The Issues: Zoso


Sarah Palin. Is the former Governor of Alaska as dumb as we’re told to believe she is? She was right on the Paul Revere story. The ladies on The View were wrong (other than Elizabeth Hasselback who read a history teacher’s summation on the story.) All of the others, who joined the ladies in snickering at Palin’s portrayal of what happened on that night, are now forced to eat crow.

Sarah Palin never said, “I can see Russia from my window.” That was Saturday Night Live’s Tina Few imitating and characterizing Sarah Palin. Sarah’s response to Charles Gibson’s question about the proximity of Russia was that it could be seen from Alaska. So what you say? So, SNL paraphrased her. That’s done quite a bit by both sides. Fair enough, but the paraphrase SNL’s Tina Fey used was to an open-ended question regarding foreign affairs. Charles Gibson’s question to Sarah Palin was very specific, and she answered it in a specific manner…if a little light heartedly.

When Palin told the Tea Party to hold off from partying “like it’s 1773” the media assumed Palin got the date of the Declaration of Independence wrong. The Declaraction of Independence was signed in 1776. The media was the one that flubbed this one. Palin was telling the TEA PARTY that they should not party like the original, Colonial Tea Party. That original, Colonial Tea Party occurred in 1773. Boom baby! Get some.

One would think that the media would fess up with red-faced embarrassment over these incidents to apologize with a mea culpa style retraction. Nope, as any conspiracy theorist will tell you, you just move onto the next thing.

The next thing occurred when Alaskan officials opened 24,000 Sarah Palin emails to the public. The amount of emails was so massive that news organizations were forced to ask readers for assistance. Did the news organizations engage in this endevour to properly vet her? Was it to toughen her up? You’ll remember that NT Times columnist Marueen Dowd responded to Barack Obama’s request that she stop making fun of his big ears by saying: “We’re trying to toughen you up!” Obama didn’t want to be toughened up. He wanted them to stop. They did. When Sarah Palin put forth a similar request that the media lay off her children, the media responded by putting stories of her children on the front page. At this point in history, she’s not even a candidate. Why the blood thirsty need to defeat her?

Jon Stewart was asked on Fox News Sunday if he thought the NY Times exhibited a liberal bias. In a long form answer with qualifiers attached, Stewart basically said no. That doesn’t surprise me, as it shouldn’t surprise anyone. John is a liberal. If Jon were a NY football Jets fan sitting with an Atlanta Falcons fan to watch a game, each would probably complain of a bias for the other team from the announcers of the game. The thing that drives me bat stuff is when right-wing commentators try to figure out how Stewart can’t see the bias of the liberal NY Times. He’s a liberal. It seems like straight news to him.

Rachael Maddow says that Peter Diamond should be nominated to the Federal Reserve Board. She says that MIT Professor Diamond should be nominated based on the fact that he won a Nobel Prize. She says Republicans shouldn’t block his nomination based solely on this fact. First of all, the Nobel Prize began to mean nothing the day Arafat won a Nobel Prize for peace. Then Algore won one for global warming, and Obama won one for campaign speeches and speculation. Objective analysts around the world began to recognize that the jig was up with this process and this Prize. The Prize was no longer about outstanding and incredible accomplishments the day after the Arafat announcement, rather it was about whether a particular individual supported a certain agenda. Diamond won one for economics, you argue. Well, so did Paul Krugman. Diamond, like Krugman, is a Keynesian activist. Diamond, like Krugman, thought the failed 2009 stimulus package was not large enough. Diamond, like Krugman, supports government run health care through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

But, said a NY Times op-ed piece, Diamond is a nice guy. The NY Times op-ed piece furthers that Diamond’s friends will attest to this fact. Was this entered into the resume that Richard Shelby (R, Alabama) saw when he refused to vote for his nomination? If it was, then Shelby is a bad guy. How dare he refuse to vote for a nice guy to sit on the Federal Reserve Board.

This, if you read through the New Republic, The NY Times, and you listen to Rachael Maddow is the crux of their defense for the guy. Maddow even went so far as the crinkle papers in her frustration that Senate Republicans wouldn’t vote for a nice guy with a Nobel Prize to the Federal Reserve Board. I’m sure friends would say that W. Michael Blumenthal and G. William Miller were swell fellers, but they sat as Treasury Secretary and Fed Chairman under the economic chaos of a president named James Earl Carter.

One has to feel for Diamond though. He was nominated by Bush for an appellate judgeship, but Senate Democrats blocked that. They were as unreasonable and stubborn as Democrats and Maddow purport Republicans to be today. The Democrats hid behind “principle” back then, saying that they didn’t want Bush to pack the courts with conservatives. They used this excuse to block nominees Priscilla Owen, Charles Pickering, William Pryor, Janice Rogers Brown, etc. They considered it unseemly that a Republican should nominate an individual with conservative ideals to the courts…Or as Charles Schumer once labeled anyone with conservative ideals and thoughts: fleas. Of course, Schumer was only trying to set an example of bipartisanship for Republican should they ever reach a point of prominence in judiciary nominee confirmations.

If one listens to Bush nominee Charles Pickering on Charles Schumer they will undoubtedly feel a little for Schumer as he had to bend to the wishes of special interest groups when it came to Pickering’s nomination:

“Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told Trent Lott (R-MS), and told my son this voluntarily, ‘We’re going to confirm your dad by December.’ The groups said, ‘No, not so fast’; so they were calling the shots, they were calling the tempo.”

It was a purely partisan play by Democrats “and their groups” to leave these seats open for a future Democrat president to come along and fill the seat with a liberal. In total, Bush nominated 23 different judges for 23 different judgeships that were not confirmed. Senate Democrats were counseled that they “should not confirm someone just because they are scholarly or erudite” or qualified. Most Bush appointees didn’t receive a vote, a committee vote, or a hearing. Did the Democrats engage in ugly politics, are Republicans now returning the favor?

Democrats engage in dirty politics, and when confronted by this fact Democrats say everybody does it. Then when everybody begins doing it, they call it “dirty politics” in a manner that is supposed to lead the listener to believe that no one has ever done it that way.

Commentators like the New Republic, The NY Times, and Maddow don’t simply call it dirty politics, they crinkle up paper and call Republicans evil. Rachael Maddow is the personality that Bill Maher told Rolling Stone is more of a journalist than Sean Hannity will ever be. It’s difficult, of course, to defeat subjective opinions of this sort, but one needs only watch both broadcasts with a tiny bit of objectivity to recognize that both are partisan broadcasters. The primary difference between the two, on this scale, is that Hannity admits to his bias.

As I said, it frustrates me when objective analysts blather on about their confusion over the left’s inability to do straight reporting, and their inability to recognize that their cohorts are not engaged in straight reporting. It would be pointless to get mad at the left though, for that would require a naive bias and blinders as thick as those worn by the left.

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