Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is Naomi Wolf Advising McCain?

In the 2000 Presidential election coverage, Al Gore was called a serial liar for, among other things, saying he invented the internet, that he was the inspiration for the lead character in Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and that he discovered Love Canal. In fact, however, he said none of those things (except, of course for repeating what he'd read in an interview in which the author of JLS said that part of the inspiration for the story came from his observation of the relationship between Al Gore and his future wife, Tipper). People still harp on this crap, bringing it up as if it were the gospel truth, when in fact it is all a bunch of crap.

It was disproved at the time. It was called crap at the time. Yet, it was repeated ad nauseum by pundits and insiders because, as Margaret Carlson said somewhere, most of the chattering classes thought such sport was fun.

Eight years later, John McCain says that he likes the timetable proposed by the Iraqi PM in concert with Barack Obama, and then the next day says he never uttered the word "timetable." In a speech in Pittsburgh, he claims that he gave the names of the starting line-up of the Pittsburgh Steelers when demanded to give out the names of the rest of his squadron by his North Vietnamese captors. Except, in his memoirs, he explicitly says it was the starting line-up of the Green Bay Packers. He has said that we need to pour even more blood and treasure in to Iraq at the same time we have achieved victory. Just this past week, he said the border skirmish between Georgia and Russia (instigated by Georgia) was the first great international crisis of the post Cold War era, playing Rip Van Winkle to even his most recent comments on Iraq, Iran, and terrorism.

One of the biggest, and stupidest, lies about the Gore campaign was that feminist author Naomi Wolf was a paid adviser on matters of his attire, including a change to what was referred to as "earth tones." The problem was that it just wasn't true. Wolf was an informal adviser, unpaid, on matters of issues important to women. She did not deal with Gore's attire or appearance; she dealt with feminist issues including wage parity and pro-choice advocacy.

McCain's campaign adviser Randy Scheueneman was a paid lobbyist for the Republic of Georgia, and has provided McCain an "in" for one-on-one contacts with Pres. Shaakashvili during the brief, week-long war, in which McCain has been as bellicose and hard-lined as possible. This reality - a paid-lobbyist adviser providing a candidate with unstable, violent judgment access to a beleaguered country at war, seeming to contradict both American policy and sound judgment - is barely mentioned.

The next time I hear about "liberal media bias", I will vomit. If it happens during a conversation, that person may want to move, because I might not have time to duck my head.

Virtual Tin Cup

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