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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004

    February 18, 2005
    Olby: 'Jeff Gannons of Fox News'

    Let us know what you really think, Keith:

    > "The most amusing part of [Frank] Rich's column was him calling Olbermann a 'real newsman,'" one insider said. "So when he was on ESPN, he was a 'real' score reader?"

    > Update: 6:50pm: "I was a real newsman at ESPN, too," Olbermann responds. "I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere."
    Quite the gift for understatement...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (20) | | View blog reactions


    Bottom line with Rich: Olbermann is a "real" newsman because he has taken up the Gannon issue and WH stagemanagement of public events with all the perspective of a comedy show or left-wing blog.

    >>I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere.">>I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere.">>I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere.">>I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere."

    Here's an Olbermann statement we can all agree over...

    What difference does it make what your credentials are if your reporting is dishonest? Also, did KO even listen to his guest, Ron Hutcheson last night?

    As this story unfolds, it is clear that Gannon is hardly alone in the WH Press room, and probably not the worst.

    Reading Frank Rich's column, what strikes me is that the Republicans are just starting to do what the liberal MSM has been doing for years and is doing today, every day. How many articles have you seen on Global Warming that are nothing but press releases from some left wing environmental group, often from obscure groups that have very little science backing up wildly overexaggerated claims.

    All the majors including the NY Times writes whole articles based on information from groups like this. The amount of willing misinformation the NY Times has put out this way is staggering. At least the Bushies have figured out a way to fight back. I really don't blame them.


    The problem with Jeff Gannon isn't only one of his bias, but that the WH may have planted him among reporters covering the WH in order to put it's own covert spin on information coming out of the briefings.

    Overlooking some of the hyperbolic rhetoric coming from the left, this is still something that should be reported.

    Cecelia, did you see my write up from last night? Ron Hutcheson, who is in a position to know almost more than anyone reporting on this story, said it was unlikely that either Ari Fleischer or McConnell knew Gannon was going in there on a daily pass, or were the ones to approve him. He said that they both run large departments and the decision about who goes in is far below them. He indicated that there were a dozen in the WH press corps right now that were the equivalent to Jeff Gannon.

    One I know of myself is the reporter from Common Dreams. Have you ever read that site? It is not really even a news site, it doesn't even have as much original reporting as Kos does. It is more like a far left Free Republic without the reader comments.

    Another is Sarah McClendon, I don't even know if she is still there, but she is from some far right site and she used to ask Clinton over and over about Mena.

    Hutcheson's point, which KO completely ignored and will probably continue to do so, apparently so is everyone else, is that the WH Press office is intentionally open to a lot of what he called coconuts because of the difficulty in deciding who to shut out. Hutcheson, as the President of the WH Correspondents Association, and who would be in a better position to know what goes on that most anyone commenting on the story, wants it to stay that way. He indicated that it is intentionally that way because when you start shutting people out for ideological reasons you get into unwelcome censorship. His view is to allow access, not shut it down. He said you are going to get some questions from outer space when you do that, but you are also going to get a lot of important questions answered.

    There is too much focus on this one guy to determine what the Bush WH is doing--they are not shutting out hostile questions in the WH Press Room. They can't. Everyone, myself formerly included, is jumping way out ahead of this story when there is still a lot to find out. I can't wait til some blogger starts researching the rest of the reporters in that room.

    I do agree that the Bushies are managing the publicity and engaging in campaigns to promote their own views and policies, and aggressively so at times. I would not use the word propaganda because to me that implies lying, and I do not think Bush is engaging in wholesale lying to promote fake programs that are a cover for other real reasons he wants to do something.

    I do think that Bush has lied on occasion, mostly about things that the liberals don't even seem to care about. One example is when he said in 2001 that his tax cuts would make the economy better within a year. There is no way that tax cuts will improve the economy in one year, it takes that long just to get the less deduction on your check.

    Anyway, what is happening here in my view is the result of a left wing media playing gotcha with Republicans and Clinton for the last thirty years. In order for a President to succeed right now he has to control the message that goes out or they will take him down in two weeks, game, set, match.

    Bush is a master at controlling that, and so was Clinton. Clinton blamed the whole Whitewater whatever on Ken Starr, and Starr couldn't have cared less but Clinton was able to make people buy it. That was propaganda.

    Bush wants what he says he wants. He wants to put private accounts in social security, he honestly believes that cutting taxes is good for the economy, he honestly thought attacking Iraq would make the world safer. He may be looney as a jay bird, but he means what he says.

    The left/media right now wants to attack Bush for controlling the media, which is another red herring gotcha attempt, and this is all the long term result of them going from a watch dog into an attack dog and for being so biased against Republicans. If Bush wants to govern effectively he has to fight them.

    It would be a wonderful political world if the President could announce policies and all that would happen is that they would be debated honestly on their merits, but that doesn't happen.

    I got an email from Joshua Michah Marshall last night telling me that Donald Luskin was "disingenuous" for saying that the Soc Sec trust fund was broke. It has money because we owe it all. Yeah, to ourselves! Marshall is so obviously disengenuous, pretending all the money is there because we owe it to ourselves. How dumb is that???

    So now we are having this stupid argument about social security because the Democrats want to pretend that the Trust Fund isn't really broke, because we owe it the money. Its like owing 50K on a credit card, and saying ok, I will just take out another credit card, get 50K off that and pay off the first card. Problem solved, right? NO, now you owe the other card, dumbo.

    The whole debate about social security comes down to that stupid argument, when instead we should be arguing about how to fix it, where to get the money for it. But saying that the trust fund isn't broke is a calculated attempt to hurt Bush, not solve any problem with it. The Democrats even announced that that is what they are going to do, they decided that since the GOP was able to bring down Hillary''s health plan by claiming that the health care system wasn't broken, they were going to do the same thing with Social Security. It is a propaganda plan, not an assesment of what the real problem is.

    So propagandists like Marshall and the rest of the media jump on board and start promoting the idea that there is no real problem with Soc Sec. And my objection is that they are being dishonest. If they were saying, there is no way to fix it without raising taxes, then ok. That would be a real issue.

    My point here is that the media will allow this propagandistic obfuscation to go on, and Bush has to get out there and sell his ideas and programs, he has to make sure the people at his town hall meetings sit down and shut up so he can make his points, or he goes down the tubes and so does the government with him.

    The Democrats have gradually become almost entirely political, and that is one big reason why I voted for them exclusively for twenty straight years but no longer can.

    "I would not use the word propaganda because to me that implies lying." To be more accurate, it's information spread for the purpose of promoting a cause. That it can include lies is why so many people associate propaganda with lies. But in its purest sense, propaganda is rhetoric designed to persuade.

    There is, however, a real difference between issuing propaganda and controlling the media. Your comment "In order for a President to succeed right now he has to control the message that goes out or they will take him down in two weeks, game, set, match" seems to smack of the latter. The WH has every right to control their message. They cross the line, however, when they pay media pundits with taxpayer dollars to spread the word, promote fake news as real or issue press cred to shills. And it's these practices that have been under scutiny of late. This administration's apparent broad interpretation of what constitutes appropriate measures for getting their message out seems to be at times, at odds with laws covering such things.

    "The whole debate about social security comes down to that stupid argument, when instead we should be arguing about how to fix it, where to get the money for it". -->Why didn't the repubs want to change it when Clinton suggested spending what was then a huge surplus to do so? The allegedly catastrpohic state of SS didn't occur in the last four years. Why, then, when this administration has created the most massive budget deficit in history and reduced taxes for the first time ever during war, is SS reform now such a hot topic?


    Yes, I had read your post and it was terrific! I missed the Countdown interview with the president of the WH Correspondents Association, so I appreciate your synopsis of that. Interesting stuff. Napa, I think you were born to be a blogger. You seamlessly and coherently free- associate from one topic to the next.

    You mentioned Sarah McClendon, I thought she had died. And I mention her because I do want to point out to you what I think represents some continued confusion on your part about the Gannon issue, whether this thing plays out to be anything at all.

    McClendon asking Clinton about Mena can be used as an example of her craziness (though as someone who lived in Arkansas under Lord of the Fiefdom, William J. Clinton... and saw the controversy first-hand, I've always believe both Bush I and Clinton had something going on) it CAN NOT be an example of what Guckert is being accused of because those questions were antagonistic to the WH at that time.

    Here's some more stuff you might find interesting:

    >>>They cross the line, however, when they pay media pundits with taxpayer dollars to spread the word, promote fake news as real or issue press cred to shills. And it's these practices that have been under scutiny of late.Paul:
    >>>They cross the line, however, when they pay media pundits with taxpayer dollars to spread the word, promote fake news as real or issue press cred to shills. And it's these practices that have been under scutiny of late.

    I agree with you about those points, although I am not aware of any fake news, and I do not believe there is an issue of issuing fake press cred to shills. I agree with Gannon's questions, I agree that Reid and Hillary are divorced from reality when they say the economy is in a shambles and that at the same time there is no problem with soc sec. Also, if Hutcheson thinks in order to have free access we have to maintain easy daily passes to the WH press room, that makes sense to me.

    Bush is trying to do something about soc sec, I don't remember why the GOP opposed it under Clinton, but in a way it doesn't matter as far as this argument goes. Right now it is a phony argument to say it is not in trouble.

    Cecelia, thanks for your kind comments, notice how I am now even spelling your name correctly. :)

    I did see both those articles and the Editor and Publisher one backs up what Hutcheson said on Countdown.

    When I used McClendon I was sort of trying to be "fair and balanced" by mentioning a conservative nutball as well as a liberal one. There is a distinction between being a supportive nutball and a hostile one, I suppose.

    But I think the overall point that Hutcheson has made is that we have to allow them in order to make sure we don't censor a point of view out.

    On the Mena issue, that was broached by someone you may well be aware of, a CIA operative named Terry Reid (?think that is right) who wrote a book about Bush 41, Clinton and the CIA drug running. Turns out Terry Reid was mentally ill. His proponents all said that the CIA said he was mentally ill to discredit him, then later I found out he really *was* mentally ill. Anyway, this is all so 80's!

    "I don't remember why the GOP opposed it under Clinton, but in a way it doesn't matter as far as this argument goes. Right now it is a phony argument to say it is not in trouble."

    -->Phony argument, my ass. And you cry "Clinton" every time an argument goes against your grain, so don't dismiss it when I make a pertinent point that you can't address re his record. And the point is that SS didn't spiral downward in the 6 years since Clinton wanted to used our vast surplus to shore it up. Not that it was a crisis, then, either. But Clinton saw it coming and proposed an ounce of prevention, one that GOP congress, in their fiscal wisdom, denied him. "I don't recall" is a top pick GOP response lately. Please don't waste any time looking it up like I did.

    This, from a WP article cited below: "Clinton's repeated calls during his second term to "save Social Security first" were specifically to thwart what President Bush ultimately did: cut taxes based on federal budget surplus projections. Likewise, internal Treasury Department documents indicate that Moynihan, a New York Democrat who was co-chairman of Bush's 2001 Social Security Commission, expressed misgivings about the president's push to partially privatize Social Security...

    "The Bush White House should have read Clinton's speeches before they squandered the Clinton surplus," said Bruce Reed, who was Clinton's domestic policy chief at the time of the speech.
    When Bush entered office, conservatives active in the Social Security debate, including Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) and Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute, urged him to tackle Social Security while the government projected a 10-year, $5.6 trillion budget surplus, before pursuing his 10-year, $1.6 trillion tax cut. But Bush signed five tax cuts in four years, totaling nearly $1.9 trillion over the next decade.

    And if you want a real crisis, look at Medicare. No wonder SS Reform is sinking like a stone in the polls. You want enlightenment on the issue? DON'T try listening to W as I did in a speech last week. He was clear as mud. It was positively laughable. You insist on riding this horse, not only do I think you'll not win or place, I doubt you'll show, but good luck. BTW, don't think I didn't notice that you neglected to comment on rampant, record-level WH deficit spending and passage of the only wartime tax cut in history. This is one fiscally responsible administration, to be sure. We're in good hands.

    "Anyway, this is all so 80's!"

    Translation: Please don't rock my china world...

    Alright, Napa. I won't.

    This is one fiscally responsible administration, to be sure. We're in good hands.

    We're in good hands because we aren't such a socialist democracy...

    You are both misinterpreting my comments.

    Phony argument, my assYou are both misinterpreting my comments.

    Phony argument, my ass

    The specific thing I am referring to is the argument that the social security trust fund has money because the American taxpayers owe it the money. That is dumb, we owe ourselves the money, I could write myself an IOU for a million dollars and pretend I am a millionaire too. I can't explain it any better than I already have. The money is gone, we spent it, and Democrats like Marshall and Krugman are trying to argue that the Soc Sec trust fund is solvent because it is owed all the money.

    It is also a phony argument because Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have been quoted in the papers saying it is a strategy to fight Bush to position it that way. In other words, they have admitted it is phony.

    The Bush tax cuts did not lose the surplus, the economic downturn and terrorist attacks lost the surplus, and if he hadn't of cut taxes the economy would not have recovered by now, and tax revenues would be even worse. This is basic economics and frankly is one of the biggest lies that the Democrats have tried to foist on the American people with some success over the last twenty years or so. Cutting taxes is one of the few things that the government can do to stimulate the economy.

    On top of that, there never was any surplus, that was all a projection of dubious merit, because things always change anyway. Saying now we are heading for whatever deficits they are saying is just a projection that will prove wrong as well.

    Be against tax cuts if you like, but their main impact is to boost the economy, which they did.

    Whatever happened under Clinton is irrelevant now, and is just a blame game. Its over, time ok?

    Cecelia, that is also what I meant when I said it is so 80's. I thought I was bringing up the past which I guess I find boring and thought you might too. I argued all that then, let's argue today's issues.

    Unless you both would like to argue about whether Clinton should have been impeached or not, once again? Not me.

    Can you please tell Guckert/Gannon to start suing.

    I think this story needs more leg work and as fox news and franken proved, nothing gives a story more leg work than when stupid conservatives start suing.

    Hey maybe Bush will get his litgation reform through in time to impact Guckert/Gannon case.

    Maybe we will actually get to the bottom of the Plame affair after all.

    NAPA SAYS: "The money is gone, we spent it, and Democrats like Marshall and Krugman are trying to argue that the Soc Sec trust fund is solvent because it is owed all the money."

    -->Social Security can pay full benefits as promised until 2042 according to this year's Social Security trustees report (or 2052 if you use projections from the Congressional Budget Office). Thereafter it will be able to pay about 75 percent to 80 percent of promised benefits.

    Even if benefits were cut to 75 percent of what's promised, that reduced level would still be more than what today's retirees get

    Billy writes: Maybe we will actually get to the bottom of the Plame affair after all. Sorry, Billy, there is nothing to get to the bottom of. Plame's status as a CIA operative was well known enough beforehand that she could hardly be a "covert" agent, and therefore when she was "outed" there was no violation of law. Just another red herring issue ginned up by Joseph Wilson, Keith Olbermann and other liars who hate President Bush.


    You say "Plame's status as a CIA operative was well known...". By whom? Can you supply links to document?


    Paul, in answer to your email, this is from the article you linked:

    By 2018, it will start to receive less in payroll taxes and WILL NEED TO TAP ITS SURPLUS, held in U.S. Treasurys, to meet its obligations.

    Didn't mean to shout, I have just forgot html, but that statement means that we will have to pay ourselves back, slid over by the statement about "tapping the surplus" ---this is exactly the point I am trying to make, the social security surplus was spent over the years, mostly not under Bush, and is gone gone gone and Democrats keep pretending all we have to do "is tap the surplus" "cash in the treasuries" "just take out another credit card", etc. The money is gone, somewhere between 3.7 and 5 trillion dollars depending on who you read, and all their predictions of 75% of benefits way out there somewhere that are better than ever, really, are all dependent on a fantasy, that we will just "tap the surplus" that doesn't exist.

    OK, I promise this is the last time I go over this.

    Here's a link about the Plame affair on today's Wall Street Journal opinion page: