Appearing as a guest on Thursday’s Countdown show on MSNBC, Matt Taibbi - contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine - ridiculously accused Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Tea Party activists of racism in the form of using "coded language" to refer to "Mexican immigrants and non-white inner city, Democratic-leaning voters" as he responded to a soundbite of Boehner talking about having a social safety net for those unable to work, but that should perhaps exclude those who refuse to help themselves.
After host Keith Olbermann played a clip of the House Speaker contending, "But do we have a responsibility to help those who won't compete? I would have serious doubts about that," Taibbi found it "amazing" that Boehner "would say it so openly," and went on to suggest that the House Speaker was showing signs of racism, tying in Tea Party activists. Taibbi:
It's amazing that he would say it so openly, but I know when I go to cover Tea Party events, I almost inevitably end up talking to people who are on Medicare or collecting unemployment insurance or government pensions, but they're railing against government welfare. I say, "Well, do you see any contradiction there?" "No, I deserve this. I work hard. It's those other people."
And we know who they mean when they say "other people." It's Mexican immigrants and non-white, inner city, Democratic-leaning voters. So that's, it's coded language when he uses that kind of language.
CNN's Kathleen Parker and Eliot Spitzer endorsed Matt Taibbi's bashing of conservatives on their Monday program. Spitzer marveled over the Rolling Stone editor's "brilliant" label of the Tea Party as "15 million pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid." This was the second straight evening that the network brought on an anti-conservative author to promote their latest work.
The two hosts devoted 12 straight and uninterrupted minutes during the first half of the 8 pm Eastern hour to their interview of Taibbi. Parker mentioned Taibbi's new book, "Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids and a Long Con that is Breaking America," in her introduction of the author and labeled it "a scathing and often hilarious account of the financial crisis...it's hard to make the financial crisis funny, but you did that successfully." She continue by quoting one of the writer's attacks on Sarah Palin: "I want to read you a description that you wrote of Sarah Palin. You called her a 'narcissistic money-grubbing hack.'"
After laughing at this label, the pseudo-conservative writer sought her guest's take on Palin: "She's got the Republican establishment scared to death, so there must be something more to Sarah than just that, huh?" Taibbi replied with some guarded praise of the former Alaska governor, along with the Tea Party movement:
With less than three weeks to go before the crucial midterm elections, the folks at Rolling Stone magazine have decided to pen a love letter to Barack Obama clearly in the hopes of motivating readers to get out and vote for Democrats.
Forget about the President's horrible poll numbers and the feeling by a stunning number of Americans that the country is on the wrong track, the current White House resident has a truly impressive list of accomplishments according to author Tim Dickinson, so much so that he's the best leader America has had since Lyndon Baines Johnson (h/t NB reader Dave, accompanying spoof cover photo courtesy The Razor):
"What's the answer to the Tea Party racist question?"
Galloping into the 10 p.m. Eastern timeslot as the white knight of truth, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell, host of "The Last Word," challenged left-wing writer Matt Taibbi on September 29 to answer this incisive question.
Eager to discuss the subject of his latest conservative hit-piece, Taibbi imparted the sort of thoughtful analysis viewers should expect from a Rolling Stone political reporter: "My answer is it's not so much about hating black people for these people, I think it's more about believing in this preposterous fantasy that white people are some kind of oppressed minority in the age of Obama."
After belittling the Tea Party for its "incredibly stupid" worldview, Taibbi pointed to the grassroots movement's "collective narcissistic" behavior as the source of its alleged stupidity. A seemingly entranced O'Donnell concurred with Taibbi's diagnosis, then invited the correspondent to press on:
Lately the Fox News Channel’s overnight program “Red Eye” has offered a plethora of media criticism – much of it dead-spot on. Last week during this his “Gregalogue” segment, host Greg Gutfeld took on the so-called “Rally to Restore Sanity” offered up by Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
“So President Obama was just interviewed in Rolling Stone magazine -- that thinning pamphlet for our country's dwindling supply of pony-tailed pensioners,” Gutfeld said. “When asked about Fox News, this is what our Commander-in-Chief had to say.”
At the top of the 8PM ET hour on Tuesday's CBS Early Show, senior White House correspondent Bill Plante touted President Obama's comments about the midterm elections in a recent interview: "[He] told Rolling Stone magazine that for those people not to come out, those so-called 'surge voters,' would be 'inexcusable and irresponsible'....'people need to shake off this lethargy and buck up.'"
News reader Erica Hill then brought up another part of the interview: "Also in that Rolling Stone article, on a little bit lighter note, I understand the President is perhaps expanding his musical library a little bit?" Plante responded: "...there are 2,000 tunes on his iPod. We got a look inside, it's Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan....He's got Nas, Lil' Wayne, some of the hip-hop artists. And his daughters are getting into the act, too. Sharing their musical tastes with him." Hill remarked: "Ah, I imagine that could include the Jonas Brothers, from everything we've heard about the Obama girls."
What was missing in the discussion of the President's Rolling Stone interview were his attacks on the tea party movement and Fox News. Of the tea party, Obama declared: "...there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president." As NewBusters' Lachlan Markay pointed out, Obama also proclaimed that Fox News has a "point of view" that is "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country." Neither Plante nor Hill made any mention of those controversial comments.
Lara Logan, CBS’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, took to CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday to accuse Michael Hastings, who was interviewed by Howard Kurtz in the preceding segment, of using subterfuge and Rolling Stone of pushing an agenda in their hit piece on General Stanley McChrystal, both of which unfairly tarnished McCrystal and will lead to more military wariness toward the journalists. Logan castigated Hastings:
The question is, really, is what General McChrystal and his aides are doing so egregious, that they deserved to end a career like McChrystal's? Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has.
As for Hastings’ insistence he didn’t break any “off the record” ground rules, Logan declared: “Something doesn't add up here. I just -- I don't believe it.”
The subterfuge really infuriated Logan: “What I find is the most telling thing about what Michael Hastings said in your interview is that he talked about his manner as pretending to build an illusion of trust and, you know, he's laid out there what his game is. That is exactly the kind of damaging type of attitude that makes it difficult for reporters who are genuine about what they do....Clearly, you've got someone who is making friends with you, pretending to be sympathetic, pretending to be something that they're not...”
Geraldo Rivera on Friday excoriated Rolling Stone writer Michael Hastings actually comparing him to al Qaeda terrorists.
Discussing the article that effectively destroyed General Stanley McChrystal's career, Rivera told Fox News's Bill O'Reilly, "These guys, particularly the staffers who gave the most damning statements about the civilians in office, including the vice president of the United States, these guys had no idea that they were being interviewed by this guy."
Rivera then made a staggering analogy (video after the break with full transcript and commentary):
Two days before 9/11, two al Qaeda terrorists posing as journalists got up to Sheik Massoud, our most valuable ally in Afghanistan. They blew themselves and Sheik Massoud up, a tremendous setback. I maintain historically that the removal of General McCrystal at the hands of this freelance reporter for "Rolling Stone" has almost comparable strategic significance.
In the midst of this week's Gen. Stanley McChrystal controversy, a possibility concerning statements allegedly made by him and his staff has largely gone overlooked: might they have been speaking off the record when they were around Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings?
This certainly would explain some of the bizarre comments allegedly made by military members knowing full well how the chain of command works and that the President is clearly at the top.
With this in mind, the Washington Post explored this possibility in a front page piece Saturday entitled, "Gen. McChrystal Allies, Rolling Stone Disagree Over Article's Ground Rules":
NBC's Today show on Wednesday refreshingly brought on a conservative guest who ripped the Obama administration's management of the war in Afghanistan. Daniel Goure of the Lexington Institute blasted the "dysfunctional organization" at the White House overseeing the war: "It's not a team of rivals. It's a team of nine-year-olds, and something needs to be done about that" [audio available here].
Anchor Matt Lauer brought on Goure and retired General Barry McCaffrey for a panel discussion on the controversy surrounding Rolling Stone's recent article on General Stanley McChrystal, the now-former commander of American forces in Afghanistan. Goure defended McChrystal in a Wednesday column on his organization's website, suggesting that the general shouldn't be fired for his and his staff's criticism of Obama administration officials. Lauer asked to explain his position: "Mr. Goure, you think that firing General McChrystal would be a disaster- is that accurate? Tell me why."
While the media are attempting to grapple with the change in leadership of the Afghanistan war and what that all means, one thing that could be learned from this, which has been ignored, are valid criticisms of President Barack Obama and his ability to command the U.S. military.
Hastings was asked if McChrystal had perhaps gotten the whole strategy wrong, but Hastings explained it was the President that didn't know what he was really getting into.
"I think that ship had sailed last year," Hastings said. "I think once the decision was made to do a counterinsurgency strategy, they had a pretty clear idea in mind what they wanted to do and I think this is quite interesting. I think this is one of the issues Obama didn't really understand what counter-insurgency meant and when the military said they wanted to do a counterinsurgency strategy that that actually meant 150,000 troops. Obama thought he could get away with just sending 21,000 over and getting a new general."
March is Women's History Month, in which we acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of women in history and in society today.
But for a select group of women - conservative women - their accomplishments and contributions are rarely celebrated but often demeaned and mocked in sexist - and crassly sexual - ways.
The Culture & Media Insitute looked back at what the media had to say over the past year about some of today's most prominent conservative women, including Michelle Malkin, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney, and compiled a list of the 10 worst attacks on these women who dare to speak out in favor of conservative values.
Much of the criticism was the worst sort of misogyny with a dose of violence and disgusting adolescent sex references thrown in for good measure. The media outlets in question ranged from Playboy magazine to MSNBC to Sirius XM radio and included comments from both men and women.
The message that rang through loud and clear was that perspectives from conservative women were not appreciated or welcomed, and if a woman stepped out of line, she deserved whatever treatment she received.
The magazine criticized Buffett for "doing far more than bad-mouthing climate legislation - he's literally banking on its failure" by adding 1.28 million shares of ExxonMobil to his books and acquiring a railroad that hauls coal.
Rolling Stone, a music magazine in the same sense that MTV is a music-video channel, was featured on this morning's edition of Morning Joe. Their cover story is not about the latest escapades of Kanye West or Lady Gaga; instead, they have chosen to write about global warming. Before anyone asks, none of the above recording artists (to my knowledge) have recorded a song which would have spawned this article.
"As the World Burns," is the eyes-bleeding hyperbolic title of the article. Contents: The 17 people whom Rolling Stone calls "climate killers." And the first target of the article: Billionaire investor and ardent Obama supporter, Warren Buffett:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You put Warren Buffett on that list, I thought he was an Obama supporter?
On the Fox Business Network's Nov. 30 "Imus in the Morning" program, host Don Imus conveyed this concern, suggesting it exposed potential weaknesses in the U.S. Secret Service's protection of the President (h/t Tim Graham of Newsbusters.org).
"American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert's vocals weren't top-notch at last night's American Music Awards, but nobody really noticed. How could they, given his over-the-top and in-your-face sexual choreography?
Lambert's act during the show, aired on ABC, featured male dancers on leashes, an open-mouth kiss between Lambert and his male keyboardist, and simulated oral sex, both male-on-male and female-on-male.
Naturally, boundary-pushing Hollywood writers hailed Lambert's performance.
"As a TV viewer, I thought Lambert's performance was a gas, a delight, a blast of brash vulgarity in the midst of ordinary vulgarity," wrote Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker.
The Magazine Publishers of America's American Society of Magazine Editors has added a category to its annual magazine cover awards: Obama. This new category is the only ASME category focused on a single person, and highlights the reverential attitude for the President widely held in the magazine publishing community.
ASME represents about 850 magazine editors nationwide. According to its website, the organization "works to preserve editorial independence." How they manage to maintain this air of objectivity while devoting an entire awards section to such a polarizing figure is a mystery.
This year's best Obama magazine cover, and recipient of ASME's Cover of the Year award, was published by Rolling Stone. Fawning coverage of president and candidate Barack Obama from the music (and wannabe left-wing politics) magazine appeared on the cover on numerous occasions. The winning cover is at right.
ABC's "World News" is supposed to be above the fray, right? According to "World News" executive Jon Banner, his program didn't jump into covering the recent ACORN scandal because it is "not in the business of noise."
Earlier in the day, on four Sunday morning network news programs, President Barack Obama had urged the media not to engage in Taibbi's specialty. The networks shouldn't air rude, angry political behavior, because that only encourages it, the president said. ABC must have missed that memo.
John Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, are back in the news because of a book written by the latter about her philandering husband. Even the New York Times which less than a year ago shunned any mention of the John Edwards scandal which was all over the Blogosphere has weighed in on his fate in the form of a Maureen Dowd column:
Elizabeth Edwards would have made a wonderful candidate herself. But she poured everything into John. And then John betrayed her. And then John betrayed his staffers, going ahead with the 2008 campaign, letting his disciples work around the clock because they believed in him and what he was running on, even though the Edwardses knew it could implode at any minute because of John’s entanglement with Rielle Hunter.
When American citizens assert conservative principles, as they did last week with the tea party protests, it has a strange effect on liberals. They get angry. Some get in touch with their inner Beavis and Butthead, giggling endlessly over lame sexual innuendo. Some, like Rolling Stone political reporter Matt Taibbi, just get downright misogynistic.
In a blog post on tax day, Taibbi sleazed conservative writer Michelle Malkin, who supported and wrote about the tea parties. “I have to say, I’m really enjoying this whole teabag thing,” Taibbi wrote. “It’s really inspiring some excellent daydreaming. For one thing, it’s brought together the words teabag and Michelle Malkin for me in a very powerful, thrilling sort of way. Not that I haven’t ever put those two concepts together before, but this is the first time it’s happened while in the process of reading her actual columns.”
Taibbi then paused to slime Ann Coulter (“When you read Ann Coulter, you know you’re reading someone who would f*** a hippopotamus if she thought it would boost her Q rating.”) before really turning on the charm.
While Capitol Hill is working on a "compromise" I thought it fitting to take a look at how the usual suspects in the media are dealing with Republican leaders that dare speak out and identify elements of the stimulus package that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy. For this task I turned to Rolling Stone Magazine and quickly came upon an article headlined "The Unserious Opposition".
With the simple phrase "And look at what the GOP considers to be pork in this bill", Dickinson takes the common path of those that can't stop living in the past and sarcastically twists the list to portray the Republicans as "Cheneyite" ideologues. In his logic however we find a convoluted line of reasoning that is misleading at best. It exemplifies the typical approach taken by gushing media types that have forsaken their watchdog duties to become members of the Presidential fan club.
Remember the furor and the comedic punch lines as a result of Sarah Palin’s statement, implying that she needed someone to clarify the role of the Vice President?
Well, brace yourselves for a similarly overwhelming media reaction to Joe Biden’s solution on where one can locate the definition of the Vice President’s role – Article I of the Constitution.
Problem being, it’s actually Article II.
To most, this will simply constitute another famous Biden gaffe. However, Biden was so forceful and patronizing in his argument during last night’s debate that Dick Cheney should realize ‘Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president,’ that it bears pointing out.
The full excerpt from the debate follows (h/t to Michelle Malkin):
The Rolling Stone has a long attack piece on John McCain in its October issue that really rakes the GOP presidential candidate over the coals. The piece indulges in quite a lot of name calling and dismisses his patriotism, bravery, and integrity in nearly every paragraph. It's quite a vicious attack piece, really.
This slanderous piece doesn't even take a little time to get warmed up as it emerges, guns blazing, in the first few paragraphs by calling John McCain an "undisciplined, spoiled brat" and insisting that he once went to Rio to "get laid" despite being married, with three kids at the time. This sort of name calling is indicative of the whole piece.
On CNN's American Morning today, White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported on Barack Obama's campaigning in Virginia. Afterwards, anchor Kiran Chetry had a question:
CHETRY: All right. And Suzanne, what's on tap for the campaign today? And please tell me it's not lipstick again.
MALVEAUX: Let's hope not. He's going to be in Norfolk, Virginia. That is in southeast Virginia, and it's home to the world's largest Naval base. It's one of the most competitive areas that the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over. It's a critical piece of property, piece of land there with folks in Virginia, and they want those voters.
You might think that a tidal wave of denunciation would ensue if a cartoon depicting John McCain being tortured in a bamboo cage by Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and another person (who might be George W. Bush) were to appear in a supposedly respectable or trendy publication.
You might further think that giving McCain's three torturers stereotypically exaggerated Asian features would only further fuel the outrage.
Sorry to disappoint you, but the cartoon involved appeared last month in Rolling Stone. As far as I can tell, what you are about to see has produced not a single ripple of protest (HT Taxman Blog via tip from Weapons of Mass Discussion):
Can a publisher, editor, and owner of magazines be any more biased than proudly admitting on national television that he's contributed to Barack Obama's campaign?
While you ponder, consider that on Sunday, the publisher and editor of Rolling Stone -- who just so happens to also own Men's Journal and Us Weekly -- told CNN's Howard Kurtz that he's given money to the presumptive Democrat presidential nominee.
In fact, Jann Wenner did so without batting an eye in an interview aired on "Reliable Sources":
Rolling Stone is a left-wing magazine which puts liberal politicians on its cover and this year has already featured a cover story on Barack Obama, yet despite the seeming lack of any newsworthiness in a second Obama cover story, this one written by an “unabashed Obama supporter,” on Wednesday morning NBC's Today show devoted a full story to how the just-released issue of the magazine illustrated “fascination” with Obama. Co-host Matt Lauer marveled: “On the cover not a musician but a politician, Barack Obama. It's the second time he's been featured there but this time there will be no cover lines, just that photo. The magazine usually does that for the likes only of people like John Lennon. So what is the fascination with the Illinois Senator?”
In Lee Cowan's story, with “Barack Star: Obama on the Cover of Rolling Stone” as the on-screen tag, Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, who conducted the interview with Obama, gushed: “The tides of history are running strong and fast these days. Ride them or be crushed. Obama has history on his side and that's pretty irresistible.” Cowan then described Wenner as “an unabashed Obama supporter. So not surprisingly today's six-page spread offers no hard questions,” as if that's any different than the friendly approach taken by Cowan and his media colleagues.
Cowan proceeded to recite Obama's answers to the easy questions, starting with how “he describes his iPod as a mix of everything from Stevie Wonder to Jay-Z,” before tossing in his own adulation: “Just this week, Donatella Versace debuted a clothing line she says was inspired by the Senator.” Cowan concluded with a portrait of a humble Obama just trying to do good in the face of unwanted publicity:
Despite it all Obama says he no longer takes great satisfaction in being the center of attention. In fact he tells the magazine that feeding his vanity is not what's important, but doing good work is. The problem: with one, comes the other.
Maybe the mainstream media are growing tired of hackneyed images of Barack Obama appearing in Christ-like poses, because now the Obama-friendly scribes at Rolling Stone have crafted an even more preposterous way of peddling the junior senator from Illinois: his image on a magazine cover devoid of any headline.
Yes, the cover of the most recent edition of Rolling Stone features a giant picture of a grinning Barack Obama without any headline attached to it. It is the second Rolling Stone cover for Obama in just a matter of months, following up on a cover that portrayed Obama with an otherwordly aura emanating from behind him.
Sen. John McCain is still awaiting his first Rolling Stone cover and the editors can't use age as an excuse. After all, Keith Richards has appeared there numerous times.