2008, the gift that keeps on giving. The biggest gift of the year is awareness or exposure, depending upon how you look at it.
FAIR, the national media watch group, has been offering well-documented criticism of media bias and censorship since 1986. We work to invigorate the First Amendment by advocating for greater diversity in the press and by scrutinizing media practices that marginalize public interest, minority and dissenting viewpoints. As an anti-censorship organization, we expose neglected news stories and defend working journalists when they are muzzled. As a progressive group, FAIR believes that structural reform is ultimately needed to break up the dominant media conglomerates, establish independent public broadcasting and promote strong non-profit sources of information.
High-minded though it may sound, it's hogwash and either awareness informed us of that or FAIR exposed itself. (If it was the latter, swear out a complaint and get them off the streets.) If you're not getting it, they've started "Election Watch 2008" because, goodness knows, they can't be distracted by actual stories. Nor can they report or even opine. "Election Watch 2008" is just the same link-fest they've long offered. And, naturally, it exists to lift up Barack (like a bra?) and to spit on John McCain. All other candidates are left out, hence, their revelation that they aren't high-minded let alone, in fact, "fair."
Just another sell-out who had a tag sale on beliefs. For reference, this is FAIR:
The Task Force commends the private Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) for helping to foster a continuing debate ethic in presidential campaigns, and for creating a political climate in which general election presidential debates are considered an essential part of the political process. However, the CPD's January 6 announcement that it will require presidential candidates to post a level of support of at least 15 percent in national public opinion polls before they may join the debates is deeply problematic. For the following reasons, we object to the CPD's participation criteria:
* The CPD places the cart before the horse by basing the exclusion of outsider candidates on the preferences of a public that has not yet seen or heard from these candidates in a debate. At the time of the debates many Americans remain uncommitted to a single candidate.
* The 15 percent rule is both arbitrary and too high. There is no basis in law for the 15 percent threshold.
* The American people do not agree with the CPD. A recent poll revealed that a majority of Americans believe that the CPD's 15 percent threshold is inappropriate.
* Polls often underestimate the role of Independents. Polling firms regularly base their opinion surveys on "likely voters" as determined by past voting practice. Such determinations ignore the possibility that the debate may, in fact, create new likely voters.
The CPD bases its decision on the belief that the purpose of the general election debates is to contrast for the voters the two candidates who stand the best chance of winning the presidency. We believe formal debates serve greater purposes. When done well, formal debates can advance and crystallize the ideas and issues that are important to the American public. They can provide meaningful political discourse, and can force the candidates to address the issues about which Americans care most deeply.
You may be nodding and saying, "Good for FAIR."
Stop. That's from 2000's "THE APPLESEED CITIZENS' TASK FORCE ON FAIR DEBATES:
A BLUEPRINT FOR FAIR AND OPEN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES IN 2000." In 2000, they believed in open debates where all candidates could compete. In 2008? Not a peep.
Not a word. Not an action alert. Nothing.
Because there's nothing fair about FAIR and because FAIR has whored themselves out for Obama's campaign.
Back in 2000, they could (and did) finger point. Here's BIG SELLOUT Jeffy Cohen from his "Nader, Buchanan and the Debates:"
A revealing national poll of likely voters, released on April 10, found Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in third place behind George W. Bush and Al Gore -- and ahead of prospective Reform candidate Pat Buchanan. So which alternative-party aspirant appeared all over national TV the next night? It wasn't Nader.
Asked to give his views as a candidate on issues from trade to economics to Elian, Buchanan held forth at length on "Decision 2000 with Andrea Mitchell" (MSNBC), "News with Brian Williams" (CNBC/MSNBC) and "Special Report with Brit Hume" (Fox News Channel). Hume referred to "all three presidential candidates," meaning Bush, Gore and Buchanan-- no mention of Nader.
Despite his extreme right-wing views, Buchanan has long been well treated by the supposedly "liberal media." The first pundit with a perch on national television seven days a week, he's been propelled into presidential politics by CNN for three different campaigns. Although he's been running for over a year this time, he received only 3.6 percent support in the new Zogby poll.
Nader, who announced his full-throttle presidential campaign less than two months ago, received 5.7 percent in the poll. In Western states, Nader received 13 percent support, compared to Gore's 30 percent. Yet public citizen Nader, a widely respected figure in American life for decades, is generally ignored by the same national media outlets and pundits that regularly include Buchanan in their coverage of the presidential race.
Imagine what Nader's poll numbers would be if his candidacy weren't so ignored by national media.
See, in 2000, fairness mattered to FAIR. Today? Not so much.
Some might wrongly point to more recent examples. For example, August 4, 2006, FAIR sent out an action alert demanding that debates be 'opened.' That wasn't about any ethical belief, just more of their Hillary Hatred on display (the same hatred that explains why the organization's weekly radio show CounterSpin called out sexism once -- in a single sentence -- the entire primary campaign). See, Jonathan Tasini was their boy and they wanted Hillary to debate him. That's all they cared about. They didn't care about fairness. (They proved it by refusing to demand that Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for the same Senate seat, be invited to debates.)
So 2006 was really when they began playing favorites and gave up all pretense of being fair.
Again, you can see it as awareness (of how unethical they are) or you can see it as them exposing themselves.
But 2008 has been the gift that just keeps giving. Over and over.
One after another, every left outlet rushes for their turn at the plate where they demonstrate that they actually don't give a damn about democracy or fairness. They, not unlike Rush Limbaugh, just want their way and they will use any tactic to try to get their way.
FAIR is now Rush Limbaugh. About as factual and about as honest.
2008 is the year 'independent' media decided to do breast strokes in a toilet bowl. And no one's proven to be more adapt at dabbing sewer water behind their ears than FAIR.
MSNBC resorts to rank sexism? Can't call 'em out! Jeffy has friends there! And he knows he's getting back in! And, yeah, it's nothing but a propaganda mill, but hey, it can be FAIR's propaganda mill!
It was never about honesty, it was never about fairness. It was always a bunch of rejects stamping their feet and insisting, "My way!"
So they covered for Davy S and Keithie O and everyone else. They ignored sexism, they blacked out Barack's use of homophobia in South Carolina (and won't call out the homophobia going on in California as part of his campaign).
They care about homophobia . . . when Republicans use it. And they care about sexism . . . when Republicans are using it.
If it weren't for situational ethics, FAIR wouldn't have any ethics left.
Again, call it your own awareness or their own desire to expose themselves.
And that's why they avoid realities about the Iraq War especially with regards to what Barack's (ever-changing) position on it is.
If they gave a damn about ending the illegal war, they could demand that Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney (two candidates dedicated to ending the illegal war) be included in the debates. But, oh no, Cynthia and Ralph might do what Mike Gravel did in 2007 -- point out some harsh truths about Barack.
That really was Mike Gravel's 'crime' that got him kicked out of the debates. He was spoiling the high on Barack. Which is why he wasn't allowed to respond in debates, why he wasn't allowed to expand (in his limited time) on a question (no other candidate was ever told no, you must answer just what we asked) and why, in the middle of answering a question, a 'moderator' talked over him. (On the last, Gravel was explaining how, yes, Barack took big money.)
FAIR looked the other way throughout all of that. They never said a word.
Mike Gravel's 'crime' was not being John Edwards -- acting like he was pining for a Date With Barack.
It was never about ending the illegal war, it was never about democracy, it was never about journalistic standards. It was about spoiled kids stomping their feet trying to get their way. This year they think they have and exist as a 'media check' only when their wet dream gets called out.
No one could have damaged their reputations more than they themselves did.
By their actions, you will know them as they really are. Some might call them hypocrites but the truth is they're probably more like "Napoleans" in the sense of Ani DiFranco's "Napolean."
In a little while, they'll try to rush to a high ground but no one will believe them because they sold out everything they allegedly believed in. And they sold out to a corporatist, big-money-backed, War Hawk.
The illegal war will drag on even longer as a result of their actions and, years from now, when people look back, FAIR will be lumped in with the New York Times as an outlet that created the space for that illegal war. They have no respect left and they'd grasp that looking in the mirror if they hadn't covered their mirrors with Barack stickers.
It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)
Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4168. Tonight? 4172. Just Foreign Policy lists 1,267,401 as the number of Iraqis killed since the start of the illegal the same number as last Thursday. Funny, I remember many, many Iraqi deaths being reported in the last seven days.
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i hate the war