How do you visually represent a missed opportunity? In a Sunday column for Salon, What’s the Matter With Kansas? author Thomas Frank suggests one answer: given the Obama administration’s repeated failure to deliver much-needed leftist change, the future Obama presidential library and museum should be “designed as…a mausoleum of hope.”
Obama’s salient mistake, Frank asserts, was that he “propped up” the obviously discredited “shitty consensus ideas” of the Reagan era. He expects that the museum will portray Obama “as a kind of second FDR: the man who saved the system from itself. That perhaps the system didn’t deserve saving will be left to some less-well-funded museum.”
Much like Don Quixote mistook windmills for giants and wished to do battle with them, Republicans wrongly perceive Democrats as extreme leftists and consequently work themselves into an ideological lather.
That was, essentially, one of the main points that Salon’s Paul Rosenberg made in his Saturday piece on "Tea Party phonies" pegged to the Pew Research Center’s recent study on American political polarization. Rosenberg contended, reasonably enough, that congressional Republicans as a group are far more conservative than their counterparts of fifty years ago, but also claimed strangely that congressional Democrats are, overall, no more liberal than their mid-’60s predecessors.
Liberals have been spewing absolute nonsense since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby, Conestoga Wood, and several other businesses that filed a suit against the HHS contraception mandate. Salon’s Paul Rosenberg is no different, except the fevered, high-pitched whine of his hysteria makes one suspect that, whatever he pays his drycleaner, it ain’t enough.
In a July 8 piece at Salon, Rosenberg actually tried to make the case that “right-wing propaganda about “‘religious liberty’” is a smokescreen to hide the fact that conservatives are pushing for “the advancement of theocracy,” or as Rosenberg put it “ religious dictatorship.” Yes, because SCOTUS didn’t find an absolute right to free birth control in the Constitution, we’re headed for inquisition, forced conversions and heretic burnings, and all the other theocratic nightmares of the dark days of … 2008.
At the top of the list of Independence Day killjoys is Salon.com. No one is shocked. On Friday, they posted an article titled “I hate the Fourth of July: The Fourth once reminded us to ensure that all men are created equal. Here's what it's become now.” No wonder they're doing Twitter satire at @salondotcom. Just imagine a conservative site laying an "I hate Martin Luther King Day" egg on that stop of the calendar.
As usual, the Left thinks the Founders were all about establishing the redistribution of wealth, not liberty for all. Jonathan Zimmerman began typically with how America failed to live up to its promise for so many years....and still falls far short. Then it really grew depressing about fireworks injuries:
As you probably know, the 1980s were boom years for conservatives. Among the most prominent right-wingers back then: Ronald Reagan, Tom Clancy, Casey Kasem…
OK, Kasem, who died on June 15, actually was a staunch liberal, a supporter in that decade of Jesse Jackson and later of Dennis Kucinich. But during the ‘80s, wrote Scott Timberg in a Sunday piece for Salon, “we had a political and economic revolution, spearheaded by a one-time actor who was often massively popular, that did the same thing as” Kasem’s radio show, “American Top 40.”
On Wednesday, Salon's Simon Maloy suggested that the Attkisson-Heritage relationship is a match made in conservative heaven given that Attkisson's Benghazi-related resignation from CBS was an "act of career martyrdom" which made her "a candidate for canonization by right-wing pundits and activists."
"Conservatives," Maloy snarked, "love [Attkisson] for her willingness to flog Obama scandals long after they’ve been debunked and/or ceased being relevant." He added that as it stands, "the Daily Signal will have to lean heavily on whatever gravitas Attkisson provides because the rest of the site is just awful."
Two of the leading lights of the lefty blogosphere weighed in Tuesday on the Bowe Bergdahl matter. Daily Kos founder and publisher Markos Moulitsas, who served a three-year stint in the Army just after graduating from high school, blasted the anti-Bergdahl rhetoric of bloodyhanded neoconservative "chickenhawks" who aren't ashamed to opine despite being "wrong about everything in the last decade."
Kos claimed that since the Afghan war "is now over," the five Taliban exchanged for Bergdahl had to be released anyway "under international law." From Moulitsas's post (emphasis added):
Here’s a new oxymoron, even for the liberal media: abortion comedy.
Opening this Friday, writer-director Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” tells the story of an aspiring young comedian, Donna Stern, who has an abortion after a one-night stand. The film, which focuses on “self-discovery and empowerment” and the “realities of independent womanhood,” garnered endorsements not only from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, but also the media as an “abortion romantic comedy.” The film starring Jenny Slate (“SNL,” “Parks and Recreation”) caught the attention of distributor A24 after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus wants more of a say in choosing the party's 2016 presidential nominee. Makes sense, right? Actually, it doesn't, according to Salon's Jim Newell, who argued in a Monday piece that greater RNC control over pre-primary and primary-season debates will make them boring, thereby causing the many viewers who want to see the candidates snarling and sniping at each other to turn off their televisions or maybe not tune in at all. On the other hand, Newell gives the RNC credit for understanding after 2012 that "[t]he more [GOP] candidates are on public display with each other, the worse it is for the party."
Newell was especially disdainful of the RNC's plan to include conservative pundits on debate panels alongside journalists from so-called mainstream outlets. He alleged that when Republicans identify "the 'mainstream media' as the force behind any sort of intra-party problem, they’re using a reliable scapegoat."
One of the Indiana University professors who recently found that almost four times as many journalists self-identify as Democrats than as Republicans doesn't believe that that imbalance causes biased reporting.
IU's Lars Willnat remarked to Salon magazine that "we don’t think that our findings reflect a ‘liberal media bias’...Journalists’ political preferences don’t usually translate into political bias in news coverage unless they are working for openly partisan news media. Their professional norms and values, as well as market pressures, prevent most of them from being biased politically.”
Liberals seeking examples of conservative craziness often look for the wrong thing. That's the word from California writer Paul Rosenberg, who in a Thursday piece for Salon stated that "the wild-eyed kind of crazy we’ve all been led to expect" is much less common than "the button-down, conservative kind we heard in the Donald Sterling tape — or that we can hear on [Rush] Limbaugh’s radio show, or see on Fox News any day of the week."
It gets worse. Rosenberg notes that "conservatives as a group routinely score significantly higher" for a personality trait that's linked to psychopathy, and reports that some in academia "are beginning to ask, in effect, if [right-wingers are] actually defending, even promoting, evil."
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw lamented how the movie depictions of Spider-Man and other superheroes are all "straight, white men" in a Tuesday item on Salon.com titled "America deserves better superheroes: Why a straight, white Spider-Man is no longer a real underdog." Baker-Whitelaw, a "fandom and Internet culture" reporter for the website The Daily Dot, zeroed in on the supposed "ramifications of having eternal underdog Peter Parker remain a straight, white man."
The writer also complimented Andrew Garfield, the actor who plays the title character in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, for wondering why the superhero "can't...be into boys," and contended that Sony, the studio releasing the upcoming movie, "might benefit from listening to...Garfield's comments on the potential hypocrisy of portraying Peter Parker as being marginalized by society." She later hoped that superhero movies would catch up with the "reasonably progressive and diverse representation of real-life America" in present-day comic books:
On the Friday, April 25, PoliticsNation on MSNBC, during a discussion of FNC host Sean Hannity's reaction to racist comments by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, MSNBC host Al Sharpton went after Hannity's decision to reiterate some of his complaints about the Obama administration on his Hannity show after condemning Bundy's racism.
Guest Joan Walsh of Salon magazine ended up comparing Hannity's anti-Obama complaints to criticisms of the Clinton administration in the 1990s which she asserted "culminated in Timothy McVeigh." [See video below.]
Lefty bloggers often use "get the popcorn" and similar phrases when they anticipate being entertained by conservative infighting. If Salon's Heather Digby Parton is right, popcorn consumption in the netroots will be sky-high a little over a year from now for a "political cage match of epic proportions" between "two grotesque phantasms": the Tea Party and the mega-rich. The prize for the winner: the Republican party.
Digby believes the upcoming clash wouldn't even be happening if not for the GOP establishment, which, after all, "created the Tea Party out of that original white, working-class bloc [of former Reagan Democrats] by feeding their prejudices and stoking their insecurities."
Common-ground alert: Salon's Alex Pareene doesn't think much of the New York Times's opinion columnists as a group, and neither, presumably, do NewsBusters readers. As for the reasons why, well, let's just say most of Pareene's almost certainly aren't the same as yours.
Pareene blasts Maureen Dowd for "sloppiness, not to mention rote repetition of themes and jokes and incredibly lazy thinking" and skewers Nick Kristof for his alleged "do-gooder liberalism [which] involves the bizarre American conviction that bombing places is a great way to help them." He likes Thomas Friedman even less, writing that Friedman "is an embarrassment" who "writes stupid things, for stupid people, about complicated topics" and "dutifully pushes a stultifyingly predictable center-right agenda."
After Stephen Colbert takes over from David Letterman on CBS's "Late Show," he'll host as himself, not as a parody of a conservative pundit. That may disappoint Salon's Joan Walsh, who in a Wednesday article called Colbert "an ally to progressive causes" and lauded him for "calmly and brilliantly inhabit[ing] a persona [on 'The Colbert Report'] that puts him in the psyche of delusional, entitled, wealthy conservative white men like [Bill] O’Reilly, bullies who want their country back, and are willing to do plenty of damage as they try (but ultimately fail) to retrieve it."
The main point of Walsh's piece was that Bill-O's Tuesday "meltdown" in response to Colbert's "relatively harmless spoof of [O'Reilly's] recent freak-outs over the politics of inequality" indicates that O'Reilly no longer is a good sport about Colbert's mockery of him. "Now O’Reilly has marked Colbert as an enemy," wrote Walsh, adding, "Colbert is under [O'Reilly's] skin, and I’m grateful for that."
Digby is far from the biggest name in the left-wing blogosphere, but she's one of its most influential figures. Lefty bloggers often introduce links to posts on her site, Hullabaloo, with the phrase "what Digby said" (it's sort of their equivalent of "megadittoes").
On Monday morning, Digby published a piece in a higher-profile outlet, the liberal online magazine Salon, in which she contended that because Ted Cruz "has his finger on the pulse" of evangelical conservatives, he has a far better shot at the 2016 GOP nomination than does Rand Paul, even though Paul, Digby opined, should have no problem pulling in the racist voters that are (allegedly) so common on the right.
Believe it or not, for the past few days liberals' fascination with conservative book publishing seems to have surpassed their fascination with righty talk radio (though neither will ever come close to matching the intensity of their obsession with Fox News).
Last Friday, McKay Coppins noted on BuzzFeed that while books by a few conservative electronic-media stars like Bill O'Reilly are extremely popular, "midlist" right-of-center titles have become a tough sell. On Monday, Salon's Alex Pareene took issue with much of Coppins's piece, arguing that the key problem with conservative publishing these days isn't niche marketing or excess supply, but lousy quality (emphasis added):
On this St. Patrick's Day weekend, if you're in the mood for a lamentation of Irish-Americans' ongoing shift to the political right, you're in luck. Andrew O'Hehir provided that and much else in a Saturday piece for the liberal online magazine Salon.
While O'Hehir believes that the 1998 Northern Ireland peace deal was "unambiguously a good thing for the people of Ireland and their British next-door neighbors," it had a downside stateside: "[T]he last connection between Irish-American identity and genuine history was severed...On one hand, Irishness [now] is a nonspecific global brand of pseudo-old pubs, watered-down Guinness, 'Celtic' tattoos and vague New Age spirituality...On the other, it’s Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Pat Buchanan and Rep. Peter King...consistently representing the most stereotypical grade of racist, xenophobic, small-minded, right-wing Irish-American intolerance. When you think of the face of white rage in America, it belongs to a red-faced Irish dude on Fox News."
Editorial Note/Correction: We mistakenly affixed an incorrect. NewsBusters byline earlier Our deepest apologies for the error | Edwin Lyngar was upset that many retirement-age Americans, including his father, have in their golden years run for the shadows of Fox News Channel -- so much so that this past Thursday, Lyngar published a February 27 piece in the liberal online magazine Salon in which he lamented at length those oldsters' descent into Fox-induced "despair and rage."
Lyngar asserted that his 67-year-old dad and other senior-citizen FNC buffs are "terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House" and commented, "I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria."
Salon.com apparently get can't get enough of former Occupy Wall Street participants, as the website featured far-left "journalist" Jesse Myerson on Sunday. Myerson, who infamously pushed for socialism in a January 2014 piece in Rolling Stone, listed seven supposed "huge misconceptions" about communism, and tried to whitewash the tens of millions butchered in the name of the discredited ideology.
The left-wing website's Twitter account heralded the writer's piece as "the best possible way to shut down your right-wing colleague railing against the ills of communism." Myerson, who includes a #FULLCOMMUNISM hashtag on his own Twitter profile, offered his beyond optimistic vision for a Marxist future:
In bioethical matters of life and death, the liberal media can generally be counted on to come down on the side of death. But once in a while, exceptions arise.
CBS’s Norah O’Donnell joined a panel with her “This Morning” co-anchor Charlie Rose and legal analyst Jack Ford on January 6 to discuss the heated controversy of brain dead Marlise Munoz, a Texas woman who remains on life support because of her unborn baby. Predictably, many liberals believe Munoz should be taken off life support and allowed to die – along with her now 18-week-old unborn infant.
Ryan Glasspiegel at Romenesko drew out more details from writer Charles Davis about his article for Vice.com on the trend of unpaid internships and left-wing media outlets that profess to abhor exploitative employers. It was called "The Exploited Labor of the Liberal Media." (Our summary is here.)
When Davis peeked at the comments his article drew, "Only a few people took the bosses’ sides." A few tried to suggest that a boss at Mother Jones or Pacifica Radio making upwards of $150,000 isn't "rich," and Davis said tell that to an unpaid intern:
Charles Davis at Vice.com has written an eye-opening expose of “Exploited Laborers of the Liberal Media” – unpaid or poorly paid interns at liberal magazines, websites, and radio networks that claim to speak out for the poorly paid working stiffs.
Davis notes Harper’s magazine wants interns to “work on a full-time, unpaid basis for three to five months” and The Washington Monthly is offering internships that are “unpaid and can be either part-time or full-time.” But Salon.com’s hypocrisy is the most perfect:
The title is borrowed from a post by Salon’s Brian Beutler that addresses what he calls the moral conundrum facing right-wing extremists when the Obamacare website starts working. Buetler, who in a previous post reveals he is not only an Obamacare supporter but a user, appears to be painting himself into a corner by speaking of when, rather than if, the site works.
Since he assumes the Administration will be able to get the exchange website fixed in the very near future, Beutler believes this will create a real problem for conservative opponents of President Obama's signature achievement. Beutler bases his faith in the first premise on “the confluence of two pieces of news last week:”
By most pundits’ reckoning, Obamacare is in serious trouble. Another poll is out today, this one from CBS News, and the findings provide no relief for the administration or its defenders. Just the opposite.
Obama’s poll ratings are down and so are the numbers for his sole major legislative achievement, his healthcare law:
Salon.com, which attacked Disney earlier in 2013 for its apparent lack of LGBT characters, plunged into a new depth of left-wing wackiness in a Saturday post that targeted a 15-year-old video game. Writer Jon Hochschartner unleashed against "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time" for its supposedly "deeply problematic" handling of "class, race, gender and animal rights".
The website identified Hochschartner as a "freelance writer from upstate New York", but it failed to disclose that he took part in Occupy Wall Street's 2011 encampment in New York City, and he was among the hundreds who got arrested when the NYPD forced the far-left activists from Zuccotti Park.
Appearing as a guest on MSNBC's PoliticsNation on Monday, Joan Walsh of Salon.com tagged Rush Limbaugh as a "racist troll" after a clip of the conservative talk radio host criticizing President Obama for being indecisive on Syria, quipping that American military action ordered by Obama should be called "Operation Shuck and Jive."
Host Al Sharpton called Limbaugh's words "ugly" as he introduced the clip:
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir has fingered the main culprits behind Detroit’s bankruptcy. According to him, it’s none other than Fox News host Sean Hannity and all his fellow racist conservatives who were threatened by Smokey Robinson.
In his July 27 screed for Salon headlined “Why the Right Hates Detroit” O’Hehir claimed the fall of big cities like Detroit and New Orleans had less to do with longtime Democratic rule and more to do with the right’s desire, as seen in the “coded racism of Sean Hannity” to punish the cities that spawned “the worldwide revolution symbolized by hot jazz, Smokey Robinson dancin’ to keep from cryin’ and Eminem trading verses with Rihanna.”