Tag Archives: Mainstream media

Well, guess we don’t need the debate, now…

The Drudge Report has fired off some Flash Traffic with a bit of good news:  we don’t need to have the debate tonight!

The Obama campaign was kind enough to release a full complement of talking points to the press, 12 hours before the debate has even started.  The talking points memo comes in an email from Sean Smith, the Obama campaign’s communications director for Pennsylvania.  As Drudge notices (and I’ve been noticing all day),

The memo oddly mirrors much of the main press analysis and theme of the current campaign.

Who’da thunk it.  Man, they don’t even try to hide it anymore…they just keep a “marching orders” email list to send to their press contacts, and wait for the parroting to begin.  I’m halfway to hoping Obama loses just for the sake of keeping the press from thinking they can fix an election.

View the text of the memo as reported by Drudge, and further links, below the break.

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Oh, Sarah, Sarah, Sarah… UPDATE: Good news! False alarm!

Ace of Spades is liveblogging Sarah Palin’s rally in Carson, CA today.  Says he will have pictures of the Carson crowd later.  Jon Voigt was one of her openers, and he seems to have warmed up the crowd quite effectively.  Browsing through what Ace catches of Palin’s speech once she does get up there (the over-capacity crowd loves her, of course), most of what she says sounds like a series of rote crowd-pleasers, which is standard for a rally of this type.  Not all of it, though.  A couple of exceptions:

1)  The one that’s making it all over the news is her accusation that Barack Obama is “palling around with terrorists,”  in reference to William Ayers (quote in video at about 1:35).  That’s one way to get Ayers’s name back in the media; I’m guessing it was spurred at least in part by the NYTimes’s whitewash of Obama’s relationship to Ayers in today’s edition.  (Instapundit has more; take note of his reader John’s email.)  It’s a good thing that this line is turning into the newsmaker of the day, because it looks like it’s crowding out the other exception, which is the reason behind this post’s title.

2)  This is just painful.  Ace (via Gateway Pundit) reports Palin telling the crowd, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support women.” Oh, groooooan…!  Thanks a heap, Governor.  In one sentence, you’ve combined the most teeth-grinding rhetoric of both the left (emotional blackmail through identity politics) and the right (ranting that your opponents are hellbound).  According to Ace: “Says she wasn’t sure how that would go over, wants to know how the media will twist it.”

That just makes my head hurt.  Unbelievable…she even knows what a risk she was taking with that line.  If the press actually does ignore that horror show of a sound bite in favor of her earlier “palling around with terrorists” line, she will have dodged a potentially lethal bullet, in my opinion.

Unforced errors like that for a candidate in her position are just way too stupid.  It’s one thing to run a campaign against the media; it’s quite another to bait the media unnecessarily.  Just ask Gary Hart.

UPDATE: Bless you, dear commenter ArmyWife (here, have a link!), who has informed me that Gov. Palin was deliberately cribbing a line from a fluffy TIME Magazine interview with Madeleine Albright from earlier this year.  Whew!  That is a huge load off my mind.  Sorry, folks, Ace didn’t include that context; clearly liveblogging amid a huge crowd required brevity on his part.  Sounds much better when used ironically, doesn’t it?  (Also explains why the media folk aren’t pouncing on it.)

Looking back at Gateway Pundit’s post, I see I was remiss (distraught over the “special place” line, I guess!) in not giving Sarah due credit for one of the best lines of the campaign so far at Obama’s expense:

Just once it would be nice if he said he wanted our country to win!

She isn’t cracking up.  She can still pop off a great one-liner.  OK, fine, feels like I’m back from the Spock-has-a-beard universe now.

UPDATE II: Still no Ace photos, but here’s one from an Instapundit emailer:

Palin rally; Carson, CA, 10/4/08

Palin rally; Carson, CA, 10/4/08

VP Debate Afterblogging: Talkin’ heads UPDATE: “Biden’s 14 Lies”

Wow, apparently I was a lot tougher on Sarah Palin than the punditocracy or man-on-the-street interviewees are willing to be.  Talking heads on more than one network are saying that Palin reminded everyone why they were so electrified by her in Dayton and St. Paul.  Her charisma has won (or re-won) a lot of people over.

Fox News’s self-described “resident Palin skeptic” Charles Krauthammer conceded that she did “extremely well,” and not least because she didn’t try to pretend to know things she clearly didn’t.  By the way, it appears I’m not the only one who’s been banging his head against the wall wondering why neither McCain nor Palin will pick up the gauntlet thrown down by Democrats and go to town on their failure with respect to financial regulation.

I’ve surfed FNC, CNN, and MSNBC.  That last is the only one not agape at Palin’s success, and that’s because Olbermann is on (wasn’t he yanked from the campaign beat?).  Even Josh Marshall at the hard-liberal Talking Points Memo says:

“One clear fact about this debate is that Palin didn’t have one of those stammering moments that we’ve seen especially in the Couric interview.”

(For those who don’t regularly read TPM and aren’t familiar with Josh’s general attitude toward all things McCain, Palin, or generally not liberal, that’s soaring praise indeed.)

I’m still giving the debate to Palin on a lukewarm basis, but it appears I’m in the minority, at least on the latter score.

UPDATE: From Ace of Spades, Biden’s 14 Lies from the debate.  Ace says it’s from the McCain campaign, so take it as you will.

“The fix is in, and it’s working” UPDATE: Obama and ACORN

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has this email from “a reader who works at a major newsroom:”

“Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in Arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.” I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

For those of you who aren’t news-junkies like myself, the “Acorn” reference refers to the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now, a community organizing umbrella group with a history of indictments and convictions on voter fraud, on whose behalf pro-bailout Democrats attempted to slip a slush fund into the final bailout bill (removed at the insistence of the House GOP holdouts).  “Ayers” is William Ayers, unrepentant domestic terrorist from the Weather Underground and longtime associate of Barack Obama, the nature of whose connections to the Senator remain conspicuously unexplored.  “Freddiemae” needs no explanation.

The Anchoress has industry insiders of her own who tell her the same thing:

I have a couple friends who work in the MSM, too, and one of them tells me the newsroom is (exact words) “unbelievably cavalier” about any complaints viewers register about their reports, what they ignore, their bias or the way they edit Republicans vs. the way the treat Dems. “Cavalier” as in the fix is in and they don’t even have to pretend to care what half the country thinks or wants.

I suppose this is why print media and the press in general don’t care about their tumbling revenues; when The Pelosi gets the regulated internet and restricted Congress that she wants, and Obama gets his thugs and his Justice Department monitoring, intimidating and shutting down alternative media (and the dissenting voices we’ve been told are “patriotic” when a Republican is in the White House) the incestuous mainstream press will go back to being the only game in town. Pravda West.

This is especially painful for those of us who, as I mentioned a moment ago, are complete news-junkies and thrive on being plugged into current events.  There’s a huge difference between knowing what’s going on in the world and knowing what’s in the papers.  That difference has always been there, but it hasn’t always been apparent; certainly not this starkly so.  After so many decades of domination of TV by the Big Three, and of the press by the New York Times/Washington Post axis, the advent of first cable news and then the Internet as alternate sources of news and commentary has shattered the monopoly.  The only thing more cringe-inducing than seeing this old-media homogeneity machine in action without its former veneer of legitimacy is the collective shrug from its component cogs upon noticing that the veneer has flaked off.

When monopolistic powers hear the charge “you’re busted” in this way, that’s the typical reaction.  After all, they reason, where else are these people going to go for their news?  However, there’s a new wrinkle now:  we actually have someplace else to go.  Says Rand Simberg:

Their reputation and readership/viewership keep falling. And layoffs keep happening. I think they’re willing to pull out all the stops because they realize this is the last election where they have a chance at swinging things this way. No point saving your credibility for the future when you don’t have a future, I guess…

UPDATE: An emailer points out to me that not only is there a connection between ACORN and congressional Democrats over the bailout, but also between ACORN and Barack Obama directly.  Sen. Obama, during his much-vaunted time as a “community organizer,” did legal work for ACORN; one of the duties he was charged with, amazingly enough, was pressuring banks into making high-risk home loans to poor Chicagoans who couldn’t afford homeownership under conventional lending standards.

Let’s go to the videotape

A number of conservative, right-leaning, and libertarian bloggers are drawing attention to various videos (like the one below) of compiled C-SPAN footage clips from a series of 2004 hearings on the need for regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The upshot:  Republicans called the GSEs and their executives, including Franklin Raines, out on the carpet, while Democrats (notably today’s blame-meister, Rep. Barney Frank) denied anything was wrong, attacking the regulating agency and at more than one point playing the race card.

The video is pretty damning by anyone’s lights.  How long before these clips make the jump from the blogosphere to the newsosphere?

Biden Gaffe Watch

OK, there have been enough of these by now to warrant their own recurring theme.  Given their surprising frequency and the new focus on Joe Biden in the news, I just know this won’t be the last.

At a major foreign policy address Biden let fly this beaut:

“After seven years, in which our senior diplomatic personnel were not allowed to make a single contact with Iranians, the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran,” he said. “The Assistant Secretary of State as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the President of the United States.”

FoxNews.com (via OpinionJournal.com) provides a Biden-to-Real-World translation:

In point of fact, the one “meeting” that has taken place was in Geneva, Switzerland, when Under Secretary of State William Burns sat in on a discussion between Iranian representatives and the other “P5 +1″ political directors involved in nuclear talks. The meeting, while a first, was not a negotiation; Burns was there merely as an observer, and had no formal role or talks with the Iranians.

So, point by point: Burns was not sent to Tehran; he did not go to Tehran; and there was no such instruction from the President.

Retroactively rounding up the Biden Gaffe Watch archives below the break.

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Swimming against the rapids

It’s times like this that make me wonder why I bother.

A columnist/commentator on the political beat at TIME Magazine, Karen Tumulty, is the latest to be so desperate to make this a racism-tinged campaign she’s liable to see it everywhere she looks.  This time, she’s indicted the McCain ad team for putting more than one black man in an anti-Obama spot.  On top of that, she slammed McCain’s camp for leaving a relevant white man out of the ad; had she simply paid a single quick visit to the official McCain site she’d’ve known that was because that same man was given his own ad entirely.

There will always be cranks who think this way, but when high-profile figures validate such conspiratorial paranoia, it ceases to matter whether or not it’s true.  If Obama loses the election, racism must have taken it from him.  If he wins, racism must have robbed him of a landslide.  If he wins by a landslide, racism must have robbed him of the first unanimous Electoral College victory since George Washington.  It looks like the cranks will be dragged into the mainstream for at least another four years.

See the TIME post, and the story of its cringeworthiness, below the break.

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So much for “code words”

OK, the good news is that Obama surrogates appear to have abandoned the “devious conspiracy” approach of racist code word warnings.  This means the English language may have a chance to breathe again soon, even when the subject turns to politics.

The bad news is that they’ve done so in favor of a more (ahem!) straightforward approach.  In the absence of any other explanation for Sen. Obama’s failure to dominate this race unquestioned, they’ve resorted to flat-out, blanket accusations of racism against huge swaths of the voting public (and not necessarily Republicans).

Enter the freakshow below the break.

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Which Bush Doctrine would that be, Charlie?

According to the man who first identified the Bush Doctrine, it appears that despite the impression you may have have drawn from ABC’s Charlie Gibson interview with Sarah Palin, apparently the Governor is more in touch with the definition of the term than Gibson is.  Moreover, her request that Gibson make his question about the Bush Doctrine more specific was entirely apt, in that the Bush Doctrine has gone through no fewer than four incarnations.

For those who didn’t see it, Gibson first refused to specify what he meant by the Bush Doctrine, then when Palin began to answer, Gibson “corrected” her and identified the Bush Doctrine as an asserted right to pre-emptive military self-defense.  The above article skewers that definition as woefully outdated and insufficient.

UPDATE: Wow, I’m just dizzy.  Michelle Malkin cribbed my title.  And after only two or three days live.  (She could at least have thrown me a trackback.)

UPDATE II: Apologies to Ms. Malkin.  My stats have alerted me to a trackback listing on MichelleMalkin.com.  (I still came up with the title first, tho’. :::snicker!:::)

A Series of Unfortunate Headlines

Actual headline from today’s New York Post:

Key-state polls show hot Sarah drawing ‘swingers’

Must be the new “family values” I’ve heard tell about.  Well, I imagine if she were into that kind of thing, she likely would be a pretty sought-after dinner-party guest, now, wouldn’t she?

If Bill O’Reilly and Maureen Dowd had a baby…

…the resultant hectoring, mendacious little ball of hysteria would be hired by ABC News.

Or already has been.

Charlie Gibson’s much-awaited prime-time network interview with Governor Sarah Palin aired last night on ABC News.  The normally likeable and professional anchor was nowhere to be found.  In his place someone had substituted a bizarre changeling:  one who combined the annoying habit (popularized by FNC’s Bill O’Reilly) of stepping abruptly on the interviewee’s answers with the disturbing practice (for which the NYT’s Maureen Dowd has become notorious) of completely changing the meaning of a quote by way of selective editing and strategic ellipses.

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