Tag Archives: Tucker Carlson

The Tattlesnake The Media Monsters in a Box for John McCain Edition

“A propaganda model focuses on this inequality of wealth and power and its multilevel effects on mass-media interests and choices. It traces the routes by which money and power are able to filter out the news fit to print, marginalize dissent, and allow the government and dominant private interests to get their messages across to the public. The essential ingredients of our propaganda model, or set of news ‘filters,’ fall under the following headings: (1) the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth, and profit orientation of the dominant mass-media firms; (2) advertising as the primary income source of the mass media; (3) the reliance of the media on information provided by government, business, and ‘experts’ funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power; (4) ‘flak’ as a means of disciplining the media; and (5) ‘anticommunism’ [or ‘anti-terrorism’] as a national religion and control mechanism. These elements interact with and reinforce one another. The raw material of news must pass through successive filters, leaving only the cleansed residue fit to print. They fix the premises of discourse and interpretation, and the definition of what is newsworthy in the first place, and they explain the basis and operations of what amount to propaganda campaigns.”
— Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, “Manufacturing Consent,” Pantheon Books, 1988.

A barely awake Tattlesnake caught Time’s Ana Marie Cox on Col. Howie Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources” (CNN) on March 9, gassing about the importance of access to politicians and maintaining a career rather than informing the public as the US journalists’ main job. Then there was the now-fired Tucker Carlson grilling Scottish journalist Gerry Peev who printed Obama aide Samantha Powers’ remark that Hillary was ‘monster’ even though Powers asked, right after she said it, that it be off the record. Carlson, as noted in this excellent article by Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com,”Tucker Carlson Unintentionally Reveals The Role of The American Press,” seemed to also believe that the role of an American journalist is to protect their lines of access to the movers and shakers at the expense of letting the public know what they are really like, not that Tucker would qualify as a real journalist in anyone’s mind but his own.

This all smacks of so much EST-driven, psychobabble-laden, Outward Boundish, Bonfire-of-the-Vanities-Masters-of-the-Universe “I’m an asshole and proud of it!” yuppie doodah that it makes your Tattler slightly ill. Who but a yuppie idiot would think their ‘career in journalism’ was more important than the public’s right to know I mean aside from their yuppie publishers, program directors, editors, and other executive suite backwash?

And now we have the media boys (and girls) on the bus unabashedly playing footsie with John McCain because gasp! he talks to them like normal human beings! In return, the media darlings have been covering up, diminishing, or glossing over McCain’s temper tantrums, flip-flops, and blatant lies. Notice that no one called him to task for wholeheartedly accepting the recent endorsement of a Rapture-Ready neocon Christian goofball like John Hagee, while Barack Obama receiving the unwanted nod from religious nutcase Louis Farrakhan was chewed over endlessly.

So, it’s no secret that the US Big Media has a kissy-face love affair with the current Republican candidate for president — they all seem to be fighting to see how far to the bottom of the tank they can sink for their straight-talking war hero, as this wincing exchange between NBC’s Chris Matthews and Brian Williams when President Junior endorsed McCain last week elucidates (h/t to Media Matters). Warning: Swallow your coffee before you read this next part:

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The Tattlesnake Fired Tuck Edition

Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson is not even a misbegotten American journalist’s idea of a journalist — it’s a laughable enigma how this spoiled son-of-privilege ever ended up on television pretending to be one. He’s as much a slab of tasteless turkey as any his relatives have ever slapped on an aluminum tray with lumpy gravy and called a meal, and his on-air snippy condescension, mixed with his sniggering crested-blazer boarding school style, added up to such a wince-inducing media presence that you have to wonder if his well-heeled family owns stock in the company. “Give my little nephew a job on your TV thingy.” “Sure thing! Does he have a bow-tie?”

Finally, after months of rumors, MSNBC cut the cord March 10 on Tucker’s daily hour-long Dork-a-thon, although the cable station has lamentably promised Carlson will continue to annoy viewers with his occasional political analysis a sly short-pants conservative bookend to Pat Buchanan’s raspy ‘Incredible Shrinking White Man’ dementia.

Fired Tuck’s (transpose the ‘F’ with the ‘T’) major crime against humanity, at least that small part of it that could keep their dinner from coming back up during his programs, has to do with his quasi-O’Reilly feints; pretending to be an ‘objective’ Libertarian with no horse in the race, while secretly slipping a mickey to the jockeys with a ‘D’ after their names. Of course, like Billo, he would occasionally strike up a contrarian viewpoint when addressing some GOP outrage or another, but it only served to highlight his bottom-line crack-whore subservience to Reagan/Bush corporate Republicanism. Worse, he giggled and smiled while he crapped all over the plebes, smugly tapping the tennis ball back and forth with yet another sad collection of GOP and Dem ‘strategists.’ (Where do they make these people in some hidden underground cave? Is there a college course, ‘Political Party Strategist 101’ where they learn to indifferently spin dull dross into the Emperor’s New Clothes? Can we get a president who will properly identify them as a threat to our freedom and pack them all off to climb Everest during a blizzard?)

David Gregory (too bad it’s not Dick) is set to take Tucker’s spot, but it appears he’s only a placeholder. After all, Gregory is also NBC’s White House correspondent, and holding that position as well as doing a show five days a week doesnt seem tenable.

MSNBC will also be going through other changes in an attempt to rid itself of the obnoxious and low-rated ‘Doc Bloc’ that has dominated their late night schedule. Ratings winner Keith Olbermann will be re-aired twice instead of once on weekdays, Dan Abrams will be changing his show’s name to “The Verdict with Dan Abrams,” and the rumor is still percolating that Rachel Maddow is on deck to move into the slot right after Abrams.

The demise of ‘Morning Joe’ Scarborough, announced here last year, is alleged to be engraved in stone when his contract expires, and Chris Matthews is having problems, especially with women viewers, problems too serious for Matthews to fix with an off-handed apology. He, too, may join Scarborough.

Word is, Randi Rhodes will likely be tapped for a Saturday afternoon run to see how she fares, and Stephanie Miller continues to be a cinch to replace Scarborough in the AM. MSNBC is also apparently lusting to slap up a politics-and-satire “Daily Show” competitor for the evening line-up, but no word on the host or cast as yet.

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