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Friday, October 03, 2008

Fair and Balanced

Below, Woody posted a cringeworthy compilation of Sarah Palin clips. In the comments I said:

Please do not misunderstand me: She looks like a complete idiot in these clips, and she has no business running for office.

However, if she got the number of US states wrong (Obama), or said that FDR went on TV to explain the stock market crash of 1929 to the American people (Biden), either of those would have been considered her stupidest statements yet.


After further research, I am even more confident in this position. Obama and Biden have both said some really incredibly asinine things. I literally had to pause the Obama clip below, because I needed a respite from the embarrassment.




And now our good friend, the plagiarist Joe Biden, who is such a liar that he actually adopted someone else's life history when he ran for president. Here's a good clip from Brainiac and Straight Shooter Joe (followed by some more good Obama gaffes):



(Note: American troops didn't liberate the Auschwitz camp, which makes Obama's story about his uncle a bit difficult to obtain membership in the set of all true statements. What seems to have happened is that he mixed the camps up.)

I submit that Biden and Obama's backtracking and idiotic statements in these clips are worse than what they've caught Palin doing. NOTE, of course I admit that Obama and Biden are (a) smarter and (b) more informed on political issues.

My point is, if you follow somebody around with a camera for a month, you will build a collection of incredibly stupid statements. Look at how many embarrassing things Gene and I post on this blog, and that's stuff we volunteer!

19 comments:

  1. Those Palin clips were much worse than the Obama clip -- I haven't seen the Biden one yet. Obama loses his train of thought and makes jokes about it. She loses her train of thought and just keeps on talking, saying "Job programs, taxes, liberal spending..." like a malfunctioning robot.

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  2. Yeah, but I think that's because she's trying to evade the question of the bailout, which McCain was against one day and then for, the next. So I think Palin was trying to smoothly get around the fact that she was totally contradicting herself.

    In contrast, Obama literally could not get through a sentence.

    But fine, watch the other clip. I hope it's on there, but when Obama says he went to 57 (or whatever) states, that wasn't a mere slip of the tongue. He is figuring it in his head.

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  3. I think a lot of what is happening is that we've heard Obama give a ton of really eloquent speeches, and give very nuanced answers in other contexts. So when we hear him sound like a stuttering nincompoop who wouldn't have made the high school debate team, we just say, "He had a bad moment."

    In contrast, we don't know anything about Palin except these interviews.

    Another point, Palin only ends up sounding like a moron on the tough follow up questions, where Gibson says "What do you interpret it to mean?" or when Couric says, "But specifically, what newspapers do you read?" They never in a million years ask questions like that of Obama or Biden.

    TO REPEAT, I am not saying, "Palin is as smart as Biden and Obama, and it's the evil liberal media making her look bad." I AM saying, "The gap between Palin and the other two is not nearly as big as Saturday Night Live would have us believe."

    I am basically still mad about Dan Quayle and the "potatoe" thing. He got a bum rap on that one. The plural has an "e," so he's seen that combo of letters before, and the (*%R)($#*% teacher had written "potatoe" on the )(#% answer key, so what was Quayle supposed to do? Stick his neck out and say the teacher was wrong in the answer key, when he probably was smiling for the camera and not even paying attention to the kids?

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  4. I think it's silly to compare Obama with Palin, just plain silly. He was well aware that he wasn't making sense. You're comparing a guy who lead the Harvard Law Review with a woman who majored in journalism (at six colleges), yet never published an article in college.

    I found it painful to hear ad nauseum how Alaska was an energy producing state, and how both Palin and McCain were mavericks. Biden sure ripped the shit out of the maverick notion for McCain.

    Biden is a bit of a blowhard. His errors are no surprise. So he doesn't know his history. He was probaby talking about the Fireside Chats. C'mon 1930 wasn't an bad year for Joe Six Pack. I took my son to an Obama rally in Dunedin FL, on a hot sunny day. I needed a baseball cap to cover my bald head. I specifically requested that vender find an Obama only cap. Even with that, I think Biden is light years ahead of Palin.

    Palin doesn't deal with much more than what's on her flash cards. Strange how she quoted from Reagan's denounciation of Medicare at the conclusion of the debate. I'm sure the seniors who love McCain didn't catch that.

    How many workers do you know that refer to themselves as Joe Six Pack? It's actually an elitist term of derision for the great unwashed. Nice one Sarah.

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  5. I think it's silly to compare Obama with Palin, just plain silly. He was well aware that he wasn't making sense. You're comparing a guy who lead the Harvard Law Review with a woman who majored in journalism (at six colleges), yet never published an article in college.

    Oh, you're right, you win. I will stop saying Palin is as smart as Obama... Oh wait, I have been conceding that from the get-go.

    Woody, can you point to a single sentence in my argument on this, that you think is incorrect? My point is that Palin is not as idiotic as you seem to think she is. Your proof of how dumb she is, is that she has made a bunch of dumb ass statements. And yet you yourself admitted that Obama's "let's see...we've been to...fifty...SEVEN states so far" was stupider than anything she has yet said.

    What she did with Gibson on the Bush Doctrine was actually crafty. She was ignorant but not dumb. And the same thing with Couric and the newspapers--ignorant but not dumb. She obviously could have said, "The New York Times" or some other main newspaper, but then Couric would've followed up with, "Which columnists are your favorite? Not to belabor the point, but can you name just one columnist from the NYT whom you read?"

    You and Gene are not appreciating the fact that Couric and Gibson were out to nail her, whereas Obama doesn't get hard questions except from Bill O'Reilly (who is a moron and so couldn't let Obama hang himself the way Gibson and Couric destroyed Palin).

    TO REPEAT, I totally agree with you that Palin is shockingly ill-informed on political matters. But I think you (and Gene) are misinterpreting her reversion to talking points as a sign of idiocy. No, I think she saw the traps ahead and did the best she could to steer clear of them.

    Ironically, my interpretation of her behavior is scarier than your guys. If she is really the bumbling fool you guys think, then she might be harmless.

    On the contrary, I think she is incredibly ambitious and very manipulative, able to use her charm and quick wits (yes I said it) to get a ton of political power without having to even read newspapers. That is scary as heck.

    (Last point: I am 40% continuing this just because I like to argue with you, Woody. It seems you and I usually disagree 1% on things which is more annoying than if I thought you were clueless.)

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  6. My wife thinks Palin is a moron. Before the debate I told her that I didn't think Palin was stupid. Ignorance, she has oodles...

    If Couric asked me, I could name five or more NYT columnists that I read, but I bet I'd name one in that group that is retired. I could tell her that I at least skim three newspapers each day, plus I read the AP and Reuters feeds, and a few news magazines. I'm not seeking national office, I'm just a simple suburbanite.

    Palin has been exposed as profoundly ignorant for a person seeking high national office. The sharks circled around her for a reason. The press would have eaten Obama alive if they thought they could make a meal of him.

    Biden is a blowhard, and has a reputation for foot-in-mouth disease. When confronted he straightens out. He's not an ignorant slouch. I remember back in the 1980s when he was caught plagerizing Kinnock speeches, but I suppose that took some research effort on his part.

    I believe Obama could have made the statement about the number of states, but I don't believe that it's more than a blunder. I've made them in interviews and in public speaking, and while I'm aware of my errors, I just keep going, F^@* it. If Obama were confronted with the question of how many states are in the Unites States, what I've seen of him leads me to believe he'd get it right.

    But for ambition, I think it's an accident that Palin achieved any office at all. You're right, Bob, Palin is an intelligent woman. She scares the shit out of me because I don't think she's aware of her ignorance. She's a sad comment on the value of learning in our society.

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  7. OK Woody we really do agree on 99%... But it's fun to argue:

    My wife thinks Palin is a moron.

    So does mine. I think part of it is, they are offended that a lot of men must think women in general are stupid, and so that's why we don't think Palin is a moron.

    Before the debate I told her that I didn't think Palin was stupid. Ignorance, she has oodles...

    OK that's fine, I agree.

    If Couric asked me, I could name five or more NYT columnists that I read, but I bet I'd name one in that group that is retired. I could tell her that I at least skim three newspapers each day, plus I read the AP and Reuters feeds, and a few news magazines. I'm not seeking national office, I'm just a simple suburbanite.

    Again, we are totally agreed. My point on this was, some people seem to think that Palin didn't even know the name of a newspaper. And I'm saying, no, of course she knew the name of a newspaper, but she didn't dare bluff because Couric would follow up. So Palin had to change the direction at the beginning.

    To be clear: Palin has not read any newspapers or followed anything political (beyond the Alaskan scene) until about 3 months ago. That is incredibly ignorant and scary for someone running for VP, but it doesn't make her an idiot.

    Palin has been exposed as profoundly ignorant for a person seeking high national office. The sharks circled around her for a reason. The press would have eaten Obama alive if they thought they could make a meal of him.

    Nah, here you are just being crazy, I think. The press is in love with Obama. E.g. I think they purposely delayed reporting on Edwards' affair to keep Obama alive early in the primaries. And then there was that magazine (I can't remember which) that had the Obamas on the cover talking about how much Obama loved his wife, and then Palin with the headline, "Lies, Babies, and Corruption" or something. If you read the article, it turns out the "Lies" refer to lies that Palin's critics are saying about her. Suh-weet.

    I believe Obama could have made the statement about the number of states, but I don't believe that it's more than a blunder.

    Ohhh, now I realize you didn't actually watch the clips I posted. Well no wonder you still think their gaffes aren't as bad. :)

    Just click on the last YouTube box in this thread. You don't have to watch it until the very end; move the pointer to the last 30 seconds or so once it loads. You'll see what I mean about Obama not merely getting the states wrong, but calculating it.

    To repeat, if Palin had done the exact same thing, it would have been mocked to high heaven. The fact that you don't even know what I'm talking about is yet more evidence of how much the media (sans Fox) loves Obama and is doing everything in its power to protect him.

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  8. Accusing the press of keeping the lid on the Edwards Affair to keep Obama's campaign alive is like saying there's an Organizing Committee of the Bourgeoisie that meets regularly to plot ways to keep the proletariat under control.

    Obama made a gaffe, ok. His every public word has been recorded and analyzed by the media for more than a year. Show me a trend and I’ll pay attention. Show me something titillating about his wife or children. The Obamas are an accomplished couple. There’s not much for the press to latch onto.

    Palin comes on the scene, almost totally avoids the press, and in just a few interviews provides enough fodder to keep every comedian employed. Look at the mess that is her family, it’s obvious why the media is killing her.

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  9. Accusing the press of keeping the lid on the Edwards Affair to keep Obama's campaign alive is like saying there's an Organizing Committee of the Bourgeoisie that meets regularly to plot ways to keep the proletariat under control.

    Would you say our press tends to promote the power of Big Government? Do you see a lot of news stories saying, "Should we even have an FDA?"

    If you're denying the possibility that the mainstream press has biases and keeps Americans clueless about certain things, then I guess we can stop arguing because our worldviews are quite different. I could be wrong about Palin/Obama, but you're now saying only a nutjob could think the major news networks have a slant?

    Obama made a gaffe, ok. His every public word has been recorded and analyzed by the media for more than a year. Show me a trend and I’ll pay attention.

    And yet you hadn't even seen his worst gaffe until I asked you (twice) to look at it. There's all kinds of crap he's tied to--he associates with former terrorists etc. There is a trend, and you haven't seen any of it because you don't listen to right-wing Obama haters (apparently).

    You see why your position is funny, right? I'm saying, "The media is covering up for Obama" and your response is, "No I don't think so, because I haven't seen anything really anti-Obama in the media in the last year."

    Now maybe you're right, but I'm just saying your answer is a non sequitur. I'm not going to bother digging up more gaffes, because I've already shown you worse Obama things than anything Palin has ever said. I don't know what else I could do to prove my point.

    Show me something titillating about his wife or children.

    Michelle Obama has said some pretty radical things, not least of which was, "For the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country." This is repeated ad naseum on Fox shows, but I doubt Katie Couric brings that up.

    You are nuts, Woody, if you think that if Obama had a Down Syndrome baby, that the NPR pundits would be saying, "Gee, do you think Obama can be a good daddy and run for President?"

    It is absolutely insane the stuff that liberal Democrats were saying about Palin's family.

    NOTE I am not saying, "It's unfair, left wingers are mean to right wingers and not vice versa." But you are acting as if the media is fair and not biased for Obama, which I find an amazing statement on your part.

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  10. Woody,

    First of all, let me apologize for using words like "nuts" etc. I am obviously getting worked up, but I don't really know you and so I shouldn't be using such language since I don't know if you realize how harmlessly I intend it.

    Second, I am not being sarcastic here. I want to seriously ask you, do you know which member of Congress has the former head of Fannie on his advisory committee, and received the lifetime 2nd most contributions from Freddie / Fannie? That would seem to be pretty relevant in today's crisis, right? Do you know who it is, even though he hasn't been in Congress very long?

    (Here's a regular news outlet discussing it at the bottom; I found more succinct discussions but they were all right-wing sites that you might not have trusted.)

    I submit that if it had been McCain, the press would be all over him about this, not 24/7 but at least 10/5.

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  11. Bob, I've been called much worse than "nuts," and I've often deserved it. I just don't see a liberal media conspiracy. Has the media really been hammering on the fifth member of the Keating Five? McCain has been given a free pass as far as I'm concerned.

    Let's take a look at liberal media bias and the Clintons. Whitewater, Vincent Foster and Monica Lewinsky. They never got a free ride.

    It cuts all ways, you have the New York Post and the New York Times. You have Al Frankin and Rush Limbaugh. I think Rush gets a lot more attention. You have CBS and you have Fox News. I don't think CBS has the same degree of bias as Fox, not even close.

    I've read about Obama and his association with the former Weather Underground in that Right Wing Conservative Rag known as the New York Times. It's a front page story. How outraged am I going to be? I twice participated in events at CPUSA HQ on 23rd Street, and even talked once with Gus Hall himself about the FBI and the Chelsea Hotel. I've never been a communist, and I haven't supported them.

    I suppose I'd be outraged if it could be demonstrated that a politician allowed contributions to influence his actions. Did Obama go out of his way to help Fannie Mae?

    This contribution noise makes me think about my youthful outrage at the Tisch family's influence at NYU. I recall complaining to one of my radical professors about the big tobacco influence on the university. I was standing right outside of 269 Mercer, I remember it so well. He looked at me with amusement, and said, "the money is going to go somewhere, we might as well take it."

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  12. BTW, Bob, Woody's advisor was Kirzner!

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  13. Some parting thoughts on the topic of Media Bias, from a person who might watch 50 hours of TV a year.

    We often forget that media outlets, with the exception of PBS, are capitalist enterprises. We’re all whores under the yoke of capital, and we can’t expect the media to be different. I don’t think the media is the leading partner in this dance. They feed their audience and they get paid by advertisers. If they piss off advertisers, the ads get pulled. I don’t think there’s a conspiracy to dumb down America. The customers get what they want. They don’t want to talk about the FDA; that was interesting to the people a century ago. They don’t even want to talk about presidential candidate McCain; they want to hear about Sarah Palin.

    I don’t imply that I find the situation agreeable, just that it is what it is. It is a business, and there’s an obvious bias towards making money.

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  14. "I am basically still mad about Dan Quayle and the "potatoe" thing. He got a bum rap on that one. The plural has an "e," so he's seen that combo of letters before, and the (*%R)($#*% teacher had written "potatoe" on the )(#% answer key, so what was Quayle supposed to do? Stick his neck out and say the teacher was wrong in the answer key, when he probably was smiling for the camera and not even paying attention to the kids?"

    Okay, no one's going to read this except maybe Gene and Bob, but I wanted to comment on this, the most irrelevant part of the discussion:

    Several times over the years, to friends and other peers, I have brought up that very point about Quayle and the plural of potato, and the fact that potato used to be spelled potatoe, and the fact that the teacher had written "potatoe" on the card (probably because it USED to be spelled that way), and what was he going to do, contradict the teacher in front of her class and the cameras, and SINCE WHEN IS BAD SPELLING AN INDICATION OF STUPIDITY? It isn't like he misspelled his own name or something else blindingly obvious.

    But every time I've tried to bring this up, in a way that still shows I'm laughing at, not with, Quayle, and not approving of Quayle and not saying he didn't say some God-awfully stupid things at other times...just saying he got a bad rap because it wasn't his fault and spelling mistakes would probably make my friends bigger idiots than "potatoe" did Quayle...they refuse to listen.

    Since high school, outside of my family, I have been surrounded by almost nothing but liberal Democrats all day, every day, and the extremes they will go to to blind themselves to their own bias is staggering. It boggles my mind.

    Staggering.

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  15. Watched Biden now. Yes, he's a buffoon.

    Palin is much worse.

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  16. "Watched Biden now. Yes, he's a buffoon.

    Palin is much worse."


    Isn't it nice that in 2008, with 300 million people in this country and the best post-secondary education system (supposedly) in the history of the world, the single most discussed topic regarding the presidential race is, Which vice presidential candidate is less embarrassing and ignorant?

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  17. "My wife thinks Palin is a moron." Please assign truth or falsehood to that statement, given that I have never been married (still am not).

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