Wednesday, February 08, 2006
The "Wellstoning" of Coretta...
I have a good friend in Minnesota who is a classic, stereotypical Minnesota liberal. He's a great guy. He puts his money (and time) where his mouth is by helping neighbors in need and has probably performed hundreds of acts of anonomyous kindness over the 12 or 13 years I've known him.
So you can imagine my surprise a few years back when we got together for coffee and started talking politics and he told me "The Democrats really went too far at the Wellstone funeral, didn't they?" All I had heard at that point was what the talking heads were saying about the funeral and, because I sometimes had to listen to Limbaugh while on the road, I knew how "outraged" Limbaugh had been about the behavior of the Democrats at Wellstone's memorial Service. Later, of course, I heard the other side of the story and also saw the video tapes which were NOTHING like what my friend or Limbaugh described.
The Mighty Republican Wurlitzer had cranked out a version of the event that was far, far removed from reality and designed solely to benefit the Republican candidate for Wellstone's now vacant seat... And it was successful. The concerted effort was so successful that the term "Wellstoning" has worked it's way into the political lexicon to connote a PR campaign to trash Democrats.
And now, Coretta Scott King is being "Wellstoned".
It started last night almost immediately after the airing of the funeral. On Lou Dobbs and Chris Matthews the spin started up. "Democrats behave disgracefully". Democrats criticizing the President at the funeral was "inappropriate", "tasteless". An the ever-popular Kate O'Bierne had to add that Former President Carter is "becoming a worse ex-president that he was president".
And the Wurlitzer played on this morning with Miles O'Brien on CNN proclaiming "Some people say it was a Wellstone moment".
Blog reports show Republican Radio Stars Bill Bennet (I'll give you odds...) and Laura Ingraham not only repeated the meme but also hosted plenty of "Afro-American Callers" who were appalled by the comments of Carter and Reverand Lowrey. (Yeah, right.)
In my worse tin-foil-hat moments I wonder if the sudden, last-moment change of heart by Bush to attend the funeral wasn't deliberately calculated to create enough faux outrage to distract from the domestic spying scandal, the really bad budget proposal, or ... or something worse that we don't know about yet.
Einstein said there was no such thing as coincidence....okay...then why did my friend from Minnesota call me at 10 O'clock last night to tell me he's coming into town and we should get together for coffee tonight? (cue theme from Twilight Zone