Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some Further Bernie Sanders Thoughts...

On Monday night on her MSNBC show Rachel Maddow had a long comment about the beltway’s media coverage of Bernie Sanders's 9-hour filibuster-like speech on the floor of the Senate last Friday.  She predicted that since the speech was made by one of the most liberal of United States Senators, little of substance would be reported about the speech itself beyond the fact that it was very lengthy.  
I have great respect for Maddow but this comment seemed a mite over the top to me so I set out to disprove it...  I failed.  Completely.  Maddow was totally accurate in her prediction.
The best that the NYTimes could do was a fluff, background piece on Bernie Sanders himself. [Here]  The Times tells us that Sanders started his day last Friday with oatmeal and a cup of coffee.  Also, his voice became scratchy as the hours went by and his legs cramped because he had only a fixed mike and thus had to stand in one place for all that time.
The Times reporter did tell us that before the speech Sanders went over with his staff the ten-points that he planned to talk about but the writer never revealed what those points were.  (Wouldn’t they be interesting to know?)  The most we learned from reporter Katie Zezima was that the Sanders speech was a “marathon riff against the Obama Administration’s plan to continue the tax plan of George W. Bush.”  Period.
The Washington Post only included a short snippet of Bernie’s speech in a video accompanying a longer article titled “Washington Post-ABC News poll finds broad bipartisan support for tax package.”  [Here] (No!  I’m not making this up.)  How's this for fair and balanced coverage?
Frankly, I had not been aware how the beltway media had shut out reporting of all things liberal.  I was aware that the word had virtually disappeared and the leftwing is now referred to by the word “progressive,” which, frankly, doesn’t roll off my tongue very easily and seems tepid and dated.
To learn more about liberal matters, we must go to bloggers.  One long quotation from the Sanders speech that you certainly will not see written in any of our national papers is this beauty from Emptywheel at Firedoglake.com.  It comes complete with a video and the following transcription from the Sanders Senate speech. [Here
GE is of course one of our major corporations, and in fact this recent disclosure pointed out [that] the taxpayers of this country, through the Fed, provided $16 billion in bailout to General Electric during the recent crisis. This is what the head, CEO, of General Electric, Jeffrey Immelt, said in 2002, December 6...
‘When I am talking to GE managers, I talk China, China, China, China, China.  [Five Chinas]  You need to be there.  You need to change the way people talk about it and how they get there.  I am a nut on China.  Outsourcing from China is going to grow to 5 billion.  We are building a tech center in China.  Every discussion today has to center on China.  The cost basis is extremely attractive.  You can take an 18 cubic foot refrigerator, make it in China, land it in the United States, and land it for less than we can make an 18 cubic foot refrigerator ourselves.’ (December 6, 2002)
Gee! When GE had, a couple of years ago, some really difficult economic times, they needed $16 billion to bail them out, I didn’t hear Mr. Immelt going to China, China, China, China, China. I didn’t hear that. I heard Mr. Immelt going to the taxpayers of the United States for his welfare check. So I say to Mr. Immelt, and I say to all these CEOs that have been so quick to run to China, that maybe it’s time to start reinvesting in the United States of the America.”
We should remember that the Times announced that this Wednesday Obama will meet with “about 20 corporate chiefs” in a roundtable format from companies such as American Express, Cisco Systems, Dow Chemical, Google, Motorola, Intel, UPS and PepsiCo.  We can be certain that the setting will be carefully filmed and well-packaged for the media.  (I wonder if Mr. Immelt from G.E. will be there.)  
I also wonder how much money these same corporations gave to the GOP to defeat the Democratic agenda and candidates just a few months ago.  Isn’t it just grand?  They get rewarded with a White House invitation.   
It isn’t pleasant to watch the White House lurch more and more openly to the right.  Sometimes it seems as if they are running to the right...
More odds and ends tomorrow... 

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