Monday, July 26, 2004

Editorial: "Kerry should reject ways of the movie"

The editorial board offeers up some unsolicited advice to John Kerry:
At some stage in the presidential campaign, Sen. John Kerry should make clear that the movie Fahrenheit 9/11 is not his idea of how to conduct political discourse.
But it is his idea of political discourse. Remember, John kerry didn't need to see the movie because he "lived it."
That might sound like a strange suggestion. It's only a movie, after all. Since when are candidates asked to review movies?
Well, when movies are used as campaign propaganda (officially or otherwise), the candidate should be asked these kinds of questions. That he isn't shows as much about media bias than it does about Kerry's campaign.
But one important question in this presidential campaign is how American politics should be conducted. Things have gotten unduly ugly, now that the left has taken up the right's habit of going through life on a rant. Sen. Kerry has said that he would like to change the tone.
One should ask how it got this ugly. Now the Editorial Board will try to pin this on the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy of talk radio and blogs, but the reality is that Michael Moore and Ted Rall are not in the VRWC.
Moreover, this movie is playing a remarkable role. It might not be changing any minds, but it is being used to rev up the Kerry troops. The National Education Association (a teachers' union and a hotbed of Democratic activity) and the NAACP showed the film at their conventions. Other liberal organizations are using it, too.
And what does this say about our teachers and union members that they would buy in to such discredited nonsense? Just asking...
The movie seems to work for some people as entertainment. It does not, however, provide insight. Rather, it uses absurdly cheap manipulations to put the Bush people in a bad light. One example among many: Attorney General John Ashcroft did not lose his Senate seat because voters preferred a dead man. They preferred a dead man's widow.
Of all the errors to pull from this dreadfully inaccurate film, why attack Ashcroft? Because it fits the liberal agenda of the Editorial Board? Isn't this sort of snarky line just the sort of thing the theme of this editorial is trying to avoid? Again, just asking...
As an article in the pro-Kerry New Republic notes, the movie uses "precisely the same weapons as those used by the Republican propaganda machine: disinformation, short cuts, omissions. To portray prewar Iraq as an idyllic country where people danced and had fun and got married, where children played and laughed, borders on the despicable."
What the Editorial Board is doing here by quoting The New Republic is framing the debate in someone else's voice while maintaining "above the fray." The reality is that this is the view of the Editorial Board of the Dayton Daily News, not just TNR. Show me the Republican propaganda machine. Show me the Republican disinformation (and I wouldn't call erroneous intelligence information Republican disinformation). Show me the Republican's short cuts. Show me the Republican ommissions. Demand proof of these folks; don't let them get away with this sort of propaganda.
The point of Mr. Moore's movie is that the president and the people around him are despicable, not just wrong. This is poison to democracy.
It is a poison to democracy...I'll give you that.
To be sure, the emotions that are causing people to like a hateful movie are largely the fault of President George W. Bush. This is what happens when a president pursues a dubious war, offers shifting rationale and turns out to have been simply wrong in his fundamental reasons for war.
Ahh, it's George Bush's fault! There is nothing dubious about the war: Saddam was a threat to our nation, had a history of being a threat to this nation, his neighbors, AND his own people; he was seeking weapons of mass destruction, some of which have been found; Saddam's regime was in material breach of UN resolutions. The rationale for the war has never shifted. The only thing that has shifted is the goalposts for proving what we all took for granted during Bill Clinton's reign in the White House.
Nevertheless, hatefulness is harmful. It can tear the country apart as much as the war itself. It might result in a new presidency, but it might keep that presidency from succeeding.
I can see the Editorial Board breaking out in song...cue the music! Democrats failed to learn the lesson that the Republicans were forced to learn in 1996: voting against somebody rather than for the right guy is not the way to victory. All this talk sounds like the Editorial Board is anticipating a Bush victory yet can't quite seem to say so.
In 2000, during the post-election fiasco in Florida, right-wing radio and right-wing propagandists generally went on an endless tear about how the Democrats were trying to steal an election they had lost. This created a needlessly war-like environment. Candidate George W. Bush refused to distance himself from the ugliness, refused to speak the simple truth: that each party was doing what the other would have done if the situation were reversed.
Ah, it's Sean Hannity's fault. Rush Limbaugh is responsible for George W. Bush's victory in Florida. Don't mind the fact that the President won recount after recount after recount after recount. Liberals have a dangerous tendency to project themselves on to their opponents and this event is no different. They charge that Bush "stole the election" because that is, in fact, what they were trying to do. Don't be fooled by the rhetoric.
If he had taken a different tone then — and consistently — he would have a stronger presidency now and a stronger country. If Sen. Kerry seeks the higher ground now, he will be where an aspiring president ought to be.
The Editorial Board would have supported George W. Bush if only Rush and Hannity played nice while Al Gore tried to make off with the presidency. Anybody believe that?

What political hacks...


At Tue Jul 27, 08:25:00 AM, Blogger ewtotel said...

Spot on as usual, Matt.
The leftists writing the editorials for the DDN couldn’t exhibit more blatant bias if they tried… hold their feet to the fire, my friend!

At Tue Jul 27, 09:42:00 AM, Blogger Matt Hurley said...

Thanks Eric...and remember we're all in this together.

Which reminds me...I was going to ask you if you want in on this blog action. With WMD, I don't always get to devote a whole lot of time to the DDN. The more the merrier I say...

What do you think?

And if you are a conservative living in the area, feel free to drop me a line if you're interested in writing for GCJ...


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