I really, really thought I had seen it all from the loony left. I mean, just go DUmpster diving sometime at the Democratic Underground, or read some of the diary entries from the Kossacks at Daily Kos. There are many among them who dwell in fantasyland, wear tinfoil hats and are out and out lunatics - I have come to accept this.
However, I was totally unprepared for the absolute preposterousness of this:
Q. What Is A Pre$$titute?
A Pre$$titute is a member of the press who uses his or her media presence to support the Bush administration. Our emphasis is on "non-partisan" mainstream reporters and media outlets who continue to provide cover for the administration despite a litany of scandals, not least of which is the disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. Wolf Blitzer, Chris Matthews, Paula Zahn, Dana Milbank, Howard Kurtz, Kyra Phillips, Bill Schneider, Tim Russert, Howard Fineman, Norah O'Donnell, Elizabeth Bumiller, Adam Nagourney, the Bush apologists at ABC's The Note and others with a similar veneer of neutrality exert a more insidious influence on the public debate than rabid partisans like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity.
Now, I know what you are thinking: A parody site in the Blame Bush! vein, right? Nope! This guy is as serious as a heart attack - not to mention as far gone from reality as a magical flying unicorn. [UPDATE: Or is he really serious? See Below.] Want to see some more?
Q. Why This Site?
We believe Pre$$titution is the First Cause of the worst presidency in U.S. history. The transformation of George W. Bush from a smarmy dilettante to a supposedly resolute, pious, compassionate leader is the result of a half decade of methodical Pre$$titution, both by hard right partisans and by reporters who have abdicated their interrogative role in order to pander to the administration. It is "death by a thousand cuts" in reverse: the cumulative effect of tens of thousands of implicit and explicit pro-Bush stories and soundbites has been to create the illusion of legitimacy around an individual uniquely unqualified to be president. Our aim is to make that process transparent.
Pre$$titutes use sophisticated persuasion tactics to influence public perceptions and to affect the political landscape. When cable networks cover Bush's stage-managed speeches with captions that read "Bush Stands Firm," a deliberate choice is being made to bolster his image. The same holds true for television anchors who re-assemble and re-frame Bush's mangled press conferences. Pre$$titutes also employ more subtle tactics, such as using 'negative' stories to push a pro-Bush narrative. For example, saying Bush is "unwavering" in the face of poor poll numbers - rather than simply reporting the numbers - plays into the image of a steadfast leader. Another example of Pre$$titution is to create news and then comment on it. During the 2004 campaign, the cable networks gave round-the-clock coverage to the Swift Boat slime machine. Weeks into the coverage, these same outlets began asking why Kerry's attackers were getting so much traction in denigrating his military service.
By choosing what to cover, what not to cover, and how to cover it, Pre$$titutes influence ALL aspects of American politics. Touch-screen voting machines fixing elections? If the Pre$$titutes don’t cover it, few Americans know or care. Abu Ghraib a permanent stain on America? Not if the Pre$$titutes lose interest and move on to Michael Jackson. Our troops coming home in flag-draped coffins? Not if the Pre$$titutes won’t show it to you. Saddam Hussein unconnected to 9/11? Not if the Pre$$titutes let the administration conflate the two. (Even now, nearly half of Americans believe that Saddam Hussein helped plan and support the 9/11 attacks.)
Bush's resilience in the face of scandals that would bring down any other government is primarily a factor of Pre$$titutes' willingness to give him a pass. If they adopted the same derisive tone they reserve for Democrats like Howard Dean or Al Gore, and if they hammered away as relentlessly as they did on the Natalee Holloway story, he wouldn't be president today.
Do I even need to start fisking this, or is just reprinting it enough? Yeah. I agree. It fisks itself to anyone but a Barking Moonbat! But wait, there's more!
Q. How Does Pre$$titution Work?
Commission - intentionally saying or doing something to advance the Bush agenda. Example: the Associated Press describes a group of Bush’s supporters as a “patriotic camp” opposing an “anti-war demonstration.”
Omission - intentionally neglecting to say or do something that might damage the Bush administration. Example: prioritizing a manufactured crisis like a missing girl in Aruba for weeks on end in order to consume air-time that could go to a real scandal like the Valerie Plame case.
False Balance - reporting two sides where one is sufficient with the explicit intention of diluting the power of a story that might damage the Bush administration. Just because one military mother is confronting a president who sent her son to die, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we should start hearing from mothers who support Bush. It would be like bundling the New Orleans disaster with a story about a safe, sunny day in Los Angeles.
I must admit, I'm jealous. That "False Balance" bit is funnier than anything I could have written myself. I am beginning to think that right-leaning parody artists are going to be put out of business. There is nothing we can come up with anymore to poke fun at the fever-swamp left that is more outrageous than --- their OWN WORDS!
One more bite from the rotten apple:
Q. Why Do People Think The Media Is Liberal?
People think the media is liberal because for more than thirty years rightwingers have used the negative “liberal media” mantra as a political tool to browbeat the press into skewing their coverage to the right. The constant decrying of the media’s “liberal bias” has provided cover for the creeping rightwing stranglehold over all facets of the American press. Rather than scrutinize this claim, the majority of Americans, including many Democrats, have bought into the myth of a liberal media despite the fact that partisan rightwing voices dominate the media landscape.
Inevitably, people will counter the above assessment with some poll that "proves" the majority of reporters are liberal. The problem with this line of reasoning is that it ignores the distinct difference between a journalist with a personal political leaning and a journalist who injects an overtly partisan point of view into their reporting. Think of the difference this way: when’s the last time you heard someone on NPR adopt the Limbaugh/Hannity/Coulter/O'Reilly approach and call a conservative a terrorist-appeaser or traitor?
I think this site must be coming to us through some portal from an alternate universe or the Bizarro World of Superman comics fame. Otherwise, someone needs to book this guy a rubber room at the Happy Time Hotel. Too funny!
Oh, did I forget to mention he's paying people to provide him with tips??? A fool and his money... you know the rest.
h/t Lorie Byrd at PoliPundit
UPDATE 8:28pm CDT: Ace of Spades has a post on this, too, but based on some of what he says, I'm not so sure anymore that this isn't a gag...
But then I started to think this was some sort of conservative parody. Why? Well, for one thing, they sent me an email. A mass email, yeah, but somehow I was on their list.
Now, why would someone launching a far-flung over-the-moon lefty press conspiracy site send out an e-mail to a right-leaning blog like Ace of Spades HQ? Is this also how Lorie Byrd found out about it? Why would they e-mail her? That's got to make you wonder, doesn't it?
This site is one of two things:
1) A wickedly clever piece of satire.
2) An honest-to-goodness loonfest.
The jury is still out.
But if he's not serious, what gives with the pay for tips??? I honestly don't know what to make of this...
Thanks for the link!
John at Antisemantics
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