Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Was it really a release? Sounds more like a sneak peek, to me. However it is characterized, it served it's intended purpose. The compliant (hand-picked) press provided the desired seal of approval.

Of course, I'm talking about the "release" of John McCain's medical records yesterday. LiberalOasis best explains the set up:

A hand selected group of reporters (only 20 people) was allowed to access 1,173 pages of Senator John McCain's medical records for three hours. No one was allowed to Xerox or photograph the records. A reporter could take notes. Oh, no cellphones. So, what do we know? Not much. . . .

If they read 1,173 pages in three hours, they would have to read a page every six minutes. You can't get any detail from that. I'm not sure that we know more now than we did before the records were flashed in front of our eyes.
So, is McCain's pasty face merely a sign of his inner whiteness, a stark, silent contrast to his likely darker-complexioned opponent, a shade of pale that will appeal to the Appalachian (new word for bigots) contingent, or it it a sign that he has some malady?

Hard to say what the real deal is from the DoubleSpeak Express. If you believe what we are told, McCain may be older than dirt,* but he's a picture of health (to mix metaphors). The NYTimes reports that reports say that McCain is in excellent health, McCain’s Health Is Called Robust by His Doctors. However, as an accompanying article notes, Tight Control on Files and Shortened Question Period:
Senator John McCain released his medical records on Friday under tightly controlled circumstances, allowing them to be reviewed by a small group of reporters from news organizations that his campaign chose.

* * * *

At 11 a.m., Mr. McCain’s doctors made themselves available in what was scheduled as a 90-minute conference call. But the questions were stopped after 45 minutes.

The Times was not one of the chosen few, nor was it permitted to ask questions at the shortened press conference. And the favored media types (you know, McCain's "base") parroted what they were told by the campaign, so who knows the truth. The only thing I do know is that it's not us. Dr. Murphy at Firedoglake describes some of the problems with the lack of information we've been given, at McCain’s Medical Records: The Nodes Know We’re Still In The Dark.

And that's just his physical condition. Shaun Mullen of Kiko's House discusses why the controlled "release" also raises questions about McCain's mental health that remain unanswered, Limited Medical Records Release Shows Why McCain's Mental Health Is An Issue:
The reality is that a characteristic of some aging brains is inflexibility and an inability to grasp new concepts. In other words, an inability to learn.

In McCain's case, it's not necessarily an in-your-face thing, but he keeps causing me to wonder. He would be the oldest person to assume the presidency, which makes his age a legitimate issue. But I know a couple of septuagenarians who are as sharp as tacks and run mental circles around people half their age. For me it's less the fact that McCain would be 72 upon taking the oath of office than the state of mind of this particular 72-year-old.
Then there was the cancer surgery in February that McCain "forgot" to tell anyone about. See Is John McCain As Healthy As The Media Are Saying?.

As usual, the Republicans brilliantly managed to control the flow (it's the one thing they do well). As Liberal Oasis said:
To be honest, this was a great piece of politics by the McCain camp. Release the information on a Friday, a slow news day. Release the information on a holiday weekend. No one is paying any attention. Then control what is said. The McCain camp got the exact headlines that they wanted. Reuters - McCain deemed in good health by doctors. The McCain camp couldn't have written it any better.
* I mock McCain's age as much and as often as I can, because I don't want him to miss out on his share of stereotypical remarks, compared to the sexist and racist comments that continually pepper the Democratic side. The truth is that age, like sex and race, don't much matter to me in selecting the next president. Competency, intelligence and political policy matter greatly to me. McCain's conservatism and lack of ethics are what really count in counting him out for me. Age is just the fun way of expressing that.

1 comment:

quakerdave said...

He released his records the way his wife released her tax returns.

Which is to say, not so much.

And Cindy Lou Who's tax returns should be a heck of a lot more of interest to people than anything Michelle Obama has said about "being proud of [her] country..."

But of course, they're not.