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AdLib On July - 7 - 2011

In case you didn’t hear, Pres. Obama is replacing Joe Biden as his VP in his 2012 run with Shia LaBeouf. He’s also going to cut Medicare by requiring Seniors to go to veterinarians and he’s now going to agree to Social Security cuts that will change the retirement age to the letter “Z”.

“Proof? We don’t need no stinkin’ proof, we’re running a news business here!”

It’s no breaking story that what passes for today’s press is about as fact-based as The Chronicles of Narnia or Mitt Romney’s stump speech. What has become shamelessly apparent though is the manufacturing of “news” that is intended to titillate the public, piss them off and turn their anger at anyone other than them and other corporations who are the actual ones behind the ongoing destruction of our democracy, society and our standard of living.

“Gather ’round kids, Grampa’s gonna tell you a story about the way it used to be a long, long time ago. Back before your fancy internets and Faceybooks, there used to be somethin’ you could buy called a “newspaper” and on them newfangled “boob tubes”, they used to have people that would tell you what happened that day in your country or even the world! It was a simpler time back then, we bought tiny leashes for our pet rocks, danced to the rebellious music of The Village People and there was free love…but you still had to pay for dinners once in a while.

Yep it was a wondrous time but we were too busy polishing our mood rings to see that. You see, in our day them newspapers and news shows on the three networks had a thing that’s as obsolete today as wine coolers…they called them “journalistic standards”. Now I know ya haven’t heard that term in your young life so let Grampa explain it all to ya. See, back in those days, the folks who would tell you what was happening in the world would have to make sure what they were saying was really the way things were. I know it sounds silly but they would have to check with different people to see if they told the same story and then, before they could put it in the paper or go on tv and tell everyone that story, they’d have a boss who’d have to agree that they felt sure enough it was the dad-gum truth.

Today them newspapers and tv shows are run by big ol’ corporations that got only one job, makin’ money by gettin’ people to see the ads in their papers and the commercials on their tv shows. The folks in charge either get them a story or make one up that’s gonna make people angry enough or scared enough to keep on readin and watchin’ the next day and the next day.

Here’s how it works, kinda like the game “Telephone”. Each of them tries to think up a story that has a little truth to it but’s gonna upset or surprise people so much, they’ll want to read or watch it. Then they whisper it in another one o’ them’s ear, like, “President Obama wants to make it legal to eat puppies.” Then the next guy then says, “Some are saying that President Obama wants to make it legal to eat puppies.” Then Bob’s your uncle and you’re off to the races!

See, in them old days when “hair care” was more “hair don’t care”, the reason for puttin’ on a news show was to let people know what was goin’ on. Yep, it sure was a bit naive. Today the reason for puttin’ on the news is to make money and to get folks to think what they want them to think…so they can make even more money.

And the way to do all o’ that is like eatin’ an Oreo. You twist off the ethical and responsible top of the news and then folks can just get right to the sugary frosting that gives them the biggest rush. And by the way, in our day Rush was also the name of a musical band, ain’t that somethin’?

Yep, it seems nowadays that not only do those news folks shovel ya rumors and slantin’ opinions like we used to shovel cocaine up our noses (did Grampa ever show you the tiny spoon he used to wear on his silver necklace? I’ll give it to you but don’t tell your mom!), they say it all like it was the plain truth and always seem to be about makin’ people mad and turning some people against others. Why, I hear it’s gotten so bad that in England, they listen in on your phone calls and messages just to make a buck! In my day, you had to dial a 900 number to listen to someone else’s calls and you had to dress up because they’d always ask you what you were wearing.

I guess you’re tired of hearin’ Grampa’s stories about the old days. Ya probably don’t want to hear about the orgies Grampa used to go to with all them news folks. That’s one thing that ain’t changed since then, they’re still screwin’ everyone they can.”

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

193 Responses so far.

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  1. SueInCa says:


    While reading this I tried to put a timeframe when everything changed but I really cannot.

    I remember the Washington Post and how extremely careful they were about publishing the Watergate scandal

    Then I think of Daniel Ellsberg and his release of the Pentagon Papers because we were not being told the truth.

    What I see now is more like a Hollywood production and like most Hollywood movies it is based on a lot of fantasy and conjecture. There are very few anchors these days and they have been replaced by “pundits”. Somehow we have given these “pundits” the green light to tell us not necessarily what the real news is, but their interpretation of the real news.

    • AdLib says:

      Exactly, look how Fox blatantly explains this corruption by saying, “Oh, that’s just our opinion people saying those lies, not our news people.”

      Aside from the fact that Fox News simply reports what Fox Pundits say and call it reporting, they readily admit that most of their broadcasts are not truth but opinion.

      And since that’s where the ratings and money is today, not in straight news but emotional and rhetorical fireworks, that has now morphed into what tv news has become.

      Which is why I don’t rely on tv news shows for news anymore and regard everything that is said as needing corroboration to be proven true.

  2. Khirad says:

    Number of murders in US in 2009: 13,636
    Number of murders committed by firearm: 9,146
    Number of alleged murders discussed for past 3 years by t.v. β€œnews”: 1
    Number of most-talked-about accused murderers convicted of murder: 0
    Number of extended profiles of any of 4,471 US troops killed in Iraq in a war fought on false pretenses, including 2 killed yesterday, on television β€œnews”: 0

    Anthony Case Index

    Not casting aspersions. Just talking about perspective and wishing there were a little more balance -- not even necessarily politically speaking -- in what weight is given to stories covered by the media.

    But, it isn’t entirely new. Lindbergh kidnapping and so on… “made for TV” news appears to be hardwired in us all.

    • kesmarn says:

      Khirad, here in Toledo, there have been 38 shootings since June 1, 2011. Guns are (obviously) everywhere, and this is not good. We are short on police numbers due to budget issues.

      So — what was the assignment of one officer for all of this past Saturday night? He had to watch a rock. The Chinese investment firm that bought a bunch of riverfront property here had given the city an ornamental rock. And they didn’t want anyone to vandalize it.



      • Khirad says:

        You just couldn’t make that up. And I’m sure the actual thought of vandalizing the rock went up threefold after posting a security detail.

      • AdLib says:

        Long live rock!

        At least we’re protecting ornaments! Have you seen the murder rate for ornaments? It’s unbelievable!

        • kesmarn says:

          πŸ˜† AdLib, my son said he could make a fortune selling T-shirts with a large rock pattern on them.

          Feeling threatened? Crouch down and become a rock. The Po-po will come a runnin’ in brigades!

          (And, btw, no offense to the over-worked cops around here! Like many weird things, this rock-guarding order came from the top. Cmdr. Sisyphus speaks!)

          • AlphaBitch says:

            Kes: the Blov once dressed up for Halloween, with a brown polyester leisure suit from the 80s, vaseline in his hair, paraffin flakes on his shoulders, and a dab of red fingernail polish on his chin, to simulate a shaving boo-boo.

            When asked what he was supposed to be, he replied “An insurance salesman! Hey baby, want a piece of the ‘rock’?” with his hands in his pockets.

            now you see why we have been married for 30 years……

            As funny as we can all be here, NO ONE beats the Blov when he is on a roll.

            • kesmarn says:

              I think he might be my son’s first customer, AB! πŸ˜†

              Laughter is the one thing that can keep things going through all the highs and lows, isn’t it? (Or --as the Blov might say — through all the “ups and downs”?)

    • AdLib says:

      Very interesting info to consider, Khirad, thanks for it.

      No question that the stories that are the most “sexy” (meaning enticing to viewers but not necessarily about sex) have always been exploited for public consumption.

      It’s not a new concept, it’s just been raised to such heights and is most conspicuous when we live in The Information Age when so much information is readily available to be reported on…as you have done and the mega-billion MSM hasn’t.

      On the other hand, we do know a lot about Kim Kardashian.

  3. Sabreen60 says:

    It is absolutely absurd how Rachel Maddow and worst, Ed Schultz had almost complete meltdowns on air. Of course, this is not the first time for either of them. I sent Rachel a tweet and asked her doesn’t she get tired of having hissy fits, only to later realize it was all for naught. Every time the President says something or doesn’t say something that Ed wants him to say or doesn’t want him to say, the President is going to be a “one-term president” or as he said tonight “will be unemployed”. This is why Gibbs said what he did about the Professional Left. And IMO, he was dead on.

    • SueInCa says:


      I stopped watching both awhile ago. Ed because he is a flip flopper and Rachel when she interviewed Michael Steele. I could not believe the way she was gushing all over him. Anybody can do some good and then do some bad it is human nature, but I still believe in principled journalism even though it is hard to find these days.

    • I thought Rachel was pretty smart and insightful… then I saw her flip-flopping back and forth on some sound-bites without apology.

      But then again, it is MSNBC. I refused to watch it for some time, but then started watching it for KO and Rachel…. And even KO is starting to really grate on me. He’s getting a bit sensationalistic at times.

      I tweeted to KO and Rachel a few weeks ago about an experience we had with a Vantuckey housing office, and neither one of them seemed to notice. In fact… nobody noticed the tweet at all.

      Guess I’m just not glamorous enough.

    • escribacat says:

      I watched one episode of Ed long ago and that was enough for me. What a wailing machine.

    • AdLib says:

      Cable news is now The Hysteria Factory. The latest word could be that Obama squeezes the toothpaste from the middle and Ed will freak out, “What about squeezing from the Left, Mr. President??? If you keep squeezing the middle you’ll continue to spite the Left and be a one termer!”

      • jkkFL says:

        AdLib- You KNOW the President is left-handed!! He probably does Not squeeze the tube from the middle.
        Lefties tend to be neat and precise, which is probably the Real reason He drives Ed crazy. πŸ˜‰

      • SueInCa says:

        Now that is funny AL. And not entirely out of the realm of possibilities.

      • SallyT says:

        Ed was a little over the edge tonight. However, it was Ed and his overreaction that did bring the media to Wisconsin when they needed to be there. Sometimes when he screams it does helps.

        • choicelady says:

          SAlly -- I agree; Ed does a lot that’s good, but when he swallows the kool aid, he’s beyond awful. Do NOT know how to make our side STOP with the garment rending, teeth gnashing, fulminating.

          Enough already.

          • Sabreen60 says:

            I agree he’s done some good. What I can’t get over is how he told Dems to not vote in the 2010 elections. That was absolutely the last thing we needed to hear.

        • KQuark says:

          Actually it was OFA that set up WI initially.

          • choicelady says:

            KQ -- ??? Please provide translation.

            I am acronymically challenged.

          • SallyT says:

            I don’t know OFA or setting up WI means and I am not an ED fan but there was no national news reporting on the strike until he got there. Even the strikers thanked him for getting them the attention. There was a big write up in the WI newspaper and of course Michael Moore thanked him because no one else was reporting. I may not like the guy but I will give him credit when credit is do for doing something right.

            • SallyT says:

              KQ, if that sounded cross, I didn’t mean to be. Just frustrated about several things including health and SSD. Like I told you earlier our cost of living has been frozen for 3 yrs now. That usually amounts to $25 a mo. That may not seem like much but this year those 3 yrs are now $75 a mo. So this year @ $300 a year results in a loss of $900. Perhaps you can understand why people are scared and concerned. I still have my husband but many of my friends don’t and it has been hard on them.

  4. funksands says:

    MoveOn: Obama.Keyser Soze?


  5. chasethis says:

    I ain’t skeered. I very much need to hear what the negotiations are, what the details are, but I’m trusting the dems in the room. Call me delusional.

    Wouldn’t a C-Span feed be interesting?

    • choicelady says:

      Dean was just on O’Donnell showing how you can cut Medicare without cutting a dime in services. He’s advising Obama on that issue. He noted that right now it’s Medicaid that is at highest risk because people do not understand it’s used most for your granny in nursing homes and kids under 18. It’s a hugely effective program.

      I agree with AdLib -- there are huge amounts of privatized waste that can be eliminated, and the cap on contributions can be lifted. I cannot see Obama selling us out on these things.

      • Khirad says:

        My one complaint is that I wish he did a better job on selling us on them.

        The rhetorical device of corporate jet owners has been a nice touch though.

        It really puts them on the defensive when they won’t answer that question directly, or — can you believe it? — I saw them challenged directly on the fact that poll after poll supports raising tax rates on the rich!

        I hope to see more of that.

    • AdLib says:

      What if part of the SS deal is to make the wealthy pay past the current cap? And means testing? All these Progressives running around with their hair on fire look like hysterical children right now and if balanced deals come out of all of this, they will have already committed to being untrustworthy hysterics.

      • KQuark says:

        Absolutely those two areas especially means testing are cuts technically but you won’t hear that through the minutia of the media.

      • choicelady says:

        AdLib -- people over at the Dark Side {phhttt} are STILL claiming Obama sold us out on retaining tax cuts for the rich. I wrote a reply giving them places to see how little of that deal went to the rich -- maybe that will help. But people WANT to believe they are victims. It’s some kind of prize I guess. It’s also too much work to do the reading, not that it’s inaccessible, to find out what’s true.

        New mantra for our times: “Better to curse the darkness than to light a single candle.” Eleanor Roosevelt must be spinning in her grave.

        • AdLib says:

          Last night I “reminded” a 20-something friend who was saying the same that the GOP was using the extortion of cutting off millions of families from unemployment benefits right before Xmas if he didn’t agree to extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

          It wasn’t done because he wanted them, it was the price he felt was worth rescuing millions of Americans from having no Xmas for their kids, no money for food or rent and maybe becoming homeless to start their new year.

          The welfare of millions of adults and children were at stake and he decided not to play poker using them as chips. He wasn’t going to gamble their well being on the humanity of the Republicans right after they won massively in an election and he did the right thing.

          What kind of heartless, self-centered Dems would condemn Obama for making that choice (though many have forgotten or don’t understand that was the choice at hand)?

          • choicelady says:

            Oh -- most of the freaking Dems I deal with. Does that answer your question?

            Single issue people never listen. I had a conversation the subject of which was too arcane to bore you all with, but I made reference to a particular corporation -- Ben & Jerry’s -- as an example of something in corporate organization, and one doofus piped up, “Oh! Ben & Jerry’s does…” and went on and on and on about how good they were as if I’d dissed them and thus totally missing my point about their corporate structure.

            I listened, then said with my sternest “Mother” look -- “You are NOT listening”.

            I’m old enough now to get away with that. Glory!

            But it IS the constant problem -- hear a fragment that jerks the knee and NEVER the context at ALL, so go nuclear and rend garments over the total misunderstanding.

            Narcissism, solipsism, ego. Not just for the Right Wing anymore!

          • coveark says:

            Who knows……..Wrong is wrong no matter what the political label of the persons who are.

            I also repeatedly point this truth about the deal made at Xmas to the moaners………President Obama has led a ‘real’ life. What he did was the right thing. He is not going to sell us out.

            One of the things that has given me faith in our President is that he faced adversity in his life. He had to work hard for his education and so did his mom. He lived in another country at one time and knows that there is fear and problems but on the ground and in the heart most people are simply that, other people.

            He was raised by his single mother and loving grandparents and knows that white (or black) does not mean bad or good. He then worked and married into the African American life and learned the goodness there and the plight.

            I am sure that as he grew he saw the downside of both parts of our cultureand the need for positive change !!!!.

            He watched his mother fight, bargan, and plead for her insurance care when suffering from cancer.

            The progressive single purpose radicals and the right wing connivers are both in the wrong. They do not think beyond the end of their noses…..Then they cut that off to spite their faces.

            I know that the President will do the very best that he possibly can for the people of our nation…………….

            The media should think of the people and the nation and present what is really important and without the spin, the sound bites, the BS that they give us on a 24 hour basis.

            If we could smack them in their old moneybags perhaps they would wake up and serve…….

            • jkkFL says:

              coveark, awesome reply!
              You just lifted my spirits today. :)

            • choicelady says:

              coveark -- this is wonderfully said about both Obama and the media. Thank you.

              If there is a “moneybags smacking line” please do let us all know. We’ll join in.

          • escribacat says:

            Maybe some folks thought they were voting for a dictator.

            • choicelady says:

              Yeah escat -- we railed against the Imperial Presidency but want our own.


      • funksands says:

        No means testing. This opens a whole can of worms that we DO NOT WANT to open.

        Right now you get back what you put in. Period. SS is not broke, it is not broken.

        • KQuark says:

          Means tasting sounds like common sense to me. That way people like John McCain would not get the two types of SS he gets now.

        • AdLib says:

          Do those earning $500k or more after they retire really need a SS check? Yes, it’s their money but why not ask those who have gained the most from our economy to plow back in a fraction of it to help those who need it?

          If someone with millions in income annually is going to whine about not getting a SS check for $1800/mo and would rather have poorer people struggling for survival instead, who cares?

          Look, I’d even be willing to give them tax credits instead for what they would have been paid, then it’s a win-win.

          • choicelady says:

            ADLib -- I’d not like to see them get tax credits for what they put in because that sucks it back out again.

            I just think the basic plan -- raise the level by which you contribute -- makes sense. Even the rich use Medicare. Social Security is a base, not a top, so they will get what we all get. It’s the “stone soup” principle. And if anyone does NOT know that story, you may Google it, or I’ll come over with a hot toddy and tell it to you at bedtime. GOOD story. Makes sense. Just let me know.

            • chasethis says:

              choicelady--I thought about googling the stone soup principle, then thought how pleasant it would be to have someone read it to me at bedtime while we sip hot toddies. Or, since it’s 103F here, maybe a chilled beaujolais.

            • AdLib says:

              I’m with you, my first position is to slowly eliminate SS based on income.

              However, by offering say, 50% of the total they would receive as tax credits, the money in SS isn’t touched and that bank grows while a tax credit for say 50% of $1800/mo would only represent a small amount that isn’t received as general revenues.

              IOW, keep all the SS money growing and protected in the program and give them a smaller reduction in income tax paid, a fraction of the amount enriching SS which would be a trade off I’d be willing to fall back to if necessary.

      • chasethis says:

        Uncapping the caps and means testing make perfect sense to me. I heard someone earlier this evening saying that Obama is out-maneuvering the R’s on this. I hope they’re correct. Fuck firedoglake.

    • chasethis says:

      Sorry if I’m off topic. I thought all the topics are or should be meshed at this point. Power to the press, as if it still existed.

  6. escribacat says:

    Just got a hysterical email from MoveOn.org:

    BREAKING: Reports say the president just offered to cut Social Security benefits, if Republicans agree not to let the U.S. default on its debts.1

    Is it a ploy for donations? Hysteria? True? Phone hacking scandal?

    • KQuark says:

      I simply don’t believe what either side says anymore. Unfortunately that means you have to read between the lines yourself.

      Progressive group think told me a bunch of things that were just not proven to be true.

    • Chernynkaya says:

      E’cat, I just unsubscribed to MoveOn and Bold Progressives. These were in the subject lines of their emails:

      MoveOn: STUNNING

      Bold Progressives: Outrage. Obama.

      My subject line to them: STFU

      • choicelady says:

        LOL!!!! Cher -- that is EXACTLY what I said to them as well!!! STFU!!!

        Not one shred of evidence, not one single fact about cuts, just garment rending, teeth gnashing and whining for dollars.

        Look -- I gotta put up with this from the Religious Right if I’m going to oppose them and call them out. But why the HELL would I put up with it from my supposed ALLIES???

        What is WRONG with these people?

        • AdLib says:

          As I mentioned above, it’s just more people giving up on principle just to win, the same game of the RW and Repubs being played by MoveOn and other Progressives.

          A liar is a liar whether they’re on your right or left and they are unworthy of support by people who don’t accept being lied to.

          As AD and I discussed previously, the means do not justify the ends. Playing the game that way only makes both sides unworthy of winning.

      • coveark says:

        I do not blame you………..I honestly do not think we need to be reactionary about every word………..as Ad-Lib points out it ain’t neccessarily so. It pisses me off how people just gobble it up. I saw a headline on HP about it and just thought…I simply do not believe that.
        Thus did not even bother to read it. I liked your subject line…I hope that I can remember it…..

        • AdLib says:

          The knee jerk alarm that the media and pundits around us ring at any opportunity is their game, we can’t let them make it ours.

          Remember how the bloggers on the left went mental in the budget negotiations, attacking Obama for the cuts to Medicare he was going to agree to…which he never even mentioned. The rumor was enough for these alarmists to shriek “betrayal”.

          They have proven themselves unworthy of trust and their accusations and outrages should always be discounted.

          • coveark says:

            This thread ended so I will say here…………..HeHe>I hope I did not embarrass you……You wrote the Grandpa lines so well I assumed ( and yes I do know what that does) that you were experienced in that time period. I observed it but was more in the pre spoon daze……..LOL. really great writing…….there is a lot of it on this site. It is heartning……..P.S. My spellcheck is perpetually broken and that is not my strong suite (?) So, please over look that….

          • coveark says:

            Exactly…………Oh and I loved the blog………being GrandMA and reading this made me smile…….:-)

            • AdLib says:

              Heh! Thanks so much, coveark! I’m not quite there yet myself but having some of these “principle” things in this day and age makes me feel like a grandpa sometimes!

      • escribacat says:

        Good idea, Cher. I’ll follow suit. I did that last week with Firebaggers R Us.

    • I like to think that Obama is much smarter than that. Talk about touching the “third rail.”

      • choicelady says:

        OK -- has he EVER been dumb? EVER? When all of last year’s garment rending over the “GIVEAWAY TO THE CORPORATE RICH PEOPLE BY KEEPING THEIR TAX CUTS GOD THE WORLD IS ENDING HE’S GIVEN THEM EVERYTHING”, cooler heads were assessing the package and discovered the tax cuts for the rich made up 16% while packages for ordinary people -- unemployment, etc. -- were 84% of what deal he made. Center for Budget and Policy Priorities wrote that the day the agreement passed -- and they got death threats from OUR SIDE. Someone, forget who, did it on Daily Kos -- shock outrage traitor, etc.

        But it wasn’t true. He did NOT sell out on this agreement or most anything else. We here get scared that they over there (you know, the Leftie Dark Side) might be right. We are so used to Carter’s and Clinton’s caving we forget we CAN rely on this president more. And interestingly -- Clinton is counseling Obama NOT TO CAVE.

        For me the Hopey Changey Thingey is still working.

        • I hope you don’t think I was saying Obama is dumb. Far from it.

        • AdLib says:

          Add to that, once the budget deal was done this year and the Left Weenies attacked Obama for the cuts…the CBO revealed that Obama had outsmarted the Repubs and the cuts to important programs weren’t really cuts.

          Why people keep accusing Obama of being stupid or weak, after he’s prevailed time and again, shows who really is not so bright.

          • choicelady says:

            AdLib -- I think I figured out that “manning up” means one and only one thing -- pounding the table and talking loudly and angrily, calling names and sneering.

            Calm sense is seen as weak even when it quietly and determinedly WINS.

            Now it was TR who said, “speak softly but carry a big stick” and no one doubted HIS manliness! But he was all hearty bluster and action, and we’re so juvenile we think that’s what it means.

            We’ve been overwhelmed by Arnold-ism. Sigh.

            • AdLib says:

              If Obama was white, less educated and wrong more often, he would be seen as “strong” by those same people.

              Of course, he’d also be George W. Bush.

      • coveark says:

        I do too kilgore…..I do too.

    • AdLib says:

      Just found the same email sent to me and I actually got a bit pissed off.

      MoveOn is a flawed organization, remember their confident stupidity with “General Betray-Us”?

      No matter how well intentioned an organization starts out, there are always some jerks who weasel their way in, thinking they’re cleverer than everyone else and launching campaigns that are clearly self-destructive to everyone else.

      This email has affirmed for me that I will no longer contribute to MoveOn. Once you need lies to get my money, go wait in line behind the Republicans.

      • escribacat says:

        It’s really too bad that they’ve lost their reliability factor. I seem to recall they appeared when Al Gore wasn’t favored by the Supreme Court. I found them comforting at the time.

        • choicelady says:

          They arose to urge Congress and the nation to “move on” from Monica Lewinsky. I liked that. They were really good for a long time, and I was one of the first to sign up.

          Several years later I went to a house party that was run by the Sovereign King of Q Street who told us all what and how to think. That pretty much took the sparkle out of it for me.

          No more. Pure crapola, and I’ve had it.

          • AdLib says:

            They have had a big turnover in their leadership which is what’s reflected.

            And they have become dedicated to fundraising first and principles second, the frequent fate of successful organizations.

    • AdLib says:

      My bet is definitely a grab for donations. And a truth hacking scandal.

  7. bito says:

    Here is another shocker:
    U.S., European Media Still Worlds Apart on Climate Change Coverage
    Europeans accuse the U.S. media of giving climate skeptics a disproportionate voice and perpetuating a debate that has been settled among scientists

    According to Vandermeersch and Verschelden, who are both alumni of Columbia University’s vaunted Journalism School in New York, American news media still make the mistake of giving climate skeptics a disproportionate voice and perpetuating a debate that has long been settled among scientists.

    “In a sense, you’re lying to your readers,” says Verschelden. “You’re creating a ‘he said, she said’ story, and looking for an argument that just doesn’t always exist.”

    “Journalism in 2011, in Europe, but also in America, ought to be saying, ‘These are the facts, they all point in the same direction, and therefore it’s our job to say that’s how it is,'” said Vandermeersch. “Doing that in a thorough, well-founded, and well-argued manner, is better journalism than just giving equal time to both sides.”

    Yet everyday Michelle, and others, can get get on the tube and say without anyone calling them on it that disco is growing and Boone’s Farm is vintage wine.

  8. ADONAI says:

    Also, I gotta think that at least 70% of MSNBC’s 24 hour cycle is spent talking about FOX News.

    It’s like FOX News is a soundboard for the Republican Party and MSNBC is a soundboard for FOX News.

  9. ADONAI says:

    “We walked 5 miles in the snow to school every morning! Uphill both ways!”

    “Well what about the spring?”

    “There was no spring! Hitler stole it! And Tojo done took tha Summer!. Which is why we had to fight the great war! So we could open public pools again!”

    “That’s…. that’s different from what I read in history books.”

    “Cause they let women write’em! Used to be, a lady knew her place!”

    “That’s pretty sexist grandpa. Things don’t work that way any more.”

    “Don’t tell me how to talk! I will punch you in the face! I fought for this country! I killed men so you could study your girly history books. Which don’t tell no history!”

    “O.K. grandpa, I gotta go. Dad said hello.”

    “Your father’s a pussy!”

    “O.K. grandpa. I’ll tell him you said hello”

    “Damn kids. Knew respect in my day.”

  10. KQuark says:

    Spot on post Adlib. The worst affect all the lies has on society is the alternate realities it creates. You can basically be of any political or social belief for that matter these days and find like minds on the subject. This is how things that use to be undebatable before like torturing prisoners becomes mainstream debate.

    • AdLib says:

      Exactly KQ, like minds can be found on totally untrue statements, creating the alternate reality you describe.

      There is no overall arbiter anymore, no source that most people would look to for verifying what is or isn’t true.

      That is a dividend of the fractured media viewership we have today, some people solely watch Fox, others only watch CNN or MSNBC and don’t seek out information from any sources that don’t affirm what they already have been told to believe.

      How much clearer could it be that Republicans are living in a world of BS, where cutting government jobs means more jobs and giving more money to the wealthy means helping the poor and unemployed?

      Then you have the Purist Dems who think that undermining Obama and not supporting his re-election helps the Progressive agenda.

      Delusion is the new journalism.

  11. Chernynkaya says:

    There is a popular Twitter hastag: #mediafail. People attach it to their Tweets when they post a story about, well, media failures; cases where the media reports a Breitbart or doesn’t question their sources, etc.

    So last night, after the stories broke on WaPo and NYTs about the supposed cuts to SS and Medicare--which upon a second reading (after I stroked out) I realized were anonymous rumors devoid of any detail (thanks to a little help from my friends) I went on Twitter. About half the people I follow were still stroking out and the other half were sane, pleading for patience, for facts, reminding all that we’d been punked like this before. Several people pointed out that the very folks who love to add those #mediafail hashtags all the time were the very ones who fell for the sketchy stories the hardest. So maybe we need a new hashtag like #readerfail. And yet someone else pointed out that Twitter is exactly the perfect venue for immediate and unthinking reactions.

    One of the most striking things I’ve learned on Twitter is how desperate writers are for stuff to write about. I follow almost all the bloggers and journalists in print and other media, as well as news organizations. (It’s where I get most of my stories for the Daily Planet.) You could sense their panic over the holiday weekend, and it expanded to yesterday, when there was so little to talk about. They had no news to report, yet they could not refrain from Tweeting, and they started tweeting to each other inane stuff about their personal lives and their desultory musings, and eventually devolved into speculation and rumor. When those stories about the SS and Medicare “cuts” broke, they became remoras. They spent no time analyzing those stories because the were so grateful to have something--anything!--to talk about. It was really an eye-opening spectacle and I wish Questinia had been with me to comment on the hive aspect of it and the psychology behind it. It was truly instructive.

    • Buddy McCue says:

      A hive of remoras… what an image.

      Whatever happened to the idea of “no news is good news?”

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Buddy, no news is good news is really the truth. We never hear that nay more. It speaks to that Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times. That is a curse.

    • bito says:

      Cher, I have looked at #mediafail and you are so right about #readerfail. The thing is, that usually the information is there to support,or not, the story but too often we read the headline, skim the story and on to the next one.

    • choicelady says:

      OK -- this confirms it. We have to go back to pen and ink and FOOTNOTES. I knew, the minute I watched faculty decide to accept thesis papers without sources we were on a very slippery slope. Students had never been taught how to footnote even by college. It got easier just to take essays without substantive sourcing. Add in the tendency under the Clinton administration for his detractors to post total LIES then, in the rare moment media themselves checked, would defend it as “well, it COULD be true!”

      Now everyone has picked that up including so-called progressives. Let a rumor float, and we have palpitations because, well, “It COULD be true!” Having decided, all evidence to the contrary, that Obama is a sell out, we go nuts deciding once again without evidence that he is capitulating to whoever. So far he has not done it at ALL.

      But hey -- it COULD be true. And I refuse to provide source material to confirm my magical thinking…

      • Chernynkaya says:

        C’Lady, you’re really onto something there about footnotes, and I didn’t know they were no longer required. The implications of that are devastating!

    • Khirad says:

      You could sense their panic over the holiday weekend, and it expanded to yesterday, when there was so little to talk about.

      Which I find depressing, as it wasn’t a holiday weekend outside the US.

      We are the country that smells its own farts.

      Although, I may have slipped into news oddities too. Those can be fun.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Khirad, I should have specified that I really only follow US news sources and US political journalists, so it makes sense that they would have little to write about over the 4th. Guys like Ezra Klein aren’t going to write about the Euro, or about Greece unless it pertains to us. I get your point, but I was just talking about the stuff I use for the DP.

    • AdLib says:

      Cher, you really hit the bulls eye on this. The people who are in the news business and the pundit business NEED controversy to have a job.

      When nothing controversial was going on this weekend, they were freaking out. Let’s consider this…the people who influence what we think are upset when there is not something for them to panic the public about. That is fucked up. It shouldn’t be a problem that there isn’t something to make people crazy over…it should be the norm.

      However, as you point out, things going along smoothly or without major worries for the public IS a problem in modern American media. They can’t thrive in a world that is “okay”, it is their raison d’etre to keep the public in a constant state of being whipped up over something and that is taking a toll on a public that would just like to chill once in a while.

      There are good folks out there but for the most part, the media and pundits are the enemy of a peaceful, considerate and unified America because it threatens their livelihoods.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Adlib, I recently learned about the Shirky Effect, by social media maven Clay Shirky. I posted one of his pieces a few days ago, I think. He has a theory--non-original, but he articulated it well--that an institution whose job it is to solve a problem has a vested interest in keeping that problem alive. For example, Media Matters needs Fox for Media Matters to stay in business. Or someone like Glenn Greenwald will always need a centrist government to rail against, and if we ever elected a far left government, he would eventually become a fascist so he could have a platform for the “solution.” The Shirky Effect doesn’t work for all problem-solving institutions, of course--firemen have no vested interest in in perpetuating fires--but I really think the guy is right. And the media is a perfect example of manufacturing problems to which they are the solution. It is funny in a way. It’s like those ridiculous infomercials (AS seen on TV!) that sell products to solve problems that don’t exist: “How may times has this happened to you? You reach for your coffee and your fingers get all tangled up in the cup handle! Here’s the our solution-- a cup with EXPANDABLE HANDLES!”)

        And to a degree it has become cyclical: We as news consumers are the gaping maw, The Beast that the media is supposed to feed. As a teeny tiny part of news seekers, I too find myself frantic when I can’t find anything interesting to put up here--ask Khirad and Kalima and I’ll bet they feel the same. (Maybe not so much Kalima--she’s too wise.)

        • AdLib says:

          It really is intuitive, Cher. If one’s livelihood, wealth, power, celebrity, etc. exists because of conflict, ending conflict, even if that was one’s announced purpose, would undermine all of that.

          As long as there are 24 hour news networks, we will live in times of crises, real and manufactured. The public already seems to be tiring of being alarmed 24/7 and it’s harder to alarm them after all that’s been thrown at them to date so I wonder how sustainable this truly is.

        • escribacat says:

          πŸ˜† Good one, Cher. I think I might need one of those cups with expandable handles. The irony of all this is that there really is so much important stuff going on but nobody covers it — except a few obscure places like Link TV or Current TV or PPOV.

        • SallyT says:

          Look, Cher, if all you had to report was that you washed your hair today, I would show up. And, I bet we could fill pages with news that we wanted to talk about, be concerned about, passionate about, feel good because something is being done about this or that, and find a few if not a lot to gives us a laugh. Because we know that tomorrow really does come and that is another day with something new. MSM thinks that everyday must have something to report on that is earth shattering but I think they are wrong. I don’t think I am the only one in the world that would be disappointed if one day they said, “Well, there is nothing to report but how about we just talk about out times and history?”

        • choicelady says:

          Cher -- LOL!!!! You are SO correct! I get a catalog called “Solutions”. It’s for problems YOU NEVER KNEW YOU HAD. Right in this ballpark. It’s a form of political and consumer hypochondria, isn’t it? Worry over (fill in the blank) the source of which we must fight even if we never heard of it before.

          Ever give blood and get asked if you had weird, unpronounceable diseases? Trust me here -- if you don’t know what they are, you never had them. If no one is forcing you to donate a kidney in order to vote -- it’s probably not happening.

          I think the only thing that will provide a useful corrective is for everyone to state, loudly and clearly, about every wild assertion -- PROVE IT! Demand footnotes! If it’s oral, demand “mouth notes”!!!

          Back to sanity and reliable sources. Enough with the fairy tales passing as fact. I want sources, data, facts, and a second opinion.

          • bito says:

            C’Lady, there was a comedy, a bad one, years ago and the main character was in advertising. In one scene he was explaining how to manipulate people like a 60 second commercial.
            The first 20 seconds, you have to show people how bad they have it, the next 20 seconds, show them it can be improved, and the last 20 seconds sell them that your product is the only solution.
            Ha, no footnotes needed!

          • Chernynkaya says:

            C’Lady, I used to get “Solutions” too, but whenever I looked it over, I figured that I would need all those products someday--and that day is getting closer. They seemed to be mostly for the feeble and I feel more feeble by the minute. So you came up with the prefect term: Consumer Hypochondria!! Sure, I can pull up my socks and reach for a can now but any second I’ll be thumbless and my ulnae will shorten!

            Yes, I give blood all the time--I have something in it they need, and they always ask if I have mad cow disease. But that doesn’t scare me as much as Republicans.

            No wonder people just tune out and tune in to faux reality shows, and drink and smoke and pay no attention. If the news is designed to frighten us on a daily basis, eventually we zone out. I think that’s what happened to Beck, BTW. We are not built to survive on adrenaline.

            And YES! We should all demand proof.

        • Khirad says:

          The Shirky Effect seems pretty much the geopolitical plot of 1984. It’s all symbiotic. Like the Likud-Hamas-Hizbullah Axis, as I call it. They all need each other.

          It is horrible though when I catch myself going: what, no dangerous protests or outrageous government violence today? What will I do?!

      • agrippa says:

        “if it bleeds, it leads.”

        That seems to be the plan nowadays. There was always an element in the news, going back to Jefferson, Adamds and before that.

        But there were standards and we did not have all this “airtime”. And, the unending need to fill that “airtime” ( “Airtime” meant to cover all sorts of venues).

        The amount of chaff relative to wheat is much higher.

    • SallyT says:

      Cher, I have always found that a little panic and a lot more in concern is not a bad thing. Going overboard though is a whole different animal. But, I do think when you feel that the government is making decisions that will impact your life now and in the future, you have every reason for concern. And, I see no problem in letting those making the decisions know you are concern. The wrong thing is to do nothing and give them the impression that no one cares that much. Yes, don’t panic until you know the details but give them a heads up on where your concerns are and you need the answers as quickly as possible. Panic can just be around the corner. Many are waiting to know.

      • Chernynkaya says:

        Sally, I really agree with you. I am still concerned--just not panicked. And I absolutely believe that we should and must make our concerns known! Spot on.

    • KQuark says:

      The problem is too many Dems believe the news media, especially when the corporate media tries to divide them. The WashPo and WSJ is most prolific at this while the NYTs obliges some times as well. The GOP has the luxury of blowing off anything but right wing media as a default position so even though the media published several stories of how some Repugs are bending on revenue the GOP position itself does not seem to budge.

      You watch in the end the budget deal will have some revenue increases and probably some modest to moderate SS and Medicare cuts too. But the whole story will be how the Dems caved when it’s really the GOP that has given up the most ground from where they started with their no tax pledge.

      • escribacat says:

        KQ — I predict your prediction will prove true. It won’t be the end of the world and the facts will be gone with the wind.

        • KQuark says:

          To me it’s as intellectually dishonest to think you can have zero cuts in SS and Medicare as saying there should be no increase in tax revenue. I also keep in mind Obama and Dems already made about $500bil in cuts to Medicare with the ACA.

          • SallyT says:

            KQ, I don’t know about you but my SSD has taken a cut for the last 3 years with there being no cost of living increase. And, we all know the prices of everything hasn’t changed in the last 3 years. NOT!

            • KQuark says:

              I have not gotten Federal yet but private disability never gives you an increase. But I get your point a freeze will be called a cut.

  12. whatsthatsound says:

    The situation is so bad these days that I hardly ever watch human news. Here are some of the things that matter to our fellow critters.

    In an article on the front page of “Dog World”, dogs are rallying to support Khadafi, Dominique Strauss-Khan, and Casey Anthony. Dogs love everybody.

    The leader of the Yellowstone Grizzly Council was quoted as saying, “We won this round, but the fight for our sovereignity is far from over”.

    Honeybees are still concerned about how to carry on in the aftermath of the Great Rapture that has decimated their populations. Many are turning to Scripture. The author of the phenomenal bee bestseller, “Left Bee-hive” was so shocked about not being one of the Chosen Ones that he has isolated himself, refusing all interviews with media. According to a source, “he’s so pissed off he just may go off and sting someone”.

    Ferrets are fine. They continue to complain about not having enough comfy spots to sleep, but for ferrets, there are never enough comfy spots.

    • AdLib says:


      I used to subscribe to Weasel Weekly until I found out it was simply a sister company of Fox News, along with The Cockroach Chronicle and Rat Report.

      What we really need to deal with the journalism of today is pest control.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Yeah, just forget about all that Murdoch stuff, completely. In “Modern Mosquito” they even have a Reader’s Forum for ways to be even MORE annoying!

        Guy would sell his own mother, I tell ya.

      • jkkFL says:

        @AdLib, wts!! that’s where I’m putting all news for a while. After moving, (an odious chore-at best) I am so damn sick of decisions, getting all the stuff left unfixed fixed, and getting a new routine established; I simply decided I was unable to deal with the histrionics of the ‘news’.
        So I scan Cher’s Planet, the Morning Blog and I am done for the day. Three years and one incompetent jury later, with Casey Anthony.. and I was over it all.
        I’m back to full-time baseball!! (Hush, Khirad! I also watch golf!)
        What with the crap in FL and the rest of the country, I have decided to let the professionals outbuy each other, and see what’s left when they’re done.
        Till then, I will be consulting Cat Fancy, Weasel Weekly, Cockroach Chronicle, Rat Report and whatever gossip Rosie shares about wts!!!

        • whatsthatsound says:

          Jkk, As a Florida resident, I recommend you subscribe to the Gator Gazette. When you read a few of their articles, you start to get a sense of where they might strike next. And we all know it’s important to keep a step or two ahead of gators![img][/img]

          • jkkFL says:

            wts- I can Guarantee a gator has Never been that close to my ass, nor will it be!!! πŸ˜‰
            A gator can travel 35 miles/hr at top speed. My required distance is officially 36 miles!!
            I am probably most afraid of gators and lions- in that order. :)
            I will be subscribing to the Chicken Gator Gazette- it’s just pics of the gators who didn’t get away!!

        • AdLib says:

          Well…I am selling subscriptions to all of the above, working my way through college.

          I’m also selling World’s Finest chocolate bars.

          Just swipe your credit card on your browser!

    • Chernynkaya says:

      Whts!!! πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† Dogs are communists, cats are probably Libertarians and ferrets are Democrats. Bears are misanthropes though. Dunno about birds--I could never figure them out. But I totally get monkeys. (I’ve had two monkeys--a capuchin and a spider monkey. Don’t ask.) You have probably all heard by now of that monkey who borrowed the photographer’s camera and took a bunch of pictures of himself and his friends, and he is by far the best photo-journalist I’ve ever seen:



  13. whatsthatsound says:

    Does it count if your source was the little folks that talk to you when the lights go off? Because if it does, I heard that President Obama is actually a Sith, and that if he is reelected he’s going to pass an act that cedes half of American soil to the inhabitants of Jar Jar Binks’ planet.

    Say goodbye to the country if THAT happens.

    • AdLib says:

      President Obama is part of The Dark Side, an unnamed, heavily breathing and deep voiced Deep Throat told me.

      Either that or he is a servant of Lord Sauron, as a scrawl in the Denny’s bathroom confirmed.

      Others in a parallel dimension are saying he is part of The Legion of Doom and takes his orders directly from Lex Luthor.

      • escribacat says:

        I’ve always thought it was suspicious that they chose to adopt a Portuguese Water Dog. I mean, huh? Portuguese? What does it all mean? And what’s his daughter’s name? S A S H A. That’s Russian, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Think about it. I won’t even talk about M A L I A, except to say it sounds suspiciously like M A F I A.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Why can’t he be all three?
        You heard it here first!

        • AdLib says:

          Sources say that his clones may in fact be all three but that President Obama, being half wolfman and half vampire, is too busy living on the blood of his victims to have that much free time.

  14. funksands says:

    Ad, I really tried to read your article, but it was too long and didn’t have enough “sizzle”.

    For your next post I have three recommendations:

    1) Tell me who wins sooner. Cut to the chase. Everyone loves a winner.

    2) Make it shorter, I can’t pay attention long enough to read more than a few sentences

    3) ….Well I can’t remember #3, but just start with the first two and I’ll check back in with you after I finish watching “Wipeout”. Its Honeymooners v. Widowers this week!!!

    • AdLib says:

      Huh? Did you say something? A bird just flew by my window and I totally lost my train of thought.

      Hmm…I really do like bacon…my knee itches…me watch CNN now!

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