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Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

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Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Didn't we learn ANYTHING in 2000?

In a journalism career that spanned parts of four decades, I had plenty of opportunities for embarrassment, and took advantage of many of them.
Nearly every blush, to be honest, was self-inflicted. I cringe now when I read some of the stuff I wrote Back Then, though for the record I'm still pretty proud of my forecast in 1988 that George Bush The First would be a reviled one-termer.
The No. 1 grovel-inducer of my professional life, though, as well as the second-place finisher, both were committed by big-J Journalism as an entity, and I think it's about to step on its crank again.
Just to get them out of the way:
No. 1, hands down, was the way the national media kowtowed to Bush II after the World Trade Center attacks. For a couple of years, the administration got no criticism. Subvert the Constitution, invade the wrong country, lose track of its primary target and then declare that Osama bin Missing wasn't so important after all--the "liberal" national media bought it all, faithfully passed along the party line and covered up more holes than a barrel of Spackle. Things got so bad that when journalists finally started doing their jobs again, a lot of people cited it as evidence of a liberal media conspiracy. Even now, some portray dissent as a form of treason.
No. 2 was the coverage of the 2000 presidential election, the early prediction of victory for Al Gore (who did, lest we forget, actually win), then the cack-handed failure to explain the mechanism of the forecast. There was a national epidemic of self-flagellation, mass donning of hair shirts and a blizzard of solemn vowing: We've learned our lesson, the media swore. We'll never do that again.
Yet here we are in 2008, and those same media have it figured out: It's over for Hillary Clinton and John McCain; Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee will fight it out for the White House. . . .
Oh, no, wait: That was last week. This week it's over for Obama and Huckabee; clearly, the battle will be between Clinton (whose one-loss campaign supposedly was "resurrected" by its current one-straight win streak) and McCain. And next week . . . who knows? But it will change again, and the experts will realign.
To be honest, I'm trying not to pay much attention to this yet. I know I'm going to vote for the Democrat no matter who it is because they're all palatable and all the Republicans are nuts except Romney the Robot, who's likely to get a boost in Michigan but then figures to sink slowly, slowly in the West. I mean, Mike Huckabee?
The fluttering fancies of the media, though, ought to disturb us all. Judgment, patience and reason seem to have gone the way of grammar, vocabulary and syntax: When they crop up here and there, you're never sure if it happened on purpose or if there were just enough monkeys banging on enough keyboards to get it right.

13 Comments:

Blogger Blinger said...

Cory, will you caucusing?

3:48 PM  
Blogger sabjoro said...

Where are the candidates?

It's about a week before NV and I don't see any of them scheduled for Reno or LV. Before Iowa they were here nearly every week. As we got closer to Iowa the visits became fewer and fewer. Now that there is a week left, nada.

Doesn't NV count? Don't the candidates care about NV except for the ads?

4:31 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Well wait a minute.....what about Britany???

Thank the Gods CNN has finally found something else to talk about besides Britany.

Ss

4:40 PM  
Blogger Michael Lee said...

Wasn't it back in '48? Something about "Dewey Defeats Truman!"????

5:08 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Don't forget, with Hillary, you get two presidents for the price of one, jes kiddin' So with the snow falling again - another 2" on the deck since I got home tonight...fast forward a week. What if it's snowing and no one can get to the caucus...if the caucus falls in the snow. Can anyone hear it?

10:00 PM  
Blogger angelosdaughter said...

The only reason Nevada is getting any media attention at all is that our Senator, Harry Reid, is the current Senate majority leader. In the scheme of things Nevada is not all that important. As a Nevada native, who has never seen our state getting all this attention before, I think I can make that statement without fear of contradiction.

5:38 AM  
Blogger nopastels said...

I thought I was the only person who thought that Mitt was impervious to emotion, given his blank persona! I have been called regarding the caucus, one location is the High School on Golden Valley Dr., on the 19th. at 11AM. There is a presentation of foreign policy to be given on Friday at UNR.

Did anyone read in the paper that the department of voter registration said that those machines that need repairs will not be used in our elections? So, what is the plan, longer lines than there already is so people will not vote??

LouiseS

1:13 PM  
Blogger mindervillain said...

Cory will be at the Carson Valley Inn Saturday, January 12, speaking at the Democratic fund raiser - at $75 per. According to the flier, there may be presidential candidates there as well.

Among the Obama supporters I spoke with today, everyone's excited that Cory's going to be doing the political thing for the Democrats, but are leaving it to the high rollers to pay $150 a couple to see him.

Don't worry Cory, our thoughts and loyalties are with you - and thanks for the support.

9:43 PM  
Blogger mindervillain said...

I didn't see LoiseS' note before I made my post. Just to clarify for those who don't understand, and judging by my personal experience calling voters, there's a lot of you: Nevadans will participate in selecting their party's candidates only by attending the caucuses. There will not be a primary election here; you either participate in your party's caucus, or you live with whatever candidate your party nominates.

For anyone interested in the political future of their country, not to mention their party, it is extremely important to attend and participate in their precinct caucuses.

A politically neutral comment, courtesy of an Obama supporter.

9:54 PM  
Blogger sanasazi said...

Now that is the Cory that I have grown to love over the years. Good to have you back
Steve

4:05 PM  
Blogger kaptaintripps said...

I swear to you, if the citizens of this country elect another Republican president, I will leave the U.S. and never come back.

E. Baca

7:39 AM  
Blogger kaptaintripps said...

P.S.
And yes, I will be at the caucus next Saturday. I'm encouraging everyone to get out and appear at the caucus. The media seems to ignore the West (they pooh-pooh Nevada like we're some backwoods entity), but the day will come when the West will be a powerful bloc of swing votes. I hope I live to see it.
E. Baca

7:49 AM  
Blogger mindervillain said...

So Cory, how did last night's speech go? It must be strange, here in Nevada, to be in a room full of no one but Democrats. In Douglas County, it's unheard of - perhaps even illegal.

12:38 PM  

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