Friday, February 22, 2008

EXCUSE MEME?

Meme: Wikipedia defines it as:
any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.
The information doesn't have to be true, especially in politics -- it's even better when the meme is a sharp lie that cuts the enemy a thousand times and leaves him gasping, frustrated and dying from blood loss. Slowly.

The GOP machine operated by Karl Rove and George W. Bush has been astonishingly expert at churning out durable memes. One of the earliest examples involved alleged vandalism of the White House by fleeing Clintonistas. Trough-side reporters gorged themselves silly with tasty tidbits -- phone lines cut! locks glued shut! obscenities scrawled on walls! Months later, the government issued a report saying "the condition of the real property was consistent with what we would expect to encounter when tenants vacate office space after an extended occupancy." No vandalism. No obscene graffiti.

No matter. The machine was creating new memes that made reporters forget about the previous lies. Like dogs, the media panted when they saw and heard something new. Fresh scraps of flesh on a new bone is the best way to make watchdogs forget about old, buried bones.

Saddam loves Osama. Mushroom cloud. Weapons of mass destruction. Iraq will be a cakewalk. No domestic spying. Terror alerts. Heckuva job, Brownie. Lies and bilge water, all, but no matter because new memes are deployed to defend and dismiss any fallout. Everyone thought so. It's not illegal. You are in grave danger from terrorists. Even in their waning days, Bush and Rove are masters of the twist. Reality is putty in their practiced hands.

But the meme machine's new operators work for Sen. John McCain, and they are rancid amateurs compared to Team Bush, confident but not clever, with clumsy chunks of ham in place of hands.

They laid their mitts on the flywheel and gave it a mighty spin in response to a New York Times piece on McCain's ties to a lobbyist who happens to be a glam woman much younger than the senator, and whose omnipresence forced McCain's people to chase her into the shadows.

A lighter touch would have done it. Dismiss the Times report as picayune, ancient history. Toss off a few jokes about the NYT being the toilet paper of choice for Vice President Dick Cheney. Exit stage right into the waiting arms of Brit Hume, the man to see when you're a Republican in trouble. The story would have died with a murmur.

But McCain and his mechanics went ape with the machine, grinding gears as they cranked it up to extreme scream meme level. Even Rove was never so foolish or twisted, and that's saying a lot, given his history of using memes to peddle lies for political gain.

McCain issued an unequivocal denial of everything in the Times report:
"It’s not true ... At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust or make a decision which in any way would not be in the public interest or would favor anyone or organization.”
Not true. At no time. Ever. In any way. Big and bold words that made McCain a temporary hero with conservatives who otherwise hate him with a deep purity. But they -- the words and the conservatives -- will bite McCain in the ass before this one's done.

Because now people will start to come forward and contradict McCain -- people like Lowell "Bud" Paxson, a broadcaster who wanted McCain to use his muscle in Paxson's tussle with the FCC.

Paxson had a lobbyist -- Vicki Iseman, the woman linked to McCain in the Times' report. McCain's no-wiggle denial was that "no representative" of Paxson (or his lobbyist's firm) personally asked him to send a letter to the FCC.

Paxson says McCain is wrong; we met, the broadcaster says. He also says Iseman, the lobbyist, was probably at the meeting. A few weeks later, McCain wrote the FCC on Paxson's behalf.

McCain's lawyer, Bob Bennett, has joined McCain in the dark land of insanity and denial:
"We understood that he [McCain] did not speak directly with him [Paxson]. Now it appears he did speak to him. What is the difference?"
To be fair, McCain is not the only one to blame for Bennett's madness; Bennett had Bill Clinton as a client in the squalid Paula Jones case, and having to read about your client's alleged fondness for whipping out Lil Bill would be enough to drive most men to tequila and peyote.

There is great danger ahead for John McCain and he knows it. He cannot spin his way into the sunlight. The media love scandals driven by absolutes. Party labels don't matter -- those crying "liberal media" at the Times report have convenient amnesia when it comes to the newspaper's starring role in trying to inflate Whitewater into Watergate. Ideology doesn't matter when there's blood mist in the nostrils and a politician says he can't smell a thing.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

yeah, but the nyt shoulda known better than to recycle an old matt sludge story. btw, where is mrs. sludge? you'd thunk a normal, healthy, wealthy, hetero, gawd-fearin', red-bloodied, 40 or so year old amerucun male would have been married and procreated by now.

Anonymous said...

Dang, you're a good writer. :)

Jason said...

Very interesting post Ron.

Anonymous said...

I thought Matt Drudge was Gay. Seriously.

Anonymous said...

funny ain't it how the flying right wing radio ass monkeys, or even the mainstream cable yammering heads, don't say squat about drudge. i guess that's like shitting in your own nest.

Anonymous said...

So let it be written. So let it be done.

How can a butt-monkey like Ron here be so plugged into the national picture and be the lone protector of the truth?

We are truly blessed with this left-wing Pravda-like post. We should bow at the altar of Chatter and thank our lucky stars that we have a beaming light of truth and honesty.

Thank you.

NOT!

Anonymous said...

good thing iseman didn't "lobby" "banjoe boy" scarborough like she did mccain or she might've ended up dead on the office floor like one of scarborough's "interns" a few years back. gary condit got ran out of office by the likes of dan abrams and nancy grace over a dead intern, banjoe boy got him a cable show on abrams's network.

Anonymous said...

This mind-numbingly long rant does provide any more proof that McCain did anything wrong than the "story" that ran in the NYT.

Ron, you and Tony Messenger are nothing but left-wing hacks and it is absolutely shameful that both of you are employed news deliverers to the public.

Both of you clearly work a left-wing agenda with no regard for fairness or the views or values of the vast majority of your viewers and readers.

Anonymous said...

Uh, last I checked, smart-ass, this is Mr. Davis' PERSONAL blog. Just guessing you bashed him long before he got back into a newsroom where he does nothing to set the political tone.

As for Tony, he's an editorial writer. Those are OPINIONS, either by a majority vote of the editorial BOARD or his PERSONAL opinions that are reflected via his blog and column.

Where's your pulpit??? Where's your NAME??? Both of them OWN their opinions!

P.S.: I think ya meant 'doesn't' or 'does not' in that first sentence. Probably why you don't have a job in communications. Writer envy, perhaps? Or something else ...

Anonymous said...

anon@3:31:

betcha this november the u.s. of a is gonna be a lot more left wing than last time.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Morning Joe and dead people...but who could forget Vince Foster. Was that due to a gun lobby?

Maybe Obama should grow eyes in the back of his head.

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consoladores said...

Pretty useful information, thank you for your article.