Memeorandum


Powered by TypePad

« "I'd Rather Be Lucky Than Good" | Main | US Talking To The Insurgents »

February 24, 2005

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b2aa69e200d8345851b069e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference James Guckert For Dummies (cont).:

» Nothinggate from Commonwealth Conservative
From Tom Maguire: Hendrick Hertzberg of the New Yorker is typing with the auto-rebut feature enabled. Heh. Maguire is in fine form today. I haven't blogged much (okay, not at all) about this Jeff Gannon nonsense, but Maguire has been on top ... [Read More]

» Say it succinctly from Nerf-Coated World
Tom Maguire thoroughly responds to an long-winded critic regarding his exhaustive post on the Gannongate scandal-that-isn't. Now forget all the discussion about the actual issue. The blogging gold comes in this li'l snippet: with the retirement of S De... [Read More]

» Wish Corn Hadn't Gone There from WhatsAPundit
A pundit mourns an unfortunate counterexample. [Read More]

» An Inflammatory Post About Democrats, Hypocrisy, a from A Little Reason
Finally, I should come clean as to the reason why hypocrisy charges from the left torque me off. I'm jealous... we Republicans can't do the same thing to the Democrats. There is no non-criminal act that will render a Democrat hypocritical, becaus... [Read More]

» An Inflammatory Post About Democrats, Hypocrisy, a from A Little Reason
I'm jealous. That's it, plain and simple. . . . we Republicans can't do the same thing to the Democrats. There is no non-criminal act that will render a Democrat hypocritical, because, as far as I can tell, the Democrats don't have any personal valu... [Read More]

Comments

ed

Hmmm.

Oh Moon of Wonderment!

Oh Sunshine of Dark Moist Crevices!

Uhhhhh. Let's leave it right there.

Ted Barlow

This is generally a characteristically fair-minded post, but I think that you're unfairly glossing over the issue of the unprofitability of Talon News.

Your original post suggests that Talon News was basically a business venture.

"But the alternative view is that Bobby Eberle, age 36, was simply pursuing a market opportunity - Fox News makes money, Rush Limbaugh makes money, and maybe a low-cost, web-based news service could make money."

SZ counter-argued that not only aren't they currently profitable, they have no obvious sources of income at all. No subscribers, no independent advertising, and no revenue whatsoever. I'm quoting SZ quoting the Standing Committee of Correspondents:

"Committee guidelines require that on-line publications 'must charge a market rate fee for subscription or access, or carry paid advertising at current market rates.' You have not demonstrated to the committee's satisfaction that Talon News has any paid subscribers, that paid client newspapers publish Talon News stories, or that it is supported by advertising."

That is a serious point, and I don't think that you've really addressed it.

The comparison of Talon News to Media Matters seems fair. But that's a very different comparison than for-profit partisan operations like Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. In making it, you've conceeded the point, without admitting that you've made a concession. Right?

MisterPundit

"SZ counter-argued that not only aren't they currently profitable, they have no obvious sources of income at all."

Wasn't Talon an upstart organization privately funded by Eberle?

Brennan Stout

What do I win?

Media Citizen is a blog run by Timothy Karr.
Timothy Karr is Campaign Director for Free Press.
Free Press is founded, chaired and led by Robert McChesney.
Robert McChesney host a radio show on an NPR affiliate in Urbana, IL.
The radio show is called "Media Matters".
On January 2, 2005, McChesney's guest was David Brock, of that other "Media Matters".

Brainster

Tom, I just linked to a superb column in the Nation (!) by David Corn (!) going through Gannongate. Suffice to say he's every bit as impressed with this story as you are. Karl Rove has agents everywhere!

MisterPundit

I must admit, I'm pleasantly surprised that David Corn (of all people) isn't joining the hyperbolic Kos Kidz in flogging this dead horse, especially since Corn flogged the Armstrong Williams story to the high heavens (granted, the Williams story was a lot more interesting and substantive than the Gannon story).

Fact is, it's been 4 weeks and we're still only at "Gannon was a partisan, Bush loving, shill who worked for a partisan, Bush loving news organization". So what? We all agree on that point. It just doesn't excite anyone on the right since there are so many other partisan shills in the press room, most of them leftwing.

TM

On Talon News profitability: That is a serious point, and I don't think that you've really addressed it.

OK, good point, Ted (And do I have to come to your place more often to get you over here more often? It is on my TO DO List!)

Anyway, I had a bit more on that in the comments at World. In addition to the inteview cited there, Eberele told the commission he had big plans and high hopes, as well as some current ad revenue for Talon News.

However, the Commission was not inclined ot take his word for it, and he was unable or unwilling to verify his income stream.

From that, I would argue that he at least had some hope of turning Talon News into a moneymaker someday. And arguing the opposite - that he never had a hope or a plan - just seems weird. Talon was not set up as a non-profit venture, and there are money-making news services out there.

More from Ted:

In making it, you've conceeded the point, without admitting that you've made a concession. Right?

Well, if the name of a different partisan for-profit lefty mag had spring to mind, I might have worked with that.

The ghastly truth is that I picked Media Matters, and in mid-tirade read their corporate disclosure and learned they were a non-profit. Ooops.

On a better day, I would have started over with TAP, or TNR, or the Wash Monthly, or The Nation, or who knows what (Josh Marshall, one man media machine?). But momentum carried me forward.

EXCERPT from Commission:

...He said Mr. Eberle plans to syndicate Talon News for profit in the future, and was told that some revenue is generated by advertising.
TM

Brainster let me say, without any intention of gender bias, that you are sooo the man. Love that David Corn piece, and he is the one who broke the Plame scandal.

Brainster

Thanks, Tom, just stumbled on it and almost swallowed my gum as I realized he was taking a good whizz all over the lefty bloggers. :)

Peking Duck is no doubt composing a post about how David Corn is secretly a hatchet man for Bush.

TM

Brennan, you've got me - I feel like you have a point, but I am missing it.

Birkel

As to profitability of Talon News:

There is nothing to it. Every company loses money early in the venture. There are costs when one starts a business. Necessarily there are no revenues before those costs are incurred.

WTF is the big deal?

Google (or Amazon) wasn't profitable during the start-up period. (Again, I don't understand why that's a big deal.) And they were private companies not required to disclose their financials by the SEC. But we still thought of them as businesses when they were losing millions of dollars. And they still expected to make money down the road.

Why would Talon News be different. Invest early. Lose money short term. Break even. Make money. Isn't that the pattern?

-confused at the confusion

Lesley

From a blog called Washington Socialites:

"A wealthy Washington socialite is offering a $10,000 reward for proof that Jeff Gannon (pictured), an allegedly gay kinky-sex prostitute / escort / white house reporter / GOP operative, has had sexual relations with top-ranking government officials."

"A local socialite, who wishes to remain anonymous, has teamed up with this site to offer a $10,000 reward to anyone that can provide hard proof (photos, phone pictures, locks of hair, DNA on a suit) that Jeff Gannon had ANY sexual -- or romantic -- relationship with any top-ranking officials here in Washington."

Brennan Stout

TM: Heh. I don't have a point. I was just emulating the Kossacks. Many diary posts over at Kos have these kind of "six degree" posts.

Tim Karr's post is rather informative. I agree with you there. But since you brought up Media Matters, an organization vital to launching the "discovery" period into Gannongate, I had to establish one of these "Ah Ha!" ironies.

Ted Barlow

Talon News has been operating without an identifiable income stream since March 2003. Their expenses were low, but that is still a hell of a long time for a media business to operate without any visible attempt to promote itself, or any attempt to become self-supporting. I'm keenly aware that start-ups lose money at the beginning, but they try to get out of the red. Talon News didn't seem to be trying.

So it's possible that Eberle is just an awful, awful businessman. But it shouldn't be too controversial for lefties to suspect that Talon was supported by people willing to take a loss. It's somewhat more controversial to conclude that Talon was started to get a friendly face in the briefing room, but you can see the logic, at least.

It's too much to say "this was a Rove operation" without evidence. But it doesn't look much a profit-seeking businss, either.

MisterPundit

"It's too much to say "this was a Rove operation" without evidence. But it doesn't look much a profit-seeking businss, either."

Can't argue with that, although even if Talon was only around as a pro-Bush, rightwing activist organization, it only proves what we already know - that Gannon/Talon was partisan.

I must admit that I don't know how anyonecan make a profit in the online news biz these days. I think the Whitehouse should start giving press passes to a few rightie and leftie bloggers (perhaps one a piece), although the MSM would probably have a apopleptic fit about that.

Beto Ochoa

Jesus Christ people! Every "Network News Organization" is a money pit and without deep corporate pockets would fold up faster than a TV tray. Profitable indeed. People can spend their money however they please and if they choose to play "News Organization" it's in keeping with their constitutional rights. And what, pray tell, gives one person more legitimacy to report the news than another. We don't get reporting anymore anyway, just opinions of the news with little to no facts. The entire reason we are all a'tither about this subject is the FACT the gatekeepers of the TRUTH were flinging bullshit from the parapets and somone finally tasted the mud and discovered it wasn't pate.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"So it's possible that Eberle is just an awful, awful businessman."

How long did Slate slog along losing Bill Gates' money?

Forbes

Mr. Sullivan--the answer is: forever.

And the rejoinder is: who cares?

And that's the second post in a row by Beto that get's it right--bullshit, mud, and pate. (The first was a comment regarding a whoring vocation and journalism!)

(Sorry TM, a slow afternoon before I have to go out in the snow.)

mailman

Slate? How about MSNBC. Their slogan should be "Losing MSFT and GE millions since 1996."

HH

One good comparison might be Air America, Tom. It didn't exactly start off too well...

HH

And then there's Salon... Talbot's recent claims of success, a decade later, are still unconfirmed.

HH

Well, confirmed enough for the NYT anyway: "Salon also announces first quarterly profit, $400,000, on revenues of $2.2 million"

Gary Maxwell

Well I thought of the Airhead America example too but did not post it and then someone else did. How about Amazon. They lost money for years. In fact they lost so much for so long that the investment banker community had to come up with a "new paradigm" explanation on why people were buying the stock. Who is laughing now?

Beto Ochoa

"Salon also announces first quarterly profit, $400,000, on revenues of $2.2 million"

So they're still in the red by only about...unmm.. ten or thirty million? They need to re-think their margins on advertising.
"I'll go broke slower if I sit under a tree and do nothing than if I give my work away."
Dave Williams

RedDan

I'm famous, I'm famous, they luuuuuuuuuuurve me!!!

"Not unendurable"!!??

I love you too, Tom.

In any case, here's some questions regarding the conferences, the attendees and speakers at that conference:

If GOPUSA and Talon were unprofitable money pits designed to set the stage for future ramp-ups to power, influence, and success, as Tom seems to be positing (am I correct in my interpretation, TM?), then where did the venue fees, security fees, speaker fees for any honoraria, and so on and so forth, all come from?

And how much would they run for a large conference held in DC?

Also, if Honoraria were paid to the various speakers (Norquist, Cornyn, Goeglein, King, and quite a few others), how much is the normal rate, and what is the reporting protocol for the recipients?

Finally, if Honoraria were NOT paid to various speakers (I am thinking particularly of Goeglein here), then the implications are a bit different, yes?

Aaron

So, Guckert managed to ask the President two questions and attend 4 press conferences...is that the final total?

I think we should begin caving in...these guys have excellent points...no more day passes...sexual orientation and financial background checks...only allow in PROFITABLE news organizations:

NPR, PBS, sorry, you don't make money: out you go.

I never thought I'd see the day when left wingers decided PROFITABILITY would be a key requirement for any life endeavor. Maybe the ownership society is more bipartisan then we think?

TM

...then where did the venue fees, security fees, speaker fees for any honoraria, and so on and so forth, all come from?

And how much would they run for a large conference held in DC?

Not only do I have no idea, I don't even have an idea as to how I might get an idea. Yet, anyway.

I think we can safely assume that Goeglin of the WH will not have received an honorarium.

And yes, stage-setting money pits is the theory.

RedDan

Goeglein may well have accepted honoraria for his two appearances - there is no longer any restriction on government officials or employees (including officials in the executive branch) receiving them.

The following articles on Goeglein support my contention that more than simple "outreach" was and is in play.

Tim Goeglein: Tending to the Flock

Tim Goeglein: Pipeline to the President for GOP Conservatives

Goeglein, a special assistant to President Bush, operates as a virtual middleman between the White House and conservatives of all stripes seeking to shape its policies. "[I] make sure they have a reliable access point, which is me," Goeglein said.

It is Goeglein's job to make sure conservatives are happy, in the loop and getting their best ideas before the president and turned into laws. With Goeglein's assistance, Christian conservatives, for instance, were successful in lobbying Bush to push for abstinence-first funding to combat AIDs and speak out against the persecution of Christians in Sudan, according to Charles W. Colson, an evangelical Christian who works closely with Bush and Goeglein.

"My experience has been a lot of times when we have had serious questions and we needed administration backing to get them through . . . if we call Tim, all of a sudden things get through," said Colson, who was a public liaison under President Richard M. Nixon.

Read the whole thing.

My take is that Eberle was pretty well connected, at least by 2003 - connected enough to get a pretty stellar cast of conservative leading lights to attend and boost (and fund? - as yet undetermined) his conferences.

That there was a two-way street - Goeglein attends conferences and promotes GOPUSA and Eberle gets easy access to the White House Presser on a daily basis, where his "Talon News Correspondent" namely "Jeff Gannon" gets some special treatment (relaxed strictures on day passes, easy access, and fairly regular questions to both Scottie and the Prez.)...

Pretty classic propaganda pipeline masquerading as "News" - and entirely inimical to the concept of a free press.

(Note I mentioned nothing about the gay angle.

Brennan Stout

How come we are all accepting the government's definition of a news organization?

Shouldn't we, as free people, be beating down the doors of government obstruction to transparency?

The more I think about this story, the more I think about the process for getting access, the more I am inclined to ask the same questions. What about bloggers? Why is the WH press room designated for the reserved class? If the White House views the press as a filter between the Executive branch, then aren't the bloggers a great way to get around that?

Maybe, instead of asking why Gannon getting a daily press pass for two years the left could be requesting a daily pass of their own.

Does the motion have a second?

RedDan

Sure, Brennan.

Why not?

But be aware: Blogging is not news reporting, it is analysis, criticism, and aggregation of existing news reporting.

We have no AP/AFP/Reuters/KnightRidder/UPI wires, no stringers, no press rooms, no investigative fact checkers, and so on.

One of the main, and in my opinion most cogent and damning criticisms of the entire Gannon dust-up is that he did not report accurately, did not adhere to ANY standards of truth, honesty, or accuracy

He "faxed" WH press releases under his byline, and reported them as news.

He plagiarized numerous articles without attribution.

He funneled lies ("Soup Lines") from "entertainers" like Rush Limbaugh, reported them as news, and repeated them on the national stage to the President.

Talon itself has several documented cases of reporters plagiarizing, altering datelines and timelines, claiming to be in places they were not.

I didn't like that when Jayson Blair did that, when Joe Biden did that, and if Sy Hersh (one of my favorites) did that, I would be just as condemnatory.

Lies, mis-statements, propaganda, IS NOT NEWS and DOES NOT serve our democracy.

Do we want a press corps full of Jayson Blairs and Jack Kelleys?

No.

ed

Hmmm.

"he did not report accurately, did not adhere to ANY standards of truth, honesty, or accuracy"

Holy Christ on a Crutch!

Dan Rather isn't a journalist??!!

I'm getting my Dad on the phone, hope his heart'll hold up.

Geek, Esq.

Let's be honest:

It's a slow news cycle. And one can muster only so much entertainment value out of Bush's Quixotic tilt at privatizing Social Security.

Thought Josh Marshall has truly made the most of the situation.

RedDan

ed,

Please point out where I have defended Dan Rather?

Otherwise, please point out where I have made any equivalencies or denied any equivalencies, or even mentioned Dan Rather in a substantive way during my time here.

My point, as I have stated before, is that Rather, Jennings, Koppel, J. Blair, J. Kelley, A. Nagourney, K. Seelye, and the rest of the blow-dried talking head mouthpieces...are part and parcel of a fucked up and dangerous trend that bids fair to harm our political and social system even more.

Gannon is another, worse, symptom.

ed

Hmmm.

"Do we want a press corps full of Jayson Blairs and Jack Kelleys?"

You know, all kidding aside, you'd get a lot more traction if you were beating up on journalist that really mattered. Frankly I think Guckert was just a guy who got a job basically goofing off, and liked it. Really. What was this guy's day like? Apply for a daily pass at the White House? Sit around drinking coffee and bs'ing with people? Hell it sure beats roofing a house.

So now you lefties go and jump all over him when he's finally got a relatively cushy job. He shows up. Asks a couple goofy questions, writes some crap and then gets paid for it. I think there's a lot of people on EVERY blog that wouldn't mind that job. Really now. Was Talon News an organization bucking for a Pulitzer?

And then you guys go and spoil it all.

Seriously. I think you guys owe Guckert an apology for ruining a really good gig. Because from where I'm sitting, there's bupkis to this whole thing. All it's about is a schlub who got an easy job, and then got burned by people with an agenda.

RedDan

First, another question:

What the hell is a Turner Equivalent Unit? I looked it up and came up with shipping container descriptions??!!

Second, ed,

Gannon was pipelining propaganda, smears, and lies, gaining credibility due to his positioning, using other peoples' work without attribution, and presenting talking points as "news." I care not whether Josh Marshall or Jeff Gannon does that, it's wrong, it's bad for our democracy, bad for the nature of political debate, and results in a poisonous atmosphere in which the game is to see who can smear the other side faster and harder.

That road leads quickly to bad ends.

RIght now the political spectrum is highly polarized, the rhetoric and snark are advancing into extremely unpleasant areas, and it is a small step from hateful emotions and violent speech into real violence.

As for "getting burned by people with and agenda" - say WHAT? And Gannon had no agenda? GOPUSA has no agenda? Give me a break.

ed

Hmmm.

"Please point out where I have defended Dan Rather?"

1.
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:AFoxvdqnw20J:kant.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/9/2309/51304+reddan+%22dan+rather%22&hl=en&start=30

"What a bunch of bullshit (4.00 / 8)

I think the people suggesting this are trolls.

I think that the evidence is crystal clear, that the font/frgery/typesetting question (which first arose at FreeRepublic and Powerline) is an indication of just how fucking insane, stupid, dishonest, and disingenuous the extreme right is.

What a bunch or crap.

Faced with incontrovertible documentary evidence that Bush was a coward, disobeyed direct orders, went AWOL, deserted, and has LIED about it for 30+ years, including last week, last month, this year, last year...and NOW is probably in violation of federal laws governing FOIA...

What's the response?

The RATIONAL response is "gee, I guess Bush is lying about this"...

Note that this response DOES NOT preclude voting for him - after all, many folks voted for Clinton after he lied...people lie. Presidents are people.

The IRRATIONAL response is "It's a fake, it's a forgery, it's not true"

So, assholes and trolls, go feed your fucking tripe to someone else.

The only way to ensure a free press is to own one
by RedDan on Fri Sep 10th, 2004 at 03:48:07 GMT"

ed

Hmmm.

"RIght now the political spectrum is highly polarized, the rhetoric and snark are advancing into extremely unpleasant areas, and it is a small step from hateful emotions and violent speech into real violence."

And it will continue to be polarized as long as the Left thinks the Right doesn't have any basis for disagreement. That's really the issue here. Many people on the Left simply think that everyone on the Right are evil while the Right thinks those on the Left are just completely out of their minds.

*shrug* I didn't make the world.

RedDan

ed,

in this discussion.

I did not, at that point believe that those memos were faked. Having been convinced otherwise, I have changed my opinion.

You will note the date and time of that comment, and compare to my recent comments, thanks.

Many on the Right think that the Left are treasonous, and say so quite loudly over and over and over again.

Brennan Stout

lolz. How long have you been holding onto that ed?

hahahaha. Been there RedDan.

RedDan

Oh, I am sure that ed has read a large number of my comments - those that are in error, those that are stupid, those that are great, those that are brilliant, those that are embarrasing, those that I wish I had never written, and so on and so forth.

I have been wrong about a lot of things - I am not ashamed to admit it. If I were, would I have signed up here last week with the same handle I use on Kos? on MyDD? on Atrios?

Not at all.

I wrote what I wrote, and turned out to be wrong...so?

Ed wants to play "gotcha" and "gotcha" is a really fun game (having played it myself numerous times), but in terms of this discussion, what's the point?

RedDan

And WTF is a TEU?

ed

Hmmm.

"I did not, at that point believe that those memos were faked. Having been convinced otherwise, I have changed my opinion."

*shrug* You didn't put any constraints on it. Me. I couldn't care less.

"Many on the Right think that the Left are treasonous, and say so quite loudly over and over and over again."

Yes that's very true.

The problem again is that the Left thinks the Right is evil, and the Right thinks the Left has completely lost their minds.

What this basically means is that the Left is looking for theories to support this idea that the Right is evil. And the attempts to come up with the right theory is laughable simply because the Right isn't evil. This is why nobody takes GannonGate seriously. That and the fact that I've been force-fed liberal nonsense for the better part of 40 years. I've only had to deal with GannonGate for about 2 weeks. You could flog this story for the next 20 years and I'd still go 'so what'.

The simple fact is that the Right is not evil. We're just regular people who don't think like you. We don't think Bush has a master evil plan. Up until a couple weeks ago I didn't think the guy had a plan for anything. But it looks like he really does because things are starting to work out. Hell maybe God does listen to the guy, Arafat's dead after all and you couldn't possibly plan that any better.

On the other hand we on the Right think you Lefty people are just plain nuts.

Here we've got a bunch of people who want all Americans dead, and you guys are screwing around with politics. Sure politics has it's points, but it also has it's appropriate times. And wartime isn't the right time. We've had the election, Bush won. The right thing, ahem the correct thing, would be for all of us to stand behind the flag and offer a united front to the enemy.

Every time someone goes on TV or in front of a reporter and talks up the misery and murder going on in Iraq, it's just helping the terrorists. Without the media, there wouldn't be terrorism at all. Terrorism isn't about killing people. It's about killing people to make a point. If that point is ignored or not televised, then that eliminates the greater majority of what makes terrorism work.

For that to happen the Lefties have to stop helping the terrorists. Sure you Lefties are doing it to hurt Bush. And if we weren't at war it wouldn't be a problem. But we are at war and it is a problem.

Why do you think the terrorists are murdering people in Iraq in the first place? It doesn't really do anything to American soldiers, they're there because of orders. It doesn't do much to Iraqis, more people probably die from automobile accidents than from terrorism. Especially since there wasn't general ownership of automobiles until fairly recently. What it does is influence YOUR opinion. By convincing YOU that Iraq is a losing situation the terrorists are trying to get YOU to act as their unwitting proxy.

The North Vietnamese did this in the 1960's. The great lie of Vietnam is that America lost. We didn't lose Vietnam, we won. But South Vietnam was overrun because the **Democrats** in the US Congress cut off all funding and aid and so the South Vietnamese Army crumbled. Even after it dealt a near mortal blow to the NVA. A defeat big enough to force Giap's resignation.

Lefties think the Right is evil. Righties think the Left are insane.

Who do you think is correct?

ed

Hmmm.

"lolz. How long have you been holding onto that ed?"

Actually I Googled it. I used 'reddan "dan rather"' and then looked at the date/time appropriate links. Took all of 10 seconds.

ed

Hmmm.

"Oh, I am sure that ed has read a large number of my comments - those that are in error, those that are stupid, those that are great, those that are brilliant, those that are embarrasing, those that I wish I had never written, and so on and so forth."

Sorry, but I generally ignore your comments. Not being insulting, but I don't usually spend a lot of time on these things so I generally ignore most comments. It's really a fluke that I read it at all.

*shrug* if you're going to make a challenge, then put some limits on it. Either that, or look the fool.

Your choice.

RedDan

ed,

I don't think *you* or the bulk of the conservative population in the US is evil, or stupid. I think you/they are wrong.

I do think you/they are being manipulated by some pretty cynical, crass bastards, not that the bulk of the Democratic party are better, mind you (hence the "red" part).

But it looks like he really does because things are starting to work out.

Beg to differ, and strenuously. Unmitigated hogwash, actually.

Here we've got a bunch of people who want all Americans dead, and you guys are screwing around with politics. Sure politics has it's points, but it also has it's appropriate times. And wartime isn't the right time. We've had the election, Bush won. The right thing, ahem the correct thing, would be for all of us to stand behind the flag and offer a united front to the enemy.

Numerous recent and historical examples abound in which the roles were reversed, the Right was doing the same thing (in several instances some of the SAME people who are now saying exactly what you wrote were doing what you accuse me/us on the left of doing)...and noone on the Left was calling them a bunch of treasonous America-hating snakes.

Larger point: I think Bush is wrong, I think his policies are failing, misguided and portentious of larger problems in the near future. It is my duty to stand forward and make that case, regardless of how many people voted for him, how many people disagree with me. It is also my duty to admit when I am wrong, and I will...if/when it is proven so.

Every time someone goes on TV or in front of a reporter and talks up the misery and murder going on in Iraq, it's just helping the terrorists.

Excuse the vulgarity, but that is just a huge crock of shit.

Without the media, there wouldn't be terrorism at all.

Irgun, Israel, 1940's. Algiers. Numerous other examples of terrorism and terrorist tactics played out in various ways over the years. Hell, Sherman practiced a variant of terrorism in the South - "support or feed or hide these troops and I will burn your farms and fields, blow up your food stores, tear up your train tracks, and kill everyone I can find."

For that to happen the Lefties have to stop helping the terrorists.

Right. Whatever. Stuff a sock in it. If I wanted to help the terrorists, I would do it in much more effective ways.

Why do you think the terrorists are murdering people in Iraq in the first place?

To destroy nascent opposition political and social movements through paralyzing fear.

It doesn't really do anything to American soldiers

false.

they're there because of orders.

So?

It doesn't do much to Iraqis, more people probably die from automobile accidents than from terrorism.

Silly, apples and oranges comment.

What it does is influence YOUR opinion. By convincing YOU that Iraq is a losing situation the terrorists are trying to get YOU to act as their unwitting proxy.

My opinion about Iraq was held long, long, long before I saw televised images of people getting blowed up. In fact, one of my opinions about Iraq before we invaded was that the chaos that ensued would be a boon to the fundamentalists, loons, and crazy bastards who are running the Madrassas and the international networks.

The North Vietnamese did this in the 1960's. The great lie of Vietnam is that America lost. We didn't lose Vietnam, we won. But South Vietnam was overrun because the **Democrats** in the US Congress cut off all funding and aid and so the South Vietnamese Army crumbled. Even after it dealt a near mortal blow to the NVA. A defeat big enough to force Giap's resignation.

You're weird, and your history is really bizarre.

Lefties think the Right is evil. Righties think the Left are insane.

Neither.

I think the Right is greedy and shortsided and the Left is naive and incompetent.

RedDan

should have written "shortsighted" sorry.

capt joe

Yep, things are going from bad to worse

The middle east
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A45575-2005Feb22.html

the insurgents
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=578&ncid=578&e=6&u=/nm/20050220/ts_nm/iraq_sunni_talks_dc

those baathist and sunnis sitting out the election
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1414688,00.html
(in the guardian no less)

afghanistan, even worse:
http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/02/22/wtal22.xml&sSheet=/news/2005/02/22/ixworld.html

things are played out yet
;)

oh, and Ed's comment on vietnam relates to Gneral Giap's biography where he called the Tet offensive a massive failure for his side and he was about to decalre defeat and negociate for surrender but he changed his mind when he read reports from the US turning agains the war.

http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Camp/7624/Generals/giap.htm


RedDan

capt joe,

Regarding the current events - I disagree with those analyses and do not think they accurately reflect what is going on on the ground, let's just leave it at that for now, as it is clearly far from "played out" as you say.

As for Tet and Giap and so on...well, what's the date of the Tet offensive?

1968.

Who fought it?

The US, not the South Vietnamese.

Funding and aid to the South Vietnamese did not cease until 1973/74

Timeline from the BBC

Cecil Turner

"Who fought it?

The US, not the South Vietnamese."

Not really. Tet (from the NV perspective) had two main goals: destruction of Marine firebase at Khe Sanh, and uprisings in RVN cities and towns. The Marine fights at Hue and the Khe Sanh siege tend to get most of the coverage (along with the failed assault on the US embassy), but in fact the RVN troops did most of the fighting, and dying.

"Funding and aid to the South Vietnamese did not cease until 1973/74"

I'm not sure where you're going with this. There's no serious dispute that Tet was the turning point, nor is there much doubt that it was a military defeat turned into a propaganda victory. Whether the war was winnable, as it was being fought, is debatable. Tet's effect on public support (and Johnson's will) really isn't.

moneyrunner

RedDan specializes in non-sequiturs. I’m glad someone brought up Viet Nam because that is one case where the Left won, leading directly to the killing fields of Cambodia, re-education camps and millions of boat people, many of whom died in the South China Sea.

The North Vietnamese were allowed to win because the congress cut off aid to the South as a result of Leftists demonstrating in the streets. You won, Red Dan and millions died.

The strategy of the North was to wait on the victory of the Left in the US. The left delivered for their comrades.

It’s not a new strategy, by the way. The South’s strategy during the Civil War was the erosion of public support in the North for the war. Lincoln lived just long enough and Grant won just enough battles. Of course he did not have Walter Cronkite telling the nation the war was lost. He did have his versions of RedDan rioting in the streets and hanging blacks form lampposts.

Same story, different day.

RedDan

moneyrunner

Whatever. Your hysterical accusations of mass-murder, treason, America hating, slavery supporting, black lynching, and so on and so forth are noted.

Have a really, really nice day.

AlanDownunder

Put the Plame thing aside, as David Corn does. Guckert never posted on Free Republic at the time that he just picked up on the WSJ Plame story - he was keen to portray himself as an insider - but he's such a bullshit artist that he likely as not did just get it from the WSJ, not from an insider.

Here's the point. If he'd been the same kettle of fish, but for a fake Democrat "media organisation" in a Democrat White House, if he'd put out Democrat talking points on his blog and web radio so that the liberal media could call it news instead of press release, no Republican would call this a non-story and the mainstream media would be all over it. Imagine the Fox & Sinclair coverage. Imagine Powerblog, Little Green Footballs, Brainstter, even this esteemed forum.

There's only one quality that could have got Guckert the White House gig without a hard pass but with revolving-door day passes (you can rule out experience integrity and brains) - a quality he shares with at least one of his facilitators.

The best clue to who his facilitators were (other than Bobby Eberle and the White House press secretariat) is at http://www.gopusa.com/misc/christmas_2004.shtml
"I'd also like to send a special thank you to all those who personally provided me with their assistance, guidance, and friendship, including Kathleen Eberle, Bruce Eberle, Mike Hiban, Don Stewart, Paul Teller, Tim Goeglein, Stuart Richens, Matt Smith, Jen Ohman, Bob Johnson, Liz Sheld, Julie Cram, Phillip Stutts, Chuck Muth, Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, and G. Gordon Liddy.
- Bobby Eberle

The other odd thing is the defence of and support for Guckert from the religious right despite this blasphemy:
"I'm everything people on the Left seem to despise. I'm a man who is white, politically conservative, a gun-owner, an SUV driver and I've voted for Republicans. I'm pro-American, pro-military, pro-democracy, pro-capitalism, pro-free speech, anti-tax and anti-big government. Most importantly, I'm a Christian. Not only by birth, but by rebirth through the blood of Jesus Christ."
- "Jeff Gannon"

The religious right are obviously more right than they are religious, just like the tenor of this blog is more right than principled. Few here seem bothered by bent media as long as it's bent their way.

ed

Hmmm.

1. "Funding and aid to the South Vietnamese did not cease until 1973/74"

And Saigon fell in 1975. Prior to this the withdrawl of American forces started in 1969. So the ARVN were able to fight the NVA for 5 years, until the Democrats in Congress cut of all aid in 1974. Then in December of 1974, the NVA began their final assault. Without pay, food, supplies or ammunition the ARVN units collapsed and the soldiers deserted. At that time the entire defensive structure, and both military and civilian morale, collapsed allowing the NVA to drive even faster into South Vietnam.

It's called history, no matter how much the BBC tries to mangle it.

2. "oh, and Ed's comment on vietnam relates to Gneral Giap's biography where he called the Tet offensive a massive failure for his side and he was about to decalre defeat and negociate for surrender but he changed his mind when he read reports from the US turning agains the war."

Actually I was thinking of the 1973 Easter Offensive. After the failure of that offensive, Giap was basically fired. The failure was pretty significant since the NVA had tactical and strategic surprise on their side. Still the ARVN didn't fold and fought the NVA to a defeat.

At least until they got stabbed in the back by the Democrats in Congress.

ed

Hmmm.

"The religious right are obviously more right than they are religious, just like the tenor of this blog is more right than principled. Few here seem bothered by bent media as long as it's bent their way."

No. It's just that Christianity has as two of it's guiding principles forgiveness and redemption. Which I find curious that it needs to be explained.

As for the "bent media". Yeah. Gannon is the equivalent of 40 years of monolithic liberal programming. Sure. Right.

ed

Hmmmm.

1. " they're there because of orders.

So?"

I think that says everything anybody needs to know.

2. "I think the Right is greedy and shortsided and the Left is naive and incompetent."

Frankly, at this point, I really don't care what you think. Not trying to be insulting, just honest. I've said my piece. Whether or not you believe it, read it or care about it is entirely immaterial to me.

Cecil Turner

"The religious right are obviously more right than they are religious, "

Yeah, religious principles absolutely demand we all get together and stone Guckert. And Mary Magdalene would never be worthy of asking questions at press conferences (though she's been getting a makeover recently).

"just like the tenor of this blog is more right than principled. Few here seem bothered by bent media as long as it's bent their way."

If the media was in fact bent to the right, you'd have a point. The truth is of course the opposite, and most of us have long since gotten over being outraged by it. I will admit to getting a bit of a chuckle out of the selective outrage displayed by liberals on the issue.

Paul Zrimsek

We need a new word for what conservatives are being accused of here. I'd like to reserve "hypocrisy" for a contradiction between someone's words and his deeds; let the contradiction between someone's words and what you imagine his deeds would be in a hypothetical situation be called "hypothecrisy". I submit that, even if there's some sort of point to leveling accusations of hypothecrisy at all, left and right don't really understand each other well enough to be very confident when it comes to building the necessary hypotheticals. Is there a conservative out there who sees anything resembling himself in Alan Downunder's scenario? It sure isn't me!

RedDan

ed,

I appreciate the honesty - really.

And I actually do care what you think.

Thanks for the civil explanation of how you see things - I disagree vehemently, of course, and am pretty perturbed that so many here and elsewhere on the right feel so strongly that I and people with similar opinions as mine are traitors and worthy of such contempt.

I am guilty of similar contempt - or have been at least - but I am trying to get clear of it. It's really dangerous.

RedDan

Cecil,

If the media was in fact bent to the right, you'd have a point.

The media is bent toward profit, power, and access.

The owners of the media are companies like GE, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch.

Which way do you think they tilt?


Cecil Turner

"I disagree vehemently, of course, and am pretty perturbed that so many here and elsewhere on the right feel so strongly that I and people with similar opinions as mine are traitors and worthy of such contempt."

Well, I for one don't think that way at all, RedDan. (I admit being slightly nonplussed by the "Red" thing, but it's certainly your prerogative, and . . . colorful.) But it's not the opinions that matter, nor is your free speech at issue. And from a practical perspective, nothing you say is going to have any measurable impact on the war effort, so that consideration is completely overshadowed by your right to express political views.

However, the calculus changes somewhat when talking about public officials or those in the mass communication business. It is improper for a news anchor to make counterfactual defeatist comments, or for a network executive in a room full of foreign notables to claim US troops routinely engage in war crimes. Just as it is improper for a US Senator to make public statements suggesting that if insurgents fight just a little harder, we'll all give up and go home. In some cases there's a counterbalancing public policy issue, where free debate is essential. But much of it is defeatist nonsense, lamenting decisions already taken--and does absolutely nothing positive, but undermines the war effort and provides aid and comfort to our enemies. It's also distinctly counterproductive politically. Personally, I fail to see the attraction--and I certainly don't think it's inappropriate to point it out.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"Actually I was thinking of the 1973 Easter Offensive."

1972. The war ended officially in January 1973, though it was over for the U.S. for most intents and purposes much earlier.

And, there were plenty of Republicans who deserve as much blame as Ted Kennedy for consigning SE Asia to the tender mercies of the Pol Pots. Clifford Case, Frank Church, Lowell Weicker....

Otherwise, you're correct. America and its South Vietnamese allies won the war, but John Kerry, Jane Fonda, Hillary Clinton et al drove Congress to give that victory away.

Cecil Turner

"Which way do you think they tilt?"

The latest Pew study is unequivocal:

When it comes to describing the press, twice as many say news organizations are “liberal” (51%) as say they are “conservative” (26%), while 14% say neither phrase applies. [Even among Democrats:] And while a third of Democrats say there is a conservative tilt to the American press, a slight plurality (41%) says the press is more liberal than anything else. [emphasis added]

RedDan

Cecil,

What people say about the press and what is documented about the press are two different things - at least potentially - yes?

After all, surveys of Americans still reveal significant belief in direct connections between Hussein and bin Laden, between Hussein and 9-11, and that the US has discovered WMD in Iraq...none of which are supportable based on the evidence in hand. Yet many Americans, in fact in some cases a majority, believe those things to be true.

As for treasonous speech by public officials in public venues, I agree a bit more with that construction of the statement, but having read over what is written down regarding the examples, I do not think those instances rise to the level of treason.

DIfference of opinion.

Cecil Turner

"What people say about the press and what is documented about the press are two different things - at least potentially - yes?"

But since there is no way to objectively measure bias, this will probably have to do. And again, the results are fairly definitive.

"Yet many Americans, in fact in some cases a majority, believe those things to be true."

At least two WMDs were found in Iraq, old chemical munitions used as IEDs. Saddam did have connections with Al Qaeda, including tenuous links to 9/11 discussed in the commission report (hence the finding that they didn't have a "collaborative operational relationship" as opposed to "no relationship"). IMHO, the lousy reporting, and blatant bias, on those issues is largely responsible for the confusion.

"I do not think those instances rise to the level of treason."

Neither do I, and that term probably ought to be reserved for intentional, egregious transgressions. And in fact, the term "useful idiots" is probably descriptive--especially with questionable news reports, which often appear to be a result of ignorance.

RedDan

Cecil,

Two old pieces of rusted junk do not constitute any form of WMD worth mentioning in relation to the scope of the initial claims and justification for the war, and the scope of the relationship between AQ and Hussein was and is minimalist in even the most wildly optimistic assessment.

That you believe these things to be true makes me feel that my contention of rightward media bias is stronger.

That I do NOT believe these things to be true makes you feel that your contention of leftward media bias is stronger.

Post modernism is such a drag.

RedDan

"epecially with questionable news reports, which often appear to be a result of ignorance"

Like Judith Miller at the "liberal" NYTimes who repeatedly, and breathlessly, funneled unfounded, poorly sourced, unresearched claims, rumors, and outright myths (Aluminum tubes, combat drones, chem-bio weapons, and so on) all before and during the onset of the war?

Or Safire's continual repetition of the lies about Mohammed Atta meeting Iraqi intelligence in Prague?

Or, or, or...the list is long, long long. And from my side of the aisle, it is pretty damned sad and depressing.

Cecil Turner

"Two old pieces of rusted junk do not constitute any form of WMD worth mentioning . . ."

True, except if you're citing confusion among the public (like the constantly cited PIPA report--which is factually incorrect on two of its "misperceptions"). Again, sloppy reporting is, IMO, the main cause.

"That you believe these things to be true makes me feel that my contention of rightward media bias is stronger."

I gave up reading media reports on this stuff long ago--it's a complete waste of time. They're so busy analyzing and spinning, they can't give you facts. Luckily the source documents (Kay and Duelfer reports, 9/11 commission report, etc.) are all out there, most available for download, all available at any decent library.

"Or Safire's continual repetition of the lies about Mohammed Atta meeting Iraqi intelligence in Prague?"

Might want to reread the data on that one . . . it's perfectly inconclusive. The short version is that Czech intel folks still claim he was there (on the basis of a not-very-reliable eyewitness report)--the FBI claims he couldn't have been (on the basis of his cell phone being used in the US at the time, though he could easily have lent it to a compatriot, and it wouldn't have worked on the trip). Personally, like you, I doubt the connection exists. However, we still don't know where the post-9/11 anthrax attack came from (except that it probably wasn't from Steven Hatfill's pond), and there's a significant amount of guesswork when trying to track foreign intelligence operatives. "Lie" is probably too strong . . . perhaps "wrong guess."

As to Judith Miller, WMD hype, etc., we'll probably have to agree to disagree. Few people have enough of a basic grasp of the issue to discuss it rationally, many visualizing ICBMs flying 45 minutes after Saddam's order, and blaming the perception on the President. His lack of eloquence may be partly to blame, but the stunning public ignorance on the issue is again, IMO, mostly due to clueless reporting.

TM

From Alan Downunder:

Here's the point. If he'd been the same kettle of fish, but for a fake Democrat "media organisation" in a Democrat White House, if he'd put out Democrat talking points on his blog and web radio so that the liberal media could call it news instead of press release, no Republican would call this a non-story and the mainstream media would be all over it.

From Paul Zrimsek:

let the contradiction between someone's words and what you imagine his deeds would be in a hypothetical situation be called "hypothecrisy".

Well, now - conceptually, I love "hypothecrisy", but I promise you, I am not going to a cocktail party, start talking about the scandal involving a gay reporter, and then break into a lisp.

That said, I completely agree with Paul, and we have gone over this before - Alan's point amounts to saying he is outraged because he is sure that, in the opposite situation, I would be.

However, look around - there are plenty of unabashedly partisan reporters holding forth from prominent places every day. Somehow, my life goes on without any attempt to determine whether Josh Marshall is gay, who contributes to his blog, or any thing else about him.

Media Matters soldiers on, financial backers undisclosed, no reporting or disclosure whatsoever on the sexual preferences of Oliver Willis, and I have a strong point of view - I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!

Or back when "Atrios" was anonymous and the leading lefty blog, was there any serious attempt to find out who it was that helped topple Trent Lott? I missed it. But I did not miss it when Don Luskin threatened to sue Atrios - the right pummelled him mercilessly (Dan Drezner has lots of links; I make about as much of a case as could be made for Luskin).

And there is the example of Sidney Blumenthal suing Matt Drudge for $30 million, but I don't suppose that demonstrates how righties go after pseudo-journalists, now does it.

So Alan, I think you need a stronger case than simply your guess as to what I might do in bizarro world.

Julie

When someone is starting from a false premise they end up at a false destination. Over and over and over again I've heard people claim that I (or some amorphous "right") would be up in arms if the Gannon "scandal" were reversed. More often than not, eventually, Clinton and Lewinsky will come up.

It makes sense in a weird sort of way. To *me* the two things have nothing in common, but then to *me* the Clinton/Lewinsky thing was only marginally about sex, all jokes about cigars aside. But for those who made sense of the outrage directed at Clinton by deciding it was primarily about sex (since no reasonable person would care about the lying) and who are using this as a predictive event, obviously it would follow that the "right" would be outraged by Gannon.

It's not that Clinton wouldn't have taken heat for his actions with Lewinsky. By all accounts he took advantage of power over his entire career by doing it with young women associated with or working for him. Still, if he'd "been a man" and chose honesty it would have been over in a couple of weeks at the most.

It was another one of those strange disconnects. I watched the news totally baffled that he chose something so insignificant to lie about. Back then no one talked about "Red America" but it existed and had been taught since kindergarten sunday school that someone who is faithful in the small things will be faithful in the large things.

So where does Gannon come in? The predictive behavior of the "right" that applies isn't Clinton, it's Mary Cheney and the reaction to Kerry and Edwards' violation of her privacy.

TM

Hot off the press at E&P:

He also added that none of the board members at the [White House Correspondents Assoc.] meeting believed that Guckert was "a plant" by the Bush administration to insert "softball" questions into the daily briefings.

Also, no changes in the credentialing procedure:

"The board felt like none of us were happy about Gannon being in the briefing room, but we all view it as the price we pay for a system that favors inclusion over keeping someone out," Hutcheson told E&P. "While not perfect, [the current system] is geared toward letting people in."

"The bottom line is that none of us are comfortable with Jeff Gannon posing as a journalist," Hutcheson stated. "But none of us are comfortable with changing the system to keep him out."


The comments to this entry are closed.

Amazon

  • Lee Child, Kindle short story
  • Lee Child
  • Gary Taubes

Traffic

Wilson/Plame