Weekend Notes From The Polemarch of New Orleans
UPDATE: Is Glenn Reynolds a machine?
Off on travel until Monday. But…
Senator Obama is running as a biography/character candidate, not as a candidate of accomplishment because he has accomplished little except obtaining office. As a biography/character candidate the four corners of that biography that illuminate Obama’s character –Michelle Obama, Pastor Jeremiah Wright, the unrepentant terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, and Obama’s mentor, financier, friend and neighbor Tony Rezko— are all extremely relevant to the debates of the next six months, and we need to know much more about each corner of the square within which Obama has moved.
Last night Alan Colmes warned me that attacks on Michelle Obama will backfire. I agree. But analysis of the campaign speeches she gives in support of her husband’s candidacy and delivered, we have to assume, in order to convey her husband’s platform and plans to potential supporters, are not only relevant to the campaign, but central to them given how indifferent to specifics Senator Obama has been from day one.
Stanley Kurtz has written a crucial piece in the Weekly Standard on “The Trumpet,” Jeremiah Wright’s magazine, which had to have passed though Obama’s hands for two decades. Don’t miss it. (And which MSM outlet will be the first to get the copy of The Trumpet with Obama’s picture on the cover? Won’t that story/interview be interesting? Note that the magazine’s publisher wouldn’t release it to Kurtz.)
Speaking of a future biography/character candidate –one with real accomplishments– the transcript of my interview yesterday with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be posted here. Here’s the audio.
Be sure to read Randy Elrod’s response to the latest Evangelical Manifesto and comment on both.
Michael Barone has a column out on Douglas Feith’s War and Decision in which Barone makes the important point that we are just now beginning to understand the decisions that followed 9/11 and led to the successes and the setbacks since, and that Feith’s book is an important insider account of those years.
I will be visiting the Hoover Institution as a Media Fellow next week, and am watching Peter Robinson’s magnificent interview with Thomas Wolfe as prep. I will dragoon Peter to co-host as much of the show as he can be persuaded to do next week. Howard Mortman and Victor Davis Hanson will also be about, so a fine week of broadcasts ahead.
It will be the week of decision on the polar bear listing, one of those controversies of which the MSM is barely aware but which has far reaching consequences for American industry and economic growth. Like the civil war raging in Lebanon (Michael Totten has the best coverage of course) or the heparin not-quite-effective-recall or the Rezko trial, the MSM doesn’t understand the many moving parts of a complicated story like the push to list the polar bear as threatened, and is staffed by folks of truncated curiosity which combines with contempt for their audience to produce hours and hours of nonsense. FNC works to bring panels of smart people of differing opinions together to discuss complicated subjects for decent stretches of time, as does CNN occasionally, but generally it is a wasteland on cable and worse on the big 3. Talk radio and C-SPAN are pretty much alone in allowing someone like Jindal to appear and discuss many subjects for a half hour or more, which is why radio is the most powerful form of serious media left. (C-SPAN doesn’t make much of an effort to add pacing, but it is still valuable beyond belief, as when it airs the full Michelle Obama speech.)
How can the world’s most advanced economy blessed with an explosion of technology produce such genuinely mediocre broadcast news day after day?
Why doesn’t Peter Robinson’s interview with Tom Wolfe air on some channel? Why isn’t there a fast-paced but comprehensive program covering the polar bear debate, or featuring Totten or Michael Yon explaining what they saw going on in Lebanon or Iraq?
The answer of course is that broadcast execs don’t believe such programming is possible or that it would bring them ratings (and that PBS is so institutionally left-wing as to have no clue about building an audience of other than Bill Moyers groupies.)