Friday, December 14, 2007

Obviously, I don’t read the Post enough

I’m talking about the Washington Post, and after reading the sample below, I gotta ask: Why would I?

While responding to a comment (by Alex) on yesterday’s cross-post to The Seminal—a comment asserting that Edwards would be dogged in the general election by the two-minute video of him fixing his hair—I said the following:

The hair thing? Gosh, have we not had our fill of that, yet? I bet that you are right, and some 527 or nutosphere parrot will try to get that going again, but I actually think that the hair got so much play early—complete with late night talk show jokes—that we might have hit saturation on that one. I expect that we can counter that with “what’s worse, pretty hair or an ugly war?” or some such. I also think that if it’s down to Edwards and a Republican, those that would be swayed by the hair probably weren’t going to vote for JE anyway.

Unless there’s a metrosexual equivalent to the Bradley effect.

Silly me.

Only a few hours later, I came across this:

On December 11, The Washington Post published four pieces profiling Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards that each mentioned the cost or "expensive" nature of haircuts Edwards has received. Edwards was the subject of the Post's series "The Front-runners," which the Post bills as a "revealing look at each of the leading presidential candidates."

That’s from Media Matters, and you can follow the link to read the (ir)relevant quotes from the fab foursome of Pressley Montes, Kornblut, Milbank, and Givhan so that you don’t have to soil yourself wading through the entire paper.

The thing that I guess I want to comment upon further is that I have a hard time thinking all the way through this supposed contradiction. Does the hair part (pardon the pun) look good in-and-of itself? No, of course not. But this idea that a guy who has lived a successful life is somehow contradictory or insincere when he expresses a concern for what the press seems to like to call “the little guy” is absurd on its face.

I look at it this way: what’s the opposite? Is it better to be successful and disdainful of the less fortunate—would that be more “sincere?” Would that be less “contradictory?” Would that make for a better president?

Because, I gotta tell you, that’s what we’ve got. President Bush—a guy who was born on third base and claimed he’d hit a triple—has taken every opportunity to work against the interests of the poor and middle class. His tax cuts have overwhelmingly favored the wealthy at the expense of the middle class, and have widened the gap between rich and poor at alarming rates. His second veto of SCHIP funding leaves over six million children in limbo. His “bailout” proposal for the victims of predatory sub-prime mortgages helps almost no one because Bush insists you can’t “reward” people who made bad choices (on the flip side, the plan has been called “the bank lobby’s dream”). And his overall management of the economy has been so bad that financial insiders are “spooked,” and many economists expect things to get precipitously worse for years to come.

Not that the slide will likely hurt George Bush or John Edwards. But where Edwards proposes leading America out of this era of greed and economic injustice, Bush fiddles while the working class burns.

Which brand of sincerity sounds better to you?

To tell you the truth, I think that Senator Edwards got ripped off on his haircut. I mean, it’s solid, and clean and all, but I’d like to see him loosen up a bit. Over all, though, I think Edwards is pretty well turned out. His suits fit him much better than President Bush’s.

Now, don’t I sound a little ridiculous? Does any of that matter when we are faced with a failing economy at home and a military disaster (or two) abroad?

Exactly. . .

. . . except if you work at the Washington Post.

I suppose that I shouldn’t expect better from a paper that has also spent time commenting on Senator Clinton’s pants and spreading tired and unsubstantiated rumors about Senator Obama’s, oh, let’s call it his early religious influences (no, you don’t get a link), but I am astounded that four seasoned newshounds (OK, three, Givhan’s position on this paper is a complete mystery) can’t get this. . . or get over it.

(cross-posted on The Seminal and Daily Kos)

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