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Just Say Anything; Sunday Talk Show Edition

As readers of this column know, The Liberal Examiner frequently takes the broadcast media to task for their overly deferential treatment of conservative politicians and the false narratives they promote (death panels)    The assumption that America's political journalist actually know something about American politics is strained by how disjointed their coverage of our politics is from what actually occurs in our politics!   Regardless of the topic, or what had previously been said or done regarding that topic, every discussion of said topic adopts the conservative narrative.   A glaring example of this pro-Republican framing can be found in the media’s analysis of the effectiveness of the current Congress.   Republicans say that the Democratic Congress is ineffective and that it has failed to do the people’s business.   Predictably, that is exactly the narrative that the broadcast media has adopted.  

Enter Norm Orenstein, a print journalist, one of our nation’s leading congressional experts and (formerly) a frequent guest on cable and broadcast news programs.   Mr. Orenstein has expressed a markedly different opinion about the effectiveness of the current Congress.   Once a talk show fixture, Mr. Orenstein has documented the Democrats numerous and important legislative accomplishments and since his article was published, he has all but disappeared from the talk show circuit!   So if his expertise has been eschewed by the political talk shows, who’s keeping the American people informed?

Last Sunday, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham appeared on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to provide the shows viewers with his thoughts on today’s political climate.  Unfortunately, the South Carolina Senator demonstrated the disrespect and unbridled contempt for the public (and the truth) that has come to define today’s GOP.   Senator Graham hypocritically stated that the Democrats should refrain from using budget reconciliation (a process he voted for 4 times when Republicans controlled Congress) to pass their health care bill because budget reconciliation “was a sleazy process”!   Amazingly, his pants didn’t immediately burst into flames and the shows guest host’s (Jack Trapper) head didn’t explode!   Equally amazing and sadly revealing, was Mr. Trapper’s failure to inform his viewers about the Senator’s glaring inconsistency!   As if that wasn’t bad enough, there was yet another important fact that Mr. Trapper assisted Senator Graham in concealing that would also have exposed the Senator’s breathtaking hypocrisy!   The program’s viewers were not told that prior to 2000; budget reconciliation was unavailable for any legislation that didn’t reduce the federal deficit.   In order to use reconciliation to pass President Bush’s two budget busting tax cuts, the Republicans had to fire the old Senate Parliamentarian and select a new one!   Considering that no such “mid-game” rule change has been proposed by the Democrats, as the proposed health care bill actually reduces the budget deficit, it seems that  would have been important information for viewers to have.   Unfortunately, none of those inconvenient and narrative destroying facts were raised with Senator Graham.   Do we really believe that the well paid Jack Trapper was unaware of the relevant history of the GOP’s use of the budget reconciliation process and if he was aware, why did he choose to keep his viewers in the dark regarding the lack of candor in the Senator’s statements?    If he wasn’t aware, what the hell was he doing hosting an important and influential news program? 

This Week with George Stephanopoulos is a main stream network news talk show, so clearly this isn’t just about Fox news and the unofficial (and illegal) “in kind” donations they make to the Republican Party.   Rupert Murdoch, Rodger Ales and their acolytes at Fox aren’t journalist and they don’t pretend to be.   What they actually provide for their viewers is a “Fair and Balanced” analysis of how great conservative policies and politicians are and how unfair and out of balance any analysis to the contrary is!   Their brand of “right wing infotainment” isn’t designed to illuminate objective facts as much as it is intended to amplify conservative talking points!   Mainstream broadcast news organizations should be offended by this affront to their profession and they should have the courage to speak out against it   Unfortunately, the conservative bias now present in the mainstream's coverage of American politics differs from the coverage provided by Fox news only in the degree of bias they deem acceptable.

 Thus, while the non-Fox news programs refrain from inventing their own facts (terrorist fist jabs) or in actively participating in pro-Republican partisan activities (Fox sponsored Tea Parties), they frequently ignore inconvenient facts that contradict the pro-Republican slant of their news coverage.   Not one American has lost his or her job or home as a result of any policy initiated by President Obama or the Democratic majorities in Congress, yet network news anchors continue to provide Republican politicians with a platform to lay the blame for these calamities at the feet of President Obama and the Democrats!   It’s as if the Republicans ran the Titanic into an Ice berg and then they are enabled by their media poodles to blame the Democrats for the fact that the ship is sinking!   A viewer, watching their slanted and deceptive programming, could rightly conclude that Republicans didn’t control the Presidency and both houses of Congress for 6 of the last 8 years!   What could possibly explain the broadcast media’s (facts notwithstanding) pro-Republican bias  

One of the problems with the major news networks enabling Republicans to just say anything without any scrutiny or accountability is that these easily disprovable statements are infused with an air of credibility and the American people are misled.   The wide acceptance of false allegations and baseless assertions is what necessarily follows from this “stenography masquerading as journalism” and as a result, misguided populous groundswells like the “Birther” and “Deather” movements are born!   Republican self serving lies notwithstanding, it’s because their media poodles enable and amplify their lies that people actually think that Democrats want to kill their grandmothers!    Not only does this fact free, just say anything type of reporting create movements and personalities (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh) that shine a very unflattering light on America, but it makes possible such nation/world altering debacles as the war in Iraq!


  • Mad Hatter 5 years ago

    "Not one American has lost his or her job or home as a result of any policy initiated by President Obama or the Democratic majorities in Congress"

    Hi Alice!

  • The Liberal Examiner 5 years ago

    Clever, but before you cart me off to Wonderland, name the policy or policies! Can you do that?

  • herb 5 years ago

    there you go again with that assinine claim......who do you think caused that loss of jobs and homes?....George Bush? Really it's a year and a half down the road now, don't you think that claim is getting a little old?

    ...and the claim that Fox sponsors the tea any proof?....didn't think so!

    I'm a tea partier and I'll tell you right now, I haven't received my check from fox or the insurance companies, McFadden, you are just one more lying lawyer, and the Whitehouse is full of them!

  • The Liberal Examiner 5 years ago

    herb, if you think I'm lying, why not expose my lies by naming an Obama policy that has caused all the job loss and home forclosure! You say it ain't Bush as if his impact on America ended when he left office. Really, when were medicare/SS/Civil Rights enacted? I think they still has an impact today. How about Iraq? America will live with what Bush did long after he is dead and buried. But since you disagree, point to the policy that proves your point or disproves mine. If you can do that I am certainly willing to conceed that I'm a lying lawyer and that the Whit House is full of fools (and poor spellers) like me

  • Nancy 5 years ago

    Michael, Though a little late, thank you for a great and truthful article. We need more of them! I find it interesting that no one answered your question... telling!

  • The Liberal Examiner 5 years ago

    Thanx Nancy. It seems to me that our conservative friends have a "unique relationship" with facts. They seem to be able to avoid any substantive discussion of facts that doesn't support their talking points by using insult and accusation. If you have the time, I would suggest that you read some of my other articles. I take on all the right wing talking points/arguments (abortion, guns, ect...)in a way that I have not seen anywhere on the Web. You might not agree, but my arguments are fact based and decidedly liberal! Anyway, thanx for your comment and please stay well

  • herb 5 years ago

    If you ever studied history you would know that medicare, medicaid, SS, taxing of medicare, giving away SS to 65 yr old illegal immigrants, and most every social re-engineering projects have been started by democrats. None of thess social programs have ever been properly funded and need a constant influx of funds by US the taxpayer.
    Obama spent $790 billion to "primarily curb unemployment", and has that worked? It not only hasn't worked but it has increased from 5% but to 10% at one time. That level has only changed up and down slightly with no end in sight.
    Now on to the home mortgage bubble. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 under Carter stated that the banks could no longer "Discriminate against borrowers on their ability to pay back the loan". This act was further bolstered by the Clinton in the 1997 Welfare reform act.
    Anyone with a tad of initiative could research this, but then, you have made assinine claims with NO proof, I haven't

  • herb 5 years ago

    I have quoted programs and policies, you only quote your own articles as proof, you never defend the social programs your party initiates. You say the republican talking points are easily disproved.I have given you a few, give it your best liberal shot

  • Mark 5 years ago

    The only thing Michael ever "proves" is that he's been completely "out to lunch". The audacity of citing his own articles as "proof" of anything is ludicrous. Herb, don't waste your time trying to give Michael a history lesson. His "history" is whatever the left tells him which is strictly revisionist. His last offering before this, "Conservatives Embarrass America", almost knocked me off my chair I was laughing so hard. The embarrassment is all his every time he posts another rant. At least he finally found a friend in "Nancy". She's probably his sister trying to minimize the beat down he gets whenever he posts another inane "commentary".

  • The Liberal Examiner 5 years ago

    Mark said; "At least he finally found a friend in "Nancy". She's probably his sister". I'll say this for you Mark, you are a very funny guy. For the record, we are not related. The point I was making about SS or Medicare was in relation to all the "Bush is gone" madness that you guyz keep spouting. My point was that Bush legislation (wars, tax cuts) have lasting implications just like SS and Medicare. By no means did I mean to imply that Repubs would ever attempt anything as compassionate as SS or Medicars. You know you have no problem with poverty and inequality. It's poor people's fault if their poor, or if they grow old and can't afford medication. Silly, left wing notions like compassion take away from the ability to further cut rich peoples taxes and build more bombs. I know you can't say that, but you know that's how you guyz see America. That's why Repubs (and you call yourself Christians) have never proposed anything like SS or Medicare.

  • Mark 5 years ago


    I know FDR is your hero (at least until King Barack). Display just a little honesty and admit that the vast majority of what he (FDR) jammed through was unconstitutional. Your use of buzzwords like "compassion" is a typical method of the left to distract from what the real issue is. The real issue is what is or is not constitutional. The more a segment of society relies on Big Brother the less motivation they feel to improve as an individual. Hence they remain poor. That's the Democrat Party playbook rule #1. It's not rocket science, Mikey, think for once.

    By the way, what's with referring to yourself in the third person all the time (The Liberal Examiner, cue fanfare). Just a tad pompous don't you think ?

  • In Concert 5 years ago

    Are you the same Michael McFadden who sucked the equity out of his home in Baltimore by repeatedly refinancing, whose home is now in foreclosure and who is now hiding at his Mother's house? Maybe that was the work of some nefarious lender who preys upon the ignorant and unwary? Are you the same Michael McFadden who is being sued by credit card companies for unpaid balances in the tens of thousands of dollars? Maybe that is the fault of someone other than yourself too? Maybe it's time to own up to who you really are and stop the self serving claptrap you scribble here.

    You pretend to like facts. What are the facts regarding your Baltimore legal problems? Your readers should know who you really are.

  • Mark 5 years ago

    Wow !!! Say it ain't so, Mikey. Maybe that explains your schizo thought processes. It's always the fault of someone else right Mikey ? Truly delusional and pathetic and, dare I say, typical.
    Always the victim of those big bad white folks.

  • The Liberal Examiner 5 years ago

    In Concert; wow! Are you so upset by my opinion that you somehow think these personal attacks are warrented? I know some folks have a "unique" relationship with the facts, but just how does your personal attack pertain to my article? If all that you claim is true and I'm this Michael Mcfadden you know so well, what's your point? Is that anyone who has messed up their own live isn't entitled to have a political opinion?

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