Jason Linkins

Anderson Cooper's Wild-Eyed Conspiracy Mongering Over Guns

The National Rifle Association declined an invitation to participate in Thursday's CNN-hosted "town hall" on guns, which featured President Barack Obama answering questions about his recent executive actions on gun control. But thanks to CNN's commitment to unashamedly driving right at the heart of America's paranoid political style, the gun manufacturers' lobby was there in spirit, courtesy of moderator Anderson Cooper -- who seized on a moment of relative calm to get wacky and wild-eyed.

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WaPo Unleashes Army of Anonymous Sources to Slag Public Option

I've said for a long time now that the press has long endeavored to diminish the public support for the "public option," characterizing it as one of those foolish and untenable pipe dreams of "the left" when it actually has mainstream support. At the same time, the Obama administration has spun like a weather vane, conveying that a robust "public option" was essential to health care reform on one day, shruggingly suggesting that it would not be all that important the next. In today's Washington Post, we have an article in which they attempt to make these two great tastes taste great together.

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Michael Savage Issues Fatwa Against Media Matters

I'm having a hard time discerning the logic behind talk-radio host Michael Savage's recent threat to post pictures and "pertinent information" about the people who work for Media Matters For America on his website. Oh, wait! I see my mistake! I am sitting here, contemplating Michael Savage, and attempting to "discern logic." Okay, my bad.

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Jon Stewart Mocks the Nonsensical Aversion to Closing Guantanamo Bay

Previously, on Eat The Press, I had taken great pains to mock many of the inane arguments for why it is nonsensical to be told by the grown-ups who preside in the House and Senate, as well as those who pundit for a living on the teevee that American prisons -- sufficient to house all manner of depraved criminals -- were not up to the task of also housing the terrorists currently at Gitmo. Apparently, these grown-ups are unaware of America's awesome and terrifying ability to incarcerate people while simultaneously possessed by the belief that these detainees have MAGIC POWERS. Last week, the House GOP crafted a dumb bill called the Keep Terrorists Out Of America Act, sculpted from pure angel feces. And this week, the Senate Democrats caved in to the nonsense, removing the funding that President Barack Obama requested in the war spending bill to close the prison.

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Jesse Ventura Goes Head to Head With Sean Hannity

Thanks to all the Media Monitors who highlighted last night's entertaining tilt between Sean Hannity and former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura. Hannity, didn't "want to go down the old road" last night with Ventura, who's made his antipathy for the Bush administration abundantly clear. So the Fox host instead pitched a segment of "new questions" to Ventura. And then, within seconds, the conversation immediately shifted to teleprompters. Jeezy creezy. Have you heard about how our monster president became the first person to ever employ this Satanic device of Pure Fraudulence?

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Lesbian YouTube Video Embraced By Virginia GOP

Ahh, the Republican Party of Virginia. You know, in the recent past, they've sort of given the world no indication that they're anything other than a dysfunctional, Twitter-abusing, confused and chagrined state party in precipitous decline. This hasn't changed at all. But we have to hand it to them: they're finding even newer ways to screw up, royally.

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Rachel Maddow Mocks Bush for His Taliban Lie

Yesterday, I talked about how President George W. Bush had made the extraordinary utterance that he had never before said that "the Taliban was eliminated," when in fact, he had done so personally a BUNCH of times. So much so, that the notion of an eliminated Taliban was an enduring myth for the myth-besotted throughout the aughts. Well, last night, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow put a nice little button on this attempt at revising the historical record. "Why is that ringing the big 'YOU'RE TELLING A LIE' bell in my head?" Maddow wondered, before pulling out a pair of statements straight from Bush's mouth:

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Jon Stewart and Hall and Oates Piss Off Hannity with Colmes Tribute

The highlight of last night's Daily Show was the moving send-off that Stewart gave career Fox News doormat Alan Colmes, who will be leaving the Hannity & Colmes show in January. Lamenting that he couldn't fund the words to sum up what Alan Colmes meant to him, host Jon Stewart was ably aided by rock legends Daryl Hall and John Oates, who paid tribute to Colmes through a re-written version of their classic song, "She's Gone." Of Colmes, they sand, "You're the only non-douchebag on that show!" Aye, verily.

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The GOP Civil War Begins

The morning after the election has brought an opening salvo in what could become a contentious battle of recriminations for the GOP, as various factions lay blame and beg for immunity in what has been, since 2004, a slow disintegration of their power in Washington. Just after noon, House Republicans feathers began to ruffle, as it was reported that Majority Leader John Boehner released a letter to his colleagues, officially asking to retain his job:

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Maureen Dowd Reacts to Being Tossed From McCain Plane

Earlier this week, we learned that the McCain campaign had barred New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd from traveling on their plane, stranding her at an airport hotel in Pittsburgh as McCain's pool of reporters wended their way on without her ready skill at alliteration and musical theater references. Since then, Dowd has had the opportunity to respond:

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MoveOn Goes After Brokaw for Citing False Polling

On last Sunday's Meet The Press, Tom Brokaw closed down the show's Battle of the Campaign Flacks by deflecting the crux of David Axelrod's Iraq-judgement argument with poll numbers that he had at the ready:

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The Dirty Secret of the Bailout That No One Is Talking About

A critical - and radical - component of the bailout package proposed by the Bush administration has thus far failed to garner the serious attention of anyone in the press. Section 8 (which ironically reminds one of the popular name of the portion of the 1937 Housing Act that paved the way for subsidized affordable housing ) of this legislation is just a single sentence of thirty-two words, but it represents a significant consolidation of power and an abdication of oversight authority that's so flat-out astounding that it ought to set one's hair on fire. It reads, in its entirety:
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

In short, the so-called "mother of all bailouts," which will transfer $700 billion taxpayer dollars to purchase the distressed assets of several failed financial institutions, will be conducted in a manner unchallengeable by courts and ungovernable by the People's duly sworn representatives. All decision-making power will be consolidated into the Executive Branch - who, we remind you, will have the incentive to act upon this privilege as quickly as possible, before they leave office. The measure will run up the budget deficit by a significant amount, with no guarantee of recouping the outlay, and no fundamental means of holding those who fail to do so accountable.

Is this starting to sound familiar? Robert Kuttner cuts through much of the gloss in an article in today's American Prospect:

New York Times Spares McCain Embarrassment By Rejecting Op-Ed

As anyone who hasn't been living under a boulder knows by now, John McCain has always enjoyed an extra-special relationship with the press, who care for the Presidential nominee as one might nurture an orphaned lamb, doing him no end of solids. For example, even though Barack Obama has consistently led in the polls since clinching the Democratic nomination, we are told that this is Good For McCain, because according to something written on the Ancient and Illuminated Manuscript of Press Corps Conventional Wisdom, Obama should be leading by more, and his waste should smell like Springtime in Vermont. Also, when McCain visits Europe, it burnishes his Presidential pedigree, but if Obama does so, it makes him look un-American.

Now, however, the McCain camp is angry at their special friend, specifically the New York Times, because the paper of record spiked an op-ed column that McCain had prepared in response to a similar offering from Obama. McCain's surrogates are flush with outrage over this. But I've now read the piece, and it's pretty clear to me that the Times' decision, if anything, is in keeping with the press' traditional friendly relationship. The Times put bros before prose, and in so doing, spared McCain no end of embarrassment, because the op-ed is rivetingly dumb and laden with inaccuracies. None of which would have come to my attention if the candidate had done the smart thing and kept his mouth shut! But since he wants the attention, let's give it to him.

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