Johann Hari, September 2011:
“If I had asked the many experienced colleagues I have here at The Independent… they would have explained just how wrong I was. It was arrogant and stupid of me not to ask.”
Indeed it was — or was it…?
Johann Hari, June 2011:
“I called round…other interviewers for British newspapers and they said what I did was normal practice and they had done it themselves.”
Either way, at the end of the day the purple-prosed, narcissistic little shit-stain gets to keep his plum position as UK journamalism’s favourite idiot-savant fabulist, despite having brazenly made shit up (including at least one viciously libellous Wikipedia sockpuppet) — and all he had to do to save his bacon was give back his undeserved Orwell Prize and pen an intellectually insulting J’accuse in lieu of a proper apology (actual sincerity would have required a modicum of shame/regret on Hari’s part — IOW, don’t hold yer breath, cupcake).
Nice work if you can get it.
In other news, Ben Domenech, Jayson Blair, and Stephen Glass are reportedly emigrating to Mother London en masse, caps & (HIGHLY CREATIVE) CVs in hand (low hanging fruit, yes, but sometimes it pays to slake one’s hunger for snark with some easy pickings).
h/t The Media Blog
Jesse Taylor explains why, contra aimai, the latest example of desperate hand wringing on the part of the traditional media over the scourge that is online incivility (fetch forth teh fainting couch!) misses the mark by honing in on the trees, rather than the forest:
I understand that us bloggers use cursewords and invective and sometimes call reporters mud-flinging slapfucks (or we do now!), but the entire point of the conservative anger is that it allows them to push forward complete and total lies and yell down anyone who debates against them.
The reason conservatives are so able to build up lies is because, by being nasty about it, they know that the dreaded MSM will only focus on the nastiness. Eventually, the entire thing turns into a series of op-eds by Davids Broder and Brooks excoriating both sides for lowering the discourse, asking where President Obama’s promise of postpartisanship went, and then endorsing the three elected Republican officials who haven’t accused Obama of flouridating our children’s water supply as a method of mind control as the new centrist way forward.
Precisely. I could give a flying rainbow butt monkey fuck about how ZOMG RUDE!11 wingnuts are; it’s the fucking lying, stupid. Alas, judging by the continued preponderance of lazy ‘he said, she said’ stenography, too many in the press apparently consider it far more important to fret about the term ‘bullshit’ than to, y’know, call it.
Priorities. They can totally has them.
(photo by NYCArthur, used under a Creative Commons license)
Seven months ago, Hillary Rodham Clinton — the powerful New York Senator, former First Lady, and runner-up in the brutally long Democratic primary competition — became U.S. President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. Since then, she’s chastened North Korea, advocated on behalf of Burma, and rallied against Israeli settlement building. She’s logged nearly 100,000 air miles. She’s tirelessly pursued Obama’s diplomatic agenda around the world.
And she’s done it while fostering or demonstrating little friction with the White House she once hoped to occupy. Being secretary of state doesn’t just require being a diplomat abroad. It requires being a diplomat in Washington. For, foreign policy is not and has never been the purview of State alone — Clinton overlaps and dovetails and supports and creates policy with Obama, a spate of diplomatic envoys, the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense, the national security advisers, Vice President Joe Biden, et cetera. By all accounts, she’s done well at that as well.
Not that you’d know it reading the paper. Too often, coverage of Clinton neglects the fact that the secretary of state has never been the sole creator of U.S. foreign policy. It also, far too often, focuses hyper-intently on the perceived narrative of how Clinton feels about her relationship with the White House — rather than the actual relationship between Clinton and Obama or how she’s doing her job.
As they say, read the whole damn thing — Lowrey goes on to name ‘em and shame ‘em. It (still) ain’t pretty.
h/t The Kicker
(Image: Al Franken for Senate)
Speaking as a long time SNL fan, I think it’s absolutely fabulous to see that the Minnesota State Supreme Court believes Al Franken is good enough and smart enough to represent the state as its junior Senator. Because, doggone it, people like him more than Norm Coleman (by a final margin of 312 votes).
Chris Cillizza notes that despite Franken’s celebrity pedigree (which, as Cillizza points out, helped swell Franken’s coffers throughout the campaign and subsequent legal battle with Coleman), the former writer/comedian cannily avoided the public eye while lawyers tussled–except to play the role of statesman :
When the race ended in a tie, Franken did something very smart; he stayed out of the spotlight. He was rarely seen or heard and when he did pop into public view it was during an occasional visit to Washington when he was huddling with potential colleagues and getting briefed on issues by potential staffers — in short, acting like a senator. He gave Republicans nothing to use to sow doubts about whether he was ready for the office to which he was headed. While Franken’s personal discipline did little to effect the legal outcome, it played a critical part in slowly but surely securing public support behind the idea that not only had he won but that he was ready to be a senator.
Also, many thanks to the beltway bullshit shovellers at Politico for once again picking up the trusty steno pads to help their GOP patrons explain how an historic victory for the Democratic party is–wait for it–actually good news for Republicans (ZOMG NO WAIS!):
Franken’s upcoming seating will give Democrats their biggest majority in the Senate in a generation, ensuring their party holds a 60-40 majority – enough to quash GOP filibusters if they stay united.
And with that, some Republicans see an ironic silver lining – Democrats have nobody else to blame if their agenda falls short even though that will be tough with an ideologically diverse caucus and the absences of Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who have been sidelined by illnesses. GOP strategists say it will solidify their argument heading into the 2010 elections that electing more Republicans would be a critical check on one-party dominance in Washington.
“The implications of this Senate race are particularly significant because the Democrats will now have 60 votes in the Senate,” said Sen. John Cornyn, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “With their supermajority, the era of excuses and finger-pointing is now over.”
The more things change…(oh teh irony, indeed)
One bone of contention, Antonia: saying that anything spawned by the gliberati who rule USian cable NOOZ networks and talk radio even remotely constitutes ‘news commentary’ is akin to earnestly declaring that Barack Obama is an unreconstructed Marxist.
Er, ok–never mind. If America didn’t already exist The Onion would have to invent it.
Via Jay Rosen (by way of Sarah), I see that the Villagers are still primarily concerned with the circumference of their navels (which also corresponds with the breadth and depth of their shallow egos):
The standard form during “joint press availabilities” — bureaucratic lingo for press conferences where leaders from two different countries stand next to each other and take questions from reporters — is that each official’s press corps gets the same number of questions.
Well, during the joint press availability on Wednesday with Mr. Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the ornate British foreign office near 10 Downing Street, Mr. Brown called on the U.K. press corps for four whole questions. Meanwhile, Mr. Obama only called on the White House press corps, which schlepped (granted, on a really nice United 777 charter) across the Atlantic to scrupulously chronicle his first overseas trip as president, thrice.
Mr. Obama even tried to cut off the press conference after six questions had been asked—most dealing with the growing rift between the United States and the rest of the world over how to fix the global economy. “All right?” he asked, in an “O.K.-we’re-done-I’m-outta-here” way.
Because of this unforgivable slight, Helene Cooper wonders if Obama is trying to ‘muzzle’ the White House press corps (and pines for the good ol’ days of Condie Rice–OMG SHOEZ!) Seriously, what the hell happened to Cooper? When did she morph into the quintessential whiny-ass titty baby?
“Waaah Obama isn’t bein’ nice to us. MOOOM!”
Apparently the brats in the beltway need fresh binkies to suck on.
You know, it says a lot that, during a time of global economic upheaval and uncertainty, a member of the White House press corps earnestly believes that not getting asked an extra question by the POTUS at an international presser is a matter of grave import. One would hope that Cooper would take some heat from her colleagues for her demonstrative outburst. Alas, they were likely cheering her on from the sidelines, shouting ‘YEAH! TRUTH TO POWER!’
Because, sadly, the Villagers live in an isolated upper-middle class bubble, sequestered away from the rest of the nation (and its petty problems) in an insular gated community filled with an endless parade of cocktail parties and trivial sniping. To the average Washington correspondent, meeting with the Great Unwashed is presented as an exercise in cultural anthropology, eg, John King’s Sunday morning diner round-tables with Real Americans (if you cut them, they BLEED! I know, crazy!) At this point, it’s all too clear that they are essentially writing for each other; the conversation is entirely circular, even if the 4th estate have deluded themselves into believing that the general public actually gives a rat’s ass about Ed Henry’s game day ritual.
Yeah, politics is all just a fucking game to them. Winners and losers, gaffes and ‘body blows’–political journalism as play-by-play sportscasting. Which is why, in this context, it is perfectly natural for Helene Cooper to be (passive-aggressively) “keeping score.”
A Round-about Way of Calling David Brooks, Roger Cohen, David Broder and Jay Leno Fatuous Assholes (Because They, um, ARE Fatuous Assholes)
But the Obama budget is more than just the sum of its parts. There is, entailed in it, a promiscuous unwillingness to set priorities and accept trade-offs. There is evidence of a party swept up in its own revolutionary fervor — caught up in the self-flattering belief that history has called upon it to solve all problems at once.
But that does not change the fact that Obama, in his restorative counter-revolution, must be careful to steer clear of his French temptation.
“The financial [crisis] seems big enough,” Leno said. “[Obama is] also taking on energy and health care. Is he biting off too much? Should we just go, ‘All right, let’s fix the economy; next year we’ll talk about health care or energy.’ Should you pick one and focus on that? It’s like we’re doing everything all at the same time.”
But many of these governmental pros clearly are doubtful whether this administration—or any other—can make it work.
I’m still convinced the administration is trying to do too much too fast and that the hasty planning and execution of these complex policies will lead to untold problems down the road.
My, how farting out insubstantial conventional wisdom can quickly pollute the public commons! Really, it seems that Brooks & the rest of the head-up-ass Beltway pundit brigade are simply in love with the (muffled) sound of their own voices of ‘moderation’, “[offering] no substantive criticism of any particulars of any policy but rather an overall pessimism about the possibility of doing anything,” as DougJ puts it.
Pessimism. The default position for lazy, overpaid, woefully underqualified hacks who, during a time of political upheaval and economic crisis, offer no serious insight whatsoever, much less expertise. And it’s an all-too tired pose that was well-past its best-before date 10 fucking years ago.
Sharpen the pitchforks.
I really don’t give a toss about the A-Rod steroid controversy. Am far more curious why Washington Post reporter Michael A. Fletcher felt the matter was of such national import that he asked the freakin’ POTUS for a response during Monday’s prime time press conference.
As O-Dub put it:
We’re in the middle of a fiscal crisis, two wars, and numerous other national and international issues. A-Rod could shoot up heroin, snort cocaine and disrobe during the all-star game and it would be immaterial.
Still, I couldn’t resist posting the following montage, a fitting tribute to the many insincere career-salvaging expeditions embarked upon by disgraced public figures over the years.
On a related note, I will never, ever tire of Jimmy Swaggart’s iconic tearful confession–even if the nostalgic indulgence in schadenfreude simultaneously resurrects the unfortunate image of him getting a blowjob in sweatpants.
My sincere apologies if any of you were eating while reading that.
(video courtesy CSPANJunkie)