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Gotcha.

Journalists are sneaky and nefarious types.  Filled with hate and brimming with mischief.  What’s more, their favourite pass-time is playing “Gotcha Journalism.”

How, precisely “Gotcha Journalism” compares and contrasts to “Gotcha Politics” is not entirely clear, but I presume they originate from the same evil wellspring of contempt for politicians not grown in vats at Harvard or in a Georgetown country club.  Whatever is the case, both are equally unacceptable and it’s a wonder journalism hasn’t been made illegal yet.  Let’s all hope the McCain-Palin ticket goes straight to the White House, so we can make that happen.

Case in point, in Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, Mrs. Couric threw out the most devious of questions, sure to trip up any salt-of-the-earth politician: she asked “What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?”  And when Sarah Palin refuse to answer in specific (since, after all, education is a private affair), Couric drilled deeper, “Can you name a few?”

Can she name a few?  What is this?  Joseph McCarthy’s Communist trials?  I mean, those were good, but this is outrageous.

But, with the cat-like intellectual reflexes we’ve come to expect from Mrs. Palin, she responded, “All of them.”

Well, if that doesn’t shut up critics, I don’t know what will.

Update: No Palin disaster story is truly complete without the video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9go38MgZ4w8[/youtube]

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Free Todd Bridges and Sarah Palin

I figure a snappy headline should be about all I’m required to provide for this article.  No further comment necessary.

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McCain: Making Friends and Influencing the Media

Looks like the Palin handlers decided – at least initially – that allowing reporters to record what Sarah Palin did in her meetings with foreign heads of state was too risky to allow.  They tried to block the reporters from bringing anything other than cameras into the room, then backed off after CNN threatened to pull the plug entirely.  TPM has the story.

Plug pulling or no plug pulling, this was a monsterously stupid decision.  And whatever the flacks say, it was a decision and it was intentional.  That much seems quite clear.  JMM seems to think that the press over-played its hand for a small victory, and that may be true.  But I think the larger point here is that blocking the media from an event like this is so small that it matters even more than the big stuff.

I mean, if you try prevent reporters from talking to Carly Fiorina after her flub, that’s damage control.  But if you block reporters from a photo op?  What the hell is that?

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Just Your Average Hockey Mom

I think most American mothers can identify with being an average hockey mom.  I really do.  And do you know what the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull?

A $2,500 jacket, of course.  Were you thinking something else?

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Oh, Dear Carly. . .

Listen to the audio:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yyc32ciiGs[/youtube]

Watch the video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnBXXssj0KY[/youtube]

Read the article:
Hewlett-Packard top executive ousted

I believe the phrase “consider the source” is applicable, here.

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Bridge to Nowhere: A Cost Analysis and Local Perspective

Just a quick note early on a Saturday afternoon about Sarah Palin’s Bridge to Nowhere and what it cost.  Setting aside the question of earmarks as policy, I’m just interested in discussing the price tag.  The proposed earmark was to be a total of $400 million dollars.  So, how much does it cost to build a bridge in the United States, on average?

That’s not an easy question to answer for a number of reasons.  For one, cost of doing business varies from state to state.  Another problem is that no two bridges are exactly alike, either in form or function.  But it is instructive to note that the entire U.S. Department of Transportation budget for building bridges across the whole of the country is only $5 billion dollars.  Equally instructive is the fact that the Frederick Douglass – Susan B. Anthony Bridge here in Rochester – a national award winning bridge in New York State, by the way – was built for a mere $38 million dollars.

Again in fairness, the Bridge to Nowhere was a considerably more grand project than the relatively modest spanning of the Genesee River.  The Gravina Island Bridge was slated to be higher than the Brooklyn Bridge and longer than the Golden Gate.  It was required to be so because commercial fishing boats needed to get under the bridge and the span is the narrowest point between the two bodies of land.

But to put it all together, 38 million dollars gets you an award winning bridge in New York State that carries an average of 77,000 cars a day.  But in Alaska – which has a cost of living surprisingly similar to New York – you need $400 million dollars to build a bridge for 50 people.

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The Big Gulp at 6:16 Says it All

Watch this video, which has been making its way around the Internet in bits and peices, of John McCain being inverviewed by a Maine reporter.  About six minute in, the reporter points out – immediately after asking about whether McCain plans to make Maine competitive in the race – that Olympia Snowe has been in Congress longer even than John McCain has.  Why, he asks, didn’t she get the nod rather than Palin.  The gulp in the middle of the answer is positively priceless:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q6LMsc7iic[/youtube]

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worst . interview . ever.

OK, I know I said I wasn’t going to blog today.  Sarah Palin’s remarkably bad performance in what was to be a farce of a soft-ball interview forced my hand.

And I don’t like to swear in the titles of my posts.  It’s just a thing.  But the title of this post should have been:

worst. fucking. goddamned. interview. fucking. ever. ho. lee. shit.

It is entirely clear to me that every single answer she had was fed to her by Right Wing extremist handlers. . . but even they wouldn’t have been stupid enough to say the dumb ass things she said, just in the excerpt of the interview they showed on the ABC 6:30 news.

I mean, any of us who’ve ever interviewed for a job we were grossly unqualified for know that interview like the backs of our resume-holding hands.  We all know the feeling – though perhaps not on the same scale – of trying our best to stare at the interviewer in a way that’s confident but not psychotic, while trying to maintain an aire of confidence (w00t!  That should have been “Competence”).  Of trying to turn any question we don’t know the answer to into something we do.

I mean, she couldn’t even define the Bush Doctrine and had to have Charlie define it for her.  She couldn’t tell him if the United States has the right to invade Pakistan in the event that they believe they know the whereabouts of bin-Laden.  She didn’t know what to say about Israel and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

I danced.  Oh, how I danced.  And I cried a little.

Late Update: TPM has the video of the Bush Doctrine moment, easily the most painful of the entire interview (which is saying rather a lot, actually):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z75QSExE0jU[/youtube]

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Ted Stevens’ Unqualified Support

Tell me if you can spot the boo-boo in Ted Stevens’ statement about Sarah Palin and the Bridge to Nowhere:

Stevens: No ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ Advocacy by Palin | The Trail | washingtonpost.com

“I don’t remember her ever campaigning for it. As a matter of fact, she was very critical of it at the time. And she took the money and did not use it for the bridge, so you’re wrong, as far as I’m concerned,” Stevens said today.

Uh. Yeah, Ted? It’s not the bridge we object to. It’s the money. She kept the money.

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Charging the State: a Palin Family Affair? || Washington Post

Washington PostCharging the State: a Palin Family Affair? || Washington Post

Alaska Governor Palin charged the state her per-diem rate for 312 nights she spent at home in her 19 months in office. Her family has also flown around the state on the Alaska dime.

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Paging Laura Dern. . .

We need a woman of your talents to star in a new movie about the trainwreck that is the McCain/Palin ’08 ticket.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59t2CDA2JEY[/youtube]

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911 – Less Problematic Than We’d Thought

So saeth the King of all Terrorist Crisises, former Mayor Rudy 9iul1ann1.  Despite his constant trumpeting of his experience on 911 throughout the primary campaign populated by men of at least reasonable experience, when asked if the former Mayor of Wasilla (Alaska), Sarah Palin, would be ready for a similar 911 experience, the Rudy-meister said he was “confident.”

What do you expect from a guy who spent 911 waving his arms and walking the streets of New York because his bunker got blowed up?