Friday, March 31, 2006

And the Loser Is . . .

Mark Hyman, apparently not content to come up with his own fact-free editorials, is now importing pre-fabricated editorials from one of his favorite sources, the Washington Times. At least this time he credits his source.

The topic is the supposed impotence of, and Hyman attempts to prove his point by running down a list of “losses” the group has suffered, a list he acknowledges lifting from Washington Times columnist Greg Pierce.

To begin with, it’s a safe bet that if folks like Pierce and Hyman are so publicly deriding’s supposed failures, it’s precisely because they fear the group’s influence. Were it as impotent as they suggest, there would be no reason to even acknowledge it.

And they are right to fear it. After all, was on the cutting edge of Internet-based grass-roots political activism that has built a powerful fundraising network. And despite Hyman’s suggestion that has had no victories, the fact is that the organization has helped a large number of Democrats win elections and has played a significant role in a number of lobbying efforts, referendum votes, and other political events. Lists of the some of the group’s most recent victories can be found
here and here.

So it’s logical that Pierce and Hyman would want to try to undercut Their desperation becomes even more understandable when one looks at the defeats listed by Hyman. It’s telling that each one of these defeats is one that happened either A) despite the will of the majority of Americans, or B) would not happen if the issue was decided today.

Let’s look at them one by one. Hyman says that “lost” when Clinton was impeached. True, but most Americans weren’t for impeachment., and the American people, lost to a cabal of right wing politicos, who eventually lost not only in the Senate, but in the eyes of history.

Hyman says “went down in flames” when it supported Al Gore in 2000. It’s difficult to believe Hyman can say this with a straight face. Not even the most rabid Bushies deny that Al Gore beat George Bush by a half-million votes in 2000. Again, was on the side of the majority.

Hyman says lost when Democrats didn’t make big Congressional gains in 2002. But when asked who they want in control of Congress now, a sizable majority of Americans with an opinion on the matter
pick the Democrats.

Hyman says opposed “the liberation” of Iraq. In fact, opposed the unilateral war and supported further inspections, a position that was vindicated by what was found (and not found) on the ground in Iraq, and a position shared by most Americans now. In fact, recent polls show
Americans opposed to the war outnumber proponents by more than 2 to 1.

And Hyman says that failed when “French speaking John Kerry” lost in 2004. But if Americans could turn back the clock knowing what they know now, does anyone think Bush would stand a chance? Again, just a brief look at
Bush’s abysmal approval numbers tells you all you need to know.

So, as we’ve seen, has racked up a sizable number of successes, and even in those cases where its causes have not prevailed, it’s been only been a matter of time before the American public’s opinion aligned with that of About the worst thing you can say about is that it tends to be ahead of the curve.

I don’t think this is coincidence. has done a great job of getting progressive voices heard. And the more progressive voices are heard, the more successful they are. As
I pointed out a long while back, the majority of Americans, when asked for their positions on specific issues, are not only to the left of what’s usually considered the political center, but to the left of a significant number of elected Democrats.

But for Hyman, the problems with are even more personal than he lets on. As usual, Hyman doesn’t disclose his company’s interest in the matter, but has been at the forefront of lobbying the FCC for stricter ownership rules, rules which would directly hurt Sinclair Broadcasting’s practice of buying up “duopolies” in multiple markets. Even more specifically, is one of the groups that joined with Media Matters for America in forming Sinclair Action, a group that organized around the goal of shedding light on Sinclair’s business and journalistic (mal)practices. (In interest of full disclosure, while I don’t receive a penny from or MMFA, I have worked with MMFA in coming up with content for the Sinclair Action website in the past).

So Hyman is wrong on’s record of success, is in the minority even on the very issues he claims “failed” on, and doesn’t even have the decency to announce his own personal stake in attacking the organization.

There’s a word for someone like that: loser.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 5.48


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But if Americans could turn back the clock knowing what they know now, does anyone think Bush would stand a chance?"

Ted - is this the kind of 'critical thinking' garbage you 'teach' to our youth?

That's unacceptable.

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the loser is...

11:17 PM anonymous (geez buddy, got nothin' better to do on a Friday night?).

Ted's "critical thinking" far exceeds the right-wing RECYCLED propaganda of Team Bush.

I just pity you that you're in the ever-dwindling minority that still thinks - in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary - that Bush hasn't lied to us for the past 6 years.

Put down the Kool-aid (tm) and get some professional help.

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Ted Remington said...


I don't think I'm quite following your objection. My point was simply that, given his low approval ratings, Bush would almost certainly be defeated by Kerry if the election was held today. Is it this premise you're contesting, or are you acknowledging it but saying that it's irrelevant to the issue at hand? If you can clarify your argument a bit, I'll be happy to respond.


At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


It's really quite simple. Here is what you totally disregard in making your argument of convenience:

"But if Americans could turn back the clock knowing what they know now, does anyone think Kerry would stand a chance?"

Consistency in argument. Kerry was rejected by the American voter.

What makes you think Kerry would fair better now given that he voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it?

The same argument against Bush, also applies to Kerry, and you didn't consider that at all.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous wrote: 'I just pity you that you're in the ever-dwindling minority that still thinks - in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary - that Bush hasn't lied to us for the past 6 years.'

Overwhelming evidence? All you have is wishful thinking. You pretend to be deeper than that but apparently you're willing to disregard reality for the sake of an anti-Bush agenda. How is that intellectually honest? You claim that Bush has lied, but quite frankly, all you have presented thus far is liberal talking points that have no basis in fact.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...


Thanks for clearing up your argument.

To answer your question, what makes me think that Bush would lose to Kerry (or almost any viable candidate) is the fact that his approval ratings are in the 30s--just at what his hardline base would give him.

Secondly, you reduce the issue to Kerry's approval of the $87 billion dollars. The voting for/against issue that became such an effective talking point against Kerry ignored that the votes he made occurred in two very different contexts.

The far more important point, from my point of view, is that the disapproval of Bush goes far beyond the initial decision to authorize force in Iraq. It goes to issues of how the war has been conducted, the disappearing and ever changing rationales for the war, torture, the economy, Social Security, domestic spying, etc., etc., etc.

Given that, it seems unlikely to me that were a "presidential recall" election part of the constitutional apparatus of the United States, that Bush would survive. The fact that Bush won reelection a year and a half ago by a historically slim margin when his approval ratings were about 15 points higher than they are now doesn't seem terribly compelling evidence that he would win in a rematch.


At 11:12 PM, Blogger Ted Remington said...

In response to Anon1's response to Anon2 regarding Bush's falsehoods, there is in fact plenty of evidence that Bush has said a large number of things that are demonstrably false.

To give just one example, Bush often claims that he was forced to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein "threw out" the weapons inspectors. In fact, weapons inspectors were on the ground until Bush indicated that war was imminent. As Media Matters for America has noted, Bush is saying something that is demonstrably not true about the reasons for invasion, yet has not been held accountable by the mainstream press.

For more on this particular issue see MMFA on it here:

For a longer list of Iraq-related untruths, you can look at a list compiled shortly after the war began here:

Most interestingly, there was a brief but important piece in the Columbia Journalism Review that not only pointed out a number of the larger lies told by Bush, but also described how the mainstream press has confused not pointing out obvious discrepencies between what the president says and reality with "objectivity."

You can find this piece here:


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who's willing to defend the Worst President of Modern Times not only is in the solid minority, but is likely impervious to logic or digesting current events...

-cut hazard pay to our troops in danger

-cut veterans health care

-chose not to stop reading "My Pet Goat" because he didn't want to alarm the children!

-gives huge, unneeded, tax breaks to the filthy rich

-skirts Congress on torture, illegal spying, port security, etc., to the point that Republicans are running like rats from his listing ship.

-threatens seniors with the dismantling of Medicare

-actually fought Homeland Security before getting behind it.

-says torture and secret "renditions" are okee dokee.

-changes his tune about White House leakers. Bad ethics: okay. Will only sack if laws broken.

-lies his head off about going into Iraq

-can't fire an incompetent Sec of Defense. In fact, can't fire anyone.

How anyone can seriously support this Clear and Present Danger to our nation is a mystery.

At 1:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Are you planning a riposte to Hyman's stupid, nasty, April 1st mailbag? If not...

Among more polite circles and educated individuals, humor is used to elevate, cheer, or point out one's own foibles in a humbling and perhaps informing, manner.

Predictably, Hyman used "his" April 1 mailbag solely to ridicule those whose views he typically disparages on countless other occasions. It was a highly telling segment. As in so many other cases, Hyman reveals his meanness, selfishness, and shallowness, and lack of concern for the common good by:

1) Painting his "enemies" in unflattering terms under the guise of humor (ha ha).

2) Using "Mailbag" - the one minicule means supposedly set aside for viewer feedback -- to insult those with differing opinions.

3) His use of the "Mailbag" in that way brings up the possibility that he often fabricates viewer responses....something quite plausible, actually, given previous Mailbags.

4) Sinclair's and Hyman's general disregard for lifting up, informing viewers. Instead, stupid, sophomoric (at best), digging, "humor". They own a bunch of stations that could be used to help bring people together. Instead, personal tools for ridicule. There's citizenship for you!

Republicans/conservatives talk a lot about respect, ethics, the democratic process, love of the founding fathers. They just can't seem to get out of the gutter long enough to practice what they preach.

And that's my unsolicited counterpoint!


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