Monday, August 31, 2009


As the 2008 elections approached, Rupert Murdoch, who is evil but is nobody's fool, flirted with throwing his weight behind the candidacies of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- but in the end he concluded that it was best to remain in the opposition (which was not the decision he made when Tony Blair's Labour Party was about to seize power in the U.K.). Let's put it another way: Murdoch concluded that it was safe not to back Obama and the Democrats. He could see that, numbers notwithstanding, the party and its leader just didn't have the mojo to make life difficult for its opponents.

And now we see that the rest of the media has concluded that we're already in a sort of post-Obama era. John McCain has made twelve appearances in eight months on Sunday morning talk shows; Dick and Liz Cheney are on TV all the time (yesterday Dick was on Fox while Liz was on ABC) -- and now NBC has announced that Jenna Bush will join the Today show as a correspondent.

Is it a coincidence that NBC hired Jenna at a time when Fox's Glenn Beck is joining Bill O'Reilly in mounting vicious attacks against NBC and GE? I think the suits at GE and NBC fear the wrath of the crazies who watch Fox (and the crazies who run Fox) and feel the need to appease them; on the right, of course, MSNBC is damned as an Obama propaganda machine. Presumably it's too soon for the GE/NBC suits to be acting out of fear of Republican politicians, who still aren't close to regaining the power to set agendas, but who knows? In any case, their apparent response to the teabaggers reminds me of Viacom's decision, not long after the Dan Rather Nation Guard story ran, to give Mary Matalin a book imprint around the same time it was considering putting the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, and Ann Coulter on a panel to investigate the Guard story.


Y'know, if the "liberal media" worked it for the good guys the way the Murdoch media and the rest of the right-wing noise machine work it for the bad guys, there'd be a serious effort to exploit the tension so obviously on display at the end of Dick Cheney's Fox interview:

WALLACE: There was a story in the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago that in the process of writing your memoir, you have told colleagues about your frustration with President Bush, especially in his, your second term. Is that true?


WALLACE: That story was wrong.

CHENEY: Right.

WALLACE: The report says that you disagreed with the President's decision to halt water boarding, you agreed with his decision to close the secret prisons, you disagreed with his decision to reach out to Iran and North Korea. Is that true?

CHENEY: Well, we had policy differences, no question about that, but to say that I was disappointed with the President is not the way it ought to be phrased....

WALLACE: Did you feel that he went soft in the second term?

CHENEY: I wouldn't say that. I think you are going to have wait and read my book, Chris, for the definitive view.

WALLACE: It sounds like you are going to say something close to that?

CHENEY: I am not going to speculate on it....

I'm loving the non-denial denials.

Oh, if only the "liberal media" would exacerbate this feud, the way, for instance the feud (or non-feud) between Barack Obama and the Clintons is routinely exacerbated in the press. News outlets would find phony anonymous "sources" close to the Bush administration who'd "say" things that get up Cheney's nose. The hiring of Jenna would be portrayed as a slap at the Cheneys. And on and on. At the very least, the real tension that exists would be endlessly speculated on. But it just doesn't work that way, does it?

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