Predicting Chapter 3

Ann Althouse has a nice piece today about the way the press has written their first drafts of the 2004 presidential campaign. In brief, Althouse says that Howard Dean’s rise and fall were Chapter 1, and Kerry’s sudden surge to the nomination was Chapter 2:

So Kerry rolled into the nomination, and the media were prepared to keep a steady flattering light on him until he ascended into the presidency in November. They thought the Kerry ascendancy would be chapter two of the history of the 2004 election, and they thought they were looking good and getting the story right.

But what if chapter two was the story of Kerry making Vietnam the centerpiece of his candidacy setting off an out-of-nowhere takedown by a bunch of veterans who have been pissed off at him for 35 years? No, no way could that be the story! We aren’t going to talk about that. No, no


12 Responses to “Predicting Chapter 3”

  1. Dittybopper Says:

    I am not sure, but didn’t Al Gore run the Willie Horton first during the democrat primary in 1988?

  2. Will Collier Says:

    Gore brought up Horton’s furlough during the Dem primaries. I don’t believe he ran a TV ad about it.

  3. Frank Martin Says:

    It’s an old adage that ‘history is written by the victors’ , but in American politcs, history is often written by the losers who occupy the halls of the media and the universities.

    Every election has its issue, unfortunately for the old media, this election is turning on the inability of the press to stay ahead of the story.

    Had the press been able to put aside its verdant hatred of George W. Bush, it would have done a better job in ‘vetting’ John Kerry during the early Democratic primary. They failed to do their job and the effect is that they have lost credibility in the eyes of their audience.

    The fact that the “swift boat” story has been forced onto the media, and still has legs despite very heavy handed attempts to minimize it shows that they are playing catch up with the story. This is proof that the media can no longer drive an agenda the way it had free reign in doing in previous years.

    To paraphrase a saying we have in my industry, “old media” is a hierarchial design trying to get by in a distributed processing world.

  4. Ed Says:

    Chapter 3: The Ghost of Willie Horton

    Steve Green is writing a possible media mantra for late November. (Speaking of Steve, Max’s Diner is missing a golden marketing opportunity by not opening a branch in Colorado Springs.)…

  5. aaron Says:

    But their best candiate was Lieberman (actually a great candidate) with Al Sharpton a distant second.

  6. aaron Says:

    The media still drives public perceptions, but mostly only in the short-run. They often don’t stand the test.

  7. Birkel Says:

    I had thought similar things but you’re correct to say I read it here first… and elegant too. This is one of the best articles I’ve seen on this sight. Thank you.

  8. Pamela Says:

    FWIW I too think you are 100% correct. Not that you’ll get any credit for the observation (except from your loyal readers).

  9. Shouting into the Wind Says:

    Interesting look at the campaign in progress

    Really like Will’s post on Vodkapundit today. I think he’s right that this Swift Boat Vet thingy will fade post-convention and we will move into a new chapter…

  10. David March Says:

    And whatever you may think of Al Sharpton (who came to linger in the limelight as a result of his ardent defense of Tawana Brawley’s faked abduction) he didn’t try to tailor his pronouncements to fit what he thought the voters wanted to hear. Definitely an unusual display of integrity, for what it’s worth.

    But if you would like to reallly be entertained (or appalled) with some truly loony ideas about why some “progressives” think the conservatives are winning, take a look at the interview published in the UCBerkeley News with George Lakoff, professor of linguistics and cognitive science. URL:

    I commented on some of his points in my own blog, but you should definitely see the whole interview. Also please visit the website of the Rockridge Institute ( which he and a number of other progressive faculty of the University of California system started recently. According to the professor, the institute “offers its expertise and research on a nonpartisan basis to help progressives understand how best to get their messages across.”

    The Democratic Party has been losing ground around the country in his view, because the REPUBLICANS have fooled us into believing them by dominating the language framing political discussion.

    This is like the assertion that pharmaceutical companies fooled us into believing in headaches by dominating the language framing the aspirin discussion.

    Sorry, the gulf between the Democratic Party

  11. pragmatist Says:

    Leave it to a Bezerkley Academic to
    “forget” about how leftist both his
    profession and the media are.

    Must have slipped under his radar,
    so to speak.

  12. dick Says:

    I think the professor needs to realize that the reason his “progressive” (what makes him think his ideas are progress) ideas have been rejected is that they do not result in progress. They, instead, result in more of the same and the people are fed up with the “more of the same” that their policies result in.

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