Monday, September 08, 2008

On The Campaign Trail, Electoral Targeting, Sarah Palin Has Her Own Crazy Church, And O.J. Simpson (No, I'm Not Kidding)

Hi everyone. Happy New Week! We're kicking things off tonight with new poll numbers. Because there are always new poll numbers. Anderson tells us all about "McCain's surge." Seriously, that's what he said. I'd like to give the show the benefit of the doubt and assume they're using that particular phrase tongue-in-cheek, but I'm guessing that's a no. So anyway, the race has tightened, which is basically what had happened the last time we all freaked out about polls. Bottom line? National polls are pretty meaningless since our system is based on the electoral college. But they do give the news something to talk about.

Next up, we have a piece from Dana Bash, who is on the trail with McCain in Missouri. The strategy now is all about how Sarah Palin is totally awesome. Or something. We get a soundbyte from a speech attender who is now leaning McCain since the Palin pick: "I like her spirit and no nonsense attitude," she tells us. Tell me, will her "spirit" be fixing our broken health care system? Good lord. Can people at least try to vote with their brains? Dana tells us the Republican ticket is going after Obama on earmarks and we get played a clip of McCain spouting BS. But THEN something happens. Dana says this: "That's their claim. Here are the facts. " Holy crap, surprise fact-check! Dana gives us the lowdown on Obama's earmarks and even points out that Palin seems to have been quite fond of the pork herself. Nicely done, Dana. Color me stunned.

We then move on to a piece from Candy Crowley on the Democratic side of the ticket. Again, they're in my state and, like always, Candy pronounces it Missourah. Tonight I decided to do some investigating of Ms. Crowley to try to figure out why WHY as a national news reporter she keeps pronouncing it that way. After all, it's possible she might have grown up in the boothill or something and then that would have made sense. But no, what I found out makes even less sense. She grew up here! In St. Louis. Actually about 20-30 minutes from where I am right now. So . . . I'm totally confused. I mean, our local media doesn't pronounce it that way. Hardly anyone I know does and I've lived here my whole life. One of life's mysteries, I suppose. Anyway, back in her piece, we get a good clip of Obama talking about Palin's claims regarding the Bridge to Nowhere. "You can't just make stuff up," he says. Oh, but didn't you hear? It's okay if you're a Republican (IOKIYAR). Sadly, there is no fact-check from Candy.

Our discussion panel tonight consists of Candy, David Gergen, and Jeffrey Toobin. Apparently the McCain camp is trying to steal Obama's "change" message. Because voting with Bush over 90% of the time really proves he's still a maverick. But anyway, Obama is like, "oh, no he diin't!" and steals it right back. Anderson notes that the support for Sarah Palin seems to go beyond the facts and he brings up the Bridge to Nowhere (with video!) and how she's taken more earmarks for Alaska than any other state. Thank you, Anderson! And then from Toobin: "I think it's our job to point out the facts. It's not our job to tell people who to vote for, but I sat here agog listening to her attacking Obama on earmarks, when she hired a consultant to get earmarks." Yes! It is your job to point out the facts. Please, please, please, do your job. I don't think I can overstate how important it is.

The Gerg thinks the Republicans have been successful with reigniting the culture wars. That they have. But then he makes the claim that a good number of Democrats look down on rural voters, which I'd like to see some evidence to back that up because it just sounds like a Republican narrative. And, I mean, Republicans would never mock people in their base. No sir. Anyway, Toobin then notes that the Democratic position on abortion is actually more popular and wonders why the culture war is a winner for Republicans. Well, because they don't realize they're getting hoodwinked. We should buy them all copies of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" Anderson then asks if Obama had picked Clinton for VP, would McCain have still picked Palin. I'm with the Gerg on this one. No. I'd bet money on it.

Moving on now to a Tom Foreman piece on, well, here. My state. Oooh, I'm so popular tonight. The McCain camp has their eye on our 11 electoral votes and they think they can get them because Missouri is a whopping 37% evangelical (help me!). It's okay, people. I have a liberal church. Really, it's fine (I'm surrounded!).

Next up, we have a Randi Kaye piece on how apparently Sarah Palin is trying to one-up Obama when it comes to crazy church stuff. In fact, she's got two churches worth of crazy, so this requires a two-parter from Randi. Before I get to it, Joe Biden, is there anything you'd like to tell us? Did your pastor once sacrifice a goat during service? No? Well, I'll be waiting. Anyhoo, from her teens up until 2002, Palin attended a Pentecostal church. A nice little place where they speak in tongues and believe in the end times. Oh boy. Randi has an exclusive with the church's former pastor, Tim McGraw, who immediately breaks out into a moving rendition of "Don't Take the Girl." Er, okay. Not the same Tim McGraw. Palin actually gave a speech in which she said Iraq was a task from God and she also prayed for a pipeline. I know after I pray for my family, a pipeline is always next on my list.

Palin's spokesperson tries to paint this all as no big deal because she says she doesn't mix politics and religion, but her statements seem to refute that. And the fact that the church was so into the end times is scary. Plus, in 2004, the pastor pretty much told people they were going to hell if they voted for Kerry. He claims he was joking. He was so not joking. But okay, that was after Palin left, so what's the crazy she's got going on now? Well, her current church just hosted the founder of Jews for Jesus, and he gave a speech blaming Israel for their own terrorist attacks. You know, because they haven't become Christians. And apparently Palin's pastor agrees with these views. Ruh roh. The trusty spokesperson deflects, deflects, deflects, by telling us Palin is very pro-Israel. And that matters why? Look, many evangelicals are pro-Israel. And there's a specific reason: they believe Israel plays a pivotal role in the second coming and they want to hasten the end times. Unfortunately for the Jews, they then get to burn in hell with the rest of us evil Democrats, unless they convert at the last minute--at least that's how the scenario goes. This, by the way, is also the belief of McCain's guy, John Hagee. Be afraid, people; be very afraid.

On now to Anderson doing a little clarifying regarding Palin's stance on the Bridge to Nowhere: "As we mentioned, she actually supported the bridge while running for governor. But I'm not sure we made clear enough that she later changed her position and opposed it. The facts matter, and those are the facts." Yes, Anderson, the facts do matter. Which is why you should have noted, as does the AP, that:
Palin did abandon plans to build the nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. But she made her decision after the project had become an embarrassment to the state, after federal dollars for the project were pulled back and diverted to other uses in Alaska, and after she had appeared to support the bridge during her campaign for governor.
Furthermore, it's clear that she would have built the bridge if she could have. Not to mention the fact that Alaska is continuing to build the access road that would have gone to the bridge, simply because otherwise the state would have had to return that money. If that's fiscal responsibility, I'd hate to see her version of tax and spend. C'mon 360, just because someone so obviously pushed back on you during the show, doesn't mean you should do a shoddy fact-check for balance. The facts matter. You said it yourselves.

Transitioning now to Jeffrey Toobin, joining us to talk about . . . O.J. Oh. My. God. It's like a nightmare you can't wake up from. I have to give them props for dropping this at the end of the show and not spending that much time on it, but really, O.J.? People still recently recovering from Gustav, two wars going on . . . and we get O.J. Whatever.

"The Shot" tonight is Anderson Cooper having some fun with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (see it here). I'm actually surprised they played the line about Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews climaxing at the same time (you know they so did--right after a "thrill" went up Matthews' leg). But they left out the best line from Triumph, said after he sees Anderson writing him a note. Just watch it. Speaking of the note, Anderson is fairly proud of it. Because he is 12. Anybody else have a junior high flashback? Triumph, will you go out with me? Check the box, "yes" or "no."

Hm, apparently they have changed type size on the "Beat 360" shirts. Anderson appears pleased. Don't ever say Anderson doesn't have power, y'all! The show was pretty good, O.J. and the lackluster fact-check not withstanding. It looks like the Palin stuff is really starting to trickle out. Let's hope that trickle soon turns into a gush.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

With so many people using cellphones instead of land lines, I feel these around the clock polls are not accurate. What about those who signed up for the "do not call list" for telemarketers? The McCain "surge" is being touted everywhere. So being caustic and sarcastic makes one spirited and no nonsense? Great that Dana Bash fact-checked on the earmarks. I watched part of the 5am repeat and agree with you about the Gerg. I don't think McCain would have gone with Palin, either. My father has an interesting observation. He feels the Republicans conceded the race to Clinton if she won the nomination. Obama's winning the primary changed everything. He feels Palin was forced on McCain because Rove has turned this election into white verses black. That Rove's calculation is for white women who don't want to admit hesitation for Obama will jump for Palin, safe white lady. My other observation on this is that for 18 months Hillary and company hammered covert messages about voting for her as apposed to the (black) opponent. The damage has been done, now same company has to convince voters to ignore previous messages and get onboard. I have never been emotionally involved with any presidential campgaign as this one. What copycats, now McCain is a change agent? I didn't watch the religious stories, but I am "very afraid". I watched the Triumph video you posted Sunday, very funny stuff. Eliza, great post. Anne D.

5:51 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

I meant to add this to my statement about what my dad said. That Rove wanted to energize the religious right at same time. Anne D.

6:05 AM  
Blogger messianicmatt said...

I’m a Jewish believer in Jesus. Most blogs and news services have quoted the same one paragraph of the six-page transcript of David Brickner’s message, giving the false impression that he is saying that a bulldozer attack by a deranged Palestinian is God’s judgment on the Jewish people. Please read the entire message for yourself at so that you can see Brickner’s remarks in context.

Among other things, Brickner says, “My mother always told me, ‘Be careful when you point a finger at somebody else, because there’s some pointing back at you.’ And really, Israel has not cornered the market on unbelief. Israel is an example of what all humanity has been saying to God since the beginning of time, shaking its fists at the heavens and saying, ‘You’ll not rule over us.’ And so all of the controversy that we see swirling in Jerusalem is really a mirror that the world looks in to see the controversy within . . . . It’s the dilemma of the human heart.”

Brickner is saying that without forgiveness of sins, which he (and I) believe only comes through Jesus’ sacrificial death for us, there will be judgment – not just for Jews, but for all mankind.

Please take a look at the discussion concerning Mr. Brickner’s message at the Jews for Jesus website,

11:53 AM  

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