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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Deceitful and Slanderous

In his otherwise moving tribute to Paul Wellstone, Jonah says: "Perhaps another time I'll talk about the deceitful and slanderous attacks launched by Minnesota and national Republicans about the raucous tribute to Wellstone that took place a few days after his death."
Let's talk about it now.
For those who don't recall, the controversy concerned the Wellstone tribute turned campaign rally, where among other things members of the Senate (Republican) leadership who attended to honor the man were booed.
In the Blue corner, we have Jonah citing to Mr. Al Franken, liberal commentator and Air America host.
In the Red corner, we have (and trust me, they're rarely in the Red corner):
CNN,which quoted Mike Erlandson, chairman of Minnesota's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party as saying that the boos were "unfortunate and inappropriate," and that the tribute "had a little bit of a rally feel."
Minnesota Public Radio,which stated that Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton "used some of his time to apologize to Senate Republicans, in particular the minority leader, for the booing they were subjected to at Wellstone's memorial service. 'Paul and Sheila would have been horrified,' Dayton said."
Perhaps Jonah thinks it was an overreaction. But if the attacks were "deceitful and slanderous," are Erlandson and Dayton dupes for apologizing or closet Republicans?


Blogger Jonah B. Gelbach said...


first, i've been out of town since tuesday morning, which is why i didn't reply earlier to your post.

second, i'll be delighted to reply in detail to your questions (i'd been meaning to follow up on the discussion we had about this last year, so this seems like a fine way to do it), hopefully quite soon. let me note for the record that you left out a pretty key second sentence of my post, the one that follows the one sentence you did quote:

Many people have ascribed Mondale's loss to the supposedly overwhelmingly negative tone of that tribute.

Note the modifier "overwhelmingly" that precedes "negative". Nothing in my post, my argument, or Al Franken's discussion minimizes the inappropriateness of the booing that DID occur. And very little of the deceitful and slanderous claims that the GOP and its dupes in the national media pushed on air was true, notwithstanding the relatively small amount of inappropriate stuff that happened.

It IS possible for a large event with thousands of people to have a small number of people misbehave (surely you've seen the stands in an NFL game?).

In any case, I'm looking forward to your response to the whole story, rather than just deceitful amplification of cherry-picked incidents.

More later.

10/28/2005 9:54 AM  

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