From Warblogger to Wartblogger!
Plus--kf's nominee for a Dem theme.
Hybrids: The Silent Killers! [via Autoblog] 12: 17 A.M.
Another Wishful Liberal MSM Meme dies a lonely death: Remember when the images from Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath were going to awaken Americans to the need to address yawning inequalities of race and class, etc.? Here's Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, in a recent presentation to the Center for American Progress [pdf]:
People also think that America has made progress in terms of race, and people don't like revisiting things when they think that there has been progress. And unfortunately, Katrina did not add much to this dialogue, and certainly the post – we could have a whole symposium on the post-Katrina environment and how that may or may not have worked to actually promote a constructive dialogue in this country on race. But it is certainly true that people very quickly got off any kind of analysis that Katrina was due to race and the patterns of Katrina were due to race.
And when we try to test that, even as recently as a couple of weeks ago, in focus groups, people said – white people said, "Well, hey, it was an African-American mayor. It was a black mayor. It was just incompetence. It was corruption. It had nothing to do with race. A black mayor couldn't get black people out of New Orleans." And so people have really settled back into actually kind of a mean-spirited assessment here. Far from Katrina promoting very much, if anything Katrina is backfiring a little bit.
And you may have heard the NPR story today, which was excellent in the polling data, where people who welcomed once Katrina people keep to their neighborhoods and to their cities now want them to go back, now say, "Well, it's the crime rates. They don't fit in. They don't dress the same. They don't speak the same. We want them to go home now. Enough is enough. We've been generous for five minutes. That's plenty, and get back on your own." [Emph. added]
Hmm. The MSM's Murtha Hype backfires on the Dems. ... The MSM Katrina Hype backfires on the Dems. ... And they say it's wrong to worry about the Brokeback Hype! ...[Don't forget the Exxon and Abramoff hype!--ed. Oh, right. That will save the Dems!] ... 8:19 P.M. link
a) Excitable! b) Any Weapon to Hand: Andrew Sullivan now says it's unfair to lump Brokeback Mountain in with Good Night and Good Luck as a "left-messaged" film.
I can see the left-wing message in some of the movies, but I fail to see it in "Brokeback." The movie is about two men in a star-crossed relationship. It's about impossible love and the limits of human happiness. Yes, it clearly aims for the two to be happy - but the pursuit of happiness is now "left-messaged"? Is "Romeo and Juliet" "left-messaged"?
Please. In theory, Sullivan has a point: there are Republicans who support gay marriage and traditional Democrats who oppose it. In practice, of course, he's being either self-delusional or disingenuous. Republicans are the ones who pushed a federal constitutional gay marriage ban, no? Did they hope the issue would mobilize the left? Meanwhile, gay rights are one of the constellation of cultural causes that have loosely coagulated around the Democratic Party (especially movie-industry Democrats).* And the film, while not ostentatiously** didactic, effectively dramatizes the case for gay marriage, it seems to me. *** ... Does Andrew really deny these drearily obvious things? Yes, when it temporarily helps his side in a rhetorical skirmish. That's one of the characteristics that made him such a joy to work for! ...
*--Sullivan could always argue that Democrats aren't on the "left" and Republicans aren't on the "right." The night is young. ...
**--Having belatedly looked up the meaning of "didactic," I added this word.
***: That's why Frank Rich [$] could use the film's prospective success to practically call for reconvening the Electoral College in order to reverse the results of the 2004 election. ("It's a story America may be more than ready to hear a year after its president cynically flogged a legally superfluous (and unpassable) constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage for the sole purpose of whipping up the basest hostilities of his electoral base.") Even if the film is a purely apolitical tragedy (which is isn't), the Hollywood figures who vote on the Oscars think, along with Rich, that it has anti-Bush, anti-GOP, and anti-religious-right significance. ... 1:51 P.M. link
Photograph of Judith Miller on the Slate home page by Mark Wilson/Getty Images.