Well You Gave Away the Things You Loved, and One of Them Was Me

Oh no he di-unt! From the Dept. of Do You Really Want to Go There?, the McCain campaign today sent out this note:

It's pretty obvious that the media has a bizarre fascination with Barack Obama. Some may even say it's a love affair. [...]

The media is in love with Barack Obama. If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny.

Viewers at home were then asked to select from two mocking "Obama Love" videos showing journalists swooning (and, confusingly, many journalists just talking about other journalists swooning in a way that makes it seem like it's them doing the swooning). Here's the version I preferred:

Three points about all this: 1) It's totally true! Journalists do heart Obama, and they deserve to be mocked! 2) From a practical standpoint, do you really want to be taking alienating (and somewhat unfair!) potshots at Chris Matthews, one of the single biggest practitioners of the McCain man-crush? 3) Aside from the Matthews quotes, the list of panting media comments in the Maverick's general direction is long and hilarious. Here's but a brief sampling:

Michael Lewis, The New Republic, Sept. 30, 1996:

The shock of finding a Republican outside the Democratic convention is followed by a disturbingly pleasant sensation. I'm beginning to understand the war that must occur inside a 14-year-old boy who discovers he is more sexually attracted to boys than to girls. The longer I hang around McCain the harder it is to fight the feeling that just maybe I'm ... Republican.

Charles Lane, The New Republic, Oct. 18, 1999:

A feeling is building up inside me, and, rather than continue trying to keep it to myself, rather than deny it any further, I think it's time finally to open up and discuss it publicly. I didn't want this to happen. I know it shouldn't be happening. But it is: I'm falling for John McCain[.]

Paul Alexander, in his 2002 biography Man of the People:

McCain has evolved over his 20-year political career into the one current politician who best articulates the hopes and dreams of the common man, the citizen out there in Kansas or Oklahoma or Alabama who wants to see a return to populism in America.

More fun quotes, and an analysis of what they might mean for contemporary politics, can be found in this book

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  • Pull up your socks and ask McC||

    The worst part about this is that law we passed that established the reporting monopoly. You know, the law that says only Registered Reporters can do reporting. As everyone will recall, that law forbids regular citizens from bypassing the MSM by asking candidates the questions the MSM is too corrupt to ask.

    If not for that law, I have no doubt that Reason would try to undercut the MSM by encouraging regular people to ask the candidates questions and upload them to Youtube.

    As I write this, Reason is working to get that law overturned so we can finally have some real reporting.

  • Ignore the previous link, I me||

    I'm embarrassed, my friends.

  • ||

    Wow! They are so blinded by Obamalove they can't even report the right song for the video montage.

    Matt-- getting any sleep?

  • Travis||

    I saw alot of people like that this year at Ron Paul & Obama rallies. They have that glazed over euphoric look in their eye. Whatever catch phrase slogan the candidate spewed out they were instantly for. No matter how stupid of a idea it was.

  • ktc2||

    So, McCain, who has largely had a free pass from the media for years is now complaining about Obama's current free pass?

  • Peter Orvetti||

    McCain's right! It's sick the way the media will fawn all over a candidate, give him glowing coverage, treat him like a buddy, etc. etc. That's so 2000 of them.

  • ||

    Like a lot of things McCain says about Obama, it's a perfectly legit complaint, and also one that McCain has absolutely no room to be leveling against any one.

  • Chloe||

    There's more Obama love, hearts, and flowers in the media these days than a Danielle Steele movie on the Lifetime channel. It's positively barf-worthy. And when Katie Couric talks about him it's like Cinemax soft porn in the middle of the night, and Katie's dying to do a scene with Michelle while Obama watches.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Matt, you must be conflicted. On the one hand, McCain is obviously not your preferred candidate. On the other, his phoenix-like resurrection in this campaign has had to be great for the sales of your book.

  • Seanfucious||

    McCain isn't getting the worst treatment a Republican ever has, but the tilt towards Obama is pretty significant. If someone could find the link it would be great, but I read today that the nightly MSM broadcasts had well over over 100 minutes of Obama coverage compared to 38 for McCain last night.

  • ||

    Has there ever been a case of both parties nominating media darlings before this year?

  • Matt Welch||

    Matt, you must be conflicted.

    Not at all! I was for a moment in the run-up to Iowa, but then I remembered that whole self-interest thing....

    Has there ever been a case of both parties nominating media darlings before this year?

    I don't think so! (Though I don't know.) Certainly never in my sweet, short life.

  • Matt Welch||

    Matt-- getting any sleep?

    Thanks to some heroic efforts on the part of my better half and her parents ... yes, some.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Seanfucious,

    The numbers I heard were 114 for Obama against 48 for McCain.

    But given that John McCain has been in the media spotlight for quite a long time now, and Obama is the new guy on the block, I am not sure a balanced editorial policy would not skew coverage towards the new guy pretty significantly. Add to that that Obama is the first African-American candidate, one of the younger candidates in recent years, etc...

    And you have to add in a good chunk of time for all those stories about "Media bias for Obama? Is it real?"

  • ||

    Right now, Barack Obama is on a high-profile trip to Iraq, and John McCain is holding quiet fundraisers. What would you report on?

  • No Name Guy||

    FiveThirtyEight.com and their simulator has, for the first time since he won the Democratic nomination, Obama with a less than 60% chance of winning the election.

    This will be a close election, with one or two states deciding. If this election is close even WITH the increased number of Democratic registrations thats pretty sad.

    I think the oil drilling thing is helping McCain.

  • SIV||

    I think the oil drilling thing is helping McCain.

    Not to mention the huge numbers of "reliable" Democrat Party voters who are racist.
    Obama is going to need that record turnout of young voters.The ones who always fail to show up every four years.

    McCain will win.
    We're doomed either way.

  • KT||

    He's right, but perhaps the only person they have a bigger crush on is McCain himself. He gets all kinds of passes for the incorrect, uninformed stuff he sometimes comes up with.

  • No Name Guy||

    Evan Bayh might help if hes VP. But he would've been better at the top of the ticket. He'd be measuring the drapes and planning his inaugural.

  • Just Sayin\'||

    And when Katie Couric talks about him it's like Cinemax soft porn in the middle of the night, and Katie's dying to do a scene with Michelle

    In 1989, the last time I had cinemax, I would have totally watched this.

  • Just Sayin\'||

    Has there ever been a case of both parties nominating media darlings before this year?

    Well, yes, if you consider one candidate was generally a darling of Hearst, and the other of Pulitzer.

  • ||

    Give mw a break!! The media are (media is the plural of medium) as solicitous of John McCain as Monica Lewinsky was solicitous of her cigar buddy.

    Where, for example, are the American media stories about how McHorndog left his crippled wife once she became injured and disfigured in order to take up with a pill-thieving Barbie doll beer heiress?

  • ||

    I WILL EAT YOUR YOUNG, WELCH.

  • ||

    The numbers I heard were 114 for Obama against 48 for McCain

    Before I checked upstream I thought you were talking about approval percentages.

  • ||

    Where, for example, are the American media stories about how McHorndog left his crippled wife once she became injured and disfigured in order to take up with a pill-thieving Barbie doll beer heiress?

    Right here.

  • Gov. Mike Huckabee||

    Matt Welch,

    Like it our not, one day you will have to admit I financed every family vacation your heathen family ever took.

    May God have mercy on your libertine soul.

    Your Friend,
    M.H.

  • Elemenope||

    Right now, Barack Obama is on a high-profile trip to Iraq, and John McCain is holding quiet fundraisers. What would you report on?

    Depends on the fundraiser, and who's in attendance.

  • Abdul||

    Joe,

    It's not just when Obama is on high profile trips.

    The Project for Excellence in Journalism, which evaluates more than 300 newspaper, magazine, and television stories each week, found that from June 9 (after Obama had wrapped up the Democratic nomination) until July 13, Obama was more prominently covered every single week. During one particular week, July 7-13, McCain was a significant presence in 48 percent of the stories-but Obama met that mark in 77 percent of the pieces. Similarly, the Tyndall Report, a media monitoring group, found that Obama received substantially more media attention.

    From Dee Dee Myers' column: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/politics/2008/07/is-the-media-trying-to-elect-obama.html

  • ||

    Boo-fucking-hoo for McCain...

  • Elemenope||

    Joe,

    It's not just when Obama is on high profile trips.


    It might help if McCain, y'know, *went on high profile trips*.

    But he's apparently too fragile for that.

  • ||

    the citizen out there in Kansas or Oklahoma or Alabama who wants to see a return to populism in America.

    Who are these citizens? I want to hunt them down and kill them; or convince them to emigrate to England.

    I hate populists, and the weak-kneed boobs they pander to.

  • anon||

    The SaintObamaLove has even been parodied on SNL.

  • Fluffy||

    I read today that the nightly MSM broadcasts had well over over 100 minutes of Obama coverage compared to 38 for McCain last night.

    Actually, the low # of McCain minutes probably represents McCain favoritism just as much as it represents Obama favoritism.

    To cover McCain, they would need to actually put him on the air, and/or talk about the latest noteworthy thing he said.

    McCain's minutes go down whenever a review of the day's footage shows nothing but McCain looking like a palsic, trembling zombie muttering through his day's speech while his face is frozen in a rictus of insanity - and his press buddies decide to drop that footage in the oubliette.

    McCain's minutes also go down whenever the day's events involve McCain not knowing the difference between Sunni and Shia, or McCain not knowing that Iran and Al Qaeda are enemies, or McCain thinking that Pakistan borders Iraq, or McCain singing a song about starting another war, or McCain repudiating a position he held three weeks ago without acknowledging it, or McCain offering a budget that counts as deficit savings spending items we don't currently count towards the deficit, or the Supreme Court striking down yet another of McCain's Constitution-hating bills, or what have you. McCain has low minutes because if the media can't portray him as America's Heroic Populist Maverick they simply won't cover him. If they can't say something nice, they won't say anything at all.

  • ||

    If you ask me the media's doing McCain a favor by reporting on him less. Otherwise we might be provided with more evidence that he's a crazy old coot without the slightest idea how to run a country.

  • ||

    or, err.. what Fluffy said

  • ||

    LOL, Does anyone here actually think Obama will last more than 2 weeks if he is elected? I mean come onsheeple, lets be real here.

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.To/udi

  • Fluffy||

    Yglesias has a good example of what I am describing:

    http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07/mccains_mixedup_timeline.php

    I imagine it shortened McCain's minutes slightly when during his interview with Couric he decided to demonstrate that he doesn't know basic facts about the timeline of the "surge" and the "Anbar Awakening", and CBS just decided to cut his mistake from the footage they aired.

    After you snip out all the parts of your McCain footage where he either dissembles or errs, you have to go to air with the minutes you got.

  • Episiarch||

    So the media loves both candidates and mostly won't print stories that put either of them in a bad light. How utterly boring.

    Can we talk about The Dark Knight more instead, then?

  • ||

    Can we talk about The Dark Knight more instead, then?

    Christian Bale was apparently arrested for assaulting his mother and sister

  • ||

    Good point, Fluffy.

    If the networds has done more stories on McCain's speech in front of the green screen, would that be fairer?

  • ||

    I hate the Welch. I'll always hate the Welch. I'll hate him for the rest of my life.

  • Episiarch||

    Moose, maybe they were trying to shake him down for some dough.

    What about the copycat vigilante aspect to the film? Did you feel that it approved, disapproved, or took no position?

  • ||

    What about the copycat vigilante aspect to the film? Did you feel that it approved, disapproved, or took no position?

    I feel like that aspect had been explored in a different (non-batman) movie, so the originality of the "what makes you different from me?" line was a little lacking for me.

    I think the film took no position on the morality of the vigilante copycats, although Batman's position was pretty clearly negative.

  • ||

    If John McCain admits that the Anbar Awakening started months before the Surge, he'd be forced to acknowledge that he was wrong all those years he asserted that al Qaeda would take over Iraq in the absence of an American occupation, and that the people, like Barack Obama, who said that the Iraqis would never stand for that were right.

    Doing so would be a double blow; it would undermine his argument that he has superior judgement and knowledge in this area, as well as refute one of his favorite justifications for staying in Iraq.

  • Episiarch||

    I agree that it took no moral position on the vigilantes; in fact, it seemed to say "do it if you want, but realize it can be dangerous". But considering the theme of the film is that Batman does the city a service by being it's vigilante whipping boy, you'd think that having more of them would be a good thing. Or maybe not; maybe more of them dilute the service that Batman provides.

  • ||

    Epi,

    Batman's real anger is that they are using guns and might wind-up killing people. Batman is fundamentally focused on not killing people himself and preventing the deaths of others; if vigilantes inspired by him do, he's indirectly responsible. It's a mirror theme to the "unmasking myself so Joker won't kill more people" plot thread.

  • ||

    Sugar -
    It may be that it is an extension of the "unmasking" theme, but the vigilante theme was explored only very shallowly in comparisson to the "do you really think the Joker will stop killing people if you expose your identity.?" theme

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    Yeah, it seemed almost like an abandoned plot idea from an earlier version of the script.

    And I'm bringing a published interpretation of the character to explain the movie version. Most modern Batman version explain that he holds a fairly low regard to costumed adventurers that he did not train or has not worked with extensively. (And he doesn't trust unconditionally: one of Morrison's last arcs on JLA was Ra's Al Ghul stealing Batman's contingency plans for all the other members of of the JLA in case they went rogue, and incapacitating them within hours.)

  • ||

    this newsie-ncident takes some of the prestige off of christian's career. some americans think he's psycho and think he should get the shaft for the reign of fire he unleashed upon his mother. These harsh times are no midsummer night's dream. If he can regain his equilibrium, this batman can begin his salvation by terminating this velvet goldmine.

  • Episiarch||

    NutraSweet is right, but moose you are also right that it was very shallowly explored. It was an example of when good writing creates a plot device: they needed someone for The Joker to kill to get Batman to expose his identity, and instead of making it out of thin air they used a vigilante which tied back nicely to making Wayne feel responsible.

    It's a damn well-written movie. Light-years beyond even the watchable Hollywood crap.

  • ||

    Saw Dark Knight yesterday and I did not like it.

    I thought the characters acted in hard to buy ways. For example Harvey Dent when confronted in the hospital by the Joker. It was unbelievable that given what the Joker had did to him that he would not have just shot the guy when he had the chance. I mean, he goes on to shoot numerous people who were only tangentially connected to the Joker, but he did not shoot him? Also the bizarre turn at the end [SPOILER ALERT, SKIP DOWN IF NECESSARY} seemed wrong, certainly Gotham would have seen Batman as a hero for, you know, finally catching the Joker.

    I also thought it was absurd that the Joker was so far ahead of the police very step of the way. So when his big rig flipped on him possibly killing him that was actually his plan all along. Yeah, right.

  • ||

    With Dent dead Gotham would need a hero, Batman would bethe logical choice, but he decides to be a villian, because that's what Gotham really needs. WTF?

    Of course Ledger's performance was great. And I'll give it to Nolan, I read where he was going for a "shell shocked" effect, to get the audience to feel what a Gothamite going throught the Joker's terrorism would be feeling, and I did feel "shook up" after the film.

  • ||

    Dent's anger towards the Joker is so great that it makes him turn his back on everything he believed in, makes him kill people only tangentially related to his fiancee's death, but when given the chance to harm the Joker he doesn't? That was incredible (and I mean that in the old sense of the word)

  • Episiarch||

    MNG, Gotham would have seen him as a hero but Dent's criminal acts would have shattered their faith in a non-vigilante hero. And since Batman really, really wants to hand over his duties to a non-vigilante hero, he can't have that.

    As for being ahead of the police: The Joker intended to get caught all along. He just wanted to have as much fun as possible doing it. The rig flipping was stupid because of the physics of it, not because he "planned" it, because he didn't. It was just the way in which he was caught.

  • ||

    Epi
    My point is that it's hard to buy that he could have "planned" to be caught in a car chase with a police caravan which would involve the highest possibility that he would have been killed, not caught.

    He was ahead of the police in so many ways it was just hard to believe. When the mayor gives his speech the police are looking for him, and they were out in incredible numbers. You don't think they would have, Secret Service style, sweeped through the area? Or noticed that the honor guard was a bunch of cops that noone knew (that one especially is highly unlikely)? Or when they are escorting Dent they wouldn't have had, say, hundreds of cops and dozens of choppers at key points along the way in case the Joker ambushed the escort?

    When the jail explodes (wouldn't the prisoners have to go through a metal detector which would have gone off re the guy with the phone and bomb in his stomach?) how come the Joker and his henchmen, who were in the same explosion, come out of it OK but all the cops are incapacitated? How does the Joker get hundreds of drums of explosives on a barge and the cops don't notice them there though they know the barges are a focus of a Joker threat?

    Etc.

  • ||

    I also thought the dippy sonar gimmick at the end was 1. not necessary (why not just have Batman simply defeat the Joker without such a gimmick, after all he is a highly trained fighter and tactician) and 2. far too similar to Daredevil (even the effects seemed similar to the horrible Affleck Daredevil).

  • Elemenope||

    Oh, I dunno. I saw TDK last night, and came away with a spectrum of opinions on different aspects.

    With the proviso that it is a damn superhero movie, I wasn't bothered at all by some of the cinematic but unlikely physicality of, for example, the rig being flipped over. It was good cinema, and it was the punchline to a funny sight gag. ("He missed!")

    The Joker was tirelessly entertaining to watch, and my two favorite scenes included him being supremely devilish (the Joker/Batman interrogation and the Joker/Two-face Hospital scene).

    The action was mostly visual gibberish except for the chase set-piece in the middle; I did not like the way it was shot. Nolan is still very clearly uncomfortable shooting action.

    I though the theme of the movie was really "how deeply do the conventions of civilization run?" with the Joker arguing that they were merely skin-deep and Batman arguing that they are much more. The Joker does make a really sharp point that people are much more concerned with the status quo continuing than with whether the status quo is at all pleasant.

    The Joker intended to get caught all along. He just wanted to have as much fun as possible doing it. The rig flipping was stupid because of the physics of it, not because he "planned" it, because he didn't. It was just the way in which he was caught.

    And to reinforce, I don't think he even really cared so much whether he survived (because his plans being executed are only fun if he can watch them happen). He was merely glad that he survived and was captured, and had a contingency for that (likely) eventuality.

    I though Harvey Dent/Two-Face was really superb. Sudden and traumatic loss can do funky things to a mind, so I didn't find his transformation unconvincing. Eckhart's got game.

  • ||

    "The Joker was tirelessly entertaining to watch, and my two favorite scenes included him being supremely devilish"

    Agreed.

    I thought the various scenes where the Joker handles a knife near and in the mouths of people were some of the most intense I've ever seen. Ledger did some fine work there.

  • Episiarch||

    The action was mostly visual gibberish except for the chase set-piece in the middle; I did not like the way it was shot. Nolan is still very clearly uncomfortable shooting action.

    Nolan's problem is that he shoots action scenes way too tight. The camera is too close to the action and the viewer cannot get a good sense of motion and choreography, and is therefore confused. It's claustrophobic and it's like putting blinders on to watch the action scenes. You're straining to see the edges, the bigger picture, but can't. Very annoying.

  • Episiarch||

    I thought the various scenes where the Joker handles a knife near and in the mouths of people were some of the most intense I've ever seen. Ledger did some fine work there.

    Very true, though I am pissed at Nolan for not actually showing the cutting of someone's mouth. He had me supremely uncomfortable the first time with Gambler when I thought he might actually show it to us, but then he wussed out. I realize that for many people that might have been too far, but I watch Lucio Fulci movies while eating so I need extra oomph.

  • ||

    Pg-13 Epi, gotta get the kid market. But yeah, I thought it a wus out.

    You know, I like violent films, and I've seen quite a bit of them. And I'm not one to think that violence in film/tv will make kids go out and start cutting the tails off cats, but I think that film was a little intense for many 11 year olds as it was...But imo that's why WALL-E is playing down the hall of the cinema...

  • ||

    Was I the only one that noticed that the Joker gave two different accounts for his scars (abusive dad and self mutilation to make his cut up wife feel better)?

    I had no beef with that, it fits the Joker's character that he would be constantly bullshitting about his past like that.

  • Elemenope||

    Epi --

    Say "PG-13" with me.

    You may spit as you do so.

  • Elemenope||

    Was I the only one that noticed that the Joker gave two different accounts for his scars (abusive dad and self mutilation to make his cut up wife feel better)?

    And each account seemed calculated to discomfit the recipient of the explanation specifically.

    I would have been interested to know the story he would have told Batman if he hadn't been rudely interrupted by knife spikes to the gut.

  • Episiarch||

    Maybe the director's cut will be more graphic.

  • ||

    Ahhh, Christian Bale.
    My God that man is FINE!!!!
    The main reason women watch Batman movies.

    I would leave my husband for Christian... damn he is too fine.

    (finally, a woman's turn to drool over the opossite sex on this board...)

  • ||

    I too would have appreciated the additional violence, and a part of me was really disappointed with the end (as discussed yesterday) in that I was looking for a more evil ending to the movie to continue into the sequal.

    MNG -
    I agree about the scenes where the joker holds the knife to the mouths of his victims - very intense. I found myself horribly torn between the correct observations of the Joker (status quo, etc.) and wanting to feel bad for his victims, even though sometimes I couldn't. Having the PG-13 rating really put a damper on it, I think, and also gave away some of what was going to happen if you thought about it that way.

  • ||

    oh, and MNG -
    Re believability of how the Joker got his guys installed places and how he got oil barrels on boats and the like, remember that it's not as black and white as "Joker vs. the good guys." A lot of the cops helped the Joker or looked the other way, as demonstrated by Dent during his rampage of "what did you think was going to happen?"

  • ||

    If John McCain admits that the Anbar Awakening started months before the Surge, he'd be forced to acknowledge that he was wrong all those years he asserted that al Qaeda would take over Iraq in the absence of an American occupation.

    That is a huge fucking leap.

  • Anonymous||

    1. 9.4 The Dark Knight (2008) 91,097

    It's number one on IMDb's top 250. I'm not sure whether that means I definitely have to see it or I definitely have to avoid it.

  • ||

    It's totally true! Journalists do heart Obama, and they deserve to be mocked!

    The question is not if MSM has a crush on Obama....but how deep is Weigel's crush on him?

  • Elemenope||

    I too would have appreciated the additional violence, and a part of me was really disappointed with the end (as discussed yesterday) in that I was looking for a more evil ending to the movie to continue into the sequel.

    I was personally disappointed that Dent died at the end. He would have been a fantastic setup for a sequel. It seemed that he was just getting warmed-up.

  • Episiarch||

    I was personally disappointed that Dent died at the end. He would have been a fantastic setup for a sequel. It seemed that he was just getting warmed-up.

    What? Did they ever explicitly say he died? I thought the whole point was for him to feature prominently in a sequel.

  • ||

    LMNOP -
    He didn't necessarily die - or rather, "Dent" may have died, but Two-Face survived. I know they held a memorial service for him or whatever with his photo up, but that doesn't mean he's dead.

  • Elemenope||

    I sure hope you guys are right about that.

    He definitely wasn't moving after he hit the ground, though, and the place was right after that moment swarming with cops. A pulse is one of those things they check for.

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