[the palaverist]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

[old media still matters]

In the last few years, there's been a lot of talk about the impact of new technologies and new sources of information on the political process. But the fact remains that the the mainstream media — newspapers, magazines, talk radio and especially television — still set the terms of our public discourse.

That's why the video below is so satisfying: it's the White House press corps literally laughing at and mocking the official Republican spin six days before the midterm elections. Mouthpiece Tony Snow, trying to get some traction with the irrelevant story about John Kerry's unfortunate (and genuinely embarrassing) misstatement, claims he's actually trying to help Kerry by offering him a chance to apologize. And the press corps are having none of it: listen for the question at the end.

This is just further evidence that the GOP is running a campaign almost entirely focused on fantasy. Keep in mind that John Kerry is, at the moment, merely the junior senator from Massachusetts, and not currently running for office. And he's being attacked for a comment that was clearly a slip of the tongue — he failed to say out loud a few crucial words that were on the page in front of him.

What else have the Republicans got? In Virginia, Jim Webb is under attack for the sexual perversions included in his novels about men driven to depravity during the Vietnam War. He's being attacked for depicting horrifying behavior in fiction, while the vice president is out declaring actual horrifying behavior to be a no-brainer. Rush Limbaugh displayed deep confusion between acting and reality when he accused Michael J. Fox of "acting" because he "depicted" the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, which he actually has, instead of coming across smooth and polished, which he may no longer even be able to do.

Other than that, there are scary pictures of Osama Bin Laden — you know, the guy who attacked the United States during the Bush administration and remains at large. Oh, and in Tennessee, you have racist sexual innuendo, backed by nothing. And that's pretty much it. Pure fantasy.

[Via TPM Cafe.]



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