19 April 2006

'american politics 2006'

that was the title of the incredibly stupid talk i just heard by michael barone. i like to try and hear conservatives speak relatively often because otherwise, well, otherwise i can't even begin to understand them. often i learn something valuable. in this case, however, my comprehension level actually went down.

barone endorsed the concept of 'culture war,' stated that the goal of 'the mainstream media' is to see the united states 'lose the war on terror,' and came out with the following (closely paraphrased) howler:

have you ever read daily kos? it is just so full of hate, so full of vitriol toward the right. the right blogosphere is much more focused on policing the mainstream media. i mean, if you go to freerepublic or little green footballs, you just don't see that sort of hatred.

there's a long answer too, but for the moment all i can say to that assertion is WTF!?!?!

also, mr. barone, excellent journalist that he is, clearly had not done his homework on the scholars he would be speaking to. certainly he failed to recognize any of them. two moments tied for most fun bit of the entire q&a: (1) barone presumes to lecture jacob hacker about social insurance and health care policy. hacker tries not to laugh or spit as barone smooshes facts around to suit his purposes. everyone else in the room nods bovinely, waiting for the embarrassment to cease.

(2) barone lectures a roomful of american politics specialists, all of whom have read the data and some of whom were responsible for analyzing it in the first place, on the effects of GOTV and 'media bias.' apparently all democratic 'volunteers' are paid, while all republican campaigning occurs through down-home social networks, and that is why democrats are always 'out of touch' or 'taken by surprise.' also, the primary goal of all mainstream media sources is to bring down george bush by any means necessary. that includes reporting the incompetence of the federal government response to hurricane katrina instead of focusing more carefully on the failures of local and state officials. funny, that's not what *i* remember hearing in the mainstream media.

[side note: barone believes that new orleans school bus drivers should have been required to report to work in order to drive residents to safety, rather than evacuating themselves.]

extra special bonus: gender trouble! heeeeelarious joke about hillary clinton 'throwing her broom in the ring' and two completely random remarks including the phrase 'some woman reporter.'

yicccccchhhh, i feel dirty.