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KGO's Bernie Ward Shows Us How It's Done

by: jsw

Mon Jun 26, 2006 at 13:19:14 PM PDT

[Welcome, visitors from Crooks & Liars.  If you're interested in California politics, please have a look around Calitics.  You might even want to register and join Calitics, a Scoop-based community.]

This isn't exactly California politics, but there is a California hook, and it's too good to pass up.

Crooks & Liars has video of KGO's late-night talk show host Bernie Ward destroying Texas Republican radio host Chris Baker on MSNBC.  The two were there to discuss the New York Times' reporting of the Bush Administrations' recent financial dragnetting.

Ward gets Baker to completely lose his cool and storm off the set.  This is instructive not because Baker lost his cool, but because of the way that Bernie Ward refused to play his game:

Baker:  Time of War!  New York Times Treasonous! Bush Haters!
Ward:  Should the government control what a newspaper prints?
Baker:  Time of War!  New York Times Treasonous! Bush Haters!
Ward:  Answer the question.  Should the government control what a newspaper prints?

[Repeat until Baker loses his mind, calls Ward names, and storms off because his Rove-approved talking points aren't working.]

Ward changed the basic assumptions of the conversation, and then refused to be baited by Baker's Republican-party talking points or the host's attempts to drag him into a diversion about "the courts" (where you've already conceded that government censorship of the press is a legitimate question).  See how effective that was?

If only our politicians could be that relentless.

jsw :: KGO's Bernie Ward Shows Us How It's Done
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Bernie, you were beautiful! (8.00 / 1)
I just watched the video, you were masterful! Calm, unaffected by the attempts to goad you- articulate and to the point. I'm on the other coast, but definately a new fan-
Best to you-

Rights... (0.00 / 0)
1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

4th Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Article 1 - The Legislative Branch
Section 8 - Powers of Congress
Clause 18 - Elastic Clause: "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof."

This page, http://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec8.html , lists Article 1 Section 8 clauses.

Now... when the government created the Patriot Act ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA_PATRIOT_Act#Provisions ) they began to exercise the Elastic Clause for the point of War.

National Security can only be determined by those fighting to protect it. That is the answer to your question, Sir. You give the Military/Government the priveledge, through being a citizen, of protecting this country. When you, as a citizen, begin to walk over to the countries causing us such turmoil, in an attempt to stop it, you give the newspapers a call. Let them know what you're about to do and that you want it published. Every bit of information you have, give it to the newspapers. Let them pusblish it so the persons you are trying to stop can see your plan. Please.

Take a look at a previous War. Where would we be today if the actions of the media were at the level they are now, during World War II? When censoring and propaganda were at their peak.

Information is more powerful than you might know. There are tidbits so small, yet so unequivocally important, that you may not even notice them. One tiny bit of information leaked to the right people at the right time, can cause one or more of our young ones to never again see the light of day on his native soil.

Back to the original discussion, though...
The First Amendment does give them the right to publish anything they wish. It truly does. But, when information, that is mission vital, is obtained and published, it might just be considered treason. Why? How different is it being a spy for the enemy, and being a normal citizen for the US? It's not that different, if your normal citizen works for a newspaper. It's their job to be a "spy," even though we do not call them that. They find information normal people don't look for, and show it to the world. The exact same as a spy.

But I don't want to belabor the point, as I don't think it will get through to you.

I could leave you with a quote from George Washington though, that that TV Discussion proved:
"On party politics:

They serve to Organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force--to put in the place of the delegated will of the Nation, the will of a party; often a small but artful and enterprizing minority of the Community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public Administration the Mirror of the ill concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the Organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common councils and modefied by mutual interests. However combinations or Associations of the above description may now & then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People, & to usurp for themselves the reins of Government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion..." There is more located at http://mysite.verizon.net/aahpat/pol/gw.htm .

I am sorry to see Our Country in it's current state. If a civil war a little less strictly defined, we might just be in one right now.

-James Walston
Soldier, US Army.

[ Parent ]
re: Rights (0.00 / 0)
I have a few issues with the above response:

1. "When you, as a citizen, begin to walk over to the countries causing us such turmoil, in an attempt to stop it, you give the newspapers a call. Let them know what you're about to do and that you want it published. Every bit of information you have, give it to the newspapers. Let them pusblish it so the persons you are trying to stop can see your plan. Please."

One problem here is that we are not "at war" with another country--we are fighting individuals and groups who operate more in the form of organized crime syndicates, with the label "War On Terror", which as Mr. Ward pointed out, refers to war made on a tactic rather than a nation. As the Times editor pointed out, these groups likely already know about, or at least assume that, this program and others like it exist, and they made these conclusions long before the Times published anything on "secret" programs-terrorist groups are not stupid.  I would probably be much more inclined to support the efforts against terrorism if they were treated as police and law enforcement actions rather than as the gratuitous shows of force they have become.

Another problem is this: if the program referred to in the New York Times article was really so secret, then how did they get any information on its existence in the first place?  We know from experience that the Bush Administration resembles a sieve when it comes to keeping "state secrets" secret, and sometimes intentionally so (viz. Valerie Plame).  If Bush and Company were really serious about keeping this "mission vital" program secret, I would think they would have taken greater measures to maintain its confidentiality. 

Finally, it is not the job of the press to carry the water for any administration, on whatever side of the aisle.  They exist to keep we, the people, educated on the actions of those we elect, and pay, to serve us.  If the news media finds that there is evidence of wrongdoing, ulterior motives, corruption, or whatever (and the last 5 years has provided us with volumes of examples), then the press has more than the "right" to publish that information.  It has a duty.

2.  "Take a look at a previous War. Where would we be today if the actions of the media were at the level they are now, during World War II? When censoring and propaganda were at their peak."

The problem here is that basically, the enemy was better defined in WWII, with resources of entire continents at the disposal of the Axis powers.  Thus, the Americans and our allies knew what we were up against. Also, the level of sacrifice amongst the citizenry (and thus, the press) was much higher, largely because we knew the threat Hitler and his ilk posed.  Also, the points at which victory was declared (V-E day and V-J day) were also easier to define. 

At what point can we declare "victory" in the "War" on Terror? Especially when the definition of terrorist can be so broad, and vague, and so easily adaptable to any situation inconvenient to whatever administration is in power?

3.  "But I don't want to belabor the point, as I don't think it will get through to you."

Your point got through, loud and clear (and eloquently, may I add).  But if your intent was to try to convince the readers of this website to agree with your point of view, then to insult the intelligence of those same readers with a line questioning whether the point will get through is not a good way to do it.

Yes, I think we are in a civil war of sorts now.  A cold one.  Shooting wars with questionable, and dubious, motivations will do that. 

[ Parent ]
Agreed. (0.00 / 0)
I do think the War is "unwinnable," if I may put it that way. There really is no clearly defined goal, as there was supposed to be. It seems like a Vietnam-style conflict, with a blurry vision. I agree. Totally. But as a Soldier I must support my command. I can support and disagree, and voice my dissent, as long as it is in a respectable manner :).

I call it a War, because that is what we feel like we are fighting. We feel like we have a goal/target, but there really isn't one. Congress did not declare it, it's still one hell of a fight, nonetheless. It's a general fight against terror, as you said. Which is "unwinnable," as well. The human condition almost undoubtedly makes it so. There are always people who want to kill/maim/endanger someone else, even if they are only considered "Insane." They might just be malicious, and hating their own life. Minds are fickle :(

On the point of security, well, people are fallible. They are untrustworthy, and unreliable. But we have to give the responsibility to someone, and sometimes, the aforementioned people are granted it. Security clearences are not all that difficult to get. If you have a fairly clean record, you can get all but Top Secret. If you have a pristine record, you can get Top Secret, but there are character refrences that they look for, so as to keep most of the nonsuitable types out.

If you look at a sociopath, though, you will see that people can be totally different at one time from another. There are always those times when people act differently, and heck, times when people just screw up.

Usually leaks are caused by screw-ups and carelessness, due to complacency.

In the end, I still hold my stance on information awareness. It's really important to know what's going on, but on certain items, what concern is it of "yours" per se? If you aren't working on the problem, what good is all of that information on our strategies going to do you? I'll still hold to the fact that National Security is decided by those who are paid / elected to protect it. Not those who inform the Nation about Britney Spears / School science projects :)

You make good points :) And it was a pleasure to read your argument. Thanks for the reply.


[ Parent ]
KGO Bernie Ward, Dont mess with him, unless you can back it up (0.00 / 0)
KGO Bernie Ward,

This shows that the republican are the terrorist, because they can't back it up.  They are so full lies, and kissing butts to each other. This goes to show that everything your hear from a replublican that comes out of the mouth is full of lies and DO NOT want to be challenged on anything.  They want to tear this country apart and tear the middle class and steal from the poor, until there is nothing but the rich and thats it.  Bernie, will not let up to these replublicans and will stand up to Bernie, cause they are scared and they keep running from the truth.  He, Bernie teared up the Chris Baker, Bernie back him up in a corner, and couldnt answer no questions. 
All you replubicans that read this, get ready baby, we democrate are ready to take the Senate and House back from you and YOU WILL NEVER, EVER BE voted back in again as long you live.  And NOTHING is going to stop us at the ballots NOTHING!!!!


Bernie (0.00 / 0)
Republicans can't answer specific questions that need specific answers.  They normally use generalizations (or they lie).

Here is what Bernie did.  He asked a specific question that needed a specific answer.  And he did not back down.

Bernie would not let him get away with gereralizations or lies.

I wish most of the press would do the same.

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