A reminder about what can happen when the media spins a debate and manufactures reality for the masses:
Bob Somerby: “After that first Bush-Gore debate, five major news orgs conducted “overnight polls,” surveying people who watched the debate. Gore was the winner in all five surveys. He won by an average margin of ten points.
“Cooper works for CNN. Gore won CNN’s overnight poll, 56 percent to 42—unless you listen to Cooper today, in which case Gore of course lost.
“By the way: Did Gore “sigh over and over again” at that debate? On balance, we’d have to say no. If you want to test this question yourself, you can watch that full 90-minute debate at C-Span.
“We watched that tape about six months ago. You can hear a few sighs or intakes of breath—but in all honesty, we’d say that they’re few and far between. If you watch the full 90 minutes, you can decide for yourself.
“Did George Bush win that first debate? Only after the press corps began playing videotaped loops of Gore’s troubling sighs (with the volume cranked, of course). And only after the press corps invented several new “lies” by Gore.”
Scott Lemieux: “Gore scored a knockout win with the public in the first debate. Bush ended up as the ultimate “winner” because of the way the debate was spun by a media that was engaged in an ongoing War On Gore. Blaming Gore for underperforming, the debate should remind us, is mostly blaming the victim.”
And WHAT was being discussed 12 years ago? TAX CUTS FOR THE 1%!
GORE: Yes, Jim. I said that his tax cut plan, for example, raises the question of whether it’s the right choice for the country. And let me give you an example of what I mean. Under Governor Bush’s tax cut proposal, he would spend more money on tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% than all of the new spending that he proposes for education, health care, prescription drugs and national defense all combined. Now, I think those are the wrong priorities. Now, under my proposal, for every dollar that I propose in spending for things like education and health care, I will put another dollar into middle class tax cuts. And for every dollar that I spend in those two categories, I’ll put $2 toward paying down the national debt. I think it’s very important to keep the debt going down and completely eliminate it. And I also think it’s very important to go to the next stage of welfare reform. Our country has cut the welfare rolls in half. I fought hard from my days in the Senate and as vice president to cut the welfare rolls and we’ve moved millions of people in America into good jobs. But it’s now time for the next stage of welfare reform, and include fathers and not only mothers.
MODERATOR: We’re going to get a lot of those.
BUSH: Let me just say that obviously tonight we’re going to hear some phony numbers about what I think and what we ought to do. People need to know that over the next ten years it is going to be $25 trillion of revenue that comes into our treasury and we anticipate spending $21 trillion. And my plan say why don’t we pass 1.3 trillion of that back to the people who pay the bills? Surely we can afford 5% of the $25 trillion that are coming into the treasury to the hard working people that pay the bills. There is a difference of opinion. My opponent thinks the government — the surplus is the government’s money. That’s not what I think. I think it’s the hard-working people of America’s money and I want to share some of that money with you so you have more money to build and save and dream for your families. It’s a difference of opinion. It’s a difference between government making decisions for you and you getting more of your money to make decisions for yourself.
Ha ha ha. How’d ol’ George W’s spending plans work out for those of us who aren’t the one percent, the hard workin’ ‘Mericans? Obviously we bought ourselves even greater income inequality with even more tax cuts for the super rich, a huge deficit with what was once a surplus, a market crash, loss of jobs, our homes, two wars and the resulting damage and deaths of our troops and civilian populations in the Middle East, … why?
Because — we were told — Gore sighed a lot. And guess who wants to take us back to the halcyon days of the Bush years? Mittens T. Romney.