Media

A Fake News Story Was Discredited in Record Time

This story hit the wires yesterday, and when it showed up in my Facebook feed, I quickly identified it as a piece of fake news. I got into a back and forth with some low-level trolls, and was able to move on without even writing about the incident.

Well, what do you know?

Last July, a Democratic National Committee staffer named Seth Rich was shot to death in what police called a botched robbery attempt in Washington. No suspect yet has been found. Throughout the summer, showing the same kind of discretion it once extended to the family of Vince Foster, the wingnuttosphere was alive with speculation that the Clinton Death Squad once again was abroad in the land.

Which brings us to Monday's story, which appeared almost simultaneously with the Washington Post story about the president* and his relaxed attitude toward top-secret classified information. From Fox 5 DC:

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that. Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich's murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation. "The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming," said Wheeler. "They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both."

So the evidence for this blockbuster is on a computer that Wheeler never has seen and that he "believes" is locked away either by the FBI or the local cops in Washington. Oh, OK.

And Charlie Pierce goes on to correctly identify Rod Wheeler as a "source" when, in fact, he's a low-grade lunatic operating somewhere between Infowars and the fevered imagination of whoever used to book Bill O'Reilly's show on Fox. This is easily discredited bullshit, and if I can do it, you can do it, too.

This is the original story, which, of course, has been updated with a paragraph at the end that basically calls into question every reason why it was written in the first place:

POSTED:MAY 15 2017 10:41PM EDT

UPDATED:MAY 16 2017 02:21PM EDT

WASHINGTON - It has been almost a year since Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered in the nation's capital. There have been no solid answers about why he was killed until now.

Rich was shot and killed last July in Northwest D.C and police have suggested the killing in the District's Bloomingdale neighborhood was a botched robbery. However, online conspiracy theories have tied the murder to Rich's work at the DNC.

Just two months shy of the one-year anniversary of Rich's death, FOX 5 has learned there is new information that could prove these theorists right.

Family's private investigator: There is evidence Seth Rich had contact with WikiLeaks prior to death

Rod Wheeler, a private investigator hired by the Rich family, suggests there is tangible evidence on Rich's laptop that confirms he was communicating with WikiLeaks prior to his death. Wheeler's services were offered to the family and paid for by a third party, according to a statement issued by the Rich family Tuesday which also includes that "the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family." 

Now, questions have been raised on why D.C. police, the lead agency on this murder investigation for the past ten months, have insisted this was a robbery gone bad when there appears to be no evidence to suggest that.

Wheeler, a former D.C. police homicide detective, is running a parallel investigation into Rich’s murder. He said he believes there is a cover-up and the police department has been told to back down from the investigation.

"The police department nor the FBI have been forthcoming,” said Wheeler. “They haven't been cooperating at all. I believe that the answer to solving his death lies on that computer, which I believe is either at the police department or either at the FBI. I have been told both.”

When we asked Wheeler if his sources have told him there is information that links Rich to Wikileaks, he said, “Absolutely. Yeah. That's confirmed."

Wheeler also told us, "I have a source inside the police department that has looked at me straight in the eye and said, ‘Rod, we were told to stand down on this case and I can’t share any information with you.’ Now, that is highly unusual for a murder investigation, especially from a police department. Again, I don’t think it comes from the chief’s office, but I do believe there is a correlation between the mayor's office and the DNC and that is the information that will come out [Tuesday].

Wheeler told FOX 5 that he will provide us with a full report with the new details.

FOX 5's Melanie Alnwick spoke with D.C. Police on Tuesday and was told that Wheeler’s assertion that a source inside the department told him that detectives were instructed to stand down regarding the Rich case was false.

The family sent Alnwick a statement on Tuesday with the following statement:

"As we've seen through the past year of unsubstantiated claims, we see no facts, we have seen no evidence, we have been approached with no emails and only learned about this when contacted by the press. Even if tomorrow, an email was found, it is not a high enough bar of evidence to prove any interactions as emails can be altered and we've seen that those interested in pushing conspiracies will stop at nothing to do so. We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth's murderers. The services of the private investigator who spoke to press was offered to the Rich family and paid for by a third party, and contractually was barred from speaking to press or anyone outside of law enforcement or the family unless explicitly authorized by the family." 

Look for this story to disappear at some point. That's why I'm archiving it here, in its entirety. Yesterday's troll tried to trade on Wheeler's status as a police detective. Fuck that shit. Wheeler just got caught in the kind of hyperbolic lie familiar to anyone who sits before a camera on Fox News. The gravy train is running off the rails so why not pretend to be a private investigator who knows something that will embarrass Democrats? This scam is going to be run again and again in the days and weeks ahead because the Trump Regime is flying apart. I expect we'll see a great deal of this because, hell, it works, doesn't it? It fools people. It reinforces their need to latch onto something phony and make it confirm their biases. It doesn't matter that it's ridiculous--all the better! It plays well on your buddy's paranoid feed, doesn't it?

These fuckers never give up. It took less than 24 hours to slap down a cynical attempt by the right wing media to deflect attention away from the dumpster fire that is the Trump Regime and create a new "right wing myth" about the Clintons, this one involving a young man shot down in the prime of life.

Seth Rich's death is a tragedy, and it should not be used by anyone to advance a political agenda. He should be allowed to rest in peace and every effort should be made to offer some measure of comfort and sympathy to his family. I can assure you, I write of this not to make something worse, but to highlight the actions of evil people and their agenda.

The fantastic Caroline O. breaks this down even further. She is really masterful at exposing bullshit.

UPDATE:

 

 

Tamron Hall

I'm going to say some rude things, and I want you to be offended:

Celebrated NBC News anchor Tamron Hall has been ousted from NBC News, reports Deadline. According to several rumors and reports, The Today Show anchor was bumped to make room for Megyn Kelly, who previously anchored at Fox News.
Last week’s announcement that Kelly would be leaving stirred up controversy and questions regarding the placement of Hall and Al Roker, who previously led the 9 a.m. hour together. With Hall’s departure, Roker will host the third hour slot until Kelly begins her tenure.

Miss Hall is very talented and acclaimed. The mere fact that she has lost her job in television broadcasting is bad enough. But there are some social and racial aspects to this that I want to highlight because what the fuckity fuck, NBC--hello?

First of all, firing a black woman in order to make room for a white woman who regularly talked about how bad black people are on her Fox News show is insulting and ridiculous. Does NBC really believe that firing Hall and replacing her with Megyn Kelly is culturally appropriate or sensitive to their audience?

Second of all, NBC just fired a black woman for being successful on television. Again, what the fuck is wrong with you, NBC? Is this how you maintain diversity and engage the public interest? By making room for another overpaid white woman to appear on television?

Third, of all of the news anchors and pundits and slimy cockroaches out there, you're telling me Tamron Hall is the one who gets fired? All of the people who got it wrong in November seem to still be working, especially all of the goddamned white women who show their legs on television and sit behind glass desks. All of the people who "normalized" the most insane president this country has ever had by reporting ABOUT HER EMAILS still have their jobs. All of the people who said that Hillary was as bad as Trump and boy, look how that turned out to be true, still have their jobs. Did David Brooks get fired? Did that jackass who goes on CNN every night called Jeffery Lord or whatever get fired? 

No.

But Tamron Hall got fired. Post racial America, right?

Seriously, NBC. What the fuck?

In Russia, This is Bug, Not Feature

Print

The Russians are messing with us now:

In a strange moment of startling symmetry with the current state of American politics, C-SPAN—the public affairs network that regularly broadcasts proceedings the United States House of Representatives and Senate—was interrupted by a broadcast of Russia Today.

The state-funded Russian news network briefly took over the online feed of C-SPAN1, which had been broadcasting a discussion in Congress regarding the Securities and Exchange Commission Regulatory Accountability Act.

As California Democrat Maxine Waters was speaking, the feed suddenly cut from the House floor to a broadcast of RT. The feed cut in with a commercial break before returning to the RT news desk, where an anchor spoke of a suicide bombing.

Multiple C-SPAN watchers made mention of the sudden change on Twitter, including Deadspin editor Timothy Burke, who captured the moment the C-SPAN feed switched to RT.

The takeover reportedly lasted about ten minutes before the C-SPAN feed was returned to normal. The interruption does not appear on the saved broadcast hosted on the network's website.

When contacted by IBTimes, A spokesperson for C-SPAN provided the following statement: "This afternoon the online feed for C-SPAN was briefly interrupted by RT programming. We are currently investigating and troubleshooting this occurrence. As RT is one of the networks we regularly monitor, we are operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue. If that changes we will certainly let you know."

When they substitute the Big Bang Theory with a parade of Russian missile launchers, maybe then and only then will Americans figure out what the hell is going on.

Stephen Colbert Humiliates the Republican Party

I would like to see more of this, please:

The Republican National Convention has barely begun, but Stephen Colbert is already getting kicked offstage.

The impish late-night host — mimicking blue-coiffed “Hunger Games” MC Caesar Flickerman — crashed the Cleveland convention stage Sunday to mock soon-to-be GOP nominee Donald Trump ahead of his coronation.

“He has formed an alliance with Indiana Governor Mike Pence,” Colbert said in his lilting impression, bowing his head in apparent boredom. “Sorry, I blacked out there for a moment. So it is my honor to hereby launch and begin the 2016 Republican National Hungry for Power Games!”

Colbert might end up being the only actual famous person with influence to appear at the GOP convention, and that says more about the D-list celebrities that have agreed to appear than it does about anything else.

Stop Covering Trump

I already know the answer--no, large media organizations are not going to stop covering Donald Trump--but that's exactly what they should do in order to show solidarity with The Washington Post:

Donald Trump said Monday that he is pulling The Washington Post’s credentials to cover his events because he is upset with the newspaper’s coverage of his campaign. The move puts the newspaper on a long list of media outlets that the presumptive Republican nominee has banned for reporting that displeased him.

“Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post,” read a post on Trump’s Facebook page.

There's a reason why coverage of Trump is being held hostage right now--he creates massive amounts of revenue for these media organizations by giving them access. The Washington Post will see a downturn in traffic to its website and maybe a few ramifications for its print edition because of this. Fewer flashy headlines and fewer impulse buys at what counts as newstands? I don't know.

Coverage of Donald Trump is driving traffic to the web properties that are not banned; this gives Trump some power over them. By denying them access, he is demonstrating control of the narrative around his dumpster fire of a campaign. This has a chilling effect because the media outlets that have not been banned have been shown clear examples of what will get them booted from the campaign. This, in turn, changes the coverage of Trump and places everything in a more favorable light.

All of the media outlets covering him should go dark, but they won't because of the business ramifications. It's just another sad and pathetic piece of a larger puzzle--how the hell did we get here? We are all fools because he's in control.

MSNBC Sinks to a New Low

MSNBC is no friend to liberals, the liberal agenda, or the American viewing public:

Alex Wagner, the charismatic host of the canceled NOW with Alex Wagner and formerly one of MSNBC’s rising stars, has finally said adieu to the network. It was announced on Tuesday that she had taken a position with The Atlantic. She will now serve as the magazine’s senior editor and will be heavily involved in the company’s video and live events. This will include moderating a panel on Saturday mornings.

This company is actively jettisoning people of color and everyone is mostly okay with that? If ratings counted for anything, Joe Scarborough wouldn't even be on television. Instead, he's the mouthpiece of an organization that might as well continue to have nobody watching. That's a helluva business model. Screw over your employees, screw over the people watching, eliminate diversity, and then wonder where all the money went.

Firing Dr. Melissa Click


There's a joke in here about tenure, but I'm not gonna make it:
University of Missouri's Board of Curators voted Thursday to fire assistant professor Melissa Click, who drew controversy after a video circulated of her calling for "some muscle" during protests at the university. “The board respects Dr. Click’s right to express her views and does not base this decision on her support for students engaged in protest or their views,” Chairwoman Pam Henrickson said in a statement. “However, Dr. Click was not entitled to interfere with the rights of others, to confront members of law enforcement or to encourage potential physical intimidation against a student.”
Basically, they took a pass on trying to educate someone as to how to conduct themselves in the "safe zone" of teacher-student-media interaction. I'm thinking that this was more about legal liabilities and future lawsuits, but it could have been more about the school just not wanting to have this kind of a public face.


Nothing Sexist About This Remark, Is There?


Oh, heavens. A woman forgot to stop and think about how offended John Podhoretz would feel if she spoke in public like she cared about this country. I'm surprised he doesn't have a quick backhand ready for such times as these.

Add this to the pile. Podhoretz is a high-ranking nutcase. Maybe he doesn't write his own headlines. But he sure looks like the kind of fellow who isn't going to put up with lady talk he doesn't agree with.

Chris Hughes Destroyed Something Awful


Wah, wah, wah:
I have some difficult news today: I have decided to put The New Republic up for sale. I bought this company nearly four years ago to ensure its survival and give it the financial runway to experiment with new business models in a time of immense change in media. After investing a great deal of time, energy, and over $20 million, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for new leadership and vision at The New Republic.
Over the past few years we have made good progress in reinvigorating this institution. Our readership has grown younger and more diverse, largely as a result of our digital strategy. Our journalism has been widely recognized as impactful, impassioned, and more relevant to our nation’s challenges than ever. As a business, we have launched a brand marketing studio called Novel, built a flexible and fast mobile website, and developed our own content management system. We have made it possible for The New Republic to survive and begin to flourish in its second century.
Yet I will be the first to admit that when I took on this challenge nearly four years ago, I underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate. When I bought The New Republic, it was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and I believed that an institution as old and important as it should survive and evolve in an era where its values were still relevant and needed. This place stands for some of the best and most important elements of liberalism: a belief in the role of government to correct free markets, in the power of representative democracy to hold the elite accountable, and in America’s responsibility to be a force for good in the world. These values have sustained and animated not just me, but this tireless and dedicated team over the past few years.

 As it currently stands, the value of the New Republic is about fifty bucks and dropping. This kid turned a terrible, racist, bigoted magazine into a dumpster fire. The Germans have a word for making something bad into something worse, and it could very well be Müllcontainerfeuer.

Chris Hughes trying to fix something is a Müllcontainerfeuer. Chris Hughes setting $20 million dollars on fire in order to wreck the New Republic is something I can get behind. Kudos to him. A horrible publication had it coming.

The Secret History of Great Men


If you want to attack the ignorance of the Republican Party, try to stand clear of all the things that are going to undermine your argument:
Thomas Jefferson recognized that education is vital to a functioning Democratic Republic.
In a letter to James Madison, Jefferson wrote: “And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the people. This last is the most certain, and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them…. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
In light of Oklahoma’s recent attack on AP History, it would be easy to argue that today’s Republicans don’t recognize the value of a good education. However, the reality is that they do, and that the spreading attack on public education is far more sinister.
When the Patriot Act was signed, Bush and his ilk claimed the power to violate citizens’ private lives because, they said, there is no “right to privacy” in the United States. In that, they – perhaps purposefully – overlooked the history of America and the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776. And they missed a basic understanding of the evolution of language in the United States.
I always laugh when these flowery "letters" from one Founding Father to the other is cited in order to support a theory or argument. These were men who knew when they had an audience and who knew how to speak to each other in private. I don't for a second think any of them really believed in God. They did believe in America, but it was an America ruled by a moneyed elite that kept the mobs at bay with promises of a token piece of the franchise and reasonable taxation, and it did not include free slaves, women with rights, or allowing non-property owning yahoos the right to vote. These were secretive, profane men who hated foreigners and fought amongst each other over women and personal slights. 
Just once, I'd like to see them portrayed the way they lived their lives--bawdy, drunken, filthy, toothless, and envious of one another, furiously hiding debts and embarrassments from one another, secretly wishing death would visit their rivals and mistresses would appear when summoned. They rolled out of soiled beds, rubbed raw and miserable with hangovers, often scratched and clawed by furious lovers and always short of cash. You know, like we are today, except with slightly better dental care and Grindr accounts and cleaner bed pans.
Thomas Jefferson was an elite planter from Virginia who used sex to terrorize his own female slaves. He was forever spending money he did not have. He was terrified of the mob rule that descended on America when the British failed to properly collect taxes and fees, which usually left him scrambling for relief. He was not a revolutionary--he was a smart man who used words to form arguments. He was a physical coward who did not hesitate to violate the law in the service of his own interests (see Aaron Burr, et al). He was not the paragon of virtue that can be summoned by a still-outraged lefty to refute the idea that the Patriot Act destroyed America. Man, it's 2015. Bush and Cheney were awful. But that's just half the story, and everybody knows it.
Bi-partisanship delivered the Patriot Act and renewed it. This phony idea that the Congress has to get along and allow freedom to be trampled so that neither side will be held accountable by a future terrorist attack is the real culprit. Without Democratic complicity, there is no Patriot Act and there are no restrictions on freedom (and there damned sure wouldn't have been an Iraq War, either).
Allowing the Republican Party to stampede America into wars, restrictions on freedom for women, minorities, and anyone with any kind of data whatsoever in the name of bi-partisanship is your real enemy these days. They are not reasonable people and they never will be, but we damned sure can't help ourselves when the Daddy Party wants something because our lapdog media and a weak and fractured Democratic Party can't stop going out on heavy petting dates with these psychopaths.

Brian Who?


In case you were wondering:
In the first week of his six-month suspension (Feb. 9-13), the Lester Holt-anchored NBC broadcast posted a victory among total viewers, with an average 9.43 million, and adults 25-54. The demo race was a much tighter race. Despite leading ABC News by 400,000 total viewers, it only just topped it in the key demo: 2.292 million over 2.242 million.
CBS remained in third place, averaging 7.628 million viewers and 1.786 million adults 25-54.

Brian Williams has been replaced and the numbers on his broadcast, such as they are, have remained the same. The audience for the evening news has shrunk down to practically nothing but NBC persists with the delusional idea of putting Williams back on the air? I think that has come to pass.

Williams would make a hell of a game show host.

The Nightly News No Longer Matters


Are you relieved that Brian Williams isn't going anywhere? Or did you, like me, yawn and look for other news:
Brian Williams is staying put as NBC Nightly News anchor, the network announced Monday. Saying that he's "renewed his commitment" to the network's news division, NBC News presidentDeborah Turness said in a staff memo that he will continue to serve as anchor and managing editor of the nightly broadcast "for years to come."
The news comes as Williams recently celebrated his 10th anniversary as NBC Nightly News anchor and ABC News recently replaced longtime World News anchor Diane Sawyer with David Muir.
People no longer wish to be informed. They wish to be entertained. I hope Williams can continue to dance around the fact that the job he holds isn't worth what it used to be. In the 1980s, this kind of an announcement would be huge because the nightly news mattered back then, The revenue generated by those programs floated these huge, bloated news divisions. Now, the only thing keeping them alive are the morning shows.

The evening news is merely a hole for the schedulers to work around.

Bill Cosby and Serial Rape


It would appear that Bill Cosby has a problem with being accused of committing serial rape in this country. Did he commit any crimes overseas? Is there any way to bring him to justice in another jurisdiction? Why is he getting away with it?

The statute of limitations has rendered Cosby untouchable. He will likely go the way of Joe Paterno, disgraced but wealthy and confused about his status.

This country can forgive a lot of things. Cosby raped his way through a lot of lives, it would appear.

Norman Rogers is a horrible, horrible man. He was said, in effect, that an adult male can use the $300 hooker to solve a lot of problems.

"A fifty dollar whore is good in a pinch, but she is desperate and sometimes unattractive. If you pay $300 for the services of a professional working girl, you can expect that she will be reasonably attractive and unwilling to turn on you. Bill Cosby could have hired a $300 girl every week of the year. That's $15,600 per calendar year, including your Christmas Ham Boning or whatever you want to call it. Over the course of forty years, that's a grand total of $624,000 spent on discreet, professional sex workers."

As Norman horribly explains, this would save many men a great deal of grief.

"Bill Cosby could have spent a mere $15,600 per year playing hide the baloney and all he would be guilty of is being a horndog. I am not condoning legalized prostitution--I think what they have in Las Vegas is a good model for what we should have in every state. We need special economic zones where regulated adult behavior is tolerated and controlled. Stephen Hawking uses professional women and people consider him a saintly genius. If Cosby were a mere whoremonger, he would likely be making over $10 million a year right now. Contrast that with a controlled budget for getting some ass on the side."

"What an old fool. He reminds me of Tiger Woods, who lost over a hundred million dollars for sex that would have cost him, at best, a few hundred thousand dollars."

It should be pointed out that Norman Rogers is a horrible man and his views are neither condoned nor understood.

Piers Morgan is an Expert on American Politics


Shocking insight from Piers Morgan:
President Obama this week committed professional suicide.
Let me explain.
There is a theory in politics that once a leader has fired 50 or more people from his or her administration, he or she is finished.
The reason being that by creating so many enemies ‘outside the tent’, the tent itself becomes too deluged with poisonous bile to avoid sinking into a quagmire of back-stabbing ignominy.
It's too bad that this insight--this brilliance--did not translate into any kind of success in America. If there's one thing that the viewing public needs it is the keen eye for U.S. politics that Morgan possesses and isn't afraid to display.

Many people receive millions of dollars in salary for such commentary. To me, Morgan is woefully underpaid and should have his words written down by more than one person so that there are no errors when he utters something smart.

When we get beyond Morgan's gift to us all, we find him wallowing in stupidity (hold the stenographers) and covered in his own shame (which should get him back on TV soon).

How is President Obama "failing" to protect Americans through complacency? After winning the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2009, he ordered Osama bin Laden to be shot in the forehead, bombed a string of countries, visited robot death from the skies on untold numbers of cowering terrorists, started wars in places Americans can't find on maps, and has made darned certain that there aren't any Americans driving around Baghdad in fifth generation MRAPs.

I don't get these people. This administration couldn't win for trying with them. No matter what the President does, he's either a tyrant or a feckless coward. Which one is it today?

Not Even Sean Hannity Will Defend Cliven Bundy


Kudos to Sean Hannity. When faced with the economic ruin that an onslaught of boycotts and withdrawn advertising would render to the dying Fox News machine, he folded up like a trailer park in a tornado and ran for the hills.

His inability to reconcile with the racism and the need to always decry the government is yet another reason why the people who actually profit from spreading fear and racism throughout American society have to find more subtle messengers and people who are more savvy than Hannity.

Ain't That Tough Enough?


President Obama isn't "man enough" to deal with America's enemies. That's exactly the rhetoric of men who have never served in the military and have never had to be held accountable for using American troops to advance America's interests or to hold them back and NOT use them because that would undermine our credibility and overplay our hand. Sometimes, it is far smarter and more effective to not use military force. Nevertheless, President Obama has a "manhood" problem? Really?

But wait:
An operation targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is under way in Abyan and Shabwa, Yemen, a high-level Yemeni government official who is being briefed on the strikes told CNN on Monday.
The official said that the scale of the strikes against AQAP is "massive and unprecedented" and that at least 30 militants have been killed. The operation involved Yemeni commandos who are now "going after high-level AQAP targets," the official said.
A day earlier, suspected drone strikes targeted al Qaeda fighters in Yemen for the second time in two days, killing "at least a dozen," the government official said.
I find this level of rhetoric frustrating. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there are elements of the media who persist in thinking that you have to overwhelm everyone with blunt military force. The President can kill anyone he wants whenever he wants with screaming death machines from the sky--and so he does, making our enemies die like dogs. One minute, they're all happy and safe and the next minute a rocket lands in their ear. Holy crap.

I'm sorry but how's that for being not tough enough?

Alex Castellanos Pulls the Lever and Gets a Laugh


Alex Castellanos is my favorite kind of Republican--reality never bothers him. He goes with his gut. He sticks with what he feels, evidence be damned. His opinions aren't worth much because of this focus on what he feels over what he sees right in front of him. In other words, he's your average television pundit with your average record of being wrong more often than not. Laugh and point at the prettified man who thinks he knows something.

There is a bust cycle happening in American politics, and the Republicans are lucky the Democrats haven't been better at taking advantage of the fact that the wheels have come off the wagon pulling the GOP into the ditch.

The point Castellanos is making isn't a terrible one--there are population cycles in rabbit populations that decent people could talk about over the dinner table. But bunny sex doesn't work with live television.

John Kruk is Still a Terrible Analyst


They are claiming that baseball analyst John Kruk was taken out of Dodger Stadium on a stretcher because of "dehydration." Is this code speak for falling down drunk? Or did he have a few beers and end up on his ass because he wasn't drinking water or Gatorade?

It doesn't matter. I have watched several games with Kruk in the booth and he's terrible. He offers little, if any, insight and is there to be "naughty" and earthy without actually bringing anything to the discussion that would make the game clearer or easier to follow.

The game had to have been smoother and more pleasant to follow with him gone. If ESPN keeps him after this year in such a prominent role, I would be surprised. There must be a dearth of capable commentators out there.