Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Unleashing the hounds

Pygalgia has a frightening quote from Noam Chompsky: (my bold)
McCain is supposed to be a specialist on national security issues. Why? Suppose that some Russian pilot was shot down bombing heavily populated areas in Kabul and tortured by Reagan's freedom fighters in the l980's. Well, we might feel sorry for him, but does that make him an expert on National Security? But McCain is an expert on national security because he was shot down bombing heavily populated urban areas in Hanoi and he was tortured by the Vietnamese. Well, we feel sorry for him, but he is no expert on National Security. But you can't say that. These elections are run by the public relations industry. The intellectual community goes along. Issues are marginalized. The focus is on personalities, on Jeremiah Wright's sermons, Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter, or whatever it may be. In that terrain, the Republicans have a big advantage. They also have a formidable slander and vilification machine which has yet to go into full operation.
And here it comes, via Morse at Media Needle, Greg Sargent of TPM, and especially Dana Milbank of the Washington Post:
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a McCain confidant, told The Post's David Broder that the campaign would "go down in history as stupid if they don't unleash" Palin. Well, the self-identified pit bull has been unleashed -- if not unhinged.

Barack Obama, she told 8,000 fans at a rally here Monday afternoon, "launched his political career in the living room of a domestic terrorist!" This followed her earlier accusation that the Democrat pals around with terrorists. "This is not a man who sees America the way you and I see America," she told the Clearwater crowd. "I'm afraid this is someone who sees America as imperfect enough to work with a former domestic terrorist who had targeted his own country." The crowd replied with boos.

McCain had said that racially explosive attacks related to Obama's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are off limits. But Palin told New York Times columnist Bill Kristol in an interview published Monday: "I don't know why that association isn't discussed more."

Worse, Palin's routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."
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(pic via JJ of Unrepentant Old Hippie copying Victor Juhasz's illustration in Rolling Stone)

crossposted at Rants from the Rookery