This past week has been absolutely and blatantly shocking in its bias for John McCain and against Barack Obama.
John McCain, at a town hall meeting, called on a Vietnam veteran for his first question. The Vet wanted an answer to the question of why McCain had voted against increasing funding for the VA in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. McCain took offense and started whining about his awards from Veterans service organizations claiming he had awards from them all. (He does from the VFW, DAV and AL - but they are all from years ago) The veteran replied that he had received his information on McCain's votes from the VFW and IAVA. McCain got visibly angry and all but accused the veteran of dissing his (McCain's service), and then claimed credit for helping pass Jim Webb's new GI Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. He never did answer the question. (Fact check: While McCain did vote against bills containing additional monies for the VA, later on in the same sessions he voted in favor of different bills containing additional monies - but those amounts were always much less than in the original legislation. You know - I was against it before I was for it.....)
While McCain was inside slamming the Vietnam veteran, his campaign staff had a woman holding a sign that said 'McCain = Bush' cited for trespassing and removed from a semi-public space. The 61-year-old librarian was unceremoniously escorted off the property by three policemen at least a foot taller than she. When asked who had complained, the McCain people lied and said it was the Secret Service. However, it has since come to light that it was the McCain campaign. The librarian's question remains unanswered "Why would a bunch of Republicans, who elected Bush twice and McCain is their candidate now, take offense at this sign?" Final response from the FCM? *crickets*
McCain lied about naming the players of one football team (Pittsburgh Steelers) instead of the one he really named (Green Bay Packers). For one thing, the players he mentioned weren't even famous until after he got out of the Hanoi Hilton. For the other, he has stated that the Packers were the group in his written memoir, as well as in the movie and in every other time he has told this anecdote. Response by the FCM? *crickets*
McCain's chief financial advisor, Phil Gramm, announced that the American People are in a 'mental recession' and are all a bunch of whiners on the subject of the economy. McCain himself has noted on several occasions that a recession is a psychological problem rather than a real one; that his gas tax holiday, and also drilling off the Gulf Coast were purely psychological. Response by the FCM? *while noting that we probably are in the beginnings of a recession - defending Phil Gramm*
McCain, who has flipped, and flopped, and flipped so many times I can't keep track on the subject of privatization of Social Security, announced that 'the way Social Security is funded by having the taxes paid by current workers used to fund retirees is a total disaster and must be fixed'. McCain is apparently unclear on the idea that the Social Security system has been funded that way since day one - about 75 years - and it has been working just fine. Response by the FCM? *crickets again*
McCain, who is rabidly pro-life (the one issue he really has not flip-flopped on apparently) was asked a pointed question about a statement Carla Fiorina, his chief of staff made regarding the unfairness of health insurance companies paying for Viagra, but refusing to pay for birth control. The reporter posed this question directly to McCain who first 'didn't want to discuss the issue' and then, to use Rachel Maddow's words - tried to squirm his way out of his own body. He stated that he couldn't remember ever voting on anything like that (he has, several times, and always against the mandatory payment for contraception if paying for ED drugs), and then claimed that he really hadn't thought enough about it to make a comment and would try to get back to her. Response by the FCM? *other than KO/Rachel on Countdown laughing themselves silly over the incident, crickets again*
And finally, responding to a story that the amount of trade we are doing with Iran has increased exponentially, in spite of increasingly harsh trade sanctions, especially in the area of cigarettes, McCain made one of his rather lame so-called jokes (while his wife Cindy elbowed him in the back to make him shut up!) that we should send even more since that would kill a lot more of them off. Response by the FCM? *Well, that's just McCain being McCain. No harm, No foul*
And so, by the end of the week when these events all happened (and probably more that we don't know about), the FCM reported that on balance, McCain had a pretty good week, or that he 'won' the week.
How did he 'win'?
Well the big story for the Obama campaign was some comments by Rev Jesse Jackson on an open mike at (where else?) Faux Noise. Jackson apparently believed the mikes were off and said that he felt that Obama had been talking down to black people (regarding Obama's Fathers Day speech calling for more responsibility on the part of fathers) and that he (Jackson) wanted to cut Obama's nuts off.
For three days we were treated to bleeped out re-runs of the tape, followed by multitudes of mea culpas from Jackson at every venue on the planet. Jackson's own son, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. denounced his father. The Obama camp was pretty quiet on the subject and accepted Jackson's apology. But the FCM would not let it go.
The Obama campaign, nor any of Obama's surrogates, representatives, family members or anyone else even slightly associated with his Senate office, he himself or anyone else did or said anything. Jesse Jackson was speaking for himself. He says he didn't mean any harm to Obama or his campaign, but my opinion is that you hear a person's true feelings more often when they think no one is listening or paying attention than when opportunities are staged and obviously then self-censored. I believe Jackson when he said he wanted to cut Obama's nuts off. He is jealous, resentful, and angry. Obama is achieving what he could not. But that's a discussion for another day.
So, just imagine this. Insert Obama's name wherever John McCain's name appears in any one of these stories and then try to just imagine the result. It would be Jeremiah Wright amplified 100 times, and for ten times longer and 50 times louder! The truth is that Obama is not running against John McCain - he is running against the entire Fawning Corporate (right-wing) Press Corpse. And that same press corpse (misspelling intentional) is worrying that Obama not taking public financing (and the restrictions imposed therein) as somehow unfair to poor John McCain. Cry me a river!
Robert Parry at Consortium News has been doing a series of reports over the years about the development of the right-wing media. It has been a conscious effort - and in his words, the biggest illegal political campaign contribution there ever was. The FCM (his appellation) is a 24/7/365 campaign commercial for the right and whatever its issues are. If they can't find something, they just make stuff up. And it works. And it works well.
The left has spent its money working on campaign finance reform. And that does not work. Especially since the issue of this right-wing political media-machine has never been addressed.
Maybe we need to do something about that!
To read more on how the right-wing media machine came into being: http://consortiumnews.com/2008/062908.html Iran-Contra's Lost Chapter by Robert Parry from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
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Please be civil, it adds nothing to the conversation to engage in name-calling.
Please be civil, it adds nothing to the conversation to engage in name-calling.