The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Media Tripe’ Category

A few weeks ago Dump’s chief cheerleader Kellyanne Conjob said that journalists’ Twitter feeds “are a hot mess.” The obvious irony of her remark can’t be avoided, of Silence-Deafens1course. But like a broken clock, for a person who talks as much as she does, she’s bound to say something true and that might have been her one true statement. Journalists’ Twiter feeds are a hot fucking mess. I’ve been following a few, and see many more re-tweeted. And the problem with legitimate reporters having Twitter feeds is that their commentary turns them into pundits. Maggie Haberman (everything is Clinton’s fault all the time), Katy Tur (after SOTU Dump became President with Capital P) and Jake Tapper (everything is Clinton’s fault) constantly engage commenters, defending their own opinions. I don’t particularly care that they have anti-Clinton opinions, but any opinion they so openly express and defend makes them no different than Jeffrey Lord. Of course we can’t expect reporters not to have opinions. But airing them as they all do brings into question their reporting. Bill O’Reilly mixes news and opinion into one telecast. Is it really so different when Maggie Haberman files a Clinton story in the NY Times and then writes on Twitter that Clinton is obviously at fault for not pushing Trump/Russia story harder during the election? The line between Haberman and O’Reilly blurs.

The latest onslaught of Hillary bashing comes from publication of a new book called “Clusterfuck” by Fuckface Fucktard and Fuckity Fuckass. I might have gotten the name of the book wrong and misspelled the names of the authors. But it’s something like that. The book is the first in what will surely be many years of autopsies of Clinton’s campaign. The gist of it is that it’s all Clinton’s fault, and mostly Robby Mook’s fault. (Nobody was allowed to speak to Hillary except via Huma and Mook is a “professional political assassin”.) The sources are, of course, largely anonymous. And the content isn’t really surprising.

What is also not surprising are the reviews. I know a graph I posted last week showed that Washington Post’s anti-Hillary coverage was only second to Fox’s, but somehow New York Times’ has always carried much more weight. (And I wonder if Chris Cillizza’s Clinton Derangement Syndrome skewed WaPo coverage overall. He is truly demented and has transferred his psychosis to his new job at CNN. More on Cillizza below.)

Michiko Kakutani reviewed the book in New York Times:

“Shattered” underscores Clinton’s difficulty in articulating a rationale for her campaign (other than that she was not Donald Trump.) And it suggests that a tendency to value loyalty over competence resulted in a lumbering, bureaucratic operation in which staff members were reluctant to speak truth to power, and competing tribes sowed “confusion, angst and infighting.”

Kakutani has a long history of reviewing both Clintons’ books and it’s not a good history. Compare to Steven Ginsberg review in Washington Post:

Does it really matter who was pissy at whom in Brooklyn when we still don’t know what role the Russians played in the election or why FBI Director James Comey publicly announced a reopening of the e-mail investigation in late October? Those questions are largely left unexplored here, other than as targets of Clinton’s post-election ire.

I also liked this paragraph from Ginsberg:

Much of the post-election analysis has criticized Clinton and her campaign for focusing on “reach” states such as North Carolina instead of putting more resources in the upper Midwest. That view is both echoed and called into question in “Shattered,” which depicts a vexing Goldilocks-style problem for Clinton across the region.

In Wisconsin, she didn’t show up enough. In Michigan, local organizers thought it was best that she stayed away. In Pennsylvania, she campaigned as aggressively as anywhere in the nation. In all three, she lost by less than 1 percent of the vote. So what should she have done?

Charles Pierce wrote a great takedown of New York Times’ Clinton problem. It’s worth reading in its entirety. Pierce reaches back to William Safire and Whitewater, the source of Times’ Clinton Derangement Syndrome.

Several other reporters and writers also pointed to the nonsense of the book’s premise and the subsequent flogging of Clinton.

Dave Weigel of WaPo tweeted: “Obviously Clinton screwed up by forcing every cable channel to play Trump speeches live for a year.”

Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo: “Remember: Every losing campaign was run by idiots. Every winning campaign by geniuses. Rinse, repeat.”

Greg Sargent of The Plum Line: “Weird how people who cite Nate Silver constantly suddenly don’t ever cite his conclusion about Comey impact.”

And, of course, Paul Krugman: “When journos who hyped e-mail pseudo-scandal pile on over HRC campaign errors, it’s partly CYA over their own role n Trump disaster.”

I do wish Krugman would walk over to Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush and smack them.

A note about Cillizza. His Clinton hate is truly one of the most rabid among the media. I try to think of someone who might match it at the moment and really, I can’t think of anyone who’s not, say, Rush Limbaugh. After his latest “It’s all Hillary’s fault” article from today, an Unworthy writer Parker Malloy put together a collage of some of Cillizza’s articles from WaPo on Clinton. (The handle in the images reads CillizzaCNN, but that’s because he’s changed it to his current job; the old username from WaPo days was not archived separately.)

 

If you want to know what real, fearless journalism looks like, read the story of Elena

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Elena Milashina

Milashina from Novaya Gazeta.  Milashina is the reporter who told the world about the kidnapping and torture of gay men in Chechnya, reports that put her life in danger. Novaya Gazeta is the same newspaper Anna Politkovskaya worked for. Politkovskaya reported a lot on Putin’s actions in Chechnya. She was murdered.

Another example of courageous reporting, also from Russia, is in this Jim Rutenberg report.

It’s important American journalists pay attention to these stories. Because Trump wants to be like Putin. And if Trump becomes Putin, he’ll go after journalists first.

 

Complicit

Posted on: April 12, 2017

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“The lowest form of popular culture – lack of information, misinformation, disinformation and a contempt for the truth or the reality of most people’s lives – has overrun real journalism. Today, ordinary Americans are being stuffed with garbage.” – Carl Bernstein

“When I entered politics, I took the only downward turn you could take from journalism.” – Jim Hightower

When the Pulitzers announced that David Fahrenthold of Washington Post was receiving an award for National Reporting “For persistent reporting that created a model for transparent journalism in political campaign coverage while casting doubt on Donald Trump’s assertions of generosity toward charities,” no one was surprised. He was the highly favored candidate. Fahrenthold was one of the very few mainstream reporters who did not spend the 2016 election cycle sifting through Hillary Clinton’s stolen e-mails. One of the very few. (Because of his reporting on Trump’s charity donations, Fahrenthold was also the one to receive the Access Hollywood tape when NBC spent days trying to decide how and when to release it.) Fahrenthold began his investigation into Trump’s supposed (and non-existent) charitable donations on something of a hunch. He remembered Trump once saying on TV that he would donate $6 million to veterans groups and Fahrenthold wondered if Trump followed through on the promise. So he started researching and found a Pulitzer.

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Do you know who didn’t find a Pulitzer? Anybody who was sifting through Hillary Clinton’s stolen e-mails. The vast majority of the news media spent 18 months questioning Clinton on her use of a private e-mail server and then combing through tens Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 8.09.37 PMof thousands of stolen e-mails from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign. All they found was a risotto recipe and that one time Clinton and Huma Abedin split a crème brûlée. There
was also gossip. But nothing that a sane person could interpret as in any way significant to a Presidential campaign. And yet, according to statistics, E-MAILS was the topic of more conversation on the news than anything else. Though we might think the NY Times was the most egregious in their anti-Hillary coverage, it was – in fact, the Washington Post that by far led Hillary-hate; second only to Fox News.

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When CNN’s Jake Tapper was told by Robby Mook that there are allegations about stolen DNC e-mails and Russian interference via WikiLeaks, Tapper’s incredulous eye-rolling response should shame him for the rest of his life. (It won’t.) Not because he didn’t just take Mook’s word for it in the moment. But because Tapper never called any of his sources, whether in Congress or in the Intelligence Community, and ask: “Hey, what is he talking about? Anything to this?” Because he might have gotten an affirmative response and landed the biggest story of his life. By that time the FBI was alredy investigating Trump’s possible collusion with Russia. And the Gang of 8 in Congress was about to be briefed. Harry Reid would fire off multiple public letters to FBI Director James Comey, imploring additional information to be disclosed on Trump and Russia. To no avail. Comey was silent and the media treated Reid like a deranged lunatic. Very few reporters looked into these stories. Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek was one, and was widely derided by the Left and the Right. When David Corn of Mother Jones published an article about the Steele dossier in October, he was laughed at too. When Franklin Foer of Slate published an article claiming that a Trump server was communicating with a Russian Alfa Bank he was laughed at as well. His allegations were infamously dismissed by the NY Times as “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. sees no clear link to Russia” in an article by Eric Lichtblau. It is a headline that should be tattooed on Lichtblau’s forehead. (Lichtblau recently left the Times to be CNN’s lead investigative reporter…) The NY Times was flat out wrong. And they conducted an interview with Harry Reid for the story, and then threw it out unused. The story remains up, un-retracted. We, of course, now know for a fact that the Times was wrong. The F.B.I. was investigating Trump and they saw links to Russia. And Alfa Bank’s communications with Trump servers is one of the lynchpins of the investigation.

So what happens when journalism is wrong? Journalists love themselves because they say their job is to hold the powerful accountable for wrong-doing. But what happens when journalists are wrong? What happens when entire media empires fail to see the biggest story of their lifetimes and chase a red herring, plunging a nation into a crises? Where, to paraphrase, does a person the media ruined go to get their good name back? How do we collectively crawl our way out of the hole the media threw us all in?

The answer, I fear is…nothing happens. They pay no price. When the NY Times and Judith Miller published Dick Cheney’s fake stories about Saddam Hussein’s WMDs, then watched Cheney go on television and cite the Times as proof that Hussein had WMDs, and the country went to a catastrophic war in Iraq…nothing happened to the NY Times. They threw Miller out, as if her reports were not approved by editors above her and as if lawyers and standards/practices didn’t sign off on her reports. The Times paid no price. And they will pay no price for Clinton’s e-mails either.

Society of Professional Journalists writes: “Report the story, don’t become part of it.”  I wonder how they feel about NY Times’ Maggie Haberman receiveing an adoring write-up from CNN, as the reporter Trump hates the mostest. NBC/MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell sees Maggie and raises her by being the most hated reporter of all the Presidents in Politico. And CNN’s Brian Stelter is the Young Messiah of Washington Post’s ode. Each of these articles was reposted on social media by the author, the subject, every other reporters both sides work with. It’s a veritable journalistic circle jerk of love and adoration. There are no consequences for their failures – to them. The only consequences belong to us. The only ones to pay will be the public, which now clings to the same reporters who brought us to hell to help dig us out. “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” Washington Post says. Except they broke all of the lights.

 

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Let’s face it, it’s not as if The Media has ever really been entirely a responsible being. Yellow Journalism has always existed and often some of it has been controlled by the rotten likes of William Randolph Hearst. But today’s public trust of The Media (“Lamestream!” and otherwise) is down to 32%. This is down from its highest rating of 72% in 1976. Frankly, I’m surprised the current number is as high as 32%. We have watched The Media descend into a bloody feeding frenzy of click-bait headlines (BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation) and ratings-grabbing reality TV style programming. Everything on CNN is BREAKING NEWS! All the time!!!!!! Even when all they’re showing is a bear that broke into some lady’s fridge and ate all her fish or a Trump rally without any editing or commentary. BREAKING NEWS! I suppose it’s possible that at any moment the bear will start singing “Hallelujah!” and Trump will say something reasonable, which would indeed be Breaking News!  Alas, the headlines often turn out to be false (no, half of those Clinton met did not give money to Clinton Foundation) and the coverage lacking in integrity (Trump never did say anything reasonable), and all we have is a broken news media to show for it.

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While HRC’s relationship with the media is known to be controversial, it’s Trump’s relationship with the media that they should have been worried about. They allowed themselves get locked up in pens at Trump’s rallies, listened to Trump taunt them from the stage, especially female reporters (NBC’s Katy Tur received multiple public shellackings and at one point needed Secret Service to escort her to her car from a rally because she no longer felt safe from Trump’s supporters,) got physically assaulted at Trump rallies and heard Trump’s constant threats that he will sue one media outlet or another for coverage he doesn’t like by expanding libel laws. But all they worried about were Hillary Clinton’s press conferences. This was big big news for weeks, yuuuge news.  Even though Clinton always travelled with the full press pool and spoke to them daily and gave individual interviews, they were really worried about press conferences.  It was Breaking News for weeks! Well, fast forward and Trump hasn’t held a press conference since July. And he dodges the press pool altogether as President-Elect (vomit) when he wants to because, well, why wouldn’t he! The Media is annoyed now. Maybe Trump doesn’t like them as much as they thought? SAD!

Trump’s two years worth of attacks on the press and their integrity should have given them a clue that perhaps Trump was not their friend. But they only seem to have gotten a clue when the President-Elect (barf) invited them to an off-the-record meeting at Isengard Trump Tower. The brightest stars of TV news came out. George Stephanopoulos and Wolf Blitzer were there, and there’s David Muir and Charlie Rose! And look, it’s Chuck Todd and Lester Holt! And head of CNN Jeff Zucker, the man who was head of NBC when Trump started firing people for ratings. They ran to this thing like it was an orgy.  And then it turned into an execution. “It was like a fucking firing squad!” was how one person inside characterized it.  (There’s shooting at both orgies and executions, so I can see how everybody got their signals mixed.)

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Does my suit match the gold decor?

Trump apparently said: “’We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong,’” This is all allegedly because the meeting was off-the-record. So The Media isn’t commenting. But you can bet your pattootie Trump’s people were the ones who leaked this to the NY Post within minutes. The headlines from Breitbart and Drudge were appropriately gleeful. “Baghdad Kellyanne” Conway, everybody’s favorite contrarian, argued things weren’t as intense as all that. “… no he did not explode in anger. He’s the president-elect. He won … winning solves a lot of problems. Winning makes a lot of statements.” (Yes, yes it does Baghdad Kellyanne. Lots of statements have been made, though I wonder what Baghdad Kellyanne thinks the statements are when HRC is winning the popular vote by 2,000,000 and counting. What statement does that make Baghdad Kellyanne? Kellyanne? Bueller?)

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Just 3 best buds hanging out, nothing to see here, ok bye!

I wonder what the hallowed names of TV news like Rose, Blitzer and Holt think when the President-Elect (vomit) of the United States calls them liars to their face when they’ve tried to use every word except “liar” when covering Drumpf’s lies.When Trump tells Zucker in person “I hate your network. Everyone at CNN is a liar, and you should be ashamed.” What does Zucker, who employed journalist-assaulting Corey Lewandowski as a commentator while Lewandowski remained on Trump’s payroll, what does Zucker think? (He doesn’t think anything of it, actually). Did Zucker know Lewandowski and Kellyanne Conway were still working together throughout the campaign? Conway tweeted a photo of herself, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and Lewandowski, 4 days before the election with the tag: “Team Work.” Hmm…. Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey. What does Jeffrey think? I think we have two options. Either Zucker is an idiot or he knows exactly what is happening and is ok with it because CNN is making big boatloads of money off their Trump coverage. About a billion dollars worth. CBS head honcho Les Moonves said: “”It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS…The money’s rolling in and this is fun.”  I hope everybody is having as much fun as Zucker and Moonves!

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Donny Drumpf and CNN’s Jeff Zucker, just a coupla buds LOLing

So with our illustrious TV news anchors and executives executed neutered by the President-Elect (vomit) – what do we have left? I’d say we can expect nothing from the boob tube, it has truly been boobified beyond repair, Lamestream to infinity. I’m afraid print journalism is our only hope. The NY Times, so flawed in so many ways (it’s hard to like a newspaper that continued to employ Rita Skeeter Maureen Dowd… though they also still employ Paul Krugman.) Anyway, the Times also met with Drumpf, but they insisted that the meeting be on-the-record. Drumpf, still fresh off the TV Media massacre of 2016, attacked the “failing NY Times” on Twitter, cancelled the meeting, then re-scheduled it again. All in a matter of hours. Classic Trump! (Does anyone else think he’ll order the launch of a nuke, then change his mind? Will he change it quickly enough to cancel the nuke? Can a nuke be cancelled after it’s been launched? Stay tuned, it will be covered on Breaking News!) Then when Drumpf finally met with the failing NY Times, he said: “I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special.” He then called them “a jewel.” (Charles Blow was having none of it.  He refused to attend the meeting with Drumpf and then wrote in an op-ed: “You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.”  Anybody care to guess what Rita Skeeter Maureen Dowd thinks?) I wonder if the Times meeting being recorded had anything to do with Drumpf’s fawning tone vs. the off-the-record TV luminaries meeting where he told them all to just go ahead and die? All I know is Drumpf is already up to #7 of this handy “Despots and the Media” Guide. He’s already making his own videos, bypassing the media altogether. Kind of like those videos Osama bin Laden used to make. In the meantime I can’t wait for Trump’s next Tweet about the failing NY Times. It will be tremendous.

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# 1 – 7:  Done

Christiane Amanpour, accepting the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award at the Committee To Protect Journalists ceremony, delivered a blistering speech directed at fellow journalists. She had a lot of great things to say about The Media, its failures in the 2016 election, and what it must do to redeem itself.

So I feel that right now we face an existential crisis. A real threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession. Now, more than ever, I genuinely believe that we need to recommit to real reporting across a real nation and a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril….

Never equate victim and aggressor. Never create a false moral or factual equivalence. Because then, if you do, particularly in situations like that, you are party and accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.

So I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth. We have to be prepared to fight, especially hard, right now, for the truth, because this is a world where the Oxford English dictionary just last week announced its word for 2016, and that is, ‘post-truth’.

What’s on your mind Widdershins?  Do you love The Media as much as it loves you?  This is an open thread.

Please forgive me for slapping you across the computer screen with that title without first offering a courteous good morning.  So, good morning Widdershins and a happy Friday to you.hillary-on-the-plane

For quite some time there has been a cavalier attitude in the media of, “The press is treating Hillary differently.”  Such an acknowledgement is followed by examples of their sins, a limp mea culpa, a yawn, and the enduring repartee first learned in the schoolyard of, “Yeah, so what?”

That bothered me something fierce since just calling it out again and again does nothing to get to the “why” of it.  To write these mea culpa articles saying that Hillary’s relationship with the media is irretrievably broken is to stand by and watch the offensive behavior, yawn, and in essence say, “Yeah, that’s bad.”

It’s not like this treatment started with this campaign.  It has been going on since the 1970s.  Here’s one of the very first interviews Hillary ever granted.

She was a month into her spell as first lady of Arkansas and was being interviewed on local television.

“You don’t really fit the image we have created for the governor’s wife in Arkansas,” says her inquisitor, a man with a brutal hair parting and disconcerting tie.

“You’re not a native. You’ve been educated in liberal eastern universities. You’re less than 40. You don’t have any children. You don’t use your husband’s name. You practice law. Does it concern you that maybe other people feel that you don’t fit the image that we’ve created for the governor’s wife in Arkansas?”

Hillary answered, “I think that each person should be assessed and judged on that person’s own merits. I’m not 40 but that hopefully will be cured by age, eventually I will be,” she quipped.

Just because this behavior has been going on for nearly 40 years doesn’t answer the “why” either.  If anything the behavior has gotten worse.  Just look at these two charts cataloging campaign coverage:

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This explanation is advanced:

There are two possible explanations for the bias against Hillary Clinton in the media. The first is that the media is punishing her for the scandals that occurred during her husband’s presidency, but the most likely explanations are related to gender bias. Individuals who hold executive positions in media companies are overwhelmingly white and male.

These are not the only theories being advanced.  There is the theory based in basic jealousy that goes something like this, “The Clintons have had their turn, now it’s someone else’s turn,” —  another ethical tenet right out of the elementary schoolyard.

Here are three more theories, one picking up on the sexism:

Sexism is one: Clinton is still struggling to fight the perception that she is not “presidential,” or that she lacks charisma, something that is rooted in the many ways in which being a female candidate makes her, for some people, uncomfortable and confusing to deal with.

Donald Trump’s personality is another: With a rival who is so flippant and resistant to any accountability, Clinton remains as the only candidate who can legitimately interact with the press. The media is increasingly numb to Trump’s outrageous, incendiary, and dangerous statements, due to the frequency and regularity with which he recites them.

But there may be another reason Clinton is held to a higher standard: the press essentially thinks she will win. Therefore, they pay more attention to her and take her more seriously than they do Trump.

hillary-at-u-nThese last two are quite entertaining.  Trump gets a pass because he’s crazy and Hillary gets lambasted sixteen ways from Sunday because she is sane; therefore, she’s going to win so she should be happy with the maltreatment.

I’ve read other reasons, like the fact that $120 million has been spent investigating her so the American public is entitled to know every last detail of her life.  There’s the “what do you expect” theory that so many investigations have left too many threads upon which to pull so you naturally get possible corruption stories.  Then there’s the “they can’t be innocent” theory since the Clintons have been in politics for forty years.

Let’s not forget the ever popular conservative dogma that Hillary is being held accountable for Bill’s sexual transgressions, i.e. blame the wife for the husband’s philandering.  If that were the case, Mrs. Roger Ailes would never be seen outside a confessional.

There are more theories, there are even rules about the brutal differences in covering Hillary, but nothing I have read encapsulates the theories better than a study conducted by Harvard investigating the stereotypical-based social costs that women face as political candidates.  These are the most relevant findings:

  • When participants saw male politicians as power-seeking, they also saw them as having greater agency (i.e., being more assertive, stronger, and tougher) and greater competence, while this was not true for their perceptions of power-seeking female politicians.
  • When participants saw female politicians as power-seeking, they also saw them as having less communality (i.e., being unsupportive and uncaring), while this was not true for their perceptions of power-seeking male politicians.
  • When female politicians were described as power-seeking, participants experienced feelings of moral outrage (i.e., contempt, anger, and/or disgust) towards them.
  • Participant gender had no impact on any of the study outcomes – that is, women were just as likely as men to have negative reactions to power-seeking female politicians.

These last two findings are “slap your mama” eye-popping and jaw-dropping.  Women seeking office are seen with moral outrage, feelings of contempt, anger, and disgust.  The last finding is Madeline Albright saying, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help each other.”  Women are just as likely as men to have negative reactions to female politicians.  Someone please read this to Mrs. Greenspan, Susan Sarandon, and Cruella van den Huevel.

Let that sink in for a moment.  No matter whether the reporter is a man or woman, Hillary is behind the 8-ball, at least at some level, before she utters the first word or advances the first policy.hillary-flag-2

So on top of the garden variety sexism, Hillary is seen as contemptibly disgusting by virtue of merely being a female politician.  Doesn’t matter if she is married to Bill or Homer Simpson.  Doesn’t matter if she is a Democrat, Republican, or Druid.  Doesn’t matter if she is running against a trained gibbon or a less trained Trumpanzee.  It is all the same because she is a woman.

Why?  The vilifying vagina is not treated the same as the palliative penis or so says this Harvard study.  This election is our chance to start changing that tired, sorry rule.

What’s on your mind today?

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Where to start?  How about cold-cocking a rambunctious 69-year-old oxygen-dependent woman who dared not genuflect at a Donnie Deplorable donnybrook?  Or how about starting World War III by blowing Iranian boats out of the water if they make ugly gestures offending the tender sensibilities of our sailors?  What about discussing the clamorous Yam going on Russian T.V. and declaring his enduring homoerotic fascination with Vladie Dearest?

Or we could just dwell on Hillary’s pneumonia.

Then there is the all important transparency.  Transparency is last week’s “optics” that was the prior week’s “lack of access”.  Luckily all three collided last Sunday in the iPhone clip that has been played and replayed as if it were the Zapruder film showing the infamous second stumble into the campaign van.  Of course it doesn’t stop there since the dark cauldron of internet rumors knows no end.

We could spend our time exploring just how deplorable the marauding hordes of angry Trump phobia-phobic phobes are, but we started that discussion back in May.  That’s when we discovered Trumpkins consider “white discrimination” to be as large a problem as discrimination against minorities.  We could talk about the Alt-Right not considering themselves racist, since they just hate Jews, but that is merely the beginning when talking about the parade of deplorables.

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Nearly half of Trump’s supporters described African-Americans as more ‘violent’ than whites. The same proportion described African-Americans as more ‘criminal’ than whites, while 40 percent described them as more ‘lazy’ than whites.”

A Pew poll released in February found that 65 percent of Republicans believe the next president should “speak bluntly even if critical of Islam as a whole” when talking about Islamic extremists.

Another Reuters/Ipsos online poll in July found that 58 percent of Trump supporters have a “somewhat unfavorable” view of Islam and 78 percent believe Islam was more likely to encourage acts of terrorism.

The deplorable remark brought with it the Right’s professional victimization.  The victimhood kicked-in with all its righteous fury and so did the Right’s selective amnesia.  It seems they conveniently forgot that Deplorable Donnie called half the country losers.

Just last night former Secretary of State Colin Powell reluctantly joined the fray by way of purloined emails.  Secretary Powell has little good to say about the Yam, his orange-tinted acolytes, or their racist ways.  The Powell emails have lovely pet names to describe the Yam like “national disgrace,” “international pariah,” and “racist”.trump-deplorables

In keeping with what is the equivalent of muscle memory, our attention could just return to Hillary’s email which is the trusty stand-in for every false equivalency story for the past two years.  The Washington Post summed it up quite nicely by pointing out how good news about Hillary’s email doesn’t seem to find its way to the front page or into Matt Lauer’s “Moderating for Dummies” textbook.

First is a memo FBI Director James B. Comey sent to his staff explaining that the decision not to recommend charging Ms. Clinton was “not a cliff-hanger” and that people “chest-beating” and second-guessing the FBI do not know what they are talking about. Anyone who claims that Ms. Clinton should be in prison accuses, without evidence, the FBI of corruption or flagrant incompetence.

Second is the emergence of an email exchange between Ms. Clinton and former secretary of state Colin Powell in which he explained that he used a private computer and bypassed State Department servers while he ran the agency, even when communicating with foreign leaders and top officials. Mr. Powell attempted last month to distance himself from Ms. Clinton’s practices, which is one of the many factors that made the email story look worse. Now, it seems, Mr. Powell engaged in similar behavior.trump-putin-bromance

Last is a finding that 30 Benghazi-related emails that were recovered during the FBI email investigation and recently attracted big headlines had nothing significant in them. Only one, in fact, was previously undisclosed, and it contained nothing but a compliment from a diplomat. But the damage of the “30 deleted Benghazi emails” story has already been done.

Since it is pretty much accepted fact that there is a double standard in the coverage of the two candidates, there are now compilations of questions the media has refused to ask the whirling Cheeto.  There is even convoluted excuses for engaging in false equivalencies.

For a moment and contrary to the ephemeral nature of optics, let’s talk facts – as boring as that might be. When it comes to policy, the Mango Meerkat has cobbled together 9,000 words on his website while Hillary weighs in at around 113,000.  The Orangealope has a grand total of seven, that’s seven whole policies, while Hillary has thirty-three.

In addition, national unemployment is down to around full-employment numbers.  Inflation is non-existent.  Gas is $2.00 a gallon.  And only announced yesterday, the median income for U.S. households jumped 5.2% from 2014 to 2015.  That represents the biggest one-year increase since the Census Bureau started tracking this data in 1968.  As a result, over 3 million Americans rose out of poverty in 2015.  It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this is.hillary-flag

Remember the last time this happened? A Clinton was in the White House who likewise had spent seven years cleaning up the mess of prior Republican administrations.  History might not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme.  So yes, please, another term of this would be nice.

What’s on your mind today?

 

sick-girl

Good evening Widdershins!

As I mentioned on the previous post, Hillary was at the 9/11 ceremonies in NYC and then had to leave.  Her spokesperson said she was “overcome” with the heat and dehydrated.  She was taken to Chelsea’s apartment, rested and was rehydrated.  As she was leaving the apartment Hillary looked fine.

The BBC had this to say about the situation:

Dr Lisa Bardack said she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday and given antibiotics, but had become dehydrated at the New York event.

[snip]

Hilz leaving Chelsea's apt.

Hilz leaving Chelsea’s apt.

 

The doctor’s statement said she was now re-hydrated and “recovering nicely”.

“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies. On Friday, during follow up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia,” Dr Bardack’s statement said.

“She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule,” it went on.

There are so many things to say here about the “health brouhaha” going on.

First, she’s traveling/flying all over the country right now.  It has mostly been in smaller, corporate type aircraft but she’s now added the B 737-800.  Still, she is constantly airborne and dealing with pressurized cabins which can definitely affect your respiratory tract, sinuses and the like.  Ask anyone who had done a great deal of flying in their careers.  Prlolix, mb, would y’all agree?

Second, okay she was diagnosed with pneumonia.  As GAgal and I commented we’ve either had pneumonia or known someone who had it and they were given a script for antibiotics and went on their merry way.

Third, what kind of antibiotic was she given?  If it was a Zpack or other mycin drug, many times there are warnings on those to avoid a lot of direct sunlight.  So let’s say she was given azithromycin.  She probably started it Friday and then Sunday, there she is out in the heat and sunlight.  Shame Hillary!  I tend to believe she was given a mycin drug of some type because another side effect is photosensitivity and there she was with those big ole sunglasses on.

Fourth, should we be worried?  Not really.  She is constantly on the road campaigning and while she may not be sleeping at the local Motel 6 she’s also not flying home each night to sleep in her own bed at, say, Trump Tower, as the yam does.

As Politico said, this may affect her planned trip to California, but ya know, Cali will still be there.

As the BBC piece said:

George HW Bush once vomited on a Japanese prime minister. His son fainted in the White House after choking on a pretzel. Franklin Roosevelt hid his serious health conditions, and John F Kennedy never spoke of his debilitating back condition.

The BBC piece also goes on with a “yes, but” thing

The difference between these men and Hillary Clinton, however, is that her “overheating” episode – the apparent result of a case of pneumonia – comes in the home stretch of a presidential campaign where she seeks to tie Ronald Reagan as the oldest person ever elected to a first term as president.

Fair enough but once she’s in the White House she won’t be constantly flying around the country.  When she does travel as President she’ll have a bed on the 747 where she can rest, and sleep if she wishes to.  And she won’t be doing that each and every day.

I’m not sure exactly how much information we as the electorate are actually entitled to know about our candidates.  Clinton has released a statement from her internist that provided her overall health status in 2015.  Her vitals and lab results were excellent.  Are we entitled to ask for any more?  And if we are, then both candidates should be held to the same standards.

 

As usual, this is an open thread to take wherever you wish.

 

Good morning folks.  We are coasting downhill into a long weekend.  It is my sincerest hope everyone has copious amounts of time to do absolutely nothing. The Purge

In preparing for the weekend we should aspire to the Zen state of Mushin. In sports circles, Mushin is often referred to as “being in the zone”.   Mushin is characterized by a mind that is empty of all thoughts and exists purely in the current moment. A mind in Mushin is free from worry, anger, ego, fear or any other emotions.

So in this silly season, how can we free our minds from anger when cable news continues to exist?  I find myself literally yelling at the teevee.  My use of words beginning with an “eff” is through the roof.  From overuse, I’ve worn out a blood pressure cuff.

Here’s my suggestion:  Let’s take a few minutes and purge ourselves of the prickliest issues angering us most. Here’s how we will proceed.  Paraphrase a typical question from a blather-head and then answer the way you would if you were Hillary’s spokesperson for the day.  There are no limits as to what you can say.

Here are a few examples:

Q:  Mr. Prolix, speaking on behalf of the campaign, how do you react to the latest Clinton email scandal or the Clinton Foundation scandal?

A:  Oh, I see you have again been hanging around the Ann Coulter and Breitbart litter box.  Let’s start here – can you form any question, any question at all, that doesn’t have as its subject the word “scandal” with the word Clinton just plugged in as a modifier.

Nothing can ever be an issue or a situation or a circumstance – if it involves the Clintons it has to be a scandal.  Really, get yourself a thesaurus and have someone read it to you.

HulkQ:  Well Prolix, can you tell us why Mrs. Clinton last held a press conference when the sainted press pool still used stone tablets?

A:  Well yes, I can, you fetid feculence with feet.  You see, and make sure and write this down, the reason we have elections is to declare a winner.  To become the winner you must have a strategy.  It is not now or has it ever been Hillary’s strategy to mollycoddle the media.  You see no one cares, not even a little bit, about how much respect you believe you are entitled since you are a bunch of privileged, spoiled, self-important arse-monkeys.

Q:  Another question Prolix, why are people so focused on Hillary’s honesty and trustworthiness?

A:  First, I have a question for you.  Does being this stupid hurt?  People aren’t focused on Hillary’s honesty.  You drive the issue in your corporate, for-profit polls.  You stack the results with a faulty question by increasing the qualifiers to drive down the favorable responses.  So your contrived narrative works except for people who are not now and have never been susceptible to twenty-five years of constant, unflagging assault from haters.  Because you know what, Hillary consistently scores above 75% favorability among Democrats.

Q:  One last question Prolix, why is limiting contributions to the Foundation mandated if Hillary is President and not when she was Secretary of State?Tom and Jerry

A:  Are you out on a day pass or are you monitored electronically?  Eleven and a half million people rely on the Foundation to give them the drugs that keep them alive.  We are not going to stop that tomorrow because you don’t understand this one fact:  We take rich people’s money and give it to poor people.  Most people think that’s a good idea.  We give people medicine and healthcare and clean water and food and shelter and a chance at a better life.  All the transactions are transparent.  Why don’t you ask for the Yam’s tax returns or how deep in hock he is to the Bank of China or Russian oligarchs?

 

I could go on for days, but I feel better.

Go ahead, purge your anger.

What’s on your mind?

 


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