Sunday, September 7, 2008

I... I just can't talk right now

During the last presidential election, a family member I'd rather not call out was helping me out by babysitting the kidlet for a couple hours. It was the wife's first work trip since I took over childcare, and my first multi-day swing flying solo, so my nerves were understandably thin.

When I came back home after a few glorious hours of freedom, the babysitter informed me she had turned away a Kerry canvasser earlier, indicating no interest in funding his ads.

I tried to find a middle ground to send the babysitter away gracefully, muttering something about "Yeah, I wish they'd all just stop with negative ads, especially third parties like these Swift Boat wackos."

(Y'see, I was naive enough to believe a Republican could clearly SEE the hypocrisy of supporting Bush, who AT BEST was a barely adequate Guardsman, by attacking Kerry's ACTUAL REAL SERVICE record.)

But the babysitter expressed support and interest in what the Swift Boaters had to say, to which I expressed outrage (thin nerves, recall), as they had been pretty seriously undercut pretty much everywhere.

"Oh, yeah, well, where?" the babysitter asked.

"Everywhere!" I (I'll be honest here) squawked. "CNN, MSNBC, the networks...!"

"Well," the babysitter said, "those are all pretty liberal."

I stopped dead, dumbstruck, like I had just been solidly smacked across the snout with a rolled-up newspaper. Because, here I was a progressive that saw these media outlets all, everyone on that short list and so many more, in the pocket of corporate interests and cowed by the administration.

Um, did I say cowed? Those droopy-eyed mutts lapped up whatever bullshit line they were fed and fell on their backs asking for belly rubs. Ooh, nickname me next, Mr. President!

And yet here was the babysitter, proclaiming them liberal shills not to be trusted.

The Right has spun this narrative of the "liberal media" for years. And it's fucking nonsense. Conglomerate-run corporate mass media? Liberal? Please. Doesn't Rupert fucking Murdoch own half of it?

Does such a thing as progressive media exist? Yes. Of course. You can easily find the people that work for such outlets by following the smell of mace. But this monster of the "liberal media" is a myth cut from whole cloth, in which the Right casts all dissent as coming from fey intellectuals with a grudge against business and The God-Blessed America TM. (It's just one small part of the way the Right has so sufficiently shat upon the word "liberal" that even I don't want it attached to me, usually choosing "progressive" and feeling a bit shamed for being pushed to it.)

And now they're dragging it out again to justify keeping Palin away from reporters, at least for a "few more days."

So we get this vintage bullshit from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis:

"Why would we want to throw Sarah Palin into a cycle of piranhas called the news media that have nothing better to ask questions about than her personal life and her children?" he asked.

"So until at which point in time we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment."

Are you kidding me? A "cycle of piranhas" would have been asking the administration every single fucking day for the last six years, "So, any WMD yet? Any proof of that al Qaeda-Iraq connection? Anything? Any good reason yet for American blood and tax dollars disappearing into the desert? Anything? Beuhler?"

Pirahnas? Wait, isn't she a barracuda? That's not a fair fight?

How about this? For however long you won't let reporters talk to Palin, don't say shit about Biden. Nothing. Forget his name.

Either that, or let her talk. Because the truth is, she took the gloves off in her speech. If nothing else, the big "fuck you" she gave community organizing, which far beyond being just crucial to the survival of democracy was in fact that within which the democracy in which we currently live was born (the Tea Party wasn't an Executive Order), was a call to bring it.

Hey, Palin! May I call you Sarah? No? Ms. Madame Governor Pitbull it is. Listen, you got the chance to take your shots, you got the big hurrahs, but was that all just WWE bullshit, or are you going to come out and take some questions without whining about the big, mean, liberal pirahnas?

Oh, and listen, just parent-to-parent? You don't want questions about your family? Stop identifying yourself so centrally as a MOM! I mention that I'm a dad to anybody, the dumbass at the bus stop or the cute barista I'm trying to stop flirting with, I expect them to ask about my kid. That's the way it works. Hell, identifying yourself as anything is a social request to be asked about that thing. That's why spies never say, "I'm a hockey spy!"

Don't let them get away with this fairy tale about the liberal media anymore. Somebody wants to be in a position of power like this? Find a way to talk to the people. Your asking to work for us. Sit down for the interview.

And enough with all the short skirts and coy winking, you minx. That ain't gonna fly with this daddy. Hey, can I tell you all about my kid?

Reuters: Palin to meet media in a "few days" says McCain

No comments: