02 May, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Awww, poor widdle Faux News didn't get to ask a question at a press conference they refused to put on broadcast teevee, and now they're bawling:
On Wednesday night, President Obama held a prime time White House press conference, fielding questions from a variety of news outlets. It lasted about an hour, and is always the case, some news outlets didn't get a chance to ask a question. It's the nature of the process -- some folks are going to get left out. Better luck next time.

And while it's not uncommon to hear some grumbling the morning after a press conference about one outlet or another feeling "snubbed," I can't recall the last time a news outlet whined as incessantly as Fox News is whining now about not getting called on during Wednesday's presser.

Soon after the event, Fox News was complaining. That's hardly odd. But 48 hours later, the carping was still going strong.

Chris Wallace, for example, whined yesterday about the president "boycotting" Fox News, because Fox didn't air the press conference the way the real networks did. (Is "boycott" really the right word here?) Fox News White House correspondent Major Garrett said Friday the president deliberately sought "retribution" against the Republican network. Last night, Sean Hannity was outraged. Glenn Beck whined, "What a surprise. I mean how can the guy face Ahmadinejad but he can't face Fox?"

Let me put this in terms that maybe even Faux News can understand. Think of press conferences as toy soldiers, and the reporters as children. Unfortunately, there aren't enough toy soliders for every child to have one. So everybody has to take turns playing. The last two times, Faux News got to play with a soldier. This time, Obama decided that the other kids deserved a turn. And now Faux News is throwing an enormous fucking tantrum because they think they're more special than the other kids.

Special, yes. As in, "Must be sent to a special school because they don't play well with others and refuse to stop disrupting the big-kids class."

And here comes Big Daddy Gingrich trying to browbeat the teacher into letting his spoiled brat kids get their way:

A pretty good barometer of Republicans' utter desperation these days is just how farflung from reality their attempts to characterize President Obama are getting to be.

Newt Gingrich, who's clearly preparing for a 2012 White House run, was interviewed yesterday on Fox by Greta Van Susteren. Gingrich has been trying desperately to smear Obama as a weak leader, while cozying up to the GOP's tea-bagging populist wing.

So he hit on a way to hit both sweet spots in one swell foop: Smear Obama as an incipient authoritarian.

The subject was Obama's press conference earlier this week. First in the order, of course, he had to blame Obama's popularity on the media: "I think the Washington White House press corps has taken such a pathetic dive with this president that they ought to just be part of his PR firm!"

But then he there was this exchange:

Van Susteren: Well, you know, Fox News Channel got, quote, punished -- Fox News Channel didn't get a question the other night -- Major Garrett, our White House correspondent -- because the Fox broadcast, not the Fox News Channel, but the Fox broadcast decided not to air the press conference.

Gingrich: Right. Which should tell all of you about the abuse of power inherent in this administration. They now control General Motors, they basically control Chrysler, they control Citibank, they control AIG, and they are prepared to punish people.

I think that's very dangerous, to have a president who thinks he should get up in the morning and punish Americans. You know, appease foreigners, bow to the Saudi king, embrace the Venezuelan dictator, and punish Americans? I think that's a very dangerous attitude.

Newt, I think you're displaying a very dangerous psychosis. You should get some help with that before you end up standing nekkid in the middle of a city street screaming about the spiders and traumatizing innocent passers-by.

I'm not sure what explains a psychosis this strong, displaying with such varied symptoms - paranoia, narcissim, hysteria, sociopathic tendencies, hallucinations and delusions, among others. But Michael Steele may have an explanation. It may actually be something in the water:
Steele also talked about why the GOP had fallen out of favor with the American public. It’s not that the country is “less conservative,” he said. “It’s that our credibility with them is shot. It’s that we left them along the side of the road on our way to drinking that Potomac River water, getting high on power and influence and forgetting how we got where we are.”
Well, well. Drug psychosis. Admitted addiction. That explains quite a lot, actually. Of course, this came right after Steele got done telling moderate Republicans to come on back to the Party - as long as they don't try to change anything:

All you moderates out there, y’all come. I mean, that’s the message,” Steele said at a news conference. “The message of this party is this is a big table for everyone to have a seat. I have a place setting with your name on the front.

Understand that when you come into someone’s house, you’re not looking to change it. You come in because that’s the place you want to be.

Hey, Michael? You might really want to rethink that metaphor. It makes you sound like a pompous, intolerant ass.

Of course, he is. So never mind. Let's just focus on the fact that we'd best be bracing for an out-of-season hurricane:
Paul Krugman noted the other day, "Bobby Jindal makes fun of 'volcano monitoring,' and soon afterwards Mt. Redoubt erupts. Susan Collins makes sure that funds for pandemic protection are stripped from the stimulus bill, and the swine quickly attack. What else did the right oppose recently?"

Well, as it turns out, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) doesn't want to let the Senate vote on President Obama's nominee to head FEMA.

A Louisiana senator is stalling Florida emergency management director Craig Fugate's nomination as head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Fugate had sailed through his nomination hearing and Monday cleared the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee by a unanimous voice vote. Republican Sen. David Vitter said, however, that he'd blocked Fugate because of concerns he has with FEMA.

"I have a hold on the FEMA nomination because I sent a list of hurricane recovery questions and projects to FEMA, many of which have not been adequately addressed," Vitter said in a statement. "I'm eager to get full responses and meet with the nominee immediately."

Fugate, of course, was chosen to lead FEMA in large part because of his impressive work responding to hurricanes in Florida.
Whelp. Guess we know what the next disaster will be. Forewarned is forearmed. It's just too bad that, thanks to David "Diapers" Vitter, we won't have a FEMA chief who's an expert in hurricane response to help out...

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