Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for March 25th, 2007

My Sentiments Exactly

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 25, 2007

The whole rant by Hunter over at DailyKos is lovely, but this section has special resonance for me:

I have never (and I do mean, never) gotten the impression that anyone among the upper echelons of the press understands just how badly their long-term credibility has been damaged by their uncritical kowtowing to administration propaganda when it comes to the Iraq War. I’ve never gotten the impression that they comprehend just how much their brand credibility was torn to ribbons, and how to this day there are large segments of the population — the segments of the population that tend to pay the most attention to issues and news events, not coincidentally — who remember quite well all the things the editorialists of the press were wrong about, and continue to be wrong about, and manage to make themselves quite insufferably wrong about, and that there simply is no patience, or marketplace, for these same voices again. Just as events in Iraq have impacted our military for the next two decades, so too will future editorializing about future national security debates be impacted by the abandonment of principles evinced by media behavior in the Iraq War.


… The major media outlets, by weakening their own apparent capacity for genuine analysis of the news they themselves produce, have made more and more of what they do expendable. Fred Hiatt has an opinion about something? Well, honestly, so the hell what? I’ve got an opinion too, and I apparently pay more attention to the actual on-the-ground reporting in his paper than he does. Judith Miller wants to tell us all about a new Iraqi defector that just coincidentally repeats whatever talking point the administration is most interested in pushing that particular week. Well, if it’s false information from a demonstrably non-credible source, than how is that different from peddling raw propaganda, and how is that reporting? Tom Friedman met a cab driver somewhere in Asia that uncannily has all the same opinions as Tom Friedman himself does, expressed in almost the exact same way? Well, Jeebus, who the hell cares? I’ve got an old box-style cheese grater that agrees with everything I’ve ever said, too, but I don’t write friggin’ columns about it. And I could, too, because it’s got a compelling life story — its job was outsourced to the KitchenAid on the counter, and the damn thing has been rusting in a drawer ever since.

Cynicism on the part of much of the intelligent public, and apparently very justifiable cynicism at that — that’s the problem. The reporting of fact remains vital, but  the editorial pages, the punditry — the lifeblood of cable news, as it turns out — those things are made of weaker stuff. They don’t carry much weight, because they are by definition not designed to be very weighty. More to the point, those things are reproducible by others — the only thing the pundit press has going for it is credibility. If the credibility is gone, by, say, being pompously, arrogantly, and window-rattlingly wrong on the major issues of the day for an extended period of years on end, then the rest of it is as good as gone too.

Posted in anti-truth, beat the press, blogs and blogging, GOP/Media Complex, media, Media machine, mediawhores | 5 Comments »

Just a Coincidence, I’m Sure

Posted by MEC on March 25, 2007

In this DailyKos post, Valtin informs us that Brett Tolman, the Congressional staffer who inserted language into the USA-PATRIOT Act permitting the Attorney General to appoint U.S. attorneys without Senate approval, is now the United States Attorney for Utah.

Ain’t that peculiar.

Posted in US attorney firings, US Attorney scandal | 3 Comments »

Sunday Crocus Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 25, 2007

Because it’s nice to see that spring is arriving after all.


Posted in Good Things, Just for fun | 2 Comments »

Who gets to choose who gets heard?

Posted by Charles II on March 25, 2007

To its credit, C-Span had a great presentation by Dr. Richard Jadick, who set up a battlefield hospital in Fallujah.

And then there’s Bjorn Lomborg, a professional global warming skeptic whose only training is in political science. To quote Wikipedia:

After the publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg was accused of scientific dishonesty. … On January 6, 2003 the DCSD [Danish scientific standards committee] reached a decision on the complaints. The ruling was a mixed message, deciding the book to be scientifically dishonest, but Lomborg himself not guilty because of lack of expertise in the fields in question.

Although the ruling was returned to the DCSD on appeal, it was only on a procedural technicality. The original committee declined to re-open the matter because they felt their decision would not be altered. Lomborg refuses to answer one of the original plaintiffs, Kåre Fog, who has compiled a detailed list of statements by Lomborg that he says are false.

Lomborg doesn’t list any work published in a legitimate physical sciences journal. I don’t think he can get one published. He lacks any relevant training to debate climate issues. Many of his colleagues believe he is scientifically dishonest. And yet he got two hours on television, up against a Democratic congressman rather than a climatologist, to debate the premier environmental issue of the day.

This is not a good use of the cable franchise. One of the issues the Democratic Congress ought to be addressing is how C-Span selects guests.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

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