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Josh Marshall: Shame on Obama? (updated)

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:11 AM
Original message
Josh Marshall: Shame on Obama? (updated)
Edited on Thu Jul-22-10 10:10 AM by ProSense

Shame on Obama?

Josh Marshall

<...>

Let's review what happened here. And for the sake of conversation, let's assume that Breitbart and his crew didn't edit this thing and hadn't seen any of the rest of the highly exculpatory video. (I'm willing to assume that for the sake of the conversation. And I think it may even be true as a matter of fact.) That's by far the most innocent explanation. And that means that Breitbart got a piece of video he knew nothing about and published it with a central claim (that it was about Sherrod's tenure at the USDA) that he either made up or made no attempt to verify. No vetting, no calls, no due diligence, not the slightest concern to confirm anything or find out what was true. Even setting aside the fact that, as Josh Greene ably notes, most of Breitbart's scoops center on race and/or race-baiting, for anyone else practicing anything even vaguely resembling journalism, demonstrated recklessness and/or dishonesty on that scale would be a shattering if not necessarily fatal blow to reputation and credibility.

Yet most of the coverage has been along the lines of Breitbart sparks debate about racism or White House pratfall on prematurely canning Shirley Sherrod. Indeed, ABC tonight is sending out an exclusive on Breitbart, which is ... a puff piece about how he got his start in new media.

Or what about the Fox News? To use to terminology of infectious disease, Fox was the primary vector of this story. And to the best of my knowledge, there's been not only no disciplining of anyone in the news room but as far as I can see no retraction, apology (with the exception of a semi-retraction, on a personal basis, from Bill O'Reilly) or even discussion of their primary role in an obvious smear. The only 'press criticism' I've seen is this piece by my friend Howard Kurtz which can't be called anything but a white-wash, even including a self-serving internal email leaked from Fox about taking a careful, thoughtful approach to the story. (My god!)

<...>

It's much easier to focus on Obama or Vilsack or 'what it says about race in America' or whatever other nonsense. Because most reporters are simply cowed by Fox and Breitbart and Beck and the rest of the organized forces of bamboozlement -- too afraid, too bewildered, too hapless to apply anything remotely approaching standards in analyzing the fourth estate of which they are the nominal custodians. So what we get is this 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak not at all' routine from reporters and journalists who should know better.

In any other instance in life, when wrongdoing is committed, the primary goal is identification, apprehension and consequences for the guilty. The shortcomings of those who were affected by or mishandled the response to the offense is inherently secondary -- whether that be cops who didn't find the felon sooner or an over-anxious administration that jumped the gun in response to a fraudulent news story. We know who the guilty parties are here. Anything else is cowardice, denial or complicity.


Also read Eugene Robinson's excellent piece.

Updated to add another excellent piece. Vilsack's press conference was a rare opportunity to spotlight the USDA and civil rights.


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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. The only thing I did see regarding criticism of Breitbart was by Anderson Cooper last night
on CNN, and it had way to many "the left do this kind of stuff too" in it for me. The media cannot criticize themselves very well, it would require them to actually use real intelligence and actual skills.
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Rich Snachez gave Fox a pretty good pounding yesterday. nt
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:22 AM
Response to Original message
3. The media and of course elements on DU are all over Obama
who I doubt had anything to do with it to begin with--but since it's his administration it's his responsibility. But it's clear the media will concentrate on Obama and the administration and will not evaluate themselves for what they did, too.
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SunsetDreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. The "News" hour on PBS took the hear no,
see no, speak no approach last night. In fact Lehrer and his guest offered a quasi justification for Breitbart, placing the blame on the NAACP for calling out the teabagger racists. Breitbart was just responding. Tit for tat. It was a shoddy and disgusting piece of TV journalism. Lehrer really should retire. He never was much of a reporter, and now he's become senile.
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
6. Sounds like a direct response/rebuttal to Olbermann's idiotic rant.
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impik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. KO lost me a long time ago. This just sealed the deal.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Where were both of you?
when I was being pummelled yesterday evening, lol.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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brentspeak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. So, for the record, you disagree with what Olbermann said
Edited on Thu Jul-22-10 12:43 PM by brentspeak
Just wanted to confirm, for the record, that you don't agree with the following sentiments. Thanks for letting us know.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcI8nWyugQs

And today the proof lies in front of you, bleeding: the reputation of Shirley Sherrod, a woman who 24 years ago saw and overcame the vengeance in her own heart and achieved the kind of true greatness the rest of us can only hope we might express for one moment in the whole of our lives. Assassinated by Fox News! Assassinated by that scum Breitbart! Assassinated by all their meager-brained imitators on other channels and other sites, their limp fellow travelers who never asked questions first, but simply shot, and shot, and shot, and shot and laughed!

Let me make this utterly clear: What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites, is the utter and complete perversion of journalism, and it can have no place in a civilized society. It is words crashed together, never to inform, only to inflame. It is a political guillotine. It is the manipulation of reality to make the racist seem benevolent, and to convict the benevolent as racist even if her words must be edited, filleted, stripped of all context, rearranged, fabricated, and falsified, to do so.

What you see on Fox News, what you read on Right Wing websites is a manipulation. Not just of a story, not just on behalf of a political philosophy. Manipulation of a society, its intentional redirection from reality and progress, to a paranoid delusion and the fomenting of hatred of Americans by Americans. And nearly every last word of it is never, in any tangible sense, true. Ask Shirley Sherrod.

But this evil has not become institutionalized just because of the hard, soul-less work of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes and the scum Breitbart. Our society has not bought into the premise of this 24-hour parade of feces dressed up as news just because of a clever marketing plan. The assassins of the Right have been enabled on the Left.


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impik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. I disagree with what he said about the president
Puse bullshit.
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SunsetDreams Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. absolutely impik
I agree
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impik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. Shame on "Liberals" for making Obama the bad guy here. Shame on them all.
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grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Josh calls Howard Kurtz his friend
UGH. How did that come about?
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