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July 02, 2003
Old News Today

Anyone who still cares about redistricting in Texas (I'd like to see some outcry about this, people) can take a look at what the Texas Democratic Women had to say about one of the "public meetings" they attended. (And read Josh Marshall at Talking points, linked over there on the left. He's still following the story.)

Also, John Moyers, over at TomPaine.com, is calling names. My mother says it's not nice to call names. I haven't asked my mother yet what she thinks of the liar in the White House today, though. She might give me an exemption.

Is Democratic infighting going to bring them down in '04?

I don't know. The "centrist" Democrats have a point in that anyone who wants the White House needs swing voters, but while they're making that point, they're missing another one which is, to paraphrase Nader, if there's no difference between them, what does it matter which party you vote for?

I've been thinking about this one for a while. (Well, obviously, since the article is almost two weeks old.) I read about a study that suggested that the majority of the voters who have failed to turn out in the last few presidential elections have been Democrats. Maybe if those Democrats could be enticed back to the voting booth, we wouldn't need the "swing" voters quite so much?

I mean, clearly, these days, it matters quite a lot who you vote for. If the Dems shuffled to the right in the late 80s and in the 90s, well, it's pretty clear that the Republicans did the same thing with some, I think, pretty scary results so even a "centrist" Democrat is a much healthier choice for this country and, indeed, the world.

Politicians and the Media

I've been contemplating Dean's Dilemma by Howard Kurtz. First, let me say that I view with skepticism the pictures of candidates we're given by most of the media. We've all been watching media coverage for the last couple of years if not longer and we all know how distorted a view of reality you can get if you don't read carefully, and widely.

Also, I'm not surprised by Dean's hostility toward the press at all. It's the same kind of hostility you see from most politicians any more. As far as I'm concerned, the press mostly deserves the hostility they're facing.

Kurtz quotes The Note:

"You can't help but believe that the standard of conduct and coverage to which Bill Clinton was held was too high, and the one for George W. Bush is too low.

"We don't know where the bar SHOULD be placed by the political and White House press corps to hold each and every president (and candidate) accountable to the public interest, but we DO know it belongs somewhere between Point B(ush) and Point C(linton).

"For the first time in The Note's career, Democrats have joined Republicans in the belief that the press is systematically biased against them, and agitate everyday to try to change things (or work around their media enemies).

"The Bush White House tends to leave any griping about press bias to surrogates, while in public, led by Ari Fleischer, they adopt a faux 'the press will do its job/we'll do ours' posture."

I think they're right. When push comes to shove, the press isn't biased liberally or conservatively. They're just biased. When a politician hits the public eye, 99 times out of a hundred, the press goes into a feeding frenzy. Sometimes, inexplicably, they don't. Clinton's zipper got enough coverage to reach to the moon and back. Bush's personal life gets a pass, including the way they started cleaning up his language after he took office. (We've all noticed that "official" records of the few interviews he's done and the few press conferences he's held no longer contain those forays into syntax hell. I doubt that most of us believe he somehow magically developed the ability to speak in coherent sentences.)

Also. For the record? I read the transcript of that infamous Meet The Press segment and I didn't read anything that sounded like the disaster some people are citing. Jake Tapper from the NYT agrees with me.

Republicans and the media

I'm just saying, okay? The U.K.'s Economist thought the sun rose and set on Ronald Reagan. They're old-money conservatives. Nothing neo about these guys at all. So, when they start slapping around other conservatives for going over the line, you know those other conservatives must have really gone off the deep end.

The Media and the Media

Editor and Publisher is, humorously enough, asking quite sincerely if the press fell down on the job before the invasion of Iraq. It seems to be occurring to some people that maybe a few more questions should have been asked about WMD. (I disagree that the press wasn't critical enough. They were exceptionally critical of anti-war protestors, for instance. I just think they spent too much of their time and energy on the wrong subject. As they so often do.)

I mean, it seems to be an open secret today that we know so much about the weapons Iraq might have had because we sold or gave most of those weapons to them. On the other hand, as I mentioned in a previous entry but am too lazy to go look up the reference for right now, we also took out every known site of WMD potential while Clinton was in office, so even those reporters who remembered us selling Weapons of Much Destruction to Iraq should have remembered that we also made a serious attempt to destroy those that the U.N. inspectors didn't find and destroy (a sizeable amount).

It's just a mystery why most of the national media was unable to indulge in a little critical thought in advance of the invasion. Aren't we all just puzzled to death by this one?

Paranoia Corner

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Other Stuff

Everyone is linking to Welcome to the Machine but I haven't had time to read it thoroughly yet, so I don't have any comments except to say that none of this surprised me a bit. I will say that the first time I glanced at the article, my reaction was a shrug. As so frequently happens to me, I can't remember where I read it, but I know I read about Republicans muscling their candidates into lobbying positions a year or two ago. Might have been pre-9/11, even. Groups and corporations were told that if they wanted their concerns addressed, they'd hire lobbyists friendly to this Administration.

Also, for a smile (as always), go read Mark Morford on Your Vegan Holistic President Sure an odd, spiritual guy like Dennis Kucinich doesn't have a chance in hell. But it sure is nice to dream

Posted by AnneZook at 09:34 AM