Sometimes it is not much of a surprise when a woman opens her mouth and you hear from her own words the voice of ignorance. Case in point? Sharon Stone. She's an actress and aging globetrotting beauty. She's not a policy wonk. She seems to think it is a role she can play, however, from reading an account of her latest performance on Breitbart.com. "I feel at great pain when the spotlight is on the death of 4,000 American soldiers, while 600,000 Iraqi deaths are ignored," she said. "War is not a movie, it is a tragedy of dead bodies, victims, the disabled, orphans, widows and the displaced." Thanks for clearing that up, Sharon.
To whom did Stone spout her thoughts? Al Hayat, a pan-Arab newspaper. She spoke in English and her remarks were translated and published in Arabic. Nifty. No English translation of the transcript was available. Wonder if it was mentioned anywhere that the 600,000 number Stone tossed in as fact has been completely debunked? Nah. Keep all the drama in there.
And, then yesterday, among all the stories of Barack Obama's plagiarism of speeches from his pal Governor Patrick, of Massachuetts, comes yet another foot in mouth moment for his 'closer' wife, Michelle. Michelle Obama has, from the beginning of the campaign, served as her husband's lightening rod. She gives speeches and the press slobbers over her. She is so honest. She is so real. She's a corporate lawyer, in a high position at a Chicago hospital system. She sits on corporate boards, one in particular recently in the news for dubious contract dealings from which she receives a six figure compensation.
So, this smart political wife begins her husband's campaign stating he takes his life in his hands when he simply goes to the gas station to fill the family car, as a black man in America. Then she stated there would not be another run for president if Obama didn't have victory this time, that this is it. Then she tsk-tsked Americans as not being very philanthropic. A few days ago she said: "We have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation." That quote from NewsBusters.org. And yesterday, that this is the first time in her adult life that she is proud of America, because of the response her husband is getting from voters.
Michelle Obama is 44 years old. She has been an adult over 20 years and this is the first time she is proud of her country? Really?
This selective turning a deaf ear to Michelle Obama's less than uniting remarks reinforce the thoughts expressed by Howard Kurtz recently on his Sunday morning show on CNN, "Reliable Sources". Kurtz criticized the print and television news coverage of what is said of the presidential candidates of both parties. He was uncharactaristically frank in his speech. On Obama:
"Barack Obama gave a major speech this week in which he proposed a $210 billion plan to create construction and environmental jobs, and also to create a national infastructure investment bank." No mention of this on the networks. A fleeting mention on cable. A little bit more on newspapers." He contrasts this to Hillary Clinton's talk of going after oil company profits and her idea to create a $50 billion energy fund.
"...isn't this a tremendous default by the media to say, well, you know, these candidates, not a huge difference between them, so basically we're going to check out on the issues?"
Chip Reid on the panel said, "And it's more than that. It's not just the difference between Barack and Hillary. You can say, oh, they're so minimal, we barely need to cover them. There are differences between Barack... Between Barack and Barack. He has shifted his positions recently. That economic speech that he gave recently is a good deal more populist and anti-trade than he has been in the past. And it is our obligation to get out there and report on it."
So, to this sampling of the media today, it's all about the neck and neck race, not the actual positions of the candidates. It's all about the personalities, the swooning fans, the no-there-there. Simple slogans for simple voters.
Michelle Obama's free pass will subside as her husband moves closer to the nomination. Theresa Heinz-Kerry's did. What is now considered so honest, so refreshing will soon appear as the remarks they are - divisive, shallow and arrogant. A bit of tact and grace goes a long way.