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the only earth?

fake news fallout

John Kerry's Daily Show preformance, reviewed:
Watching Kerry strike out was especially heartbreaking given that Stewart was pitching not just softballs but marshmallows. Puffy interview marshmallows with rainbow sprinkles on them, and Kerry was letting them sail by as if he planned to get to first base on a walk. That may be how he hopes to win the presidency as well ... [slate]

I thought that it was an o.k. appearance, but it was kind of sad. Jon Stewart obviously thinks that the Swift Boat attacks and Republican talking points ("out of the mainstream," "most liberal senators") are ridiculous and tried to give Kerry chance after chance to be funny or take on the charges directly. Instead, he responded with Kerryisms and fragments of his stump speeches. Kerry didn't seem to understand that coming across as having a sense of humor requires a little more than a willingness to chuckle along with jokes. Even Al Gore knew to hire a comedy writer when he went on Letterman in 2000.

see also: "Candidate Kerry on the Daily Show", transcript [wonkette]


I didn't see the interview on The Daily Show, but Slate has had a bone to pick with Kerry ever since he got into the race. They just flat-out hate him. After his great speech at the DNC they sort of lightened up a little bit, but only briefly. I rarely take anything they say about him seriously anymore.

I sort of have to admire them for being idealists and not getting behind the democratic nominee simply because he's the democratic nominee, but come on, give the guy a break, he's dealing with shit coming at him from all angles, and he's still a hell of a lot better than Bush.
Mickey Kaus (kausfiles) definitely hasn't been shy about his dislike for the candidate, but I don't think it's editorial policy at Slate to hate Kerry.

They've been pretty aggressive in their analysis of most of the Republican talking points and Dana Stevens seemed to really want to like Kerry's performance. In the news department, I've found Fred Kaplan's analysis of the war and Will Saletan's analysis of the campaign to be outstanding. I think they added the "Kerryisms" column to provide some balance to the ongoing series of "Bushisms," but it's pretty obvious that one exists to highlight Bush's apparent stupidity while the other mostly demonstrates Kerry's unwillingness to make uncomplicated statements.

I believe the Kerry campaign seriously feels that it's the best strategy not to get into the liberal senator thing. They've had staffers on talk shows and they never aggressively deny the most liberal bullshit. I'm not sure they're not right, actually.

They probably think it's not a major issue, they don't want to run away from being liberal, and it's such an obviously refutable point that Bush may have been baiting him into the argument as a strategy.

As for the appearance. Kerry's never going to be good at these things. I wish he had more personality, but oh well. As long as he enacts policy I agree with I'm happy. I was a little pissed at him when he said Bush never lost a debate, though. He was terrible in all three debates last time, and was handily defeated in two of them. Sadly, the press didn't really like that story so they went another way.
You're probably right about the most liberal senator argument -- the statistic seems so obviously flawed to anyone who's thought about the issue. Aggressively contesting it would just play into the new talking point that "we conservatives are proud to be conservative, why can't those liberals just be proud of their liberalism?" (usually after "liberal" is used as a slur).

The only reason that I wish that Kerry had more personality is that I want him to be in a position to enact policy. It's a mystery to me why anyone likes Bush's personality, but apparently they do. (sidenote: it's funny that Bush passes the "guy you'd like to have a beer with" contest, given that he's born-again and no longer an alcoholic) (sidenote2: isn't it just a little bit weird that people are happy to trust the nation's security to a guy who admits to a history of problem drinking?) (sidenote 3: and isn't this "talking point" obviously flawed? more people liked the "Gorebot" anyway).

I have a feeling that "Bush has never lost a debate" is an effort to change the expectations game that let Bush "win" all of his previous debates. Going into them he was assumed to be barely literate; so anything less than a disasterous performance came across as a slam dunk.
"There is a group of people who feel that '[the President of the United States should] be smarter than I am on just about every issue I can think of.' But there is also a large group of people who don't feel that way. They want the President, in this modern era, to be something they can relate to. Someone who they don't think is intellectually intimidating. Someone who isn't really lost in the big fog of intellectual ideas and the world of words."

Ultimately, these voters are working from a gut feeling. Their assumption is that all we really need to clean up the mess in Washington is somebody possessing the courage of his convictions, and a healthy appetite for some old-fashioned hard work. And although neither of those criteria actually applies to George W. Bush, he manages to fake them well enough.

(From my favorite Disreputable Web site)