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January 13, 2004 10:03 AM   Subscribe

"The Media vs. Howard Dean." Salon (subscription or Flash ad viewing required) observes that the media have been doing everything in their power to attach negative labels to US presidential candidate Howard Dean. Will the adage that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" prevail? Meanwhile, the Internet is increasing in relevance as a news source, according to a recent survey. Which websites do you peruse for political coverage, if any?
posted by Eloquence (67 comments total)

 
the media have been doing everything in their power to attach negative labels to US presidential candidate Howard Dean

Yeah, like that awful slur "Frontrunner"
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:19 AM on January 13, 2004


I keep bouncing back and forth between Dean and Clark, but I have to say that Dean has something extra going for him. Both the Republicans and the mainstream Democrats loathe him, and that's a great reason to give him my vote. Plus, I like hearing that he's a crank. We need more passionate people in politics.
posted by jpburns at 10:22 AM on January 13, 2004


Actually, while Dean is far from my favorite Dem candidate, I've noticed this too. It's shallow election coverage all over again. Remember the "woodenness" of Gore? Now it's the "volatility" of Dean.

I have seen no discussion of Dean's policy. Of course, may be partly Dean's fault, since I don't see him discuss it either.

Damn liberal media.
posted by namespan at 10:25 AM on January 13, 2004




"Frontrunner" is nice enough I suppose, but the real point is:

in just two summertime features the Washington Post managed to use the following words to describe Dean: "abrasive," "flinty," "cranky," "arrogant," "disrespectful," "yelling," "hollering," "fiery," "red-faced," "hothead," "testy," "short-fused," "angry," "worked up," and "fired up." And none of those adjectives were used in a complimentary way. In fact the Post, in an Aug. 4 Is-Dean-mean story, took pains to distinguish him from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whom the paper termed "brilliantly cranky."

The author stumbles on why Dean seems to be getting the same treatment of the media that Gore got four years ago (he's quote unlikeable unquote when he says that it's not so much Tim Russert (who throws softballs to GWB and backs off gently when GWB gets it wrong, but is a pit bull with Dean) and the folks like him are right wing biased, "they just hold the Democratic candidates to a higher standard". Whatever: the effect is the same.
posted by psmealey at 10:27 AM on January 13, 2004


Yeah, like that awful slur "Frontrunner"
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:19 PM CST on January 13


The term 'frontrunner' is based on polls. According to the different methodology employed by the polling centers, Dean is, according to most polls, the 'frontrunner.'

However, "Howard Dean was angry. Ropy veins popped out of his neck, blood rushed to his cheeks, and his eyes, normally blue-gray, flashed black, all dilated pupils." is a bit more subjective, and not confined to the rigors of a polling schema.

So, to ironically present 'frontrunner' as analogous to character slurs by reporters is fallacious, and knuckleheaded.
posted by four panels at 10:30 AM on January 13, 2004


I found this New Republic article a good antidote to many of the anti-Dean slurs being thrown around by the media and his opponents.
posted by rushmc at 10:31 AM on January 13, 2004


I wonder if he would have asked Lieberman the same question....

Why? Presidential candidate, Dean several weeks back asked his party to lay off the "G" issues, God being one of them. Then states: Jesus To Join him on campaign trail.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:33 AM on January 13, 2004


This link seems apropos here.
posted by uosuaq at 10:37 AM on January 13, 2004


I have heard nearly nothing about the two most recent Dean endorsements (Bradley and Harkin) yet I heard a bunch yesterday when Kerrey got endorsed by the governor of Iowa's wife. I mean, come on. The coverage of Dean's candidacy has really puzzled me, because I would think that a true outsider candidate (compared to say, someone that the DLC or DNC supported) would be a great news story, but the media's general approach seems to regard him as much a threat as the general political establishment.

As others have noted, I think that increases Dean's appeal in general to those of us who recognize that unelected interests regularly massage the choices available to the electorate to the extent that only a minority of voters even bother to show up.
posted by norm at 10:37 AM on January 13, 2004


BoingBoing had a link to an amusing Daily Show sketch that nails this idea on the head
posted by briank at 10:38 AM on January 13, 2004


Whoops, uosuaq beat me on preview
posted by briank at 10:39 AM on January 13, 2004


Where do you get your news?

Google news online and for the bus to/from work, the Seattle PI and NYT.

I'm also waffling between Clark and Dean. Like them both, but want the one with the best chance of beating Bush. Wonder if it will come down to the undecided voters, such as my freakishly liberal-conservative brother who voted for Nader last time and is considering Bush this time. Says he'd vote for Clark but is not sure about Dean vs Bush. Just goes to prove undecideds can't be pigeon-holed or that brothers like to freak out their sisters.
posted by humbe at 10:40 AM on January 13, 2004


Thom... again you stun me with your poetry, but the reason behind roboto's wondering is not about anything Dean might've said "several weeks ago" but about Lieberman's personal faith (you're just not going to find many practicing Jews that have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior), which would effectively place him at odds with Fineman's incredibly inappropriate question.

Or maybe that's what you just said and I didn't understand.
posted by grabbingsand at 10:40 AM on January 13, 2004


Howard Dean ... angry ... Ropy veins ... blood rushed ... all dilated pupils ...


heh
who knows where the "liberal media" learned this kind of smear tactics...


After Bush lost the Feb. 1 New Hampshire primary to McCain, he and his team made the tactical decision to get ugly in South Carolina. In the weeks leading up to the South Carolina primary on Feb. 19, McCain suffered one of the dirtiest personal smear campaigns in modern American political history.
"We play it different down here," one of Bush's top South Carolina advisors told Time magazine in February. "We're not dainty, if you get my drift. We're used to playin' rough."
Indeed. Push polls attacked McCain's personal life and exaggerated his role in the Keating savings and loan scandal. Leaflets slammed his wife, Cindy, for her past addiction to painkillers. An e-mail from a Bob Jones University professor accused McCain of fathering children out of wedlock. A mysterious public action committee in favor of the Confederate flag -- called "Keep it Flying" -- sprang up overnight and slammed McCain in 250,000 leaflets.
Bush engaged in his own delightful activities, appearing at Bob Jones and telling a Christian radio station, "An openly known homosexual is somebody who probably wouldn't share my philosophy."
(...)
When the going gets tough for Governor Bush, he turns to the darker side of our party," says one senior McCain advisor. "We saw that in South Carolina, and we see that today."
The Bush campaign did not return calls for comment.
(...)



posted by matteo at 10:41 AM on January 13, 2004


IMO, the media is attempting to atone for the free pass it gave Dean during the fall and winter of 2003 (when the majority of mainstream Dean stories were about the "movement," and had little to do with Dean's proposed policies).

Of course, the mainstream media isn't looking at Dean's proposed policies much right now, either--there's nothing like unsubstantiated criticism and name-calling to give the illusion of hard-hitting journalism.

Which websites do you peruse for political coverage, if any?

NYTimes
WaPo
The Note
The Daily Howler
Talking Points Memo
posted by Prospero at 10:50 AM on January 13, 2004


I have heard nearly nothing about the two most recent Dean endorsements (Bradley and Harkin) yet I heard a bunch yesterday when Kerrey got endorsed by the governor of Iowa's wife.

Strange. I've heard a lot about both of the Dean endorsements listed and nothing about Kerry's endorsement, and I mainly stick to mainstream media and some conservative blogs.

Damn liberal media.

Perhaps the media would rather have someone that they think would do better against Bush (Clark) win the nomination?
posted by gyc at 10:50 AM on January 13, 2004


A Fair and Balanced list of the most recent DrudgeReport headlines with the word Dean:

NYT TUESDAY: DEAN CAMPAIGN HITS TURBULENCE...
DEBATE SHOWDOWN: DEAN DEFENDS NO MINORITIES IN CABINET...
Reiner and Sheen to stump for Dean in Iowa...
Voter Triggers Dean Temper...
Dean Leads in Iowa and N.H., Polls Show...
AP: While governor, Dean accepted speaking fees, gifts from special interests...
Iowa Sen. Harkin endorses Dean...
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:51 AM on January 13, 2004


To some extent, it's definitely true that there's no such thing as bad publicity. I think this is most true in the early primary race when name recognition is as important as anything else. I've actually been wondering if maybe Dean intentionally says some stupid/controversial things just to get more face-time on the news shows. Maybe he's decided that it's easier to outlive stupid things he's said than it is to get free publicity. This strategy is nothing new for other public figures like Madonna, Michael Savage, Britney Spears, etc, but I don't know of too many politicians who have embraced controversy for its own sake. Maybe he's the first big-time candidate to take full advantage of it. Press, he's playing you like a trumpet.
posted by callmejay at 11:00 AM on January 13, 2004


via Kos:
Nedra Pickler wasted an entire news story on a heckler at a Dean event? One heckler.

""Howard Dean rejected a voter's request to be more neighborly and stop "mean mouthing" President Bush, saying Sunday someone needs to stand up to the president.
Dale Ungerer, a retiree from Hawkeye, Iowa, lectured Dean for nearly three minutes near the end of a forum aimed at winning voters for Iowa's Jan. 19 caucuses.""

Pickler sees this as a story. And this from an AP that routinely ignores protesters at Bush events tucked safely away, out of sight, in their designated "First Amendment zones". But one wingnut makes a scene at a Dean rally, and Nedra is on the case!


I also like this:
Ungerer, who said he was a registered Republican who voted for Bush but sometimes supports Democratic candidates, left after the exchange.
one can only imagine a rabid Democrat lecturing candidate Bush in this manner, I guess.
Guantanamo, anybody?

Perhaps the media would rather have someone that they think would do better against Bush (Clark) win the nomination?
so they like Kerry and Edwards more? then it's the "Eisenhower Republican Media", I guess.

I found this pretty disheartening:
After five straight questions about Iraq and the war on terrorism, Fineman asks Dean, out of nowhere, "Do you see Jesus Christ as the son of God and believe in him as the route to salvation and eternal life?"
I wonder if he would have asked Lieberman the same question....

in 2000 I immensely liked Bradley's dignity in refusing to talk much about religion. which makes sense in a country created by theists, after all
posted by matteo at 11:03 AM on January 13, 2004


This is the standard election-year media cycle: build 'em up, tear 'em down, then write about their resurgence. The media has to create controversy and suspense during the primary season. If Dean starts to look like he has the nomination locked up, then conventional wisdom naturally shifts towards the idea that he's vulnerable because of some perceived weakness.

Dean supporters should be happy that their man is getting his trial by fire this early, and hope that he'll be on the upswing of the media cycle when the election rolls around.
posted by fuzz at 11:11 AM on January 13, 2004


That's bad enough, but what about Kucinich, Sharpton, and Braun? They're completely frozen out.
posted by muckster at 11:21 AM on January 13, 2004


I do keep seeing all these news stories about Dean being an angry candidate but so far, all of the "evidence" is pretty lame and inconsequential.

Can someone explain why Al Sharpton is running? Is he unaware that he's got less chance of becoming president than I do? And what about John Kerry taking a second mortgage on his house to stay in the race? Yeah, who?

At this point its mostly a two horse race between Clark and Dean and my money's on Dean and not because he's from my home state.

My motto for the 2004 campaign is Anybody But Bush!
posted by fenriq at 11:29 AM on January 13, 2004


fuzz, please cite for me examples of how the media did this to bush in 2000 if this is a standard practice for the media.

way i recall it, the media annointed him president before he even decided to run.

i hope the campaign staff of dean, clark and all the rest read this article and take it to heart: they will not only be battling karl rove in the upcoming election, they will also be battling the media.

i can already imagine how the questions are going to go in the 1 debate rove allows to happen.

moderator: "pres. bush, do you think americans should have more money in their pockets?"
bush: "well, seeing as how i'm a texan, i reckon i do."
moderator: "i'm sure you'll find most americans agree with that, mr. president. thank you very much. sir [addressing dem candidate], what are your plans for rebuilding the infrastructure of afghanistan and iraq while continuing to find funding for america's own infrastructure problems which were created during the clinton presidency?"
dem candidate: "i would first attempt to build an international coalition..."
moderator: "would that include nations which stood on the sidelines while american soldiers died in iraq?"
dem candidate: "well, i don't quite....."
moderator: "your time is up. good day, sir."

posted by lord_wolf at 11:37 AM on January 13, 2004


Where I get political news:
Primarily, from liberal talk radio. unfortunately, this network is going out at the end of February.
ie America Radio Network

My favorite shows are
Thom Hartmann: Very intellectual, this guy knows his history.

Mike Malloy: visceral loud-mouthed liberal. Funny too!
posted by Goofyy at 11:40 AM on January 13, 2004


(from matteo's insightful post):
one can only imagine a rabid Democrat lecturing candidate Bush in this manner, I guess.
Guantanamo, anybody?


No, matteo, worse -- the reporters would roll their eyes and never mention Bush's liberal heckler. They would chuckle and say to another, "What a fuckin' loser."

But if a Republican plant heckles a Democrat, it's worthy of an article.
posted by Holden at 11:52 AM on January 13, 2004


grabbingsand, I was not fully able to read mr_roboto's posted link(not registered). Yes, I know Liberman is Jewish & what his beliefs are. Yet I did hear the media make a stink about Dean saying: Jesus... last week. So my assumption is that they are keying into "this attack".

Still feel the democrat party is "black widowing"(past comment was deleted with thread) their candidate Dean.

I'm also waffling between Clark and Dean. Like them both, but want the one with the best chance of beating Bush
This idea "the one that will beat bush" just seems a wrong way one would choose the best candidate. [Realizes why the presidency position has been dissolving over the years: "my vote is only good for a winner"]
It's like endorsing the one with better looks, they're both equal, but this one's face is pleasing on my eyes, so if it comes down to it, I like the cutter one.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:54 AM on January 13, 2004


The media has to create controversy and suspense during the primary season.

But I think this sort of attitude is one of the biggest reasons people turn to alternative sources of news. The media sees itself as integral to the electoral process when it has become as much of a hurdle to the free and balanced exchanged of information.

They don't like Dean because Dean doesn't kiss their collective ass. Which, incidentally, is one of the biggest reaons I like Dean.
posted by kgasmart at 12:20 PM on January 13, 2004


I agree that the mainstream news media has turned against Dean in recent weeks....and that the journalists and pundits want the "race" to continue. The idea that this is attributable to "right wing" media bias is laughable. The same thing happened four years ago with Bush and McCain after McCain won in New Hampshire.

I'm voting for Bush over any of the Democrats, but I haven't decided whether Clark or Dean would be an easier opponent. Having watched this campaign over the past few months, I don't know that it makes much difference anymore. I believe that neither Dean nor Clark can win this election unless something happens over which they have no control (i.e. terrorist attack, scandal, economic meltdown), and which is capable of driving voters away from the President in droves.
posted by Durwood at 12:41 PM on January 13, 2004


There's an interesting book called "What it Takes" about the 1998 Presidential campaign. It profiles all the candidtes and seems pretty thouroughly researched. It's not really partisan but can be a little soft/sappy at times telling heart warming tales about Bob Dole coming back a crippled vet from WWII or Gary Hart and his childhood sweetheart.

One of the similarities that is called to mind is Gary Hart. The author talks about the fact that all of the press pool knew this guy was cheating on his wife but there was no evidence. It was more or less common knowledge though and many reporters were as harsh on him as they were because they couldn't report about his affairs so they needed to find another way to warn the American public about the candidate. Obviously, Hart eventually brought himself down (with the help of some press photogs who happened to get lucky) but the author does discuss this function the press seems to think is their duty. If they know you're dirty but can't prove it, they'll find other ways to attack.

Perhaps those reporters around Dean have seen something we haven't.
posted by billman at 1:05 PM on January 13, 2004


Anger is sometimes the only appropriate response to provocation.

It's how you channel it that matters.
posted by rushmc at 1:20 PM on January 13, 2004


Perhaps those reporters around Dean have seen something we haven't.

Aha! This is exactly what they want us to think. I was going to make some tinfoil hat remark here, but I don't know what's conspiratorial and counter-conspiratorial and doesn't counter-conspiratorial mean the same thing as... oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.

But seriously, I have been wondering for the past four years why the press was so hard on Gore in 2000 and GWB was handled so very gently by the press (no questions about cocaine/Harken Oil insider trades/military service, etc). This was never more apparent after the first debate. The next day, all bobblehead talk in the mainstream news was about how condescending and rude Gore was, and how Bush handled himself with surprisingly composure. This diverged a bit from my own take: what I saw was an expert, albeit stiff, politician fully trounce an opponent with a barely pedestrian grasp of the issues. --To think there were times during the debate that I actually felt embarrassed for Gov. Bush.-- But Gore was penalized, essentially, for having the answers.

I consider myself to be a moderate/centrist, and I generally (up until 1994) was more likely to consider the candidate's platform rather than his/her party membership. I am always mostly interested in having the most qualified candidate in office. I did vote for Reagan in 1984 and Bush in 1988, if that carries any weight.

I am more than a little worried about this early tar and feathering of Dean, which is so far not issue based, but based on his demeanor, or worse, hearsay about it. I fear that this is indicative of whether the press has already found its favorite in this race. I know that such things shouldn't matter, but the truth is: they do. It gives one of the players an advantage if there is a difference in how the media portrays thems.

It's fine that Dean is being taken to task on the inconsistencies in his message, in the long run it will make him a better and more articulate candidate. My objection is that the same players (Tim Russert, Bob Schieffer, et al) never challenge Bush on his own missteps and obfuscations. Playing rough is fine, as long as its done fairly and evenly.
posted by psmealey at 1:40 PM on January 13, 2004


Am I supposed to react with a simple "yeah right" or do I really have to spell it out? The liberal media has been ostensively anti-Bush for three years, and now someone whines that Howard Dean, that bumbling fool, is being mistreated by the press? Talk about a delusional double standard! What did the financially and politically bankrupt Salon expect?
posted by 111 at 1:47 PM on January 13, 2004


The Uncompromising Liberal Media
posted by homunculus at 1:50 PM on January 13, 2004


I don't believe most mainstream media intentionally denigrates Dean, or even intentionally denigrated Gore. It seems to me the right is just far, far better at getting spin points out, promoted of course by Novak, Will, Hannity and the many other shills. Then they depend on the laziness of journalists to recycle these spin points. You go into Nexis and check about Al Gore's troubling pattern of lies and there are thousands of references - so it must be true. Same with Dean's so-called anger problem.

The left has to stop bitching about it - it's a reality now. Instead, they need to figure out a way to play the game. The Bush MIA from the National Guard angle got nowhere near the play that Al Gore's clothing choices did in 2000, and I think it's a function of the left's inability to start and feed these stories.
posted by blefr at 2:00 PM on January 13, 2004


neither Dean nor Clark can win this election unless something happens over which they have no control
Confessions of a White House Insider...today's top three links.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:07 PM on January 13, 2004


The liberal media has been ostensively anti-Bush for three years...

Hahahahahahahaha.

Bush has absolutely gotten a free pass, my man.
posted by kgasmart at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2004


I love you, 111. Is that what you want to hear? We all love you.
posted by jpoulos at 2:11 PM on January 13, 2004


The liberal media has been ostensively anti-Bush for three years, and now someone whines that Howard Dean, that bumbling fool, is being mistreated by the press?

are you trying to say that the whole of "the media" is liberal and anti-bush or that the certain parts of the media that specifically appeal to liberals is anti-bush? the latter would be obviously correct (just like the "conservative media" is at the moment intensely anti-dean) whereas the former would be what one might describe as "typical conservative paranoia."

anyways, STOP THE FREAKIN' PRESSES Y'ALL. big update on the dean front!



OMGWTF we cannot elect this hot-head. we need to stick with bush, who is cool, collected, considerate, and won't "shoot from the hip" when it comes to the lives and livelihoods of americans.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:57 PM on January 13, 2004


This article, Voter Triggers Dean's Much-Talked About Temper suggest Dean's anger. It reads for me as being excitably stern & to the point as mcsweetie has suggested above(take your words below the picture are with tongue in cheek)
posted by thomcatspike at 3:14 PM on January 13, 2004


111, you ARE kidding, right? The media couldn't have been kinder and gentler with Bush than if they had him proof their articles before publishing them.

Bush has been the most damning president this country has ever had and the media would have you thinking he's a considerate and thoughtful man when he's just a freakin' redneck with the biggest gun rack in history. Oh yeah, he's also a crook, a liar, a thief, a drug user, a drunk driver and plenty more.

History shouldn't be kind to his legacy.
posted by fenriq at 3:46 PM on January 13, 2004


The liberal media has been ostensively anti-Bush for three years

Must be a hell of a planet you live on there.

we need to stick with bush, who is cool, collected, considerate, and won't "shoot from the hip" when it comes to the lives and livelihoods of americans.

"Bring it on!"

Bush (with the help of a compliant media) successfully framed the choice in 2000 as brain vs. heart, despite having neither. The majority of Americans, sadly, will always select against intelligence in such a situation. The important question now is how will the 2004 choice be framed, and who will get to frame it?

Demonstrated competence vs. demonstrated incompetence?

Anger vs. sanctimony?

Traditional democratic values vs. autocratic despotism?

Fiscal responsibility vs. pawning the nation on behalf of the wealthy?

Countering terrorism by international cooperation vs. endless preemptive invasions of sovereign nations?

Protecting the Bill of Rights vs. dismantling it in an executive branch power grab?


Or, more likely if the media is left to decide: short, thick-necked man vs. John Wayne, Jr.
posted by rushmc at 3:47 PM on January 13, 2004


...Gary Hart. ... the press pool knew this guy was cheating on his wife... no evidence. it was ... common knowledge though ... many reporters were as ... harsh on him ... because they couldn't report about his affairs so they needed to find another way to warn the American public about the candidate. If they know you're dirty but can't prove it, they'll find other ways to attack.

Oh no, we must be warned about this AFFAIR!! How horrible it would be if a president cheated on his wife while in the whitehouse. It would destroy the country and bring the soviets world control. Fur Shur.

Perhaps those reporters around Dean have seen something we haven't.


Please, you think the media would give two shits about reporting rumors these days? They just want their easy-to-sell story. Or something. Frankly, I have no idea what the deal is with their reporting.
posted by delmoi at 4:38 PM on January 13, 2004


111 isn't kidding. The persecution complex is a fundamental part of the right wing mindset, and they will never give it up, even as they control all relevant political instruments of the country and the media give them a free pass (or egg them on). It's what drives them. It's what keeps them going despite the obvious contradictions in their worldview.

These things become much clearer if you stop phrasing politics in terms of "left" and "right" and start doing so in terms of "right" and "wrong". How can you even sustain a political party, an entire movement, that is based on theft from and exploitation of the public for the benefit of a privileged few? How do you get someone to not only accept a kick in the ass, but to ask for it?

First you need to create the enemy. The secular fanatics who want to take away religion. The perverts and the drug peddlers. The terrorists who want to destroy the country. You have to make your enemy much worse than you are, and the enemy has to be winning or at least always at the verge of winning.

The perpetual state of war predicted by Orwell is not only necessary in terms of foreign policy ("war on terror"), it is also necessary internally to sustain the authoritarian worldview. Conservative beliefs are informed by fear and anxiety, and those emotions need to be constantly maintained in order to sustain the beliefs themselves. In that regard, the meta-analysis Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition is quite informative.

Of course, for observers it becomes increasingly absurd when the ruling, dominant party whines about persecution and liberal media. But for the members of this brainwashing cult, it is a core belief. Doubting that is like doubting a true Christian considers Jesus Christ his personal savior.
posted by Eloquence at 4:42 PM on January 13, 2004


This is the same Howard Dean that wants to break up the big media conglomerates, right? Hmm. Just checking.
posted by moonbiter at 6:23 PM on January 13, 2004


The left has to stop bitching about it - it's a reality now. Instead, they need to figure out a way to play the game.

Exactly. They aren't being victimized, they ar elosing. Fortunately, Moveon, Dean's campaign model, and Soros' army of 527's add a number of new arrows to the quiver of the American "left," and by extension the Democratic party.

moonbiter:
oh yeah.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 6:40 PM on January 13, 2004


111 is still around?!
posted by Hildago at 7:23 PM on January 13, 2004


How horrible it would be if a president cheated on his wife while in the whitehouse. It would destroy the country and bring the soviets world control.

Not to derail entirely, but I actually buy the assertion that this matters as a character issue. Unless you've made some other kind of arrangement, marriage implies -- no, promises -- fidelity. If someone breaks those promises for an enticing experience, it doesn't reflect well on their integrity, and their ability to resist the approaches that will inevitably come, with offers to trade favors of power for whatever other particular favor you'd like.

This isn't to say it's the only factor that matters. Just that it is one to weigh with others. Which is why I never thought I'd miss Clinton until I found out who his successor was, and sadly, my expectations have been far, um, exceeded.

Also...

111 is still around?!

I don't like much of what 111 says, and usually don't even have grudging respect for his arguments, but I hope we're not implying people should just take off.
posted by namespan at 9:00 PM on January 13, 2004


yet I heard a bunch yesterday when Kerry got endorsed by the governor of Iowa's wife. I mean, come on.

To explain this, it was a big deal here in Iowa. Since all the media are paying close attention to we little old iowans, every piece of political news gets coverage. The governor himself abstained from selecting, and most Dems took the Kerry endorsement as coming from him via his wife.
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 2:10 AM on January 14, 2004


I love you, 111. Is that what you want to hear? We all love you.





...I don't.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:42 AM on January 14, 2004


At this point its mostly a two horse race between Clark and Dean and my money's on Dean and not because he's from my home state.
I think that's the horse race the media wants, and I notice a lot more Clark face time lately. It could be because of the military background, but Clark gets much more polite treatment, even when the interview is all about inconsistencies. (I'm leaning toward Dean--his balls are needed, but still think Edwards has a shot.)
posted by amberglow at 5:38 AM on January 14, 2004


111 isn't kidding. The persecution complex is a fundamental part of the right wing mindset, and they will never give it up,

You know, if you consider for instance the way MetaFilter has been plagued by several lefty paranoid posts (the ripe dates; the Bush speech pics; Haliburton etc etc), and if you take your time to peruse the laughable conspiracy theories on the web, you'll see that only a severely warped mind could argue that persecution complex is a right wing trait. Who came up with the "vast right wing Conspiracy" delusion?

To this day, I have naive liberals beg me to somehow say that I'm just "kidding", and not just because they're leftist or communist pawns; that happens because these people have been trained not to think outside the box, so they're desperately looking for leftist comfort zones such as they found in college or in their NGO of choice. MetaFilter has been severely affected by attempts to hijack it and turn the entire site into a front for the left.

On the other hand, I have no agenda whatsoever; I practice what I preach, I'm deeply grateful for what the Western, capitalist civilization has given me and I think it is the very best of all possible worlds. I'm not being paid or goaded into posting blatantly partisan, lefty FPPs every week; I'm not even trying to sell my parent's fishing lodge. So whatever I say is the opinion of a common citizen. Unlike Howard Dean and his dozen or so supporters, I keep in touch with reality.

But enough about me. Let's consider the following:
-after Bernard Goldberg's and Ann Coulter's books, is it realistic to deny that the mainstream media has been corrupted by liberals? Even Walter Cronkite has admitted to that;
-isn't the attempt to stop some journalists from highlighting Dean's personal flaws a subtle form of censorship?
posted by 111 at 7:35 AM on January 14, 2004


Who came up with the "vast right wing Conspiracy" delusion?

Just because you're paranoid don't mean they're not after you.

MetaFilter has been severely affected by attempts to hijack it and turn the entire site into a front for the left.

Of course, sometimes you're just paranoid.

Bernard Goldberg's and Ann Coulter's books

Or delusional.
posted by jpoulos at 7:51 AM on January 14, 2004


On the other hand, I have no agenda whatsoever;

you just spat out a bunch of paranoid rabble about how we're communists and have been brainwashed and how this site is in danger of being hijacked...but you have no agenda? apparently you were born at night, too.

Unlike Howard Dean and his dozen or so supporters

heh. you're in for a zinger, I'm afraid.

after Bernard Goldberg's and Ann Coulter's books, is it realistic to deny that the mainstream media has been corrupted by liberals?

sure is. the absence of a conservative bias does not a liberal bias make. there's no way you're wrong, The Media is out to get you, right?

isn't the attempt to stop some journalists from highlighting Dean's personal flaws a subtle form of censorship?

I dunno. but nobody is trying to get anyone silenced here and that's not the issue anyway.

and now, for the last time: not agreeing with conservatives != hating america. OK OK OK.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:06 AM on January 14, 2004


So whatever I say is the opinion of a common citizen.

Someone break out the hammer 'n' nails, he's a-fixin' to hang himself on the cross!
posted by psmealey at 9:21 AM on January 14, 2004


I'm not being paid or goaded into posting blatantly partisan, lefty FPPs every week; I'm not even trying to sell my parent's fishing lodge.

It's a little hard to pull a sequitur out of all that, but are you trying
to say that all these posters with a non-republican world view are
supported by some shadowy left-wing organization.

(Is anyone out there getting a check for it? damn it, I want one too)
posted by milovoo at 9:32 AM on January 14, 2004


psmealey, did you actually read what 111 wrote?

So whatever I say is the opinion of a common citizen.

does not equal

"So whatever I say is the opinion of the common citizen." Learn the difference.
posted by BlueTrain at 9:46 AM on January 14, 2004


To this day, I have naive liberals beg me to somehow say that I'm just "kidding", and not just because they're leftist or communist pawns; that happens because these people have been trained not to think outside the box,


no, they hope you're kidding because the only alternative is that you're a Dr Strangelove psycho. still raving in 2003 about "communists" and "fronts" kind of has people worry about your sanity, you know

anyway I'm grateful for your presence here because you're not even trying to hide what the right really thinks -- you proudly wear your authoritarianism, your anger, your thirst for non-American blood, your racism as a McCarthyite medal. at least you're sincere, and you sincerely report what the American Right actually thinks (compassionate conservatism my ass -- that was shameless. at least you're a sincere Curtis LeMay Republican, an interesting specimen. I just hope you're over 50, if you're not you've missed the good old days...)

the only problem I have with your post (which by the way beautifully hijacked a good thread, the "Breaking News" Fox vidcap is really appalling) is your "fishing lodge" low blow.
I don't really see what stavros' AskMeFi thread has to do with Howard Dean, 111.
posted by matteo at 10:01 AM on January 14, 2004


Thanks for making suggestions with regard to my ongoing education, BlueTrain, but really it's quite unnecessary. The gist of 111's post is that he's offering himself as martyr for the Right (and no doubt truth, justice and the American way), and endures the slings and arrows of all the lefties and commies on MeFi to keep the homefires burning. I pulled the sentence just becuase I didn't want to quote any more of the quote than I had to. If you can pull yourself out of your literal mind for a second, you might have understood what I meant. Nevertheless, I do apologize for my snarky, fark-like one-liner. Sometimes 111's sheer chutzpah sends me over the edge. Also, what matteo just said.
posted by psmealey at 10:13 AM on January 14, 2004


Howard Dean letter to President Clinton. Just a reminder.
posted by hama7 at 10:18 AM on January 14, 2004


after Bernard Goldberg's and Ann Coulter's books, is it realistic to deny that the mainstream media has been corrupted by liberals?

No offence, 111, but I find Coulter 90% vitriol and 10% veiled assertion. I stopped reading her books not so much because I got mad but because I got *bored*. I couldn't figure out what she was trying to say except that liberals hate america. If you could boil down, say, Treason to a couple of concrete accusations involving individual incidents, I might be willing to consider what she has to say.

I'll give you that it's possible individual journalists tend more towards the left. That ignores a lot of factors, of course, including right-wing dominated talk radio, but journalists with formal training tend to be educated in a western liberal arts educational tradition, so it makes some sense. But the media as corporate instituations, as Al Franken pointed out beautifully, are dominated by a profit motive, and since the right is often the champion of the profit motive, they're pretty well cozied up, and this more than counterbalances the left tendancy of individual journalists.

Finally, even with a perfectly balanced media, a normally-distributed population over some right-to-left spectrum would give you 49.99% of the population who thought the media was more liberal they were.

isn't the attempt to stop some journalists from highlighting Dean's personal flaws a subtle form of censorship?

Which flaws? Do you care to enumerate the problems with his record as a policy maker and chief executive for a state? Or would you like to repeat hearsay about his "volatility" and "temper"? When you hear about the latest Iowa incident, do you take it for granted that the reports must be true, and Dean simply spewed vitriol over someone who asked him to stop Bashing Bush? Or did you read the article even doubtingthomascatspike linked.

This election shouldn't be about personality traits -- the exceeding stupid analysis of Gore's "wonkiness" and clothing choices from the last election made me nauseous. Dean gets angry? So does our current pres. So do your favorite right wing pundits. So do you. So do I. There's lots of things to be angry about. The real question is whether or not Dean does something productive from a policy standpoint about it, not how intense the emotions that drive him are.
posted by weston at 11:00 AM on January 14, 2004


I'm not even trying to sell my parent's fishing lodge.

I revile the very concept of using abbreviated chat-room expressions like "ROFL" and "LMAO", don't you?
posted by hama7 at 2:45 PM on January 14, 2004


Finally, even with a perfectly balanced media, a normally-distributed population over some right-to-left spectrum would give you 49.99% of the population who thought the media was more liberal they were.

Indeed, the further to the extremes you go, the more 'bias' against your position is apparent.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:04 PM on January 14, 2004


I revile the very concept of using abbreviated chat-room expressions like "ROFL" and "LMAO", don't you?

Gotta love the revilation of change. More pointless hate, that's what we need!
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:15 PM on January 14, 2004


This is a bizarre trend.
posted by homunculus at 3:28 PM on January 14, 2004


This is a bizarre trend.

Hmm. I don't know. Maybe it is a conscious trend on the part of the photographers. I'm sure more than one photographer has had the idea. But a trend? It may be that the fine folks at FPI are just seeing what they want to see. Kind of like those people that see the Virgin Mary in a knot of wood paneling.
posted by moonbiter at 4:31 PM on January 14, 2004


Howard Dean letter to President Clinton. Just a reminder.

:::looks for unilateral-preemptive-invasion-costing-over-$100 billion bullet item, fails to spot it:::

I revile the very concept of using abbreviated chat-room expressions like "ROFL" and "LMAO", don't you?

Not particularly, no...why do you ask?
posted by rushmc at 5:33 PM on January 14, 2004


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