I rarely watch TV. I try to catch Maddow when I can. Last night I happened to catch the opening of the Ed Show. I was pleased to see Ed interview a vigorous Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). Both of them “named,” the “Grand Bargain,” for what it is a remorseless, greed-on-steroids, pillaging of the 99%.
By name, they held Obama, Durbin accountable. The GOP was not the enemy, it was vichy Dems. I rarely recall seeing any criticism of Obama on any MSNBC show. Ed in particular vigorously defended the “Big Three:” Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Rep. DeFazio was excellent on the political landscape and echoed everything I’ve learned from David Dayen’s posts. In light of the elites’ almost total control, the best result for liberals and progressives looks to be letting the Bush tax cuts expire. That takes authority away from the lame duck Congress and puts legislation into 2013, when Congress is slightly less tilted to the right.

Later, as DDay had predicted, The Norquist Rebellion Not Actually News Maddow and Lawrence both went with the elite’s talking points. On individual topics, to retain their liberal progressive audience, these MSNBC show occasionally do excellent work. Jane’s been on Maddow and Rachel’s covered Scott Walker’s Recall, the BP Oil Spill, Bradley Manning and given a slough of other stores sunlight they desperately needed. Her mere presence is a plus for the LBGT community. In a larger framework I do not mean to discount how important the audiences of these shows still are to holding back the elites. The “spin,” of their content, however, is ultimately determined by suits higher up the corporate food chain.

Tonight I tuned into Ed, hoping for more FDL-like content. Instead I got Bait and Switch. Dick Durbin and Obama are now heroes for “taking Social Security off the table.” Tonight, liberals and progressives are willing on “entitlement reform.” From reading FDL, I know that’s elite code for “chaining the CPI (consumer price index).”
Chained CPI Not Only a Social Security Benefit Cut, but a Regressive Tax Increase
. Social Security has “worked,” because it automatically rises with inflation. “Chaining the CPI,” turns Social Security into welfare. Every time Grandma wants a “raise,” to keep up with inflation, so she doesn’t have to eat more catfood, she has to ask Congress. It’s win win for the wingnuts. They defund people who do not vote for them and they can use that new leverage to bargain for even more “welfare for the rich.”

In one of the FDL threads in which I commented today, bearman (apologies if I butchered your handle) mentioned MSNBC had axed Ed and he was on his way out. Jane’s amazing Has Google Destroyed the Fourth Estate is relevant here. It lays out how the elites’ control over the media is more centralized than ever. My guess is that the “bait and switch,” is also exercised between MSNBC’s shows, they all take turns breaking legitimate stories to keep their audience.

If someone has access to video of last night’s Ed’s show, particularly the first segment, I’d appreciate if you could put a link in the comments. When Ed, or whomever takes his place, and Maddow, and Lawrence start using talking points aimed right at liberals and progressive for the “Grand Bargain, I will try to write a diary in which I highlight the contrasts.

All of this underscores how vital Firedoglake is to our democracy. More than anyone else, Jane, DDay, and the rest have the sources, skills, and courage to stand up to the vichy Dem’s veal pen. Increasingly FDL looks to me like “Last Stand Hill,” for truly independent reporting. The less FDL has the resources to cover, the more all the other pretend libs and progressives can “cave” to the elites without losing subscribers and what little remains of advertising revenue.

Among so many issues, this fight will also extend to climate change/global warming. The Greatest Debt to Our Children and Grandchildren Is a Climate Debt The elites will try and soak us for providing solutions to the global warming they enabled and profited from. Finding scientists who are objective about the solutions we consider will be extremely difficult.

There are many ways to support FDL beyond donating money. Posting diaries and intelligent comments help. I use my Twitter feed to send FDL content to my followers. If that’s not 100% helpful, it would be nice if someone could let me know.

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