.@CNN's @BrianStelter — whom I greatly admire for his steady (if a bit uneven) growth as one of the few TV journalists to even marginally criticize our cratering media megaplex—alerted me to the tweet storm below by Matthew Chapman. Matt and I have followed each other for quite some time. He's a programmer, contributor to Blue Nation Review, and generally a very wise and insightful young man with a helluva lot to say.

Below is a tweet collection I've curated of a recent rant, wherein Matt says some of those things with a rare clarity that I just had to capture for posterity.  Things that every American needs to hear in order to even begin to understand how our media and journalism are failing us every day with a constant Gish-Galloping cavalcade of ridiculous conservative propagandists with their equally ridiculous agendas, ideas, memes, contrived tropes, and cynical lies.  Not merely during this hideous 2016 election, but virtually all the time.  We have been  awash in media tripe for almost a generation now, and our country and culture are drowning in it.

Accurate, dramatic, eloquent, and on-point, eh? 

There just isn't that much to say. But there sure is a lot to talk about.

Naturally, and despite his best efforts, Brian Stelter is a made-man in the ecosystem of horrendous ethical fails that is @CNN, a network which Chapman is indirectly lambasting in his rant, so he felt compelled to tack on the "I disagree with some of it…" With apologies to him, who I really do like and admire, that was today's Twitter-sensitive journalist code-speak to set up the obligatory "of course, both sides share some of the blame…" 

No, Brian, no they do not. And you know they don't. See Chapman's many sidebar tweets (within his storm) with the always manipulative and disingenuous propagandist, @ABC's @MatthewJDowd, one of the worst purveyors of "the big lie" that "both sides do it."


Please Brian Stelter…

…read Matt's storm again below, and discuss which exact remarks you disagree with on @reliablesources this coming Sunday.  Be very specific, because it's hard for any regular observer or our media malaise to disagree with much of what he's said, or the examples he's given. 

Then do a really unique thing: have some of the people who regularly address our ubiquitous media malpractice to discuss all of this. And not with the same old #bothsides bullshit artists from the @CNN bullpen. Use people who actually understand how the media (and right-wing propaganda) work. Get to the heart of the matter of why your colleagues in the media (and your complicit boss, Jeff Zucker) continually practice this ruinous ritual of propagating endless hours of vapid, calorie-free coverage of ginned-up, right-wing counter-factual nonsense. It's a toxic stew of preventable malfeasance that is steadily and efficiently eroding our nation's ability to address a manufactured and cynically nurtured state of affairs where polarization, rancor, and institutionalized dysfunction are almost all our media can discuss, while simultaneously generating more of it . 

We are not addressing issues. We are not holding people accountable. We are not governing. We are not telling the truth.  Not to anyone in America, nor the entire world. And media is, if not entirely to blame, certainly to be blamed for making it all worse and impeding any efforts to make anything better.

And rather than do this with one more banal round of the Hollywood Squares-type panel discussion, why not host a @CNN town-hall on "What's Wrong With The Media," and invite people like (off the top of my head), Matt Chapman himself (@fawfulfan), but also: @ericboehlert, @mr_electrico and @bluegal, @sarahkendzior, @jeffcot, @owillis, @docrocktex26, @rickperlstein, @mattgertz, @joestrupp, @gabrielSherman, @crampell, @peterdaou, @kimlacapria, @tommyxtopher, @normorenstein, @bobcesca_go, @chezPazienza, @queenofspain, @johnfugelsang, @frankSesno, @katrinaNation, @karoli, @greenfield64, @cshirky, @goAngelo, @davidbrockCNN, @electablog, @tvhilton, @tomwatson, @zeynep, @fmkaplan, @juddlegum, and of course, the leading media critics from @snopes, @pewresearch and @politifact.

I'd include some conservative media critcs, but there are no serious ones. There never have been. And since those people posited as being such always say precisely the same thing, what would be the point? And besides, the execrable fringers and bomb throwing fanatics like @newtGingrich, @HughHewitt, @RealJeffreyLord, @SECupp and @ScottieNhughes are on @CNN every day suggesting that their willful lying and conservative propaganda are "exactly the same" as what liberals are complaining about when they illustrate how the media has abdicated any interesting in real journalism or truth telling.  It's what they are paid to do, as you know, and what all of you in the media have been complicit in enabling.

Please stop it, American media. Stop it before you've demolished whatever is still left of this once-proud country and its values and achievements that have led the world for so much of the past century.  You have children. And they will have children. You own it to all of them, and to all of us, to just stop this feeding frenzy of ratings-driven political media fail. 

You can still make money. You'll just sleep better. We all will.


See important update at the end.

Forgive my link-baited title, but it was just as contrived, gamed, and inaccurate as this one from Paul Farhi in today’s Washington Post:

Limbaugh sees heat over comments turn down to a simmer

That awful bit of non-reporting spawed these (and other) derived items from so-called “journalists” sucking down free content, with no fact checking whatever:

Rush Limbaugh Is Doing Just Fine

Then of course, we have this gem from Rush’s #1 astroturfed professor at Cornell Law, @leginsurrection, who was all too happy to use the crappy reporting from the so-called “Liberal Washington Post” (owned by arch-conservative, Donald Graham).

#StopRush turns into #MediaMattersStopped

And finally, never to be outdone in the lame department, the DailyBeast jumps in:

Advertisers Stick With Limbaugh

Now of course, paid flacks like Cornell’s “Professor Jacobson” are expected to use any kind of drivel the MSM writes to support their astroturfed hysteria.  But the Post and the Atlantic wire? This kind of reporting is absurd, and a prime example of why our media (and nation) are such a mess. 

Since the Washington Post cannot even manage a typical permalink  to specific comments, I have posted my response to Farhi’s reckless reporting here so you don’t have to scroll through 1000 comments to find it:

I would like to know which of the 161 dropping or avoiding sponsors listed here http://sn.im/stoprush Mr. Farhi actually contacted. I would wager the answer is zero. If he had, he would know that the only known sponsors to “trickle back” are a single regional sponsor that Rush’s PR flack, Brian Glicklich had CLAIMED wanted to come back (TheSleepTrain) in an LA Times puff piece, and TaxResolutions, a company that never really stopped to begin with (they just said they did to milk some free attention from Twitter). 
That’s it. And readers will note that virtually no research of any other kind is indicated in this article. This kind of reporting is merely passing along Premiere’s propaganda. And it does so with almost nothing but conjecture and suppositions based on what the author was obviously told, and not what he himself investigated. Farhi simply absorbed a robust spin-spew of misdirection from Limbaugh and/or Premiere which we have seen coming from his bots and paid proxies all week. Yes, the author called Carusone, and probably spent all of 15 minutes with him to pretend he was actually doing journalism. Anyone who knows Carusone’s efforts knows that what is said here is barely a fragment of the facts concerning this campaign, which can be heard more fully on any of his many radio interviews. In short, this is article comes off as a thinly-veiled PR favor to ClearChannel, a major media corporation which probably has many overlapping relationships with the Washington Post and/or its advertisers. 
It is also important to note that while sustaining any “outrage” can be challenging, this StopRush campaign has also coincided with the Trayvon Martin case, which has sucked the oxygen out of most stories emanating from the left in the past two weeks, so naturally some cooling of engagement would be evident. But as someone who sees the engagement of volunteers very close-up, I can tell you that the women, men, and families that Rush has offended aren’t going away, nor are they forgetting his egregious and vile remarks about Sandra Fluke in particular, and women in general. They are simply sharing their passions with other important issues of conservative hatreds which Rush can take great pride in nurturing in today’s America. They are not backing off or backing down. 
Mr. Farhi, please do just a bit of homework and update this story with real facts that you have actually verified, and not the convenient and self-serving spin of ClearChannel or their proxies. In short, do your job. 
Thank you.

Posted at 11:10 on 3/29/2012

Note: A look through the comments of that post will reveal literally dozens of astroturf bots, come of them posting at least 10 times. The WaPost makes no effort to screen such astroturf, nor even limit it to one or two comments per article. Thus, the astroturfers ensure that their gamed spew will always turn up in the list of most recent comments.


In my haste to respond to the Washington Post, I neglected to point out that the author DID update his story. He removed a completely erroneous misquote where he claimed that Carusone had said “only 5 sponsors had dropped the Limbaugh show.” In fact, Carusone tweeted that after correcting them, the author updated the post and simply deleted the entire misquote. This was more shoddy journalism. The entire premise of the story—now so widely repeated—revolved around that one ludicrously sloppy misquote. The Post should have posted the words “Updated,” and corrected it. They still should.

Please visit http://sn.im/stoprush for more news and information about the #stopRush effort.

Help us push back against this kind of propaganda by retweeting this post. Thanks!!

"There you go again!"

Once more, as they have so often done, the right wing is going to try to rewrite history, methodically reconstructing 8 horrendous years of the Bush administration, replacing a systemic pattern of crimes, malfeasance, and incompetence with glowing portraits of another unsung American hero who exists only in their minds, and the pages of a carefully crafted script, written by a right wing organization and hand delivered to Fox News for a daily distribution to the masses.

It's begun with the pimping on his memoir, and a slow and steady parade of pundits and commentators "suggesting" that the Bush years may be in for a big makeover.

It will get steadily worse over the next year, as the GOP attempts to place all blame for the nation's economic malaise onto Obama and the Democrats, while recasting every historical reality they can sell to their increasingly (and embarrassingly) gullible Foxified audience

And they know how do do it. They did it with Ronald Reagan. Most people under 40 are still working with bastardized facts, alternate reality fabrications, and outright lies about his miserable presidency, the many policies of which helped lay the foundation for the absolute ruination of the American way of life that Barack Obama is now tasked with holding together with paste, bailing wire and duct tape. 

You can blame Grover Norquist for what a rather brilliant strategy and near perfect execution. I call his technique, Colorforms history. Plastic dress and ornamentation are applied to a skeletal frame, presenting a fun and colorful portrait which suits the makers rhetorical, political, and propaganda ambitions. With enough repetition by a compliant media, the plastic bonds to the frame and the false depiction becomes the permanent reality—even in text books.

It Doesn't Have To Work This Time

Learn Grover's methods and note his tricks. You will soon seen them turning up everywhere—again. The primary devices can be seen in this one brief profile of his most successful project ever:

The Ronald_Reagan_Legacy_Project

Now that democrats are once again in the minority, the GOP will launch a steady stream of investigations, resolutions, and commemorations, all orchestrated by astroturf groups, with the express purpose of convincing the next generation that one of our worst presidents, was actually one of our best.

Please help resist this grotesque manipulation. Each time you see evidence of their efforts to fool us again, lash out hard. Direct people to this post using blog comments, tweets, or any other web tool at your disposal. And of course, retweeting this post often with the little green button will help jump start an effective counter-revisionism right now. Worry not when you do; this blog never sells advertising. Unlike Grover, it's about truth telling… not selling.


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