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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Them Amusing Repubs

I see where the latest "rebranding" effort by the Republican leadership involves not their own party, but the other one. They want to convince the electorate, independents, whoever that the Democratic Party ought to be called and thought of as the "Socialist Democratic Party".
har, har, har That's a good one.
Sure hope the Democrats don't respond by labeling their anemic opponent the "Republican Nazi Party". Ah, but they won't do this. If they were going to they would have back at the height of the blitzkrieg. And besides, they don't need to pile on. The Republican tagteam seems intent on bodyslamming each other.
Let the games continue !!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Another Media Lament

It happens with cable talking heads and news bunnies. It happens with local affiliate news personalities. It may happen with the "major broadcast network" people as well, though I don't see it there as much.
I'm talking about the strained efforts by those mentioned to demonstrate to their public and to whoever they are interviewing that they have done their homework.
"You say in your book that . . . blah, blah, blah . . . Why did you say that ?? "
Don't get me wrong. I do want them to actually do their homework. I just don't want them to be so obvious that they are trying to prove to everyone that that's what they are about.
And in this vein, I would offer a recommendation to the culprits who are not as smooth and professional as they shouold be. They should spend several hours observing, listening to Diane Rehm on NPR (I think it's called "the DR Show") midmornings on your favorite NPR station. Diane is the absolute best radio interviewer in the business today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Republican Dilemma

Much of what has filled up time on the 24-hour cable news channels since November has been a discussion of what the Republican Party needs to change in order to become competitive once again. Many of the debates attempt to study strategy, looking out how the party can frame its appeal and ideology in ways that will be more attractive to more voters. These efforts assume there is nothing wrong or unappealing about that ideology. Advocates of winning through better strategy believe that the average citizen is slightly or somewhat "right of center" in their political ideology. Thus, they conclude, the message is not the problem. Must be the messenger.
There are, however, important power centers in the party that reject the notion that inept messaging was the problem. They see efforts to repackage Republicanism in more attractive terms as being insidious attempts to alter the ideology. Trying to show how their worldview can appeal to people who have not been voting with them is viewed by these party purists as caving in on ideology. They believe that the true road to success lies in going the opposite direction. They want even more ideological purity. And this includes both economic conservatism and social conservatism. One who wants small, efficient government but is open-minded about abortion is simply not welcome on the Republican reservation. "Log Cabin" Republicans simply cannot be accepted, no matter how pro-business they might be. Purity (of ideology) is essential to finding their way out of the wilderness and back to the Promised Land.
What is sort of left unsaid, but to me would be essential, is how these Republican power-brokers intend to succeed given this apparent dichotomy. In order to win as a "pure" ideological party they will need to devise some kind of evangelical message to win over those moderates they have been purging and shunning. If the specific issues they wish to live or die on are that important to them, then they must figure out how to convince people who don't share those views on those issues, and are in fact seemingly moving the other direction.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Local Public Radio

It's that time of year. The area NPR radio stations are in their semi-annual fund drive. A week enduring the predictable drivel from the local disc jockeys.
To be clear, I understand that these are non-commercial stations and that they must substitute donor money for the funds they otherwise they'd get from selling advertising time.
But I do not enjoy these days. I am and have been an occasional contributor. I do really like a number of the programs on public radio. But it annoys me that the fund drive organizers every year resort to the same trite pleas.
The most annoying of the all the gimicks is the "matching funds" scam. Some benefactor, sometimes named, othertimes remaining anonymous, agrees to match donations pledged by new or renewing contributors. They talk as if and try to get listeners to believe that those funds will not be given by the benefactor if those being solicited don't respond in sufficient amounts and quickly enough. What?? Will these benevolent companies and foundations just keep their money if it can't be matched? One grows skeptical. If the given deadline for some match challenge is not met, don't they just turn around and make the same offer a day or two later?
It might make some people feel good about themselves to think they are magically multiplying their personal contribution. But it sure appears to me a ruse. Instead of droning on and on about the "match" why don't they spend some time informing their audience of how they are striving to be good stewards of what they do receive, how they seek to be efficient. They could also describe some of the unusual, unexpected costs that they occasionally encounter. This would, in my humble opinion, be a better use of their air time.