Saturday, September 27, 2008

Video of John McCain Changing Positions for No Good Reason

My good friend Robert Greenwald from Brave New Films put this together. It's a really nice comparison of times where John McCain contradicts himself. Now it's one thing to change your tactics because the situation changes or you get some significant new information. I actually think that is an important quality in a leader. And when new information demands that you make a different choice, I expect smart leaders to acknowledge the changing situation. To keep doing the same thing and saying the same thing because you are afraid of being called a "flip-flopper" is stupid. In this day and age of video taped archives, when you change what you are saying from one interview to the next depending on who is in the audience you are being reckless.

Over at Digby and at Atrios' place they talk about the media constructing a "narrative" and then looking for examples that fits into that narrative. Three things to know:

1) If someone is pushing that narrative they will provide evidence of that narrative
2) For some people all it takes is ONE example of a narrative to make it stick, but the press likes three ("With three it's a trend!" as my buddy D. likes to say.)
3) If the example is funny enough, the press and the comics will keep using it, EVEN IF IT ISN'T TRUE

That is why we get stupid lines about Nobel Prize winner Al Gore. Someone decided to make some stuff up about Oscar winner Al Gore and others jumped on board. I sometimes wonder if the people who made up crap about Vice President Al Gore are happy now. If they had to do it over again would they still make stuff up? Would they check their facts better? Would they, in their attempt for parity, to alleviate their guilt make funny stuff up about the other person?

Conversely, if the media DON'T want to accept a narrative they will reject example after example of that narrative using lots of excuses.

For example, take the video above. Note how Bob and his team put it together with dates and times (to show you that the situation couldn't have changed that quickly) and with actual media figures confronting McCain so that there would be plenty of context.

Now the people who don't like that narrative can't point to a lack of context or a long period of time over which his views changed as the situation required it. But that might not matter because the media don't want to confront a core belief that they hold about McCain. Their core belief is that he is an honorable man who maintains strong views that are against his own party. If you wanted to maintain that view you would avoid and ignore examples where it is challenged and look for times where it is maintained.

Since this changing of positions doesn't fit their core belief, the media will work overtime to either discount or simply ignore it. Even when the late Tim Russert confronts McCain with his lack of honesty, the narrative is still not changed. You wonder how many times it would take for them to change to that narrative. The current John McCain is not honest. The John McCain of now has been confronted with his lies and kept lying. I don't like that in a leader, even someone on my side. I know that there are times leaders have to keep stuff from us for security reasons, but these are not those times.

They will make excuses for all the things that McCain said. In fact they might EVEN use the comments that I made above to excuse McCain. I can hear them now:

"It's not a flip-flop if it is a 'change of position on something because the situation changed'"!
(Hey, did I do that punctuation right?)

You can see here that Robert has a narrative. He has proved lots of examples, it's kind of funny. And if you want to question it and argue with him about it, go to his site, Brave New World Films. Or make your own response disputing all of the video and posting it on YouTube.


Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

I've been getting e-mail notifications of these films for months (along with requests to pass them along to others which I have done). This week, I'll post them.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I'm not fond of Mccain but you won't find something like this from Obama because you actually have to posit a position in order to flip flop about it.

9:32 AM  
Blogger A 2 Z Poetry said...

This post has been removed by the author.

11:08 PM  
Blogger A 2 Z Poetry said...

Thanks for sharing nice and interested post. I like the clip. Well good job keep it up. A2ZPoetry

11:15 PM  

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