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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Sunday, May 29, 2005

The 2000 New Hampshire primary on This American Life

Generally, have listened to a few, I find I'm not getting on with TAL product quite as well as I'd hoped. A little too quirky and subjective?

Probably I'm disappointed that they've chosen (from what I seen) not to do much directly about politics. For instance, for the 1996 campaign, there are several commentary pieces from Michael Lewis. Nothing of the sort for 2000. They thought they'd got the T-shirt, evidently.

There is one excellent campaign show from 2000, though, entitled Primary - the allusion is to Robert Drew's 1960 documentary of the same name [1], I'm supposing.

One segment [2] deals with the speech that Al Gore gave to Concord High School in which he referred to the Love Canal (Bob Somerby (virtually) passim!). We get the story from the media studies teacher and her students, who are duly appalled at the way innocent remarks get twisted in the media.

(Go back to the Rome of Tacitus and Suetonius - if not Babylonia and Assyria - and I'm pretty sure you'll find remarks getting twisted in the media (such as it was then), and that twisting itself getting remarked upon.

There would here be a catty remark about American innocence coming with a Velcro strip, were it not that such naivety had so recently afflicted your humble blogger!)

Another segment is a sort of radio equivalent of Alexandra Pelosi's Journeys With George. Then political hack Sarah Koenig [3] is tasked to dog Bush, and gets the treatment: platonic flirting, but no real access.

(The dénouement is nicely handled as a piece of radio.)

  1. About the Wisconsin primary of that year.

  2. By the nails on chalkboard-voiced Sarah Vowell.

  3. Who, by contrast, has an attractively unmannerismed voice that you could listen to all day. (She liked the gig so much, she later joined the team. Very Victor Kiam.)

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