Tag Archives: messaging

Access and Issues

30 Sep

When you grant access to the Buffalo News to write a puff piece about Cathy Paladino and Carl’s 10-year old child by another woman, not his wife:

and when you grant access to the New York Post to write a similar puff piece about the same subjects:

Then you can’t complain if the “kid” is made an issue in the campaign. And you can’t rightly complain if the press wants to get the other woman’s side of the story. You can’t sit down with Andrea Peyser and discuss the whole thing over a “meatball hero”, and explain how your values prevented you from suggesting abortion, but somehow permitted a decade’s worth of deception and silence to your wife.

Just saying, you can’t have it three different ways.

A #Paladino Question

21 Sep

It occurred to me last night that this video represents pretty much the one and only time Carl has been caught off-guard with no pugilistic talking points and nothing coherent to say in response to tough questioning.  Why is that?


The ACORN Nontroversy

3 Mar

You know, ACORN really suffered a black eye when James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles posed as a pimp and prostitute and ACORN workers in Baltimore nevertheless offered to help Giles become a first-time homebuyer under an ACORN program. After all, those Baltimore ACORN workers quite clearly were willing to aid and abet an illegal activity. As O’Keefe employer Andrew Breitbart explained in the Washington Times,

When filmmaker and provocateur James O’Keefe came to my office to show me the video of him and his friend, Hannah Giles, going to the Baltimore offices of ACORN – the nation’s foremost “community organizers” – dressed as a pimp and a prostitute and asking for – and getting – help for various illegal activities, he sought my advice.

Now, I’ve read the transcript enough to see that O’Keefe wasn’t posing as a pimp. He was posing as a law student – a graduate student – who was trying to help Giles ostensibly escape an abusive pimp and strike out on her own.

It’s also been revealed now that O’Keefe did not “dress as a pimp”. This is a significant part of the story, because ACORN was defunded and demonized based on the fact that its employees were either so stupid or so corrupt as to assist a white kid dressed in full Blaxploitation pimp outfit and his bitch to deal with taxes and buy a house.

And that meme – O’Keefe dressed as a pimp – was repeated everywhere. As BradBlog explains, it was cited by the Baltimore Sun, CNN, the New York Times,
the New York Post, the Philadelphia Daily News, and NPR, to name a few.

Just this week, the Brooklyn DA concluded its investigation arising out of the O’Keefe entrapment of a Brooklyn ACORN office, and found no criminality, adding that they “edited the tape to meet their agenda“.

Yes, why are we reading transcripts, exactly? How do I know that the transcript is accurate? The full and unedited videos exist, but Breitbart and O’Keefe have never released them anywhere, at any time. The public outcry and outrage over this alleged scandal last year helped to decimate an organization that existed to assist the less fortunate. All based on lies and exaggerations, it turns out.

It would be the simplest thing in the world for those unedited videos to simply be uploaded to YouTube. They won’t.


Andrew Breitbart himself explains the whole thing:


An unhinged, palpably nervous liar. You can see his mouth going dry. Look at all of those entreaties to show the video and answer questions under oath and whatnot. That’s hardly the point. All he has to do is post the unedited videos, and he hasn’t. He won’t. It would be too damning to him.

And the question that I have here has to do with messaging – the right lied and bullshat this entire story, but it won the relevant news cycles. Here we are in the next calendar year, finding out that the whole thing is more Borat than Woodward. It’s more Ali G than Bernstein. It’s a lie. It’s being an agent provocateur to entrap someone into doing something silly.

Why didn’t the mainstream press examine this more closely? Was it to avoid seeming too “liberal”, or was it just about money and sales? Why didn’t it press Breitbart to reveal the full, unedited tape before running their “dressed as a pimp and prostitute” stories?

As it happens, neither ACORN nor any of its employees has so much as received a summons for any of this. None of this was criminal – all of it is political. I have huge questions about why ACORN was targeted, and why O’Keefe and Giles went with the whore story. I suspect it has everything to do with a ham-handed, anachronistic sheltered upper-middle-class white kid racism.

Over the past few weeks, people argued over whether someone Tweeted whether there were hostages during the non-shooter non-event at a UB Library. The bigger question I have is why a conservative propaganda outfit can put out blatant lies and not be called on it until a half a year later.

The American political left needs to get its shit together and more rapidly and more effectively combat this sort of half-assed misinformation.

Powers' Law

4 Nov

If you’re a political candidate, and you get a call from the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy, and he informs you that he’s going to run a story the next day that accuses you of horrible moral turpitude (e.g., you stole money from Iraqi orphans or you’re a racist), you absolutely cannot issue a limp rebuttal and pretend like it will all just blow over.

You have to address the allegation head on, strongly, to take control of the narrative as soon as possible, otherwise your silence/tepid response will be interpreted as a concession of the accusation’s truth.

Not that it was necessarily going to change the outcome, but Michele Iannello broke this law with the WFP/racism charges of last week.  Yes, it may have hurt her chances last night, but more importantly it probably put an end to her career in politics, full stop.

On the other hand, little dumb stuff like, e.g.,  property taxes paid late is ok to ignore until it blows over.