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Archive for the ‘Journalists’ Category

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See Pets for pols and pundits, series 1 here.

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David Gregory famously defended the media, widely seen as having fallen down on the job in the run-up to the Iraq war, with this: “I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up and say this is bogus, and you’re a liar, and why are you doing this, that we didn’t do our job. I respectfully disagree. It’s not our role.”

Nope. His role was to ask questions like this of President Bush:

“Mr. President, good evening. If you order war, can any military operation be considered a success if the United States does not capture Saddam Hussein, as you once said, dead or alive?”

And his hard-driving follow-up:

“Sir, I’m sorry, is success contingent upon capturing or killing Saddam Hussein, in your mind?”

Brilliant. As Oliver Willis wrote:

That’s it. He just asked, will it be awesome if Hussein is captured, or just kind of awesome. He doesn’t ask, if it’s a good idea, or what the president thinks of the opposition to the war, or the fact that most at the time didn’t support intervention without U.N. support.

So we know how Gregory thinks those in power should be treated. But what about the rest of us? Does he show the proper reverence for the views of U.S. citizens? Take a guess. (Derived from actual quotes:)

No matter how heinous the issue, David Gregory will find a way to trivialize it. He is a prince among other hacks, like Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, who so distinguished themselves during the election debates.

National embarrassments

National embarrassments

With people like these in the so-called mainstream, it almost seems unreasonable to pick on the pundits at Fox News.

hannitysucksass

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Digby has posted the full text of David Broder’s April 26 piece called, “Stop Scapegoating.” It is an appalling argument, one Glenn Greenwald has rightly called “a tour de force of Beltway sickness – even for him.” Here is a representative excerpt from Broder’s response to calls for investigations into those who justified and ordered torture:

. . . now Obama is being lobbied by politicians and voters who want something more — the humiliation and/or punishment of those responsible for the policies of the past. They are looking for individual scalps — or, at least, careers and reputations.

Their argument is that without identifying and punishing the perpetrators, there can be no accountability — and therefore no deterrent lesson for future administrations. It is a plausible-sounding rationale, but it cloaks an unworthy desire for vengeance.

The “voters” to Broder are those over-emotional filthy masses who cannot see reason and will erupt into violence at any moment. They want vengeance, you see. Not justice. What justice would it be to make our political class accountable for their grotesque crimes?

Broder has a long history of making such specious arguments on behalf of the powerful. As Digby shows, Broder was defending Richard Nixon in 1969 against those miscreants who wanted to “break the President.”

This, bizarrely, is how Broder then described the anti-war movement:

There is . . . a vital distinction . . . to be made between the constitutionally protected expression of dissent, aimed at changing national policy, and mass movements aimed at breaking the President by destroying his capacity to lead the nation or to represent it at the bargaining table.

Anyone familiar with Doonesbury will remember the anti-Vietnam war student, “Megaphone” Mark Slackmeyer, who threatened the Establishment with protests, the occupation of the university president’s building, and the like. Thirty years later, Slackmeyer has yet another kind of establishment to contend with.

Slackmeyer Returns

Slackmeyer Returns

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There have been complaints in the blogosphere that Chuck Todd is being his usual hackish self in trivializing the discussion of torture, calling it a “political food fight” and blaming the so-called “hard left and hard right” for making a big deal over nothing.

It’s not his fault. He can’t help simply repeating what other pundits say. Because journalism isn’t his field — he is actually that guy that manages Flight of the Conchords.

Murray talks about how tough life is

Murray at a meeting with Brett and Jemaine.

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