Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Corporate Media Needs Its Ass Kicked Over Its False Equivalence Shutdown Narrative

"The Tea Party is acting like lemmings, just going over a cliff. You shouldn't be taking your toys and just throwing a fit and threaten government shutdown, and that's what this strategy is."

Devin Nunes (California Republican) on CBS Early Show today

"the 'they're all bums' reaction is off-base. This shutdown, the first in 17 years, isn't the result of two parties acting equally irresponsibly. It is the product of an increasingly radicalized Republican Party, controlled by a disaffected base that demands legislative hostage-taking in an effort to get what it has not been able to attain by the usual means: winning elections.Call it the Tea Party shutdown. The group will wear the badge proudly. (USA Today, editorial, 'The SHutdown Party')

Right now, unbeknownst to most Americans, we are in the middle of a new Civil War. No, there are no bullets, not yet anyway , but the consequences in terms of pillaging the nation's treasure are just as real. The last time a shutdown happened, in 1996, it cost $2.1 billion in today’s dollars. Breaching the debt limit would be far, far worse, likely destroying this country's credit and ruining the savings of millions of Americans. But don't blame "congress"   What we have is one (mainly former Confederate ) faction of one extreme Right party -Repukes-  comprising maybe 50 in number, holding all three branches of gov't hostage to a terrorist demand: defunding an already passed and legit LAW.

As Chris Hayes aptly put it two night ago, on his 'All In' program,

"We have one thirtieth of the government holding the whole nation hostage".

And yes, I use the term "terrorist" responsibly, because that is what the fuck they are. Anyone who doesn't believe so is either brain dead, or a Tea Bagger. Let's get it clear here: These Tee Pee -driven Republicans are demanding that Democrats unwind their signature achievement – a piece of legislation that took 18 months to pass, survived a Supreme Court challenge and a presidential election – in exchange for a stopgap budget resolution. On Saturday, they tacked on a provision that would limit access to contraceptives. Are you kidding me? Every REAL American with real blood in his veins ought to be up in arms and bombarding the Tee Pee fruitcakes to tell them to stop this barbarism.

Idiots and fools like Condi Rice (this morning)  - but more often the whole blow-dried corporo-punditry axis of bimbos and himbos keep saying they "hope both sides can sit in the same room and settle this."

Both sides? Let's get it fucking clear here once and for all that there is no "settling" anything when one side (a minority contingent of extremists) has a loaded gun to the other side's head. The gun in this case is effective repeal (they call it "defunding") of an already passed law.

Apart from the fact that this is ALL on one side, so silly talk of "congress" being responsible misses the point (it's a core of assholes within congress) think of the god-awful precedent being set. Imagine if after a repuke administration got a defense funding law passed, a majority liberal caucus in the House held the nation hostage via a shutdown unless they got their way - having it repealed or "defunded".

The whole country would erupt in outrage.

But the corporate media, the wimps who looked the other way while the NSA went hog shit wild in mass spying, are trying to portray it as a "pox on both houses" - equally blaming Repukes and Democrats. This is pure unadulterated codswallop.

Blogger Joshua Holland has exactly the correct take on

"Beltway reporters who see their professed neutrality as a higher ground bear an enormous amount of responsibility for encouraging this perversion of democratic governance. With a few notable exceptions, the media have framed what Jonathan Chait called “a kind of quasi-impeachment” in typical he said-she said fashion, obscuring the fact that the basic norms that govern Congress have been thrown out the window by a small cabal of tea party-endorsed legislators from overwhelmingly Republican districts."

He goes on to observe (again, spot-on) that the "corporate media treat unprecedented legislative extortion as typical partisan negotiations, and in doing so they normalize it."

Indeed, by normalizing it the "fifth estate" betrays its responsibility to inform and educate the American public. Yet only ONE person, interviewed last night in an ABC News segment, correctly pinpointed the Tea Bagger faction as the ones responsible - all the others employed generic mush references to "they" and "congress". Can't these people THINK? Well, it's hard when: a) one isn't already a political junkie and b) one can't depend on the press to clarify issues.

But why be surprised at this media obfuscation and irresponsibility? It's been going on for years, hell decades! Look at the media's inability to properly  discuss the JFK assassination in context without employing their usual dopey "tin foil hat" narrative BS. Michael Parenti in his book, The Dirty Truth, as well as his essay The Gangster State, has well documented how the media has become committed to the "one lone nut" myth almost since the Warren Commission received its specious benediction from LBJ. It didn't help that CIA disinformation hirelings were ensconced at both The New York Times, and Washington Post, so controlled any anti-Warren narratives. This was documented by Kathryn Olmstead in her book, Challenging the Secret Government (University of North Carolina Press, 1996)

In the same sense, to use an analogy, what is happening now in the U.S. shutdown coverage would be like German media equally blaming holocaust deniers and holocaust survivors,  offspring for any new civic turmoil over the trial of  Nazi Beate Zschäpe,   see e.g.

But make no mistake that sober publications, like The Financial Times, put the onus foursquare where it belongs on the Tea Bagger- controlled House Republicans.  There are also responsible bloggers and media people in the U.S. that do the same - but one must make an effort to find them, But if you believe the shutdown crazies are wreaking havoc, wait until the debt ceiling fight begins and these terrorists take it to another level!  As reported by Ezra Klein:
In return for a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling, House Republicans are demanding a yearlong delay of Obamacare, adoption of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s tax-reform plan, construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, more offshore oil drilling, more drilling on federally protected lands, looser regulations around ash coal, a suspension of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of carbon emissions, more power over the regulatory process in general, reform of the federal employee retirement program, changes to the Dodd-Frank Act, more power over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s budget, repeal of the Social Services block grant, expanded means-testing for Medicare benefits, repeal of the public health trust fund and more.

Are we going to stand for this? Isn't there some punishment for treason? Isn't it hanging or putting before a firing squad?  All of the above to me indicate blatant nativist, domestic extortion and terrorism (hence treason)  no different from what American "enemy combatants" are using, as in Yemen and Somalia. If those fuckers can be taken down by a drone.....well.....don't get me started!

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