Bloggers on Obama's latest gaffes.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
May 27 2008 5:10 PM

Obama's Forgettable Memorial Day

Conservative bloggers are parsing Barack Obama's gaffe-filled Memorial Day speech, and everyone else is in a tizzy over Emily Gould's confessions-of-a-blogger New York Times Magazine cover story.

Obama's forgettable Memorial Day:  Conservative bloggers are fired up over Barack Obama's  Memorial Day speech, in which he said, "On this Memorial Day, as our nation honors its unbroken line of fallen heroes—and I see many of them in the audience here today—our sense of patriotism is particularly strong" and talked about how his uncle helped liberate Auschwitz, a task actually accomplished by the Red Army. (Late Tuesday, Obama's camp clarified  that the candidate meant to say Buchenwald, not Auschwitz.)

Ed Morissey at Hot Air sighs: "Does Obama see dead people? Coming from Chicago, one might be tempted to joke that they would form a natural portion of his constituency, but obviously Obama confused this with Veterans Day, which honors our living veterans of war. Unfortunately, most of the nation makes the same mistake, and small wonder when its leadership can't distinguish between the two." Conservative Jimmie at the Sundries Shack says: "I'm going to call his verbal boners 'Duh-bamas' in honor of the man who graces us with them so very, very often."

Riehl World View snipes: "Watch the Left scream about how this was a simple gaffe. But had it been Bush, it would be proof that he's a moron…But given Obama's positioning and the fact that he is a Dem - the party always afraid of looking weak on the military - this was a disastrous place for this type of truly stupid gaffe." Adds conservative Rachel Lucas: "Here's a thought exercise: imagine Dubya making blatant factual errors like these two quotes. Imagine the headlines about how he was disrespecting the memories of fallen servicepeople and how he was such a pompous moron to ignore and belittle the overwhelmingly massive contributions of the Russians in WWII, who frankly had more to do with defeating the Nazis than America did (in my relatively knowledgeable opinion). … The accusations of dumbness and chimp-like brain power would be coming at you like a tsunami."

Conservative Michelle Malkin thinks that Obama has raised the bar for gaffes: "Either Obama's uncle served in the Red Army, or he's spinning Clintonesque lies about Auschwitz to sell his government programs. Hey, it's for a good cause…but it's not enough for him. It has to be personal. It has to be all about him. … I think the Obamessiah just out Tuzla'd Hillary. The man is…nefarious."

McQ at QandOBlog points out that Obama's comment about seeing "fallen heroes" in the audience was an ad-lib (it's not included in the prepared remarks) and decides that Obama should stick to the script: "Of course all pols say things like this from time to time, but in Obama's case, these sorts of utterances seem to be increasing and only reinforcing the growing belief that he's not really ready for prime-time." Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute concurs: "What's interesting is that we have seen that Obama is a very ordinary impromptu speaker who normally does a great job delivering prepared remarks; now he has gotten fluff-mouth even with a teleprompter.  Yikes!"

Read more about Obama's Memorial Day gaffe.

Emily exposed: The New York Times Magazine is under fire for its Sunday cover story, written by former Gawker-ite Emily Gould about the perils of blogging about one's emotional and sexual travails. Bloggers are complaining about her narcissism and her failure to distinguish her own confessional style of blogging from the medium's more outer-directed uses.                                                                                                                         

As might be expected, Gawker was all over the story before, during, and after its publication online. Ryan Tate even contacted a source at the Times to ask why comments on Gould's piece were turned off after 700 had been posted. Evidently, the paper of record needed its comment-trolling staff to redirect their attentions elsewhere. To which Tate says: "It still seems a bit absurd that the Times would take pride in stoking an online discussion when it doesn't have the staff to manage that discussion. It is also self-defeating of the newspaper to rob paying print subscribers of the ability to comment on a story just because it was released early online to freeloaders."

Megan's Minute sort of liked the piece, but: "Yes, she gave us a look into the world of high pressure blogging---12 posts a day after all----yes she shared her eventual regret about revealing personal details of her life and of those close to her, and yes she eventually quit her job at Gawker.  But what I didn't get was a genuine sense of where she was in the world and what her aspirations might be based on the experiences in those ten pages."

Municipalist, a blogger who blogs about, um, blogging,  banishes Gould from its dominion: "[T]he Emily Goulds of the world have every right to blog and blog and blog, about their boyfriends and breakups and tatoos. But someday, soon we believe, 'blogging' and the 'blogosphere' will mean something completely new. It will mean problem solving and coalition building. It won't mean ranting, and pointless anonymous comments, etc. And it won't mean Emily Gould."

Peter Suderman, guest blogging for Megan McArdle,is more lenient: "The combined lure of easy content and personal attention is tough to resist; Gould didn't, and the distinction between her online life and everything essentially disappeared. The author and the subject became one. Does Gould deserve criticism for this? Perhaps. But it's also a function of the medium -- its pace, its content demands, and even its readers, who encourage personal revelation. The blogosphere always pulls this way. It's magnetized toward self-obsession."

Daily Intel, New York magazine's blog, writes: "Millions of people blog, many of them about themselves. But if past work is anything to judge by, we're not going to be reading about them this weekend. Except for the ones Gould slept with." Rachel Sklar, in a lengthy takedown at the Huffington Post's Eat the Pressconcludes: "Not everyone navel-gazes so completely, or uses the pronoun 'I'so reflexively — there are many people doing great work online writing on topics other than themselves. Sometimes, Gould is even one of them; alas, not this time."

Read more about Gould's piece.

Michael Weiss is the director of communications at the Henry Jackson Society, a London-based think tank that promotes democratic geopolitics. He is also the spokesman for Just Journalism, which examines how Israel and the Middle East are portrayed in the U.K. media.



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