Media

Racism Doesn’t Need a Devil’s Advocate

Racism Doesn’t Need a Devil’s Advocate:

As a concept, the devil’s advocate is incoherent. If a position is really as unpopular as the name indicates, there is no need to argue for it. Debating isn’t an ideology; it’s a methodology. We debate to get to a truth, not for its own sake. Most often, the devil’s advocate is really saying there is something at the core of the argument that they are (perhaps ashamedly) compelled by, and so they employ a rhetorical trick allowing themselves to argue a position without ever having to hold it. This allows exploration of deep-seated racism under the guise of putting forth someone else’s argument. The irony is that it could invite a deeper discussion of race than may otherwise happen, since it inherently reveals what white people really think and struggle with around race.

Trump’s Cult Was Designed to Withstand This Current Media Onslaught and That’s What’s Happening

Trump’s Cult Was Designed to Withstand This Current Media Onslaught and That’s What’s Happening:

I have even come up with the hashtag of #Cult45 to describe Trump’s biggest fans. This is a nod to him being our 45th president and the old Billy Dee Williams TV commercial for beer whose famous catchphrase I imagine being transformed into, “Cult 45… they will believe him EVERY time.”

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is the worst blogger | The Outline

Even though Adams is nearly 60, everything he writes brings to mind the type of pseudo-intellectual The Simpsons parodied with Comic Book Guy — a thoroughly mediocre man who fancies himself an intellectual by extension of having bad hygiene and a repellent personality, the type who clogs up video game forums with the same sort of non-arguments and logic games that clog up the Dilbert blog.

(via Dilbert creator Scott Adams is the worst blogger | The Outline)

This is spot on. Worth a read.

America’s Berlusconi

America’s Berlusconi:

Trump will probably pursue what is essentially a permanent political campaign, injecting himself directly into conversations. Berlusconi has often used television, especially his own commercial channels, to that end. Instead of giving interviews he cannot control, Berlusconi has often worked with favored acolytes, or simply talked directly to the camera. When he was in office, many a political talk show was interrupted by a phone call from the prime minister demanding to have his say.

Here's Where Donald Trump Gets His News

Here's Where Donald Trump Gets His News:

Our analysis revealed a media ecosystem that appears to largely reinforce and affirm the views publicly expressed by Trump and his closest advisers. The news stories Trump tweets share several characteristics: 1) They often favor sensationalism over facts and reporting; 2) They frequently echo direct quotes from Trump himself or his closest advisers; and 3) They routinely malign his enemies and vindicate his most controversial opinions.

The echo chamber in chief?

CNN Host's Mind Blown: Trump Voters Believe Voter Fraud Claims

CNN Host's Mind Blown: Trump Voters Believe Voter Fraud Claims:

in this case it comes with one minor caveat: evidence is not needed if you’re a Trump voter. Period. Alysin Camerota of CNN’s New Day is a bit flummoxed over a group of these folks.

It’s no use asking for proof. They don’t have proof and their opinions on voter fraud as based on feelings, not facts.

Worth watching.

Fake News

Fake News:

It’s tempting to make a connection between the Miller fiasco and the current debate about Facebook’s fake news problem; the cautionary tale that “fake news is bad” writes itself. My takeaway, though, is the exact opposite: it matters less what is fake and more who decides what is news in the first place.

The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it.

The media have reached a turning point in covering Donald Trump. He may not survive it.:

It happened because the Post’s David Fahrenthold and some other reporters did what journalists are supposed to do. They raised questions about Trump’s fundraiser, and when they didn’t get adequate answers, they investigated, gathered facts, and asked more questions.

It was excellent work — time-consuming, difficult, and ultimately paying dividends in public understanding. And Trump’s attack on them for doing their jobs the way those jobs are supposed to be done couldn’t have been better designed to get every other journalist to want to do the same. They’re no different than anyone else: When you make a direct attack on their professionalism, they’re likely to react by reaching back to their profession’s core values to demonstrate that they can live up to them. Trump may have wanted to intimidate them, but it’s likely to have the opposite effect.

Wow, journalism. It gets stuff done.

Peter Thiel's support for Donald Trump is a bigger threat to press freedom than his lawsuits - Vox

Trump himself, of course, is no stranger to the idea that a rich person can use harassing lawsuits to discourage critical media coverage. When veteran business journalist Tim O'Brien reported that Trump isn’t as rich as he says he is, Trump launched a series of frivolous lawsuits. (via Peter Thiel’s support for Donald Trump is a bigger threat to press freedom than his lawsuits - Vox)

This is a story that isn’t getting enough coverage. Thiel and Trump both have a view that some people, mostly people like them, should not be criticized by the press. They should have the law on their side and it should be possible to use the law to silence others. It’s disturbing. It would be called political correctness if that term were used in this context.

Thiel Apologists Still Having a Hard Time

Using the civil courts as an instrument of private vengeance rather than to compensate or punish injuries corrupts the legal system. Doing so in secret deprives the public and the jury of the knowledge which would create some self-correcting mechanism to limit such abuse. It’s as simple as that. Comparing this to lawsuits brought by the ACLU or a conservative public interest law firm is either silly, dishonest or stupid. (via Thiel Apologists Still Having a Hard Time)

Defending gawker reminds me of defending Too-Live-Crew in the 1990s. I’m cringing but it’s the right thing to do. Thiel seem to think his hurt feelings trump the free speech of others. I don’t see a single difference between that Thiel is doing and what the right calls “Social Justice Warriors” silencing others.

CNN to GO > >

CNN to GO > >:

Why CNN is awful: part 2.

Do you want CNN news sent to your feature phone on Cingular or NexTel? Well CNN has you covered. Dust off your Nokia and launch the WAP browser.

This page dates from 2005. Still up.

How The Reddit Debacle Proves Libertarians Wrong

One of the most common libertarian arguments you hear is that we don’t need government regulation to prevent discrimination because bigotry is bad for business and therefore the free market will stop it. Take Rand Paul arguing that “it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant.” Or Reason trying to show that bakeries refusing gay customers take an economic hit for it. It’s a pleasing idea, that businesses will realize that bigotry costs them money and will adjust their business practices accordingly, with no government intervention required.

Well, now we have a perfect experiment to see how well that theory plays out in real life, with Reddit, which is a major corporation and not some two-bit rural bakery refusing to make a cake for a lesbian couple. As Reddit has learned, bigotry is, indeed, bad for business. Maintaining a free space for bigots to organize in is costing Reddit real money, as they have to pay for server space and now can’t even collect ad revenue on the bigoted forums.

But instead of proving the liberation argument right—that bigotry will cost you money and therefore businesses will choose anti-bigotry—the opposite is happening. Reddit is choosing to lose money rather than lose the bigots.

(via How The Reddit Debacle Proves Libertarians Wrong)

Libertarian views on discrimination somehow manage to be equal parts comical and abhorrent. The Reddit debacle is demonstrating this.

After 38 years of glory, the long run of Dr. Dobb's has come to an end

After 38 years of glory, the long run of Dr. Dobb's has come to an end:

Like many of you, I grew up reading Dr. Dobb’s. For me, as I suspect it was for many of you, Dr. Dobb’s Journal was the lifeline to a thorough understanding of programming. I recall that when the magazine appeared in my mailbox, all other activity for the day came to a sudden stop and the remaining hours were spent blissfully poring over article after article, soaking in the information. I learned C from Allen Holub’s C Chest column, operating systems from the 18-part series on 386BSD, video programming from Michael Abrash’s Black Book, and data compression from Mark Nelson. And so on — each month brought new, enabling insights and explanations of often arcane topics.

I was a regular reader for most of the 90s and beyond. The era of blogs is what killed both BYTE and Dr. Dobbs.

4chan users threaten Emma Watson with nude photo leak over UN speech on gender equality

4chan users threaten Emma Watson with nude photo leak over UN speech on gender equality:

The frightening thing is that, like most of their other campaigns against women, they truly see themselves as just warriors fighting for what’s right. They believe that this is what Emma Watson has coming to her for daring to speak up or identify as a feminist.

The hostility to feminists online is equal parts amusing and disturbing.

Middle East - French govt to use Arabic ‘Daesh’ for Islamic State group

Middle East - French govt to use Arabic ‘Daesh’ for Islamic State group:

“This is a terrorist group and not a state. I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists. The Arabs call it ‘Daesh’ and I will be calling them the ‘Daesh cutthroats’.”

Maybe can troll them by calling them the Apostate False Caliphate or AFC? Or the Arabic version of that?

When The Economist blamed Irish peasants for starving to death

When The Economist blamed Irish peasants for starving to death:

its extraordinary blindness to how real life economic power relations work is reminiscent of the magazine’s beginnings in the 19th century, when it fulminated at the very idea that the British government should do anything about the Irish famine that was happening on its doorstep. After all, it was the peasants’ own fault that they were starving.

Laissez faire is often used as an excuse to blame victim.

After pledging transparency, PBS hides details of new deal with billionaire owner of NewsHour

After pledging transparency, PBS hides details of new deal with billionaire owner of NewsHour:

since 1994, the NewsHour has been produced and primarily owned by the for-profit colossus, Liberty Media. Liberty, which is run by conservative billionaire John Malone, owns the majority stake in MacNeil/Lehrer Productions – the entity that produces the journalistic content of the show. While other standalone public television projects are often produced by small independent production companies, the NewsHour stands out for being owned by a major for-profit media conglomerate headed by a politically active billionaire.

I was a regular NewsHour viewer for years and have been a regular NewsHour podcast listener since 2007 or so when they started podcasts. I can count maybe a dozen times when I thought the NewsHour was being biased. This is just disappointing.

At what point with the talking heads on FOX start calling Justice Roberts a liberal?

Huckabee suggested that without Fox News acting as a counterweight to "mainstream media," most Americans "will assume that Obama really is just doing a great job and he just can't get those crazy Republicans to help him out.

Huckabee suggested that without Fox News acting as a counterweight to "mainstream media," most Americans "will assume that Obama really is just doing a great job and he just can't get those crazy Republicans to help him out.

Mike Huckabee Accidentally Tells The Truth About Fox News | Crooks and Liars

And we can’t let reality creep into the national debate.

Glenn Beck started as a no-account shock jock and is now a no-account Internet show host. Breitbart at least went from Drudge lackey to successful right-wing media mogul. Carlson, though, began his career in the most respectable fashion possible and has spent the ensuing decades gradually lowering himself into the gutter. His story illustrates why we can't have a responsible or at least slightly less hysterical conservative media.

Glenn Beck started as a no-account shock jock and is now a no-account Internet show host. Breitbart at least went from Drudge lackey to successful right-wing media mogul. Carlson, though, began his career in the most respectable fashion possible and has spent the ensuing decades gradually lowering himself into the gutter. His story illustrates why we can't have a responsible or at least slightly less hysterical conservative media.
Tucker Carlson’s downward spiral - Media Criticism - salon.com

Robert Reich: Why Anyone Should Care that Bill O'Reilly Calls Me A Communist

Robert Reich: Why Anyone Should Care that Bill O'Reilly Calls Me A Communist

robertreich:

Bill O'Reilly, the tumescent personality of Fox News, said on his Friday show "Robert Reich is a communist who secretly adores Karl Marx." (This came after Fox News' Neil Cavoto called me a "sanctimonious twit" for suggesting the rich should pay more in taxes.)

O'Reilly's accusation is odd, to…

Welcome to the 2011 Salon Hack List

Welcome to the 2011 Salon Hack List

The Salon Hack List is a list of our least favorite political commentators, newspaper columnists, political news show hosts, and constant cable news presences, ranked roughly (but only roughly) in order of awfulness and then described rudely. Criteria for inclusion included being wrong about literally everything, shameless sycophancy, appearing on "Morning Joe" and being "Morning Joe."

Fareed Zakaria to CNN: Stop Trying To Lure Fox News Viewers

"CNN is getting smarter, and you can feel it in the stories," Zakaria said. "You can feel it in the depth with which they’re covered, the kinds of people in terms of guests who are brought on air, the ways in which issues are discussed."

He then said that CNN shouldn’t even be trying to compete with Fox News.

"The people who watch Fox are not going to watch CNN. Let’s be honest," Zakaria said. "Our competitors should properly be The New York Times, the BBC and NPR."


From Fareed Zakaria to CNN: Stop Trying To Lure Fox News Viewers | Crooks and Liars

Really good point.

Jon Stewart Angrily Tells Chris Wallace: Fox News Has the Most Misinformed Viewers

Despite multiple attempts by Wallace to convince Stewart of a liberal bias in the mainstream media, Stewart argued the “bias of the mainstream media is towards sensationalism, conflict and laziness.” And as proof of a lack of partisanship, Stewart suggested the media “jumped into the Weiner pool with such delight and such relish.”

The conversation got a bit more personal as Stewart and Wallace shared thoughts on how they viewed each other. Wallace declared “I think you want to be a political player.” Stewart responded “dead wrong” and reiterated that he is a comedian first. And then he admitted himself, “the embarrassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.”

From TPM LiveWire

Jon Stewart tell is like it is

Has the Internet 'Hamsterized' Journalism?

Thus, those "rolling deadlines" in many newsrooms are increasingly resembling the rapid iteration of the proverbial exercise device invented for the aforementioned cute domestic rodent. The observation was first made by Dean Starkman in a Columbia Journalism Review piece titled "The Hamster Wheel."

This Hamster Wheel isn't about speed, the report quotes Starkman as saying. "It's motion for motion's sake ... volume without thought. It is news panic, a lack of discipline, an inability to say no."

Journalists complain that where newsrooms used to reward in-depth stories, "now incentives skew toward work that can be turned around quickly and generate a bump in web traffic."

"None of this is written down anywhere, but it's real," Starkman contends. "The Hamster Wheel, then, is investigations you will never see, good work left undone, public service not performed."


From Epicenter | Wired.com

Worth a read. Notice how short it is. And how it was pushed to RSS and Twitter. Might be on their facebook page to.

One thing they understand very well at Fox, and in the conservative movement more generally, is the political value of shamelessness. As long as you say what you're saying with conviction, it doesn't matter how absurd or hypocritical it is. You may not get the majority of the public to agree with you, but you can get a good number. ... As a result, conservatives may not win every argument, but they almost never get routed completely.

One thing they understand very well at Fox, and in the conservative movement more generally, is the political value of shamelessness. As long as you say what you’re saying with conviction, it doesn’t matter how absurd or hypocritical it is. You may not get the majority of the public to agree with you, but you can get a good number. … As a result, conservatives may not win every argument, but they almost never get routed completely.
Does Shamelessness Pay Off?

Prominent Conservative Radio Hosts Planted Scripted Actors Among Callers

Some of the people who phone in to talk radio shows (that caller with the pitch-perfect rant, provocative comment or burning question) may actually be hired actors reading from scripts. I'm not an angry listener, but I play one on radio!

Via Tablet Magazine:

If [the actor] passed the audition, he would be invited periodically to call in to various talk shows and recite various scenarios that made for interesting radio. He would never be identified as an actor, and his scenarios would never be identified as fabricated-which they always were.


From Prominent Conservative Radio Hosts Planted Scripted Actors Among Callers


Not enough detail to be certain this is true, but I would not surprised. Snake oil salesmen have always needed shills in the crowd.

Lawrence O'Donnell Asks Rep. Steve King if He's Got His Christian ID Card to Prove He's Not a Muslim

Lawrence O’Donnell decided that turnaround was fair play with wingnut Rep. Steve King and asked him if he had his Christian ID card or some other means to prove that we should take his word that he’s not a Muslim.

From Crooks and Liars

This is how you deal with evidence free assertions from wing nuts.

Is Keith Olbermann at Current TV the weirdest idea ever?

Olbermann will both host and executive produce — this is key — an hour-long prime-time show five nights a week on Current. In addition to this anchor role, the sometimes tough-to-manage Olbermann will help overhaul Current’s news strategy and hold equity in the company.

From Salon.com

My prediction is that this will either be a mediocre success or a spectacular failure. The possibility of a major success that makes Current TV viable is near zero.

No. 21: S.E. Cupp

(Cupp was born in California, raised in Andover, Mass., and has degrees from Cornell and New York University. She lives in New York. She totally “gets” Real America way better than you!)

Cupp is proof that being a Young Conservative — especially a TV-ready one willing to cynically tell the rubes that ignorance is noble — is a much easier way to make a living than legitimate journalism.


From No. 21: S.E. Cupp - War Room - salon.com


S.E. Cupp would rank higher on the hack list if she were better known.

No. 3: Thomas Friedman

when he’s not lounging beside the pool at his absurd home — the second-most-influential business thinker in the country is worrying about carbon emissions. Which is, I freely admit, a nice change of pace from back when he was telling the world that the invasion and occupation of Iraq would lead to a glorious new dawn of freedom/democracy/whiskey/iPods/Old Navy in the Middle East as a whole.

From No. 3: Thomas Friedman - War Room - salon.com

And a perfect picture too.

No. 7: Jonah Goldberg

Goldberg favorite rhetorical move is to pretend that he’s making some grand, semi-controversial point, then back off when asked to defend it. He wrote an entire book called “Liberal Fascism,” about how liberals are the real fascists, but constantly insists that the theme of his book was not “liberals are fascists.” He wrote a column about how Julian Assange should be assassinated, but insisted that the point of his column was not to say that Julian Assange should be assassinated. Did you know that proposing that kids perform community service 'is modern slavery?!? (“No, national service isn’t slavery,” he eventually writes, before saying, again, that it’s basically the same thing.)

From No. 7: Jonah Goldberg - War Room - salon.com

If the word shmuck didn’t exist, it would have to be invented for him.

Introducing the Hack 30

Think of the War Room Hack 30 as an all-star team — or a rogues gallery. These are the most predictable, banal, intellectually dishonest and all-around hacky newspaper columnists, cable news shouting heads and political opinion-mongers working today. We compiled the list by reading blogs and Op-Ed sections and watching 24-hour cable news channels for about a decade, and then listing about 200 people who rarely fail to annoy us. We cut the list down to 30 people whose continued employment most baffles us, and then we ranked them in order of shamelessness.


From Introducing the Hack 30


Check if your favorite (or least favorite) is on the list.

Who are the liberal birthers?

41 percent of Republicans say Obama was definitely or probably born in another country.

Why do so many Americans believe such a silly thing? And why are Republicans so much more likely to believe it?


From Poll: 41 percent of Republicans think Obama wasn’t born in America - Birthers - salon.com

If the media does in fact have a liberal bias, there should be some liberal media equivalent to the birther. What liberal falsehood does 40% of the population believe? Or even 10%? It must be something clearly and demonstrably disproved that a large segment of the population believes because the media propagates the myth.

Media echo GOP's fixation on size of House health care reform bill

Following the release of the House Democrats’ health care reform bill, the leaders of the House Republican caucus repeatedly stressed the length and size of the bill during an October 29 press conference. Numerous media figures and outlets have followed in lockstep
From Media echo GOP’s fixation on size of House health care reform bill | Media Matters for America

There has been a noticeable lack of debate on the substance of the bill and an massive amount of spit-balling, subterfuge and horse race coverage. In a world where there is debate like Was Hayek A Socialist? because he had the nerve to suggest that mandates are compatible personal responsibility. I’m waiting for the ultra-right to start debating if Jefferson and Adams were socialists because they believed in a social contract.

propaganda pundits

Worth watching. This is clear evidence that this administration was running tax payer funded covert propaganda campaign on US soil in clear violation of US law. Screw impeachment, it’s time for a war crimes tribunal.

Americans Remain Woefully Ill-Informed

More than a decade after the Internet went mainstream, the world’s richest information source hasn’t necessarily made its users any more informed. A new study from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows that Americans, on average, are less able to correctly answer questions about current events than they were in 1989. Citizens who call the Internet their primary news source know slightly less than fans of TV and radio news. Hmmm… maybe a little less Perez Hilton and a little more Jim Lehrer.
Infoporn: Despite the Web, Americans Remain Woefully Ill-Informed

Disappointing stats on how little we know. It might be interesting to track the amount of news on TV in 1989 versus today, the amount of hours spent watching news and the typical length of time reading/watching news per day. That would give a much better view on whats going on. I’d also like to see a percent breakdown on the amount of time spent on non-news (entertainment, human interest and lifestyle) by the news major sources in 1989 versus today.

re-framing the US Attorney scandal

In a scripted moment of imperial bravado, President Bush held a press conference yesterday to address the scandal over his Attorney General having lied to Congress. Why this sudden move? In a word: framing.
FRAMESHOP by Jeffrey Feldman

An excellent discussion of how this administration is trying to change the way the US Attorney scandal is being discussed in the media.

network television in its underpants

The fascination of raw feeds-the useless video stream bounced off satellites before and after the “real” video stream appears on live programming-is an old story. As long ago as 1985, the writer David Owen marveled in the Atlantic about a phenomenon he called “network television in its underpants,” wherein owners of home satellite dishes could eavesdrop on, say, an unsuspecting Max Robinson-now deceased, but until 1983 the Chicago anchor for ABC’s World News Tonight-as he yelled at colleagues, told dirty jokes, and purchased consumer goods by phone.
From Slate

Interesting look into the secret world of the TV talking heads. I’m reminded of this Kurt Vonnegut quote. I imagine seeing the taking heads in their real day-to-day mundane glory would be like running into your 8th grade teacher in street clothes. You almost forget that they actually live in the real world.

Ann Coulter, project much?

From Ann Coulter Reaches Out to 9-11 Widows - Gawker

She assumes that the Jersey Girls want media attention and are cynically using the death of their husbands to get it. She assumes that they are willing to say or do anything to get that media attention. She claims that the Jersey Girls were sent by the left. There is a one thing comes to mind when I see this. Coulter is projecting.

Pirate Annie has a history of saying or doing anything to get media attention. She has a history of being involved in right-wing media operations. Why wouldn’t she think that everyone is as big a media whore as she is? Why wouldn’t she think that no one speaks their mind out of conscience rather than for what political gain they might receive?

why does CNN grant an open forum to this particular whack-job and not others

When Coulter is invited to spout her putrescence on Larry King Live, the legitimacy granted to her is CNN’s fault, not Coulter’s. After all, there’s no shortage of desperate attention seekers willing to say and do outlandish things to get noticed. The question is, why does CNN grant an open forum to this particular whack-job and not others?
The Grit: The Bleating of Cowards: Hannity, O’Reilly, & Co.

Can someone name a left-wing loony that gets as much TV time as Coulter? Someone who has joked about killing a supreme court justice with rat poison or insulted our troops the way Coulter has? For the life of me, I can’t.

Cheering The Code After Punching The Passion

But then The Passion of the Christ, which brought in $370 million domestically, was one of the highest-grossing films of all time. And while it got plenty of media attention, the coverage was completely different from that surrounding The Da Vinci Code. As aggressively as Da Vinci has been puffed, Christ got poked.
The American Enterprise: Cheering The Code After Punching The Passion

This is why AEI should stick to Economics and Foreign Policy, where they put together competent, well written and reasonable right-leaning arguments. While I usually disagree with them, they don’t sound like the silly blathering you might hear on Fox or from the hacks at Heritage.

First off, how much positive press has Tom UFO Cult Cruise received? I’m guessing none, once you factor out Scientology newsletters. What about the Kaballah? Heard anything other than parody about Hollywood Kaballah followers?

However, this is besides the point. This article is pretty silly. And wrong. A quick check at Meta Filter shows that the so-called liberal media has given The Da Vinci Code mixed reviews at best. And just to point out how silly the liberal media bias argument is, The Tom DeLay documentary has been panned by the media.

Why Colbert matters

What Colbert did to the president and the press corps is news: He didn’t shoot anybody Saturday night at the Hinckley Hilton, but he laid them out in just about every other way imaginable. It was as an “Emperor’s New Clothes” moment played out with George W. Bush and his court forced to watch, and you ought to have seen it and talked about it and read reporting and analysis on it by now.
From War Room - salon.com

The video is here and the followup is here

Colbert’s deconstruction of the GOPer pundit is awe inspiring. From his fixation on bears to his ironic support for the president down to the way he brilliantly inverts the meaning of his guests comments shows an understanding of political spin and the way the media is played that would normally be reserved for the driest of news analysis shows like PBS’s The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. But Colbert makes it approachable.

Media Blog on National Review Online

This same group of liberal bloggers wants to take the playbook they used to move Democrats left and apply it to the media. Conservatives might seem baffled, perhaps asking, “The media, composed overwhelmingly of Democrats, isn’t liberal enough for them?” Well, if the Democratic Party isn’t liberal enough, then the media with its small contingent of Republicans obviously needs a major leftward adjustment.
From nationalreview

This is a great slam against the left, to bad its isn’t true. Liberal bloggers aren’t trying to push the media to the left. They are trying to get the Media to stop treating every story as a he said/she said.

Then there are groups like Media Matters that monitor GOP lies and distortion in the mainstream media. Here are the National Reviews gaffs and distortions.

pundit payola

It came out last week that a couple of conservative pundits have been on the take from lobbyist extraordinaire Jack Abramoff. He would pay them up to $2,000 for columns and op-ed pieces that advanced the interests of his clients.
From: Pundit Payola - Money talks. It writes, too. By Michael Kinsley

This is just as bad as the Armstrong Williams stories from earlier this year. If you are getting paid to promote an idea, and do not disclose this fact; you are not a journalist. You are a publicist. What you are writing isn’t an article, it is a press release. And if you do not disclose your relationships relating to that opinion, you are not an advocate; you are a shill.

It’s disappointing that the CATO Institute lacks the brio to defend all this as the free market at work. We talk grandly about the “marketplace of ideas.” Why should that marketplace, unlike all others, ban money? Won’t Adam Smith’s famous invisible hand guarantee a good result?
Mr. Kinsley has a point there. Why don’t the people on the right just defend the idea of bribery as part of the free market? Why not fight for the deregulation of elections as to make payments (even secret payments) perfectly legal? Why not extend this to simply auction off the rights to legislation? I say this with tongue in cheek, but I find the lack of coverage of these scandals really upsetting. I realize it isn’t as sexy as the Monica affair, but this is really big news. As much as people on the right might protest, this is a clear example of the Republican culture of corruption in Washington.