Media election coverage double standards
The reactionary media is at it again – now they are criticizing Obama for not giving the GOP Slime Machine a chance to get a picture of him giving a speech with a couple of obvious muslims standing behind him that they can use in their news reports and viral emails spreading the lie that Obama is a Muslim.
But I can see the point of some of the veil-wearing folks excluded by the Obama team – how can it be ‘change’ when the candidate is doing the same careful stage operations as the wrong-wing guy?
Well in the grand guerrilla tradition, rather than just going down the traditional playbook, Team Obama should take a page from the greatest sales guy I ever worked with.
Back in the mists of time, the late 1980s, there was an expression in my industry that ‘nobody ever got fired for buying Blue (IBM).’ I worked for an upstart computer company at the time as a sales engineer, and it was my job, and the job of the sales guy I worked with, to ‘bust in’ to Big Blue territory, financial services companies in the Bay Area.
The sales guy in question was an ex-Blue man, a grizzled veteran who knew the Blue playbook from inside out. We had our first real prospect, a large insurer that was an all-Blue shop. A maverick IT guy was pushing our technology – the CIO spent his weekends and evenings out on the golf course with the IBM sales guy. Impossible situation, right?
Well the sales guy did some sales jiu-jitsu, turning our disadvantages to advantages. It so happened that the insurer’s disk drives were filling up. He coached our champion about what IBM would do – send an analyst out, who would putter around, create a report and recommend a lot of expensive new disk drives. But the Blue secret was that the way IBM setup databases at the time was to never ‘clean out’ deleted data or information, just deactivate it, gradually filling up storage. A simple utility could be written to clear out unused data, so no new disk was required. Our champion, filled with this secret knowledge, went behind the CIO’s back to the President and ‘predicted’ IBM’s and the CIO’s recommendation.
That was one of several examples that our sales guy and the champion used to ‘set up’ the CIO. And the result? The CIO was fired for recommending Blue!
In the case of Obama, he would do well to follow that plan. The GOP Slime Machine playbook is pretty predictable at this point. So going back to the picture of Obama with the Muslims – of course they are looking for that photo-op. So why not make it obvious?
He could start out his speech saying “If you will all notice there are two Muslim-Americans behind me. By tomorrow you’ll see this very scene, with everybody but me and these two Americans cropped out of the picture, running non-stop on Fox-News, complete with a running ticker-tape with words like “Al Qaeda, Muslim, Jihad and Islam” streaming underneath. Then, the following day, you’ll see their colleagues on other news channels like CNN & MSNBC start rehashing the same speaking points about how people all think I am Islamic. So the next two days, let’s all play a little game – every time you see this picture, or a Media Pundit say the words Obama and Muslim in the same sentence, send an email or call the station’s ombudsman and ask them why the are running this story? That’s the surest way we can stop this electioneering ‘business as usual.” Or something to that effect.
In this fashion Obama could set the agenda, rather than constantly reacting to the latest reactionary Media Echo Chamber attack.
On a related issue, Green Boy Sr. (dad) had a great suggestion about McCain’s constant whining about Obama not visiting Iraq. If Obama goes to Iraq he is just following the McCain agenda, and will get caught in bad photo ops (ill-fitting flack jacket, troops all around), and get the same orchestrated propaganda tour. However, if he blows off Iraq, and just goes straight to Afghanistan, he would have the opportunity (given the current crop of bad news as A’stan is starting to swirl faster down the drain) of seizing the initiative. “Senator McCain, where are you when Afghanistan is falling apart? Here is where you can find Al Qaeda; here is where you can find the Taliban. And here is where our troops need to be, supporting our ally, not in Iraq where we are unwanted.” Or something to that effect.