Bill Press: ‘Inappropriate’ to Talk About God on Steps of Lincoln Memorial

Progressive radio host and Toxic Talk author Bill Press stirred up a little trouble on Reliable Sources this weekend, doubling down on his comparison of Glenn Beck‘s “Restoring Honor” rally to an al Qaeda gathering at Ground Zero, but also questioning the appropriateness of talking about God at all on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Fellow panelist Matt Lewis points out that Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., might disagree, but based on what I’ve been hearing lately, I’m inclined to agree with Press. In fact, I’ll go a step farther and say that King was wrong, too.
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ACORN Worker From Pimp Video Reported Incident to Police?

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Someone tweeted the link to this AP story this morning (I don’t remember who), and wondered if Fox News would be reporting this.  The headline is “Police: ACORN worker in video reported couple.”

With a hed like that, I wouldn’t expect Fox News to report that story, but if they actually read the story, I’m thinking they would.  As a defense of ACORN, this story is a miserable failure.  Here’s the meat:

National City police said Monday that Juan Carlos Vera contacted his cousin, a police detective, to get advice on what to with information on possible human smuggling.

Police say he contacted law enforcement two days later. The detective consulted another police official who served on a federal human smuggling task force, who said he needed more details.

So, he didn’t actually “contact authorities” as much as he called up his cousin for advice.  And, he waited 2 days to do it.  Not exactly a slate-wiper.

No, the real defense of ACORN is that this story isn’t what the right is saying it is, and that its trajectory is a dangerous one for anyone the right doesn’t like.

ACORN isn’t perfect, that much is clear, and they’ve done a poor job of fending off this attack.  However, the willingness of the media, and the US Senate, to accept the findings of a partisan activist and his sponsor is truly frightening.  That willingness, according to a just-released study, extends back as far as the eye can see on the ACORN story.

Rachel Sklar posted a good summary of that report yesterday, which brings into stark relief that which most reasonable people who followed the 2008 campaign already know: coverage of the ACORN story has been uniformly unfair.  This report just gives us the numbers to prove it.

The shame of the current iteration of the ACORN smear is that the media, and the US Senate, have allowed ACORN’s enemies to be both prosecutor and judge, letting James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart decide which evidence can be seen, and how to interpret it.

Sure, O’Keefe’s tapes are damning, but he and Breitbart have refused to answer legitimate questions about O’Keefe’s “investigation.”  While ACORN has been defensive and evasive, O’Keefe and Breitbart have been given a pass for stonewalling, and even for apparent lying.  They went on record as saying that O’Keefe wasn’t turned away at any ACORN offices, a claim contradicted by police.  While Breitbart is happy to comment on self-serving aspects of this story, he refused to respond to questions raised about O’Keefe’s selective editing of transcripts, or O’Keefe’s funding.

The point is, O’Keefe’s reporting, as it has been presented, wouldn’t have gotten past any news editor in the country.  Breitbart is well aware of this.  He told me in a phone interview that his “strategy” of tightly controlling information about O’Keefe’s investigation, and rolling them out on a careful timetable, was specifically designed to force the mainstream media to cover this story.  In his view, he’s getting around some kind of bias.  In mine, he’s circumnavigating the editorial process, and doing it beautifully.

What’s more incredible is the contrast between the media’s response to O’Keefe’s tightly-controlled, factually light videos, and the work of Michael Moore, an activist filmmaker who is much more transparent about his methods.

Even more disturbing than that is the contrast between the Senate’s response to the decades-old health care crisis, versus the days-old ACORN crisis.

The problems at ACORN may, indeed, run deep, but we’ll probably never know, since they’ve been prematurely convicted in the public eye.  What we do know is that the Democrats in the Senate and the mainstream media have set a course for our country to be led around by the nose by the likes of James O’Keefe.  I guess the pimp costume really worked on them.

The “Other Alex” Becomes a Star on Maddow Show

Careful readers of this blog will note that on April 15th, yours truly met not 1, but 2 different Alexes.  You know Alex Villanueva as Daily Dose Junior White House correspondent and contributing writer, but Alex and I both interviewed Alex Lawson that day, as he was on hand to counter-protest the Tax Day Tea Party.

Alex #2 also contributed to my Mediaite story about the 9/12 demonstration, and tonight, his Billionaires for Wealthcare were featured prominently on the Rachel Maddow Show.  Here’s the video she highlighted in the spot:

Honestly, when I first saw Alex’s group, I wasn’t sold.  I thought the conceit played into stereotypes of liberal smugness.  After seeing how Alex dealt with the crowd, and after speaking with him afterward, I came around a little.  Either way, I was very impressed with Alex’s poise and conviction.  In real life, he doesn’t have a trace of wiseass in him.

Here’s Alex’s group being manhandled by Tea Party protesters:

You can see my interview with him here:

What 9/12 Means to Me

I spent a few minutes this morning watching Glenn Beck’s Howard-Beale-meets-Bob-Ross act on Fox News, and after having several brani clels melted, I flipped over to watch President Obama telling his “fired up” story, which I had never heard before.  The contrast was pretty amazing.

Still, Beck did get me thinking about the idea of 9/12, which he is twisting to his own freakish ends.  I know I didn’t wake up that day thinking, “Man, I have got to protect insurance company profits!”
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Keith Olbermann Issues “Fox-twa” on Glenn Beck, Roger Ailes

Cross-posted from Mediaite

Countdown host Keith Olbermann has issued a call to the millions of readers at Daily Kos to dig up some dirt (real dirt, not this kind) on Fox News personality Glenn Beck, his producer, and Roger Ailes.  The “Fox-twa” comes on the heels of the resignation of Obama adviser Van Jones, whose abrupt departure has been attributed to a weeks-long campaign by Beck.  The Scrabble-averse pundit has already set his sights on new quarry, and Keith is pushing back.

In a blog post at Daily Kos, Olbermann makes this straightforward plea:

I don’t know why I’ve got this phrasing in my head, but: Find everything you can about Glenn Beck,  Stu Burguiere, and Roger Ailes.

Predictably, Olbermann’s decree has been met with apoplexy from the right, casting Beck as the future victim of a “smear campaign.”  I’m not sure what the logic here is, unless the right is now conceding that Van Jones was also the victim of a smear campaign.

So far, the lion’s share of the 1,350 Kos commenters have ignored Olbermann’s request, however, leaving some poor intern to sift through suggestions to stop watching The Simpsons and NFL Football.  Good luck with that.

Others have posted links detailing some Beck that has already slipped through the cracks:

  • agreed that America’s only hope is for Bin Laden to blow us up.
  • fantasized about choking Michael Moore to death.
  • advocated beating Rep. Charles Rangel with a shovel.
  • declared that he hated the families of 9/11 survivors.
  • declared that he hated Katrina victims, whom he called scumbags.
  • incited people to commit tax evasion.
  • accused Obama of having a deep seated hatred of white people (but isn’t a racist?).

Olbermann also announced plans to issue his plea on Tuesday’s broadcast, and to set up a dedicated tipster’s email.  In future news, Keith Olbermann’s Tipster Email Spammed By Conservatives.

Also noteworthy: Olbermann again denies that he ever agreed to a truce with Bill O’Reilly, and in the comments, observes unironically that “This guy does not take criticism well.”

It’s tough to say whether a TV and blog audience will be able to outdo some googling and a Lexis-Nexis search, but Beck is unlikely to gain any traction playing the victim here.  Much of that depends on the zeal and methodology of Keith’s million deputies.

Satire CAN cross the line…

bllieddoseMost sane people know that the Glenn Beck assault rumor was meant to be tit-for-tat silliness.  However, I was so grossed out by the ‘rumor’ that I’m pretty sure I didn’t even re-tweet it … unless it was an accident.

No matter, rape is not a joking matter, and slander can be just as bad.  Here’s the deal, for those out there who cannot understand that it is purely a prank, I must point to the supposed police report. It does, in fact, look like a real police report – and it is.

Problem is, it’s from the Duke rape case in 2006, and someone has quite obviously photoshopped it…not a bad job of photoshopping, but continues to be fake fake fake, and an insult to the investigation of the Duke case.

Quit doing that please – hooligans on both sides.  Progressives, Glenn Beck has given you PLENTY of factual ammo to work with.

Thanks.

Twitstorm: Rachel Sklar, Andy Levy, and Baratunde Thurston Have it Out

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Even though I completely missed it, I still insist on taking credit for yesterday’s pitched Twitter battle over Baratunde Thurston’s Mediaite story, “When Will This White House Learn You Cannot Negotiate With Terrorists?”  Even though I was sleeping off an Inglorious Basterds hangover, my autotweets were still awake making mischief.

As such, I feel it is my sworn duty to preserve said Twitstorm, along with re-creations of tweets that I would have sent, had I not been fast asleep and missing everything.  I’m also going to go ahead and ignore that 140-character limit. Continue reading