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No one could have predicted that Donald Trump was just running a long con on our esteemed national stenographer pool media establishment to garner untold millions in free publicity. Does this teach us that Paris Hilton needs to publicly flirt with the idea of announcing her intent to hold a press conference to announce a new TV special on which she will might announce a run for the Presidency (at some point) in order to burnish her waning brand? Wouldn’t hurt.
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This Politico post pissed me off: “But the gathering, the first of which took place last Easter, also allows a president whose faith is at times questioned the opportunity to worship with an array of bold-faced names in the Christian community.”

Naturally, the link within the post links to another Politico article on the topic. Which is basically a statement that the only people questioning the president’s faith in the media are, in fact, Politico. Why do they care? I don’t know. This is why I’m pessimistic that birtherism is going to remain a fringe issue. Good on Jan Brewer for vetoing the birther bill, but putatively serious Republican Bobby Jindal is on board with the concept, and I doubt he’s the only one noticing Donald Trump’s success with the issue. The media has rightly responded to the very idea of birtherism with disgust and disbelief, but they also largely believe that the media should never take a stance on anything, ever. I suppose this could be the final straw that breaks the camel’s back, but I’m not exactly expecting it to happen.

Title reference here:

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What a bold, courageous and serious idea!  (via DougJ):

Said Andrew Sullivan of the plan: "While I may disagree with the proposal to turn old people into food, at least this finally got the CONVERSATION STARTED!"

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I was reading an interesting Economist article today on the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger when I came across a sentence that really left me scratching my head:

“The suspicion is that Mr Obama, desperate both to build some broken fences with big business and to make progress on connecting every American home to the internet, will give in.”

Can I just ask everyone a simple question?  What quantifiable measure shows that has Obama done anything to hurt “big business” during his time in office? I mean, seriously

For why I’m so nonplussed, dig this inconvenient block of facts from Glenzilla:

Since Obama was inaugurated, the Dow Jones has increased more than 50% — from 8,000 to more than 12,000; the wealthiest recieved a massive tax cut; the top marginal tax rate was three times less than during the Eisenhower years and substantially lower than during the Reagan years; income and wealth inequality are so vast and rising that it is easily at Third World levels; meanwhile, “the share of U.S. taxes paid by corporations has fallen from 30 percent of federal revenue in the 1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.”  During this same time period, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.7% to 8.9%; millions of Americans have had their homes foreclosed; and the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by many millions, the largest number since the statistic has been recorded.  Can you smell Obama’s radical egalitarianism and Marxist anti-business hatred yet?

The only thing that explains to my satisfaction this whole “Anti-Business Obama” zombie meme is the apparently stellar ability of the Republican mind control apparatus to implant complete fabrications in the minds of both the media establishment and its viewers.  Any other ideas?  WTF?

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Posted without comment:

Mothra?

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Fire BAD! Partisanship GOOD!

Remember our general disgust with Evan Bayh back in January when he decided to (surprise!) become a lobbyist after leaving Congress?

Well sir, it gets worse:

Today, the former senator who decried “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology” will be paid by a ridiculous cable news outlet that exists to spew “strident partisanship” and “unyielding ideology.”

Fox News officially announced on Monday afternoon that former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh is becoming a contributor to the network.

Michael Clemente, the network’s senior vice president for news, announced the move in a statement. He said that “Senator Bayh’s decades of experience in the political arena and his participation in key decisions in Washington will lend a valuable point of view to the entire Fox News lineup.”

“I’m pleased to offer analysis of public policy and politics to the millions of Americans who get their news from Fox,” Bayh said in the statement.

Howard Kurtz said it’s “good” for Fox News to hire “a prominent Democrat.” But that’s fundamentally at odds with what’s transpiring here — Fox News hires Democrats who can be reliably counted on to say unpleasant things about Democrats. Why do you think Doug Schoen is on Fox News all the time? Because of his charming smile or because he’s the “Democrat” who hates Democrats?

I realize that politics has always been a heaping portion of manure slathered onto a warm shit sandwich but did politicians ever try to do a better job of hiding their true nature as corrupt, duplicitous assholes?  I mean, at least give it some effort!

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This article has some interesting information on television news. Here are the basic facts:

  1. Pretty much everyone is declining, but broadcast news is declining the least badly, losing only 3.4% of viewers last year.
  2. MSNBC only suffered a 5% drop. Could be higher once the aftereffects of Olbermann leaving are factored in.
  3. FOX News suffered a worse 11% drop, though admittedly they started quite a bit higher.
  4. CNN is basically screwed, and dropped 37% of its viewers. How they’ll even be able to stay in business much longer is unclear to me, though their strategy of “like FOX, but with less yelling and Eliot Spitzer” doesn’t seem like a winner to me.

NPR, of course, has been doing quite well. And the article notes that online news is exploding:

“In fact, online was the only medium that experienced audience growth in 2010, up 17 percent year-to-year. In a December survey, 41 percent of Americans cited the Internet as the place where they got ‘most of their news about national and international issues,’ up 17 percent from a year earlier, according to the report.”

This is something to keep in mind when assessing our current situation. At the moment, FOX News is riding high, and conservative talk radio is quite powerful and capable of guiding the dialogue. But it’s obviously not going to stay that way forever. In fact, things are changing as we speak.

(h/t: FrumForum)

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