Home Chris Graham: Why are we blaming the chain gang?

Chris Graham: Why are we blaming the chain gang?


Column by Chris Graham
[email protected]

Read Bruce Kesler’s Counterpoint.

The idea that the mainstream media leans liberal is bandied about as fact by conservatives and Republican partisans whenever it is either convenient or necessary. We could call this one of those “necessary” times, given where their favored candidate, John McCain, is in the polls with two weeks to go ’til Election Day, down in the national horse race and severely behind in the projected Electoral College counts.

It’s not for nothing that a McCain campaign senior staffer was telling members of the news media a couple of weeks ago that “(i)f we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose” right around the time that the campaign sent vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin out to do the dirty work of trying to resurrect the long-discredited story about Barack Obama’s alleged close association with William Ayers and then later to trumpet the reports that a handful of ACORN employees had turned in bogus voter-registration forms as evidence of a massive conspiracy on the part of the Left that just had to have the Obama campaign’s hands all over it.

The McCain-Palin folks now what they’re doing, and frankly you know what they’re doing. They’re trying to distract you from their national ticket’s erratic response to the economic crisis that doomed them in the polls and more importantly in the eyes of a nation that is looking for a steady hand to guide their country out of these difficult times. What interests me today is not this effort, which can be expected from a campaign that has nothing to offer but a failed mantra of more of the same in the way of country-club Republican trickle-down economics and a foreign policy based on nation-building of an interventionist nature that makes even old-line liberals cringe, but the complicity of the so-called liberal media in helping the McCain-Palin team advance this strategy.

And don’t be fooled by the repetition of charges from conservatives and Republican partisans to the contrary. Just as the so-called liberal media in 2000 made issues of Al Gore’s presidential-debate sighs and his supposed claim to have “invented the Internet” (which was never actually claimed by Gore, but why let facts get in the way of a good story?), and in 2004 allowed the attack machine to make that election about whether the presidential candidate who actually served in Vietnam did so with the honor that rightfully should have been accorded him while letting the candidate who weaseled out of service off without even a roll of its collective eyes, this year, in 2008, that same media has written extensively on the Ayers-Obama relationship (debunking the notion advanced by the GOP and its allies in the hatchet corps of the Far Right that they have long “palled around”) and also reported thoroughly on the ACORN matter (detailing properly the charges that are currently being investigated and examining the charges from ACORN and its supporters that the whole matter seems to be motivated by partisan-political concerns).

You know that you’ve heard plenty about this, and so when you’re told that the so-called liberal media has been keeping the news from you or downplaying it for political effect, you naturally do a doubletake.

Because you know what is really going on here. “If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we’re going to lose.”

I hope I’m not the only one looking forward to the day when we can stop seeing people blame the scoreboard operators and first-down chain gangs when our favorite football teams are losing.



Have a guest column, letter to the editor, story idea or a news tip? Email editor Chris Graham at [email protected]. Subscribe to AFP podcasts on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPandora and YouTube.