A NEW WAY OF LIVING! When GE can lie to you this way, youre no longer in a democracy: // link // print // previous // next //
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2008
THE ROT OF THE JACK WELCH NETWORK: The rot of MSNBC has spread all though its parts. That in mind, we strongly recommend this Media Matters report about the nets Courtney Hazlett.
Yes, Hazlett is just a mindless dope, hired to churn out Hollywood drivel. And yes, she was talking to Willie Geist, former Tucker Carlson boy toy, at the end of a Morning Joe program. So yes, this is very much the shallow end of the networks news pool. But with that said, this incident gives you a perfect look at this networks prevailing methods.
Even Hazlett seemed to know that she was required to do it! In her exchange with Geist, she took a statement by Vogues Anna Wintour—and turned it into what it wasnt. Wintour, you see, had criticized the Washington Post—and that isnt allowed on this cable news network. So Hazlett did some doctoring—and poof! Wintours statement was no longer a knock at the Post. It was now aimed at Hillary Clinton.
For the record, the Post is a corporate partner of MSNBC—and Clinton is MSNBCs long-term target. Simple logic took over from there. So did Jack Welchs vile methods.
A much more serious episode follows. But even Hazlett seemed to know how Jack Welchs news network works.
A NEW WAY OF LIVING: In what follows, well eventually speak about GE. But first, some factual background.
Shortly before the Nevada caucuses, Barack Obama met with the editorial board of the Reno Gazette. During that session, he made a pair of statements which have been widely discussed. For ourselves, we dont think its worth having a heart attack over these statements—but on the other hand, the statements arent meaningless.
Just to establish the factual record, here are the statements in question. Statement 1 deals with Ronald Reagan. Sorry, but Statement 2 doesnt:
Might we make an obvious observation? In Statement 1, Obama was talking about Ronald Reagan—a Republican president who left office nineteen years ago. In Statement 2, he wasnt talking about Ronald Reagan. He was talking about developments of the last ten, fifteen years—a period which coincides with the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Its hard to imagine anything much more obvious. But over the course of the past three days, the screaming mimis of the NBC News/East Coast Irish-Catholic press corps have been insisting that Statement 2 was a statement about Ronald Reagan. And on the basis of that misstatement, theyve been saying very bad things about—who else?—Hillary Clinton.
Well end up speaking about GE—and about the political world you now live in. First, lets review what Clinton said about Obamas statements during Mondays debate.
On Monday night, Clinton criticized Obamas Statement 2—his statement about the last fifteen years. For the record, Clinton said nothing about Statement 1. Heres what she actually said at Mondays debate:
Was that a faithful paraphrase of Obamas statement? Different people will think different things. But Clinton was plainly referring to Statement 2—Obamas remarks about the last 10 or 15 years. But uh-oh! When Obama answered, he acted as if shed been talking about Statement 1—his statement about Ronald Reagan. In short order, Clinton interrupted, making an obvious point—she hadnt discussed Ronald Reagan:
Slick! And thats aimed at Obama.
Clinton made it abundantly clear. She had been talking about Statement 2. She hadnt mentioned Reagan, she (accurately) said—she had criticized Obamas statement about the ideas of the past 15 years. But so what? Playing it dumb—and getting applause—Obama continued defending his statement about Reagan, even after Clinton reminded him that she hadnt challenged that statement.
Obama, a very bright man, was playing it dumb as he answered here. Thats fairly standard in political debate; indeed, when John McCain does this, its instantly cast in stone as straight talk. But in this mornings New York Times, a certain semi-sane op-ed columnist gets busy trashing Hillary Clinton—due to Obamas bit of deception. Readers, put aside your current thoughts on Obama. This is how American politics has worked for the past sixteen years:
What happened at Monday nights debate? As usual, Dowd started lying. Baldly lying through her teeth as she has done for the past many years, Dowd told readers that Clinton had tried once more to take Obama's remarks about Ronald Reagan out of context. In reality, Clinton hadnt discussed Reagan at all. But Dowd knew she had to pretend.
In this passage, Dowd is playing by rules that have driven our politics in the Clinton/Bush era. If someone named Clinton or Gore makes a statement, then, by the rules, they just have to be lying. In this case, it was Obama who spun things a bit. So the facts had to be rearranged.
As noted, this has gone on for a very long time, as libs and Dems have dumbly looked on. Most appallingly, this is how Bush ended up in the White House, thereby leading the party of ideas over the past seven years. During the twenty months of Campaign 2000, endless statements by Gore were reinvented—just as Clintons statement is reinvented today. The rules of the game have been clear a long time. Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Hillary Clinton must always be turned into the liars.
But then, why should anyone be surprised to see Dowd playing this game? Last night, on Hardball, a plutocrat tool was also busy reinventing these facts. Over and over, Chris Matthews wondered why Clinton is so dishonest (so dirty)—why she claimed she didnt talk about Reagan when she so clearly had talked about Reagan. Even by this inveterate liars low standards, his reinventions last night were just stunning. It made us think about GE. But first, lets review what he said.
Early on, Matthews played tape of Clinton reminding Obama that she hadnt mentioned Reagan. Then, the strange, sick man said this:
In a rational world, that is simply bizarre. According to Matthews, in talking about the last ten to fifteen years, Clinton had clearly been talking about Reagan—a man who left office in 1989! Indeed, it was almost like in high school when Clinton denied this plain fact, Matthews said!
Dyson, a Clinton supporter, was completely unprepared for this odd line of questioning. So Matthews kept pushing this topic all night. Three separate times, he made this same case. By the end, he was saying this to the New York Times John Harwood—a housebroken fellow who seemed to know the rules of Chris Matthews great enterprise:
Clinton had been truthful—and Obama played dumb. But by the time Matthews and Harwood got done, it was Clinton who had been dishonest; who was compared to a high schooler; who was involved in the definition of is; who was looking for bricks in the street with which she could hit poor Obama. Hillary Clinton had been dishonest—and Hillary Clinton was playing too rough. And by the way: Its fairly clear, from this exchange, that Harwood understood the actual facts. (Harwood is perfectly bright.) But he also seemed to know what his loathsome host wanted. And he delivered it to him.
Matthews played this game all night long, turning Clinton into the liar—and into someone dirty (see below). But this is exactly the King Lear politics which have driven our discourse for the past sixteen years. In these politics, the truthful person becomes the liar; the dissembler is praised for telling the truth. Candidate Gore was also the liar—constantly made one by people like Matthews. Last night, once again, we saw the up-is-down way our politics have worked all these years.
Even by Matthews repulsive standards, last nights reinventions were striking. Watching, we found ourselves thinking of a big defense contractor—of Chris Matthews owner, GE. In case you dont know it, heres the history: In 1986, GE purchased NBC News—and Jack Welch, a near-billionaire conservative Republican, began to assemble its current news team. His put three Reagan Democrats in high office—and made them into multimillionaires. From that day to this, theyve turned a string of Big Major Dems into big major liars.
For the first time in our lives, we thought a strange thought as we watched this corruption last night: Were close to a type of proto-fascism when our big news orgs function this way. A big defense contractor buys a news network—and put tools like Matthews in place, paying them millions of dollars per annum. These tools then lie, and lie, to your face. The dead of Iraq are in the ground because, in 1999 and 2000, the liberal world let this game play.
They bought a news network; hired some tools; and last night, one of them lied in your faces. This has gone on for a very long time. Do we still call it democracy?
PRETTY DIRTY TOOL BOY: Matthews—a drooling figure from dystopian fiction—played another game all night. He kept accusing Clinton of dirty politics—then saying he hadnt meant dirty. Here was the first iteration, early on:
Oh gosh! He hadnt meant to say dirty, so he quickly took the word back. But wouldnt you know it? The same damn thing kept happening all night! It happened all through this tools program:
Poor guy! Trying exceptionally hard to be fair, Jack Welchs Lost Boy kept telling his viewers that he didnt want to say dirty.
Even we were stunned last night, watching this plutocrat tool boy at work. But well ask an obvious question: Are you still living in a democracy? When a big defense contractor can purchase a network, then hire tools like Matthews to play you?
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, Jack Welch went out and he bought some lost boys. We libs have accepted this proto-fascism right up to this dying day.
RUSSERTS IDIOTS DID THE SAME THING: It happened the same way on Meet the Press. Russert played tape of Clinton criticizing Statement 2—and the magpies spoke up to defend Statement 1. Doris Kearns Goodwin was there to go first. Theres no bigger tool on the planet.