In last week’s issue I ran two stories that were wonderfully balanced, politics-wise. Yet the response was very, very telling. First, here are both stories:
Got the Message?
During his recent trip to Botswana, President George W. Bush went out into the bush — on a photo safari. Stopping to view a group of elephants munching on an acacia tree, the president and his entourage were treated to a different sort of display: one of the males tried “a reproductive attempt” with a female, as a game warden in the group explained it. After telling the story to reporters, Secretary of State Colin Powell was asked if the elephants, the symbol of the Republican Party, were “on message.” Powell confirmed that “the elephants were on message.” (Los Angeles Times) …Especially if “the message” is “we’re all screwed.”
The Message Counts
Bob Graham, running for the Democratic nomination to oppose President George W. Bush in the next presidential election, said Bush wasn’t truthful about Iraq having purchased uranium from Africa, as claimed in the buildup toward war. Would he say, then, that Bush told a lie about Iraq’s push for “weapons of mass destruction”? “I would not use the three-letter word,” Sen. Graham replied. “I would use the five-letter word: deceit.” (AP) …Americans need to learn a four-letter word: vote.
I Found It Interesting that a number of subscribers wrote to comment on the story about the Democratic senator accusing President Bush of “the five-letter word: deceit.” I don’t know if people read it so quickly they didn’t notice that was a direct quotation or what, but that quote was the crux of that story — the man’s so stupid he can’t count to six?
The other story brought a lot of mail, mostly from free edition readers, and mostly from those who didn’t see the “five-letter word” story as a slam on the Democratic senator. I thought it was quite a slam — I was suggesting he needed to be voted out of office — and didn’t think the elephant item was a very big slap, especially by comparison.
I recall sometime in the last year or so noting that liberals tend to argue from emotion, and conservatives from logic, but this time most of what I got was absolute whining from conservatives.
- Harry in North Carolina: “Which quotes are actually from Colin Powell and which quotes were inserted by a liberal hack writer? Unsubscribe me!”
- Diane in AOLand: “I’ll be unsubscribing to ‘This Is True.’ I don’t have time to read your Liberal sh*t.”
- ‘Haunted’ in AOLand: “Had I realised this newsletter carried the same liberal bias as the rest of the media, I wouldn’t have bothered to subscribe.”
- Art in ComcastLand: “Go to hell. If you want to bash our President, call yourself a political Liberal and be honest. I won’t read your trash.”
So How Come these people didn’t complain about my “conservative bias” when I bashed the Democrat?
Of course, not all the conservatives whined. Herb in California had a good zinger in return about whether the elephant’s “message” was “we’re all screwed”: “Actually, the message is that Republicans are pro-life.”
Tom in Florida started with “Humor is great, however, one sided slants for the sake of a political message are not. Please don’t sink to the political agenda-pushing one-sided reporting and commentary that the mainstream media subscribes to.” When I asked Tom “One-sided slants? One slammed a Republican, the other slammed a Democrat. How much more inclusive can I be?” he quickly responded: “My error. Of course, you are correct. Upon re-reading the second article, I (finally) got it. I had read it too quickly (or carelessly) the first time, and thought both articles were dogging the President.”
See what understanding a little thoughtfulness brings?
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