TIME: Phony and Insidious, Browbeating and Bullying: The McCain War on the Media

The "liberal" media have been a favorite punching bag of the Right for decades now, but John McCain revelled in the flash of the cameras, the glow of the soft studio lighting, the couches of Jay,Jon, and Dave, and the eager ear of a huge cadre of reporters that he affectionately called "my real base".  But that was the old John McCain.  That was the McCain that still had some shred of honor when it came to politics.   That John McCain is gone for good.  

One of the members of the McCain Base is TIME columnist/author Joe Klein.  In today's Swampland, Joe writes of just how phony and insidious this "war" on the media has become.  

I know that some DD'rs have problems with Klein, but do read through to the end where Joe makes the case for his colleagues to stand strong & not to buckle to the McCain machine's bullying tactics.

http://www.time-blog.com/swampland/2008/ 09/angry_amateurs.html

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. But things have gotten much worse in recent days: there was McCain's rude, bizarre interview with Time Magazine last week. Yesterday, McCain refused to an interview with Larry King, for God's sake, because Campbell Brown had been caught in the commission of journalism on CNN the night before, asking McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds what decisions Sarah Palin had made as commander-in-chief of the Alaska national guard. (There was an answer that the unprepared Bounds didn't have: she had deployed them to fight fires.)

Sexism and more after the bump...

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Abortion. NRA. Religion - Palin Began With WEDGE ISSUES

There have been countless diaries in the past few days on our VP opponent.  I apologize if I've missed coverage of this aspect of her past here.  

The Times' William Yardley has a fascinating look at Palin's rocky start in local politics http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/03/us/pol itics/03wasilla.html?hp The piece details some of the well-diaried issues such as her questionable economic policies and her consideration of book banning.  But the focus of this piece is how she dived into the local election with a campaign of hard-core Christian dogma.  It also shows that even in 1996, just two years after Newt's Contract With America, she was a tough campaigner who had already mastered the art of exploiting wedge issues - particularly religion.

For 2008, McCain has chosen a ticketmate with the very skills he deplored in 2000.  

WASILLA, Alaska -- The world arrived here more than a century ago with the gold rush and later the railroad. Yet one aspect of American life did not come to town until 1996, the year Sarah Palin ran for mayor and Wasilla got its first local lesson in wedge politics.

The traditional turning points that had decided municipal elections in this town of less than 7,000 people -- Should we pave the dirt roads? Put in sewers? Which candidate is your hunting buddy? -- seemed all but obsolete the year Ms. Palin, then 32, challenged the three-term incumbent, John C. Stein.

Anti-abortion fliers circulated. Ms. Palin played up her church work and her membership in the National Rifle Association. The state Republican Party, never involved before because city elections are nonpartisan, ran advertisements on Ms. Palin's behalf.

-snip -

Ms. Palin and her passion for Republican ideology and religious faith overtook a town known for a wide libertarian streak and for helping start the Iditarod dog sled race.

"Sarah comes in with all this ideological stuff, and I was like, `Whoa,' " said Mr. Stein, who lost the election. "But that got her elected: abortion, gun rights, term limits and the religious born-again thing. I'm not a churchgoing guy, and that was another issue: `We will have our first Christian mayor.' "

"I thought: `Holy cow, what's happening here? Does that mean she thinks I'm Jewish or Islamic?'" recalled Mr. Stein, who was raised Lutheran, and later went to work as the administrator for the city of Sitka in southeast Alaska. "The point was that she was a born-again Christian." 

More ugliness after the bump

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Log Cabin Republicans Endorse McCain/Palin

For a few months it appeared that the Log Cabin Republicans actually had a spine.

Alas, not anymore:

Log Cabin Republicans, the leading organization of gay and lesbian Republicans, announced its endorsement of Sen. John McCain for President of the United States at its "Big Tent Event" during the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis on Tuesday.


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Fantasies, Spin & the HRC response after the bump.

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Breaking: GOP's INTERNAL Talking Points for Delegates Re: Palin Family (Ambinder)

From Marc Ambinder, who seems to have the best spies.  (And apparently never sleeps - look at his dateline!)

GOP's Internal Talking Points For Delegates About Palin Family

02 Sep 2008 03:45 am
Not surprisingly, the Republicans have created a few talking points for high-profile delegates and surrogates who are asked about Gov. Palin's family.

Note, too, that the Alaska delegation underwent four hours of media training on Sunday night.

These delegates are more savvy and more on-message than we might think.

Here are the talking points:

   > INTERNAL DOCUMENT - NOT TO BE EMAILED BEYOND CURRENT
    > DISTRIBUTION LIST
    >
    > Please see the following points on Gov. Palin's family.
    >
    > *    Governor Palin and her husband Todd have a loving family
    > and their children mean everything to them.  When their
    > oldest daughter Bristol came to them with news that she was
    > expecting a child they embraced her and gave her nothing but
    > unconditional love and support.
    >
    > *    This is a very personal matter for the family. We should
    > all respect the love they have for the child and the desire
    > all parents would have for their children's privacy.
    >
    > *    The media should respect Bristol's privacy.
    > That's always been the tradition and practice when it
    > comes to the children of candidates.
    >
    > *    (If pressed) The children of candidates do not choose to
    > run for office and be thrust into the spotlight.

The talking points all sound perfectly reasonable to me.  It's the media training for the Alaska delegation that got my attention.

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Message From Barack: Gustav [Updated]

EDIT: Calling all sockpuppets! Okay, I don't really have any sock puppets (and would repudiate them if I did) but please rec this one up for today. Let's bump my lingering focus group diary make sure this one does some good. It's the first time I've asked for recs, hopefully it'll be the last.

Now back to the diary...

Barack's Speech on Gustave after the bump. Sorry for the lack of Palin in this diary but there are a few other things on the horizon.

Today Barack sent email and text messages to his massive list of supporters, soliciting contributions for the Red Cross in their efforts for hurricane relief.  I'm sure that most MyDD readers have already received this, but it's still a good example of just who we have as a nominee.

I know you share my pride in Barack, I hope you'll also share your $.

TEXT MESSAGE:

Barack asks that you give to the Red Cross today: give $5 by texting GIVE to 24357 or give more by calling 1-800-435-7669 or at https://donate.barackobama.com/redcross

.

EMAIL:

From: Barack Obama
Subject: Help Gulf Coast residents and first responders

Friend --

Today, the thoughts and prayers of all Americans are with those in the path of Hurricane Gustav -- and many of you are asking what you can do to help.

We do not yet know what the impact of Hurricane Gustav will be, and we hope with all our hearts that the damage will not be as great as it was three years ago.

But we know there will be damage, and there is something you can do right now.

Your financial support will strengthen organizations like the American Red Cross that are evacuating Gulf Coast residents and planning to help communities get back on their feet.

Make a donation to support the American Red Cross today.

At times like this, it is our compassion and resilience that define who we are as a nation.

Please give whatever you can afford, even $10, to make sure the American Red Cross has the resources to help those in the path of this storm:

https://donate.barackobama.com/redcross

Thank you for your generosity, and I hope you will join Michelle and me in praying for the safety of those in the path of the storm and the first responders who are doing all they can to ensure the safety of their communities.

Barack

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Howard Wolfson: Clintonites for Obama [Update] + Penn

First I want to say that I'm happy to see Howard Wolfson coming forth with positive statements about our candidate, Barack Obama.  In an Op-Ed in tomorrow's Post, Wolfson finally awakens to the reality of Barack Obama.  That's not even my editorializing, it's the way he frames it.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con tent/article/2008/08/31/AR2008083101620. html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Most of us never heard him speak in person. At work 14 hours a day in the war room, we focused on his perceived faults and deficiencies. Our time was spent sharpening and advancing arguments. Skepticism was critical to our efforts. Insulated from Obamamania, I met few Obama supporters and distanced myself from the ones I knew. I lived this way for 18 months.

From the outside, our loss may have seemed inevitable for months, but inside the campaign we simply kept going. Each late victory brought false hope. We were finally doing too well to stop, but never well enough to win. We fought so long because we believed so strongly in our candidate; sustained by the passions of our supporters, we hoped that, as long as we kept moving, we could keep failure at bay.
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Once we ran out of states and the campaign ended, we were like Rip Van Winkle. We awoke to a world transformed by political currents we had stood against. There was the neighbor in an Obama T-shirt getting the morning paper. Every parked car on the street bore an Obama bumper sticker. Had they been there along, or did they pop up overnight?
 

The better stuff after the bump.

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Focus Group: McCain Losing the Undecided With Palin

Looks like McCain's casual selection of a running mate is not going over so well with undecided voters.  

From Joe Klein's report in Swampland:

Another week, another Frank Luntz/AARP focus group of undecided voters--this one in Minneapolis and with some bad news for John McCain: they don't like the choice of Sarah Palin for vice president. Only one person said Palin made him more likely to vote for McCain; about half the 25-member group raised their hands when asked if Palin made them less likely to vote for McCain. They had a negative impression of Palin by a 2-1 margin...a fact that was reinforced when they were given hand-dials and asked to react to Palin's speech at her first appearance with McCain on Friday---the dials remained totally neutral as Palin went through her heart-warming(?) biography, and only blipped upwards when she said she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere--which wasn't quite the truth, as we now know.

More after the bump.

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THE Picture: the TICKET for AMERICA! [Updated]

I done GOT me some photoshop AND made a gosh-darn MASTERPIECE!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

MY creation is WAY more better than THIS crappy KNOCK-off!! These GUYS aren't even patriotic ENOUGH to get some GOOD old, proud AMERICAN bunting!

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Update [2008-8-31 15:37:58 by January 20]: It seems that some might not realize that only my comments were snark. That is the untouched McCain image straight from his campaign site.

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DAVID FRUM: Palin the irresponsible choice?

Not all the Conservatives are completely bonkers.  

David Frum is someone I normally detest in a very special way.  Today's column is well worth a read for more than this: Ms. Palin's experience in government makes Barack Obama look like George C. Marshall.  The full column @ http://www.nationalpost.com/nationalpost /story.html?id=756704 , read it for yourselves.  

After the bump I'll save you the trek to The Corner for his quick take, which is also rather savoury.

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A Plywood Parthenon [lit] by a Klieg Light

Sorry folks, this is undeserving of a diary, yet I just couldn't resist.  This is the top of Diane West's "column" at the ever-rational Town Hall.  In the second graf you can see just how rigorus the GOP has been in applying itself to accurate oppo research.  These cats certainly won't risk looking silly just to score a cheap point.  Or, then again...

I'm treating you to just the tip of her iceberg of imagination; she does go on some.   For those of you who really want to suffer, here's the link: http://townhall.com/columnists/DianaWest /2008/08/28/barackus_accepts_from_temple _o

The star of the Democratic National Convention wasn't Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Hillary's husband -- certainly not Joe Biden or even Barack Obama. The single-most riveting presence at the Democratic gathering -- possibly the entire Democratic political season -- was that kooky-bizarro set with the faux-marble columns straddling the 50-yard line of Invesco Field in Denver. In this veritable neo-Graeco-Roman-Graceland temple, the Anointed One became the Nominated One.
More after the bump - follow if you feel you must.

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