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Bloggingheads
04-16-2008, 06:59 PM

bham
04-16-2008, 07:10 PM
Who else likes these two more than Bob and Mickey?

jh in sd
04-16-2008, 08:01 PM
I love Pinkercorn! Great enthusiasm and intelligence. I think David is going to be busy over the next few months reinterpreting Obama's gaffes. I think the true colors will continue to come shining through.

David Thomson
04-16-2008, 08:20 PM
"Barry" Obama is a race hustler. He will set race relations back for at least twenty years. When everything is said and done, Obama is running a "get whitey" campaign. This is especially true if you are a white man. This guy is an Al Sharpton with a Harvard law degree behind his name. He is taking full advantage of guilt tripped white left-wingers. White middle-of-the-road Americans are finally finding out how hostile Harvard is towards them. They indeed need to wake up before it's too late. A vote for Obama is unwittingly a vote for David Duke. The latter disgusting gentleman will gain many converts after an Obama administration is through jacking them around.

AemJeff
04-16-2008, 09:02 PM
It is especially true that Barack Obama is running a "get whitey" campaign if you are a white man.

Did I paraphrase you accurately?

Without even touching on the overt racism - the senseless illogic is astounding. Congratulations.

David Thomson
04-16-2008, 09:31 PM
"Did I paraphrase you accurately?"

Paraphrase me? Why do you need to do that? Was I not sufficiently blunt? The politically correct cultural milieu considers white men to be a virus. Remember Susan Sontag? "Barry" Obama is pushing a tacit "get whitey" campaign. He and his wife have long exploited guilt tripped white for their financial benefit. They definitely know how to play the "diversity" game for all it's worth. Obama increased this talent dramatically while he attended Harvard law. The more I learn about him---the more disgusted I get.

Black men should have to earn everything they get in this world. The free ride stuff is getting old. If blacks are expected to earn their way in professional sports---they can also likewise earn it in other areas of life. Obama is a candidate for president only because of white guilt. This is 2008, and not the 1950s. It's time to get past race. We need to become truly "post racial." This can be accomplished only by rejecting race hustlers like Obama.

jh in sd
04-16-2008, 10:00 PM
Here's my theory on how Obama made such a terrible mis-step. The cardinal rule for writers holds true for politicians as well. Know your audience. I think Obama was keenly aware of his audience when he made that comment. He was probably shocked that anyone in that room of sympathizers would leak those comments to the media The fact that he made such comments to that particular audience in a closed setting reveals to me that he meant EXACTLY what he said. David Corn seems to sincerely believe it when he says Obama is being misrepresented but also seems to be too honest to relish the role of spin-meister, and it will become increasingly difficult for him as more and more indications of Obama's leftist ideology come out.

Fuquier
04-16-2008, 10:08 PM
This can be accomplished only by rejecting race hustlers like Obama.

Frankly, I think you are the race hustler here.

If you want to get "post racial" by insisting that "Black men should have to earn everything they get in this world"... why don't you just say "men"? Are you going to rail against McCain for marrying a rich woman? Bush for his obvious privileges? No, I don't think you will.

AemJeff
04-16-2008, 10:08 PM
He was probably shocked that anyone in that room of sympathizers would leak those comments to the media

This is probably false. The shock would have been that an innocuous and basically accurate characterization became fodder for somewhat effective, if unprincipled, attacks.

AemJeff
04-16-2008, 10:10 PM
Frankly, I think you are the race hustler here.

If you want to get "post racial" by insisting that "Black men should have to earn everything they get in this world"... why don't you just say "men"? Are you going to rail against McCain for marrying a rich woman? Bush for his obvious privileges? No, I don't think you will.


Yup. Not to mention the sneering and gratuitous "Barry." You might as well say "boy."

jh in sd
04-16-2008, 10:32 PM
Quoting Aem Jeff- "innocuous and basically accurate characterization"

And the beat goes on...You lefties will never get it!

AemJeff
04-16-2008, 10:38 PM
jh, I live in Philadelphia, I've lived in PA for many decades. The people Obama was describing are my friends, neighbors, and family. What are you suggesting I'm failing to "get?"

InJapan
04-16-2008, 10:40 PM
Yup, these are the dynamic duo of blogginheads.tv.

The last topic, on the dancers and the arrest, really does open up an issue that needs more discussion. Photographers around the US have discovered firsthand how over-aggressive some law enforcement personnel can be, but also how touchy many ordinary citizens are about photographs being taken.

Of course there are always the pundits/partisans who want to blame GWB for this... but it really is not his fault. The feelings of insecurity are so part of us as humans that they come to the surface with the most mild of provocations.

I agree with Jim... in that the tendency for many Americans will be to (cautiously) side with the police in many of these situations. I chalk it up to the loss of community that our modern, automobile-empowered, often-relocating careers have given us.

jh in sd
04-16-2008, 10:55 PM
AemJeff, Jim explains quite succienctly what you don't get...and then you go on to say the characterization is "accurate." I live in South Dakota where we'll keep on clinging to our guns and our religion. No one here seems particularily bitter.

AemJeff
04-16-2008, 11:12 PM
AemJeff, Jim explains quite succienctly what you don't get...and then you go on to say the characterization is "accurate." I live in South Dakota where we'll keep on clinging to our guns and our religion. No one here seems particularily bitter.

Suffice it to say "accuracy" is a judgment based on observation. Regardless of your feelings about your neighbors, about whom I'll gladly take your word, there's nothing in the following:

And they’ve gone through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
-Barack Obama


that doesn't fit quite a few people in my state. Note, there's no claim that the things listed in that last sentence are synonymous with bitterness, or that they can only follow from bitterness, which is really the only way that this quote could be construed as anything other than a simple observation. That suggestion is the problem with Pinkerton's (and most that of most other critics') characterization. (And I'm generally a fan of his, despite not agreeing with him about much.)

peteai
04-16-2008, 11:26 PM
I like David & Jim too, but I can't believe they can justify arresting someone unlawfully. Their justification is something along the lines - Police have a stressful job and the quiet dancing made them uncomfortable"

Jeez has the US gone this far ?? Maybe a black man running for president will make some police uncomfortable & they will arrent him ? Arresting someone who has not broken the law & who is doing a harmless activity ? It simply 'WRONG' & an abuse of power.

The US is not yet a police state but if most of the US would support the police action (as suggested by both David & Jim) I worry for the future of the US.

And was that "Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind" phrase specially for the Philadephia common man that Jim so identifies with ???

deecue
04-16-2008, 11:28 PM
Where is the carefulness in these comments?

Let's stop the boosterism and the overheated responses. Clearly Obama made a mistake in using the word "cling." Clearly Obama was correct in noting that people are "bitter." This all seemed pretty obvious from the first. Interestingly, this may turn out to be a Howard Dean moment, where things don't sound as bad in the room as they do out of context. That being said there are a lot of ways to parse his statement to divine Senator Obama's actual thoughts and feelings and it's readily apparent at this point that people will pick and choose and see what they want to see (I'll go ahead and single David Thomson out as a particularly egregious example of this phenomenon). I think the responses speak to the depth and pervasiveness of the actual political divisions and unyielding cynicism that is out there--even on Bloggingheads!--which could bode poorly for Obama's candidacy.

To jump away from the meta, it seems that while on the whole Pinkerton's analysis on the increased deference to authority is accurate, to say that this increased deference will result in people sympathizing with the cops over the dancers in this case is overreaching--but this is imo, the nature of which may be entirely generational.

deecue
04-16-2008, 11:42 PM
Hi jh in sd: It is interesting to me that you took Obama's comments so personally. You don't live in Pennsylvannia. You aren't a bit bitter in your non-internet life. Did you feel economically neglected throughout the Clinton and Bush years? No? Maybe he wasn't talking about you? Then again, your empathy for your fellow Americans who you feel are under attack is admirable. However, might I suggest your response could be a tad defensive? The statement was a terrible generalization, but if you'll notice, politicians do this all the time.

Namazu
04-17-2008, 12:08 AM
Does David have Tourette's syndrome or is he just rude?

piscivorous
04-17-2008, 12:17 AM
Two little points.

Even the French have figured out what happened with Sadar Basra residents welcome Iraq army crackdown (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jau8cyaqusv7BMEs2SCe0aFbTabA)

Mr. Corn fails to mention that the amount of money requested as aid for Iraqi reconstruction was cut from $5.2 B to $2.5 B because the Iraqi government is now putting more money into reconstruction.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 12:40 AM
Just started watching. After nine minutes, I must say, I cannot believe Jim is being so insistently partisan. The amount of spin he's laying on the "elitist" and "out of touch" memes is not what I'd expect from him, nor does he seem as though he's just kind of kidding about it. And to cherry-pick one poll as "evidence" when the polls have been all over the place, with an average result of "no big effect detected," is really disappointing. Maybe he's still got some Huckleberry Kool-Aid in his system.

And why is it always okay for the right to play the class card when they want to mock the other side ("San Francisco," "trust fund," "Mother Jones core readership," "Harvard," "Columbia," etc.) but it's always an outrage for them when a Democrat "starts class warfare?"

And don't even get me started on rich guy Jim claiming to be any more in touch with the common man than any lefty rich guy. It'd be a joke, if the tropes weren't so stale.

C'mon, Jim. You know better than that.

Or maybe the truth is, the right is scared to death of running against Obama.

[Added] Now he's returning to the Fox News attempt to keep the Rev. Wright thing alive. O. M. G.

[Added] I'm going to stop "live-blogging" this now but I have to ask: who stole Jim Pinkerton's senses of humor and balance? I cannot believe how badly he misquoted what Wright said at the funeral. Guess that's a nice paycheck he's getting to wave the Fox flag. Really sad for BH.tv viewers, though. Million Man March??? Skinny Al Sharpton??????

I fear we've lost Jim to the borg that is Fox News.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 01:52 AM
More thoughts as they happened:

On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough. I'm fine with him being a rock-ribbed conservative, but to be so willing to distort the truth and employ racist attacks is just jaw-dropping.

Just makes me shake my head to hear Jim deny that the national deficit and debt are problems. So much for the conservative principle of fiscal responsibility. I guess when you can't attain one of your conservative principles, the next step is to act like you never held it, is that it, Jim?

I am annoyed when Jim presumes to speak for the "American people" regarding the war. He is incorrect to say that "we" "want to win." The truth is, a majority of Americans oppose the war, want to be out of Iraq ASAP, and while I don't know a number on this, I bet a sizable fraction would say either we've lost or we have no hope of winning.

Baltimoron
04-17-2008, 02:29 AM
15:00~

To Jim:

Between someone who advocates the "destruction" of anyone or anything (Parsley (http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/03/john-mccain-rod-parsley-spiritual-guide.html)) and someone expressing their disagreements non-violently (Wright), I'd grudgingly listen to both, if it were free of charge and I weren't otherwise engaged in useful activity.

I owe you the same, Jim!

Baltimoron
04-17-2008, 02:47 AM
~39:00:

it's not the cops I'm worried about, but the politicians making the laws, and even the regs that directly administer them, that police have to enforce regardless of whether they want to do so or not.

StillmanThomas
04-17-2008, 03:30 AM
On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough.

I completely agree, Brendan. Very sad. I think it becomes clear what's happening when they talk about the dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. Jim is totally given over to fear. Everything has changed since 9/11. We're under attack by terrorists and we need to be very afraid!!!

I think this is the key issue of our time. It's what's animating the Democratic primary, and what will animate the presidential race in the fall if Obama is nominated. Are we going to cling to the past, hide in our holes, and give away our liberities and constitutional protections? Or are we going to stand up, take our futures in our hands, and declare: we will stand on the principles that our founders articulated: limited government, checks and balances between the branches, and civil liberties for all, including those accused of hating us and trying to destroy us?

From Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

I am hopeful for the future, Brendan, and hopeful that Jim and others whom I admire on the right will somehow find the backbone to throw off the fear-mongers and return to a confident belief in our way of life, in all that makes us great as a people.

Wonderment
04-17-2008, 03:30 AM
On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough.

Jim is just oozing the anti-Obama memes we will be hearing through early November.

Obama's choice of the "cling" word was revealing, and it's not a surprise that the right wing has gone for the jugular.

One "clings" to a security blanket: a fetish. So it's hard to get around the idea that Obama thinks that people who don't vote for progressive causes fetishize religion, guns and immigrant-hating.

Now I, as an anti-gun, pro-immigrant atheist actually tend to agree with Obama. (I think Obama is actually anti-gun, pro-immigrant and skeptical of religious dogma.) But you can't tell voters their hot-button issues are fetishes and get away with it.

Is Obama really a snob or an elitist and getting what David calls a "bum rap"? Yes, I think it is a bum rap. "Elitist" (as others have pointed out) is euphemistic for "uppity." There's a whiff of racism in calling Obama elitist.

It's ironic that a Harvard-educated black is denigrated for being "elitist," while a street-smart black is denigrated for Alsharptonness. You can't win. What would constitute a good enough black stereotype for Jim? Now we know the answer: Tiger Woods for president.

otto
04-17-2008, 04:15 AM
The bit where they both decided that they liked their mothers was rather charming.

Overall, they spoke over each other a bit more than usual, and its better when they manage to restrain themselves a little more. I was reminded - mildly - of the David Corn/Byron York Plame shoutfest at times.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 09:39 AM
Just started watching. After nine minutes, I must say, I cannot believe Jim is being so insistently partisan. The amount of spin he's laying on the "elitist" and "out of touch" memes is not what I'd expect from him, nor does he seem as though he's just kind of kidding about it. And to cherry-pick one poll as "evidence" when the polls have been all over the place, with an average result of "no big effect detected," is really disappointing. Maybe he's still got some Huckleberry Kool-Aid in his system.

And why is it always okay for the right to play the class card when they want to mock the other side ("San Francisco," "trust fund," "Mother Jones core readership," "Harvard," "Columbia," etc.) but it's always an outrage for them when a Democrat "starts class warfare?"

And don't even get me started on rich guy Jim claiming to be any more in touch with the common man than any lefty rich guy. It'd be a joke, if the tropes weren't so stale.

C'mon, Jim. You know better than that.

Or maybe the truth is, the right is scared to death of running against Obama.

[Added] Now he's returning to the Fox News attempt to keep the Rev. Wright thing alive. O. M. G.

[Added] I'm going to stop "live-blogging" this now but I have to ask: who stole Jim Pinkerton's senses of humor and balance? I cannot believe how badly he misquoted what Wright said at the funeral. Guess that's a nice paycheck he's getting to wave the Fox flag. Really sad for BH.tv viewers, though. Million Man March??? Skinny Al Sharpton??????

I fear we've lost Jim to the borg that is Fox News.

Great post, Brendan; it's the perfect response, and describes my own reaction to Jim's dishonesty. I'm glad someone is holding his feet to the fire (what little good it will do aside).

My own theory is that Jim's "new attitude" is due to the impending election. And he's not the only one: I noticed the same thing in 2004: He and a large number of other conservatives who can normally be expected to be fairly honest become totally dishonest in proximity to presidential elections. For the next 7 months, Jim will try to do as much damage to Barack Obama as he can, and he'll have no trouble lying to do it.

Take his treatment of Obama's "bitter" comment. Jim didn't just get it wrong; he lied about it, knowingly and willfully, directly into the camera. Here's how he characterized Obama's remarks:

What he said was ... [a] crypto-Marxist viewpoint that the workers have been bamboozled by Jerry Falwell into neglecting their economic interests so they can keep their guns and their women pregnant and barefoot."

Obama said absolutely nothing of the kind, and Jim knows it. Here's what Obama actually said. Note it contains nothing about pregnancy, bare feet, Jerry Falwell, being bamboozled into following religion, or Marxism:

I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people are most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy.' That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long. They feel so betrayed by government that when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama, then that adds another layer of skepticism.

But -- so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What is the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is -- so, we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing -- to close tax loopholes, you know, roll back the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama's gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we're gonna provide health care for every American.

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.


Right now, Jim is in campaign mode: his sole professional objective for the next 7 months is to get McCain elected, and he will happily lie in pursuit of that goal.

And the sad thing is that this will not hurt him. There are rich rewards for the right-wing pundit willing to lie in service of the Movement. The more performances like this one that Jim turns in, the more beloved he will be by the Rush/Hannity/O'Reilly base of the Republican Party.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 09:52 AM
On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough. I'm fine with him being a rock-ribbed conservative, but to be so willing to distort the truth and employ racist attacks is just jaw-dropping.
In my previous response I attributed this to the impending election. I said that in 2004 I noticed the same thing: A large number of normally honest conservatives revert to lying, partisan hacks. There are a number of "below the radar" wingnuts in the MSM, such as Norah O'Donnell and Andrea Mitchell, who mostly play it straight: the "neutral" journalist, but can be increasingly counted on to lie in service of their agenda as the election approaches. As soon as the election passes (at least if 2004 is any guide) they will revert to their neutral form.

Then there are the openly conservative, like Joe Scarborough and Pinkerton. Scarborough is always reliably conservative, but most of the time he's also fair and honest. But like Jim, that has been suspended until the election is over. If you've seen Scarborough lately, you know he is now as dishonest as Pinkerton.

Quite simply: These conservatives put their commitment to the movement before their responsibility to be fair and honest, and they will do whatever they have to to ensure a Republican victory. And they will be rewarded. Honest brokers are useless to the Republican Party and the right-wing movement; what they need are skilled liars, and Pinkerton -- credit where it's due -- is a masterful, brilliant liar.

AemJeff
04-17-2008, 09:52 AM
It's ironic that a Harvard-educated black is denigrated for being "elitist," while a street-smart black is denigrated for Alsharptonness. You can't win.

And, apparently Obama not only can't win, he contains multitudes!

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 10:01 AM
Pinkerton said (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10234?in=00:08:33&out=00:08:41), "Obama fell 20 points in Pennsylvania in the last week" as a result of the "bitter" comment.

What actually happened?

The new poll by American Research Group -- conducted Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- gave Clinton 57% and Obama 37% (based on interviews with 600 Democrats, the survey has an error margin of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points). The 20-point margin is all the more dramatic because, just the week before, an ARG poll found the pair in a flat-out tie in Pennsylvania, each with 45%.

So, Obama fell 8 points. Not 20. And as David pointed out, this wasn't the only poll. Jim was not only lying about the one poll he cited, he was being dishonest by pretending it was the only poll taken in Pennsylvania.

This is what elections do to conservatives who are normally semi-honest: turns them into partisan hacks and liars. Jim puts his membership in the conservative movement waaaaay ahead of his responsibilities as a member of the media establishment to tell the truth. He's more than happy to sacrifice whatever professional reputation he might enjoy in service of a McCain victory (achieved not by boosting McCain, but destroying Obama).

But of course, there will be no cost to Pinkerton for his dishonestly. On the contrary, his performance in this diavlog will earn him praise and affection from the Republican Party, which values skilled liars as important assets and key role models to be emulated, and rewarded with employment opportunities.

Jim's dishonest misrepresentation of the ARG poll is not something other conservatives will recoil from or correct. It's something they will emulate. They will think to themselves, "Ah! Misrepresenting a 20 point gap as a 20 point drop! Ingenious!"

It is in this way that the media establishment will ensure a McCain presidency.

AemJeff
04-17-2008, 10:05 AM
Just started watching. After nine minutes, I must say, I cannot believe Jim is being so insistently partisan. The amount of spin he's laying on the "elitist" and "out of touch" memes is not what I'd expect from him, nor does he seem as though he's just kind of kidding about it. And to cherry-pick one poll as "evidence" when the polls have been all over the place, with an average result of "no big effect detected," is really disappointing. Maybe he's still got some Huckleberry Kool-Aid in his system.

[...]

I fear we've lost Jim to the borg that is Fox News.

It's a damn shame. Pinkerton has seemed like a reliable voice in the wilderness. with a genuine lack of cynicism and a point of view that cut obliquely and exposed a lot of good stuff.

And why is it always okay for the right to play the class card when they want to mock the other side ("San Francisco," "trust fund," "Mother Jones core readership," "Harvard," "Columbia," etc.) but it's always an outrage for them when a Democrat "starts class warfare?"

Republicans are still the absolute masters of heads we win, tails you lose politics. I start wishing every campaign season for signs of life among the Democrats, but every time it seems somebody might get it, something meaningless ("Dean-Scream") decaptitates them. In objective terms I have to acknowledge the Republicans' tactical mastery.

zookarama
04-17-2008, 10:55 AM
Quoting bjkeefe: Just started watching. After nine minutes, I must say, I cannot believe Jim is being so insistently partisan. The amount of spin he's laying on the "elitist" and "out of touch" memes is not what I'd expect from him, nor does he seem as though he's just kind of kidding about it.

Republicans believe that this remark by Obama is going to rescue them from the f**kups of the past 8 years. Sorry. Whoever the Dem nominee is will remind us again why we're so eager for a fundamental change in (pick any area of public policy.)

The doldrums that is the time between primaries has caused the MSM much distress and the Republicans know that the MSM will 'cling' to any sort of sensationalism that will keep the eye glazed out in tvland. (how's that for elitism?)

Calm down, Jim. In your heart, you know the repubs are going down.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-17-2008, 11:43 AM
TwinSwords:

I think your post indicates how bias is in the eye of the beholder. It's interesting, for example, that you consider Andrea Mitchell to be a "below the radar...wingnut." I always thought she supported Kerry over Bush, and supports Hillary in the current campaign.

I think you're correct that people become more strongly partisan as an election gets closer, but I strongly disagree with your characterization of this as solely being a characteristic of the right-wing. For example, if you've regularly read center-left blogs for the past six months, you would have witnessed the attitude towards John McCain transform from grudging respect to animosity once it became clear that he, rather than Guilianni or Romney, would become the Republican nomimee. The election cycle pushes people to take a more adversarial attitude than usual, causing them to become more forgiving of their side's flaws and more outraged by minor flubs made by people on the other side.

How many times during the election season have you read bloggers claim they that used to think highly of a pundit/politician whom they typically disagreed with, but that they "lost all respect" for that person on account of a single statement/blog post they recently made?

Finally, while I agree with you that this wasn't Jim's finest moment on bloggingheads (though I wouldn't conclude that his misstatment about Pennsylvania polls was purposefully deceitful), I'd disagree with your characterization of Joe Scarborough. I watch Morning Joe on a regular basis, and find Joe to be one of the most fair-minded pundits out there. Sure, you can take a snippet from his show and say that it seems grossly unfair, but if you watch the show for a reasonable and regular duration, he's reliably even-handed.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-17-2008, 11:47 AM
That seems a lot more like a mistake than a lie. A "lie" is a purposeful misstatement to deceive another. Do you really think Pinkerton is trying to trick David Corn, or the vast bloggingheads viewing audience? Isn't it more reasonable to assume that Pinkerton is bad at math, and, like virtually everyone, emphasizes those facts and polls that reinforce his existing beliefs?

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 12:15 PM
Elvis:

Pardon me for jumping in on your thread with Twin, but I wanted to say two things:

First, comparing the change in Jim's tone, especially regarding Obama, to the change in lefty bloggers' tone, as regards McCain, is not really fair. The comparison to make would be, say, Jim to David Corn. While Corn is a proud and partisan lefty, and always has been, note that he was able to maintain honesty in this diavlog; e.g; in the way he could acknowledge and discuss the bad aspects to Obama's remarks. Had David been being like Jim on this issue, he would have either denied Obama said it, denied it was important and refused to talk about it (cf. Jim on the national debt), or just insisted it was all a right-wing smear attempt (which it mostly is).

Second, while I grant that the looming election and the endless campaign have something to do with the change in tone, part of the leftosphere's change in attitude towards McCain has also to do with his apparent embrace of two of the worst aspects of the Bush doctrine: stay the course in Iraq and continue favoring the rich with tax policy. Add to that his wooing of the evangelical vote (when he used to be reasonable about this group), his sudden evasiveness regarding his medical and tax records, his mantra of being a "footsoldier in the Reagan Revolution," his obsession with the grizzly bear study, etc., and there's every reason to have lost "grudging respect" for the man. "Maverick?" "Straight talk?" Not so much, anymore.

There's also an irritation that's growing as it becomes ever more apparent what a break McCain gets from the MSM. They obsess over inanities like a flag lapel pin for Obama, and create and maintain "controversies," and then "cover the controversy," over things like bowling and what drink he chose to order in a diner ("Orange juice, not coffee??? The horror!!!), but when McCain can't keep straight the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, on multiple occasions, there's always some MSM-type rushing in to say, "Just a slip of the tongue -- not important."

The MSM wondered whether Jeremiah Wright was the be-all and end-all of Obama's thinking, but had almost nothing to say about John Hagee and other televangelists whose support McCain courted and gratefully accepted.

When a McCain surrogate says something obnoxious, the focus tends to be on McCain saying he didn't agree with the remarks, or worse, the MSM hasten to explain that McCain was "unaware" of them. The story is never artificially kept alive the way it is with Obama.

Also, you will rarely see a MSM reference to McCain without "war hero" being somewhere mentioned. While his conduct as a POW appears to have been admirable, I fail to see why events from 40 years ago should be held up as conclusive evidence that he'll make smart executive decisions.

I could go on for pages, but I think you get my point.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 12:26 PM
Bokonon:

I think it becomes clear what's happening when they talk about the dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. Jim is totally given over to fear. Everything has changed since 9/11. We're under attack by terrorists and we need to be very afraid!!!

I couldn't bear to respond to this part, so I'm glad you said something about it. You're absolutely right about Jim's, and much of the rest of the right's, fetish for fear.

I'd add that this was yet another point where Jim's presuming to speak for "the American people" irritated me. Having had a night to cool off, I can recognize it for what it likely is -- a rhetorical device meant to plant a seed -- but it still rubs me the wrong way. The fact is, most people have always has a respect for cops and other figures of authority, especially in face-to-face encounters, especially middle-class whites. This dance thing does not signify any change at all -- there have always been cops with petty Napoleonic tendencies, and they almost always get obeyed.

look
04-17-2008, 12:41 PM
My own theory is that Jim's "new attitude" is due to the impending election. And he's not the only one: I noticed the same thing in 2004: He and a large number of other conservatives who can normally be expected to be fairly honest become totally dishonest in proximity to presidential elections. For the next 7 months, Jim will try to do as much damage to Barack Obama as he can, and he'll have no trouble lying to do it.
I'm surprised everyone is surprised at Jim's attitude. I first saw it demonstrated back when he was on with Jim Schmitt and had a meltdown of indignation over the illegal immigrant situation, and IIRC, was talking up a border wall (electronic?)

And who can forget his very serious suggestion of a cop at every mosque?

Obama said absolutely nothing of the kind, and Jim knows it. Here's what Obama actually said. Note it contains nothing about pregnancy, bare feet, Jerry Falwell, being bamboozled into following religion, or Marxism:

Well, I think that's just exaggeration for effect. It's important to note that the first time you hear the 'bitter' remark, it sounds like he's calling Pennsylvanians a bunch of red-necks. As Wonderment alluded to above, it was a rookie mistake.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 12:49 PM
look:

You're right that Jim has exhibited wingnut tendencies in the past, and your examples of his ideas about The Fence and a cop at every mosque are spot-on. Still, though, he seemed quite different in overall affect for most of this diavlog. In the past, he'd go on for a bit with some idea, but he'd also lighten up quickly. In addition, he seemed more prone to acknowledging other sides to his point of view in the past. This time, he seemed as humorless and bullheaded as Sean Hannity, and not only did he stick to one extreme side without acknowledging the worth of other sides, he also wasn't even talking about original ideas. At least the cop at every mosque nuttiness was something I hadn't heard before. Pretty much everything he said in this diavlog was warmed-over talking points.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 12:57 PM
look:

You're right that Jim has exhibited wingnut tendencies in the past, and your examples of his ideas about The Fence and a cop at every mosque are spot-on. Still, though, he seemed quite different in overall affect for most of this diavlog. In the past, he'd go on for a bit with some idea, but he'd also lighten up quickly. In addition, he seemed more prone to acknowledging other sides to his point of view in the past. This time, he seemed as humorless and bullheaded as Sean Hannity, and not only did he stick to one extreme side without acknowledging the worth of other sides, he also wasn't even talking about original ideas. At least the cop at every mosque nuttiness was something I hadn't heard before. Pretty much everything he said in this diavlog was warmed-over talking points.

Right. There's a difference between taking an extreme right-wing point of view, as Pinkerton always has, and openly lying right into the camera, something we didn't usually see from him. But my thesis is simple and based on a lot of exposure to wingnut pundits during presidential elections: Until the election passes, any pretense of fairness or honesty is out the window for a large number of right-wingers. I'm repeating myself, but the Pinkertons of the world place their role as foot soldiers in the conservative movement before their professional obligations as members of the press. Jim will glady and openly lie as much as he can and as often as necessary to ensure Barack Obama is obliterated and McCain becomes president.

I apologize to readers who don't like a harsh judgement of a beloved BHTV personality; I like Jim myself, and if folks look back on past Pinkercorn episodes, they will see this is the case. But this is what presidential elections do to wingnuts: It turns them into willful liars.

That's the "change" in Jim that people are detecting. He'll go back to caring about his reputation as a journalist once the election is over. Until then, anything goes and he'll do his duty to make sure McCain is victorious.

Key Point: Pinkerton isn't the only one. There are several in the media who follow this same pattern.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 12:59 PM
AemJeff:

Republicans are still the absolute masters of heads we win, tails you lose politics. I start wishing every campaign season for signs of life among the Democrats, but every time it seems somebody might get it, something meaningless ("Dean-Scream") decaptitates them. In objective terms I have to acknowledge the Republicans' tactical mastery.

You're right about that.

I can never decide whether I should grudgingly admire the GOP for this and be annoyed at the Democrats for dithering, or continue to be glad that the Democrats just won't go there as wholeheartedly. In the end, such tactics hurt the country, and I wonder if both sides were equally skilled and equally prone to such tactics, whether we'd, in effect, be a one-party state.

Pardon my elitism, but I don't think everyone living in the gutter is the way to go. I sometimes think one side trying to stay on the higher road is better in the long run. I grant that it means losing in the short term, but I have hopes that the electorate will someday realize how bad off they are as a result of buying into the GOP's tactics and having gotten their policies, cronyism, and incompetence in the bargain. Maybe, at that point, they'll recognize that it doesn't have to be this way, and they'll be glad to have a choice.

Dreaming, probably.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 01:06 PM
Twin:

I'm repeating myself, but the Pinkertons of the world place their role as foot soldiers in the conservative movement before their professional obligations as members of the press.

It's okay to repeat. It needs to be said early and often.

I wonder how much of this is ideological commitment, and how much is love for the money. Keep in mind that Jim worked for the Huckabee campaign, which I expect was mostly out of ideology, but has since had to look for a new gig. I have dark visions of the induction ceremony in the basement of the Fox News building.

Paranoia aside, I also wonder what it does to a guy like Jim to be surrounded with people who agree with him, and who have a long history of being completely one-sided about issues. Maybe he's the one who needs to be deprogrammed, as opposed to our friend visiting Saudi Arabia.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 01:06 PM
That seems a lot more like a mistake than a lie.
You may be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think he's smart enough and dishonest enough to have known exactly what he was doing. I'll grant there is a degree of uncertainty, but combined with the rest of his bald-faced lies, I think it's fairly clear he was being purposefully deceitful.



A "lie" is a purposeful misstatement to deceive another. Do you really think Pinkerton is trying to trick David Corn, or the vast bloggingheads viewing audience?
Absolutely! I think he's going to take every stolen base he can. This is about damaging Obama and "Saving America" from the catastrophe of a Democratic president. I'm sure he thinks he's doing patriotic duty by lying to you.



Isn't it more reasonable to assume that Pinkerton is bad at math, and, like virtually everyone, emphasizes those facts and polls that reinforce his existing beliefs?
All I know is that he misrepresented the truth, and that he's a very smart guy with an extremely well-rehearsed presentation. If "errors" and "mistakes" creep into that presentation, it's funny how they do more damage to Obama than the truth. I think he knew exactly what he was doing, and he will do this kind of thing often in the months ahead.

Hopefully we will have more Pinkercorn episodes before November, so any doubt you might have about his veracity can be extinguished.

Note: He cares far less about his standing as a "journalist" than he does about his standing as a member of the conservative movement. He's perfectly willing to damage his professional reputation to advance the McCain candidacy. However I must note that he cannot damage his professional standing by lying about Obama or Clinton; instead, lying will enhance his professional standing. The more and better he lies, the more valuable an asset he will be to Fox News and other right-wing media outlets.

look
04-17-2008, 01:07 PM
look:
Still, though, he seemed quite different in overall affect for most of this diavlog. In the past, he'd go on for a bit with some idea, but he'd also lighten up quickly. In addition, he seemed more prone to acknowledging other sides to his point of view in the past. This time, he seemed as humorless and bullheaded as Sean Hannity...

It's strange how we all see things differently. I thought he more or less lightened up during the diavlog. During the Schmitt diavlog he stayed pretty upset, so as soon as he said the Sharpton comment, with that defiant set to his expression and tone, I thought it was going to go south. But Corn maintained his good humor and Jim ended up doing his charming giggle-laugh a few times.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-17-2008, 01:14 PM
Brendan:

Several points in reply:

1. As I said in my original post, I thought Jim came off overly partisan and rabid, but I think his transformation is symptomatic of the change that occurs in many polical junkies, on the right and the left, during a presidential campaign (Jim's recent participation in the presidential campaign as an advisor for Huckabee has probably been a contributing factor to his greater adversarial posture of late). You seem to be arguing that I can't analogize Jim's behavior with that of certain left-wing bloggers, because David Corn didn't seem as unhinged as Jim during this diavlog. If only all pundits were as consistent as David! But many of them, on all sides of the spectrum, are not.

2. You argue that the left side of the blogosphere's change in attitude towards McCain is justified, because he's no longer a "maverick," etc. However, most of the examples you mention are positions that McCain has long held (when hasn't McCain boasted of his participation in the Reagan Revolution or supported an increase in troops in Iraq?), or "flip-flops" like his wooing of evangelicals that (1) are done by every single politician and (2) occurred well before liberal attitude towards McCain began to change. Well into the Republican campaign, when McCain seemed like a much better alternative to many liberals than Giuliani or Romney, you would read left-wing bloggers praising McCain's integrity and hear Democratic presidential candidates say "I agree with John McCain that..." But only now, in the spring of 2008, with McCain the Republican nominee, is he labelled a war-monger or a hypocrite? Come on.

3. I agree that the recent news coverage of McCain has been more positive than the two Democratic candidates (though they have covered his gaffes for a day or two, and we shouldn't forget the unsourced "McCain is screwing a lobbyist" story that the New York Times inexplicably ran). But that's mainly because he has the nomination wrapped up while the Democrats are in a dogfight, so the media is going to pay a lot more attention to Hillary and Obama's gaffes than those McCain makes. That will surely change in the general election.

4. I think you're getting way too worked up about the injustice of the recent negative media coverage of Obama. Let's not forget that less than two months ago the media pundits were arguably his biggest supporters, comparing his speeches to those of MLK and RFK, portraying the Clintons' campaign in South Carolina as quasi-racist, and generally treating Hillary as a cold and out-of-touch bitch. He's getting a bit rougher treatment now, when he has no chance of losing the Democratic nomination, but do you really think the media isn't going to start covering him more favorably in the general election? Yeah, McCain may be more willing to talk to the media, but Obama's young and hip!

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 01:20 PM
look:

I thought he more or less lightened up during the diavlog.

I agree, somewhat. He was a little less strident once he got all of his Obama talking points out of his system. And yes, later on, he even let loose that wonderful laugh.

But then he finished up with a truly wacky take on the dancers at the Jefferson Memorial story. Not only did that pretty much wipe out what little good feeling I had managed to regain; its extreme tone reminded me of how appalled I was at his race-based Obama-bashing.

Sorry that I don't remember anything about his diavlog with Mark Schmitt, so I can't make that comparison. I'll take your word for it. That said, I think my sense of him from remembering other PinkerCorns has merit.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-17-2008, 01:37 PM
No offense, TwinSwords, but to me your comments seem emblematic of the hyperpartisan attitudes people begin adopting as the campaign season wears on. As I've said, I agree with you that this wasn't Jim's best performance, as it seemed that emotion was driving his perception to a greater degree than normal, and he was imputing motivations on his political opponents that reinforced his own worldview.

But in my view, you seem to be doing much the same thing. There was nothing about Jim's stammering argument that struck me as "an extremely well-rehearsed presentation." Likewise, I think it's much more reasonable to think that Jim misunderstood the polling data than to believe he's intentionally trying to deceive David Corn and the 500 or so bloggingheads viewers. I just disagree with your contention that he thinks the more he lies "the more valuable an asset he will be to Fox News and other right-wing media outlets."

I don't know Jim Pinkerton personally, but I've seen him about 40 or so times on bloggingheads. Based on my observations, it seems to me much more likely that he's a friendly guy who occassionally gets overly worked up about goofy things (Obama's pastor, space exploration), than a secret emissary of some right-wing cabal who has been sent to bloggingheads to destroy it from within.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 01:40 PM
I think your post indicates how bias is in the eye of the beholder. It's interesting, for example, that you consider Andrea Mitchell to be a "below the radar...wingnut." I always thought she supported Kerry over Bush, and supports Hillary in the current campaign.
Andrea Mitchell was like a lot of other cable news journalists: Until 2004, I had no idea she was a conservative Republican. She always refrained from open partisanship and dishonesty, and gave fairly balanced reports and commentary. But in the six months or so before the 2004 election, her "true colors" came out, with openly partisan attacks on Kerry, Dean, the Democrats, etc. After the election, she reverted back to neutral journalist form.

I haven't seen it yet in 2008, but I expect her Republican tendencies will surface in the near future.



I think you're correct that people become more strongly partisan as an election gets closer
That's a true statement, but it's not precisely what I said. I wasn't saying people become more partisan, but that their mode of operation changes -- precisely as Brendan originally observed.

Jim, who is normally fair and honest while still being extremely conservative, is now a baldfaced liar. And he will remain a baldfaced liar until Obama is destroyed and McCain wins the election.

Becoming a baldfaced liar is different from becoming more partisan. We all become more partisan, but there are a distressing number of conservatives in the media who are willing to repeat the fact-free right-wing talking points of the day.

This is all about the election: Jim is a movement conservative who has devoted his life to advancing The Cause. And he is going to use his platform to do as much damage to Obama as he can -- fairly or unfairly, honestly or dishonestly. Whatever it takes.

George Stephanopoulos, on the other hand, isn't like that. He's not determined to use his platform to damage Republicans regardless of the cost to his professional reputation. Like most "liberals" or Democrats in the media, what few their are, Stephanopoulos clearly places his professional reputation and standing as a journalist waaaay before his "duties" as a liberal Democrat.

The one person in the MSM who I think DOES place his partisan loyalties ahead of his professional standing is Keith Olbermann, but he doesn't lie in the service of his agenda, and won't do anything dishonest or disreputable to help the Democrats.

I also disagree that this is an "eye of the beholder" thing. I don't know of any Democrats who do what Jim and other conservatives do, i.e., lie professionally. There probably is one dishonest Democrat somewhere you could cite, but the general tendencies are crystal clear. If you have any doubts about this, I will point out that we are only now beginning to get into the "general" election season when these tendencies will become most appallingly apparent.



I'd disagree with your characterization of Joe Scarborough. I watch Morning Joe on a regular basis, and find Joe to be one of the most fair-minded pundits out there. Sure, you can take a snippet from his show and say that it seems grossly unfair, but if you watch the show for a reasonable and regular duration, he's reliably even-handed.

That's exactly why I cited Scarborough. I, too, watch him almost every morning (and have since he started his morning gig), and I catch him many evenings on MSNBC. I have always found him to be exactly as you describe: reliably even-handed, fair, basically honest, etc.

But that has changed in the last 2-3 weeks. He is now doing exactly what Jim was doing. These are just two people who characterize and typify the right wingers in the MSM.

If you have any doubts, we'll see a lot more of this dishonorable (but profitable) behavior from them in the months ahead.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 01:48 PM
Elvis:

Many good points, and I agree with your overall take. A few quibbles:

You seem to be arguing that I can't analogize Jim's behavior with that of certain left-wing bloggers, because David Corn didn't seem as unhinged as Jim during this diavlog. If only all pundits were as consistent as David! But many of them, on all sides of the spectrum, are not.

You're right that many others have become as unhinged as Jim seemed in this latest diavlog, but I still maintain that the comparison is less than sound. Given a whole universe of fruit, there are a lot of non-apples that one could pick.

(I am going to let that strained metaphor stand as punishment to self.)

I just think it made more sense to compare Jim to David, that's all.

Most of your point #2, where you argue that McCain has become more of a target now that his even more unsavory challengers for the nomination have been disposed of, is correct. I agree that he's been consistently pro-war, in particular. Still, I maintain that McCain continues to dine out on erstwhile positions. His former attitude about evangelicals, for example, tends to give the MSM an excuse to imply that they don't really think his new embrace of them is meaningful. Another example is his flip-flop on torture. This anti-Bush stance gained him a respect from a lot of people on the left, including me, and rightfully so. But he no longer stands up against torture nearly as unambiguously. Same for his previous stance against Bush's tax policy, and his new position of supporting it. There really is something to the charge of hypocrisy, and it's doubly worth making, since the MSM tends to cling to his past maverickiness as though it still exists.

Your point #3 is right, especially the part about the Dems still being in a nomination battle, while McCain has won his. I do want to point out that as much as I hate the overuse of this expression, that one NYT story about McCain and the lobbyist is the exception that proves the rule. That is, he got one piece of critical news coverage (as opposed to opinionating), and the uproar was deafening. I don't want to argue the merits of that article. My sense is that it went through too many lawyers, and the editors should have cut the sex scandal part out once they saw what was left. My point is, it was one story, and the backlash lasted a week. We have not seen any other major news stories examining McCain in a critical way since.

By contrast, the MSM has long had a pattern of covering some triviality regarding Obama, and then keeping it alive with endless thumbsuckers having to do with "does this latest controversy mean the end of the Obama campaign?" Additionally, outcries from the left never make the MSM back off the way they do when the right makes a stink.

Which leads me to your point #4. I agree that some in the punditocracy were enthralled with Obama early on. However, I'd say that most of these people took criticism of this leaning far too much to heart. As is all too often the case, the pattern reappeared: the right criticizes the MSM for "liberal bias" and the MSM overcompensates in reaction.

I've gone on longer than "a few quibbles" justified. Let me repeat that I agree with your larger view on the whole situation.

look
04-17-2008, 01:51 PM
look:

But then he finished up with a truly wacky take on the dancers at the Jefferson Memorial story. Not only did that pretty much wipe out what little good feeling I had managed to regain; its extreme tone reminded me of how appalled I was at his race-based Obama-bashing.
Well, I'm cursed with the burden of contrarianism, but I don't think it's out of the realm of expectation that uptight, true-blue cops would be unlikely to put up with kids silently dancing in the mall area. I expect their first concern would be that these kids were meth-heads who could possibly fly into a rage, etc.

Sorry that I don't remember anything about his diavlog with Mark Schmitt, so I can't make that comparison. I'll take your word for it. That said, I think my sense of him from remembering other PinkerCorns has merit.
Well, I should have been more clear. My meaning was that, now and then, Jim expresses his right-wing views prominently, but over-all is a great guy.

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 01:52 PM
No offense, TwinSwords, but to me your comments seem emblematic of the hyperpartisan attitudes people begin adopting as the campaign season wears on. As I've said, I agree with you that this wasn't Jim's best performance, as it seemed that emotion was driving his perception to a greater degree than normal, and he was imputing motivations on his political opponents that reinforced his own worldview.

But in my view, you seem to be doing much the same thing. There was nothing about Jim's stammering argument that struck me as "an extremely well-rehearsed presentation." Likewise, I think it's much more reasonable to think that Jim misunderstood the polling data than to believe he's intentionally trying to deceive David Corn and the 500 or so bloggingheads viewers. I just disagree with your contention that he thinks the more he lies "the more valuable an asset he will be to Fox News and other right-wing media outlets."

I don't know Jim Pinkerton personally, but I've seen him about 40 or so times on bloggingheads. Based on my observations, it seems to me much more likely that he's a friendly guy who occassionally gets overly worked up about goofy things (Obama's pastor, space exploration), than a secret emissary of some right-wing cabal who has been sent to bloggingheads to destroy it from within.

Okay, fair enough; it's a reasonable disagreement. Let's agree to disagree, while waiting for Pinkerton's next performance. The next time he appears, will he reinforce my assumptions, or yours? If this was a one off, I'll happily concede the point. If he keeps lying/getting it wrong, I hope you will acknowledge that it might be deliberate.

To respond to a couple of your other points:

(1) Yes, I am hyper-partisan, and it doesn't take an election season to make me so. ;-) I acknowledge this is probably a weakness on my part.

(2) Yes, I've seen all of Pinkerton's past shows, too, and that's the whole point I picked up on from Brendon: This episode was such a departure from his past appearances, in which he was basically honest. I'm simply explaining it based on lots of observed data: Jim and many other conservatives become liars before presidential elections. If this wasn't part of a much larger pattern, I would never have made the charges against Pinkerton that I have.

What about Jim's completely distortion of the "bitter" remarks? There is no way to characterize that as anything but a package of lies, is there? In that single segment I quoted above, he told 3 or 4 lies.

(3) BHTV has far more than 500 viewers. I don't know a precise total, but as of six-nine months ago, BHTV had between 15-20,000 unique visitors per month. (A stray fact I read somewhere; can't find the source now.) I think there has probably been considerable growth since then.

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 01:57 PM
look:

Well, I'm cursed with the burden of contrarianism ...

Nice to know I'm not alone in this suffering. ;^)

I won't debate the cops on dancers story. I looked followed it a bit on Julian Sanchez's blog and found it uninteresting. I agree that it's tough being a cop.

I also agree with this:

My meaning was that, now and then, Jim expresses his right-wing views prominently, but over-all is a great guy.

That's why I spent so much time registering my dismay. As with Mickey, it hurts more to hear wingnuttiness coming from someone I generally and genuinely like than it does to hear it from someone like Michael Goldfarb, Ann Althouse, or Erick Erickson.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-17-2008, 02:12 PM
TwinSwords,

I think I'll keep my comments brief, because I've spent too much of my time today posting (it's a sunny day outside, what am I doing on a messageboard?!!).

First, that really surprises me that the 2004 election coverage convinced you that Mitchell was a Republican, because it made me believe she was a Democrat (or at least someone who strongly preferred Kerry to Bush). I can't remember the exact details, but I remember once on Hardball when she characterized a claim made by Bush about Kerry as "ridiculous," and Chris Matthews rightly pointed out that it was a perfectly fair argument. (EDIT: It was actually about a Bush ad (http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040322.asp#3)regarding Kerry's comment that he "voted for it before he voted against it.") I remember thinking at the time that she was definitely for Kerry, and since that time I've thought she's generally taken an anti-Bush and pro-Hillary stance. Perception is clearly in the eye of the beholder.

Secondly, while I agree with you that Olbermann is clearly partisan, I disagree with your claim that he won't do anything "dishonest or disreputable to help the Democrats." I suppose it depends on how one defines the terms, but it seems to me that he clearly distorts claims made by conservatives all the time to portray them in the worst light possible. I won't speculate as to how much of this distortion is intentional.

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-17-2008, 02:21 PM
We've moved close enough to consensus that I think we can move on, recognizing that we both have made some fair points.

That said, I did want to disagree with you that McCain "flip-flopped" on torture. I assume this is because he voted against a bill that would have clearly banned waterboarding. But media coverage of that bill was extremely simplistic. The bill would have barred the CIA from using any technique not authorized in the Army Field Manual. That Manual is several hundred pages long, and bans or limits the use of numerous techniques besides waterboarding, including the use of standard good cop/bad cop interrogation methods without specific approval. One can be opposed to waterboarding while also thinking that the CIA should be allowed greater discretion in interrogation than the Army. McCain has said repeatedly that he thinks waterboarding is torture and illegal under existing law, and I don't think his vote on the legislation you elude to constitutes a "flip-flop."

TwinSwords
04-17-2008, 02:23 PM
I think I'll keep my comments brief, because I've spent to much of my time today posting (it's a sunny day outside, what am I doing on a messageboard?!!).
LOL, good point! :-)



First, that really surprises me that the 2004 election coverage convinced you that Mitchell was a Republican, because it made me believe she was a Democrat (or at least someone who strongly preferred Kerry to Bush).
That is interesting, and I agree that there is a general human tendency to see reinforcing trends more than any other. I guess we will be able to see what she does this time around. Maybe you're right about her true tendencies.


I can't remember the exact details, but I remember once on Hardball when she characterized a claim made by Bush about Kerry as "ridiculous," and Chris Matthews rightly pointed out that it was a perfectly fair argument. (EDIT: It was actually about a Bush ad (http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2004/cyb20040322.asp#3)regarding Kerry's comment that he "voted for it before he voted against it.") I remember thinking at the time that she was definitely for Kerry, and since that time I've thought she's generally taken an anti-Bush and pro-Hillary stance. Perception is clearly in the eye of the beholder.
Interesting discussion you linked to; thanks for digging that up. I won't counter with a link of my own, but I recall her "helping Bush" on many occasions, including by advancing the Swift Boat Vets smear campaign.

That's enough for now. Go enjoy the sun! :-)

bjkeefe
04-17-2008, 03:22 PM
Elvis:

We've moved close enough to consensus that I think we can move on, recognizing that we both have made some fair points.

Yes, I agree.

I'll note this for the record, though: You can make a case that McCain is still anti-torture in some senses, certainly by comparison to much of the rest of his party. You can also say that the media's coverage of his vote on the latest relevant bill was oversimplified, and I won't disagree with that much, either.

Still, it is my sense that he was once so clearly anti-torture that I could rally behind him, but now has become awfully dodgy on the issue. I don't want to reopen the torture debate; I imagine you know where I stand on that issue. I just want to say that I lost respect for McCain on this one, and I don't think my understanding of his change in stance is overly simplified.

I guess that's one point that we're not going to approach consensus on.

AemJeff
04-17-2008, 03:25 PM
jh, Bob seems to be completely on-board (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10256?in=00:10:52&out=11:37) with your understanding of this controversy.

jh in sd
04-17-2008, 05:27 PM
Wow! It's fascinating seeing so many pots calling the kettles black. Evidently, disagreeing with the left-leaning bloggers here turns one into a wingnut and a liar. As I have stated before, character assisination is historically a common tactic of the far-left. (Unfortunately, this tactic is becoming far too common on both sides of the aisle). Would it suprise you left-leaners that people on the right percieve you in the same unflattering way?

Thus Spoke Elvis-Thank you for your objectivitely.

I find it enjoyable to listen to the views of those I disagree with. Why else would I, one of the few conservative bloggers here, listen to Bloggingheads? If we could take the rancor down a few notchs, it might make these conversations more valuable. I honestly listen to Bloggingheads to come to a better understanding of the other point of view. When one jumps the hurdles of reasonable discussion directly to the point of inflammatory rhetoric, it all becomes just partisan politics as usual.

My final thought on Obama and his "bitter" remark-We'll see what the school of hard knocks teaches him. Too many mistakes like that will cost him big time down the road.

Baltimoron
04-17-2008, 06:04 PM
I think TwinSwords is healthily skeptical and brings up a pertinent observation worthy of future scrutiny. Thus Spoke Elvis seems naive. Thinking of the pundit class a just another bunch of people on the street is a mistake. The pundit class is arguably part of the problem in this hyperpartisan election campaign season, and that's the reason why bhTv is so important. These pundits, who would spin the lie for why they didn't call home to Mom to their moms, and then syndicate the pat responses for other deadbeat children, should not be taken at face value. bhTV at least inflicts upon each some measure of competition.

Go talk to your hair stylist! Or, talk to Mom and Dad, if you want honesty, Elvis!

cragger
04-17-2008, 07:12 PM
Regarding a few of the points made in this thread -

Jim has always had a Nixonian belief that the "silent majority" always agrees with him, and is politically right of center, just as I suspect he actually believes that a majority is all for "winning" in Iraq. (I wouldn't be at all surprised if you could actually find a majority that would be perfectly happy if both parties went off somewhere and died and left them the hell alone, and it seems clear that a majority wish we had never gotten into this stinking morass.)

He is obviously reasonably intelligent, can come across as charming, and he and David have a rapport in these diavlogs that can make it easy to forget, but he has never been an honest non-partisan commentator. He is professionally partisan, working for and campaigning in an offical capacity for a particular party.

He has also been demonstrably dishonest in persuing his agenda in the past - recall his claim when on an anti-immigrant kick, about the urban legend chestnut listed on snopes concerning a woman who couldn't get emergency room help because she spoke English and preferrential treatment of Hispanics trumped both time of arrival and medical condition? According to Jim on BHTV, this was an event of his personal knowledge that happened to a good friend.

So don't get too disappointed when he spins away. Like the woman who took in the pretty and freezing snake only to be bitten, you have to remember the nature of the beast you are dealing with.

As for the national debt not mattering, maybe Jim can just make money faster than it devalues, unlike many of us. I note from my recent pleasures with the 1040 that interest payments alone on the debt, 70-some percent of which was run up under the last three "conservative" Republican presidents, currently run at least 200 billion a year. Better than 500 million a day sucked out of the taxpayers pockets. Since there are roughly 130 millon folks paying income taxes, thats about three bucks a day (which will monotonically increase forever) for the rest of my life paid to the government to get exactly nothing in return, just to pay the vig.

Before the usual suspects chime in about how unimportant that is, I suggest they each sign a legally binding contract to send either me, or say UNICEF, $3 a day for the rest of their lives. If enough wingnuts go with the former maybe I can join Jim in the "who cares" economic realm, and I could live with the latter as well.

AemJeff
04-17-2008, 10:51 PM
I find it enjoyable to listen to the views of those I disagree with. Why else would I, one of the few conservative bloggers here, listen to Bloggingheads? If we could take the rancor down a few notchs, it might make these conversations more valuable. I honestly listen to Bloggingheads to come to a better understanding of the other point of view. When one jumps the hurdles of reasonable discussion directly to the point of inflammatory rhetoric, it all becomes just partisan politics as usual.

I don't really see a lot of "partisan rancor" here among the commenters at BHTV. There's definitely some rancor, if you like, but there are plenty of people from all sides who manage to have civil discussions despite disagreeing. When the liberals do get testy here, it seems to me - others can speak for themselves if they like - it's often not about what someone believes, but whether or not they seem to be making an honest argument. It would be easy to rattle off the handles of a fair number of conservatives among the local commentariat who are pretty well respected and who are obviously taken seriously. It's not hard to name a few about whom that isn't the case. I'd argue there's a reason for that. You're free to draw your own conclusions.

I'd go so far as to argue that if you were to do a tally, the liberals would be only slightly more numerous among the more productive posters, though the raw number of posts by liberals might be a clearer majority. So I say welcome to the fray - your side needs you.

jh in sd
04-18-2008, 12:13 AM
aemjeff, Thanks for your comments. Maybe this particular diavlog has gotten a bit too contentious. I do feel people are making unfair comments about Jim Pinkerton.

TwinSwords
04-18-2008, 01:32 AM
He has also been demonstrably dishonest in persuing his agenda in the past - recall his claim when on an anti-immigrant kick, about the urban legend chestnut listed on snopes concerning a woman who couldn't get emergency room help because she spoke English and preferrential treatment of Hispanics trumped both time of arrival and medical condition? According to Jim on BHTV, this was an event of his personal knowledge that happened to a good friend.

Good post, cragger. And, I didn't remember the episode you describe above, but it's disturbing, especially given that he claimed this was a personal relation despite the fact that it was basically wingnut spam he was regurgitating.

I don't suppose you have a link to the episode in question?

bjkeefe
04-18-2008, 02:57 AM
You're repeating yourself (http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/?p=3374&cp=1#comment-128135), Davey. But I guess it's making you into a blogospheric celebrity.

The above link via James Wolcott (http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/blogs/wolcott/2008/04/comedy-is-where.html), who also had this to say:

Unintentional humor is supplied by chronic commenter David Thomson, whose mini-diatribes always read as if they were written with a bayonet clenched between the teeth. It doesn't take much to set him off, the three bees in his bonnet--"Barry Obama;" white liberal guilt; and Harvard--creating a din in his head that can only be relieved with dark prophecies such as: "An Obama presidency will relentlessly 'stick it to whitey.'"

There's a lot of whitey to stick it to over at Commentary, which may explain why they're so nervous and twitchy.

I'm thinking about calling you Ol' CTRL-c CTRL-v from now on, but I don't want you to choke on your bayonet.

johnmarzan
04-18-2008, 04:21 AM
Who else likes these two more than Bob and Mickey?

bob and mickey
corn and pinkerton
scher and carroll

are all good pairs.

johnmarzan
04-18-2008, 04:25 AM
David Corn seems to sincerely believe it when he says Obama is being misrepresented but also seems to be too honest to relish the role of spin-meister, and it will become increasingly difficult for him as more and more indications of Obama's leftist ideology come out.

that's why jim said in jest there's a great future for david corn in the obama administration.

johnmarzan
04-18-2008, 05:19 AM
"innocuous and basically accurate characterization"

agree. bitter people do tend to cling to guns and religion for security.

i disagree with david corn about reverend wright. if he can't control himself and shut up, it'll only hurt obama even more.

Now he's returning to the Fox News attempt to keep the Rev. Wright thing alive. O. M. G.

rev. wright isn't helping matters for obama by not shutting up on foxnews, bill oreilly and sean hannity, and attacking thomas jefferson, labeling him a pedophile. saying he was one founding fathers that "planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic."

jeremiah wright:
“Fox News can’t understand that. [Bill] O’Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity’s stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. [Pincham’s] faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world not just one country or one creed.”

http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_041508/content/01125116.html.guest.html
jeremiah wright:
The intelligent men who put together the founding documents which gave birth to this nation planted slavery and white supremacy in the DNA of this republic. Thomas Jefferson in his notes on Virginia, write it down, number 18, said that God would punish America for the sin of slavery. I guess that makes Thomas Jefferson unpatriotic. If they had Fix News back then -- they call it Fox, I call it Fix -- they would have called him a wackadoodle. Jefferson had intelligence, but he also had babies by a 15 year-old slave girl. I think the judges call that pedophilia.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2008/04/14/wrights-probable-thomas-jefferson-slander-only-fix-news-covers-it

thanks reverend.

audio of the latest wright sermon here:

URL http://www.suntimes.com/images/cds/MP3/041208wright.mp3

the pedophile comment is at the 9:30 mark

johnmarzan
04-18-2008, 05:27 AM
i disagree with jim re putting cops on mosques (for their own protection?) and about obama being a skinny al sharpton.

TwinSwords
04-18-2008, 07:02 AM
I'm thinking about calling you Ol' CTRL-c CTRL-v from now on, but I don't want you to choke on your bayonet.

ROFL!

Nice catch. Good to start the day with a laugh... :-)

Thus Spoke Elvis
04-18-2008, 09:10 AM
I think TwinSwords is healthily skeptical and brings up a pertinent observation worthy of future scrutiny. Thus Spoke Elvis seems naive. Thinking of the pundit class a just another bunch of people on the street is a mistake. The pundit class is arguably part of the problem in this hyperpartisan election campaign season, and that's the reason why bhTv is so important. These pundits, who would spin the lie for why they didn't call home to Mom to their moms, and then syndicate the pat responses for other deadbeat children, should not be taken at face value. bhTV at least inflicts upon each some measure of competition.


There's a difference between healthy skepticsm and paranoia. There are different categories of pundits, and they don't all have the same level of intellectual dishonesty. Ann Coulter and Robert Wright are both members of the punditocracy, but I'd be a lot less likely to conclude that Wright's misstatements were intentionally deceptive than I would in the case of Coulter, even though I presume that my voting patterns more closely resemble hers. I'm not going to debate where Pinkerton falls within the range of pundits, though I would say he'd probably have a more lucrative career if he was a bit more of a fire-breather and took stances on major issues like Iraq that were closer to the Republican orthodoxy.

jh in sd
04-18-2008, 12:41 PM
Re; Blogginghead Partners

How about a "Battle of Babyfaced Bloggingheads"-Will Wilkinson and Matthew Continetti?

Baltimoron
04-18-2008, 05:03 PM
I think someone has cast voodoo on you. There are preferences, to be sure, for one 'head over another, or one pundit over another. But, I'd never call them honest. Of course, quality is another matter! it's a trade-off!

Bloggin' Noggin
04-18-2008, 05:44 PM
Shouldn't that be "Zeitgeistly" (since I presume the German would be "Zeitgeistlich")?

look
04-18-2008, 10:39 PM
Re; Blogginghead Partners

How about a "Battle of Babyfaced Bloggingheads"-Will Wilkinson and Matthew Continetti?

That would be very nice, but as I like Continetti a lot, I'd like to see him put to better use entertaining me. For example I think it might be interesting to see what he would make of McArdle, and how that would go. Or, perhaps it would interesting to see how a Heather H. interaction with him would compare to her interactions with Eli. Also, I think he and Jonah Goldberg might have an interesting righty-righty chat.

johnatthebar
04-19-2008, 06:17 PM
...and Jim Pinkerton as Charles Laughton (http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10234?in=00:18:25&out=00:18:28)...

lowellfield
04-20-2008, 12:05 PM
Is it intolerant of me to wish this racist freak had one fewer platform?

jh in sd
04-20-2008, 06:36 PM
A question for David Corn-If you believe Fox News is terrible, but you'll be on it if they pay you enough, isn't that even worse than appearing on Fox? But, I guess when you don't believe in God, you can't sell your soul to the Devil.

AemJeff
04-20-2008, 06:54 PM
But, I guess when you don't believe in God, you can't sell your soul to the Devil.

That's not quite true, but the darn quotes run so low that it hardly seems worth going to the trouble.

jh in sd
04-20-2008, 07:22 PM
aemjeff-Good one!

pod2
04-20-2008, 09:32 PM
I have to agree with bjkeefe's characterization. It seems that Jim has made a willful trip to damn the facts mindless talking points pundit. When David actually quoted Obama's remarks and interpreted the plain text in a way consistent with Obama's views that have been expressed on CHarlie Rose, or in Indiana, Jim, instead of engaging this interpretation and disputing it by pointing to the quote or citing which part of the argument was mistaken, just threw out a dismissive, 'well, if you are a literary critic at some ivy league elitist institution, blah blah.' This approach is completely dishonest. How can you have a conversation with someone when, if you attempt to make a point, the other guy simply refuses to address any of your points, but just dismisses you as an elitist. This knee-jerk resort to 'elitist' as an all purpose contentless epithet reminds me of the cultural revolution in China, where class background trumps all discussions over whether something works or is true. slapping the elitist label on someone as a way to end discussion is vulgarly marxist leninist in the worst sense.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-22-2008, 02:09 PM
I have to agree with bjkeefe's characterization. It seems that Jim has made a willful trip to damn the facts mindless talking points pundit. When David actually quoted Obama's remarks and interpreted the plain text in a way consistent with Obama's views that have been expressed on CHarlie Rose, or in Indiana, Jim, instead of engaging this interpretation and disputing it by pointing to the quote or citing which part of the argument was mistaken, just threw out a dismissive, 'well, if you are a literary critic at some ivy league elitist institution, blah blah.' This approach is completely dishonest. How can you have a conversation with someone when, if you attempt to make a point, the other guy simply refuses to address any of your points, but just dismisses you as an elitist. This knee-jerk resort to 'elitist' as an all purpose contentless epithet reminds me of the cultural revolution in China, where class background trumps all discussions over whether something works or is true. slapping the elitist label on someone as a way to end discussion is vulgarly marxist leninist in the worst sense.

Republicanism: Marxism-Leninism for the overprivileged?
I wonder where Jim went to school? -- Oh Stanford. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Pinkerton) Well, I guess that isn't Ivy League, but it surely counts as "elite."

jh in sd
04-22-2008, 02:51 PM
Quoting Thomas Sowell-"In politics, the clearer a statement is, the more certain it is to be followed by a clarification, when people react adversely to what was plainly said."