Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Republican National Convention Day Three: This Requires Massive Amounts Of Alcohol

Hi everybody. Man . . . that was awful! I truly didn't think I was going to get through the whole thing tonight and I even tuned in later than yesterday. It was like watching a satellite feed of another universe. That was a lot of BS to take in. So, tonight America met Sarah Palin. Some of you may not believe this, but I went into her speech with an open mind. Oh, sure, I knew I'd disagree with most of what she said, but I was fully prepared to like her. Actually, I kind of wanted to like her. But I don't. At all. I might feel differently if she would have at least tried to stick to the truth. It seems she's got the Bush-like lying down. So much for reformer. (And so much for experience. Take a look at the picture. The city hall she ran is the size of my neighborhood convenience store.)

I found The Best Political Team on Television (TBPTOT) to be extremely disappointing tonight, but more on that later. I'll say this though: the TV news boyfriend is sleeping on the couch! I apologize if you find this post really negative, but I'm sorry, I'm mad. So, unfortunately, the fun and wacky bullet points aren't going to be much fun and wacky this time. Pop your blood pressure pills because here they come:
    • I started watching during Huckabee's speech and the first thing I heard was talk of McCain being a POW. What a surprise!
    • I'm sorry, but I thought the story Huckabee told about the teacher withholding desks from her students in order to teach them appreciation for our troops was just awful. The crowd ate it up, but instead of thinking about sacrifice, it just made me think of our crumbing educational system.
    • Anderson Cooper again brings up the band. It's sort of getting less funny. Is he bored?
    • What was up with the Kyra Phillips interview? Did we really think Palin's sister would have anything other than positive things to say about the VP candidate? I thought CNN sent Kyra to Alaska to actually, you know, investigate; not lob soft balls at family members. The time should have been used to run an investigative piece.
    • Rudy "9-11" Giuliani comes right out of the gate with all the predictable talking points: "left wing media," "Hollywood celebrities,". . . why not just call us baby killing commies and get it over with?
    • What is up with Giuliani making fun of community organizers? Yes, because they are the true scourge on society. You stay classy, Rudy!
    • Drill baby, drill? What. The. Hell?
    • Giuliani's all upset about the lack of 9-11 exploitation by the Democrats. Well, Rudy, maybe it's because you mention the tragedy enough for all of us.
    • Here comes Sarah Palin. You gotta love all the sudden break-aways to Bristol's baby daddy. That's not tacky at all.
    • I don't understand why they switched up the roll call vote. It sounded stupid for Palin to say she would accept the nomination for VP when she hasn't been nominated yet.
    • Palin: "And maybe that's because they realize there is a time for politics and a time for leadership ... a time to campaign and a time to put our country first." Everybody sing! To everything, turn, turn, turn./There is a season, turn, turn, turn./And a time to every purpose under heaven./A time to gain, a time to lose./A time to rend, a time to sow./A time for love, a time for hate./A time for peace, I swear it's not too late.
    • Now it's time to meet Palin's family, who come from a small town. See, she was born in a small town. And she lives in a small town. She'll probably die in a small town. Oh, those small communities. Seriously, did they base this speech on song lyrics?
    • Again with dissing community organizers. Isn't her whole thing about relating to people in small communities?
    • Gobs and gobs of lies here. I love how she's trying to scare people into thinking Obama will make government bigger. Yeah, because Bush shrunk it down so well. Not to mention the fact that, hello, she even wants the government to have control over a woman's body. Frankly, this is all I could stand to note of her speech.
    • It's funny that the crowd seemed to like her better than McCain (who joined her on stage).
    • TBPTOT's post speech analysis was infuriating. Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper were particularly bad. The Wolfbot immediately claimed Palin hit it out of the park for everyone. It would have been fair to say she rocked the house, but everyone watching at home? Please. And Anderson said Palin's speech demonstrated why she is so popular in Alaska. Yeah, Ted Stevens is popular in Alaska too. They must like lying there.
    • I can't believe CNN is pausing things to make us listen to crappy country music, yet they didn't even air Senator Claire McCaskill's speech. For shame.
    • Thank you to David Gergen for noting this speech was clearly aimed at the base.
    • I never thought I'd be so happy to see Paul Begala.
    • Anderson and the Wolfbot both jump on the stupid did-Obama-make-a-mistake-by-not-choosing-Clinton narrative. Really? These are your questions?
    • Thank you Donna Brazile for bringing up the fact that Palin talked about nothing of substance. I still don't know where she stands on a good many issues.
    • And a big high five to Roland Martin for totally bringing it when it comes to defending community organizers. Check him out.
    • Though I vehemently disagree with Jeffrey Toobin's characterization of Biden's speech, I have to thank him profusely for finally, finally bringing up the issue of fact-checking. No, Palin did not fight against the Bridge to Nowhere as she claimed. Why we had to wait for Toobin to get this mentioned is beyond me.
    • Continuing with my previous bullet point, the fact that an entire row of talking heads sat there blowing hot air and not one of them mentioned Toobin's point is what mainly has me so infuriated. This is their job. Excepting the partisan pundits, every one of them should have been able to refute Palin's falsehoods right off the top of their heads.
    • I understand being objective. I'm not looking for biased coverage in favor of my side (good lord, fact-check the Democrats too--I encourage it). And to be fair, later on they did say some negative things about the speech, but tonight was just ridiculous. CNN better fact-check this thing just like they did Obama's speech or I will seriously question their credibility.
    • As a woman, I can sympathize with Campbell's sensitivity to the word "shrill," but, uh, her argument that Harry Reid is being sexist has absolutely no merit. The Right has been throwing around the phrase "shrill Left" for years. Also? It took me all of 20 seconds to Google up an example of a Democrat calling a male "shrill." Does her BlackBerry not have Internet capabilities?
    • Paul Begala had the best line of the night: "The press is usually so cowed by the Right you can hear them all moo." The McCain camp is definitely working the refs. I don't know if I heard mooing tonight, but I definitely witnessed some shoddy journalism.
Normally, at this time I'd try to bring you some fun, but even if there was fun to find (and there's not much), I'm not really in the mood. Although you'll probably find this video amusing. If you don't want something on air, don't say it near a microphone, even if you think it's turned off. Really, how many times does this need to be said? Oh, and I was hoping someone would catch and cap this. They did! Oh, CNN.

Also, TBPTOT might sometimes give us the impression that this is all just a dog and pony show, but there is actual serious stuff going on behind-the-scenes that they're not talking about. I'm referring to lobbyists. They were in Denver and you can bet they're in St. Paul. Watch this investigative piece from ABC's Brian Ross about how the Republican's partied it up while pretending to be subdued about Hurricane Gustav. And it wasn't all flowers and ponies at the DNC either. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone files this report for Real Time with Bill Maher.

I think that'll do it for me tonight guys. Hopefully tomorrow I won't be so ticked and can bring you more fun.

P.S. Be sure to keep up with for the truth on the speeches.


Blogger Anne said...

Hi Eliza,

Just hours ago, Palin was literally plucked from Alaska, and now she goes all pitbull on Obama and community organizers. Because Obama was an organizer, that makes it a bad thing? What christian vallues are being displayed at this convention? She better be ready to take some heat now that she's acting ready for the big league. Don't be using the kids as a shield, either. From what I could stomache to watch, the delegates at this convention are a hateful lot. Where does one find hope or anything positive in any of the speeches? Surely, only the base can be buzzed. I saw Wolf and Anderson right after speech praising her speech, ugh. The best team better do some fact checking of the garbage, Palin was spinning. The sound is messed up here at work, since Tuesday, the voices on CNN are distorted. It's a plus to get through this convention. I truly would need blood pressure pills to listen to Giuliani. Did you ever notice how nasally Campbell's voice is? She was ok as tv host on the Today Show, but not as a news anchor. Eliza, you now have to get through McCain's speech. "My friend", I suggest you drink some wine beforehand. Anne D.

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Eliza:

Well, it was a great post, but could I say that I do not entirely agree that the CNN team was biased? I am Canadian, so I guess I am more neutral and objective.

I absolutely agree with you that it was painful listening to every single speaker and politican speak last night. I find nothing in their policies that I can bring myself to agree with. I thought their remarks were offensive, self-centred, self-serving, arrogant...I can go on forever.

However, I do have to say that the CNN team was trying their best to be objective. They can't say on air how they truly feel. I think that their praise for Palin's speech was fair, because it was a great speech....although I had to point out that I disagree with everything she stood for. I think those comments made by the CNN team were acceptable to me as journalists. They were just trying to be fair and balanced. I was not disappointed. However, what I would like CNN to do is to go aggressively against Palin and her gang and do all the fact checking that is necessary on her. But overall, I did not detect any bias at all from CNN.

But boy, I don't even understand why I put myself through the torture last night. It is bad enough that we have a conservative government here in Canada. I hope that Americans come to your senses and elect a Democrat to the White House. I strongly doubt if I can watch McCain tonight. Maybe I will just wait for your recap. I hope that you won't get too angry though.--Patty

7:45 AM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anne--I'm still floored about the community organizer dissing.

I don't find anything wrong with Campbell's voice.

Yes, tonight will be hard too. No one use "my friends" in a drinking game--you'll be blasted in 10 minutes . . . hey, maybe not such a bad thing.

@Patty--If you'll note, I specifically said I wasn't sure if they were being biased, but the journalism was shoddy. I'm not exactly sure how you being Canadian makes you more objective.

Palin's speech contained several falsehoods that anyone paying attention could have noted off the top of their heads, as noted here.

I did not expect TPBTOT to begin fact-checking the speech right out of the box, she definitely rocked that crowd, but to have to wait for Jeffrey Toobin to mention she wasn't all that truthful (and was a bit sarcastic and smug) is kind of ridiculous.

We also had to wait for Donna Brazile to point out the lack of substance and we had to wait for Roland Martin to note the outlandish slams against community organizers.

It's almost as if the journalists decided their job is to just talk about irrelevant things (like whether Obama should have chosen Clinton--hello, it's over now--we could speculate on coulda/shouldas all day) until someone more partisan actually brings up criticism--and this goes for the Democrats too.

TBPTOT might have been trying their best to be objective, but they didn't come anywhere near doing right by viewers who need to know that despite being able to read a teleprompter very well, Palin's speech was full of misleading statements and some outright lies.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, for a moment there I thought I had linked directly to Obama headquarters!

I guess if Anderson doesn't gush over "your candidate" he is "awful," especially if he is giving credit to the "enemy camp" even if they deserve it. Give me a break!

Why don't you middle aged women grow up and get yourselves a life and get off his back. I doubt he needs or wants your silly adoration!

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

eliza, you've said everything that pissed me off about Palin and CNN's fawning analysis of her speech. I'm still pretty livid with Anderson and the rest of TBPTOT, I know you disagree, but for me, they seemed bias in their praise and I was extremely disappointed to realize how easily they were taken in by Palin's Republican hack prepared speech, I mean, they've GOT to be kidding me. Her speech was full of misinformation, lies and cheap attacks and a fact check is needed (the AP has one out now). I remember what Jessica Yellen said about how her bosses at her previous network made it plain that reporters should try to "sell" the Iraq war to the American people. I got the same feeling about TBPTOT last night with their overly complimentary praise of Palin and her speech. I'm EXTREMELY disappointed with them and Anderson and Wolf in particular. Thank god for Jeff Toobin, Paul Begala and Roland Martin for seeing through Palin and the Repubs b.s.

12:22 PM  
Blogger eliza said...

@anonymous 12:01 PM--Oh my. Where to begin?

I guess if Anderson doesn't gush over "your candidate" he is "awful," especially if he is giving credit to the "enemy camp" even if they deserve it.

Um, no. I don't want gushing; I want journalism. The Palin speech was riddled with falsehoods and it shouldn't have been left to the senior legal analyst to point that out.

And it works both ways. Following Obama's speech it would have been completely legitimate for them to point out that McCain's $5 million remark was taken out of context, but they didn't note this until the next day. It should also be noted that Ed Henry had previously parroted the same mischaracterization (playing stenographer for the Obama camp apparently).

You obviously don't understand the concept of this blog.

Why don't you middle aged women grow up and get yourselves a life and get off his back. I doubt he needs or wants your silly adoration!

Middle aged? Again, uh, no. But thanks for stereotyping. And wait, you're mocking my "silly adoration," but want me to get off his back? Yeah, you have in no way contradicted yourself. Funny how you only seem to be concerned about my criticism of Anderson.

Honestly anon, the only thing you have right here is that Anderson neither needs (nor probably wants) adoration. Of that, we can agree.

@anonymous 12:22 PM--Hm, I don't think I would characterize what happened last night in the same vein of what happened in the lead up to the war. To put it bluntly, sometimes journalists go stupid. Remember, these are the same people that fawned all over Obama during the primaries. They like the new shiny. I just wish they'd keep their eye on the ball and give the American public the info they need.

4:50 PM  

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