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Celebrity Chat

31 July 2008

What’s wrong with the media?  Today I won’t ask it again, but I’m thinking it.  Just as the clarification of what Barack Obama REALLY said at his meeting with the House Democratic Caucus emerged to put the lie to the report first proffered by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, the McCain campaign served up a new juicy tidbit for the rabid media to chew on.  Like a starving pack of wild dogs, the celebrity political media pundits launched into a feeding frenzy.

And what a feast it was.  Just imagine getting to bring in the tawdry yet famous pop princess duo of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton into the tantalizing mix of media-hyped questions about Barack Obama.  It was truly Christmas in July.  And a big Christmas it was with plenty of presents to go around.

The first present was opened by the McCain campaign.  Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck!  I don’t know how many times they actually paid to have the spot run, but it got bonus coverage by the cable news networks playing it over and over – and, yes, over again.  It was better than a two-fer sale at the Dollar Store.  It was more like a 40-fer!  It was played for every guest that appeared on cable news for the rest of the day and then again today up until and including Andrea Mitchell’s early afternoon hour.  Can you say “free advertising”?

The next gift opened was for the media celebs themselves.  Now, they could add “celebrity status” to the criticisms of arrogance, cockiness and presumptuous.  And don’t think they didn’t.  The new question of the day was: Is Barack Obama just a world celebrity without the chops to be president?  Republican and conservative pundits and guests gave a resounding yes, while Democrat and liberal pundits and guests decried the ad.  The shows’ hosts and directors licked their lips with satisfaction that once again they had created good theatre around the important business of electing a President of the United States in such truly troubling times.  I must add that poor Chris Matthews must have been turning in his vacation hammock because he had vowed never to discuss Paris Hilton on his show, but the McCain campaign had left guest host Mike Barnicle no choice, it would seem

Obama got two gifts and a lump of coal out of the day.  The first gift was from the afore-mentioned Mr. Barnicle who asked his guests if perhaps the press were guilty of being a bunch of whiners because Obama was running a disciplined campaign and not allowing them the kind of access they wanted.  They all agreed — most notably Michelle Bernard of the Independent Women’s Forum.  She gave the level of whining on the part of the press a 25 out of 10.  (You go, girl!)  The second gift was a late-day shift in sentiment against the McCain campaign for the sheer nastiness of the ad.  Sharp criticism even came from a former high-level McCain campaign advisor.  And by the end of the day McCain was being compared to Walter Matthau  in Grumpy Old Men.

But before we frolic freely in our glee at the comeuppance leveled at McCain, let us not forget that pesky lump of coal.  It came not from the right but from the far – and I do mean far – left.  The rapper Ludacris dropped a little stink bomb of his own on the Obama campaign.  It seems that he chose to express his great admiration for the senator by recording a rap song titled “Politics.”  Well, to say the least, the lyrics of said rap were impolitic to the extreme.  He not only launched the “B” word in the direction of Hillary Clinton, he also wished a health problem on John McCain.  Leaving nothing inoffensive on the table, he offered his unique decorating sensibilities to the notion of painting the White House black.  Offense intended to Mr. Ludacris:  What were you thinkin’, man?  If I were Louise Jefferson instead of an old white guy, I would have something totally different to say.  But I dare not.

For his part, Barack Obama declined the lump of coal and condemned it for what it was: a militant racist attack against non-blacks in America.  He didn’t say that, but that’s how I interpreted it.

Enter Pat Buchanan to put his perfect Republican spin on this little gem.  He, of course, warned of the dire results of this little ditty on voter support for Obama in the key states of Pennsylvania and Ohio.  I hate it when he’s right, but this time he is.  Word, Ludacris: SHUT UP!

The good news this morning was that the rapper incident wasn’t getting much play outside of FOX News and talk radio.  That is except for that pesky Pat Buchanan, who brought it up on his morning appearance on MSNBC.  Tick!  Tick!  Tick!  I hear a time bomb.  Just like he pushed the innocuous question “What’s wrong with Barack Obama” until it became the question on every media  pundit’s lips, we can count on the sly old Buchanan to keep beating this drum until his colleagues join in.

On that happy note, that’s all, folks.  Merry Christmas in July, Liberals, and keep on slogging toward November.

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