Thursday, July 22, 2010

Anderson Cooper Once Again Claims There Are Liberals Who Engage In The Same Type Of Behavior As Andrew Breitbart, Yet Offers No Examples

Hi everyone. Duuuudes. The Silver Fox is about to drive me to take up drinking. Once again, he spent the night clinging to a false equivalency, all the while not offering up one iota of evidence to support his claim. Is he not a journalist? I went into this extensively last night, so I don't feel the need to do so here. I just think it's a real shame because on reflection, some of 360's coverage of the Sherrod situation has been quite good...and Anderson Cooper is completely ruining it with his incessant need for balance. I'm baffled. Is he naive? Arrogant? All I know is that he clearly needs to take a course in New Media 101 because in my view his ignorance is beginning to hurt his credibility. The exasperated bullet points are as follows:
  • The Shirley Sherrod story continues to have significant legs because today she spoke with President Obama. Our anchor again takes the opportunity to rightly go after Andrew Breitbart, who is now predictably claiming victim status.
  • I refuse to give Politico the page view. Was their interview with Breitbart Cheney-like stenography?
  • Anderson: "Calling what Mr. Breitbart does journalism is hard for those of us who actually check and try to be fair. I'm certainly not perfect, and have made mistakes, and have apologized for them." Okay. Then where is your acknowledgment that your own show aired the edited Sherrod tape Monday night during the News and Business Bulletin without her side?
  • Anderson on Breitbart: "He does not care about Shirley Sherrod, doesn't care about making false allegations against her or ruining her career. Andrew Breitbart has his ideology. He believes he is right. And in his mind that justifies any action he takes." I'm not arguing with that.
  • Anderson: "And that's how ideologues think on the left and on the right. Post a video clip that's misleading? No problem if it helps you make your argument, if it helps boost visitors to your Web site. Make false claims about a person? Why not, if it gets you more Web traffic?" Dude, stop with the sweeping generalizations. Yes, the interwebs are filled with link bait, click-whoring (see Politico), and even false claims, but more often than not it's hyperbolic headlines (Anderson Cooper destroys Andrew Breitbart!). You're showing an ignorance of the political Internet. Even some of those "ideologues" on the right questioned the Sherrod video before your own show aired it, as evidenced by this thorough timeline by Media Matters. Or are we not talking about the same thing here?
  • Anderson: "That is where we are today. Andrew Breitbart is conservative. But, as I said, there are liberals online and on TV who do the exact same things. They cherry-pick the facts that prove their arguments, not the facts that reveal the truth." Examples of a Breitbart like equivalent?
  • Anderson: "David Frum, a conservative, said on this program last night the problem is not liberalism or conservatism. It's factionalism, seeing the world through your own limited political lens and never admitting when you have made a mistake, never admitting the other side may be right some of the time, never doing anything that damages your faction." You know, in my experience, it's bloggers who are much much more likely to admit mistakes (the strikethrough and updates are often used) and the so-called objective establishment media who are the ones who rarely own up to the wrongs they've committed. There are reporters who still won't admit they screwed up pre-Iraq war (CoughDavidGregoryCough).
  • Anderson: "It's a game for people like Mr. Breitbart and others. They don't go out into the field and meet the people they're supposedly reporting on. They don't go out and challenge their assumptions. They stay behind a desk and see the world as black or white, left or right." This is kinda an arrogant assumption. I guess it depends on who these "others" are he's referring to, and his definition of an ideologue for that matter. Way too many generalizations being thrown around here. It's laziness or ignorance.
  • I had to cringe when Sherrod said Breitbart is a racist; not necessarily because she's not right, but because it's just going send his supporters into even more of a tizzy. This needs to end at some point.
  • I am praying to the baby Jesus that she's able to successfully pursue legal action. (First block of the show is below.)

  • We had a report from Randi Kaye that finally went into Breitbart's background. It's not the full tale of course, but not a bad job. I do, however, have to give out a big demerit. Says Randi re ACORN tapes: "There were questions about the legality of the videos and whether they had been selectively edited to make ACORN look bad." Questions? Um, yeah, and those "questions" were later answered in the affirmative. The videos were edited. What's up with this wishy-washiness? Anyway, this blog post has more on Breitbart, like how he got NEA communications director Yosi Sergant fired. Plus, as many know, the man is no stranger when it comes to responding to critics. He's kinda infamous on Twitter.
  • Poor Randi must have drawn the short straw--she had to talk to Breitbart.
  • Randi live after her piece: "But one thing that really struck me on the phone with him, Anderson, is how paranoid he seemed to be. He kept saying when we asked him about his funding and who his advertisers are, he kept saying to me, oh, are you going to start a campaign, stop advertising on" They have no idea how paranoid Breitbart can be (see my last link).
  • Randi: "And I thought for sure you would have some questions for him tonight, so I invited him to come on the show live. And he said he couldn't. He was somewhere in the woods." First of all, praise the Lord he said no. Can we say train wreck? Second, he was in the woods? Hahahaha. In fairness, Anderson notes that he thinks he read it was a pre-planned vacation. Still funny though.
  • Anderson: "And we should point out, this is not necessarily even about Andrew Breitbart. I mean, this is not about conservative or liberal. There are many liberal bloggers who do the exact same kind of stuff. " Randi: "Absolutely." Anderson: "And it is just as odious. And if a story like breaks on their side, we will point that out as well." Just as odious? Where are your fucking examples?! *credibility decreasing*

  • Next we have discussion with Donna Brazile and Erick Erickson. Oh for the love of...
  • Okay, so I'm clear, Anderson laments about political discourse...and then has on Erickson for discussion? Yeah. Sure. Sounds about right. Anyway. He defends Breitbart. Sooo shocking.
  • Brazile: "When Mr. Breitbart decided to put this video on his Internet..." Hold up. Breitbart has his own Internet now?! Can we quarantine him there?
  • Anderson: "Erick, you wrote on your blog that both sides of the political aisle are engaged in a tit-for-tat war of retribution -- and I quote -- 'That war has casualties on both sides. Ms. Sherrod is the latest. It is not fair, but that's how the left plays, and the right must fight on the offense or not fight at all.'" You know the question that is practically screaming to be asked here? I cannot believe Anderson didn't ask Erickson for examples. No wait, I can.
  • He probably didn't ask that because he was busy being focused on himself: "As somebody who is not particularly partisan on the left or the right, I try not to view things through the lens of being liberal or being conservative. It just seems like, whether you're a conservative or whether you're a liberal and you have a blog, it doesn't seem like the truth really matters." Okay, this is just blatant ignorance here of a medium he should be very familiar.
  • Anderson to Erickson: "But it seems like you're saying you're not going to condemn [Breitbart] because he's on your side and that doesn't serve your overall purpose." Well, thank you at least for pointing out hypocrisy.
  • Anderson: "Donna, at the same time -- let me just argue the flip side of this -- this is also an opportunity that some on the left now are using to hammer conservatives and to hammer their enemies, to hammer Andrew Breitbart." Well...duh. Are we supposed to not point out Breitbart's extreme douche-baggery? What do you mean by hammer? I'm about to put Anderson in Generalization Prison.
  • It's possible I have attacked arguments that Anderson was not making, but due to his complete lack of anything resembling a concrete example, all I can do is make assumptions. He's left himself wide open, and I feel the criticisms are deserved. If he clarifies at a later date, I will do the same.

  • *deep breath* Okay folks, for the rest of the broadcast I'm just going to hit on stuff I wanted to point out. That "stuff" mostly being that BP has been caught altering photos on their website. I wanted to mention this because it was one of those dreaded ideological bloggers who broke the story. Perhaps Americablog is too "odious" to merit crediting (something that was done by WashPo and many others).
  • Finally, I give you Rob Marciano being adorably excited about feeding a pelican. Because I think we all need this at this point.

  • Well guys, what more can I say? I guess tomorrow is another day.
  • This bullet point contains a copy of "Political Bloggers for Dummies" to give to Anderson. It'll exist someday! Love you Silver Fox, but I think we are now on a break.

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Anonymous prollyjolly said...

Look at these words and sentence structure! After last night, I was expecting keyboard smash.

The program was gravely disappointing. You gave a great review, though! Full of links and context and OH MAN WHAT IS THIS CONTEXT IT BURNS SO BRIGHTLY!

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How often does Anderson proclaim that conservatives are just as bad as liberals when he does a critical piece regarding the left? Rarely in my estimation. Somehow he ALWAYS feels the need to bring up how "the liberals do it too" when a right winger gets caught in some heinous act. Has CNN and AC become so fearful of simply presenting the truth when it comes to conservatives that they always have to bring in the disclaimer about how there's blame all around? Because in some cases, such as Breitbart, it's just not true, as evidenced by Anderson's inability to give a single example of a liberal who has behaved similarly as Breitbart. Anderson is not being honest in his reporting and I'm really getting sick of it.

5:54 PM  
Blogger eliza said...


Trust me, there was plenty of keyboard smash last night. The first draft of this post was nothing but unintelligible gibberish mixed with four letter words and references to strangling silver foxes.

@Anonymous: Well, without examples, I have to assume he does and I don't notice it as much (not that I've never called the show out for treating a conservative unfairly). I really think this is about fake balance and nothing to do with conscious conservative bias, though clearly, like most of the MSM, the right has successfully played him. You're right though, it's not honest reporting, and I too am getting sick of it.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crooks and Liars has a great article which hits on the same points eliza has made about Anderson and false equivalency. I'm glad to see others are noticing and criticizing AC because it's something he needs to stop doing.

6:26 PM  

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