At CBS, we’ll always have Benghazi!

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2013

Our public discourse is gone: We’ve been buried in test scores in recent weeks. But we recommend Kevin Drum’s post about CBS News and Benghazi.

Our add-on would be this:

CBS has been hot to trot on Benghazi dating back to last fall, when Sharyl Attkisson was the star correspondent in charge of running down rabbit holes and pimping her bullroar to Fox.

We did quite a few posts about Attkisson’s work last year. Logan seems to be her successor.

Drum is discussing a thoroughly broken post-journalistic culture. That culture is almost ubiquitous now.

Paul Krugman discusses this broken culture in the vast majority of his columns. We were discussing it at our companion site, How He Got There, until the complete disinterest from “career liberals” defeated even our will to continue.

They refuse to tell you what happened.

Amanda Ripley’s ballyhooed book, The Smartest Kids in the World, comes from that same broken culture. Our post-journalistic pseudo-journalism is invented tales all the way down.

The funders invent the tales, and the spear-chuckers run to repeat them. Everyone comes out ahead!

Our liberal elites are invested in these games, which are largely money games. On the whole, our liberal tribe seems unwilling to see this unfortunate fact.

That said, we’ll always have Benghazi! First Attkisson’s bullroar, now this.

45 comments:

  1. "That said, we’ll always have Benghazi!"

    Over here we'll always have ......... ZIMMERMAN !!!!!!!

    Too many days have gone by without calling out dastardly librulz for "Zimmerman was told to stay in his vehicle"

    WE.....WANT...... ZIMMERMAN.

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  2. Hi there, you are a sneering, anti-intellectual provocateur. You prove Bob's point, though, about the way Fox and Msnbc are exactly the same in tone.

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  3. Thanks for the comment about "How he got there." I had no idea abnout the book.

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    1. Neither, apparently, did the rest of the literate world.

      Somerby: "We were discussing it at our companion site, How He Got There, until the complete disinterest from “career liberals” defeated even our will to continue."

      Puhleeze! "How He Got There" only became a companion site when Somerby couldn't sell his idea to publishers for an advance and chose to publish it himself.

      If anyone has dared to attempt to read it, it is an extremely boring, poorly drafted re-writes of TDH posts from the 2000 campaign. And in true Bob fashion, it will take a good point and beat it far beyond both death and any recognition, and never really seems to move on to what he really is trying to say.

      You can do that in blogging. Simply type up any thought that crosses your mind. But a book has to be well thought out, well constructed, and leading to a strong conclusion.

      The "complete disinterest" in his failed book project came not from "career liberals" but from pretty much the rest of the world.

      And to blame others for your own lack of interest and industriousness to finish a book that you think is critical is really worse than "my dog ate my homework" excuse.

      If Somerby's fans want to see the same ground covered much better and much earlier by a far more skilled writer, I would suggest "Fools for Scandal" by Gene Lyons.

      I would also recommend "The Hunting of the President" by Lyons and Joe Conason, even though that book often bogs down like it was written by a committee.

      Delete
    2. How do you know he ever tried to sell a book project on this topic?

      Delete
    3. If anyone has dared to attempt to read it

      Read all of it, found it fascinating, wish it would continue.

      Delete
  4. Please stop the vile trolling. Just block thee few trolls, I find it horrid to have to glance at them and no other blogger would allow such rottenness.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I take it you don't read very many blogs, and even fewer comboxes.

      Delete
    2. No other valuable blog allows you sort of trolling. None, not any. Bob is being foolish to allow your sort a voice.

      Please Bob, enough of the trolls. Paul Krugman has blocked them long ago, but so do all the fine bloggers.

      Delete
    3. Guess that means this is not a valuable blog, eh?

      Delete
    4. I second this. Please block the trolls.

      Delete
    5. I oppose your second. Those calling for a blocking of trolls never contribute anything.

      Delete
  5. It didn't start with the Gore campaign, Bob. Though I freely admit that I learned a great deal from you about that and the media. Previously I had thought that the press bias was mostly manifested in foreign policy and against powerless victims--the sort of thing Chomsky spent decades writing about. I was startled to realize that by 2000 it was mainstream "liberals" bashing a mainstream liberal Presidential candidate. I myself believed some of the idiotic stories about Gore. So yeah, you taught me a lot.

    But I sometimes think you imagine the problem of the corrupt press began with the Gore campaign. No, that's just when people like you and Krugman became aware of it.

    Donald

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    1. Donald,
      I guess it's natural for some to boast that "I knew/saw it first, because I'm so smart." "Buzz, buzz," as Hamlet said. But Bob has written of the "corrupt press," as you describe it, and their treatment of candidates in years prior to Gore.

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    2. The key is not just self-awareness, though that's nice. It is the promotion of that awareness through fastidious documentation and analysis. The fact that Zimmermann was not told to stay in his car is actually important. It takes care and consistency to hold journalists accountable. TDH is great for that. You can't expect him to document events before his time.

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    3. We do indeed live in a world of spin.

      "We don't need you to do that" meaning follow him gets spun practically into police permission to grab a gun and follow the kid. After all, the dispatcher never, specifically told him he couldn't.

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    4. Horace, my post might have come across as condescending to Bob, but that was a mistake on my part . I don't feel particularly smart--as I said, I learned a lot from Bob. I knew about some forms of press bias, but had no idea in the late 90's that it extended to so-called liberals in the press simply making up stories about a center-left politician like Gore. As for Bob, I think his own scope as a press critic has been pretty limited, which is fine. He knows some parts of the story really well and is less knowledgeable about others. The people I read had limits too, just different ones. (For myself, I didn't discover anything on my own.)

      Donald

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  6. "He was told to stay in his vehicle" is a natural way the mind mischaracterizes what we hear. Totally innocent mistake - it is only geeks who live with their parents that go on and on about these things - Sherlock Homes never said "Elementary, my dear Watson", Humphrey Bogart did not say "play it again, Sam" and so forth.

    There are three places: A = Z's vehicle, B = Where Z was while talking to 911 and C = where the kid was.

    It was suggested to him not to close the gap from B to C and the mind sloppily generalizes it to he was asked not to close the gap from A to C. Sloppily changing 'suggested' to 'told' is equally innocent - thats just the way the human mind works. Totally trivial whether he was in the vehicle or already out when he was told it would be better if he did not follow the kid.

    The blogger has now got something he will gnaw on to eternity - AND HE HIMSELF MAKES GOTCHA! MISTAKES that he never retracts or apologizes for.

    All these "factual errors" are only vehicles for him to express unquenchable hatred for liberals. He should have the mental breakdown soon, receive treatment and restart life.

    Speaking of his other dog-gnawing- on- a- bone obsession - a totally innocent joke that he claims is a librul attack - Dick Armey played a big role in getting it started - but the blogger who kisses the Right's backside ever chance he gets will never mention it:

    March 11, 1999
    Armey Applauds Vice President Gore for Ingenuity, Creativity and Imagination
    In a CNN interview with Wolf Blitzer that aired on March 9, 1999, Vice
    President Al Gore asserted that he "took the initiative in creating the
    Internet."
    Actually, scientists at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,
    DARPA, launched what is now the Internet in 1969. President Eisenhower
    created DARPA in 1957 in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik. He
    sought to improve America's defense communications infrastructure in the
    same way that he improved the nation's transportation infrastructure.

    House Majority Leader Dick Armey released the following statement today in
    response to the Vice President's assertion:

    "If the Vice President created the Internet then I created the Interstate
    highway system. Both were begun during the Eisenhower Administration and I
    think Ike actually deserves a little credit here.

    "It's common in Washington to steal an idea and claim it was yours all
    along. This strategy certainly worked for the Administration on welfare
    reform and tax cuts. But claiming credit for the Internet insults its real
    creators whose hard work and ingenuity can never be stolen.

    "When historians write about the Internet I don't think they'll put the Vice
    President in the same category as Thomas Edison."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "the blogger who kisses the Right's backside ever [sic] chance he gets" is a figment of your sad imagination, basement boy.

      Delete
    2. DARPAnet is not the same as today's internet

      Delete
    3. OK, I learned this from troll extraordinaire, KZ: Anon 7:51- actually, by obsessing over Somerby's obsessive bone gnawing tendencies, you've actually proved YOURSELF to be an obsessive bone gnawer. BOOYA! How do you like them apples? Wow. That was easy. Maybe I have a future as a troll here at TDH.

      Delete
    4. Except that I know it when I am playing a gotcha! game - whereas the blogger has been breathlessly revealing the "librulz' war on Gore" for years and years as if it were new each time.

      And on Zimmerman - can anybody point to any difference between the blogger and Hannity, the NRA et al?

      Look guys - its not a game -

      Ann coulter

      "In contemplating college liberals, you really regret, once again, that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals by making them realize that they could be killed, too. Otherwise they will turn out into outright traitors." -- CPAC conference, 2002 .

      Conservative media provocateur Andrew Breitbart, speaking to a Tea Party crowd of over 60 people in Lexington, Ma. on Friday, got a little bit carried away with his own patter. He told the crowd that he sometimes thinks to himself, “Fire the first shot” in a hypothetical civil war with liberals, explaining that “We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns.”

      The Right's mood has been steadily getting uglier ever since the uber-moron Reagan got elected and liberals are the last bastion keeping the entire country from turning into Missisippi. Texas wants to take its oil and secede, all over the South they are trying to nullify Federal laws - is this any time to be incessantly attacking liberals while pretending to be one?

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    5. Ah, the Bobinista's favorite "T-word" again.

      Like your mentor, you guys really need some new material.

      Delete
    6. 24 Jun 1986: Albert Gore introduced S 2594 Supercomputer Network Study Act of 1986.

      As a Senator, Gore began to craft the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991 (commonly referred to as "The Gore Bill") after hearing the 1988 report Toward a National Research Network submitted to Congress by a group chaired by UCLA professor of computer science, Leonard Kleinrock, one of the central creators of the ARPANET (the ARPANET, first deployed by Kleinrock and others in 1969, is the predecessor of the Internet).

      Indeed, Kleinrock would later credit both Gore and the Gore Bill as a critical moment in Internet history:

      A second development occurred around this time, namely, then-Senator Al Gore, a strong and knowledgeable proponent of the Internet, promoted legislation that resulted in President George H.W Bush signing the High Performance Computing and Communication Act of 1991. This Act allocated $600 million for high performance computing and for the creation of the National Research and Education Network [13–14]. The NREN brought together industry, academia and government in a joint effort to accelerate the development and deployment of gigabit/sec networking.

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    7. Of course, Gore deserves all the credit he deserves for his early work on those bills. But he didn't do it alone. Lots and lots of research and development was going on long before it got to the point that enabling legislation was needed.

      This would be like his daddy, the lead senator on Ike's transportation bills that build the Interstate highway system saying, "During my service in Congress, I took the initiative in creating the automobile."

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    8. No, that would be like Gore pere saying "During my service in Congress, I took the initiative in creating the modern transcontinental highway system." Nobody sensible would have thought he meant he was out there with a shovel.

      Didja have trouble with the analogy sections on those damned standardized test in high school, too?

      Delete
  7. You're not very bright anonymous. Internet was languishing before Mr. Gore took the "initiative" to get it moving. Go read Mr. Cerf's comments on Mr. Gore. You quite frankly don't know what you're talking about because you get your news from places that hate liberals which is the bloggers raison d'etre.

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    1. And after the War on Gore began with the liberal elite media savaging the poor Vice President for inartful wording in heaping praise upon himself for creating the internet, Mr. Gore went on to win primaries, the nomination, the popular vote in the General election, and had it not been for crank Nader and wacky Florida, he would have been President.

      Al never said he invented the internet. But the failure of journalists to take people to task who write things Al supporters find unkind did not cause people to die in Iraq, either.

      KZ

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    2. KZ, I will grant that TDH is repetetive to the point of obsession on the subject, but he is right about the war against Gore, not just about the inventing the internet, but the whole putrid way the media screwed him. It is very reasonable to assume that Gore's margin of victory would have been much higher, so there never would have been the Florida fiasco, if the main stream media hadn't gone after him. We can never know for sure, but it is reasonable to believe Bush would have lost the election and the deaths from the Iraq war wouldn't have happened but for the press's idiotic script. It's a little weaselly to characterize the media coverage as "unkind", it was deeply dishonest.

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    3. I think if Bill Clinton had not had oral sex with a former intern
      Al Gore would now be running an newly empowered United Nations with a strong mandate to curb global warming after serving two wildly successful terms as US President.

      KZ

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    4. Clinton didn't have oral sex with the intern, she had oral sex with him. By her own account, she was the agressor. It would have been nice if he had said "no" to her, but when is a private consensual act between two adults anything anyone during an election should care about? The general public didn't care about it at all. Clinton's approval ratings increased the more the Republicans pressed their impeachment efforts. This was an attempted political take-down of a sitting president and a corruption of the activities of Congress by the Republican party. It was a continuation of the failed efforts to handicap Clinton represented by the Whitewater investigation and it had nothing to do with anything except gonzo politics.

      KZ you are a nasty troll. Please go away.

      Delete
    5. Anon dude, are you so dim witted that you didn't see total snark in that comment which prompted you to seriously defend Clinton's BJ's?

      Poor Bill. As sitting President with a White House full of gatekeepers and Secret Service he just couldn't protect himself from that aggressive minx.

      Delete
    6. "Clinton didn't have oral sex with the intern, she had oral sex with him."

      I think this is the most jaw-droppingly stupid sentence ever written here. David in Cal has got his work cut out to reclaim his title.

      Delete
    7. Beginning with her service in internship Monica took the initiative to fellate the President.

      Delete
  8. Bob, please ban the trolls. There are few but they will destroy what you are trying to accomplish.

    Please stop the trolling, Bob.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Comments Si. Whining No.

      Delete
  9. Michael Moore ‏@MMFlint 4h

    You can tell the media is liberal by the way CBS fired Lara Logan, but never did anything to Dan Rather:
    .

    Right?

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  10. Logan's pieces at 60 Minutes have been half crazed mash notes to all things military industrial complex. It is no surprise She got sucked into the failed attempt to distort Benghazi into a "get Obama" Impeachment Issue. The Daily Howler might be better able to write about her work if he ever wrote about how the Military is covered in the Press (there is a terrible void in this area), but he displays no interest in the subject. Which handicaps his take on coverage of the economy.

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    1. Greg, apparently Digby is no longer on Somerby's approved and recommended reading list, but this post pretty much talks about the very important issue you raise:

      http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/11/lara-logan-in-her-own-words-10122012.html

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    2. Thanks. Logan's worshipful tone when dealing with the Military may be her own strange take on journalism, but it always struck me as a transparent ploy for access. It's actually how Katie Koric built her career. It makes the likes of Thomas Ricks seem highly serious and credible by comparison.

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  11. Guys - the Right is exerting almost palpable physical threats - with the South in a nasty mood, whites in the military mostly sympathetic to the confederacy, ubiquitous right wing think tanks and billionaires, militias, and assholes running businesses in the Northeast moving wealth and jobs to the former confederacy - it is no wonder that CBS got bullied into running the bogus Benghazi story.

    Instead of spouting hate on auto-pilot the blogger could have worked with Media Matters for America (although billionaire funded) that shot down the story pretty much all by itself.

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    1. Interesting how Bob recommends the only blogger on earth who occassionally pays attention to him, and doesn't recommend the work Media Matters has done on CBS/Logan/Benghazi.

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