WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 2022
Wine-Banks seems to make a mistake: Uh-oh! Last night, in the last segment of the Last Word, Lawrence O'Donnell delivered some (potentially) discouraging words concerning the Secret Service.
Last week, when the speculatin' was good, Lawrence posed a formal question to the embattled agency. His question concerned James Murray, the agency's embattled director.
Lawrence asked if the embattled director had deleted his own text messages from January 6, 2021. Last night, at the start of his program's last segment, he reported the answer he got:
O'DONNELL (7/26/22): The Secret Service has replied to my question: "Did Secret Service director James Murray delete his January 6 texts?"
In an email reply to us, the Secret Service spokesperson said, quote, "The only text messages on Director Murray's phone on January 5 and 6 were notifications from his alarm company at his residence."
So far, the answer wasn't that bad! But then, Lawrence read the rest of the reply from the Secret Service spokesperson:
O'DONNELL (continuing directly): "By policy, Secret Service employees are not to conduct official government business by text for information security purposes as well as government record retention."
Joining us now is Jim Helminski, who served as deputy assistant director of the United States Secret Service until 2015...
As it turned out, Helminski was largely incoherent. He also seemed to be highly under-informed about the current state of the discussion concerning Secret Service texts.
In keeping with standard cable practice, Lawrence let Helminski's apparent errors go. Aside from that, uh-oh:
According to what Lawrence was told, Secret Service personnel are instructed not to text! Also according to what he was told, the only texts on the director's phone came from the security service he maintains at his home.
We have no way of knowing if those statements are accurate. Sometimes, people make statements which aren't.
Also, if Secret Service agents are instructed not to text, some agents might text anyway. That said, consider this:
The message Lawrence received from spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi might be seen, at least in theory, as a bit of a narrative buzzkill.
Are Secret Service agents instructed not to text? (We've noted the fact that Joyce Vance said something to that effect last week, in real time.)
Are agents instructed not to text? We can't say for certain. But if that statement is accurate, that might explain why so few text messages appeared on any agents' phones during the monthlong period leading up to January 6, 2021.
Beyond that, it might suggest that we need to apply the brakes before we assume that we understand this matter—and before our pundits start spinning exciting theories about kidnapping plots and intended assassinations, directed by unnamed persons within the Secret Service.
Last week, Blue Tribe Pundits took a tiny bit of information and ran with it very hard. Below, you see Watergate figure Jill Wine-Banks, speaking with Lawrence on last Thursday night's show.
In this passage, we highlight an apparent factual error. If we wait another month, MSNBC might let us rubes see a transcript:
WINE-BANKS (7/21/22): The fact that the Secret Service, who has the technical expertise, could possibly have accidentally lost these records is totally incredible. It's so incredible—
You know, I look back on the days of the 18-minute gap in Watergate, and this was a two-day gap. That is 144 times longer. But it's also obviously deliberate.
There's no way, I think as Claire said—you just can't believe that this just happened by chance. It had to be done deliberately and if it can't be recovered, it had to be done by real professionals who could get into the cloud and delete all other copies of it, the "To" and the "From."
The fact that it was just on those two days is really suspicious...We know from the timing that January 5th and January 6th were days when there would have been a lot of messages about protecting, or not protecting, the president and the vice president.
Sad. Wine-Banks seemed to believe that Secret Service texts were "missing" for only two days—for January 5th and 6th.
She regarded that fact as "really suspicious." It seemed to inform her claim that the absence of texts on those two days was "obviously deliberate"—that the (presumed) deletion of texts from those two days "had to be done by real professionals."
In fact, it had been reported that very few text messages could be provided for an entire month-long period, starting in early December 2020. According to those reports, it wasn't just on those two days that texts were (suspiciously) AWOL.
Reportedly, the Inspector General had found no texts for a full month-long period. But as the excitable stars of the Blue Tribe Cable embellished and spun on cable TV, many performers had made it sound like the Secret Service texts were "missing" for those two days only.
As of last Thursday night, that seemed to be Wine-Banks' basic understanding. In classic "cable news" fashion, no one corrected or challenged her apparent error, and she proceeded directly to this lurid conspiracy formulation:
WINE-BANKS (continuing directly): And I think not enough attention is being paid to what was going on with the vice president, and the fact that it was possible that the Secret Service was going to whisk him away, at the direction of James Murray—two words that I won't forget, I promise you, Lawrence—that they were going to whisk him away, never to let him return to fulfill his constitutional responsibilities to oversee the counting of ballots.
That is something that we need to know. Who made that order to get him out of there? Was it James Murray? Was it the president to James Murray? Was it the president directly to [Trump aide Anthony] Ornato? We just don't know.
Based in part on her apparent misunderstanding of basic facts, Wine-Banks moved ahead to a lurid conspiracy theory.
"It was possible," Wine-Banks said, "that the Secret Service was going to whisk [Pence] away, at the direction of James Murray...never to let him return."
Before she was done, she was even picturing President Donald J. Trump delivering an order directly to former agent Ornato "to get Pence out of there."
Given the fact that everything's possible, these lurid speculations were surely "possible" too! That said, Wine-Banks seemed to be basing her various assessments on the apparently mistaken belief that texts were "missing" on only two days—on January 5th and 6th.
Had that been an accurate fact, it would have seemed highly suspicious! But that seems to have been a mistaken belief—and, in classic "cable news" fashion, no one stepped in to correct or challenge this apparently bogus assumption.
At any rate:
Based on this apparent misunderstanding, Wine-Banks said the inability to recover texts from those two days was "obviously deliberate." Plainly, Secret Service texts had been disappeared "by real professionals." They'd even gone into the cloud!
Late last night, O'Donnell floated a very different possibility, rushing it onto the record in the last few minutes of The Last Word.
(Needless to say, the bulk of the show had been devoted to the latest source of pleasing tribal excitement. Corporate cable has been selling this product for roughly the past five years.)
Tomorrow, we'll show you what Claire McCaskill said last Thursday night when Wine-Banks was done. By the next morning, presidential historian Michael Beschloss had even "sewn the fourth button on." He'd turned the lurid speculation about a Secret Service kidnapping plot into an even more lurid speculation about "intended assassinations," with Trump and the Service involved.
We leave you today with this observation:
When our Blue Tribe Cable Stars function this way, it's the end of American discourse.
This is often, though not always, the way the stars function on Red Tribe Cable. Increasingly, this is the behavior to which we're exposed on Blue Tribe Cable too.
As we wait to see if Donald J. Trump will be charged with a crime, at least one one major question remains:
Can American culture, such as it is, survive this type of segregated, totally partisan, nutcase media regime? Can a giant modern nation possibly hope to function in the grip of dueling speculation / misinformation regimes—in the face of dueling regimes of epistemic closure?
Tomorrow: What McCaskill said last Thursday night
Jeez. It's positively impossible to read this meaningless, mind-numbing drivel, dear Bob.
...but don't worry, if the things keep going the way they are, your liberal death-cult tribe will bring the end of civilization real soon. And then none of it will matter. Even to you.
You still afraid of gay people, Mao?Delete
Then why do you? It says something about the Russian troll that you are that your postings have no relationship to the column. But that's nothing new, is it?Delete
...yeah, and don't forget the most important talking point today, dear Bob:ReplyDelete
There is no recession!
God has a way of balancing things out.Delete
Expect God to have your daughter marry a black man.
It's not a talking point it's a fact. Unemployment is 3.6%, or can't you read.Delete
The only way things would be balanced against me would be if my daughter "married" a woman, and it wouldn't be God's doing but Satan's.Delete
Don’t allow Secret Service agents to carry phones with texting ability.
What other existential problem can I solve for you in 30 seconds?
“Did Secret Service director James Murray delete his January 6 texts?"ReplyDelete
“The only text messages on Director Murray's phone on January 5 and 6 were notifications from his alarm company at his residence."
This does not answer O’Donnell’s question.
“By policy, Secret Service employees are not to conduct official government business by text”
Somerby paraphrases this incorrectly: “Secret Service personnel are instructed not to text!” That isn’t what Guglielmi said. It is also irrelevant. The committee is seeking text messages that were apparently deleted. There is evidence that such texts existed.
Scary! What a scandal!Delete
Almost as scary as CRT not being taught in elementary schools.Delete
The sheep on the Right (AKA the Right) will believe anything liars, like Christopher Rufo, tell them.Delete
Is it because they’re rubes, or because the lies are in line with their bigotry, that they are such suckers.
Don’t expect Bob to look into it, because he’s afraid it’ll be the latter.
To connect the dots, if the texts were deliberately deleted, it suggests there was a reason to delete them. It could be the reason was because the secret service was not supposed to be texting, but if that is the case, why weren't they ALL deleted?Delete
Efforts to minimize the importance of deletion of texts suggest partisan motives, such as a desire to further a coverup of wrongdoing by the secret service, perhaps collusion with the coup and whatever fate was intended for Mike Pence, who indicated he did not trust the secret service when he said:
"The most disturbing exchange detailed at Thursday’s hearing was when the secret service instructed the Pence team to get into the cars in the Capitol garage. Pence’s chief counsel at the time, Greg Jacob, testified that most of the staff had already gotten into the cars when he noticed the vice president standing outside having an exchange with his security detail leader, Tim Giebels. Pence was refusing to get into the car. Jacob testified that Pence said to Giebels, “Tim, I know you, I trust you, but you’re not the one behind the wheel.”
"If", "could be", "suggests", "suggest", "perhapsDelete
Exactly. She’s a fascist. It’s as plain as the nose on your face.
No, Somerby will not permit speculation around "if" but insists that we accept the most innocuous version, the one that exonerates Trump et al. There is too much at stake to ignore the possibilities -- we must investigate because these are possibilities, not accept cover up because the alternatives are only possibilities.Delete
You're a loser.Delete
You're a troll.Delete
" Lawrence posed a formal question to the embattled agency. His question concerned James Murray, the agency's embattled director.ReplyDelete
Lawrence asked if the embattled director had deleted his own text messages "
Gosh, I wonder whether the Secret Service was embattled or not...
"Are agents instructed not to text? We can't say for certain. But if that statement is accurate, that might explain why so few text messages appeared on any agents' phones during the monthlong period leading up to January 6, 2021.ReplyDelete
Beyond that, it might suggest that we need to apply the brakes before we assume that we understand this matter—and before our pundits start spinning exciting theories about kidnapping plots and intended assassinations, directed by unnamed persons within the Secret Service."
The Spokesman for the Secret Service did not say that no texts were deleted. He only said that there were no texts on the phone except the house security ones. If no texts were made that would be a true statement (assuming the absence of texts on the phone). If texts were made but subsequently deleted, it would also be a true statement (assuming no attempts to recover deleted messages were made). The spokesman's simplistic statement is incomplete and does not differentiate between such situations, and in fact doesn't even say that no texts had been made at all -- only that there were no texts on the phone.
Somerby thinks we should just drop the subject and let it go. He thinks there should be no speculation, a situation justified only if no texts had ever been made. Since we don't know what happened, speculation is still viable, not ruled out by the spokesman's ambiguous statement.
Who wants speculation to stop? Not anyone who wants to get to the bottom of what happened. Not anyone who sees a contradiction between the actions of various people and the assertion that the secret service was uninvolved in Trump's coup, had no partisan interests in its outcome. Only someone who wants to cover up and whitewash Republican wrongdoing on 1/6, someone who wants to minimize what happened, to protect those involved.
Then Somerby suggests that because a bunch of texts were not on the phone, that must mean that no texts were made at all, not that more texts were deleted. He has no evidence supporting that idea, but that is what he chooses to believe, so that he can mock Wine-Banks. Again, the actual situation with respect to texting is ambiguous, but Somerby chooses his preferred narrative over that of Wine-Banks and other journalists, pretending there is no doubt in the matter -- just a bunch of journalists speculating improperly.
A non-denial denial (common during Watergate) is not a denial at all. Apparently Somerby has forgotten that lesson. When there are truly no texts ever made, the spokesperson could have said so more definitively. The existence of a non-denial denial suggests cover-up. And that means more investigation, not let things lie, as Somerby urges.
But at least we know where Somerby stands on this.
"Before she was done, she was even picturing President Donald J. Trump delivering an order directly to former agent Ornato "to get Pence out of there."ReplyDelete
There is evidence in support of this idea.
Grassley said on Jan 5 that they didn't expect Pence to be there to certify the votes. Keith Kellogg, National Security Advisor to Pence said to Tony Ornato (SS agent detailed to Trump's staff):
“You can’t do that Tony, Leave him where he’s at. He’s got a job to do. I know you guys too well. You’ll fly him to Alaska if you have a chance. Don’t do it.”
Wine-Banks isn't making thing up out of thin air. There is evidence supporting her concerns, evidence that Somerby completely ignores.
Bob says Trump might have mental problems, so he shouldn’t be locked- up in prison. As if the USA doesn’t criminalize mental illness.ReplyDelete
Bob’s a dope.
Bob has speculated that Trump has mental problems. Can you quote where he says therefore he shouldn't be locked up? Or are you confused and thinking of the insanity defense? Bob isn't a defense attorney, as far as I know.Delete
Somerby has said that Trump should be pitied. He has also said that he doesn't want to see anyone locked up -- he doesn't support locking people up in general (even criminals). He has suggested that Trump may not be liable if he believes his own lies (which then wouldn't be considered lies). He has repeatedly said that journalists should be discussing whether Trump is mentally ill. He has not called for removing Trump because of such illness and he didn't want to see Trump impeached and removed because that would negate the will of the voters who put him into office.Delete
Bob has endlessly suggested that Trump’s mental health (as in he believes the stuff he says) excuses himDelete
from legal responsibility. Nonsense,
of course. But yes, he is saying Trump should not be locked up because
he’s a mental case. Also because
MAGA people are the salt of the
Earth and liberals are meanies.
So Somerby has said he doesn't want criminals locked up? I'm sure asking for evidence of that dubious claim would be asking too much.Delete
I would also like a cite or quote on this. If it's you reading "Trump may be deranged" or whatever and concluding that is Bob implying he shouldn't be locked up, that's your assumption.Delete
Go back and read what he said on 7/26 (yesterday):Delete
"In our view, Trump's behavior became increasingly crazy and irresponsible starting in 2011 when he began inventing himself as the Mother of All Birthers. In our view, his behavior was increasingly crazy and heinous throughout, right on through January 6, 2021.
Did he commit a federal crime in the process? We'll admit that we still aren't sure. "
Then Somerby defended the fake electors because they might have believed it was OK to do what they did, saying:
"It's a mental and a moral sickness to want to lock everyone up. On a national basis, it's a road to national perdition.
Rachel Maddow is almost as nuts as Giuliani, Powell & Trump and Powell. On balance, our tribe is morally and intellectually ill.
We're morally ill, and we're visibly failing. And no, those statements don't stack up as "forgeries.""
Somerby discussed the Crumbley parents several times:
"If a parent "enables a gun massacre," should that parent be charged with a crime?
Depending on the circumstances, the answer may be yes. In the recent incident under consideration, we're mainly struck by the eagerness with which the board dreams of "locking them up."
When Somerby says "the answer may be yes," then spends several paragraphs arguing that the answer is no, he doesn't get a pass on whether those who have committed crimes should be locked up.
In a piece entitled "Lock up Rudy, Lock up Gaetz" Somerby says:
"First, cable stars explored the possibility that we could get Giuliani locked up. After that, they shifted gears:
They explored the possibility that we could get Gaetz locked up.
We thought about the many nights when cable stars assured Our Town that Mueller was going to get Donald J. Trump locked up, Surely, he already had the tax records, our tribe's leading hacks kept insisting.
That was pleasurable tribal entertainment, as were last night's pseudo-discussions. Meanwhile, the desire to get The Others locked up dates back past the dawn of time."
And so on...there are many many examples of these sorts of Somerby statements, often arguing in support of someone's wrongdoing, such as when he defended Roy Moore and Rittenhouse and the man who sexually assaulted Chanel Miller.
Do the search yourself.
Okay so no cite that Somerby claims Trump shouldn't be locked up due to mental issues, I'll consider the claim retracted.Delete
Also, no proof that there is a Republican voter who cares about something other than bigotry and white supremacy, so feel free to retract that claim as well.Delete
"A wholly different possibility never seemed to intrude. Neither Weissmann nor Newell, and certainly not the headline writer, seemed to have considered the possibility that the commander may be fundamentally impaired, whether cognitively or psychiatrically.Delete
It never seemed to enter the writers' minds that the commander actually may be "out of his mind," and not just in a snarky, colloquial sense. That he may be "out of his mind" in a dangerous clinical sense.
Could Donald J. Trump be in the grip of a major "personality disorder?" Could he be some serious version of "mentally ill?"
Could he be a sociopath? Even worse, could he be a sociopath currently hopped up on drugs?
Could the commander in chief possibly be dangerously disordered, as an array of psychiatrists tried to argue in the 2017 book, The Dangerous Case of Donald [J.] Trump? Could he be (dangerously) "out of his mind" in some clinical sense?
This seems like an obvious possibility, but the possibility didn't intrude on this long rumination at Slate. The headline writer had some fun with the idea that Trump may be "out of his mind," but no one raised that possibility in the technical medical sense.
Dr. Bandy X. Lee and her gaggle of shrinks might as well have published their book about Trump on Mars or Uranus. Amusing headline to the side, the thought that Trump may be some serious version of mentally ill simply doesn't exist in this piece at Slate.
To our eye and ear, the commander has seemed deeply disordered for some time. (We recommend that such people be pitied.)"
"Also, no proof that there is a Republican voter who cares about something other than bigotry and white supremacy, so feel free to retract that claim as well."Delete
How to provide proof of that? You wouldn't except a Republican's claim "I care about X" as evidence. How would I prove it?
They need to eat and sleep and use the bathroom. Are those activities bigotry-related? It's a fun game.
you misunderstand the psycho-dembot.
Whatever he types, it's his confession. He often admits as much himself.
"Can American culture, such as it is, survive this type of segregated, totally partisan, nutcase media regime? Can a giant modern nation possibly hope to function in the grip of dueling speculation / misinformation regimes—in the face of dueling regimes of epistemic closure?"ReplyDelete
Of course our nation can survive this. It has before. Does Somerby imagine that the supporters of Richard Nixon said the same things as those investigating Watergate did? Watergate came out in dribbles over a lengthy timespan, with people downplaying that significance of slush funds and psychiatrist records, until the deluge when the existence of tapes was realized and Nixon's involvement and guilt were established beyond the ability of supporters to explain away. That is what is happening now.
There were crazies who believed McCarthy's statements too, that the military was riddled with communists, that movies were full of communist propaganda, that kids were being turned red at school. Many people lost their jobs and some were driven to suicide in desperation as the result of the McCarthy investigations, but reality prevailed. It will prevail now too, despite claims that reptilians or pedophiles are infecting our government. Crazy doesn't win because the rantings are not true -- ultimately the facts prevail, just as Trump's big lie about his election being stolen could not prevail without any proof.
Somerby sees this as two competing sets of beliefs, but he forgets that one is reality-based whereas the other is fictional. Reality wins because it is true, it exists. Fiction loses because it has no evidence and does not accord with the facts of the world. Reality doesn't change to conform to mistaken belief -- the beliefs must always yield.
Those of us who prefer reality (mostly on the left politically) are not afraid to explore possibilities because we are seeking to know what really happened. Somerby and his right wing cohort are trying to protect their preferred beliefs but they will lose because they are protecting fantasy. Truth will out.
"Given the fact that everything's possible, these lurid speculations were surely "possible" too! That said, Wine-Banks seemed to be basing her various assessments on the apparently mistaken belief that texts were "missing" on only two days—on January 5th and 6th.ReplyDelete
Had that been an accurate fact, it would have seemed highly suspicious! But that seems to have been a mistaken belief—and, in classic "cable news" fashion, no one stepped in to correct or challenge this apparently bogus assumption."
Somerby thinks this misunderstanding is a telling point, but it isn't. For one thing, deleting a month is as suspicious as two days, if there were messages before and after that month that remained untouched. For another thing, the plotting didn't just occur on Jan 5-6, but began earlier and continued throughout that month-long period where there were no messages, according to hearing testimony. Finally, there is support for Wine-Banks' theories that comes from other sources besides the presence or absence of text messages -- evidence Somerby will not consider. He pretends this argument rises or falls based on only that two-day period of missing texts, when there is a bigger picture and other facts that need to be considered.
This is Somerby's typical argument, based on a nit-pick that he inflates to invalide an entire piece written by someone he dislikes. Nothing about this particular nit-pick invalidates the argument being made for investigating the secret service as part of Trump's plot to remain in office.
The religious Right, unlike the religion-hating Left, know the United States is a Muslim country. That’s why they want prayer in schools.ReplyDelete
Be careful, you might ruin American discourse with this stuff.Delete
"Based on this apparent misunderstanding, Wine-Banks said the inability to recover texts from those two days was "obviously deliberate." Plainly, Secret Service texts had been disappeared "by real professionals." They'd even gone into the cloud!"ReplyDelete
This would be true whether it were 2 days of messages or a month. Many people are asking why the texts weren't still available in backup, especially if this were an actual transition to new phones. It was reported that it was left to individual agents to backup their own phones, an order they ignored twice. Does that sound suspicious? That no secret service agent would follow a directive given twice, to back up his phone before getting a new one? It does to me. Then the time-limited absence of a month's messages is still as suspicious as two-days being missing.
In an interview with MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan, Zoe Lofgren (member of 1/6 Committee) said (via NCRM):ReplyDelete
"At the close of the interview, Hasan mentioned the Secret Service and Lofgren noted that it isn’t just text messages. Almost a year ago, the committee asked for documents and it’s taken until just this week for the Secret Service to collect them.
“Well, there are a lot of questions and I add some concerns,” she began. “Not only erasing the text messages, but there is information that we have asked for, for almost a year that has only recently been produced — and in some cases, you know, what we got, they knew that we had from another source — they dumped, hundreds of thousands of documents on us, this morning, that we have asked for almost a year.”
She said that it’s a troubling pattern of behavior that is emerging from the agency under the Department of Homeland Security.
“I am also concerned about the actions of the inspector general,” she noted. “He sat on this for months, months, and months as well. And now, he has ordered the department to stop the forensic analysis of the phones, which we need. We need that to happen. So there are a lot of questions here. And I hope that we can get answers to all of them.”
"When our Blue Tribe Cable Stars function this way, it's the end of American discourse. "ReplyDelete
Exaggerating a real or imagined problem into a disaster is called "catastrophizing" by psychologists. Cable "stars" have said things that Somerby disagrees with, and he claims it will end American discourse!
Catastrophizing is a personality trait, but it is also part of depressive thinking. Cognitive-behavioral therapists work with depressed people to help them avoid this kind of thinking because it makes depression worse.
Clearly, American discourse will not end because a cable news host makes a trivial mistake or even two.
As any regular reader of Somerby knows, he thinks cable news hosts' mistakes occur with alarming frequencey. So you've mischaracterized his argument by discussing a 'mistake or even two'.Delete
Somerby may say these mistakes occur frequently, but he hasn't demonstrated that via evidence, except sporadically. He has made no statement estimating the actual frequency of such mistakes. Claiming that the ones he discusses here, demonstrate the end of American discourse, is ridiculous. Beyond that, he doesn't get to have his assertions treated as true simply because he repeats them, without stronger evidence than this silly quibble.Delete
The "alarming frequency" is what is meant by catastrophizing. It is alarming to him because he magnifies a trivial and sporadic problem into something frequent enough to be "alarming". If he had detected more frequent mistakes, he would have discussed them here, instead of the silly and repetitious trivial callouts he presents.
Todays column includes a minor misunderstanding over whether 2 days or 1 month of texts were deleted. This was made by a guest on a show, not the host.Delete
Yesterday, in his first essay Somerby considered whether Trump should be prosecuted when he is crazy, then objected to a news report by Wang because she said Trump didn't want to say things. Somerby did agree that Trump had removed those things from his speech. That makes this a minor quibble over mind-reading and whether you can assume someone's intentions from their behavior. He then objected to reporters failing to emphasize the positive things Trump said in his speech (asking reporters to focus on what he left in). That constitutes a defense of Trump and a disagreement with the emphasis of the reporters, not a mistake.
In the second post yesterday, Trump said that Wallace should be discussing the working poor not locking up Trump. That is not any kind of error on Wallace's part. He also briefly said that Illing had implied that he dunbunked the Uranium One story, when he hadn't done so. That is not a mistake, but mind-reading of Illing, who didn't directly say he debunked Uranium One at all.
On Monday, Somerby objected to Blow calling for the prosecution of Trump. He blamed all of MSNBC for calling for this and said that we cannot incarcerate out of an existential political problem. That is a statement of Somerby's opinion, not a criticism of any mistake made by Blow or the rest of the people calling for prosecution. Somerby listed two unaddressed problems, also his opinion, it is not a mistake to focus on different things than Somerby wants to see discussed.
In his second post on Monday, Somerby discussed and agreed with Max Boot, but then pointed out (without evidence) that our side is just as bad as the red tribe. He took issue with Boot saying that we were in danger of losing our democracy, even though he himself has said the same thing before (as mh pointed out in comments). That isn't a mistake either.
So, over the last 5 essays, only today's complaint about 2 days versus a month of deleted texts is a true error made by someone who was not a cable host, but a guest on a show. There are no other factual mistakes pointed out, just disagreements in content or emphasis between Somerby and the hosts he particularly dislikes (Blow, Wallace). I would go back further, but this is time-consuming. This segment doesn't show the pattern of frequent mistakes Somerby deplores, and he could not find any made by the actual press this week.
And this is pretty typical of Somerby's output these days. If he is going to complain about mistakes, he needs to find some.
Bob has demonstrated countless times that major outlets like the Times have posted misleading claims, statistics, etc. and he has clearly demonstrated how easily they could have found the mistake if they tried. You trivialize these errors, and one Bob makes an error, like posting county results and incorrectly referring to them as city results (if I remember correctly), you characterize it as a terrible error.Delete
So this shows that you are a propagandist and that you're doing what you accuse him of.
Oh so you reviewed 5 blog posts and included stuff that didn't even fit the topic being discussed, which was specifically finding errors by the media. You're going to need some serious cleaning to get those thumb prints off your scale.Delete
Let me follow up on this. If you're going to claim that much of Bob's posts are indirectly pushing right wing talking points and that his choice of material is often eerily adjacent to commentary from right wingers in general, I'm not going to argue much with that.Delete
But when you start just attacking him across the board and lumping in all sorts of illogical stuff, you have watered down your point in your efforts to throw as much mud as possible and see what sticks.
I summarized yesterday's and Monday's content. That isn't throwing in extraneous stuff. I summarized in order to show that he was NOT reporting on press errors on those most recent days. And the one trivial error he did find was not made by a cable news host or reporter but by a guest on a show. That just doesn't add up to the malfeasance that Somerby claims is destroying American discourse.Delete
And I have found about as many errors in Somerby's posts (such as leaving the wrong date at the top, or making a mistake with statistics, or getting some fact wrong) as he has found in press work. Lately, there are fewer and fewer errors discussed and more and more disagreements with journalists about the focus of their work and their interpretations (which is the job of an opinion columnist). These are not mistakes. They are differences of opinion. Somerby doesn't seem to know the difference between the two.
"a cable news host makes a trivial mistake or even two"Delete
This was your initial claim. It is subjective and biased through it's use of characterizing mistakes made on national broadcasts that people use as a source of information as "trivial" and it characterizes the amount of errors in a similar fashion by stating that they are one or "even two."
We've failed to stay on topic again here. I don't see how differences of opinion that you've brought in as evidence to support your claim even fit in, or how reviewing the last 5 posts have any pertinence in determining if your initial claim had any veracity to it.
This is who Somerby is defending (from David Frum via Political Wire):ReplyDelete
"“Yet scrape aside the audacity, the self-pity, and the self-aggrandizement, and there was indeed an idea in Donald Trump’s speech at a conference hosted by the America First Policy Institute: a sinister idea, but one to take seriously.”
“Trump sketched out a vision that a new Republican Congress could enact sweeping new emergency powers for the next Republican president. The president would be empowered to disregard state jurisdiction over criminal law. The president would be allowed to push aside a ‘weak, foolish, and stupid governor,’ and to fire ‘radical and racist prosecutors’—racist here meaning ‘anti-white.’ The president could federalize state National Guards for law-enforcement duties, stop and frisk suspects for illegal weapons, and impose death sentences on drug dealers after expedited trials.”
This is the Republican Party these days, but Somerby thinks journalists are ruining American discourse (from Political Wire):ReplyDelete
"Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon (R) proposed sending undocumented immigrants “out to the Pacific Ocean,” the Copper Courier reports.
Said Lamon: “You know, those islands that we spent blood and treasure securing back in World War II, a few of those out there. I think they need to go out and do about five years of hard time busting rocks out there, making them into gravel for their food. You know, just get them out of this country if they’re so bad they’ve illegally crossed and committed crimes.”
He said it would stop undocumented immigrants from “coming right back again.”
This is the kind of thing a media critic would point out:ReplyDelete
"“Former President Donald Trump and his Vice President Mike Pence gave competing speeches on Tuesday and received very different live coverage across cable news – particularly on Fox News,” Mediaite reports.
“Pence spoke first at the Young America’s Foundation, a conservative youth group, and received just over 15 minutes of live coverage on Fox News. Neither CNN nor MSNBC covered Pence’s speech live but discussed its content in multiple segments throughout the day.”
“Trump spoke later in the day at the America First Policy Institute summit in Washington, D.C., and gave a 90-minute barn burner of a speech that was ignored by all three major networks live but was carried in its entirety by Newsmax.”
The point of locking people up is to prevent them from further harming society, but to also provide a deterrent to further lawbreaking. Somerby repeatedly says that he thinks the left focuses too much on locking people up, but here is what may happen if Trump in particular is not prosecuted (from Political Wire):ReplyDelete
"Andrew Weissmann, the lead prosecutor on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia interference in the 2016 election, was interviewed by Charlie Sykes on the Bulwark Podcast:
SYKES: If they don’t go forward with charges, if they decide that it’s just too heavy a lift, and Trump is returned to the presidency, what would Trump 2.0 look like, do you think?
WEISSMANN: I don’t know that I have enough alcohol at home to even fathom that.
The abuse of the pardon power, I think would, which we already saw, I think would create a completely lawless society. He could essentially engage in crime and have other people engage in crime, and then pardon them.
I think he has learned to make sure he’s surrounded by lackeys. The article recently in Axios about essentially getting rid of civil service, which is to put in only political appointees, and various agencies, I think would be incredibly harmful, so that you don’t have a sense of people being loyal to the law and the Constitution as opposed to a person. It would be truly frightening."
Nobody was texting because they all knew the dust-up by a few kooks was going to be handled easily and was, and is, of no importance.ReplyDelete
Of no importance, except to the six people who died and the hundreds of others who were treated for injuries.Delete
You're disgracefully trivializing the horrors of January 6, 2021 apocalypse, dear dembot. Not six people died there, but 6 million people. Bad, bad dembot. Shame on you.Delete
Let’s give Bob credit for only blaming journalists for ruining America’s discourse. Most Right-wingers would blame minorities.ReplyDelete
Let's all just speak in bumper sticker and push our political points 24/7, logic be damned, and then make cracks about how *others* are ruining the discourse. I'm sure this is the way forward.Delete
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