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If the press will just do their job, all will be OK

Thursday, September 11, 2008 by Dave Winer.

Lots of must-read editorial following the release of the first part the ABC News interview with Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin. Permalink to this paragraph

It's so totally appropriate that this interview took place on Sept 11. Because of that, and the fact that we're all re-living that day 7 years ago, we should be aware of how incredibly important it is that our political leadership be involved in the world we live in. Everything is so interconnected these days, it's dangerously naive to think that you can assume leadership of this country with no knowledge or preparation for that complex job. Permalink to this paragraph

Listening to Bob Woodward about his interviews with President Bush in his last year of an eight-year Presidency, you can clearly see that he is still unprepared to be the leader of this country. He has deligated essential Commander In Chief responsibilities to unelected aides, people who we don't know anything about and he glosses over important parts of his decision-making process with the same unconfident imprecision that Sarah Palin does in her ABC News interview.  Permalink to this paragraph

Joan Walsh writing in Salon this evening says "The fact that Sarah Palin sat for her humiliating interview with ABC's Charles Gibson on 9/11 is one of those strange serendipitous events that makes one believe there's order in the universe. Remember how 9/11 changed everything, especially our new seriousness about the larger world and foreign policy? Never again would we risk a president, maybe not even a senate candidate, without global experience and sophistication." Permalink to this paragraph

Howard Kurtz, in the Washington Post, says the press is angry. Permalink to this paragraph

As they should be, because they, like everyone else, are being used by the Republicans, to try to slip another fast one by us, circumventing our democratic process, and taking advantage of a few voters who aren't paying attention. As the title of this piece says, if the reporters do their job, we'll be fine. They don't have to be referees, they just have to be finders of fact and tell everyone what they found. There's nothing hard about that job. Permalink to this paragraph

Barack Obama isn't a sexual pervert, the law that he voted for when he was an Illinois state senator was designed to protect small children from sexual predators. The news should not report a controversy, they should report that McCain is telling a desipicable lie. Until that lie is acknowledged, retracted and apologized for, both to Obama and to the electorate, McCain should not receive any of the services of the press. The first question in any interview should be "Why are you lying and when will you admit that you are and stop." If he continues to lie, that's the end of the interview. The reporter wraps it up and leaves. You can't continue to interview someone who you know is lying. Reporters do it all the time, but this must stop now. Permalink to this paragraph

A picture named moose.gifThe Republicans can scream all they want, all that anyone will hear is that they are lying. I don't see how the press can avoid this. We can all see it openly, Republicans and Democrats and independents, and people all over the world who don't get a vote in our election, but whose respect for us they do control. America will be judged by how we handle this. We will not be able to hide behind the usual excuse "I didn't vote for him" because you are now called on to do more. Permalink to this paragraph

I think we made a lot of progress today, cleared a lot of things up. Republicans could help by holding another convention and nominating a new ticket. McCain is completely discredited, he could not serve as President with the support of anyone who has an education or who cares about the future of this country. Yes I understand that we who are educated and have health insurance and jobs are elitist and different from those who live in small cities and towns, but my family comes from small towns, and my ancestors were not educated. We have so much in common and so much at stake, we really can't afford to be split this way, again.  Permalink to this paragraph

McCain's gamble was too big, and it didn't work. You can play a few more cards from the hand, but it's not going to change the outcome -- he can't be President. It won't work. The sooner the Republicans acknowledge that and respond, the better we all will be. Until that happens all the press has to do is report the news and stop being anything other than reporters. Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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