June 9, 2011

Journalism

The press couldn’t be bothered to dig up Obama’s past associations, or his transcripts, or anything about him that would trouble voters they were relying upon to buy into the hope and change and historic aspects of his presidency. Similarly, they sat on the story of John Edwards’ mistress and baby, just as before they’d spiked the Monica Lewinski story — just as today they are moving to turn the Anthony Weiner story into an indictment of “right wing hypocrisy” for conservatives having noticed it at all, and continue to hide the Khalidi tape.

But don’t you worry. When they find an unschooled, silly, unelectable, bus-riding snowbilly, they once again find their calling, taking on the tough work of recruiting liberal readers to help them go through 24 thousand of Sarah Palin’s emails. Richard Fernandez:

Ryan Kellett at the Washington Post is looking for a few people to analyze “24,000 e-mail messages to and from Sarah Palin during her tenure as Alaska’s governor”.

Here’s how to participate … We’ll be posting them here, and are inviting you to comment on the most interesting or most noteworthy sections. Please include page numbers and, where possible, a dire ct excerpt. We’ll share your comments with our reporters and may use facts or related material you suggest to annotate the documents displayed on The Post site. We may contact you for further details, by way of your registered e-mail with the Post, unless you specify otherwise in the comments. For micro-updates as tomorrow unfolds, check out our new Twitter feed.

The NYT has a similar project. Derek Willis writes in a link interestingly hrefed “http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/help-us-investigate-the-sarah-palin-e-mail-records …” — note the “help us investigate”:

On Friday, the State of Alaska will release more than 24,000 of Sarah Palin’s e-mails covering much of her tenure as governor of Alaska. Times reporters will be in Juneau, the state capital, to begin the process of reviewing the e-mails, which we will be posting on NYtimes.com starting on Friday afternoon.

We’re asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight. Interested users can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of the e-mail, and provide a name and e-mail address so we’ll know who should get the credit. Join us here on Friday afternoon and into the weekend to participate.

One of the major sources of journalistic power lies in being able to choose what to focus on and what to ignore. The pattern of attention paid to subjects by the press itself conveys information. The academic and professional records of President were subjects fit to ignore. […]

The leftwing press has long settled into abject laziness — demanding itineraries, reprinting press releases — mostly because they believe their real job is not to report, but to interpret, then frame the resulting narrative in the way they think best aids the “proper” political outcome, namely, the political positions favored by big government progressives; but now, they’re actively soliciting leftwing drones to do their work for them — literally, to help them put together the hit piece on Sarah Palin.

It’s like summer camp to these people!

The worst part of all this, of course, will be watching David Frum, David Brooks, Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Jen Rubin, most of the writers at Commentary, and half the writers at National Review and the Weekly Standard scurrying to get in on the action.

For her part, Palin doesn’t seem much to care. I think this does the establishment no good — except insofar as they WILL create a story out of nothing, run it for a while (‘”we’re just asking questions!”), drive it, through inference, into the national consciousness, at which point the right will tell us about Palin’s “baggage” and reluctantly conclude she can’t win, etc etc. All of which is designed to try to keep her out of the race.

Because she can’t win, you see. And she’s unserious. And nobody would vote for her. So really, this is all for her own good. And our own good.

I said it as early as 2004: the press cannot be allowed to operate this way, or we don’t have a free country. And it doesn’t help that the establishment GOP — and many of our inside the Beltway pundits — are as eager as the leftwing press to keep the ruling class free from any presumptuous outsiders, with their halibut clubs and their shotguns and their quaint ideas about smaller government…

(thanks to geoff B)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 10:04pm
58 comments | Trackback

Comments (58)

  1. tag FAIL

  2. <tilting head, knitting brow> Wash-ing-ton Post? New York Times? These names seem to call forth a distant, long-dead memory, of a time when corporate-owned publications were necessary to distribute the news of the world to the masses. But why do you mention their names now, like calling forth the ghosts of Imperial Rome or the Clinton Administration?

  3. Oh no, Protein Wisdom has come down with a case of mono!

  4. I really think the notion that the left fears Palin as a viable candidate is idiotic. This is just psychotic, obsessive hatred.

  5. The LA Times is putting the docs up here http://documents.latimes.com/sarah-palin-emails/

    Meanwhile, they have a “Readers: What should we be looking for?” comment section.

    Well, what should they be looking for? I added a few suggestions.

  6. Reminds me of a bumpersticker I have from ’92.

    “Annoy the media …vote for Bush!”

  7. Anyway, I think we can all agree that laziness is the least culpable of the media’s many sins

  8. I really think the notion that the left fears Palin as a viable candidate is idiotic.

    I really think the notion that it is idiotic to think the left fears her is idiotic. They hate her, but they hate her — and they aren’t alone — because she makes them look at themselves in ways they do wish to.

  9. I just don’t see it and I’m surrounded by chattering class sorts. She scared the living shit out of them after her convention speech, and that may in some way animate their continued obsessive hatred, but the only fear I see is among conservatives who are deathly afraid of her getting the nomination and then getting squashed like a bug.

  10. I should add this, with the proviso that it’s clearly coming from an idiot: the reason the left, and some on the right, fear Palin is that she represents the encroachment into politics of the American not specifically and specially groomed for politics by the established schools, under the tutelage of the establishment party mentors; instead, her very existence at this level is proof that one doesn’t necessarily need a specialized degree in government, nor become a lifelong professional politician, to become a viable leader. In fact, all one needs is a comprehensive understanding of our history, our founding documents, and an adherence to the principles of our founding — along with leadership skills — and one can govern in this country. Citizen legislators. Kinda like the Founders envisioned.

    Be sure to read that last sentence in Palin’s voice. For effect.

  11. I’d rather get squashed with somebody who represents my views than keep pretending I stand with the GOP establishment.

    I don’t.

    Conservatives who are afraid of her getting the nomination are conservatives who can’t defend conservatism, and who fear the left.

    I don’t.

  12. Full disclosure: I wrote these comments during a pause in Jason X.

    So. Grain of salt and all that.

  13. I shouldn’t have left the impression that the Brooksie Frum universe is principally concerned with her viability. They clearly do despise her pedigree and are profoundly embarrassed by how she reflects on their insecure and tormented little souls. The problem I have with the elitist persecution angle is that the left simply doesn’t make these kind of “qualitative” distinctions within their own ranks. They hate all of us, and she just makes it so damned easy for them to focus their animus.

  14. [T]he only fear I see is among conservatives who are deathly afraid of her getting the nomination and then getting squashed like a bug.

    I honestly can’t understand that sentiment.

  15. They hate all of us, and she just makes it so damned easy for them to focus their animus.

    That I can understand, even if I don’t agree that it hurts us necessarily. Apeshit leftist behavior alienate sensitive moderates too.

  16. Interestingly, I watched for the first time last night The Greatest Game Ever Played. Really a good, solid film.

    What strikes me as apropos is the way the “Gentlemen” looked upon the “lower” classes, and had no qualms about reminding them of their status right to their face.

    No matter how talented, dedicated and a man of good character Verdun or Ouimert were, they were never to be admitted into the club.

    That’s Palin. She could be everything the H8Trs claim she’s not …. no matter how intelligent, well-read, or talented, she is still just the low-born daughter of teachers, raised in America’s northern outback, educated with the masses in a public university. She is the stuff of “common clay” and she is railed against because she refuses to remember “her place”.

    Why is it that the Left elites disdain the Constitution or tut-tut at the Founders? Because both espouse the principles of each man or woman “paying attention to their own game.”

    How can the Elites be secure if just anyone can be in their exclusive club where they get to set all the rules, including membership based on Pull not merit?

  17. I honestly can’t understand that sentiment.

    You mean to say that the savvy marketer Happyfeet writing it twenty times in every comment thread for almost a year didn’t sell you? Somewhat ironically, he was an object lesson in how failshit it is to attempt to persuade by communicating in a way that only resonates with people who already agree with you, which is my primary problem with Palin (thus far).

  18. Somewhat ironically, he was an object lesson in how failshit it is to attempt to persuade by communicating in a way that only resonates with people who already agree with you, which is my primary problem with Palin (thus far).

    I’ll grant that there’s something to what you’re saying, broad based appeal and all that. But again, I don’t fully comprehend what it is, I guess because I’m on the side of the “culture gap” that “gets” Palin, and doesn’t understand why the other side doesn’t get Palin.

    Oh well.

  19. I’ll add that you can only persuade people willing to be persuaded. And, for the reasons Darleen has laid out, a lot of people are unpersuadable where Palin is concerned. If it’s too many, she won’t be the nominee.

  20. Abe

    communicating in a way that only resonates with people who already agree with you,

    The problem is no one is going to get everyone to agree. Don’t you believe we have had way too much of go-along-to-get-along Republicans?

    Look at the Democrats engaging in the nastiest of demagoguery about the Ryan budget – outright lies about Medicare so blatant even a few MSM had to say “oh come on now”.

    Those people have a huge megaphone and they KNOW they are lying. They.Don’t.Care. Winning power to push America over the tipping point into a Euro-Socialist-Democracy is their goal.

    You have to counter that forcefully; you cannot sugar-coat or moderate your message, because, the Pelosi/Reid/Obama gang is not in it to compromise, they are in it to grind out every last bit of Republican/Conservative/Classical liberal sentiment they can. Believe in man/woman marriage? You’re a homophobe. Believe there are differences between the sexes? Sexist. Believe in judging people on merit rather than melanin? Racist. Question Man-caused Climate Change? Denier who should be branded.

    You can’t REASON with such rhetoric.

  21. LAT:

    “Readers: What should we be looking for?”

    Their collective ass.

    The MBM has now, officially, jumped the shark lost their fucking minds.

  22. For her part, Palin doesn’t seem much to care. I think this does the establishment no good — except insofar as they WILL create a story out of nothing, run it for a while (‘”we’re just asking questions!”), drive it, through inference, into the national consciousness, at which point the right will tell us about Palin’s “baggage” and reluctantly conclude she can’t win, etc etc. All of which is designed to try to keep her out of the race.

    One of the ways that running away from Palin does the establishment positive harm is in that the easiest way to take her out –before she even gets in– is to co-opt her. A Pawlenty, for arguments sake, could say, “I believe what she believes. I bring everything to the table that Palin brings, issue wise, philosophy wise, with none of her baggage.” Of course, it would help if Pawlenty et. al. had bothered to defend her or even denounce this kind of nakedly partisan pseudo-journalism. Because God knows, none of the so-called serious GOP contenders wants to be labelled as “another Palin.”

  23. Just out of curiosity, how is Palin (or any candidate for that matter) supposed to communicate with people who don’t agree with her already? It seems to me that we’re getting into the area of one of Limbaugh’s favorite criticisms of professional Republicans. That is, the idea of appealing to moderates as moderates instead of trying to appeal to them as conservatives who believe it’s in the interests of moderates and conservatives alike to support conservative candidates and programs because conservatism represents the best way forward for the whole nation.

  24. Those people have a huge megaphone and they KNOW they are lying.

    That’s just your bourgeois notions about truth showing, Darleen. They’ve got TRVTH on their side, so it’s okay.

    night all

  25. Those people have a huge megaphone and they KNOW they are lying. They.Don’t.Care.

    They also will claim “everybody” lies and how dare you pretend you’re “above it all” by pointing out their lies.

  26. My response to the people who try to sound sage and reasonable when stating, “I just don’t think Palin is qualified to be President.”:

    She’s over 35, she’s a citizen, she’s lived here more than 14 years, and she hasn’t been President before. That qualifies her to be President. I’m qualified to be President. So are you. Nowhere in the Constitution is, “and fhall have attended a Univerfity from the League of Ivy and have the Blefsings of the Evening News and The View”.

  27. The average Democrat may not be afraid of Palin, but the media and the power brokers sure are. They have hit her with everything they could muster for four years non-stop and not only is she still standing she is fucking laughing at them.

    That has to scare them to the depths of whatever is where their souls should be.

  28. The meme I’ve been seeing against Palin, on the left, is to harp on the fact she resigned as governor — while glossing over the fact that was precisely what the Left and their corrupt Establican allies in Alaska and elsewhere intended — as a way of supporting the contention that she’s “not up to” being president.

    I’ll just have to resist the temptation to use the word PROJECTION!!!!!1!!! in referring to that.

    […]

    Dammit.

  29. That’s right folks, “live coverage” of a document release, with conclusions jumped to by people with an agenda, spread in real time via Twitter by the elite of the mainstream media.

    The crowdsourcing by hundreds will give rise thousands of lies about Palin. These two news organizations, by lending their names to and organizing the effort, have abdicated any journalistic standard in favor of mob information rule.

    link

    proggs and mobs is what ann coulter’s new book is about:

    Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America

  30. The leftwing press has long settled into abject laziness

    Into abject partisanship.

    They are the kingmakers, dammit. How dare she presume!
    And to tell the truth I’d rether fight and die on that particular conservative hill and not get the nomination than settle for some lukewarm republicanism in a thousand dollar suit and a bleached smile.
    When they’re handin out shit, don’t come runnin with a bucket.

  31. Peggy Noonan has a hard hitting article about Mitt over in the WSJ.

    In ’08, Romney’s brand was at odds with his stand. He looked and had the feel of a well-born Eastern moderate Republican. But he positioned and portrayed himself as grass-roots tea-party. It was jarring, didn’t seem to fit, and contributed to the impression that he was an attractive lump of poll-tested packaging. He’s trying to get around this in two ways. First, he’s attempting to focus on economic issues, on which he has personal and professional credibility. Second, he’s trying to demonstrate authenticity by sticking to some stands unpopular with the base—global warming, health care.

    /head explodes

  32. It’s not just her irregular background that bugs them, it’s the fact that she isn’t a “team player” once she gets into office.

    In Alaska, she busted up the game of footsie between the GOP establishment and Big Oil, and they’ll never forgive her for THAT.

    With most pols, after one or two questionable compromises, they have to keep their mouths shut about their fellows’ corruption or risk having their own sins exposed.

    Palin? She won’t be co-opted by the game.

    Can’t.

    Have.

    That.

  33. The average Democrat may not be afraid of Palin, but the media and the power brokers sure are. They have hit her with everything they could muster for four years non-stop and not only is she still standing she is fucking laughing at them.

    That has to scare them to the depths of whatever is where their souls should be.

    Precisely.

  34. The silver lining in this cloud will be watching the lefty kooks coming out of the woodwork. From the LA Times “What Should We Look For” section:

    Look for communications around the time of April 10-18, 2008 mentioning a dog or anything that could be code for a transfer of babies. Look for evidence of second baby (Trip) being born later than December thus changing the calculus of Bristol’s “5 months pregnant”.

    More:

    Look for evidence that TODD Palin was the “shadow governor,” i.e. HE conducted most of the State business IN the governor’s office. The same Todd who was a member of the A.I.P. for several years – a party whose primary platform was to SECEDE from the Union.

    Added bonus: grade A snark…

    See if you can find your journalistic integrity.

  35. Palin? She won’t be co-opted by the game.

    Can’t.

    Have.

    That.

    That too. In fact, she’s not playing the tired old game, she’s playing Palinball. We’ve got a growing number of people changing the game. Palin. Beck. Breitbart.

    The old game has gotten us where we are, with our pretty much communist community organizing POTUS dragging us over the cliff. Fuck that. We need someone who will lump his dumb ass up. It doesn’t need to be Palin, but it needs to be someone who’s been paying attention to what she’s been doing.

  36. From the LA Times “What Should We Look For” section:

    The only answer to that question is “That Obama/Rashid Khalidi tape you’ve been sitting on.”

  37. @Bordo: No, it should be: “I didn’t find anything on Palin, but I did find your journalistic integrity–oh who am I kidding? That doesn’t exist!”

  38. And if they can’t find a smoking gun well

  39. $50 says Andrew Sullivan is lathered up and sitting naked in a recliner right now with his laptop and a gallon of Cherry Garcia.

  40. Jeff G. posted on 6/10 @ 7:52 am

    Oh geez, boss, and before my morning coffee

    McGehee, can you pass the eye bleach?

  41. Sorry, I had to use it all in the other thread. And Tarzhay won’t get anymore in until Tuesday.

  42. #40
    Some things you should just leave in your head.

  43. allan ackbar petey wehner hollywood stupid:

    Herman Cain’s Ugly Remarks About Muslims

  44. @JeffG: *rolls SAN*

    Down to negatives again.

  45. I really don’t think the “honorable ladies and gentlemen of the press” have as much influence left as they believe, purely as the natural consequence of jumping into the process rather than reporting on it.

    Americans are not stupid (ok, mostly), they see that the media are jamming their dirty thumbs onto the scale. I mean, it’s not like they’ve been subtle about it, is it?

    Eventually, when the major papers fold for lack of circulation, some enterprising “tea bagger” will start up something to replace them, without all the Rathers and the Olbermanns and the Behars.

  46. Pingback: Big Journalism. [JHoward]

  47. Those people have a huge megaphone and they KNOW they are lying. They.Don’t.Care. Winning power to push America over the tipping point into a Euro-Socialist-Democracy is their goal.

    You have to counter that forcefully; you cannot sugar-coat or moderate your message, because, the Pelosi/Reid/Obama gang is not in it to compromise, they are in it to grind out every last bit of Republican/Conservative/Classical liberal sentiment they can. Believe in man/woman marriage? You’re a homophobe. Believe there are differences between the sexes? Sexist. Believe in judging people on merit rather than melanin? Racist. Question Man-caused Climate Change? Denier who should be branded.

    You can’t REASON with such rhetoric.

    The only thing to add is that the Left can commit any atrocity without a single qualm, because their ends are so noble that they justify “any means necessary” (Malcolm X, who was very much a Lefty).

    Thank you, Darleen. You have just laid out the case for another Revolutionary War followed by exile of the Left a la the Loyalists in a nutshell.

  48. Oh, and Jeff, that image in #40 is one I could have gone until the heat death of the Universe without.

  49. This ploy by the dying newspapers to get their reader’s engaged as volunteer smear artists reeks of desperation.

    It’s like a bad T.V. show host taking viewer phone calls in order generate some interactive “buzz”; but it’s the same “usual suspects” that keep on calling.

    Also it gives them an out, should they later be called on any smear. They can blame their “interns”.

  50. They can’t quit her.

    Dana (who?) Milbank hardest hit.

  51. I really think the notion that the left fears Palin as a viable candidate is idiotic. This is just psychotic, obsessive hatred.

    It is, and I think she’s sitting back snickering at it.

    I’m becoming more and more convinced that Sarah is doing this on purpose, acting as a lightning rod for the left’s psychosis. Ordinarily, the leftist press would be examining potential candidates across the board, trying to figure out which one was likely to get the nomination so they could shred him accordingly. This year, there’s very little talk about anyone but Sarah. By the time she lets on that she’s not running, they will have wasted their best mouth-foaming time and they’ll have to scramble to find dirt on Cain or Romney.

  52. I’m becoming more and more convinced that Sarah is doing this on purpose, acting as a lightning rod for the left’s psychosis.

    I’ve been saying the same thing for some time.

  53. 40. Jeff G. posted on6/10 @ 7:52 am
    $50 says Andrew Sullivan is lathered up and sitting naked in a recliner right now with his laptop and a gallon of Cherry Garcia.

    I’m betting on a butt plug and a liter of raspberry coulis. Fortunately, in his excitement he will stand-in for the gibbon.

  54. Real steamy stuff. They are going to have to do a major re-write to get to what they know just has to be there.

    OMG:

    Detroit News – Palin emails rarely mention Michigan, search shows: “Michigan, Detroit or its political figures rarely were the topic of discussion for former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, a search of the emails sent before she was tapped by Sen. John McCain to be his running mate reveals.”

    Well that just does it for this Michigander.

  55. omg the gov. of ak is a mi h8ter

  56. You know who loves himself some Michigan? Mitt Romney, that’s who!

    Hugh Hewitt will be so pleased.

  57. So what kind of hit is GDP going to take next quarter with so much effort devoted to this meaningless exercise?

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