Monday, November 19, 2012

Political lies and liars

-- I understand that liberal columnist Frank Rich makes conservatives' skin crawl, but his latest piece in New York Magazine might draw a grudging nod in his analysis of Mitt Romney's defeat. In particular, there's this passage about the propensity of politicians of all stripes to stretch the truth and how Romney was particularly proficient: "All politicians lie, and some of them, as Bob Kerrey famously said of Bill Clinton in 1996, are 'unusually good' at it. Every campaign (certainly including Obama’s) puts up ads that stretch or obliterate the truth. But Romney’s record was exceptional by any standard. The blogger Steve Benen, who meticulously curated and documented Mitt’s false statements during 2012, clocked a total of 917 as Election Day arrived. Those lies, which reached a crescendo with the last-ditch ads accusing a bailed-out Chrysler of planning to ship American jobs to China, are not to be confused with the Romney flip-flops. The Etch-A-Sketches were a phenomenon of their own; if the left and right agreed about anything this year, it was that trying to pin down where Mitt 'really' stood on any subject was a fool’s errand. His biography was no less Jell-O-like: There were the still-opaque dealings at Bain, and those Olympics, and a single (disowned) term in public service, and his churchgoing—and what else had he been up to for 65 years? We never did see those tax returns. We never did learn the numbers that might validate the Romney-Ryan budget. Given that Romney had about as much of a human touch with voters as an ATM, it sometimes seemed as if a hologram were running for president. Yet some 57 million Americans took him seriously enough to drag themselves to the polls and vote for a duplicitous cipher. Not all of this can be attributed to the unhinged Obama hatred typified by Mary Matalin’s post-election characterization of the president as 'a political narcissistic sociopath.'"

-- Entirely different subject: It was throwback night last Monday on WKNY radio when I chatted for nearly an hour with Dan Reinhard on his weekly SportTalk program. I moved over from the sports department in 1983, which is around when I last appeared on his show. The real story is that Reinhard is still at it. In fact, he been doing SportTalk for 36 years, which may be some sort of record for continuous weekly sports radio program.

-- I read where columnist-author-broadcaster Mike Lupica will receive the 19th annual Damon Runyon Award from the venerable Denver Press Club. Well-deserved major journalism honor for Lupica (although, as I've suggested in the past, he's much, much better in print than he is on the air). Why the mention here? Because, under the heading of "small world, isn't it?, the president of the Denver Press Club is Bruce Goldberg. A lifetime ago, Bruce worked for me in the Freeman sports department.

-- My considered view about the demise of the Hostess baking company: I never cared much for Twinkies, but I will miss Sno-balls, chocolate cupcakes (with the swirl on top) and Devil Dogs.
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