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When the ‘presumptuous’ meme jumps the shark (calling out Dana Milbank)

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 07:12 PM
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When the ‘presumptuous’ meme jumps the shark (calling out Dana Milbank)

When the ‘presumptuous’ meme jumps the shark

Posted July 30th, 2008 at 9:55 am

I vaguely recall some news items from New Year’s about a group of scholars issuing a list of words to be banished from the lexicon for “misuse, overuse and general uselessness.” Among the selections from 2007 were “under the bus,” “it is what it is,” and “perfect storm.”

It’s only been two weeks, but if I don’t think I can take another media item about Barack Obama being “presumptuous.” We’re nowhere near the end of the year, but can’t we just ban the word now?

The WaPo’s Dana Milbank throws some fuel on the fire.

Barack Obama has long been his party’s presumptive nominee. Now he’s becoming its presumptuous nominee.

Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection, Obama settled down to some presidential-style business in Washington yesterday. He ordered up a teleconference with the (current president’s) Treasury secretary, granted an audience to the Pakistani prime minister and had his staff arrange for the chairman of the Federal Reserve to give him a briefing. Then, he went up to Capitol Hill to be adored by House Democrats in a presidential-style pep rally.

Along the way, he traveled in a bubble more insulating than the actual president’s. Traffic was shut down for him as he zoomed about town in a long, presidential-style motorcade….
The 5:20 TBA turned out to be his adoration session with lawmakers in the Cannon Caucus Room, where even committee chairmen arrived early, as if for the State of the Union. Capitol Police cleared the halls — just as they do for the actual president. The Secret Service hustled him in through a side door — just as they do for the actual president.

This is getting a bit silly. John McCain has traveled extensively abroad during the campaign and met with foreign leaders (just as the actual president does). He’s releasing weekly radio addresses (just as the actual president does). In May, McCain’s campaign released an ad identifying the senator on screen as “President McCain.” Two weeks later, McCain gave a high-profile speech about what the world will look like at the end of his first term in the White House.

And the number of news outlets that noticed this and described McCain as “presumptuous” is exactly zero.

Milbank’s piece is apparently intended to be lighthearted, but the criticism underpinning the piece is plainly disingenuous. Just as importantly, it’s feeding a media-created controversy for no reason.

The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder reported last week that Obama has directed his staff to begin planning for his transition to the White House, causing Republicans to howl about premature drape measuring. Obama was even feeling confident enough to give British Prime Minister Gordon Brown some management advice over the weekend. “If what you’re trying to do is micromanage and solve everything, then you end up being a dilettante,” he advised the prime minister, portraying his relative inexperience much as President Bush did in 2000.

But this is wildly misleading, and reads more like McCain campaign oppo than a legitimate news piece in the Washington Post. Milbank notes that Obama has begun planning a transition, but neglects to note that Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and Bush all did the exact same thing at this stage of their respective campaigns. Milbank notes Obama’s remarks to Brown, but neglects to mention the context — Obama was talking about his own distaste for micromanaging; he wasn’t giving the British Prime Minister “management advice.” (Update: The quote Milbank used didn’t even come from Obama’s chat with Brown.) It’s almost as if Milbank wanted to pad his article, so he fudged a few details to bolster his faulty thesis.

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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. THe mediaWhores are out to get Obama and will
not stop until they crown mccain president..and they won't hold him accountable if they get their wish.

Thanks for the link, ProSense.
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Democrafty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 07:23 PM
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2. Thanks for posting this.
It not only calls out the stupidity of the original comment, but points out yet more media hypocrisy: if Dems show any humility, they're wimps. If the confidence comes out, they're arrogant.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-31-08 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Exactly. n/t
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robertpaulsen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 07:37 PM
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3. Dana Milbank is today's worst person in the world.
I don't expect KO to give him that designation, but it's the truth.
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chill_wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-30-08 08:21 PM
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4. Not just Milbank-- hear the same snark from one of the MSNBC bimbo-ettes earlier today
in the form of a "question" of course. "Is Obama becoming too presumptuous?"

K & R
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-31-08 08:20 PM
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6. TPMtv: Dana Milbank, We Salute You
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WeDidIt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-31-08 08:23 PM
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7. I have a pledge for Keith Olbermann
Any time I see this puke's mug on Countdown, I turn Countdown off for one month.
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