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Parallel Blumenthal Universes

by: Scarce

Fri May 28, 2010 at 08:41:05 AM EDT

Colin McEnroe in his blog yesterday made a salient point about the disconnect between what passes for conventional wisdom in Washington DC and the on the ground reality of local elections, often pushing their own narratives at the public's expense.

Yesterday, Mr. Dankosky, speaking on [NPR's] "Talk of the Nation," put into words something I too have been thinking (but less coherently). There's a disconnect, he said, between how the Beltway sees this story and how people see it in Connecticut. In Washington, Blumenthal is all but finished. Andrea Mitchell went as far as to say he will be forced out of the race. "You heard it here first," she said. That's for sure. But she's not the only one. The national press has been shopping, since last Tuesday, the idea that Blumenthal is hopelessly damaged goods and cannot possibly be elected.

Today, we got a sense of how completely barren this line of reasoning is. The Q Poll is out. Blumenthal leads McMahon by 25 points. His approvals and favorables are high. Hers aren't.  The inevitable barrage of commercials may change things but, just now, the Vietnam story doesn't seem to matter much.

McEnroe gives one reason why this happens, with a colorful metaphor, but entire books could be written on how ill-served the American public is by their lame stream media.

The other part of this is that the national and Washington press can't really cover a political story that isn't big and cataclysmic. For the Blumenthal story to feed their shrieking furnace, they need to make it huge, even if that means ignoring the reporters standing on the ground. You can hear Mr. Dankosky gently, politely trying to educate the Talk of the Nation guys about how this looks where he's standing, in Connecticut, you know, where the people actually vote in the Senate election. And they're just not buying it.
Scarce :: Parallel Blumenthal Universes
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thank you (4.00 / 1)
while listening to the "pundits" my friends and i agreed...dick blumenthal has capital with the people of ct..something the Know-all media don't understand...he's too good a public servant to throw out the proverbial baby with the bathwater...just cause it's said on TV doesn't make it so

The national press (0.00 / 0)
just like the local guys threw out the thought that "the search for truth" was what journalism was suppose to be about a long time ago and now they're paying the price.

What the Q-poll really revealed is that at least in Ct the people are wise enough to know todays Journalist(even the most elite NYT type) could care less about the truth.They're as into self promotion as any hedge fund manager and have the same ethics.

The NRSC (0.00 / 0)
...National Republican Senate Committee, upped that Andrea Mitchell clip, as well as clips by Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, and Paul Begala on CNN. They don't even need FOX for this one.


So it goes....

Millions of WWE advertising dollars (0.00 / 0)
... buys lots of friends on the TV.

But we do have some news people who are paying attention. Gail Collins chimes in with a nice description of Linda McMahon:

A political novice who made her fortune building up an entertainment business that specialized in blood, seminaked women and scripted subplots featuring rape, adultery and familial violence. In which the candidate, her husband and children played themselves. Also, the family yacht is named Sexy Bitch.

And the TV people are saying that Blumenthal's chances are bad?

Not so fast (0.00 / 0)
Colin McEnroe writes on his blog regarding Dankosky's comments on "Talk of the Nation":

"You can hear Mr. Dankosky gently, politely trying to educate the Talk of the Nation guys about how this looks where he's standing, in Connecticut, you know, where the people actually vote in the Senate election. And they're just not buying it."

But what you don't hear is Dankosky taking issue with some of the things that Rudin is saying, and changing the tone of the debate.  When Rudin brings up Chris Shays' criticism, and declares that Shays is authoritative on this subject, because has never been known as "a Republican partisan", we don't hear Dankosky pointing out that Shays is, indeed, a "Republican partisan" who took the lead in stumping for the war in Iraq and for dismantling Social Security, and opposed health reform, and supported any number of other Republican initiatives.  And we don't hear Dankosky pointing out Shays' hypocrisy on the Vietnam issue by telling listeners that Shays dodged the draft in 1969 and claimed CO status in 1972.  Perhaps he didn't mention that, because Dankosky would have had to admit that he never pressed Shays to come forward about his own draft record in all of those many one-hour interviews he held with him through years of the Iraq War.  All Dankosky says is that Shays might not be such good friends with Blumenthal as he claims.  

While Dankosky points out that many voters in Connecticut support Blumenthal, when it is pointed out that Rasmussen is a very biased pro-Republican poll, Dankosky predictably refuses to acknowledge that reality, just stating that the Q-poll will be out soon.  And Dankosky, while pointing out that the local press stated that they'd never heard Blumenthal claim to have fought in Vietnam, and that this appears to have more traction on a national level, fails to mention that he piled on on this issue by holding two hour-long programs on Blumenthal's comments as soon as they came out, and that his guest Colin McEnroe even mused that Blumenthal would have to drop out of the race.  He never mentioned that he'd never devoted a single program to Shays' problematic military record, or to Lieberman's, though, unlike Blumenthal who actually served in the military, as is his son, both chicken hawks Shays and Lieberman were pushing hard for war with Iraq.  

This is symptomatic of the right-wing bias of public broadcasting here, which John Dankosky refuses to acknowledge.  And if one wanted further proof, just tune in to yesterday's recording of WNPR's "Politics, Burgers & Beer" with Faith Middleton and Rich Hanley.  When the DADT issue came up and Hanley had to admit that most of the American people were in favor of its elimination, he chalked up opposition to its elimination to "the political class in Washington" that is out of touch with the American people.  Wrong.  It's not "the political class", it's Republicans.  Last night 90% of Democratic congressmen voted to get rid of it, while just two Republican congressmen did so.  And when it was mentioned that Joe Lieberman is "open" to endorsing Linda McMahon, Hanley just explains it away as "that's politics."  Actually, no, Rich. It's Joe Lieberman being deceitful and petty; it's not just "politics".  And incredibly, the ever clueless Faith Middleton actually went on at length claiming that Barack Obama is constantly failing to "communicate".  Now there are lots of criticisms one can level against the Obama administration and Barack Obama, but no sentient being who's actually inhabited this planet for the past couple of years could possibly suggest that failure to communicate effectively with the American people or the rest of the world is one of them.  If there had been a progressive guest on Middleton's program, he would have been ripping Hanley and Middleton's silly snark to shreds.  But balance is just not what WNPR and its news director John Dankosky are going to permit.

I posed a number of questions for John Dankosky here previously, but he refused to answer any of them, demanding instead that anyone who intends to level criticism at the station first lavish praise on it.  Somehow, I think that should not be a prerequisite for a public broadcasting station to listen carefully to criticism that it is out of touch with its listeners.  And timidly pointing out the reality that Blumenthal retains strong support in Connecticut while the national media hum like a struck tuning fork with this conservative story about Blumenthal's honesty is hardly worth praising.

Hear what you want to hear, I guess (0.00 / 0)
I thought Dankosky did an effective job at knocking down the silly talking points without resorting to the sledgehammer.

[ Parent ]
It's CT Press too (4.00 / 1)
Earlier there was a headline on CTNJ that was something like "Blumenthal won't attend memorial day services..." or something similar.


The headline appears to have been updated to include McMahon canceling also, however the kicker is that focus of the article is on Blumenthal canceling a memorial day event. near the end of the article is mention of McMahon canceling also.


The story that isn't mentioned on CTNJ (there is a link) appears to be that McMahon wasn't invited by the American Legion...


In all the years he's been organizing dockside service at Indian Harbor Yacht Club, retired Marine Cpl. Christopher Hughes said he has never seen McMahon at the event or similar observances.

"The only reason she's coming is because she's running for office," Hughes said before McMahon backed out.

Hughes said he was flabbergasted to read in the newspaper comments by the McMahon campaign that the GOP endorsee was invited to the Greenwich American Legion Post 29 event.

"That's a lie, a fabrication," Hughes said.

A spokesman for McMahon said the military tribute is one of dozens of public events that the World Wrestling Entertainment promoter-turned-politician is asked to attend, many times on an informal basis by elected officials.

Mention by CTNJ...

I wonder what the click-through on the links are.

What will Andrea Mitchell have to say about Mark Kirk (4.00 / 1)
Illinois Republican Senatorial hopeful Mark Kirk stepped on his unit big time by claiming he was "Intelligence Officer of the Year" for his reservist unit around 2003 and it has just been discovered that Kirk's whole unit was distinguished, not just Kirk.
   I just read it at HuffPo and I have to wonder what Mitchell will have to say on Morning Joe come Monday, oops scratch that, Joe and Mika will be enjoying the Memorial Day Holiday doing whatever, make that Tuesday.  Is Kirk DOA?  I doubt it will even merit a thought, let alone a mention.

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