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Saturday
Nov032012

Media Watch--Beware The "All" Word

Journalists, and indeed "all" of us, should be especially careful when using the "all" word.  I caught Kevin Landrigan from the Nashua Telegraphy and Ann Timmins from the Concord Monitor in the past couple weeks.  While I'm sure their intentions were honorable when they used the "all" word, they were indeed overstating the case.

Landrigan, in a Sunday column, noted that House Speaker Bill O'Brien (or his people) had reached out to "all" Republican Representatives for their support in his re-election.  Most would most likely have been appropriate, but certainly not "all" since I would have to be included to make it "all" and I can assure you all that I have not been contacted by the Dictator in Chief (hey, maybe that's why I haven't been contacted!).  I can also assure you all that my good friend (and passenger) Rep. Irene Messier, from Ward 10, has not been contacted by the Dictator's team.  Thus "all minus two" might be appropriate, but I suspect that two would be too few.  Most, Kevin, but not all.

Similarly for the Monitor.  I seem to recall reading a story that "all" Republican Reps had been sent some type of information to use in the campaign.  Again, neither Irene nor I have received any such information whether it be touting the Republican accomplishments the past two years or bewailing the increase of "more than a hundred" taxes and fees when Democrats were in control the previous four years.  Maybe it's just me, but I have received nothing from the GOP (except requests for money from Team Romney), and this is contrary to past years when Republican staffers were on the ball enough to provide opposition reseach (voting records) of my Democratic opponents.  Either Republicans are asleep at the swith this year, or I'm SPECIAL, as in espcecially ingored.

Whatever the case, beware ALL, y'all.

Hysterical Foxes--Speaking of overstating your case, Fox News seems especially dedicated to arousing a state of hysteria in the body politic these final days before the election, and its not just the evening opion dealers like O'Reilly and Hannity and Greta.

Yesterday morning, I actually heard the woman on Fox and Friends claim that some of those devasted by Sandy were "without a stitch of clothing on their backs".  That's a direct quote. 

Are people hurting?  Of course they are.

But is anyone without a stitch of clothing on his or her back?  I truly doubt it...this would be from the woman (y'all know her name undoubtedly--if not big it) who is directed by management to minimize the stitches of clothing she uses to cover her legs on the set!

Shortly after nine, Martha McCallum arrived on the set, and in an attempt to portray the Obama administration as not responding properly to the pain being felt in New York and New Jersey, she noted the long lines at gas stations, but it was not enough to say there were "miles" of people in line.  Oh no, she stated there were "miles and miles" of people in lines.

As a Romney Republican (albeit no neocon or social neanderthal), I usually agree with the Fox viewpoint, but the network hurts its credibility by such overblown reportage.

Are people suffering in the New York area?  I repeat--of course they are.

Is Obama to blame?  Of course he's not.

Only Joshing--Apprarently Channel 9 reporter Josh McElveen (double e, please) is not reading this blog.  Last Sunday, apparently thinking back to the Jefferson/Burr election of 1800, Josh noted that it was 212 years ago that the House of Representatives last was called upon to vote for President.

Wrong!  As I noted here two weeks ago (and as I emailed bo Josh), 1824 was probably an even more exciting year than 1800 although it didn't take as many ballots for the House to make its decision.  With four candidates in the field (JQ Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and William Crawford), no won received an electoral majority.  Popular vote was even tabulated in some states ack then, but Jackson had about 41 perecent of what there was of it to some 33 percent for Adams.  However, Clay (who had been eliminated by virtue of not being in the top three) threw his support in Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio to Adams in what became known as the "corrupt bargain" (a "promise" to become Secretary of State, a promise that probably was never made), and Adams won.  It's a great story.  Josh would do well to note it.  If Romney and Obama get to 269-269 this year (and I've stumbled upon two ways it could happen--there are many, many more), we'll relive the history of 1824 in more detail than I've given here. 

Cheers For The Monitor, Sentinel, And Other Papers which are devoting space not merely to the top of the ticket but to races for State Represenative.  These papers are printing responses from candidates to a variety of questions.  Not every candidate is responding (it would be three strikes against non-responders if I were the umpire), but the chance for a more infomed electorate is there.  Of course, Manchester voters are not so fortunate.  Neither the Union Leader (undoubedly with the excuse that it covers the entire state) nor the Hippo has lifted a finger to inform voters of how candidates stand on issues.  I remember that several election cycles back, I actually shamed McQuad into offering space to all candidates, but apparently as newspaper profit sink and fewer and fewer people get their news from the printed page, that's asking too much for W today.  A big thumbs down to all media which is ignorning this responsibility.

Also a thumbs up to the Monitor for actually endorsing one Republican.  It's exceedinly amusing to find how the Union Leader endorses "all"  (maybe I should use the word "most") Republicans and most liberal papers endorses almost all Democrats.  It's actually laughable.  However, in an endorsement of five State Senate candidates, the Monitor opted for Republican David Boutin in District 16 (Wards 1, 2, 12 in Manchester and Hooksett and other towns).  The paper suggested that Democrat Kathy Kelly get a few years experience as a State Rep prior to running for Senate (this is in fact her second run).  The paper did NOT point at how Kelly, reportedly in a poor state, ran into a series of parked cars and left the scene of an accident a few winters ago.  Oh well, that would perhaps be asking too much...and I'm not even going to go there as to whether or not it would have been reported had the reckless driver been a Republican!

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Reader Comments (1)

Following up on an earlier post, I caught the piece on the NH House on This American Life. Very interesting and well-done piece, IMO. As usual, you were awesome. She should have given you more air time. Also, I was surprised that she didn't squeeze in a mention of Marty Harty.

I'd be interested to hear your take on the program and how other House members are reacting to it. It isn't every day that a national radio program focuses on the culture of the NH House. As bizarre as it sounds, I could imagine O'Brien liking this piece. Sure he comes off as a bully, but as one motivated by conservatism (as he interprets it), not personal gain.

The one thing that I was surprised and disappointed to learn is that so many moderate or independent-minded members were targeted successfully in the primaries. Koenig doesn't give hard numbers, but she makes it seem like independent Republicans were targeted by outside money and wiped out in the primaries.
November 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

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