Friday, November 09, 2012

Schadenfreud

Rachel Maddow is my favorite TV News personality. Not necessarily because of her politics, but because I like the way she puts on a show: Funny without being unserious, serious without being maudlin, obsessed with the history/politics geek minutiae of the news business but without the unctuous, obnoxious macho swagger that you got from Keith Olbermann or Bill O'Reilly.

I'll happily admit that she's as "biased" in favor of her own opinions (it's an editorial/opinion show, after all) as the likes of O'Reilly and Hannity are, but I'll offer sincerely that it's not really at the same level because a lot of her biases are not so much in favor of leftist political THEORY as they are biases in favor of apolitical fact. That's really the difference between the "Left" and "Right" in America now: Conservatives aren't just asked to defend the theoretical philosophies of Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan etc but also a set of provably false lies about evolution, climate-change, life-science, birthplaces of certain persons, etc. Liberals, for all their faults, don't have that problem... they ONLY have to defend their philosophy; all the other things American Liberals are expected to "believe" (evolution is real, climate change is real, etc) aren't beliefs at all - they're proven, settled, demonstrable FACTS.

Which is why this clip of Rachel Maddow "gloating" over the results of the 11/06/2012 election is quite possibly the least biased 3 minutes of cable news you'll watch for a long time:

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

Dude, just give the fuck up. You've been posting shit like this for a long time, and you're only wasting your own and other people's time.

Anonymous said...

These comments get much more entertaining if you assume that there is only one person called Anonymous.

InnerPartisan said...

@Anonymus 6:53
Well, considering James' obviously deranged mental state, that's actually somewhat plausible :D Which, I guess, also makes you one of his many personalities.

On topic: I like that video very much, but I don't see much Schadenfreude in it. Sure, Maddow's happy her team (so to speak) won - but she's not gloating. She simply wants the GOP to get their shit together. Their battshitery is, in the long run, hurting the entire country, not just their own election results.

lemonvampire said...

@Anonymous

So you wait around at your computer all day, every day, monitoring Bob's blog for any new posts so that you can post your one inane comment immediately.

Anonymous, we're all still waiting for you to admit that you're a creepy stalker with a sick obsession.

Anonymous said...

Bob, please, moderate comments. James is providing nothing and continues to hijack threads because he has stalker like obsession with you.

To James, what you are doing is harrasment. You are using the deaths of people in the war as ammunition against Bob because of your beef with him. That is disgusting.

Anonymous said...

Further more Bob, why can't you just confront this ass-hat already so he will get the hint that he is not welcome here? As a bonus, prove him wrong and shut him up for good! I just want to see him owned for God's sake!

Cyrus said...

Or at least disable anonymous posting, so he has to own up to his venom. Sorry constructive anons, but I'm sure you guys won't mind logging in via Google or OpenID to post, right?

On topic: It really is the GOP's big challenge right now: Blowing all the intentional falsehoods and extremist bullshit through the air lock, along with a few members and constituents. Probably wouldn't even make a dent in their cherished two-party status quo.

Andrew said...

I've just stopped paying attention to ANY comments made by anyone named anon.

Great video. I've never been a fan of political entertainers, in fact since I come from a media studies background I've become increasingly wary of really anything you see on TV, but when she says a lot of the things that are on my mind, it's hard to stay objective I guess.

Josh said...

I think Bob realizes that what this whackjob is after is attention from an Internet 'celebrity' and is mature enough to know that feeding such a desire will only make things worse. He seems to be dealing with it the same way young women deal with angry protesters outside of a Planned Parenthood location: ignore it and go on about your business.

On topic: Biased though she may be, Rachel's point that the GOP needs to stop obsessively following this poisonous narrative and come back closer to reality hits the nail on the head. Without constructive, mature discourse, this country (and humanity as a species) will never move forward.

DavidW said...

Here is the thing everyone. James will not stop because he will never be satisfied by any responses we give. Bob already gave him a lengthy rational response to his question. (To summarize: The drone strikes are the best way of fighting an enemy who wants to kill us and harm innocent Americans whilst minimizing civilian casualties in Pakistan. It is terrible that civilians are killed but it's less messy (for America and Pakistan) than a full scale invasion).

James rejected this response. He has no interest in a well reasoned response. He will only be satisfied by Bob completely agreeing with him and adopting his beliefs. Nothing else will satisfy him. There is nothing any of us can say to convince James otherwise.

All we can do is ignore him. So everyone, please, stop feeding the troll.

Nixou said...

"Conservatives aren't just asked to defend the theoretical philosophies of Ayn Rand, Ronald Reagan etc"

the theoretical philosophies of fictional Ayn Rand and Ronald Reagan: According to their versions, ayn Rand never uttered a word about religion and abortion and Reagan never raised taxes and evacuated US troops stationed in Lebanon, among other things. I never liked these two, but Had I liked them, I'd be livid at the slanderous treatment given to them by the american right

***

"On topic: I like that video very much, but I don't see much Schadenfreude in it"

It's probably because it seems sober compared to the hillarity caused by Karl Rove's live meltdown.

Megabyte said...

...but it wasn't hilarious.. it would have been if he had been right, though. Those of us who laughed at the stupidity in 2000 would have been in hysterics to see no one learned their lesson.

That said... I pretty much chalked this article up to pure bullshit when Bob put the words Maddow and Unbiased in the same sentence. All you need to do is look at how she covered Benghazi to know how much those do not belong in the same sentence.

And yes, I saw it live... I was up way too early for a family vacation that morning due to other things going on and watched as her entire diatribe wasn't about how our ambassador was killed, but that Mitt had the gall to accuse Obama of obsessing over a youtube video instead. If that's as unbiased as the media gets, then there is no more news... only propaganda.

Ben Grunzel said...

Bob, please get out of my head and stop expressing my thoughts better than I can.

Heir to the Throne said...

And Benghazi was an attack on us.
Buried Bombshell: CBS Video Shows Obama Refusing To Call Benghazi A Terrorist Attack...On September 12th
And no one is taking away anyone's guns.

Obama Calls For Renewal Of Assault Weapons Ban

Maddow will just call any mistakes a editing error.

Yes, Rachel, when you go on national TV — or even MSNBC — and say that a member of Congress had advance knowledge of a mass murder, it might raise a few eyebrows. And tempers. It’s a bit more serious than an “editing error.”

Does it really count as an apology if you use it to mock the people who pointed out you were wrong? It’s good enough for her bosses, apparently. Too bad she couldn’t put away her pride for the 30 seconds it would’ve taken to avoid coming off like a smirking, thin-skinned crank, seething at being forced to concede a point to her inferiors

Markus said...

@DavidW

The drone strikes are a crime against Pakistan, and a crime against international law. Not only can you not kill civilians, you also cannot kill ANYONE in a nation which you are not at war with.

Also, this whole "AL-QAEDA IS COMING TO GET US!!!" idea is horseshit. AL-QAEDA IS NOT COMING TO GET US, BECAUSE AL-QAEDA ARE A BUNCH OF INCOMPETENT FUCKING MORONS!

Also, does the name Anwar al-Awlaqi mean anything to you fucking people? Apparently you are all okay with Obama executing US citizens without trial, as well as their children. But hey, you didn't speak up against the NDAA, so why the fuck wouldn't you be? :(

Popcorn Dave said...

Megabyte:

"That said... I pretty much chalked this article up to pure bullshit when Bob put the words Maddow and Unbiased in the same sentence."

He didn't. In fact he said the opposite.

Anonymous said...

Bob, just do the move to Wordpress already. Google isn't run by morons, so you'll keep your Adsense juice with a 301 redirect. Both Blogspot and Wordpress make it easy to move every post with comments and proper backdating. If you think you can control your site better with Wordpress, then don't hold back.

It may not seem like it on the surface, but somebody like James getting free reign to spew horseshit seriously hurts you financially. It gives a tone of a moderator that simply does not care about maintaining a civil tone and drives away people that don't like reading that kind of crap. If you're not willing to experiment with any of the ways of circumventing James via Blogspot compatible scripting that I have generously offered to do for you in the past, then at least disable anonymous posting.

The Saarai'ari said...

On topic: Crowning moment of awesome for Rachel Maddow. Though I do wonder why Bob has beef with Ed Shultz somewhat.

@James: Wow, now not is it sad you're continuing with this pathetic crusade of yours, but I just found out you've been doing so against Sam Seder was well. Hey guys, watch Sam OWN James on his show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9I0qaqYDbQ&list=UU-3jIAlnQmbbVMV6gR7K8aQ&index=21&feature=plcp

@Markus: Al-qaeda isn't coming for US citizens? Al-qaeda is a bunch of incompetent morons? You try saying that to the families of over 2000 people who died on 9-11. I've seen many ridiculous statements by people on MovieBob's blog, but that takes the taco. And if you're defending Anwar al-Awlaqi who harbored and assisted Al-qaeda operatives, I have news for you that he wasn't an innocent man for that, and for his actions preaching for Americans as well as others to be killed.

Nixou said...

"Apparently you are all okay with Obama executing US citizens without trial, as well as their children"

Well, to perfectly frank, there was this bunch of Tweets from trump calling for a violent uprising...
Sarcasm notwistanding, the truth is... Americans are not "okay" with drone strikes: they're enthusiastic supporters of drone strikes, and that's include 60% of independants and 58% of democrats. The USA is a bloodthirsty Nation: Americans, by a crushing majority, love to punch back people they fell wronged them, especially when punch is a shorthand for "Abusing one's technological advantage to murder people with a remote control so the people who mourn them will have no chance to fight back"
Obama is not a sociopath: he's a smart politician who knows that
• His people wants blood
• His own voters want blood
• His competition just spent the last four years calling him a weakling because he was not killing enough people
Therefore he knows that, not only had he stoped the killings, would that have costed him a chunk of his electorate, but had the other side won, the killings would have increased.

Cyrus said...

@Markus: Al-Qaeda has been subjected to wild exaggeration, I'll give you that. There never were any air-conditioned mountain fortresses that would make a Bond villain swoon, just like Saddam didn't have vast stockpiles of WMDs. Still, determined lunatics don't need an orbital laser to wreak havoc. "A few drums of gas and a couple of bullets", etc., etc.

I do have reservations regarding these drone strikes, with respect to civilian casualties, as well as matters of due process and sovereignty. But they ARE an improvement over invading a country and selling it to Haliburton, plus I'd rather not see the first black president getting shot by "lone gunman" with a "magic bullet" for going too easy on his country's enemies.

The Almighty Narf said...

@ DavidW & Nixou

You know, it's amazing how complicit of wars crimes and human rights violations liberals become when a Democrat is in office. They'll rant and rave for years how a Republican is such a horrible war criminal, but once a Democrat comes in and does the exact same thing, or in this case is actually far more indiscriminate in his killings, they'll just look the other way.

Fascinating how you've managed to avoid cognitive dissonance so far.

Nixou said...

"it's amazing how complicit of wars crimes and human rights violations liberals become when a Democrat is in office"

Not even half as amazing as seeing conservatives remaining supporters of said wars and human right violations even when their parties are not in charge anymore. You'd think that once Obama was in the White House, the now-ex bushists would suddenly pretend that they were against the Iraq war and the torture program, and spying their fellow citizens all along, like they became overnight very-very-very much anxious about public debt after not giving a shit since Reagan's election 28 years prior...
But nope: killing "foreigners" may very well be the one and only consistent ideological trait of the american right.

***

"Fascinating how you've managed to avoid cognitive dissonance so far."

Re-read the sentence: Therefore he knows that, not only had he stoped the killings, would that have costed him a chunk of his electorate, but had the other side won, the killings would have increased.

"Our guy kills less innocents than your guys" is not cognitive dissonance: it's being better than you at math.

The Almighty Narf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Almighty Narf said...

@ Nixou

So, you're just going to project straw-man arguments onto me and make xenophobic assumptions of Romney instead of making an actual point?

Markus said...

@The Saarai'ari

Yes, al-Qaeda killed 3,000 people eleven fucking years ago! What have they done since?! Jack shit! NATO has DECIMATED al-Qaeda! They can't do SHIT!

Also, even IF al-Awlaqi was training terrorists (which I don't think there's any evidence of), that does NOT make it okay to kill him without trial, and it CERTAINLY does not make it okay to kill his fucking son!

In conclusion: you're an imbecile. Go fuck yourself.

Matt said...

Normally, i think Maddow is Just as Biased if not more so, then Anyone on Fox. Just search her name on Newsbusters.org to confirm that.

And while in this case, I don't disagree with all she said, I feel I should point out a few things.

First.

On the subject of GUNS, yes, Obama has not as of yet made any kind of direct effort at going after them.
But, In a recent rally or event he held, he Openly admitted that he would support a BAN. Sorry maddow, your own guy just let slip his true intentions, not that it would be possible, theres little to no support for it in the public anymore, and the NRA, while not able to impact this election much due to the Economy and Social issues behing higher priority, still have MANY in the house and senate backing them.

On the subject of Bengahzi or however you say it, yes, Maddow, you finally admit that it was an Attack on us. Where were you weeks ago when your own network, and EVERY OTHER NETWORK BUT FOX, was Blaming a stupid video that NO ONE had seen till the WHite house used it as a scapegoat and as an excuse to throw a man In JAIL, was being touted by all major Networks BUT fox as the cause of this event, something we now know to be BLATENTLY FALSE!!!

While the rest of the statement is more or less accurate, and I agree that the 2 sides need to start working together again, calling her UNBIASED, in ANY CAPACITY, is A LIE, to the same or GREATER extent as saying this about hannity or Bill O.

THe one things she got dead on is this.

Dems, conserivites, you need to stop fighting and work together.

Dems, you need to accept reality, and reailze that Your presidents policies are not fixing the economy. If maddow thinks ADDING 1.6 trillion in debt is reducing it, she's Deluded.

Reps, you need to accept that the hardline stance you've taken on social issues has overshadowed your ability to reach out to people on your economic stengths and ideals.

Both sides need to recognize there strong points, and there weak points, and work together to overcome them to help this country get back on it's feet.

Otherwise, it's just 4 more years of gridlock, 4 more years of fox being the only counter point to the rest of the media, 4 more years of stagnation.

It's time for a change.

Anonymous said...

Oh, looks like we got another James in the form of Markus. At least this one has the balls to post his picture. And Narf Bag isn't far behind with his holier-than-thou self. Looks like it's gonna be a fun four years on the MovieBob MovieBlog.

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Anon 5:04

You do realize I've been posting here for years, right?

Anonymous said...

@ Narf Bag
Doesn't change the fact that you're always fucking wrong.

For example, you claimed 3:01 PM that Obama "is actually far more indiscriminate in his killings" than George Bush. I don't see how causing the deaths of thousands of Iraqi civilians and many American soldiers in pursuit of a third world thug's imaginary WMDs shows more tact than targeting Al-Qaeda leaders and recruiters with drone strikes in areas where Al-Qaeda actually does exist, such as Pakistan/Afghanistan, Yemen, and the Maghreb, but some of us have multiple brain cells to string together.

Furthermore you have the gall to accuse Nixou of projecting onto you a straw-man argument when you obviously did the same to him, first. It's as if you're trying to be a moron.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTN0f0275Rs

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Anon 5:49

See, this is the exact sort of bullshit I'm talking about. For as ill advised and poorly executed as GW's war in Iraq may have been, it was still a war directed at military targets. Civilian casualties happened, obviously, but there was at least the attempt to avoid them. As far as I can tell, about half the deaths do to the Iraq war (caused by both Coalition forces as well as insurgents) were civilians. And while with out a question that is completely unreasonably high, it pails in comparison to the 80% civilian deaths caused by Obama's drone strikes. So, yes, in my opinion that makes Obama's killings more indiscriminate.

Ultimately we're comparing a large dog turd with a smaller but more disgusting dog turd. Yes, Obama's war may be a smaller dog turd, but it is none the less a dog turd. And liberals trying to defend it because it's not quite as big as Bush's or as bad as the hypothetical dog turd Romney might have had makes them all a bunch of hypocrites. When Bush was in office they weren't complaining that they wanted to wars to be less bloody... they were against there being any wars at all. They wanted Bush to pull out entirely. They wanted peaceful negations and diplomacy. There was all sorts of rallies and protests to close Gitmo and stop the violence. Now? Well, now that there's a Democrat in office, the indiscriminate killing is so far and distant.

The election is over so there really is no need to get political about this... I don't need to be defending Bush or Romney to call out Obama's dog turd for being what it is. And the left's sudden complicateness pretty much destroys any credibility they'll ever have when they inevitably start up the anti-war protests once a Republican is in office again.

Megabyte said...

Thank you, Narf. Could NOT have said it better.

Anonymous said...

@Narf
The majority of Democrats were never doves. I'm not affiliated with either party, but most people have been largely in favor of military intervention in Afghanistan, and we'd have invaded Pakistan by now if they didn't have nukes. It's not that we love or hate war, but that if we are going to go to war, it should have a point: to end the organization that attacked us, whether that organization be the government of a country or a network of terrorists. Inevitably, in a war between nation-states, there will some civilians who die. This holds true in a war against a network.

Since Iraq never attacked us, while Al-Qaeda did, it is more justifiable for civilians to die in the pursuit of al-Qaeda than in the pursuit of Saddam Hussein. Most Democrats have agreed to that since 9/11.

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Anon 7:13

I don't recall the governments of either Afghanistan or Pakistan ever attacking the US. And, even if they did, by what bizarre twist of logic does that make civilian deaths "justifiable"?

Anonymous said...

@Narf
Neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan ever attacked us. However, those who attempt to kill or threaten to kill us are in those two countries, so we go to those countries to attempt to kill them.

As for your last question, either it is justifiable for civilians to die by the actions of a government in the pursuit of those who threatened or attacked its citizens, or it is not. I think that it is. If you disagree with me, that's a completely legitimate stance to take, but that by extension means being against every war ever fought, since innocent civilians have died in every war. And if so, we are at an impasse.

The Almighty Narf said...

@ Anon 7:50

Extremist terrorists are in a lot of countries.

I think that civilian causalities, like war itself, are an unfortunate reality of our world. But, they never actually become "justified". All reasonable measures to avoid them should be taken. When a operation averages killing 4 innocents for every 1 target, I'd say that they really aren't taking sufficient measures (if any) to avoid unnecessary deaths.

The Saarai'ari said...

@Markus: Oh, so you don't count killing Americans and their own fellow Muslims, terrorizing various villages, and trying various attempts at other terrorist attacks doing nothing eh? Whatever it is your reading or watching for information, I suggest looking at something else as it's giving you a ton of misinformation. If you think Al-Qaeda isn't a threat and aren't looking to kill innocents to this day, you're seriously wrong.

As for Anwar-awlaqi, last I can recall, he had been put on trial and he never came to appear to defend himself. He was found guilty and there is hard evidence of his affiliation with Al-Qaeda. His son was also doing work with them. Again, he wasn't an innocent man. Neither was his son.

Also, an imbecile wouldn't have the ability to use a computer as well as I can, so I don't qualify as one. As for fucking myself, I don't see how that's possible. My cock can't reach my anus, so that's out of the question. But if I could clone myself, I would have sex with him, for I am a sexy beast.

Smpoza said...

@Narf
Um, actually, the Pakistani military--which is among the groups MADDEST at us for sending drones in without their consent--has stated that most of those the drones kill are militants or terrorists. Also the New America Foundation, a non-partisan think tank public policy institute, found that eighty percent of the drones' casualties are militants, and that only twenty percent are civilians. I'd still go with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's research that found that around 780 civilians had been killed out of 2,597 total, which puts it at a little below a third. High, but less than fifty percent in a war that lasted for several years and completely devastated an entire country. They're not at all comparable.

Also--and this is something a lot of people forget--Obama did stop torture. Guantanamo is still open and he still has the ability to detain people (which SUCKS) but he issued an executive order limiting interrogation techniques to effective/not fucking evil ones in the Army Field Manual, an executive order several of Romney's ex-Bush administration foreign policy advisers urged him to reverse. Obama leaves a lot to be desired ( I think we could stand to seriously tone down drone strikes) but saying he's "just as bad" as the man who started a war with a country for no reason, killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, gutted half the bill of rights, and brought back techniques that we executed war criminals for using is completely ridiculous.

Markus said...

@Anonymous 5:04

Right, I'm EXACTLY like James because I think drone strikes are wrong. Great logic, shitwipe.

@The Saarai'ari

Until al-Qaeda racks up a death toll worth being concerned about, I don't think the US should waste tax dollars drone-bombing countries and killing innocent people to get to their members.

Also, Anwar al-Awlaqi's son had nothing to do with al-Qaeda, and it's not at all certain that Anwar himself was, either.

What right do you have to kill innocent civilians in Yemen and Pakistan just to execute someone who MIGHT be al-Qaeda? You're fucking insane.

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

Cyrus said...

@Markus: You know, it's fascinating to observe how other people's disagreement, coupled with your own zeal offer you enough of a justification to engage in very harsh personal attacks. Given that you claim to be so knowledgeable of aforementioned religious fanatics, one would think that you'd be more wary of this pattern.

Admiral Ackbar said...

ITS A TRAP!

Anonymous said...

EVERYBODY'S GETTING MAD! AHAHAHAHAHAA!

Nathan Lickliter said...

Y'know, I never realized just how much I missed listening to Mrs. Maddow before now. I may not always agree with her, but I could always respect her point of view. More than I could the PoV of, say, Ed Schultz or Sean Hannity.

Zeno said...

Nixou:
>Obama is not a sociopath: he's a smart politician

There's a difference?

The Saarai'ari said...

@Markus: Like it or not, there really is not other scenario on how to deal with Al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations in the tribal areas of Pakistan and other mid-east areas where government there practically doesn't exist except with the drone strikes. It's a favorite tactic of theirs to have civilians, most of the time kidnapping them, placed at their bases to act as human shields. By leaving them alone, you're only allowing them to hurt their fellow people or worse and carry out their operations to do terrorist acts across the globe, and they do have a death toll to be concerned about. Only alternative is to send troops on the ground, but statistics have shown that civilian casualties have a higher chance of happening if that's done and taxpayer money is also poured more in doing that instead of drone strikes. If you're thinking they'll have talks with the US and other governments to stop their activities, I'm sorry to say they won't. They're not going to listen to reason. And civilian casualties will only be higher if you let Al-Qaeda do whatever they wish. The kills and harm they've done to their fellow people and across the globe is far far higher than anything the US have done, which overwhelmingly is unintentional. If there was an scenario to choose for the US where civilians wouldn't have the chance to get killed, they'd choose it. But their isn't, and the drone strikes give the less chance of said casualties. There is no option available in the fight against terrorism where nobody innocent gets hurt or worse in this unfortunately. Don't like it, tough. No one likes it. Not even me. Don't like your taxes going to that, tough, unless you choose to move to another country.

Nixou said...

"there really is not other scenario on how to deal with Al-Qaeda or other terrorist organizations in the tribal areas of Pakistan and other mid-east areas where government there practically doesn't exist except with the drone strikes"

Actually, there is another way: which is to let the tribal areas remain a sanctuary. It would not be a first: Saudi Arabia played the role of a sanctuary of Amin Dadda, France used to grant asilum to former far-left italian terrorists as well to Duvalier junior, Mengistu Haile Mariam still enjoy a lavish lifestyle in a poverty-stricken country, Carlos remained relatively safe in Yemen and Easy Germany before being given safe harbor in Sudan (that is, until french authority bribed Khartoum); several south american countries allowed nazi criminals to enjoy a confortable dotage, the US itself played that role for anti-castriste terrorists...
Eventually, the US would have obtained what it wanted via use old fashioned intelligence and diplomatic horse-trading.

But of course, given the state of american public opinion, any US president who decided to not pursue Al Quaeda with stuff that explode would not only commit political suicide and open the door of the oval office to the first demagogue with a sufficiently jingoistic discourse, thus leading to a lot more killing. Which is why, despite the drone killings berely pretty much indefensible on purely moral grounds, treating it as happening in a vacuum or pretending that the jingoistic demagogues are identical to the politician they target are deeply dishonest.