Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Media's Short Memory (Updated)

With all due righteous indignation, The Washington Post reminds us:
It's hard to recall a time when either major party asked voters to accept a nominee with a thinner record.
I don't know--is it really all that hard, or are they just not really trying.

Jennifer Rubin tries to give some helpful pointers:
Well, on one level this is true. She will have no choice and the knives have been sharpened. But on another is comical. Have they demanded an accounting of his [Obama's] claim that Bill Ayers was a “guy in the neighborhood”? Have they queried Obama on his legislative record and the missing documents from his years in the Illinois state legislature? Did I miss it when they demanded a list of his law clients or his actual medical records (or Joe Biden’s for that matter) rather than a one-page letter from his doctor? No to all of these, of course.
In another post on media hypocrisy, Rubin quotes from The Wall Street Journal about the media claim that they want a maverick--
Yet when he acts like McCain and picks a maverick reformer in his own mold, his former media cheering squad turns on him for not conforming to Beltway mores and picking someone they’ve all met 10 times in the CNN green room. They want a VP to be a kind of parliamentary choice, someone they have already vetted, someone who’s made them laugh with insider jokes at the Gridiron dinner. The Beltway class whines constantly about how it wants fresh voices in politics, but we guess this means a first-term Democratic Senator rather than a first-term Republican Governor from some godforsaken U.S. state few of them have ever been to.
The media must be very thankful to the Republicans for this unique opportunity. After all, they have never had this kind of chance to scrutinize a candidate with no real record before...

Update: Along similar lines is the following 'fantasy' by Claudia Rosett about Sarah Palin's upcoming speech at the convention:
I don’t know what Sarah Palin is going to say. But I am trying to imagine the effect it would have if she stood up before the crowd and declared the following:

There are a few more things you need to know about me. As a troubled teen-ager, I myself used cocaine and marijuana (yes, I inhaled), and as an adult, I attended and took my family to (and my inspiration from) a church where the preaching included hate-speech about America and assorted ethnic and religious groups. In my business career, before entering politics, I had talents that allowed me, simply by reading the newspaper, to earn a 10,000% return on a $1,000 investment in cattle futures in the space of 10 months. While holding elected office, my experience included the pursuit of assorted adulterous liaisons, including intimate activities in my landmark government office with an intern less than half my age, though as I regard it, I did not have sex with that person (depending on the meaning of “is”). When I got caught, my spouse denounced my critics as members of a vast political conspiracy. I could add a great deal more to this list (though please remember that when I got caught taking home state silverware, I eventually did send it back), but let us now turn to the mighty issue of the hour…

That scene, of course, is fantasy. Sarah Palin won’t say these words, because they do not apply to her. But the activities listed here do apply, as a quick compendium, to the three most prominent political figures (the politicians themselves, not their children) who paraded across the stage at the Democratic convention in Denver last week — to wild ovations from the crowd.

Somehow, the awkward moments of Barack Obama, and Hillary and Bill Clinton, rank as pardonable and ultimately unimportant in the eyes of many of the same folks who would now pillory Sarah Palin as unfit for office … because her 17-year-old daughter got pregnant and plans to marry the father and have the baby.

Does the term 'double standard' apply when there was no standard used to begin with?

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