Sunday, August 31, 2008

McSame Sh%*!, Different Day

McCain picks a political nobody who supports teaching "creation science"[sic], has rabid anti-abortion views that would do the Taliban proud, and who says of global warming, "I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made." When a friend told me about an email from covering these extremist views of Palin's (including her opposition to abortion even in cases of rape and incest) I was surprised - I hadn't heard such details on NPR. So I thought I'd reprise NPR's coverage of Palin through today (Sunday, August 31) and see what emerges:

(Friday morning) Horsley:
  • She has a lot in common with John McCain; she is considered a reformer.
  • a strong anti-abortion voice
  • a colorful character.
  • a runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant
  • a life member in the NRA,
  • Husband works part time...for BP, the oil company...
  • became governor in 2006
  • was in city government in Wasilla, Alaska
Friday ATC with Horsely again:
  • McCain saw...a kindred spirit who's battled wasteful government spending, corruption, and the Republican party itself in Alaska
  • one time hockey mom
  • working on the PTA to the city council in Wasilla
  • little if any foreign policy experience
  • commands the Alaska National Guard
  • a son in the army who is headed for Iraq next month
  • she and her husband have five children
  • she's a fierce anti-abortion advocate
Friday ATC "profile" by Martin Kaste
  • has sort of a gee whiz manner
  • efforts to clean up Alaska's political system
  • some consider her a policy lightweight
  • evidence suggesting the governor may have tried to get her sister's ex-husband fired from his job as a state trooper
Saturday's Weekend Edition with Horsely
  • was chosen Miss Congeniality 24 years ago in a Wasilla Alaska beauty pageant
  • colorful biography
  • has a reputation for crusading against corruption and wasteful spending almost as strong as McCain's own
  • mother of five
  • a former commercial fisherwoman
  • a lifetime member of the NRA
By this point you see that her extremist stand on abortion gets called "strong" or "fierce" with no mention of detail. There is also no mention of her radical ideas on global warming or creationism. In addition to softening her radicalism, there is another disturbing thread that runs through NPR's coverage of Palin: that Palin's outsider, reformist, anti-corruption actions are identical to McCain's. You can see above that on Friday Horsely states that "She has a lot in common with John McCain; she is considered a reformer," and she is "a kindred spirit who's battled wasteful government spending, corruption, and the Republican party itself."

This discredited nonsense about McCain being a maverick and a reformer reaches a crescendo on Weekend Edition Sunday. Hansen has Chuck DeFeo of the rightwing and lets him say the following with no follow-up whatsoever:
  • both McCain and Palin have strong records of reform, strong records of really bucking the Republican establishment
  • There's no doubt that John McCain has been truly a maverick, someone who has fought for change, has fought for change in Washington, has fought for reforms. With his choice of Palin, he's found someone who's kind of that ideological soulmate
I couldn't believe that Hansen just lets him rehash this misinformation about McCain without even a polite request for a teeny, tiny bit of evidence. This interview was followed by an interview with Joe Trippi, a Democratic campaign consultant, and I assumed he'd been brought on to offer a bit of needed counterpoint. Instead he simply warned Democrats to take Palin seriously and stated that the choice of Palin will be brilliant if McCain can "sell this as a maverick who picked another maverick, two reformers willing to challenge corruption in their own party."
Man, if I had a dollar for every time NPR calls McCain a maverick, or lets someone call him a maverick without challenge I'd have enough money to buy seven maverick houses for myself!


Anonymous said...

"Colorful" is the word of the day (week) for a person who wants to exterminate the polar bear and the wolf.
I'd offer another word..- like callous, cold, brutish.

This morning I turned on npr just for a minute (always a mistake) and heard that SHE-who-must-not-be-named-
"made the oil companies furious" many times.
Right...what did she do- let one polar bear live and threaten their oil?


Anonymous said...

You gotta say one thing - this vp choice does give great material for satirists-
Unfortunately the following are true comments:

Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina: "Governor Palin took on Ted Stevens. If she can take him on, she can take on the Russians."

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "Palin is commander-in-chief of the Alaskan National Guard." The state's Guard has about 4,000 members.

From McCain's wife, Cindy, came a geographic assessment of qualification: "Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. So, it's not as if she doesn't understand what's at stake here."


Macon D said...

Maybe Trippi was doing what I've heard a lot of people on the (ostensible) left recommend, which is just to let Palin's obvious flaws gradually speak for themselves. Maybe she'll just emerge on her own as that obviously bad--inexperienced and god-fearingly whacky. This may also be the Democratic reluctance to be seen as the bully picking on an innocent little lady, that thing people worry about in a debate between her and Biden, already kicking in. (Talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations!)

I'm not at all surprised that Hansen let that hack rehash misinformation about McCain without even a polite request for a teeny, tiny bit of evidence. Amidst the pleasant, lulling ambience of NPR, such standard journalistic behavior would in itself be impolite, and Hansen is one of the more pleasant, polite reporters there.

Regarding the purchase of Mavericks, here's a good analogy.

War On War Off said...

Well, NPR shilled tirelessly for Bush as a "compassionate conservative," and, funny how that turned out. Well, not "ha ha" funny...

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