Skip to comments.GOTCHA! (You won't believe it!)
Posted on 05/28/2008 9:32:25 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
A Democrat campaigning for the White House must feel like a soldier advancing through a mine field. At any moment, he or she is one step away from being blown out of the contest. And the poor wretch is surrounded by a ravenous mob of media hounds, each of whom is eager to set off the fatal charge.
Still worse, almost all the media volleys are fired toward the port side. If a Republican or (so-called) conservative makes a gaffe, as they do almost daily, their misspeak is usually politely ignored. Or if it is simply too awful to be ignored, it is shoved down the memory hole after a couple of news cycles and effectively forgotten by the corporate media. No big deal. Count on it: John McCains belated shedding of the embarrassing Hagee and Parsely endorsements will be gone from the news and forgotten within the week. In contrast, the Rev. Wright Goddam America uproar is still alive after several months.
Gotcha! moments are often excavated through the sort of diligent searching that was once the hallmark of investigative journalism back in the days when we still had investigative journalists. The Rev. Wright remark was culled out of thousands of recorded hours of his sermons. Barack Obamas bitter comment was caught by chance on a cell phone recording.
If the Democrats careless comment is insufficiently damaging, the GOP and/or the media will improve it. Case in point: It wasnt bad enough that Michelle Obama said that for the first time in her adult life, she was really proud of my country. That word really softens the impact. So out with it! In this video clip of a Tennessee GOP ad, the word has clearly been deleted. Here is the unedited remark.
If culling and editing will not suffice, then there is always whole-cloth invention i.e., outright fraud. In 2000, Al Gore was relentlessly pounded for his claim to have invented the internet. He never made that claim. And what of his alleged boast to have discovered the Love Canal toxic site? Never happened.
Gotcha! smears follow the successful Democratic politician into office. Remember the press ruckus when, in May 1993, Bill Clinton allegedly held up air traffic at the Los Angeles airport, while he was getting a haircut on Air Force One? Now that was news! But when the FAA and the LAX traffic controllers totally debunked the story, the media felt that correction was scarcely worthy of mention. And the Clintons were hounded by the alleged Whitewater scandal throughout Bill Clintons presidency, until at long last, the Ken Starr inquisition was forced to admit that there was no there there, a finding that was essentially ignored by the mainstream media.
Then there are those utterly trivial incidents, inflated to national prominence: Al Gore wearing earth tones, Howard Deans amplified scream, John Kerrys preference for swiss cheese (yum!) over Cheez-Whiz (yechh!) in his philly sandwiches, John Edwards haircut, Barack Obamas disinclination to wear flag lapel pins.
Meanwhile, glaring issues potentially devastating to the Republican candidates are kept off the front pages and off the mainstream TV screens: Bushs violation of security laws, his desertion from the Air National Guard, the August, 2001 PDB: Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US, the Florida schoolroom on 9/11 and The Pet Goat, the lies that led to, and now prolong, an illegal war. The list is endless. Also McCain: his numerous flip-flops, his slavish adherence to the Bush policies and the utter inauthenticity of his maverick label, his involvement in the Keating Five scandal, his obvious cluelessness about Middle East politics, etc. And, above all else, the total failure of the corporate media to investigate and expose the frauds perpetrated by the privatized election industry.
But for the alternative and foreign media, and the liberal blogosphere, wed likely know little if any of this today.
Hillary Clinton and The A-Word.
Lets stipulate the obvious: Hillary Clintons reference last week to the RFK assassination was pluperfectly stupid and insensitive. It could prove to be fatal to her campaign, though I doubt that it will.
And yet, although I agree with many that by prolonging the contest all the way to the convention, Clinton might well cause the Democrats to lose in November, and, while I therefore believe that for the good of the party and the country, she should quit ASAP, I believe that the significance of her blunder may have been overblown. At last, the admirable and eloquent Keith Olbermann may have overshot with his rhetoric. None other than Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., a Clinton supporter, has downplayed the remark: It is clear from the context that Hillary was invoking a familiar political circumstance in order to support her decision to stay in the race through June... I think it is a mistake for people to take offense.
Exactly! Clintons essential point: three months is an eternity in politics. History confirms that a lot can happen before the August convention: a whopper of an Obama scandal could emerge, Obama could be diagnosed with a fatal disease, or, God forbid, he could fall victim to a fatal accident or be assassinated. True enough. But some things, most assuredly, are much better left unsaid.
In sum, as tempting as it may be to use Hillarys A-word blunder to push her off the stage, I suggest that it would be less than honest to do so. And practically speaking, it would be unwise for any Democrats to encourage the media gotcha! practice of disqualifying candidates due to single, isolated gaffes.
Also largely unsaid and apparently unnoticed by the punditocracy, is the simple fact that the uncertainties of the pre-convention summer fail to justify Clintons determination to continue the contest. Should she withdraw tomorrow and then should some misfortune make it impossible for Obama to claim his prize in Denver, Clinton would obviously be at the head of the queue to take the nomination. More so, if she were to withdraw gracefully soon, rather than further embitter the party with her continuing challenge.
In the meantime, what will be the medias likely response to Clintons verbal stumble? While they could use it to pummel her candidacy, perhaps fatally, I predict that the media will soft-peddle the incident and let it pass into early obscurity, just as if I had been uttered by a Republican. And why? Because the corporate media and its Republican sponsors are all determined to see Clintons dismal and doomed candidacy continue as long as possible, best of all on to the convention itself. The continuing drama of the contest attracts eyeballs to the media while it enhances John McCains prospects for success in November.
So What is to be Done about Gotcha! Journalism?
I wish that I had a startling and innovative answer that question. Perhaps you do, and if so Id like to hear it. In the meantime, the old and familiar responses will have to do. Foremost among these: punish the corporate media for its offenses. Deprive the media of its audience and its sponsors of their customers. Look elsewhere for news and information alternative and foreign media and the internet and let the corporate media know that you are doing so and why. The corporate media are businesses with fiduciary responsibilities to their stockholders, and thus cannot be indifferent to the financial consequences of their journalistic delinquency. As the general public continues to wise-up to the fact that the corporate media are no longer reliable sources of information but rather are propaganda organs for the military-industrial-congressional-media complex, both the credibility and the audience of that media dissolves. If a significant portion of the public accelerates that dissolution, the media will face the stark dilemma: reform or perish.
At the same time, the alternative media must be supported. Word must go out that reliable information is at hand to those willing to search for it.
The truth will eventually come out, if given a voice. It is up to we the people to give it that voice.
I'm sure George Allen feels her pain.
Seems to me Big Media is doing a fine job of that themselves.
“If a Republican or (so-called) conservative makes a gaffe, as they do almost daily, their misspeak is usually politely ignored.”
Bizarro World. This guy needs a straightjacket. Seriously.
If anyone really believes that, they need to be locked up to keep from harming themselves.
“Either this man is a master satirist or an inmate in a mental institution.”
A Torqued Obamanist...same thing.
Just another typical liberal...
Just another NON Gun Carrying Liberal.
The media then made it one of their basic stories which had to be mentioned along with some slur at Quayle.
If Dam Quayle had said any of the things Hillary and especially Obama havee said, he would be the butt of jokes for maybe a hundred years.
Right there, that paragraph, tells you all you need to know. The "writer", like Rosie o'Tard, has plagiarized it's talking points from the DU and/or the indymedia.
Al Gore was relentlessly pounded for his claim to have invented the internet. He never made that claim.
He SAID, "I took the initiative in creating the Internet." IT'S ON TAPE. Whether or not he "misspoke" he clearly made that idiotic statement. It's a lie to say that "he never made that claim."
I notice that the word "sniper" never occurs in this piece, nor the word "Cambodia." Both of those (the Hillary "sniper fire" story and the Kerry "Christmas in Cambodia" story) are the most egregious inventions that they were caught at, and it tends to invalidate the author's thesis that Democratic gaffes are momentary alipa of the tongue.
Meanwhile, glaring issues potentially devastating to the Republican candidates are kept off the front pages and off the mainstream TV screens
You know, like the Texas Air National Guard documents proving that George W. Bush deserted. And the story that Karl Rove betrayed that covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.
I vote mental institution.
Comparing Democrat and Republican gaffes is very instructive, though.
Republican gaffes really do tend to be slips of the tongue, while Democrat gaffes tend to be wild, absurd resume enhancements.
Like Tom “I flew combat missions in Vietnam” Harkin.
And Hillary “I was named after Sir Edmund Hillary” “I landed under sniper fire” Clinton.
And Al “Erich Segal wrote Love Story about Tipper and me” “I took the initiative in creating the Internet” Gore.
And John “Being in Cambodia that Christmas was seared, SEARED into my memory” Kerry.
And Barack “My uncle liberated Auschwitz” Obama.
WTF? This can’t be genuine. No one drinks that much kool aid.
They have admitted that they took delight in repeating the gaffes from speeches that he'd already given without error.
I suggested at the time that perhaps he should deliberately flub his speeches on the key message point as a means of making sure that the media DID cover his key message points.
How many years did McCain associate with Hagee or Parsely? What did McCain say in defense of either of these men? Did McCain later flip flop and say that he COULD be critical of them after he said he COULDN'T be critical of them? Did he also try the line that their statements were taken out of context? Did he try saying that privately he'd already spoken with them? Did he try saying that he wasn't there "that day"?
Ask Tom DeLay how it feels to be run out of office by a witchfinder general who resigns from the case before bringing it to trial 3 years after the charges are made.
The election used to get started far later than August of the preceding year. The DNC wants this wrapped up already.
And the good dirt is saved until October. Just ask Albert Gore Junior who's team leaked decades old news of GW Bush's DUI arrest.
If it cost him 0.52% of the national vote (which it almost surely did) then it cost him the popular vote that Gore loves to boast of.
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