A Prairie Home Antagonism?

Watching the news last night, I was dismayed, saddened, and deeply troubled by the kinds of statements made by attendees at a McCain-Palin rally in Waukesha, WI yesterday (video here). The kind of deeply troubled that follows hearing shouts of “terrorist!” and “kill him” at other GOP rallies, shouts that seem not to bother or give much pause to the candidates, but rather to rile up their crowds to new heights of fanaticism and, it appears, bigotry. Shame on you, Waukesha. And shame on you, John McCain and Sarah Palin, for not firmly standing up to this fear/anger/hate-mongering talk.
And just in case you thought it couldn’t get any worse, please try to comprehend the depths to which Fox News has sunk in promulgating this kind of intemperate and, frankly, quite un-American sentiment. How is it possibly okay to put the rantings of a clear lunatic before the viewing public as though it were expert opinion, while trying to (not-at-all subtly) preface every mention of anything Obama-related with the adjective “radical”? It truly boggles the mind.
Fortunately some other upper Midwesterners have sensible things to say. And my absentee ballot? It’s in the mail.


3 thoughts on “A Prairie Home Antagonism?

  1. I just getting to this so I am getting here after the curve has been rounded, I suppose, but re Fox News and any mentions of “radical” before Obama’s name, which are far fewer than you apparently suppose they are, there is a kind of turnabout here that apparently doesn’t sit too well with you: that nearly any mention of “Republican” or “conservative” is almost always treated to the prefix “far right,” “far right wing” or “ultra conservative” and has been for years and years; but when Republicans have attempted to point this out they have been largely and widely ignored by the so-called mainstream media and almost the entire professional Democrat partisan monolith.
    I was, BTW, a bit surprised to see you voluntarily climb aboard the “Bash Fox Express” that so smugly cherishes its own brand of self-styled “moderate” as if that brand were the only nourishing cereal on the shelf of American politics. Fact is, there is a great swath of moderate Republicans in the mix, some of whom don’t look, act, or vote very differently than many true moderates of the other major party, and visa versa. [How do you suppose that the great majority of my friends and I get along, after all? Consider Marty and Donna, for instance (and I quote the many times over refrain): “How come you’re not a Democrat?” owing to what they find is a view they too share in regard to x, y, and/or z topic or issue. [This goes back more than forty years of open dialogue between us.]
    Fact is, I shouldn’t want you to fail to understand the modern mainstream media news cycle for what it is (and yep, you can slip Fox News right in there with the rest of them, for in this they are much though not completely the same): an entertainment business.
    The real problem is that Fox News is a PRODUCT — a direct line descendent or direct result — of what happened when the New York Times, CBS, and finally NBC decided to (drop the drawers of the American public mind and have at ’em!) “shape” the news instead of reporting. It began, BTW, in my early graduate school days, although some of us saw it happening at the NYT about four years earlier with what was at that time a changing of the family guard at that paper.
    YOu mjight want to go back and read about something significant that occurred in American politics before, say, 1960, to see how that was reported in the Sunday and weekday issues of the NYT, and then compare that with what you are being fed to read in the Times every Sunday and weekday nowadays. What happened? Some would say “Watergate,” “Woodward and Bernstein,” and so forth; but the fact and the truth is that right about 1964 there was a tipping of the water trough that kept everything on the level and the spilling of that valued water out onto the corral grounds, making nothing but mud. What does that mean? It means that it suddenly became more popular among young journalist to tell the news from the unabashed angle from which they saw it, applying interpretation of that was reported so that “…folks will know what it means,” as if folks couldnt’ figure out things for themselves. [There were might fights within news organizations about these matters right through about 1970 when along came the Ellsberg Papers (it’s a curious name for stolen documents to be given the name of the thief, eh?) and then Wagtergate, which gave the “new journalism,” as it was being called, the umph! it needed to overwhelm the traditionalists.
    This is not about whether it is or isn’t better to delve into the what’s behind what’s going on, and some might argue who would like defend the new journalism; it is about whether the writer of the news is able to maintain that integrity necessary so that when Nixon botches up American politics and that newsman tells about that, he doesn’t then turn around a help a Ted Kennedy bury the truth about what happened at Chappaquidick because “Ted’s a nice guy…” and, BTW, powerful enough to (e.g.) buy out your job out from underneath you..and so, discretion being the better side of valor in some minds, that journalist decides to forsake his trade and … just not say THOSE THINGS.
    PS: BTW, your earlier correspondent/commentator is correct: that particular crowd did boo McCain when he tried to tell them in his gentlemanly way that they were being foolishly boorish and unmindful, which Obama thanked him for later on; and as you surely know, whether it that one crowd or perhaps three such crowds that might have (there were not three of them) behaved similarly, they do not represent the whole swath of American Republicans, and you know it — so what jump in and add to the bickering that is so harmful to a nation at peace with itself? After all, we are getting close enough to the potential “tipping point” between such a peace and something far far less charming, is there not something each of us can do and do more often and better to ensure that a) we ourselves do not contribute to further factionalization and fracturing, and b) nothing should happen to rent the nation?
    If I can continue to get along with Marty and Donna, with Walter, with Dan Boone, with Deirdre Scott, and such people over the long long years of our multiple relationships, surely you and I and each and all of our friends and neighbors can do something less to conplicate the fabric of this nation and something more to weave it evr more whole.
    Blessing you.

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