blueollie

Media Lemmings swallow Drudge Report nonsense

Workout notes I am going to try to walk after I finish this post. My left side is a bit tingly due to the stationary bike workout yesterday. Walking seems to be easier on this bursa injury than cycling. I also got in 4000 yards of swimming, including 10 x 75 free, 25 back on the 2 (two test 100s were 1:31 (rep 5) and 1:32 (rep 10).) Then 1000 yards of mixing up strokes (including 6 x 50 fly with fins) and then 1000 of (100 free, 100 pull, 100 fins) (17:47).

Politics
We were warned by Kos about this (from Salon):

The new online political magazine, The Politico, is a pernicious new presence in our media landscape. As I noted the other day, it really is nothing more than the Drudge Report dressed up with the trappings of mainstream media credibility. Today, Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News writes on his blog about what is merely the latest episode (of many) proving how closely coordinated The Politico is with The Drudge Report. It is not hyperbole to say that the former is all but an arm of the latter.

Last night, The Politico’s Mike Allen published a petty, trite hit piece on Barack Obama — entitled Rookie Mistakes Plague Obama — claiming that Obama “has also shown a tendency toward seemingly minor contradictions and rhetorical slips” and referencing “imprecise or incomplete statements by Obama over the years.” As Bunch noticed, Allen’s story was “highlighted on the Drudge Report no later than 18 minutes after it was filed by Allen (how does he do it!).” […]

Given the last two weeks filled with humiliating errors and journalistically reckless behavior, The Politico, as Bunch notes, is the last newspaper which ought to be accusing others of “Rookie Mistakes.” They are the very embodiment of such behavior (although their journalistic recklessness seems more calculated than negligent — a feature rather than a bug, to invoke a cliche). And this latest article, designed to begin smearing Obama’s integrity and character, is nothing more than the standard RNC/Beltway-media joint tactic which we have seen so many times before. As Allen himself notes:

“The Republican National Committee, working in league with Bush operatives, exploited similar blunders — sometimes misleadingly — to portray the last two Democratic presidential nominees, Al Gore and John F. Kerry, as inconsistent or hypocritical in ways that savaged both men’s reputations.”

So the RNC successfully manipulated the press in two consecutive national elections to disseminate misleading depictions of the flawed characters of Al Gore and John Kerry, by exploiting petty and inconsequential incidents (often using inaccurate accounts) in order to generalize them into broad-based character indictments. And what is the lesson Allen has learned from that? To be first out of the gate to do the same thing to Barack Obama.

Already, look what is happening. The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen, one of the most predictable and easily manipulated “liberal” pundits in the country, has already dutifully scampered for the bait, pronouncing today: “This tendency to manipulate facts may bear watching in Obama. (After all, we hardly know him.)” So Cohen, even while praising Obama, starts infecting the public discourse with the type of slippery, odorous innuendo about his character which lingers and can never really be disproven. With almost a full year before the first primary vote, Obama has already, in essence, claimed to have invented the Internet, to be the source of inspiration for Love Story, and to have been in Cambodia during Christmas.

Fortunately, Media Matters is hitting back:

In an article appearing in The Politico’s March 27 print edition, Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen wrote that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) has “shown a tendency toward seemingly minor contradictions and rhetorical slips,” characterized Obama’s alleged inconsistencies as “trivial,” and wrote that “the senator’s rhetorical miscues have been more curiosities than obvious political blunders.” Nonetheless, Allen stretched these alleged “trivial” inconsistencies into a 1,200-word article headlined, “Rookie Mistakes Plague Obama,” which appeared on the front page of the print edition. The Drudge Report flagged the article by posting its headline verbatim approximately one hour before The Politico posted the article on its website on the evening of March 26, according to Google News. Additionally, one of the so-called “curiosities” that Allen purported to expose were “strange echoes” of 2003 campaign speeches by former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) in Obama’s current campaign speeches. However, these “strange echoes” appear to be little more than oft-used rhetorical devices that are not unique to any presidential candidate.

In the article, Allen conceded that the “rookie mistakes” he highlighted were in fact “trivial” and “small”.

There are other Obama hit pieces out there as well; fortunately we aren’t going to let them get away with it this time:

Summary: A March 27 Associated Press article falsely claimed that Sen. Barack Obama has “delivered no policy speeches” while campaigning “and provided few details about how he would lead the country.” In fact, the Chicago Tribune described a March 2 address by Obama as a “major policy speech on U.S.-Israel policy,” and numerous news outlets have reported on Obama’s policy proposals on the campaign trail.

Here is an example:

Obama detailed his proposal for ending the war in Iraq:

That is why I advocate a phased redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq to begin no later than May first with the goal of removing all combat forces from Iraq by March 2008. In a civil war where no military solution exists, this redeployment remains our best leverage to pressure the Iraqi government to achieve the political settlement between its warring factions that can slow the bloodshed and promote stability.

My plan also allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain and prevent Iraq from becoming a haven for international terrorism and reduce the risk of all-out chaos. In addition, we will redeploy our troops to other locations in the region, reassuring our allies that we will stay engaged in the Middle East. And my plan includes a robust regional diplomatic strategy that includes talking to Syria and Iran — something this Administration has finally embraced.

Friggin liars.

On another note: I am about to leave for Rolla for a math conference. That might mean doing without a real swimming pool for 3 days! Arghh!!!

But I have my walking shoes and yoga mat.

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March 28, 2007 - Posted by | injury, obama, politics/social, swimming

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