrat Party cult? Often its not what the national socialist media reports that demonstrates their bias but rather its the news stories they refuse to report.

Why don't you take off your rose-colored glasses and remove the log from your eyes before trying to remove the speck from ours. This nation has suffered the leftist media tyranny the last three decades and we know what the hell we're talking about when we speak of the lamestream media's bias.

Why don't you Google "UCLA study 'Measure of Media Bias'". I'm willing to bet with the blinders you so proudly wear you're going to immediately chafe at this groundbreaking affirmation of the clear leftward tilt of the so-called "professional" journalistic community that most definitely colors the news with every word that tumbles out of its various pieholes.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

I don't give a fuck about any of your bugbears on the non- right-wing media circuit. I actually don't care about anything that goes under the rubric of "media" period. I don't get my information from them. Information has been as decoupled as it can be from news organizations and if you don't appreciate that fact then maybe you need to look into broadband or DSL, for chrissakes.

For the rest of my thoughts about FOX and how it is even less authentic than your enemies (didn't say they were perfect mind you, just less fraudulent), see the discussion with shana.

Pogo said...

Ritmo's understanding of conservatism is predictably weak and cartoonish.

He was quite successful at changing the subject however, from Obama's weakness on terror to the messengers of that opinion.

And if the American public is actually quite satisfied with his handling of the incident, and with Gitmo and the war, well then Democrats have nothing to worry about.




And Beth, no one responded to Finn because it was just another Bush-bad Obama-good post from the left that is an opinion about the facts. What's there left to say? 'No, it isn't'? Kinda pointless.

I mean, for Christ's sake, it was the Clinton administration that had Bin Laden pinned down, remember? But what's the point of rehashing all that every time someone fails to 'recall' that painful fact?

JorgXMcKie said...

Gotta love that Ritmo. I haven't seen such ignorant "false rhetoric" [or political rhetoric] since I last read Plato's "Rhetoric].

He obviously has no goal whatsoever outside of 'winning' an argument, vilifying anyone who disagrees with him, and improving his already sky-high opinion of himself by 'educating' his betters.

He must be a blast at the local Party get-togethers.

[I wonder if the word 'projection' ever enters his mind? I mean, he keeps pounding on conservatives {of which I am not one} seeing Communists everywhere while he sees some sort of radical Rightists everywhere. Which is saner?]

former law student said...

The Nation. January 14, 2008

Dirty Tricks, South Carolina and John McCain By Ann Banks

Eight years ago this month, John McCain took the New Hampshire primary and was favored to win in South Carolina. Had he succeeded, he would likely have thwarted the presidential aspirations of George W. Bush and become the Republican nominee. But Bush strategist Karl Rove came to the rescue with a vicious smear tactic.

Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, "Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain...if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?" This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.

It worked. Owing largely to the Rove-orchestrated whispering campaign, Bush prevailed in South Carolina and secured the Republican nomination. The rest is history--specifically the tragic and blighted history of our young century. It worked in another way as well. Too shaken to defend himself, McCain emerged from the bruising episode less maverick reformer and more Manchurian candidate.


http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080128/banks

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

Ritmo's understanding of conservatism is predictably weak and cartoonish.

So says someone who conflates "left" with communist and predictably reduces every argument he loses into a caricature of his opponent as a Soviet agent.

He was quite successful at changing the subject however, from Obama's weakness on terror to the messengers of that opinion.

I was now, wasn't I?

And that's because "weakness" is about as subjective and bullshit a term of political art/political theater as exists. It's a self-serving characterization, designed to warm the cockles of reactionary hearts. And it serves no other purpose.

And if the American public is actually quite satisfied with his handling of the incident, and with Gitmo and the war, well then Democrats have nothing to worry about.

Your side's capacity for misinformation is always worth worrying about. The only question is if you can convince anyone other than the true believers who are sympathetic to your creed that proposes "truth" to be more important than "fact", "reason", or "logic".

former law student said...

What kind of liberal would get worked up about white slavery and exploitation of innocent third world adolescents?

William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer. The Mann Act was supposed to end white slavery in 1910 -- although Elliott Spitzer flouted its provisions when he summoned an NYS escort to DC.

On the subject -- what kind of conservative failed to get worked up when employees of US government contractor Dyncorp imported innocent second world adolescents into Bosnia for the purpose of prostitution? Dyncorp retains its status as US government contractor.

(From the Washington Times magazine Insight On the News)

http://www.the7thfire.com/child_sexual_abuse/dyncorp_condones_child_sexual_abuse.htm

Officials with the controversial community organizing group ACORN were secretly videotaped offering to assist two individuals posing as a pimp and a prostitute

A well-scrubbed frat boy and his wholesome sorority sister pal. Anyone more worldly wise than, say, Kathryn Jean Lopez would have known they were kidding. "Sorostitute" is only a slang term, by the way.

Pogo said...

"a caricature of his opponent as a Soviet agent"
Hardly, I mean, the Soviet Union ceased to exist 20 years ago, so that wouldn't make much sense, would it?

They're collectivists, for the most part. Some are socialists, or other flavors. But they love the State 'über alles in der Welt'.

"our side's capacity for misinformation is always worth worrying about."
Having grown up under the masters of disinformation by the NYTimes, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and furthered by Dewey-eyed public school indoctrination and lefty Foucauldian college professors, we surely learned that tactic rather well.

curmudgeon said...

Why would anybody question the president's strength re terror?

Okay, so he wants to shutter Gitmo. So its "man-caused disaster" now. So he greenlights the prosecution of the CIA guys who saved us from further attacks. So he gives out our interrogation techniques & promises not to be so nasty in the future.

So he takes the 9-11 mastermind out of the military courts & into the civilian system, guaranteeing years of delay, a media circus & legal discovery of intelligence. So he treats enemy combatants as US citizens, with all rights including the right to remain silent. So Obama's head of Homeland Security said the Pantybomber episode showed how well the system worked. So he lets the Pantybomber lawyer up & shut up.

So what? It's not as though there's any real threat anymore, is there? I mean, the pres has bowed to the Saudi King and said how the US isn't a Christian nation anymore. What self-respecting jihadi could still hold a grudge?

But seriously...what did you expect from this guy? He spent 20 years at a church that preached hate for the US, after all.

He's not weak. He's not dumb. He just doesn't much like America, so naturally isn't all that exercised about America's enemies. Whether it's Russia & missiles, or Iran & nukes, his first instinct is this: if they hate the US, they can't be all bad.

curmudgeon said...

Why would anybody question the president's strength re terror?

Okay, so he wants to shutter Gitmo. So its "man-caused disaster" now. So he greenlights the prosecution of the CIA guys who saved us from further attacks. So he gives out our interrogation techniques & promises not to be so nasty in the future.

So he takes the 9-11 mastermind out of the military courts & into the civilian system, guaranteeing years of delay, a media circus & legal discovery of intelligence. So he treats enemy combatants as US citizens, with all rights including the right to remain silent. So Obama's head of Homeland Security said the Pantybomber episode showed how well the system worked. So he lets the Pantybomber lawyer up & shut up.

So what? It's not as though there's any real threat anymore, is there? I mean, the pres has bowed to the Saudi King and said how the US isn't a Christian nation anymore. What self-respecting jihadi could still hold a grudge?

But seriously...what did you expect from this guy? He spent 20 years at a church that preached hate for the US, after all.

He's not weak. He's not dumb. He just doesn't much like America, so naturally isn't all that exercised about America's enemies. Whether it's Russia & missiles, or Iran & nukes, his first instinct is this: if they hate the US, they can't be all bad.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

But they love the State 'über alles in der Welt'.

More disingenuous caricatures - two in one, at that, and one Hitlerian. You are demonstrating your own stinky irrelevance with this display of Godwin's law and probably would have called both him and the Usenet groups that predicted such small-minded tactics as "communist", though for ending the threads that you apparently would have lacked the mental capacity to contribute to.

Do you even realize what a damn moron it makes you look like to complain about "weak and cartoonish" understandings and then attempt a comeback with this crap?

You are ridiculing your own beliefs and purported interest at this point. It's got to be embarrassing to any self-respecting conservative.

Ritmo Brasileiro said...

And it's sad. I won't further it.

You don't realize what a disservice you're doing to your reason for even participating in this thread.

Simply astonishing.

Pogo said...

Ha ha hah.

It was fun for me, too, Ritmo.

I'll read your obfuscatory fact-eliding statist drivel again soon, I'm sure.

Cheers!

Beth said...

And Beth, no one responded to Finn because it was just another Bush-bad Obama-good post from the left that is an opinion about the facts. What's there left to say? 'No, it isn't'? Kinda pointless.

You clearly didn't read it, Pogo.

Fen said...

"It explicitly addressed the rights of the individual - and restraint on government.

Ritmo: As did Locke, the founder of liberalism.

Locke is not the founder of what you call "liberalism" today.

Can't believe you're so ignorant to believe that card would play.

But share more of your ignorant stereotypes of Conservatives, while you lecture us on the evils of demonizing Socialists.

Fen said...

Ritmo: The best equivalent FOX ever came up with was with this silly little wet blanket of Alan Colmes.

Mara Laison of NPR is much better. Guess you don't "see" her either.

And her experience is also indicative of your dishonesty. Like the CRU scandal, we now have evidence that left-leaning information brokers have bullied their own into not appearing on FOX, out of fears that it would legitimize FOX.

So, like the CRU frauds, your kind argue that FOX is not legit because few lefties appear on it, but then you conspire to keep lefties from accepting invites to appear.

Pogo said...

Coming to a different conclusion than Beth Did not read the post.

Beth said...

Excellent. Now we agree.

And that little "does not equal" symbol is very cool.

cj said...

ritmo likes himself very much.

Opus One Media said...

wellington said...
"... the remarkable difference of the NYT Obama coverage as compared to British papers? Just wondering."

As long as folks post silly, half thought through stuff, their mental capacity is fair game.

As to British journalism and the NYTimes, I don't see a comparison in quality other than the grade of paper its printed on. The old saying goes that the NYTimes rubs off in your hands while the British Press fouls your minds.

The Telegraph is probably the best of their lot and if you read it online on a regular basis, particularly from when Blair was PM, you will note a certain love/hate of the US and believe me (or not and I don't care) the pokes and jabs at Bush were far worse than at Obama and rightfully so while the NYTimes was, many felt, suprisingly generous to Bush, despite his ineptitude.

elHombre said...

@Beth: Here's a response.

Finn wrote (10:54 AM): If you are going to critique Obama, or anyone, then ... really lay out, factually, what makes him worse, or different from the previous administration. ...we end up learning nothing when we get slander or untruths dressed up as analysis.

Why is it that Obama apologists can't get past George Bush? It is specious to argue that judging Obama against his, or his consorts', representations, or for that matter by a wholly new standard based on today's circumstances, gives rise to "slander or untruths."

Despite prior warnings, a significant security breach occurred on Obama's watch endangering homeland security. His chosen person in charge of homeland security stated that "the system worked," despite the fact that it obviously did not.

These two factors alone raise issues about the competence of the current administration and its leader in the domain of homeland security regardless of what happened in the past.

Bush gave the country to the Democrats. Is it unreasonable to expect them to hold it on their own merit?

elHombre said...

[T]he NYTimes was, many felt, suprisingly generous to Bush, despite his ineptitude.

Bush, Bush, Bush! Bush is gone.

Today's questions are whether the Obama administration is adequate in the area of national security and whether the NYT is overly generous to Obama.

The answers are "maybe not" and "definitely."

Pogo said...

Beth, it's all part of my mad math skillz.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Equality 7-2521 said...

"Can you idiots point specifically to something that is a direct cause and effect between Obama and the bomb-in-the-pants guy? Something that Obama started or did that caused this?"

Good question. Here is a reasonable answer to this question:

Obama has continued with President Bush’s policies which failed to destroy Islamic Totalitarianism.
It is highly unlikely that the young underwear bomber would have even thought of caring out such a act if Islamic Totalitarism had been destroyed as it should have been.

US Government foreign policy--regardless of the party in power-- no longer focuses on protecting its citizens by destroying the country's enemies. It focuses on winning the hearts and minds of our enemies--otherwise known as appeasement.

Beth said...

Big Mike,

Here's our crazy left-wing paper this morning, agitating for the president to hurry up and reappoint the Republican U.S. Attorney, Jim Letten.

Crazy friggin' liberals!

tom swift said...

Contra the NYT, Obama isn't weak on national security. He's essentially in absentia on the subject. He didn't even manage to vote "present" this time.

I like the Telegraph. It's the whiff of fresh air I need after slogging through an issue of the Guardian.