Archive for the 'New Media' Category
The navel gazing continues, and panicked Republicans appear ready to do all sorts of things, such as doing a 180 on illegal immigration and so forth. Slow down and think, people. The election was lost by fewer than 700,000 votes in key swing states, and much of that problem was self-inflicted. That’s a reason to change core policy positions? Puh-leeze. A central problem for the Romney team was that their experts wanted to run a fine 20th century campaign. It was obsolete. There were new problems for them (e.g., effective negative micro-targeting), but also new potential solutions. However, as has been outlined in detail by many people, the Romney campaign had big problems with using 21st century technology to its advantage.
Swing voters were not connecting with Mitt Romney and this was known since June at least. No doubt the negative advertising from Axelrod and Co. had a lot to do with this, and it was effective. The War on Women, rapacious Bain Capital, out-of-touch-rich-guy, and so forth. That’s why seeing a competent person who was an actual human being in the first presidential debate in September was such a shocker. By then, much of the damage had already been done.
But that was unnecessary. We live in the age of the internet and social media, so an effective response to the negative ads was both instantly available and cheap. Why wait for September and the debates to make a direct case to people? Why didn’t the Romney campaign arrange for some slots on TV news channels for long-form interviews with audience participation after May 29 and throughout the summer and fall? The White House did its share of livestreamed town hall meetings. For that matter, why not do a weekly “peoples’ press conference” on the internet? “Ask Mitt Live, every Friday at Five.” He could speak for five minutes on the subject of the day (imagine using that forum to discuss Benghazi) and then field questions from voters, friendly and hostile, both in person and via the internet. It seems to us a pretty simple way to connect with people and counter the negative advertising. In the era of twitter and social networking, interactive communication is a powerful tool.
You’d think that MSNBC would give Romney all the time he wanted for free — as long as they could choose the audience and the questions. Now that would have been interesting to watch.
Here’s the latest installment in the ongoing cavalcade of vulgarity in service of the Obama administration’s re-election campaign. (What are the chances he would have gotten himself elected in 2008 if he authorized these appalling ads back then?) We’re astonished that people would willingly immortalize themselves in this way. Michael Ledeen says it comes from the top. But that’s not an adequate explanation for the willingness of people to put themselves on display in such a dishonorable way. One hopes they at least got paid well for their shameful behavior in front of their families. Seriously, what explains this?
If you know nothing about the candidates, vote against the one who has ads with children singing songs you’ve never heard of.
“the minute I found out what was going on, I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure that we are securing our personnel and doing whatever we need to.” What happens if that is the opposite of true? Roger Simon has a thought.
In 2004, the October Surprise appeared in the NYT on October 25 of that year, with the election on November 2. So it’s just about time for this year’s surprise to come into bloom. In 2004 the story was about 380 tons of explosives (out of 600,000) vanishing in Iraq because of poor war management. We had a little fun with that, a couple of times in fact.
So where’s this year’s October Surprise? The answer is that so far it appears to be hiding in plain sight. Neither the NYT nor the WaPo have devoted any investigative resources to the Benghazi cover-up, though we’ve seen local TV stations performing random acts of journalism. Let’s see. First the problem was a video and a movie review that got out of hand, and that was the story for quite a while. Now it’s the fault of the generals, who told a fellow four star “you’re on your own.” Is that likely?
From our standpoint it looks like you’ve got the administration and the media on one side, and the military and the CIA on the other. Tyrone Woods was a former SEAL. So was Glen Doherty. David Petraeus, another four star general, won’t take the blame for the screw-up. A roll-out of highly detailed information about Benghazi that is damaging to the administration began yesterday. Maybe that’s the best they’ve got, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see something additional pop in the next couple of days.
A fellow called a radio program and had rather a lot to say. It is unknown whether he knew what he was talking about, but if true, it’s very disturbing:
I wanted to speak to the question of when the president knew and why Secretary Panetta refused to support the CIA annex request either to move to the consulate or to reinforce. Within a few minutes of the consulate being under attack — I’m a retired lieutenant colonel special operations planner for 15 years — the personal security detail for the ambassador notified the communications room in Tripoli who then, on the top secret side, sent a message to the White House Situation Room that the ambassador was in peril, okay? And they did that by code word and it would have been within minutes of the attack commencing.
The White House Situation Room has a list of what’s called Essential Elements of Friendly Information. That’s the military’s acronym for it, but they would have a similar thing, a critical information list. Certain things go right to the person that’s standing next to the president, both military and civilian leadership. So he would have known within minutes or it’s supposed to be informed within minutes because an ambassador is a four-star equivalent, very high, very important person, you know, represents the president and essentially is the president’s — you know, is the surrogate of the president in that country. So the White House cannot deny that the president knew immediately…
The e-mails that have been released are unclassified e-mails. On the top secret side, a flash traffic message from the embassy Tripoli to the White House Situation Room, it’s like an IM. I mean, it’s immediately responded to. You have to acknowledge receipt of it. Okay? So it’s immediate. It gets to the person, the watch officer sitting there, boom, flashes on his screen, he has to acknowledge receipt. And then there’s a protocol for who he then sends it to. He physically turns to someone, the senior guy on watch, “This is a critical element of information. POTUS needs to hear this,” and that’s what would have happened.
So no one in the White House can deny that — well, they can deny it, but the fact is the protocol says someone marched their happy little ass up to the senior guy standing next to POTUS and said, “Sir, ambassador in Libya is in peril.” And if he was missing, that is even a higher precedence. And then the chain would have also gone out automatically to the geographic combatant commander, AFRICOM, and he would have then turned to his special operations commander and said, “I want the In-Extremis Force, you know, strip ready in five minutes.” And evidently they were strip ready in Sigonella and they would have the assets to penetrate the airspace, you know, an MC-130 papa, which is a C-130 specially equipped with electronic countermeasures. They didn’t need permission to enter Libyan airspace, okay?
I’m giving you a lot of Inside Baseball stuff, and maybe putting myself in a little peril by doing it, but the In-Extremis Force, they would have been chomping at the bit to do this. It was turned down, POTUS, at his five p.m. Eastern time meeting with the principals, that’s when he put the kibosh on everything. It was a conscious act. It has to be because, you know, the In-Extremis Force is required to be prepared to do In-Extremis non-combatant evacuation operations for its geographic responsibility, the entire continent of Africa. So there’s always somebody ready to go, and the aircraft are always prepared to go…
in the absence of permissions, okay, you have standing orders. And one of the standing orders to geographic combatant commander is to preserve life of American citizens…he’s a four-star, you know, he’s in Germany. AFRICOM headquarters is in Germany, and their op-center would have been monitoring this in real time, ’cause it’s part of their geographic responsibility. And they would have been going through the different permutations of courses of action of who can get there the quickest. Now, in their geographic area they have Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa, which is in Djibouti. I served there when it was the Joint Special Operations Task Force Crisis Response Element, and we have responsibility for all of CENTCOM and AFRICOM in Africa because at the time there was no AFRICOM…
at the lieutenant colonel level, at the colonel level of the In-Extremis Force of all these different headquarters, State Department, everybody was saying, “Let’s go! Let’s get boots on the ground and kick these people’s asses and get our people.” But who makes those decisions? It’s POTUS, V POTUS, State, and Def. And they had a five o’clock Eastern time meeting, and they said no. You know, we’re willing to have the consulate overruled and the embassy overrun
A lot of well-prepared military assets were told to “stand down,” as was the CIA station a mile away from the Benghazi consulate. This fellow might know nothing at all, but he refers to a specific 5pm meeting on 9-11. At that point the State Department had been watching the attack in real-time for several hours. The caller alleges that the president would have been notified that an ambassador was at risk at about 3pm, if we have our time zones right. He further alleges that, in the absence of an affirmative order to “stand down” emerging from the meeting of the top 4 decision makers, standing orders would have been carried out to deploy some serious military assets to save the ambassador. These allegations are highly disturbing if true.
It is hard to believe that the phone call was anything other than planned in advance. It was the first call at the bottom of hour two, which is a lengthy segment. The show led with the Fox report about the CIA being told to “stand down” in Benghazi, so this was a one-two punch. The call was a highly knowledgable disquisition that named the president as the person who made the affirmative decision to scuttle SOP for this sort of situation. We imagine it’s pretty hard to get through to Mr. Limbaugh’s program, so the idea that this was a random caller seems absurd to us. If the caller has any resemblance to the person he said he was, there would appear to be some senior military or intelligence people seriously bent out of shape by this administration.
Oh yes, and completely coincidentally, the CIA has just spoken about Benghazi for possibly the first time: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.” So it would appear that David Petraeus has thrown the president under the bus.
Americans for the first time had the communal experience of scoring each debate in real time. On Twitter and blogs the debates were scored minute by minute by grandma, the kids and everyone else in the living room. And stars from Hollywood to media personalities, and politicians joined in the fun with the folks at home. The whole nation competed for the best one-liners, the perfect put-down or come back as the debate was taking place. Trying to appear presidential, above the cage-match mentality with a sober, thoughtful, reserved approach does not work when the social media world wants zingers that mock your opponent. President Obama lost the first debate for failing to satisfy the big crowd by refusing to draw blood…
Twitter has given birth to an entirely new debate experience that I believe will be the new norm for presidential debates from here on. I saw this historic shift firsthand at each of the four debate sites. I was genuinely surprised that so many of my colleagues –- honest, solid, hardworking journalists — were not actually watching the debate on television or their computer screens. Instead, their eyes were perpetually glued to their iPads, Blackberrys and iPhones reading what other people were saying about the debate in Twitter Feeds and Facebook posts. That instantaneous scoring distorted the reality of the debates for the journalists and the surrogates in the spin room…
Twitter reports that there were 6.5 Million tweets tonight during the final 90 minutes presidential debate, 7.2 million tweets during the second debate in New York and a whopping 10.3 million tweets during the first debate in Denver. These metrics made the first debate the most tweeted political event in the six-year history of the social networking site.
Williams is missing the point a little in our opinion. Twitter has two special powers. 140 characters is the length of a one-liner, so Twitter enables amusing ridicule. That is not an inconsiderable power. Twitter’s second power is crowd size. It’s like being in a bar with a big crowd of people, most of whom think the way you do, depending on whose feeds you follow. Some conservatives have probably been surprised and pleased with how large a crowd that is.
Finally, there is the issue of the MSM narrative. The majority of Americans are fed up with the mainstream media. Twitter is one element enabling a nascent powerful counter-narrative. In his tut-tutting about Twitter, Williams is revealing that he lives within the media bubble, despite his appearing on Fox. For a long time now, the country has had twice as many conservatives as liberals. It’s not really about Twitter, though Twitter is a useful tool. It’s more that some journalists are finding out that there’s a much larger crowd than them talking among themselves and wanting no part of their cloistered view of the world.
This is stunningly inappropriate in so many ways. Who speaks this way in front of pre-teens? Who would have imagined, even a few years ago, that an ad for president of the United States would feature a 10 year old girl with a potty mouth? One thing is for sure: these people do not think they are winning.
More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime. “I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz…
So far, the president’s double-homicide has not been covered by any major news outlets. The only two mentions of the heinous tragedy have been a 100-word blurb on the Associated Press wire and an obituary on page E7 of this week’s edition of the Lake County Examiner. While Obama has expressed no remorse for the grisly murders — point-blank shootings with an unregistered .38-caliber revolver — many journalists said it would be irresponsible for the press to sensationalize the story.
“There’s been some debate around the office about whether we should report on this at all,” Washington Post senior reporter Bill Tracy said while on assignment at a local dog show. “It’s enough of a tragedy without the press jumping in and pointing fingers”
Let’s see. For more than a week now the Secretary of State, the UN ambassador and the President have been all over the media brazenly saying that the 9-11 RPG terrorist attack in Benghazi was about a YouTube clip, when even the president of Libya said that the explanation was ludicrous.
We don’t recall any more pathetic and risible performance by the most senior government officials in our lifetime. It’s mind-boggling that they could get the words out of their mouths without choking. And yet, to our knowledge, not one reporter has reacted with the shock and incredulity these absurd performances deserved. Instead, they meekly ask their follow-up questions. And there’s still a month and a half for the media to sink lower.