04 September, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Calling in the (fake) troops (h/t Steve Benen):
For its "Pledge of Allegiance video" on Tuesday night, the Republican National Convention used stock footage of a staged military funeral, along with actors dressed as soldiers and sailors. CBS has the story:

It was a video that was supposed to elicit soaring patriotism and real emotions about the Pledge of Allegiance. But to do that, it used fake soldiers and a staged military funeral instead of the real thing.

CBS News found that the footage of the 'funeral' and soldiers is what is called 'stock' footage. The soldiers were actors and the funeral scene was from a one-day film shoot, produced in June. No real soldiers were used during production.
The footage, sold by stock-film house Getty Images was produced by a commercial filmmaker in Chicago. Both Getty and the production company, Mr. Big Films, confirmed that the footage was shot on spec and sold to the Republican National Committee.

One of the actors, Perry Denton of Chicago, IL also confirmed that he was hired on a day-rate as an actor for the shoot and told CBS News he was surprised to learn the footage was shown at the convention.

Brandon Friedman of Vote Vets had a few choice things to say about that:
The issue here isn't that the RNC used actors in what might have been a haste. Rather, the underlying problem is that Bush and McCain supporters don't like to deal with the messy reality of warfare that genuine troops bring to the table. That is, they feel compelled to stage a funeral with actors. Because to show a real military funeral--with the heaving chests of a broken family clutching a flag-draped coffin containing the pieces of their dead soldier--might just make the funny hat-clad, stupid button-wearing audience blanch. And that doesn't make for good TV. Plus, people just wouldn't go for it. So they use sanitized actors.

But this is an insult to the military. The use of actors shows an unwillingness to face up to what they've done--to the military and to the nation. And it shows that the only way to keep up support for the war is to hide its reality from the American people.

Hiding reality is a Republicon speciality. They invent shit constantly. Sarah Palin hasn't said more than two true things since she got dumped on the national scene. McCain lies his ass off. And now Republicons are trying new avenues of attack, such as castigating Gore for his private jet:

Last night, at the Republican National Convention, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) called for “the immediate drilling for more oil off of our shores” and followed with a personal attack on Vice President Al Gore that received thunderous applause:

And I have one more recommendation for energy conservation — let’s keep Al Gore’s private jet on the ground!

There's just one small problem with that line of attack:
ThinkProgress contacted Gore spokesperson Kalee Kreider, who replied, “Gore doesn’t own a jet.”

Not that they'll stop lying. They have some kind of pathological need to lie. And lie. And lie and denigrate and lie and lie:
This morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Time Magazine Jay Carney pointed out that Gov. Sarah Palin has yet to answer any questions on foreign or domestic policy. McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace interjected, “Who cares?!” Wallace insisted that Palin “can answer the question” of how Americans can save their homes; in fact, Wallace erroneously said, Palin talked about it
last night...


Of course, Palin never said anything about the housing crisis in her speech. Though she atacked Barack Obama and community organizers, lied about her opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, and reversed positions on whether we can “drill our way out of” the energy crisis, Palin did not mention any aspect of domestic or foreign policy during her speech. She discussed McCain’s POW experience, compared herself to a pitbull, and declared that “victory in Iraq is finally in sight,” but never said anything remotely related to how Americans could save their homes.

You apparently have to renounce all ties to reality in order to join the Republicon party. It's not that they're lying about stuff that might be a matter of interpretation. They're lying about things that can easily and clearly be proved:

Watching Sarah Palin's speech last night, I made a note: "Not bad with the teleprompter. Obviously reading, but better than McCain." It takes speakers a little while to get used to teleprompters, and it looked like Palin's extensive practice paid off.

But that, apparently, isn't the story. Erick Erickson, a Republican blogger, citing "sources close to the McCain campaign," insisted this morning that Palin's teleprompter suffered a "malfunction," and she "winged" much of her speech "from memory." Erickson used the anecdote to label Palin a "winner."

I initially thought Erickson was kidding. Anyone watching the speech could see her reading the text from start to finish. She would interject the occasional off-script line, as speakers often do, but she wasn't "winging" anything. That seemed rather obvious.

But Erickson wasn't kidding. Other Republican blogs began heralding Palin's feat, Drudge is running with it, and Fox News is talking about it.

The claim simply isn't true.

Sarah Palin delivered a powerful speech last night, but she did not "wing it." ... This claim has been picked up on Drudge and could quickly enter into the insta-mythmaking about a speech that need not be embroidered.

Perhaps there were moments where it scrolled slightly past her exact point in the speech. But I was sitting in the press section next to the stage, within easy eyeshot of the teleprompter. I frequently looked up at the machine, and there was no serious malfunction. A top convention-planner confirms this morning that
there were no major problems.

It's a clinical mental illness to be compelled to lie when there's no need to lie, when lying can only harm rather than benefit you, when you can easily be caught out in your lies. Republicons everywhere seem to be suffering from the disease. They not only will not, but cannot, tell the truth.

The last thing we need four more years of is a herd of pathological liars with their dirty hands all over the power centers of this nation.

1 comment:

Blake Stacey said...

"No soldiers were harmed in the making of this film. . . ."