Is it the Messaging or the Listening?

Members of the chattering class cite the reason for the current administration’s failures as its inability to get it’s message clearly across.   All this makes me think that pundits need to clean out their ears and try, difficult as it may be, to focus.

Pundits listen to speeches and try to divine intent, tone and points for style.  Rarely do we hear them comment on actual content.  Pundits listen to other pundits and formulate agenda driven opinions based on agenda driven opinions.  The main stream media is listening to the pundits, without reporting on what was actually said.

It seems that those on the far right are listening to Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.  Beck speaks in vague generalities that can only be deciphered by his disciples.  Palin speaks in a way where each sentence includes at least one split infinitive and almost always ends with a preposition, resulting in incomprehensible gibberish.  Those on the far left have their firebrands too, though at least they can reasonably manage their grammar.  Those who distrust and dislike the firebrands listen to The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, preferring to receive their information in the form of satire.  The rest are watching Dancing with the Stars or American Idol.

The administration is speaking clearly and forcefully.  The problem is that no one is listening.

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35 Comments

Filed under dnd

35 responses to “Is it the Messaging or the Listening?

  1. Talking out of his ass would be a step up for Tancredo.

  2. dog's eye view

    We have too many pundits with too many outlets and not enough incisiveness or discipline for hard work among them.

    They’re chasing dollars, for themselves and their sponsors.

    It makes me ill that the Republicans — and the voters that supported them — left such an enormous mess for Obama and the often-feckless Democrats to clean up.

    Since it’s a once in five generations level of mess, and Obama did not clean put it right in about 14 months, the voters expect someone else to do a better job?

    And are turning to an even more radical class of Republicans whose failed ideology got us into most of this in the first place?

    The head swims and the heart hurts.

  3. dog's eye view

    NYTimes: Feingold’s seat might, might be up for grabs

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/us/politics/01wisconsin.html?ref=us

    Lovely photo illustration of Feingold addressing what appears to be an almost empty ballroom of veterans.

    Hard to tell if Feingold is actually that endangered — writer uses a lot of qualifiers. And noted that Tea Partiers were “unimpressed” with GOP neophyte’s knowledge of the Constitution.

    (And if that is their overriding concern, why, I ask, is President Obama not more popular among them?)

    But you get John Cornyn crowing that more Democratic seats than expected are in play.

    I honestly don’t know what to believe.

  4. I ultimately think Feingold will win, but he’s put himself in a bad position. It’s hard for him to share in the president’s successes since he has voted against the WH on big bills.

  5. TempeBev

    Think I mentioned yesterday that the media sucks – your post is a great example.

  6. Dooty

    Hola Brian,

    I think Beck’s Goldline spiel is really just a redistribution of old peoples wealth to Beck. Funny how that works.

  7. I really think the FTC needs to launch an investigation into this racket of Beck’s. BTW at the end of the show he blamed Gore for the nut case at the Discovery Channel building yesterday, then called for a “hit” on Gore.

    fast forward to about the 6 minute mark.

  8. dog's eye view

    Good morning all.

    • dnd

      Whoa Doots, that video of Brewer was painful to watch. When she said they balanced the budget, it got me wondering if AZ isn’t one of the states that mandates a balanced budget. Bev?

  9. Dooty

    morning Dog! we have had rain since last night and it is noon and the temp is 73F what a relief however brief it will be. This is one of those 100 year summers.

  10. dog's eye view

    Doots: glad to hear of the rain and temperature relief! We’re having a lot of “100 year” events lately, no?

    Wishing all a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

    I’m thinking of taking a holiday from blogreading since the political news is invariably grim of late.

    However: just watch what might happen when/if President Obama appoints Elizabeth Warren to head the financial consumer protection agency.

    Could be a turning point that’s sorely needed.

    Per TPM, Warren has notified Harvard she can’t teach a planned class this fall.

  11. TempeBev

    Dooty
    Train wreck aptly describes the Gov during last night’s debate. Watching it last night was quite entertaining. She is clearly a puppet. There wasn’t anyone with her last night to pull the strings connected to her mouth.

    Hope the video also showed how she refused to talk to reporters who asked about the “beheadings.”
    She also made the great political move to pull all her pol. ads from the CBS affiliate because they were investigating her strange relationship with the private prisons in AZ.

    She’s really getting famous. Heard a clip about her on the Stephanie Edwards show this morning. The front page in the paper this am showed a synopsis of the debate and right next to it was a detailed article about how illegal immigration has declined in the past year. What a state!

  12. TempeBev

    Yes, AZ is supposed to have a balanced budget.

  13. Anonymous

    As to the topic, ‘Is it the Messaging or the Listening?’; I think it is both and neither. 

    The American people don’t want to listen to any unpleasant messages that all Presidents are loathe to deliver. The listeners want to be massaged instead. 

    We really want to hear about low taxes, easy victories, the world loving and fearing us in equal measure and convenient scapegoats. Did I mention that we really do love scapegoats?

    We want it all and we want it right now!  I just don’t understand why our President doesn’t get it. 

    • dnd

      “We want it all and we want it right now! I just don’t understand why our President doesn’t get it”

      Precisely!

      • dnd

        Good jobs numbers out today. Good news heading into the Labor Day weekend. Unemployment ticked up a tad, but paradoxically that’s a good thing. More people out in the job market looking for work. Another reason the unemployment rate is a lousy stat. Plus that it’s not a really a rate.

  14. Dooty

    welcome Anonymous don’t be a stranger…. 🙂

  15. TempeBev

    Love it – Jan Brewer laughs off brain fart.

  16. Dooty

    Jan Brewer should be excused for not being ready for prime time. Wasn’t she appointed Gov when President Obama tapped Janet Napolitano for a cabinet spot? She was the Secretary of State of AZ. So, she is an unelected Gov. Bev said she was a puppet the other day and I have to agree.

  17. Dooty

    here is the reason to vote Democratic in Nov. The GOP has now told everyone there strategy if they take over Congress.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/choke-it-starve-it-shrink-it-what-government-shutdown-hints-are-really-about.php

  18. Great video on Republican Nazi Family Values and Republican Marriage.

  19. Brian – I am late getting. I have been in blog silence mode and I am only now getting around to visit my favorite blogs…..

    You hit it right on the head. The problem is with the audience, not with the message. In fact, as I remember there was a study done about a year ago showing that the cognitive level required to understand Obama’s speeches was significantly above the average cognitive level of the audience.

    I have been making a similar point over on my blog. Conservatives prefer a clean, simple message – a message that does not require much thinking because – damnit – thinking hurts! Sadly, I think their preference for simplicity plays right into the hand of a Palin.

    Of course, they also have their own private propaganda network dedicated to spreading said message. I am almost in a state of despair over this. How can it be countered? The only honest counter messaging requires too much thinking to be effective….

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