Media Criticism

Alex Pareene Implies Actual Government Scandals Are Just Part of Inane Fox News Reporting

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For the good of Salon readers everywhere, and because the the "lol dirty hippies deserved it" angle of media coverage of Occupy Wall Street (or any other protest) is tiresome, Alex Pareene watched Fox News for two days, instead of his usual NY1 and MSNBC to see how they covered that protest movement. It was a very educational experience for other reasons:

For instance, I learned that basically everyone in Congress is demanding that Eric Holder retire because of something to do with Solyndra. Someone on a panel said that the people in Congress demanding Holder's retirement were not very important members of Congress but that person was shouted down because every member of Congress is important, especially when they are providing grist for the Fox faux-scandal mill.

I also learned that there is a baby missing, named Baby Lisa, and that Baby Lisa's mother almost certainly is responsible, because Baby Lisa's mother had an online dating profile. I had literally never heard of Baby Lisa before Monday, but Fox covered Baby Lisa more than any other story save the Penn State situation. 

Regardless of Fox's tone, this is a strange juxtaposition, no? The missing white girl/woman/general tabloid atmosphere of cable news is a fine thing to mock, if not an original critique. Why are critiques of the U.S. Attorney General as breezily dismissed by Pareene? And could Pareene have meant the Operation Fast and Furious/Gunwalker scandal instead of Solyndra, since that seems to be what the 43 Congress folks asking for Holder's resignation are mostly mad about?

In case he meant one or both "faux scandals," Tim Cavanaugh has done splendid coverage of the $500 million boondoggle known as Solyndra (Please note his September critique of other people who like to pretend it's a manufactured controversy.) And Mike Riggs has often written up Fast and Furious— a scandal with an actual body-count that it still being strangely under-reported. 

Critique Fox News all you want, but Pareene would certainly sound more credible if he seemed able to tell the differene between subjects Nancy Grace should be harping about and something actual journalists should be covering. 

Reason on Solyndra and on Fast and Furious.

(Addendum: Pareene gets a point for correctly identifying Judge Andrew Napolitano as a libertarian and noting that he "has principles," even if he is "a kook.")

NEXT: Reason Presents an Evening with Kurt Loder

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  1. I’d like to think of something witty to say here, but my will to form meaningful thoughts has been utterly destroyed by the stupidity of that man.

  2. Tim Cavanaugh has done splendid coverage…

    I like how Lucy compliments Tim, as if she were completely innocent of plotting diabolically to usurp Tim’s place as Most Favoritest Writer.

    1. uhh Earth to Hank…This hadppened like a month ago. I think 80% of the regulars who count like Lucy, I would share the raw data but we deleted it after we drew this nice hocky stick of support for her. She is not only the new favorite overall but has also been awarded best alt-texter (Welch be damned) and honorable mentions for Balko Nut Puncher 2011.

      1. She is not only the new favorite overall but has also been awarded best alt-texter

        There’s a difference?

        1. Not to you people, not to you people.

          Thanks, though. My sucking up to fellow Reason writers/superiors is purely genuine, I promise.

          1. I am glad to see Brian back but you have nothing to worry about, While he is an awesome writer and libertarian his snark level is the minimum required to get hired by Reason.

            1. Brian’s snarkier than the almost wholesome Walker.

      2. Yes, my tenses were confusing, but I meant to reference her plot that had already been carried out.

  3. Pareene? Isn’t he the love-child of Maddow and Ezra Klein?

    1. “Love-child” as in Maddow went full-blown Sandusky on Ezra in the MSNBC locker-room showers, not to imply that the two could ever really “love” anything.

      1. not to imply that the two could ever really “love” anything.

        Well, except themselves.

    2. Ezra Klein is still a good writer.

      1. …for me to poop on!

      2. …for me to poop on.

        /not spam

  4. Pareene was so amazingly retarded as to shepard Wonkette from sort-of-cool-entertaining-snark to completely-team-blue-liberal-moron status. (Not that Wonkette was that brilliant once it stopped covering anal sex scandals). Now he’s doing much the same thing to Salon. The overall IQ of just about every Salon posting (standard Greenwald exception applies) has plummeted violently since his hiring to a now retchingly low level. I pray daily for Greenwald to go Balko and just agitate solo.

  5. Shit, even NPR has done some reasonable reporting on Solyndra and Fast & Furious.

    1. The best reporting on Fast and Furious was done by Sheryl Atkisson at CBS. To call it a creation of Fox News is just a flat out lie. And there is no way she could honestly think that Holder is connected to Solyandra instead of Fox News. She is just a stupid hack bitch.

      1. I would add Fox’s LA guy to that short list, which is notable mostly for its shortness. He has been quite thorough. Atkisson, curiously, caught holy hell from the administration for even thinking that Solyndra was a story.

        However, you have hit on a key narrative of the left. It frequently uses the Fox boogeyman as a means of dismissing any story about POTUS as being motivated by evil reasons.

        1. ^^THIS^^

          They ACTUALLY think that if it appears on Fox News that it can be dismissed as if were taken from the enquirer.

          1. Good point especially since the enquirer was completely wrong on their story about John Edwards having an affair.

            Wait, what???

          2. I will search for alternative sources to a story to avoid posting a Fox link because lefty friends will dismiss or outright ridicule even the straightest of news stories from Fox. FAUX NOiZE!!one!
            The demonization of Fox by the left is so annoying and infantile.

  6. Fast and Furious? a scandal with an actual body-count that it still being strangely under-reported

    There is nothing at all strange about the under reporting of a particularly damming scandal (that word seems inadequate in this case) that reflects poorly on a Democrat administration. It happened almost continuously in the Clinton years.

    1. They talked about the sex scandals so much because they figured they were more managable and made for a good distractions from the real scandals like the FBI records at the White House, the Brigadoon White Water billing records that showed up on Hillary’s desk, the illegal Chinese fund raisers and so forth.

      1. +100 points to John for writing that whole paragraph without the use of the suffix “-gate”.

          1. Chappaquiddick.

            1. I LOL’d.

      2. I was thinking of the deliberate transfer of ballistic missile and space launch technology to China, the deliberate transfer of supercomputer technology to China, the deliberate transfer of MIRVed warhead technology to China, the changing of security procedures at the national weapons labs that made espionage easier, the obstruction of FBI investigations into military technology theft from the national labs, the “lost” hard drives containing nuclear weapons test data, the hiring of Rodger Clinton by NK to provide entertainment during the Clinton visit, the obstruction of UN weapons inspections in Iraq, the smearing of the UN weapons inspector in Iraq as an Israeli spy, the ordering of airstrikes during key points during Clinton’s impeachment without informing the Joint Chiefs … There were so many transgressions during the Clinton years that it is hard to remember them all.

        In a different age, Clinton would have been hung for treason many times over.

      3. CIA flying cocaine into Mena AR.

        1. CIA flying cocaine into Mena AR.

          How ya think the Red Chinese managed to squeeze me for so much shit? Cocain is a helluva drug!

  7. Why are critiques of the U.S. Attorney General as breezily dismissed by Pareene?

    Why ask a question to which you already know the answer…?

  8. Why are critiques of the U.S. Attorney General as breezily dismissed by Pareene?

    Because those critiques are of, what appear to be, criminal acts by federal agents with the approval of a cabinet-level official. “OMG BAILOUTS!! STUDENT LOANS!! KORPRASHUNS!!” requires less of a look at the Chosen One’s possible malfeasance.

  9. I heard someone on NPR this morning – I missed who it was – basically saying he didn’t see what the big deal with Solyndra was, because, after all, isn’t this one of the legitimate functions of government? I.e., to help promote new technologies that might be useful in the future and provide new industry and jobs and security, etc? After all, China finances its manufacturing facilities, so why shouldn’t we also?

    1. “”I missed who it was – basically saying he didn’t see what the big deal with Solyndra was, because, after all, isn’t this one of the legitimate functions of government?””

      Wasting tax dollars, and crony capitalism do seem to be a function of government.

  10. Is H&R the “Fox and Friends” of Libertopia?

  11. And could Pareene have meant the Operation Fast and Furious/Gunwalker scandal instead of Solyndra
    —————————–
    who knows. One would have to recognize the difference between the two stories, or even recognize that they are indeed stories, which gets in the way of the “fox sucks” narrative the left spits out daily.

  12. …and then it was on to Fox News’ “The Five,” a panel discussion show so deeply stupid and awful that I cannot bring myself to summarize a single thing anyone said on it.

    Fox has their own The View?

  13. …and then it was on to Fox News’ “The Five,” a panel discussion show so deeply stupid and awful that I cannot bring myself to summarize a single thing anyone said on it.

    … and yet, I absolutely guarandamntee you that he faithfully hangs onto each and every perfect pearl of imbecility to fall from Maddow’s lips, nightly.

    1. That’s not imbecility dripping from her lips.

  14. Tim Cavanaugh has done splendid coverage of the $500 million boondoggle known as Solyndra (Please note his September critique of other people who like to pretend it’s a manufactured controversy.)

    I thought we all, as republican operatives, were on the Fox News Payroll. Where’s my check god damn it?

  15. Like a fat kid playing dodgeball.

  16. omg they spend millions on tanks and missiles and guns that get blown up for no reason and then y they complain about solar power? ~~~~molly

    1. “DERP!”

  17. Conflating them is sort of the joke, cuz Fox screams “FAST FURIOUS” and “SOLYNDRA” all day without much explanation beyond the assertion of criminal wrongdoing. (Though the members demanding Holder’s resignation are not really heavy hitters, regardless of the merit of their argument.) I think Fast Furious is/was insane and stupid and horrible and illegal, for the record!

    1. Haha! “I totally meant to do that. Totally.”

    2. “Conflating them is sort of the joke, cuz Fox screams “FAST FURIOUS” and “SOLYNDRA” all day without much explanation beyond the assertion of criminal wrongdoing.”
      why would they need to continue re-explaining it with maximum detail when they’ve been covering it for a couple of months now??

      Can’t blame FNC just because you get all your news from Gawker and yahoo!news.

      1. In the immortal words of Tina Turner: “Boom. Shakka-Lakkah. BOOM.” 😉

    3. It’s not a very good joke, since it just makes you sound like someone that doesn’t pay attention, rather than making Fox sound bad. Unless it was intended to be self-deprecating humor or something.

  18. Many of the Fox panelists were utterly obsessed with this notion of Obama policies being a burden on business, that I decided to actually visit one of these so-called “small businesses” that these right-wing Christian psychos were blabbering about.

    I visited a local family physician, and I learned that he was fixated on things like a “payroll” I think he called it. He kept trying to drill into me these notions that a business can’t be successful it it’s not making as much money as it spends. I was like…really? I mean..really? You absolutely can’t continue running?

    And then he was saying that if he can’t make a, I believe he called it, “profit” (whatever that is??), then he’d consider just quitting. Can you believe that? What a loser. Ohh, I can’t make money, so I’m just going to take my stethoscope and go home. Some people are so obsessed with money, right?

    I mentioned to this doctor that I felt health care was a human right, and that everyone deserves it and is entitled to it regardless of their ability to pay. Know what this greedy bastard said to me? He said, “So you’d expect me to work for free?”

    I rolled my eyes in my quintessential hipster way. I said to this pathetic, employed loser, “Yes! I expect you to do your job because you love doing it. Not because you want to make money. What is money anyway?” The doctor, this old, wrinkled freak, had nothing to say to me and went on this next patient.

    I shut him up.

    Feel free to comment below Salon readers.

    1. consider me NAILED, in the quintessential hipster way

    2. Uh, Alex, we’ve decided to cut your pay, to, well, zero.
      But we know you’ll keep churning out that copy!
      /S/
      Salon Management

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