Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Well, she redeemed herself for me pretty much. It was the best speech I ever heard her make. As my friend Bill said, who watched it with me, he could feel her.

Of course the rightwing immediately disseminated its spin, from McCain’s campaign headquarters, that she never said Obama would make a good commander-in-chief. But as Keith Oberman pointed out on MSNBC, she did say that the future and the lives of our children and grandchildren hung in the balance and depended on us voting for Obama.

But the rightwing spin will become a talking point in the media, because as dismal as it is, their capacity to infuse the news we get almost anywhere with their propaganda and misinformation and spin and lies is pretty deeply woven into the fabric of our information system now.

And thanks to various changes in our education system and the ways in which “Americans” haven’t been taught critical thinking and fact checking etc., a lot of the public falls for it.

Bill was interested in what FOX News was saying, since a lot of the people in his old Brooklyn neighborhood get their information from there, especially Hannity and O’Reilly, those two traitors to our common Irish-Catholic working-class background (although theirs has been embroidered to actually look more like ours than it was) and when I turned to FOX, what was being said by Chris Wallace and being presented as his expert analysis was that Hilary failed to say in her speech that Obama would make a good commander-in-chief. Any doubts where their news comes from? Republican headquarters, obviously.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the first things the Nixon administration did after their 1968 victory was to attack the “liberal education system” and higher education in general, through Spiro Agnew speeches (often written by that other traitor to his background Pat Buchanan, who I don’t know why we have to listen to his drivel on MSNBC when FOX and the rightwing media don’t include Clinton’s or Carter’s speechwriters as one of their main commentators), because it was a generation of educated young people who were questioning the assumptions of the older generation and its hypocrisy and deceptions etc.

Now we partly have the kind of miseducated masses they were striving to create, by undermining the public education system and the teaching profession etc. So a lot of people fall for their propaganda, thinking hmmmm, they’re right (pun intended) Hilary didn’t explicitly talk about Obama as commander-in-chief.

It’s like the previous night punditry on the channels that covered the convention, almost all repeated the spin that the night was weak with no “red meat” in the speeches or attacks on McCain etc. etc. etc. When they were going on right behind them but they were talking over them.

The red herrings thrown out by the right are so obvious to anyone who pays attention, but, unfortunately, a lot of people don’t pay attention. One of the most obvious red herrings is that we don’t know who Obama is. No, we do know, those of us who have been paying attention, the man has written several books about himself, bestsellers, and has been talked about all over the media for years now.

Who we don’t really know are the Republican candidates, as always. How many times have we seen stories about Michelle Obama’s anti-American comments. None of which she made. Now, how many times have we seen stories on how Laura Bush was responsible for the killing of a boyfriend in a car accident? Or Cindy McCain’s drug problems?

I heard the words “soap opera” and the Clintons thrown together several times last night by the media, especially FOX News, but I can’t remember ever hearing it thrown around about the Bushes, despite Laura’s accident, Junior’s drug and alcohol addictions and arrests (the first occupant of the white house with an arrest record, of convictions) his daughters many problems with alcohol and public displays of arrogance and disdain for rules and other people, Jeb’s family’s problems, etc. etc.

The reason we don’t hear about that is because the right gets up in arms if you question anything about their personal lives or their personal mythologies (Reagan was somehow a hero, who also happened to lie about his service in WWII which he spent in Hollywood, Junior is a born again Christian who chuckles at the fate of people he sends to the electric chair, more than any other governor in history, who beg for pardons because they too have been reborn, but he refuses to pardon etc. etc.) and the media backs down, and the Democrats back off because “liberals” accept that we all have faults sometimes and problems and don’t want to use them against others.

Liberals believe in and try to act on the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you, or as Jesus put it, love your neighbor as yourself. While meanwhile, the rightwing pretends to pay homage to some Christian religion that seems to ignore Christ and base its religious ideology on Old Testament precepts Jesus said he came to replace and their political tactics on Machiavelli, not exactly a follower of Christ’s ideas.

It’s pretty tiring and sometimes sickening to live in a society so ruled by the right for the benefit of the privileged few while so many are not only unaware of that reality but convinced of the opposite by rightwing propaganda, meaning lies and misinformation.

I thought the poet E. Ethelbert Miller has an interesting take on some of this on his E-NOTES blog, so I’ll end this by quoting from it:

“Help me with this one. Do you believe the Chinese Government when they say the air is clean?

Do you believe "mainstream" US media when they cover political campaigns? Lately we've been hearing all this nonsense about "we don't know who Obama is" over and over again. How long has this guy been running for president? Do you know what David Brooks wrote in The New York Times today? Here it is:

Obama's chief problem in this campaign is that large numbers of voters still don't know who he is.

Let's be fair for a moment. I have no idea who David Brooks is or thinks he is. I do know this guy has access to newspaper and television outlets. But who does he represent? What are his interests? Do you know when you pick up The New York Times? I'm a slow learner. I do know that much of this nonsense about not knowing who Obama is comes more from the media than McCain's office. It seems the media has finally found the words of a mantra they want to repeat over and over to the American voters. They have found something they believe finally sticks to Obama. And why might it be successful to keep repeating we don't know who Obama is? Well, Richard Wright isn't 100 years old this year for nothing. Obama is Bigger Thomas. Did we really know Bigger? Did Bigger really know himself? As I mentioned in a previous E-Note, the slick thing to do is not associate Obama with being black; just associate him with darkness and the unknown. No way you can escape the fear of the dark - can you? For some voters Obama is their worse nightmare. Cookies and milk before election day is not going to change their minds. Neither is one speech by Michelle Obama. Inside every black man might be a Bigger. Yipes!

But let's get back to Brooks and the media. Just monitor how often on the air or in print you hear a reporter repeat the mantra over and over again:

Obama needs to explain himself to the American people. People don't really know who he is.

When you hear this it's nothing but "tagging." It's the use of "racial paint" to keep the world in black and white. This is the past. The future is a time in which we must go out into the world and search for color everywhere. This is the future of America and its promise.”


Another Lally said...

The criticisms clearly stung Dean, the former Vermont governor who is not particularly close to the Clintons.

"We're going to run this convention," he told the Ohio delegates. "The Republicans are not going to run this convention, and CNN is not going to run this convention."

The convention must be used, he said, "to make sure people know who Barack Obama is, who Joe Biden is." Biden, a senator from Delaware, is Obama's running mate.

harryn said...

mmm - this convention, the media, the cynicism and ironies from late nighters' like jon stewart, letterman, et al - its' all starting to look and sound like a frat party with about the same degree of sincerity on behalf of the american public ...
after the past eight years, people aren't treating this as if their lives and futures depend on it - and they do!
shame on the american public who succumb to the frenzy of network rhetoric and complain about gas/food prices, pollution, foreclosures, lost job opportunities, health insurance, legal injustices, failed flood assistance, and military body bags ...
the same public who have allowed their educational systems to depreciate with their critical thinking, fact finding, and tolerance for the wrongs in the so-called "right" ...
and dylan's "idiot wind" plays on ...

JIm said...

I find Fox informative. You can hear both liberal and conservative view points, but for shear entertainment value, MSNBC is the place to be this week. Joe Scarborough (“Morning Joe”) the former Republican congressmen from Florida has been getting a lot of flack from conservatives for working, the way over the top loony, MSNBC. He takes exception when flaming liberals like Shuster, Oberman and Chris “I have a tingle up my leg” Mathews, accuse him openly or imply that he is in the tank for McCain. Scarborough and Schuster almost came to blows the other morning. Oberman, said last night , and I paraphrase, that Hillary’s unity speech was not only a home run ;but out of the park and over the neighboring buildings. When the camera moved to Michelle, during Hillary’s speech, it did not look like she was thinking of the “Golden Rule”. It looked like she wanted to rip Hillary’s throat out. Bill is supposedly skipping town before the Obama Mile High Speech. It looks like party unity is at best, a work in progress.

JIm said...

"I turned to FOX,.....any doubts where their news comes from? Republican headquarters, obviously."

Ed Rendell and Terry McAuliff, who do not get their opinions from Republican headquarters, disagree with you. They said that Fox gave Hillary fair and balanced coverage in the last year.

Another Lally said...

Tension at the Convention

Will Bill Clinton tow the party line?
Will he endorse the 'Messiah'?

Will Joe Biden copy, er , I mean, write his own speech?
Will the convention directors proof read the speech?

Was Obama letting us in on a secret when he made the seeming gaff of announcing Biden as the next president?

Will Obama ascend into heaven from the Temple of Barack at Denver?

Will Pope Pelosi declare the ascended Obama as the patron saint of the nation?

Saint Barack America