The USA’s Most Insane Political Discussion of all Time

“INSIDE WASHINGTON

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(Formerly The Great “Agronsky and Company”

MODERATOR:  MARK SHIELDS

WJLA TV PANEL:

COLBY KING, WASHINGTON POST;

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST;

EVAN THOMAS, NEWSWEEK;

NINA TOTENBERG, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO

BROADCAST DATE:

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24, 2010

9:00 AM

SENATOR-ELECT SCOTT BROWN (R-MA):  (From tape.)  I’m Scott Brown.  I’m from Wrentham and I drive a truck.

MR. SHIELDS:  This week on “Inside Washington,” a political knockout: a Republican wins Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat.

SENATOR-ELECT BROWN:  (From tape.)  People do not want the $1 trillion healthcare plan.

MR. SHIELDS:  So what happens to healthcare reform now?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH) [House Minority Leader]:  (From tape.)  This bill is dead.

MR. SHIELDS:  The Supreme Court reopens the money faucet in politics.  Corporate and union bucks are back big time.  President Obama calls for bank reform now.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA:  (From tape.)  If these folks want a fight, it’s a fight I’m ready to have.

MR. SHIELDS:  And what does Scott Brown’s victory mean for the election year ahead?

JAKE TAPPER:  (From tape.)  Interesting anniversary present for you guys from the voters.

DAVID AXELROD:  (From tape.)  I mean, admittedly, we would have preferred a cake.

RUSH LIMBAUGH:  (From tape.)  This is a stunning and for Democrats an ominous development.

(Musical break.)

MR. SHIELDS:  Hello.  I’m Mark Shields sitting in today for Gordon Peterson.  Republican Scott Brown drove a pickup truck fueled by voter anger and anxiety straight into Washington this week.  Brown beat Democrat Martha Coakley handily in the special election for Ted Kennedy’s Massachusetts Senate seat.  Within 24 hours of his victory, the healthcare reform bill in its current form was dying.  And another blockbuster story broke Thursday.  The Supreme Court struck down parts of the McCain-Feingold campaign law.  Corporate and union money will be back in the game big time and on the airwaves in this election year.  We’ll get to that in a minute but we want to start with Scott Brown, senator elect.

SENATOR-ELECT BROWN:  (From tape.)  What I’ve heard again and again on the campaign trail is that our political leaders have grown aloof from the people.  They’re impatient with dissent and comfortable in making backroom deals and we can do better.  (Applause.)

PRES. OBAMA:  (From tape.)  We were so busy just getting stuff done and dealing with the immediate crises that were in front of us that I think we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are.

MR. SHIELDS:  When a Republican comes out of nowhere to win Ted Kennedy’s seat taking down healthcare in the process, it’s clearly cause for worry for the Democrats.  Evan, the president admits he lost touch with the voters.  What’s the message for him and for Democrats?

MR. THOMAS:  Be more honest.  He tried to finesse this.  Regular voters can figure out that if you’re going to extend healthcare to 40 million people you’re going to have to pay for it someway and they’re just not going to believe it if you say to them nothing will change, this will be okay, no problem for you. [Read more…]

Dear News Media: When Reporting on Polls, Please Keep In Mind The Following Things

National Broadcasting Company Soon To Be Owned By Cable

NEW YORK TIMES DEALBOOK BLOG (Sorkin)

Carter / Merced Reporting

November 30, 2009, 8:17 pm <!– — Updated: 8:33 pm –>

G.E. and Vivendi Agree on Value of NBC Universal

Update | 8:28 p.m. General Electric has reached a tentative agreement to buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for about $5.8 billion, helping clear the path to a sale of the television and movie company to Comcast, people briefed on the matter told DealBook.

But much remains to be negotiated, these people warned. The Vivendi agreement values NBC Universal at $29 billion, less than the $30 billion or so that G.E. and Comcast had agreed to last month.

Harmonizing the two values, as in so much of the talks over NBC Universal, may take days to do, and these people cautioned that a deal may not be reached.

Still, many analysts and people close to the talks expect a deal to be forged soon, and with it a reshaping of the entertainment industry.

The groundwork for the tentative pact between G.E. and Vivendi was laid out last week, when G.E.’s chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, met in person with his counterpart at Vivendi, Jean-Bernard Lévy, in Paris, these people said.

If it holds, the agreement would conclude weeks of hardball negotiations between G.E. and Vivendi over an alliance first forged in 2004. Resolving the issue of Vivendi’s stake is crucial to completing the G.E.-Comcast deal. But the French company took a tough stance, brandishing its option of holding an initial public offering for its stake rather than selling it back to G.E.

Under the current outlines of the agreement between G.E. and Comcast, NBC Universal would be put into a new joint venture, between the two giants. Comcast would pour billions of dollars in cash and its own cable channels for a 51 percent stake, while G.E. would hold an initial 49 percent and contribute about $12 billion in debt.

G.E., which has owned NBC for more than two decades, is expected to eventually sell its ownership interest to Comcast over the next several years.

Michael J. de la Merced and Bill Carter

Wapo Reporter Achenbach Defends His Friend’s Time Magazine Puff Piece on the Dangerous Glenn Beck

Glenn BeckM E D I A  M A T T E R S

WaPo reporter and “close friend” of Von Drehle defends Beck profile; attacks me

September 18, 2009 12:06 pm ET – by Jamison Foser

Washington Post reporter Joel Achenbach leaps to his “close friend” David Von Drehle’s defense, calling my criticism of Von Drehle’s Glenn Beck profile “shrill,” and accuses me of criticizing the article “because one of the targets of Dave’s story is Media Matters itself. Which Foser doesn’t bother to note.”

Let’s take that part first: Ludicrous. Von Drehle makes only passing mention of Media Matters; here it is:

“[T]here are ancillary industries feeding on the success of Beck and others like him. Both left- and right-wing not-for-profit groups operate as self-anointed media watchdogs, and one of the largest of these — the liberal group Media Matters for America — has a multimillion-dollar budget. Staff members monitor Beck’s every public utterance, poised to cherry-pick the most inflammatory sentences. (Conservative outfits do the same for the likes of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann.) These nuggets are used in turn to rev up donations to political parties and drive ratings for the endless rounds of talking-head shows.”

Really? That’s what led Achenbach to conclude that “one of the targets of Dave’s story is Media Matters,” and that I was motivated by a desire for revenge? Seems pretty weak.

Achenbach’s defense of his “close pal” David Von Drehle, and his attack on me, curiously avoids any discussion whatsoever of my central point: That Von Drehle failed to indicate a single falsehood Beck has ever told. That Von Drehle portrayed “liberal” estimates of the size of last week’s anti-Obama rally as no more valid than estimates from conservatives — estimates of 1 to 2 million people. Despite the fact that there clearly were not a million people at the rally. And despite the fact that the “liberal” estimates in fact came from news organizations and the DC fire department.

Since Achenbach ducked all that, here are some simple questions for him: [Read more…]

Fox Five New York’s Ernie Anastos: “Keep F#cking That Chicken”

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