Sunday, October 31, 2010

Media Matters to The Rescue

Media Matters CEO David Brock has issued a statement concerning the allegations of media malfeasance made by Sarah Palin and the Joe Miller campaign:
"Sarah Palin has made serious accusations of journalistic malfeasance. Either Palin accurately described the tapes, or she did not. America's news consumers need to know the truth about these serious accusations. The public in Alaska needs to know the truth so they are fully and correctly informed before they cast their ballots Tuesday. Palin has a responsibility to release the full, unedited tapes publicly and to all media."
The statement from KTVA:
A press release issued Saturday October 30, 2010, by the Joe Miller campaign claims that KTVA personnel, "openly discuss creating, if not fabricating, two stories about Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller." KTVA General Manager Jerry Bever says, "It's unfortunate that this recording has happened. It's unfortunate because it does not accurately reflect the journalistic standards of our newsroom and the garbled context will no doubt leave more questions than answers. The Miller campaign's analysis of the recording is incorrect in many material ways ranging from personnel involved in the conversation, the interpretation of conversation snippets and the reported transcript of the perceived garbled conversation."

"While the recording is real, the allegations are untrue," said Bever. "The recording was the result of a cell phone not being hung up after a call was placed to Randy DeSoto, Joe Miller campaign spokesperson, Thursday afternoon to discuss Joe Miller's appearance on that evening's newscast. That phone call was placed near the end of a coverage planning meeting in our newsroom regarding that evening's Miller rally in downtown Anchorage. The group of KTVA news personnel was reviewing potential "what-if" scenarios, discussing the likelihood of events at the rally and how KTVA might logistically disseminate any breaking news."

Bever continues, "The perception that this garbled, out of context recording may leave is unfortunate, but to allege that our staff was discussing or planning to create or fabricate stories regarding candidate Miller is absurd. The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do."

While Bever would not discuss any personnel issues linked with the recording, Bever says "Have we had internal discussions about the level of professionalism we need to bring to our conversations, internally and externally? Of course we have, this is a lesson to learn from."
The doctored tape is at Breitbart's site. Listen to it there, if you wish. Shame on ABC for having contracted with Breitbart to do its election coverage. Boycott time, people. What are the odds Breitbart, Palin, or Miller will release full tape and transcript per Media Matters request?

This entire incident is illustrative of how disturbing the Tea Party candidates really are. As with their supporters, these unqualified individuals live in a world of media conspiracies that, quite conveniently, provide an excuse for them to avoid contact with the media or give interviews to clarify their extremist policy positions uttered at campaign events, outside the comfort zone of 'Fox News' or 'Christian Broadcasting'. But the harsh reality is their wounds are self-inflicted. No one in the media instructed Joe Miller to lie multiple times about his personnel records and direct his goons to illegally handcuff and detain a reporter who was seeking some answers. Is it any wonder Miller was trying to conceal this information from the public? In any normal campaign year, such candidate disclosures would be immediately disqualifying. Still, the voters of Alaska are reasonable, once given the facts. They've already deep-sixed Miller in the polls. Moving on.

Sharron Angle has systematically refused to grant any interviews. The few snippets we can glean show a woman who is so woefully unprepared to be a United States senator, so extreme and radical right wing in her views, such a despicable and revolting racist, that she isn't only an embarassment to the people of Nevada, but a genuine threat to serious government in our nation, at a time when it is desperately needed. Hopefully, cooler heads among a majority of Nevada voters will prevail and they will re-elect Harry Reid. To give up the Senate representation of the Majority Leader for a woman with bizarre fundamentalist ideas bent on destroying government is an act of madness by voters driven by a distressed economy. Hopefully, they'll think this thing through in Nevada voting booths, wake up and send Harry back; at least until they can find a candidate who meets the minimum qualifications for the position. Angle's solution is "2nd Amendment remedies." That's armed revolt against our government, people. Please, Nevadans, vote for the unpopular Reid. It's important.

There's more. Carl Paladino, the Tea Party candidate for governor of New York, has sent one porn and bestiality e-mail too many. He defiantly threatened a N.Y. Post (Rupert Murdoch's rag!) reporter, to "take him out." We may laugh at Christine O'Donnell, but she represents a kind of incompetent craziness, a kind of populist insanity, that permeates the Tea Party movement. Her utter ignorance of the 1st Amendment and the Constitution is mind-boggling, particularly considering the Tea Party hangs its dubious hat-full-of-holes on first principles, and all. They don't know squat about the Constitution, and get their fake U.S. history, e.g., there is no separation of church and state in the Constitution, from Glenn Beck and his fraudulent "University." It's like we're living in the Idiocracy. For real.

Ken Buck, an extremist on women's issues, stands a good chance to be elected senator from Colorado. As with many other Tea Party candidates he favors carving up the Constitution to roll back more than 100 years of settled law, to redefine citizenship and provide for the indirect election of senators. That was a provision popular with authoritarian Latin American governments, those that used to be known as "banana republics" for codifying their dictatorship into the Constitution. This is what certain Tea Party elements espouse. And on it goes. American voters need to wake up from what can only be described as a state of temporary insanity and keep these Tea Party candidates away from government. In this sense, we can hope Jon Stewart's rally to Restore Sanity will have done some good.

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