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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Joe Klein's Coocon Mentality

Joe Klein thinks there is a smear campaign going on. The twist is that it isn't the media doing the smearing, but rather it is the media being smeared. Klein believes that the McCain campaign is attacking the media unfairly for simply doing their job.

The story of the day out here in Minneapolis is the McCain campaign's war against the press. This has been building for some time. Those of us who have criticized the candidate--and especially those of us who enjoyed good relations with McCain in the past--have been subject to off-the-record browbeating and attempted bullying all year...


The second thing is more insidious: Steve Schmidt has decided, for tactical reasons, to slime the press. He wants the public to believe that there is an unfair--sexist (you gotta love it)--personal assault going on against Palin and her family. This is a smokescreen, intended to divert attention from the very real and responsible vetting that is taking place in the media--about the substance of Palin's record as mayor and governor. Sure, there are a few outliers--and the tabloid press--who have fixed on baby stories. That was inevitable....the flip side of the personal stories that the McCain team thought would work to their advantage--Palin's moose-hunting and wolf-shooting, and her admirable decision to have a Down Syndrome baby. And yes, when we all fix on the same story, whether it's a hurricane or a little-known politician, a zoo ensues. But the media coverage of the Palin story has been well within the bounds of responsibility. Schmidt is trying to make it seem otherwise, a desperate tactic.

Now, conveniently, a he dismisses all media attention on Britol Palin's baby as "outliers", he doesn't specify exactly what the media has focused as a part of "doing its job". These so called "outlier" stories are of course the only stories some media are talking about.

He conveniently ignores a false report by the New York Times that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party (which has among its platform the idea of secession). He doesn't mention that this report was put on the front page while the retraction was put in their blog, online only.

Klein conveniently ignores the fact that on CNN, MSNBC, the Washington Post, and the New York Times commentators have suggested that it would be difficult for Palin to be the Vice President and a mom at the same time. Now, unless baseless sexism is a part of journalists job description, this wasn't merely "doing their job".

Today, Brian Ross of ABC rehashed a story that wasn't even a contoversy when it happened. Ross reported on the complaints of former Wasilla Sheriff Irl Stambaugh that he was fired unfairly. Stambaugh was fired as part of a purge of top to bottom house cleaning and a judge dismissed his case when he first brought it through the court system. Apparently, after losing in the court system, Stambaugh decided to try in the court of public opinion and he certainly found a sympathetic ear in Ross. Conveniently, none of this was mentioned in the story. I suppose rehashing a story that wasn't a scandal to begin with is all part of "doing their job" in the view of Joe Klein.

Klein also doesn't seem to mention that while the media gave attention to a DUI by Sarah Palin's husband 22 years ago, they overlooked Barack Obama's admission that he did cocaine at the same age. I suppose in Klein's world selective vetting is also part of just "doing their job".

Klein is either so partisan that he is blind, or so partisan that he doesn't care. Either way he lives in a cocoon in which blatant partisanship is all a part of "doing their job", and countering this blatant partisan attacks is nothing more than smears.

1 comment:

Jay said...

I'm really starting to get sick of all the crap that's on the news these days...