Damn you, public impression!

The often quoted Washington Post article on President Bush unleashes this little nugget:

He does read newspapers, contrary to public impression[.]

Now just where would such a public impression come from? Oh, right:

But unlike his predecessors, analysts say, Bush openly brags about not reading newspapers, watching TV news or TV news magazines — dismissing the news media as unworthy of his time.

“I get my news from people who don’t editorialize,” Bush told ABC’s Diane Sawyer last week. “They give me the actual news, and it makes it easier to digest, on a daily basis, the facts.”

Anyone else?

Bush’s wife, Laura, told Sawyer she read newspapers and columnists and tells her husband what they are saying.

Gee, and one wonders how this “public impression” ever came about.

BUSH: I appreciate people’s opinions, but I’m more interested in news. And the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what’s happening in the world.

Well, at least “public impression” saved the Post from having to call Bush a liar.


Comments: 56


I don’t know if The Family Circus really counts as reading the newspaper…


Staffer: Mr. President, Sunnis and Shiites are different denominations of Islam.

Boosh: But I thought Sunnis were Muslims!

Staffer: …….

"Oh Stewardess, I Speak 'Nut"

The results of being informed by people “who don’t editorialize” (as you might imagine) are quite predictable:

Yahoo! News headline, 07/03/2007: “U.S. arming of Iraqi Sunnis to fight al-Qaida could backfire


someday someone at the WaPo will realize that the “public” of whom they are so contemptuous constitute a larger group of potential customers than do the members of the scooter libby defense fund.

on that same day, with circulation having dropped to 100,000, the Post will lay off all of its reporters and switch to a NYPost format of right wing blather and gossip all the time.

i look forward to that day.


Hmm. Maybe if somebody explained to him what “objective” means? You know, in “My Pet Goat” level monosyllabic 2nd grade english?



on that same day, with circulation having dropped to 100,000, the Post will lay off all of its reporters and switch to a NYPost format of right wing blather and gossip all the time.

That hasn’t already happened?


I’m sure that Bush occasionally spends time in proximity to newspapers, in the same way that an unhousebroken puppy does. And what the puppy does to those papers literally, Bush has just done… well, I’m not sure “metaphorically” is the correct word.

Forget “All the news that fits, we print” or those other highflown but outdated slogans. The major American newspapers’ new combined motto is “Thank you, sir, may I have another one?”


Pretty obvious to me that Glorious Leader is functionally illiterate. It’s too much trouble wrapping his lips around each & every syllable, so someone tells him what’s up, as simply as possible. And that’s how the Decider decides, based on the simplest possible explanation.
We. Are. Totally. Screwed. I pray for death’s sweet release. (Preferably some one else’s death, but at this point…)


As I so geekily quoted in a post about Presidential Summer Reading last year:

Otto: Apes don’t read Nietsche.
Wanda: Yes they do, Otto, they just don’t understand it.


The last few Peter Baker pieces I’ve read about Bush have been chock-full of that sort of crap. It must be some sort of cognitive impairment. Call it Cocktail Weenie Derangement Syndrome.

The last time, it was some shit about a resisting a children’s health insurance program because of the deficit. As if Bush is a budget hawk or something.

a different brad

Please. Bush has always read the newspapers. Sportscenter comes on after his bedtime, and you think he’d be able to use the internets to find baseball scores?


Where’s Gary Poopert?


How else is the Petulant One going to conceal his pr0n from the Secret Service when he goes to ‘sit on his throne’? If you put a magazine in a newspaper, then take it out and look at the pictures, that constitutes, in Bush’s world, Reading the Paper.

He also fancies the TP with the hi-larious witicisms.


He also only gets the weather report by looking out the window.


He also only gets the weather report by looking out the window.

One wonders if he could actually apply this level of common sense without guidance. He says, dammit, I wonder if it’s going to rain? Condi says, Deciderguy (he likes her to call him that), look out the window. He does. It’s raining. Oh! he says. Where’s my umbrella?



How about Cocktail Weenie Denial Syndrome?

As in they can’t admit their crucial role in enabling this crappy administation and all its catastrophic failures.

Glenn Greenwald did nail it nicely today. And it’s what Bob Somerby has been saying all along.

Fred Hiatt has the blood of Iraqi women and children on his hands.

David Brooks is responsible for the torture of innocent people by government of our country.

Dave Broder enjoys quail with Karl Rove? You’ve embraced his crimes as well, d00d.

P.S. I’m adding Scott Harper to my blogroll. I only heard of him recently, at TPM wrt the Siegelman case.


Make that Scott Horton. And the government of our country.

But at least I didn’t screw up the html!


Looks like the Washington Postians don’t read the news either.


Look, we don’t need to plow the fertile fields again, but c’mon. Journalists, writers and pundits are NOT responsible for policy. They are responsible for what they write, and should be held accountable for barbaric, inhuman opinions. But that’s all they are. Opinions. Governments have been ignoring cries from extreme pundits for decades. Whether they were theocrats, authoritarians, conspiracy theorists or just general wackjobs, the people who make policy are, well, the people who make policy.

The thugs in the administration are responsible for the crimes of the administration. This is why in sports cheerleaders do not have a won/lost record. That’s all they are, and they have no responsibility for the outcome. Concentrate on trying, somehow, to hold accountable those people with blood on their hands, not those with only ink on theirs…



realchesherkat, you must have seen Sunday’s strip, a classic if there ever was one (and no doubt a particular favorite of The Decider). For a scholarly exegesis, see http://www.edgewise.info. (If I could figure out that HTML stuff, that would be a real link.)


I am, mikey.

Don’t ignore the power of the press. Especially the way it has been used in the age of the corporate person. Just remember what you and others here have said about your contacts with absolutely clueless people, and wonder where they got their talking points from.

Example: Cheney plants aluminum tubes story with Michael Gordon, who reports it as news in the NYT. Cheney then mentions that news item as proof that Iraq has a nuke program.

We are not going to be able to hold the people in the administration accountable, as long as the MSM continues to carry their water.

Michael Gordon, today, repeated the bomb bomb bomb, bomb Iran crowd’s lies. You think these guys won’t just run the same damn play they just ran with Iraq?

They deserve a pass for just being sports reporters? Sadly, No!


Oops. Turns out the nice server made the link for me. I’m even more of a technopeasant than I thought. Anyway, go read Edgewise on “The Family Circus.”

But let me respond to mikey’s last comment. Of course the administration is responsible for its own thuggery. But the MSM enables the thuggery and propagandizes for it, so that when we have our accountablility moment every four years, enough of the electorate believes it’s about Purple Heart bandaids and the faggits gettin’ married.



You are so right. As much as I’d love to see the vile pigboy, the splotchy nazi and the haggard harpie do time for their crimes against the common good, I’m not quite yet ready to give up freedom of speech.

Hang the top 1000 repukes and outlaw capital punishment!


You’re not wrong, as far as it goes. But I’m never going to be comfortable holding writers, pundits and journalists responsible for policy. They aren’t, and quite frankly, if you think it through, you don’t want them to be. We have to be able to say what we think government should do. But only government is responsible for what they actually do. And sure, some of these assholes made people more comfortable with torture and detention without due process, but the government actually DID that.

Think of it like this. President Gore is confronted with 9/11. Lots of pundits are calling for many extra-constitutional solutions. President Gore says “bite me, we’re going to live or die by what we believe in”.

Or to look at it from the other way, lots of pundits screamed out, “please fon’t take us down this horrible, un-justifiable path, Mr. President. Do you really think he wouldn’t have done all the things he did if the pundits didn’t support it? Of course he would have. This administration doesn’t care what people think. When you think about it, governments have always had to act, and some pundits would agree with those actions, and some pundits would disagree. But it’s the people in government who take the actions.

Do you really think we should be the people, at this point in the bush/cheney administration, to be calling for writers to be held accountable for what they wrote? Does that not feel a bit like a Khomeini fatwa against Rushdie? I mean, is this what we’ve come to?

Somebody has to continue to believe in liberty, even if the sands are shifting beneath our feet. Let’s at least have the courage to say that even if I don’t agree with you, I’ll give my life’s blood to defend your right to say it. People have bled for this concept, and for whatever it’s worth, I was one of ’em…



Mikey, is Tony Snow a pundit?

He used to lie for the administration at FAUX. Now he lies for them directly, as White House press secretary.

Is Michael Gerson a pundit?

He was a key member of the White House Iraq Group (aka the Lie Factory). He was the one who made up the phrase “We can’t wait for the smoking gun, in the form of a mushroom cloud”. Now he writes lies for Fred Hiatt at the Washington Post.

Do you really think he wouldn’t have done all the things he did if the pundits didn’t support it? Of course he would have.

Mikey, he wouldn’t even have become president without the lies these folks told. And your counter argument is that I’m favoring censorship?

Does that not feel a bit like a Khomeini fatwa against Rushdie?

Does anything I have written ever imply that I think people should go kill somebody?

The punditocrisy can write what their masters pay them to do, and we can hold them and their masters accountable for the results.


Hey. Look, don’t get me wrong. You get to think what you think, believe what you believe. I’m not here to tell you what to think. But for me, I see a difference between people who write and people who make policy. And I, just for me, need to say that I don’t accept that there is any equivalence between people who MAKE policy and people who write opinions about policy.

Do you think Tony Snow makes policy? I don’t. What did we do with “Baghdad Bob”? We turned him loose. ‘Cause he wasn’t part of their program. He was nothing but a voice.

Look, if you think these people need to be punished for their written opinions, great, so be it. But then, don’t you have to live with that same opinion if things go the other way? I mean, are you willing to go to prison, or whatever this is about, for writing YOUR opinions down? Even if they didn’t have any influence?






Different words, mikey.

I could punish someone for what they’ve written by saying they were dishonest, and should be held responsible for the bad result of what they’ve written. Example: Michael Gordon writes a bit of stenography for the neoconmen who want to bomb Iran. I say look at what he did for them with respect to Iraq. Look at the results. I say he should be shunned, his words mocked, and his employers deserve the same.

That’s accountability. You project fatwa, or prison. That’s in your head.

And you are simply wrong on the connection between the propaganda, and the policy. The second would not exist without the first.



Don’t punish the ho’s for the crimes of the pimps. Maybe Murdoch and GE and Viacom and that CEO of Disney should be punished, but the ignorent sychophants deserve only disdain and the thing they fear most–the destruction of their careers and the loss of the sweet sweet dew that they have been licking off the bottom of the repuke party for years now.

Get the war criminals! Shame the enablers.


I apologize. I didn’t understand that accountability meant nothing. I thought you were suggesting some kind of punishment for merely writing things you didn’t agree with.

I guess it turns out I should have asked “what do you think should be done with/to these people who have opinions you don’t like”?. Because if the answer is “nothing”, well then, we are in agreement, but I’m not sure what “accountability” means…




Don’t punish the ho’s for the crimes of the pimps. Maybe Murdoch and GE and Viacom and that CEO of Disney should be punished, but the ignorent sychophants deserve only disdain and the thing they fear most–the destruction of their careers and the loss of the sweet sweet dew that they have been licking off the bottom of the repuke party for years now.

Get the war criminals! Shame the enablers.

Gerson is not just a journalist–he’s a conspirator!


Mikey, you are pissing me off.

I’m holding you accountable by ignoring you, at least until tomorrow.

Marco, those “ho’s” you mention are the ones who are making the most money off the shrub administrations actions.

Think about it.


Sorry Thunder. Really. You’re a squaddie and I’ll always have your back. But this is shit I gotta say. But only ’cause I think it’s important.

Lookin forward to tomorrow….


Smiling Mortician

FWIW, mikey, I don’t think that ITTDGY’s idea of accountability is “nothing” — there’s a lot of territory between “nothing” and “fatwa.” I also don’t think his complaint is about “people who have opinions he doesn’t like.” I think he’s talking about the need for there to be real-world consequences for journalists who abandon the principles of a free and open press by being willing participants in the deceptions the government feeds the people — deceptions it really wouldn’t be able to feed the people without that willing participation. The people he’s talking about aren’t just writing their opinions — they’re presenting as fact things that are demonstrably inaccurate, and in doing so they’re actively promoting and enabling the criminal actions of the administration. The consequences (the accountability) should perhaps involve editorial acknowledgment of the wrongdoing, followed by copious amounts of public shaming and an inability to ever get another job in the profession. Personally, I’d like to see the Klingon shunning ritual show up at some point along the way.

Feel free to correct me if I’ve got it wrong, ITTDGY.


Here’s an example: I am a reporter. One of my contacts in the White House gives me a memo suggesting that Iraq had been in contact with Niger in an attempt to purchase uranium. A quick Google search on the memo would reveal that there are reasons to doubt its accuracy, as the name of one of the ministers mentioned in the memo doesn’t jibe with the date of the memo – the minister in question had resigned several months before the memo was written.

For whatever reason, I do not do any sort of factchecking on this memo at all, even the most basic step of Googling the names of Niger government officials mentioned in the memo. I simply accept what my government contact has given me as fact and publish the story about the memo.

The question is: what should happen to me at this point?

What makes this question really hard to answer is that for such a thing to have happened, there’s a much bigger failure at root than the failure of one little reporter. If such a thing had happened twenty or thirty years ago – if a reporter hadn’t factchecked something they’d gotten from a government source and turned in an article based on it for publication in a newspaper – that reporter’s editor would have hauled them into the editor’s office, gone up one side of the reporter and down the other with invective enough to make a career sailor blush, and sent them back to rewrite the piece with the warning that if this sort of shoddy reporting happened again, the reporter would have their ass handed to them in a paper bag to take down to the unemployment office with them.

But since the rise of the media conglomerates – and the death of the local, independent newspaper – we don’t have editors who care about facts anymore. We have editors who answer to stockholders and who know fuckall about the journalism business and could care even less. Because of this, reporters get no support anymore for factchecking and dirt-digging. This doesn’t excuse outright mendactiy, but it does help to explain it.

I have no idea what the answer to this situation is. I mean, aside from a nice federally funded news agency like the BBC. Anybody else have any ideas on how to save our print journalists from the Scylla and Charybdis they’re caught between?


…followed by copious amounts of public shaming and an inability to ever get another job in the profession.

We, the people, can read ’em or not. You wanna go to a blacklist, my friend, you’re going to lose me….



The point is, mikey, that if journalism was working the way it was supposed to work, a blacklist wouldn’t even be necessary. Any reporter who did to a news organization what, say, Judith Miller did to the Times would never work again – not because of a blacklist, but because no one would hire her. All a newspaper had was its reputation, and if a reporter fucked that up, their name would be dead in the industry.

The question we really need to figure out is “Why doesn’t that happen anymore?”. I have some ideas on that one, but I doubt most people would like ’em much.


Exactly. It’s not about what we have. It’s about what we want. We have to continue to push for a free press that reports both without fear and without reward. We have to at least try. The alternative is unacceptable. We could lose. But we WILL lose if we don’t make the effort…



Mikey, we’ve already lost. Look at what Woodward and Bernstein did, and then look at what we have now.

If you want to talk about winning back what we used to have, that might even be worth talking about. But the first step in creating a war strategy is an accurate assessment of the battlefield as it currently stands – and the tactics one chooses if one wishes to avoid losing a strategic area are different from the tactics one chooses if one wishes to retake a strategic area one has already lost.

We won’t get anywhere unless we begin by acknowledging that we’ve already lost.


“Oh Stewardess, I Speak ‘Nut” said,
The results of being informed by people “who don’t editorialize” (as you might imagine) are quite predictable:

Yahoo! News headline, 07/03/2007: “U.S. arming of Iraqi Sunnis to fight al-Qaida could backfire”

Yeah, well, these people have a long and glorious history of selling weapons and arms to people who hate us and want us dead. Iran, Afghanistan, Columbia…
By this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that some of the Soviet ICBMs aimed at New York were old, surplus Tridents.
A quick buck now is better then dead Americans later.

a different brad

mikey, think of it this way. If you found out that the SF Giants’ players were throwing games, and the beat writers were taking a cut to keep it quiet, would you feel ok with those beat writers then being the ones covering the controversy when it was uncovered?

a different brad

N by consequences I don’t think anyone means “meet mister cattleprod”.
I think we mean the kind of consequence anyone would face when proved incompetent at their jobs.
Consequences means accountability, in this context.

a different brad

Gah, mine grammar are poorly.


You’re not wrong Smiling Mortician.

But there’s more to it than that. Mikey is underestimating the connection between the corporate media and the administration they lie for. He does not admit the power of that connection, or how much economic benefit those corporations derive from it.

The allegedly liberal NYT and WaPo scrubbed all opposing voices to Cheney’s march into Iraq. That’s where the censorship was, and still is. As Atrios says, No Liberals On TV. Daniel Schorr, gone. The Doughy Pantload, in. It doesn’t matter how low Glen Beck’s ratings go, GE makes a lot of money off making weapons.

Meanwhile, the bloodthirsty Krauthammers, Kagans, Kristols, etc. are still given a forum to advocate 1) staying in Iraq, and 2) attacking Iran…in spite of the fact that they lied us into Iraq, it’s a disaster, and they’re still lying about it.

Where’s the accountability? In the pages of the Washington Post, Robert Kagan was presented recently as an ‘expert on Iraq’.

Shouldn’t he be presented as an expert liar on Iraq? If he is given the megaphone at all? That would be accountability.

If anyone is actually going to bring about Nazi style censorship, it’s the right wingers.

Yet we are supposed to forgive and forget all David Brooks’ (e.g.) atrocities against the truth in the last decade, and pretend that today’s screed against Robert Wilson deserves a serious reading, because otherwise we’re guilty of censorship?

The mind boggles. The aspens turn (together). And GE sells more weapons.


Wow. A walk down memory lane with that last link provided on Bush’s reading habits.

What a dismally poor grasp of the facts he had back in 2003. And nothing’s changed. He imagined the “enemy” as one tightly knit network of terrorists who were considerate enough to engage us in Iraq, where we happened to be, and wasn’t that convenient? And he still talks that way today, blurring together Shiite death militias, Baathists, insurgents, Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda. And even al Qaeda isn’t monolithic.

HUME: Let me start off talking about Iraq. A few weeks back, when these terrorists began to appear on the scene evidently from outside, you said, “Bring ’em on.” What did you mean by that?

BUSH: Well, I was really talking to our troops. I was saying to our troops in the theater that some in the region felt like they could come and take you on. Some felt like — some terrorists, that is — felt like they could beat us. And my point was we’re plenty tough and we will take them on there.

HUME: From a military point of view, do you regard that as a welcome or unwelcome development?

BUSH: That’s an interesting question, because you know I’m a man of peace. And obviously I would hope that we wouldn’t have combat. I also live in a real world of being the president during a war on terror. So I guess I would rather fight them there than here. I know I would rather fight them there than here, and I know would rather fight them there than in other remote parts of the world, where it may be more difficult to find them.

HUME: Such as?

BUSH: Well, such as Yemen or — you know we’re chasing down al Qaeda types and former remnants of the Taliban regime in the wild regions of Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. That’s difficult terrain. And so the fact that they’ve chosen to fight us in Iraq is — we’ve adjusted and we’re ready to fight and take them on.

HUME: There are people who suggest that, look, you wouldn’t have to be dealing with these people at all if you hadn’t gone into Iraq. That these, in some sense, are newly recruited or newly minted terrorists. What’s your view of that?

BUSH: That’s probably the same type of person that says that therapy would work in convincing terrorists not to kill innocent life. There is a terrorist network that attacked us on September the 11th, 2001 that is active, that is engaged, that is trying to intimidate the civilized and free world. And this country will continue to lead a coalition against them. You know, there is — in my judgment, the only way to deal with these terrorists is to stay on the offensive, is to find them and bring them to justice before they hurt us again.

HUME: What is your theory about what Saddam Hussein did with his weapons of mass destruction?

BUSH: I think he hid them, I think he dispersed them. I think he is so adapted at deceiving the civilized world for a long period of time that it’s going to take a while for the troops to unravel. But I firmly believe he had weapons of mass destruction. I know he used them at one time, and I’m confident he had programs that would enable him to have a weapon of mass destruction at his disposal.

HUME: What do you say to the notion — you’re beginning to hear it more and more now — that actually he got rid of them but he didn’t want his neighbors to know that, you see, because he wanted to be able to continue to intimidate them? What do you say to that?

BUSH: I think, like I said, be patient. The truth will be out. I told David Kay to go find the truth and to bring back reports based upon his own timetable that are solid reports about what he has found. We’re analyzing miles and miles of documentation, we’re interviewing all kinds of people in Iraq. Some of the famous cards in the deck of cards, and just average citizens who are bringing information.

We’ve been there for about four months. And David is spending a great deal of time learning the truth. And the truth — we’ll find out the truth.


See, that’s wrong, Thunder. If you don’t know it, please go back up and read what I said. Firefox has a “find on this page” function, I’m not asking you to waste more than two or three minutes, but it’s important to me.

I totally get the connection between the corporate media and the administration they lie for. I’m happy to admit admit the power of that connection, or how much economic benefit those corporations derive from it.

My issue is with the prescription. What would you do about it and not adopt dick cheney’s tactics? What happened to letting the writers say whatever? How are we going to stop them? What are these “consequences” I keep hearing about.

And if you’re saying “just stop reading them” I already did. That was my one option. And I used it. So help me out here. What other steps do you believe we should take against them?



Continually berate them, for starters.

And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what’s happening in the world.

Serious or parody? Who can tell?


Well it’s just past midnight where I am mikey.

And if you’re saying “just stop reading them” I already did. That was my one option.

How well is that working, mikey?

What I’m talking about…accountability…is calling them on their bullshit. Don’t try to tell me that’s the same as mikey’s approved prescription (ignoring) or UNHOLY UNMIKEY (censorship…prison…fatwa), i.e. the only other option you have defined for yourself.

Here’s another link to Bob Somerby. Did you click through any of my links?

OVER THE YEARS, WE HAVEN’T FOUGHT BACK: But over the years, we haven’t fought back—and the “idiotic media narratives” have simply savaged our candidates. (Yes. These narratives did send Bush to the White House. Will there ever come a day when liberals acknowledge this fact—perhaps the most obvious fact on the planet?)

Let’s go back to what I said. Fred Hiatt has the blood of Iraqi women and children on his hands..

That’s different from ignoring him, and it’s not the same as censoring him or send him off to jail.

It is an accurate description of the results of the policies and politicians he has advocated for.

Not to mention, an accurate description of the results of his attacks on people who were right about Iraq…people he continues to attack.

When Fred Hiatt writes his next piece of neocon enabling gibberish, you can ignore him. I will point out that he has the blood of Iraqi women and children on his hands.

The real problem here is that a few huge corporations have been allowed to buy up and concentrate so much of the media that it no longer functions as a fourth estate. I’d define a functional forth estate as one that afflicts the comfortable, and comforts the afflicted.

We have the opposite now. Call them on their bullshit.


Continually berate them, for starters.

Damn you, Random Observer, you stole my thunder. I was busy looking for the best links, re-editing, and otherwise chasing my own tail.

Qetesh the Abyssinian

If I can wave my tail in here, for a cat’s view on the media…

What I’d like to see is a registration/certification body for journos, much like IEEE or the dentists’ association or whatever. That is, a body that certifies that a professional is qualified and competent to perform their job. Provable incompetence means your certification gets revoked.

Journalists do have a responsibility, and they hold a lot of power, in the forming-public-opinions kind of way. So I think it’s entirely reasonable for them to have to demonstrate a certain level of professional competence, and to have their registration revoked if they fuck up. After all, you wouldn’t want to cross a bridge built by a guy whose last 3 bridges fell down, and you wouldn’t trust the words of a guy who was incompetent in his fact-checking.

The words of these people do carry weight. The general mass of people believe what they read in the newspapers, because it’s in the newspapers. They hold an unwarranted trust in the reporters, and don’t know that they’re being lied to. They need to know, otherwise the notion of democracy is just a notion, not something that actually happens in the US (or Oz).

Note that this has nothing to do with their opinions: they can believe, and write, that eating babies is good for health, if they like. Just so long as it is clearly, clearly, marked “Opinion”. Anything that purports to be news, however, really needs to be written by people who can be trusted to fact-check, otherwise it’s just my fantasies against theirs.

Perhaps it just grates on me that professionals like dentists, doctors, and engineers have to prove their competence before they’re allowed to practice, and have that certification revoked if they fuck up, while journalists, who have enormous effective power over the public mind, can do whatever the fuck they like and get away with it. I think that’s what ITTDGY means when he refers to accountability: if they want the position, they need to demonstrate that their competent at it. And any assertion of fact which hasn’t even been googled (and this is really the baseline of fact-checking) demonstrates complete incompetence.

One other thing that I also believe in fairly strongly: all kids everywhere should have extensive and intensive courses, throughout their school years, on critical thinking, media analysis, and general logic and scepticism. There are some basal skills that are well-nigh absent in our current society, and critical thinking skills are one of the worst.

"Oh Stewardess, I Speak 'Nut"

Some Guy’s post made me see how unclear my piss-poor “writing” really is. So let me try again:

The results of Junior’s being informed by people “who don’t editorialize” are, as you might imagine, quite predictable. To wit, ill-informed policies, as illustrated by this actual Yahoo! News headline from 07/03/2007:

“U.S. arming of Iraqi Sunnis to fight al-Qaida could backfire” (Gee, ya think?)

How utterly devoid of intelligence (in every sense of the word) do you have to be in order to imagine the U.S. is really fighting TEH “al-Qaida” in Iraq, so as to think that arming Sunni insurgents (as opposed to TEH “al-Qaida”) is not only not insane, but the latest in a string of Good Ideas by the same folks who saw light at the end of the tunnel in Saigon? I’m just askin’.


Slight topic variance
Fox News must get down on their knees every day and pray to their god that America doesn’t learn how to use Google.

So, basically, OS,ISN, what Bushie is saying is that he doesn’t listen to news sources unless they say what he wants to believe. Also, he believes that news reports that do NOT agree with how he perceives the world are “opinion.”

I can see it now. Every night, Bush makes Snow do a personal news cast at the foot of his bed.
Tony Snow: “And in other news tonight: A new poll has 30% of America saying Decider Bush is “Doing a good job.” 35% saying he’s “the best Decidarent ever.” and 55% saying he’s, “One Bueno Hombre.”
Bush: “Tell me again how removing Saddam has brought peace and democracy to the hearts and minds of all Iraqis everywhere, and struck terror into the hearts of other evil-doers. Kim Jong Il, I’m looking at YOU! Hehehe!”


Since Qetesh brought it up(teaching kids critical thinking,etc),here’s a question:

How do you teach this to kids? I’d like to know because I have a kid who’s brain(he’s 13)is turning to mush,mostly because of school. Being smart is actually a liability at school,not an asset anymore. And seeing as he’s 13,I suddenly just became the biggest moron on the planet.

Any suggestions of where or how to start would be great. I had that stuff in school,I graduated right before winguts began dismantelling schools back in the late 70’s. I know what to do for me,but teaching it to a kid is another matter entirely.


Well, lookit that. We spend a couple hours talking over each other and it turns out we are saying exactly the same thing. Just as I feel like I have to defend the writers right to say things I think are awful, I will quite happily defend your right say what you think of their drivel.

As long as your not saying we have to silence them, we’re in exactly the same place. ‘Cause just to make it real clear – I’m not defending what they said. I’m just saying they have as much right as anyone to say it.

And Quetesh, the problem with registering writers is that you are going to end up with biases coming out of your licensing board. Until you have a perfectly fair board, you will end up with a board suppressing speech they don’t like, not just “incompetent” speech…



Wow, does Bush sound like Paris Hilton, or what? “I have my people read my news for me.” Sheesh.

Smiling Mortician

Mikey, one solution to your problem with the possibility of politically-motivated firings of journalists: the industry should institute a system of credentialing as well as a system of documenting and disciplining bad work product — but the journalists themselves need to be represented by a strong and vibrant union that can protect individual workers against frivolous or malicious discipline.

Anangryoldbroad: he’s 13? you’re gonna be the biggest moron on the planet for at least another five years, so take a deep breath and have a glass of something. As for teaching critical thinking — it’s seriously all about teaching him to ask questions. Teach him not to accept all the “truths” he’s told just because someone in authority said it. Start with topics he’s interested in (music? computers? cars? sports?) and model the behavior you want him to engage in: when he makes a statement/judgment about something he’s interested in, ask him why he thinks that. Encourage him to do the same with you — and with the newspapers and the TV and his friends and his teachers . . . hey, it’s a start.


Maybe, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live in a world where we have some people who get to determine who gets to write their opinion and who doesn’t. I only ask one question. What are the chances they would have let Hunter publish?



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