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The Same Game

Posted by Rick · July 15th, 2004 · 2 Comments

I was trying to remember this morning the last time I heard about a company run by Democrats firing people for political speech with which they disagreed. I’m sure it probably happens. You just don’t hear about it happening nearly daily.

The Slim-Fast diet drink company has dumped Whoopi Goldberg from its advertising because its executives are unhappy with remarks the entertainer made last week at a Radio City, New York, fundraiser that mocked President Bush. “Slim Fast Trims Whoopi From Ads” (July 15, 2004) CBS News.

On the news last night? CNN reported about a group that sits in a room with 15 televisions. The TVs are tuned to follow different stations that might be covering the travels of Kerry and Edwards. Whenever something is said by or about Kerry/Edwards that they don’t like, someone immediately hops on the phone to that news station and gives them a different spin. So far, of course, “spin” to the Republican party is things like “there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq meant to be used against the United States unless we attack immediately — forget Afghanistan and al Qaeda, this is important!” and “well, maybe there aren’t weapons of mass destruction, but we suddenly remembered al Qaeda! They were working closely with that guy who they hated, Saddam Hussein!” and, of course, “Kerry is, you know, honored by the Viet Cong because he provided them succor. In fact, he never would have gotten three Purple Hearts without their help.” The group, CNN reports, isn’t just reactive in getting out their anti-Kerry/anti-Edwards message; they’re proactively contacting the press. I didn’t record the program, so this is a paraphrase, but CNN said, “They intend that Kerry/Edwards can’t go anywhere to spread their message where it can be heard without the group being involved.” (I tried to find more on this story online, but couldn’t in the time I allotted.)

Also this week, both BBC (Great Britain) and CBS News reported that microfilm containing Bush’s military records have somehow been “damaged” and cannot be retrieved. Coincidence? No doubt.

The part I like the best, though, is when you watch TV and a liberal speaker interrupts a conservative, who rather sanctimoniously says, “I allowed you to speak, Ma’am. Please give me the courtesy of allowing the same.” Then that same conservative, when he is done speaking and the “moderator” turns to the liberal begins interrupting because he doesn’t like that she’s actually able to rebut what he just said — and he talks louder and won’t stop. (I felt like a sports fan. I sat in front of the TV saying, over and over, “Now would be a good time, Ms. Liberal, to repeat the exact same words he spoke to you when you once interrupted him.” The liberal speaker, by the way, did stop the minute he castigated her for interrupting. He did not stop even when both she and the moderator tried to regain control as he was interrupting her.)

What’s screwing the Democrats right now is that many of them — and the rest of us liberals — are trying to continue laboring under the idea that the issues are important. Democrats aren’t fighting dirty enough in that respect, because they allow themselves to be beaten back with comments like, “You must allow me to speak.” All the while, the Republicans have learned that issues have to be avoided. Quips and other attempts to either silence the other side, drown out their message, or send out tons of disinformation — like the decoys and flak put out by submarines or jets in science fiction movies to confuse guided missiles — to ensure that people cannot really talk about and think about the issues.

I don’t advocate that Democrats respond in kind. But somehow, there has to be a way — it would be nice if the wisdom of the crowds could kick in here — to stop such tactics, which only harm our ability to think and make good choices.

Categories: Freedom of Speech


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 elle // Oct 15, 2004 at 4:56 pm

    I have noticed that Bush supporters do this ALL the time. They act as if they want my opinion about something, and then while I’m trying to articulate my ideas, they interrupt and say I had my chance to talk, now it’s their turn, and get very rude when I don’t agree.

    I don’t watch television nor listen to talk radio, so I did not know this is where they got that style of discussion from.

    Then there is a constant making of the “straw man” (rebuilding my argument as something no one but an idiot would agree with) and then calling factual information “stupid.” It is as if intellect has just disappeared. I am trying to understand what has happened to some people’s minds so I have tuned into some of the talk radio shows, and what you describe is exactly what happens. It seems as though this has created both style and content for many people. In person I found I was hearing the same words and phrases used on the radio talk shows.

    It is sad . . . there is no point in discussion — and my deep belief is that we can learn so much from one another, that our true goal should be to seek truth . . . but it turns out it is all about winning and the truth is the loser….

  • 2 Zoo You Care? // Sep 17, 2008 at 9:04 am

    […] Perhaps it needed an issue like this for me to understand Bob Marcotte’s claim that the Left spins as much as the Right, that they’re both playing “the Same Game.” […]

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