eric alterman

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WSJ Down the Drain

Eric Alterman points out that Rupert Murdoch (see Fox News) has now gotten hold of the news pages of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He already had the editorial pages of the great old paper under his wing. Now he’s appointed a “right-wing curmudgeon” by the name of Gerald Baker in charge of the paper’s news pages. Baker thinks Obama is a “dangerous left winger” as he explains here. Here’s a sample:

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.

Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.

HEY! See my previous post! ha ha

Well, seriously, I’d say that that wing of the party is a pretty good wing! It’s just what we need to bring the USofA screaming into the 21rst century and get our economy moving again, and morality brought back into the world! GO BARACK GO!

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The so-called liberal media is never ending in its pushing of right wing propaganda. Take the case of off-shore drilling for oil. In Eric Alterman’s article, Think Again: Shallow Reporting on Deep Drilling, the evidence showing the downsides of drilling is given:

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency projects that drilling would only yield merely 200,000 barrels of oil over a period of 20 years. This comes to roughly 0.2 percent of world oil production, which the EIA says is too small to have any significant effect on prices. These figures contradict the entire “drill here, drill now, pay less” mantra.

Here’s how our so-called liberal mainstream media reports this information:

Yet the Center for Economic and Policy Research has conducted a stunning survey of just how infrequently this information appears in the mainstream media’s narrative on drilling. From June 16 to August 9, there were 267 broadcasts that mentioned proposed drilling, including “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Meet the Press,” CNN, and “Fox News.” Of these 267 broadcasts, only one saw fit to include the EIA data.

As Eric Alterman says, “Is it any surprise, therefore, that 74 percent of the public now favors drilling offshore—a demonstrably useless policy?” And this is just one of the things that really make me wonder whether America is going to survive as a democracy much longer into this 21rst century!

For more on how the so-called liberal media continues to pass on right-wing propaganda without critical analysis of any kind see here.

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At last! Liberals are getting the praise they should be getting! Thanks to the Op-Ed, Hold Your Heads Up, in the NYT this morning by Bob Herbert! Let me say right out front: Anything good that’s happened in America has been the result of the actions of liberals!

Do I exaggerate? Not at all. I am sick and tired of the lousy media we have in this country supporting the claims of the right wing loonies, the poisonous mythologies they’ve been spreading, especially since that phony actor, Ronald Reagan got into power, but even before.

Well, Bob Herbert gives the many reasons why liberals are the ones that have been responsible for any greatness this country has achieved. He expresses it better than I. Give him a gander!

Oh, and here’s the link to the comments on his Op-Ed.

Also, Eric Alterman has a great book out, Why We’re Liberals: A Political Handbook for Post-Bush America. Eric’s another person proud to be a liberal. So, liberal friends, let’s not hide our heads under bushels of right wing propaganda! Let’s emerge into the daylight!!

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What is the story on Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the MIT grad who may have been imprisoned at Bagram, that notorious American detention facility in Afghanistan, for the past five years?

Siddiqui is a 36-year old Pakistani woman who when young was sent to America by her father, along with her two siblings, for education. But in 2003 while she was living in Karachi, Pakistan, with her parents and three children she suddenly disappeared. She was arrested on July 17 of this year on false charges, according to her lawyer, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, who says she has proof that Siddiqui was being held at Bagram Air Base for the past five years.

Sharp also says Siddiqui appears traumatized, is very passive, and is “like a person who has been excessively institutionalized.” I got this information from this NPR article. Eric Alterman has further details and links here. Particularly interesting is the investigation by Tim Bella at ProPublica, Mystery Surrounds Case of Terror Suspect. Here is a 3-minute video, The Case Against Aafia Siddiqui, from Aug 6, 2008, on AlJazeera:
I doubt there is anything like this in the American media.

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OK, back to politics. Charles Pierce has a wild way with words. Here’s his latest (last paragraph) from Eric Alterman’s Altercation:

That story this week about how the war in Iraq has fallen off the general radar is almost incomprehensibly sad, and not merely because it advantages The Saintly Straight-Talkin’ Maverick Dude, which it does. It’s sad because it’s of a piece with the whole effort by the Avignon Presidency to run everything about the response to the 9-11 attacks off the books. Go shopping. You don’t need to know why we’re going to war, and we’re going to lie to you about it anyway. Don’t photograph the coffins. Don’t count the dead. Keep the cost out of the federal budget and off television. If they didn’t need the children of ordinary people to die to get what they want, they might have been able to turn the whole thing into a gated community of the soul. And now, nobody’s paying attention, and nobody’s angry when the people who get paid to pay attention run around yelling about Eliot Spitzer’s banging hookers and the latest blurp from a crotchety old fool like Geraldine Ferraro. Also this week, the Pentagon went out of its way to bury the news that it’s own study has concluded that one of the primary casus belli — the Iraq-al Qaeda connection — was the moonshine that several previous studies said it was. The news dropped with a thud and life went on. The country was told, in a hundred different ways, not to care about this war — or, really, the one in Afghanistan, either — and it has learned the lesson all too well. I don’t know how I’d feel if I were a soldier, or the father of one. But this country is nowhere near as balls-out angry as it ought to be, and none of the contending candidates seem willing or able to become the vehicle of righteous democratic-small-d rage. I don’t want to come together with these people. I want them in irons until they tell me where my country went.

For an excellent discussion of the issues raised by Geraldine Ferraro, see this post by Brian Donohue.

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found in a comment on Eric Alterman’s Altercation is by Brian Donohue based on Paul Simon’s Slip Slidin’ Away. (My guess as to title. Brian doesn’t say which Paul Simon song.)

Flip-flopping away, flip-flopping awa–aay…
You know the nearer the destination the more he’s flip-flopping away…

I know a man, wants a hundred years’ war
He got swift-boated by Karl Rove
And then came back for some more.

He says “on good days, you can walk through Baghdad…
When you’re surrounded by a battalion
You can go on flip-floppin’ away…”

Flip-flopping away, flip-flopping awa–aay…
You know the nearer the destination the more he’s flip-flopping away…

Can you guess who the man is in the song? Why, it’s none other than that master flip-flopper, and not so darling of the far right, John “Hundred Year War” McCain. Easy to guess, eh?

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