Saturday, October 30, 2010

Slime and Violence

ABC's Jonathan Karl laments the incivility and mendacity of the political ads with which we've been barraged this election cycle and puts the blame squarely where it belongs:
In one typical example, Democratic ads have transformed Kentucky Republican House candidate Andy Barr into "a convicted criminal" -- complete with images yellow police tape and fuzzy video of crime scenes. Not mentioned is his crime: As a college student 19 years ago, he was caught using a fake ID during spring break.
As you watch this year's ads -- and I've been watching all too many lately -- you'll notice a striking difference between Democratic and Republican attack ads: Democrats are attacking over personal issues, Republicans are attacking over policy.
A recent study by the Wesleyan Media Project actually quantifies this. They looked at 900,000 airing of political ads this year and concluded: "Democrats are using personal attacks at much higher rates than Republicans and a much higher rate than Democrats in 2008."
Karl's report gives lots of examples of how the Democrats have resorted repeatedly to personal insult and slander in a desperate attempt to discredit their opponents in the eyes of the voters.

With so many to choose from, of course, Karl couldn't list them all. Daily Beast columnist Howard Kurtz has videos of several more. Neither ABC nor The Daily Beast, it should be noted, can be said to be Republican media organs.

Sliming one's opponent is the sort of thing that sixth graders do in a student council election. It's done because they have no issues to discuss, or, as in the case of the Democrats, they have no desire to discuss the issues nor their record on them.

Somewhat related to the Democrats' use of personal attack is the absolutely appalling performance of MSNBC's Chris Matthews on his Hardball show the other night. Matthews is either one of the most uninformed cable talk show hosts or he's one of the most dishonest, and his guests seem no better informed, or truthful, than he is. Here's the segment from his program a couple of nights ago. The relevant discussion starts at about the 9:30 mark:
Since neither Matthews nor his interlocutors can recall anything on the liberal side remotely similar to a man pressing his boot onto a disruptive protestor's shoulder - since Matthews believes we'd have to go back 60 years to find a commensurate example of such violent behavior on the Left - let us at Viewpoint remind him of just a few episodes that have occurred in the last year or so, each of which is at least as bad, and some much worse, than the incident that has him worrying that the Tea Party is on the brink of Kristallknacht.

First there was the sad case of Kevin Gladney, a black man who was beaten and kicked by SEIU thugs outside a Town Hall meeting held by a Democrat congressman. Gladney was attacked because he was selling Tea Party paraphenalia.

Then there was the incident last summer of North Carolina congressman Bob Ethridge who physically assaulted a student who was questioning him on a Washington D.C. street. The video of this encounter is at the link.

And we can't forget the poor guy who had his finger bitten off at a health care rally about a year ago. The victim was a 65 year old man who was peacefully protesting health care reform when he was attacked by a supporter.

And just the other day another thug grabbed a man around the throat and choked him. The video can be seen here. Finally, if it's uniforms that has Matthews in a swivet as he frets for our future perhaps someone should remind him of these fine citizens who were charged and found guilty of intimidating white voters at a Philadelphia polling place, until the Obama Justice department decided that since they were black the charges would be dropped:
Maybe Matthews and his two guests, both of whom are putative journalists, don't keep up on the news and are merely professionally incompetent. That's always a possibility. On the other hand, maybe they're just dishonest.