Fuzzy Math

I have a strong feeling that our Media Stars are going to be left with even more egg on their faces than usual as the next elections roll around, so convinced they are that, somehow, the Republicans have recaptured the hearts of that imaginary “middle America” that none of them have evidently ever seen.  Of course, no matter how unpopular Republicans (and their ideas) are, to the media they are always pronounced well ahead of time to be either winning by a landslide or just squeaking by; losses are never predicted, and thus can be besmirched as potentially sinister and illegitimate quirks when they invariably occur.   It’s not just that the media has completely stopped discussing policy in favor of the horse race in its political coverage, but that they are either so dumb, corrupt, or both that they keep openly betting on the old nag that ought to go to the glue factory, and repeatedly hurl their credibility and objectivity down the toilet to try and make their bad bets look good.  But try as they might, this time their prospects look nearly as poor as they usually do.

Ever since Reagan, but increasingly dramatically under Bush, Republicans have been allowed to say provably wrong and completely cuckoo things in public, repeatedly, every day, knowing that no one in the MSM would ever point this out, but they nonetheless used to use this privilege sparingly.  Before he got 9/11 and the bullhorn moment under his belt, Bush himself carefully emphasized his “compassion” and commitment to education and seniors, trying mightily to keep the authoritarian kleptocracy part of his agenda under the radar, but each time he proposed something crazy or got off yet another “nucular” without any correction, he became further emboldened by the obsequiousness and willing malleability  of the “liberal” media, and he was off to the races, with demonstrably disastrous results.

Rarely is it ever discussed that Bush’s narrow 2000 loss was magically turned into a “victory” solely by the media, which also helpfully made possible his illegally gerrymandered and shamelessly war-exploiting “sweep” in 2002 and his desperately smelly “landslide” in 2004; ever since the 1998 midterms the media has been conspicuously invested in Republicans, but in the process have driven Republicans into a cocoon of insanity so impenetrable that in the actual voting booth, the relentlessly touted mandates simply never happen, and thus must be sloppily manufactured out of hype and duct tape (sometimes literally).

Ironically, all the investment that the right has made in co-opting and intimidating the media into bending to its will may, in the end, be its undoing; it has gotten to the point that all but a quarter to a third of Americans know that if the Republicans and the media are simultaneously (as usual) predicting it will be sunny tomorrow, you’d better take your umbrella.   The Republicans may indeed climb a few seats out of their deservedly humiliating minority in 2010, but only if they can continue to convincingly lie about every single thing they plan to do once in power, and they might even gain the Presidency in 2012, provided they find candidates who haven’t been born yet.  Neither seems particularly likely, if you’re not David Gregory, Brooks, or Broder.

Nevertheless, “real Americans,” unlike the Davids and their many clueless imitators, are finally catching on to the game.  FOX sloppily tried to cover up the fact that Ron Paul won the absurdly overrated CPAC poll in the manner of a cat in the litter box, but the stench remained…  Huge numbers of Americans have rejected wanton deregulation of business and bloated and unaffordable military budgets the right bequeathed us and will rightfully punish any politician who attempts subsequently to abolish Social Security  and Medicare to pay for it all, but those are the only supposed “benefits” the media and its righty paymasters have left to offer a battered electorate, and have long since dropped their bashfulness about saying so.  If they think these genius ideas are the path to a 2010 landslide, I say “bring it on.”

For a long time I lamented the fact that our mouthpiece media functions as nothing more than the Pravda of the fruited plain, yet its long-suffering audience had never caught on to this the way those Russians did, with considerable negative consequences for what remains of our democracy.  I no longer am so sure.   After a half dozen times or so, even the media-exalted Leader George Bush admitted, albeit muddledly, that “you don’t get fooled again.”


  1. Great post CH.

    Calling our media “nothing more than Pravda of the fruited plain” – that’s rich.

    At least the Russians knew who the media puppet-masters were. Here, no one is certain who is pulling the strings.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Worse, they don’t even need strings.

  3. nailheadtom says:

    Prez’s newest idea: Simply outlaw reality


    Last Updated: 7:31 AM, February 23, 2010

    Posted: 2:51 AM, February 23, 2010

    WASHINGTON — Included in President Obama’s latest stab at health-care reform released yesterday is one of the more astonishing admissions of political deception in recent memory.

    After months of swearing that his health legislation would lower the skyrocketing costs of insurance premiums, Obama finally acknowledged that actually it would not.

    So, instead, he has included a new provision that can simply outlaw premium increases his administration deems “unreasonable and unjustified.”

    This, in lieu of literally years of promises and proclamations about transforming the American hospital-industrial complex in a way that would drastically lower the cost of medicine in this country and leave insurance companies scrambling to lower the premiums they charge customers.

    During his campaign, Obama flatly promised to lower families’ health-insurance premiums by $2,500 every year.

    Then, after he ascended to the throne, Obama repeatedly insisted without any reservations that all the health-care alchemy inspired by him would magically lower those premiums.

    Even in the face of congressional accountants who repeatedly raised doubts about those promises, Obama insisted.

    Now the comes the truth.

    Of course, having so easily slid into the sordid ways of Washington, Obama does not admit this in so many words. In fact, the White House continues to broadly insist that the latest proposal lowers premiums.

    So, why, then, create a whole new federal law to cap premium hikes?

    There is only one reason: Even this White House can no longer keep up the charade.

    Perhaps even more disturbing than Obama’s back-door admission here is his plan for fixing it.

    The Democratic health-care bill — which deserves a cameo in the next “Night of the Living Dead” movie for its unkillable quality — actually causes insurance premiums to rise?

    Well, then, we’ll just pass a law! Let’s pass a law to outlaw reality!

    This sort of thinking is nothing new. This is the oldest trick in the Democratic playbook that gauzy-eyed liberals have been trying for generations. Remember President Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty”?

    What a great society that gave us.

    While he’s at it, Obama should go right ahead and outlaw unemployment. Then he could make foreclosures illegal. That would fix all our problems.

    Heck, if any problems remain in health care after he has jammed his bill through Congress before his co-conspirators get run out of town, Obama could just make sickness illegal.

    Maybe he could outlaw death. Then we can all just sit around in our rocking chairs feeling great and enjoying our Great, Great Society — the greatest since, well, Lyndon Johnson was president.

    Man, those were good times.


    • cocktailhag says:

      Wow, that’s really something, Tom. I knew the Post was a piece of trash, but never have I seen so many lies and conspiracy minded speculation shoved into one poorly written article. Apparently everything that writer knows he learned from Rush Limbaugh, especially about the Great Society.
      Not only was poverty greatly reduced in just a couple of years, but the community college and training programs helped absorb the largest number of new workers into the economy in American history; a necessity considering the demographic blip of the baby boom.
      If you’re going to read such ahistorical, carping nonsense, you ought to keep it to yourself.

      • nailheadtom says:

        I’ll defer to your expertise on poorly written articles, you’re truly a master of the form. Of course, the writer is actually being paid to produce that little essay, a phenomenon you’re unlikely to ever experience. You might even be correct on the incredible reduction in poverty the nation experienced due to LBJ’s altruism. The Viet Nam imbroglio did increase employment in munitions manufacture and at some point there was probably a new rabbit ears installed atop the television in the mobile home where you lived. Progressive progress.

        • cocktailhag says:

          I have been paid to write articles on a few occasions, and I grew up in a five bedroom English Tudor house with a baby grand piano in the living room. You’re projecting again.

          • nailheadtom says:

            No wonder you’re so angry, as an offspring of the household staff, your duties polishing that piano must have been an onerous chore.

  4. retzilian says:

    Murdoch’s NY Post as a reference? LMAO.

    That’s like citing “Tiger Beat” as a reference for buying a new car.

    (Yes, I’m dating myself.)

  5. The Heel says:

    maybe he could make stupidity illegal, first. That would solve all our problems….
    But as Friedrich Schiller put it “Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain” (in “Die Jungfrau von Orleans”).

    Great post Hag, made me look up two words. Obsequious Thanks from my malleable brain :)

  6. nailheadtom says:

    Your increasingly incoherent but unending efforts to amalgamate the “media” and anybody that’s opposed to the utopian push for state socialism is pretty funny. One of the jokes is the never-ending list of examples you present for this spectacular insight. You just don’t give enough of them, though. How about these:

    Keith Olbermann, on any given day.

    Chris Mathews, every day.

    Paul Krugman, N.Y. Times: 
    Pelosi — and Obama — have to drive home the following points: 1. This is the last chance to do HCR for years to come, and America desperately needs this 2. For their own sake, Democrats have to run on a record of having achieved something.
    I’m not in a position to do nose-counts, but I’m guardedly optimistic. Feb. 22

    Frank Rich, N.Y. Times: This G.O.P. populism is all bunk, of course. Republicans in office now, as well as Palin during her furtive public service in Alaska, have feasted on federal pork, catered to special interests, and pursued policies indifferent to recession-battered Americans. And yet they’re getting away with their populist masquerade — not just with a considerable swath of voters but even with certain elements in the ”liberal media.” Feb. 14

    Ruth Marcus, Washington Post: The realist in me watches the fervent Tea Partiers, tugging the Republican Party even further to the right, and the Republican congressional leadership, reaping the short-term rewards of obstruction — and worries. Feb. 17

    Boston Globe, FOR ALL the Republican rhetoric criticizing health reform as a government takeover of health care, the House and Senate bills really went out of their way to keep the free market in play. The plan President Obama unveiled yesterday does enhance government’s power – by giving it authority to deny excessive premium increases by insurers. Feb. 23

    Los Angeles Times, . . .
    We were not surprised when Cheney said that alleged Christmas bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should have been treated as an enemy combatant, not a criminal with the right to remain silent; nor were we shocked to hear him say that Abdulmutallab should have been turned over to interrogators who could decide how best to win his cooperation — even employing waterboarding if necessary. Biden rightly countered that skilled FBI interrogators “got all the information they could get from him prior to him going silent” and noted that Abdulmutallab has continued to cooperate. Feb 15

    San Francisco Chronicle: 
    Meg Whitman’s decision to debate Republican primary opponent Steve Poizner is the long overdue first step toward showing that she can pass the normal scrutiny of a gubernatorial campaign. Californians deserve to see more than soft-focus television spots as they try to decide which candidate has the ideas and the mettle to lead the state out of a mess of historic proportions.
    Her next step should be to stop running away from reporters who are looking for more than platitudes and generalities about how she might address a state deficit that is breaking nine figures for as far as the eye can see.

    No doubt you can come up with even more examples, as you always do, when you make your sophomoric rants on the media that refuses to cover events from the Leninist perspective. You must have let your subscription to the “Daily Worker” lapse but you’re filling the void in your own insignificant and meaningless way.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The reason you are able to find articles against your point of view is because your point of view is cuckoo. The fact that any media outlet considers them worthy of airing is a tragedy. The “Leninist perspective,” with respect to regulation, taxation, health care, etc., prevails in every advanced country on earth. No successful country has tried it your way, with the possible exception of Nazi Germany, although formerly Communist countries like China and Russia are giving it a whirl, unburdened as they are by democracy.

      • nailheadtom says:

        The post was a response to your insipid claims that “Republicans have been allowed to say provably wrong and completely cuckoo things in public, repeatedly, every day, knowing that no one in the MSM would ever point this out….” Comme d’habitude, your answer is to swerve off on an irrelevant tangent, really your only rhetorical technique. And, pray tell, what is my “way”? Are you implying, or indeed stating, that it is akin to National Socialism, where organs of national government, together with corporate interests, control society and the economy?

        • cocktailhag says:

          I’m not implying it, I’m saying it. And no, I don’t exclude most Democrats from that assertion, either. Both parties in America labor under the cash-addled delusion that the government is to serve the corporations, rather than the governed. Halliburton, after all, descended from LBJ’s beloved Brown and Root, and most of Obama’s failures and unpopularity can be laid at the feet of Goldman Sachs and big Pharma. Oh, the pollutingest industries might squirm a bit under Democrats, but for the most part the biggest monopolies are pretty much happy either way, as we’ve seen.

          • nailheadtom says:

            Ah, so there we have it. Both parties, and their mutual partners in the corporate world, have the population under their oppressive thumbs. So if this be the case, why the constant animosity toward one side of the aisle? Isn’t damning both their houses just the easy way? No real commitment from CH to the Dem cause. That’s because CH is an intellectual masturbator, unable to successsfully defend policies or engage in debate. But he does like to spout.

          • timothy3 says:

            That’s because CH is an intellectual masturbator, unable to successsfully defend policies or engage in debate. But he does like to spout.

            I’m placing a call to Sigmund Freud (he owns that tobbaconist shop Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar).

          • cocktailhag says:

            I have equal animosity for both sides of the aisle; Republicans for their destructive policies and the lies that attempt to sell them, and Democrats for not realizing that being like Republicans is the path to political oblivion.

  7. meremark says:

    Wow, nudnik needs more places to get out … into … and troll his(?) red herring bait there(s). Then he/she/it could be gone and too busy elsewhere(s), and not be here.

    Look, the post says the massmind media is LOO-OO-OO-ZZZZERRRRs because they sold their soul — credence — to white rightwinger supremacist fascists. And too late realized that it is going to require perpetual LIES to cover up LIES to cover up previous LIES trying to bury or blur: 1) when first they practiced to deceive, and, 2) they in massmind media are LIARS.

    One simple stake through the heart slays every LIARS-lover such as nudnik and anything and everything hisshit cites or says. That pure silver stake of credence is: Media MATTERS .org . Any day. Every day. Each item a cardiac arrest of pulsing hate-pumpers.

    - – - r e a l. . . s l o w. . . n o w. . . for you, nudnik, to know: the NY Post is LIARS. Everything Rupert Murdoch is LIARS. LIARS lying to you, and you adopt and foster their lies, and make yourself a LIAR and live your valueless life hated wherever you go. See MediaMatters.org to show you your lies, and show you you’re hated — coming back to you just like you put hatred out on humankind – - -

    The key word in the tragic ruin of massmind media, (described above), is “sold.” Sold their soul. Sold out. Media never liked rightwinger fascist Republicans; never agreed with fascist Republican stupidity; never believed despotic Republican LIARS. As nudnik hissef knows to say, all it is is only that they get paid to publish the putrid LIARS puke.

    And so, it is key to see where the money came from for the propaganda programming which poisons the massmind with the idiot-box opium of sensationalism: sex, violence, fear, and vengeance hate. The cash cow milked to nurture naziRepublican politics for 30 years is cable TV. Pay TV. Nevermind what’s on it — it could be a test pattern and still get the same dumbed numb results — since people send monthly money to the TV operators and never watch what’s going on. The TV operators don’t show the truckloads of their cash income being dumped into rightwing cuckoo-head election campaigns — in 1980 Pat Robertson ran for president: where’d he get the money?

    It’s a billion bucks a month now — 100 million TV-user addicts, paying 100 bucks a month (that’s 10 billion) divided among the ‘top’ 10 channels: a billion apiece. Money like that buys lots of 2-bit loser nudniks to waste time typing LIES, any LIES, all LIES, graffiti defacing website walls for others to waste time reading.

    The day enough people read MediaMatters.org and BOYCOTT Pay TV — Cancel your Cable payment — is the day the demented draculas like nudnik die … dumb, worthless, unemployed, devoid of all redeeming value.


  8. dirigo says:

    meremark, there truly is a lot to be said for canceling a cable subscription.

    Buy a droid phone ($200 net after a $100 rebate). For about a hundred bucks a month, you can get a one year contract with about 450 minutes a month and full internet access (to get all the news you could possibly use), and, more apps than you can shake a WiFi wand at.

    Assuming you have a computer that is reasonably up to date, you can get wireless in your house (with phone service) for about the same or a bit more (don’t hammer me with exact figures; I’m just estimating with a larger purpose in mind).

    I used to be a reporter. I got out of it in part because I didn’t like what was happening in newsrooms. Now I’m a media professional in another part of the electronic universe.

    As I was suggesting to the heel, a lot of this back and forth, from media navel gazing generally to THE STATE OF THE NEWS to the tedious and boring Nailhead Tom’s fixation on hag, is tiresome – real nowheresville, man. I certainly don’t give a whizz about Rupert Murdoch and his gaggle of squawking geese.

    I don’t have cable. I get my video from the computer – news, and other public affairs stuff – and watch “fiction” or music on DVDs.

    I also read books. What a concept.

    As someone old enough to have fond memories of the “evening news” back in the ancient analogue days, and having done some of that work, I’m well satisfied to have left it behind.

    In my current media mix, to be refined as best I can handle it, I’M IN CONTROL.

    I think; therefore I am. Ideology has nothing to do with it. It’s old hat.