Self-flagellation watch: Watching us get more like them!


Kilgore and Stans run the rubes: Last weekend, Adele Stans subbed for Ed Kilgore at the Washington Monthly blog.

In her final post on Sunday, Stans complained about the folk who appeared on the Sunday news programs:
STANS (4/22/12): No, your eyes weren’t deceiving you as you watched those Sunday shows today. There really were a whole lotta Republican white guys on. ThinkProgress has the deets on the demographic make-up of the Sunday show guest contingent, noting that, in Sundayshowland, women are most likely to be represented by Michele Bachmann, and African-Americans, by Herman Cain.
Stans was making it hurt so good. “There really were a whole lotta Republican white guys on” the programs, she said.

In his first post Monday morning, Kilgore took up this charge. As he started, he complained about the near-"domination" of Sunday’s shows by those Republican men:
KILGORE (4/23/12): You may have heard about a new report last week from Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting about the domination of the big Sunday TV talk shows by Republican men. It didn’t get much better yesterday as the big topic of discussion, believe it or not, was the mini-scandal involving the Secret Service and Colombian hookers.
Kilgore proceeded to quote several paragraphs from a news report in The Hill. In the paragraphs he quoted, Hill reporter Cameron Joseph quoted statements by two Republican congressmen, Issa and King, on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

Kilgore and Stans made it hurt so good—but they were running the rubes. In fact, Sunday’s shows weren’t dominated by white Republican men. In fact, a wide array of players appeared on the shows to discuss the Secret Service matter.

By our count, 36 different guests appeared on the five major Sunday shows. Eleven of these people were women, including three black women. Seven blacks and one Hispanic appeared; our own congressman, Elijah Cummings, appeared on two of the programs.

Democrats and Republicans were equally represented.

Issa and King appeared on Meet the Press—but they were balanced by David Axelrod, who got his own stand-alone segment. The portrait drawn by Stans and Kilgore was grossly misleading. And alas! Readers might have understood this fact if Kilgore had quoted more of that Hill report.

This is what Cameron Joseph wrote in The Hill—immediately after Kilgore stopped quoting:
JOSEPH (4/22/12): Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said that the Secret Service scandal has raised concerns about whether enemies of the state might try to attack President Obama in the near future.

"It's not only important that you be excellent, but we also don't want people to even imagine that they can pierce the shield of the Secret Service," House Oversight Committee ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It bothers me a lot because I know that there are a lot of folks who are perhaps looking for opportunities to do harm to the president or others the the Secret Service guards ... Will they think that there's a moment of weakness? That's the time that they may think that they can act."

"For the Secret Service to go forward the cancer must be carved out," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) on CBS's "Face The Nation." Jackson Lee called for for "zero tolerance" for anyone involved in the scandal.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said the Obama administration had handled the scandal well so far and warned against dramatizing the issue.


All of the members of Congress praised Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan for reacting quickly and decisively to the burgeoning scandal.

"I know he's on the case. He's committed. He's working hard," Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said on ABC's "This Week," while cautioning that all the facts were not known yet. "Let's see his report. The president is standing behind him and will look at his report and make a decision."

"Based on everything I've seen so far," King said, "I have full confidence in him."

David Axelrod, a top Obama campaign adviser, said the president has confidence in Sullivan and thinks he should keep his job.

Maloney and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee, called for the Secret Service to recruit more women.
Cummings and Jackson Lee are black. Maloney, Collins and Jackson Lee are women. Coburn and King are “Republican white guys”—but they were quoted saying that the administration has handled things well. And people: Tavis Smiley nsd Cornel West even did Face the Nation!

Those posts were straight outta Hannityland. In our exquisite self-flagellation, we continue to grow more like them.


  1. Unmentioned is that MTP is moderated by David Gregory, who was a Dem operative. From my POV, that slants the show.

    If Karl Rove hosted MTP, I think my liberal friends would be struck by the bias.

  2. Just out of curiosity, when and in what capacity was David Gregory a "Dem operative"? Is/was this an official designation of some kind?

    1. Thanks for that polite question, Frednich. I thought Gregory had once worked for the Democratic Party in some capacity, but according to wiki I was wrong. I withdraw the comment.

  3. And the point of this is what, exactly, Bob?

    That because one blogger gave an apparently misleading account of what happened on Sunday, the FAIR study is either duplicitous or error-ridden, and that the networks fairly and scrupulously represent liberal policy positions and interests every Sunday morning?

    Have you examined and analyzed the FAIR study? Do you deny that the far right Republican point of view dominants network public affairs programming and the aired national discussion, with little liberal representation, and no left-wing presence at all? Do you have figures to support that view, if you hold it?

    Or did you just look for and find yet another opportunity, out of hundreds of blog posts, to demonstrate that somehow or other, everyone but you is biased, hypocritical, tribal?

    1. "The point" seemed fairly clear, I thought.

      Not about just one blogger (though one was mentioned), or about one TV show host (one was mentioned, though you ignored that) -- it's about massaging or ignoring the facts to support one's preconceived views.

      This was once (and not only once) quite commonly claimed to be a feature of the right-wing. Clearly it's not confined to that sphere.

      Did you find Somerby opining on the FAIR study itself? I certainly didn't see that here. Reading comprehension may vary, though.

    2. Uh, no, a TV show was *not* mentioned.

    3. You're right, Anon 10:20, the point *was* clear: as usual, Somerby hasn't the least interest in fundamentals.

      *Are* Repubs and Republican point of views grossly over-represented on TV, or aren't they?

      The Howler doesn't say. I mean, who cares, as long as you can find somebody, somewhere, nominally of the left, making false or misleading claims?

      Because Darlings, such instances prove we're just as bad as they are! And that's the important thing!

      As for the actual fact of the matter - does TV public affairs programming greatly advantage Republican points of view? -- who the hell cares? Besides, it would take too much trouble to find out. You know, actual work.

  4. somerby says: “Those posts were straight outta Hannityland. In our exquisite self-flagellation, we continue to grow more like them.”

    >>> not even close. first hannity is heard by far more people. second when he and his masters say something like 'its cold and snowy out today, so therefore theres no global warming”, they dont in addition have the science, the facts, on their sides more generally. . . . the people somerby cites may be in error for that one particular sunday, but relatively few will hear them, and they do have the facts more generally on their side as per the 'fairness and accuracy in media' report:

    ---”In the eight-month study period, partisan-affiliated one-on-one interviews were 70 percent Republican—166 guests to Democrats’ 70.”

    ---”Men overwhelmingly dominated one-on-one interviews, at 86 percent: 228 male guests compared to 36 women. Meet the Press featured the fewest women, with just six female interviewees—three of whom were Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), the presidential candidate.”

    ---”Guests were also also ethnically homogeneous, with 242 white interview guests (92 percent of the total)...”

    ---”Even when the shows attempted more balance, the Democrats and left-leaning guests tend to be of a more moderate variety than the Republicans (Extra!, 9/10)

    ---[on roundtable discussions] “But the nonpartisan guests didn’t alter the right’s advantage, with Republicans and/or conservatives making 282 appearances to 164 by Democrats and progressives (categories that are less interchangeable). Middle-of-the-road Beltway journalists made 201 appearances in roundtables, which serves to buttress the argument that corporate media’s idea of a debate is conservative ideologues matched by centrist-oriented journalists.”

    ---“’s likely that the politically connected corporations who sponsor these shows prefer a center/right spectrum of debate that mostly leaves out strong progressive voices who might raise a critique of corporate power.”

  5. This is a great article, I read and enjoyed it
    papas games online