Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tricks of the trade

Deft bit of propa- gandizing by the Fair 'n' Bal- anced cousins for you Pol- Comm fans out there.

At top, Wed- nesday's center- piece, with a pretty vigorous case of the question-creates-assumption hed. But the real fun comes from the follow-up on today's page: not the grammar, which is worth a small medal in its own right, but the Many Questions fallacy in the story itself, starting with the hed and deck:

Lemonade From Lemons: Palin Could
Turn Moderator Bias to Advantage

Political analysts say it may not be such a bad thing for Sarah Palin that the moderator in Thursday's vice presidential debate is biased toward the Democratic camp.

... and continuing in the lede:
The revelation that moderator Gwen Ifill is penning a book about Barack Obama could work to Sarah Palin's benefit in her debate with Joe Biden, political observers said Thursday.

The "political observers," as usual, are the likes of Newt Gingrich and Bernie Goldberg; if you're going to beg questions, these are the dudes you want rattling the old tin cup for you. But the real shell game is the move from "raising some questions" (you don't have to be passive to be agentless) to "it's not so bad that the moderator is biased." Notice, also, how skillfully the day's catch phrases are tossed about from candidate to "news" outlet to bloggers. Malkin says "in the tank," Fox says "in the tank"; Fox says "Let Sarah be Sarah," McCain says "Let Sarah be Sarah." Fox is genuinely good at this game. Its news work tends to look sloppy and amateurish (because much of it is), but never assume Fox doesn't know what it's doing.

It's a rather dreary season for political communication overall, so the day was definitely brightened by the appearance of Dr. Ralph Stanley hisownself in a radio spot endorsing Obama, which you can find by clicking here as it's beyond our tech department's ability to embed audio just yet:

I think the lower end of the GOP ticket has just been flanked in Virginia. Dr. Ralph was real life before real life had snowmobiles.

TPM folks: I'd rather people didn't indulge in G-droppin' when they mention banjo-pickin', especially if they're referrin' to the crosspicked guitar intro. And nobody says who signed off on the Frankenstein job going into the chorus. Otherwise, a nice discovery. So nice that we'll extend the offer of a free year's subscription to HEADSUP for the first reader(s) to name:
1) the song
2) the guitarist
3) the lead vocalist

Hit it, Ralph.



Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

I do believe it's Ralph's own Rank Stranger. Maybe his brother on guitar?

6:50 PM, October 02, 2008  
Blogger fev said...

A year's subscription to The Ridger, and the circ department throws in another month, because Ralph's bro _is_ playing rhythm.


11:09 PM, October 02, 2008  
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3:10 AM, August 20, 2009  

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