Thursday, September 08, 2011

Hubbub over "Speechgate" 

First of all, we need to stop naming things after Watergate. Plays on that name are older than I am and they're getting more and more dubious and stupid every time a new one comes out. Just because the President does or says something that might be considered dishonest or stupid by someone doesn't mean it should be compared to the MOST dishonest, stupid thing any President has done in recent memory (and if Watergate isn't the most dishonest, stupid thing in recent memory, why is it a meme? Habit? Catchiness?).

Anyway, I'm sort of ripping off of Jon Stewart's recent criticism of media outrage over the scheduling conflict between the Republican debate and the jobs speech. His point was that they're acting shocked, SHOCKED over this whole thing just to squeeze some extra viewership and hyperventilation out of it.

The worst part of it is that it really reveals media partisanship. In the case of FOX, if Obama hadn't "backed down" they would have accused him of deliberately starting a conflict over trivialities, which is immature and stupid. Instead, since he did "back down," they and most of the MSN are using this to fuel the perception that he's a coward. That's the same thing as a bully calling the nerd a "chicken" if he doesn't want to fight, and then crying to the teacher if he actually fights back.

In the case of the MSN, if Obama had stalwartly stood his ground on the principle that the President should get whatever timeslot he damn well feels like, when the Republican politicians accuse him of scheduling it on purpose so that a fight starts, they would just say "Wow, they're getting angry over nothing, what children." Since he caved, they've been saying "Ugh, he caved, just like he did with every campaign promise" or some slightly less dramatic version of that.

Why is it that whenever news stations see a molehill, they just have to make a mountain out of it? Can't they just report it anyway and say that it's a molehill?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Sep 08, 05:15:00 PM:

Damn fool doesn't understand why every "evil" thing a dem does isn't related to a "gate?" It is easy! The media's job is to cover for dems and their ineptitude and try to make Republicans/Conservatives look bad. IT IS THEIR JOB!!!  

By Blogger Aegon01, at Thu Sep 08, 05:33:00 PM:

That wasn't exactly my point, and it's sorta inaccurate too. I think CNN called it "Speechgate", which means they're pointing a bigger finger at Obama. Otherwise it'd be "Debategate", right? Some tried to be bipartisan about it and call it "Schedulegate." Nobody asked "Why do we care?"  

By Anonymous feeblemind, at Thu Sep 08, 07:06:00 PM:

I would speculate using "gate' as a euphemism for scandal or controversy is just ingrained in the media culture Aegon01. I think its continued use shows a lack of critical thinking and original thought on the part of the media as well.
In addition, you have to remember that in their own minds, Watergate was their finest hour. Using -gate helps preserve the memory. I can understand why they want to keep the memory alive. It dates to a time when they actually had credibility with much of the American public.

As for making molehills into mountains or creating tempests in teapots, it is what they do to gain ratings and call attention to themselves.

Do what I do. Just shut them off. They will never change.  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Thu Sep 08, 07:15:00 PM:

Sounds like a squabble over a conference room

O: Hey Boehner, I need to use your conference room at 7 on Wed.
B: K, I’ll check
O: Hey everybody, party at the conference room, 7 on Wed.
B: Ok, I checked. Everybody that needs to approve will be back from vacation at 6 that night, and it takes you about 3 hours to set up all your stuff, so there’s really no way Wed at 7 will work. How about Thursday?
O: Well, Ok. But I’m going to say mean things about you behind your back.
B: So what else is new….  

By Anonymous John, at Thu Sep 08, 07:22:00 PM:

Father vs. Son debate on the blog ... awesome. Watching O deliver more rhetoric. Didn't we put 1T into 'job creation' and 'shovel ready' projects?

The point is ... listen to business, clown, about why they're NOT creating jobs (here). It's that simple.

There's capital uninvested because of uncertainty, demogoging of business, and baloney.

As for Gates, I'm with you. Just call it what it is - politics. You want to foist yourself to address a peer piece of government to the Executive branch because you say so. That's not how it works. One would think that the 'constitutional scholar' knew that.  

By Anonymous John, at Thu Sep 08, 07:24:00 PM:

And by the way ... if he has a plan to release in a week, how about releasing the plan so it can be vetted and voted on before we raise the debt ceiling yet again?

Three years into this fiasco, I think we can 'afford' to wait a whole week to see just what he has in mind.  

By Blogger Carolyn, at Thu Sep 08, 09:03:00 PM:

I still like the "send your plan over in writing and we'll give it our careful consideration" idea. It would be more serious-minded than a speech, and Obama could still give a speech based on his written plan to the "American People" from the White House any time he wanted.

The "gate" thing seems really mindless in this case. I think Taranto's word, "kerfuffle", fits pretty well.  

By Blogger BrendaK, at Thu Sep 08, 10:35:00 PM:

Why is the *gate thing still a meme? Because the facts about Gunrunner aren't public yet. Gotta say, though, Speachrunner would sound way stupider than Speachgate.

This go 'round, I'd like to actually read the plan before they 'vote on this plan right away!'  

By Blogger Foxfier, at Thu Sep 08, 11:36:00 PM:

if Watergate isn't the most dishonest, stupid thing in recent memory, why is it a meme? Habit? Catchiness?

It's a meme because it was the first thing with an easy-to-allude-to name that hit the media's consciousness. The emotional power for some folks is a bonus. (We are media, we are powerful! Rar!) It'll die when it's considered lame or a name that sounds better shows up.  

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