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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Caption airbrushing at the New York Times 


Earlier today, I spotted this hideously ill-informed photo caption on the front page of the Grey Lady (transcribed below, emphasis added):


Before


Senator John McCain and Sarah Palin, who were estranged as running mates, reunited Friday in Tuscon. Ms. Palin endorsed Mr. McCain's run against a conservative challenger, calling McCain supports "all part of that Tea Party movement." (transcription corrected)

The bolded text is manifestly false, unless the authors of Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime are completely full of it. Heilemann and Halperin make it quite clear that there was never any evidence of estrangement between McCain and Palin, notwithstanding a fair amount of anti-Palin leaking from McCain staffers. Indeed, the book demonstrates fairly convincingly that it was Obama and Biden who were estranged, literally not speaking to each other for weeks during the campaign and only reconciled by dint of an "intervention" of sorts by the campaign staff. The editors of the Times projected the estrangement inside the Obama camp on the McCain campaign, which is nothing short of astonishing.


Somebody seems to have pointed this out to them, because as of Saturday evening the online caption to the same (albeit cropped) photo has been revised without any admission of correction:


After


Well, facts are good.

The really interesting question, of course, is why the caption was written the way it was in the first place. I mean, how do you make up a concept like "estrangement" from whole cloth? Is it because Palin is a woman, and men and women get "estranged"? Or is it because the staff at the Times is pretty much willing to write anything to prove that Sarah Palin is a harpy even if it requires making stuff up out of whole cloth? One struggles to locate a better third explanation.


26 Comments:

By Anonymous djmoore, at Sat Mar 27, 06:21:00 PM:

Oh, this is lovely. They just can't help themselves, can they?

By the way, you've misquoted the caption. It should be "that Tea Party movement."

There's a subtle difference in context, with Palin distancing herself from "that" movement. Whether she did or not, who knows.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Sat Mar 27, 06:27:00 PM:

Thanks for the fix!  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Sat Mar 27, 06:38:00 PM:

0,0

I want that jacket...  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 27, 06:44:00 PM:

Absolutely! The hotness factor was up several notches with the leather look. Say what you will about McCain but he hangs with great looking women.  

By Blogger Escort81, at Sat Mar 27, 07:24:00 PM:

Think about how strong your fingers have to be to stick a pin (what is apparently an American flag pin on the top left lapel) through leather. Regardless of one's attitude toward the former Governor of Alaska, there is something to be said for a woman with strong hands.  

By Blogger Bomber Girl, at Sat Mar 27, 08:45:00 PM:

Absolutely. Yup, yup.  

By Anonymous vicki pasadena ca, at Sat Mar 27, 09:18:00 PM:

I guess McCain isn't interested in getting re-elected. Maybe it is time for him to retire. Think he might have a little memory loss concerning the fact that she helped him lose in 2008. I don't care how popular you think she is, she can't win elections. And she never will.  

By Anonymous Mad as Hell, at Sun Mar 28, 08:18:00 AM:

"... she can't win elections."

Palin wasn't outcome determinative to 2008. Initially, Palin gave McCain's campaign a needed boost ... despite the negative press she got from some quarters. She killed up and through the Biden debate.

Palin became a slight drag toward the end. She could have been used better. She was set-up on Katie Couric.

McCain lost for other reasons -- he had a shot until the financial meltdown but it was always going to be a challenge. Every time Bush got on TV during the meltdown, McCain dropped a point. Any other 2008 Republican contender -- except for Giuliani -- would have lost by 5% more than McCain.

Palin's absolutely a plus to McCain now. If you can't see that, you're politically blind.

I happened to see Sarah with McCain on TV at this rally, but without sound. I thought her leather outfit was her best yet. When I was 11-years old I got a funny thrill from watching Diana Rigg in leather on The Avengers..... Coincidence?

Sidebar: I'm a McCain fan, although I realize he was past his sell-by date in 2008 ... and that he's occasionally gone off plantation. I'm still amazed that many don't think he's "conservative" but think Bush-Cheney are. McCain should have been President in 2000. Karl Rove will get his own little circle of hell.

"And she never will."

Keep kidding yourself. Palin is at least a kingmaker in 2012. I've been a fan of hers from the beginning -- with reservations. She still doesn't click with women Independents -- and may never. If she can fix that, she's quite electable.

I expect the Republicans to at least win back the House in 2010, the economy to stagnate at best, and Obama's support to shrink. Going into 2012, much depends on whether Obama goes full retard. I expect he will, and MSM to lose all credibility with all but the loonie left for going against common sense and journalistic integrity for too long. A coalition of blacks, municipal union workers and the Hyde Park crowd can win in Chicago but can't hold the White House.

If it becomes a war between "us" and the "political class - DC", Palin makes a good Joan of Arc.

Romney is a talent, but not in politics. He's got some real limitations as a candidate. If you went to an Ivy League college or are a Mormon, you may not see it. If I were a Democrat, I could beat Romney like a drum.  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Sun Mar 28, 09:19:00 AM:

Why did the NYT manufacture the "estrangement?" The answer is quite clear: Alcee "We make it up as we go along" Hastings sits on the NYT editorial board.

Eric Hines  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sun Mar 28, 09:49:00 AM:

Thatta girl!

Palin: Media 'lies' about links between tea parties, violence

What's really troubling is that obama & Co instigated this -- it just didn't follow their plan. They had members of the Black Caucus and others like Pelosi purposefully walk into Tea Party crowds -- cameras at the ready -- hoping to catch a Tea Partier losing it. It didn't happen. All they got was a little spittle and stories about how rocks were thrown through 30th floor windows.  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sun Mar 28, 10:39:00 AM:

Rage Is Not About Health Care

Frank Rich in the New York Times: "Rage" against Healthcare is really rascism. He actually likened it to Kristallnacht. You can't make this up!  

By Anonymous The Truth is Out There, at Sun Mar 28, 10:39:00 AM:

Rage Is Not About Health Care

Frank Rich in the New York Times: "Rage" against Healthcare is really rascism. He actually likened it to Kristallnacht. You can't make this up!  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Mar 28, 11:35:00 AM:

I thought "estranged" was a stretch. As for the wife/husband point, I note that parents and children or siblings could be estranged. I recall stories about strain between the camps before the election. As the Times said, they had little contact since the election. I would suggest that this "estrangement" claim is not made up of whole cloth, but was a ridiculous overstatement. I don't know when an error rises to the level that the Times posts a "correction." I've certainly seen them change text - even eg GDP growth numbers - without posting a correction.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Mar 28, 12:35:00 PM:

Once you realize the people running the NYT are liars and morons then it becomes a hell of a lot easier to explain what they do.  

By Blogger SR, at Sun Mar 28, 02:38:00 PM:

I wouldn't necessarily ascribe ulterior motives to the headline writer and the editor. I'm betting more on ignorance of the actual situation. The Times staff in gotham probably doesn't get out enough to avoid the assumption that their biases are true.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Mar 28, 10:24:00 PM:

Thinking that hiring Frank Rich to write op-eds being exhibit "A' of that very point.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Mar 28, 10:26:00 PM:

I meant to say, "thinking that hiring Frank Rich to write op-eds is a good idea being exhibit "A" of that very point.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Mon Mar 29, 01:13:00 AM:

"thinking that hiring Frank Rich to write op-eds is a good idea"

That reminded me of the reaction I had when they first put Rich on the op-ed page many years ago. Rich previously was the *theater* critic of the NYT. What made him suddenly qualified to expound on national and world affairs? What's up with that, I thought? Now I know - like I said, his bosses are morons.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 29, 05:38:00 PM:

Maybe they were just prescient...we do have lots of drama these days coming from the Democrats.  

By Anonymous Blacque Jacques Shellacque, at Mon Mar 29, 09:48:00 PM:

The real estrangement is between conservatives and McCain, and McCain is the one who went astray.  

By Anonymous Mad As Hell, at Tue Mar 30, 09:58:00 AM:

"McCain is the one who went astray"

Agreed, he went off plantation with McCain-Feingold and immigration (which was actually Bush's initiative). But what else? McCain didn't kowtow to Rush nor to the Religious Right. I suspect that's his real sin within the Party.

Bush-Cheney strayed far more from what we used to call conservatism. They turned out to be Big Statist profligate adventurers. This isn't a small point as the Republicans still have an identity crisis over what "conservative" means.

The Tea Party movement is just the activist front of a potentially much broader political coalition that would bring into the fold disaffected Republicans, Independents and Reagan Democrats. Smaller federal government and basic fiscal responsibility are their hot issues. Much of the young could be attracted too, once the young attain class consciousness about how they're getting screwed over by Obama & Co. Some Hispanics too.

On this course, the Republicans could become the dominate party in 2012 and beyond.

If instead they insist on control by an Inner Party of white Protestant males -- the Religious Right, rednecks and country club golfers -- they won't. Obama can still win a second term ... recall that Jimmy Carter almost did back in 1980.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Tue Mar 30, 11:37:00 AM:

If folks constantly keep talking about ignoring the "Religious Right" and "rednecks" even I'm going to turn against them, small gov't talk or no... being 'against' undefined stereotypes is more of a bad leftie thing, and I've been burnt often enough when the stereotypes change as is useful. If I can think of a dozen examples and I'm practically a kid, older and wiser folks should REALLY be cautious.

For "religious right," I've see it used as shorthand for everything from "no more 'compassionate conservatism'-- TEACH folks to fish, instead" through "who cares about gay marriage?" up to the full on libertarian "you have no right to judge about abortion, fathers paying child support if they didn't contract into it, anything vaguely related to morality in law and my pet project over here."

Gotta say this is the first time I've seen them identified as Protestant, though. (I know the WASP stereotype...just never seen it applied to the "white protestant male" one)  

By Anonymous Mad As Hell, at Tue Mar 30, 01:56:00 PM:

I'm not suggesting we ignore anybody. I actually consider myself an inner city redneck.

I am suggesting that the Republican Party not have a roped-off Inner Party. If it does it'll only be a regional party, not a national one.

I'm also saying that McCain got criticized for not being "conservative" for reasons other than his all-in voting record.

People of faith should have a place in government, certainly. But it shouldn't be a party qualification to be a Presidential nominee. If you brought back the Founding Fathers, several of them wouldn't be welcome in the Inner Circle of the Republican Party of recent years on religious grounds.

Social issues would be better left to the States, for openers. We're too big and too diverse a country.

If you want to use the Constitution as a framework for us to go Back to the Future, you need to be consistent.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Thu Apr 01, 04:15:00 PM:

If you brought back the Founding Fathers, several of them wouldn't be welcome in the Inner Circle of the Republican Party of recent years on religious grounds.

Examples? On both ends.

Social issues would be better left to the States, for openers.

Depends on how you define "social issues"; where it is the state DOING something, oh heck yes; where it is laws FORBIDDING something, harder to justify.  

By Anonymous Mad as Hell, at Fri Apr 02, 09:36:00 AM:

"Examples? On both ends."

Religious affiliations of United States Presidents

Once upon a time you could be non-practicing or have "unique" beliefs, so long as you were born into the broad spectrum of the Protestant fold. So it was more about which tribe you were from -- not about the fine points of religious doctrine or the fervor of your faith. That's politics as usual. But today if you're not a Holy Roller -- or kiss the rings of the right Born Again Baptists -- you're not welcome in the Inner Party. I'm not against Holy Rollers as candidates, but it shouldn't be an Inner Party qualification -- not for a national party. This Inner Party thing is actually more about commanding federal largesse than it is about overturning Roe v Wade.

If those already in the Inner Party resist this, the Republicans stand a good chance of losing in 2012. You can count on Republicans doing well in 2010 -- my current over/under is +55 in the House -- but don't assume 2012 is a gimme. Recall that Carter was ahead of Reagan until the last month before the 1980. If we wind up with eight years of Obama, America will be looking for other answers than a rump regional legacy Republican party.

Sarah Palin is an obvious illustration of the dilemma. Many within the Republican party like her because she's a Holy Roller. But being a Holy Roller shouldn't be a necessary qualification -- it can be a limitation if she's ever the candidate. I like Palin because she "Walks the Walk" -- her faith is part of the package. She's the best anti-DC insurgent voice right now ,,,, and I love her for it. My sense is that she's so Not Inner Party, actually. Developing ....

"where it is laws FORBIDDING something, harder to justify."

Not clear on what you meant exactly, but I'll read it the way I think you intended it.

10th Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

I don't have a fetish about the 10th -- it's already been read out of the Constitution as a practical matter. But it can be a rallying call for shrinking FEDERAL government, which is too big and too unresponsive. This is our biggest challenge today -- not terrorism. Our political class and the denizens of DC are the enemy of the rest of America. They'll bleed us dry if they're not stopped. This isn't a call to literal arms, but a figurative one -- in case the FBI is listening in.

We'll know we've succeeded when DC unemployment is in line with that of Ohio.  

By Blogger Foxfier, formerly Sailorette, at Fri Apr 02, 07:57:00 PM:

I asked for examples, not more assertions, please.

As to what I mean by forbidding things, but not doing things:
you can federally outlaw murder, but you shouldn't try to federally organize education. (Shoot, I think the Feds should be much more limited in what they do on the roads, and I KNOW how those use to be!)  

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