The Banal Beltway Media and Democratic Ignorance

As I think we all knew, it is becoming clear that the Pelosi in Syria "scandal" was trumped up by the White House. Josh Marshall does some legwork on the Israeli "clarification:"

Ron Kampeas of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency is another person who follows these issues closely and knows a lot about them -- that is to say, he doesn't approach these issues through the prism of reading Drudge or what the Vice President said on the Rush Limbaugh show. In any case, Kampeas takes a look at the story. It's a lengthy piece with a lot of important detail. But let me excerpt this section which touches on the issue of, again, what happened?
If that was the case, why did Olmert need to make a clarification, as Israelis were not speaking on the record. Lantos suggested there was pressure from the White House. "It's obvious the White House is desperate to find some phony criticism of the speaker's trip, even though it was a bipartisan trip," said Lantos, a Holocaust survivor who is considered the Democrat closest to the pro-Israel lobby. "I have nothing but contempt and disdain for the attempt to undermine this trip." The White House had no comment on the allegations by Lantos that it pressured Olmert to offer a clarification.

This was obvious to anyone with a brain I thought.

I understand what Josh is doing, trying to gin up a sort of scandal of his own. In this case, the scandal is a real one, the utter ineptitude of the Beltway Media; the sheer ignorance and stupidity exhibited on that story. They won't cover that Josh.

Two pieces published this morning make this clear. First, here is Atrios making fun of CNN's John Roberts:

In What Universe?

CNN's John Roberts:

This was a rare occasion when "The Wall Street Journal" and "The Washington Post" both agreed on something.

Yes, Fred Hiatt is anti-Iraq Debacle. Riiiight, John Roberts. Clueless.

And this from Paul Krugman:

Four years into a war fought to eliminate a nonexistent threat, we all have renewed appreciation for the power of the Big Lie: people tend to believe false official claims about big issues, because they can’t picture their leaders being dishonest about such things.

But there’s another political lesson I don’t think has sunk in: the power of the Little Lie — the small accusation invented out of thin air, followed by another, and another, and another. Little Lies aren’t meant to have staying power. Instead, they create a sort of background hum, a sense that the person facing all these accusations must have done something wrong.

. . . Before 9/11, however, the right-wing noise machine mainly relied on little lies. And now it has returned to its roots.

The Clinton years were a parade of fake scandals: Whitewater, Troopergate, Travelgate, Filegate, Christmas-card-gate. At the end, there were false claims that Clinton staff members trashed the White House on their way out.

. . . This is the context in which you need to see the wild swings Republicans have been taking at Nancy Pelosi.

First, there were claims that the speaker of the House had demanded a lavish plane for her trips back to California. One Republican leader denounced her “arrogance of extravagance” — then, when it became clear that the whole story was bogus, admitted that he had never had any evidence.

Now there’s Ms. Pelosi’s fact-finding trip to Syria, which Dick Cheney denounced as “bad behavior” — unlike the visit to Syria by three Republican congressmen a few days earlier, or Newt Gingrich’s trip to China when he was speaker.

Ms. Pelosi has responded coolly, dismissing the administration’s reaction as a “tantrum.” But it’s more than that: the hysterical reaction to her trip is part of a political strategy, aided and abetted by news organizations that give little lies their time in the sun.

. . . Even Time’s Joe Klein, a media insider if anyone is, wrote of the Pelosi trip that “the media coverage of this on CNN and elsewhere has been abysmal.” For example, CNN ran a segment about Ms. Pelosi’s trip titled “Talking to Terrorists.”

The G.O.P.’s reversion to the Little Lie technique is a symptom of political weakness, of a party reduced to trivial smears because it has nothing else to offer. But the technique will remain effective — and the U.S. political scene will remain ugly — as long as many people in the news media keep playing along.

This is a great piece by Krugman but almost irrelevant. What everyone is missing is that Iraq trumps all and the Bush Administration, the GOP and the Media are utterly untrusted right now. They are irrelevant in how the American People feel about the Debacle, and how the Debacle is the most important issue by far.

They can write trumped up stories about Pelosi's scarves and Carl Levin can act a fool but as long as Democrats are trying to end the Iraq Debacle they will be who the American People trust. Not the Media.

And that is the great danger I think, that Democrats do not realize where their political power is coming from. You feel that they think they have done some great political work when basically they just happened to be there, on the other side.

We'll see what they have learned soon.

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    Time number 3,000,025 (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 07:10:49 AM EST
    that Krugman dug into your brain?

    Anyway this:

    Democrats do not realize where their political power is coming from. You feel that they think they have done some great political work when basically they just happened to be there, on the other side.
    shall hereafter be known as Rahmbism (Schumer is smarter).

    Rahmboism (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 07:21:57 AM EST
    I like that.

    I will use it with a credit to you in future.


    Permission granted. :-) n/t (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 08:20:45 AM EST
    I haven't had such a hopeful moment (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 09:47:15 AM EST
    in a very long time.  "They" can call it whatever they like but simple folks and the little people like me, we know what happens when human beings sit down together and respectfully begin to discuss instead of putting on power point presentations titled "The Axis of Evil".

    I think this captures it (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 10:00:12 AM EST
    The People are beyond the Beltway and the Media and even Democrats now on Iraq.

    We want OUT!


    They did what they did. (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 07:55:40 AM EST
    Pelosi and her merry band did what they did.

    As "wannabe diplomats" they tripped the light fantastic expecting to receive the approval of the press and come home amid April showers of admiration and adoring adulation.

    But a funny thing happened this time. A few of the adults caught on and started calling the trip what it was.

    No amount of ducking and hiding can make the approving comments of the various terrorists and their enablers in the ME go away.

    "Nancy Pelosi understands the area (Middle East) well, more than Bush and Dr. (Condoleeza) Rice," said Al-Batch, speaking to WND from Gaza. "If the Democrats want to make negotiations with Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah, this means the Democratic Party understands well what happens in this area and I think Pelosi will succeed. ... I hope she wins the next elections."

    Islamic Jihad has carried out scores of shootings and rocket attacks, and, together with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years.

    Adults? (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 08:01:05 AM EST
    Maybe by virtue of being over the age of 18. A more apt description is (electric) kool aid drinkers.


    Another ad hominem attack with no content. (1.00 / 1) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 08:44:28 AM EST
    You live in a glass house Jim (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 09:08:48 AM EST
    To an extent, we all do (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 11:10:56 AM EST
    but at least I provide some content.

    Feel free to point out examples.


    Content (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 11:18:49 AM EST
    Sure. So does everyone.

    You call Molly's (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 11:24:53 AM EST
    comment "content?"

    Perhaps you missed the one in which she decided I was suffering from  Alzheimer's....

    But feel free, etc...


    Its only because you seem to forget so many facts (none / 0) (#22)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 04:49:17 PM EST
    Jiminy (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Skyho on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 08:48:54 AM EST
    Sheik Al-Batch does not speak English, Kings or otherwise.  Aside from the obvious attempts to disguise the actors voice in the interview, the diction was hardly what the Sheik is capable, but, then, why try to put lipstick on that pig?  Why would the Sheik even want to talk with a moron like Aaron Klein?  Without video, aaron was likely talking with the eunuch in the White House.

    The only reason I can see is that the perps, Cheney and WingnutDaily think their supporters, wingnuts, are so cute and stupid.

    Before shooting yourself in the face, you may want to look around a little, first.


    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 09:08:31 AM EST
    skyhoimny (1.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 11:22:16 AM EST
    They did what they did.....

    Here is a link that provides some facts rather than speculation. Perhaps you can provide a link???

    Reading the various comments it is clear that Pelosi's trip has been embraced by our enemies in the ME and that they now believe it is she who is setting policy.

    Nothing worse could have come of her trip.


    some folks will swallow anything (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Sailor on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 01:48:34 PM EST
    jimminy nofacts finally found a group that'll do his cherry picking for him:
    Yigal Carmon -- MEMRI's President. Carmon is fluent in Arabic. He served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Intelligence Branch from 1968 to 1988, was Acting Head of Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria and the Advisor on Arab Affairs to the Civil Administration from From 1977 to 1982, and adivsed Prime Ministers Shamir and Rabin on Countering Terrorism from 1988 to 1993. In 1991 and 1992 Carmon was a senior member of the Israeli Delegation to peace negotiations with Syria in Madrid and Washington.

    Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli received a Ph.D. in development planning from the University of Michigan. He spent most of his professional career at the World Bank, and has consulted for the International Monetary Fund.

    Dr. Raphaeli, an Iraqi-born, joined the Middle Media Research Institute (MEMRI)as a senior analyst in 2001.

    Prof. Menahem Milson (Academic Advisor), is a professor at Hebrew University in Arabic literature, and has served as head of the Department of Arabic Language and Literature and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities. He has published extensively on modern Egyptian writers. His book on Egypt's great humanist, Najib Mahfuz - Najib Mahfuz: The Novelist-Philosopher of Cairo appeared in 1998.

    Meyrav Wurmser (founding Executive Director) left in early 2002 to join the Hudson Institute and was replaced by Steven Stalinsky.

    Sure, unbiased folks giving unbiased opinions.

    what I see are quotations, not opinions. (none / 0) (#18)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 03:07:42 PM EST
    Are you saying that Memri is making these up?

    Come on sailor, say what you mean. Don't just slur and run away.


    Lets face it (none / 0) (#16)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 01:35:31 PM EST
    nothing short of four-more-wars is a disasterous setting of policy for the neothugs who've been ideological autopilot -- despite any contarary evidence -- for the last few years.

    And who of "our enemies" would be so ignorant and completely divorced from reality as to actually believe that Pelosi "sets policy"? Or is that another one of your bmpersticker figures of speech?

    Jondee (none / 0) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 03:10:35 PM EST

    You can start with the people who listen to those who have been cheered by Pelosi's visit.


    "Cheered"? (none / 0) (#20)
    by jondee on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 03:21:01 PM EST
    meaning believing there are some people in this country who are semi-rational and who dont completely lose their heads over the prospect of conquest and Jeez-us comin' back to the Greater Israel?

    Jondee (1.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 08:02:08 AM EST
    No, meaning the people in this country whose hatred of Bush means that he must be punished. To be punished, he must lose.

    That his loosing requires that the country must lose.

    Thus anything that hurts Bush is good, irrespective of the cost to the country.


    The whole Pelosi to Syria story is such (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 03:40:19 PM EST
    a distraction from the issue of the U.S. extracting its military from Iraq.  What amazes me is that people, including many leftie bloggers, actually watch TV news at all and get caught up in the Republican-created distraction. At least trees aren't being felled, but still.

    i wish i could recommend this comment 100x (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by conchita on Mon Apr 09, 2007 at 10:23:14 PM EST
    visiting with family over the weekend.  i read my mother the riot act sunday morning.  she insisted on watching the sunday "news" shows.  the last thing i had read the night before was a diary by jerome at dkos which be began by citing a study that 1 in 8 iraqi children will die before reaching the age of 5.  he then went on to talk about the upcoming demise of the cantarell oil field in mexico and concluded with finally acknowledging that the occupation of iraq might just be about oil and what this means for the world and the children of the middle east, as in how they will mean even less.  and yet on national tv on sunday morning, as i listened from the kitchen, they blathered on about how much money each candidate has raised.  and my mother, a died in the wool massachusetts liberal, never thought to question why there was no mention of iraq nor universal healthcare nor global warming nor reid/feingold... just the steady drone of their voices, creating yet another media smokescreen.

    Walt. Your argument doesn't work (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 07:58:12 AM EST
    when the reality of the situation eneters in.

    Given the iron fisted control the "heads of states," as you call them, have over the media in their countries, what you see in these does not wander far from what the "heads of states" want.

    It is becoming plainer by the comment that you are only interested in protecting a Demo politican who, after the gaffe of Murtha, continues to prove herself remarkably ineffective.

    She really had to work to get the WP and WSF to agree.


    The MEMRI quotations are funny. (none / 0) (#27)
    by walt on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 04:24:27 PM EST
    But, first, some USA comments.

    Donna Brazile on This Week:

    "Somehow or other in this whole dispute we've forgotten the fact that Speaker [Newt] Gingrich went to the Middle East and blasted the Clinton administration when he had that position, and Speaker Hastert told the Columbian military that they could deal directly with the Republican-controlled congress and bypass the Clinton administration. Look, they may dislike the messenger---in this case Nancy Pelosi---but she went over there and she articulated the president's message to Assad to close the border, stop undermining Lebanon, and start talking to Israel."

    Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV) on C-Span:

    "The Speaker had met with President Bush in the halls of the U.S. Capitol just the day before we left and mentioned to him that we were going to Syria. No response at all from the President. The State Department was certainly aware of our traveling to Syria and our full itinerary. And there were State Department officials in every meeting that we had on this [congressional delegation]. So that is all hogwash as far as I'm concerned."
    - - - - - - - - - - -
    The sources in the Middle East are contradictory & all over the spectrum.  I doubt you even read them.  And if you did read them, you'd know that they don't support your position.

    Here's the intro by MEMRI:

    Arab Media Reactions to Nancy Pelosi's Visit to Damascus

    The visit to the Middle East, and to Syria in particular, by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has provoked mixed reactions in the Arab world. Some wrote that Pelosi's visit challenged the foreign policy of the Bush administration, and that it had improved the U.S.'s image in the Arab and Muslim world. Others took a more skeptical approach, denying that the visit had made any major change. Still others were highly critical, and accused Pelosi of damaging the cause of democracy in Syria.

    From your link to MEMRI:
    Pelosi's visit was well received in Syria. While a number of delegations of U.S. congressmen had come to Syria in recent months, due to her status this visit was understood to be a significant development that could initiate a Syria-U.S. dialogue.

    In an interview, Syrian Information Minister Muhsin Bilal told Arab television stations that Pelosi's meeting with Assad was "effective and positive."

    "The visit to Damascus has achieved two important things. First, the opening of a U.S.-Syria dialogue to understand the situation... in the region, [as a step] towards taking affairs [into the hands] of both sides, in matters in which the U.S. believes Syria is involved, and can settle through peaceful means...

    "Second, Pelosi's visit to Damascus included the possibility of renewing the peace negotiations between Syria and Israel, which have been frozen since 2000.

    Basically, you cited a source that agrees with Brazile, Rahall & me.

    You should at least peruse your links before you post them.


    It's always escapes ppj's notice ... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Sailor on Tue Apr 10, 2007 at 05:26:59 PM EST
    ... that opinions are not facts.

    And since your political advice and constant bushlicking has placed you squarely in the 29%ers who still think killing more Americans in an illegal war is a good idea, I'm comforted by your constantly wrong opinions.