Saturday, August 29, 2009

Politico Propaganda?

I admit it: The liberal media were never that powerful and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures ~ William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, according to Eric Alterman's book "What Liberal Media?" (p.2, pub 2003)

This post is in regards to the Yahoo News story I linked to in my previous post (if you haven't read it you may want to start there). That's how I got to the story, in any case, through Yahoo. The actual source of the article is "The Politico" (The source is disclosed near the bottom of the page and is also contained in the link).

Given the headline, "Wellstone effect for Kennedy?" I was not surprised when I read Politico's Wikipedia entry and saw: "Frederick J. Ryan Jr., former Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, and currently chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation, is president and CEO of Politico".

Not surprised because that headline reminded me of the Robert Greenwald documentary "Outfoxed" where they pointed out how Fox News presents a lot of their smears in question form. That way they can defend their lies by saying, "hey, we're not lying, we're just conveying to you some questions that people are asking". Yea right. (But, you'll notice, I too used a question mark in the title of my posting. If it's good enough for Fox News and Politico, then it's good enough for me. I wonder if one of the reasons they use this tactic that it protects them from lawsuits?)

Also of note for anyone who followed the link I provided in my previous posting, the article on Yahoo is a condensed version. The full version on the Politico website gives the reader more asinine insights from the likes of Boss Limbaugh, The HSA Coalition (a lobbying group devoted to tax-free health savings accounts), and The "widely read" (according to the article) Libertarian blog Instapundit, who suggested, quoting an unndisclosed blogger, that Kennedy's death would trigger "a Wellstone memorial on steroids". (The President of The HSA Coalition, Dan Perrin, suggested that "...subjecting the country to a Sen. Wellstone-type funeral experience, would be using him like a cheap suit". How crass can you get?)

Fairly transparent stuff, but I guess that's the kind of deception that works with right-wingers (they who believe that Fox is "Fair and Balanced"!). Shame on "The Politico" and shame on "Ben Smith" (the article's author). Shame on Yahoo News as well, who should put more thought into where they buy their news (clicking on a "News" story and getting blatant propaganda may be off-putting for some). Yes, the opposing viewpoint is given (at the end of an article heavily promoting the Republican POV) - but it takes the form of a weak "rebuttal" provided by independent political consultant Bill Hillsman.

Considering the fact that he was the media director for Paul Wellstone's Senate campaign, you'd think you could have offered up a better defense (regarding what happened at the Wellstone memorial) than "That memorial really did turn into a cheerleading session to elect Walter Mondale" - although Politico no doubt extracted that one sentence from a much longer interview.

The article does close with a quote from Al Franken disputing the allegations Republicans made regarding the Wellstone memorial (the quote I used to open my previous article), but it's too little, too late. What we have here, IMO, is a political propaganda piece with the patina of serious journalism designed to plant the seed in the public's mind that when the Republicans start politicizing Senator Kennedy's Death - it's only going to be because the Democrats started politicizing his death first.

The Politico's political agenda is, IMO, quite clear. The title of the article contains the message they want to convey, which is all most people will remember (including a lot of people who never read the article but see the heading posted on Yahoo). The carpet-bomb smear campaign from the conservative media has begun.

I watched (parts) of the memorial last night. What I saw didn't seem politicized to me. A number of Republicans, including John McCain spoke. If any specifics regarding healthcare reform were mentioned I missed it. Mainly it was friends reminiscing interrupted by musical performances. (As a side note, something I found funny is that Wikipedia actually has a "redirect" that takes you to Rush Limbaugh's page if you type in "Boss Limbaugh".)

SWTD #16

1 comment:

  1. The most overwhelming aspect of the whole Teddy Kennedy memorial and funeral was the dignity and respect along with the outpouring of feelings from everyone.

    The number of citizens who took time to pay their respects in Boston and the number that lined to way of the motorcade in Washington was awe inspiring...

    That is fact not spin....


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