Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Obama and the Establishment press, Week 7

This observation from Eric Boehlert focuses on one of the more notable trends we've seen in our national media during the weeks of Obama's Presidency (Jim Cramer and the rise of the whining loudmouth County Fair 03/10/09):

Can we just take a moment to decry the most annoying media trend of the year--the whining loudmouth. CNBC employs two of the biggest offenders; Cramer and Rick Santelli. The third Mouseketeer, of course, is Rush Limbaugh. All three loudmouths uncorked nutty, anti-Obama rants in recent weeks.

Then when reporters raised question during White House press briefings and got responses from Robert Gibbs, the loud mouths turned and whined about the nasty White House was going after them, targeting them, putting them on (non-existent) enemies lists. Good God, if you're going to making a living as a loudmouth making stuff up on national television, at least man up and take the gentle push back with some dignity.
One odd development is that Glenn Beck, with some publicity help from active Mike Huckabee supporter Chuck Norris, is organizing meet-ups and "WE Surround Them gathering parties" for Friday, March 13, to get together and watch his show which will feature something about a set of statements around a concept called WE Surround Them:

1. America is good.

2. I believe in God and He is the Center of my Life.

3.I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Is this news, commentary or political organizing?

You have to wonder if Beck and FOX News are looking to provoke a critical reaction from FCC regulators so that they will have an excuse to whine that Obama's socialist-communist-fascist government is out to silence good Christian white people like Glenn Beck. But then, since when do raving rightwingers need an actual excuse to whine?

If you were to assume that Huckabee supporter Chuck Norris' promo column for the Friday event in WorldNutDaily (I may run for president of Texas 03/09/09) represents the goals of Glenn Beck and FOX News in promoting this, part of what WE Surround Them promotes is states seceding from the Union. The Civil War definitely decided that secession is literally sedition.

So just how is principle #1, "America is good", consistent with neo-Confederate seditionist ideology? Since secession is about as anti-American as it gets, and in the most literal sense. I'm just asking.

But since this is a product of the FOX News branch of our press corps, that's not the only odd line of reasoning involved in this thing. for instance, if you string principles 4, 5 and 9 together, you get this:

My spouse and I are the ultimate authority, not the government.

If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me.
Now, I would think that even a moron on a serious OxyContin binge could see that that combination doesn't make jack for sense.

But maybe I'm overestimating the FOX News demographic.

Frederick Clarkson discusses Norris' column and the upcoming Beck event in Chuck Norris On The Eve of Revolution? TalktoAction 03/10/09.

I'll close this one with a pungent point by Bob "the Daily Howler" Somerby from his 03/10/09 post:

As was generally shown this weekend, we struggle with a Potemkin press corps. It looks like journalism is happening, but something very different there stands. We still haven’t returned to the report by the [Washington] Post's ombudsman about George Will’s bungled climate change columns. But good God! This Sunday, in just his third week on the job, new Post watchdog Andrew Alexander had back-slid to this pointless porridge.

It looks like journalism is happening. But much of what you read in the paper comes from the Potemkin Post (or [New York] Times). Denial says this can’t be true. And yet, quite plainly, it is.
"It looks like journalism is happening." But what's happening is actually more like infotainment. Or goofiness of an often inexplicable kind.

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