Sunday, January 06, 2008

Wack job of the week

In Friday's final minutes of Democracy Now!, the show quickly went to a guest in Iowa. Juan Gonzalez explained that Frank Cordaro was with them from Des Moines to talk about "[o]ver a dozen antiwar activists were arrested this week at the Iowa offices of Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The protests were part of a campaign called 'Seasons of Discontent: A Presidential Occupation Project'." Goodman then asked Cordaro to "explain what happened."

FRANK CORDARO: Well, we tried to interject the war into the issues of the presidential candidates. And what your last two guests said about there’s no difference between Hillary and Obama and/or Edwards about the war, they’re correct. They’re all about managing the war. They’re all about keeping the empire afloat. And we were simply trying to interject into the public arena, through a great American democratic tradition of civil disobedience, a real discussion about this war, about this country’s standing in the world, about us being an empire, and about us being an outlaw nation. So we did the best we could.

Wack job.

As Elaine wrote, "The Wack Job is someone who totally wastes whatever time the media gives them. They fail to answer the question or address why they did what they did. As a result, the people who are just learning about them have no idea what they did or why and think, 'Wack Job!'"

What had just taken place was a lengthy segment where Barack Obama's position on the illegal war wasn't addressed. From that segment, here's an exchange between Goodman and Hillary Clinton spokesperson Ellen Chesler:

AMY GOODMAN: I think one big difference, Ellen Chesler, was that--
ELLEN CHESLER: --and [inaudible] experience getting things done.
AMY GOODMAN: Ellen Chesler, one question--one big difference--and I think this has certainly been brought out—is that Barack Obama says he was opposed to the war from the beginning, and, of course, Senator Clinton voted for it.
ELLEN CHESLER: But Barack Obama didn't, with all due respect, didn't have to vote on the war. He was a state legislator in Illinois. And Mrs. Clinton, as you know--Hillary, you know, has a very principled stance, said that had she known then what she knows now, she wouldn't have voted that way. And she has a clear and, I think, a very strong position that she would remove our troops from Iraq and bring them home and devote America's overseas and development money to global warming, healthcare, reducing poverty and [inaudible] around the world.
AMY GOODMAN: But let me ask you something on that issue, Ellen Chesler. It is also true that John Edwards voted for the war, but he very strongly came out and unequivocally said, "I was wrong." And he keeps repeating that. It has been very difficult--and this is why peace activists around the country--
ELLEN CHESLER: You know, Amy, she--
AMY GOODMAN: --have occupied her office, because she has not unequivocally said, "I was wrong."

That is not Barack Obama's record on the illegal war, what Amy Goodman presented, that is spin. But Wayne Ford, on the program to speak for Barack Obama's campaign, was not asked about the illegal war. Nor did Goodman or Juan Gonzalez point out that Obama's office had been occupied in that segment.

Cordaro was brought on to speak about peace activists occupying the offices of Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Instead of explaining that, he went to "all three front runners on the Democratic side are no different!" We don't necessarily disagree but we go beyond Democracy Now! for our information. In a week when Obama repeatedly got soft press on Democracy Now! -- where guests and hosts failed to note he didn't vote for or against the 2007 Iran resolution, where guests offered the 'explanation' that Barack Obama only takes coprorate money because he's afraid it would be offensive to turn it down -- Cordaro had a chance to tell that audience why it was necessary to occupy Barack Obama's office.

He didn't do that. And, sorry to break it to him, most people don't know Obama's actual record. To those people, Cordaro was immediately dismissed as a "wack job." A nut.

He did it to himself. It's true that he had about a minute for his full segment, but when asked a direct question about why the occupations took place (Huckabee, Romney and Obama), he went off on the-Democratic-front-runners-are-all-the-same and looked like a nut job.

As Elaine explained, "It's different from making a dumb statement. I'm thinking of the scene in The China Syndrome when Jane Fonda's going live with Jack Lemmon and he knows what he needs to say but freezes and, after he's shot dead, she asks how much made it on air and she's told just enough to make Lemmon look nuts. People need to be prepared and, if they're not, no matter what their intentions were, they came off like a wack job."

Cordaro did and he can't blame anyone else. He had a minute where he could have addressed Bambi's record and he didn't.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }