Behold, a journalist doing their job. (and a McCain shill getting his ass handed to him.)
**** THIS JUST IN ****
The McCain campaign, in a disgusting hissy fit of petulance and arrogance, has just cancelled a long-scheduled interview with John McCain by that notorious liberal, Larry King in retaliation for the below segment. McCain's campaign said Campbell Brown's questioning was "out of line." (!!)
Try to imagine the yowling from Republicans if Obama's campaign had tried arrogantly bullying a press outlet like that! My God, can you imagine the whining?? The charges that Obama thinks he's so high and mighty that he can dictate what a reporter can or can't ask his campaign spokesman.
They'd have a freaking stroke out of it and be blast faxing their attacks to every shill in the country who would then get in front of cameras and explain to America just how this shows Obama has delusions of grandeur and thinks HE can dictate to the press. And worse yet, it proves he's a big pussy-man who can't take a punch. "If Obama can't handle questions from some female reporter, how is he going to face down Putin or Iran?? Oooooh it's too bad the mean lady reporter was too rough on Obama!!
But it's McCain who can't handle a persistent reporter, so, no biggie.
Watch the clip below and tell me just WHERE Campbell Brown was in any way "belittling" or in any way unfair or rude in her questioning.
It's simply outrageous that the McCain campaign would think they could "punish" CNN for the fact that one of their spokemen was left looking foolish due to having no answer to direct, legitimate questions about Palin's foreign policy qualifications.
This is a blatant, disgusting, but not surprising effort by the McCain campaign to bully and intimidate news organizations into getting back in line and to not press too hard when they ask questions of his campaign.
The message is clear as a bell; if you don't mildly accept the spin our spokemen use your air to deliver... if you make them look foolish by demanding an answer, then you'll be cut off.
Every American should be offended by this blatantly thuggish tactic used to stiffle tough questioning by journalists trying to get honest answers.
Tucker Bounds, professional spinner (liar), gets nailed with honest, straightforweard questions about Sarah Palin, and can't, or won't answer. Then when he is forced to cough up an answer, refuses to acknowledge that the answer is utter baloney.
This is a thing of beauty. This is how these guys earn their big bucks. (if you're the kind of person who thinks any amount of money is worth having to trash your dignity and reputation by lying through your teeth to the American public several times a day.) Even so, there's a part of me that almost feels sorry for Bounds. After all, he's got NOTHING to work with here.
He's like a door-to-door vacuum salesman. His boss (McCain) has come around and dumped a bunch of dirt on the customer's floor and now Bounds is sent out there to try to demonstrate the virtues of the McCain brand vacuum cleaner. Only the vaccum they gave him to use is made of tin-foil, old toilet paper tubes, and coat hanger wire and couldn't pick up a paper match if it had to.
How much truth do you think is going to come out of his mouth? Is the guy going to be honest? He could be. But this is politics, so of course not. He'd be fired instantly.
If someone answered you like this in real life, depending on the situation, you'd either punch them in the face or throw up your hands and walk away. In either case, it would be so obvious that they were lying and/or covering up that it would be meaningless to take them seriously.
Bounds managed to get his one rehearsed set of talking points out in response to the first question. Once that was spent, he was helpless as a baby. Here's but one example of Bound's amazing feats of gymnastics. (paraphrased)
Brown: Palin decided to accept a position where her family would be subjected to intense scrutiny and pressure and that would take her away from her family when she knew her teen age daughter was going through this very difficult time where she needs her mother's support. (not to mention having just given birth to a handicapped infant herself.)
How do you respond to people who wonder why she'd subject her daughter to this scrutiny?
Bounds: Palin understands these are serious times and it's time to shake up Washington. She's an energy expert. Renewable fuels. You're confusing her civic duties and her private life.
(shorter answer: I can't even acknowledge the reality behind your question. If I BS enough, maybe you'll drop it.)
But when it comes to a question about how picking Palin as V.P. squares with McCains constant statements that experience is the number one factor in this election and that he'd pick a V.P. that was ready to be commander-in-chief on day one, it gets even more surreal.
Brown: Foreign policy is a big issue in this campaign because your campaign has MADE it a big issue. McCain has said repeatedly that experience is the most important issue in the campaign, and he's stated that his criteria for VP would be someone ready to assume the duties of commander-in-chief on day one. How do you square that with the choice of Sarah Palin as VP?
Bounds: Sarah Palin is McCain's VP. McCain understands foreign affairs, blah, blah, blah.
Woah! What happened? See how that works?
Behold this world-class spinner earning his pay.
How many spin tactics can you identify?
Of course, there's the number one tactic, just don't answer the question at all. Act as though they asked the question YOU wished they had asked and answer that instead! Simple.
They ask about Palin's qualifications? Get instantly childish and answer as if they were asking you about Obama. (I know you are, but what am I??? Pbbbbbt!)
They press you again on Palin's qualifications? Ignore it and start spouting talking points about McCain's qualifications.
They try again to get a straight answer? Say Palin isn't important, it's McCain's qualifications that matter.
They force you to stop acting like a fool and acknowledge the question being asked? Say a few meaningless words and instantly start talking about something else that YOU want to get out.
If you haven't worn them out or gotten them to throw up their hands and move on by now, and they STILL expect a straight answer, play the "liberal media" card and accuse them of "belittling" your candidate, even though they've done nothing of the sort. Act as though daring to insist on a straight answer to a legitimate question is "belittleing" the candidate, when in fact, the HONEST ANSWER you refuse to give is what would "belittle" them.
This technique is by no means limited to just Republican spinners. But this example is cringeworthy in the extreme due to its embarrassingly blatant extent.
This sort of insulting spin has been a hallmark of the Republican era for the past decades. Lie and spin, spin and lie, and if any journalists stand up on their hind legs and actually challenge the truth or veracity of it, simply accuse them of "liberal bias" for not allowing their crap to be broadcast completely unchallenged. It's the same scam that the right has been running for years.
Really want more of this? Want to be treated as if you're an idiot and have your intelligence insulted over and over again? Want more phony symbolism, distractions, deception, and outrageous spin to cover actions you'd never support in a million years if you knew the truth? Vote McCain/Palin.
If reporters trying to cut through this sort of bull are "liberal media", I say we could use a lot more of it. Congratulations to CNNs Campbell Brown for actually remembering that a journalist's job entails more than asking a question and then sitting back and allowing someone to ignore it and spout partisan hooey unchallenged.
A news network's duty is to do their best to find the truth and to inform the public, though that core principle has been steadily perverted over the last 20 years.
Even though Republicans have largely succeeded in the past in using the networks as simply platforms for their representitives to spout the party line and spin, (hell, they even established their own network for this purpose.) and both parties have made a science out of how to best do this, news networks should not allow campaigns to use interviews as a platform to spout their spin uninterupted and unchallenged. The idea is to ask questions, and get answers. Not too complex.
To not stand up and demand straight answers means that they've abandoned their role and become nothign but willing dupes while campaigns use their airwaves for what are essentially political ads.
It's instances like the clip above that are a glimmer of hope that the media might be finally standing up after been battered and pressured and abused for so long. Like a battered woman finally standing up to her abuser, maybe they're finally realizing they didn't deserve the abuse from the right after all and are refusing to take it any longer.