Friday, May 22, 2009


Dick Cheney has been playing the mass media like its his personal bongo drums. He beats on their heads with a consistent (or not) rhythm and they make the noise he wants them to.

The cable networks, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, etc. played Cheney's and Obama's speeches yesterday as if they were of equal weight and importance—a sitting president trying to clean up "the mess" Bush/Cheney let behind and an ex vice-president who was almost non-existent during the previous eight years and is not an elected official or even holds any official position in his party!

Cheney's speech was set up to follow Obama's no matter when Obama made his (Cheney actually complained that Obama was late, thus making Cheney start late, which showed explicitly that Cheney was not making a random speech but was using the media to counter whatever effort the president might be making to unite the country behind his policies).

Even the network news shows last night portrayed Cheney's speech as equally important as the president's.

Does anyone remember Gore's speeches being given this kind of coverage and validity and discussion by the usual "analysts" (like Cheney's daughter, someone we hold dear as an objective analyst!).

Of course not.

Because despite the phony charge that the mass media in this country is "liberal" it has been proven over and over again that they are prey to fears of being called "liberal" by rightwingers and have no principles nor any deep concern for the "truth"—what they are is slaves to easy manipulation by corporate or political forces that threaten their facade of objectivity, so they "balance" all reality with any bogus claim made by rightwing corporate or political powers well schooled by now in how easy it is to get the media to genuflect when they say so.

Gore was giving speeches about one of the most important issues facing this country and the world, but the media virtually ignored him until his documentary won an Academy Award. And they ignored him even more when his speeches criticized some of the Bush/Cheney policies that have since been proven to be not just misguided but disastrous.

But all Cheney has to do is give a speech to a crowd about the size of a decent poetry class (and as far as I could determine made up almost entirely of white males) in which he presents no evidence, no proof, for his assertions, and makes snide comments about our president (during wartime, didn't this same Cheney claim that when Democrats dared to criticize Bush Junior they were "traitors"!) including another of his references to Europe as if our president's being respected there was a sign of weakness (yeah, who wants one of the few places on earth where there is no war and almost no poverty and no one without healthcare and the basic human necessities to admire us!).

Grade F for the entire array of news shows across the free TV and cable spectrum on this one.

[If you want to see what the right thinks of the media, check this out.]


Butch in Waukegan said...


”Grade F for the entire array of news shows across the free TV and cable spectrum on this one.”John Stuart, via Ken Silverstein / Harpers:

“There is one unifying thread that runs through every strata of our media, and that gives them a collective erection…conflict easily juxtaposed.”Silverstein continues, quoting the Washington Post:

JIm said...

The Obamasiah had the stage craft just right with the founding documents in the background. Darth’s speech had been planned and scheduled for months to be set in a room that could hold the small library meeting, that Michael spoke of. Obama’s speech was hastily announced last week to preempt the “Evil One’s” speech. It was done because Obama is in trouble on Gitmo, terrorism or human caused calamities or what ever the Obama team calls Islamic murderers of men women and children this week. The press was excluded form the “One’s “ speech and instead were offered a prepackaged report from the White House press office. The press was welcome at Darth’s speech. In a speech to reassure mainstream Americans that he will and is protecting the homeland, he also had to assure his loony left supporters that he is not continuing Bush/ Cheney war policies in Iraq and in the expanded war in Afghanistan/Pakistan, including even more death from above for combatants and civilians. In order to do this, Obama spoke either deceitfully or na├»vely. He says he shut down enhanced interrogation methods because they did not work. In fact many credible sources including Cheney claim that the methods did work and saved American lives. Obama released redacted memos describing the methods but concealed the results. As proof that the methods were not effective, he asks us to trust him since he has read them. He already did the damage of releasing the methods. Now, RELEASE THE DAM RESULTS SO WE CAN JUDGE FOR OURSELVES!!!

Guantanamo which Obama calls “a mess” is a state of the art prison. Obama says he wants to close it, but no country or US state wants them. Congress has told Obama no, unless he comes up with a credible plan.

Obama’s speech was smooth and he looked presidential and had a lovely backdrop, but Harry Reid said it changed nothing. Darth’s speech was workman like and fact filled. Darth has nothing to gain personally from his reemergence from exile. He speaks only because he loves America and believes Obama is making us less safe. It is nice to have a Republican, finally, speak forcefully against the weakness that Obama has exhibited on terrorism and homeland security.

John M. Lally said...

...And here to comment on the former Vice President's claims is former State Department official, Liz Cheney.

JIm said...

And here are comments from Joe Biden that support Cheney's argument.

Club Gitmo- VP Biden filled in some gaps while talking to reporters in Kosovo confirming Cheney’s view that the decision was made “with little deliberation, and no plan”.

Will the President close the facility by Jan 2010? “I think so”.
Biden continued: "But, look, what the president said is that this is going to be hard. It's like opening Pandora's Box. We don't know what's inside the box."
He also said that "to the best of my knowledge" the number of prisoners "who are a real danger who are not able to returned or tried" has "not been established" by the Obama administration.

Biden said that during his visits to Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo he'd discussed "the prospect of a detainee coming back to the region".
That's "a detainee", singular. There are currently some 240 at Gitmo.
Of course, the vice-president might have it all wrong. He prefaced his remarks by stating that he was "out of the loop".

John M. Lally said...

Talk about right-wing slant in the media. All we have been hearing for a couple of weeks is how Nancy Pelosi should apologize and step down as Speaker of the House for defending herself from right wing smears.

Today, the House voted on a measure to investigate Speaker Pelosi's claim that the CIA lied to her. The measure was blocked by a vote of 252-172.

Once again the insane howlings of the right-wing fringe gets repeated in the echo chamber of corporate media, but their rantings have no relation to what's happening in the real world.

Butch in Waukegan said...

This post is about two speeches on terrorism - Obama’s & Cheney’s.

Rachel Maddow analyses two speeches given that day, both by Obama.

What good is another jeremiad about the “right wing” when, as Maddow shows, Obama is proposing changes in the “rule of law” far more drastic than Bush ever dreamed of?

Anonymous said...

Dear MDL:

I think Obama scheduled his speech after Cheney, so the White House seems to have wanted this. And the press loves a good fight. I think Dick and the extreme right are attempting to set up a future "I told you so" moment, so that when we're attacked again, they can claim it's because they're not in power. Why there hasn't been more terrorism here is something of a mystery, given the right's insistence on the easy availability of automatic weapons and all the crazies out there, but it certainly has nothing to do with Bush-Cheney. There's nothing in place to prevent, say, a Mumbai-style attack. We've simply been very lucky. And the great irony, of course, is that the repubs didn't protect us when, after nine months in power, they received a direct and specific warning that Osama bin Laden was planning an attack. A more competent administration would have done everything necessary to stop the attacks, but Bush & Cheney and the assorted war-criminal clowns surrounding them just went off to play another round of golf. Cheney should be in jail, not on t.v.

epaminondas said...

Was there a need to strike again? Didn't 9/11 get us to exhaust our resources on a senseless War that bankrupted our Country both financially and morally. I think Osama is stroking his beard thinking to himself " Praise be to Allah for the foolishness of U.S. Policy. All I did was frighten them and they stampeded right over the cliff.

JIm said...

John, As for SanFranNan's accusation that the CIA lied to her and that she was never informed that three prisoners were water boarded, she stood up at her supposed "news conference" and bravely said, that she will not speak on the matter now or in the future. Is her job safe? Of course. Democrats so not sack the bad actors in their party. William Jefferson, Frank, Dodd, Charlie Rangel come to mind. I hope she stays right where she is until the 2010 election. She makes a wonderful target and symbol of the Democrats.

JIm said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lally said...

Had to delete Jim's last comment. I let him rant to let others see how rightwingers distort reality to support their hateful ideology. But this one went too far. A lot of personal friends sacrificed their lives and/or put their lives on the line to defend the freedom of chickenhawks like Cheney and others who never served their country in the military yet reaped enormous pay days disparaging those who did (and to my knowledge Jim never served either). It was an attack on "leftist" as equal to "jihadists" i.e. "terrorists" and supporters of "dictators" etc. who cause mass death and oppression and destruction, as if only the right has been the defenders of liberty and democracy!

JIm said...

Hey Mike,
Censorship is alive and well in Lally Land. Next you will be burning books.

Lally said...

On balance Jim, I'd say you're the least censored troll on the net. And the left has been censored out of most of the media for the past eight years, a process that began decades before. In fact, under the previous administration and Republican controlled government, the center was censored most of the time as well. Brief history Jim, under Clinton, the World Trade Center was bombed and the culprit caught, put on trial and is locked away forever. Under Bush/Cheney, they were given explicit warnings that Osama and Al Queda intended to attack the USA on our own soil, they ignored it and thus were and are responsible for the most devastating attack on the USA's homeland in our lifetimes. No one from that administration who took part in the decision to ignore this warning should be allowed to talk about anything concerning our "national security."

Anonymous said...

Michael Lally is under no obligation to publish rightwing boilerplate on this site; even more public forums---the "letters to the editor" section of a newspaper, e.g.---choose and select according to their own criteria. He is, in essence, the editor of a one-man publication called "Lally's Alley," and has every right to publish in it whatever he wants and to reject what he doesn't like. If Lally were somehow able to prevent "Jim" and others from starting their own blogs, that would be censorship.

JIm said...

"No one from that administration who took part in the decision to ignore this warning should be allowed to talk about anything concerning our "national security."

Mike you opitimzed the Left's intollerance for free speech. Talk radio should be stamped out because Liberal shows can not make it in the world of ideas. Now even Michael Lally, that champion of American freedoms, advoctes preventing members of a former administration from speaking freely. Your quote illustrates that my reference to a book that challenges the left on its supposed love of freedon and human rights is closer to the truth than even I realized.

JIm said...

Jihadist, Liberals and Conservatives

Jihadist believe in a violent religion that commands uniforimity of thought and behavior. They wage war against all things non Muslim to bring about a centralized government that regulates religion, commerce, speech, behavior and even thought through censorship of words, books movies etc.. Non Muslims are to be converted, taxed heavily or killed.

Liberalism as practiced in the French Revolution, under Wilson, Mussolini, Germany of the 30’s, FDR, LBJ and now Obama, believe and enact laws, budgets and rules that empower the central government and weaken individual freedoms and run contrary to the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Mussolini used to speak of “Corporatism”, the alliance of government and major corporations to rule and manage the behavior and the economy. FDR had his National Recovery Act that enabled the Government to regulate prices, wages and labor agreements. FDR attempted to take over the Supreme Court when they ruled that his extreme legislation was unconstitutional. Bush took over the banking system and Obama increased the control to the point of hiring and firing. Obama is in the process of taking over the Automobile industry, overturning the rule of law on bankruptcy. He changes rules to steal from bond holders who are first in line in bankruptcy law to favor Unions who supported him in his election. Liberal Democrats seek government control of energy use with the Cap and Tax laws, government control of automobile manufacture and design. LIberals seek to limit free speech on talk radio through local boards that will decide what is acceptable. In short modern liberals seek to control the engines of commerce and thought as did Mussolini, FDR and as Jihadist wish to.

US Conservatives believe the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are the finest rules for government ever devised. Conservatives believe in the preeminence of the individual and that government is the servant of the people. Central Government has only those powers expressly granted in the Constitution. All other powers are to inure to the states and to the people. There is a movement afoot to challenge the usurped powers of the central government and to reemphasize the rights and powers of the state. The Tea Parties are but one illustration of that movement.

In summation Jihadists and Liberals believe in an overbearing central government that limits individual freedom of choice. Jihadists and liberals believe that speech should be regulated by government. Jihadists and Liberals believe that the central government should control commerce. Jihadist and Liberals believe that some groups should be favored over other groups. Muslims should be favored over non Muslims. Unions, minorities should be favored over bond holders or white firemen etc. Conservatives believe that a powerful Central Government should be limited and that individual freedom should be paramount. All are to be equal under the law and group favoritism is an anathema.

Lally said...

The main trouble with the kind of thinking Jim represents isn't that it's based on lies and distortions (see the above, in which the word "Liberal" should be replaced with any word denoting the right) it's that the education system in this country has been so weakened by rightwing republican administrations over the past half century that there are too many who don't know how to use logic (one of the great gifts of Obama for which we should all be grateful after the last administration based on "gut feelings" and directions from God) and therefore fall for this garbage.

JIm said...

You clain lies and distortions but fail to point to one and substatiate your accusation. It seems you respond with the Liberal belief system which resembles a religious belief which is not necessarily backed up by proof or facts. Catholics believe that Christ rose from the dead. It is a belief and article of faith just as Mohammed's midnight flight to Jeruselem as detailed in the Ou'ran
is. Surely an accomplished man of letters and deep political thought can do better than that.

As far as the education system, we just had a lesson in Liberal education philosopy. Obama and the Democrats were going to drop the highly successful Washington DC
Choice program that enabled inner city poor kids to excape the awful public system and attend private schools like his kids attend. It was a program that was working spectacularlly well. He let it go forward for enrolled students but ended it for future aspirants. Is that educational policy that our gut tells us we can believe in.

Lally said...

In re: the above, click on the link just added to the end of this post.

JIm said...

Michael Lally backup for his refuting accusation quoted below on the similarity between Liberal Philosophy and Jihadists is CRICKET, CRICKET!!!

"The main trouble with the kind of thinking Jim represents isn't that it's based on lies and distortions (see the above, in which the word "Liberal" should be replaced with any word denoting the right) it's that the education system in this country has been so weakened by rightwing republican" "M Lally