Monday, May 12, 2008

KC Star's AP's Sam Hananel attempts a Full Kraske and sticks the landing!

We spend a lot of time mocking Steve "this is actually great news for the GOP" Kraske in our house. We know that mocking him is like shooting fish in a barrel, but what the hell? Don't offer such prime mockable fare, and we would have a tougher go of it.

If the media was doing it's Constitutionally protected job, we bloggers would be talking to one another and be totally bereft of influence. I was just at the state convention - I had the same access to the Congressmen and Senator who were in attendance as Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Post Dispatch had. The M$M might resent our influence, but the politicians know it is real, so the M$M can suck on it. If they get off their asses and return to their muckracking traditional roots, we would cease to matter. But as they are not going to give up their cushy gigs and risk causing offense, we aren't going anywhere. They can suck on that, too.

When a story in the Star gets massaged in a pro-GOP way, my husband and I have a name for it: "The Full Kraske."

But he has some competition!

Sam Hananel has managed to out-Kraske Kraske!

In a piece on Jim Slattery's challenge to Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, Hananel makes it sound like Slattery is out on bond or something, like all lobbyists are as corrupt as those republican mother fuckers like Abramoff and his ilk. Hell, he even manages to work Duke Cunningham's name into the article, too!

Let's start with the headline (although the copy editor probably gets the blame for this):

Lobbyist Defends Work in Run for Senate

"Slattery is a Democrat. We have to paint him in the most negative light possible: Let's make 'Lobbyist' the lead word in the headline!" That's how Pat Robert's refers to him, after all, and the Star has a full staff of GOP stenographers at the ready, so really this sort of thing is to be expected.
The revolving door between former members of Congress and lucrative lobbying firms usually leads one way. But Jim Slattery is trying to make a U-turn.

After spending more than a decade in Washington making millions of dollars at one of the nation's most prestigious law firms, the former Democratic congressman from Topeka is jumping back into the political arena in a bid to unseat Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

Roberts' campaign has already gone after Slattery with radio ads calling him a "Gucci loafers and all" lobbyist who's out of touch with voters.

But Slattery has never been accused of any wrongdoing as a lobbyist. He left politics and became a partner in Wiley Rein, LLC after exercising the piss-poor timing of choosing to run for governor in that most republican of all years, 1994, and getting his ass handed to him, like so many other Democrats did that year. Slattery wasn't the only Kansas Democrat to lose in 1994 - so did Dan Glickman. Perhaps Mr. Hananel would like to email me and discuss the political climate that election? I would be happy to enlighten him - Both Glickman and Slattery were on the ballot I cast that November. If they weren't on his, he should maybe take me up on my offer, or at least think about applying a thin veneer of a pretense of objectivity, instead of the GOP-fealty that veritably drips from the article he posted.

Far be it from me to defend lobbyists, but I have to be honest - I have been a union member, and my union hired lobbyists to represent our professional interests. So blanket condemnation seems a bit hypocritical.

If Slattery had ever been accused of any malfeasance or wrongdoing, I could see the tone of the article. But he hasn't. He was not involved in the Abramoff or Cunningham scandals - he is a member of the opposition party that they openly stated they wanted to crush and eliminate from the process, for fucks sake! - so why did Hananel feel compelled to include the comparisons, and why did the copy editor not mark the hell out of it with his blue pencil and throw it back at his feet, quivering and dying a horrible death?

There is simply no excuse for this sort of overt GOP shilling on the part of the M$M.

But credit where it is due - the Full Kraske is a complex maneuver, and he did stick the landing. So Hananel's piece gets a 9.9 - woulda been a perfect 10, but the Russian judge is in a mood today.

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