Babbling (Lame)Stream

There he goes a-ridin' and a-ringin'!!

In my heart I wish I could never talk about Sarah Palin again or think about Sarah Palin again and beyond all of that I wish that I would never have to hear her stupid fucking voice ever again.  I used to think it was fun to poke fun at her.  I used to think that her mistakes needed to be pointed out so that whoever was a supporter would be dissuaded and realize the error of their ways in championing someone so fantastically dangerous that she shouldn’t be charged with leading a girl scout troupe.

Unfortunately, since the news media and the reality show producers won’t let that happen yet, she continues to provide moments so outlandish that they can’t pass by unrecognized.

Friday, she gave us one of those moments when she stopped off on her all-American bullshit tour – I mean, bus tour – in Boston and spouted off this made up version of Paul Revere’s ride for the news cameras.

Palin Makes Up a Story About Paul Revere

If you thought that sounded dumb, it actually seems even worse when you read it: “He who warned the, the British that they weren’t gonna be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and by making sure that as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free…and we were gonna be armed.”

That was sprinkled with a ton of “uh”s and “um”s as her pea-sized brain tried to process enough things at once to sound semi-informed which, of course, she is not.

Now, it’s one thing to point out the factual incorrectness of almost everything she relayed about the story.  The only part she really had correct was that Paul Revere was on horseback.  The rest is pure idiotic fiction.  He didn’t ring bells.  He didn’t “warn the British” about anything.  And he sure as shit didn’t ride his horse around Boston to make a statement on gun rights.  We should note that over the weekend Palin’s supporters decided to attempt to edit Wikipedia to reflect Palin’s account as a possible version of the Paul Revere story since, well, who’s really to say what happened?  Not those “books” that “intellectuals” and “elitists” read, right, Moose Lady?

But the true stupidity, which is what outweighs every factual error she’s ever made (and there are plenty) is revealed in the way she handles these things as a person.  Any of us could be asked a question about something we don’t know very much about.  We could even be asked a question about something we used to know and forgot.  I took a year of Italian in college and I remember almost none of it.  But if someone asked me about it…

…the last thing I would do is pretend to be fluent!

And that is Palin’s problem.  She was asked about what she had seen during that day of her tour and what she took away from it.  She launched into a bullshit concoction of the Paul Revere story.  No one forced her to do that.  No one badgered her for details.

The stupidest thing you can do is try to sound intelligent about subjects you don’t know anything about.  This also applies to using words and phrases when you’re unaware of their spelling or meaning.  Probably just better to avoid them altogether.  It’s like when people use the word “whom” in place of “who” to sound more proper or sophisticated when they’re really just announcing that they’re morons.

Her account was almost 100% incorrect and it was definitely 100% uncalled for.  She’s just too dumb to shut up.

Yesterday, in an interview with her employers at Fox News, she defended her fairy tale, claiming that she wasn’t wrong at all.  She did her best to rationalize a way that her tale was, in fact, correct even though it’s not correct by any account.  Then she went so far as to call the question a “shout-out, gotcha type of question”.  Palin’s “Defense” Let’s just quickly note that it wouldn’t have been a “gotcha question” if she believed she had gotten it right.

Again, we have Palin calling out a “gotcha” question.  I think it’s safe to assume that the definition of “gotcha question” is when someone who isn’t employed by Fox News asks Sarah Palin a question and she doesn’t know the answer.  Unfortunately, this really encapsulates basically every question you could possibly ask her, since the only occasions when she sounds remotely intelligible come when she’s speaking directly from her talking points or dropping her third-grade level tag lines like, “drill baby, drill”.

Gotcha questions: “What newspapers and magazines do you read?” “All of them.”  “What are your feelings on the Bush Doctrine?”  “What’s that?”  “What did you see today?”  “Paul Revere had a sweet Lamborghini.”

Again, Palin and her supporters defending what she said as somehow correct misses the point completely.  They’re all blaming those nasty liberals with their educations and whatnot.  I don’t really give a damn if she has an elementary school level of sophistication about Paul Revere.  I give a damn that she thinks she does and then goes on to blame other people for her own idiocy.

There are those observers who think Palin is actually so clever that she does these things on purpose to further cultivate her brand and to get media attention.  I hope all of those people jump off of the Bridge to Nowhere.  Because that’s not what’s happening.  All that’s happening is that a dumb, self-serving, attention whore is answering really easy questions in really stupid ways.  If that’s not the case, then you’d have to argue that her answering simple questions correctly would somehow negatively impact her public image.  Umm…

She and her supporters can cry about the “lamestream” media all day long but if they’re going to do so, then every time they do, they should preface their complaints with, “We appreciate everything the mainstream media has done to give Mrs. Palin any sense of relevance…” because the fact is, if they weren’t obsessed with the disease that John McCain dispersed on the American public, no one would give a shit about Palin.  She wouldn’t have her dumbass TV show and her dumbass kid wouldn’t be on Dancing With the Stars.  No one would care about her fake presidential aspirations.  No one would be paying huge sums of money for her to speak.  Donald Trump wouldn’t be inviting her for pizza parties.  No one would think the ignorance and racism of Palin and her followers would be cute.

Palin would be a big, dumb tree falling in a big, empty forest and no one would ever hear her…and unlike real trees in real forests, she wouldn’t, in fact, make any more sounds at all.

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After the massive earthquake near Japan earlier this month, everyone on the West Coast was naturally worried about what could happen if it was us and not the Japanese who had to experience a truly tragic natural disaster.

Former scientist. Now just science-ish.

So what better to do with that fear than exploit it?

Fox News had this guy, Jim Berkland, on television to discuss his prediction for the massive earthquake about to destroy California at some point between March 19th-26th.  After all, Jim Berkland had “correctly” “predicted” the famed “World Series quake” of 1989.  That’s right.  He predicted the last major earthquake that happened in the United States in northern California during a World Series.

And has been predicting at a 0% accuracy rate ever since.  This is worse than a broken clock being right twice a day.  This is the equivalent of when your girlfriend picks the Super Bowl winner by thinking Tom Brady is cute or by liking the team with the red uniforms. Continue reading

Serious Media

President Obama went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night – the first time a sitting president has ever appeared on the show.

So naturally, the rest of the “media” is completely up in arms today.

From talk radio to the cable channels, the talking heads are all bitter and jealous that the president took his time to visit with a “comedian” rather than spend the time with “serious journalists”.

This is preposterous

Does Jon Stewart make dick jokes?  Yes.

But night in and night out, Jon Stewart can be found speaking the truth in a funny, poignant, and generally informative way.

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Welcome, Republicans

"Strategery."

Common knowledge these days is that the Republicans are poised to make significant gains in the House and Senate next Tuesday in the midterm elections, largely due to a sweeping feeling of unrest and dissatisfaction with the entire political landscape – financial uncertainty, unemployment, and the media meme that the current administration and the Democratic led Congress are ineffectual, despite the fact that they have accomplished quite a bit in the past two years.

Assuming that it’s true that the Republicans win big next week, the next step (one would think) is for them to take on the job of governing the country, which Constitutionally, would require them working with President Obama.

Just one problem – the word  “bipartisan” only matters to them when the only power that the voters allowed them to cling to after the 2008 elections was the filibuster, which they used a record number of times in the past few years to shut down anything that signified real progress or reform.  When the Obama administration or the Democratic Congress are about to make any serious headway in achieving pieces of the agenda that won them so many elections in ’08, the Republicans use filibuster threats to dilute any legislation to the point where even passing an historic health care bill looks like defeat for the President.

Continue reading

Follow the Leader

Over the weekend, MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, said in an interview that he hoped his network would emulate the Fox News Channel, not only in its ratings successes but in its approach to the “news”.

This is terrible, not only because it means MSNBC will follow the path of least relevance, but because it continues a long and disheartening trend of the news becoming info-tainment, and not really news at all.

I think (hope?) that Griffin is mistaken and that he’s severely miscalculating his audience’s reaction to this trend.

I may only be speaking for myself here, and not the left-leaning population in general, but my problem with Fox News isn’t that I’d be hearing conservative viewpoints when I watch it.  The problem I have with Fox News is that it isn’t fact-based.  It’s screaming, ranting piles of psychotic bullshit from Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and Glenn Beck with guest appearances like Sarah Palin.  They have one purpose and that’s to advance an agenda.  It is not to inform, because information is quite literally in opposition to their agenda.

They’re no different than McDonald’s food.  They’ll pump it full of whatever their audience wants.  Oh, it’s not real meat?  Well, they’re eating it so it must be!  Obama’s an American citizen?  Our audience doesn’t want him to be.  Let’s figure out how we can make them think he’s from Kenya.  We won’t say, “Obama is from Kenya”.  We’ll say, “Is Obama from Kenya?  People are asking this question and we’ll have two idiots come scream about it!”

That said, I don’t appreciate being lied to or manipulated from either viewpoint.  Just because Keith Olbermann is on my side of the health care debate doesn’t mean I need the truth stretched to it’s outer limits.  His ratings have dropped dramatically, and I would theorize that it’s for this exact reason.  While he’s not insane like Glenn Beck, he has gotten to the point where most of his act is completely over the top.  And I guess we now know the reason.  It’s what the network wants!  I used to be an avid viewer, now I can barely stand watching anything on that network other than Chris Matthews.

If I turn on the news, I want to get a whole bunch of information quickly.  I don’t want to come out dumber in an hour than I am now.  Listening to people spew slanted rants from either side of the spectrum isn’t helping anyone.  The whole Tea Party movement was basically started by Fox News.  Now it’s a political party that actually influences the way the media has to cover politics.  That’s a sham and a shame.

And they don’t care who they’re appealing to.  They’ve gotten to the point where they’ve abdicated all of their responsibility as the nation’s 4th Branch of Government and are more or less just used car salesman who will tell you whatever you want to hear as long as you keep buying their products.  They’re just as happy to sell their product to an anti-government, racist militia member or an Evangelical “God hates fags” Christian as they are to inform a Wall Street Conservative who just really doesn’t want his investments taxed.

In both parties there are people to the extremes.  It’s not the media’s job to cater to those people.  It’s the media’s job to inform society.  If they were doing their job, there would be less of those extremists to cater to.  MSNBC, by deciding to go the way of Fox News, is choosing to further alienate the huge segment of their audience that cares more about facts than having the crust cut off their bread, so to speak.  Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz aren’t that much better than Beck, O’Reilly, and Hannity.  They’ve been able to stop short of flat out lying about things – that helps.  Their audience also isn’t likely to go bomb a federal building.  But aside from that, they’re not doing much more to advance the cause than Fox is.

So where to turn?  There’s nowhere anymore, really.  CNN is too busy reading people’s tweets and figuring out how to make the news 3-D.