Politics and Media Headlines 12/26/08
A Highly Evolved Propensity for Deceit (New York Times)
[I]t’s all too easy to lie. In more than 100 studies, researchers have asked participants questions like, Is the person on the videotape lying or telling the truth? Subjects guess correctly about 54 percent of the time, which is barely better than they’d do by flipping a coin. Our lie blindness suggests to some researchers a human desire to be deceived, a preference for the stylishly accoutred fable over the naked truth… We’re desperate to believe that what our loved ones say is true.
Just as I’ve been saying—most of the people WANT TO BE FOOLED most of the time.—Caro
It is hard for an empty suit to take a stand - or perhaps even to understand what it means to take a stand (by heidiliofpotpourri at The Confluence)
During the primary season and the general election a friend of mine who spent some considerable amount of time listening to me lament the Democratic Party’s poor judgment in making then-Senator Obama their poster-child, kept saying to me that the real problem with Mr. Obama is that he is an “empty suit”. That term seemed to me too tepid back then. But I have come to see it as the essential problem behind the problem of Mr. Obama’s inability or unwillingness to be a moral leader, and possibly any kind of leader. To be a moral leader, to stand for something means that you have to fill out your suit, your office, your position. To be an “empty suit” is to be a person who cannot draw a line in the sand… To be an “empty suit” is to be devoid of the weightiness that real leadership requires… To be an “empty suit” is to be a moral vacuum…
In some ways, moral emptiness, especially in a President, is worse than moral wrong-headedness… After all, it seems easier to go after people who actually do take stands (Rick Warren, for example) rather than the person who silently enables wrong-headed person to gain in stature. But this is sleight of hand. The real problem is the enabler, the person who allows the sophomoric sexist to put words in his mouth, the person who lets bigoted clerics and their churches affiliate with him… If we cannot give this empty suit some backbone, we need, as I have written before, to start figuring out how we can have a better candidate on offer in 2012. So to the people who are canceling their celebrations, may I suggest that they use the time and effort saved to start solving that problem.
Lack of attendance at a Christmas service shows Barack Obama's church dilemma (Chicago Tribune)
HONOLULU — Barack Obama has long stressed the importance of religion in his life. But as his fellow Christians around the world attended Christmas services on Wednesday and Thursday, the president-elect and his family remained sequestered at their vacation compound on the windward coast of Oahu. His lack of attendance at formal religious services showcased a dilemma faced by Obama, who is between churches and often expresses concern about bringing the disruption of his security detail into the lives of others. Still, he has not attended a public church service since before being elected, a departure from the actions of his two immediate predecessors.
Must we not even consider, Chicago Tribune, whether Obama never was religious, but only used Rev. Wright’s church for political reasons, and now that he’s reached the highest level he can reach in politics, doesn’t need religion any more?—Caro
Obama, Clinton top 'most-admired' lists… (On Politics, USA Today)
"A month before his inauguration," USA TODAY Washington bureau chief Susan Page writes this mornings, "Americans choose Barack Obama as the man they admire most in the world, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. It's the first time a president-elect has topped the annual survey in more than a half-century." Obama was the choice of 32% of those polled. President Bush was a distant second at 5%. Among women, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton ranked No. 1 with 20% of the "vote." Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, was No. 2 with 11%.
Taegan Goddard didn’t mention Clinton at all. Isn’t that odd?—Caro
Because I see what's coming... (by J –SOM at Liberal Rapture)
What continues to make my hair stand on end is the hijacking of the process by the DNC and the media. Obama is still not being vetted. It is remarkable. We all need an election break - but Obama's involvement in Blag's gubernatorial campaign is the kind of story journalists once salivated over. In my adult lifetime there are only two examples of this lack of questioning I can think of- both recent. George W. Bush in 2000 and his subsequent win, and the run up to the Iraq invasion. Why we are where we are has everything to do with these two events. Both stories were presented but not covered. Subsequently the media made perfunctory apologies: We treated Gore unfairly, We fell down on the job before the Iraq war - blah, blah. blah…
Who benefits when journalism takes a holiday? And why is it happening more often?... Vast sectors of the economy are now pseudo nationalized and the national conversation has been constricted by a few large media outlets. The illusion of debate has replaced debate… Why was Obama chosen? Who brought (also "who bought") him? Who benefits?
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