Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Progressive?

The Progressive is a magazine that likes to pretend it turned 100 in 2009.  It really didn't.

But it pretends a great deal.

They've  hired the Raw Story refugee Stephen C. Webster.

Raw Story is a scummy little sewer.  They pretended, for example, to care about 2004 voter fraud but then ignored a hearing on it and dismissed it as Republican-controlled to justify their ignoring it. And that about says it all.  They were selling out at the start of 2005, beating other left outlets by several years.

They were also a weak form of left which may be why Stephen C. Webster tries so hard these days to come off lefter-than-thou.

Strike a pose, as Madonna would say, strike a pose.

And a pose is all it is.

And it's not even a successful pose at that.

Which is why Marcia observed of the magazine last September, "In other words, it is completely useless.  Just like Webster."

Friday, in a blog post so bad it comes off like camp, Webster proved just how right Marcia was.

Recycling from The Guardian newspaper because he can't do a critique unless someone else lays out the framework for him, Webster lamented what had happened on MSNBC.

An interview was interrupted to go to live coverage of the breaking news that teen idol Justin Bieber had been arrested.

His horror, and The Guardian's, was honestly a bit much.

Andrea Mitchell was not reporting.  No news was stopped to switch over to the Bieber arrest.

Andrea had been doing an interview with a member of Congress about the NSA spying -- a former member of Congress.

It wasn't insightful and it didn't even qualify as good talk show.

And, to be really clear, in 2005, The Progressive would have applauded any breaking news that cut off Jane Harman who is a hawk and who is pro-spying.

Grasp that The Progressive today thinks it is a major offense to cut off centrist Democrat Jane Harman who never met a war she didn't hug like a body pillow.

But it gets even worse.

Webster writes:

The agency’s mass surveillance program was deemed “illegal” this week by a federal oversight panel, which recommended it be scrapped for violating Americans’ civil liberties and failing to provide useful intelligence about terrorist threats.

The link in that piece goes to AFP's report which notes:

A watchdog panel concluded Thursday that bulk data collection by the United States is illegal and should be stopped, prompting praise from intelligence leaker Edward Snowden.

Here's how David Kravets (Wired) reported it:

A once-neglected and overlooked executive branch oversight board declared today that the NSA’s bulk telephone metadata snooping is illegal, does little to combat terrorism, and should be ended.
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board’s 3-2 conclusion that the program “implicates constitutional concerns” is not binding on the government and comes a week after President Barack Obama announced major changes to the snooping program based on recommendations from a different review board.

Here's how BBC News reported it:

The bulk collection of phone call data by US intelligence agencies is illegal and has had only "minimal" benefits in preventing terrorism, an independent US privacy watchdog has ruled.
The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board advised by a 3-2 majority that the programme should end.

Charlie Savage (New York Times) went with:

An independent federal privacy watchdog has concluded that the National Security Agency’s program to collect bulk phone call records has provided only “minimal” benefits in counterterrorism efforts, is illegal and should be shut down.

Kevin Johnson (USA Today) offered:

In yet another challenge to the legitimacy of the National Security Agency program, the report released Thursday by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board also concluded that the bulk collection of so-called metadata is illegal.

Rich McCormick (The Verge) went with:

The National Security Agency's collection of bulk phone records is illegal and should be stopped, according to a report by an independent federal privacy watchdog. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board — made independent by Congress in 2007 — said the NSA's phone record collection program provided "minimal" benefits in counter-terrorism operations. The board's findings run counter to President Obama's, who said last week although the program would "end as it currently exists," its capabilities should be maintained.

Ellen Nakashima (Washington Post) offered:

An independent executive branch board has concluded that the National Security Agency’s long-running program to collect billions of Americans’ phone records is illegal and should end.

Are you getting the point yet?

All these outlets reported the program was found illegal.  None felt the need to condition the term by putting quotes around it.

None but Stephen C. Webster.

The Progressive made a huge mistake hiring Webster.

But, hey, it's close to going under and the new idiot in charge (Ruth Conniff) thinks the answer is focusing on print.  She's apparently lost her brain in a gated community.

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