Politico's Roger Simon continues shilling for Sarah Palin on Hardball, where, among other things, he defended her from criticizing for quitting by pointing out that "Bob Dole quit."
That was a dumb point when Simon first made it nearly a month ago, and it remains dumb.
Bob Dole left the Senate after he had already wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination, and with just a few months remaining before the general election. Sarah Palin quit Alaska's governorship nearly three years before the first 2012 primary will occur. Bob Dole had served Kansas in Congress for more than 30 years. Sarah Palin had been governor for 2 years. They just aren't comparable situations.
And after Dole quit, he lost the general election.
So what, exactly, does saying "Bob Dole quit" add to the conversation?
UPDATE: It gets dumber. Simon, later in the broadcast: "Bob Dole gave up his US Senatorship in 1996 to run for president. The party didn't care... he got the nomination."
Once again: Bob Dole had already wrapped up the nomination when he resigned. Roger Simon, who was "standing right there" when Dole did it, should probably know that.
UPDATE 2: And just for the record, a lot of people think, and thought at the time, that Dole made a mistake in giving up his Senate seat, because it eliminated his ability to make news in an official, rather than political, capacity. That's a Dole-Palin comparison that makes logical and factual sense (which doesn't mean Palin's resignation will play out the same way.) Simon's comparison of the two does not; it's the kind of false and nonsensical line you see a politician's supporters make when they don't have any good arguments. Except in this case, it's journalist Roger Simon who keeps pulling it out.
From the July 27 edition of Fox News' The Live Desk (hat tip to Twitter user StefanoScalia):
It's no secret that Politico's editorial guidelines basically revolve around trying to figure out how its stories can land Drudge links, which is why Politico often simply manufactures controversial headlines that have nothing to do with the actual articles.
Another way to curry favor with Drudge is to just kiss up to him and write, over and over, about how influential he is. Witness Ben Smith, who announces that it was Matt Drudge who put the birther story in play last week [emphasis added]:
But a smart colleague pointed out something else to me about the sudden flood of attention: It's (yet another) piece of evidence for Matt Drudge's power to decide what everyone else is talking about. Dave Weigel and I, among others, have been following the Birthers as a curiousity and more for quite a while, and Dave had already posted an interesting piece on Republicans having to deal with Birthers, and followed last Monday morning with a link to video of Rep. Mike Castle confronting a woman convinced that Obama isn't legitimate.
Drudge, whose judgment for the riveting, relevant, and bizarre remains unmatched, posted the video later Monday. And he propelled the (riveting, and weird) scene into the bloodstream -- he alone sent 255,488 viewers -- onto cable, and thence into, among other places, finally the Times (twice), which reported that ... everybody was talking about it.
Which is all just a particularly clear glimpse of the central role Drudge plays in the media ecosystem.
Not only is the ring-kissing unsightly, but in this case it's total nonsense. The idea that because Drudge posted to a single YouTube clip the birther story went huge last week is just absurd. The reason the story went big was because a high-profile CNN anchor, Lou Dobbs, decided to jump on the birther bandwagon and tossed all common sense aside by championing a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory. Drudge was, at best, a birther spectator last week.
Why would Politico want to pretend otherwise?
On Friday, I noted that a WSJ article stood out as being one of the very few I've seen that even raised the question of possible political downsides the GOP could face if they successfully kill health care reform.
Watching the coverage unfold I'd been surprised that so few in the press even considered that Republicans might face some kind of backlash. Instead, the press has been painting their opposition as win-win, despite the fact that polls show a clear majority of Americans want health care reform; the type of health care reform Democrats in Congress are proposing.
Here's the latest proof of that, courtesy Gallup:
Yep, an astounding 71 percent of Americans want a new health care reform bill passed. But don't tell the press, they're too busy writing about the Republican pending success in blocking health care reform.
In fact, in an effort to prove my point, Reuters actually used the above Gallup polling data to highlight bad news for Obama.
Behold [emphasis added]:
Obama's soaring rhetoric helped him win the presidency and propelled his first months in Washington. But despite his frequent speeches declaring a healthcare revamp is urgently needed to help rebuild the U.S. economy, Americans are still expressing some uncertainty.
A Gallup poll released on Friday said only 41 percent of those surveyed wanted legislation approved this year, and the poll was done on Thursday night, one day after Obama's healthcare-dominated news conference.
See, 71 percent of Americans want health care reform. But to the Beltway press that's not bad news for Republicans, it's bad news for Obama; it simply proves Americans are "expressing some uncertainty."
From the FoxNation.com, accessed on July 27:
Newsbusters' Brent Baker provides still more evidence that the conservative media critique is fundamentally absurd. Baker is upset that "Time magazine's online staff certainly undermined any notion of impartiality in how they littered the posted version of this week's cover story, 'Inside Bush and Cheney's Final Days,' with the links they chose to display between paragraphs and at page breaks of the article."
Baker's first example?
Others, however, reflected hostility and/or derision toward the two key players in the story, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, starting with "Visit RottenTomatoes.com for reviews of W., Oliver Stone's 2008 portrait of George W. Bush" and "Read 'Leahy's Plan to Probe Bush-Era Wrongdoings.'"
Wow. That's Baker's strongest evidence that Time's link package demonstrated liberal bias? The fact that a Time article about Bush mentions the fact that the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering investigations into Bush-era wrongdoing? A link to a movie review web site? Pretty weak stuff. But Baker's argument gets weaker from there:
The "See the top 10 unfortunate political one-liners" link goes to a collection which includes George H.W. Bush's pledge to not raise taxes: "Read my lips: no new taxes."
Baker forgets to mention this, but the list also includes two Bill Clinton quotes and one each from LBJ and Jimmy Carter. What the heck is Baker's point?
The link for "See pictures of polarizing politicians on LIFE.com" brings readers to a collection which has Ted Kennedy, Hillary Clinton and Al Sharpton, but also George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani and Ronald Reagan.
OH MY GOD! THE BIAS! IT BURNS!
Wait. Uh ... what? That's an "Anti-Bush and Cheney Potshot Link"?
They all quote Sarah Palin's resignation-speech attack on the news media: "how about, in honor of the American soldier, you quit making things up"
And none of them point out that Palin herself has a famous history of "making things up." Like her claim to have said "thanks but no thanks" to Congress' attempts to inflict a "bridge to nowhere" on her state.
Sarah Palin, who has a lengthy history of making things up, basically accused the news media of dishonoring dead American soldiers by ... making things up. And the media typed up her words, not daring to point out the utter hypocrisy of her sanctimonious attack. An attack on them.
Don't they have any self-respect?
Howard Kurtz's "Media Notes" column today: 2,500 words -- none of them about CNN president Jonathan Klein's endorsement of Lou Dobbs birtherism.
Why would the Washington Post employ a media critic who refuses to criticize the president of a company that pays him on the side?
UPDATE: Kurtz just finished his weekly "online discussion" for the Post, during which he didn't take any questions about Klein or Dobbs.