Tag Archives: media

Trump Hysteria and A Little History


“The election of this man as President filled him with ‘smoldering dread.’ He believed that the worst said about this man was all too true. He had not only lied but had been caught in that lie, and the great majority of voters didn’t care.”

President Donald Trump? No. It is an excerpt from a new book describing how Henry Clay felt about the election of President Andrew Jackson, 190 years ago. The book by David and Jeanne Heidler is a vivid look back at the life of one of America’s greatest political figures.

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Elections Have Consequences

Reprinted from Mullings.com

I’ve been doing a lot of TV since the shut down began. Specifically I’ve been doing one or both of Anderson Cooper’s programs at 8 PM Eastern and/or 10 PM Eastern.

In almost every one of those programs whoever is to my Left says that President Obama has been elected twice on the program of ObamaCare and, as ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES, Republicans should back off, roll over, and accept their fate as having lost the Presidency in 2008 and 2012.

There is something to that. I’m not sure I remember either election turning on the fulcrum of ObamaCare but that might be because Mitt Romney didn’t have a good answer opposing ObamaCare because of the Massachusetts plan that was adopted when he was Governor – ObamaCare lite. Continue reading

Kanye Counters Kardashian Slam, Really Good


It’s about time.

If someone disses your woman, you should diss ‘em back. It’s the law of the jungle.

I’ve been wondering how Kanye was going to respond to Ray J; how he was going to jab the knife into the rib cage, just far enough to inflict pain, but cause no damage.

When the time was right, Kanye made his music the sharp blade of his revenge. He stepped onto the stage of Jimmy Fallon’s late night show last week, in a leather skirt, no less, and sang his hit ‘Bound 2,’ with new lyrics that answered Ray J’s ‘Hit It First,’ about how he hooked up with Kim Kardashian before Kanye. It was bad, really bad. The woman just had a baby, for crying out loud. Continue reading

Gullible We

Reprinted from Loose Change (TCBMag.com)

Over lunch a few months ago, digital marketing whiz-bang Tim Brunelle recommended that I start reading a column by Bob Lefsetz. I did; I loved. Sir Bob reminds me of another columnist I followed religiously as a young man, Rolling Stone writer and co-founder Ralph J. Gleason. He bought the farm in 1975.

Like Rick Reilly does in sports, Gleason (then) and Lefsetz (now) find the micro-story in music and transform it into a macro, urban language big-think. A recent column about her royal twerkiness Miley Cyrus left Sir Bob rightly wondering, “What’s the big deal, people!?” Continue reading

Still Have Far To Go

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

So, it turns out that those three black guys who killed the Australian baseball player were actually only two black guys and one white guy.

Kind of reminds me when it turned out that George Zimmerman was more Hispanic than white and that Trayvon Martin turned out to be less a choir boy and more a pot-smoking thug.

The Drudge Report loves to highlight every story where a black person kills a white person or when a pack of black kids go on a rampage, both of which seem to happen with some regularity. Continue reading

It’s August. Jack.

Reprinted from Mullings.com

August. The silly season. When events that would never even be covered during the other 11 months of the year (the other 3 months if you’re counting by Congressional work days) get a spinning police light on Drudge, are featured on Google News, and trend on Twitter.

Here are a couple.

Sen. Ted Cruz (Tea Party-Tx) apparently holds dual citizenship – U.S. and Canadian.

This came to light when the Dallas Morning News dug up the info. Cruz was born in Calgary but his mother was a U.S. citizen at the time so that counts as having been “natural born” if you want to be President. Continue reading

On the Record

Reprinted from Mullings.com

In the good old days when there were rules and there were people who knew the rules, and they taught the rules to new people, who then followed the rules there were basically three levels of discussion between reporters and sources: 1) On the Record  2)  On Background  3) Off the Record

This is a good topic for discussion because the Attorney General of these United States, Eric Holder, is participating in an Obama Administration-wide charm offensive with the national media in an effort to try and get back to what President Obama considers to be the normal state of affairs: The press fawning over his every word, and every deed.

Unless you have been in Malawi or Zambia for the past few months you know that scandals are cascading over this White House like a storm surge over Carolina barrier islands.

Continue reading

Getting to the Bottom of Benghazi


President Barack Obama has dismissed it as a political circus. Senator John McCain thinks it is a cover-up. Rep. Jason Chaffetz raises the spectre of impeachment.

Somewhere between a political circus and an impeachable offense is the truth about the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Lybia, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans on Sept. 11, 2012.

The truth, of course, is seldom an absolute. That’s especially the case in politics where opinions legitimately differ, recall is never total, and facts and circumstances can generate more interpretations, descriptions, analyses, and conclusions than there are facts and circumstances.

We will never know exactly what happened in Benghazi, but we do know that four good people died there. We have reason to believe their deaths may have been prevented. We certainly don’t want their sacrifices to have been in vain. Continue reading

Another Year of Newsroom Narcissism


The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) Dinner, a dazzling display of media narcissism, is over. But before it slips into memory, as I suggested last year, too, the Association ought to think seriously about not doing it next year. The spectacle is an embarrassment to journalism and the American Presidency.

It reinforces an awful perception of Washington culture. And, staging this circus under the guise of raising funds for journalism scholarships is just short of fraud. The paltry amount of money the Association gives out in scholarships could be raised with a tin cup at the corner of Connecticut and K streets in DC.  The budding reporters are a thin cover for a week of extravagant, self-indulgent Oscar parties. Continue reading

Take a Listen

Reprinted from BJayCooper.com

Those who know me will tell you that I can be quite obnoxious when it comes to word usage. Use a word in a weird way  and I’ll do an annoying rant for hours. Let me be clear, I am not a grammarian. I am not good at punctuation (I once lost a promotion because I was told I didn’t know how to use commas.) But I do favor plain English and not bastardizing the language to puff myself up.

All that as background before I rail about “take a listen” which I hear nearly every time I turn on a newscast lately. Chuck Todd just said “take a listen” on NBC’s Nightly News as he introduced a piece. I think every reporter on CNN  Continue reading

Most Conservative POTUS in American History?

Reprinted from Telemachus.com

Think about the things ‘very conservative’, ‘far right-wing’, ‘ultra-conservatives’ have wanted to achieve in Congress over the past 40 years.

We’ll give you two hints:
– Long-term, permanent lower tax rates.
– Spending cuts in many bloated federal programs.

Just try to remember the headlines in the liberal media, both electronic and in print, whenever Presidents Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43 or Speaker Newt Gingrich tried to cut taxes or spending since 1980: Continue reading

Barack Obama’s Charmed Life


President Barack Obama has had a charmed political life.

He has been a first class passenger on a supersonic rise in politics from community activist, state legislator and part-time U.S. Senator to President of the United States. And now he is running for a second term, wrapped in coats of Teflon slapped on so thick the negatives just don’t stick.

President Obama is rising in the polls and enjoying high personal popularity at a time when so much seems to be crumbling around him. Continue reading

Campaigns Part II: News Media Save Thyself


New survey data released August 27, confirmed that more than 70 percent of Americans give the economy negative marks. Nearly the same number believes the country is seriously off track and the same number, 70 percent of Americans, believes the economy will be the dominant issue in how they vote.

The Washington Post headline over that story reflected a different reality: “While the rhetoric reflects other issues, economy still dominates race.” In other words,  what the vast majority of Americans are most concerned about is not what the news media are covering. Continue reading

The Need To Be Angry

Reprinted from Loose Change (TCBMag.com)

A businessman came up to me the other day to tell me he was an avid reader of my blog. I implored him not to toy with my affections, but he persisted. “No, really, I read your blog every week so that I know what I’m supposed to be pissed about.”

As Goldie Wilson, the future mayor of Hill Valley, exclaimed while sweeping the floors of Lou’s Malt Shop, “I like the sound of that!”

Kind of. Continue reading

News Media’s Minimalist News


For millions of us the evening news is a ritual. There’s a lot of star power from which to choose. There’s muscle man Scott Pelley on CBS, ABC’s drama queen Diane Sawyer, and breathless Brian Williams on NBC. They all dish up a tossed salad of news, usually with the tastiest and most attractive morsels atop the more nutritious ingredients buried beneath.

Take for example the NBC Nightly News on May 31st.  According to the Peacock network the most important story that day was the hung jury in the John Edwards case. The Edwards trial wasn’t just the lead story. It was also the second story and the third story, taking up about seven minutes of the 28-minute news cast, and I use the term ‘news’ loosely.

We got long clips of Edwards talking about God. Then a sleepy Matt Lauer, sitting in for Brian, went to Lisa Myers who droned on about Edwards and his family. On came legal correspondent Savannah Guthrie with even more analysis. It was mostly favorable to Edwards, who has long enjoyed a place on the altar of media adoration. Continue reading

Watergate Lessons Not Learned (Part II)


The recent stream of classified information leaks compromise our national security on a number of fronts, and they only add to the crisis in public trust in government, the likes of which we haven’t seen since Watergate.

While the main body of leaks is investigated by Congress and the Justice Department there are several subplots, or as lawyers and editors like to call them, sidebars to this sad saga that should not go unattended.

The first is the misuse of anonymous sources. It has reached epidemic proportions among traditional and new media. Those journalists, or pseudo journalists, who use them have absolutely no public oversight. The users and abusers answer to no one, except in some cases, a faceless, nameless editor who may be as much a participant in the misuse as the reporters. We don’t get to judge. Continue reading

Media Miss Real News Again and Again…


Eleven Secret Service agents and 11 members of the Armed Forces got into deep trouble after allegedly paying for and partying with prostitutes in Cartagena, Columbia, prior to the President’s trip there for a Latin American summit.

The secret service scandal has been on the front pages of newspapers and leading the evening newscasts for days. The outcome of the Latin American summit got a one-day of coverage on Page 11 of the Washington Post and little if any coverage on network television.

Self-promoting political strategist Hillary Rosen made it onto evening news shows and page one of American newspapers for saying Ann Romney hasn’t worked a day in her life. The news outlets made it a point to say that Rosen’s remarks were just a “gaffe” and that she wasn’t speaking for anyone but herself. If that were the case and since few in America know who Hillary Rosen is, why is what she says such big news? Continue reading

Etch-a-Sketching a Campaign

Reprinted from apcoworldwide.com

One might say that the Etch-a-Sketch is the perfect metaphor for the Republican primary season. One day, Mitt Romney is featured on the screen; the next (shake-a, shake-a) Rick Santorum appears! Shake-a, shake-a, ba da bing – Mitt’s back!! Shake-a, shake-a…well, you get the idea.

Romney’s campaign guy, Eric Fernstrom, mucked up with his comment. It happens in a campaign. And in a campaign marred by a few of these kinds of comments (see: Mitt Romney, more than a few times, so far), Fernstrom’s comment becomes an even bigger “story” because the media’s “narrative” of Romney’s campaign is they say dumb things at dumb times and Mitt’s a chameleon. His slip up becomes a “gotcha” – well, if you buy the “narrative.” Continue reading

How to Break the Partisan Fever

Reprinted from TownHall.com

Sunday on “Meet the Press” Colin Powell blamed divisive, poisonous Washington politics on the media and the Tea Party. The essence of Powell’s argument was: “Republicans and Democrats are focusing more and more on their extreme left and extreme right. And we have to come back toward the center in order to compromise. … The media has to help us. The media loves this game, where everybody is on the extreme. It makes for great television. … So what we have to do is sort of take some of the heat out of our political life in terms of the coverage of it, so these folks (Congress) can get to work quietly. … But the Tea Party point of view of no compromise whatsoever is not a point of view that will eventually produce a presidential candidate who will win.”

Of course this is historic. The media have been a circulation-, listener- and viewer-motivated political snapping turtle since the country’s founding (and a liberal snapping turtle since the 1940s). And, of course, the rise of divisive Washington politics predates by decades the emergence of the Tea Party to national attention in 2009. Continue reading

Cainsian Politics

Reprinted from Mullings.com

I haven’t got a clue what happened or didn’t happen while Herman Cain was CEO of the National Restaurant Association. There appear to be fewer than a dozen people – the two women and their lawyers, the general counsel and whoever produced the paperwork at the association, the people who wrote and signed the checks, and Herman Cain – who do know, and as of this writing none of them are talking. So, let’s put aside what, if anything, Cain did wrong.

But, I do know a lot about Combat Campaign Communications.

There is a saying in Washington: It’s not the crime; it’s the cover up. Even if there is no crime, shifting explanations make it look like the accused is putting up a smokescreen. The media will always gravitate to the conclusion that where there’s smoke …

The first mistake the Cain campaign made was responding to the original story on the Politico.com website at shortly after 9 PM Sunday. The Twitter-verse exploded within seconds. The Associated Press referred to the Politico story about 45 minutes later.

Rule: There is no Constitutional requirement for a campaign to respond to a reporter’s request, plea, demand, or appeal for a comment.

“But, I’m on DEADLINE!” ≠ a subpoena from a U.S. Attorney. Continue reading