Friday, October 17, 2008

If a candidate is running an ugly campaign

It reflects his desire to run an ugly campaign. John McCain is not an honorable man forced to do what he doesn't want to do. That would indicate a) he's not even able to control his own staff and campaign aides or b) he has no clue what is being done in his name or even worse 3) he's totally clueless because of the onset of senility.

John McCain clearly knows what he is doing. He is playing both sides and playing them for all they're worth.

John McCain may have been at one time honorable. He is no longer.

Glenn Greenwald:
Time's Ana Marie Cox, in a Bloggingheads discussion with Ann Althouse, does an excellent job of expressing what is still, amazingly enough, the prevailing media view of John McCain: namely, that this deeply honorable and principled man is vehemently opposed to running an ugly, dirty campaign against Barack Obama, and that is happening despite McCain's deep opposition to such campaigns and the way it profoundly violates his code of honor.


The national press corps continues to revere John McCain despite what is widely acknowledged to be the toxic and ugly campaign he's running because they still think that this campaign is being run despite McCain's character and wishes, not because of them. The idea that someone should be judged by their actual conduct never seems to occur to them, nor do they accept what ought to be the rather self-evident proposition that someone who repeatedly does dishonorable things is, by definition, dishonorable. By their fruits ye shall know them. Or, as former/long-time McCain lover Andrew Sullivan put it:

I'm afraid that [Atlantic Editor] Jim [Fallows] is dealing with what we're all dealing with: the fact that the myth we had of McCain is, in fact, a lie. The real McCain - dishonest, dishonorable and despicable - is now in plain sight. To say I'm disillusioned would be an understatement. The last six weeks have shown us all something we'd rather never have found out. But we can't ignore it now, can we?

Some obviously can -- and are.

Exactly. People in the media would come away from an interview with George Bush declaring he was really a nice guy. As if they couldn't see that both Bush and McCain are ultimate professionals who know how to finesse the media. We who stand back and watch are stunned that the media falls for this trick every single damn time. Cox is just the latest one to fall.


low-tech cyclist said...

It's really a bad idea for pundits and political reporters to swim in the same social milieu with the politicians they cover. There's just no way for them to make arm's-length judgments.

Of course they're going to buy into McCain's view of himself when they've spent hours BSing with him in the back of his campaign plane, and eaten barbecue at his Sedona ranch. It would be hard not to.

Out here in the blogosphere, where we don't rub shoulders with these people, our judgments may still be off the mark on occasion, but we don't have personal relationships with these people clouding our judgment, so all we see is their actions.

It hardly matters to us whether McCain has felt good or bad about sucking up to Falwell and Hagee and Parsley, or voting with Bush 90% of the time, or using the sort of robocalls against Obama that he found so despicable in 2000.

All we know is that he did those things, and those are not the actions of a good and honorable man.

ellroon said...

It's amazing how much of a free ride the media has given McCain... and how far down the polls he's slid anyway.

And the media wonders why we have gone and found other places to get our news....

low-tech cyclist said...

Not to mention the scarcity of actual facts and quality analysis in the newspapers. And my 'local' paper is the WaPo, which is theoretically one of the best.

The WaPo only got around this week - this week! - to giving its readers an explanation of how the Wall Street banking crisis developed. Just a wee tad late, considering that the bailout votes in Congress took place weeks ago.

At the time of the votes, their attitude seemed to be, "shut up and let the Serious People spend $700 billion of your money; anyone who's opposed is simply wrongheaded."

Everything I learned about the crisis and the bailout by the time Congress voted, I learned by reading blogs - Krugman, DeLong, Calculated Risk, etc.

And same with so many other issues. What newspaper has explained the problems with our current healthcare system, the impact of the various candidates' proposals, and what other countries are doing, nearly as well as Ezra Klein has done all by himself?

As McCain and the wingnuts try to make an issue of ACORN, TPM has done a better job of explaining that one than the entire MSM combined.

As gasoline prices continue to fluctuate wildly, where are the media outlets that have had a decent discussion of the potential benefits of improved mass transit, and the roadblocks to those benefits (like parking requirements) like I've been reading over the past few months at Matt Yglesias' and Ryan Avent's and Atrios' and Ezra's blogs?

Nowhere. Just plain nowhere. The blogosphere is where I go for understanding stuff, because you just can't get that from the mainstream media.

They're gonna wake up one day and realize they're irrelevant.

ellroon said...

They're gonna wake up one day and realize they're irrelevant.

And the mainstream media is going to be so surprised. I guess it's this astonishment by journalists that their words from on high could be questioned that illustrates how disconnected they've become.

Even though it was obvious to us they were mouthing the very words given them by the Bush White House, they thought we wouldn't doubt them? That we wouldn't see through the articles and editorials and know it was unadulterated Rovian propaganda? When they tried to force feed us Bush administration lies about 9/11, about the Iraq connection to it, the political tweaking of the threat levels as elections occurred, they didn't think we would realize our questions were not being addressed?

We went to the internet to gain some outside perspective because we weren't being told the truth at home. By their very words the media drove thinking people away from them in droves and into the arms of blogs.

There we found a community of like-minded people delving through the news from around the world to find the truth and sharing it with each other. And armed with these facts, we went back to the US media and demanded to know what they thought they were doing.

The press is supposed to be the watchdog of the government for the public and here we had proof that they had sold their souls for quail wings and a ride on a tire swing. They had become a part of the administration.

I will never again read an article in any newspaper nor hear anything on tv without questioning it and finding corroboration from other sources. I guess that's how it should be anyway, but even more now.