Saturday, November 1, 2014

The Media Political Complex

Journalists: If You Can't Beat Them, Buy Them

We can speculate about The Fourth Estate's motives and loyalties and our conclusions can be dismissed as partisanship but two facts scream bias. 1. The Obama Administration has hired a record number of mainstream reporters to work for them. 2. The Obama Administration has employed at least four relatives of high level news people.

Let's examine the second statement first. David Rhoades is the president of CBS News. His brother, Ben Rhoades is a White House national security battle.

Virginia Mosely is a CNN Vice President and Washington Bureau Chief. She is married to Tom Nides, a Deputy Secretary of State in the Obama Administration.

Former White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney, is married to ABC News senior national correspondent, Claire Shipman.

Another president of a network news division, Ben Sherwood of ABC News, is the brother of special adviser to Barack Obama, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.

In the old days, we would call this graft. This behavior might be legal but it is highly unethical. Whatever credibility the Fourth Estate might have had left in its account, it has squandered it in the Obama Administration.

Not quite as egregious is the Obama Administration practice of hiring journalists on a scale never before seen. That practice has a long tradition and I am not of the opinion that reporters should be blackballed but the Obama Administration exceeds with excess.

On May 5, 2009 Ed O'Keefe of 'TheWashington Post” wrote an article on the bumper crop of administration jobs awarded to news people. Eleven lucky recipients not counting David Axelrod, who is a former reporter at “Chicago Tribune.” One of the mentioned was a Bush Administration holdover, Geoff Morrell.

Warren Bass: Former deputy editor of The Post's Sunday Outlook now serves as an adviser and speechwriter for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

Rosa Brooks: The former Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist now advises Michelle Fluornoy at the Defense Department.

The aforementioned Jay Carney: The former TIME Magazine Moscow bureau chief and campaign chronicler (and husband of ABC's Claire Shipman) now serves as communications director for Vice President Biden.

Linda Douglass: Former Congressional correspondent for CBS and ABC and writer/editor at “National Journal” left journalism last year to serve as traveling press secretary for the Obama campaign. She'll help guide the administration's communications efforts during this summer's battle over health care reform, working out of the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House.

Peter Gosselin: The former “Los Angeles Times” reporter now writes speeches for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

David Hoff: The “Education Week” reporter and blogger started yesterday on the communications staff at the Education Department.

Beverley Lumpkin: A former Justice Department reporter/producer for ABC and CBS, she left journalism, worked for the Project on Government Oversight and joined DOJ last month as press secretary, turning sources into colleagues.

Geoff Morrell: A holdover from the Bush administration, the former ABC newsman became spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert Gates in 2007.

Rick Weiss: Former Washington Post science reporter left for the Center for American Progress and now serves as communications director and senior policy strategist for the White House Office of Science and Technology.

Jill Zuckman: The former Washington correspondent for “Chicago Tribune” works with Ray LaHood as communications director at the Department of Transportation.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The CNN/CBS reporter and Atlanta-based neurosurgeon threw his hat into the ring for the surgeon general job, but eventually withdrew because of the "timing."

The previously mentioned David Axelrod: President Obama's senior adviser once worked as a Chicago Tribune reporter.

On February 17, 2012 Paul Bedard of the“Washington Examiner” listed 19 reporters and news executives who had gone to work for the Administration. Bedard reported that to be a record number of news people hired by an administration.

Records are made to be broken. On September 12, 2013, Elspeth Reeve reported at The Wire that the Obama Administration had hired its 24th journalist, former “Time” managing editor, Rick Stengel.

The following list is from Reeve's column. We will omit Hoff, Zuckman, Weiss and Douglas.

Douglas Frantz, decades-long media hack at “New York Times” and “Los Angeles Times” went to work for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009. In May, 2012 he went to work as “Washington Post” national security editor. In September, 2013 he was employed by the State Department.

In January 2013 “Boston Globe” online politics editor Glen Johnson went to work for Secretary of State John Kerry as a senior adviser.

Former “The Washington Post” Federal Diary columnist Stephen Barr went to work for the Labor Department as senior managing director of the Office of Public Affairs in February 2012.

Shailagh Murray of“The Washington Post” became the Vice President's communications director in March 2011.

Rosa Brooks of “Los Angeles Times” was counselor to undersecretary of defense Michele Flournoy from April 2009 to July 2011.

Former “The Washington Post” film critic Desson Thomson went to work as a speechwriter for the U.S. Ambassador to UK, Louis Susman.

Roberts Baskin, TV journalist and Cneter for Public Policy administrator went to work at HHS in August 2009 as a senior communications adviser.

Washington Post Outlook section deputy editor Warren Bass was hired by then-UN ambassador Susan Rice as director of speechwriting in 2009.

Former CNN senior political producer Sasha Johnson became a spokesman for Department of Transportation in May 2009. she later became chief of staff for Federal Aviation Administration.

“New York Times” reporter Eric Dash went to work for The Treasury Department's public affairs office in 2012.

MSNBC producer Anthony Reyes also went to work at The Treasury Department's public affairs office in 2012.

Aneesh Raman left CNN to work for Obama's campaign in 2008. He would later be employed as an Obama speechwriter.

CNN national security correpondent Jim Sciutto went to work for U. S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke as chief of staff from 2011 to 2013.

“San Francisco Chronicle” reporter Kelly Zito went to work for the EPA's public affairs office in August 2011.

Samantha Power went from reporter to working for Senator Obama to working for president Obama to ambassador to the United Nations.

Not mentioned in any of the articles listed above are the graduates who went to work in media. Robert Gibbs was hired at MSNBC before founding The Incite Agency. His successor, Jay Carney ended up at CNN. Peter Gosselin went from “Los Angeles Times” to speechwriter for Timothy Geithner to Senior Healthcare Analyst for “Bloomberg Government.”

The miasma of Ted Baxters serving the Obama Administration was rationalized by a poor economy and mainstream media's vanishing audience in both print and electronic media as well as the opportunity to participate in the highly noble mission of creating the most transparent administration in US History (insert laugh track here.) But it does seem in the examples of Gibbs, Gosselin and Carney, that old media has plenty of opportunity for Obama loyalists.

Finally! PAC Targets Duplicitous Media

In this era, the medium is the message. Sometime a decade or two ago, the news media wrote themselves into the story. They wrote themselves into EVERY story. Every election, every issue is a battle between The Fourth Estate and the non-believers. American news media are not quite as vicious as ISIS but they are every bit as intolerant and every bit as ambitious. They might not literally behead infidels but ask Cheryl Attkisson how they treat political agnostics.


Friday, October 31, 2014

If Priebus Blows This One, The Republican Party Should Dismantle

In 2012 the GOP lost to one of the worst presidential incumbents in US History. The Democrats proceeded to benefit Democrat insiders to the detriment of all others. African-Americans, Millenials, senior citizens, Californians, New Yorkers....they have all fared poorly under Democratic rule. So has just about everyone else.

Georgia should not be close. North Carolina should not be close. New Hampshire should not be close. Kentucky should be a McConnell landslide. Al Franken should be a notch on the GOP belt. Virginia should be in play. Kansas? Alaska? Colorado? These should be slam dunks. Super majority should be the goal. 60 Congressional seats should be in play.

In the words of another writer (and I would give him credit if I was using the machine with the bookmarked browser) Romney was called out on strikes. I think he also said Newr would have gone down swinging. I would rather win with Romney/Rove/Priebus than lose with Gingrich. But if I'm going to lose I would rather back a Palin or a Gingrich or an Allen West who will mount some kind of fight.

The passive run out the clock/hope for a walk/rope-a-dope/race to finish/prevent defense/McClellan on steroids strategy is clearly a failure. Romney lost in 2012 because millions of likely GOP voters stayed home. He did not give them a reason to turn out. Every independent saw Obama as a cancer but Romney did not make the case that he was the cure. Something very similar could happen next week. If Priebus chokes on this one, if he cannot even make the case that his party is the lesser evil, it is time to kill the elephant and sell its ivory on ebay.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Brief Tribute To Mayor Thomas Menino

Mayor Thomas Menino succumbed to cancer this morning. He served as Boston's mayor for twenty years, longer than any other mayor.

In what was once a cesspool of corruption, Menino served without so much of a rumor of scandal. He was affable and good-natured. Boston is a sharp elbow kind of place and as far as I know, Menino lived and died without knowing a single enemy.

Boston could have been Detroit II but she is not. She is viable and thriving. It would be a nice place to live if it were not so pricey. Contrast the real estate prices with the motor city where you can buy a house for the price of a used car.

Mayor Menino will be remembered as a master of the malpropism. My favorite is "An Alcatrez around its neck." He had a pronounced speech impediment and was often the butt of jokes. Having said that, he did little to help himself with his pronunciation. Menino had trouble prounouncing the letter R or the letter L. It seems that he would use substitute words when available.

When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 it involved a victory parade.
Menino could have said they were hosting a "prayed" and everyone would have known what he meant. Instead, His Honor announced that Boston would host a "rolling rally." The announcement came out as a "woe-ing wowie." The proclamation created a humorous scene where all the press said "Huh?" "What is it?" They did not want to embarrass the poor guy but it was not clear to anyone what a "woe-ing wowie" happened to be.

Local radio host Howie Carr was tough on "Mumbles." His oratory was a staple of Howie's show. There was one announcement about school lunches that would have been ignored and forgotten were it not for Howie. The mayor was reading a prepared statement that could not have been more boring. However, there was one word that kept tripping up the beloved mayor. That word was "menu." He navigated several polysyllabic roadblocks but "menu" would do him in. Go figure.

Tom Menino might be remembered as the Yogi Berra of politics but he was also a good mayor. He kept the streets plowed and the trains moving. Blizzards were no match for this guy. Give it your best shot, Mother Nature. The mayor will scoop it up for you. And no, he never took himself too seriously. He really was one of the people.

 There is a larger political lesson here. People usually prefer a work horse to a show horse. People respect work and integrity and security more than optics. The least flashy politician in American history served five terms as mayor of a city in a state where politics is considered high entertainment. You will be missed, Mr. Mayor.

Yo, Liz, Give my best to Bruce Bailey

Cherokee Elizabeth Warren spoke the truth. Senator Jeanne Shaheen perfectly represents the values of Vermont.

“The only woman in the history of the United States who has been both a governor and a Senator,” Warren said. “Independent, out there working for the people of Vermont.”

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More Shady Voter Machines In Illinois


Voter Fraud In The Sunshine State

We Love Our Messiah We Just Don't Want To Listen To Him Department

The demise is of Barack Obama has been widely exaggerated. People still turn out to see the over the hill rock star but they would rather he be seen and not heard. Truthfully, the vast majority of Obama's supporters have no idea what he stands for and do not care to be illuminated. It is the icon they have come to see. The oratory is just blah blah blah.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Cold Day Down Under:"Boston Globe" Endorses Republican Charlie Baker For Governor

A paper that went from left-leaning to extremism in the extreme has endorsed Republican Charlie Baker for Governor of Massachusetts. I have to admit I am confused. This is a paper that tells us that poor people are forced to eat potato chips because they can't afford fresh produce. A once great newspaper that lost its credibility and readership over the course of the last three decades is supporting the GOP candidate. I never thought I would see the day.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Granny Rocks C-SPAN


Will Hillary Create A New Cabinet Post: Department Of You Did Not Build It?

Whenever you hear a journalist, pundit or politician (please excuse the redundancies) use the term "trickle down" one's propaganda alarm should clang and shriek. "Trickle down" was never a term used by economists. As such, it can hardly be described as a theory.

The term was always derisive. The fact that it was picked up by the news media says more about the values of the fourth estate than about the merits of free enterprise. Would a Hillary presidency look more like a Clinton presidency or an Obama presidency? I think we know the answer.