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Big Brother - coming soon to a network near you

big-brother.jpg

I've often heard liberals say that when tyranny comes to America, it will come in the disguise of religion. They are wrong of course; when tyranny comes to America, it will be sold to us as fairness and equality. Case in point:

Some critics are seizing on comedian Jon Stewart's attacks of CNBC to launch an online petition drive urging the network to be tougher on Wall Street leaders.

The liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America and some economists are behind the effort, launched Monday. They're asking CNBC to hire economic voices with a track record of being right about the current crisis and do more to hold business leaders accountable.

Mmmmkay ... Media Matters wants CNBC to dismiss anyone who has not been "right about the current crisis." Really? As if CNBC doesn't care whether or not its own analysts are dependable? As if CNBC's viewers don't already keep an eye on the accuracy of its content? As if any analyst, financial or otherwise, is always right about everything, all of the time?

This is so simple -- which may be why the propagandists at Media Matters don't understand it. CNBC is the best-known cable TV network whose programming is exclusively dedicated to financial news and analysis. Their main competitor is Bloomberg News, which is widely regarded as the most comprehensive financial news and analysis service in the industry. CNBC knows their competition. Since they are a cable TV network, they are of course somewhat personality driven. But if their information was worthless, they would not be able to compete with Bloomberg. Yet when you walk into the offices of any financial firm, you are always greeted by a sea of small television screens -- even in the elevators -- displaying CNBC.

If Media Matters, which is funded by billionaire George Soros, doesn't like the job CNBC is doing, then no one is stopping them from starting their own financial news network. They could call it Finance Matters. If Media Matters and its founder, David Brock, thinks that they are saving average Americans from corporate greed, then let them put their own neck out on the line. Heck, let them hire Oliver Willis as their chief financial analyst. After all, he's made a career (perhaps the most inexplicable in the entire blogosphere) by continually asserting that all conservatives are stupid. Now that would be entertaining.

And as for accuracy and accountability, why not start with our own government? I'd put Jim Cramer's out-of-context "BUY BEAR STEARNS!!!" remarks up against "We do not have a crisis at Freddie Mac and particularly Fannie Mae under the outstanding leadership of Frank Raines" or "I don't think we face a crisis; I don't think that we have an impending disaster" any day. What say you, Mr. Brock?

The Obama White House propaganda machine is in the midst of an unprecedented assault on free speech. They seem to be attempting a piecemeal take-over of broadcast media by creating phony "outrage" aimed at specific broadcasters, and then demanding, in the name of "fairness," that those broadcasters be taken off the air. Funny, I thought that dissent was the highest form of patriotism. Whatever happened to the maverick spirit of Hillary Clinton?

I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say, we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration.

During the Bush years, conservatives rightly criticized partisan liberals masquerading as "objective" journalists. And we criticized entertainers and others who lashed out at President Bush in some of the most vulgar, hate-filled, unhinged rants ever directed at a President. But despite the hysterical claims of liberals, the Bush White House never attempted to launch coordinated efforts to censor its critics or take broadcasters off the air.

Vulgarity and unhinged hatred aside, dissenting voices are essential to democracy. Unless we stand firm against these blatant attempts at censorship, we are going to end up with a heck of a lot more disturbing "change" in this country than most people ever bargained for.



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Comments (33)

Winguts start a petition to... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Winguts start a petition to try to pressure a private company to do something or another? Well, that's just an Army of Davids doing their patriotic duty!

If liberals do it? Well, that's just fascism, of course.

Simple.

Calm down, Mr Laprarie. </p... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Calm down, Mr Laprarie.

"Media Matters and some economists" asking CNBC to "hire people with a track record of being right" is NOT equivalent to the Obama White House launching a "coordinated effort to censor its critics or take broadcasters off the air."

The article you link to doesn't state that ANYBODY is asking that ANYBODY ELSE be fired, or that ANYONE wants to take CNBC off the air. Where do you come up with the rest of this "censorship" and "critic-silencing" nonsense?

Is Media Matters being kind of silly here? Yeah, maybe. Are you over-excited about it? Yeah, definitely.

Well, if 'getting things ri... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Well, if 'getting things right' all the time is a prerequisite, guess Obama better step down, what with that surge thing and all.

Hmmm, no such pending tyran... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Hmmm, no such pending tyranny when conservatives, including the RNC leadership and sitting members of Congress, hounded CBS and got them to cancel the Reagan mini-series.

As if CBS doesn't care whether or not its own historical portrayals are accurate? As if CBS's viewers don't already keep an eye on the accuracy of its content? As if any historian, Reaganite or otherwise, is always right about everything, all of the time?

Yes, the Bush White House propaganda machine was in the midst of an unprecedented assault on free speech. They seemed to be attempting a piecemeal take-over of broadcast media by creating phony "outrage" aimed at specific broadcasters.

Whatever happened to the maverick spirit of John McCain?

The liberal media ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
The liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America and some economists are behind the effort, launched Monday. They're asking CNBC to hire economic voices with a track record of being right about the current crisis and do more to hold business leaders accountable.

Assuming Media Matters' list of "voices with a track record of being right about the current crisis" doesn't include politicians who saw the crisis coming such as Bush, McCain, and Ron Paul, who's on their list? If they're anti-capitalists that would drive away many of CNBC's current viewers, but that may be the plan. BTW, did Obama warn about the current crisis before he was elected?

You may see this as a left ... (Below threshold)
Rance:

You may see this as a left vs. right issue, but it's not.

People are calling for the reporters on CNBC to stop kissing up to corporate management and start asking the tough business questions. In doing that, they would be helping the stock holders, the people who invest their money in these companies, you know "The Capitalists".

"Whatever happened to th... (Below threshold)
914:

"Whatever happened to the Maverick spirit of John McCain."

Unfortunately its still alive in rinos like Arlean Spectrum, Olympia Bull and Susan Call ins.

"As if CBS doesnt care whether or not its own historical portrayals are accurate."They just have to be able to read the teleprompter just like that false pupphet Obama.

They dont care if Their news anchors are accurate, why should a mini series be any different?

Where did all these Obama a... (Below threshold)

Where did all these Obama apologists come from? Your post is first rate, a breath of fresh air in a dank and dirty smoke-filled room.

I don't pay much attention ... (Below threshold)

I don't pay much attention to CNBC mainly because I dislike TV news. But I would gladly sign a petition for Cramer to calm down his on-air persona. Maybe instead of Mad Money, he could do a week of Mellow Money and see how that works for him. Put a fez on his head, replace his noisemakers with New Age music cues ...

Mac Lorry: one economist wh... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Mac Lorry: one economist who predicted the entire debacle well before everyone else (to my knowledge) is Dr. Nouriel Roubini. He's not a supply-sider so I doubt CNBC would hire him.

Now, can you name one supply-side economist who predicted the nature and scope of the current financial crisis?

Hey # 8!First rate... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Hey # 8!

First rate? this post is first rate?

Mr Laprarie takes a short article that says "Media Matters and some economists" are circulating a petition asking CNBC to hire voices with a track record of being right.

From that, the next thing you know, "the Obama White House propaganda machine" is "demanding" that critics be silenced and that broadcasters be taken off the air in a "blatant attempt at censorship."

That's a "first rate" post to you?

Did you know that George So... (Below threshold)

Did you know that George Soros would not be a multi-billionaire if it were not for the international language Esperanto?

Born in Hungary in 1930 as Gyorgy Schwartz, the family changed its name in 1936 to Soros, which in Esperanto means "to soar."

The Soros name-change was an effort to protect the Jewish family from the rise of fascist rulers and the whole family spoke Esperanto at home.

As a native Esperanto speaker, (someone who has spoken Esperanto from birth), George Soros defected to the West in 1946, while attending an Esperanto youth meeting in Vienna.

Esperanto enabled Soros both to defect, and to become the 28th most wealthy man in the World, according to the Forbes rich list.

Yes , all the American peop... (Below threshold)
914:

Yes , all the American people that voted against Obama because We knew He was a tax and spend (other peoples money) socialist liberal.

I'll tell you feelings abou... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

I'll tell you feelings about censorship of any type by government. I'm personally opposed to the Fairness Doctrine myself because government has no business telling a station manager or owner what programs to air, when it's a business and owners have to air programming that pays the bills, otherwise they go broke.

But you can't lay this whole censorship issue on Obama, or anyone else. The truth is that the conservative record on censorship matters has been simply awful as well. Look at obscenity laws for example, which are all unconstitutional attempts to circumvent the Bill Of Rights and encode religion into law. A national book, magazine or film distributor business can be charged in a conservative community of as few as just two obscenity violations, usually due to some local postal entrapment scheme, and then be charged with federal crimes such as racketeering and face millions of dollars in fines, up to 20 in prison, as well as business asset property forfeiture.

A California business, California Publishers Liquidation Corporation, a remainder magazine distributor that also distributed some adult magazine and video titles was charged and convicted of distributing some materials to a Texas adult bookstore, and the corporate heads of the company were put in prison in Texas and had to pay hundreds of thousands in fines, but fortunately the judge did not order their entire business assets forfeited to the government. Yet this put them out of business.

And many other outrageous examples during the Bush Administration years exist of businesses prosecuted as well for claimed "obscenity" violations, putting CEOs in prison, and destroying their businesses as well including outrageous filmmaker Max Hardcore and others.

Max Hardcore simply produced some DVDs that were sold to a national distributor. And this distributor was given immunity against prosecution if he would testify against Max Hardcore, which was the real government focus of attention. Max Hardcore, whose real name is Paul Little, was convicted in Tampa, Florida of a few incidental scenes in some of his movies violating some local community standards law, which then became a federal offense, and now is serving a prison term in the notorious Lompoc area Federal Prison where stabbings and murders are real common place.

It's simply outrageous to think that authors and writers, book dealers and film makers are put in prison in this country. But that's what happens when some people use the laws of the country to promote their own personal religion. Controversial materials might be garbage for the most part, but why should they be treated as crimes by the state?

National business organizations such as the National Bookseller's Association find real fear for their thousands of dealers when someone is prosecuted for text based obscenity. The average best seller on THE NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list contains at least some sexually explicit language, and opens many authors, dealers and distributors up to possible prosecution in some local community in the U.S. because obscenity laws are not based on some set national standards but by local community standards, where some conservative Bible belt small town could bring an author, dealer or distributor down in a criminal case with a conservative judge and jury.

The Janet Jackson Superbowl incident was used by conservatives in congress to toughen up broadcast indecency laws with heavy fines and censorship that forced America's #1 talk show host, Howard Stern, off broadcast radio for example.

America has it's own political prisoners of the state, make no mistake about that fact. And until there's real public outcry to get government out of regulation of free speech business and repeal all laws related to government control of the press, crap like the Fairness Doctrine or other censorship schemes will only advance and take people down.

Where did all these Obam... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Where did all these Obama apologists come from?

Huh? Obama is not related to nor involved in the topic of this post, so you must be hallucinating. Or reading some other thread. Lay off the juice.

"Where did all these Oba... (Below threshold)
914:

"Where did all these Obama apologists come from?"

The United child raping Nations would be My bet.

Paul Hooson,Would ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Paul Hooson,

Would you repeal child pornography laws? If so, that's all I need to know about your position. If not, then even you have some standard that would be difficult to define in detail and then defend with only reason.

Speaking of our legal system in general, it's obvious that there's little consistency from law to law, and that laws are not consistently enforced. There are outrages in all areas of the law from way too much punishment to way too little punishment for a given crime. When you come up with a system that eliminates these inconsistencies and outrages let us know.

Mac Lorry: did you dig up t... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Mac Lorry: did you dig up the name of one prescient supply-sider yet?

hyperbolist,I didn... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist,

I didn't know I was given the task of finding one prescient supply-sider. If you're referring to someone who didn't get caught by the economic crisis, then yes, I can give you a name, mine.

I'm a supply-sider and I made money with my investments last year. Thing is I know lots of people who are not supply-siders who lost 30% or more in their investments last year. Obviously, being a supply-sider or not had nothing to do with seeing the coming economic crisis.

Well, Mr Lorry, not to impu... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Well, Mr Lorry, not to impugn anyone's integrity, but, as Reagan said, "Trust, but verify."

I'm pretty sure what Hyperbolist is asking you for (he asked on another thread, btw) is the name of one noted supply-sider who published anything in advance of the current crisis, warning of its coming.

See, no one here can verify that you indeed made money from your investments. I'm sure you personally wouldn't fib about something like that, but there are many who would, no?

So something WRITTEN somewhere by a "prescient supply-sider" would be in order here.

Bruce Henry,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Bruce Henry,

I'm pretty sure what Hyperbolist is asking you for (he asked on another thread, btw) is the name of one noted supply-sider who published anything in advance of the current crisis, warning of its coming.

We'll I must have missed that comment. Ok, so now you've added the condition that it has to be a noted supply-sider. I expect if you don't like my answer you'll just come up with more and more conditions.

Well, the two names that come to mind are Bush and McCain. Both attempted to rein-in Fannie May and Freddie Mac before most democrats had a clue there was a problem. There attempts are written into the congressional record and/or news accounts available to the public. Once again this shows that being a supply-sider had nothing to do with people seeing the current crisis coming.

hyperbolist and Bruce Henry... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist and Bruce Henry,

Bush gave his first warning in his 2001 budget. Here's more.

John McCain speaking on the Senate floor: "I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole."

Greg Larkin, an analyst for Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, was sending warnings in the summer of 2006.

The tyranny of the elitist ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

The tyranny of the elitist bankers has controlled America since the turn of the century. Religion is just one of many vehicles they have used to drain its citizens of their assets and freedom. Living in denial isn't going to make it get better or make it go away.

It was actually this thread... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

It was actually this thread, comment #10, Bruce, where I asked Mac to give the name of one conservative counterpart to Roubini.

There really aren't any.

Mac, you've cited investors, but not economists. This crisis extends well beyond the scope of the market to the macro level. As in, holy shit, Iceland is bankrupt and AIG is government property. I'm happy that you did well with your investments, but that's not the same thing as predicting the outright insolvency of some of the world's largest financial institutions and a downturn that will certainly equal the Great Depression in terms of misery inflicted across the globe.

Now Roubini did predict that, and Paul Krugman has been urging people to listen to him on his blog and in his column for the past year or so.

I don't blame any conservatives for Tim Geithner's incompetency, by the way. I know who his boss is.

Oh, and Mac--that article i... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Oh, and Mac--that article is awfully thin. The NY Post--quelle surprise!!!--says that guy is the only person who predicted the house of cards coming down. Liberals don't count!

See how (in)accurate Jim Cr... (Below threshold)

See how (in)accurate Jim Cramer's Mad Money recommendations for Google stock were... Cramer's stock calls shown visually on the chart over a two-year period -

.stocktagger.com/2007/07/jim-cramer-google-inc-goog-track-record.html

hyperbolist,<blockquo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

hyperbolist,

Mac, you've cited investors, but not economists.

I reject your assertion that only warnings from an "economist" are valid. Certainly a Wall Street analyst like Greg Larkin could have been hired by CNBC to be a voice for caution. In fact, Larkin's information was far more specific to the relevant issues.

Roubini's first predictions about a coming housing crisis came in 2005, so he was a year ahead of Larkin, but he was four years behind President Bush. Maybe if 9/11 had not diverted Bush's attention he would have been able to hammer corrective action through Congress where such action was opposed by both Democrats and Republicans. It's politically hard to crap on an economic boom, but Bush showed he had the metal to take on tough issues.

Roubini is one of those who has called supply side tax cuts Vooodo Economics, but Bush's tax cuts had nothing to do with the subprime housing debacle. Anyone who makes the blanket claim that tax cuts are voodoo economics is claiming that there's no optimal tax rate less than 100%. Such a claim is absurd. Logically there must be an optimal tax rate between 0% and 100% that generates the greatest tax revenue. If the current tax rate is above that optimal point, then cutting taxes will grow the economy and increase tax revenues. Not recognizing that simple idea leads me to believe that Roubini is just one of those guys who always warns bad things are coming. What would change my mind is if Roubini also predicted the dot-com and housing boom times in advance. Just being a pessimist is not the same as being prescient.

As someone who trades for a... (Below threshold)

As someone who trades for a living I have a piece of advice for anyone using financial TV. Always press the MUTE button. Around here we have FOX Business on with MUTE pressed. If any big news breaks you can always bring up the sound but otherwise it's better to not hear any of the yakkin'. As for why Fox Business rather than Bloomberg or CNBC-- watch it one day and you'll figure it out I'm sure.

Anyone who makes the bla... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Anyone who makes the blanket claim that tax cuts are voodoo economics is claiming that there's no optimal tax rate less than 100%.

Nope--they're claiming that optimal tax rates are not necessarily the lowest rates. Sometimes tax rates are close to ideal; sometimes they're too high; and sometimes they're too low. Realists like Roubini claim that we have to be empiricists when it comes to designing tax rates and brackets.

Supply side economics is voodoo because there are no academically defensible models that support what its proponents claim it does--and this is important because economics is fundamentally academic. There are some historical examples of how lower tax rates can produce higher tax receipts, but no way of diagramming this as a causal relationship.

While you might consider Bush's warnings of the housing bubble bursting to have been sincere, it's hard for me to agree as he was still trumpeting "record levels of home ownership" as one of only a few domestic success stories of his administration up to when the housing market tanked. Getting people to buy houses was a goal of his domestic policy. He didn't exactly discourage people from taking out subprime loans.

Nope--they're clai... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Nope--they're claiming that optimal tax rates are not necessarily the lowest rates. Sometimes tax rates are close to ideal; sometimes they're too high; and sometimes they're too low. Realists like Roubini claim that we have to be empiricists when it comes to designing tax rates and brackets.

That's different than calling tax cuts voodoo economics as Roubini did. In fact, if Roubini was such a great economist he would accept the empirical data that tax rates have historically been above optimal. There are at least four times in the last 50 years where the tax revenues increased following tax cuts.

Supply side economics is voodoo because there are no academically defensible models that support what its proponents claim it does--and this is important because economics is fundamentally academic. There are some historical examples of how lower tax rates can produce higher tax receipts, but no way of diagramming this as a causal relationship.

Well we must be using voodoo medicine then because the same thing can be said about many drugs. It's also a false claim on the face of it. If the tax rate was 0% there would be not revenues. If the tax rate was 100% there would be no economy and no revenues. Thus, there has to be an optimal rate, and thus, labeling tax cuts as voodoo economics without knowing the optimal rate is itself voodoo economics. Economist must not consider human nature in their diagramming of the causal relationship between productivity and tax rates, and as a result, they discredit their own profession as they are the ones using voodoo if they haven't figure out such a basic attribute of all modern economies.

While you might consider Bush's warnings of the housing bubble bursting to have been sincere,

The warning came in his first budget, which by it's nature is a sincere document.

"record levels of home ownership" as one of only a few domestic success stories of his administration up to when the housing market tanked

Home ownership is good, subprime mortgages are bad. Bush and McCain did try to rein-in the subprime mortgage mess; it's a matter of public record. Obama, was on the wrong side of that issue right up until the housing market tanked.

Why is an increase in home ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Why is an increase in home ownership necessarily a good thing?

See, now, this dialogue bet... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

See, now, this dialogue between Mr Lorry and Hyperbolist -- this is why I come to Wizbang. You guys are great.

Why is an increase... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Why is an increase in home ownership necessarily a good thing?

Neighborhoods with a high percentage of home ownership have lower crime rates and better maintained property than neighborhoods with a high percentage of renters. Sure, there are exceptions, but overall, neighborhoods with a high percentage of home ownership are a better place to live.

Historically, home values increase faster than inflation, and being everyone has to live somewhere, owning is generally a better financial choice than renting. When a person reaches 62 years of age or older, and if they need to, they can tap into any equity they have in their home without ever moving out making payments. They do this through a reverse mortgage.




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