Sunday, January 13, 2008

Baiting and the Peril of the Democratic Party

There's nothing that Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, Howie Kurtz, Chuck Dodd, Faux Noise, and their corporate masters would like better than to see Democrats collapse in a sex/race feud.

Listening to a snippet this morning of Blitzer interviewing prominent former Senator Tom Daschle, now Obama campaign adviser, I was struck by two things. Although the adviser repeatedly emphasized that the public is sick of he said/she said, Wolf ignored him and, over and over, pressed for answers on he said/she said, including Bill Clinton's "fairytale" critique and Hillary Clinton's comments about LBJ and MLK. And despite his protests to the contrary, the Obama guy delighted in taking what he hoped would be hits at Clinton on, guess what, he said/she said.

These two candidates must understand that news media like controversy--real or contrived--and that their corporate owners have a dog in this fight and it isn't a Democrat. It's time for a big WAKE-UP CALL to both Clinton and Obama, on equal terms, with equal emphasis, saying, "DO NOT RESPOND TO HE SAID/SHE SAID BY RACE- AND SEX-BAITING. PERIOD."

It's going to be tough because the media keep inventing controversies and distorting especially the Clintons' statements.

Who with two sober brain cells to rub together can be offended by the statement that it takes a president to translate grassroots movements into legislative and regulatory change? Who except folks with chips on their shoulders would hear in that obvious fact of life a slam at Martin Luther King, Jr., particularly when it came from the mouth of one of the most pro-African American politicians in US history?

We, too--we voters--absolutely cannot allow the collective MSM (mainstream media) to dictate this election, whether by running unflattering photos of Ms. Clinton (itself a sexist act because of the disparate value assigned to older men vs. older women), or by picking a let's you and him fight battle between the two leading Democrats in order to divide and conquer the Democratic vote.

We're watching media anchors and spokespersons attempt to do exactly this. Unless Clinton and Obama figure this out and find a greater interest in shooting it down than in trying to make personal points from it, we're going to have a problem.

You can't ride a tiger without being in a very dangerous position.

Let's take a moment to visit the websites of the leading commentators, media, and candidates to let them know we're onto the race- and sex-baiting and want it to stop NOW. Let's start with GOP pimp Tim Russert. A, there were no "tears." Stop repeating the lie, as you did this morning on MSNBC, because it's a lie. B. Stop repeating Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s odious smear, as you did this morning on MSNBC, because it's a smear. Your job is to report fact, not haul around partisan garbage.