Thursday, September 02, 2004

Fwd to Kerry Camp 

Giuseppe Abote writes:

Jesus Christ, who writes these headlines?

"Cheney, Miller take the fight to Kerry"

I suppose we're fighting Kerry in New York now so we don't have to face him at home in Kansas. And undoubtedly America and the world will be safer with Kerry out of power.

Obviously Kerry needs to get media coverage back around to the important questions of this election, e.g., who is competent to win the war against al Qaeda, who can restore America's respect in the world, who understands the struggles of middle-class workers, and so on. This has to happen soon. We are entering Bush-Gore territory here--that locker-room mentality is setting in among many journalists who are bored and pent-up and looking for someone to haze.

Perhaps what Kerry should do is turn his boat into the fire, as he often says. But it is crucial here to recognize that the enemy fire is actually the MEDIA now and not, as it may seem, the Bush campaign. Bush is just doing the nasty shit he always does and will always do; why isn't the media calling him on it? Do they know no shame? Well, in fact, the good news is that the media knows shame intimately. Today's television personality is an insecure, lazy, attention-hound who is forever torn between sucking up to the people he covers and destroying them.

What I propose is this. Tomorrow morning Kerry announces that he is very disappointed that MSNBC persists in likening him to a terrorist in its headlines (and in putting up Stalinist polls in which respondents can choose between feeling "reassured" or "moved to support Bush" by Giuliani's speech full of lies). Thus, no more access for MSNBC. Indeed, no more press access for NBC and CNBC and Univision, either. And then he will reward those media outlets (if any) who correctly point out the steady stream of falsehoods issuing from the death-altar in Madison Square Garden. Would it work? Would the major media somehow shape up their act in order to maintain their access? It's a thought, at least.

At any rate something needs to be done directly about what MSNBC is doing here, which is absolutely unacceptable. No doubt lots of other major journalists need to be publicly called out as whores, as well. Gore should have done this. Part of what made his performances in 2000 so painful was the way he acted as though the media didn't quite exist, or at least existed at a sober, deliberative remove from public opinion and the events of the campaign. Of course, as was obvious, they were actively shaping public opinion and altering the course of the campaign. And there was no accountability! Bottom line, the media beat Gore, not Bush. (Well, yeah, I know nobody actually beat Gore.) Kerry cannot allow this to happen again.


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