Wednesday, March 13, 2002

"Premium content"

I'm talking about SpinSanity, which now provides its content exclusively to the premium content side of Salon for a brief period before displaying it on their own site.

Of course we don't all agree on what we're willing to pay for. For instance, I'm not interested in the views of someone who can't distinguish between Kosovo and Afghanistan. From a letter on their site:
I think it might be interesting to note that the Republican leadership was not nearly as concerned about the effects of criticism on an active military campaign during the Kosovo crisis in early 1999. At that time, the lack of a clear "exit strategy" was questioned publicly by many GOP congressmen, and their right to dissent with the President and his policies was vigorously defended.
Do they feel duty-bound to publish every email they get, or do they think that such silliness adds value to their site?

Here is part of the WaPo article they cited, claiming Trent Lott and others were trying to delegitimize dissent:
Leading congressional Democrats took aim yesterday at the Pentagon's $379 billion budget request and its open-ended war on terrorism, voicing their strongest criticism of military operations and a proposed $48 billion increase in defense spending since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Appropriations Committee, grilled top defense officials at a budget hearing about the lack of an "exit strategy" in Afghanistan, their failure to capture al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and a widening global campaign against terrorists that seems to have "no end in sight."

Such sharp criticism, voiced in both the Senate and in the House during a hearing on missile defense, showed Democrats probing for ways to question the war and defense buildup without seeming unpatriotic in an election year.
Now tell me, does anybody believe that the Democrats are doing this solely out of their concern for their fellow citizens and a sense of Constitutional duty? Tell Byrd that the money will be spent in West Virginia and the grasping old Klansman will switch sides in a heartbeat. Trent Lott is 100% correct when he notes that the Democrats are trying to divide us when we are united - they want something to run on in the fall elections, and they'll try anything that polls well.

Somehow our intrepid spin sleuths missed the following, from the same WaPo article:
Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), ranking minority member of the Armed Services subcommittee on procurement, said the money spent on missile defense would come at the expense of other defense needs, notably ships and aircraft to replace aging fleets, a sacrifice that, he suggested, the United States could ill afford. "That's the real debate," Taylor said.
That's a false choice - there is absolutely no reason why other defense needs must be cut to fund missile defense. Nope, no spin here boys. Either Rep. Taylor is stupid or he thinks we are, and the best case for the latter is that he's in Congress.

Imagine a program which procured most of its supplies in the US and trained and employed hundreds of thousands of Americans while providing them with food, clothing, housing, health care and a salary, in locations scattered in Congressional districts all across the country. Democrats would be all over it in a heartbeat, outbidding the Republicans endlessly to spend more year after year. Until they find out it's the military. What is it, the uniforms?

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