What’s the Difference?
By: shep

by shep

I wrote the following comment on a right-wing crap-catapulting blog (you know the one) in response to the idea that: 1) no one should be shocked by the tone of the current Democratic presidential nomination campaign (tragically correct) and 2) that all’s fair in war and politics, including attacking Hillary Clinton (mind you, this blogger is a woman) for her gender:

You’re right about the venom in this campaign relative to historical politics – and wrong about just about everything else. This may come a huge shock to you but some political attacks are true and relevant (rational people call them criticisms) and others are not. For example, Hillary Clinton’s female gender may be true but it isn’t relevant. Likewise, what the pastor at Obama’s church said. John Kerry’s windsurfing and “Frenchness”: not relevant. John Kerry’s military record: relevant but completely untrue as rendered by the Swiftvets. What John Hagee, Pat Robertson and other evangenlical nutjobs have said: true but not relevant. John McCain's pandering flip-flop on "agents of intolerance": true and relevant.
I understand that this stuff is way over your head but the important point is that this is not a fucking party game. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people have been killed and millions more have had their lives destroyed by American soldiers because of Al Gore’s brown suit and lies about what he said about Love Story and the Internet. Irrelevant and untrue crap catapulted by people who don’t care about the difference for consumption by people who are too stupid to know the difference (you know where you fit in here) has brought this country – the world for that matter – to the brink of catastrophe.
If your point is that mindless partisans are always going to create this sort of corrupt politics and the tragic consequences they may lead to, then: 1) the only responsible reaction for lucid, humane people is to call their bullshit immediately and in no uncertain terms and 2) you are constantly on the wrong side of that particular fence. You’ve made a blog around it.

The reason I’m posting this comment here is that, when I reread it later, I realized something quite sickening: I could easily have been addressing it to practically every major media outlet and gasbag in our entire decrepit Fourth Estate. Take out the word “blog” in the last sentence and replace it with the word “career” and it would work just as well for people like Tim Russert and Chris Mathews. Put in the words “news network” and it applies just as well to CNN or MSNBC. Replace it with “News Program” and it describes FOX News.

You get the ugly, inescapable picture: not only is our mainstream political dialogue gripped by people who refuse to or cannot distinguish between what is true and relevant or irrelevant and false but those people and media are indistinguishable (at least in that regard) from the right-wing propaganda machine. Explains quite a bit, doesn’t it? And none of it very good for our politics or our world.

Update: The reprehensible Chris Matthews spends a significant amount of two segments discussing Barrack Obama’s not-macho enough for Chris bowling form, not what Obama is saying in his campaign or the policies he is proposing as a presidential candidate, and finishes his moronic analysis by basically calling Obama a nappy-headed ho. What a horror show.

[E Pluribus Unum]