Thursday, April 10, 2008

Stupid journalist tricks

I'm pretty cynical about political reporting, but this is unbelievable:
FRANKEN: Well, there are couple of issues. First of all, the Clintons have a long standing credibility problem, going back to the Clinton presidency, all the investigations into the financial dealings then, and questions about just how credible much of what Bill Clinton have to say for instance starting with I did the nail (ph).
But beyond that, John McCain for the most part, we all agree that he, while he married up, he married into a fortune, he really did, his wife comes from a family that's probably worth about $100 million, one of the largest beer distributors in the United States. And so, it's entirely possible, I think we've all assumed that really, he can just pretty much rely on his government job and that's all we're going to really see.

Even though McCain reminds me more of little* Bill Macy (Maud's husband) than William H. Macy, I couldn't help but think of Fargo when I heard Bob Franken say that on "Verdict with Dan Abrams," last Friday. There's almost an embarrassment of riches in trying to decide where to begin documenting Franken's breath-taking stupidity.
First of all, the Clintons have a long standing credibility problem, going back to the Clinton presidency, all the investigations into the financial dealings then,

As CNN's primary correspondent on the Clinton impeachment, bright bulb Bob should remember that years of investigations into Clinton finances led to ... proof of an affair with a White House aide. Years of GOP smears have led to the Clintons having the most thoroughly investigated finances of any couple in America, Franken was talking out of his ass.

But, of course, it's hard to imagine a journalist coming up with something as stupid as Franken's assertion that the fact that McCain married into money means that his integrity is above reproach. Even without a prenup, that would be an absurd statement and an unbelievable position for a reporter to take. But, as Bob Somerby informs us, McCain signed a prenup (for more on prenups and double standards, click this).

I've been out-of-touch since Monday morning (hernia operation) so I don't what the overall reaction to the clinton tax returns has been. But for a little perspective on roughly $50M that Bill clinton has earned in speaking fees since leaving the White House, I'll remind you of the $4.5M that his predecessor, George H.W. Bush, made for one speech. Well, he did do more than give a speech to pocket $4.5M; he also showed the uncanny market timing that got Stewart Stewart arrested, or that conservatives cite as evidence of Hillary Clinton's dishonesty. I might be over-simplifying a little, but not much. You can read all about it at one those questionable, liberal sources that we liberal bloggers love to cite -- Business Week. We have one George Bush who had questionable dealings with Global Crossing, another George with his own questionable dealings, and there's Neil Bush, but Bob Franken would have us believe that family fortune is proof of integrity. I know that bloggers often get carried away with their pot shots at reporters, but really, how did this clown rise to the top of the journalism profession?

The other guest on Friday's show was Kate Obenshain, an obviously biased guest, who basically talked Abrams into submission:
OBENSHAIN: Look at John McCain, yes, he is a very wealthy man because of

who he marries. But the pressure to release the tax returns just didn‘t

come from the media. This is not a Teflon John issue. This is—the

Obama campaign in the midst of a bloody nomination battle demanding that

Hillary Clinton release her records -

ABRAMS: No, it wasn‘t just the Obama campaign.

OBENSHAIN: Yes, it was, Dan.


ABRAMS: The media has been demanding this—come on.

OBENSHAIN: Because they‘re following the lead of the Obama campaign. John McCain has already said he‘s going to release the issues. He‘s going to release the tax reforms. He‘s done that.

ABRAMS: He said it.

OBENSHAIN: He‘s going to.

I'm pretty sure that the Obama campaign has called for both Clinton and McCain to release their tax returns.

*Little Bill Macy

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