The Entitled Generation

June 4, 2008

Just came across this entry regarding Hillary’s public persona.

What I found most interesting was the use of the phrase “the most entitled of all generations.” I should tackle this later when I have the time, but I will say that this younger generation (Carter – Reagan births), of which I am a member, will likely have a great deal of political conflict with its parents.

They grew up during a time of incredible economic prosperity, relative peace (despite the cold war), and increasingly available education. They have furthermore presided over an incredibly peaceful, productive, low-inflation era of good feelings. For an entire decade we were at a loss for a major enemy or international issue.

Yet somehow we’re still sitting here addicted to oil, supposedly destroying our upper atmosphere, arguing over health care, waiting for a social security time bomb, with no bases or casinos on the moon.

Thanks, baby-boomers.

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What’s Going On Here?

May 30, 2008

I’ve realized that I have been less perturbed by the news media over the past few months. Sure, they’ve been making it sound like Hillary Clinton wants Obama to be assassinated. That’s a little bit of a stretch, but certainly enough to keep people tuned in, and not enough to send me over the edge.

Then, while standing in a check-out line at the grocery store I realized what it was. I have no idea what’s happening in Britney Spears’ life right now. CNN doesn’t seem to care; neither do any of the other networks. This burden has been lifted from me and I feel so free that I don’t know what to do with myself.

Luckily, every four years there will be a prolonged series of political news stories to distract us from the lives of celebrities…at least until John Edwards executes a successful coup and names himself emperor of both Americas.


Sen. Clinton in Bosnia

March 26, 2008

You just can’t predict the next controversy.

Hopefully this incident will finally bring to light the belief that these two should not argue about “experience,” which, though important, is not solid ground for either candidate.

By the way, do you know what your congressman is doing or saying right now? Does anyone seem to care?


Another Saturday Night Intercession

March 2, 2008

Previously mentioned: last week’s Saturday Night Live skit regarding the media’s portrayal the Democratic primary race. The most recent edition of SNL included another commentary on this issue, which is quite interesting. Twice now, Saturday Night Live has taken it upon itself to address media bias directly.

Hillary Clinton Does SNL

Outside the Beltway notes that this sense of partiality is odd, that it is more customary to make light of both candidates. I have to believe, though, that they are doing this in large part because no one else is. Moreover, the candidates are hardly being parodied at all; the object of the joke is NBC.

As an aside: this appearance, like Mike Huckabee’s, came off fairly well. Such a thing is always a risk. (Recall George W. Bush on David Letterman).


American Media ♥ Barack

March 1, 2008

The suspicion that Barack Obama is getting comparatively favorable media coverage is coming into discussion.

Media Expert Decries Campaign Coverage

The article references this Saturday Night Live skit:

THE SKIT

This is, of course, a topic of great interest to this blog. I often wonder what is behind media bias, real or perceived. MSNBC, for example, has been accused of being Obama’s loudest cheering section (SNL apparently agrees). Is it because they have an ideological affinity for him? Is it because there is some economic incentive for them to cover him more favorably?

Is it even the case that he is receiving better treatment? If so, we can agree that it is something very significant. We would need some means of determining the particular bias in each news source we encounter. Lacking that, we would be nothing but suspicious of our largest news outlets.

What responsibility does the media have? Should they come out and tell us what their angle is…or do we expect that they shouldn’t have one?


Clinton vs. Drudge (2008 Edition)

February 27, 2008

If Matt Drudge is mentioned in a presidential debate the topic likely to be controversial.

Brian Williams Hits Clinton With Obama Photo Question at Debate Outset

Instead of shielding the source, The Drudge Report readily admits that the photograph was forwarded from the Clinton campaign. I am reminded of the Valerie Plame incident, when Judith Miller was sent to jail for protecting her sources. Why exactly she chose to do this is still up for debate; however, at the time many hailed it as a noble defense of the media’s independence. There appeared very quickly some different opinions. At face value, the New York Times had been played like a fiddle. Someone had blatantly used the media to a political end. Instead of exposing this for what it was, Miller went to prison with plenty of well-wishing from certain voices.

The Drudge Report wasted no time in making the Obama photo situation perfectly clear. Apparently its editor does not tolerate the appearance of political manipulation, which is commendable. His consistency, of course, hasn’t entirely been tested.

It’s worth noting that Matt Drudge was the person who broke the Monica Lewinsky story in 1998, ten years and some odd days ago. That event put his website on the map, and opened the world’s eyes to a new form of information flow.

Some might think that this will hurt The Drudge Report’s ability to attract exclusive information in the future. I highly doubt that. This scheme, if the information we have is true, is nothing more than a that: a scheme.


Commander-in-Chief Redux

February 24, 2008

Several days ago this very blog posted about Karl Rove’s use of “commander-in-chief.” The phrase will surely come up time and again across the year, as it did in the most recent Democratic debates in Texas.

IntLawGirls covered the incident very well. The post is well-researched, well-expressed, and worth the read. Candidates of all political stripes seem to have a variety of subjective and inconsistent understandings of this role, which, as I attempted to express earlier, is clear in writing and vague in practice. The terminology, in my mind, is most useful in establishing a legal line of authority and accountability. Its use in political debate is misguided.

When Senator Clinton was asked about Senator Obama’s qualifications as “commander-in-chief” she failed in several ways. First, she did not answer in a manner consistent with her vague criticim of his military acumen; second, she expressed a flawed understanding of the position; third, she did not take the opportunity to demonstrate any national defense expertise (which, relatively speaking, she probably possesses). Riding the “change” train and playing nice seem to be more important than the question at hand.

Nevertheless, emphasis on the executive’s military role is bad practice during a campaign: for the media, for politicians, for pundits. When necessary so as to discharge the duties of the office, it’s nothing short of constitutional (and only tangentially political).