Clareified

Where does the good go

HE WHO LAUGHS LAST, LAUGHS BEST

HE WHO LAUGHS LAST, LAUGHS BEST

Brian Williams thinks it’s funny.

“President Bush is enjoying the rest of the Thanksgiving holiday at his family ranch in Crawford. As far as we know, that is,” he chuckled as he uttered that last line.
White House press corps has no idea what President Bush is up to, ha ha ha. We reported completely false stories all Thanksgiving morning, heee heee. What a chuckle.
The only joke is the modern-day media.
I don’t have a problem with the President and his staff’s cloak and dagger routine so that the President could safely travel to Iraq. That’s their job. Keep the President safe, keep the troops upbeat and get good footage for the 2004 campaign trail.
However, for the media (in my case the Good Morning America broadcast) to report, as fact, that the President was having dinner in Crawford…. Indeed, periodically updating me on the particular course being enjoyed by Bush at that very moment — when in fact, no such meal was taking place — is nothing short of disgraceful. Have our national reporters gotten so lazy that reading press releases from a teleprompter, passes for reporting?
If Woodward and Bernstein were dead, they’d roll over in their grave.
The press has such an important role to play in safeguarding our democracy. We would never have known about the Pentagon papers or the atrocities happening to the Civil Rights Freedom Riders without the unyielding persistence of the journalist’s pen and camera.
In this age of non-stop spin – the press is supposed to ask the hard questions, then do the grunt work and research to find answers. It’s not enough to sit still while Rumsfeld manhandles you at press conferences — asking and then, answering, his own questions. No doubt, it’s hard and people in power are not going to be happy. But you have a public trust, not one that you were elected to, but one you voluntarily accepted.
Reporting fictional events is not just humiliating, (Dewey Defeats Truman) it’s appalling. What happened to the basic who, what, where when? Heads roll when reporters like Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass fabricate sources and invent details to add color to the fiction that they try to pass as fact, but what happens when every station, paper and newsmagazine report the same fantastical tale? Do we let them off with a wink and nod as we laugh off their culpability?
I don’t think so.
Nothing changes policy like shining the bright light of public opinion behind the closed doors of decision-making. But the people holding the flashlights have to be curious, bold and honorable. They have to be willing to work.
And if they aren’t, there are journalism schools filled to the brim with students eager to do the job.
Hopefully, the press corps has learned a valuable lesson from eating Thanksgiving Day crow and will now take their responsibility to the viewing public far more seriously.
Because right now, the White House isn’t laughing with you, it’s most definitely laughing at you.

51 Responses to “HE WHO LAUGHS LAST, LAUGHS BEST”

  1. Kashei Says:

    Not to make too much of a big deal about this, especially on a crackpot League of Liberals site like this one, but, there was definitely someone on Free Republic (a fun, rightwing almost-blog) that knew Bush was in Iraq. Someone posted something early in the morning about him being in an undisclosed location and to watch tv to see where that was. Just an odd note.

  2. Kashei Says:

    Not to make too much of a big deal about this, especially on a crackpot League of Liberals site like this one, but, there was definitely someone on Free Republic (a fun, rightwing almost-blog) that knew Bush was in Iraq. Someone posted something early in the morning about him being in an undisclosed location and to watch tv to see where that was. Just an odd note.

  3. Kashei Says:

    Not to make too much of a big deal about this, especially on a crackpot League of Liberals site like this one, but, there was definitely someone on Free Republic (a fun, rightwing almost-blog) that knew Bush was in Iraq. Someone posted something early in the morning about him being in an undisclosed location and to watch tv to see where that was. Just an odd note.

  4. lk Says:

    I just can’t get excited about the news blackout. The trip itself speaks volumes, but to Bush supporters it makes him a hero, and to those against him, it proves the failures. It didn’t change a single opinion, near as I can tell.

  5. lk Says:

    I just can’t get excited about the news blackout. The trip itself speaks volumes, but to Bush supporters it makes him a hero, and to those against him, it proves the failures. It didn’t change a single opinion, near as I can tell.

  6. lk Says:

    I just can’t get excited about the news blackout. The trip itself speaks volumes, but to Bush supporters it makes him a hero, and to those against him, it proves the failures. It didn’t change a single opinion, near as I can tell.

  7. Kashei Says:

    lk, most people neither love nor hate the president. They just don’t think about him (or any president before him) much at all. They have car payments and kids and school and all other kinds of real stuff to think about. These people loved what Bush did yesterday. It did change some opinions, maybe not from hate to love (or back again) but certainly from not caring to admiring.

  8. Kashei Says:

    lk, most people neither love nor hate the president. They just don’t think about him (or any president before him) much at all. They have car payments and kids and school and all other kinds of real stuff to think about. These people loved what Bush did yesterday. It did change some opinions, maybe not from hate to love (or back again) but certainly from not caring to admiring.

  9. Kashei Says:

    lk, most people neither love nor hate the president. They just don’t think about him (or any president before him) much at all. They have car payments and kids and school and all other kinds of real stuff to think about. These people loved what Bush did yesterday. It did change some opinions, maybe not from hate to love (or back again) but certainly from not caring to admiring.

  10. yonoi Says:

    Kashei, are you drunk? The people with kids and car payments realize that ferreting captain jackass to baghdad for two hours costs precious tax payer dollars that could go to programs that make home ownership more affordable and their kid’s education better.

  11. yonoi Says:

    Kashei, are you drunk? The people with kids and car payments realize that ferreting captain jackass to baghdad for two hours costs precious tax payer dollars that could go to programs that make home ownership more affordable and their kid’s education better.

  12. yonoi Says:

    Kashei, are you drunk? The people with kids and car payments realize that ferreting captain jackass to baghdad for two hours costs precious tax payer dollars that could go to programs that make home ownership more affordable and their kid’s education better.

  13. Kashei Says:

    No, crackie, they don’t. They think it’s great that the president did it. Trust me, they are not thinking of the cost or the photo op or anything else. They just think it’s cool. Do you ever get out of the political bubble in which everyone reads the NY Times editorial page and is up to date on the latest from various famous bloggers? You should. You’ll be completely stunned.

  14. Kashei Says:

    No, crackie, they don’t. They think it’s great that the president did it. Trust me, they are not thinking of the cost or the photo op or anything else. They just think it’s cool. Do you ever get out of the political bubble in which everyone reads the NY Times editorial page and is up to date on the latest from various famous bloggers? You should. You’ll be completely stunned.

  15. Kashei Says:

    No, crackie, they don’t. They think it’s great that the president did it. Trust me, they are not thinking of the cost or the photo op or anything else. They just think it’s cool. Do you ever get out of the political bubble in which everyone reads the NY Times editorial page and is up to date on the latest from various famous bloggers? You should. You’ll be completely stunned.

  16. Rick Blaine Says:

    Dawn: i’m intrigued that you assume that Woodward and Bernstein will be buried together. Do you know something I don’t?

    Kashei: Do you count yourself among the ignorant unwashed who ignore Shrub’s damaging policies and actions and just think he’s “cool” because he likes to dress up in military costumes and pretend to be a part of an institution and a country he turned his back on years ago? Because every once in a while it sounds like you might be aware of how pernicious this administration is, and I can only conclude that you just don’t give a shit. Which leads me to conclude that you are either rich or stupid (or some combination thereof). If you’re going to give yourself over to hero-worship, there are certainly better candidates.

  17. Rick Blaine Says:

    Dawn: i’m intrigued that you assume that Woodward and Bernstein will be buried together. Do you know something I don’t?

    Kashei: Do you count yourself among the ignorant unwashed who ignore Shrub’s damaging policies and actions and just think he’s “cool” because he likes to dress up in military costumes and pretend to be a part of an institution and a country he turned his back on years ago? Because every once in a while it sounds like you might be aware of how pernicious this administration is, and I can only conclude that you just don’t give a shit. Which leads me to conclude that you are either rich or stupid (or some combination thereof). If you’re going to give yourself over to hero-worship, there are certainly better candidates.

  18. Rick Blaine Says:

    Dawn: i’m intrigued that you assume that Woodward and Bernstein will be buried together. Do you know something I don’t?

    Kashei: Do you count yourself among the ignorant unwashed who ignore Shrub’s damaging policies and actions and just think he’s “cool” because he likes to dress up in military costumes and pretend to be a part of an institution and a country he turned his back on years ago? Because every once in a while it sounds like you might be aware of how pernicious this administration is, and I can only conclude that you just don’t give a shit. Which leads me to conclude that you are either rich or stupid (or some combination thereof). If you’re going to give yourself over to hero-worship, there are certainly better candidates.

  19. Kashei Says:

    Again, Rick you retard, there are (shockingly) people who are rich and washed and educated who just don’t give a shit about politics. I know many of these people. Clearly, you do not. Your intellectually lazy arguments about Bush are so boring. You have no idea what real people are like. You should really get out more.

  20. Kashei Says:

    Again, Rick you retard, there are (shockingly) people who are rich and washed and educated who just don’t give a shit about politics. I know many of these people. Clearly, you do not. Your intellectually lazy arguments about Bush are so boring. You have no idea what real people are like. You should really get out more.

  21. Kashei Says:

    Again, Rick you retard, there are (shockingly) people who are rich and washed and educated who just don’t give a shit about politics. I know many of these people. Clearly, you do not. Your intellectually lazy arguments about Bush are so boring. You have no idea what real people are like. You should really get out more.

  22. Dawn Summers Says:

    Now, now, no more of this stupid, retard name-calling. As the inimitable Rodney King famously uttered “YO! please, stop hitting me.”
    :)

  23. Dawn Summers Says:

    Now, now, no more of this stupid, retard name-calling. As the inimitable Rodney King famously uttered “YO! please, stop hitting me.”
    :)

  24. Dawn Summers Says:

    Now, now, no more of this stupid, retard name-calling. As the inimitable Rodney King famously uttered “YO! please, stop hitting me.”
    :)

  25. DTDT Says:

    Regardless if you agree with his policies or not, the leader showing his support for the U.S. troops is a great morale boost for the guys (and gals) over in Iraq. It also reminds us all that they are there and in need of support from home.

    Rick obviously when the President does the right thing it really gets under your skin. Relax Guy……

  26. DTDT Says:

    Regardless if you agree with his policies or not, the leader showing his support for the U.S. troops is a great morale boost for the guys (and gals) over in Iraq. It also reminds us all that they are there and in need of support from home.

    Rick obviously when the President does the right thing it really gets under your skin. Relax Guy……

  27. DTDT Says:

    Regardless if you agree with his policies or not, the leader showing his support for the U.S. troops is a great morale boost for the guys (and gals) over in Iraq. It also reminds us all that they are there and in need of support from home.

    Rick obviously when the President does the right thing it really gets under your skin. Relax Guy……

  28. Rick Blaine Says:

    Kashei,

    The “rich and washed and educated people” are the only ones who can afford not to give a shit about politics. And even then, only if they are old.

    And are the “many rich and washed and educated” people you know the “real” ones I don’t? Who are “real” people and who are not, Kashei? And where do you fit on the spectrum? (I’m not asking about your personal hygene, in case you have trouble with figures of speech)

    If you think my arguments are “intellectually lazy”, challenge them. Show me I’m wrong, or that my arguments are based on incorrect assumptions or false information, and I’ll try to correct that. But (while admittedly not technically “intellectually lazy”), calling people names like “crackie” and “retard” hardly shows intellectual rigor.

    For the growing number of jobless, for the poor who will remain poor while the rich get richer, for those who are being denied (and will continue to be denied) education, healthcare, clean air and wa

  29. Rick Blaine Says:

    Kashei,

    The “rich and washed and educated people” are the only ones who can afford not to give a shit about politics. And even then, only if they are old.

    And are the “many rich and washed and educated” people you know the “real” ones I don’t? Who are “real” people and who are not, Kashei? And where do you fit on the spectrum? (I’m not asking about your personal hygene, in case you have trouble with figures of speech)

    If you think my arguments are “intellectually lazy”, challenge them. Show me I’m wrong, or that my arguments are based on incorrect assumptions or false information, and I’ll try to correct that. But (while admittedly not technically “intellectually lazy”), calling people names like “crackie” and “retard” hardly shows intellectual rigor.

    For the growing number of jobless, for the poor who will remain poor while the rich get richer, for those who are being denied (and will continue to be denied) education, healthcare, clean air and wa

  30. Rick Blaine Says:

    Kashei,

    The “rich and washed and educated people” are the only ones who can afford not to give a shit about politics. And even then, only if they are old.

    And are the “many rich and washed and educated” people you know the “real” ones I don’t? Who are “real” people and who are not, Kashei? And where do you fit on the spectrum? (I’m not asking about your personal hygene, in case you have trouble with figures of speech)

    If you think my arguments are “intellectually lazy”, challenge them. Show me I’m wrong, or that my arguments are based on incorrect assumptions or false information, and I’ll try to correct that. But (while admittedly not technically “intellectually lazy”), calling people names like “crackie” and “retard” hardly shows intellectual rigor.

    For the growing number of jobless, for the poor who will remain poor while the rich get richer, for those who are being denied (and will continue to be denied) education, healthcare, clean air and wa

  31. Rick Blaine Says:

    My comment got cut off. Here’s the gist:

    Certainly, most of the people in this country most negatively affected by the Bush administration’s policies do not follow what you call “politics” with any interest, much less the fanatical devotion found int he blogosphere. But they should. Because if most of those people looked past the rhetoric and the theatrics and saw what Bush is doing to them and to their future, they’d want him dead sooner than Saddam or Osama.

    People love what Bush did for all sorts of reasons. I admire it as a great PR move, and I’m sure each of the soldiers at Bahgdad airport had their morale lifted tremendously. But at its core it also shows the dangerous cynicsm and reliance on form over substance — of politics over policy that characterizes this administration. And what I take issue with is your apparent contention that it is OK for the majority of people in this country to remain unconcerned with “politics”. Hell, if you really though

  32. Rick Blaine Says:

    My comment got cut off. Here’s the gist:

    Certainly, most of the people in this country most negatively affected by the Bush administration’s policies do not follow what you call “politics” with any interest, much less the fanatical devotion found int he blogosphere. But they should. Because if most of those people looked past the rhetoric and the theatrics and saw what Bush is doing to them and to their future, they’d want him dead sooner than Saddam or Osama.

    People love what Bush did for all sorts of reasons. I admire it as a great PR move, and I’m sure each of the soldiers at Bahgdad airport had their morale lifted tremendously. But at its core it also shows the dangerous cynicsm and reliance on form over substance — of politics over policy that characterizes this administration. And what I take issue with is your apparent contention that it is OK for the majority of people in this country to remain unconcerned with “politics”. Hell, if you really though

  33. Rick Blaine Says:

    My comment got cut off. Here’s the gist:

    Certainly, most of the people in this country most negatively affected by the Bush administration’s policies do not follow what you call “politics” with any interest, much less the fanatical devotion found int he blogosphere. But they should. Because if most of those people looked past the rhetoric and the theatrics and saw what Bush is doing to them and to their future, they’d want him dead sooner than Saddam or Osama.

    People love what Bush did for all sorts of reasons. I admire it as a great PR move, and I’m sure each of the soldiers at Bahgdad airport had their morale lifted tremendously. But at its core it also shows the dangerous cynicsm and reliance on form over substance — of politics over policy that characterizes this administration. And what I take issue with is your apparent contention that it is OK for the majority of people in this country to remain unconcerned with “politics”. Hell, if you really though

  34. Rick Blaine Says:

    I write too much. CONCLUSION:

    Hell, if you really thought Bush was so great, you’d want everyone paying attention to the nuts and bolts, not just the fanfare, wouldn’t you?

    . . . wouldn’t you?

  35. Rick Blaine Says:

    I write too much. CONCLUSION:

    Hell, if you really thought Bush was so great, you’d want everyone paying attention to the nuts and bolts, not just the fanfare, wouldn’t you?

    . . . wouldn’t you?

  36. Rick Blaine Says:

    I write too much. CONCLUSION:

    Hell, if you really thought Bush was so great, you’d want everyone paying attention to the nuts and bolts, not just the fanfare, wouldn’t you?

    . . . wouldn’t you?

  37. Rick Blaine Says:

    DTDT — it gets under my skin when people applaud the president for doing something of little real value for ulterior motives. I’m sure Hitler “did the right thing” every once in a while. Let’s throw him a fucking posthumous parade.

  38. Rick Blaine Says:

    DTDT — it gets under my skin when people applaud the president for doing something of little real value for ulterior motives. I’m sure Hitler “did the right thing” every once in a while. Let’s throw him a fucking posthumous parade.

  39. Rick Blaine Says:

    DTDT — it gets under my skin when people applaud the president for doing something of little real value for ulterior motives. I’m sure Hitler “did the right thing” every once in a while. Let’s throw him a fucking posthumous parade.

  40. Rick Blaine Says:

    . . . ‘kay, maybe I do need to relax . . .

    [deep breath]

  41. Rick Blaine Says:

    . . . ‘kay, maybe I do need to relax . . .

    [deep breath]

  42. Rick Blaine Says:

    . . . ‘kay, maybe I do need to relax . . .

    [deep breath]

  43. Kashei Says:

    Rick, I frequently take on liberals on their opinions. You just seem really crazy and uninteresting to me. Sorry, that’s just my rich, dumb opinion, I’m sure. The typical blah blah of your side is presented eagerly by you. You even invoke Hitler in your comments (couldya be more of a stereotype?). I’ve been friends with Dawn Summers since I was 13. Trust me, we’ve had an argument or two over politics. I’m just not so into arguing with people I can’t respect.

  44. Kashei Says:

    Rick, I frequently take on liberals on their opinions. You just seem really crazy and uninteresting to me. Sorry, that’s just my rich, dumb opinion, I’m sure. The typical blah blah of your side is presented eagerly by you. You even invoke Hitler in your comments (couldya be more of a stereotype?). I’ve been friends with Dawn Summers since I was 13. Trust me, we’ve had an argument or two over politics. I’m just not so into arguing with people I can’t respect.

  45. Kashei Says:

    Rick, I frequently take on liberals on their opinions. You just seem really crazy and uninteresting to me. Sorry, that’s just my rich, dumb opinion, I’m sure. The typical blah blah of your side is presented eagerly by you. You even invoke Hitler in your comments (couldya be more of a stereotype?). I’ve been friends with Dawn Summers since I was 13. Trust me, we’ve had an argument or two over politics. I’m just not so into arguing with people I can’t respect.

  46. Ugarte Says:

    The problem wasn’t Bush’s trip. Despite my affiliation with a “crackpot League of Liberals website” I actually think that depite the obvious political benefits, having the President spend Thanksgiving in Baghdad with soldiers that also are separated from their families on a very family oriented holiday was a very good thing.

    But that doesn’t mean that GMA was right. If Brian Williams KNOWS that Bush isn’t in Crawford he has three choices: (1) truth ; (2) silence or (3) a knowing falsehood. Which one is a crime against journalism?

    I can accept that the pleasant surprise for the troops (not to mention security) was a good enough reason to not tell the truth. But to lie to the audience shows complete contempt. It wasn’t as if the masses at home were saying “But what of the President’s Thanksgiving? Does he have fresh cranberry sauce or gelatin from a can?”

    So I don’t even blame Bush. As an audience, we deserve the respect not to be knowingly lied to about things

  47. Ugarte Says:

    The problem wasn’t Bush’s trip. Despite my affiliation with a “crackpot League of Liberals website” I actually think that depite the obvious political benefits, having the President spend Thanksgiving in Baghdad with soldiers that also are separated from their families on a very family oriented holiday was a very good thing.

    But that doesn’t mean that GMA was right. If Brian Williams KNOWS that Bush isn’t in Crawford he has three choices: (1) truth ; (2) silence or (3) a knowing falsehood. Which one is a crime against journalism?

    I can accept that the pleasant surprise for the troops (not to mention security) was a good enough reason to not tell the truth. But to lie to the audience shows complete contempt. It wasn’t as if the masses at home were saying “But what of the President’s Thanksgiving? Does he have fresh cranberry sauce or gelatin from a can?”

    So I don’t even blame Bush. As an audience, we deserve the respect not to be knowingly lied to about things

  48. Ugarte Says:

    The problem wasn’t Bush’s trip. Despite my affiliation with a “crackpot League of Liberals website” I actually think that depite the obvious political benefits, having the President spend Thanksgiving in Baghdad with soldiers that also are separated from their families on a very family oriented holiday was a very good thing.

    But that doesn’t mean that GMA was right. If Brian Williams KNOWS that Bush isn’t in Crawford he has three choices: (1) truth ; (2) silence or (3) a knowing falsehood. Which one is a crime against journalism?

    I can accept that the pleasant surprise for the troops (not to mention security) was a good enough reason to not tell the truth. But to lie to the audience shows complete contempt. It wasn’t as if the masses at home were saying “But what of the President’s Thanksgiving? Does he have fresh cranberry sauce or gelatin from a can?”

    So I don’t even blame Bush. As an audience, we deserve the respect not to be knowingly lied to about things

  49. Ugarte Says:

    Ugh. The punchline got cut off:

    So it is an attack on the liberal media! At least that should make you happy, Kashei!

    (Maybe I should have just left well-enough alone.)

  50. Ugarte Says:

    Ugh. The punchline got cut off:

    So it is an attack on the liberal media! At least that should make you happy, Kashei!

    (Maybe I should have just left well-enough alone.)

  51. Ugarte Says:

    Ugh. The punchline got cut off:

    So it is an attack on the liberal media! At least that should make you happy, Kashei!

    (Maybe I should have just left well-enough alone.)

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