Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Michael Moore on Hurricane Gustav: The Epitome of What's Wrong with Political Debate in America

I initially thought someone was joking when they told me about this one. I find no mention of it, let alone outrage against it, on MediaMatters.com. Dozens of people have died in the wake of Hurricane Gustav, yet Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann find it funny that Gustav put a damper on Republicans' plans to hold their convention.

If Rush Limbaugh had

If Rush Limbaugh had said something like this, media outlets would be outraged at the insensitivity. And rightly so. However, this story was not even noticed by the larger media.

said something like this, MediaMatters and many other media outlets would be outraged at the insensitivity. And rightly so. However, a look on MediaMatters, USA Today, New York Times, and Washington Post indicates that the story was not even noticed.

Watch for yourself what Michael Moore an Keith Olbermann were laughing about on Olberman's show the other night.



The problem with political discussion

Michael Moore (and Keith Olbermann for that matter) epitomize the filth that now masquerades as American political discussion.

in America is that hardly anyone ever makes an attempt to see the other person's point of view. Not very many people would be caught dead admitting that one's political adversary is ever correct. Rush Limbaugh is perhaps more guilty of it than anyone. However, Keith Olbermann has more than once claimed to be above that fray. Yet Olbermann raised no protest whatsoever when Moore used the dead and displaced as a backdrop for his macabre humor.

As soon as Moore made his comment, Olbermann should have ended the interview in disgust. But he didn't. He just laughed.

Michael Moore (and Keith Olbermann for that matter) epitomize the filth that now masquerades as American political discussion.

Don't you think we have the ability to be better than this?




16 comments:

  1. Thanks for pointing this out, Frank. Hopefully some of the lefties who regularly comment here will have something to say.

    As far as mediamatters and other left-wing outlets go, anything any liberal says is always off-limits. No credibility whatsoever.

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  2. They're mocking right-wing religious nuts who really think natural disasters are "God's wrath" for one perceived moral transgression or another.

    Someone has to point out how ridiculous it is to blame "God" for everything that ever goes wrong in this country. So, you want to know how we become "better than this"? Get the religious nuts to stop playing the "wrath of God" card and we'll stop mocking them for it.

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  3. Agreed, Frank. I have long been disgusted that so many people, including many in the Utah BlogHive, rabidly support their own positions without listening to opposing opinions or admitting when the opposition is correct.

    It's too bad that much of the media does this just to attract more viewers, and it's too bad that many of us in general get defensive rather than being open-minded and cordial in discussion and debate. I'm certainly not perfect at this, but I try my best.

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  4. Don, pray tell- mocking the victims of hurricanes because some religious people blame natural disasters on God- how is that either justified or tolerable? Seriously, man, is that the best you've got?

    Now, you'll argue that Moore was mocking Republicans (another judgmental, blanket statement in its own right). But you can't tell me nobody down in the threatened areas- Republican or Democrat- would be offended by that comment.

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  5. d. sirmize,
    Pray tell, do you comprehend well? I did not say "mocking the victims". And I didn't say "mocking Republicans" either, so you can take that strawman and save it for another time. I said mocking right-wing religious nuts and that's what I meant.

    Furthermore, I would never argue that anyone wouldn't take offense because clearly there are plenty of people who don't understand the context and will be offended. Of course, there are plenty more who certainly do understand the context, yet for their own political purposes will feign ignorance to rile up the masses.

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  6. Ah, the strawman counter punch. Almost more over used than actual strawman arguments.

    If he (and you) want to mock right-wing nuts, the decision to do it in the context of the hurricane and the GOP convention was idiotic at best.

    You wanna rip right-wing nuts? Fine. Do it. Eat your bitter little heart out. But there's no need to frame your criticism around a hurricane (of which there are also liberal god-hating victims) or the GOP convention (where the religious right is losing ground).

    Methinks your lard-filled friend's dumb comment will backfire on him someday.

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  7. Yes, I'm bitter . . . keep telling yourself that if it makes you happy.

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  8. Frank,
    It's funny that you call out MediaMatters for not mentioning this. You'd think your buddies over at the Media Research Center and CNS "news" would be all over it. But as far as I can tell, nary a peep have they made.

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  9. Actually, Don, newsbusters.org (the functional arm of the MRC- they're moving toward the blog format and away from the "cyber alert" format) was all over it. And they weren't alone.

    Nice try though.

    Notice it's crickets from lib stalwarts here like rmwarnick (oh, wait, he says he's a conservative- wink, wink) and Derek No-Liberal-Has-Ever-Done-Anything-Wrong Staffenson.

    You know what else is funny about your hostile defense of Michael Moore on this blog? I've been reading Frank for a while now (less because I think he's a brilliant blogger and more because I like a nice dog fight), and I'm not sure we've seen a whole lot of religious, hurricane is from God nuts here.

    Ridiculous place to defend an idiot who picked an even more ridiculous concept to couch his mockery of religious nuts in.

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  10. Now I'm bitter and hostile? You really know how to sling it buddy. Keep'em coming, laughter is good for me (so I'm told.)

    And again with the misdirection arguments? (Another strawman for those playing along.) Did I accuse Frank of being a blow-hard relgious nut? No. I simply provided the context for Moore's comment, which apparently a lot of people aren't quite getting.

    As far as I can tell you don't really have any real arguments so you have to make them up as you go along, ostensibly to get into a nice dog fight. Are you just trolling for action, or what? Do you think I'm wrong about Moore's intentions? If so, why? Why don't you make an argument against my point rather than me or my supposedly "ridiculous" tactic of providing some context for Frank's readers?

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  11. Did I accuse Frank of being a blow-hard relgious nut?

    Did I accuse you of accusing Frank of being a blow-hard religious nut? I just found it odd that you took Frank's bait and decided to criticize a politico-religious view that nobody who comments here really seems to hold.

    I simply provided the context for Moore's comment, which apparently a lot of people aren't quite getting.

    Yeah, call 'em crazy for taking offense at Moore's comment, which was met with laughter by the new Face Of MSNBC. Were the mockery better thought out- or were the issue valid enough- it could have stood on its own. You're trying to offend a specific group of people. No need to offend everybody else in the process

    As far as I can tell you don't really have any real arguments so you have to make them up as you go along, ostensibly to get into a nice dog fight.

    Nah, the dog fight is just a bonus. The fact that you've wasted half your work day in an Internet spat brings joy to my evil neocon heart.

    I have my own arguments. I post them all the time on my own blog. In this case, I agree completely with Frank and I voiced my agreement. My argument now is that liberals don't have a viable defense for Moore's comments. Re-read the comments on this thread. You're the one that came in swinging. I rarely start a fight, but I'll gladly finish one.

    Do you think I'm wrong about Moore's intentions?

    I don't know. If he really was mocking religious fanatics and only religious fanatics- he picked a stupid forum and event to convey it. No matter his intentions, the point is that nobody, nobody on the Left who proclaims themselves as media watchdogs batted an eye.

    You can't tell me media matters would skip over red meat like that from Rush Limbaugh simply because his intentions were misconstrued. The point is the double standard. Frank made that point. I propped it. I talk about it all the time on my own blog.

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  12. I don't see where I came in swinging at all.

    I don't understand why it matters if there's a double standard. This is a quote from Media Matters:

    "Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media."

    If that's who they are, and they're not hiding it, then why does it matter if they have a double-standard? The right has their media watchdogs too. Do you think they ever go after Rush and Sean? Do you care about their double-standard? I sure as hell don't waste my time worrying about it.

    As far as your blog, I clicked over there a couple of months ago and didn't see much going on. I see you have a couple of new posts up in the last month. If I ever feel inclined, I'll check them out.

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  13. Maybe the context of the joke was when Pat Robertson or one the Evangelical nuts asked their followers to pray for rain to ruin Obama's outdoor acceptance of the nomination.

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  14. Yes, Ryan, that would have been "God's wrath" for being a Democrat . . . the greatest moral transgression of all! ;)

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  15. Maybe the context of the joke was when Pat Robertson or one the Evangelical nuts asked their followers to pray for rain to ruin Obama's outdoor acceptance of the nomination.

    Maybe it was, but rain certainly has different consequences than a hurricane, and if Focus on the Family's joke is what Moore had in mind, it was a poor allusion at best.

    The Stuart Shepard FotF video, by the way, was pulled at the request of FotF staffers who worried people wouldn't get the joke. All of Shepard's videos are tongue-in-cheek, but I agreed with the spiking of this video just because of the misunderstanding it would create. On the other hand, Keith Olberman and MSNBC were more than happy to roll with Moore's comments about the hurricane.

    Yes, Ryan, that would have been "God's wrath" for being a Democrat . . . the greatest moral transgression of all! ;)

    There is no god but Obama!

    ;)

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  16. Ryan,

    Pat Robertson is about as newsworthy as Michael Moore. If we had a news media that believed in providing news instead of titillating entertainment, we'd very likely never see either of them on the airwaves.

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