Sunday, June 04, 2006

Calame's Calumny

Let's start with Jack Shafer's description of New York Times Public Editor Byron Calame:
"Calame possesses a mandate that would allow him to boil the journalistic ocean if he so desired, but he usually elects to merely warm a teapot for his readers and pour out thimblefuls of weak chamomile.... Perhaps Calame spends so much time swinging his club in the weeds because he can't hit the ball when it's on the fairway."
Now, with that in mind, read this ...if you have the stomach for it: Hillary and Bill: A Relationship Too Political to Be Ignored.

Calame tries to defend Patrick Healy's sorry excuse for political reporting that ran in last week's Times. Healy's awkward attempt at tabloid journalism has already been sliced and diced. I'll add one more point I made on MSNBC last Wednesday, a point that Calame conveniently ignores: where on earth are the juicy stories about John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, let alone George and Laura? Oh, sorry, the Times is too busy digging up pro-Bush quotes in Provo, Utah. My bad.

One thing is clear in this ongoing struggle between progressive bloggers and the establishment media: GOP-propping and Dem-trashing is an addiction that won't be relinquished without a fight. It's not a stretch to think that Deborah Howell, Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, The Note, David Broder, and other stalwarts of the DC media elite share Joe Klein's disdain for the online community. We are the hated enemy and, truth be damned, they won't let a bunch of creatures from the fever swamp dictate who and what they should write about.

Fine. If it's a fight they want, it's a fight they're surely getting. But as netroots power grows and reality continues to undermine the Bush-loving fantasies of these so-called 'journalists', it isn't hard to guess who will come out on top.


P.S. If your appetite for New York Times sycophancy is still unsatiated, read Elisabeth "I'm in awe of W" Bumiller's vacuous 'inside' view of the White House beat. Maybe this explains her penchant for administration stenography:
"Laura Bush once excoriated me during an interview for something I had written in the last paragraph of a story that you needed a St. Bernard to find in the paper. Scott McClellan, the former press secretary, was after me every day for a week to get my editors to correct a factual error. The mild-mannered Mr. McClellan was acting like a terrier because one of his superiors was on his case. More recently, Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, got so mad about an article that he told me he was putting my e-mail address in his spam filter."
P.P.S. To put this all in context, read Jamison Foser's razor-sharp analysis of the media's relentless Dem-bashing. Excerpt:
"The recent media treatment of Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA), Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) illustrate this point: No matter who emerges as a progressive leader, or a high-profile Democrat, they're in for the same flood of conservative misinformation in the media. Too many people chalk up outrageous media treatment of, say, Al Gore or John Kerry to the men's own flaws, pretending that if they were better candidates, they'd have gotten better press coverage. That's naïve. The Democratic Party could nominate Superman to be their next presidential candidate, and two things would happen: conservatives would smear him, and the media would join in. To illustrate this, we look back over the last dozen or so years."
UPDATE: Via Atrios, I see that Greg Sargent has posted his take on Calame:
"It's awfully tiresome that this needs to be pointed out yet again, but note the same old refusal of the media to acknowledge its own role in shaping voter perceptions of our political figures. Calame says the relationship will be "on many voters minds," but if anything, the roar of criticism of the article shows quite clearly that voters don't want it to be on their minds. It will be forced onto their minds by the big news orgs, who have been feasting on the Clintons' marriage for well over a decade with all the restraint of belching guests at a Roman feast while rarely doing more than nibbling daintly at the edges of Republican unions."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ultimately, reality bites and no press can coverup Bush's enourmous failures. In fact, this has already happened.

Also, the MSM is doomed because they no longer control access to information. Intelligent bloggers have voices that cannot be silenced. Even the threat of big corporations trying to control the internet are doomed. The internet was designed to survive nuclear attack. A mere telecom can't do it.

6/04/2006 10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still nothing on Canada and the bust of 17 Islamic terrorists and their 3 tons of Ammonium Nitrate? A bust that the RCMP said was forced because they were about to start blowing stuff up?

And a bust that was accomplished by the dastardly tactic of cooperating with the FBI - the evil Booosh's personal spy group - and monitoring of Internet and phone conversations. I say we let 'em all go with an apology 'cuz we mighta insulted their dignity.

You ever gonna talk about that story or you just gonna cover your ears and close your eyes and say, "na na na na, I can't hear you?"

This site is pathetic, sad, and pointless.=

6/04/2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous mjshep said...

Re: anonymous's comment about the Canadian bust.

What makes you think that a site like this is responsible for writing about eveything that happens in the news and that concentrating on certain areas of interest is somehow indicative of ""closing your eyes?"

The comment is a pathetic, sad, and pointless one from a pathetic, sad, and pointless troll..

6/04/2006 2:31 PM  
Blogger David Ehrenstein said...

I don't know about you, but I for one am fascinated by Howie Kurtz's marriage. Mrs. Howie is Sheri Annis -- a high-ranking Republican operative who among other things is responsible for making Arnold governor of California.

Considerign Arnold's "touchy feely" rep with the ladies, one can only wonder what happned when he made a grab for Sheri.

Did she enjoy it?

Was Howie present at the grab?

Did he enjoy watching?

Was there a three-way?

Clearly we all need to know answers to these important questions ASAP!

6/04/2006 5:58 PM  
Blogger Kevin Hayden said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/04/2006 7:04 PM  
Blogger Kevin Hayden said...

The OC disorder that compels the media to appeal to either the prurient voyeurs or the self-appointed guardians of private morality can't be overcome by tit-for-tat furtherance of more inconsequential marital guesswork or provable details.

What is the morality of 40,000 Iraqi civilians dead? Shouldn't we be discussing why we have a President so anti-science that he won't believe the freaking weather reports in advance of Katrina? Why are children still going hungry in the United States? Why is virtue, integrity and morality always about sex when all the texts of the world's major religions say otherwise?

If the Times plans to uphold its claim to being balanced, it has to start reporting all the details of the marriages of other potential Democratic presidential candidates to explain that they do not resound with infidelities, or rumors thereof.

Balancing it by speaking about rumors of indiscretions in GOP marriages promotes the concept that everyone's doing it so it doesn't matter. I'd rather my children understand that most married political leaders aren't doing it and nobody even thinks they're doing it.

Not only is that a better model to uphold but it also says to folks like Hillary that if they fritter away their credibility as Democrats and don't do a better job defending the citizenry, we will grant her the same defense she provides us.

The media has to be held to account for its bias and priorities. But let's not forget that we hold our elected representatives to be more responsible, too.

6/04/2006 7:06 PM  
Blogger Kevin Hayden said...

I deleted my first comment to add a small edit, which is contained in the second, above.

6/04/2006 7:09 PM  
Blogger bt said...

The bust in Canada was accomplished by monitoring accounts of people suspected to be plotting a crime -- the sort of tapping that a US court would readily approve. It was not accomplished by compiling a database of every phone call and email sent in Canada.

6/04/2006 8:56 PM  
Blogger Dont_Feed_The_Meter said...

Peter, the perspective you share in this blog and likeminded content in others like it are exactly what should continue, and continue to grow and develop.

The myth of a media re-centering or re-awakening is just that. They do not represent a check and balance to rogue government, and will never return to such a role. They are a consolidated, bought and paid for tool for big business and elite interests to use as they choose.
That is a theme that needs to be supplanted into the minds of the information consuming public, and this blog is an example of the alternative, and interactive resource they can turn to for reliable information and discourse.

6/05/2006 3:28 AM  
Blogger The Daily Growler said...

I haven't read a New York Times article in 20 years. What have I missed? Of course you kiss ass when you cover the White House; you could be suddenly implanted with the troops in Baghdad if you don't. Look in these guys' eyes; they're solid nutjobs. Besides, you don't know who Bumiller is in bed with? One should always know who these reporters are boffing; it might lead to some interesting relationships. And you know women in Washington are considered whores by Bush who is definitely a mamma's boy. People who are psychotic are notorious liars. They are born into and live in an unreal world. Bush and Cheney are so rich with lunacy they could care less if the USA went to the hottest part of Hell in a handbasket. They feel they are safe from anything because they are rich and have secret bunkers. Plus these jerks have the army, the Pentagon, the FBI, the CIA, the local police as their back up and for their protection. It's gonna be hard to get rid of them. Remember, Eisenhower built a secret White House in a mountain near Denver he was such a wimp. Liars are liars; Bush and Congress are liars; including the Democrats, too, don't forget. Look at Al Gore going around now crowing about Global warming. He didn't do anything about it when he was a wimpy VP. John Kerry, too, a VietNam nut, could have stood up and fought the vote in Ohio; he knew it was rigged. I knew it was rigged the night it happened; the night John Kerry gave up politely and went to bed with his Heinz-fortune-inheriting wife. Howard Dean, too; don't trust his crusty ass. When you report on the lies of liars you simply become a liar yourself.

As to the Royal Mounties and their big terrorist bust--the Canucks have just had a change in government. They now have a prime minister who is just a tiny bit left of Bush, which means he's a nutjob, too. Of course Canada is going to start finding terrorists all over now; besides, if you read the stories closely you see that the Canadian authorities admit they profile Arab-looking people 24/7, and Toronto, I know, is full of Arabs. Also, it was the Canadian authorities themselves who offered the nitrate to these fools. The same stuff used to blow up the Okie City fed building--so now you ask, where did McVeigh get his tons of this stuff? But conveniently he is dead now. Remember: Dead men tell no tales. These are stupid kids; I think the oldest is 22, most of them are teenagers. There was a white-is-right nutjob in Texas who was found with more weapons of mass destruction than these bimbo Muslim youth; whatever happened to him? Also, did you notice Condi Rice started the shit that the American authorities had cooperated with the Canadians in this. The Canadians I think said they had informed the FBI but had not used them in this. Hey, youse guys, it's election time--look for some poor bastard Muslims being rounded up in this country soon, too.

Stop subscribing to and reading the New York Times and it will go away. The Guardian in England is a much better newspaper.


6/06/2006 7:46 AM  
Anonymous wtmoore said...

chris matthews can't seem to get through his daily dog and pony show w/out sniffing hillary's panties to see if bill has been faithful. and never mind when a guest points out to him that the public doesn't want to hear it...chris just launches into another round of salatious inuendo to explain to his "idiot" guest why this is so important, g'dammit. matthews is doing his damnedest to MAKE it an issue. he has broached the issue on every HardBall since the NYT article appeared. why? is he attempting to catapult the propoganda? sure looks like it...

as for hillary....i don't believe she will even run for POTUS. at least not at the head of the dem ticket. she's waaaayy too polarizing. but it is fun to watch the rove soldiers dutifully attack her, spending a lot of energy addressing a non-issue. i love hillary...from a distance. i would never support her as a candidate for POTUS, and neither would ANY of my liberal friends. i believe she will remain where she is, continuing to be an excellent senator for her constituents.

and matthews will continue to demonize her as long he has a format to spew his invective BS...

6/06/2006 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What can we expect from members of the US main stream media? They are no longer part of the US 4th estate. They are an extension of the GOP, White House & the RNC. Everyday they are under the desk of Bush & Cheney and deep throating and do not have the time or the desire to convey truths, facts and be honest & fair in their reporting. Look at David Broder; he wants to be known as the Dean of the Washington Press Corps. But he is not all he is, is the Dean of the Bush & GOP Sycophants Corps. Tim Russert had his incapable and possibly low GPA son Luke get a job bu using influence with his friend James Carville. Then Tim bashes non-GOP supporters as having lack of values. Chris Matthews's annual compensation (like these GOP Sycophants) is based on bashing non-GOP supporters. The more they do, the more they get. Remember 1917 in Russia. If over many years the mass get disillusioned and hate the press they may commit the same acts as the mass in Russia did in 1917. These sycophants can criticize all the non-GOP supporters and the on-line bloggers but they are doomed. At the moment they are following the GOP use of the 19 points of propagation expounded by the great NAZI propgandist Goebbels. ONLY GOD can save USA now unles the mass rise in large numbers.

Thomas Jeffferson

6/06/2006 5:21 PM  

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