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Bye Bye Meet The Press

I’m in a good and giving mood today so I thought I would take a moment out to offer NBC some free advice. Meet The Press is toast, and you’re not going to pick up a single viewer with your new posse of hosts. Frankly, this shouldn’t have to be pointed out.

Chuck Todd, who proudly proclaimed that it is not his job to inform the public is not the solution to David Gregory, who made no effort to inform the public.

Let me take a moment out to ask Chuck Todd a question that I’m dying to hear his answer to; why does a stenographer with a camera pointed at them make so much more money than the stenographer sans camera?

But I digress. Here’s the deal; people who don’t want to be informed aren’t watching Sunday morning political talk shows. Again, I’m still flummoxed as to why I have to explain this. So when you spend an hour describing how every side of every issue has exactly the same merit as the other side, no one cares. That false equivalency you’ve created in order to get people to check out of politics, makes them check out of you and your vapid bullshit program.

Also, I can’t for the life of me understand why all of these shows are subversively right wing when they’re not being pathologically "even". Here’s a little tally that Media Matters did of guests on the Sunday morning talk shows.

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"Even" doesn’t really appear to be neutral, does it? All of the networks, with the exception of Fox seem to be missing an obvious fact of the political culture in America; there is no center right in the republican party anymore. The center right (such as it is), now exists in the democratic party. The only options in camp GOP are far right and batshit right. I define far right as the crowd that still clings onto the trickle down canard that’s been thoroughly disproved. They still think that social safety nets are bad for them. The batshit right is the "Kenyan usurper" crowd.

Those are the only two options in the GOP. A moderate approach to anything simply doesn’t exist in the republican party so there’s no one in America who is interested in a slightly right analysis of politics. You either need to go full batshit like Fox, or you need to present empirical facts. Why did I leave out the going-left option? Because any objective course correction for all of the major issues we face, would be (strictly speaking) a leftward change in direction. We’ve so badly fucked up nearly everything with a far right wing approach, that there’s no right to be had without more fucking up. The Bush "doctrine" (I like the implication that there was any thought involved by using the word "doctrine") fucked up the middle east for decades. "Corporations are people, my friends" has thoroughly fucked up our electoral process and our income inequality situation, not to mention creating stagnant wages. There is no credible argument made for fixing our problems by going further right.

Going "democrat" isn’t really a winning direction for Meet The Press either. MSNBC has already taken the position of mouthpiece for the DNC. Liberals don’t much care. They’re not like republicans who love bathing in the message of the RNC. Liberals are inherently different than conservatives. We’re not as interested in being told what our opinions are. We don’t crave an authoritarian figure to be our daddy, telling us what to think and eat. Liberals generally like to think. Not just that, but we like to think that our ideas are better than any other liberal’s ideas. Seriously, trying to get liberals on board with one single solution is like herding cats. My liberal friends all have better ideas than mine. Well, they think they do. You and I both know that my ideas are the bestest in the world. Anyway, that’s why Fox has more viewers than MSNBC.

And frankly, we’re not talking about huge numbers when it comes to cable news. The most viewed show on cable news is O’Reilly with around 2.7 million viewers. That’s pretty insignificant in a country with around 150 million adults. And O’Reilly’s viewers are an average of 68 years old. They’re the spry, young whipper snappers of the Fox viewing audience whose average age is 71 years old. The Sunday morning talk shows are much smaller in terms of viewers. "This Week" is the highest rated show at 890k viewers in the "demo" (25 – 54 years old). These are not culturally relevant numbers we’re talking about.

This new gang of commentators that NBC has assembled for Meet The Press isn’t going to get the ratings job done because they haven’t changed the formula. They just changed the shade of eye shadow on the show. Chuck Todd actually sucks at what he does more than David Gregory did at the same game. Joe Scarborough only had 105k viewers on excruciating three hour long Starbuck’s ad so he’s not going to help. Luke Russert’s brand of frat boy dim wittery won’t come in to save the day. Andrea Mitchell isn’t bad, but I don’t think she’s going to usher in the big ratings numbers.

Sorry NBC, you’re not going to fix anything with the polish you’ve attempted to apply to your turd.                      


Freedom Of (and from) The Mainstream Press

So as I watch main stream media is inundating us with nontroversies like Benghazi and the IRS this week, at the behest of the right wing, I find myself in an elevated state of bitchiness that goes eighteen levels deep.

First off, the Benghazi and IRS stories are largely bullshit. Benghazi is 100% bullshit. The IRS story is mostly bullshit. I say mostly, because while it’s true that targeting organizations for extra scrutiny based on political affiliation is wrong, doing your fucking job isn’t. The fact of the matter is that it is illegal for a nonprofit “social issues” group to electioneer. And the twisting and stretching of the law to neuter the FEC’s ability to do anything about said electioneering, doesn’t change the fact that it’s illegal. Should the IRS have targeted organizations based on specific key words? Absolutely not. But they shouldn’t back away from scrutinizing organizations who may potentially engage in electioneering, that want tax exempt status. They should ramp up their scrutiny. And let’s be clear on one thing; there is no evidence whatsoever that this additional scrutiny was given at the behest of this White House. And furthermore, I don’t see how asking for more information before being granted tax exempt status is outrageous. The IRS wasn’t auditing groups based on political bias, not like they were doing for the last administration, they were simply asking for more paperwork. In the grand scheme of outrageous behavior, this doesn’t even make my bitchy radar especially since it was shut down last year, when it was discovered. So I’m sorry, main stream media, you can’t raise my blood pressure with this bullshit.

The thing that we learned this week that has me livid at the administration, is that the justice department¬†subpoenaed (without their knowledge) the phone records of The Associated Press and their reporters. If this doesn’t scare the shit out of you, it’s either because you’re not paying attention, or you’re fundamentally ignorant about what freedom and threats to that freedom look like. Asking an organization for paperwork before you grant them the right to siphon off federal taxpayer money is not a threat to your freedom. It’s fucking paperwork. Scaring the press and their potential sources is the real threat to your freedom. Anything that attempts to choke off the flow of information to you is a threat to your freedom.

This blatant attempt to intimidate the press and potential whistle blowers is fucking unacceptable. It’s even more unacceptable when the president doing it is a former constitutional law professor. This bullshit maneuver strikes at the heart of the constitution, as Rachel Maddow so eloquently pointed out last night. And yet, there seems to be no real outrage from the right. Not from the wingers, and not from the libertarians. Why not? Cause they like it. And as Maddow pointed out, they’ve done fair share of muzzling the media.

So I’m pissed off first and foremost with The White House, Barack Obama, and Eric Holder. I’m pissed off at the main stream media for continuing their steady stream of right wing talking point bullshit on Behghazi and the IRS instead of educating Americans on how dangerous these subpoenas are to our very foundation. I’m pissed off at the “patriots” and “constitution lovers” for posting Benghazi bullshit because they still think that’s their best shot at damaging (they think) Obama (but they are in fact being used to damage Hillary).

You wanna know who else I’m pissed off at? Chuck Todd. Watch;


Why am I pissed off at Chuck Todd? It’s not for what he said, since I agree with 100% of the points he made. I’m pissed off because Chuck Todd has no right to say it. He abdicated his power as a journalist a long time ago, in exchange for invitations to the best Georgetown parties. You’re not a fucking reporter Chuck, and you should spare me the outrage. You neutered yourself a long time ago. David Gregory, Howard Kurtz, Lara Logan, Brian Williams, Judith Miller, and a very long list of others can’t be outraged over this. You’re not fucking journalists because you sold us out to be one of the cool kids a long time ago. You’re all fucking stenographers. No one would ever get anything from your phone records because you all suck! You can’t be neutered by the government because you already handed over your own balls.

You wanna know who gets to be outraged? Michael Hastings, Matt Taibbi, John Nichols, Jeremy Scahill, Dana Bash, Soledad O’Brien, and a few other people who are actually doing their damned jobs. They understand the importance of the media in our society, and they deeply respect their craft. These are journalists. These are the people holding our government to account for their actions.

So liberals, when you see bullshit Benghazi and IRS posts on your social networking feeds please do me a favor and shut those stupid people down and point them in the right direction. It will be a win for everyone; your wingnut friends get to attack Obama for legitimately fucked up practices, and you get to shine light on an issue that is actually important.