CNN Contributor and "Journalist of the Year": Why Do People Need to Know So Much Darn News that the Government Would Rather They Didn't Know?

The DOJ's gun-running "Fast and Furious" operation raises such tender feelings toward government secrecy in the part of people in the news business!

See LZ Granderson writing at CNN's web site with an absolutely award-winning lead sentence for a work of journalism by a journalist--a "journalist of the year" no less, according to the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association:

We are a nosy country.

Though to be fair, it's not entirely our fault. Between the 24/7 news cycle, social media and reality TV, we have been spoon fed other people's private business for so long we now assume it's a given to know everything. And if there are people who choose not to disclose, they must be hiding something. Being told that something's "none of your business" is slowly being characterized as rude, and if such a statement is coming from the government, it seems incriminating.

Our congresspeople's weird desire to learn all the details of a botched operation that killed a federal agent is then analogized to obsessions over Lindsey's collapses or Snooki's pregnancy:

I know that's hard to digest in a society where pregnancies and marriages of D-list celebrities make the cover of People magazine, but there comes a point where the public's right to know needs to take a back seat to matters like national security and diplomacy.

Granderson goes on to say its the very fact that the government has a steady pattern of these idiot gun-running schemes that raises them to the level of obviously superimportant national security secret--and makes the government's desire to keep it all on the downlow not just, you know, a way to make sure no high government official has to lose his phoney-baloney job.

And you know what? Reagan did it (tried to keep secrets) too! So there, Republican congresspeople!

Also:

You see, freedom isn't entirely free.

And as for these various pre- and maybe post-"Fast and Furious" gunrunning programs"

Were they legal?

Hell no.

Were they effective?

Who knows?

Well, then, shouldn't we want to know? Nah. You know why?

Were they done as a way to keep America safe?

Yes.

Thus, there is no need for us to know much if anything about anything government does, unless it chooses to tell us. It would help "save journalism" as well by the great cost-cutting in D.C. bureaus.

And in conclusion, Granderson sums up the news, and in the great tradition of "a 2011 Online Journalism Award finalist for commentary:" tells us what it all means:

We have allowed weapons to cross the Mexican border and into the hands of criminals for years. Many of these weapons were involved in killing innocent Mexicans. There's nothing very admirable about that. But the truth is, it's very American....

And maybe it's better for us not to be so nosy, not to know everything because, to paraphrase the famous line from the movie "A Few Good Men," many of us won't be able to handle the truth.

You know? Maybe it is better for us to "not be so nosy"! I remember what I learned in journalism school, where alas I got too many "C"s: "The business of the journalist is to cover up for the corrupt criminals in government, and to give each other awards. Comfort, affliction, blah de blah." 

See Reason's fightin' Nick Gillespie taking on Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher on the same topic last week:

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  • rts||

    Is this for real? This isn't a parody? What... the... fuck?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yeah, it seemed to have just a whiff of sarcasm about it. But I suppose that even if she did it straight, it would seem sarcastic.

  • Brutus||

    Why would Maddow do anything straight?

  • BarryD||

    What is Maddow? Is she human? She seems like some Godzilla-like monster to me.

  • Brutus||

    She'd never trample Tokyo, she'd just make everyone wear flannel and play softball.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    I'm at a loss myself. Is it "A Modest Proposal" or is the author truly sucking the ballz of authority with gleeful abandon?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    s the author truly sucking the ballz of authority with gleeful abandon?

    Well, he was "'journalist of the year' no less, according to the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association".

    Jus' sayin'

  • fish||

    Well they... half of them anyway....are qualified to make that judgement about Mr. Granderson and his ball sucking skillz!

  • rts||

    I'm invoking Poe's Law on this one.

  • ||

    Usenet did it first:

    "Any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from a genuine kook."

  • ||

    Nope.

    Left wing journalism has gone on a full frontal defense of whatever the government does is good.

    In their defense everyone who disagrees is a racist and polarizing.

  • Ben the Duck||

    Scratch an Obama apologist, find a fascist.

  • Brutus||

    Who needs the scratching?

  • WWNGD?||

    A left wing journalist defends government when a left wing president is in charge. When a right wing president is in charge those same things are evil.

  • ||

    I'm embarrassed to share a planet with this guy. For fuck's sake, have some dignity, dude.

  • deified||

    Retards on LZ Granderson: "That dude is fucking stupid."

  • ||

    Fuck this cunt, and fuck Ken Schultz if he doesn't think she deserves the c word.

  • ||

    *he*

  • Paul.||

    *they*...*they*

    Evil is always "they".

  • CockGobbla||

    Fuck, that clip is disgusting. Make it stop!

  • rts||

    So I wanted to find out a little more about LZ Granderson and started typing his name into Google. The 5th autocomplete suggestion was "LZ Granderson is an idiot".

    Well played, Internet. Well played.

  • ||

    Well played, Internet. Well played.

    This is why Sorkin is helping us with his new Newsroom show.

    The internet is polarizing us with to many opinions and we need great men to tell us the truth.

  • fish||

    Joshua you seem to me to be grossly uninformed! An actress told me so.

  • RFID||

    Oddly enough I've read a rather good article from him before. Check this out:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/20/.....=allsearch

    Now I don't know what sort of cognitive dissonance can get you the article I linked to and the article in question, but I suspect powerful drugs of some sort.

  • Ted S.||

    Bath salts?

  • Ted S.||

    Bath salts?

  • Pro Libertate||

    Jesus.

  • Paul.||

    He commented above. "On the third day..." my ass.

  • ||

    So republicans don't care about 200 dead Mexicans so i guess no one should...

    And those Mexicans would have died anyway...never mind that Holder and the Obama administration is perpetrating a drug war that ferments the cartel violence in Mexico in the fucking first place.

    Bill Maher is a class act.

  • CockGobbla||

    Maher is a dumbass. Maddow is a hack. And Maher's audience are probably still disgruntled over the results of the 2004 election.

  • Killazontherun||

    Sith Lord Gillespie had Maddow on the verge of tears. Excellent.

  • CockGobbla||

    You could tell that Nick was gonna take some swings at her for trying to portray the concern over Fast and Furious as a right-wing, nut-job, gun-nut conspiracy theory.

    She was asking for it.

  • Killazontherun||

    And for that objective reporting on her part she is accused of being a hack. Sniff.

    Come closer Rachel, there is something yummy looking in those ducts.

    The fundamental problem with how Rachel's mind works is at some point in those thousands of hours of studying abysmal text in her poly-sci classes, she got the notion that the technocratic view point presented in those works she prided herself in mastering was objective reality itself.

  • Killazontherun||

    point of view presented in those works

  • Killazontherun||

    Actually it works better the other way. Need more beer. brb.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I thought the Technocratic Union was self-consciously trying to mold consensus reality.

  • ||

    And for that objective reporting on her part she is accused of being a hack. Sniff.

    I don't think Nick technically called her a hack. She jumped to that conclusion on her own. Guilty consonance I guess.
    I might have to go back and watch it...but that is how I remember it.

  • Killazontherun||

    Yep, but a hack is what he was describing, and if those combat boots fit, wear 'em.

  • Paul.||

    Guilty consonance I guess.

    That is fucking genius.

  • Killazontherun||

    I almost +1 it, but decided I want to live in the world where that phrase was too common to even take notice.

  • ||

    or a notoriously bad speller let his spell check run rampant....

  • WWNGD?||

    And Maher's audience are probably still disgruntled over the results of the 2004 election.

    About two years ago in Palm Beach Florida I saw a "Gore/Lieberman 2000" bumper sticker so it goes back further than 2004

  • emerson||

    Mmmm, fermented cartel violence!

    I believe the word you're looking for is "foments."

  • Brutus||

    Yeastist!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I realize it's just an opinion piece, but really, CNN? You wonder why your ratings are where they are?

    (And Gillespie really did own the night on last week's Real Time.)

  • ||

    There is no contortion, no prostration before authority, that the statists will not perform. The media is chock full of court jesters and sycophants, all scrambling to make life easier for their masters like work dogs begging for scraps.

    The fact that this guy can write this and not be abjectly ridiculed by the first person who sees it--his editor--is sickening.

  • Ben the Duck||

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Sunday morning on Chris Matthew's show, one of the journo douches, I think it was Howard Feinman said (and i quote)

    "The problem with republicans is that they just don't hear Obama's music"...

    Which lead to about five minutes of hysterical laughter from me and the misses. About the time that we stopped another idiot said

    "...he's like one of the characters from the comic books of our childhood. You know where the buy comes from another planet and has super human powers on earth..."

    which led to another fit of laughing that didn't end until the show was over.

    Funniest shit I've seen in years.

  • PapayaSF||

    My Lord, he was saying that just recently? I know a lot of them had the vapors 2-3-4 years ago, but I thought it had worn off for most of them.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Yeah, here's the link.

    http://video.thechrismatthewss.....?fid=31183

    The can't hear the music story starts about 4:50 in.

    Oh and it's even better than I remebered because Fineman says that BO was confused by the republicans failure to hear his background music.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The superman reference starts at 11:00 in the clip.

  • Brutus||

    The Left is going all Kim Il Sung on us.

  • JW||

    This is some of the finest knob-polishing wordsmithery since Walter Duranty.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Bill Maher didn't know what Fast Furious was until 2 weeks ago?? He almost seems proud of it? He's definitely not ashamed. What the marc maron is going on? Literally, his job is to be aware of a wide range of news, at least on a surface level, so that he can introduce topics on a television show. And on a show where he delights in arguing against the opposition, wouldn't step 1 be "learn about what the other side is focusing on?"

  • Bee Tagger||

    Holy crap. Maddow laughed, heartily, at the Vin Diesel joke.

  • Pro Libertate||

    He's lying, of course.

  • Paul.||

    This. His point in telling that lie was to suggest that Fast and Furious is such a non-news item, that Even he (Bill Maher) didn't hadn't heard about it.

    I remember in the early, early days of Rush Limbaugh, Larry King kept claiming he hadn't heard of Limbaugh.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Of course. More transparency.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Bill Maher didn't know what Fast Furious was until 2 weeks ago??

    He watches NBC News.

  • CockGobbla||

    Wasn't he schooled over the effectiveness of vaccines by Bill Frist?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB5DLf1Qt78

  • Killazontherun||

    It would be a smart move on Vin Diesel's part to base the next F'n'F around the gun smuggling scandal. Might happen given, no joke, Vin Diesel is a smart guy.

  • ||

    I think that's what the 4th installment was more or less about. Might not have had government sanction, although Paul Walker's character was an undercover cop who was known to be a cop but then went undercover from the cops so he was a cop working as a criminal working undercover as a cop.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Bill Maher didn't know what Fast + Furious was until 2 weeks ago??

    The sad part is that Vin Diesel was on his show and he didn't know what it was. Wow.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Don't end your posts with "Wow". Anonbot may start rubbing itself on your leg.

  • ||

    There it is again. You could have titled this post "Intentions Over Results, part XXXVI".

  • ||

    It really seems like it boils down to that, but don't forget that only the intentions of your TEAM are sincere. The intentions of the other TEAM are pernicious and evil.

  • Tulpa the White||

    You can make essentially the same (silly) argument for F+F as he's making without making it so quotably obnoxious. MNG made essentially the same argument (Bush did it too, etc) on these threads and wasn't this ridiculous.

  • Brutus||

    It's true, but only in the broadest sense. The ATF under Bush did let a limited number of guns get bought through straw purchasers, but:

    1) the guns were all fitted with GPS beacons so they could actually be, uh, traced before they were used in a crime and found

    2) the Mexican government was aware of the operation, so they could be directed to the guns once they were believed to be at a Sinaloa HQ

    3) once the beacons were discovered, the operation was shut down.

    This has some semblence of reason associated with it. I don't see any with FnF at the moment. Why was it executed?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Given that the guys who ran WR were the same bastards who restarted it as FF, I wouldn't surprised if they sabotaged the first operation. Under Obama, they didn't even have to bother with the pretense.

  • NoTalentAssclown||

    CAN I GET A HAT TIP?!?!?!

  • ||

    HT: slacking commenter NTAC

  • ||

    Thanks for the article assclown.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Actually, I posted in AM links, so ha!

  • The Hammer||

    HT: Michael Bolton?

  • Tulpa the White||

    I believe the etiquette is that you get a hat tip only if it's something the writer would probably not have found on their own.

  • Brian Doherty||

    I usually give a hat tip if in fact I learned about directly because of someone's intentionally telling me. I'm afraid I'm not reading comments in morning links diligently every day and did not learn about this article there.

  • Paul.||

    *claps*

    Good answer, good answer!

  • ||

    What is this, the fucking Feud?

  • ||

    What is this, the fucking Feud?

  • ||

    In an ideal comment thread, no one would "ask" (read: DEMAND) for a hat tip.

  • ||

    You guys should have an email bucket to which folks can send links.

  • NoTalentAssclown||

    I just one post that ends, "Thanks assclown!" with no reference to me as a commenter...

  • NoTalentAssclown||

    *just want

  • ||

    No thanks notalent!

  • BakedPenguin||

    That incredible supplication and self-abasement is shameful in another human being. He could regain some dignity turning tricks in a men's bathroom at the bus station.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm quite concerned about the mentality of the left these days. It's really taken a deeply disturbing turn. They need to recall that a liberal--old school--society is superior to one where the state is the end-all, be-all. Pretty much across the board.

    Perhaps if they'd relinquish this strange idea that you can force people into a utopia?

  • ||

    There is no "left" or "right", ProL, there are just TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE. And the first play in TEAM BLUE's playbook is "government is the solution to everything", and then they have their quarterback sneak of "the people are so misinformed and need to be guided". All of which leads them down the path they're on.

    What are you going to get concerned about? That partisan scum mindlessly acts like partisan scum? That train already left the station.

  • CockGobbla||

    I personally like it when TEAM RED's quarterback calls a JUDICIAL REVIEW/RESTRAINING COMMERCE CLAUSE/ALL GO from the shotgun.

  • R C Dean||

    There is no TEAM RED or TEAM BLUE. There is only TEAM BE RULED.

  • ||

    Somebody really needs to slip one of these signs behind a politician some time.

  • General Butt Naked||

    ...and I'm all out of bubblegum.

  • ||

    I'm giving you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eating that trash can.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I think I'd rather have a twenty minute fist fight, how about you?

  • ||

    Not this year.

  • Tulpa the White||

    anagram ftw

  • NoTalentAssclown||

    amazing!

  • Pro Libertate||

    Yes. And no.

  • ant1sthenes||

    At the risk of being repetitive, his entire bullshit article can be boiled down to a three word slogan.

  • R C Dean||

    Arbeit Macht Frei?

  • ant1sthenes||

    Well, I was going to go with "Ignorance is Strength", but whatever works for you.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No fat chicks.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Eat more pork?

  • Sal Paradise||

    "It bothers me that Americans want to punish failure so much"

    Shut the fuck up, Maher, you bootlicking, left-wing sockpuppet of a cunt.

  • The Hammer||

    "You see, freedom isn't entirely free."

    And this has fuck-all to do with Fast and Furious, Holder, or any other fucking thing that you mention in your vapid, substanceless power-fellating article. LZ Granderson, you fucking suck.

  • Longtorso||

    Didn't Maher, by saying FF is no big deal because criminals will get guns anyway, just shoot down all liberal arguments for gun control?

    I liked his dismissal of complaints about FF as being gun nut conspiracy theories, then turning around and basically using those guns as an argument for gun control.

  • ||

    He also threw all the anti-drug war people under the bus.

  • Brutus||

    Proving the point of those who say this was to provide a talking point for gun controllers. QED

  • Longtorso||

    "It bothers me that Americans want to punish failure so much"

    He's a leftist - failure is all they have.

  • R C Dean||

    And, as expected, unacquainted with the Iron Law:

    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

    He seems to be saying that he's bothered that Americans want less failure.

  • Longtorso||

    I wonder if the GOP being punished for failure bothers him as much.

  • ||

    I don't think he can recognize their failures.

    He thinks women are prevented from getting abortions and stem cell research is illegal and the EPA does not exist and teachers are under payed and sarbane oxley deregulated banks.

  • fish||

    It bothers me that they want to punish failure too much....

    And yet you remain on television Bill!

  • Brian D||

    I don't get why this is such a big thing. I mean, it's not like some U.S. attorneys have gotten mysteriously fired or anything, amirite?

  • Barfman||

    *barf*

  • Brandybuck||

    They're not even bother to pretend anymore. Sigh.

  • Brandybuck||

    By the way, is that Kolchak sitting between Nick and Rachel?

  • Killazontherun||

    Mortimer Zucker if I'm not mistaken.

  • Proprietist||

    Hacks will be hacks. There's very little question if it was Bush that this happened under, these same people would be wailing about how evil Bush, the AG, the war on drugs and the proliferation of guns are. And Republicans would be mildly defending it as a misguided attempt to crack down on criminals.

    The one point that the Left are making that seems valid is, as us libertarians want minimal restrictions on both guns and immigration, how is the fact the government was the dealer in this specific scenario really significant? They could have bought it from a gun show, on the black market or from corrupt Mexican police and military. If we removed all restrictions on gun sales, drugs and immigration today, it's highly likely the same outcome would occur or worse, at least in the short term. Of course, we'd gut the black market for most of the things that fund the criminal underworld, but it's still kind of strange for libertarians to get that hung up over guns crossing a border, even if one agrees it was wrong of the government to sell them and wrong of the cartels to use them in murders.

    No question the program was badly misguided and someone should be fired and/or prosecuted, but it's very strange to watch the Left excuse the proliferation of guns and the libertarians and the Right condemn it.

  • ||

    Libertarians aren't condemning the proliferation of guns, that's just how the administration's defenders keep trying to frame it, and it seems to be working. They're condemning a completely ridiculous and illegal operation that also seems politically motivated and that blew back and got people killed. They're condemning a law enforcement agency's blatant disregard for the law, people's lives, and then condemning their attempts to conceal it.

  • Randian||

    Just because I want guns to be generally legal does not mean I want a government agent to walk one into the hands of say, that VA Tech kid.

  • ||

    More precisely, just because I want all Americans to have the right to purchase any gun or weapon they want, up to and including tanks and machine guns and RPGs, I don't want the U.S. government to be deliberately arming Mexican drug cartels.

    I want private individuals to be arming private weed growers (and everyone else) legally growing and selling their weed at ridiculously cheap prices, with no drug cartels existing because weed is fn legal.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Fuck yeah!
    /drunk

  • Killazontherun||

    It's the purpose of F'n'F that concerns us. I don't give a shit if it is dismissed as a right wing nut conspiracy, they took the risk of expanding the program for a reason. Why trust their motives to be clean when they have done everything in their power to cover it up, even evoking executive privilege?

    We suspect this has something to do with it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ory_1.html

    “I just want you to know that we are working on it,” Brady recalled the president telling them. “We have to go through a few processes, but under the radar.”

    The democrats dismiss this as right wing nutjob conspiracy, but that begs the question, what are you hiding, Eric? Why did you lie in your testimony in the first place if you weren't hiding something as big as that?

    And if it is that, the hanging of tyrants should be the first order of the day.

  • Killazontherun||

    We're forgetting the released e-mails already released support the idea that F'n'F was about advancing gun control:

    http://the-american-journal.co.....ol-agenda/

    On July 14, 2010 after ATF headquarters in Washington D.C. received an update on Fast and Furious, ATF Field Ops Assistant Director Mark Chait emailed Bill Newell, ATF’s Phoenix Special Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious:
    “Bill – can you see if these guns were all purchased from the same (licensed gun dealer) and at one time. We are looking at anecdotal cases to support a demand letter on long gun multiple sales. Thanks.”
  • Rachel Maddow||

    Lalalalalala!!! Canthearyouconspiracytheory bushdidittoobillcuttoacommercialplease!

  • Brutus||

    Now what could those "under the radar" things be?

  • ||

    Most open and transparent administration in history.

  • ant1sthenes||

    No question the program was badly misguided and someone should be fired and/or prosecuted, but it's very strange to watch the Left excuse the proliferation of guns and the libertarians and the Right condemn it.

    I think that's simplifying the libertarian position (I can't speak to the more mainstream right position). The U.S. government didn't allow guns to proliferate in some random sense, it specifically allowed the guns to go to groups that the government itself designates as Really Bad Guys, and whatever their legal designation, they are basically terrorists. It did so in a state with heavy gun control, exacerbating a situation where the only people with the means of violence are bad guys (sorry, Mexican government officials).

    It did so not (at least in the specific case of FF) because it wanted to trail the straw purchasers into Mexico and then bust them and their clients as they made a deal. That might be reckless, but it would be within the bounds of typical sting operations. FF was explicitly designed to tag guns, let them out into the wild, and then see at what crime scene they turned up. It was a science experiment, using innocent people as guinea pigs. No hyperbole intended, the ATF agents and U.S. attorneys that designed this program are as evil as Nazis, and should receive the same punishment.

  • Proprietist||

    We're all in agreement that the program was royally fucking stupid and pointless (at least they should have put a tracking device on the guns or something). But my point is that if the U.S. government hadn't been the seller, someone else would have been -- and especially so if we reversed all gun control restrictions as we want to see. Since we all pretty much agree with the notion that "guns don't kill people, people kill people", I can't exactly blame a stupid government program or Holder for the death of the Border Patrol agent and the 200 Mexicans like many here any more than I can blame the pawn shop dude that sold guns to the VA Tech killer.

    Maybe it's a weird angle, but I blame Mexico's own gun control laws for these deaths more than FF (not even to mention the drug war on both sides, but that's obvious). If Mexican citizens could stand up for themselves, the cartels would never have been able to syndicate and murder in anywhere near the numbers they have. That's probably why they haven't been able to effectively cross over to here en masse.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "I can't exactly blame a stupid government program or Holder for the death of the Border Patrol agent and the 200 Mexicans like many here any more than I can blame the pawn shop dude that sold guns to the VA Tech killer."

    Why? I'm pretty sure I can differentiate morally between selling several bags of a fertilizer to a random guy who might be a farmer, and a guy that I know is a violent radical who wants to blow up a building. They knew that the guns were going to people who were going to use them in crimes, and they knew that the sales were illegal, both under U.S. and Mexican law. They could have swooped down as soon as they made the sale to the cartels. In fact, I think they could have swooped down as soon as they tried to cross the border.

    And the program wasn't stupid and pointless. It wasn't botched. It was evil. Would you call the Tuskegee experiments botched? Or the U.S. funded research where Guatemalan prisoners were deliberately allowed to sleep with syphilis-infected prostitutes to study the spread of the disease? Would you say "it was pointless for them not to give the Tuskegee farmers antibiotics; it was royally stupid to let the prisoners sleep with diseased prostitutes." They got the outcome they wanted -- and if their own hadn't started dying, we might not ever had any whistleblowing.

  • Proprietist||

    Black market economics 101: whatever someone wants they can get. There are plenty of shady gun dealers willing to look the other way to sell to people they know are likely thugs. The fact that the government had a harebrained idea they could track these guns without tracking devices is what makes the plan so royally stupid.

    In concept, the idea isn't horrible that instead of them buying black market guns anyway, we sell the cartels guns that we know where they are and how they are being used, and can track them down. Without this means, though, I honestly don't know what on earth they were thinking.

    Also, I disagree with Nick in the video when he pointed out that one of the things that makes this program particularly bad is the failure to involve the Mexican government. There are far, far too many cartel moles in the government to imagine that such a secret could be kept from the cartels.

  • Virginian||

    *rolls eyes*

    Seriously? Tax dollars were used to put guns in the hands of violent drug gangs. Strings were pulled in the US and Mexico to ensure this happened.

    We aren't talking about negligence. Multiple employees of the American government consciously and deliberately armed what amounts to a known terrorist group.

    Oh and for no actual purpose. There's thousands of dead Iraqis, but at least you can point to the dismantling of an odious regime. To be replaced by a different odious regime perhaps, but plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

    Honestly, looked at from the perspective of costs to benefits, this could be the worst thing the American government has ever done. Literally nothing good came out of this entire operation. The whole collateral damage/sacrifice for the greater good line is a slimy argument the vast majority of the time, but you can make it. You can argue Hiroshima saved lives in the long run, for example. But this....I cannot think of a single positive result of the entire plan. Which makes it a really terrible idea, even by the government's rather low standards.

  • Proprietist||

    We already agreed that the program was a terrible idea. However, my point is that IF they had built some kind of tracking device where they could locate the guns they sold, perhaps they could have arrested many murderers and high-ranking cartel members. So it wouldn't have all been a waste.

  • MN83||

    Actually in quite a few cases, gun stores wanted to use their discretion in who they sell to, to NOT sell those guns, but the govt agents ordered them to...so, yes I can blame Holder and the government program

  • Tulpa the White||

    as us libertarians want minimal restrictions on both guns and immigration

    Define "minimal".

    I for one certainly think there should be quite a few restrictions on both. Not as many as some other people, but sure as hell "don't sell guns to people you know are bringing them to Mexico for drug smuggling gangs" would be on the list.

  • Longtorso||

    The failure here is calling Maddow and Maher Dem hacks. They're left wing hacks. The Dem party is politically useful now, but if they started pushing for, say, abortion restrictions or something both of them would jump ship in a heartbeat.

    Obama begat Obamacare, hence the circling the wagons when his admin's misdeeds come up.

  • ||

    I thought transparency and access to government was a Democrat thing.

    Not to mention the fact that they are both on the record for pooh poohing the drug war which is why there is cartel violence in Mexico in the first place.

    They are hacks.

  • Longtorso||

    Hacks, yes. The Dems are just currently useful to left wing hacks.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Not when The Correct People are in charge, then it is all deference, deference, deference to authority.

    How can people whose goal is socialism in health insurance be anything other?

  • Randian||

    They're left wing hacks.

    No, they aren't that either. They're anti-Republican hacks. Whatever the Republicans do, they're agin' it, even if they were fer it. That does not make them TEAM DEM, but it does make them a kind of negative partisan.

  • ||

    The failure here is calling Maddow and Maher Dem hacks.

    Gillespie didn't technically call them hacks. He accurately described how a hack would behave, and then all these assclowns confirmed that, yes, they behaved that way, but they were indignant that such behavior would be labeled hackery.

  • Sevo||

    In one of Bill Mauldin's books, he responded to criticism such:
    'Hey, I only make the shoe. Don't gripe to me if it fits'.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    I tried to watch that video clip. After 3 attempts I was still unable to get through to the end. Maher and Madcow are disgusting. The way Maher sarcastically disregarded the deaths of "200 mexicans" who would have died anyway" is just repugnant. These are the voices of the intellectual elite. The conscience of this nation (or so they think).

    Man, we are screwed.

  • Longtorso||

    The problem is that we have a 2 party system. Party A will never object to their own behavior. Party B will always be called 'partisan' for objecting to Party A's behavior. Party A will therefore always be safe.

    Switch parties A and B every few years.

  • Brutus||

    So because Maddow is able to mock the supposition that some have about the motivation behind FnF, we shouldn't look into it?

    Why doesn't Holder show up at Congress, then, and tell them why he was running guns to the Sinaloa cartel without some way to trace them continuously? I'm sure it's all quite innocent.

  • Randian||

    Yes, the basic thesis was "this is political, ergo the Obama Administration should be able to get away with it"

    Apparently now Watergate wasn't wrong, because William Felt had incentive to tank L. Patrick Gray, ergo Watergate should never have been investigated.

  • Brutus||

    I mean, isn't it the job of the "outs" to keep an eye on the "ins" to prevent and/or blow the whistle in stuff like this?

  • Randian||

    Apparently if you have incentive to whistleblow, that means that walking guns to dangerous cartels is okely-dokely.

  • Brutus||

    QED.

    I saw a good questione earlier today: What if it was Walmart doing this?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If Wal Mart had deliberately sold guns to foreign drug traffickers using straw purchasers, and the traffickers used the guns to kill 200 people, including an American policeman?

    I suppose Bill Maher would have shrugged and said that Wal-Mart's critics are politically motivated and don't *really* care about Mexicans, and that these Mexicans would have died anyway.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    And that we have no proof that Wal Mart had any sinister intentions, so there was no need to investigate them, or to hold them in contempt if they refused to produce documents about this perfectly innocent, above-board operation.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Stop being so goddamned succinct! If Wal-Mart had done this, the fucking CEO, COO, and the newest greeter would have been hauled in front of Congress.

  • BarryD||

    Botched? BOTCHED?

    Botched, my ass.

    The only thing "botched" was that somebody blew the whistle on the "operation" before the guns could be "discovered" at crime scenes and used for the propaganda they were intended for.

  • Brutus||

    Rachel sez u r a cunspurressy theerist.

  • BarryD||

    Having seen and heard it, I am not sure what Rachel Maddow is, but this much I do figure. Whatever it is, if it is calling me names, I'm on the right track.

  • BarryD||

    Also, I have yet to hear a plausible alternative explanation. If that wasn't what FnF was about, then WHAT WAS IT about? It makes zero sense any other way, as I see it. Rachel ilk should offer some facts that would make me see some other alternative, because as far as I know, there ISN'T ONE.

  • Tejicano||

    Since, from the evidence we know so far, at least a couple thousand rifles were allowed to "walk" into the hands of Mexican drug gangs it seems the only purpose was to provide evidence that those gangs were being armed by American guns (pretending to not know how they got there) and then to en-act legislation to restrict ownership of those rifles in the US.

    The fact that they followed up with an edge-of-the-wedge regulation requiring dealers in four border states (including CA where these rifles are already banned) - even AFTER it was known that the US Gov facilitated the sales - pretty much underlines that intention.

  • BarryD||

    That's exactly how I see it.

    Like I said, if these Obama suckups want me to entertain another possible explanation, then OFFER IT! So far, there hasn't been one.

  • Brutus||

    John Hinderaker of Powerline blog was on Wisconsin Public Radio the other day saying exactly that thing to an interviewer. If there is some rational explanation for deliberately arming known violent gangsters with weapons that can only be traced **after** they are used in crimes, I'd like to hear it.

  • Longtorso||

    I do love how the "Bush and Cheney are invading Iraq to help Halliburton" crowd sneer at conspiracy theories (even if they were probably right about Bush and Cheney).

  • Randian||

    This should be put in every post that mentions Bill Maher:

    "I think those 200 dead Mexicans would be dead even if we hadn’t sold them guns."

  • Sudden||

    First, Republicans don't care about dead Mexicans.

    Projection much Bill?

  • IceTrey||

    Since People exists solely because of "pregnancies and marriages of D-list celebrities" that comment makes no sense at all.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Being nosy and getting in other peoples business is the governments job dammit.

  • Randian||

    There is one comment over there at CNN that smacked LZ right in the face, in the most succinct manner possible:

    jim crow ? Why so nosy ?
  • Espantapajaros||

    Between this and Nancy Pelosi's bullshit about "voter intimidation", did the left catch a scorching case of Fucking Stupid?

  • ||

    I saw this article on CNN's website earlier. Next to the column was a link to another article, an opinion piece that whines (still!) about the 2008 Heller decision. For someone who'd never heard of CNN, all it would take is a 5-minute visit to their site before it was clear that they're nothing more than an organ of the state, no different from Pravda.

  • CockGobbla||

    Somehow, that's sounds unfair to Pravda.

  • ||

    Somehow, that's sounds unfair to Pravda.

    You're right. There was always that tacit understanding between the people, the state, and the press of the Soviet Union that it was all bullshit propaganda. CNN, on the other hand, is trying to pass itself off as an objective news organization.

  • Lehosh||

    People on this side need to quit saying "botched"... There's no evidence that OFF didn't go exactly as planned right up until someone blew the whistle.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Reads like parody, but considering that this is the guy who thinks that Ted Nugent should be in jail, it probably isn't. The guy thinks that anybody who threatens the president should be in jail, whether they have any intent to follow through or not.

  • ||

    The guy thinks that anybody who threatens the president should be in jail, whether they have any intent to follow through or not.

    Only if that president is a Democrat, I'm sure.

  • ||

    he's wrong about nugent (iow wrong that nugent should be in jail0, but just to clarify... whether a person intends to follow through or not is not a requirement under the true threats standard established long ago.

    threats are criminally actionable, if they meet the "true threat" standard whether or not there is an actual intent to follow through

    in large part, this is because the law views the threat itself as a crime, not as an inchoate crime under a greater umbrella such as attempted murder or whatnot

    the issue with nugent is that what he said simply was not a criminal threat.

  • John C. Randolph||

    ...and that my friends, is the difference between a journalist and government mouthpiece.

    -jcr

  • ant1sthenes||

    I kind of wish Nick had corrected Maddow's bullshit timeline. So far as I am aware, there was no program that ran under Bush into Obama's tenure. There was a gunwalking program under Bush, which failed hard and was shut down. It was restarted under Obama, but without any of the safeguards the original program had to keep the cartels from actually keeping the guns. If you restart a defunct program, you own that shit.

  • Andrew S.||

    My goodness. The LZ Granderson article pissed me off enough. And then I had to restrain myself from trying to punch Maher through my laptop screen (he just has such an eminently punchable face).

    It's too late at night to be this pissed off.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    It's not too late. You're not drunk enough.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Christ. She's such a partisan hack.

  • Nooge.||

    LZ Granderson is a poor writer, and a lazy thinker. I do not understand how he gets published. As pessimistic as I am about journalism, I find it hard to believe it's populated with that many feebs.

    Mr. Granderson, it's good to see you're such a partisan hack that you're willing to actually say we don't need to know if government programs are effective (hint: Fast Furious was not effective) if the intent of the program is to keep America safe.

    Only the most craven of hacks would be shameless enough to write that.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Now that I've watched the entire clip, I'd like to amend my comment.

    Zuckerman was the only one that really explained the real issue. The Congress wants documents, Holder refuses to give them. The issue is transparency in government. The other three, including Gillespie, turned it into a partisan debate, which is exactly what TPTB want; distraction from the real issue.

  • ingersoll||

    Gillespie killed her. Her comment about reporting and not giving her views was so ridiculous.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Here is a mainstream, respectable news outlet providing thorough, objective coverage of the case. For when you have to discuss the case with retards fascists lefties and Fox and right wing blogs will be rejected out-of-hand.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Nick should have looked directly at Maher and said thanx for your response Rachel after Maher jumped in to when Nick asked Madcow what republican she has ever supported.

  • Brutus||

    But the questions **wasn't fair!!!** Wahhhhh!!

  • DrAwkward||

    Maher brought up Solyndra as a "failure" that Americans are too stupid to tolerate. I can't figure out if he's uninformed or pandering to the ignorance of his audience.
    It's not exactly a failure when feds predicted to the month when the company would be bankrupt before the deal was even made. It worked perfectly for the Obama donors who benefited, the company was designed to go out of business.

  • DrAwkward||

    The money wasted on the Solyndra deal is more than a decade worth of bank robbery losses in the US.
    What is the prison time if you were convicted of every bank robbery in the past 10 years?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    If you are free-lancing it, probably about 15,000 years to life. If you are part of Obama's inner circle... you'll probably get another sweetheart deal on your new "venture".

  • DrAwkward||

    Krugman would no doubt defend you, the amount stolen from all banks over 10 years is so "tiny" after all, in the big picture.
    Heh, so quaint the child-like outrage of the little people who lack a Top Sight perspective needed in these matters.

  • MisterDamage||

    These guys talk over the top of Nick Gillespie, shut him down, shout him down and when he tries to do the same, that dopey bitch gets all snarky to explosive applause. Fucking hypocritical socialist assholes.

    Great. You're talking. Wonderful. Talk to the fucking hand, bitch, because I'm fast forwarding past anything you have to say.

  • albo||

    That dude with the glasses is handsome.

    Where does Maher get the clapping seals for his audience?

  • ChrisO||

    LZ Granderson has a talent for distilling idiocy into its purest form. He's moving into the EJ Dionne Zone.

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