How to Handle the Press: A Master Class From Bernie Sanders

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    • #434933
      • Total Posts: 9,978–how-to-handle-the-press-a-master-class-from-bernie-sanders

      Dowd’s column begins like this: I want to talk to Bernie about Balenciaga. And Britney. And Dua Lipa, Sha’Carri Richardson and Joe Manchin’s houseboat. And whether he prefers red or white horseradish on his gefilte fish. And the state of capitalism, and the absurd price of a Birkin bag.

      Now, you may be thinking: she’s joking. This is tongue in cheek. She didn’t really want to talk to Bernie Sanders about Britney Spears and a houseboat. But if you think this, you are not familiar with the career and columns of Maureen Dowd. She often makes it sound like she is only ironically interested in these topics, and is mocking the sorts of people who would be interested in fashion and celebrities, but these are quite clearly her favorite topics. Fashion and celebrities are by no means necessarily shallow subjects—for example there are plenty of substantive matters to discuss when it comes to Britney Spears—but it’s unlikely Dowd is interested in a serious discussion of, say, legal autonomy and conservatorships; we can expect she wants to ask about Spears because “Bernie on Britney” would be extremely clickable. But Bernie was having none of it, according to Dowd. When she pulled out her sheet of questions, he produced his own list of the things he was willing to talk about: He reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out his own piece of paper, a list of items written in his loopy scrawl. These are the only things he’s here to talk about. At 79, Bernie Sanders is a man on a mission, laser-focused on a list that represents trillions of dollars in government spending that he deems essential. When I stray into other subjects, the senator jabs his finger at his piece of paper or waves it in my face, like Van Helsing warding off Dracula with a cross.

      —Physical infrastructure-broadband
      —Paid family & medical [leave]
      —Home healthcare
      —Prescription drugs
      —Expand Medicare
      —GME expansion
      —Higher ed
      —Progressive taxation

      Sure enough, during his lunch with Dowd, Bernie stuck to the list: Digging into some eggs over easy and white toast, [Sanders says:] “Does anyone deny that our child care system, for example, is a disaster? Does anyone deny that pre-K, similarly, is totally inadequate? Does anyone deny that there’s something absurd that our young people can’t afford to go to college or are leaving school deeply in debt? Does anybody deny that our physical infrastructure is collapsing? Does anybody except anti-science people deny that climate change is real? Does anyone deny that we have a major health care crisis? Does anyone deny that we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs? Does anyone deny we have a housing crisis? Does anyone deny that half the people live paycheck to paycheck?

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #434950
      • Total Posts: 8,909

      Never read Dowd, sounds like a twit. Decent article until I got to this part:

      We can get lost in personality drama. Sometimes leftists spend far too much time criticizing other leftists with very similar policy goals, seemingly forgetting that we need to build a unified movement against the right, a thing which can only happen if we treat each other as comrades (and are definitive about what it means to be a leftist, rather than embracing right-wing faux-populism).

      I looked at the author’s name. This is the same guy who was slamming Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibi recently. So much for unification.



    • #434991
      • Total Posts: 1,285

      to expose how dishonest the others are (who are happy to avoid substantive topics)

      to expose the lie that the MSM’s obsession with trivia is driven by what’s profitable (Bernie is eminently clickable with or without Britney)

      to expose the lie that reform is too complicated to be expressed in terms that ordinary people can understand


      Destruction is easy; creation is hard, but more interesting.

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