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Amusing political media coverage: A primer
Posted by Drew at 2008-01-08 3:49:14 PM, edited 2008-01-08 3:53:43 PM (129 comments) | Permalink
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6224 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Jan 2008 at 3:49 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



Folks who have been reading Fark for the past 9 years know that our official political stance is that of the Equal Opportunity Lambasting Party. Personally, I simply don't like politicians. It seems like most of them would rather win a debate than be right. I don't personally enjoy being around people like that, and don't consider them to be worthy of hero worship.

I try to make sure we slam all candidates equally on Fark. Sometimes, though, it can be tough. For example, all the political news for the past 24 hours has been about Hilary Clinton crying during a Q&A session and her "Iron My Shirt" protester-groupie. Try to disregard the fact that media should be promoting pertinent issues - there's only a primary for the candidacy of our next president going on, after all. I can't remember where though, all the Britney Spears newsflash updates and articles about naked people from CNN pushed it out of my brain. By the way, Mitt Romney burst into tears last year sometime as well. No one seems to remember it.

Media gets caught up in that kind of thing from time to time. For example, the only things I know about John Edwards are he gets multi-hundred dollar haircuts and his house is larger than most grocery stores.

Strangely missing from recent coverage, however, are stories that make Obama look like a doofus. I know they're out there. He's had to have done something - but for some reason, no one's writing about it. I've seen plenty of articles comparing him to Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, and for all I know other fictional characters as well.

It's a problem for Fark because we can't effectively balance out the politics links without "Obama's an idiot" stories to post (btw, I know we're out of balance with all of the "Ron Paul is a Nutbar" postings, that's just how many there are. It'll even out soon, unless he keeps it up). I'd like to help the media out with this lack of silly Obama articles. Here's a handy list of the usual topics with some actual examples for the thousands of reporters out there reading Fark looking for story ideas:



When will they enter the race
We're kind of into the race already so this one's about to go away. It's too late to use on Obama anyhow, but that doesn't seem to prevent speculation that NYC Mayor Bloomberg might run for president. Nevermind the fact that it's too late to get on any primary ballots and he'd have to run as an independent (which never works). To be fair, it's probable the media's just being strung along by a staffer testing to see what public reaction might be should he decide to go for it in 2012. Thompson successfully strung the media along for all of 2007. They loved every second of it.

Expensive haircut
Edwards isn't the only guy who gets expensive haircuts. Pretty much all the candidates do. It's odd that he's the only one who this was pinned on, I can't explain it. I guarantee you Obama pays more than $10 at SuperCuts for his tight trim (actually now that I look again, maybe he just throws #2 on the Whal clippers and does it himself). This one gets media traction mainly because it falls under the media pattern of "boy, rich people are stupid." That's where a lot of the articles about diamond studded cellphones, $1000 mint juleps, and five-star hamburgers come from.

One variation of this article in the election cycle is when a candidate fails to recognize a grocery scanner at the super market (or another blue-collar tool). Both Reagan and Bush Sr did this if I recall, great fun. Media consumers love reading about stupid rich people. It's a new pattern I've come up with since my book on media patterns It's Not News It's Fark: How Mass Media Passes Off Crap As News came out. I'm not above shameless plugs.

Busted for a hypocritical statement on a stated position
This isn't actually hard to do; all politicians contradict themselves. My personal favorite is when the candidate drives away from a press conference about new environmental standards in a hybrid vehicle, only to get out of the car two blocks later and jump in a huge ass SUV. This happened at least twice in 2007 that I saw. It's probably a weekly occurance in DC. For extra fun, check out Tim Russert directly calling out John McCain for contradicting his own words. Good times, my friends.

Forget to tip a waitress
Someone does it every presidential campaign, it's just a matter of time before it happens again. Usually it happens in Iowa, probably because meals are so cheap there that tipping is embarrassing for the customer. It's kind of like that here in Kentucky, too. One of the local bars here has $1 draft bottles during Monday Night Football. Two hours and four beers later (when I'm driving I keep the consumption reasonable), the tab is $4. As opposed to New York City where any beer is $50 and if you look at them funny when the bill comes out they'll tack on a $10 "stop being a dick" surcharge.



This all pales in comparison to how things used to go. People these days complain about attack ads, but you should see how they used to do it. In the 18th and 19th centuries people would completely make stuff up, and by that I mean not mildly plausible stuff but way-out whackjob stuff. This was kind of problematic for the incumbent because it was considered unseemly for a president to campaign, so they had to rely on supporters to do it for them. From what I can tell, this must have mainly involved getting into shouting matches in bars. Generally the accusations had to do with the candidate either having fathered or actually being a bastard. For example, Thomas Jefferson was accused of having children with one of his slaves, children which he later sold as slaves... Except that really happened. Bad example. But you get what I mean.

As an aside, I loved the "Iron My Shirt" sign guy. Bonus points for creativity. I did find it odd that Boston didn't call in an airstrike (New Hampshire is kind of a suburb of Boston as I understand it...) (I'm kidding).

Anyhow I'll be on all evening waiting for someone to do something dumb after the polls close so I can post it to Fark. Shouldn't take long.
· · ·

129 Comments     (+0 »)
 


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2008-01-08 03:50:49 PM  
Is Drew's blog replacing Fark TV?
 
2008-01-08 03:51:03 PM  
Wow, Drews remembered the site exists.
 
2008-01-08 03:51:36 PM  
Wow... a blog... :(
 
2008-01-08 03:52:19 PM  
Interesting
 
2008-01-08 03:53:42 PM  
Drew: As an aside, I loved the "Iron My Shirt" sign guy.

me too

Drew: I'll be on all evening waiting for someone to do something dumb after the polls close so I can post it to Fark. Shouldn't take long.

I agree.
 
2008-01-08 03:53:52 PM  
Why the need to balance anything? Isn't it well known that Fark is run by conservatives?
 
2008-01-08 03:54:21 PM  
moops: Is Drew's blog replacing Fark TV?

we can only hope. ;)
 
2008-01-08 03:55:10 PM  
I dunno, I kinda of find Obama's hair pretty stupid.
 
2008-01-08 03:55:11 PM  
Well said, Drew.

I will say it does seem like the speed of the whole cycle seems to be getting faster - only a few days after Iowa we're starting to see "where's the beef?" type stuff about Obama, and Hilary is already being setup as The Comeback Kid.
 
2008-01-08 03:55:54 PM  
Fascinating insight from the guy that brings us FarkTV.
 
2008-01-08 03:56:19 PM  
Mitt Romney burst into tears last year sometime as well. No one seems to remember it.

i89.photobucket.com
this makes emo romney sad
 
2008-01-08 03:57:41 PM  
I've seen plenty of articles comparing him to Jesus Christ, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, and for all I know other fictional characters as well.

This sentence alone is worth a +infinite. But you run the site, so I guess you already gave yourself +infinite. Oh well.
 
2008-01-08 03:57:50 PM  
blessthe40oz
Why the need to balance anything? Isn't it well known that Fark is run by conservatives?

Fark is "run"?
 
2008-01-08 03:57:54 PM  
As an aside, I loved the "Iron My Shirt" sign guy

Bwahaha, I totally missed that. Going to have to google that.
 
2008-01-08 03:58:18 PM  
Weve secretly replaced FARK's Drew curtis with a plea to bash Obama. Let's see if they notice...
 
2008-01-08 03:58:26 PM  
Blog (Drew) > FarkTV

Please keep Blog (Drew) coming.

Please put FarkTV to bed.
 
2008-01-08 03:58:26 PM  
five-star hamburgers halla at me!
 
2008-01-08 03:58:51 PM  
moops: Is Drew's blog replacing Fark TV?

That would be win.
 
2008-01-08 03:58:55 PM  
maybe he just throws #2 on the Whal clippers and does it himself


that is exactly how i cut my hair. the guard number, brand and method. creepy.
 
2008-01-08 03:58:59 PM  
Balance for balance sake is not balance.
 
2008-01-08 03:59:00 PM  
I pretty sure Jefferson never sold his slave children. They were freed as a condition of his will.

Sally wouldn't have it any other way.
 
jbc [TotalFark]
2008-01-08 03:59:16 PM  
moops: Is Drew's blog replacing Fark TV?

Nothing could replace Fark TV, except maybe a second season of Cop Rock.
 
2008-01-08 03:59:51 PM  
Barnacles!: me too
I agree.


Here you go:

www.realisticdrawing.com

Wipe your nose, it's a tad brown. ;P
 
2008-01-08 03:59:54 PM  
copperheadclgp: Blog (Drew) > FarkTV

Please keep Blog (Drew) coming.

Please put FarkTV to bed.


Or combine them.

Drew podcast.

Ask a Drew.
 
2008-01-08 04:00:13 PM  
Edwards isn't the only guy who gets expensive haircuts. Pretty much all the candidates do.

I can pretty much assure you that this does not apply to Ron Paul.

/I'm Ron Paul and I endorsed this message
//Gold standard
 
2008-01-08 04:00:35 PM  
Funny. Real, live people discuss the issues. The media doesn't seem to be able to get a grasp of that basic concept. Instead, the whole reported political process became a hybrid of reality TV and soap opera.
 
2008-01-08 04:00:49 PM  
Hi Drew!

/swoon
 
2008-01-08 04:00:53 PM  
I don't mind that some candidates receive more negative attention than others - if they deserve it. Candidates who build political machines and fringe candidates who honestly believe they saw a UFO deserve more derision than a candidate whose worst grievance is "he sponsored some bills we don't like". We spend so much time tearing down candidates to find the mountain of skeletons in their closet (because most of them have that many), which leads us to expect the same with every candidate.

And Drew, I agree with your sentiment about the history of elections. In 1844, the Whig Party unearthed a rumor that James K. Polk's grandfather was a Tory during the war. The man was long since dead, and the issues of the election were centered around westward expansion. Our problem is not just the people who choose to run, it's the people that choose what to say about the people who choose to run.
 
2008-01-08 04:01:06 PM  
I'm curious about how the media will attempt to deal with Obama's current lack of hate-worthy f*ck ups they could bring out to add as counter argument to maintain balance. Let's be honest, he's a politician, he's probably done some pretty f*cked up things to get as far as he has. There's no such thing as a perfect candidate.

But what if there were? Would producers and editors be accused of bias because they fail to provide some sort of meaningless counter story other than that they disagree with such/and/such position?
 
2008-01-08 04:01:07 PM  
Just looking for the dirt and embarrasing stuf, huh?

/reported
 
kth
2008-01-08 04:01:08 PM  
Drew: As an aside, I loved the "Iron My Shirt" sign guy.

That reminds me of my favorite protest of Bill Clinton:

"Liar, Liar, No Pants."
 
2008-01-08 04:01:42 PM  
Aeonite: Ask a Drew.

In my head that sounded like "Ask a shrew"
 
2008-01-08 04:01:49 PM  
Hey Truman! Show me how FARK does politics!
rosenblumtv.files.wordpress.com
Thanks Harry!
 
2008-01-08 04:02:32 PM  
Media on Media
 
2008-01-08 04:02:56 PM  
Good to see Drew back. One day, American Gladiators, the next Politics.

Taxcheat: Edwards isn't the only guy who gets expensive haircuts. Pretty much all the candidates do.

I can pretty much assure you that this does not apply to Ron Paul.

/I'm Ron Paul and I endorsed this message
//Gold standard


img46.imageshack.us
 
2008-01-08 04:03:08 PM  
Strangely missing from recent coverage, however, are stories that make Obama look like a doofus.

If you can't find some nutjob on the internet with such a story, it makes me wonder if he isn't really Ghandi-2:Electric Boogaloo. I've been kinda on the fence Obama-wise, but if you are seriously claiming that no-one has submitted even a funny-but-stupid article that doofus-izes Obama, maybe I've been too harsh on him.
 
2008-01-08 04:03:12 PM  
I think I'M worthy of Hero Worship....
 
2008-01-08 04:03:51 PM  
This isn't actually hard to do; all politicians contradict themselves.

Ron Paul doesn't.

/ OH!
 
2008-01-08 04:04:05 PM  
I don't understand the need to balance everything. Without respect to the current election, in any group of people, one is bound to be the dumbest, and one the most competent... I don't understand why both fark and the general media feel the need to be so balanced. It's just as frustratrating on issues... I mean, sometimes politicians just lie... but we aren't allowed to just say "Hey, you... liar!"... we have to deal with this crap of pretending that even the facts have two sides... and everyone is equal. The fairness should be with respect to reality, not with respect to the participants in that reality. I love fark, and will continue to come here... but this wackiness of pretending all candidates, all ideas, and all things (fact v. assertion) are equal should stop.
 
2008-01-08 04:04:12 PM  
Been reading the site less than a year, this is the first blog entry i've seen from Drew.

Dear drew, blog more. Thanks.
 
2008-01-08 04:05:11 PM  
I've got a great idea for Fark TV. How about a video of some guy reading this blog... BUT HE'S WEARING A FUNNY HAT!
 
2008-01-08 04:05:24 PM  
I did find it odd that Boston didn't call in an airstrike

As a New York resident, let me say that we've had enough airstrikes from Boston, thankyouverymuch.
 
2008-01-08 04:05:50 PM  
SexOnTV: Been reading the site less than a year, this is the first blog entry i've seen from Drew.

Dear drew, blog more. Thanks.


this might work (new window)
 
2008-01-08 04:06:08 PM  
The "iron my shirt" guy deserves points for creativity? Come on, Drew, the golf course protest pic is practically a Fark cliche, and was even posted in the greenlit thread from yesterday.
 
2008-01-08 04:06:12 PM  
firefly212

Give this man a blog, well said

/applause
 
2008-01-08 04:06:40 PM  
As opposed to New York City where any beer is $50 and if you look at them funny when the bill comes out they'll tack on a $10 "stop being a dick" surcharge.

bwahahahahaha
 
2008-01-08 04:06:40 PM  
Well his name is Obama, which sounds like Osama, who I hate for some reason I can't quite recall. (Something to do with calling information, maybe?)
Also, his middle name is Hussein, like that dictator that I hate because he makes my gasoline expensive.
Oh yeah, and who names their kid after Fred Flintstone's hometown? I mean, Bedrock. Come on.
 
2008-01-08 04:06:48 PM  
Why don't you let everyone on to TF so everyone knows how many good headlines and Ron Paul articles are unfairly redlighted?

But then again that defeats the whole purpose of redlighting articles, doesn't it?
 
2008-01-08 04:07:08 PM  
moops: Is Drew's blog replacing Fark TV?

well it is funnier and doesn't make me wanna stab my eyes out when I see it
 
2008-01-08 04:07:34 PM  
SexOnTV: Dear drew, blog more. Thanks.

Oh, and THIS.
 
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