On air: Have style and spin destroyed our trust in politics?

Hi there. California’s not struggling to live up to a few stereotypes.

Yesterday I had an eco-therapy session (to deal with my eco-guilt about all the flying I do), today I saw several poodles sitting in the front seats of very expensive SUVs, Will Ferrell was sitting just behind us when we went for coffee this morning and I can’t find anyone who likes Sarah Palin. And everyone’s thin.


This election with its four distinct characters and the small matter of the future of America at stake, is gripping people here, and plenty of us looking in. But do we enjoy following the twists and turns as entertainment, while placing no real value or trust in what we see and hear?

Sarah Palin made it very clear in her convention speech that she’s not interested in going to Washington to seek the approval of the media set. She was cheered to the rafters when she said that. She’ll get her message across in other ways.

Those of you who remember Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming Governer here in California may recall his strategy of using chat shows and entertainment magazines to get his message across.

Does the entertainment industry have a productive role to play in politics in your country? And has a pre-occupation with controlling the messages in the media, get in the way of you trusting politicians? See the battle for the right to represent change. What bearing does that have on the kind of leader McCain or Obama might be?

I’ve left the WHYS team in London for a few weeks to take part in a 38-day BBC bus trip between LA and New York. I’m doing the first leg which takes me to Dallas, and all being well today’s show won’t be the last WHYS I host while we make our way.

This page
has pics of the bus, a little audio piece explaining why we’re doing this, our route and all the reports we broadcast on the BBC along the way.

I’ll speak to you later.

132 Responses to “On air: Have style and spin destroyed our trust in politics?”

  1. 1 Pangolin- California
    September 10, 2008 at 08:59

    Trust in politics? In California? You’re joking. We’re the most back-stabbing state in the union when it comes to politics. Only in California did Enron figure out how to bribe both sides of the legislature to give it control of our power supply. Then they turned the power off and demanded more money.

    That’s how Arnold got into office in the first place. He was meeting with Enron officials while they played light switch and blaming the sitting Governor for the power outages.

    The only people who ‘trust in politics’ in California is the Prison Guards Union. You can take that to the bank; they do.

    Don’t even get us started on water politics.

  2. 2 Bob in Queensland
    September 10, 2008 at 10:10

    Soap opera? Nah. It’s more like big business, complete with focus groups, spin doctors, PR agencies and the whole lot. Forget “serving the people”. Modern politicians just want to get elected and join the gravy train.

  3. 3 Jessica from NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 11:23

    @ Ros

    LA desc: LOL—- wait let me compose my self… nope, not yet…. LOL…

    @ Pangolin

    Yeah, I think NY might be right behind Cali. Our current governor is calling NYC politicians vampires (they both belong to the same political party). We’re not very high on the mature meter.

  4. 4 Selase
    September 10, 2008 at 11:34

    There is little to beileve when Politians talk today. For an African who lives with corruption and its effects on our lives, I have learnt that breeds of the kinds who are called politicians will not put their money where their mouth is. Why should believe what they say. I must admit that Obama does spark some temptaions in me. I dont know if I actaully believe what he says but I find myself tagging along when I listen to his speeches. As to if he deliver on his promises if he becomes president can only be judged by Americans if they let him become the president.
    Selase. Accra.

  5. 5 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 11:38

    Absolutely politics have are a soap opera. They scary part for Americans and the world is that this soap opera does not end when we turn off the TV or close the book. It effect all our lives around the world in a very direct way.

    “Sarah Palin made it very clear in her convention speech that she’s not interested in going to Washington to seek the approval of the media set.”

    Palin has a double standard for what she means when saying she doesn’t want media approval, because her campaign has no quorums about using the media to manipulate their image and sell their fake messages.

  6. 6 Lubna
    September 10, 2008 at 12:13

    Hi my Precious Ros… Ah, and since when do we have any trust or faith in politics and politicians in the 1st place ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad… PS, I do not trust any media organisation except 1-Iraqi : Al Sumeria TV and Radio Dijla FM 2-Arab : The BBC Arabic Service 3-International : The BBC World Service…

  7. 7 steve
    September 10, 2008 at 12:27

    Hey Ros, get a psychologist on air to talk about politicians and personality disorders. Time to put an end to this issue.

  8. 8 Robert
    September 10, 2008 at 12:42

    It’s not that I don’t trust them I just think that the focus on style and spin has produced government that are worse than before. I just don’t think they know what to stand for in tough decisions.

    Nowadays with style and spin its all about the votes. Policies are picked for the best vote winning appeal but when inconsistencies occur with other policies they panic, (e.g. cut taxes and increase spending). Policies now are selected for tomorrows headlines and not the long term good of the country, with the UK’s 10p tax rate and stamp duty holidays being just the examples that spring quickly to mind. Without governments truly knowing what they stand for it is difficult to operate and make the difficult choices.

  9. 9 Brett
    September 10, 2008 at 12:45

    The media and corporate and/or personal agendas have destroyed trust in politics… Or just confused the hell out of the public.

  10. September 10, 2008 at 13:11

    Ros, you must have been in SF in the gay area (the upnormal people) when you said nobody likes Sara Palin here.
    I do not believe in conspiracy theories at all like some of the commentators here, but I think politics brings a lot of business since the politicians spend a lot to get their message.

  11. 11 Brett
    September 10, 2008 at 13:17

    @ Hiam:
    Ros, you must have been in SF in the gay area (the upnormal people) when you said nobody likes Sara Palin here.

    The majority of people I know living in CA who can’t stand Palin are straight…

  12. September 10, 2008 at 13:20

    I am sick and tired of the lies and cheating and corruption that is the norm when it comes to “administrations”, “governments”,our politicians elect.
    I am a father of four kids and it is embarrassing to explain the mess that is going on.

    What have we done? We have let a bunch of hoodlums loose on this planet and it looks horrible.

    All this Spin, this outrageous pap that comes out out these people, while they feather their nest at our expense…

    And it’s not just words.Governments kill our children with their greed and corruption.

    I think they should be told that we have had enough and it’s time to stop, get another job.

    But who the heck would employ Bush, or Blair?

    They are proven idiots.

    And the list goes on.

    We suffer.

    This Bailing Out the corporate mess…. why do we have to pay for this?

    It’s a rip off.

    These fat cats, what do they know?


    TWO TRIBES GO TO WAR – Frankie Goes To Hollywood

    Couldn’t have said better myself.



  13. 13 John in Salem
    September 10, 2008 at 13:30

    Take away all the modern media and American politics sounds exactly like it did 200 years ago, when the average voter trusted the government even less than they do today.

  14. 14 Angela in Washington
    September 10, 2008 at 13:37


    I completely agree with you. Most of the people I know are more confused about the biased media coverage than anything else. I mean those networks biased against McCain and biased against Obama.


    Additionally, there are gay people all around CA. They are not just in SF. Plus as Brett stated, most of the people I know from CA that are not fond of Palin are straight. Plus all gay people are not democrats or liberals.

  15. 15 bjay
    September 10, 2008 at 13:46

    Have style and spin destroyed our trust in politics?

    TVs La,La Land.
    (way you come across)
    If the camera likes you, we like you too !!!

  16. 16 Kenny In Florida
    September 10, 2008 at 13:49

    Ha, ha, LOL! Do the people who teach these eco-therapy sessions attend smug-as-hell seasons? LOL! Oh California, what ever will we do with you?

  17. September 10, 2008 at 13:49

    Not really. The unwavering belief in lies and hypocrisy by the voters has destroyed trust in politics. That combined with people lack of priority in voting has escalated it. People are more willing to just accept the most preposterous lies, extremely embellished resumes, and unrelated skill sets because they are too busy to actually research and weigh the information. If they did, “marketing” or “spin” wouldn’t be effective.

    However, I know people who have spent more time this week watching their fantasy football teams then researching the candidates and the effect of their policies. But they have staunch “beliefs” about some of the isses.

  18. 18 bjay
    September 10, 2008 at 13:59

    Have style and spin destroyed our trust in politics?

    TVs La,La Land.
    (way you come across)
    If the camera likes you, we like you too !!!
    The issue of the Fruit of the Loom or Calvin Cline, comes in the latter stage.

  19. 19 Kenny In Florida
    September 10, 2008 at 14:00

    Has style and spin destroyed our trust in politics? Nah, I personally can’t wait to see the Super Cheesy Political 2008 Debates, brought to you by your good friends at Cheetios. With live floor coverage brought to you by McDonald’s new, not so all beef, I’m loving it burger. []

  20. 20 Kaidala Danappiah
    September 10, 2008 at 14:12

    50 Indian rupees (around $1)for one vote, a saree for one vote, a colour TV for five votes,a bottle of liquor for 50 votes,a fake voter’s ID card for 100 votes, a few “good men” who can capture voting booths for 1000 votes, and some other essentials…oh I almost forgot…a set of ten rich-idiots who can stand for elections.

    This is what it takes to run an election in India.
    I do not think US is any different. They just make it look decent and ‘legally’ organized.

  21. September 10, 2008 at 14:13

    The issues of the day are far more complex then they were when the only thing that mattered was “who was going to stop the banks from being robbed?” At the start we had our own plot of land that we either owned or were a slave on. There was no healthcare, no highways, no gas prices, need for higher learning, and everybody had to have a gun. Today we are a giant “Commune”. The individualism that allowed us to become “America” has been paved over. There is no more living your life with your actions completely removed from society. Every change in policy affects many other issues. However, We do less and expect more from our government. We create our own problems then spend more time fighting about who to blame then how to fix it. This will ultimately be not only be the undoing of western cultures, but of mankind.

  22. 22 bjay
    September 10, 2008 at 14:18

    September 10, 2008 at 1:25 pm
    Have style and spin destroyed our trust in politics?

    bjay connotation with accent.

    YE! The ‘blody-mary’ force me to do this.com
    California the real ‘plastic world the states union.
    In politics, the style is the ‘first and for most’.
    Brainy politician hardly ever one the election in the states.
    ( exception: Jefferson, Lincoln,Federal, ye-Nixon too.
    YE! When come to style, you cannot come to the better place than California.
    Motto in California: new age religions,safe the world,
    appointments with your phycologist,
    go to the plastic Surgin,
    jugging while you making a phone call
    and having discussion about Obama Mama hair do.
    We are the world, we are the children……..
    Na come on!
    Humor me, I might be fickle!!!
    Na come on!

  23. 23 parth guragain,nepal
    September 10, 2008 at 14:31

    what i think is that media have developed very much recently.here in nepal we are seeing recently increasing number of news channels.there is compitition between these channels.so they put news in very sensational so that more people listen and watch their channel.so definately politics is potrayed as a soap opera.

  24. 24 Kaidala Danappiah
    September 10, 2008 at 14:32

    @Dwight From Cleveland,

    You seem to be pessimistically optimistic. I agree with you on most of what you have said through out this discussion. However, what we should remember is there were elements then which could exploit the situation better than others and even now we have elements which take the big chunk away from our world. (with or without legitimacy)

    Who are those who do less and expect more?
    Who are those who do not do anything and get a lot?
    Who are those who do a lot and get nothing?

    It is hard answer these in this big big world.
    There are too many lose ends and too many loop-holes.

  25. 25 Roy, Washington DC
    September 10, 2008 at 14:36

    @ Kaidala Danappiah

    The US equivalent to all those things comes in the form of corporate bribes…err, “campaign contributions”. Given that the US has pretty much become a plutocracy, those are essential if you want to win an election.

  26. September 10, 2008 at 14:43

    Really, this is very interesting topic for today’s discussion.

    I don’t think so. Today politics is not just influences and affects by socioeconomic factor. The dynamics of politics is being broadened day after day. That’s why we can see easily game of politics in every field. So how only style and spin remain isolated from politics? It helps to attract more public interests and better understand about issues raised by politicians.

    But in Nepal you can see just opposite. Style and spin is too far topics in Nepali politics. Still Nepali politics is suffering from traditional way. But revolution is coming slowly.

  27. 27 Kaidala Danappiah
    September 10, 2008 at 14:43

    @Roy, WDC

    So, you have policy makers funding policies.
    Media is also a policy maker. Because, it is also a corporate body.

    We have heard a lot about FOX vs CNN, haven’t we?

  28. 28 John D. Augustine - WI USA
    September 10, 2008 at 14:50

    Sadly, style is a fixture in US politics for at least the forseeable generations to come. Some might say Ronald Reagan was the first politician to command the power of style, but that would be forgetting the Carter cardigan, not to mention the style and grace of JFK against Nixon’s influenza complicated flop sweat.

    In fact, Nixon never would have been President if Bobby, the Democrats’ champion of style in ’68 hadn’t been taken out of the picture. But Nixon was at least qualified for the job. Despite every mistake he made, will be remembered in the words “only Nixon could go to China.”

    What sets Ronald Reagan apart in my mind, is that he was elected for his personality, without any of the qualifications needed to make the decisions a president is called upon to make. If history is fair, he will be remembered less for the words “tear down this wall” and more for his aproval of mining the harbors of Nicaragua, and the words “I am a Contra.” Would that our nation had been more frightened of terrorists hiding under the beds back then.

    There is an easy fix to the problem, though. In a word: education. But not the sort of ‘schooling is for the purpose of increasing test scores and employment statistics’ that we seem to be pursuing today. I mean the kind of education that starts by teaching children to think for themselves and question others at the earliest possible ages.

    But there are many books written about that already. No point in my going on about it here. Style and elections was the question of the day, wasn’t it? I think “old Doc Brown” got it right in the movie BACK TO THE FUTURE when he said: “No wonder your president’s an actor. He’s gotta look good on television.”

  29. 29 Marco Lavoie
    September 10, 2008 at 14:51

    If politicians were doing their jobs and have a political system for the people by the people than citizens would be serve. Folks we have the technology to have a true democratic system where the majority influence the policies making process, as long as technology is use to control citizens or use against one another, wars will rages, exploitations will continues, lies & deceives will divides our common goals and destroy societies. These world systems were creates by our ancestors to benefit us and to have some sort of civilize order, with the evolutions of technology & communication, citizens have become more inform, educated & knowledgeable , myself I don’t think politics has change much over the year what have change is its citizens as long as we have people using people threw technology and controlling or having power & thirst for more over other civilization by not sharing newly discover technology & knowledge or using technology to control others and wage wars, the world is doom. We , individuals, have the power to change old political systems that does not meet XXI century problems. I have fate in mankind but have concerns about democratic institutions been highjack by interest group as Hitler & his SS did before WWII, in my opinions the world financial system is bankrupt and the elites (dividends lovers, bourgeois, CEO’s, MGO’s & Financers) do not want to loose control …..

    May God bless this New World Order & its economic systems

    In only God I trust

  30. September 10, 2008 at 14:51

    really cynical in nature,
    when they say,
    looks dear,when they do,
    looks enemies,
    contradiction in both has destroyed the trust.

    It has been subject of all
    relating to politics.
    You can say i am trustworthy witness
    in this connection.

    In politics,
    bloomberg faces
    becomes like dried leaf,
    but after succession
    and enter into position
    takes a remakable delightfull change
    because changed absolutely change internaly
    so trust is destroyed.

  31. 31 Julie P
    September 10, 2008 at 14:52

    Style and spin have been a part of American politics since its inception.

  32. September 10, 2008 at 14:53

    Now apply all the aforementioned to Alaska:
    For the town of Wassila to benefit to the tune of millions of dollars wastefully and for the ‘bridge to nowhere’ to even have been conceived is a corrupt travesty. When citizens in New Orleans have to endure what they did and still do whilst a ‘windfall’ location is pumped with cash as incentives is wrong. For a location to be bribed to live there is wrong. For the ‘few’ to have all this money placed at their disposal is wrong. No wonder a person might be so motivated as Palin with such benefits flowing. The fact that she might have reduced the waste and opulence is not the whole story. If as I read it the citizens each get an annual dividend of $1600 for just ‘being’ then no wonder one might not worry over an additional child or indeed a nice large Catholic family. Round it up to ten and make the math easier?

    The difference that I see in the way that Britain works is that ALL citizens benefit from natures windfalls and all Brits can afford to have children which many American couples that I have met cannot? It appears that Alaskans have a lot in common with Brits. A pity it applies just to Alaska? What about New Orleans?

    You have to see the anomaly of the Alaskan way to properly define any issues surrounding Palin. You have to see the benefit of participation. You have to see the likelihood of little opposition. You have to see the fine rewards and the power. You have to see the power struggle with oilmen and the local benefits as a good motivation. You have to see that the power to decide that hunting game by helicopter and plane might be lucrative if not a little inhumane. Clearly McCain saw her results without evaluating the ease of passage.

    She has had an easy ride. She has not any special skills to bring to Washington. She was right place right time. This could not happen in Britain. She would have to stand out to her peers. They would choose her and not just one man. In Britain we choose the party and they choose the leader. Blair was easily deposed.

    Think again USA. She looked good at first glance and her journalistic skills serve her well but she is no match for the decisions and actions that the leader of the United States of America has to make instantly.

  33. September 10, 2008 at 14:57

    How about if a Brit was to tell you how to run a country? I’ll give it a go. I have lived here seven years. I am entitled to observe the differences and talk of them. You may not like it. In terms of the polarization of the US right now, I don’t see that as a problem in the UK. I see total diversification. I remember a polarized Scotland though in the sixties. I was married to a Scot and saw the Shipyard and the QE2 about to be launched. Good times for Glaswegians and work enough for everyone. It did not stay like that though.

    One of the things that struck me as an Englishman was that everyone was either Celtic or Rangers. Catholic or Protestant. It divided every town and every company. Whole factories were either one or the other. They wore green or blue. Pubs even were divided into green or blue. All the fighting was between the two of them and there was much fighting. I went to the home of an aunt who had a bare light bulb from the ceiling and threadbare carpet and little furniture but the largest TV I had ever seen. When an English team was playing a Scottish one on TV I was expected to attend and take the ridicule in good heart. I did mostly.

    Things changed over time both to my marriage and to the economy of the shipbuilders. Steel workers and miners were also affected. Shipbuilders shut down and mines closed and so did steelworks. Many Scots moved to Corby in Mid England just for work. Many just lived on the dole. Many of the northern towns of England were also affected. I knew of a town where almost no one had worked for years. The south had to subsidize the north. Miners went on strike and caused the Labour Party to be unelectable for about thirteen years. Eventually car manufacturers went north for the work force and things abated and have improved.

    What has this got to do with the States? I am coming to that right now. All during that time the richer part of the UK ‘kept’ the poorer part. Then natural gas was discovered and gas platforms built along side Aberdeen and pipelines built to service the whole of Britain. There was work once more for the Scot and that is the case to a point right now. Here is my question. Who deserves to benefit from the good fortune of the gas and oil in the North Sea? Should it go purely to Aberdeen and Scotland or should Britain’s ALL benefit? Should the locals be given a windfall for happening to live close to the energy fields or should the United Kingdom benefit? I think that health care instead of the bridge to nowhere might be something to reflect on a bit?

  34. 34 selena in Canada
    September 10, 2008 at 14:57

    That’s a good question!

    But, upon reflection, it occurs to me that politics is not much different today than it ever was throughout history.

    There are always two warring sides and there are always ways to get out the message. Even today, word of mouth is the best way to get your message out there and heard.

    People have always believed what they are told by someone they like or fear. Education has not increased the ability of humans to stop and look before they leap on a bandwagon. Palin and Obama certainly prove that!

  35. 35 steve
    September 10, 2008 at 14:57

    @ Julie P

    While I think that might be true, ever since the mass media, it has gotten worse. Back in the early 19th century, there was new TV, no radio, no photography. Most people never even got to see what a politician looked like other than from perhaps a drawing in a newspaper or a portrait. Now they can get instant attention, so different people, who love attention are in politics now. Can you imagine the current politicians today wanting to be politicians in an era when there was no national attention, no photographs, no TV coverage, etc? I think not.

  36. 36 Des Currie
    September 10, 2008 at 14:58

    Imagine if Marie Antoinette had been thrust into the media spotlight in her day.
    Even without the spotlight she had her head chopped. Would it be extraordinary to think that we are going to need a whole shipload of chopping blocks soon?
    I hope I can be a chopmaster when the time comes.
    Des Currie

  37. 37 Kelsie in Houston
    September 10, 2008 at 14:59

    @ original question:
    Unfortunately yes: slick news graphics, forests of “poll numbers,” and the stridency of the “talking heads” have numbed the American electorate to the real importance of the presidential (and Congressional) election. The willingness of much of the media to be co-opted into the spin generation of certain interests and/or campaigns has also negatively impacted not only our “trust” in politics, but also our confidence in the media as a viable and legitimate source of information.

  38. 38 Kaidala Danappiah
    September 10, 2008 at 15:02

    Politician proposes, Media disposes.
    Yes, I do not know whether God plays dice, however, I do know that Media plays GOD!

  39. 39 Julie P
    September 10, 2008 at 15:05


    You THINK it might be true. It is true try reading the campaigns of Jefferson/Adams and Jackson/Adams, Jr. Our history is not all romatic illusions. Politics regardless of the century has always attracted people who are love power. However, you’re fixated on your position with politicians, so just keep beating that drum.

  40. 40 Darrin Auxier
    September 10, 2008 at 15:13

    I think that politicians have destroyed our trust in politics. “Style and spin” happen to be the focus of the media because that’s what sells. Pundits spend way too much time analyzing what politicians say or “need to say” instead of analyzing the proposed legislation coming out of those politicians.

  41. September 10, 2008 at 15:16

    Kaidala Danappiah,

    I think you meant for those questions to be kind of rhetorical, but there are some generalized answers to them on the world scale and slightly more specific on the US front.

    I am talking about involvement in the political system as defined by “do”. “They” are the people who sit around complaining about having to choose “the lesser of two evils” but don’t know the actual platform of either. Their “evil” definition is based upon the marketing strategy of the candidates. “Spin”. They are the ones that think Obama is a Muslim, and that that is a bad thing even if he was. “do lessers” believe the president can do all kinds of things he can’t which means they never even researched their own constitution.

    Those that don’t do anything politically and get a lot are the system privileged. In the past it has been the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, in the country. The ones that think, “well my parents came from nothing and I made it. Why should I vote to give a leg up just because of their skin color?’

    Those that “do a lot and get nothing” are the ones out working tirelessly at the local level for campaigns and platforms that they have researched and believe in. But time and time again they loose the battle to “Spin”. Yet they get up and try again, and again, suffer character attacks, and personal losses.

  42. 42 Kaidala Danappiah
    September 10, 2008 at 16:02


    I beg to disagree here. I wanted to highlight something else, I think we have witnessed an increasing ‘blurness of distinction’ between the above three categories in an election. (generally in any society)

    What you say sounds true on face value. Nonetheless, deep down they are all same. Media always tries hard to draw lines on various categories. Media is also made of flesh and blood, you see. Campaigners, Beurocrats, Corporates, Activists, NGOs, Self Help Groups, and you name them. All of them wear the same goggles, same dress and have the same voice. All of them do-less, do-more, take-less, and take-more.

    I did say that we have people who did better than others in whatever they did. However, all of them belong to the same flock.

    Ironically, the question remains. Who are those who are “all that”?

  43. 43 Robert
    September 10, 2008 at 16:03

    I think we (the general electorate) killed our own trust in politics. We know longer care to hear the long complex arguments and want everything in soundbites not waiting for the ifs or buts which a lot of complex plans will require. We seem to assume that politicians will do what we think they will do, and so when they don’t we feel that a trust has been broken. By not thinking for ourselves we are taken in by the spin and style.

    The spin and style are a symptom of the same disease that has killed our trust, it is not the cause of the loss of trust.

  44. 44 David Russell
    September 10, 2008 at 16:11

    Politics have been spun for quite some time now. In the last few elections in the US, the recent elections in Mexico, and recent elections in a few other countries that I cannot recall precisely – the presidential election was so close and were won by such a small margin that recounts were either suggested, or done. This indicates (in my opinion) that people are not more informed but that the political candidates and their machines tell everyone what they want to hear. If every candidate says the same thing then what happens is a 50/50 split and it all comes down to personality, or shall I say, the candidate with the least negative baggage. That is where the negative adverts do their damage.

  45. 45 Jens
    September 10, 2008 at 16:31

    the issue is that the vast majority of americans have been trained to act like goldfish. any meassage that is longer than 15 seconds and contains words that are longer than two sylaballs are incomprahensable and therfore not understood and ignored. pity we are truely approaching the lowest commen denominator, which is evident since intelligence and intellect are apparently something suspiciouse and evil. just look at how the hoards treat intellectuals…..

  46. 46 Lauren
    September 10, 2008 at 16:36

    Style and spin have corrupted politics. I understand that this is a historical election, blah, blah, blah… but I am so sick of the childish bickering, the attacks, the conventions (I live and work in downtown St. Paul and I’m still fuming about the RNC). And the commercials- oh god the commercials- I seriously have to watch stuff like The Daily Show just to get my sanity back! 😉
    People need to be informed about politics, but all these commentators, and analysts and experts, when they’re not spinning for one side or the other, they’re just spinning. Politicians should be required to write a manifesto up front- no attacks on the other candidates or parties, just their own words declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views. The commercials need to go, mindless media coverage needs to go, and actually facts, statistics, voting records, detailed summaries about all the aspects of the issues voted on- no stating that someone voted for such and such a bill and only mention one aspect when there were 10 other things attached to said bill that can change the context. It’s like saying someone voted for the war when the other option on the table was to nuke an entire country- big difference that could possibly change my opinion of someone.

  47. 47 maina
    September 10, 2008 at 16:38

    of course spin has destroyed trust in politics…a politician’s appearance is designed to make him/her more appealing to voters…we go around giving them credit for speeches but these speeches are written by an army of pr practitioners..politicians are more like actors, reading lines and giving the right body language… so, in January when the tallying up of American votes is done, the announcer should say, ‘And the award for best actor goes to_________’

  48. 48 Greg in the US
    September 10, 2008 at 16:56

    How can this be? Everyone in America apparently loves Mrs. Palin according to the media? It’s all they cover. They like the unsafe sex image and also the teen pregnancy issue. They were cheering for it at the GOP convention for gosh sakes. This is the decade of shame and decadence in America and I fear we haven’t seen the bottom of it yet. This election will be decided on the basis of a “youtube” video. Guaranteed.

  49. 49 John
    September 10, 2008 at 17:27

    Do politicians have to destroy each other to make their agenda viable?
    The lies and the half truths that are being manifest in all the political arenas is enough to wish for a computer to run the world!

  50. 50 Spike, Pittsburgh
    September 10, 2008 at 17:32

    It should be legislated that no actor be allowed a political opinion. Actors, by the nature of the craft, are not thinkers. They are good at reading someone else’s words.
    California is the land of “fruits and nuts.” That goes for its people, too. Actors, anxious to get their picture in the papers in every way, are quite happy to give a political opinion. But look at the source: the image of motherhood — Angelina and Brittney.

  51. 51 shaun in halifax
    September 10, 2008 at 17:44

    Oh H*LL NO! Watching political discourse is like watching an episode of The Three Stooges.

    My opinion is that anybody who wants to be a leader should be automatically disqualified from running because their motives for running are, at base, selfish. I don’t remember the exact wording of the proverb but it goes something like “having power works best with those who want it least.” I figure this is because they understand the responsibility that comes with power and don’t want it to begin with. However if it’s forced on them they perform admirably.

  52. 52 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 17:45

    @ Selena and Julie

    The jaded person in me who does not trust any politicians certainly agrees 150% with you. History certainly proven this therory time and time again. Most of the time it is a matter of picking the worst of two evils when electing a politician, which is discouraging. On the flip side, it can be empowering to believe in politicians when they speak to our beliefs. When we have so much at stake aren’t we duty obligated to speak up and take action? Especially when it effects our qualify of life for years to come?

    Color me idealistic, but I have never found it useful to believe in something I wasn’t willing to fight for and defend.

  53. 53 steve
    September 10, 2008 at 17:47

    LOL @ Shaun

    Are you trying to pretend to be me?

  54. 54 shaun in halifax
    September 10, 2008 at 17:48

    To understand just how bad it is, here’s a 10 minute youtube video with Jon Stewart (of The Daily Show) on Crossfire. I’m led to believe that his appearance on the show, and the points he made, led CNN to cancel it.


  55. 55 shaun in halifax
    September 10, 2008 at 17:49

    @ Steve

    Haha. Not on your life. I have too much fun shaking my fist at some of your posts! I just happen to agree with you on this one.

  56. 56 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 17:56

    @ shaun in halifax

    RE Jon Stewart on Crossfire.

    That was the major reasons it was canceled. I was on the hill that season and had a chance to sit in the live audience twice, but not the night Jon Stewart was a guest… we talked about it for weeks.

  57. 57 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 17:58

    It is unfortunate that style and spin are a part of the politics. That is why I have not made my mind up as to whom to vote for this election cycle. I want wait until the debates are over before I make my mind up.

  58. September 10, 2008 at 18:04

    Have style and spin destroyed our trust in politics?

    Nope – but as I watch this US election what does destroy my trust is – the American press and electorate.

    The press because they buy into the spin the Republicans are spewing – no substance, no policy, and simple lies – I was on a CNN forum and, funnily enough, many of those on there said the same as me – if this election was taking place in Europe (UK) the BBC, ITV, SKY, Channel4 would be ripping the Republicans to bits because they haven’t allowed a person one heart beat away from presidency to speak.

    The American voter because they are not shouting from the roof-tops because the press is allowing this to happen.

    Hell – even The Sun would be all over this one if it was happening in the UK.

  59. 60 Jonelle -Los Angeles
    September 10, 2008 at 18:05

    Spin has always been a part of politics. Style is a recent factor in politics. Just since the 20th Century has style played a large part. Remember the Nixon debate? Nixon sweating bullets and looking shifty, how many voters were swayed by that image? TV has impacted politics and brought style to the forefront. As for Spin…negative campaigning gets in the way of the real issues and seem to be used as a bait and switch tactic. Which poses the question; is it about getting elected or what you are going to do? Sadly, I think it is about winning for most politicians and not about what they are going to do when in office.

  60. 61 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 18:08

    @ shaun in halifax

    “having power works best with those who want it least.”

    Sooo true. I have resultantly come to accept that narcissism is a prerequisite to become a politician.

    @ fighting dirty/ soap opera

    *sign* it’s necessary when ultimate power is at stake. Look at Obama trying to play nice and how Bush’s brother McCain has mislead the public with his latest campaign ad saying Obama was to teach kindergartens kids about sex before they learn to read. McCain/Palin disgusted me. Oh and McCain, used the “put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig” comment when describing Hillary Clinton’s health care plan. Explain double standards and sexism again, GOP.

  61. September 10, 2008 at 18:08

    @ Spike in Pitt,

    Does that include Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fred Thompson, and
    Jessie Ventura? I would love to remove from the books any policy created od influenced by these “actors”.

  62. September 10, 2008 at 18:09

    The media IS destroying politics.

    Instead of witnessing a substantive exchange of ideas and rationally thought out positions on the important issues of the day, we are witnessing the trivialization of our political system, reflected in an inundation of talking head ‘sound-bites,’ about lipstick on pigs (or pitbulls), about rumored religious ties (Obama being a Muslim, in spite of actual fact), and about who is or isn’t patriotic as ‘proven’ by whether a lapel pin is worn.

    As a American who votes regularly, I am disgusted… and IF the American public is SO gullible as to believe the trivial bilge being spouted by the McCain/Palin campaign and their base at FOX News, the final and total DUMBING of America will have been demonstrated.

  63. 64 Alexander
    September 10, 2008 at 18:10

    The entire argument that mentioning “lipstick on a pig” is demeaning to Sarah Palin comes across as a desperate act to distract the media from researching and reporting on Sarah Palin’s short public record by putting the media on the defensive.

  64. September 10, 2008 at 18:12

    Of course the campaign is ridiculous, but can you think of a better way to allow millions of people to give input into the selection of their leader?

    Karen in Oregon

  65. 66 James, B.A. USA
    September 10, 2008 at 18:12

    A good example is this thing with the McCain running mate, Sarah Palin, continuing to say she was against and stooped the “Bridge to Nowhere.” When, in fact, not only was she originally for it, but took the $220 million even after the U.S. congress killed the bridge. If you say something long enough- true or not- it will be accepted as true.

  66. 67 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 18:13

    @ Ros,

    LOL too late you said it… Sara Pain has has no brain. Good recovery.

  67. 68 Janet
    September 10, 2008 at 18:13

    I used to read a lot of political blogs and follow political news closely.

    Then, during the US presidential primary I realized that stupid controversies were all that anybody was talking about. I was spending a lot of time angry about things I couldn’t do anything about and didn’t even care about. So I quit reading the blogs and stopped paying attention to the political news. I know who I’m going to vote for.

    Unfortunately, I made the mistake of breaking my news fast during the conventions. I’m going back into my hole now — wake me in November.

  68. 69 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 18:13

    Paula does have the qualifications. She is a Governor of Alaska. Most president have first been Governors of a state. Look at your history please!

  69. 70 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 18:14

    Sorry, Sara

  70. September 10, 2008 at 18:19

    I’m a strong Obama fan but in a strange way I hope the republican spin wins them the nomination. Perhaps when this country hits rock bottom then the voters that voted for the Republicans will realize that smear campaigns truly don’t help the economy.

  71. 72 Jens
    September 10, 2008 at 18:20

    what can you do in a country where 15 sec sound bits and personal attacks counts more than real politics and issues.

    i still cannot belive that poor middle class whites are voting for the republicans, even after decades of having been raped and deprived by them. it is a mindset so alien to me…

  72. 73 Vik
    September 10, 2008 at 18:22

    I am quite put off by this election, I am quite disgusted by the role media is playing in the elections. The media is so biased towards Obama that they make every other candidate look so unqualified. I am not a Palin fan but am quite shocked by the criticism see she is receiving. What I can not understand is what makes Obama so qualified for this job, his track record does not reflect on how well he can run a country. Obama is a perfect example of excellent branding & marketing, all style little substance. It all comes down to who can entertain the most and who can help media with their ratings. Politics would not be so much about entertainment if media did not make it into one.

  73. September 10, 2008 at 18:26

    Kaidala Danappiah,

    “The same flock” idea is romantic, but impracticable. The bottom line is the crack addict in the project has political views as well as a Harvard law grad. Both have an equal right to vote. However, the demographic is such that there is way more project dwelling crack addicts then there are Harvard law grads. Both have a right to vote. But one is more apt to be influenced by “unsound logic” then the other. Removing the pre-stated labels, and looking at them only as “voters”. They belong in two very different categories.

    The category that spends no time researching candidates and policies are susceptible to “spin”. That group has grown over the years.

  74. 75 selena in Canada
    September 10, 2008 at 18:27


    I have never felt the need to defend anything, for I believe it is the need to defend that
    creates unrest in our lives.

    If we truly believe that others have the same rights as we do, there should be no need to defend anything.

    Politics should be strictly about policy. We should vote for the policy that best suits our needs. Personalities and spin (lies) should not be a part of the political process.

    Yes, I know that’s a pipe dream. But where would we be without our dreams? 🙂

  75. September 10, 2008 at 18:27

    To the surfer guy that just commented on the show if you don’t know Obama’s views and policies by now then you clearly haven’t been following anything that’s been going on in the last year. People who say they are undecided are either lying or they are just clueless about what the choices are in this election year.

  76. 77 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 18:28

    @ Surfer dude

    If you read anything on Obama and McCain they have taken stance on many issues. But, I understand you can’t take a newspapers, radios or TVs out on your surf board, so I guess we’re lucky you knew who Obama and McCain are.

  77. 78 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 18:28

    Here is information on the Population of Alaska. So please let your guy know how stated the low population in Alaska.
    The estimated 1999 population of Alaska was
    622,0001. As of April 1, 2000, the population of Alaska
    numbered 626,932 persons.2 Alaska currently ranks
    48th in population out of the 50 states; only Wyoming
    and Vermont have fewer people. Alaska’s population
    density is 1.06 persons per square mile.
    In 1999, the distribution of racial and ethnic groups in
    Alaska was as follows1:
    • White: 73.7%
    • Alaska Native: 16.8%
    • African-American: 4.4%
    • Asian/Pacific Islander: 5.0%
    • Hispanic origin (all races): 4.7%

  78. September 10, 2008 at 18:31

    @ Selena in Canada

    I agree with you however one of the biggest problems in America is that people are more interested in themselves and what the government is going to do to raise their standard of living as opposed to what the government can do for the nation as a whole. A someone who has lived in Europe this is one of the defining differences between Americans and Europeans. AMERICANS ARE SELFISH!!!

  79. September 10, 2008 at 18:31

    Thea, She has been governor for only 20 months, during which time she got pregnant and had a child that has Downs and is 5 months old. How much time do you realy think she has spent on the job? The state of Alaska has the population of the city of Chicago. It kind of governs itself.

    Also she is no lawyer. She has not had experience with the skills required research, argue, and influence that come naturally with a Harvard law degree. If you were hiring a president instead of electing one, these are the skills that you would look for.

    BTW her name is Palin.

  80. 81 Jessica from Oregon
    September 10, 2008 at 18:34

    Wow, world have your say is certainly feeling superior today, aren’t we?

    It is astonishing to me that you would ask this question when the reason this campaign *appears* to be more about personality than substance is certainly that the media have been too lazy to report on anything else. None of the talking-heads on television bother to research issues, so they keep talking to each other about biographies and polls.

    In the last two days each of the candidates has made major policy announcements regarding education in the United States, but are you talking about that? Nope. You are talking about celebrity, again.

    As for Hollywood fundraisers, that is evidence of nothing. Democratic presidential candidates always have big hollywood fundraisers, and Republicans always have corresponding fundraisers with oil men in Texas. It is evidence of nothing.

  81. 82 Ingo, Berlin
    September 10, 2008 at 18:34

    Monika is partly right that german campaigning is quite traditional and direct (sometimes dry) – especially on the local level.
    But Gerhard Schröder was famous for having spin doctors in the anglo-saxon style and so it is not 100% correct to say in Germany things are not as artificial – if that is what you want to call the tendency in politics.
    We are equally stuck in the ambivalence of the need to transport messages in the media-society and the distance to substance that this process creates.

  82. 83 Dan
    September 10, 2008 at 18:34

    Great show today! Every politician thinks they themselves represent a moment in history when given the chance to speak. They see history being moved by individuals and try to get others to see history that way as well come election time. Putting the force of your personality up as a force of progress naturally puts issues in a corner, in part or in whole.

  83. September 10, 2008 at 18:36

    Monika is partly right that german campaigning is quite traditional and direct (sometimes dry) – especially on the local level. But Gerhard Schröder was famous for having spin doctors in the anglo-saxon style and so it is not 100% correct to say in Germany things are not as artificial – if that is what you want to call the tendency in politics. We are equally stuck in the ambivalenz of the need to transport messages in the media-society and the distance to substance that this process creates.

    Ingo from Berlin

  84. September 10, 2008 at 18:40

    To the German speaker unfortunately in America the majority of people are not educated and they prefer the entertainment. That’s what this country is all about!

  85. 86 Sean, New Hampshire
    September 10, 2008 at 18:41

    I think the candiates should talk less about pigs and lipstick and arguing about what context it was said in and talk more about things that actually matter. Mud-slinging and spin only turn off voters – mainly those who havent decided who they want to vote for. No wonder nobody wants to participate anymore. Politicans are all flash and fluff and no substance at the end of the day.

  86. September 10, 2008 at 18:41

    I think the canddiates should talk less about pigs and lipstick and arguing about what context it was said and talkin more about things that actually matter. Mudslinging and spin only turn off voters mainly those who havent decided who they want to vote for. No wonder nobody wants to participate anymore. Politicans are all flash and fluff and no substance at the end of the day.

    New Hampshire USA

  87. September 10, 2008 at 18:42

    If you put Homer Simpson onto the ballot, he’d garner a million votes. Give it a try. It will tell you a little bit about our faith in politics.

    And why hasn’t anyone made more of a fuss about the Republican party using copyrighted music without the permission (and sometimes directly against the wishes) of the artists? What does this say for a party that is supposed to be pro-business?

    Berkeley, California

  88. 89 Sarah
    September 10, 2008 at 18:42

    Sarah Palin being nominated for vice-president is just one example of what we are talking about. She was chosen to “connect” with women because she is a working mother etc. This has to be the only reason she was chosen since her experience in politics is quite obviously not enough to help run the country. This is offensive and hurtful to women everywhere, and yet it is apparently working. This is the reason why entertainment and politics are going to be mixed together whenever needed or possible, because despite how harmful it is, it still has the desired effect intended.

  89. 91 Francesca from San Francisco
    September 10, 2008 at 18:43

    Charisma has ALWAYS counted. Politics demands abilities that are difficult to find in one person: the sort of intellectual and analytical ability that–when combined with a calm, reasonable temperament–allows a politician to grapple with the extremely complex problems of our times. And the ability to communicate a vision of the future that allows a person to lead.

    Bill Clinton had and could do both in spit of his lack of impulse control and the negative effects of that lack on our ongoing political situation. Bill can simplify complex ideas so the average person can understand them, and sound more like one of the people than one of his education and intellectual gifts could really be.

    I am completely comfortable with Barak and willing to give him the chance to show us what he can do. I don’t need him to look like me or go to my church. I hope he’s more intelligent than I and has spent more time thinking about the problems that face us–otherwise, why not make me president? But those who want a hockey mom–or whoever appears most to look like them–are going to prefer the Sarah Palins, no matter how obviously unqualified and extreme in their beliefs.

  90. 92 selena in Canada
    September 10, 2008 at 18:43


    “But, I understand you can’t take a newspapers, radios or TVs out on your surf board, so I guess we’re lucky you knew who Obama and McCain are.”

    I hope you don’t mind if I say that this struck me as a strange thing to say. Please feel free to point out my strange sayings any time. 🙂

  91. September 10, 2008 at 18:44

    Yesterday Barak Obama gave an important speech on his policies for education. Very unfortunately the media did not cover the substance of Senator Obama’s speech but did give lots of coverage to one statement, that about pigs. The media has let us down because this silly coverage only opens the door for the Republicans to respond with further vacuous statements. Instead, why not cover the meat of the speech and force the other side to respond with their policies on education. The media can go a long way to bringing the debate back to one of issues, not silly sound bites and personal attacks.

    Valle in Oregon USA

  92. September 10, 2008 at 18:45

    My mom is a feminist who says women should rule the world, She hates Abortion, and is a very religious Christian woman but she Supports Obama, and I asked why him though He is against many of the things that you believe in she said “he’s a really cute boy” (She’s 79) I asked, What do you have against McCain and Palin? she said: “McCain is milking being shot down, and Palin should be at home taking care of her kids”. I think really My mom like lotsa women are jealous of The Governatrix success. She has all the things women want in a home life, and successful in her career

    AJ in the US

  93. 95 Jonelle -Los Angeles
    September 10, 2008 at 18:45

    It is frightening to see how close the Robin Williams movie “Man of the Year” is to real life.

  94. 96 Dan
    September 10, 2008 at 18:46

    I agree with the French MP saying that politicians need to step back out of the spotlight from time to time and just work within the system. But not during an election campaign. Obama and McCain with their running mates need to stay in the public eye. Once one camp wins office, then they can do what the guest says and step back.

  95. September 10, 2008 at 18:49

    The surfer you talked to shows the American Voter’s paradox perfectly…..

    American voters don’t want to listen, and won’t remember what the candidates say on an Issue beyond “stop the war” or “no new Taxes”

    What voters do remember and tune in to, is Gossip. Dish in Dirt on the candidates, their lives and families.

    While this does provide a mirror to a candidates personality and integrity, It leave the Issues Area vacant and bare.

    What We Need To Do Is Just Shut Up And Vote after 18-Months!

    But Then You Wouldn’t Have a Program, Ros!

    Steve Cleveland, OHIO

  96. 98 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 18:52

    @ 80 dwightofcleveland
    I did make a mistake on her name. I am sorry about that.
    Granted she has only spent 20 months (= 1 and 1/2 years) in the roll but Obama has spent less time in the elected office and most of that has been spent running for president.
    As a woman I feel that the fact she had a baby is a low blow. If she were a man and had a baby I don’t think it would be an issue. Look a Tony Blair in Englend. There was no “to do” when his wife had a baby.

  97. 99 Tom D Ford
    September 10, 2008 at 18:52

    I think it is hilarious that McCain is pretending to be Obama as a “change” candidate when the very definition of Conservative means to be against change!

    And Palin, the former media reporter and beauty queen is pretending that she doesn’t want the approval of the media? Ha ha ha!

    And Palin called herself “a pitbull dog with lipstick” but protests about Obama using the “lipstick on a pig analogy’?

    And Conservative Republicans posing as Democrats on discussion boards to try and fool Democrats into voting for Palin just because she is a woman?

    Yow! What a circus!

    Only it’s not Cirque Du Soleil, but Cirque Du Darkness! (whatever the French word for darkness is?)

  98. 100 Don in Portland OR
    September 10, 2008 at 18:53

    What Senators McCain and Obama have shown us is that all politicians are whores. They will do whatever it takes to get elected. If the electorate will base their descisions on spin, that’s what they will dish out. If the electorate demanded coherent discussions of issues. That’s what they will do. It’s pretty clear the electorate reacts to style and spin and not a thoughtful discussion

  99. 101 Sean, Ohio
    September 10, 2008 at 18:56

    American voters don’t want to listen, and won’t remember what the candidates say on an Issue beyond “stop the war” or “no new Taxes”. What voters do remember and tune in to, is Gossip. Dish in Dirt on the candidates, their lives and families. While this does provide a mirror to a candidates personality and integrity, it leaves the Issues Area vacant and bare.

  100. 102 Origineous
    September 10, 2008 at 18:56

    There is no such thing as “no spin”. We all attempt to spin things in our own direction, whatever that may be. This means that it is always inherently a popularity contest; popularity of the presentation of ideas and appearance. This defines political elections, and consequently, we see politicians “riding the fence” or “flip-flopping”, attempting to gain the support of the majority.

  101. 103 Origineous
    September 10, 2008 at 18:58

    Spin is not a trend, it has always existed!

  102. 104 Kate, Portland
    September 10, 2008 at 19:00

    I have always understood flip-flop to be changing back and forth on an issue repeatedly (like a fish on dry land). It is not and should not be simply changing your mind because of new input.

    As an american I am fed up with the leaders we have now who do not change their minds despite any and all evidence on the opposite side.

  103. 105 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 19:01

    @ selena

    “Politics should be strictly about policy. We should vote for the policy that best suits our needs. Personalities and spin (lies) should not be a part of the political process.”

    So true and excellent points.

    For me many of my principles were shaped by my environment growing up. The sexism, inequality and racism I observed (not necessarily directed at me), have made those issues central to the kind of issues I want to fight for and life I want to live. I don’t think we will reached that place as you put it where “others have the same rights as we do” so we have to keep fighting for it. One of Ghandi quotes comes to mind, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”.

  104. 106 Jens
    September 10, 2008 at 19:07

    new idea

    an politician belonging to a church is not allowed to run for office, since his/her judgment will be clouded by the “god factor”, independet of his/her religion. he/she therefor does not think clearly and more importantly does not represent the intersest of every single citizen euqly well, since let say a muslim will always look down on a non-believer and fundamental christians hate atheist etc etc

  105. September 10, 2008 at 19:14


    I don’t know if anybody has pointed this out to you. After the baby is born, the argument might be ligit. (that is one of those not so obvious issues i mentioned before.) But during the pregnancy there is a difference between the father and the mother. For a woman running on the platform of being a “good mother” it runs contradictory to be running a country with a 5 month downs baby at home.

    Bar all of that. Obama has only been a senator for a term, but he has done the things that leaders do for over 20 years.

    Look at it this way. Say the transmission went in your car. you have two choices of people to pick to change it. Both want to change it. One is a guy who is a Mechanical engineer who designs cars for a major auto maker. The other is a very successful owner of a cookie manufacturing company. Neither have ever changed a transmission before. Which one are you going to let do it?

  106. 108 Jens
    September 10, 2008 at 19:15


    the cookie guy, at least i might something to snack on while he works on the car…..

  107. September 10, 2008 at 19:15

    Sara Palin took the Republican Convention by storm and seems to have impressed many in the land. I hope Americans who long for peace and change after 8 years of shame and hate brought on the U.S. by the Bush administration will have the good sense to look beyond the Palin facade. Otherwise the U.S. will end up in an even worse situation than it now is.

    Adrian Saldanha

  108. 110 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 19:17

    @ Selena

    Yes, you are right I was highly critical. Sorry. Both McCain and Obama have come out with major political stands in regards to Afghanistan in the past 2-3 days that will cost Americans billions of dollars. Jessica from Oregon, aslo pointed out the educational announcements. So to have the surfer (if someone tells me his name, I will stop calling him surfer dude) to speak so ignorantly about the two people running for president is annoying to me. Especially when he is accusing them of no substance, how would he know? The surfer barely remember their names. LOL He was the stereotypical person nightly talk show host make fun of, like Jay Leno on his Jay-walking series.

  109. 111 Jens
    September 10, 2008 at 19:33


    he might have hit either the water or the bong way to often. maybe that is his maximal capability of remebering stuff, …………you know like where is board and stash is and who the dudes are running for the pres thingy job, you girl the one in the dudiness of the snowwhite-house.

  110. 112 Charles, Kenya
    September 10, 2008 at 19:55

    The big problem today is that people of all walks of life, even politicians struggle to conform to pop culture. Today i have difficulty understanding the connection between applying lipstick on a pig and sexism

  111. 113 Osamuyi, Nigeria
    September 10, 2008 at 19:56

    I envy the style of american politics because it encourages intellectual debates. In my country its about intimidation and assassination.

  112. September 10, 2008 at 19:57

    In Mozambique, politicians hardly ever go on air, be it TV or radio. To start off with, TV is very expensive for them and they just do not have the cash. The USA elections are unique; they have live debates between rival party contenders and even internal primary elections. That is unique to the USA and it would be funny to even think about it here. l do not see anything wrong with using the entertainment media, as people, due to diversity of choice in TV channels, news channels and most definitely political broadcasts will never have the same reach at the entertainment channels. Considering the value of elections, it is imperative that people be well informed of the person they would entrust their country’s future.

    Sergio in Mozambique

  113. 115 Jamal, Tanzania
    September 10, 2008 at 19:59

    Personality of a politician directly corresponds to what voters a demanding as electable material or eligability and the confusion made by the tabloids and media in general

  114. 116 Jennifer
    September 10, 2008 at 20:04

    @ Thea

    I agree with you.

    I don’t think that men are scrutinized the way that Palin has been regarding her youngest son. You just see Obama with his wife and kids as “fillers” noone questions his parenting, what affect it’s having on his children to be in the spotlight while he runs for President, or how their lives will change if he wins this election. But that’s ALL we have heard about with regards to Palin.

    People want to make Sarah Palin out to be some neglectful mother because she is running for VP. That’s not true. If she were, her children would have been “at home” not with her when she accepted the nomination. She, as VP candidate, has more experience than Obama does. That point seems silly to consider because she is not even running for president. If something should happen to McCain, she definitely had the experience to step in. Biden seldom comes up in anything I have heard; I think he’s just Obama’s lap puppy. Honestly, I prefer that because he’s very insincere.

    Bottom line is that both parties are trying to say anything to win votes. Obama is resorting to calling people pigs and fish. McCain is crying foul and taking offense so that people will notice! The same Obama who said “lay off my wife”…. I believe that Obama put himself in a fine position to loose this election when he did not choose Hillary for a running mate. Now, he is between a rock and a hard place. He has to attack McCain/Palin to win back some votes but when he does, women will be insulted.

  115. 117 Jessica in NYC
    September 10, 2008 at 20:10


    You crack me up! By the way guess what Ben and Jerry flavor I finally found at the grocery store?

  116. 118 Jens
    September 10, 2008 at 20:39


    no what flavour would that be………

  117. 119 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 21:04

    @ dwightofcleveland
    If that is the case then all pregnant women should stay home and not work?? I think not!! Even way back when women would be in the fields providing for their families. They did not just sit at home.

    As your our other argument. I have never seen a Mechanical engineer at my Saturn dealership providing me with service. Or for that matter a cookie baker. So your argument falls short. In any case I get better service from my friend John on my car that a trained Saturn dealer and he charges less. Maybe there is a lesson here. 🙂

  118. 120 Thomas Murray
    September 10, 2008 at 21:06

    No. California’s exactly as played on TV, where everybody sees celebrities in rear view mirrors and crosswalks and, despite the fact that it is a desert and could use the fertilizer, everybody picks their dog poop.

    But if you want a pro-Sarah Palin viewpoint, go to Westwood. It’s ironic that the service village for UCLA is pro-Republican because the Republicans are perceived as pro-Israel.

    And note also that everyone’s teeth is perfect, and unnaturally bone white.

    Hope you can take in Disneyland before you leave; avoid “California Adventure” though, it’s like a County Fair, only without the animals and the rides. (FYI: “California Ad” is in Disneyland’s original parking lot.)

    Warner Brothers also offers a tour. (So did Universal, but sadly, their backlot has burned down. They saved money by building their sets out of pine, and when a welder’s torch got too close they went up like gasoline.)

    Regards. Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  119. 121 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 21:19

    @ dwightofcleveland

    As for your statement:
    “Bar all of that. Obama has only been a senator for a term, but he has done the things that leaders do for over 20 years”

    Just because he is in office and has the same responsibilities all leaders have, does not equate to experience. I am not saying that Obama will not be a good president in the future but I just feel he has a responsibility to the people who elected. He should stay in for at least his first term.

  120. 122 Thea Winter - Indianapolis IN, USA
    September 10, 2008 at 21:42

    @ Jennifer
    Thank you for your confirmation!

  121. 123 Michael
    September 10, 2008 at 22:30

    In the current USA campaign both parties are making plenty of questionable statements that often contradict each other. Whether it is spin, ignorance or deception is hard to decipher, but lately I find myself going to FactCheck.org for my reality checks.

  122. 124 Richard in Arkansas (USA)
    September 11, 2008 at 00:19

    People wonder why the U.S. is going down the tubes. Public confidence in our political system has been steadily going down since Watergate. But now, the very viability of the nation is beginning to come into question. This is very dangerous stuff.

  123. September 11, 2008 at 02:27

    @Thea Winter – Indianapolis IN, USA

    McCain is a 72 year old man that has had 4 bouts with cancer. So the reality that Palin might become president is way higher in percentages then normal. Saying a one term governor of a state that doesn’t have inner cities, disasters, poor, and all the other troubles of the “mainland” is ready to be president is hypocritical, and borderline disturbed.

    Obama has done the exact same things he is supposed to do as a president for 20 years, or really more if you want to get technical. What is he going to pick up in Washington other then the things everybody gripes about from people in Washington?

    Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, and Eisenhower were all examples of people with “less time” in Washington then Obama. Eisenhower went from the warfront to the oval office.

    Did we not forget that he was nominated!! He defeated the most powerful democratic machine in Washington. Then went on to talk to 200,000 in Germany and get a nod for his “timeline plan” from the president of Iraq.

    Obama didn’t just finish some sport school law program. He finished top of his class at Harvard. These are the skills needed to debate bills, convince world leaders, and play the mental chess game of world politics. What is that is going to magically happen to him over the course of a few years?

    I am from Cleveland. We have this dude named “Lebron James” playing basketball for us. They were nationally televising his games in high school. People tried to condemn him for not going to college. For what? So he could get either hurt or corrupted.

    I will answer the baby thing later. I just got invited out for a pint. good night all.

  124. 126 Jennifer
    September 11, 2008 at 20:27

    @ Dwight

    Would you want Biden for president if something happened to Obama?

    With regards to McCain’s age-yeah he is older but he has access to top of the line medical care and is able to take care of himself.

    I could walk outside and be attacked by a giant cupcake and die. Accidents happen every day that lead to death!

  125. 127 Emile Barre
    September 13, 2008 at 13:57

    Precipitate decline in educational standards gave birth to spin and style.

  126. September 13, 2008 at 15:53

    Some people, being fed up of the nasty politicians while cursing anyone often say, “May you join politics”.

  127. September 14, 2008 at 12:50

    Overheard, “Go to hell or join politics to be punished for the sins you commit”. 🙂

  128. September 14, 2008 at 13:00

    Some people of our time say often, “If you are fed of life go and get into politics!”

  129. September 14, 2008 at 14:32

    Some politicians affirming declaration: “What a promise it is if ever fulfilled!”

  130. September 14, 2008 at 15:50

    really, i have lost trust in polititics,

    our country has preseny really plitical drama in this connection.

    A man,
    a justice,who maintained a unique record of justice,
    who saved public money from hands of looters,
    who tried his best to provide the justice,
    every street’s corner,
    faultless absolutely faultless.

    What happened with him?
    standing in the corner,
    condidering the loopwole of democracy

    The people ,
    have no quality,without ability and credibilty,
    has been declared by consipracy power all in all,
    they made n0 struggle but smeared with bloon of cprupption cases

    I had see more,
    i have seen lot,
    verry sorry,destroyed my trust that,
    justice is the sign of humanity,
    and judiciary is the balance of whole system

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