Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Intern Special Report

The brilliant, shining minds behind The Turner Report decided to grant me, the summer intern, the privilege of my very own blog post. So, dear readers, I humbly introduce you to the first ever Intern Special Report.

American Teen, a critically-acclaimed documentary following five Indiana high school seniors for a school year, has been making waves in the online community with its marketing techniques. After Paramount Vantage acquired the distribution rights to the movie for a reported $1 million, it produced a promotional poster for the movie that featured the five main students from the film in poses meant to evoke the iconic poster for 1985’s The Breakfast Club. Here they are, side by side:

In the poster, the five students can clearly be put into a stereotypical high school role (i.e. geek, jock, princess, etc.). From what I understand, the studio is trying to market the documentary like this to appeal to teens. I’ve read in major newspapers and seen on news shows that the producers of this movie think that they’ve got a movie that is somehow important to teenagers/high schoolers. Paramount Vantage’s Vice President of marketing and publicity says that she thinks that “high school kids will relate to this movie.” (LA Times)

As a teenager/high schooler, I can say I don’t really think that they will. I don’t need a cutting-edge documentary to tell me that the archetypes perpetuated in Hollywood are patently false. I can see that every day. One of the captains of my lacrosse team swing dances and sings in a chamber chorus. Probably the smartest person I know is also one of the hardest partiers I have ever seen. The star of the school musical was one of the most popular seniors in school last year. There is no stereotypical geek, no jock, no princess. As soon as you try to put a real student in one of those roles, you have to realize that he doesn’t really fit: that there is so much more to each person than the sport they play or the grades they get. Even most of us, as immature high school students, know better than to characterize another teen based on what stereotype he should fall into.

Frankly, it gets tiring watching movies and seeing these archetypes so accentuated in movies and TV shows. There’s a reason that in this day and age those stereotypes are used mostly to mock themselves (see Not Another Teen Movie). We are so tired of seeing the same old characters in the same old situations in movie after movie after TV show. Recent movies such as Juno and Superbad were hits because they threw away old stereotypes and dealt with character development and plot. In Juno, the main character was not “the rebel.” She was a teenager thrust into a situation that she had to cope with. The movie focused on how she dealt with her pregnancy, not the fact that she didn’t follow societal norms. In a good number of other movies I have seen, plot seems to be the jock realizing that the art geek is pretty enough to ask to prom.

I guess that what I’m trying to get at here in the first (and hopefully not last!) intern special report is that those poor marketing saps over at Paramount have a lose-lose situation. On the one hand, they can’t advertise their documentary as one that shows teenagers that we don’t have to conform to stereotypes, because we already know that. On the other, they can’t advertise the movie as a new Breakfast Club because we just don’t want to see another stereotype-ridden film. That’s what I call a rock and a hard place. No matter what the producers of the movie do, the movie will fall into a category itself: anti-stereotype or stereotype-reinforcing. I haven’t seen the movie, but if I do I’ll go knowing that I’ll be forcefed stereotypes, even though that wasn’t the director’s intent (the director mentions that “[the kids] are these different, familiar stereotypes, but ultimately the point is they're so much more complicated than that”). These stereotypes have been perpetuated to such a great extent that they’re stuck in my brain and the brains of my peers, and no matter what we do to break them, no matter how many different extra-curriculars we participate in, it’s a part of the social development of a teenager to learn these types and either accept or reject them. Here’s hoping that Hollywood can finally learn that… oh, who am I kidding. They’ll never learn.

Jake Dinerman
Squire of Snark

Friday, July 25, 2008

The TR: Hurricane Bob and the Homeless Person

While we were tracking Hurricane Dolly at the TR Weather Center, we tried our best to avoid Hurricane Novak tearing up the streets of our fair city.


Ahem, sorry. It's never funny when a human life is endangered. The pedestrian is recovering nicely, though.

Welcome to the TR.


Fresh from his triumphant tour of Europe, Obama will meet next week with Democratic House members, who hunger for his reflected glory. No doubt everyone campaigning to keep or gain a seat in Congress this November will be busily measuring his coattails.

When Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani visits the U.S. on Monday, watch nonprofits call for the administration to push for democratic reforms within the Pakistani leadership. Amnesty International pre-heated the oven this week with its call for the new government to disclose what has become of hundreds of "disappeared" citizens.

And now this McBreaking News: McDonald's is paying a few Fox News stations to display McDonald's-branded iced coffee during broadcasts. Do the stations get bonuses, we wonder, when the anchors take sips, smack their lips, and exclaim "I'm lovin' it!"? The saturation of sponsorship into every morsel of media space is distressing, but watch pundits squirm as they figure out whether to bite the hand that feeds them.

McCain's best shot at gaining some good media coverage is to name a running mate, preferably by next week. Ever since word leaked that his people were close to a choice, the blogosphere has been afire with speculation. Of course, the bounce will be better if Johnny Boy's team sells the strength of the selection with clear, compelling messages. But it may not be enough to drown out this kind of noise:

From today through this weekend, VoteVets.org will be flooding the cable news networks with fresh attack ads against McCain. Talk about kicking a man when he's down! After Johnny Boy's recent string of gaffes, it looks like he'll need more than tricky editing to regain his image as a foreign policy expert.

The Week That Was

The presidential campaign may be dominating news coverage, but it's not the public's main concern, according to the Pew Research Center for People and the Press. Any wild guesses as to where our real interests lie? Just as it was in 1992, It's the Economy, Stupid. While Obama and McCain are all up in our faces, what we're really following are Anheuser-Busch, IndyMac and General Motors.

Smith and Wesson issued a special commemorative revolver celebrating the Supreme Court overturning the D.C. gun law. And it wasn't even a trophy gun - what do you think they are, wussies? - but the real deal. The Brady Campaign got it right by calling it a cowardly and hurtful PR stunt. With the gun lobby already in a frenzy, this could be dovetailing something bigger.

The New York Times plunged into the social networking this week by teaming up with LinkedIn for a "content partnership." Profits are waayyyy down. Is this really the best idea the Gray Lady could come up with to developing a robust new business model? Can she afford the time to find out?

Well it had to happen. Vanity Fair picked up where the New Yorker left off and inked a cover highlighting the least flattering aspects of McCain's public persona. Okay, we admit it. It bothers us not at all to see this "satirization" of the other side, because, unlike the New Yorker cover, this one is mostly true don'cha know.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg is getting together with Bill Gates to launch a $500 million worldwide anti-smoking initiative. Both are hell-bent on reducing the still astronomical number of smoking-related deaths per year. The fact that it takes two 800-pound gorillas to raise this sort of awareness means that more big names are going to have to step up before cigarettes become a highlighted policy issue again.

And our favorite story of the week, which just goes to show how shallow we are: Bob Novak ran down a pedestrian, and only one block from TR Central! The Prince of Darkness says he didn't see the 86-year-old homeless man, much less know he had hit him. The columnist can't seem to see old, homeless people? Well, that certainly goes a long way in explaining how Bob Novak became Bob Novak.


As we predicted, Obama's handlers put the tightest possible controls on his trip abroad. With restricted press access, every photo became a hero pose. Or maybe it's not the photos at all and just the stars in our own eyes. The coup de grace was what we thought it would be, fair readers: an epic speech in Berlin. Ich Bin Ein Obama indeed.


We guess we got the last word last week, since no one had anything to say back. Hopefully you'll do better this week.

Snark on!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sexism at 7:00

While she was in Israel, Katie Couric did an interview with Haaretz, which is slowly getting picked up by various news outlets. She made some intriguing statements and it’s best to put her words in context if we’re going to understand them:

"Unfortunately I have found out that many viewers are afraid of change," Couric wrote. "The glory days of TV news are over, and the media landscape has been dramatically changed. News is available now for everyone, everywhere, all the time, and everybody fights for the last pieces of the shrinking pie. The corporate pressure and the ratings terror are intensifying all the time, and the situation is not simple. I find myself in the last bastion of male dominance, and realizing what Hillary Clinton might have realized not long ago: that sexism in the American society is more common than racism, and certainly more acceptable or forgivable. In any case, I think my post and Hillary's race are important steps in the right direction."

Now most of you are going to read this snippet in the blogosphere: “Katie says ‘sexism is more common than racism.’” Gawker in particular has zeroed in on the kinship she’s drawn with Hillary on the gender bias issue. The right wing sees it, of course, as another example of feminists playing the victims. Meanwhile, online progressives, as usual, seem pretty content to view gender issues with the sort of passive-aggressive hypocrisy we became familiar with during the ’08 primary.

But odds are good that you won’t hear much about it from the news media, which is quietly clinging to the idea that the Murrow Boys are really just on a coffee break. While they’re away, it’s up to good housekeepers like Katie Couric to hold down the fort. Make no mistake, as the major networks lose more viewers under the age of 50, they will do anything to keep the audience they have.

That means portrayals of women as concerned wives and mothers instead of social movers and shakers. To promote that image, they’ve needed an anchor to read exactly what the teleprompter says. A few years ago, Couric might have ended up like Connie Chung. What can they do with a broadcaster who goes to NOW meetings?

Friday, July 18, 2008

The TR: Britt, Brett, Brangie Babies and a Bailout

Thank heavens for the a/c as we pass this scorching, steamy, sticky, suffocating, poisonous Washington Day. But should you brave the air, Dear Readers, and drop by Farragut Square, we'd be delighted to show you where the magic happens. Of course don't be surprised if you end up as an unnamed source. We do have a reputation to maintain....


In an election year, are legislators more likely to give you candy or tell you to brush your teeth? Find out next week when the big government housing bailout passes.

Obama travels to the Middle East and Europe next week with an all-star media entourage. While it's likely this trip will be Kennedy-esque on the European front (Ich Bin Ein Obama?), his handlers are probably fretting about the PR perils of the Iraq leg, where photographers lay in wait to capture the "secret Muslim photo" for which the right wing blogosphere hungers.

In a prisoner swap, Israel got two corpses in exchange for releasing five Hezbollah guerrillas involved in deadly attacks. There's hell to pay in the coming weeks, if not next week.

A recent New York Times survey revealed that race remains a strong factor in voter perceptions of the candidates and social conditions. The candidates will have to work hard to woo voters across racial lines as well as ideological ones, as McCain did this week in his appeal to the NAACP.

Expect to hear more about that cad, Brett Favre, whose dalliance with the Vikings is prompting "other woman" charges from Packers management and breaking the hearts of fans everywhere.

MoveOn is moving as fast as ever as it marks its 10th birthday, the perfect age for brattiness. May you continue to throw stones through glass windows, young friend.

The Week That Was

Even our teen-age kids came home talking about the New Yorker's Obama cover, kids who don't yet get political satire and merely found it shocking. Which reinforces our sense that the drawing was more offensive than "funny." All for the sake of a dollar, David Remnick? And most aggravating: The blogosphere and MSM lapped it all up, almost completely avoiding a more serious discussion of Obama's NYT op-ed clarification of his Iraq position. The Queen was not amused. Would we like this mock-up of a National Review cover better?

The President was in rare form this week: awake. After sneaking in a bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the weekend, he followed it up by expanding offshore oil drilling. Give the man credit for using what's left of his political capital. Our guess is his next move will be to try to push through the judicial nominees being held up in the Senate.

Brit Hume, the most boring man on television, will step down as Fox News' anchor after the election. The big names on Fox News almost never change, mostly due to the network's "what the hell" tolerance of on-air gaffes.

North Carolina Senator Liddy Dole tried to be funny this week by getting the big HIV/AIDA relief bill named after the late Jesse Helms. For anyone unaware, Helms long opposed funding HIV/AIDS research and prevention, and was happy to give homophobic reasons why. No one got the joke, but what balls! What chutzpah! Oh, sorry, Liddy, didn't mean to imply you're Jewish.

The Brangelina babies have arrived, and bidding among celeb publications for the first photos was hovering around $12 mill when last we checked. That's a hefty price for baby pix. Will the mags really recoup it in extra sales? Ah, well, as long as it's all going to charity.

And Alpha Kappa Alpha, the nation's oldest black sorority, founded in 1908 at Howard University, celebrated its 100th Anniversary here in DC this week. Celebrities Jada Pinkett Smith, Phylicia Rashad and Alicia Keys - all sorority girls, who knew? - helped 25,000 of their sisters paint the town pink and green.


We missed a few big stories in our last issue, but we've polished the crystal ball. If we miss again, Vivannos for everyone.


"What, were you guys asleep last week?" asked one faithful reader. "No Jackson neutering comment, no Phil Graham-there-is-no recession snark?" Ahem. You are perfectly right, dearest one. And the Queen appreciates that you understand our private, mutually-assured-destruction-pact about too much public tattle on other matters.

It may be hot outside, but remember: Even snark needs a little sweat.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, July 14, 2008

New Yorker Cover: We Gasp as The New Yorker Grasps

A moment of silence, please, before we join the general horror over this week’s New Yorker cover...

In case you’re living in a bomb shelter somewhere and haven’t yet seen the magazine in question, here it is:

We needed to pause before our snarkfest because it feels really slimy to allow ourselves to be manipulated in this way. But then, why shouldn't we chatter? Why shouldn't we participate in the howl of general outrage when the cover was developed SPECIFICALLY to get us all going – and thereby sell magazines?

Don’t believe the claims of "irony" and “hold[ing] up a mirror to the prejudice," and "prissy humorless public," blah blah blah. The bottom line is... the bottom line: The magazine has intentionally probed our most sensitive national wounds – race and terrorism – just to make a buck.

How deeply offensive is it? Well, some here at TR Central say it wasn’t as bad as the noose on the cover of Golf Digest about a sports announcer’s lynching comment in relation to Tiger Woods. Using an actual noose gave people permission to think it’s okay to laugh about killing black people, says our TR staffer.

And besides, Golf Week fired the most senior editor responsible and put forth this apology:

A letter to our readers: ‘We’re sorry’

Dear Golfweek reader,

We’re sorry. We made a grievous error.

The graphic image of a noose in the Jan. 19 issue of Golfweek offended our readers, customers, advertisers and people who’d never previously heard of our magazine. For that, we sincerely apologize.

The decision to publish this cover image, which was intended to illustrate a story about the much-talked-about suspension of Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman for a controversial comment said during the Mercedes-Benz Championship, caused an outcry of harsh criticism. It was a story placed on the cover after dedicating four pages of thorough, balanced reporting to the subject.

We made a big mistake. Dave Seanor, the editor who chose the cover image, was fired. (Senior management above Seanor did not view the cover before it was published.) And Golfweek’s solid reputation built on more than 30 years of being a leading publication was damaged.

No organization can experience adversity such as this and remain unchanged; so it is for Golfweek. We are examining our policies, procedures and practices to ensure sensitivity, responsibility and adherence. And we are recommitting ourselves to being golf’s news leader and to covering the many facets of a game so many of you love. We share that passion for the game and what it represents.

There are no degrees to offending people. We now begin a new mission to re-earn your trust. To restore your loyalty. To regain your confidence. And we move ahead determined that an episode like this one will not happen again. We hope that you will not dismiss three decades of diligent and dedicated work with one bad choice.

Please accept our apology.

Thank you.

William P. Kupper Jr.
Turnstile Publishing Co.
Posted: 1/20/2008

This New Yorker reminds me of the old Tina Brown Vanity Fair days. Do you remember the weeks of controversy generated by the cover of Demi Moore naked and pregnant? Doesn’t it seem quaint in comparison? Yes, it sold magazines, but it only poked a finger into celebrity exhibitionism, not the faultlines of race, terrorism and their impact on the future of a nation.

Many are calling for equally appalling covers of other political figures. One of my favorites comes from America’s Blog:

Their (sic) next cover should be an incontinent McCain lying on the floor of the Oval Office with a broken hip and a life alert pendant around his neck. And as he fell to the ground he accidently pressed the button and launched a nuclear attack on Iran. And out of the window you can see Rumsfeld and Cheney hooking up electrodes to the genitals of every Democrat in the country - right there on the White House lawn!! Ha Ha, now THAT would be HILARIOUS and completely ok for a mainstream, reputable publication to print on its cover!!

Folks – Does David Remnick need attention THIS badly? When the venerable old New Yorker tarts itself up like an aging courtesan, we all should weep.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The TR: O Swings Right, Journalism Not Dead Yet But Helms Finally Is

The beach beckons, Dear Reader, yet here we are glued to our laptops. Especially depressing as we watch Barack de-liberalize and realize that we won't be joining the cool Netroots kids in Austin. The only bright spot this week was glimpsing those adorable Obama daughters on Access Hollywood - an opportunity apparently not to be repeated ...


Look for the Left's very own angry-right-wing-radio (that is, the blogosphere) to skewer, rage and tremble about Obama and FISA, Obama and faith-based initiatives, and Obama's over-all pre-convention lurch to the middle. Sulphurous puffs of outrage will rise up from Bethesda, Md., Austin, Texas, and San Francisco, where eminent speakers will talk about politics at the annual conventions of NOW, Netroots Nation and BlogHer.

Please tell the Queen, dearies: Is the Big O simply showing that he wants to be President of all Americans, not just the netroots? Or is it that Mark Penn (now partnered with Karen Hughes, whose last gig was to sell democracy to the mullahs at the behest of Bush) and other pricey New Democrat consultants have moved to the Obama payroll? Let's hope we don't witness another horror show of top-dollar counsel demolishing yet another Dem frontrunner.

But we can ALL have a little fun on both sides of the aisle. Despite all the red meat McCain's been throwing them, conservatives are still pummeling him. Since all their potential golden boys flopped in the primaries, right wing groups like the Eagle Forum are pledging to wrest control of the GOP platform from McCain at the convention this summer. Look for furthur ripples in red state waters as the summer progresses.

Did you catch Henry Kissinger's op-ed in the Post in favor of cozying up to the new Russian leadership? While we dust off our standard-issue dorm-room copy of Statecraft, we contemplate the possibility that the media may return to a narrative of geopolitical brinkmanship for the first time in years. It's about time too - living a never-ending cowboy picture at the U.N. is proving to be too much.

The Week That Was

We extend a warm welcome to the new editor of the Washington Post, Marcus Brauchli (pronounced BROW-klee in case you wish to avoid embarrassment at cocktail parties), fresh from being ousted from the Wall Street Journal by Rupert Mordor, er, Murdoch. Brauchli smartly plans to combat declining revenues and decreased print readership by combining the Post's online and print operations. Could be a trend?

Non-profit newsroom ProPublica is increasing its staff by six members. What a relief to finally hear about a news organization that's growing! Wait, there's more: The Carnegie Corp. of New York and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced an $11 million expansion of their journalism education initiative to counter the current crisis in the news media. Well now, we're at least momentarily optimistic!

FamousDC.com has introduced its media ticket for 2008. According to the blog, we should be welcoming Politico's chief political correspondent Mike Allen as our nation's new president. Check the list to find out which other geniuses made the cut to "run the country."

Are you @#%*ing kidding me? Apparently, an increasing number of advertisers are now purposely writing swear words into their commercials for the sole purpose of bleeping them out. The bleeped out curses attract the attention of viewers and create a "real-life" flavor. Some might think the general public is dumb as %@#$, but we predict they'll figure out the commercials are fake.

Iranian missiles flew over the Middle East in military exercises, but exactly how many, we're not sure. While the Iranian state-run media agency may suck at Photoshop, their skills were good enough to fool the eagle eyes of photo editors at, among others, Agence France-Presse, the LA Times and MSNBC.

Meanwhile, all hell broke loose at home. The stock market plummeted, oil went up again, our relationship with Israel was strained and hawks-turned-vultures are craving a fight against Iran. Summertime is supposed to be happy and carefree, yet here we sit at risk of desk rage.

America's right-wing uncle bit the big one on the Fourth of July. Yes, Senator Jesse Helms shared with Founding Fathers Jefferson and Adams the honor of expiring on our country's birthday. The Queen happens to be from North Carolina, and as a young girl actually knew Jesse (when he seemed like a good old uncle, not the prince of darkness). But oh, how disillusioned she became! She certainly doesn't blame those whose eulogies were tinged with bitterness....

Is summer now the season of parting rather than partying? Christie Brinkley reached an out-of-court settlement with Husband No. 4 Peter Cook, Cynthia Rodriguez slapped a divorce petition on Yankee third baseman A-Rod, and Madge denied rumors of a split with Guy Ritchie amid rumors of A-Rod sightings at her NY apartment in the wee hours. All we can say is pre-nup, people, pre-nup.


Pretty much right on last week, and who can blame us for failing to predict the Iranian Photoshopped-missile crisis?


We received kudos from several of you for keeping it going even as summer doldrums took over Washington. We feel our pain. And we thank you for noticing.

Have a great weekend and snark on!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The TR: Clark's Gaffe, Venti Blues and the Revenge of El Rushbo

Because tomorrow's the Fourth of July we're setting off our TR firecrackers early. That's right, take your snark today, so you have room for barbecue tomorrow!


The Fox News Channel has launched Real American Stories, a collection of inspirational tales of the well known and not-so-well-known. Gas may be astronomically priced, our veggies may be contaminated and "natural" and "disaster" keep pairing up, but cheer up -- Real Americans are doing inspirational things! Cynical liberal bloggers will no doubt pick on this one, so set up some new bookmarks for the occasion.

Next week marks Bush's final G8 summit. Likely topics will be HIV in Africa, skyrocketing food prices and how to juggle Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran without shattering global security. Of the three, we hope African issues get another go-around in the news cycles. Advocates haven't been able to raise much awareness lately about dire conditions there. Perhaps some of the press coverage around this event will do the trick.

Here's a story that's so far under the radar you'd need a butterfly net to catch it: The first chinks are starting to show in Facebook's armor. During a copyright case in federal court, the judge let slip that the company has valued its own shares substantially lower than its stockholders have. Guess the millennials haven't learned much from their Gen-X elders, particularly the bit about the perils of dot-com bubbles fueled by Monopoly money. Expect more bad news about the company's fragility in the near future.

Well, duh, the Fourth of July will be a story. Like Christmas, it writes itself. Newscasters in front of the Liberty Bell or George Washington's house will extol the virtues of blah blah blah. Hey, we love the Fourth too, but we love history books, M-80s, parades and grilling even more. Turn the TV off and enjoy yourself! The Founding Fathers didn't have to watch cable news to know they were right.

The Week That Was

This is one of those rare weeks in which we found ourselves dittoheads for a day. Just after landing a cover story on the Sunday New York Times, El Rushbo inked a record $400 million deal with Clear Channel that runs through 2016. Feels like 1994 again! This election cycle is sure to inject an extra shot of adrenaline in his conservative canoodling, which has been rather lackadaisical of late.

If we're honest with ourselves, when was the last time someone listened to Wes Clark with rapt attention? That's right, the same year people thought Howard Dean would save the country. So the retired general's sound byte critiquing McCain's military service as a qualification for the Presidency feels more like a conversation starter for the big kids' table than a stealth Democratic attack. But Wes' on-air quip has exposed the right wing's inner paranoia in this election cycle.

Starbucks is tightening her belt, cutting 600 stores and potentially 12,000 jobs in a show of cannibalization at its finest. Sheesh... when my intern has to walk two blocks instead of one for my latte, you know times are getting tough.

And Chris Hitchens' detailed description of his voluntary waterboarding hit the stands this week in Vanity Fair. Unlike the dry, witty copy we're become accustomed to seeing from him, this is a vivid and harrowing account and, we hope, a debate-settler on the morality of what we've been doing to prisoners.


We predicted some major action by the pro-gun lobby last week and they didn't disappoint. The NRA will funnel $40 million dollars into an ad campaign to paint Obama as an enemy of the 2nd Amendment and keep him from repainting the electoral map in places where guns are tradition.


However many times we urge our readers to make their comments public and join the conversation on the TR blog, they are, alas, shy. So we'll put that request on our Christmas List for now and create this space for sharing.

We said, "Hey, Johnny Boy, how about we let Obama become president this time, provoking the bad guys to action and leaving you sitting pretty for 2012? That'd work for us."

Liz Moore Bars liked that. She responded, "Y'all are too much. Absolutely amazing."

And Christie Moore makes this point: "We're crawling with illegals in Utah--not saying that's good or bad--just FYI. Where do you think they go when Arizona toughens up its access to services? AND unemployment in Utah is less than 3%. The state, quite frankly, needs the labor worse than just about anywhere. Starting wage for completely unskilled people is about $12. It doesn't matter if you're a citizen, legal, or illegal."

Don't blow off your fingers tomorrow - you'll need those digits to write back to us!

Happy Independence Day!

The New Inevitable

Those who are watching the summer polls of Barack Obama should be paying very close attention, and here's why: The big media sell of the Obama campaign has been that he’s going to be President. And the public is going along with it.

These polls show that people can see him as President this stage of the game, meaning that his narrative is going according to plan. From CNN.com:
CNN polling director Keating Holland notes that Tuesday's survey confirms what a string of national polls released this month have shown: Obama holds a slight advantage over McCain, though not a big enough one to constitute a statistical lead.

‘Every standard telephone poll taken in June has shown Obama ahead of McCain, with nearly all of them showing Obama's margin somewhere between 3 and 6 points," Holland said. "In most of them, that margin is not enough to give him a lead in a statistical sense, but it appears that June has been a good month for Obama.’
So what is the plan?

Not that he’s going to beat John McCain, or win swing states, or get Hillary supporters, or raise more money.

There isn’t much mention about him even actually winning something as lowbrow as an election. The plan is, come January, the country will have Obama as its President. The campaign is and will be an explanation on why that decision has been made.

I used to tell people four years ago that I didn’t know what John Kerry’s America looked like. He hadn’t sold it to me. But from a distance I could guess that it resembled Bushworld with a better landscaper: pretty much the same political environment, only with Democrats, uh, winning.

More to the point, no one had gotten used to the idea that Kerry or Gore would be President. The public hadn’t kicked their tires because it felt like these two wouldn’t be around very long. The collective pitch of both candidates, you see, was that they were going to be better politicians then Dubya. But anyone who wants the Oval Office has to sell themselves as the only politician on the planet.

The moral of the story? The guy who gets vetted more extensively usually ends up winning. Faint praises and obligatory acknowledgments go great with your silver medal.

So what does this say when the guy who’s gotten a furious lambasting from segments of both parties is ahead of or dead even with a more experienced opponent?

Probably that John McCain is just another good candidate.

Written by Neal