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SG Verrilli’s Horrible Opening Arguments

1:00 pm in Uncategorized by TJWalker

Solicitor General Verrilli began his opening arguments in defense of the Affordable Care Act, as many commentators have noted, like a nerd asking the “hot girl” out on a date. In other words, it was awful. For one of the most important court cases in modern history, and perhaps one to join other notable decisions like Roe V. Wade, and the Scopes Monkey Trial, and many others, this is the one time in your life where you make sure you’re prepared and confident. Unfortunately, Verrilli seemed wholly ill-equipped. I guess I can understand there’d be some nerves arguing in front of the Supreme Court, but with Verrilli’s background and judicial history, you wouldn’t think it’d be this bad. One big rule to remember: practice on video and review. Tape yourself and watch the video. Find your weaknesses in the speech, rework them, edit them, and do it again. And if you’re still not comfortable with your performance, you need to rehearse it again. Luckily for Verrilli, he had the Liberal Justices on the Court there to back him up, and they questioned Paul Clement and the States position with as much harshness as the Conservative Justices had gone after Verrilli. With one more day of arguments still to come, we don’t know exactly how poorly Verrilli’s performance will weigh on the outcome of the decision. He didn’t totally blow it, but he didn’t give the President much to cheer about.

Is Mitt Romney “Severely Freudian?”

12:02 pm in Uncategorized by TJWalker

If you are like me, you are probably still poking your finger in your ear trying to figure out if you heard Mitt Romney correctly when he called himself a “Severely conservative Republican.” That one goes in the gaffe hall of fame for numerous reasons. Here is a new radio ad that my organization AmericanLP has going up on ABC Radio in Michigan later this week.

Who is Mitt Romney?

Voiceover from Romney ‘I was a severely conservative Republican.’

Severely conservative???

The word ‘severely’ is most commonly used to describe the following: Disabled, depressed, ill, limited, injured.

So, Michigan conservatives, Mitt Romney basically thinks conservatism is like a ‘disease.’

If you’re a moderate/independent Michigan Republican, how do you feel about a politician who doesn’t believe in anything, but implies, ‘I’ll pretend to be a diseased extremist, even if I think it’s crazy?’

Mitt Romney’s father, George Romney was a great Michigan governor who always spoke his mind. He stood up to his church and GOP extremists regarding civil rights.

But Mitt Romney? Has he ever stood up for something unpopular?

Mitt Romney, he’s not his father’s son. Mitt Romney thinks he can ‘brain wash’ the rest of us.

Paid for By AmericanLP, not associated with a candidate or candidate’s committee.

How Conservatives Really Control the Media

10:22 am in Uncategorized by TJWalker

Set the controls for attack! (photo: videocrab/flickr)

Set the controls for attack! (photo: videocrab/flickr)

Sean Hannity calling President Obama on Fox News Channel a “socialist” every night in prime time on the Fox News Chanel is only the visible tip of the conservative propaganda iceberg. The Right’s real power lies in its ability to shape the narrative and define what is fair and out of bounds for the rest of the media.

Last week MSNBC reported the following:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say ‘Keep America American’ anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, an intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”

Within hours, so-called liberals at MSNBC like Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton were falling over themselves to see who could offer the most debasing, abject apology to Mitt Romney.

Predictably, the rest of the so-called mainstream media and more of the “Liberal Media Establishment” weighed in on the issue, all to denounce MSNBC and to portray Romney as an innocent victim.

As recent as last night, Bill O’Reilly and fellow right-wing media ideologist Bernard Goldberg hashed over the affair in Prime Time. The focus of their debate was whether NBC did enough in their apologizing or whether they were still evil because of their so-called liberal bias.

The otherwise normally sensible describes the story this way:
“It turns out, the (MSNBC’s) story was not exactly true. …”

There is only one little problem with all of this hysteria. MSNBC’s story that Romney said “keep America American” and that this was a phrase used by the Klan appears to be 100% factual and truthful!

The Romney campaign initially refused to respond to this story for two days. Finally, they claimed that Romney never said “Keep America, American.” They claim he said “Keep America, America.” The central point of evidence is a video you can see here.

When I play the video to various people, most claim they hear Romney saying “Keep America American” (I definitely do). But to be fair, a few do hear Romney saying “Keep America America.” But here’s what isn’t a close call. The Los Angeles Times reporter on December 9, 2011 reported that Romney said this: “We have on one side a president who wants to transform America into a European-style nation, and you have on the other hand someone like myself that wants to turn around America and keep America American with the principals that made us the greatest nation on Earth. And I will do that with your help.”

Was the reporter ever contacted by the Romney campaign demanding a retraction? Are there comments on the LATimes website at the time of the story (this was before the controversy broke out)? Read the rest of this entry →

Best wishes to Cenk Uygur and the Young Turks

11:48 am in Uncategorized by TJWalker

Good luck and congrats to Cenk Uygur and The Young Turks on their debut tonight on Current TV. Cenk really paid his dues during a lot of lean years to build a significant audience and he is rightly reaping the rewards now. Regardless of whether you love Cenk or not, we should all celebrate the fact that a non-conservative source of commentary and news has percolated up from the blogosphere into broadcast television and a mass audience.

It does beg the question though, in a media environment where liberals and progressives have created so many wonderful communities at places like,, and to name just a few, why have there been so few successes at daily, live internet TV from a progressive perspective?
Partially, the answer is expense: it simply costs more to have a TV studio, cameras, technicians, lights, editing equipment, etc than it does to type on a keyboard, as is the principle requirement for text-based blogs and news sites.

At the risk of seeming offensively self-serving, I am planning on starting a daily internet-based hour long Internet TV show on hard news and politics beginning March 1, 2012. I already have a full-functioning TV studio in midtown Manhattan (for my training business) and I have plenty of interns and access to interesting guests (my studio is right down the street from the Today Show and Fox News Channel). For now, the format will be similar to Morning Joe and The Young Turks, but with a higher percentage of Skype TV interviews and telephone interviews with news makers and prominent liberal/progressive voices.

While I have tried a lot of different live and on-demand online TV ventures over the years, I’m the first to admit I’ve never figured out the ideal editorial mix or strategy. So I wondered if I might pick your brains on this:

1. Do liberals/progressives even like the medium of video/TV? (After all, the audience for Fox destroys the audience for MSNBC and Current combined)
2. Is there a need for another daily live Liberal/Progressive online TV show? (The Young Turks will still be doing an online show and they do a good job).
3. Is there some way of doing a New York City-based daily show that will compliment other liberal/progressive shows already in existence?
4. How can a new liberal/progressive online TV show integrate and unite the liberal/progressive blogosphere and help build a larger community?
5. Would you like to see a show that had a regular cast of, say, the top twenty liberal/progressive bloggers with regular or semi-regular on-camera appearances?
6. What would make the most prolific commenters on liberal/progressive blogs also want to participate/comment on a live daily TV show?
7. Would prolific liberal/progressive commentators want to call into a show regularly or merely text in comments?
8. What sort of guests on a show like this would make it stand out from already excellent segments seen on Rachel, Keith or Cenk?
9. Who would be great guests of interest to the Liberal/Progressive community you would want to hear from but who normally never get airtime?
10. Who would be good co-hosts for a show like this?
11. What else could a show like this do to build a large, mass audience?
12. Would you like to be involved as a host, co-host, pundit, producer, booker or armchair adviser for this new show? If

so, please leave a comment here or email me directly at tj (at) dailynational (dot) com.