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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Monday, October 10, 2005


Gore and the Republican Noise Machine

posted by Aziz P. at Monday, October 10, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
via myDD comes a pretty solid dose of cold water to any potential Gore candidacy. His favorables are worse than Kerry. And while Hillary's unfavorables were about as bad at one point, she has steadily risen due to being in the public spotlight, whereas Gore has not. The bottom line:

... from day one, any Gore campaign would be facing an uphill battle to restore a positive public image, and thus would start at a tremendous disadvantage even tot he candidates who will not be national figures before the primaries begin. They will simply have to define themselves. Gore would have to re-fine himself, which is much more difficult.

The reason for this is the interview where Gore correctly identified the effect of the Republican Noise Machine and its corrosive effect upon the political discourse. I've reproduced the full text in the extended entry below. And make no mistake about it - Gore was indeed Gored. Brutally enough that even Joe Scarborough acknowledged it.

Where I differ though is that I think a Gore run in the primary - while being ultimately doomed - might do a great deal to bring backbone to the eventual nominee with respect to speaking truth to the media power. Just as did Dean's run, Gore could still help steer the debate towards recognizing the pitfalls inherent in our system today, and thus leave a legacy of laying a foundation for eventual change.

interview below the fold...

Two years after the election, Gore gave an extraordinary interview to the New York Observer that could be read as an explanation of what happened to his presidential campaign. Gore charged that conservatives in the media, operating under journalistic cover, are loyal not to the standards and conventions of journalism but, rather, to politics and party. Gore said:

"The media is kind of weird these days on politics, and there are some major institutional voices that are, truthfully speaking, part and parcel of the Republican Party. Fox News Network, the Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh -- there's a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media.... Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this Fifth Column in their ranks -- that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what's objective as stated by the news media as a whole(....)

Something will start at the Republican National Committee, inside the building, and it will explode the next day on the right-wing talk-show network and on Fox News and in the newspapers that play this game, the Washington Times and the others. And then they'll create a little echo chamber, and pretty soon they all start baiting the mainstream media for allegedly ignoring the story they've pushed into the zeitgeist. And then pretty soon the mainstream media goes out and disingenuously takes a so-called objective sampling, and lo and behold, these RNC talking points are woven into the fabric of the zeitgeist(....)"

True to form, the right-wing media greeted this factual description with yet another frenzy of repetitive messaging portraying Gore as crazy. Speaking of Gore on FOX News, The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes said, "This is nutty. This is along the lines with, you know, President Bush killed Paul Wellstone, and the White House knew before 9/11 that the attacks were going to happen. This is -- I mean, this is conspiratorial stuff." Also on FOX, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer said of Gore, "I'm a psychiatrist. I don't usually practice on camera. But this is the edge of looniness, this idea that there's a vast conspiracy, it sits in a building, it emanates, it has these tentacles, is really at the edge. He could use a little help." "It could be he's just nuts," Rush Limbaugh said of Gore. "Tipper Gore's issue is what? Mental health. Right? It could be closer to home than we know." "He [Gore] said it's a conspiracy," Tucker Carlson said on CNN's "Crossfire." "I actually think he's coming a little unhinged," The Weekly Standard's David Brooks, now at the New York Times, said of Gore on PBS. (p. 6-7)


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.