‘Meet The Villagers’

September 22, 2013

tumblr_lw79jt7bOi1qze4ixo1_500A dark, dreary and dismal-looking overcast sky this early Sunday morning here on California’s north coast — more rain coming, it looks like.

If those two guys in that photo on the left look like pretentious assholes, it’s because they are, and from all appearances do indeed carry an aura of being total dick-heads — one those clowns makes it pretty obvious, though.

And a most-excellent reason for the terrible state of the US right now is people like those bozos.

(Illustration found here).

Journalism hasn’t failed, the problem being the people who claim to be practicing journalism are full of shit — and if in sight of the US Capitol dome, the shit is so deep and thick, a shitload-lot of blue eyes are coated with a glossy shade of brown. If you get your news off the TV nowadays, most-likely you’re an ignorant, and the probability is high, you’re also an angry person. In the last few years, the MSM has been murderous on the American psyche.
In fact, the problem is even worse — articulated like that asshole above, flipping the bird (and executed like a high school sophomore), Chuck Todd of NBC News.

He let that twisted-weasel out of the bag last week while on NBC‘s “Morning Joe,” the supposedly-news program, while talking to former governor Ed Rendell on the Obamacare chaos.
Via HuffPost:

Rendell said that the White House had not sold the program successfully, and that most Americans opposed to Obamacare had probably been given incorrect information about it.
Todd replied that, “more importantly,” that incorrect information “would be stuff that Republicans have successfully messaged against it.”
He continued, “They don’t repeat the other stuff because they haven’t even heard the Democratic message.”
Then came the fateful words:
“What I always love is people say, ‘Well, it’s you folks’ fault in the media.’
No!
It’s the President of the United States’ fault for not selling it.”

So the GOP has “messaged against” lies — and have done it well. Todd is indeed a self-centered asshole.
And rightly so, a bunch of media sites, jumped Todd’s ass, like this from TPM:

The health care law has long been shrouded in misinformation, a point that Obama himself made in an interview Tuesday with Telemundo.
A poll Tuesday showed that support for the law among Republicans was higher when called by the Affordable Care Act, its official title, rather than “Obamacare,” a term used derisively by Republicans that has gained widespread usage.

Or this, from the wonderful Wonkette:

On MSNBC Wednesday, Chuck Todd patiently explained that it’s not the media’s job to correct lies about the Affordable Care Act, because what do you take them for, a source of factual information or something?

Why, if it were the media’s job to actually transmit factual information, surely someone would have told Chuck Todd about that, possibly in a memo.
In a couple of followup comments on Twitter, Todd insisted that the words that came out of his face were not what he actually meant.
First  he said that media reports of his comments had been inaccurate, which we love, because irony, you know?

He later insisted that he was not actually saying that he opposed fact-checking, just that it’s not the media’s job to provide any kind of filter between competing noise machines:
..
So, useful lesson to all you media users out there — by the third time Chuck Todd says something, he’s getting a lot closer to what he means.

And what we mean is actual journalism. Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars wrote “An Open Letter to Deborah Turness,” president of NBC News about Todd’s dumb-ass bullshit and the actual state of journalism.
Some snips:

I know you’re new to NBC News and there’s a lot to adjust to, especially as a foreigner.
But I had to write to you as a regular viewer, a politically-and journalistically-engaged person and as an American, deeply concerned by the dumbing down and willful ignorance of the country I love.
I also know that a lot of your employees read this site regularly, so I’m hoping that you’ll actually be informed about this open letter to you.
Hell, I know they steal video clips and tips from us; it’s really the least they could do to bring our concerns to you.
Maybe they could pass it on to Phil Griffin of MSNBC as well.

It’s not hard. A journalist informs his/her readership of facts.
When non-facts are provided for partisan purposes, it is not “doing the job of the White House to sell” a government program to say that these are LIES.
That’s reporting.
That’s journalism.
Someone who just repeats what’s said to him without placing it in context is called a stenographer.
And that is beyond the poor little pea brain of your political director to understand.
Actually, that’s not fair.
It’s not only Chuck Todd who can’t grasp that simple concept.
David Gregory doesn’t, either.
Which points, once again, to a systemic issue that your new stewardship of NBC News must address.

Now it may be the case that you’ve studied the business model of Fox News and decided to emulate it because you want that oh-so-coveted demographic of “one foot in the grave” and feel like factual information and context are not necessary to a successful news organization.
Certainly, that’s your prerogative, and I’m sure you have a lot of pressure from the suits higher up in the NBC Universal/Comcast hierarchy to do so.
But let me clue you in: your viewers aren’t Fox News viewers who only watch to have their authoritarian tendencies and fears confirmed.
They are younger, more factually-based and most importantly, not willing to be patient with pathetic excuses for journalists like Chuck Todd and David Gregory.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but you have really failed in the most basic of job descriptions for your news department staff and you need to step it up and make sure that they understand what their job entails.

And Belle has done more than just whip out some copy — She has authored a petition found at Credo Mobilize, also intended for NBC News honcho Turness: Hold Chuck Todd accountable by issuing a public apology for his outrageous statement and ensure that all NBC News/MSNBC journalists know that correcting political misinformation and lies is part of their job description.
As of this morning, there’s already near 70,000 signatures toward the goal of 75,000.

And yes, the other asshole in the photo above is David Gregory.

In a bad-apple-seed, spoil-the-whole-bunch scenario, journalism has been betrayed by what/who Digby calls the “Villagers,” those asshole journalists in DC — loving the power more than the truth.
Told rightly so, and way-better than I, Charles P. Pierce at Esquire last week commenting on Dianne Feinstein’s recent pontification only “real reporters” can be constitutionally-protected, though, there’s a limit to that, too.
In doing so, Pierce struck the aficionado chord of journalism:

I understand that we are going through an accelerated redefinition of what journalism is, and that technology has made the old definition of a journalist obsolete.
(There are thousands of people in the upper echelons of this profession struggling with this question daily.)
But there is nothing about the technology — or about the effects that technology has had on the profession — that requires us to abandon the fundamental requirement that journalism always — and let us speak slowly, lest the gobshites misundertand us, a-l-w-a-y-s, is a profession outside of, and adversarial to, government, politics, and, yes, indeed, even the doings of the all-to-human, error-prone heroes of our intelligence apparatus.
Nothing about the internet changes that.

Exactly. The basic tenet is still there, always has been, and always will be.
And the Villagers can take a hike — Pierce ends:

There are far too many people right now in Washington who are far too comfortable in being a de facto part of the country’s power structure.
Their profession is not mine.
Let me be quite clear.
If you accept the Congress’s right to define what a journalist is, you are a miserable traitor to the profession you presume to practice.
You have, quite simply, become something less worthy than an informer, something lower than a jailhouse snitch.
I’ll leave it to my man Chuck Todd to take the king’s shilling.
Me?
I’ll stand with the 17-year old and his own website, and, with all the faith I ever have had in my constitutional right to do so, we both will tell Dianne Feinstein to fk off, thank you.
Stuff your privilege.
I have my rights.

Hear, hear — though, we can’t get enough of press, press, pull

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