[sociate] Cheney cuts the Times from the herd

  • From: "Jerry Michalski" <jerry@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sociate News" <sociate@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2004 11:54:54 -0400

Just finished a startling, wonderfully written
<http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/19/weekinreview/19lyma.html> piece by Rick
Lyman in the Times' Week in Review section. 

Apparently, there's not enough room on Cheney's plane for the Paper of
Record to travel along, so Lyman has been hotfooting it from event to event
alone. This is how he deals:

So, I stalk: Flying commercial, I hopscotch around the country, booking my
own flights, trying to keep one step ahead of Mr. Cheney. I make it to at
least one of the vice president's campaign events every day, more if the
schedule permits. At each stop I'm swept by agents, sniffed by dogs and grab
myself a seat in the press pen. (Those reporters on Air Force Two are swept
once, at the beginning of the day, and never leave the security bubble.) 

The truth is, it's a weird kind of gift to a reporter.

It leads to little gems like this one:

Rebecca Dixen, a St. Paul reference librarian and a Kerry supporter, said
she had come to the fair hoping to get into the vice president's town hall
event and ask him a question, unaware that it was by invitation only and
there are never, ever any rude or discomfiting questions. "You can't even
get in unless you already support him," she said. "I don't know what kind of
democracy that is. To tell you the truth, it's a little bit disappointing."

And moving passages like this:

One unexpected dividend is that I've accrued a kind of unearned aura - a
sense that I must have done something terribly right to be handed such a

At one stop outside Milwaukee, the former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart
Starr insisted that the vice president and his wife pause to sample the
wares of one of the region's legendary frozen-custard stands. While we stood
on the hot patio watching the Cheneys dispose of a cup of custard, a
reporter from the Air Force Two pool sidled up to me and said, "I really
admire what you're doing," as though I was marching from Selma.

(At which I'm sure conservatives will scream that Lyman is embellishing his
story by comparing it to civil rights marches, or that he really wants to
make a fortune selling books, which is, of course, why Richard Clarke wrote
<http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0743260244/jerrymichalskisr> his
book. Sigh.)

In her documentary  <http://www.journeyswithgeorge.com/> Journeys with
George, reporter Alex Pelosi experienced firsthand one of the first Bush
freeze-outs. The documentary also made two points eloquently, without
perhaps intending to:

*       The future president said nothing -- absolutely nothing -- of
interest or substance about running a country while she had him on camera.
Instead, he would sit next to a reporter and say, "so are you gonna write
about my faith based initiatives?" That was as deep as it went. 

*       The press corps that followed him should be ashamed. He brownnosed
them, gave them all nicknames and shut them out if they acted up. They gave
him the biggest pass of the end of the 20th Century. I hope there's a Hall
of Shame where their names are posted. 

Did I mention their jobs were on the line? The winning bus gets to be the
White House press corps. No conflict there. 

Clinton gets  <http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/n/notaboutsex.htm>
pilloried for "
<http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/quotethis/a/clintonquotes.htm> I didn't
inhale" and Bush gets away with "
<http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/04/09/bush/> youthful
<http://www.november.org/razorwire/rzold/14/1407.html> indiscretions"?? With
a past filled with clearly irresponsible actions and all sorts of
self-destructive behavior? Maybe this is what humanizes him and makes him
appealing to normal people. 

Yet our country's jails are overfull with people caught for non-violent,
drug-related crimes that at Yale are called "experimentation" and in poor
neighborhoods are cause for crackdowns (a point made last night by Ashoka
Fellow  <http://www.ellabakercenter.org/page.php?pageid=36&contentid=146>
Van Jones on a panel about social entrepreneurship). 

 <http://www.furl.net/item.jsp?id=842455> Here's Lyman's article in
<http://www.furl.net/members/sociate> my Furl archive, since the Times, in
its infinite wisdom as the Paper of Record, will hide it in a paid archive
after a few days.

Gosh, I'm angry about all this. 

Please help get these guys out of office. They do not have permission to
roll the dice with our future (the big Our: everyone on the planet). They
think they're following
2852> the only path possible, but in fact they're actively generating the
perfect storm. 

Voters, note that the anti-Americanism around the globe right now is
> mostly anti-Bushism. But if we vote him in for another four years, it will
turn into much broader anti-Americanism, because we will be seen as

posted by Jerry Michalski at
2762> 10:13 AM

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