Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Down Cycle

Ahhh, the slow news cycle…Generally a time where everyone is looking for someone to make a big mistake, and people like me simply hope it’s not the candidate we’re backing going into the election.

However, until the debates get here (first one is happening September 26th), there’s not a whole lot going on on the surface. The really interesting stuff takes place underneath.

For example, take the latest article from Glenn Greenwald. With two regular Salon readers on the writing team, you’re likely going to see his name a lot, and with ample reason: As a lawyer-specializing-in-civil-liberties-turned-advocacy-journalist, he’s one of the rare voices in the media jungle who has no problem pointing out discrepancies, legal and otherwise, in governmental actions and the media.

His criticisms are unerringly on point. The article linked above deals specifically with the role of journalists; what it should be, and what it has become during the Bush/Cheney administration. Greenwald contends that White House correspondence during the last eight years wasn’t critical, or questioning enough. That, in order to curry favor, and gain access to the political elite, they’ve just taken whatever was dished out by the Cheney/Rove press room, and disseminated it without question.

Naturally, the people painted by this accusation take umbrage with being called out. These journalists still believe that they are doing a public service, and even though they have repeatedly dropped the ball (starting with Clinton's pre-impeachment talking points, then the Swift-Boating of McCain and the smearing of Al Gore, through WMDs and Nigerian yellow cake and beyond), feel as if they’ve done their job as professionally as possible.

Personally, I’m grateful Greenwald is there lighting a fire under their asses. It isn’t enough for our fifth column to merely be competent at best. These people are supposed to be doing a public service, and that service isn’t served by people willing to bleat the party line handed to them.
Speaking of which, what in the world happened over at the Associated Press that portions of their coverage read like sample FOX News copy?
Down cycles also leave ample time to ponder inanities like “what would be a better catch-phrase to describe the Republicans than ‘More Of The Same?’”

Obama had “He Just Doesn’t Get It” during his convention speech, in describing John McCain, though, personally I find that to be lacking in oomph.

I think a cue should be taken from the Biden speech that’s posted below: McCain/Palin – Saying Nothing New
Not that there aren’t frivolities to be found on the surface. I mean, you could always review political ads.

Take for instance, Obama’s latest foray:

Not bad. Firm debunking of the spin the right’s coming out with, and, timing-wise, pretty fast on the heels of the original McCain/Palin ad claiming they were mavericks.

No teeth, though. I’m not saying I want foaming at the mouth rhetoric; just something more than this.

It may be that the Obama campaign is waiting for another mistake from the Reps, and goodness knows the likelihood is high of that very thing happening, but, that’s a reactionary game. Another possibility is that they’re waiting to put on the afterburners after the debates are over and there’s that month-long lull in the action before Election Night.

That sort of thing would be nice, if it is in the game plan. However, there’s nothing wrong with keeping the engine humming until that time, and keeping the Reps on their toes only increases the odds of their making an “I don’t know how many houses I own” type of mistake.

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