Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The kitchen sink stinks

The so-called “kitchen sink” strategy of Hillary Clinton’s desperate, scratching, clawing campaign has a much better chance of paying dividends for her if the round-the-clock media covering this year’s Democratic nomination process give her moves the leeway they need.

If Clinton can say absurd things -- promulgate utter fantasies, or criticize her opponent’s religious practice -- without being challenged by the working press, then those conveniently averted eyes are clearly working to help to keep her in the race.

Which is far closer to the mission of CNN and MSNBC than reporting the news of the day in a truthful way is.

Clinton’s making up a story about ducking bullets in the former Yugoslavia was not just a slip of the tongue. It was prevarication. So far her flippant explanation has been quite inadequate. But since she trails in delegates that problem has been reported as if it matters no more than whether Bill Richardson's new beard undermines his credibility and makes his endorsement of her opponent, Barack Obama, less important.

Beyond that, Clinton's gall to presume she can instruct Obama about where his family should go to church seems unprecedented to me. Can anyone remember anything like that being said before by a serious candidate running for president?

For the press, pretending such “kitchen sink” maneuvers are standard procedure, all in the game, is not exactly reporting the truth. No, it’s trying to shape perception to create more of a “horse race.” It's a manipulative effort to sell ads.

Which isn't so much rightwing, or leftwing, or evil. It's just business.

So, let the buyer beware ... can you dig it?

-- Words and art by F.T. Rea

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