The USA's Most Insane Political Discussion of all Time

Agronsky and Company, Charles Krauthammer, Colbert King, Disinformation, Mark Shields, Media, Poltics, Rahm Emmanuel, The Village Mindset

“INSIDE WASHINGTON

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(Formerly The Great “Agronsky and Company”

MODERATOR:  MARK SHIELDS

WJLA TV PANEL:

COLBY KING, WASHINGTON POST;

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST;

EVAN THOMAS, NEWSWEEK;

NINA TOTENBERG, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO

BROADCAST DATE:

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2010

9:00 AM

SENATOR-ELECT SCOTT BROWN (R-MA):  (From tape.)  I’m Scott Brown.  I’m from Wrentham and I drive a truck.

MR. SHIELDS:  This week on “Inside Washington,” a political knockout: a Republican wins Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.

SENATOR-ELECT BROWN:  (From tape.)  People do not want the $1 trillion healthcare plan.

MR. SHIELDS:  So what happens to healthcare reform now?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH) [House Minority Leader]:  (From tape.)  This bill is dead.

MR. SHIELDS:  The Supreme Court reopens the money faucet in politics.  Corporate and union bucks are back big time.  President Obama calls for bank reform now.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA:  (From tape.)  If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have.

MR. SHIELDS:  And what does Scott Brown’s victory mean for the election year ahead?

JAKE TAPPER:  (From tape.)  Interesting anniversary present for you guys from the voters.

DAVID AXELROD:  (From tape.)  I mean, admittedly, we would have preferred a cake.

RUSH LIMBAUGH:  (From tape.)  This is a stunning and for Democrats an ominous development.

(Musical break.)

MR. SHIELDS:  Hello.  I’m Mark Shields sitting in today for Gordon Peterson.  Republican Scott Brown drove a pickup truck fueled by voter anger and anxiety straight into Washington this week.  Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley handily in the special election for Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat.  Within 24 hours of his victory, the healthcare reform bill in its current form was dying.  And another blockbuster story broke Thursday.  The Supreme Court struck down parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign law.  Corporate and union money will be back in the game big time and on the airwaves in this election year.  We’ll get to that in a minute but we want to start with Scott Brown, senator elect.

SENATOR-ELECT BROWN:  (From tape.)  What I’ve heard again and again on the campaign trail is that our political leaders have grown aloof from the people.  They’re impatient with dissent and comfortable in making backroom deals and we can do better.  (Applause.)

PRES. OBAMA:  (From tape.)  We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are.

MR. SHIELDS:  When a Republican comes out of nowhere to win Ted Kennedy’s seat taking down healthcare in the process, it’s clearly cause for worry for the Democrats.  Evan, the president admits he lost touch with the voters.  What’s the message for him and for Democrats?

MR. THOMAS:  Be more honest.  He tried to finesse this.  Regular voters can figure out that if you’re going to extend healthcare to 40 million people you’re going to have to pay for it someway and they’re just not going to believe it if you say to them nothing will change, this will be okay, no problem for you.

National Broadcasting Company Soon To Be Owned By Cable

Media, NBC, Television, Vivendi

NEW YORK TIMES DEALBOOK BLOG (Sorkin)

Carter / Merced Reporting

November 30, 2009, 8:17 pm <!– — Updated: 8:33 pm –>

G.E. and Vivendi Agree on Value of NBC Universal

Update | 8:28 p.m. General Electric has reached a tentative agreement to buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for about $5.8 billion, helping clear the path to a sale of the television and movie company to Comcast, people briefed on the matter told DealBook.

But much remains to be negotiated, these people warned. The Vivendi agreement values NBC Universal at $29 billion, less than the $30 billion or so that G.E. and Comcast had agreed to last month.

Harmonizing the two values, as in so much of the talks over NBC Universal, may take days to do, and these people cautioned that a deal may not be reached.

Still, many analysts and people close to the talks expect a deal to be forged soon, and with it a reshaping of the entertainment industry.

The groundwork for the tentative pact between G.E. and Vivendi was laid out last week, when G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, met in person with his counterpart at Vivendi, Jean-Bernard Lévy, in Paris, these people said.

If it holds, the agreement would conclude weeks of hardball negotiations between G.E. and Vivendi over an alliance first forged in 2004. Resolving the issue of Vivendi’s stake is crucial to completing the G.E.-Comcast deal. But the French company took a tough stance, brandishing its option of holding an initial public offering for its stake rather than selling it back to G.E.

Under the current outlines of the agreement between G.E. and Comcast, NBC Universal would be put into a new joint venture, between the two giants. Comcast would pour billions of dollars in cash and its own cable channels for a 51 percent stake, while G.E. would hold an initial 49 percent and contribute about $12 billion in debt.

G.E., which has owned NBC for more than two decades, is expected to eventually sell its ownership interest to Comcast over the next several years.

Michael J. de la Merced and Bill Carter

Wapo Reporter Achenbach Defends His Friend's Time Magazine Puff Piece on the Dangerous Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck, GOP, Jamison Foser, Joel Achenbach, Media, Media Matters, Nutjobs, Time Magazine, Washington Post

Glenn BeckM E D I A  M A T T E R S

WaPo reporter and “close friend” of Von Drehle defends Beck profile; attacks me

September 18, 2009 12:06 pm ET – by Jamison Foser

Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach leaps to his “close friend” David Von Drehle’s defense, calling my criticism of Von Drehle’s Glenn Beck profile “shrill,” and accuses me of criticizing the article “because one of the targets of Dave’s story is Media Matters itself. Which Foser doesn’t bother to note.”

Let’s take that part first: Ludicrous. Von Drehle makes only passing mention of Media Matters; here it is:

“[T]here are ancillary industries feeding on the success of Beck and others like him. Both left- and right-wing not-for-profit groups operate as self-anointed media watchdogs, and one of the largest of these — the liberal group Media Matters for America — has a multimillion-dollar budget. Staff members monitor Beck’s every public utterance, poised to cherry-pick the most inflammatory sentences. (Conservative outfits do the same for the likes of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.) These nuggets are used in turn to rev up donations to political parties and drive ratings for the endless rounds of talking-head shows.”

Really? That’s what led Achenbach to conclude that “one of the targets of Dave’s story is Media Matters,” and that I was motivated by a desire for revenge? Seems pretty weak.

Achenbach’s defense of his “close pal” David Von Drehle, and his attack on me, curiously avoids any discussion whatsoever of my central point: That Von Drehle failed to indicate a single falsehood Beck has ever told. That Von Drehle portrayed “liberal” estimates of the size of last week’s anti-Obama rally as no more valid than estimates from conservatives — estimates of 1 to 2 million people. Despite the fact that there clearly were not a million people at the rally. And despite the fact that the “liberal” estimates in fact came from news organizations and the DC fire department.

Since Achenbach ducked all that, here are some simple questions for him:

KNBC Anchor Paul Moyer Leaves Door Open

Hollywood, KNBC, Los Angeles, Media, paul Moyer, Venice Beach

moyerLOS ANGELES TIMES

His departure from the station doesn’t necessarily mean the end of his news career, he says.

By Greg Braxton

April 27, 2009

Veteran news anchor Paul Moyer may be done with KNBC-TV Channel 4, but he may not be finished with local news.

“I’m officially retired from Channel 4, but that doesn’t mean I’m officially retired from the news business forever,” Moyer told The Times on Friday. “I can’t predict what will happen in the future. I’m not closing the door, but there’s nothing out there at the moment.”

While on vacation early this month, Moyer unexpectedly announced he was retiring from KNBC after 22 years but would return for a short time before selecting a final broadcast date. However, station News Director Robert Long told staffers Friday that Moyer had “decided to make the transition from vacation to retirement a seamless one, and he will not be returning to our air to say goodbye.”

“I just didn’t feel there was anything to gain by going back and working for another few weeks,” said Moyer. “I hope that people understand why I’m not going back. I get very uncomfortable with big formal goodbyes.”

Moyer is considered one of the last of a breed of well-paid and highly promoted local news anchors. His departure follows speculation that his salary, estimated at more than $3 million a year, had been too costly for the station in a time of declining revenue and viewership industrywide.

The newscaster said he has been moved by viewers who have expressed their sense of loss about his departure. “What really touches me is they thank me for being there,” he said. “I really feel like I have a relationship with the people of Southern California. I feel connected to them. I will really miss that.”

For now, Moyer said his focus will be on his family and his children: “I’ve got two kids, 16 and 19, and they need their dad. Now they’ve got him, full time.”

How Hardball Resembles Laurel and Hardy

Beltway Memes, Budget, Chris Matthews, CNBC, Doublespeak, Hardball, Media, Politics, Socialism Canard, Stimulus Package, Teaparty Astroturfing
obama-ticker
The loud dumb fellow got it wrong. His pals were too timid to tell him:
THURSDAY, MARCH 5, 2009

How Hardball’s like Laurel and Hardy: On Monday, ABC News had no idea how marginal tax rates actually work (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/4/09).

Last night, Chris Matthews loudly ran off the rails concerning those troubling “earmarks.”

The excitable host conducted his chat with pundits Heileman and Cillizza. Before we see what Matthews said, let’s review the basic facts: The federal spending bill in question totals $410 billion. Of that, the “earmarks” total $7.7 billion. The “earmarks” thus comprise less than 1.9 percent of the total package. (Beyond that, we’ve seen no one try to explain why these provisions are “wasteful.”)

The guest pundits did make several attempts to calm Matthews as he thundered about all the “pork” and “crap” in the bill. But as usual, his thunder about Obama’s failure to deal with this “pork-barrel spending” prevailed. By the way: How well did Matthews know his facts? Eventually, it came to this. We use the Nexis transcript:

HEILEMANN (3/4/09): Well, look, but, Chris, this is, this is—this stuff is such small potatoes compared to the stuff that is on the president’s agenda to actually—

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: More than—

(CROSSTALK)

MATTHEWS: —410 billion dollars!

HEILEMANN: —to actually fix the economy.

MATTHEWS: Four hundred and 10 billion dollars!

HEILEMANN: That’s, that’s—that’s half of the original TARP, as you know, and probably about a third or a quarter of what we’re eventually going to put in—

MATTHEWS: This is actually government spending, by the way. This isn’t loan guarantees.

Trust us. Anyone who watched this segment would have thought that the bill in question involved $410 billion in “earmarks.” And of course, no one clarified what Matthews said. The actual worth of the “earmarks—$7.7 billion—was never mentioned. No one made the slightest attempt to state the basic facts. (To find the full transcript, click here.)

We’ll guess that Heileman and/or Cillizza knew the actual figures involved here. But uh-oh! From watching Matthews through the years, we’ll guess that he probably didn’t. At any rate, one thing is certain: Citizens who watched this program were never exposed to the actual facts. The guest pundits could have corrected or clarified what Matthews said. But darlings! It just isn’t done!

Hardball viewers came away with bogus facts in their noggins again.

But then, Hardball is often like Laurel and Hardy. The loud dumb one is always in charge. The others know that their pal has it wrong—but they’re too timid to tell him.

Laurel and Hardy played this for laughs, comically sketching the human condition. The loud dumb one was always in charge! Today, it’s the shape of your “press corps.”


John Tully | Tullycast Memo

Albritton Communications, Anne-Marie Cox, Beltway Media, Bill Kristol, Chuck Todd, Deficit Hawks, Ed Henry, Hate Game, Hillary Clinton, Jake Tapper, Maureen Dowd, Media, Politico, Politics, Real Time, Rick Santelli, Robert Gibbs, Tom Cruise, Tom Friedman, Tullycast Memo, Wall Street, White House Correspondents