A Night To Remember!

Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels joins the Oak Ridge Boys onstage for a rousing chorus of "Elvira."
Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels joins the Oak Ridge Boys onstage for a rousing chorus of "Elvira."

The Democratic Party of Arkansas had a big to-do in North Little Rock Friday night, pulling in an estimated 1,400 people for a big party fundraiser at Verizon Arena.

Why, all the stars were there: Gov. Mike Beebe! Sen. Blanche Lincoln! Sen. Mark Pryor! Attorney Gen. Dustin McDaniel! Bill Halter, champion of the Arkansas lottery! Blake Rutherford! Good for them. It sounds like it was highly successful and a great event.

And we KNOW it was a great event from this extraordinarily flattering Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (ADG) report by Capitol Bureau chief Seth Blomeley, (HEADLINE: “Democrats Slam GOP At Dinner”) prominently published on the front of the paper’s Arkansas section, and featuring two (2) photographs. In addition, the ADG has made available online dozens of photographs from the event. (You’ll need a subscription to read the full article—sorry.)

Now let’s look back: A month ago, Arkansas Republicans held a parallel event in Little Rock. Granted, it was much smaller, with only about 400 people on hand, but let’s face it, there aren’t nearly as many Republicans in Arkansas as Democrats, right? But anyway, there were a bunch of elected officials and candidates on hand, as well as keynote speaker Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, who some say just might be a candidate for president one day.

I’ll bet that event got the same red-carpet treatment from the ADG and Blomeley, right?

Hm, not quite. In that case, the ADG just ran this wire story from the AP, which focused not on the event but on Pawlenty’s response to South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s affair. (Remember that? It transfixed a nation for, uh, days! And then Michael Jackson died, and we were never the same.) I believe the ADG ran that piece inside the B section, with no photo.

I suppose it would be churlish to point out the egregious disparity in coverage of the two events, and who’d listen anyway, right?

But I’d be interested to hear the editorial decision-making that adjudges one to be “news” and the other to be “not-news.” Seems like either they’re both “news,” or they’re both “not-news,” if you boast of being a balanced, trusted, objective news source serving the community. (Having worked as a reporter and attended my fair share of events like this, I can tell you that they are typically “not-news,” because they are “pseudo-events,” but a newspaper generally has to cover them in case news breaks out.)

I don’t much go in for “liberal media bias” bellyaching from conservatives, because it’s boring and unconstructive, like whining about the weather. But if you are an Arkansas Republican candidate for office in 2010, I’d keep in mind that the state’s largest daily newspaper and its chief political reporter have done you a tremendous favor by laying down their standard, at an early point in the process, for how you and your Democratic opposition will be treated in the coming campaign season. Rest assured, you will not receive the same type of coverage. Plan accordingly.

It was truly a night to remember.

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11 thoughts on “A Night To Remember!

  • July 25, 2009 at 7:12 pm
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    I think it is sad that the State of Arkansas is so limited in its future that Charlie Daniels is going to get away with running (and becoming) the Auditor of State. If we want to progress as a society we have to stand up to such ridiculous situations. Too bad no one will take him on. Where are the “young turks”?? Oh thats right . . .

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  • July 25, 2009 at 8:02 pm
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    I just wonder how long the Democrats are going to blame Bush for everything? At what point do they start realizing that they are ball deep in screwing the pooch? Not that I expect them to announce at this thing, “Oh, my! We have made an awful mess of things, haven’t we?” But I would think that Paul Begala, et al would have enough sagacity to understand that the current train wreck is going to fall right in their lap and they are going to be wishing they had done less finger pointing. In four years time, if there is still a country left, Begala and his ilk will be lucky if they don’t get tarred and feathered and run out on a rail.

    Oh, its never been a secret what Blomeley is. I’d expect nothing less.

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  • July 26, 2009 at 6:45 am
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    Well, there’s a long and hallowed tradition of blaming the other guy for the world’s problems, esp. at party fundraiser dinners. But now that you mention it, Rex, it was funny to see Mark Pryor complain about the “mess” that Obama inherited from Bush.

    Too bad Pryor and Obama weren’t, y’know, serving in the U.S. Senate for the last several years or anything, where they might have made an effort to do something about that, if they were so concerned. If legislators are so powerless before the awesome and unstinting power of the presidency, where does he find the will to get up and go to work in the morning?
    D.

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  • July 26, 2009 at 9:43 am
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    Ah, they’ll soon enough get theirs and when they get it, boy will they. Again, they will be lucky if they don’t get tarred and feathered.

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  • July 27, 2009 at 11:20 am
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    “Granted, it was much smaller, with only about 400 people on hand, but let’s face it, there aren’t nearly as many Republicans in Arkansas as Democrats, right?”

    Um, McCain got around 65% of the vote last October, as I recall. And with the exception of Snyder, the 5/6ths of the congressional delegation are DINOs.

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  • July 27, 2009 at 12:01 pm
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    Umm, 5/6ths of the delegation are DINOs?
    And you aren’t counting Snyder, so he’s the 1/6th.
    So where does Boozman, Republican-Third District fit in.
    So that would mean 4/6ths or two/thirds of the delegation are DINOs.
    But never mind, math is hard[/barbie voice]

    I got the state edition on Saturday and the Dems convention didn’t make it for deadline. I believe that the Republican confab did get in all the editions.

    In terms of news, the J-J dinner has always been covered because of the presence of so many Arkansas elected officials and because it is well-attended by the state’s elite and the paper tends to cater to that crowd.
    But what about that full page of coverage devoted to the launch of Rex Nelson’s blog!?!?!?
    That’s a much more worthy topic of discussion, paper covers well-attended political event that has 5/6ths of the congressional delegation and all the state’s COs and a bear shits in the woods question is asked.
    A former writer, and long-time political hack has a blog! and it gets a full page.
    Balance!
    As for me, I’m off to read Rex Nelson’s BLOG! and its 1,000 word essays on some shitty BBQ joint in east Arkansas that also serves tamales! My heart goes pitter patter!

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  • July 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm
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    To Fourche River Rex, the system that Bush ran was horrible for the country, even though he had the best of intentions. The congress was republican lead for most of his presidency and there were many things passed that hurt our country. As for Kincade, Obama and Pryor did vote against most of the bills that they felt were harmful to this country, but as the Republicans are finding out now there is only so much you can do as a minority. To turn your idea, if the republicans are so concerned with they way the country is going why don’t they make an effort to do something about it. You may say they are, well so were the dems like Pryor and Obama.

    The point that needs to be made is, the republicans had problems running the system. The new administration can’t just start over that’s not how our democracy, law, and legislation work. You must adress and fix the problems that were created. Since the democrats didn’t make the decisions that hurt the country, they have to find ways to adress the misktakes. Anytime you weren’t a facilitator of the problems it will be hard for you to easily find the soulutions. Especially in a system like ours were a bad decision ends up being embeded into the system for years without being adressed. The president inherited an economy that was failing and two wars, all or part of the decisions of the former president. Name another president that has ever faced this kind of problem. The train wrecked along time ago and it was the biggest train in the world. It will take time to fix it no matter if the leader is democrat or republican.

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  • July 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm
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    “Umm, 5/6ths of the delegation are DINOs?
    And you aren’t counting Snyder, so he’s the 1/6th.
    So where does Boozman, Republican-Third District fit in.
    So that would mean 4/6ths or two/thirds of the delegation are DINOs.
    But never mind, math is hard[/barbie voice]”

    Yeah, it was poorly worded, but I meant that Snyder is the only real Dem out of the 5.
    I believe my point, +/- 16% or so, still stands.

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  • July 27, 2009 at 3:27 pm
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    Maybe this blog should install a spell checker.

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  • July 29, 2009 at 8:49 am
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    Wow, John! Thanks for reading the DNC’s talking points! What flavor cool-aid they feeding you in the mornings?
    Despite the failings of Bush and the Republicans, and there were many, they did not make Obama spend money like a drunken sailor on shore leave during the middle of A F$%KING RECESSION. If that isn’t enough, then we the good ole’ US of A has to felatiate every third world nut job who hates us, apologize to the world for every sin committed and spend a bunch of damned time worrying about whether to prosecute Dick Cheney.
    Yeah, you guys are really solving the problems. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that at least we cared enough for the country and had the balls enough to say Bush sucked while you guys would rather watch carney’s rape your sisters than to admit Obama is a failure. Your loyalty to party is cultlike and scary. Seriously, wake the f#$k up.

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  • July 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm
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    WOW Fourche River Rex, didn’t know I was following party lines just call it like I see it. I also base my opinions on solid facts. For example, do you know how much of the spending, such as the TARP fund, has actually been givien out to different companies? Billions were delegated to use for the TARP but do you know that much of it is still setting there being unused. Do you know how many “shovel ready projects” that were suppose to get funded that didn’t because they weren’t were they said they were when they asked for the funds. This is an example of using knowledge to make decisions. You say spending is out of control but if you look at some of the details and facts spending hasn’t been a big problem. I don’t assume, like you, it will get out of control I just look at the facts.
    As for apologizing for “sins”, if you agree that we have commited mistakes then why are you so mad that our leader is admitting to these mistakes and trying to bring some world cohesiveness.
    On your last point about Cheney, President already said he dosen’t want to prosecute anyone. But as a man who respects law, in my opinion if anyone has commited a crime they should be prosecuted. I don’t know about you but I think the system should be followed.

    The reason people don’t believe that the President is a failure is because he has only been in office for 3/4 of a term. His term to this point has been about bettering realtions with the rest of the world,(His number one job responsibility no matter what you may think), pushed for a stimulus package which you are benifiting from right now, and trying to reform healthcare. You can disagree about the effectiveness of these policies but only time can tell. But who are you, me, or anyone else to call him a failure in 8 months.
    Look, I know you may not be a highly educated man even though it seems that you put alot of effort into being more informed. This is good but if you don’t understand the whole subject and the in’s and outs of what you are concerned about you need to do more learning and less talking. You could look into were exactly money is being wasted or how money gets distributed from the TARP, or even which of your state reps and senators voted for bills that increased spending and how that spending negativly effected the econ. This would help you know exactly what problems you have with your gov. But, you would rather spout out Republican ideals and views on situations and believe the people you read on this blog or on ARN. This is what makes me the oppisite of what you described. I know exactly why I believe what I believe, where the money is, how the system works and who does what. I read these blogs so I can get another view point to make my own decisions. Sometimes I agree with MR. Kinkade. So before you say my “loyalty to party is cultlike and scary” you need to look at yourself. At least I know exactly why I believe the way I do.

    Reply

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