The Crazy and The Dumb—and the Big Propaganda: We can’t say we actively root for people to lose their jobs.
Aside from that, it’s hard to disagree with most of what David Zurawik said about the demise of Martin Bashir. Zurawik sounded off in the hometown Baltimore Sun about Bashir’s departure from MSNBC.
Bashir left in the wake of his ridiculous comments about Sarah Palin. In our view, his smutty, inane attack on Palin wasn’t his greatest offense:
ZURAWIK (12/4/13): I believe Bashir had to go, and I weep not for his dismissal. What he did and said is Exhibit A for the way cable TV news has debased the conversation of democracy.Has MSNBC become “the leading proponent of such ideologically-charged, rabble-rousing rhetoric?” We don’t know how to measure that. But several figures at The One True Liberal Channel certainly seem to be trying.
[MSNBC honcho Phil] Griffin can save his "respected colleague" talk. He's as responsible as Bashir for this kind of hateful speech.
Under Griffin's leadership, MNSBC has become the leading proponent of such ideologically-charged, rabble-rousing rhetoric.
They don't do news at MSNBC any more. They just do propaganda. And you can only attack your ideological enemies so long before you find yourself in the realm of hate speech, as Bashir did.
(That would not include Chris Hayes or Rachel Maddow.)
That said, it’s hard to disagree with Zurawik’s comment about MSNBC’s relation to propaganda. It isn’t true that MSNBC does nothing but propaganda. That said, Hardball is now pure propaganda—propaganda for the terminally dumb.
Bashir was even worse. His relentlessly inane propaganda was the worst aspect of his program.
In the past few weeks, MSNBC has had to dump two hosts for their ridiculous public remarks. But the most troubling aspect of the channel involves its descent into propaganda—and the willingness of the liberal world to follow it there.
Last Friday, we watched Matthews stage an hour of pure propaganda during an “evergreen” Hardball holiday show. (Joan, David and Howard served as his willing stooges.) Are liberals really willing to tolerate this full-blown embrace of The Stupid?
Over the course of several decades, the pseudo-conservative world invented The Big Crazy and The Big Dumb as basic units of political discourse. We liberals used to laugh at the way the “ditto-heads” would buy into all that crap.
Today, the ditto-heads are us. We’re buying The Dumb and The Crazy ourselves. Hardball is almost impossible to watch.
It’s hard to watch, and it’s totally fake. Hardball’s viewers are being treated like fools.
The astonishing dumbness of Bashir’s propaganda was a blight on us all. We liberals used to complain about Fox for this.
Increasingly, Fox News is us.
"Hardball is almost impossible to watch." b. somerbyReplyDelete
a lot of thier shows are hard to watch. imo the problem is significantly style based. ironically, from what i remember of him at nightline, bashir had excellent style. what does that mean? for one thing, avert your gaze from the tv and just listen to the hosts voice. is it annoying? next, how confident does the host seem...does he or she make you nervous because he or she seems very self conscious? next, does the host have the manner of a serious person...or does he or she seem flakey? do they drone on pbs news hour style?
That's what it takes to make you happy?Delete
-- Confident affect
-- Not droning on
Most of the good propagandists do that. From Rachel Maddow through Mark Levin.
i find the two you mention difficult to take stylistically. but to each his own.Delete
my point wasnt that having a good broadcast style made me or anyone else happy. just that style is very important to be able to get people to first try the show and then to not leave it even if they like what the host is saying.
for example, im a liberal but ive been able to listen now and again to limbaugh to see what the corporate rights talking points are. but i cant do that with levin. i cant take more than a few minutes of him because of his unfortunate voice.
Even Rachel Maddow can be hard to take lately, slipping as she does between good reporting and sloppaganda. When I do indulge in MSNBC (admittedly less and less often), I find myself watching Chris Hayes for intelligent conversation, speeding through Rachel Maddow, and 30-second-skipping through guilty pleasure Lawrence O'Donnell for the non-panel segments. My Tivo still records four hours of MSNBC every evening, though, just in case Tweety does something particularly embarassing.ReplyDelete
"We can’t say we actively root for people to lose their jobs." - b. 'the hatchet' somerbyReplyDelete
>> well i can. you have campaigned on this blog for people to lose their jobs. how stupid do you think your readership is somerby?
1. Bob's a sexist for picking on Ms. Simon!Delete
2. Bob's a racist for denigrating the scores of African American kids!
3. Substance free comment about how great Bob is
4. Nitpick regarding some irrelevant statistical error/omission in Bob's post
5. Complaint that Bob won't focus on Common Core/Fox News/commenter's pet topic
6. Nonsequitur about George Zimmerman
7. Diversion by DinC regarding Teachers Unions
8. Inaccurate paraphrase of Bob's post followed by outrage against said paraphrase
jay walker's comment has inspired me to add a 9th p[rohibited category:
9. irrelevant/off-topic gotcha against Bob personally
You left outDelete
10) Lotsa nonymous nonsense.
Yes liberals have fully embraced The Stupid and now practice it better than the right could ever hope to.ReplyDelete
And always have.Delete
you two are buying into somerbys (and to be fair, many others on the right and left) false framing of the various sides on issues as intellectually correct or incorrect. often the issue is a matter of morals, such as whether or not all americans should have access to health care, or not.Delete
Well Well Sunshine, You libs getting to define morals is laughable because you don't have any in evidence. Every one in America has access to health care but you seem to think a law written by the insurance industry forcing people to buy health insurance is somehow moral !!1 Remedial lesson for libs- health insurance does not equal health care. And no one as stupid as you libs should ever pretend to be God and tell us what morals are !!Delete
sweetcakes, u r projecting your deepest insecurity onto others bc deep down u believe u will burn in hell for your inhumanity to your fellow man. . . . let me tell u a story. a guy walks into an emergency room with a pain in his gut. er doc tells him hes got an early stage cancer and needs an operation. that guy just got a death sentence bc he cant afford an operation and the emergency room wont perform it.Delete
if u cant see that letting that guy die a horrific and unnecessary death from cancer is immoral, then i feel sorry 4 u.
“Bashir was even worse. His relentlessly inane propaganda was the worst aspect of his program.” - b. somerbyReplyDelete
“The astonishing dumbness of Bashir’s propaganda was a blight on us all. “ - b. somerby
>>> if he was so bad, why havent you spotlighted him before? before today, i find no mention of bashir by you in either your old or new site.
could it be that you will say any old baseless thing to damage msnbc or certain people at msnbc or both?
Jay: why havent you spotlighted him before?Delete
Great all purpose fake criticism, when you can't find anything real to disagree with. After all, Jay, there's a first time for everything.
ok, davidincal, lets give somerby the benefit of the doubt. he did in fact notice great sins by bashir, but he never said anything till now.Delete
but if you read the above column he says bashirs talk was even worse than chris mathews. given the blame for the virtual downfall of the western world he has put on mathews shoulders, wouldnt you concede that somerby was being at least negligent in not letting his audience in on what damage bashir was doing?
"That said, Hardball is now pure propaganda—propaganda for the terminally dumb.
Bashir was even worse. His relentlessly inane propaganda was the worst aspect of his program." - b. somerby
Jaywalker has again broached prohibited comment 9: irrelevant/off-topic gotcha against Bob personallyDelete
Actually, jay's comment is exactly on point. If Somerby found Bashir so distasteful, why hasn't he been among Somerby's favored targets?Delete
Could it be because he isn't young enough, female enough, and doesn't make enough money?
How about the adage of never rasing someone like Bashir to your level. I was always told to ignore it unless you step in it.Delete
"We liberals..." - b. somerbyReplyDelete
Jaywalker has again broached prohibited comment 9: irrelevant/off-topic gotcha against Bob personallyDelete
You seem to have elevated yourself from humorous, even if repetitive, observation to imaginary enforcement officer.Delete
It seems I have. I doubt I have the stamina to keep it up though. It also doesn't seem to be working as well as it did initially and it's definitely not funny anymore.Delete
Well, if Somerby posts again on test scores or football rankings, be sure to be first again with your list. You will look like a genius and it will lift your spirits.Delete
As the cannibal witch doctor said to the intrepid explorer who is taking credit for an eclipse of the sun.ReplyDelete
"I have seen it before. It will pass."
Trolls come and go. They will pass.
If the blogger, buried in the stench of his own failure in life is pathetic enough - what do you make of the 3 and a half or so fans he has gathered here (unless they are all he himself)?
What is it going to take for the men in white coats to come and take him away to a quiet, comfortable place with padded cells where he wouldn't have to put up with liberals?
"what do you make of the 3 and a half or so fans he has gathered here (unless they are all he himself)?"Delete
>>> imo they are legit and there are a lot more potentially where they came from. but i completely understand your being perplexed by them.
the right wing average joe, who wouldnt be let in the front door of their various hyper-wealthy heroes' country clubs, is baffling. but i think i have an insight on this. they lie a lot.
there are reasons they support people who are not for people like them but they will never say what they are. they are not stupid as the left so often says of them. they just lie a lot.
the left likes to reason things out but makes the most common of mistakes in assuming everybody is like them, that everyone starts at the beginning with a blank slate and puzzles out the issues till they arrive at a conclusion which they then proudly announce to the world.
contrarily, the right has all the answers already and any supposed debate they engage in is a defense of predetermined conclusions. they work backwards from conclusion to support.
i cant read minds so i dont know exactly why they *apparently* work against their best interests, but they do know why and it isnt because they are dumb. immoral perhaps imo, but not dumb.
Thanks Jay. What you have written is the truth, but its a truth that very few would agree with. The plutocracy has convinced Joe lunch-bucket that ruthless capitalism is also in his interest and so they get his vote without gestapos and breaking skulls.Delete
Shorter Jay Walker "our tribe is great. Theirs sucks."Delete
"The left likes to reason things out..." Uh huh, ten years ago I might have believed that, then the internets allowed me to interact with too many self-proclaimed leftists.
What's the news? Liberals have always been like Martin Bashir. They become enraged at the thought of any dissent from their managerial schemes. 'How can you oppose this' they say, 'you must hate women, children and puppies!'ReplyDelete
Liberalism is the is the bigotry of the anti-bigot bigot and the intolerance of the tolerance police. Social justice? Just us, thank you.
And yet somehow all those liberals found time to outlaw child labor, implement Social Security, rebuild Europe after World War II, and end the American-style apartheid called Jim Crow. Go figure.Delete
Let's see here. You tout social security, really? Europe is just peachy and there are lots of libs, move there soon ! The American style apartheid call Jim Crow that Democrats enacted throughout the south, when they weren't busy creating the KKK and going to all those rallys? Democrats like Talmedge and sheriff Bull Connor. Yeah you libs should start getting credit for all of that.Delete
I'm having trouble following your line of, er, thought. Social Security is a US program, not a European one, although there are European equivalents. In the US, the program has managed to eliminate dire poverty among the elderly. That doesn't mean that things are all "peachy" either here or over there. So why am I supposed to move?
Yes, the Democratic Party in the south was responsible for Jim Crow, but why should liberals get "credit" for that? Is it your contention that the Dixiecrat wing of the Democratic Party were liberals? In 1948, when the liberal wing of the Democratic Party insisted on a civil rights plank in the party platform, the Dixiecrats bolted the party temporarily. By the time the liberals pushed thought civil rights legislation in the 1960s, the Dixiecrats decamped for the Republican party, where they remain today.
You seem to be a very confused person.
It's appropriate that the Dems led the fight to end Jim Crow, since it was Dems who had been maintaining it.Delete
The libs created Social Security, but then they made it too generous. My wife and I together receive over 125% of median family income from Social Security. SS looks great if you focus only on the beneficiaries and pretend that it's funded from Heaven. In fact, SS is funded by working people and their employers. On average, the people paying in to SS are poorer than the people receiving SS benefits. Should liberals be proud of a program whereby wealth is transferred from poorer Americans to richer Americans?
I think this can be generalized. The big problem with liberalism is that it's never satisfied. It's committed to continually raising government handouts,.
It's appropriate that the Dems led the fight to end Jim Crow, since it was Dems who had been maintaining it.
That whistling sound you just heard? It was the point going over your head. The liberal wing of the Democratic party led the fight for civil rights legislation, contrary to the Anonymous @8:46 tired trope that for liberals social justice meant "just us." Got it?
On average, the people paying in to SS are poorer than the people receiving SS benefits.
This is almost certainly untrue. The Federal Reserve reports that seniors (65+) own one-third of the nations wealth. For the last 45 years median real household incomes for seniors has lagged every other decade age bracket starting with 25-34 years. Seniors have had a higher median income than 15-24 year olds only since 2008. It's true that senior median net worth (over $200K in 2010) beats every other decade with only the 55-64 year cohort coming close at $179K, but that's because old people have had more time to accumulate savings and pay off their houses while young people have mortgages and student loans. Note that the median US home price is almost exactly the median senior net worth.
(As a side note, as DAinCA pretends that "liberals" think that Social Security is funded by "Heaven," while he and the people who pick his pockets pretend that if the government stops paying for something, the cost disappears. What do you suppose would happen to all those young people if they had to take care of Mom and Dad without Social Security? Especially now that global warming is likely to make for a shortage of ice floes.)
It would be interesting to know how much an age cohort received (or is projected to receive) in Social Security compared to how much it paid in. This is tricky to calculate since you'd have to factor in the employer contributions (which are tax deductible expenses) and self-employment tax (half of which is deductible).
Let's face it, DAinCA, you can't back up your above italicized claim. It's just one more thing someone told you that you swallowed whole without checking. I'll bet you didn't even try.
You "think" this can be generalized? Don't kid a kidder. Thinking didn't enter into it.
deadrat, you incorrectly paraphrased me as referring to "[myself] and the people who pick [my] pockets." I'm one of the pickpockets. We on SS are picking the pockets of young working families.Delete
What do you suppose would happen to all those young people if they had to take care of Mom and Dad without Social Security?
deadrat, that comment is what I mean about imagining that money comes from Heaven. It would cost young working people just as much money to support their retired parents if they did so directly.
In fact, because of how income tax works, it would cost them less to directly support the parents. Here's why. The working people can't take a tax deduction on the money they pay in to SS. However, we retirees pay federal and state income tax when we receive the money that working people paid in.
(More precisely, there's no tax deduction for the half of SS money is paid by workers. The employer does get a tax deduction on its half. Many economists believe that the employer's half in effect comes from the worker. That is, if there were no SS, the employee's salary would be higher by the amount of the employer's current SS contribution.)
David in Cal:Delete
"Many economists believe that the employer's half in effect comes from the worker. That is, if there were no SS, the employee's salary would be higher by the amount of the employer's current SS contribution."
I wonder how many of those economists once believed in Santa?
Once again, you seem unable to reason outside the box of your own experience and your own unsupported opinion. Are you a "pickpocket"? I'd say that was highly unlikely, but it's a certainty that you have no evidence to back that up. It's not even clear you could phrase this in a way that could be verified.
The question is whether on average, Social Security transfers wealth from the poor to the rich. I wasted paragraphs above demonstrating this isn't true, but perhaps you're unclear on what "median" means. Would it be better to directly support one's parents than pay Social Security? Another unsupported assertion. Yes, direct support would be tax deductible, but that would be of little use to those who file the short form. It takes examining demographic data to find out. Go ahead, check it out. I'll wait.
While you're at it, could you quote an economist who believes that if FICA disappeared, the money would increase salaries? Do you even believe that McDonald's would pay more than minimum wage if there were no FICA?
I disagree with Bob on all his political views but I come here often to read a sensible liberal blogger who has integrity. This article is a very honest assessment of MSNBC. Thanks BobReplyDelete
John Oliver: "The Internet? Isn't that where people go to read opinions they already hold?"Delete
Allow me to speculate that your opinion about MSNBC was formed and set in stone long before you discovered "a sensible liberal blogger" who held exactly the same opinion.
As far as "integrity", I will join the chorus of former Somerby fans in wishing that Somerby at least has the integrity to admit what he and his blog has become -- a very nice place for "conservatives" to come to have their opinions validated by a guy who only wears claims to be "liberal."
Welcome to your new niche audience, Somerby.
Anonymous @ 10:43 are you following Somerby? We don't need you to do that.Delete
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