What Hersh was talking about: Last Wednesday night, Seymour Hersh complained to Don Lemon about the conduct of cable news.
Hersh was perhaps a bit inarticulate, so we're going to translate for him. For yesterday's report, just click here.
Hersh said that corporate cable's stars should stop focusing on whatever Donald J. Trump said in the last ten seconds. He said they're playing Donald Trump's game when they play that ratings-boosting game.
At one point, he even said they should actually talk about some actual issues which matter:
HERSH (6/13/18): I sometimes think that—I just wish sometimes, instead of so much about Trump and how awful he is, and there's certainly a lot of things not to like about him, I wish sometimes we'd talk more about what's going on in Yemen, about mothers having their children taken away at the border and all that.In the days since Hersh appeared with Lemon, cable stars have talked about children at the border non-stop. But when have you seen your favorite stars discuss events in Yemen?
I wish that was more of a focus. But I can understand Trump is great for ratings. He just is. That's just the reality.
For that matter, when have you seen your favorite stars talking about events in Honduras, Guatemala or El Salvador? When have you seen our big major stars discussing life in our major cities? When have you seen your favorite stars seem to give a fat flying flip about S-hole places like that?
Hersh said cable is playing Trump's game by speaking of Nothing But Trump. It's good for ratings and profits, he said. But it's "terrible for journalism."
That very same night, a major corporate cable news star displayed the kind of behavior to which Hersh referred. She came on the air at 9 PM—and she spent the next eighteen minutes [sic!] talking about Herb Kalmbach!
To watch that ridiculous segment, click here. To read the transcript, click this.
Who the heck is Herb Kalmbach? You're asking an excellent question! Kalmbach was Richard Nixon's personal lawyer during the Watergate era. That was 45 years ago! In 1973!
Kalmbach ended up going to jail. Such otherwise pointless recollections make our corporate star quite glad. Wasting eighteen minutes of time, she fed us our nightly partisan porridge.
Eighteen minutes on Kalmbach! If this were a decent, intelligent land, this multimillionaire TV star would be frogmarched off to the countryside for some good solid re-education.
Alas! This is a world in which we liberals are suckers for corporate pander. This star keeps pleasuring us with pointless tales about the depredations of Richard M. Nixon. By way of contrast, black kids in our cities can go hang in the yard, as can the kids of Honduras.
At present, every star from Mika and Willie on down is posturing about the border. They're playing tape of children crying and adopting their best stricken pose.
BREAKING! Children are crying every day in the tormented countries from which the migrants are emerging—from the situations our star ignores so she can pleasure us with pointless tales of Herbert Kalmbach instead.
The suffering people who come to our border have come from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. What is happening in those countries? What has become of civil order? What could the United States do to help their frayed situations?
You haven't heard such topics discussed by this overpaid circus clown on her profit-rich TV program. In fact, we decided to run some Nexis searches. This is what we found:
We searched on "Maddow Show AND Honduras OR Honduran." We got no relevant hits for the past two years, starting this June 1.
We searched on "Maddow Show AND Guatemala OR Guatemalan." No relevant hits for that same two years!
We searched on "Maddow Show AND Salvador OR Salvadoran." No relevant results! (One hit for Salvador Dali.) Instead, she frequently played the Bentley sex tape, mugging and clowning as she did, and she likes to dumb the whole world down by yakking about Herb Kalmbach, who's supposed to be just like Michael Cohen and is therefore Totally Trump.
That eighteen minutes she spent on Kalmbach is eighteen minutes she didn't spend on the major gaps confronting black kids in Chicago and New York City. It's eighteen minutes she didn't spend on the suffering children of Central America, who suffer fears and indignities every day and cry pretty much every night.
Children have been crying in all those places for many years by this time. Our big cable star didn't seem to care. But now that the sound of children crying is very hot and Trump-related, she played the tape of the crying children on her show last night.
This is what Hersh was talking about! Indeed, two hours before he spoke with Lemon, one corporate star had devoted eighteen minutes to pointless chatter about Herb Kalmbach. Pleasing tribal message received! It's just like Cohen and Trump!
That eighteen minutes was a low-IQ journalistic disgrace. On the whole, our deeply self-impressed liberal team neither sees this nor cares.
Just to be clear: No really! She rattled on about Kalmbach for eighteen minutes! To convince yourself, click this.
Making believe Trump is anything but a standard-issue Conservative is a mistake.ReplyDelete
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When I think of standard-issue Republicans I think of globalists.Delete
I think the left won, to an extent, on some of the perils of such economic policies, and Trump addressed the casualties, albeit from a domestic rather than world perspective.
Now some of the delineations have faded between the camps as establishment types in both parties, and certainly our media overlords, are all ardent free marketers as far as the eye can see.
When I think of "Cecelia" I think of Breitbart anti-Semites using "globalists" as a code word. And that you're a man.Delete
When I hear that statement I always think "She's a man, baby!"Delete
When I think of standard issue Republicans, I think of bigots, morons, and cowards.Delete
I think of socks with sandals.Delete
More like cucks with scandals.Delete
"We searched on "Maddow Show AND Honduras OR Honduran.""ReplyDelete
It's odd that you'd mention Honduras, Bob - one of the nations devastated by your demigoddess the psycho-witch, back in 2012.
If you aren't aware, see this for example.
So, why would the establishment propaganda raise the subject?
Mao isn't always wrong. I join him in recommending this link:Delete
Let's not let Trump off the hook for his misdeeds:Delete
Somerby doesn't like Clinton much. She certainly isn't his demigoddess. That would be Bernie, who had no foreign policy to speak of. No way to guess what he might have done about Honduras.Delete
I keep forgetting that some - paid trolls and others - seem to believe that the world began in January, 2009:Delete
[The Humanist - 9/7/90]:
QUESTION: A related question then is why do the media continually concentrate on the individual personalities involved in the issues rather than the institutional actors, which is something you yourself scrupulously avoid. For example, in the Iran-contra scandal, the media pretty willingly acquiesced to Reagan’s efforts to make Oliver North and John Poindexter the fall guys.
CHOMSKY: Well, they also concentrated on Reagan himself. Remember, the big question was: did Reagan know — or did he remember — what the policies of his administration were? The reason the media concentrate on these matters is that they’re irrelevant. And insignificant. What they obscure is the institutional factors that, in fact, determine policy. And in the Iran-contra affair, it was rather striking to see the way major issues were almost completely obscured. So, let’s just take one of the obvious questions: you asked why they do that. Well, that’s just in the service of their propaganda function. One of the main purposes of any ideological system is to divert attention away from the actual workings of power and to focus on marginal phenomena. Individuals can be replaced, and then these institutions can continue to function as they do. So, if you take a look at the Iran-contra thing, once again there are perfectly obvious questions that were never asked, which takes remarkable discipline.
For example, the Iran-contra affair focused on what had happened since the mid-1980s — from 1985, 1986 on — with regard to the U.S. sale of arms to Iran. Well, an obvious question arises: namely, what was going on before 1985? And there’s an answer to this. Before 1985, the United States was authorizing the sale of arms to Iran via Israel exactly as it was doing after 1985. Now at that time, remember, there were no hostages. So what’s going on? If the whole operation was supposed to be an arms-for-hostages deal, how come we were doing exactly the same thing before there were any hostages?
Well, that’s another obvious question, and there’s an answer to that one, too. It’s not a secret; for example, I was writing about it in 1982 and 1983. And the answer is that the United States was authorizing arms sales to Iran via Israel in an effort to find elements within the Iranian military with whom they could establish contacts and who might be able to carry out a military coup to overthrow Khomeini. That was frankly, openly, and publicly admitted by top Israeli officials, including people high in the Mossad and others. And all the people who were later exposed in the Iran-contra affair were speaking quite publicly about this in the early 1980s. One of them, Uri Lubrani, said that, if we can find somebody in the military who is willing and able to shoot down 10,000 people in the street, we’ll be able to restore the kind of regime we want, basically meaning the Shah. That’s standard policy whenever there’s hostility to some government: cut off aid to that government but arm the military in the hopes that elements within the military will carry out a coup. That was done in Chile, Indonesia — in fact, that’s just normal. And it was being done in Iran in the early 1980s.
So, was there any discussion of this in the Iran-contra hearings? No, because, even though the question “What was happening before 1985?” was so obvious that it could hardly fail to come to the mind of anybody looking at the issues, the trouble is, if you ask it, you get the wrong answers. Better not to ask it. Therefore, this became one of many aspects of the Iran-contra affair that were effaced in what was, in fact, a cover-up operation by Congress and the media.
If that was the plan, as Chomsky claimed, sure wish it had worked.Delete
Oh, and the one about the Contras too.
On the other hand, you'd have nothing to troll about.Delete
I'm not trolling anyone.Delete
I have absolutely no animus at liberals or democrats. Occasional exasperation or amusement, but I don't hate people, and I certainly wouldn't because they don't share my politics.
I hate the media. The media as an institution in its current state. This blog gets that utterly right.
Cecelia, you're a right-wing man with a drag name who definitely has animus against liberals and Democrats. Saying "I hate media" is as stupid as saying, "I hate books". You sound really dumb and narrow and not that bright.Delete
It doesn't make sense to say that since the media is about information and books are as well, that they are both similiar institutions or that books are an institution at all, rather than books being about the particular ideas (about anything, even writing books) that are the basis of institutions.Delete
I can logically state that I hate the culture of our modern library system and hate too all organized religion, without that being a denunciation of books, kindle, the printing process, or of spirituality.
Somerby keeps repeating that children are crying in various countries, as if that in any way mitigates the crying of kids being separated from their parents. It is the REASON why those kids are crying that is important, not the fact of their tears. Every parent knows that kids cry. Every parent also knows that separation from parents is a major trauma that can affect the rest of a child's life. Every parent knows. But Somerby isn't a parent. He thinks that the tears of children is a good stick to beat Maddow with. Just like Trump thinks the tears of children are a good bargaining chip to manipulate Democrats with. Meanwhile, thinking and feeling people realize these are real children with real needs. That's because they have empathy. Where is Somerby's famous empathy? Maybe he left it in Boston over the weekend.ReplyDelete
Maybe 18 minutes on Herb Kalmbach was a bit much. But:ReplyDelete
"Trump, of course, is disordered, ill, deranged." - Bob Somerby, May, 2018
If this is true, then Trump should be a significant focus for the news media.
Also high on the list of important stories is the attempt of foreign actors to break into our election systems. The importance of this cannot be overstated, but I see Trump being dismissive and Republicans saying next to nothing about it.
What Somerby often refers to as "The Chase" includes not just Trump's ties with Russia, but his shady deals with foreign oligarchs all over the world, and how these affect US foreign policy, vis-a-vis Yemen, Russia, and elsewhere.
All of this has been reported in a fair amount of detail on Maddow's show among others. As it should be.
So when Somerby lumps all of this together as "The Chase", as he frequently calls it, he is dismissing its significance.
And accusing Maddow of not "seeming" to care about issue x because she reports on other things is illogical.
I would like to bathe with you.Delete
Agree. Somerby is an elderly closeted Trump supporter, this blog is him spitting on his youthful liberal ideals, now he's a cranky old bitter conservative .Delete
Ever see Bob criticize Fox News for not reporting on rising urban test scores and declining crime? Of course not, he has to attack people like Rachel Maddow for that. Ever see Bob criticize Fox News EVER? For anything?
No mention of Nicaragua where there's a revolution happening right now?ReplyDelete
Nor of Mexico.Delete
CNN has a significant international division and online presence that cover stories all over the world, including the crisis in Yemen, Nicaragua, etc.ReplyDelete
Also, the Times and the Post have done plenty of reporting on Yemen. And Nicaragua. Etc.
But in the case of the Times, only the "Fun Facts" get a mention in this blog.
The two political parties in this country are now the Republican Party and the American media.Delete
if that's it, what do you mean by "two"?Delete
Sen. Sanders didn’t have a chance. That they did accomplish.Delete
Sen. Sanders didn’t have a chance. That they did accomplish.Delete
Yes, Democratic voters rejected Sanders pretty convincingly. That is who you meant by "they", correct?
There is one party in this country now, the Republican Party and the American media.Delete
Fixed for you Cecelia.
No, I mean that the DNC favored Clinton over Sanders and worked toward her success in winning the primary.Delete
I'm confused. From reading this blog I thought it was a bad thing when corporate cable stars talked about poor children overseas instead of the deserving inner city children of America.ReplyDelete
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