Thursday, July 03, 2008

Flip-Flopping And Truthiness

Hi everybody. So, apparently 360's still on the irrelevant politics kick. When Obama said he would make decisions about Iraq based on facts on the ground, shouldn't we all have been saying, "thank you!" instead of clutching our pearls? But no, once again 360 essentially played the role of a cable news-shaped rubber ball, being bounced back and forth between the two campaigns. I mean, seriously, the fact that the McCain camp is calling Obama a flip-flopper is completely ludicrous. The supposed "maverick" has flip-flopped more than those fish that hit David Mattingly. Say what you want about Keith Olbermann's partisanship and penchant for occasional immaturity, at least he calls this crap like it is. Check out all these McCain flip-flops he was able to document:

So anyway, this was a total non story. And I was mildly amused at Obama's do-over press conference. You know he wanted to be all, "why are you being retarded?" There is a real issue here: the war. We could have gotten coverage of that, but instead we got another useless panel (more on that in a sec). Where's Michael Ware? Peter Bergen? They just extended the tours of marines in Afghanistan because it's pretty bad over there. In fact, more troops died in Afghanistan last month than at any time since 2001 when we invaded. But I guess that's not worthy for discussion on 360. At least not anymore.

I actually didn't set out to complain about war coverage. What I'd like to focus on are a couple of exchanges between Cliff May, president of the conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and radio talk show host Ed Schultz. First exchange:
MAY: Yes. And I think also on some of the more left-wing blogs, Obama is taking some hits.

But this does move him to the center. And, look, I want to put -- I'm not a big fan of his, but I'm going to put the best spin on it, which is that he understands the situation fairly well, certainly better than the Daily Kos does and some of those on the left who would like to see America defeated in Iraq as a demonstration exercise that U.S. power never, never can be used for good.

SCHULTZ: Whoa. Whoa.

That is absolutely outrageous. That is outrageous for you to say that people on the left want to lose in Iraq. I'm not going to sit here and listen to that. This is the Fourth of July. We are Americans. We don't believe in fighting in Iraq the way we are doing. We're depleting our resources. That's ridiculous.
You know, I'm not really a fan of Ed Schultz because he's a yeller, but boy was I cheering him on. I cannot believe in 2008 this BS is still being said on national television. It's extremely insulting to a large portion of the country. And I really wish that, instead of ceding the floor to a partisan food fight, Anderson Cooper would have jumped in there and got May to actually defend his statement with actual evidence. Or, you know, got him to reveal his magical power of knowing what other people want. This brings us to the second exchange:
MAY: Yes. Yes.

And also, on the FISA, just so people understand, this is a vitally important bill. It restores to our intelligence authority -- agencies the authority they used to have to monitor terrorists overseas, foreign terrorists on foreign soil.

COOPER: With oversight.

MAY: Now, Obama was against this -- with oversight -- Obama was against this bill, and Nancy Pelosi wouldn't let the House vote on it, where it had a bipartisan majority. We were losing vital intelligence. It's now passed the House.

Only those on the very far left are opposed to the Senate passing it. The Senate probably will pass it next week, and the president will sign it. And Obama is now for it. This is an issue I have been very involved in. And I say I am glad to see he's come around on this very vital piece of legislation that helps protect Americans. I'm not going to criticize him for changing his mind. If he will study the issue and move to the center, I think that's something that should be praised.
May is right. It is a vital issue, which makes one wonder why Bush threatened to veto the bill if it didn't include immunity for the telecom companies. Yeah, you read that right. Your safety is important to him, but not as important as protecting the telecoms from being sued by people that had their rights violated. Funny how May didn't mention that part, huh? If anyone is responsible for us losing vital intelligence, it's Bush. Of course, if he said that, he couldn't paint us all as terrorist-appeasing commies. And again, Anderson says nothing while truthiness takes over his show.

Okay, I'm probably being too hard on him. He's under time constraints and I certainly don't expect any anchor to be a walking encyclopedia of information, able to fact-check anything on the fly. But for a show that takes pride in sticking to the facts and letting us decide, it would be nice if these kind of misleading statements weren't just let go. Maybe I wouldn't be so bugged if the show had consistently been covering the FISA fight, which has been in the news for quite a while, though you wouldn't know that by watching 360. Anyway, this guest problem isn't new. I remember when Jon Stewart ripped into CNN back in 2005 when Kyra Phillips let some anti-gay spokesperson use a discredited study to prove why gays shouldn't adopt. This is the problem with filling your time with talking heads instead of actual news. That's all from me tonight. Happy Fourth!


Anonymous Duffy said...

Can I just say, I love how angry you've gotten since you came back from the hospital (hope you're feeling better, btw!). You finally took the gloves off, and though I really, really want to be able to love 360 these days, I gotta say they deserve these punches. Lord knows, maybe they'll actually start to listen.

3:28 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@duffy--Heh. Maybe the lack of oxygen is getting to me. Kidding.

Aw, you think I took the gloves off? I try to never be outright mean because, like you, I really do want to love the show. I'm just so frustrated.

5:12 PM  

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