Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Flotsam and Jetsam

In his list of good and bad advice for Barack Obama, I’m pretty sure Mark Halperin thinks this is bad advice: “Keep presuming that Steve Schmidt gives a rip about what the New York Times, the Associated Press, or factcheck.org say about the McCain campaign’s tactics.” Or snarky punditry from TIME, I suppose.

Politicians should tape their own interviews? Brilliant suggestion.

Bob Herbert is in hysterical mode about Sarah Palin (“I’ve gotten the scary feeling, for the first time in my life, dimwittedness is not just on the march in the U.S., but that it might actually prevail”) but his column is an amalgam of misinformation and half-truths (e.g. “everyone” must know precisely what the Bush Doctrine is and Palin thinks Iraq was responsible for 9-11). Well, perhaps he’s right about the dimwittedness problem.

Did ABC editing job cut out portions of the interview beneficial to Palin? Sort of looks that way.

From the latest AP poll: “Fully 47 percent say Obama lacks the proper experience — an even worse reading than the 36 percent who had the same criticism about McCain running mate Sarah Palin, serving her second year as Alaska governor after being a small-town mayor.” Ouch.

Lou Dobbs on Keith Olbermann: “the man is hanging by a highly medicated string.” And pundits wonder why no one respects the media. Perhaps mud-wrestling with all the cable news network talkers is next.

Like Woody Allen dragging out Marshall McLuhan to tell an obnoxious communications professor he “knows nothing” of McLuhan’s work, Charles Krauthammer bashes Charlie Gibson for his gotcha on the “Bush Doctrine” — which Krauthammer coined.

Fox notes that ABC won’t respond to questions about Gibson misrepresenting Palin’s quote. Snubbing the press? Hiding from legitimate questions? An “honest news conference” would be the way to go.

An honest Marc Ambinder: “Obama goes after McCain’s age, press praises new tone…. Mark Salter has a point.”