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October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror" 
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
firefly wrote:

I wonder if Jonathan=Alexdi...


Ha ha ha...no, they're not.


Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:37 am
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Quote:
I wonder if Jonathan=Alexdi...


Sorry Firefly, but Alexdi and I are two different people. If you do not believe me, just go on the first two pages of this discussion thread, and you'll see that Alexdi and I posted some completely unrelated posts at around the same time.

I just thought last night that I should complement Alexdi on how well he argued his position, because I have spent considerable time listening to arguments both for and against Obama's health care plan, and Alexdi presented one of the most effective cases in favor of the health care legislation that I have yet seen someone make from the pro-reform side.


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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Jonathon9 wrote:
I just thought last night that I should complement Alexdi on how well he argued his position, because I have spent considerable time listening to arguments both for and against Obama's health care plan, and Alexdi presented one of the most effective cases in favor of the health care legislation that I have yet seen someone make from the pro-reform side.


It is an effective argument. My personal position on the bill is that it's not as great as it could be, but not a terrible bill either. There are many good things about it: the provision that makes health insurance companies spend more on care than bonuses for their executives, for example. And the end of discrimination based on pre-existing conditions is another great provision in the bill.

There are parts of it I don't like: The individual mandate is most glaring, and I do wish that a public option had been attached.

I think that there are many potential benefits of this bill that people just don't know about, and this is where I fault the Obama Administration. They simply haven't sold this bill well enough, and they've allowed rhetoric like "a complete government takeover of healthcare" and "death panels" to enter into the popular discourse. They needed to sell this bill, and they did a poor job of it. The media has also done an exceptionally poor job of breaking down what the bill's about, but that surprises me less.

Quite simply, a lot of people have a lot of facts wrong about this bill, and it's led to some skewed and crazy opinions. And when few people have any idea what the facts are, it's a troubling and ultimately dangerous thing. It's like the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said: "People are entitled to their own opinions, but they're not entitled to their own facts."

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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Quote:
It is an effective argument. My personal position on the bill is that it's not as great as it could be, but not a terrible bill either. There are many good things about it: the provision that makes health insurance companies spend more on care than bonuses for their executives, for example. And the end of discrimination based on pre-existing conditions is another great provision in the bill.

There are parts of it I don't like: The individual mandate is most glaring, and I do wish that a public option had been attached.

I think that there are many potential benefits of this bill that people just don't know about, and this is where I fault the Obama Administration. They simply haven't sold this bill well enough, and they've allowed rhetoric like "a complete government takeover of healthcare" and "death panels" to enter into the popular discourse. They needed to sell this bill, and they did a poor job of it. The media has also done an exceptionally poor job of breaking down what the bill's about, but that surprises me less.

Quite simply, a lot of people have a lot of facts wrong about this bill, and it's led to some skewed and crazy opinions. And when few people have any idea what the facts are, it's a troubling and ultimately dangerous thing. It's like the late senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said: "People are entitled to their own opinions, but they're not entitled to their own facts."


It is very disappointing that the public option did not pass, but once Sen. Lieberman said that under no circumstances would he vote for a health care bill that had a public option in it, you knew that it was not going to be included. Without Lieberman's vote, the Democrats would be at 59 votes, and one vote short of the 60 needed for cloture. You could make the case that the Democrats should have tried to pass the public option through reconciliation, although since reconciliation can only be used to pass legislation that directly effects the budget, it was an open question if the Senate parliamentarian would allow it to be passed through that route. Although since the public option was projected, according to the CBO, to reduce the federal deficit, it would have had a decent shot of being allowed to pass through reconciliation. I would like to have seen the Democrats at least try it, since the Democrats used reconciliation anyway to pass the "fixes" that the House wanted in exchange for approving the Senate bill without changes, and the American people did not seem to care very much about what Senate rules the Democrats used.

I generally agree with your assertion that the Obama Administration has failed at selling the health care bill. The Administration has had problems in general selling their accomplishments. Their sales pitch for the stimulus was even worse, as evidenced by the fact that only 10 percent of Americans in a recent poll said they knew about the "Making Work Pay" tax credit that was part of the stimulus.

That being said, however, I don't think it is entirely Obama's fault. What is perplexing is that if you look at the number of speeches, press conferences, town halls, etc. that the president has done on health care, it's actually quite a lot. Moreover, when he has conducted these things, he has done a pretty strong job trying to explain what is in the health care reform. Therefore, I think part of the problem is simply that the American people do not pay much attention to what the president says. He gives a speech, and no one pays attention (or people just get sound bites of the speech, which, if they get them from Fox News, might feature the one minute in Obama's speech in which he said something that most people probably do not like to hear, instead of the rest of his speech in which he said things that most people support).

Many opponents of the legislation get all of their "news" from Fox News and right-wing blogs, which unceasingly attempt to portray the legislation in the most negative way possible by distorting it. Part of the public ignorance as to what is in the health care bill, therefore, is the result of the public just accepting what they hear from clearly biased and partisan sources. It's difficult for the Obama Administration to fight back against all of the false rumors about the bill (like "death panels"), especially in this age of the internet, in which false rumors spread like wildfire, and the media is too fragmented to be able to put out the fire.

Finally, what is also perplexing is that if you break down the health care bill by its parts and just ask the American people if they like the individual parts of the legislation, they largely support most parts of it. But then if you ask them if they like the bill as a whole, a majority of people say they oppose it, even though you just went through the individual parts of it, and most people supported most of the parts you asked them about.


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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Jonathon9 wrote:
Quote:
I wonder if Jonathan=Alexdi...


Sorry Firefly, but Alexdi and I are two different people. If you do not believe me, just go on the first two pages of this discussion thread, and you'll see that Alexdi and I posted some completely unrelated posts at around the same time.


I'll believe you. I just found it unusual that two people with very low post counts would make similar arguments in the same thread ;)

Quote:
I think that there are many potential benefits of this bill that people just don't know about, and this is where I fault the Obama Administration. They simply haven't sold this bill well enough, and they've allowed rhetoric like "a complete government takeover of healthcare" and "death panels" to enter into the popular discourse. They needed to sell this bill, and they did a poor job of it. The media has also done an exceptionally poor job of breaking down what the bill's about, but that surprises me less.


I think that you're buying into the Democrats' talking points on the bill. "Death panels" hasn't really been a big thing--it's something that basically one person said, then there was an alteration in the bill, removing some foggy language about 'end of life counseling', and the matter was dropped. And I think it is clearly designed to be a stalking horse for nationalized health care, as the result is higher premiums and less coverage, intentionally created to create an artificial demand for socialized medicine.

As for the argument about the "individual pieces of the bill," these are polls conducted by liberal organizations, with biased language framing the issue in a way that will intentionally solicit the desired response. In other words, those polls are essentially worthless. Biased polls can get people to say anything--I could certainly design a poll that would get people to support various things that I support (elimination of public housing, welfare, the Nat'l Endowment of the Arts, privitization of medicare and social security) that nevertheless are objectively outside of the political mainstream.

People don't like the bill. They don't like that their premiums are going up. They don't like that doctors are going to retire early as a result of it. Etc.

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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Jonathon9 wrote:
It is very disappointing that the public option did not pass, but once Sen. Lieberman said that under no circumstances would he vote for a health care bill that had a public option in it, you knew that it was not going to be included. Without Lieberman's vote, the Democrats would be at 59 votes, and one vote short of the 60 needed for cloture. You could make the case that the Democrats should have tried to pass the public option through reconciliation, although since reconciliation can only be used to pass legislation that directly effects the budget, it was an open question if the Senate parliamentarian would allow it to be passed through that route. Although since the public option was projected, according to the CBO, to reduce the federal deficit, it would have had a decent shot of being allowed to pass through reconciliation. I would like to have seen the Democrats at least try it, since the Democrats used reconciliation anyway to pass the "fixes" that the House wanted in exchange for approving the Senate bill without changes, and the American people did not seem to care very much about what Senate rules the Democrats used.

I generally agree with your assertion that the Obama Administration has failed at selling the health care bill. The Administration has had problems in general selling their accomplishments. Their sales pitch for the stimulus was even worse, as evidenced by the fact that only 10 percent of Americans in a recent poll said they knew about the "Making Work Pay" tax credit that was part of the stimulus.

That being said, however, I don't think it is entirely Obama's fault. What is perplexing is that if you look at the number of speeches, press conferences, town halls, etc. that the president has done on health care, it's actually quite a lot. Moreover, when he has conducted these things, he has done a pretty strong job trying to explain what is in the health care reform. Therefore, I think part of the problem is simply that the American people do not pay much attention to what the president says. He gives a speech, and no one pays attention (or people just get sound bites of the speech, which, if they get them from Fox News, might feature the one minute in Obama's speech in which he said something that most people probably do not like to hear, instead of the rest of his speech in which he said things that most people support).

Many opponents of the legislation get all of their "news" from Fox News and right-wing blogs, which unceasingly attempt to portray the legislation in the most negative way possible by distorting it. Part of the public ignorance as to what is in the health care bill, therefore, is the result of the public just accepting what they hear from clearly biased and partisan sources. It's difficult for the Obama Administration to fight back against all of the false rumors about the bill (like "death panels"), especially in this age of the internet, in which false rumors spread like wildfire, and the media is too fragmented to be able to put out the fire.

Finally, what is also perplexing is that if you break down the health care bill by its parts and just ask the American people if they like the individual parts of the legislation, they largely support most parts of it. But then if you ask them if they like the bill as a whole, a majority of people say they oppose it, even though you just went through the individual parts of it, and most people supported most of the parts you asked them about.


I'll respond to a few thing you said:

I would have liked to have seen the public option put up for a vote. Just a vote. Get people on the record, even though you know it's going to lose.

Second, the best thing Connecticut's voters could do is toss Joe Lieberman from office. He's nothing but a corporate shill. Voters tried a few years ago, and unfortunately it was close but no cigar.

I agree that the state of public discourse in the past year or two is not entirely Obama's fault. But he is the president. He's the salesman, and he's got to figure ways to sell his product, even if it's by unconventional means. he's done some of this, such as going on The View and the Daily Show, but I think he and his team need to be more creative. Having worked in the news business, I know for a fact that town halls just aren't sexy in a news sense. It's a sad truth of our media culture.

And the less said about Fox News, the better. It's a political organization. What I've never understood is why so many Americans are so complacent about an Australian telling us how our country should be run.

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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Jonathon9 wrote:
It is very disappointing that the public option did not pass, but once Sen. Lieberman said that under no circumstances would he vote for a health care bill that had a public option in it, you knew that it was not going to be included. Without Lieberman's vote, the Democrats would be at 59 votes, and one vote short of the 60 needed for cloture. You could make the case that the Democrats should have tried to pass the public option through reconciliation, although since reconciliation can only be used to pass legislation that directly effects the budget, it was an open question if the Senate parliamentarian would allow it to be passed through that route. Although since the public option was projected, according to the CBO, to reduce the federal deficit, it would have had a decent shot of being allowed to pass through reconciliation. I would like to have seen the Democrats at least try it, since the Democrats used reconciliation anyway to pass the "fixes" that the House wanted in exchange for approving the Senate bill without changes, and the American people did not seem to care very much about what Senate rules the Democrats used.

I generally agree with your assertion that the Obama Administration has failed at selling the health care bill. The Administration has had problems in general selling their accomplishments. Their sales pitch for the stimulus was even worse, as evidenced by the fact that only 10 percent of Americans in a recent poll said they knew about the "Making Work Pay" tax credit that was part of the stimulus.

That being said, however, I don't think it is entirely Obama's fault. What is perplexing is that if you look at the number of speeches, press conferences, town halls, etc. that the president has done on health care, it's actually quite a lot. Moreover, when he has conducted these things, he has done a pretty strong job trying to explain what is in the health care reform. Therefore, I think part of the problem is simply that the American people do not pay much attention to what the president says. He gives a speech, and no one pays attention (or people just get sound bites of the speech, which, if they get them from Fox News, might feature the one minute in Obama's speech in which he said something that most people probably do not like to hear, instead of the rest of his speech in which he said things that most people support).

Many opponents of the legislation get all of their "news" from Fox News and right-wing blogs, which unceasingly attempt to portray the legislation in the most negative way possible by distorting it. Part of the public ignorance as to what is in the health care bill, therefore, is the result of the public just accepting what they hear from clearly biased and partisan sources. It's difficult for the Obama Administration to fight back against all of the false rumors about the bill (like "death panels"), especially in this age of the internet, in which false rumors spread like wildfire, and the media is too fragmented to be able to put out the fire.

Finally, what is also perplexing is that if you break down the health care bill by its parts and just ask the American people if they like the individual parts of the legislation, they largely support most parts of it. But then if you ask them if they like the bill as a whole, a majority of people say they oppose it, even though you just went through the individual parts of it, and most people supported most of the parts you asked them about.


I'll respond to a few thing you said:

I would have liked to have seen the public option put up for a vote. Just a vote. Get people on the record, even though you know it's going to lose.

Second, the best thing Connecticut's voters could do is toss Joe Lieberman from office. He's nothing but a corporate shill. Voters tried a few years ago, and unfortunately it was close but no cigar.

I agree that the state of public discourse in the past year or two is not entirely Obama's fault. But he is the president. He's the salesman, and he's got to figure ways to sell his product, even if it's by unconventional means. he's done some of this, such as going on The View and the Daily Show, but I think he and his team need to be more creative. Having worked in the news business, I know for a fact that town halls just aren't sexy in a news sense. It's a sad truth of our media culture.

And the less said about Fox News, the better. It's a political organization. What I've never understood is why so many Americans are so complacent about an Australian telling us how our country should be run.



Do you ever watch Fox News? If not you should before making that judgment. Fox News contains two components: one is the news segment, the other is the commentary. The commentary, in terms of the shows, is pretty much entirely conservative, though some of the hosts will have on guests who are liberal. The news segment is not significantly biased--not anymore than CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN. And certainly nowhere near MSNBC.

The rough statistics for negative news coverage, MSNBC vs Fox, for 2008 was:
Fox: 49% negative stories on Obama.
MSNBC: 78% negative stories on McCain.

Fox's star anchor is Chris Wallace, who even Jon Stewart has publically said he respects. MSNBC's was, until a few days ago, Keith Olbermann, who has, amongst other things, called Bobby Jindal a "caveman," George Bush a "fascist", Michelle Malkin a "mashed up bag of meat with lipstick," and made bizarre, obsessive, and inappropriate masturbation jokes about Carrie Prejean.

On election night, Fox had 5 different liberal guests, including Bob Beckett, Juan Williams, and Alan Combs. MSNBC had no conservatives on the panel. When they finally interviewed a Republican, it was Michelle Bachmann, and Chris Matthews asked her if she was "hypnotized."

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 5:54 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
The objection to Fox News isn't just that it's biased in favor of conservatism (it is), but that it's loud, abrasive, and incredibly stupid (it really, really is).

Note: pointing out that the competing networks do bad things too is only relevant if the argument is that Fox News is the only loud, abrasive, incredibly stupid news channel. So don't bother.


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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Why are American conservatives always so angry in their rhetoric? Really, I want to know.

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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Ken wrote:
The objection to Fox News isn't just that it's biased in favor of conservatism (it is), but that it's loud, abrasive, and incredibly stupid (it really, really is).


I agree with you here, actually. I don't watch Fox too often for precisely this reason, but I think this is common across all cable tv networks (and broadcast for that matter). I watch the PBS News Hour sometimes, despite its (somewhat mild) bias, because I think it at least gives the most depth.

Quote:
Note: pointing out that the competing networks do bad things too is only relevant if the argument is that Fox News is the only loud, abrasive, incredibly stupid news channel. So don't bother.


I'm more pointing out that every network has its bias. Most are to the left. Fox's is to the right. No network is as absurdly biased as MSNBC.

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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Bushteaser wrote:
Why are American conservatives always so angry in their rhetoric? Really, I want to know.

Are we? I don't think we are actually, at least not any angrier than any other country. Have you seen street protests in South Korea or France?

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 6:33 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
firefly wrote:
I'm more pointing out that every network has its bias. Most are to the left. Fox's is to the right. No network is as absurdly biased as MSNBC.
"Left" being relative to what, exactly? Our public discourse seems to have (for example) defined our president as a left wing extremist, even though he started out as a left-centrist at best and has been creeping towards the center ever since. Anything is left-biased if your perspective is far enough to the right. Believe it or not, there is a center, and what passes for the left wing in America is largely very close to it.

I can't remember the last time I heard or saw a major media outlet offering the same kind of legitimacy to left wing claims and causes as to right wing ones, or the same kind of legitimacy to the very idea of leftism as to rightism.

firefly wrote:
Bushteaser wrote:
Why are American conservatives always so angry in their rhetoric? Really, I want to know.

Are we? I don't think we are actually, at least not any angrier than any other country. Have you seen street protests in South Korea or France?
Again, it is irrelevant to deflect criticisms onto targets that are not a part of the original argument.

There is actually nothing wrong with being angry, but there is a distressingly large segment of our population that is the wrong kind of angry--uninformed, reactionary, stupid. This is the kind of anger that wins elections, but it doesn't solve problems.


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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
firefly wrote:
Do you ever watch Fox News? If not you should before making that judgment. Fox News contains two components: one is the news segment, the other is the commentary. The commentary, in terms of the shows, is pretty much entirely conservative, though some of the hosts will have on guests who are liberal. The news segment is not significantly biased--not anymore than CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN. And certainly nowhere near MSNBC.

The rough statistics for negative news coverage, MSNBC vs Fox, for 2008 was:
Fox: 49% negative stories on Obama.
MSNBC: 78% negative stories on McCain.

Fox's star anchor is Chris Wallace, who even Jon Stewart has publically said he respects. MSNBC's was, until a few days ago, Keith Olbermann, who has, amongst other things, called Bobby Jindal a "caveman," George Bush a "fascist", Michelle Malkin a "mashed up bag of meat with lipstick," and made bizarre, obsessive, and inappropriate masturbation jokes about Carrie Prejean.

On election night, Fox had 5 different liberal guests, including Bob Beckett, Juan Williams, and Alan Combs. MSNBC had no conservatives on the panel. When they finally interviewed a Republican, it was Michelle Bachmann, and Chris Matthews asked her if she was "hypnotized."


Yes Firefly, I watch Fox News every day, in fact. I also go on their website at least once a day. I usually do this just as a kind of experiment to see how biased they are being. The problem with your distinction between the news and the commentary portions of Fox (an idea I'm assuming you got from Fox's Charles Krauthammer, who originally made this argument) is that there is far more commentary than news, and even the news time slots are sometimes biased.

The mornings with Fox and Friends is conservative commentary at its worse. The primetime is mostly conservative commentary, with Special Report and Shepard Smith being the exception...4-5 Neil Cavuto, 5-6 Glenn Beck--obviously conservative commentary; 6-7 is Special Report--This show is somewhat objective, although the stories they like to focus on are usually ones that make Obama and the Democrats look bad. The Panel on Special Report is pretty good, as they usually have at least one centrist on there (Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, A.B. Stoddard, etc.), although they then have two conservatives besides the centrist. I respect Charles Krauthammer, even though I usually disagree with him. My problem is Bret Bair, the host. The questions he asks the panel are often framed in a way that present Obama and the Democrats in a negative light. I do like watching the show when Chris Wallace is in for Bret Bair, however, because Wallace is always very impartial in his questioning of the panel...7-8 Shep Smith is fine, and I have no problem with Smith...8-9 Bill O'Reiley, 9-10 Sean Hannity, and 10-11 Greta Van Susteren, are all clearly conservative commentary.

The problem I have during the day when it is supposed to be "news," is that the hosts--especially Megan Kelly, like to feature stories that present the Democrats and Obama negatively (Jon Scott and Jane Skinner are an exception, and I have no problem with them). Even if they are not exactly slanting the stories, the stories they choose to cover demonstrate a bias. For example, why did the daytime news broadcasts feel the need to spend such a ridiculously inordinate amount of time on the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case? Megan Kelly, in particular, talked about it for days on end. Does such a minor story like that warrant non-stop coverage? Of course not, but it does if you have a particular agenda that you want to push, which Fox News clearly does, even during their "news" segments.

Of course, MSNBC's primetime if just as partisan as Fox, but I never said I approve of this either. I personally miss the days before cable news ever came into existence, when you just had the network news stations who gave the news straight and objectively, with no spin and bias.

Lastly, Michelle Bachmann was in a trance on Election Night. You really need to watch the video of it if you have not already done so. No matter what Chris Matthews would ask her, she always acted like she did not hear him. She would go on and on, talking about things that had absolutely nothing to do with the question. I don't know if I have ever seen a more bizarre interview. Also, you must not have stayed around long enough to see that MSNBC had more Republicans on than just Bachmann. They had some Republican members of Congress on, including Eric Cantor.


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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Jonathon9 wrote:
firefly wrote:
Do you ever watch Fox News? If not you should before making that judgment. Fox News contains two components: one is the news segment, the other is the commentary. The commentary, in terms of the shows, is pretty much entirely conservative, though some of the hosts will have on guests who are liberal. The news segment is not significantly biased--not anymore than CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN. And certainly nowhere near MSNBC.

The rough statistics for negative news coverage, MSNBC vs Fox, for 2008 was:
Fox: 49% negative stories on Obama.
MSNBC: 78% negative stories on McCain.

Fox's star anchor is Chris Wallace, who even Jon Stewart has publically said he respects. MSNBC's was, until a few days ago, Keith Olbermann, who has, amongst other things, called Bobby Jindal a "caveman," George Bush a "fascist", Michelle Malkin a "mashed up bag of meat with lipstick," and made bizarre, obsessive, and inappropriate masturbation jokes about Carrie Prejean.

On election night, Fox had 5 different liberal guests, including Bob Beckett, Juan Williams, and Alan Combs. MSNBC had no conservatives on the panel. When they finally interviewed a Republican, it was Michelle Bachmann, and Chris Matthews asked her if she was "hypnotized."


Yes Firefly, I watch Fox News every day, in fact. I also go on their website at least once a day. I usually do this just as a kind of experiment to see how biased they are being. The problem with your distinction between the news and the commentary portions of Fox (an idea I'm assuming you got from Fox's Charles Krauthammer, who originally made this argument) is that there is far more commentary than news, and even the news time slots are sometimes biased.

The mornings with Fox and Friends is conservative commentary at its worse. The primetime is mostly conservative commentary, with Special Report and Shepard Smith being the exception...4-5 Neil Cavuto, 5-6 Glenn Beck--obviously conservative commentary; 6-7 is Special Report--This show is somewhat objective, although the stories they like to focus on are usually ones that make Obama and the Democrats look bad. The Panel on Special Report is pretty good, as they usually have at least one centrist on there (Juan Williams, Mara Liasson, A.B. Stoddard, etc.), although they then have two conservatives besides the centrist. I respect Charles Krauthammer, even though I usually disagree with him. My problem is Bret Bair, the host. The questions he asks the panel are often framed in a way that present Obama and the Democrats in a negative light. I do like watching the show when Chris Wallace is in for Bret Bair, however, because Wallace is always very impartial in his questioning of the panel...7-8 Shep Smith is fine, and I have no problem with Smith...8-9 Bill O'Reiley, 9-10 Sean Hannity, and 10-11 Greta Van Susteren, are all clearly conservative commentary.

The problem I have during the day when it is supposed to be "news," is that the hosts--especially Megan Kelly, like to feature stories that present the Democrats and Obama negatively (Jon Scott and Jane Skinner are an exception, and I have no problem with them). Even if they are not exactly slanting the stories, the stories they choose to cover demonstrate a bias. For example, why did the daytime news broadcasts feel the need to spend such a ridiculously inordinate amount of time on the New Black Panther Party voter intimidation case? Megan Kelly, in particular, talked about it for days on end. Does such a minor story like that warrant non-stop coverage? Of course not, but it does if you have a particular agenda that you want to push, which Fox News clearly does, even during their "news" segments.

Of course, MSNBC's primetime if just as partisan as Fox, but I never said I approve of this either. I personally miss the days before cable news ever came into existence, when you just had the network news stations who gave the news straight and objectively, with no spin and bias.

Lastly, Michelle Bachmann was in a trance on Election Night. You really need to watch the video of it if you have not already done so. No matter what Chris Matthews would ask her, she always acted like she did not hear him. She would go on and on, talking about things that had absolutely nothing to do with the question. I don't know if I have ever seen a more bizarre interview. Also, you must not have stayed around long enough to see that MSNBC had more Republicans on than just Bachmann. They had some Republican members of Congress on, including Eric Cantor.


The NBP case is an example of Democrats and Republicans disagreeing about the significance. But the Washington Post recently ran a pretty significant story detailing how the Obama Justice Department has not been conducting itself in a remotely race-neutral way. The issue isn't so much that a racist NBP guy showed up and was intimidating voters, it was that the Justice Dept threw out the conviction, and is conducting itself in a way that reeks of racism. This, combined with the President telling Hispanics to vote against their "enemies" is a pretty big deal--it's the White House being race baiters, basically. This is Obama the community activist coming out again, after he called the Cambridge police 'stupid' and joked that his secret service would shoot him, and after he called his grandmother a 'typical white person.'

So, the different networks focus on different things. I caught some of CBS' evening news on Wednesday and they were basically just parroting the Democrat line, claiming that Obama was a moderate and went in wanting to compromise when Obama went in as an extremely partisan left of center president and assiduously refused to compromise.

Again, you won't get an argument from me that Fox is not, overall, biased. Yes, the opinion shows lean right, and because opinion shows sell better than news shows, they go with them--you go with what is popular.

I think there has never been a time when news wasn't biased. Cronkite was a transparent leftist, as was Murrow. Everyone is biased, except Brian Lamb and C-Span generally.

Quote:
"Left" being relative to what, exactly? Our public discourse seems to have (for example) defined our president as a left wing extremist, even though he started out as a left-centrist at best and has been creeping towards the center ever since. Anything is left-biased if your perspective is far enough to the right. Believe it or not, there is a center, and what passes for the left wing in America is largely very close to it.


If that were so, the Dems wouldn't have just gotten slaughtered in the elections. Obama betrayed his mandate--he was elected to be a post-partisan moderate, and he absolutely governed as a left-of-center president, seeking highly divisive and unpopular legislation (most notably the health care bill) and seeing it rammed through in a manner that was extremely partisan. He never gave the GOP any respect. And it looks like he never will.

The US is overall a center-right country. The closest thing we have to moderate would be Heath Shuler and Mike Castle. Obama's not as far left as, say, Dennis Kucinich, but just because he's not the literal most left wing guy out there, and just because some lefty bloggers get angry because he doesn't do everything they want (as Gibbs said, they wouldn't be happy if Kucinich was president) doesn't mean that he's not left of center.

Obama is and always has been very far to the left. He was a member of the New Party, a radical left wing group of politicians. He sought out the most radical church in Chicago, and surrounded himself by the farthest left people in the country, even unrepentant left-wing terrorists (Ayers and Dornine). His parents were both quite literally Communists and his grandparents were way left, too. He wrote in his autobiography that he surrounded himself by Marxists in college. The man simply isn't anything other than way outside of the mainstream.

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There is actually nothing wrong with being angry, but there is a distressingly large segment of our population that is the wrong kind of angry--uninformed, reactionary, stupid. This is the kind of anger that wins elections, but it doesn't solve problems.


I don't see where it's stupid at all. They were reacting against the Dems' overreach and push toward social democracy.

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:55 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
firefly wrote:
So, the different networks focus on different things. I caught some of CBS' evening news on Wednesday and they were basically just parroting the Democrat line, claiming that Obama was a moderate and went in wanting to compromise when Obama went in as an extremely partisan left of center president and assiduously refused to compromise.

Again, you won't get an argument from me that Fox is not, overall, biased. Yes, the opinion shows lean right, and because opinion shows sell better than news shows, they go with them--you go with what is popular.


I don't have any more time to sit on here debating tonight, but I'll just conclude by saying that I couldn't disagree with you more when you say that Obama is an extremely partisan leftist. Obama is a reasonable, sensible pragmatist who is clearly willing to compromise and strike deals with Republicans. The problem is that Republicans never show any desire to meet him halfway. It's kind of hard to work with the Republicans when they have made the calculated political decision that the best way to ensure that Obama is a one-term president is to make him seem like an impotent failure by denying him legislative victories. And making Obama a one-term president is clearly the Republicans overarching motive--McConnell even explicitly stated so last week.

The Republican's definition of compromise is the following: "Agree to all of our demands, otherwise there is no deal." Boehner even gave speeches while campaigning for the midterms in front of a banner which said: "No Compromise!" Obama pushed through the stimulus, health care, and financial regulatory reform when it was clear that Republicans would not even entertain the prospect of a fair compromise (by "fair," I mean an agreement in which both sides get some of what they want).

Much of the problem is that after what happened to Republican moderates like Sen. Bob Bennett in Utah, and Rep. Bob Inglis in South Carolina, many Republican members of Congress are terrified to even be seen talking to Democrats about possibly finding common ground. They are terrified that if they upset the Tea Party, in their next election they might lose a Republican primary against an insurgent far-right challenger who is backed by the Tea Party. It's only going to get worse now that the Tea Party has such a significant role in the Republican Party; because for the Tea Party, any collaboration with Democrats is seen as "treason."


Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:25 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
firefly wrote:
Do you ever watch Fox News? If not you should before making that judgment. Fox News contains two components: one is the news segment, the other is the commentary. The commentary, in terms of the shows, is pretty much entirely conservative, though some of the hosts will have on guests who are liberal. The news segment is not significantly biased--not anymore than CBS, NBC, ABC, or CNN. And certainly nowhere near MSNBC.

The rough statistics for negative news coverage, MSNBC vs Fox, for 2008 was:
Fox: 49% negative stories on Obama.
MSNBC: 78% negative stories on McCain.

Fox's star anchor is Chris Wallace, who even Jon Stewart has publically said he respects. MSNBC's was, until a few days ago, Keith Olbermann, who has, amongst other things, called Bobby Jindal a "caveman," George Bush a "fascist", Michelle Malkin a "mashed up bag of meat with lipstick," and made bizarre, obsessive, and inappropriate masturbation jokes about Carrie Prejean.

On election night, Fox had 5 different liberal guests, including Bob Beckett, Juan Williams, and Alan Combs. MSNBC had no conservatives on the panel. When they finally interviewed a Republican, it was Michelle Bachmann, and Chris Matthews asked her if she was "hypnotized."


I've seen plenty of Fox News, and plenty of MSNBC. And I'd like to say before I proceed that I don't approve of what MSNBC does either. Olbermann, for all his bloviating, is hardly an insightful analyst, and on a personal level I can say that as a former journalist, I believe in standards and practices. If Olbermann violated standards against political donations (as it appears he did), then NBC was right to suspend him.

But that's beside the point. The usual defense I see from the Right concerning Fox News is "MSNBC does it too!" That may be so, but that fact that MSNBC is liberally partisan does not excuse Fox's right-wing partisanship, nor the fact that they have been responsible for pushing some of the worst of the virulent rhetoric and baseless accusations against the current administration, or the fact that they served as the de facto media outlet for the previous administration (one could argue that Fox played a great part in helping push the nation into the Iraq War; they certainly helped drive the debate the direction Bush wanted it to go).

Now, one could say, "Hey, you're just talking about their commentators. Beck, Hannity, etc." I am, but I'm also applying it to their supposed impartial "news" anchors as well. Just spend 10-15 minutes of watching someone like Megyn Kelly, and it's pretty obvious where she stands (it's not for impartiality). Her stances on the "Ground Zero mosque," the Black Panthers, Juan Williams' firing from NPR, and so on, were very, very obvious. Furthermore when one factors in the stories Fox chooses to cover, and it becomes obvious that Fox's news division is pretty biased as well (I recall seeing a story where Fox covered a protest by two people outside a school over something a teacher said about Obama, but when nearly 100,000 gathered for a gay rights march in Washington a year ago, Fox did not cover it at all).

And of course, this is all without mentioning Glenn Beck's statements where he called President Obama racist, said he "hated white people," and compared the president to Hitler, statements for which Beck would have been fired had he worked anywhere else. I can say with complete certainty that had I been Beck's boss, I would have fired him.

So again, one network's practices do that excuse that of another, and this is why so far as I'm concerned, the comparisons of MSNBC and Fox are null and void.

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:37 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Sexual Chocolate wrote:

I've seen plenty of Fox News, and plenty of MSNBC. And I'd like to say before I proceed that I don't approve of what MSNBC does either. Olbermann, for all his bloviating, is hardly an insightful analyst, and on a personal level I can say that as a former journalist, I believe in standards and practices. If Olbermann violated standards against political donations (as it appears he did), then NBC was right to suspend him.


Tbh, how's it any different than Olbermann using his anchor chair to opinonate and give disproportionate time to particular candidates that he wants to see elected? He had on one of his donees multiple times in spots designed to boost his chances of reelection. MSNBC wants to have it both ways--they want to pretend to be a serious news network with real standards for their anchors and then simultaneously be the network of the left.

Quote:

But that's beside the point. The usual defense I see from the Right concerning Fox News is "MSNBC does it too!" That may be so, but that fact that MSNBC is liberally partisan does not excuse Fox's right-wing partisanship, nor the fact that they have been responsible for pushing some of the worst of the virulent rhetoric and baseless accusations against the current administration, or the fact that they served as the de facto media outlet for the previous administration (one could argue that Fox played a great part in helping push the nation into the Iraq War; they certainly helped drive the debate the direction Bush wanted it to go).

Now, one could say, "Hey, you're just talking about their commentators. Beck, Hannity, etc." I am, but I'm also applying it to their supposed impartial "news" anchors as well. Just spend 10-15 minutes of watching someone like Megyn Kelly, and it's pretty obvious where she stands (it's not for impartiality). Her stances on the "Ground Zero mosque," the Black Panthers, Juan Williams' firing from NPR, and so on, were very, very obvious.


That would just put her in the long tradition of anchors whose politics are transparently obvious--Murrow, Cronkite, Rather, Couric, etc.

Quote:
And of course, this is all without mentioning Glenn Beck's statements where he called President Obama racist, said he "hated white people," and compared the president to Hitler, statements for which Beck would have been fired had he worked anywhere else. I can say with complete certainty that had I been Beck's boss, I would have fired him.


Care to cite any of those three? I believe that GB said that Obama may have 'an antipathy toward white culture,' and he hosted Dinesh D'Souza, who made the argument that Obama is an anticolonialist in the mold of his father (I disagree--I think he's a milktoast leftist in the model of his mother). I know that he's covered the history of Nazi Germany but I am not aware of a time when he directly compared Obama to Hitler. So, you can object to the legitimacy of these statements and comparisons, but I don't recall the type of statements that you think he's made.

I think Fox News is far more analogous to CNN: a network whose opinion-oriented shows all lean in one direction, and some of whose anchors (lest we forget that Anderson Cooper coined the derogatory 'Tea Bag' slur) are pretty much transparent in their political leanings.

Quote:
Obama is a reasonable, sensible pragmatist who is clearly willing to compromise and strike deals with Republicans.


If he's such a reasonable, sensible pragmatist, why did he shove through an incredibly partisan, unpopular health care bill? Why'd he tell Hispanics to vote against "their enemies." Why did he adopt not a single recontamination of Paul Ryan's? There's simply no evidence of this pragmatism.

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Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:50 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sJYa8epIII


Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:09 pm
Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
Isn't all this back and forth exhausting? I think every country should implement some form of proportional representation because it's the only way that every vote truly counts. The system in the USA (and over here) makes it impossible for more than two parties to ever be relevant so I can understand the disillusionment of JB and others. To those who don't vote: would you cast a ballot under a PO system?


Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:16 pm
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Post Re: October 31, 2010: "The True Day of Horror"
One of my objectives in writing this essay was as a litmus test to see whether the comments would stay on point or whether they would devolve into partisan bickering.

I have my answer. :)


Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:17 pm
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