Free Markets, Free People
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Subject(s): What will President Obama say Wednesday night. Van Jones – he goes after Glenn Beck with a boycott and it is Jones who ends up going home. Afghanistan – the popularity of the war is waning just as Obama is upping the forces there. What’s the prognosis?
UPDATE: Technical difficulties prevent this week. We’ll be back next week.
UPDATE [Dale]: Actually, we won’t be back next week. Or the week after that. I’ll be in Alaska. Podcast will resume after get back, in three weeks.
In the wake of the Van Jones resignation, Keith Olberman – MSNBC’s laughable miniature pit bull (he thinks he’s a big dog) – has apparently declared war on Glenn Beck. He does so, appropriately, on the Daily Kos:
I don’t know why I’ve got this phrasing in my head, but: Find everything you can about Glenn Beck, Stu Burguiere, and Roger Ailes.
No, even now, I refuse to go all caps.
No, sending me links to the last two Countdowns with my own de-constructions of his biblical vision quality Communist/Fascist/Socialist/Zimbalist art at Rockefeller Center (where, curiously, he works, Comrade) doesn’t count. Nor does sending me links to specious inappropriate point-underscoring prove-you’re-innocent made-up rumors.
No, rocket boy wants new stuff – probably like the fake police report that was circulated earlier last week alleging Beck was a rapist and a murderer.
And, in case you’re wondering, carpet bomber Olberman isn’t satisfied with just Beck, he wants Beck’s producer and Roger Ailes as well.
Now really – is Keith Olberman clean enough that he wants to put himself in the position that the other side might decide to do the same with him? And to what end is such a campaign aimed?
Frankly, I’ve seen enough of Olberman that I don’t want to know any more about him – but there are those who will differ, and dig. Does he really want to reduce his already miniscule TV presence to this? Trying to dig up dirt on another personality who apparently buries him in the ratings. How’d that work out with Bill O’Reilly?
Tuesday we will expand this to the television audience and have a dedicated email address to accept leads, tips, contacts, on Beck, his radio producer Burguiere, and the chief of his tv enablers, Ailes (even though Ailes’ power was desperately undercut when he failed to pull off his phony “truce” push).
This becomes necessary after this in order to prove various cliches about goose and gander, and to remind everybody to walk softly and carry a big popsicle, and most particularly to save this nation from the Oligarhy of The Stupid.
I keep wondering if somewhere somebody named Ollie Garhey thinks he’s in charge now. Or, even more entertainingly and societally satisfying, if somebody named Ali Garhi does.
Despite the worn-out snark above, I am in earnest here.
Worn out snark and such clever word play – you just have to wonder how anyone resists this guy. Why aren’t his ratings through the roof? Why isn’t he blowing away those Fox freaks at whom he takes such frequent and obviously jealous aim?
Ah, yeah, perhaps it’s the sheer spectacle of someone who seemed to have talent – or at least seemed to have it until he went political – reducing himself to this chosen role?
And make no mistake about it – our favorite “earnest” muckraker is the one who has made himself exactly what he is recognized as being today – a left-wing toady who plays fast and loose with the facts, thinks he’s far more clever than he is and doesn’t yet realize that the few who watch him aren’t laughing with him, but instead at him – when they bother to watch at all. No serious person would ever turn to Keith Olberman for anything but his entertainment value – a living parody of the ego-in-overdrive “journalist” without a clue.
[And no, this isn't a defense of Glenn Beck - I don't watch or listen to Beck either]
As many predicted, Van Jones has resigned. Naturally, he picked the middle of Labor Day weekend to do it. That means minimal coverage, which is somehow fitting, seeing how little the mainstream media covered the whole thing. This has been the deftest handling of an Obama appointment miscue ever; by the time Labor Day cookouts end, this will be over and the average voter will have never heard of Jones.
Of course, Jones’ take on the whole thing is drearily predictable:
“On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me,” Jones said in his resignation statement. “They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide.” [Emphasis mine]
He somehow doesn’t manage to pinpoint any specific lies or distortions. I suppose you could maintain that the whole thing about him signing a Truther petition was a distortion since he maintains that it doesn’t represent his views, but you would then need the underlying assumption that he’s a lazy radical who doesn’t bother to read what his fellow radicals write, and then fails to take responsibility for the resulting mistakes. I don’t see how that helps much.
The New York Times has yet to weigh in as best as I can tell. But they did find time late last week for this article, which contains the following:
Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and political commentator, speaking on the Rush Limbaugh show on Wednesday, accused Mr. Obama of trying to create a cult of personality, comparing him to Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader.
This was picked up and repeated by newspapers from Ireland to Las Vegas, with the usual “he’s loony” side comments. Problem is, here’s the actual quote from Mark’s guest host appearance on Rush Limbaugh that the NYT is using as a source:
Obviously we’re not talking about the cult of personality on the kind of Saddam Hussein/Kim Jong-Il scale. [Emphasis mine]
Now I suppose you could be pedantic and say, “Well, he is comparing the two, in a sense.” No, actually he’s contrasting the two, and one would hope the august journalists at the Times would know the difference, after all those “compare and contrast” essays in English class.
In my mind, this qualifies as a true smear. Instead of quoting someone, a misquoting is used that modifies the meaning of the original to make someone look bad.
As far as I can tell, this never happened with Jones. People just put up his own words and videos.
But it doesn’t matter. The word “smear” has been debased by the left, just as “fascist”, “rationing“, and plenty of others. Their post-modernist, Red Queen, multiple truths, “I knew what I meant when I said it” worldview makes that a perfectly legitimate tactic as far as they are concerned. The word “smear” now means “saying something that makes a leftist look bad” regardless of whether that something is true.
*** Update 12:38 PM CST ***
Commenter Ernest Brown notes that the NYT finally says something about Van Jones. They delicately manage to avoid Jones’ “smear” allegations, but they do include this:
Mr. Jones apologized on Wednesday for derogatory words he directed at Republican opponents of Mr. Obama’s Congressional agenda during a lecture in February, calling his remarks “inappropriate” and noting that they were made before he joined the administration.
If all you read is the NYT, then you’ll have no clue what the heck they are talking about here. You won’t hear about the extent of Jones’ vulgarity or the cheering he got from the crowd for calling Republicans a$$holes. This is some beautifully done obfuscation for the benefit of the Obama administration.
But note that his vulgar depiction of Republicans was done before he was tapped by Obama. Well, I guess that makes it all right then!