Chief Propaganda Minster Jay Carney

I enjoy the occasional sparring on the political forums.  Not because I expect to change anyone’s mind, but just for the entertainment of the process.  It’s like a hobby.  But occasionally I actually learn something new.  The other day, in the course of a discussion on, what else, Obamacare, my left leaning antagonist mentioned a quote by Speaker of the House John Boehner, alleging that Obamacare would be a major job killer for the years 2010 and 2011.  The time frame seemed a little squirrely, so I asked for a source.

And the adventure began.

The “source” turned out to be a link to ‘The Last Word,’ Larry O’Donnell’s MSNBC show.  O’Donnell referred to a video clip of Press Secretary Jay Carney saying that Boehner said that (at about the minute mark).

A video of somebody saying that somebody said something isn’t exactly my idea of a source.  At that point I decided to check Google.  Ten seconds later, I had this:

Boehner Tweet

A tweet from Boehner of a Bloomberg News Report with the title, “Health Care costs will skyrocket next year thanks to ObamaCare.”  So there was never a Boehner quote. It was the title of an article.

Now I don’t blame my forum opponent so much.  Most lefties just depend on their usual propaganda sources and I didn’t have much expectation that he would have a legitimate source.  I don’t even blame Larry O’Donnell so much. His job is to be a propagandist for the administration. If he lies, well, consider the network he works for.  That’s what they do.  The entire network is geared to provide talking points.

But I do blame Jay Carney.  He’s the Press Secretary of the Obama administration.  He has an obligation to be factual, or at least as factual as should be expected at the time he says something.  Although he’s supposed to provide talking points, they are supposed to be somewhat moored to the truth.

But there is actually more blame to go around; the Washington Press Corps.  Carney made that statement in an entire room of Washington reporters.  Supposedly these are supposed to be savvy, insiders who should have sniffed out a falsehood.  Instead, they bought it hook, line, and sinker.  Not one of them had the presence of mind to fact check Carney.  So the fact that the White House Press Corps won’t do their job means that Carney, rather than functioning as the White House Press Secretary, gets to function as a Propagandist instead.

Andrea Mitchell, Leaning Leftward

Since MSNBC started its Lean Forward campaign, I’ve gotten a kick out of the network’s show hosts video shots where they earnestly expound the latest liberal tropes.  It’s a bit surprising because I had thought MSNBC wanted to keep pretending it was an actual news network instead of merely a televised version of Media Matters or Think Progress.  Of course I for one am glad the mask is finally off. Be free MSNBC!  Be who you are!  It really bugs me for liberal TV news channels to pretend to be objective while at the same time presenting “The News” from a liberal slant.  At least MSNBC is out of the closet.   If you’ve not seen them (and I realize that I’m among only a couple of hundred regular views of the network) they can be a real hoot.  Like this one from Lawrence O’Donnell:

That never struck me as plausible that the GI Bill was derided as some sort of welfare program.  Sure enough, Politifact rated it as mostly false.  No surprise there.  But this is MSNBC.  It’s more about a mood than mere factual accuracy.

Most of the hosts have done a series of Lean Forward ads.  Some try to push unconscious buttons like Rachel Maddow’s evocation of Socialist realism with her Hoover Dam ads:

My son came into my office one day while I was watching this promo and asked, “Who’s that fella?”

But that Hoover dam ad vaguely reminds me of something…

And of course, there is the always incoherent Al Sharpton.

He’s trying to tell a parable of how everything is really Bush’s fault.  A line that never gets old with the left.  But the execution makes him sound as incoherent as Grandpa Simpson.

The credit for these mish mash of promos can go to Spike Lee, who produced these Lean Forward spots for MSNBC, although the quality makes me suspicious that Mookie showed up to direct instead.

But the real disappointment is how MSNBC takes and warps their few real journalists into just one more Ed Schultz.  And really, did we need more than one?

Andrea Mitchell has been a real journalist.  While working at NBC she has been the Chief Congressional correspondent, Chief White House correspondent, and Chief Foreign Affairs correspondent. With such a resume, it would make sense that she would back away from doing a Lean Forward promo about how the Republicans stole the GI Bill with a Blueberry pie on top of the Hoover dam.

And in fact her first Lean Forward promo touted her foreign policy credentials:

But MSNBC must have kept leaning on her, until she agreed to do this:

Obviously she is referring to Voter ID laws; a thorn in the side of Democrats who feel voting is so fundamental even illegal aliens and the dead should have it.  Unlike Al Sharpton, she can’t bring herself to actually name the villains in this piece, Republicans trying to maintain the integrity of the process.  Still, it’s as far as she has officially gone to begin the slide over to pure opinion journalism.

Must MSNBC contaminate every host?  Careful Andrea, or after decades of professionalism, you’ll find yourself dragged down to the level of Al Sharpton arguing about Republicans eating your blueberry pie.  Once you go down that road, you can’t come back to being a legitimate journalist again.

Just ask Chris Matthews.

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