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t was the Chess Club on steroids.
November 17, 2006 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Dick Meyer, editorial director of CBSNews.com, calls a duck a duck.
The men who ran the Republican Party in the House of Representatives for the past 12 years were a group of weirdos. Together, they comprised one of the oddest legislative power cliques in our history. And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do.
posted by orthogonality (64 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. I figured once the balance of power shifted we'd start hearing stories like this from journalists. "I knew they were all bonkers the whole time. We just couldn't say anything or we'd lose our access."

I never imagined it would take just 10 days.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:46 PM on November 17, 2006


This is a story I should have written 12 years ago...I apologize.

Fuck. Off.
posted by StopMakingSense at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


so no more water carrying then. at least for those who don't need water carried anymore.

thank zeus we can get back to tellin' it like it is.

this was the election to end all elections.
posted by nola at 1:50 PM on November 17, 2006


I thought it was "call a spade a spade".

Of course that couldn't apply to the GOP caucus, though, so carry on.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:52 PM on November 17, 2006


I never imagined it would take just 10 days.

That's what I find alarming, it's like the media didn't even blink at that last election. They're about as out-of-the-loop as the neocons.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:54 PM on November 17, 2006


Huh. If a 'chess club on steroids' can spook the popular media outlets into a 12 year silence, imagine the kind of mess we'd be in if the jocks ever got ambitious. Oh well, on to better times, I hope.
posted by maryh at 1:55 PM on November 17, 2006


And for 12 years, the media didn't call a duck a duck, because that's not something we're supposed to do.

No... that is exactly what you are suppose to do.

Doing it now is near pointless. Or at least is spineless.
posted by edgeways at 1:56 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


The men who ran the Republican Party in the House of Representatives for the past 12 years were a group of weirdos.

"Criminals and sociopaths" is more like it.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:58 PM on November 17, 2006


What an opportunistic little shit.
posted by oddman at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2006


aaaaand...SCENE.

See, if I were a cynical bastard, I'd say "Hmm. Awfully convenient time for the media to suddenly reawaken to its responsibility to hold the politicians to account. What with the Democrats just taking both houses of Congress."

I predict that the media will suddenly become incredibly diligent in ferreting out all corruption and waste in government right about, oh, now. And they'll be so just long enough for the Republicans to sweep back to power on a platform of "Look at what happens when you put Democrats in charge: the most corrupt Congress ever!", using the media's massive excoriation of the Democrats as evidence.

Of course, that's if I were a cynical bastard.
posted by scrump at 2:00 PM on November 17, 2006 [4 favorites]


"The men who ran the Republican Party in the House of Representatives for the past 12 years were a group of weirdos."

Washington Monthly: High Infidelity: What if three admitted adulterers run for president and no one cares?
"Lurking just over the horizon are liabilities for three Republicans who have topped several national, independent polls for the GOP's favorite 2008 nominee: Sen. John McCain (affair, divorce), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (affair, divorce, affair, divorce), and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (divorce, affair, nasty divorce). Together, they form the most maritally challenged crop of presidential hopefuls in American political history."
Bob Dornan: “I can’t stand the thought of my party having as its three front-runners three open adulterers, Newt Gingrich, Giuliani, and McCain."

Examples of Republican hypocrisy on moral values.
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on November 17, 2006


edgeways could not be more right. Oh, and what stopmakingsense said.
posted by sfts2 at 2:04 PM on November 17, 2006


I can see it now:

-Press wakes up, can finally tell their side of the story.

-People don't react well: accuse press of dereliction of duty when direly needed.

-Press covers story of people's reaction to press' own inadequacy and dishonesty.

-By devoting attention to discussing the effects of their own malfeasance, press manages to avoid actually taking responsibility for said effects, and is free to proceed as usual.

-Repeat as needed.
posted by LooseFilter at 2:05 PM on November 17, 2006


Thanks a lot, Dick.
posted by pinespree at 2:09 PM on November 17, 2006


dick, if you had any integrity at all this would be your letter of resignation. Why don't you and your suddenly enlighten bretheren go fuck yourselves.

The world is the way it is right now because you collectively sat on your asses while topics like war and massive income redistribution to the wealthy needed to be discussed, but could not get enough over how many times Clinton got blown by a 23 year old.
posted by slapshot57 at 2:12 PM on November 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


Recalls Robert Strange McNamara finally getting around to his mea culpa. He couldn't admit that the last few thousand troops killed in Nam met their end in a cause the White House knew to be lost.
posted by ahimsakid at 2:16 PM on November 17, 2006


It was clear that the new guys (Gingrites) were worthless when they decided to run again for office after having run on the understanding that they were to be one term figures and believed in term limnits. Instant recognition: theyh were liars and power hungry. Many ofus knew this. Why didn't the press?
posted by Postroad at 2:16 PM on November 17, 2006


Since when has Gingrich been a candidate for 2008?
posted by xmutex at 2:20 PM on November 17, 2006


lame, lame, lame. almost as bad as little Jonah Goldberg's "Iraq was a bad idea, mkay?" piece. a dutiful stenographer's crocodile tears are worth... well, nothing.
this is the kind of letter that should come with a resignation letter attached.

and nobody can seriously think that things have changed now
posted by matteo at 2:23 PM on November 17, 2006


Till the last couple years, I'd been blind to the importance of social pressures in DC journalism, and the degree to which they see themselves as enforcers of ever-shifting, opaque standards of acceptability.

The media has internalized the right-wing narrative of the Liberal Mainstream Media, so things are probably worse now than they've ever been-- added to their inclination not to report negative facts about people who are politically or socially important to them, they're less likely to report negative facts about Republicans.

And yes, xmutex, Gingrich is probably one of the top 4 or 5 GOP candidates for president in 08 at this point. He's big on the fact that we're in World War II, or maybe IV, against Islamic fundamentalism. Conservative audiences love that stuff-- serious, historical reasons for tough-minded rich people to support sending other people's kids to fight unnecessary wars.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:24 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


ah, to give the devil his due, Gingrich says we're in WW III or IV. He does not argue, pace my typo, that we're still (or just now) fighting WW II.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:27 PM on November 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I predict that the media will suddenly become incredibly diligent in ferreting out all corruption and waste in government right about, oh, now.

Naw. Everybody wants to be on the winning team. The losers will take a few extra lumps as the press beats this dead horse for a little while. It's ugly and dumb, don't fall for this guy's pandering.
posted by peeedro at 2:34 PM on November 17, 2006


".....because that's not something we're supposed to do."

Then why are we listening to you? Just for entertainment? Okay, thanks for the tip then. I'll take your advice and stick to The Daily Show and SNL for my news.

Thanks, Dick.
posted by WoWgmr72 at 2:45 PM on November 17, 2006


What if three admitted adulterers run for president and no one cares?

Well we had a pot smoker and now we have a cocaine user. I think Foley ought to run and up the ante.
posted by caddis at 2:47 PM on November 17, 2006


Of course, while everyone else was busy not calling ducks, ducks, Hunter S. Thompson was calling the ducks evil weasels with chainsaws, but lots of good that did him.
posted by Gucky at 2:49 PM on November 17, 2006


I'm so tired of these way way way-too-late apologies from everyone who propped up these crooks and their crooked adminstration. Sorry won't bring our dead back, nor the Iraqi dead, nor the Katrina dead, nor ...
posted by amberglow at 2:54 PM on November 17, 2006


I think Foley ought to run and up the ante.

In related news: Florida Opens Criminal Investigation of Foley.
posted by ericb at 2:57 PM on November 17, 2006


and now they're all pretending it's the 1990s again--Clinton Rules Redux--...The DC press corps hates having to criticize Republicans. Republicans make them feel all icky and call them liberals (which they so, like, aren't!) I confess, however, that I'm a little bit awed by how smoothly they have transitioned back into their assigned roles. I thought there might be a moment or two of cognitive dissonance as they went from grim and serious reports about terrorism and war to shallow personality politics and tabloid character assassination. I assumed they would at least wait until the presidential campaign took off to contrast the manly Republican Alpha with the loser Omega Dem, but I guess I didn't realize how much they've missed their fast times at DC High.
...

posted by amberglow at 2:58 PM on November 17, 2006


And he did it all with epic sanctimony.

Dick Meyer sucks ducks.
posted by taosbat at 3:00 PM on November 17, 2006


When it comes to abandoning the sinking ship Dick Meyer is the kind of guy who gives rats a bad name.
posted by speug at 3:01 PM on November 17, 2006


I think Foley ought to run and up the ante.

If Foley were the type to run and up the auntie he wouldn't have had a problem.
posted by srboisvert at 3:23 PM on November 17, 2006


srboisvert -- good one!
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM on November 17, 2006


> Then why are we listening to you? Just for entertainment?

What do you think the media is for? Do you actually buy that "we're society's watchdogs" line? They're there to attract eyeballs for the ads.


> Hunter S. Thompson was calling the ducks evil weasels with chainsaws, but lots of
> good that did him.

Oh, he sold a moderate career's worth of books and occasional gonzo-journalism to the crowd that likes to hear how the ruling class are evil weasels. There just aren't as many of those as there are people who want dogs, babies, and pretty girls.
posted by jfuller at 3:28 PM on November 17, 2006


Ok, was I the only one disappointed by this article? The content I mean. Not just the 12-year-late apology business.

I mean, when you call a group of people "weirdos" I expect some relatively titillating dirt. Maybe just minor things, like weird OCD habits or hazing rituals. But stuff that makes you feel wiggy about these people. This guy just called them hypocrites and chickenhawks. I knew that.
posted by furiousthought at 3:28 PM on November 17, 2006


Heh. Outgoing Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works James Inhofe talks to Fox and Friends about the real causes of global warming:
INHOFE: Now look, God’s still up there. We still have these natural changes, and this is what’s going on right now. New science comes out. I had a news conference yesterday, Brian, and the reason I did is because we were going to go over to Nairobi, take a bunch of scientists to get the true science over there, only to find out that the registration had dropped off. Almost no media was over there. So we had the same news conference yesterday right here in Washington, D.C.

We had all these scientists and all of them came to the conclusion, yes, part of the globe is warming. Let’s keep in mind, now, the southern hemisphere has never been warming and changing in the last 25 years. The last time I checked that’s part of the globe.

But if the northern hemisphere is warming up, it’s not due to manmade gases. And that’s what these people all come to the conclusion. And yet the other side, the far left, the George Soros, the Hollywood elitists, the far left environmentalists on the committee that I chair — all of them want us to believe the science is settled and it’s not.
I have no idea how I'm going to explain this time to my kid in 20 years.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:31 PM on November 17, 2006


I have no idea how I'm going to explain this time to my kid in 20 years.

Well, you see, son, it was like this.
posted by No Robots at 3:41 PM on November 17, 2006


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said yesterday that a staff member for former Sen. John Edwards — a vocal critic of the retailer — asked his local Wal-Mart store for help in getting the potential 2008 presidential candidate a Sony PlayStation 3. Edwards said a volunteer did so by mistake.

just a reminder that the republicans don't have a monopoly on weirdoness yet ...
posted by pyramid termite at 3:41 PM on November 17, 2006


I agree. Very weird that Edwards would want Sony PS3.
posted by srboisvert at 4:01 PM on November 17, 2006


In reference to a Democratic staffer, not Edwards, you mean.
posted by Atreides at 4:02 PM on November 17, 2006


Well that statement implies something totally different with srboisvert's comment. Heh.

Edwards' six year old son wanted a PS3, not the Senator. Staffer heard and decided to be ambitious. Story at 11.
posted by Atreides at 4:03 PM on November 17, 2006


I agree with whoever said that it's a convenient time for the media to suddenly "wake up" and "get tough".

The Repubs played hardball with the media and intimidated them, the Demos have not mastered that technique, to say the least. No one in the national scene is scared to stand up to a Democrat, witness the various coverage of Nancy Pelosi thus far.
posted by cell divide at 4:14 PM on November 17, 2006


What utter bullshit. Take the "librul MSM" meme out back, ring its neck, and shoot it through the brain right now please.

Twelve years. Twelve fucking years before this oh-so-brave journo could call bullshit on the Republicans.

digby has been all over this stuff recently -- "Clinton Rules Redux." Obvious example: When Gingrich came to power in 1994, Tom Delay made sure he didn't get his hand-picked guy to be 2nd in command. The press said nothing. Pelosi supports Murtha in a loss to Hoyer? ZOMG THE DUMBOCRATS ARE THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY!!!

Fuck this meme. Among the many things to be pissed off about, it's so-called "journalists" like these and their constant fawning over so-called "conservatives."
posted by bardic at 4:29 PM on November 17, 2006


I noticed the linked story has no comments at all.
That seemed strange until I read this italic not-so-fine print:
E-mail questions, comments, complaints, arguments and ideas to Against the Grain. We will publish some of the interesting (and civil) ones, sometimes in edited form.

I don't care to poop in their yard either, but it looks like you might do better referring to "quotidian equine ordure" than "the same old horseshit".
posted by hexatron at 4:31 PM on November 17, 2006


Calling a duck a duck? That’s nuthin’ Howzabout calling a dog a cat? About 3 FPP’s down. That’s some shiznit.
(or whatever the kids are saying these days - "Sit on it, jerkfuck!")

Friggin media’s worse than Richard Pryor in a streetfight: “Oh, uh, THIS is my side now. You’re winning. I’m with you guys now.”
posted by Smedleyman at 4:35 PM on November 17, 2006


The Repubs played hardball with the media and intimidated them, the Demos have not mastered that technique

My 2 cents as to where they could start -- Jim Webb's victory speech. No "oh let's wait for the recount," no "oh let's be prudent." Take the fucking ring when it's offered to you, and let the lawyers and journalists fight over the rest. Luckily, the race didn't end up being that close, but watching him on election night I thought to myself, "My god, a Democrat who actually likes to win things."
posted by bardic at 4:35 PM on November 17, 2006


> Edwards' six year old son wanted a PS3, not the Senator. Staffer heard and decided to be
> ambitious. Story at 11.

That's his current story and he's stuck to it for several hours now.
posted by jfuller at 5:02 PM on November 17, 2006


It's pretty sad when the biggest dirt the Republican noise machine can dig up on the Dems is someone trying to pull strings to get a PS3.
posted by MegoSteve at 5:20 PM on November 17, 2006


Meanwhile, at ABC...
posted by homunculus at 5:32 PM on November 17, 2006


It's pretty sad when the biggest dirt the Republican noise machine can dig up on the Dems is someone trying to pull strings to get a PS3.

Exactly.
posted by bardic at 5:35 PM on November 17, 2006


I really wish I lived in a democracy...
posted by notswedish at 5:43 PM on November 17, 2006


Uhhhh ... wait a sec.

Wal Mart publicized the name of a customer who wanted a PS3?

We have a precedent now, don't we?

Let's say an unmarried girl or woman tries to buy a morning-after pill at Wal Mart. With this precedent, you can expect Wal Mart to publicly name this customer as someone who tried to buy a morning-after pill.

Maybe when Junior tries to buy a package of condoms, his parents will get a phone call.

It's the Wal Mart way.
posted by Holden at 6:12 PM on November 17, 2006


[Mr.] t was the Chess Club on steroids.
posted by peeedro at 6:24 PM on November 17, 2006


I noticed the linked story has no comments at all.

Now it's got 11 pages of people saying pretty much the same thing that's being said here.
posted by Potsy at 6:39 PM on November 17, 2006


In other ridiculous news: "Following the recent sex scandals and a harsh defeat in congress , the GOP looks forward to recreating their image. As part of their new master plan, Rep. John Boner (Boehner??) has been elected house minority leader."
posted by IronLizard at 6:45 PM on November 17, 2006


"As Republican leader, Boner's job, at least in part, will be to oppose advances by Rep. Nancy Pelosi."
posted by IronLizard at 6:46 PM on November 17, 2006


It's pronounced B-A-Yner.
posted by homunculus at 7:08 PM on November 17, 2006


Well, he wants to pretend it's pronounced BAYner.

Really, it's "Bo-ner".
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 7:53 PM on November 17, 2006


I thought it was a great article but I have to agree with most of the posters here:

Too little, too late.

It took you, Dick Meyer, twelve freaking years to work up the guts to say the obvious?

Gee, thanks.
posted by rougy at 8:28 PM on November 17, 2006


I always wondered what happened to Boner.
posted by concrete at 10:33 PM on November 17, 2006


That was great, homu. I imagine a great many people had the same thought when the news was first thrust upon us.
posted by IronLizard at 11:39 PM on November 17, 2006


Colbert said it best at the Press club dinner: "Over the last five years you [media] people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew. "
posted by vito90 at 10:44 AM on November 18, 2006


GOP gets a thumpin', and media revive their substance-free, sophomoric taunting ... of Democrats
posted by homunculus at 12:43 PM on November 18, 2006


The whole point of this.

"We didn't pay attention for twelve years. Our bad. We'll pay attention now that the Democrats control congress."

Translation: Remember Clinton? We can do that again, and we will.

Fuck you, Dick Meyer.
posted by eriko at 1:18 PM on November 18, 2006


related: China Mieville: The Lies that aren't Meant to Deceive Us--...
It's often wrongly claimed that Lenin described pro-Soviet liberals as "useful idiots". Harsh it may be, but as far as our leaders are concerned, it's hard to think of a more apt term to describe those who not only obey instructions, but go the extra mile and heroically insist, against all odds, on being deceived. There comes a point where credulity becomes complicity.

And complicity with the ugliest agendas. Because sometimes, the most brazen lies are used deliberately to cow us. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:56 PM on November 22, 2006


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