mm296: Symmetrical political writing: Raising hackles right and left.

MUDGE’s Musings

You’ll recall the uproar NYTimes precipitated last week with their hazy “revelation” of a purported John McCain affair. We even deigned to notice it here in this  nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©.

That was the outrage-inducing lead of what actually was a reasonably good rehash of the good senator’s lobbyist affinity over the years. He apparently never met one he couldn’t do business with.

But sex sells even for the Gray Lady of Times Square, and that’s what McCain supporters zeroed in on, along with the rest of us.  The ferociously detailed dotted ‘i’s and crossed ‘t’s of McCain’s lobbyist dealings over the past 20 years thus easily became the 95% of the Times story that not enough people read.

Word was that the story has caused the Republican party’s loony wing to bury their concerns with McCain, in the immortal spirit of “the enemy of my enemy must be my friend.”

But, fair is fair, and in an odd and indeed, most disturbing, attempt to dismay Obama supporters, today’s edition features a rather ghoulish examination of Obama assassination worries.


In Painful Past, Hushed Worry About Obama

By JEFF ZELENY | Published: February 25, 2008

DALLAS — There is a hushed worry on the minds of many supporters of Senator Barack Obama, echoing in conversations from state to state, rally to rally: Will he be safe?

In Colorado, two sisters say they pray daily for his safety. In New Mexico, a daughter says she persuaded her mother to still vote for Mr. Obama, even though the mother feared that winning would put him in danger. And at a rally here, a woman expressed worries that a message of hope and change, in addition to his race, made him more vulnerable to violence.

“I’ve got the best protection in the world,” Mr. Obama, of Illinois, said in an interview, reprising a line he tells supporters who raise the issue with him. “So stop worrying.”

It’s no accident that this story surfaces while the candidates are criss-crossing Texas in advance of next week’s primary, and indeed the Dallas byline is a natural, a way of reminding anyone under the age of 55 or so of the first of the defining political assassinations of our time.

[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]

In Painful Past, Hushed Worry About Obama – New York Times

So, trying to soothe my own concerns, I posit that the nutcakes out there have either already put their plans in place, or never read the Times. Thus, no real harm done.

But seriously, besides moving electrons (and this story is on the most emailed list today), what possible purpose can such a story have than to compensate for what even those of a somewhat liberal bent might see as a somewhat undersourced (at least so far as the sexual content was concerned) attack on McCain?

It’s symmetry, see? We raise their hackles last week. We raise yours this week. Next week: who knows?

It’s it for now. Thanks,


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