Paul Krugman attacked the authors of the soon-to-be-released book SuperFreakonomics today for their audacious attempts to question the left's conventional wisdom on global climate change. He then touted the danger of attacking conservatives, and contended that liberal-bashing has always been the safer political and professional move.
I have a theory here, although it may not be the whole story: it’s about careerism. Annoying conservatives is dangerous [his emphasis]: they take names, hold grudges, and all too often find ways to take people who annoy them down... [Conservatives] snub anyone who breaks the unwritten rule and mocks those who must not be offended.
Annoying liberals, on the other hand, feels transgressive but has historically been safe. The rules may be changing (as [SuperFreakonomics authors Stephen] Dubner and [Steven] Levitt are in the process of finding out), but it’s been that way for a long time.
Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who has covered every president since Jack Kennedy, advised the White House to abandon their attacks on Fox News today. She attributed the administration's visceral reaction to the cable outlet to a naive sense of invincibility generally held by new presidents (video embedded below the fold).
Asked by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' what "we want our president to know and do," in reference to the title of her new book, Thomas immediately replied "stay out of these fights... They can only take you down. You can't kill the messenger."
Thomas's coauthor, CQ reporter Craig Crawford, added that "presidents are better off, Joe, when they punch up and not down."
Once again, the nightly train wreck known as CNN Headline News "The Joy Behar Show" took another jab at conservatism, particularly Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Only this time, Behar threw in a couple of old standbys for whom lefties are fixated upon assaulting - former President George W. Bush and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Behar, on her Oct. 17 CNN HLN program, suggested to radio show talk host and former child-star actor Danny Bonaduce there was a trend - that people who have had struggles with chemical addictions are now outspoken, particularly those on the right that Behar disagrees with.
"Do you see a trend? Rush Limbaugh, Oxycontin. Glenn Beck, alcoholic, Danny Bonaduce, alcoholic ... and George Bush, ex-alcoholic," Behar said.
The feud between the White House and the Fox News Channel took another, thanks to one of Glenn Beck's viewers.
On Beck's Oct. 15 program, the Fox News host played a video sent to him of White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, who had previously slammed Fox News and called it an organ of the Republican Party. In the video, Dunn reveals her two favorite political philosophers - humanitarian Mother Teresa and Mao Tse Tung, Chinese revolutionary and Communist leader responsible for an estimated 70 million deaths (video embedded below the fold).
"A lot of you have a great deal of ability," Dunn said. "A lot of you work hard. Put them together and that answers the ‘why not' question. There's usually not a good reason and then the third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers - Mao Tse Tung and Mother Teresa, not often coupled with each other but the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is you're going to make choices. You're going to challenge. You're going to say why not. You're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before, but here's the deal."
This ought to get the folks at the left-wing noise machine all wound up.
Fox News host Glenn Beck on his Oct. 14 show, after being a regular recipient of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's "Worst Persons in the World" on his "Countdown" program, decided to have a little fun by mocking Olbermann and his MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews.
"Now, the President has an entire network devoted to singing his praises," Beck said. "There is a guy at night I love, he's like Shakespearean, he is waxing poetic about his oratory skills, writing soliloquies - got another one I must say about the greatness of Obama's speaking ability. And then another guy is like, ‘I got a thrill is going up my leg' when they just hear him speak. It is incredible."
If there was any question which side of the ideological blogosphere a lot of the inside-the-beltway media establishment go to regularly, Politico may have just cleared that up.
In an Oct. 11 Politico story headlined "Think Progress makes its mark," which was the top story on its Web site that evening, Daniel Libit paid reverence to the left-wing Center for American Progress' Think Progress blog.
"Can a liberal blog launched in the midst of the Bush era - a blog that once obsessed over Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove and the outing of Valerie Plame - still make its mark in the age of Obama?" Libit wrote. "In the case of Think Progress, the answer so far is yes."
However, will they be so eager to echo the sentiment of David Brooks in the wake of President Barack Obama's Nobel Prize announcement? On PBS's Oct. 9 "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," the Times columnist had some disparaging words for Obama's award - despite a sentiment from some liberals that those who question it were somehow un-American.
"Well, my first reaction is he should have won all the prizes because he has given speeches about peace, but also he's give economic speeches. He wrote a book - that's literature. He has biological elements within his body. He could win that prize. He could have swept the whole prizes," Brooks said tongue-in-cheek before delivering the knock-out blow. "Now - it's sort of a joke."
The White House is stepping up its attacks against the Fox News Channel, labeling it a bastion of stilted and opinionated journalism. A top administration communications official has called the Fox "opinion journalism masquerading as news," and vowed to wage a war of ideas against the network.
Speaking with Time Magazine, White House Communications Director Anita Dunn said that the administration intends to be "more aggressive rather than just sit back and defend ourselves, because they will say anything. They will take any small thing and distort it."
The White House blog has begun singling out and taking on the cable news network. Recent blog posts carry pejorative headlines such as "Fox Lies," and "even more Fox lies." Time calls Dunn the "general" of this anti-Fox campaign.
And, on Fox News Channel's Oct. 5 "Glenn Beck" program, Beck addressed that and some of the gripes he had about the media for not doing their job.
"I tell you all the time, I'm not a journalist," Beck said "I'm not. I joked that I'm a rodeo clown, but you know what - I take that back. I no longer am a rodeo clown. I am a dad, and quite frankly, I'm a little pissed off right now. You can call me names. You can make fun of me, whatever. I'm doing what I believe is right. I am doing a job as a private citizen right now."
In his latest opinion piece, Roger Ebert proved that he is very skilled at one thing and one thing only - movie reviews.
Ebert penned a piece in his Journal for the Chicago Sun-Times today; a scathing critique which detests the overt melodrama, the wretched dialogue, and the lack of a plot line. What was he reviewing? The Republican base.
Ebert hammers the party's base with such sensationalistic rhetoric that it is difficult to believe he withheld laughter while typing away on the keyboard. And the work is wrought with such falsehoods, inaccuracies, and sweeping generalizations, that it is difficult to fathom that this work could have passed by the desk of anyone having the word ‘Editor' following their name. Yet somehow, it did.
The folks at National Public Radio really don’t like Fox News. They don’t like NPR people on Fox News. When the NPR talk show Fresh Air with Terry Gross wanted to discuss Fox News and its role in nurturing tea-party protests, they gave 40 minutes to David Weigel of the left-wing site The Washington Independent. It had the usual tone of exploring the dark side of the moon. Gross led off the show discussing the new conservative protests:
It's a right-wing movement that has been interrupting town hall meetings, staging tea party protests, and challenging Obama's citizenship. The new influence of Fox News TV host Glenn Beck was demonstrated by the 9/12 March on Washington, which he promoted on his show.
To NPR, apparently every Tea Party protester is a birther, and every conservative question at a town hall meeting was an "interruption." They discussed his article on the recent Values Voter Summit for Christian conservatives first, and then turned to the topic of Fox:
Perhaps this is going to be a common theme of CNN Headline News "The Joy Behar Show." For the second night in a row, two out of two shows - Behar went after the former CNN Headline News host, now Fox News host Glenn Beck as a head of the conservative movement.
On her Sept. 30 show, Behar guests included HBO "Real Time" host Bill Maher and conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter. One had a favorable view of Beck, and the other - not so much.
On Behar's first show, Bette Midler contended Beck would lead to a Rwanda-style civil war in the United States. Behar posed a similar question to Maher on her second show.