Sunday, August 19, 2012

No, this is not the most hateful campaign ever (yet)

I have not been watching much news TV lately because I'm trying to maintain a calm state, but this morning, I watched anyway and was very annoyed listening to Rick Santorum on CNN. Santorum's Romney campaign talking points calling President Obama's campaign hateful, divisive, and class-war mongering assaulted rational thought on more levels than I care to count this morning.

Although Jim Acosta, who was sitting in for Candy Crowley, challenged the talking points, he later seemed to go along with the viral hyperbole du jour that both campaigns are in the midst of the "nastiest" attacks in memory.

Oh, really? I think what I was witnessing then was a sample of that "both talk" from today's reporters that passes for so-called impartial and factual news reporting now.

As I said on Facebook, nothing's happened in this current campaign yet to top Sarah Palin's 2008 rhetoric that "Obama pals around with terrorists." And what about the Willie Horton attack of 1988?

I was glad to see the report from John Berman during the Situation Room, hosted today by John King. It followed State of the Union with Acosta. In Berman's report, he discussed the history of negative campaigns in this country, putting the current campaign rhetoric in perspective. The video is embedded above.

If I had more time as well a desire to slip into a negative mood, I'd analyze the rhetorical moves and political manipulation of Romney calling President Obama's campaign hateful, divisive, and anger-driven and the racial appeal into which Romney taps, but I'll leave that to others this year.

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