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Friday, November 30, 2007

SnowHoax Litmus Test

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As we all know, litmus paper turns RED when exposed to acid conditions, and BLUE when exposed to alkaline conditions. As an acidic personality, Porcupine was always vaguely pleased with the Redness of his litmus. But in the wake of the CNN Snowman Hoax debate (hereafter referred to as the ‘SnowHoax’), another Red-Blue divide is emerging – those deeply involved in bare knuckles politics are turning red, and those with more moderate interests are turning blue.

For example – Porcupine rarely disagrees with his Beloved, as Beloved is generally smarter about most things. But in discussing the SnowHoax, the dialogue went like this.

Porcupine: I love the Internet! Before, this kind of stuff would stay buried forever! I bet the Globe NEVER acknowledges it! (Porcupine was right about that). The cheating Dems were caught almost immediately! In fact, Anderson Cooper can’t claim not to know, because he CITED a Politico story to gouge Rudy during the debate, and Politico had a story up exposing the General as a plant at 9:53 – BEFORE the debate was even OVER. They didn’t have the Clinton connection, but had his involvement with ‘Veterans for Kerry’ while he was still asking the question!

Beloved: That’s what turns me off about this stuff. The Democrats trying to cheat…

Porcupine: But no – I mean, it’s sort of their JOB to cheat – it’s CNN’s job to act as gatekeeper and they totally blew it - they’re either complicit or idiots…

Beloved: NO! It is NOBODY’S job to cheat! THAT is what is wrong with this state! You have become so much a part of the political culture here that you think cheating or misrepresenting could EVER be acceptable! No matter who the head of the Massachusetts Democratic Party is, the true head will always be James Michael Curley – a corrupt mayor and governor but a brilliant and lying politician. THAT is what lies at the heart of political culture here.

Porcupine: Wow…y’know, you should read Jon Keller’s book, ‘the Bluest State’…

Beloved: I don’t have to. I live here. I could have written it.

Porcupine pondered this, and realized there was a litmus test here – one that tested degree of political involvement. Not liberal or conservative, but in making the appeal, or outside being appealed to.

Here are three responses Porcupine received from journalist acquaintances in response to an indignant email about SnowHoax –

“I did know that a Hillary campaign worker was allowed to ask a question, which is bizarre. I've said before how the YouTube debates ought to be run. Pick six or eight issues. Let people submit videos in whatever category they like. CNN's role should be to make sure they are aimed at all the candidates rather than singling someone out. They could eliminate stuff that's just too offensive or weird, too, I suppose. Then let the community vote on which videos get used. The way CNN's doing it is not citizen media, it's just cheap entertainment.” Test result – Pink, but on the Blue side

“I don't get too worked up about these things, though CNN can and should have done a better job. I can recall the old call-in radio days, when they'd have a political guest on the show and a plant would call. Sometimes it would be pretty funny if the guest or host knew who the caller was, nailing him on air. Made for fun entertainment. ... Please don't vote for Mitt. The country can do better. The only problem: Who else on either side? They're all nuts and/or mediocre.” Test result – Alkaline Blue.

“Wanted: A Pure Questioner, with no interests, no agenda and no point of view, to administer the Sacrament to these Most Pure of Candidates. Good grief. It’s an American political campaign!!!! It’s a made-for-TV event!!!!. It’s publicity!!!! It’s theater!!!! Good thing they don’t have to sweat in the hot sun and take questions in the public square anymore.” Test results – Bright Red.

The interesting thing is that all three of these respondents are politically liberal – their red/blue gradation has more to do with direct involvement in politics and campaigns.

Porcupine is going to try to recapture his commitment to Governance over Gladiatorial Politics – and hopes others will as well. (Unless Porcupine is just trying to lull you into a false sense of complacency…)

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Blogger Ogre said...

Indeed, beloved is right -- you're not SUPPOSED to cheat. Unfortunately, there's very, very few people in politics who don't.

5:19 PM  

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