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The Death of the Fourth Estate

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Drawing on the concept of the "Four Estates" of Republican France, it has been popular to call the press the "Fourth Estate," a non-governmental entity whose independence made it one of the pillars which supported liberty, and an important check on the power of government. In a free press the people had a way to express their concerns about government and a relatively unbiased advocate for truth independent of the self-serving assertions of political parties and leaders. In America that great tradition of a free press which truly stood out as a Fourth Estate began with the publication of Publick Occurances in 1690 and lasted for over 300 years before dying with a whimper this Wednesday at the hands of ABC News.

On Wednesday the 24th of June ABC will give over most of its programming schedule to custom programming, much of it direct from the White House, dedicated to promoting and publicizing the Obama administration's multi-trillion dollar healthcare plan. This programming will begin first thing in the morning with a Good Morning America interview with the president and continue throughout the day's newscasts, culminating in a primetime special touting the benefits of government run healthcare. The network has been given unprecedented access to the White House, where it has even been encouraged to set up an office in the East Wing. ABC and the White House are collaborating on the content of the special, few opposing voices or alternative plans will be heard, and they are refusing any advertising from groups advocating patients rights or opposing socialized medicine.

Just a few years ago Democrats were crying foul and demanding investigations when the Department of Education sent out a few Video News Releases to promote the No Child Left Behind Program, yet now they are willing to do the same thing on a much larger scale when it is their program which is being promoted. At a time when Democrats are talking about reinstituting the Fairness Doctrine and demanding a balance to right wing talk radio, turning over an entire network to government propaganda seems particularly hypocritical.

The left has long derided the right for complaining about media bias, insisting that the corporate nature of the media automatically biases it to the right, but here we see a corporate media giant deliberately whoring itself to become the propaganda outlet for a left-wing administration, and there is no question where ABC's loyalties lie. ABC News employees overwhelmingly supported Obama in the last election, donating 80 times as much to his campaign as they did to John McCain. In addition, a study by the Media Research Center shows ABC giving a disproportionate amount of coverage to the Obama healthcare plan compared to other health care options by a 3 to 1 margin.

The Obama administration has made state-corporatism a cornerstone of its economic plans, taking over businesses, forcing them into bankruptcy and handing out the spoils to their cronies and allies. But at least in the financial and auto industries there was some effort to resist, and many of those companies are still trying to buy back their freedom. What ABC is doing is many times worse, because they are volunteering willingly for a government takeover, offering themselves up as propagandists without considering the consequences. Perhaps they see a future where the state controls all media and they want to get in on the ground floor and have a favored status, but that just makes them like the slave who turns in the runaways hiding in the barn to the slave-catchers. He may get more scraps from the master's table but he's still a slave and he's also a traitor.

Journalists used to believe that they had a responsibility to keep politicians honest and hold their feet to the fire. Woodward and Bernstein didn't go to Nixon looking for ways they could help him promote his pet projects. When the press becomes nothing more than another arm of government, promoting the party line and dishing out propaganda, the people have lost one more essential safeguard of their liberty. ABC has decided to leave integrity and objectivity behind and become nothing more than shills for an ideology and a style of government which they believe in. Whether you support socialized medicine or not, this trend in the media should scare you. It's the death of the independent press and the beginning of state-run media. I halfway expect to hear the strains of "Moscow Nights" over the credits on ABC as I did on every radio or television newscast when I lived in the Soviet Union formally confirming that the media has gone from watchdog to lapdog.

Join me and many others in boycotting ABC, starting on Thursday and continuing through their summer line-up of very little but tawdry reality shows. You won't be missing much and you might be striking a blow for freedom. Though it's entirely possible that if we manage to dry up their advertising revenue they'll just get bailed out and taken over completely by the government.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Arch Conservative

    Whether or not you, I or anyone else boycott ABC starting this Thursday Nalle, the old guard media are already in their death throes. Most major newspapers are experiencing dramatics downturns in circulation. No one watches anc, nbc, or cbs nightly news anymore.

    It’s all about the cable news networks like fox, cnn and msnbc, where fox kills the other two by the way, talk radio and the internet.

    That is why the facisct left in this country has already tried (unsuccessfully) several times to put big brother’s footprint all over talk radio and the internet.

    For all the rhetoric about being open minded there is nothing quite as intolerant, close minded, and aggressive in silencing dissent as the modern American leftist.

  • M a rk

    On Thursday the 24th of June ABC will give over most of its programming schedule to custom programming, much of it direct from the White House, dedicated to promoting and publicizing the Obama administration’s multi-trillion dollar healthcare plan.

    Dave, it will be interesting to see if your partisan choice of words –‘promoting’– accurately describes the spectacle. It’s your fault now that I cannot boycott the station tomorrow. Ironic as I haven’t tuned in to ABC in years.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You’ve got a point, Arch. It’s arguable that a marginal network like ABC was forced into this by an increasing awareness of the failure of their business model and their inability to compete in a changing media marketplace.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It’s your fault now that I cannot boycott the station tomorrow. Ironic as I haven’t tuned in to ABC in years.

    It’s easy to call for a boycott, because based on the quality of their programming most people with an IQ over 80 are already effectively boycotting ABC anyway.

    Dave

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Boycott everything! (almost)

  • Bliffle

    Aw, poor litle Davey is upset that the Obamas have outflanked the commercial and moneyed interests that have dominated the media for so many years. Poor baby.

    It’s also possible that the Obamas may outflank the Congress as well, which, under the whip of their masters the Lobbyists, has been adamantly against the public option in spite of 75% support in the polls.

    Why, you don’t suppose that Obama is a better strategist than the collected Brain Trust of the vested interests, do you?

    In any case, it’s unlikely I’ll watch since I haven’t watched ANY commercial station in several years (too many commercials, 20 minutes every hour and inching up to 25 minutes) and at the rate that Establishment Public TV is accumulating commercials I’ll probably stop watching TV altogether. Too bad, as it’s just becoming watchable, what with HDTV and subchannels. Oh well, another bad decision: we voted to have mre expensive bland programming instead of a few good programs.

  • http://marksaleski.com MarkSaleski

    For all the rhetoric about being open minded there is nothing quite as intolerant, close minded, and aggressive in silencing dissent as the modern American leftist.

    totally untrue. i freely support the dissemination of unlimited amounts of ignorant spew.

    all hail b.c. politics commentary.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bliffle, there’s fine programming on TV if you’re willing to pay for it. As for the rest, it’s determined by a free market responding to what the people want to watch. I know that scares you, but I’d rather pay for good TV or take the peoples choice than have a board of media commissars working for the government deciding what is wholesome and politically correct for us to watch, which seems to be what you would prefer.

    All together now, for comrade Bliffle…

    Na slishni v sadu dashe shoroxi,
    Vse zdes zaterla da utra.
    Yesli v znali vui, kak mnye dorogi
    Podmoskovnia vechera.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’ve got to do it right, Dave.

    Here it is.

    Russians may be motherfuckers, but they’ve got soul.

  • Bliffle

    As I said: “Oh well, another bad decision: we voted to have more expensive bland programming instead of a few good programs.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d say that no TV programing can match print media. The idea is not to be overwhelmed with images but to be stimulated to think.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Roger, did you miss the video link in the text of the article?

    Dave

  • M ark

    So which died? The fourth or the fifth? Portrait of Dave as a Quick Change Artist.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I guess I did, Dave. Sorry.
    You’ve got to love that song, though.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    PS: Just sent you a short piece, if only to demonstrate a more lyrical style.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    M ar … (!) k:

    Thank you. I knew I wasn’t going crazy. Well, I may be going crazy, but that’s not a symptom.

  • Baronius

    Dave, what about CBS’s unsubstantiated attack on Bush in 2004? or the NYT suggesting McCain had an affair with a lobbyist in 2008? or ABC hiring a Clinton staffer as a political reporter? or NBC’s anchor bowing to President Obama? Why do you believe that Thursday constitutes a change in the relationship between the Democratic Party and the mainstream press?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I was under the same impression. All along, the Fourth Estate, I thought, was the press. Did Dave throw us a curveball?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Dave was temporarily curved but corrected the article. So many estates, it becomes bewildering. Currently we’re using “fifth estate” to refer to the blogosphere and “fourth estate” for the media/press.

    Ironically, although the article text updated immediately, the new BC software has some issues with updating the title and the section listings. Makes it all that much more mysterious.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Given that the mainstream media is a pale shadow of its former glory, isn’t fretting about whether they’re in bed with the White House a bit moot?

    ABC’s (and the other two’s) idea of political journalism these days reminds me of Denis Healey’s famous description of debating the then-Chancellor* Geoffrey Howe in the House of Commons as like being savaged by a dead sheep.

    * For our American readers, the Chancellor is analagous to your Treasury Secretary.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Amusing analogy, Dr. D, but there really is a relevant concern about what happens when the press gives up its watchdog role to become a lapdog.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    i love that archie can follow “[…] cable news networks like fox, cnn and msnbc, where fox kills the other two by the way,” with ” […] For all the rhetoric about being open minded there is nothing quite as intolerant, close minded, and aggressive in silencing dissent as the modern American leftist” and not see how pointless his statement is. if the left was any good at, or had any interest in, silencing dissent, then fox wouldn’t be #1 on the television. the only thing that keeps fox #1 is the stupidity of the american people.

  • zingzing

    “Perhaps they [abc] see a future where the state controls all media and they want to get in on the ground floor and have a favored status…”

    while i would have to say that’s a bit of a paranoid fantasy (the type of one that dave lives in these days…), i can see the point.

    however, i also see the point in keeping the american people informed, as long as this is not a propaganda thing. of course, dave, you’ll never know. i’ll never know either. i don’t have a tv. but such is life.

    you do know, of course, that a vast majority of americans still get their news from the boob tube. there’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed, but i’m not sure if he’s near the line yet. you’ll have to watch to see.

    curious much? or too principled to know what you’re talking about?

  • http://www.indyboomer46.blogspot.com Baritone

    I’m a bit curious as to how all of you seem to know how bad network programming and news have become since apparently none of you watch it?

    B

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I gave up on the “networks” a long time ago. Just like I gave up on Michigan produced wines. But (Baritone) even I slip up and buy a bottle of the local stuff, just to see if things have improved. I do the same with TV. You don’t need to watch an entire program (or drink a whole bottle of wine) to know it has little or no merit.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Lost is a good show, even though I don’t believe they will tie it up satisfactorily next season. The Goode Family is funny, although its rating don’t bode well for it to complete the first season. It’s no surprise Internet nerds don’t follow sports.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    B,

    I know it’s bad from listening to what people at BC say about it. Wait….you mean they don’t even watch it???

    :-)

    (some things you just know B, like you know sex is good and diets aren’t–don’t have to actually have sex or be on a diet to know)

  • Deano

    I’m curious to know why 8 years of FoxNews openly, uncritically and relentlessly parroting Republican talking points seems to have warrented no brilliantly incisive articles dissecting the death and/or takeover of the free press by Dave.

    Just asking.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    there really is a relevant concern about what happens when the press gives up its watchdog role to become a lapdog

    Agreed, but it had already rolled over to have its tummy tickled by the Bush White House instead of nailing that administration to the wall over its more egregious fuck-ups and abuses of power. It could be argued that the MSM began to resemble deceased livestock even before that.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    When, for instance, was the last time you saw an investigative documentary on a channel other than PBS about anything more incisive than the latest serial killer/child molester or Something Nasty In The Water?

  • Bliffle

    Good point, DD.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Deano @ #28:

    They’re still openly, uncritically and relentlessly pandering Republican talking points. Except now they have a bigger target.

    I was at the gym last night, trying to avoid watching the subtitled Hannity as he broke into one of his regular whines to report on the train crash in DC, and thinking: hmm… less than 24 hours before he or one of the other Fox pundits finds a way to blame it on Obama?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    6

    I have been seeing more TV on the internet. Supposedly in the works–free TV that will play on a TV set for watching a commercial before and after the show. Pay a little for no commercials.

    Dave,

    Calling everyone a commie (though perhaps fun) isn’t putting any points in your credibility column.

  • Baronius

    Dread, I have no idea what you think you remember, but the mainstream press hammered the Bush administration constantly.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave – your willful blindness is showing.

    “A marginal network like ABC” This is based on…what? According to the numbers (I know, you don’t like using facts), CBS is in first place, and Fox was in second…with less than 1.2 percent higher total viewership than third-place ABC.

    But since ABC says or does something you don’t like, they’re ‘marginal’. Try using facts, please – they’re real eye-openers.

    You also said, “The Obama administration has made state-corporatism a cornerstone of its economic plans, taking over businesses, forcing them into bankruptcy and handing out the spoils to their cronies and allies.”

    Okay, WHAT businesses has OBAMA ‘taken over’ and ‘forced into bankruptcy’? The banks, perhaps, like Chase (like several) which has already paid off ALL TARP loans from the government?

    You said, “But at least in the financial and auto industries there was some effort to resist, and many of those companies are still trying to buy back their freedom.”

    Which was the intention all along! Dave, are you so blinded that you think that if the government REALLY wanted to keep control of a business, that it couldn’t do so? That was the intention of the FIRST bailout of Chysler and the loans to financially-strapped NYC, both of which

  • Glenn Contrarian

    AARGH!

    Is there a word limit to comments?

    Because half my comment was chopped, wherein I pointed out how Reagan supported the bailout of Chrysler and NYC, and how it is hypocritical to castigate ABC for doing for a few hours what Fox did 24/7 for eight years!!!

    Chrysler is now OUT of Chapter 11 bankruptcy…but if the conservatives had had their way, there would have been NO BAILOUT, which means that Chrysler and GM would have BOTH gone down the tubes – and how many dealerships would have closed then?

    Dave – willya PLEASE fact-check your statements before you post?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    the mainstream press hammered the Bush administration constantly.

    No, they hit it with teddy bears.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    They try to change Our minds by “propaganda,” but We try to change Their minds by “information.” -Sidney Harris

    I wrote a piece a few weeks ago disparaging the press, but it was totally shot down…true the essay sucked, but I tried to write it anyway.
    If I was a conservative or republican would my view have been nurtured more?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    There really is a relevant concern about what happens when the press gives up its watchdog role to become a lapdog.
    Revisionist comment here!
    Where were they during the last Eight years?
    Oh that’s right, they weren’t even allowed in the White House during the Bush-Cheney admin. Unless they worked for FOX.

  • STM

    I think it’s fantastic that ABC has decided to devote so much air time to let Americans know what they’ll be getting with their healthcare package.

    Such an issue of vital importance needs to be aired, debated, analysed, etc.

    It’s just a great gesture to the American people so they know about their upcoming universal health care package, and in no way signals the death of the fourth estate.

    See, this is what the fourth estate does.

    Hope your health package is liked by all.

  • STM

    DD: “I was at the gym last night, trying to avoid watching the subtitled Hannity”

    Why subtitled Doc??

    Is that for Spanish-speaking viewers?

    I think that’s a fantastic thing and a real indication of how multicutural America has become.

    Legions of Spanish speakers right across the south and west … almost a first language now in many areas.

    Almost certainly this will happen: the US will be a bi-lingual country, like Canada, where everything has to be done officially and legally in two languages.

    Of course, with so many Spanish speakers in the hemisphere, officially calling it Estados Unidos can only strenghten perceptions among them that America is the place to be and will encourage more immigration from all over south and central America.

  • Baronius

    Dread, we can agree that they’re lousy at their jobs. But they did their petty little best to tear down Bush.

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, you realize that your comment about network access to the Bush administration is factually incorrect, right?

    STM, a lot of gyms run their TV’s with the sound off, with captioning on.

  • Clavos

    Why subtitled Doc??

    I’m betting he meant closed captioned, Stan. They often turn off the sound on TVs in public places and turn on the closed captioning so you can tell what’s going on without the cacophony.

    Personally, I think TV should be banned altogether from public places.

  • STM

    Ah, Clav, now I see … closed captions, not Spanish subtitles.

    I thought someone would come out spitting at that comment … but alas, no takers :)

    What, am I too obvious???

  • mar k

    Surfer dude – you haven’t watched much Hannity have you? The subtitles are required to show the translation of his language into human.

  • mar k

    (always ready to oblige)

  • Clavos

    …or something.

    Do you play horseshoes?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna
  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Well I am going to say “good night all:)”

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    however, i also see the point in keeping the american people informed, as long as this is not a propaganda thing. of course, dave, you’ll never know. i’ll never know either. i don’t have a tv. but such is life.

    Actually, I normally DO watch network TV from time to time, including the news. But this week I’m out of town on vacation with no TV so ironically I won’t be watching this particular debacle.

    I’m curious to know why 8 years of FoxNews openly, uncritically and relentlessly parroting Republican talking points seems to have warrented no brilliantly incisive articles dissecting the death and/or takeover of the free press by Dave.

    Deano, I actually wrote several articles critical of FoxNews, but the reason they are different from this is that they remained a commercial network through all of this, did not ban advertising contrary to their general politics, and did not allow the administration to actively control their content, all of which ABC is doing. Fox may have been sympathetic and supportive with Bush, but they weren’t actually working for him — in fact, many of their comentators were far from Bush supporters even if they were Republican or right wing.


    But since ABC says or does something you don’t like, they’re ‘marginal’. Try using facts, please – they’re real eye-openers.

    It’s an opinion, Glenn. They offer less original, scripted programming than any other broadcast network and their news coverage is just lame in comparison to CBS or NBC or any of the 24 hour news networks. IMO they are going down fast. They haven’t diversified like the other networks, have no cable presence and their audience consists entirely of soccer moms. Marginal, IMO.

    As for Obama’s nationalization efforts, how about basically handing over control of the auto companies to his union cronies? He’s also made very clear that even if he lets companies pay off TARP loans the government is going to retain some interest in those companies. It’s chiling.

    Stan. Have you looked at Obama’s plan? I’d much rather have something like what you have down there in Oz.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Mark, even with subtitles Hannitty still makes no sense.

    Dave

  • http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sundaysurfer/index.php STM

    Dave: “Stan. Have you looked at Obama’s plan? I’d much rather have something like what you have down there in Oz.”

    It looks to me like a kind of stop-gap measure unlikely to please anyone – a UHC designed by a committee … which means, sadly, it’ll probably have two humps.

  • http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sundaysurfer/index.php STM

    Believe it or not, we do get Hannity here.

    Fox is one of the news stations I get on cable … live from the US, too.

    However, of the cable news channels, I prefer the SkyNews channels (UK, Australia, and New Zealand), CNN or the BBC.

    I go with the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) for good local and international coverage, as they have a decent hard-news focus on the Asia-Pacific region and also the US, Europe and the middle-east.

    Hannity just doesn’t do it for me.

    Whatever happened to his mate Colmes, who seemed to provide at least a bit of the balance in the hilarious “fair and balanced” promise, when he was allowed to get a word in edgeways??

    Where did he go?

  • http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sundaysurfer/index.php STM

    One of the most hilarious interviews I’ve ever seen was on Fox and Friends a couple of years back …

    The three of them were interviewing a British diplomat, probably about the middle-east or perhaps Zimbabwe if my memory serves correctly.

    Let’s say the guy’s name was Sir John Smith (I can’t remember what it actually was).

    When someone’s a Sir, you call him by his title and his first name: in this case, Sir John.

    But right through the interview, they were calling him Sir Smith :)

    Because he’s a Pom and didn’t want to offend, he kept the stiff upper lip and didn’t say anything.

    He kind of winced a bit the first time, then merrily went along with it … just cracked on, as the Poms would say.

    At the the end, the tall blond guy signed off the ivu with: “That was Sir Smith, of the British Institute for As Peacful as Possible Reconciliation with Former African Colonies Struggling to Get By” … or something like that.

    On a serious note, it’s the equivalent of a UK interviwer calling Ted Kennedy “Senator Ted” all the way through an interview.

    It was really funny, though.

    At least it gave me something to giggle about in amongst the rest of the TV dribble.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    There’s a saying in the Navy – probably in the civilian world too, but it saves lives: “Don’t assume, because it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’.”

    Yeah, that’s trite and rather juvenile, but it’s got a serious purpose, because when one makes a practice of NOT assuming that what one ‘just knows’ is factual, of NOT assuming that what one’s ‘trusted friend’ says is factual, one’s own illusions have a tendency to fall. I was once a Republican, remember….

    You (and the rest of the conservatives) are ASSUMING that everything ABC will do on a program that has NOT YET AIRED will be an ‘infomercial’ for Obama’s health care plan. How about listening to the OTHER side of the story from the president of ABC?

    “Unfortunately, you have found it appropriate to criticize a program that has not yet aired. Contrary to your assertions, this will not be “slanted” in any way – much less a “day-long infomercial” or “in-kind free advertising” as you allege. It will be a thoughtful, respectful, and probing discussion of some of the issues raised by the calls for health-care reform. We will include a variety of perspectives coming from private individuals asking the President questions and taking issue with him, as they see fit. We have heard already at some length (on ABC News and other outlets) from politicians and professional health care lobbyists, and there will be ample time to hear from them throughout the policy debate. I can see no reason why we should not hear tomorrow instead from some of the Americans most directly affected by the plans being discussed.”

    Did you read that, Dave? We’ve ALREADY heard from politicians and pundits on BOTH sides, oh yes we have! But by disallowing political advertising from BOTH sides during the program, ABC is somehow selling out?

    You ASSUMED as fact what you were hearing from the conservative anti-anything-Obama crowd. If you want to trust them, go ahead – just remember what a great president once said: “Trust, but verify.” He also said “Facts are stubborn things.”

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Just heard on ABC’s Good Morning America – tonight the ones asking questions will be a group of 140 or so from across the nation, including doctors, businessmen, insurance executives.

    ‘Insurance executives’? Gee, could this mean we might actually have a dialogue instead of what the conservatives KNOW will be an ‘infomercial’? I know, I know, it’s PREPOSTEROUS to think that Fox news and the conservative pundits might actually be wrong about something, but…

    …let’s do what Ronnie said – “Trust, but VERIFY”.

    We’ll find out! I’ve got my DVR programmed….

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    You (and the rest of the conservatives) are ASSUMING that everything ABC will do on a program that has NOT YET AIRED will be an ‘infomercial’ for Obama’s health care plan. How about listening to the OTHER side of the story from the president of ABC?

    I’m just basing that conclusion on what ABC itself has said, including their statement that they will be the ones controlling the questions asked and that they will not allow any opposing advertising during the programming.

    Just heard on ABC’s Good Morning America – tonight the ones asking questions will be a group of 140 or so from across the nation, including doctors, businessmen, insurance executives.

    So? The insurance companies are on board for this plan, because it amounts to free revenue for them as the government takes our money and gives it to them by force. Plenty of businessmen will be for it too, because they will no longer have to pay for insurance for their workers. I don’t see any opposing voices in that list. Where are the consumer advocates, taxpayers and regular citizens?

    Sadly I’m going to have to watch it online at an internet cafe since I can’t get TV here.

    Dave

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “they will not allow any opposing advertising during the programming.”

    In all fairness, Dave, advertising, whether pro or con, should not be a part of any serious debate.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Why don’t you WATCH the show and see if there are ‘regular citizens’ or not, rather than just ASSUMING there won’t be any?

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, I meant that over eight years, the Bush administration gave hundreds of interviews, press conferences, and press briefings to dozens and dozens of news outlets.

  • Baronius

    A general note to the operators of this site: We users have been patient, but there’s a limit to the number of crashes and lost messages that we can endure without looking elsewhere. If you’re not interested in maintaining the site, just tell us. Every site eventually shuts down. But the current level of performance is not sufficient for a successful site. To steal a line from your comment policy, we know a lack of technical support when we see it.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I do concur.

    At the very least, Baronius, we should be made aware of what progress to expect. But perhaps we the users are not as important as we believe ourselves to be, in terms of bringing in the revenues and the like. Perhaps BC is doing us a favor by allowing us to participate.

    Where else would you go if BC closes?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    The prison analogy doesn’t hold, because if everyone is a prisoner, then no one is. For any term to have a meaning, there’s got to be a viable contrast as regards its absence or negation. So in order to make the notion of everyone’s enslavement by a society intelligible, one has got to be able to present a viable model whereby individuals at large (and not just some isolated pockets of individuals) can co-exist and function without there being any social structure, hierarchy and social arrangements. In short, one has to provide a viable model of an anarchistic society and eventually, an anarchistic world that would be able to sustain itself thus in the long run.

    And no, I don’t care to consider the subject any longer.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Whatever happened to his mate Colmes, who seemed to provide at least a bit of the balance in the hilarious “fair and balanced” promise, when he was allowed to get a word in edgeways??

    I think he got fed up with being the liberal fall guy. The show was set up so that Hannity would always get the last word.

    Colmes still has his own show on Fox News Radio, I believe, and pops up on Fox as a guest occasionally, but I haven’t heard whether or not he has a new regular TV gig.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think you posted this on the wrong thread, Dreadful, unless you want to get into a heated debate concerning the virtues of anarchism.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Please ignore #66/67. I was the one who posted on the wrong thread.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Roger,

    I was responding to STM’s #54. I had no idea that this was now a private chatroom.

  • http://www.EurocriticsMagazine.com Christopher Rose

    Baronius, everybody is hacked off to the max about the ongoing site issues. There is a list of known bugs and desired enhancements, which both grows and shrinks with a frustrating regularity.

    Actually, you don’t know a lack of technical support when you experience problems.

    If there is a specific issue you are having and would like to know if it is a known unknown or an unknown unknown, please make the effort to report it to somebody rather than complaining in the comments space where I may be the only editor that sees it.

    I have requested a status update be sent to our registered writers when the techheads can get their heads out of the BC bonnet (hood to you Seppos), although they all do have the ability to contact any editor should they care to. Right, Roger?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    No problem, Chris – just couldn’t help jumping in. BTW, interesting use of the term “bonnet.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Dreadful,

    You’re missing the point. I posted on the wrong thread, and when I saw your post on an entirely different subject, I made the comment. See my #67.

  • http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sundaysurfer/index.php STM

    Roger (#66): “I think you posted this on the wrong thread, Dreadful, unless you want to get into a heated debate concerning the virtues of anarchism.”

    Roger (#67): Please ignore #66/67. I was the one who posted on the wrong thread.”

    Lol. This is like an episode of Seinfeld.

    BTW, bonnet and hood, same meaning. Boot = trunk. Only place that uses the terms hood and trunk in the English-speaking world is North America.

    And since the automobile, or car, is a European invention, I say bragging rights means the Queen’s English terms are the correct ones.

  • http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/sundaysurfer/index.php STM

    Baron: “I meant that over eight years, the Bush administration gave hundreds of interviews, press conferences, and press briefings to dozens and dozens of news outlets”

    And lied its bloody head off in most.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    So…comments on the communist socialist nazi fear-mongering hate-fest (at least in conservative eyes) that was the ABC special last night?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    The silence is…deafening.

    I watched it, and it was thrilling watching a man able to take on all questions by himself with nothing and no one to back him up – even when some of the questions were obviously Republican talking points – and show time and time and time again in DETAILED explanations how health care reform isn’t just a good thing, but is CRUCIAL to America’s future.

    And for the life of me, I can’t think of any other president who has ever had that kind of capability.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Glen, #75 And for the life of me, I can’t think of any other president who has ever had that kind of capability. What a beautiful comment..:)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Hi, Jeannie.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    Roger, There you are! Hello

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    I liked reading comment #75. I am so tired of all the old lines bashing Obama. It is nice to see someone who appreciates his intellect besides us…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Glenn’s been under attack. And so have I, from another quarter.

    But never mind that. I’ll email you something you might like to read, OK?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ Jeannie Danna

    K

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Will do it later tonight, Finishing my editing. Did you start your new job?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Jeannie –

    Thanks for the compliment – I do appreciate it.

    I notice none of the far-righters have posted on this thread after the ABC special aired…isn’t that interesting?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I’ts what, three days since the ABC special aired, and NONE of the right-wingers on BC have posted a comment.

    IMO, their silence speaks volumes.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    It’s been a week now since the ABC special aired, and NONE of the right-wingers on BC have posted a comment after having watched it.

    Maybe they boycotted it – and so didn’t get to see the audience asking the same Republican talking points that have been answered time and time again.

    I guess this is the last post on this thread.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Well, Glenn, I for one did not watch the ABC Special. I’m with Bill Maher, I am tired of seeing Obama-TV and I don’t want a rock star as President. I also that that Barack Obama’s intentions are noble; however, we will never achieve anything as long as Congress operates under the current paradigm. That’s why I believe this Franken-Coleman Senate race has been so dragged out. While the Republicans fear a filibuster-proof Congress, the Democrats are even more petrified. Returning Norm Coleman to the Senate would be better in the long run for the Obama Administration and all the pundits know it. Personally, I want Al Franken to be certified and installed. It’s time for boldness, innovation and guts. reagrdless of what one’s opinion may be of Mr. Franken, there’s one thing I do know — Al Franken isn’t afraid to say it like it is. And that’s what makes him such a threat to the Democrat Party.

    Insofar as the Fourth Estate is concerned — it is dead. If we in the United States want reliable information, try the foreign news outlets. As long as ADM, GE, and WalMart pay the bills, news media in the United States is worthless.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    And now Al Franken is off to the Senate. Next year this election is going to be about having Democrats in power. They know what’s at stake and they’re scared shitless. President Obama’s Administration is treading slowly. Their focus is on 2012 and his team deliberates every decision, not on what’s right for America, but for what will give him another 4 years.

    Mark my words, folks. The Democrats have their 60. One misstep and the Republicans will make significant gains next year. Remember that the GOP is controlled by a bunch of aging fanatics. They’re petrified of the next generation coming to power because the new keepers of the torch are reasonable and for the most part intelligent. If the GOP Far Righters make gains next year I predict that Mitt Romney will be President on January 20, 2013. And THAT prospect is more frightening than Iran having nuclear weaponry.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    If that’s Obama’s point of focus, Silas, then he’s just another sell-out, no better than the rest.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    In that case, you’re right, Roger. Barack Obama’s handlers are political pros who only know how to operate in the Beltway Vacuum. David Axelrod, to me, is as toxic to the system as a lobbyist for Pfizer.

    I do believe, however, that Barack Obama does have a vision. He’s an analytical man, picking and choosing the battles he can win before advancing the remainder of his agenda. While that is politics as usual, I’m hoping that he’ll transcend all of this should he be elected to a second term. You know in Rome there’s an old saying that he who enters a Pope, comes out a Cardinal in Conclave. Barack Obama’s re-election is far from a forgone conclusion. The Far Right is devious in their politicking and will use every trick in the book to win in 2012 with gay and reproductive rights leading the charge. I continue to believe that Mitt Romney is the next President because he’s a chameleon and he’s the darling of the Far Right regardless of his Mormon background. They’ve got a lot of money and will stash even more if the GOP makes advances in the midterms. Romney abandoned all the issues that got him elected Governor in Massachusetts. He used the people of Massachusetts to advance his standing in his Presidential quest. That’s how it is in the United States. They buy our votes without informing the voter through catchy campaign ads, misinformation and just plain bait & switch. We’re more concerned about what two people do between the sheets than we are about the state of the nation. That’s pathetic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I don’t buy the idea, Silas, that the handlers are running the show. And if there’s some truth to that, then we had better kiss this country goodbye. If the office of the presidency can’t be relied upon to make things happen, there is no hope.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s like the movie The Candidate with Robert Redford. God help us.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Indeed it is. Roger, I’ve been around politics all my life. I grew up in a Polish-Irish Catholic environment and was the first Republican in my family since Hoover. I’ve been intimately involved in Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional and Gubernatorial races. It’s a numbers game where it’s less about the candidate and more about public perception and maintenance of ‘power’. Axelrod is right out of that mold. Obama knows it — he’s a Harvard man and his political acumen was cultivated right here in my back yard. Believe me, a week of touring Harvard Square will cause you to believe that Harvard and MIT educated people are NOT the ones to be in control of the Beltway. They thrive on imposing a socialist will and redistribution of wealth without having a fair and balanced plan in place. They are willing to force U.S. citizens into IRS submission at the expense of the small business community. A lot of the mess we’re in now is directly linked to the spawn of Harvard.

    You know, Roger, if civic responsibility and accountability were taught at the very primary levels of education things could be different. It’s important for us to educate our young on exactly how our system works and how their individual participation in the process is crucial to preserving the Union. This is my deepest passion – education reform. If the next generation were given a proper education imagine how quickly they would be able to change course for America and the world. Knowledge is power, apathy is suicide.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think it’s beyond education in the conventional sense. What I think is more needed are natural-born leaders, community by community. You’ve got to set a positive example of how politics can work and build upon that, community by community. People will be drawn to results, not abstract knowledge. I see no other way of reawakening political will.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    A positive example begins at the dinner table, followed by proactive education. Like it or not, spawners, you DO have a responsibility to your country to prepare your progeny for life in the good ol’ U.S.A. And as a parent, you have a moral obligation to insure that your child is adequately informed and interested in his/her community. The greatest example of this is Barack and Michelle Obama. Disregarding politics, their respective parents lay a solid foundation for them. They get it. They understand the implications of community service. Conservatives can joke about community activism all they want but they do the same thing. Only their community activism promotes annihilation of gays, prohibition of reproductive freedom and religious intolerance. These conservatives by any other name would be Taliban, Hezbollah or Nazi.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What you’re saying, Silas, we’ve got to remake the individual, one at a time.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I take strong exception to that one, Bliffle. My position on the Middle East is in no way, shape or form anti-Semitic. I had family massacred in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. And when I remind people that there were 2 million other souls slaughtered I get labeled anti-Semitic. When I talk about the injustice in letting Turkey off the hook for the Armenian Genocide, I am labeled anti-Semitic.

    What I am is tired.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I have no fricking idea what the hell he’s talking about. Can you make sense of than man, Silas? Unless that’s his idea of a joke.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    For both Silas and Roger –

    Mark my words: Romney will not be the American president. Not in 2013, not ever. It’s not that the Republicans can’t make a comeback – they can (if they ditch their current baggage). Romney will never be elected because the religious right will never put their full power and pocketbook behind him.

    Mark these words also: If nothing tragic happens to him and he doesn’t make a truly colossal blunder e.g. Iraq or the Bay of Pigs, Obama will be reelected in 2012.

    And the conservatives STILL haven’t said anything about the ABC special. Isn’t that interesting?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m not certain, Glenn, why you’re addressing both of us in one heading: I never argued on behalf of Romney nor have any illusions about his political future. I don’t mind the association, however, because Silas is one of the clearest thinkers on this site – so I do take it as a compliment, and thank you.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Glenn, I can only hope you are correct. I recall a time when there was a GOP President in office who was extremely popular. So popular, in fact, that Democrats even contemplated nominating him because they felt he had it all. The President? George H.W. Bush.

    So, Glenn, Americans are a fickle people who make uninformed decisions in the voting booth. One slight misstep by the Obama Administration and he is out, and Romney is in. Remember, Romney on camera is very attractive, articulate, even Presidential. Obama will age dramatically over the next three years while Romney will look like a young elder statesman.

  • The Phantom

    I see how it works:

    #
    92 – Silas Kain
    Jun 30, 2009 at 12:58 pm


    You know, Roger, if civic responsibility and accountability were taught at the very primary levels of education things could be different. It’s important for us to educate our young on exactly how our system works and how their individual participation in the process is crucial to preserving the Union. This is my deepest passion – education reform. If the next generation were given a proper education imagine how quickly they would be able to change course for America and the world. Knowledge is power, apathy is suicide.
    #

    93 – roger nowosielski
    Jun 30, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    … What I think is more needed are natural-born leaders, community by community. You’ve got to set a positive example of how politics can work and build upon that, community by community. People will be drawn to results, not abstract knowledge. I see no other way of reawakening political will.
    #
    94 – Silas Kain
    Jun 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    …followed by proactive education. Like it or not, spawners, you DO have a responsibility to your country to prepare your progeny for life in the good ol’ U.S.A. And as a parent, you have a moral obligation to insure that your child is adequately informed and interested in his/her community….#
    95 – roger nowosielski
    Jun 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    What you’re saying, Silas, we’ve got to remake the individual, one at a time.
    #

    And if they don’t improve their ways, send them to a re-education plant.