September 03, 2004
a scripted infomercial to shift the undecided public's perception of the
beleaguered President with scattered servings of redmeat for the faithful.
Of course the whole point of these conventions is to provide a particular
party's interpretation of the stakes of the race and the quality of the other
candidate, but I don't think any objective observer could deny that the GOP
took spin to a whole new level this week. According to the GOP, Kerry and the
rest of the Dems want to create a special veto seat in Congress for the UN,
change the national language to French, and install a special Hugs Department
to combat terrorist attacks (of course after they occur).
I'm not sure who buys this sort of crap, even right leaning moderates aren't
that gullible, but my fear is that, like smear, tactics these sort of
distortions have the ability to stick, despite the fact that everyone knows
that they are b.s.. The fact is that such lies in the end work and when backed
into a corner, even a sitting President will resort to them (he's had good
practice with this of course). The reality of this depresses me.
My convention watching was exclusively with PBS. I like Jim Lehrer and David
Brooks and Mark Shields are pretty decent pundits. The main reason I stuck with
PBS was probably more because that was my only option for full coverage. While
I'm a huge news junkie, I'm also a poor grad student so cable ain't an option
(why the hell is it so expensive?!).
So yes by the end of the week I could barely hold back the urge to knee David
Brooks in the balls and Ray Suarez get creepier and creepier by the minute, but
out of some need for continuity I stuck with PBS even when the other networks
joined in the coverage.
Not known for their humor, the PBS team provided probably the best comic relief
of the week after Bush's speech with a hilarious tongue and cheek analysis of
the balloon drop. Lehrer went on for about two minutes detailing the
preparation, manufacturing, and bio-degradability of the balloons, and Brooks
chimed in that despite the mediocre performance of some the Republican speakers
the GOP balloon drop was in striking contrast to that of the DNC. Shields
suggested that though we may have to wait a few days for poll results, this
balloon factor might give Bush the edge he needs. This leaves the possibility
this elelction might be decided by the balloon bump. Did anyone else catch that
exchange? It really was pretty funny; a fitting end to such a silly week.
The Daily Show out does itself again with this amazing mini-documentary on
Bush's 1st term. [Can't find the direct link, go to the video page and
play "Bush's Words']
This is pretty funny too: Pleasure Boat Captains for Truth