Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Frum Plays the Gandhi Card

I must say Rachel Maddow shows an almost Obama like serenity in dealing with this piece.


Casey said...

I saw this interview live and had a very strong, and opposite, reaction. Mind if I get "long" here? -- good.

I'd like to start by pointing out the persistent look on Maddow's eyebrows. It's perfectly representative of the problem I'm going to try to expose here: she's almost always looking at Frum as if she's locked in a room with a creepy guy who is about to take is dong out -- she can't look away for fear that he'll approach her, but she seriously doesn't want to look.

In case any strangers are reading who don't know me: I support Obama. I'm voting for him. I hope he wins. But I have exactly as much animosity for Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Chris Matthews as I have for Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh.

And so, although I disagree with Frum's voting impulses, I thought he blew Maddow out of the water in this particular interview -- he answered all of her questions calmly, despite the fact that her questions were obviously "leading..."

Take her question: "Do you think that my tone on this show is equivalent to people calling Barack Obama somebody who palls around with terrorists?"

Frum's answer here was (for me!) awesome: "I don't think that's an important question."

In other words, "Yes, I do think your tone is equivalent."

That works for me. Imagine a scenario that's always easy to imagine: a house is on fire, and you and a neighbor are walking by. You and the neighbor both know that an African American family are inside, and are likely sleeping. One neighbor says, "I hate black people, so I'm not going to save him." And the other says, with a certain look on her pretentious eyebrows, "I don't hate black people, but I'm not going to save them because in 1981 they participated in shady dealings with some government insiders." Perfect moral equivalence, in my view.

I'm sure there are holes in my imperfect metaphor -- but I hope I'm beginning to make a point. Later in the interview, Maddow "asks" if Frum means to imply that "bringing up John McCain’s experience in the Keating five is somehow equivalent to calling Barack Obama is somebody who palls around with terrorists."

Look: obviously, it's worse to call someone who is innocent of the crime a murderer than it is to call him a person who sometimes speeds during the afternoon commute.

And remember (though you wouldn't if you only watch MSNBC) that McCain was cleared of impropriety by the Senate Ethics Committee.

In short: John McCain is a big hot bag of bullshit, and he's sold his soul for political gain. AND he is offering bad policies that would hurt the middle-class. And I don't want war veterans running the country. And his wife bugs me.

But when all three of the worst persons in the world EVERY day are Republicans, when Rachel Maddow cannot bring herself to listen (without recoiling) to a single sentence uttered by a Republican... Well I dunno. Then I guess I think it's time to balance your "sourcery."

In other words, I just wish people could support a political candidate and still value Jim Lehrer's News Hour or C-Span without being distracted by the blow-hards who only and always see what they want to see.


G-d I'm an easy target right now. Take it easy on me with your witty rejoinder.

Casey said...

Like for example: Chris Matthews did a poll last week after the second Presidential debate and 90% of respondents said that Obama won.

Drudge's poll showed 68% of respondants thought McCain won.

Here's my one-line summation: Don't be part of the choir, no matter who's preaching.