Monday, April 28, 2008

Johns' Better Half

Bowling 1, Health Care 0

Published: April 27, 2008

Chapel Hill, N.C.

FOR the last month, news media attention was focused on Pennsylvania and its Democratic primary. Given the gargantuan effort, what did we learn?

Well, the rancor of the campaign was covered. The amount of money spent was covered. But in Pennsylvania, as in the rest of the country this political season, the information about the candidates’ priorities, policies and principles — information that voters will need to choose the next president — too often did not make the cut. After having spent more than a year on the campaign trail with my husband, John Edwards, I’m not surprised.

Why? Here’s my guess: The vigorous press that was deemed an essential part of democracy at our country’s inception is now consigned to smaller venues, to the Internet and, in the mainstream media, to occasional articles. I am not suggesting that every journalist for a mainstream media outlet is neglecting his or her duties to the public. And I know that serious newspapers and magazines run analytical articles, and public television broadcasts longer, more probing segments.

But I am saying that every analysis that is shortened, every corner that is cut, moves us further away from the truth until what is left is the Cliffs Notes of the news, or what I call strobe-light journalism, in which the outlines are accurate enough but we cannot really see the whole picture.

It is not a new phenomenon. In 1954, the Army-McCarthy hearings — an important if painful part of our history — were televised, but by only one network, ABC. NBC and CBS covered a few minutes, snippets on the evening news, but continued to broadcast soap operas in order, I suspect, not to invite complaints from those whose days centered on the drama of “The Guiding Light.”

The problem today unfortunately is that voters who take their responsibility to be informed seriously enough to search out information about the candidates are finding it harder and harder to do so, particularly if they do not have access to the Internet.

Did you, for example, ever know a single fact about Joe Biden’s health care plan? Anything at all? But let me guess, you know Barack Obama’s bowling score. We are choosing a president, the next leader of the free world. We are not buying soap, and we are not choosing a court clerk with primarily administrative duties.

What’s more, the news media cut candidates like Joe Biden out of the process even before they got started. Just to be clear: I’m not talking about my husband. I’m referring to other worthy Democratic contenders. Few people even had the chance to find out about Joe Biden’s health care plan before he was literally forced from the race by the news blackout that depressed his poll numbers, which in turn depressed his fund-raising.

And it’s not as if people didn’t want this information. In focus groups that I attended or followed after debates, Joe Biden would regularly be the object of praise and interest: “I want to know more about Senator Biden,” participants would say.

But it was not to be. Indeed, the Biden campaign was covered more for its missteps than anything else. Chris Dodd, also a serious candidate with a distinguished record, received much the same treatment. I suspect that there was more coverage of the burglary at his campaign office in Hartford than of any other single event during his run other than his entering and leaving the campaign.



Carefully chosen candidates by the MSM which incidentally could be called the "Fascist Tool Media" without much trouble, the select few paraded back and forth like some political fashion show, while the others died of neglect.

Out of all the Democratic candidates (8 or 10?) the weakest opponents to go up against the Republican candidate, a woman and a African-American were chosen.

Those two received all the coverage while the others were left withering on the vine.

In a corporate controlled environment, corporate lackey's are needed to ensure the corporates remain in power.

Given this choice we find out there is really no choice at all. All bets have been hedged, the polls rigged the race is really no race at all but a ritual made to look like we have a choice. As with other grand plans somebody is a winner but in this case it is not the American people, it is the corporate mukity-muks.

$3.95 a gallon for gas here this AM with oil companies reaping record profits once again, you tell me who is running this country.



Hajji said...


It sure does seem a lot like "Idle American"(s)but without the audience participation.

Elizabeth is such a strong, intelligent and insightful person. I wish there was some small hope of having the Edwardses on the dem ticket, but there is little, if any.

Ah, well.

It looks as if Hendersonville, NC is where I'll be "walkin' and talkin'" this weekend.

I just couldn't justify heading to Indiana, no matter HOW close it'll be.

Asheville is such a great town, anyway...I never pass up a chance to hang out there.


DEN said...

An Israeli tank shell slammed into a tiny Gaza Strip home Monday during a skirmish with gunmen, killing a Palestinian woman and four of her children as they prepared to sit down for breakfast, Palestinian officials and relatives said.

But the Israeli military said explosives carried by militants were detonated in a clash with the Israelis and "and uninvolved civilians were hit." Palestinians said the militants were at least 400 yards from the stricken house.

The new violence threatened to hobble Egyptian attempts to bring a cease-fire to the area.

Palestinian medics identified the dead children as sisters Rudina and Hana Abu Meatak, ages 6 and 3, and their brothers, 4-year-old Saleh and 15-month-old Mousad. Their mother, Miyasar, was in her late 30s. Her two older children were critically wounded, the officials said.

"What a black day. They killed my family," said Ahmad Abu Meatak, father of the children, wailing outside the local hospital where the bodies were taken.
Big brave Israeli soldiers hiding safe in their tank, pulling the trigger on women and kids.


David B. Benson said...

Warm enough for you?

GISS Surface Temperature Analysis
Global Temperature Trends: 2007 Summation

DEN said...


David B. Benson said...

Peak oil now?

IHT: Behind record oil prices, troubling signs in production

micki said...

All three of the presidential candidates have it wrong, IMO, on the gas tax "holiday."

Obama dismisses it, but for the wrong reason. He says the savings doesn't amount to much, only the price of about a half a tank of gas, if the federal tax "holiday" lasts three months. (I don't know how he's doing the math, but I think he's miscalculated.)

McCain just thinks it's a dandy idea, period, since he came up with it.

Clinton said she's for the federal gas tax holiday, but only if it's funded by imposing a corresponding windfall profits tax on the oil companies to make up for the lost tax revenue at the pump.

We need to figure out ways to reduce our reliance on oil, not encourage people to buy more gasoline.

micki said...

Looks like Rev. Wright isn't doing Obama any favors.

micki said...

Yeah, Edwards -- either one of them -- would be great on the Dem ticket.

Too bad so many people and the media jumped on the bandwagon for the others.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- $10 per gallon, gas tax or no gas tax, ought to discourage drving!

Coming to your neighborhood sooner than you think!

Spokane paper today had an article indicating that people there are already drving less.

Hajji said...

Too bad he's already said he wouldn't run as VP...

Hell, for that matter, too bad Elizabeth won't.

Hajji said...

I just today lent "Baby Blue", the 1992 Isuzu Rodeo to a friend in need today...

I'll be driving the Jeep for a week or so...

from 25mpg to 18...

I won't be driving anywhere I don't NEED to!


Hajji said...

Oh, and even here, regular unleaded is $3.49 most places...

I wouldn't be suprised to see $5 by July.

DEN said...

Hajji, have fun in NC!

Spent time there in the 90's, Smokies and the BRP, Cherokee and out as far as Franklin and back home to Atlanta.


micki said...

I'm beginning to think that Wright's plan is to torpedo Obama's chances nopw that he thinks that Obama used him -- a politican needs a church home in this country, dontcha know.

Afterall, if Obama actually won the presidency, what would Wright have to bitch about?

That's what they get for using each other for personal gain.

Alan said...

Admittedly, I'm going to be a little cruel here. Has anyone else noticed this? McCain's arms are fk'd up. I know at least one shoulder was messed up in 'Nam, so I'm sure it's related. Anyways, watch when he 'talks' with his hands, his arms only extend out a little bit and it makes me think of a T-rex with the little short arms. haha Anybody else catch that?