Noah Oppenheim, The President Trump Of NBC News

http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/oliver-stone-pans-megyn-kellys-putin-interview/ar-BBCgxDm?li=BBnbfcL

Instead of focusing on Oliver Stone’s dead-on review of Megyn Kelly’s interview with Vladimir Putin, I’m focusing on the childish, moronic, Trumpian comments made by NBC “News” President Noah Oppenheim in response to Stone’s remarks. Oppenheim demonstrates why NBC hasn’t had a real news division in years. I won’t actually quote Oppenheim; you can read what he said in the article I linked to at the bottom of this post.

At Fox, Kelly was never mistaken for a new journalist. She was just another Fox blonde beauty who exhibited spewed the same combative far right wing behavior as all the other Fox TV personalities, and spewed the same sensationalized, fact devoid b.s. promulgated all over Fox. She adopted the same phony, hard-hitting, confrontational interview style which aped the one Bill O’Reilly employed. None of this made her a news journalist.

Oppenheim hiring Kelly after she quit Fox was a ratings stunt and nothing more. Notice that Oppenheim didn’t hire Kelly to actually read news; he hired her as a TV personality only, hoping her Fox notoriety would draw ratings. So far, as I expected, that gambit has failed miserably. The few viewers who watched the show learned absolutely nothing from Putin. Kelly can read the “hard-hitting” questions written for her to ask but she has no idea how to follow up with her questions of her own.

Oppenheim figured that Kelly would bring her large Fox audience with her to NBC and that new viewers who never watched her on Fox would discover that they liked her. When he concocted his hiring stunt, he failed to consider or he dismissed two facts: 1. Most Fox viewers will not watch NBC News since it’s just part of the evil MSM (mainstream media) so reviled by the GOP and its base. 2. Megyn Kelly is not likeable. She has adopted too hard an edge from competing with the macho man culture established and nurtured by Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes at Fox. She’s nice to look at but as soon as she starts talking, anyone not a Fox fan will turn her off. She hasn’t the warm and cuddly personality of the type Oppenheim has populated the Today show with.

So, Noah Oppenheim, pull out your chest and beat on it with your fists in your attempt to intimidate Oliver Stone. Your breast beating isn’t fooling anyone. You took a gamble on stunt hiring Megyn Kelly and, as expected, you lost. Of course to save face you’ll wait to cash in your chips and leave the game until Kelly’s contract is up and you fail to renew it. Or you may take some of those chips and pay her off to leave early. Either way, you’re the loser.

But with the way you childishly insulted Oliver Stone, perhaps after Sean Spicer is fired as White House Press Secretary, Trump will offer YOU the jump. You’ve already shown that you would fit right in with the low level of discourse in his administration.

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The Democrats Need A New Team, Not A Hero

So here we are in the middle of our postmortem after yesterday’s disaster yet some people are still not getting the reasons for what happened. I’ve already seen at least one person leap onto a soapbox promoting his chosen Democratic savior for 2016. This is the last thing we should be doing now.

The problem with this thinking is analogous to baseball. One losing team believes all it needs is a top slugger to turn it around. The successful team knows that a team of strong players in every position and a strong bench is what’s needed to win championships. To float one candidate’s name at this team shows the problem with the Democratic Party. If it refuses to learn the lessons of yesterday’s midterm elections, it will cease to even be relevant going forward from this point onward. Obama is the current big slugger and look at how well that’s worked out for us. Once your big slugger goes into a hitting slump he sinks the whole team if he’s the best and only big player they’ve got.

We don’t need ONE candidate to rally behind; we need a fundamental makeover of the Democratic Party in the way it chooses and runs candidates, and especially in how it communicates its message to the voters. We need to get liberal politicians with balls and vaginas of steel to stand up to the GOP, to refuse to approve right wing appointees to SCOTUS and to US District Courts, who will filibuster and otherwise refuse to vote for asinine legislation like budget compromises which create a “super congress” as well as the sequester which has proven to be a disaster for the poor and the middle class, politicians who will stand up to the NRA, ALEC, and people like the Kochs, who will stand up for women’s and for gay rights, and for immigration reform. We need a president who will not naively believe they can negotiate and compromise with Republicans while they are united in bringing down the presidency just because of the color and/or gender of the president. We need a president who will stare down the opposition with every Congressional Democrat standing behind him.

We need leadership at the top who will employ GOP and Fox-like tactics which hold up their politicians and policies to public ridicule, who can come up with simple one-line slogans and imagery to cement in even stupid voters’ heads that the GOP will surely lead them to ruin and the end of life as we know it, just like the GOP has successfully marketed the same thing about us to the voters.

So, right now the last thing we need is a Hillary or a Elizabeth or a Bernie in 2016. We need a real, actual, vital political party rebuilt from the bottom up which can engage and attract the millions of voters it lost after it decided to become Republican Light.

A home run slugger can’t win the ballgame if the team is losing and there’s no one on base.

Rand Paul: Tea Party Head Mad Hatter

Rassmussen Reports just released one of its famously pro-Republican polls

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2014/senate/co/colorado_senate_gardner_vs_udall-3845.html

showing a virtual tie in the Colorado U.S. Senate Race between Democratic incumbent Mark Udall and Republican challenger Corey Gardner and, coincidentally (?), NPR News runs a  tory primarily to make Republican challenger Corey Gardner a national name in pursuit of the NPR News campaign to convince the American voter that this is the year of the Republicans.

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/13/289750656/republican-candidate-heats-up-colorado-s-u-s-senate-race

After all, NPR trashes Obamacare at least weekly, and now almost daily (and several times daily) mentioning Rand Paul’s name and frequently accompanying it with a sound bite. There are 45 Republicans in the U.S. Senate but from NPR News you’d think that Paul is the only saying or thinking anything important because he’s about the only one in heavy radio rotation.  So Ted Cruz is now SO last year’s chopped liver for wrapping himself around and making himself the voice and voice of the GOP/Tea Party’s federal government shutdown. And Marco Rubio? He’s got the charisma of any fresh-faced little boy who looks like he’s wearing his father’s U.S. Senator’s clothes.

It’s been decided somewhere that Rand Paul needs to be pushed into the psyche of the American public and as frequently as possible. For what purpose, I don’t know—yet.  He’s not up for reelection until 2016 and two years from how he’s got as much chance of getting the Republican nomination for president as he has getting elected president this year.  To show how little chance the guy has to send out bids on a new design for the Oval Office rug, his GOP buddies in the Kentucky state senate are pushing a bill that would allow him to be on the 2016 state ballot as candidate for both president and reelection to the US Senate (much like Wisconsin state law enabled Paul Ryan to lose his VP bid and still keep his day job in Congress in 2012).  The state House of Representatives doesn’t like that idea so much and will most likely shoot it down if it passes the state senate.

It’s perfectly plausible that Paul has been positioned to be the once and future Head Mad Hatter of the Tea Party at a time when the Karl Roves of the GOP are attempting to separate and isolate it from the mainstream party because frankly, my dear, most Republican voters don’t give a damn about the Tea Party (except when it shuts down the federal government and then the word “damn” is heard a lot preceding the words “tea party”) except in the smallest and poorest Southern states with the highest numbers of uneducated people in America.  Rove once had pull in the GOP until his meal ticket ran out of presidential terms and he had to settle for a new career as PAC Man.  The meal ticket’s brother, Jeb, is undoubtedly planned by Rove to be his entrée to eight more years of White House entrées in 2016.

So, with Jeb in the top ticket slot, who would be the chosen one to slide into the number two spot? Hmmm, the name is on the tip of my psyche…Rand Paul.  It now all makes sense.  In front of closed doors guys like Rove decry how the Tea Party is destroying the GOP.  But behind closed doors perhaps Paul’s name was bandied about as a sure way to bring the Tea Party—and its voter base—back  into the fold and under control of the mainstream Republican Party.  The GOPowers-that-be may be willing to risk a Rand Paul presidency if it gets them a Jeb Bush presidency first.

So in the pursuit of that end, the orders went out to the subsidiary media outlets like Fox, CNN and NPR to put Rand Paul in heavy rotation and to keep his erstwhile rivals out of the limelight.  Too many choices make tea partiers nervous.  They like to keep things simple, you know.

Reporting From Stockholm, this is NPR

Thank goodness for NPR.  The entire outside world (which doesn’t include Fox) is publishing polls that President Obama is surging ahead of Mitt Romney, yet in the closed-in universe of NPR News Romney is running neck-and-neck and could win the whole thing.  To prove its point, NPR goes out of its way to research and dig and scour to find Republicans who believe to their core that Romney’s business acumen is the remedy for Obama’s failed economic plans, and that Paul Ryan is not a wealthy as some, and lives in modest house in a real American small town (these are statements from an actual Republican woman as heard on Morning Edition today), and is a budget guru (as the corporate media describes him).  That Republiwoman also waxed rhapsodically over the prospect of voting in Ryan as president after eight years of President Romney.  She is most definitely a resident of NPR’s closed-in universe.

Are these people part of the 47% that Romney painted as “victims” and non-income tax payers and thus by being for Romney they are totally ignoring his contempt for them?  Are they comfortable with the inept way Romney went off half-cocked with misunderstood information and turned the murders of four Americans in Benghazi into a political commercial himself?  There’s no way to know because NPR doesn’t research and dig and scour THAT deep for the little details.  Instead of “we report, you decide”, NPR’s motto should be “We decide what we report.”

Almost every story NPR reports on the Romney/Ryan smacks of a paid political announcement.  If the FEC was on the job, every NPR story about Romney should include the audio message:  I’m Mitt Romney and I approved this message.”

Just to be “fair and balanced” NPR allows one reporter , White House correspondent Scott Horsley, to somewhat report both sides of the story by including criticisms of and trouble with the Romney/Ryan and campaign and positive stories on the Obama presidency and campaign. But he’s about it. Andrea Seabrook, a reporter with NPR for 14 years, just quit so she could return to the world of real journalism.

“I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you’re doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say,” said Seabrook to Politico, “And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real. … I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters. … To me, as a reporter, everything is spin.”

And with NPR these days, EVERYTHING is spin, but it’s spun towards the Republican Party.  In almost every political story reporters will interview Republican politicians, Republican campaign officials, and Republican voters.  Even if the story is ostensibly about Democrats or Obama, no one but Republicans will be interviewed for their opinions on Democrats or Obama.  The stories write themselves.  If there is a Democrat interviewed, that person is the ONLY Democrat interviewed among the group of Republicans who precede and follow that person so the Democrat gets lost in the Republican crowd.

Another trick NPR employs is evident in almost all Obama/Romney stories.  The story is presented from the Romney/Republican point of view.  This personalizes the Romney and aligns the listener with him. It also serves to present Obama as the distant President who is separate and remote from the listener. Cool trick, huh? The newsreader, for example, will report that Obama and Romney are campaigning in the swing state of Ohio, and will then describe the charges Romney made against Obama at a campaign stop and then play a sound bite.  You see, a sound bite lends credibility to what is being said because if what is being said isn’t important, why play a sound bite? Then, to present “both sides” the newsreader will then describe what Obama said—but without the sound bite, inferring that it was just regular stump speech rhetoric of no importance.

By the same token, when there is a story about a bad weekly jobs report,  the story is again presented from the Republican point of view.  There will be a sound bite of John Boehner criticizing Obama’s job creation performance and why it isn’t working as he then segues into how the Republicans have a plan to create new jobs. This is the same talking point he’s been giving for almost four years but NPR still dutifully plays it because if they go to the trouble of playing the audio clip, it HAS to be true, right?  And the listener tends to identify with who they hear speaking.  When NPR feels like it wants to appear fair and balanced for this story, the newsreader will add a comment that the Democrats disagree with the Republican approach.  No audio clip which means that it was just more political rhetoric, and it also serves to position the Democrats as distant, weaker, and objects of ridicule.

With Romney writing off 47% of the electorate, Obama being the one ahead in the polls 49%-50% to Romney’s 41%-47% ( I know, Romney’s characterization of the electorate doesn’t make mathematical sense) you’d think that NPR could unearth at least ONE disgruntled Republican voter.  But there are none within NPR World, which more and more seems like it is being supported by listeners like YOU, if YOU contribute heavily to a Romney Super PAC.

Maybe NPR is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome by Proxy.  The Republicans have been holding its federal funding hostage for years and perhaps  NPR has grown to identify and align itself with the political party that is seeking the demise of it all publicly-funded broadcasting.  Or perhaps if NPR has adopted the concentration camp mentality of“if we just do what we’re told, maybe they’ll let us live”.

NPR used to stand for actual, truly fair and balanced reporting (as opposed to the Fox version) of the news.  So what does NPR stand for these days?  Now Promoting Republicans.

The Republicans Are Protecting George Zimmerman

It doesn’t make sense that George Zimmerman has gotten so much protection from the Sanford Police, the Florida State Attorney, and the Republican mass media. They’re all fighting his arrest and eventual trial. Why would this be?

Zimmerman is just a loose cannon with a homemade police officer badge but with a very real 9mm semiautomatic handgun. He thought he saw a black male in a hoodie sneaking around the condo complex in the dark and immediately profiled him as acting weird and up to something.

Zimmerman got out of his SUV and pursued Trayvon Martin even though the real cop on the other end of the phone told him “We don’t need you to do that” and Zimmerman answered “Okay”.

Everyone on the Left and the Right is expounding on why Stand Your Ground does or does not apply in this case. But Zimmerman’s own attorney, Craig Sonner, has stated Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply in this case, as has State Rep. Dennis Baxley, who introduced the bill into the Florida House, and former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, who signed it into law. Rick Scott, current Florida governor, took State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, who personally told Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee to turn Zimmerman loose, off the case. Again I ask: why would this be?

The answer is clear: the Florida Republicans enacted Stand Your Ground into law. Zimmerman claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, which is what Stand Your Ground is all about. If the law doesn’t exist, maybe Zimmerman thinks twice before pulling out his gun. So it is being argued at the highest levels of the Republican Party that they have a serious exposure problem to this if  with this first high profile Stand Your Ground case, Zimmerman is arrested and goes to court. It won’t just be Zimmerman who’s put on trial but the Republican written, passed, and signed into law legislation. And this…is an election year.  And Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law, is a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016. If Zimmerman is tried and convicted, Bush would be the “Republican Governor Who Killed Trayvon Martin”. Not exactly a campaign slogan he’d want to see on bumper stickers.

So, that’s why the Republicans along with their media surrogates have circled the wagons on this one. I think it’s possible the “temporarily stepped aside” Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee may have seen the political implications of a male black kid being killed in cold blood by a half Peruvian cop wannabe claiming protection under the law and communicated this concern to Wolfinger. I don’t know both men’s political affiliation but I could reasonably guess it’s Republican. But this would be why Wolfinger got so personally involved THAT NIGHT to the point of meeting with Lee to override the lead homicide detective’s recommendation to arrest Zimmerman on a manslaughter charge.

18 states have passed Stand Your Ground laws, some of these signed into law by Democratic governors who were cravenly pandering to conservative voters, or perhaps had received healthy campaign contributions from the NRA and ALEC-affiliated groups, or just didn’t have the guts to stand up to both. 31 states have passed the so-called “Castle doctrine” into law, which is what Stand Your Ground is derived from.

So, since both the NRA and ALEC funnel so much money—primarily to the Republican Party who introduced and passed the overwhelming majority of these bills, they could also be accused of being accessories to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Once again, not a good thing in an election year, especially with ALEC now bleeding corporate members and the loss of their dues.

This is why Fox, Limbaugh, and all the Republican surrogates are attempting to frame this case as a “liberal” and an “attempt at dividing the races” thing because those words their fans can understand. Most people who turn on right wing shows don’t know how to think logically and see the big picture: that’s exactly why they watch and listen to those shows—it’s done for them so they don’t have to.

George Zimmerman himself is small potatoes and no one on the Right gives a whit about him. It’s the Stand Your Ground law he symbolizes which is the Right Wing lightening rod. If this (literally) fatally flawed law goes down, then everyone who was responsible for getting it enacted—which are primarily Republicans up for re-election or will be in a couple of years—goes down with it. And believe me, there are quite a few Democrats who deserve to go down in flames with them.

Rush Limbaugh: That’s Entertainment!

I like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Sandra Fluke.  I like that Rush Limbaugh is on 600 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network. I like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Sandra Fluke on 600 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network and was heard by over 20 million people and his roster of sponsors.  I like all this because over 20 million people and his roster of sponsors all found out what the rest of us knew already: Rush Limbaugh is a bully. Rush Limbaugh is a bigot. Rush Limbaugh is sexist. Rush Limbaugh is overpaid and way past his prime.  And despite the wise counsel of that great Catholic Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh is no entertainer.

Rush Limbaugh is not paid to entertain. He is paid to communicate the Republican talking points for the day and for as long as they order him to repeat them. What Limbaugh says on his Monday show will be repeated on every Fox TV and radio propaganda show that night and forever after. From Limbaugh’s mouth to Sean Hannity’s, Steve Ducey’s, Gretchen Carlson’s Laura Ingraham’s, and Mark Levin’s ears, goes round and round and comes out their mouths. It cannot be called “entertainment” if the garbage and untruths spouted on the Limbaugh show are repeated on Fox “news” and commentary shows. Bill O’Reilly considers himself a newsman with his long, long, long, long ago news background and not an entertainer. He can be heard parroting Rushisms. So does that make O’Reilly indeed an entertainer or does it make Limbaugh a newsmaker?

Limbaugh is paid to be an attack dog for the Republican Party. His attack on Fluke was a contract hit. The joke on the Republicans is that he would have done it for free.

Limbaugh calling a female law student “slut” and “prostitute” and demanding to watch her have sex online so he could savor every detail his tax dollars paid for? Now THAT’S entertainment! Or at least it is to Rick Santorum, who’s campaign needs our prayers since it’s on life support and the prognosis is not good. For Rick Santorum has deemed Rush Limbaugh an entertainer.

It must be a Catholic thing because at this time 12 sponsors and 2 radio stations have said, “No, not so much”, pulling advertising from his show and his show from their airwaves.

If an entertainer’s show broadcasts in a vacuum and nobody hears, does it still make an impact? Remember Ross Perot’s “giant sucking sound”? This is what everybody will hear instead after Limbaugh’s show is cancelled. For years his show has served as the official mouthpiece of the Republican Party and when the show is gone, the “rush” will be on to fill the considerable, big fat void left by Rush Limbaugh.

Watching the firestorm of hostility fanned by the anger of both women and men, the sponsors and radio stations feeling the hot heat from the Limbaugh potato and dropping him? Rush Limbaugh’s career imploding as we watch? Now—THAT’S entertainment!

The Dark Fiery Pit Of The GOP

Have you ever noticed the connection between the New Testament, Fox, and the GOP? The New Testament imposes fear in Catholics and Christians to vote God by preaching you will be thrown into a dark, fiery pit where you will gnash your teeth for eternity if you don’t.  Fox and the Republicans have always employed fear by preaching to vote GOP or you will be thrown into dirty bomb attacks by domestic terrorists while you’re being thrown into bankruptcy by big spending Democrats after you’ve been thrown into jail by Obama personally for owning a registered firearm after he throws your family into poverty by forcing you all onto Food Stamps after he takes your job away. If the Bible is in fact the word of Jesus, wouldn’t that make both Fox and the GOP guilty of plagiarism?

Besides, the Republicans got it all wrong! Their ad campaign shouldn’t be centered on selling Obama as the anti-GOP about to deliver the end of the United States as we know it. They should borrow a page from the 19th Century Dept. of the Interior and update the image of the Great White Father that was sold to the Indians. The Indians bought, eventually, VERY eventually…

Fact is, the Republicans haven’t had a Great White Father since Dwight D. Eisenhower. John McCain was supposed to be the next Great White Father but he turned out to be their Crazy Uncle John. The closest they’ve come is Ronald Reagan, who was the Great Orange-Haired Father. And while we’re on the subject—what’s the deal with Republican hair dye jobs? At 69, Reagan was the oldest elected President in US history. So naturally they dyed his hair prematurely orange to make him look younger and more vigorous.  Mitt Romney is just five years younger than Reagan was but apparently his advisors are going for the youthful but experienced look. Hence, Romney’s got a dye job that gives him dark hair except for the sideburns extending just a teensy weensy bit up to his temples. The dark hair exemplifies youth, the gray sideburns—experience. Taken altogether, the phony-looking dye job seems as carefully manufactured as Romney’s changing stances on any issue. But I digress…

So, the GOP should be offering their electorate the modern day equivalent of beads and blankets instead of doom and gloom. As any father–Great White or otherwise–knows, it’s easier to get your child to fear you than it is to respect you, whether they love you or not.

Look at how President Obama is being sold: “I’m doing a good job so are, ain’t I?” Clear, simple, emphasizes the affirmative, asking his electorate to buy into the premise that overall, he’s doing ok so they should just let him keep doing it. The Democrats don’t need a father figure, great or otherwise and of any color. The only black they care about is on the federal government’s balance sheet.

But perhaps the Republicans have intertwined themselves too heavily with the Bible and are now unable to extricate themselves. Must be rough to have to spend eternity in a dark, fiery pit where you will gnash your teeth. Perhaps we can convert them posthumously to Democrats.