Politics postsTuesday September 23, 2008
Palin's Access: Beyond Disgraceful
Andrew Sullivan on the Republican vice-presidential candidate and the press:
The press is beginning to resist the incredibly sexist handling of Palin by the McCain campaign. There is a simple point here: any candidate for president should be as available to press inquiries as humanly possible. Barring a press conference for three weeks, preventing any questions apart from two television interviews, one by manic partisan Sean Hannity, devising less onerous debate rules for a female candidate, and then trying to turn the press into an infomercial for the GOP is beyond disgraceful.
Fight back, you hacks! Demand access. Demand accountability! It's our duty. If we cannot ask questions of a total newbie six weeks before an election in which she could become president of the country, then the First Amendment is pointless. Grow some!
'You want to see a REAL liberal media, Otis?'
Nicholas Kristof's column this morning on how well the Republican slime machine is working — 13 percent of registered voters think Barack Obama is Muslim, while the “End Times” people literally think he's the anti-Christ — brought back that New Yorker cover controversy from two months ago.
I'd argue my post back then wasn't prescient but historical; anyone who paid attention in '04 knew it would happen. Since then the New Yorker has given us their anti-John McCain cover: He's rich, playing Monopoly; his wife carries a glass of wine. So in one cover they dress up Barack and Michelle Obama as what they aren't (America's enemies) and in the other they dress up John and Cindy McCain as what they are (rich bastards) and call it even. Barack becomes who Americans want to kill, McCain who Americans want to be. Thank you, liberal media.
Seriously, everytime I hear that phrase, “liberal media,” I want to deck somebody. I think of Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor in the original Superman, talking to Ned Beatty's dimwitted Otis: “You want to see a liberal media, Otis? You want to see a REAL liberal media, Otis?” Imagine that. The New York Times, Time, the network news, CNN, all as politically motivated as FOX News and Rush Limbaugh.
As it is, this media, the corporate kind, is still being played by the Republicans, who slime the entire process. But hold onto these facts:
- Republican stupidity and arrogance got us into Iraq.
- Republican greed and mania for deregulation got us into our current fiscal crisis.
- The Republican slime-machine is destroying our political process.
Tom Toles is Genius
He's got a good one today on the 180-degree flip-flops of the McCain campaign, but it's the editorial cartoon yesterday, particularly the coda, that got me. Brilliant. Our country in a nutshell:
Things to Read Before the Next Great Depression
A few bits and pieces collected from the Web:
- Chris Kelly has another so-funny-it's-sad piece about the current level of our political debate: specifically, John McCain, who implies the other guy thinks he's messianic, saying he will put an end to both evil (War on Terror) and now greed (banking crisis, uncapitalized thus far). “John McCain will not only take on special interests and Washington insiders, he'll fundamentally alter human nature. ... Or maybe he's just a desperate shell of a man, babbling glorp.”
- Please read Bob Cesca's piece on why, given the collapse of our foreign policy, our economy, our status in the world, this race is still close. Before I read Cesca, I would've assumed the race was still close becaue of race, but he's got a better point. There's a lot of noise in the right-wing media that never reaches my ears, but that noise is constant and overwhelming and unaccountable. It says what it wants. And right now it's saying some pretty nasty shit. Also known as lies. Often about race.
- David Brauer has a piece on MinnPost about my hometown newspaper, and the paper my father worked at for 30 years, that's sad but indicative of the current state of newspapers. Strib editor Nancy Barnes sent staff an e-mail about political coverage, a warning to remain objective, but then added this: “If you are involved in a political story, please look at it from several different perspectives and ask yourself: 'If I were running, would I find this fair and balanced?'” Brauer rightly adds, “I doubt the last thing Ben Bradlee said to Woodward and Bernstein was, 'Ask yourself:”'If I were president, would I find our Watergate coverage fair and balanced?''" Exactly. Being objective doesn't mean being stupid.