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Monday, 18 February 2008


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But (SPOILERS!) it wasn't a wordless scene.


What about my finder's fee for bringing Munch's array of on-screen appearances to your attention?


What disgusts me to no end is that an ABC reporter first reported this "breaking story" yesterday. Then, CNN and The New York Times latched onto it. I have heard that Larry King and Anderson Cooper have been reporting it this evening.

What most people don't know is that it is NOT BREAKING NEWS! Take a gander at this April 2007 article in the Boston Globe:

"Patrick, Obama campaigns share language of 'hope'

By Scott Helman, Globe Staff | April 16, 2007

Of all the things Deval Patrick's Republican opponent threw at him in last year's governor's race, one charge that stuck in his craw was that his speeches were more fluff than substance -- that they were, in Patrick's telling, 'just words.' So he devised an artful response.


It's the latest chapter in a symbiotic friendship between Obama and Patrick that continues to shape their political careers, according to admirers, observers, and associates of the two men.

The similarities between Patrick and Obama, who have known each other for more than a decade, are obvious: Both are idealistic African-American leaders who came of age after the Civil Rights movement. Both have Chicago roots, a Harvard Law degree, and a gift for appealing to both blacks and whites.

Their political likeness runs deeper. Both believe that people long for a new dawn of postpartisan, hopeful, and optimistic public leadership. Both staked their fates on grass-roots activism and fund-raising. Both campaign on supplanting cynicism with citizenship.

It was Obama who first tested the approach during his Senate victory in Illinois in 2004. Patrick improved on it last year. Now Obama is building on both of those successes as he makes his historic run for the White House."

How is this newsworthy? How is it newsworthy enough to command primary-eve coverage on Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper, The New York Times and CNN?

Will these reporters and pundits offer an apology tomorrow when they realize it is not a "BREAKING STORY"? Will the HRC campaign offer an apology tomorrow for characterizing this language as plagerism?

To my mind, the issue is permission, not plagarism. Barack Obama obviously had permission since at least April 2007.


If the response is plagiarism, then so is Clinton's "they're just words" charge -- it's been done before, many times. Political rhetoric is like Jazz, if I may promulgate a creaky cliche-in-the-making, in that all the basic moves and responses have been done before, and everyone follows the same score, but each player makes variations and improvisations which make it unique. It's not plagiarism for Branford Marsalis to play Duke Ellington, but normal musical business.


What also disgusts me with the media is that this

April 2007 story is "Breaking News" and deserves a scroll on the bottom of the telly, but the fact that Barack Obama has passed HRC in almost all of the national Democratic polls is not.

Real Clear Politics has a website which includes a conglomeration of all the nationally-recognized polls, including Rasmussen, Gallup, AP, etc....

A couple of days ago, Barack Obama, for the first time ever, passed HRC in this conglomeration of national polls. This can be seen here.

I have been watching the national media intently to see if this actual "breaking story" would ever get any attention. It has not. Since that time, Obama has increased his lead from a percentage of one point to two points.

During the last couple of days, the national media has, instead, reported, loudly and frequently, OLD poll results for a single state -- Ohio -- which showed HRC still in the lead at the time those polls were completed.

By the way, the Real Clear Politics site also has a cool graph depicting the upward trend of the Obama campaign and the downward trend of the Clinton campaign. This is a visual for "momentum."


It will be interesting to see if Larry King, Anderson Cooper, The New York Times, CNN and ABC will apologize tomorrow for plagiarizing the work of the Boston Globe reporter.

NOTE: It only took me three times to spell plagiarism right!


Yeah, yeah, it's not really news...

but aren't some of you missing the point of plagiarism? Wouldn't it have been ethical of Obama to *mention* his rhetoric has a rather recent parallel?


To The_Myth: Why? It had been reported in a long article in the Boston Globe back in April 2007. Should Obama also hold a press conference to disclose that he is black?


What are the legal and ethical boundaries involved in campaign speech? Is there a requirement that the accusing candidate do a minimal search for the truth before publication? Should the accusing candidate at least privately confront the accused candidate? Run a "Google" search? Would the Democratic National Party arbitrate a dispute?

I understand that Barack Obama is a public figure and that political speech is the most highly protected form of speech other than stripping; however, I don't think candidates are allowed to defame each other. I believe that calling a political speaker a plagiarist, when that is not true, is defamation.


Amid the usual reports of Obama's victories in Wisconsin and Hawai'i, there is this rather unusual report from the Associated Press:

"COLUMBUS. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is scheduling a news conference at 3:00 this afternoon in the Ohio capital city. An anonymous source close to the campaign disclosed that Hillary plans to take a short break from politics to launch a new fragrance line. The line of perfumes, moisturizers and bath salts will be called "Desperation" and will be marketed to political candidates who have campaigns falling from the sky like a satellite with a bad space gyro thing.


According to unnamed sources, the "secret ingredient" is said to be an extract taken from the fear glands of prairie dogs, which are considered by people who are experts in the field to be very desperate, but quite pleasant-smelling, animals."

Note: This is not intended to be sexist. I hope to do a similar post someday about McCain. In fact, it will work better because I can then use the fantastic line from "Super Trooopers" that "Desperation makes a stinky cologne."

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