Monday, August 25, 2008

Unconventional Wisdom

Since I do not have cable or satellite, and I do have something known as a life, I will be skipping the political conventions on television this year. I will read up on this or that tidbit, but other than the acceptance speeches of the candidates, I honestly don't see where there is much "news" happening. It's a chance for local call girls to rake in the bucks and beer distributors to sell out their inventories.

Yet, one cannot help but get tired of the constant references to the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. It seems that, in the absence of real news, it is far better to recall this moment from our history, when conventional wisdom has it, the Democratic Party "tore itself apart." Now, first of all, the Democrats had nothing to do with the street protests, or the violence brought on by Chicago police officers acting on orders from Mayor Daley. When the cops charged, and the protesters chanted, "The whole world is watching," indeed they were, and many of those watching sided with the cops.

Yet, if you look at the election results from that year, it was as close as 1960, 1980, and closer than 2004. Indeed, had Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey had two more weeks (or, more realistically, had he broken with Pres. Johnson on the war two weeks earlier), he probably would have pulled off a win. The polls were trending his way. He had the momentum going in to the election. He thought the momentum would be enough to carry him past the finish line. It was close, and in retrospect, it was a series of small things that did him in. The convention, however, wasn't one of them.

Yet, journalists, for some reason, want to see it replayed over and over again. So, what do they do? Why, they do this:
Yesterday, Fox News reporter Griff Jenkins waded into the Re-create ‘68 protest outside the Democratic National Convention in Denver, where he was greeted with expletives as he antagonized the crowd by asking “what’s your actual message” and “do you not believe in freedom?” On Fox and Friends today, host Brian Kilmeade acknowledged that Jenkins was intentionally instigating the crowd. At the end of the segment, Kilmeade signed off by saying that Fox was “going to continue to send” Jenkins “out to cause trouble.” “I hope so,” responded Jenkins.

Along with attempting to instigate violence, FOXNews continues its obsession with scantily clad women:
The Fox & Friends team broadcasted live from a bar in downtown Denver today, the opening day of the Democratic National Convention — where they seemed to spend nearly as much time schmoozing with scantily-clad women as they did talking about politics. Segment after segment featured Broncos cheerleaders, Hooters waitresses, with Brian Kilmeade joking about joining the security team to “pat down” the cheerleaders; when Steve Doocy’s son Peter discussed Fox on Twitter, Steve joked that Kilmeade “just twittered the cheerleaders a minute ago!”

And people ask me why I don't watch television news . . .

Virtual Tin Cup

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