Archive for the ‘US politics’ Category

Another Sub-par Attempt at Political Analysis by the Guardianista

September 8, 2008

Another day, another useless rant against Republican voters in the US by a foreign media commentator. The word journalist is not used here since the word should be reserved for those investigating writers who actually know or have bothered to research the subject.

This time Linda Grant, a writer at the bastion of British Bollinger Bolsheviks, The Guardian, is published under Opinion in the Age. Where they find all this global mumbo jumbo I just don’t know.

Our dear Linda participates in that old left-wing tradition of maintaining that Republicans are nothing but rednecks and fundamentalists who vote Republican out of fear that the Democrats would take their guns away from them or, even worse, teach their children about evolution. This is of course extremely naive and tells us more about Linda’s own political awareness and intelligence than that of a Republican voter. The broadest support for the Republicans can still be found in the American middle class in medium and small cities as well as in the big cities.

If Linda could have been bothered to do some research she could indeed have pointed out that one reason for the success of the Republican party ever since the Reagan years in the -80s is that they’ve managed to win over the rural and small town voters in the South and elsewhere by greater emphasis on patriotism and social conservatism. But this kind of political analysis is not what Linda or the Guardian or the Age is about. They assume that their readers are not capable of, or worthy of insight and analysis but should instead be spoken to in the same way that her “American friend” speaks of small town folks.

So clear is the divide between big-city and small-town America that one American friend said to me: “These whitebread Republicans are like children — someone has to tell them what to do and what to think, they’re incapable of independent ideas.”

Referring to small-town Republicans she writes:

The problem is that when they’re running the whole country, they want to take away abortion rights, drill for oil in Alaska (a Palin policy), ignore climate change and start unwinnable wars. With the small-town Republican mindset in charge, the rest of America and the rest of the world is forced to live by small-town values, which aren’t much help when you’re trying to decide what, if anything, can be done about Iranian nuclear ambitions or, more humbly, workplace date rape.

She can’t resist showing her own lack of understanding of the issues mentioned here. Neither does she know or even care about the fact that almost all of the political ideas in the last 30 years have come from the Republicans or very moderate Democrats working together with Republicans.

How about if Australian journalists with little knowledge of Britain or politics would start to comment on British politics and the extremely unpopular Prime Minister Gordon Brown? Surely we could point out that this useless fool has been put in place mostly by extremely poorly educated and alcohol-addicted voters in downtrodden inner city slums and post-industrial brownfields. We could take a tour in Linda’s own depressing hometown of former glory, Liverpool, which is voting Labour to 90% with catastrophic results on employment and quality of life.

The whole Australian media establishment could flock to Luton and other soul-destroying cities to seek out those misinformed Labour voting idiots to show how their misery is reflected in the way they vote. In parallel we could run a report on how that Labour loving newspaper the Guardian is cheering on this uneducated madness. Australian readers would quickly understand what forces are in place to get someone like Gordon Brown to power.

Why do these media writers cross over into foreign politics when they can’t see the forest for all the trees? Why doesn’t she just stick to the trivial stories that she’s been designated to? These are some of the stories that Linda Grant has unselfishly devoted to us:

  • Apr 3 2008: Linda Grant on the art of invention
  • Mar 28 2008: During President Sarkozy’s visit, Britain has only had eyes for his wife. Yes, she’s beautiful, demure and fantastically chic, but is that the limit of the French first lady’s appeal?
  • Mar 8 2008: He was the king of Kings Road, who brought a spark of genius to the flamboyant swinging 60s style. Can the look survive without the man? Linda Grant reports on the struggle to bring a legend back to life
  • Sep 18 2007: Even the swankiest restaurants admit diners in jeans these days. Does nobody dress up to go out any more, asks Linda Grant.

Channel 9 brings Stupidity and Ignorance to US Elections

August 31, 2008

It’s probably not the surprise of the century that Channel Nine supports Senator Obama wholeheartedly but now their twisted arguments and plain bias are reaching new lows, even by their own miserable standards.

Karl on Channel 9 Today Show

Karl on Channel 9 Today Show

God knows what flew into Karl Stefanovic on the Today show last Friday morning, he went on a personal rant against McCain voters that was more appropriate for a early morning kebab queue debate. Maybe it was the news earlier in the week that McCain was now ahead in the polls, or maybe the stress from a long hard working week had got to him and made him forget about journalism ethics, what do I know, but while chatting to a guest that I forgot the name of he certainly let the viewers know where he stands.

I can’t find the clip and I can’t even recall or find the name of the guest but it went something like this:

While chatting about the Democratic convention in Denver the Guest says: “It’s still a tight race. There are so many uneducated and stupid people in the US. You know I’ve spoken to these people in the US inland states who still thinks Obama is a muslim and so on.”

Karl Stefanovic: “Yes, it’s absolutely incredible, all these simple people out in the countryside who don’t know their own good that he still has to convince.”

Karl now turns to the camera and puts on a concerned and serious face. “You know when we went to Tennessee some time ago and we went for a few drinks in the local bar we had people, on knowing we were from Australia, asking us whether it was a long drive to get here!”

Karl and his Guest shake their heads and and leave no doubts at all in the viewers’ minds that they’re backing Obama and consider McCain voters to be below par in the upstairs department.

Now hold on a bit here, for anyone who knows anything about US politics and voter demographics it’s clear that it’s rather the other way around. Of course we could find idiots among both supporter groups and no doubt there would be some pretty common folk in the US heartland who vote for the Republicans, but in general, the better educated and more politically aware have a higher propensity to vote for McCain. Indeed, one of Obama’s strategies in this election is to mobilise voters who are normally to ignorant or too lazy to vote and make them his voters. That’s fair enough, we’d expect a politicians to go out and fish for votes, that’s their job after all. But it doesn’t bode well for the Today show’s Karl and his disenlightened theories.

Most of us can probably see the same pattern among our own friends, I know I can. The group of friends who are for Obama are not usually the ones who are well informed on politics in general and when prompted for arguments can only mention Obama’s skincolour or how old that other guy (McCain) is. And thereby showing signs of racism and ageism all in one sentence we could add.

The McCain group of friends on the other hand seems, on balance, quite informed on the subject with many having been fans since his year 2000 Republican show-down with Bush, which he narrowly lost.

Why don’t we just switch over to Kochie and Mel on 7 instead. A light-hearted morning show doesn’t need to win prizes for investigative journalism, but we do expect it to be mostly unbiased or at least provide sound arguments when it’s not.