Saturday, October 02, 2004
I have never felt so severely the lack of cable. Given my manifest poverty, I simply cannot afford it. Usually I don't notice, given how much garbage is on TV. Unfortunately, I now have little capacity to judge the post-debate spin. I have to rely on internet sources, which while much more substantive aren't the prime sources of news for most voters.
Given that, it does appear that the spin from the debate is overwhelming anti-Bush and pro-Kerry. There is something delicious about the media monster that the Republicans have fostered turning on them. For years the right has avoided substance for style and substituted policy for "character." The right was confident in its ability to dominate those issues, which was necessary if they were to remain competitive (after all, people don't actually agree with Republicans on issues).
For most of the year, this strategy has worked on Kerry nearly as well as it worked on Gore. Kerry was a stiff, untrustworthy, elitist bore, nearly the same line they fed the press about Gore. Bush, on the other hand, was a strong, determined leader with the common touch and a clear vision of the future. And it was working.
Then we had the first presidential debate, and the press bias towards ties and haircuts turned its attention to the petulant and embarassingly ignorant presentation of Bush. Kerry, on the other hand, looked smooth and Presidential. The style issue has turned on Bush with a vengeance, and the Republicans are scrambling for another strategy or some way to salvage their old one.
I am certainly filled with schadenfreude at these events, but I hope that when all is said and done the press realizes that for years, they have done themselves and the public a disservice. Perhaps next political cycle they will take the time to familiarize themselves with the issues facing the country rather than which candidate tells better jokes.
But I doubt it.