If You Kids Don’t Shut Up I’m Gonna Turn This Plane RIGHT Around!

by matttbastard

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.”

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A Round-about Way of Calling David Brooks, Roger Cohen, David Broder and Jay Leno Fatuous Assholes (Because They, um, ARE Fatuous Assholes)

by matttbastard

DougJ hears something bubbling in the collective gullets of The Villagers:

Brooks last week:

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.

Roger Cohen yesterday (via John and Kevin Drum):

But that does not change the fact that Obama, in his restorative counter-revolution, must be careful to steer clear of his French temptation.

Jay Leno last night:

“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.”

Broder yesterday:

But many of these governmental pros clearly are doubtful whether this administration—or any other—can make it work.

Brooks today:

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.

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Olbermann: Alex Rodriguez Inducted Into The Apology Hall Of Fame!

by matttbastard

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.

Watch it:

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)

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Read This Now

by matttbastard

Over at Global Comment, Sarah Jaffe, in a devastatingly on-target critique, utterly eviscerates yesterday’s head-pattingly patronizing L.A. Times article/future-bird-cage-liner (where the credentials of Dr. Jill Biden were examined [and dismissed] in a manner that was maddeningly glib, highly gendered–and entirely sexist).

Jaffe’s point about the underlying (and intersecting) double standards at play is especially sharp:

I have to wonder, if we were discussing a male academic who taught at a prestigious Ivy League university, the reporter would feel the need to spend the entire piece debating whether he deserved the prefix “Dr.”

The article’s dismissive tone is symptomatic of the way the media treats women, particularly accomplished women in the public eye. Jill Biden has several advanced degrees, and yet chooses to teach in a community college, helping students who often cannot afford to attend school full-time. This is worthy of respect, not a quibble over whether she deserves the title as much as someone who stitches up wounds, treats skin conditions, or performs nose jobs.

Highly recommended reading–the whole damn thing, goddammit.

Go.

Update 02/04: The Women’s Media Center has reposted Jaffe’s article in its entirety.  Check it out, and show some love.

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GOP Dominates Stimulus Debate 2:1 on Cable News: Think Progress

by matttbastard

Oh, that liberal media!

Yes, kids, this really is what they call “balance” in corporate media newspeak. We should all be thankful that cable news programming directors are encouraging such a stimulating (snerk) debate as the president attempts to unshit the bed that (too many years) of GOP rule and freemarket orthodoxy has left soiled beyond recognition.

As Digby put it, “If I didn’t follow politics closely, I would think these people [Republicans] are the ones who won the election.”

x-posted @ Rebel Left

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Like I.F. Stone, Only, um, Not.

by matttbastard

If there’s one thing the corporate media marketplace needs, it’s more lazy, arm-chair psychoanalytic trolling masquerading as muckraking (snicker) via the conflict-starved (and unrelentingly trivial) beltway press corps, especially from our friends at the new Capitol Hill Blue, aka Politico:

President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

“Ahh, see,” he said, “I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here.”

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter’s shoulder and staring him in the eye.

“Alright, come on” he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. “We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys – that’s all I was trying to do.”

The president was quickly saved by a cameraman in the room who called out: “I’d like to say it one more time: ‘Mr. President.’

Yes, thank heavens the Angry Black President was “saved” by another member of his loyal base!!!1 the SCLM (said cameraman has “obviously” been gulping gallons of the Hope and Change Kool-Aid).  Why, he might have been driven to tears by the Murrow-like dedication to the craft of journamalism [sic] on display.  Or, conversely, pulled out his gat and popped a cap in Jonathan Martin’s punk ass–just ask Jeff Zeleny (who is lucky to be alive!) about the smoldering wrath of Barack Hoo-saayn Obama.

Seriously–check out the full 05:17 clip of Obama’s meet ‘n’ greet, and judge for yourself, since Politco, for *ahem* whatever reason, instead chose (until 12:40 PM EST, at least) to embed a 30-second clip entirely unrelated to their breathless lede:

Oh my–03:21 is when the action goes down. Just look at the Negro-in-Chief as he barely restrains himself from goin’ South Side on poor Martin, the Only Real Journalist in the room (he said with a knowing smile and a flash of “obvious” irritation.)

As Wonkette’s Jim Newell puts it in a devestating post (unfortunately marred by a residually Gawker-like self-aware-and-“ironically”-sexist headline and the gratuitous use of a term highly derogatory to people with disabilities–yes, yes, I’m a humourless PC killjoy. Bite me):

Do Jonathan Martin and Carrie Budoff Brown, the co-authors of this whiny, vapid bullshit, think that anyone else cares how hard they have to work to get information? Why do we even link to this vulgar asshole of a publication anymore, now that the election’s over? We’re keeping people like Roger Simon and Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin employed by doing this! Enough.

Yes.  Enough.

Bonus: For shits and giggles, check out the hilariously aggreived comments from feets-stampin’, librul-meeedia-hatin’ conservatives, demonstratively corresponding from the wilderness.  Us progressi-commies should take up a collection to start up an inflatable donut cushion fund for our distinguished friends on the right side of the intertoobz (oh, and make sure to throw one in for Martin, too).

"gurgle, gurgle, puke, puke, vomit, vomit, barf, barf." Wingnut wisdom at its finest.

Must be highly uncomfortable being perpetually butt-hurt.

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