2009/05/21

Traditional media's take on Republicans

Interesting piece in Yahoo! News today. It features a "challenge" by Rush Limbaugh for MSNBC to not mention him for a month and see what happens to their ratings. He claims that the network is getting good numbers because they're featuring him. Of course, ignoring Limbaugh is an awful idea because like mushrooms and vampires, demagogues like Limbaugh need darkness to really thrive. YN presents his challenge as a "win-win" because

If MSNBC takes Limbaugh's challenge, everyone will be watching the "little TV network" to see if it's keeping its promise; ratings will rise and both sides will get a whole lot of free publicity. Done and done.

The piece mentions Dick Cheney and features a video screen capture of him up top, Limbaugh is pictured further down and there's a further item on Cheney. So what does the RNC Chairman Michael Steele say about the Republican efforts to steal the limelight away from President Obama?

"He's young. He's cool. He's hip ... he's got all the qualities America likes in a celebrity, so of course he's going to be popular ... but this is not American Idol. This is serious ... and we are going to take them on."

Okay, so clearly Obama beats the stuffing out of two old, heavyset white guys who are both losing their hair, but it's not at all clear that they're any more "serious" than he is. The item further down in the piece is one where Cheney and Obama are both scheduled to make speeches on the same subject on the same night. The "storyline" is that they're making "dueling" speeches. Um, no they're not. Cheney is clearly just repeating the same ol', same ol' worthless junk he's been repeating for months now. His motivation is obvious. He's worried that the Bush Administration will come to be seen just as the Salem witch trials are or as the Joe McCarthy era is. He's worried that the years 2001-2008 will come to be seen as a dark blot on American history, as an era best forgotten or glossed over.

The American people decided last November that Barack Obama best represents them. According to CNN in late April, 69% of Americans approved of his job performance. Obama really appears to be enjoying the job and is clearly putting everything he's got into it. Also, Obama has never insisted that he be surrounded only with friendly people who agree with him. Bush did rallies during the 2004 campaign that were attended exclusively by friendly audiences. We know that when Bush found himself dealing with a critical reporter, he got really bent out of shape about the whole experience. I do not believe that Cheney, on the other hand, has ever done an interview with a hostile or even a vaguely critical, reporter.

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