Tuesday, July 22, 2008

GAWD, THE CLUB IS FULL OF POSERS TONIGHT. Pressing the back of her hand to her forehead, fluttering her eyelids wearily, and striking a despondent pose, National Review scold-in-residence Lisa Schiffren denounces "The Media's Anti-Substance Bias" as regards our current Presidential campaign. "If the standard [for success] is 'sizzle,' or sex appeal," says Schiffren, "then any rational, substantive argument is doomed to lose..." She decries the "dog and pony shows" that "dazzle our media," and compares the situation to "American Idol." The voters are also to blame: they don't dig McCain's "irony" like Schiffren does, and his "straight-forward, informational presentation only works with people who want real information. (Sigh.)"

Of course, it is the popularity of that cursed blackamoor Obama that has Schiffren talking this way. She was much, much more into sizzle, dogs, and ponies during the late, lamented heyday of Fred Thompson, when she wrote:
The former Senator’s most salient attribute is his persona. He has a large, comforting, commanding presence that Hollywood directors have seen fit to cast as an admiral, the director of the CIA, and even the President. His slow drawl, big eyes, and wrinkles make him the very image of the respected Southern lawyer. He is an excellent communicator, sympathetic, easy to watch, and never grating...
Neither did Hollywood Fred's extremely thin qualifications ("Thompson frequently fills in for ABC radio host Paul Harvey, and gives short 'position paper' talks on issues") bother Schiffren, so long as he kept working his presentational skills ("He is diplomatic, uses language better than any of the others, and has that wonderful deep voice... he could get away with attacking the fragile Hillary or the sainted Obama better than any of the others...").

Now that the Democratic candidate is a media phenom and his opponent a puffy dotard, Schiffren is all Dogme 95, disgusted by cheap appeals to emotion. Let us have substance, she demands! Presumably, when the press starts giving more coverage to McCain's multiple senior moments in discussion thereof, she'll wonder whatever happened to the good old days when all anyone ever asked of a President was that he'd been tortured by the Viet Cong.

UPDATE. In the course of her hilarious advice to der Alte ("A speech coach should be on the campaign plane... thoughtful, specifically empathetic and directed approach might also work with those mid-western blue collar voters who flocked to Hillary..."), Schiffren actually says, "as E.M. Forster said, memorably, 'Only connect.'" I refuse to believe that anyone could be this much of a fraud out of a mere desire to deceive. Schiffren is clearly trying to impress her peers, and attain super-villain status among them. I mean, that's the only explanation I can think of -- they can't be paying her for this shit.

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