Framing and Reality TV

In her blog today, Arianna Huffington asks if CBS’s new reality offering, Undercover Boss, is the most subversive show on television. It’s a provocative question, as most of us would like to think that a reality show existed that could turn the genre on its head.  Maybe spotlight some of the reality that real Americans face, rather than spotlighting primarily those obsessed with fame. In the show, CEOs infiltrate the lower ranks of their organizations, often service industries, to see how business is going on the ground. Huffington proposes that in revealing the reality and conditions of low-wage work and workers, the show allows audiences a somewhat unprecedented look at what it really takes to get by in this country, while also illuminating the stark divide between the haves and have nots.

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Arianna on Biden, w/ a bonus from Markos

Arianna over at Huffington Post has this 'quote' from Biden:

"Can I just clarify a factual point? How much will we spend this year on Afghanistan?" Someone provided the figure: $65 billion. "And how much will we spend on Pakistan?" Another figure was supplied: $2.25 billion. "Well, by my calculations that's a 30-to-1 ratio in favor of Afghanistan. So I have a question. Al Qaeda is almost all in Pakistan, and Pakistan has nuclear weapons. And yet for every dollar we're spending in Pakistan, we're spending $30 in Afghanistan. Does that make strategic sense?" The White House Situation Room fell silent.

And more from Arianna:
In Rethink Afghanistan, Robert Greenwald's powerful look at the war (and a film Joe Biden should see right away), Robert Baer, a former CIA field operative says, "The notion that we're in Afghanistan to make our country safer is just complete bullshit... what it's doing is causing us greater danger, no question about it. Because the more we fight in Afghanistan, the more the conflict is pushed across the border into Pakistan, the more we destabilize Pakistan, the more likely it is that a fundamentalist government will take over the army -- and we'll have Al-Qaeda like groups with nuclear weapons."

And former Senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam vet and Biden confidant, told Newsweek that, while "there are a lot of differences" between Vietnam and Afghanistan, "one of the similarities is how easily and quickly a nation can get bogged down in a very dangerous part of the world. It's easy to get into but not easy to get out. The more troops you throw in places, the more difficult it is to work it out because you have an investment to protect."

And doing so, as we've seen, usually means losing more and more of that "investment": each of the last six years of the Afghanistan war has been more deadly than the one before.

An excellent piece. We need more people speaking out, and Joe Biden should take it to the airwaves himself too. I never had much of an opinion of Biden as VP, but if he's the one that puts the fire under Obama to keep him from making the biggest mistake of his Presidency (by escalating in Afghanistan), he's golden in my book.

Also, bonus. Markos is pretty pissed off, "f**** liars" is a new one!  Here at MyDD, I get TR's for pointing out that a commenter was making up lies that I once supported an escalation of the military conflict in Afghanistan (utter BS), yet over at DKos, Markos gets to call out the Senate Majority Leader's office staff on the fp-- such double standards!

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Perception vs. Reality- Media Bias?

Often perceptions are repeated over and over until they seem to become reality.  A good example would be the 9/11=Iraq=War meme which lead to your current situation in Iraq.  After the fact some curious fact finder will uncover the truth, much to everyones surprise.   There has been a often repeated perception that Sen. Clinton has been the recipient of unfair, even biased questions during the debates against Sen. Obama.   Despite my feelings that those perceptions were incorrect I never did the work to find out the truth, so could not defend my perception.  luckily someone has decided to find truth. In a interesting article posted at the Huffington Post the 1v1 debates are broken down and analyzed.  

Here is a quick teaser.  

 ABC asked the most scandal questions, and both ABC and NBC devoted only half of their questions to policy issues. The CNN debates were dramatically more policy-focused /debate-analysis-abc-asked_n_97599.html

More interesting observations;

Clinton actually had it much rougher at CNN's earlier one-on-one debate in Hollywood. That was the only debate of the four where Clinton was asked a scandal question while Obama was not. Moreover, Clinton faced three questions on her initial support for the Iraq war ("Why can't you just say right now that that vote was a mistake?"), one question about Sen. Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama, and another on the perception of a Bush-Clinton dynasty ("How can you be an agent of change when we have had the same two families in the White House for the last 30 years?").

And finally this observation..

Barack Obama has received the overwhelming majority of scandal questions over the course of the four debates, by a margin of 17 to 4

So what do you think, does the perception match reality?

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Beware of the Republican mole

Why are quasi-democrats destroying our party? Why are we letting them drive a wedge through our party and destroy us? Do they really have the best interest of America in mind or are do they have their own agenda like playing kingmaker or maybe even eventually have a Republican in power.

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Hillary Even Takes Money From Pakistan Lobbyist

There is an article on Huffington that says that Hillary takes lobbyist money from Pakistan.  We know Hillary takes money from lobbyist, but from Pakistan??  What is wrong with this picture?

There is no law against taking money from Pakistan lobbyist, but it does bring up a lot of questions.  

"While not prohibited by law, accepting such a donation necessarily raises questions about the effect this relationship--and similar ones--will have on her policies in the White House towards Pakistan should she win the 2008 contest, or in the US Senate should she not. The influence of money is never straightforward, of course."

Another candidate who is taking lobbyist money from Pakistan is Joe Biden.  He has called for a freeze on aid to Pakistan.  But you still have to wonder what kind of influence will this money buy. chout/lobbyist-for-pakistan-max_b_71379. html

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