Thursday, October 14, 2010

AMERICA FOR SALE: Chamber of Horrors Has Chuck Todd Depressed but FASCINATED

Chuck Todd says “it’s kind of a depressing outlook, the fact that we think that being public about where you stand on an issue, you don’t want to go public because of — you just fear some sort of potentially negative retribution.”

Gee, Chuck, do you think you need a prescription for Xanax or something? While Chuck was sulking, ThinkProgress, the progressive blog that broke the story and has been doggedly pursuing it, followed up with an exclusive that the Chamber is receiving at least $885,000 from over 80 foreign companies in disclosed donations alone. Todd emerged from his funk long enough to interview a shill for the chamber of horrors. The question remains why he didn’t interview someone from ThinkProgress to get the opposing view, since it has become abundantly clear that Chuck is constitutionally incapable of asking the tough, off-putting to his guests, or upsetting questions. Much too “depressing.”

Here’s the Todd interview, such as it is, with the chamber of horrors spokesman given free rein to propagandize. This “intimidate and harass” whine from the Chamber is a strawman argument. The outrage is the lack of disclosure. The accidental disclosure, e.g., Target, then fuels the outrage, once people discover why these individuals and corporations were so keen to stay anonymous in the first place. It’s a circular argument that would be invalid under the pre-Citizens United climate of required disclosure. The actors were largely the same. The Chamber was making political ads. But the sunshine kept the shady groups and, let’s be blunt, criminals out of it, to the benefit of our political system. Our disclosure laws may have needed improvement, but they weren’t broken. What the Supreme Court did was break the system, with far-reaching and downright scary consequences.

To cap it all off, this parting Todd remark is all the more outrageous: “It’s an interesting argument and I am fascinated by it …”

Oh go jump in the lake, Todd. Seriously. Go to CNN.

I can’t even begin to say how FED UP progressives are with all this FASCINATION going on in the only semi-progressive cable outlet for liberals and progressives. Indeed, the FASCINATION thing from the Todd-Norah-Luke weasely wing of MSNBC implies a sense of detachment from stronger emotions, e.g., OUTRAGE … a “new normal” that may well be medication-induced.

Evidently, Chuck Todd, Norah O’Donnell (presumably still fascinated to see a Senate filled with Teabaggers, and doing her best to make it happen), and anyone else afflicted with the FASCINATION bug as a substitute for OUTRAGE are obviously not acquainted with the craft and purpose of journalism. They are incapable of mustering a modicum of adversarial skepticism to substitute for the sense of helpless outrage those who cannot match the corporate money deluge feel as we see our democracy slip away from us. Instead of asking the incisive questions — check out Keith Olbermann’s segment below for some J-101 tips — Todd laments the “depressing outlook” in public funding of campaigns.

We can do without your angst, Chuck. We’d much rather see a journalist sitting where you sit. It’s an increasingly privileged position, one not to be taken lightly. Whatever his flaws, at least Chris Matthews isn’t afraid to ask tough questions and show moral outrage. Where’s the outrage? Where’s your moral compass, your backbone, that necessary sense of journalistic ethics?

Talk about a “depressing outlook.” Watching the Chuck Todds of this world and so many unschooled pseudo journalists in prominent anchor spots is enough to depress anyone concerned with getting the truth and the facts to the public. The stakes for our future couldn’t be higher.

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