What's wrong with Journal Communications Inc. -- Part Endless | Wis.Community

What's wrong with Journal Communications Inc. -- Part Endless

So, naturally, it just wasn't good enough that President Obama today finally threw up his hands and issued his formal, long-form birth certificate from Hawaii to disprove the "birther" conspiracy theories that he's not a US citizen and thus an illegitimate officeholder. Nope, not good enough.

First, Donald Trump thumps his chest and takes credit for getting Obama to do it -- which is taking credit for demagoguery -- and then immediately moves on to the pressing public policy question of whether Obama was a “terrible student” who shouldn’t have gotten into Columbia University or Harvard Law School without "special" help. But, oh, we'll have to carefully check that certficate Obama released to see if it's really and truly the genuine article. Which might take another year or two. So yuk it up, Trump and his ilk have a million of 'em and will just keep trotting this nonsense out.

Worse, some so-called mainstream news media outlets are questioning the manner in which Obama made his announcement today. Their talking points, epitomized by the afternoon drive-time "news" team at WTMJ-AM in Milwaukee, amounted to: Why, of course, birtherism is silly! We all knew that! What we're really concerned about is how Obama made the announcement. After all, he said we're wasting time on this phony issue when there's more important stuff to talk about. So why did he waste more of our time talking about it? Hmmmm?

In short, damned if you do, damned if you don't.

An acquaintance of mine who has worked on Republican campaigns at a high level recently told me the fundamental tactic as taught by party advisors is quite openly to attack your opponent any way you can. This is not controversial within GOP circles. It's standard op. Forget about issues. Forget about ethics and diplomacy. Attack! That's how you win elections. Cast doubts! Raise fears! And birtherism is the highest current form of that sort of fear-mongering. Red meat to the true believers of the GOP base they keep throwing out there even after it's gone bad.

 Fox News already has become the 24x7 birther network, or very nearly. WTMJ-AM, home to wingnut tallkmeister Charles Sykes -- but once, long ago, a proud home of decent, professional, broadcast journalism -- has joined the fray.

Published

April 27, 2011 - 6:44pm

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