Shaky Constructs of Questionable Import and Dubious Utility.
C'mon spd, do you honestly think that folks on the left side of the aisle really want the guy to die? Please. "We" may dislike Cheney intensely. We may find perverse pleasure in watching him squirm, take delight knowing that the WH is in overdrive scrambling to quell the dust up but to suggest that Democrats as a group wish death to some poor schmuck who had the misfortune to get invited to a quail hunt with Dead-Eye Dick is really over the line, and not very productive. To my mind, it's much more fun if Mr. Whittington survives; hell, better still I hope the guy outlives Cheney. What I think is a more compelling story than the 200 pellets embedded in some Texas lawyer's face, neck and chest is to see the increasing number of Republican leaders as well as conservative leaning rags ready to throw Cheney "under the bus." Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.The WH's initial knee-jerk response to blame the victim has only served to exarcebate the story. It exceeds all boundaries of appropriate behavior but is oh so predictable. Cheney may have violated one of the the Ten Commandments of Shooting Safety:Be sure you know where your companions are at all times. Never swing your gun or bow out of your safe zone-of-fire. If in doubt, never take a shotbut not surprisingly, the WH is honoring its No. 1 commandment: Admit no mistakes. This time though it may have backfired (no pun intended) Oh, and by the way, I'm a day late but Happy *&^%@*# Valentine's Day to you and your HH readers:) Kisses too.
I'll have to disagree, Portia. I think that there are certin elements that are excited at the prospect of seeing the Vice President explaing his actions to a grand jury. Politics is a rough game, and it would be naive to think that Howard Dean isn't rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of calling Mr. Cheney a killer."
You may be right. spd. No doubt shades of schadenfreude exists in each of us, and one's quirky emotional hard-wiring may determine to what extent we relish moments of when bad things happen to other people. But hoping that someone dies to better your own here and now is some scary sh*t. That said, anything is possible for the likes of a Howard Dean or even a Ted Kennedy who desperately would like some political company in the deep-end of that pool. I dare say the likes of an Ann Coulter or Russ Limbaugh might also get all warm and tingly if a similar tragedy were to befall someone like, oh I don't know, John Kerry or Hillary or Harry, or.... Well, you get my drift.Interesting stuff, huh?
Yes,Portia (as you seem to the sole person reading this mess) the present situation is both politically and historically interesting.But so are the teeth of a mad, bloodthirsty crocodile, hungry to swallow whole those that dare question his domain, and in dire need of a good flossing.Which, by the way, means absolutely nothing.
And so are crocodile tears."A weary traveler.../Doth meet a cruell craftie Crocodile/Which in false griefe hyding his harmefull guile/Doth weepe full sore, and sheddeth tender teares" --Spenser, Faerie Queen Now about that bus....
I think the "wonder" of the Internet/cyberspace age is that people get to share their deepest thoughts, in the total anonymity of secret identities. The "monsters from the Id" (remember 'Forbidden Planet'?) lurk in all of us, and many of us, without the restraint of religion, philosophy, morality and personal responsibility (we're just anonymous, remember?) will say all kinds of monstrous things, because we can get away with it, and it secretly feeds the need for us to feel "empowered" (Whatever that means).I am really coming to loathe a lot of the "blogsites", not because of the writers and disparate opinions, but because people are able to make the most noxious comments and get away with it.It's one thing to be silly and sarcastic (spd rdr does that well, I do it very poorly), but many things I read lately are just cruel and mean.So yes, Portia, there are people that do wish Mr. Whittington would die, so Dick Cheney would have to stand trial for manslaughter, or something like that, and would be publicly humiliated. I'm sorry that's the case, but it is.Personally, I wish that the impeachment of Pres. Clinton had never taken place. I wish he had told the truth, taken his medicine, and we all just "moved on". Nothing good for ANYONE came out of that whole sorry mess. I'm sick of all the petty cruelties of politics. I'm sick of people mocking Ted Kennedy for a mistake he made +30 years ago. I don't care for the man, but it's OVER.None of the carping will bring back Mary Jo Kopechne.Spd, thanks for maintaining your site and giving fools like me a chance to rant here.-"Don Brouhaha"
Well said Don. I'm with you re: tenor of blogs and comments. I find the roar of the blog "noise" at times counterproductive and more than a little bit perilous. I find the narcissism to share opinions and slime dissenters--even if backed up with links--exhausting. Yes, the dust up about Cheney is surely political and is being flamed mostly by the Democrats. But as naive as I am about the level of schreundfraude that exists in this world, I am seasoned enough to recognize that it exists on both sides of the aisle, and in and out of Congress. Straying somewhat off topic, spd and I were talking the other day about the level of bias in MSM and our respective perspectives on that perspective. News alert: I think there is less bias in the press than many conservative folks would have us believe. Updated news alert: spd disagrees with me:) My take is that we have confused negative coverage/dissent with bias. We easily cry partisanship--and wave perjorative labels--when the narrative is critical of our side. Yes, of course, there are reporters--individuals-who "dress" on the left, stories that clearly are penned with an anti-administration bent--just as there when Clinto was Prez--but I do not believe there is a wholesale peddling of the news that distorts the right's views in favor of the left. In fact, I'll even go out on a limb again, and suggest that sometimes depending what you read that it is quite the opposite. [why do I feel as if I'm suddenly alone here in a very big, cold room:)]Never one to cry uncle unless faced with a pellet gun, I sent spd a link yesterday to a very interesting essay which suggests that "whether one is a liberal -- or, for that matter, a conservative -- is now no longer a function of one's actual political views, but is a function purely of one's personal loyalty to George Bush...and no longer refers to a set of beliefs about government." Interesting read.Back on topic: The point of this is merely to suggest that the next time one of us needs to cry "foul" that we acknowledge that the Dems don't have a lock on sliming or hyperbole anymore than the Repubs do. The ability to say that out loud without getting slimed is one of the reasons I come here...that, and the pictures:) Thanks spd.
Thank you, Dan and Portia, for your well spoken and well reasoned comments. I like the crowd that comes here.
That's "DON" you twit! :)(knowing your typing skills, spd, it's all the same, since I'm not really "Don Brouhaha" anyways, am I?)But to Portia's comments about the "slant" of the news. I think you must look below the 'superficial' of content alone, and listen to the semantics of the reporting and the 'framing' of the issues.I listen to NPR quite a lot at times, because I'm driving in my car, and sometimes the news reporting on issues is very good. Sometimes, though, it's very poor, or mediocre at best. But listening to the 'semantics' of the words used to frame an issue is very indicative of the opinions of the reader or reporter of the news.It's not just 'what' is reported, it's how it is phrased, and the decisions made as to the priorities or newsworthiness of given events.If the reporting meets you expectations of events, then it doesn't seem biased at all, does it? The wonder of the blogosphere, if there is one, is that now there are first person reports of events, that come from the 'worms eye view', and not handed down from on high by the professional gatekeepers of newsworthiness.-"Don Brouhaha"
Dave:) I hear that "slant" too when I listen to Fox News or read the NRO, watch the Sunday talk shows of which I usually manage to catch at least one each week. I have no gripe with that. One knows when one listens to CNN or reads William Kristol the angle that will be pushed, the sound bites that will be replayed. What I don't buy is the premise that the media as whole is biased against the current administration, and that somehow the POTUS can't get a break or is unable to get his "message" out. To that, I say poppycock. Republicans control all branches of government, conservatives own talk radio, Fox has the largest audience share on cable, and a recent study of news shows during the past 8 years show that Republicans had a greater percentage of air time on Sunday talk shows than Democrats, even during the Clinton administration. Bad things happen to every administration: sadly, there are always zealous politicians, abusive policies, misdirected agendas, unchecked spending, secret handshakes, even blowjobs. Words may frame the story, reporters may have an agenda, sometimes we don't like what we hear, and sometimes the news is just too damn ragged to make pretty, and it ain't got nothing to do with MSM.Heck, this week alone brought forth several "uncomfortable" headlines: Republicans' blistering congressional report highlighting the administration's missteps during Katrina, Scooter Libby's revelation that superiors told him to leak confidential information in the Plame affair, CIA chief for Iraq, Paul Pillar's claim that the administration manufactured the connection between 9/11 and Iraq, and today's District Court order in the NSA controversy stating that " a meaningful and truly democratic debate on the legality and propriety of the warrantless surveillance program cannot be based solely upon information that the Administration voluntarily chooses to disseminate." [emphasis mine] No doubt, in the days to come, many will take issue with how the MSM chooses to "report" these stories, et seq., critical of the administration's policies and actions; others will be thankful that our free press--in its many forms-- is unwilling to be cowed by the WH, regardless of who is sitting in it. Just my two cents.Is it Valentine's Day again yet?362 days and counting:)
No, but it could be Groundhog Day again, and again, and again.....-"Don Brouhaha"
The fact remains that talk radio is entertainment, not news and few folks even bother to watch the Sunday shows. That's a minor subset of the news market, which is mostly newspapers and network news shows like ABC, CNN, NBC, Fox, etc.I don't even listen to talk radio, nor do most people I know.Newspaper journalists and the majority of TV anchors remain primarily liberal in their orientation and the major wire services maintain a virtual monopoly on what stories go out (something you did not address). This has a HUGE impact on what news gets reported.Try sitting inside the Pentagon and learning what happens in Iraq and then seeing how LITTLE of that good news ever hits the front pages (or even A-17). And when we do manage to do something right (like sealing the borders after 2 years of MSM carping) the story reads the &^%$ donkeys are dying....Or, as happened many moons ago when we briefly managed to choke off poppy growing in Afghanistan...it's those poor heroin farmers are starving and it's all the US military's fault!!!. Nevermind that we're shipping them food on the US taxpayer's dime. Don't report that. Of course, now things have swung the other way and we are "allowing heroin trade to progress unchecked" as though it never happened before we got there.I don't write about 3/4 of what comes through my inbox, Portia, because quite frankly I end up with my stomach in knots and either crying or furious. I can't stop it and I can't deal with it and function at work too. JHD's son is finally home, thank God, so now it's a bit easier and a bit less close to home, but not much. When the 2/2 was taking casualties every week it was pretty bleak and when that's going on and the MSM puts them down on top, making them out to be thugs on top of it, it is well nigh unbearable.And I have seen no evidence that the White House has done anything to "cow" the media. Can you point something out, besides accusations? Some concrete act?
No, but it could be Groundhog Day again, and again, and againOhhh, Valentine's Day again and again and again....Dreamy.[*thud*]Uh oh. Was that you spd?Cass, we disagree on this, and it ain't worth going to the mat about, so let's agree to disagree:) 'Kay? I will add though that while neither of us may listen to talk radio (probably because both of use would prefer to have root canal then scream at our car radios:)), it is --regrettably-- where the majority of people get their daily dose of news, issues and I dare say opinion. Russ Limbaugh alone boasts 12 million daily listeners, followed closely by Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Laura Ingraham etc. etc. Now for some "equal opportunity" entertainment for a Friday afternoon. Darth Nancy. Hilarious.
That is one thing I *know* we agree on! I'd rather put my head in a vise than listen to any of the above. Or any of their liberal counterparts -- I know: I tried listening to them in California and my head exploded.I read the papers. Sooooo quiet.And I hope you're wrong about that. It must be a city thing - honestly, I don't know anyone who does listen to them. My husband listens to NPR or WTOP news on the way home from work but that's it. Otherwise it's books on CD or classical music for the rest of the commute. He'd be in a mental hospital if he did talk radio, and I was the same way when I commuted every day with the exception that I prefer blues or rock mixed in with my classical.
For people who don't listen to talk radio you two sure know a lot about it. I don't have the opportunity to listen these days but when I was a sales puke I was in the car all the time. And I think you both are laboring under a few misconceptions, and Lord knows I hate to see women labor. Laura Ingraham is funny as hell. And hot. She gets carried away at times but I would have to say she is a pretty intelligent lady. Limbaugh's schtick has worn thin but contrary to popular opinion I don't think I have ever heard him be anything close to the mean spirited bomb thrower he is made out to be. Hannity is a dolt. Medved is thoughtful and does some interesting interviews. Hugh Hewitt covers the blogs and I like that. O'Reilly is even worse on radio than he is on teevee.When conservatives slam talk radio I am taken back to the 80's, when it was okay to say something conservative among the fashionable, as long as it was preceded by an obligitory slam of Reagan. And Bush.
I like jazz.
That's a little unfair, Pile.You don't hear me slamming Bush too often, do you? I avoid talk radio because it is a funnel: you tend to be getting your news winnowed through a particular partisan perspective, and I have a hard enough time not seeing life that way myself without exposing myself to it. I prefer to seek out something that is fairly neutral with the limited time I have so I'm not being nudged in a particular direction. There's nothing wrong with it, but I don't have much time and I like print media because I can stop and read something again or cross-check it if I need to evaluate it. That's hard to do with TV or radio.That's all. It's not that the papers aren't ever biased. It's just easier to spot in print.
You are right. My apologies. I personally see no difference between radio and print when it comes to bias. Print may occasionaly try to be more subtle, and radio is often right up front about it. And radio brings things to peoples attention that might go overlooked on page A 17. Like the fact that we are going to all have HGTV by the year 2009/
I am not sure what you mean by funnel? Are you saying that talk radio is like a news bong?
Well now, put that way perhaps I should be listening to a little talk radio.I think the papers are biased too, but because there are several authors you still do get things from a multitude of perspectives. The news section of the Post is still mildly biased toward the liberal side but every now and then they smuggle one under the iron curtain. And it runs along a spectrum from Walter Pincus who is just plain unreasonable a lot of the time and leaves whole reams of facts out of stories to Howard Kurtz, whom I still pick bones with on occasion but who appears to try to be even handed. Most of the time I think he's a very good reporter when he doesn't confuse his pundit role with his news reporting, even though I often disagree with the tone of his articles. At least he will present all the facts for a change, which is more than most reporters do.What I can't stand is when they conveniently ignore material facts that don't fit their little agenda. That's bias, pure and simple.
I like talk radio, especially on days like today, when I'm off from work and doing things around the house and like the company. The NYC morning show (Curtis & Kuby) is very entertaining... where else can you hear a wiseinheimer who's been beaten down by and kidnapped by some mob boss verbally smackin' them down, and his co-host defending them not only on-air but in the courtroom?Much better than the Sopranos.Hannity, eh, I could do without, and I can tell you what Rush Limbaugh is going to say before he says it; only not with the wit and humor he employs. Granted, he's a male cheuvanist pig, but an awfully funny one at that. Paul Shanklin's parodies make it worthwhile. Gee, spd, hope you're not bored anymore ;)
In fairness to the talk radio fans here, I haven't listened to it in years so I guess I shouldn't diss it. When I was growing up Bob Grant, a pioneer of conservative talk radio, ruled the NY talk show airwaves. He was rude, racist, inflammatory, hung up on callers in mid-sentence-- "Get off my phone!" was his trademark--and people loved it. Sort of the shock and awe of talk radio who left a bad taste in my mouth for it. He called blacks "savages," he started the "Bob Grant Mandatory Sterilization Plan" for welfare mothers, etc, etc. An all-around nice guy...not. He was booted off the air a number of time for his rants including in the 90s for saying after learning that Commerce Secretary Ron Brown was in a plane crash "My hunch is [Brown] is the one survivor. I just have that hunch. Maybe it's because at heart I'm a pessimist." (ohh, shades of that schadenfreude stuff again--how many times do I have to learn that lesson). I can only hope that talk radio has improved since then but with every nut job and his brother owning a cell phone these days, I wonder. Disclaimer: Every now and again, I'll be riding in a cab and the driver will have the radio tuned to Air America, which I find it just as maddening as time spent with Bob Grant or a visit nowadays to the comment section of LGF. The one "talk" radio program I do listen to faithfully is Don Imus in the morning. He has one of the best balanced interview shows around managing to throw in stupid pet tricks between interviewing Rick Sentorum and Maureen Dowd, and all without the "joy" of audience participation. Oh and Pile, I think Laura Ingraham is hot too...but only when she's not talking:)
Hope you guys are having a good time while I'm working.Beer's in the fridge.
Man, I knew Mr. Grant could get a little worked up, Lord knows Ted Baxter could cause him hypertension, but I thought Mary could keep him from going off the deep end of a-hole. Guess I was wrong.
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