On To Fox News?

Okay of course I am joking about Fox News but it was just announced that MSNBC has terminated the contract of Keith Olbermann and that tonight’s just completed show would be his last.

No word yet on which party ended the contract but it comes on the heels of NBC Universal’s purchase by Comcast being approved by the FCC (MSNBC possibly making a hard right turn?) and only several months after Olbermann was suspended for making donations to a Democratic political candidate either of which could be possible reasons.

MSNBC’s statement:

“MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors”

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Quick Thought – Fox News

President Obama’s disdain for Fox News is well known but one would have to wonder if in fact they are “Fair and Balanced” as their tag line would suggest, would they really have to keep telling us so? One would think that if true it would be obvious and could go without saying over and over and over…

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Pot Meet Kettle The Cable "News" Edition

You gotta love the faux outrage, this time from CNN’s Rick Sanchez over a Fox News ad calling out his network for not covering the teabag activities in DC.

Of course Sanchez is correct, Fox “News” is blatantly biased and stretches the truth a “teeny” bit to fit their agenda, duh! How many so-called news networks can claim ownership of a political protest march of any kind but come on Rick, look in a mirror sometime. Cable news, especially in primetime, has become nothing more than partisan political theater with Fox on the far right, MSNBC on the far left and your little network chiming in quietly somewhere to the right of MSNBC.

Many know the biases and watch their network of choice all while knowing that what is being said should be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately I said many. Where things have gone terribly wrong in this country is when people start hanging on every word being spoken by the radio and cable news talking heads believing it is the gospel according to Beck/Olbermann/Limbaugh. That is a subject covered here almost daily.

So Rick get over it. Cable news is nothing more than entertainment coming in a step or two above “Dancing With the Stars“. Fox has buxom blondes in short skirts doing their best Sharon Stone imitation during the day with Beck and O’Reilly riling up the troops at night, MSNBC has the Olbermann/Maddow primetime twosome, and you guys have the dapper Anderson Cooper and the wacko Lou Dobbs.

It ain’t news Mr Sanchez it’s partisan entertainment with a little news thrown in from time to time which is why I watch Comedy Central. At least they get the joke…

(h/t – Dvorak)

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The Truth About Czars

Taking my queue from Sibby (though unlike him I will use blockquotes), I will cut and paste the White House’s response to Glenn Beck’s latest attempt to fire up the sheeple over Obama’s “Czars” without comment. From the White House blog:

Take a look at the facts below – the truth about “czars”:

Rhetoric:  Critics have claimed the Obama Administration is filled with new and unchecked czars.

Glenn Beck Claimed There Were 32 “Czars” In The Obama Administration. “The Brainroom counts 32 czars in the Obama administration, based on media reports from reputable sources that have identified the official in question as a czar.” [Glenn Beck Website, 8/21/09]

In Sunday’s Washington Post, Sen. Hutchison Claimed There Were An “Unprecedented 32 Czar Posts.” “A few of them have formal titles, but most are simply known as “czars.’ They hold unknown levels of power over broad swaths of policy. Under the Obama administration, we have an unprecedented 32 czar posts (a few of which it has yet to fill), including a ‘car czar,’ a ‘pay czar’ and an ‘information czar.’” [Washington Post, 9/13/09]

Reality: Many of the arbitrarily labeled “czars” on Beck’s list are Senate-confirmed appointees or advisory roles carried over from previous administrations. Others are advisors to the President’s Cabinet Secretaries.  Beck himself says on his own website, “Since czar isn’t an official job title, the number is somewhat in the eye of the beholder.”

Republicans have supported these positions in the past. When asked on Fox News if he had opposed any of President Bush’s “czars,” Rep. Darrell Issa admitted “No we didn’t.” In fact, the Bush administration had many of the same officials and advisors now described as “czars,”  including Afghanistan czar, AIDS czarDrug czarFaith-based czar, Intelligence czar, Mideast Peace Czar, Regulatory Czar, Science Czar, Sudan Czar, TARP/Bailout Czar, Terrorism Czar, and Weapons Czar.

Of the 32 “czars” on Beck’s list, nine were confirmed by the Senate:

Deputy Interior Secretary David J. Hayes (“California Water Czar”)
Director of National Drug Control Policy Gil Kerlikowske (“Drug Czar”)
OMB Deputy Director Jeff Zients (“Government Performance Czar”)
Director of National Intelligence Adm. Dennis Blair (“Intelligence Czar”)
OMB Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein (“Regulatory Czar”)
Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and OSTP Director John Holdren (“Science Czar”)
Treasury Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability Herb Allison (“TARP Czar”)
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter (“Weapons Czar”)
OSTP Associate Director Aneesh Chopra (“Technology Czar”)

Many of the same critics who are decrying these roles have applauded or even pushed for them in the past. Sen. Robert Bennett has criticized czars as “undermining the Constitution,”  but reportedly prodded President Clinton to appoint a Y2K Czar.  In a 1999 CNN appearance, Sen. Bennett said “I think John Koskinen has been superb. I wrote the president six months before John was appointed, recommending that he appoint a Y2K czar.” At  a 1999 National Press Club luncheon, Bennett told reporters the Koskinen was “there to help, prod, give information, and make analyses and reports”  and said he spoke with the czar to ensure “we maintain the kind of bipartisan and across-the-government sort of communication that this never becomes a political issue.”

Senator Lamar Alexander has also criticized President Obama’s “czars,” calling them “an affront to the Constitution.”  But during remarks delivered on the Senate floor in 2003, Sen. Alexander said “I would welcome” President Bush’s “manufacturing job czar.”  That same day in the Senate, he also expressed support for President Bush’s AIDS czar Randall Tobias.

When asked on Fox News if he had opposed any of President Bush’s “czars,” Rep. Darrell Issa responded “No we didn’t,” despite previously claiming that czars “undermine” transparency and accountability.

In fact, last year, 176 House Republicans, including Issa, voted for a bill that would create an “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator” that would advise the President and serve in the White House. By the time the bill passed the Senate, it was co-sponsored by 20 additional senators, including Sen. Alexander.

Ok I lied, I will make just a few comments.

The idea of a czar is not something dreamed up by Obama which seems to be the perception of the delusional Beck followers. The first permanent “Czars” were appointed by Nixon in the early 1970’s when he created the Energy and Drug Czar positions and the “Czar” has been around in US politics since the Roosevelt Administration in the 1940’s. And just for some perspective, George Bush supposedly had even more “Czars” than Obama does.

Do I need to Google that for these folks as well?

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