Short Takes

by digby

Here are a few links to interesting stuff today that speak for themselves:

1.) David Rees is a god. It just doesn't get any better than this. When I read that gobbledygook Ignatieff piece, I just wanted to crawl in a corner with my cat and whimper softly for about three hours (which I haven't done since I was forty.)

2.)Howard Kurtz quotes uber dirt-digger Dan Moldea saying:

"I have it on very, very good authority that major opposition research has already been conducted on Bill Clinton, and it's going to be a massive smear campaign against him," he says. A group of former intelligence officers, he says, is "going to try to cripple Hillary through Bill."

I'm assuming if it's "intelligence officers" that they're going to say he's in cahoots with terrorists. And I have no doubt the 28 percenters will hungrily gobble down every little detail, (especially since it will probably feature some Middle eastern Monica-babe with dirty talk in Farsi or something. They love the nasty stuff.) But it can't just be the standard Bill storyline since half the GOP have recently been revealed to be perverts and the top contender is himself a cross-dressing serial philanderer. They have to up the ante and treason is all they have left. The question will be if anyone but the ditto-heads care about such things.

3.) Eric Boehlert reports that the much ballyhooed firewall that was supposed to be erected between Rupert Murdoch and the news pages of the WSJ turns out to be a big pile of fetid rightwing compost. The committee that will be overseeing this "wall" is going to be chaired by a man so fully ensconced in the rightwing noise machine that he "not only faithfully regurgitates Republican talking points in print for a living, but who in early 2003 predicted the fighting in Iraq would be 'relatively inconsequential,' and who months later declared that America had won the Iraq war in 'a cakewalk.'"

You've gotta love the wingnuts. They don't even try to hide their mendacity anymore. In fact, they go out of their way to show it off. They're proud of it. it's really all they have left.

4.) Finally, there's this and it says everything you need to know about how completely dysfunctional the political media are. A week or so ago our papers and TV screens were saturated with those two great "war skeptics," O'Hanlon and Pollack, making their famous observation that surgin' was a-workin'. The whole political establishment shuddered in orgasmic delight and the two were feted like they were latter day Christopher Columbuses, returned home with gold and trinkets from the new world. Nobody thought to ask the other guy who was on that trip if he agreed with their assessment. Now that he's released a report, they still aren't asking.

Greg Sargent at The Horses Mouth writes:

Really, it's worth stepping back and pondering just how unprofessional and dysfunctional the media's performance has been on this story to date. It starts with The Times's editors, who actually allowed these two to con the paper's readers into forgetting their unflagging support for the invasion and the surge, letting them get away with describing themselves only as war critics. That embarrassing flub then colored virtually all the coverage that followed. Because of it, the big news orgs persuaded themselves that there was something counterintuitive about their conclusion -- and proceeded to report, in one outlet after another, that these war "critics" had suddenly found reason to be hopeful.

Now we have a story that's genuinely counterintuitive -- that is, that a companion of the two went along and reached very different, and far more pessimistic, conclusions about the prospects for success in Iraq. Not only is this counterintuitive, but there's also conflict here, too -- Cordesman flags his disagreement with his esteemed colleagues in the first paragraph of his synopsis. This also puts Cordesman at odds with the White House, which relentlessly flacked O'Hanlon and Pollack's findings. And the media response to Cordesman thus far? Virtual silence.