Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.> more ... (0 comments)
From Rupert Murdoch Wants Stricter Gun Laws After Newtown, But Fox News Doesn’t Get the Memo by Gabriel Sherman via Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire:
This doesn’t surprise me:
According to sources, David Clark, the executive producer in charge of Fox’s weekend coverage, gave producers instructions not to talk about gun-control policy on air.
but this does:
Within hours of the attack, [Rupert Murdoch] took to Twitter to call for an automatic-weapons ban. “Terrible news today. When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons? As in Oz after similar tragedy,” he wrote, referring to Australia’s move to ban assault weapons in 1996 after a man used two semiautomatic rifles to kill 35 people and wound 21.
I knew that there was no love lost between Ailes and the Murdochlets, but I thought RA and the Big M were in agreement over most things.
I have to say, though, that Rupert Murdoch’s whining about Romney really bugs me. He’s acting like he got sold a bill of goods, except he knew exactly what he was getting with Romney and he was apparently just fine with it until he wasn’t. The GOP field this year was unusual in that almost all the frontrunners were known quantities. You had Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann, known cranks. Rick Santorum was a known fringe view holder/punchline. Newt Gingrich was a liar, hypocrite and phony, and Mitt Romney was…actually pretty much the same, albeit with less bombast and more actual knowledge (presumably). The only one who wasn’t a known quantity was Rick Perry, who was supposed to be a tough-talkin’ Texan cowboy who was going to shake everything up, like John Wayne, and instead wound up being like the pitiable clown from one of those John Wayne Westerns that he has to save in the second act.
I really just don’t see how anyone could be surprised by how Mitt has conducted himself since locking up the nomination. I sure haven’t. Romney to date has been largely focused on the economy and jobs, but he hasn’t really presented any plans to remedy these problems because he can’t. So he’s played it safe, backing off ideological arguments in pursuit of the most useful angle to win the election. Since Romney isn’t all that great a politician he’s allowed himself to be diverted onto other subjects like foreign policy and healthcare, detours in which he’s largely embarrassed himself because he doesn’t have his patter on those topics down very well. In general, he’s shied away from making an ideological case, perhaps because he knows the public wouldn’t buy it from him. He’s not very well-liked, but he’s definitely in the game vs. Obama in spite of all this. At this point, I think he’s at a small disadvantage against Obama in terms of the fundamentals, and will probably need some sort of external event to break his way to beat him. The mediocre economy alone, the polls seem to show, isn’t likely to be enough.
But, considering that Romney’s primary campaign was all about how he had been a job cremator creator at Bain and how he saved the Olympics ten years ago, rather than his vision for the country, I find it baffling that anyone would write this:
The Romney campaign thinks it can play it safe and coast to the White House by saying the economy stinks and it’s Mr. Obama’s fault. We’re on its email list and the main daily message from the campaign is that “Obama isn’t working.” Thanks, guys, but Americans already know that. What they want to hear from the challenger is some understanding of why the President’s policies aren’t working and how Mr. Romney’s policies will do better.
Meanwhile, the Obama campaign is assailing Mr. Romney as an out-of-touch rich man, and the rich man obliged by vacationing this week at his lake-side home with a jet-ski cameo. Team Obama is pounding him for Bain Capital, and until a recent ad in Ohio the Romney campaign has been slow to respond.
Team Obama is now opening up a new assault on Mr. Romney as a job outsourcer with foreign bank accounts, and if the Boston boys let that one go unanswered, they ought to be fired for malpractice.
All of these attacks were predictable, in particular because they go to the heart of Mr. Romney’s main campaign theme—that he can create jobs as President because he is a successful businessman and manager. But candidates who live by biography typically lose by it. See President John Kerry.
All this guy ever ran on was biography! And you knew that going in, Rupert. Murdoch is one of the few people who could really have harmed Romney during the primaries if he’d wanted to, but like most powerful conservatives he realized that Romney was the best of a bad field and went with electability. Now he’s realizing that he supported someone…who’s only worried about getting elected! If you’d wanted an ideologue, Rupe, you could have actually made that happen. So save the complaints.
I don’t know how many of you have been following this, but the past week has seen Rupert Murdoch’s troubles intensify manifold. He’s really getting it from all sides at this point, from his own executive team, from News Corp. shareholders, from the public at large, and from legal actions against him. Admittedly, the guy’s a survivor, but all of this is a lot of flak for him to take, and it keeps getting worse, perhaps already past a tipping point. Eventually something’s going to have to give. I wouldn’t bet against it being him.
Now, of course, Murdoch and his flunkies being gone wouldn’t be a game-changer in and of itself. News Corp. would find new leadership, and let’s not forget Roger Ailes is still going to stick around at FOX News. If read my indications correctly, Murdoch has been in some ways a moderating influence on Ailes, so FNC could possibly become even more nutty in a Murdochless situation. But what I think would change would be how other news outlets treat FOX News. One strongly gets the sense that other reporters disrespect FOX News’s operation, but they give it respect because they fear Murdoch. Remember when the White House took on FNC and drew protests from other outlets (i.e. “That’s our sister organization!”)? Ending that would be an obvious benefit to us all.
The Schadenfreude is so thick you can’t cut it with a chainsaw. Especially redolent are lectures about journalistic standards from publications that give Julian Assange and WikiLeaks their moral imprimatur. They want their readers to believe, based on no evidence, that the tabloid excesses of one publication somehow tarnish thousands of other News Corp. journalists across the world.
After decades of US and UK politicians cowering at the feet of the Great and Glorious Murdoch, I say revel in the sweet Murdochfreude for as long as you like:
You know the liberating feeling when someone unpopular leaves the room and everyone breathes a sigh of relief before openly discussing how much they dislike them? I don’t. What’s it like? What do people say? I only ever catch the odd whisper as the door shuts behind me. I’d love to hear the full conversation. Fortunately, watching Britain’s politicians queue up to denounce Rupert Murdoch has given me a taste of how such talk might play out.
A few weeks ago, Murdoch, or rather the more savage tendencies of the press as a whole, represented God. Fear of God isn’t always a bad thing in itself, if it keeps you on the straight and narrow – but politicians behaved like medieval villagers who didn’t just believe in Him, but quaked at the mere suggestion of a glimmer of a whisper of His name. You must never anger God. God wields immense power. God can hear everything you say. You must worship God, and please Him, or He will destroy you. For God controls the sun, which may shine upon you, or singe you to a Kinnock. Soon he will control the entire sky.
This is so awesome, and it needs to get to as many eyeballs as possible (h/t Alex Klein):
Yeah, yeah, he’s primarily a chick flick actor. But I like the guy myself, I’ve even been known to do an impression of him from time to time. I don’t think anyone can do a rueful, self-deprecating laugh better than Hugh Grant can. Nice that he took his civic duty seriously, and it just goes to show you that even elaborate conspiracies can be unraveled by something as simple as wanting to impress to a famous person.
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