Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Crazy Like a Fox?

John Kerry, on Good Morning America, unaware that his mic was on, let slip this little observation:

“Geez... They're working for the Republican National Committee.”

Yes, John, they are.

1) Kerry is aware that the reporters are, indeed, very right-wing and utterly hostile to anyone who challenges their tax cuts. Good. He should know it. Gore never seemed to get a handle on that fact, and while he was trying to figure it out, the press spent months and months mindlessly parroting Republican spin: “Gore said he invented the Internet! Gore claimed that he discovered Love Canal! Gore thinks he inspired Love Story!” The fact that these statements were plain lies made no difference to the media: they conformed to the script that the press wished to recite, and so they were recited. (For extensive coverage of this phenomenon, see Bob Sommerby’s “Daily Howler,” and search the archives for “Gore.”)

Kerry is clearly now very much aware of it, and one thing the man seems to know how to do: he knows how to fight back. He is NOT Dukakis, and if you sling mud at him he does not ignore: he responds, but responds immediately, and he responds well. The Bushies have a classic bully mentality, and we all know what happens to bullies when you fight back: they fold.

2) This is the second time that Kerry has made a telling remark while “not knowing” that his mic was on. Frankly, I strongly suspect that Kerry is crazy like a fox and knows perfectly well that the mic is on. But he also knows that “unintentional” remarks that weren’t intended for the public” are more likely to get disseminated by that hostile media – precisely because of the perception that he didn’t intend it for dissemination.

If that’s the case, John Kerry is far more slick than he’s given credit for. And it may actually be that Rove and company are overmatched at Machiavelli’s game.

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