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Marion On May - 22 - 2011

I’m about to date myself, but I can remember when the only political pundits and commentators were the ones who had regular columns in the big regional newspapers – people like Drew Pearson, Jack Anderson, David Broder and George Will, who seems to have been around since g-d was a boy.  I also remember when network news was the half-hour broadcast after the regional news every evening about 7pm, with two fifteen-minute blurbs on the weekends.  Sundays gave us half an hour of Meet the Press, when a politico really did meet the press and get grilled by them, and another half hour of  Face the Nation, when a different panel of pressmen (and, occasionally, a woman) did the same to another elected or appointed government official. The only real poltical opinon talk show was another half hour feature entitled Issues and Answers.

If the public wanted to respond to points raised by these various individuals, especially the political journalists who appeared in the print media, their only recourse was the good, old-fashioned Letter to the Editor of the paper in which the offending column appeared.  If you were lucky, maybe your letter got published in the appropriate section.  If not, you’d had your say and had to live with the assumption that the editorial department conveyed your opinions, along with those of other members of the public who’d taken the time to put pen to paper and write, to the journalist in question.  Either way, unless the journalist addressed these opinions in another column, you got no feedback.

Nowadays, with the internet and social networking sites, more and more self-appointed political pundits are using this media, in addition to more traditonal forms, to spread their opinions to a wider audience.  Further still, many double as “political contributors” to the various 24/7 cable news outlets.  Like rock and film stars of old, these people have accumulated a devoted following, and some have reached near iconic status.

This past week, I learned a couple of things.

First, I learned that this deviant form of the Fourth Estate is a closed shop which closes rank and protects its own ferociously.  I’m not surprised by that.  Most professions do form a protective shield around any of their own who seem to be attacked from without.  Police, firefighters, teachers, doctors … it’s common practice to look after your own. And any from within those ranks who whistle blow or take the side of the accusing outsider are given pretty short shrift from their own within their profession.

Earlier this week, David Sirota and Ed Schultz engaged in a shrieking session with each other on Sirota’s radio program, the likes of which made Rush Limbaugh look positively polite.  Sirota was peeved because Schultz had, a week earlier on his television program, castigated Michael Moore for his reactions to the shooting of Osama bin Laden.  In Sirota’s opinion, Schultz had crossed the loyalty line in telling Moore, as Sirota perceived, to STFU and get in line behind the President.

Let me say that I have no particular liking for either Sirota or Schultz as political commentators of any realiability.  Both, in my opinion, have done more than enough in the past to alienate and divide the Left, and both have a reputation for being, at times, openly rude and disdainful towards the public to whom they’ve given an opportunity to interact directly with them.  But I happened to see the segment on Schultz’s show where he took issue with Moore.

Unusually for Schultz, he was unfailingly polite in his disagreement, moreso than he would have been, had Moore’s sentiments been uttered by either Limbaugh or Glenn Beck.  Then you would have heard bullish comments, snark and a lot of ad hominem.  Because Moore was from the same side of the political coin, Schultz treated the matter with great respect, offering kudos to Moore as a great voice from the Left and giving him credit for his work regarding the health and financial industries.

Ed simply thought that at this point, regarding bin Laden, it might be helpful to present a united front. Yes, he did call for the liberal hand-wringing to stop, but because the Right, ever the opportunists, would cherrypick any and all opposition and use it in the up-coming campaign to present the Left and the Democrats as a party, hopelessly riven by division and, because of this, weakened by it.  After all, it was the first Republican President, Lincoln, who reiterated that a house divided against itself cannot stand.

So Sirota took this and spun it, inviting Ed onto his show as a telephone guest, and asked him about the legality of bin Laden’s killing.  And then proceeded to engage in a screaming contest, when Schultz began by saying that the Attorney General had said that the killing had been legal under the circumstances. The exchange became, quite honestly, incomprehensible, until the point that Schultz told Sirota to go to hell, and Sirota cut the mic in order to gloat. When he opened the microphone a few seconds later, Schultz had hung up.

Sirota’s gloating point was that the Attorney General was an appointee of the Administration, so he probably would be complicent in upholding bin Laden’s killing.  I don’t know how Schultz could have elaborated on his point, because he was never given the opportunity, once he’d expressed his original opinion.  I don’t know if he were planning on pointing out as well that a State Department attorney had also expressed an opinion on the legality of the Seals’ actions, or if – more importantly and independently of any association with the Obama administration – ex-Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens had publically declared bin Laden’s killing to be perfectly legal under the circumstances.

We’ll never know, because Sirota managed to shut Schultz the fuck up in exactly the same way he’d accused Schultz of attempting to do to Moore – albeit he did manage to level the accusation directly to Schultz of being turning on one of his own kind.  And then Sirota was back the next day, same time and same station, chest beating like an Alpha male, bragging about out-bullying a bully.  Suffice it to say, that all the ensuing calls in the phone-in were those selected who were favourable to Sirota’s handling of the incident.

So the first lesson learned is that the gentlemen and ladies of political punditry don’t disagree with those who purport to be from the same side of the political blanket.  Fair enough.

But some of these people punt their wares on social networking sites, inviting comments on their latest opinion blogs, and some of them respond to the comments.  That’s fair enough too, as long as these high-profiled and high-principled people remember that the public responding might be people who like and admire their work immensely, but at times, they might disagree with a particular point or opinion.  In this regard, some self-appointed pundits have proven to be remarkably thin-skinned.

One, allegedly, has compiled an enemies’ list of bloggers and commentators on the internet, most ordinary people who don’t blog for money, who’ve been critical of continuous barrage of unfounded criticism he’s levelled at the current President.  This same pundit has acquired a reputation for sock puppetry, showing up in various guises (but always with the same IP address) on his critics’ blogs, to level ad hominem remarks about what they’ve written.

The normally sensible Joan Walsh has literally imbedded herself in an ongoing argument with African American bloggers on Twitter after one lady politely sought to correct Joan in her assumption that Progressives made up the base of Obama’s support.  The lady on Twitter was correct: Progressives do not make up the base, either of the President’s support or that of the Democratic party. If they are the base of the party, it’s a pretty shifty one at that, when any accomplishment by the President or the party is disdained and scorned.  The argument progressed until Walsh rather tactlessly admitted resentment that African Americans should consider themselves the base of support for the President, and it’s continued from there, to the point where, last Sunday night, one of the bloggers in question was engaged in a discussion with someone else, and Walsh waded in, uninvited, and turned the discussion into one concerning, yes, race, again.

Walsh is known, both on her Facebook page and on Twitter, to meet anyone disagreeing with her point of view with the cleverly unfunny advice to the commentator to “get help.”  In one of the recent Twitter exchanges with the African American bloggers, she uttered to one that “it must suck to be you.”

Really, this is the stuff of high school girls, but that doesn’t detract from its rudeness.

These people are paid professionals with high public profiles.  If they are going to allow an exchange of ideas with the reading, listening or viewing public, then they have to show themselves above criticism and meet it in an adult and professional manner.  And that doesn’t mean, as Walsh went on to brag to a crony on Twitter after the Sunday night encounter, “punching down.”

Social networking sites are great equalisers, if the personality in question invites comment in which he or she participates.  Why do it and then pull rank against people who are, at best, internet ghosts?  Or maybe that’s why it’s done, because these entities are faceless, nameless ephemera.

The political pundit class, which seems to be reproducing itself at an alarming rate lately, has done a remarkable job on the Left, in incessantly urging, encouraging and promoting criticism of this President and his Administration.  The old cry of “holding his feet to the fire” has become gratuitous. We’re asked to fall in line behind the pundit of our choice and carry his or her banner, worship at his altar, even defend all criticism of the chosen one against any critique levelled with the ferocity with which we would defend a slight to the honour and person of a close relative, friend or loved one.

That was the second lesson learned this week: that whilst it’s perfectly permissable to criticize a President from our party ceaselessly and unremorselessly, we daren’t criticize the punditry.  It’s they, you see, who’ve taken on the thankless task of speaking for us lesser mortals.  How many times have I heard people say that this one or that one is “our voice,” how we need them and how missed they’d be if they weren’t about? And how many times are we deceived, such as when Arianna Huffington made the middle class her pet cause and pushed the meme that the Obama Administration was totally against them, on the back of Huffington Post’s unpaid labour policy?  In the wake of Ed Schultz’s recent praise of the President, how many remember him urging Progressives not to vote in the Midterms?  How many remember Glenn Greenwald’s 2006 anti-immigration blog or that he writes for the Koch-founded and funded Cato Institute?

Back in the days of Anderson and Broder, when Huntley and Brinkley and wise Uncle Walter gave us thirty minutes of the top news each evening, where were the voices who spoke for us then? They were in our minds, and they bore fruition at the ballot box.

I guess rude pundits are the fashion of the day, but I’ve never been one to follow fashion.

40 Responses so far.

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  1. texliberal says:

    Returned from Viet Nam in ’71 and joined Vet Groups against the war. Enrolled in the University of Illinois, Champaign in ’73 on the GI Bill. It was there I encountered the college age anti-war, ANTI-EVERYTHING crowd. It was an eye opener. We were older and I think wiser. Most of us were married with children to support. I liked their passion but it was often misdirected, sometimes at us. Intellectual pursuits are best served seasoned with experience.

    • choicelady says:

      Oh boy, yes. I was part of the strike committee at one CA state college campus after Kent State. The people I deeply admired were VVAW. Their stories were beyond awful, their commitment beyond marvelous. The people I wished to throttle were kids who’d done nothing, seen nothing, knew nothing but sure told the REST of us what was politically correct. Enough already. First you have to learn what questions to ask before you can tell everyone the answers.

    • foodchain says:

      texliberal: I agree. I love when educated people inform me. I don’t much like it when they limit me. Passion, opinions, ideals will advance, as you say, if served with the correct seasoning.

  2. ADONAI says:

    It’s 2011. We’ve had the internet for, like, 2 decades now. Who cares about these people on television anymore? Most of it is shit they read on the internet anyways.

    They’re selling you something. An angle, an agenda, a way to think. Deception. You do not have to lie to deceive. You can blind with the truth. You can obscure the essential with the trivial.

    They will tell you what you want to hear. They’re understanding and considerate. They offer comfort and kind words while heaping scorn on “those who have wronged you”. You’ll never notice that they’re just draining you. Turning you into them. You’re too busy enjoying how right you are to ever see it coming.

    You know, looking back, I could have just said: “Fuck’em”.

  3. choicelady says:

    Hi Marion-

    I’ve read the posts below, but rather than wade in one at a time, may I just say that one thing that started the Planet was the disgust with the pundit who owned and edited an ostensibly progressive blog site.

    I think MOST of what we all post has to do with critiquing the Right. A lot has to do with evaluating public policy from this White House, and yes, most, not all, of us do try to find the positive rather than the negative in this President.

    But we SEEM to be the only site that willingly takes on “our own” for lacking real cred on critiquing the president and one another.

    For decades the Right has had lock-step, knee-jerk solidarity. You just never heard any word of criticism from one part about the other. That is how they built their strength, and it has been profound. Oh, as a sidewalk eavesdropper, I damned well heard their naysaying. In one of the funniest parts of being a pro-choice escort of women entering abortion clinis, I used to get the muttered and whispered confidences of one group about the other. (Why in the world would they trust ME with that information????? Maybe it’s my lovely personality? Anyway…) But in public, for the record, nary a peep.

    Practically from the time the bell rang and the gate opened on Inaugural Day, the Left bitched, pissed, whined, and fomented about some act of this president. The Left has been doing this for YEARS. After the solidifying moment of Vietnam left us in 1973, it was whine, whine, whine about some facet of the Movement by another facet of the Movement. Then it was not a Movement. I went to Grad school at a granola CA University where the bloodletting revolved around a HUGE fight between the vegetarians and the vegans. I am NOT making that up.

    So we’ve never had the solidarity or even the freaking respect for one another that the Right has always -- until now -- had. We’re seeing the cracks in their firmament, but they are nothing compared to our own.

    Marion’s focus on the progressive/Liberal/Left media pundits is useful to me if only as a reminder -- ’twas always thus. If we don’t get it together enough to be at LEAST respectful of one another, we are going, once again, to kill ourselves off. I for one am tired of the cannibalism. To quote a wonderful music hall duo, Flanders and Swan -- I don’t eat people, ’cause eating people is WRONG.

    Thanks Marion. I do appreciate assessment of our Leftish tribal rites.

    • KQuark says:

      Well said as usual CL. I too think the fissures on the far right are much bigger than the left now but we should keep pundits on the left on notice that we don’t want the destructive world that rigid ideology delivers.

    • foodchain says:

      Choicelady, leaving the NBA out of fear, I flicked to some T. Selleck show which had Jimmy Stewart near the end of his filibuster about the rich and powerful winning in DC and how his colleagues left him out to dry, sad only that he was hurting himself rather than at the fight he was losing. So the rich and powerful republicans and the non-supportive democrats were in full view for us in 1939.

      I felt comfortable making points on the “other site” to the far left who were angry at Obama and found comfort to the many good people there. The cheap shots were infuriating but is now par.

      This place is special. The opportunities here are seemingly limitless. The knowledge base, talent, humor and support are a gift to me. Where this leaves an angered left and an absurd right, I only hope resolves itself better than Nov. 2010.

    • SallyT says:

      Choicelady, I came here because several of the people I enjoyed reading comments from on that other place came here. So, I knew that I would find people that were coming from the same planet as myself. Sometimes I would be in full agreement with them but sometimes, not so much. I still need to work up my courage to typeout more when I have a different opinion. But, I know you won’t all kick me out. Might ignore me but you won’t be the first to do that.
      It is not like being in a Southern Bapist Church and standing up and admitting to going dancing on Saturday night. (trust me, don’t ever do that!)

      • choicelady says:

        texliberal: Clear sign it’s the end of the world, yesterday notwithstanding.

        SallyT -- Nope. No one will kick you out. We’ve had some knockdown-dragout disagreements, and we are all still in the mix. That is why the Planet, which admittedly does not attract extreme RW folks, gives us all so much hope. It’s DISCUSSION, not snark. Vehemence is permitted. You may even dance here, and we’ll join in, not send you packing!

      • texliberal says:

        I believe Baylor University started to allow dancing on campus not too long ago.

        • SallyT says:

          Well, there you go, I learned something. I was just remembering my summer vacations many, many years ago spent with my Baptist Grandmother. She wasn’t that strict really. One of her favorite sayings was: “Only two things come out of Missouri. They are Baptist and Democrats.” Well, I came out with one of those. (Boy, would she be surprised to see where Missouri has gone.)

          • texliberal says:

            Grew up in South St Louis in the 50’s and 60’s and it has indeed changed.

            • choicelady says:

              It’s not been the same since John Ashcroft and the Assembly of God (Springfield) took over. Ashcroft supported the KKK in a number of ways, and the state kind of reverted to its slave-state mentality and residual legatees. Sorry about that, but I have to admit that my grandfather was from MO, was a bigot of the first magnitude, was a follower of Rose Wilder Lane, a colleague of Ayn Rand, and probably was a German sympathizer, so ultra-coservatism does have its roots there. Ashcroft et al. just gave it new legs.

            • SallyT says:

              Tex, at that same time and still in the 70’s, I was growing up on the other side of the state around KC. Gone are the days of Harry Truman.

  4. SallyT says:

    There is news and there is show business. There is agreement and there is disagreement. There is passive and there is agressive. There is right and there is wrong. All of this leads to debates. Some are calm and some aren’t. Some are well spoken and some are just loud. All of them are allowed and all of us pick a side. Now the side we pick can be based on loyality to a side/political or popular personality. Or, we can choice a side based on the subject at hand and our own opinion of it. When we pick it based on the latter, you will at times find yourself switching sides. Does that mean you are against your party or friends? If you disagree with the President once or twice, does that mean you won’t vote for him again?
    The MSM has only one thing on their mind and that is ratings. We are the source of those ratings. On the internet, they are looking for hits and the more, the more corps will pay to advertise on that site. So, here is where that all mighty dollar comes into play again.
    Personally, I find that this world has come to expect and even desire the negative more than the positive. The highest rated news programs are on FOX. Scare tactics work with a lot of people because too many people are angry and not happy with their personal situation. So, they will believe what they hear, even if it is wrong, because they are looking for a reason for their feelings. They won’t search out the other side because they don’t want to hear different. MSNBC trys very hard to be that otherside. But, all that are going to listen to them are the ones that already know that FOX is wrong.
    So, where does that leave us. With ourselves. And, that might not be a good place.
    I try to listen to FOX but I can’t. I watch MSNBC to see what they found wrong in FOX’s reporting. And, to hear the comments from the guys that I feel are more in my thinking. But, I do not always agree with them, so, I look things up on the internet.
    I don’t always agree with the President and in fact, I disagree with his position on several things. But, I will vote for him again because the otherside would definitely not be to my liking. I just hope that the next 4 years, the President will be more like the guy I voted for in 2008. I feel he might be because he will no longer be running for money needed for his next campaign. That he has nothing to lose in campaign dollars, so, he will do the things that are more progressive. Of course, he will need help from the Democrats in Congress and we will need more seated there.
    I guess this was a lot of typing to just say, I love a good argument among friends, whomever they are. I just wish that people would try to educate themselves better and not rely on someone to do their thinking for them. But, that would be another article, I guess.

    • Marion says:

      Fox doesn’t report. It opines. MSNBC does the same. A lot of their presenters dwell on talking points and skew. They don’t outright lie like Fox, but they do skew enough; and they have totally unreliable commentators presented as political “experts” like Jane Hamsher and the scam artist Adam Greene, both of whom have the political acumen of an amoeba. So, therefore, neither are news outlets, and neither are reliable, except for people holding a particular opinion who want that opinion validated by someone with celebrity clout.

  5. AdLib says:

    I think it is really both ways on the web, there has never been more widely available criticism of anything that’s said or done in the media and yet many of the more popular blogs censor criticisms and shape comments to suit the egos and agendas of the ones behind it.

    There have been numerous articles and comments posted here about HP so it’s no secret that HP will not allow comments on their site critical of their pundits (especially Arianna).

    The Right Wing sites are pretty hostile when it comes to allowing criticism of any pundits on the right. And we’re all familiar to how even elected politicians in the GOP have cowered then kowtowed to Rush after trying to stand up and fairly criticize him.

    I do agree that it is a trap that more and more are falling into, the idea that “we shouldn’t criticize our own”.

    IMO, the flaw in this reasoning is that one can’t both support Obama and have criticism of him on some issues. It is far healthier to be able to criticize whoever you support when you disagree, otherwise, what difference is there between oneself and Birthers, who have forsaken and semblance of critical thinking.

    As for pundits, they should be criticized at will and often. These are the people who literally shape the debates over issues and the character of our democracy. Too much criticism is not enough when it comes to them.

    It makes perfect sense, when one considers ego and agenda, that pundits don’t want what they dish out. Their standing and careers are based on their infallibility and omnipotence. They MUST know all and be right all the time, they don’t make mistakes or cross the line.

    So, someone with a career based on appearing brilliant and superior could naturally be troubled by criticism that may call any of that into question.

    It is ironic, one’s career could be based on the 1st Amendment and Freedom of Expression, to criticize one’s own government and officials but that same person may resent and even prevent others from applying those same principles to them.

    Personally, I think people put far too much weight into the opinions of pundits. My experience here at The Planet is that real people living in the real world and not a media or DC bubble, are just as insightful if not more so about the meaningful issues out there.

    • SallyT says:

      The pundits are in many cases actors or actresses. They are playing a roll according to the network that is paying them. Many, I think, really don’t always believe the things they say but that is the position they have to take on that particular network.

      • AdLib says:

        I’m right with you on that, Sally. These are in actuality performers.

        TV is entertainment. Ultimately, no matter how insightful anyone is, if their ratings are poor they won’t be on TV for long.

        So even those who are relatively earnest must perform to one degree or another. Which also opens the door wide to egotistical performers with no real convictions becoming popular and influential…witness Fox News for the most obvious examples.

        That doesn’t mean all pundits in the media are dishonest or not insightful, it just affirms that they are performers first and ratings matter.

        • escribacat says:

          I agree, Adlib. It’s the only explanation for the wild flip-flops some of these commentators make between right and left. I can see having an evolution of opinion, but not a drastic swing from right to left or vice versa. I suppose it’s possible — perhaps as the result of some life-altering event — but I can’t imagine it for myself.

  6. whatsthatsound says:

    Where did you learn that “we daren’t criticize the punditry”? Certainly not on this site, nor from the comments to your recent post (which, by the way, you haven’t fully responded to). There, the criticism of your article from myself and others was related not to your criticizing Michael Moore, but as to HOW you went about it -- i.e. accusing him of moving toward the right, and putting thoughts in his head that he is almost surely not really thinking.

    If the same type of smearing had been directed at the president, let me hasten to assure you that myself and others would be all over the smearer, whether it were you or anyone else.

    Everyone should feel free to criticize Ed, Moore, Olbermann, Walsh, ANYONE.

    But fairly, please.

    • SallyT says:

      Sometimes criticism can’t be fair. Oh, you can allow fairness to the parties by giving them equal time to express. But, if you are truly in disagreement, your statement might not appear fair because the other party can’t express their side as well. Or, their side is more popular, therefore, have more coming to their defense and you feel out number, so, say that is isn’t fair. Just a thought on my part.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Hi Sally. That all makes good sense, and I don’t disagree with any of it. But I don’t feel that it applies in terms of what I am referring to.

        • SallyT says:

          That doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t think you would think it applied. But, I think it is fair.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            As I wrote above, I think you make good points.

            • SallyT says:

              I was being general and you were being specific, that is why I wasn’t surprise you didn’t think it applied. But, I do thank you for thinking I made a good point. I need more points and few are awarded.

  7. KillgoreTrout says:

    Well said Marion. Boy, uncle Walter is sure missed today. He actually warned of the dangers inherent in combining news with entertainment. How the facts would be degraded and misconstrued. And, sure enough, this has been the case in the last decade, at least.
    Politics has been turned into a sort of intellectual wrestling. With the pundits beating their chests and vying with one another to be champions of “reasoned,” opinion. This is especially true on the 24/7 cable news outlets.
    This is what Jon Stewart was referring to in his end of the sanity rally speech. He said, and I am paraphrasing here, “These news outlets can be compared to a huge magnifying glass. Now we can use this magnifying glass to make the issues clearer, or we can use it to set ants on fire.” And for this he was chastised by far too many as making a false equivalence. The chastisers accused him of trying to say that MSNBC was no better than FOX, who constantly lied and deliberately took things out of context. They missed the point Stewart was making, completely. Stewart was merely saying that both “sides,” spent far too much time in petty personality squabbles, instead of trying to make the issues more understandable. And I agree whole heartedly with Stewart. There was no false equivalence.

  8. bito says:

    Oh my goodness, a spat between Ed Shultz and who? The nation was a buzz over that, well maybe the 39 people that depended on their paychecks from it. No this wasn’t some huge split on the left, it was a 24 hour pimple, nothing more. And a twitter fight? Now there is some big news. I watched it and most people agreed that it was dumb, they were talking past each other, as twitter usually does, and the discussion should be taken to email. I found it quite boring. Angry Black Lady is known for her confrontation, that’s her thing, she loves to bait. Joan Walsh bit. End of a non story.
    The problem isn’t the “pudnuts” being too full of them selves, the problem is we don’t see them, left and right, as entertainers, because that is all the majority of them are. Gossips, gassers and guessers. Vapid talk of politics not policy.

    You mention “the good old days” of the news and yes when the news divisions were independent and not having to worry about generating ratings and cash, it was different and it will never be the same. It is now corporate and rolodex entertainment. The pudnuts are not the problem, they are but puppets, their strings pulled by the moneymakers furnishing entertainment.

    I do have a question for you Marion. Not once have you ever written on rift of the R’s, not once. What you wrote about today was nothing compared to the struggles that the Right is going through. The Newt/Ryan and the Newt backtracking was much bigger. The showdown on the debt between the establishment R’s and their “Young Guns” is much bigger, the “no-new-taxes” argument is crumbling (GOP “No New Taxes” Position Is Rapidly Crumbling ) . Why do you dwell on the wrinkles on the left?

    • KillgoreTrout says:

      I think, if you consider the other articles Marion has written, they seem to be stressing a need for more unity amongst those on the left. And there should be, especially among the so-called prophets of politics. Is it not true that authors here are free to write on the topics of their choice? There are many other issues Marion could have written about, but she chose this one, as is in line with her previous articles.

      • bito says:

        Must have missed the part where I said she couldn’t write what she does and being as I have been here since ’09, I think I have read most, if not all, of her posts. I am quite familiar with her posts and her posts like any posts are open for criticism, discussion and defense by the author. That’s how the free speech thing works. She is free to defend the post and disagree with my comment.
        Should I not say anything?

        • KillgoreTrout says:

          I didn’t tell you what you could or could not write. I merely asked the question of whether she was free to pick the topic for an article.
          It does seem as though I am being told what I can or can not write in my comments. There was no name calling or nastiness in my comment. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seemed to me that you were giving Marion a dressing down for not writing what you wanted to read. If I am incorrect in this assumption, then I apologize.

          • bito says:

            KT, quite simply-I published the post! I didn’t censor her or your comment, did I? The site is for discussion not agreement on everything.
            Back to discussing the post, not dissing the site and the editors, please.
            Conversation over.

        • KillgoreTrout says:

          Kalima, did I say bito didn’t have the right to ask that question? No, I did not. I don’t think there was any “bad behavior,” in my comment. I was polite and non aggressive in my comment. I too have a right to ask such questions.

      • Kalima says:

        KT it is also true that once an article is published, another member has the right to be critical of or challenge what is written in that article, so I can’t really see your point. Bito was only asking why Marion doesn’t mention the obvious mess within the Republican party, and he has every right to ask that question.

        Just as a reminder, here is a list of behaviour that won’t be tolerated here.

        http://planetpov.com/faq/terms-of-use/

  9. Abbyrose86 says:

    Excellent article Marion!!

    I agree, the pundits have become way to big for their britches and full of themselves. They are making the divisiveness in this nation WORSE and it’s only for their own gain. They really should be ashamed of themselves.

    Sadly they don’t realize you can disagree without being disagreeable.


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