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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

THE SPIN MASTERS

Looks like Republicans are running short of ammunition for their smear tactics. Yesterday in Mainstream Politics in Debate Central tommyjohnson44 made the fatal mistake of trying to smear the New York Times by accusing them of lying about John McCain. As “proof” of his allegations he offered a link to one of those Republican tabloids that spin the truth until it’s unrecognizable. At issue was the article in the Times that recently drew fire from all the talking heads: For McCain, Self-Confidence on Ethics Poses its Own Risk.

As you can see by the title, the piece had little to do with McCain’s sex life but, rather, focused on his sometimes reckless disregard for the public image he’s managed to create in the minds of his constituents. It seems McCain would like people to believe that he’s a man of integrity and ethics – a hero in the struggle to halt the free flow of “soft money.” He’s even criticized members of his own party for taking what could be seen as bribes from special interest groups – free dinners, vacations, the use of private jets, etc. Yet a cursory glance at McCain’s personal life would cause the average person to question his role on the Senate Ethics Committee.

The piece offers a long list of behaviors that seem to contradict McCain’s public position on the role of lobbyists in Washington. My personal favorite is their account of the incident at the Willard Hotel where dozens of lobbyists were invited to a fund raiser for McCain’s 2000 bid for the White House. When Bush supporters gathered outside the building to mock the event, McCain’s team responded by pinning buttons on the lobbyists' shirts that read “McCain voted against my bill.”

The central argument of the piece is that McCain has grown so confident in the ability of his public image to deflect criticism that he pays little attention to the blaring contradictions he sets up with the company he keeps. His relationship to Vicki Iseman is offered only as an example of how he recklessly undermines his otherwise impeccable reputation as a man of ethics.
But, as you undoubtedly already know, neocons have a tendency to zoom in on anything that seems to suggest sexual impropriety, even if it's only a remote association. That’s about the only topic their limited intellects can handle.

So it’s no wonder that tommyjohnson44 failed to read the article and chose instead to rely on the Republican spin machine to give him the “facts,” namely that the Times had accused McCain of having an extramarital affair. In all fairness, I must say that the authors of the piece could’ve avoided any confusion had they chosen to mention Iseman in a later paragraph. But given their short attention span the neocons would’ve stopped reading after the first paragraph and missed the Iseman mention altogether, which brings to mind the oft repeated question on the part of one Paltalk chatter, kcgentz – Why oh why are republicans so stupid?

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1 comments:

Jesus Claus said...

McCain largely gets a pass from the media. His ethics problems are far greater than just the Keating 5. And look at his recent vote AGAINST banning torture!

The media is supposed to LOVE examples of hypocrisy from politicians, and yet on this issue, there was hardly a murmer about McCain, a tortured POW< voting AGAINST banning torture.

I just hope the media gets in gear for the general election, and gives McCain the scrutiny he deserves.

JC

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