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September 09, 2006


>Funny--they keep saying...<

And there it is. This demonstrates how the national political conversation has been reduced to a one-sided circle-jerk, where the only viewpoint worth discussing is the one put forth by the right wing. The Post, the Times, and seemingly all the other major media treat the news similarly--the argument always starts at the right.

Thank God for the blogs. We'd be nowhere without them.

Sounds nice, but I have been thinking the whole 'fake scandal' has too much of the good old "When did you stop beating your wife?"question behind it.

Democrats and bloggers on the left are spending an enormous amount of energy to challenge a piece of propaganda that says we're weak on defense. And we're whipping up a media tempest in a teapot as we do so, assuring said propaganda will have a bigger audience that it might otherwise have had.

I bet after the airing that we'll have a big yawn from the MSM, wondering what all the fuss was about, but dutifully talking about what Clinton did or did not do, rather than Bush. And if I were Rove, I'd be pretty happy with that.

You know, at this point I'd rather err on the side of caution. If you really meant for the first sentence of your post to be a disclaimer, why did you give your post the title you did?

We have not won. Not by a long shot. And, as my environmentalist friends in D.C. say, even if we do win, "don't put away those suits".

Complacence and grandiose thinking are absolutely deadly at this point in the game. We can't afford either of them.


I've changed the title. But the first sentence is not a disclaimer.

The point of the post is that, at least wrt the Bolton nomination, we are already seeing the Republicans ceding a loss--because of the reality of the RI election. Count one Senatorial victory--a very important one--BECAUSE of the election, at least partly.

Everything else in that first paragraph says precisely what you've just said. So I don't see how it'd be a "disclaimer" so much as the same reminder you've just made.

Having written for television for the past twenty years, I have a feeling Disney/ABC was completely blindsided by this scandal. I doubt that, on a corporate level, they knew they were making such a conservative movie. What's amazing in television is that, with the mind-numbing level of oversight and scrutiny, there are still huge things that slip through the cracks. I wrote the first couple years for a show on Fox called Arrested Development, and we were able to slip in tons of political material--from Iraq to "free speech zones"--that I'm sure Rupert Murdoch was never aware of.


Yeah, you're right. (Though what a tin ear to respond the way they have!)

But the people behind it--the director and the writers--pretty clearly set out to accomplish either the total discrediting of the Democrats on security and/or a week of distraction rather than governance.

I agree. What's insane is how Disney has reacted once it realized what it has on its hands, including all the dissembling about copies being sent to right-wing bloggers.

"Disclaimer" was the wrong word. And thanks for changing the title. Maybe things look good from some points of view (within the US), but they sure don't look good from here (outside the US).

I should catch up on the Bolton nomination situation. Because I really want to say that these guys rarely let anything die. The Harriet Miers nomination is the only thing I can think of that actually went away when it looked dead. Even Social Security privatization was slated for a comeback, even if they ended up doing nothing about it.

Point well taken, Page. Things probably look worse here in MI than they do in Europe.

From everything I have read, it does look like a rather amateurish right-wing group was invited to make the film, and then more right wingers, including David Horowitz, got involved in the marketing.

But remember that while this was going on, Disney had just gone through a high-profile fight to get rid of Michael Eisner as CEO. Eisner was evidently still around in mid-June, 2005, but was due to leave in the fall. So the show was a sort of "transitional" project. One wonders just who green-lighted the project, how much supervision was exercised, and who really knew what they had on their hands when the right-wingers began their marketing campaign. Here's one clue about the show's "balance": the August PDB isn't in the show, neither is Bush reading "The Pet Goat."

But dealing with the fall-out could hardly have been more amateurish, and at least one review I read said the program isn't really very good.

One more thing which HASN'T gotten enough attention is the upcoming attempts to raise media ownership limits. With the concentration of the media in this day and age, there is an incentive for media companies to trade coverage in exchange for favorable law, particular as it comes to owning more local stations or extending the copyright life of Mickey.

I think the Lieberman campaign's loss in the primary was an important effort on the part of liberals and centrists nationally, and many of us were involved in undermining his continuity then; DemFCT's probing evaluations helped prepare for that important shift. Rhode Island is a close knit place. While Lieberman was disconnected in policies which affect the social fabric, he had cobbled influences together to keep from losing before when he might have; but the Republicans were really out of touch to overlook the tenuousness of his overall political 'position'. I worry very much exGov MWarner's candidacy shares some of those defects, but MW's organization is only beginning to develop strategy. Lieberman's decline accentuates the misperceptiiveness among Republicans who thought RI could be an easy win for the rightwing contingent in the Republican party. I think what is developing now is a reassertion of more centrism in the Republican Party among forward thinkers who want to do beter in the next presidential election than Bush's current third of the voters. Still, these two states Are New England, notoriously difficult territory for Republicans, at least urban Republicans. The Bolton news is welcome, and was a given, but Bush still is the neoCon darling and Bolton's successor is likely to be another person who will preserve the agenda of that part of the Republican Party. The movie bit, I see as a mediocre result of a new centrist leadership in that corporation which has a long history of mildly regressive politics. I wonder what the filmmakers there thought of Uncomfortable Truth. One potentially interesting feature of the middle road Republicans, unlike the rightwing Disney Repubilicans, is the centrists are light on social issues. There is a strong moralist streak in our national identity and history, but I doubt there is much strength remaining in that counterpoint to what has become fairly mainstream American lifestyle. Attacking with the Independent Counsel on social values was a final bankrupt ploy, a last resort when Gingrich had failed and the mundane civil corruption charges the Republicans first sought to investigate as a way to discredit the president petered out, as it were, and the only remaining charges were about private matters unrelated to governance. It has gotten a bit bizarre now that some of those 'moralists' are in office trying to rewrite the laws on privacy, habeas, coercion of statements of guilt. I am surprised, but only slightly, that Graham is one of the people recruited to launch the coercion initiative. I worry, though, about Frist's plans for the retirement party: whether he still wants to leave a heritage of being the one to end cloture and remake the senate into a libertarian chamber which bickers but moves toward becoming a replica of the lower chamber.

There is a lot of work to do, as the title suggests.

Though Page gets credit for the realism in the title.

Nice to see Page sometimes.

You are brilliant, Emptywheel, BUT NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE WINGNUTS. They are relentless, stealthy, well financed.
Try this one: NYTimes reports today of Bush's "Turn Back the Clock" '06 campaign strategy-to recapture his popularity after 9/11, before Iraq. Right wing conspirators write, direct, promote ABC's "Turn Back the Clock" 9/11 movie, bashing Clinton, glorifying Bush. Bush will address the nation on Monday DURING THE AIRING OF PART 2 OF THE MOVIE. Do ya think it might have been planned that way???
Glad to see that at least one reviewer says the movie is a colossal bore! PROPAGANDA is often like that.

I disagree with the analysis here that the Club for Growth and the far right of the Republican party have given up on the 2006 by putting the Republican Senate seat in Rhode Island at risk. That blue state seat was always going to be at high risk in an election cycle that would sweep out of office five other Republican senators.

However, here's what important. The Club for Growth would rather have a smaller Republican majority lock-stepping in the Senate than a larger Republican majority party there with some senators exercising their independence from time to time.

Liberals are forever seeing madness where there is, in fact, successful and ruthless far right-wing strategic method at work.

"Liberals are forever seeing madness where there is, in fact, successful and ruthless far right-wing strategic method at work. "

How true. And the converse is true as well. -- my enemy is a madman --


Thinking some more about ABC, I still don't believe it's a conscious strategy, but they have been targeting a few of their shows to a conservative base for a while. It's all just been under the radar. No one really cared, partly because progressives don't tend to watch these shows. For instance, Extreme Home Makeover has crazily sentimental, patriotic moments all the time. There was an episode a couple years ago featuring Jessica Lynch helping someone get a house that was pure madness.


I agree they've met their objectives in RI (and in MI-7, just across the street from me). They purge Schwarz and Chafee from the party, lose just one of the two seats, and get better party discipline.

Wheel, is there a link here where I can send you an email? It's about the Plame book. If not, I don't mind posting my email here so you can contact me. Just let me know, thanks.

You bring up a good point about the docu-drama being a potential distraction for the Democrats. I can just imagine campaign ads that read:

While Democrats were worrying about a drama on television, they were ignoring the real life drama of fighting the war on terror.

Regarding Bolton, I wouldn't put a lot of stock in the issue. If Frist doesn't believe that he has the votes to confirm, he probably won't even bring it to the floor for a vote. After that, if Bush still wants Bolton at the UN, he'll just make another recess appointment sending him back to the UN. There doesn't seem to be anything in the Constitution to prevent successive recess appointments.

Regarding Lincoln Chafee, I'm amazed that he's polling that far behind Laffey. I know that Chafee probably won re-election in 2000 because of his incumbancy and his name. (He was appointed to the US senate in 1999 after the death of his father John Chafee to fill out the term, and I suspect--but cannot prove--that more than a few voters believed that they were re-electing John in 2000), but I'm really surprised that he is doing so poorly in the Republican primary polling. Apparently, some odd things are going on in the state Republican parties in New England. Maybe they are becoming more radical conservatives, as the voters in the region are not, and the voters are reacting against that. That certainly seems to be the case in my home state of Massachusetts.

I imagine ew has some thoughts on the Romney clan. Politics families are an interesting study in modern US history.

I wanted to make a remark about the flick's shift of blame to a more diffuse time period, as well.

It is the social attack on Clinton which sapped some of the attention folks otherwise might have applied to pursuit of the rogues Fitzgerald listed when the first prosecution landed some terrorists in the calaboose after the first escapade to bomb the basement of the world trade center in the early 90s. There were plenty of news accounts toward the late nineties airing the controversies in the intell community over how serious the matter was. Clearly Clinton was taking the counteroffensive to the perpetrators, intermittently; and, in fact, he inherited a debacle in an African country partly about the same adversary. I would like to see the regional political and diplomatic organizations participation, as well; but, as here, political change is a difficult effort; it helps to have resilient constitutional institutions. Which is why countering the government by fiat here is essential, for preservation of our own forms of government; to squelch from their outset the artifice ubiquitous in Bush-II signing statements. I think it is doable, even for Bush; but the faction that is most closely guiding him, and speechwriting for him this week, is playing it as if theirs is the only worthwhile appreciation of country. The administration likely will correct course after the message at the mid term elections.

Ew has a thread elsewhere, but if ew drops back by here, one of the other threads had some interesting historical remarks that linked to a site which writes a brief history of journalism and how it tells our story:
there and here. Ew has probably seen these articles, because they came from a site to which ew had linked.


Bush can recess Bolton again, but Bolton couldn't be paid. So he'd be serving with even less credibility than he has now ... but that never seemed to bother him.


CONTACT: Cliff Hancuff
September 29, 2006 Journalismisflat@aol.com

"American troops could be home now, except for critical mistakes by our current Commander in Chief," charges Cliff Hancuff, Director of The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too.

"Media and right-wing bloggers are ignoring this fact. For weeks I have been challenging political activists and journalists to act with a minimum of ethical standards," continued Hancuff.

"I became involved when the Sun-Sentinel in Florida reported that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) said the U.S. poses the top threat to world peace. I watched in dismay as the media and bloggers worldwide reported on this misquote."

"My involvement continued when I discovered Diana Irey, John Murtha's political opponent, had attacked Murtha using a fictional quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln."

"Larry Bailey of bootmurtha.com is continuing his three year blind support of our current Commander in Chief's incompetence in war. President Bush declared war in Iraq without the 4th Infantry, our most lethal, modern, and deployable heavy division in the world," added Hancuff.

This mistake lead to the atrocity of Al Qaqaa. Iraqi insurgents stole hundreds of tons of high explosives to be used as weaponry.

"These are the explosives being used by Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda to perpetuate the war in Iraq."

"I am distressed that the same issues ignored by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004 are being ignored again in 2006," said Hancuff adding, "Americans, American soldiers and their families deserve better."

"Without these critical mistakes made by our current Commander in Chief, our American troops would be home with their loved ones, with honor, right now."

On October 1, 2006 Hancuff be at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena located in Johnstown Pennsylvania for Larry Bailey's Swiftboating of John Murtha rally. It is there Hancuff will continue his wait for Mr. Bailey to recall the values of honor and integrity taught him by our US Navy.

There is a youtube.com video online at:

YouTube - Rovian Architecture Unplugged


The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too


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