Find Out What It Means To Me

Friday, January 16, 2009

Transcript

President Bush bid his final farewell to the White House press corps on Tuesday. “Through it all,” he told reporters gathered in the briefing room, “I have respected you.” Really? Let’s look at the record.

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Comments [299]

Terrence Moore from Silver Spring, MD

I love On The Media... but I hate the Bob Garfield Show. I'll keep downloading the podcast, but I'll never make a donation to WNYC and I'll write to encourage my local affiliate to drop OTM so long as Bob is the host. I mean, how else can I "thank" WNYC?

Feb. 02 2009 11:53 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh, and great way to contradict yourself in your OWN post, John. You state:
"The reason I've not responded to a thing Bryan has said in this entire thread is, of course, that there is no way I'd ever argue...."

You contradict yourself in your opening statement! You responded to many of my posts (inappropriately, true) and are responding to them all as you offer that very post! Great job, John! LOL You are a real winner [sic]!

Jan. 31 2009 06:34 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh my, my...WHAT to do when you do not have a single fact to offer from history, law, politics, the media or from a creative mind? What in the world to do? Well, just take a look at posts #293 and #294 to have a lesson on how to make mindless, immature, no-content commentary and try to make it sound like something semi-important. Thanks for the demonstration and lesson in how to do just that, John. (In previous posts you already proved how to resort to name-calling and slander when you have no ability to debate. Now you show how to make nothing sound like something...oh, sorry...it still actually sounds like nothing...but is a lot of words anyway. THANK YOU, JP (as Bob G said it). You and Bob Garfield deserve each other!

Jan. 31 2009 06:31 PM
Jim from Oklahoma

I just heard the podcast. Much gratitude to Garfield. Thank W very much.

Jan. 31 2009 09:46 AM
Eric Anderson from San Diego

Regardless of the substance of Bob Garfield's piece, I found his poorly-disguised vulgarity offensive and unprofessional. Such language from one of my children would result in soap in the mouth. Poor form, NPR.

Jan. 27 2009 09:47 PM
John Petesch

obviously his knowledge base doesn't even extend as far back as Nixon.

Jan. 25 2009 04:41 PM
John Petesch

The reason I've not responded to a thing Bryan has said in this entire thread is, of course, that there is no way I'd ever argue with a fifteen year old... especially one who obviously hasn't bothered to pay attention to anything that has happened in the last eight years (not that I blame him much... he was only seven when Bush took office).

Jan. 25 2009 04:37 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oooops! Post above the phrase is supposed to read "two ends of the spectrum"--major typo--my apologies.

Jan. 25 2009 03:34 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

The Bush administration has not been shown to have committed a single crime. Perjury and sexual harassment are crimes (Clinton committed both of those). PLUS, the policy and practice blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan (that ultimately led to the increased fight against Islamic terror and Saddam Hussein and the war in Iraq--really more a police action when you put it next to Vietnam) were STARTED and conducted by the4 Clinton administration! So, if Bush goes down on failed foreign policy, then Clinton goes down with him. (Same argument on the economy--you CANNOT indict Bush on the economy without indicting Clinton also. So, Bob Garfield is dead-on biased, inaccurate, wild, and freaky in his last-minute OTM flourish against Bush. Bush committed no crimes--Clinton did. Plus, Presidential power waxes and wanes between to ends of the spectrum in history--it ALWAYS has done that. Go study Politics 101 to learn that fact. Even if Clinton and Bush demonstrated expanded Presidential power (as Kennedy and LBJ did), it eventually will be reigned in--that is the GREATNESS of our system of government here. Another sign of the greatness of the U.S. and Bush is that he allows individuals (like John Petesch and Bob Garfield) to write all this drivel! Case closed.

Jan. 25 2009 03:33 PM
onbullshitdotcom from NYC

I've been a long time listerner of OTM, and from the get go, I've come to accept that I can't expect much from OTM when come to balance. The show is absolutely incapable. So, I just tune in for a good laugh, and most often time, I just cringe because of half the bullshit the show broadcasts.

Mind you I'm not bitching because I'm not a member of NPR or WNYC. Never have, never will, simply because, well, I don't want to be seen as promoter of shows like OTM.

Jan. 25 2009 12:58 PM
David from Rhode Island

John P - thank you thank you thank you. Your entertainment value is beyond description. I was thinking of catching a comedy club act tonight, but I re-read your posts and I would just be wasting my money, since there is no way they could be funnier than you. So again, thank you.

Jan. 24 2009 08:06 PM
John Petesch

BBJ,

Don't second guess yourself on this one. The two cases brought did not end because the Bush administration's activities were deemed to be legal... they were dropped for other reasons, and take my word, the Bush administration will ultimately be found to have condoned illegal activity.

There is a much bigger question than the legality of wire-tapping, however.
Let me put it plainly and simply:

No government or government entity has ever assumed the kinds of power that the Bush administration assumed and not ultimately abused it or used it illegally against its own citizens.

LET ME BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR ON THIS!!!!!

NEVER, EVER, EVER! NEVER1

ALWAYS THIS SORT OF POWER HAS BEEN ULTIMATELY ABUSED BY THOSE WHO PURPORT TO CLAIM IT FOR ANY REASON WHATEVER, GOOD OR BAD.

AS ALWAYS, BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING!

Jan. 24 2009 02:18 PM
Jack from Chicago

It's a living document, man, let it breathe. Bush was just trying to put some life into it. If you're a strict originalist, that's cool too, but that's not how everyone feels. Respect that as much as you the Constitution. Cheers.

Jan. 23 2009 10:40 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Yeah, Bob did say it. If litigation is still pending, I guess that's valid as an opinion, but it may indeed be a factual error. You've forced me to take a fresh look at this issue, and I think you should consider that a small victory, which is a lot more than i usually acknowledge in these discussions.

Jan. 23 2009 07:25 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

To further muddy the waters, litigation over warrantless wiretaps is still pending. I just read that on the last day of the Bush presidency, the White House was trying to appeal a decision that made that made the litigation possible. I'd link to it if I was in a hurry. If you want me to try to find a link and post it here later, you have but to ask. I guess it's reasonable to say that the legality of the warrentless wiretaps is still an open question. I don't actually remember Bob saying the wiretaps were illegal so I guess I'm gonna check the transcripts.

I think we've found some common ground here. Bush is gone, we don't need to bash him any more. I just want to make sure the Constitution wasn't endangered by the Bush presidency. The president didn't take an oath to protect my tender white ass. He took an oath to protect the constitution. The constitution is one of the few things in this world I consider more important than my tender white ass. Mr Bush and Mr. Obama, please don't sacrifice the constitution to protect my tender white ass. It is where the great idea that is America is written down. It is our legacy to the world, and to future generations.

Jan. 23 2009 07:02 PM
David from Rhode Island

Hey BB - got to call you on this one. Bush claimed he had the executive authority by older existing precedent and by the wording of what Congress passed right after 9/11 to do what he did regarding warrantless wiretaps. Again, Clinton and Gorelick agreed after 1993 WTC bombing, as they (via her) stated to Congress in 1994, and Bush had the additional authority of the Congressional legislation of 2001/2002. Of course lawyers can argue about that, and that's legitimate, but it hardly makes it de facto illegal. There is the legal principal of mens rea at work here also, which means was there criminal intent involved. Mens rea will also potentially play a huge role in whether or not they can prosecute people for waterboarding, etc. Holder saying it is illegal is not enough. Anyway, look mens rea up in Wiki if you are not familiar.

Back to my point, the fact that Congress clarified their intent by passing a clearer statute later only strengthens the case that the wiretaps were not illegal. Courts are often trying to determine legislative intent when interpreting a statute, and in this case they did it for the court to make it easy. Quite a few Dems voted for it also, in fact I think it was passed after they regained power, but maybe not. I think Obama abstained or voted present or something like that. Not sure and can' t look it up right now.

Jan. 23 2009 11:26 AM
David from Rhode Island

David Rowe - Give it up, man! My bro BB is exactly right (on this, not the wrietaps which I will get to in the next post, LOL). the press had equal access to the inauguration itself as far as being there to write about it, and how many different channels can you watch at once? And you really need to get some sense of perspective if you think watching them dance is news. You really think the press is going to report it if he has no sense of rhythm? OMG, come on! And to anticipate your likely rejoinder, no, I don't think that how this was handled in any way presages how he will handle the press as it pertains to real news. In fact, getting back to the balls (which, btw, are not put on by the executive branch, but by myriad private organizations is my understanding and if true, means Obama has no part in who was let in), I can only imagine they retained some sense of dignity by not making them into even more of a media circus.

You are hopeless to focus on this and jump the gun this way. Wait and see if there are real issues of manipulation, cover-up, and limiting access in the future. If so, we will all howl unless there is an incredibly good reason. If not, then there is nothing to complain about. I seem to remember this story about a boy claiming there was a wolf.........

Jan. 23 2009 11:16 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Again, bad proofreading :(

Jan. 23 2009 10:47 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Barack and Michelle Obama's first dance? And I thought he was focusing on trivialities! Sorry I doubted you, Shirley.

We're talking about active deception about matters of life and death. We're talking about warrantless wiretapping, and you're talking about Celebrity News. You been working for ET these past fifteen years? How many interviews is Obama supposed to grant on inauguration day? Again, the inauguration is a private event, it's not a government function. It's not "the people's business". I just think there's a vast difference here.

Even before I thought that not having video of the second swearing in was exactly what I would have done, because while you may want to dot your i's and cross your t's with a doover, the traditional public swearing in is the one you want to emphasize.

I don't think transparency means turning the oval office into Jennicam. We can agree to disagree about that if you like.

Jan. 23 2009 10:29 AM
David Rowe from Lawrenceville, NJ

Dear BB Jones:

After 15 years in broadcasting - this may be pride - I think I do understand issues of exclusivity, having worked on shows that were "news" to the public, like the academy awards.

My point here is that you cannot have it both ways. Press transparency... and then... sell exclusive rights. An organization like AMPAS does not pretend to provide press transparency - they sell the rights to the Academy Awards, and permit the press a video that they can use when the show is over. I don't question whether the President can - he did. The question is, is this respecting the press or using them to make money and even more important, using the press to make money.

Don't think it's MY being angry. Read the reports, like this one from yesterday!

"AFTER shelling out $2 million, ABC brass is seething - and claims the cable news networks stole its "exclusive" footage of Barack and Michelle Obama's first dance at Tuesday night's Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. The network had originally attempted to keep the entire affair exclusive, including Obama's speech. But after intense complaints by other news organizations over the restrictions, ABC agreed to allow Obama's speech to be shared by the pool - but nothing else. Then at 8:35 p.m., all three cable news channels aired at least a portion of the dance (CBS aired clips of the dance and Obama's comments minutes later.) ABC officials declined to comment yesterday, but a network insider told the popular TV news Web site TV Newser, "I'm disappointed people break the rules, but not surprised."

And see the presses anger here:

http://newscycle.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/white-house-reporters-showing-signs-of-early-frustrations-with-obama-team/

http://showhype.com/story/3_news_agencies_refuse_to_distribute_obama_photo/

David

Jan. 23 2009 08:52 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Just for the hell of it, let's prove it real fast.

1. Bush says that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Cheney says "there is no doubt".

2. There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

3. Bush says no mistake was made.

Now, he's clearly lying. Maybe he's lying at point 1 or at point 3, I can't prove either one, but the two statements cannot both be true. It's a case of 2 +2 =5. I could come up with a lot more, but it's really not important. I just want the truth to come out and the problem to be fixed, with malice toward none, charity for all as Lincoln said.

Jan. 22 2009 11:54 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Yeah, Loug, I agree with my new best friend David. Believe me, iit has been proven that Bush lied several times about several things, but that's not so remarkable in itself, and I don't really care whether he lied or not, if we define lying by an intent to deceive. I don't care what was in Bush's heart as he led us over a cliff. I'm not especially interested in prosecuting him for taking us over the cliff. I've only interested in learning how we went over the cliff, and how not to go over any more cliffs.

And, no, the wiretaps were illegal when they were discovered.. The proof is that Bush had to get congress to pass legislation to make them legal AFTER THE FACT. That means Bush can't be prosecuted, but it also means that when Bob says that the wiretaps were illegal, he is not wrong.

Jan. 22 2009 11:46 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

To David Rowe

Now wait a minute, I don't think you understand how an exclusive broadcast deal works. It applies to broadcast rights, not media access. An exclusive broadcast contract is standard for big private events, and this was a private event. (Private means the taxpayers didn't pay for it.) It's like the Oscar, The Grammys, the Superbowl, or the olympics. Only one network gets to put the Superbowl on TV, but every news organization gets to report on the Superbowl, and no news organization is denied access.

Jan. 22 2009 11:27 PM
David from Rhode Island

Loug - well, of course Bush has lied sometimes, as has every president since George Washington, cherry trees not withstanding. The question is what lies did he tell and were they consequential. And what were truly lies and what were truly mistakes. That last, which way you believe about a whole host of issues, is probably as much what serparates the Bush supporters from the Bush haters as anything. Anyway, it does no good to overstate things. Once you say it was never proven that Bush lied, without being more specific, you leave a field day for the Bush haters, not to mention coming across as naive.

Jan. 22 2009 09:52 PM
Loug from Boston


>>>Bob was just flat out wrong when he said Bush was guilty of "illegal wiretaps". The courts found differently.<<

Liberals like to throw around charges of illegal this and illegal that...but it's only illegal when the courts interpret it to be so.

If Bush did all these illegal things...why haven't they found their way thru the court system?

Like was said earlier. This was simply President Bush using the powers of his office.

Just like the *Bush lied* charges. A *lie* indicates an attempt to deceive. And that have never been proven.

Jan. 22 2009 09:35 PM
David from Rhode Island

David Rowe - I gotta tell ya, this is incredibly trivial stuff. BB Jones and I are pretty opposite politically and we both think so. Maybe that should tell you something. And by the way, Obama was paying for his plane through money he raised. He can have and not have whomever he pleases. Sure, even if you are right about the reason it would be kind of petty, but i mean really, so what. It just means those reporters have to get where they are going on their own, like dozens of others. Obama is not obligated to accomodate these guys or even be fair in this regard. I also am pretty sure it wouldn't be Obama making that call, probably would have been Axelrod. And the retaking of the oath was a major non-event. Get real. Move on. If Obama really starts to treat the press badly, we will give you a special place on here for your comments. Give the guy a chance, for God's sake.

Jan. 22 2009 07:04 PM
David Rowe from Lawrenceville, NJ

Dear BB Jones & David-

You may not think that it's significant that media access is given to only those entities that pay, but I hope you can see the difference between the place that the 4th Estate plays in our culture and a winery. Entities that pay for media access don't cover the events the same way as someone who is seeking to be objective. Some media outlets are quite angry!

As far as focusing on the economy... this show is called On The Media.

My point is that OTM did nothing on the Obama campaign’s decision to jettison The Washington Times, the New York Post and the Dallas Morning News from the Democrat's campaign plane, insisting the expulsions were due to lack of seats and NOT because all three newspapers endorsed Republican Sen. John McCain for president! But then “reporters” from magazines Ebony and Jet were added to the plain. But, Obama wasn’t the president yet.

But then, after he became president, no TV cameras were allowed in for the re-taking of the oath on the same day that the new administration spoke of press-transparency – only a few reporters and cameras! Still, nothing here on the new administration’s treatment of the press.

Is THAT a good beginning toward respect of the press?

Jan. 22 2009 05:09 PM
David from Rhode Island

Hey BB - look at this link that was in the link you sent:

http://www.reason.com/news/show/33016.html

It is an interview with Tice, but not too far into it he talks about Boolean logic! How funny is that??? LOLOLOLOL.

See ya.

Jan. 22 2009 04:10 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - apology accepted, but I took the last stuff as good natured bantering anyway. Seriously, you and I may have polar opposite views on some things, but I think you are an intelligent guy that clearly cares about what goes on in this country. Damn, I just wish you weren't so misguided about some things. LOL.

And yes, let's see where this story goes. If it is true that journalists were targeted ala Nixon, I will be right with you in the front of the line to string up the responsible parties. I was certainly aware that there is a program that looks at virtually all communications (including what we have been typing back and forth now) and looks for certain code words and patterns. I forget the name, but it is no longer secret. It has even been included in prime time TV schlock dramas. Ok, I will look it up. Hang on....Well, I couldn't find it quickly, but I know the name was revealed, just like Stellar Wind was (that was the program for the warrantless wiretapping). There is a decent legal argument that when you do it en masse only for the purpose of uncovering terrorist threats, it is OK. But there is no argument that you can target specific groups that are not already known to be associated with terrorism, and all joking aside, that does not include reporters. This would indeed be a crime of very high magnitude. So I agree, let's see where it goes or if this is just someone that misses the spotlight. I am not leaning either way until this plays out.

Jan. 22 2009 04:02 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

To put it less arrogantly, David, I take back what I said, and I aplogize.

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Whistleblower_Bushs_NSA_targeted_reporters_0121.html

Here's a link to the story I was referring to either. The whistleblower in question, Russell Tice, was a source in exposing the warrentless wiretapping program, so he already has a track record of his stories panning out.

As I understand it, the implications of this story are terrifying. Consider the effect of an organized, large-scale effort to spy on the press on the likelihood that any kind of government misconduct will ever be uncovered in the future. It's just staggering. You don't have to actively suppress the media if you can always stay on step ahead of them. We would all think we're living in a free society with a free press, and we'd never know that the truth, which is that the government knows where the press is looking, and they have ample opportunity to remove every smoking gun before the press ever arrives on the scene. The government could easily use this information to lead the press around by the nose, without the press ever really knowing that it was happening. Consider the implications, for just a moment, and you realize there's no end to what this means.

Right now, it's just an allegation, albeit credible enough that it must be looked into. Please, let's not go into partisan sniping over this. It's just too important. Let's withold judgement until it has been thoroughly investigated, but it MUST be investigated. Can we agree on that?

Jan. 22 2009 03:05 PM
Jon Lindbloom from Bay Area, CA

Mr. Garfield, regarding your rant on Bush's "thank you" what kept circling my head was "really?" If I were President Bush I would have continued on the theme. Something like:

Thank you for not questioning me during hard times. Thank you for giving me a pass on all issues for 6 months after 9/11. Thank you for allowing me to get away with so much. And when you did start to show some guts behind your criticism during Katrina, thank you for not holding my feet to the fire. It allowed one of our great cities to not be rebuilt (at least quickly) to it's former glory.

Bob, I don't actually disagree with any of your points in the "essay." I didn't listen to the show till shortly after I listened to the Obama inaugural address. Obama calls on all of us to step up to the challenges facing our nation. I can only hope that the media will step up to it's responsibility of serving the public trust. It did once, but that was at least eight years ago.

Jan. 22 2009 02:48 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - Oh good, it kept me up all night that you didn't think I was credible. LOL

Yeah, it will happen. No matter what else we think about the media's bias one way or the other, blood-letting trumps all ideology.

Jan. 22 2009 02:02 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Thanks David. Good call, and now I'm starting to find you credible.

I'm sure there will be a real Obama scandal soon enough. Dem or Rep, there's always something. No matter how honest Obama is, someone in his administration will be tempted.

Jan. 22 2009 12:29 PM
David from Rhode Island

Network coverage of the Inauguration - I have to agree with BB Jones on this one. Sounds like it is not only a non-issue, but quite petty in any case. Let's keep the focus on important stuff, like the economy, what we are going to do with these terrorists currently in Gitmo once it is closed, etc. There are plenty of things that actually make a difference that to bring up something like this, even in the highly unlikely event there is even an issue here, is ridiculous.

Jan. 22 2009 10:05 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

David Rowe wrote:

"But now he begins his presidency by having his inaugural organizing committee strike exclusive deals with three television networks to the tune of more than $5 million, giving the networks exclusive access to inaugural events. Now, will OTM do an opening essay this week on how the new administration is turning his inauguration into made-for-TV production?"

Shirley, you're not serious!

I'm under the impression that the inaugural celebration is a privately funded event, not underwritten by the taxpayers. The last Bush inaugural certainly was, and you may recall that during the luncheon, Diane Feinstein stopped to thank some of the businesses (wineries, for example) that had donated to the luncheon.

Assuming this is true, you're going to have to explain to me where the scandal is. The thing that every privately funded event needs is funding. The networks put the inaugural on the air, and sold commercial time. Nearly every American who experienced the inaugural experienced it through television. So it was already a made-for TV-event.

Just what are you going on about? Because I am honestly stumped. Are you so desperate for an Obama scandal, Shirley, that you're willing to pull one out of your ass? That's kind of what it smells like.

Jan. 22 2009 09:28 AM
mark barnette from omaha

...and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

I hope more journalists will keep their "cans o' whoop ass" a little closer at hand in the future and not hesitate to open them.

Enjoyed the piece.

Jan. 22 2009 08:10 AM
Michael D Jackson from Richmond, CA

Thanks Bob (will will avoid the rhetorical "Thank You" for fear of being misinterpreted) for putting into words and on the air what I have been feeling for a long time. I doubt that we will hear anything quite so pointed from the "major" news outlets on the subject for reasons that are various. Instead I have been sensing a subliminal sigh of relief that it is over and we can move on to something (hopefully) better. Sort of the feeling you get when the school bully moves out of town and you managed to get away with only the occasional brush up. Nothing is said, nothing is mentioned, just a collective "whew" till the next bully shows up. This is, of course, of no use and does nothing to prevent it all from happening again. All of this is a long way to explain why i was so pleased to hear your item by item delineation of BushCo's trespasses during and alligator tears at the end of an interminable eight years. Keep it up you guys.

Jan. 21 2009 11:58 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Was I sputtering semantic nonsense? How Boolean of me! Boy, is my face boolean?

Jones out.

Jan. 21 2009 11:42 PM
David Rowe from Lawrenceville, NJ

Bob's essay was rude and over-the-top, but certainly the Bush administration tried to control the media like all administrations in the modern era do.

Now, as President Obama has instructed us, we have one president at a time, so let's begin to look into how our new president is respecting the media. OTM did nothing on the reporters tossed off the plane - serious reporters from the Washington Times - for reporters from JET magazine. Well, he wasn't president yet.

But now he begins his presidency by having his inaugural organizing committee strike exclusive deals with three television networks to the tune of more than $5 million, giving the networks exclusive access to inaugural events. Now, will OTM do an opening essay this week on how the new administration is turning his inauguration into made-for-TV production?

I hope so.

Jan. 21 2009 10:56 PM
David from Rhode Island

Bryan - notice BB Jones brilliant comeback when caught sputtering semantic nonsense? And then he brings up unsubstantiated allegations that a guy makes the day AFTER Bush is gone. I didn't see the accusation yet, but the accuser must be a brave man, waiting until now. Anyway, we will see. If Bush is guilty of criminal activity ala Nixon, then he should be prosecuted. If not, then not.

My point in bringing up Clinton and Gorelick isn't to blame them for their position regarding warrantless wiretaps in these situations or even say they were wrong, but to point out how inconsistent highly biased people can be. When Bush is involved it is nearly the end of America, but when Clinton did it and defended it, nothing. Either you are for warrantless wiretaps in these situations or you aren't. Who is President at the time shouldn't matter. Oh well.

Jan. 21 2009 10:26 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Ooooops! Forgot to proof another post of mine!
Post #257 the last sentence was supposed to say : "John Petesch (and a couple others) tended to ruin that part of the threads and go over the line with the name-calling and false personal attacks--PROVING once again the point that both he and Garfield did exactly the the same thing--lie or exaggerate and resort to profanity or name-calling instead of just making points!

Jan. 21 2009 09:59 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Ah, yes. Boolean. Whatever, David.

I was over at a friend's house just now, and I saw an NSA whistle-blower making new allegations about Bush's wire tap program that go way beyond anything that I've heard before. If it's true, you'll no doubt be hearing in your favorite news shows (about how Clinton started the whole thing, of course.) It makes me wonder if the revelations are only beginning. Why not? Now that the famously secretive Bushies are out of office, and Obama has declared the Freedom of information act relevant again, the door on Fibber McGee's skeleton closet may be just about to fly open, and these present debates may seem pretty quaint and naive pretty soon.

Jan. 21 2009 09:54 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Mr. Petesch likes to speak about "direct and precise language". If anyone looks at his first several posts--way back on Page 1, well, then Mr. Petesch is hardly an example of "direct and precise language". His posts are all that is needed as an example. "Direct and precise name-calling", yes. "Direct and precise personal attacks", yes. Direct and precise charges and accusations without facts", yes. But more fundamentally a problem than not being an example of his own claim to use and understand "direct and precise language", I find something more troubling: Mr. Petesch began by painting everything as Bush versus Obama, winners versus losers, liberal versus conservative, OVERLORD versus victims, Hannity versus NPR, Bushies versus Democrats, and so on. So, Mr. Petesch obviously cannot follow an argument--no matter what language is used. Because THOSE opposites were not what the original debate was about. The thread was about these main things: 1. Did Bush say what Garfield led us to believe he did? 2. Was it appropriate for Garfield to imply "f--- you" and say that to a sitting President? 3. Is Garfield fair and balanced or biased? 4. Is OTM/NPR fair and balanced or biased, and should they be biased if they are government funded? 5. Did Bush commit the crimes and terrible things he is accused of? THOSE are some of the main aspects of the threads--which Mr. John Petesch hardly touched upon or debated before he was name-calling, making personal statements and attacks, and making it an argument of us versus them--it was not that way for others, I do not believe--it was a decent discussion. John (and a couple others) tended to ruin that part of the threads and go over the line--PROVING once again the point that Garfield did the same thing!!!

Jan. 21 2009 09:50 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - I was thinking about your statement a bit more (that saying you don't believe me is different than saying I am lying), and in the abstract that can of course be true for certain cases. But, when the statement in question has only 2 possible conditions (He did read the book, he didn't read the book), there are no semantic tricks to play. If you don't believe I read that book, then you are saying I am lying. It isn't even subtle, unless you want to make something up, like you think I only read half the book. But of course there would be no basis for that statement. It is simple Boolean logic.

Jan. 21 2009 07:36 PM
David from Rhode Island

Bryan - also (and I shudder to start this, because I know what will follow), did you notice how he didn't repond to my posting of the ACTUAL Gorelick memo? It is complicated law for sure. I don't, and never did, deny that. I just wish they (the Clinton admin) had decided to fix the problem, rather that leave us exposed like that. Civil rights are our most precious treasure, and I understand wanting to protect them dearly. This is where I disagree with Bush on many decisions; I think he has gone overboard in some cases, and has done a HORRIBLE job of communicating his reasoning in others where I think he got it exactly right. There are other areas I disagree with his administration as well, but that is not important here.

There are many other things that were never responded to when I put the links on and pointed out the facts, such as the fact that Clinton and Gorelick defended warrantless searches and wiretaps, in response to a largely failed attempt on the WTC. Too much trouble, I guess.

Oh wait, I am not doing a very good job of being a rapid right wing slave to the fringe. I will try and do better.

Jan. 21 2009 07:12 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - you are right, way too subtle for me. I make a statement, you say you don't believe me, which means you think it didn't happen even though I say it did, and somehow that is different than accusing me of lying. Run for Congress, you will fit right in.

Jan. 21 2009 06:54 PM
David from Rhode Island

John P - you think that you were direct and precise in that?? You made the statement directly following your statement about my, Bryan's and Charles comments. LOL, you have no idea what direct and precise is.

Jan. 21 2009 06:52 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Let me begin to meditate on this new crime of "undermining" things--we could really go places with that!! The CRIME of "undermining" something....wow. Can't wait to see the EVIDENCE for a crime called "undermining". "Undermining with intent" or "undermining without intent"? Hmmmmm.... LOL Oh my Lord.... Precise language indeed! "Houston, we have a problem with this thread...."
See you later, BB--though I know you will not leave for good--but if you do, get back to me with the statutes on "undermining" and what other crimes it applies to, please? Because this is a new area of federal law for me--must be BRAND new--maybe in the last day or so it came onto the law books?

Jan. 21 2009 06:02 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

To BBJones: Well, you called David a product of the "fringe media" and a "crank". Now how is THAT for precise language!?! Maybe you can team with JP and start a discussion that totally and only involves vague criticisms and name-calling. And if (the low-class name-caller who embarrassed himself in his first several posts) John Petesch thinks that he is an example of "precise language"--well, THERE you have your problem! His previous post is barely comprehensible as to where or who his nouns and pronouns are linked to or referring to or drifting away from...so as to almost be gibberish. Then he claims the reader can't understand anything!! Write cloudy, then attack the reader! Classy, JP! And, it still baffles me that when a liberal gets upset they get less and less precise and start name-calling--yet they claim to be offended and victimized by insensitive, cruel, "right-wing OVERLORDS" all the time--just weird.

Jan. 21 2009 05:55 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

BB Jones:
I have to call you on this post, BB. You do not know the differences between impeachment, criminal offenses, civil offenses, and the responsibilities of the three branches of the federal government. You called "undermining the constitution" a crime at all, let alone mixing up who is RESPONSIBLE for their own branch of government. Yet, you are calling David a product of "the fringe" or "the fringe media"??? You can't be serious? "Fringe" media is all that there has been in this country since the 1960s--your scope is short, and your reasoning is weak. It seems that is you do not like a point you ignore it or make vague comments. If you read David's posts and make that comment, well...that is unfortunate for your position, BB.

Jan. 21 2009 05:42 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

John was right, David, you are unable to comprehend precise language. I didn't accuse you of lying, I said I didn't believe you. The distinction is subtle but important. I don't really know what you've read, only that I don't want to invest any more time in arguing with you, because I don't find you credible. It's not that I believe you're a liar, it's that I don't believe you're telling the truth.

Jan. 21 2009 04:58 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

They're not necessarily right wing fanatics, they're just people who've been lied to. The talking points make their way through the culture, and you don't necessarily have to be a right-wing ideologue to be affected. Until I was exposed to FAIR's book "The WAY Things Aren't" and did a little of my own research, I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh all the time. The man just makes stuff up!

Shaun Hannity likes to point out that plenty of Democrats in congress voted to authorize the war, but they voted based on the phoney intelligence the white house cooked up. They were a little too credulous, but those who were lied to are not the culprits, whatever their affiliation. They are the victims of the liars, not their accomplices.

I really should split, though, before they start blaming FDR and Truman for everything.

Jan. 21 2009 04:46 PM
John Petesch

Like I said, you're "unable to comprehend direct and precise language." I wasn't taliking about anyone on this site, but rather those who have changed party politics in the last couple of elections.

Jan. 21 2009 04:43 PM
David from Rhode Island

John P. - you crack me up. Who on this site has "once sympathized with some of their outlandish views have sobered somewhat and come to recognize how detrimental purely partisan brainwashed thought is to the health of this country, and thus to themselves."? I didn't really notice anyone starting on one side and moving in the other direction. Of course, that is the problem, you think it is about sides. For the record, you have clearly not read anything I said about the things Bush did that I strongly disagree with, that I support Obama very much (so far), and numerous other comments I made. I can truly say that I have tried to be fair and factual, we just disagree on what is fair and what are the facts. Goodness knows there are enough of them out there for everyone to be happy. Yep, pretty partisan stuff.

Jan. 21 2009 04:39 PM
David from Rhode Island

As far as Gorelick, it has nothing to do with her being on the 9/11 commission. It is a fact of public record and memos that she was the one, as assistant AG, that stopped the FBI from sharing information with the Justice Dept., or perhaps more accurately, between domestic and foreign intelligence which precluded the sharing of information I mentioned. Here is the actual memorandum, but I am sure now you will accuse me of fabricating it. http://www.cnss.org/1995%20Gorelick%20Memo.pdf. It states that they have to "..clearly separate the counterintelligence investigation from the ... criminal one" and at the end concludes that the two efforts be "walled off". Could the authorities have worked around this? Sure, but they were absolutely hamstrung by thinking that these were the rules they were operating under. Am I making that up too? No, it was exactly what the FBI agents that were aware of the suspicious activities of the eventual hijackers stated was their understanding. I really don't know how much plainer it can get than that. If she really thought that was the law, she sure didn't go out of her way to suggest an alternative means for protecting the country from these people. And given that it was a "top priority" of the Clinton administration, you sure would have thought she would have tried to.

So feel free to ignore me. It certainly makes no difference to me. It wasn't like I thought I was going to change your mind.

Jan. 21 2009 04:33 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - that's really good, using the discredited book to justify the "facts". The Washington Post, that bastion of conservative defenders, reported at length that Sudan had bin Laden, offered to arrest him and turn him over, but Clinton could not convince Saudi Arabia to take him and he didn't have the political nerve to take him in the USA, because he didn't think we could convict him, and wasn't even sure exactly how to try him. So Sudan kicked him out instead. and since they were able to force him out of the country, the obviously had him in custody and could have arrested him as well. But the "conundrum" Clinton found himself in was PRECISELY THE SCENARIO BUSH WAS TRYING TO AVOID, however clumsily he did it. As was once said, the Constitution is not a suicide pact. You believe your discredited sources, I'll believe mine. But I did read the book. Someone disagrees with you, and you accuse them of lying. Nice.
(cont.)

Jan. 21 2009 04:33 PM
John Petesch

BBJ,
You definitely should not bother with these three, (David, Bryan, Charles). In print, for anyone who cares to read their comments, they proved themselves unable to comprehend direct and precise language and proved themselves completely out of touch with reality.

Even most who once sympathized with some of their outlandish views have sobered somewhat and come to recognize how detrimental purely partisan brainwashed thought is to the health of this country, and thus to themselves. That is why their party is now so out of favor across the political spectrum.

These guys represent a short-lived breed born of far right-wing fanaticism, and as such, they are now obsolete and irrelevant. Let them and the roughly 20% of the population (and shrinking) like them fade away into obscurity, while the rest of us proceed to clean up the mess their short tenure in power has left smeared on the good face of our country.

Jan. 21 2009 04:26 PM
Mark Richard from Columbus, Ohio

Does Bob Garfield really, I mean, you know, not . . . get . . . what a cliche he is? Gee, a mainstream media careerist criticizing Bush . . . real edgy, there, Bob, really adds an offbeat take to our understanding of the press of the decade . . . Next thing you know, Bob'll be furrowing his brow and issuing a robust denunciation of (undefined) racism, sexism, greed, homophobia . . . zzzz . . .

Sorry, dozed off. 'On the Media' is just bumper-sticker liberals talking to the audience for bumper-sticker liberal cliches . . . God forbid it should challenge its nice but smug listeners, especially in their moment of triumph . . . It's perversely fun, though, to listen to people who are clueless about how they appear to others (thinking that they are professing scientific profundities, while actually just intoning the conventional wisdom of their environment), while professing to be coolly objective, though, so I still tune in from time to time . . . I often predict how an announced story is going to be framed on OTM (and I'm never, and I mean never surprised) and count the cliches of narrow urban middle-class liberalism . . .

Jan. 21 2009 03:08 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

David, we have a problem. I have to tell you quite frankly, I don't believe that you read Richard Clarke's book, because he addresses the phoney "in custody" story quite directly. You're selling me an alternate version of history that I investigated a long time ago, reject out of hand now, and don't really have to take seriously. Jamie Garelick was attacked because she was on the 9/11 comission. Everybody who criticized the administration, including Clarke, was a partisan enemy, including Republicans and people who turned out to be correct about the problems involved in invading Iraq.

I'm sorry David, but I think you're a crank, and a product of the fringe media. You don't know anything about bias or history or realiy. I really want to respect you as a person, and am willing to believe that you are a responsible, law abiding person who contributes to society. However, whenever a person starts spewing these old talking points, I try to find the discipline to walk away, because sticking around to argue is a collossal waste of time. Sometimes I don't find the discipline. Let's hope I fare better this time.

Jan. 21 2009 02:33 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

And we have gotten very far from Bobby Garfield here. But, before I stop visiting Mars for the near future, Rusty, please comment on this article so I can see a little more about how far away you are:

http://iht.nytimes.com/articles/2009/01/16/opinion/edbrooks.1-409073.php

Thanks!

Jan. 21 2009 01:30 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - I have read Clarke's book, seen him on many shows, and read the hundreds of refutations of his account as way overly simplistic. He has an axe to grind, and he did a good job. Was the Bush administration blameless? No, I am not saying that. They have their share of it. But really, let's not absolve the Clinton years, where 95% of it resides. You have to be kidding about the bombing of the Bin Laden camp. Too little too late. How about the 2 times they actually offered him to us IN CUSTODY? How about the wall of separation Gorelick recommended and Clinton instituted between the various intellligence departments and Justice, which meant the FBI couldn't share what they knew about the (eventual) 9/11 hijackers? Finally, how about the fact that 9/11 planning took place virtually entirely during the Clinton administration? Unbelievable. I am saying flat out that the Bush admin made mistakes, but you and the others seem to want to make it be 100% them, 0% anyone else. Just isn't close to reality. Clinton had 8 years to get our troops out of Saudi Arabia, if that was Al Queda's beef (which in reality wouldn't have made a whit of difference). But he didn't until they got attacked. In reality, he did very little with regard to this issue that was meaningful. then shortly after he leaves office, they hit the USA. But of course that is all Bush's fault. You say he made Al Queda a priority, yet he hamstrung the very people that could have prevented it. And for making it a priority, he failed pretty miserably.

Jan. 21 2009 01:17 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Thank for that last post that you made, Rusty. In a sort of "whacked out" way I respect you for your ultra-radical sort of anarchist positions. That is what is GREAT about this country--you are ALLOWED to preach that stuff freely. HOWEVER:
1. You have not done a single thing to discredit David's arguments--and have a LONG way to go to do that.
2. You are SO far off the spectrum that I do not have to read your posts any longer--except to see if you are living on Mars yet. In NO country except maybe Canada and the U.S. and maybe three more would you not be in prison yet for some trumped up charges. Talk about not being in REALITY....I might be anti-government in an idealistic, romantic, wistful sort of way at times, but you, Rusty, well...hmmmmm...I am at a rare loss for words as to what realm you are breaching....
3. The "political correctness" of Democrats/liberals/media FAR more imitates and matches a George Orwellian world than anything the conservatives will ever achieve when it comes to gobblety-gook and doublespeak and government/power deceptions.
4. Father Coughlin (and you Rusty) is, again, why this country is so GREAT...you should admit that, at least.

Jan. 21 2009 01:12 PM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones - I have to disagree about thinly veiled epithets. Since everyone knows what it means, what's the difference, other than it probably won't get a sanction from the FCC. Hell, you can say "EFF you" on the air and that's techically OK too. Hardly my point. But if you are defending dragging discourse down to that level, then we will just have to disagree.

Jan. 21 2009 01:05 PM
David from Rhode Island

Rusty - ah now it comes out. America is to blame for everything. OK, you are dismissed

Jan. 21 2009 01:03 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

In that post, BB, you stated these things: "If I was impeaching Bush, it would be for refusing to recognize that any other branch had any authority over the executive branch.... The oath of office explicitly requires the President protect and defend the Constitution, and if he's undermining the constitution, that's an impeachable offense. I mean the I'm not sure if it's a crime, because it may not be in the criminal code, but it is a misemeanor, especially as the word was used when the constitution was written.... impeachment and conviction are two different things." Response: OK. So you basically proved my point that there was no crime--no, not even a misdemeanor--however you want to define it. Why? 1. Because Bush was not impeached--not even close to being. That had nothing to do with votes. 2. The President's job is not to "recognize the limits of authority for other branches". If the Democrat powers did not do that then THEY committed the crime, not Bush. They did not exercise their Constitutional powers--THAT is a crime. 3. Also, if they people or Congress did not take Bush to court, then you all committed the crime of negligence, not Bush. 4. Finally--"undermining the Constitution" is not even a concrete statement, let alone a crime--but you still did not state the fact of even one example of that--PLUS it is the people, the Congress, and the courts job to confront that if Bush did--which he didn't.

Jan. 21 2009 12:59 PM
George Bendemann from nyc

classic Bob Garfield -- juvenile, disrepectful, biased. It is because of blatantly partisan shows such as OTM (Gladstone is more measured than Garfield) that folks think there is a problem with mainstream media. Garfied you are no better than Limbaugh. Can someone at NPR dismiss this charlatan from the show? Better yet, why don't you send him to the Riyadh or Beijing bureau to report on media fairness there.

Jan. 21 2009 12:45 PM
Rusty

About that reich wing meme that the spying via wiretap is "legal"

NSA Snooped on Lawyers Knowing Spying Was Illegal, Suit Charges
Ryan Singel Email 07.10.07

The government's surveillance of two attorneys challenging the NSA's warrantless wiretapping of Americans took place partly during a period in which the top secret program operated without the approval of the Bush administration's own Justice Department, according to a newly filed court document.

The lawsuit, known as al-Haramain vs. United States, is the only one of more than 50 challenges to the program where the plaintiffs claim to have proof that they were the targets of the warrantless spying, based on a top secret document that had been briefly provided to them in a government paperwork snafu.
http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2007/07/haramain_appeal

No problem though. Just move the goal posts again.

If America weren't the greatest purveyor of violence on the planet, there wouldn't be reactionary terrorism. We bought and paid for it. We needed a new -ism what with commie-ism having lost its luster for the war machine.

As for the fairness doctrine, I support it for hard journalism. Otherwise, we get *BS* that passes for journalism like latter day Father Coughlin Lou Dobbs and the ever shrill Keith Olberman.

What's amusing about relentless partisan hacks like David is the way they assume folks like me actually admire Democrats. They are complicit lapdogs who worked hard to make your blessed spying legal after the fact. Why would I support that when I think those who dreamed up the, yes, ILLEGAL spying and torture should be tried, convicted, and hanged?

I do hope you are being paid for all your hard work, David. If not look up Advantage Consultants – President: Doug Guetzloe, a right-wing radio host and anti-tax activist in Florida. They pay people to shill the crap you are shilling here.

Jan. 21 2009 12:44 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

I do not think that I said that he WASN'T the most popular living ex-President (yes, I assumed you meant living). But, being more popular than Carter, HW, and W is not exactly putting a person above anyone great, right? You could agree with that? My point was:

1. Being the most popular, living ex-President has not done that much for him, from what I can see (look at what happened to him during the Democrat Primary--he pretty much embarrassed himself and his wife and raised more questions than answers).

2. Being "popular" at 35% to 48% is not exactly a ringing level of popularity in my mind. (Plus notoriously short memories of people at large tend to forget how shamefully he left office).

But now we are getting off the topic...I don't want to commit a "crime" (especially one I accused others of).

Jan. 21 2009 12:41 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

in response to 210, No, David, I don't have a problem with it. To actually say it would have been rude and unprofessional, to imply it the way Garfield did is fair game in a commentary, IMO.

Jan. 21 2009 12:37 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Bryan, in response to 228, I refer you to post 193.

Jan. 21 2009 12:32 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Bryan, that's an interesting argument about the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. I don't think it significantly undercuts any of my points about the Bush II administration, but for all I know, it may may be true. I guess I'm not old enough to remember. Which is strange, because I'm pretty old. :)

Jan. 21 2009 12:27 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Response to #226:
"Bush could not have been convicted"....? Convicted of what crime exactly? Can someone please SPECIFY a criminal (or even one single civil offense and NOT Scooter Libby either, please) offense and explain to me why EVERYONE (including the media and the Democrats in Congress) let him get away with it? You just cannot have it BOTH ways: The media portrayed Bush as a buffoon and a clown for most of his presidency. Yet from Bob Garfield one would need to believe that Bush just about single-handedly masterminded, led, organized, kept hidden and covert, implemented, and pulled off the greatest quash of the media, the people, and the government--indeed, the WORLD--the GREATEST crime in World History! How exactly does a buffoon ACCOMPLISH that for 8 years and the WORLD is powerless to do anything about it except swear at him and exaggerate vague "offenses" when the guy is walking out of the White House basically waving politely at them????? Just too crazy....but I await a single crime to be specified and documented...

Jan. 21 2009 12:26 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Bryan, I'm pretty sure, I said the most popular LIVING ex-president, which would pit him against Bush I, Jimmy Carter, and now Bush II. Yeah, I think I'm gonna stand by that statement.

I voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, but in the general election, one reason why I supported Barak Obama so enthusiastically is because he defeated such a formidable, "inevitable" candidacy. The man demonstrated that he has MAD political skills.

Jan. 21 2009 12:21 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

David, I'm assuming that you are so incredibly wrong because the non-mainstream media has been feeding you thier line about Clinton and al Queda. Clinton bombed bin Laden's camp in 1998, just missed him, and might have taken another shot if he wasn't being impeached. Clinton made al Queda a priority, Bush never did pre-911. Read the memoir of Reagan-appointed anti-terrorism expert Richard Clarke to set the record straight. I highly reccomend it. Clarke is no Liberal, he's not always critical of Bush, and he's no Dove either-- but he's a really good writer, and he was a high-level witness to a couple of decades of anti-terror policy.

Bush could not have been convicted because of Republicans in the Senate. If you think that Congress neglected it's duty, Republicans are who you ought to blame.

Jan. 21 2009 12:12 PM
David from Rhode Island

Jeff (#223) - Love your last statement. Couldn't agree more. We need to just get rid of both parties and form a new American Party (or we could have a naming contest) that is tolerant, fiscally conservative, understands what separation of church and state really means and meant to the vast majority of people that put it there in the first place (It isn't as argumentative and difficult as people have made it), etc. etc. Plenty to still argue about? Sure, but if we can also agree that getting 80% of it right and leaving the other 20%, big as that might be, more to the individual and the local governments, then things might get a lot better quickly. And btw, it is too early to tell of course, but I think President Obama is pretty much in that place. Part of my proof is that the super conservative Republicans, and even more so and more amazing, the Democratic leadership, is starting to kick back at him already in some areas. Tells me he is on the right track.

No idea why I am going to post this, since I know it has the potential to start another 200 post argument and really has nothing to do with the original topic. Oh well, I love to hear myself "talk". LOL.

Jan. 21 2009 11:47 AM
jeff

I would also like to echo the comments of others. "Thank" you BG

Jan. 21 2009 10:53 AM
jeff

There are enough holes in the Constitution; or better yet, because it's a living document in the eyes of some; that there has always been a battle for power between the executive and legislative branches. Bush pushed to increase the power of his branch and tested the Constitution. That happens every day. Maybe Obama will role over and let Congress tell him how it's going to be. I suspect that, despite a lower approval rating, the entrenched Congressional Democratic leadership is going to want to have it their way. My hope is that Democrats can't keep themselves together and the blue dogs form an alliance with fiscal-focused Republicans.

Jan. 21 2009 10:50 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

By the way, for all you who are so quick to condemn one and so quick to coronate the next, you should really check out some seasoned, wise media commentary on the REALITY--in contrast to the shallow, flash-in-the-pan laundry list drama pasted together by Bob Garfield. Check out this "Politico" article out today:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20090121/pl_politico/17714

Jan. 21 2009 10:26 AM
Jeff Gannon from Fairfax, VA

I am not a journalist, but I do read newspapers (and yes, I watch TV).

How can you people complain about Bush when you rolled over and played dead and let him do it?

Sure, Jessica Lynch was a fabrication. But didn't a certain MSM newspaper take the ball and run with it, without question?

Come on guys, earn you money, man (or woman) up, and grow a pair.

Jan. 21 2009 10:19 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it!!! Get it first here!!!
John Kupiec, with unreasoned statements,with outrageous name-calling, with 20/80 hindsight in analysis, with "worshipping at the OTM altar", and with fabrications and failure to understand the OTM guidelines--with ALL of that John Kupiec has succeeded in actually PROVING the point for the OPPOSING side!!! THANK you, John! (Has anyone located the OTM Moderator yet? Should we call 911?)

Jan. 21 2009 10:12 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

WOW!!! In Post #198 BB Jones states: "...here is all you need to know about the...adminstration":
1. They felt that wartime gave them absolute unquestioned power.
2. They felt that it was okay to use any kind of deception to get us into a war.
3. Consolidation of power was an end in itself for them. Other presidents had overreached to accommplish a policy end, but the[y]...just wanted to overreach for its own sake....lifetime believer[s] in the imperial presidency.
This is all historical record. That's your recipe for dictatorship right there."

Again, WOW!!! For a second there, BB, I could have sworn you were speaking about the Kennedy Administration AND the Johnson Administration AND the Great Society...and I was about to AGREE with you--because that is EXACTLY what happened under Democrat Presidents Kennedy and Johnson--although you may not be old enough to know it....

Jan. 21 2009 10:07 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

David stated in his posts: "Amazing, virtually every posting by liberals resorts to name-calling and demonization. Are you all truly incapable of just discussing things without resorting to this? Apparently not. But according you one of you, you are the "intellectual, informed ones". Maybe, but you sure need to grow up."
It IS amazing, isn't it, David? And that is sort of one of the MAJOR points of this whole discussion thread, isn't it? Let me elaborate: Instead of simply reading his "laundry list" on pre-Inauguration weekend, Bob Garfield has to ALSO defame the President by putting false words and implying falsely what he is saying in a final press conference..BUT then Garfield outdoes himself by actually implicitly swearing and saying that to a sitting President! (IMAGINE if ANY media type did that to President Obama or numerous others???) And these liberals are supposed to be the "caring" ones? The "equality-minded" ones (but NOT equal opportunity!)? Basically, David, every time they have done that in this discussion they PROVE the point you have made again and again and again...BUT they have been doing just that for...ummmmm...DECADES now? These liberal, Democrat commetators are rude, PLUS they hold a hypocritical double standard and their own posts prove it above.

Jan. 21 2009 10:00 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Response to post #182: If Rusty actually believes that the "Fairness Doctrine" is NOT an utterly "brown-shirt" doctrine (a doctrine supported by the likes of Chucky Schumer from NY who Rusty should admire for Chucky's "economic expertise" leading this country over the past several years), then I do not have to debate with Rusty any longer. The "Fairness Doctrine" has been about as UNfair as a doctrine could ever be--and due to it's faulty premise and application, will continue to be unfair and absurd.

Jan. 21 2009 09:52 AM
Steve from Harrisburg, PA

When during the last 8 years did Mr. Garfield realize this, and why did it take him so long (until the week that Bush et al leave) to comment?

Jan. 21 2009 09:51 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

In Post #191 David stated: "...let me make sure I have this straight. You and others that agree with you on here think that Bush has authorized, and is therefore guilty of, violating numerous constitutional rights (First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, right to counsel, usurpation of powers, and I am sure others); numerous human rights, including torture and murder; and any number of other illegal acts including violating openness laws etc. And yet for the "good of the country" and "patriotism", your theory is that the Dems in Congress thought it better to just let that all go. Huh! Interesting! Guess that says it all."
BRAVO! BRAVO! ENCORE! ENCORE! I HAD to hear that again! THANK YOU, David!!! Excellent! Remember that BBJones earlier stated that "all I need to do is vote--nothing else..." THAT not only contradicts what President Obama said, BUT also proves you are 100% accurate in your post David. Typical liberal Democrat: I need government to do what I am unwilling and unable to participate in or understand, so therefore--and this reasoning baffles me...if ALL the things that George Bush (the evil OVERLORD) did in 7 years were SOOOOOOO onerous, soooooo evil, sooooooo illegal, soooooooo unethical, sooooooo unAmerican--then why did the Democrats in Congress let it all go by AND in fact why did they SUPPORT so much of it--like the war in Iraq??? And why have they not impeached or at least convicted him of something like Clinton was actually found guilty of an offense?? Why do you want to have it BOTH ways BB?

Jan. 21 2009 09:48 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh, I almost forgot. (Maybe that has to do with how much more mature I am than Mr. Kupiec?)
Sir, I listen to OTM for reasons that I stated clearly in this discussion, if you even read it all. Again, the fact that I listen to OTM (because I RESPECT the opposition--or TRY to) and what I HEAR on OTM ONLY FURTHER PROVES my very points herein! You seem LOST on such a fine point, Sir.

Jan. 21 2009 09:27 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

However, Mr. Kupiec, if the powers at OTM let such posts as #181 stand, then we simply have more proof of my valid, accurate point, right? We also have evidence here presented that in contrast to anything you dreamed up that would be "Faux News", I would posit that Post #181 is simply "FAUX POST". Thank you, and to get back to REALITY now and the real discussion.... :) If BBJones wants to find something not in REALITY, go to Post #181--I highly recommend it as an alien experience!

Jan. 21 2009 09:23 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

In Post# 181 J. Kupiec stated: "B. Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News and get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush and excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR. Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You and your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door."
BF's response (continued from above posts):
10. You mispelled "statuette", Mr. Kupiec. Maybe instead of engaging in slanderous typing and irrational, rude, rants that are totally off-topic, you could check your own writing a bit. Incidentally, I was against Reagan during his first term, and suspicious of him in his second term. Now I respect him and give him what is probably his proper place in history--we will see. Your statements in your posts have accomplished ZILCH, NOTHING, NADA in proving my facts and statements wrong. If you are debating my claims about the media, then you either have not been around the discussion for long (e.g., as newspapers fail around us and are criticized for their editorial bias) or you are not old enough to know any better. I respect your right to have an opinion, but not your right to make an outrageous post like #181.

Jan. 21 2009 09:19 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

In Post# 181 J. Kupiec stated: "B. Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News and get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush and excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR. Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You and your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door."
BF's response (continued from above posts):
9. I also do not own a crucifix, Mr. Kupiec, although you have successfully stereotyped (and offended) numerous billions who do own one. I have a couple nice illustrations of Jesus Christ in my computer folder devoted to such things. Does that offend you, Mr. Kupiec, and reduce me to a lower caste? (Amazing that you imply that you are some of the things that you mention, yet you could post such a degrading post that is the equivalent of pig slop, or lower...." OTM Moderator, did you read Post #181 at all in the context of this discussion in the first 180 posts?

Jan. 21 2009 09:06 AM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones (#201) - hey, you and I agree on somethng! LOL. Maybe even a few others. The brown shirt reference was Rusty (#186, I think). And of course there has been a lot of vitriol and personal attacks via name-calling throughout the posts, mostly by the people that agree with Garfield, I am afraid. That is just a fact on these postings; of course, people on both sides are very guilty of doing this. That was the whole point in the first place, and for Garfield to do it, being the host of a public show, is just wrong. To actually tell the President of the United States to "F" himself (and of course that is exactly what Garfield did) is wrong for anyone, and especially wrong for someone hosting a show on the public airwaves. Think we can agree on that?

Jan. 21 2009 09:03 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

J. Kupiec in Post #181 stated: "Bryan Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News and get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush and excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR.Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You and your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door." BF's response (continued):
6. Addressing an AARP member as "boy" would be considered vulgar, rude, and mindless--ESPECIALLY during the inauguration day of President Obama. You need to apologize for that and ask OTM Moderator to remove it before you embarass yourself any further.
7. I do not own a rifle and I have NEVER owned a rifle (although I was in the military for 7 years). My daughter has a BB gun though.
8. Obvioulsy since I have no gun, it would be unlikely that I have an NRA sticker--nor do I have a pick up truck--though I believe people have a right to all three.

Jan. 21 2009 09:00 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

In Post #181 J. Kupiec stated: "B. Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News and get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush and excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR. Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You and your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door."
BF's response (continued from previous post)
3. I get "jollies" listening to Bob Garfield on Saturday morning, actually.
4. I do not (yet) claim that Obama is a "socialist"--those are your words John. In fact I respect President Obama very much, and after listening carefully to his inauguration speech, not only am I impressed with that speech, but I am interested to see where he will go with it from here. BUT, I am reasonable and respectful generally, unlike your words and actions, Mr. Kupiec.
5. The "facts" that I have referred to here in the above discussion are ALL verifiable through the media itself and through the news record over the past few decades. Bob Garfield is, in fact, proof as Exhibit #1.

Jan. 21 2009 08:53 AM
David from Rhode Island

You have to admit, this is a hell of a debate. Has any other OTM piece generated this many responses? Even correcting for the dozen or so short, goofy correctional posts?

Jan. 21 2009 08:49 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

J. Kupiec in Post #181 stated: "Bryan Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News & get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush & excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR. Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You & your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door." My response:
It is hard to know where to start with such an outrageous post, but maybe point-by-point would work. Let me try.
1. I look at the local (liberal) paper, the WSJ, the (liberal) NYTimes, the CSM, and listen to NPR. I rarely listen to Sean Hannity (maybe once month, for a brief minute picking up my daughter--only if there is a big "issue" going on) although I respect Hannity to a point. But "respect" would be a concept foreign to you, Mr. Kupiec. (to be continued)

Jan. 21 2009 08:47 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

But, before I proceed...If Post #181 by Mr. Kupiec is not simply a ranting, personal attack on another commentator that has "no factual basis" and also is not "on topic", I do not know what is. Borderline fanatical and fantastical, but bottom-line, just crude and rude. OTM Moderator?

Jan. 21 2009 08:40 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

John Kupiec in Post #181 stated: "Bryan Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News and get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush and excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR. Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You and your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door."

I LOVE this sort of demonstration of how low, uncivilized, and just plain unreasonable (or even irrational) a Democrat-liberal can become in a discussion like this. Enough said on that--just read his comment--a personal attack against some one he knows nothing about, outlandish in all the areas it lashes out at. Actually shows more about Mr. Kupiec's stereotypes and "hangups" and almost fascist "political correctness" than it shows anything accurate about me personally or about the topic we were addressing. It also needs illustrates how some do not read the guidelines OTM and NPR have for these discussions--making one wonder if the Moderator is asleep at the switch.... Now, for the details of my response which will be below.

Jan. 21 2009 08:36 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Blackbelt_Jones stated: "...I'm just a voter, and I voted. If Bryan thinks I can or should do more than that, he's not making any point at all regarding REALITY. Once again, reality is the problem...."
THAT is a mouthful, BJ!!! I HOPE you watched Obama's inaugural speech, Blackbelt, because President Obama GRAVELY disagrees with you, and he made that CRYSTAL CLEAR in his speech!
Blackbelt_Jones stated: "...The GOP is out....[but] none of things have anything to do with me. The rascals are out. That's all that I care about, so don't look to me to do more, even if I could. Time to watch the inauguration."
Response, briefly: Phew!!!! I am soooooo glad that you are on the other side of the debate, Blackbelt! First, I was not talking about "the GOP"...I was talking about the media that has disgraced itself in its work and ethics and how Bob Garfield lowered himself lower than MANY--and to a level MUCH lower than George Bush with this piece. And, AGAIN, you better go back and listen to Obama's inauguration speech--because if you believe and act like what you stated above, YOU, my dear adversary, are part of the very PROBLEM that Obama faces, not part of the solution. You have a great deal of growing to do just to understand the finer points of Obama's speech, I feel. But THIS debate was about Garfield's piece and the media in my mind--stick to the issues we were bringing up, please.

Jan. 21 2009 08:26 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Response to Post #176: Jones stated "...Clinton is the most popular ex-President...."

First: Even if it were true (which I debate), it MIGHT be true by a ratio of, say...ummmmm...43% to 38%?????

Second: If he is the most popular living ex-President, it certainly did not do much for his wife in the Democrat Presidential primary, did it? She went from a "guaranteed shoe-in for the nomination" to "the most popular female also-ran for nomination" in what--a month or two? And in that same span the "most popular living ex-President" was basically MUZZLED, sent packing, and left reviewing the significance of all the foreign powers he is now taking money from to run his main retiree function..... Hmmmmm.... Interesting situation for someone who is sooooooo popular.....

Jan. 21 2009 08:16 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

People who compare Bush to Hitler are way over the top.

People who compare Bush (or Karl Rove) to Goebbels have an interesting point. That whole spectacle of Bush's entrance in a fighter jet on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln bears an eerie resemblance to the opening scenes of "Triumph of the Will", in which Hitler arrives in Nuremburg in airplane with great fanfare.

Now, David, I missed that part, but if someone compared you to "brownshirts", please put me down as disagreeing with that judgement. Whatever point he's trying to make with that epthet, it obscures more than it illuminates.

Jan. 21 2009 07:48 AM
David from Rhode Island

BB Jones, of course we will never agree on this, but I would still maintain that if Bush and Cheney are guilty of even half of what you say, it was the CLEAR duty of Congress to impeach and convict them, and thus they abdicated. Impeaching Clinton was wrong because his acts did NOT constitute high crimes and misdemeanors as they were defined at the time that was written. But you can spin it any way you want, you are saying they made a political calculation and thought their best chance for power was to do nothing. Guess they were right. And come on, if you are going to blame the "Bushies" for "possible negligence" with respect to 9/11, how about mentioning the years of inaction and direct NEGATIVE action by Clinton, Gorelick, et. al.? Too much to hope for, I guess.

Jan. 21 2009 07:27 AM
David from Rhode Island

John K - Wow! You are comparing calling Garfield's comments unprofessional and churlish to calling people that have posted that opinion on here "brownshirts" and similar epithets. The whole point of this, starting out, was exactly to debate the way garfield presented the piece, as opposed to the content. I know people will never agree on the content. Unprofessional and churlish are legitamate critiques of the manner in which it was presented. If you think those comments even remotely compare to calling people Nazis, then no point in even continuing the dialog. BTW, I did say I wouldn't vote for Bush again and supported Obama, but there was no way in hell I was voting for Kerry or Gore. I hate a lot of what Bush did, and wish we had had better choices for sure. FYI, I voted for Bush the first time, did a write-in the second time. Who it was is my personal business. Finally, it is laughable to think I wouldn't tell Garfield the same thing I have said on here face-to-face. My God, I have had to tell people much harsher things than that in job reviews, etc. Telling someone I found their piece vitriolic and disrespectful (I don't think I ever actually used the word churlish, but I could say that too) is nothing. Now, telling someone I think they are a Nazi to their face, that is something else. If you don't get the difference, read some history.

Jan. 21 2009 07:21 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Here's all anybody has to know about the Bush Administration:

1. They felt that wartime gave them absolute unquestioned power.
2. They felt that it was okay to use any kind of deception to get us into a war.
3. Consolidation of power was an end in itself for them. Other presidents had overreached to accommplish a policy end, but the bushies just wanted to overreach for its own sake. Cheney is a lifetime believer in the imperial presidency.

This is all historical record. That's your recipe for dictatorship right there. They didn't cause 9/11 (except possibly through neglegence), but the plans against Iraq were already on paper when the planes hit the towers. Without 9/11 they'd still be feeding us bullshit about aluminum rods and yellowcake and punishing dissenters. This was a dangerous President. Lucky for us, he was also incompentent.

Jan. 21 2009 02:19 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Whoops, missed John K's post. I was responding to blackbelt_jones.

Jan. 21 2009 01:10 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

But wise!

Jan. 21 2009 01:04 AM
John K from Fairfax, VA


Really, David? I suppose that I misread all those posts by your associates that labeled Bob Garfield's comment as unprofessional and churlish.

Someone said that Garfield wouldn't have the cojones to make those comments to Bush's face. Well, folks, I doubt that you would have the cojones to get in Bob's face and call him churlish if you ran into him at a coffee shop down here in NoVA.

David, we're simply speaking to you in the Faux News speak which you understand. In your perspective, you would look upon any attempt at reasonable conversation as a sign of weakness.

Fine, let me see you say in print that you made a mistake in voting for Bush once and a HUGE mistake in voting for Bush twice, so much that you \have begun to question your political judgment. Else your writing is so much noise.

I don't believe in letting ideologues getting away with BS and calling it fact. If you can't deal with that, you're even more lost than I first thought.

Jan. 21 2009 12:22 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

YOW! That was not well-proofread. Sorry.

Jan. 20 2009 11:24 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Murder?

If I was impeaching Bush, it would be for refusing to recognize that any other branch had any authority over the executive branch. There were legions of lawyers in the Justice Department, Bush appointees and Conservative Republicans all, who resigned over this radical interpretation of the constitution, which essentially nullified all constitutional checks and balances. The oath of office explicitly requires the President protect and defend the Constitution, and if he's undermining the constitution, that's an impeachable offense. I mean the I'm not sure if it's a crime, because it may not be in the criminal code, but it is a misemeanor, especially as the word was used when the constitution was written.

Other presidents have sought to overreach beyond their power, and some of them could have been impeached for it. If they weren't, it was because of politics. Politics have everything to do with whether or not a President is impeached. With a democratic majority in congress, II don't doubt that Bush could have been impeached, but, as with Clinton, impeachment and conviction are two different things. The Democrats would have needed a to third majority to convict in the Senate. Pretty much impossible with a one vote margin.

Jan. 20 2009 11:20 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Murder?

Jan. 20 2009 10:55 PM
David from Rhode Island

bb-jones - Since I am such a poor reader, let me make sure I have this straight. You and others that agree with you on here think that Bush has authorized, and is therefore guilty of, violating numerous constitutional rights (First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, right to counsel, usurpation of powers, and I am sure others); numerous human rights, including torture and murder; and any number of other illegal acts including violating openness laws etc. And yet for the "good of the country" and "patriotism", your theory is that the Dems in Congress thought it better to just let that all go.

Huh! Interesting! Guess that says it all.

Jan. 20 2009 10:42 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Before the invasion of Iraq, Cheney created an office that used the intellegence community to generate proaganda, until propaganda started to feed back and inform the descision making process. Is that a crime? Doesn't matter. If Impeachment is off the table, the Democrats don't need a crime to take steps to investigate and to prevent a reoccurrence of the fiasco. And there a hundred other examples.

Of course, I only have so much faith that the Democrats will use this opportunity to fix the system. But it's the best opportunity they're going to have, and we sure do need it.

Jan. 20 2009 10:07 PM
jeff

There's no trial because there's no crime, as much as Bob lusts for one.

Democrats won't do much, as per usual, because they knew it all was happening. There's certainly no crime if Congress okays it.

T***k you Bob.

Jan. 20 2009 09:25 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

David wrote

" So the only conclusion based on your statements are that the Dems don't have the political will to do what they think is the right thing. As I have said in other contexts on here, can't have it both ways."

Not much a reader, are you?

All I said was that Clinton was impeached because of politics, bush wasn't impeached because of politics. I also said that the political motives behind the Congressional Democrats decision to explicitly take impeachment off the table, included patriotism, as well as self-interest. I even mentioned that to impeach two presidents in a row is not a good precedent for the political stability of this country. Now, that was my thought, but I'm sure that some Deomocrats in congress would agree with me.

To put it simply, I see no reason to believe that a majority of congressional Democrats considered tying up the government with the impeachment trial of a president who was halfway through his second term while two wars are going on to be "the right thing" for America. Personally, I don't think it was the right thing for America , but I do believe that a case could have been made.

But why? To humiliate Bush? To get his approval rating down another ten points? Now that the Democrats have all the marbles, the excesses and quasi-legal power-grabs of the Bush years can be thoroughly investigated and legislated against... and THAT is what is right for America. Let Bush retire to Texas unmolested. He doesn't matter any more.

Jan. 20 2009 09:18 PM
Lou G from Boston


>>The people that object here to Mr. Garfield's opinion seem to be more angry that he chose to call Bush out on his contrasting words and actions than to comment on the individual occurrences cited in the commentary<<

No, we object to the one-sided perspective that was presented. So of what was rattled off at the begining of this weeks show were simply Bush using the powers of the presidency. They were listed as if they were all offenses.

And....were some of the actions called for? Or were they all simply wrong because someone was offended...?

>>many points by Garfield are correct, but many are either opinion for which there is no factual answer<<

Right on the money! The Liberals see their opinions as 'fact'...and can't understand how anyone can see differetly.

Oh, and Bob....Thank...you....

(...grow up, huh?)

Jan. 20 2009 08:52 PM
Karin from San Diego

Charles Brown: OK, we get it. You don't like the media and think Bush got a bum rap. Now, seriously: Give it a rest!
You're boring.

Jan. 20 2009 07:49 PM
David from Rhode Island

Reading my comments versus the others, let me be clear on one other thing. Just because I am saying that OTM and Garfield in particular are pretty biased against conservatives (and no one can take those of you that say otherwise seriously. I mean, come on), it does NOT by inference mean that I am saying that there are not other shows biased against liberals. Of course there are. Most happily admit it, some delude themselves. And they get a huge number of things wrong. And they are very divisive.

But this isn't their show. I no longer listen to those shows, in fact stopped listening pretty quickly when I saw what they are like. I listen to OTM precisely because that while it is somewhat left of center, I enjoy hearing opnions more liberal than my own, the topics are often unique and well presented, and I never found it had crossed the line until this piece. I just take the liberal slant as a given. And sure, Garfield's style is sometimes juvenile and prickly, and if he really meant what he said in his response on this post earlier about being balanced, he is deluding himself. But like I said, this time he crossed the line in a major way with regard to the venomous and disrespectful way he presented his opinions.

OK, everyone is entitled to a mistake. Or to learn from feedback. If that happens, I will be pleased (my life doesn't depend on it, but it would be nice), and I would start supporting WNYC again. Otherwise I would have to conclude that any talk of respectful disagreement is just so many hollow words, or it is all about showmanship. And somehow I rather doubt the latter. We will see.

Jan. 20 2009 04:42 PM
David from Rhode Island

Rusty - many points by Garfield are correct, but many are either opinion for which there is no factual answer (style, for example) or flat out refutable. They have been refuted, you just don't agree with the refutations. Fine, don't. But just to give you one, he calls the wiretaps illegal. Yet courts have said both ways so far, the highest court to rule so far saying they are not. And as i said earlier, the Clinton White House and Jamie Gorelick, of the famous Abu Grabe committee, defended the same warrantless searches and even went further, saying warrantless break-ins were OK. IN CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS. Public record, no shades of gray, not the usual political double-speak. On the record. But even if it is just different courts with different opinions, which means the Supremes get involved, how "balanced" is it to say they are illegal, and therefore by inference citing one courts ruling and not the others? Yes, very balanced.

Jan. 20 2009 04:22 PM
David from Rhode Island

Amazing, virtually every posting by liberals resorts to name-calling and demonization. Are you all truly incapable of just discussing things without resorting to this? Apparently not. But according you one of you, you are the "intellectual, informed ones". Maybe, but you sure need to grow up.

John Kupiec - I am not a far right conservative. As I stated before, I am for Obama. Yet I say again, for the umpteenth time, that the issue here is supposed to be (at least if I have anything to say about it) that Bob's completely bitter and hateful presentation does nothing but alienate people that are trying to have a meeting of the minds, or at least be accomodating to those of different views. I can only conclude after saying this a number of times, yet seeing the continuing childish manner in which the "less conservative" people make their remarks, that they have no interest in civil discourse, statements to the contrary notwithstanding. Admit it, you really don't believe in people having the right to different opinions, do you?

Jan. 20 2009 04:22 PM
Rusty

It’s amusing reading the bickering of the far right ideologues with the not so far right ideologues (popularly known as liberals), particularly the ridiculous but reliably wielded canard that the media has a “liberal bias.” Like most all news outlets, no matter what their leanings in the tiny little spectrum that is American politics, National Propaganda Radio has a bias to power and especially corporate power.

That Garfield wrote a factually correct piece is irrefutable. That however does not in any way demonstrate the alleged (and wholly fictitious) “liberal bias.” While there are assuredly liberals on the roster at NPR, the daily presence of arch conservatives on Marketplace and Diane Rehm go a long way towards pointing out the fallacy of the whiners on the far right. There is never any actual leftist point of view on those or any other shows, not even a scintilla. Indeed, there is seldom any serious “progressive” to “balance” the reactionary drivel that issues forth from Rehm’s perpetual guests from the AEI, Heritage and other forces from within the vast far right wing echo chamber.

Even the “lefties” you far right wing zealots love to hate, folks like Paul Krugman, will not call for the criminal trials that are so richly deserved by an entire cadre of administration officials. Certainly no editorial to the contrary has appeared on NPR or any of the significant editorial pages around the nation. Nor does a call for prosecution exist anywhere in Garfield’s piece although he does point out that crimes were committed.

And by the way, my brown-shirted friends, you can blame all that “bias” on your other Dear Leader Ronnie Raygun. The destruction of the fairness doctrine makes current conditions you’re fussing about all his fault.

Jan. 20 2009 02:11 PM
John Kupiec from Fairfax, VA

Bryan Fitzgerald should go back to Faux News and get his jollies listening to Sean Hannity genuflect at the altar of Bush and excoriate that socialist Obama and his minions at NPR.

Bryan, you've got nothing factual to say. You and your kind have had nothing factual to say for the past 25 years. Now be a good boy, and take your rifle, NRA sticker, crucifix and St. Reagan stautette back into your bunker, and lock the door.

Jan. 20 2009 01:58 PM
John Kupiec from Fairfax, VA

Bob,

Great commentary. Jon Stewart is probably shaking his head and muttering, "I wish we had done that." I predict that your commentary will stand as perhaps the best first draft of the history of the Bush Administraton's relationship with the press.

All the comments calling your commentary, rude, crass and biased lead me to two observations.

First, you obviously hit a collective conservative nerve. Methinks the right-wing doth protest too loudly, because they recognize more than a little truth in your commentary.

Second, a question: If the right-wing think you are so biased to the left,why do they listen to On the Media? Could it be because On the Media is more 'fair and balanced" than another well-known network?

I take one minor exception to your commentary. You forgot to bid farewell to the outgoing Vice President as in, "Mister Cheney, go thank yourself."

Jan. 20 2009 01:51 PM
Bill Collins from Buffalo

At least Garfield is consistent. For the last several years he has never missed a chance in his weekly column in Advertising Age to take shots at President Bush, Senator McCain or Republicans and conservatives in general. His written commentary is typically condescending, smart-alecky and smug and always liberal and pro-Democratic. For him to claim he has a shred of conservative thinking in his bones is laughable.

Jan. 20 2009 01:08 PM
David from Rhode Island

OK, the posting by Cerberus is just vile. OTM, could that please be removed? Surely that crosses the line.

Jan. 20 2009 12:38 PM
David from Rhode Island

bb-jones - Bryan didn't say what you should do personally, that is ridiculous. And your reasoning makes no sense. If people that support the Democratic Party feel as strongly about Bush as you do and you say they do, then how could it have been bad politics? Or are you saying that people that are not rabidly partisan might think this is not such a good idea? Surely if what he did what actually criminal and/or impeachable, the public would support it. Just like they did not support it with Clinton because they did not think it rose to that level, and was entirely political. Except for the rabids on the other side, of course. So the only conclusion based on your statements are that the Dems don't have the political will to do what they think is the right thing. As I have said in other contexts on here, can't have it both ways.

Jan. 20 2009 12:19 PM
blackbelt_jones

David, I'm not a prosecutor, and I'm not a member of congress. I'm just a voter, and I voted. If Bryan thinks I can or should do more than that, he's not making any point at all regarding REALITY. Once again, reality is the problem.

It's all about the politics. Clinton was impeached because of politics. Bush was not impeached because of politics. The Democratic Powers That Be decided that, in spite of the wishes of a majority of their voters and about 50 per cent of the country, impeaching Bush would be bad politics. Their reasons are probably a mixture of self-serving (impeaching Clinton hurt the GOP, at least in the short term) and patriotic (impeaching two presidents in a row would have been a bad precedent for the future stability of the Republic.) Anyway, it didn't happen, and frankly, who cares? The GOP is out, and impeachment clearly has nothing to do with the judgement of history. Clinton is the most popular livng ex-president, and-- in just a half hour-- Bush will be the most unpopular living ex-president. If Bush lives a fine happy life from here on in, goes to prison, dies tomorrow, none of things have anything to do with me.

The rascals are out. That's all that I care about, so don't look to me to do more, even if I could.

Time to watch the inauguration.

Jan. 20 2009 11:40 AM
Matt K from Palatine, IL

I listened with growing irritation to this piece on the radio, from the opening comment on the alternate meaning of THANK, to the comment about "giving the middle finger to the media", to the bleating about Bush's critics' perceived media bias, and ended with a bitter taste in my mouth, as it ended with the President being told "F*** You", via the alternate meaning of THANK. Many of the criticisms I heard certainly had their counterparts in the Clinton administration, which helpfully wasn't brought up in the on-air screed. We've donated to NPR, but this little slice of bitterness and partisanship certainly doesn't incline me to donate in the future.

Jan. 20 2009 09:33 AM
David from Rhode Island

By the way, just to be clear, I wouldn't have voted for President Bush again, nor did I like McCain. I kind of like Obama so far, he is intelligent, well-spoken, and while I am sure there will be policies I disagree with, I suspect I will agree with far more. I really hope he is a great president and represents the best of the Democratic party.

I don't disagree that in many ways, Bush was a disaster, as I have already stated. But there is no way he deserves the bile and hatred you all have for him, just as there was no way Clinton deserved it from the many right-wingers that were like lunatics about him. Dial it back. In practice, Clinton wound up being a pretty good moderate Republican president. Little joke at the end there. Kind of.

So say what you want about it all, I still say, in the end, there is no excuse for Bob's method of airing his grievances regarding President Bush. It was juvenile, uncivilized, and borderline unethical. I promise you there is no way he would say that to his face. I try very hard to be sure what I say I would also say to someone directly, even though it is usually tougher. Bob has a greater responsibility in that regard, since he is entrusted with a small piece of the airwaves and is talking to many thousands of people, many of whom are easily lathered up (as is obvious). It would be nice if he would use his position, small as it might be in the overall scheme of things, to try and bring some civility to our discourse. I have always said, and taught my chidren the same, that those with limited abilities to express themselves resort to vulgarities. Make of that what you will.

Jan. 20 2009 08:10 AM
David from Rhode Island

Blackbelt-jones: Bryan is quite capable of speaking for himself, but he clearly meant legal action under the criminal justice system, not an election result. Bush was re-elected in 2004, so when you had your chance you did not do it. He wasn't, and couldn't, run again (I know, big sigh of relief from many of you). And the party was already out of office in Congress, so......

In essence, you made no point at all insofar as responding to Bryan.

Jan. 20 2009 07:58 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

"I am NOT hurt by this. I am SAD and frustrated."

You sure are!

Jan. 20 2009 01:04 AM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

Dear God, Bryan, are you serious?
No one did anything about the supposed crimes? Do a little googling and you'll find out WE ELECTED A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT! WE TURNED BUSH'S PARTY OUT OF OFFICE, which is what we're empowered to do in this circumstances.

Jan. 20 2009 12:57 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh, Nancy et al. I almost forgot:

Why was President Clinton put up for impeachment and technically convicted of actual crime(s) right before he left office (not to even mention the economic issues that actually began in the nineties and came only to fruition in the Bush years--will "history" be heard by you on that aspect), and there wasn't a word from you all....why is this president different? If Bush committed so many crimes, then go convict him! Clinton was convicted (and spared), so it is possible. Stop whining and DO it! If not, start being reasonable and fair, please. And get the issues straight from the above discussion while you are DOING it (convicting, literally) to Bush. And please enjoy the actual conviction of Bush (like Clinton was actually a criminal) because it sure seems like there are a lot of "victims" of Bush coming out of the woodwork at the end here...my Lord!

Jan. 19 2009 11:23 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

I still guess that I have one problem, Nancy et al. I am not "hurt" by Bob Garfield or his piece. Nor am I hurt by your comments or the likes of John's comments. Perhaps in YOUR minds you believe that we feel "hurt" because that is how YOU feel when your idols blow it or get caught or don't fix everything that you claim George is solely responsible for--or so it sounds that way--I exaggerate perhaps.

You continue to blather on about Bush and in 4 years you will still be blathering about Bush. And in 8 years you will still be blathering about "the Bush years" and how that "did us all in". Then history will blather about "the Bush years". But back to the point...I am NOT hurt by this. I am SAD and frustrated...for three reasons, maybe more: 1. this debate was (on our side) about the LONG-TERM failure of the media, partly through it's bias along with other reasons; the media has failed and phased itself out; 2. the failure of the media (or any of you) to actually go out and DO something about all the supposed crimes and evils that Bush committed (and in four years you all still will not have actually DONE anything about it all) other than to act like we are millions of victimized persons; you have a new president (who I actually hope the best for--Lord knows he needs it with what we REALLY face) and so you have a new "cop"--let's see in 4 years and 8 years what all these millions of powerless victims and their great balanced, honest, full-of-integrity media will have done to punish Bush and to fix all these crimes against humanity; 3. Finally I am very sad, Nancy, that after reading this commentary on this piece, you still "just don't get it".

Jan. 19 2009 11:00 PM
Jack from Chicago

"Thank you" Bob.

Jan. 19 2009 10:40 PM
blackbelt_jones from Ubuntu

It's like Stephen Colbert once said: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias. "

Lately, the Right-Wing attacks on the "Liberal Media" really seem like a desperate attempt to keep reality at bay. All presidents planted a few false stories, so if the Bush Administration planted false stories constantly, lied repeatedly, broke the law, staged news events, leaked confidential information, and used the intelligence community as a PR machine, thereby feeding false information not only to the public, but into the decision making process, well that's the same thing, right?

Yeah, there's only one problem with that. Reality.

It's not really about ideology. Let's not forget that this president enjoyed a huge amount of support once, from the press and from the people. Every bit of the disdain was earned, not because Bush was a conservative.but because he was Bush. He was a terrible president. If he had been a Democrat, he would have been a terrible Democratic President.

Jan. 19 2009 10:36 PM
Nancy from Texas

Thanks to those who bothered to counter some of the sore loser conservative's nonsensical comments in this thread, but such an excercise is time ill spent. They believe only what they hear again and again from their closed circle of spinsters, as it is all that fits into their narrow world view. The rest of us know well that Bob and Brooke are always fair and proffessional, sometimes too fair to my occasional consternation. I truly appreciated this segment of OTM, and I know that deep down what really hurts these conservative commenters is that they elected the worst president in history, and now our country is in shambles. I expect that the lesson will stay with some of them, and next time they'll vote for real leaders rather than "someone they might enjoy hanging with over a beer."

Jan. 19 2009 10:23 PM
Roger U from Athens, OH

I was doing something or other and half listening to the radio...On The Media was just starting...and then I was laughing out loud, no I sort of snorted---It was great.
I wish someone would do this with energy, the wars, the environment, FEMA, etc. It's not just the greatest abuses and blunders, but the paternalistic narcissicism (We're so hot; we know it all and we know best; don't you worry your pretty little heads: go shop; aren't we the greatest patriots) bs --the opposite of democratic, the anti- informed and consenting populus, that Bush and co. thought was what America stands for. They lied, looted the treasury, reduced the military, manipulated by fear. They weren't at all interested in what was best for our country, or the world.
When I think about the inauguration tomorrow, the line at the end of Dylan's Masters Of War, "And I'll stand over your grave till I'm sure that you're dead." pops up.
I'm not interested in anybody dying -- just being gone. So, part of what I'll be doing tomorrow, besides celebrating what America might really become to be about, is to watch until I'm sure they're really gone. That's part of my idea of being patriotic. Sort of watching out.
It was nice to hear you doing your job with your heart showing.

Jan. 19 2009 10:15 PM
Graham Bell from San Francisco

I liked the piece, even though there was, of course, much more that could have been cited.

Bob Garfield's "Thank You", as a way of saying "**** you" went over the line. I was dumbfounded. Yeah, we understood what Bush meant, except he had a veneer or niceness to actually pull off both meanings. Bob Garfield dropped the niceness to let the intended obscenity hang there. It made him, for that moment, even smaller than Bush.

Jan. 19 2009 10:11 PM
jcr from East Coast

The people that object here to Mr. Garfield's opinion seem to be more angry that he chose to call Bush out on his contrasting words and actions than to comment on the individual occurrences cited in the commentary which as far as has been reported is correct (For example, Scooter Libby is sitting in jail, proven guilty by our system).

It leads one to believe that those who claim NPR are biased do so because they don't like the subject matter and position taken, and therefore would limit the rest of our rights in the process. Taking back our country on January 20th will involve exposing where the real threats to our American way exist - in the minds of its right-wing devotees to this awful administration.

Jan. 19 2009 09:49 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

CORRECTION: Sorry, I forget to proof my comment sometimes. In Post #160 I meant to say "...although I disagree with you on the "big picture" of Bush because I do NOT agree that one individual man--even the President--has ALL that much power (as many would ascribe to him, and that is the TRUE greatness of our country if more would take individual responsibility to exercise their own power)...."

Jan. 19 2009 08:52 PM
Lou G from Boston

Wow Bob Garfield...was that a Liberal Laundry list of charges at the beginning of this weeks show!

Tell me something, were ANY of the actions taken by Bush justified? Or is everything he did wrong?

Seems like you are just whining at the President excercising the power of the Presidency.

Jan. 19 2009 08:48 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Thank you, Michael. I was beginning to wonder if there was anyone out there on a DIFFERENT side than I am, but who could still at least distinguish some of the finer points about the over-arching failure of the media over the past 8 years (and longer, really) and the lame, weak (but still offensive and rude) flourish that Bob Garfield attempted to put upon the "Bush years" with this piece. I totally respect your take and presentation, although I disagree with you on the "big picture" of Bush because I do agree that one man--even the President--has ALL that much power. (Bob Garfield reminds me of those citizens who every four years "blame" the President for "the Economy"--such a simplistic notion as to be absurd.) Bob Garfield will claim that he has been "documenting" the OBVIOUS AND LEGION Bush crimes against humanity and failures for almost 8 years--however, it is just that both not enough people are smart enough to see these crimes and failures, OR in our great free country there is a "vast, right-wing conspiracy" that is OVERLORDING us (the smart ones and able ones) into submissive inaction for 8-year stretches at a time and we are sore oppressed to overcome it and break our shackles and revolt against the Great Bush....

Jan. 19 2009 08:47 PM
Michael Flinton from Cooperstown, New York

I listened in dismay and disbelief today while On The Media host Bob Garfield ridiculed President Bush and his administration for doing everything from dismantling the First Amendment and the Environmental Protection Agency, to strong arming and bullying the media and the citizens of the United States of America.

What courage and intestinal fortitude it must take for NRP to stand up to the president when he has fewer than 24 hours in office, and could do no harm to anyone who speaks negatively of him.

Where was NPR, and the rest of the self proclaimed "defenders of freedom" when photographs were banned of coffins arriving at Dover, Delaware? When first ammendment rights were being systematically disassembled, and our legislative branch of government was all but defunct, and the judicial branch acting as little more than cheerleaders of the president?

I suspect, no, I firmly believe, that the media was and will continue to be a large part of the problem until its leaders choose to stand up to government in the manner that it would have us believe it does on a daily basis, before that government leaves office.

As a former career military man, and a current higher education professional, I doubt there is anyone in America more dissastisfied with the Bush Administration and happy to see them leave Washington, but I am equally dissappointed in the media, including On The Media, that has virtually hiden under the nation's bed until they think the monster has left the premises.

Shame on you.

Michael Flinton
Cooperstown, NY

Jan. 19 2009 08:09 PM
David from Rhode Island

Thanks Bryan, I appreciate the compliment in your "scoring". I feel quite positive that John completely agrees with your assessment. LOL.

Jan. 19 2009 07:33 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh, and a reply to post #151 by J. Petesch:

I will take that as a "No, I cannot reply to post #150 with three succinct, easily verifiable statements the clearly and decisively discredit or contradict the MAJOR points contained therein...because if I had my three MAJOR points on those three MAJOR points, I would have made them (instead of trying to insult a parent in-betwixt my minutiae)."

Or, more simply: Just say "NO", John.

Jan. 19 2009 06:24 PM
Matt W. from Arlington, Virginia

Conflating the first amendment and the fourth estate the way Bob Garfield does in his list of indictments of the Bush Administration shows a complete lack of understanding of the role of media organizations within our constitutional system. This failure to distinctly understand the two institutions that make up the very essence of the role of the media in american politics should lead to the firing of Bob Garfield immediately for completely failing to have credibility to comment on the media or for ignoring OTM's very mission in favor of the public relations fraud Bob Garfield's commentary purports to string together this week.

Jan. 19 2009 05:55 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

GARFIELD item statistics:
Total # of posts: John Petesch 35
Charles Brown 22
Bryan Fitzgerald 19
David 11
C. Cates 4
Total # of QUALITY posts:
Charles Brown 21
Bryan Fitzgerald 11
David 11
John Petesch 5
Total # of other posts indicating OTHER audience support: Charles Brown 8
David 5
Bryan 5
JP 2
Total # of personal insults: Only JohnP did that with 3
Total # of persons implying that George Bush was an EVIL POWERFUL OVERLORD who had victimized them in captivity for 8 years and they were helpless to do anything about it until the President-elect "freed" them (& NOW, watch out "W"--we will prove it all & GET you!): Well, from the above list only John--oh, & Bob Garfield, of course. Thanks guys & girls. Enjoy!

Jan. 19 2009 05:54 PM
Matt W. from Arlington, Virginia

Was Brooke really away this week or does she disagree with your aggressive attempt to use your personal political opinions to shore up OTM's position in the next round of budget cuts? We need to know if Brooke Gladstone agrees with your veiled expletive at the president. Don't worry about injecting your personal political beliefs into OTM's coverage of the media, Congress will be democrat-controlled for at least 2 years at which there will be plenty of other complaints to be parlayed when public broadcasting budgets are reviewed that this cute journalistic offense will be overlooked.

Jan. 19 2009 05:46 PM
Ken

Absolutely terrific, Bob, although one is left with lingering questions about whether things would have been different if the media had summoned the courage to be this blunt 6 or 7 years ago.

Jan. 19 2009 05:36 PM
John Petesch

I'm certainly outta here.

Everyone else, enjoy the inauguration!

Jan. 19 2009 05:29 PM
John Petesch

It's as pointless as arguing with someone about religion... if someone wants to live in fantasyland, that in itself illustrates the uselessness of fact and logic in convincing them otherwise.

Jan. 19 2009 05:28 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Mr. Petesch: 1. I am not going to point out again how you were absolutely WRONG on the wiretapping point in the above debates, no matter how much you wish to try to obliterate it with your net-search minutiae on the ups and downs of the court cases. Anyone can obliterate a point or argument with a ton of tangential details that do nothing to change the basic fact. It remains to be seen if the future will change that, so it is also nonsense for you to continue to make predictions that may or may not come true. State in a SINGLE, verifiable fact how you won the wire-tapping argument?
2. A fact that has been true (and seems to still be true--looking at this discussion) is that the media and the Fourth Estate will not give fair, unbalanced, equal treatment in their writing slant and editorial slant and ranting slant to the president's of BOTH parties. This is a FACT that has been well-known since the 1960s and 70s. Just look at Kennedy (started the war) and Johnson (unconscionable escalation of it) and the Vietnam War, for a major example--but liberal social memory has Nixon "to blame" for the Vietnam War, right John? Oh, I am sorry--you may be too young for that question, on second thought.
3. And National PUBLIC Radio is FUNDED by the government--no matter if it is 1.5% or 150%. As such, it has an ethical obligation and a "fairness" obligation to be balanced in its reporting and commentary. That is a simple and undebateable FACT, JP.

Jan. 19 2009 05:17 PM
John Petesch

Do you Bushies really think ANYONE believes you actually have such tender sensiblities?

Oh brother!

Jan. 19 2009 04:26 PM
Steve Whitten from Kentucky

Mr. Garfield, until I heard your comments yesterday evening via WFPL I would not have believed that one human being could contain such amounts of bile and venom. We're a gracious winner, aren't we?

Comments such as yours shame not only you, but the entire, once proud and honest, legion of journalists.

Please take a lesson from the likes of Walter Cronkite and park your politics at the studio door.

I'll be selecting other entertainment/information for my Sunday evening drive.

Jan. 19 2009 03:57 PM
James Parker from La Crosse, WI

and to RL Hadnot: Your use of the term "BOY" in reference to Mr Obama could be misinterpreted to make you appear to be a real cracker....which I'm sure you might not like. NOW I'm going back to reading!

Jan. 19 2009 03:47 PM
Marty Williams

I listen to National Public Radio to see what the enemy is thinking. It's the Rush Limbaugh of the left. On The Media's broadcast this week was just another fine example. Wonder how the Fairness Doctrine would affect NPR?

Jan. 19 2009 03:45 PM
James Parker from La Crosse, WI

For Bob: Thanks! I thoroughly enjoyed that appraisal and have been waiting for that for some time.

For Peter (#71) and Susan (#93) Well, exactly!!!

For Mr Brown and Mr Fitzgerald (#s too numerable to mention) You guys need to find a hobby.

Note to myself: This the 1st time you've ever read such multiple blogging anywhere and you were just enjoying Sherman Alexie last novel so much. Pick it up, start reading cause there is no more to be learned on this site!

Jan. 19 2009 03:33 PM
John Petesch

Now how about R.L. Hadnot?

There's a real Republican for you!

Jan. 19 2009 01:03 PM
John Petesch

Get a life and a little substance. I've refuted the couple of so-called "points" both you and Charles made and substantiated my arguments with verifiable facts and quotes that can be found by less than a minute of intelligent web search, not to mention on the cover of any major paper during the last eight years.

You're not fooling anyone but yourself by attacking the credibility of easily searchable facts, as obviously most can read and are aware of what has happened during Bush's tenure.

I think you've gotten too used to arguing with your two year old daughter during your own tenure as a stay at home dad (and no, I'm not knocking stay at home dads, I'd be one myself gladly if the occasion presented itself).

Jan. 19 2009 01:02 PM
R. L. Hadnot from Omaha NE

To Bob Garfield:
OH the poor media!
What are you going to do with Bush gone? Just keep on making it up as you go along.
Remember all the "rape gangs" the media "reported" in New Orleans during Katina? The problem was it NEVER HAPPENED! But that didn't keep you from reporting it. Afterward, did the media report with the same excitement that it was all a lie? NO!
From the first day of the Bush administration the media lined up against them.
Now that you have your "BOY" Obama in office will you truefully report on his administration? Considering all the kid glove questions during his campaign and how you are skipping over the corrution of his selected cabinet, I think we all have our expectations and I do not think we will be surprised.

Jan. 19 2009 12:59 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Mr. Petesch:
1. Your arguments become erratic here, and many have nothing to do with the Garfield piece and the original main points.
2. I have a right to call myself names, and I allow my 2-year-old daughter that right (within reason, that is). Is my reasoning correct that you are now comparing yourself to a 2-year-old, John?
3. But because my daughter is allowed to get away with it on occasion, you still look quite mean and low-class doing it John.
4. Charles has made excellent points in the piece that were related to the piece. Charles' points are truthful and accurate and you have yet to match them, John. Additionally, John, it appears that you have come in and tried to attack or refute those arguments by making stereotyping remarks and resorting to name-calling and the low behavior that Bob Garfield engaged in here--so it is fitting for the debate on this piece, I guess. It shows which side likes name-calling and profane sorts of remarks and "labelling" those you do not know. Can we get back to the Garfield piece, perhaps? If the "EVIL OVERLORD BUSHIE" did everything he is accused of here, then why was he not impeached? Why are there no legal issues that are being validated or actually followed through upon--like there were when Clinton left office, for instance?

Jan. 19 2009 12:40 PM
Jack from Chicago

Sorry, browser issues. Couldn't get to page 2 and submit button malfunctioned. Hopefully I'll only need to say this once.

Jan. 19 2009 12:26 PM
John Petesch

Jack,

Talk about whiny and boring... that's the third time in two days you made the exact same post

Jan. 19 2009 12:21 PM
Jack from Chicago

I found this show whiny and boring. After the constant beating of the same drum, it's clear where you stand Bob. But it's tired and comes off as pathetic.

Personally I think the media and media commentators get the respect they deserve, partly because there are lots of scoundrels in their ranks.

I've got to believe there are some new stories out there; someone new to despise.

Jan. 19 2009 11:56 AM
Jack from Chicago

I found this show whiny and boring. After the constant beating of the same drum, it's clear where you stand Bob. But it's tired and comes off as pathetic.

Personally I think the media and media commentators get the respect they deserve, partly because there are lots of scoundrels in their ranks.

I've got to believe there are some new stories out there; someone new to despise.

Jan. 19 2009 11:55 AM
ann donovan from omaha ne

Hey, great job on 'thanking' W. As a retired history teacher, it always seemed crazy to me that the Bush administration screamed constitution on every occasion that they were chastized for doing exactly what the framers came here to escape...cabals, monarchic behavior, and general George IIIishness. I imagine W went to bed most nights after recording in his diary, nothing special happened today. Not since Goebbels...

Jan. 19 2009 11:40 AM
krys filipi from omaha, nebraska

In all my excitement for the the new administration, I was really thankful for your recap. For all the reasons that you describe that have hideously frustrated me for the past eight years, the cloak of deception and fear-based power systems that have shrouded my perception of our stars and stripes has been lifted.

An administration has been elected that has proven a message of empowerment of community and people, and an ability to contemplate messages that are diverse in order to seek a hopefully more balanced path of direction. There are great challenges, and no one yet knows how it will play out. We will see, but this year, I am finding myself particularly dazzled by the sounds of John Phillip Sousa.

Jan. 19 2009 10:35 AM
David from Rhode Island

site, not sight. Geez, I need coffee badly!!

Jan. 19 2009 10:13 AM
David from Rhode Island

sorry, partisanship, not partisionship. I thought this sight had spell check. Oh well.

Jan. 19 2009 10:10 AM
David from Rhode Island

Well, this is my last comment on this topic for obvious (I think) reasons. Mostly because we have strayed far from what I at least think is the main point. Which is the tone of Bob's comments more than their content. At least that was my point.

Bob has complained at least a few times about the degradation of discourse and the increasing partisionship and rancor in Congress and society, especially regarding the two areas of politics and moral values. At the very least, his comments were disrespectful, childish and tasteless; at worst, it is hypocrisy in the extreme. I can't believe some of you actually said that others doing it justifies it. I thought we learned better than that when we were about 8. Perhaps Bob thinks it is too dry to just state his disagreements factually, but that is too bad. Again, he cannot have it both ways. Despite what you all might think (and responding a bit to Melissa in #55), I don't listen to Limbaugh or O'Reilly or Hannity for exactly the same reasons. There are plenty of places to get well reasoned analysis and opinion without being in danger of taking shrapnel from the grenades being lobbed. Bob's comments lack historical perspective, in some cases factual basis or at least completeness, i.e. oversimplifying the example, and are clearly so heavily biased that they are rendered fairly useless to any listener other than the already converted. In other words, Rush in liberal clothing.

Maybe another commenter was right that New York has enough limosine liberals that WNYC will be just fine. Great, then they really don't need my money. I will support Bob's right to disagree; I won't support his right to add to the incivility that tears at us enough already.

Jan. 19 2009 10:08 AM
DL from Dallas

Kudos, Bob - History WILL have its due! This must be the most Machiavellian administration in our nation's history. You covered the list of assaults on the Fourth Estate admirably well. Allowing greater concentration of media ownership and cozying up to Mssrs. Limbaugh & Murdoch & The Fox News channel could have been mentioned as well. But as you said, the treachery of this administration involving the press just goes on, and on, and on...

As a reaction to your final comment , I'll simply paraphrase Bush's response when informed about Cheney's infamous "Go THANK yourself" comment to Senator Leahy in the Senate chamber. First he chuckled; then he said...

"THANK 'EM ALL!"

Jan. 19 2009 04:48 AM
John Petesch

Again, look to post #126 for an answer of how the Bush "Justice" Department really "won" the case.

Jan. 19 2009 12:40 AM
John Petesch

Good grief! I never said you didn't mention that the Taylor ruling had been overturned.

I merely pointed out that another judge, Walker (a Bush Sr. appointee), also found the program to be illegal, not just the one judge as you claim.

Also, I pointed out that clearly the program WAS found to be illegal by two judges in two different cases (despite your claim), though neither had the last word on the matter.

For Pete's sake, practice what you preach!

One more thing... the final question on legality won't be answered until one of these cases makes it to the Supreme Court, which is much more likely post-Bush.

Jan. 19 2009 12:37 AM
Charles Brown from Franklin, MI

I did mention that, John. I said that Judge Taylor was reversed on other grounds. If you want to argue with the big kids, you're going to have to imporve your reading comprehension.

As with the decision of Judge Walker, the Bush Justice Depatment won the case too quickly to have the one worst interlocutory decision reversed by the Ninth Circuit.

In both cases, the Bush Justice Department was walking out of court with a victory in the case before they had a chance to get an appellate determination of the NSA surveillance issues.

By the way, since you brought up Judge Walker's decision in the Electronic Frontier Foundation case, have you figured out to what extent that case proved the existence of any sort of "wiretapping"?

Jan. 19 2009 12:17 AM
John Petesch

Obviously, there ARE some things we agree on. As to the Dems sharing responsibility for the rancorous partinsanship, however... the Democrats held the House majority for forty years before the Republican Revolution and never pulled any of the absurd and ridiculous partisan shenanigans that the Republicans made commonplace after taking power. People used to talk to each other across the isle, lunch together, etc.
After the Republicans took control, they basically got insane with their newly found power. They would hold secret committee meetings and dodge Dem committee members by hiding behind furniture to make meeting rooms look vacant, or run room to room. They would pull any parliamentary trick they could think of to ensure that Dems had no say whatever in any proceedings. They formed K-Street to ensure that lobbyists could only be effective by dealing with Republicans, shutting Dems out of crucial processes despite the fact that Dems still represented half of the voting population (more than half of the actual population, if the poor and minorities would only vote).

These childish and inane tactics are what created the ridiculous atmosphere in Washington we are now all stuck with.

It looks like Obama and the new Dem majority are finally getting things back to some semblance of maturity, though a few left over Republican infabts are still doing their best to ensure partisanship continues.
Republicans find it easy to rally behind issues, but the fact is that intelligent people disagree over important issues, and that is why Dems find it so difficult to band together easily.
Our forefathers knew that disagreement is important to a nation's deliberations, however, and so change in a Democracy is meant to be a slow deliberative process. Republican's just can't seem to get that notion in their heads, however, and so after just a few years in power, they screwed this country royally and now look at what we're left with.

Jan. 19 2009 12:15 AM
John Petesch

By the way, the court that overturned Judge Anna Diggs Taylor ruling did not find she was wrong... rather they said "the Circuit Court ruled 2-1 that the people bringing the suit did not have standing," and that even if they did, the program is classified and so the suit could not be filed in any case. A catch-22, of course, which may someday find its way to the Supreme court for a more definitive ruling.

Jan. 18 2009 11:53 PM
John Petesch

I never said that some other court didn't come to a different finding.

I'm merely refuting Charles' point that "the program has not been determined to be "illegal," although one hyper-partisan federal District Court Judge in Detroit found it to have been illegal, before her decision was quickly and summarily overturned on appeal to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on other grounds."

Clearly, some judges did find the program to be illegal, though they didn't have the final word, and clearly the Carter appointee was NOT the only judge to decide against the Bush administration.

Talk about "just stopping at the result you like."

You Bushies are absolutely shameless!

Jan. 18 2009 11:45 PM
David from Rhode Island

Look, I don't agree with a lot of what Bush has done, although my disagreements might be different than yours. I don't like the lack of constraint on spending. I think that the planning for post-war Iraq was woeful, although I think the decision to get rid of Saddam is not so black/white. I think that letting Rumsfeld and others create such a strong atmosphere of hostility contributed at least as much to partisan rancor as the Dems themselves, although God knows they are unbelievably political at the expense of the country quite often. Oh sorry, I forgot you are an athiest. Anyway, these things can be discussed in an atmosphere of civility, if all parties go in checking their most extreme biases at the door. And also doing a bit of research to see how much this kind of thing goes on in all administrations, so that we can bemoan it all REGARDLESS of party. It isn't a party thing, it is a Washington thing. I hope, with all my will, that Obama can make it better. It is a tall order, but I like what I see so far. Let's all keep hoping (and in some cases, praying).

Jan. 18 2009 11:30 PM
David from Rhode Island

John - Hate to burst your bubble, but the warrantless wiretaps were subsequently found to be legal. Sorry, but that is how our legal system works. You have to dig a but further than just stopping at the result you like.

While you are researching, look into how Bill Clinton and his Deputy Attorney General, Jamie Gorelick (yes THAT Jamie Gorelick) VIGOURSLY defended the president's authority to order warrantless wiretaps and warrantless break-ins, way back in 1994. Gee, think it might have been a response to the 1993 WTC bombing? The point being, of course, that it isn't just the "Bushies" that think this is legal. The further point being that the hatred of Bush is biased and irrational, because nearly everything he has done has also been done by Democratic presidents (Kennedy got us into Vietnam, Johnson escalated it, all Presidents manipulate the press, most just more artfully than Bush, Clinton lied his ass off and not just about sex, etc. etc.). I wonder if Bob is going to "thank" them, even if posthumously in most cases.

Jan. 18 2009 11:30 PM
Stephen Phillips from Seattle

One of the best pieces I've heard on your show which is one of the best on the air. Looking at current events through your industry lens gives such an enriched perspective on what I read elsewhere.

Thank you

Jan. 18 2009 11:16 PM
Jack from Chicago

I found this commentary whiny and boring. Bob, we get you despise these guys. You've beaten that horse dead, and come off kind of pathetic. Time to move on and remember the title of your show. There's got to be something more interesting to comment on.

Jan. 18 2009 11:00 PM
John Yewell from Monterey, California

Bob, your only omission was mention of James Guckert, the male prostitute posing as Jeff Gannon, allowed into press conferences on day passes and posing as a disinterested reported while lobbing softball questions to Scott McClellen. Guckert was actually working for Texas Republican Party political operative Bobby Eberle who ran a shill news organization called TalonNews. Otherwise, you nailed it. Bush & Co. did everything they could to subvert the public's right to know the truth, and coughing up umbrage over "rudeness" does not subvert that fact. Bush was trying to spin one last time, rewrite the history books, and a rude "thank you" is what he deserves.

Jan. 18 2009 10:38 PM
John Petesch

And to say that "Charles Brown and the rest of the Peanuts crew really made some very valid, well-reasoned arguments" is pathetic.
Their arguments were typical of the "well- reasoned" attacks Republicans make on the very occasional truth in the media:
"full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."


Jan. 18 2009 09:56 PM
John Petesch

Chris,
which of my name calling "went way overboard?"

Would it be my description of Bryan as "bauble-headed," for agreeing with everything Charles says, or my use of the epithet "dufus," which was taken from Bryan's own comment about a word that his daughter calls him?

Gee, I guess in hindsight both of those were "way overboard."

Jan. 18 2009 09:48 PM
John Petesch

You know, the one who didn't think it was a good idea for the US to go to war with Iraq? The one who broke down in tears of shame about what his son, "W," was doing to the country (while addressing the Florida legislature to honor the "talented" son, Jeb, who he obviously thought should have been the second Bush elevated to the presidency).

Jan. 18 2009 09:36 PM
John Petesch

Bush Sr., the smart Bush, that is.

Jan. 18 2009 09:32 PM
John Petesch

That would be Bush Sr.

Jan. 18 2009 09:28 PM
John Petesch

The judge I was thinking of who ruled against the Bush administration AND was appointed by Bush was Vaughn R. Walker. Here is an excerpt from a NYT article from July 3, 2008.

"A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the “exclusive” means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.

The judge, Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge for the Northern District of California, made his findings in a ruling on a lawsuit brought by an Oregon charity. The group says it has evidence of an illegal wiretap used against it by the National Security Agency under the secret surveillance program established by President Bush after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The Justice Department has tried for more than two years to kill the lawsuit, saying any surveillance of the charity or other entities was a “state secret” and citing the president’s constitutional power as commander in chief to order wiretaps without a warrant from a court under the agency’s program.

But Judge Walker, who was appointed to the bench by former President George Bush, rejected those central claims in his 56-page ruling."

Jan. 18 2009 09:26 PM
David from Rhode Island

John - one other thing, a FISA warrant is required for certain situations, not for others as clearly outlined by the act. Unfortunately, none of you nattering nabobs have bothered to read it. Congress (or their aides, anyway) did, which is why they realized Bush was right and couldn't be prosecuted. And your super informed buddies in the press didn't read it either.

Now, if you think that warrants should be required for all situations, write your Congressman and tell him. Never have a better chance than now, you have Democrats in all areas. Oh but wait, Obama supported the INCREASED use and modifications of FISA. Huh, he must have actually realized we need it to know what the terrorists are doing. You do realize it only applies when one of the parties is communicating from a foreign soure, right? Oh, and there is also evidence that Clinton did the same thing starting in June 2000, presumably because of increased chatter that some kind of attack similar to the 1993 WTC bombing was in the works. Hmmm, wonder what to make of that?

I do wonder if Bob is going to acknowledge his error in saying Bush engaged in "illegal" warrantless wiretaps. I won't hold my breath.

Jan. 18 2009 09:23 PM
Brad

How could you forget to include "Jeff Gannon"?

Jan. 18 2009 09:19 PM
David from Rhode Island

John - if you ever talked to any of these guys, you would know they were liberals going in. It has nothing to do with how "informed" they are. Same with professors. It is so easy to be liberal in an ivy tower. These guys aren't any smarter than a lot of doctors, Ph.D.'s in industry, etc. who are predominantly conservative. I would argue that their ideological bent led to their choice of profession, not the other way around. It is almost cliche, yet true, that journalists constantly say they got into that profession because they wanted to "change the world".

Jan. 18 2009 09:03 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven

Hey, I made page 2! It reminds me of Paul Harvey.

Jan. 18 2009 08:36 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven

Not to say that I disagreed with you this time or that you haven't raked the media over the coals these last few years that I have listened to your propgram.

Now, let me go read Brooke's "Manifesto".

Jan. 18 2009 08:34 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven

Wow! I descended, just a little, to name-calling (called someone an adolescent for being so concerned about megapixels) but John Petesch and others went way overboard this time.

Charles Brown and the rest of the Peanuts crew really made some very valid, well-reasoned arguments and I, as with Camilla Calfee, found it refreshing and enlightening to hear both sides of this argument. I just wish there was an outlet that allowed reasonable, intelligent conservatives to have a voice and I cannot help but agree that NPR should be that outlet. What we get on AM talk radio bears no resemblance to the conservatism we saw written here. It more resembles Petesch's screed. Most of NPR’s “liberalism” is of the limousine variety; anyhow, so there should be room for polite dissent.

I may have basically despised Buckley's politics but "Firing Line" and the “Newshour”, which was certainly not dominated by liberal commentary in the ‘70s when I started watching it, were my main draws toward watching Public Television. The people Bill challenged to debate were the side I favored, but without him, I would not have heard their side.

As I have said in the past, I feel as if Air America was merely test marketing for the current form of MSNBC (“journalist” run for office at their peril, I can testify) and I think it is lovely that the tide has turned to give commercial support for more progressive views, due in large part to the disasters brought upon us by and the failures of Bush and the Neo-cons. Still, they were not even close to being fairly representative of conservative thought in this country.

If Barack Obama is teaching us anything, it is that our national debate must be broadened and, as I wrote last week, it isn’t helped when you go all Olbermann on us, Bob. Leave that to us true radicals in the listening audience and stick with criticizing the media.

Jan. 18 2009 08:25 PM
John Petesch

One can legitimately say this about the wire-tapping program:

Bush had a precedented, clearly legal method for going about wire-taps under FISA. Instead, he chose to flout clear legality and precedent and create a program which, at the very least, was questionable in its legality at the time of its creation.

This is consistent with the limits Bush was willing to push in pursuit of a more "imperial" role for the executive branch. No doubt, the full constitutionality of wire-tapping and much else will yet be decided by both Federal courts and the Supreme Court.

Jan. 18 2009 07:14 PM
John Petesch

Sorry! Actually that judge was appointed by Carter.

Jan. 18 2009 06:58 PM
John Petesch

Yes, as I recall, that"hyper-partisan federal District Court Judge in Detroit" was a Bush appointee.

Jan. 18 2009 06:50 PM
John Petesch

David,
If what you say is true, then maybe you should wonder why 80% of a profession whose job it is to stay informed and network with those who are the most informed about current events are almost all Democrats.

You Republicans make the same argument about the "elitist" professors teaching at american universities. Again, ask yourself why the country's academics who make careers of knowledge are likewise 80% Democrat.

Jan. 18 2009 06:42 PM
Cathy K

I thought this was fabulous, and legitimized by how good a job OTM itself has been doing - regardless of the performance of other media outlets for the last 8 yrs. Bob, you (and Brooke, and the rest) rock.

Jan. 18 2009 06:35 PM
Charles Brown

Divid, I challenged Bob's description of an "illegal warrantless wiretap program" early on in post #17, and Bob never again addressed it.

You're right, of course; the program has not been determined to be "illegal," although one hyper-partisan federal District Court Judge in Detroit found it to have been illegal, before her decision was quickly and summarily overturned on appeal to the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on other grounds. (Thereby negating the government's need to beat-down the opinion any more. (District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor is a long-time Detroit Democrat, a Jimmy Carter appointee to the federal bench, and an active although perhaps indirect supporter of the ACLU, which was the party plaintiff in the case.)

Anyway, "illegal" and "wiretap" as descriptors for the program are code words used by editorialists like Bob Garfield to connote something like sinister guys with five o'clock shadows and bad breath, sneaking around with headphones. It is a purposeful kind of editorializing.

Jan. 18 2009 06:27 PM
Charles Brown

John, as a matter of government policy, we encourage charitable donations to an admittedly wide variety of civic-minded institutions -- education, churches, disaster relief, you name it -- and we draw the line at any government support (through direct or indirect funding) for political speech, but particularly electioneering. (It would be hard to criticize this particular OTM show as electioneering, by virtue of timing alone.)

I would argue that NPR, in its harshest political form (Amy Goodman is a perfect example) is nothing less than a radical-left version of Rush Limbaugh, or worse. And no, we do not offer tax-deductions for donations to a profit-making private corporation like News Corp., for those very reasons. Why should NPR be exempted from that rule? The 98% private funding you speak of, it changes hands with the express provision that there is a favorable tax consequence, or that favorable tax consequences have allowed the poolling of money for the donation to begin with.

There's no need, and no desire, to do away with all itemizable deductions. I've already made it clear; I'd offer public broadcasting at least two options to continue its favored status: 1) Balance your political broadcasting or 2) stop editorializing and return to straight news and arts programming.

Jan. 18 2009 06:13 PM
John Petesch

Hard to understand, huh?
Well, just take a look around to see what we're left with after a quarter century of Republican ideology and especially eight years of Georgie W.

Jan. 18 2009 06:12 PM
David from Rhode Island

Maybe people think this is too trivial, but no one has responded/refuted my comment (#43) that Bob was just flat out wrong when he said Bush was guilty of "illegal wiretaps". The courts found differently. Or is Bob the ultimate judge now? I could refute about 6 other points he made, but why bother? I do agree that Bush was inept and wrong when he set up staged press conferences, etc. Big deal. If that is the best you have, OK. Contrary to the belief of the press, it is not the administrations responsibility to write their stories for them, or even cooperate with them. I think they should cooperate to a reasonable degree, but nothing says they have to. And given the strong Democratic bias of the NY TImes, Washington Post, LA Times, etc., why would they? Survey after survey shows that about 80% of the newspaper media are registered Democrats and consistently vote that way, and only an idiot could read their editorial pages and not know they are liberals.

You know, I would love to see OTM go back in time and do the same kind of analysis on all the civil liberties Lincoln ignored, and how the press said nothing about it. And Roosevelt. And how Kennedy and Johnson manipulated the press in exactly the same way they are saying Bush did (and he did). All Presidents have planted stories, they call them trial balloons. But the venom for Bush is unprecedented. Really is hard to understand.

Jan. 18 2009 06:06 PM
Mary K. from NY

Your report today reminded me of the shame, the embarrassment of the last years. Thanks, because, we shouldn't forget-- least of all the media shouldn't forget.

How do I remember it? The media in general was wholly negligent during Bush/Cheney.

Too bad these crooks didn't have any affairs, sex scandals, etc-- cause the media would have been all over the sex stuff. War crimes, crimes against humanity and good old fashioned lying? It just doesn't sell, doesn't get traction like it used to...

Jan. 18 2009 05:59 PM
John Petesch

I didn't "complain that churches get a tax deduction, so why not public broadcasting?"

Specifically I said:

"The seriously lame angle that tax deductions for donations amount to public funding does not hold water unless you are willing to agree that churches, and indeed any organization should not have donations be tax exempt, or that the organizations or churches themselves should not be exempt from taxes.

I am athiest, and so do not believe churches should be favored as exempt from taxation, yet I don't go around whining about it.

Accordingly, any Scrooge can make the same claim about any organization, no matter how philanthropic (Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?)

Seeing as how you are a loyal Bushie, I expect you would have a real problem with government rescinding your churches tax exempt status just because I don't subscribe to religion."

Lots of tax exempt organizations can be said to be political if one wants to bend over backward to make that claim. The American Red Cross claimed that the Bush administration was illegally holding and mistreating detainees at Guantanamo... someone like you might call claim the Red Cross was playing politics, and indeed, some in the administration made precisely that claim.

My point, therefore, is that you should not be whining about donations to NPR shows or NPR affiliates being tax deductible just because you disagree with content on those shows... unless you are willing to agree that no organization or church should be tax deductible.

Again, I will reiterate my point that these programs are 98% funded by private donations, foundation grants, and corporate sponsors. If they displeased the public who REALLY support them, they would not exist due to lack of funding So go give YOUR money to FOX NEWS.

Jan. 18 2009 05:58 PM
Charles Brown

I'd be delighted to continue the tax-deductible status of Public Broadcasting if they would ban the editorials of Bill Moyers, Dan Schorr, Amy Goodman and Tvis Smiley.

Forget listener donations; I'd hope for more direct, federal funding if PBS and NPR stuck to broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz from Lincoln Center, Ken Burns' films, and popular music shows like American Routes.

But I find it nauseating that there is any indicia of "public" in association with partisan hacks like Moyers or Amy Goodman. And when theirs are the only political voices, then it is an outrage.

Jan. 18 2009 05:53 PM
Charles Brown

John Petesch, you've stuck your foot in it again, when you complain that churches get a tax deduction, so why not public broadcasting?

It is a good argument, until you get to the thorny little part about how we routinely deny churches their tax-exempt status the moment that they enter into partisan politics.

If you want to argue that it is a rule that is all-too-often winked at, I would strongly agree with you, and I think that the IRS is way overdue in cracking down on churches that operate as political bundlers. If you think that includes Pat Robertson, fine. I think it may include thousands of inner-city churches that serve as 'campaign central' for politicians like the Jacksons in Chicago, the Kilpatricks and Conyerses in Detroit, a whole series of mayors and councilpersons in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and the entire city government of Atlanta.

Jan. 18 2009 05:41 PM
Joe Phillip from Chicago, IL

This episode was smart and succinct in its listmaking of the many errs/complete violations of the last 8 years; Thank you. It needs to be said, it needs to be heard.

However, the "Thank you" at the end, while witty and ironic, stoops to Mr. Bush's administration's level-- the low ground.

I just wish someone would have said "F--k you" more often when he was actually president. Now is too late. It's too easy to say it now.

Jan. 18 2009 05:34 PM
Susan from Madison, WI

Bravo! I strongly feel the Cheney-Bush Administration's contempt for the media was a reflection of its contempt for its end users (involved, information-seeking Americans, hereinafter referred to as "the Elitists"). But I wish you would have addressed media's own participation in this "blackout." From 9/11/01 until about Spring of '06, the mainstreams served primarily as an echo-chamber for the Administration. (In fact, I give great credit to Stephen Colbert, whose address to the White House Press Corps slapped that bunch out of their slumber.) Nonetheless, you've deftly illustrated how the Mayberry Machiavellians sought to control the message; hopefully we all--the disseminators and consumers of information--remember the lesson.

Donation to follow.

Jan. 18 2009 05:20 PM
John Petesch

Charlie Brown,

You and your bauble-head side-kick, dufus, still need to work on your argument.

The seriously lame angle that tax deductions for donations amount to public funding does not hold water unless you are willing to agree that churches, and indeed any organization should not have donations be tax exempt, or that the organizations or churches themselves should not be exempt from taxes.

I am athiest, and so do not believe churches should be favored as exempt from taxation, yet I don't go around whining about it.

Accordingly, any Scrooge can make the same claim about any organization, no matter how philanthropic (Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?)

Seeing as how you are a loyal Bushie, I expect you would have a real problem with government rescinding your churches tax exempt status just because I don't subscribe to religion.

As to Bauble-head's claim that the 2% figure is not right, I got the quote from wikipedia on the NPR entry, so he can go and argue with the Wiki's facts instead of me.

Jan. 18 2009 05:20 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Yes, Wendy. He did! Either "f--- you" to President Bush (the most popular interpretation) or "s---- you, President Bush". To a sitting president. It certainly raises Bob Garfield above the President's level, correct? Bob Garfield is classier, smarter, older, wiser, more creative, a harder worker, more experienced, more gracious, more ethical, more moral, more insightful, more sympathetic, more honest, more genuine, more serious, more factual, more American, more free, more at liberty, more respectable, more well-spoken, more thorough, more timely, and Bob Garfield has done more for his country than the President also. Probably better educated? Bob G. is certainly under more pressure than the President, as Bob is defending on a full-time basis the honorable and reasonable press that has watched over the unreasonable OVERLORD for 4-plus years now. This piece accomplished so much to further our freedoms and democracy, much like OTM has for almost 8 years now. That is why they so cheerfully and happily and in a "better-than-though" fashion can say "f--- you" to a sitting president like that. Bob Garfield, 1. President Bush, 0. Atta boy, Bob. Great job! (Is my sarcasm drippy enough? So I lost to Bob, too?) By the way: suggestion to other media types--do not try to do what Bob Garfield just did to a sitting President or you may get fired. In the REAL world, you certainly would.

Jan. 18 2009 05:05 PM
Wendy K from Highland Park, NJ

Ohmigod, did Bob Garfield really just say "f--- you" to a sitting President ... on the radio?! Wow. Doubly amazing for having slipped the F word past the FCC. Way to go, Bob!

Will you suddenly be off the air next week when Brooke comes back, or will you get a raise? I hope the latter.

Well done.

Jan. 18 2009 04:43 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Wow. I really respect your commentary on this, Charles. I could not agree more. My state's political contingent in Minneapolis got spit on (literally) and had milk thrown at them by liberal demonstrators when those arrests occured. I just can't see conservative demonstrators in general resorting to that sort of thing (I am NOT including the religious segment and the abortion clinic craze in this--just "political" or "social" demonstrations). Yet the kinder, gentler liberals (who, incidentally, were the first to sort of resort to borderline personal attacks in this very column above) and who claim to be more "sensitive" and "caring about others" seem to be the most angry, aggressive, and physically degrading in their forms of protest...interesting. As has been suggested above, they INSIST that they are "politically correct" and "right" while they are out of the other sides of their mouths disputing the whole notion that there even IS such a thing as a culturally, politically, and socially "right" or "correct" position. Of course, this gets them into trouble when people like militant Islamics or the other "crazies" referred to above come along....BUT, they would defend those people above an "OVERLORD" worshipper like myself.... :)

Jan. 18 2009 03:41 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Now that I go back and look at the beginning of the Garfield piece again, I find something interesting, but possibly unprovable. I now realize that Bob's very jumping off point for the piece--the "I have respected you," statement that Bush made to the press corps--is in fact misconstrued by Bob. With hindsight, President Bush is saying that he has respected the press themselves in the job that they have done through his term. If you listen to the comment you can see that clearly. He is saying, if I may take the liberty, "I have respected you, the press, for what you have done here in this room over the years." He is being gracious and polite. And he believes it--because he knows that many, many persons do not use the mainstream press, or if they do, they do not take them seriously any longer (and four decades of Presidential elections might sort of prove that point). He is NOT saying, "I respect the press for the job they are doing in general." He is NOT saying, "I respect you as a source of information for my country." He is NOT saying, "I respect how you have treated me." (although he could have made some more strong remarks to the contrary) He is simply saying graciously that I have respected what you have done here in a friendly way, a simple way, a straight way. In fact, I believe that Bob Garfield TOTALLY and purposefully misconstrues that statement and only to use it a a jumping-off point for an anti-Bush tirade--again blowing Bush up into the grand, evil, OVERLORD that the likes of John Petesch see in him--totally off-base even in such a presentation and connection.

Jan. 18 2009 03:28 PM
Charles Brown

Bob, the only listeners whining about the complacent media are your far-left constituents who wnated more fire-breathing attacks on President Bush, at an earlier date, and with greater frequency.

One of the great canards if you talk to an NPR Ombudsman or station manager is that they say, "We get lots of complaints from the left that NPR isn't hard-hitting enough; that it is too compliant with moderate and conservative viewpoints." No doubt.

But of course the NPR stations that do mostly news/talk/opinion broadcasting have already self-selected their listenerships. NPR, led by the likes of "Senior News Analyst" (don't you love the notion of a news "Analyst"?) Dan Schorr, spans the entire range of politcal views from the left, to the far left, to the radical left, to the Monster-Raving-Looney Left. (Can anyone imagine a Fox News Reporter, participating in an anti-Obama protest, getting arrested? It happened to Amy Goodman in Minneapolis.) And when those folks call in with their comments and financial support, those are the views you'd expect to get.

Jan. 18 2009 03:16 PM
S.G. Frischmuth from Austin, Texas

Bravo! Someone needed to say it, and to say so isn't partisan. The conservatives of today would flay men like Buckley, Goldwater and even Nixon alive, then turn around and claim them as their idological forefathers. These aren't conservatives, but in fact nihilists. Bye, George. Have some size tens on your way out.

Jan. 18 2009 03:09 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

My last comment to Mr. John Petesch:

1. Instead of hypothesizing about what 99% of the world and 78% of the country think (you, John, could NOT even know what 2% of the world thinks on the Bob Garfield piece--since it just came out yesterday!), let's just stick to what WE think about the Garfield piece--ok, John?

2. Go re-read the guidelines on comments please, John. Instead of pre-supposing that you know whether or not I am a "Bushie", again, please stick to the Garfield piece and the comments themselves. Two of your comments are bordering on personal attacks or comments on people commenting, rather than sticking to the Garfield piece and the CONTENT of the comments--no PERSONAL statements that indicate you know who I voted for--you do not. Nor do you know what clubs I belong to or who my manipulative "OVERLORDS" are. Thanks, John, for listening!

Jan. 18 2009 03:09 PM
Barbara from Palmer Alaska

One word, Mr. Garfield - BRAVO!!

Mr. Bush has led an all-out assault on the democracy of this nation for the past 8 years. And all in the guise of being a "true American" I wonder if he has any idea what that means?

Jan. 18 2009 03:05 PM
Bob Garfield

Regarding what some listeners heard as us sparing the media themselves of blame, we have spent eight sorry years documenting chapter and verse media errors of omission and commisaion, especially with respect to the war in Iraq. Our archive are overflowing with such material. This essay focused on Bush because Bush is the one leaving town. The press is staying put, and we'll stay on that story for as ever.

Jan. 18 2009 03:01 PM
S.G. Frischmuth from Austin, Texas

Terriffic! Bravo! About time someone said it. And, it isn't a partisan bias to say so--today's conservatives would flay folks like Buckley and Goldwater, and even Nixon alive, but then claim them as the source of their ideology. The conservatives of today are hypocritical, morally bankrupt, none too bright, and found at long last to have no decency left. Bye, George. Here are a some size tens for ya. Adios.

Jan. 18 2009 03:01 PM
Charles Brown

Again, as the thanks pour in to Bob Garfield, we see the dynamic at work; loyal partisans, angry at the "Criminal-in-Chief," grateful for thier views being given public airtime. And promising their support for more of the same.

There is a consitutional right to hold those views of course. But is there a right to government-funded broadcasting of those views, exclusively?

Bob Garfield holds a rather astonishing position in the world history of hypocrisy for attacking Ken Tomlinson as a "professional propagandist" by virtue of Tomlinson's service as Chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (with oversight of Voice of America, etc.), when Garfield is his own domestic propagandist on the politically homogenous (left) NPR network.

Jan. 18 2009 02:57 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

WOW!!! Even better! John Petesch now tells me that I am "connected to" and "influenced by" and a "pet" of all these mysterious "OVERLORDS".... Wow! So I am an "insider", a "true believer", a subscriber and a "follower"??!! When in 'tarnation am I going to get some insider trading tips, some bailouts, some party invites, some club memberships--all the benefits of being a "Bushie" and a "cult" member?? As a part-time stay-at-home Dad who chooses to take my own garbage to the dump to save a few bucks each month, my 2-year-old will love to learn that I am hooked up in this fashion with all our "OVERLORDS".... Who do I call or email to cash in on this group I belong to, John???

Jan. 18 2009 02:54 PM
Jan

Where was the hard-hitting criticism during the last eight years? Now that the Bush era is ending, the press gets brave. I hold the enablers (the mainstream press and the spineless Democrats in Congress) in only slightly less contempt than I hold the Bush regime.

Jan. 18 2009 02:53 PM
Carol Wielk from New York---Westchester County

Thank you, Bob Garfield. The best summary indictment of the Bush administration I have heard.

Jan. 18 2009 02:46 PM
Charles Brown

Here's another inarguable point: there is more (much more) ethnic and racial diversity on NPR than their is political diversity.

We can easily list shows that reflect NPR's desire to expand teh number of black and urban voices in its national and syndicated programming. NPR created the News and Notes program. NPR News hired Michelle Norris, whose husband was a Kerry campaign senior advisor and who may end up serving in the Obama Administration.

But can anybody identify a single program that is hosted with an explicit conservative agenda, the way that the Pacifica-produced Democracy Now! has an explicit "progressive" agenda? Can anyone identify a single serious way in which NPR has attempted to promote any sort of political diversity, any balance at all in its program hosts and producers?

Jan. 18 2009 02:44 PM
David Ogden from Walnut Creek, California

Because of time constraints, Bob left out 50 or so grave misdeeds, stompings of the Constitution, and egregious lies that Bush committed.

Again, Garfield stands tall. You have my gratitude, Bob, for a courageous slam against this administration that almost brought down our democracy.

Jan. 18 2009 02:41 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

John Petesch simply does not understand tax write-offs and tax deductible contributions and what their true significance is. He also (apparently) does not understand that even if he was right (on the 2%, and he is not right), the POINT still is that NPR is PUBLICLY SUPPORTED, and therefore I firmly agree with Charles that they have an obligation to be balanced in their programming--and they are not. (On this following comment I do not expect others to agree, but I also happen to believe that all the newspapers and the news media should strive for objectivity and balance and more fact-finding and fact-presenting, no matter how un-glamourous that is. Bob Garfield likes the glamour and the drama too much--and he is an analyst and an opinion type anyway, so it is moot--bit if...IF...Bob Garfield was THAT hot and bothered about what big, bad OVERLORD President Bush was doing in the past 4 or so years, why is he not pursuing it through fact-finding and presenting of facts through the proper channels? If Bush was soooo bad or sooooo illegal or sooooo criminal or un-American, why not hammer him and PROVE it outright with a well-documented and well-presented piece (or a book) rather than this crass blip on the media screen?

Jan. 18 2009 02:41 PM
John Petesch

Your OVERLORDS are not you, dufus... they are those that manipulate people like you by making you think they have something in common with you while squeezing you for every dollar you have, and laughing about it all the way to the bank.

Jan. 18 2009 02:33 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

There he goes again!! I just love it [sic] when John Petesch goes and does something like opening his mouth (or keyboard, I guess) to call me (and other commentators) an "Overlord"!!! (Yes, I think he even capitalized it!) Toooooooooo funny! It just again proves the point of how rigid, "politically correct", and stereotypical most liberals have become in this country today! I am hardly an "Overlord", John! Ha! But if you really want to call me fantastical names like that, heck, let's just make a date with one another and see what happens...I could get used to someone calling me "Overlord" I think. Such an improvement over my 2 year old daughter calling me a "dufus"...and much purer entertainment and fun than Bob Garfield's laughable, petty name-calling (that takes so much away from the OTM program in general--even as biased as it is).

Jan. 18 2009 02:28 PM
John Petesch

I didn't say you shouldn't stick to your opinions, I said:

You brilliant Bushies should be proud that 22 percent of the population in this country (1 percent worldwide) actually agrees with your views.

I'm sure you represent the very smartest the world has to offer, and we should all heed your magnificent intellects in these difficult times, as your politics have served us all so well over the last eight years.

Enjoy the world you have wrought! I'm sure your pleasure will be reflected in your job security and retirement accounts!

Jan. 18 2009 02:27 PM
Peter from New York

I am soooo tired of hearing about the liberal mainstream media. The mainstream media, except possibly for listener-funded outlets like NPR, have a commercial bias, and they'll run any story as long as it promises ratings.

If the media were liberal, Clinton would not have been impeached (there wasn't any objective need to blow a minor impropriety out of proportion like that, but it made for lurid headlines). If the media were liberal, Bush would not have been president (the public would have heard more about his myriad failings and failures, but instead the media chose the tedious Gore-the-nerd-vs-Bush-the-regular-guy narrative). Also, remember that Obama's one major gaffe (the one about rural Americans clinging to guns and religion) was brought to us by the Huffington Post, an explicitly liberal outlet; they could easily have buried this inconvenient incident but went for the scoop instead.

Regardless of what Fox News says, balance does not mean having two hotheads with opposite viewpoints yell at each other. This segment did a great job of documenting eight years of official contempt for the media; any attempt at "balance" would have been a distortion of the administration's atrocious record.

I was surprised and delighted to hear this deviation from the usually soporific tone of NPR; after I heard it on the radio, I downloaded the podcast and listened to it again to make sure that I had heard correctly. My only criticism is that the segment seemed almost redundant now that the Bush presidency is over.

Jan. 18 2009 02:27 PM
Charles Brown

No John again you misunderstand -- I know the difference between WYNC and other affiliated public stations. In fact, the WNYC circumstance, with all of its lavish funding from the limousine liberals of New York City, might not be the best example. It is an exceptional case. Other, less-well-funded NPR affiliates in rural backwaters throughout the country are likely to be even more dependent on governmental funding, or university-allocated endowments.

If an NPR affiliate station thinks that it can boost listenership by broadcasting a daily lineup of shows like OTM, Democracy Now!, News and Notes, and Tavis Smiley, should it do that? You suggest that they should. You suggest that it makes their listeners happy, and they in turn give more money to the station. It becomes a liberal enclave, by liberals, for liberals, with liberal content. Just take the whole enterprise private, and sell liberal-aimed advertising if you want to cater to the audience. Leave my tax dollars, and the government's aegis, out of it

For me, the notion that one of my local public stations broadcasts OTM, and another broadcasts Democracy Now!, without any countervailing opinion, is as offensive to me as if there were a local station in your area, operating out of your local university, with public funding through grants and tax-deductible donations, hosting shows devoted to Ann Coulter and Bill Kristol.

Jan. 18 2009 02:25 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

For Mr. John Petesch (post #46): John, you stated: "You brilliant Bushies should be proud that 22 percent of the population in this country (1 percent worldwide) actually agrees with your views." THANK you, John! Ha! I absolutely ADORE that sort of response because it validates my point about...hmmmm...about an anti-Bushie.... You see, John, you are the type of character who is concerned primarily about who agrees with you and about what the polls say and about what is the "politically correct" way to think. I do not subscribe to that. I think for myself, John. If 99.99999999999% of the world disagreed with my opinion I would still hold onto it because I BELIEVE in it. And I believe in ideals, absolutes, right and wrong, TRUTH, and the value of my own culture and heritage. I live MY life in MY community and State and country. I do not need to worry about the values and opinions of a billion people who have DIFFERENT (not better or worse, but DIFFERENT) values, culture, rights and wrongs, governments, freedoms, etc. etc.--teh are DIFFERENT than I am, John. People like you can go around taking polls and worrying about what the other 80% or 99% think, John--and change with them. I will stick to what I think and what I learn for myself, ok? And who said I was a "Bushie"--whatever that is? I am reasoning and thinking and commenting and evaluating a crass, rude, dishonest, biased piece of journalism, not backing Bush. OK, John? Got that?

Jan. 18 2009 02:16 PM
John Petesch

Click the "More Programs" link on the NPR home page... over 90 percent of their offerings are NOT news related.

Jan. 18 2009 02:12 PM
John Petesch

Affiliates are NOT NPR and they can use anything their donating listeners demand to fill their airtime.

Also, WNYC will be one of the largest and best funded affiliates, and in no way represents the funding of the typical affiliate.

Again, no affiliate can survive without catering to the desires of its fund-providing sponsors.

Get your facts and arguments straight!

Jan. 18 2009 02:10 PM
Charles Brown

John, there is also another suggested model for NPR:

Just quit it, with trying to be Air America Lite, or the counterweight to Rush Limbaugh. Stop it, with all of your politcal blather. We can get all the political blather we want from MSNBC, Air America, Salon, Slate, the NYT, WaPo, and a million other mostly-leftist-leaning news sources. Is there really a shortage of news in this country? Is there a shortage of pundits and bloggers like Bab Garfield? Just what the hell is NPR an "alternative" to anymore?

NPR could easily serve a very valuable "alternative" role. Give its audience something good and different to listen to. Brodcast classical music. And Jazz. And clutural programming. More Duke Ellington, and more Debussy, and no more Amy Goodman, who can just go and line up her next gig with Air America and get advertisers to pay for her programming.

Jan. 18 2009 02:06 PM
Charles Brown

John Petesch, I don't think you have any idea how wrong you are. Go to the WNYC home page; there, you can find their last annual report. You'll find that for the last reporting year, WNYC got about $11 million in donations. (Those donations were tax-deductible to the donors, under federal and New York state tax codes.) WNYC got another $11 million in underwriting fees; those coming from (also tax-exempt) charitable foundations and other institutional donors. Among the private-sector underwriters, you can bet that they too are looking for favorable tax treatment of their WNYC donations.
Then WNYC got several hundred thousand dollars in straight-up cash from governmental sources.
Add to that the fact that most NPR-affiliate stations operate within the tax-supported infrastructure of university campuses or other old public infrastructure. They, in many cases, get free studios, transmitters, communications gear, university support for staff, etc, etc.

I am always amused when we hear the old song-and-dance about how so litle public money goes to support NPR and how dependent your local NPR station is on "listeners like you." Nonsense. If government involvement were so little, then there should be no problem in systematically eliminating every indicia of governmental support for public broadcasting, right? But such a move would devastate public broadcasting. And I am not suggesting that it be done. Mine is the more moderate view, and an inarguable view -- that to the extent that NPR and all public, government-supported stations want to broadcast politically-oriented "newstalk", they ought to operate on a kind of fairness doctrine; precisely the kind of fairness doctrine that we rightly abandoned in the private sector.

Jan. 18 2009 01:59 PM
John Petesch

From Wiki:

specifically:

"About 2% of NPR's funding comes from bidding on government grants and programs, chiefly the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the remainder comes from member station dues, foundation grants, and corporate underwriting."

Jan. 18 2009 01:41 PM
John Petesch

Charles,

Get a life and get your facts straight.

Gingrich and the "Republican Revolution" saw to it that tax dollars no longer support Public Radio other than in a supervisory role.

You Republicans gutted the National Endowmnet for the Arts because you've been whining about liberal bias for decades, despite the fact that NPR and PRI represent the only Factual counterpoints in the nation to the GENUINELY BIASED corporate controlled media.

Thanks to your OVERLORDS, Public Radio is now funded almost exclusively by listener donations and corporate sponsors, and nothing can survive without catering to the desires of its fund-providing sole sponsors.

Obviously, therefore, Public Radio is providing EXACTLY the kind of coverage expected by those who are REALLY providing donations, not by those who just claim to donate in comment sections of websites.

So if you're so offended by REAL FACTS and those who speak at least a little truth to power, please patronize exclusively the 95% of the media which caters to conservative viewpoints and gives corrupting powers a pass. Leave the respectable 5% of the media to those who want out of the ECHO CHAMBER and instead expect integrity and truth from their news sources.

Thanks again!

Jan. 18 2009 01:34 PM
Helen Rabin from Vermont

I appreciated the commentary/essay this morning on Bush and the press. However, I wish Mr. Garfield had spoken about the by-and-large supine White House press corps. I felt fury time and again at the softball questioning with little follow-up and at the polite laughter which followed Bush's lame jokes. It's all water under the bridge now, but opportunities were lost, for reasons perhaps of "patriotism" following 9/11 or a certain lese-majeste.

Jan. 18 2009 01:11 PM
Charles Brown

Sixty posts now, and we see where public radio stands. There will probably never be a broadcast "counterpoint" to Bob Garfield anywhere on NPR, at any time.

And, as more than a few of the commenting listeners above have noted, those who are offended by NPR's one-sided political slant will voice their outrage (Bob Garfield rarely goes a month without sneering at all the cries of "NPR's liberal bias"), and the loyal liberals who adore NPR will support it with donations.

Local stations, responding to the directives of their donor lists, "keep it up" with a steady diet of Bob Garfields, Brooke Gladstones, Amy Goodmans, and contributions from NPR's "sister publication", Slate. (Slate's quadrennial poll of its staff, published online, was about 90% pro-Democrat in the last election. It was about the same in 2004, and only slightly less in 2000.)

And this is what is so offensive. An openly slanted, but government-supported, radio network.

Jan. 18 2009 12:54 PM
Jeff Cheesman from Indiana

An otherwise well-researched piece was diminished by vulgarity. This indicated lack of control of emotion, and therefore a lack of objectivity. It was unprofessional because your feelings toward Bush became part of the story.

Jan. 18 2009 12:09 PM
Sarah Campbell from New York

Thank you (really) for pulling no punches in this piece. Right on.

Jan. 18 2009 11:21 AM
Camilla Calfee

Now kids..... One of the greatest attributes of the United States is the ability to write and speak our opinions. We all know that behind opinions there should be facts to support those opinions. And for every point there is a counter-point as we see demonstrated in our court rooms. So with respect to all, put forth your comments, discuss and disagree and remember to remain open minded. Our freedom to "Voice" should match our freedom to "Listen". Our desire to question should match our desire to educate.I enjoy and learn from all the comments and thanks!

Jan. 18 2009 11:20 AM
L. J. Pearson from New York City

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your summation of Bush's dealings with the press.

As an ESL teacher of adults, I voice my political opinion on occasion, and so have been asked just why I think Bush is a such a "disappointment". It is then I wish I had collected the unending news reports of his abuse of power, his betrayal of our welfare and our constitution, to list point by point, hammerlike - as you did- every malfeasance which we have suffered these 8 years.

Thank you for not pulling your punches. Aside from the F-U, I didn't think there was one insult... Just the facts, just the facts, which speak worlds.

Jan. 18 2009 10:56 AM
John Petesch

Yes Paul,

I'm sooooooooo sure Obama will provide just as many genuine opportunities for criticism as Bush, making it very reasonable that we should expect just as criticism of Obama as there was of Bush.... OH BROTHER!

Jan. 18 2009 10:52 AM
Melissa Garner from Austin, Texas

To those who left comments defending Bush and his administration, calling Garfield "snarky" or "childish", I'd be curious to know if you are fans of O'Reilly and his ilk. I'm also curious if you have ever seen Bush flipping off the media (which he's done numerous times - documented). Do you not find this "childish"?

Do some independent research on Bush's claims in the adios speech...it was a lie-fest.

Jan. 18 2009 10:51 AM
Woody Barr from New Hampshire

Excellently stated, Bob! It still amazes me that there are folks out there who try to defend Bush's 8 year debacle. Harks back to a statement I once heard about Republicans: "There are 2 kinds: very, very rich or very, very stupid..."
Ignorance and arrogance have always been a deadly cocktail. George Bush's reign is a showcase illustration of this...
Keep up the good work.

Jan. 18 2009 10:48 AM
Melissa Garner from Austin, Texas

I hope that under Obama's administration, the lies that you pointed out in this piece are exposed on all news shows, all networks (FOX included) and soon. If there is any justice, Bush and deserving members of his administration will be prosecuted for their crimes, as well. I trust that President Obama's administration will respect the Fourth Estate and that it's dignity will be restored.

Thank you, Mr. Garfield!

Jan. 18 2009 10:28 AM
Paul Solenick from White Plains, NY

Bob Garfield is very much like other NPR program hosts (ie. Garrison Keilor) in his outright hatred for President Bush and all things and persons conservative. There is no journalistic balance in his blatantly slanted opinions, and they are nothing more than opinions. Opinions which should be labelled as such at the start of each one of his rants. Now that Mr. Obama will be our president, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Garfield is as critical and outspoken of him and his administration as he has been of President Bush during the entire 8 years of his presidency. Somehow I doubt it.

Jan. 18 2009 10:26 AM
Robert from NYC

Yeah, it's me again. What can I say, I'm a slow thinker.
I have to add that with all this finger pointin--and I've done my share--with all this finger pointing and accusations it is the people who voted for this idiot (especially for a second term, go figure!) who are to blame because they and the Supreme Court and the GOP sleaze machine who played around with the voting system caused this fool to usurp the office of the President.

Jan. 18 2009 10:25 AM
Brian from Vermont

It's about "thank"ing time. Kudos to Bob Garfield for finally setting the record straight on the Bush adm.'s chronically dishonest and abusive relationship to the media and the public at large. I wish it hadn't taken a full 8 years, and Bush literally on his way out the door, for someone in the mainstream media to finally call it just as it's been.

Jan. 18 2009 10:22 AM
Robert from NYC

Why didn't you all call him on these over the years? Why wait until he leaves! It's like the kid you hides in the bushes and waits until the opposing team is out of stones and then throws his stone and runs away. It's too late OTM. You too let it happen.

Jan. 18 2009 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

Well, all those things you list are true and the press let him get away with it and so I believe thank you is what meant, thank you for letting us give you the finger and get away with it!! I listened to nothing he said (turned off the sound or changed the channel) for eight years so I didn't listen to any of this buh-bye crap he spewed all this week either.

Jan. 18 2009 10:10 AM
Larry Fine from Stockbridge, GA

Bob,

Your summary of the Bush years is my favorite in any form of media. I think it is brilliant and this is one of the best OTM pieces in memory. THANK YOU for this, I will follow up with a donation to WNYC.

Jan. 18 2009 09:22 AM
John Petesch

You brilliant Bushies should be proud that 22 percent of the population in this country (1 percent worldwide) actually agrees with your views.

I'm sure you represent the very smartest the world has to offer, and we should all heed your magnificent intellects in these difficult times, as your politics have served us all so well over the last eight years.

Enjoy the world you have wrought! I'm sure your pleasure will be reflected in your job security and retirement accounts!

Jan. 18 2009 09:19 AM
Mary Pagones from http://inconspicuousconsumption21.blogspot.com/

I found this report refreshing and an important reminder of many incidents--like the 'Potemkin Village' press conferences that were forgotten.

But I can't believe that the great symbolic moment of the Bush Administration's relationship with the media was forgotten, namely being pelted by a shoe by a member of the Iraqi press!

Jan. 18 2009 06:53 AM
David from Rhode Island

To: Bob Garfield

If you really believe you are a "...liberal/conservative pro-business/pro-regulation law-and-order globalist who believes in family, curiosity, critical thinking and the Bill of Rights. My analysis has no fixed ideology except honesty and truth.", then you really need to listen to yourself more. You are not getting the conservative, pro-business side of yourself across very well (read not at all). Maybe you are playing with semantics, I don't know. But the is NOTHING I have heard you report on in the 4 years I have been listening that remotely come across as you being anything other than fairly left of center as usually defined. I, of course, have no idea who you have voted for in any election, but I have to admit I would be shocked to find that you had ever voted for a conservative candidate. Really Bob, you have been in New York City too long. Live in the midwest awhile and you will see just how liberal you really are. I am just imagining your horrified reaction to that thought. Kind of proves the point, doesn't it?

Jan. 17 2009 10:42 PM
David from Rhode Island

To: John Petesch

Again, snarky sarcasm is childish and hardly constitutes an intelligent response. If you want to claim I am lying about my donation, then say so and tell me why you think so. I only made the comment about my business doing well because I suspected people like you would make sarcastic comments that I was using this as an excuse for not giving because I couldn't afford it. Hardly the case. My point is that sometimes it is enough to register a difference of opinion by making a comment on here, sending a letter to the editor, whatever is appropriate. In this case I felt my response needed to be stronger. I can support what I think is good work that has value for me, but this was not, and there have been other instances when Bob's comments are thick with unneeded sarcasm, disrespect and bias. The issues mentioned are not nearly as cut and dried as Bob makes them sound, and others have done a decent job of refuting some of the claims Bob makes. The courts have upheld the wiretapping of overseas calls (http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWNhNWI3ZjRlNmVkZTA1YzNmYmNkMjBhYTMyZTFhMmQ=), no one was convicted for this. If Bob is going to use court results to substantiate his claims about Libby (although that is a red herring too, there is FAR more to this story), then he should be fair and admit that he is wrong on this because the courts said so. Can't have it both ways, Bob.

Jan. 17 2009 10:35 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh, and Mr. Cates...perhaps YOU should go back and re-educate yourself on OTM history. OTM was "reborn" right at the very moment that "slick Willie" was finally leaving office (a nice parallel to our debate on this commentary piece) having disgraced himself and the country--he just couldn't leave well enough alone, it seems, judging from his last couple years in office.... But thanks for the tip, Mr. Cates.

Jan. 17 2009 10:14 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

But, hey--go back to the original premise by Bob Garfield--his thesis statement. Remember it? Yes, the laundry list of "everything that big, bad, old, masterful, super-human George W. did to the poor, old weak, honorable, honest, intelligent, dedicated, pure, objective press". Yes, George Bush--the guy that the press lambasted for 4+ years & made fun of as being so simple, such a puppet, so ignorant, such a bumpkin. But BobG claims that W. basically sort of victimized the poor press across the nation--had his way with them, outwitted them, buffaloed them, conned them--hey, W. sounds almost "all-powerful" in BG's intro. But which is it? A masterful Bush who "blacked out" the press, or the buffoon who couldn't get out a simple anecdote on occasion? You see, BG wants to have it BOTH ways--but reason tells us that you just can't do that and stay honest with yourself. The TRUTH--the plain old truth of the matter is that for the past few decades, germinating in the 60s, sprouting in the 70s, & blossoming in the 80s--the press, the former & venerable Fourth Estate et al., has simply & only gotten just what they have sowed for themselves; what they deserve. They lost most of the purity, simplicity, & honesty that George Bush has (for all his imperfections); they ceased to strive for objectivity & balance & respect & integrity & strength--and after that it's all downhill. Bush is just a couple asterisks in a society “mediated” by a decaying, formerly professional group of journalists & editors who have lost their way (much like public education & liberal post-secondary education have lost their way in this country). Nothing more, nothing less. That’s why, if you listen closely to Garfield's opening thesis statement, you will realize--if you're honest with yourself--that this piece is just hypocrisy & sour grapes, with a little BS mixed in for good measure...yes, exactly what passes for typical journalism today.

Jan. 17 2009 10:02 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Oh, I almost forgot, Mr. Cates: I listen to OTM about 75% of Saturday mornings for the past 4 or 5 years. I am also a "former journalist". I think....I just think that I know what the show is about. And there have been dozens of OTM mornings I could easily have "sliced and diced" the way that Charles has--and others--above and in other places. I just remind myself that I do not contribute anymore (after ten years supporting NPR, circa 1981 to 1991), that it gives me a GREAT "debating" partner to rev me up on Saturday mornings (better than coffee sometimes, Bob), and that if you look around at the Fourth Estate and the mainstream media you will see they are sinking almost as fast--well, almost as fast as the Bush administration--in their "objectivity" and "balance". (By the way, Charles, they will NEVER answer you in the vein of any semblance of "balance" on our national public radio...never....but I praise you and thank you for sticking to your guns and asking that valuable question.)

Jan. 17 2009 06:57 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Mr. Cates:

Dates, dates, dates...as if that excuses the behavior I am characterizing. As it was so eloquently put above, there are literally TONS of political "scoundrels" who have graced our presence, whether we go back 8 months or 8 years or 800 years, correct? Did Clinton leave office approximately 8 years ago? Was he labelled a "scoundrel" by OTM or NPR commentaries back then??? Was he? Or were they too busy already trying to label Bush that, perhaps? If OTM or Bob Garfield can address the words and language of FDR, Lincoln, and so on, in the course of their coverage of the media and politics--well then, shouldn't they offer Clinton and Bush equal treatment in the last 7 or 8 years? What is the big deal--a President that is a scoundrel is a scoundrel, right? Or does their "club" memberships determine whether or not they are so labelled by the media commentator or the Fourth Estate?

Jan. 17 2009 06:40 PM
Charles Brown

Mr. Cates, laugh all you want; Garrison Keillor is a registered member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor. And, he's an unapologetic scold of the opposing party.

Again, not a reason to silence A Prairie Home Companion.

Just a reason to ask, what is the corollary, the conservative counterpart? Where might a public radio listener find any balance?

(A variety show is hardly a political hotbed worth worrying about. But for a station manager or fundraiser concerned with keeping a kind of ideological purity, it means something.)

And, it is less benign when one talks about other programs, interview programs in particular, in which six or seven separate editorial decisions might result in someone like a Ron Susskind being invited onto six or seven different NPR programs to flog his latest anti-Bush book. Thereby assuring a kind of on-air carpet-bombing of anti-Bush news.

Jan. 17 2009 06:40 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

IMAGINE it! Imagine if any NPR personality or ANY news personality on a network ever said the numerous "THANK you" phrases that Bob Garfield uttered (thinly veiled as a profane gesture) towards President-elect Obama??? There would be a national outcry and heads would roll, possibly. Just another example of the basic problem here at NPR and OTM. Media people have been fired for LESS than what Garfield did....

Jan. 17 2009 06:28 PM
Charles Cates from Austin, Tx

Charles Brown, I'm afraid we'll have to disagree here. Studies have proved that most people on the left of the political spectrum often find NPR to biased towards conservatives and most people on the right find it too liberal. I am reminded of Harry Truman's statement that he didn't give people hell, he told them the way things were and they thought it was hell.
You see bias, I see objective reporting. Sorry, I must leave now to listen to ultraliberal A Prairie Home Companion, where Garrison Keillor made yet another sarcastic comment about outgoing President Bush.

Jan. 17 2009 06:27 PM
Charles Brown

Mr. Cates, you are respectfully referred to Post #18. Thank you, sir, for taking that particular bait, and if you don't mind, I'd at least like to have my line and sinker back, please.

If NPR had been commissioned to serve as the left-wing counterweight to right-wing commercial radio, I think I'd be in court tommorrow to try to de-fund it.

But even NPR's administrators would deny, forcefully, that NPR is to be the antidote to private sector conservative media. They aren't honest enough to make that admission. They'd point out that NPR pre-dates The Rush Limbaugh Show by at least a couple of decades. "Talk radio" didn't much exist when public radio stations began broadcasting programming about classical music and great books.

But of course, radio is an intensely self-stratifying medium. Conservatives listen to Rush Limbaugh because they like Rush and find NPR nauseating. Liberals do the obverse. It's just that Rush Limbaugh's syndication PAYS taxes and NPR ABSORBS taxes. (In the process, NPR develops a listenership of liberals to whom it caters, for more listener support.)

My point is that NPR ought to be politically neutral. Air America (often indistinguishable from NPR) is the vehicle for liberals to combat the percieved right-wing AM radio hegemony. Not NPR.

Jan. 17 2009 06:22 PM
Charles Cates from Austin, Tx

Bryan, this program started in January 2001. I suggest you read Brooke's 'manifesto' to get an idea of what this program is about:
http://www.transom.org/guests/review/200403.review.gladstone.html

Jan. 17 2009 06:22 PM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

And, of course, Bob, you appropriately called President Clinton a "scoundrel" when he left office??? President Bill Clinton: A married man, the Executive and Commander-in-Chief of our country, the biggest ethical and moral "role-model" that could exist...well, this President was grabbing gratuitous sexual favors from an employee (and an intern at that) and doing it INSIDE the White House administrative offices. All from an intern who was barely 20 years old (maybe 19--his daughter's age anyway!)??? And then LYING about it. And then PERJURING himself. And then being threatened with IMPEACHMENT. (Hmmmmm...was George Bush ever mentioned seriously as an impeachment candidate or as a perjurer in a courtroom? Why the double-standard, Bob? Bob? Was Clinton more or less a "scoundrel" than Bush? Did you treat them equally UNFAIRLY with a constantly running bias that is laughable it is so transparent?

Jan. 17 2009 06:18 PM
Bob Garfield

re. Tomlinson: He came from Voice of America, an explicitiy chartered propaganda outlet. It's a remarkably even-handed one, but an organ of US policy and interests nonetheless.

Jan. 17 2009 06:07 PM
Charles Cates from Austin, Tx

Charles Brown: Have you ever of AM radio? If you turn to an AM radio talk show anywhere in this country you will hear nothing but your type of 'journalism.' You won't be challenged or educated.

NPR was started to provide a balance to the existing media networks. Most people believe that it does offer opposing views but if you choose to hear only the things that offend your delicate sensibilities you had best stick to AM radio and Fox News.

Try the Alex Jones show. I bet he's right up your alley!

Jan. 17 2009 06:06 PM
Charles Brown

And with that, it appears that both listener John Petesch, and program host Bob Garfield, and all of the other NPR faithful have abandoned any answer to the question, "Where, exactly, is the political balance to be found on a typical NPR station"?

Jan. 17 2009 06:04 PM
John Petesch

Thank you Jack Hettinger!
I could not have responded better, and so you have saved me any more wasted time or typing.

Jan. 17 2009 05:49 PM
Charles Brown

Jack Hettinger, where can we locate Ken Tomlinson's official registration as a "professional propagandist"? (A particularly inflammatory Bob Garfield charge, utterly devoid of the kind of documentation you are chirping about, in light of this discussion.)

Jan. 17 2009 05:38 PM
Jack Hettinger

It's OK if the Bush faithful wish to pretend that what Bob Garfield delineates and documents about the departing administration's gruesome abuse of the media and us is conjecture that another conjecture could refute, as if every opinion were equally valid. Facts don't dissolve no matter how much one scorns them, and there are only so many ways those facts can be sanely interpreted. Everything Garfield says can be found on the front pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and other great newspapers, not to mention coverage by NPR. Each of these media organs has the entire paper trail for every claim Garfield makes. What Garfield says is already history. And there is no Memory Hole that can change it.

Jan. 17 2009 05:27 PM
Stephen Abbott from Manchester, NH

Sorry, Bob, but Howie Kurtz' CNN media critique show, for example, is one that clearly labels the hosts' opinions as such, and frankly, I respect the show, and him, far more for having guests on from BOTH political perspectives beforehand, giving equal time.

NPR has a history, if they let conservatives on at all, they must have several "counter-guests" on to "refute" their views. I suspect that's the case with this show. Then again, you didn't even try for balance here.

This all matters because we don't pay Kurtz' salary directly, but as a taxpayer, we pay yours. We should demand balance along with the commentary, which I certainly don't begrudge you to express, when it's labeled as such.

Then again, this "'THANK' you" implication was just vile and uncalled-for.

Jan. 17 2009 05:15 PM
Charles Brown

Stephen, in fairness to NPR and "On the Media", the program is prima facie understood to be a "viewpoint" program, for which the hosts and producers presumably take responsibility.

And, we can be sure that NPR, per se, distances itself editorially from particular programs like those of Mr. Garfield. Bob Garfield is not an NPR News reporter, they'd say. (Although here we are, debating on the NPR website!)

The question I come back to is this -- the typical talk-focused NPR station (as opposed to those precious few who play classical music and jazz when not broadcasting NPR morning and evening news) will feature programs like Terry Gross' Fresh Air, On the Media, News and Notes (to be cancelled?), Tavis Smiley and Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! They are all admitted , purposeful "viewpoint" programs with no conservative equivalent in the entire stable of public radio programming, be it from NPR News, NPR, PRI or APR.

I don't propose to silence Bob Garfield. I simply ask where is the programming balance?

What we see with NPR is rather transparent. A quasi-private, quasi-public agency like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with all of the same accountability and reliability. Liberal listeners adore what they hear on NPR, and support it with their tax-deductible donations. Liberal university administrators like the work of NPR, and gladly lend the university broadcasting infrastructure in many cases. It is an enclave. An echo chamber. And it is our national public radio network.

Jan. 17 2009 05:13 PM
Bob Garfield

Criticism, analysis and commentary -- what OTM is all about -- are by definition matters of opinion. Labeling an essay as commentary is like labeling rain as precipitation.

Jan. 17 2009 05:07 PM
Stephen Abbott from Manchester, NH

Bob, I didn't remember you mentioning that you "despised" the Bush Administration from the outset of your rant/editorial, nor for that matter did I hear it labeled as an editorial comment before or after it ran.

Or is the entire show understood to be an editorial, pandering to the Left? Mind you, I don't tune in all the time, so maybe it's just that.

There's a HUGE difference between media analysis (including getting BOTH sides to weigh in on whether Bush had abused his power or had been "mean" to the press) and outright editorializing, as you did. I'd hope you and other NPR commentators would learn to understand that.

Jan. 17 2009 04:59 PM
Charles Brown

I'm just glad, Bob, that we could clear up the part in which you "despise" the Bush Administration as "scoundrels."

I won't be holding my breath that you'll be as active in your vigilant non-partisan truth-seeking approach to the world's current media-propagandist "scoundrels": Kim Jong Il, Bashir Assad, Hugo Chavez, Al Jazeera, bin Laden and Zawahiri, Putin, Hamas, Hezbollah, Mugabe, FARC, Al Aqsa Martryrs Brigade, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Harakat ul-Ansar, Shining Path, etc., etc.

So many scoundrels, so little time, eh?

Jan. 17 2009 04:49 PM
Stephen Abbott from Manchester, NH

I couldn't believe my ears when I heard this unlabeled editorial on NPR today. Then I thought, "Oh, yeah. It's NPR. Of course it's ALL a Left-leaning, Bush-hating editorial."

I wonder: how on EARTH did Bush ever get the idea that the press was hostile to him, or that it had a "so-called" liberal bias? Hmm. This rather vile rant seems to have backed up his rather secretive approaches, rather than unmasks him for being unfair to a friendly media "just doing their job," as the rantor seems to be implying.

I've always said Bush is a wimpy, non-conservative who has failed to stand up for GOP principles out of fear of the press. This PATHETIC display of fawning over people who have shown contempt for him is example #45,387 of his wimpiness.

While I won't defend all of Bush's actions, whatever good points the ranter may have had is lost in the snide, hateful and dripping-with-contempt commentary - which even suggested at the end a big "F-U" to the president. Were I Bush, I'd probably have said "THANK" You right back to him and the rest of the carnivorous press corp.

I wish I could say, "I expect better from NPR" but I really don't. Sadly, because this could be a tremendous resource, but instead, it's a haven for partisan hackery that without fail, vilifies conservatives and deifies the Left.

Jan. 17 2009 04:44 PM
John Mickelson from Utah, USA

Excellent article! But I have to know, why did the press put up with it? Why did the press seem to be on the President's side? Why did the press NOT question the war in Iraq? Why did the press mostly sit idly by as the Bush Admistration led us down the path of ruin? What happened to the watchdog?

It's my opinion that the press failed us for the past 8 years. Failed in a big way.

Jan. 17 2009 04:28 PM
Bob Garfield

To Charles Brown:

Libby was convicted by a jury of lying about his leaks of Valerie Plame's name to three journalists. The fact that Novak got his info from Armitage is irrelevant.

As for my politics, I am a liberal/conservative pro-business/pro-regulation law-and-order globalist who believes in family, curiosity, critical thinking and the Bill of Rights. My analysis has no fixed ideology except honesty and truth. I don't despise the Bush administration because I am partisan; I am a member of no party. I despise them because they are scoundrels.

Jan. 17 2009 03:36 PM
Charles Brown

I've answered your query, John Petesch. Now how about mine? What is the conservative corollary to "On the Media"? What is the conservative equivalent to "Democracy Now!"? Please don't say that NPR functions to counter so-called right-wing talk radio. That only proves my point, that NPR is slanted. Anyway, Air America (employing former NPR President Mankiewicz's son, by the way) is the designated "antidote" to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, et al. NPR, because it is public, has the duty to provide balance. Rush Limbaugh has no such duty. Air America has no such duty. NPR does.

Jan. 17 2009 03:11 PM
Charles Brown

Among the many specifics that Garfield got wrong; that the Bush Administration ran a program of "illegally wiretapping Americans without a warrant." That is a wholly and fundamentally untrue statement. The program, however, was indeed a top-secret program, being used to intercept and mine data from involving international calls, and has never been determined to have been illegal. President Bush rightly condemned those who illegally exposed it.

Bob Garfield chooses his targets in the area of illegal leaks. He obviously preferred the NYT "leak" to the "leak" of the name of Valerie Plame, but he got that story wrong as well; omitting entirely the part of the story in which Mrs. Plame Wilson's name had been leaked by Richard Armitage to Robert Novak, who published it, Garfield deliberately misled the NPR audience with the basically untrue allegation that Scooter Libby "revealed the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to several journalists." The presumption that Garfield wanted to convey was the false presumption that fueled the Fitzgerald investigation and prosecution; that Plame's "cover" became publicly blown due to Libby. Which is, a lie.

Lastly, is the point I have already raised and which is perhaps the most outrageous: Bob Garfield, editorialist, attacking Ken Tomlinson as a "professional propagandist." What a nauseating bit of bombast from Garfield. Liberals like Bob Garfield seem to have no problem with the fact that NPR might have been headed up by a career Democratic political operative like Frank Mankeiwicz (Robert Kennedy press secretary, George McGovern campain manager, Democratic Party Chairman) but if a Republican is appointed to a position even more removed from editorial content, as Ken Tomlinson was as a Board Member of the CPB, it apparently sets Bob Garfield's teeth on edge. Which can only be a good thing.

Jan. 17 2009 03:10 PM
John Petesch


Charles Brown,
Instead of ranting about how the few shows available to the public which speak at least a little truth to power are so commie leftist america hating, try pointing out at least one specific which Bob Garfield got wrong in this radio piece.

And Please, point out specifically how he is wrong or inaccurate, and provide some sort of verifiable evidence, rather than just spouting off your so wholesome and constructive opinion.

Thanks!

Jan. 17 2009 02:18 PM
Elsie

Bravo!

Jan. 17 2009 02:07 PM
Charles Brown from Franklin, MI

Since this comments section has turned into a virtual Rorschach test on one's political leanings ("brilliant" in the view of those who have an unconcealed hatred of President Bush), let's move beyond the partisan trenches and ask a meta-question:

Is there to be found, anywhere on the NPR lineup, either as an independently-produced show or whithin NPR News, a conservative or right-wing corollary to Bob Garfield? Because Bob's co-host, Brooke Galdstone (wife of the Bush-hating Slate writer Fred Kaplan) is by no means any political balance. As we add "On the Media" to the tally of other innumerable left-leaning public radio programs, from the "serious" (Democracy Now!) to the "light" (Prairie Home Companion and This Ameircan Life), to Tavis Smiley, Terry Gross, Dan Schorr, and far too many others to count...

NPR is of course fully entitled to broadcast left-leaning content. No serious-minded person would suggest any form of "censorship." But what about "balance"? There is no semblance of a balance of views at NPR. Not a hint; not the slightest attempt, except within the most strained content of formal official NPR News brodcasts, which comprise only a small portion of a typical public radio station's broadcast day.

And after all of that, Bob Garfield, broadcasting from the comfort of the publicly-funded WNYC studio, has the nerve, the gall, the chutzpah, to call Ken Tomlinson a "propagandist."

Bob, my friend, your joking about the accusations of liberal bias at NPR have ceased to be funny anymore.

Jan. 17 2009 02:03 PM
Charles Cates from Austin, Tx

Bravo Bob! Of course the Bush administration's treatment of the press was a two-way street. When the media continually cows and doesn't live it up to its duties we all lose.

Jan. 17 2009 12:58 PM
Al Conner from Westport, CT

You can't make this stuff up....Oh wait, they did. Eight years of spin and manipulation condensed into eight minutes. Thanks for a brilliant piece of compiling and editing.

Jan. 17 2009 12:37 PM
Freddy Jenkins

This rundown frightened me. We really enjoy flirting with dictatorship in this country.

Jan. 17 2009 12:36 PM
John Petesch

By the way... MY business is NOT "doing very well anyway."

Jan. 17 2009 11:20 AM
John Petesch

I'll gladly make up for David's... ahem... "$500" by donating $500 myself for the first time ever... just for doing this story the exact way you did it.

Jan. 17 2009 11:17 AM
David from Rhode Island

Just because the Bush administration made numerous mistakes in its realtions with the media, (some so obvious they seem beyond argument, others very much depending on the interest of the party involved), it seems ridiculous for Bob to present his views in such a childish and disrespectful way. Even granting that this is an op-ed, it was still so unbalanced as to be laughable. Of course the press never mischaracterized, lied about, or selectively reported the news regarding the Bush administration. Of course they never have a double standard with regard to liberals versus conservatives. Right.

In short, even though I disagree with OTM on these kinds of issues most of the time, I was always interested in hearing thoughtful analysis from the other side so as to keep my own views informed and balanced. And to that end I have always supported WNYC and OTM with a $500 donation for a few years running (I happen to believe in capitalism and free markets). But this adolescent diatribe finally convinced me that the show does not deserve my support, and therefore WYNC will not be receiving my check this year. Too bad too, because I know the donations will be in the tank this year with the economy the way it is, and I am fortunate to be in a business that is doing very well anyway.

Jan. 17 2009 11:00 AM
John Petesch

Good Grief! Amazing how people like Bryan and Charles can still be so self-congratulatory for having put Bush in office, even amidst the ruins of our country left in Bush's wake. How unbelievably asinine!

Terrific and succinct synopsis of the Bush administration's contempt for the public's right to know what their government is doing.
Still, I have to say that the press itself too often gave the administration a free pass when they should have been constantly in Bush and Cheney's face demanding answers.

I can only hope that the "free press" will again begin to fulfill it's rightful role as the nation's watchdog, and that government will once again be held to account for its shenanigans and failures.

Jan. 17 2009 10:39 AM
Scott Burg from NYC

Brilliant...Too rarely do we hear such a prescient, incisive, and comprehensive portrayal of the contempt this administration has shown for our country's people, laws, and historical precedents. All the more important as the Bush Administration has regularly cloaked this contempt in the sheep's clothing of folksy good humor. Bravo!!!

Jan. 17 2009 09:35 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Ooooops! I forgot something: As the President was gracious and down-to-earth, Bob Garfield was quite rude, crass and offensive--even transparently suggesting the "f-word" behind the "thank you" phrases--and even desperate to get in a "laundry list" of criticisms.... I am sure that President Bush is sooooooo worried about OTM's perspective and offensive coverage at this point, as the media fails in its proper job while the President rides off into the sunset knowing for two terms that he was absolutely right in "speaking over the (failing, biased) press" and directly to the American people! We are lucky to have people like George around this country, and unlucky to have people like Bob. However, I can say that there are at least two reasons that I listen to OTM religiously: 1. to sharpen myself as to the challenges we face when the mainstream media eliminates itself through its bad decisions and propagandizing; 2. prove the point of the biases liberally infused throughout most media. Thanks, Bob!

Jan. 17 2009 09:11 AM
Bryan Fitzgerald from New York

Thanks, Charles. Well said. I love OTM's editorial prowess in having President Bush saying a decent "good-bye" to the mainstream press/media juxtaposed to two items highlighting the utter failure of the mainstream media (and in particular the Fourth Estate) in its basic mission and functions. Bob Garfield (and the press at large) will constantly blame "technology" and "change" for the failing newspapers. Who do they blame for the "success" of FOX news vis a vis all these other news entities? I am surprised that Garfield did not try to "blame" Bush for, again, the utter failure of newspapers, editors, and journalists to remain simple in their mission, objective in their fact-gathering, and not "socio-politically correct" in their biases. Turning themselves into propagandists has hastened the decline of the Fourth Estate. And Bush was more gracious than Garfield once again--and history will remember that! Thanks, Bob, for being the "proof in the pudding" once again! :)

Jan. 17 2009 08:57 AM
Charles Brown from Franklin, MI

Okay, Bob, you're right. President Bush was being disingenuous when he "thanked" the White House Press Corps. In truth, President Bush regards the mainstream media as represented by, say, NPR, as biased and fundamentally hostile to him. You, of course, have proved him correct.

For your "years of service" covering the Bush Administration, I think you should THANK yourself.

Jan. 17 2009 08:30 AM
Mike Ward from Ann Arbor, MI

Bravo! I really admire your courage and daring to put it out there. We've lived through eight years of what could be called a media black out. Hopefully, the next administration will be more enlightened. Really enjoyed it. Great work.

Jan. 17 2009 07:50 AM
Ed Franks from Pasadena, CA

To Bob Garfield:

Regarding your comments on Bush, all I want to say to you is, THANK you, too!

Jan. 17 2009 03:27 AM

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