James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Posts Tagged ‘Dick Morris’

A question for Tea Partiers who want to ‘take back America’

Posted by James McPherson on April 16, 2010

I’m not trying to be facetious; I really want to know. I keep hearing you talking about “taking back America.” Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann say it. You have a Web site that says it. You’ll sell me a bumper sticker that says it. Clinton-era whoremonger Dick Morris wrote a book that says it (though why conservatives listen to him, especially, escapes me). There was a whole conference about it. And there’s even a a weird song and video (below) that have Uncle Sam saying it. And still I don’t get it.

My question: Exactly whom or what are you taking America back from? Those of us who voted in the majority in the last election?

Same-day addition: Martin Lobel at Nieman Watchdog points out something else that seems to confuse the Tea Party crowd and reporters: If you reduce taxes, you increase the deficit. Except in that wonderland that provides a magical escape for many of today’s protesters and a few Republican members of Congress (some of the same folks who pretend they can repeal the just-passed health care bill, though they’re basically after your money).

Posted in Politics, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

‘G’ whiz: judging Obama’s summit performance

Posted by James McPherson on April 4, 2009

Writing for CNN, James Carvell called the final day of the G-20 Summit, “Barack Obama’s single best day since inauguration,” while Fareed Zakariah suggested, “President Obama is failing in his role as leader of the free world.”

Over on Fox News, Bill O’Reilly “asked” if Obama was “selling out America” (part of Fox’s ongoing “We distort, you decide” marketing strategy).  Former Democratic whoremonger and current Fox News whore Dick Morris lied about it (now there’s a surprise), saying the summit, which in truth achieved almost nothing of substance, “was a disaster, but it’s probably a disaster he [Obama] likes … in which, essentially, all of the U.S. regulatory bodies and all U.S. companies are put under international regulation, international supervision. It really amounts to a global economic government. … Just when Obama is accused of socialism, he’s essentially creating world economic governance.”

The blatant misrepresention (unless it’s just stupidity) by Morris would be bad enough, of course, but Fox still has his appearance (and O’Reilly’s question) on the front of its Web site–though of course both are posted below its daily “Pop Tarts” section and headlines about the “top 10 beach bodies” and a show starring Hugh Hefner’s ex-girlfriend.

Of course, on the most obnoxious network from the opposing perspective, MSNBC highlighted “Obama’s charm offensive” while its various hosts did their usual pro-bama fawning. So maybe for a better sense of the summit, we should look to what they’re saying in other countries. After all, the group is called the G-20, not the “Gee, the U.S. and 19 other countries Americans don’t care about.”

Zakaria quoted a column in the Guardian stating that Obama “looks neither like JFK nor FDR but rather JEC–that’s James Earl Carter–better known here as Jimmy Carter.” But the Guardian also considers Gordon Brown a big winner, while “fat cats” and world climate were losers. As long as even fired fat cats are collecting millions of dollars while millions of people worry about paying for groceries I can’t consider them “losers.,” at least not in the sense that the newspaper means.

As it turns, out, looking at media from around the world, the reviews are mixed. Media in those countries tend to be as ethnocentric as ours are, focusing on their own situations and how the summit might affect them. And the fact is, the effects–if any–of what happened in London likely won’t be know for some time.

Leave it to al-Jazeera to provide the best interpretation of the summit and Obama’s performance there: “It’s a start.”

Posted in Journalism, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

25 Democrats & 30 Republicans who should ‘go away’

Posted by James McPherson on December 6, 2008

Blogger Ben Cohen apparently got such an overwhelming response (with lots of hate mail) to a column titled “10 Republicans Who Should Go Away,” he has now offered a Democratic version.

The Democrats: Joe Lieberman, Mark Penn, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Matthews, John Dingell, Robert Rubin, Steny Hoyer and Joe Lieberman (yes, Cohen hates Lieberman so much he put him on the list twice).

The Republicans: William Kristol, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin, Dick Morris, Dick Cheney, Mitt Romney, Alan Greenspan, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and George Bush.

I would have rearranged the lists and bit and made a few changes, but having used this blog to criticize everyone on Cohen’s GOP list and almost everyone on the Democratic list (though often just through association, with such terms as “gutless Democratic Congress” (here, here, here and here), I can’t disagree much with Cohen’s rankings.

I might have put Lieberman on both lists, and can easily expand the Republican list to 30. Besides Lieberman, my list (alphabetically) might include Glenn Beck, Jerome Corsi, Ann Coulter, Lou Dobbs, James Dobson, Matt Drudge, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Nancy Grace, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, Rupert Murdoch, Darragh Murphy, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Pat Robertson, Karl Rove, Michael Savage and George Will.

The Democratic side is a little tougher for me to expand, perhaps in part because of personal bias but mostly because Dems haven’t had much power for quite a while. Still, even after eliminating the second mention of Lieberman, I can boost it to 25 by adding Bill Clinton, James Carville, John Edwards, Geraldine Ferraro, Al Franken, Christopher Hitchens, Jesse Jackson, Joe Klein,  Scott McClellan, Keith Olbermann, Ed Rendell, Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Jerry Springer and Jeremiah Wright.

Cohen explains his reasons for each of his 19 nominees, though I won’t bother–other than to say the folks I’ve listed are among those who in my view have offered the least during the past year or so compared to the amount of visibility they’ve received. Obviously not all of those listed are formally affilitiated with the parties I’ve placed them with–but they might as well be.

Of course your picks might be different and others might be considered, including “Joe the Plumber,” “Obama girl,” and various filmmakers, political hacks, bloggers, and TV talking heads. And thankfully, many of those listed above are likely to disappear from public view in the near future, and from memory soon after.

Posted in Journalism, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »