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The CNN has no clothes

CNN is now reporting on themselves through the thin guise of “the media” as if they’re not THE MEDIA, so says “the best political team on television” network. They’re reporting on others’ reporting on Barack Obama, passively concluding that either:

1) They’re a shitty news organization that couldn’t think of a serious question for Obama over the last year and two months.

Or

2) They’re a shitty news organization that now after CBS, FOX and MSNBC have all produced segements based on talking points from dubious e-mails that have been in circulation since last February and decided, “Shit. People seem to be really talking about the turban-Farrakhan-Rezko-SNL gate situation. Maybe we are going too easy on him. Yeah, yeah. That’s what it is.”

CNN. The network that does whatever FOX does, but crappier.

And I don’t know how you get crappier than FOX. At least FOX seems to really enjoy what it does. Their jaded cynicism mixed with fear-mongering, heaping of culture wars chatter shaken with pro-capitalist propaganda is, if nothing, a brand. You know what you’re getting. You knew it was going to be the most in-your-face putrid stew to ever fly out of a crazed, bullying Irish Catholic’s mouth. It’s news porn.

CNN was supposed to, I don’t know, be about something. But after FOX’s chicken fried chicken shit took the air and started beating the tar out of CNN in the ratings the networked blinked and started running to the right, parroting their number one rival. Which is bizarre. You’re competition out does you by going with a conservative flavor of the news and you try to beat them by becoming them? FOX is FOX for a reason. This is like when CBS threw their news credentials in the crapper to save money. Don’t be FOX, be yourselves but better.

Red staters have been craving red state spun news since the words “Liberal media” came into existence. Of course you were going to lose some viewers. Maintain and gain some by, I don’t know, being credible. Having some standards. Stop wasting money on fancy technical doo-dads and do some investigating. Be reporters! Uncover things! Harass people! Malinger! For the love of God, do something other than piggy back off of another network’s business model when they’re better at it than you.

It’s time to put down the FOX crib sheet and get a spine, CNN. Stop innovating or I’ll be forced to watch … gawd … MSNBC during the day.

But this tangent has taken me away from my original point: CNN is doing a piece linking every piece of innuendo, speculation, myth, distortion and supposed gaffe as if this were all part of a larger narrative. That Obama is secretly an American hating Muslim, colluding with terrorists, who doesn’t know the national anthem, hangs with black separatists and shady political financiers, smokes the dope and, quite possibly, bites off the heads off new born babies. That CNN is doing this piece because “now that Obama’s the front runner he is getting closer scrutiny from the press!”

Once again, ahem, you ARE the press, CNN. Don’t you know how you’ve been covering him? I’m sure you could rewind some tape or something.

All things being equal, you have been obsessed with Hillary Clinton to the point that I was sure someone’s syphilis had gone to their brain. Early on the press largely balked at Obama “not living up to his hype” and his poor performance in some of the earlier debates. So when Clinton was doing well it was, “Look at Hillary! She’s unbeatable! We’re totally going to ignore everyone else in the race, except for Rudy Guiliani, because, really, wouldn’t it be cool if it were an all New York final? Really, really? Because we all, like, live in New York and do a lot of navel gazing.”

Then Barack won Iowa and the press got all confused and started reporting the excitement people felt. You still didn’t report any news, but you were excited and now you would take a break from the Clinton Crack to report on Obama’s ascent.

And soon the story was, “he is perfect and she can’t do anything right. We knew she’d never make it, blah, blah, blah. So when do you think she’ll step out of the race?”

So now, for no reason really, after Saturday Night Live does one fucking skit that “validates” Hillary Clinton’s lament that everyone is picking on her for existing, the CNN goes “Oh! Tina Fey is yelling at us … we mean, the Press! How could she? Our feelings! Our widdle, widdle feelings! Wah! Wah! Tina Fey is so awful! Damn her and Amy Poehler for showing us how lazy we are!”

The way the media was enthrall over that SNL skit you’d think that if there’d been no writer’s strike the whole race would have been over by Feb. 5th as Hillary originally planned. I wasn’t aware that Lorne Michaels was the “puppet master” of the Mainstream Media.

Once again, this was a lot of navel gazing, but it was enough navel gazing to make CNN look up and see that every network was hitting the Obama hit pieces harder than them. So they needed their OWN hit piece. Only they didn’t have anything original (as FOX has been your go to network for all forms of Obama/Hillary slander), so they just sort of threw some emails to the wall and went with the “press reporting on itself” angle and did a “the press is getting tougher on Obama” segment.

Way to put on the big boy pants, Wolf Blitzer. I’ll see if I can round up Roger Ailes to help you zipper up.

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7 thoughts on “The CNN has no clothes

  1. I arrive on the advice of Torrance.I really enjoyed your comments on the “war on narco-terrorism” (that’s the politically-correct term now) on his Afghanistan post.Torrance and my mutual blog friend, Fairlane, warned each of us what to expect! I cannot get enough of his site and I take his recommendations seriously.With the caveat that I do not care for Obama at all, I think you are absolutely correct in both of your most recent posts. I really like the way you think broadly and with historical perspective and, most of all, with humor yet fearlessly.I am the odd bird who dislikes Obama not because of silliness like Farrakhan or flag pins or Michelle Obama or his middle name. I’m kind of pre-disposed to like him MORE for all of that.I dislike Obama for being TOO RIGHT-WING FOR MY TASTES! I like Clinton a little better for various reasons but I’m not about to storm the barricades for her. I don’t plan to vote because I don’t live in the USA anymore and I am protesting the way my vote counts 8% as much as a Wyoming voter’s does. That’s why I also passed the AA-Democratic Primary. I also plan to change citizenship in time to vote in my country’s presidential elections.The Mainstream Media is a joke. We all know that. But Obama’s a big boy. He can take care of himself. He built up a lead with Mainstream Media at his back and now he’s got a head-wind. Such is life. He’ll deal with it or he won’t.I think Howard Dean gave a clinic in how to handle the media, especially if you are Democrat, on the Sunday Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer netcast I saw. You deal with them the way you deal with the cops. YOU GIVE AWAY NOTHING, BECAUSE THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS “FAIR.”It’s not really my fight anymore, but if Obama wants not only to be elected president but also to be a successful president, he has to toughen up a little and his supporters have to toughen up A LOT.I know that I’m a cynic. But I also am a student of history and politics. In a democratic republic:1) No matter whom you vote for, the government always wins2) No matter who gets elected nobody ever gets everything they want3) No matter what a campaign’s “theme” is, if you don’t pass out the turkeys at Thanksgiving and the hams at Christmas, you don’t winBased upon how I read your writing I think you’d agree with me. Maybe not. At any rate. I like what I’m reading here and I’ll add you to my blogroll.Best.

  2. TBS: You are truly a blogger after my own heart. I love to go on and on myself, as well. Your response to me, like your posts and your comment on RDB, is outstanding.Finally, a well-expressed, good reason for voting for Obama from a person who shares my ideology. Without any sugar-coating. I absolutely respect it because I can see that you’ve thought through all of these questions at a very deep level, came up with the right answer — it’s better to OWN a candidate than be a candidate — and made a legit choice based upon personal reasons. I can imagine my ultra-Red Russian dad making the same argument against Schumer because there’s nothing my Dad hates more that a traitor. It’s ALWAYS personal with him.You get no argument from me.I would have thought Clinton matches up better with McCain because of PERSONAL reasons. She HATES the guy. Obama’s likely to be too soft with him. Obama was a huge favorite to get the nomination a few days ago but I’ve been in the overnight Irish and Curacovian markets and there isn’t a dime for Obama right now. Millions are showing for Clinton. So, I’d have to say based at least upon what I’m seeing the in pragmatic world, Obama may come out of tomorrow with a delegate lead but it’s probably going to Denver.Oh, no, TBS I was born in America and although I only lived in big cities there I know exactly how much Americans LOVE war. If Iraq is any indication, they seem to love it more than they love their own children. I can imagine how much of a killjoy you must be to your pro-Obama compatriots viewing things from a “European” class-and-economics-civli-rights-and-civil-liberties perspective. With a hard labor-left edge.I can’t imagine an African American Emma Goldman goes over too good up there in Big Sammy. With anybody! Barbara Lee keeps getting elected, though.At any rate, if Obama gets elected, I’m with you. I want him to take charge, not “heal wounds.”

  3. Kelso: No, no. You’re AWESOME! It’s so hard to find people who actually follow politics and know history to converse with. Once I left the news room I ran out of people to debate socialist concepts with. A bit of rabbling about my country’s “war jones.”Our nation’s love affair with warmongering knows no bounds. After the Revolution the first war we had was crazily bogus, the War of 1812. Then there was Andrew Jackson’s ruthlessness with the Native Americans. Then there was the Texas land grab that turned into the American interlopers fighting Mexico and later the US officially at war with Mexico to “free” Texas.And then there was the first completely fabricated war fought under false pretense, The Spanish American war. One based on a “Spanish attack” on the US Maine that did not happen.It all boiled down to Teddy Roosevelt’s urge to kick some ass and jump started the US’s obsession with all things Cuba. That war was just nutters, full of nationalism, an inexperienced but eager military where the only battle tested soldiers were the black regiment, the Buffalo Soldiers, who other blacks told not to join the fight in Cuba. But, God, you know us. The Buffalo Soldiers, in their nobility, thought if they fought and died for America in Cuba (like they’d been doing fighting Indians), this time American HAD to accept that a black man was a patriot and a white man’s equal.This mantra, which had been kicking around since the Civil War where naturally the former slaves wanted to fight and put a foot in the man’s ass and get some patriot points at the same time. Frederick Douglass had to practically beat it into Lincoln’s head that the Negro would be the most ardent, loyal soldier because they had a stake in the war for their people’s liberation.Hence why I had to put that moratorium on watching “Glory.” I cry during the whole movie. Usually turning into full on bawls around the time when Denzel Washington reveals his scarred up back from all the whippings he’d taken as a slave. And he just had that “fuck all ya’ll” Nat Turner look on his face.But back to the Spanish American War. Spain didn’t want to go to war with the US and tried to negotiate their way out of it, but Teddy basically was channeling his inner Charlemagne and started attacking the Spanish anyway to destroy all their influence in the Americas. So we, the US, could claim both continents as the providence of the United States.God, I can’t think of the name of the doctrine Roosevelt declared after we beat Spain then began to co-op South America and Cuba, meddling in their affairs and I’m too lazy to go look it up on Wikipedia. (Monroe?) But you know what I’m talking about. Americans have this grand fantasy of “Noble Quests of Nationalism,” who’s purposes are usually a tad suspect. We’re the only western country with an old school European/Japanese sense of nationalist militarist duty and honor.I mean, the only time I get patriotic is the Summer Olympics, like how the only time Europeans get their nationalism on is during futbol matches.The only foreign conflicts we’ve been involved in after the Civil War that were actually based on logic, loyalties and self-preservation were World Wars I and II.I think the only reason the US is this way is because Europe unlike us has been plagued with wars since the Romans were sacked by the Visigoths. Since the Moors seized Spain and Italy. Since forever. We’ve remained largely untouched. That’s why when were actually attacked we become paranoid then lash out anger, turning into Clint Eastwood.Hence also our obsession with revenge fantasies.America has only had two wars on its own soil. The Revolution that birthed us and the Civil War that killed 600,000 people just because the South just could not part with their free labor.I’m sorry, “Their way of life.“Which just happened to involve free, abused, disenfranchised and humiliated labor.Hillary’s “Red Badge of Whoop Ass” is intriguing. I know some of the kids are turned off by all the fighting, but I believer her when she says she wants to crush the “Reds.” She and Bill are political warriors. They live for this shit. Their inflated egos are wrapped up in it making it more about them than the party and the public. But if you’re looking for some vengeance you know Hillary wants some payback, starring down tormentors in the likes of Bay Buchanan and Ann Coulter barking “<A HREF="

    REL=”nofollow”>Bitch, you don’t have a future
    .” I’d buy tickets to see that movie.My only concern if she were the nominee would be the whole “will White men vote for a woman?” I think a lot of likely Democratic male voters will cross over to McCain just because he’s been the “darling” of the media and some Democrats since he started waging his war on spending waste after getting caught in the Keating 5 scandal. Pollsters have pumped out survey after survey of anti-war Independents and some Democrats who are pro-McCain in spite of the fact that he wants to keep the war going. And thinks there’s some nobility in making the same mistake the British and French did.There’s some sophistic logic going on there. Like eating Twinkies you know are unhealthy because they taste good.The Middle East is basically a “<A HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tar_baby“ REL=”nofollow”>tar baby” made out of oil and sand where once you put your hands on it you get stuck and the more you fight the more parts of you sink in until the situation is near intractable.This is like LBJ escalating the Vietnam War when he knew there was no way to win it. That he was dooming nearly 60,000 men to their deaths. My pro-LBJ mother laments the fact that he escalated the war. She felt it doomed all the great plans he had to help the poor and the disenfranchised, getting black people more quickly integrated, educated and acclimated to a biracial world. She’s believes he could have been an FDR who actually took the battle of Civil Rights to its logical end game.That’s why when everyone was getting hot and bothered over Hillary’s LBJ-MLK moment, I was kind of annoyed. I mean, her wording was poor, but anyone who knows the history of the Civil Rights movement is aware that it took the effort of thousands that ended with LBJ’s mau-mauing first Kennedy for Civil Rights legislation, and then later, pushing it through Congress with the aid of northern Democrats and some Republicans. She was making the argument that who’s in the White House can really make the difference between “Voting Rights Act” and “Hear no evil, see no evil.”It was inelegantly put in the interview, but the uproar over it felt like manufactured rage. The Clintons didn’t help themselves any in the situation, making things worse all the time with the press documenting every moment and Chris Matthews foaming sexism at the mouth.Once again, I really didn’t understand she and Bill’s logic on that one. The Clintons are usually pretty in tune on racial issues but they went tone deaf in South Carolina. Bill was all off the reservation. It was insane.Well, I’m glad by history n’ politics loving rants of fury are entertaining. If I could vanquish evil with words I’d be the Pallas Athena of literature by now.Feel free to leave long, rambling comments any time! I know I will!

  4. Well, Black Snob:It seems that in you and Torrance I have found my doppelgangers. At 46, I’m kind of the last of dead breed: a modern JEWISH guy from a very “street” family. I’ve been living Michelle Obama’s life since I was a pre-teen — although in much, much less pleasant circumstance — and got scholarshipped into prep school, where I was one of the “poor” kids even though both my parents had jobs.My family story is so crazy that you’d really need to come up with some out there stuff that I haven’t seen or don’t know about. I have a great-great uncle who fought on the winning side in the Russian Revolution and my father’s life story is too bizarre to be believed.I grew up in a mixed neighborhood, 1/3 Puerto Rican, 1/3 “poor” Jewish and 1/3 “White Ethnic.” I learned to speak Spanish when I little. I did the whole stick-ball, stoop-ball, skellies, Spades, Knucks, Dirty Hearts, Gin Rummy, ice cream truck, malt liquor, loosie-cigarettes, mothers hanging out the window calling the kids up for supper, old Italian ladies blasting opera on Sundays after church kind of thing as a kid. And because of how politically aware my family was and because I grew up in ILGWU territory, I’ve been marinating in politics my whole life.I didn’t have my own bedroom until I was 15 and I like to joke that one of the things that really scalds my nuts about Obama is when he talks about the “streets of Chicago,” as if he had to raise himself out of poverty. I actually know what it’s like to eat sardines and crackers for dinner or chicken hearts on toast and think that was normal for a White person!Nevertheless, as twisted as my famlly is and as much bizarre baggage as we carry throughout all branches, we are sick workaholics. So, my parents “got there” when I was around 17 and I busted ass through prep school, college, in the gambling world, in graduate business school, in finance, etc. I hardly claim poverty today! My street cred, I guess, was eaten up by my dedication and competitiveness in school and every endeavor.Where I grew up you had to make a decision fairly early in life if you were going to establish mastery and dominance whether it would be physically or mentally and I chose the latter! My Dad’s a tough guy. I’m not.But in my home, even though my folks knew what the temptations of the street were and were kind of agnostic about it, they insisted on academic excellence and it was a rather intellectual home, although our accents are not that refined.I hated the way people jumped all over Michelle Obama because I knew exactly what she has mused on as a college student and how one could be BORN in America but not FEEL American. College was a bit of a shock to me. I had never lived outside of New York City before and I had never met so many SUBURBAN people before. There were all of these weird codes of behavior I had to learn because I had pretty much grown up without sacred cows and had brazened my way through prep school.So, I understand totally. I’m proud and snobby too about my cynicism and left-wing orietation without rose-colored glasses. Even though my Dad was a Red he was always about making money. And I never found any conflict in that. I loved studying literature and drama as an undergrad and hard-core finance and stats as a business student. And I’m still a terror about leaving no meat on the bone.American history is my mother’s passion so you are preaching to the choir about the Spanish-American War. Her other big thing was that the American Revolution was no revolution at all. It was a violent dispute over tax policy and the people who formed the ruling class before were still the ruling class after. Of course, I heard chapter and verse about Nat Turner, John Brown and Frederick Douglass.I grew up well-knowing who the enemy was and to be sure it was never Malcolm X, louis Farrakhan or even Arafat for that matter. And this is why I get so impolitic on the blogs about Obama’s church thing and homophobia. I sort of understand that the Black Baptists and AMEs are different from the Fundies but it still sounds scary and oppressive to someone whose relatives were either in some jam or were in a left-wing movement, etc. Homophobia is the same. I’m straight but that sets off the same worry in me that religion does. If somehow it’s fine to hate gay people for no good reason, then I have to believe that the same people think it’s fine to hate me because I’m differet. And, of course, it’s the same with racism. I can’t identify with the sick American skin color experience (although, I look ANYTHING but AMERICAN) but I know that if Black people are scapegoated then I’m surely next. So, it’s hard for me to square that circle with Obama.But I try to remind myself that Black people I respect are seeing Obama the way I saw Paul Wellstone and especially Howard Metzenbaum because he was an ex-commie labor dude; “hey,they’re just like my family and they have a lot of power and respect. This is kind of cool.”I forget sometimes and especially now that I don’t live in the states anymore and don’t speak that much English that not every American and positively not every White Gentile American has underworld,underground and street roots and knows all that weird stuff. America is very balkanized and especially given a relatively sparse population spread out of a lot of land, there’s no reason for most Americans to interract with different kinds of people. I take it for granted and that makes me insensitive sometimes, I think.Ahh Harry Reid…a wholly-owned subsidiary of the casino industry which, because of it’s need to DOMINATE it’s market rather than participate in it, has aligned itself with the Christian Right, and being anti-choice and a bastard in general, Reid is the perfect Majority Leader to lead the party down the toilet. The actually found someone WORSE than Daschle!The gambling story in poltics is fascinating, actually, though it would take a long time to tell. The short strokes are that no matter how bad his rhetoric was, Tom DeLay was one of the good guys (on that issue, bad in every other way) and had no trouble making common cause with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Progressive Caucus.As for the Clintons and race, I don’t think they did anything wrong. They merely got out-played. I hope Obama shows the same kind of gumption against McCain that he did against the Clintons.I’m kind of a fan actually of Moorish Spain. They call it the Golden Age for a reason and the Reconquest by Visigothic descendents brought about no end of madness. Inquistion, crusades, feudal agri-fascism. But yes I understand that the civil war was about the South not even wanting to pay an internal tariff on its goods produced by free labor and the North merely wanting to collect its due and hold the Union together. Freeing the slaves was tangential.You know, though, what would have happened had the South agreed to an internal agricultural tariff of 20% or so, don’t you? Slavery would have gone on oh until about October of 1917 and then the slaves would have freed themselves and if you like fuckwits going into woodchippers you’d have had plenty of that. I’m just glad the parts of my family that were in the US by then would have, out of pure necessity been on the side of the rebellion. At least I draw that inference from the Draft Riots.I’ll cease rambling.

  5. Lolo says:

    I stopped watching CNN since they turned into Fox Lite and it’s beyond gagging to be reduced to CNN/MSNBC right now.I normally keep my news feed to CSM and WSJ with the heavy reading that The Economist demands from my tired brain.That said, while I completely do swoon with the rush of his oratory (hello, that’s what great speechmaking is supposed to do …) I’m more inclined to think that his “message” or ethic has more of a corollary to Shriver than either Kennedy but I admire and watch the hybridization of his campaign dynamics with great interest.I’m of the opinion that the newer generation of voters is composed of many more people who are hungry to flex what muscle they have than any of the press or political warhorses are prepared to acknowledge yet. What and how they respond (said voters) to this latest cycle of churning the conflict will be what I’m most eager to see.And, finally, my shallow heart is so delighted by the style of Obama’s campaign, spouse and supporters that I hope we get at least four years of a family that is so much more aesthetically exciting than the previous eternity of yaaaaawn inspiring “fashion”.

  6. Lolo: THE ECONOMIST is a very well-written magazine but one must be careful taking what they write as gospel because their style and sentence-structure is so strong. There is an agenda and it’s NEO-LIBERAL HAWKISH. That doesn’t mean it’s all bad. I certainly believe in free-markets and democratic republics and THE ECONOMIST is also pretty enlightened on civil liberties. My idea of a capitalist democratic republic contains a SOCIAL element that THE ECONOMIST very much opposes in favor of military Keynesianism. Bushism in short. They are for low taxes and high miliary expenditures except when advocacy of monetary neutrality is necessary to inveigh against social programs. Fair enough; that’s where they’re at. I love low taxes and fungibility of assets but I like a society which gets there via less military spending, a less severe criminal justice system, a demilitarized police force, and thereby has some ROOM for single-payer health and welfare. Again, that’s my POINT OF VIEW, nothing more.What bugs me about them is that I’ve now lived in 4 countries other than the USA to which they pay a lot of attention: England, Russia, Spain and Panama. And I have found that a lot of stuff I read in there about the countries I know is just plain wrong or made up. And if they’re getting Panama wrong, for example, why are they getting China right?The financial tables and indicators in the back are fine, however, as are all of their think pieces on economics, econometrics, finance, financial engineering, etc.

  7. Lolo says:

    kelso,”I love low taxes and fungibility of assets but I like a society which gets there via less military spending, a less severe criminal justice system, a demilitarized police force, and thereby has some ROOM for single-payer health and welfare. Again, that’s my POINT OF VIEW, nothing more.”You’re filthy hippy. A filthy, thinking, progressive, radical hippy. Wait, that makes no sense. (insert appropriate emoticon)Thank you seriously for your opinions in regards to The Economist. I try and stick to news that makes a fairly clear separation between what they report and what they believe, with a minimum of editorialising. Even that sentence strikes me as naive but there you go, we all bring our baggage to the field.The field of televised news is so hopelessly covered in churn and pandering that it literally gives me a headache so I defaulted to the internet years ago due to the reward of occasionally getting to eavesdrop on conversations that mostly go over my head but still push me to think. Thank you guys for that.

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