Anti War Nostalgia

American Association of American Voters
Sep, 2005

Ever since the mainstream media’s canonization of Cindy Sheehan as the patron saint of anti-war activism, leftists have been in a state of rapture over the attention they’ve been getting. To hear them tell it, we’re witnessing a renaissance of left wing idealism not seen since the halcyon days of Viet Nam, Berkeley and Abbie Hoffman. If only they could see themselves as others seem them.

The rest of us saw hordes of angry malcontents, a lot of incoherent screaming, meaningless slogans, and hostile rants aimed at some mythical imperialist power elite. It wasn’t so much political activism as it was a romantic recreation of the good old days when angry youths took to the streets to sock it to the man. What struck me was that they still think they’re heavy business. Someone needs to tell these people that the sixties are gone, man.

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Dan Rather, Fake But Accurate?

It’s the Dead Parrot, Stupid!

American Association of American Voters
Sep, 2004

One of my favorite Monty Python episodes is the one where Michael Palin plays the blissfully-in-denial pet shop owner trying to convince dissatisfied customer John Cleese that a recently purchased parrot isn’t really dead. The sketch deteriorates hilariously as Palin tries to provide ridiculous evidence that the obviously dead parrot is absolutely alive.

I thought about that comedy bit in the wake of the Rather/CBS scandal. The similarity was delightfully amusing. Watching Rather and CBS defend a story so full of holes is like watching Palin explain that the dead parrot is only “resting.” So I’m here to declare that the news coverage of the 2004 presidential election has hereby officially achieved the status of “amusing.” Hey, sometimes you just gotta laugh.

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Swift Boats, Slow Media

American Association of American Voters
May, 2005

I sometimes marvel at the media’s transparent attempts to serve their own biases. They certainly tried their best to ignore the newsworthy allegations made by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization. For three months these Vietnam vets were everywhere making bold public statements about John Kerry’s “exaggerated claims about his own service in Viet Nam.” The media didn’t seem to notice.

On May 4, at a televised press conference, eighteen Navy combat veterans and commanders went on the record opposing John Kerry’s bid for the Presidency. These weren’t fringe nobodies with vague pasts materializing out of nowhere. They were respectable veterans that included the entire chain of command above Lt. Kerry in Vietnam. The media apparently didn’t consider them credible.

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Mainstream Media Delusion

American Association of American Voters
Aug, 2004

When is the mainstream media going to wake up to the reality that they no longer enjoy the monopoly they once commanded? For those that get it, the fact that the traditional media establishment no longer exclusively owns the news is, well, old news.

The impact of talk radio, the internet, and cable news is so plainly evident that I’m mystified that the mainstream press can somehow cloister themselves in such an obvious state of denial, as if their diminished authority were nothing but a figment of someone else’s imagination. Is it self-delusion? Professional arrogance? Maybe it’s both.

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