Solarbird (solarbird) wrote,

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bits and political pieces

I rather like this graphic summary of the campaign, called This. Fucking. Election. I know it's going around, but it's still neat.

Joe the Plumber has become a standard McCain surrogate and is going around places like Fox talking about how Senator Obama plans to betray the United States.

Faith2Action's Janet Porter says on WorldNetDaily that you can't vote for Senator Obama and still be a Christian. Yay! She also says that President Obama will cause the collapse of the US, saying, "If you willfully disobey God on life and marriage because of race or false hope for the economy, you will usher in the kind of change that brought the Soviet Union to collapse." Faith2Action is a political culture-war group which has worked with Focus on the Family, and was heavily involved with Mike Huckabee's political campaign.

Glenn Greenwald points to this column by the Washington Post's ombudsman saying that the reason newspapers (such as the Post) are losing readership is that they're "too liberal," despite the complete dereliction of reporting duties and endorsement of essentially every extremist grab of power during the past several years of GOP dominance in the Federal government, and their ever-continuing strides to be part of the conservative movement echo chamber. Good examples of this are outlined here, wherein a campaign reporter on the McCain trail talked about what bad form it is to report bad things about the candidate you are reporting - and means it:
Reston blames herself, at least in part, for the loss of friendship between McCain and his reporters. Back in July, with a couple of other reporters, she approached him at the back of his "Straight Talk Express" bus, when "as always McCain warmly motioned for us to squeeze in beside him on the couch." She then committed a terrible sin: she asked The Maverick a question -- whether he "agreed with his advisor Carly Fiorina's recent statement that it was unfair for some health insurance companies to cover Viagra but not birth control" -- which, as a long-time opponent of health insurance mandates, he was visibly uncomfortable answering and to which he was unable to provide a coherent response, resulting in a video that was widely used by "liberals and late-night comedians" and which was "embarrassing" for McCain.

What was Reston's reaction once she realized that she was the cause of McCain's embarrassment? This: "my stomach churned and my cheeks grew hot." By abusing the access granted to her to make John McCain look bad, she knew she had done wrong...

...the regular reporters who were privileged enough to follow McCain... understood the agreement on which their fun with McCain depended ("access and friendship in exchange for positive coverage") and they were petrified that new interlopers would ruin it for them. So they would warn newcomers not to rock their boat of intimacy.


What's vital here is that none of this is unique to the McCain campaign. McCain learned best how to exploit the craven need for approval and sense of belonging which characterizes most modern journalists, but that is the dynamic that drives most of our reporting. That's what makes these episodes -- when all of this gets unmasked -- so valuable.
You should read the whole thing, because it really does describe how the US political media works, or rather, fails to work.

I'm told this letter to the editor calling for the expulsion of all atheists from the US is from an Alaska newspaper. I do know there is a Soldotna, Alaska, so it's reasonable. eta: The letter actually did run, but the letter-writer was pranking the newspaper. See comments.

There is footage - I don't know when it's from - of Senator Obama stressing his opposition to same-sex marriage but also his opposition to Proposition 8 in California, on MTV. Andrew Sullivan has it, which is handy, since I don't know how MTV embeds work. Anybody know when this was shot and aired? I don't. It's still maddening that this is the best we'll get.

By contrast a married lesbian expatriot in British Columbia talks about how nice it is just to be, you know, normal.
Tags: politics
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