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props to McCain

Today McCain corrected a supporter who called Obama "an Arab". He said he disagrees with Obama on positions, thinks he (McCain) would make a better president, but that Obama is a decent man and nobody should be "scared of him". This is the McCain I liked a few years ago and I am happy to see him return. I don't think it will bring him the presidency but it might mean a defeat with honor. I hope that's how it goes.

I have an intelligent friend who is buying the stories and is angry at the media for not looking more closely at Obama's background. He is buying the nonsense about Wright, Ayers, and others. I am frankly dumbfounded that a thoughtful, intelligent person would come to this position. But I also know him to shoot from the hip. He is perhaps not all that introspective and does not do the research that is needed. It's discouraging, though, to see this. What is it that causes some people to buy outrageous conspiracy theories whole hog? What's going on there?

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
dangerouslysane
Oct. 11th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC)
Does your friend think that the media should have given more coverage to the Bill Ayers allegations? A McCain supporter-- Annabelle "Betsey" Annenberg was the person whose foundation hired both Ayers and Obama to work in the Annenberg Community Challenge. Does that mean that McCain's association with the widow of Walter Annenberg makes him guilty by association with the Weather Underground? After all, Betsey Annenberg has contributed to the McCain campaign.

Speaking of guilt by association--Sarah Palin's husband, Todd, was a member of the Alaska Independence Party (anti-U.S. secessionist group) for about seven years. The AIP has supported Palin pretty much throughout her political career. She has returned the favor--she sent them a video this year in which she acknowledges their wonderful work. Very supportive. Never mind that the rest of us thought the whole secessionist movement in this country was settled at Appomatox Courthouse in April, 1865-two years before Seward bought the Alaska territory from Russia. What they advocate is treason.

This, in addition to her hate-mongering on the campaign trail, her policies as mayor and abuse of office as governor in pursuit of a personal vendetta, her anti-choice agenda and so much else, makes McCain's selection of her as a running mate seem a display of atrocious judgment.

When McCain was only 54 years old, he was in up to his nose in the Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal. His lovely Cindy was the bookkeeper, but oops can't find those records. What sort of judgment?

Notice I don't compare their personal lives.

*g*





Edited at 2008-10-11 04:53 am (UTC)
dangerouslysane
Oct. 11th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
here's the link
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/10/10/palin_chryson/index.html

I don't know about your friend, but you might be interested in the article about Palin's Alaska Independence Party association.
judith
Oct. 11th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
Re: here's the link
Yes, I knew about that connection, mainly from Rachel Maddow's show in MSNBC, actually. I get salon.com emails but don't read them all.

I am not about to tell this friend anything at this point. It's an iffy friendship right now anyway.

and yeah, the guilt by association plays big with the conspiracy theorists.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 11th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Maddow
I swear that I might just have to cave in and get cable or direct tv!
Will have to get a converter box if I don't get either--at least reception of my signal won't be disrupted. But I digress.

Anyway, guilt by association should be considered on a single standard. It is unfortunate that one campaign chooses to go after Obama & his wife, but that the demonstrably greater influence of AIP and the pastors who preach anti-semitism (finance should be influenced more by X-tians--what do you think they're saying; notice that Lehmann Brothers was the financial institution that was not bailed out), homophobia (pray the gay away), and are very hostile to women's reproductive rights.

These groups that support Palin are hostile to programs that help those who don't share their value system. That's a majority of U.S. citizens upon which they wish to impose their agenda, and she is very receptive of their association with her, because she agrees with that agenda.

Obama has made it clear that he (1)denounced the acts committed by Ayers 40 years ago when Obama was 8, and (2)does not have a close personal relationship with Ayers.

Using a single standard, it seems that Palin's association with a currently radical secessionist political party, with which her spouse was registered for 7 years, carries more grave implications than Obama's association with a guy who was a radical 40 years ago.

The conspiracy theorists have any problem with Prescott Bush's funding the Nazis? Or is IOKIYAR?

Just wondering.





Edited at 2008-10-11 05:24 pm (UTC)
judith
Oct. 11th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Maddow
IOKIYAR? I do not think I have heard that one.

Of course I agree that the guilt by association tars Palin by far more than the ridiculous association of Obama with Ayers.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 11th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC)
Re: IOKIYAR
Stands for "It's OK If You Are Republican". That seems to be how the majority of US media approaches the stories they choose to cover.

That may be a partial explanation for how the taxpayers' money got spent on an impeachment over a blowjob involving 2 consenting adults, while another president remains in office after lying in order to get our nation into a war for the benefit of his cronies.
judith
Oct. 11th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
Re: IOKIYAR
Well, I've been living in a cave. That's the sort of thing I should know!

I love how the right wing nuts say the media is biased against the right whenever there is a little bit of actual fact finding going on.

I for one am looking for impeachment. What is THAT going to take? Impeachment is simply an indictment. The case still needs to be proven. I can't understand why anyone would think it is a political issue when it is simply a matter of following the law.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 11th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
That's pretty much how Senator Feingold saw it. Could be that a censure resolution would make criminal prosecution after the term ends a possibility.

The wingnuts have been banging the liberal media drum for about 20 years now. This tactic enabled them to frame the discourse in the way you have noted.

Of course it is a big lie, which is their specialty. Had President Clinton not signed off on the Media Reform Act of 1997, there wouldn't have been the consolidation of media ownership that has taken place since then. One reason I don't buy what network news tells me (without going online to cross- & fact-check via other news sources), is because almost nothing that comes out of the pie-holes of network anchors, including their facial expressions & tone of voice when saying it, makes it on-air without the editors first clearing it with the head honchos at Disney, General Electric, Viacom (ABC, NBC & CBS). NewsCorp (owned by Rupert Murdoch) gives cable viewers FoxNews. He also owns Fox television, with a whole bunch of markets. That's just in the U.S. That doesn't take into account the newspapers Murdoch owns in the U.S.

I'm glad that Rachel Maddow has a show on MSNBC--I believe that was a pragmatic business decision they made after they saw that Maddow did well in Race For the White House, hosted by David Gregory. But I'll continue to be able to listen to her show on Air America Radio for the forseeable future.

I don't consider the inclusion of Maddow and Olberman on the MSNBC lineup a preponderance of liberal ideology in the media. One caveat, however--Phil Donahue's show on MSNBC was yanked, despite very high ratings, because he opposed the invasion of Iraq. GE (a big munitions manufacturer--hence had a dog in the fight) wasn't going to allow an anti-war television personality to get his ideas across to such a wide audience on their airwaves!
judith
Oct. 11th, 2008 09:12 pm (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
Of course I know all this and I don't even bother looking at the major networks for information. As for Rachel, I was practically ecstatic when she got her own show. For once, the right decision. I have loved her on Air America from the first. I do think that she has something Olberman and Donahue don't - she doesn't rant. She is clearly progressive but she is very likable in a bigger sense and she even invites opposing views on the show without trying to destroy them. I think there is hope for her because of this coolness, as well as because of her care in getting at the truth. I have never heard her go off without thinking.

So I hold out hope for her long-term.

Clinton made some mistakes, yes. I wonder if he would have made some of those decisions if he'd known where they would lead. In some cases he anticipated follow-up action to prevent abuse (as with NAFTA, for example) and that action did not get done. In my experience as a planner I learned to build in protections from the start, but of course not everything I advocated got passed the way I wanted. So I can understand how this happens at times.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 11th, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
I think you're right to mention that distinction between Rachel and Olberman & Donahue. When I try to get some people to switch from NPR to Air America Radio once in awhile, I recommend Rachel Maddow, because she does her homework, but is not given to hyperbole. Of course, on MSNBC, I'm pretty sure her contract stipulates that she have "Uncle Pat" on as guest, because Heaven forbid a liberal personality be able to present a point of view without giving a winger a chance to challenge it!

Fortunately, both Rachel Maddow and Patrick J.Buchanan are pros and intelligent. So it doesn't turn into a mirror image of conservative hosts shouting down and insulting guests who have a point of view that differs from theirs.

I agree that President Clinton might not have been able to imagine how crazy the consequences of the Media Reform Act would be. But that was one where he really should have had an idea. It was the agenda of the right wingers that was leading him along, perhaps, since it was a Republican majority in the House of Representatives by then, and Gingrich was in full obstructionist mode. Clinton had just gotten re-elected. And we know how that was going. But NAFTA was a stinker. It was initiated by the GHW Bush administration. I always believed that Clinton should have allowed that one to die. As you pointed out--he'd written safeguards into it, but those were not enacted & the U.S. has a free trade agreement that was just the beginning of the outsourcing of American jobs. It was an opening of the floodgates, especially once the Republicans got a majority in the House.

I'm pretty sure President Clinton regrets both NAFTA and the Media Reform Act. But at least our nation's economy wasn't in the tank when he left office. So it is possible that President Clinton figured that his economic policies, having already proven feasible, would not be drastically altered by the incoming chief executive.

Of course--none of the Democrats counted on election fraud or SCOTUS in 2000.

*broods*



judith
Oct. 12th, 2008 12:13 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
From what I've read, Pat is Rachel's idea. The two of them are actually friends, even though they are diametrically opposed in viewpoints. She even jokes about his being her "fake uncle".

I always appreciate her calm, accurate reporting. That's what drew me to her on Air America. I can appreciate the passion of Randi Rhodes but her screaming and inaccuracies really get to me so I no longer listen to her. And the fact that she doesn't listen well to others. Rachel is always so careful - she is the way I would want to be if I had a show like that.

And yes. Clinton should have known. I believe the Clinton is, at heart, a decent human who really tried to do the right thing, to make things better. And he certainly did a lot of things right. But at times he fell prey to ambition and the need to get along.

Bush, on the other hand...well, talk about brooding.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 12th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
Well, I think that Pat probably was Rachel's idea, although he wasn't a regular on the radio show. (Now I reminisce about Majority Report, when Janeanne Garofalo's dad, Carmine, was a weekly guest--Garofalo's dad is an unreconstructed Republican--I still miss that show!)

Randi hasn't been on AAR since April. She moved back to Florida, which she'd been planning to do before April. Then she and AAR parted ways, just as she was getting ready to make her relocation back to FL. A remark she made about Senator Clinton, when she was doing standup led to the parting of ways, but she got picked up almost immediately by Nova-M network--the same outfit that picked up Mike Malloy.

I still have a link to the Randi Rhodes show on my LJ page, and I visit it pretty regularly--am still a fan.

As far as President Clinton goes--I still believe he did the world a lot more good than otherwise.
judith
Oct. 12th, 2008 01:47 pm (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
Randi did find her way back to Air America after the remark debacle. I listened to her for a bit then, did not know that she later left. Although I don't listen to her I am glad that others do. I think it takes many approaches to reach different people.

Another of my faves is Thom Hartmann, for many of the same reasons as Rachel - smart, accurate, calm. I guess I am simply not a fan of ranting - although I do enjoy Keith Olbermann at times, get a kick out of his just coming out and saying it like it is.

Absolutely, Clinton did a hell of a lot more good than harm. I think, because of the wasted time and money spent on that idiot impeachment, much of what he did got lost in the shuffle. Most people don't have any idea what an active president he was.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 14th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
I adore Thom Hartmann! You're right about him--he does get fired, but he clearly has a firm grip on how he presents the issues--another pro. Unfortunately, I don't get his show on the WWRL affiliate. I would listen online if I could, but at present I am not able to. I don't have internet access @ work (which wouldn't be cool anyway, since I work in county government)--the only internet access I do have is tied to the program we use for our department.

It is true that different styles of presentation help to reach a wider audience. Randi is very good at motivating people, and I know that her way may be abrasive, but when she was on AAR, I did try to get a friend of mine who is pretty reactionary to tune in to her show, specifically because I thought that Randi's in your face style would draw her in, since that's the sort of talk radio this person prefers. Someone like Randi is a jewel because of that sort of appeal.

Ed Schultz is really good, too. He used to be a conservative commentator, but apparently the woman he married exposed him to another point of view in a way that was quite compelling. So, for the past several years, this guy with a radio voice that is in the same league as Rust Limpballs' is making the case for the progressives, and making is very well indeed!

But the cool thing about Ed is that he gets it right and is the guy you'd like to have a beer with. There is absolutely no underestimating how appealing that is, as he confounds the stereotype. There is nothing about his style that alienates those in the heartland, because he is one of them. He broadcasts out of Fargo, ND--his home base.

I'm always glad when I get to listen to the midday lineup. :)
judith
Oct. 14th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
I am not a big fan of Ed Shultz's but again, his is a different voice that appeals to a different crowd so I'm happy he's on there. I got really tired of his constant Hillary attacks that went on for a while there and I stopped listening to him. He seems to get hold of various bones and just chews and chews.

About the Hillary stuff - he stayed "neutral" for quite a while, for which I give him credit. Then he discovered some things he did not like and he wouldn't let go. I feel that we on the left are, as they say, not an organized party, but there are times we need to let go of attacking our own and focus more on the real problems.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 14th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
I didn't hear the Hillary criticisms from Ed, because he wasn't being broadcast on the NYC affiliate until a few weeks after Randi left. There were guest hosts during that time. I thought I'd heard him say that he'd been a Hillary supporter during the primaries, but that he's totally for Obama since the nomination. Sounds reasonable. I know that he's occasionally questioned both candidates on issues, but he's been making a very strong case against McCain and for Obama.

I would prefer that progressive commentators be supportive of our candidate. The rest of corporate media doesn't need help in manufacturing fear and distortion about Democrats. As it is, even some right-wing pundits are turned off by the Republicans. Must be all those racist xenophobes letting their freak-flags fly at those rallies.

I saw some frames of a CBS affiliate's video of a grandfatherly-type holding a Curious George stuffed doll on which he'd put an Obama sticker. This was @ a rally in PA. When Mr. Proud Republican saw that he was being filmed, he panicked, pulled the Obama sticker off the monkey doll and quickly gave it to a little boy who was on someone else's shoulders. The parent of the child didn't know who the guy was.

The guy (who resembled the late Larry "Bud" Melman, but don't hold it against Melman), didn't have a problem sending a racist message--must've thought himself quite clever when he got the bright idea of putting an Obama sticker on a monkey doll, but he did have a problem with CBS News getting him on video, for posterity and the world to see.

Cowards are like that.
judith
Oct. 14th, 2008 02:29 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
Ugly, ugly. It seems like the whackjobs are out in force for this election.

I think on the whole it's good for the rest of us to see that these folks still exist.
dangerouslysane
Oct. 14th, 2008 02:41 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
I saw it on AmericaBlog the other evening. Quite appalling. The guy reminded some people of a pedophile. To me, he just looked like a creep.

I'm of the opinion that, yes, it is better to see that these people are still around, so there aren't any illusions about how wonderful everything is. At the same time, however, it would be nice if we didn't have people thinking it was acceptable to express such anti-social sentiments so openly.

I think the whack-job had the same idea--otherwise, why did he act as if he'd rather not be filmed holding the monkey? (Ohhh--that sounds so naughty & Freudian!) *g* Somebody should get his name! *lol*

Edited at 2008-10-14 02:42 am (UTC)
judith
Oct. 14th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Re: who controls our information...
I'm thinking an enterprising news person could track down that name.

Unfortunately, there are few news people who actually do any work any more.
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