Raskin with Colbert, Leonnig with Lawrence!

SATURDAY, JULY 30, 2022

All the way back to I, Claudius: Last Monday night, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.  

We pretty much wish he hadn't. That said, one exchange between the two men helps us consider the bogus nature of much of our public discourse.

To watch the tape of the interview's first segment, you can just click here. Three minutes into the six-minute session, Colbert introduced the question of the Secret Service texts:

COLBERT (7/25/22): Now the Secret Service cannot find their texts to each other, and they sent one text, which almost seems like a "[BLANK] you," if you will pardon the expression. It seems insulting to send one text. 

RASKIN: Well, when was the last time you got one text in a day?

COLBERT: Exactly. So the Secret Service has said, "Oh yeah, big mistake. Oopsy daisy! We can't find them." 

Do you buy their explanation at all?

Raskin replied with a wonderful joke: "Is it for sale?" he said.

He was rewarded with a laugh. This is how people get popular.

Meanwhile, inquiring minds will agree. Colbert's viewers had been given an extremely truncated factual overview of the situation at hand.

That said, Colbert had posed a provocative question. Does Raskin believe what the Secret Service has said? Does he "buy their explanation at all?"

For us, Raskin's grossly misleading reply recalls a Dylan lyric:

RASKIN: I don't—I don't really buy that for one minute

For one thing, isn't it a little odd that all of the texts would vanish for January 6th and January 5th? You know, of all the days, what an odd coincidence that is.

And you know, there was a preplanned migration of the phones that just happened to be on the same day as the first violent insurrection in American history? 

So I'm a little dubious of that. So count me as skeptic of that.

We recall the famous Dylan lyric, in which a father laments the way his daughter has come to believe  "that no one would be true." In this case, it would be the baldly disingenuous Raskin serving as the source of the disillusionment.

Let's start with Raskin's reply to Colbert's provocative question. 

Appearing on a network comedy show, Raskin said he doesn't buy the existing explanation at all. Essentially, he doesn't buy the explanation from innocent error, from mere "mistake"—not even "for one minute!"

By the time Raskin finished his reply, he had scaled that dramatic statement back. That said, we know of no instance where Raskin has spoken in such a definitive way in an actual news context. 

We couldn't help thinking that he was overstating what he knew while speaking to a comedian, at the expense of a comedy crowd. In such ways, we see that even the tribunes from our own tribe aren't willing "to be true."

For the record, that's a relatively minor part of Raskin's performance here. The truly horrible part of what Raskin said involves his obvious insinuation that text messages can't be found for only one or two highly significant days.

He started by suggesting that, "of all the days," the texts had only vanished for "January 6th and 5th." That suggestion, of course, is factually inaccurate. Messages were sought from 24 agents, generally without result, for a period of more than a month, starting in early December 2020.

From there, Raskin proceeded to a flatly inaccurate statement. He seemed to say that the "preplanned migration of the phones" had taken place on the same day as "the first violent insurrection in American history"—on January 6th, the day of the violent riot at the Capitol Building. 

That, of course, is blatantly false. But it added to the picture Raskin was drawing—a picture in which text messages are mysteriously missing for only one or two (highly significant) days.

Raskin's words were baldly deceptive. There's no excuse for what he said this night. 

We've advised our analysts to remember what he said to Colbert and to the Colbert crowd when they see him appearing in other venues, which he seems to do in pretty much every waking hour.

On Monday night, Raskin painted a baldly misleading picture of the basic facts of this matter. Three nights later, the Washington Post's Carol Leonnig spoke by telephone with Lawrence O'Donnell as part of the MSNBC program, The Last Word.

The Post had just published a new report about this ongoing matter. Lawrence hurried to speak to Leonnig—and to his credit, he eventually told her this:

LAWRENCE (7/28/22): We asked the Secret Service about Director James Murray's text messages from January 6th. They said he didn't have any, but added this in their response: 

"By policy, Secret Service agents are not to conduct official government business via text for information security purposes  as well as government record retention."

So they are saying that the Secret Service are not supposed to have any text business messages on their phones.

As regular readers will know, Lawrence's initial statement was factually inaccurate. As we noted at the start of the week, the Secret Service actually told Lawrence that Murray did in fact have one text message on his phone for January 6—a message from the security company he hires for his private home.

We have no way of knowing if that statement was true. But this claim reinforces the basic claim the Service made in its response to Lawrence. That basic claim was this:

 Agents and other personnel are instructed not to conduct official business by text! 

We don't know if that is true, but that's what Lawrence was told. If true, that could of course start to explain why there seem to have been so few text messages on the phones of the 24 agents under review for the month-long period running through January 8, 2021.

Why have so few text messages been found on these agents' phones over that month-long period? Could it be because the agents don't conduct business that way?

We don't have the slightest idea, but the Secret Service told Lawrence that agents are so instructed. To his credit, Lawrence fleetingly raised the point. This is what Leonnig said:

LEONNIG (continuing directly): That is definitely a reasonable policy. The problem, Lawrence, from a rational standpoint with that is that the Secret Service gave employees instruction when they were resetting the phones and said, if you see that you have government business conducted on your phone, here is where you will archive and upload that information so we  preserve those records.

So it may be policy not to text and and conduct government business, but the Secret Service appears, as they've explained it to me, appears to have realized that some employees conducted government business that way.

With that, Lawrence ended the discussion. We'll offer these observations:

Did Leonnig confirm what Lawrence was told? Did she confirm the claim that, as a matter of policy, Secret Service personnel are told that they mustn't conduct business by text?

In our view, she neither confirmed nor denied the claim, nor did Lawrence push her on this point. Does Leonnig even know if such a policy exists? We have no idea.

From there, it seem to us that Leonnig put her thumbs on the scales in a pro-scandal direction. If that really is the official policy, it might explain why so many of the 24 agents in question had no text messages on their phones for the entire month-long period under review.

It could also suggest the possibility that no one was doing any texting on January 6. Instead of noting this possibility, Leonnig went in a different direction, suggesting that the Secret Service seemed to assume that some agents don't always follow the no-texting policy. So there should have been texts after all!

Citizens, can we talk? The matter of the Secret Service texts is already so complicated that there's little chance we will ever get clear on what actually happened.

This matter is technical and factually complex—and it's subject to constant novelization. Over the past two weeks, basic facts have persistently been reworked and/or disappeared. On our favorite cable channels, it's been factually jumbled Storyline pretty much all the way down.

Speaking with Colbert, Raskin baldly misled the public. Lawrence and Leonnig conducted a very brief discussion of what may be a significant claim.

Beyond that, you can be sure of this: You will never hear, ever again, about what Lawrence was told by the Secret Service. 

The reason for that seems clear:

The claim that agents are officially told that they mustn't text tends to undermine the sense that there must be a scandal here. It suggests a possible innocent explanation for the absence of texts on January 5 and 6.

In the end, true misconduct may have occurred. A genuine scandal may be involved in the matter of the allegedly missing texts.

But along the way, for-profit stations like MSNBC are aggressively selling our tribe the thrilling product called scandal. Thumbs will persistently land on the scales, with occasional flatly dishonest performances, perhaps for comedy crowds.

We've lost a lot of respect or Raskin of late. He strikes us as a camera hog and as a bit of a propagandist.

In our view, Monday night's performance with Colbert took him over the top. He baldly misled the Colbert crowd, was rewarded with applause and with laughter.

Dylan's fictional daughter came to believe that "no one would be true." According to experts, this is the way discourse has always worked within the street-fighting tribes and guilds of our human species.

We tend to think those experts are right. We're willing to go all the way back to I, Claudius—even to Claudius the God!


83 comments:

  1. Raskin is one of the very worst of the lying Democrat garbage people.

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    1. Still smarting over the impeachment, I see. If Republicans had voted to impeach back when they had the chance, they might have spared us all this moment.

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    2. All dembots are lying garbage. But their politicians are much, much worse than that.

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    3. And this is the big lie that has driven a wedge, deepened the partisan divide. Somerby need look no farther.

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    4. Mao, I would have thought that being "lying garbage" is about as bad as anyone could get. Now I see that "dembots['] . . . politicians' are not worse, or much worse, but "much much worse" than being "lying garbage." At least they're not "much much much" worse, or much much much much worse. Thanks for your valuable perspective.

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  2. "We recall the famous Dylan lyric, in which a father laments the way his daughter has come to believe "that no one would be true." In this case, it would be the baldly disingenuous Raskin serving as the source of the disillusionment."

    This is a very forced interpretation. Raskin is not anyone's daughter, nor is he doing anything himself but merely speculating about how some messages disappeared. Somerby grasps one line out of a whole song that is about other things, such as a child growing up and leaving a parent behind, the child's Independence Day.

    Dylan wrote those lyrics a long time ago, inspired by other events unknown but largely personal, having nothing to do with this insurrection and the secret service. Somerby likes to misuse song lyrics, perhaps to establish his liberal cred, or perhaps to imply some endorsement by a major leftist icon, but I doubt Dylan would agree with much that Somerby writes these days. It is wrong to imply that he would.

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    1. Let’s be generous and note that Bob’s use of pop culture almost always produces a groaner. He’s just not any good at it. Mr. Dylan has been the chief victim.

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  3. Oh dear. Some brain-dead dembots produced some idiotic drivel for some rank&file brain-dead dembot consumption. Stop the presses!

    ...meanwhile, your tribal chiefs, dear Bob, apparently unsatisfied with their nuclear brinkmanship vis-a-vis the Russian Federation, decided to escalate by provoking the People's Republic of China. Nice.

    Alas, November is getting less and less likely, dear Bob.

    ...do the future anthropologists living in caves inside your head say anything? Do you hear their voices, or did they suddenly turn silent inside your head?

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    1. But how did Zelensky's Vogue shoot turn out?

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    2. One of your friends, Mao?

      "“Federal authorities charged a Russian man Friday with a years-long malign influence campaign targeting American politics — alleging that he used American groups in Florida, Georgia and California to sow discord and push pro-Russia propaganda,” the Washington Post reports.

      “Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov, who lives in Moscow, worked for nearly eight years with Russian officials to fund and direct the U.S. groups, according to the indictment filed in Florida.”

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    3. Here's what we saw in the news today: "Nuclear War Threat Higher Than In Cold War: UK National Security Advisor"

      It may come as a surprise for you, dear government scientist, but a nuclear war, relentlessly pursued by your liberal paymasters, incinerates the adorables (and even, believe it or not, government scientists in Colorado) just the same as the deplorables.

      Get some brains, dear.

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    4. Cheyenne Mtn is in CO, Mao. But my understanding is that Russia is pursuing the war, not the US or even the Ukraine.

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    5. All your liberal paymasters had to do to avoid that war, was signing a pledge to stop NATO expansion to the east.

      And your stock-trading Speaker lady's brazen (and seemingly insane) provocation vis-a-vis Taiwan, internationally recognized as part of the People's Republic of China, has nothing whatsoever to do with the Russian Federation.

      Again, get some brains. Destroying the world for the sake of Liberal World Order ™ a-la Dr. Strangelove, is probably not what you want. Not even you, dear government scientist.

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    6. Yes, just give Russia anything it wants. When has appeasement been good policy?

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  4. "Appearing on a network comedy show, Raskin said he doesn't buy the existing explanation at all. Essentially, he doesn't buy the explanation from innocent error, from mere "mistake"—not even "for one minute!"

    Somerby's buddy, Kevin Drum, says the same thing and gives his reasons. Now that we know that the messages of the DHS chief are also "missing," this seems even more deliberate. Further, as Zoe Lofgren noted, other documents are also "missing," in blatant disregard of the request to preserve them. This is obviously defensive stonewalling.

    But why is Somerby ignoring common sense and still defending the secret service on this? No one in their right mind would consider this explanation for the missing messages plausible, whether the messages are from the 5th & 6th or the weeks before and after the insurrection. When the messages from those two days are gone, it is correct to say they were withheld, no matter how many other days were also withheld.

    Somerby is wrong about this one and it makes his motives clear when he bends over backwards to deny what is obvious to everyone else.

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    1. No one cares about secret service texts and Democrats are going to pay the price for trying to make them care.

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    2. Right, no one cares about the hearings either, except all those Republicans who are no longer supporting Trump and are switching their votes to those Trump has NOT endorsed.

      Does it take a Democrat to force a Republican to care about Democracy and defending our country's system of government against a coup? I thought Republicans were the party of patriotism? Not any more, according to @11:30.

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    3. For at 11:30, High Noon is coming…..

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  5. "If that really is the official policy, it might explain why so many of the 24 agents in question had no text messages on their phones for the entire month-long period under review."

    Unfortunately for Somerby, this is not the explanation that the secret service gave to the 1/6 Committee to explain non-compliance with their request. Somerby has concocted this possibility out of thin air, has no evidence to support it, but he believe this in contrast to what nearly everyone else believes happened to the messages (they were deleted).

    This is a desperation move. Why does Somerby work so hard to absolve the secret service? He isn't being a neutral observer, withholding judgment until the facts are clarified now. He is manufacturing his own "pleasing narrative" because he does not want to accept what others are seeing clearly -- that the secret service failed to provide requested info to the 1/6 Committee for the period of interest 1/5 and 1/6.

    Somerby's defensiveness should be obvious to readers here. And you have to ask why Somerby is behaving like this. It isn't reason or logic that produced this cockeyed explanation -- Somerby has a motive and it isn't the same as other liberals, who largely agree that something is fishy.

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    1. Clinton (her lawyers) deleted hundreds of emails from her computer, and the right went into a frenetic tizzy over it (and so did the NY Times, Wapo etc). I think it was a nothing story, no evidence that erasing any emails had any adverse consequences on anything real. This thing with the Secret Service's texts is likely a lot of nothing also. And all TDH is saying is that there was something sinister about it is based on complete speculation. The anons here (since they/he/she choose to be known as "anon", there is no way to determine if it's all one person with multiple comments, kind of dishonest) seem unable to comprehend that we don't know the facts, don't know what was in the texts, don't know if there were any texts, don't know if there was a nefarious reason for their deletion, if in fact they were deleted - and you get furious when TDH simply points this out.

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    2. We don't know any of those things because THEY DELETED THE FUCKING TEXTS!!!

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    3. From maddowblog:

      "For example, Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 have apparently been erased under controversial circumstances that are now the subject of a criminal investigation. There are also questions surrounding gaps in the White House call logs.

      At last week’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, we learned the Presidential Daily Diary also “contains no information from the period between 1:21 p.m. and 4:03 p.m.” the day of the assault on the Capitol.

      One of my personal favorites was the reporting on then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows literally setting fire to papers in his office after a meeting with a Republican congressman who was assisting with Team Trump’s anti-election schemes.

      Overnight, the list received an important new addition. The Washington Post reported:

      Text messages for President Donald Trump’s acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli are missing for a key period leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to four people briefed on the matter and internal emails."

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    4. AC/DC I think your analogy between the right demanding to read Hillary Clinton’s personal emails and the work corespondents surrounding Trump’s rape of the Capitol is imperfect.
      Combined with the other smelly fish Bob is peddling here, like Trump being excused on a Section 8, etc., it just gives us more reason to doubt TDH is a writing in good faith.

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    5. 10:58 says:

      “Somerby has concocted this possibility out of thin air, has no evidence to support it, but he believes this in contrast to what nearly everyone else believes happened to the messages.”

      The source alleging the Secret Service instruction to its agents is Secret Service Director James Murray.
      a) So it is not true Somerby concocted it out of thin air;
      b) nor is it true there is no evidence for it.

      Somerby says about the alleged instruction “we don’t know if it’s true”. So it also makes no sense to say Somerby believes it.

      If the alleged instruction is true, it goes a long way to explaining why only 1 text message has been handed over for Jan 5 & 6, thus undercutting “what nearly everyone else believe”.

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    6. He prefers the innocent explanation to the deliberate deletion of guilty messages. You can split hairs as much as you want about the details. That one lonely text message comes across as a big FU to those requesting the texts, not as an indicator of good intent and not a sign that no messages ever existed in this culture where few people use email any more. Somerby obviously prefers his pleasing narrative about innocence in the face of an obvious insurrection already involving many others besides those slobs who broke into the buildings.

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    7. anon 6:18, you don't seem able to apply reason. You seem to be saying that the Secret Service or members of it were in on the plot to overthrow the election - based on the failure to turn over text messages. Maybe the Secret Service cabal sent texts showing they were in on the plot. Unfortunately, without the texts, that hypothesis at this point is only speculation. One thing is pretty obvious, that the conclusion that such plot existed is a pleasing narrative for you. It does seem fantastic that the Secret Service was engaged in such a plot. There could be an innocent explanation. All TDH is doing is applying common sense, there's no evidence that guilty messages were deleted.

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    8. AC/MA: Are you kidding me? You actually believed the republicans cared about Hillary's personal emails?

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    9. Common sense doesn't lead to Somerby's conclusions.

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    10. anon 7:38 -I'm not clear on whether you are able to read for comprehension. I said that the republican's went into a "frenetic tizzy" over the Clinton emails, and that there was nothing there. I didn't get into whether "republicans" "cared" about Clinton's "personal emails." There's millions of republicans, and I don't know how many "cared about" Clinton's personal emails. I think their tizzy related to the fact that she deleted what she claimed were her personal emails, concluding that she must have been hiding something - similar to the assumption being made that the Secret Service's alleged deletion of texts must mean the Secret Service was in on trump's effort to steal the election. Am lot of this is about stirring up the rubes, the true believers, to increase ratings. But I'm not saying it wouldn't be worthwhile to get the bottom of the Secret Service text issue, just not act as if speculation is the sane as evidence. Anon 4:50 explains it better than I do.

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    11. AC/MA, Somerby tends to consider pieces of evidence in isolation from each other, as if that one piece were the only one. I don't know whether this is a choice or results from something like autism spectrum, but it is not normal to think that way -- all evidence needs to be considered in a larger context.

      In the case of the secret service texts, there are quite a few suspicious pieces of evidence, all described here by one person or another. One big one is Trump making Ornato a staff member, contrary to secret service regulations. Others include the other documents and messages missing, including Chad Wolf's messages; the failure to divulge that messages were missing, for over a year; failure of every single secret service to back up their phones despite two orders to do so; known conservative bias among secret service; Pence's interaction with secret service; and so on.

      An unwillingness to consider ALL of the evidence taken together represents a bad faith argument on Somerby's part. That's why 4:50 is incorrect.

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    12. AC/MA,
      There are about 80 million registered Republicans. None of them are about anything other than bigotry and white supremacy, so the number who cared about Hillary’s emails is zero.

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    13. I think their tizzy related to the fact that she deleted what she claimed were her personal emails, concluding that she must have been hiding something - similar to the assumption being made that the Secret Service's alleged deletion of texts must mean the Secret Service was in on trump's effort to steal the election.

      AC/MA, if you think that you're a damn fool.

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  6. "We've lost a lot of respect or Raskin of late. He strikes us as a camera hog and as a bit of a propagandist."

    In other words, Somerby disagrees with Raskin, so Raskin must be the propagandist, even though he is the one with the evidence. It also sounds completely foolish to characterize a politician, whose job requires public appearances, as a "camera hog". Did he shove Colbert out of the shot? Or does Somerby simply resent hearing things he doesn't want to hear on TV, spoken by authority figures?

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    1. This sounds a lot like Somerby's criticism of Avenatti (before everyone found out he was a crook). But in this case, it is Raskin's job to inform the public about the activities of the Committee. Can you call someone doing their job a "camera hog"?

      Does Somerby think any politician who makes a public statement or goes on a cable news show is a "camera hog"?

      Would it be ridiculous or true to call Somerby himself, during his stage performances, an "attention seeker"?

      Somerby routinely calls the liberal perspective propaganda, when he disagrees with it, which is pretty much always.

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    2. Since Bob is committed to only watching and critiquing certain people, how can he assess who is hogging the camera?

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  7. Somerby says: "Dylan's fictional daughter came to believe that "no one would be true."

    The Tears of Rage were directed at the fictional daughter's fictional father, not at Dylan. It is regarded as an allegory about the Vietnam war, with the younger generation shedding tears of rage and the older generation shedding tears of grief at their estrangement.

    The betrayal is that the daughter went away and received instruction contrary to the parent's teaching. The "no one would be true" is about the inevitable disillusionment of youth with the things they are taught, not any lies told by the father to the daughter. The father considers the things the daughter was told to be alienating her from him. There is untruth on both sides.

    But this has nothing to do with Raskin or his remarks to Colbert's audience. Those two days are missing. The inclusion of the surrounding weeks is about those two days, and it does not absolve the secret service of the requirement to have preserved those messages, nor does it suggest all of the messages were innocuous, as Somerby prefers to believe. There was planning before and coverup after 1/5 and 1/6, thus there may have been compromising comments made by agents about and surrounding the insurrection. Deleting all messages made it unnecessary to decide which should be left and which kept, and it was surely easier and faster to just get rid of them all.

    Dylan didn't have a daughter, nor did he have a "fictional" daughter -- he at no time addresses the daughter as "my daughter" or says "you" in the song. It is between a fictional father and daugther and the pain of separation. The secret service are not fictional either, but Somerby's excuses for them are certainly made up whole cloth.

    Somerby suggests that the entire secret service complied with a requirement not to use texting in their business, but did not comply with two requests by IT to back up messages ahead of the transition to new phones, with no one checking to see whether they did it or not, and 0% compliance. That makes no sense to anyone who has worked in any kind of organization. That's why the inspector general's explanation sounds like complete B.S.

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    1. You don't understand how fucked you are. You don't understand what's coming to you.

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    2. If you make threats here, you will be turned in to Blogspot.

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  8. Driftglass said:

    "The rest of the Mr. [Andrew] Sullivan's "diary" consists of him ranging up and down the history of Western Civilization and claiming that Virtually Every Good Thing That Ever Happened from the Magna Carta to the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Instant Replay is obviously the invisible hand of True Conservatism at work."

    Somerby does this same thing when he hearkens back to I Claudius:

    "Dylan's fictional daughter came to believe that "no one would be true." According to experts, this is the way discourse has always worked within the street-fighting tribes and guilds of our human species.

    We tend to think those experts are right. We're willing to go all the way back to I, Claudius—even to Claudius the God!"

    It doesn't matter whether the context is different or the statements were entirely different (Claudius described Roman politics). Somerby is no God and certainly no Claudius either. The main similarity is that Somerby watches and comments on today's politics, except he doesn't really do that either. He main circulates conservative memes and bashes liberals, imagining that Bob Dylan might approve, except why would he?

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  9. Just examine what's on their phones for the two weeks prior.

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  10. By disingenuous I guess Bob means he disagrees with Raskin.
    Bob is getting desperate.

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  11. "Both sides do it" is one half of the one-two punch that put Trump into office" says Driftglass (The Cornfield Resistance, Ep 661).

    Somerby is part of the bothsiderist approach to politics that considers the right and left equally culpable, when it is clear that the right has gone batshit crazy while the left is still trying to function like a political party.

    When Somerby tries to portray the left as equally deranged, he carries water for Trump and the rest of the Republicans. He is not liberal and he doesn't help the Democrats with this foot-dragging on 1/6 accountability.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oYbI75OKyQ

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    1. For fucks sake, can't anyone get it through their thick skulls that Somerby criticizes the MEDIA. And he's been clear on his political views, if you actually read what he writes.

      I don't watch the MSM, but Bob does, and so do millions of others - it's where they get their "information" about current affairs. Me, I'm glad Bob is watching. Another good essay.

      So bugger off.

      Leroy

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    2. Leroy, Raskin isn’t a MEDIA person. He’s a Democratic politician. Your assertion that Somerby is just criticizing the MEDIA is obviously untrue. He constantly criticizes liberals . Get a clue, man.

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    3. As has pretty much been conceded at this point, Bob goes about 95 percent of the time at the left media, while as the most watched outlets (Fox and their various mutant children) are given a complete pass. You are writing about the Daily Howler of 30 years ago. You don’t seem to have a clue Leroy.

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    4. What is so bad about constantly criticizing liberals and liberal media and giving the right media a pass.? That in and of itself doesn't change the substance of the critique.

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    5. You haven’t been paying attention. Somerby’s “critiques” undermine faith in the reliability of the media, an institution essential to democracy. He is often wrong, nearly aleays unfair, and not balanced. He repeats conservative memes and propaganda, which is a disservice to readers. All while pretending to be liberal when he is not.

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    6. Virtually every sentence you wrote is 100% subjective. Do you realize that?

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    7. Proof that Bob has been completely correct for 25 years about his basic premise and you are a dumb fuck, if you are even serious and not just trolling. Either way go fuck yourself and stick it up your asshole you dumb cunt rag whore.

      https://news.gallup.com/poll/394283/confidence-institutions-down-average-new-low.aspx

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    8. @8:42

      "You haven’t been paying attention. Somerby’s “critiques” undermine faith in the reliability of the media, an institution essential to democracy."

      You don't quite get it yet. We're being played by the MSM. The reason Bob critiques the "left" MSM media is because we're being failed by them.

      If you're not a media critic, than there is no reason for you to read what he writes.

      Leroy

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    9. HE isn’t a media critic.

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    10. Nice language these folks use!

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    11. "Leroy, Raskin isn’t a MEDIA person. He’s a Democratic politician. Your assertion that Somerby is just criticizing the MEDIA is obviously untrue. He constantly criticizes liberals . Get a clue, man."

      mh, is that you? You usually seem more intelligent. Raskin was ON THE MEDIA, and supposedly has a fucking brain. Alas, and so it goes.

      Here's one for ya.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2022/03/08/patrick-lawrence-the-casualties-of-empire/

      Leroy


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    12. At 8:28, let’s treat that as a serious question. Bob’s premise is “our side is often just as bad.” Sketchy as hell that someone on “our side” would want to or believe in such a premise. So he is engaged in a fraudulent construct in the first place. Predictably, on “substance” he becomes more and more ridiculous and inaccurate, more Trump friendly opinions with no serious basis in fact. Limitless contempt for “our side,” “there but for the grace of “God”, for their customers, while their gazillionare personalities are unmentioned. As if Trump’s “mental illness” could have thrived without “Fox and Friends.”
      If your.question was not stupid enough , we must also consider another aspect to fully grasp how imbecilic it is. How do you know how bad one side is in relation to another if you only look at one side?
      it doesn’t matter if Bob is bought off at this point, or the motivation he has for playing dumb. He’s one sick puppy.

      Delete
    13. That doesn't answer the question at all. It's total gibberish. What is so bad about only criticizing liberals? It doesn't change the substance of the critique. It doesn't have anything to do with wanting to believe it or not. That avoids the substance. If he's not making a substantive critique, why? How? You're just making statements and claims and not backing them up. No wonder you're so upset with him and confused. You reason poorly. Like a child. You don't like the substance of the critique. Therefore you avoid it completely. You avoid it at all costs and cry and moan that the critique is being made as a tactic to avoid it.

      Delete
    14. ow do you know how bad one side is in relation to another if you only look at one side?"

      Why does this question matter? It doesn't in and of itself change the substance of the critique. One simply addresses the substance of the critique and that's the end of it.

      I know this is hard for you because you would rather avoid the substance of the critique at all costs. Hence the low IQ whataboutism.

      Delete
    15. Anonymouse 9:29pm, please act your age rather than your I Q.

      Delete

    16. Everything is good about only criticizing liberals, in our humble opinion, because liberals are the powers that be. Have been for at least a decade and a half.

      Proper criticizing is speaking truth to power. Which is why dear Bob's content-free insults and name calling of Tucker Carlson feel (to us) so vulgar and tasteless.

      Also, we feel that it's true that dear Bob's criticizing does have little substance. He watches his tribe's most vile hate-filled propaganda, and responds with 'oh, but we would like to see a bit more evidence'.

      And that's rather comical, we must say... Despite definitely lacking substance...

      Delete
    17. It totally answers the question, you don’t like the answer because you enjoy winning a rigged game. As a person of utterly debased moral perspective, the more rigged the better!

      Delete
    18. Mao, the ultimate garbage person, demands further rigging. But you creeps begin to sound more and more desperate, a good sign.

      Delete
    19. How does your answer change the substance of his critique? The substance of his critique is less valid or not valid because he doesn't also criticized Republicans in the same proportion? Why? How does that affect the substance of the critique?

      Delete
    20. His critiques are not valid because he says wrong things, misquotes, fails to consider context and misleads his readers. He is unfair as a critic because he pretends to be liberal but attacks only certain cable news hosts he dislikes (black men and women, white women, Rachel Maddow, feminists, and acadmic guests on cable news shows, generally liberal) while failing to consider what happens in the right wing media. He has never criticized Chris Hayes, for example, despite Hayes being a member of the mainstream media and somewhat liberal. He is thus biased in his targets. That makes him a crappy critic, regardless of the merit of any particular critique or criticism.

      When you read something written by Somerby and nod along and say "that sounds abour right to me," you are not exercizing critical thinking faculties. But even this is difficult to do when Somerby starts blathering about anthropologists in caves or sliding into the sea. To accept that, you must be a complete moron.

      Delete
    21. So a criticism that white male Raskin misled the white male talk show host and his audience is invalid because Somerby doesn't critique white males enough.

      Thanks for explaining the critical thinking behind your claim.

      Delete
    22. Raskin fod not mislead. Somerby is focused on a triviality.

      Delete
    23. We're not discussing that. We're discussing the claim accusations by Somerby are automatically invalidated because he doesn't already criticize by sufficient (undocumented) proportions of race and gender.

      Delete
    24. Ie. How many white males does he have to criticize in order for his criticisms of white males not to be automatically invalidated? And who creates these proportions? And where are they documented? And who weighs them?

      Delete
    25. Once more for the brain dead (at 11:11) Bob begins with the premise that "Us" (his disingenuous claim that he is somehow a person of the left) are now as bad as those on the right. It is a compare and contrast HE has called for, he has set up, he has insisted on. But the comparison almost never contains a look at the right media. Which, by the way, has more power and more viewers.
      I do not mean to suggest this alone makes Bob a dishonest person. As we know his ability to fairly examine the performance of the left goes downhill fast from there. (it was not always the case.)
      Bob has often pointed out, quite correctly, that Chris Matthews was "repositioned" by his bosses at MSNBC. Bob made a clear choice to go this new route around mid point in the W era. It was somewhat gradual, but fairly distinct. Midway into the Obama years he was making all kinds off excuses for the Right, and stopped examining FOX at all. Was he bought off, did he change his tune like Matthews did to keep the checks coming?

      Delete
    26. Where has he insisted his criticisms of the left are only meant as a compare and contrast and should not be based judged on any other merits but that?

      Delete
    27. Because he has not proportionally criticized the right, you are not able to judge whether or Raskin misled the audience?

      Delete
  12. Speaking of Colbert and the Secret Service:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXTz21w_DJE

    July 21, 2022

    ReplyDelete
  13. Raskin obviously believes the opposition party cooperated with an insane megalomaniac in attempting to overthrow our government to retain his power. Bob will allow that what is obviously true MAY be true, but doesn’t like to admit certain people he has dedicated his life to despising are indeed correct. It’s a wonderful
    irony that the insult Bob uses when he’s
    trying to pass off a particularly absurd
    bit of rubbish (lizard brain!) has led him
    to throw in with Qanon types who
    actually believe those who face facts
    are lizards.
    What a small, stupid, rudderless
    soul is Bob Somerby.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't forget that there are other messages and documents being withheld from the committee, besides the texts. If this were a good faith mistake, those would have been provided.

    ReplyDelete

  15. Here's a good, nay - perfect - piece, for your reading pleasure, dear Bob:

    They Can't Let Him Back In.

    ReplyDelete
  16. "Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) detailed a plan to “fundamentally remake the United States” in remarks caught on tape and reported by Insider.

    Santorum told GOP lawmakers this would culminate with an unprecedented event: a first-of-its-kind convention to rewrite the Constitution.

    Said Santorum: “You take this grenade and you pull the pin, you’ve got a live piece of ammo in your hands… 34 states — if every Republican legislator votes for this, we have a constitutional convention.”

    ---------------------------

    We have laws on the books against murder. But what really keeps people from just killing each other? Restraint.

    Republicans have lost all restraint. You cannot have a civil society without it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. ""It is extremely troubling that the issue of deleted text messages related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol is not limited to the Secret Service, but also includes Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, who were running DHS at the time," Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chairs both the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, said in a statement.

    "It appears the DHS inspector general has known about these deleted texts for months but failed to notify Congress," Thompson said. "If the inspector general had informed Congress, we may have been able to get better records from senior administration officials regarding one of the most tragic days in our democracy's history."

    That messages sent and received by Wolf, Cuccinelli, and Alles in early January 2021 were lost when their government phones were "reset" during that month's White House transition underscores "a systemic failure" by the DHS beyond the Secret Service to adhere to the Federal Records Act, POGO wrote."

    ReplyDelete
  18. "The Department of Homeland Security’s chief watchdog scrapped its investigative team’s effort to collect agency phones to try to recover deleted Secret Service texts this year, according to four people with knowledge of the decision and internal records reviewed by The Washington Post.

    In early February, after learning that the Secret Service’s text messages had been erased as part of a migration to new devices, staff at Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari’s office planned to contact all DHS agencies offering to have data specialists help retrieve messages from their phones, according to two government whistleblowers who provided reports to Congress.

    But later that month, Cuffari’s office decided it would not collect or review any agency phones,according to three people briefed on the decision.

    The latest revelation comes as Democratic lawmakers have accused Cuffari’s office of failing to aggressively investigate the agency’s actions in response to the violent attack on the Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump on Jan. 6, 2021."

    ReplyDelete
  19. Trump is going to run again and win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Republican voters will be jacked-up by Trump's bigotry, and will crawl across a parking lot full of broken glass to vote for him.
      The media, meanwhile, will pretend Republican voters care about the economy, while remaining silent on Trump's 5+ decade history of stiffing his contractors.

      Delete
  20. Somerby, upset over a certain cable journalist’s use of the word “fake”:

    “Let's take a look at the record. On this particular evening—on Tuesday, January 11—the terrified cable news star used some form of "forgery / forged" on 39 separate occasions! 
    (The companion word "fake" was given voice 14 times.)”

    http://dailyhowler.blogspot.com/2022/01/when-humans-see-others-when-humans-see.html

    The reality:

    ‘“We would just be sending in ‘fake’ electoral votes to Pence so that ‘someone’ in Congress can make an objection when they start counting votes, and start arguing that the ‘fake’ votes should be counted,” Jack Wilenchik, a Phoenix-based lawyer who helped organize the pro-Trump electors in Arizona, wrote in a Dec. 8, 2020, email to Boris Epshteyn, a strategic adviser for the Trump campaign.’

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/26/us/politics/trump-fake-electors-emails.html

    “Media criticism” (meaning , for Somerby, providing the most innocuous reading of whatever Republicans do) vs reality.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete