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Yes Sarah, there is a media conspiracy

Matt Taibbi


Matt Taibbi mostly talks about the media conspiracy against Sarah Palin, but I want to focus on another part of his post:


1) The political media has always taken it upon itself to make decisions about who is and who is not qualified to be taken seriously as candidates for higher office. Without even talking about whether they do this more or less to Republicans or Democrats, I can testify that I witnessed this phenomenon over and over again in the primary battles within the Democratic Party. It has always been true that the press corps has drawn upon internalized professional biases, high-school-style groupthink and the urging of insider wonks to separate candidates into “serious” and “unserious” groups before the shots even start to be fired.


2) When that does happen, when the press corps decides to abandon all restraint and go for the head shot, it usually tells us a lot more about the reporters’ bosses and what they’re thinking than it does about the reporters themselves. Your average political reporter is a spineless dweeb who went to all the best schools and made it to that privileged seat inside the campaign-trail ropeline by being keenly sensitive to the editorial wishes of his social and professional superiors.


The tone for all this behavior is always set somewhere way up the corporate totem pole, and it always reflects some dreary combination of simple business considerations (i.e. what’s the best story and sells the most ads) and internalized political calculus (i.e. who is a “legitimate” candidate and who is an “insurgent” or a “second-tier” hopeful). It’s not that the reporters are making this judgment themselves, it’s that they have to listen to what the apparatus Up There is saying all day long — not just their bosses but the think-tank talking heads they interview for comments, the party insiders who buy them beers at night, the pollsters and so on.

And when all these people start getting in their ears about this or that guy doesn’t have “winnability,” or doesn’t have enough money to run, or has negatives that are insurmountable, all that thinking inevitably bleeds into the coverage. It’s not that the reporters are “biased.” They just don’t have the stones, for the most part, to ignore all the verbal and non-verbal cues they get from authority figures about who is “legitimate” and who isn’t.


That said, even back at the very beginning of the campaign, before the signal came down that it was okay to start giving Obama big sloppy blowjobs on the air, when reporters were all slamming the one-term Illinois Senator for being a “lightweight” prone to “rookie mistakes” (those among us whose version of recent history imagines Obama being handed the 2008 election by the campaign press seem always to forget that part, but go back and look — the “Hillary is the presumptive frontrunner” period lasted a solid nine or ten months), Obama’s press handlers observed the prime directive. They did not interfere with the reporters’ civilization. There was a “let the chips fall where they may” attitude that helped out a lot when the Beltway consensus finally shifted and the money started pouring in behind the candidate; there was no bad blood to overcome when the press had to change its mind again and embrace an “Obama is now the presumptive frontrunner/We are now at war with Oceania” posture.

(emphasis added)

Matt is being a little disingenuous. He writes for Rolling Stone magazine, and they were treating Obama like a top-tier candidate way back in February 2007, when he barely had two years in the US Senate.  But Matt’s post still begs the question – who sent the signal telling reporters to treat Obama as a contender?

In a sane and rational world Obama would never have been considered a viable candidate.  He was certainly a rising star and a possible Vice-Presidential candidate, but considering his lack of experience and accomplishment, he should never have been taken seriously as the Presidential nominee.  The media made him a contender – so who decided that the media should do so?

Matt also ignores the fact that Obama raised $99 million in 2007 – more than all the other Democratic candidates except Hillary raised combined.  He raised that in approximately equal amounts in each quarter throughout the year, even though he was running a distant third behind Hillary and Edwards until late in the year.  Where did that money come from?

(Hint: It wasn’t from college kids sending in their lunch money.)

Matt Taibbi obviously knows more than he is telling.  The secrets he’s keeping would reveal how the leaders of the Democratic party and the media conspired to ignore the voters and make Obama the nominee.

The same people who selected Obama are trying to destroy Sarah Palin.  Who are they, and why are they doing these things?

Whose democracy is it anyway?


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219 Responses

  1. This may not be on topic.
    i just went to a music store that is going out of business.
    While looking for dvd and cd for my kids and grandkids in the Gospel section I saw a cd gospel music in praise of Barak Obama.
    This is just so wrong. I really did not realize the sickness of him. I knew I did not want him for president because he was not qualified but when people start praising him like God this is a bad road to go down.
    He is a politician not a god. He is not even good for the country.
    What the hell happened to the brains and common sense of the people of this country?



    • Well I suppose he is a commodity now and the insanity has to completely run its course. My guess is that CDs will be put out in garage sales for pennies and clogging the landfills pretty soon as the disillusionment escalates.

    • You think it’s bad now, wait until he starts showing up on boxes of breakfast cereal.

  2. We don’t live in a fuctioning democracy when reporters need to be given instructions on what to write and who to cover. It’s propaganda pure and simple. We are being controlled by the government and big business. Their problem is they underestimated our intelligence.

  3. We need a seance to invoke the spirit of Hunter S. Thompson to get some real f*****g hardball political commentary!

    For a minute, I thought that Taibbi might be giving us that, but then he started providing excuses and revisionist history. Taibbi is soft balling too much to appease the higher ups and their “high-school-style groupthink”.

  4. Another one-sided version of events:

    A top adviser on Hispanic issues to John McCain’s presidential campaign said Sunday that a joint interview with McCain and Sarah Palin planned for Univision last fall had to be canceled because Palin was unprepared to discuss Latin America policy.

    Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not, but this constant he-said/she-said sniping at Sarah Palin is petty.

    • It’s tabloid political journalism. They’d rather quote someone’s aide saying something petty about someone than do any actual research into what actually happens.

      What if journalists had to follow a code of ethics like doctors do? I mean, I know they can’t have a state-run licensure process, but it’d be great if there was even the pretense of professionalism and standards.

    • Whereas Johnny Mac is the world’s leading authority on Latin American policy? Give me a break. Clearly, the Governor of Alaska would have little incentive to master LA policy, but it seems like most of national politics consists of people like Kerry and Obama, who aren’t very bright or knowledgeable, faking their way through. But not Palin–she’s so uniquely, catastrophically dumb, she’s actually unbriefable! She cannot master two talking points and repeat them!

      • She’s like Reagan, okay no Alzheimer’s, but the vay-jay produces the same effect!

        • “Sarah Palin’s vagina is the font of all evil in the galaxy.” – Andrew Sullivan

          • Oh my god, is that an actual quote? I just read it somewhere else. I thought you were kidding. Jeebus, if Rahm leaves we’ve got his replacement all lined up.

          • It might be a paraphrase.

          • wish could he spell fount correctly…… though a font with that name might make some interesting graphics.

          • font 1 (fnt)
            1. A basin for holding baptismal water in a church.
            2. A receptacle for holy water; a stoup.
            3. The oil reservoir in an oil-burning lamp.
            4. An abundant source; a fount: She was a font of wisdom and good sense.

            (I don’t think the first three apply to Sarah Palin)

          • You know we’ve moved into the Land of the Surreal when it’s not Necessarily all THAT implausible to think he might actually have said something like that without damaging his livelihood, reputation, or “credibility” one iota. 😉

  5. According to Marie Cocco writing in Feb 2008, a study released in Oct 2007 found Obama to be getting the most favorable press:

    Obama has, by one empirical measure, gotten the most favorable press. A study released last October by the nonpartisan Project for Excellence in Journalism found that Obama, in the early stages of the primary campaign, was the clear recipient of the most positive coverage when compared to all presidential candidates, Democrat or Republican. “Taken together, nearly half (47 percent) of all stories focused on Obama were positive. That is roughly three times the percentage that were negative (16 percent) and exceeds the 38 percent of stories that were neutral in tone,” the study found.


    • Another version of the same story from the New Statesman:

      Professor Marion Just of Wellesley College, who is undertaking a joint major study of US election coverage for Harvard’s highly respected Shorenstein Centre and the Project for Excellence in Journalism, tells me preliminary studies show that coverage of Clinton has been 26.9 per cent positive and 37.8 negative, while Obama’s was 46.7 per cent positive and 15.8 negative.


  6. Bob Somerby documents the atrocities:

    We Heathers have been out in force, calling Sarah Palin a liar. But as in 1999, so today: Calling the politician-you-hate a liar no longer seems enough. Today, as then, we Heathers like to mix some psychiatry in. And sure enough! The Doctor was IN at The Daily Beast when Michelle Goldberg shrieked and clattered about Sarah Palin’s disturbing lies

    • Bob Somerby on Ana Marie Cox:

      Jesus God help us, that’s stupid. Cox is almost always fatuous; Rich provides a small public service by starting to mainstream this observation. (In the feather-weight province called liberal cable, Cox’s fatuity gets dished to young liberals as part of the Maddow program.) But to state what is blindingly obvious, you don’t have to read an entire book to be able to say if the book is well-written. And you don’t have to read a book “completely” before you critique its contents.

      Predictably, Cox’s critique was inane. By way of contrast, we agree with most, not all, of what Cheney said. (“It’s a good read. It’s well written. She comes across, you know, as very likable, as somebody with a lot of common sense. When she does make criticism, I have to say she does it with a pretty deft touch, and the book is moving in some parts.”) We’d skip the claim about Palin’s wealth of common sense. Otherwise, we would agree with Cheney. Like it or not, the book is well written. (Cue choir of Heathers: But Palin didn’t write it!) And we’d have to say it’s much more interesting than most such political books.

      Rich and Dowd put on a show, as they almost always do. But for our money, last week’s biggest Heather (we choose the gender-tinged term for a reason) was The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg. In fairness, she didn’t discuss Palin’s hair. Instead, she found something dumber

      A.M.C. founded Wonkette

      • Somerby is a male chauvinist pig.

        He supports Stupid Stupak — and thus whatever he says on any subject relating to females is to be considered bogus.

        I hate him.

        • he has a right to his stupid opinion. but otherwise he is hands down the best media critic out there.

          • Nobody is perfect.

            I got the impression that Bob was criticizing the failure of the media to describe WHY Stupak-Pitts is bad.

        • Funny, unless my reading comprehension has taken a nose dive, I get that Bob Somerby is saying nobody knows for sure what the Stupak amendment will or won’t do if they had to depend on the gang of usual suspects in the media.

          • Bingo, that is exactly it. He wasn’t supporting Stupak, but offering criticism on the inept commentary on it.

      • I knew AMC in college and she does not appear to have grown up at all since then. Ugh.

      • Yeah, and now she works for Air America, and Playboy. God forbid anyone who ever posed for Playboy should run for anything, Ana Marie would tear them apart, but she’s happy to take their money and aim her genius at Playboy’s readership, who are so morally superior to female office holders.

  7. Bravo! Bravo!
    Taibbi wrote some good columns on the Healthcare Club for Men, but his bias is clear to me since 2004 when he wrote some downright nasty stuff about one of the most progressive candidates, Wesley Clark. The way he wrote then makes him impossible for me to trust.
    Kudos for the way you hoisted him on his own petard.
    Reinventing history is a bit early (or late) – as the big 2008 pretend is falling to pieces in front of everyone.
    Considering his knowledge of what happened to healthcare reform – for instance – it’s hard to believe Taibbi doesn’t know who footed the 99 million and many more after.

    • edge, I agree, how could Taibbi or any other investigative journalist not know who footed the 99 million. It certainly wasn’t college kids or those poor people (like Obama’s Aunt) who were able to cough up the cash. They might be real journalists if they decided to try to answer this question for themselves, don’t cha think?

    • Yes! how well I remember that story and cover in The Nation, and how I’ve loathed that SOB ever since. IIRC the only Democratic candidate about whom Taibbi had anything good to say in 2003/20004 was (the safely unelectable) Dennis Kucinich.

      Besides, Taibbi works for NBC now, doesn’t he? That says it all as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Then there’s this one (sorry I bookmarked some stuff on this) from a Rasmussen report Sep 2008:

    “Seven out of 10 voters (69%) remain convinced that reporters try to help the candidate they want to win, and this year by a nearly five-to-one margin voters believe they are trying to help Barack Obama”


  9. I remember asking Justin Webb on his BBC blog (they’ve sent him back to England now) why he was so much against Hillary. He replied that they were following the Washington newsroom consensus.

  10. I found the study Cocco refers to – it’s from October 2007
    There are several graphs there and the most interesting to me is the one on talk radio coverage down the page.
    In liberal talk radio, Obama and Edwards had 100% positive coverage, while Hillary only…16%.
    So exactly when again did Hillary had that “sure thing” status if she couldn’t get DNC radio in 2007 to say “hello” to her?

  11. My question is where the hell did all that money for Obama come from in 2007 — NEVER before did such an unworthy, compromised, unqualified, untested, smarmy individual have such huge war chest to START a run for the white house.

    His gang was able to dump money into caucus states and literally BUY the state .

    follow the money

    Obama is bought and paid for and he bought the dem party and then moved it to Chicago.

    Makes me sort of think that he intends to be a “forever” Prez — or something.


    Also the reporters going to “all the best schools” — like 0zero went to “all the best schools” — what the hell is this Japan. THAT is how their system works. Kids study their brains out — take cram classes to get into the best universities. THEN they do not do a thing in college — their work is done. They become part of the “system” and have their picks of the top jobs. These graduates do not rock the boat — they are conformist — and are very comfortable doing what they are told.

    The US is no longer a democracy — if it ever was one in the first place.

    • Obama was raising $25 million every 3 months, while trailing in the polls and doing poorly in debates. Edwards led Obama in the polls most of the year and only raised half as much money.

      I could see if Obama jumped into the lead after pulling off a low-budget upset win in Iowa, but he was well-connected and well-financed out of the gate.

      • Exactly — and 0bama was doing poorly at that Orange stain blog all during this time period. But the paid bloggers were on the job — always the same meme — different names but the same tune.

        Plus there was media exposure of his dirty deals and associates in Chicago.

        At the same time several “liberal” websites were pushing the obama’s novel about his “life’.

        • Plus there was media exposure of his dirty deals and associates in Chicago.

          I think you mean “lack of exposure” don’t you?

          Imagine if he got half the scrutiny that Sarah Palin gets.

          • No very very early on there was an ABC story (I found it on YouTube) about the dirty deal surrounding the purchase of that mansion by the 0bamas. How Rezko helped them buy the house by “buying” the lot next door.

            This was on before 0bama became the darling of the media — then suddenly all the investigative reporting about the Chicago mob went no where.

            So something happened after that piece by ABC news — and the press got their marching orders from ??

            There was a lot of focus on the Chicago dirty politicians during the early part of 2007 — and there is no way that 0bama could rise to the top and NOT be dirty.

            The YouTube video clip may have been removed — but it was a deal breaker for me after watching that I did more research and decided that 0bama was unqualified for the office of Prez. (or if one must be dirty to reach that office — then he might be qualified with credentuals from the dark side.)

          • That mansion deal alone is far dirtier than anything Sarah Palin has ever done.

          • It was the above-their-means mansion deal that made me glad they were denied the Olympics. I’d read that the plans for the Olympics would have guaranteed that the Obamas and others, like Rezco, would get very rich selling properties.

        • not to mention Air America Radio who even quoted passages from the Bible (I mean his book) to confirm his record AND general awesomeness. At the same time was rhetoric about how evil the Clintons had become and how they couldn’t be trusted. Turned me off from AAR.

      • Jon Corzine was pushing Obama as the candidate with most talent, from 2004 on.

        Corzine was both the head of the national committee that ran the campaigns for Senate Democrats, and a former head of Goldman Sachs. In 2004 he surpassed expectations in terms of fund-raising, in part by tapping into his network of wealthy associates.

      • That was why I was always so baffled about his rep as a great orator. He SUCKED at the debates. I mean, Biden did better than he did.

  12. Talking about the $99 million – LisaDawn82 left a link to a Thomas Ferguson video last week. It’s in 5 parts but in one he affirms that he did a study of early Campaign money, and found

    that it was perfectly obvious that Obama was the candidate of Finance to an almost exclusive degree.
    ( i.e.Banks, Investment Houses, Private Equity, Insurance). Hillary had money from finance too, but not to such an exclusive degree.


    Ferguson is a Political Science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, often referred to by Chomsky. He published a book in 1987 called Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and The Logic of Money Driven Politics.

    From Wiki on his Investment theory:

    It describes elections as moments when blocs of investors coalesce and compete to control the state. The high costs of political participation for average voters leads to the buying of elections by businesses. This is done through contributions, as well as direct and indirect influence from corporations, law firms and the commercial media. The theory argues that in the absence of an organized populace and labor movement, power passes by default to blocs of investors, and thus, the candidate with the most financial backing always wins. Ferguson argues that members of the United States Congress earn the highest rates of return in recorded history on their portfolios, because stock market prices reflect major investor knowledge of campaign contributions, and they have inside information. Government thus acts as a protector of elite interests, and as arbiter for the conflicting interests of competing blocs of investors


  13. Has to be the creepy very old men who run the media corporations. Or it could be the Wall Street bankers who own our government. At any rate this is not a government of The People or for The People any longer. What is intriguing though is how inept “they” are at dealing with women, 52% of the population. To bad for them we can vote and also too bad we aren’t impressed by the twice daily fashion bulletins regarding Michelle which is their impression of addressing women’s issues.

    • Hmm… I’m not sure “they” are inept at dealing with women. We can’t muster the majority we have.

      “They” can make going with the flow very fashionable for all the cool people. You have to want to witness or receive some serious abuse to go the wrong way. They also installed exactly what they bought and paid for.

  14. Oh wait, regarding my previous post, “They” aren’t in so bad a position after all, I forgot that Liberal Democrat women and “feminists” have all be replaced by pod people and delightedly cheer “Them” on in between singing choruses of Kum bye ah.

    • Those “feminists” became part of the patriarchy and thus their interests and reasons to maintain the status quo are identical to the patriarchy.

      “Social Disorganization” was the name of a Sociology class I took ages ago. The Prof argued that in a huge political/social system like we have in the US — that the fringe is always absorbed by the Dominate forces. He predicted that the rouge feminists movement would be engulfed and would support the patriarchy even when it was NOT in women’s best interest.

      D@mned if he wasn’t correct — we saw this happen last year with the mainline “feminist” falling in line for 0zero.

      His theories were very complex — part sociology and part political science which took him a full semester to explain. Then I’m trying to compress his theories into a few words. Anyway — I remember his prediction because it made no sense to me at the time.

      That class turned out to be the most useful and practical in terms of understanding what is happening today.

      There’s an NY Times article about 0zero written probably in 2007 when he was sweet talking the financial giants — with the help of Soros. All it took was a billion $$ to buy the white house. People were conned to vote against their best interest.

      • Maybe ‘we the people’ should start pooling our money to buy the White House back. In the meantime, perhaps ‘we the people’ need to start sending lobbyists to D.C. to represent us since congress has been bought out by the corporate faction Madison warned of in Federalist # 10.

        • I agree — we the people need lobbyists of our own.

          Good idea.

          • Our members of Congress are supposed to be our lobbyists and we pay them handsomely. With a few exceptions, however, they are clueless as to that ultimate function.

      • it is very disconcerting and disappointing to me that Reclusive Feminist is having a discussion of how to proceed in politics and almost no one is willing to just support a woman’s movement that is about women only. The discussion is being taken over by the leftists who believe that if they just become the new male patriarchy that all womens inequities will be solved.

  15. myiq2xu to English translation:

    “Damn those voters who voted against Hillary,how dare they vote against my candidate! If it wasn’t for those voters my candidate would’ve won! Waahhh!!! I define myself by a failed candidate! Waaahhhh!!!!!”

    Too bad she voted AUMF, if she hadn’t she’d be president now. I’m sorry, I forgot we’re not allowed to mention that here.

    • Hillary got more primary votes than Obama.

    • Isn’t Obama about to send 38,000 more troops to Afghanistan? Or is that an urban myth?

      • Don’t confuse him with the facts.

      • Yes, but in a hopey, changey, non-war mongering, peace loving, thrusting, solid as the Washington Monument type way. Just keep picturing the Washington Monument in your head and you’ll feel a lot better.

      • Please, be fair! It’s nowhere near 38,000. Just a meager…34,000 (reminds me of his argument on the number of times he voted “Present”)

        • I thought the proposed number was 45,000 — although the source is off the record — ’cause they aren’t allowed to talk — or leaks work better for the AxelRham white house.

          They are good at fudging numbers.

          And if parents are posted to the wars — and they don’t have anyone to take care of their kids — the kids are put the arms of “protective services” and sent to “homes” (and we all know that some of these “homes” are good and some are very very bad.

          The military has always been rather shitty when it came to da kids. Move the kids three times in one school year?? What the hell –who cares?

    • You are just a total idiot if you ever believed Obama was going to end the war in Iraq or Afghanistan!

      We have the worst economy since the Depression, didn’t you hear. No president is going to bring a bunch of trigger happy fresh vets back to their homes when they won’t have any bloody jobs. Remember what happened when the vets got riled after WWI?


    • How are those troop withdrawals from the middle east going for you? Registered for the draft yet?

    • shorter sporny:

      I am a moronic parrot.

    • BUT, he said he didn’t know how he’d have voted if he were in the US Senate at that point. However, he did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    • you don’t know what she voted for because as long as you can repeat that in defense of your imaginarily anti war Obama, you don’t need to know anything. Go look at her speech to the senate during the debate and then come back and defend your ignorant comment.

    • …and don’t mention that Senator 0bama voted over and over to keep the U.S. in Iraq.

      How’s that Gitmo closing working out for you? And your pony?

  16. Remember when the tr0lls would have been all over this thread trying to make us see the light about their candidate? I guess the campaign isn’t paying them anymore.

    Can we just have one big communal shout of “WE TOLD YOU SO” ?

  17. Obama is the tool of the Illinois political establishment. Rod Blagojevich was supposed to be their first president, but he became too obvious in his corruption, so they picked the next charming manipulator in the pipeline.

    Evelyn Pringle calls it the Illinois Combine, because it’s made of Democrats and Republicans.

    I’ve been saying since about March of 2008 that if Obama wins, it will be a case of the Texas Mafia moving out and the Illinois Combine moving in.

    Too bad so few people were willing to listen. Too bad so few people are STILL willing to listen to those of us who tried to sound the warning.

    Carolyn Kay

    • Carolyn,

      I remember when I was researching Obama’s background to get up the muster to vote FOR him, and came across Evelyn Pringle’s pieces on Rezko (and Jarrett) and Obama’s collusion with him and the other slum lords of Chicago’s Southside.


    • Found this among my bookmarks: Muckety:

      From Chicago’s South Side to the Senate: The political education of Barack Obama


      Only a few years later, when Obama announced for the U.S. Senate, he had a far more sophisticated game plan. He asked his friend Martin Nesbitt to set up a meeting with businesswoman and billionaire Penny Pritzker, with whom he worked as a vice president of Pritzker Realty Group. Obama and his wife would persuade her to oversee fund-raising for his next campaign.

      Expanding his political team

      With Pritzker on board, he expanded his base of contributors beyond the wealthy black entrepeneurs and lakefront liberals who had supported him the past to include a much larger pool of influential Democrats and philanthropists. Among them were Newton Minow, senior counsel at Sidley Austin LLP, where Obama had interned and who had advised Sen. Adlai Stevenson and Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson; James Crown and members of the wealthy Crown family; and John Bryan, then chief executive of the Sara Lee Corporation.

      among others

      • Yes, and said Penny Pritzker had already run a subprime loan bank into the ground, way before any of the others were run into the ground.

        The only difference between Illinois politics and the politics of Louisiana, where I grew up, is the gigantic sums of money that are at stake here. Down there it’s millions, up here it’s billions.

        Carolyn Kay

    • I remember reading some of Pringle’s pieces and then posting on No Quarter (yeh, I know, but it was better then) that someone as dirty as Obama had to be a right wing Trojan Horse. I was amazed and gratified that several people agreed with me, but of course this was early 2008, and NQ posters hadn’t yet begun invariably to preface the word “liberal” with the words “far left.”

  18. I see that this is based in Pittsburgh.

    • I live in California. The blog owner lives in New Jersey. None of our writers live in Pittsburgh.

      The header pic is from Pittsburgh, but it’s there because it shows a confluence of two rivers.

    • I’m going to give you credit, that’s actually almost clever, considering the steep curve we’re forced to grade on. Please try to improve, yes you can!

  19. Follow the money…


    • Soros, Wolf, and all the gang are here.

    • That’s a great article, thx-I remembered the pic-only Soros is seated…

      • Yep that’s the one I read — I thought it was in the NY Times — good find!! The clue — Soros was seated in the photo. I have a better visual memory than most people.

    • These two paragraphs say it all:

      Comparatively speaking, Wolf, now the CEO of UBS Americas, was a buck-raking neophyte. But his prodigious recent efforts (first for Kerry, then for House and Senate Democrats in 2006) had established him as a rising star in the fund-raising firmament. Until a few weeks earlier, the presidential horse he’d planned to ride in 2008 was former Virginia governor Mark Warner. But with Warner’s decision to forgo the race, Wolf was up for grabs—and in the sights of every Democrat in the field.

      What Wolf, 45, was looking for was a candidate who could change the tenor of our politics. “I’d like my children to soon see a president give a State of the Union address and have both parties applaud,” he tells me. But Wolf was looking, too, for a campaign where his presence would be “impactful,” for a candidate who would take his calls, listen to his ideas. He wanted to feel the love. And while Wolf refuses to speak ill of Clinton, it’s clear he doubted that, no matter how much dough he raised, he’d ever be feeling it from her.

      Obama could be bought, Hillary couldn’t.

      • All his life, Obama has managed to fool too many white people into thinking that because he’s biracial, he can bring people together.

        But he has never brought people together, except lots of big political donors.

        Carolyn Kay

  20. Chomsky again on Democracy:

    The US (Canada is not much different) is, to an unusual extent, a business-run society. Elections are largely bought: campaign spending is a very good predictor of electoral outcome, and the core of funding comes from concentrated economic power, which has many other means of influencing policy as well. We can see that dramatically in the US right now.
    There is a very considerable gap between public opinion and public policy on a host of major issues, a matter that has been well studied and documented, including mainstream political science. Quite often, both political parties are well to the right of the population on major issues. These are among the reasons why elections – basically extravaganzas run by the PR industry – systematically avoid issues and focus on personalities, gossip, rhetoric, etc.


  21. That article is a real eye-opener. We must keep a scrapbook of these little tips as they write their revisions of history. Although they mislead, they include just enough truths (word from higher-ups doing the picking and choosing) that we may one day see the top or near the top of the ladder. I think it ends just above Goldman Sachs. Why all the anonymous sources?
    I realized what was happening the day after the 2006 mid-term elections. Democrats became the majority and Bush and Cheney continued unabated. Hardball began every show with “Hillary” and nobody pushed back. I don’t ever remember criticism or questions about Obama from any media. On the contrary, reporters seemed to constantly be explaining him and telling us our questions were either racist or biased. The money , the money, the money. There is no explanation. It was obscene.

    • After the 2006 midterms we immediately heard that impeachment was off the table.

      Iraq funding continued unabated and the Democrats led the charge to revise FISA and give the telcoms retroactive immunity.

      Let’s not forget it was the GOP that opposed the Wall Street bailout.

      • Dang… there you go reminding us that we’re in upside down world again!

        My liberal friends STILL DON’T believe that it was the GOP that opposed the bail out. I constantly have to remind them that the Dems have been in power since 2006, and that they now hold all levels of govt. What the F more do they want?

      • The Congressional Black Caucus opposed the bailout until Obama strongarmed them– and so did some liberals like Kuchinich.

      • Yup. All GOP reps were all set to vote against it. McCain twisted some arms to get it passed. Obama got to seat at W’s table (openly, that is). Both had in common that they didn’t get or care about the whole economic crisis

    • Nancy actually told Code Pink (or other impeachment protesters) in 2006 that instead, it would be better to “concentrate on taking the White House” – me thinks the deal had been struck at that point.
      Also, if you remember, in 2007 W was barely noticed – in 2008 he disappeared from the news completely. Now, the war in Iraq was all Hillary’s fault. Torture too. And FISA – so,stop saying that! (facts were never a better deterrent for B0bots than they were for freepers)

  22. The plans to make him President were set in motion the moment he entered the Senate and of course his own ego was heavily inflated by the time for him to begin his own moves . I don’t recall where I read this but David Geffen (yet another Clinton backstabber) called him up after that 2004 DNC speech and told him to run for President and that he would support him. He was pretty much fundraising for the run even in 2004. The Chicago machine had organized everything down to the minutest detail.

    All of which is just so mystifying. Who was this guy besides being a smooth orator ? Any other candidate with his kind of public record (whatever little he had with those “present” votes) and the kind of associations with the dubious characters that he kept over the years would have been fried in the primary. But the campaign had the most supreme confidence that the media and the DNC would tide them over, no matter what.

    The whole thing is just so incredulous. Krauthammer said the other day that 2008 was an aberration of an election and is not likely to be repeated. I am not so sure considering that he still has the media and the money and that is not likely to change anytime soon.

    • Soros was an early supporter of Obama’s Illinois Senate campaign.

      Soros and his family gave big $$$ to his Senate race.

      I think Ayers was the connection there.

      Early on, this thing went far beyond Chicago.

      • I seem to remember Chomsky bringing this point up in one of his lectures. He was the one who told of the calculated brand that is Obama.

    • Dubya destroyed the Republican brand … I doubt the Dems’ will survive this mess in one piece either. There’s no real leadership of note in the Republican party. I don’t think the Republicans stage that big of a comeback …

      • Unfortunately, what dubya destroyed, obama will resurrect to all its glory and then some. He will, not quite single handedly (he has help from all his little elves) bring back the republican right…and this time it will be the very extreme right.
        It would be nice if we could feel good about saying “we told you so” but unfortunately we will all suffer from this empty suit’s stay in the wh and it’s not just going to be the economic sufferring while he is living there. The backlash is going to be intense and long.
        We could have had a leader, but the DNC went with the matinee idol.

    • Let’s be precise, now. The Chicago machine is different from the Illinois Combine. They play a lot together, but they’re essentially different organizations.

      Different crime families.

      Carolyn Kay

    • The plans to make him President were set in motion the moment he entered the Senate

      Those plans were in motion before that.

  23. Just a note about the title for this great post. I read yesterday that there was a big flap about Palin not seeing some of the people in Noblesville, IN who had bracelets to get into her book signing and they booed her when she came out. This was followed by a later post on another blog that the whole affair was an Obot caper. I guess all this is just dirty tricks as usual.

    • She signed books for 3 1/2 hours until 9pm. The bookstore gave out 1000 bracelets.

      If she signed one book every 15 seconds without a break it would take over 4 hours to sign 1000 books.

      If you watch the video you only hear two voices, and the crowd doesn’t seem as angry as those two voices.

      Finally, when you consider the original source of the story (Kreepy Kevin at Blogstalkers) you automatically have to doubt the story’s credibility.

      • I was just going to mention the same thing. Nothing like fabricating a good controversy now huh?

      • Also, I read that she has a contract with the bookstores re: signing time, etc. There was a clip showing that she continued to sign as many books as she could while making her way back to the bus.

        700k sold the first week!

  24. sorry, taibbi is a vomitous scuzz…but other than that I think he’s just great.

  25. Sorry off topic but this is important news:

    Paula Deen was hit in the face with a flying ham:

    • Poor thing. Notwithstanding my lack of enthusiasm for her cooking, I can think of at least a dozen people who should’ve been in front of her in line.

      • Perez Hilton, the Great Humanitarian, is passing the video around, because watching an older woman get hit in the face is so funny.

        • I’m sure his commenters will provide us with a multitude of reasons that she deserved what she got. Ugh.

  26. several things have to happen before we have real elections again. One is that the media conglomerates need to be broken up and news media can not be owned by other corporations that are not news oriented.
    Two: elections have to be publicly financed. period.

  27. Angelina hates Obama, but for all the wrong reasons. I guess she got her politics from her dad.

    Barack Obama does not have Angelina Jolie’s seal of approval.

    “She hates him,” a source close to the U.N. goodwill ambassador, 34, tells the new issue of Us Weekly (on newsstands now).

    “She’s into education and rehabilitation and thinks Obama is all about welfare and handouts. She thinks Obama is really a socialist in disguise,” adds the source.

    But don’t expect to see the Salt actress rally against Democrats on Fox News like her staunch Republican father, Jon Voight.

    “Angie isn’t Republican, but she thinks Obama is all smoke and mirrors,” the source says.

    • Where the hell do people get the idea he’s a socialist? My gawd! if ONLY he were a socialist.

    • We need to drop the cult of celebrity that obsesses over what famous people think.

      • Well to be fair, her and Brad have done quite a bit outside of their celebrity status. He in New Orleans, her in Africa. That is noteworthy.

      • Aren’t they BFF’s with Kristoff, the guy who thinks he can solve world prostitution by purchasing a couple of women and setting them free?

        • Maybe, but I still give them props for their good works. They give away a ton of dough and actually do something constructive. They get a pass on some stuff for that. IMHO.

          • Yeah, they seem to have good intentions. Some better advisors might help, though, get away from The Village types.

      • Wait a minute–this makes no sense (Angelina’s supposed reason for hating Obama).

        First of all, and speaking strictly for myself, I was very gratified and pleased that Pitt and Jolie were among the very few celebrity Dems who didn’t endorse The One in 2008, especially given that they’ve also been in the forefront in putting their money and celebrity and the power it gives them to work for the benefit of others.

        Second, from what I’ve read Angelina and her father don’t get along AT ALL, and I’ve always assumed their vastly differing political beliefs had a lot to do with that.

        So while I can totally believe she loathes Obama–I certainly do–I don’t think for a minute it’s because she thinks he’s a Socialist. I suspect it’s because she knows he’s quite the opposite.

        Finally, US magazine??? Oy…

      • She’s famous? I’m so out of it.

    • Well, she’s certainly right about the smoke and mirrors.

      We also have to consider the source: this is US magazine after all. Not sure how reliable this is.

      • IIRC US magazine is owned by Rolling Stone; see Ciardha’s post downthread (11:31 pm) delineating Rolling Stone’s role in savaging Hillary and promoting Obama.

  28. Matt Bai looks like Levi

  29. Obama is ruining the Democratic brand:

    Republican candidates have extended their lead over Democrats to seven points, their biggest lead since early September, in the latest edition of the Generic Congressional Ballot.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 44% would vote for their district’s Republican congressional candidate while 37% would opt for his or her Democratic opponent…

    Voters not affiliated with either party continue to heavily favor Republicans, 44% to 20%.

    I hate being right.

  30. Great post and comments….

    I usually feel AT is too conservative but this article hits home for me on many points

    Palin is a woman of deep and abiding faith. She takes no marching orders from messiah-like wannabes like Obama.

    And so the Left must try to destroy her. And they are doing this in the most malicious of ways: by symbolically raping her.

    • There is a balance point between covering your ears and going “La la la” when a conservative speaks and uncritically accepting whatever they say.

      • What did you think of the post? quite intense, no?

        • I read it earlier – that’s where I got the alleged Andy Sullivan quote “Sarah Palin’s vagina is the font of all evil in the galaxy.”

          • Conservatism and Liberalism aside, there is some thing rather sick with folks that are fixated on her ‘V-Parts’ and it is most demoralizing as a woman to see grown men continue to degrade her in such a merciless manner.


            Have you found any such comments by these men directed at other men?

          • I seem to recall discussions of the “Clenis.”

          • i see….i came to the chat so late i didn’t read the thread very carefully.
            btw my dad was a right wing archie bunker type so i did actually do the la la la can’t hear you thing most of my life.

            it was good training for the present, skills that help so much when The One appears on tv or radio

    • I really like that conservative women are putting progressive dudez on notice that they’re not going to be bullied or cowed or pushed around or blackmailed and they’re going to fight back. I don’t know if it would actually play out like that, but I love it. Unlike us having to tiptoe around and placate these cretins because we’re all on the same team, and apologizing for existing (which they’d have to do with their guys, too) they get to be like, eff you, back the eff off, we’re not having it. Love it!

      • What I find amusing is that the progressives have surrendered the moral high ground to the right wing.

        Conservatives get to be the defenders of feminism (the pro-life version at least) while progressives indulge in an orgy of misogyny.

        • How interesting, isn’t it?

          What used to be down is now up and vice versa.

          Things have changed a lot in this country. The so-called progessives were supposed to be a champion of feminism, now it appears to be the opposite.

    • I’m glad you linked to this very meaningful article and very sad commentary on the status of women.

      • Yes, sad indeed… 😥

      • very powerful article and my recent political leanings mirror hers to some extent…..it’s just sickening really, the way the liberal base of the dems became misogynists, and that it worked for them.

        • The past couple years have shown that the Democratic party is NOT the party of feminism.

          There is no feminist party. (Not yet anyway)

          • And that’s depressing. Yet, to use a feminine analogy, I think all the Puma blogs are birth pangs in generating a party of feminism. Every post counts, folks.

          • dream contest 2012
            palin v clinton

          • And what is feminism? I didn’t like what I saw or heard from so-called feminists during the primaries.

  31. His buddy Rahm Emmanuel played a big role in landing him that convention speaking slot in ’04. After the speech, his ego swollen with confidence, he is supposed to have remarked with typical vanity that “I can play in this league”. He probaly thought that he was ready to be President right then and there. After Hillary announced her candidacy, Emmanuel joked that he was going to run and hide under a table till it was all over knowing he was screwed between his loyalty to the Clintons and his friendship with the vain man from Chicago.

    How different things would have been if Mike Ditka had not declined a run or Jack Ryan’s divorce papers had not mysteriously leaked out. The man has had some amazingly fortuitous circumstances help him along the way abetted by some sleazy politics . Remember Florida and Michigan ? Ok, lets not even go there. It makes me so mad whenever I recall that atrocity.

  32. Naomi Klein on Obama’s “no logo” marketing campaign


    “AMY GOODMAN: Naomi Klein, I wanted to talk specifically about the kind of branding that you begin your introduction with in No Logo at Ten, how branding has changed. Give us some specifics.

    NAOMI KLEIN: Well, I mean, it’s—it always—branding is expert at absorbing its opposition. So, I gave a couple of examples of companies that had gone “no logo,” an example of Absolut vodka taking their label, their logo, off the bottle. And Starbucks opened, interestingly in Seattle, a store without their brand on it at all. They’re trying to make their brand disappear. So, you have this evolution in corporate branding.

    But, what I decided to focus on is not how corporate—the latest gimmicks and techniques of corporate branding, but, rather, how politicians were—and, indeed, how government has absorbed the techniques honed by the corporations in the ‘90s in creating and selling their super brands. And now they’re being used by political parties, by politicians really, to sell themselves.

    And I’m afraid, I think, that that’s where Obama fits in, that he really is a super brand on line with many of the companies that I discuss in No Logo. And he has many of the same problems as the companies that I discuss in No Logo, like Nike and Apple and all of these—Starbucks—all of these, sort of 1990s, sort of, lifestyle brands that co-opted many of the, you know—the iconography of the transformative political movements like the civil rights movement, the women’s movement. And that was really the hallmark of 1990s branding.

    One of the things in this—you know, a large part what I write about in No Logo is the absorption of these political movements into the world of marketing. And, you know, the first time I saw the “Yes, We Can” video that was produced by Will.i.am, my first thought was, you know, “Wow. A politician has finally produced an ad as good as Nike that plays on our, sort of, faded memories of a more idealistic era, but, yet, doesn’t quite say anything.” We think we hear the message we want to hear, but if you really parse it, the promises aren’t there, it’s really the emotions.

    And, you know, I think that that explains in some sense the paralysis in progressive movements in the United States where we think, Obama stands for something because we—our emotions were activated on these issues, but we don’t really have much to hold him to because, in fact, if you look at what he said during the campaign, like any good super brand, like any good marketer, he made sure not to promise too much, so that he couldn’t be held to it.”

    The DemocratUnderground discussing it here:

    • I loved NK’s “no logo”….
      and her observations are spot-on; too bad WE TOLD YOU SO!

    • “…he made sure not to promise too much, so that he couldn’t be held to it.”

      Sounds like just another effing “It’s not his fault?” excuse for Teh One.

  33. happy thanksgiveing everyone

  34. ” The media made him a contender – so who decided that the media should do so?”

    – I’ve been trying to figure this one out as soon as Obama became a household name.

    I looked at him on my t.v, thinking to myself: “Who is pulling this man’s strings????” Seriously, there is no way that a man with his thin resume could become president without a major figure in the background running the show.

    We are in the middle of a recession, and they want us to believe that the American working class gave him almost a billion dollars in campaign donations?

    Maybe the devil is staring us in the face the whole time really is Soros.

  35. Matt Taibbi is being a big fat liar. He and RollingStone magazine were on the forefront of the faugressive media smear campaign against Hillary Clinton that started November of 2007. It’s rather suspicious that both Taibbi and Olbermann used exactly the same smear in the same week- Hillary as Nixon- a sleazy Republican in all but name. Rolling Stone even did a ugly illustration of Hillary in that article making her a sweating Nixon at the 1960’s debate with JFK and Obama as Kennedy.(and thus the Obama = JFK meme was born…) Rather ironically amusing in hindsight considering how Hillary was the calm and collected one in the actual debates and Obama was the sweating Nixon.

    Considering how fawning both were of Obama, spouting every Obama campaign talking point smears on Hillary, I’m betting dollars to doughnuts that smear came straight from the Obama campaign

  36. This is interesting–Henry K. on B0:

    “He reminds me of a chess grandmaster who has played his opening in six simultaneous games,” Kissinger said. “But he hasn’t completed a single game and I’d like to see him finish one.”

    In this article in the NY Times.

  37. What came first, sound bite reporting or sound bite listening?
    How many time have you gotten that blank stare when bringing up politics?

    You can bash the media all you want because they deserve it but what about the fools slouched on their recliners with a bag of chips and a beer balanced on their bellies watching reality TV?

    I think we are getting the quality of politician and news reporting we deserve.

  38. Eeeeeeew!

    I just checked in at Blogstalkers. It’s really creepy when total strangers spend more time thinking about my sex life than I do.

    I need a shower.

  39. Hey, did you see that that guy in Kentucky whose body was found with “Fed” scrawled on it actually may have committed suicide and staged it to look like a homicide so insurance would pay out?

    • Yeah, except now the insurance isn’t going to pay up! Sucks for him and his wishes.

      • Yeah, and it also played into the oh noes! Violent anti-government loons are taking over!!!! Meme. The AP article mentions that this area of Kentucky is not in the clear, a Canadian filmmaker was murdered there 42 years ago.

  40. And how is this for a news dump? Fashion and parades and war – oh, my!

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