Tag Archives: Media Observation

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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DNC member endorses McCain over “elitist”

From CNN’s Political Ticker blog:

Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary Clinton supporter and member of the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee, will endorse John McCain for president on Wednesday, her spokesman tells CNN…

“This is a hard decision for me personally because frankly I don’t like him,” she said of Obama in an interview with CNN’s Joe Johns. “I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.”

“Elitist!” Dang, I left out that recent entry in the list of forbidden racist code words, which apparently is joined by “out-of-touch,” and also “hard-working” (when used to describe voters with whom the aggrieved candidate is allegedly “out-of-touch”).

Lock up your dictionaries somewhere secure, people.  If language isn’t safe, what is?

What’s racist code for “racist code word?” UPDATE: She’s back! (Or is she?)

I’m a few days behind the news curve with this post, so forgive me.  I wasn’t going to post on this subject, but it’s been nagging at me, and it’s just too important to let go this far.  (And I did say at the beginning that I’d be posting on language, didn’t I?  Warts and all, I suppose.)

The McCain campaign released an advertisement recently in response to the Obama-Biden campaign’s reaction to the naming of Sarah Palin to the GOP ticket, focusing on nastiness funneled in her direction since the announcement that she was joining the ticket:

David Kurtz at Talking Points Memo wasted no time posting down his nose at the ad, but his “rebuttal” had nothing to do with Palin.  Instead, what had drawn Kurtz’s sneering disdain was the ad’s use of the word disrespectful to describe the Obama campaign’s behavior toward the Alaska governor.  Kurtz seethed about the “contempt” inherent in the word “disrespectful.”  Now, he’s probably got a point, as far as it goes; I doubt the ad was meant to lionize Sen. Obama.  But then Kurtz takes it a step (or two, or ten, or twenty…) further:  characterizing the use of the word “disrespectful” as:

“The sort of old-fashioned contempt that whites often held blacks in (and obviously still do).”

According to David Kurtz of TPM, “disrespectful” is the latest addition to that infamous glossary known in the grievance trade as racist code words.

Gory details of the most recent incarnations and perversions of this phenomenon below the break.

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We’ll break you (though we never made you)

I’m sorry, but this column by CBS’s Jon Friedman just left me bug-eyed, slack-jawed, and at a loss for words.  (Wow, I think I feel this blog’s very first rant coming on…)

Below commenceth the Gospel According to Friedman, boiled down to its essential elements:

  1. Sarah Palin is skyrocketing in popularity and boosting the McCain-Palin ticket because the news media have made it so.
  2. Palin’s rise follows a familiar pattern; namely, that of the news media building up new and interesting public figures “to mythic levels” only to knock them down again.
  3. When the inevitable knocking-down comes around, according to the headline, “The Sarah Palin phenomenon is doomed.”
  4. There is nothing Palin, McCain, or anyone else can do about it.
  5. Oh, by the way, Charlie Gibson is not a complete tool, didn’t deliberately misquote Palin’s Alaska address on Iraq, and actually does have a clue what the “Bush Doctrine” is (despite what the man who actually coined the phrase says to the contrary).

The obvious question that leaps to mind:  where the heck was I when any news network was ever “building up” Sarah Palin to any level, let alone “mythic” ones?

Further pertinent questions below the break.

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With friends like Air America…

OK, somebody please clear something up for me: exactly whose side is Air America’s Randi Rhodes on? (Hat tip: Radio Equalizer, via Hot Air.)

“Friends with all the teenage boys?”  Are you kidding me?  Does Rhodes really think she’s helping Barack Obama by casting Sarah Palin as a closet child molester?

I’m wondering if the same air of “inevitability” that did in Hillary Clinton and her supporters during the primary may well be choking Barack Obama’s bid now.  Explanation below the break.

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