Presence of malice: Media poison our politics

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The media are making politics unlivable. Plain and simple.

What does it say that the most popular governor in America was nominated to be vice president -- and by the time the national media were done with her, her negatives were higher than her positives?

We think that says more about the media than Sarah Palin.

Indeed, they're not done with her. Now they're making a fuss over the fact that the Republican National Committee bought her family clothes for the campaign. Good grief.

It's become legendary this year that the media are in the tank for Barack Obama. One commentator, Chris Matthews, even famously said he got a thrill running up his leg listening to Obama.

But it's not just anecdotally observable: A new Project for Excellence in Journalism study finds that 57 percent of the stories about Sen. John McCain have been negative since the two conventions, only 14 percent positive. Obama's coverage has been 36 percent positive, 29 percent negative.

Not only have the media turned the nation's most popular governor -- with an 80-percent approval rating -- into a hated woman in some quarters, but they've also managed to relentlessly attack a war hero and a man who even Democratic leaders praised at their own convention.

Democrats praised John McCain for good reason: He is one of the last of America's statesmen. Voting records show McCain is one of the least partisan members of the U.S. Senate.

In contrast, Barack Obama is one of the most partisan. You never hear that, though.

But never mind the partisan bias of the media. Just look at what they're doing to good people who seek to serve us in public life.

In an interview with the hostile Matthews recently, U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachman suggested Obama may have anti-American views. She says she misspoke, parroting a term Matthews had repeatedly used. Regardless, she's been viciously attacked since then, including having her house vandalized.

It's not just public officials that get in the media's crosshairs, either: Ohio's "Joe the plumber" became the target of media attacks simply for asking Obama a tough question about his tax-and-spend policies.

The message: You don't ask Barack Obama a tough question. Lord knows the media don't.

And as unforgiving as they've been about Bachman's faux pas, they're awfully forgiving of themselves -- at least when it makes a conservative look bad. CNN reporter Drew Griffin confronted Sarah Palin with the "news" that a conservative author in National Review had written that he didn't know if Palin was -- well, a string of unflattering adjectives.

Problem is, the CNN reporter took the quote completely out of context and gave it an entirely different meaning: The magazine article was criticizing the media, not Palin, for trying to make her seem all those things .

The New York Times, which tried to manufacture a nonexistent scandal involving John McCain earlier this year, even attacked his wife, Cindy, in a recent smear piece against a woman whose chief offense has been to care for and even adopt impoverished children around the world. She is a first-class lady and ambassador, and the media only attack her for it.

Apparently, extremism in the defense of liberalism is not a vice as far as the national media are concerned.

You don't see much media angst, for example, about Democrat Rep. John Murtha calling his western Pennsylvania constituents first "racists" then "rednecks." And most media outlets have forgiven and forgotten Obama's quote about Pennsylvanians who cling to their guns and religion out of fear and loathing of people who don't look like them.

But as selective as the media's attacks have been, the more important point is that they're attacking. Relentlessly. And they're creating a toxic environment in public service that would make anyone question getting into it.

How sad -- not just for the good people with the targets on their backs, but for the country's future.

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RonRoberts
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RonRoberts 10/26/08 - 03:28 am
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Ther sheer IRONY of this

Ther sheer IRONY of this piece of work... "media poisons politics" the author says... then the writer lays into his or her right-wing biases. This editorial should be used in schools to show kids what IRONY and hypocrisy is, by definition. I mean....it's hilarious that you defent Rep. Bachman when she CLEARLY said what she did, wasn't FORCED to say it, wasn't painted into a corner to say it, was asked to REPEAT what she said, and she said it - AGAIN. LOL. But that evil Chris Matthews for FOOLING her into saying it again. LOL. And how dare the media wanna learn more about "Joe The Plumber" after he was put into the spotlight by John McCain!!! Sorry, no dice; if McCain wants to portray his plight as that of the "average American" then it SHOULD be noted that (Sam)Joe the (unlicensed) Plumber isn't exactly the Norman Rockwell portrait McCain had hoped; what he IS, and WAS, though, was a plant, having donated to the McCain campaign prior to his speaking to Obama (couldnt be any impropriety there, could there??? NAHHHH), who hadn't even paid his TAXES, but made his presidential contribution. How DARE the media!!!

RonRoberts
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RonRoberts 10/26/08 - 03:32 am
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And MORE irony... you

And MORE irony... you (editor) use the term "relentless" to make it seem as if the media just KEEPS attacking.... ironic, because have you FORGOTTEN your daily brow-beating of the left, here? How long did you berate Michelle Obama here for HER mis-statement, but we're to turn a blind ear to Bachman, eh? DOUBLE-STANDARD, editor. DOUBLE-STANDARD. We're to just chuckle and guffaw when Drudge (incorrectly) reports that Michelle Obama had ordered caviar and pricey champagne at a hotel, but it's "wrong" to focus on Sarah Palin getting a $150k makeover by the G.O.P. - using the money donated by "hard-working Americans" who believed in them? We should just ignore, then, that the HIGHEST PAID person on the McCain/Palin payroll is her STYLIST??? Yeah, the meida has been RELENTLESS - no more RELENTLESS than this right-spun rag has been, for sure.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/26/08 - 04:13 am
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The liberals expect Sarah to

The liberals expect Sarah to wear mukluks and moose hides while living in an igloo with a seal as a pet. Private money paid for her and her family's clothes, not the government. As noted Hillary spent lots on clothes. The pants suits still didn't hide her big...

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 10/26/08 - 04:23 am
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What do you expect from

What do you expect from either side? A car saleman doesn't tell you the car is a piece of junk. A politician isn't gonna tell you the truth and ALL forms of media forward their own political agenda. Don't think either side has a monopoly on that.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 10/26/08 - 04:42 am
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Those of us that don't buy

Those of us that don't buy into the techniques of the SEN (social engineering news) filtering system are able to see the guidelines laid out by the manifesto all over it. Koolaid drinkers (like RonRoberts) love the hate America spiel sprayed in unison by the pro-Democrat party news which includes the three broadcast networks, NPR/PBS, and several cable stations. About half of the nation is conned by this system, aided by the "dumbing down of America" government education system that has been in place since the mid-60s. The polarizing effect of America's biased news systems will do more than just affect elections, it will also do a lot of damage to the country by misinforming it. The unintended consequences of this system WILL come home to roost.

GACopperhead
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GACopperhead 10/26/08 - 05:33 am
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pt, if you weren't serious,

pt, if you weren't serious, you'd be funny.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 10/26/08 - 05:56 am
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The Augusta Chronicle is part

The Augusta Chronicle is part of the media & an unabashed right wing partisan rag. There is no such thing as the "liberal mainstream media" in United States. There is only CORPORATE media whose only loyalties are to their bottom line. Anyone who relies on television for news is an idiot. Television is a passive medium, meaning there is no active participation on the part of the viewer. He/she is "fed" the news. There is no active searching or choice in what they consume. Reading stimulates cognitive centers in the brain. Watching TV does nothing to stimulate the mind. In fact, it dulls critical thinking skills. Most people still unfortunately get their news from TV. The Associated Press & its acting Washington bureau chief Ron Fournier are biased towards John McCain. Fournier was offered a job in the McCain campaign. The Augusta Chronicle editorial staff (ACES) is preparing its gullible readership for an inevitable McCain/Palin defeat in the polls. There will be a near landslide for Obama/Biden & for Democrat candidates in both the House & Senate. ACES will blame the press for the Republican defeat just as right-wing nuts blame the media for U.S. fiascoes in Iraq & Afghanistan.

factchecker
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factchecker 10/26/08 - 06:01 am
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"A new Project for Excellence

"A new Project for Excellence in Journalism study finds that 57 percent of the stories about Sen. John McCain have been negative since the two conventions, only 14 percent positive. Obama's coverage has been 36 percent positive, 29 percent negative." If I'm not mistaken, I quoted this very study on this forum yesterday.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 10/26/08 - 06:06 am
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Cain you act like liberals

Cain you act like liberals don't broadcast their onesided views either. I'm not so sure this election is gonna be so one sided. Seems you are guilty of the same thing you accuse the repubs of, reading a little to much of what the liberal media is force feeding you. Also, if you hate your country so much why do you continue to live here? If you think it's better elsewhere move your family there. Move to a place that doesn't afford you the right to whine about your government. Better yet, move to a place that doesn't allow your wife and daughters to show their faces in public or have the right to get an education or hold a job. Once you do that then come back and tell me how bad you have it here and how terrible our government is. Oh and don't expect those soldiers who you curse in your blog to come and save you and your family either. You are clueless my friend.

justus4
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justus4 10/26/08 - 06:09 am
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Ha! Ha! The poor article
Unpublished

Ha! Ha! The poor article writer thinks the all-white media is being unfair and making politicians unpopular. What a joke! (however, notice the brilliant skills of BO when dealing with the so-called media) The rules of this game are well known and successful politicians know them. And if he thinks the media is poison on politics, their coverage of minorities are toxic, which as he puts it, "is bad for the future of the country."

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 10/26/08 - 06:10 am
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Oh yeah justus, poor black

Oh yeah justus, poor black man he has it so bad he can't get a good job or run for public offices such as the presidency. Your color based whines are old.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 10/26/08 - 06:12 am
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It should also be pointed out

It should also be pointed out the southern white reactionaries (I mean conservatives) were dragged kicking & screaming into the civil rights era. READERS are aware of a Republican tactic called "the southern strategy" that used veiled racism to lure southern whites into the Republican party. "The southern strategy" began under Richard Nixon, was at the core of the "Reagan revolution" of 1980 & was perfected by George W. Bush's "brain" Karl Rove. The southern strategy will no longer work to carry Republicans into the White House. VA & NC are in play. Georgia will probably remain a red state, but even GA is shifting towards being an orange state en route to becoming a purple & finally a blue state. McCain's performance in the 2008 presidential campaign has been pathetic. He made the decision to choose a 1st term governor from the 3rd or 4th least populated state. Sarah Palin was untested, largely unvetted & completely unprepared for national office. McCain & Republicans have only themselves to blame. How about some "personal responsibility" from right-wing corporate media for their role in the inevitable Republican debacle. Americans have finally caught on to the BS

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 10/26/08 - 06:21 am
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Cain you act like people up

Cain you act like people up north aren't racist and that only the southerners were against equality. You better research a little before you make those claims. People up north are just as racist, if not more, than us "southern reactionaries". I have a friend (who happens to be black) born and raised in Pennsylvania. His dad was murdered on the job, poisoned by one of his white co-workers. Before you stereotype people you should do some of that "reading" that is supposed to increase your cognitive stimulation.

factchecker
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factchecker 10/26/08 - 06:44 am
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Unfortunately the racism is

Unfortunately the racism is on both sides of the coin. I am by NO means an Obama supporter but I didn't know just how racist my brother-in-law was until this election. He lives in Ohio and has been a lifelong Democrat, something we have never seen eye to eye on. Anyway he has always voted a straight democratic ticket and this year he is voting republican and I should be happy about that right? The only reason he is voting for McCain is because Obama is black. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad another vote is going to my candidate but at the same time I'm sad to see that someone can give up their values so easily because of racial intolerance. I'm equally sad that it is also happening on the other side. I wasn't raised that way. I was raised to believe that your core values and how you apply them are what defines who you are. And mark my words, we will see problems at the polls all across America because of the differences in this election particularly when we should be celebrating that we have the right so many others around the world do not have. The right to vote.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
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JohnRandolphHardisonCain 10/26/08 - 07:17 am
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Idaho certainly has a lot of

Idaho certainly has a lot of racists. Pennsylvania has been characterized as "Pittsburgh & Philadelphia with Alabama in between". Racism is not limited to the south. But the Republican "southern strategy" is so named for a reason. It worked in the south! Southerners in particular resisted the civil rights movement. A similar sea change is now taking place in America. The era of Regan deregulation is dead. George W. Bush's militant foreign policy has failed. It is time for responsible gov't regulations & a new foreign policy. Southerners resist change. It may be an exaggeration, but not much of one, to predict that John McCain might not win many more than 7 states. Many or most of the states that McCain will win will be in the south. Augusta, GA is a bastion of southern white conservatism. Racism & militarism play a big part in that southern white conservative consensus. But the gig is up. Pennsylvania & Ohio (each with parts of their state in Appalachia) are swing states. VA & NC have moved from red states to orange states (leaning Republican) or even purple states (leaning Democratic). GA is decidedly less of a red state than many southern white reactionaries want to believe.

angiesdad
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angiesdad 10/26/08 - 07:44 am
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chronicle shut up, and

chronicle shut up, and endorse mccain like you do all republicans.how many negative letters have you published against mcnutty versus obama?all you do is cry about poor sarah.who cares about this skank,but you?she's the most popular governor? says who you?she has a population of 667,000 citizens.rhode island the smallest state has over a million residents.i would guess that most citizens of alaska have never been in the lower 48 and couldn't tell you the names of 2 other governors if their life depended on it.endorse mcphony, and the hockey mom and when they lose on the 4th, you can start attacking obama for the next 4 years,while we laugh at you losers!

Paws..
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Paws.. 10/26/08 - 07:46 am
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"The unintended consequences

"The unintended consequences of this system WILL come home to roost."
Posted by patriciathomas on Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:42 AM ..................................................................................................... Once again Pat, you are 100% on the mark. B.Ho claims to be able to bring people together but I have never seen such deep, virulent divisions in any previous presidential campaings. One thing the Magik Mulatto has been able to do is to bring together huge amounts of money with significant portions coming from illegal foreign sources. You are correct about the "unintended consequences" that some people see as so ominous that they are stocking up on ammunition

corgimom
34023
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corgimom 10/26/08 - 07:48 am
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Riverman, you made me laugh.

Riverman, you made me laugh. You are 100% right.

angiesdad
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angiesdad 10/26/08 - 07:56 am
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that's alright river rat

that's alright river rat hillary buys her own clothes and has money in the bank as does bill,and chelsea.they don't lug 5 kids, 1 unemployed husband, and a deadbeat future son in law with them everywhere they go.i think your future loser vp candidate has been eating too much moose stew,and mcmoose burgers that her twang voice is starting to sound like a moose.even bullwinkle has a better voice than her.but who cares?,in 9 days so long palins!please stay away!

owensjef2
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owensjef2 10/26/08 - 08:32 am
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wyldsfam4 you are right and

wyldsfam4 you are right and Congressman Jack Murtha agrees. heheheh

owensjef2
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owensjef2 10/26/08 - 08:34 am
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This piece is a Joke I hope.

This piece is a Joke I hope.

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 10/26/08 - 08:39 am
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Nice work, Michael ("Oh,

Nice work, Michael ("Oh, puleeeze") Ryan. From all the way down here in Georgia, you and and your AC editorial minions see Sarah Palin as an Alaskan damsel in distress and are riding to the rescue. The view from closer up seems a bit different: Alaska's largest and most influential newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, has just endorsed Barack Obama for President! I wonder why? Just part of the big media conspiracy to get Obama elected? Or, more likely, thinking folks in Alaska are taking a second look at their perky governor and having serious second thoughts.
Maybe Billy Morris needs to buy the Anchorage paper and send Mike Ryan up there to spin the Palin saga back into fantasy land.

joe hill
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joe hill 10/26/08 - 08:44 am
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Paws - the reason for the

Paws - the reason for the virulent division in this election is because racists like you and Patricia Thomas can't stand the idea of a black man in the white house. Get over it. It's going to happen. And if you and others like you continue to fight it for the next eight years, may your hatred consume your souls.

joe hill
9
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joe hill 10/26/08 - 08:45 am
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Popularity in AK does not

Popularity in AK does not equal popularity in lower 48; nor does it give Palin a free pass in the press. 57% negative for McCain vs. 29% for Obama could mean that there is twice as much negative to write about McCain. I love that Bachman is fighting for her political survival after the lies she has been spewing forth on CNN for past weeks regarding Obama. Live by the sword, die by the sword, baby!
Palin was called incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above in the CNN story. I think you might take out stupid and the rest would be fairly accurate. As for Joe the plumber, he would benefit under Obama's tax plan -- and forget about the sound bite, watch the entire interchange here.
.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7g2YvJiHdlg&feature=related
.
Obama has been asked plenty of tough questions during the two years he's been on the trail. to suggest otherwise is ridiculous.
For an intelligient assessment of the choice in this election see:
.
http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2008/10/13/081013taco_talk_editors

disssman
6
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disssman 10/26/08 - 08:46 am
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I have noticed the AC

I have noticed the AC dragging the conservatives through the mudd lately and believe they need to stop. Ypu folks are giving too much page space to the liberal press and that is unfair. I do need to say though, the Anchorage News keeps saying that little Sarah isn't as popular lately as she was before. I really don't under the constant banter that she has an 80% approval rate. Don't forget her state (ranked # 47 out of 50) has about twice the population of the greater CSRA (683.000 people) and constitutes 1/5th of one percent of the U.S. population. Hardly a major factor especially when you realize their population density is close to one person per square mile. When you couple her attriveness with a ratio of 7-8 men per woman, I am not surprised at all she is popular, heck people loved "W" four years ago, and look at his ratings now, golly you can't find a "W" sticker on anyones pick-up anymore.

dani
12
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dani 10/26/08 - 09:10 am
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PT I agree. The Dems don't

PT I agree. The Dems don't want to face the facts. The real reason for the "joe the Plumber" ads was Obama and his "spreading the wealth". Poor Joe asked a great question and got a truthful answer and the Liberals didn't want Obama to tell us the real reason for his taxing 'the rich'.

shivas
2
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shivas 10/26/08 - 09:12 am
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Those who preach hate like

Those who preach hate like Rush and Hannity certainly poison our politics. The most fearful part however, is there are so many ignorant people willing to listen, including the imbeciles at the AC.

GACopperhead
6
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GACopperhead 10/26/08 - 09:19 am
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They're making a fool out of

They're making a fool out of McCain on Meet the Press

effete elitist liberal
3147
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effete elitist liberal 10/26/08 - 09:24 am
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My prediction: in the next

My prediction: in the next week, in the interest of The Truth, Michael Ryan and the AC brain trust will show the world the "real" Obama. The AC will be the first U.S. newspaper to reveal that Obama is not just a socialist; he's a COMMUNIST!! He's also a crypto TERRORIST, whose first act as President will be to uni-laterally disarm America and give nukes to the Palestinians so they can obliterate Israel. On the domestic front, he'll name Nancy Pelosi as Secretary of State and John Murtha as Secretary of Defense. Obama will pardon all imprisoned sex offenders and impeach Clarence Thomas. Christians will be forced to register as extremists, rounded up, and sent to reeducation camps in Alaska. Sarah Palin will be deported. White people will be forced to undergo surgical skin color changes which WON'T be covered by the new National Socialized Medicine Insurance program. You'll read all this first in the AC, and it will all be true because Michael Ryan says so....

truthteller
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truthteller 10/26/08 - 09:31 am
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When I saw the title of this

When I saw the title of this editorial I thought it was going to be about Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Malkin, Fox News, WSJ, and maybe even some self examination by the AC itself. Guess I should have known better. So what do all the examples given in the editorial have in common? There is a huge gap in the mythical message being projected by conservative image makers and the reality of it all. It's called hypocricy and the media, as well as ordinary citizens, have an obligation to expose it for what it is.

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