Reeve imputes a level of pessimism to the quote that doesn’t inhere in it. But then she turns around and evinces a degree of optimism that isn’t warranted either, telling readers the Obama presidency “is being declared alive after all on Thursday.”
If you can’t beat ‘em, frame ‘em. That in a nutshell would appear to be the motivation behind Think Progress award-winning blogger Meg Lanker-Simons’s false claim that she had been threatened with a hate crime via social media. On Wednesday, she was charged by University of Wyoming Police with faking her own threat.
Trib.com reports that Lanker-Simons was charged with interfering in a police investigation, which is a misdemeanor. University police say that Lanker-Simons admitted to authoring an anonymous threat of sexual violence targeted at her on Facebook last week.
In a column published Friday, Megan Garber, a staff writer at “The Atlantic” proffers some sage advice to members of the media: Stop pinning labels on people whose names end up in the headlines because of dastardly deeds. The title of piece — “The Boston Bombers Were Muslim: So?” — is meant as an admonition. And so are the opening paragraphs, which catalog all the things “we think we” know about the brothers Tsarnaev (Tamerlan was a “gifted athlete” and “very religious,” Dzhokar is “very quiet” and career-oriented).
Although some of the descriptors she cites are well-documented (for example, “Dzhokar received a scholarship from the City of Cambridge”), she dismisses all in the third paragraph as “provisional facts,” adding:
One of the two suspects sought by the FBI in connection with Monday’s bombing at the finish line of the Boston Marathon is dead this morning after a high-speed late-night car chase culminating in a firefight with FBI and local law enforcement. The other is on the lam, believed to be armed and dangerous, and the entire city of Boston is on lockdown.
Some people clearly just don’t know when to quit. One of them is comedic actor Jim Carrey. Believing he had tapped into the elusive humor in the debate over gun control, he concocted a scathing 5-minute sendup of people who believe in the Second Amendment — and predictably received flak. Now he is attempting to rebut his critics.
The problem with the country music video that is the centerpiece of the bit is not, as many have suggested, a quatrain in which Carrey riffs on a quote by the late actor and NRA member Charlton Heston. The lyrics, which follow (and provide the video’s title, “Cold Dead Hand”), are actually sort of clever:
Exhibit A is TIME magazine’s Joe Klein, who appeared on this morning’s “Morning Joe” to share his utter disbelief that there was any need for the high court to entertain arguments against the obvious constitutional right of homosexuals to marry.
The devil, you say. Actually, the devil, they say. Sunday night’s episode of the hit series “The Bible” on the History Channel featured an appearance by Satan, who as, depicted, looked familiar to many viewers. Feel free to judge for yourself. Spoiler alert: Barack Obama is the one on the right.
The MailOnline reports that “Twitter exploded into life during the airing of the episode.” Among those struck by the similarity in appearance between the devil we don’t know and the devil conservatives do was Glenn Beck, who tweeted, “Anyone else think the Devil in #TheBible Sunday on History Channel looks exactly like That Guy?”
Golly, what an upbeat guy MSNBC’s Ed Schultz is! If anyone else in broadcast “journalism” had just been handed a one-way ticket from primetime to Siberia, he’d probably be distraught. But not the roly-poly Schultz.
He used the waning seconds of his last weekday-at-8:00 appearance not to wax nostalgic and thank loyal viewers but to say this:
Incivility. It is a word that tripped off the lips and pens of liberal commentators great and small after the deadly 2011 shootings in Tucson that ended the political career of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. One of the most vocal critics of the right’s incivility in word and deed was The New York Times, which ran more than one finger-wagging editorial and found column inches for more of the same from its opinion columnists.
In case you missed it, the February jobs report on Friday contained some encouraging news. National Journal’s Michael Hirsh wrote that the BLS numbers gave President Obama “what he’s wanted for four years: an unemployment rate that’s below where he started as president, 7.7 percent.” But Hirsh was guarded in his optimism, also acknowledging that “things are not really as good as the numbers suggest, and they are all but certain to get worse.”
No such considerations entered into the mind of Chris Matthews Friday night when he wondered aloud on “Hardball” when Republicans were going finally make sure that Obama got “credit for this amazing economy that’s coming back.”
If you’re going to hurl insults petulantly at someone with whom you disagree, it helps if (1) you have some evidence to support your insinuations, and (2) the descriptors you use can’t be easily turned back on you.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell failed on both counts on Thursday’s “The Last Word.” The hot-tempered O’Donnell, who famously challenged Mitt Romney’s son to a fist fight on air, went off on a tangent on Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who shook up Washington on Wednesday with his 13-hour filibuster. Seemingly oblivious to the praise Paul’s old-school performance earned from hard-left opponents such as erstwhile Obama green energy czar Van Jones and the protest group Code Pink, O’Donnell tossed out words like “infantile” and “empty-headed” to characterize the senator.
An article in Monday’s U.S. News & World Report by Ken Walsh, a veteran journalist who covered five presidencies, notes a growing “unhealthy antagonism … between the West Wing and the mainstream media.” If the assessment is accurate, it could mean that the press, after four years of mindless obeisance to this administration, is finally ready to provide frank coverage, warts and all.
The sea change, if one is in the cards, started with the now-infamous brouhaha involving another old hand, Bob Woodward, and White House economic adviser Gene Sperling. Since Woodward publicly asserted that he was threatened by the administration, a number of White House correspondents have come forward to affirm that the press has long been expected to show deference and go with the administration-provided narrative or keep quiet.