“The Face of Disgrace”: Charlie Pierce’s Brief Look at Three Failures of the Mainstream Media Since 2001 (VIDEO)

By Elaine Magliaro

Today, Charlie Pierce has a post on his Politics Blog at Esquire titled The Face of Disgrace. The post is short—but points out the mainstream media’s failure to cover a few important events that occurred in this country since the beginning of 2001.

An excerpt from Pierce’s post:

On January 20, 2001, thousands of people assembled in Washington to protest the dubious installation of George W. Bush as the 44th president of the United States.

The major media covering the event ignored them.

So they weren’t there. So it didn’t happen. But President George Bush did.

Pierce also included a link to a clip from the movie Duck Soup in his post. I’m including the movie clip here for your convenience:

“This Country’s Going to War”- Duck Soup sequence


The Face of Disgrace (Esquire/Charles Pierce)


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23 Responses to “The Face of Disgrace”: Charlie Pierce’s Brief Look at Three Failures of the Mainstream Media Since 2001 (VIDEO)

  1. bettykath says:

    No quibble from over his choices but I’d like to add to the list:
    first entry – The MSM covered the Occupy Movement, sort of. But they missed the coordination of LE at all levels, local to feds, in the infiltration and shutdown of the Occupy Movement. Occupy is gone, didn’t happen.

  2. bigfatmike says:

    “But they missed the coordination of LE at all levels, local to feds, in the infiltration and shutdown of the Occupy Movement. ”

    I wondered about that. Who decided that it had gone on long enough. What agency sent the message and coordinated all the local LE agencies.

    With all the talk about federalism, states rights and the limitations on federal police power it is just weird to see protest tolerated for a while then somebody decided ‘that’s enough’ – then LE shut it down.

  3. Thanks for the “point” Mike. You led me to look into Occupy Movement much more over the last hour or so. Unfortunately you have erased the “giggles” Gene so kindly bestowed yesterday. Again this is one of those things that as i look around and breathe in the larger picture it makes me wonder if i ma living in the same Nation described to me in history books I read. Maybe Sanders was right and maybe he was a little too “subtle”.

  4. Mike Spindell says:

    Occupy is a great example of the lie that we live in a democracy, rather than a corporate oligarchy. It was tolerated to the point it became annoying to the powers that be and then it was ruthlessly stopped. The corporate media gets the signal and disappears coverage and in the mind of many Americans there are new distractions presented to “clear” our memories. I think this was all figured out after the social upheaval of the 60’s, by those who run things behind the scenes. It always peeked my curiosity that after Reagan was elected in 1980, the three major TV networks were bought out by highly conservative corporate entities.

  5. pete9999 says:

    If OWS had worn tri-corner hats and had some pet congress critters they might have even gotten their very own news channel.

  6. Elaine M. says:

    Remember this?

    Andrew Ross Sorkin’s assignment editor
    What caused the NYT’s Andrew Ross Sorkin to finally cover Occupy Wall Street?

    The Occupy Wall Street protest has been growing in numbers, respectability, and media attention for several weeks now. Despite that, The New York Times‘ financial columnist who specializes in Wall Street coverage, Andrew Ross Sorkin, has neither visited the protests nor written about them — until today. In a column invoking the now-familiar journalistic tone of a zoologist examining a bizarre new species of animal discovered in the wild, Sorkin explains what prompted him to finally pay attention (via Michael Whitney):

    I had gone down to Zuccotti Park to see the activist movement firsthand after getting a call from the chief executive of a major bank last week, before nearly 700 people were arrested over the weekend during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge.

    “Is this Occupy Wall Street thing a big deal?” the C.E.O. asked me. I didn’t have an answer. “We’re trying to figure out how much we should be worried about all of this,” he continued, clearly concerned. “Is this going to turn into a personal safety problem?”

    How interesting that when a CEO “of a major bank” wants to know how threatening these protests are, he doesn’t seek out corporate advisers or dispatch the bank’s investigators, but instead gets the NYT‘s notoriously banker-friendly Wall Street reporter on the phone and assigns him to report back. How equally interesting that if this NYT financial columnist can’t address the concerns and questions of a CEO “of a major bank,” he hops to it to find out what was demanded of him. Sorkin did what he was told, cautiously concluding:

    As I wandered around the park, it was clear to me that most bankers probably don’t have to worry about being in imminent personal danger. This didn’t seem like a brutal group — at least not yet.

  7. Elaine M. says:

    New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin Sneers At Wall Street Protesters, Estimates Only 80 There

    The Occupy Wall Street protests have grown every day since they began two weeks ago. In the past 24 hours, they have expanded to Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, and other major cities as thousands have gathered to demand economic justice and an end to big bank dominated politics. But according to a top Wall Street reporter at the New York Times, the protests don’t appear to really exist — and if they do exist, perhaps only 80 people have shown up.

    Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box program yesterday, Andrew Ross Sorkin, a financial columnist and editor of the New York Times’ Dealbook blog, a special business section devoted to covering Wall Street, condescendingly dismissed the protests:

    SORKIN: Do we think about the–Not to be so America-centric, but do we think that the whole Wall Street protest is overdone, real, not real? Were there really a lot of people down there? Were there a lot? I could never tell.

    COHOST: Well uh they arrested 80 people. Right?

    SORKIN: Right. But I dont know if that was like all 80 of them.

  8. When I worked in radio long ago, the law was that no single company could own more than six stations. Also, no single corporation could own all the media outlets in a community. The Communications Act of 1934 was created to prevent the exact kind of thing we are seeing today. When Ronald Reagan was elected, efforts to dismantle the Communications Act of 1934 began.

    I remember seeing a comment shortly after the Citizens United decision: “I will believe a corporation is a person when the state of Texas executes one.”

  9. The world has truly gone insane when I find myself looking to Texas for a solution.

  10. bron98 says:

    if people listened to liberal talk radio or whatever, we would have plenty of it.

    The simple fact is that most people dont like Ed Schultz or Randy Rhodes or Maddow. Or other liberal news sources. You guys are so far left you cant see how far left of center the media really is.

    Most people dont like left wing policies, in fact the democrat running for congress around here is talking like an Ayn Rand accolite. I imagine he isnt being up-front but he is targeting his message to the general public.

    The only way left wing ideas get promulgated is through the universities, the government and PBS. If conservatives can get 50% of the tenured positions in universities based on fairness doctrine, liberalism will be a quaint old philosophy for hippies and the children of rich people.

    • James Knauer says:

      Bron, less than five million people watch all cable news shows combined. Cable news could not be less relevant in 2014. There is no “left wing media,” there never was. There are now literally tens of thousands of news sites online of all political stripes. Nor do “conservatives” suffer from not enough university positions. Further, “hippies” went out with 8-track tapes and carbon paper. Shall we argue which is better? VHS or BetaMax?

      What “conservatives” suffer from is policy no one wants, ideas which are dead, and do not earn the needed majority on the only map the matters: the electoral college. There, “conservatives” suffer institutional problems, which are exemplified in your grossly outdated complaints. Failing to stay relevant, “conservatives” are a dying species. And the seeds of what comes after the GOP have yet to be sown.

      I do agree we have a rich people problem, but not in the rich v poor model. Rather, it’s a tiny minority of people wielding far too much power escaping the rule of law, including the President of the United States. Focus on that instead and you will get more people to agree with your positions, and perhaps move the electoral college in your direction.

      But not until. Hippies? Really? Who is moved by that language?


  11. bron98 says:

    Where did Tony C go?

  12. Bob Kauten says:

    “If conservatives can get 50% of the tenured positions in universities based on fairness doctrine, liberalism will be a quaint old philosophy for hippies and the children of rich people.”
    Close, but no cigar.
    If conservatives can get 50% of the tenured positions in universities based on fairness doctrine, education will be a quaint old philosophy.
    Still angry about the hippies, 40 years after? Could it be time to move on with your life, yet?

  13. bigfatmike says:

    ” liberalism will be a quaint old philosophy for hippies and the children of rich people.”

    Since rich people seem to own most everything and control the rest, it would seem that any philosophy of the children of the rich would set the terms of debate and control the outcome for most everything thing that happens in society.

    I am no right wing ideologue but I am not sure that is a good outcome.

  14. Elaine M. says:

    PBS? Really?

    PBS Loves Its ‘Roosevelts’—and Its Kochs, Too (The Nation)

    Ken Burns’s fourteen-hour series The Roosevelts is giving a big ratings boost to PBS. And even with George Will rather gently criticizing FDR, the show makes a persuasive argument for more government involvement in the lives of the nation’s citizens.

    But PBS is not so sympathetic to New Deal policies that it would ever welcome the hatred of malefactors of great wealth. In fact, it has often caved to the wishes of rich conservatives, most notoriously when it pulled Citizen Koch, a public television documentary that took on the Koch brothers. David Koch sits on the board and helps fund PBS flagship station WGBH in Boston; last year, he noisily resigned from another flagship, WNET in New York, after a different Koch documentary squeaked through and aired.

    In her fascinating piece, “PBS Self-Destructs: And what it means for viewers like you” in this month’s Harper’s (subscription required), Eugenia Williamson finds that PBS has been kowtowing to the right and the powers that be long before Nixon or Newt tried to defund it, or David Koch silenced it by funding it:

    In the end, though, it doesn’t matter that the Republicans couldn’t defund PBS—they didn’t really need to. Twenty years on, the liberal bias they bemoaned has evaporated, if it ever existed to begin with. Today, the only special-interest group the network clearly favors is the aging upper class: their tastes, their pet agendas, their centrist politics. This should surprise nobody who has taken a long, hard look at PBS’s institutional history. Yes, it’s tempting to view the last couple of decades as a discrete epoch of decline, with the network increasingly menaced by a cartoonish G.O.P. hit squad, helmed by Newt Gingrich as Snidely Whiplash. But the present state of PBS was almost an inevitability, the result of structural deficiencies and ideological conflicts built in from the very start.

  15. pete says:

    yep, that’s what’s wrong with this country, lazy, long haired, bearded, american flag bandanna wearing hippies.

  16. Elaine M. says:

    Congressional Conservatives Tip Scales to the Right on the Sunday Shows

    The parade of politicians on the Sunday morning talk shows veers to the right, not the left.

    Conservative members of the current Congress have appeared more often on the network talk shows than their liberal counterparts. Senators and representatives from the conservative end of the ideological spectrum have made 57 percent of the appearances, compared with 42 percent for liberals, according to an Upshot analysis of data collected by American University.

    This slightly lopsided distribution is primarily the result of three Republican senators’ frequent visits to the network shows: John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell…

  17. Bob Kauten says:

    Whiners who use the words “liberals” and “progressives” as pejoratives, tell me nothing about liberals and progressives. That use just tells me volumes about the whiners.
    Do they entertain the notion that being the opposite of liberal and progressive is a good thing?
    I hope to live up to the real meanings of those words.

  18. Mike Spindell says:

    “Whiners who use the words “liberals” and “progressives” as pejoratives, tell me nothing about liberals and progressives. That use just tells me volumes about the whiners.”

    Bob K.,
    As children we project our fears onto “bogeymen”, vague figures embodying all our youthful fears. Some of us never grow out of childhood fear, but as adults construct more sophisticated simulacrums of the unreasoning fear we try to keep at bay.

  19. Bob Kauten says:

    That’s a good start on the volumes. The simulacrums aren’t very much more sophisticated. Adults seldom get past a one sentence explanation. They’re not thinking in paragraphs.
    “Obama’s a socialist!”
    “What’s a socialist?”

  20. gbk says:

    I thought everybody knew that a socialist is a communist/fascist/statist/totalitarianist.

    Ya’ know, just an all around accompanist providing an accompaniment.

    Hope I got all those ‘ist right.

  21. Bob Kauten says:

    Only some of us know that.

  22. Oky1 says:

    Dr Stanley & the rest of you guys may find this an interesting piece about the disgraced main stream media:


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