Dave Weigel has an interesting piece on the way the GOP too often takes the bait laid out deliberately by Dems to paint Republicans as “kooks.” An excerpt:“Attn skeet birthers,” tweeted David Plouffe. “Make our day—let the photoshop conspiracies begin!”
It was Feb. 3, a week and change since Plouffe had left the White House and joined Twitter, and he was already on top of a meme. The New Republic had asked President Obama whether he’d ever shot a gun. “Up at Camp David,” he’d said, “we do skeet shooting all the time.” A small number of conservatives asked—totally reasonably—whether there was any proof. The White House released a photo of the president firing a shotgun.
But it did so by having deputy communications director Dan Pfeiffer call the critics “skeeters,” and then came Plouffe, egging it on. “Day made,” he tweeted, hours later. “The skeet birthers are out in full force in response to POTUS pic. Makes for most excellent, delusional reading. #whereistrump”
I think Weigel certainly makes a fair point. But he leaves out an important chunk of what is going on. The Google News metric doesn’t just count conservative media outlets. The fact that there are so many results for the “great skeet hunt” demonstrates how willing — nay, eager — the mainstream media is to hype the Republicans are kooks story line.Commenter Irma LaDuce:
IrmaLaDuce 26 minutes agoThe link in question:
I'm just going to leave this here:
And so it goes.I’m at my cigar shop where they tend to have CNN on a lot. So I couldn’t help but hear Paul Begala rip into people who were skeptical of Obama’s statement that “we do skeet shooting all the time.” Like many other defenders of the president, Begala argued that the White House’s release of a photo showing Obama firing a shotgun should be mortifying for anybody who doubted the president’s word. It’s a “huge embarrassment” for them etc., etc.Here’s the problem. I don’t know many people who thought Obama had never fired a shotgun. I was skeptical that he does it “all the time.” Indeed, in my experience the phrasing — “we do skeet shooting all the time” — is not the way most people who shoot skeet talk about skeet shooting. To my ear it sounds like saying “we do fishing all the time,” a formulation I’ve never heard from a fishermen of any kind. I still don’t believe that he goes skeet shooting all of the time, if all of the time means anything like the frequency of Obama’s golf and basketball outings. But hey, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he does skeet shooting every bit as much as he does basketball and does golfing. Maybe, the super-geniuses at the White House press shop thought it made sense to release thousands of photos of him golfing — far, far, far more than Bush ever did by the way — but for some reason declined to release a single photo of him doing skeet shooting. I see nothing wrong or unreasonable in being skeptical about politicians in general or this one in particular.