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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Working the refs

I think I get it now: elite means intelligent, capable of writing a book.

With evidence mounting that Sarah Palin is now becoming a drag on the Republican ticket, the Republican fear and smear machine is kicking it up a notch, trying to plant the seeds of bias and doubt in advance of her debate with Joe Biden.

How, you may ask. By claiming a respected journalist is biased because she is writing a book entitled "Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."

I can see the bias right away, After all Obama is the latest in a long list of African-Americans who have secured the nomination of major political parties. No news here.

The fact that the reporter, Gwen Ifill, is also African-American therefore means it is bound to be pro-Obama, right? And she is moderating tonight's Biden-Palin match up.
Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin complained in an online column that "there is nothing 'moderate' about where Ifill stands on Barack Obama. She's so far in the tank for the Democrat presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out."
Cute line, conjuring up images of Michael Dukakis no doubt. It appears to be the newest GOP attack line, since McCain attack dog Steve Schmidt recently accused the New York Times of being "150 percent in the tank" for reporting that Rick Davis was getting money to promote Freddie Mac and Johnnie Mac at the same time.

"In the tank" apparently means committed to truth rather than cowed by fear and smear tactics.
“Let’s get real here. What would journalists say if in 2004 Jim Lehrer wrote a book called ‘Breakthrough, the age of Bush?’ ” Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman and now MSNBC host, asked rhetorically on Wednesday morning.
That's why Scarborough should have stuck to being a Republican congressman (we know how responsible they are). What exactly would be a "breakthrough" about Bush winning a second term as the 43rd white male to hold the office?

And of course they are in high dudgeon because the book is scheduled for release on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. What did they think was a good release date for a book on presidential politics? Ground Hog's Day?

Best of all, the attack machine went into action even before we know how it will turn out. Ifill told the Times:

...she began writing the book, about the new generation of post-civil-rights-era black leaders, in spring 2007, long before Mr. Obama seemed likely to win the Democratic nomination. She said she had yet to write the chapter she plans to devote to Mr. Obama and argued with descriptions of her book as “pro-Obama.”

“Since I haven’t finished the book, it’s interesting people think they know what’s in it,” she said.

Nor do we know how it will turn out. Oh well, so much for facts.

But that hasn't stopped the folks at Fox from offering all sort of commentary. You know Fox, the network run by the man who ran the 1988 Bush campaign. No bias there. They report. You decide.

Seems like they are doing a lot of deciding. And it's not a lot better than the decisions from the Decider in Chief that have gotten us into the mess we're in today.

The problem with the working the refs strategy is that Ifill, is a professional who won't fall to the smear. But the attacks could help hold on to even the conservative stalwarts who are having second thoughts about John McCain's judgment in selecting Palin as his running mate.

Stay tuned.

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Blogger dan bosley said...

David Letterman said something to the effect that John McCain has become an environmentalist in this campaign. Yesterday McCain said that we could help the environment and save money if we turned off our TVs occasionally. McCain suggested that we turn them off today for an hour and a half from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Now that's humor!

October 02, 2008 10:58 AM  

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