Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Effectiveness of the "Swift Boat"

The "Swift Boat" of 2004 was much more potent than the one in Vietnam and is proving to be more potent than the current 2008 version. I say the 2008 version, but I must qualify that designation. To be fair, there has not been a "Swift Boating" yet. A "Swift Boat" does not look anything like what this past week has produced. And furthermore, I think that the current state of the MSM and its somewhat hostile relationship with the increasingly relevant blogosphere is proof that there will be more oversight, more accuracy and perhaps even some elements of professional journalism. I said "perhaps".

This theory hinges on the assumption that the Media is torn as to who their true darling is and how much the left blogs can keep the Media, and therefore campaign reality, in check. We can already see the apprehensiveness in what and how the Media will report such smears. At the start of this Clark issue, they began as they usually do: Report an out-of-context clip that makes it seem like a below the belt shot was taken at their long-time darling, St. McCain. However, when Clark did not back down from the multi-fronted attack, the liberal blogs went into action and when others started agreeing with Clark, the Media was forced to look at how they reported the story and, in a slight instance of journalistic integrity, they started running the entire or at least more accurate story WITH context. This, with the exception of Fox News, is an indication of why the Swift Boat of 2008 isn't nearly as detrimental than the 2004 model. For it to work again, there has to be a complete lack of even minimal journalistic skills and a breakdown of the left blogosphere. I simply don't seeing either of those two conditions being met.

McCain has also limited himself insofar as that he condemned the 2004 Swifter's, but is now accepting their donations while at the same time demanding that Obama "cuts Clark loose". In effect, he has renounced and distanced himself from attacks that are deemed a "Swift Boat", so when his surrogates get ready to release The Case Against Barack Obama where will he stand? The last thing he needs (or just the thing that Obama needs) is to be further labeled a flip-flopper and especially not in this case where his ethics will be called into question.

While many pundits still have man-crushes on John McCain, I think that Obama's darling status rivals it well and will give us a glimpse into the Media's true role. It will get worse I'm sure, but we need to do our part to make sure that the Media does theirs.


Harriet ...a SNL fan said...

You are correct, sir!!