I find it harder and harder not to sympathize with Robespierre these days (h/t commenter hitchhiker):
[T]he food on the plane is crucial. Like the army, the press travels on its stomach and in this regard, Gore was no match for Bush. Gore wanted the snacks to be environmentally and nutritionally correct, but somehow granola bars ended up giving way to Fruit Roll-Ups and the sandwiches came wrapped and looked long past their sell-by date. On a lucky day, someone would remember to buy supermarket doughnuts. By contrast, a typical day of food on Air Bush (going from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to Newark to East Brunswick to Austin) consisted of five meals with access to a sixth, if you count grazing at a cocktail buffet. Breakfast one was French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, and fruit, followed by a midmorning breakfast of spinach and tomato omelets. Lunch one was grilled chicken and beef with mashed potatoes, and lunch two was mushrooms stuffed with crab, shrimp kebabs, and pizza. There were Dove Bars and designer water on demand . . . but lobster wasn’t what Al Gore lacked. It was a candidate comfortable with himself.
Will shill for food.
That last line inspires so much rage. I can’t handle it.
It’s to the point that, as a potential graduate school student, I get angry when I get spam mail from journalism schools. I have no idea what those people are teaching.
Candidates cultivating Villagers with food in 2000? How quaint. By 2008 the Villagers were cultivating the candidates.
Her book is called Anyone Can Grow Up? Really? The above paragraph the work of someone who wants to claim they’re grown up.
John M. Burt
I am still trying to remain a Quaker in my heart, but….
@John M. Burt:
It’s really hard, isn’t it? Especially when you just want to go upside someone’s head with a two by four. The Peace Testimony is a bitch.
Reporters claim they wish to be bribed with food; film at 11.
I keep demanding of the TV: What are these policies? What will they do? Have they ever worked before?
Is it me? Has the press ever done this? And if they don’t, it’s never been easier to find out! Yet people don’t bother.
Sometimes I do despair about humanity.
Only Ron Paul has the courage to serve speed-balls on his campaign plane.
Gawd that quote fully and completely pisses me off … and the suggestion at the end that Gore (who fucking won, btw, the popular vote) was somehow lacking something that Bush had AS A CANDIDATE when, we NOW KNOW that BUSH WAS A TRAIN WRECK AS A POLITICIAN … gawd this infuriates me, totally and completely … how can we exact revenge on these pandering wet blankets known as the press pool?
Oh, Doug, I’ve been there since at least 2000 myself. To the point that I have alienated old friends who find my anger “uncomfortable” and “unseemly.”
That said, professional whore Margaret Carlsson is a Penn State grad who is extolled in a video that admissions shows at recruiting events. Why they’d want to tout a prostitute is beyond me. What gives me pleasure about the whole thing is that 100% of the recruits and 98% of their parents have no fucking clue who Margaret Carlsson is.
The stuff about Dukakis on the next page is even more rage-inducing. “No editor wanted to run a story about good jobs at good wages.”
GOSH HOWEVER DID WE GET SO FUCKED AS A COUNTRY I HAVE NO IDEA.
I knew it had to be Carlson. After all these years I’m still infuriated with her role in raring Gore down.
Question: If the villagers are so easy to buy, why not provide them with the fancy food they want. It might be an investment worth making. See also, McCain and barbecue.
I think you’re right, why not just treat them like the whores that they are?
Gore was not uncomfortable with himself; he was uncomfortable with marketing bulshit. He wanted to live and exemplify what he believed in even if it drove his handlers crazy. Republicans have always valued style over substance and The Bush team were simply geniuses at it. Seriously. If Karl Rove and Roger Ailes chose the light side of the force we would have fusion power and zero world hunger by now.
It goes without saying that marketing skill does not mean they could find a decent policy if it was taped to their foreheads.
@WereBear (itouch): Well there is always kittehs! I for one await my feline overlords.
@Tim F.: Gore choosing the unlikeable and prissy moral scold for VP was like making an own goal.
Actually, the whole point of your previous paragraph is that that IS what he lacked.
Jesus, does ANYONE edit these people?
Yes of course, if you want good press you must feed your reporters well and also, a blender constantly full of margaritas helps.
The banquet with live monkeys with the tops of their skulls removed was to die for. Of course, at Cheney’s house, they used children instead of monkeys.
A small issue, and one that decent marketing could have buffed right out. Look at what Rove and Co were able to accomplish with Cheney, a second tier Bond villain who polls just ahead of cancer.
@schrodinger’s cat: We have kittehs.
Dear stupid idiot journalist,
Thanks so very much for breaking America. You suck. I have heard they server terrific lobster in hell, so lucky for you.
And it’s amazing to me, after Gore won in 2000, and was denied the counting of the votes by the Supreme Court skulking in in the dead of night, how much effort has been dedicated to creating a mythology around how terrible a person he was and how he would have been a bad president. Not just by Republican politicians, but by members of the media.
Likewise, the constant lionization of Reagan. Maybe it was great for members of the media, but he was a fucking awful president.
@jeffreyw: Aaawww that’s so cute, what exactly is Bitsy trying to do here?
So, the press can be induced to do tricks in exchange for food. Perhaps the Obama campaign should also look into buying them some squeak toys and a pretty collar?
@butler: Lieberman achieved the impossible, he actually made Cheney seem likeable in their debate.
Expanded that for you. Compared to the rest of our political system, letting themselves be bought for the price of a few nice buffet meals puts them in crack whore territory.
It wasn’t the food. It was the ‘tude. Bush gave ’em what they wanted, not what was good for them. Same for the rest of the country, with predictable results.
Oh, Jesus Christ. Sully’s live blog of the SC debate (on Romney): “There’s something chilling about his completely utilitarian approach to the truth.”
No. fucking. shit. The crepes on his tour bus must be to die for.
Self-awareness, what’s that?
@C.J.: Have the standards in journalism schools been going downhill for at least 25 years now? You betcha.
@Waldo: Even if you ask them what was so great about Ronald Reagan, the answer boils down basically to “he made us feel better”.
So it’s all about their feelings. Doomed, we are.
@schrodinger’s cat: Grooming session.
Are you also surprised when a murderer tries to wipe his fingerprints off the murder weapon? The media is desperate to point the finger at any reason for Gore’s loss other than their character assassination.
What was the quote re: Candy Crowley & cookie crumbs dribbling off her chin?
The Wall Street cas ino was up and running wide open, for all to profit. Cash flushed media corps and there pungents were gliding in rarified conservative air. Being republican and conservative was a little more sexy and full of adventure than being a knockoff dem conservative. Boy King George was all the things that were good and decent about murrica, rolled into one Texas cowboy, proudly and bravely leading us all down the primrose path. And Dingbats like Carlson, were a dime a dozen, also too, in those days. As she lolled about to and fro, on Bush’s flying pen is, grazing away at the cocktail buffet, when it suited her.
It looks like Somerby is going the full Somerby:
@schrodinger’s cat: Which how many swing voters watched, and how many based their vote on? Its a tiny issue, it would be like blaming the Bronco’s drubbing on Saturday on a false start they had in the 3rd quarter.
Lieberman wasn’t a good choice for VP. But neither was Cheney. More importantly, W wasn’t a good choice for President, yet somehow they managed to sell him twice (or one and a half times, maybe) to enough people to put him in the White House, with a good deal of help from the apparently starving press corps.
@jeffreyw: Jeez, it looks like a zombie Bitsy is eating kitty brains.
Thank you so very much for posting this. It is my clearest memory of campaign 2000 and something that has bugged me ever since. People who gleefully and unreservedly betray their country in exchange for a free cocktail weenie are people who are not even worthy of the guillotine.
With the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to forget that although the fact that Cheney was very conservative politically was widely known, the Darth Lord Vader side of his personality was not, even by many Washington insiders who thought they knew him pretty well. He was expected to be the deeply knowledgeable, experienced pragmatist guiding regarding foreign policy, insurance against Junior Bush making any unwise moves, and frankly he did make Lieberman seem very shallow by side-by-side comparison in their debate. Cheney shocked even a large number of Republican political and foreign-policy insiders from previous administrations with the side of him that emerged post-9/11. Granted, that side was probably latently there all along, kept suppressed up to that point perhaps because even as Ford’s Defense Secretary, the circumstances didn’t favor revealing or releasing it without excessive risk to his political career.
And then…with 9/11, Cheney found himself holding the real mantle of power, as the ward of the pliant naif DubJr, with like-minded ruthless Donald Rumsfeld at Defense. Something about absolute power corrupting some people absolutely, and the Darth Vader side of Cheney’s personality emerged in full bloom.
Hmm, the response hanging is too good for them, I think
Seeing that this thing is selling for a penny on Amazon it seems like…uh…still too much to pay.
Remember, it’s widely attested that Cheney underwent some pretty serious personality changes prior to/during the same era.
I’m on schrodinger’s cat @13’s side: why not spend a buck or two feeding these idiots?
I also seem to recall the notion floated out there that Gore is a pretty bright guy, who didn’t bother to suppress the sighs and eye rolling when someone in the press corps would say something particularly stupid.
@Tim F.: It’s the sales department ideology. Production doesn’t matter; just selling the product. If a company were run completely by the sales department, you’d have a train wreck. Dubya always seemed like a smart-ass salesman to me. Look what he did to the economy when he decided the salesmen (and a couple of saleswomen) could do everything.
The last line actually doesn’t bother me that much. Gore was a pretty lousy candidate, and he should have done a better job of playing the game with the reporters. Yes, the game is moronic, but too much is at stake for a candidate like him to decide that he or she is above that nonsense. Just suck it up and play nice with the nitwits.
He was sold as the serious person to back up Dubya when he choked on a pretzel and it fit him because he did basically take power when Dubya was in over his head. They weren’t lying about his selling point.
I find it hard to believe that all these people didn’t realize the head of a company like Haliburton could have no morals though. I find it far more likely that when Darth Cheney became well known others pretended he changed to cover their ass kissing. Reporters and politicians aren’t exactly keen on this kind of thing and will pretend not to notice anything as long as it benefits them. Then Big surprise! He changed so much!
Screw that. Just make it hookers and blow all the way, then the other side won’t be able to escalate.
So “preznit give me turkee” was actually genuine political reporting?
Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs!
….Look at what Rove and Co were able to accomplish with Cheney, a second tier Bond villain who polls just ahead of cancer…
We have a winner!
I know “sentiment analysis tools” are pretty common but the term is still chillingly Orwellian every time I see it in use.
Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs!
Personally, I am an atheist, but how I wish there were a God and especially a hell for you to go to, Margaret.
For you, breakfast one would be Grilled Iraqi Civilian a la White Phosphorus, followed by a midmorning breakfast of dug-up corpses served “Abu Garaib” style.
Lunch one would be Cream of WMD, and lunch two would be Depleted Uranium Toxic Waste.
And every night, Dick Cheney would come around with his shotgun to shoot you in your fucking idiot face.
Cheney was generally seen as a very competent SecDef under Bush I, and made aggressive cuts to defense (including multiple base closings) during his tenure.
I wasn’t happy to see him as VP, but as you point out, pre-9/11 there was no sign of the Darth Vader persona that would emerge.
I’ll never forget the moment Jake Tapper publicly denounced candidate Gore and his entire staff because…get this… the Gore campaign plane stayed on schedule and left Jake behind.
Tapper was a writer for Salon back in those days. Sure, okay, Jake was a tiny bit late, but evidently he felt that they should have done a press corps headcount or something, like Jake was a ten-year-old on a school trip. The fact that the all-important TAPPER! was missing was serious enough that they should have waited the plane for him (and maybe even sent out a teacher’s aide to look for him in the candy shop).
Since they “left him stranded,” it seems that Jake made a decision that they were going to pay. This, Jakie huffed in print, is the kind of people Gore and his campaign staff were. A bunch of thoughtless bastards! And Gore was just such a COLD person…etc. Although he didn’t rival the Bs-on-the-Bus in the level of sheer, naked nastiness, Tapper was always slipping in the knife when he talked about Gore.
I’ve never been able to respect Tapper since that day. Even when he has (very) occasionally done “good” work, that image of him as a vindictive whiner has always come to mind whenever he shows up on TV. I just despise him.