Since we're so disgusted with most corporate media, we take it as part of the C&L mission to plug progressive media, especially when it's independently owned. If you still don't know about We Act Radio, Washington DC's progressive station, you should. After all, we have this station right in the heart of our nation's capital that's on our side, and influences policy every day. (I happen to believe progressive talk radio is even more important than TV.)
It's owned by progressive fighters Alex Lawson, Cliff Schecter and Kymone Freeman. There are great shows, from David Shuster's Take Action News to Joshua Holland's AlterNet Radio Hour and Moms Rising, Sam Seder, Angie Coiro, and Nicole Sandler. All great stuff!
So it's nice to see an article in the Washington Post on one of their newest shows, with man about town Rock Newman:
Rock Newman could have been sunning on a beach in Bermuda or promoting some hot new sports star in Las Vegas. Instead, he’s back on his old stomping grounds in D.C.
The millionaire boxing promoter/political insider gets bored at lot, which is why he just moved back to the Beltway from Las Vegas and launched a weekly radio show on WeAct Radio (1480 AM).
It's good when our kind of media gets a little plug in the establishment press like the Post. Let's help We Act (1480 AM in Washington) keep up the good work. Go on by and listen.
Nobody tells me anything! I remember hearing that progressive activists Alex Lawson (executive director of Social Security Works, spearheading the drive to protect it) and Cliff Schecter (bloggger and progressive PR consultant) bought an AM radio station in DC, which they christened We Act Radio, but I had no idea this was where David Shuster landed after his colorful exit from MSNBC. (He's also on CurrentTV, and I didn't know that, either.) Good to have him back!
It's important, though, for progressives to keep pushing away to build progressive radio. Yeah, Air America didn't last, but a lot of their alumni (Sam Seder and Nicole Sandler, just to name a few) are still hanging in there. And as my dear departed friend Joe Bageant said in his book "Deer Hunting With Jesus," talk radio is the only access most poor people get to information about their government. They listen at work, where they spend the most time awake, and after a while, it seeps in and warps their brains. That's why it's so important for us to offer some alternative to the wingnut brainwashing:
Officially launched January 1, 2012, We Act is a 5,000 watt (“of full truth-telling power,” says Kymone) AM station that covers DC, northern Virginia, and southern Maryland, which, per FCC rules, drops to 500 watts after sunset. In the modern media landscape, however, those “terrestrial limitations” mean less than they used to. Listeners can tune in live online, or on a mobile device using the “Tune-in” app for mobile, or a host of other methods. “There are two separate individuals from New Zealand who listen to this station via some website that hosts radio shows.” Alex says.
We Act relies heavily on syndicated content from progressive radio stars like Thom Hartmann, Bill Press, Stephanie Miller, and Ed Schultz, who, Lawson points out, had no broadcast presence in Washington, DC before We Act, despite the fact that Hartmann and Press both broadcast from DC.
This segment is entitled "The Media vs. Mitt" on CNN's website. Evidently there's some whining (when is there NOT whining?) in conservative quarters that Mittens isn't getting a fair shake by the media. Never mind that Pew found that President Obama had received far less positive coverage than negative during the first four months of the year, and followed that up with another study more recently affirming that at no time has President Obama received more favorable coverage than Mitt Romney.
Never mind all of that, because Politico has now weighed in with their "concerns," which involve the number of stories about Mitt's mendacity, meanness, and other character flaws—things Ari Fleischer thinks are "personal" and which Jennifer Rubin thinks are "shiny things."
Of course, right about the time Rubin refers to them as shiny things, she's off to the races listing the number of media "vetting failures" there were over President Obama's drug use as a college student.
Shuster is great at debunking their manufactured poutrage, calling it "just more Republican BS," which is a great characterization to use on a cable news channel that actually thinks it's a good idea to employ Dana Loesch and Erick Erickson as commentators.
Fleischer and Rubin are just playing the refs, and hoping to nip any media curiosity about Mitt Romney's penchant for impersonating fake cops in the bud before that story actually gets in front of the American people. As to the so-called "failure" of media to vet President Obama, well, here's a pretty clear picture from The Grio as to how much of a lie that is.
Really, Ari? You’ve got to be kidding. The press is still running probing, sneering stories about PresidentObama. Are you familiar with Maureen Dowd’s work? It is not for the faint of heart. And if you are brave enough to venture into the outer reaches of the Internet where World Net Daily resides, you are sure to find tales of Obama munching on puppies for lunch.
As for candidate Obama? I have two words for you: Jeremiah Wright. In 2008, the electorate was treated to “God d**n America!” on a loop for what seemed like ever. And now, thanks to Romney surrogate Donald Trump, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and an assortment of conservatives, we are going to be treated to six months of intense Birther speculation that the media is still loathe to call racist because the word “racist” is so uncivil.
Shuster really nails Rubin, though, when he hammers her on her false equivalencies with regard to the different stories. On the one hand, there is the self-disclosed drug use on Obama's part. On the other, there's Mitt Romney pinning down a gay student and cutting his hair while he cried and screamed. What is equivalent about those two stories? Answer: Not a darn thing, and as Shuster explains, to try to equate them is ridiculous.
I'll clarify further: Romney's treatment of that student and fake cop incident are entirely relevant because they go straight to the question of how he relates to and treats others. Obama's drug use is relevant to the extent that it was better for him to disclose it and rob conservatives of screaming headlines, but it says nothing about how he regards other members of the human race.
It isn't a shiny thing, these things Romney does. And it's not wrong to bring them into the light. Voters deserve to understand how Mitt Romney views his relationship to others and his place in the larger sea of humanity. It's clear he sees himself as One Appointed To Bully Them.
I spent some time yesterday going through Willard's 2010 return and 2011 estimates of his taxes, and I agree with David Shuster in this segment. There's every possibility that the Romneys paid no income taxes at all in 2009 and possibly also in 2008. Here's why, starting at about 1:08 in the video above:
SHUSTER: Actually, Governor, if you think a limited release is going to put this issue behind you, you're politically tone-deaf. First, your 2010 return indicates you paid a rate of 13.9 percent. Furthermore, it suggests you paid far lower than that in 2009. You see, the 2010 return reveals you carried over $4.9 million dollars in losses from the previous year. That means you paid no taxes on capital gains in 2009, including no taxes on your carried interest.
So how much did you pay in 2009? Zero? How close to zero was it, Governor? Or how about the 2008 year, where the investment market first crashed?
Taxpayers are limited on the amount of capital losses they can use to offset income. In a year with low capital gains, high capital losses can offset the amount of those gains for a net-zero result. Any losses not used are carried forward to the following year, where they can be used there. The bottom line on Romney's tax return is that he likely paid minimal taxes in 2009, since his charitable deductions probably offset any speaker's fees, dividends and interest he was paid. I'm guessing he paid payroll tax on the speaker's fees up to the cap, and that is about it. Must be pretty nice, eh? Perhaps that's why Ann Romney thinks it's unfortunate that he had to release even 2010, since she's concerned about people knowing how successful he is.
Willard's financial disclosures also indicate he profited greatly from foreclosures in Florida, which would certainly explain his desire to let the housing market fall into the tank while he reaped the benefits, both tax-wise and personally.
You can expect Bill O'Reilly to go nuts with the news that Olbermann left MSNBC since the news broke on Friday. On Reliable Sources, David Zurawik, Jane Hall and David Shuster discussed what had happened and of course the narrative that Olbermann is just as bad as the FOX talkers was presented by Zurawik whoeven went as far as calling him Joe McCarthy.
OLBERMANN: If Glenn Beck, who obsesses nearly as strangely as this Mr. Loughner did about gold and debt, and who wistfully joked about killing Michael Moore, and Bill O'Reilly, who blithely repeated "Tiller the Killer" until the phrase was burned into the minds of his viewers, if they do not begin their next broadcasts with solemn apologies for ever turning to the death fantasies and the dreams of bloodlust, for ever having provided just the oxygen to those deep in madness to whom violence is an acceptable solution, than those commentators and the others must be repudiated by their viewers and listens, but all politicians, and repudiated by the sponsors and by the networks that employ them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KURTZ: Olbermann had great passion. Television likes that. But he also often made it personal. In fact, you were "The Worst Person in the World" I think on a couple of occasions.
ZURAWIK: More than once, yes. That, to me, Howie, is typical of his recklessness and his character assassination. That's why I said he wanted to be Edward R. Murrow and he was more McCarthy than Murrow because --
SHUSTER: Oh, come on, David.
SHUSTER: There's a false equivalency that you and other folks make between Keith Olbermann and Glenn Beck, and it's not fair.
ZURAWIK: David, let him finish. Let's finish. This isn't one of your MSNBC shows.
KURTZ: I'm going to let you respond in just a moment.
Finish your point.
ZURAWIK: I think that he will absolutely attack people and try to assassinate their character just the way Joe McCarthy did without facts. And to say that Bill O'Reilly, who has been much more reasonable in the last year than Keith Olbermann ever was on the air, much more responsible, to try to pin that on Bill O'Reilly, link him to that, is outrageous, Howie.
SHUSTER: Look, the fact of the matter is, is there are people who have tried to carry out acts of violence who were inspired by Glenn Beck. That is not --
KURTZ: Wait a minute. Bill O'Reilly -- (CROSSTALK)
SHUSTER: The fact of the matter is you're making a moral equivalency between Glenn Beck and Keith Olbermann, and it's simply not fair.
ZURAWIK: I'm not making --
SHUSTER: And the fact of the matter is, when people say that --
ZURAWIK: I'm not making a moral equivalency.
SHUSTER: -- MSNBC is the liberal antidote to Fox News, and that there's an equal balance there, that's simply not true.
As you can see from the video, I am harder on MSNBC than Fox, because this NBC sister channel has outrageously decided it doesn't have to cover news on weekends and holidays -- and yet, still calls itself a news channel.I have to admit, it is a great business model: Don't cover the news. let someone fulfill that expensive task. We'll just put on ideologues like Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and let them mock our opponents as we opine about the news that others like CNN went to trouble and expense of gathering and verifying.
He's upset because they choose to run some of those Locked Up episodes during the weekend, really? Here's a little info for Z: MSNBC does cover the news on the weekends, they just don't do it 24/7. He should probably check their schedule sometime before making the claim that they don't cover the news on Saturday and Sunday. And WTF does that have to do with how they cover the news in general or if they are biased in their reporting? Which is worse, showing some non-news shows on the weekend, or pushing a political agenda 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as many years as they've been on the air?
Olbermann is a big loss for the left in the sense that we're without a strong voice to counter the wingnut intelligensia as we head to the 2012 general election and it will be all hands on deck, but at least the move probably made Tom Brokaw very happy.
Former MSNBC talent David Shuster knows what it's like to be on the bad side of the suits upstairs at 30 Rock. Placed on an indefinite suspension when it came out that he had auditioned for his own show on rival network CNN, Shuster has only recently been officially fired from the network. He had already tested the patience of his bosses by engaging in a Twitter war with James O'Keefe (of the ACORN "pimp" faked video) and suggesting that Hillary Clinton was "pimping" out daughter Chelsea during the primaries.
So for the continual fascination with navel-gazing on their own industry, CNN's Anderson Cooper asked for David's input on the Olbermann departure from MSNBC. Thanks to Heather at VideoCafe, who made this mash up of David's comments.
Anderson immediately goes to the rumors of diva-like behavior of Olbermann. Shuster tries to remain diplomatic towards MSNBC but it's clear that he's a big fan of Olbermann and is confident that Keith will end up on his feet somewhere. (Howard Kurtz is reporting that part of the terms agreed upon prohibits Olbermann from appearing on other television programs through the end of his contract, or 2012.)
COOPER: David, I don’t want to put you on the spot too much, but I guess it’s part of…sort of my job in this case. Was he…well-liked within MSNBC? I’ve heard plenty of…what is your impression?
SHUSTER: Well, yeah, it’s a fair question. I think the people he worked with had a lot of respect for him, the people on his show, the director, the technical people. That’s the sort of people who often get forgotten by, you know, major talent. Keith was very kind to them. The make up artists, that sort of thing. I think as far as the management, I mean, Keith had his conflicts with management, going back to when Dan Abrams was running MSNBC and he had his conflicts with Phil Griffin. I think one thing to keep in mind is that not only are things changing with Jeff Zucker no longer running MSNBC, but the reporting structure. You now have Phil Griffin, from what I understand, is going to be reporting to Steve Capus, instead of directly reporting to the head of MSNBC. So Steve Capus, the head of NBC News, will certainly have much more influence over MSNBC. And this may be part of it. It is no secret that Steve was particularly upset –justifiably so—how Keith handled the suspension earlier this year and the donations and Phil Griffin took a little bit of a different tack than Steve probably would have liked. But yeah, I think what you’re seeing now either Keith recognizing, or certainly Steve Capus influencing MSNBC a lot more than he would have had say, a week ago.
Trying again, Cooper insinuates that Olbermann's ego will suffer from losing his platform, and again, Shuster deflects it by cautioning against counting Olbermann out:
COOPER: I just feel bad. I’ve met him a handful of times, I don’t really know him personally, really. But for someone clearly has a strong opinion, it would be a difficult thing, I would think, to be off the air, you know, at such a critical time in this country’s history, David.
SHUSTER: Well, yes and no. He’s gone down this road before. I mean, he’s worked for…he left MSNBC following the Monica Lewinsky scandal back in ’98, ’99. He was off the air for a period of time. He worked at CNN. He worked at Fox. So he’s certainly gotten used to his breaks in between his successes. And I guarantee Keith is not done in the broadcast world. He’s a very smart guy. A lot of organizations would be very wise to talk to him and to at least see what he could possibly do next, whether it’s a radio show, whether it’s a tv show. I mean, he’s such a super talent and he is good to work with. That’s a combination that I think will mean he’s got a bright future regardless…and it will be on his terms.
I do think that as upset as we currently are over Keith's departure, there is a larger concern over the silencing of voices in the media. Difficult or diva-ish as Keith may be, there is no question that he created the infrastructure of strong, progressive voices in the MSNBC line up. Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell were able to parlay guest hosting duties for Keith into their own shows. Who knows if Chris Hayes or Sam Seder might have seen the same in due time? Few news hosts could do that without a healthy serving of ego, so I'm not willing to begrudge him a little arrogance. But Keith brought ratings, almost single-handedly bringing MSNBC from third place to occasionally besting FOX in his time slot. He didn't lose advertisers and yet, he is now out of a job and yet Glenn Beck--who wouldn't know integrity if it stood in front of him and waved hello--has lost now more than 300 advertisers, seen his ratings plummet and yet still remains on the air, infecting it with lies and craziness.
As we go into what Anderson Cooper notes is a critical time in history, we really cannot afford to lose this voice.
Andrew Breitbart sounds like a whiny ass titty baby when he joined David Shuster and tried to promote the idiotic notion that the publicity O'Keefe is getting from the media is tainting the jury against him....LOL. The idiotic plot that O'Keefe concocted to smear Mary Landrieu is now smearing Breitbart, and for good reason.
Notice how he tries to change the subject of his pal who is a student of Nixon's dirty-trick political ideology.
In the autumn election season of 1970, a cherubic, bespectacled teenager turned up at the Chicago campaign headquarters of Alan Dixon, a Democrat running for state treasurer in Illinois. No one paid the newcomer much attention when he arrived, or when he left soon afterwards. Nor did anyone in the office make the connection between the mystery volunteer and 1,000 invitations on campaign stationery that began circulating in Chicago's red-light district and soup kitchens, promising "free beer, free food, girls and a good time for nothing" for all-comers at Dixon's headquarters.
Founded in 1979 by veteran Republican activist Morton Blackwell, the Leadership Institute has worked with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Karl Rove and Grover Norquist. The group raked in $6.6 million in 2008, according to its most recent publicly available IRS filings, which doesn’t list donors.
“What we teach is to use creative and imaginative ways to make your points, to reveal what we think is political correctness run amuck, liberal hypocrisy and double standards” on left-leaning college campuses, said Sutton, who supervised O’Keefe at the institute until O’Keefe was asked to leave because his investigative work could interfere with the Institute’s Internal Revenue Service standing...read on
James O'Keefe, the 25-year-old conservative filmmaker who was arrested this week in connection with a plot to tamper with phone lines in Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's New Orleans office, is out of jail on $10,000 bond, Talking Points Memo reports. The judge ordered O'Keefe to live with his parents until a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 13.
Michael Madigan, O'Keefe's lawyer, said Wednesday that his client was not trying to wiretap or interfere with Landrieu's phones, but he would not explain why O'Keefe was there. He also would not say whether O'Keefe was working for someone or was on his own.
"The truth will come out," said Madigan, a Washington lawyer who represented Sen. Howard Baker, the Republican who famously asked during the Watergate investigation, "What did the President know and when did he know it?"
ACORN spokesman Kevin Whelan said the arrest calls O'Keefe's credibility into question, and used the opportunity to point out that he "edited (ACORN videos) to make things look as bad as possible." He said, for instance, that O'Keefe actually wore a normal dress shirt when he was in the ACORN offices, but spliced in shots of him dressed as a pimp in the final videos.
These ratf*&kers are celebrated by FOX News and Andrew Breitbart, but this behavior is a core principle instilled in conservatives. And as for the Junior Watergaters, I don't believe their story, because as this story explains, they were trying to gain more access to Landrieu's phone system.
After being asked, the staffer gave Basel access to the main phone at the reception desk. The staffer told investigators that Basel manipulated the handset. He also tried to call the main office phone using his cell phone, and said the main line wasn't working. Flanagan did the same.
They then told the staffer they needed to perform repair work on the main phone system and asked where the telephone closet was located. The staffer showed the men to the main General Services Administration office on the 10th floor, and Flanagan and Basel went in. There, a GSA employee asked for the men's credentials. They said they left them in their vehicle.
The U.S. Marshal's Service apprehended all four men shortly thereafter.
If they had that type of access, I think they would have had a field day and committed many more crimes.
The wheelchair-bound woman who was shouted down by that crowd of teabaggers at a New Jersey town-hall meeting on health-care reform hosted by Rep. Frank Pallone was on MSNBC yesterday with David Shuster and Alex Witt, and she provided a deeply disturbing portrait of what is transpiring at these gatherings.
The woman, Marianne Hoynes, described how the forum was invaded by organized teabaggers from New York, "so this wasn't even their town-hall meeting."
Hoynes: There was a large group of people who showed up that night for the purpose of making sure that questions couldn't be asked, and we couldn't hear information. I don't know how to describe it any other way.
... You know, you could tell that they were very organized. They came in groups, they had signs ready, which -- outside they were chanting, but as time went on, and certainly by the time we got into that room, which held about 500 people, they got more and more verbally violent -- I don't know how else to describe it.
They began by just screaming and yelling at Congressman Pallone that he should have been aborted, and that his mother should have had an abortion, that he was a domestic terrorist.
... What they did was completely un-democratic. I wanted to learn more about this health-care system. We were allowed to either ask a question or make a statement, and I wanted to share with Congressman Pallone what it was like to be sick in America today. And I had that right, I thought. They really tried to scream me down -- and everybody else, too, not just me. And I felt bullied, and I was not gonna take it. I was going to finish what I had to say, and it was very upsetting. It was very un-democratic, and very un-American.
Town-hall meetings are supposed to be exercises in democracy. But the teabaggers are turning them into exercises in para-fascist intimidation, eliminationism, and general thuggery.
This is a block buster. Former Sen.(D)Bob Graham, the ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee told David Shuster that he never was briefed about waterboarding by the CIA on MSNBC. He also said that he was never allowed to take real notes about the CIA briefings, but he did log the topics and the amount of times he was briefed. They don't match up with the CIA's version. And of course, George "Slam Dunk" Tenet's outfit never was wrong or misled us before. James Fallows backs up Graham's honesty and integrity by the way. And Graham also sees the real motives behind the smearing of Pelosi. As he says it's an attempt to shift the blame away the Bush administration and their use of torture.
Graham: David, when I was briefed about three weeks after The Speaker, the subject "waterboarding" never came up. Nor did the treatment of Abu-Zubaydah or any other specific detainee.
Shuster: And that's significant because by the time of your briefing and the Speaker's briefing we now know that Zubaydah had been waterboarded 83 times, so again was their a requirement, was it incumbent on the CIA to tell you as the Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee or a ranking member, was there an obligation on them to tell you what was going on?
Graham: Yes, they're obligated to tell the full Intelligence Committee not just the leadership. This was the same time, within the same week in fact that the CIA was submitting their National Intelligence Estimate or NIE report on WMD's in IRAQ which proved so erroneous that we went to war and that have had thousands of persons killed and injured as a result of misinformation.
David, I think fundamentally what's happening is there's an attempt underway to try and shift the discussion away from what's really important and that is did the US use torture? Was that within the law? Who authorized and what were the consequences of that. Those are the important issues. Whether The Speaker or anybody else knew about it is frankly sort of off on the edges.
Graham blasts the CIA for also misleading us in the IRAQ WAR, but they would never try to mislead Pelosi or smear her now. He also calls for a Truth Commission on Torture. Can Republicans now keep denying that we need a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of all this torture business?
Former Senator Bob Graham, who received a classified briefing on terror detainees during the same month in the fall of 2002 as Nancy Pelosi, was not briefed about the use of either waterboarding or enhanced interrogation techniques during the meeting, he claimed in an interview with me.