On MSNBC's "Jansing & Co." today, anchor Chris Jansing and liberal columnist Karen Hunter took turns ripping apart Sarah Palin's call for civility in an Internet video posted yesterday morning in the wake of the Tucson shooting.
The morning after President Barack Obama delivered a well-received speech at a memorial service for the victims of a rampage that left six dead and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) critically injured, Jansing recited a quote from Joan Walsh, editor of the left-wing Salon.com, to criticize Palin.
"You know, Mark, times of tragedy are times when we judge our leaders," remarked Jansing. "And Joan Walsh writes on Salon.com, about Sarah Palin, 'Having watched her atrocious, tone-deaf, all-about-me video: Sarah Palin will never be president of the United States.'"
Calling out Jansing's liberal spin, conservative columnist Mark Tapscott deftly quipped, "I would never expect Joan Walsh to have anything positive to say about anything Sarah Palin does or says."
As part of its week-long special report on "Big Green," the Washington Examiner's Mark Tapscott wrote a piece detailing the cozy relationship - often brushing right up against unethical - between journalists, policymakers, and environmental advocacy groups.
The Examiner raises serious ethical concerns regarding a 2003 article in U.S. News and World Report that, according to Tapscott, continues to influence policy concerning the nation's fisheries.
The article, written by reporter Thomas Hayden, warns that "fish stocks are dangerously overexploited" and at risk due to commercial fishing. But nowhere in the article did Hayden disclose that he two of the primary sources for the had recently returned from a Carribean junket funded by a leading organization in the push for stricter environmental regulations, including on commercial fisheries. Nor did he mention that another 11 sources cited in the article received funding from that same organization.
This week, Americans of all political stripes will take to the streets -- so to speak -- to protest what they see as excessive and out of control government spending and intrusion into their daily lives. Among the many Tea Party protesters, however, will be individuals plotting to undermine the peaceful grassroots movement.
Blogger Glenn Reynolds spotted CrashTheTeaParty.org today, a website that claims to represent "a nationwide network of Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are all sick and tired of that loose affiliation of racists, homophobes and morons; who constitute the fake grassroots movement, which calls itself 'the Tea Party.'"
Their plan is to "infiltrate" Tea Party protests to create the false impression that protesters are racists by … being racists. That's right, they will bring with them offensive signs and give wildly offensive interviews to reporters, all with the intention of smearing a movement that wouldn't bring those signs or give those interviews themselves. It remains to be seen whether the mainstream media will take the bait.
The Obama presidential campaign indisputably used new media better than any before it to build a virtual army of grassroots supporters, and to wield that army as a powerful tool for fundraising, rapid response messaging, and boots-on-the-ground campaigning.
But the energy that surrounded Obama and his team after the election, and supporters' expectations that President Obama would be the empowering community organizer that was Candidate Obama, fizzled as it became clear--campaign slogans notwithstanding--this administration represented less change then it would have the country believe.
After the election, commentators buzzed about the potential for a small-d democratic upheaval in the American political process that the Obama camp's mastery of new media could bring about. Newsweek summed up the excitement in the lede of an article in late November: