Media http://www.thenation.com/blogs/rss/media en You’ll Have to Rip Benghazi from Fox’s Cold, Dead Hands http://www.thenation.com/blog/181636/youll-have-rip-benghazi-foxs-cold-dead-hands <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/codepink_protest_islamic-state-hearing_ap_img.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/codepink_protest_islamic-state-hearing_ap_img.jpg" alt="CodePink" title="CodePink" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Members of the activist group CodePink gather for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you were watching CNN or MSNBC coverage of the Senate ISIS hearing this morning, you probably caught a Code Pink protester interrupting the beginning of Defense secretary Chuck Hagel&rsquo;s testimony. She <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/daily-rundown/watch/hecklers-interrupt-hagel-at-isis-hearing-329689155876">shouted</a>, politely enough, &ldquo;No more war,&rdquo; &ldquo;War is not the solution,&rdquo; and so on. Armed Service Committee chair Sen. Carl Levin repeatedly asked her leave&mdash;telling her, oddly, &ldquo;You&rsquo;re acting very warlike yourself.&rdquo; She did leave, as other Coders waited to protest later and Hagel resumed his testimony. The hearing promised to cover (and <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2014/sep/16/chuck-hagel-senate-testimony-us-offensive-isis-syria">did</a>) some pretty urgent, consequential stuff, including <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181630/obama-open-ground-troops-iraq-top-general-says">putting</a> US troops on the ground in Iraq and <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2014/sep/16/chuck-hagel-senate-testimony-us-offensive-isis-syria">arming</a> Syrian rebels.</p> <p></p> <p>Meanwhile, over at Fox, they were covering &hellip; Benghazi.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s as if Fox were staging a caricature of itself. But there was <em>National Review</em>&rsquo;s Rich Lowry and nominal Democrat, pollster Doug Schoen fuming over the latest Benghazi &ldquo;scandal&rdquo; with Fox New&rsquo;s Martha MacCallum. When her show finally cut to the ISIS hearing, it did so at first with ragin&rsquo; John Bolton on a split screen.</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>It&rsquo;s a caricature, but not a surprise. Media Matters released a <a href="http://mediamatters.org/research/2014/09/16/report-foxs-benghazi-obsession-by-the-numbers/200694">study</a> today showing that Fox ran nearly 1,100 segments in the first twenty months following the Benghazi attack.</p> <p>Those are big, obsessive numbers - and they include only five Fox News afternoon and primetime programs, none of the morning shows, like MacCallum&rsquo;s - but expect them to soar still higher when the House select committee hearings on Benghazi <a href="http://wonkette.com/560469/get-ready-for-your-big-benghazi-hearingpalooza-starting-tomorrow">begin</a> tomorrow.</p> <p>Read Next: <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181630/obama-open-ground-troops-iraq-top-general-says"><span style="color:#b22222;"><em>Obama Is Open to Ground Troops in Iraq, a Top General Says</em></span></a></p> Foreign Policy Senate US Military Presence Abroad Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:11:00 +0000 Leslie Savan 181636 at http://www.thenation.com The Solution to War That Obama Doesn’t Want to Hear http://www.thenation.com/blog/181619/solution-war-obama-doesnt-want-hear <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/screen_shot_phyillis_bennis_img_0.png" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/screen_shot_phyillis_bennis_img_0.png" alt="Phyllis Bennis on Democracy Now " title="&lt;p&gt;Phyllis Bennis on Democracy Now&lt;/p&gt; " class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p></p> <p>On the eve of the September 11 anniversary, President Obama revealed his strategy to combat terrorism, particularly the threat posed by ISIS. On Monday morning Phyllis Bennis appeared on <em>Democracy Now!</em> to explain why the US strikes against Iraq are &ldquo;politically driven, not strategically driven.&rdquo;<br /> <em>&mdash;N&rsquo;Kosi Oates</em></p> Government US Military Presence Abroad Mon, 15 Sep 2014 21:56:46 +0000 Nation in the News 181619 at http://www.thenation.com Lee Fang: Shouldn’t We Know More About the ‘Experts’ Urging Us to War? http://www.thenation.com/blog/181620/lee-fang-shouldnt-we-know-more-about-experts-urging-us-war <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/fang_democracy_now_sg.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/fang_democracy_now_sg.jpg" alt="Lee Fang" title="Lee Fang" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="346" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p></p> <p>One thing the public doesn&rsquo;t hear about from the pro-war pundits on cable news: how military action in Iraq and Syria could benefit their pocket books. <a href="http://www.thenation.com/authors/lee-fang">Lee Fang</a>, a contributing writer with <em>The Nation</em>, appeared on <em>Democracy Now!</em> Monday morning to discuss his latest piece, &ldquo;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/181601/whos-paying-pro-war-pundits">Who&rsquo;s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?</a>&rdquo; In that piece and <a href="http://www.democracynow.org/2014/9/15/who_pays_the_pro_war_pundits" target="_blank">on the show</a>, Fang describes how many of the pundits and contributors on cable news networks urging aggressive military escalation have conflicts of interest and current ties to military contractors that the public is unaware of. And those conflicts could be skewing public perception of the threat ISIS poses. &ldquo;Military opinion is not monolithic,&rdquo; Fang said. &ldquo;But on many of these networks, you hear from a limited set of opinions.&rdquo;<br /> <em>&mdash;Edward Hart</em></p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>Read Next: <em>&ldquo;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/181601/whos-paying-pro-war-pundits"><span style="color:#b22222;">Who&rsquo;s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?</span></a>&rdquo;</em></p> Foreign Policy Journalists and Journalism US Wars and Military Action Mon, 15 Sep 2014 20:20:37 +0000 Nation in the News 181620 at http://www.thenation.com In Two Words, Hillary Clinton Just Revealed What’s Wrong With Her 2016 Candidacy http://www.thenation.com/blog/181617/hillarys-terminator-problem <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/hillary_clinton_iowa_ap_img.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/hillary_clinton_iowa_ap_img.jpg" alt="Hillary Clinton" title="Hillary Clinton" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Hillary Clinton in Iowa <em>(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)</em></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m baaack!&rdquo; With those two words, delivered Arnold-style, Hillary Clinton revealed a lot about what&rsquo;s wrong with her probable candidacy.</p> <p>&ldquo;Hello, Iowa!&rdquo; she beamed from a stage at the Tom Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola over the weekend. Then, raising her arms, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOj9f4oPQDo">she delivered the Terminator&rsquo;s catchphrase</a>, showing herself to be tone deaf to the negative perception of her as an indestructible robot, as &ldquo;inevitable,&rdquo; the same presumption that hamstringed her campaign in 2008.</p> <p>Not to mention the annoying factor. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m baaack!&rdquo; is the greeting from people whose return is at best tiresome.</p> <p>Watch the video:</p> <p></p> <p>Maybe Clinton used the phrase to evince a get-back-up-on-your-feet gumption. That&rsquo;s what it seemed to mean to her many fans, who cheered wildly at her return to Iowa, where she came in third place in the &rsquo;08 Democratic primary in a defeat she&rsquo;s called &ldquo;excruciating.&rdquo;</p> <p>But for the rest of us, quoting a cyborg is yet another sign (like her disingenuous <a href="http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/06/22/hillary-clinton-not-truly-well-off/">comments about her wealth</a>) that she&rsquo;d make a poor candidate who can&rsquo;t help but step on her own feet.</p> <p>Most of the press didn&rsquo;t mention this awkward moment. They were abuzz instead with their usual, insufferable will-she-won&rsquo;t-she game, marveling at how adept she was at teasing them.</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve got a few things on my mind these days,&rdquo; Hillary told the Iowa crowd, bringing up Chelsea&rsquo;s pregnancy and adding slyly, &ldquo;Then, of course, there&rsquo;s that other thing.&rdquo;</p> <p>But voters also have other things on their minds. When NBC&rsquo;s Andrea Mitchell <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/andrea-mitchell-mtp-hillary-returns-iowa-n203126">asked</a> some twentysomethings at a Des Moines coffeehouse the rah-rah question&mdash;&ldquo;When you look at Hillary Clinton, what do you see first&mdash;a politician, a woman, a president?&rdquo;&mdash;they didn&rsquo;t respond in kind.</p> <p>&ldquo;I think people see kind of the cronyism on Wall Street,&rdquo; a woman named Carla told Mitchell.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;d love to see the first woman president, but it doesn&rsquo;t matter more to me than my progressive values.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Read Next: <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/180876/hillary-clinton-joins-gop-2016-hopefuls-bashing-president-obama"><span style="color:#b22222;"><em>Hillary Clinton Joins GOP 2016 Hopefuls in Bashing President Obama</em></span></a></p> US Politics Campaigns and Elections Mon, 15 Sep 2014 17:39:07 +0000 Leslie Savan 181617 at http://www.thenation.com Why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Must Go and Who Should Replace Him http://www.thenation.com/blog/181608/why-nfl-commissioner-roger-goodell-must-go-and-who-should-replace-him <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/roger_goodell_ap_img_0.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/roger_goodell_ap_img_0.jpg" alt="Roger Goodell" title="Roger Goodell" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="372" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell&nbsp; (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>Roger Goodell <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181577/erase-tapes-beginning-end-roger-goodell">has no place as commissioner</a> of the National Football League. He is an amoral cover-up artist whose concerns&mdash;in the wake of the <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181523/revictimizing-janay-rice">Ray Rice/Janay Rice video scandal</a>&mdash;have been revealed as limited to profits and public relations. He is like the collective test-tube baby of the league&rsquo;s ownership, a man who started working for the NFL over thirty years ago and has grown into adulthood as a crystallized reflection of their priorities.</p> <p>For too long, and with much media burnishing, Goodell has played the role of &ldquo;the Hammer,&rdquo; the tough guy who will suspend and discipline players, all in the name of policing their &ldquo;personal conduct.&rdquo; His aphorisms, once the stuff of legend, are now the shovels being used to rightly bury his tenure in office. Oft-repeated phrases such as &ldquo;Ignorance is never an excuse&rdquo; and &ldquo;My only responsibility is to protect the integrity of the Shield&rdquo; are now apt justifications for him to leave. This tough demeanor now stands exposed as just another act of public relations, assuaging the public that, in a league 70 percent African-American, to have no fear because Commissioner Kipling is in control, civilizing his charges. He has played the &ldquo;Mr. Drummond role&rdquo; to the understandable chagrin of the players, and their public glee at his recent squirming is reason enough to show him the door.</p> <p>Domestic violence has always been the exception to Goodell&rsquo;s law-and-order reign. Public relations, along with a hyper-toxic masculinist culture, has made this the NFL way for decades, and Goodell has dutifully carried that tradition forward. During his tenure, <a href="http://www.sfgate.com/sports/kroichick/article/Domestic-violence-rocks-NFL-image-threatens-brand-5753979.php" target="_blank">fifty-six players</a> were arrested on domestic violence charges, and have been suspended for a combined thirteen games. In the first fifty-five cases not caught on videotape, few noticed that this was happening, and Roger Goodell was only too happy to look the other way.</p> <p>There is a certain justice to the fact that it was people actually witnessing a shocking video of domestic violence with their own eyes that could lead to his downfall. So much of Goodell&rsquo;s job description involves keeping people from thinking about how the NFL sausages are made. Whether the issue was head injuries or pain killer addiction, his job has been to either cover it up or make people believe that the league is &ldquo;dealing with the problem.&rdquo; Now the public has had two sobering weeks to taste the nitrates and hog anuses that comprise how NFL business is handled, and it is appalled. It&rsquo;s been an up-close and personal view at how Commissioner Accountability pushes domestic violence under the carpet. Goodell, that master of public relations, has become a PR liability and has got to go. (His loudest supporter in the ranks of ownership is the reptilian boss in Washington, Dan Snyder. This is because Goodell backs Snyder&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/179007/dan-snyders-open-letter-redskins-nation-presented-commentary">use of a slur</a> as a team name. The commissioner does this while enacting penalties for players who use slurs on the field. That&rsquo;s <em>so</em> Roger!) But chanting &ldquo;Goodell Must Go&rdquo; is the easy part. A tougher task would involve exerting public pressure to get an anti-Goodell as the next commissioner.</p> <p>Yes, so many of the game&rsquo;s moral failings&mdash;the assembly-line creation of head injuries, for one &mdash;will endure no matter who runs the show. This sport is a dangerous, violent occupation, and any effort to pretend that it isn&rsquo;t just brings us back into Goodell&rsquo;s relativist, PR-driven hell. But there is also so much that the league can do. They can set up institutions and avenues so survivors of domestic violence can come forward in confidentiality. They can offer health care for life so players aren&rsquo;t bankrupted as they hit middle age. It can cease being a sponge of corporate welfare and pay for its own damn stadiums. It can stop offering corporate cover for Dan Snyder&rsquo;s monetized racism. Few, if any, NFL owners want any of the above, of course. That will require a bionic form of public pressure. It will also require an attention span that sports fans, not to mention the sports media, often lack. Almost certainly, if Goodell goes, Condoleezza Rice will probably be begged to take the gig. That would be a cynical end to the ugly chapter Goodell has written. Any hope for actual substantive change would smolder in ruins, in a mushroom cloud, if you will.</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>Here is a different ending: hire co-commissioners. Hire former NFL player <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_McPherson" target="_blank">Don McPherson</a> and the first woman to score a point in an NCAA Division I football game, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Hnida" target="_blank">Katie Hnida</a>. They should be hired not because of their football r&eacute;sum&eacute;s but because Hnida and McPherson are two forward-thinking, whip-smart critics whose perspective on the sport starts from inside the locker room. Both are veterans of the football world who have devoted their public lives to raising consciousness on gender equity and violence against women in and out of the athletic industrial complex. Both would start their first day in office thinking about how the sport can use its massive cultural platform to do the most good and the least amount of harm. For what it&rsquo;s worth, I have heard from both Ms. Hnida and Mr. McPherson over Twitter, and both, if asked, would serve.</p> <p>Tragically, I don&rsquo;t think this will ever happen. But if these two remarkable people were tapped to lead, it would be the first NFL move in a long time that wouldn&rsquo;t make us feel like we need to shower with steel wool as penance for the blissful escapism that the league supplies. The sport has more money than it could ever spend. It is, as one TV executive said to me, &ldquo;the tent pole holding up broadcast television in 2014.&rdquo; Let Commissioners Hnida and McPherson lead the NFL to a new day, where domestic violence is confronted, not covered up, and wearing a hometown jersey is a source of pride, not shame. We can try and fight for this. But step one is that Goodell must go.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Read Next: <em><a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181539/ray-rice-not-first-domestic-abuser-tolerated-nfl"><span style="color:#b22222;">Ray Rice is not the first domestic abuser tolerated by the NFL.</span></a></em></p> Sports Society Mon, 15 Sep 2014 14:48:57 +0000 Dave Zirin 181608 at http://www.thenation.com Chris Matthews Can’t Go ‘Homeland’ Again http://www.thenation.com/blog/181598/chris-matthews-cant-go-homeland-again <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/chris_matthews_hardball_ap_img.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/chris_matthews_hardball_ap_img.jpg" alt="Chris Matthews" title="Chris Matthews" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>Chris Matthews <em>(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)</em></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>&ldquo;Homeland&rdquo; is back. Not just the Showtime drama, which is returning in October, but the word, with all its totalitarian-lite implications. As if they flipped a collective switch, pundits, politicians and President Obama transformed America overnight into &ldquo;the Homeland,&rdquo; a place both pastoral and martial, where fearsome invaders are always heaving at the gate.</p> <p>And the word has Chris Matthews hopping mad. &ldquo;I am very uncomfortable with the phrase &lsquo;homeland.&rsquo; It strikes me as totalitarian,&rdquo; he <a href="http://launch.newsinc.com/share.html?trackingGroup=91074&amp;siteSection=breitbartprivate&amp;videoId=26669001">said</a> in a long rant on <em>Hardball</em> earlier this week:</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a term used by the neocons, they love it. It suggests something strange to me. Like who else are we defending except America? Why don&rsquo;t you just say &lsquo;America&rsquo;? Why doesn&rsquo;t [Obama] say we defended against attacks against this country? As if we&rsquo;re facing some existential Armageddon threat from these people. Do you buy the phrase &lsquo;homeland&rsquo;? I never heard it growing up, never heard it in my adulthood. It&rsquo;s a new word. Why are we using it? Is there some other place we&rsquo;re defending? What are we talking about when we say &lsquo;homeland&rsquo;? What&rsquo;s it about?</p> <p>Actually, it&rsquo;s not a new word at all. When used to refer to America (and not the &ldquo;homelands&rdquo; of other people, as in &ldquo;the Palestinian homeland&rdquo;), &ldquo;homeland&rdquo; first hit these shores in 2001 just weeks after 9/11, when George W. Bush formed the Department of Homeland Security. The word became an overnight sensation as media figures&mdash;though few real people&mdash;robotically substituted it for &ldquo;America.&rdquo; In his 2002 book <em>Now, Let Me Tell You What I Really Think</em>, <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=xVEmAAAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT9&amp;lpg=PT9&amp;dq=Chris+matthews+%22as+did+Adolf+Hitler,+as+will+those+who+attacked+our+HOMELAND+in+2001%22&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=hQDTu3FgRs&amp;sig=0mF-Gi1Ygukfa9kvQ_zI3gtWoRg&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=NkMSVKGOLMb_ygPjpYGIBQ&amp;ved=0CCA">Chris Matthews himself solemnly invoked</a> the term.</p> <p>But today Matthews is right: &ldquo;Homeland&rdquo; gives off an authoritarian vibe. It evokes the Russian Motherland, the German Fatherland and, worse, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/31/us/washington-talk-prickly-roots-of-homeland-security.html">the Nazi&rsquo;s &ldquo;Heimat</a>,&rdquo; or homeland.</p> <p>Watch the video:</p> <p></p> <p>Matthews can be unintentionally hilarious when chews on a bone, which he does like no one else in the press. But his emotional overreactions to what seem like mere pet peeves can be a mood ring for the national psyche. Whether it&rsquo;s a tingling up his leg over the charismatic 2008 Obama (which in all honesty had other people&rsquo;s limbs tingling, too), or a fury at Republicans clipping the adjective Democratic to the rodent-like DemocRAT, the man is often on to something.</p> <p>And now he&rsquo;s a human thermometer taking measure of war fever. This time around, he doesn&rsquo;t want to be played like a chump, as he was when he initially supported the invasion of Iraq and <a href="http://www.fair.org/blog/2010/05/07/chris-matthews-iraq-truth-teller/">said</a>, in 2003, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re all neo-cons now.&rdquo;</p> <p>Now he&rsquo;s not. &ldquo;WMD. Homeland. It&rsquo;s the language of the neocons,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the language to get us further into wars.&rdquo;</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>&ldquo;Homeland&rdquo; immediately puts us on a warlike footing, but with extra goodness built in. (In 2001 I <a href="http://www.salon.com/2001/10/01/homeland/">wrote</a>, &ldquo;If at worst &lsquo;homeland&rsquo; sounds a bit totalitarian, at best it sounds like a new line of Campbell&rsquo;s soups.&rdquo;) It has all the easy and shallow patriotism of &ldquo;USA! USA!&rdquo; but with loads of gravitas.</p> <p>&ldquo;Homeland&rdquo; is more specific than &ldquo;America&rdquo;&mdash;it encourages us to visualize ourselves getting bombed or buried under debris from falling office towers, to see America as a fortress that can and will be breached.</p> <p>And the heightened ability to visualize horror is what&rsquo;s driving us now toward war (or, as John Kerry puts it, &ldquo;a very significant counter-terrorism operation&rdquo;). Americans&rsquo; big <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/poll-public-supports-strikes-in-iraq-syria-obamas-ratings-hover-near-his-all-time-lows/2014/09/08/69c164d8-3789-11e4-8601-97ba88884ffd_story.html">shift</a> toward supporting air strikes in Iraq and Syria came only came after seeing the beheadings of two Americans on video. Visuals, or &ldquo;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181575/covering-obamas-isis-speech-can-media-move-beyond-optics">optics</a>,&rdquo; rule. (See &ldquo;<a href="http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/isis-pr-machine">Has The World Been Bamboozled By The ISIS PR Machine?</a>&rdquo;)</p> <p>In the first episode of the coming <em>Homeland</em>, agent Carrie Mathison is dubbed &ldquo;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/07/opinion/sunday/maureen-dowd-is-it-wwiii-or-just-twitter.html">the Drone Queen</a>,&rdquo; and she doesn&rsquo;t seem to mind. Maybe that&rsquo;s because she can&rsquo;t visualize the people she&rsquo;s blowing up as more than stick figures. In Season 2, <em>Homeland</em> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/171671/homelands-anti-drone-message-hits-obama-home">was one of Obama&rsquo;s favorite shows</a>. Will he still be a fan?</p> <p>Read Next: <em>Leslie Savan on the media&rsquo;s obsession over the <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181575/covering-obamas-isis-speech-can-media-move-beyond-optics"><span style="color:#b22222;">optics of Obama&rsquo;s ISIS speech</span></a></em></p> Journalists and Journalism Media Coverage of the War on Terrorism Society Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Leslie Savan 181598 at http://www.thenation.com How James Brown Saved CBS’s Pre-Game-Show-From-Hell http://www.thenation.com/blog/181593/how-james-brown-saved-cbs-pre-game-show-hell-full-transcript <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/james_brown_cbs_sg_img.png" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/james_brown_cbs_sg_img.png" alt="James Brown " title="James Brown " class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>CBS Sportscaster James Brown (Screenshot: CBS News)</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>The pregame program of the profoundly awkward Thursday night CBS game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens was on a toboggan ride toward collective mortification. An NFL reeling from the revealed reality that it cares nothing about domestic violence&mdash;or women at all beyond their capacity to buy its crap&mdash;was in a drowning death grip with a CBS network that had spent billions on its new Thursday night NFL package. On the day of the broadcast, CBS realized that having a pregame video of Rihanna, who before this week could safely be called the most well-known domestic violence survivor on the planet, did not seem like the best of ideas. The network also belatedly came to understand that it could not just light some fireworks and pretend this was business as usual, not when Jon Stewart, gesturing for so many of us, took time Wednesday night to give <a href="http://theweek.com/speedreads/index/267937/speedreads-you-think-youre-angry-at-the-nfl-over-its-ray-rice-debacle-watch-jon-stewart">the league a one-finger salute</a>. Not when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was continuing in real time to <a href="http://deadspin.com/everything-is-public-relations-now-1633071050">drown in lies</a> about what he knew and when he knew it.</p> <p>So CBS responded to the mushrooming scandal by putting on its &ldquo;Bizarro Olivia Pope&rdquo; hat and revamped the entire operation. Struck from the set was the Rihanna opener. Smashed to smithereens was the pomp and fireworks. Instead, CBS presented an awkward, hybrid news/sports/entertainment set featuring respected members of its news division alongside the CBS and NFL Network jockocracy. &ldquo;Norah O&rsquo;Donnell and Deion Sanders break down domestic violence, only on CBS!&rdquo; Clearly the golden goose had to be saved. All hands were on deck, and any pretense of a separation between CBS&rsquo; news and entertainment wings, or between CBS and the NFL, were out the window.</p> <p>Instead, we had Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti speaking about this being &ldquo;a seminal moment for domestic violence&rdquo; and a series of pregame news reports about the &ldquo;sobriety&rdquo; of this moment. The method was obvious: if CBS and the NFL&mdash;together!&mdash;could show that they take domestic violence seriously, then fans could exhale and, having its guilt at watching Goodell&rsquo;s league expiated, sit back to enjoy the commodified violence on the field of play. It was just &ldquo;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmQFz3WugQE">Are you ready for some football?</a>&rdquo; except instead of Hank Williams Jr., Scott Pelley was on hand to get us in the mood. The entire operation felt about as sincere as Roger Goodell&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.si.com/nfl/2014/09/11/nfl-independent-investigation-ray-rice-roger-goodell">&ldquo;independent&rdquo; investigation</a> into whether the NFL had seen the tape of Ray Rice removing his then-fianc&eacute;e Janay from consciousness.</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>Then James Brown, the longtime anchor of CBS NFL coverage, actually brought something of profound value to the proceedings. Speaking directly to the camera, Brown said the following. <strong>(You are going to want to reread this and share it as widely as possible.)</strong></p> <p>Two years ago I challenged the NFL community and all men to seriously confront the problem of domestic violence, especially coming on the heels of the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend Kasandra Perkins. Yet, here we are again dealing with the same issue of violence against women.</p> <p>Now let&rsquo;s be clear, this problem is bigger than football. There has been, appropriately so, intense and widespread outrage following the release of the video showing what happened inside the elevator at the casino. But wouldn&rsquo;t it be productive if this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, could be channeled to truly hear and address the long-suffering cries for help by so many women? And as they said, do something about it? Like an ongoing education of men about what healthy, respectful manhood is all about.</p> <p>And it starts with how we view women. Our language is important. For instance, when a guy says, &lsquo;You throw the ball like a girl&rsquo; or &lsquo;You&rsquo;re a little sissy,&rsquo; it reflects an attitude that devalues women and attitudes will eventually manifest in some fashion. Women have been at the forefront in the domestic violence awareness and prevention arena. And whether Janay Rice considers herself a victim or not, millions of women in this country are.</p> <p>Consider this: according to domestic violence experts, more than three women per day lose their lives at the hands of their partners. That means that since the night February 15th in Atlantic City [when the elevator incident occurred], more than 600 women have died.</p> <p>So this is yet another call to men to stand up and take responsibility for their thoughts, their words, their deeds and as Deion [Sanders] says to give help or to get help, because our silence is deafening and deadly.</p> <p>Damn. Thank you, James Brown. Thank you for speaking up and speaking out. Thank you for using your platform for some good. The historian Howard Zinn famously once said, &ldquo;There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.&rdquo; There is also no &ldquo;internal investigation&rdquo; deep enough, no pregame show somber enough, no press conference emotional enough, to cover the shame of how the the culture of the NFL has enabled violence against women both inside and outside the league. There are many roads that lead toward ending domestic violence: fighting poverty, creating more resources for survivors and building a less degrading society are all imperatives. But in addition to that, domestic violence will never end until men see it as both a political principle and a moral imperative to stand up and say, &ldquo;No more.&rdquo; In front of an audience of millions, James Brown has officially launched that conversation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Read Next: Dave Zirin on <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181577/erase-tapes-beginning-end-roger-goodell"><span style="color:#b22222;">the beginning of the end for Roger Goodell</span></a></p> Feminism Sports Society Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:40:00 +0000 Dave Zirin 181593 at http://www.thenation.com Are Campaigns to Raise the Minimum Wage Really ‘Recruitment Ground for Fascism’? http://www.thenation.com/blog/181576/are-campaigns-raise-minimum-wage-really-recruitment-ground-fascism <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/senator_mitch_mcconnell_no_comment_press_conference_sg_img.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/senator_mitch_mcconnell_no_comment_press_conference_sg_img.jpg" alt="Mitch McConnell at press briefing" title="Mitch McConnell at press briefing" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="400" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p></p> <p>In late August, <em>The Nation</em> published <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/181363/caught-tape-what-mitch-mcconnell-complained-about-roomful-billionaires-exclusive">exclusive audio</a> from a secretive summer retreat for billionaire Republican donors organized by the Koch brothers. In the audio, released by Lauren Windsor of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/TYTinvestigates">The Undercurrent</a>, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tells those assembled that he will do everything in his power to block government spending on &#8220;healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board.&#8221;</p> <p>In <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnHDliL9FcM&amp;list=UUfWDu0q3Ep7JXCcZor6l5Cg">additional audio</a> from the retreat, top Koch strategist Richard Fink describes the minimum wage as &#8220;the recruitment ground for fascism,&#8221; and compares liberals to groups ranging from the Nazi Party to modern-day suicide bombers. So yesterday, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brought <em>The Nation </em>and The Undercurrent&#8217;s reporting to the Senate floor by asking McConnell to denounce Fink&#8217;s inflammatory remarks. Later in the afternoon at a press briefing, Windsor again asked McConnell to comment on the Fink recording. McConnell turned away without answering, moving on to the next question.</p> <p><em>&mdash;Naomi Gordon-Loebl</em></p> US Politics Conservatives and the American Right Senate Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:43:12 +0000 Nation in the News 181576 at http://www.thenation.com ‘Erase the Tapes!’: The Beginning of the End for Roger Goodell http://www.thenation.com/blog/181577/erase-tapes-beginning-end-roger-goodell <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/goodell_sinister_rtr_img.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/goodell_sinister_rtr_img.jpg" alt="NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell" title="NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="370" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><em>NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p>National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell&rsquo;s father was a senator from the great state of New York. A liberal Republican (those existed then) he spoke out against the Vietnam War, sponsoring the first bill to defund the carnage in 1970, earning &ldquo;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/23/sports/23vecsey.html?_r=0">the wrath of Richard Nixon</a>.&rdquo; The response to Senator Goodell by Nixon was so unhinged that looking back it was a sign of the paranoia, the enemies lists, and the secret recordings that eventually did Nixon in. Now the younger Goodell, like his father&rsquo;s nemesis, can see all of his power and privilege crashing down over a tape.</p> <p>Roger Goodell, the most powerful man in the Sports World, is now officially fighting for his professional life following <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/ap-report--police-sent-nfl-the-ray-rice-tape-in-april-211230052.html">a report from the Associated Press</a> that the league did in fact have a copy of the videotape, now public to the world, of Ray Rice striking his then-fianc&eacute;e, Janay Palmer, into unconsciousness. The $40 million-a-year man has spent the last several days answering questions about whether or not he or anyone in the NFL executive suites actually saw the footage before issuing the now infamous two-game suspension to Rice. His answer has consistently been that no one saw the tape. The official statement from the NFL as reported by MSNBC&rsquo;s <em>All In with Chris Hayes</em> was as follows: &ldquo;We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident including the video from inside the elevator. That video is not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.&rdquo; There is no wiggle room, no equivocation, with this statement. But only media members who seem to live to feel the warmth of Roger Goodell&rsquo;s glow have been buying this steaming pile of sanctimonious tripe.</p> <p>The reasons for widespread skepticism were abundant. Given that the NFL security staff includes former members of the FBI and Secret Service amongst their ranks, given that the NFL was in regular contact with law enforcement officials in New Jersey after the assault, and given that the NFL is profoundly image-conscious and routinely does the most invasive possible deep dives into the personal lives of their employees, it strained credulity that they never had seen the tape before it was released. Now the strained credulity has officially snapped. A law enforcement official has gone to the AP to say that he sent an NFL executive this video five months ago. This official played the AP a voicemail from an NFL office number on April 9 confirming that the video had made it to their offices. As <a href="http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/shutdown-corner/ap-report—police-sent-nfl-the-ray-rice-tape-in-april-211230052.html">the AP reported</a>, &ldquo;A female voice expressed her thanks and says &lsquo;you&rsquo;re right it&rsquo;s terrible &lsquo;&rdquo;</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="https://subscribe.thenation.com/servlet/OrdersGateway?cds_mag_code=NAN&amp;cds_page_id=127841&amp;cds_response_key=I14JSART2" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!</a></p> <p>Within minutes of the AP report, the NFL chose to double down. They released the following statement in response. &ldquo;We have no knowledge of this. We are not aware of anyone in our office who possessed or saw the video before it was made public on Monday. We will look into it.&rdquo;</p> <p>My belief from the beginning of this ordeal has been that the only way Goodell is forced out of office is if the owners decide he has become bad for business. His tenure has been rife with scandal and incompetence, yet he has grown in stature because the profit margins of the league are unmatched. He has benefited from the simple fact that when the glorious game starts, a narcotic perfume drowns the stench. But there is no covering up this particular odor. Week one of the NFL season just ended and all everyone is talking about, other than at the NFL&rsquo;s own house network, is domestic violence and what Roger Goodell knew and when he knew it. The question is not &ldquo;Who can challenge the Seattle Seahawks for NFL supremacy?&rdquo; The question is, &ldquo;Did Goodell see the tape?&rdquo; Goodell loves talking about &ldquo;responsibility&rdquo; and &ldquo;accountability.&rdquo; He will be held to account. If there is tangible evidence he is hurting the owners&rdquo; bottom line, they will coldly dispatch him like he was a seventh-round draft pick getting cut from training camp. They might anyway. If the NFL really wants to send a message that violence against women will not be tolerated, then they can at long last fire someone who either was so incompetent he did not seek out footage of Ray Rice&rsquo;s violence against Janay Rice, or so venal, he saw it and did not care. Either way, one thing is without a doubt: we have a commissioner who did not think the substance of what took place in that elevator mattered until it became a crisis of public relations.</p> <p>Read Next: Dave Zirin on the <a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/181523/revictimizing-janay-rice"><span style="color:#b22222;">revictimizing of Janay Rice</span></a></p> Sports Society Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:56:39 +0000 Dave Zirin 181577 at http://www.thenation.com In Covering Obama’s ISIS Speech, Can the Media Move Beyond ‘Optics’? http://www.thenation.com/blog/181575/covering-obamas-isis-speech-can-media-move-beyond-optics <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/obama_debtdeal_ap_img_1.jpg" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image imagecache-imagelink imagecache-main_node_view_image_imagelink"><img src="http://www.thenation.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/main_node_view_image/obama_debtdeal_ap_img_1.jpg" alt="President Obama" title="President Obama" class="imagecache imagecache-main_node_view_image" width="615" height="420" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-image-caption"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the whole world watches President Obama&rsquo;s address on combating ISIS tonight, you can depend on the US media to obsess over the &ldquo;optics.&rdquo; Is he coming across tough enough, Putin-y enough? Will his demeanor please the Republicans and frighten the terrorists (or vice versa)? And what does his suit have to say about all of this? </p> <p>From Obama&rdquo;s refusal to cut short his vacation after the Malaysian plane was shot down over Ukraine, to golfing after commenting on the beheading of journalist James Foley, to his wearing a beige suit (which the press mistakenly called &ldquo;tan,&rdquo; a bad habit of white folks, as people of color know), the media has lately been speeding up its favorite game&mdash;spitting out millions of words about image (the old word for &ldquo;optics&rdquo;) instead of substance.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m torn: I write about the nuances of imagery all the time. It holds tremendous power, public figures must know how to advertise themselves, the medium is the message and all that. But today we have so many layers of media interpreting imagery, from cable pundits to billions of tweets, that it&rsquo;s getting harder for people to see for themselves.</p> <p style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center"><a href="http://donate.thenation.com/5_092014_septgenerallink" style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif; color:#bf0e15; font-weight:bold; font-size:14px; text-align:center; text-decoration:none">Please support <em>The Nation.</em> Donate now!</a></p> <p>We don&rsquo;t know how much optics scolds like Maureen Dowd and Fox News have played into Obama&rsquo;s decision to strike in Syria. But <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/09/09/how-lazy-optics-chatter-replaced-beltway-analys/200691">Eric Boehlert reminds us</a> of what happens to journalists when they continually opt for optics: it weakens their already compromised ability to analyze issues, much less reality. Compared to optics babble, he says, analysis &ldquo;is more difficult, more rigorous, and it&#8217;s much needed.&rdquo;</p> <p>And Boehlert chronicles how journalists have actually agreed at times with this or that policy but decide to harp anyway over this or that vocal inflection:</p> <p>The <em>Washington Post&#8217;s </em>Ruth Marcus <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ruth-marcus-obamas-herky-jerky-leadership/2014/09/02/ab2010ec-32bf-11e4-a723-fa3895a25d02_story.html?tid=pm_opinions_pop"><strong>recently agreed</strong></a> that the country&#8217;s current immigration failures were the &#8220;fault of House Republicans.&#8221; She then proceeded to pen an entire column attacking Obama&#8217;s &#8220;erratic&#8221; style because he &#8220;looks weak&#8221; and he &#8220;looks political&#8221; in his decision-making.</p> <p><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dana-milbank-president-obamas-unnerving-happy-talk/2014/09/02/21223770-32c5-11e4-8f02-03c644b2d7d0_story.html"><strong>The same went</strong></a> for <em>Post</em> colleague Dana Milbank: Obama&#8217;s comments about the threat Islamic State posed to the United States were &#8220;probably true,&#8221; but unnerving nonetheless. Why? Obama wasn&#8217;t projecting enough panic, apparently. <em>New York Times</em> columnist Frank Bruni <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/opinion/frank-bruni-obamas-messy-words.html?_r=1"><strong>argued</strong></a> that while Obama&#8217;s recent foreign policy commentary &#8220;reflects a prudent disinclination to repeat past mistakes and overreach,&#8221; he non[e]theless failed to deliver &#8220;savvy, constructive P.R.&#8221; </p> <p>&#8220;Worrying about image projection and the degree of savviness in the Administration&#8217;s P.R.,&#8221; <a href="http://pressthink.org/2014/09/some-old-fashioned-blogging-in-the-link-and-comment-style/#p7"><strong>noted</strong></a> media critic Jay Rosen, represents &#8220;signs of a press corps that can be deeply unserious about international politics.&#8221;</p> <p>You can read <a href="http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/09/09/how-lazy-optics-chatter-replaced-beltway-analys/200691">more</a> on the Media Matters blog.</p> US Politics Media Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:23:36 +0000 Leslie Savan 181575 at http://www.thenation.com