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calimary's Journal
calimary's Journal
September 30, 2012

Welcome to DU, Gal Friday. I'm afraid I can't agree with you on that.

Tim Russert disappointed me greatly. As a retired broadcast journalist myself, I was acutely - and sometimes uncomfortably - aware that as the business was increasingly deregulated, the goal of presenting both sides honestly, equally, and dispassionately seemed to fade from a lot of my colleagues.

Once upon a time, no network anchor or lead correspondent would wear a campaign button favoring one party's candidate over another to a social event where many of his/her peers and newsmakers of all kinds were in attendance, and then go around flashing it sneakily to various key people. You were supposed to be objective AT ALL TIMES. Your credibility and impartiality were sacrosanct - and all you had to reinforce your own good name. You were expected to cut through the crap, not show favoritism, and make sure equal attention was paid to each side. You would not even think of loading up your talking-head panels or table of guests with a 3:1 or sometimes 4:1 ratio favoring one party over another. You would seek out the views of those who weren't getting comparable attention, and not completely suppress them. Tim Russert did all those things, and with an increasingly noticeable gleeful twinkle in his eye. As the persecution of Bill Clinton grew to a shrieking climax in the late '90's, Russert gobbled it up hungrily, using his "Meet the Press" vehicle to further the agenda and the policies and the successes of the GOP. He continued through the bush-2 years with an almost obscenely lopsided presentation favoring the bush/cheney administration, serving as one of the lead cheerleaders for the drive toward war in Iraq. There were precious few voices offered airtime or face time on "Meet the Press" AT ALL during those years. And he shilled for dubya's victories in 2000 and 2004. It was he who wore that bush/cheney campaign button into a big reception hosted by GE CEO Jack Welch, and he'd flash his jacket open to specific people to make sure they knew where his heart secretly belonged. And Jack Welch made a point of being IN the NBC Network Newsroom on Selection night and, many of us believe, did so to make sure his presence was CLEARLY felt all over the newsroom - by a room full of employees who knew painfully well which side Welch was betting on.

The way things were ramrodded through during the dubya years, and impeded during the Clinton years - was LED, at least at NBC News, by Tim Russert. He set the tone, as host and managing editor of "Meet the Press," which is still regarded as the longtime and highly-venerable news program of record on Sunday mornings. Its reputation was severely tarnished during the partisan Tim Russert years. I used to admire him, but as I watched his objectivity fade, my dislike for him and distrust of him only grew stronger.

Full disclosure, I got into the news business during the mid-70s when the FCC began to make it clear to America's radio and TV stations and networks that they better start hiring some women. I worked for some of the biggest local news stations and news departments, and at the network level at NBC News, ABC News, the RKO Radio Network, and a couple of brief bits for the Mutual Radio Network while it still existed.

Tim Russert was once a hero of mine. Unfortunately, that changed. Frankly, a LOT of those people I idolized and grew up wishing I'd someday be able to work with some of them turned out to be as guilty of bias and news malpractice as Tim Russert. Russert became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chairman Jack Welch, of NBC's parent company, and did not do a thing that he knew would displease the big guy. Many of them were swept away into Bias-land during the Clinton years, with the pile-on and media takeover by the wrong wing and all its think tanks and propaganda campaigns and rewordings and re-meming, and the development of Pox Noise.

This was made possible by the dismantling of the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Provisions at the end of the reagan era, after "the Gipper" had spent his entire regime softening up America to the idea that government was something bad instead of something "of the people, by the people, and for the people" as an instrument for the common good. reagan got us all brainwashed into thinking regulations were bad and taxing the rich was worse, and that the poor were nothing but lazy moochers. His rightful heir, lo these many years later, is mitt wrongney, as we've seen. And as big business was unshackled from the frenzy of mergers and acquisitions - and the kind of slicky-boy ponzi schemes that wrongney himself pioneered at Bain Capital in the hedge fund heyday. By the time Clinton came along, the other shoe was forced to drop - with the restrictions on media ownership lifted. WHICH MEANT that any big conglomerate could own as many broadcast/media/cable/TV/radio properties in any one market as they wanted. No further restrictions. They crowded out all the mom and pop stations like the ones where I got my start, and sold eager CONservative legislators on the idea that more consolidated corporate ownership would ironically provide MORE consumer choices! What a crock of shit THAT was. We can all see the results of that crimping and pinching and "narrow-casting" as a handful of Goliaths can run the table because they own it all - and they have cluster managers now, one programmer or programming consultant overseeing maybe half-a-dozen stations (all playing pretty much the same damn thing, no personality DJ "clutter" and the same damn stale boring hits that you can hear on 20 other stations in the same town). When I was starting, it was ONE P.D. per station. ONE News Director per station. ONE Music Director per station. ONE Chief Engineer per station. There were also unions clearly delineating who did what. By the time I retired, the unions had been defanged, declawed, and skinned alive, and as stations merged, the layoffs of whole departments (for example, it might be 90% of the AM staff that got laid off and the FM staff would then have to double up on the work load - and for no additional pay).

Sorry - I could rant on about what happened - for many pages longer than this. I saw the mission of reporters and anchors and producers shift - from OBJECTIVELY covering the news, and getting to the bottom of the story, and asking follow-up questions at a press availability, and not gluing yourself to pre-determined questions during an interview - to not rocking the boat if it might piss off some sponsor or friend of the general manager. I saw people coming into the business who thought their job was merely to let Guy #A spout off his piece, and then Guy #B spout of his piece, and that was that and "well, we'll just have to leave it there..." RATHER THAN - "excuse me Guy #A but do you realize what you just said was NOT true?" No. They thought their job was just to show this side and that side, or read from their press releases, and then leave it at that. No analysis, no truth-digging, no fact-checking. I have heard, over and over, ad nauseam, versions of "it's not MY job as a journalist to sift through what they say or fact-check them..." THE HELL IT ISN'T!!!!!!! The result is, the falsehoods stay alive, unchallenged, unquestioned, and there's nothing added or inserted to check them in any way.

And as a result, we had a Presidential election completely STOLEN (some also argue with facts to back them up) that not only the 2000 election but the 2004 election was stolen as well. And we were ramrodded into an illegal, immoral war in Iraq - whose objectors and challengers and questioners were ignored and muzzled by the media. And that brings us back around to prominent news figures like Tim Russert. AND Tom Brokaw. AND Chris Wallace, AND Diane Sawyer, and George Stephanopulous, and Wolf Blitzer, and LEGIONS more who pay more attention to who's signing their massive paychecks and what those paymasters expect in exchange for those princely salaries. And they should be paying attention to THE NEWS. And even more critically important, THE TRUTH.

This is just what I saw, and the dots I connected, being neck-deep in it for quite awhile - maybe a quarter-century or so, give or take a few months.

September 30, 2012


I think this outfit was too much. Certainly as a suit it was too much especially for her age, plus those shoes were WAY overboard. She's not supposed to be telegraphing "I'm Sexy!" with her clothing if she's going for First Lady. I would have gone plain, plain, plain: simple black top and either simple at her age and standing, but still with plenty of "Wow-factor." ONE statement piece at a time, especially with the leather and the laser-cut "lace" effect. And plain black slippers or even satin evening boots.

But all that stuff going on at once - WAY too much. It would only be appropriate if she were editor-in-chief of W or Vogue, instead of being a political wife in her 50's or early 60's who fancies herself living in the White House, NOT Trump Tower forcryingoutloud! She shouldn't be presenting herself as out there or trendoid, or allegedly "edgy" like this.

September 30, 2012

Remember Al Gore's earth-tones? And Jimmy Carter's cardigans?

All the time that went on. People used to deride Gore for it. Lots of snarky columns from the likes of Maureen Dowd and others. Some men have to deal with it. Others don't. reagan got lots of comments every time he wore a brown suit. Made brown suits respectable, actually. And of course, while all that went on, EVERYTHING Nancy wore was an issue. But with her, it fed into the "Queen Nancy" stuff that we're seeing to a lesser extent with ayn wrongney.

The bad part was that Nancy Reagan WAS a First Lady while ayn only aspires. And Nancy had champagne tastes and a coterie of designers waiting on her all the time and a strong sense of entitlement and imperiousness. Anyone remember the "Reagan Red" china? She had the White House china replaced with this design in gold and red (her favorite color, which came to be called "Reagan Red&quot . Even though she claimed it had been funded by private donations (more of their rich friends), and didn't cost tax money, it still sent a Marie Antoinette message - she's acquiring all this fancy expensive china, I think it was said to be about $1000/place setting, while the economy was a mess and people were out of work and couldn't afford a decent meal. Very ayn wrongney-ish, insensitive, didn't really think it through, didn't fully realize what impression it would make on the press or the public, and THEY weren't going to see it as "oh this wasn't tax money, it was a donation." They weren't having any of that. It just reminded everybody of the elite, ultra-rich, have's-and-have-more's circles in which they traveled - that the average Joe and Jane didn't.

September 29, 2012

Truly. I can identify with her as a working mom. I have one - well - not-so-little girl, myself.

Our daughter is old enough to be out on her own now. But we went through the Our Little Girl stage, too. I worked 100% outside the home for part of her life and her brother's, also. I can SO relate. And she's SO unpretentious. Even while being glamorous as all-get-out. She's like a Jackie Kennedy-meets Rosalind Carter/Hillary Clinton type. Elegant and an extremely flattering representation of America's women, while at the same time being an activist and giving a full (and often physical) commitment to her major concerns, whether it's the upbringing of her daughters, the health and nutrition of all children, and the well-being of military families. Visiting hospitals and homes, or down on her hands and knees in the White House garden with lots of kids working around her. With the tools of intelligence, eloquence, and charm - some of it most disarming. She's an ideal role model.

As an American woman, an American mom, an American professional woman and female executive, I'm very proud of her! I'm inspired by her, too. I felt the same toward Hillary Clinton when she became First Lady. Women like them make me proud!

September 29, 2012

WONDERFUL! Sorta renews yer faith.

Thank you for posting, 2on2u! I put it on my Facebook page, too!

September 29, 2012

I know what you mean. So gratified that there are people with hearts big enough, and

consciences well-developed enough, to offer this service, but very discouraged to think that there even has to be such a grave need for it. In America, we're talking. In America this is going on, and this is the level of need, and this is the level of neglect, and this is the level of class warfare and shortage of empathy and compassion. Too many of us in and out of power obsessed with coddling and comforting the already plenty well-coddled and well-comforted.

I always was taught - "much blessed, much obligated." If you had more, you were expected to do more. You were supposed to help more. In the same manner as - if you were stronger or had broader shoulders, you were expected to lift more. If you're more fortunate and you're able to help and make a difference, then dammit, you're OBLIGATED. You're just frickin' OBLIGATED. Obligated to your community, your country, and your fellow man. Your brothers and sisters. If there's a need, and you're able to meet it, or some of it, then because you are more blessed, you need to just shut up and step up. And CONTRIBUTE, goddammit! That's your obligation for all those blessings. You're just frickin' OBLIGATED. That's the invoice God sends you when you're blessed that richly. Those gifts and blessings are also invoices. They're yours, but you use them to do for others, or help others, or enrich or nourish others.

The teabaggers and other assorted CONS always remind me of very young and poorly-disciplined brat-children. Spoiled into a healthy and well-nurtured sense of class-engendered entitlement. THESE types are more "ENTITLED" than ANYONE in wrongney's 47%! They were never taught to see or consider the value and/or equal worth of anything outside themselves and their own interests. Never taught to share and therefore see no reason why they should have to. Encouraged to be selfish and short-sighted and smug and self-absorbed, because, of course, they're simply THE BEST and most worthy, by the birthright that's conferred mainly by the proper shade of skin as well as size of family treasury. And now throwing tantrums because they're no longer getting their way.

September 28, 2012

Thank you for posting this! republi-CONS should get everything they deserve,

from losing this and every other election in the future until they dwindle into oblivion - to, yes, getting fisted to the elbow.

And btw, smorkingapple, Welcome to DU! It's kinda hard to object to an obscenity when it's been so well-earned and so greatly deserved. You won't hear any objections from me!

September 28, 2012

Wow! That's GREAT! Sounds like it's well-deserved. You really made a difference.

And somehow our teachers are being demonized and chiseled in their pay and benefits...

Our teachers deserve MUCH better than that. My daughter's kindergarten teacher had a canvas bag she carried around with her books and stuff - and on it was inscribed the saying "I touch the future. I teach."

September 28, 2012


These assholes never know when to quit - or when they're beaten. Just look at the choice issue. How many of them, when they're trying to get into power, they invariably say "Roe v Wade is settled law..." but damn if they don't move heaven and earth to whittle away at it as relentlessly as possible if they manage to seize power.


I'm still just freakin' STUNNED at the very idea of limiting the right to vote. That is the most un-American campaign I've ever seen. It's outrageously unpatriotic. And these are the same folks who love to wrap themselves in the flag.

September 27, 2012

DAYUM! I don't know how I missed this one! FABULOUS!!!

Great thanks to DUer Tennessee Gal for citing some of these VERY useful details!

This is solid gold! Platinum. Gold-pressed latinum, even!

THANK YOU for compiling this maybe-the-best-and-most-practically-useful-thread-EVER!!!!

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Oregon
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 81,674

About calimary

Female. Retired. Wife-Mom-Grandma. Approx. 30 years in broadcasting, at least 20 of those in news biz. Taurus. Loves chocolate - preferably without nuts or cocoanut. Animal lover. Rock-hound from pre-school age. Proud Democrat for life. Ardent environmentalist and pro-choicer. Hoping to use my skills set for the greater good. Still married to the same guy for 40+ years. Probably because he's a proud Democrat, too. Penmanship absolutely stinks, so I'm glad I'm a fast typist! I will always love Hillary and she will always be my President.
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