Saturday, October 02, 2004

MSNBC's Eleanor Clift -- still as stupid and dishonest as ever

Given that others in the blogosphere are pointing at this piece by MSNBC's Eleanor Clift as a commendable slap upside the head of George W. McFlightSuit, it pains me just a little to suggest that it's still annoyingly dishonest swill in places.

Let's start with:

The president had the air of a man who couldn’t bother being there. Response shots aired by the networks captured his smirking dismay at his rival’s answers, much the way Al Gore sighed in disgust at Bush four years ago.

Oh, rubbish. There's a world of difference between the two. Gore's sighing in the 2000 debates was deliberate -- he was trying explicitly to get across the point that he was exasperated with Bush's constant dissembling. It may be arguable whether this strategy was a good idea, but it's not arguable that he was doing it on purpose. It's hard to argue that Dubya was deliberately acting like an uninformed, petulant buffoon. (Unless this is some dynamite new, rope-a-dope tactic with which I am unfamiliar.)

But Clift really gripes my wagger when she writes:

This was Kerry’s best performance since, perhaps, ever. Like Lazarus, he is back from the dead. He energized his own Democratic base, which had begun to drift away in despair. Democrats now believe he has a chance to win.

And why, pray tell, would there have been all this doom and gloom in the Democratic camp in the first place? Perhaps because worthless pundits like Clift have subjected Kerry to merciless pounding month after month (Swift Boat vets, flip-flopping, the young female intern smear, and so on), while giving Bush pretty much a free ride. So it's pretty maddening for someone like Clift to express any kind of astonishment that, holy cow, that Kerry guy, he's pretty good, he may have something here, he may not be dead and buried after all.

That's right. And it's no thanks to hacks like Clift, who seem to have decided that, hey, maybe now's a good time to start acting like real journalists. A bit late for that.

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