Tuesday Reads: The Poor Pitiful Press Corps

Meret Oppenheim fur lined tea cup

Good Morning!!

Yesterday Politico published one of their bizarre pieces about the trials and tribulations of the whiny Village media. According to Dylan Byers, the White House press corps experienced ‘Extreme frustration’ over ‘having absolutely no access’ to Obama during his brief golfing vacation over the long Presidents’ Day weekend.

Ed Henry, the Fox News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents Association, released a statement Sunday evening in which he said the press corps had been given no access to the president, who was joined on his outing by star golfer Tiger Woods, and that the WHCA would fight for greater transparency in the days ahead.

“Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the President of the United States this entire weekend,” Henry said in a statement, relayed in a White House pool report. “There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency.”

Has Ed Henry ever complained about the White House press not getting access to information about drone strikes? Has he released any statements about the White House not being “transparent” about the DOJ defending Bush’s torture policies or involvement by the administration in the prosecution of Aaron Swartz?

Ed Henry with Kim Kardashian

Ed Henry with Kim Kardashian

No, it’s only when the press corps sees an opportunity for star-fucking. Obama goes golfing with Tiger Woods and wants a little privacy–probably requested by Woods–and the press corps goes nuts over lack of “transparency.” Here’s the White House response to the kerfluffle:

“The press access granted by the White House today is entirely consistent with the press access offered for previous presidential golf outings,” Earnest said. “It’s also consistent with the press access promised to the White House Press Corps prior to arrival in Florida on Friday evening.”

Excuse me if I don’t see this as a major issue. But for Politico, it’s earth-shaking. This morning they’ve posted another of their “Behind the Curtain” exposes by Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen, and, as usual, it’s hilarious. Get this–the headline is “Obama, the puppet master.”

President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House.

Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it’s an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.

No, this is not a gag post from the Onion. Vandehei and Allen are deadly serious about what they see as a scandalous situation. They are horrified to report that the Obama administration likes to use new technologies like e-mail and social media to communicate with the American people instead of just letting the DC media filter their message for them.

The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House — fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press — has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach.

OMG! Scandalous!! And that’s just the beginning of a four-page article. Because this isn’t just about an outing with Tiger Woods. Oh no! It’s a vital national security isssue . . . or something. Turning to another related piece at Politico–this is obviously the issue of the week for them–Ed Henry says “This isn’t about a golf game.”

White House Correspondents Association president Ed Henry is standing by his complaints about the lack of press access to President Obama, pushing back against critics who say he and his fellow White House correspondents are just “whining” and don’t respect the president’s privacy.

“This is a fight for more access, period,” Henry told POLITICO late Monday night. “I’ve heard all kinds of critics saying the White House press corps is whining about a golf game and violating the president’s privacy. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

“We’re not interested in violating the president’s privacy. He’s entitled to vacations like everyone else. All we’re asking for is a brief exception, quick access, a quick photo-op on the 18th green,” Henry continued. “It’s not about golf — it’s about transparency and access in a broader sense.”

Sure, Ed. Back to the “Behind the Headlines” piece:

“The way the president’s availability to the press has shrunk in the last two years is a disgrace,” said ABC News White House reporter Ann Compton, who has covered every president back to Gerald R. Ford. “The president’s day-to-day policy development — on immigration, on guns — is almost totally opaque to the reporters trying to do a responsible job of covering it. There are no readouts from big meetings he has with people from the outside, and many of them aren’t even on his schedule. This is different from every president I covered. This White House goes to extreme lengths to keep the press away.”

So why doesn’t the press complain during and after those big meetings then? And then there’s this:

“White House handout photos used to be reserved for historically important events — 9/11, or deliberations about war,” Kraft said. “This White House regularly releases [day-in-the-life] images of the president … a nice picture of the president looking pensive … from events that could have been covered by the press pool. But I don’t blame the White House for doing it, because networks and newspapers use them. So the White House has built its own content distribution network.”

Armstrong Williams

Were any of these people around when the Bush administration was actually paying writers and pundits like Armstrong Williams to get their version of events into the media? From the NYT, January 29, 2005:

The Bush administration acknowledged on Friday that it had paid a third conservative commentator, and at least two departments said they were conducting internal inquiries to see if other journalists were under government contract. The investigative arm of Congress also formally began an inquiry of its own.

The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed having hired Michael McManus, who writes a weekly syndicated column and is director of a nonprofit group called Marriage Savers. Mr. McManus was paid $10,000 to help train counselors about marriage, an arrangement first reported in USA Today, but officials said he was paid for his expertise rather than to write columns supporting administration policies.

At the same time, the Government Accountability Office told the Education Department it was investigating a $240,000 contract with the commentator Armstrong Williams that came to light earlier this month, requesting that education officials turn over any paper or video materials related to the case. Another conservative writer, Maggie Gallagher, admitted earlier this week having a $21,500 deal with the Department of Health and Human Services.

Besieged with questions about contracts with outside public relations firms and columnists, officials at the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services said they were conducting their own inquiries…

Judith Miller, Dick Cheney puppet

Judith Miller, Dick Cheney puppet

Not to mention the supposedly legitimate reporters like Judy Miller who helped Bush/Cheney get us into the war in Iraq with the willing assistance of their editors and publishers. Here James C. Moore at Salon, from May 27, 2004:

When the full history of the Iraq war is written, one of its most scandalous chapters will be about how American journalists, in particular those at the New York Times, so easily allowed themselves to be manipulated by both dubious sources and untrustworthy White House officials into running stories that misled the nation about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The Times finally acknowledged its grave errors in an extraordinary and lengthy editors note published Wednesday. The editors wrote:

“We have found … instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been … In some cases, the information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged — or failed to emerge … We consider the story of Iraq’s weapons, and of the pattern of misinformation, to be unfinished business. And we fully intend to continue aggressive reporting aimed at setting the record straight.”

The editors conceded what intelligence sources had told me and numerous other reporters: that Pentagon favorite Ahmed Chalabi was feeding bad information to journalists and the White House and had set up a situation with Iraqi exiles where all of the influential institutions were shouting into the same garbage can, hearing the same echo. “Complicating matters for journalists, the accounts of these exiles were often eagerly confirmed by United States officials convinced of the need to intervene in Iraq. Administration officials now acknowledge that they sometimes fell for misinformation from these exile sources. So did many news organizations — in particular, this one.”

The reporter on many of the flawed stories at issue was Judith Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and authority on the Middle East. The Times, insisting that the problem did not lie with any individual journalist, did not mention her name. The paper was presumably trying to take the high road by defending its reporter, but the omission seems peculiar. While her editors must share a large portion of the blame, the pieces ran under Miller’s byline. It was Miller who clearly placed far too much credence in unreliable sources, and then credulously used dubious administration officials to confirm what she was told.

That’s hardly ancient history, is it?

Here are a couple of good reactions to the Politico articles, while we wait for Charles Pierce to write about how he could barely keep himself from gargling anti-freeze this morning.

Annie Laurie at Balloon Juice:

Eight years of accusing the Clintons of every possible crime, up to and including large-scale drug running and multiple murders, followed by eight years of dutifully promulgating whatever bullshit and phantasms the Cheney Regency invented, and the Very Serious Media is shocked, shocked that President Obama would rather “spend way more time talking directly to voters via friendly shows and media personalities”. Or that “Obama’s aides are better at using technology and exploiting the president’s ‘brand.’… [T]hey are obsessed with taking advantage of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and every other social media forums, not just for campaigns, but governing.”

Digby at Hullabloo:

The good news is that the Villagers don’t waste a lot of time and energy worrying about transparency when it comes to trivial information that is only interesting to gossip columnists. For instance, nobody’s issuing any ultimatums over silly issues like this:

For a country exhausted after more than a decade of war, remote-controlled drones—unmanned machines that deliver swift death to terrorists—are undeniably tempting. President Obama has ordered hundreds of strikes on “high-value,” as well as medium- and low-value, targets in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The administration says these killings have decimated al-Qaeda’s top ranks and done significant damage to the Taliban but refuses to say much more. Obama has yet to explain the basics of the broader policy: how decisions are made to send drones across sovereign borders; how officials determine a target is dangerous enough to merit assassination; what oversight is in place; and what is done to limit civilian casualties

I’m awfully relieved that the fourth estate has its priorities straight.

So…that should get you started on your morning’s reading. I’ll have some links on other topics in the comments section. Now, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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55 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: The Poor Pitiful Press Corps”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Speaking of the Villagers, which you did so well, I happened to watch Chris Matthews last night who asked the question: Is Obama on his way to become the greatest president ever? WTF?

    This guy is so ridiculous with his “man crushes” that it is almost comical. Once in awhile he provides some lucid discussion but not too often these days.

    He the went on to interview both Michael Isikoff and David Corn about their book “Hubris” which was turned into a documentary by Rachel Maddow and scheduled for airing later that night.

    He would ask a question then talk over and through their commentary about the book they co-authored and its contents! Why bother having guests when what you have to say trumps whatever their response?

    Whatever comes out of DC by way of “journalism”, whether it be Fox News or any other outlet, is suspect.

    The “truth” only comes out years after the event, such as the case with the book “Hubris” when it is much too late to have an impact.

    Whenever I hear Chris remark: I really like and respect John McCain (or any other asshole) you can be assured that the “suck up” has begun.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Remember when Matthews practically masturbated on the air over Bush in his flight suit and mission accomplished banner?

      On the May 1, 2003, edition of Hardball, Chris Matthews was joined by right-wing pundit Ann Coulter and “Democrat” Pat Caddell.

      MATTHEWS: Ann Coulter, you’re the first to speak tonight on the buzz. The president’s performance tonight, redolent of the best of Reagan — what do you think?

      COULTER: It’s stunning. It’s amazing. I think it’s huge. I mean, he’s landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. It’s tremendous. It’s hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that. And it doesn’t matter if Democrats try to ridicule it. It’s stunning, and it speaks for itself.

      MATTHEWS: Pat Caddell, the president’s performance tonight on television, his arrival on ship?…

      CADDELL: He looks like a fighter pilot.

      MATTHEWS: He looks for real. What is it about the commander in chief role, the hat that he does wear, that makes him — I mean, he seems like — he didn’t fight in a war, but he looks like he does.

      Later that day, on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Matthews said:

      MATTHEWS: We’re proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who’s physical, who’s not a complicated guy like [former President Bill] Clinton or even like [former Democratic presidential candidates Michael] Dukakis or [Walter] Mondale, all those guys, [George] McGovern. They want a guy who’s president. Women like a guy who’s president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It’s simple. We’re not like the Brits. We don’t want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.

      On the May 7, 2003, edition of Hardball, Matthews asked former Nixon administration official G. Gordon Liddy what he thought of the response to Bush’s landing on the Abraham Lincoln. Looking at the footage, Liddy commented that Bush’s flight suit made “the best of his manly characteristic.”

      • RalphB says:

        Bwahahahahahaha! Good night nurse, what a worshipful asshole.

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I remember that quite well. I almost choked on my dinner that night!

        When it looked like Rudy Giuliani was about to enter the POTUS race he practically wet his pants! He is practically salivating over Chris Christie these days so some things never change.

        But looking back at that excerpt you provided shows how disturbed this man really is. Hindsight has proven that this war was “sold” to the public by a series of lies and obsfucation and reading those comments are sickening.

        If memory serves, Chris was never in favor of the war but he certainly held these weasels in high esteem.

      • RalphB says:

        Duh, Bush wasn’t flying that plane. He was a back seat passenger so this is just typically stupid..

        I mean, he’s landing on a boat at 150 miles per hour. It’s tremendous. It’s hard to imagine any Democrat being able to do that.

    • RalphB says:

      Rachel’s ‘Hubris’ documentary was very good but she largely let the press off the hook. Guess it must be harder than I thought to whack your own profession.

      As for Tweety, well he is still Tweety you know :-)

      • bostonboomer says:

        Yes, her focus was on the Bush admin. lies rather than how they got distributed. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if Corn and Isakoff wrote much about the media’s role.

      • RalphB says:

        The only person I heard mention yesterday that the press failed completely was Isakoff, If anyone else said a word, I missed it. That still seems to be a closely guarded secret. We must have a better press corps!

      • Pat Johnson says:

        I read the book a few years ago but the sad part is that not many others did.

        At least offering it as Rachel did it is bound to have been seen by more people than those who read it.

        As Cheney is now sought out for commentary about the present administration it is good to see that his mastery in lying us into war with little opposition has done to the world.

        The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld regime was a confluence of a fool, a dictator, and an evil henchman who carried out one of the worst events in history.

        This should not be forgotten.

      • RalphB says:

        Let’s face it Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others are war criminals who should have been tried in The Hague. Justice will not be done for them though.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    National Geographic article on how drones may be used here in the U.S. {shudder}

    The Falcon has an eight-foot wingspan but weighs just 9.5 pounds. Powered by an electric motor, it carries two swiveling cameras, visible and infrared, and a GPS-guided autopilot. Sophisticated enough that it can’t be exported without a U.S. government license, the Falcon is roughly comparable, Miser says, to the Raven, a hand-launched military drone—but much cheaper. He plans to sell two drones and support equipment for about the price of a squad car.

    A law signed by President Barack Obama in February 2012 directs the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to throw American airspace wide open to drones by September 30, 2015. But for now Mesa County, with its empty skies, is one of only a few jurisdictions with an FAA permit to fly one. The sheriff ’s office has a three-foot-wide helicopter drone called a Draganflyer, which stays aloft for just 20 minutes.

    • bostonboomer says:

      More on civilian police departments and drones.

      Around the country, a small but growing number of localities are considering the use of domestic drones—aircraft that are smaller, lighter, and cheaper (though not much less controversial) than what the military uses in Afghanistan. Police departments could outfit drones with infrared sensors that see through walls, facial recognition software, or technology that intercepts calls and emails. Yet the the federal government doesn’t do much to regulate how drones can use such technologies to collect information on private citizens….

      Last year, Congress passed a law mandating that the Federal Aviation Administration open up US airspace to drones, and the FAA made it easier for law enforcement and other “public agencies” to get a drone permit. Records obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) indicate that at least 81 public entities—including 17 sheriff’s and police departments—have petitioned the agency for the right to fly drones.

  3. Pat Johnson says:

    I’ll make an admission that might not be too popular, but I watched Olbermann because he challenged the Bush Administration almost from the beginning. (Of course, Keith got carried away with his own “hubris” and became a pain in the ass after awhile but he did speak up to power at a time when few did.)

    This set the stage for a little feud between Matthews and Olbermann when each had difficulty hiding their contempt of one another.

    Keith also began to challenge the Obama administration which set the stage for his firing at MSNBC. His irritable personality didn’t help but he refused to see Obama through the lens of “will he be the best president ever?” club that Matthews touts.

    So in my own way I have to admit sort of “missing Keith” to some extent. He refused to “play kiss ass” which is the world that Matthews dwells in.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    As one who comes from the “same tribe” as Chris Matthews I can see him in his younger days with “yes Father, no Father” in the presence of the clergy we grew up with.

    I can see him “bristling with delight” at the thought of the priest coming to his house for dinner.

    Obnoxious.

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Scott Brown Explains Late-Night Tweets, Says He Wasn’t Drunk (VIDEO)

    “Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial? I mean it was pretty simple. I have an iPhone 5. If anyone has iPhone 5, the keys are small. It’s very, very sensitive. Ayla was teaching me how to get on Facebook and Twitter, and there were some areas I didn’t really understand,” Brown said to a local Fox station. “After her concert, we were here in the living room and responded to a couple of people and then put it in my pocket.”

    On Jan. 26, Brown tweeted three messages after midnight — “Your brilliant Matt,” “Whatever” and “Bqhatevwr” — that drew attention because the former senator has kept an exceptionally low public profile since leaving the Senate and the announcement of the special election to fill Kerry’s seat. They were later deleted.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Ireland to apologize to victims of Magdalene laundries.

    Ireland’s prime minister is expected to issue a state apology Tuesday to the thousands of Irish women who spent years working without pay in a defunct network of prison-style laundries run by Catholic nuns.

    Former residents of the Magdalene Laundries have campaigned for the past decade for the government to apologize and pay compensation to an estimated 1,000 survivors of the workhouses.

  7. RalphB says:

    A suggestion for covering the DoD budget cuts in the sequester. Costs don’t include the necessary massive overruns for giant profiteering or the aircraft for the new carriers.

    Cost of the Navy’s order for three Ford-class aircraft carriers: $42 billion
    Cost of Navy’s order for 30 Virginia-class attack submarines: $93 billion

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Here’s some actual news that the WH press corps missed during the whining session yesterday: Obama was golfing with an oil man in addition to Tiger Woods.

    Obama and Tiger Woods were joined on the golf course by a very wealthy fellow named Jim Crane. We all know who Tiger Woods is, but who is Jim Crane? The Texas businessman who hosted the president at his exclusive golf resort is owner of the major league baseball team Houston Astros. But Crane is also mucked up with the very “Big Oil” the activists were railing against. His extensive business deals include a partnership in Western Gas Holdings, a company engaged in gathering, processing, compressing and transporting natural gas and crude oil for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, one of the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production companies.

    This happened at the same time as the protests in front of the White House against the Keystone pipeline.

    • RalphB says:

      Jim Crane owns the golf course where Obama and Woods played. Might be a simpler explanation for why he was there. :-)

    • roofingbird says:

      Yeah, O has done this before. He uses the time honored male bastion of golf games, to meet with others he might not invite to the WH, or be seen in public with, and TW was probably a decoy. TW has played with O before. One notable time was with Clinton in tow, and just as TW’s scandal broke.

      Anyone remember his trip to the Virgin Islands in 2008? That happened just as the media was cutting back on overseas travel expenses. Right wingers say he has gone on over 100 golf trips. It’s hard for the media to follow him around to these secret meetings and he knows it.

  9. RalphB says:

    This is a really great read!

    Doghouse Riley: The Autotune Party

    John Dickerson, “What Mitt Romney Can Teach Marco Rubio”. February 13

    OH, first: Shorter Maggie Haberman: “Republican consultants generally agree that Mark Rubio’s Phony Salesman in the Headlights routine won’t be remembered for all eternity.”

    Maybe it’s just the ever-sunny optimist in me, but I have a vague and happy thoughtbubble, the size of a child’s balloon, that the Middle Way “movement” in this country, the whole anti-partisanship, undecided voter mindset, is turning away, not from the Republican party, which even it has had to recognize for some time now as the source of the problems it was complaining about, but from the Beltway insider view of the problem. Which, if I may summarize, is that there aren’t enough John McCains in the Congress.

  10. Pilgrim says:

    I’m finding Chris Matthews awfully tiresome, am considering doing away with his channel.

    Matthews now likes to call himself a “liberal.” Yeah, he who not so many years past talked about his republican roots and leanings, how he liked reading the weekly standard, spoke with starry eyes about Bush’s “sunny nobility.” I guess he likes whomever he perceives to be in a position of power.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Pierce on the sequester: YOUR CASH AIN’T NOTHING BUT TRASH

    I guess he hasn’t seen the Tiger Beat article yet.

    • dakinikat says:

      Things In Politico That Make Me Want To Guzzle Antifreeze, Part The Infinity http://esqm.ag/6019nOlF

      Well, it was about the National Prayer breakfast so there must be another installment coming.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It’s posted!

        Every sportswriter learns one simple rule in a very quick hurry — namely, that nobody out in your readership cares how hard you think your job is. People, to paraphrase Michael J. Fox’s channelling of the Stephanoplouli in The American President, don’t give a damn about your problems, they give a damn about their own. Therefore, columns about media shuttles being late, or cold food in the press room, or the quality of the bath towels in the headquarters hotels become the object of swift and righteous ridicule on the part of the people who read them. This is a lesson apparently lost on the elite political press, and especially on the presiding geniuses behind Tiger Beat On The Potomac.

  12. janicen says:

    I totally agree with you BB. Schieffer was whining about the golf outing on CBS yesterday and again today. If the press had a scintilla of integrity themselves I might concede that they had a point but please! We didn’t hear about Cheney and his quail “hunting” at his girlfriend’s place until after he shot somebody in the face. The press corps went after Clinton with all they had because his administration cleaned up the corruption in the travel office and didn’t kiss the press corps’ collective asses as much as they demanded. Screw the hacks. I love that the Obama administration is speaking directly to the people. If the press spent time doing real journalism, they would have time to worry about sneaking peeks at Tiger Woods.

    • janicen says:

      *they would not have time to worry about…

    • RalphB says:

      Going around the WH press corps is the smartest way to go. For sure!

      • ANonOMouse says:

        The WH press corpse is totally useless and has been for decades. Helen Thomas was the last of a breed of journalists who actually gave a damn about what is REALLY happening behind closed doors in the halls of power. The rest of them are more interested in flying hither and yon on the WH corps ticket, spending their per diem and rubbing elbows with the rich, famous, important, i.e. Tiger Woods.

      • Fannie says:

        Yeah Mouse………I remember………Helen Thomas

    • hyperjoy says:

      That’s me, the poorest, officially broke.
      I need a job, but I desperately hate retail. If there become no jobs in retail because nobody has any money to spend, then I won’t have to get a job in that hated field. It’s an ill wind that doesn’t blow somebody some good.
      Still not happy about the news, of course.

    • roofingbird says:

      Maybe Wally World finally outgrew themselves. They opened up a newer bigger one last year here, cause don’t ya know, the old one was too outdated. Though I don’t go near WM I do note that the parking lot is always crowded. Target has responded with the addition of food coolers.

      I have an idea that this expansion won’t last, however. As a counterpunch, Raley’s Groceries has expanded their organic produce section. More of us are looking for better food and better quality.

    • RalphB says:

      “Maybe the payroll tax is a bigger deal than any of us thought,” Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones, told Bloomberg.

      No Shit Sherlock! When people are on the ragged edge and you give them a push, what did these assholes think would happen?

  13. ANonOMouse says:

    Excellent post BB and this line is priceless and spot on!!!

    “No, it’s only when the press corps sees an opportunity for star-fucking. Obama goes golfing with Tiger Woods and wants a little privacy–probably requested by Woods–and the press corps goes nuts over lack of “transparency.”

  14. bostonboomer says:

    Pierce’s take on the Politico whine here.

    • bostonboomer says:

      This is great:

      They are also masters of scrutiny avoidance. The president has not granted an interview to print reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, POLITICO and others in years. These are the reporters who are often most likely to ask tough, unpredictable questions.

      Everybody sing! “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same.” No, stop, seriously, you’re killing me, fellas. Yeah, the president is hiding under the bed because he’s afraid one of your tyros is going to get all up in his grill with a stone-killer “Some people say you’re an uppity schmuck” kind of question. A lecture about how the White House catapults propaganda from the home office of the “Some Republican strategists say…” school of anonymous political slander? A seminar in the propagation of bullshit from the the country’s largest gossip silo? How in the hell do the people at the Times, the Post, and the WSJ feel about your lumping yourself in there with them? Who the fck are you when you’re at home?

      ROFLOL! I almost highlighted that line where Politico compares itself to the NYT, WaPo, and WSJ, but my post was getting too long.

  15. Fannie says:

    Here we go: St. Louis Post Dispatch just reported that St. Louis County will send fellow colleagues to prison for introducing gun control legislation………………..Ain’t over yet, Mississippi has just developed a committee to push nullification and negate all federal laws………….Tea Party nuts with big balls.

  16. Fannie says:

    Well, that nullification bill in Mississippi died in the house, for good I hope.

  17. RalphB says:

    I love stories like this one.

    NYT: Jewel Thieves Net $50 Million in Just 5 Minutes in Brussels

    In a meticulously planned heist that took barely five minutes to execute, armed men disguised as police officers drove onto the tarmac at the international airport in Brussels Monday night and stole diamonds worth around $50 million as they were being loaded onto a plane bound for Switzerland, officials said.

  18. RalphB says:

    CAN TEABAG CHALLENGERS BEAT INCUMBENTS IN PRIMARIES WITHOUT SPITTLE-FLECKED RAGE?

    An apparently sane person is trying to get tea party support to primary Mitch McConnell. Can this work out?