Daily Archives: November 7, 2010

E J Dionne interviews Nancy Pelosi…

…and finds out why she wants to stay on as Minority Leader. Here’s part of it. The rest is in Truthdig:
clipped from www.truthdig.com
Why Pelosi Wants to Stay
By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is calmly assessing the political cyclone that routed her Democratic majority and will, at least temporarily,

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States Hou...
Nancy Pelosi

force her to vacate one of the best offices in the city, with its inspirational view of the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial.

She keeps coming back to the courage of her colleagues who cast hard votes that helped make the last two years one of Congress’ most productive periods in recent times—and made her one of the most effective speakers in history. Her message is unmistakable: Democrats have nothing to apologize for, nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing to regret.
“These members know what they believe in,” she notes, channeling her own feelings through those of her colleagues. “They will have plenty of options in life. I hope one of them is to consider coming back to Congress.”

I spoke with Pelosi less than 24 hours before she announced she wanted to stay on as Democratic leader, and everything she said made clear that she’s not ready to allow millions of dollars in Republican attack ads to drive her from public life. She wants another crack at winning electoral vindication for a record she believes already stands well on the merits.

About how she was used this year as a political piñata, she is philosophical. Republicans always look for a liberal they can target, and for decades, the choice was the late Edward M. Kennedy. What was done to her, she says, “was almost chicken feed” by comparison. “Now they didn’t have him,” she adds. “To some extent they did this with Mrs. Clinton for a while.”
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A Tweet From Keith…

Juan Cole, too! Most of the best bloggers on the web have made support statements for Olbermann…

…and many, me included, are just not going to turn MSNBC back on unless Olbermann is restored.

Here’s part of Juan Cole‘s LONG piece… get all of it HERE:

That Olbermann is being treated unfairly is obvious. Joe Scarborough has also donated to a political campaign while at MSNBC. And Sean Hannity at Fox has given far more money to candidates than Olbermann ever did. In fact, Hannity donated to Michele Bachmann, which suggests he is better suited to playing a bit part in a remake of the Night of the Living Dead than to anchoring a major ‘news’ show.

Hell, most of the main Republican candidates for president are working for Fox Cable News! So it goes beyond giving some campaign a couple thousand dollars, nowadays!

Fox argues that Hannity is not a news anchor but the equivalent of an op-ed columnist, a purveyor of opinions, and so may also be a political actor.

But MSNBC has already marked Olbermann also as an opinion person, not a hard news anchor, when it took him off election coverage in 2008. So MSNBC has put Olbermann in the same category as Fox has put Hannity. But one is on the air and the other is not.

MSNBC has a long history of throwing liberals under the bus, despite its recent strategy of trying to use them to counter-program against Fox.

In the build-up to the Iraq War, MSNBC had Phil Donahue, whose evening magazine show was the highest-rated thing on the network. As the momentum for war built, the top corporate management became very nervous about having a show starring an anti-war liberal, so they fired Donahue Rick Ellis wrote at the time that General Electric-owned NBC had commissioned a study of its public image, and that the consultants produced a report in which they wrote, that Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war……He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives.” The report worried that the war fever would benefit rival, pro-war, pro-Bush networks and implied that Donahue might succeed in branding NBC in a way that caused viewership and therefore advertising revenues to plummet.

MSNBC replaced Donahue with far right wing shock jock Michael Savage, Dick Armey and Republican Joe Scarborough (who went on to donate to a Republican politician while on the air).

Matt Taibi at Rolling Stone has commented on the Olbermann layoff…

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Bring Back Keith!

I like Matt Taibi. Here is about half of his comment. The rest is HERE.

We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney’s hair and Tiger’s text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined… and it’s Keith Olbermann who should “pay the price” for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?

This is absurd even by GE‘s standards. There is no reason, not even a theoretical one, why any journalist should be prevented from having political opinions and participating in election campaigns in his spare time. The policy would be ridiculous even if we were talking about an evening news anchor — because the only “ethical” question here is the issue of NBC wanting to preserve the appearance of impartiality and being unable to do so, because political contributions happen to be public record and impossible to hide from viewers.

Again, that would be true even if we were talking about Brian Williams or Tom Brokaw, someone from whom viewers expect a certain level of impartiality. But what Olbermann does is advocacy journalism and it’s not exactly a secret. NBC punishing Olbermann for donating to Democratic candidates is like Hugh Hefner fining the Playmate of the Year for showing ankle. It’s completely and utterly retarded.

These periodic spaz attacks the people in our business have over obscure and usually completely made-up ethical controversies — often over this whole “objectivity” issue, which provides a seemingly endless source of false piety for some of the more obnoxious journo-ethicists — are really irritating. I’m biased, obviously, because I’m a guest on the show, but this is beyond stupid. And by the way, has anyone checked the donation lists for CNBC anchors? I’m guessing a few of those have shelled out to the Rs. What’s the deal, GE?

Jill Clayburgh dies at 66…

After suffering for 21 years from chronic lymphocytic leukemia, actress Jill Clayburgh died at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut, surrounded by husband, playwright David Rabe, and family.

Clayburgh made a name for herself starring in the 1978 film “An Unmarried Woman.” Besides appearing in such movies as “I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can,” “Silver Streak” and “Running With Scissors,” Clayburgh also appeared on Broadway in Noel Coward‘s “Design for Living,” the original production of Tom Stoppard’s “Jumpers,” and the Tony Award-winning musicals “Pippin” and “The Rothschilds.”

Cartoon(s) of the Week – The Republican House will be Interesting

Tom Toles in the Washington Post:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s get ready for John Boehner to take over the House and go after the Deficit…

– and –

Jeff Danziger of the L. A. Times:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…of course he is answerable to a big bunch of folks…

– and –

Bob Englehart in the Hartford Courant:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and Republicans have some new, uh, insiders…