August 27th, 2008


A woman scorned?

Not from where I'm sitting.

The above link goes to Hillary Clinton's speech last night at the Democratic National Convention. If you haven't seen it yet, it is totally worth your time. She did everything she had to do -- enthusiastically endorsed Obama and exhorted her supporters to do the same, dinged McCain, and was gracious and passionate all at the same time.

I still wish there was some way we could have had them both. In some alternate universe, somewhere.

Also very worth your time is this article by Eric Boehlert on the coverage leading up to Clinton's speech, and how the media completely ignored historical context to bolster their story of a bitter, power-hungry Hillary Clinton and a running-scared Barack Obama. He starts by pointing out that runners-up Jerry Brown and Jesse Jackson both gave prime-time speeches to their conventions (1992 and 1988, respectively) in which they didn't even endorse the nominee. And then he zeroes in on stories from the present day:

What's so startling in watching the coverage of the Clinton convention-speech story has been the complete ignorance displayed about how previous Democratic conventions have dealt with runners-up like Clinton. It's either complete ignorance or the media's strong desire to painstakingly avoid any historical context, which, in turn, allows the press to mislead news consumers into thinking Clinton's appearance (as well as the gracious invitation extended by Obama) represents something unique and unusual. Something newsworthy.

Based on previous conventions, if a candidate had accumulated as many delegates and votes as Clinton did during the primaries and then did not have her name placed into nomination, that would represent a radical departure from the convention norm.

But, boy, in 2008, an awful lot of media outlets have played dumb. When covering the August 14 announcement about Clinton's role in Denver, they miraculously forgot to make any historical reference to similar names-placed-in-nomination at previous conventions.

Instead, readers and viewers were left with the obvious impression that what was scheduled to happen in Denver was remarkable, an anomaly. And I suppose if you look at the events through a soda straw, it does look unusual. But if you include the slightest bit of context, the story changes into something normal and routine.

But that's not the story the press wants to tell (the Clintons are not normal!), so the press simply erased the context and stuck to its preferred story line that Clinton's appearance in Denver and the placing of her name in nomination are one for the record books.

He then goes on to show how this context-free coverage has demonized Clinton, yet again, and made Obama seem like a pushover, depictions that are bad for both Senators and, oh yeah, the Democratic Party as a whole. But we have a liberal media, of course. Everyone knows that. Right?