Steve G.

Posts Tagged ‘mainstream media’

What counts as a legitimate ‘news’ story in the MSM

In Media on May 7, 2008 at 8:50 am

I guess I probably shouldn’t be surprised at the anti-intellectualism, unseriousness, and crassness of the mainstream media. But I really thought this article, highlighted on the front page of CNN.com, took the cake:

Beware of ‘The Tinkler’

I mosey into the ladies’ room, glance at the mirror, remind myself that fluorescent lights make everyone look as if they’re in the final stages of tuberculosis, and head for a stall. And then I see it: The seat, even the floor, is covered in little yellow droplets. The Tinkler strikes again.

Even worse are the Story “highlights”:

  • Women’s bathroom is defiled by The Tinkler
  • Columnist tries to figure out who’s guilty of peeing on seat
  • Decides she is “aggressively mean-spirited, mole-like cavewoman”
  • Writer yearns for modicum of civility, a touch of class, or supply of Lysol

As if this is an actual, legitimate news story! For example, the Story Highlights for a Myanmar cyclone piece were as follows:

  • U.N. has started getting food aid but so far it is only the first step of huge job
  • NEW: Survivor tells how wall of water left bodies in trees, bushes and streams
  • More than 22,000 killed and 41,000 missing, Myanmar radio reports
  • U.S. President Bush says Navy is ready to help if asked

There you go: The state of an individual women’s bathroom and a barely literate “journalist’s” opinion thereof is the given the same treatment as a humanitarian disaster in which more than 22,000 people have died. I should interject here that this wonderful story was brought to us by that benevolent Obama sponsor / former crack smoker, Oprah Winfrey, and her hubristically eponymous magazine.

We have an illegal, unjustified, and undeclared war that’s been raging for longer than WWII, in which innocents are being murdered on a daily basis, hundreds of billions of dollars are being destroyed, and wealth is being redistributed from American taxpayers to military-industrial complex barons, international bankers, and foreign governments — but we give a higher priority to office “tinklers” than any of that. I really do understand why Reverend Jeremiah Wright said “God Damn America!” Has there ever been an Empire quite so decadent?

I tried reading Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason and found it to be unpalatable liberal-statist garbage. But the general thesis that Americans are dumbed down by the government and its propagandists in the media and public school system (though Jacoby would balk at the latter of these being characterized as such) is right on the money. I find it harder to live among my peers with each day that goes by.

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LP Presidential Candidate, Senator Mike Gravel, Interviewed By Newsweek

In Barack Obama, Censorship, Democracy, Democrats, Iraq War, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Media, People in the news, Politics, Presidential Candidates, Republican, US Government, War on April 1, 2008 at 12:11 am

Senator Mike GravelSenator Mike GravelLP Presidential candidates normally don’t get this level of media exposure, ever. Senator Mike Gravel’s switch to the Libertarian Party is causing a great deal of positive mainstream media attention. Below is an excerpt from the Newsweek interview, posted today. I will note that Last Free voice beat Newsweek to the punch, interviewing Senator Gravel within 48 hours of his decision to run as an LP candidate.

After the crowded presidential primary shrunk from eight Democrats and 11 Republicans to only three viable candidates between the two parties, what’s a spurned presidential hopeful to do? Well, if you’re Ron Paul, you ignore John McCain‘s inevitability and keep running anyway. If you’re former U.S. senator Mike Gravel, you switch parties.

Last Monday, the former Democrat swung by the Libertarian Party‘s national headquarters and defected. “We handed him a [membership] card on the spot,” says Shane Cory, the party’s executive director. Two days later, Gravel formally announced he would run to be the Libertarian candidate for president, joining a field of 15 others. Cory wouldn’t comment on Gravel’s chances at the convention, which will take start in Denver on May 22, but he did say that Gravel’s party swap has garnered some much-appreciated exposure for the Libertarians.

Gravel spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Sarah Elkins about the 2008 race and why he’s still running. Excerpts:

NEWSWEEK: You’ve been a Democrat for your entire political career. Was it a tough decision to switch parties?
Mike Gravel:
It had been eating at me–believe me–ever since I was a senator [he served from 1969 to 1981]. When I was in the Senate, I was a maverick and, at the end of my term, I was not particularly happy with my progress in terms of partisanship with the Democrats and Republicans. So when I left office, I stayed away from partisan politics altogether. But when I decided to get back in the game and to get my message out to the American people about the National Initiative [a political movement that would allow ballot initiatives at the federal level], I had to pick a party that would allow me to get into the debates … But of all the parties I was probably closest to the Libertarians.

It sounds like you’ve been interested in leaving the Democratic Party for some time. Why didn’t you make the move sooner?
It wouldn’t have made any sense for me to enter the race as a Libertarian. [As a Democratic candidate], I got into the debates and got a fair amount of visibility up until General Electric [which owns NBC] along with the Democratic Party leadership, said they would get me out of the debates. And they did. GE said I did not meet their criteria for participating in the debates. I think it’s very interesting that a defense contractor said I had to meet their criteria in order to participate in the MSNBC debates. We’ve really come down in democracy when a defense contractor can decide what the American people hear from a candidate. It was a [Democratic National Committee] sanctioned debate, so we complained to the DNC and found out that Howard Dean had agreed to it and that not a single one of the other Democratic nominees raised a finger in protest, meaning that they were totally tone deaf to the censorship of the military-industrial complex.

So you didn’t consider running as a Libertarian from the get-go?
I would have preferred to run as an independent or Libertarian or Green Party, but I knew that none of those candidates would have gotten any traction. So I used my position as a legitimate Democratic candidate to get my name out there.

You still have to win the Libertarian primary in order to run as the party’s candidate.
I am probably the most well known and certainly the most experienced in terms of running for president and as a government official. I have 16 years of experience in elected office and have been a senator, and I have a great deal of foreign-policy experience.

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You can read the very interesting three-page interview excerpt with Newsweek here.

Should third parties nominate their presidential candidate much earlier than the major parties?

In Libertarian Party-US, Media, Politics on March 15, 2008 at 4:14 am

Kn@ppsterI found this entry on Thomas Knapp’s blog, Kn@ppster, and found it quite interesting. Here is an excerpt; you can read it in its entry in its entirety at the link:

I’m not one for silver bullets—no one thing will put third party candidates into contention for the presidency—but some changes just make sense. One of those changes is nominating earlier. My recollection is that the Libertarian Party used to nominate its presidential candidates the year before the election. Andre Marrou was nominated for president in 1991. Ron Paul was nominated in 1987. And so on, and so forth. It was only in 1996 that the LP moved its nominating convention into the year of the election itself.

Late nominating conventions handicap third parties. We can’t expect the kind of pre-nomination media coverage that “major party” candidates get. The sooner a party positions itself behind a nominee, the sooner that nominee has access to the party’s full pool of presidential contributors and can get to work reaching beyond the party to the American public. It’s all well and good to hope that a pre-nomination third party candidate will “break out” and catch the mainstream media eye … but it seldom works out that way.

I think Tom Knapp makes a very good point. As far as I can see, the only downside to nominating earlier is that third parties won’t get any media attention at all during the primaries. Right now they don’t get much, but it does get them at least mentioned in many newspapers.

Then again, can the third parties overcome that negative, and list their presidential nominee on the primary ballot, as just one candidate for that office? I’m honestly not sure. If so, it would look in the press as if that one candidate has a great deal of support within the party, rather than as it is now when it appears to the public that each candidate receives a little support here, and a little support there. Making third party candidates appear to have overwhelming support during the primaries can only be a good thing.

On the other hand, many third party voters wouldn’t even bother to vote during the primaries, if they knew their candidate had already been chosen, so there may be no reason to mention them at all in the mainstream media.

It’s a complicated issue, and one which should be thoroughly explored.
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Originally posted on Adventures In Frickintardistan

Christine Smith openly insults male LP opponents during radio interview

In Barry Hess, Christine Smith, Crazy Claims, Fraud, George Phillies, Humor, Libertarian, Libertarian Convention, Libertarian Party-US, Lies and the lying liars who tell them, Media, Politics, Shine on you crazy diamond, Steve Kubby on March 15, 2008 at 3:02 am

Christine Smith looking presidential, LOLI will readily admit that I am not a fan of Christine Smith; in fact, I have been quite harsh in my criticisms of her and her campaign. Honestly, I felt a little bad about it …. until now. I realize now that I probably wasn’t harsh enough.

She was recently interviewed by WTAN-AM1340. Here is a short excerpt from Third Party Watch:

I’ll highlight the portions which might be controversial, debatable or otherwise of interest.

“I’m the leading candidate by all the ways we can measure it.”

I’ll note that winning one non-binding primary (but losing others) doesn’t mean all that much—especially when losing to someone who isn’t even on the ballot. Here is one measurable standard which indicates that Smith is currently in 4th place among convention delegates—if one doesn’t count NOTA, which is currently outpolling Smith, too.

“These are people who are seeking the LP nomination, but the majority are far from being libertarian.” […]“Almost everyone running, with just probably a couple of exceptions, are not libertarian. They are men doing it, I guess, for their egos.”

I’m not sure what definition of libertarian she’s using, but most of the candidates certainly have libertarian and/or Libertarian credentials. Among the list of 14 LP presidential candidates, there are certainly some whose libertarian / Libertarian credentials could be questioned. However, if there are only “a couple” of libertarians running, I wondering which of these people she’s accusing of being non-libertarian: Steve Kubby, George Phillies, Bob Jackson, Jim Burns, Barry Hess, Daniel Williams.

Stephen Gordon at Third Party Watch summed up the interview this way:

Smith was quick thinking, quick talking and well spoken throughout the interview. She displayed a fair amount of confidence—but I’m sure some listeners will suggest that her level of confidence borders on hype.

You can read the entire article on Third Party Watch here.

You can listen to the interview for yourself here.

When I read that she thinks libertarian men are running to feed their egos, I thought, wow. Just, wow. That is incredibly insulting, especially when she is running against men whose libertarian credentials cannot be seriously questioned, and those men include more than “a couple” of candidates who are well-educated and have a great deal of libertarian activism experience. As far as I can tell, Christine doesn’t even have any formal education beyond high school, she has never run for any public office or even an internal LP office, and she is brand-new to the libertarian movement.  Her views have changed even since she announced her candidacy, and are likely to change even more since she is new to the movement.

Given her complete lack of qualifications to represent the Libertarian Party (much less to run the entire country), what makes her think she should be president, if not her own overinflated ego?

My impression is that Christine thinks she is far more popular and important than she really is, which is not at all surprising since she seems to live in a world that the rest of us can’t see. Between her “Peace Prize”, which is in reality nothing but a weirdly-worded certificate given to women from other women, and her “Outstanding American Award” which came from a known con man who was convicted of committing a massive $39 million fraud (and who seems to still be defrauding people, since a gentleman repeatedly discussed on my blog that the same man had stolen 125K from him, and that there is a criminal investigation into the matter), I have to laugh.

It’s a nervous laugh though, because if she gets the LP nomination (which is a serious long shot given that “None Of The Above” regularly polls better than she does), she will prove to be a complete embarrassment to libertarians everywhere, once the mainstream media starts checking into her various lofty claims and comparing them to the reality.

Yes, it may seem that I’m being very hard on her, and I am. The woman is running for President of the United States, not local dog catcher. Since she is female, she has largely escaped the level of criticism the male candidates have faced. However, if we aren’t diligent in investigating and exposing our own presidential candidates prior to the convention, we will almost certainly end up utterly humiliated when the mainstream media does that for us after the convention.