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Member since: 2001
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I'm just now catching my breath, and she finished speaking several minutes ago!!!!!!!


I am SOOOOOO with HER!!!!

Michael Grimm.

What a resume he has!


I just watched it all, took notes, blogged about it, and boiled inside. It was hard to watch.

I couldn't believe Helen Thomas was treated that way. I remember meeting her at one regional conference where she was the keynote speaker. I was so intimidated I could hardly shake her hand - that was ME shaking like a leaf! I knew people in the White House Press Corps in DC. NONE of them spoke up. It was really discouraging and tremendously disappointing.

I'm certainly no ultimate arbiter of all things news. But if I had been running a news department at that time, and had been shut out of the White House, or had my credentials yanked, or one of my people had been moved out of his/her seat because of something we printed or aired, seems to me THAT would have been the lead story.

Me too, skylucy!

I've watched a whole bunch of 'em in my life. Both sides. This one is by far the best I can ever remember seeing! And not only that, but it's an astounding contrast to last week's CONvention. Just astounding!

Just the viewing alone - the DNC's convention looks like a rainbow of humanity! The RNC's version looked like a frickin' Klan rally.

Oh for fuck's sake.

Too damn bad.

BTW - Welcome to DU, krakfiend! Glad you're here! This is a most extraordinary day!

I hope they understand, too, that it's mighty counterproductive.

All it's gonna do, for most people, is alienate them from whatever cause or grievance is being shouted about. And when you heckle somebody like John Lewis or Elijah Cummings, who deserve NOTHING BUT respect, then you really lose your case. All you wind up doing is pissing people off, particularly those who really might agree with you. Guaranteed you'll lose a bunch of 'em.

I'm sorry. It's just not right. Yes these folks have the First Amendment. But sheesh - so do all the people who could yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater, who don't do so. For the same reason: because you just shouldn't.

Not surprised.

Not at all!

Know what this Democrat would say to Donald Trump? "Mine's BIGGER!"

Yeah, we went around a neighborhood.

It was fun because we were in a group of three women. One kept notes, and the other two of us talked. I was lucky to be in a group with a very local woman who was running for reelection to a local council position, and it happened to be near her neighborhood. She pointed out to many of them that the reason they had a nice newly paved street was because she had agitated for it, personally, in that job a few years earlier. She actually won a few votes for her own race as well as thumbs-up for Hillary.

We talked with lots of people and even got a couple of women (one lived across town and was visiting the other one) who asked about volunteering for Hillary. We also met a number of young men, obviously Millennials, who were very sweet and friendly and told us "I'll be voting for her in November!" A signal, I suspect, that they were going with Bernie in the primary. But there was NO nastiness from ANY of them. Maybe because we appeared, and behaved, like we were completely harmless. Which we were! We were instructed not to get into arguments or confrontations, but always to be well-mannered and courteous and nice, and to avoid tying anybody up at their door in long conversations. We would leave flyers when somebody wasn't home, and offer them when people seemed amenable to them.

Yeah. I've seen several versions of that. "I can't believe I STILL have to protest this shit."

And another one cautioning that if we don't keep the White House, our daughters will have to fight for the same rights their grandmothers won, decades ago.

He's already done nearly that, to the Washington Post.

They're stuck outside, not allowed into his news conferences anymore. They had their credentials yanked - because they weren't "nice to him". I even heard that mentioned on MSNBC this morning. It's definitely a thing. But don't forget, he complained about Pox Noise and other candidates, too, who were going to feel his wrath because they weren't "nice to him."

You think that'd stop if he got elected?

We already saw a more veiled version of that during bush/cheney. They didn't come flat out an say it, though, but they certainly did it. And in a more subtle way. They created a climate where the news media became compromised and lost credibility, and was hamstrung in what they could or were willing to risk reporting.

1) People got fired. Woe to those who dared even to photograph or publish a photo showing the flag-draped coffins coming back from Iraq. Hell, the networks never even covered the return of those caskets to Dover AFB from overseas. Media blackout imposed. This shit even filtered down to local papers and local reporters in some cases. By then, though, it wasn't the White House. But it was the climate that White House created - that editorial boards felt WAY down the food chain.

2) Access was threatened. "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation," Candy Crowley's "State of the Union" or whatever that show was called, on CNN - they dutifully had rummy and Contradicta and other bush/cheney people, including cheney himself, on EVERY DAMN SUNDAY. More reliably even than David Gregory could be counted on to have John McCain on every Sunday, so he was almost a show regular. Tim Russert wanted to protect his precious access, too. Went around a Georgetown cocktail party with his gooooooood friend Jack Welch, then the bigshot tycoon whose GE owned NBC, with a bush/cheney campaign button pinned to the INSIDE of his suit jacket. And whenever he ran into some GOPer at the party, he opened his jacket and flashed that button so they could see. Wink-wink, snicker-snicker. Jack Welch also personally wandered his li'l ol' way down to the NBC news control room on that election night. Just stood there. Didn't say a word. Didn't have to.

3) They faked their own "news." The bush/cheney White House had, as part of its media manipulation operations, staged their own "news." They set up a feed of produced news stories with generic lockouts ("I'm so-&-so, from Washington"), more often than not a pretty young girl doing the "reporting," and the packages ALWAYS carried the underlying message that bush/cheney wanted to spread. No matter what the so-called "story" was about. Those packages were offered, free, to every TV station in the country, and INVARIABLY, stations in smaller markets where there wasn't much of a news budget or a news department with a lot of staff, and they were GLAD to take these easy freebies. Just plug 'em in, and most of your viewers aren't sophisticated enough NOT to assume it was from CNN or some other outfit. They did the same sort of thing with willing accomplice Armstrong Williams.

4) "Working" the NYTimes. cheney had a pet. Her name was Judith Miller. She had been a fairly credible reporter at the NYTimes. The secretive cheney "Office of Special Plans" used her as a convenient plant. They'd slip her tips. She'd eagerly lap them up. She was prominent enough already that it was easy to simply slip her info and they knew she'd run with it. She, on the receiving end, was certainly fine with swallowing as many tips as possible from these higher-than-high unnamed "sources" that SHE had, that nobody else did. And she routinely got this stuff on the front page of the NYTimes, always above the fold, and usually two-columns wide. What cheney's Office of Special Plans was doing was called stovepiping. The way those bastards worked around more traditional and impartial CIA vetting of sources, they took raw, unfiltered, unveiled intel that happened to come from Ahmad Chalabi or others. There was one in particular who had a one-word nickname and I can't think of it at the moment (my mind keeps wanting to go to "Corkscrew" or some such thing, but that's not it).

5) Jeff Gannon. These bastards even had their own broadcast/online puppet. This fellow who came outta nowhere from some junk "news organization" called Talon News. I first saw that and thought - "TALON NEWS? What the fuck is "Talon News"??? He was a poseur, who actually operated out of those seamy "down in his mom's basement" websites, cranking out all kinds of subversive shit that had no basis in fact but certainly spread the message bush/cheney wanted to spread. He got frequent access to the White House, and it was suspected kkkarl rove was his patron, ordering day passes for him, which he used to enjoy the run of the place, and go wherever he felt like going, to talk to insiders and then shit it all back out via his fake "Talon News" site, but because of his access to White House insiders, he somehow got taken seriously. And by then, with Pox News and Drudge and Andrew Breitbart as willing fellow puppets, of course his "reports" got a lot of attention. And because they made air, they got an air of "credibility." Jeff Gannon was not his real name. But I watched him, seated IN WHITE HOUSE NEWS CONFERENCES, asking long-winded leading questions that then-spokesman Scott McClellan would answer at length, because little Scott was ALWAYS going to make a point to call on Jeff Gannon and thereby give him airtime and face time because these things were always televised live.

6) Helen Thomas. This should probably be part of point 1 or 2, actually, but she deserves a separate paragraph. She was the venerable journalist who reported since, I think, as far back as the JFK days, was the Dean of the White House Press Corps. She ALWAYS sat in the front row - on the aisle when these new conferences were held in a larger room. She worked for UPI. So it would be she up front, on one side of the aisle, and whoever was covering for the AP, up front, on the other side of the aisle. And by tradition, every news conference started with HER, asking the first question. And every news conference ended when SHE uttered the official "Thank you, Mr. President." That's how it went, for years. The woman was revered. A giant in the industry. A staple of every kind of White House-based coverage. But she started questioning the Iraq War build-up and its rationales. The White House was not pleased. Soon enough, she was quietly removed. And some of us started noticing that Helen Thomas is not only not starting every news conference, or even asking a question. She was shunted to the BACK OF THE ROOM. No longer even allowed her traditional seat! I suspect they didn't have her fired because they figured it'd look bad. But what really burned me up was that NOBODY in the White House Press Corps spoke up, or complained, or stood up for her. NO ONE. Let's just say - message received.

In a way, they also got to David Gregory. I could not help but notice how his coverage of bush/cheney changed. He had been pretty good as a White House correspondent. And when the news broke about dubya's phony armed service record, how he cheated the system and got a rare, coveted spot in the Texas Air National Guard that many other young men would nearly have killed for - to avoid having to go to Vietnam (daddy pulled strings) which he skated through and then bailed out early, not even bothering to serve his full enlistment, David Gregory started asking some really hard, pointed questions about it. I remember it almost seeming like a verbal jousting match between him and Scott McClellan. And then, suddenly, for no explicable reason, he stopped. No longer pursued that aggressive reporting on this touchy subject. Besides that was an election year. And whaddya know? Shortly after he somehow "changed direction" in his reporting, he landed the "Meet the Press" hosting job. Gee whiz. Can you say quid pro quo?

The combined effect was JUST what they wanted. Totally tore down any "credibility" in the news business. You no longer trusted what was being reported. If you knew what was going on, you were aghast. If you were a "civilian" the result was - it all just sorta washed over you and you no longer cared, because YOU no longer trusted it either. This scheme just tarnished the hell out of the news business. Pox Noise coming along with its aggressively and baldly slanted coverage - LOUDLY LABELED "FAIR AND BALANCED" in EVERY network promo, viewers just were left completely uniformed, gullible, and generally mistrusting of what they were seeing. It was DEVIOUSLY brilliant. And it worked like a charm. Particularly when coupled with a propaganda network that was nothing more than a copying machine for whatever, first, the republi-CONS, and then second, what bush/cheney wanted.

As a retired journalist, it just burned. It BURNED. I spent most of that horrendously disgusting and discouraging era almost literally seething! I swear - I still don't know how my husband put up with me!

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