The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Kerry trivia and the DEWDROP puritans

Part of the Conventional Wisdom about the Bush-Kerry match-up is that Bush is the kind of guy you'd like to have a beer with. And Kerry - not so much: he's just a bit stuffy and aloof.

The idea that progressives and reformers are essentially humourless [1] and unclubbable didn't start with Kerry, but (according to the CW) he's got tarred with the brush [2].

And he's not helped with the sort of po-faced nonsense that Jodi Wilgoren's piece on Sunday elicited, as, for example, from Atrios:
Can anyone comprehend the inanity of an editor who would run a story which is critical of a candidate who dares to actually come up with new jokes for every campaign stop?

Now, I've been known to be a tad critical about Times editors myself.

But, Jesus! It's August, and the Sunday Times is an enormous news-hole. And they decide to run a bit of fluff on the campaign in Week in Review.

In the annals of journalistic crime, it ranks with jaywalking on Christmas morning.

Complaints about the trivialisation of politics would ring a little less hollow if one had noticed a hoo-ha over, say, the tale of Licorice the Hamster, whom a dashing young Kerry notoriously saved from drowning. How many cutesy column-inches did that wretched rodent receive [3]? And wasn't it just lapped up by adoring DEWDROPs!

(And let's not get started on Jack and Emma Claire Show.)

Of course, partisans will be partisans. But some sense of proportion would be nice. Also, effective.

Latest Kerry campaign fluff: the man himself has been 'talking' to GQ. The subject?
"I think Charlize Theron is pretty extraordinary," he replied when GQ magazine asked him, "Who is the sexiest film actress of all time?"

A Murdoch rag helping the un-stuffing of Kerry! Some fluff can be like gold dust...

  1. The Labour Party's lost leader Hugh Gaitskell was once alluded to by firebrand Aneurin Bevan as a dessicated calculating machine.

  2. How did that happen, I wonder...

    The Kerry campaign certainly works on the guy's likability - the Fenway first pitch, for instance. It's a whole big thing: whether likability matters to the result, the danger of your candidate looking like a shmuck when he loosens up - all that jazz.

  3. I don't know. Does even Nexis produce a column-inch stat on its searches?

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