Better Know a Smear Merchant II

Today’s far-left “smear merchant”… Eric Burns, the president of Media Matters. Funnily enough, Burns used to be the host of Fox News Watch a current affairs program focused on the media (much like CNN’s Reliable Sources).

For the Fox News take on Media Matters, here’s John Gibson (“Gibby” to his friends) trotting out the party line from back in 2007:

George Soros is after Bill O’Reilly, and he’s enlisted the help of CNN and NBC.

This is the fabricated flap over some benign remarks Bill made on his radio show. But it has been turned on its ear by George Soros’ Media Matters, a Web site that was funded by Soros and is dedicated to discrediting conservatives and folks like Bill who don’t toe the Soros line. They do this by the purposeful misinterpretation of one’s words.

It isn’t just Bill. Media Matters has done it to me, too.

NBC News has been using Media Matters as a script service for some time now, with certain anchors over there just lifting misinterpretations wholesale from the Web site and sending the Media Matters words directly to the teleprompter.

Ah yes, “purposeful misinterpretation of one’s words” — as in reprinting them verbatim.

A Date with Dr. Doom

Tonight’s installment of the series of interviews with Peter Schiff appearing on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos — this one features Canada’s prospects in a “post-meltdown” scenario.

Party Time on Capitol Hill

From the American News Project: Senior producer Harry Hanbury set out to visit every Congressional fundraising party on Capitol Hill in a single day. He met a cast of characters in the process, encountered more worthless spin than could fit into a one-hour press conference, and ended up wondering if fundraising — not legislating — was the true work of Washington.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, in 2004, it took an average of $7 million to win a seat in the Senate and $1 million to win a seat in the House. Those figures are actually on the low side and don’t include the cost of primary campaigns which may double the amount. By comparison, in Canada, it’s estimated that MPs spend an average of less than $300,000 per riding (sometimes much less).

Easy Money

While everyone was going ballistic over $165 million in AIG bonuses, the Fed announced that it’s going to pump another $1 trillion into the financial system by purchasing Treasury bonds and mortgage securities. I’m sure that will get almost no attention whatsoever. Funny that.

Mob Rule?

That’s certainly one way of describing it, I suppose. Fox News legal analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano denounces the hastily crafted bill that would impose punishing taxes on large executive bonuses for companies that have accepted taxpayer bailout funds.

Napolitano is right of course — as satisfying as this expedient solution to the problem may be, it’s completely unconstitutional. I facetiously suggested it the other day, not of course thinking that such a vindictive measure would actually be put into force — it’s is a very dangerous precedent.

The New Yorker has a somewhat different take on the matter that’s probably more in tune with popular sentiment these days:

….when it comes to the A.I.G. bonuses, the costs of clawing them back are trivial at best, while the public satisfaction at seeing what feels like justice being served will be great. Getting all worked up about this money may not, strictly speaking, be rational, but I think that paradoxically, if some of this money is clawed back, it’ll increase the chances that we’ll be able to keep dealing with the ongoing crisis in a rational way in the future.

That viewpoint doesn’t however consider the constitutionality of the “altruistic punishment” being exacted in the name of the public towards AIG executives. Neither it seems did the Congress.

Update: By the way, AIG has complied with Cuomo’s subpoena.

This seems rather appropriate here…

Suite Deal for Citigroup


I can’t possibly improve on the title CBS provided for this video.

How completely tone-deaf and detached from objective reality are these people? Whatever the long-term financial justifications there may be for this project, the timing and optics are, by any measure, just catastrophically awful.

Maybe it’s time to erect a gleaming bronze guillotine next to this iconic figure on Wall Street. If Ariely’s findings hold any water, maybe it will have a chastening effect on these avaricious bastards.