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Archive for June 8th, 2008

Media Coverage Of The 2008 Campaign

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 8, 2008

The Project for Excellence in Journalism has looked at the 2008 primary campaign coverage:

From January 1, just before the Iowa caucuses, through March 9, following the Texas and Ohio contests, the height of the primary season, the dominant personal narratives in the media about Obama and Clinton were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative, according to the study, which examined the coverage of the candidates’ character, history, leadership and appeal—apart from the electoral results and the tactics of their campaigns.

The trajectory of the coverage, however, began to turn against Obama, and did so well before questions surfaced about his pastor Jeremiah Wright. Shortly after Clinton criticized the media for being soft on Obama during a debate, the narrative about him began to turn more skeptical—and indeed became more negative than the coverage of Clinton herself. What’s more, an additional analysis of more general campaign topics suggests the Obama narrative became even more negative later in March, April and May.

(h/t georgia10.)

Remember that as the Clintons and their remaining die-hard backers try to spin this as “we lost ‘cuz the press picked on us!” No, they actually left you alone compared to what they did to Obama. And he still won.

But one reason for Obama’s win has been all but ignored in the mainstream press’ dissections of the primary campaign: His early and vocal opposition to the Iraq war, especially when contrasted with Hillary Clinton’s not only voting for the AUMF, but refusing to apologize for that vote. This is what got him the progressive vote early on, split with Edwards; when Edwards bowed out, many if not most of Edwards’ people went to Obama’s camp. But the press, which backed and still backs the war, doesn’t want to admit that opposing the Iraq war is a benefit politically.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, beat the press, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Iraq war | 6 Comments »

The Dangerous Obsession of the Punditocracy

Posted by MEC on June 8, 2008

Today’s New York Times has a set of op-eds about “What Went Wrong”, i.e. why Hillary Clinton is not going to be the Democratic nominee for president. The reasons proffered range from Mark Penn’s “lack of money” to Michelle Cottle’s “Bill Clinton’s behavior”.

Underlying all the excuse-making and criticisim is the assumption that Hillary Clinton should have won, except—.

Which is an insult and a grave disservice to Barack Obama. The inescapable corellary is that Barack Obama didn’t win, he only got it because Hillary didn’t; that he should not have won. The punditocracy’s obsession with Hillary Clinton dismisses the man who did win, who got a majority of the delegates and at least as many primary and caucus votes as Clinton, as the also-ran. The very few references to Senator Obama and his campaign imply or even state outright that his supporters should have been Senator Clinton’s supporters, but he stole them from her. The one exception is an afterthought at the end of Clinton advisor Mark Penn’s contribution to the Hillaryfest: “And sometimes your opponent just runs a good campaign.”

“Just” runs a good campaign. It “just” sorta happened, who knows how? Couldn’t have been because Obama was the better candidate. It’s “just” a mystery.

Expect more of the same in the general election. Assuming Senator Obama does not pick Hillary Clinton to be his running mate, every blip in the polls, every action that can be characterized as a “misstep”, every statement that can be criticized as a “gaffe” will be studied through the lens of “Would this have happened if Hillary were his running mate?” or “Would Hillary have done this?” or “Where would the candidates be in the polls if Hillary were running instead of Obama?”

The real meaning of that headline “What Went Wrong” is not “What went wrong with Hillary Clinton’s campaign” but “Why didn’t we, the pundits and Beltway insiders and reporters, get the outcome we wanted?” They’ve been dictating the presidential races for years, and suddenly the voters are acting as if it’s their decision and not the mediacracy’s. How dare we?

Can we continue to defy the dictates of the punditocracy and elect the leader we need instead of the leader the talking heads want to report on? There’s only one acceptable answer to that question: “Yes, we can.”

[Edited to add] Et tu, DailyKos?

Posted in 2008, beat the press | 9 Comments »


Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 8, 2008

Sounds like the attempt by my congresswoman, Betty McCollum — who is both a recipient of EMILY’s List money and a staunch ally of Candidate-in-Waiting Mike Ciresi — to deep-six Al Franken’s Senate bid was seen for what it was by the people attending the DFL convention this weekend: Franken won the nomination on the first ballot with a hall-full of his fired-up supporters cheering him on, thus effectively shutting the door on what smells suspiciously like Ciresi’s attempt to force him out.

Betty’s a nice enough person and she’s been a good occupant of Bruce Vento’s old Congressional seat, but she just doesn’t go out and do stuff like pretending to have the vapors over old Playboy magazine articles on her own initiative. Someone more powerful locally than her told her to do it, and I suspect that someone’s last name rhymes with “greasy”. If Playboy really offended her, she wouldn’t be taking money from EMILY’s List, which was founded by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s daughter and run with Hugh Hefner’s money.

And again, dear local mainstream press: Now that it’s suddenly OK to talk about sex in a Minnesota Senatorial campaign, when will you start printing what you know about Norm Coleman? [UPDATE: Lloydletta is wondering similar thoughts, as are several commenters at the StarTribune. By the way, Ed Schultz isn’t afraid to talk about it. Why are you? You, who dutifully reprint everything paid Republican operatives whisper in your ears or post on their websites?]

Posted in 2008, Al Franken, family values, Norm Coleman | 1 Comment »

Listen to Senator Clinton

Posted by MEC on June 8, 2008

Yesterday Senator Hillary Clinton gave a speech that said everything she needed to say for our country’s future, and said it with eloquence and grace, without equivocation or reserve.

Here’s the transcript.

My favorite moments are behind the cut. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2008 | 2 Comments »

Word Salad Pam Strikes Again

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 8, 2008

Sadly, No! links to the latest Pam Oshry masterpiece. If you dare watch it, remember — this is the woman to whom John Bolton granted an hour-long interview, and I don’t think his eyes ever strayed above her neckline the whole time.

Posted in Republicans acting badly, rightwing moral cripples, WTF? | Comments Off on Word Salad Pam Strikes Again

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