In his speech in Ann Arbor, (Obama) keyed off from a question written to him by a kindergarten student in Virginia: “Are people being nice?” As the president joked, “even a kindergartener” could be provoked to ask that question by the “24/7 echo chamber” of cable news, where talking heads make “their arguments as outrageous and as incendiary as possible.” He called yet again for the restoration of “a basic level of civility in our public debate.”I understand Rich’s point. However, when a “Jeff Gannon” equivalent appears in the White House press corps, then I’ll take notice.
As president, Obama is a seriously flawed messenger for this sermon. First, as he conceded in the same speech, fisticuffs (not always verbal) have been a staple of American politics since the birth of the Republic. Second, anything he has to say about shouting pundits will be regarded as special pleading from a Democratic president who is the target of nightly shoutfests on Fox News, a frequent subject of public White House complaints. Third, his administration is notorious for its fierce message management, restrictive press access and undisguised hostility to nettlesome journalists of all media and stripes.
As opposed to, say, throwing a luau for the press or some kind of a Fourth of July barbecue, there’s something Obama could support that, I believe, would ease the sometimes tense relations between his administration and the Fourth Estate (justified on occasions like this, I’ll admit), to say nothing of representing an act of basic fairness. That would be a press shield law overseen by an actual court judge, as opposed to the watered-down version he currently supports that would “not (allow) any shield protection on any instance where the administration declares that the matter involves ‘significant’ harm to national security,” as noted here.
In some ways, this administration has a little bit too much of a Bushco mindset. A press shield law is one of them (and on the issue of land mines also, as noted here – kudos to Sen. Patrick Leahy for forcefully advocating on behalf of U.S. participation in the treaty to ban these wretched devices - update: related info appears in this prior post).
Many Bucks County residents would be adversely affected if the New Jersey legislature approves legislation that would require all state, county and local government employees, as well as teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public employees in the state, to reside in New Jersey within four months of employment for new hires and two-and-one-half years for existing employees. Join me in opposing this regulation and urging New Jersey to 'grandfather' in current employees, making them exempt from the residency requirement, rather than force them into an unplanned, negative economic situation.Oh yeah, this is the legislation that Steve’s Repug opponent “Self” Ciervo doesn’t think is a big deal.
Nice constituent service orientation there, Dr. Rob.
Steve also co-sponsored a bill that “protect(s) our state forests from additional natural gas drilling until its impact can be evaluated and would give the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources enough time to assess the impact of natural gas drilling on state-owned land” (H.B. 2235).
Also, according to Steve…
…“the state House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee approved my proposal to call for a federal convention to amend the U.S. Constitution in order to limit campaign contributions and expenditures….the resolution (H.R. 653) cleared the committee by a vote of 12-9. It now moves to the full House for consideration. In light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling to end restrictions on corporate and union money in politics, this effort to reform our campaign finance system is needed now more than ever. I remain hopeful that support for a constitutional amendment that protects campaign finance laws from being overturned will continue to grow on both sides of the aisle.”To contact Steve, click here.
Always a left-of-center newspaper, the Post is now best known for being a lapdog to the current White House occupant. On the cable television shows, the Post’s line is best exemplified by the almost comical devotion to the president by Eugene Robinson, Jonathan Capehart and E.J. Dionne. For them, everything the president does or says or thinks is simply wonderful, and everything that his opponents say or do or think is well, either stupid, racist, fascist, sexist or un-American.Oh, and Feehery also gives us this mystifying sentence…
These are the folks who represent the Post to the cable world.
We have now learned that the Post is taking it a step further in the cyber-world. They don’t see their competitors to be The New York Times, The Associated Press or even Politico.
Nope, they see their competition to be left-wing bloggers from The Huffington Post, the left-wing Talking Points Memo or even the more left-wing The Nation.
And as anybody can see from the ratings of Fox News and MSNBC, being a liberal lapdog for this president is just a bad way to make money.I’m quite sure Feehery isn’t seriously suggesting that Fix Noise is a “liberal lapdog.” And as far as MSNBC not making money, I give you the following here from February concerning “Countdown”…
Ratings can be read many ways, and Olbermann put a more immediate spin on his numbers last night. “This program’s ratings actually grew from December to last month by 5 percent at 8 o’clock and 6 percent at 10 o’clock,” he said. “Grew, in a month in which CNN did exceptional, almost continuous coverage from Haiti. Grew to 27 percent ahead of CNN and 24 percent ahead of Headline News. Grew from the end of a year, in which MSNBC replaced CNN as the number two-rated news network among younger viewers in prime time.”And Feehery thinks the WaPo is descending into some kind of liberal internet hell? I guess that’s why they concocted this little scam in which participants could pay for access to D.C. “movers and shakers,” as well as cutting pay checks for George Will, Charles Krauthammer, Michael Gerson, David Broder and Fred Hiatt (to say nothing of firing Dan Froomkin, after they did everything they could to hide his blog and try to drive his hit count to zero).
So the idea that MSNBC is getting rid of Olbermann is ludicrous. He put the cable channel on the map in prime time. And he still has the most-watched cable news program that’s not on Fox News Channel. (Olbermann averaged 1 million viewers last month.) What network would get rid of its most valuable player? That wouldn’t make sense.
Why do I have a feeling that this is merely sour grapes on Feehery’s part? Maybe it’s because the paper hasn’t given him any more column space to write fluff fodder for his fellow Repugs, as it once did here for the benefit of a certain “Dancing With The Stars” castoff.
Update: Oh, and here is another "liberal" WaPo moment.