Category Archives: Media
The right wing is very fond of stressing the term “Republic” in reference to our country lately. They like to lecture us heathen liberals about the intent of the Founding Fathers, who, they are quick to point out, built our system of government based on representative democracy, not direct democracy, where the majority rules. Since they are not in the majority, it is understandable that they would cling to a view which legitimizes minority rule.
Wikipedia defines the term Republic as “a form of government in which the people or some portion thereof retain supreme control over the government, and in which the head of government is not a monarch. The word “republic” is derived from the Latin phrase res publica, which can be translated as “a public affair”.”
The Merriam Webster definition for “mediocrity” lies below:
a : the quality or state of being mediocre
b : moderate ability or value
And since there is some circular reasoning there, the Merriam Webster definition of “mediocre”-
of moderate or low quality, value, ability, or performance : Ordinary; So-so
The citizens that follow Beck like to paint themselves as ordinary folk; humble, hard-working. They seem to resent anyone that possesses a higher intelligence or more knowledge on a subject than they do. Yet, they also seem to resent the suggestion that they take the time to get themselves informed rather than letting others inform them. It seems to me that they would like to pull the whole society down to their level. Do you think that is what Beck means by “Restoring Honor?” Is it now somehow deemed honorable to be mediocre and uninformed?
Following are some quotes on the subject of mediocrity:
“A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.” -Charles Horton Cooley
“All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.” -James F. Cooper
“In the republic of mediocrity, genius is dangerous.” -Robert Green Ingersoll
America, it seems to me, is on the precipice of entering a dark age. If we allow mediocrity to become the measuring stick, we are aiming too low and dooming our future.
A recent attendee at Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” rally said of America, “This is the last bastion of hope. And right now we’re on very shaky ground.”
We are indeed, on very shaky ground, especially if the country has to depend on mediocre people to lead the way out. But I wonder what we are the last bastion of hope FOR? Freedom—already gone. Unfettered Capitalism—proven failure. Mediocrity—we are headed there like an out-of -control freight train.
Another attendee, a woman this time, said this of Barack Obama, “I can’t believe this country would elect someone so anti-progress and pride of America, that would that would willfully destroy the country and divide us so sharply again on the issue of race.”
Geez. I thought Bush already did that. But what do I know? If the facts are whatever the common man believes, I guess I don’t know anything. And I am one of them already.
The Republican National Committee has invited Andrew Breitbart, who was just caught last week disseminating the highly misleading footage of Shirley Sherrod that cost her her job, to a fundraising event in August. He’s not just any old guest, either: He and RNC Chairman Michael Steele are co-hosting the welcoming reception on August 12. The RNC confirmed to Talking Points Memo that the event is going on, but refused to comment on the guest list.
Read more here.
David Frum makes a smart observation: When Dan Rather fell for a hoax about Bush’s war record in 2004, CBS kicked him to the curb. Now that Andrew Breitbart has published doctored videos that make a Department of Agriculture employee appear racist—and cost her her job—will he have to do the same? “Breitbart is the conservative Dan Rather,” Frum writes, “but there will be no discredit, no resignation for him.” Indeed, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and other conservatives are actually blaming President Obama and the NAACP for the whole brouhaha while neglecting to mention that Breitbart is the one who disseminated the video in the first place. Frum draws a connection to the right’s fury over leaked emails from Journolist, an email list-serve for several liberal journalists, that showed a few journalists expressing a wish to quash stories about Jeremiah Wright during the 2008 election. “Only, of course, the Wright story was not quashed—unlike the story of Breitbart’s role in Sherrod’s firing, which has been, at least among conservatives.”
Read more here.
“I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh”
“A Day in the Life” – Lennon/McCartney – from “Sgt. Peppers” – 1967
There is so much going on in the world today that it is hard to pick a topic.
The passing of Senator Byrd and the posthumous right wing attacks on him? (Expected.) The situation with North Korea and demands, after sixty years that we withdraw our troops. (Where have you been for the last six decades?) Panetta’s comments about Iran. (Let’s start another war!) McChrystal? (No, he doesn’t have “freedom of speech.”) Jobs? (No kidding, it’s bad, but “we messed up, so vote for us!” doesn’t seem like a real good idea.) Kagan? (Dang, just confirm her and STFU!) Congress? (Yeah, they suck, but they are all we have.) Biden calls someone a smartass? (Damn, who wudda thunk it?) World Cup Soccer? (Beat that one to death already.)
My allergies? (Pfffffft! Ah-choo!) Cookie? (Doing better, groomed her myself so she is a bit cooler, too.) Weird pets? (The tubes aren’t big enough to tell all the stories about my weird pets!)
The weather? (Like that is a story?) Kansas? (It’s red and kinda flat.)
The SCOTUS gun decision yesterday? (Nope, saw that one coming a mile away.) Brownback, Tiahrt, Moran, Hartman, et al? (We have the loons by the bushel and peck.) Wichita? (Shoot, we are doing just okay despite ourselves.)
So, what should I write about today?
There is definitely a great surplus of topics that are on my mind and the minds of many others today. Our warp-speed communication systems put everything on the table before we can even recognize that there is a table to put it on. Dang, if you are bored, you can watch a live stream of the oil gushing on the floor of the Gulf. There is even a link available to watch the entire Isner – Mahut Wimbledon match on video – all eleven hours and five minutes of it.
The world, as we know it all to well, is a crazy place. What’s on your mind today?
William Stephenson Clark
“…sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air…and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.”
Newton Minnow, Chairman of the FCC, May 9, 1961.
My, what would Newton say today, nearly fifty years later? In sixty-one, there were three channels, today there are hundreds.
And it is still a vast wasteland.
I don’t watch television. Every once in a while, I’ll watch a live sporting event, but for the most part, my television sits silently in the corner of my den. I don’t have cable or a satellite, but I do have a HD antenna so that I can pick up one of the four broadcast stations if I want to watch a ballgame, or a match or a race.
“Man came by to hook up my cable tv
We settled in for the night my baby and me
We switched ’round and ’round ’til half-past dawn
There was fifty-seven channels and nothin’ on”
Bruce Springsteen, “Fifty Seven Channels.”
For some, the television is flipped on at 7:00 AM and stays on until 11:00 PM. Others just watch select programs.
There is some good stuff on television – the History Channel, Discovery and some news programs, but it hardly is worth it to pay a cable service $50 – $80 a month just so you can watch a few hours of programing.
I won’t even pretend that there wasn’t a time when I was just as hooked on television as anyone else. Did they ever determine who was actually the boss? Now we know who shot JR, but that’s old news. What I really want to know is why can the guy on television can solve a terrorist plot in twenty-four hours but our fifteen spy agencies can’t foil a man with explosives tucked away in his underwear?
Well, my fellow bloggers, what do you watch on the boob tube?
William Stephenson Clark
I’m just checking out WordPress’ new “reblogging” feature.
I’ve always maintained that I’m not “anti” anything, but rather “pro” other things.
Sooo….this is my disclaimer. I’m not anti-Glenn Beck, I’m PRO-REALITY and TRUTH!
Coming soon to a television near you: Variety reports that Sarah Palin is near a deal for her TV project about Alaska, which Mark Burnett will produce. A&E and Discovery are the front-runners for the show, which is expected to cost about $1 million per episode. Variety says the show “will center on interesting characters, traditions, and attractions in the 49th state—with the ex-VP candidate as guide.” Palin and Burnett pitched the show to the four major networks, before moving on to cable. A decision could be made in the next day or two.
The ex-nearly-half-a-term governor may have found her cash cow!
Here’s how crazy our politics have become: Legendary Republican President Theodore Roosevelt is being called a socialist by conservatives like Glenn Beck. The man on Mount Rushmore, the Rough Rider president. Beck bases his opinion on the fact the Roosevelt was a Trust-Busting, Department of Commerce, Panama Canal, FDA, meat inspections, champion for women’s rights, first president to invite an African-American to dinner at the White House. Beck’s departure point for his now-frequent attacks on our 26th president was a post-2008 election snide swipe at John McCain, who he characterized as “this weird progressive like Teddy Roosevelt.” In his subsequent book, Glenn Beck’s Common Sense, Beck devoted a chapter to “The Cancer of Progressivism” and lays the blame at TR’s feet.
If conservatives want to kick TR out, Obama seems ready to welcome him in. As if on cue, the president’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, announced yesterday that the president is now reading the classic The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris, a book that inspired Reagan’s senior staff to tap Morris as their in-house historian during the 1980s.
As TR said, “constructive change offers the best method of avoiding destructive change, reform is the antidote to revolution… social reform is not the precursor but the preventive of socialism.”
Thanks to the 2006 and 2008 elections, conservatives no longer control the American government. They do, however, continue to essentially control the American media. As a case in point, you’ve probably heard that part of the Obama administration’s plan to pass health reform is to use the budget reconciliation process. The reason you’ve probably heard is that the press has been obsessed with the topic, repeatedly labeling it a “controversial” move that would “ram” legislation via an end-run around the normal legislative process.”
In fact, though most bills do not go through the reconciliation process—typically because their subject matter makes them ineligible—the process has been invoked frequently since 1980. And the reason it’s remained obscure until 2010 is that until the health-care debate, the press never saw fit to go into conniptions over congressional procedure.
Some of the mainstream media coverage of the reconciliation issue has been bad. Some of it, like this excellent NPR story, has been good.
Continue reading here.
Be sure to read the entire article and learn who the key players are in this vicious circle. I’m sure we’ll be hearings these names again in the coming years.
I wonder, how will Fox News spin it that Rupert Murdoch is pallin’ around with a Muslim? I thought all ‘real’ Americans hated Muslims?