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Posts Tagged ‘media’

I guess the big “gotcha” in the Krugman bankruptcy “story” was that Krugman’s big spending liberal views on debt led him into bankruptcy and therefore he’s been proven wrong. He has, in essence, refuted himself. Gotcha!

Of course, even if this story were true, it would prove nothing. It would not be a case of Krugman refuting himself because it overlooks the other thing that Krugman says all the time, which is that the finances of an individual / family in no way relate to those of the federal government. 

So to recap: In order to prove that damn hippie Krugman wrong, conservative “journalists” pushed a fake “story” that wouldn’t actually make a point about Krugman even if it were true, which it isn’t. 

Heckuva job, Brownie.

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Behold in all its horrible glory: Fox & Friends interviews “Thomas Jefferson”

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Lamenting the fact that "our public discourse ignores the fact that race—particularly in a place like Philadelphia—is also an issue for white people. Though white people never talk about it.", Robert Huber attempts to "bridge the conversational divide so that there are no longer two private dialogues in Philadelphia—white people talking to other whites, and black people to blacks", by interviewing a ton of middle class white people. People who, despite the fact that the premise of the piece is that they "never talk about it" proceed to talk about it at length, telling him scary stories about black people.

He relays the story of John, a lovely old man who relates how wonderful his neighborhood used to be before all the black people moved in, and then it went to hell. Of course he has no problem with blacks, he claims, except for that "nigger boy" that broke into his house.

And then there’s Anna, the "slim, dark haired beauty from Moscow" who wishes all the black people would stop smoking pot on their porches and get a damn job. She sounds nice.

And lets not forget the author himself, who makes a show of holding doors open for black people, or his friend who pats himself on the back for advancing race relations by acknowledging black people’s presence.

Had I been interviewed, I would have told him about finding the window of my car smashed one morning. He would probably have assumed it was smashed by a black person. Of course I have no idea who smashed it because I was three blocks away sleeping at the time. Honestly the experience was probably worst for the poor kid I scared half to death when I loudly yelled “FUCK!” right after discovering it, not realizing she was passing me on the sidewalk just then.

Racism is a problem in Philly and its a problem elsewhere. Cataloging tales of scary black people doesn’t help, and it most certainly does nothing to advance the stated goal of "starting a conversation" about race. It’s a goal that I have a hard time believing was honestly pursued here. For the official take-downs, published by the same magazine (balance!), see here and here. For what seems to be considered the "definitive" take-down, here.

The best one, though, is on Phawker:

There’s a lot of anger going around this city right now because of a magazine story that is almost universally agreed to be completely irresponsible. However, if you’re on the fence, let me beg you not to be taken in by it. Reject it. Don’t listen to old white men who are disengaged from reality, steeped in fear and delusional prejudice…

You can take Philadelphia Magazine’s lead, and selfishly retreat from our problems, or you can muster the actual courage necessary to dive headlong into them. Forty years from now I don’t want to be sitting in a suburban cul de sac blaming somebody else for what happened to my city, I want to be living in a better city that is better for the hard work I put into making it that way, and so can you.

That cannot possibly be said enough.  

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Reason has a short piece lamenting that OMB’s report on the impact of the sequester included information about an agency that does not exist: 

The first line item on page 121 of the OMB’s September 2012 report says that under sequestration the National Drug Intelligence Center would lose $2 million of its $20 million budget. While that’s slightly more than 8.2 percent (rounding error or scare tactic?), the bigger problem is that the National Drug Intelligence Center shuttered its doors on June 15, 2012–three months before the OMB issued its report to Congress.

 

They go on to ask what other errors are contained in the report.

I suspect that the only error here is that Reason seems to not understand the federal budget process. The NDIC may have closed in June, but the fiscal year didn’t end until September, which meant it was still funded. But, congress did not pass a new budget at that time. Rather, they passed a continuing resolution, which continues to fund all of the various agencies that were previously funded. Cuts can be made indiscriminately, ie you can say the CR will fund the government at 2% below current levels, but you can’t zero out line items in a CR. That’s what a budget is for.

So even though the NDIC does not exist, it exists. It’s money is appropriated.  Presumably the next budget will zero it out and its unused funds will be returned to the treasury,  but until that time it exists, at least on paper. And as such, OMB was correct to include it in the report.  

This is, incidentally, one of the many reasons why governing via short term CR is bad. 

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This Is An Outrage

The Parents Television Council was absolutely shocked that a dirty word was uttered during an event in which a bunch of jacked up guys beat the living shit out of each other for four hours with 30 minutes of women in leather lingerie in the middle. 

“After more than four years of inaction on broadcast decency enforcement, the FCC must step up to its legal obligation to enforce the law, or families will continue to be blindsided.”

Blinsided!

Who could possibly have predicted thsomething occurring during the Superbowl might not be wholesome?

Prepare the fainting couches at once!

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Actually, They Shame Themselves

Andrew Sullivan loathes “Media Matters’ campaign to shame and target individuals for appearing on Fox News” 

It’s worth pointing out that MM does not shame people for appearing on Fox, it shames them for the things they say during the appearance. I do not believe that accurately reporting offensive statements, frequently without comment, is at all loathsome.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Sitting in the airport this morning, Headline News was on and they were talking, for a good 10 minutes, about whether or not Beyonce lip synced the National Anthem. As a lead in to that hard hitting segment they said (and I’m paraphrasing, but I’m not embellishing or exaggerating):

Remember the fiscal cliff? You probably dont remember what it was about but you definitely remember all the melodrama, from our coverage of all the back and forth, well today congress is going to have a vote on the debt ceiling, but first let’s talk about Beyonce!

Seriously. I got dumber.

Relatedly, when I went on a tour of CNN HQ a few years back, they walked us through the HLN studio and the guide (who was conveniently standing underneath a TV with HLN playing) was talking about “the gatekeeper”, the editor / producer type whose job it is to filter the content going to the anchors on air to “make sure we aren’t covering a cat stuck in a tree”. As he was talking, HLN was featuring a story about….    a cat in a tree.

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