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Monday, October 20, 2008

Christopher Hitchens to Media: Stop Covering Palin

posted by on October 20 at 17:37 PM

Hitchens says on Slate today

At numerous rallies where the atmosphere has been, shall we say, a little uncivil, Gov. Palin has accused Sen. Obama of accusing our forces in Afghanistan of simply bombing villages. Only a moment’s work is required to discover that the words complained of were never uttered in that form and that they occurred in a speech that stressed the need for more ground troops as opposed to more airstrikes…. Did Palin know that she was telling a lie? Or did her handlers simply assume that she would read anything that was put in front of her, however mendacious? And which would be worse? And when will she issue the needful retraction? There seems no way of putting her in a forum where these points could be raised. So, continued media coverage of her appearances is no better than lending a megaphone to a demagogue, the better to amplify her propaganda.

…what I said on Slog back on September 23

Maybe it’s time for the media to pull all reporters—print and television, photographers and videographers—off the McCain campaign. Entirely. Press coverage of a campaign is supposed to be a two-way street. The candidate wants to get his mug on television, he wants his rallies and speeches broadcast and written up, he wants to use the media to reach the voters. In exchange for allowing themselves to be used, the candidate is supposed to make himself available to reporters and anchors, answer questions, hold press conferences. The McCain campaign isn’t holding up its end of the deal. It’s using the media to reach voters without making Palin and, increasingly, McCain available for questioning.

Why should the media play along? The media should pull reporters off the McCain campaign and refuse to cover rallies or speeches until McCain and Palin start holding press conferences. Period.

RSS icon Comments


The media needs to stop covering Hitchens.

Posted by TheBaron | October 20, 2008 5:40 PM

Palin should be as methodically reported as anyone else. Her despicable background should be broadcast factually. She is a throwback to barbaric times.
Yeah, I agree about Hitchens.

Posted by eliza | October 20, 2008 5:49 PM

The I SAID THIS BACK IN ----- shit that you and Eli pull is so Blogger classic

Posted by Non | October 20, 2008 5:59 PM

Stop reporting on someone becaue of difference in politics? How Pravda-like is that!

Posted by raindrop | October 20, 2008 6:08 PM

It's not refusing to cover them, it's TRYING to cover them, which is not what is going on right now in the case of Palin.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | October 20, 2008 6:12 PM

@4 About as Pravda-like as broadcasting only one message, as is done with Palin every time she's reported on, because she's intentionally not being made available by her handlers to defend or support her lies -- just as the post says, you clearly overpaid (if this is the best you can do, and it seems to be) Republican shill.

Posted by whatevernevermind | October 20, 2008 6:18 PM

The problem -- aside from being forced to kind of agree with Christopher Hitchens -- is that even if all sensible media drops coverage of Palin, she will still have the huge sideways megaphone known as Fox News etc.

Of course -- what would happen if Palin *only* ever appeared on Fox? Would people wonder what the gambit was?

On second thought, I bet that happens all the time.

Tie game.

Posted by Alicia | October 20, 2008 6:26 PM

It'd be nice if they could at least give a shout out to dan for putting it out there- sheesh!

Posted by Carol | October 20, 2008 6:28 PM

Christopher who now?

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 20, 2008 8:10 PM

yeah, I can see where it would really be a pain in the ass for Palin to be held accountable for what she says and does and that goes for all the fuckers supporting and covering her
another fucking sleepwalking fuck

Posted by 4f...sake | October 20, 2008 8:30 PM

I disagree. They are just covering the rallies inadequately. If you are going to show someone making strange claims, you should be willing to do a bit even handed analysis of the claims. It's the wholesale abdication of journalism that's the problem, not what they are covering.

Posted by kinaidos | October 20, 2008 10:20 PM

Being as glib, self-satisfied, and dickish as Hitchens is hardly something to brag about.

Posted by Mr. X | October 21, 2008 12:41 AM

.and just to clarify after MY glib, self-satisfied and dickish post, my point is that the mainstream media oughta ACTUALLY cover her.

Geez, does Katie Couric have to do EVERYTHING for you people?

Posted by Mr. X | October 21, 2008 12:47 AM

That drunk marxist fuck Hitchens is responsible for this.

Posted by Sirkowski | October 21, 2008 9:13 AM

McCain's campaign crashed at the same time it declared war on the media. Coincidence?

Posted by six shooter | October 21, 2008 10:10 AM

"McCain's campaign crashed at the same time it declared war on the media. Coincidence?"

I seem to recall Mr McCain's campaign being declared dead by the media in June-July of '07. D'oh!

Mr Obama was, basically, declared elected by the media months ago; Mr McCain was supposed to run a gentlemanly Bob Dole-style campaign and then bow out gracefully; he would then have been anointed a "statesman" and thrown a few nods like he got when he ran against Mr Bush in the 2000 primaries.

But since that didn't happen, and an interloper disturbed the coronation, the most desirable course now is, of course, censorship.

One is reminded of the words that the great humourist Walt Kelly, creator of POGO, gave to Wiley Catt: "There's two sides to every question. And both of 'em's mine."

Posted by Seajay | October 21, 2008 12:57 PM

Jon Stewart gave the best analysis of this - he said the media these days is like six-year-olds playing soccer. There's no strategy, no positions, everyone just madly runs after the ball. For a couple of weeks, Sarah Palin had the ball. For 15 minutes or so, Sam Wurzelbacher or whatever the hell his name is had the ball. The mainstream media just runs around like dumbasses after whoever is "news" that week.

Posted by Geni | October 21, 2008 1:28 PM

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