Fox Wins

There is only one take-away from this Times front pager: Fox won.

For years I have criticized the corporate media for having too much power and having it’s ultimate interests aligned towards the corporate parent, as opposed to news and newsgathering. This goes to the heart of it.

Here’s what happened. Olbermann attacks Bill O’Reilly’s media practices. He does this for years and gets under his skin. O’Reilly isn’t stupid–whatever else me may be–and attacks the business side of the corporate parent GE. Some of the attacks are clearly below the belt. But this is all part and parcel of Fox’s way of reporting the news. Fox doesn’t have a corporate parent to answer to like GE. It’s a full-blown, vertically integrated news organization and can weather anything Olbermann brings.

Finally, Immelt cries uncle. That’s the only conclusion I can come to, although the way the article is written, in that soi disant news-style which presents both sides as being equal and both as valid, makes it out to have been a two way war. But it wasn’t. Olbermann attacked O’Reilly’s politics and news persona. O’Reilly attack the parent. And when the parent had enough Olbermann was muzzled. It would be like two boxers in the ring, one trying to make head shots (Olbermann) and the other (O’Reilly) hitting below the belt and in the kidneys. The refs just look the other way. Or wring their hands at how violent boxing is, while enjoying the spectacle.

Our media is fucked. And it will not change until the news organizations are ripped away from their corporate parents in an anti-trust action.

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Sean Paul Kelley

Traveler of the (real) Silk Road, scholar and historian, photographer and writer - founder of The Agonist.

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  • parent companies should beheld responsible for their actions. If there was an organization that was the parent company for a conservative news outlet engaged in behavior that was legally questionable you can bet, without any doubt, that liberal news media outlets would exploit that fact. It’s a two-way street. Which I suppose cuts to the heart of your argument that corporate entities should not be handling news.

    I did read the article. I’m not familiar with Olbermann, but I am familiar with O’Reilly. One of the things I remember about O’Reilly is some newscast he did about medical waste washing up on shore (in New York maybe?) early in his career. I don’t remember the precise newscast, but I do remember that he was waaay off in his assessment. Despite this fact I have enjoyed listening to him on occasion. I can’t recall the last time I saw or listened to him, but I did like the fact that he (usually) wasn’t afraid to ask the kind of questions that nobody else would. I often do not agree with him, but I enjoy having arguments that oppose my own to disassemble in my mind. It’s good practice. While I am a strong supporter of abortion I also support his right to disagree with that. The murder of a physician providing abortions was the act of a person that cannot be considered sane or rational. While his action may have been motivated by things he heard it can hardly be blamed on O’Reilly. If somebody were to murder our former vice-president I would not go so far as to blame the people that called him a war criminal. Murder based on ideals the act of a person who is mentally unstable.

    I also like listening to Micheal Savage. I have significant disagreements with his political views, but he is very entertaining. In fact, when I enjoy him most is when he is telling stories from his youth without even touching on politics. Political views are not a barrier for me enjoying entertainment and I have no problem disconnecting the views of a person from the person. Ultimately I have to view all news outlets as entertainment because I can’t trust any of them as far as I can throw a piano. I need look no further than the situation in Honduras that is being reported, by a majority of news outlets, as a coup. Initially it was reported a military coup, though now it seems that coup is the most referenced description. The facts, as far as I can ascertain, are far from the reporting we see in most media.

    I enjoy some liberal news outlets too. Fresh air is sometimes good (though sometimes I find it a snore-fest). I also read newspapers, most of which I consider to lean to the left. They key is that everything must be taken with a grain of salt. Truth is elusive and our media sources are polarized. It’s hard to find a right-leaning newspaper and almost impossible (maybe completely so now) to find a left-leaning radio program.

    I really wish that, if O’Reilly and Olbermann were indeed having a stand-off, the parent company would just let the chips fall as they may. I’m an anarchist and there is nothing I enjoy more than watching it all burn. With two polarized parties there is almost no other conclusion than a complete incineration of both sides. Someday I might find a neutral source of news, though I’m hardly holding my breath. Much like where I live, where everybody has an angle, it seems that everybody reporting the news has an agenda.

  • I really wish that, if O’Reilly and Olbermann were indeed having a stand-off, the parent company would just let the chips fall as they may.

    Reads to me like you essentially agree with SP that a media entity should not be allowed to be controlled by a parent that can suppress certain coverage?

  • Which I thought I expressed when I said:
    Which I suppose cuts to the heart of your argument that corporate entities should not be handling news.

    If I was not clear let me say, without any exception, I do agree. In case it was not clear, which I thought it was, I wish that news would be news without any agenda.

    Until it is I will take it all with a grain of salt and lean toward those who entertain me the most as far as occupying my time. That isn’t to say I won’t follow-up on the news I get from them. I will because it is my nature to question anything that is told to me without evidence. My news, which is unreliable taken from the every day news sources, I’ll continue to derive from a combination of sources.

    The biggest part of being an informed consumer, be it of news or products, is being able to weigh the information you receive. You have to look at many things to assess what is real and what is simply implied. Implications have a place, but reality is what should be reported. Implications are what the consumers of news should be arriving at, that isn’t the place or responsibility of those reporting the news.

  • Thanks for the clarification.

    I commend you for your approach to being an informed news consumer. But I think you desire to be entertained when consuming news may be diametrically opposed to your preference for news without agenda. In my experience the closer a news programming gets to the latter the more boring (in the conventional sense) it will turn out to be.

  • Ultimately, Kieth Olberman was stupid to attack Bill O’Reilly. His target should always have been Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch. O’Reilly is nothing more than a tool wielded by those two men to move the frame of political debate farther to the right.

    You can’t kill the king by shooting his clown.
    Good times for Smiley! 😀

  • In case it was not clear, which I thought it was, I wish that news would be news without any agenda.

    Until it is I will take it all with a grain of salt and lean toward those who entertain me the most as far as occupying my time.

    Believe me, with all my scouts honors that I can muster, as soon as I find that outlet reporting news as news I will find entertainment in other segments of the media. I love me some Deadliest Catch and Jeopardy; as soon as we have a news outlet that reports news rather than spin I’ll be trying to find more prime-time shows to occupy my entertainment slots.

  • DW is reliably boring but pretty even handed when it comes to world news.

    BBC News isn’t too bad either.

    Must admit I have pretty much given up on American news media.

  • never had much appeal to me per se. I almost never watched him, although I thought he served a useful purpose. But to me, that purpose was fulfilled in January.

    “The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.”

    – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  • The media has always been fucked, and in earlier times that was semi-OK. As you note, the problem now is in the consolidation and agglomeration. It is an issue of size and structure, and is inevitable. The place to make the changes is not in the media, but rather in corporate law, which in turn necessitates changes in Congress and the Executive. Good luck!

  • The tone of this article is that the attacks from either side were equivalent. Were they? I watch Olberman and rarely listen to more than a few seconds of O’Riley.

    Olberman’s attacks, while there is definitely an personal side to it, always involve facts, usually some statement by O’Riley. For example, the “Tiller the baby killer”. Has O’Riley denied making that comment? If not, it is more than fair game to be highlighted. From what I gather, O’Riley is more complaining that he is being attacked and smeared. Is it really being smeared when one is attacked with their own words?

    The right wing commentators have dragged this country downward by being able to incite the more all-too-large-a-percentage of us of things that simply are not true. For example, look at the birther movement. Should those who wish to point out the lunacy of these folks be made to shut up simply because the birthers do not like being criticized? And I do not see a similar sort of attack-by-sound bite coming from the left. And if you do not think any of this is significant, look how one word (“socialism”) has shaped our approach to a health care solution: universal health is not even mentioned as a serious option.

    So, to me, one who has long been a republican but switched sides, I say keep up the “attacks”. Just keep them fact based and do not succumb to the whining.

  • Though I haven’t watched it much there always seemed to be a pretty straight approach to news. Read a few DW articles. Seems the way news should be, no panache and no opinion. I like my news the same way I like my toast, dry and hard to swallow. Thanks for turning me onto it.

  • The corporate media is truly unreliable, as noted, and it’s been that way for a long, long time.

    In 1953, Guatemalan president Arbenz was carrying forward the policies of democratization started in the mid 1940’s. This included a vastly expanded franchise including all women, land reform, and broader economic opportunities for all citizens. Unfortunately for Guatemala and Arbenz, nationalizing the United Fruit Company was part of the plan. That tipped the scale for U.S. policy during the Eisenhower administration.

    John Foster Dulles headed up the project. President Eisenhower talked about the tyranny of the Guatemalan government. There was no mention of anything positive about Guatemala’s reforms. There was one hitch in 1952, however A young journalist, Sydney Gurson, was going to write about the covert actions of the U.S. government. A reporter at Time Magazine also had the story.

    That changed quickly. Henry Luce, publisher of Time had their story rewritten and Gurson came out with this: “Guatemala Reds Seek Full Power by Sydney Gurson Mexico City, Feb 22 (1953)–Using the controversial agrarian reform law as a lever, Guatemala’s Communists are trying to turn the powerful influence that they wield in the governing of that country into outright control.” (Source, full article)

    The rational for a coup against a progressive government was in place and that was that for Guatemala. The coup succeeded, 75% of the voters in Guatemala were disenfranchised and United Fruit Company was saved from democracy. The rest is a bloody history.

    I recall this history when I hear Eisenhower’s famous quote about the military industrial complex. It’s a sham. He should have told the entire truth. But that would be too devastating. We might not be able to handle it.

    Sydney Gurson went on to a long and successful career at the Times after learning how to do corporate friendly journalism.

    Furthest from him whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals.

  • imho, Jimbo and you make it simple. Why rail at the messenger, the flunkies, the paid actors. That’s part of the strategy. Back in the day, smart top executives would have a pit bull for #2 to deflect the heat. Employees would say, “Gee, if Smith would just get rid of Jones, things would be great.” Well Smith hired Jones. Ailes is important but the real culprits are at the top. GE has a dreadful history of pushing the right wing cause as far back as the best known shill, Ronald Reagan on “Death Valley Days” (an unintentional prophecy). Fox is a nightmare. The same applies to politics. We don’t need to be disappointed in almost any Democrat or Republican. They’re taking orders from #1, a predictable system of control rather than any one personality. The criticism should be focused right there.

  • The entire right wing makes up “facts” all the time: “we know where the wmd are”, “we don’t torture”, “they’re gonna put a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor”, etc etc. They need to be called on it all the time.

  • That is one huge drawback of overextending the definition of “classified”. When everything is classified, one can make up stuff, since nobody can verify or talk about it.

  • with the birther movement. I listen to a great deal of news that can be considered conservative, but have not heard this term. What does it mean?

    Further, the right-wing commentators that you claim have dragged this country down actually believe that they are doing the right thing. They claim the exact opposite. Your post is polarized and offers no evidence of why they are wrong. It’s easy to say “so-and-so” is wrong… but it’s harder to provide evidence. Our country is supposed to have discourse and debate. For this to be possible there has to be more than one side to every argument. It does not make one side evil… it does not make one side good.

    You were a republican? Why? If ideals made you a conservative then I can see no reason to switch sides. The largest differences between dems and repubs are abortion, social programs, and health care. Has been that way for quite some time. Have any of these things changed sides? It can’t be spending, because it’s quite obvious that every politician in Washington wants to spend as much of our money as possible. So you have changed opinions and now the other side is dragging the country down?

    I need to hear more about what has caused you to, not only change sides, but change sides with such vitriolic opinions of the side you left.

  • birthers are the locos who insist Obama was not born American so he should not be president. I think the last eight years shows the flaws of current republicanism, does more really need to be said or spelled out?

  • I have heard of those people. They are actually a very small fringe minority. They base the contention on the difference between a birth certificate and a certificate of live birth, which can be provided even if the live birth was not in country (as far as I know). The problem is that Hawaii only provides certificates of live birth, yet for some reason the fringe does not seem to acknowledge this fact and insists on seeing a birth certificate. Most right-wingers do not accept this contention as valid.

    Obama is doing quite enough to prove he is as ineffective, if not as harmful, as the previous administration at this point. Lets hope he turns it around in the next three years. The flaws of the past 8 years I attribute not to republicanism, since Bush was far from upholding the ideals of a true conservative, but as flaws in our political system as a whole. I hold both parties responsible. A true conservative would not make a decision to spend so much money without careful consideration. Iraq is a quagmire that is sucking up money. Say what you will about intelligence data being fabricated, the decision to start this was rash and poorly planned. Both parties voted for it.

    As I’ve stated before, though perhaps not here, what baffles me the most is that as the war drags on it is the liberals that oppose it. Liberals are ostensibly for political and social freedom, which I feel was oppressed in Iraq. Meanwhile the conservatives, who are supposed to be all about small central government and lower costs, are pushing to continue the war. It seems that this is evidence that the political systems, and those elected officials participating in them, are very confused about their party ideals.

    I can see benefits from following either of the the two parties that monopolize our system now, but it seems that both sides are incapable of following the “mission-statements” of their parties and are deeply involved with entities that do not speak for the public as a whole.

    “All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” -unknown, though often attributed to Edmund Burke.

  • …refuses to call Zelaya’s ouster a coup; it was. She criticizes him for going back for the few minutes he was back in Honduras. It seems pretty obvious the U.S. doesn’t want another S.A. country ruled by a leftist they can’t control. We’re back to previous policies of the Regan/Clinton/Bush era. Only the death squads are missing; maybe. The present government is filled with people schooled there in the U.S. School of the Americas. Where is all of this being reported? Further; if the U.S. wanted Zelaya in power, he would be back in power. This is a U.S. driven policy. This probably deserves a whole thread on it’s own. But, it does exemplify yet another failure of America’s media. 😉

  • I have had no problem finding info on it, most say it was a coup. However I don’t think it was an ordinary coup. Honduras does not have a mechanism to impeach their president so they improvised lol. It was different in that the courts said his referendum was illegal, Zelaya tried to have it anyways and ordered the Army chief to hold the referendum, when he refused he was fired. The problem there being that only congress could do the firing. Also the referendum was illegal according to their constitution, but what got him in more trouble was that their constitution also says there can not be any referendums within 6 months of an election. It also was not ordinary in that the whole congress agreed for him to be gone and also all voted for Michetti to be caretaker. I do think they could have put him under house arrest instead or at the very least let him get dressed before shipping him out of the country. To me it seemed to more of a constitutional crisis. I agree with Hillary/Obama that it was silly for him to do the shuffle on the border. All that was was a photo op gone bad when not many supporters showed up.

  • …that it is obvious the U.S. is not supporting democratic forms of government and this whole thing plays to U.S. interests. Zelaya only did the border shuffle because it was obvious the U.S. was supporting their School of America trained bots. Zelaya is no idiot, and the U.S. is going to use any excuse to ensure they don’t get another Chavez in Honduras. IMO, the U.S. will do whatever it takes to maintain control of this hemisphere; but I think it’s already too late; they just don’t quite know it yet. 😉

  • shouldn’t we support those who kick out wannabe dictators 🙂 How more democratic can get when you oust a leader to protect your constitution?
    It is not a textbook coup and I think that is throwing people off. It is much easier to distinguish when an army takes over, appoints a leader and starts an authoritative rule. I’m not sure what else Obama can do, Honduras thinks they can hold out til their elections in the fall and refuse to reinstall him. They are already the poorest nation in South America.

  • I saw a poll on Friday: 30% of repubs think he is not a US citizen and 28% are not sure. Overall, that probably equates to something like 20% of the US population.

    That is a crazy number and it is fomented by people in the media who should know better: Beck, Limbaugh, even Dobbs. I simply do not see the equivalent sort of factually incoherent hatred coming out of the left on any issue. Guys like Olberman do a service by brining this stuff up, usually by simply quoting some of them and then giving them well deserved ridicule. There is not an equivalency on this between right and left and say to Olberman, keep up the good work. Just keep it fact based.

  • but there isn’t anyone I know that considers him/herself a republican that believes this.

    You don’t see hatred coming from the left now because the left is largely in control. They have 4-8 years to gloat and pass ineffective policies before it’s time to hand it over to the right again. Then the right can gloat and be ineffective. Rinse and repeat. I seem to recall a fair bit of hatred from 2003ish to 2008 emanating from the left direction.

    I don’t really consider Limbaugh a “hater”. Beck is pretty sarcastic, so even if he isn’t truly hateful, I’ll give you that he can be mean. Not familiar with Dobbs. As soon as Limbaugh or Beck stop doing what they do they’ll be out of a job. I don’t think it has anything to do with hate.

  • then why don’t you educate yourself:

    Poll: 28% Of Republicans Are Birthers, 30% Undecided
    By Eric Kleefeld – July 31, 2009, 9:09AM

    A new Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll finds that 77% of Americans believe President Obama was Indeed Born in the United States, with only 11% saying he was not — but there’s no clear verdict among Republicans.

    Among Republicans, it’s a much weaker plurality of only 42% who say Obama was born in the U.S., with 28% saying he was not, with a very high undecided number of 30%. Among Democrats, the number is 93%-4%, and among independents it’s 83%-8%.

    This means that for Republicans to openly admit that Obama is indeed a natural-born American citizen, they risk alienating a significant chunk of their loyal base. And on the other hand, they could scare away independents by humoring the tin-foil hat crowd.

    Late Update:: Another thing to point out is that Birtherism is heavily concentrated in the South. Only 47% of Southerners say Obama was born in the United States, 23% say he was not, and 30% aren’t sure.

  • Racism. Obama belongs to the “other” group. Ergo, he cannot be a US citizen. Obviously, this is all going on implicitly in people’s heads (at least in most cases).

  • It was a legally performed coup. Coup only in the sense that it was rapid and decisive. I only dislike the word because it has become stigmatized by the number of violent and illegal coups. I think they didn’t put him under house arrest because they feared that his continued presence could allow him to undermine the legal process or perhaps that he would bring in some aid from Chavez.

    I disagree that the US was doing whatever it could to keep another Chavez (this was not your statement Tina, but another poster). The first 6 weeks after the incident US was calling for his reinstatement and refused to acknowledge the interim government. It actually appeared quite to opposite to me, it seemed like they wanted another Chavez in office.

    We should have been on the side of the new government from the word go. Most of his own party voted to oust him. This is democratic country struggling to remain that way.

  • birthers are concentrated in the south, which I would guess also means the bible belt specifically, means I’m less likely to encounter one.

    Those are pretty sad numbers.

  • I’ve never heard Rush make any racist attacks on Sotomayor, granted I don’t catch his show every day and never the whole thing when I do. I may have missed it is he did. Sadly it seems the radio dial at that hour is void of anything entertaining. I can handle about an hour of the show, while driving, but I frequently have to change back to the FM dial. He’s so dull and predictable that I would imagine we’re only a few years away from being able to create a virtual replica of his shtick with a mac book and a few lines of code.

    Given the links you sent me, and based on a few I pulled up myself, I’ll start moving him into the hater category. I had heard the football comments before, completely forgot that, and I have heard him speak at length on Sotomayor. I’m not certain I see any racism in the content of the video on Sotomayor. Even if his ultimate motive were to be dictated by racism I’m not convinced there is evidence of that in the video.

    Who the hell ever thought it would be a good idea to have him commentating on football? Some exec was sitting in his office and came up with that idea? I hope he’s sharing an office with the same guy who dreamed up pepsi clear.

  • Salon July 31


    WASHINGTON — Move over, Birthers. It turns out President Obama is actually part of a far, far more sinister plot, one that will make you long for the days when you only worried that someone had ginned up a phony birth certificate for him.

    As a breathless new report on the loony World Net Daily makes clear, Obama isn’t just Kenyan — he’s also the Antichrist. And Jesus himself knew it.

    A YouTube clip published earlier this week reveals the evil truth, by delving into some Aramaic words that come together to sound like the president’s name. The key to the theory is a line from the New Testament, specifically Luke 10:18, in which Jesus says, “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” Whoever put the video together — someone named “ppsimmons,” who World Net Daily couldn’t persuade to go on the record — reveals that the ancient Aramaic, and modern Hebrew, word for “lightning” is “barak.” And then, using the word “bamah,” or “the heights,” which appears in Isaiah 14:14, ppsimmons argues that in the original Aramaic, Jesus would have said, essentially, “I saw Satan as Barack Obama.” (When combining “barak” and “bamah,” the narrator says, you’d have to add a “u” or “o” sound in between.)

    Throughout the clip, the narrator keeps referring to how “a modern Jewish rabbi” would pronounce the Luke phrase. (At one point, the video helpfully provides a photo of one such rabbi, looking authentically Semitic — if a bit stereotypical — with a beard, a tallis and a Torah in front of him.) “If spoken by a Jewish rabbi today, influenced by the poetry of Isaiah, [Jesus] would say these words in Hebrew: ‘I saw Satan as Baraq Ubamah,'” the video says.

    MORE at the link including the video.

  • Salon by Gabriel Winant

    July 28, 2009 | “The only people that I know who are afraid to take drug tests are the people who use drugs,” says Rep. Bill Posey. The Florida Republican is the author of the so-called “Birther” bill, which would require future presidential candidates to submit their birth certificates. The fact that President Obama has already submitted — forgive the extension of Posey’s metaphor — a clean urine sample seems to be completely irrelevant. Whether it’s out of cynicism, fear of the GOP base or a simple inability to read and reason, the ranks of Birthers in Congress seem to be growing.

    *Much MORE at the link. Salon has the skinny on 17 Congress persons they’ve so far identified who share this view.

  • of the anti-christ fascinates me. I was actually waiting for somebody to consider him as the anti-christ.

    From what I read it all actually seems probable. If you adhere to Christian beliefs it seems like something that could really happen. A person who will unite the nations, hold them under a single flag. Globalization seems to be where we are heading. Unification of our food sources, our news sources, and our sources for general goods.

    Walmart, home-depot, and all the other conglomerates, can be seen as contributing to this globalization. The more people we have depending on singular sources the closer we get to receiving the true anti-christ. Unfortunately, since I’m not a christian, I see this as a good thing. Once everything is centralized people will see the flaws on our system. At some point the people would have to realize that only at a local level can we dictate what is right or wrong. What works in Los Angeles doesn’t work in Portland. What works in Portland doesn’t work in Miami.

    Of course if you’re an anarchist like me the idea of an anti-christ would excite you. If there were a person to unite the world to one cause that means the dissident sect would be larger than ever. What better recipe for anarchy. The more people we get into either side then the greater the factor of anarchy.

    I say have at it, polarize the whole planet. Then we see what happens with polar opposites… they burn each other to the ground. Then, and only then, can the independent thinkers come together to form a more reasonable system. As a non-christian I see the only route for change in the materialization of an anti-christ figure.

    Sounds crazy doesn’t it?

  • bullshit. I just watched Countdown and Keith savaged Beck, O’Reilly and especially Murdock.

    “I despise ideologues masquerading as objective journalists.” – Bill O’Reilly, March 30, 2007

  • I stopped watching Olberman along time ago and you couldn’t pay me to watch O’Reilly but is this the first time since June that Olberman has attacked O’Reilly?

  • He goes after O’Reilly all the time. That said, I don’t watch every night and can’t cite a specific example since June.

    “I despise ideologues masquerading as objective journalists.” – Bill O’Reilly, March 30, 2007

  • It’s great when you can say it’s racism… like we haven’t whipped that dead horse enough.

    People have disagreements with his political leanings. If he were caucasian and there was a chance he was born in Poland then the right would still be jumping on it. Assuming that this is some “white issue” is, in fact, racist. You are attributing to whites some genralization that we are unable to look beyond race. Never mind the fact that Obama is, at the very least, half white genetically. I find this offensive. Never mind the fact that, quite obviously, plenty of us racist white folk voted for him.

    I’m friends with people of many different cultures that I consider valuable members of our American melting pot. Last weekend I was in a part of a city that most people would fear to tread. In fact I was in a latino part of town that my Columbian coworker shook her head at. She was amazed that I walked around that part of town. People are people. Lets not assume that a person who is Caucasian is incapable of appreciating other cultures. We all bleed the same color.. and all of us have to deal with racists in our culture. Lets not assume that disagreement is caused by racism.

    If we do that then we have to start examining comments like “I think the Cambridge Police acted stupidly.”

    Which Obama hasn’t actually offered an apology for. I’ve dealt with my share of asshole cops, but when I’m wrong I’m still willing to admit it.

    Granted nobody here wants to discuss this, but assuming a person is racist because of his color is still racism. Do I think this means Obama is a racist? No, but I do think he was preemptively looking to capitalize on a situation which was, he assumed, to be a case of racism. I think he should have said he was sorry for judging a white cop without the facts. Yes I do. Flame me. I think saying he was sorry for assuming the white cop to be racist would have advanced race relations exponentially more than his refusal to hurt them. I’m not ashamed to be white. I’m not ashamed at all. I’m ashamed that white people did things that were wrong and atrocious. I’m not more ashamed of their behavior than I am of other races who have done things wrong and atrocious, because we are one species and one people. We have wronged each other, white, black, yellow… all of us. Getting caught up in blaming people based on their color does nothing but further this. I wish we could all just see each other for the things that matter.

    I am NOT a white racist. Don’t look at me and assume I am.

  • The invasion of Iraq was rapid and decisive. Does that make it legal?
    I hardly think that criteria stands. If Zeleya was engaged in behavior that triggered a constitutional crisis, where in their Constitution does is say that a bunch of thugs masking as military people get to take over?

    What’s the difference between Zeleya (I’ll assume he did violate the constitution) and eight of the eleven U.S. presidents since Roosevelt who violated the U.S. Constitution?

    Everyone of the eight has violated our Constitution in an egregious way. They’ve declared war.* That’s clearly, without any doubt, a violation of the Constitution: “Congress shall have the power to declare war.” Finding a few flunky judges who uphold this travesty of law, common sense, and basic literacy doesn’t justify the acts (Korea, Viet Nam, etc.)

    So by your logic, since these seven violated our Constitution in a more material way (people died), our Army should have intervened and exiled them?

    The jury is out on our actions in Honduras (now, in the past they’ve been awful). I see Obama’s approach as contradictory which includes our routine response of indifference to coups and a much more sophisticated path with the negotiations to restore someone we’re clearly not thrilled with. At this point, a quandary is refreshing, as these things go.

    *Truman:Korea; JFK:Viet Nam; LBJ: Viet Nam; Nixon: Viet Nam; Bush 1:Iraq; Clinton:Iraq; Bush:Iraq
    Furthest from him whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals.

  • misunderstanding my statement. The definition of coup is, and I will link you to, a highly successful, unexpected stroke, act, or move; a clever action or accomplishment.

    So what happened in Honduras is a coup, but it isn’t a military coup since the military did not establish control. Nor was it a coup performed without the power of the government behind it.

    I see Obama’s approach as contradictory which includes our routine response of indifference to coups and a much more sophisticated path with the negotiations to restore someone we’re clearly not thrilled with.

    The problem is that our response is usually to coups performed without any benefit of law or consensus. The congress in Honduras was assessing a threat, just as real as a foreign invader, and they decided that it had to be dealt with. As I said, I believe that the reason they removed him from the country is that they feared his presence would undermine the legal process or that he would receive support from Chavez. Chavez has said the he is willing to commit troops. If Zeleya remained in Honduras and felt that he was losing control it is a real possibility that he would have had support from Chavez.

    My statement about the legality of the coup was based on the fact that the congress made the decision and it was carried out by the military based on the approval of congress. I guess I missed the photos that provide some evidence that “thugs” have taken over or were involved in the process somehow. The person who is in charge is not a member of the military.

    The president does actually have the power to deploy troops for a certain length of time in the US. I’m not going to look this up and link it, but I know it existed prior to 2001. Iraq, most recently, was engaged with the approval of congress. This was not in violation of the constitution, nor of any laws I’m aware of. If you make a contention that the president knowingly lied about intelligence data than that’s another issue. If you want to contend that he acted in a treasonous way then that’s another issue as well. The current engagement in Iraq started with the approval of congress. Blame the people that voted for it.

    If Bush had made an attempt to extended term limits and was financed by Exxon Mobil, since they’re a favorite evil empire, would anyone be questioning that maintaining term limits is a bad thing? What if, the congress found this to be illegal including republicans? Would it be that bad if they removed him from power and put a person, who is in the chain of officials mandated to be president in the event that the president is unable to perform his duties, in power until the next election? It seems that he was no longer able to perform his duties since he sought to undermine the democratic nature of the state.

    Of course the US has a fairly well established history of leaders stepping down after their term has ended, but we’ve been a democracy for a bit longer than Honduras. This discussion is about Honduras and about them maintaining democratic rule. The actions of the congress, while extreme, were meant to preserve democratic rule in their country.

  • When Protests Matter: “The Vocal Minority”
    By Big Tent Democrat, Section Media
    Posted on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 07:42:01 AM EST

    While the Dem blogs are intent on dismissing the Tea Party/Health Care protests as astro-turfing, I think the more interesting question is why the Media thinks these protests matter as opposed to say, the hundreds of thousands who protested the Iraq War? Indeed, as late as September 2007, the Washington Post was referring to war protesters as “the vocal minority.”

    Of course by 2007, opponents of the war were clearly the majority in the country. The 2006 election was proof of that. So how come a few dozen protesters (astro-turf or not) at selected town halls held by Congresspersons around the country is supposed to mean anything at all?

    Proving yet again that Media’s problem is not mainly bias, but rather the problem is its incompetence.

  • From Foreign Policy in Focus Aug 6, 2009

    While the Obama administration was careful to distance itself from the recent coup in Honduras — condemning the expulsion of President Manuel Zelaya to Costa Rica, revoking Honduran officials’ visas, and shutting off aid — that doesn’t mean influential Americans aren’t involved, and that both sides of the aisle don’t have some explaining to do.

    The story most U.S. readers are getting about the coup is that Zelaya — an ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — was deposed because he tried to change the constitution to keep himself in power.

    That story is a massive distortion of the facts. All Zelaya was trying to do is to put a non-binding referendum on the ballot calling for a constitutional convention, a move that trade unions, indigenous groups, and social activist organizations had long been lobbying for. The current constitution was written by the Honduran military in 1982, and the one-term limit allows the brass-hats to dominate the politics of the country. Since the convention would have been held in November, the same month as the upcoming presidential elections, there was no way Zelaya could have remained in office in any case. The most he could have done was to run four years from now.

    Furthest from him whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals.

  • Davis claims that the coup was a “legal” maneuver to preserve democracy. But that’s a hard argument to make, given some of its architects. One is Fernando Joya, a former member of Battalion 316, a paramilitary death squad. Joya fled the country after being charged with kidnapping and torturing several students in the 1980s, but he has now resurfaced as a “special security advisor” to the coup makers. He recently gave a TV interview that favorably compared the 1973 Chilean coup to the June 28 Honduran coup.

    According to Greg Grandin, a history professor at New York University, the coup makers also included the extremely right-wing Catholic organization, Opus Dei, whose roots go back to the fascist regime of Spanish caudillo Francisco Franco.

    In the old days, when the United States routinely overthrew governments that displeased it, the Marines would have gone in, as they did in Guatemala and Nicaragua, or the CIA would have engineered a coup by the local elites. No one has accused U.S. intelligence of being involved in the Honduran coup, and American troops in the country are keeping a low profile. But the fingerprints of U.S. institutions like the NED, USAID, and School for the Americas — plus bipartisan lobbyists, powerful corporations, and dedicated Cold War warriors — are all over the June takeover.

    Conn Hallinan is a columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus. Aug. 6, 2009

    Furthest from him whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals.

  • That non-binding referendum he was trying to put on the ballot was illegal. I’m not going to summarize the whole article. If the consensus of the government of Honduras is that he must be removed, than yes, I believe it is justified. That’s not my decision to make though. It was done legally which is what I said. Justification has to be determined by the entities engage in the decision. Ultimately he WAS trying to change the constitution to keep himself in power.

    Honduran Congress passed a new bill on Tuesday 23 June 2009 prohibiting the holding of referendums 180 days before or after general elections. Army chief Vasquez subsequently said that he could not support Zelaya’s plan for the referendum, logistically or otherwise, because it would be illegal.

    Mr Chavez, with more than a decade in power, began his reforms in Venezuela by holding a Constituent Assembly and changing the constitution. Mr Zelaya had stated that he wished to do the same and that the referendum was supposed to be the first step.

  • Actually calling it evidence would be a stretch. This article calls into question the morals and motivation of people involved, but I don’t see anywhere in the article actual discussion of the legality of the coup.

    It seems more like he’s connecting dots than drawing a real picture of anything. Seems like conjecture and voodoo reporting. I don’t see the article providing anything adequate to convince me that the coup was not done legally.

    If every person involved were incredibly evil, which I do not believe, it doesn’t change the legality of the action. As a US citizen I’m well aware that it is often the evil and corrupt who are best able to work within the confines of the law to achieve their ends. Intent does not change legality.

  • this? I thought I posted it but maybe not:

    On TV, Honduran Generals Explain Their Role in Coup

    Published: August 4, 2009

    At the same time, another defense ministry official said, the officers responsible for the decision to load Mr. Zelaya onto a plane to Costa Rica on June 28 could face charges of abusing their authority because their orders were to present the ousted president for trial.

    I hadn’t seen that before about a trial. What do you think of the last paragraph?

  • That last paragraph, for a general from the Honduras, seems like an odd thing to say unless he was being told that by some US backers or he heard some intent by Chavez to initiate a plan in the US. Of course now I’m venturing into the realm of conjecture and voodoo since I really know nothing of his reason for saying that… they just seem like the only two explanations. Of course he could just be hoping that people in the US will see it and throw some actual support behind the post-Zelaya government.

    You may have posted it, but to be honest I don’t always read every link. There are only so many hours in a day ;D and I’m trying to get through the health care bill this weekend. Weekend is catch up time. If somebody responds directly to me with a link I typically take the time to read it, otherwise it’s catch as catch can.

    It seems like the military role was reasonable based on that link and I’m glad to see that the people violating orders may be brought up on charges.

  • Finally, news you can trust on the subject! They’ve got like the REAL birth certificate. So? Like REAL, you know what I’m sayin’? Also I don’t think they should be digging up JFK. Like gross. You know what I’m sayin’? And doesn’t that Brad thing suck the big one? Also, who’s Adkins? The MJ thing? Puh_leez. Everybody knowz what happened. The fairies took him. Gotta go. OUtta here. National Inquirer hits the stands today. Gotta have it. Ya know what I’m sayin’?

  • You know, of course, that there have been arrests and violence toward demonstrators protesting the eviction of Zaleya. That speaks to the respect for law of the coup merchants. You should also know that there’s no clause in the constitution that calls for exiling the ‘violator’ of Article 239 of the Constitution. That’s an extraordinary remedy. How would Zaleya get his day in court exiled? But a day in court was not going to happen and if it did, the Honduras Supreme Court has an unsavory reputation.

    Saying this was legal because of a vote that was clearly corrupted (see below) based on a constitutional provision that’s not applicable (since this vote was to be non binding) when it was conducted by military leaders with histories of human rights violations is not persuasive.

    Article 239 of the Honduras Constitution (original 1982 which is the valid passaage), is odd in that it calls for the removal of powers of public figure who attempts to reform the constitutional provisions barring presidential succession. Two points: 1) this was a non binding vote and would not invoke this clause and 2) it was reasonable as an approach to setting the stage to modify the constitution. What an unreasonable clause and what a remedy, removal from office.

    However, even if this was a violation of the constitution, the remedy is just removal from office, not kidnapping and exile.


    In the crisis, President Manuel Zelaya‘s was removed from the country by military force on the 28th of June after the Supreme Court of Honduras had issued an order on June 26 for his detention, which had been replaced in January 2009. Afterwards the court published a Communication explaining its actions. The Court determined that the president had violated Article 239 of the Constitution, which forbids a president from seeking to serve more than to one term in office and provides that any president seeking to amend or alter this constitutional limitation is to be removed from office. The validity of the court’s ruling has been challenged.[14] Some have complained that the court is partisan. Larry Birns, director off the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, has described the Honduran Supreme Court as “one of the most corrupt institutions in Latin America.”[15] The national Congress claims to have affirmed the Supreme Court’s ruling by a vote of 125 to 3, in a show of hands on the day of the coup, 28 June 2009.[16] The Unión Democrática members, however, say they were not there, and some Liberal Party members have since said they did not vote for the motion.[citation needed]

    President Zelaya disputes[17] that he was seeking to extend his term in office, arguing that he wanted to conduct a public opinion poll on whether a constitutional convention should be convened to consider various constitutional changes including allowing successive terms in office for the president.

    Furthest from him whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals.

  • Intent is the difference between Murder 1 and 2 and Manslaughter.

    The coup was extra-legal. There was no basis for a duly-elected president to be expelled from his country. The proper remedy would have been more along the lines of the courts disallowing the referendum, either before or after any vote, and/or impeachment, if warranted, which in any event seems not to be the case.

    They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.

  • got me there, but in those cases intent is actually what defines the differences between them. That is relatively rare in law and has very little to do with this case.

    I believe the courts did disallow it and he still ordered the general to distribute the materials required to run the referendum. When the general refused he fired him. The supreme court then ordered that he rescind that and he refused.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. I consider establishment of another Chavez as enough of a problem for a democratic country to merit removal from office. Zelaya, in my estimation, had intent to put himself in a similar position. He was opposed by his own party and the rest of their publicly appointed officials.

    As Tina linked somewhere above the order was not to remove him but to bring him to trial. I still think exile was just fine. Those who violated the order should face the consequences, but I would call them national heros. Even then they should face the consequences. Doing the right thing sometimes violates orders. I would not want to be ruled by an upstart Chavez and I believe that is what Zelaya was planning on. I believe that he intended to become a dictator. Naturally I would not be able to cite a source for that, you’ll not find dictators advertising the fact that they are dictators or wish to be one.

    Wikipedia, you do realize, can be edited by anyone with access to the internet. I could go there right now and say that Honduras is a small island off the coast of Japan and the president of said island is Abraham Lincoln.

  • I’m for rational planning by government in concert with free enterprise, but that’s in my country. I don’t agree with my country or people in my country engaged in any planing for other countries unless it’s rational and invited with the consent of the people. Supporting coupsters is not a rational act. It goes back before 1953 but I thought the Guatemala example that started this sub thread was apt. It showed how the real motives for U.S. intervention in Central America were masked as anti-communism when, in fact, the motivation was the preservation of the United Fruit Company and the destruction of voter approved land reform.

    The meddling and worse in other countries under the banner of our flag is a false use of the flag that often turns into a total disaster. Iraq is the most spectacular example.

    Looking at Honduras, one should, it seems to me, be strongly inclined against any further meddling (which includes military action to reverse the coup, btw).

    In the 1980’s, our record of meddling in Honduras was simply dreadful. This is the direct evidence. It’s time for us to sit on the bench unless we’re supporting lawful activities. These were neither lawful or helpful.

    The Negroponte File:

    George Washington University, National Security Archive

    April 12, 2005

    “The 392 cables and memos record Negroponte’s daily, and even hourly, activities as the powerful Ambassador to Honduras during the contra war in the early 1980s. They include dozens of cables in which the Ambassador sought to undermine regional peace efforts such as the Contadora initiative that ultimately won Costa Rican president Oscar Arias a Nobel Prize, as well as multiple reports of meetings and conversations with Honduran military officers who were instrumental in providing logistical support and infrastructure for CIA covert operations in support of the contras against Nicaragua -“our special project” as Negroponte refers to the contra war in the cable traffic. Among the records are special back channel communications with then CIA director William Casey, including a recommendation to increase the number of arms being supplied to the leading contra force, the FDN in mid 1983, and advice on how to rewrite a Presidential finding on covert operations to overthrow the Sandinistas to make it more politically palatable to an increasingly uneasy U.S. Congress.”

    N.B. I am aware of the user edit features on Wikipedia. Compared with Britanica for accuracy, Wikipedia is close to or superior to Britanica, although I’ve seen some fairly humorous edits in Wikipedia.

    Furthest from him whom reason hath equaled, force hath made supreme above his equals.

  • on wiki. I have found that largely the information there is very accurate and sometimes far more detailed that other sources, but I have come across a few lame ducks. I tend to click on wiki when I search for something, but I always look for something more solid that points in the same direction before I believe them completely.

    Most of the prank edits I’ve seen have been on people rather than events. They do give me a good laugh occasionally.

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