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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
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Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,122

Journal Archives

Eric Boehlert: Chuck Todd and the myth of Liberal Media Bias


Chuck Todd and the myth of Liberal Media Bias
GOP bullying works
Eric Boehlert
1 hr ago


The good news is that every 12 or 24 months Todd emerges and makes these types of welcomed, clear-eyed pronouncements about the press, calling out right-wing lies, and urging his colleagues to do better in fighting against dishonest GOP attacks.

The bad news is Todd then goes back to work at NBC and rarely follows his own advice. He makes no structural changes to the programs he oversees to make sure they don’t fall prey to GOP tactics. It’s easy to view his pronouncements as performative, directed at those who are concerned about journalism and about the state of our democracy in the face of a Republican Party that broke its pact with common sense and instead now worships at the alter of a Mar-a-Lago retiree.

Todd refuses to follow his own lead and produce consistently clear, aggressive journalism, while not fretting about potential GOP pushback.

A quick example.

During Trump’s second impeachment trial, Todd introduced a Meet The Press segment in which voters from a toss-up district in Michigan were interviewed about the House proceedings. Touted as a way to take the temperature of everyday voters outside of the "Beltway," the sit-down with six voters from Kent County, Michigan, offered a chance to hear if heartland denizens "cared" about impeachment. Except there was a problem: Every voter interviewed was a Republican, and every voter interviewed opposed impeachment. ("I don’t even care. It's just noise."

This makes no sense. If you wanted anecdotal evidence of the nation’s response to impeachment, you’d interview a wide cross-section of voters. Instead, Todd only talked to Republicans even though the Michigan district he focused on is evenly split among Democrats and Republicans. What would explain this type of illogical press behavior other than a fear of upsetting conservatives — of being tagged with the Liberal Media Bias charge?

Todd lamented to The Verge that the press has fallen into a “both sides trope,” where journalists strain to place blame on Republicans and Democrats even when it should not be distributed that way. Yet earlier this year, after another deadly gun rampage in America, and after the Republican Party once again categorically refused to support any possible gun safety legislation, Todd went on Meet the Press and blamed Congress — Both Sides — for not doing anything to stop the deadly plague.


Still, the Liberal Media Bias myth persists and remains a driving engine of the conservative movement. It’s arguably more potent today because Trump made it a centerpiece of his political appeal to hate the press. It would be helpful if journalists like Chuck Todd actually took their own advice and combated the fiction head on.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 29, 2021, 07:46 AM (6 replies)

CNN's Brianna Keilar Demolishes Piers Morgan for Simone Biles Critique...

CNN’s Brianna Keilar Demolishes Piers Morgan for Simone Biles Critique: His ‘Only Athletic Claim to Fame’ is Running Off the Set During His Show
By Leia Idliby
Jul 28th, 2021, 11:25 am

CNN’s Brianna Keilar tore into Piers Morgan after he penned a column critical of Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from certain Olympic competitions — going after his “athletic claim to fame.”

The anchor first noted that Biles’ decision to step back came after she posted a score that was weaker than usual following an error on her vault landing. Unlike Biles’ haters, however — who attributed her withdrawal to an attempt at covering up the stumble — Keilar recognized that her less-than-stellar performance could be an indicator of her struggles with mental health.

Keilar then went after Morgan, as well as other Biles detractors, later noting that Biles is “the only survivor of [Larry] Nassar’s campaign of abuse representing her team USA,” and pointing to spikes in “suicide-related visits to the emergency room.”

“On Twitter, Piers Morgan, whose only athletic claim to fame is that he ran off the set of his former TV show simply because another host questioned his criticism of Meghan Markle, complained, ‘Are ‘mental health issues’ now the go-to excuse for any poor performance in elite sport? What a joke. Just admit you did badly, made mistakes, and will strive to do better next time. Kids need strong role models not this nonsense.”

“Yeah, maybe a role model like a 24-year-old who slays competition after competition and mentors the younger members of her team, who between the last Olympics and this one, came out as one of the more than 150 athletes who said publicly that they were sexually assaulted by former team doctor Larry Nassar, right under the nose of USA gymnastics,” Keilar continued, later playing a video of harrowing accounts from the USA gymnastics team.


Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 29, 2021, 07:01 AM (10 replies)

Pandemic Aid Programs Spur Record Drop In Poverty

Thank the Dems!


Pandemic Aid Programs Spur Record Drop In Poverty
July 29, 2021 at 6:39 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

New York Times: “The huge increase in government aid prompted by the coronavirus pandemic will cut poverty nearly in half this year from pre-pandemic levels and push the share of Americans in poverty to the lowest level on record, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of a vast but temporary expansion of the safety net.”

“The number of poor Americans is expected to fall by nearly 20 million from 2018 levels, a decline of almost 45 percent. The country has never cut poverty so much in such a short period of time.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 29, 2021, 06:26 AM (1 replies)

'Immature And Appalling': Tim Ryan Laces Into Kevin McCarthy...

'Immature And Appalling': Tim Ryan Laces Into Kevin McCarthy After GOP Leader Mocks Mask Mandate
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 29, 2021, 05:35 AM (5 replies)

'Just Stop With This Craziness': Tim Ryan's Speech Against Kevin McCarthy Viewed 1 Million Times


'Just Stop With This Craziness': Tim Ryan's Speech Against Kevin McCarthy Viewed 1 Million Times
By James Crump On 7/29/21 at 5:59 AM EDT

Tim Ryan's explosive speech against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's comments on face masks has been viewed more than 1 million times as the Ohio representative was widely praised on social media for his remarks.

During a speech on Wednesday, Ryan spent his allotted time speaking about Republican lawmakers who had criticized Capitol physician Brian Monahan after he announced that face masks would be required again in the House amid the spread of the contagious Delta variant of COVID-19.

Monahan confirmed that representatives would have to wear masks in the House side of the Capitol in a memo on Tuesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that it was now recommending that even vaccinated people wear masks in high-risk areas.

'Immature And Appalling': Tim Ryan Laces Into Kevin McCarthy After GOP Leader Mocks Mask Mandate
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Jul 29, 2021, 05:32 AM (28 replies)

The Rude Pundit: The Trumpist Right Wants to Emasculate Any Male Who Has Emotions About January 6


The Rude Pundit
Proudly lowering the level of political discourse
The Trumpist Right Wants to Emasculate Any Male Who Has Emotions About January 6

The first hearing of the House Select Committee on the January 6 terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol ran the way every hearing on a national tragedy should run. It was emotional, informative, and unifying (yes, unifying - I'll get to that at the end). By refusing to allow the participation of Rep. Jim Jordan, who is one of the most ardent carriers of every drop of water Donald Trump dribbles and someone who looks like he smells like sweaty, unwashed polyester, Nancy Pelosi assured the committee that it wouldn't be interrupted by constant bullshit objections and constant questions about Antifa and Black Lives Matter. Instead, we got real.

What we were able to hear was the raw hurt and mostly muted rage of the four police officers who were testifying. Capitol police officers Aquilino Gonell and Harry Dunn and DC Metro officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges offered vivid details of the violence when the mob of fucknuts, tripping balls on Trumpism, rampaged into the Capitol. The four men were compassionate to their fellow officers and righteously pissed off at the rioters and their enablers and supporters in the media and in the federal government. They all had the greatest contempt for the revisionists and denialists in Congress, whose lives the men defended, and elsewhere for saying that January 6 wasn't an insurrection, that the rally before the attack was a "love fest," as Fucko the Former President called it. And they all got choked up talking about their near-murders, the worry of their families, and the utter betrayal of any sense of nation by the rampaging fucknuts.

So, of course, right-wing dickscabs had to immediately attack them for either being pussies, being mentally ill, or just pretending. Some of the dickscabs I'm gonna mention here might make you say, "Who the fuck cares?" but the point is that a shit-ton of people do care what these dickscabs say. So while we may look at, for example, disgraced former NYPD commissioner and convicted felon Bernard Kerik and think, "Fuck that guy," the asshole's treated like a hero in conservative corners.


Almost the entirety of the GOP and the right, especially the right-wing media slime corps, is deeply invested in tearing down any sense that something extraordinary happened on January 6. Every attempt to invest it with greater weight, like calling it the coup attempt or the terrorist attack that it clearly was, has to be cut off at the knees, and it doesn't matter who has to be denigrated in order to minimize the events. Because, see, if you buy the truth of January 6, the one that every video has shown us, the one that every witness has told us, the one your own eyes and ears have seen and heard, then you have to acknowledge the other truth, which all four officers want to be acknowledged: that this was aided and abetted by some of the politicians screaming for this hearing to be silenced and by the White House. And, goddamnit, if they can't convince you everyone is just lying, then they'll degrade the supposedly brave man, emasculate them, cut off their balls, and hope you think they're pussies, too, because who wants to side with cowards?

In other words, it's better to divide the country more than to acknowledge that the hearing should be a unifying moment, one where we recognize the enemy within and all fight to get rid of it. That would have been so simple, just like it could have been with Covid. But Republicans have met the enemy and it is them and, clearly, they like it.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 28, 2021, 10:00 PM (3 replies)

Pelosi: McCarthy a 'moron' for opposing mask mandate


Pelosi: McCarthy a 'moron' for opposing mask mandate
By Mike Lillis - 07/28/21 10:08 AM EDT


Brian Monahan, the Capitol physician, instituted a new mask mandate for the lower chamber late Tuesday night in response to a spike in infections from the delta variant of the coronavirus. The rise in cases also prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) earlier Tuesday to push new recommendations for masking indoors, even among those who've been vaccinated.

Monahan's decision was hailed by Pelosi, who has leaned on his advice throughout the pandemic. But it met with skepticism from McCarthy, who blasted the new mandate as a Pelosi-imposed political ploy.

"Make no mistake — The threat of bringing masks back is not a decision based on science, but a decision conjured up by liberal government officials who want to continue to live in a perpetual pandemic state," McCarthy tweeted Tuesday night.

Pelosi backed the return to masking Wednesday morning, citing Monahan's scientific opinion.

"That's the purview of the Capitol Physician ... the mandate from him. I have nothing to say about that except we honor it," Pelosi told reporters outside the Capitol.

Asked about McCarthy's comments in opposition, Pelosi blasted the GOP leader.

"He's such a moron," she said.

Pelosi then ducked into her vehicle and was whisked away from a climate event outside the Capitol.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 28, 2021, 10:50 AM (3 replies)

Geraldo Rivera accuses Sean Hannity of 'gaslighting' his viewers on the Jan. 6 insurrection

Geraldo Rivera accuses Sean Hannity of 'gaslighting' his viewers on the Jan. 6 insurrection
Yahoo TV
Stephen Proctor
July 28, 2021, 3:15 AM
Video @ link~

Geraldo Rivera appeared Tuesday on Hannity, where he accused Sean Hannity of gaslighting his audience about the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. This came just hours after the dramatic testimony of four officers in front of the House Select Committee investigating the events of that day, and what led to the attack.

“I think you’ve been — with all due respect and I love you — gaslighting, changing the subject,” Rivera said. “The subject is Jan. 6, and what happened to the United States Capitol and why it happened. Those two things. The fact that the Capitol was targeted, and that the prime instigator, the one who unleashed the mob, was the President of the United States. For God’s sake, Sean…” “Geraldo, you just made an accusation against me,” Hannity cut in. “We’re friends a long time.”

Hannity has repeatedly attempted to denigrate the investigation, saying its only goal is to smear the former President Trump and the GOP. He has also attempted to shift blame away from the former president, correctly stating that Trump told his supporters the morning of Jan. 6 to march peacefully to the Capitol, while ignoring the numerous tweets and television appearances in which Trump told his supporters to be strong and fight for their country, and telling them that if Biden’s election was certified they’d never get their country back, all while wrongly convincing them that the election was stolen. Trump also once urged his supporters to go to the Capitol on the 6th, saying it would be “wild.”

Hannity is also one of many who try to draw a false equivalency between the Capitol attack and the 2020 riots, which he did once again on Tuesday, changing the subject just as Rivera had accused him of doing.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 28, 2021, 10:43 AM (4 replies)

Man charged with threatening Fauci, NIH director


Man charged with threatening Fauci, NIH director
By Mychael Schnell - 07/28/21 08:29 AM EDT

A man has been charged with threatening Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical adviser, and Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., 56, was charged on Tuesday with threats against a federal official and interstate communication containing a threat to harm after uncovered emails showed him vowing to kill the federal officials and their families, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.

Connally allegedly threatened to harm and/or kill Fauci, Collins and members of their families in emails that were sent by an account from a secure, encrypted email services provider based in Switzerland. The threats occurred from Dec. 28, 2020 until July 21, 2021, authorities said.

In one email, Connally said that Fauci, who also serves as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and his family would be “dragged into the street, beaten to death, and set on fire,” according to the U.S. attorney’s office, citing the affidavit filed in support of the criminal case.


Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 28, 2021, 07:45 AM (3 replies)

The Radical Courage of Simone Biles's Exit from the Team USA Olympic Finals

The Radical Courage of Simone Biles’s Exit from the Team USA Olympic Finals
Biles’s decision not to compete on Tuesday is, to many spectators, a heartbreak. It is also a welcome example of an athlete setting her own limits.
By Eren Orbey
July 27, 2021


Anyone who has followed the tumult of USA Gymnastics in recent years knows the immense, inhumane pressure that Biles and her teammates have borne. Since the revelations of Larry Nassar’s abuse, athletes say they have struggled to get reassurance, from both the sport’s governing body and the United States Olympic Committee, that their health and well-being is a priority. USA Gymnastics has relied on Biles to buoy its reputation in the midst of scandal and to boost its scores in international competition. At qualifications, despite several uncharacteristic errors, Biles finished first as an all-around competitor. (If she decides to compete in that final, on Thursday, she is still the favorite to win.) But, as the qualifying round revealed, counting on Biles as a buffer is not always enough to guarantee victory for the women’s team—nor should it be. On Monday, before the team final, Biles wrote on Instagram that she felt “the weight of the world” bearing down on her: “I know I brush it off and make it seem like pressure doesn’t affect me but damn sometimes it’s hard hahaha! The olympics is no joke!” The endless praise that Biles receives for her “superhuman” abilities can lead to a kind of dehumanization, enforcing an incessant expectation that she not only perform but outperform and a sense of bafflement in the rare instances that she doesn’t.

On Sunday night, NBC’s primetime broadcast of the women’s qualifications largely elided routines by Biles’s teammates and lingered on her mistakes, in an effort to explain Russia’s surprising lead. “The big reason?” Tim Daggett, a veteran commentator who competed in the 1984 Olympics, said. “Because Simone Biles is not being Simone Biles-like today.” And yet a remarkable element of Tuesday’s competition was the grace with which Biles’s teammates, a trio of first-time Olympians, collected themselves to complete the meet without their leader. Sunisa Lee, an eighteen-year-old, nailed a dizzying connection that she had missed on the uneven bars during qualifications and stuck her dismount, a full-twisting double tuck. Grace McCallum, also eighteen, anchored the team with clean routines on every apparatus. Perhaps the most moving competitor to watch was Jordan Chiles, a twenty-year-old, who had at one point considered quitting gymnastics after failing to qualify for an international roster. “I didn’t think the sport wanted me anymore,” she recently told the Times. Instead, she moved to Texas to train with Biles, and the duo—“Chiles and Biles,” as they have been called—established themselves as sisters on and off the floor. Last weekend, Chiles, too, made several errors in the Tokyo qualifications. But, on Tuesday, when Biles withdrew, Chiles readied herself at a moment’s notice and delivered a hit routine on the uneven bars. On the beam, in the next rotation, she maintained her poise, and wisely decided to end her routine with a simpler dismount, a double pike instead of a full-twisting tuck, to guarantee a steady performance.

In a conversation last week, the gymnast Aly Raisman, a two-time Olympian and a former teammate of Biles’s, told me, “Gold medals shouldn’t be the most important thing.” Gymnastics is a notoriously punishing sport: as Raisman explained, athletes are often encouraged, if not forced, to compete despite injuries. Perhaps the most famous athlete to do so was Kerri Strug, who, in the 1996 Olympic team final, performed a second vault on an injured ankle before being escorted off the mat by her coaches and by Larry Nassar, a team trainer at the time. That year, the U.S. women won gold, and the moment has since been mythologized as an exemplar of athletic grit. Today, though, Krug’s painful hop landing reads differently, less as a heroic sacrifice than as an unnecessary and essentially career-ending strain. To many spectators, Biles’s decision not to compete on Tuesday is a heartbreak, but it is also a welcome example of an athlete setting her own limits.

After Biles’s rocky vault performance, some observers speculated that she had been suffering from “the twisties,” a gymnast’s term for a loss of air awareness during routines. Continuing to compete in that state would have been downright dangerous; it’s easy to forget that the skills gymnasts strain to render seemingly effortless could, with even minor slips, leave them paralyzed or worse. At a press conference later in the morning, standing beside her three teammates, Biles said that she had exited the competition because the pressure had become too much. She cited as inspiration Naomi Osaka, the Japanese American tennis champion who withdrew from two Grand Slam tournaments earlier this year to prioritize her mental health. “We have to protect our minds and our bodies, and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do,” Biles said. Her withdrawal from the team final was not the handy victory that the public, or USA Gymnastics, was expecting from her at the Olympics. But it was its own kind of achievement, one that has the potential to affect the next generation of gymnasts more than any single medal could.
Posted by babylonsister | Wed Jul 28, 2021, 05:44 AM (10 replies)
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