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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Re: Wesley Clark is the New Geraldine Ferraro

posted by on July 1 at 15:25 PM

Slog commenter elenchos asks:

Eli, do you have a shred of evidence to support this conspiracy theory?

If you mean, do Barack Obama and David Axelrod and Wesley Clark call me up each morning for an honest heart-to-heart, then I’ll admit: the answer is no. With this kind of politics, it’s hard to do anything but guess at actual motivations.

But I note, with a bit of apprehension because of the fun I’m sure you’re about to have with it, that the McCain camp now thinks it’s a conspiracy, too.

Ready, set, call me a McCain-bot!

(But read this comment first, which gets close, with its 87-percent remark, to what I think about the likelihood of genuinely spontaneous political outbursts.)

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The problem, dear Eli, lies in the fact that your comment relies on Bob Schieffer being in on the ruse, too. I just don't buy it.

After the comment was made, sure, there could be coordination, but Clark was eased into his comment by Schieffer.

Posted by Ryno | July 1, 2008 3:31 PM


(Sorry to yell, but you just summed up everything that is terrible about modern political coverage without even being aware of it.)

Posted by David | July 1, 2008 3:33 PM

one more time, eli--

the line was fed to him by the host. clark repeated the line with the addition that it is not "a qualification to be president."

are you saying that bob schieffer had received this script from the obama campaign and happily played a role in the conspiracy?


Posted by chops | July 1, 2008 3:36 PM

oh, so now we know eli gets all of his relevant information and opinions from SLOG commentators. i've never understood why erica gets harassed with every post while you continue to post the most inane, biased bullshit imaginable. you are an awful political reporter and your commentary is pathetic, even when it's stolen from other sources (eli's never met an americablog or sullivan story he won't take as gospel).

Posted by hmmmm | July 1, 2008 3:40 PM

Um. Yeah. I believe the 9/11 truthers say the same thing: Of course there's no proof 9/11 was an inside job! That's how big this thing is!

To claim that Wes Clark and Obama conspired in secret is precisely a conspiracy theory. You have a plausible-sounding theory saying that there is secret collusion, but you have zero proof. That's what we call a "conspiracy theory." You defend it by saying "Of course they'll never admit it! Guilty!" Classic conspiracy theorist reasoning.

I'm not calling you a McCain bot. It's an interesting theory. Worth exploring, even. I'm calling you a poor journalist for hyping stuff that is 100% pure speculation, without emphasizing that you have nothing. Especially considering the way bizarre rumors like McCain's "black love child" or Obama's supposed secret Muslim faith have caused so much harm.

And you do know the West Wing is a fictional TV show right? Later I'll tell you the truth about the X Files...

Posted by elenchos | July 1, 2008 3:41 PM

I mean, really, "itís hard to do anything but guess at actual motivations" strikes me as SO unintentionally self-revealing -- namely, it's hard to do research, evidence, factual documentation, etc.; it's just so much easier to stick to guesses, theories, content-free metapolitics and armchair psychoanalysis. Doesn't that explain a lot about the modern press corps?

Posted by David | July 1, 2008 3:47 PM

Let me retract "I'm calling you a poor journalist for..." I should have said "I'm calling this an instance of bad journalism for..."

I don't think you're a bad journalist, but I think you're handling this badly. If you're going to spin unfounded theories in public, you have to be extremely careful. Better yet, float the idea in private and see if anybody offers you evidence. If they don't, leave it to the amateurs.

Posted by elenchos | July 1, 2008 4:07 PM

Eli drink Rize energy drink and kill you all! I will personally help him.

How dare any of you accuse Eli Sanders of underthinking his work...he's one of the few people on this paper that could walk in the door of any paper in the country and produce credible product.

So fuck off with the "you suck" comments. As elenchos shows, you can argue with the idea without having to destroy the mind that produced it.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 1, 2008 4:57 PM


I appreciate the tribute.

And no, I don't feel like letting it go.

Posted by The Incredible Sulk | July 1, 2008 5:14 PM

Why guess at motivations at all?

Posted by King Rat | July 1, 2008 7:55 PM

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