The Bashiring Of The American Liberal Media

Let me tell you why the forced resignation of Martin Bashir is such a big deal, and why it’s so insidious.  This is meant to be yet another message to liberal reporters and news commentators, or any reporters seeking to report the truth, that it’s hands off high-profile Republicans or you lose access and your job.  Media critics and Democrats bewail the low quality of reporting today; how those on the right wing get away with disrespectful and even treasonous statements and are rewarded by their employers with fat contracts and book and speaking deals.  Critics complain that there is no real investigative reporting anymore.  Why do you think Greg Palast operates out of London, England?

This firing-as-forced-resignation of Bashir, and the firings of Keith Olbermann (MSNBC and Current TV), David Shuster (MSNBC), Cenk Uygur (MSNBC) all are meant to further reinforce that almost all of American news outlets are owned by conservative corporations with Republican Party ties. What this means is that shoot-from-the-lip-first-and-never-ask-questions-later types like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul, and any number of Republicans can say whatever occurs to them into any microphone or in any written venue and will not be held accountable by anyone for it.  It means that venal Republican toadies like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Tucker Carlson, Anne Coulter, ad nauseum, can call President Obama whatever they choose and tell whatever lies about the Affordable Care Act they choose to, and the fact that almost everything they say is intentionally false just serves to provide them with highly-lucrative job security.

So, for those of you who are claiming that Bashir went too far with his criticism of Palin, you have missed the point by a wider distance than the maximum width of the Grand Canyon—18 miles to be exact.  Bashir did not go too far; he was just being what used to be called BLUNT.  He shouldn’t have apologized but that should have been the end of it.  For Comcast it wasn’t and so Bashir was forced to walk the MSNBC plank.  That and it was also a message that we don’t cotton to Brits who look Pakistani with Pakistani last names talking trash about purebred white Americans who are also Republicans.

I don’t care if MSNBC still has Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Lawrence O’Donnell as its too-big-too-fire liberals (well, Rachel and Lawrence, anyway); it’s lost its liberal cred as far as I’m concerned.  I hope Bashir lands at a media outlet that prides itself on reporting American events honestly and without fear of reprisal from the firmly-entrenched right wing; someplace like…Al Jazeera America.

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16 thoughts on “The Bashiring Of The American Liberal Media

  1. shelley1laysi says:

    sharing!

  2. Erik Bloom says:

    I’m starting to get scared in a way “normal” folks I’m sure would think crazy and not in a good way. Are we witnessing a slow motion fascist takeover? Seriously, I’m not trying to be sensational. The far right wing lunatics in the House are trying to impeach the President as we speak. And although it would be a dead letter in the Senate what if these reactionary Mad Hatters take the Senate and keep the House next November? Then its impeachment for sure. And then what? What would they not be willing to do then? And as you pointed out they have most of the media in their back pocket. For a journalist not to be able to criticize a retarded vermon like Sarah Palin, and if you really knew who she was you would realize that’s not an excessive insult, without getting fired then anything is possible. How will such a media cover the quite possible race riots that could erupt from coast to coast when the president is impeached, let alone the martial law that would be imposed as a result particularly in the urban areas where the fascist teabaggers have the least support. Oh and if you strongly object or are insulted by my use of the word fascist I highly recommend you go listen to Ted Cruz’s father speak on almost any subject. First its well documented that he still has enormous influence on and over his son. Second his views and proclamations are completely “off the reservation” as far as any genuine American values I’m aware of or have learned from history. Unless of course you believe that history includes theocracy and some form of a military junta (you know to enforce the proper exercise of all those freedoms).

    • farlefty says:

      I’ve never heard of Palin called a “retarded vermin” before but I think you described her perfectly. If you were on MSNBC you also would have been fired and the next news channel would fire you before they even hired you.

      I always love reading your stuff, Erik.

      • Erik Bloom says:

        Why thank you kindly, sir/madam? I certainly will continue to endeavor to write up to the standards I find in the writers and journalists I most admire. A doomed effort from the start perhaps. But better the high aiming quixotic fool than the fearful panderer to the lowest common denominator. What did Blake say, if the fool would only persist in his folly… I think it says something about it leading to the palace of wisdom, but I might be conflating a different proverb of Hell. I’ll look it up later. Either way it fits. And apropos of all that, the repressive incident under discusion, your comment about my own hypothetical firing for my calling the allegedly attractive Ms Palin an unpleasant however accurate name, and more, I was brought back to an interview with Chris Hedges given by Bill Moyers in the summer of 2012. First I recommend it just on its general merits which are at times blistering and prophetic, not on the part of poor bland Bill who does his best to keep up and as usual means well, but primarily I’m referring to Hedges. And I bring him up because he was also fired from a purportedly liberal institution, some might say THE liberal institution as defined in this country, the liberal establishment par excellence for many generations, namely of course the New York Times, still often (if not as often in this digital age) respectfully referred to as the Paper of Record. This firing which came about in 2003 as a direct result of Hedges publicly and repeatedly denouncing the then imminent invasion of Iraq in the strongest possible terms, was discussed at length in the interview. The man had a family and a long successful career at the Times, which included a Pulitzer. Maybe you’re familiar with the story. Point is he threw it all away (except his family obviously). He knew if he didn’t muzzle himself it was only a matter of time before they’d dump him like a bad habit and I’m sure without the slightest remorse. If anything perhaps with a touch of self-righteous professionalism at having avoided the taint of such an egregious lack of journalistic objectivity. Again maybe you already know the answer, but is there a reason a man might flush such a successful, rewarding and prestigious career down the toilet? For what? It’s not like his big mouth was going to stop the war. The question never came up for him apparently. The only question was about doing the right thing, which simply means doing what you have to do so you can live with yourself, he said. You see he wasn’t just a reporter. He was a war correspondent, one of the best in that terrible, nerve racking biz. He covered multiple wars up close and personal, and never as an embedded stooge. He knew all too well the mind and body scarring horrors of real war. He didn’t have to guess what would happen in Iraq nor the shocking scale of suffering mainly of the Iraqis that inevitably would follow upon the brutally callous and nakedly aggressive policies of a criminal administration. In fact he predicted much of what blew up in everyone’s faces… In America careerism is drilled through our skulls starting not long after we learn to talk. With a small number of notable exceptions, it makes moral cowards of us all. And I’d wager it’s only worse now with fewer really good jobs out there and even more people looking. I’ve little doubt that if a really good job hung in the balance I’d conveniently fail to properly put Ms Palin in her place, even if I thought that “place” bore a striking resemblance to hell. With so many rationalizations to choose from I fear I’d fold with only a decent insult on the table. I’d only hope that when the moment came in which every rationalization rang hollow and the only question left being whether to do the right thing, I’d do what I had to do so I could live with myself.

      • farlefty says:

        It’s MR. Sir to you…and I thought you knew who I am.

      • Erik Bloom says:

        Sorry. Didn’t mean to offend. I’m going to assume farlefty is not your only handle and that I’m supposed to know your other/true identity. Forgive the obtuse nature of my online instincts. I wish you the best regardless. Good will at least requires no savvy whatsoever… Are you celebrating Festivus this year? Fortunately I’m way too lazy to gather enough beer cans to construct a festivus pole (to be placed right outside my apartment building of course.) Problem is there aren’t enough fundies and Fox lovers to offend around here to make it worthwhile. Forgive me O Larry and Jerry for not honouring your brilliant yet pointless holiday creation… Also I was thinking, how would you define far lefty in today’s America? To borrow a line by Mel Brooks, just saying “the poor ain’t so bad” is probably sufficient to qualify… Have a good one. Hope we get to chat again.

      • farlefty says:

        You really don’t know who I am? I’m the say guy who created the Liberals Taking Our Country Back group on FB. I just choose to remain anonymous here.

  3. Garrett says:

    You are absolutely correct…Martin was the best of all the MSNBC commentators…I will miss his show and his eloquence…I don’t plan to watch MSNBC again…have Ed Shultz, Rachel, Lawrence, Chris Mathews stood up for him? Palin and her pals have a new code word…. slavery… , filling the airways with its hateful and racist messaging, supported by ALL the moguls controlling our corporate media! Fear and “Mob” mentality are ruling the day. Are we all asleep in the 21st century? Pope Francis, pray for us. Garrett

    • farlefty says:

      Wonder if being named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year will go to the Pope’s head? Will we start seeing him surrounded by his groupies and entourage?

      I realized that if I want to keep up on news from a relatively liberal standpoint, I have to at least tune into parts of Ed’s and Rachel’s shows (Lawrence is on too late and every time I record his show I never watch it). But you’re right, Garrett, none of the MSNBC “liberals” stood up for Martin. Did he break some unspoken code of ethics by going gloves off with Palin? I can’t stand the hypocrisy of so many media liberals–and the hypocrisy of many Democrats as well.

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  5. Cindy McRage says:

    Just 5 yrs and change until Piper Palin turns 18, and only probably three or so until she has a few kids. Any guy that acknowledges her existence, she’ll surely give it up real quick. Just like her “mother” did…..btw we need longform birth certificates and DNA tests for all those yardrats.

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