Thursday, September 4, 2008

Speechification, 101

If last night's speeches at the RNC are any indication, the McCain campaign is running hard against two opponents: Barack Obama and that darned old Elite Media, suggests Jim Rutenberg in the New York Times. It's an old, old song -- Dan Quayle, anyone? -- but is a sure-fire trick to rally the faithful. This time around, the lightening rod is Sarah Palin, who is being portrayed as the victim of the nasty media -- read "liberal" -- which has had to the nerve to take a peek into her background beyond the campaign bio.

Hmmmm. I thought that was our job. Heartbeat away, and all of that, right?

Prepare to hear more of the same tonight -- and whenever else the news media deviates from the party line.

Speaking of which, there is a good lesson in the true meaning of journalistic objectivity in all of last night's speechiness wrt Palin. Meaningless definition: Slam, bam, thank you ma'am: Record what's said and your job is done. True definition: Add context.

Speakers can say whatever they want. Reporters need to remember that the speech itself is just the beginning. As Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn shows here, it's up to reporters to let readers/viewers know whether what's said in a speech is fact or fiction. Check it out.

Have just returned from a family va-kay, where we had a steady diet of sun, news, and political chitchat -- not necessarily in that order. Back on track tomorrow. bk

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