Dwindling numbers of tea party activists rally against “Obamacare”

by on August 8, 2010 · 73 comments

in Economy, Popular, San Diego

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Tea party rally, August 7, 2010, Spanish Landing in San Diego. All photos by Frank Gormlie unless otherwise noted. (Click on image for a larger version.)

There was a tea party rally yesterday (8-7-10) at Spanish Landing along San Diego Harbor, organized by a so-called “doctors” group against – what the extreme right calls – “Obamacare” – the newly enacted federal medical care reforms. Yet the rally – attended by approximately 400 protesters – displayed something rally organizers are not swift to admit – dwindling numbers of tea party activists coming out to such events – as earlier tea party rallies had upwards of a thousand people.

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Counter-protesters at tea party rally.

A small group of counter-protesters were out there in the sun as well, holding signs supporting medicare for all. About a dozen folks – organized by a progressive group of local doctors and healthcare workers – Physicians for a National Health Program – had somehow found parking and managed to get to the sidelines of the much larger crowd.

Tea-party favorite and Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle was there and spoke to the crowd at the National Doctors Tea Party rally.  Roger Hedgecock, the former mayor-turned- felon-turned-national radio show host, was also on hand.

A number of people were circulating through the crowd wearing white lab coats – implying that they were doctors. But they weren’t. The Union-Tribune discovered that:

Craig Brown, a psychiatrist who lives in Del Mar, donned a white lab coat and wore a stethoscope around his neck … “I’m against ObamaCare,” Brown said. “It doesn’t achieve the goals of reduced health-care spending and because it will increase regulation and create more government agencies.” Brown said he borrowed the white coat from a nearby lab because a website suggested people wear lab coats to the event.

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Right-wing politicians and other entreprenuers gather at the sidelines - all wanting that buck.

The rally provided a captive audience for hawkers offering framed copies of the Constitution for $150, for local right-wing politicians who set up tables on the outskirts of the rally, and for parking at the Sheraton dirt lot for $10 cash.  (Parking for the event was non-existent by 12 noon – which may account for the low turn-out of tea party activists and counter-protesters.)

There are actually only two local San Diego medical doctors that belong to the sponsoring group, National Doctors Tea Party, Drs. Adam Dorin and Wayne Iverson.

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National Doctors Tea Party, Drs. Adam Dorin and Wayne Iverson. (Photo by Earnie Grafton U-T)

Dr. Wayne Iverson practices internal medicine in La Jolla, and has spoken at other tea party events.  Iverson openly supports the far-right extremist Rep. Michele Bachmann – who calls liberals “traitors.”

Dr. Dorin is the Medical Director  and Anesthesiologist at Sharp Grossmont Plaza Surgery Center.  Dorin, besides being a tea party activist, has also written a book entitled Jihad and American Medicine – (recently reviewed on the extremist blog “Islam Watch”) who says we need to think like a terrorist to anticipate attacks on our health system (besides the pharmaceutical companies, I suppose.)

There were the usual extremist hand-painted signs. Yet, they seemed old, weathered – as if they’ve been in a closet for 6 months.

The Nevada tea party politician Sharron Angle has a habit of avoiding even mainstream media because – as she has told us – they don’t support her campaign against Democratic Senator and stalwart Harry Reid.

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Nevada tea party Senate candidate Sharron Angle speaking to a faux news station (not Fox).

I caught up with her as she was leaving the rally scene.  She was being “interviewed” by a woman reporter and her cameraman.  But something was wrong – I had never heard of their call letters and the reporter was not asking any real questions.  Angle appeared to have at least four handlers surrounding her. One counter-protester kept asking her when she was going to appear on the Rachel Maddow show.  There was no real media asking her anything. By time I had gotten my thoughts around the prospect of asking her something meaningful, her entourage had turned and slivered away.

Perhaps it was the sunshine that had finally arrived in San Diego, perhaps it was the lack of parking, or perhaps it was simply the passage of time and its accompanied experience with real health care reform, that has dwindled the numbers of tea party activists – as seen from those that had assembled for this event.  At any rate, the signs dissing “Obamacare” seemed stale and out-of-date.  In fact, one of the speakers agreed.  He extolled the crowd to take on other “non-materialistic” issues – like the “sanctity of marriage.”

{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

annagrace August 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm

The interview that she gave was primarily to PJTV which is the Tea Party TV. Despite what was said that the “campaign” did not arrange for the news coverage there when asked who was the unknown media, it is not too hard to connect the dots.

Interview here with Angle http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmpgYU4pRFQ
Info here about Tea Party TV : http://www.pjtv.com/about_us/


Rob August 8, 2010 at 3:38 pm

For a tiny little group they sure pack a lot of stupid.


Danny Morales August 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm

These TEA-BAGGERS with thier irrational hatreds have become a liability to the political economy. My guess is we’re not quite ready for facism yet. Keep the pressure on so we can shorten its shelf life. In the meantime they are entertainment to us with a warped sense of humor see:



Jacob August 8, 2010 at 3:55 pm

FYI, psychiatrists go to med school/residency and have MDs. They are doctors.

Just because you dont agree with the event doesnt give you the right to discredit it based on false assumptions. Painting them as extremists with a jaded point of view is a wasted exercise if you yourself are a mirror image.


LA Dogger August 8, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Huh? “if you yourself are a mirror image?” Wow, have another Coors Lite.

And yes, just because the writer does not agree ABSOLUTELY gives him the right to discredit the event….just like the tea buggers “have the right” to sound, look and act ignorant. And really, how can you agree or disagree with an event? Does the event have an opinion? It never ceases to amaze me how ignorant the wing nuts are.

Your Sharrrrrrrron Angle’s campaign is DEAD. She is the best thing that ever happened to Harry Reid’s campaign. Oops.


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

Thank you for being a prime example of what the mirror image is. Take off the political tunnel vision and try looking at it from the other side and read what I actually said.


JEC August 9, 2010 at 8:42 am

Jacob is right Psychiatrists are also medical doctors – Dr. Craig Brown’s practice is in Chula Vista. But Jacob, the nature of the rhetoric used in civil discourse is harse, not from the left, who tend to be a little too “liberal” and tolerant (indulgent?), but from folks like Ann Coulter, Michelle Bachmann, Rush Limbaugh – from the political hard right. Along the political spectrum they are on the fringe, the extreme. In all fairness, if you find ‘extremist’ unfair, a more academically accurate word would be fascist. Which would you prefer?


Matt Harper August 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Wow! What a turd of an article. I didnt attend this rally, nor any others but i can tell you my passion (and Vote) is against liberals. The tea party is made up of people who work for a living, are tired of footing the bill for illegals and sick of big government’s repeated failures. Being labelled a racist or fascist will not keep me from the voting booth. Try a new slander its getting old and only makes one look a fool.


Thomas Jefferson August 8, 2010 at 7:54 pm

When your “vote” is only against something, what are you voting for? All I hear these tea baggers say is what they are against. There have been no credible proposals from them or the Republican party. The GOP is the party of “no” and the tea partiers are the party of “no clue.”


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

While that is a bit of an exaggeration, maybe that is what is best for the US. Currently the inability to say no has gotten us to our current Roman empire-esque state.


john August 10, 2010 at 1:27 am

(pssst! while I DID vote for Obama, one cannot forget the entire platform of Kerry/Edwards 2004 was “anybody but Bush!”)
I don’t recall any novel policy plans other than recalling Bush’s tax cuts for the rich… and implementing tax incentives for corporations to not lay off people. AKA tax cuts for the SUPER rich. LOL. Kerry would have been the wealthiest President ever. However unlike Bush, not the dumbest.


kenloc August 9, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Yes,yes.keep voting republican.The last administration did such a fantastic job.a 9 trillion dollar defecit was already in place when Obama took office.(there was a surplus when Bush took office)2 wars, an economy in shambles.Big goverments repeated failures?Look no further than the Bush years. So far Obama’s plan seems to be turning the economy in the right direction.He has pulled most of our boys out of stupid war #1.And he is trying to give health care to those in need and save lives while trying to clean up an oil spill of ridiculous proportions.(Drill baby, Drill! Right?)Get a clue as to who caused the mess we live in and who’s trying to fix it. Try having a passion FOR something instead of AGAINST it.


john August 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

“Try having a passion FOR something instead of AGAINST it.”

Like the political reform of a nation of 22 million, and possibly the whole region (one vital to our interests)) once we removed a murderous dictator?
Democrats were fully onboard with the Iraq war (even Bill Clinton agreed with the decision) then when it was a success tried to cast aspersion on its legitimacy for use against Bush in the 2004 election. (remember Joe Wilson? HE was the liar)
Don’t pretend criticism of policy is a Republican invention when Democrats sought to discredit every American endeavor under Bush to fulfill their assertion Bush would be the worst President ever, even though only a fool would believe that simpleton was the architect of it all.
They told the world our middle east policy was illegal, immoral and based on greed(even though the motivation behind opposing Security Council nations France, China and Russia was all of those) I hope they aren’t suprised the world listened.
As to “who caused the mess we live in” most informed people understand while Bush was certainly a lackluster leader he inherited a “bad plate” from his predecessor on these points:
1. 9/11 was the result of Clinton’s inability or unwillingness to firmly deal with the increasing boldness of Al Qaida’s attacks, and trusting the UN to deal with Saddam Hussein. Instead of completing his disarmment Saddam, the UN and the officials of interested member states used the situation for personal profit while 500,000 Arab Muslim children died from starvation. This is directly cited by OBL in his fatwa.
2. The two “stupid” wars were necessary because of factors stated above and Clinton’s flaccid performance as CinC, best compared to Deputy Barney Fife. You cannot run around with an empty gun and not use it when challenged. Any talk about wars being “stupid” should consider when Bush gave the 48 hour notice required by the JR to congress, not one peep or murmer was made by a single Democrat who cast a Yes vote to hesitate or delay our action.
3. Bush inherited an economy which saw our intellectual properties handed over to China at fire sale prices by US corporations, facilitated by US consumer greed and Clinton’s corruption based pro China policies. (google bernard schwartz chinagate) A complete transformation from producer to consumer.
4. Clinton inherited the goodwill of the world for the US coming out the victor for their benefit in the cold war. By 2000, the formation of the EU was complete, their currency launched and they were itching for rationale to kick us in the teeth in gratitude. This TIME magazine piece dated pre-9/11 tells the story if you doubt that:


“If Bush didn’t exist, Europe would have to invent him.”

I’m not arguing to promote boy idiot Bush, but to say he didn’t create a mess any worse than his predecessor put difficult tasks aside that Bush had to deal with. This partisanship, this belief that the current loser is to blame for everything but once our loser gets in office everything will be fine, is one of our biggest problems.
Obama is just another hand picked stooge, a mouthpiece for the elite who control the nation- no, the industrialized world. Some naively call these people the architects of a “new world order” but it’s the same old crap we’ve been living under for a century.
Note one of the “top 25 censored news stories of 1977” was “Jimmy Carter’s Trilateral Commission White House”, and again in 201o, it’s “Barrack Obama’s Trilateral Commission White House”. Anyone who thought Obama represented “Hope” and “Change” frankly has a childlike knowledge of the issues.
I couldn’t vote for McCain as he was sure to continue more of Bush’s oppressive destruction of domestic civil liberties and he is an angry eunuch, not Presidential in stature nor bearing.
I didn’t expect much from Obama other than charismatic apearances, and thus am not disappointed.


Nicole August 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I attended the meeting for the Medicare For all supporters and can tell you that the majority of those attending on the Tea Party side were mostly retired, full of hate and not wanting to be bothered from their confortable retirement, truly mid west mentality enjoying to listen to lies spewed by the speakers up on the podium. I spoke to one person in the tea party side and asked why do they speak so many lies, he admited that they were lying but that is what sell the Tea Party’s point of view. A smart and honest man.




Scott August 8, 2010 at 5:38 pm

The Tea Party movement is surrounded by scandal and ignorant people..thanks but i don’t want the KKK back in power..


Me August 9, 2010 at 8:35 am

Robert Byrd is dead, so you don’t have to worry about it.


Nicole August 9, 2010 at 2:30 pm

that is ecaxtly how I feel that it is a KKK disguised meeting


JayMagoo August 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

What are you complaining about, Matt Harper, you right wingnuts and brain dead conservatives have a whole network to lie and fabricate in favor of the Tea Party nuts and other idiotic conservatives. Fox Network’s lies are all documented and are such huge lies that no sane person believes them anymore. (I”m suggesting conservatives are not sane!) Look them up on MediaMatters.org for you don’t believe me, that is if you conservatives can stand seeing the truth after a steady diet of lies from Fox.


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 9:50 am

Mediamatters.org is funded by and tied to liberal sources. Hardly a reliable source for a neutral analysis of conservative news outlets.


JayMagoo August 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

Whatever the sources of funding for MediaMatters.com might be, their actions make them credible. Every time MediaMatters calls the right-wingers out on a piece of misinformation they are pushing, MediaMatters comes up with documentation and cites sources to prove their point. That alone makes them reliable, despite the efforts of people like Jacob to paint them as a mouthpiece of Liberal Sources. I’ve seen MediaMatters take some so-called liberals to task when they get the facts wrong, which makes me all the more willing to believe them. The lies and misrepresentations on Fox News and by windbags like Rush Limbaugh are so egregious that a service like MediaMatters.com was needed, and I don’t care who funds them as long as they continue to challenge the lies and to tell the truth to counter those lies.


annagrace August 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

And PJTV was a “neutral” interviewer? Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun provided this insight into the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a major promoter of the Doctors Tea Party in San Diego. Here are some of their theories:
“….the advent of Medicare in 1965 was “evil” and “immoral” and once published a piece arguing HIV may not cause AIDS. There’s more, too, with the group promoting one of Angle’s previously expressed theories that abortion may cause breast cancer and it also once argued the FDA is unconstitutional.”

Since the links provided by Ralston are to the group’s own material, where is the liberal bias?
Full article here: http://www.lasvegassun.com/blogs/ralstons-flash/2010/aug/06/group-promoting-angle-event-medicare-evil-and-immo/


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 12:56 pm

My point was that his disparaging of Fox news while citing an extremely liberal source was hypocritical.


annagrace August 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm

MediaMatters provides sources for their analysis. Not only does Fox NOT do that, it routinely distorts the truth- remember Shirley Sherrod? Fox manipulates the news, blatantly supports right wing causes, cooks it up and expects everyone to buy it as news. No, no, no and no again.


john August 9, 2010 at 2:23 pm

While I’d be foolish to disagree about the inherent slant by Foxnews, MediaMatters can hardly be counted on to provide objective counterpoints, in fact in my past experience their selective use of facts often reached the point of insulting the intelligence of anyone they tried to fool with their partisanship. Their “about us” page states:

Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.

Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation — news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda — every day, in real time.

Using the website mediamatters.org as the principal vehicle for disseminating research and information, Media Matters posts rapid-response items as well as longer research and analytic reports documenting conservative misinformation throughout the media. Additionally, Media Matters works daily to notify activists, journalists, pundits, and the general public about instances of misinformation, providing them with the resources to rebut false claims and to take direct action against offending media institutions.
which leaves us wondering why they don’t care about liberal disinformation?
Not trying to pick a fight I just saw “media matters” and kind of chuckled as it’s a subject that’s come up elsewhere. They are a source, and they use references- however many dismiss Fox solely on bias, these guys are no better.


dave rice August 11, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Fair enough assessment. Does the right have an equivalent organization dedicated to correcting misrepresented information from the left? As I understand it, rank-and-file conservatives just write off everything said by someone they don’t agree with, they’re generally not concerned with whether information is factual nearly as much as whether it’s being conveyed by someone they like.


john August 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

That’s the funny thing, conservatives don’t need to have someone like media matters to organize their angry disdain for the opposition, most of them have guns, and even reload their own ammunition, each is a potential Lee Harvey Oswald or Unibomber all by themselves, who knows what might set them off.


caerbannog August 8, 2010 at 5:54 pm

(Parking for the event was non-existent by 12 noon – which may account for the low turn-out of tea party activists and counter-protesters.)

I drove right by the event on the way over to Harbor Island a little after 1 PM. There were lots of available parking spots in the Sheraton dirt parking lot. (The parking-lot appeared to be about half-full.) The modest turnout can’t be blamed on lack of parking.


Frank Gormlie August 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm

The dirt parking lot at the Sheraton charged $10 cash. It was not full by any means. There was no available free public parking by noon.


Gabriel Vazquez August 8, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Wow, is this supposed to be an article by an actual reporter or is this just another typical example of liberal writing or as they used to say, yellow journalism? To the so called reporter that wrote this: let me tell you some thing, if you’re going to call yourself a reporter then just do your job and report , the fact that you hate these people is so blatantly evident in your article that it makes you look like nothing more than a hack. Be impartial or go get into another line of work, like selling Birkenstocks.


Frank Gormlie August 8, 2010 at 8:34 pm

GV – please point out one incorrect fact in this article.


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

As I posted above, psychiatrists are real doctors. Saying otherwise is akin to saying that combat medics are not real soldiers.


LA Dogger August 8, 2010 at 8:36 pm

Ummm….no. This is a “blog.” Do you know what that is? Still, this writer has given an accurate account of the event just as you would expect a “reporter” to do. “Be impartial?” LOL! This is this person’s blog and he can be as partial as he likes.

Why is it that tea wankers only like free speech and one-sided reports when it comes from their side? Just goes to show you that there isn’t half a brain in the whole box of tea bags. I don’t see any “hate” here, unlike the hate that oozes from the tea wankers.


Bernard Webb August 9, 2010 at 3:43 am

GV, you speak of others’ alleged hate in such a hateful tone. Pot, meet kettle.


Gabriel Vazquez August 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Dear bernard,

I don’t hate any one, I was pointing out that the person who wrote this article clearly does not like the people at that event is evident, I neither like nor dislike the author of that piece, maybe if he shared the same view towards the people that he writes about he might have a little more credibility, as would you.


kenloc August 9, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Perhaps you are look for a right leaning blog to read. This is a BLOG,not a news station.I’m sure the Tea Boogers have a blog you can read that will tell you about the huge turnout and great conservative vibes that were present. The reporter is the guy who started the blog you are reading in horror.I thought he did a good job.


Gabriel Vazquez August 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm

So if I follow your logic, i’m only supposed to read articles that favor my political views? what would be the point of that? Whwn I read some thing i want to read the truth, not somes slanted ramblings. It baffles me why Liberals insist on turning a blind eye to slanted stories just because they are to their advantage, in doing so they are not seeing the forrest for the trees. Misrepresentation of facts or slanted reporting of any type by ANY ONE, should never be tolerated, not if you believe in a true free press. Slanted stories are nothing more than propaganda, if you’re alright with that then maybe you should add Pravda to your faves list they twist the truth in order to mee their ends too, I’m just saying.


john August 9, 2010 at 4:03 pm

This online publication clearly presents itself as a progressively oriented media outlet, and as such it is expected a political event should be covered in such an op-ed manner. I don’t see any factual inaccuracies and the worst you could say is that it appears by the proliferation of quotation marks the author appears to mock the participants. Given remarks such as this:
“Dorin, besides being a tea party activist, has also written a book entitled Jihad and American Medicine – (recently reviewed on the extremist blog “Islam Watch”) who says we need to think like a terrorist to anticipate attacks on our health system ”
I can say I agree with the criticism about the slant the author added.
This Dorin guy seems to be able to be plenty stupid without anyone’s spin.


Mark W. August 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm

That was a funny dig at psychiatrists by outing one posing as a REAL Dr. Check out the Journal of the American Medical Ass. in January on Anti Depressants. Over two thirds of the people taking them are on a toxic placebo. This guy should be worried about being a member of the worst excuse for a healing profession since medieval barbers were bleeding people not Obamacare.


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 9:46 am

After looking at the Jan 2010 JAMA I wasnt able to find an article that showed that the chemical composition of 2/3 of antidepressants were toxic non-therapeutic medications. Could you please give a direct citation?


Melanie August 8, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Cool! I found this blog post through Google News. Great post and great comments….well, most of them.


Diane5150 August 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm

Proper medication is essential for the continued well being of the country. All extremist views will now be classified as mental instability and all such persons for the good of the country will be properly medicated.

The Medicate America First Party


Gatch Story August 8, 2010 at 11:22 pm

Nice job of reporting. The corporate media would have the country believe that the teabagging cretins are some kind of political juggernaut. They are not. But they have just enough power to rip the GOP apart and the sooner the better.


Gabriel Vazquez August 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Tea Bagging cretins? yoo’re spouting off a lot of hate there pal, i’d try some relaxation tapes if I were you.


10pound August 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

Damn…there sure are a lot of white people in that group.


Aaron from Vista August 9, 2010 at 8:24 am

You should have seen all the Hispanics, there. where are the pictures of them?


Mark W. August 9, 2010 at 11:41 am

Results Medication vs placebo differences varied substantially as a function of baseline severity. Among patients with HDRS scores below 23, Cohen d effect sizes for the difference between medication and placebo were estimated to be less than 0.20 (a standard definition of a small effect). Estimates of the magnitude of the superiority of medication over placebo increased with increases in baseline depression severity and crossed the threshold defined by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence for a clinically significant difference at a baseline HDRS score of 25
This was the meta analysis of several anti depressant studies. Translation: Anti depressants work a small amount for the very most depressed people (tho less than half the effect of teaching them to sleep better) and is no better than a placebo for MOST who take them. See article The trouble with Anti Depressants in NY Times or Forbes article.


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm

This is already widely known. Antidepressants were designed for and intended to be sued by people with major depression, not people with minor depression. I missed the part where the toxicity is emphasized. Modern antidepressants are some of the safest drugs on the market and are almsot impossible to OD on. What is your point?


annagrace August 9, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Dr. Craig Brown should be included in the tally of doctors present, but the tally is beside the point. Do these doctors accept any form of government reimbursement? Medicaid, Medicare, VA etc? I bet they do.


Jacob August 9, 2010 at 12:59 pm

In the medical field it is virtually impossible not to. The government controls an enormous sector of the market and medicare rates serve as a basis for private reimbursement rates. Taking money from the government in the medical field is virtually required to stay afloat in a private non-boutique practice. It doesnt negate his belief that the government should not play as big of a role as it does in the healthcare field.


Nicole August 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Interesting that the tea partiers had 2 or three real doctors in their midst for 400 participants and we in the opposition to the tea party with about 12 participants had 2 real doctors attending and demonstrating, those are certainly fantastic odds.


Mark W. August 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm

LOLOLOLOL, Jacob, Jacob, take a look at those bottles of anti depressants and the big warning label with the host of side effects which include DOUBLING suicidal behavior for teens and young adults. The FACT is this ‘medicine’ has no therapeutic value for most of the people taking it no matter what the intentions were so exposing the MILLIONS on them to the harmful effects is FRAUD perpetuated by the pharm companies and the hapless pill salesmen masquerading as Drs we call psychiatrists.


JayMagoo August 9, 2010 at 3:44 pm

There is a world of difference between MediaMatters.com and Fox News, the most obvious one being that Fox News and other right wing talkers start with a point of view and lie and distort “facts” to support their point of view. (I and MediaMatters can provide you with daily examples to bolster that argument.)
MediaMatters.com, on the other hand, examines what Fox News and the right wing talkers put out as news “we report, you decide” and document each and every lie and distortion. It’s all there if you want to challenge me. MediaMatters does not select their arguments with respect to left or right, they examine the lies that Fox and the right wing talkers put out, and then print the truth to refute that lie.
If MediaMatters is a “liberal” operation, then that method of operation tells us something about the controversy of Liberal vs. Conservative.


Ian Rammelkamp August 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Nice contradiction!


john August 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Your description ignores media lies are largely by omission, and rarely by including and distorting facts.
However the argument as I buttinskied into was going the direction that Fox is right leaning and Media Matters is not left leaning, their own about me statement renders that patently absurd. So this claim by you:
“MediaMatters does not select their arguments with respect to left or right” isn’t true at all. If you think so, again read that passage, straight from their site.
I would not be foolish enough to argue that media matters cannot find fault with Fox news broadcasts, but wonder why you are only looking for these things on a right leaning network and no one elses? If you’re asserting Media Matters isn’t left leaning you’re probably guilty of as much bias as Fox viewers are accused of. Not a mortal sin to be sure but you should have the objectivity to recognize and admit it when it’s shown to you in their own words.


JayMagoo August 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I say that MediaMatters.org doesn’t select their targets by left-right ideology from my onw observations of MediaMatters. I have seen them criticize in very harsh terms some items that have appeared in the New York Times and the Washington Post, neither of which could be called right-leaning. And it’s happened often enough for me to conclude (by my rather unscientific study) that Media Matters does not have the kind of bias that is the main characteristic of Fox News. Fox News comes into Media Matters’ sights because Fox News is a constant and persistent violator of both truthfulness and fairness. I challenge you to find any of the items in Fox News that Media Matters criticizes and tell me they were selected for ideological reasons, rather than for lack of fairness and journalistic integrity. I am a retired newspaperman who has worked for two major newspapers for a total of 28 years, and I know what the news culture used to be in this country. My politics have always been very carefully middle-of-the-road to avoid criticism from both sides. But what I see on Fox News and hear from the right-wing talkers is truly shocking and against everything I learned and practiced during my career.


john August 9, 2010 at 6:10 pm

“I challenge you to find any of the items in Fox News that Media Matters criticizes and tell me they were selected for ideological reasons,”

Sure, I’ll bite:

“news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda”

That’s their own words, and admits that it is not enough to be inaccurate, it ALSO must forward the conservative agenda.

Let it go. Fox is biased, I’d be the first to admit it. Insisting Media Matters is not, given their own admission, is not helping your credibility or appearance of objectivity.


JayMagoo August 9, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Speaking of credibility, I suggest you pay less attention to what they say, and watch what they do. They have criticized the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other less-Fox-like networks, hardly trumpets of the right wing agenda. That would seem to be contrary to the words you quote, and it would seem to me that Media Matters is more interested, by their own actions, in truth and integrity, than in ideology. In my years as a journalist, I always watched what was happening, rather than go by what somebody told me they were going to do. I suggest you do the same in the interest of your own credibility.


john August 10, 2010 at 1:17 am

I’m amused, surely.


JayMagoo August 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

Not unlike Fox News, you start with an opinion, and carefully select the facts to bolster your opinion. Following your logic, one would say Fox News is “fair and balanced,” becaue they say it is.


john August 19, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Oh please, you posted THIS:
” MediaMatters does not select their arguments with respect to left or right, they examine the lies that Fox and the right wing talkers put out, and then print the truth to refute that lie.”

AFTER I posted their own admission from their about me page.

Frankly your own belief about whether they are left or right or that you think they are champions of objectivity for going after “conservative” media outlets like the NY Times isn’t really relevant here, like had I foolishly declared I think Fox is centrist. Bias rarely recognizes itself.

Media Matters proudly declares they only go after conservative misinformation, I have no problem with that and their admission of this gives them at least credibility for recognizing their slant.

It’s obvious you could learn something from them on that.

In the same light there is nothing wrong with fox saying they are “fair and balanced” in the sense they feel it is FAIR to provide a BALANCE to what they perceive has been longstanding liberal media bias. If the right wingers want to sit immersed in the silliness of hearing only stuff that agrees with them they can join all the schmucks (and their syncophants) over in the forums at Free Republic, and its counterpart “Newshounds- we watch Fox so you don’t have to” (they are well known, having made a movie about Murdoch) where you may be interested to know at one point I so enjoyed breaking their ignorance about the opportunist liar Joe Wilson that they created a thread about me called “NH Neocon Wingnut HOF Quote Thread” (that’s Newshounds Neocon Wingnut Hall of Fame Quote Thread, I post there as “Batvette”)

that is still active TODAY at over 6200 posts and 208 pages!


(yes, I am proud of that, though have since made amends for the most part) the POINT being each of these forums are filled with people who never venture outside being around those who agree with them. They pretty much think they are middle of the road. It’s only ridiculous when you create a forum about someone else’s bias and attack them solely for the bias. I’ve seen what Media Matters passes off as “revealing conservative misinformation” and what they do is distort what the conservatives say then twist it a little further to finally reveal a point they declare is a lie- yet the only people who can’t see that they usually created the lie themselves, are people who came to media matters with the sole intention of seeing conservative lies.

If you really want to push the matter I suspect you would actually not see what I’m getting at and only fall into the hole of ignorance they will dig, if I provided an example. Just say so and I’ll go denigrate myself to go to their site and produce one.

I know Fox is biased, Hannity and O’Reilly in particular are cartoon characters. At least from what I remember, I haven’t had cable since 2000.

Don’t tell the guys at newshounds that. They thought I watched Fox!


JayMagoo August 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

You offer the premise that “Fair and Balanced” means not that they are Fair and Balanced within themselves, but that they balance off those news outlets they presume to hold a different bias than their own. A pretty shakey premise.
Then you quote Media Matters own statement, “Media Matters proudly declares they only go after conservative misinformation,”
You conveniently ignore the fact that Media Matters occasionally goes after reputed citadels of Liberal though as the New York Times when you claim Media Matters criticizes only the right. How do you reconcile that?
Once again, look at what they do, not what they say. The words of Spiro Agnew are still floating around there somewhere in the voids of outter space, “Watch what we do, not what we say.” I’m sure Spiro Agnew regretted those words as he entered his no contest plea in US District Court in Baltimore.

But one example of Media Matters aiming for a big target, an example of Fox’s total abandonment of “Fair and Balanced” is Breitbart’s opus on Shirley Sherrod, which Fox continues to either defend or ignore, is so egregious that it renderes all other examples moot. That one example is pure abandonment of journalistic ethicst, so perfect an abandonment that it fills me with wonder. (We could also talk about Breitbart’s unsupportable assassination of ACORN, done in merely because they took poor and black voters to the polls which Fox still touts as a journalistic achievement. The corporatocracy and the wealthy top 2 % get their money’s worth from Fox News.)
Of course Media Matters went after Breitbart and Fox on that one. But I truly believe Media Matters would have zeroed in on Breitbart even if he were a paragon of the Liberal pundit corps.

Speaking of Slogans, I don’t believe the New York Times prints “All the news that’s fit to print,” nor do I believe Fox News is in the same universe of “Fair and balanced.” I also do not believe that Media Matters aims exclusively at Conservative pundits, reporters, or editorialists. Even though they say they do. Follow Spiro Agnew’s advice. Slogans are merely hot air.


john August 22, 2010 at 8:08 pm

Your position ultimately demands that I should look at media matters through the tint of your glasses and agree with you that Media Matters goes after a wide swath of media as you portray it.
Ultimately falling upon the idea that I should agree with your presentation if I were the kind of person to dismiss the NY Times as hopelesly liberal, but should now exonerate Media Matters because they also sometimes attack a source I am supposed to treat with sneering contempt.
Hey the argument’s probably gone full circle, but as I have seen in years past Media Matters was usually as full of **** in their tactics and content as those they were calling out for the same behaviour. Many people know that and that is why the other person belittled the reference.
An example:
In this presentation that Newt Gingrich lied about Joe Wilson’s wife getting him sent on the trip to Niger, (True-she did not make the ultimate decision but “offered his name up” to go on a mission to the worst destination in the southern hemisphere, and followed it up in writing with a memo touting his qualifications. No way in hell a state dept employee gets sent to do a job by the CIA without Plame’s actions, and the senate report found so)
Look what they argue:
During a discussion with co-host Alan Colmes, Gingrich asserted that Wilson “got the job to go to Africa because his wife” – then-CIA agent Valerie Plame — “got him the job.” But as Media Matters previously noted, various intelligence officials dispute this allegation. An October 25, 2005, Washington Post article reported that “[t]he CIA has always said … that Plame’s superiors chose Wilson for the Niger trip and she only relayed their decision.” As Media Matters also noted, unnamed intelligence officials quoted in the media assert that the CIA — not Plame — selected Wilson for the mission to Niger. Further, CIA officials have disputed the accuracy of a State Department intelligence memo that reportedly indicates that Plame “suggested” Wilson’s name for the trip.
they use some quotes from unnamed officials, etc- sources which were considered, yet overruled, by the authority in this matter, the US Senate Inquiry report- which they STILL MISPORTRAY in a similar false attack, see #2:
But as Media Matters previously noted, in an addendum to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 2004 Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq, committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) wrote that Democrats on the committee had prevented the inclusion of the following statement as an official conclusion of the report: “The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador’s wife, a CIA employee.”
Referencing ONLY the addendum to the report, not its body, which is what Dems and Repubs agree on and is considered agrered truth. THey imply the Democrat objection to the findings were the findings as fact- WHICH they finally concede in another piece, only letting it slip through to the eyes of their readers because their attack is slightly different:
The Wall Street Journal falsely asserted in a March 28 editorial that “the Senate Intelligence Committee found” former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV “had lied in claiming his wife [former CIA agent Valerie Plame] had played no role in sending him to Niger to investigate whether Saddam [Hussein] was seeking to acquire uranium yellowcake.” In fact, while the committee’s report stated that “interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicated that his [Wilson’s] wife, a CPD [Counterproliferation Divison] employee, suggested his name for the trip,” the full committee did not conclude that Plame had suggested the mission. In a partisan addendum to the report, committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), joined by Sens. Christopher S. Bond (R-MO) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT), wrote that Democrats had specifically opposed including the conclusion, “The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador’s wife, a CIA employee,” in the full committee’s report. Further, multiple news reports have quoted unnamed intelligence officials who refuted the notion that Plame authorized, or even suggested, Wilson’s trip.
See how they let the truth slip through when they said “In fact, while the committee’s report stated that “interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicated that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip,”

which absolutely contradicts the slivers of truth they tried to present in the previous attacks, because the full report is the only thing that matters. And they even try to imply in this third attack, which presents more info than the previous two, that partisan addendum of Democrats not wanting that passage included, was irrelevant as the passage WAS included and finally agreed upon.

the Senate report was fully public at the time of all 3 attacks above.

they lied, to present a case of someone lying, and lied when they presented the evidence, and the biggest sucker they assume in the whole scheme?

Is the media matters reader. they assume you cannot read the report for yourself and would rather be spoon fed the facts as selectively as they allow. I rest my case.

Gabriel Vazquez August 12, 2010 at 6:21 pm

I’m curious, do you hold all of the left leaning media outlets to the same standard that you do Fox?


JayMagoo August 18, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Generally speaking, GV, I hold all media, left or right, to the standard of “truth.” Most slip now and then, but Fox hardly ever comes close. Fox News is run by Roger Ailes, who was Nixon’s original dirty tricks guy and the grand daddy of all manipulators and distorters of news, second only to Joseph Goebbles, the Third Reich’s Minister of Propaganda, who originated the concept of “The Big Lie,” (” If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. “) Roger Ailes is a practitioner of that concept in modern times.
Fox News showed their true colors yesterday when News Corporation, the holding company for Fox News donated $1 million to the Republican party (permissable under the recent Supreme Court decision that made unlimited corporate donations possible.)
This country is headed for big trouble it this keeps up.


john August 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

Mayber you should expand your information sources, seems that’s just part of the story:

The Washington Post hyped the news on the front of Wednesday’s Style section that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has donated $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, “triggering swift criticism from Democrats that a contribution of that magnitude casts a shadow on his media properties, particularly Fox News.” In paragraph 13, on page C-10, this apparent outrage of Republican favoritism gets ruined by reality:

Until now, the News Corp./Fox political action committee had given 54 percent of its donations to Democrats and 46 percent to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics — including $8,000 to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid’s campaign committee and $5,000 to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s organization. News Corp. also gave $45,000 each to GOP and Democratic campaign committees on Capitol Hill.

So the real story here is that Democrats are having a fit over the RGA donation, even if the overall donation levels are about even. Reporter Howard Kurtz failed to inform readers that Murdoch held a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in 2006

( from Newsbusters, I’ve been there twice. ever. )


Gabriel Vazquez August 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Then you are the only one because if the Media tears into a conservative such as dan Rather did and then later is proven to be bias no one says any thing but if a conservative does any thing then thy’re all on him like white on rice. The Media in this country is generally left leaning, this fact is beyond queston, I can provide documentation to back this up if you wish to but yet every one on the left is all right with this because it suits their ends. There is no difference between right or left bias, it is propaganda and I for one will point it out where ever I see it. I stand by my earlier comments about this article and the person who wrote it.


john August 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Hey, psssst: You missed a golden opportunity to bury him there, trying to make a connection between Fox, Republicans and Third Reich Nazis on such tenuously thin (i.e; none whatsoever) grounds is tasteless and never acceptable in political debate unless said individual can be found to have actual ties, though mere suspicion is usually enough. (see Ah-nold, they got a lot of mileage out of the Kurt Waldheim thing, or Shrub) If not, it’s an automatic default and forfeit, a line not to cross until, well I suppose the last holocaust survivor kicks plus a couple decades. Oldest rule in the book. Many strictly moderated forums can and will delete content for that reason alone.

Just so you know. But anyway it’s Frank’s Blog, has been since the Flintstones were prime time (almost) and he’s actually a good guy, not many people will concede a position with the graciousness I’ve seen him display, that’s rare. Hang around and educate him if you think it’s one sided. The only possible result will be you both benefit by expanding your knowledge.

I’ve debated media bias many times, a UCLA study a few years back did the most exhaustive and scientifically formulated study yet and still didn’t satisfy anyone.
Since it’s pointless to ask anyone about their perception of bias, I found the most objectively formulated was this:
“In a survey conducted by the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1997, 61% of reporters stated that they were members of or shared the beliefs of the Democratic Party. Only 15% say their beliefs were best represented by the Republican Party. This leaves 24% undecided or Independent.”

Noam Chomsky complains “comparing the media product to the voting record of the journalists is akin to thinking auto-factory workers design the cars they help produce. The media owners and news makers are the ones with an agenda, and this agenda is subordinated to corporate interests that is often leaning right.”

I think his analogy sucks, if the assembly line worker is a big dope or hung over, what level of quality do you expect of the finished product? Stockholders have influence but don’t micromanage. The guys in the trenches have more influence on the news, they have the cameras, and get to pick the snippets from the mouths of subjects before even editorial staff gets it, let alone management. I’ve debated Chomsky by email, he’s human, and often wrong- but a gift to us all nonetheless.

In the end if the media is liberal, and so wrong, look at all the opportunities available to make them look silly- or educate them. I prefer the latter.

(sorry about the rambling)


o.b.dude August 10, 2010 at 1:50 am

I took my 11-year-old son to the see the Tea Partiers so he could get a sense of what irrational anger & hate is all about. That seems to be what the T.P. is all about: vitriol, name-calling, fear, racism, hypocrisy, lies. Half the attendees so courageously protesting health care reform looked like MediCare recipients; what do they care about anyone else? Maybe they’d be willing to share their coverage with the uninsured? God, the whole thing made me sick, I’m sorry I went, it wasn’t enlightening in any sense, just depressing and gross.


GLK August 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

Putting party politics aside, if we can, do you really think Obamacare will add, subtract, or displace high health care costs? Given the Federal Government’s track record of blatant mismanagement of social programs I have my doubts.


JayMagoo August 10, 2010 at 9:15 am

The Federal Govenment has not mismanaged social programs to any great extent. That was a myth started by the Reagan people who wanted to sub out all the work that Federal agencies did so the Republicans could get campaign donations from those who got the work. The Republicans did it with Medicare, now when a person tries to get reimbursement from Medicare, the paperwork must go through an insusrance company who not only take their cut off the top, but they make contributions to politicians, usually Republican.

The Reagan Republicans continually complain about inefficiency, but what is more inefficient than an insurance company who spends a great part of their energy figuring out how they can deny claims to a sick person on Medicare? And that very same insurance company makes enough profits to make substantial donations to Congressmen and Senators and still pay their executive million dollar bonuses — with our money.

You want efficiency? Think the US Army, or the Veterans Administration, and even the US Postal Service. With their internal watchdogs and Inspectors General, most of those agencies are pretty damned efficient. If they weren’t, we would hear a lot more than the generalized complaints we get from the Reagan Republicans.


Abby August 10, 2010 at 10:20 am

At the rates things are going I don’t expect much of anything to change at all.


Patty Jones August 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

GLK, in different ways it will probably do all those things. Based on my experience with the health care that my mother receives through Medicare, my own experience with my PPO through work and my daughter’s experiences with her HMO I’d have to say my mother’s plan is the best. The mismanagement of my care through my insurance company came very close to costing me the use of my legs. My daughter had a baby a year ago (an everyday type of thing, right?) and the all the bills associated with that still have not been paid by her insurance company.

I know the bill isn’t everything but it’s a place to start.


Danny Morales August 20, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Patty-Thanks for bringing this discussion back to earth with your story. I hope that the flutterings of the phony intellectuals from the high perches of the american nuttery will, like the tea-bagger blog trolls, have a shortened shelf life. Peace, Love, Freedom and Happiness to you and yours- Danny


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