Saturday, December 27, 2008

Celebrating stupidity

Glenn catches the Politico patting itself on the back for their contributions to the dumbing down of the media. Their top ten list of 'political scoops' is worthy of the wingnuttiest of the wingnut blogs. In fact, outside of the one story buried at number seven, I can't imagine that Redstate would create a list that was significantly different. I suspect they might have substituted the Obama birth certificate 'controversy' for the Pentagon's propaganda expose and called it a day.

As Glenn points out, we're so lucky there weren't more important stories to cover.
By contrast, a country that was plagued by actual political problems might focus on such dreary, boring revelations as the choerographing and approving of torture techniques at White House Principals Meetings; or the creation of a massive, likely illegal domestic surveillance system of sprawling data bases built and maintained with no Congressional approval or oversight by the NSA; or the issuance of a memo by the Bush DOJ endlessly expanding the definition of "torture" and declaring the Fourth Amendment inoperative to "domestic military operations" inside the U.S.; or the massive contributions received from the telecom industry by Sen. Jay Rockefeller immediately before he became the key advocate of immunity for that lawbreaking industry; or the flagrant abuse of unchecked NSA eavesdropping powers for purely prurient and invasive ends; or the patently false denials by the U.S. military -- bolstered by an ostensibly first-hand report from Oliver North on Brit Hume's "news" broadcast -- of massive civilian deaths in Afghanistan; or the endless holes in the attempts by the FBI to blame the anthrax attacks on a dead scientist; or so many other similar boring disclosures.
This is of course, hardly a comprehensive list of the trivial matters that merited no more than a passing mention in the news cycle. The looting of the Treasury and the hamfisted handling of the economy prior to the bailouts, the rise of poverty and hunger and the growing numbers of uninsured Americans, the administration's shortchanging of veteran's health care, the ongoing fraud and profiteering in Iraq by private contractors, the gutting of our regulatory agencies, the hackability of voting machines and the myriad revelations about the Bush administration's lies, cover-ups and general malfeasance are nothing compared to the great importance of what Obama ate for breakfast on the campaign trail and the alarming absence of lapel pins. A story that only died when leftie bloggers starting documenting that Republicans didn't wear them either.

In a way, all these abuses of the fourth estate can be traced to the rise of the Corporatocracy. But don't expect the media to report on that. They're the biggest symptom of the problem. [graphic]

[More posts daily at The Detroit News.]


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Blogger Mark said...

As much as I agree with Greenwald on the vapidity of this list, I disagree with your suggestion that the list is vapid in a purely right-wing way. It's just vapid, period. A number of those stories received as much or more coverage from the Left as they received from the Right.

6:03:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Hey Mark. Happy New Year. I'll grant that the coverage was insane on both sides of Blogtopia. Something that's been troubling me about the energy of the blogosphere for the last year or so. But the the right was pushing the memes forward and the left was pushing back against them for the most part.

I admit I stretched the analogy a bit though. Fair point.

7:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm not sure I agree - a good number of the memes listed by the Politico were definitely of the left-leaning nature (e.g., the McCain houses gaffe). In any event, I've got a lengthier explanation of my thoughts up here:
(Sorry, I still stink at HTML)

10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

One more thing. I have also noticed that the stalwarts of the blogosphere have been descending into madness over the last year. But I'm less pessimistic about the future - a good part of me thinks that all this was just the typical response to a Presidential election, where we as a nation have a long history of elevating form over substance (I'm not necessarily speaking in terms of who we elect, but rather in terms of the way in which we decide who to elect). Hopefully things will get a little more rational again in a few months.

11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I hope it gets more rational too Mark.

9:03:00 AM  

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