Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Faux News - They Don't Do Irony, Either

Jon Stewart points out that even when it comes to citing a poll about "cooking the data," Faux News cooks the data (bonus - Gretchen Carlson "dumbs down," everyone).

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Gretchen Carlson Dumbs Down
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

Why does Jon Stewart keep doing the job of, you know, actual journalists?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Back To The National Stage... To Reiterate Mara Liasson's "Toolosity."

Back in May of this year, I commented on the fact that National Public Radio (NPR) is pretty much my main source of radio news. I like to listen to, and am a member of, my local station, KDLL Radio.

Yes, like most of the radio/tv media, there are times when NPR annoys hell out of me... like when they spend many hours of air time on what I consider to be complete non-stories (like Tiger Woods' marital infidelity or Balloon Boy and his family).

Or when they have pretty much ANY commentary by Mara Liasson.

There are no two ways about it, the woman is a tool.

As I pointed out then, Liasson is a paid "political consultant" for NPR, and is also a paid "political consultant" for Fox News Special Report With Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday.

Well, NPR finally came to the same conclusion that I did: Liasson shouldn't be serving two masters.

As Media Matters has pointed out, "NPR executives (requested) that she reconsider appearing regularly on Fox News because of "what they perceived as the network's political bias."

"Requested?" Those NPR executives are far more polite than I would have been.

Ms Liasson's response? She "defended her work for Fox by saying that she appears on two of the network's news programs, not on commentary programs with conservative hosts."

Unfortunately, what I said back in May is still correct: The programs which Liasson regularly appears on are Fox News Special Report With Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday... both of which, as Media Matters points out, "echo Fox's right-wing opinion shows, often featuring smears, falsehoods, doctored and deceptive editing, and GOP talking points."

Then, as I noted in May, Liasson shows up at NPR and regurgitates the Right Wing talking points.

So, once again I beseech the executives of NPR:

I don't know what her contract with NPR looks like, but if you can find a way to dump this shill for the Right Wing Nuttery, do so posthaste.

Tell her to not let the door hit her ass on the way out.

She is damaging NPR's credibility with thinking people everywhere, and she sullies the reputation of the few actual journalists and legitimate news analysts still working out there.

h/t to Media Matters.

The Tempest Continues, A Larger Teapot May Be In Order

Back to (very) local politics. I apologize in advance, but it's hard to present a clear picture and be succinct at the same time.

You may have noted my earlier posts concerning Borough Mayor David Carey's less-than-truthful answers to the Borough Assembly (and to the public) concerning his unprecedented pay raises for his personal staff and a select few other administration employees.

If you've read the Peninsula Clarion, you are also aware that other less-than-transparent events have occurred, one of which was a no-bid purchase of used equipment by the Borough from Chumley's Inc., a company owned (50%) by Hugh "Scooter" Chumley, Mayor Carey's Chief of Staff.

As the Clarion has reported, Assembly member Gary Knopp, along with Assembly member Charlie Pierce, plan on giving Mr. Chumley a "redo," and thus make his failure to report his "intention to do business with the Borough" (as required by Borough Code) moot.

Their "mulligan" ordinance was introduced at the December 1, 2009 Borough Assembly meeting, and was placed on the Assembly's agenda for hearing at the January 5, 2010 meeting.

Prior to this legislative action, a number of people used their three-minute public testimony to extol the various saint-like qualities of Mr. Chumley.

It should be noted that pretty much everyone testifying were members of Chumley's family, his close friends and/or his business partners... and my guess, persons who all benefit when Mr. Chumley benefits.

The Mayor, who signed off on the no-bid purchase, claims he was unaware that Mr. Chumley needed to file such "notice to do business" forms... which is odd, because, as the Clarion noted, Mr. Carey was a member of the assembly when the body approved the ordinance that requires them in October 1983.

Frankly, if this $18,000 faux pas was the only event of this nature in Mr. Chumley's one-year career as a Borough bureaucrat, I'd be willing to give him a pass, and chalk it up to ignorance and inexperience (which contradicts the Mayor's justification for Scooter's $20K pay raise).

After all, Chumley essentially said "oops, my fault," and returned the $18,000 for the mechanic equipment, plus another $ 1,800 that nobody even knew about (I guess Scooter figured it would come to light sooner or later).

But it isn't.

According to the same Clarion article, the Kenai Peninsula Borough has, in the last fiscal year, paid out some $398,000 to companies in which the Mayor's Chief of Staff has ownership.

All without a single "Notice of Intent to do business" filed. This indicates a pattern of abuse or incompetence. Or both.

When asked in writing (the only type of request to which he has been advised to respond) by the Clarion for comment on the above, the Mayor had this to say:
"I offer a Blessing to the Clarion staff for their coverage of this issue. It is not appropriate for me to be making additional statements to the press while this issue continues to play out. I will refrain from all additional comments to the press on this issue."
His holiness "offers a Blessing?" WTF? How about just some straight answers for a change?

My sources have told me that here will be many shoes dropping before this is over, so many that you'll think maybe a centipede occupies the Borough Mayor's office.

As I noted, a far larger teapot is likely in order.