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You'd think I was making it up, if there wasn't videotape. And, you know, ten years of the exact same behavior preceding it. Monday, on MSNBC:

['MSNBC Live' anchor Contessa Brewer]: It's interesting, though, because you always have this question that erupts around election time: Who would you rather have a beer with? And so, it's not just what the candidates are saying to appeal to folks -- they want to be seen as the guy or the gal next door -- but they also have to do it. So, we've seen these candidates now in Pennsylvania -- here's Hillary Clinton doing shots in a bar. And then we have video of Barack Obama tossing back a Yuengling, which, anybody who's been to Philadelphia knows they're very proud of their local beer out there. How important is the video? I mean, if -- do these pictures really speak a thousand words, Jon?

[Reuters Washington correspondent Jon Decker]: They do. And let's not forget Barack Obama bowling. You know, this cuts to "is this person real? Do they connect with me as a voter?" You know, for someone who's in a bowling league in northeast central Pennsylvania, in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, they can't identify with someone getting a 37 over seven frames.


My first reaction was the sensible one: to pray to God to please kill me, immediately. Preferably by meteor. But one of the defining characteristics of my life is that God just isn't that into me, and/or all the meteors are already spoken for, so it never works.

In lieu of divine homicide, then, I suppose the only other avenue left is to try to pry some sense from the nonsense. So here goes: what you see, above, is the defense of the petty, the vapid and the embarrassingly trivial as valid "news", worthy of actual air time. The premise goes like this: the news media reports some minor absurdity about the race. Various pundits go on television to tell Americans how the latest triviality should make them "feel". Ten times as many pundits appear to analyze what would happen if Americans actually felt that way. Then comes the man-on-the-street interviews to see if people really do "feel" that way, and regardless of what actually gets said, by how many, the hypothesis is pronounced correct, or at least "newsworthy". (Note: the definition of "newsworthy" is simply "something we felt like putting on television." This could be a story about Abu Ghraib, or a story about a cat that has learned to ride a skateboard, or a story about what Robert Novak thinks about something. It is, in other words a meaningless phrase.)

Then George W. Bush and a half dozen cabinet members in some back room somewhere authorize the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody, but we can't pay attention to that because we've all got to decide whether we want a president with good bowling scores.


Where did we get this notion that the President of the United States should be a drinking buddy? Where did we get the notion that the strongest nation on earth should be led by a folksy, easy-to-like drunk? I don't mean where did the country get this notion, I mean when did the media decide that this was a valid measure of a leader, something worth endlessly discussing, and analyzing, and tittering over? When facing down the leader of a rogue nation in a series of intense negotiations, I don't want the guy shooting pool at the corner bar, I want someone with a head for the job, for God's sake, and I don't give a rats ass if he likes buffalo wings, or bowling, or can smash an empty beer can on his head. (A point of trivia: the first President to try to smash a beer can on his head was John Quincy Adams. Unfortunately, beer cans did not exist back then, only kegs, so Adams gave himself a hell of a concussion attempting the feat.)

Yes, we all understand that, if no other information about a candidate is forthcoming, voters will attempt to divine a candidate's values, positions or general worth from whatever minor points of familiarity can be gleaned. This is human nature; this is how uninformed voters vote. But when that happens, that is a failure of our Democracy, not a strength. There is little excuse for not knowing the positions of candidates after two dozen Democratic debates and a passel of Republican ones, and when each candidate has more than an ample record of past records and statements -- regardless, though, how on earth did we reach the point where the news media themselves seize upon the trivialities and petty trinkets of the campaign as themselves as or more meaningful than the actual political positions and records of the candidates?

Yes, there are uninformed, dull-witted voters in the world, people who will decide who to vote for based on choice of beer. But why -- why, in the name of all that is holy, and several things that are not -- would the political media itself, presumably the group of people most informed about the actual issues of governance riding on each election, choose to celebrate that lack of substantive information and instead wallow in the meaningless?

What, is it a game? Laziness? Ineptitude? Stupidity? Most people who read this site know my own opinion, by now: it is a little of each of those things, but mostly it is institutional stupidity, a stupidity and vapidity enforced by a lack of corporate will or resources to fill the news day with anything more significant. Placing a talking head on television is, compared to covering any news story at all -- especially one that might require leaving the office -- free. It costs nothing more than a camera, a microphone, and the willingness to say whatever enters your head and pronounce it sufficiently pundacious.


In addition, and more troublingly, the shift in the attitudes of those that cover politics continues unabated, and with ever more ridiculous affectations. Political reporters no longer consider themselves observers, or balances to counter the powerful; they consider themselves an integral part of the political game itself. We are barraged constantly with the spin coming from every election camp -- and the spin itself is reported as the story. It is not enough even to report that spin, anymore; now the airwaves are filled with the actual spinners themselves, presenting the absurdity of the day directly to the audience without the noisome filters of reportage or fact checking or impartial rebuttal. The spectacle of debate is the story, not the thing actually being debated. The thing actually being debated, whatever it may be, is just the pointless MacGuffin around which two opposing sides can be booked to scream at each other for a few minutes between commercials.

Even torture is now nothing more than a MacGuffin for the two sides, now. Domestic espionage? Governmental corruption? An astonishing corruption of the Department of Justice itself? Merely trivialities around which two sides can be booked for boisterous, vapid debate.

Talk about elitism: when, exactly, did we get to the point where an assortment of multimillionares can vie, every four years, for the title of most folksy, and most "common", and have the attempts reported with a straight face by the most supposedly intelligent and insightful political minds available? Are we serious? Watching a set of multimillionaires competing desperately to each appear the most down to earth, the most folksy and hick, challenging each other with increasingly "common" costumes, extolling the virtues of barbecue and hot dogs and grits, admiring the local sports team in every individual state they visit; admit it, it is hilarious. It is one of the few contests the rich have, among themselves, that the rest of us get to enjoy as well, for watching a lifetime establishment insider play dress up, and watching them play act as they pretend to be what they see us as being, namely complete and utter rubes, more obsessed with our backyard grills than the fates of our own jobs -- that is a fine play indeed, if you are into truly dark humor.

But we have perfected the game. Now we can watch dozens upon dozens of supposedly intelligent, jaded political reporters tool around the country after them, reporting on their gamesmanship and faux-folksiness with earnest expressions, reporting on their latest diner visits and photographs with puppies -- now that is the game within the game. The politicians consider us rubes. The press consider us rubes, too. And so they work together to tell us how we should feel, when the play is performed for us, and how we should feel when something goes off-script, and they are even generous enough to reuse the same storylines from one election to the next, so we do not damage our poor, piteous brains by having to relearn what we are supposed to think about the elitist, effeminate Democrat, or the foreign policy gravitas-having Republican.

Good God, it is impossible to express how insulted we should be that the guardians of our discourse think this is the only political slop worth serving us.


Very well; I give up. If, as the Reuters correspondent declares, common America has no hope of identifying with someone getting a poor bowling score, then the answer seems obvious. We must quantify how much "connection with the voters" is possible, given a particular score in the sport: this will then allow us to wallow freely in our own idiocy, not bothering the pitiable higher-ups of government or the press with our incessant demands for any more substantive information or knowledge. I therefore suggest the following crude measures of a man, so that the people of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre will not be left in cruel emotional limbo, unable to find an emotional bond with their candidates.

A score of 100 should be the minimum: if a candidate can bowl over 100, after practicing for a week, that signifies that they have the minimal personal integrity worthy of office. They are suitable for heading a lesser government agency, or an ambassadorship.

If a candidate can top 150, they show true intellect, and are worthy of at least a cabinet position. 170 indicates fortitude in the face of adversity, indicating perhaps a position in the defense department is in order. 180 signifies that their tax returns are in order.

If a candidate achieves a score over 200, that means that they are faithful to their spouse. A score over 220 furthermore indicates a loving relationship, and not just a marriage of convenience. A score over 225 signals that they have the love of their children as well, and that their children are free of drugs or unfortunate homosexual tendencies.

A bowling score of 240 or above shows a candidate as capable of leadership. It also testifies to a good relationship between with their God; the presidency may be viable. 250, the typical score of devout Protestants, cinches the deal, indicating God loves them back. A second term may be in order.

A score of 260 indicates competent fiscal management abilities; if they achieve this score on a league night, managerial competence is also likely. Bowling an impressive 270 is a sign of great foreign policy capabilities, possibly including past war hero status. At 280, you can expect a balanced budged to be achieved, as well as at least one great speech about the evils of communism.

A score of 290 will win a war, probably without a nuclear exchange.

And what of the perfect game, the elusive 300? Ah, my children, that indeed shows true greatness. In the entire history of the Republic, only one President has been a 300 bowler: none other than the Emancipator, the great Abraham Lincoln himself.

Because it was Abraham Lincoln's hard-fought perfect game, achieved in the dead of one cold and bitter winter's night, that allowed him to free the slaves.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  And her campaign, strange fruit. nt (3+ / 0-)

      There's no reason to become alarmed, and we hope you'll enjoy the rest of your week. By the way, is there anyone here who knows how to run a government?

      by iconoclastic cat on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:21:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can small town folk be 'elitist' (22+ / 0-)

      I mean seriously, if the fact he cant bowl pisses them off or makes him unworthy, what makes that position honorable?

      how is it fair to throw San Francisco under the bus to pander to Pennsylvanians?

      are we treating small town people like unquestionable saints, that looking down on someone who can't bowl is okay, but talking about their guns is not?

      •  btw if anyone agrees with me (6+ / 0-)

        I would love to hear an extended rant/diary from anyone who like me, has had extended stays in small towns, and who respects them, but also refuses to pander and pretend like they're somehow the epitome of patriotism and cannot be questioned.

        •  That's would be interesting... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mcmom, MikeTheLiberal, beltane

          I've been living in small towns for the last 20 years. I grew up in a big city. There are differences, but the contrasts aren't as stark as some like to suggest.
          I have a problem with the patriotism crap anyway. It can be mindless and shallow.

          "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed" Mahatma Gandhi

          by Kairos on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:58:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've never been in a small town. (0+ / 0-)

            Having no personal experience to draw from, I must conclude from the cable news shows that people in small towns are basically insane idiots who base their votes on bowling scores, beverage preference, and blatantly patronizing pandering on non-issues. I hope I never have to go anywhere near one of these "small towns" filled with dangerously stupid people.

            miasmo.com If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

            by miasmo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:32:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As long as you stay away from (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miasmo

              television pundits and newsrooms, I think you'll be pretty safe.

              Actually, "small towns" as such would be a pretty safe place to hide out from these people.  I'm thinking that they wouldn't be caught dead in one (unless it was for a very quick photo op and then they go back to their dens).

      •  good point (4+ / 0-)

        hadn't really thought of it that way, but we do seem to elevate "small town America" as the epitome of our country.  Wonder why that is?

        Don't most live in urban/suburban/exurban areas of the country now?

        "Hope" is the thing with feathers-that perches in the soul-and sings the tune without the words-and never stops-at all. Emily Dickinson

        by juslikagrzly on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:38:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  People are in Love with the Rockwell Images (4+ / 0-)

          And, having grown up in real BFK "fly over country" (45 minute driving distance from any town of decent size), there is no such thing as the Rockwell images.

          "The future ain't what it used to be." George Carlin

          by CityLightsLover on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:52:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it is such a false image (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MikeTheLiberal

            that "small town America" is somehow the keeper of all that is good and evil lives in the city.  Weird.  

            "Hope" is the thing with feathers-that perches in the soul-and sings the tune without the words-and never stops-at all. Emily Dickinson

            by juslikagrzly on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:02:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  H. L. Mencken said it first: (9+ / 0-)

            "As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

            •  Best line of the day, KingOneEye. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MikeTheLiberal

              "This is not our America and we need to take it back." John Edwards.

              by mcmom on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:57:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So democracy sucks? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MikeTheLiberal

              That is the conclusion of that quote. I would argue the opposite: It is the lack of democracy which gave us a moron like George Bush.

              The type of political coverage that Hunter so aptly describes is the result of plutocracy, not democracy. When media sources are monopolized by the very small class of hyper-wealthy elites, is it any wonder that the presentation is one that facilitates a monopolization of the relevant information and analysis necessary for meaningful political choices, while we unwashed masses are given the irrelevant crumbs - bowling scores, beverage choices, haircut costs, etc.? Here are the rules in our very undemocratic system:

              a.) Billionaires pick available choices based on issues like trade policy, tax policy, corporate regulations, budget priorities, etc.

              then...

              b.) we get to decide which of the two we'd rather have a beer with. [Newsflash: You're never going to get to have a beer with the President.]

              The partial democratization of information and online fundraising enabled by the internet has helped the situation somewhat, but the modus operandi of the corporate media is still one which promotes the election of corporate-friendly morons like Bush and McCain. Don't blame democracy. The only problem with democracy is that we don't have enough of it.

              miasmo.com If you're not a liberal, you're a dick.

              by miasmo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:54:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Well, because most immigrants from (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bustacap

          northern Europe came from urban areas where they were unable to succeed.  Then they arrived in urban areas where they didn't succeed either, so they decided that the problem was the urban areas, not their inability to make themselves useful and adapt.
          That may be harsh, but the fact is that there's a persistent antagonism towards cities in the United States.  The latest expression of that antagonism can be seen in the destruction of the cities of Iraq, the cradle of civilization, as a model of how to wage urban warfare in the future.

          The larger question of why we have this superficial approach to politics can, I think, be answered by looking to Hollywood, the invasion of Washington by the "situation comedy culture."

          There was a concern for many decades about the demise of the film industry in the competition with television, but what seems to have happened is that the fantasy industry co-opted the TV and, from there, the representation of real life.  While Reagan continued the transfusion of public relations into the arena of political consideration, the Clinton era was really an extended not-funny "situation comedy."  That some of their best friends were the Thomasons is probably telling.  Indeed, their financing strategies are also consistent with Hollywood deal-making.

          How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

          by hannah on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:06:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem with American cities was not an (0+ / 0-)

            "inability to make themselves useful." The industrial revolution was built on the backs of slaves and impoverished immigrants. They exploited them, just like they do today, using people's prejudice against their countries of orgin (no Irish need apply) and their relative helplessness in a new country to keep them working in horrible conditions for nothing.  Young women died horribly in the Shirtwaist Factory fire because the owners kept the doors locked to keep the girls from taking any breaks.  The managers were able to save their own asses while they left the workers to burn. Kids worked in textile mills for pennies, families were crowded into unsanitary apartment slums, it goes on and on.  
            Oh no, these were terribly useful people.  So useful, in fact, that they were used, cynically and brutally used, used up and tossed aside to make other people rich.  Then the rich bastards turned around and said it was the workers' own fault for not "applying" themselves.  That is utter crap.

            People who had an opportunity to actually own a few acres back in that time, well they took it.  That meant independence, your own land, your own food. It meant a place to sleep and breathe and live and raise a family, a place free of rats and disease and violence.

            I'll also point out that before Big Agra started running everything, those small town farmers were the ones who kept the city people fed and clothed.

            Sorry, this is a pissy comment.  But I come from immigrants who farmed, and they were anything but "useless" or "unable to adapt."  My 92-year-old grandmother is made of some tough stuff, and if I told her what you wrote about her and her parents, she'd find you and kick your ass.

            "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

            by Reepicheep on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 11:36:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If beer drinking is the test... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mcmom, MikeTheLiberal

      McCain wins. His wife owns an Anheiser Busch distributor. Free beer for all.

      •  Cos it really worked out well last time out (3+ / 0-)

        Surely the closing response to this crap.

        "Who made america leader of the free world? I voted for Belgium" Eddie Izzard

        by ewan husarmee on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:58:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "I voted for President Bush because he talks (4+ / 0-)

        just like my neighbor."  This is what one of my neighbors actually told me.  

        "Would you really want your neighbor  to be President of the United States?" is what I asked him. In retrospect, the answer seems obvious.

        With all his noble qualities...man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin--Darwin

        by MadScientist on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:08:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What's with this "have a beer" method of voting? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Jumper

        It's the old, "I'd rather have a beer with Ray Romano, but wouldn't want him as President."

        "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

        by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:41:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Missed product placement opportunity (0+ / 0-)

        If the media is going to spend their time drooling over Obama drinking a Yuengling (or whatever), and do it on camera no less, don't you think that the Yuengling brewery should be eager to give some sort of contribution (suitably laundered through their employees of course) to the campaign?

        I see a brave new future before us...where candidates become in some sense only the central prop in a sea of locally prominent products, made by companies eager for national exposure.  And they'll be willing to fund the campaigns for it.

        I actually would see this as a step forward from where we are, because most of these companies wouldn't actually have any malignant policy goals that they're trying to achieve--just the national exposure for their products.

    •  Now she smoked weed? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      I thought that the Crown Royal was crossing a line, but this is incredible.

    •  A Beer With? (0+ / 0-)

      McCain, of course.

  •  Bowling, too undemocratic--auction POTUS on Ebay! (8+ / 0-)

    every dollar gets a vote then.

    Client 9 from Outer Space

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:18:13 AM PDT

  •  What a rant (10+ / 0-)

    bitter, are you?

    I am, a bit too.

    And I don't have a gun.

    January 20. 2009 cannot come soon enough.

    by Crisis Corps Volunteer on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:18:49 AM PDT

    •  Here's why I'm bitter (9+ / 0-)
      I went to MSNBC's website to complain about this and suggest that both these individuals before forced to live on $1,000 a month for the next six months and then come back and tell us what's important to us. Two headlines jumped out at me: "Foreclosures skyrocket in March" and "US food inflation worst in 17 years." Get a clue, MSNBC. These two jokers are not worth a dirty nickel. Take their salaries and instead pay a couple of unemployed steelworkers or nursing home aides making minimum wage to tell you what is really happening. I am bitter that the wealthy elites -- starting with Clinton and McBush and including every single pundit and commentator flogging this "issue" -- insult us by demeaning and discrediting the validity of our bitterness.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:54:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is why (3+ / 0-)

        I feel disappointed by the conclusion of Hunter's essay.  Don't get me wrong, Hunter's one of my favorite political writers, but in this case just as he was building up a head of steam, he pulled out the snark and went for an easy comedy finish.

        I don't see this as something to which we should just roll our eyes and throw up our hands.  This sort of "reportage" is pernicious and toxic, and there must be some way of resisting it.  If the blogs can compel Matthews to apologize on air for sexist comments, I can't believe there's no way to embarrass those who would insult our intelligence this way.  We've got to go beyond just attacking patently "offensive" comments, and show this stuff up as an equal miscarriage of journalism.  

        It's too serious at this point.  More and more is at stake, and these idiots are riding the train off the tracks.  If we sit on our collective hands and let them trivialize the race, we'll regret it later.  It needs to be nipped in the bud, like now!

        I've seen it happen here so often - FISA, Feinstein's censure.  This is more important than empty ridicule.  It needs ideas and organization.

        Yay! The top 1% likes us better now!

        by freshair2 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:20:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  funny thing about Obama and guns (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap, MikeTheLiberal

      is that Obama has pissed off people at both ends of the debate... saying the 2nd amendment does protect gun rights but it also allows the government to regulate those rights. I think (please feel free to correct me) he has been consistent on this. (Unlike Hillary who changes her position based on who she is pitching to for the day.)

  •  I don't smoke ( at all ) or drink (much) (11+ / 0-)

    but I'd like to have a cup of joe with Obama

    Swift Goat Pets For Truth

    by Amayupta yo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:19:05 AM PDT

    •  We have the millionaire pundit and reporter (6+ / 0-)

      class telling us what millionaire, but folksy, candidate we can vote for based upon their own circle jerk standards.  

      Is there something wrong with this picture?  Gone is the struggling reporter from "The Daily Planet" honestly covering the news about the candidates and the campaigns.

      What we have now is a group of elitist/corporate reporters and pundits, many of whom went to the same Ivy League colleges and universities, telling us that Obama ain't good enough.  

      And if Hillary were the only nominee, they would be tearing her to shreds over nothing as well, just like Gore, just like Kerry.  

      What will scare the crap out of them is when the people powered Obama wins the presidency, and they realize that all of their bloviating lies didn't stop the people from doing the right thing.

    •  can't we just throw the whole lot out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida

      and start over? I mean, come on.......

    •  what we need to do is this... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Libby Shaw, MikeTheLiberal

      when the media writes or discusses a topic that is just as ludicrous as the OJ story, but instead focuses on the "other" candidate...the one we are against, we need to jump all over that as well. Too many of us dogpile on, say, Hillary, when the media spends a news cycle on the color of her pantsuit, or whatever. If at least half the readers or watchers are engaged in the story(the supporters of Obama, in this instance) then the media thinks they have a winner, irregardless of the nature of the topic. We need to call bullshit bullshit, whether it's a story that could benefit our candidate or not.

      Same goes for any BS story on McCain. The media loves to pit one side against the other. That way they see an engagement in their bullfuckingshit story, regardless of the ludicrous nature of it.

      •  How do we do that? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal

        The media is the media. I don't know how you call BS, BS. How do you do that? You mean yelling at the TV like my grandpa used to do when he didn't like something Huntley and Brinkley said? Or shooting at it like Elvis?

        •  What you do (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tuder

          is go to the media's website, search for "contact us," find the email address and let it rip.  Send links to articles you've read, too, to back up your criticism.  Let the jerks know viewers are informed readers. You can write something like:  

          Joe (or whoever) why are you talking about a bowling score when it was revealed Bush OK'd torture while Cheney master minded it?  And what about the 57,000 home foreclosures?  I don't care about bowling. I want to know how our President got away with torture.  I am worried I will lose my home. Are you supposed to report the news or have I got it wrong?  Maybe your show is a soap opera and I didn't realize it.

          Or something like that.  I email the morons all of the time.  

    •  Gosh, what will voters do this year? Not vote? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida, MikeTheLiberal

      "You know, this cuts to "is this person real? Do they connect with me as a voter?" You know, for someone who's in a bowling league in northeast central Pennsylvania, in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, they can't identify with someone getting a 37 over seven frames."

      We now know (courtesy of Ellen) that Hillary can't bowl either.

      John McCain can't even comb his own hair or lift his arms.  I would think it extremely unlikely that he can bowl at all. (With all due respect to his war injuries, no matter what party he is in).

      What can this mean? Voters are going to have to stay at home and pout because there are no bowlers on the ballot?

      Why the hell is this an issue when the world is going up in flames?

  •  I always got a kick out of the who would you (33+ / 0-)

    rather have a beer with question, as it relates to Bush.  I mean, wake up America, do you really want to have a beer with an alcoholic?  And then give him the keys to the A Bomb?

    Explains much, I think, about the last 8 years.

    Hey, have you heard about that kook fringe Lib site, Daily Kos?

    by greee on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:19:34 AM PDT

  •  I think Nixon (7+ / 0-)

    once claimed to have bowled a 300.

  •  Too funny. This so-called "gaffe" has become a (16+ / 0-)

    parody of itself. Really the more Hillary's minions push this, the sillier they look. It is telling that this is all they have to hang their hats on.

  •  Time to abolish television (10+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I really think that film and video were not a good thing.

    If radio were still the major way we got our news, the media wouldn't be using looks as the most important item on a reporter's resume.

    They seem to have simply some of the dumbest, most moronic people out there delivering "the news."

  •  I'm not a great bowler. (9+ / 0-)

    I think my average is somewhere around 120. What governmental position does that qualify me for?

  •  My Morning Hunter (15+ / 0-)

    Better than coffee and a kick in the ass.

    "SNIPERS! Chelsea, you lay down cover fire while I execute this flanking maneuver! GO, GO, GO!"

    by The Termite on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:20:57 AM PDT

  •  These so called journalists (5+ / 0-)

    graduated from dummy school and got straight A's. For crying out loud, will they ever talk about the real issues like gas just went past $4 a gallon here?

    Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

    by Alohaleezy on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:21:04 AM PDT

    •  Food is getting expensive,too. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Alohaleezy, Gorette, mcmom, MikeTheLiberal

      Milk is 4 dollars a gallon.
      Eggs are 2.50 for a dozen.
      Sunscreen for children 9 to 10 dollars a bottle.
      Pasta now over 2 dollars a box.
      Children's allergy medicine (over the counter)6.50 for smallest box.
      Oatmeal 3.50 to 4.00.
      Flour now over 3.00.

      Food prices are up by at least 25%.
      And who the hell can even afford beer or wine these days?

      "How can I tell you everything that is in my heart. Impossible to begin. Enough. No. Begin." Maira Kalman from The Principles of Uncertainty

      by orphanpower on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:48:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Where do you live? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal

        Sounds cheap by Hawaii standard prices. Soda is even $2.50 a 2 liter bottle. Milk $6, butter $7 a pound. Yes, food has gone way up over here in the last year and it does all go back to fuel prices. Big Oil keeps raking it in while the little people decide between gas to get to work, food or medicine.

        Frodo failed....Bush has got the ring!

        by Alohaleezy on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:54:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My doc says, skip the milk, white flour, (0+ / 0-)

        ...and white pasta and you won't need the kid's allergy meds.

        HR 676 or California's SB-840 - the only health reform proposals worth my vote.

        by kck on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:55:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Food costs are alarming. (0+ / 0-)

        Why isn't MSM all over the inflation+recession story that is staring them in the face? Do they have "people" who do their grocery shopping? Do they have any idea of the stress that food, alone, is putting on families with kids? Is it going to take food riots in the USA, such as are occurring around the world now, to get their attention? Absolutely disgusting.

        "This is not our America and we need to take it back." John Edwards.

        by mcmom on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:08:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We need a new term for these people. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      Colbert called them stenographers, though that understates the mendacity of their pretenses.  Reportoids?

      Honest Republicans are not very bright. Bright Republicans are dishonest. There are no intelligent, honest Republicans any more.

      by ajbrown on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:56:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jon Stewart brought this up last night (17+ / 0-)

    about how we should all want our President to be an "elitist" because we want our president to be better than us.

    We need to internalize this idea of excellence. Not many folks spend a lot of time trying to be excellent. ~Barack Obama

    by Muzikal203 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:21:20 AM PDT

    •  Or maybe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal, ryan81

      rather than better than us, the best of us.

      Seems like a small difference, but... I want him to be one of us, not apart from us or different than us.  I want him to be the best because that's who we should choose to lead.

      Nitpicky, I know, but it is different - taken in the right context, Bush is better than us - at least he seems to think so - but that is not the same as being the best of us.

  •  These are the symptoms of a country (4+ / 0-)

    that has never been invaded or occupied.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:21:34 AM PDT

  •  Not much of a bowler (14+ / 0-)

    FDR wasn't much of a bowler, but he did make it onto the dime.  Amazing how things work out...

    "The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself" - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by djbender on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:21:43 AM PDT

  •  i could never be president (14+ / 0-)

    i'm a horrible bowler.  my office admin's 15 year old daughter is ready on day one.

  •  Bowling for Nukes (5+ / 0-)

    That Foghorn Leghorn-ish Gooper brought out the topic of "the button". Since the 1950's the President of the United States has had power to "push the button" and pretty much incinerate the planet. War,Peace,Taxes and the Economy as a whole kinda got a take a back seat to the simple question.

    Do you trust this person with the Power to Incinerate the Earth?

    Saying the Iraq "Surge" worked is like saying Thelma & Louise had a flying car.

    by JML9999 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:23:38 AM PDT

  •  Cat on a skateboard? (9+ / 0-)

    Now that's the kind of news we don't get enough of.

  •  I bowled a 267 last night... (11+ / 0-)

    ...on Wii.  What can I conclude about my presidential chances?

    "SNIPERS! Chelsea, you lay down cover fire while I execute this flanking maneuver! GO, GO, GO!"

    by The Termite on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:24:29 AM PDT

  •  Have hope (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, jj32

    Kerry carried Wisconsin after mispronouncing Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. At the time I thought it would be the death of his chances in Wisconsin, but it wasn't. Obama will get some benefit for being an athelete, and playing basketball, it will offset the bowling performance.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:24:30 AM PDT

  •  I'd rather shoot hoops any day than bowl - i know (3+ / 0-)

    that misses the point but there's no reason that Obama shouldn't show a little of that.

    Let's face it. He can unite the country, stop the war, and hit the open man on the give-and-go.

    This is just to say Forgive us victory tastes delicious so sweet and so cold

    by Dave the Wave on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:25:13 AM PDT

  •  Jenna Bush President (8+ / 0-)

    You can have a drink with her and she will even dance on the table for you after.

    Or was that Barbara?? I think Barbara is the wild one

  •  Let's see Hillary Clinton... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, beltane

    play baseball!

  •  They are lazy. (5+ / 0-)

    They are stupid. But most importantly, the talking heads just don't care, except about that direct deposit check.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:25:31 AM PDT

  •  I would totally have a beer (10+ / 0-)

    with Abe Lincoln.

    Most folk'll never eat a skunk, but then again some folk'll. Relentless!

    by ablington on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:25:39 AM PDT

  •  Politicians fault (4+ / 0-)

    I think politicians give them credibility by mindlessly answering their stupid questions in debates and other forums. Use that time to push back and refocus.

    It gives them credibility that they should not have. Mccain called out the NYTimes and told them go to hell, until Dems do the same thing they will continue to get treated like chumps by the media.

    Standing on the shoulders of John Brown-Ida B Wells-David Walker-Paul Robeson-Fannie Lou Hamer.

    by kiki236 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:26:44 AM PDT

    •  It's About "Access," Too. (0+ / 0-)

      "Journalists" won't get access to "high value" political sources if they ask difficult questions, so they don't ask difficult questions to get access to increase ratings to increase profits...

      "The future ain't what it used to be." George Carlin

      by CityLightsLover on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:04:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Think Arlo Guthrie (0+ / 0-)

      I'm having an "Alice's Restaurant" moment...

      Q: Ms. Clinton, my question is, 'Diamonds or pearls'?

      A: You got a lot of gall asking me a question like that.  I mean, I mean, I'm standing up here in front of the audience ... I'm standing here in front of the Group W audience, trying to talk about foreign policy, economic insecurity, outsourcing and downsizing, rebuilding our international standing, restoring human rights, bringing credibility back to our government, and you're asking me a question about fashion?

      "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

      by MikeTheLiberal on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:55:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  News = entertainment (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, Tracker, Red Bean, Gorette

    Its all about ratings and advertising revenue.

    They have decided that we want fluff with 30sec of "real news" mixed in once and awhile.

    And up next:  Sports!

  •  There is a blond somewhere (4+ / 0-)

    That has gone missing, that my friends is the real news.  Now go fetch MSM.

    We all went to heaven in a little rowboat, and there was nothing to fear and nothing to doubt. --Radiohead

    by Tzimisce on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:26:49 AM PDT

  •  Mirror-bot for president! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, bustacap

    He/she looks like every one of us!

    ...or something.

    Matt

  •  Nailed it again Hunter! (10+ / 0-)

    I so love your writing.

    It is beyond dismaying how this circle-jerk the media engages in is foisted upon us as news.  We're the lucky ones, those who have the interest, time, and tech know-how/access to find the real news, to be our own media.

    What is the rest of the country to do?  Faux news is on 24 hours a day at my mother's house.  Short of secretly installing a 'fox-blocker' I'm helpless against her belief that she is watching the "news".

    "Hope" is the thing with feathers-that perches in the soul-and sings the tune without the words-and never stops-at all. Emily Dickinson

    by juslikagrzly on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:27:52 AM PDT

    •  I've been tempted to have (0+ / 0-)

      my brother, who lives close to Mom, block Faux news too! She'd never be able to figure out how to unblock, and brother would become way too busy to help.

      "I don't think the heavy stuff is coming down yet"

      by MadMs on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 02:35:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it goes deeper . . . (5+ / 0-)

    MSNBC ran this story last night:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    "Iraq's free ride . . ."

    And that from US Senators.  We broke the place, but it's up to them to fix it, because gas costs too much.  It's no doubt a popular perspective . . . in George Bush America, the land of no responsibility.

    It aint our fault.  We wouldn't have had to destroy the place if they had had some civilization and culture . . . like bowling alleys . . .

    •  heard this talked about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      on the Ed Schutz show and it chapped my butt.  I'm sure I'm not in on the nuances of the situation since I spend my time anxiously awaiting the next "breaking news" item on my TV.

      Jeez!

      "Hope" is the thing with feathers-that perches in the soul-and sings the tune without the words-and never stops-at all. Emily Dickinson

      by juslikagrzly on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:31:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you ask the twenty something (5+ / 0-)

    to about the mid forty something crowd (i.e. the typical go out and have a beer after work crowd and/or the lets go to a bar/club student crowd), I think given the choices this year, close to 100% would choose Obama.

    If you ask a 70 year old white guy the answer may not be Obama - then again a 70 year old probably shouldnt be drinbking too much ofthe stuff anyway !!

  •  Orange Bittersgate? (6+ / 0-)

    Let's face it Kossaks.  There are no lousy bowlers in Scranton.  That is what will doom our country.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you can succeed." -Nancy Pelosi, 6/29/07.

    by nailbender on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:29:00 AM PDT

  •  CNN Breaking: CTA shuts down because it's broken (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, jj32, MikeTheLiberal, soms

    Now instead of talking about why it's always broken(lack of govt funding) let's talk about Hershel Walker and his many different personalities.

    Next on CNN

  •  I Hope Cindy McCain's Recipe Theft is... (6+ / 0-)

    deemed just as worthy of days of Punditry-dissection as Obama's decision to have orange juice.

    I mean, petty as stealing recipes might be, at least there is an infraction involved.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Unfortunately, her plagiarism has now led me to not want to drink a beer with her.

  •  We Had A Beer With Bush And He Put Iraqs Tab (6+ / 0-)

    On us.

    How about a president that bowls like shit but REALLY keeps us safe and REALLY solve our problems, just saying... is that too much to ask for this days?

    GOBAMA!

    Obama '08 YES WE CAN
    Dont Be Fooled. CHANGE Is Real And It Starts With YOU

    by DFutureIsNow on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:29:52 AM PDT

  •  Death by meteor is reserved... (4+ / 0-)

    ...for MeteorBlades.

    You'll have to make do with a hunting accident.  You could take to the field with Cheney...?

    It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you. 6 points.

    by Jaime Frontero on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:30:59 AM PDT

  •  the folksy drunk (4+ / 0-)

    the media and Washington made up this idea of the "folksy drunk" because they are elite.  they sat around one day with their cigars and 18 year old VSOP and said "I've got it!  Ya know what the voter wants?  he wants a buddy, see?  A guy that he can have drinks with."  

    so, everybody hired their PR people to make them over.  their clothes, their words, their drinks!  Wallah!  "Folksy drunk."

    Now, the elite does not understand why they can't re-package Obama for america.  Why the stuff that they throw at him doesn't stick.  the polls says it should!  

    Maybe because obama does not "play down" to the voters.  And the elite cannot bypass that direct connection being made.

    We are getting closer!  Yes We Can.

    truth, kindness, endurance, Obama '08

    by CupofTea on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:31:59 AM PDT

    •  So true (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Reepicheep, MikeTheLiberal
      The Washington media nobility are showing us that they think the United States of America is populated by frolicking peasants. Or worse yet, by moronic, beer drinking slobs who veg out by the TV, drooling over their big, fat bellies. That is what they think of us. All this overage of bowling/OJ/bittergate is nothing more than the media's collective sneer at the American People.

      If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind- J.Garcia/R.Hunter

      by beltane on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:00:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, beltane

    Rasmussen tracking poll shows Obama now leading Clinton by 9 points in the imaginary national Democratic nomination.  However, he also shows Clinton gaining 3 points in PA - from 6 to 9.  Rasmussen also shows the McCain/Obama head-to-head tightening - now down to 3 favoring McCain.  But McCain gains against Clinton - now at +7.

    The Democratic Party - Finding new and interesting ways to lose the Presidency since 1968!

    by RichM on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:32:09 AM PDT

  •  Hillary Bowled Worst Than Barack So I Guess We (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, beltane

    Are Stuck With John McCain As The Only Candidate Who Hasnt Shown His Bowling Skills

    Obama '08 YES WE CAN
    Dont Be Fooled. CHANGE Is Real And It Starts With YOU

    by DFutureIsNow on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:32:23 AM PDT

  •  Even Ernest has Pizza Logic (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, LynneK, loud zoo

    you get what you pay for.

    Just remember, you love each other, even if you don't think you do.

    by 88kathy on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:32:35 AM PDT

  •  I'm voting for... (3+ / 0-)

    the person I'd rather "duct tape a leprechaun" with.

    The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:32:51 AM PDT

  •  This morning on BBC (12+ / 0-)

    Justin Webb was discussing the race. He said "In America it seems presidential candidates have to dumb down in order to get elected."

    Some days I'm so embarrassed to be an American.

  •  memo to: Reuters Wash correspondent Jon Decker (7+ / 0-)

    Who cares what you think, a-hole?

    Report the news, dipshit.

    "Sell 'crazy' someplace else, we're all stocked up here." -Melvin Udall

    by hoof32 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:33:25 AM PDT

  •  where is the slow moving white SUV (10+ / 0-)

    that the media is following?

    Republicans are not a national party anymore.

    by jalapeno on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:34:22 AM PDT

  •  In short (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal, LynneK

    TMM

    (Traditional Manipulating Media )

    I am using my quiet voice

    by caps lock on on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:34:24 AM PDT

  •  It's to the point where (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, MikeTheLiberal, LynneK

    I simply cannot take any more of the idiocy.  I just don't know what to do.  Tune out altogether?  Stop reading anything, even on the internets?  I never, ever watch any TV news.  Ever.  Maybe it's time to disappear into my garden and my work, and emerge from the cozy little news-free nest after the election.

    So much Stupid!  Aaaaaagghhhhh!!!

    •  That is what they want you to do. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal

      Hunter asks

      why, in the name of all that is holy, and several things that are not -- would the political media itself, presumably the group of people most informed about the actual issues of governance riding on each election, choose to celebrate that lack of substantive information and instead wallow in the meaningless?

      What, is it a game? Laziness? Ineptitude? Stupidity?

      It's neither. They do this by design. They want people to tune out. They can't handle democracy where voters when making  the choice are supposed to have been properly informed.

      Restore Democracy! Denounce the GOP (Georgie's Orwellian Party)!

      by high5 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:44:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, they want us tuned in to THEM (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MikeTheLiberal

        If everyone tuned them out, they would be out of business.  They want us tuned out of real substantive information, and if not for the internets and BBC America, we wouldn't get any.  But now I find myself getting crazy over the reporting on the idiocy of the MSM that I find here and at other trusted sites.  

        Must...be...calm...

    •  If America (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MikeTheLiberal, Dorey

      buys into this bullsh*t after witnessing what buying into it meant eight and four years ago, my interest in what happens next will cease to exist. I will go into cocoon-mode and focus solely on me and my own. I will drop off the grid and try to wring out as much enjoyment as I can for what's left of the second half of my life.  

      If this is what drives the majority of Americans then the politics of this country is a lost cause. It will prove that more Americans want to be told what to do and think rather than doing and thinking for themselves.

      It will mean the original thinkers and doers are losing the battle to the easily led sheeple. It will prove the media Pied Pipers of Trivia are successfully leading them to vote based on the most trivial of reasons. Again.

      If this election is once again won or lost on trivialities, for me, it's no longer worth the fight. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and I'm ready and willing to pull the plug.

      It would be nice if my fellow Americans would break away from the pack and prove my expectations wrong this time.

      "Politics, a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Pierce

      by mentaldebris on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:19:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Picturesque" (5+ / 0-)

    Humans seem to have a talent for trivialization.  I read recently that a nineteenth-century English pastime was to admire actual landscapes for how closely they reflected predetermined ideas of what made a good picture.  The term "picturesque" was coined specifically to identify this quality.  But fear not, there was an inevitable backlash.

    I don't have a solution to propose.  My own solution is never to watch television news.  Populist mockery might work.  This kind of trivialization is hugely insulting to the very "ordinary people" it's trying to entertain.

  •  Talk About Brain Farting. Yup Lets Bowl Our (3+ / 0-)

    Future Away. BTW Why Not Play Some Poker With Osama. The One That Wins Gets To Use Nukes Against The Looser.

    Fucking Retard!

    Obama '08 YES WE CAN
    Dont Be Fooled. CHANGE Is Real And It Starts With YOU

    by DFutureIsNow on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:35:26 AM PDT

  •  I hear Abe Lincoln (4+ / 0-)

    was a riot after an all-night kegger!  And I'm quite sure that's why he was elected. Well, that and his perfect bowling score.

    I just thank God that MSNBC knows what's important to me, the alcoholic, sports-addicted voter.

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:36:22 AM PDT

  •  Jon Decker makes no sense (8+ / 0-)

    You know, for someone who's in a bowling league in northeast central Pennsylvania, in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, they can't identify with someone getting a 37 over seven frames.

    This makes no sense.  I am good at math, but I can still identify, say, with someone who is terrible at it but has to take a math class to graduate from College, because there are other things I am bad at.  Same way, I bet those bowlers out there can identify with being bad at bowling because they are bad at something else.  (btw, Obama is good at basketball but that doesn't count because basketball is a BLACK sport.  This is the "insult 40 sports" strategy I guess)  I find it hard to believe that there is anyone out there saying "If you do badly at bowling, you aren't a real American!"

    The media is so into the "who is an average guy" thing that they don't let things like not being idiotic stop them from the constant "who is more of a small-town-y average Joe real American" stuff (as if people from large cities are not real Americans).

    As for me, I would rather have a beer with, say, Albert Einstein than an "average Joe."

    •  Also, Decker presumes that (0+ / 0-)

      someone belonging to a bowling league in Scranton has absolutely no other interests, concerns, or dreams other than bowling. They cannot also be movie buffs or amateur photographers, and they are not allowed to worry about the war in Iraq or anything not related to bowling. What he is saying really, is that blue-collar workers are one-dimensional animals, stupid and unthinking. It is the media, not Obama or any other Democrat, who are the stuck-up snobs looking down their noses at their countrymen and women.

      If you plant ice, you're gonna harvest wind- J.Garcia/R.Hunter

      by beltane on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:11:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bowling is a skill... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MadMs

      Like many, many other hobbies. It would be unreasonable  to expect anyone not practiced in that skill to achieve a good score. Experienced bowlers, who have spent years trying to improve their skills, should, if anything, be insulted by the MSM's implication that BO should, with no bowling experience, come in and get a good score, as no  experienced bowler would expect BO to get a good score.  HC/MSM's reaction to the 37 is actually an insult to bowlers, as it dismisses the skills the game requires, and the years it takes to master those skills.

      This would be true of any just about any hobby: mountain biking, knitting, disc golf, bonsai, air hockey, painting, embroidery or ju-jitsu. That is, anyone experienced in those hobbies would not look down on someone who flailed in their first attempt in that hobby. On the contrary, flailing is the expected result, and one would more likely just appreciate the gumption of that person's trying something new and difficult, and giving it their best shot.

  •  Link: Psychologist on personality factors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, blueyedace2

    Research showed that Americans choose who seems to be like them, energetic, trustworthy.

    http://education.guardian.co.uk/...

    http://www.nature.com/...

    One of the psychologists involved in the study is absolutely brilliant:  Zimbardo. He did the Stanford Prison Study which could have predicted Abu Ghraib.

    Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

    by LNK on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:37:06 AM PDT

  •  Barack Obama is not Joe Sixpack (7+ / 0-)

    And he should say it loud and clear for all to hear.

    "I am not Joe Sixpack.  And neither is Hillary Clinton, and neither is John McCain.  And you won't catch me playing a character just so the media can tell you that you'd love to have a beer with me."

    Let's just nip this in the bud ok?  He doesn't have to be Mr. Average in order to represent Mr. Average's interests.  He should openly refuse to play that game.  He's not running to be anybody's drinking buddy he's running for president.

  •  You know. . . (4+ / 0-)

    When I go to a doctor, I'm not interested in finding a drinking buddy. I want someone who is intelligent, experienced, articulate and takes his/her job seriously.

    Same thing if I go to an accountant. Or a lawyer. Or pretty much any professional in any field.

    But it's clear that the President of the United states absolutely, positively must be a cross between Archie Bunker and Bo Duke.

    He must not be intelligent. Nor articulate. He must talk like a redneck idiot, preferably with a southern drawl.

    He must own lots of guns and fire them off frequently, preferably at small animals on the weekend.

    He must flannel shirts, wife-beater undershirts, and tee-shirts that say "Don't Fuck With The U.S.A"

    He must drink beer, scratch himself, fart, belch, watch porno, and listen to country music.

    He must not read books. Reading, of course, is for pussies.

    Yes, this is a real man we're talking about here. And in a world this complicated and dangerous, can we afford to have anything else?

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:38:03 AM PDT

  •  Another strike, Hunter! No gutter balls here! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, bustacap

    "Are you coming to bed?" "I can't,...someone is wrong on Dkos!" - paraphrased from XKCD comics

    by the fan man on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:38:46 AM PDT

  •  A very loooong post, Hunter! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, gardenkitty, LynneK

    If our news media put in even 10% of the time and effort into their own political reporting as you did in writing this post, then we'd no longer need you to write posts like this!

  •  This has been cleverly tailored by Dem arch (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, eru

    nemesis, Karl Rove. They have been carefully appealing to the rural voter, and this is one of the ways they've been doing it. It's also one of the few areas they can be ahead in. If you can't win by good ideas, and sound judgment, might as well go for the drinking vote.

    In 2000, a criminal became President. In 2004, we failed to remove him.
    American Democracy, 1787-2004, RIP

    by davewill on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:39:33 AM PDT

  •  I'm Pretty Anti-Social (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, LynneK

    I'd rather drink alone. When the question comes up who in history would you like to have dinner with I always think about how much I hate going out to dinner with strangers.

    "Oh no honey. Is this the night we are suppose to go out to dinner with Christ and Einstein? Can't we think of an excuse to put it off?

    I vote for the candidate who has policy positions closest to mine and is persuasive enough to see those policies get implemented. That and maybe the shoes.

  •  I Drink Your Orange Juice! I drink it all up!(nt) (5+ / 0-)
  •  Bush: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly

    The News Hour with Jim Lehrer is boring. Now let's go torture!

    AT&T considers you a suspect~

    by plok on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:40:12 AM PDT

  •  Bravo, Hunter! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, bustacap, kuulray

    Excellent in all ways.  You rarely fail to impress.

  •  Tell you what, I say we round up (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juslikagrzly, LNK, beltane

    all the media and pundits and make them prove their bowling skills to us.

    Hell, let's test how well they shoot ducks or how authentically they knock back boilermakers (points off for crossing your eyes). Let's them shoot some hoops or play baseball.

    All of those who fail have to leave the field of "journalism" because they obviously can not identify with the viewers in America. If they can't do everything that all of us everyday folk in our small towns and big cities do to absolute perfection how the hell can they know what's constitutes important news to us?

    If that's their yardstick for the office of the presidency I think it only fair that they have to measure up to the very same yardstick to "prove" they understand everyday Americans. They are not just reporting the news--they are shaping it.

    So, since it's obvious they also wield a lot of influence on our everyday life they need to live up to those exact same standards they seem so eager to demand from our presidential candidates.

    "Politics, a strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles." Ambrose Pierce

    by mentaldebris on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

  •  Real Reporters Left The Building Long Time Ago. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, LNK

    We are stuck with YES Man and YES Woman.

    YES Lets Have A Beer Stay In Iraq For 100 Years And Fuck Up Our Economy. BTW We Can Also Torture Some More People Along The Way It'll Be Fun I Promise.

    Thats What The Media Is Advocating Now. Irresponsible Government.

    I Say Time For A Change.

    Why have a beer with your "buddy McSame"  when you can have a real President Of The United States Of America

    GOBAMA!

    Obama '08 YES WE CAN
    Dont Be Fooled. CHANGE Is Real And It Starts With YOU

    by DFutureIsNow on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:41:21 AM PDT

  •  I met Obama and Edwards.....and Kerry. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap

    I'm enough of a party animal to be happy to have a beer with anybody and everybody .....even just out of curiosity.

    Superficially, on my part, I offer:

    Kerry and Obama strike me as sharing the same kind of personal shyness or reserve in their basic 'metabolism'.....dignified.

    Edwards has innate sparkle and warmth. Maybe even a bit like a puppy dog.

    Personally, I vote using the litmus test of workplace safety, environmental protection..........

    Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

    by LNK on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:42:51 AM PDT

  •  Hunter. I practically had a spasm (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, ajbrown, loud zoo

    and had to comment before finishing the whole piece.

    You said it so well, bringing out the absurdity that has developed. Is this not Marshall McLuhan's (sp?) "Media is the Message?

    ... more troublingly, the shift in the attitudes of those that cover politics continues unabated, and with ever more ridiculous affectations. Political reporters no longer consider themselves observers, or balances to counter the powerful; they consider themselves an integral part of the political game itself. We are barraged constantly with the spin coming from every election camp -- and the spin itself is reported as the story. It is not enough even to report that spin, anymore; now the airwaves are filled with the actual spinners themselves, presenting the absurdity of the day directly to the audience without the noisome filters of reportage or fact checking or impartial rebuttal. The spectacle of debate is the story, not the thing actually being debated.

    I love your word: pundacious.

    Thank God the Democrats won control of the Senate... otherwise, think of how different everything would be. -G.Greenwald

    by Gorette on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:42:57 AM PDT

  •  "Amusing Ourselves to Death" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LNK, loud zoo

    Thanks Hunter.  This could not have come at a better time.  My media class is currently debating Neil Postman's critique of TV in "Amusing Ourselvse to Death" and comparing it with Steven Johnson's recent essay "Watching Television Makes Your Smarter."

    My students are now fascinated with the idea (first clearly articulated by Huxley in Brave New World) that mass technologies of pleasure and distraction can be a form of authoritarian social control.

    Just linked to this on the class blog, quoted some of the juiciest bits, and invited student responses (with the caveat that conservatives are just as likely to blame the media for "dumbing us down").

    Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

    by Fatherflot on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:43:21 AM PDT

    •  OT, Fatherflot: media sponsorship (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fatherflot, loud zoo

      Here's an interesting point about American media---it's funded by ads......Sponsors insist that program content NOT be too emotional (not too hilariously funny and not too tragic).......because.........otherwise, viewers/listeners would be too moved to take in the sponsors' messages to buy their products.

      Have you read Eric Barnouw, BTW?

      Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

      by LNK on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:51:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LNK, loud zoo

        No I haven't heard of Barnouw.  But it sounds similar to what people like Robert McChesney and Ben Bagdikian and Jeffrey Scheuer have written about.

        Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

        by Fatherflot on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:57:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Do you post your syllabus anywhere? (0+ / 0-)

          I used to teach a course called the "Rhetoric of the News", but it's been many years.  I'd love to see what's been written since.

          Honest Republicans are not very bright. Bright Republicans are dishonest. There are no intelligent, honest Republicans any more.

          by ajbrown on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:10:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Barnouw. Everybody 'steals' from Barnouw. (0+ / 0-)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          and snippet from tribute when he died in 2001....look on the website for more about his teaching techniques.
          http://www.latrobe.edu.au/...

          He was the preeminent media historian of the twentieth century. His scores of books include The international encyclopedia of communication, Conglomerates and the media, Tube of plenty: the evolution of American television, The magician and the cinema, Documentary, The sponsor: notes on a modern potentate, and History of broadcasting. His memoir, a compelling and eye-opening journey through his amazingly rich and full life, entitled, Media marathon, was published in 1996 by Duke University Press. Just a few months ago, Erik published Media lost and found with Fordham University Press, a collection of his essays.

          Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

          by LNK on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:15:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Have them read Harris' Imperium-- (0+ / 0-)

      the Romans did it first, "Bread & Circuses," remember?

      "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

      by bellatrys on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 01:04:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does anyone really think that John McCain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, beltane

    would get a higher bowling score than Obama? I'm sorry, but the man can't lift his arms. If all that's important to these idiots is a kind of cartoon athleticism in their president, why didn't the republicans nominate Fonzie? Besides, I think he exemplifies the GOP in so many ways. Especially that "jumping the shark" thing.

    Take a look at the best Progressive T-Shirts around. Drawn by me! On sale now!

    by The Gryffin on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:43:25 AM PDT

    •  He sacrificed his bowling ability for liberty! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bustacap, The Gryffin

      Or maybe he didn't care about liberty and just liked bombing people.

      "They see us from afar, they come to a speech, they watch us on television. And they vote. And that is part of the process. An important part."-Hillary Clinton

      by Joe Beese on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:57:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'll say it again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap

    When the TM says "this question of someone wanting to have a beer with the President comes up", what does it say about the nation, and the TM, when it elects someone

    WHO DOESN'T DRINK!

    Fucking idiots.  

  •  Let's see who can do the most shots! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalexanderJ

    ooop!

    Bush re-elected to his third term

    Bush will be impeached.

    by jgkojak on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:43:38 AM PDT

  •  Dear Hunter, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, Remillard

    I generally find your stories to be informative, interesting, and well-written.  But for the love of all that is bowling holy, please learn to use the "There's more..." feature!

    You're killin' people on mobile browsers, man!

    Love-love,
    Praxxus

  •  Great Piece of Writing and it was that last line. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CalexanderJ, loud zoo

    About Abraham Lincoln that brought tears to my eyes.

  •  Contessa Brewer is the vapid, exasperatingly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida, beltane, lookit

    shallow, uninterestingly emotive, empty-headed, jejune smilie face of the 21st century MSM.
    She hasn't asked a single substantive question in her entire life, and wouldn't recognize a reasonable argument if Socrates himself came back from the dead to explain it to her.

    Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt. William Shakespeare

    by notquitedelilah on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:45:26 AM PDT

  •  I dont want a beer with ANY of them... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjd in florida

    including Contessa Brewer!

    we are IN this mess becasue Bush was the one everyone wanted a beer with....   WHY we would want to make that same mistake a second time is a mystery.  WHY the MSM wants to know the answer to that question is a travesty.

    "THE SURGE IS WORKING" is the 2008 replacement for "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

    by KnotIookin on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:46:22 AM PDT

  •  Seen last night's Daily Show? (0+ / 0-)

    Jon Stewart talks about this very subject, namely that the media is taking the most serious think we do as a democracy and is turning it into a farce.  That basing one's vote on such qualities as "who I'd like to drinkg beer with" is idiotic.  That the office of President is an elite position (Mt. Rushmore is referenced here), and we therefore ought to actively seek out the elitist candidate rather than shun him/her.

    God help our republic if we are at the mercy of the lumpenproletariat every four years.  Perhaps we ought to bring back some kind of aptitude test for people who want to vote, except control it at the federal level rather than allow the states to abuse it.  Nothing big, just the same kind of test we give applicants for U.S. citizenship.  You pass, you get a license to vote, and you're automatically registered in your state.  Maybe this way we can elect some smart people for a change.

    •  Steaming Pile: correction. Quotations, too! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Far left coast

      Elite is different from Elitist.

      Elitist is condescending and out-of-touch; elitist gives itself special exceptions to the rules.

      Elite is what makes the average person squirm in discomfort. Nobody loves a smartass.

      American Democracy would be endangered by voter testing because the most established elite would be doing the testing, so it works against the common interest.

        Best Solution = Focus on education, voter education, League of Women Voters' efforts in that regard.
         Also, expanding diversity in media ownership. ACTION LINK:
      http://www.stopbigmedia.com

      Some Quotations:

      The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.
          John F. Kennedy (1917-63), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Speech, 18 May 1963, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

      The worst enemy of good government is not our ignorant foreign voter, but our educated domestic railroad president, our prominent business man, our leading lawyer.
         John Jay Chapman (1862-1933), U.S. author. Practical Agitation, ch. 2 (1898).

      "The moment a mere numerical superiority by either states or voters in this country proceeds to ignore the needs and desires of the minority, and for their own selfish purpose or advancement, hamper or oppress that minority, or debar them in any way from equal privileges and equal rights-that moment will mark the failure of our constitutional system."
          Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), U.S. Democratic politician, president. Radio broadcast, 2 March 1930.

      "Any rich, unprogressive old party with that particularly grasping, acquisitive form of mentality known as financial genius can own a paper that is the intellectual meat and drink of thousands of tired, hurried men, men too involved in the business of modern living to swallow anything but predigested food."

      F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), U.S. author. Amory Blaine, in This Side of Paradise, bk. 2, ch. 2, "Restlessness" (1920).

      The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations  

      Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

      by LNK on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:05:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  here's a ? for your voter qualification test (0+ / 0-)

      How old is the Earth?

      (A) about ten thousand years
      (B) about five thousand years
      (C) seven days

  •  I loved this diary Hunter. Yesterday two people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap

    stopped by my house briefly over the course of the afternoon and I had the news on in the background. Both of them suddenly blurted out "what the fuck, who cares what someone drinks." I thought it was funny they both said the exact same thing.
    PS Maybe there's a roomful of scientists who like your diaries who have been secretly shooting down meteors heading towards you all these years.

    The sound of several slobbering horses scarfing up sticky rotting persimmons is fairly disgusting! klk

    by flumptytail on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:47:14 AM PDT

  •  As I recall, Nixon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Beese

    was the last serious bowler in the White House.  And we all know how that turned out.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:47:18 AM PDT

  •  Since I Can't Bowl for $hit, (0+ / 0-)

    I am throughly unqualified to hold any office - YIPPEE!!

    "The future ain't what it used to be." George Carlin

    by CityLightsLover on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:47:28 AM PDT

    •  As a terrible bowler (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling

      I am deeply, deeply offended by the anti-terrible-bowler prejudice displayed by this country.

      I have been mocked, yes, mocked by my own friends and family for my lack of bowling ability.

      I sincerely hope that President Obama, as a lousy bowler himself, understands our plight and will bring national attention to the suffering experienced by terrible bowlers.

      •  Can You Say "Lawsuit"??!! (0+ / 0-)

        We've got emotional distress, pain and suffering, possible financial payback for any drugs we may have to take for this malady, doctor bills, etc. Suing is the American way, ya' know; that should help get rid of that elite label! Who will we get to host the telethon?

        "The future ain't what it used to be." George Carlin

        by CityLightsLover on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:15:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  About the common man and voting..... (0+ / 0-)

    American Democracy......sometimes the race to the bottom....lowest common denominator.........

    We can't escape the fact that the POTUS must be able to get through to 'the common man'..........

    For example, FDR's fireside chat explaining to the basics of the banking crisis saved the day....warm, friendly, and not condescending.......Full of 'leadership' indicators: sympathy, patience, confidence.

    http://www.americanrhetoric.com/...

    Snippet, his conclusion:

    After all, there is an element in the readjustment of our financial system more important than currency, more important than gold, and that is the confidence of the people themselves. Confidence and courage are the essentials of success in carrying out our plan. You people must have faith; you must not be stampeded by rumors or guesses. Let us unite in banishing fear. We have provided the machinery to restore our financial system, and it is up to you to support and make it work.

    It is your problem, my friends, your problem no less than it is mine.

    Together we cannot fail.

    Best Diary of the Year? http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/23/03912/3990

    by LNK on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:48:24 AM PDT

  •  Watch out (0+ / 0-)

    Your sounding like an elitist

  •  this is probably one (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, Eloise, loud zoo

    of the main reasons I got into television -- to change perceptions like this.  No wonder people think that public television (my work) is liberal!  We report what is actually going on!  When people see who they should have a beer with, or who can bowl better, then they turn to PBS or NPR on the radio and they hear about actual hard news, no wonder the majority of people don't think PBS represents them or their issues.  The majority of people are watching MSNBC or CNN or Fox and they don't even hear about the issues that get time for weeks on PBS.

    Ugh...so sad...

    Some of the comments above said that this is the reason to get rid of television.  I beg to differ.  This is the reason we should spend more time with television -- to make it better.  People are NOT going to stop watching television, so to sit back and think that this problem is just going to go away is ridiculous.  Obviously, it would take a lot of people (especially kos fans) getting into MSM to change things, but we have to start somewhere, right?

    Working to get a Donkey in the White House. No more Elephants hiding in the Bushes.

    by wiedenu on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:49:40 AM PDT

  •  In that case, no more debates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebbinflo, loud zoo

    They were getting tiresome anyway. From now on, it's bowl-offs. They have to bowl against each other and they have to be drinking the whole time.

    Greed makes a really shitty foundation for a civilization to build itself upon.

    by Red Bean on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:50:19 AM PDT

  •  Political discourse on the teevee makes me stupid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lookit

    So now the candidate with an extremely high unlikability rating, that had to work on being more "human", and a senile angry old man, who moonlights as the lead singer of the band "War is Cool", become morphed into the candidate of the people. All the while, their "exotic" rival makes a truthful remark in San Francisco (land of teh gay effete DFH's) and becomes the silver spoon fed snob.

    It's a wonderful land we live in.

    President John McCain. Who needs jobs when you got war? 100 more years!

    by recusancy on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:50:22 AM PDT

  •  Where are those (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, beltane

    Clinton campaign higher-ups who were going to leave her if she went too far?

    I do see Ed Rendell trying to put some space between himself and her attacks, but he needs to speak out and condemn this ad.

  •  as a philosopher (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, IndyScott, foxglove
    I'm sorry to report that if it's not possible for people with different bowling scores to identify with one another, then we are pretty much doomed as a species.
  •  Our Media And The Election Of 1860 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dauphin, vacuumslayer

    Windbag #1: Welcome to the show. The big question tonight: Will the American people elect a President who does poorly throwing horseshoes? As many of you know, Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln committed a huge gaffe over the weekend -- failing to nail a single ringer during an impromptu game outside of Pittsburgh. Will this hurt him in the general election?

    Windbag #2: As you know, the American people are interested in electing a President that you can have an ale with. His campaign will definitely take a hit for this one.

    Windbag #3: It will indeed. And you know what else? This really gets Lincoln off message. I mean, he was doing really well with the whole "Save the Union" thing. But no one is listening to that now.

    Windbag #1: How right you are. Time for a commercial. When we come back, we'll talk about Lincoln's recent haircut and beard trimming. Did he use professional stylist, and does this feed into the narrative that he's out of touch?

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:51:43 AM PDT

  •  Intelligence and judgment are elitist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacuumslayer

    Huge mistakes and disingenuousness are the mark of the common people!!

    Hooray for America and let's pop open another Bud Light!!

    "That's what killed Dennis Day-- contempt for the audience." -- Phil Hartman as Frank Sinatra

    by Pangloss on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:52:04 AM PDT

  •  more of the same (0+ / 0-)

    Check out the "analysis" of Barack's biterness statements, they cut McCain a lot of slack for his blunders but Obama gets nothing.

    www.campaigncircus.com

  •  It should be noted... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, vacuumslayer

    Many Americans like my self (who had given up the sauce), started drinking after GWB took office. I suppose that a news agency could, by extension, suggest I have been drinking with GWB for 7 years.

    I think this idea is a bit back-handed. If the question is, "Would you like to have a beer with XX".
    The real question is, "Could XX drive you to drink?" If the answer is yes, I probably shouldn't be voting for them.
    Besides, if I want a beer with the President, I'll go to the Moose lodge. The president is always in the bar.

    "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed" Mahatma Gandhi

    by Kairos on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:52:39 AM PDT

  •  Astrological quibble: a meteor couldn't kill you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, CalexanderJ

    A meteor is a streak of light in the sky -- i.e., a rock burning up in Earth's atmosphere harmlessly.

    You mean a meteorite: A rock from space that actually impacts the Earth's surface.

    Extra credit: that same rock floating out in space is called a meteoroid.

    Barack for President!

    [RED/GLARE]

    For business reasons, I must preserve the outward sign of sanity.

    --Mark Twain

    by redglare on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:53:22 AM PDT

  •  I'm looking for a president... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, foxglove

    Who will buy me a beer, since I can't afford to buy one anymore myself.

    Who will drive me to the bar, since I can't afford to fill up my car with gas.

    Who will teach me how to bowl, since when I lose my job, I'm going to have lots of free time on my hands.

  •  The remote control is my friend. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, loud zoo

    Particularly the OFF button. It's the one thing I still have that can reduce the stupidity level in this race. I'm disappointed that any Democrat would revel in this silliness while real issues are killing us -- much less embrace it with such gusto as Hillary and Bill do. I'm not as disappointed in the press -- at least not anymore. They've proven they have no boundaries of common sense. So, all I'm left with is my remote. Zap. (Ah, that's better.)

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:54:48 AM PDT

    •  Right on (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highfive

      My TV doesn't get a lot of play.  If it ain't on sports, a movie, TheDailyShow/ColbertReport or Olbermann, it's on the jazz or latin jazz music channels.  And that's pretty much it (except for when my six year old wants to watch My Friends Tigger & Pooh).

      i am jack's complete lack of surprise -- fight club

      by bustacap on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:27:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks, Hunter (0+ / 0-)

    This might have been the best post I've read on this site.

    In times like these, you have to grow big enough to hold both the loss and the hope. - Ann Pancake

    by Scott in NAZ on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:55:01 AM PDT

  •  Any one who can bowl anything near a 300 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, lookit

    spends WAY too much time pursuing one of the most IMHO pointless 'sports' imaginable (golf falls into that category as well).

    What kind of leadership could we expect from that?

    But you have certainly nailed the process of stupidity that characterizes national politics and the media masturbation that accompanies it.

  •  November 2004 Obama interview (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    flight2q

    gandalfthegrey pointed us to a November 2004 video of an Obama interview on the Charlie Rose show http://thinkonthesethings.wordpress.... and notes that "It addresses all the topics about which [Obama] spoke in San Francisco... You will be very surprised - but not offended - by what you see/hear."

  •  I Identify with Obama, I bowled a 4 once (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, beltane

    Some people just aren't good bowlers.  So what!

    This idiocy is driving me crazy.  Does anyone actually buy this crap?  Even the wingnuts??

  •  Well done (0+ / 0-)

    Still, if you don't grab people in the gut in some way, you won't get their vote. That's true of a book, a candidate, a date. There isn't anything to be done about it in a democracy. It's why we separate governmental powers--so we can safely elect some affable beer-drinking idiot and then hamstring him with laws.  

    I admit that the supply of idiots has lately overwhelmed the Founding Fathers' vision, but that's not surprising, either.

  •  Has no one posted the Onion News Network video? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lookit, nsdq, camipco

    Bullshit most important issue to voters.

    Really, this video sums up the last 7 days flawlessly.

  •  Forget bowling, that's the wrong metric (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, beltane

    The most powerful voting bloc in the country is clearly World of Warcraft players, followed closely by the Guitar Hero faction.

  •  bitter about corporate media (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pontechango, loud zoo

    Friends, it's all about the money. When television news was not supposed to make money, but to generate prestige for the network (see the rise and fall of Edward R. Murrow), television journalists were supposed to be no different from print journalists. They were supposed to provide facts and context so that folks could figure out some small truth about the way the government was or was not doing its job.

    But the suits figured out some time in the 60's that they could actually make money by creating both national and local news that got higher ratings. Capitalism does this, it provides incentives for all money-making organizations to provide what pleases the lowest common denominator, hence Newton Minnow's early and still trenchant analysis of television as a vast wasteland. But when this is wedded to low-information voters, we get...well, we get what we've got. But I have hope that this year will be different, partly because of the rise of the netroots.

  •  The Money Shot in This Here Rant... (0+ / 0-)

    The spectacle of debate is the story, not the thing actually being debated. The thing actually being debated, whatever it may be, is just the pointless MacGuffin around which two opposing sides can be booked to scream at each other for a few minutes between commercials.

    Boom goes the dynamite.  Oh, boom, it goes.

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      That also struck me as a genuinely new thesis, or at least a very clearly formulated version of what many have sensed but not put so aptly.

      Perhaps the "McGuffin" is the empty-object correlate to ascension of the "meta," or, as the postmods would put it, "the autonomy of the signifier."

      Dulce bellum inexpertis [War is sweet only to those who have no experience of it].

      by Fatherflot on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:08:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)

    Thank you for writing this -- was good for some laughs.  We really do need to getting back to assessing all of the candidates on the fundamentals -- their stances on the issues, their experience, and their leadership qualities.  We will disagree on the best candidate, but at least can agree on the right criteria on which to judge them on.

  •  Quit Fantasizing About the Media and Our System (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB

    The media are behaving as they must under our system, as we have it, in our economy, in our time.

    Just because some quill scratchers 200 years ago thought the economy would operate a journalistic press for the mainstream, if only government were kept off its, back, it doesn't mean that our world will work that way.

    Instead of blowing thousands of words and hours trying to project "sense" onto the media by fabricating epicycles upon epicycles upon the Framers' fantasies, we should recognize that the media are doing what we're supposed to expect them to do, and put our logic and energy into changing their behavior as much as possible short-term.

    And for God's sake at long last, start doubting this idiotically underprepared First Amendment and begin thinking what kind of law is required in the real world to create the communication environment real people need in their society.

    Jesus H. Christ.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:59:56 AM PDT

  •  t's the corporate bias, (not the) stupid(ity) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, RaulVB

    If McCain got a low bowling score, it wouldn't get any press.  It's about throwing the only BS they've got at good Democratic candidates.  

    The only place where Republicans are anywhere close to responsible is in the dictionary.

    by DemDachshund on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 08:59:56 AM PDT

  •  How big will the gap be between press & public? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB

    The fact that none of these Media-Manufaktured Skandles(TM) seems to have affected Obama much tells me that people are treating the press like Grandpa Simpson yammering about wearing an onion on his belt.  

    I also have to wonder why we don't see McCain's bowling scores trotted out.  Maybe he's having too many "senior moments," which of course, every American can identify with.

    The media is full of itself and not even close to measuring what people want.  I just wonder when it's going to be patently obvious to everyone, including themselves.

  •  not sure whether to lauh or cry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kanuk, lookit

    but I've been doing a lot of them both lately. My laughter is getting more like Hillary's  by the day , if I do say so myself, as I am slowly but surely losing my mind :(

  •  I favor waterboarding (0+ / 0-)

    the media elite.

    This message has not been approved by the corporate media.

    by jre2k8 on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:01:24 AM PDT

  •  Meteor? (0+ / 0-)

    This is wrong...

    My first reaction was the sensible one: to pray to God to please kill me, immediately. Preferably by meteor.

    I always pray for a comet!!!

    In an insane society, the sane man would appear insane

    by TampaCPA on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:01:36 AM PDT

  •  Is this real bowling or Wii bowling? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sagra, bustacap

    Cause if it's Wii bowling I'm running for President of the United Fucking States, BABY!

    Since [2000] it's been a book you read in reverse So you understand less as the pages turn - The Shins

    by kissfan on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:02:17 AM PDT

  •  For the record, Yuengling sucks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette

    Just another typical mediocre American lager.

    I don't know why it matters if we'd want to drink a beer with the president since most Americans don't know shit about beer.

  •  "Contessa" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, Leap Year, beltane

    If your first name is that one...what the hell you know about folks drinking beer with their buddies???

  •  MSM Worships The Loveable Dim Wit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, RaulVB, Gorette

    Except these guys turn out to be mean sons of bitches after they get elected, which is what happens to dumb people who find themselves being mocked and questioned from all sides.

    •  Sometimes I think that about 30-40% of our (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nonie3234, bustacap

      population is dumb and uninformed and prefers to stay in that state, regarding all others as "elitists." It makes me fear for democracy and progress when I listen to C-Span callers-- which is why I almost always avoid it.

      Thank God the Democrats won control of the Senate... otherwise, think of how different everything would be. -G.Greenwald

      by Gorette on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:23:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Next Cycle: Field goals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB

    "Are you telling me he missed from 15 yards? That's a wedge shot"

    "Pat How damage does this do to the campaign?"

    "It's fatal. Color it gone. If you can't get out there and kick a football a lousy 15 yards you have no biz being President"

    "We'll what is the minimum distance that one should be able to hit a field goal to be considered a presidential contender and is it fair to rush the candidate with 11 screaming 300 pound linemen when it 3 degrees below zero? Let's get a panel on to discuss it"

    Then the next cycle ; The Fast ball and how good the the change up is.

    Obama should call foul here. Lets see how many clay pigeons HRC can knock down with a pump 12 gauge in 10 seconds with thousands watching

    Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

    by Dburn on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:04:36 AM PDT

  •  crap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacuumslayer

    Obviously, this kind of crap resonates with many Americans because many Americans are pieces of crap.  Yes--there are many stupid, bigoted, uncaring, unthinking idiots that are citizens.  The proof is one of their own was RE-ELECTED after failing to heed warnings before 9/11--and going downhill from there.

    It's not politically correct to admit this, but, we "are surrounded by assholes" (courtesy of Mel Brooks--Spaceballs).

  •  I've often said (to no avail) that I want a (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, RaulVB

    president who is not only smarter than me, and smarter than you - but smarter than EVERYONE WE KNOW.

    And definitely smarter than the OTHER guy*, whoever that may be.

    [*in this context, "guy" is used as a generic term, like "person" and should in no way imply gender.]

  •  To the contrary: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, lookit

    You know, for someone who's in a bowling league in northeast central Pennsylvania, in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, they can't identify with someone getting a 37 over seven frames.

    If I'm a a bowling league in NE central PA, I want to bowl AGAINST the guy who gets a 37 over 7 frames.  For a buck a point.

    "we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex" Dwight D. Eisenhower

    by bobdevo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:06:38 AM PDT

  •  News for dummies by dummies, duh (6+ / 0-)

    Real journalism is hard work.

    Oh, oh.....John McSame likes sprinkles
    on his donuts.

    From the Washington Post:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    "McCain's moderators, the AP's Ron Fournier and Liz Sidoti, greeted McCain with a box of Dunkin' Donuts. "We spend quite a bit of time with you on the back of the Straight Talk Express asking you questions, and what we've decided to do today was invite everyone else along on the ride," Sidoti explained. "We even brought you your favorite treat."

    McCain opened the offering. "Oh, yes, with sprinkles!" he said."

    <sigh><cry>

  •  I for one (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kanuk

    am really skeptical of MSNBC-"MAIN STREAM NEWS BULLSHIT CO  is Keith Olbermann just on to lure us into some bit of trust?

    I watch NBC news with Brian Williams and it is disgusting at what stories they carry. Yesterday when McSame had spoken so irresponsibly about Iraq here we go again with Obama and his elitist comments and the beer scene.

    I say fuck the entire MSM. They want Hillary so they can hammer her and elect McCain.

    Hillary is ruining the party. What should we do and who will listen to us so that she will quit for the good of the party.

    All I want is the truth. Just gimmie some truth John Lennon

    by gimmie truth on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:10:39 AM PDT

  •  300 elitist? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, vacuumslayer
    Wouldn't bowling over a 250 or 280 be elitist as well?  How many recreational bowlers regularly bowl that high?

    "He bowled a perfect game?  Probably thinks he's better than everyone.  Just lost my vote..."

  •  HUZZAH for Hunter!!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, Gorette
  •  Why? (0+ / 0-)

    Because they are courtiers, that's why?  And like courtiers everywhere, they have a deep mixture of fear and contempt when it comes to ideas like democracy and republicanism that suggest power needn't be in the hands of the courtly elite and their obsequiously fawning courtiers.

  •  Elite President (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, Reepicheep, Gorette

    Oh, for an elite president. One with a nobel prize in economics would be nice. Or at least a phd. Perhaps they could have gone to a prestigeous college, and excelled in their field. Editor of the Harvard Law review, perhaps.

  •  Obama's Mistake. . . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nonie3234, kanuk, bustacap, ronlib

    After bowling his 37 was that he didn't say he was drunk.

    I'm not kidding. He should have issued a press release saying -- in fact bragging -- that he got shit-hammered before bowling and had a dozen bottles of beer.

    That would have once again made him a Real ManTM in the eyes of the media.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:17:05 AM PDT

  •  Regarding: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, Gorette

    My first reaction was the sensible one: to pray to God to please kill me, immediately. Preferably by meteor. But one of the defining characteristics of my life is that God just isn't that into me, and/or all the meteors are already spoken for, so it never works.

    Welcome to my world, Hunter.

    You're asking me to believe in thinking meat!

    by Moody Loner on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:19:12 AM PDT

  •  What makes a good President--bowling or drinking? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, Nonie3234, Reepicheep, Gorette

    Excellent article and it speaks for me.  If anyone but Obama wins the election this November, please let that meteor hit me.  I only ask that I not see it coming because such things frighten me, but aside from that, a quick and painless death will be my best answer to such an event.

    And meanwhile, hardly anyone even discusses election fraud, as if it didn't happen twice, starting in 2000.  The Democratic Party in Congress has buried its collective head in the sand on this issue, and I don't know why they wouldn't stand up a scream rather than trying to hide the truth--Bush never won a Presidency and look what his administration has done to the world!  There's something very wrong here, and I know it's not my fault or any of my friends or family, so I don't really think I deserve to die for it, but I think we may all die because of it.

  •  Are the so-called reporters lazy-minded because (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gorette

    their audience is that way?

    I know that when I turn on the boob-tube it is strictly for entertainment value.  I assume they consider themselves primarily entertainers.  When one views things in this light it becomes a more rational experience.

    Real news for me comes from CSPAN, PBS and mostly from print.  Real discourse is not a lazy-minded endevour so I look elsewhere for that as well.

  •  I must respectfully disagree (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, elfling, sagra

    I don't think it's a direct linear relationship between bowling score and commandability / friendliness / beer drinkingness. You don't want anyone to be **too** good at bowling becuase they're then elitist, or maybe just a little weird. I think that it's therefore a parabolic curve, whereby one's bowling score starts having negative effects once you get at 170 or so.

  •  Bush is no drinking buddy! (0+ / 0-)

    I've never understood where this comes from. First off, he's a former boozehound who doesn't go to church, and one of those religious teetotalers who'd get in your face for having a brewski while watching the game.

    He's also not exactly your guys-guy working man who spends time at the bowling alley. Elite private prep school and then a college cheerleader; the guys I watch the game with would be poking him, pointing at the Sea-gals and saying "Georgie, how'd yer package feel in one of those skirts."

    And if Kerry took it for windsurfing, how would Georgie's full-suspension mountain bike play with guys who played football?

    There's a phrase down in Texas, where my family is from: All hat, no cattle.

    If George is preceived any other way, it's more a testament to GOP skill at campaigning, and Democrats' failure, than it is America's preference for a plain joe as president.

  •  Unfuckingbelievable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    postxian

    If McCain becomes president because a group of numbnuts pundits took Obama down with bowling scores and orange juice while the president is authorizing TORTURE on innocent people someone's gonna get knocked out!

    "Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."

    by faster democrat kill kill on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:34:12 AM PDT

  •  I'm glad we're focusing on the issues (0+ / 0-)

    I gotta get off this fucking planet somehow.

  •  I share your pain, bro. It could be (0+ / 0-)

    based on laziness for the reporters/pundits. They can get paid w/o
    actually having to dig or compete with each other. And that suits their corporate masters just fine. Only the National Enquirer actually wants a public with enquiring minds.

  •  Bitter juice (0+ / 0-)

    I don't like bitter orange juice, and I'm willing to pay extra to get juice that isn't bitter. Does that make me an elitist?

  •  Changing the story again? (0+ / 0-)

    It seems like it wasn't that long ago that Clinton herself was saying we shouldn't want to elect someone that we'd want to share a beer with...does anybody else remember this?  She reminded us that people had wanted to share a beer with GW a few years ago as well.  

  •  Love that line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    God just isn't that into me

    I don't know if it's just my PA relatives or the long cold winters there, but when I visit the place they take their bowling seriously (and pool, darts, cards, etc.). I doubt more than a few people think bowling scores matter. It is upside-down to want a president who is really good at something like bowling, and simultaneously denigrate intelligence.

    Love that "power of the purse!" It looks so nice up there on the mantle (and not the table) next to the "subpoena power."

    by Sacramento Dem on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:52:52 AM PDT

  •  Jon Stewart expressed some of (0+ / 0-)

    the sentiment you are expressing, Hunter. He wants a President who is smarter than him, not a "nice guy." As to the Idiot in Chief and his gang of hooligans sitting around a table and deciding what kind of torture they could get away with (apparently anything they wanted, as it is a big yawn to American potential voters). The latter issue just makes me want to scream. What this gang has gotten away with makes Tricky Dick look like a piker in comparison!

    "This is not our America and we need to take it back." John Edwards.

    by mcmom on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:55:28 AM PDT

  •  ssome other interesting opinions on (0+ / 0-)

    the emergingly public debate over class and culture, as well as the underpinnings of the rsiidue of the race divide that bubbked to the surface after the Re. Wright explosion, might find some provocative and well expressed diverse opinions in several of today's MSM outlets.

    Ones I found useful are: Salon:  'the rubes and the elites' by Michael Lind:  In the NYT, Bob Herbert's opinion piece:  in WaPo, E.J. Dionne, George Will (for the conservative perspective), Eugene Robinson, and Roger Cohen.

    For me anyway, these (and I am sure there are many more) shed more light than heat on the debate that must be held before the primaries conclude. The race, class and culture wars and the great fissures that exist in American society.  I am trying to rise above the level of discourse that is bogged down in the muck and mire of partisan passion.

    •  SLATE magazine also has some interesting articles (0+ / 0-)

      on the suddenly visible abyss regarding the elites and the proletariat.   Meanwhile over on BBC radio 'World have Yoy Say' is discussing the impact skin color has on identity, or the perception of identity anyway.  Fascinating, and few victims amongst them. One thing i am finding interesting, having lived in the Caribbean for ten years, I am hearing West Indian blacks with totally different attitudes to African American blacks. That is my work (cultural anthropology and relationships between black and white) has historically been true. Some examples are Edward wilmot Blyden, Hubert Harrison, Marcus Garvey plus of course Bob Marley more recently.

      These global discussions held daily on the BBC are very revealing of global attitudes toward race, culture, politics and economics.

  •  The irony here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    Altoona loves the hell out of Barack now BECAUSE he came to town and bowled a 37.

    People. Its a ploy to distract you. Stop playing along.

    "The time is always right to do what is right." -- MLK

    by eclecticbrotha on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 09:59:40 AM PDT

  •  Our brains are the most important thing (0+ / 0-)

    on this planet.  

    It's the truth.  Your brain allows you to do everything

    Unfortunately, the brain is looked upon with disgust in some parts of this country.  

    I hope someday thinking can become cool again.

  •  You missed a prerequisite. (0+ / 0-)

      I would make it mandatory that any reporter/pundit/anchor be required to state their own bowling score, prior to questioning the candidates.  I think it might be too much to ask of those in the main stream media.  But if they want to sit at the table and swill beer with the rest of us, they should show that they too are just like us.  
    I mean no more of these damn ELITISTS hanging out in my mid-america bar!  Go back uptown and sip your martinis.
    footsore

  •  Another great piece. (0+ / 0-)

    Wish you were sitting next to Rachel Maddow on MSNBC...

    The prophet is a fool, the spiritual man is mad; For the multitude of thy iniquity And the great hatred...

    by Tirge Caps on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:04:42 AM PDT

  •  I'll add one more reason (0+ / 0-)

    although I think you are exactly right.  In this campaign, there is nothing compelling in the Republican platform and a minimally compelling candidate.  The Republican agenda has largely been rejected.  A debate, or even meaningful discussion about the issues would effectively end the campaign today.  The uninformed voter would tune in and think "damn, that is what Republicans stand for?" and make their choice on the spot.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:06:30 AM PDT

  •  I'm sure it means something is terribly wrong (0+ / 0-)

    with me, but I started laughing at being killed by meteor, and was wiping tears off my face by the end.  Now I have to find some way to explain it to my kid, who's standing here going "What Mommy?" 'cause I'm still laughing.  And crying.

    I repeat my earlier comment Hunter - you are a brilliant writer.  Only you could make me laugh at such painful truths, by pointing out their absurdities so dramatically.  And I so needed a laugh today - the politics today had me flitting between enraged and depressed.

    (Sadly, in Kathmandu no longer.)

    by American in Kathmandu on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:08:03 AM PDT

  •  George Will said it well in today's Op-Ed (0+ / 0-)

    Hofstadter pioneered the rhetorical tactic that Obama has revived with his diagnosis of working-class Democrats as victims -- the indispensable category in liberal theory. The tactic is to dismiss rather than refute those with whom you disagree.

  •  Sending the wrong message (0+ / 0-)

    This posting reeks of the elitism that has doomed most recent Democratic candidates.

    You are so superior to the media, so superior to those who want their president to appear to be a regular guy.

    Postings like this do more to undermine the Obama campaign that all of Hillary's ads put together.

  •  Typical Hunter Brilliance (0+ / 0-)

    But I feel it is time for us to dust off our knees and put an end to our prayers for swift death by meteor.  

    It is time, instead, to switch off the cable news prattlethons.  They are losing viewers with each passing day, largely to forums such as this one, and by bemoaning their gladiatorial punditry and Miller Time pontifications we only put a little more air in the leaky raft of their relevance.  

    What little attention we give them should be of the deflating, Jon Stewart-regards-Tucker-Carlson's-bowtie variety.

    When it comes to accurately assessing what is resonating with people in this election, the top commentators of the dreaded blogosphere have been right.  So keep being right and we won't need a meteor to deliver us from the inanity of the cable news barstool brotherhood.  Shitty ratings will do the trick.

  •  This is the most intelligent piece recently read. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lzyltnin

    Obviously I spend too much time on TV.  Waiting for Matthews to fawn over McCain this afternoon. The dumbing down of America may be the main reason Obama can't get elected.  He will be the first person I've been excited to vote for in my 50 years of voting, and he has not dumbed anyone down.  Thanks, Hunter for telling it like it is.

  •  Who wants a beer with a presidential candidate? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lzyltnin

    Not me.
    And I LOVE beer.
    Nor did I want one with the 'person' who was running on the rethug ticket in 2000 and 2004.  
    I want a presidential candidate to be, well, intelligent and articulate and wise and reflective and decisive and serious and knowledgeable, not a beer drinking good ol' buddy jackass who drinks his fill and then drunkenly disappears into the woods to 'relieve' himself.
    We've had 7+ years of that kind of a**hole behavior, time to elect someone a tadlet more, well, presidential.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose

    by Lilyvt on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:48:07 AM PDT

  •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

    I couldn't say it any better than you have already.

    Ditto.

  •  Watching Clinton Drinking Beer with a Shot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jkb246

    she grimaced with the bitter beer,
    hoping the chaser shot would hit Obama

  •  At first I discounted the bowling for brains (0+ / 0-)

    idea thinking it had little merit. However, after learning of President Lincoln's aptitude and uncanny skill which allowed for emancipation and an end to slavery I have flip flopped. To be able to determine a candidate's judgment and leadership skills on his or her bowling score is a major breakthrough. We should be thanking MSM for this insight. A word of caution in regards to counting the vote. We must not let our guard down if new electronic voting machines have an automatic reset feature and are manufactured by Brunswick.        

    If a man claims to speak for god he will assure he is also gods' banker.

    by AuntieM on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:55:18 AM PDT

  •  This diary is, sadly, (0+ / 0-)

    funny.  In fact, it's grievously hilarious.  Thanks, Hunter.  In other news: "Electoral College Replaced by Electoral Bowling Alley."

    "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" - Lennon

    by dchill on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 10:58:34 AM PDT

  •  Preparing for illiteracy (0+ / 0-)

    In the early 1950s, the early days of the expansion of TV around the nation, David Sarnoff, the head of NBC, in a talk to media moguls stated that "We must prepare for illiteracy."

    Was he advocating dumbing down TV programming to increase his audience because more people would be illiterate, or was he advocating the active creation of illiteracy? Or both.

  •  Putting a Talking Head on TV is NOT free (0+ / 0-)

    It costs a lot--millions of dollars. And more than that, it requires ownership of one of a precious few broadcast licenses and a syndicate for distributing your content.  

    The "cost" and "privilege" barriers to mass communication are a major threat to democracy because it gives the kind of power Hunter describes here to an oligarchic elite.  

    But is is free to put up a blog or YouTube video.  That is one way around this barrier to democracy.  We're part of a revolution that will save democracy.  

  •  The news is aimed at the same audience that (0+ / 0-)

    can't get enough of Dancing with the Stars and American Idol. It is dumbed down to the second-grade level and the subject matter is chosen by whatever might appeal to someone with less attention span than a gnat. It is imperative that news broadcasts, like the rest of the swill that passes for entertainment, not require any thinking or register any cerebral activity beyond the Homer Simpson (Mmmm beer) level. Could you imagine Huntley and Brinkley doing teasers about some trivial news item, i.e., computer programmer proposes to fiancee using a video game, before going to commercial break. The news was weighty subject matter when Huntley, Brinkley, and Cronkite graced the airwaves and delivered serious news and commentary devoid of the mundane bantering that characterizes so many news shows these days. They would occasionally inject a little levity in the form of high-brow humor associated with some story, but news was serious business for an audience that wanted to be informed, not entertained. Newscasters today may as well don clown outfits and fake noses as a visual cue that nothing they say should be taken seriously.

  •  Since when are cats riding skateboards not (0+ / 0-)

    important news stories? If anything I think we need more cat-on-skateboard news.

    vacuumslayer.deviantart.com

    by vacuumslayer on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 11:27:58 AM PDT

  •  Dead on (0+ / 0-)

    This is the article that I would have wrote, if I were, you know, articulate. My the media should be slapped for fostering this stupidity. I don't have the link, but the week "bowling gate" came out. It had FAR more mentions in the media, than just about any other story. By serious "reporters and analyst", anything more than a 3 second mention of Obama's score, should get you thrown off the air.

  •  Thou shalt not steal. (0+ / 0-)

    I know you stole this from Joe Scarborough's job description:

    say whatever enters your head and pronounce it sufficiently pundacious.

    Never confuse kindness and patience with stupidity and weakness!!

    by Joes Steven on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 11:51:51 AM PDT

  •  Hayzoo Kristee (0+ / 0-)

    Everybody knows 'blackie' can hoop, but he can't bowl...  where's the surprise (or the 'story')?

  •  FDR Actually bowled a 299 once (0+ / 0-)

    if he had picked up that one extra pin in the 10th frame he would have prevented Pearl Harbor.  So close!

    "You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free."-Clarence Darrow

    by cwech on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:06:50 PM PDT

  •  I actually know a pro bowler... (0+ / 0-)

    I don't think he'd WANT to be President. Very private sort of guy. Not quite put-cardboard-on-all-the-windows private, but... I can't see him out there kissing babies and shaking five zillion peoples' hands, he'd curl up in a ball under the stage or something.

  •  This Hunter person.. (0+ / 0-)

    sure can do some writin'!!  This is the umpteenth diary I've read of Hunter's and each have been intelligent, insightful and thought provoking... then I go to the local lanes and order a Bud.  Presidential material I am not, no need to thank me, just doing it for the team and humanity.  

    "He was a drinking man with a guitar problem." James McMurtry

    by lzyltnin on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:27:43 PM PDT

  •  It's Bigotry (0+ / 0-)

    What, is it a game? Laziness? Ineptitude? Stupidity?

    If "it" is "who would Americans most like to have a beer with", then "it" is bigotry.

    Most Americans want to have a beer with someone who looks like them. If the choices include a woman, they don't want to have a beer with her if she's not young and pretty. Not if there's some White guy available instead.

    That's why "have a beer with" is just code for "one of us", the official American, the Older White Man.

    Or, in 2008, "John McCain".

    Reporters like McCain because he's nice to them, because he's only ever been a mildly humorous Senator "war hero". Clinton polarizes with her career, and spins incessantly, while Obama is intimidating because he's "good with words" (and brains) in a way reporters can only dream of being (or they'd have better jobs, more on the inside).

    They're cowardly bigots. A simple, easily detected fact about the people staffing our corporate mass media that explains nearly everything worth knowing about them.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:34:22 PM PDT

  •  I'm sure you've read Sinclair Lewis' book (0+ / 0-)

    "It Can't Happen Here" but if you haven't, that's EXACTLY how it happens, the manufactured faux-folksy candidate of the corporatist-Christofascist war party is marketed that way.

    1935, fwiw. The age of right-wing shock jocks like Fr. Coughlin - and plenty of others, too, whose names are only known to historians.

    "Don't be a janitor on the Death Star!" - Grey Lady Bast (change @ for AT to email)

    by bellatrys on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:50:56 PM PDT

  •  Yeah but... (0+ / 0-)

    ...what would a score of 291 indicate?

    "One signature can end this war." Barack Obama
    Do you really want 4 more years of GOP (Grumpy Old Patriarch)! Support visionary Democratic candidates.

    by just us on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 12:52:58 PM PDT

  •  Dumb Down America (0+ / 0-)

    It would be poignant if it were not so tragic that morons like that journalist are still walking around with their brains in their butts making points about bowling scores as a criterion for electability rather than shining the lights on the other DC neoMorons that spread so much death, destruction and violence throughout the planet.

  •  The stupider, more ignorant the easier to control (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ontarget

    It all part of the plan.  

    Create artificial divisions stoked by mindless but TITillating diversions to mesmerize the populace.  Launch a 1000 demagogues, many against each other, but roots tracing to common sources.  Keep the populace "barefoot and pregnant and dependent and scared" and reap the rewards!!!

    To quote one of our greatest Founding Fathers, author of the Declaration of Independence:

    "The most effectual means of preventing [the perversion of power into tyranny are] to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes."
    --Thomas Jefferson: Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. FE 2:221, Papers 2:526

    And a warning from the same:

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
    --Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816.

    The MSM needs to be ripped apart from its corporate masters and held to its real task to educate and illuminate.

    You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

    by FightTheFuture on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 01:24:26 PM PDT

  •  DKos front-pager uses clumsy word "troublingly"! (0+ / 0-)

    Did the readers stumble over the word with subvocalizations?  Or do most dKos readers employ the elitist speed read method?  Was anyone made bitter, or did most bounce right back into an easy reading flow?  What do you think?  Text 34443 with "troubling" or "not troubling"?

    But seriously, folks, the reason for the lack of coverage is that untroubling entertainment helps ratings while boring issue-based factual shows hurt ratings.  That's the beginning and end of the issue.  Troublingly enough.

    "Don't be a fuddy-duddy. Don't be a moon cow. You don't want to be any of those things, do you?" WC Fields (and HRC)

    by geomoo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 01:26:42 PM PDT

    •  THE Issue (0+ / 0-)

      But that's NOT the beginning and end of the ISSUE, is it?  It's a continuation ad infinitum.  It is swiftboating in its naked form, ratings or no ratings.

      •  Yeah, it's gotten worse. (0+ / 0-)

        But I would say it started with ratings.  But yeah, I think you're right.  There's a lot more to it now, especially since ownership is so consolidated.  

        "Don't be a fuddy-duddy. Don't be a moon cow. You don't want to be any of those things, do you?" WC Fields (and HRC)

        by geomoo on Tue Apr 15, 2008 at 04:54:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bitter... (0+ / 0-)

    "Where did we get this notion that the President of the United States should be a drinking buddy?"

    1. Tippecanoe and Tyler Too! First attempt to portray a presidential candidate (William Henry Harrison, Virginia planter aristocrat) as just like "common folks". And look where it's led - GWB. Of course with him it was either that or focus on his record as governor of Texas...

    I live in a small town, always have. It's nothing special (harder to avoid people you don't like, maybe.) Certainly it used to be different from bigger towns and cities, but that started disappearing when movies, followed by radio and television, showed up. I doubt that now there are any major differences between a small town and any established neighborhood in a big city. Except perhaps the public transportation available to get you to another part of the city - here it's car or foot, in town or out.
    I also bowl and I must congratulate you - I rarely see such concentrated sarcasm without an accompanying gutter-ball.

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