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Old 05-23-2008, 10:55 PM   #16
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However, what I do not think that Canadians are immune to is the fact that media coverage of foreign nations are rarely given the level of nuance that's required to understand it completely. There's always some level of nationalism that gets in the way of the whole story. And I think that's the subtext behind that very interesting poll about our presidential candidates.
Except I get all of my media coverage of the US from US stations, not Canadian ones. I don't turn on the CBC to follow the US election - I will watch MSNBC or PBS or even CNN (hey I even had Fox this last year!). Additionally, there are a multitude of US networks which deliver to us local news. With time shifting, I have access to local networks from all four time zones. That is the difference between Canada and other foreign nations which do not live an hour away from the US and don't have the benefit of local American media.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:17 PM   #17
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Except I get all of my media coverage of the US from US stations, not Canadian ones. I don't turn on the CBC to follow the US election - I will watch MSNBC or PBS or even CNN (hey I even had Fox this last year!). Additionally, there are a multitude of US networks which deliver to us local news. With time shifting, I have access to local networks from all four time zones. That is the difference between Canada and other foreign nations which do not live an hour away from the US and don't have the benefit of local American media.
I'll reply to the rest of your post later, Melon, but this is what I was saying, not that we've a lot of access to news about US politics through Canadian media, but that we are literally inundated with American news, originating on American networks that we receive here. As far as I know, any Canadian with basic cable gets all four main American networks at the very least, and almost everyone gets CNN/MSNBC/Fox as well. That's not even to mention that many US newspapers are readily available here, and that a great deal of the magazines we read are published in the US. This being the case, we receive US news in the very same manner that Americans do, from the very same sources, and framed in the very same way.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:31 PM   #18
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Fair enough (although I certainly take issue with American media too ).

Unlike most Americans, I've lived an hour away from Canada my entire life, and I get Canadian broadcast media as clearly as anything local, so I've been lucky enough to be able to compare and contrast, as well.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:26 AM   #19
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It's an interesting phenomenon, because I've argued before that, by keeping the "focus" on U.S. politics, it has allowed a lot of things that's wrong with Canada (every country has something wrong with it, mind you) to go unnoticed. I think that it is not coincidental that an issue becomes "hot button" based on the media's reaction to that issue. But, more importantly, an issue can get brushed aside if it's neglected completely. And that makes the dominant hegemony of Canada--the two major political parties and Canadian big business--quite happy.
I've already replied to this, but I just wanted to add that Canadian issues do get reported in great depth on Canadian news broadcasts. Canadian broadcasters do give a decent chunk of airtime to US news, though, much more than US network news broadcasts from American border town affiliates give to Canada. I'm not commenting on the equity of it one way or the other, I'm just saying it is, and it's always been that way, for various reasons.


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Is it, really? The core Conservative constituency is not terribly different from the "conservatism" of U.S. Great Plains states in the Midwest and South. The old Reform Party/Canadian Alliance that took over the PCs to form today's Conservative Party certainly held views that would have rivaled many of the beliefs that socially conservative Republicans hold. I do give Harper quite a lot of credit for finding a face-saving way of accepting gay marriage in Canada; it seems that the U.S. GOP would rather sink with its ship on this issue than accept it.

In many ways, U.S. and Canadian politics are quite different (the inherent differences between parliamentary versus U.S.-style representative democracy) and quite similar (two major political parties that both nations seem to be incredibly apathetic and distrustful about). I would argue that Canadians, as a whole, really are quite more educated about American politics than Americans about Canadian politics. However, what I do not think that Canadians are immune to is the fact that media coverage of foreign nations are rarely given the level of nuance that's required to understand it completely. There's always some level of nationalism that gets in the way of the whole story. And I think that's the subtext behind that very interesting poll about our presidential candidates.
As Anitram said earlier, we have our highest concentration of, and no doubt the most fervent conservatives in Alberta. However, I'm guessing that many of them are still more socially liberal than your Republicans. This holds even more true in other areas of the country, where the social conservatism is diluted to an even greater extent amongst Canadian Conservatives.

For all of Harper's flaws, he's been fairly innocuous as Prime Minister, and I'm sure that much of the reason for that is that he's fully aware that he wasn't elected with a mandate to lead (self-evident with the minority government), but instead his election was a sign of dissatisfaction with the long-serving Liberal party. It's *always* like that here - we're overwhelmingly Liberal, but every once in a while we have a spat and need to take a break from the party. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that. Harper never intended to address gay marriage because he knew it wouldn't fly here. Instead, he took a perfunctory glance in that direction, held a vote he knew he'd lose, and moved on. He knows what values most Canadians hold important, and what's not negotiable here.

Not much has changed since his election, but then again, with minority governments, nothing ever really does.
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:00 AM   #20
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I'm almost afraid to post this, lest I gain even more of a reputation as a Hillary apologist, but let me preface this with an explanation: when I first heard of this story, my first thought was "Hillary, wtf are you talking about? You're insane."

However, reading it over just now, I think it's just an EXTREMELY poorly worded way of saying that both her husband's and RFK's Democratic nomination campaigns lasted until June, and that the assassination comment "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California" was probably meant as a way of her saying "remember, he was assassinated while seeking the nomination, and he was assassinated in June, therefore his campaign went into June, too."

As I said, very, very poorly worded, but I doubt it was meant in any malicious or disrespectful way toward RFK. It sounded to me more like she was thinking aloud, which is really stupid for someone in her position who should be choosing words more carefully.
This is what I meant with the three outstanding primaries. In 1992 the Primaries in June were:
June 2: Alabama, California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio
June 9: North Dakota

and in 1968 only 13 states held primaries, as well as the system being completely different, and there was a primary in a state such as California. This time, however, the remaining primaries are in Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota. Even though Puerto Rico has 55 pledged delegates, this isn't going to turn the overall results upside down and Clinton is only trying to distract from the fact that the primaries are basically over; in a very poor way.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:29 AM   #21
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As I said, very, very poorly worded, but I doubt it was meant in any malicious or disrespectful way toward RFK. It sounded to me more like she was thinking aloud, which is really stupid for someone in her position who should be choosing words more carefully.
It doesn't really matter what she meant, what matters is how it was perceived.

I'd also like to point out that Obama's "bitter/guns/religion" comment was terribly worded and he clearly didn't mean to be offensive, but it was how it was perceived. And the media ran with it. And worse yet, Hillary herself cashed in on it and exploited it. Obama's campaign showed a hell of a lot more class yesterday regarding her gaffe than she's ever shown to him.
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Old 05-24-2008, 10:02 AM   #22
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President Election Polls - Presidential Candidate Polls in 2008 - Swing State Polls

Updated 5-21-2008

Hillary Clinton: 310
John McCain: 211

Barack Obama: 214
John McCain: 290
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:04 PM   #23
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I've already replied to this, but I just wanted to add that Canadian issues do get reported in great depth on Canadian news broadcasts. Canadian broadcasters do give a decent chunk of airtime to US news, though, much more than US network news broadcasts from American border town affiliates give to Canada. I'm not commenting on the equity of it one way or the other, I'm just saying it is, and it's always been that way, for various reasons.
I've been thinking about the right way to articulate this, and I'm not sure I've gotten it the exact right way I want to say this, so bear with me for a moment here.

Having been exposed to Canada for much of my life through their media, having paid closer attention to Canadian affairs over the last seven years or so based on the Canadian nationality of my partner, and considering I will be moving to Canada later this year, in addition to being an American, I feel like I have an emerging unique perspective on the two countries, although I know it will continue to evolve once I've moved there.

My initial perspective, currently, is that Canadian media devotes so much time to American news is that it serves the purpose of having Canadians feel that there's very little wrong with their country. In fact, some days watching Canadian news, I think that the media thinks that the worst thing going on is "outrage" that restaurants aren't printing nutritional content in their menus. If the news ever turns for the worse, such as some occasional gun violence in Toronto, for instance, the shift almost immediately goes to the U.S. and guns. In other words, the U.S. serves an interesting place in Canadian culture as a kind of antagonist; here's a place that has guns, greed, racism, Republicans, evil corporations, and religious fanatics, not to mention having 10x the population of Canada, an exponentially larger economy, and, in many sectors, has affected a considerable "brain drain" of Canadian talent to the U.S.

Basically, I question whether all this coverage of the U.S., in Canadian media, has the effect of telling Canadians to "shut up and be happy with what you've got" or suffer at the specter of becoming "the 51st state." In other words, just as the U.S. media bullies Americans into complacency by telling us we need to be frightened of everything from foreigners to sex offenders to the bird flu to our own shadows, the Canadian media orchestrates Canadian complacency by disproportionate attention to foreign affairs, thus sweeping most of their domestic problems under the rug.

And I do see quite a few problems to be addressed on the horizon. For one, I do notice how very concentrated and non-competitive certain economic sectors of Canada are, especially in terms of media/telecom and financials. Not only does it make things more expensive, but there's also going to be fewer options for the consumer and fewer opportunities for growth, thus fewer opportunities for employment. There's a myriad of issues related to the "brain drain," of course, but I was shocked to discover how limited in size so many Masters/Ph.D programs were in Canada, in comparison to the U.S. I often think that the U.S. has long utilized its educational system as a driver of future economic growth, often by sucking international talent abroad through them. Unless Canada rectifies this issue with Canadian higher education by expanding them considerably to not only attract more foreign students, but also retain Canadian students who get rejected, because there isn't enough room, then I think that the "brain drain" isn't going to go away anytime soon.

Anyway, I say this less to beat up on Canada here (if I didn't love it, I wouldn't be moving there), and more to say that Canadians are not immune to the kind of systemic dysfunctionality that the U.S. has. We all have our problems, and while all the cameras and attention worldwide are pointing at our presidential election, I question sometimes whether it is less about educating people about the U.S. and more about putting the spotlight away from domestic issues that would make politicians squirm otherwise. Considering that Canadian media is dominated by government (CBC, CRTC, the myriad of tax credits provided for all domestic content), CTV (CTV, A-Channel, The Globe and Mail, and 35 radio stations nationwide), Rogers (telephony, cable TV, internet, cell phones, CityTV, OMNI, Sportsnet, 70 consumer and business publications), Canwest (Global, Canwest News Service, Alliance Atlantis, not to mention its historical ties to both the Liberal Party and Israel's Likud), and Bell (telephony, internet, cable TV, satellite TV, cell phones, a 15% stake in CTV), perhaps one has to ask whether what they report--or omit--is in the public's interest or in the interest of their own self-preservation.

Just food for thought.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:26 PM   #24
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It doesn't really matter what she meant, what matters is how it was perceived.

I'd also like to point out that Obama's "bitter/guns/religion" comment was terribly worded and he clearly didn't mean to be offensive, but it was how it was perceived. And the media ran with it. And worse yet, Hillary herself cashed in on it and exploited it. Obama's campaign showed a hell of a lot more class yesterday regarding her gaffe than she's ever shown to him.
The American media certainly loves its "gotcha" moments. I also think that Americans, traditionally, have taken great pleasure in exposing sanctimonious individuals and organizations as "human" like the rest of us. Frankly, though, the media certainly does take this to its logical extremes to the point of absurdity.
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:48 PM   #25
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It doesn't really matter what she meant, what matters is how it was perceived.

I'd also like to point out that Obama's "bitter/guns/religion" comment was terribly worded and he clearly didn't mean to be offensive, but it was how it was perceived. And the media ran with it. And worse yet, Hillary herself cashed in on it and exploited it. Obama's campaign showed a hell of a lot more class yesterday regarding her gaffe than she's ever shown to him.
Oh, I agree completely that it's all in the perception, and if most people are reacting on the surface of things as they tend to do, she'll probably come off badly, it'll be a minus in her column, just as Obama's comments were for him.

Since I posted that last night, I see that this isn't the first time she's made that particular comment, so it obviously wasn't a poorly thought out phrase she constructed on the fly. I still don't think her intent was malicious, though. If anything, I think that outside of the obvious, pointing out that campaigns do run that long sometimes, she may have been also attempting to associate herself (albeit in a very awkward, bizarre way) with nostalgia for the Kennedy era.

Somehow this campaign seems to have become, at least for Obama supporters, a battle of good versus evil. I still maintain though that Hillary isn't *that* bad, she's just running a fairly typical campaign, exploiting the weaknesses of her opponent. It's Obama's campaign that is more unusual, more of the "rise about this nonsense" ilk, and that's making her seem worse in comparison.

I think one of the factors when it comes to verbal gaffes on the part of the candidates is that Hillary is a known entity, whereas Obama isn't. Americans have a couple of decades of seeing Hillary in the public spotlight, and as such, I think it's easier for her supporters to pass off her comments as being a slip of the tongue, not a true reflection of who she really is. Obama is under heavy scrutiny for the first time, and people who don't follow politics closely are getting their first introduction to him. His comments might not be able to be passed off quite as easily. He's not known, so people might perceive them to be more of a part of who he actually is, even the bad, poorly worded comments.

One of the most obvious reasons I can think of as to why Hillary's campaign might be playing it the way that they are is that she has the obvious female hurdle to overcome. Acting as the aggressor in the campaign shows America that she's tough, she's not going to be sitting around clutching her pearls when the call comes at in 3 am. It's up for debate whether or not this approach was necessary, but sadly, I tend to think it probably was.
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:58 PM   #26
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President Election Polls - Presidential Candidate Polls in 2008 - Swing State Polls

Updated 5-21-2008

Hillary Clinton: 310
John McCain: 211

Barack Obama: 214
John McCain: 290
this is really what all the hysterics are about

the fact that the Democratic primaries are a complete sham on the all the primary voters


that it can really make no difference on how people actually vote
because at the end of the day, voters are not the "deciders"

assholes called "super delegates" are

and they can go anyway they want


if they are smart they should look at the "electoral college" projections

and not pick a loser

is that fair?

this whole process was never fair

voters are just dumb patsies with this set up


they are holding up there "tin cups" and begging










"please sir, can I have some Obama"
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:08 PM   #27
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I've been thinking about the right way to articulate this, and I'm not sure I've gotten it the exact right way I want to say this, so bear with me for a moment here.

Having been exposed to Canada for much of my life through their media, having paid closer attention to Canadian affairs over the last seven years or so based on the Canadian nationality of my partner, and considering I will be moving to Canada later this year, in addition to being an American, I feel like I have an emerging unique perspective on the two countries, although I know it will continue to evolve once I've moved there.

My initial perspective, currently, is that Canadian media devotes so much time to American news is that it serves the purpose of having Canadians feel that there's very little wrong with their country. In fact, some days watching Canadian news, I think that the media thinks that the worst thing going on is "outrage" that restaurants aren't printing nutritional content in their menus. If the news ever turns for the worse, such as some occasional gun violence in Toronto, for instance, the shift almost immediately goes to the U.S. and guns. In other words, the U.S. serves an interesting place in Canadian culture as a kind of antagonist; here's a place that has guns, greed, racism, Republicans, evil corporations, and religious fanatics, not to mention having 10x the population of Canada, an exponentially larger economy, and, in many sectors, has affected a considerable "brain drain" of Canadian talent to the U.S.

Basically, I question whether all this coverage of the U.S., in Canadian media, has the effect of telling Canadians to "shut up and be happy with what you've got" or suffer at the specter of becoming "the 51st state." In other words, just as the U.S. media bullies Americans into complacency by telling us we need to be frightened of everything from foreigners to sex offenders to the bird flu to our own shadows, the Canadian media orchestrates Canadian complacency by disproportionate attention to foreign affairs, thus sweeping most of their domestic problems under the rug.

And I do see quite a few problems to be addressed on the horizon. For one, I do notice how very concentrated and non-competitive certain economic sectors of Canada are, especially in terms of media/telecom and financials. Not only does it make things more expensive, but there's also going to be fewer options for the consumer and fewer opportunities for growth, thus fewer opportunities for employment. There's a myriad of issues related to the "brain drain," of course, but I was shocked to discover how limited in size so many Masters/Ph.D programs were in Canada, in comparison to the U.S. I often think that the U.S. has long utilized its educational system as a driver of future economic growth, often by sucking international talent abroad through them. Unless Canada rectifies this issue with Canadian higher education by expanding them considerably to not only attract more foreign students, but also retain Canadian students who get rejected, because there isn't enough room, then I think that the "brain drain" isn't going to go away anytime soon.

Anyway, I say this less to beat up on Canada here (if I didn't love it, I wouldn't be moving there), and more to say that Canadians are not immune to the kind of systemic dysfunctionality that the U.S. has. We all have our problems, and while all the cameras and attention worldwide are pointing at our presidential election, I question sometimes whether it is less about educating people about the U.S. and more about putting the spotlight away from domestic issues that would make politicians squirm otherwise. Considering that Canadian media is dominated by government (CBC, CRTC, the myriad of tax credits provided for all domestic content), CTV (CTV, A-Channel, The Globe and Mail, and 35 radio stations nationwide), Rogers (telephony, cable TV, internet, cell phones, CityTV, OMNI, Sportsnet, 70 consumer and business publications), Canwest (Global, Canwest News Service, Alliance Atlantis, not to mention its historical ties to both the Liberal Party and Israel's Likud), and Bell (telephony, internet, cable TV, satellite TV, cell phones, a 15% stake in CTV), perhaps one has to ask whether what they report--or omit--is in the public's interest or in the interest of their own self-preservation.

Just food for thought.
Thanks for posting your perspective, it was really interesting to read and consider. This post will be getting into the "various reasons" I mentioned last night, but was too tired to examine.

I can see how you might have come to those conclusions regarding Canadian news reporting having seen a fairly small snapshot of it in recent years, and also viewing it from the perspective of suspicion and cynicism you probably have with your national media. It's possible that Canadian media may have devolved to the point that you're arguing, but it's been so gradual that I've not noticed it. I think though that you have to take an historical perspective to tease out the answer, and a large part of it comes from our national identity, or lack thereof (although I don't think the latter is really as true in recent years).

Consider Canada for a moment, a large landmass with approximately a tenth of the population that the US has, a relatively new nation. In comparison, the US is like this behemoth, one that is always threatens to suck us in culturally, not in a literal sense, although that looms to a certain extent, too. This especially holds true considering that the vast majority of our population, unlike yours, lives very close to the US border.

I was a young child in the 70's, and I think I was somewhat precocious regarding pop culture, but I remember a lot of it fairly clearly. I recall growing up that there always seemed to be this sense of inferiority and America-envy regarding many things, media and entertainment included. We didn't have the variety of Canadian television broadcasters that we do now. Certainly, the same can be said for you guys, you've vastly increased as well, but when the numbers are shrunk down proportionally, you still had a lot more than we did. We essentially relied on the US for entertainment. In the area of music, I can remember a handful of homegrown Canadian artists, but that's about it. Of course, that's what led to the development of the much maligned Can-Con rules by the CRTC in the early 70's (I can't remember that specifically, but I do remember what we had at the time, and what the ensuing decade or so was like). From that time on, our music scene has flourished, and despite the criticism that Can-Con receives, I can't help but think it created positive change. Would the industry have developed on its own without the help of government rules? Probably, but I think it would have taken a lot longer. My digression aside, my point is essentially that in the area of media and entertainment, you guys were the giants we relied on until the government intervened, and forced Canadians to be exposed to Canadian entertainment.

In television, and in news broadcasting specifically, in the 70's (the dark ages, before the advent of remote controls, when you had to get up and physically change the dial on the tv) when we watched American television, I suppose some people would have gotten their main exposure to American network news by turning on the channel to view whatever was on after the news finished, not necessarily out of a specific interest in US news. I'm sure many others though, specifically sought out Canadian networks to view their news on.

As for the sheer amount of American coverage on Canadian-based news networks, I have a feeling it's partly to do with the vast size of your nation, in terms of population, thus, the amount of news generated, as well as the great impact that America has on world events overall, along with our close proximity to you. As I alluded to earlier, you may be right, there *may* be an element of "look at them, we don't have it so bad, do we? Now sit down and shut up" implied in much of the US news we receive, but I don't think that's the main motivation. I freely admit that since the Iraq war, there has probably been a certain smugness involved in some of the news about the US that originates from Canada. Sort of "how the mighty have fallen - remember when we used to envy them?" However bitchy a reaction that might be, I think that reflects more on our (mostly former) sense of inferiority regarding the US. Unlike you though, I've never gotten the impression that our news broadcasts air American news to the exclusion of Canadian news. To me, it's always been more of an "in addition to" scenario. I also think that our news broadcasts tend to be more straight-on, factual reporting, without much editorializing.

The main reason I think that Canadian events aren't reported so much on American network news, with the exception of brief mentions in border town affiliates, is mostly because of American-centricism. I don't really use that term in an insulting sense. The fact is, your nation is so large in comparison, so complex, that you don't need filler for your news broadcasts. Couple that with the trend in American news to analyze every minute detail ad nauseum, and there isn't much room for other nations to be covered in any depth.

One final thought before I have to sign off - maybe it's not that Canada spends a disproportionate amount of time covering American and other international news and events, but that America spends a disproportionate amount of time *not* covering them? During bouts of insomnia in recent months, I've had to opportunity to watch on a City-TV news channel late night broadcasts of European-based news programs from countries like France and Germany. They seem to be more equivalent to our news, in that they cover a lot of international news.

Thanks again for the discussion, it's a topic that fascinates me. I hope it doesn't get lost in the transition to a new thread.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:22 PM   #28
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Hillary Clinton is now complaining that her candidacy has been harmed by sexism. Interviewed earlier this week by the Washington Post, Sen. Clinton said the polls show that "more people would be reluctant to vote for a woman [than] to vote for an African American." This gender bias, she grumbled, "rarely gets reported on."

So a woman who holds degrees from Wellesley and Yale – who has earned millions in the private sector, won two terms in the U.S. Senate, and gathered many more votes than John Edwards, Bill Richardson and several other middle-aged white guys in their respective bids for the 2008 Democratic nomination – feels cheated because she's a woman.

Seems doubtful. But hey, I'm a guy and perhaps hopelessly insensitive. So let's give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that her campaign has indeed suffered because of sexism.

This fact (if it be a fact) reveals a hitherto unknown, ugly truth about the Democratic Party. The alleged bastion of modern liberalism, toleration and diversity is full of (to use Mrs. Clinton's own phrase) "people who are nothing but misogynists." Large numbers of Democratic voters are sexists. Who knew?

But here's another revelation. If Mrs. Clinton is correct that she is more likely than Barack Obama to defeat John McCain in November, that implies Republicans and independents are less sexist than Democrats.

It must be so. If American voters of all parties are as sexist as the Democrats, Mr. Obama would have a better chance than Mrs. Clinton of defeating Mr. McCain. The same misogyny that thwarted her in the Democratic primaries would thwart her in the general election. Only if registered Republicans and independents are more open-minded than registered Democrats – only if people who lean GOP or who have no party affiliation are more willing than Democrats to overlook a candidate's sex and vote on the issues – could Mrs. Clinton be a stronger candidate.

I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. But if I ever become convinced that Mrs. Clinton is correct that sexism played a role in her disappointing showing in the Democratic primaries – and that she truly is her party's strongest candidate to take on John McCain – I might finally join a party: the GOP. At least it's not infested with sexists.
'Nothing but Misogynists' - WSJ.com
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:28 PM   #29
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Obama has class:

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"I have learned that when you are campaigning for as many months as Senator Clinton and I have been campaigning, sometimes you get careless in terms of the statements that you make and I think that is what happened here. Senator Clinton says that she did not intend any offense by it and I will take her at her word on that," Obama told Radio Isla Puerto Rico.
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Old 05-24-2008, 09:49 PM   #30
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US 2008 Presidential Campaign/Debate Discussion Thread #6

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