Wednesday, March 25, 2009

This Is Why I Hate On The Media (A Remix to Beige's Remix)

Beige raises a couple very good points about the President's lack of Honeymoon. We shouldn't be surprised. The Media is driven now not know...what's it called again?? Oh yeah, news. It's driven by News cycles, things that dominate coverage for a period of time, so the NewsMedia can devote its already scant resources to pounding the living @#$% out of it.

What are you laughing at? It sells papers, and well...someone out there's buyin'.

As far as the Newspapers are concerned, however, I'm not sure it's the Liberal Papers that are buying it in particular.

A couple of years ago, the New York Times decided to make you pay for the privilege of reading some (note, not all) of their online content. If you wanted to read Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd, and Paul Krugman, you had to be a part of their premium access club.

The experiment lasted all of a year. You'll notice that the content is free again.

Weren't makin' no money. makes you wonder what exactly it is the Newspapers are complaining about? After all, most of least the ones going out of business...are saying that it's the internet that's responsible.

Well, yes and no.

We've lost the Rocky Mountain News. We're about to lose the Seattle Post Intelligencer. Part of the problem is the fact that the Rocky Mountain News used to compete just against the other paper in town, the Denver Post.

Now they're competing against all of them.

I mean, across the planet...every single paper ever published, every day.

If you're a reader, and you want the latest Political News, or latest Foreign Policy News...and you're living in the Denver Area...are you really going to tell me your first choice is the Rocky Mountain News, when the BBC, Washington Post or New York Times is out there?

This happened with the auto industry back in the day. When it first started, there were hundreds of companies trying to make cars. You'll notice that only three survived (and barely that). The Marketplace found its water level. It could support three auto companies, nothing more.

If you lived in Denver and 5000 Newspapers opened up ...chances are 90% of them would fail.

Denver's Newspapers were only competing with each other one second, then Planet Earth the next.

Funny thing is, the Rocky Mountain News should've concentrated on local news, one area the BBC and Washington Post can't touch. They should have cut their budget a little bit, and--

--oh what was that?

They've already done that...all while sacrificing national and international coverage they used to do on their own??


This is going to be an ugly process. It's not the Newspapers' fault...although cutting back on newsgathering couldn't have been a smart move. The Marketplace expanded. The playing field changed. A lot of Newspapers are going to fail, including ones you like and depend on.

Pro-Life Myopia

Used to be that there was one thing the pro-choicers and the pro-lifers would agree upon (at least among the moderates on both sides): The life of the mother was sacrosanct.

Of course that was before extreme fundamentalist thought became more mainstream; what I like to call the Jesus Campening of the US.

Proof of how far things have progressed (regressed?) lay in the movement to bestow "personhood" upon the fetus; a movement that has found sympathetic minds in the legislatures of various states in conservative frontierlands, specifically the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and Oregon. In essence, what these states are trying to do is to give the fetus the same inalienable rights as a person, thereby making abortion the same as murder; what isn't said is that this also allows the state to make decisions regarding a woman's pregnancy, regardless of any possible health risks to the mother.

Exaggeration? A bit of hullaballoo to rile up the left? Not so; check out this quote from a video created by the National Advocates for Pregnant Women:

Angela Carder, a Clarksville, Md., woman featured in the video, became critically ill at 25 weeks pregnant. Her family and physician all agreed to carry out her wishes and keep her alive as long as possible -- but her hospital called an emergency hearing to determine the rights of the fetus. A court held that the fetus' right to life outweighed its mother's, and ordered a C-section despite the fact that the surgery could kill Carder. The operation was performed, and neither one survived.

(For more about the video, the NAPW, and further issues relating to "personhood," check out this item from Salon's Broadsheet; the bit about the woman from Florida who wanted a VBAC is just about as scary.)

Meanwhile, I am forced to wonder what's possible on the opposite end of the political spectrum: RU486 in the water? Sterilization at birth? The mind boggles.

This Is Why I Hate On The Media (Beige Remix)

Just adding to the dogpile currently hosted on SEI (let us not forget, the d-bags deserve it):

Toward the tail end of Salon's commentary on O's press conference on Tuesday, Mike Madden notes "(b)arely two months into his term, Obama's honeymoon looks like it's already over."

There was a honeymoon?

Granted, even SEI hasn't resisted the allure of criticising the moves coming out of the Oval Office, but a) we'd do that for any president, regardless of whether we'd support him or not (and we do - I like to think), and b) we're on the blogosphere...On the left end of the blogosphere at that, no one's paying attention to us.

Compare that to the coverage O has received from the mainstream media and the right wing noise machine ("socialist agenda"; the re-rising of Limbaugh the Hut & The Dittoheads, "I want the president to fail"; the Cheney double-standard). And we haven't even seen the results of O's actions yet! This really does bring to stark relief just how different the media behaves when there's a Democrat in the White House.

W got a 6.5 year honeymoon, O didn't make it 64 days.
Tangentially, is it just me, or are the lefty-leaning daily newspapers of the world the ones that are dying off first?

It's certainly true of the Rocky Mountain News (lefty for generally red Colorado), and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (which was as lefty as a Hearst publication could get; RIP both institutions).

What about in your hometown?

This Is Why I hate on the Media (Swine Version)

I've had it up to my thinning, graying crown with the American press corps; and with people in general. I am fully convinced we are the most despicable animals in universal history, and I ain't just sayin' this 'cause I'm the resident curmudgeon here.

This morning is abuzz with the nay-sayers and critics of Obama's press conference last night. The consensus among the swine periodistas is that the Prez appeared too non-plussed, too rational, too "...distant and intellectual" (according to Republican strategist Matthew Dowd, who in the past has extolled Obama's virtues). If we are to believe this excrement---and a lot of us do---then our leader is apparently a disconnected elitist smoking Gauloises cigarettes out on the West Wing porch, without any interest in or concern with the gargantuan economic outhouse in which we, and the rest of the world, find ourselves.

Ladies and gents, this is the type of horseshite that has, over the last thirty years, accumulated and finally tipped me over the edge of reasonable sanity. Never in my life have I seen such anti-education, anti-intellectual backlash as has been practiced in this country. "I" is the new scarlet letter, you hear that Nathaniel? I am baffled by the continuously low standards we are pushing onto ourselves and our children, and remain fully incredulous at what a negative connotation the word "education" continues to have in our vernacular. It's easy to recognize the psychology in this: set the bar low enough and no one stands to disappoint. Everyone wins, right? A nation of mediocrity forging through time and history like a blind donkey. But with guns. Big guns, at that.

I wonder: what exactly would have made the media happy last night? To stand before an irrational, sabre-rattling, fist-shaking rabid dog spewing revolutionary bile and incoherent solutions? If so, may I suggest they migrate their critiquing arses down to Venezuela and take a look at what's happening down there.

At one point during the conference, newly-minted Press Corps Douchebaggius Extraordinaireus Chuck Todd stood and delivered this doozy.

It was nothing less than astounding, considering what we now know about lack of responsibility and accountability from banks and the likes of AIG. But then again, it shouldn't be too outrageous or revolting. News outlets are, after all, owned by corporations. Or insufferable despots like Rupert Murdoch. Oh wait...that's redundant.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is why I hate on the media...

It’s a nothing story, but it shows how the media bends over backwards to twist things into whatever shape they want to, or care to.

The Hill has a story on its website today: McCain creams Obama — in NCAA picks.

McCain’s bracket has 14 teams picked correctly headed into the Sweet Sixteen, placing him in the 94th percentile after the first weekend of play.

Okay. Fine. Congratulations to the Senior (and I mean, Senior) Senator from Arizona.

One problem. There's this little piece in the Politico, an article called Obama's bracket looking up, which says:

The president's NCAA tournament bracket looked a lot better Sunday when he correctly picked 14 of the 16 teams to reach the regional semifinals.

So…ummm…you want to run this by me again?!?

Oh, and welcome back there, (S)wine.

Originally posted on Fort McHenry.

Por Ahora (Part Deux)

Good morning. Remember me? I've been locked away for a while but way-ell...I've been keeping my eye on you. Yes you, Señor El Presidente Douchebag Chávez. Some of us here in the "North American Empire" are actually endowed with the education and ability to not only read, but analyse and form opinions far as I can tell, are still allowed to criticise governments.

For our dear readers who haven't yet scoured the news wires this morning, El Presidente launched an uncalled-for, disrespectful salvo at the U.S. yesterday on his usual, interminable Sunday babblefest of a show, calling President Obama "ignorant," and saying he has a lot to learn about Latin America.

“At least one could say, ‘poor ignorant person,’” Chávez said, adding that Obama “should read a little bit so that he learns about the reality.”

Chávez continued his usual diatribe: “If Obama respects us, we’ll respect him. If Obama tries to keep disrespecting Venezuela, we will confront the North American empire.”

May I remind our loyal readers what I wrote in my original piece (December, '08) on this Castro-wanna-be clown:

...despite the muscle flexing, tough talk, and anti-American rhetoric, Chávez knows full well he's engaged in an interdependent political game with the United States to buy his country's oil. What most people don't realize is that Venezuela has no other market for the greater part of its oil: heavy crude.

Heavy crude is special stuff and is not for the average refinery. The majority of Venezuela's oil can only be processed in the specialist refineries run by Hovensa (a joint venture between US refiners Hess Corp and PdVSA) located in the US Virgin islands, among other places. Meanwhile, the U.S. readily accepts the Venezuelan heavy crude because without it the heavy crude refineries would close. There is no other supplier of this special crude available, so the U.S. would lose around 11% of its total domestic oil products supply in one fell swoop.

The result is of the 2.15 million barrels per day (mbpd) Venezuela pumps presently, 1.35mbpd has to go to the U.S. Simply put, without Venezuela, U.S. refineries will close and the country will have an oil supply crisis. Meanwhile without the United States, Venezuela will have no market for the lion's share of its crude, and thus Señor Presidente would be voted out.

Forget dependence on foreign oil; when will the American people and politicians realise that a total and complete divorce from reliance upon oil via innovation and the harnessing of alternative sources will not only spearhead the effort of a global movement to save this rapidly-declining planet, but will in effect get these irrelevant bozo Commie barbudos off our backs once and for all? These insufferable parasites hang around rattling their sabres like flies for a reason: we continue to produce and provide the manure which attracts them.
(source for Chávez quotes: The New York Times)