Scuttlebutt as News

At the gym yesterday, I caught several minutes of CNN, and the pundits and anchors were all in a tizzy about Vice-President-Elect Biden’s visit to Afghanistan and the Middle East.  They implied and debated about how his visit was a stab in the back to future Secretary of State Clinton, that Biden might somehow undercut her in the region.



Why would that be?  Why would we assume that members of an administration, a team if you will, could not work in tandem? What does CNN and the pundits think Biden should do?  Sit around picking drapes for the oval office? They all seem shocked and even a bit against the idea that Biden will work in a co-capacity with the president, as if a team-oriented vice president is somehow more abhorrent than the shadow one we’ve had for the last eight years.

Why is the media so stupid?


This was actually a joke by the Daily Show, but not so far from the truth of CNN’s usual content that Manfrengensen and I found ourselves wondering if it was real. Cooper afterall, is one of the many anchors who will do a whole show in high-water pants just to prove the severity of the weather.



This guy’s goofy, but he’s stressing my point aptly:


Don’t Believe The Hype

Yesterday’s New York Times ran an article about how the media has been using analysts with ties to military contractors to comment on the war for the last seven years.  The result has been effective in skewing the media’s coverage of the War on Terror, and specifically the Iraq War in the administration’s favor.

This is why punditry is not news, and the American news corporations do a great disservice to the people by using pundits to fill their hours.  If you really want news in the United States, the closest thing you can get is NPR or the BBC (which I think CNN should look to as its model instead of FOX.)


Some highlights from the Times (underlining and bold is my emphasis):


“Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

“The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

“Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

“Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks.”


You can read the whole article at:


Keep your vomit bag handy.


You can’t see me now, but I have to tell you that reading this article really affected my nerves.  I can feel outrage running through my veins, and I sincerely hope you do too.  It’s saddens me that more people in this country want to talk about last night’s results of American Idol than they do what’s going on with the war.

If you ask me, not that anyone will, this entire administration should go straight from office to Attica.