Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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July 25, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

JOURNALISTIC CLICHE WATCH....My crystal ball at work:

July 18, here: "I will offer this free prediction: Either National Review or the Weekly Standard — or both! — will headline their recap of [Obama's] trip, 'The Innocent Abroad.'"

July 25, headline of David Brooks's column in the New York Times: "Playing Innocent Abroad."

OK, I didn't quite get the source right. But I claim victory anyway.

Kevin Drum 11:16 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (33)

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Comments

Kevin, you're just soaring rhetoric with no substance.

Posted by: Lifelong Dem on July 25, 2008 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

Today Barack is an American in Paris.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 25, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

False crowing -- presumably Brooks doesn't write the headline.

Posted by: Sanjay on July 25, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

The title of Cal Thomas' July 22nd op-ed: "An Innocent Abroad."

And here's the concluding paragraph: "Obama has 300 foreign policy advisers, many of them veterans of the Clinton administration. Why so many? Perhaps because he is an innocent abroad and, while he may have a rosy view of the world, his worldview needs improvement."

He raises a good point: why DOES Obama listen to lots of people about stuff? Talking to experts is the very definition of elitist. Better to just go with your gut, and what you saw in that movie that one time. The one with the asteroid and Bruce Willis. That was a good movie.

Posted by: Chesser on July 25, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

I didn't think there were any innocent broads anymore.

Posted by: thersites on July 25, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone think that avoiding inspirational rhetoric is a good campaign strategy? Certainly McCain isn't weighing his speeches down with a lot of policy details. At least Obama isn't promising to "bring back dignity to the whitehouse" or to be a "compassionate conservative". Oh, is brooks trying to say that those were concrete policy proposals rather than a "saccharine show"?

Posted by: JimBob on July 25, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

False crowing -- presumably Brooks doesn't write the headline.

No, but the New York Times did. Give Kevin his due.

Posted by: tomeck on July 25, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Low hanging fruit. Let us know when you make a real risky projection :)

Posted by: ResumeMan on July 25, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Today Barack is an American in Paris.

Bad news for Obama. He hasn't experienced a bounce from his Paris visit.

Posted by: ckelly on July 25, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

David Brooks:

It will take politics and power to address challenges, the two factors that dare not speak their name in Barack Obama’s lofty peroration in Berlin.

Uh-huh. Obama never mentioned either politics or power here, right?

Brooks is such a joke.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on July 25, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

How do the political contributions of publishers and editors to the presidential candidates breakdown?

Posted by: Brojo on July 25, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

No fair claiming victory unless you define it. Have you established a stable, functioning democracy? Have you stood up an army so yours can stand down? Is your electricity and water service on more than it's off? Hmmm?? Above all, HAVE YOU SIGNED THE GODDAMNED STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT!?!?

Posted by: steve duncan on July 25, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

I hope that you soon predict that David Brooks is publicly disemboweled, Kevin.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on July 25, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama is the president of the United States, de facto.

Posted by: Alexis de Tocqueville on July 25, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I hope that you soon predict that David Brooks is publicly disemboweled, Kevin.

I'm in. Say it, Kevin, please.

Posted by: shortstop on July 25, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I don't fucking care what reporters think, do, witeness, or write. The news is what I say the news is. Fuck you!

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch on July 25, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

100 to 1 they donate to Obama.

Cite, please.

And again, please compare and contrast with the contributions of the corporations that own the media.

How much evidence do you need Kevin to believe there is a HUGE left-leaning bias in the media?

A lot more than you're providing -- especially to exceed the plain evidence that the press is in the tank for McSame For crying out lout, CBS deceptively edited its own interview to cover for McSame's ignorance on the surge!

"Liberal media," like the Laffer curve, is just one more article of conservative faith that has no basis in reality. But by all means, "Orwell," keep making yourself look stupid by repeating it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 25, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

You should have predicted

"Flack"

Posted by: jvoe on July 25, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, but did you ever claim that "Bob Novak couldn't hit an old man crossing the street"?

Posted by: Hedley on July 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

How much evidence do you need Kevin to believe there is a HUGE left-leaning bias in the media?

Since you've provided zero, a smidgen more than that.

And Gregory, I don't think Orwell needs to chant "liberal media" to look stupid. Just saying.

Posted by: ckelly on July 25, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Well Brooks used to write for the Weakly Standard, so close enough.

Posted by: Crab Grass on July 25, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

"They all will sell out their grandmother for a story but 100-1 for Obama? This is shameful." Orwell
Gee, well-educated, intelligent and informed people prefer progressive ideas to reactionary ideas. Shameful, indeed.
"People of Berlin. People of the world. This is our moment. This is our time." Oh, for Pete's sake. Get real." mhr
So whose time is it, a**hat? Wendell Wilkie's? Futureman's? We're here, which, by definition, makes it our time. (See what happens when you sleep through remedial English class?)

Posted by: wheresthebeef on July 25, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well done!

Posted by: Luther on July 25, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

Barack Obama is the president of the United States, de facto. Posted by: Alexis de Tocqueville

Certainly more so than Shrub.

I've been thinking that it is a shame that we don't have a parliamentary system so that you can have a "shadow cabinet."

Posted by: Jeff II on July 25, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

That's not the only reason it is a shame we don't have a parliamentary system. If we did there would have been a no confidence vote 4 years ago, and Bush would have been no more than a shrub on the foot path of history by now.

Posted by: ExBrit on July 25, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

The Minnesota Post quotes Newsweek using the term...though not in a headline...on the 21st.

Face it, a meme can be irresistible to journalists even if they KNOW it's stupid! And if it bashes someone they want to bash, then they don't care that it's stupid, either.

David Brooks, however, deserves a special award, the "Beyond Stupid Award in Applied Robotics", because he and the Times ended up doing exactly what Kevin predicted.

Posted by: PQuincy on July 25, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

Go ahead you trolls if you want to belive this race is close then believe my firend.But my bet is ABC NBC and CBS will do all they can for as long as they can to pretend this race is close.They have a Billion dollar reason to make you all believe there is still a race to win.This is there Thanksgivingday weekend so to speak.This race is 30 pts up for Obama and you know it.

Posted by: Johnjohn on July 25, 2008 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

It's good that Kevin follows up on his own posts.

Can we expect him to follow up on this promise, made back in the days when he was calling the surge "escalation"?

"If it works -- and after all, stranger things have happened -- then I'll eat some crow."

Posted by: a on July 25, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

a -- There were 18 key benchmarks/objectives defined for the "surge". A rough gauge suggests about 1/3 have been met; 1/3 have been partially met; 1/3 have not been met. By any measure, it can only be deemed a success if you redefine and scale down expectations and the original rationale on which it was based.

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