Blogged by Brad from St. Louis...
Supposed to be cooling my holiday heels a bit today, but couldn't let this one pass without comment. USA Today has an article this morning anointing psychologist Drew Westen, author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation, as the Democrats' new political rhetoric guru.
Nonetheless, in her article, headlined "Democrats get advice on how to talk about issues," reporter Jill Lewis can't seem to help but pass on the conventional wisdom (read: lies) of Republican rhetoric guru/liar Frank Luntz.
"Al Gore should have won" in 2000, Lewis unquestioningly quotes Luntz as telling her. "He lost because Americans didn't want him in their living rooms every night."
No. He "lost" because one vote on the Supreme Court determined that the man who won the national popular vote, as well as the electoral vote in Florida, should not have his votes counted as cast.
Had Lewis gone back and reviewed the findings of her own newspaper, who took part in a study of the ballots across the state of Florida, she likely would have discovered that.
While we realize that history is frequently re-written by the "winners," we see no reason why the corporate mainstream media need to participate in that charade. And yet, nearly 7 years later, and with facts now easily at hand, USA Today continues to do so.
We don't blame Luntz for lying. That's his job. Much as we don't blame Ann Coulter for being an unapologetic liar and hate-monger. We blame USA Today --- and other similarly irresponsible corporate mainstream outlets --- for giving him the platform to continue to pass on his lies without correction. Much as we blame ABC, NBC, MSNBC, et al. for giving Coulter a bully pulpit from which to spew her bullshit.
We need to begin to hold those who hold the keys to the kingdom responsible for allowing the charlatans inside the gates in the first place. Until we hold the media accountable and demand that they clean up their act, the Democratic focus-grouped advice of media message masters like Westen, and George Lakoff before him, won't mean a damn thing.