Open thread on news media quality


The Mika mommy was on the warpath again today telling the token GOP housling Michael Steele  "I don't like what you say."  Then later at the end of her daily lesson to us all she told the male hostages on stage, "I want all of you to go home and think about what you said today."

The TV news media are so clearly engaged in campaigning for Clinton that the programming is difficult to watch.  "Guests" are harangued, badgered and pushed toward a rejection of Trump.

Is this news?

Negative material on HC is notably absent.  There has been some questioning of her fantasy answers about what Comey said to Congress, but not much.

I think it is worth having an open thread about the quality of news media.  pl

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87 Responses to Open thread on news media quality

  1. Fred says:

    Here is another example of the propaganda campaign being waged against Americans:
    David Duke on NPR? Really? Must be that white Americans are a bunch of racists. Not Hilary or those voting for her. Those other white people.

  2. jsn says:

    I’ve told my friends for the last fifteen years or so, anyone who relies on broadcast “news” for information deserves what happens to them. It was the media blackout, more or less, of the huge NY anti-Iraq war protests that convinced me to rely on samizdat.
    More practically, I recommend to them getting to know specific authors as TTG opened my eyes yesterday with Rukmini Callimachi. Get to know a good few writers in the beats you’re interested in and then turn of the slime ( ) on the video and use your print subscriptions to keep up with the official RepubliCrat narrative.
    That’s how I found this site, which along with Global Guerrillas, Moon Of Alabama and The War Nerd, I rely on to interpret official obfuscations.

  3. Edward says:

    I think the lack of journalistic professionalism is part of a larger trend in Washington. People in government agencies such as the state department also seem to display the same behavior– a lack of professionalism and a party line everyone is expected to follow.
    The beginning of the end for the news may have been the FOX business model; instead of doing actual journalism, which is expensive, they hire some people to pontificate. CNN decided to adopt this model about a month before 9-11.
    I wonder how our press compares with the Soviet press during the cold war. There is no accountability when they misreport stories.

  4. Lars says:

    Once the media became corporate extensions, the quality has suffered. If you want quality, you need to look elsewhere. The good news is that they are becoming more and more irrelevant. There is also a herd mentality that they have trouble getting away from.
    As we have seen with the coverage of Donald Trump, it is all ratings driven. When he was being outrageous during the primaries, he drove ratings. He is still driving the ratings, but the focus has flipped to him still being outrageous and thus unfit for office.
    There is an old adage: Live by the media, die by the media. Corporate media, not without cause, has decided El Cheeto is not good for their masters and thus not for the country.

  5. mike says:

    CNN, Fox, MSNBC and others like them are not News channels. They are magazines (bad ones) in video format.

  6. crf says:

    People often look back to the past with rose-tinted glasses. I am not sure that the quality of the new media is any worse today than 30 years ago. I doubt many people regularly re-read 30 year old newspapers, which would be necessary to inform themselves of their relative quality.
    I remember that last year I was unwrapping the contents of an old box in the garage, and I decided to read the newspaper wrapping. The old writing’s arguments and opinions actually seemed to be worse than in my paper today.
    Also, I really do think commentary available on many online magazines or blogs is very good. Nothing like this existed 30 years ago.
    I think that if you are the type of person who wants to be informed (and are suitably self-controlled to realize your own biases) there is no better era to be living in than ours at present.

  7. Freudenschade says:

    the corporate media is small “c” conservative. It is prude, and fixated on politeness and good manners. Policy has little to do with it (aside from a few talking heads).
    Trump is loud, brash, and says lots of things that are ill mannered and impolite. The Republican soccer moms are horrified. Tut, tut, tut. Short of a makeover of Trump into a well-mannered gentleman, the corporate media will continue to get the vapors.

  8. Fred says:

    My perusal of the Washington Post (on line edition) today is 4 of 5 articles (80%) anti-Trump, no mention of Hilary. The opinion section, also front page, is 4 of 6 articles. Bloomberg has a report that Hilary will win in a landslide bigger than Reagan’s.

  9. r whitman says:

    They are entertainment channels that rot your brain.

  10. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Well, I must admit that I used to quite enjoy “Babe Watch”, er, “Bay Watch”.
    Among all those things that rots one’s brain, it was one of the best.

  11. rakesh wahi says:

    there was an opinion writer, Mike Royko who quit rather than work for Murdoch way back in the eighties. He desribed Murdoch media well way back then, once American media was infiltrated by Murdoch it was only a matter of time till the bad media started driving out good .

  12. NotTimothyGeithner says:

    Check out the episodes of “The Simpsons” called “Sideshow Bob Roberts” and then check the premiere date. You’ll see the FoxNews model was alive and well a full two years before FoxNews went live, and even arguably four years when production on the episode started. At one point in the episode, the debate moderator a parody of Rush Limbaugh uses an absurd question once asked by Bernie Shaw at a real Presidential debate.
    Did “The Simpsons” predict the future or just point out what was already there? FoxNews is merely a symptom.

  13. The Beaver says:

    Good news media went the way of the dodo the day after 9/11.
    You are either with us or against us is still reverberatibg since the MSM do not want to be pidgeon-holed.
    First, they wanted to be embedded in Afghanistan and Iraq, secondly no one wanted to get the cold shoulder from the WH press Secretary, third the WAGs at the UNSC want to get their exclusivity that it is becoming like a circus at Turtle Bay- the ambassadors from FrUKUS know how to play the game.
    Even the BBC can’t be reliable – a good example is the reporting of Kim Ghattas on Syria ( oh yes she ha two or three sources inside Damascus who are all against Assad)- these days.

  14. Eric Newhill says:

    It’s shameless and they don’t even try to hide it anymore.
    A real revolution would be if everyone just turned it off. That would impact them. Trump was wise to begin messaging how corrupt the media is. He’s far more savvy than people credit him for being.

  15. turcopolier says:

    IMO the Republicans and other principled people should simply refuse to appear to be abused. pl

  16. Keith Harbaugh says:

    The topic of media bias is a vast one, but here is one not-so-insignificant example: the media’s use of photos to depict the candidates.
    Sure, that’s not very intellectual, but it really does have an effect.
    Look at the photos of Hillary Clinton in the media.
    Almost always smiling.
    Politico went so far as to run a photo of her face from below with a light illuminating her hair making it look like she had a halo; this in an article about her email problems.
    On the other hand, poor Donald Trump, who surely must smile sometimes, is invariably shown open-mouthed, looking like he is shouting, snarling, or both.
    Does Hillary ever have an unflattering photo?
    And further back, there was the case of George W. Bush.
    Rarely did you see a flattering photo of him.
    Again, some will on the one hand decry any mention of such bias as being “irrational”,
    while on the other hand they will use such visual effects to shape opinion and images.

  17. Eric Newhill says:

    I think the internet has gad a lot to do with it. It just happens that the internet grew to become a viable alternative source after 9/11.
    Anyone truly interested gets their news from the internet. As a result, cable news, etc. have just become entertainment tinged with some vestiges of reporting. The viewership really isn’t that high.

  18. 505thPIR says:

    In two words “Cognitive Dissonance”.
    More broadly speaking, omission, partial sentences, cutting off any reasoned thought with the pundit’s own assertions followed by another rapid fire question, then rinse, spin and repeat.
    The MSM is commercial flatulence on a grand scale. It is directed, concentrated white noise that actively thwarts small things like democracy, due process and gross perception of reality. A pox upon em all.

  19. Eric Newhill says:

    Sir, They fear that if they refuse to appear they will fall quickly into obscurity. That is the old model and the grip that MSM still has – or at least everyone is still convinced they have it.
    I see that changing soon.

  20. 505thPIR says:

    Perhaps this is just a symptom of a bigger set of distortions that we live in. Below is a comment from Moon of Alabama blog during the whole Ferguson incident. Thoughts?
    From Moon of Alabama Blog shortly after Ferguson back in August…some points of interest: August 20, 2014
    Malooga On Ferguson – The Bigger Picture
    by Malooga
    lifted from a comment
    @154 luca kasks: “Why don’t you people wait for all the facts to come in?”
    Facts are not like beloved relatives coming in to visit on cherished holidays; facts are like murdered ex-collaborators, to be secretly disappeared and buried deep in some dank forgotten hole in the ground.
    Facts, for the ruling class, are dangerous beasts. Myths and stories are far safer fare.
    Facts may escape unexpectedly at the very beginning of an event, before proper control systems are in place, after that all one is likely to get is the official story, or if that fails, the official fall-back position.
    How could one get what is going on geopolitically by following this blog, and not get that the same conditions and principles of domination, control and brutalization operate similarly on a local scale?
    Perhaps it might be helpful to detail those conditions and principles in order to remind ourselves what the theater in which these events take place is truly like, both for the residents of places like Ferguson, and for the police who manage those residents.
    The war on drugs was not a war against drugs. It was a war for the ultra-rich rulers to control and profit from the cash streams of illegal drug profits, to finance un-sellable illegal wars, a method of destabilizing other countries through drug addiction, and a method of criminalizing the intentional poverty and hopelessness of the bottom 30%, or more, of the domestic population. (See: US protection of heroin in southeast Asia and Afghanistan, CIA crack distribution in US cities, Gary Webb, etc.)
    The “War on Terror” is virtually the same thing: An outright war on the poor, and a destabilization of territories the empire does not control outright. Additionally, like drugs, the “war” is largely synthetic, that is to say, fake and victimless, where the perpetrators have to be secretly sponsored to create an artificial enemy, with what Rowan Berkeley accurately termed “pseudo-gangs.”
    These wars are not real, in the sense that the problems as described are not real; and, such problems as may exist, are intentionally handled so as to exacerbate them, and reinforce the problem-reaction-solution dynamic.
    Drugs are not a problem to be eradicated, rather, they are a medium to be employed, a means to an end. Terror, as we know, is not even a thing, it is just a tactic. You can’t criminalize a tactic, but you can employ it as a means to an end.
    I don’t need to remind you that the US, the “land of the free,” has the largest — in absolute and relative terms — prison population on the planet. And the vast, vast, vast majority of those who are imprisoned are there for victimless crimes.
    But that’s not all. Because if you grow up in the projects, and you raise your kid right, and miraculously manage to keep him away from guns and gangs, you still face two more daunting hurdles: poverty and police violence.
    Let’s start with poverty. Official unemployment rates are lied over, real rates can be many times higher, and many in the projects can find no work at all, or only part-time work, without benefits, in a fast food joint. Lack of work equals lack of money, which equals lack of education, which equals lack of opportunity and work, and so on, in an endless vicious cycle.
    Domestically, a new war is underway: an outright war on the poor, where those who can’t — because of unemployment or other reasons — keep up with their financial obligations are threatened with imprisonment for non-payment of bills, taxes, child support, court fees, parking tickets, etc. Indeed, we as a society have regressed to the days of Oliver Twist and workhouses. Prisoners must work for their keep these days as low cost producers for corporations, and quaint notions like labor laws or minimum wages do not apply to them.
    Prisons have been privatized, and prisoners are just another commodity to be profited from in the capitalist system, like pork bellies, or wheat futures. Judges, like police, have been proved to have quotas: they are expected to meet a production goal where, like a factory worker, a certain number of people must be imprisoned each month or year. After all, the owners of these prisons are top campaign contributors, and they provide “jobs” to the local economy, so they must be kept happy. Cops, like judges, are under pressure to do their part in maintaining prison occupancy rates.
    Any fool can see that this is not a description of a society, as anthropologists might have studied 100 years ago, but of a catabolic process, whereby a sick or diseased body (politic) greedily consumes itself on the way to the grave. And, as they quietly lament around my way, “it is what it is.”
    And yet, it is worse: for those that escape these first three evils — drugs, the “war on terror” and poverty — which I have briefly detailed, there is a fourth evil to be circumvented: what the sociologists call “structural violence.” And this takes two forms. The first comes in the form of what psychiatrists term “frustration aggression.” Watch industrially raised chickens, confined to 2/3 of a square foot of cage space, artificial lighting, and a diet of drugs and GMO feedstock engage in vicious acts of cannibalism, and you will get a sense of what that is. The ghetto is a similarly sociologically confined space, and frustration and the inability to cope or escape can lead to misplaced violence or acting out against others.
    The second type of violence is institutionalized violence, where, in an intentional process of social engineering, one group or class of people is taught to hate and fear another group or class. This is the process that I, employing Gregory Bateson’s insights, term schismogenesis. It is divide and rule at its most base level: Civil wars, genocide, pogroms, mob violence, etc.
    And yes, the police are deeply inculcated in perpetuating institutional violence. They are trained to both hate and fear the public they lord over. And the system is not accidental, by any means. The police on the beat, the SWAT teams, the civic snipers, etc. — these are people of rather limited intellectual abilities in understanding how the entire geopolitical system works. They are, by nature, not curious in that way — rather, they are ordinary people who value fitting in, convention, tradition, and law and order in society. In other words, they buy into the myths of our society, its “freedom,” and “liberty,” and “goodness of purpose,” and “rightness of heart,” and “exceptionalism,” lock, stock, and barrel. And they expect others to buy in as well in order to be “good” patriotic Americans. After all, “if you are not with us, you are against us,” as George Bush Jr. explained in one of his few elegantly articulate formulations. Therefore, the police are vulnerable to being easily propagandized.
    They are then compartmentalized in knowledge, grouped into subgroups, and endlessly trained and drilled in hate and fear of the official “enemy” of the day, and then trained in techniques of the highest level of violence in thwarting the alleged goals of these enemies. Police no longer make use of bobby clubs, they are now given the elite weapons of war that our soldiers use in combat. They watch movies to see how these weapons are employed. And to seal the deal, they are given special classes, trainings and drills from the same “specialists” on “terror” that train our military because the American way of subversion always includes making people feel special. Now, they are not dumb cops anymore, they are well trained, and they are told that they are our elite guard protecting the “homeland” from those who hate our ways of freedom.
    They are also economically privileged compared to the people of places like Ferguson. Police have unions, and theirs are probably the only labor unions in America today not under constant attack from the ruling class. So they get generous overtime, benefits, can buy houses and raise kids in safety outside of the leviathan that I am describing. They also, to a certain extent, benefit from the inequalities of society. So they look down on those they are policing and look up to their betters: The wealthy and those who are experts in the “threats facing society today.” Go to a real wealthy neighborhood, and the cops don’t have that same smug attitude. They address you as “Sir” or Ma’am.” If they have to pull you over for having a headlight out, they can be downright apologetic — after all, you may be a judge or a city councilman. They know who their betters are, and now they act like public servants, albeit a little falsely servile. This is obviously not the case in Ferguson, where the number of police stops annually is greater than the population of the town, and arrests are similarly elevated.
    Finally, police on the force for any length of time must face the complete corruption of our society: They know that justice is a farce. They know who the drug dealers are, the money runners, the pimps, the bought politicians, and judges — the whole nine yards. And they know that there is no will to change any of this. Moreover, they have no power over any of this: They can either choose to be complicit in the corrupt system, or keep to themselves and hope for the best not to be set up one day as a patsy.
    Thus, police in our society live in a state of total cognitive dissonance, what one might call an ethical double-bind. They are forced to see that on one hand, we are supposedly the greatest society ever; on the other hand, life is hopelessly brutal and corrupt. They must believe in, or at least publicly pay lip service, to the myths they are sworn to uphold: the wars on drugs and terror; the promise of progress and a quasi-religious kind of civic and moral redemption — that if you just keep your nose clean and work hard, you can escape the poverty of the ghetto they police; and that we live in a just society in which they are the protectors of that justice. Meanwhile, they like everyone else in America, watches as the whole system is rapidly breaking down. They know that there are no real jobs for the people of Ferguson, and that, like in the movie, “TheTruman Show,” the residents cannot escape the set.
    This double bind is of course unresolvable. So police themselves, under tremendous internal strain, resort to the same frustration-aggression, and unexpected violent lashing out, in order to cope.
    Under these conditions, the only power police have is over the people in the community they are supposed to serve. And the only way they can demonstrate that power is by acting out brutally and violently.
    Sociologists and criminologists know that the methods police are taught and trained in don’t work, just as economists know that “trickle down” really means “flow up.” Gentler methods involving community involvement, restorative justice, etc. have all been worked out and proved to work. But the new methods actually do work, only for different purposes and to different ends: they frighten and cower populations, they allow one group to dominate another, they isolate people and pit them against each other in fruitless zero-sum games, and they destroy human lives, values, and charitableness. In sum, they control people, and allow them to be selectively harvested for profit, like a slowly maturing cash crop in the sweltering St. Louis summer heat.
    And, community policing, bad as it is these days, does not even compare to the violence perpetrated by the new elite SWAT teams. These groups are as brutal as the teams used to clear houses in Iraq — and no surprise there, for they are taught the same methods: If it moves, take it out.
    And that brings us back to the police. Under the conditions I have just detailed, under the impossible constraints they forced to endure, how can they not be violent, at least some of the time. And how can they, as an organized force, not be violent in a systematic manner. Perhaps not all the time, but more often than not the social forces which police work under these days force violence to be propagated down in a systematic and totalizing manner.
    And it is the awareness of all that I have described that causes many commenters here to reflexively assume police lies and violence to be ubiquitous. I hope that this is more understandable now. It is not a judgment of an individual’s (the cop who shot Michael Brown) — who one obviously doesn’t know well — moral value, rather it is an holistic appraisal of the social and material conditions of our society today, in which the American underclass, and their handlers, seek to operate.
    Therefore, as for the police themselves, yes, perhaps out of the many hundreds of cases a year like this of police murder, corruption, assault, brutality, cover-up, bribery, theft, etc., there are possibly a few that were accidental, unintentional, or even false charges. If that were to be the case — which appears practically impossible — the facts would get out — unless the cop were being intentionally set up. But, to focus on this petty detail, and insist upon its importance to the bigger picture, is to miss that bigger picture altogether. I hope we can all see this.
    Posted by b on August 20, 2014 at 06:49 AM

  21. u says:

    here is a sample of media quality 30 years ago. It was not “news,” but is on topic as the prequel … backstory [???] to our current news.
    End of Empire (1985) Ch7 – Iran
    The series playlist is at …

  22. michael brenner says:

    The media get under our skin for good reason. Still, it is helpful to member that “it isn’t personal, it’s business.” So-called “news” today is a “business” both in the literal sense and in the looser sense that a variety of agenda items extraneous to presenting and trying honestly to interpret information dictate what and how it is done.
    Re. Trump, it is instructive to recall that the MSM largely made Trump a year or more back by giving him and his ravings disproportionate coverage with little if any critical commentary attached to it. This last despite ample evidence from Day 1 that he was indeed a crap artist, a crude racist and a borderline psychotic. Those were the days when long-scheduled special documentaries were cancelled in order to show live candidate Trump arriving at some obscure campaign stop with his big mouth act in full gear.
    At that very same time, and thereafter, Bernie Sanders was drawing as many votes on his side and beating Trump in mock contests. Yet, he was largely ignored and disparaged. After all, who was interested in a mild-mannered Brooklyn Socialist with normal grey hair? Those attributes not withstanding, he quickly would have gotten the star treatment had he done the following: proposed to build a 40 foot barrier around Wall Street to prevent its toxic products creating another financial pandemic; accused their executives of being the prime source of the S & M perversion proliferating in the seedy bars nestled under the derelict West Side Highway (factually true in the 1970s and 80s); ascribed these vile behaviors to genetic flaws in WASPs, and threatened to carpet bomb they next meeting of the IMF Executive Board unless they ceased immediately plotting to enslave Americans.
    The MSM would have been all gaga about this bold spirit who was giving expression to the deeply felt anger and frustrations of average Americans. They then would have turned on him as they have turned on Trump.
    By contrast, had Trump followed the advice of his few sane advisers and transmuted himself into a more sober – if still Tea Partyish Republican – the media would have totally forgotten who he was a few months earlier.
    Let’s face it, the entire system has degenerated into a crap-shoot among crap-artists which is immortalized on our screens and in print by the owners and operatives of the MSM who are the loyal products of the same society.

  23. JMH says:

    Kim Ghattas strikes me as an especially virulent war monger. I’m guessing that she has several axes to grind dating back to the Lebanese civil war and lives for exaction of her enemies.

  24. different clue says:

    I notice the BBC radio interviewers have done a lot of that for years. They do it from a sense of personal and institutional superiority on their own part, and rudeness on display.

  25. Bill Herschel says:

    Every single solitary one of my friends and family repeats verbatim what they hear on the “news” (print or TV) about Trump, Clinton, and American foreign policy. Any challenge to any individual piece of “information” is treated with surprise and ultimately something bordering on anger. “You can’t be serious,” is the message.
    This is a thunderous triumph for the purveyors of this material. If I ask why it is that we must spend a trillion dollars a year on defense and fight the longest war in American history in Afghanistan, place combat troops in numerous countries in active warfare, carry out aerial bombing via drones and aircraft in places where we have absolutely no identifiable national interest, etc. etc., I am ignored. The questions are not answered. They are treated as the ruminations of someone who “just doesn’t get it.”
    I respectfully decline to answer any questions about my friends and family, but they do not in general fit the profile of crazies with old George Bush stickers on their cars, although some of them probably do.
    Res ipsa loquitur, which in this case either means I am crazy or that the media is very effective at a task which has nothing to do with news.

  26. Larry Kart says:

    IMO, the problem is not the hosts of ANY of these shows, including the execrable Mika, but what seemingly has come to be the inevitable textures of the show themselves. The night before last, for the first time in years, I skipped around among the three network early evening news shows, having sworn off them and also all weekend and evening political talkfests since 2008, though my wife does tune in to the last two of these often enough for me to get both a whiff and the drift. In any case, not to exalt the likes of Brokaw and other anchor-beings of that era, but the willed triviality of what I saw (regardless of political POV) on those network evening news shows, both in terms of story selection/presentation and anchor-being demeanor, was startling in its difference from how things were circa 2008 — and things weren’t that great back then.
    I can see where one might bridle at and be mortally distressed by the various acts of overt and semi-overt propaganda one encounters (Judy Woodruff’s smug nudging on Evening Edition — another of my wife’s regular choices — especially makes smoke come out of my ears), but I remain convinced that the texture of triviality is the most insidious and damaging aspect of the whole charade, the conveyed sense that all that is being presented to us as news and/or commentary is finally a form of more or less arbitrary entertainment. The response I find myself wanting to make is that of Alice: “You’re nothing but a pack of cards!”
    I think of the Colonel’s suggestion on a previous thread that Willie Geist (formerly of the Geist/Tucker Carlson tag team) would be good substitute for Mika. Am I the only one who feels that the likes of both Mika and Geist (again regardless of political POV) are essentially performers striking poses in front of what they hope or think is a two-way mirror, on the other side of which there sit judges who really “matter” — though both that mirror and those judges who really matter almost certainly do not exist? Grasping at and trying to eat ectoplasm that is being sold to us by giddy-headed chimeras, that I believe is our current state.

  27. Edward Amame says:

    The media generally operates like a herd operates. The press corpse REALLY had it in for Al Gore way back when, they openly hated him with a passion — esp the dbs on the editorial page of the NY Times, specifically Frank Rich and Maureen Dowd. And except for McClatchy, I can’t think of a single North American news operation that wasn’t clamoring for us to go to war in Iraq. We swore off MTP and televised news years ago, except for the PBS NewsHour, which has lost a lot of the luster it had back in the old days when they didn’t have to rely so heavily on corporate sponsorship.
    Post internet, we now get most of our news online from a variety of sources.
    As for what’s being done to Trump by the press, it seems to me that a lot of it’s his own doing, but then I’m really not a fan. If Trump wants it to stop, he’s gotta get his poll numbers moving in the other direction — the press obviously enjoys kicking blowhards when they’re down. That means being a more careful about what he spews I mean says, and start kissing/making up with his fellow GOPers. Endorsing Ryan and the other GOP candidates who he has refused to endorse might be a good start. That may not change things at Morning Joe though since it’s on the network that was set up to be the lib equivalent of Fox News.

  28. “I think that if you are the type of person who wants to be informed (and are suitably self-controlled to realize your own biases) there is no better era to be living in than ours at present.”
    Could not agree more. The problem though, is that most people still don’t really want to be informed; instead, they want to conform. And that’s what the idiot box is there for. But I think the younger generation are now relying more on the internet for news rather than the broadcast media, which is a hopeful sign.

  29. The MSM have been telling us for over a year now that Trump’s campaign is about to implode, but it hasn’t yet. I think of Mark Twain’s old joke: “Reports of my demise are greatly exagerated.”

  30. JHG says:

    You guys crack me up! I stopped watching TV after 9/11 when I realized what a propaganda tool it is. Oh, there were earlier incidents. I remember when Tom Brokaw compared St Louis to St Petersburg in size and river location but nothing about any history such as imperial history or even World War II siege. The second incident was Chernobyl and reports of mass graves courtesy of again Tom Brokaw or maybe Peter Jennings. After that I lived through the laudatory reporting on Reagan and the complete absence of any serious questioning of his mental capacity during the latter part of his second term although in books written after he went to California his diminished capacity was noted. The propaganda in the lead up to the Iraqi War under George W Bush and the gushing over his pelvic sock was a real turn off. I listened to the BBC during the pre Iraqi War II but afterwards it seems the BBC was corralled by Tony Blair after a bust up over the coverage and a governor resigned. Since then the BBC seems to follow the script much better.
    My point is this: a lot of this righteous anger is because your boy is getting trampled even by FOX News. I have seen my boys trampled to death in the past because of this type of reporting or even non reporting, i.e. Bernie Sanders and others.
    Here’s another comment: this place has become an echo chamber and any attempts to inject an opposite view shot down. I am thinking of the recent writing by Margaret S. which was accused of campaigning for Mrs Clinton as if the majority of the correspondents here are not campaigning for Mr Trump. Anyway, I will now await the threats of Pinochet plane rides or execution for treason.
    I do have a question. What happens if Mr Trump does not win? Where does all this anger go?

  31. ToivoS says:

    The story we commented on three days back — Turkey FM calling on Russia to stop bombing Aleppo — looks like it was a disinformation piece originating in CNNTURK. Fortruss makes a pretty convincing case as well explaining why the Erdogan government failed to correct it.

  32. Tyler says:

    The sun rises in the east, rain falls down and EA continues to be incorrect on all counts.
    Its Trump’s fault when the DNC has their emails hacked, its Trump’s fault when the media ignores violations of national security, its Trump’s fault when a Sharia enthusiast gets his son killed.

  33. Bandolero says:

    Well, I always thought media is the business of brainwashing people just like pioneers like Edward Bernays defined their function. And I do think media work just like any other business, like for example politics. Who owns the shop or pays the bill decides what music is played. What I find a bit astonishing, though, is that the role of religious affiliation is seldomly discussed in that context.
    So, Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the Democratic party. Well-respected journalist J.J. Goldberg recently said, his theory is most big bucks given to candidates of the Democratic party come from people affiliated with one religious group:
    Everyone may confirm or reject for himself J.J. Goldberg’s theory by googling religious affiliations of the poeple on Clinton’s top donor list.
    And when it comes to media, one may also check owners and top execs for religious affiliations. A guy called Jason Bayz has done it recently:
    One may check that and agree or disagree with his analysis.
    If one agrees with the assumption that people affiliated with one religious group play an extraordinary powerful role in US media and politics, one may ask, if many of these people may have loyalties to a foreign country and specific US foreign policy designs desired by that foreign country.
    If that would be the case, than I think the answer shall be clear to what’s going on in US mass media and politics.

  34. different clue says:

    In Lambert Strether’s most recent “Water Cooler” post at Naked Capitalism ( Water Cooler is an afternoon roundup of a few interesting links to illustrate Strether’s thoughts about things and stuff), he has a section called Our Famously Free Press. Those few paragraphs seemed so worth reading that I will cut and paste them here . . .
    Our Famously Free Press
    “Okay I finally watched the full clip with Trump and everyone is full of shit. First of all, he specifically says he’s talking about a situation in which ‘someone hits us with a nuke.’ This is basic MAD theory. it was america’s standard strategy for decades. He goes on to ask- quite rightly- ‘then why are we making them?” The entire premise of our nuclear arsenal still existing is that we’d respond to nukes with nukes. We wouldn’t have them otherwise. Note that he’s talking about a general situation where someone nukes us. Hillary has in the past specifically said that she’d nuke Iran in response to Iran nuking Israel. Trump’s comments are pretty reasonable and it shows how pathetic our media is that his comments have never been contextualized. P.S. I don’t trust Joe Scarborough’s account of anything” [Nathan Tankus, Facebook]. Fool me once, on what Trump said of Putin and Clinton’s mail. This is twice. Hermaneutic (“rule of thumb”) of suspicion: Believe nothing the press says Trump said without checking a transcript.
    Lambert here: These are major issues. A Presidential candidate as the agent of a foreign power, and nuclear war. In both cases, the press and the political class just, well, made shit up, exactly as they did on WMDs for Bush’s Iraq War (though granted, the Bush administration helped, through its White House Iraq Group). The dreaded “some” might say “So what? Defeating Trump is more important than anything!” First, if you can’t defeat Trump without lying about him, do you really think you deserve the victory? More seriously, “the first taste is always free.” Does anybody really think that once the press and the political class have tasted blood in this way, that they’ll stop on November 8? Of course they won’t. And people on the left should be especially concerned, because both liberals and conservatives regard the left as the real enemy, and the same tactics will be applied to the left, especially “in time of war.” This shows why standing up independent left entities, beyond parties, is so very important and needs to be done immediately, election madness be damned.
    “The intensity of the attack was worthy of far worse offenses but overkill was the point after all. Supposedly accomplished people like Obama law school mentor Laurence Tribe actually claimed that Trump had violated laws prohibiting private citizens from doing business with foreign government and added for rhetorical flourish that he may have committed treason. The charge of treason can only be made when one makes war against the United States or gives aid and comfort to an enemy. None of those qualifiers applied in this case. Truth is already a casualty and Hillary Clinton isn’t even in office” [Black Agenda Report].
    UPDATE “Trump Taj Mahal owner to shut down struggling casino” [CBS]. If you want proof that liberals and the (currently) dominant faction of the Democrat Party really hate working people, look at how this story was not leveraged by Clinton’s bunker in Brooklyn. On a week where the Clinton campaign was fabricating and propagating outright lies about its opponent, it passed up the chance to truthfully highlight a Trump-branded business going belly-up, and to support the striking workers who were demanding the restoration of their health and retirement benefits (Local 54 of Unite-HERE). You’d think that would be a two-fer, but n-o-o-o-o-o-o.

  35. Edward says:

    I couldn’t find “Sideshow Bob Roberts” on youtube but watched a clip. As you say, it looked like it was based on Rush Limbaugh’s show. I suppose the episode was drawing on ideas about demagoguery. Anyway, it was a prescient Simpson’s episode. Another precedent for FOX could be the Morton Downey Jr. show.

  36. Fred says:

    Bernie was running against Hilary Clinton. It does not make any sense that the press would give him the star treatment when Hilary was the establishment candidate with all the money; just as Jeb, who raised millions and still self imploded, was the first establishment candidate on the Republican side.

  37. Eric Newhill says:

    Looking into the backgrounds of several of the well known anchors and writers, it is clear that the MSM is dominated by the spoiled children of well connected elitists, wannabe elitist social climbers and actual political operatives of a certain tribal persuasion.
    Even the blond babes MSM anchor that can cause me to have naughty thoughts aren’t just nobody airheads. Their parents are Somebodies
    In other words, it is The Borg.
    And they’re lecturing their shallow and irrelevant values to us.

  38. Brunswick says:

    5’oclock follies.

  39. cupcake says:

    sadly the problem is, this next generation, there is so much disinformation, I don’t see how they have any chance of forming accurate views of the world.

  40. walrus says:

    @JHG, it’s quality and facts that matter here. HIllary Clinton appears to have committed a felony in regard to handling of Governemnt secrets and. therefore discussion of her finer points is moot.
    To put it another way, speculating on HRC as Margaret has done makes about as much sense as commentating on Charles Mansons flower arranging skills.

  41. bks says:

    There is no reason to watch TV news anymore. The story is available sooner and in more depth on the Internet and you can find the answers to the questions that you think of rather than the questions that some insipid but good-looking news clown thinks of. I have no idea who “Mika” is and don’t want to know.

  42. charly says:

    BBC reliable? Only in a Fox news kind of way. You should see how they cover the Corbyn re-election. It is so bias it is funny.

  43. Bobo says:

    This is the week the Media attempted to make Donald into the nut they think he is. Tempement & Stability were their buzz words and then OMG the Nuclear Codes. They claimed Hillary was leading by 14% and found polls to prove it. Listening to Mika and troops left you thinking that she was so annoyed that someone of Donald’s ilk was actually challenging her predestined President. Someone previously said it, the media is nothing but the spoiled children of the elites carrying out the intentions of the Borg.
    Well the old cue ball from NOLA (James Carville) said the race was a lot closer than the polls are showing and voila I see there is a poll out this morning with Hillary up by 3%. The media must be furious, what can they think up next. I see they are dragging poor Melania through the mud. First a few nude shots, now nudies with women then how did she get in this country and oh, she was married before. Well it’s summer so what else can they do but prove to us all that it is a waste of a moment to watch or listen to the biased media.
    My only remedy is to watch Spanish TV news as the women are beautiful and I pick up every third word so I think I know what they said. Not much different than US media but the scenery is better.

  44. Edward Amame says:

    Somebody’s rapid response people did a pretty good spin job on the DNC hack. Reporters took the bait and turned it into a story on Manafort/Trump’s Ukraine/Russian connections. That’s just plain competence — a primer on how to handle the Washington press corpse, on turning a negative into a net about-break-even in this case. Unfortunately, for me anyway, it highlighted the neo-cold warrior attitudes that Clinton and a number of Dems of all stripes share about Putin/Russia.
    I don’t know what was on MSNBC, but we had on the NewsHour last night while we made dinner. The big story was Clinton’s ongoing email problem. No specific mention of Trump but it did say how it affected her negatives.
    If that last reference is to what I think it is, it’s pretty vile. Trump dug his own grave on that one. That was a textbook case of how NOT to do rapid response. If he’d instead kept his yap and his tweets shut, his poll numbers might not be so piss poor right now. But he obviously has about zero self control. That ought to concern you.

  45. steve says:

    Uhh, they went after Michelle Obama for her high school term papers, or was it college. Maybe junior high. Cant remember. This is not new. It sells well.

  46. JMH says:

    MSNBC is airing women’s beach volley ball right now, the only worthwhile thing they will do this summer, enjoy.

  47. jld says:

    Yes, exactly, I always look at the BBC to know what is The Borg “official message” of the day.
    It is much more concise and relevant than trying to filter out the noise from US news sites loaded with dumbed down “entertainement” for the ‘Murikan masses or the “contentless” continental European medias.

  48. Jack says:

    I have been a consumer of financial media for decades. My morning ritual for a very long time was to read the WSJ and FT cover to cover. These publications have been infected by the same virus that afflicts political media. They are no longer purveyors of news but propagandists pitching the Borg orthodoxy. That’s why they are losing their potency as people like Col. Lang shine the spotlight on reality. While the reach of this alternative media is limited today, it continues to grow as cognitive dissonance grows.
    In this context I recommend this commentary by Doug Noland.
    “..I see no dialing back Government Finance Quasi-Capitalism. Government intervention – in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China and EM – has been so egregious and overpowering that retreat has become unthinkable. Policymakers would have to admit to historic misjudgment – and then be willing to accept the consequences of reversing course. Global markets and economies are now fully dependent upon aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus. Bubbles are in the process of “going to unimaginable extremes – and then doubling!” Bursting Bubbles will evoke finger-pointing and villainization. That’s when the geopolitical backdrop turns frightening.”

  49. SmoothieX12 says:

    Enough to recall US MSM covering Beslan or Nord-Ost siege. Pretty much answers it all.

  50. Fred says:

    True. I would say watch sports but then the SJW coopting has been going on for awhile. All this cord cutting couldn’t be due to the “vibrant” economy just reported, which is the opposite of the description at either convention and it couldn’t possibly be due to the narrative.

  51. Sam Peralta says:

    This article discusses what has been discussed at SST recently about the two nations.

  52. charly says:

    Network news watchers have always been old people. They have the time

  53. bth says:

    This article from the Daily Beast discusses Russian disinformation campaigns using social media and active and grey English language sourcing. This is particularly true on twitter. Specific reference can be seen on the #incirlik feed.

  54. Tyler says:

    “Rapid response team” you mean the ENTIRE media going to bat for her. The DNC was in collusion with the media to publish stories they found acceptable and you’re pretending that it wasn’t orchestrated by the media? You are a fool.
    Which is not surprising, considering you think that Khazir Khan, immigration fraudster extrodinaire, has any standing to lecture a US presidential candidate about the Constitution as he defends Shariah law because his dead son managed to get himself exploded.

  55. Tyler says:

    “They” didn’t go after her. The part of the media that isn’t beholden to the Borg pointed out that Mooshelle Obama writes like a third grader and has a huge chip on her shoulder regarding whitey.

  56. Tyler says:

    If I say “black trash Americans” or “ghetto black scum Americans” or “beaner dirt Americans” or “curry filth foreigners” is that cool by the lights of the NYT?

  57. TV says:

    In what century?
    The media deified the Obamas and has continued to.
    Obama was no more qualified to be POTUS and probably LESS qualified than Trump, but the consistently lefty media elevated him to Superman status.

  58. Edward Amame says:

    No I don’t mean the media went to bat for her. I meant exactly what I said. And what’s with the name calling? Will I get banned if I respond to that?
    The rest of what you wrote is just par for the course from your usual nativist BS.

  59. turcopolier says:

    Edward Amame
    “Fool” is not much of a name to be called. You are a New Yorker. You must have a thicker skin than that. Feel free to call him out. OTOH Khizr Khan IS an immigration lawyer trading in immigrant visas more or less bought through the investment clause in the immigration law. pl

  60. Fred says:

    “white trash” has always been a double barreled version of the N word. The latter being cool to apply to Barack if your name is Larry Whitmore and you are at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

  61. turcopolier says:

    “Russian disinformation campaigns” What do you think we do? pl

  62. Fred says:

    Well CNN is traveling further left on everything. The latest piece of propaganda being Anthony Bourdain’s take on Russia. Short on food, long on the anti-Putin message.

  63. bth says:

    Flag it when we see it. It is necessary that it be pointed out if we are to function with some objectivity in a free society.

  64. turcopolier says:

    “Flag it when you see it?” Oh, come on! Did you miss the whole memetic campaign to convince the American people that we should invade Iraq? did you not hear Wolfie testify before the senate that they picked the WMD meme after trying out others because it would “sell?” Do you not see that Ben Rhodes is running the anti-Russian, anti-trump, “Assad must go” campaigns out of the WH? What sort of bubble do you live in? pl

  65. jld says:

    What sort of bubble do you live in?

    It could just be a case for the Upton Sinclair quote:

  66. Sam Peralta says:

    To quote JD Vance in the article I linked to:
    “And if you’re an elite white professional, working-class whites are an easy target: You don’t have to feel guilty for being a racist or a xenophobe. By looking down on the hillbilly, you can get that high of self-righteousness and superiority without violating any of the moral norms of your own tribe.”
    It seems that in SJW utopia one can shit on “white trash hillbillies” but if you call blacks “negro” or “nigger” let alone anything worse or Mexicans “wetbacks” then it is very uncool and the DoJ should investigate for a hate crime. The PC police are always around to shout “racist” and “misogynist” at anybody that doesn’t fit their morality.

  67. bth says:

    Sadly, Col. as you know full well but forget, I did not miss the Wolfie campaign meme and its devastating consequences. I’ve been involved in calling it out publicly since 2003. The memetic campaigns have to be pointed out when they occur. People can make their own decisions…. And don’t give me that bubble nonsense.

  68. turcopolier says:

    I do not appreciate your supercilious bullshit. Keep it up and you are gone. pl

  69. Tyler says:

    You forgot to add “posted from a lily white zip code with only screened minority play dates allowed”.
    Cries about name calling and then calls names. “Nativist BS.” , You sound more like a woman with every post. Are you transitioning?

  70. Fred says:

    That’s a very good description of reality.

  71. TonyL says:

    Col Lang,
    Although I don’t agree with bth about his pet peeves (e.g. Russia disinformation campaign), I think he is stating his opinion fairly.
    You’ve been a little short temper lately. I hope everything is OK with your health. And I meant that sincerely. You are a great teacher to all of us.

  72. turcopolier says:

    IMO you are new here. bth is not. He has been here for a very long time. His son was killed in Iraq. I have often honored his son’s service for the Republic in a war I think was madness. That madness was irrelevant to his son’s service connected death. I do not appreciate having him remind me of his son’s sacrifice in order to win an argument. In recent months bth has been writing opinions here that make him no more than any other Borgist type. At one point I questioned his identity because the shift has been so dramatic. My health? Other than being 76 years old I am in quite good health. Thank you for your concern. pl

  73. Edward Amame says:

    Ya think? I’ve always thought you try way too hard to read like a right wing Mike Hammer, like you’re trying to overcompensate for something. What’s your favorite gladiator movie?

  74. Edward Amame says:

    Col Lang
    Thanks for the heads up. I responded in kind to his last comment.

  75. Edward Amame says:

    So the guy is an immigration attorney. He uses the law to get his clients US legal status. There have been no accusations that Khan’s implicated in any abuse of visa statues. So big deal…oh wait, it’s a big deal because his clients are likely not Western European, right?
    And I saw that you ripped your Khan-spin straight from Breitbart and Daily Caller. Yup, a one of a kind example of higher independent thinking you are. Sad!

  76. Edward Amame says:

    One final piece of clarification, Tyler. NYC is awfully big with lots of zip codes. Here’s the current racial makeup of mine based on 2010 census info:
    White population 30,587
    4,775 Black population
    101 American Indian population
    8,277 Asian population
    21 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander population
    219 Some other race population
    1,390 Two or more races population
    15,977 Hispanic or Latino population
    So you’re wrong again. Sad!

  77. u says:

    bth linked to an article on dailybeast. why does he have so much confidence in the authors Andrew Weisburd and Clint Watts of FPRI? Can he please clear up the question of “whois” Weisburd? Is he Andrew Aaron Weisburd also Aaron Weisburd of Internet Haganah?

  78. rjj says:

    “u” is me.

  79. turcopolier says:

    Why the name change? Boredom? I have told bth that IMO it would be better if he leave SST. I do not want to get into a prolonged ass kicking contest with him. pl

  80. rjj says:

    mishap: tidying up workspace > jogged trackball > corrupted form entry.

  81. Tyler says:

    I’m in your head buddy. Three replies to address what you’re thinking, your so mad.
    1) glad you’re out and proud. Let me know when I need to call you Edwina.
    2) Dude is a fraudster and favors Shariah law. Your response of “huh uh!” and liberar spin regarding WHAT THE MAN HIMSELF HAS WROTE AND DONE is unconvincing. I hope I’m the one who stuffs his ass on a boat back to Pakistan.
    3) All you have done is prove my point that you live in a lily white neighborhood. Are you really this dumb?
    Sad! You should have slunk away instead of embarassing yourself with this homotional display when the Colonel banned your ass.

  82. Edward Amame says:

    I’m not a morning person, so don’t pat yourself on the back too hard, you might hurt yourself.
    1. Sorry to crush any fantasies of yours, but there’ll never be a need. Feel free to call me Ed, though.
    2. Just your usual word stew with zip to back it up.
    3. You’re a whiz with numbers you are.

  83. Tyler says:

    1) Relax Edwina. I won’t deadname you.
    2) His own words are all over the web. More liberal lenses wanting to see Muslims as pets.
    3) Knowing how the census counts hispanics, you are indeed “lily white”.

  84. Edward Amame says:

    I just Googled “deadname.” I’m really starting to wonder about you, Tyler.
    That’s it for me and this incredibly inane conversation, if you can even call it a conversation. Feel free to take the last shot.

  85. turcopolier says:

    One of the more disgusting political things said on 24/7 news is the repeated statement on MJ by the rich real estate runt, Donnie Deutsch, that people who support Trump do so because they are “ignorant and uneducated.” Well, pilgrims, perhaps you could devise a more stereotypical New Yorker thing to say about other Americans but, that would require thought. pl

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