Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

#pointergate And Voting Rights

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 8, 2014

If you’ve been following the whole #pointergate story, you probably know that it’s about how a local Republican-affiliated television station in Minneapolis has become a national if not worldwide laughingstock for pushing a “mayor is flashing gang symbols” hit piece fed to it by cops and ex-cops who hate the reformist mayor Betsy Hodges and her new chief of police Janee Harteau.

Here’s Brian Lambert’s excellent precis:

I mean, this story is so nakedly and thoroughly targeted at a key demographic for local TV news you practically choke on it. And by that I mean this: The only viewers who were going to swallow this story — as Kolls and KSTP presented it — are fearful whites with little or no personal interaction with blacks or other minorities. People who almost never counter-balance the “news” they get on TV with any other stream of information, other than maybe an e-mail from an equally fearful friend or relative.

With the audience for local TV news was shrinking nearly as fast as it has been for daily newspapers (until a modest uptick in 2013) the core that remains is both older and (I strongly suspect) less socially sophisticated — i.e. more isolated from “criminal elements” than even 20 years ago. Where savvier news consumers have long since stopped rolling their eyes at the cliched/treadworn “if it bleeds it leads” news segments and turned off the local news altogether in favor of the internet, the crowd that remains faithful to local TV continues to be riveted by the relentless narrative of hardened thugs gunning down each other and therefore, soon to be blasting their way through the front doors of those same terrified viewers, never mind that their doors are in Maple Grove, Big Lake, Victoria, Edina and St. Cloud.

It was to that core local news crowd, primarily white, aged and out of step with the realities of modern urban America that Kolls and KSTP were appealing, and why they look like such pawns and fools today. (According to Pew research 54% of local TV’s news audience is over age 50. Although it could be worse. The over-50 audiences for Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity clock in at 64% and 66% respectively.)

What you might not know is that this smear involved attacking the mayor and by extension her police chief because they attended a get-out-the-vote event held by Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. And of course, Republicans hate anything that involves encouraging poor people, especially poor nonwhite people, to vote – hence the flurry of laws designed to keep poor and nonwhite people from voting.

The Brennan Center makes a very good case for the idea that voter suppression may have been what cost the Democrats the Senate last Tuesday. It’s worth readng.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on November 7, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 4 Comments »

Who didn’t show up

Posted by Charles II on November 5, 2014


In 2012, young voters, African Americans, and Latinos represented 19%, 13%, and 10%, respectively, of the national electorate. This year, those same groups represented 13%, 12%, and 8%, respectively, of the national electorate, according to CBS News. The smaller share of the electorate was not because White turned out in overwhelming numbers. It was because younger voters and minorities stayed home.

Probably nothing to do with mass purges of the voter rolls, threatening African Americans with jail for voting, unreasonable requirements for Voter ID. Or, for that matter, a failure to deliver a good employment market, rising wages, etc.

Must be because they hate Kenyan Muslim carriers of the dread Ebola.

BTW, congratulations to Minn Dems for good wins on a bad night!

Posted in Democrats, Obama Administration | 4 Comments »

More yikes

Posted by Charles II on November 4, 2014

Sydney Morning Herald:

Kiev: Ukraine is rearming and deploying newly formed units to protect cities in the east of the country from threatened attempts by pro-Russian rebels to seize more territory.

Troops were in place to defend government-held cities from Mariupol on the Black Sea to Kharkiv in the north-east, near Russia, he said.

Posted in Russia | Leave a Comment »

Glen Taylor, Shoving The StarTribune Ever Rightward

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 1, 2014

Billionaire businessman and sports team owner Glen Taylor said back in April that he would take the newspaper he’d just bought and shove it to the right. (As if having D.J. Tice, Donald Dwight, and Katherine Kersten on staff wasn’t enough proof that the paper’s “liberal” image was created mainly by far-right lunatics eager to cow the Strib into ignoring their takeover of the Republican Party of Minnesota.)

And now, in case it wasn’t clear that Taylor meant what he said, the Strib’s editorial board has endorsed Stewart Mills III over Rick Nolan for Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District seat — even though every single one of Mills’ stated positions is at odds with those long held by the StarTribune: gun control, taxation, Obamacare, environmental issues, and foreign policy. (Something, by the way, which was noted by many longtime Twin Cities journalists, including former Strib reporter and opinion-page writer Eric Black.)

Of course, it may well not just be Taylor’s known conservatism driving this hard-to-explain endorsement. It could be the vast amounts of money spent by the Mills family on Fleet Farm ads in the paper.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on October 31, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Don Surber Probably Thinks His Only Mistake Is Forgetting To Speak In Code

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 30, 2014

You may have heard of this:

Don Surber is a columnist for the Charleston, West Virginia, newspaper, the Daily Mail. Opining about Ferguson, Surber said:

This summer I had an epiphany as I watched packs of racists riot in Ferguson, Missouri, in support of a gigantic thug who was higher than a kite when he attacked Ferguson Police Department Officer Darren Wilson, who unfortunately had to put this animal down.

Yes, it was written on Surber’s blog as opposed to the Daily Mail. But do you think that, say, the NYT would be lenient towards, say, Paul Krugman if he were to a private blog post to call, say, Allen West an “animal” who needed to be “put down”? (Especially considering Krugman has already been forced to eat dirt for making a good-faith reference to a Jason Leopold story in Salon, at the very same time that fellow NYT opinion columnist, archconservative William Safire, was getting away with patent and arrant nonsense about Mohammed Atta, Prague and Wales. And let’s not even get into the whole mess of scandals surrounding Judith Miller, Jeff Gerth, and Stephen Labaton, right-wing-servicing stenographers posing as NYT “reporters”.)

Surber has since been fired from the Daily Mail, but of course that will be converted into very salable pseudo-martyrdom that will appeal to whichever wingnut-welfare outfit — FOX News, The Daily Caller, Breitbart et al — picks him up in another week or two.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

It never happens to the bad guys

Posted by Charles II on October 24, 2014

Kevin Drum has cancer. He has hopes for a remission, but it’s a long and painful way back. Here’s prayers for a guy for whom my greatest criticism is that he is too nice.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on October 24, 2014

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | Leave a Comment »

Watch it

Posted by Charles II on October 21, 2014

Kill the Messenger is worth watching. Aside from the story itself, which is moving, it points to a broader feature of modern American life: we can no longer handle the truth. We have lost that sense of honor that demands that when we have made a mistake, we should acknowledge it and correct it. We imagine that we can become the image of ourselves that we create, independent of reality. And so we crash into reality, and are injured by that collision much more deeply than we ever would be by embracing the truth.

Gary Webb, we miss you.

Posted in abuse of power, CIA, colonial wars, media, Media machine, War On Some Drugs | Tagged: | 2 Comments »