Stephanie Ruhle now rules the waves!


A place where our team's always right: We've really come to loathe the way she runs The 11th Hour.

Last night, Stephanie Ruhle introduced her opening four-person pundit panel, saying, as she always does, that the pundits would help us "get smarter." 

In her second question of the night, she unfurled the tribal banner. Speaking of a major bill which may soon pass through the Congress, she said this to the New York Times' Peter Baker:

RUHLE (8/5/22): Let's talk about the politics. Put your Donnie Deutsch Branding Hat on, and the branding of even calling it, Peter, "The Inflation Reduction Act."

We know inflation is one of the top issues for the American people. For weeks, if not months, people have been asking, "What are you going to do?"

Now they will be able to say, "We passed this major legislation," and Republicans will have to say, "What did we do on inflation reduction? We voted against it."

For the record, and as all viewers of Blue Cable know, Donnie Deutsche is one of our tribe's "favorite reporters and friends." His is persistently branded that way om the popular serial repetition show, Deadline: White House.

At any rate, Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! We get to say we reduced inflation! It's right there in the name of the bill!

By way of contrast, Republicans will now have to say that they voted against the bill! Yay yay yay yay yay!

Stating the obvious, that plainly isn't what Republicans are going to say. It also isn't what they're saying about the bill right now.

That said, here's what Baker said to Ruhle in reply. Somewhat sheepishly, the well-informed Timesman let some sunlight in:

BAKER (continuing directly): Yeah, I mean, that's a point they will make, no question about it. But it's a kind of a clever naming, right?

The real purpose of this bill is not to reduce inflation. It's to spend on climate, which is a priority for Democrats, and a lot of Republicans for that matter too.

They want to spend on health care. They want to have a minimum tax for corporations that have been getting away with not paying any tax.

These are all big priorities the president has had long before inflation became an issue. It's not like inflation suddenly caused them to want to do these things. 

They're making the argument that it will help curb inflation. There's an argument about that, some of the economists out there saying, "Well, maybe not that much."

So I don't think it's really aimed at inflation as the primary goal, even if they can make the argument it will have some beneficial impact on it.

Say what? The Inflation Reduction Act isn't aimed at inflation reduction? That was just a bit of "clever naming?"

Also, "some of the economists out there" are saying it won't help reduce inflation much (and certainly not in the short term)? Is one of our favorite reporters and friends really permitted to say that?

In fairness, Baker hadn't exactly gone out on a limb as he made these comments. Here is the CBO's formal assessment, which it offered in Q-and-A form:

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE (8/4/22): How Would Enacting the Bill Affect Inflation in 2022 and 2023?

In calendar year 2022, enacting the bill would have a negligible effect on inflation, in CBO’s assessment. In calendar year 2023, inflation would probably be between 0.1 percentage point lower and 0.1 percentage point higher under the bill than it would be under current law, CBO estimates.

That doesn't seem like a giant amount of inflation reduction! And people are concerned about inflation right now, in the current year and the next, not at some imaginary point in the more distant future.

That assessment by the CBO doesn't mean that the Inflation Reduction Act is a lousy bill. It simply means that the so-called Inflation Reduction Act won't have much effect on inflation reduction, and certainly not next week.

Indeed, here's what Paul Krugman has said on this matter, before going on to discuss the important matters the bill really seeks to address:

KRUGMAN (8/2/22): First, would the law, in fact, reduce inflation? Yes, probably—or at least it would reduce inflationary pressures. That’s because the legislation’s increased spending, mainly on clean energy but also on health care, would be more than offset through its tax provisions; so it would be a deficit reduction act, which other things being equal would make it disinflationary.

According to Krugman, the bill would probably reduce inflation. Or it would at least do something related to that, other things being equal.

It would probably reduce inflation, but Krugman isn't real sure—and he doesn't say when, or by how much, this reduction would likely happen. (He went on to say that the bill is "a very big deal," due to its potential effect on other important matters.)

None of this means that the Inflation Reduction Act is a bad bill. It simply means that the bill actually may indeed involve some "clever naming." That said: 

Given the silly, tribe-pleasing way Ruhle posed her question last night, Baker's response, however mildly stated, qualified as a bombshell.

Question! Did Ruhle go on to examine the bombshell claim—the claim that the Inflation Reduction Act may not have much effect on inflation reduction? That's it's mainly a matter of naming?

Dearest darlings, use your heads! Having a four-member pundit panel means never having to say you're sorry! 

In this case, Ruhle simply moved ahead to her next pundit, asking a wholly unrelated question. She had pimped the greatness of the bill in what it allows our tribe to say. On cable news as it currently stands, viewers will never be asked to learn that the truth may be quite different.

Ruhle introduced her panel last night as she always does. She told us that the gaggle of guests was going help us "get smarter." 

For herself, she proceeded to scattershot her questions around, persistently leaning her head on her hands in the manner of Rodin's The Thinker. This strikes us as an awkward branding exercise, though we certainly can't be sure.

It seems to us that Ruhle has been thrown in over her head with her new late evening assignment—or at least, that she disconcertingly seems to feel that way. But in her silly exchange with Baker, we all can see what "cable news" is all about at this juncture.

"Cable news" is designed to tell us this:

Our team will now get to say wonderful things! The Others will be frog-marched about, admitting their shameful defeat!

Later in the program: Later, Ruhle spent two segments listening to monologues by presidential historian Michael Beschloss.

Beschloss was linking in from the antique furniture wing of the Sorbonne, where he currently seems to reside.


  1. "We know inflation is one of the top issues for the American people. For weeks, if not months, people have been asking, "What are you going to do?"

    Now they will be able to say, "We passed this major legislation," and Republicans will have to say, "What did we do on inflation reduction? We voted against it."

    Somerby objects to this as partisanship, but she is talking about the Democrats as "they" not "us". She is talking about how the Democrats have branded the act, not how "we" have branded the act, and she has not said yay yay yay but merely pointed out the advantage to Democrats (among whom she explicitly does not include herself) of forcing Republicans to vote to maintain high inflation if they oppose the act.

    This is political analysis, not cheerleading.

    But how fair is it of Somerby to inaccurately portray her discussion even while quoting her? He does say he dislikes Ruhle, but that does not give him license to lie about her objectivity.

    The Somerby goes on to say:

    "According to Krugman, the bill would probably reduce inflation."

    But he objects to Ruhle pointing that out on behalf of the Democrats, even when it is true! That is not simply expecting Ruhle to ignore Democratic branding, but Somerby seems to expect her to ignore the impact of the bill itself. There is nothing fair about that.

    I think Ruhle is doing her job and doing it well. Somerby has no gripe against her, other than to vent his spleen at yet another female cable news host, who he dislikes for reasons that make no sense under closer examination. But that is what sexism looks like.

    Meanwhile, there are actual events going on in the world that Somerby might have discussed instead of wasting his time with this non-issue.

    1. “Objectivity”? Hahaha!! Stop it! You’re killing us!

    2. Not fast enough…

    3. I suppose it’s good that the anonymous flying monkeys are able to channel some of their anger from maximum security cells.

  2. Somerby really doesn't like it when Republicans are at a disadvantage and he takes it out on Stephanie Ruhle.

  3. Ruhle had Baker on her show. He made the remarks quoted by Somerby. Ruhle’s viewers heard them. She did not object.

    And in what universe is “timesman” Peter Baker ever “sheepish?” He’s high-profile, and very sure of himself.


  4. It's long past the time for you to understand, dear Bob, that dembot Krugman is just an idiot, garden variety dembot idiot.

    Other than that, just keep repeating:
    There Is No Recession.
    There Is No inflation.
    Rinse, repeat.
    ...and that's all there is to it. Move along, nothing to see here...

    1. While you repeat the opposite, eh scummy one?

  5. Baker says inflation reduction is not the "primary goal" but Somerby acts as if he had said it would have no impact all on inflation, even though Baker says:

    "...even if they can make the argument it will have some beneficial impact on it."

    Then Somerby says:

    "Say what? The Inflation Reduction Act isn't aimed at inflation reduction? That was just a bit of "clever naming?"

    That is a deliberate misreading of what Baker said. He said it wasn't primary, not that it was made up, just clever naming. He said a case could be made that it would reduce inflation -- not that it was a lie. Somerby, who wouldn't call anything Donald Trump said "a lie," has no such restraint when it comes to Democrats and how they name their bills.

    It is not dishonest to name a bill after the major concern Democrats have been mentioning in polls, given that the bill will arguably reduce inflation. That is good politics. It is Somerby who is deceiving people here by pretending the bill will not have any impact on inflation, when none of the people he quotes have said that at all.

    And that is dishonest of Somerby. But what else is new?

    1. The new bill is nothing short of ebullient.

  6. "Ruhle introduced her panel last night as she always does. She told us that the gaggle of guests was going help us "get smarter."

    Yes, this is clearly false advertising, given that Somerby never gets smarter, no matter what anyone says on any cable show. For shame, Stephanie Ruhle!

  7. "persistently leaning her head on her hands in the manner of Rodin's The Thinker."

    I really think this was a matter of art imitating life, not Ruhle imitating art. People do rest their heads on the their hands in real life, frequently, and not just in France. Ruhle was just doing what everyone does, whereas Rodin was capturing a frequent human behavior in stone.

    This is reaching, if Somerby wants us to believe that she was deliberately imitating a statue that people rarely think of except when standing in front of it in Paris.

  8. A media critic might point out the media has been banging the drum on high inflation, without any mention the solution to high inflation is raising taxes to reduce spending, which lowers inflation.

  9. I prefer a multi-pronged approach to the Hispanic issue.

  10. So Bob doesn't think She shot straight on the inflation issue, and therefore feels free to despise her. But more importantly, he feels free to ignore what is being said about the Bill at Fox.

  11. So MSNBC had on But-Her-Emails-Baker, as they always do, and he presents a counterpoint to the liberal take on the Bill. And to Bob this shows how corrupt Ruhle is and how we should hate her. Bob wanted a panel where everyone agreed, with the Republican position.

  12. Tax increase laws typically produce less revenue than projected, because the affected taxpayers take steps to minimize the effect of the new tax increase. Thus the bill may well increase the deficit, and add to inflation.

    1. Miinimizing the effects of a tax might reduce tax revenue but not add to the deficit. Don’t be silly.

    2. David dips into magical bullshit Republican Economics.

    3. There is widespread agreement that it will address climate change and lower the deficit, neither of which issue the Republican party has shown any interest in. Congressional Republicans gave Arthur Laffer a medal of honor for his bullshit theory during Trump's reign, to give some idea of how serious they are about economics.

    4. Imprisoning white-collar criminals when they break the law, may not reduce white-collar crime.
      But it will definitely lead to needed prison reform.

    5. That's cockamamie.

  13. It's odd. People in power know inflation has several causes, but they are limited in the ways that they can address it because of big donors? So the main strategy they're pursuing is one that can't address price gouging, that trades a pipeline for green investment etc.

    I mean my local station reported on Israel killing a schoolgirl before talking bad about Saudi Arabia.

    We can't have a democracy if the discussion and policy is limited to the things that keep power structures safe.

    1. "We can't have a democracy if the discussion and policy is limited to the things that keep power structures safe."

      Meh. That's what "liberal democracy" is.

      Liberal establishment, the well-meaning technocratic elite, rules over you -- for your own good. Because if normal ordinary people had any knowledge and power, they would've inevitably ruined everything.

    2. Mao,
      Abortions today!
      Abortions tomorrow!
      Abortions forever!

    3. The US has a corporate elite first and foremost. That elite exists outside of the state. The corporate boards are not elected by us but they choose which political campaigns to donate to.

      They divide their money between the two Big Business parties, a liberal and a nationalist one. The nationalist one hates Monsanto for donating to blue team. The liberal one hates Koch for donating to red team.

      As Dewey said, the state is the "shadow of power cast by business."

    4. Well, the fact of the matter is, the globalist side (global finance) is the dominant one at the moment. Far stronger and more powerful than the domestic side.

      And the domestic side at least has an incentive to preserve the country. They produce goods (mostly) domestically, that are then consumed (mostly) domestically.

      The finance, global finance, on the other hand, they invest in cheap labor (often slave labor) abroad, to import and sell cheap junk in the US and Europe. That's super profitable: producing shit by third-world labor and then selling it for first-world prices.

      They know that's unsustainable, it's just a matter of riding their luck while it lasts. Printing countless trillions, organizing an orgy of credit. All that stuff.

    5. The whole issue is pretty much recondite at this point.

    6. "The finance, global finance, on the other hand" = Fortune 1000

    7. Fortune 1000. That sounds familiar. They're the guys Mao works for, to keep their taxes from going up, correct?

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  15. No one is falling for it. Democrats are in bad shape and will stay in bad shape, and they've earned it.

    1. That pretty much ignores everything this administration is doing with regard to helium.

  16. Yay yay yay yay -- we get to actually reduce inflation, not just say we will.

    Why does a supposed liberal call actual liberals liars and frauds? Is Somerby now incapable of imagining that any
    Democrat wants to do something that is good for our country?

  17. Who cares what the name of the bill is.? It contains a lot of policies that were long overdue because of inaction.

    1. It seems emblematic of a broader societal licentiousness.