Corporate Media Follies: The New York Times and Ron Silver

Since Judith Miller was let loose to wander and watch the aspens turn, Sheryl Gay Stolberg has become the New York Times’s official Bush Administration sycophant. In an embarrassing front page article, she lets us know that Bush will spend his last year in office doing the warm fuzzies.

As President Bush looks toward his final year in office, with Democrats controlling Congress and his major domestic initiatives dead on Capitol Hill, he is shifting his agenda to what aides call “kitchen table issues” – small ideas that affect ordinary people’s lives and do not take an act of Congress to put in place.

Over the past few months, Mr. Bush has sounded more like the national Mr. Fix-It than the man who began his second term with a sweeping domestic policy agenda of overhauling Social Security, remaking the tax code and revamping immigration law.

Isn’t that sweet? She tells us it’s kind of like what President Clinton did, omitting the part about President Clinton actually getting things done. She says Bush went to Maryland to announce protections for a couple of types of fish, he asked lenders to help homeowners refinance, he gave the FDA new powers to recall foods, and he had the military open more air space, to enable faster domestic air travel. What a guy!

With a Mideast peace conference planned for the coming week and a war in Iraq to prosecute, Mr. Bush is, of course, deeply engaged in the most pressing foreign policy matters of the day.

That’s nice. Because his refusal to engage in any Mideast peace process, upon first taking office, is part of the reason the violence and land-grabs exploded, in the last several years, while both sides elected their most extreme governments ever. And then there’s that pesky war. Good thing the man’s still on top of things! But, still, he has this domestic agenda, as an attempt to make nicey-nice with the public!

Stolberg then blithers for several paragraphs, quoting Republicans talking about Bush remaining relevant, sprinting to the finish, and being aggressive. There’s also another comparison to the way President Clinton used smaller initiatives to help people.

“People in Washington laughed when Mr. Clinton would talk about car seats or school uniforms,” said John Podesta, Mr. Clinton’s former chief of staff. “But I don’t think the public laughed.”

Nor does the public appear to be laughing at Mr. Bush.

You have to love that last sentence. No, people aren’t laughing at Bush; they’re too busy loathing him. You see, President Clinton pursued smaller issues because he cared about people, not because he was trying to distract people from a disastrous war, war crimes, domestic spying, the complete politicization of government, a flagging economy, and every other level of presidential failure possible.


We then get five more paragraphs about the local reaction to the fish protection. Not surprisingly, it was favorable. Reactions to photo-ops generally are.

Yet some of Mr. Bush’s new initiatives have had little practical effect. Fishing for red drum and striped bass, for instance, is already prohibited in federal waters; Mr. Bush’s action will take effect only if the existing ban is lifted. And the Federal Aviation Administration can already open military airspace on its own, without presidential action.

Nice of Stolberg to mention that, way down at the end. Bush is remaining relevant by doing things that are irrelevant. But the photo ops get favorable reactions! Wheeeeee!

She closes with a nice little swipe at Bush by Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan, then finishes with a swipe at Democrats by another Republican. And this is front page news at the “paper of record?”

Meanwhile, at the Huffington Post, striking writer Chris Kelly eviscerates actor Ron Silver, who is probably best known for his strong performances in the film Reversal of Fortune and in a recurring role in The West Wing. Somehow, several years ago, Silver got sponsored into the Council on Foreign Relations, which made him a presence on the talk shows, in the run-up to the war, where he played an expert on Iraq. Despite being a Democrat, Silver’s expertise made him a cheerleader for this very moral, legal, and successful war!


How did Ron Silver not have a blog? It’s like Paris Hilton not having gonorrhea. You just assumed it was there, and no one told you, because it was so obvious.

But it’s true. Ron Silver didn’t have a blog. Until now.

It’s called “Silver Bullet.” Because Ron Silver has gonorrhea. No, that’s not true. That would be “magic bullet.” It’s called Silver Bullet because Ron Silver is a lot like the Lone Ranger. Who also didn’t have any friends.

Apparently, Silver’s blog posts are full of self-righteous self-pity, for daring to be outspoken and stupid and insane. He even uses the old reverse-logic about critics of the war being racist, because it means they don’t think Arabs are capable of democracy.

It’s a canard so baseless and tired and slanderous and vile, President Bush hardly ever uses it anymore.

It seems like a non sequitur – not slaughtering Arabs proves you don’t respect them – but logically it’s a perfectly functional modus tollendo ponens:

– George Bush wants to bring democracy to the Muslims by bombing the living fuck out of them.

– Susan Sarandon doesn’t want to bomb the living fuck out of the Muslims.

– Therefore Susan Sarandon doesn’t believe the Muslims can understand democracy.

Or maybe it proves that Susan Sarandon isn’t George Bush.

Go read it. It’s scathingly hilarious!


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  1. …both are seemingly intelligent fools.

    • documel on November 25, 2007 at 01:18

    Early on, didn’t NYTimes writer R. W. Apple write a critical article about bushie and then Ari threatened to no longer seat the Times at press conferences?  

  2. Thanks a LOT, Turkana


  3. that makes any sort of claim to “journalism” I just can’t believe it.  And comparing this raging yahoo in office in any way to Bill Clinton just boggles my fucking mind all to hell and back.  Okay, it is assumed that they both have a penis…….but that’s it for me where there is any possibility of relevant comparison.  My husband is in a war, does anybody really think I give a flying fuck what “warm fuzzies” fuckhead may trying to pass out?  Most people know someone who is active duty military, reserves, or National Guard so do editors really think the nation buys any of this feel good shit on the front page?  Gas costs you your first born child but for some reason America doesn’t have the fuel efficient cars to survive it……but other countries on the globe have them?  We fight about religion in this country anymore almost as bad as Baghdad does…..we just haven’t reached for the bullets yet and this environment has been fostered and nurtured by Bush and his friends!  Repeat after me you fucking dumbasses in the White House…….secular, secular, secular………anything else eventually ends getting someone killed along with democracy!

  4. giveth, Paul Krugman, and taketh away, Judith Miller. It really is an old gray lady, who seeks to retain respectability and integrity  and endow credibility for the elite. I still read it. I find the most read lists enlightening as the serious readers interests reflect who and what this paper reflects. Entitlement.        

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