Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Rules (groaning over Bill Maher's New Rules)

Rule #119: True outrage over false outrage
If you hate Barack Obama, you have to just come out and say it. No more hiding behind the false outrage of the day, such as he's on TV too much, or he's taxing us enough already, blah blah blah.

I'm tired of the calls for Obama to get off TV and get to work. Who knew a Bill Maher monologue would (without irony) galvanize the very people Maher criticizes most? There seems to be this new equation that the opposite of work is being on TV. We're the most wired society in history; seeing more of the president shouldn't be a surprise. Especially since he's new, fresh and trying to put on a different face for America and the world after eight years of secrecy and global contempt.

Exposure used to be good for the president. I don't recall this trait being a liability for Great Communicator Ronald Reagan, nor for Fireside Chatter FDR. Calvin Coolidge was surly and silent, and neither of the Bush presidents were particularly adept at oratory. How's history treating those guys?

But now that Obama's all over TV, critics complain that he's wasting time. And that the networks are in cahoots with the government for giving him airtime. It's such transparent BS that it's barely worth rebutting.

I thought Obama was an evil socialist overlord working overtime to get every citizen and every business sucking the teat of government. Now he's off the job, just wasting time on TV? Does anyone put thought into these clashing arguments? Just admit you hate to see Obama on your TV and Internet screens and in your newspapers, because it reminds you that he's the president. Find some actual issues to debate, just as critics on the left have done, and make some concrete points that don't barely mask ideological contempt. It's work, yes, but it might help the cause more than blindly aligning with the Party of No.

Rule #120: Party of D'Oh!
As if it wasn't obvious enough already, the Republican Party no longer has any high ground on moral issues. The party is packed to the gills with adulterers, hypocrites and incompetents. Yes, Democrats have plenty of skeletons too, but they also don't claim to be the party of Jesus, family, apple pie and other concepts you'd have to be evil to oppose.

Short of that, Republicans have to at least be clever about their transgressions. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford cut off all contact for four days on Father's Day weekend with no contingency plan for the state. Then he said he went hiking (on Nude Hiking Day, no less!), before admitting that he had flown to Argentina to "do something exotic." Like, maybe, a married woman with two kids? Real smooth, sir. These sort of things don't just get found out - they get found out in the most entertaining way the universe allows. Forget lipstick on the collar - a questionable visa stamp in a passport is a far worse thing to explain away.

Bill Clinton slipped up too, but at least he had the foresight to invite the girl over to his place while Hillary and Chelsea were on diplomatic trips to Africa. Given how the Republicans hounded him endlessly over this and even had him impeached over it, they should have at least taken notes. The GOP can't even handle its scandals as well as the Democrats.

Barack Obama has every right to call out these losers on their hypocrisy, but he doesn't. Why? Because he'd rather lead by example. Solid husband, doting father, two well-adjusted children - Obama lives all of the family lip-service that conservatives claim to uphold. And it seems far more real from him than it does from those who make family a political issue.

Personally, I don't care that Mark Sanford has a lover. I don't think that should disqualify him to remain governor or even run for president. But that's a hole the Republicans dug a decade ago, and now they've discovered that dirt doesn't taste so good.

Rule #121: We Report Wrong, You Decide Wrong
Fox News must stop labeling Republicans as Democrats every time they get in trouble.


(See numerous other examples here.)

If Fox News wants to be taken seriously as a news station, it can't afford to make incredibly elementary errors like this. Fudging a party affiliation is one of those mistakes you almost have to make on purpose. If something like this made print, there would be hell to pay.

But, as a friend of mine pointed out, Fox News isn't really a news station as much as it is a misinformation tool. Fox News sees the propaganda value of consuming its channel as a steady diet, which many people do. Plant a few ideological seeds - right, wrong, what's the difference? - and it doesn't matter how many corrections you run, or if you don't run them at all. Who's going to do the two seconds of research to prove them wrong? Surely not the same people who let themselves believe all that hooey about Obama being a secret Muslim with no real birth certificate who was elected thanks to millions of fake ACORN voters. If viewers had done the two seconds of research to counter those charges, they would know these allegations weren't true.

Then again, if Fox viewers put that much effort into critical thinking, they wouldn't be Fox viewers in the first place.

Rules archive

13 comments:

TJENKINS said...

lol DU link. You're a fucking nutter, I knew it!

So tell us Ian, what draws you to the cesspool that is DU? Is it the rampant America hating? rabid anti-semitism? or is it it's robust 9-11 Truther contingent?

Ian McGibboney said...

You got me, Teej. Because I link to a site that has the information I need, I am automatically in lockstep with everything that site says.

Seriously, I can tell you never read DU. It's mostly criticism of Obama these days. And, yes, there are a lot of nuts there. But some people make sense. I am highlighting a trend that someone noticed.

What do you have to say about Fox News making these egregious errors? Anything? Or is questioning your favorite network a violation of policy?

TJENKINS said...

Lol, way to defend your unhinged buddies. That board is full of fucking lunatics. You can try to claim it's some kind of objective, balanced board because people dare to criticize Obama there, but what you fail to point out is they are criticizing him because he's not liberal enough for them. They were shrieking loons the last 8 years so I can see why you find plenty of kindred spirits there. It's a fucking echo chamber over there and you love it because it enforces your opinions.

As for Fox News, I'm fairly certain I've criticized their shitty "journalism" here before so I don't see how they are "my favorite network".

Face it Ian, you're a far left loon that reads DU and thinks Dennis Kucinich is a serious politician. I'm more to the center than you'll ever be.

Ian McGibboney said...

I read a lot of things, Teej. That's one of them. If Free Republic had anything worth linking to, I'd go there too. Over the years, I've linked to tons of sites I can't even stand. You see, Teej, I am able to read objectively. I don't have to agree with a site's entire content to find something useful. Do you?

TJENKINS said...

I have to laugh when a guy with his own DailyKos diary posts links to DU and talks about how he gets news from anything other than far left fringe sites.

So what is it Ian that draws you to DU, the jew hate? I bet it is..all you liberals hate jews.

Ian McGibboney said...

Wow. So not only do you know nothing about me, but you aren't even trying anymore.

NOLA Progressive said...

Maher is a conundrum sometimes. You gotta love the dude cause he's such prick to everyone and nothing is sacred. He's relatively well-researched to boot, but I wasn't too sure how I felt about him flying off the handle about Obama. In the end though its probably a good thing. I think Obama is working within the confines of political and congressional reality, but is far to easy for a pous to hide behind the idea tha hey are constrained by political barriers. This may keep his feet to the fire so to speak.

Ian McGibboney said...

I liked the rule when I saw it. I've often said that Maher is the only libertarian I can stand. Even when I don't agree with him, I can't disagree, you know? Few other people can pull that off with me.

What chaps my ass is that Maher's rule has become sort of a rallying point among many conservatives I know. They know little about Maher, nothing about where he comes from and are absent of the irreverent context that he brings to everything he says. And they take it to a harsher, face-value level.

At the end of the day, you know Maher wants Obama to succeed and isn't really going to terminate his support because Obama's on TV a lot. But those who run with the rule seem to have missed that.

TJENKINS said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but no one on the right takes anything a shitface like Maher says seriously. It's obvious liberals only attack Obama when he's not liberal enough for their ultra-liberal tastes, Maher is no exception.

So Ian, as you've now shown your true DU stripes tell us, was 9-11 MIHOP or LIHOP? or was it the JOOOOOOS that did it?

Ian McGibboney said...

Teej, you have the most absurd leaps of logic. Minus the logic.

TJENKINS said...

Coming from a guy that frequents DU that makes me laugh. Tell me Ian, do you dolts still call yourself the "reality based community" over there in la-la land?

NOLA Progressive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NOLA Progressive said...

I gotcha. A solidarity complaint. One thing about the right though, is they will find something to solidify their nonsense. If they can't find it they will just make the crap up.

Hell in LA even our "Democrats" are the opposition. Landrieu could very well wind up being the vote that kills the public option. There is no getting rid of the vermin. They are kinda like the Louisiana cockroach.