"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”


Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Grey Lady Learns Sex Doesn't Sell

This week's New York Times article about John McCain has been chewed up, digested and regurgitated by the 24/7 news cycle and what should come as no surprise to any alert 21st century citizen - the conventional wisdom's final conclusion completely misses the point.

Let's get this straight. The story is about the possibility of influence peddling by the self-styled ethics reformer and presumptive GOP nominee John McCain. It was not about sex. It never was.

The Times made a huge blunder by mentioning campaign staff's suspicions about a romantic relationship developing between the Senator and an attractive young lobbyist. Whether it was used as a hook to pique the interest of a salacious public or they actually thought the story would be more powerful by including this anonymously sourced "gossip" the end effect was devastating. It allowed the right wing noise machine to ratchet up attacks on the "liberal media" and created enough clutter to obscure the real story. The rabid Right Wing Freak Show suceeded in making the journalistic practices of the Times (and by extension the entire Main Stream Media) the diversionary story.

The feeding frenzy was reminiscent of the CBS News/Bush Air National Guard story during the 2004 presidential campaign. The truth of the underlying facts of a story are lost in the echo chamber. The press is silenced into submission. A timid press corps diminishes the likelihood of maintaining a vibrant public discussion vital to a healthy democracy.

And the REAL STORY is this: McCain is a politician who has made his national reputation by publicly denouncing the power of money and the influence of lobbyists in our political system while at the same time taking money from powerful corporate interests, developing cozy relationships with these "evil" lobbyists and may have even used his position to influence policy in their favor.

McCain defends his actions:

Whether or not McCain had sexual relations with that woman is unimportant to me (as it was regarding another politician during another place and time). What is important is whether the Senator's Straight Talk is simply more Republican Corporate DoubleSpeak. Americans are tired of our leaders talking out of both sides of their mouths.

Brave New Films has a take on McCain's "Friends"

Do something! Sign the petition asking McCain to end his ties to corporate lobbyists.

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