Chat Away – And A Little Reminder

Time for a little reminder after Martin Bashir’s firing from a post I wrote not too long ago.

We can be angry. We can be saddened. But what we mustn’t be is surprised.

One can argue that there never was a “liberal media”. But it’s safe to say that there used to be a more balanced media, one in which factual reporting and accurate analysis were the linchpins of the industry. If the reporting on Vietnam was rosy at first, by the end of the war its full horrors were being reported on honestly.

But that was also in an era when media ownership was far more diffuse. NBC and MSNBC are owned by Comcast, one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. ABC is owned by Disney Corporation. Fox News is owned by News Corporation. CNN is owned by Time Warner. CBS has remained “independent”; but it too is a large multinational.

Corporations may be many things. They may be the most efficient means to organize economic activity. They may give their employees a somewhat remunerative working environment. But one thing for which they can never be mistaken are altruistic institutions acting for the public good. 

Chat away and keep on fighting. It’s the only way anything has ever changed.

127 Responses to “Chat Away – And A Little Reminder”

  1. December 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    While we are saddened by what happened to Martin, please bask in one of the most important speeches any President has ever given …

  2. December 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Fired????? Unbelievable.

  3. December 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm

  4. December 4, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Very clever tweet!!

    The world is full of smart, aware folk!!

  5. December 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Thank you LL, your last line is perfect, “keep on fighting, it’s the only way anything has ever changed”.

    • December 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm

      That thought is the one thing that I’ve kept from my flirtation with Chomsky in my early years.

      • December 4, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        Ha, I had a major flirt with him a few years back, Rogue States was my bible, but then I grew up. I still have huge sympathy for a lot of his thoughts, but he’s incapable of understanding – or even trying to – what it must be like to have the responsibility of the safety of a nation on your shoulders. Cloud cuckoo land stuff most of the time.

        • December 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

          Exactly. If I read him again, I’d agree with a lot of what he says. But he admits that he’s an anarchist, so his problem is with the world system as it stands today. Fine. But how do you get to your utopia without a ton of bloodshed?

        • 25 Vicki
          December 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm

          Theory all well and good. Governing something else. I grew up in much the same way as you. Plus Prof. Chomsky seemed incapable of understanding the quality of Barack Obama.

          • December 4, 2013 at 7:12 pm

            That’s not surprising. To him there is no difference between a Democrat and a Republican, save for cosmetic ones. He is so trapped in that mindset that he can quite easily put PBO into that formula.

          • December 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm

            Exactly Vicki, it’s like the Firebaggers and their luxurious ideological purity, and if they ruled the world no progress would ever be made because everything has to be perfect.

  6. 28 Vicki
    December 4, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Martin had to understand the reality of what was unacceptable .
    Am I the only person who thinks he knew what he was doing and what the consequences would be?

    And that his awful speech was a cry of despair against a media that allows a President and minority groups to be insulted repeatedly but screeches against made up affronts to the Powers That be?

    Maybe I’m way off base. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    • December 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      Martin Bashir is not a fool. He knows that one has carte blanche to say the vilest things about Obama and Democrats on the airwaves. But turn the tables on the opposition, and the media goes into lockdown. I think you’re closer to being right than not.

    • December 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      Vicki, the first time I listened to the video of his comments, I had no doubt that he was not being rash, he knew precisely what the reaction would be, and he didn’t waiver in how forcefully he delivered his message. Martin Bashir is a very smart person – totally clued with regard to the vast hateful, racist machine that is the American ‘right wing.’ So, I don’t think your assessment is in any way ‘off.’ I think Martin looked himself in the mirror and decided his soul was on the line and he voted for his soul, not his pocket book.

      Of course, only Martin Bashir knows. Hopefully, someday, he’ll share his thoughts and decision. In any event, he had to know he’d get canned.

      • 31 Vicki
        December 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Thanks, LL and Bob. So you guys agree with me that we honor Martin’s work when we continue his fight against the casual marginalization of minority groups suffering?

      • December 4, 2013 at 7:29 pm

        Martin Bashir took an exaggerated approach to show the inappropriateness Palin’s analogy (as well as others) of likening things they disagree with to slavery. And I agree, Bobfr he was not being rash. He was obviously fed up and his words were very strategic and meant to incense…perhaps to the level of his anger. His delivery is such that he can say, “screw you”, and you don’t realize it until 10 or 15 minutes after he has walked away.

      • 34 99ts
        December 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm

        What I don’t understand is the literal meaning the media gave to his message – is not what Bashir said. I also agree he probably knew there would be the Palin “poor me” reaction – that the media took it up 10 fold – may not have been expected.

        What bothers me is the wording of the resignation – it doesn’t sound anything like what I would have expected. It doesn’t sound/read as if Martin wrote or said it. Perplexing.

        • 35 carolyn
          December 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

          I agree on the wording of his statement. Bashir writes much more eloquently and gracefully. That is a clunky statement written by a junior editor of some sort. I imagine Bashir had cleared his desk before that statement came out.
          Bashir does not do anything rash. That statement was carefully calibrated and calculated. He has been required to have some awful guests in the past months, from what I have read on here.

          After reading about his slavery statement, I found the youtube and listened. It was stunning; rough, but stunning, and totally accurate. What he said about Palin, for my money, she deserved. I’m sure as soon as he was made to apologize, he knew he was done and was quitting.

          Be interesting to see where he goes now. Is any outlet ready for his courage and truth????

  7. December 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm



    “Restaurant shutdown for ‘attitude adjustment'”


    A Texas restaurant owner noticed his employees were no longer serving with a smile, so he shut down for attitude adjustment.

    In order to make his customers aware of the situation, he posted a sign outside the shop that read, “Closed For Attitude Adjustment.”

    “I want employees to have time to think about the job they were doing, and the service they were giving out,” Schlotzsky’s owner, John Herod told KTAB-TV. “So part of it is internal, for each employee.”


    There’s a lot of owners of service industry businesses that should probably consider a similar approach.

    • 37 vcprezofan2
      December 4, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      This is all very well, but is he paying his employees a good salary, or does he expect smiles on below minimum wage? This is Texas after all. I didn’t read the article, but I hope he isn’t trying for attitude adjustment on the theory that even a low paying job is better than none, because IMO that would be a kind of abuse/bullying.

      • 38 99ts
        December 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        Restaurant – is he paying them at all? Tips are used to pay wait staff in so many US restaurants. In my world tips are only paid for exceptional service – and not tipping is quite acceptable.

        • 39 vcprezofan2
          December 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

          In a way you and I are asking similar questions. It wouldn’t surprise me if he pays the minimum wage but expects ‘maximum’ service.

          • 40 99ts
            December 4, 2013 at 8:14 pm

            Tru that – I know little about US restaurants so can only guess & probably should not comment at all – but the stupid of such actions/signs is beyond understanding. if I was a patron it would make me less likely to go there again if I saw such a sign.

            My favorite US restaurant memory was discovering that salad is served as an entree when we couldn’t understand why the waiter kept watching us but not serving our meal – we were waiting for the main course because in my world the salad is eaten with the main course – not before it – while the waiter was wanting us to eat our salad so he could serve the next course. We gave him a big tip for explaining it all 🙂

            • 41 vcprezofan2
              December 4, 2013 at 8:34 pm

              ‘if I was a patron it would make me less likely to go there again if I saw such a sign.’

              Yes, me too. *His* attitude seems a bit paternalistic to me. I doubt he is paying their salary while they are off adjusting their attitudes. (If he is, that puts a different light on the situation. The time ‘off’ would be like paid professional development training.) If not, he has a nerve, is my general feeling.

              Your memory makes me chuckle. I kinda love my salad with my meal too although I know it’s ‘healthier’ to eat it before. Part of the reason is that I’m not really fond of salad so prefer camouflaging it with the other tastes.

        • 42 amk for obama
          December 4, 2013 at 8:56 pm

          In Japan, tipping is considered an insult. I learnt it the hard way. ‘But, they were so polite and efficient’ didn’t wash.

  8. 44 hopefruit2
    December 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Well, I turned off MSNBC for over a year now and have not regretted it. I simply didn’t like the direction they were going. If you look back, you will notice that MSNBC pretty much led on every Obama-hysteria narrative in the last 13 months, from the first Presidential debate, to the NSA/IRS/Benghazi “scandals” to the crisis in Syria to the ACA website “disaster.”

    During the months leading up to the 2012 election, I used to say that MSNBC’s morning programming was one huge Romney infomercial. Andrea Mitchell would felate Romney live on National TV just to “stick it to Obama” if she could (not that Pres Obama or anyone of substance would care). And Chuck Todd would do the same for Chris Christie. MSNBC’s hero politicians are Republicans, not Democrats. The only time they love Dems is when they are attacking President Obama. There was a time I used to see Elizabeth Warren on MSNBC – but since she became a Dem Senator and beat that little twerp Scott Brown and has been mostly supportive of PBO’s agenda and policies, MSNBC no longer has much use for her.

    • 45 a4alice
      December 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

      I did too HF. I just really got tired of having my blood pressure fly off the high end. And that was when I realized like Bob says that these stations are all “Newstainers”. It’s information as entertainment and to tell you the truth it’s not great information. It’s biased information. So I clicked them off.

  9. December 4, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said there’s still a chance that the U.S. military in Afghanistan will pack up and go home next year, as the erratic Afghan President Hamid Karzai hesitates to sign a deal that would allow thousands of U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan past the 2014 withdrawal.

    Dempsey’s comments on Wednesday reflect an increasingly frustrated Obama administration. His remarks at a Pentagon press conference came as Secretary of State John Kerry began publicly seeking a path around Karzai’s authority, trying to see if the bilateral security agreement can be signed instead by Afghan Defense Minister Bismillah Khan Mohammadi. Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that they’d be willing to have just about anyone sign the deal, as long as it’s legally binding.

    Even though a BSA has been reached, there’s growing concern that Karzai’s unexpected series of demands will derail the whole thing. He’s refusing to sign the deal (even though a powerful group of Afghan elders, or loya jirga, approved it) before next April’s presidential election to replace him. The U.S. and Afghanistan agreed last year to have a deal signed this year, however, in part because military planners wanted to be able to plan for a post-war presence in Afghanistan.

  10. December 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

  11. December 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    Hoping anniebella is here, she’s been wondering if the First Family will vacation in the President’s home state for the holidays, and the glad news is YES!

    (Posted by Susanne in the wee hours [on the mainland] this morning. Thanks, Susanne!)

  12. 65 JIM and BARB PINE
    December 4, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I sent multiple letters to the link that was posted for MSNBC…I hope every little bit helps get the message across that much of the intelligent public is not happy with news reporting these days!

  13. 66 hopefruit2
    December 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm

  14. 72 hopefruit2
    December 4, 2013 at 7:28 pm

  15. December 4, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    No surprise that I love VP Biden, and Asia is dear to my heart/heritage, so here’s some news on that front:

    JER posted on a morning thread:

    (from @JeffersonObama’s timeline, love the Joey pic, so didn’t RT):

    This is probably meaningless, but @IanBremmer, President of Eurasia group posted a couple tweets yesterday that he’s since deleted:
    1) Japanese government the most excited to see VP Biden.
    2) Japanese must be disappointed after VP Biden’s speech.

    Here’s his NYT OpEd re: China not a superpower. See his twitter timeline for more China stats if you’re interested.

  16. 75 dotster3
    December 4, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    My email to phil griffin (philgriffin@nbcuni.com) came back undeliverable—-anyone know a correct email address?

  17. December 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    • 80 99ts
      December 4, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Palin wasn’t fired when she put gun sights on representatives – one of whom was shot – but calling her on her lack of knowledge and misrepresentation of slavery – well no-one can do that.

      Sadly Bashir learnt – what President Obama has known for a long time – you fight the battles that will help the most people – not the ones that will forever tear out your heart.

      I will forever love PBO because he ignores her – anywhere, anytime – no matter how hard the media tries to force otherwise.

  18. 81 jacquelineoboomer
    December 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    First time on the blog today, haven’t been on Twitter, so I missed the news about Martin Bashir!

    But the better news is that I heard the President! So, all is well.

    Catching up!

  19. 86 utaustinliberal
    December 4, 2013 at 7:59 pm

  20. December 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    LL, I went to my local branch public library to pick up a book……. the librarians have set up a room at the entrance, and are personally enrolling people into the ACA! ………..also saw this in my TL.

  21. December 4, 2013 at 8:05 pm

  22. December 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm

  23. December 4, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Were Rick Scott and Callista Gingrich separated at birth?

  24. 100 japa21
    December 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    My quick assessment of the MSNBC situation consists of these points (and I doing this even though I absolutely detest Power Point):

    1. Bashir knew what he was doing and what the possible consequences would be, but he was trying to send a message, mainly
    2. Conservatives can pretty much get away with saying anything they want about the President but any negativity towards a Republican, even one as inconsequential as Palin, gets stomped on, and furthermore
    3. He realized something that was happening and didn’t wanted to be associated with it which is
    4. MSNBC has long be considered an ultra liberal network, despite thing like Morning Joke
    5. And has reached the point where at least half of what is broadcast is at best a both sides do it or PBO bashing and
    6. The only one left who can be considered a strong supporter of PBO is Rev Al who is easily discounted because
    7. He is black and has a history of rabble rousing and thus
    8. Key Point here so pay special attention: all the other networks and pundits can use what comes out of the mouths of people like Morning Joke, Andrea Mitchell and even Ed and Rachel and on rare occasions LOD and say “Even the LIBERAL MSNBC is blaming, criticizing, denouncing, PBO.


    • 101 Vicki
      December 4, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      Very bleak, Japa but probably not incorrect. I’m not so sure that this is as much anti-PBO as it is about winning 2014. MSNBC and the rest get that if Democrats take the House in 2014 nothing they say wil have as much impact.

  25. 102 dotster3
    December 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  26. December 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    So Joy-Ann Reid continues to be a temporary replacement.

    Someone at TOD mentioned this week that Chris Matthews has been tolerable recently.

    I watched him yesterday, and he’s like a kid on Christmas Eve, so excited about interviewing the President.

    He said he’ll ask POTUS about GOP opposition:

    1) the destructive nature in DC, the lack of compromise
    2) where is the personal accountability in opposing ACA
    3) GOP opposing minority voting in more than 3 dozen states (!) — ? that many states ?
    4) war and peace

    Matthews is a character. He may infuriate, but he’s entertaining. After he blew a gasket because of Debate I last year, haven’t watched him much (seems to mostly be hawking his Tip O’Neill book for Christmas and Hillary 2016).

    Hopefruit2’s tweet won the internet this week:

    • December 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      Forgot to mention that MSNBC’s prime time road shows have always been enjoyable.

      The audience is super-enthusiastic, which is contagious for viewers.

      Not sure about American University though. Audience may be jaded young DC-types. From Wikipedia:
      AU was named the “most politically active school” in the nation in The Princeton Review’s annual survey of college students in 2008, 2010, and 2012.[7] American University is especially known for promoting international understanding[8] reflected in the diverse student body from more than 150 countries, the university’s course offerings, the faculty’s research, and from the regular presence of world leaders on its campus.

  27. December 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I saw this on twitter. Check it out!! Oprah interviews these amazing actors next Sunday at 9pm. I hope there’s a video posted!!

    Powerhouse Performances with Idris Elba, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael B. Jordan on Oprah’s Next Chapter

    Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-oprahs-next-chapter/First-Look-Idris-Elba-Chiwetel-Ejiofor–Michael-B-Jordan-Video#ixzz2mYjAySAm

  28. 106 a4alice
    December 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I just saw this go by on my TL and thought it was a good reminder for myself and to share. Also Bashir is like, 2nd from the top on my trend list

  29. 107 criquet
    December 4, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Hello everyone.

    Anyone know anything about this?

  30. 115 hopefruit2
    December 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    So MSNBC wants to pit Bashir and Joy Ann Reid against each other. Why didn’t they give Joy Ann Steve Korn Hacky’s slot?

  31. 116 desertflower
    December 4, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Hi everyone….just catching up….same shit, different day on the MSM I see. I’ve always liked this…in fact, the parent of the special needs child I teach gave me a necklace with a piece of this on there. I cherish it.

  32. 117 Nena20409
    December 4, 2013 at 9:07 pm
  33. 118 JER
    December 4, 2013 at 9:09 pm

  34. 119 Nena20409
    December 4, 2013 at 9:11 pm
  35. 120 MightyPamela
    December 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    Nearly out of data until midnight. So I shall bid you all a very good evening. Did you happen to check out that moonset? Oh. My. Goodness! Big hugs all around! {{{{{TOD}}}}}

  36. 121 amk for obama
    December 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    My brilliant, polyglot niece’s year-end assessment as an intern doctor by her 14 colleagues & superiors in London hospital.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    1. Maintaining trust / professional relationship with patients
    2. Verbal communication skills
    3. Team-working / working with colleagues
    4. Accessibility

  37. 127 desertflower
    December 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Wanna read a load of crap from Boner? The man is delusional.


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