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Thursday, February 21, 2008

When The Media Attacks

Yesterday was a very strange day for Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John "McCaca" McCain.

The New York Times came out with a story about McCain that was extremely bizarre. Full of innuendo and not much else, the story appeared to be alleging two things:

- That McCaca, like all Republics, has a very cozy relationship with lobbyists that contradicts his public stance on ethics and (undeserved) reputation for incorruptibility; and
- That this cozy relationship may have included bundling - not just money bundling, but bundling in the Victorian sense, meaning, um, cuddling. Yes, that's it...cuddling.

This is odd. First of all, they are attacking a Republic, most notably their darling McCaca, whom they have already endorsed for President. I thought they only attacked Democrats in The Times!

Second of all, it seems that they had this story in December, but were persuaded by the McCain campaign to hold it until he became the presumptive nominee. That The Times would agree to this is shocking, but not surprising - after all, they held the Bush spying story until after the 2004 election - but why would they even publish this to begin with?

Well, Radar, via the indispensable Talking Points Memo, has the answer as to the timing, at least. Right-wing publications such as The New Republic found out about the story. Not willing to be scooped, The Times was first off the mark. But unless there is more to this story, I'm quite skeptical at this point.

McCaca firmly denies every aspect of the article, calling it a smear campaign. Whether or not this is a smart tactic remains to be seen, but at least he is on the offense.

In other media attacks, we now come to possibly the most offensive thing I have ever heard a pundit say. Bill O'Really, one of the most loathsome media figures in America, said that if Michelle Obama thinks America is a flawed nation, it is legitimate to lynch her. (Here's what Michelle said, which in a rational world would not be offensive to anyone.)

Now, I know Mr. Bill didn't say "nappy-headed hos," which was enough to get Don Imus fired, and I know it was on the radio and not the TeeVee - but come on! How disgusting was that? He's advocating the lynching death of an African-American woman if she thinks that America is not the most perfectest, most awesomest country evah in the history of the universe. Gee, America has been so wonderful to African-Americans - why would she have any doubt? And in any case, SHE SAID NOTHING OF THE KIND.

This attack by O'Really, unskillfully disguised as support and sympathy, was beyond over-the-top. But where is Senator Obama's response to this? Why isn't he calling for O'Reilly's head? Due to the manipulations of the rightwing scream machine, this non-story has been in play for days now. Remind you of anything? Kerry's joke about Bush that was twisted into "He doesn't support the troops"? The Swiftboating of 2004?

This is just the first salvo in the war against Barack and Michelle Obama. The media has been holding their fire until now, because they assumed that Hillary Clinton would win. Now that it seems more likely that Barack will be the nominee, they are honing the narrative against him. Barack Osama Obama is a scary Muslim. Barack doesn't like Israel. Barack and Michelle don't love America. Barack has too much melanin in his skin. Etcetera etcetera ad infinitum.

I certainly hope that the decision NOT to call O'Really on his horrific and poisonous racism is not reflective of how Senator Obama will deal with the vicious onslaught that is coming, because ignoring it doesn't make it go away. Just ask Al Gore and John Kerry.

But since I've voted for and donated to Hillary, there's not much more I can do for my candidate. I am just going to have to put my fears that Obama is too conciliatory and kumbaya to beat McCain to rest. I'm just going to have to try to be Zen about everything until the nominee is chosen and the Dem-Republic matchup begins...and perhaps even until after the November elections.

But I am really, really terrified that if this is how Obama is going to handle media attacks, he does not have a fucking prayer in November.

"Ohhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....."

3 comments:

Timmy B said...

I agree with your idea of calling out these hacks. Vanity Fair had a wonderful article on the piling on Gore had to go through by not just right wing howler monkeys, but big name "journalists". It also faulted Gore for waiting too long to fight back.
As for McCain, I think the implosion has started. As I've commented before, he's not really popular with Republicans, even in Arizona. It will be fun to watch the right wing roaches scramble to fling pooh, while trying to ignore the elephant in the living room

Flying Junior said...

I'm thinking maybe lynching party was a poor choice of words. Time for another phony apology. The irony lies in the fact that this was actually O'Really trying to be nice. Scratch that!

madamab said...

flying junior - Unfortunately, no one is demanding an apology from O'Really. In fact, his producer is DEFENDING him! So I wouldn't expect any further action unless O'Really's hand is forced.

It would be ironic, indeed, if O'Really was actually trying to be nice. But I think he's a vicious, nasty human being who is signaling the next line of rightwing attacks on Obama. I wish Obama would nip this in the bud, but I'm not seeing it yet...