Ventura vs Hasselbeck – Call a spade a spade

You may or may not know that I watch The View. It’s kind of like watching Morning Joe, Golden Girls ( I mean no disrespect to that classic), and a Real Housewives reunion show all at the same time. Yesterday, Jesse “The Ex-Governing Body” Ventura appeared with the ladies to talk recent politics. When Ventura was governor of Minnesota I wrote him off as a joke. It appears, in my youth, I was a bit quick in my judgement. Here’s a clip from the show.

Ventura 1 Hasselbeck 0

Ventura embarrassed Hasselbeck in this clip. This really shows why I don’t like Hasselbeck, which I have addressed before. Having nothing to do with her politics, Hasselbeck just spouts of talking points without ever giving any real thought or insight to what she is saying or the actual facts behind them. Ventura called Hasselbeck on her BS and she crumpled like paper. A commenter at Donklephant articulates their dislike for Hasselbeck. It was so spot on I had to repost it.

from Donklephant:

Justin, as someone who is constantly on your @ss about being biased against conservatives, let me say this.

Hasselbeck IS a right wing idiot.

She is in no respect a thoughtful person, at least not on the air. She demonstrates ZERO in the way of strong-sense critical thinking. What VERY little critical thinking she does perform is limited to weak-sense critical thinking. That’s what you get when you begin by assuming that your premise is correct, and then you defend that premise only by marshaling whatever justifications you can find. You do your best to make the available facts fit the interpretation that you have already taken on faith to be true.

Enough Hassel-bashing, on to the main thrust of the clip: does the US torture?

Ventura’s point is one that right-wing parrot (Hasselbeck) could not avoid. I could start referring to DDT as “happy sunshine spray”, but that wont make it any less carcinogenic. You can call water boarding an “enhanced interrogation technique”, but that doesn’t change what it fundamentally is. If you want to try to defend water boarding call a spade a spade. Don’t do a thesaurus dance to try to make it more palatable. If it were so easy to defend it on it’s description alone one wouldn’t need to rename it. Just a move from the Karl Rove playbook.

Hasselbeck and water boarding defenders cannot ignore history either. The Japanese and Germans both used water boarding during WWII. During war crimes trials a member of the Doolittle Raid testified that his Japanese captors used water boarding during interrogation. Those who used water boarding were considered torturers and hanged.

As Ventura mentions, during the Vietnam War the North Vietnamese regularly used water boarding, and other torture methods, to interrogate POWS in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. The US military court-martialled a soldier in 1968 after the Washington Post ran a picture showing the soldier and two South Vietnamese performing water boarding.

These are just two instances where we have said water boarding was torture. We have recognized that water boarding is unacceptable, to put it mildly. Remember your history. Ditch the propaganda. If we are going to assume the moral high ground then we must walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Terrorists will see through the BS and we will provide them with yet another recruitment tool. Do we really want to do that?

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Ventura vs Hasselbeck – Call a spade a spade

You may or may not know that I watch The View. It’s kind of like watching Morning Joe, Golden Girls ( I mean no disrespect to that classic), and a Real Housewives reunion show all at the same time. Yesterday, Jesse “The Ex-Governing Body” Ventura appeared with the ladies to talk recent politics. When Ventura was governor of Minnesota I wrote him off as a joke. It appears, in my youth, I was a bit quick in my judgement. Here’s a clip from the show.

Ventura 1 Hasselbeck 0

Ventura embarrassed Hasselbeck in this clip. This really shows why I don’t like Hasselbeck, which I have addressed before. Having nothing to do with her politics, Hasselbeck just spouts of talking points without ever giving any real thought or insight to what she is saying or the actual facts behind them. Ventura called Hasselbeck on her BS and she crumpled like paper. A commenter at Donklephant articulates their dislike for Hasselbeck. It was so spot on I had to repost it.

from Donklephant:

Justin, as someone who is constantly on your @ss about being biased against conservatives, let me say this.

Hasselbeck IS a right wing idiot.

She is in no respect a thoughtful person, at least not on the air. She demonstrates ZERO in the way of strong-sense critical thinking. What VERY little critical thinking she does perform is limited to weak-sense critical thinking. That’s what you get when you begin by assuming that your premise is correct, and then you defend that premise only by marshaling whatever justifications you can find. You do your best to make the available facts fit the interpretation that you have already taken on faith to be true.

Enough Hassel-bashing, on to the main thrust of the clip: does the US torture?

Ventura’s point is one that right-wing parrot (Hasselbeck) could not avoid. I could start referring to DDT as “happy sunshine spray”, but that wont make it any less carcinogenic. You can call water boarding an “enhanced interrogation technique”, but that doesn’t change what it fundamentally is. If you want to try to defend water boarding call a spade a spade. Don’t do a thesaurus dance to try to make it more palatable. If it were so easy to defend it on it’s description alone one wouldn’t need to rename it. Just a move from the Karl Rove playbook.

Hasselbeck and water boarding defenders cannot ignore history either. The Japanese and Germans both used water boarding during WWII. During war crimes trials a member of the Doolittle Raid testified that his Japanese captors used water boarding during interrogation. Those who used water boarding were considered torturers and hanged.

As Ventura mentions, during the Vietnam War the North Vietnamese regularly used water boarding, and other torture methods, to interrogate POWS in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. The US military court-martialled a soldier in 1968 after the Washington Post ran a picture showing the soldier and two South Vietnamese performing water boarding.

These are just two instances where we have said water boarding was torture. We have recognized that water boarding is unacceptable, to put it mildly. Remember your history. Ditch the propaganda. If we are going to assume the moral high ground then we must walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Terrorists will see through the BS and we will provide them with yet another recruitment tool. Do we really want to do that?

Fur Flies on The View – Ziegler and the media mistreatment of Sarah Palin

The dragons were spitting fire today on The View. The ladies interviewed John Ziegler maker of the new documentary “Media Malpractice”. Ziegler’s documentary takes a look at media bias during the 2008 Presidential election. Ziegler’s thesis is that the media’s love for Obama won him the election and their dislike and fear of Sarah Palin destroyed John McCain.

Tempers were flaring. I had an extremely hard time garnering any information from the segment. The interview started with some decorum, but quickly degenerated into a tag-team wrestling match, Joy and Barbara on one side, Elizabeth and Ziegler on the other. I’ve heard arguments between drunken bums that were easier to follow. Things got so fiery that at one point I thought Barbara was going to slap John Ziegler right in the mouth. Whoopi tried to maintain some sense of order and add some actual facts to the jumble of half-truths and conjecture, but when the ladies go off there’s no stopping the chain reaction.

There was one fact Ziegler used in his argument that I take issue with; the only one I could discern from the mess. In a poll done by Zogby 6.2% of poll takers could not recall that Palin had a pregnant daughter during the campaign. Ziegler contrasted this with the results from a question of Obama’s association with Weather Underground member Bill Ayers. “56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing). Those that could associate Bill Ayers’ name/story with Obama voted 52-48 for McCain (We added Ayers name to the “Zogby” question and it significantly increased the rate of correct response, indicating a very superficial grasp of the overall story).”

This really proves nothing and I’ll tell you why. First, how can you say that adding Bill Ayers’s name to a question and getting more of a response means people did not know more about the story then they did about Palin’s. Just because someone knows Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant doesn’t mean that have more than a “superficial grasp” of the story. You can discount that part of the story.

Second, the relevance of Ayers to almost half of those who voted is in question. Ayers was most active in the Weathermen from the late 60s until the early 70s. 47% of all who voted were under 44. Even the oldest of those voters were only 7 or 8 at the end of Ayers involvement. Even when Ayers went to trial in 1980 few of the voters in the 47% would have been able to connect Ayers to his terrorism ten years ago. The pregnancy Bristol Palin was happening right during the election. It had an imedeacy to it that people seem to love these days. The Ayers story was old and moldy by media standards.

The media did treat Sarah Palin a bit harshly during the campaign. Some of the problems were her own. Politics is a rough game. Dirty laundry, relevant to an election or not, has a way of getting aired. Just ask Bill Clinton or John Edwards. Even Howard Dean and his infamous YEEEEAAAAA were so shoved in everyone’s faces he lost the Democratic nomination. Stuff like what happened to Palin happens every election season. Is it right? No. Will it continue to influence elections? Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that’s not likely to change soon. This is the price of 24-hour news.

Watch the clips all the way through if you dare. Give me your take.

Fur Flies on The View – Ziegler and the media mistreatment of Sarah Palin

The dragons were spitting fire today on The View. The ladies interviewed John Ziegler maker of the new documentary “Media Malpractice”. Ziegler’s documentary takes a look at media bias during the 2008 Presidential election. Ziegler’s thesis is that the media’s love for Obama won him the election and their dislike and fear of Sarah Palin destroyed John McCain.

Tempers were flaring. I had an extremely hard time garnering any information from the segment. The interview started with some decorum, but quickly degenerated into a tag-team wrestling match, Joy and Barbara on one side, Elizabeth and Ziegler on the other. I’ve heard arguments between drunken bums that were easier to follow. Things got so fiery that at one point I thought Barbara was going to slap John Ziegler right in the mouth. Whoopi tried to maintain some sense of order and add some actual facts to the jumble of half-truths and conjecture, but when the ladies go off there’s no stopping the chain reaction.

There was one fact Ziegler used in his argument that I take issue with; the only one I could discern from the mess. In a poll done by Zogby 6.2% of poll takers could not recall that Palin had a pregnant daughter during the campaign. Ziegler contrasted this with the results from a question of Obama’s association with Weather Underground member Bill Ayers. “56.1% could NOT correctly say Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground (25% chance by guessing). Those that could associate Bill Ayers’ name/story with Obama voted 52-48 for McCain (We added Ayers name to the “Zogby” question and it significantly increased the rate of correct response, indicating a very superficial grasp of the overall story).”

This really proves nothing and I’ll tell you why. First, how can you say that adding Bill Ayers’s name to a question and getting more of a response means people did not know more about the story then they did about Palin’s. Just because someone knows Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant doesn’t mean that have more than a “superficial grasp” of the story. You can discount that part of the story.

Second, the relevance of Ayers to almost half of those who voted is in question. Ayers was most active in the Weathermen from the late 60s until the early 70s. 47% of all who voted were under 44. Even the oldest of those voters were only 7 or 8 at the end of Ayers involvement. Even when Ayers went to trial in 1980 few of the voters in the 47% would have been able to connect Ayers to his terrorism ten years ago. The pregnancy Bristol Palin was happening right during the election. It had an imedeacy to it that people seem to love these days. The Ayers story was old and moldy by media standards.

The media did treat Sarah Palin a bit harshly during the campaign. Some of the problems were her own. Politics is a rough game. Dirty laundry, relevant to an election or not, has a way of getting aired. Just ask Bill Clinton or John Edwards. Even Howard Dean and his infamous YEEEEAAAAA were so shoved in everyone’s faces he lost the Democratic nomination. Stuff like what happened to Palin happens every election season. Is it right? No. Will it continue to influence elections? Yes. It’s an unfortunate fact that’s not likely to change soon. This is the price of 24-hour news.

Watch the clips all the way through if you dare. Give me your take.