Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

June 23, 2004

by J

Digby on Saletan's Kerryisms

V and I have both written (1, 2, 3) about the ridiculousness of Saletan's "Kerryisms" and his woefully misguided (to be as charitable as possible) attempt to be 'fair and balanced.' Digby sums it all up quite well here:
What [Saletan] fails to admit is that the series is an extremely lame attempt by Slate at being "fair and balanced." As seems to be the case across all of American journalism Slate apparently believes it is necessary that if one notices a certain politician doing something unusual --- George W. Bush speaking in Martian rather than English, for instance --- then it follows that in order to be fair, one must criticize his rival for the same thing.

The truth is that the "caveats and curliques" that Saleton finds so remarkable are the result of a political environment in which Kerry is required to speak in extremely precise terms because if he doesn't, Ed Gillespie and his coven of shrieking talk show harpies will blast their faxes directly up his ass. (Ask Al Gore about that.) Bush, on the other hand, whom everyone knows is a total idiot, is applauded if he is able to string more than 5 words together without drooling on his tie.

The Kerryism thing isn't working because Kerry just sounds like a hundred other Democrats who have to parse every single statement in order to avoid people like Saleton calling him a slippery, lying piece of shit (which Saleton calls him anyway.) Conversely, the Bushism series does work because it shows that the most powerful man in the world literally doesn't make sense about half the time and the press rarely even mentions it. Now, that is noteworthy.

Posted by J at June 23, 2004 08:27 AM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
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Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
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Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
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The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
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Clinton Wars
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Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

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Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

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Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

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