Tag Archives: Eric Boehlert

The Tattlesnake Big Media Blago Beat Blow Out Edition

Bored and Lazy Big Media Drooling to Catch Obama in Blagojevich Dragnet

Have you noticed? The Big Media have been desperately trying to shoehorn Barack Obama into the ethical problems of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, even though there’s not a particle of evidence that he was in any way involved. The Chris Matthews Crank-It-Up-Loud-and-Stupid Machine over at MSNBC presented a good example of the ugly process in action:

“MATTHEWS: Barack Obama, of course, rose to political power in a city, Chicago, in a state, Illinois, known for corruption. But Fitzgerald made clear that Obama was not implicated today. Here he is, quote, ‘The complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.’ Obama said this afternoon that he had no contact with Governor Blagojevich over who was gonna fill that Senate seat.

“Still, there are many unanswered questions, including that one. What conversation did occur between Blagojevich and Barack Obama about who would fill his Senate seat once he became president? Obama said this afternoon there were none at all.

“What conversations, if any, did Governor Blagojevich have with Rahm Emanuel about his replacement as a Democratic candidate in the special election in Chicago? Will this Illinois scandal in any way distract Obama from dealing with the financial crisis? What happens to Obama’s Senate seat now? Who gets to fill it? The disgraced indicted governor? The state legislature? Who? And what is it about Illinois that seems to make the state’s politics so relentlessly corrupt?”
— Chris Matthews, “Hardball,” Dec. 9, 2008, as quoted by Media Matters.

Jeepers, Tweety, that’s one Olympic leap of pure, empty, pull-it-out-your-keester speculation. Wasn’t Matthews once seen in a public men’s room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, during the Republican National Convention? Wasn’t Sen. Larry Craig convicted of soliciting men for sex in a similar place? What does this say about Matthews? And what is it about Minneapolis that seems to attract so many gay men to their public facilities? There are some ‘unanswered questions’ concerning Mr. Matthews’ conduct in Minneapolis during the Republican National Convention and the American people demand answers. (See the way this works? Take even the most tenuous, ridiculous association and blow it out of proportion ending with the dire ‘unanswered questions’ malarkey. There are always ‘unanswered questions’ about everyone and everything it’s just that most of them are time wasting and ludicrous. Eating in a restaurant where mobsters occasionally dine does not make you a Mafia kingpin, except in the RNC’s Bizarro World of infinite guilt-by-association and silly questions.)

As far as the ‘relentlessly corrupt’ Illinois, Tweety and his pals should check some other states such as Alaska, Alabama and Florida, all of which ranked ahead of Illinois in the number of political scandals between 1998 and 2007. Wait, as Jamison Foser at Media Matters recently noted, USA Today already did: “[O]n a per-capita basis … Illinois ranks 18th for the number of public corruption convictions the federal government has won from 1998 through 2007”

This is the line of ‘logic’ being used as the BM line up to slather over yet another invented ‘scandal’ for Obama — already they’re trying to make this his ‘Blagogate.’ Even the New York Times has the green-eyeshade on backwards as it attempts to conflate Obama’s passing acquaintance with Blago with involvement in some sort of shady business with the Rodster. As Eric Boehlert points out:

“The larger point is that in order for the Beltway press to gin up the Blago story this week, basic journalism guidelines had to be set aside and in some cases brazenly ignored. That’s the only way this story worked because simply reporting the facts as presented by the prosecutors would have made it painfully clear that, in terms of Obama’s involvement, there was none. In fact, Obama had thwarted Blago’s money-making scheme.”

But the worst of the bad lot was Liz Sidoti of the (Guilt By) Associated Press. In her December 10th article “Analysis: Scandal threatens to dog Obama,” she actually kicked off with these two vapid, meaningless paragraphs:

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The Tattlesnake The Great White Wail of the Wide Deceiver Edition

This Week in Rovian Rubbish, Especially on the Don Siegelman Case

“According to the most recent surveys, President Bush’s current second-term debacle exceeds any other White House calamity in modern times. Yet the man who made it all possible, the ‘brains’ behind the president who has become ‘radioactive’ inside his own party, is toasted in the press as a political wise man.”
— Eric Boehlert, “If Congress Slaps Rove with Contempt, How Will His Bosses at Fox and Newsweek Deal with It?” Media Matters, May 22, 2008.

“Rove is a proven liar who cannot be trusted to tell the truth even when he is under oath, unless and until he is directly threatened with the prospect of prison time.”
— Joe Conason, Salon.com, March, 2007.

Karl Rove doesn’t look good these days; although he still exudes a smugly smiling aura of the polite ‘good’ little boy who knows he’ll never get caught for stealing that bicycle, he’s added weight and an unhealthy pastiness to his moon face, and his porcine blue eyes dart nervously from side to side as if seeking cover when the questions hit too close to home.

Those who have followed Rove’s fetid bottom-feeder career in politics, from his youthful College Republican days as a Nixon dirty trickster to his shoehorning the affably inept George W. Bush into the Texas governor’s mansion and the White House on 3″ X 5″ index cards of tested talking points and a willingness to hit lower below the belt and lie more continuously than most previous political handlers, know that no fly’s wing is safe near this man and, seeing him strut his stuff on ABC’s This Week Sunday morning, that even in supposed retirement from party politics, he is still in the business of regurgitating king-sized crapola for the GOP with the worst of them.

I reached for something to throw at the TV as he discussed Barack Obama’s supposed lack of any kind of record in the US Senate and his alleged failure to ‘reach across the aisle’ to Republicans to get things done. Either Rove is as ignorant as the body that hosted his political brain, or he’s lying through his teeth, and my bet’s on the latter. Here’s what someone more honest and objective had to say concerning Obama’s record:

“Obama has been accused of being all flash, and of not having done much in the Senate. His record in the three and a half years he has been there suggests someone serious about the job: he worked on a nuclear nonproliferation bill that passed and backed a number of policy changes to help veterans, including more medical care for those with post-traumatic stress disorder, assistance for homeless veterans, and the extension of tax credits for military families. He pushed through the Senate a major bill on ethics reform; and introduced legislation in January 2007 to stop, or if that failed, limit funds for the surge. He also worked with the conservative Republican Tom Coburn in a successful effort to get Congress to impose transparency on government expenditures so that anyone can look them up. The criticism that he hasn’t done more also overlooks the fact that during his first two years in the Senate, he was ninety-ninth in seniority and in the minority party.”
— Elizabeth Drew, “Molehill Politics,” The New York Review of Books, March 30, 2008.

No wonder Karl thinks Obama has done nothing all of the things he’s accomplished are what Rove despises ethics, government transparency, nuclear nonproliferation, increased help for veterans and their families.

Then Rove did a little riff praising Hillary Clinton’s experience and one has to wonder with a double-dealing sleazebag like Karl if he wants Hillary to stay in the race or actually wants Democrats to hate Hillary since he’s praising her. (Sadly, she recently accepted Rove’s New Math to pump up her chances at the Dem nomination. This is the same math that said Republicans would retain the majority in Congress in 2006. Oops.)

But the stench of the sewer really overflowed the pipe when George Stephanopoulos asked Karl about the Don Siegelman matter. Here’s a transcript, with your Tattlesnake’s remarks interspersed:

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