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Tilting at Windmills

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December 10, 2008

O'REILLY'S AND ROVE'S NEW CONSPIRACY THEORY.... For most of the summer and fall, the standard line from Fox News personalities was that the economy wasn't that bad, and major news outlets were exaggerating the severity of the financial crisis to help Barack Obama win the election.

Now, of course, the election is over, presumably denying news outlets a motivation to inflate the severity of the economy. Or so I thought. Amanda Terkel notes that Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove believe traditional news outlets are still conspiring to make people believe the economy is in dire straits, and are still doing so for Obama's benefit.

As O'Reilly sees it, "the media" is "spinning" the nation's problems to be "as negative as possible now so that they can buy Barack Obama some time and set up a thing where if anything goes right after he becomes president, they can jump on it." He added, "[T]here is a conscious effort on the part of The New York Times and other liberal media to basically paint as drastic a picture as possible, so that when Barack Obama takes office that anything is better than what we have now."

Here's a radical thought O'Reilly apparently hasn't considered: maybe news outlets are reporting that the economic crisis is severe because it's actually a severe economic crisis. There's no need for a "conscious" conspiracy to help Obama -- news outlets are just reporting what's going on. Indeed, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on last month's job losses, officials described it as "maybe one of the worst jobs reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever produced" in its 124-year history.

Is the BLS coordinating with the NYT on the conspiracy?

For his part, Rove kept agreeing with O'Reilly's paranoid delusions, and repeatedly said major media outlets declined to use "similar scare tactics and the similar phrases and words" after the dot com bubble burst and Wall Street saw a major "correction" eight years ago.

Rove's clearly confused. When the dot com bubble imploded quite a few people lost quite a bit of money. But the reason we didn't hear the same "phrases and words" eight years ago that we do now is that the situations are in no way similar. I don't know if Rove is deliberately avoiding reading about current events, but there's a global economic crisis underway, with frozen credit markets, countries going bankrupt, a bleak and deteriorating employment landscape, and huge banks collapsing with some regularity. We are, already, in one of the longest recessions in generations, and we don't even know if we've hit the bottom yet.

Karl Rove thinks these conditions should be described with the same language reporters used to describe the dot com collapse. Karl Rove doesn't know what he's talking about.

Steve Benen 8:45 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Global Economic Crisis.

The dot-com bust was similar in that much of this collapse is based on pyramidic schemes derived from sub-prime derivatives and fuzzy math sucker the poor masses type financial shenanigans.

Wait. Even I doin't know what I'm talking about.

The conspiracy is the wealthy have created Wealthcare (bail outs).

How come Carl doesn't talk about Wealthcare?

We have all been suckered folks.

Fuck the rich.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on December 10, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

It's not that Rove does not know what he is talking about. He knows who he is talking to. It is a cornerstone of the republicans that there is a liberal media. Not a media. This allows the know nothings to reject all news/information that conflicts with their world view.

Posted by: granite_countertops on December 10, 2008 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

There was also the fact that the Fed was rapidly raising interest rates to head off too rapid growth induced inflation in 1999/2000.

Posted by: Th on December 10, 2008 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Creating your own reality is pushing a very heavy ball up a steep hill. Gravity is just a mother. These guys get big bucks for living in a zero gravity environment.

Posted by: lou on December 10, 2008 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

"Karl Rove doesn't know what he's talking about."

Put that sentence into auto-text. Unless the subject is manipulating the voting system, it will be useful in almost any context.

Posted by: seriously on December 10, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Carl Rove? He's still alive? I thought the aliens who placed him here dissolved his inner workings concluding that their arrangement of his molecular structure went awry? Oh well...

Posted by: stevio on December 10, 2008 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Just another example of conservative projection. Because FOX News and Bill O'Reilly really did conspire with the Republican National Committee and Bush White House to spin news so as to create a reality favorable to conservative Republicans, O'Reilly and Rove naturally think that this is how everybody plays the game.

Posted by: Ted Frier on December 10, 2008 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Could any two people be more out of touch with ordinary Americans and the problems the country faces?

Rove is not a bright man, it amazing he was able to copy cat Atwater et. al. to such an effect as to be percieved as a political genius.

Posted by: grinning cat on December 10, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

It's a wonder Ol'Mr. Rove hasn't gone out and bought himself some Icelanders lately. I guess he just doesn't follow current issues that closely these days. -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on December 10, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

The issue isn't really what Karl Rove knows or doesn't know. Karl always has an agenda and will say or do anything to advance it. The truth is only useful if it supports Karl's position. He's perfectly happy to make it up if it doesn't. See "Bush Legacy Project" for further evidence.

Posted by: dgarfinkel on December 10, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

Why is Rove not in jail?

Posted by: citizen_pain on December 10, 2008 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

It's funny, because usually in a spot like this, I would say, "there's no recession for BillO" because these talking heads make millions of dollars a year no matter what, but BillO just lost his radio show so it's not like things are going great for him.

Towards the end of the Bush years, there were times when he sounded, dare I say it, reasonable, and he had some nice words about Obama after his interview. But now that Obama's elected, he's gonna go right back into cartoon world. Too bad.

Posted by: Joshua on December 10, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

who listens to conservatives?


maybe if you are hunting for a punchline?

Posted by: mr. irony on December 10, 2008 at 9:17 AM | PERMALINK

Would Rove and O'Reilly (along with Hannity and Gingrich) please just drop dead from a massive coronary? Please? Just have a heart attack and spare us years of incessant bullshit. Failing that maybe a blowjob impaired careening into a large tree would do. Only don't survive like Morgan Freeman managed. Just die.

Posted by: steve duncan on December 10, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

These people are criminals and lie with impunity. They should be in jail, not engaging in any kind of national debate about anything. Until jailed, we should stop giving them any attention.

Posted by: mattis on December 10, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

What dgarfinkel said. It's very charitable to presume that Karl Rove is merely misinformed. I think he knows the truth but never says it.

Posted by: Chris S. on December 10, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

To Rove and O'Reilly there is no economic crisis. They are wealthy and assured of their jobs. The Republican Party has become the party of "let them eat cake" (yes, I know she never actually said that), so divorced from the experiences of average USians that they may as well be aliens.

Posted by: Personal Failure on December 10, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

How on earth does it help their agenda?
When people are suffering, you mouth platitiudes. Or you say 'this disaster is the fault of the other guy."
You don't say 'It's really OK! Things are good!"
They're doing nothing but alienating their viewers--showing them just how out of touch they are with people without millions in the bank.
You may be a cranky retiree who believes everthing from the War on Christmas to Barack Obama's birth certificate, but even you know when the Big 3 go bankrupt, and O'Reilly says it's overblown,that he's either clueless or lying.
But we're just a nation of whiners to Bill and Karl.

Posted by: pbg on December 10, 2008 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

What are you surprised about. With Karl, the most important thing has NEVER been the reality of what is happening. It is always the PERCEPTION and his entire MO has always been spinning things. Do you remember "finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," or "Iraq was trying to buy enriched uranium from Niger," or "Mission Accomplished?" Perception, perception, perception.

Posted by: dweb on December 10, 2008 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Rove's a moron, but he knows exactly what he's saying.

He's lying to create a fasle frame amendable to repugs.

That's what Rove, and O'Reilly, and Hannity, and the rest of Fox and the rest of the repugs have been doing for eight years.

For those who prefer their reality with less cynical sauce, perhaps they're so used to using Fox to create a false frame to help Smirky/Darth that they can't imagine that the non-Fox media wouldn't do the same thing to help Obama.

Posted by: Yellow Dog on December 10, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

If memory serves me right, the BBC and other international news orga are also reporting about the dire economic circumstances in the United States.

Of course O'Reilly and Rove are dishonest hacks, but their need to pin the objective facts of the disasters of the Bush regime on a mythical "liberal media' has gone beyond parody.

Posted by: Gregory on December 10, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

OReilly says all he wants is an honest press he's not hoping one way or the other?


OReilly, there you go projecting again."Hack" is your middle name.

Posted by: palinoscopy on December 10, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

I am a straight female, today I am supporting Days with a Gay shopping ban.

If it weren't for this day, I think it would have been a good idea to go and buy XBox.

I venting because this is ridiculous. I am starting to see why the newspapers are not selling papers anymore. Maybe people are just tired of the spin.

I now understand why people say they don't watch the news saying, "it's too depressing."

C'mon, if I want stupid gossip, I can buy those papers that talk about babies being born to aliens, and bigfoot, or watch the reality shows like Paris Hilton's BFF, Fox News, CNN.

Over the weekend there were good threads, like Palestine & Pakistan.

No wonder this country is hated so much, and Americans are called dumb and stupid - we lower our standards, we accept everything as fact, our education systems is in the tank, everything that should be important is insignificant.

It's time for me to find something else to do. I am so sick of Obama being held to these standards, 1)he needs to step up and help the economy, well gee, he's not sworn in yet. 2) he's being questioned about other people's conduct - hey here's a clue, why not question the offender. Do you want him to do the work of the people, or do you want him to continously answer for other people's fault?

Wow, people need to give the respect that they receive - stop acting like children and being so disrespectful. You guys are acting like out of control kids.

Posted by: annjell on December 10, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a prediction- they say things aren't that bad now. On January 20th they'll be saying things are AWFUL and it is clearly all Obama's fault. They're just saving their doomsday talk for later, when they can blame it all on the dems.

One other thing- I do think they risk looking really stupid and out of touch pedaling this now. Plenty of their rich brethern are upset by their huge losses right now. Keep it up, fox, you might just lose your true believers yet.

Posted by: zoe kentucky on December 10, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Cut to FOX viewer: Sits on his unemployed/underemployed, uninsured, no prospects ass, watching and absorbing the hate... I mean, who watches this shit anyway? Give me a profile please.

Posted by: beans on December 10, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Media outlets didn't cut my 401K in half.
Fuck O'Reilly with a loofah.
And why isn't Rove in jail?

Posted by: ckelly on December 10, 2008 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Karl Rove doesn't know what he's talking about."

Rove knows what he's talking about. O'Reilly might be clueless enough to really not get it, but Rove, whatever may be said of him, isn't an idiot. He understands perfectly well how serious the crisis is and yet is willing to flagrantly mislead the public in the hopes of scoring a political point. I didn't think my opinion of the man could get any lower, yet he always manages to top himself.

Posted by: JRD on December 10, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

C'mon, give Wild Bill a break. As all we Irish know, there's a subgroup of Celts that are born with rocks for heads and spend the rest of their lives celebrating the fact. Wild Bill is obviously one of them - either that or he got whacked with a ruler by one of the Sisters in parchial school a time or two too many.

Posted by: TCinLA on December 10, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

While Steve Duncan presents a reasonable alternative to the righty tal;king heads (massive coronaries), this would be physically impossible.

The undead don't have those.

Posted by: TCinLA on December 10, 2008 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

O'Arrogantone is sooo cutting edge on the economy. Last year, he was screaming at the NYT for their depicting sales declines on the Friday following Thanksgiving. BillO kept raving about "scenes of women hurling money at the cash registers".

Reminds me of reading a letter to the editor in the LA Times, shortly, before the overthrow of Marcos - Some matron had returned from Quezon City and was raving about the love displayed by the people for Marcos. "All is well", she wrote, "Don't believe the press".

Posted by: berttheclock on December 10, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hopefully some right-leaning Fox-viewing viewers who have lost their jobs or houses or who are fearful of it happening because it is happening all around them will be watching these guys saying this stuff and it will finally dawn on them what absolute crocks of s**t these guys are.

I had CNBC on this morning and they were talking about how a lot of people are pulling back on Christmas purchases this year because the times are so bad - and Mark Haynes was actually vocally expressing his disappointment that his fellow Americans weren't splurging as usual - "Christmas comes only once a year", etc. It was over the line of being clueless and offensive. I can only conclude that these well paid media types with job security and high salaries must truly be living in their own little bubble and are just completely out of touch.

Posted by: Ethel-to-Tilly on December 10, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Come on. Everyone knows that the Repubs were just hoping that the economy would hold off tanking until after Bush left office so that they could bleat their reverse truth temper tantrums..."the liberals all whine when we said x was Clinton's fault and now they all blame Bush for something that happened when Obama is in office....LLLibbberals are hypocrits...wAHHHHHH..." Rove and O'Reilly are just trying to stick to the plan. It will work for all of those "Patriots" sitting at home watching their hummers get repossessed and collecting unemployement whining about those bad unionized auto workers making $70/hr (Well, Fox news said it so it must be true) off the backs of the true hardworking Americans like themselves.

Posted by: Bethie on December 10, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Rove is not confused. He can say anything he wants because he knows that Fox News viewers are mostly know nothing sheep and will agree with anything he says.

Posted by: tablogloid on December 10, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

As I recall, the Bush 2000 campaign and transition team were doing their best to "talk down" the economy so they could jump right into the first round of tax cuts, with Cheney specifically saying we were probably in a recession (although one wasn't deemed to start until later in Mar 2001) as Bush prepared to take office. And the evidence of a recession was nowhere as clear as it is for today's crisis. This is clearly Rove projecting his tactics onto his opponents.

Posted by: Drew P on December 10, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

paint as drastic a picture as possible, so that when Barack Obama takes office that anything is better than what we have now."

True. But it's not the media that held the brush, Karl.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on December 10, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

What do you want from a porcine slave-state dropout? He's no less ignorant now. You talk about him as if he still has pull.

Posted by: awww on December 10, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Bill O'Reilly and Karl Rove, the kind of scum whose antics and hypocrisy, turn people into liberals.

Posted by: -jlinge- on December 10, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK



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