s skippy the bush kangaroo: the audacity of "the audacity of hype" - action alert

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, June 26, 2008

the audacity of "the audacity of hype" - action alert

we were googling around (which sounds dirty) to research our addendum to our quote of the day post (below).

in the addendum, chet scoville brought to our attention this piece on mike nickolas' blog, which points out that john mccain's own caucus, the national republican senatorial committee, uses the presidential seal as a prototype for their own money-raising efforts, exactly as obama tried to earlier this week.

in our research, we found this washington examiner piece about obama's ill-fated seal attempt, which pointed out the snide reactions of three national reporters:

after days of media mockery, barack obama has decided to stop using a presidential-looking seal that his campaign designed and affixed to his podium on friday.

journalists said the seal, which features an eagle clutching arrows and an olive branch, smacks of arrogance. john mccain's camp had a field day, calling the seal “laughable, ridiculous, preposterous and revealing - all at the same time.”

the seal was conspicuously missing from obama's lectern when he spoke to a group of women in albuquerque on monday. not surprising, given how much grief obama took from a normally laudatory press corps after unveiling the seal at an appearance in chicago on friday.

“what a bizarre and dumb idea,” railed nbc political director chuck todd. “it really feeds the arrogance narrative.”..

the audacity of hype,” cracked abc's jake tapper. “no word on whether they played a remix of 'hail to the chief' as obama walked in.”

andrew malcolm of the los angeles times observed that obama “has decided not to wait for any of the formalities like a presidential election, an inauguration or even a nomination, which he still hasn't actually officially won yet.”
granted, the obama seal looked pretty lame. but still, especially in light of the facts raised by mike nickolas, we found it that it was the national press corps that shamed obama into rescinding use of the seal.

it's not as if people all over america agreed that the seal was over the top and silly. the american people didn't even get the chance. the village press corps already sniped obama's idea out of existence, with the "arrogant" narrative.

and since mcsame and the repubbblicans had already done the exact same thing (using the presidential seal as a prototype for a logo in their campaign), there was literally no justification for the press corps to take an active part in the decisions made in the presidential race.

so we decided to write a letter to the three journalists mentioned in the examiner piece:

mr. malcolm/tapper/todd,

hello, i write a political blog which has been on occasion cited by, among other national media, cnn, msnbc, and the daily show w/jon stewart. i have a question for you.

i read in the washington examiner (in a piece by bill sammon http://www.politicalbase.com/profile/mark%20nickolas/blog/&blogid=2590) that you were quoted as saying about the obama campaign's seal:

[specific quote from each journalist**]

as you are most certainly aware, john mccain's own caucus, the national republican senatorial committee, uses at least three different permutations of the presidential seal for their campaigns (granted they are senatorial campaigns and not presidential campaigns).

for proof of this claim, please see this article http://www.politicalbase.com/profile/mark%20nickolas/blog/&blogid=2590 in which the author used google to find examples of the republican use of the seal. but i am sure that, as a journalist, you have already done this research yourself.

my question to you, sir, is two-fold:

why would you characterize sen. obama as "arrogant" (or "hype") and yet not say anything about the republicans' similar use of the presidential seal, and any implied arrogance on their part?

and, do you not feel it is your duty as a journalist to report to the public this same usage of the seal by the republicans, thus providing context to events, as opposed to letting a narrative get fed into, when there is, at least in this case, no basis for that narrative to exist?

i am publishing this letter to you on my blog, and i eagerly await your response (as do my readers).

skippy the bush kangaroo
**unfortunately, one of our interns sent an email ascribing jake tapper's quote to andrew malcolm of the latimes, slightly undermining our credibility and completely undermining our righteous indignation. we sent a follow-up email, correcting our mistake, but reiterating our basic questions, ie, why does behavior from obama elicit derision but the same behavior from republicans elicit no response at all?

if and when we receive answers, we will post them here. in the meantime, if you're feeling feisty, you can ask the media the same questions: why do journalists feel justified in perpetuating narratives, especially in cases when the narrative does not even fit reality?

here's chuck todd's email (from an old media matters page). here's andrew malcolm's email (based on the email formula on their contact page). here's a feedback form for abc news (we prefaced our submission with the fact that it was directed to jake tapper, you may want to do the same).

be polite. use cites and quotes. ask reasonable questions. don't give them the opportunity to dismiss you as "obmabots."

because, after all, the point is not to get a fair deal for obama. the point is to get a fair press corps.

well, we can dream, can't we?

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posted by skippy at 7:42 PM |


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