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  #1  
Old 04-16-2008, 06:59 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

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  #2  
Old 04-16-2008, 07:10 PM
bham bham is offline
 
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Default These are My Boys!!!!

Who else likes these two more than Bob and Mickey?
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2008, 08:01 PM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

I love Pinkercorn! Great enthusiasm and intelligence. I think David is going to be busy over the next few months reinterpreting Obama's gaffes. I think the true colors will continue to come shining through.
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  #4  
Old 04-16-2008, 08:20 PM
David Thomson David Thomson is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

"Barry" Obama is a race hustler. He will set race relations back for at least twenty years. When everything is said and done, Obama is running a "get whitey" campaign. This is especially true if you are a white man. This guy is an Al Sharpton with a Harvard law degree behind his name. He is taking full advantage of guilt tripped white left-wingers. White middle-of-the-road Americans are finally finding out how hostile Harvard is towards them. They indeed need to wake up before it's too late. A vote for Obama is unwittingly a vote for David Duke. The latter disgusting gentleman will gain many converts after an Obama administration is through jacking them around.
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  #5  
Old 04-16-2008, 09:02 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
It is especially true that Barack Obama is running a "get whitey" campaign if you are a white man.
Did I paraphrase you accurately?

Without even touching on the overt racism - the senseless illogic is astounding. Congratulations.
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  #6  
Old 04-16-2008, 09:31 PM
David Thomson David Thomson is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

"Did I paraphrase you accurately?"

Paraphrase me? Why do you need to do that? Was I not sufficiently blunt? The politically correct cultural milieu considers white men to be a virus. Remember Susan Sontag? "Barry" Obama is pushing a tacit "get whitey" campaign. He and his wife have long exploited guilt tripped white for their financial benefit. They definitely know how to play the "diversity" game for all it's worth. Obama increased this talent dramatically while he attended Harvard law. The more I learn about him---the more disgusted I get.

Black men should have to earn everything they get in this world. The free ride stuff is getting old. If blacks are expected to earn their way in professional sports---they can also likewise earn it in other areas of life. Obama is a candidate for president only because of white guilt. This is 2008, and not the 1950s. It's time to get past race. We need to become truly "post racial." This can be accomplished only by rejecting race hustlers like Obama.
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  #7  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:00 PM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Here's my theory on how Obama made such a terrible mis-step. The cardinal rule for writers holds true for politicians as well. Know your audience. I think Obama was keenly aware of his audience when he made that comment. He was probably shocked that anyone in that room of sympathizers would leak those comments to the media The fact that he made such comments to that particular audience in a closed setting reveals to me that he meant EXACTLY what he said. David Corn seems to sincerely believe it when he says Obama is being misrepresented but also seems to be too honest to relish the role of spin-meister, and it will become increasingly difficult for him as more and more indications of Obama's leftist ideology come out.
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  #8  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:08 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
He was probably shocked that anyone in that room of sympathizers would leak those comments to the media
This is probably false. The shock would have been that an innocuous and basically accurate characterization became fodder for somewhat effective, if unprincipled, attacks.
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2008, 04:25 AM
johnmarzan johnmarzan is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh in sd View Post
David Corn seems to sincerely believe it when he says Obama is being misrepresented but also seems to be too honest to relish the role of spin-meister, and it will become increasingly difficult for him as more and more indications of Obama's leftist ideology come out.
that's why jim said in jest there's a great future for david corn in the obama administration.
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  #10  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:08 PM
Fuquier Fuquier is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Thomson View Post
This can be accomplished only by rejecting race hustlers like Obama.
Frankly, I think you are the race hustler here.

If you want to get "post racial" by insisting that "Black men should have to earn everything they get in this world"... why don't you just say "men"? Are you going to rail against McCain for marrying a rich woman? Bush for his obvious privileges? No, I don't think you will.
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  #11  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:10 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuquier View Post
Frankly, I think you are the race hustler here.

If you want to get "post racial" by insisting that "Black men should have to earn everything they get in this world"... why don't you just say "men"? Are you going to rail against McCain for marrying a rich woman? Bush for his obvious privileges? No, I don't think you will.

Yup. Not to mention the sneering and gratuitous "Barry." You might as well say "boy."
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  #12  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:32 PM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quoting Aem Jeff- "innocuous and basically accurate characterization"

And the beat goes on...You lefties will never get it!
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  #13  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:38 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

jh, I live in Philadelphia, I've lived in PA for many decades. The people Obama was describing are my friends, neighbors, and family. What are you suggesting I'm failing to "get?"
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  #14  
Old 04-16-2008, 11:28 PM
deecue deecue is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Where is the carefulness in these comments?

Let's stop the boosterism and the overheated responses. Clearly Obama made a mistake in using the word "cling." Clearly Obama was correct in noting that people are "bitter." This all seemed pretty obvious from the first. Interestingly, this may turn out to be a Howard Dean moment, where things don't sound as bad in the room as they do out of context. That being said there are a lot of ways to parse his statement to divine Senator Obama's actual thoughts and feelings and it's readily apparent at this point that people will pick and choose and see what they want to see (I'll go ahead and single David Thomson out as a particularly egregious example of this phenomenon). I think the responses speak to the depth and pervasiveness of the actual political divisions and unyielding cynicism that is out there--even on Bloggingheads!--which could bode poorly for Obama's candidacy.

To jump away from the meta, it seems that while on the whole Pinkerton's analysis on the increased deference to authority is accurate, to say that this increased deference will result in people sympathizing with the cops over the dancers in this case is overreaching--but this is imo, the nature of which may be entirely generational.
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  #15  
Old 04-16-2008, 11:42 PM
deecue deecue is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Hi jh in sd: It is interesting to me that you took Obama's comments so personally. You don't live in Pennsylvannia. You aren't a bit bitter in your non-internet life. Did you feel economically neglected throughout the Clinton and Bush years? No? Maybe he wasn't talking about you? Then again, your empathy for your fellow Americans who you feel are under attack is admirable. However, might I suggest your response could be a tad defensive? The statement was a terrible generalization, but if you'll notice, politicians do this all the time.
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  #16  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:08 AM
Namazu Namazu is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Does David have Tourette's syndrome or is he just rude?
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  #17  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:40 PM
InJapan InJapan is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Yup, these are the dynamic duo of blogginheads.tv.

The last topic, on the dancers and the arrest, really does open up an issue that needs more discussion. Photographers around the US have discovered firsthand how over-aggressive some law enforcement personnel can be, but also how touchy many ordinary citizens are about photographs being taken.

Of course there are always the pundits/partisans who want to blame GWB for this... but it really is not his fault. The feelings of insecurity are so part of us as humans that they come to the surface with the most mild of provocations.

I agree with Jim... in that the tendency for many Americans will be to (cautiously) side with the police in many of these situations. I chalk it up to the loss of community that our modern, automobile-empowered, often-relocating careers have given us.
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  #18  
Old 04-16-2008, 10:55 PM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

AemJeff, Jim explains quite succienctly what you don't get...and then you go on to say the characterization is "accurate." I live in South Dakota where we'll keep on clinging to our guns and our religion. No one here seems particularily bitter.
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  #19  
Old 04-16-2008, 11:12 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh in sd View Post
AemJeff, Jim explains quite succienctly what you don't get...and then you go on to say the characterization is "accurate." I live in South Dakota where we'll keep on clinging to our guns and our religion. No one here seems particularily bitter.
Suffice it to say "accuracy" is a judgment based on observation. Regardless of your feelings about your neighbors, about whom I'll gladly take your word, there's nothing in the following:

Quote:
And they’ve gone through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.
-Barack Obama
that doesn't fit quite a few people in my state. Note, there's no claim that the things listed in that last sentence are synonymous with bitterness, or that they can only follow from bitterness, which is really the only way that this quote could be construed as anything other than a simple observation. That suggestion is the problem with Pinkerton's (and most that of most other critics') characterization. (And I'm generally a fan of his, despite not agreeing with him about much.)
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Last edited by AemJeff; 04-16-2008 at 11:46 PM.. Reason: better wording
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  #20  
Old 04-17-2008, 03:25 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

jh, Bob seems to be completely on-board with your understanding of this controversy.
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  #21  
Old 04-17-2008, 05:27 PM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Wow! It's fascinating seeing so many pots calling the kettles black. Evidently, disagreeing with the left-leaning bloggers here turns one into a wingnut and a liar. As I have stated before, character assisination is historically a common tactic of the far-left. (Unfortunately, this tactic is becoming far too common on both sides of the aisle). Would it suprise you left-leaners that people on the right percieve you in the same unflattering way?

Thus Spoke Elvis-Thank you for your objectivitely.

I find it enjoyable to listen to the views of those I disagree with. Why else would I, one of the few conservative bloggers here, listen to Bloggingheads? If we could take the rancor down a few notchs, it might make these conversations more valuable. I honestly listen to Bloggingheads to come to a better understanding of the other point of view. When one jumps the hurdles of reasonable discussion directly to the point of inflammatory rhetoric, it all becomes just partisan politics as usual.

My final thought on Obama and his "bitter" remark-We'll see what the school of hard knocks teaches him. Too many mistakes like that will cost him big time down the road.
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  #22  
Old 04-17-2008, 10:51 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh in sd View Post
I find it enjoyable to listen to the views of those I disagree with. Why else would I, one of the few conservative bloggers here, listen to Bloggingheads? If we could take the rancor down a few notchs, it might make these conversations more valuable. I honestly listen to Bloggingheads to come to a better understanding of the other point of view. When one jumps the hurdles of reasonable discussion directly to the point of inflammatory rhetoric, it all becomes just partisan politics as usual.
I don't really see a lot of "partisan rancor" here among the commenters at BHTV. There's definitely some rancor, if you like, but there are plenty of people from all sides who manage to have civil discussions despite disagreeing. When the liberals do get testy here, it seems to me - others can speak for themselves if they like - it's often not about what someone believes, but whether or not they seem to be making an honest argument. It would be easy to rattle off the handles of a fair number of conservatives among the local commentariat who are pretty well respected and who are obviously taken seriously. It's not hard to name a few about whom that isn't the case. I'd argue there's a reason for that. You're free to draw your own conclusions.

I'd go so far as to argue that if you were to do a tally, the liberals would be only slightly more numerous among the more productive posters, though the raw number of posts by liberals might be a clearer majority. So I say welcome to the fray - your side needs you.
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  #23  
Old 04-18-2008, 12:13 AM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

aemjeff, Thanks for your comments. Maybe this particular diavlog has gotten a bit too contentious. I do feel people are making unfair comments about Jim Pinkerton.
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  #24  
Old 04-18-2008, 02:57 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

You're repeating yourself, Davey. But I guess it's making you into a blogospheric celebrity.

The above link via James Wolcott, who also had this to say:

Quote:
Unintentional humor is supplied by chronic commenter David Thomson, whose mini-diatribes always read as if they were written with a bayonet clenched between the teeth. It doesn't take much to set him off, the three bees in his bonnet--"Barry Obama;" white liberal guilt; and Harvard--creating a din in his head that can only be relieved with dark prophecies such as: "An Obama presidency will relentlessly 'stick it to whitey.'"

There's a lot of whitey to stick it to over at Commentary, which may explain why they're so nervous and twitchy.
I'm thinking about calling you Ol' CTRL-c CTRL-v from now on, but I don't want you to choke on your bayonet.
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  #25  
Old 04-18-2008, 07:02 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I'm thinking about calling you Ol' CTRL-c CTRL-v from now on, but I don't want you to choke on your bayonet.
ROFL!

Nice catch. Good to start the day with a laugh... :-)
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  #26  
Old 04-18-2008, 04:21 AM
johnmarzan johnmarzan is offline
 
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Default Re: These are My Boys!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by bham View Post
Who else likes these two more than Bob and Mickey?
bob and mickey
corn and pinkerton
scher and carroll

are all good pairs.
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  #27  
Old 04-16-2008, 11:26 PM
peteai peteai is offline
 
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Question Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

I like David & Jim too, but I can't believe they can justify arresting someone unlawfully. Their justification is something along the lines - Police have a stressful job and the quiet dancing made them uncomfortable"

Jeez has the US gone this far ?? Maybe a black man running for president will make some police uncomfortable & they will arrent him ? Arresting someone who has not broken the law & who is doing a harmless activity ? It simply 'WRONG' & an abuse of power.

The US is not yet a police state but if most of the US would support the police action (as suggested by both David & Jim) I worry for the future of the US.

And was that "Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind" phrase specially for the Philadephia common man that Jim so identifies with ???
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  #28  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:17 AM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Foreign Affairs is not their specialty

Two little points.

Even the French have figured out what happened with Sadar Basra residents welcome Iraq army crackdown

Mr. Corn fails to mention that the amount of money requested as aid for Iraqi reconstruction was cut from $5.2 B to $2.5 B because the Iraqi government is now putting more money into reconstruction.
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  #29  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:40 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Just started watching. After nine minutes, I must say, I cannot believe Jim is being so insistently partisan. The amount of spin he's laying on the "elitist" and "out of touch" memes is not what I'd expect from him, nor does he seem as though he's just kind of kidding about it. And to cherry-pick one poll as "evidence" when the polls have been all over the place, with an average result of "no big effect detected," is really disappointing. Maybe he's still got some Huckleberry Kool-Aid in his system.

And why is it always okay for the right to play the class card when they want to mock the other side ("San Francisco," "trust fund," "Mother Jones core readership," "Harvard," "Columbia," etc.) but it's always an outrage for them when a Democrat "starts class warfare?"

And don't even get me started on rich guy Jim claiming to be any more in touch with the common man than any lefty rich guy. It'd be a joke, if the tropes weren't so stale.

C'mon, Jim. You know better than that.

Or maybe the truth is, the right is scared to death of running against Obama.

[Added] Now he's returning to the Fox News attempt to keep the Rev. Wright thing alive. O. M. G.

[Added] I'm going to stop "live-blogging" this now but I have to ask: who stole Jim Pinkerton's senses of humor and balance? I cannot believe how badly he misquoted what Wright said at the funeral. Guess that's a nice paycheck he's getting to wave the Fox flag. Really sad for BH.tv viewers, though. Million Man March??? Skinny Al Sharpton??????

I fear we've lost Jim to the borg that is Fox News.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-17-2008 at 12:57 AM..
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  #30  
Old 04-17-2008, 01:52 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

More thoughts as they happened:

On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough. I'm fine with him being a rock-ribbed conservative, but to be so willing to distort the truth and employ racist attacks is just jaw-dropping.

Just makes me shake my head to hear Jim deny that the national deficit and debt are problems. So much for the conservative principle of fiscal responsibility. I guess when you can't attain one of your conservative principles, the next step is to act like you never held it, is that it, Jim?

I am annoyed when Jim presumes to speak for the "American people" regarding the war. He is incorrect to say that "we" "want to win." The truth is, a majority of Americans oppose the war, want to be out of Iraq ASAP, and while I don't know a number on this, I bet a sizable fraction would say either we've lost or we have no hope of winning.
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  #31  
Old 04-17-2008, 03:30 AM
StillmanThomas StillmanThomas is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough.
I completely agree, Brendan. Very sad. I think it becomes clear what's happening when they talk about the dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. Jim is totally given over to fear. Everything has changed since 9/11. We're under attack by terrorists and we need to be very afraid!!!

I think this is the key issue of our time. It's what's animating the Democratic primary, and what will animate the presidential race in the fall if Obama is nominated. Are we going to cling to the past, hide in our holes, and give away our liberities and constitutional protections? Or are we going to stand up, take our futures in our hands, and declare: we will stand on the principles that our founders articulated: limited government, checks and balances between the branches, and civil liberties for all, including those accused of hating us and trying to destroy us?

From Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

I am hopeful for the future, Brendan, and hopeful that Jim and others whom I admire on the right will somehow find the backbone to throw off the fear-mongers and return to a confident belief in our way of life, in all that makes us great as a people.
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Last edited by StillmanThomas; 04-17-2008 at 03:41 AM.. Reason: Forgot to quote JBKeefe
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  #32  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:26 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Bokonon:

Quote:
I think it becomes clear what's happening when they talk about the dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. Jim is totally given over to fear. Everything has changed since 9/11. We're under attack by terrorists and we need to be very afraid!!!
I couldn't bear to respond to this part, so I'm glad you said something about it. You're absolutely right about Jim's, and much of the rest of the right's, fetish for fear.

I'd add that this was yet another point where Jim's presuming to speak for "the American people" irritated me. Having had a night to cool off, I can recognize it for what it likely is -- a rhetorical device meant to plant a seed -- but it still rubs me the wrong way. The fact is, most people have always has a respect for cops and other figures of authority, especially in face-to-face encounters, especially middle-class whites. This dance thing does not signify any change at all -- there have always been cops with petty Napoleonic tendencies, and they almost always get obeyed.
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  #33  
Old 04-17-2008, 03:30 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default "Bum Rap" for Obama?

Quote:
On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough.
Jim is just oozing the anti-Obama memes we will be hearing through early November.

Obama's choice of the "cling" word was revealing, and it's not a surprise that the right wing has gone for the jugular.

One "clings" to a security blanket: a fetish. So it's hard to get around the idea that Obama thinks that people who don't vote for progressive causes fetishize religion, guns and immigrant-hating.

Now I, as an anti-gun, pro-immigrant atheist actually tend to agree with Obama. (I think Obama is actually anti-gun, pro-immigrant and skeptical of religious dogma.) But you can't tell voters their hot-button issues are fetishes and get away with it.

Is Obama really a snob or an elitist and getting what David calls a "bum rap"? Yes, I think it is a bum rap. "Elitist" (as others have pointed out) is euphemistic for "uppity." There's a whiff of racism in calling Obama elitist.

It's ironic that a Harvard-educated black is denigrated for being "elitist," while a street-smart black is denigrated for Alsharptonness. You can't win. What would constitute a good enough black stereotype for Jim? Now we know the answer: Tiger Woods for president.
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Last edited by Wonderment; 04-17-2008 at 03:47 AM..
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  #34  
Old 04-17-2008, 04:15 AM
otto otto is offline
 
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Default We Love Mothers

The bit where they both decided that they liked their mothers was rather charming.

Overall, they spoke over each other a bit more than usual, and its better when they manage to restrain themselves a little more. I was reminded - mildly - of the David Corn/Byron York Plame shoutfest at times.
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  #35  
Old 04-17-2008, 09:52 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: "Bum Rap" for Obama?

Quote:
It's ironic that a Harvard-educated black is denigrated for being "elitist," while a street-smart black is denigrated for Alsharptonness. You can't win.
And, apparently Obama not only can't win, he contains multitudes!
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  #36  
Old 04-17-2008, 09:52 AM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
On further listening to this, I really can't emphasize my disappoint with Jim's new attitude enough. I'm fine with him being a rock-ribbed conservative, but to be so willing to distort the truth and employ racist attacks is just jaw-dropping.
In my previous response I attributed this to the impending election. I said that in 2004 I noticed the same thing: A large number of normally honest conservatives revert to lying, partisan hacks. There are a number of "below the radar" wingnuts in the MSM, such as Norah O'Donnell and Andrea Mitchell, who mostly play it straight: the "neutral" journalist, but can be increasingly counted on to lie in service of their agenda as the election approaches. As soon as the election passes (at least if 2004 is any guide) they will revert to their neutral form.

Then there are the openly conservative, like Joe Scarborough and Pinkerton. Scarborough is always reliably conservative, but most of the time he's also fair and honest. But like Jim, that has been suspended until the election is over. If you've seen Scarborough lately, you know he is now as dishonest as Pinkerton.

Quite simply: These conservatives put their commitment to the movement before their responsibility to be fair and honest, and they will do whatever they have to to ensure a Republican victory. And they will be rewarded. Honest brokers are useless to the Republican Party and the right-wing movement; what they need are skilled liars, and Pinkerton -- credit where it's due -- is a masterful, brilliant liar.

Last edited by TwinSwords; 04-17-2008 at 10:51 AM..
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  #37  
Old 04-17-2008, 11:43 AM
Thus Spoke Elvis Thus Spoke Elvis is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

TwinSwords:

I think your post indicates how bias is in the eye of the beholder. It's interesting, for example, that you consider Andrea Mitchell to be a "below the radar...wingnut." I always thought she supported Kerry over Bush, and supports Hillary in the current campaign.

I think you're correct that people become more strongly partisan as an election gets closer, but I strongly disagree with your characterization of this as solely being a characteristic of the right-wing. For example, if you've regularly read center-left blogs for the past six months, you would have witnessed the attitude towards John McCain transform from grudging respect to animosity once it became clear that he, rather than Guilianni or Romney, would become the Republican nomimee. The election cycle pushes people to take a more adversarial attitude than usual, causing them to become more forgiving of their side's flaws and more outraged by minor flubs made by people on the other side.

How many times during the election season have you read bloggers claim they that used to think highly of a pundit/politician whom they typically disagreed with, but that they "lost all respect" for that person on account of a single statement/blog post they recently made?

Finally, while I agree with you that this wasn't Jim's finest moment on bloggingheads (though I wouldn't conclude that his misstatment about Pennsylvania polls was purposefully deceitful), I'd disagree with your characterization of Joe Scarborough. I watch Morning Joe on a regular basis, and find Joe to be one of the most fair-minded pundits out there. Sure, you can take a snippet from his show and say that it seems grossly unfair, but if you watch the show for a reasonable and regular duration, he's reliably even-handed.
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  #38  
Old 04-17-2008, 12:15 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Elvis:

Pardon me for jumping in on your thread with Twin, but I wanted to say two things:

First, comparing the change in Jim's tone, especially regarding Obama, to the change in lefty bloggers' tone, as regards McCain, is not really fair. The comparison to make would be, say, Jim to David Corn. While Corn is a proud and partisan lefty, and always has been, note that he was able to maintain honesty in this diavlog; e.g; in the way he could acknowledge and discuss the bad aspects to Obama's remarks. Had David been being like Jim on this issue, he would have either denied Obama said it, denied it was important and refused to talk about it (cf. Jim on the national debt), or just insisted it was all a right-wing smear attempt (which it mostly is).

Second, while I grant that the looming election and the endless campaign have something to do with the change in tone, part of the leftosphere's change in attitude towards McCain has also to do with his apparent embrace of two of the worst aspects of the Bush doctrine: stay the course in Iraq and continue favoring the rich with tax policy. Add to that his wooing of the evangelical vote (when he used to be reasonable about this group), his sudden evasiveness regarding his medical and tax records, his mantra of being a "footsoldier in the Reagan Revolution," his obsession with the grizzly bear study, etc., and there's every reason to have lost "grudging respect" for the man. "Maverick?" "Straight talk?" Not so much, anymore.

There's also an irritation that's growing as it becomes ever more apparent what a break McCain gets from the MSM. They obsess over inanities like a flag lapel pin for Obama, and create and maintain "controversies," and then "cover the controversy," over things like bowling and what drink he chose to order in a diner ("Orange juice, not coffee??? The horror!!!), but when McCain can't keep straight the difference between Sunnis and Shiites, on multiple occasions, there's always some MSM-type rushing in to say, "Just a slip of the tongue -- not important."

The MSM wondered whether Jeremiah Wright was the be-all and end-all of Obama's thinking, but had almost nothing to say about John Hagee and other televangelists whose support McCain courted and gratefully accepted.

When a McCain surrogate says something obnoxious, the focus tends to be on McCain saying he didn't agree with the remarks, or worse, the MSM hasten to explain that McCain was "unaware" of them. The story is never artificially kept alive the way it is with Obama.

Also, you will rarely see a MSM reference to McCain without "war hero" being somewhere mentioned. While his conduct as a POW appears to have been admirable, I fail to see why events from 40 years ago should be held up as conclusive evidence that he'll make smart executive decisions.

I could go on for pages, but I think you get my point.
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:14 PM
Thus Spoke Elvis Thus Spoke Elvis is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Brendan:

Several points in reply:

1. As I said in my original post, I thought Jim came off overly partisan and rabid, but I think his transformation is symptomatic of the change that occurs in many polical junkies, on the right and the left, during a presidential campaign (Jim's recent participation in the presidential campaign as an advisor for Huckabee has probably been a contributing factor to his greater adversarial posture of late). You seem to be arguing that I can't analogize Jim's behavior with that of certain left-wing bloggers, because David Corn didn't seem as unhinged as Jim during this diavlog. If only all pundits were as consistent as David! But many of them, on all sides of the spectrum, are not.

2. You argue that the left side of the blogosphere's change in attitude towards McCain is justified, because he's no longer a "maverick," etc. However, most of the examples you mention are positions that McCain has long held (when hasn't McCain boasted of his participation in the Reagan Revolution or supported an increase in troops in Iraq?), or "flip-flops" like his wooing of evangelicals that (1) are done by every single politician and (2) occurred well before liberal attitude towards McCain began to change. Well into the Republican campaign, when McCain seemed like a much better alternative to many liberals than Giuliani or Romney, you would read left-wing bloggers praising McCain's integrity and hear Democratic presidential candidates say "I agree with John McCain that..." But only now, in the spring of 2008, with McCain the Republican nominee, is he labelled a war-monger or a hypocrite? Come on.

3. I agree that the recent news coverage of McCain has been more positive than the two Democratic candidates (though they have covered his gaffes for a day or two, and we shouldn't forget the unsourced "McCain is screwing a lobbyist" story that the New York Times inexplicably ran). But that's mainly because he has the nomination wrapped up while the Democrats are in a dogfight, so the media is going to pay a lot more attention to Hillary and Obama's gaffes than those McCain makes. That will surely change in the general election.

4. I think you're getting way too worked up about the injustice of the recent negative media coverage of Obama. Let's not forget that less than two months ago the media pundits were arguably his biggest supporters, comparing his speeches to those of MLK and RFK, portraying the Clintons' campaign in South Carolina as quasi-racist, and generally treating Hillary as a cold and out-of-touch bitch. He's getting a bit rougher treatment now, when he has no chance of losing the Democratic nomination, but do you really think the media isn't going to start covering him more favorably in the general election? Yeah, McCain may be more willing to talk to the media, but Obama's young and hip!
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:48 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Zeitgeistial Straws in the Wind

Elvis:

Many good points, and I agree with your overall take. A few quibbles:

Quote:
You seem to be arguing that I can't analogize Jim's behavior with that of certain left-wing bloggers, because David Corn didn't seem as unhinged as Jim during this diavlog. If only all pundits were as consistent as David! But many of them, on all sides of the spectrum, are not.
You're right that many others have become as unhinged as Jim seemed in this latest diavlog, but I still maintain that the comparison is less than sound. Given a whole universe of fruit, there are a lot of non-apples that one could pick.

(I am going to let that strained metaphor stand as punishment to self.)

I just think it made more sense to compare Jim to David, that's all.

Most of your point #2, where you argue that McCain has become more of a target now that his even more unsavory challengers for the nomination have been disposed of, is correct. I agree that he's been consistently pro-war, in particular. Still, I maintain that McCain continues to dine out on erstwhile positions. His former attitude about evangelicals, for example, tends to give the MSM an excuse to imply that they don't really think his new embrace of them is meaningful. Another example is his flip-flop on torture. This anti-Bush stance gained him a respect from a lot of people on the left, including me, and rightfully so. But he no longer stands up against torture nearly as unambiguously. Same for his previous stance against Bush's tax policy, and his new position of supporting it. There really is something to the charge of hypocrisy, and it's doubly worth making, since the MSM tends to cling to his past maverickiness as though it still exists.

Your point #3 is right, especially the part about the Dems still being in a nomination battle, while McCain has won his. I do want to point out that as much as I hate the overuse of this expression, that one NYT story about McCain and the lobbyist is the exception that proves the rule. That is, he got one piece of critical news coverage (as opposed to opinionating), and the uproar was deafening. I don't want to argue the merits of that article. My sense is that it went through too many lawyers, and the editors should have cut the sex scandal part out once they saw what was left. My point is, it was one story, and the backlash lasted a week. We have not seen any other major news stories examining McCain in a critical way since.

By contrast, the MSM has long had a pattern of covering some triviality regarding Obama, and then keeping it alive with endless thumbsuckers having to do with "does this latest controversy mean the end of the Obama campaign?" Additionally, outcries from the left never make the MSM back off the way they do when the right makes a stink.

Which leads me to your point #4. I agree that some in the punditocracy were enthralled with Obama early on. However, I'd say that most of these people took criticism of this leaning far too much to heart. As is all too often the case, the pattern reappeared: the right criticizes the MSM for "liberal bias" and the MSM overcompensates in reaction.

I've gone on longer than "a few quibbles" justified. Let me repeat that I agree with your larger view on the whole situation.
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Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-17-2008 at 01:51 PM..
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