Sunday, October 26, 2008

Observations 10-26

I generally stick to writing my own stuff, not posting the writing of other people. My whole point in having a blog is to have my voice heard. Maybe that's a little narcissistic. You will have to decide. I have, however, decided to have a feature in this blog called Observations, where I take something I've read, and share it with you. Then I'll make my own comments. (I can't not comment. It will kill me haha.)

So, from this morning's reading:

From Mary Mapes's monster

October 26, 2008 Posted by Scott at 7:04 AM

In 2004 Mary Mapes was the celebrated CBS News producer responsible for stories that had won her the recognition of her peers. In September that year she produced Dan Rather's 60 Minutes II report on President Bush's military service that was exposed as fraudulent the following day.

CBS commissioned an internal investigation (the Thornburgh-Boccardi report) demonstrating in detail the fraudulence of Mapes's 60 Minute II story. The report also noted Mapes's serious misrepresentations in her testimony to the Thornburg-Boccardi panel. CBS fired Mapes for her role in the story the day the Thornburgh-Boccardi report was released. She now blogs at what James Taranto calls the Puffington Host.

Even though she produced a report that falsely defamed President Bush and others with the intent of influencing the outcome of the 2004 presidential election, Mary Mapes fancies herself the victim of the events related to her story. In her imagination she is the victim of a vast right-wing conspiracy. Among the conspirators, of course, are Power Line (and Karl Rove). Mapes refers to the conspirators as making up a deadly monster.

In her 2005 memoir Truth and Duty -- one of the worst books I have ever read cover to cover -- Mapes surveys the chain of events leading to CBS's repudiation of her story 60 Minutes II story. She proclaims that rabid right-wing blogs had joined forces with FOX News, talk radio, and "magazines like the Weekly Standard" to form "a well coordinated attack machine out there in the media world, a monster that waits in the woods for an opening and then overpowers its victim." Mapes is of course the victim of the monster.

Mapes's book reveals her seething hatred of Bush and conservatives. It thus opens a window into the frame of mind that resulted in the fraudulent 60 Minutes II story. It is the sole service performed by this very bad book. She describes Karl Rove as Bush's "├╝ber-adviser," for example, and bizarrely credits him with masterminding "the Republican attack against the [60 Minutes II] story."

Given her claims of the story's veracity, she absolves Rove of fabricating and planting the documents that led to the story's exposure -- "not that I believe Rove isn't capable of that kind of dirty trick."

Surveying the political scene in 2008, Mary Mapes now celebrates the death of the monster that bedeviled her in 2004:

Nothing makes me happier than seeing once swaggering players like Powerline, Free Republic and Little Green Footballs forced onto the sidelines, left to limply watch this campaign pass by like a parade in which they play no meaningful part.

They just don't matter anymore.

Our moment in the spotlight in 2004 came courtesy of Mary Mapes. The small role we played derived solely from the fraudulence of the story she sought to peddle. Thanks to her, we now write for a readership substantially larger than the one we had in 2004. And even though our readership was much smaller in 2004 than it is today, it was sufficient to help us play our small role exposing Mapes's fraud.

Having lost her perch at CBS News and disgraced herself, Mapes now refers to her 60 Minutes II story (in her Puffington Host bio) as "controversial." She imagines that we have been "forced onto the sidelines," although we are right where we always were. From her perch at CBS News Mapes has set up shop at the Puffington Host. As to the death of "the monster" and being "forced onto the sidelines," Mapes is in the grips of a serious case of projection.

My only question to those people who read things like what Mary Mapes writes is this: When she's blathering about the right-wing attack machine and how Karl Rove, the Devin Incarnate, screwed her over, does anyone bother to comment with this: "But um, Mary, the story was FALSE. You ran a complete hit piece, based on documents that your own hired experts concluded could very well be fake. You completely tossed aside the principle purpose of 60 Minutes II, which is investigative journalistm. You didn't investigate, you just ran with it because it served your purpose. So it's not the fault of Karl Rove, Little Green Footballs, or Powerline. It's your own fault."

I don't know, if as Scott says, it's projection, but a simple look at the landscape says Mapes is far off in her assessment. The "alternative" media is still steadily gaining readership, while the big corporate newspapers and stations are losing readers and viewers. I know that the Conservative blogs I read have had to upgrade server space, because their pages run so slow from a flood of people visitng. The truth is, Mary Mapes is one of a whole group of so-called journalists who have tossed journalistic integrity out the window in favor of throwing their well-financed weight behind one candidate. Journalism of the Edward Murrow style is gone. A vast majority of Americans don't trust the major media outlets anymore. And it all started back in 2004, with that little piece of "controversy".

This election cycle has been so much worse, and yet there really isn't much of an outrage. It's what we've come to expect from these people. More often than not, when we spot those stories, we laugh, becasue as I recently learned at my company rally, sometimes you just HAVE to laugh.

We are letting the major media have their day in the sun, so to speak. The truth is, they are well on their way to become the newest wing of the tabloid media. And just remember, Ms. Mapes, you started the whole thing off.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

And it has nothing to do with the color of his skin

Good Morning, politifiles.

It's a sunny Saturday morning in hodunk, PA. The dogs are sleeping, the kids are sleeping, and I've spent the last hour clinging to my guns and religion, and fostering my antipathy towards people who are not like me.

About 3 weeks ago, in my little town, there was an abundance of Obama signs that appeared to crop up overnight. My husband and I lamented that it appeared we had moved to Obamanation. Our neighbor across the street appeared to be the lone McCain supported in a sea of liberals, and we were disheartened. We decided to do our part, and my husband laid his hands on a very-hard-to-find McCain/Palin sign. I refuse to take credit for what happened next, but it did happen. In those 3 weeks, McCain/Palin signs have cropped up all over the town. They out number the Obama signs by a margin of 3 to 1. (And my town just isn't that big!) We felt a little better, despite the polls, some showing Mr. Obama with a 10-12 point lead.


And so here I am, on Saturday, taking the time to write a post that will probably never be read. It is the much promised post. The accusations of racism that have been leveled at people who may not be voting for "the one".

I am not a racist, and I take offense at being called one. I am also not besieged with white guilt. I do not feel I have to vote for someone just because of the color of his skin. Read that again and let it sink in. I have heard too many people say "I'm voting for Obama because he's black", and I have yet to hear one person anywhere say "I'm not voting for Obama because he's black". I've heard those same people who insist their only reason for voting for him is because of his skin color, label anyone who isn't voting for Obama, a racist. The logic of that escapes me.

A female politican, a few short weeks ago, said that the only qualification Sarah Palin had to be VP was that she had never had an abortion. I counter that statement with this: The only qualification that Barack Obama has to be President is that he is black.

Let me dissect that for you, and then I'll humbly submit to being called a racist. I'm sure I will.

If you had a white man, in his mid-forties, with no executive experience except several years as the Chairman of a foundation that failed in it's one goal, would he be polling head of John McCain?

If you had a white man, in his mid-forties who had associated with a non-repentant former terrorist, would he be polling head of John McCain?

If you had a white man who had sat in a church for 20 years listening to someone say "Goddamn America" would he be polling ahead of John McCain?

If you had a white man who told a prospective voter that he wanted to spread the wealth around, would he be polling ahead of John McCain?

If you had a white man who promised tax cuts to 95% of Americans when 40% of them don't even pay taxes, would he be polling ahead of John McCain?

If you had a white man who promised to bring the troops home from Iraq, to redeploy them to Afghanistan (definetely) and Pakistan (maybe) would he be polling ahead of John McCain?

If you had a white man who voted twice on the floor and once in commitee against the BAIPA would he be polling ahead of John McCain?

The answer to every single of one of those questions, if you are honest, is no.

Certain citizens of this country have spent years telling us that we need to feel bad for slavery. There isn't a single American alive today who was a part of that darkest time in our history. There are some of us, like myself, who didn't even have ancestors who took part in that darkest time of our country. My heritate is Amish (no slaves) French Canadien (not American), dirt poor Alabama natives (couldn't afford slaves) and American Indian (making me not a full wasp). I don't owe money, my job, my kids future placement at university or my vote to anyone simply because they happened to be black. As a matter of fact, I owe only 2 things in this world. The taxes to my government, and thanks to God for providing forgiveness. Nothing more, nothing less.

This country was founded on the tradition that you make your own way. We are only ever promised a right to pursue happiness and prosperity. We are not guaranteed the right to be happy and prosperous. If you want to go to Ivy League schools you bust your butt, get the best grades you can, and you work to stay there. College applications need to erase the "ethnicity" box from their applications, and take qualified applicants based on their merit alone. Kids in the inner city need a chance to escape failing schools, so they can work towards those goals. Most of them are doomed by a failing public school system that the government took over and ruined. They need the choice to succeed.

I don't want to give up even a bit of my piece of the pie so that someone who hasn't worked as hard can have a little bit more. I don't need my government to spread my wealth around. My husband and I sponsor two children through Compassion International, and we give to the United Way. I donate more money to charity in a year, then Joe Biden has donated in the last 10 years. I spread my own wealth around. And that is how it should be.

So, no, I'm not voting for Barack Obama, and it has nothing to do with the color of his skin. It has to do with the fact that I believe in the principles this country was founded on. I stand by those principles. Too bad there aren't a few more people who think like that. No, all they see is the color of a man's skin, and for them, that's enough of a reason to vote.

Next time: a day in the life of an every day American.