Monday, March 31, 2008

TINKER TO EVERS TO FAT CHANCE. The Perfesser quotes an allegation of "hemming and hawing" and "life in a cocoon" against Obama, links to the quoted source, which amplifies on the charges ("shocked that [reporters] should demand answers," "When everyone you come in contact with agrees with you, and fawns over you to boot," etc.) and links to the actual video, which reveals the commentary to be somewhat overcooked. (Even the video host uses the odd adjective "semi-heated" to describe the exchange.) I don't know how much "uh" is too much for the general public, but the placeholder has been a prominent feature of Obama's manner of discussion from the beginning, and to my ears indicates more thoughtfulness than trepidation -- especially when he does, in fact, answer the question. A little stammering didn't hurt Jimmy Stewart, either.

But I'm prejudiced, of course. This daisy chain shows both the strength and the weakness of our vaunted internet transparency. You can get to the source more easily than in earlier days, but as the web is not C-Span, you'll generally get there via a few layers of deliberate framing, and that's if you take the time to get there at all. That the Perfesser said it, and that a source exists somewhere, will be good enough for the majority of his readers. (Not mine! You guys are unstoppable!) The internet has given us a lot, but I see no evidence that it has made us less lazy.

UPDATE. Thanks to commenter MFS for correcting my headline.

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