Just As I Thought


On Friday I complained about NPR airing an interview with the Bush campaign manager. Today they aired a piece with the Kerry campaign manager. Again, just an extended campaign ad, but I was struck by something else: the contrast in speakers.
The Bush manager spoke with such quivering contempt and almost hatred in his voice, he spent his time bashing Kerry and making accusations. He came across as, well, just a very unpleasant, mean person.
In contrast, the Kerry manager was well-spoken, focused on issues and her candidate, and avoided bashing Bush. She spoke pleasantly and softly, and seemed so much more friendly and nice.
This is a contrast that I see everywhere. Almost without exception Republicans, when interviewed, are harsh and nasty, rarely straying from carefully crafted rhetoric and talking points, and viciously attacking anyone who disagrees — including the host. It’s something that’s worked for them for decades now, the forceful assertions that, when repeated enough, take on a truth of their own. Why do so many people fall for it?

1 comment

  • I was listening to that interview this morning, and was struck by the same contrast as you. I even tried to step back and be as objective as possible, admitting my biases; I was able to see that she did express criticism of several Bush policies, but she kept them germane and so civil even when, in my opinion, the interviewer pushed her significantly harder to justify Kerry’s positions than he did Mehlman to jusfify Bush’s. I was horrified–though not surprised–at the vitriolic and strident tone of Mehlman’s comments Friday, even before they could be heard in comparison to Cahill’s significantly more moderated and respectful presentation.

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