Thursday, January 15, 2009

Victimology

Sarah “Media Hate Me” Palin, keeps on keepin’ on. On the day her selection was announced, I received no less than three phone calls from Republican/conservative friends of mine telling me the election was “over.” I guess they didn’t realize at the time how right they were. All we heard about for a week was Sarah “Media Hate Me” Palin and before we even knew how many kids she had, we were force-fed that tried & true GOP narrative: the media is out to destroy us.

Good to know this skipping record lasts far longer than 15 minutes.

For the right wing, whose grandest entertainers get paid by saying the other side is consumed with the playing the victim, these folks sure do get tied in knots over squishy media types. It takes a serious and debilitating kind of defensiveness to consider Katie Couric the enemy at the gates. It takes a serious victim mentality to hear a question like “what papers do you read,” and respond by wetting yourself like a drunk co-ed at a national championship game.

What makes it even more cringe-worthy is waiting to say something about it later after you’ve had time to think up a response.

"Oh, yeah, and another thing....."


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7 comments:

Dante said...

Tell you what Pat, you tell me the last time something absolutely absurd was reported as news that negatively affected a Democratic candidate.* Those media accidents keep happening almost exclusively in the Democratic Party's favor. If the media isn't out to destroy them, then Republicans have certainly had a very very very large stretch of bad luck as far as reporting events in concerned.

* For examples of Republican mishaps, an unsubstantianted report that Palin didn't know Africa was a continent or even some very fake National Guard documents reported as fact.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

As long as you consider "the media" to include only the groups of people who are critical of Republicans, your definition is absolutely correct.

The first media report I heard about Palin's baby/grandbaby controversy was to debunk the rumour.

The first media report I heard about the Africa/continent comment was after the election quoting people in the Republican campaign.

People's view of the media is generally colored by what they see, and psychologically we pay far greater attention to those things that shock us or make us mad.

We don't hear reports about a plane landing safely, but if a plane crash lands in the Hudson River...

Dante said...

Just because you didn't personally hear it doesn't mean it wasn't out there. Doing a quick google of "Palin Africa" turns up stories as far back as early November.

I'm still waiting for a counter example. Anything absurdly stupid that was reported as fact about a Democratic candidate? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Frye?

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I looked at that Palin+Africa google search too.

And you're right, the stories did come out in early November. As in, November 5th and November 6th, etc.

Amazingly, this conincides nicely with the fact that the election was held on November 4th, which still puts those reports, originating as recriminations by angry GOP campaign staffers after the fact.

And there is a HUGE difference between the media reporting "A GOP staffer claims today that VP Candidate Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent..." and the media report "VP Candidate Sarah Palin Does Not Know Africa Was A Continent."

So if we're opening up the parameters to include the media reporting the fact that somebody somewhere said or claimed something bad about a Democratic candidate before the election, then I will have the google reports along directly.

Dante said...

"So if we're opening up the parameters to include the media reporting the fact that somebody somewhere said or claimed something bad about a Democratic candidate before the election, then I will have the google reports along directly."

Please do. I'll be interested to see what you come up with.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

There are plenty. It took only a few moments with Google to get these links:

Nancy Pelosi’s self-importance demands military jet for her and her lazy staff.

John Edwards Pays A Lot for Haircuts. (Sort of a pre-cursor to the Palin wardrobe fiasco.)

Caroline Kennedy is royalty, and isn't qualified for the Senate because she is like Sarah Palin. (There are dozens of stories on Kennedy = Palin.)

John Kerry's wartime medals were awarded suspiciously.

Obama pals around with Ayers, and has a birth certificate problem.

So there's enough to go around. I tried to limit my search to only those outlets that were MSM-like, and had I included blogs & the major right wing websites, there would have been much, much more. But, I guess those outlets still don't count as "media" yet.

What confuses me is how often Democrats have to constantly defend themselves against fantastic claims, like the existence of their birth certificates, their professed religion, and their awarded medals of military service and Republicans get mad when they give a terrible interview and people talk about what a terrible interview it was.

Coulter points this out even today on Rush radio = "B. Hussien Obama" and the President-Elect's middle name has been a constant quip online and on radio (again, not considered media for a discussion like this). All because one analyst somewhere in the way back had the audacity to say it may not be an advantage to have that middle name. I mean, hell, I don't go by the name Cousin P. Nicholas From Georgia, do I? You go by "Dante" and it was years before I realized that wasn't your given name. But in the non-media, Hussien is an issue because the MEDIA doesn't repeat it every chance they get.

However, I live in a state that can relate, for we have an important statewide official who operates under the moniker "Bobby" even though his REAL FIRST NAME is Piyush, and "Bobby" isn't even part of his name. And the media - even the national media - seems to let that slide, even though he is a Republican.

Dante said...

First off, your very first link isn't where someone said or claimed something. They had actual documentation. And it was really real documentation. Besides, the only thing stupider than the Ayers and Rev Wright stories were Obama's responses to them. Those stories didn't get any sort of mainstream traction until after Obama claimed Ayers was just a guy in his neighborhood and that Obama had no idea the reverend of his church was a complete and total whack job. Both were very obviously lies told when there was no real reason to lie. The stories probably should've died earlier than they did but when you have a Presidential candidate giving fishy responses that don't add up, people are going to keep following the story.

The John Kerry story listed is also based mostly on documented fact. Kerry's medals didn't add up and someone investigated that. Like the article mentioned, the cause was a Naval clerical error. The only place the article really went astray for that was when HW Bush went off on Kerry's testimonies, which don't fit the actual story but are a well-documented fact.

For Caroline Kennedy, did you really reference a blog and a political cartoon? There are some real stories out there but nobody got vicious until after her um you know like uh interview. She deserved everything she got after that. Political leanings or not, a reporter has mouths to feed and they're going to take the easy stuff (see Al Gore's Presidential debates as an example).

I like where you were going on Edwards but I also thought the Palin wardrobe stories were fair game. The McCain campaign was where the Palin-is-down-to-earth angle came from. If someone can slap their hand over it, then good for them. Still, that was entirely based on rumor. Good show.

Pelosi is a prime shining example of what I asked for. It was very poorly sourced and sounded a bit too wonky to be reported on without at least something more substantial behind it. Bravo, pat. And it was reported without the slightest inclination that the story may actually be crap. I will concede my point over that one.