Let’s just stipulate, yet again, that no matter how bad global warming gets, no matter how screwed we are, even if the oceans rise and a hurricane surge turns Manhattan into Venice, there will never, ever be a single storm that we’ll be able to point to as “caused” by climate change.
By Bill Maher
So 60 Minutes got punked on Benghazi. They put a source on the air – a security contractor at the diplomatic outpost there – who’s since been thoroughly discredited. Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS and executive producer of 60 Minutes, called this “as big a mistake” as 60 Minutes has made in its 45-year history. Lara Logan apologized. She’s usually a great reporter. It happens.
The real scandal is the backstory of how this guy got on the air in the first place. CBS owns a right-wing publishing company called Threshold Editions, which publishes guys like Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Jerome Corsi – you may remember him as the non-Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Obama biography, Where’s the Birth Certificate? Well, Threshold needed to sell a few copies of their new quack book on Benghazi, and somehow got their clown booked on 60 Minutes.
This is a perfect illustration of the myth of the liberal media. CBS is one of the six media conglomerates that decide what the world sees and hears. It’s not a liberal media. It’s a corporate media, hungry for viewers of all stripes. These companies don’t discriminate based on ideology. They just want your money. And as much as 60 Minutes doesn’t like to admit it, it has the same primary goal as Two and a Half Men: eyeballs.
We shouldn’t just be holding 60 Minutes responsible; we should be holding CBS responsible. Shouldn’t somebody be asking what the company’s doing investing in this kooky book publisher and allowing it to infect its mainstream news operation? Shouldn’t they be erecting stronger barriers between their fiction and non-fiction divisions? To me, this is much more disconcerting.
By Bill Maher
Last Friday, 60 Minutes retracted its Benghazi story, because it had become clear that it was based on the eyewitness accounts of a self-interested liar who just wanted to sell books.
Then, on Sunday night’s 60 Minutes, Lara Logan issued an on-air apology and retraction. And yet, as of this writing, there wasn’t a word about 60 Minutes’ Benghazi embarrassment to be found over at the National Review. Not on its blog, The Corner, or on its front page. There are at least 15 stories on Obamacare, including one called “Obama’s Massive Fraud” by Andrew McCarthy. The subhead? “The nation knows he’s a charlatan.” But nothing about Benghazi. Crickets. Because they’re all bold truth seekers.
Yes, because speaking of frauds and charlatans, the Benghazi story has been a National Review obsession ever since The Worst Thing to Ever Happen to America happened, even as one element of the scandal after another has been debunked. (“The White House edited the talking points for political purposes!” anyone?) The folks at the National Review even pushed the discredited 60 Minutes piece as required viewing:
…No, I musn’t, musn’t, musn’t. Because it was not true at all. Glad I watched Sunday Night Football instead.
And how about this unintentionally comical tweet from Jonah Goldberg:
…Yes, Jonah. Yes it has.
Now, maybe the folks at the National Review don’t see the irony in three or four dozen articles and blog posts calling the President out for that time he said something that ended up not being true and pushing a falsehood for political gain, and then, you know, doing exactly that in this case, but it sure isn’t that hard for the rest of us.
And hey, at least Obama said he was sorry. Is anyone over there going to acknowledge that they pushed a story that turned out to be completely false because they really, really wanted it to be true, and for political gain?
And since the National Review doesn’t matter, what about all the members of Congress who pushed this story,and do matter? What say you, John McCain? Lindsay Graham? Every Republican in the House of Representatives?
Also, for the millions of Americans who live inside the Republican disinformation bubble, will they even find out that it isn’t true?
Author and New York Magazine editor John Heilemann joins Miles backstage to discuss his new book, Double Down: Game Change 2012, and talk casting for a potential HBO film adaptation.
Who would you choose to fill the major roles of the 2012 election?
By Bill Maher
According to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Syria has complied with international mandates and destroyed all of its declared chemical weapons production and mixing facilities.
We still have a huge refugee crisis in Syria that almost no one’s talking about, but compared to where we were two months ago, isn’t this an enormous success for American diplomacy? Stage one, at least, is a success beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Why has the reaction to this in the press and both political parties been so muted?