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Battlespace preparation and the blogosphere
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, October 01, 2007

The fact that the media and the blogosphere have spent an inordinate amount of time recently on rhetoric from Moveon.org and Rush Limbaugh says a great deal about our political discourse. And it's not good.

But you know, I don't really blame the pundits and partisans for that. It's what they do; it moves the ball down their field. Instead, I blame the media for enabling the circus - for allowing the partisan point-scoring and feigned outrage to take precedence over....well, everything else.

They are covering National Politics as if they are office politics - displacing serious discussion of policy with juvenile discussions of pique. That may be a great way to score partisan points, but it's not a great way to conduct democracy. Or journalism.

Glenn Reynolds puts his finger on the strategy behind this kind of media bulldozing operation; he uses the phrase "battlespace preparation", which is appropriate.
IT'S NOT A "SMEAR"it's better understood as "battlespace preparation." And the target is the traditional media; the intent is to limit the ability of people like Limbaugh or O'Reilly to drive stories in the mainstream news as we get closer to the election. Expect more of this, with more targets.
Reynolds is exactly right about the intent and strategy behind this kind of thing. It isn't some crazy conspiracy theory - it's exactly how the Netroots perceive their value to the Left. Cases in point:

Media Matters Senior Fellow Duncan Black (Atrios)
...I think blogs should be seen more as an opportunity to influence media coverage and narratives, as well as helping to stitch together a broader-based political movement.
Duncan Black (Atrios) again:
Overall what blogs have been able to do is create an unfolding political narrative which has been largely absent elsewhere. Sometimes it's about emphasizing different things, sometimes it's about combating DC conventional wisdom, sometimes it's about highlighting things which are being ignored. But taken all together it's about telling the story of politics in a different way.

While there are other elements - fundraising, various types of activism, etc... - day to day the power of the blogosphere is that it offers up a competing version of political reality, in opposition to the Russert/Matthews/Dowd version and in opposition to the Limbaugh/Hannity/Fox News/Heritage Foundation version.
Duncan Black (Atrios) again:
News, current events, whatever, is an ongoing story about the state of reality. It's an ongoing story with a cast of characters, a set of plotlines, a backstory. It's story told by thousands of different unreliable narrators, and every individual hears some combination of these narrators and then roughly synthethsizes it all into a basic narrative about what's going on. For a long time conservatives have had a very large and loud narrative generation machine, which has for its viewers and listeners been able create the narrative by emphasizing certain facts (true or not), by creating bad guys and good guy, by determining what the important stories of the day were, by inserting certain basic assumptions into the debate, etc. In other words, to write the story. And, this machine has been loud enough to have a big impact on how the less partisan media told their story, too.

On our side we had the never-was-all-that-liberal-and-certainly-haven't-been-for-some-time outlets like New York Times and NPR, where "balanced" reporting commentary is the norm. Whatever the merits/slant or lack of for NYT and NPR generally, the "two sides to every story" approach doesn't actually serve to generate a basic liberal narrative about events, a common thread which we can all follow.

Now with blogs and a bit more genuine liberal talk radio we finally have our own narrative generation machine, and people who follow them regularly are following a basic storyline. The point isn't that there's consensus on all issues all the time, but we're largely operating within the same basic story, our little model of reality.
Chris Bowers (then of MyDD, now with Open left)
The production of conventional wisdom is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in the ebb and flow of the American political scene. While it is certainly not the only factor that determines political outcomes, investing in the political infrastructure that has the ability to shape and alter conventional wisdom within the DC political industrial complex in a manner favorable to your cause can result in an almost immeasurable return on your investment. When the vast majority of talking heads on television and radio, along with the vast majority of elected officials and high level consultants seem to repeat your talking points and voice your desired appraisal of the political environment at any point in time, in many ways you have won any political battle before it began.
[...]
We have developed out own ability to manufacture and alter conventional wisdom, and to transmit that conventional wisdom within our own little confined world: the netroots and the blogosphere.
Glennn Greenwald:
As frustrating as it can be, this sort of day-to-day pressure on individual journalists and political figures is the most effective weapon possessed by blogs, websites and other organizations devoted to forcing into our public discourse various perspectives and narratives which are otherwise excluded. Given how energized, engaged and active blog readers are, virtually all journalists, editors, pundits and political figures now hear the criticisms launched at them, and usually hear them quite loudly.

Through this process, many became aware of objections to what they do that they otherwise would not have realized. At the very least, they are conscious, when they go to write the next article or give the next interview, that they can trigger very vocal and negative reactions by repeating their errors. Even for those who are not driven by rationality and who are not operating in good faith, this process can still affect how they behave. Everyone is potentially affected, to some degree, even if subconsciously, by substantial amounts of anger directed at them. Journalists in general have thin skins for criticism and when they are subjected to it, they remember it.

The point here is that changing our public discourse is a slow, grinding, difficult process. Any changes that occur, any progress that is made, will be made only incrementally, one day after the next. Each individual change is usually so slight as to be imperceptible, but aggregated, those changes can be substantial. The real success of blogs comes not from single, easily identifiable spectacular achievements ("we defeated this bill/candidate" or "we uncovered this fact"), but rather, by the gradual re-shaping of the dominant political narratives, by changing how political and cultural issues are discussed, by influencing (either through pressure or competition) how the media conducts itself in covering our political process.
Let me quickly point out that I am not criticizing the people quoted above for their observations. They are correct. There is nothing inherently wrong with "battlespace preparation", "media bulldozing" or attempting to shape conventional wisdom. Indeed, it can, and does, offer valuable corrections, insights and perceptions to the media landscape.

But make no mistake, "battlespace preparation" is exactly what it is. The Left is keenly aware of it, and they're preparing the battlespace with an eye on the long term. They intend to re-make the political and media landscape so that they can, as Bowers described, win any political battle before it begins.

The Left is doing better than many on the Right understand, and their gains will be cumulative; they are not building a blogosphere - they are building a Movement.

The Right is falling farther and farther behind in the battlespace - a fact that will not change until the Right regains its motivating purpose, begins investing in the development of that long-term vision and rebuilding its own Movement.
 
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Excuse my simplicity and childishness. But lying is wrong. Lying about other people is wronger.

I hope I can one day grow up and think because there’s fancy names for tactics like lying, they are all ok.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Two things hurt the right: the Iraq war, and social conservatives. It is easy for the left to pick up voters who dislike the war and find the religious right (and things like a number of GOP candidates endorsing the idea that evolution is false) to be scary. This is especially true with young people, who are more civil libertarian, acceptant of gays, and generally secular than those who are older. People like me who really are far more libertarian than leftist have in the past drifted to the Democrats due to dislike of nationalist, religious and intolerant rhetoric from the right. Yet, especially as I view the current campaign in light of the real economic problems facing us (I’ve blogged about that the past couple days), I find the Democrats to have dangerous plans to expand the bureaucracy and government spending in ways which I don’t believe at all sustainable. Moreover, power is centralized to the federal government, more distant from the people. But, alas, the GOP has proven it can be as willing to spend and expand federal powers as the democrats. The Democrats promise a lot, but often can’t deliver, the GOP promises to cut a lot, but can’t deliver either. And, while Bush gave us Iraq, Clinton gave us Kosovo

It would be nice to have an alternative discourse that focused on the dangers of overly centralized power, economic rationality, an unintrusive government (whether dealing with guns or gays), and an emphasis on pragmatism over ideology or religion. I also think people who oppose big government need to reflect on ideas like a ’global war on terror’ or ’wars for regime change.’ Big government is at its most dangerous when it engages in aggressive military action. The one consolation I have is that where I live I have two Senators that represent, albeit imperfectly, something closer to that kind of alternative. They are disliked by the most partisan of both parties, yet are immensely popular with average folk in both. Maybe that’s just Maine, but perhaps it’s also a lesson that the majority is not necessarily where interest groups, political activists, and intense partisans are.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Instead, I blame the media for enabling the circus - for allowing the partisan point-scoring and feigned outrage to take precedence over....well, everything else.
You are pretending as if The Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, Fox News etc. never existed or as if the entire media malpractice of the 1990s and early 00s was a figment of imagination. Or as if the left wasn’t becoming halfway competent at the techniques the right perfected.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
The Right is falling farther and farther behind in the battlespace - a fact that will not change until the Right regains its motivating purpose, begins investing in the development of that long-term vision and rebuilding its own Movement.
The left was very motivated by being out of power for so long and getting bested by Bush time and again that they basically went crazy and as Oliver puts it, "anything to win" so it never happens again.

It is the actions of spoiled angry children. And the shame of it is that the right is going to have to stoop down to that level at some point.

Honestly, can we all just move onto guns and get this overwith? That’s the ultimate destination of crap like this anyway



 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
I don’t really think there is a coherent "Right", though. Some just care about abortion. Some are against taxes and government spending. Others are hawk-ish when it comes to foreign policy, while some are isolationist. And there’s a big schism between the average Republican (the activist) and the money funding the party (big business), which hurts on things like immigration.
 
Written By: JeremyR
URL: http://
You are pretending as if The Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, Fox News etc. never existed or as if the entire media malpractice of the 1990s and early 00s was a figment of imagination. Or as if the left wasn’t becoming halfway competent at the techniques the right perfected.
LMFAO, yeah- poor little put upon lefties.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Excuse my simplicity and childishness. But lying is wrong. Lying about other people is wronger.
Yes, I agree. If I write a post arguing otherwise, you should bring that up again.
It would be nice to have an alternative discourse that focused on the dangers of overly centralized power, economic rationality, an unintrusive government (whether dealing with guns or gays), and an emphasis on pragmatism over ideology or religion.
Agreed. I think we’d all profit from a far more skeptical media and greater attention paid to the problems created by government and the public choice dangers of bureaucracy.
You are pretending as if The Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, Fox News etc. never existed or as if the entire media malpractice of the 1990s and early 00s was a figment of imagination. Or as if the left wasn’t becoming halfway competent at the techniques the right perfected.
You might imagine that I’ve pretended such, but it is only in your imagination.

In comments left here before, you’ve always seemed under the impression that the Left is only doing this because the Right (started it? does it so much? something else?). I’m either amazed at the people who genuinely believe this is unique to one side or the other, or dismayed by the people who know better and pretend otherwise.

In any event, the idea that the Left is trying to "learn" this stuff is absurd. They were doing it long before Gingrich and Reagan ever held office. And your protestations over having it done to you ring quite hollow when you tout the Left "becoming halfway competent at the techniques" you claim to find objectionable.

It’s not a partisan issue, and accepting that fact is the first step to figuring out how to fix it. Unless, of course, you’d rather use it than fix it.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
In comments left here before, you’ve always seemed under the impression that the Left is only doing this because the Right (started it? does it so much? something else?). I’m either amazed at the people who genuinely believe this is unique to one side or the other, or dismayed by the people who know better and pretend otherwise.
Of course the right does it more, the right started it, and is better at it.

Talk radio is where it started. Right wing talk radio that is.

Talk radio reaches a far greater audience than any other form of media bulldozing - by far. Even today.

And talk radio is more effective. If for no other reason than that it does not require reading. The spoken word has always been more effective at evoking emotion. After all, Rush really did call soliders who stand in opposition to Bush’s policy "phony soldiers," regardless of what Fox reports. Yet watch - neither he nor the GOP will suffer for it; to the contrary, indeed, they will benefit from it. The truth will get lost along the way (witness Fox’s Gibson’s editing of the Rush audio). But so what?

The problem today for the right is that as the audience is moving away from the broadcasting that is talk radio to the narrow casting that is the internet, the advantage is being lost. Without the internet, there would be no Daily Kos.com, Move.org, etc. But there would still be a Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Laura Ingram, etc.

Of course the right started it, is better at it, and does it more. But the left is catching up. That much is accepted conventional wisdom at this point. It’s weird that you are even trying to argue to the contrary. Weren’t you paying attention during the 80’s?





 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Is there anything really to be done? All sophisticated players in the political game realize they can gain power more quickly and easily through media manipulation than honest speech. And so they will do it, usually without admitting so.

And if you call them on it and shame them ... they just get more sophisticated at the lying and spin-doctoring. The best sound perfectly reasonable.

A simple example. Right now extremely overheated rhetoric on the environment works with the public. On NPR just today I heard a Dem candidate claim we would "boil humanity off the globe in a hundred years" due to global warming.

This is, of course, absurd. But the NPR host, and most listeners, allowed the crazy hyperbole as a stand-in for "something unthinkably bad will happen". So unthinkable there’s no need to, well, use actual thought when thinking about it.

Now, crazed predictions of doom aren’t a great example of sophisticated media manipulation, I guess, but it has worked for the green movement. More sophisticated versions would include things like the Stern Report with the famous zero discount rate.
 
Written By: jim
URL: http://
"After all, Rush really did call soliders who stand in opposition to Bush’s policy "phony soldiers," regardless of what Fox reports."

No, he really didn’t.
 
Written By: Bart
URL: http://
Of course the right does it more, the right started it, and is better at it.
Your grasp of history is sufficiently poor and tendentious that I don’t think there’s much point in arguing with you. You’re wedded to the "history began when I started paying attention" framework that allows you to include confirming evidence, exclude evidence to the contrary and create your comfortable little reality.

I would, however, note that it was you who recently explained to us that the term "narrative" was a "cheap rhetorical trick" used by the Right to "undermine the credibility of the information without actually confronting the facts of the information." As if the raison d’etra of the Leftosphere, of George Lakoff, and even the proficiencies of Truman-era liberals had never crossed your radar. Which, in light of your apparent confirmation bias, would not be unsurprising.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Your grasp of history is sufficiently poor and tendentious that I don’t think there’s much point in arguing with you. You’re wedded to the "history began when I started paying attention" framework that allows you to include confirming evidence, exclude evidence to the contrary and create your comfortable little reality.

I would, however, note that it was you who recently explained to us that the term "narrative" was a "cheap rhetorical trick" used by the Right to "undermine the credibility of the information without actually confronting the facts of the information." As if the raison d’etra of the Leftosphere, of George Lakoff, and even the proficiencies of Truman-era liberals had never crossed your radar. Which, in light of your apparent confirmation bias, would not be unsurprising.
Nice, non-substantive response.

First, Lakoff’s rise came after the advent of modern talk radio. So what’s your point? Indeed, Lakoff’s employment can be seen as a response to right wing talk radio. Likewise, so was the rise of the "Leftosphere." Did you even read my post? Thanks fo proving my point, I suppose.

Second, the reference to "Truman-era liberals" is simply a reference to the fact that politicans use language to frame issues. Again, so what? That’s been going on for centuries.

Media bulldozing is different. It’s not the use of media, such as was done in the past to frame an issue. Instead, it’s a critique of the media - it’s anti-framing. It’s a reaction to the very thing you refer to. Thoroughly post-modern in a way that would not have been understood or possible in the 1940’s.

It’s the post-modernist aspect of the technique that you don’t seem to grasp and that makes its vintage relatively recent.

But of course, as someone who would not have voted for George Allen if given the chance, I necessarily have a confirmation bias.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
And talk radio is more effective. If for no other reason than that it does not require reading
More effective then the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CBS, ABC, NBC,CNN, MSNBC, etc. etc.?

Get off my d*ck, mk.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Hey guys, you are arguing seriously with MKUltra. I think Peter’s last statement is the best you can make to MK or David S or whatever his name is this week.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I am sure the generals in Burma started out much the same way. They always start with the best intentions and it is always because they don’t have any other way to fight.

They are doing it for a good cause. It isn’t really lying after all, it is protecting what is good and right. After all, those on the right aren’t really people after all. Look at what they did in the ... "fill in your favorite manufactured outrage here"
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
The situation is getting out of control. The media is blatantly pro-enemy and basically communist at this point. We have most of the Democrat Party acting openly treasonous and academia utterly controlled by radical leftists doing their damndest to indoctrinate generations.

Cultural Marxism-the undermining of the institutions of culture which enabled America to succeed and stand out in history is going full bore on multiple fronts. It is insidious and it’s working. We are in major trouble and the West in general is as well.

Nobody wants to hear this but it may take a second American Civil War to fix things. We are going to lose our nation and ultimately our civilization at the hands of these bastards. The leftists are going to leave us vulnerable to the barbarian hordes eager to take their share of our lifeblood. Maybe at that point we won’t be worth fighting for any more.
 
Written By: Steve39
URL: http://
Nobody wants to hear this but it may take a second American Civil War to fix things.
Well there’s a conversation killer.

How do you think this war might be started?

How will you tell your side from the other side?

Have you considered therapy?









 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Preparing the battle space is good. Winning the battles before they start is good.

However, there is a big danger.

Let us look into one. Human caused (CO2) global warming (AGW). Suppose (as some solar scientists predict) we are in a cooling phase. That discredits the message and the messenger. Very dangerous.

Or suppose Iraq turns around (as appears to be happening).

In such a situation the fact that the left was out front could destroy it.
 
Written By: M. Simon
URL: http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/
In comments left here before, you’ve always seemed under the impression that the Left is only doing this because the Right (started it? does it so much? something else?). I’m either amazed at the people who genuinely believe this is unique to one side or the other, or dismayed by the people who know better and pretend otherwise.
Actually my incredulity is due to the fact that this only became a "problem" when the left decided to show up to the game. For a long time after the formation of the right’s information infrastructure, the left felt that its existing, more academic, institutions were the right thing to do - because many naively believed that without attacking these problems head on, the good guys would win out. The problem is in the process the right so infected the discourse that it regularly got its wishes, from convincing enough people that Bill Clinton was the devil incarnate to remove him from office, to the press unquestioningly cheerleading the Bush administration to war. So many on the left figured it was fruitless bringing a knife to a gunfight. We may just have six-shooters while the right still has machine guns, but all of a sudden folks on the right like yourself are Very Concerned About The State Of Discourse In Our Nation. How else can I interpret it that when the left showed up to the party, the right got pissy?
It’s not a partisan issue, and accepting that fact is the first step to figuring out how to fix it. Unless, of course, you’d rather use it than fix it.
I’m pessimistic by nature, but frankly the right wishes for the left to unilaterally disarm so we can go back to the good old days of getting our rears kicked. In an ideal world this, in an ideal world that. We don’t live in an ideal world, the right’s not going to stop - isn’t that, in fact, just the kind of stuff you and Patrick Ruffini, etc. are working on? So why should we? So we can lay down and give everything up to the right like we did for almost a generation?

No thanks.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
mk,

To save you the trouble of clicking the link and reading it, Rush was talking about Jesse McBeth who was a phony soldier. 44 days in the Army.
 
Written By: M. Simon
URL: http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/
More effective then the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, CBS, ABC, NBC,CNN, MSNBC, etc. etc.?
Yes.

What’s weird about wingers is that they will not acknowledge that Rush Limbaugh is very popular. And that he is much better known than Kos, Atrios, Marshall, Drum, and other liberal bloggers.

Why are we arguing about this?
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Oliver,

The left unilaterally disarmed its self by increasingly championing socialism/communism after it was shown to be an abject failure.

 
Written By: M. Simon
URL: http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/
Well ok how could I argue with that, it’s not crazy or anything. Oh wait, it is.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
This is one of the saddest comments section I have seen at QandO. May I suggest keeping the discussion only to the internet as a way of bridging the "who started it" discussion?

Or realizing that right wing talk radio only exists because at the time of the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, there was very little "right wing" media available? Note that Walter Winchel started out pro-Democrat, pro-labor, etc. in the 1930’s and then became anti-communist and right wing later on. So technically, we could say the Dems started it in the 1930’s. LOL.

Or realizing that the media and academia heavily trend left-wing...more so than the actual nation? But then again, the Yellow Journalism at the turn of the century was allied with the Republican government then. So I guess Hearst started it.

This stuff can go back in history until neither the modern right or left will recognize what "side" they were then.

I suggest keeping the discussion to the use of the internet by non-media to influence the traditional media. That might lead it back to Drudge as the grandfather of this?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Oliver,

Which point to you find crazy making?

The failure of socialism/communism?

Or the fact that the left champions it?

Or both?
 
Written By: M. Simon
URL: http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/
The Right started it?

Uh huh. Tell that to Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork.

The idea that the ’80’s represents a decade of the Right being childish and mean towards the Left is the most hilariously apalling rewrite of history I’ve seen in a while. And that’s saying something, considering what the Left regularly serves up.

Qwinn
 
Written By: Qwinn
URL: http://
How do you think this war might be started?

How will you tell your side from the other side?

Have you considered therapy?
Just the right Democrat gets shot, an unacceptable gun law goes through, and then there is an attempt at enforcement.

There’s a reason why all those battle rifle caliber auto-loaders got bought back in 1986 when most people thought they were going to be banned next.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: tomdperk.blogspot.com
The situation is getting out of control. The media is blatantly pro-enemy and basically communist at this point...
I honestly don’t know if this comment was meant to be a joke or not. If not, add the emphasis some on the right have on "communism" to be a weakness. Communism was the 20th century’s ideological foe, those talking about it now marginalize themselves, whether they support or claim to be fighting against it. Calling someone a communist is no longer an insult, it’s irrelevant.

As for civil war...

The dream of some civil war uprising (which inspired the likes of Timothy McVeigh) is usually held by ’true believers’ who are convinced others not only share their view, but are willing to act on it. It inspired Hitler to try to rise up in 1923, the Tet offensive, and numerous other attempts to inspire the masses to join in the cause. It always fails, most people aren’t going to rise up, especially if they are not themselves in dire straights and hopeless. And no matter how many guns the true believers have, the power of the US government will crush them easily should they try violence. Anyone fantasizing about some kind of civil war in the US over ideology or gun control is deluding themselves. The way our system changes is through the ballot box.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
This is one of the saddest comments section I have seen at QandO.
Agreed. And debating which side "started it" is as pointless as debating the "starting point" on a circle. It’s always been there.

And this...
The Right started it? Uh huh. Tell that to Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork.
...is a valuable point, as well.

This, however...
What’s weird about wingers is that they will not acknowledge that Rush Limbaugh is very popular. And that he is much better known than Kos, Atrios, Marshall, Drum, and other liberal bloggers.
...is absurd. Which Righty will not acknowledge that Limbaugh is popular? Do you have any citations, or are you generalizing your feverish imaginations onto all Righties?
Actually my incredulity is due to the fact that this only became a "problem" when the left decided to show up to the game.
Who said that was the case? Again, your strawmen do not constitute my opinions.
I’m pessimistic by nature, but frankly the right wishes for the left to unilaterally disarm so we can go back to the good old days of getting our rears kicked. In an ideal world this, in an ideal world that. We don’t live in an ideal world, the right’s not going to stop - isn’t that, in fact, just the kind of stuff you and Patrick Ruffini, etc. are working on? So why should we? So we can lay down and give everything up to the right like we did for almost a generation?
I don’t think I ever implied that you should not fight the information war. Quite the contrary - I think it is very important to do that. Honorably. And without forgetting that winning is not more important than honor.

And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - correcting inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse. That is not to say that Media Matters is always fair, accurate or reasonable...but I think it is a very worthwhile entity.

 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
This will always be a simple case of lazy people. If you want both sides of a story, its not hard to find. Check the facts and decide yourself who was right, or decide you cant tell for sure. Any other action is foolish and removes any discussion you create on the topic to be moot and phony. If no one can be bothered to hear both sides of a story which very easily could diminish your respect for someone else, than their views should be summarily throw out of any discourse on the subject and ridiculed.

We cannot continue this form of lazy discussion. Before i start any discussion with those around me i want to know that they have actually checked out the facts, and heard both sides. If someones comments are being called into question, it is your duty to hear those comments in context and get the view of the commenter on their meaning. To not do this is irresponsible. (a la Rushy) From his contextual comments its not perfectly clear who he was calling phony when he initially made the comments, but he later explains, we must accept this explanation as we have no way of knowing otherwise. This is the ONLY acceptable view of the specific situation. And i will debate you on that till i die.

The whole idea is irresponsible and should not be seen as anything other than what it is. It should be condemned and chastised, not grudgingly accepted as the norm.
"There is nothing inherently wrong with "battlespace preparation", "media bulldozing" or attempting to shape conventional wisdom. Indeed, it can, and does, offer valuable corrections, insights and perceptions to the media landscape."
I have to disagree with this. Shaping conventional wisdom should NEVER be a tactic. The facts should shape the wisdom themselves. I know this is likely pie in the sky thinking, but i think its the correct view to hold. Why should i let ANYONE "shape" my views? I don’t need commentary in my news, i wish i could read a news story in bullet point facts :)
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Harun wrote:
"But then again, the Yellow Journalism at the turn of the century was allied with the Republican government then. So I guess Hearst started it."

Did you know that William Randolph Hearst was a Democrat?
 
Written By: anonymous
URL: http://
my incredulity is due to the fact that this only became a "problem" when the left decided to show up to the game

The same is true of the rise of talk radio and conservative think tanks- these were not created in a vacuum, but rather were a reaction to liberal strongholds in media and academia- so while I agree with OW’s point that the blog-based battlespace prep is inducing more anxiety on the right at the moment, I see a direct parallel in the left’s worry about Rush and the Heritage Foundation.

The ’right-wing noise machine’ is a co-opting of Gramsci, I think, so this back and forth has been going on for a while. While the combatants are bitterly partisan, the paranoia about one side or the other getting unfair advantage, and the ongoing meta-critique that follows is useful.

For someone who doesn’t just see this as one side against the other, but rather the yin and yang of American politics, nothing suits me more than both sides locked in constant combat. Egregious conduct and ludicrous arguments get outed quickly, and good techniques and ideas are fought for. I shudder at the idea that what passes for liberal or conservative here could ever establish a secure hold on power. God forbid we ever get along, or a major engine for political discovery and innovation would be lost.
 
Written By: Dave Eaton
URL: sciencedave.blogspot.com
Unfortunately for the left, the battle space is changing and never going back. The ability of the old parrot media to control the narrative with lies is no longer operative. Yes I know, this drives the left even more nuts, if that is possible. The days of DDT, ozone hole, and now global warming lies are over, get over it.

Soon there will be Fox Business Channel, then there will be the New York Times replacement, the newly branded WSJ. And off to the side we have the IBD, who recently exposed the globull warming hoax and the money paid by Soros to the chief nut in charge of the global warming lies, pay offs to scientists. If an oil company had done this, the left would have gone nuts. Since ...

And then there is YouTube, where all the good stuff gets archived.

So the media landscape is drastically changing, for the control freak left, who wants only their narrative to be available to the public, it’s a disaster.

Who drove the "Betray us" story?
 
Written By: bill-tb
URL: http://
This is one of the saddest comments section I have seen at QandO.
Agreed. And debating which side "started it" is as pointless as debating the "starting point" on a circle. It’s always been there.
True, but this particular section of comments is rather tame in comparison to any day’s comments at Willis, Atrios or Cole’s blog comments sections.

Off course, just just Willis and Cole have rabid commentators does not mean that it is acceptable to have the same because he did it too.
And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - correcting inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse.
Yes, the concept is good but I do not believe that the principals ever intended to follow that concept faithfully. Can anyone point me to a media matters correction that was not biased or partisan.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Shaping conventional wisdom should NEVER be a tactic.
Shaping the conventional wisdom is always and inevitably a very powerful tactic.

You have reality. Reality gets interpreted different ways. People with equal intelligence and honesty will come to vastly different conclusions about health care, Iraq and a host of other issues because their beliefs, understandings, experiences and theories about how the world works differ. They may think they are seeing things "the way they really are," but that’s virtually impossible with complex social situation, it’s always an interpretation of reality and its causal mechanisms.

Therefore, politics is about persuading others that your interpretation is, if not ’reality as it is,’ better than other interpretations out there. You can do it through science, argumentation, philosophy, personal attacks on those who hold different interpretations (a common tactic these days), appeal to emotion, appeal to ethics, etc. But the goal is to persuade, and that means to convince people that your interpretation should be the conventional wisdom.

I have no problem with that in principle. The tactics used are what can be called into question. I dislike the way people on each side now heap scorn and ridicule on those on the other side (or those on their side who goes against their view). The idea here seems to be if you don’t share my interpretation, then you deserve ridicule. In general, tactics that distract from a reasoned discussion of the issues do more harm than good, while tactics that engage the issue and other interpretations directly with reason, evidence, and logical argumentation are good. That seems to be harder to find our discourse today.

It is interesting that the left is convinced the right is doing this more, and the right is convinced the left is. It sort of reminds me of how football fans are convinced the refs are against their team, or how their team is somehow not as dirty as the other team (unless you’re a Raiders fan, then you’re proud when your team plays dirty). People notice offenses by others and don’t recognize their own.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
People notice offenses by others and don’t recognize their own.
* snicker *

Are you going to pay up on your wager, or are you just hoping it will go away?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I figure that if the Left had enough real soldiers, they wouldn’t be so vulnerable to being taken in by the fake ones.

They do have some real former soldiers. Wesley Clark, Markos of Daily Kos, Ritter of the weapons inspectors who was indicted for child molestation.

Real soldiers and marines who support the war have something to do about it. The ones who are against it can only carp, which is less impressive.
 
Written By: don meaker
URL: http://
as if the left wasn’t becoming halfway competent at the techniques the right perfected

Hold the phone.

We’re talking here about the dishonest smear and slander perpetrated by the Left against Republicans.

The Right may have begun to fight back in the culture war, but that does not mean that the Right engages in dishonest smear and slander.

Dishonest smear and slander after all are what defines the Left.
 
Written By: Paul A’Barge
URL: http://
The Left is handicapped when it comes to creating a cumulative movement. Their messages tend to change too often. The position of the Left changes every few years on such issues as the validity of IQ tests, the "right to die," or the War on Some Drugs.
 
Written By: Joseph Hertzlinger
URL: http://hertzlinger.blogspot.com
> You are pretending as if The Heritage Foundation, Media Research Center, Fox News etc. never existed or as if the entire media malpractice of the 1990s and early 00s was a figment of imagination. Or as if the left wasn’t becoming halfway competent at the techniques the right perfected.

If the left actually believed that such things were as powerful as they insist, the left would happily give the right the major newspapers and networks and academia in return for the above assets.

For some reason, I’m pretty sure that the left wouldn’t make that trade. If they won’t, that argues that their real beef is not that the right has better tools, but that it is finally becoming competitive with what the left has had for decades.
 
Written By: Andy Freeman
URL: http://
I find the thought of a future second civil war scary but not implausible. As the most powerful nation on the planet, we lack a clear perception of external threats that compel and enforce internal cohesion. That gives too many of us license to feel that our worst enemy is another American.

Plus, one can’t deny that foreign interests have much to gain from a divided and weakened America. Factual evidence of clandestine foreign involvement in our political processes comes in almost daily - Soros and Hsu are two names in recent news. In fact, such meddling has been common since the Revolution and we must continue to guard against it.

Civil war will come when one side finds it can not afford to lose an argument. A leftie president could confiscate all weapons from civilians or a military junta could dismiss the Supreme Court and declare one of its own as Commander-in-Chief.

The MSM and academia are currently partisan players today with substantial but ebbing political power. Mr. Henke’s posting is really about the rise of new partisan power players (blogs on left and right) and the scramble to replace existing but declining power centers.
 
Written By: Whitehall
URL: http://
A leftie president could confiscate all weapons from civilians
You do mean: "A leftie president could try to confiscate all weapons from civilians"
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I’m either amazed at the people who genuinely believe this is unique to one side or the other, or dismayed by the people who know better and pretend otherwise.
I think a lot of people genuinely believe it — "our" side focuses on ideals and values, "their" side just wants power. Also, groupthink can take over, as people on either side convince themselves that their take on things is accurate.

Here’s the wager:

A small non-monetary wager JWG. It’s now May 22nd and we had this exchange on Q&O blog comment 6053. On October 1 we’ll look at the situation in Iraq. If the policy as described above is the one being put in to operation, you’ll admit I’m right (and I’ll be in the unusual situation of supporting the President’s policy on Iraq). If the surge is continuing and there is little no move to internationalize in the manner described, I’ll admit you are right and I read the article with bias. In a little over four months we should know how credible the source is.
The surge is far more effectively militarily than I expected (which I’ve stated before), and Gen. Petraeus has masterfully gotten Sunni tribes in Anbar to work against al qaeda, helped in large part by al qaeda’s brutality. Thus Sunni insurgent activity is done, and with the Shi’ite militias now quiet (and biding their time), that means total violence is down. You were right and I read the article with bias. I expected the surge to be less successful militarily and reality would force a quicker opening to Iran and the region.

I still think ultimately (as noted by Jon as well in his recent post) this success is not enough to save the policy, because political change is not happening within the Iraqi government on a variety of fronts — the surge is very limited in what it can accomplish. But it has worked in those limited terms, and I didn’t think it would.

The fact you think that I somehow wouldn’t want to say that is odd. Do you really think I’m so insecure that I would refuse to admit when things don’t go as expected?

Oh, I was also wrong to praise the comments of the President of Columbia. It was right to invite him — show off our freedom, liberty, free speech — but the questions was, as I think Billy H. said (and I disagreed with) an ambush. I was convinced by an Iranian (who considers Ahmadinejad crazy) that the harsh questioning undeed the positive impact this would have in Iran.

So not only did I "pay off" the wager by admitting I was wrong, but through in a freebie as well. Enjoy!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, I should note that my "here’s the wager" comment was a response to JWG above. It was a ’wager’ made in comments for post 6053 (an interesting set of exchanges in re-reading it). Sorry for the lack of context.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sorry for the lack of context.
Ah, these days there’s no worry about context, ask the Senate Majority leader.
Words now officially mean what we want them to mean, when we want them to mean them.
It’s clearly a question of which is to be master.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Various Boris Erb comments:
Communism was the 20th century’s ideological foe, those talking about it now marginalize themselves, whether they support or claim to be fighting against it. Calling someone a communist is no longer an insult, it’s irrelevant.
That’s certainly a generous gift to yourself, Boris, since American universities, like the one you professor at, are jammed to the gills with Marxists of one stripe or another, especially the cultural (Gramscian) variety who haunt Women’s Studies and "multicultural" programs.

Then this:
The idea here seems to be if you don’t share my interpretation, then you deserve ridicule.
By the way, Boris, what is your "interpretation" today?

Then:
The surge is far more effectively militarily than I expected (which I’ve stated before), and Gen. Petraeus has masterfully gotten Sunni tribes in Anbar to work against al qaeda, helped in large part by al qaeda’s brutality. Thus Sunni insurgent activity is done, and with the Shi’ite militias now quiet (and biding their time), that means total violence is down. You were right and I read the article with bias. I expected the surge to be less successful militarily and reality would force a quicker opening to Iran and the region.
Well, that’s such a special synopsis of your views that you provide, isn’t it, Boris. What a convenient summary of years of calling Iraq a "fiasco" and a "disaster" while ignoring all of the very real things that were happening, like the elections and the writing and ratification of the constitution. You were always so pleased with yourself when things went wrong and quick to ignore anything that went right, and so quick to demand surrender while blaming the U.S. for everything.

Finally:
The fact you think that I somehow wouldn’t want to say that is odd. Do you really think I’m so insecure that I would refuse to admit when things don’t go as expected?
Paging Jon Lovitz. "Yeah, that’s the ticket. I’m a member of Pathological Liars Anonymous [looks around nervously], in fact, I’m its president."


 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - correcting inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse.
Well, if this is what they actually did, it would be valuable. However... the truth lies elsewhere.
Factual evidence of clandestine foreign involvement in our political processes comes in almost daily - Soros and Hsu are two names in recent news.
Wait a sec... Doesn’t Soros finance Media Matters to "manufacture conventional wisdom"? Oliver, can you shed some light on this? I mean, your organization does highlight misdeeds from the left and Democrats as well, right? To have valuable nonpartisan credibility?
 
Written By: Rob
URL: http://
But make no mistake, "battlespace preparation" is exactly what it is. The Left is keenly aware of it, and they’re preparing the battlespace with an eye on the long term. They intend to re-make the political and media landscape so that they can, as Bowers described, win any political battle before it begins.
Kinda like Rathergate?

As it stands, I’m not all that impressed with left wing "battlespace preparation". Perhaps it’s because I don’t know enough about it, but with respective events like MoveOn’s add and Rush’s comments, I mostly see wasted effort by the left.

Lie about the general, lie about Rush, lie about the Swiftboat Vets, lie about Bush’s NG documents. Lie, lie, lie, and pretty soon everyone catches on.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Anonymous,

Ha! I did not know Hearst was a Democrat! In any case my point was this stuff is nothing new. Except now it’s been brought down to where a smart guy with a computer could conceivably come up with the next meme, narrative, story, or slogan.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Ha! I did not know Hearst was a Democrat!
This sorta thing predates American independence. The tools are different, but the fundamentals remain.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
from Henke’s original post:
The Right is falling farther and farther behind in the battlespace
That depends on when you start measuring. If you measure from 1994, the Right is behind. If you measure from 1974, the Right is way ahead (at least in its ability to communicate its ideas, if not in actually holding back the socialist tide).

The Democrats (the Left) always prepare their battlespace with delusions. It’s like entering the room of a schizophrenic who covers his walls with photographs of Dominique Villepin and tin foil. Plus, you cannot have a well-prepared "battlespace" with Harry Reid as your Senate leader and H. Clinton, B. Obama, and J. Edwards as your presidential candidates.

Republicans are currently holding the bag, so their "battlespace" is the actual, real, living battlespace. Iraq is theirs. The economy is theirs. The mood of the country is theirs.

What they need are a few breaks in that arena and a leader. The paucity of their candidates is not as bad as the Democrats, because their leading contender doesn’t have 50% negatives before the real election action begins. And their runner up isn’t a dumb blonde like B. Obama.

Plus, the Republicans (the Right) make some effort to look to the moral consequences of their actions. The Democrats make no such effort. Voters do eventually take some notice of this.

If Iraq stabilizes and makes steady progress, if the economy weathers the current housing contraction and stays out of recession, if a Republican candidate emerges who is not just a 2/3rds Republican but unites the GOP coalition, then Madame Nu’s bulging eyes and carefully camouflaged Leftwing usual are not going to look too attractive come the election, no matter what the MoveOnsters and other assorted nutroots do to prepare the "battlespace."
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I know this will go over your heads, but this is the Media Matters mission statement:
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation — news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda — every day, in real time.
So the argument that Media Matters doesn’t cover "both sides", etc., is just garbage.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
So how exactly does their mission statement prove that Media Matters covers both sides...

Or is that not your point? If not, what is your point?

It seems in a quick perusal of PBS and CBS coverage, that Media Matters tends to mostly ding them for not being hard enough on conservatives and Republicans, or not covering liberal/leftist/progressive/democrats well enough in their opinion.

And oh, there coverage of Clinton is just so balanced...

 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Yet more burbling from the Soros toady.

Groveling before a -real- evil billionaire is so repulsive, Ollie.

http://www.fpp.co.uk/online/03/11/JTA071103.html


Why don’t you sue to get your integrity back?

Not that you’d care about its condition.
 
Written By: E. Brown
URL: http://saturninretrograde.blogspot.com
Media Matters follows conservative misinformation. They don’t cover "both sides" any more than MRC looks for conservative "bias".
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Media Matters follows conservative misinformation. They don’t cover "both sides"
So you admit you are a partisan hack. Well, at least that is out of the way.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Media Matters follows conservative misinformation.
Ah.

So apparently the mission statement was actually over your head and not anyone else’s.

Would I be correct to assume, now that you actually seem to have figured out the mission statement you’ve posed, that you will now drop the argument that MMA is unbiased? Or doesn’t spin information?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Would I be correct to assume, now that you actually seem to have figured out the mission statement you’ve posed, that you will now drop the argument that MMA is unbiased? Or doesn’t spin information?"

Yep, the Jesse Macbeth lovers are real impartial, aren’t they? Not that Unjolly Ollie cares to know anything about it.
 
Written By: E. Brown
URL: http://saturninretrograde.blogspot.com
correcting conservative misinformation
So, Oliver, when you say "correcting conservative misinformation" you really mean, "when necessary making sh!t up".

Because there hasn’t been a more clear case of making sh!t up that I can recall in lo these 50 years. Oh...wait...yes I can - I forgot Baghdad Bob. Still....
for the Senate to even be discussing this, considering this, is about one of the most outrageous things I’ve ever seen that group of supposedly educated people do.
Any thought I had that they might conceivably not be as partisan and as grasping as I was afraid has been thoroughly done away with.

And I can’t believe I’m defending Rush Limberger because I think he’s a rabble rousing bozo about 90% of the time, with odd moments of actual insight (though the onlhy time I even hear him or read him is when he’s twisted someone’s panties into a knot, as with this case).
It has often troubled me that he has as big a following as he does, but this tells me the sometimes mindlessness of Rush’s dittoheads is ONLY exceeded by the willingness of organizations like Media Matters, MoveOn and now, the Friggin US Senate Majority to gain power.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Why don’t you sue to get your integrity back?
Interesting that a holocaust denier is using Soros as source material. That seems about right for media matters.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Ah, these days there’s no worry about context, ask the Senate Majority leader. Words now officially mean what we want them to mean, when we want them to mean them.
Let me demonstrate with your next sentence:
It’s clearly a question of which is to be master.
Where there’s a master, there’s a slave, so this is is code language for a return to the enslavement of Persons of Color, which makes you a Racist.

How’s that?
 
Written By: The Monster
URL: http://
"Interesting that a holocaust denier is using Soros as source material."

They have a similar vision of Israel and Jews.
 
Written By: E. Brown
URL: http://saturninretrograde.blogspot.com
were skipping one important point, the idea of a non binding resolution condemning a specific person, or even a specific group of people is patently absurd and there must be better things to do with the time of our so called "leaders". They only serve to bring the idiocy of this problem to the forefront of politics, thus giving credence to the ridiculous tactics and proving that the politicians are ok with their usage. Isn’t this legislating morality through non binding legislation? absurd The government should not be slapping us on the hand cause we have been disrespectful.
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Would I be correct to assume, now that you actually seem to have figured out the mission statement you’ve posed, that you will now drop the argument that MMA is unbiased? Or doesn’t spin information?
Media Matters has never said it wasn’t conservative or liberal - that mission statement has been in the exact same url for years. Never, or else I wouldn’t have signed on in the first place. You claim it spins information, believe what you like, but unlike orgs like MRC, Media Matters does not ask its readers to strain credibility to know what’s in people’s minds to find out whether they’re "biased" or not.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
How’s that?
I’d say that accurately reflects the situation in question.

Josh, was it the House or the Senate that did the ’Freedom Fries’ thing at one point when our knickers were in a twist with France over Iraq?
I see no reason to think they can’t or won’t issue non-binding resolutions to express their displeasure with Lord Rush.
What is it McQ likes to say?

Not. Their. Job.

Just more pointless posturing.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Media Matters follows conservative misinformation. They don’t cover "both sides" any more than MRC looks for conservative "bias".
I don’t see anyone making the argument that they should cover "both sides."

Now Jon did make this argument.
That is not to say that Media Matters is always fair, accurate or reasonable...
One can be fair, accurate, and reasonable, without having to cover both sides of an issue.
Media Matters does not ask its readers to strain credibility to know what’s in people’s minds to find out whether they’re "biased" or not.
So in other words, they are biased, and it’s self evident in everything they do.

Or are you saying that it doesn’t matter what Rush said, as long as Media Matters can present a reasonable case (to only its readers) that what he said means what they say it could mean.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Media Matters has never said it wasn’t conservative or liberal ...
I think the word used was "unbiased". It has never said that either.
You claim it spins information, believe what you like, but unlike orgs like MRC, Media Matters does not ask its readers to strain credibility to know what’s in people’s minds to find out whether they’re "biased" or not.
Right. The O’Rielly and Limbaugh smear jobs prove that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I think Ilya Sommin covers it well. It is the irrational hatred of the ideological adversary. Fairness has nothing to do with it. There is a mission and an adversary that must be defeated at all costs.

Not sure about you guys but I have heard that before and it sends a chill down my spine. Off course, you can think about Willis and laugh it off, but irrational ideologues have always found willing bully boys ready to do what they want.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
MRC says:
"The Leader in Documenting, Exposing, and Neutralizing Liberal Media Bias."

The mission of the Media Research Center is to bring balance to the news media. Leaders of America’s conservative movement have long believed that within the national news media a strident liberal bias existed that influenced the public’s understanding of critical issues. On October 1, 1987, a group of young determined conservatives set out to not only prove — through sound scientific research — that liberal bias in the media does exist and undermines traditional American values, but also to neutralize its impact on the American political scene.
So, of course, bias is in the eye of the beholder, except when it’s on the front page for everyone to see.

But the only reason this is coming up now is whether Rush is being taken out of context, or being correctly characterized. If you leave out a bunch of what he said, of course you can make the arguments that he was smearing our troops. But funny, when you look at the transcript, and read what he says about it, it doesn’t sound so outrageous.

So, it is up to ordinary people to feel it out and decide for themselves.

Of course, I think this is a bunch of wasted breath on the leftist/progressive/liberal/democrat’s part.

One either hates Rush, is neutral, or loves him. The manufactured controversy isn’t going to change anyones minds.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - correcting inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse.
Has MM ever done this? Their current behaviour seems to be more along the line of lie and smear.

So far, the one correcting "inaccuracies and misconceptions" is more likely LGF, or the Swiftboat Vets, and others on the right.

The left is more inclined to use forged memos, faked video, faked photos, and lies created from out of context quotes. And, oh yes, phony soldiers.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Of course Media Matters is partisan and ideologically biased. So is MRC. And Heritage. And Cato. None of us are unbiased.

There’s nothing wrong with that. The dueling nature of people with differing interests working against each other has a very clarifying, valuable effect. Media Matters doesn’t have to present "both sides" to present valuable information.

And while it’s not really relevant at all, they are not funded by Soros. They have been funded by organizations to which Soros, Lewis, et al, have donated, but that’s neither here nor there.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Please tell your coblogger. :)
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Please tell your coblogger. :)
So now that you acknowledge the bias, Oliver, can we assume you won’t try to convince anyone here that what MMA puts out isn’t spin?

I again refer you to the latest concerning O’R and Limbaugh. Please, in each case, point out what "conservative misinformation" was being corrected.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Actually the equivalence of importance of Limbaugh to moveon.org is so amusing and obvious that it seems like the US Senate is now part of a Monty Python sketch. A war going on, a credit crisis, the dollar is sliding. The country faces huge problems. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate work hard on the major issues of the day: a newspaper ad playing a game with a general’s name, and a talk radio host being accused of saying nasty things. I mean, it’s surreally funny. And yet people are taking it seriously. It really is bizarre.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Of course Media Matters is partisan and ideologically biased. So is MRC. And Heritage. And Cato. None of us are unbiased.

There’s nothing wrong with that. The dueling nature of people with differing interests working against each other has a very clarifying, valuable effect. Media Matters doesn’t have to present "both sides" to present valuable information.
Nothing wrong with being biased, it is their tendency to spin and to, essentially, lie, that’s the problem.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Actually the equivalence of importance of Limbaugh to moveon.org is so amusing and obvious that it seems like the US Senate is now part of a Monty Python sketch.
Right. Except Limbaugh is a top radio political pundit, and MoveOn is attempting to impact politics with massive campaign efforts. And there is a presidental campaign underway.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - correcting inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse.
Has MM ever done this? Their current behaviour seems to be more along the line of lie and smear.

So far, the one correcting "inaccuracies and misconceptions" is more likely LGF, or the Swiftboat Vets, and others on the right.

The left is more inclined to use forged memos, faked video, faked photos, and lies created from out of context quotes. And, oh yes, phony soldiers.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Nothing wrong with being biased, it is their tendency to spin and to, essentially, lie, that’s the problem.
Yeah, well the point was to get Oliver to admit that the organization is biased, something he was dancing around trying not to admit. He finally has.

And that takes us directly to "spin" and the nonsense about ’correcting misinformation’. In reality, MMA’s MO has been to attack and smear, not "correct misinformation".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I suppose I should be happy they are bending over so far backwards they could kiss their own butts to create this controversy.

That sort of behavior smacks of desperation.
And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - correcting inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse.
Hey, I noticed a problem in the quote here - let me fix it.
And for the record: I think the concept behind Media Matters - creating inaccuracies and misconceptions - is a very valuable contribution to political discourse.
There, all better now.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’ve never said Media Matters was a source of research that examines the media without a point of view, you just made that up.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
I’ve never said Media Matters was a source of research that examines the media without a point of view, you just made that up.
I haven’t made anything up ... I just wanted you to actually admit it. All the dancing around you were doing was distracting.

Now, back to the point you made about the mission of "correcting misinformation".

Again, show me where MMA was "correcting misinformation" in its latest smears against O’R and Limbaugh. How has what they’ve done "corrected" any "misinformation"?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Interesting that the usual suspects in the media aren’t touching this with a ten foot pole...
Not the New York Times. Not the Washington Post. Ditto all three broadcast network evening news programs Monday, and the Associated Press.

This raises an important question:

Have most major press outlets correctly concluded that the leftwing organization Media Matters did indeed cherry-pick and misrepresent Limbaugh’s statements thereby making earlier reports on the subject erroneous?

Or, did they recognize how hypocritical it would be to castigate Limbaugh for basically reiterating what ABC’s Brian Ross and Charles Gibson reported last Monday evening just two days before Rush made his statements?

Of course, a more cynical view would be that the media - now that it has been shown that Democrat presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton admitted her connection to Media Matters - want to bury this story as quickly as possible so as to shelter her and her husband from any scrutiny concerning these ties.
Seems to me Media Matters in this case, overstepped their charter, and did a Greenwaldian analysis of what Rush said, ie out of context, and complete with apologists insisting the analysis is correct.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Boris Erb writes:
A war going on, a credit crisis, the dollar is sliding. The country faces huge problems.
And yet, Boris, noble and ambitious professor that you are, you will always find a way to stop and smell the roses. It’s just remarkable.
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate work hard on the major issues of the day: a newspaper ad playing a game with a general’s name, and a talk radio host being accused of saying nasty things. I mean, it’s surreally funny. And yet people are taking it seriously. It really is bizarre.
Well, the ad was actually a vicious attempt to discredit the military commander in the field in Iraq by a Democratic organization that is committed to defeat. The ad was placed in the most important liberal newspaper in the United States just before said military commander reported to Congress on the war.

And, Boris, it wasn’t just "playing a game with a general’s name;" it was an attempt to portray the general as a traitor.

So, you meant "playing a game with a general’s name" in approximately the way you meant "just knocked down a couple of tall buildings" when you said that about 9/11.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Seems to me Media Matters in this case, overstepped their charter, and did a Greenwaldian analysis of what Rush said, ie out of context, and complete with apologists insisting the analysis is correct.
Probably the most interesting part of all of this is the claim that Limbaugh discussed MacBeth "1:39 after he said "phony soldiers"."

In fact, if you read the transcript he referenced a "morning update" that was done before the afternoon show in which he said "phony soldiers". Somehow his critics seem to have missed that point.

But I want to hear Oliver’s explanation as to what "misinformation" they were trying to ’correct’ by going after Limbaugh.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
But you know, I don’t really blame the pundits and partisans for that. It’s what they do; it moves the ball down their field. Instead, I blame the media for enabling the circus - for allowing the partisan point-scoring and feigned outrage to take precedence over....well, everything else
Well, the left and needed some kind of diversion from the idea that all of the presidential candidates are now saying that they will not be removing the troops from Iraq any time soon, including the democrats. Name usual from the fact that the democrat Ron Congress has been utterly useless for their long stated goal of removing us from Iraq at whatever cost. Running blocker for the democrats, after all, is what the mainstream media does.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Seems to me Media Matters in this case, overstepped their charter, and did a Greenwaldian analysis of what Rush said, ie out of context, and complete with apologists insisting the analysis is correct.
In their current position, they are now well and truly screwed if they don’t carry forward with a big lie offensive sending out enough smoke, light, and sound to confuse the issue beyond sensible examination. Trying to bail their MoveOn ally out they may have fallen into as big a crater as MoveOn landed in with their ad.

Oliver will presume this will result in more donations no doubt.

And if Limbaugh has any brains, he’ll stop trying to explain what he didn’t say in the first place.

Still, since the Swiftboat ’liars’ meme and the TANG meme are still plodding around when by all rights they should be like so many bleached bones lying in the sun, I won’t be surprised to see this lie paraded again as an example of hypocrisy by the left in the future.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Sorry, example of hypocrisy by the right, as paraded by the left....
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
And that takes us directly to "spin" and the nonsense about ’correcting misinformation’. In reality, MMA’s MO has been to attack and smear, not "correct misinformation".
Or you could say, they create misinformation.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
show me where MMA was "correcting misinformation" in its latest smears against O’R and Limbaugh. How has what they’ve done "corrected" any "misinformation"?
If Limbaugh played an edited version of his show, and omitted 1:35 seconds of the show, and then indicated he was presenting a full transcript, he is clearly misinforming his listeners, and Media Matter, by exposing that misinformation, is clealry attempting to correct it.

On the larger issue, the initial comments by Limbaugh and Media Matters response, the misinformation they are correcting is that the general misinformation that Limbaugh, and his ideological compatriots support the troops, when clearly, if he calls soldiers who favor withdrawel "phony soldiers", then he is not supporting the troops, but rather expecting troops to support his point of view or be labelled as "phony troops".

To the accuracy of the initial argument purporting to expose this hypocrisy, here is what Media Matters wrote:
He made the comment while discussing with a caller a conversation he had with a previous caller, "Mike from Chicago," who said he "used to be military," and "believe[s] that we should pull out of Iraq." Limbaugh told the second caller, whom he identified as "Mike, this one from Olympia, Washington," that "[t]here’s a lot" that people who favor U.S. withdrawal "don’t understand" and that when asked why the United States should pull out, their only answer is, " ’Well, we just gotta bring the troops home.’ ... ’Save the — keeps the troops safe’ or whatever," adding, "[I]t’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people." "Mike" from Olympia replied, "No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh interjected, "The phony soldiers." The caller, who had earlier said, "I am a serving American military, in the Army," agreed, replying, "The phony soldiers."
So what we have here, in the original comments that drew criticism, is a caller claiming that the media "NEVER TALK TO REAL SOLDIERS" and Limbaugh appears to agree, interjecting, "The phony soldiers".

So how can Limbaugh both agree that the media never talks to REAL SOLDIERS when they interview a soldier who supports withdrawel, and then have Limbaugh claiming that he was only taking about ONE Phony soldier. It simply defies the meaning of the words spoken.

Everything he has said since is dissembling.

If he did not mean to say the words he said, that’s fine, say it, but it is pure misinformation for him to claim that he did NOT SAY the words he said.

So there ya go, Media Matters meeting it’s mission.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Here is all the pertinent information. I’m not sure how referencing edited audio put out by Limbaugh makes your case, but so be it. Limbaugh was discussing soldiers against the war, and made a point to call them "phony soldiers". Not referencing Macbeth, etc.

I wasn’t dancing, you and others kept making the case that MM has an obligation to police the media for both the right and the left, which isn’t the case.

Furthermore, I think it’s funny how the right keeps pushing the idea that MM’s research on O’Reilly or Limbaugh was connected to the MoveOn ad. Those shows and hundreds of other outlets are covered daily by our researchers. Frankly, both O’Reilly and Limbaugh have and will said much worse that didn’t catch everyone’s attention.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
On the larger issue, the initial comments by Limbaugh and Media Matters response, the misinformation they are correcting is that the general misinformation that Limbaugh, and his ideological compatriots support the troops, when clearly, if he calls soldiers who favor withdrawel "phony soldiers", then he is not supporting the troops, but rather expecting troops to support his point of view or be labelled as "phony troops".
The larger issue is that he was talking about real phony soldiers: those that lie to gain credability.
So how can Limbaugh both agree that the media never talks to REAL SOLDIERS when they interview a soldier who supports withdrawel, and then have Limbaugh claiming that he was only taking about ONE Phony soldier. It simply defies the meaning of the words spoken.
There were more than one phony soldier. Rush may have only named one, but there are plenty more, including one blovating on the Senate floor.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Furthermore, I think it’s funny how the right keeps pushing the idea that MM’s research on O’Reilly or Limbaugh was connected to the MoveOn ad.
Two reasons: timing, and the weak argument against O’Reilly and Rush.

If MM came up with something apparent substance, it would be different. But to float something this weaks speaks to desperation.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
There were more than one phony soldier. Rush may have only named one, but there are plenty more, including one blovating on the Senate floor.
So how can Limbaugh both agree that the media never (AS IN NOT EVER) talks to REAL SOLDIERS when they interview a soldier who supports withdrawel, and then have Limbaugh claiming that he was only taking about ONE Phony soldier. It simply defies the meaning of the words spoken.
"Mike" from Olympia replied, "No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media." Limbaugh interjected, "The phony soldiers."
Do you see the word NEVER.

Can it mean sometimes, or occasionally, or often?

LImbaugh may not have intended to agree that the media NEVER talks to real soldiers who support withdrawel, but that is what was said. So if he did not mean to say that, he should come out and say that he did not mean to say it.

What he is doing is lying about what was said.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Cap - I’m surprised you’re backing this.
Your posts on many other topics indicate a level of comprehension far beyond what is required to see the context in the transcript.
Caller - No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.
They? They who?
They the people Rush just finished talking to, the previous caller, ’they’ the people who want to pull out of Iraq (and it’s clear Rush did NOT believe that guy was a vet).

And what do ’they’ do?
’They’ never talk to real soldiers. ’They’ pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

There’s the caller’s quote - note the key phrase ’...these soldiers that come up out of the blue...’
You can claim you don’t know what the colloquial meaning for ’out of the blue’ is, but you’d be bending the truth to do it.
Euphemism for - not real, made up, wild or fictitious.

So, Limbaugh, in standard interviewer fashion, paraphrases to ’phony soldiers’ and repeats to confirm that’s what the caller means.

Which the caller confirms in the next sentence and goes on to say essentially, all ’real’ soldiers want to go to Iraq, etc.
Now, I don’t agree with that, it’s like having to hear Patton say all ’Real Americans love the sting of battle’ it’s a, huge, stretch.

But at no point is Rush calling real soldiers, phony soldiers, he’s talking about the ’soldiers that come up out of the blue’ and talk to the media.
Now, let’s see, Jesse McBeth perhaps? And a ’real’ soldier, who I guess is a ’real phony’ soldier, Scott Beauchamp.

Pity, I was beginning to appreciate your views on other subjects, but this is just pretty clearly a backing a lie.

Oliver, well, I gather that’s your job so this - "Limbaugh was discussing soldiers against the war, and made a point to call them "phony soldiers" -
is no surprise, false, but no surprise.

And yeah, both O’Really? and Limbaugh have said worse things, for real, so have a field day with the things they really say, not things that were conveniently close enough to MoveOn’s ad blunder to manufacture outrage from.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media."
Before you look foolish, look at the sentence again.
THEY like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the MEDIA.

They and MEDIA are not the same people in the sentence.

They - get soldiers to talk to who? The media.

THEY are NOT the Media.

Meaning they ’NEVER’ get real soldiers to talk to - the media.

They, media, different parties in that one sentence.

It does not say the media never talks to real soldiers.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’m not sure how referencing edited audio put out by Limbaugh makes your case, but so be it. Limbaugh was discussing soldiers against the war, and made a point to call them "phony soldiers"
You must have missed the fact that he referenced a morning update about phony soldier Jesse MacBeth which occurred previous to the conversation Limbaugh had in which he said ’phony soldiers’.

That’s why it’s called a "morning update" Oliver. And as even you may know, his show takes place in the afternoon. So it hard to reference a ’morning update’ which hasn’t already been given.

The point? The "phony soldier" had already been introduced into the conversation by Limbaugh prior to the call in the afternoon in which Limbaugh used the words.
Furthermore, I think it’s funny how the right keeps pushing the idea that MM’s research on O’Reilly or Limbaugh was connected to the MoveOn ad.
Oh please. O’Reilly was pure nonsense and simply laughable on its face it was so badly done. It was a horribly conceived shot at someone who has been taking shots at MoveOn and MMA. That one is easily understood.

But given the pathetic extremes to which Reid and Harkin are going to make something of the Limbaugh thing (as are you) it is hard not to conceive of a little puppetry going on in that case.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You mean because Reid/Harkin or more likely an aide read Media Matters there’s something sinister? Like I said they’ve both said much worse, for some reason this one caught attention. The timing in this instance was no different than the "timing" on the other thousands of items published on the site.

Limbaugh wasn’t discussing the Macbeth’s instances. He was talking about soldiers not toeing the pro-war line. But you choose to believe him, fine.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
You mean because Reid/Harkin or more likely an aide read Media Matters there’s something sinister?
As I understand it Oliver, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, there’s more to the relationship than just "reading" MM.
Limbaugh wasn’t discussing the Macbeth’s instances.
How do you know that, given the fact that he’d already spoken about MacBeth previously?
Like I said they’ve both said much worse, for some reason this one caught attention.
Again, Oliver, you need to explain what it was they said which was so bad. To this point all we’ve gotten is you dodging the question. I don’t want links. I want you to tell me what they did or said which needed MMA to "correct misinformation".

For instance, did they do something like characterize a Supreme Court Justice as "filth" or stereotypically describe all black conservatives as "self-loathers"? Because, you know, if they did then I could see why MMA might be interested in "correcting" that "misinformation".

Hmmm?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
. . . you need to explain what it was they said which was so bad.
Yeah, MM is derelict if they are failing to report on the really bad things these guys said.

We should keelhaul Rush for the bad things he’s said we don’t know about.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Limbaugh wasn’t discussing the Macbeth’s instances. He was talking about soldiers not toeing the pro-war line. But you choose to believe him, fine.
Yeah, like when Oliver used the phrase “the filthy Wolfowitz"...

It’s a good thing that wasn’t really about "filthy Jews" right?

I mean, it’s not like some people take a phrase out of context and distort it to mean something not intended, right?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Limbaugh wasn’t discussing the Macbeth’s instances. He was talking about soldiers not toeing the pro-war line. But you choose to believe him, fine.
So you know what he was taking about, do you? First of all I did not have to read the transcript, I heard the broadcast. Did you? I was the one who originally provided the link to the transcript in a previous thread.

Second of all, I understood perfectly what Limbaugh was talking about. When he referred to phoney soldiers, my first thought was Jesse MacBeth and the like. Why? Becasue that was the meaning of the discussion. I never even imagined there would or could be any controversey - over what?!?

Third of all I am military. I don’t have to feign outrage over a slight I did not hear nor do I have to defend someone for not doing anything wrong. I will and have kicked *ss on this blog whenever I even imagine anyone dissing the military and I have done so on more than one occasion. I have heard a lot of folks scream bloody murder over what Media Matters says what Rush meant. I have heard a lot of people screaming for Rush’s head and rarely have any one of them any resemblence of a military background. (Note: I said rarely.)

So step right up and right lively too. Bring out your DD-214s or your Geneva Convention cards and let’s see who has any right to be outraged.

(Note: It is easy for you punks to play the chickenhawk meme, so let’s play it back at your sorry *sses.)
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
For instance, did they do something like characterize a Supreme Court Justice as "filth" or stereotypically describe all black conservatives as "self-loathers"? Because, you know, if they did then I could see why MMA might be interested in "correcting" that "misinformation".
Was that conservative misinformation? Nope. Was it my opinion? Yup. Like I keep saying, Limbaugh insinuated that soldiers in opposition to the war are "phony". This is clearly untrue. Now he says that a purple heart winner is like a suicide bomber. I’m sure you guys will defend that too.
I mean, it’s not like some people take a phrase out of context and distort it to mean something not intended, right?
If I had ever written anything about "filthy Jews" you may have a point. In the instance in question I was talking about one filthy, reprehensible horrible human being who I don’t care what God he does or doesn’t worship.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
If I had ever written anything about "filthy Jews" you may have a point.
Wait...you mean what someone has said about a group before or after should be taken into account as part of the context?

Huh. Go figure.

Thanks for the clarification!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Does Oliver get paid extra for every link to Media Matters?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Question for Oliver:

Are there any phony soldiers?

How did we find out they were phony, i.e. were they mouthing off at the corner bar, or did their girlfriend catch them and tell the media/courts? Or were they involved in anti-war activities and giving interviews on video?

Once you have answered these simple, factual questions, then review the Rush transcript.

Please explain to me that the fact that phony soldiers do exists means that you have to at least admit that Rush could have been thinking about those rather than "real" soldiers who oppose the war.

Next consider that within the space of a minute (anyone know exactly) he specifically references Jesse MacBeth. This is before anyone has complained to him about his phraseology. It isn’t like Sen. Byrd explaining away his use of the white N-word in 2001 days later. It’s like if I said, "Oliver I would like to eat some fast food.......and by that I mean a McDonald’s happy meal." And your complaint is akin to saying, "OH MY GOD, HE’S IMPLYING THAT STEAK IS FAST FOOD!"

Meanwhile the Left explained so assiduously that Betray is not semantically related to Traitor in any way, no sirreee.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Are there any phony soldiers?
Well TNR seems to have an answer for that. Hold on, TNR is calling someone who supports the war a fake soldier, the irony is so thick there, you could build battleships out of it.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Was that conservative misinformation? Nope. Was it my opinion? Yup.
So, if it was your opinion, then all is ok, correct?

If so, I assume what Limbaugh said was his opinion since that’s the basis of his show.

If expressing your opinion when calling a Supreme Court Justice "filth" is OK if Oliver Willis does it, what’s the problem with Limbaugh opining about "phony soldiers" (especially when he had introduced the topic with a true phony soldier previously)?

I know I won’t get anything better than some tortured explanation which will completely avoid the question, so don’t bother, okay? Besides, given below, you’re not worth hearing from anyway.
Now he says that a purple heart winner is like a suicide bomber. I’m sure you guys will defend that too.
Oh please ... that’s just pathetic Oliver. Can you guys go any lower? Can you?

My guess is "yes" and we’ll be treated to many worse examples over the coming months.

You are talking about the same quote in which Limbaugh says, "This man will always be a hero to this country with everyone."

Did your guys just forget to put that in bold? Have you or they ever heard the word ’context’ in their entire lives?

Talk about trying to exploit the troops, Oliver - just disgusting ... for someone who has never served you ought to be mortified about supporting such exploitive trash as MMA has been putting out and you ought to burn with shame when you have to tell anyone who you work for.

You’re a pathetic bunch of cheap, cowardly rhetorical assassins and smear artists who haven’t the guts to actually do the hard work of presenting difficult and credible arguments about ideas and are only capable of this sort of garbage. You’re poisonous rabble. The lowest of the low.

Don’t ever try the "but I support the troops" crap on me ever again.
If I had ever written anything about "filthy Jews" you may have a point. In the instance in question I was talking about one filthy, reprehensible horrible human being who I don’t care what God he does or doesn’t worship.
Aka, Clarence Thomas, someone so far superior to you and anything you’ve ever done, written or said (or will ever do, write or say) that its simply comical watching you fester, sputter and whine about him.

Talk about "self-loathing".
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You’re a pathetic bunch of cheap, cowardly rhetorical assassins and smear artists who haven’t the guts to actually do the hard work of presenting difficult and credible arguments about ideas and are only capable of this sort of garbage. You’re poisonous rabble. The lowest of the low.
Don’t sugar coat it, McQ. Tell him you really feel!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
LOL. I can sleep well at night knowing the political cause I support isn’t filled to the brim with liars, thieves, and general crooks, who willfully ignore information that displeases their carefully constructed world view, but to each his own. LOL. This is what happens when you try to engage cons with some civility and why I found Jon’s original lamentation to be so laughable.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
I can sleep well at night knowing the political cause I support isn’t filled to the brim with liars, thieves, and general crooks, who willfully ignore information that displeases their carefully constructed world view, but to each his own
Oliver, if you want to see all of the above, just take a peek in the mirror.
This is what happens when you try to engage cons with some civility and why I found Jon’s original lamentation to be so laughable.
Supporting character assassination and smear jobs is now "civil discourse"? Only in OllieWorld.

Do us a favor Ollie, go hang out with the cowards you call your peers where your lies and smears will be appreciated, ’kay?

Oh and thanks for dodging all the hard questions as usual. If there is one thing we can rely on when it comes to you its that.

"Civil discourse". Ha!
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I’ve listened to as much as audio as is available, quite a bit, and read the entire transcript, and I honestly have to say that in context, Rush Limbaugh was clearly saying (and agreeing with a caller who was saying), that no REAL soldiers support a withdrawel.

Media Matters posted a lot of it here.

I try to be honest about this stuff, and I am not afraid of saying I was wrong, if I was wrong, but on this thing, it is inescapable, Rush made his opinion clear that if someone disagrees with him on Iraq, they cannot be real soldiers, or Republicans for that matter.

I don’t want to kill two feet of this page with the entire transcript, but it’s linked, so I will try to sumamrize without losing context.
You must have missed the fact that he referenced a morning update about phony soldier Jesse MacBeth which occurred previous to the conversation Limbaugh had in which he said ’phony soldiers’.
First off, as far as I can tell, Limbaugh never brought up Jesse Macbeth in his show that day prior to these exchanges. He reviewed a previous Morning Update AFTER the exchange where the "phony soldierS" comment came up, but that Morning Update was from two days previous on September 24th.

The caller that started this claimed to be a Republican who supported withdrawel. Limbaugh told him that he didn’t think the guy was a Republican...
CALLER 1: Well, I am a Republican, and I’ve listened to you for a long time, and you’re right on a lot of things, but I do believe that we should pull out of Iraq. I don’t think it’s winnable. And I’m not a Democrat, but I just — sometimes you’ve got to cut the losses.

(Snip - no context lost here IMHO)

LIMBAUGH: Mike, you can’t possibly be a Republican.

CALLER 1: I am.

LIMBAUGH: You are — you are —

CALLER 1: I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You can’t be a Republican. You are —

CALLER 1: Oh, I am definitely a Republican.

LIMBAUGH: You are tarnishing the reputation, ’cause you sound just like a Democrat.
So first, Rush makes it clear that he believes that a Republican cannot hold this view.

Then they guy tells Rush that he used to be in the military and that he is in fact, a Republican. Rush calls him a liar...
CALLER 1: See, I — I’ve used to be military, OK? And I am a Republican.

(Snip)

CALLER 1: — you know, really — I want you to be saying how long it’s gonna take.

LIMBAUGH: And I, by the way, used to walk on the moon!

CALLER 1: How long do we have to stay there?

LIMBAUGH: You’re not listening to what I say. You can’t possibly be a Republican. I’m answering every question. That’s not what you want to hear, so it’s not even penetrating your little wall of armor you’ve got built up.
The next caller comes on....
LIMBAUGH: "Save the — keep the troops safe" or whatever. I — it’s not possible, intellectually, to follow these people.

CALLER 2: No, it’s not, and what’s really funny is, they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and talk to the media.

LIMBAUGH: The phony soldiers.

CALLER 2: The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.

LIMBAUGH: They joined to be in Iraq. They joined —
This entire exchange, in context, had one narrative, Democrats want surrender, Republicans don’t, and REAL soldiers don’t.

A lot of people talk about the phrase "phony soldiers" being the smoking gun of this exchange. I’d consider the money shot, but the smoking gun was this comment:
CALLER: If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.

Limbaugh: They joined to be in Iraq.
Clearly the caller, with Limbaugh’s agreement, is making the point that EVERY REAL soldier wants to be in Iraq, and Limbaugh follows up with a supporting argument asserting that this is some sort of obvious truth because they joined to be Iraq.

A couple minutes later, Limbaugh reads about Jesse Macbeth, and makes absolutely NO reference to any REAL soldiers that support withdrawel, but clealry infers that when we see soldiers that appear to support withdrawel, it is left wing fiction.
You probably haven’t even heard about this, and if you have, you haven’t heard much about it. This doesn’t fit the narrative and the template of the drive-by media and the Democrat Party as to who a genuine war hero is.

Don’t look for any retractions, by the way, not from the anti-war left, the anti-military drive-by media or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse MacBeth’s lies about our troops, because the truth of the left is fiction, is what serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities ’cause they can’t find any that fit the template of the way they see the U.S. military.
There seems to be a debate about whether Limbaugh was referring to actual proven phony soldiers, or whether he was referring to any soldiers who support withdrawel. There should be no debate. The reality is that what Limbaugh is attempting to make people believe is that whoever the left props up in front of the MSM IS a phony soldier.

There was a smear job here, and I am embarassed for military supporters so caught up in partisanship that they don’t realize the smear job was on them, and Rush Limbaugh was the perpetrator, not the victim.

I can’t believe people who support the military can even feign a defense for this.




 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Oh and thanks for dodging all the hard questions as usual. If there is one thing we can rely on when it comes to you its that.
Please understand the difference between answering a question and having someone answer it how YOU want to hear the answer. Apparently now character assassination is accurately quoting someone.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
now character assassination is accurately quoting someone.
You’re not quoting Limbaugh when you write:
Limbaugh insinuated that soldiers in opposition to the war are "phony"...Now he says that a purple heart winner is like a suicide bomber.
Go back to defending your horrible math skills. You’re a joke.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
CALLER: If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they’re willing to sacrifice for their country.

Limbaugh: They joined to be in Iraq.
And the phony soldiers, who "come up out of the blue" are not "proud to serve" but rather use their phony stories to denigrate military service and to lie about what is going on in Iraq.
Limbaugh follows up with a supporting argument asserting that this is some sort of obvious truth because they joined to be Iraq.
Is there anyone serving who wasn’t aware of the war in Iraq before they joined?
I can’t believe people who support the military can even feign a defense for this.
F*ck you.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I can’t believe people who support the military can even feign a defense for this.
AS i said before this is incredible unclear, i see no real answer in his context to figure out what he meant. So we MUST go from his defense of himself. Even you posting is no clear cut. not by a long shot and misses the opposite views context by not including the part AFTER the last phone conversation
 
Written By: josh b
URL: http://
Captain S is claiming that those who disagree with him do NOT support the military. We need a congressional resolution to condemn him.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I can sleep well at night knowing the political cause I support isn’t filled to the brim with liars, thieves, and general crooks, who willfully ignore information that displeases their carefully constructed world view, but to each his own.
Oliver must be an independent then...

Or part of a party that has very few members.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
What is most ridiculous about this whole episode is that they are relying on what a caller to a program said, and taking it as undisputed fact.

Just for the record, I’m a Democrat, I’ve been to mars, and I can’t wait till we blast every one of those martians into little bits and pieces.

No really.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Please understand the difference between answering a question and having someone answer it how YOU want to hear the answer.


I understand that difference and you failed in both regards.
Apparently now character assassination is accurately quoting someone.
If you believe that, then you’re actually worse than I thought.

It has nothing to do with a quote ... it is how you misrepresent it afterward, Oliver. And you not understanding that is telling but unsurprising.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
AS i said before this is incredible unclear, i see no real answer in his context to figure out what he meant. So we MUST go from his defense of himself. Even you posting is no clear cut. not by a long shot and misses the opposite views context by not including the part AFTER the last phone conversation

And of course, the other 2 contexts that are missing, are

1) this is Rush Limbaugh we are talking about, he tends to bloviate and generalize. Hardly an impeachable offense. (Oh I guess unless you have (R) by your name.)

2) Rush has a history of 20 years on the radio. Often he has said controversial things. Does he have a history of disparaging anyone who has honorably served in the military???
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
This conversation has devolved into the absurd, acrimonial inconsequentialism that I described in the beginning of my post. However, I do want to add two points:

(1) Media Matters generally does solid work. I often disagree with it - and sometimes find it ridiculous or exasperating - but it’s a valuable resource...provided that, much like MRC, one does not rely on it as an objective source for the whole story. I read it daily, and find it to be a very helpful perspective.

I generally tell people that (figures vary over time) about 1/3 of Media Matters’ work is solid, factual, correct and very worth knowing; 1/3 is somewhat pointless pushback against the legitimate opinions of pundits; and 1/3 is misleading, incorrect (etc), spin, etc.
I can sleep well at night knowing the political cause I support isn’t filled to the brim with liars, thieves, and general crooks, who willfully ignore information that displeases their carefully constructed world view, but to each his own. LOL. This is what happens when you try to engage cons with some civility and why I found Jon’s original lamentation to be so laughable.
(1) This is the attitude that I genuinely don’t understand. I see it on the Right and the Left - this general belief that one’s own side has good intentions, good people and The Truth...while the other side is just a bunch of liars. Scott Adams described this well recently...
Cognitive dissonance is, at its core, the inability to recognize and accept other explanations. I’m oversimplifying, but you get the point. [...] The joke about economists is that they are always using the phrase “On the other hand.” Economists are trained to recognize all sides of an argument. That seems like an easy and obvious skill, but in my experience, the general population lacks that skill. Once people take a side, they interpret any argument on the other side as absurd. In other words, they are relatively susceptible to cognitive dissonance.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Once people take a side, they interpret any argument on the other side as absurd. In other words, they are relatively susceptible to cognitive dissonance.
[On the other hand] the opposing argument could very well be absurd!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
The reality is that what Limbaugh is attempting to make people believe is that whoever the left props up in front of the MSM IS a phony soldier.
Well, cap, we can agree there. I specifically had a problem with the caller indicating real soldiers wanted to go to Iraq. The problem is, that doesn’t mean Limbaugh specifically says that soldiers that don’t want to go, or who disagree, are phonies.
That’s a stretch, he didn’t say it, it’s being read into the comments and it’s a subjective interpretation. When you say someone SAYS something, it means they actually say it, not that they implied it, not that they hinted at it, that they said it.

The problem has been that the guys the left trumpets most loudly and fetes the most, have been, in fact, phony soldiers, or real soldiers telling phony stories, and have gotten a lot of press in the last few months when their claims arise, but considerably less press when they are debunked. Instead they then tend to disappear from the view of the war like discredited politburo members disappeared from photos taken with Stalin.

These are the guys who talk about atrocities, the guys who revitalize the ’Army of Jenghis Khan’ meme from the John Kerry Winter Soldiers days.
And therein lies the problem.

There certainly ought to be soldiers, certainly ARE soldiers, who don’t agree with being deployed in Iraq, that don’t want to be in Iraq, that don’t care about Iraq. It would be totally unrealistic for anyone to conclude that everybody just loves being there and doin their thing when the alternative is obvious. The problem is, they didn’t see enough to be sensational, not enough massacres, random civilian shootings, running over dogs (and what Real American doesn’t love dogs?) and laughing at disfigured women. They just don’t have ’headline’ written on their stories. What MM et al. are looking for is THE one sensational story from a ’real’ soldier that will turn the tide and cause rallies, and get America behind pulling out of Iraq post haste (and before the Dem’s get in the White House!!!!) so we can be sure historically we can lay this debacle at the feet of GWB and the Republicans.
I can’t believe people who support the military can even feign a defense for this.
What you should have said was - I’m disturbed that MM and MoveOn and organizations like them, have such a grip on the Legislative Branch’s short and curlies, that THIS would ever be addressed on the floor of the House of Representatives or Senate of the United States.
That’s the part that disturbs me most about this whole thing, that it could ever be escalated to this level.

At least Evil Lord Rove did his work behind the scenes.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I see it on the Right and the Left - this general belief that one’s own side has good intentions, good people and The Truth...while the other side is just a bunch of liars.
Basically, the "our sh!t don’t stink syndrome," in action.
The reality is that what Limbaugh is attempting to make people believe is that whoever the left props up in front of the MSM IS a phony soldier.
Well, as looker points out, considering the history the left has had with who they prop up in front of the MSM, who they prop up should be questioned throughly.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
This is the attitude that I genuinely don’t understand.
I quoted Ilya Somin from the Volokh Conspiracy above where he called it the irrational hatred of the ideological adversary. This sort of thought process always builds to one conclusion and always ends badly. History is replete with examples of this hunt for removal of ideological enemies.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I don’t pretend that every Democratic pol is white as snow, and untouched by scandal, but it’s kind of hard to accept the "a pox on both houses" rhetoric after living through the last 15 years.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Oliver Wills writes:
it’s kind of hard to accept the "a pox on both houses" rhetoric after living through the last 15 years.
I know what you mean, Oliver. After the 900 FBI files, the quid quo pros of the Chinese money scandal, the Juanita Broaddrick rape revelations, the cigar in the White House intern’s vagina, the perjury about that and the rest of it, the crazy rationale for Operation Desert Fox (we’ll bomb them for not allowing weapons inspections and then have no more weapons inspections), etc., etc., etc., it is kind of hard to accept.

I figured out, at one point, that the Clinton modus operandi on scandals was to absolutely flood the zone with them, thus deadening the body politic to the sensation of Clinton scandals.

Thankfully, we’ve had MoveOn.org (invented to insist that Clinton scandals were inventions of the vast right-wing conspiracy, so we had best move on) and Media Matters to divert attention from the Clintons’ constant scandals so that THEY COULD RUN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE AGAIN!
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Bruce:
"You’re a pathetic bunch of cheap, cowardly rhetorical assassins and smear artists who haven’t the guts to actually do the hard work of presenting difficult and credible arguments about ideas and are only capable of this sort of garbage. You’re poisonous rabble. The lowest of the low."
The crystalline-nut of this whole deal: consumer-level political discussion has fallen to the quality level of Usenet c. 1996. I think you know what I mean, Bruce. And; the Left of it pulls weight in Congress, now.

Expect it all to get worse, faster.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
You’re a pathetic bunch of cheap, cowardly rhetorical assassins and smear artists who haven’t the guts to actually do the hard work of presenting difficult and credible arguments about ideas and are only capable of this sort of garbage. You’re poisonous rabble. The lowest of the low.
This coming from you is a bit ironic.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Well, with this article from Media Matters says Willis is an out and out liar.
Media Matters is not, as the National Review claims, "an avowedly political institution," but a nonpartisan, progressive nonprofit that is unaffiliated with any political party or candidate.
That was the most hilarious thing I have read in quite a while.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://

 
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