Great line from Romney about Obama and the economy

Mark Helperin of Time magazine published this quote from Mitt Romney:

“When you see what this president has done to the economy in just three years, you know why America doesn’t want to find out what he can do in eight.”

Darn funny!

And, of course, quite right. Obama is an economic disaster. No feel for how business is done and no respect for capitalism.

Original source:

39 thoughts on “Great line from Romney about Obama and the economy”

    1. Thanks for the comment. Sorry, but I’m not too interested to debate the issue with you (or anyone). I’ll take a closer look at your blog – looks like a full throated articulation of the progressive viewpoint.

  1. Mark Helpern is the same guy who call President Obama a “dick” on Morning Joe, just because Obama had the nerve to call out the Republicans in a speech the night before. I’ll bet you thought that was funny also. It seems that conservative (including those in the media) have developed a case of Bush-nesia. They like to forget there was a budget surplus when Bush entered office and when he left with the economy going over the cliff. But with the conservative blinders on, the economy only became bad on 1-19-2008, the day Obama was sworn in. You won’t debate the issue because you know that you are being dishonest about how we got into this economic mess and who is working to prevent a recovery.

    1. geez, you guys are touchy.

      i am aware of the recent flare up over Halperin’s comment. i didn’t think it was funny particularly. i did think it was likely true. and i thought Halperin was treated unfairly on the backside of it – he’s a talented and fair observer as far as i can tell.

      as to me personally not seeing that the economy was in trouble when obama took office, that is not true. it clearly was in trouble – and most people i speak with who are convservative clearly know that it was. but obama’s job was to take steps to make it better and he has not done that. imo, he has systematically taken many, many steps that were destined to make things worse – like 2 yrs pushing thru a health care plan at exactly the wrong point in history; many, many new regulations across many sectors of the economy; a generally bad and dismissive attitude about commerce and capitalism; … the list is very long.

      even now, he appears to have absolutely no ideas about how to reinvigorate the economy. it is astonishing.

      and to be clear, it is not that i won’t debate the issues. i do debate the issues all the time. but i prefer not to do on my little blog.

      1. speaking for myself and as written in comment above: “like 2 yrs pushing thru a health care plan at exactly the wrong point in history; many, many new regulations across many sectors of the economy (energy, environment, FDA); a generally bad and dismissive attitude about commerce and capitalism; … the list is very long.”

        i’ll add to that list the demonization of successful people who’ve made a lot of money – aka, ‘the millionaires and billionaires’ – despite the fact that many of these folks are world-class entrepreneurs who have generated significant (even enormous) numbers of jobs and wealth for others. these are exactly the people we need to have be highly motivated and energized to help dig us out of this morass. and then you could argue that the stimulus was directed to the wrong places.

        the guy came in with an agenda for health care and other programs and has shown near complete lack of situational reasoning to interpret and react to events in real time. not just to do with the economy, but on multiple fronts – e.g., Arab Spring.

        does that make any sense?

  2. A lack of situational awareness and reasoning? You must be kidding. The Obama transition team began working with the Bush administration immediately after the election, To Bush’s credit it was a very smooth and cooperative transition at very difficult time.It seems that you might only be getting your news from places like Fox News, but if you read and watch other news sources you might know that Bush only gave the auto companies enough money to get them to the new year and left Obama with the decision of what to do with the entire industry. The Obama Admin. provided the debtor in possession financing and put GM and Chrysler through bankruptcy in record time. But you will still hear conservates today say that Obama shouldn’t have bailed out the auto companies, he should have let them go bankrupt. They did, and somebody has to provide the financing for the restructuring. Who was going to provided it? The banks that were imploding. We have an auto industry and tens of thousands of jobs today because of what the administration did. Then there was the Recovery Act (aka stimulus) that conservatives love to hate. But it provided tax cuts for everyone making under $250K putting more disposable income in their pockets. It provided grants to state and local governments so the could retain workers and not add to the rising unemployment rates (that grant money has run out and now you are seeing big layoffs at state and local governments) and it provided for infrastucture so some construction workers could go back to work. It should have been bigger, but this is the most that could get through the Senate. These were both done in the first 60 days. You should go take a look at a chart of the monthly jobs report starting back in 2007 until today. What you will see is that we started loosing jobs back in 2007 and by the end of 2008 it was around 750,000 per month. After the stimulus bill passed you will see the jobs number turn positive and it has been positive for the last 17 months. It is not enough jobs each month, but at least some growth. Health care didn’t come along until later, but it was also a major problem before the election. I don’t know if you are an employer (I am) and the healthcare premiums were going up at insane rates to the point that we had to drop coverage for our employees. The health care bill that got passed was basicly health insurance reform because that is all that could get through. It is not even remotely close to socialized medicine, not that you would hear any of this info on right wing media. This country is in big trouble if half of our population is going to limit their information intake to one sided information. Liberal do it too, and you should hear them bitch about how bad Obama is because he didn’t do everything they wanted. I have a suggestion for everybody.Turn off cable TV news and read more books. If you can’t kick the TV at least read more books (and not the ones by the guys with TV shows) and you will have a better idea of who is lying to you.

    1. thanks for your further ideas. i appreciate your taking the time. to respond to some of your points.

      – can’t speak for others, but it turns out i personally read / watch a wide mix of things and make a concerted effort to hear from liberals / progressives. i would also point out that i lived in MA for the last 25 yrs. you can’t do that without being steeply imbued with liberal thinking. it is a common retort by liberals when they encounter a conservative to assume they are ill informed and/or stupid. if you are conservative, one of the advantages you have is that you don’t have to work very hard to hear to liberal viewpoint since it permeates everyday life to a much greater extent than conservative thinking. for example, most TV shows have a liberal bias in terms of the themes they pursue and the dialog they contain. unless you are a political junkie, liberals have to work much harder to hear the other side and in my experience, they don’t.

      – as to FoxNews, i don’t understand the rabid hatred of this channel by liberals / progressives. to me, they make a much more concerted effort to feature liberals and to let them speak fully and clearly what their views are. i’m watching such a segment right now. have you ever watched MSNBC? it doesn’t get more partisan than that, imo. the few conservatives who show up there are shouted down within minutes. it is ridiculous. liberals also seem to readily confuse cause and effect on this. they seem to assume that people become conservative (and, quite probably, more stupid) by watching Fox News whereas it is more likely that they watch Fox because it better reflects their viewpoints.

      – as to you would never hear such and such in the right leaning media. this is crap. left leaning media is far more likely to be one sided than right leaning in my experience (at least among the mainstream outlets which reach mass audiences). i personally have looked into this informally myself. how? i did a side by side read of the opinion columns of WSJ and NYT for about 3 weeks. reading every piece and tallying on a few key points. takeaways: 1) regardless of topics, NYT used significant less analytics and numerical data than WSJ (i.e., even on a topic that might call for numbers, they tend not to do so), 2) NYT used much more hyperbolic language (this week was good example of that with repeated use of jihad / terrorist / hostage language) than WSJ, and 3) NYT was much more focused on ‘soft’ issues (e.g., rights, environment) than WSJ (this is goodness, except that their perspectives are not well grounded by analytics, economics, or counter-arguments).

      – as to obama’s situational reasoning: yes, he was busy in the early months – 60 days, as you point out, but nearly all of that was already on the table for him before he took office. of course, he did influence it and execute it, but to suggest that somehow demonstrates good real time situational reasoning seems incorrect to me. he didn’t conceive any of those major programs. he didn’t even really conceive his prize health care plan – he let other people develop it for him (same thing he’s been doing lately with debt problem).

      – and the other examples of his lack of situational reasoning are numerous. think of any recent major event, even during his campaign (think Georgia/Russia conflict), and obama is always a 2 steps / 2 days / 2 weeks behind the action. for instance, to immediately go from the massive stimulus, etc. straight into a full bore effort to add a new entitlement program a la ObamaCare is to demonstrate lack of awareness of the great trends. Keep in mind, we are now constantly being told by every liberal on the planet in the most emphatic, high pitched terms that the economy was absolutely, unbelievable terrible, terrible shape. but yet, despite that, the president launched head long into a 2 yr effort to pass a health care program? if the economy was so bad, then truly that was a knuckleheaded thing to do. but even if we did pursue it because, as you point out, we do have a serious problem with medical costs. Unfortunately, ObamaCare is not actually cost focused (that would have rallied a lot of support), but rather it is coverage focused. the results so far on costs are not good. are your premiums going down right now? i don’t employ people these days, but my brother does and his company’s insurance cost is increasing 41% this year. no one really knows how to control medical costs just now, so whatever the moral rightness of obama’s intent, to implement a big ramp up in coverage in the middle of a severe recession seems ill-timed at best. then we could look at his handling of Iran, the Arab Spring, Libya, and other emergent crises and, imo, he’s been late or not present on all of them. he needs a lot of time to think thru the situation and collect his thoughts – by which time reality has moved forward and his thoughts are not necessarily applicable any longer. hence the term ‘leading from behind’.

      – the stimulus, autos, and related efforts were not all bad – i don’t think conservatives think that they were. but on the other hand they were not 100% productive either. for instance, your point that we would have lost a lot more gov’t jobs that were subsidized by the stimulus is not a positive in my view. do we really believe that public sector jobs more worth protecting than private sector jobs? but the important point is not those programs. as you point out, they are long done and gone. the issue is what has he done for us lately? we didn’t hire him for 60 days worth of work, we hired him for 4 yrs and since those early days, he’s done not much of anything to make anybody happy.

      – i am well aware that liberals / progressives are not happy with obama. today’s NYT opinion pieces are a good example. i’m not sure what that proves – except to further confirm the idea that he is a poor leader.

      – final note: i voted for the guy.

      but i go on much, much too long. this is exactly why i was initially resistant to engaging with your comments or Ben’s.

  3. I have the same problem about going on too long. So I will try to keep this short and address just one of the topics. Liberals/Progressives don’t like Fox News because they see it for what it is, a propaganda network mascarading as a news channel. The people that are drawn to Fox already have a conservative world view and they are looking for a network that will reinforce that belief system. There is nothing wrong with having a conservative view point, but the problem with Fox is that they mix in some very radical, non-conservative propaganda into the programing all day long (not just the night time opinion shows), For example, let’s look at the debt ceiling debate. Numerous guests and hosts over the past several weeks were making the argument that it didn’t matter if we defaulted on the debt. I saw Hannity making this argument. How is not paying your bills a conservative value? Did they explain to their viewers that raising the debt ceiling is for the purpose of paying the bills for things that Congress has already appropriated the money for, and that budgets are about future spending? I don’t think they did, so you get polls where over 40% of the people say we should not raise the debt ceiling (don’t pay your bills). Explain how that is conservative. To me it is a very radical idea to allow for a default of the nations credit.
    From the very beginning, even before Obama was elected, Fox News has attempted to delegitimize him. They have pushed this “he is not one of us, he is not American” theme. First it was the fake madrass story, that he had attended a madrass when he was a kid. Totally made up and, when it was debunked, they kept pushing the story. Then there is the whole “birther” non-sense. You had a few kooks like Orly Tates push a bogus idea that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii. Fox provided the platform for launching that story and pushed it at every opportunity and then will say why aren’t the other news orginizations covering this story. Next thing you know everyone is talking about it, and Donald Trump is sending investigators to Hawaii. Has any other president had his birth questioned? I could go on giving you hundreds of examples of them pushing false stories that are nothing more than pure propaganda intended to delegitimize this President. The right wing media did it to Clinton also, but Fox News wasn’t around then so it was mostly in print and on radio. If you want to understand how they went after Clinton, which is the same format they are following now on Obama, with cable TV added, you should read 2 books: “Blinded by the Right” and “The Republican Noise Machine”, both written by David Brock. I am sure you have noticed that Fox attacks Brock and Media Matters all the time, but are you aware of the back story as to why? Brock was a writer for the American Spectator, the conservative publication that put out the phoney troopergate story and many others attacking Clinton. Brock wrote those stories and even did a hit piece book on Hillary. Years later he confessed to his role and confirmed there really was a vast right wing conspiracy. These 2 books laid out how it worked and exposed the propaganda machine. That is why he must be discredited on Fox at every opportunity.
    So the problems that we face right now as a country are going to be very difficult to solve because we now have liberals and conservatives operating from a different set of “facts” and I use that term loosely. The problem is there is only one set of facts, and as Steven Colbert said “we all know the facts have a liberal bias”. It used to be that Republicans and Democrats would agree on the facts and argue over how best to solve problems based on them. Now the arguments are over what are the actual facts. That is what propaganda does, creates an alternate reality.
    See, even when I try to stick to one topic I still get long winded. Sorry.

    1. thanks for your thoughtful response.

      i’ve only been watching FoxNews with any regularity in the past month or two, so i may not have had enough exposure to relate to what you are saying. in that time, i have not heard any mention of David Brock nor have i ever heard them talk about the birther theory and other such things. i don’t pay too much attention to such stories (from either side), but i do know they were well covered, so they came from somewhere.

      during Bush, i seem to recall 8 yrs of media outlets like the NYT, etc. castigating him for any and all random things they could think of. the assault was incessant and in many cases completely baseless. like he talks funny or dresses funny – talk about petty, but it was highly, highly effective in denigrating him and it became a fixture in many, many people’s minds.

      in my opinion, aside from places like Fox, Obama is getting treated with kid gloves. e.g., if the Fast and Furious debacle had occurred on Bush’s watch, the NYT would be shrieking 24/7 about it even though he would be unlikely to have any more direct connection to it than Obama. likewise if Bush had this economy, the criticism out of the NYT would be absolutely blistering, but for Obama it is quite gentle and understanding; incessantly repeating the narrative that it is all due to the mess Bush left him.

      to me, the NYT, which is supposedly a paragon of journalistic integrity, is as guilty as Fox of spreading baseless rumor and ‘propaganda’. when you get a guy like Joe Nocera last week calling the Tea Party terrorists and waging jihad, you have lost perspective and any claim of objectivity (he has since apologized). he was far from alone in his hyperventilating.

      at least Fox makes no claim to be anything but unabashedly conservative – and they do so with a dash of humor and self-deprecation that is absent in most oh-so-earnest liberal commentators. it would be much more honest if the NYT, PBS, and other liberal outlets would abandon the facade of impartiality. personally, i am happy to hear liberals speak – they have much of interest and importance to say, but i really dislike it when liberals pretend to be not liberals.

      all that said, i will take a more careful look at the Brock stuff. to be honest, i’ve never much heard of it – i wasn’t following politics very closely around that time. i guess he has a modern companion edition to this in the new book ‘Left Turn’ which, by the jacket, purports to expose widespread left leaning bias. i’ve not read this book either.

      even if there were such a conspriracy thing, i hardly think the liberal message has been put in any jeopardy. as i said before (and setting aside the past few weeks of coverage), you have to purposefully seek out conservative media because most big city newspapers, network TV channels, etc. have a default mode which is liberal or at least liberal leaning. i do not know why this is – predisposition of who becomes a journalist, clannishness, organizational culture, whatever. quite probably liberals disagree with this, but from my perspective, it is inarguable (maybe this Left Turn book offers real data on this?).

      another medium liberals own are TV shows. the number of programs with liberals themes totally, totally swamps conservative ones. as well in the details of the dialog, bumper stickers for liberal themes are commonplace. another informal survey i will do one day is to tally these references across a week of TV watching. i am confident liberal messaging will win by a huge margin – like 50:1 or some such. since a large percentage of people do not watch the news, this type of messaging has subtle, but enormous influence.

      as far as their being on one set of ‘facts’. i would argue that liberals with their theories of cultural relativity and all that pushed us well down the path of subjective truth beginning decades ago. and i hardly think they are passive bystanders in the game today.

      i find WSJ and Fox much more likely to at least make an effort to cite data when making arguments whereas the NYT is much more willing to assert positions without any facts in evidence. as mentioned, i found this pervasive enough that i actually took the time to measure it directly myself.

      this data-free tendency is not limited to the NYT. years living in MA echoes this tendency – lots of emphatic positions held based simply on belief and assertion or what they were told as children. little attempt is made to think critically about issues or to find data to support positions and all hell breaks loose if you try to bring any such data into the conversation. as a result, most conservatives in MA keep their mouths shut in mixed company. liberals completely dominate messaging in the state at all levels for decades, although this is starting to change with the election of Scott Brown who, to the utter shock of complacent liberals, broke their lock on the conversation.

      quite likely there are parts of the country where the opposite holds true – everyone is conservative and that conservatism is passed down from generation to generation. but i’ve never lived in such a place and can’t really comment on their impact (if any).

      but back to data as it pertains to establishing ‘facts’, i appreciate that the data themselves are subject to error, misuse, etc., but i am an analytic person and i respect those who at least make the effort to be data-driven. as it pertains to the economy, if we spent more time arguing over actual data (and it’s relative worth) and less time arguing abstract truths and party nostrums, we would be better off.

      more than enough said. again, i appreciate your comments.

      1. Fox “news” fabricates facts, and that’s been well documented. The N.Y. Times is has real journalists and has received many awards for journalism and integrity. You can’t say that about Fox because they have no credibility. They knowingly lie and repeat lies over and over. And, of course, they hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims.

        That said, it appears that you equate opinions with reporting. There is a difference.

  4. Is this a fact?

    “It is whether the extremists now blocking any kind of responsible policy can be defeated and marginalized.”

    This is from Paul Krugman’s column today titled ‘Credibility, Chutzpah And Debt’. He is speaking about what needs to happen to solve our problems. “It” appears to refer to the Tea Party or maybe Republicans generally – he isn’t specific here, but it seems probable given his previous comments.

    How about the Wall Street Journal? Is that all propaganda, too, or do they publish any ‘facts’? What, if any, conservative sources publish ‘facts’?

    To be clear, I assume we are all referring to the reporting of the underlying stories here (leaving aside birther, poor speech patterns, and like stories, if we can). Rather I think we are talking about the interpretation of the events presented therein and how they are turned into policy prescriptions, typically as shown in the opinion and editorial pages or similar venues. At least that’s what I’m focusing on generally.

    1. “It is whether the extremists now blocking any kind of responsible policy can be defeated and marginalized.”

      That is an opinion based on fact. Krugman is a Nobel Prize winner and professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University.

      When you read or hear someone’s opinion, you need to check out the person’s background as to their “expertise.” Being a professor doesn’t necessarily make the person honest and trustworthy, or even an expert, but credentials do matter to some extent.

      Then check their “facts.” Are they consistent with non-biased sources? The “facts” used by Fox “news” is often at odds with non-biased sources and they claim to be the only source of real information. Whenever someone makes that claim, you need to be suspicious — especially in this day and age when information is so readily available.

      1. Thanks for the lecture on how to interpret information, but turns out I know well who Krugman is. I’ve actually met him and had him as a lecturer a number of times when I was a student 20’ish years ago at MIT. I have read his stuff steadily over the years. In years past, I often found his writings compelling, but he has changed and I no longer do. I still read his stuff cause it is a touchstone of ‘progressive’ thinking. Even he readily acknowledges he is a ‘progressive’ as he did on Meet the Press a week ago Sunday.

        From your language, it appears you believe Krugman to be an unbiased interpreter of ‘facts’. Nobel Prize or not, I definitely do not believe that. At one time, he may have been, but during the Bush era, he crossed over from being chiefly an economist to being chiefly a commentator expressing economically-oriented Progressive opinions. He only rarely uses data anymore to support his positions – when he does, he can make important points, but once he leaves data-driven commentary, his political views overpower reasoned interpretation.

        As to your statement about the excerpt I cited being ‘an opinion based on fact’, I agree it is an opinion, but there is no ‘fact’ behind it. It is his interpretation of the events and that interpretation is not a ‘fact’.

      2. Yep, he’s a progressive. Actually, he calls himself a liberal. The thing is, you don’t have to lie to defend progressive policies. Keynesian policies work, as
        we’ve seen with the Stimulus. The $275 billion in discretionary spending from the Stimulus created or saved millions of jobs. It’s documented. The Bush tax cuts did little to stimulate the economy and put us deep in debt.

        So give me an example of Krugman lying. Or give me an example of a conservative economist who doesn’t lie.

      3. Classic response. People like you (on both sides) is why constructive dialog is so difficult.

        I didn’t say anything about Paul Krugman being a liar – much less that economists or progressives generally are liars. That is a total figment of your imagination.

        In the particular case of Krugman, I surely don’t believe him to be a liar. I think he says what he believes and he furthers our collective understanding of the issues. That I don’t consider his interpretations to be ‘facts’ is not remotely the same thing as calling him a liar.

        And for the record, on the show last week he specifically used the term ‘progressive’ to describe himself.

      4. So what’s the problem you have with Krugman? That the monetary policies he promotes don’t support the right-wing ideology? Or that he has an opinion in the first place. Economics is by no means an exact “science,” and most if it is opinion. Krugman’s opinions are based on facts. Conservative economics are not. So I repeat, give me the name of a conservative economist who doesn’t lie.

      1. perfect, ben! i predicted almost to the word what your response would be. an apparent victory. i knew you’d go for that. so lame.

        i could easily answer your question and at considerable length, but it would be an utterly pointless waste of time because you are pre-wired to ignore every thing i say and to contribute nothing back but potshots and pablum.

        you should read the column about progressives in the Saturday’s WSJ opinion pages. very timely given our dialog. you are straight out of his characterization.

        if they are up against folks like you, no wonder the Tea Party guys put their foot down. good for them. let many more be elected next fall so you guys and your wacky ideas get well and truly stuffed. perhaps that won’t happen, but one thing we know for sure is that obama isn’t getting my vote again this time around.

        i’ll let you have the last comment. enjoy!

      2. i could easily answer your question and at considerable length

        No need to. Just give me the name of one conservative economist who doesn’t lie. Just one. Just a name. You probably won’t have to type more than 20 characters.

      3. ok, i’ll bite. no problem to offer up a name (or 2-3) and it’d be interesting to see your response.

        but there are 2 conditions:

        1. you clarify the standard you will apply as to what constitutes a ‘lie’ vs. a ‘fact’.

        option a: per your response above on Paul Krugman’s quote, apparently a ‘fact’ could include an interpretation of events. if you agree with the interpretation (as with Krugman), then viola we have a ‘fact’. if you don’t, then we have a ‘lie’.

        option b: in the dictionary, they define a ‘fact’ as something that is demonstrably observable or provable – like ‘the sky is blue’ ‘ben hoffman has posted on this thread’ ‘the bill passed by a margin of 27 votes’ etc.

        you tell me which standard applies. i will accept either, but i want it stated upfront which applies.

        2. to prove any economist i name is a liar, you have to present at least 3 actual examples of lies. not just your arm waving opinion about them, but at least 3 actual written quotes provably said by them with citations (like from a paper they wrote or a video interview, etc.)


        if not agreed, our discussion is at an end.

      4. That’s pathetic when people can have an opinion of what constitutes a “fact.” A fact is something that is verifiable. As your dictionary definition states: a ‘fact’ as something that is demonstrably observable or provable.

        Of course, one can also lie by omission or by cherry picking facts, or by confusing the discussion by throwing out a bunch of irrelevant facts, which isn’t lying per se, but it’s arguing for the sake of winning rather than to reach some kind of understanding.

      5. yes, i agree there are other ways to ‘lie’ than just simply misstating facts (e.g., ‘obama is not the president’), but this introduces a slippery slope. if that slope can include, in your mind, that Paul Krugman’s statement is based on ‘fact’ as you said above, then you are taking it too far for my taste.

        Along the same lines, one man’s cherry picking could be the next Nobel breakthrough. I agree that cherry picking facts can be purposefully meant to mislead, but selecting facts you don’t happen to agree with is not, of itself, a ‘lie’. right?

        anyway, i guess the point is made. for someone to be a ‘liar’ they have to say things that are demonstrably not truthful. it can’t simply be an interpretation of things or events or data that you don’t agree with.

        so if you are prepared to give specific examples of lies, then i’ll give you a name or two.

        if you don’t want to continue, that’s fine, too.

  5. Ben
    I wouldn’t defend the NYT to strenuously. Don’t forget in addition to some good award winning journalist, Judth Miller also worked for the Times. In case you don’t recall she was the one who pushed all the Bush adminstrations lies about Saddam being connected to Al Qaida and WMDs on the front page of the NYT. Then administration officials would go on the Sunday talk shows a quote the NYT on the story they planted with her.
    No question the NYT editorial page is liberal, but the news for the most part is straight up. The WSJ is the same just with a conservative editorial page. But the quality of the news reporting in the WJS has dropped since Rupert Murdoch bought it.
    Fox News is conservative, but they brand themself as “fair and balanced”. They are neither. Earlier you said they have liberals on their network. I am not aware of one personality on their network that is liberal. The use to have Alan Colmes but he had to be paired with Hannity so that Hannity could beat up on him. I don’t know who you think they have on that is liberal, but generally if they have a liberal guest on it is to use them as a set up for their rebuttal. Most of these so called Democratic stratigist they have on I have never heard of. At least with MSNBC they call them self the “place for politics”. They have Monring Joe, and Joe S. is without a doubt conservative and he has 3 hours per day. Where are the 3 hours per day of a liberal show on Fox?
    As for the main-stream media, we should all relize that they are not so much conservative or liberal. They are corporate. They will push whatever is best for their corporate agenda. Sometimes it may appear liberal and others conservative.

    1. Daniel, Yeah, they’ve had a few slip-ups. After 9/11, nobody wanted to “unpatriotic.” The NY Times put the stories supporting the war effort on the front page and buried the ones critical of it. But at least they got rid of Miller when she was shown to be a liar. And of course, Fox then embraced her with open arms.

    2. i hadn’t intended to post here again, but motivated by our discussions, i made a point to carefully watch MSNBC this afternoon/evening. i really don’t have that much history with either channel. watched Al Sharpton’s show. and Chris Matthews twice.

      Sharpton’s show presents a very distorted interpretation of what conservatives think or believe. Chris Matthews was out there as well.

      both programs spent a strangely high percentage of time talking about the GOP, what they said/did, and how badly it treats the Pres and Dems generally. neither show spent very much time talking about Democratic policies or plans or performance. Sharpton’s show, especially. i found this strange and borderline obsessive.

      all i can say is: wow! frankly it is shocking. no wonder you all are so upset…i guess they go where the demand is, but a disservice is done to frame the issues and concerns and positions of the GOP so poorly. the most extreme positions on every issue get assigned to all GOP with one big, wide brush. nice, simple formula. i guess it works.

      of course, all this pours fuel on the fire of your rage.

      i’ll make a point to watch Morning Joe. perhaps those 3 hrs a day counterbalance these programs, but do the same people watch both shows? can’t imagine.

      no doubt you will both disagree vehemently, but based on this exposure, imo Fox News presents a more accurate portrayal of how / what Democrats / Progressives think and do. of course, they don’t agree with it – and of course, this is politics and it’s not 100% accurate or unbiased, but between the 2 channels, Fox does a better job of recounting what the other side actually says and does. in that sense, ‘fair and balanced’ feels like a very reasonable statement.

      1. sorry, an addendum.

        back on Fox and I realize another weird thing: i’ve been watching MSNBC from 5pm to 8pm and there was no coverage of the day’s news, except 30 second snippets at the half hour. that’s quite strange.

        when does this audience listen to the facts of the day? facts probably aren’t relevant to their format.

  6. John,
    You picked two of the worst shows on MSNBC. Sharpton is new because they replaced their 6 PM show twice since Olbermann left. I can’t watch much of his show, it is like watching the old Saturday Night Live skits when Garret Morris would shout the news for the hard of hearing. Chris Matthews drives me crazy. He won’t shut up enough to allow someone to answer the 12 question he strung together. The best show to watch is Rachel Maddow. She is smart, does good analysis and lets her guest speak without talking over them or shouting them dowm. She is liberal but doesn’t try to act like she is not. I think their news shows are from 9 to 5 but I am not home to watch them. But as I said before they call themself the “place for politics”, not “news”.
    You are right, I disagree with your opinion of Fox’s portrayal of Democrats/Progressives. What they portray is a characterization that they have created to fit their narrative and what they push is propaganda to support a conservative corportate agenda. Here are 14 propaganda techniques that Fox uses that you should watch for:
    1) Panic Mongering – ie Ground Zero Mosque
    2) Character Assassination/Ad Hominem attacks – ie Obama is a socialist/marxist, radical muslum, doesn’t have american ideas, pals around with terrorist
    3) Projection/Flipping – ie this one happens all the time. For example when one of them is called out for making a racist remark, you will hear the retort that white males are being dicriminated against. I am white, male and in my 50’s and have never been disriminated against.
    4) Rewriting History – ie their bending over backwards to defend Palin’s dumb comment about Paul Revere’s ride warning the British or Bachmann with the shots heard around the world in Lexington or Concord in New Hampshire?
    5) Scapegoating – this is often used against liberals, progressives, unions to blame them for all social and economic problems
    6) Conflating Violence with Power and Opposition to Power as Weakness – ie Bush was a powerful leader because he took military action against Iraq (even though they had no involement in 9-11) and Obama is weak because he has not attacked Iran or Syria
    7) Bullying – ie O’Rielly does this one all the time. What a pinhead
    8) Confusion – this one involves introducing unrelated and false information into a discussion to muddy the waters
    9) Populism – ie the Fox hyping of the TEA party. At the beginning they were even hosting TEA Party events. A few weeks ago they hypes a big TEA party event in Washington that drew under 50 people. News reporters and speakers outnumbered the crowd.
    10) Invoking the Christian God – ie to be a real American you must be a Christian from rural america, the heartland. A Muslum, Buddist, Hindu etc. cannot be a real American. Also notice how Christian are always under attack. They are the victims eventhough they are the majority.
    11) Saturation – repeating the same message all day long. When the internal memos were leaked they showed that Bill Salmon would instruct all of the Fox host to cover a story in the same way and use the same phrasing
    12) Disparaging Education – ie the Department of Education is unconstitutional, the Federal governmnet has no roll in education. If you have an advanced degree your an “elitist” or “egghead”.
    13) Guilt by Association – Ie Obama pals around with terrorist, sat in Rev Wright’s church
    14) DIversion- ie Obama tripled the budget deficit as soon as he came into office. Ignoring what had happened in the previous 8 years. The fact that the 2 wars, Medicare Part D and other supplamental appropriations were done off budget but when Obama puts them on budget, he tripled the deficit. You can assign the stimulus bill (passed March 2009) to Obama but the rest of the spending in FY 2009 was all Bush’s budget.
    As you are watching Fox see if you notice these techniques being used.
    Also, here is a good article on how Roger Ailes built and operates Fox News

    1. well, okay, so you get to cherry pick your commentators, huh? i appreciate your sincerity in recommending Rachel – i will definitely watch. But can i do that, too?

      no, i don’t really want to – it isn’t that simple, but what you are suggesting is exactly right. you don’t subscribe to every point made by every person who speaks on MSNBC (nor probably the NYT or any other source on either side). likewise, no conservative subscribes to every point made by every person on Fox nor to every comment or policy held by George Bush or by the Tea Party.

      it’s a ridiculous tendency of both sides to paint the other as a homogeneous mass moving in lockstep. it makes for simpler story telling, but it doesn’t portray reality very accurately and it doesn’t help us move things forward.

      yeah, Fox is partisan and they use some hardball tactics, but are you seriously trying to suggest the left does not do this? your dislike for Matthews and Sharpton suggest you know they do.

      i won’t go thru all your techniques, but we could reshape this a bit and it’d work nicely for liberal media, too. in my short while watching MSNBC today, at least the following were employed: #1, #2, #5, #7, and #9.

      as to number #14, that one specifically is false. they repeatedly (as in nearly daily) mention that the spending explosion started with Bush – they show charts, cite specific programs, etc. i’ve been watching the channel for only a couple months and i’ve seen them say that literally tens of times.

      In general, I think the basic thesis you are trying to advance that Fox, and maybe conservatives in general, play things more unfairly than Dems is false. just simply not buying it.

      my take is that for most people, the truthfulness of the respective media are all about what you believe and support. whatever side you believe, you overlook the transgressions of your own side – you think they are telling you the ‘truth’. it is human nature. i don’t know where you live on the political spectrum, but i live fairly close to the center and i see both parties as roughly equally manipulative and deceptive.

      i think the left is much more likely to cry foul, but that is not the same thing as actually being fouled more often.

      but i will watch Rachel Maddow. i’m interested to see.

      1. sorry for another long post – partly just writing out for my own benefit.

        re: maddow. more thoughtful, yes. here’s what she covered:

        first 20 mins lambasting Bachman for making requests for stimulus money in 2009. she beats this point to death repeating the same point over and over – a form of #11: saturation. Rachel believes that since Bachman requested funds from the stimulus program even as she criticized it proves she’s a hypocrite. doesn’t prove any such thing – unless you want it to. further, she shows that there were a lot of other GOP that made such requests, so this proves we should launch a big infrastructure program asap and the GOP has no legitimate basis to refuse it. doesn’t follow for me – 2011 is not 2009 – but i’m sure it does if more gov’t funded jobs seems like a good idea. i give this segment a D-.

        then she takes Perry to task for being religious in a very long segment. fair topic. deserves scrutiny. it’s a major issue for many conservatives, too. good job compiling and presenting real content. knowledgeable guest speaker. she asks a probing and not hyper partisan line of questions to the guest. she does well in articulating some coherent principles about the relationship between gov’t and religion. clearly the whole thing is designed to make him look like a complete crackpot, but its good journalism and i learned something from it. i give this segment an A.

        short final bit was on WI election. again, good job reporting what actually happened. again facts presented. data charts. this gets an A, too.

        overall, the best of the bunch – worth watching again.

        strangely none of the programs spends much time discussing Dem ideas and plans, especially about the economy. the focus is heavily on critiquing the other side in all 3 shows – maybe other episodes would be different.

        Fox does not focus this heavily on Dems. they spend a lot more time articulating their own ideas about what should be.

        now the Ed Show is starting. geez, another massively partisan guy. Fox does not have this sort of relentlessly partisan host hour after hour. maybe they don’t have the Morning Joe equivalent, but they aren’t running the GOP version of this format – not even close. even Bill O’Reilly is not as partisan as any of these folks (Matthews, Ed, Sharpton).

        you probably see it differently. probably depends on who you believe it telling the ‘truth’ – it doesn’t sound partisan if you think it is right.

    1. yet another worthless comment. i think this one fits in #2 on daniel’s list.

      is that how you spend your time? making baseless inflammatory comments and taking potshots at other people?

      i’m sure that’s very gratifying.

  7. John,
    Your right the focus has been heavily on the Republicans but that is where all the action is in their primary. So it gets all the attention. When a new guy like Perry jumps in they all starting to look at him. I am sure Fox is doing the same. I didn’t think the Perry segment was taking him to task about being religious, but taking him to task for associating himself with some of those on the far extremes of religious right. The days of more mainstream religious guys like Rev. Billy Graham are long gone.
    I disagree with you on the Bachmann segment. She has made it a cornerstone of her campaign to attack all government spending even saying we should default on our debt. This opens her up to the hypocracy charge when her husband’s clinic is billing Medicaid for gay reparative therapy, their family farm is getting farm susidies from the AG Dept, she has worked on the government payroll her whole carrer first as an IRS tax attorney before she became an elected official, and she is seeking pork for her district. I personally don’t have a problem with any of these but then if someone turns around and attack those programs and they are willing to default the country’s debt, now I have a problem. I think it rated higher than a D.
    I will give you that Fox does say (now, but not at the time) that Bush started the spending binge, but it is usually followed by “but Obama triple it as soon as he came into office”. One of the thing I did a few years ago was to go to the treasury department’s web site and obtain the historical national debt table all the way back to 1791. What I was interested in finding out is which presidents were the really big deficit spenders. I think everybody knows FDR was the biggest with all of the New Deal programs aimed at ending the depression, but you might be surprised who is number 2. It was Ronald Reagan. George W. Bush was number 3. I looked at it by their budget years, not calander years because the governments FY starts October 1. So when a new president is sworn in in January he is already a third of the way through the budget year from the previous guy. Also by looking at the increase in the national debt at the end of each year it gives you a true picture of how much the real deficit spending was for the year. You can’t hide it with off budget spending. It still shows up at the end of the year. In Reagan’s 2 terms he increased the debt by 186%, G.W. Bush by 105.1%, Nixion/Ford by 97.6%, G.H.W. Bush by 54.4%, Carter by 42.8%, Clinton 31.6%, Johnson 15.6%, Eisenhower 8.6%, Kennedy 5.8%, Truman 2.9%. Notice something with this list, the so called fiscally conservative Republicans are at the top with the highest increases and those big spending Democrats are at the bottom. So I know when I hear Republicans complaining about the size of a Democratic President’s spending that they have no ground to stand on. It is not as if they held spending down while in office. I did a post a few weeks ago about deficit spending and the two santa theory. I invite you to read it. This has been an actual political stratigy that the Republicans have been using since Reagan.
    Ed Schultz is definately a hard core supporter of the middle class and unions. He will go after Democrats and he has gone after Obama on numerous occasion when he thinks the middle class or unions are getting the shaft or if he think Obama should be doing more for them. So I am not sure I would call him partisian for the Democratic party as much as partisan for the working guy. But I don’t think there is a Republican that he likes because they are always supporting management over labor. So he does go after them much harder.
    For the most part I don’t see Fox going after Republicans, especially while they are in office. They follow the old Reagan commandment of don’t speak ill of fellow Republicans
    I think it fair to say that both sides spin the facts (when they can agree of a fact) to their best advantage and that some of it can look like propaganda. But this is not what I am talking about when I refer to Fox being a propaganda channel. It is the non-factual things like pushing stories of Obama attending a madrassa, continually implying that he is a secret muslum, that he was not born in this country, he has anti-american views, etc. This is done intentionally to delegitimize him as a president, to question his Americanism. To paint him as something “other”. This is very dangerous propaganda. You have seen people show up at Obama events with guns, and their excuse is because the Constitution says they can. The Constitution has been that way for every president, so why are they only showing up with guns for this one? The FBI has said threats against this president are up by over 400%. The subliminal message that this propagana puts out there is that Obama, Democrats and liberals in general are not real Americans. They are the enemy and are destroying the country. If you listen to Rush he will come right out and say this not just imply it. My concern is that this rhetoric is pushing us towards an internal civil conflict that will turn violent. I hope not, but if you have read the pre civil war history similar rghetoric kept escilating for years until Lincoln’s election, then all hell broke loose.

  8. – re: Bachman segment. it wasn’t so much that they were pointing out her hypocrisy that bothered me, but that that used that hypocrisy as the justification for saying we needed to fund a lot of infrastructure projects. that’s the part that didn’t follow for me. what michele bachman did or didn’t do is not justification for launching any big national program.

    – all the stats of how many times Reagan got a debt ceiling increase and whatever other evidence you want to dredge up is beside the point. the point is that debt has grown too rapidly in recent years (Bush + Obama). it is obama’s bad luck that the bill has come due on his watch. is it all obama’s fault? – no, but it is on his watch that large segments of the population have come to believe it must be stopped. like many presidents, he’s got to play the hand he’s dealt. did george bush want for 9/11? did he whine like obama whines? geez, it is tiresome. man up. (and please try to keep in mind that i voted for the guy – i am not a hard core right wing wing nut – or at least i wasn’t).

    – as to Fox pushing non-factual stories. imo, it is all about perception and whether you think your side is being treated fairly. i watch MSNBC and guys like Al Sharpton and they play awfully fast and loose with the facts. i agree Fox does, too – it does a lot of cheerleading – but i don’t see too much difference myself in terms of the degree of distortion and politicking (not specifically between Fox and MSNBC, but more broadly Dems vs GOP and their respective advocates in whatever venue). for example, here’s the first thing that pops up when you search for ‘bush nazi’ – a reference made numerous, numerous times during his term. And don’t forget just a few weeks back, the NYT no less made numerous references to the Tea Party as terrorists and jihadists. are these not meant to convey “They are the enemy and are destroying the country”? I lived in Massachusetts – people were routinely denouncing Bush as the anti-Christ, among other evil doers. The examples go on and on. Now Obama gets some of the same and suddenly the world is coming apart at the seams? please. take a deep breath.

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