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1 ckkatz  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 3:45:41pm

It does sound like Ricks is a bit too curmudgeonly for Washington Punditry. To my great amusement. At least he quickly figured out that it was a bad fit.

Just finished Rick's book on American generalship since 1940. Interesting, well-written book, on subject not normally well covered and well worth a read by those interesting in military history or leadership.

But I felt the topic may have been too huge for the book. On the other hand, I haven't read up on military leadership material since I left the Army in the mid-1990's, so the topic may have really advanced.

2 cinesimon  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:03:36pm

The problem right wingers have, though, is that most liberals actually agree about MSNBC. But they also understand that MSNBC is honest about it, and despite their bias, are honest and actually reflect the real world in their analysis. You don't see MSNBC hosts denying reality simply because it doesn't suit their agenda.
The same cannot be said for most right wingers, or Fox hosts.

But then, for those who need to pretend that both sides do it, once again reality is a bit of an issue.

3 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:07:26pm

re: #2 cinesimon

The problem right wingers have, though, is that most liberals actually agree about MSNBC. But they also understand that MSNBC is honest about it, and despite their bias, are honest and actually reflect the real world in their analysis. You don't see MSNBC hosts denying reality simply because it doesn't suit their agenda.
The same cannot be said for most right wingers, or Fox hosts.

But then, for those who need to pretend that both sides do it, once again reality is a bit of an issue.

Like the Washington Post?

4 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:29:52pm

re: #3 researchok

Like the Washington Post?

You're cherry picking and ignoring the differences cinesimon pointed out. The WaPo reporter didn't summon the MBF. In addition to what you put up, she also wrote:

But that an “Earth to Fox” message was calmly delivered by someone who also thinks MSNBC tells only half the story was extra enjoyable in my view, because seeking to please — the lobby, sources, TV producers, or anyone in a position of power — is the root of much wrong in this town. Politicians have a base, not journalists, and if you can’t go up against your “team” on either the right or left, you have ceased to be that.

She's simply saying that she found Rick's candor & refusal to pander for face time enjoyable. She obviously feels that's a god thing, but she didn't imply equivalence. The fact that "both sides do it" doesn't make it equivalent any more than the fact that both Palestinians & Israelis kill each other makes that situation equivalent.

Is MSNBC partisan? Absolutely, and cinesimon stated as much. Does that make MSNBC equivalent to Fox? Absolutely not.

5 cinesimon  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:37:49pm

re: #3 researchok

That' either a softball, or you don't actually read the Washington Post, but only those article cherry-picked just for your ideological victim-hood requirements.

6 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:39:09pm

re: #4 CuriousLurker

I don't disagree- as you know, I'm no fan of FOX.

That said, MSNBC has more than enough baqggage.

See this report on a Pew Study.

MSNBC is less fair and balanced than Fox News, study says

From the Baltimore Sun

7 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:40:48pm

re: #5 cinesimon

I don't read the WAPO? How did you glean that?

And what are my 'ideological victim-hood requirements'?

And when did this become about me?

8 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 4:43:12pm

re: #4 CuriousLurker

And I do not cherry pick- as you know.

Far from it.

9 Political Atheist  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:13:27pm

re: #4 CuriousLurker

I would disagree a bit. Once a news outlet picks sides more than a very small amount, it's no longer a news outlet. It's a partisan outlet. Or an advocates forum.

At the Fox or MSNBC level, it's no longer news, no longer making any attempt at objectivity and utterly unsuitable for the news consumer. Equivalent? mmm, not really. More or less unsuitable hardly matters. Once they cross the line a little or a lot it's over.

10 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:15:33pm

re: #6 researchok

I don't disagree- as you know, I'm no fan of FOX.

That said, MSNBC has more than enough baqggage.

See this report on a Pew Study.

MSNBC is less fair and balanced than Fox News, study says

From the Baltimore Sun

Yes, the Pew study is talking about partisanship and negative tone, not truthiness (to borrow from Colbert). There's a big difference between being partisan and telling outright lies.

From the study, page 20, emphasis mine:

MSNBC was especially negative in its treatment of Romney’s policy prescriptions. Fully 75% of the stories focused on Romney’s policies were negative compared with 1% that were positive. For Obama, by comparison, 32% of policy stories were favorable while 18% were negative.

Romney's policies. How many times did he do the Etch A Sketch thing WRT to policy? Five, ten, twenty? I lost count. He also jumped on board with most of the really draconian stuff to please the GOP base. Is it any surprise that coverage of that crap would be negative when even sane conservatives wanted no part of it? Oh, and let's not forget the tax policies that Ryan said they weren't going to tell us about until after they were elected.

11 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:17:02pm

re: #5 cinesimon

That' either a softball, or you don't actually read the Washington Post, but only those article cherry-picked just for your ideological victim-hood requirements.

That last bit was an unwarranted insult.

12 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:25:45pm

re: #9 Political Atheist

I would disagree a bit. Once a news outlet picks sides more than a very small amount, it's no longer a news outlet. It's a partisan outlet. Or an advocates forum.

At the Fox or MSNBC level, it's no longer news, no longer making any attempt at objectivity and utterly unsuitable for the news consumer. Equivalent? mmm, not really. More or less unsuitable hardly matters. Once they cross the line a little or a lot it's over.

I agree, none of the cable news networks are news outlets of the sort we grew up with. They're partisan opinion outlets mixed with news, and anyone who doesn't understand that is in big trouble. However, as I just posted in my #10 above, there's a huge difference between partisanship and outright lies (not to mention the racist dog whistling and promotion of conspiracy theories like birtherism, et al).

13 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:43:41pm

re: #10 CuriousLurker

I saw that. Admittedly, I'm not sure how to interpret that inasmuch as it seems to contradict the thesis of their study.

If you are correct, the negative tone can be understood, while the 'news' aspect ought to be suspect- and that in itself is problematic. If MSNBC focused mainly on stories that were substantiated but neglected to provide a wider range of coverage, isn't that a problem, albeit of a different nature?

Again, this is separate and distinct from the candidates issues (and to repeat I was no fan of Romney, to say the least).

It seems to me we need to better define how we discuss the media- and that in itself will prove to be a monumental effort.

As for the difference between outright lies and hard partisanship, we agree (for the most part). My issues with FOX lie in how they (deliberately) blur the lines between opinion and news. To me, that is most troubling.

Is it any wonder the media is held in such low esteem?

14 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:47:37pm

re: #8 researchok

And I do not cherry pick- as you know.

Far from it.

FWIW, I was referring to you taking a single line out of cinesimon's comment and (seemingly) ignoring the rest of his/her context, not the article you chose. Seeing the rather nasty personal snark you got in return kinda makes me regret my defense.

15 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 5:51:24pm

re: #14 CuriousLurker

I only responded in that way because of a similar ad hominem I received yesterday.

SSDD

As a matter of fact I rarely 'get personal' with posters here (save for one, anyway).

Very, very rarely.

16 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:00:51pm

re: #13 researchok

Sure, the partisan aspect is definitely a problem, but nowadays it seems to be what sells so that enormous multi-national corporations can continue making billions of dollars. It wasn't like that back in the day.

It's kind of scary. If it weren't for the new media channels like Twitter, etc. there wouldn't be any alternative really except for the traditional public outlets like ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. And those stations simply don't have enough air time to sufficiently cover all the news. That leaves newspapers, some of which are also quite partisan (and many of which are also owned by big corporations). The fourth estate is damned near dead.

It's a fine fix we've gotten ourselves into. *sigh*

17 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:01:29pm

re: #15 researchok

I only responded in that way because of a similar ad hominem I received yesterday.

SSDD

Ah, okay. ;)

18 researchok  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:12:57pm

re: #16 CuriousLurker

I'd love to find something to add or disagree with- but you hit the nail on the head.

We news consumers have created (read: bought into) a monument to mediocrity- a continually failing monument).

19 Jaerik  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:36:54pm

I'd actually be a lot more okay with Fox News if they dropped the claim of being Fair and Balanced, and just set themselves up as Republican News the same way MSNBC has basically said they are Democrat News.

It's not the act of having a partisan news outlet. There's actually a long and semi-illustrious (in a very yellow way) of drastically slanted news coverage throughout US history.

It's just that few had the outright reality-bending gall of Fox to claim they're literally the only unbiased news source in all of global professional media.

20 CuriousLurker  Wed, Nov 28, 2012 6:59:28pm

re: #18 researchok

BTW, I stopped watching cable news (and TV in general) about a year ago because I got disgusted with it all--not just the news, but also the inanity of the "reality" shows. It's become like Jerry Springer 24/7. There are a few series I watch on my computer or iPad (Nashville, Sons of Anarchy, Law & Order, etc.) , but the only cable news I still watch is the Rachel Maddow Show (or sometimes Morning Joe if I'm really bored and feel I can stand Scarborough's personality for a little while).

Much to my disappointment, Rachel seems to have gotten kind rant-y over the past few months. I'm hoping that's just a side effect of her political wonkishness and excitement over the presidential election season and not something permanent.

When the Petraeus affair story broke earlier this month she was very excited about it, to the point that she almost seemed pleased/happy. No doubt her pleasure was at the excitement of the MSNBC scoop, which came from Andrea Mitchell (as they often do--that lady has some sources), but it struck me as unseemly. When Andrea came on for her interview the first thing she did, with a dead serious look on her face, was to say to Rachel:

"I have to tell you I don't take any pleasure in this in the sense that it's really a personal tragedy and there are families involved, people involved on all sides And the men and women of the CIA, an agency that has many, uh, many things to be proud about, many things to be proud about, and that is under fire right now for other reasons."

Ouch. Rachel looked like she'd been slapped, and she basically had. I felt bad for her and I'm sure she was mortified, but I was glad Andrea said it. To her credit, at the end of the interview Rachel said to her:

"Andrea Mitchell, um, congratulations on this reporting that led to this scoop. I take your point that this not something to be enthusiastic about having uncovered given the tragic nature of the news, but your reporting on this was, um absolutely cutting edge. Thank you for joining us to help us understand it tonight."

Here's the video. The lead in to Andrea and her initial comments starts around 5:45. The second part with Rachel's mea culpa part starts around 8:20.


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