Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

The lesson of the last 24 hours is…Fox News is nothing more than a right wing propaganda outfit that is willing to air lies and committ slander if it serves a purpose of helping conservatives, the rest of the media is too horny for scandal to realize it or do its own research and we, as a country, cannot exist with a government that has to preempt an impending media narrative every morning before breakfast.

In the first few hours I heard about this tape, I pretty much sense doom. Morning Joe didn’t even bother to question the source, but did question Ms. Sherrod’s sincerity. In one segment, he said it wasn’t hard to believe the story since her father was killed by white farmers.

CNN began bringing up Eric Holder and Black Panthers, prepared to go on a “how many radical black people are there in the administration”

and then the scandal was broken. Ms. Sherrod was forced to resign.

This is a perfect example of the catch-22 situation the administration is often forced into, especially on this topic. Was it realistic to believe the truth would eventually come out? Did most people hear the truth about ACORN? Rev. Wright?

My views sorta match those of Joshua Green;

Breitbart focuses on race. Today’s episode with Shirley Sherrod, who was forced to resign from the Agriculture Department on the basis of a doctored and intentionally misleading videotape (see below), is an especially ugly case in point, calculated to stir the very worst racial resentments. This time the political world–the NAACP, the Agriculture Secretary–moved as quickly as the media world to unthinking response, and I suspect it happened precisely because race was involved. I don’t doubt that the administration’s understandable desire to avoid racial issues played a big part in how this turned out.

But what’s galling to me–gut-wrenching, really, like watching old news footage of blacks being beaten and clubbed at lunch counters–is that Breitbart obviously understood the powerful effect his tape would have, posted it anyway, and then assumed the role of ringmaster, expertly conducting the media circus, fanning the flames. It’s hardly the first time. But the moral ugliness of what’s just happened is glaring, and it’s hard for me to see how the media can justify continuing to treat Breitbart as simply a roguish provocateur. He’s something much darker.

This presents the perfect opportunity to take on the media and what is wrong with it. I spent many years as a television producer, I know the drill.

There is only one rule when you’re producing TV news, beat your competitor, break the story. You don’t have time to verify facts. If you don’t break the story first, you’re in hot water. I can’t tell you how many times I get the treatment from my bosses who told me not to waste time verifying fats because “most of what we report is true”

It was the media’s job to verify that the tape was false, but they didn’t and because they didn’t, it was reasonable to believe they never would.

and with race, well, the media is so obsessed with having a “national dialogue on race” that we’re not actually having one. The media is desperate for a racially-baed scandal. CNN wants to use those “Black in America” chyrons again. Chris Matthews wants to discuss how white people are fleeing Obama and racism exists everywhere. Fox News wants to scare the shit out of its minions, making them think Angela Davis and her army of White-hating Communist Muslims are coming to take them away.

And until the media, you know, decides to do its job, the the White House is going to be forced into responding in the least negative way every time something like this happens  


  1. HappyinVT

    going on here.

    First we have the media.  We all know there are elements just dying to find a scandal that will sink the administration.  Is the president racist?  Does he employ racists?  Given that Obama is the first black president and there was the whole Rev. Wright kerfuffle during the campaign this seems like an easier issue to raise.  Remember “sweetiegate” during the campaign?  That didn’t fly because anyone who has seen the president with his wife knows better.  Glenn Beck calls the president a racist with nothing to back it up and barely an eyebrow is lifted beyond Olbermann’s WPITW segment.  These things are insidious and get whispered about.  And people start comparing what the adminstration’s policies are and who they are benefitting.  Of course, credit card reform and finiancial reform and health care reform and unemployment benefit extensions all benefit the minorities much more than the white folk.  We live within our means, pay our bills on time, and can keep a steady job.  See, the president is racist.

    Then the NAACP passes a resolution comdemning the racist portions of the tea party movement.  Oh no you di-n’t just call those proud American patriots racists; we’ll show you who the true racists are and out pops a video waiting for just the right moment.  Yahoo!  FNC has a scandal!  The administration jumps and other cable news networks jump in.  The blogs pick it up.  (My chronology might be off a bit; I didn’t hear about the story until it had already been debunked.)

    Oh wait … wha?!  The tape was edited?!  Ms. Sherrod isn’t a racist?  In fact, she’s a really nice lady whose been working hard all of her adult life on behalf of the poor in Georgia?  That white farmer she was talking about in the video holds her in great regard?  Well, Hell!  There goes that scandal.

    Oh wait … wha?  That’s right, the White House fired this poor, put upon lady.  Mean White House.  Bad White House.  (I’m surprised we haven’t heard that Obama now hates black people.  Or people from Georgia.  Or Southerners.  Give it time, I guess.)

    This story was going to blow up on the White House no matter what they did.  Because the media creates the story instead of reporting it.  They trusted someone they shouldn’t have (Breitbart and FNC) and got snookered.  And, it will happen again.

    The second part of the story is the way the administration handled it.  You will not convince me that they didn’t jump the gun.  Sorry!  In someone’s zeal to stop a story they reacted in haste instead of in a deliberate fashion.  To a video released by Andrew fucking Breitbart.  If it had been some serious news person I might be willing to cut them some slack but Andrew Brietbart.  Really?  Nope, no slack on that one.

    I am also perfectly aware that had the administration taken a day or two someone would have been complaining “what took them so long” but better that than the current “they do this all the time” that is painfully true.

    I think we also need to remember that the real villian in this whole thing is Breitbart who decided that he was going to get even with the NAACP and posted the video purely to be vindictive.

  2. spacemanspiff

    This is my political routine every single day.

    I mostly read the headlines on the first 3 and read 1 or 2 links. I then head to the Moose. The comments here are gold. The current pace allows me to really read almost every comment and the current events going on. Great that the Moose was built the way it was. It’s the place you go when you’ve got something on your mind that you want to discuss.

    That’s like the Blogs for Dummies lineup by the way.


    I’ve been in hibernation of sorts (political) and just found out about Sherrod…

    This is a big deal and it isn’t a big deal. What I mean by that is that the “political” implications are not as big as political junkies make them out to be. Nobody really believes the President is going to have a hand in every hiring and firing that goes on in his administration. The narrative right now is bullshit. I don’t see a color line. The hard work done by older progressives is really paying off.  Which is why I’m starting to understand why older folks always say things like “I have hope for future generations.” I can’t even fathom how things will be for my grandchildren if we keep up the current pace. We have advanced A LOT on race relations (I’m not saying the war has been won yet) and believing otherwise because of a cooked up political scandal means not appreciating where we are right now.

    As far as the political implications. I’ve been in the Florida area for the last month or so. Nooobodyyyy is talking politics. All the political conversations seemed force and half the room has no clue what you’re talking about. Even when talking about things that would take up the whole Rec.List over at the DailyKos. Things that would be showed on the Drudge Report. A few cheapshots will be thrown here and there. For the most part people are indifferent. I can tell you the mood is a lot better than when I was there during the Bush years. So yeah. Some people need to get of the blogs and live a little.

    It seems to me that I don’t “get” these  cableshows anymore. I used to watch a lot of MSNBC before. KeithO is a clown. I can’t stand his ass. He makes all progessives look bad with his act. Rachel is great. I love her. Now I tune in to CNN the most. Why? I guess it’s because they are the less biased of all. I’m not saying CNN is progressive nor will I say they are far right. But for the most part they got some cool investigative reports. Dr.Gupta is awesome. Even Anderson Cooper takes his ass to danger zones to get the story. His stuff on Haiti was epic.

    For the most part I watch more sports and cartoons than all the news shows combined.

    Wake me up when midterms come up.

    End of spaemanspiff rant.

  3. fogiv

    what a dumbass:

    As we can all see now, when Fox says jump, the Obama administration asks how high? (Then jumps one inch less and considers it a progressive victory). Is there anyone Obama won’t fire or throw under the bus if Fox asks him to? What if they ask Obama to fire himself? Would he do it? Or would he just fire Biden and say he met them halfway?

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