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Monday, September 8, 2003
Gore and Quayle (in ‘04!)

By Steven Taylor @ 8:28 am

This came to mind as I was driving to work today: for those who think that the whole Gore-as-exaggerator thesis was a media construct sans merit, I am curious if you also think that the Quayle-as-mental-midget thesis was just a media construct and “partisan slur” (as one commentator described the Gore thesis).

I won’t even offer my own perspective on this one at this point.

I would say that in both cases, there were clear political ramifications, and that both have to do with the complexities of reality and perception.

(And what could be more fun than a bipartisan, Gore-Quayle ticket in 2004? The Attack of the Veeps!)

Filed under: US Politics

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5 Comments»

  1. I congratulate you. Trying to equate what the media did to a somewhat dopey VP and a somewhat snooty VP is a clever distraction. Is the Gore/Quayle 2004 ticket your concession?

    So far, theres been nothing on Poliblog that confirms Gore to be an exemplar of exaggeration. On the other hand theres been a pachydermal outpouring of political dogma.

    In the meantime no one has answered my question: Do you know anyone who at any point in time believed, or still believes, that Al Gore invented the Internet?

    I made a number of bipartisan calls in Southern California asking that same question. So far, no takers.

    Which made me wonder: What do you think Gore would have said if Wolf Blitzer had asked him this follow-up question: Do you mean to say that you invented the Internet?

    Why yes, Mr. Blitzer. Thats exactly what I meant to say. or You got me there, Wolf.

    Blitzer didnt follow-up. Why? Maybe he thought that Gores unfortunate choice of words was a slip up. Maybe he thought that anyone watching Wolf Blitzer who thinks that Al Gore invented the Internet probably hadnt taken their medication. Maybe he didnt even consider the possibility that Gore meant that he invented the Internet. Maybe hes a co-conspirator in the liberal media.

    Or Blitzer could have known that when Gore said “I took the initiative in creating the Internet” it was his way of saying that Gore initiated and helped propel measures in Congress that ultimately created the Internet as we know it today. He believed it was shorthand.

    Gore constructed a sentence that wasnt as clear as it should have been. But the mistake, as far as I can tell from Poliblog, has to do with misunderestimating the pettiness of partisanship, not exaggeration.

    Quayle also made a mistake. He misspelled pototoe. I always felt sorry for the guy, because I do that too. You spell to T. O. You spell toe T.O.E. Thats the reason I never ran for political office. But while I believe that Gore didnt intentionally exaggerate when he spoke about the Internet, intention has nothing to do with Qualyes lack of spelling bee execution. I can attest to that.

    More importantly, though, I wonder what our discussion says about Republicans and Democrats? What does it say about the intention of the media when it runs these stories? Are Republicans more inclined to criticize what they interpret to be egotistical liars? Are Democrats more incline to criticize hicks?

    And by the way, do you know anyone who at any point in time believed, or still believes, that Al Gore invented the Internet?

    Comment by Nathan Callahan — Monday, September 8, 2003 @ 5:00 pm

  2. Nathan,

    You are missing the overall point, I guess, by insisting on reducing these things to singluar events (Gore and the ‘net and Quayle and the spelling bee). The point isn’t, nor has it ever been, simply about a specific incident. Rather, it has been about patterns and media image and the political ramifications thereof.

    I haven’t forgotten your post from the other day, just haven’t gotten back to it. I will answer the basic question you ask: the point was never that people believed that Gore invented the internet-but that the statement he made was a pompous exaggeration. I have proven that from the timelines I posted before-it is manifestly perplexing to me how one can just dismiss the history prior to the NSFNET funding (and I do not deny that Gore was an important player in legislation key to the development of the net as we know it-BUT, that is a far cry from initiating its creation).

    And, again, the issue is the constellation of statements that form a pattern, and hence a public perception. I really fail to see how the posts that I have put on the main page of the blog rate as petty partisanship, since part of those whom I quote can hardly be painted as partisans. Especially since the goal is analysis of the effects of these kinds of events. Did you read the excerpt from the Boston Globe? Really, I almost feel like I am arguing over whether the moon landing was real or not.

    I would concur, that as an isolated quotation, the internet statment can be explained away, as can any of the individual statements. But since even a member of his own staff in 1988 thought he should watch his statements, and his own staff thought he could learn something by watching the SNL parody of the first debate and his sigh-fest, I find rather difficult to understand why it is so terribly difficult to admit that there is a pattern here.

    I am not asking anyone to say that Gore is/was a pathoglical liar, but that he clearly had a need to inflate himself in public pronouncements in ways that go beyond the normal self-promotion that pols typically engage in.

    I didn’t make up the quotes, and I didn’t write all the columns and news stories that talked about this issue. To read your posts, and the posts of some others, one would think that I was the first person to ever mention any of this, and that there is no evidence whatsoever for the position. Again, did you read this post?

    Steven

    Comment by Steven — Monday, September 8, 2003 @ 5:23 pm

  3. Nathan is correct; Gore never claimed to have invented the internet. It’s just that Repugs have a marked tendency to ignore or not read an entire statement within context.

    Note what they do with the Second Amendment; it’s 26 words long and Repugs ignore the first 12 words.

    OTOH, Quayle might have been impervious to the charge of being a dim bulb if he had only made a few mistakes or gaffes. But with Quayle, he made them constantly-so much so the RNC actually assigned William Kristol of being Quayle’s handler.

    Comment by JadeGold — Monday, September 8, 2003 @ 6:25 pm

  4. I have a sister exactly like Gore. She’s personable, attractive, and a lot of fun. But! Even when it serves no purpose, she tells ‘little’ lies and exagerates. Oddly, she has never been able to keep a job for more than a couple of years. Apparently employers have a different view of such things than Democrats.

    Comment by Meezer — Monday, September 8, 2003 @ 6:41 pm

  5. OK what hallucinogenic drugs are you people on????

    Nathan said:
    So far, theres been nothing on Poliblog that confirms Gore to be an exemplar of exaggeration.
    Apparently he did not read Jade’s post.

    Comment by Paul — Tuesday, September 9, 2003 @ 12:01 am

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