Let me recommend for your weekend reading, or for your weekday reading if you’re seeing it then, a detailed study by Bruce Bartlett called “How Fox News Changed American Media and Political Dynamics.” You can download the 18-page PDF from this site of the Social Science Research Network. [...]As Fallows says, none of this is particularly new news. But Bartlett collects past analysis on the phenomenon into one tidy package, and as a longstanding cog in the Republican machine he approaches the problem from the standpoint of someone who sees genuine damage being done to the cause. He approvingly cites Columbia University political scientist Lincoln Mitchell's 2012 election autopsy:
Bartlett’s accumulation of detail [shows] (a) that Fox’s core viewers are factually worse-informed than people who follow other sources, and even those who don’t follow news at all, and (b) that the mode of perpetual outrage that is Fox’s goal and effect has become a serious problem for the Republican party, in that it pushes its candidates to sound always-outraged themselves.
Fox has now become a problem for the Republican Party because it keeps a far right base mobilized and angry, making it hard for the party to move to the center or increase its appeal, as it must do to remain electorally competitive....One of the reasons Mitt Romney was so unable to pivot back to the center was due to the drumbeat at Fox, which contributed to forcing him to the right during the primary season. Even after the primary season, when Fox became a big supporter for Romney, the rift between official editorial position and the political feelings of Fox viewers and hosts was clear.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2003—Rumsfeld backtracks on WMD claims:
Before the war, Rumsfeld was so sure that Iraq had WMDs, that it disregarded CIA evidence to the contrary and formed his own little in-house intelligence agency to butress the claims.Now even he has to admit that perhaps he was wrong.
Given that WMDs were the administration's primary justification for war (as it made Iraq a clear and imminent danger), is the realization that no WMDs existed mean that all the death in the conflict was for naught?How can Bush justify the death of 18-year-old Army private David Evans, who leaves behind his three-month-old son?
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has suggested publicly for the first time that Iraq may have destroyed chemical and biological weapons before the war there, a possibility that senior U.S. officers in Iraq have raised in recent weeks.
Rumsfeld has repeatedly expressed optimism that it is just a matter of time, and of interviewing enough senior Iraqi scientists and former government officials, before military teams uncover the illicit arms that President George W. Bush cited as a major reason for attacking Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein's rule.
While Rumsfeld repeated that assertion Tuesday, he added, "It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them prior to a conflict." Major General David Petraeus, commander of the army's 101st Airborne Division, now in northern Iraq, mentioned the same possibility two weeks ago.
On Sunday and Monday seven other brave Americans, like Evans, were sacrificed at the altar of Bush's incompetence and political opportunism. And there is no end in sight. (We may have suffered four more losses today.)
On today's encore Kagro in the Morning show is our 5/29/14 episode. Greg Dworkin rounds up then news. More from Kinsley. Why he's wrong. EPA to regulate emissions by executive authority, and the likely fallout. Terry Lynn Land is terrible. McConnell fares no better. And could Andrew Cuomo be a test case for pulling Hillary left? Want to help Charles Gaba (aka Brainwrap) help MI? Gun news roundup: a public AR-15 whoopsie; WalMart #GunFAIL nearly took out a newborn infant; more bullets fly in Isla Vista. Conclusion of Andrew O'Hehir's "The empire strikes back," and the start of Eben Moglen's "Privacy under attack" set us up for some serious discussion of the national security state.